Bible Bytes

A Heart for God
Psalm 138 is a very short psalm of only 8 verses. This psalm pours out from David’s relationship with God, and reveals characteristics of a heart for God. Some of these are noted here.

Wholehearted thanks to God (v.1) – “I give you thanks, O LORD, with my whole heart; before the gods I sing your praise…”

Humility before God (v.2) – “…I will bow down toward Your holy temple and give thanks to Your name for Your lovingkindness and Your truth…”

David acknowledges and values God as God. This acknowledgement of God as God is scattered throughout this psalm 🙁 v.5b – “…great is the glory of the Lord…: v. 6 –“…for though the Lord is high He regards the lowly…”).

Acknowledging “God as God” is important to God. We learn this in Romans 1:20-21, God states that the downfall of men is to worship themselves therefore not acknowledging God as God and giving Him the thanks due Him.

Trust the goodness of God v. 7 – “… though I walk in the midst of trouble You preserve my life…” and v. 8 “… the Lord will fulfill His purpose for me…”

David trusts that God intends good toward Him. David looks back on how God has answered his prayers before and how God delivered him in the past. He has learned to trust the truth of God’s steadfast love. David views himself as a work of God and God will not forsake that work (v.8).

As I read this psalm,  I reflect on my relationship with God. I ask myself: Do I daily acknowledge God as God? If so, what difference does that make in how I live? Do I give God the thanks and praise due Him? Or am I just relieved when a prayer is answered? Do I have truths about God from His word and from His past interactions with me that I cling to in times of difficulty?

I encourage you to read Psalm 138 and let the truths therein
bless your relationship with God.

Bless the Lord!
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits. . .” Ps. 103:1-2 (ESV)

When we think of the word “bless” we think of it in terms of God or others blessing us with something good. Many places in the book of Psalms we are encouraged/ commanded to “bless God.”

Blessing God is a way of praising Him, or giving Him thanks. In the context of Psalm 103 David calls upon the people to bless God, and then enumerates God’s character and deeds that have benefitted them. Some of these include: forgiveness of sin; God not treating them as their sin deserves; God’s steadfast abundant love, and many other benefits.

The word “bless” in this passage comes from the Hebrew word “barak” which means to bless; to kneel before; to be broken before; to adore; to salute; to celebrate. So to “bless” God really does involve our soul and all that is our essence (verse 1). Blessing God is more than just words coming from our mouth. It involves a self, a soul that is bowed before God, humble before God and acknowledges His supreme greatness. Blessing God is a heart set that is characterized by humility before God and a deep internal “valuing” of God.

Where is my heart on the spectrum of blessing God? Do I highly esteem and value Him as God and the fact that I have a relationship with Him, or do I just like the benefits?

God Pays Attention!
I love the language of the scriptures. It is so rich in meaning, painting pictures of God with words. Psalm 130:2 says: “O Lord hear my voice, let your ears be attentive to the voice of my plea for mercy.” Really, the psalmist is asking God for help. I love how he boldly and desperately asks God to “pay attention” to him.

One time I saw a video that pictured thousands of people praying to God in their various homes and locations around the world. The sound was a low din of voices with none being distinguishable.

It reminded me of sitting out in my garden with many sounds of nature, the breeze in the tree tops, a few buzzing bees flying around, the high pitched whine of the cicada, and various birds singing. I hear them all, but if I pay attention and really listen I can pick out and hear the moanful sigh of the mourning dove.

I am encouraged to know that amid all the voices calling out to God, He “pays attention” and hears my prayer. Even more encouraging, is that I can ask the God who created the universe to attend to me.