Sunday, December 17, 2017

Praising Scripture - Dec 17


PSALM 42:1-5 Praise God In the Midst of Distress——
To the Chief Musician. A Contemplation of the sons of Korah.
(Memorization Scripture: vv. 5)
1 As the deer pants for the water brooks,
So pants my soul for You, O God.
2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When shall I come and appear before God?

3 My tears have been my food day and night,
While they continually say to me,
“Where is your God?”

4 When I remember these things,
I pour out my soul within me.
For I used to go with the multitude;
I went with them to the house of God,
With the voice of joy and praise,
With a multitude that kept a pilgrim feast.

5 Why are you cast down, O my soul?
And why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him
For the help of His countenance.


Psalm 42 and 43 are the first and second parts of the same psalm, and they echo each other coherently and cohesively. The psalmist was the descendant of those who once were so rebellious to God and should have been swallowed by the earth (See Numbers 16) yet saved by the grace of God. Since the time of David, there were a group of people among the son of Korah who were delegated to sing in the temple of God (such as Heman, one of the three chief musicians). The psalmist of this psalm presumably should also serve as a musician in the temple of God. And now, for being held captive during war or some other unknown reason, he was left in a strange place apart from the presence of God and was unable to participate in any worship services. (In this psalm) He described that his soul pants for God, as the deer pants for the water brooks. People saw him and mocked him, and said “where is your God?” And this made him so depressed that his tear had been his food day and night.

The psalmist is saddened even more as he recalls a time when together with the people, he headed to the temple of God and sang praises to keep a feast. But at the same time, this memory became a turning point, which led to verse 5. In both Psalm 42 and 43, verse 5 acts as chorus which is repeated three times to portray the psalmist’s strong emotions.

Everyone of us can fall down into a spiritual low place while walking the path of faith, and it just might seem that we will never get back to those reviving and glorious moments when we still dwelled in the temple of God. When we are cast down we are easily disquieted and can lose all hope. But in such times, this psalmist who carried the mark of grace, reminded his worried heart to “Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him
For the help of His countenance” (v5). We too are sinners saved by grace and God will not remember our rebellion to Him. When we are still wandering in the wilderness, as long as our soul pants for His presence, He will be there as always, and help us with His countenance. (NY)


12/17 詩篇42:1-5 在困境中讚美神——流亡者之歌
1 神啊,我的心切慕你,
2 我的心渴想神,就是永生神,

3 我晝夜以眼淚當飲食,

4 我從前與眾人同往,用歡呼稱讚的聲音,

5 我的心哪,你為何憂悶?

詩篇四十二篇和四十三篇是一首詩的上和下,前後呼應,連成一氣。作者是先祖曾經背叛 神本該全部被地吞滅(見民數記16章),卻因著 神的恩典而留下來的後裔。從大衛的時代開始,這些人有一些是派在神的殿中歌唱的 (例如希幔是三位伶長之一)。這首詩的作者應該也是原來在聖殿服事音樂的;現在,不曉得是因為戰爭被擄,還是其他的原因,他流亡在沒有神同在的異地,不得參與敬拜。他形容自己渴慕 神的同在,好像鹿渴慕溪水一樣。人看見他的景況嘲笑他:「你的神在哪裡呢?」令他越發沮喪到甚至晝夜以眼淚當飲食。

詩人回想他曾經與眾人同往 神的殿,用歡呼稱讚的聲音帶領大家守節。這使得他的心更是悲傷到極處。但是,同時這個回想也成了一個轉機,帶進了第五節的頌讚。第五節在四十二篇和四十三篇中是一個副歌,被重複了三次,可見是詩人特別強烈的感受。

每一個人的信仰之旅都有可能落在沮喪谷,似乎無法再回到以往住在神殿中復興的光景。我們在沮喪中,很容易煩躁、失去盼望。但是,這個身上帶著 神恩典記號的詩人,提醒自己憂悶的心,「應當仰望神,因祂笑臉幫助我,我還要稱讚祂。」我們也是一樣蒙恩的罪人,神不記念我們的背逆,在我們流盪在外的時候,只要我們渴慕見祂的面,祂就還是一如以往的用祂的笑臉幫助我們。(NY)

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