Reading through the Bible together
The first ten verses of this psalm, written by David, combine personal gratitude with general thanksgiving. Hebrew synonymous parallelism, a literary style in which a thought is repeated twice in a given stanza, is seen here. For instance the first part of verse one says, "I will bless the LORD at all times." The second part repeats the same thought but in different words: "His praise shall continually be in my mouth." And if you want to know how to magnify the LORD, the second half of verse 3 shows how to do so: "exalt his name."
The reasons for David praising the LORD are stated: he sought Him and He heard him; he trusted Him and he was not disappointed; God saved him from all his troubles, for He commissioned His angels to watch over all those who feared Him. In spite of its strength, a lion becomes hungry for lack of food, but those who are for God lack nothing essentially good.
These are great reasons to praise, serve and worship the LORD. But so long as they are not personally experienced, they are mere theories. Hence David invites us to enter into this experience with him: "O taste and see that the LORD is good."
Verses eleven through fourteen contain very useful instructions on how to have a long and happy life--keep the tongue from evil, depart from evil and do good. In other words seek peace and pursue it. For the Christian, peace does not necessarily mean absence of problems but the presence of God with us in our problems. In fact the righteous may have many afflictions, but "the LORD delivereth him out of them all."
What about good Christians who die prematurely of diseases when God has the power to heal them? We may not have all the answers to perplexities of life but this quote from Ellen G. White gives an insight: "All that has perplexed us in the providences of God will in the world to come be made plain. The things hard to be understood will then find explanation. The mysteries of grace will unfold before us. Where our finite minds discovered only confusion and broken promises, we shall see the most perfect and beautiful harmony. We shall know that infinite love ordered the experiences that seemed most trying. As we realize the tender care of Him who makes all things work together for our good, we shall rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory" Testimonies vol. 9 page 286.
Our Father in heaven, help us make a full surrender of our lives to You so that we can be living witnesses of Your goodness. In Jesus' name. Amen!
West-Central Africa Division