Daily Readings & Thought for August 5th. “THE SWEET PSALMIST OF ISRAEL”
The above phrase occurs in the first verse of our 2 Samuel Ch. 23 reading today. It has often been quoted about David that he is “the anointed of the God of Jacob, the sweet Psalmist of Israel”. Although there are many Psalms not written by him, he laid the foundation for the hymns that were sung in the Temple that Solomon built. David, as well as collecting vast quantities of material that was used in the construction of the Temple was also inspired to prepare its initial spiritual content. The Psalms, together with the Proverbs of his son Solomon, have in centuries past been the first parts of the Old Testament to be translated and printed. Until printing was invented, there is evidence of some Psalms being committed to memory; indeed there are accounts of individuals in the First Century who could recite all the Psalms from memory.
We are the poorer – spiritually – these days for our total reliance on reading books and now, most recently on electronic devices – we need to make more effort to put some of what we read into the memory bank of our brains. In today’s chapter David says, “The Spirit of the LORD speaks by me; his word is on my tongue.” [v.2] He uses a wonderful illustration that “The God of Israel has spoken … he dawns on them like the morning light, like the sun shining forth on a cloudless morning, like rain that makes grass to sprout from the earth.” [v.3,4] God’s words are like rain, they are essential for our spiritual growth – together with the son’s rays our mind’s go from strength to strength. Is your mind regularly watered? Make sure it is.
Our grass lawns soon show when they are not watered by rain or by the use of our hose! But we are not so immediately conscious when our minds are lacking spiritual water. David marvels that God “has made with me an everlasting covenant ordered in all things and secure. For will he not cause to prosper all my help and my desire?” [v.5] The answer is obviously – YES! Let us make sure that God, because of our reading and positive meditation on His word, and work in his garden, is with us to be ‘all our help and desire’ and will fulfil the covenant we have entered into in taken on the name of His Son..