Note: Hope for restoration in our relationship centered on godly values means we need to be in the Word and to interact as much as possible with those who follow Christ.
“I keep my eyes always on the LORD.
With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
my body also will rest secure,”
• Barnes: “The word used here means “trust, confidence, security.” It is the opposite of despair. As used here, it would refer to a state of mind in which there was an expectation of living again, as distinguished from that state of mind in which it was felt that the grave was the end of man.”
“You are my hiding place and my shield;
I hope in Your word.”
• Pulpit: “The promises contained in thy Word are my only sure hope.”
Our Hope:“Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him, On those who hope in His mercy,” Psalms 33:18
We put up with the antics of those we live and deal with on a regular basis, but do we really allow ourselves to do this with a godly attitude. Christ bore our sins selflessly. Are we not to have a similar attitude as we deal with people?
“For a good tree does not bear bad fruit,
nor does a bad tree bear good fruit.”
• Benson: “The meaning of this whole passage is, as a tree is known to be either good or bad by its fruit, so a man is known to be either good or bad by his words;”
“And as it is appointed for men to die once,
but after this the judgment, so Christ was
offered once to bear the sins of many.
To those who eagerly wait for Him He
will appear a second time, apart from sin,
• Henry: “It is evident that the sacrifices of Christ are infinitely better than those of the law, which could neither procure pardon for sin, nor impart power against it.”
“Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.”
Philippians 2: 1-4
Note: Truth comes from God. It’s a choice one makes. To ask God to guide your life as you walk in truth is perhaps one of the wisest prayers we can petition.
“LORD, who may abide in Your tabernacle?
Who may dwell in Your holy hill?
He who walks uprightly,
And works righteousness,
And speaks the truth in his heart;”
• Pulpit: “Such a walk involves the doing of righteousness, not, of course, in absolute perfection, but with a sincere intention, and so as to have “the answer of a good conscience towards God.”
“Show me Your ways, O LORD;
Teach me Your paths.
Lead me in Your truth and teach me,
For You are the God of my salvation;
On You I wait all the day.”
• Barnes:(5) “What God sees and regards as truth is true, because He sees things as they are; and when we have the divine estimate of anything, we understand what the thing is.”
“Hear my prayer, O Lord, Give ear to my supplications! In Your faithfulness answer me, And in Your righteousness.” Psalm 143:1
Note: In this verse the word iniquity is used with rejoice. This is the attitude of being happy when evil things happen to others. Too often we not only rejoice in the down falls in evil people, but in the people we care about. Perhaps, forgiveness is needed so we don’t react in such a harsh way.
“Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me.” Psalm 51:5
• Barnes: “This language simply traces his sin back to the time when he began to exist.”
“And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.” James 3:6
• Gills: “…but as fire should be carefully watched, and kept, so should men take heed to their ways, that they sin not with their tongue, and keep their tongue from evil, and their lips from speaking guile;”
“For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.” 2 Peter1:8-10
Note: Why is it the closer we are to some people we have a tendency to provoke them? We are to edify each other and know our position in Christ so we are secure in who we are becoming in Him.
“How often they provoked Him in the wilderness, And grieved Him in the desert! Yes, again and again they tempted God, And limited the Holy One of Israel. They did not remember His power: The day when He redeemed them from the enemy,” Psalm 78:40-42
Barnes: (40) “The meaning here is that the conduct of the Hebrews was such as was suited to cause pain – as the conduct of a disobedient and rebellious child is.”
“You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the Lord’s table and of the table of demons. Or do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than He?” I Corinthians 10:21-22
Poole: (22) “It is most applied to God to express his anger against those who give Divine homage to idols; the worship of God being a great piece of his glory which he hath said he will not give to another, nor his praise to graven images, Isaiah 42:8.”
Our Hope… follow Him
“So when they had brought their boats to land, they forsook all and followed Him.” Luke 5:11
Note: We should earnestly be concerned for others instead of ourselves.
“A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire; He rages against all wise judgment.” Proverbs 18:1
Barnes: “He who separateth himself from others seeks his own desire, and rushes forward against all wise counsel: a warning against self-will and the self-assertion which exults in differing from the received customs and opinions of mankind.”
“So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” Luke 11:9-10
Poole: “But if we ask any thing which is good and wholesome for us, and profitable unto us, in the circumstances in which we are, we may be sure that God will give them to us…”
“…that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power…” Ephesians 1: 17-19
Note: Puffed up isn’t a term we use often, but pride is and is deadly in relationships. Love is not puffed up.
“Now these things, brethren, I have figuratively transferred to myself and Apollos for your sakes, that you may learn in us not to think beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up on behalf of one against the other. 7 For who makes you differ from another? And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?” I Corinthians 4:6-7 (NKJV)
Ellicott: (7) “Even if one possesses some gift or power, he has not attained it by his own excellence or power; it is the free gift of God.”
(regarding false teachers)
“So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or Sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ. Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worship of angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, and not holding fast to the Head, from whom all the body, nourished and knit together by joints and ligaments, grows with the increase that is from God.” Colossians 2:16-19
Poole: (18) “We must not, under any pretext of humility, presume to know what belongs to our duty and God’s service better than Christ doth, showing us that he alone is the true and living way, and we may come boldly by him,”
Note: Envy affects every part of one’s body, even to the inner most parts. Bitter envy is in direct response to those around us. It interacts with people we are envious of their success, performance, or gift. Yes, even spiritual gifts. Envy seeks its own success.
“A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot.” Proverbs 14:30 (ESV)
Gills: “but envy the rottenness of the bones; a man that envies the happiness and prosperity of others, this preys upon his own spirits, and not only wastes his flesh, but weakens and consumes the stronger parts of his body, the bones;”
“Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.” James: 3:13-16 (NKJV)
Poole: (14) “…though it pretends to be zeal, yet is really no other than envy; and partly because it commonly proceeds from an embittered spirit and tends to the embittering it more.”
Note: If we examine the kindness God has revealed to us we can learn a lot. God, through His Son Jesus Christ’s sacrifice, is our example of supreme kindness. Often we are willing to comfort during crisis, but should it not be a continual effort?
“For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit…” Titus 3:3-5
Cambridge Bible: “The contrast is striking; God hated the sinners’ sins, and the sinners hated one another, but God loved all the sinners through it all, and at the right time let His ‘loving kindness’ ‘appear.’”
“He who withholds kindness from a friend forsakes the fear of the Almighty. Job 6:14
Pulpit: “The first duty of a comforter is to compassionate his afflicted friend, to condole with him, and show his sympathy with his sufferings.”
Note: I’ve never thought being impatient was a pride situation, but now acknowledge it certainly can be in many cases.
“Better is the end of a thing than its beginning, and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.” Ecclesiastes 7:8
Benson: “…and the patient in spirit — Who quietly waits for the issue of things, and is willing to bear hardships and inconveniences in the mean time; is better than the proud in spirit — Which he puts instead of hasty or impatient, because pride is the chief cause of impatience.”
“Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.” James 5:7-8
Barnes: “The idea seems to be, that we should wait for things to develop themselves in their proper season, and should not be impatient before that season arrives. In due time we may expect the harvest to be ripened. We cannot hasten it.”