A devotion of Psalm 92
A Psalm, mizmor, is a melody or instrumental music or a poem set to notes. It is derived from the word zamar meaning to sing, to praise, to make music, to celebrate in song, to strike a cord or part of a musical instrument, or to accompany by the voice. We’ll look at Psalm 92 paralleling KJV and NIV.
KJV 1 It is a good thing to give thanks unto the LORD, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High:
NIV 1 It is good to praise the LORD and make music to your name, O Most High,
LORD, Yehovah is the proper name for God. It is used in compound and denoted in names beginning with the letters ‘Je’ or ending with ‘iah’ or ‘jah.’ Most High refers to Adonay, my lord, referring to a man or to God. It is derived from adon meaning firm, strong, lord, superintendent, master, proprietor, a husband, a king, or a father. In reference to God, Adonai is a parallel with Yahweh.
The term yadah is the translation for thanks. It literally means to hold out the hand and therefore to throw, shoot, or cast at or away – in our slang, we would say to chuck or hurl something; to confess the name of God – to use your tongue to throw the name of God; to revere or worship with extended hands.
KJV 2 To shew forth thy lovingkindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night,
NIV 2 proclaiming your love in the morning and your faithfulness at night,
To shew forth, nagad, is to make conspicuous, to front (stand boldly out opposite,) to manifest, figuratively to announce (always by word of mouth.) It is to expose, to predict, to explain, to certify, expound, or declare. Lovingkindness, chesed, is his goodness, kindness, or faithfulness. It also refers to piety, beauty, favor, mercy, and pity and can be a reproach or wicked thing.
We are to admire and advertise him thus at the break of day when the night ends and plan to do so on the morrow. Figuratively it speaks of bright joy after the night of distress.
Faithfulness, emunah, means firmness, fidelity, steadfastness, steadiness. It speaks of truth and security. This has been a powerful theme in the last few chapters we have studied. Night, layil, refers to the time of darkness and figuratively, to times of gloom.
So in the morning – literal or figurative – we announce, in song, that we knew he would bring us through the night. In the night, we proclaim that he will bring us safely to the light and newness of morning. And we do this every night without fail.
“Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness; To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever,”Ps. 30:11, 12.
KJV 3 Upon an instrument of ten strings, and upon the psaltery; upon the harp with a solemn sound.
NIV 3 to the music of the ten-stringed lyre and the melody of the harp.
The psaltery, Nebel, is a skin-bag. It is derived from nabel which means foolish or senseless (remember Nabal in the Old Testament? He was Abigail’s husband famous for being foolish. He died of a stroke and King David married her;) to sink or droop when empty. Therefore, when full, it refers to the body of a lute, guitar, or other stringed instrument.
KJV 4 For thou, LORD, hast made me glad through thy work: I will triumph in the works of thy hands.
NIV 4 For you make me glad by your deeds, LORD; I sing for joy at what your hands have done.
KJV 5 O LORD, how great are thy works! and thy thoughts are very deep.
NIV 5 How great are your works, LORD, how profound your thoughts!
Tell someone or say out loud to yourself that he has made you glad or blithe. What a great word! It means merry and filled with joy. To triumph is to be overcome and to cry out or shout for joy. It literally means to creak or emit a stridulous sound. I’ve never heard that word before. It means loud or a raucus. We are to make some noise about who he is and about what he has done!
KJV 6 A brutish man knoweth not; neither doth a fool understand this.
NIV 6 Senseless people do not know, fools do not understand,
A brutish man, ba’ar, has to do with being consumed, like cattle. It is to be dull-hearted, unreceptive; to feed, graze. To be consumed by fire or by eating. He is so consumed with his senses (sensual) that paradoxically he becomes senseless or insensitive to God. The word ‘know’ is the word yada again. A fool, kesiyl, means fat, arrogant, a dullard, stupid, or silly. He is thus because he does not understand, biyn – to discern or distinguish; to consider or have insight; to teach or instruct this.
KJV 7 When the wicked spring as the grass, and when all the workers of iniquity do flourish; it is that they shall be destroyed for ever:
NIV 7 that though the wicked spring up like grass and all evildoers flourish, they will be destroyed forever.
The wicked, rasha, are hostile to God and actively bad, condemned, and ungodly. They seem to thrive but are as calves being fattened for the slaughter.
KJV 8 But thou, LORD, art most high for evermore.
NIV 8 But you, LORD, are forever exalted.
KJV 9 For, lo, thine enemies, O LORD, for, lo, thine enemies shall perish; all the workers of iniquity shall be scattered.
NIV 9 For surely your enemies, LORD, surely your enemies will perish; all evildoers will be scattered.
Many evildoers partner in their respective enterprises to advance their evil. The drug world, prostitution, crime rings, gambling, etc have powerful connections as their lords network and shake hands in shady deals. They are all ba’ar, brutes being fattened for slaughter for their wicked deeds. These unions shall be scattered to the four winds and the alliances nullified.
KJV 10 But my horn shalt thou exalt like the horn of an unicorn: I shall be anointed with fresh oil.
NIV 10 You have exalted my horn like that of a wild ox; fine oils have been poured on me.
Your horn is your strength and power. I never noticed the word unicorn in the bible before. I thought it lived only in the fanciful realm of little girls’ imagination. Re’em refers to the great aurochs or wild bulls which are now extinct. It comes from a term meaning to be lifted up. To be anointed, balal, means to overflow with oil, to be tempered – to bring to a proper, suitable, or desirable state by or as by blending or admixture.
Remember the Old Testament practice of pouring precious oil on the top of the priests heads so it ran down their beard and onto their robes? It prepared them for the work they were to do. It was a fore-shadowing, symbolic of the Holy Spirit being poured upon us to prepare us for service as the priests we are called to be – representing men to God and God to men, (1 Pe. 2:9.)
Jesus said, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed. . . .” (Luke 4:18). The man Jesus needed the Spirit of the Lord to perform these functions. How much more do we need Holy Spirit to accomplish the same?
John W. Ritenbaugh adds, “Acts 10:38 reveals another aspect of this symbolism: “. . . how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.” Again, reference is made to anointing—an act normally done with oil—with the Holy Spirit, and Peter adds “with power,” a characteristic not included in Luke 4:18.”
What does this look like? “I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. [The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end.] They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” (Lamentations 3:19-24.) Read the whole of that marvelous chapter. These popular words were spoken at a time of utter devastation. Jerusalem and the Temple had been destroyed and its people killed or trampled by the brutish Babylon. It was truly a time of night, yet the people sang to God in hope and anticipation.
Beloved, you are brought to your proper place of power and strength by anointing with the Holy Spirit. I love the emphasis on the freshness of the oil in our passage today. You are anointed for everything you need to do today. Every encounter, every experience, every emotion and thought is covered in this oil and you are elevated like a unicorn to meet it and trounce it. Lean on Holy Spirit, call upon him, and wright wonders in his name.
KJV 11 Mine eye also shall see my desire on mine enemies, and mine ears shall hear my desire of the wicked that rise up against me.
NIV 11 My eyes have seen the defeat of my adversaries; my ears have heard the rout of my wicked foes.
KJV 12 The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
NIV 12 The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon;
KJV 13 Those that be planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God.
NIV 13 planted in the house of the LORD, they will flourish in the courts of our God.
KJV 14 They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing;
NIV 14 They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green,
KJV 15 To shew that the LORD is upright: he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.
NIV 15 proclaiming, “The LORD is upright; he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him.”
What glorious words and promises. As we saw in Deut 34:7 last week, “Although Moses was one hundred and twenty years old when he died, his eye was not dim, nor his vigor abated.” He worked and accomplished amazing feats for God’s kingdom till the day he died.
He must have had a direct link to the fresh oil of anointing that invigorated, kept, and sustained him all his days. That same Spirit is available for you today. A fresh outpouring special for each of us. You dare not walk a minute of your life without it. Tell someone of the goodness of the Lord. Tell yourself, out loud, what he has done. Sing of his mercies and his favor. Sing of his goodness and his greatness. It is a good thing – yada, yada, yada!