Category Archives: Psalms

God’s Eternity by Charnock

Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.    Ps. 90:2

The word eternity is easily pronounced but hardly understood. This is due in part to man’s frailty of nature, as a creature bound to time. Eternity, being in conflict with time, is an attribute of God that largely exceeds man’s mind. Eternity is perpetual duration having neither beginning nor end; time has both. Eternity and time differ in much the same way as the sea and rivers: the sea never changes place and is always one water, but the rivers glide along and are swallowed up by the sea. Such is time in relation to eternity.

This difficulty in understanding eternity is increased because the term is used to describe things that are only partially perpetual and not properly eternal. Eternity can be used of something having a long duration but possessing an end (Gen. 17:8; Lev. 6:20; Deut. 15:17) or of something having no end though having a beginning—such as angels and souls. Nonetheless, when eternity is used of God; it means something further; as the Scriptures attest “even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God” (Ps. 90:2). Therefore eternity in this sense refers to the duration of God’s essence. When God is called eternal, all possibility of beginning and ending—any flux and change—is excluded. Consequently, the eternity of God is best understood negatively, as a denial that God has any measure of beginning, end or succession.

God is without beginning as the everlasting God (Gen. 21:33; Rom. 16:26; cf.Gen. 1:1; Dan.7:9). This is necessary according to God’s existence and status as Creator; for, if God does exist, and He has not received His being from another, then He must exist from eternity.

God is without end. This aspect refers to immortality, which is spoken of in Scripture more frequently than the other aspects of God’s eternity. He shall endure forever (Ps. 9:7; James 1:17; Rev. 4:9-10). His years are numberless (Job 36:26-27). This is evident by the name He gives Himself (Ex. 3:14) and the fact that He is life in His own essence (Dan 6:26; John 5:26; cf. Acts 17:28; 1 Tim. 6:16).

God is without succession. He is always the same (Ps.1 02:27; Heb. 1:10-12) and has no new progression of quantities or qualities in Himself. Of a creature, it may be said that “he was,” “he is, “or “he will be,” but of God it can only be said that “He is.” There is no increase in His knowledge (Acts 15:18) or fluctuation in His decrees (Eph. 1:4). There is no abrogation of any of His attributes. Furthermore, if God were not eternal, all His other attributes would be maimed beyond recognition. God would not be immutable (cf. Job 37:23; Mal. 3:6), infinitely perfect (cf. Job 11:7; Ps. 41:13) omnipotent (cf. Isa. 2:22; Rev. 1:8), or the first cause of all.

The eternity of God holds a word for both the unbeliever and the Christian. For the former, God’s eternity is a terror. What a folly and boldness there is in sin, since an eternal God is offended thereby! All sin is aggravated by God’s eternity. The blackness of the pagan idolatry was in exchanging the glory of the incorruptible God for things contrary to His immortal nature (Rom 1:23). It is dreadful to lie under the stroke of this eternal God, who is the “living God, and an everlasting king…the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation” (Jer.10:10). God’s eternity makes His punishment more dreadful than His power alone; His power makes it sharp, but His eternity renders it perpetual—ever to endure is the sting at the end of every lash.

But for the Christian the reality that God “remains forever” (Lam 5:19-20) is the fountain of comfort. Peace is found in fellowship with the ever merciful, good, wise, and faithful God. His eternity governs His covenant with His people—thereby He swears by Himself (Heb 6:13,16,17; Rev. 14:6 cf. Rev 4:3), and so the believer may proclaim, “This God is our God for ever and ever” (Ps. 48:14) and “Thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations” (Ps.90:1; cf. Gen.49:26). Moreover, the eternity of God ensures that the enjoyment of God in heaven will be as fresh and glorious after many ages as it was at first.

Copied from The Reformation Heritage KJV Study Bible which they —adapted from Stephen Charnock, “A Discourse upon the Eternity of God”, in The Existence and Attributes of God

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A Psalm for Thanksgiving

Psalm 103

A Psalm of David.

Bless the LORD, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, Who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

The LORD executes righteousness and justice for all who are oppressed. He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the children of Israel. The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in mercy. He will not always strive with us, nor will He keep His anger forever. He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor punished us according to our iniquities. For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. As a father pities his children, so the LORD pities those who fear Him. For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust.

As for man, his days are like grass; as a flower of the field, so he flourishes. For the wind passes over it, and it is gone, And its place remembers it no more. But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him, and His righteousness to children’s children, To such as keep His covenant, and to those who remember His commandments to do them.

The LORD has established His throne in heaven, and His kingdom rules over all. 0 Bless the LORD, you His angels, who excel in strength, who do His word, heeding the voice of His word. Bless the LORD, all you His hosts, you ministers of His, who do His pleasure. Bless the LORD, all His works, in all places of His dominion. Bless the LORD, O my soul!

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Some Thoughts from Psalm 90

Psalm 90
A Prayer of Moses the man of God.

Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever You had formed the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God. You turn man to destruction, and say, “Return, O children of men.” For a thousand years in Your sight Are like yesterday when it is past, And like a watch in the night. You carry them away like a flood; they are like a sleep. In the morning they are like grass which grows up: in the morning it flourishes and grows up; in the evening it is cut down and withers.

For we have been consumed by Your anger, and by Your wrath we are terrified. You have set our iniquities before You, our secret sins in the light of Your countenance. For all our days have passed away in Your wrath; we finish our years like a sigh. The days of our lives are seventy years; and if by reason of strength they are eighty years, yet their boast is only labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away. Who knows the power of Your anger? For as the fear of You, so is Your wrath.

So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. Return, O LORD! How long? And have compassion on Your servants. Oh, satisfy us early with Your mercy, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days! Make us glad according to the days in which You have afflicted us, The years in which we have seen evil. Let Your work appear to Your servants, and Your glory to their children. And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands for us; yes, establish the work of our hands.

NKJV

These notes  are from the Reformation Heritage KJV Study Bible on this Psalm. 

  1. Death is not a natural event to which we should resign ourselves but a sign of God’s anger upon mankind for our sins. Though we would rather not think about it, we gain much wisdom by meditating on the brevity of life, the certainty of death and the eternity of the God who rules both life and death. The reality of death strips away our pretenses of pride and independence and reminds us of God’s absolute power over us and wrath against sin. How should these truths humble us?
  2. The reality of death also moves us to find a dwelling place in God that will outlast this life. This world loses its charm when we see it as a temporary home, but God is eternal. This is the great wisdom given to us by the gospel to trust in the Lord Jesus Christ for eternal life (2 Tim 3:15). Pray that God would have mercy upon you for your sins, give you eternal joy and satisfaction in His love, and work in you that your works will have lasting value.

 

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The Lord’s Day, April 24, 2016

Psalm 115

Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto your name give glory, for your mercy, and for your truth’s sake.

Why should the heathen say, “Where is now their God? But our God is in the heavens: he has done whatsoever he has pleased.

Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands. They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not: they have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not: they have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat.

They that make them are like unto them; so is every one that trusts in them.

O Israel, trust thou in the LORD: he is their help and their shield.
O house of Aaron, trust in the LORD: he is their help and their shield.
You yourselves that fear the LORD, trust in the LORD: he is their help and their shield.

The LORD has been mindful of us: he will bless us; he will bless the house of Israel; he will bless the house of Aaron. He will bless them that fear the LORD, both small and great. The LORD shall increase you more and more, you and your children.

You yourselves are blessed of the LORD which made heaven and earth. The heaven, even the heavens, are the LORD’S: but the earth has he given to the children of men.

The dead praise not the LORD, neither any that go down into silence. But we will bless the LORD from this time forth and for evermore. Praise the LORD.

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In regards to verse 8 here are some thoughts from a study Bible I own. They that make them are like unto them; so is every one that trusts in them.

“Ironically, just as genuine believers are to be conformed to the image of the Lord, the unregenerate resemble the gods of their own making and imagination.”

“Ultimately God will also remove all their natural abilities as well, leaving them powerless and hollow as vessels for everlasting fire. Therefore flee idolatry, and fervently pray for Christ to save you from its soul-killing influences.”

“The hinge upon which true worship turns is faith. Idolaters are like their idols because they trust in them. Salvation is by faith in the Lord. This also suggests that if we trust in the Lord alone for salvation, we will become like Him.”

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Happy Friday But Sunday’s Coming!!

Over the last four years or so I’ve learned to enjoy singing the Psalms, something that previously had been missing in my walk with the Lord Jesus. To my Presbyterian brethren I will forever be grateful for bringing this to light for me. After all, did Paul not write “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord” or “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord”?

Since today is the 113th day of the year I will share Psalm 113 from the Trinity Psalter. It may be sung to the tune of “Take My Life and Let It Be”, remember, for this tune repeat the last line of each stanza. Happy Friday but remember, like the old preacher said, “but Sunday’s coming!”

 

Psalm 113

Praise Jehovah; praise the Lord;

Ye His servants, praise accord;

Bless-ed be Jehovah’s name;

Evermore His praise proclaim.

From the dawn to setting sun,

Praise the Lord, the Mighty One.

O’er all nations He is high;

Yea,His glory crowns the sky.

Who is like the Lord our God?

High in heav’n is His abode,

Who Himself doth humble low

Things in heav’n and earth to know.

He the lowly makes to rise

From the dust in which He lies,

That exalted he may stand

With the princes of the land.

He the childless woman takes

And a joyful mother makes;

Keeping house she finds reward.

Praise Jehovah; praise the Lord.

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April 22, 2016 · 7:24 AM