Moses’ Encounter & Call – The Burning Bush (selected verses)
Isaac Newton was a 17th Century scientist, mathematician, and physicist. He perhaps known best for his Three Laws of Motion. The first of which is commonly summarized by saying, “a body in motion stays in motion, and a body at rest stays at rest.” Some people also think of this as the Law of Inertia. We understand this principle, because we see it at work everyday. If you’ve ever been walking and needed to move left or right quickly, it’s more difficult to move left or right than it is to keep moving forward.
Please know that I don’t think about physics often…or ever really. However, I do think about disciplemaking and following Jesus a good bit. Issac Newton’s three laws can teach us a little bit about our spiritual-self and our tendencies.
“sons of Korah” -This psalm most likely originated from a group of temple singers known as the Korahites.
1 As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God.
When we were children on the playground, someone would make fun of your Mama, or make fun of the fact that your blue jeans were creased, or the fact that your jeans were a little to short. Maybe your shoes were not name brand. But after the insults, you always had the ultimate comeback. You would always say, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”
From time to time and for different reasons, we tend to place certain people on pedestals of honor. We look up to them. We elevate them to a status above that of our own. Maybe it’s because of their success. Maybe they’ve attained a certain amount of financial prosperity we admire. Sometimes we elevate individuals because of the entertainment value they bring to our lives. Still, others are placed upon pedestals because they’ve attained some prominent position in society. Some people we elevate because they possess characteristics we admire.
A prayer of David’s asking for protection from temptation and from his enemies. No particular context is given, but many scholars place this within the time of Absolam’s rebellion while David was fleeing from him in the wildreness.
1 O LORD, I call upon you; hasten to me! Give ear to my voice when I call to you!
“Lord” – Heb. – “YHWH” David calls upon God by the reference of his covenant name. Insisting upon God’s covenant and love for His people as the basis of his request.
1 Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.
“Blessed” – literally meaning “happy”, but the word is most clearly seen as “happiness derived from a divine source”. The word also carries a sense of congratulations, thus the first verse has the understanding of, “Congratulations to the one whose transgression is forgiven…”
The forgiving mercy of God is certainly one of life’s greatest prizes, because it is the only sure way to happiness.
1. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.
“Give thanks to the Lord” – The obvious application to the recognition of God’s enduring steadfast love is to “give thanks”. The call to thanksgiving is given 3x in the first 3 verses.
As a Pastor of Pastoral Care, I spend quite a few hours in the hospital. To be honest, I don’t mind this aspect of ministry. I’ve seen God do great things in and through people while they’re hospitalized. I’ve witnessed people and families rejoice over improved health and I’ve seen the devastation when health makes a turn for the worse. I’ve seen numerous instances of renewed faith as people walk through illness. I’ve see the gospel shared countless times. And on the lighter side, I’ve also seen the backside of way too many hospital gowns.
Here are some lessons I’ve learned in order to make hospital visits more effective.
The biblical narrative for Psalm 51 can be found in 2 Samuel 11.
1 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions.
David’s plea for God to deal graciously (have mercy on me) towards him is based solely on the love and mercy of God, not upon any favorable action or attribute of David himself.