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"O MY SOUL!"

TALKING TO YOURSELF, THE BIBLE WAY!

A VERSE-BY-VERSE EXPOSITION OF PSALM 103:1-5

 

 A Preacher in his Study

 

 

"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 forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's." Psalm 103:1-5

 

LESSON 1:

The words are "O my soul."

Occurring in that specific order, "O my soul," this expression appears in the Bible fourteen times!

A few of these are duplicates, retelling a previous incident. The rest are highly instructive, extremely profitable for the person wanting to live for God.

When one says this, or something like it, "O my soul," he or she is really doing something quite common. He is talking to himself!

She is reasoning within her own heart!

If you talk to yourself with negative words, you just might be complaining!

If you speak to yourself with doubtful words, you might be worrying!

If you use senseless words, you might just be daydreaming!

On the other hand, if a Believer uses godly words in communing with himself, he might be and likely is ... worshipping!

Our words, even when used internally, are important!

Jesus said so. Listen to Him: "But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned." Matthew 12:36-37

The Lord led me to a Text that gives us several sterling examples of this Bible discipline, talking to oneself ... the right way!

But first, here's a verse to which I'd like to introduce you.

It's really the first time the "string" of words "O my soul" occurs in all the Bible. Genesis 49:6 is spoken by Jacob near the end of his life. He says this about two of his sons. "Simeon and Levi are brethren; instruments of cruelty are in their habitations. O my soul, come not thou into their secret; unto their assembly, mine honour, be not thou united: for in their anger they slew a man, and in their selfwill they digged down a wall."

I've capitalized the words pertinent to our study today.

Without going into all the detail, Simeon and Levi had done some gruesome things during their lifetimes. Likely referring to the multiple deaths they caused in Genesis 34 concerning the men of Shechem. Point being, they are to be avoided by the rest of their Brethren! Father Jacob said so on his deathbed! Here's how that fact of "separation" is to be accomplished. Say to youself; "O my soul, come not thou into their secret, unto their assembly be not united!"

Teach yourself to avoid sin!

Come out from among them and be ye separate!

Touch not the unclean thing!

Be not unequally yoked with this cruelty!

If we regularly spoke to ourselves words of separation from iniquity, our lives likely would be cleaner and more useful to God!

"O my soul, come not thou into their secret; unto their assembly, mine honour, be not thou united."

The verb "come," in Hebrew "bo," is not built here as an imperative. This is not a bold stark command as much as it is good sound advice!

The noun "secret" is spelled "sod" and is pronounced "sode." It means their private meetings, councils, where they make their wicked plans. Where they give counsel one to another.

Do not go to these conclaves!

Yes, "bo" as a verb can either mean "come" or "go," depending on the context in which it appears.

The noun "assembly" or "qahar" in Hebrew, really means "a congregation or convocation or company or even multitude."

One's "honour," spelled "kabod," means your glory, your reputation, your best features, your good name. That which should be very important to you, "weighty or heavy" in your sense of values.

Your true person, your very character, is not be be "united" to these murderous men, though they be brethren! "Yachad" means "joined."

Here are the instructions of godly Jacob, having now for many years been conditioned and shaped by the Holy Spirit into a mature man of God, teaching us how to talk to ourselves!

And the topic he chooses, under divine inspiration too, is personal separation from sin and meanness and cruelty!

Of Levi and Simeon it is further said, "Instruments of cruelty are in their habitations ... for in their anger they slew a man, and in their selfwill they digged down a wall."

Separate yourself from angry men!

From killers, physically or spiritually!

From strongly self-willed men!

From mean men!

O my soul, what good counsel!

Today, driving or sweeping or resting, you might want to take a few minutes and tell yourself some things you will NOT do!

Go ahead, list them! At least mentally! Let the Lord help you build a good set of convictions! If you already have such a list, add something to it today!

Such cogitations, such meditation, surely is better than worrying! Or gossiping! Or doubting! Or grumbling! Far too often we practice such useless thoughts in our minds and hearts, our souls, without even realizing it!

"O my soul, come not thou into their secret; unto their assembly, mine honour, be not thou united." 

Thank you, Jacob, for this Lesson!

Tomorrow, Lord willing, another class in "talking to oneself," as a Christian of course.

                                                                              --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 2:

I love this verse!

Taken from the gold mines of Psalm 16, a Messianic Psalm in which our Lord Jesus Christ is clearly emphasized, we find a sterling example of The Godly Man, again that's Jesus, "talking to Himself!"

What an example He sets for us too!

Listen to Him. "O my soul, Thou hast said unto the LORD, Thou art my Lord: My goodness extendeth not to Thee." Psalm 16:2

One reason we know this is Jesus is that the New Testament says so!

Here's part of Psalm 16, the best known section. "For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore." This pericope, the last two verses of the Psalm, is still recording a conversation between Jesus and His Father! But they are discussing our Lord's Death and Burial and Resurrection! And they are doing so a thousand years before these events occur!

How do we know these words apply to Jesus?

Both Peter and Paul say so, under the direct inspiration of the Holy Spirit too!

Acts 2:27 records, from the lips of Peter, "He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption." Proof!

And Paul in Acts 13:35-37, "Wherefore he saith also in another psalm, Thou shalt not suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell on sleep, and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption: but he, whom God raised again, saw no corruption." It's Jesus!

Surely if Psalm 16:10-11 are manifestly speaking of Jesus, guaranteed, Psalm 16:2 is focusing on our lovely Lord too!

Again our Verse for today, "O my soul, Thou hast said unto the LORD, Thou art my Lord: My goodness extendeth not to Thee."

The Bible "formula" for such activity, talking to oneself, seems to be the words "O my soul."

Jesus is worshipping His Father here!

He literally tells Almighty God, "Thou art My Lord!" The noun for "Lord" is spelled "adonai" and means "One Who is in control!" One's very Master! One's Owner! One's Sovereign! It is built upon an ancient Hebrew root word that means "to rule!' "Adonai," bluntly, means something like "Boss," and can even imply "Husband" too!

Now we can see a part of the vastly intricate relationship God the Son maintained with God the Father, even when on earth two thousand years ago!

Jesus reminds His sinless soul that God is His Lord!

Then the Saviour adds this: "My goodness extendeth not to Thee."

The little noun "goodness" is "tob" in Hebrew. Jesus' very sense of "pleasure and delight and welfare and happiness and beauty and gladness and cheerfulness," goodness in that wide sense, is locked into His knowing God The Father! That list just given, all those words and synonyms, is exactly what the Hebrew lexicons say "tob" means!

The verb "extendeth" being italicized, having no Hebrew equivalent, Jesus is saying this: Father, Thou art My Master and God, even while I'm on earth  to die for the sins of the lost! My pleasure in Life is gained nowhere but in Thee! My delight and purpose and very Being are found in no place beyond Thee!

Jesus affirms that He lives ... because God the Father lives!

God is the Son's Very Reason for Being!

This is Worship!

This is "talking to oneself" on the highest level imaginable!

Amazing!

Friends, let's all take a few minutes today and have a "soliloquy." That just means a one-on-one conversation ... with yourself!

And during that little "talk," speak to your soul, your heart and mind and spirit, words of honor and respect and glory and adoration about your Mighty God and His Darling Son, Jesus Christ! Include the Holy Spirit in your love-fest too! Worship The Triune Godhead, though One God He is!

If anyone does this, habit-forming as it will be, you will thank me for writing this Lesson throughout all eternity!

Praise the Lord!

"O my soul, Thou hast said unto the LORD, Thou art my Lord: My goodness extendeth not to Thee."

                                                                               --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 3:

It's an obscure verse for sure, but important.

The words come from the lips of Deborah, the Judge in Israel who, along with Barak, defeated a hoard of wicked Canaanites, enemies of Israel.

"The river of Kishon swept them away, that ancient river, the river Kishon. O my soul, thou hast trodden down strength." Judges 5:21

"Kishon" means "winding," like a river does as it meanders through the countryside. It empties into the Mediterranean Sea near Mount Carmel.

This River was the scene of the defeat of the army of Jabin, King of Canaan, whose Captain was a man named Sisera.

The adjective "ancient," in Hebrew "qadum," means ancient in the sense of historical, noteworthy, outstanding! It's root word, "qadam," means "to project oneself," indicating prominence! Maybe it here is called ancient and prominent because of its future association with the Prophet Elijah. "And Elijah said unto them, Take the prophets of Baal; let not one of them escape. And they took them: and Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon, and slew them there." Again we will see a bloody Kishon River!

The verb "swept away" is a translation of "garaph," meaning "to bear off violently!"

The actual account of this battle, recorded in Judges 4, is not written in great detail. And Deborah's account of the great victory is famed as a poem of praise, using various figures of speech to depict the great event.

Still, God granted an awesome outcome. "And the LORD discomfited Sisera, and all his chariots, and all his host, with the edge of the sword before Barak; so that Sisera lighted down off his chariot, and fled away on his feet. But Barak pursued after the chariots, and after the host, unto Harosheth of the Gentiles: and all the host of Sisera fell upon the edge of the sword; and there was not a man left." Judges 4:15-16

More picturesquely, "The stars in their courses fought against Sisera. The river of Kishon swept them away, that ancient river, the river Kishon. O my soul, thou hast trodden down strength." sings Deborah herself.

But the part of today's verse that most captivates me is this: "O my soul, thou hast trodden down strength." Judges 5:21

Here's a lady talking to herself!

"O my soul" tells us at least that much! She is communing with her own heart. Meditating!

But look at what she is telling herself!

"O my soul, thou hast trodden down strength."

The verb "trodden down" is spelled "darak" in Hebrew. It means "to walk upon something, again and again!" To stomp it into the ground! To thresh it, apparently with one's feet! It is here an imperfect verb, therefore its "time" action was not immediate or soon completed. The battle took a while! Victory came, but not immediately! By the way, "darak" is closely kin to the Hebrew word "derek." That's a road or a way or path! It implies habitual travel!

It appears to me that Deborah, the victorious warrior, is telling herself that God has just given Israel a tremendous victory!

Therefore, she rehearses the event, delighting in the massive Canaanite power and strength she has overcome! True, with God's help of course! But also true, volunteers were not lining up anywhere to fight the battle!

It was a unique display of power!

Deborah and Barak and company indeed obliterated an army of nine hundred chariots according to Judges 4:13. They also slaughtered ten thousand men, armed enemy soldiers at that! And Sisera, the enemy Captain, the lone survivor, did not live very long! While escaping, he was killed by a woman! Jael was her name, she who hammered a long tent spike through the sleeping Captain's head!

No wonder Deborah exults, "O my soul, thou hast trodden down strength."

The word "strength" is "oz" and is derived from "azaz," meaning "to be stout!" It's a trait of old seasoned soldiers, proven war horses, those who have prevailed over many an enemy! Hardened in battle! Veterans!

Let's now apply this verse!

The next time you get discouraged, try this Bible tactic!

Speak to yourself, "O my soul" if you want to use the exact King James words, then inform your heart and mind and spirit some of the things God has done to you and for you and through you!

Some giants you have seen fall!

It might go something like this: "My soul, that pesky little sin that's hounded you for so long, once you confessed and forsook it ... it hasn't reappeared lately! Victory may have come! Praise the Lord!"

Or ... "That last prayer God answered did not get the immediate attention of heaven! But persistence was honored! Seven years of prayer and God indeed delivered!"

Or ... "Scattered as I am, the Lord has allowed me to go to Church faithfully now for twenty years! The demon of faithlessness must be disappointed!"

Or ... "Though I failed many times, last year it happened! I read through my Bible chapter by chapter, all of it! Though tempted again and again, I did not quit! Take that, Devil!"

Do you see what I am suggesting to you?

Deborah did this.

We can too!

Such soul talk will encourage you to keep plodding  onward!

Paul practiced this strategy!

"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." He's not bragging in Philippians 4:13, except on Jesus!

Paul did you ever "tread down" anything powerful and strong?

Did you apply Deborah's "O my soul, thou hast trodden down strength" battle plan?

Listen!

"Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; in journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; in weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches." This 2nd Corinthians list would put Deborah to shame, not counting you and me!

And right here, 2nd Corinthians 11, Paul is doing exactly what our Bible Text suggests, or allows anyway.

He is recounting some of the "strengths" he has trampled into the ground!

And though these meditations, he is uplifted and encouraged!

If God did something once, He can do it again!

The God who gave you the victory back when you were having "job" trouble, can again give you the victory while you are having "physical" trouble!

Yes!

"O my soul, thou hast trodden down strength."

I shall try it!

                                                                             --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 4:

Have you ever been discouraged?

Of course, we all have.

What is the correct response during one's "low" times, when he or she is "cast down," using Bible language.

Thankfully we have an example to follow. Here's what to do when spiritual depression comes our way.

"Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me?" Psalm 42:5

That's right!

When discouraged, talk to yourself!

Call you soul, that innermost part of your being, into question!

Make your mind and will and emotions responsible!

This question is so important, this "why cast down" question, that it is repeated three times in the Bible! Even Psalm 42 contains it twice, in verses 5 and 11. Then the following Chapter, Psalm 43, asks it again in verse 3. "Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me?"

Hold yourself accountable!

The verb "cast down" is "shachach" and means "to sink, to stoop, to bend down, to depress." This is in the Hithpolel stem in Hebrew, the action is intensive! The subject is VERY discouraged!

As a synonym to being "cast down," the verb "disquieted" is used. It's spelled "hamah." It means "to make a loud sound!" But like this, "to be in great tumult or commotion, to moan demonstrably!" Yes, "disquieted" captures the meaning perfectly!

In our Text so far, the question has been posed, but no response given, not so far anyway.

But here it comes!

"Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance." Psalm 42:5, Here's all the verse now!

One's soul, when discouraged, needs to be questioned! Carefully control those emotions and decisions and thoughts!

Then the lowly soul needs hope!

Yes, hope.

This word "yacal," means "to hope" in this sense: "to wait, to trust, to tarry" or just "to stay!"  God will keep His Word! He has never failed! I will wait on His answer!

By the way, "yacal" here in the imperative mood. It's a command from this discouraged man to his very own soul! "Hope thou in God!"

If one loses hope, the situation is dangerous!

Hope just knows that God is going to act!

Tell your soul about your faith too!

"I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance."

"Praise" is "yadah" and means "to throw, to hurl." And it strongly implies using one's hand in such an action also!

The noun "help" is "yeshuah," the very name for "Deliverer, Saviour, One who rescues!" See in it the name "Joshua!" For that matter, "Jesus" too!

"Countenance" equals "paniym," one's face!

The Psalmist testifies:

I was discouraged!

I was not satisfied being that way!

I called my depressed soul into question. I held myself accountable, blaming no one else!

Then it happened!

Faith bolstered my hope!

I knew, "God will help me!"

And since, based on His unblemished record of faithfulness, the Lord has been so perfect ... I can just go ahead and praise Him for His Help!

Praise Him for Jesus too, Jesus our "Yeshuah!"

Soon then, that heavy discouragement will be gone!

God's bright Face will scatter it!

Instead of looking at the dark clouds of depression and defeat, I will await the appearance of God's Countenance, His Face!

Lord, look our way please!

"For the LORD your God is gracious and merciful, and will not turn away his face from you." 2nd Chronicles 30:9

And, consequently, once I have learned to take my discouragements to the Lord, seeking His Face ... I will begin this trek regularly!

Discouragements will actually become my friends, because they will so consistently drive me to Jesus!

But watch. Once Lesson one is mastered, where I trade being "cast down" for being "hopeful" in God, once God's Countenance is spiritually manifest and helpful ... I might be ready for Lesson two!

There "my countenance" will be changed!

First step, Psalm 42:5. "Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance." It is here God's Countenance that is so helpful!

But step two, Psalm 42:11. "Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God." See the changed emphasis? Now my countenance has been impacted!

This is a progression!

Multiple treasures and precious rewards live deep within that trial, that ordeal, we call "discouragement!" Out of it can come hope and praise and a changed countenance!

Next time you're "down," start talking to yourself, the Bible way!

David certainly did!

"And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God." 1st Samuel 30:6

There is, for the saint of God, a spiritual "springboard" within his or her soul, one that cannot stay still! And it gets especially strong during times if discouragement!

At my very lowest, I can soar to the highest! And God meant it to be that way!

Praise His Name!

                                                                                   --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 5:

There are more of them than I thought!

Good ones, too!

I mean the times Scripture illustrates a godly man talking to himself!

The Biblical formula for such self-talk seems to be the words "O my soul."

We all talk to ourselves anyway.

Either aloud or silently!

Why not, following the Bible pattern, do so in a godly manner?

For example, in Psalm 103:22 David says, "Bless the LORD, all his works in all places of his dominion: bless the LORD, O my soul."

This is unique!

Using a figure of speech called "personification," the Psalmist ascribes life and breath and volition and spirit to all God's inanimate works! He then instructs them to bless the dear Lord!

And once that is done, all creation then at worship, David exhorts himself, his very own soul, to join in the glorious chorus!

Here it is again: "Bless the LORD, all his works in all places of his dominion: bless the LORD, O my soul."

The verb "bless" is "barak" and means "to kneel" before a Superior! It also has the idea of "saluting or congratulating" someone! Here it is an imperative, commanding such great worship! It's also in a Hebrew form that requires aggressive blessing, fervently adoring the Creator and Redeemer!

The noun for "works" is "maaseh" and means one's "deeds, acts or labors," even including the idea of "artwork" three times in the King James Bible. "Masseh" is built on a root, "asah," that means "to do or make."

The noun "places" is "maqom" and means "spaces, homes, rooms and even countries" in the Old Testament. It comes from "qum," the little verb that means "to stand."

"Dominion," spelled "memshalah," means "power, control or government," being derived from "mashal," a key Hebrew verb, "to rule." By the way, "mashal" is a term used at times for the Old Testament "proverbs," 19 times to be exact!

Look what just been commanded!

God's creation, primarily in its inanimate sense, not being alive, is expected to somehow praise the Lord!

Is that Scriptural?

Yes!

Read with me just one Passage. I will capitalize the "works" of God. "Praise ye him, sun and moon: praise him, all ye stars of light. Praise him, ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that be above the heavens. Praise the Lord from the earth ... all deeps: fire, and hail; snow, and VAPOUR; stormy wind fulfilling his word: mountains, and all hills; fruitful trees, and all cedars." These are all excerpted from Psalm 148.

Well, maybe two Passages! When Jesus comes again, "the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands," according to Isaiah 55:12.

The next time you need something to think about, your natural mind being in a state of worry or fear or fretfulness or even frivolity for that matter, think about God's vast works ... talk to yourself and personify the sun or clouds or stars or breeze or grass, whatever, encouraging them to bless the Lord!

Then, when the chorus gets started, join them!

Here they go ... "Bless the LORD, all his works in all places of his dominion."

Now here you come: "Bless the LORD, O my soul."

And notice, the second "bless" in our verse, the one we are performing, is also fixed in the piel stem and imperative mood! You are commanding yourself to bless the Lord! And to do so energetically!

I expect from this time forth when I worship God, in my mind's eye I shall see the winds and the waves and the clouds doing the same! I shall, in my soul, hear their praises as they sing for joy!

During Creation week, we know for sure, these two entities together blessed Almighty God! Here's how Job 38:7 words it: "When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?"

Stars and sons, both shouting and singing and worshipping!

It will happen literally some day!

Until then, I can at least obey Psalm 103:22, and while talking to myself, say: "Bless the LORD, all his works in all places of his dominion: bless the LORD, O my soul."

Perhaps some liberal critic will say that today I have taken Bible "poetry" and made it too "literal!"

I'm sorry, I don't have time to listen to that criticism!

I'm instead listening to the sun saying, "Praise the Lord!" And "All my mighty power derives from Him!" And "Every day I run my race across the heavens, like a bridegroom going to his wedding!" Therefore, "I'm a solar Type or Symbol of my Creator, the Saviour of the world, going to get His Bride!"

Glory to God!

"From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the LORD'S name is to be praised."

                                                                                --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 6:

One more single "O my soul" Verse, then we shall study Psalm 103:1-5, the greatest "O my soul" Text in all the Bible!

That's with "O my soul" being a Bible indicator for a "soliloquy." In Latin "solus" means "alone" and "loqui" means "to speak." Hence, "talking to oneself!"

Today's Verse, Psalm 116:7, is just too practical to overlook. "Return unto thy rest, O my soul; for the LORD hath dealt bountifully with thee."

The opening verb here, "return," is a translation of "shub" in Hebrew. While not translated "repent," it has the same idea, "to go back to an original point of being."

The Psalmist here had once been at rest, but something interrupted his tranquility. He needed to recapture that peace! "Shub" is an imperative here, expressing a command! This writer is demanding that his own soul do something! "Return to thy rest!"

Lots of the "talking to myself" that I do centers on worries and fears! Yes, far too often! But here in our Verse that whole process is reversed! I must begin to "talk to myself" about peace and calm!

The word "rest" is spelled "manoach" and is translated "rest" all seven times it appears in Scripture, as a common noun anyway. Its verbal heritage, "nuach," means "to settle down, to be quiet, to be at ease." Samson's Father's name was Monoah, our very word here, but particularly expressed as a proper noun. The Bible name Noah is also from this "rest" stem!

In 1st Chronicles 6:31 the Scriptures speak of the Ark of the Covenant having "rest!" That Piece of Holy Furniture in the Tabernacle typifies the Lord Jesus Christ most beautifully! Jesus at rest! "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." So invites our Lord in Matthew 11:28! He is the Possessor of Rest!

That's the kind of rest, the quality of rest, to which we invite our souls!

And this perfect "rest" is especially possible in our "post-Pentecost" days! That's because of the Presence of the good Holy Spirit! He imparts that "peace." It is part of His manifold "fruit."

But our verse goes even further today, apparently giving a reason or a basis for such a glorious meditation deep within one's own heart!

Not only is given the command: "Return unto thy rest, O my soul."

But also its foundation: "For the LORD hath dealt bountifully with thee."

The Name for God here is completely capitalized, indicating "Jehovah" God. The God Whose Name is "I Am That I Am." The God Who always "is!" He's also particularly the God Who longs to be in personal relationship with His own children! Covenant relationship!

I sometimes say when preaching that this Name, "Jehovah," is God's "saving" Name! And we all know, "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." Acts 4:12 is talking about Jesus!

The verbal unit "hath dealt bountifully" is an expression of one Hebrew word, "gamal." It is translated "rewarded" eight times in the King James Bible. It has the idea of "fully" dealing to someone, giving or recompensing completely! It's almost like the "hundred-fold" thought of Matthew 19:29. God's abundant manifold grace!

Representing here "completed" action, "gamal" might be referring to one's salvation for sure! Although God's goodness certainly accompanies us through all of life.

God has been good to my soul!

All my real needs are met!

Therefore I can rest!

Rest in my Lord Jesus Christ!

Tell yourself that today!

And again tomorrow!

"Return unto thy rest, O my soul; for the LORD hath dealt bountifully with thee."

Furthermore, "gamal" or "rest" is used to depict two other things in the Old Testament, word pictures inherent in its etymology.

First, it means "to be weaned," as one eventually does to a little baby when he grows some! God is going "to wean" my soul from milk to meat! From babyhood to adulthood! From start to finish!

Then secondly, it's used of the "ripening" of grapes in Isaiah 18:8 or the miraculous "yielding" of almonds, even by a dead tree limb, in Numbers 17:8!

God cares for my food!

And God cares for my fruit!

He does "deal bountifully" indeed!

"O my soul," rest!"

That kind of soul-talk is spiritually healthy!

An antidote to tons of worry and fear and fretfulness for sure!

                                                                                 --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 7, PSALM 103, VERSE 1:

David wrote these beautiful words, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. "Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name." Psalm 103:1

First of all, notice that the Psalmist is talking to himself!

He is speaking directly to his own "soul." The noun "nephesh" literally means "that which is breathing, alive and fresh." In the King James Version of the Bible "nephesh" is translated several different ways. Here are a few of them: mind, heart, will, desire, body and life." One's soul is his or her "innermost being." It certainly may include the mind and will and emotions too.

David is insisting that he himself, in his "inner man," do something!

What?

"Bless" the Lord!

The verb "barak" is here a piel imperative in Hebrew. It is to be performed aggressively. And it is given as a requirement, a command! David is serious here ... with himself! Really "barak" means " to bow down" in front of someone. But it also can mean "to salute, congratulate, or praise."

David is, in essence, requiring himself to worship God!

His mind is speaking to his heart ... clearly saying, "bless the Lord" now! And his will, his volition, immediately obeys too!

The Name of God being invoked is the Hebrew "Yehovah." Obviously that is Jehovah in English. It's God's saving Name, His redeeming Name, the Name by Which he enters into covenant relationship with His people! If you've been saved, He's the Bridegroom and you're part of the Bride! That's a covenant situation, far more than a mere contract too!

The little word "all," used nine times in Psalm 103, is spelled "kol" in Hebrew and means "the whole" of a thing, its complete  "totality." David wants full participation in this act of worship! No part of his being may refuse! This is like saying, "from the top of my head to the soles of my feet," or "with every fiber of my being."

"All that is within me," really just the "that is within" clause, translates "qereb." It means "the inner part" or "the very center" or at times "the nearest part." It is "inwards" 22 times in the King James Text.

This is unanimous worship!

David's soul, initially quiet and unengaged, is now fervently active in blessing the dear Lord!

"His Holy Name," an appositive to "Jehovah," restates the Object of these blessings! The noun "name" is "shem" and means much more than just what's listed on someone's birth certificate. It includes a man's or woman's reputation, their fame or even their character! God's Name is Who God is! His divine Character is exposed and defined through, among other things, His glorious Names and Titles in the Bible!

We Christians are to esteem His Name as "hallowed."

The accompanying adjective is "holy" and is spelled "qodesh." It means "different," but certainly in a good sense. "Separated" from all sin! Wholly unlike any other! One source says, "apartness!" Dedicated, consecrated!

God's Holy Name Jehovah is found at least 6,519 times in the Bible!

Now that we've defined the terms, let's put them all together and try to see the overall picture. "Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name."

David is talking to himself!

But instead of allowing his heart to be sad, or grumble, or worry, or fear, or doubt ... he decides upon worship! He will adore the Lord His God!

One can determine his thoughts, you know!

That's a wonderful part of being human!

David's body, soul, mind, will, emotions, spirit ... everything must participate too! This of necessity includes his hands and feet and mouth and eyes and tongue! Nothing is dormant here!

Just as the "whole burnt offering" involved every ounce of an animal, given in sacrifice to God, nothing left unused ... so David will "bless the Lord" with "all that is within him!"

All that's left to say is this.

"Try it sometime!"

Sometime right in the midst of all your idle thoughts, your frets and fears ... take control of yourself! Issue the command! "Soul, let's bless the Lord!"

The fruit of such a godly decision will be amazing!

And after you have blessed Jehovah God for a while, use one of His Other Names or Titles and worship some more!

There are dozens of These when the compounded Ones are considered. "Jehovah Shalom" for Example, the Lord is Peace! Bless that Holy Name for a spell! That is, if you are enjoying such Peace today!

If not, wonder why?

Jesus distinctly promised in John 14:27, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."

Bless the Lord, O my soul!

                                                                                --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 8, PSALM 103, VERSE 2:

It's called "talking to yourself!"

And the Bible, surprisingly, is full of suggestions and commands regarding such a thing!

Using the formula "O my soul," a man addressing his very own heart, again and again Scripture advises us ... especially concerning content.

For example, Psalm 103:2, which says: "Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits."

The very first word in the Verse, "bless" is so located to give it heightened prominence. While that's not always true in English, it certainly is in both Hebrew and Greek. "Barak" is framed as a piel imperative verb. That means it is giving a command from the Lord, an "imperative." It further means that the "blessing" is to be done energetically, fervently! "Intensive action," the textbooks say.

Again, as in previous verses, "Lord" translates Jehovah, God's "saving" Name I always say. In analyzing this simple statement I discovered two other correlating truths! Nearly every time the Bible uses that "string" or "term," I mean "Bless the Lord," the Name of God employed is Jehovah! Seldom are Elohiym or Adonai or the other Names or Titles of to God used! Here are the nearest examples of exceptions to that observation: "Now bless the LORD your God," from 1st Chronicles 29:20 and Nehemiah 9:5 where "God" is "Elohiym." And "Bless ye the LORD," from Judges 5:9 which adds the personal pronoun. But only in English! Then, "O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; to see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary. Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee. Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name." Psalm 63:1-4 does indeed bless Elohiym! But it's a relatively rare exception! So does Psalm 66:8, "O bless our God, ye people, and make the voice of his praise to be heard." Oops, here's another one! "Bless ye God in the congregations, even the Lord, from the fountain of Israel," from Psalm 68:26. Then there's another pronoun issue, this time with "ye" being fully represented in both Hebrew and English, from Psalm 134:1, "Behold, bless ye the LORD, all ye servants of the LORD." Then another wonderful Elohiym incident, "I will extol thee, my God, O king; and I will bless thy name for ever and ever. Every day will I bless thee; and I will praise thy name for ever and ever," from Psalm 145:1-2. But the "count" is still about 20 times for "Bless Jehovah" to 5 times for "Bless Elohiym!" The weight of evident certainly says that God is to be blessed for SAVING us more than for anything else! Even more than creating us!

I also discovered this morning that when specifically "Bless the Lord" is used, "barak" is most often an imperative, a command, but always it is in the piel stem! It is always to be done intensively! One just cannot properly bless the Lord calmly! Such worship will require your whole heart!

So now, back to today's main Verse, "Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits." Psalm 103:2

The verb "forget" is "shakach" and means "to mislay" something, to lose it due to inattention or disinterest! The specific form of "shakach" used here tells us the the action being pictured is in the simple active voice and its time scope is not yet fulfilled. On-going action, durative remembrance! Do not forget God's goodness and blessings today or tomorrow or next weekend either! It's not a command though, just a strong suggestion! In reality some of the Hebrew Textbooks call this a "jussive" verb. Best I can tell, this means that a wish is being expressed! It is extremely desirable that we not forget God's blessings in our lives. Think about them a lot! Other lexical synonyms for "shakach" that are mentioned include "to ignore" and even "to wither!"

Then the lovely word "benefits" is employed by the Holy Spirit. "Gemul" means "reward" or "recompense" or "treatment" or even "deserts." It comes from a verbal parent that means "to deal fully" with someone! To give to them prodigally, lavishly, luxuriously!  The verb "gamal," a close relative, also has connotations of "ripening" as with mellow, sweet fruit and "weaning" as with a young child! Keep in mind that these are "benefits" from God's point of view, probably much more than from our earthly points of view!

Some of God's "benefits" I personally might not value as highly as the Lord does! But He knows what's best. Even His occasional "whippings" are benefits if they help ripen me toward maturity!

Today's Lesson:

Brother Bagwell, yes, I'm talking to you. "O my soul!" Do not let slip from your mind the many blessings God has sent your way! Think upon them today!

Now back to all of us collectively: as our souls and hearts and minds and spirits are so occupied ... with God's Grace and Goodness ... we will worry less!

And fear less!

And gossip less!

And emptily daydream less!

Because our souls will be so much better employed, pondering God's very "doings" in our lives!

Yes, His "benefits!"

Have a good day, everyone!

                                                                              --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

By the way, we are encouraged to not forget ALL God's benefits! All known to us at any given time that is! Surely God blesses us at times and in ways we will never realize, until we get to Heaven anyway! The little word "all" is an expression of the Hebrew noun "kol." It means the "totality" of a thing, it in its complete "entirety!" Like the beautiful old song says; "Count your blessings, name them ONE by ONE ...." Get them all in your mind, in your heart, in your soul!

 

 

LESSON 9, PSALM 103, VERSE 3:

Perhaps David is listing some of the many "benefits" God has so graciously showered upon His people. After all, he had just written, "Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits."

Here are some of those "cordials," as the old-timers used to call them! "Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases." Psalm 103:3

This list sure starts at the highest point!

He forgave me all my iniquities!

The verb "forgive" is "salach" and means "to pardon!" It is once translated in the King James Text "to spare!" The great God who "spared not His only Son," allowing Jesus to die on the Cross for you and me, did "spare" us from His Wrath! He "pardoned" me, delivering me from an eternity in the flames of Hell! All because of Jesus' shed Blood, His atoning Death on Calvary!

I, guilty as can be, have been pardoned!

But more than that, I have been forgiven!

And now, in these New Testament days, even more than that! Since Calvary I have been justified! No record of my sin even exits any longer! It has been purged, cleansed, removed forever!

"Salach" is derived from an old Arabic root that means "to sprinkle" or "to pour!" Do you see that? My forgiveness is due to this fact. I've been sprinkled, washed, bathed in the saving Blood of Jesus! If you are offended by that clause, I merely point you to Revelation 1:5. "Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood."

Additionally, "salach" or "forgiveth" is also here a qal participle in Hebrew. The action it is representing is not a "one-time" thing! Yes, I was purged the day the Lord saved me, but grammatically, we are now clearly being told that this "forgiveness" lasts through all of life! God Himself is the Actor, the Power behind this great forgiveness too! He has washed away my sin ... and my sins! Constantly cleansed!

The noun "iniquities" is great! Spelled "avon" and pronounced "a-vone," accenting the second syllable, it means in its verbal form "to twist, to make crooked, to pervert" something. It gives a classic word picture of sin! God, in His Word, has taught us the right way of life. Man has taken such instructions and "twisted" them, "perverted" them, bent them all out of their original shape! Such distortion is called "sin!" Here are some of God's standards, His criteria. Man marries woman! Marriage is permanent! Man rules earth! Blood atones sin! Worship God alone!

But man has taken such basic decrees of God and "twisted" every one of them! Today, man marries man! Marriage is not permanent, but temporary. That is, if people marry at all!

Nowadays the earth rules man! Society bows before a bunch of tree-hugging "environmentalists." It's now politically correct to worship the creature more that the Creator!

And today sin no longer exists to many, another blatant rejection of God's Truth! It is merely one's "preference!"

And the very thought of one God alone, that is intolerant you know! Make room for all deities! Well, there is but One True God, the God of Scripture, the God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob! God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ the Son! Triune and Holy! Thrice Holy in fact!

The world has certainly become quite proficient at perverting God's ways!

Fact twisting!

Bible bending!

Sin!

Iniquity!

Next, notice that God forgives "all" our iniquities! The word is "kol" and means the "totality" of anything! Every one of them! Them in their "entirety!"

Next,  God is the One Who not only "forgiveth all thine iniquities;" but also "healeth all thy diseases."

This verb, "rapha," means "physician," when it's a noun. It actually carries the idea of "stitching" a torn or ripped hole in a garment! Mending a "hurt" of some kind! This is another participle, illustrating habitual action, durative and on-going! Yes, God is the real Doctor! Jesus, the great Physician! There is a balm in Gilead! Jeremiah long ago asked, "Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there?" Now we can answer. Yes! Oh, yes!

But God also, in another lovely word picture, "heals" us from our sins, or at least from their wounds! There is such a thing as sin-sickness! Isaiah once had a case, before meeting the Lord. So did Israel as a backslidden Nation! "The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment." Isaiah 1:5-6

This patient needs a doctor!

Such a wretch begs for healing!

Enter Jehovah God!

One of His very Names, a compound Name, is "Jehovah-Rapha!" That is, God our Physician! The God Who mends and repairs and restores broken lives! See "I am the LORD that healeth thee" in Exodus 15:26.

He healeth all our "diseases." This noun is a translation of "tachalu" and certainly can mean a physical malady, but its verbal heritage suggests something that has been "rubbed away" or "worn out!" Absolute exhaustion! Fatigue beyond description! Depletion!

The devil's goal for every saint of God is to wear them out! Daniel says this of the coming anti-christ, "And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High." Daniel 7:25

God not only forgives me!

He refreshes me too!

He mends me!

He restores me!

What benefits we have discovered today in one short verse of Scripture!

Glory to His Name!

                                                                                  --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

Don't forget the context now! Say to your soul throughout the day, "O my soul, forget not all the Lord's great benefits!" Then list the two we have just studied! Saint of God, think, ponder, meditate upon the fact that God is your Redeemer, forgiving you of all your iniquities! And He's your Physician too! Caring for all your weaknesses! Now a day filled with those thoughts will indeed be a good day ... and a godly day too!

 

 

LESSON 10, PSALM 103, VERSE 4:

"Something to think about!"

Really that's the topic of Psalm 103, as far as its opening paragraph is concerned anyway!

In that context, Psalm 103:1-5, the writer's "soul" is being instructed. The phrase "O my soul" is a key indicator here. He's talking to himself!

The supporting verses participate in the discussion by suggesting topics for consideration!

For example, think this of our great God: "Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies." Psalm 103:4

Here's something God does for me!

He protects!

Then something He does to me!

He gives!

Let's study this great verse one clause at a time.

"Who redeemeth thy life from destruction," begins our Lesson today.

The verb "redeemeth" will be familiar to you Old Testament students. It is spelled "gaal" and is a participle modifying Almighty God. It's the term used for the "kinsman-redeemer" role in the Bible! It means something like this: "to buy something back for someone, something they once owned but had lost, handling the transaction as that person's next-of-kin!"

In the King James Bible "gaal" is translated in such ways as: "avenger" 6 times, "revenger" 7 times, "ransom" 2 times, "purchase" 1 time, then varying words that indicate one's "relatives" 15 times, and finally, "redeem or redeemer" 68 times!

Here are the qualifications of the kinsman-redeemer as I understand them. He had to be a close relative! He had to have the finances to buy back what the poor victim had lost! Then he had to be willing to execute the purchase!

I list these because Jesus is our Kinsman-Redeemer!

He came to earth, Virgin Born, taking on a human body! There's relationship! He paid the greatest price ever spent to acquire a commodity! His precious Blood, every drop of it, to purchase our sin-sick souls! And, obviously, He was willing to do so, firstly to please His Father in Heaven, and secondly to acquire a Bride for Himself, a collective group of cleansed human beings!

Hallelujah!

One's life," chay" in Hebrew, means that part of your being that is active, fresh, revived! Other ideas it conveys: raw, strong, with appetite, running, springing!

"Destruction" translates "shachath" and means a "pit," especially as a trap! It's Biblically used to convey the ideas of "corruption, the grave," and twice ... a literal "ditch!" It is built upon a Hebrew verb stem that means "to sink!"

Isn't that exactly where we were when Jesus found us? About ready to fall into a pit! On our way to Hell!

Tell yourself about this great thing that's been done for you! Ponder it all day long! "Who redeemeth thy life from destruction."

Then add this: God also is the One "Who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies."

The verb "crowneth" is "atar" and suggests "encircling" or perhaps better, "surrounding" something or someone. It's rendered as "compass" twice in the Old Testament. The verb "compass" I mean. This lovely little participle is a "piel" too! God crowns us with His goodness, energetically and fervently and intensively! And He does so repeatedly! One textbook says this "encircling" is either for the purpose of protection, or inversely, attack!

"Lovingkindness" has such a vast definition we can't study it all here, not in one day! It's "hesed," or more precisely "chesed" I see. It is gleaned from a root word that means "to bow down," a superior descending to the level of an inferior! It's a picture of Grace, God's Grace! God the Son "came down" to earth to live sinlessly and die vicariously ... for sinners to be saved!

What condescension!

What humility!

What mercy!

What lovingkindness!

Then, lastly for today, "tender mercies" must be studied. Using a word that finally means "compassion," the Holy Spirit illustrates graphically here. "Racham" is actually associated with one's "bowels!" It is also rendered "womb" 4 times in Scripture! See it? One's very "innermost" being! His "gut" feelings are being revealed!

It's like saying today that you have interest in someone from your "heart!" Deep within! Once it is "tender love," in Daniel 1:9. "Racham" is built upon the verbal stem that means "to fondle," love in that intimate personal sense!

How very special the child of God really is!

Tell yourself of these manifold blessings!

Again and again!

Just to remind you, "Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies."

We have a lot to think about this Wednesday, don't we?

                                                                                 --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 11, PSALM 103, VERSE 5:

The Psalmist, still talking to himself, next says of God, "Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's." Psalm 103:5

The verb "satisfieth" is "saba" and means "to fill full!" Here it's a participle describing the Lord. God is The One Who "feeds" us! And makes us content!

The noun "mouth" is spelled "adiy" and only means "mouth" two times in all the Bible. The other 11 times it is used we find this word: "ornaments!" Its "parent" verb means "to bedeck." Literally, to adorn with accessories! When one sees a man over there, at Church, he's wearing his Sunday suit of clothes perhaps. His hair is neatly cut, face shaved, shoes polished and body apparently clean. But, according to this Verse, the main thing that "distinguishes" that man, that puts "the finishing touches" on his person, is his "mouth!" How he talks; how much, how loud, how pleasantly, how carelessly, or whatever! Jesus said this: "For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned." One's mouth certainly "marks" him!

The word "good" is "tob" in Hebrew. It has a wide domain of quite lovely meanings. Here are some: "beautiful, bountiful, cheerful, glad, gracious, kindly, precious, prosperous, sweet," and a few times even "wealthy!" The King James Version uses each of these words for "tob" in one place or another.

Apparently God's goodness to us is a contributing factor in our strength! For we are next told that "our youth is renewed like the eagle's." This is amazing!

The word "youth" is "naur" and means literally ("naar" being the root word) a "boy." It's also related to a verb that means "to tumble about," a very active young man being described! Lively! Nimble! Energetic!

This reminds me of God's blessings upon Asher, as pronounced by the mouth of Moses in Deuteronomy 33. Here's part of it: "Thy shoes shall be iron and brass; and as thy days, so shall thy strength be." See it? "AS THY DAYS, SO SHALL THY STRENGTH BE!" God can so touch a man that he seems to remain young, year after year! Caleb, the faithful Old Testament saint, was 85 years old when he said this: "As yet I am as strong this day as I was in the day that Moses sent me: as my strength was then, even so is my strength now, for war, both to go out, and to come in." Joshua 14:11

The verb "renewed" in our Text means "to repair or to rebuild!" It's "chadash" in Hebrew and suggests a constant process, not a one-time act! It, in one of its cognates, is used of the "new" moon every month in Israel! Talk about repetitious renewal!

Then comes one of the Bible's many allusions to nature, God's creative handiwork. Renewed like the "eagle!" The noun is "nesher" and all 26 times it appears in the Bible it is rendered just like here, "eagle or eagles." The background of "nesher" is a verb that means "to cut, to tear, to lacerate!" That's a warring, martial image! Strength to fight the enemy, to defend the family, to protect the Faith! It is said that the adult eagle still "molts" for many years, each "shedding of its old feathers for new feathers" giving it the constant appearance of youth!

Here's something God can do for His saints: "Those that be planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing; to shew that the LORD is upright: he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him." Psalm 92:13-15

Of course a lot of eagles die young too, young and strong! Heroes in the battle for food! Valiant in the skies! True to their God-given purpose!

Here's the base idea behind our Text today!

Talk to yourself more often!

Inform your soul of some things every day!

Think like these.

"O my soul, and forget not all His (the Lord's) benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; Who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; Who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's."

What a conversation!

                                                                                  --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 12, ONE MORE THOUGHT:

This verse I have purposely saved for last.

It's different!

I would not even include it in this Series except for one outstanding fact. It meets the qualifications for a "soliloquy." The Prophet Jeremiah is "talking to himself!" And the subject of the conversation is not good! It's not sinful, mind you! But it's not pleasant either!

Watch for the key words "O my soul."

"My bowels, my bowels! I am pained at my very heart; my heart maketh a noise in me; I cannot hold my peace, because thou hast heard, O my soul, the sound of the trumpet, the alarm of war." Jeremiah 4:19

Jeremiah is known as the "Weeping Prophet." Here's why. Verses like these: "Oh that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people!" Jeremiah 9:1.

"But if ye will not hear it, my soul shall weep in secret places for your pride; and mine eye shall weep sore, and run down with tears, because the LORD'S flock is carried away captive." Jeremiah 13:17

Obviously Jeremiah is in great pain, at least emotionally!

That's why he exhorts his soul, his heart, his mind, his emotions to dwell on the coming judgment his beloved Nation faces. Because of their rebellion and sin against Almighty God!

Again the Prophet's words: "My bowels, my bowels! I am pained at my very heart; my heart maketh a noise in me; I cannot hold my peace, because thou hast heard, O my soul, the sound of the trumpet, the alarm of war."

The word "bowels," twice used here, is spelled "meeh" in Hebrew and means a person's internal organs! It is translated as "bowels" 27 times in the Old Testament, but also "belly" 3 times and "heart" 1 time and then "womb" 1 time.

Here Jeremiah is deeply grieved, way down "inside." Excuse me. I am not trying to be brash, but Jeremiah's very "gut" feelings are imbued with astonishment, amazement at the soon coming attack his nation faces!

"My bowels, my bowels! I am pained at my very heart; my heart maketh a noise in me; I cannot hold my peace, because thou hast heard, O my soul, the sound of the trumpet, the alarm of war."

The verb "pained" means literally  "to twist, to whirl, to writhe," but this time not in joy as usual, but in pain and agony!

The verb "maketh a noise" or "hamah" means "to growl, roar, mourn, rage," or even "clamor."

Jeremiah is restless, no peace at all!

Why such disquiet?

The Prophet's "soul" has heard something!

"Shamah" in Hebrew means "to hear with some degree of understanding." To hear intelligently!

Watch what Jeremiah's "soul" has heard!

"The sound of the trumpet, the alarm of war," that's what Jeremiah sensed was coming!

And while a person naturally recoils from bad news, not to announce its impending approach is a crime against humanity!

The noun for "sound" is "qol" and occasionally means "thunder or thunderings," 12 times in the Old Testament!

"Trumpet" or "shophar" actually means something that is "polished." Bright and glistening!

Glorious instruments can announce horrible news!

The noun "alarm" most often means "shouts" or "shouting." In the Hebrew Bible "teruah" occurs only 36 times. That is, in the Masoretic Text, the one the King James translators used to give us our Bible.

But who wants to hear of such things, sounds of trumpets announcing war?

Very few.

Yet one would be wise to train his or her soul in that direction!

If judgment is on the way, it's best to be prepared!

So, Jeremiah, thinks, talking to his soul. Let's listen a while!

"O my soul," hard times are coming!

"O my soul," God is going to chasten our sin!

"O my soul," get ready!

Solomon in Proverbs admonishes us: "A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished." Proverbs 22:3 and 27:12 are identical verses!

Talk to yourself!

Remember how sinful most modern nations are today, including America ... especially America really! Our nation now, through sensual movies and games and technology and the printed page and a thousand other ways, spews filth all over the world!

Mark what it being said. On the authority of God's Word. "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." More graphic yet: "The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God." Psalm 9:17

One of these days the California fires are not going to quit! Or the hot temperatures really are going to peak! Or a volcano is going to "blow!"

Or, God forbid, another terrorist attack!

Or a fallen stock market!

In fact, maybe a few godly men and ladies are already "hearing" such things!

And it just might be that if the rest of us kept our souls on "alert" ... we ourselves would be hearing more and more sounds of coming judgment as well!

Jesus certainly did!

Soul, take note!

                                                                        --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

now Talk to yourself today, the bible way of course! "O my soul ...."

 

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