Why would Israel rejoice.
"Israel" literally means "ruled by God!" (Princed
by God!) If God Himself has taken over your life ... saved your
lost soul ... you should rejoice! The word combines "sarah" (to
prevail) and "el" which is Godís Name and means strength!
The first verb "rejoice" is Hebrew "samach"
and means "to brighten up" or to make cheerful! The Lord God
will indeed brighten up any life! The "time" sense of the verb
here is that of on-going action! (Keep on rejoicing!)
"Made" is ("asah") the verb "to build, to
fabricate, to accomplish or to fashion!" The strange thing about
the verb is that it represents continuing action! God is here
seen as still making us! I guess Heís not finished with us yet!
Then comes another verb: "let be joyful"
translates the Hebrew word "giyl." That literally means "to spin
around" under the influence of any strong emotion! (Again,
The noun "children" (Hebrew = "ben") is from
the verb "banah" and means to build! This is a child as a
builder of the family. God saves us for a reason! (To build His
"Zion" means a dry parched place! God took a
desert and made a Zion out of it! God made a barren land into an
oasis! (Once was lost ... now Iím found! Was blind ... now I
see!) Thatís reason to "spin around" a bit!
In this verse God is specifically mentioned
as Creator ("made" us) and as King! King = "melek" = from a
verb, "to reign!" I might quickly add that He is the Saviour
too! Jesus says it best in Luke 10:20 ---
"Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are
subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are
written in heaven."
I trust you found a "nugget" in todayís
verse. I sure did! Of course I was looking for one! And I know
you were too. Thatís why you come so often ... with a Bible in
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
LESSON 3 ... VERSE 3:
Someone once called the 149th Psalm "The
Psalm of the Sword." Another writer called it a lively song of
triumph. It is definitely a Psalm of praise as todayís verse
"Let them praise his name in the dance:
let them sing praises unto him with the timbrel and harp." Psalm
"Let them praise" is a Hebrew verb that's a
Peil imperfect in form. Piel means that the action is
intensively active! (Vigorous praise!) Imperfect addresses the
"time" sense of the verb ... which here demands that the action
is incomplete. The Israelites are to keep on praising God.
(Habitual action!) The verb is spelled "halel" and means "to
shine!" (Some recent study done indicates that it is derived
from the verb "to be clear! The implication is that the clearer
and purer oneís heart is ... the more he or she will praise the
Lord! Hypocrites canít truly praise well in Godís eyes!)
"Name" is the noun "shem." It means renown (7
times in the King James Version) or fame (4 times). Here it
refers to Oneís reputation or glory! Of course it is
predominantly rendered "name" in Scripture (832 times). What a
NAME God has! Another source adds that it means: honor,
authority or character! It comes from a root stem that means "to
"Dance" is the noun "machol" and is related
to the verb that means "to turn around, to spin around or to
twist or whirl!" Here are a few Bible uses of our little word.
Psalm 30:11 --- "Thou hast turned for me
my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and
girded me with gladness." And itís God speaking in
Jeremiah 31:4 --- "Again I will build
thee, and thou shalt be built, O virgin of Israel: thou shalt
again be adorned with thy tabrets, and shalt go forth in the
dances of them that make merry." However look what sin
does in Lamentations 5:15 --- "The joy of
our heart is ceased; our dance is turned into mourning."
Our word becomes prominent in the last two Psalms! See Psalm
150:4 --- "Praise him with the timbrel and
dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs."
Thereís going to be some godly excitement when Jesus comes
again! (The word "enthusiasm" literally means "God within you!")
The words "sing praises" translate "zamar."
(Another intensive ... "Piel" verb with a "time" sense of
on-going action!) It means" to make music in praise of God! (To
touch the strings or parts of a musical instrument!) It may be
identical (says Strongís Concordance) to the verb that means "to
trim a vine." If so ... praise is good for a vineyard! (He is
the Vine. We are the branches!)
Note that the praises are "unto Him!" Praise
God! (This is NOT a man centered Psalm! It is very theo-centric,
very God centered.)
Now a couple of instruments are named.
The "timbrel" translates "toph," which is a
tambourine like device. It comes from a verb that means "to
drum." In the Bible it is always translated either timbrel (9
times) or tabret (8 times). It certainly shows that the Jews of
old were a musically inclined and demonstrative people. God can
take an old drum like me and use it for His glory!
And the word "harp" is from the Hebrew "kinnor."
(42 times in Scripture ... all rendered "harp") Its root meaning
is "to twang" according to the concordance. Of course this
"twang" becomes a very pleasant sound in the hands of a skilled
Now we as Baptists are not very used to this
kind of music I agree. (And I am certainly NOT trying to promote
any kind of sensual boisterous disorderly sound ... but I do
accept my text as it stands!)
I believe God delights in our true praises!
Maybe the dance can imply ecstasy over our
salvation! (Or Jesusí Second Coming!) Perhaps the timbrel can
represent an old noise maker who used to emit the same boring
sound again and again (rather monotonous like a beaten drum) ...
until Jesus came along and saved his soul! Let the harp stand
for an old "twanger" who got "tuned up" one day by the Grace of
God and has been making sweet godly music ever since!
Glory to His Name!
Today ... "nuggets" from the orchestra!
God must have them "hidden" everywhere in
This may be life long search! Stay with us
... with a Bible in your hand!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
LESSON 4 ... VERSE 4:
What delights the Lord? Doesnít it make sense
that if we can be so positioned that we enjoy what God enjoys
and detest what He detests ... our lives will be more closely
aligned to Him?
Todayís "Nugget" verse will help us with our
"For the LORD taketh pleasure in his
people: he will beautify the meek with salvation." Psalm
It is obvious that the Name of God used here
is "Jehovah." It refers to His being the eternal "I am." He
never changes! This also is the Name of God that emphasizes His
Holiness and the need for manís salvation! This is Godís Name
that longs to enter into covenant relationship with mankind. (In
the Genesis account of creation it is always God ... Elohim ...
Who says that things are "good!" The first time something is
said to be "not good," it is the LORD ... Jehovah God Who says
Yet in spite of all these facts we are told
in our verse today that this Lord "taketh pleasure" in His
people! This verb ("ratzsah") means to find favor in, to be
pleased with or to delight in! Here is our verb in exact form in
Psalm 147:11 --- "The LORD taketh pleasure
in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy."
How thrilling that God delights in us! That could only be
possible through our Lord Jesus Christ and His shed Blood on the
Cross! Paul reminds us that we are
"accepted in the Beloved (Jesus)!" Ephesians 1:6 ---
"To the praise of the glory of his grace,
wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved." Our
verb here is really a participle ... teaching us that Godís
delight in us is constant!
The noun "people" translates the little
Hebrew word "am." It pictures an association of people! (A group
"huddled" together says one lexicon!) It is a type of Godís
"called out" assembly! What an honor to belong to the "people"
of God! Hereís the first use of our word in the Bible: Genesis
11:6 --- "And the LORD said, Behold, the
people is one, and they have all one language; and
this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from
them, which they have imagined to do." Strongís
Concordance says it means a group "overshadowed" by Someone!
Next God "beautifies" somebody! The verb is "paar"
and means to adorn! To cause to gleam! (Itís literally what God
does to a tree in maturing it! First the root ... then the
sprout ... then the little trunk ... then limbs ... leaves ...
fruit! Beautiful! Like a tree ... so the Christian!) Our verb
here is an intensive one (Piel stem)! God is really diligently
working on beautifying His people!
The "meek" means those who are lowly. The
depressed or browbeaten people of society! The humble. (This is
the only people who will come to the Lord and fall at His Feet
for help anyway!) Only the meek are ever saved! (Proud people
donít even need the Lord! Just ask them!) In the King James
Version our word is translated humble, poor and lowly as well as
But whatís this word for "salvation?" In
Hebrew it is spelled "yeshuah" (pronounced yesh-ooí-ah). It
means deliverance to safety! It means the state of being
rescued! It also in Hebrew implies victory and even blessing!
(Itís semantic background: to be wide or open or free!)
We have sure found a pack of precious
promises today! May God make these truths real to our hearts!
Did you get a "nugget" or two?
The Lord gave me some!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
LESSON 5 ... VERSE 5:
We sure do have a cheerful verse to study
Listen to it.
Psalm 149:5 says:
"Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud upon
I am astounded at some of these words! This
little noun "saints" comes from a background word that means "to
be kind!" (Unlike the New Testament word for "saints" which
means "to be holy!") Those who know God and walk with God will
be kind and gentle (as much as possible). This sounds like
Paul's definition of God's love in 1 Corinthians 13.
"Charity suffereth long and is KIND ...!"
1 Corinthians 13:4
The verb "be joyful" is a Hebrew term "alaz."
It literally means "to jump for joy!" (to exult, to triumph!)
But it does not have to be a physical thing. One's very heart
can jump for joy apparently! See Psalm 28:7 ---
"The LORD is my strength and my
shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my
heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise
him." Yet it can be physical as in Psalm 68:4 ---
"Sing unto God, sing praises to his name:
extol him that rideth upon the heavens by his name JAH, and
rejoice before him." The "action" of our verb here
is "incomplete." That means this rejoicing has not stopped yet!
The word for glory here can mean "honour or
dignity!" This is not some kind of self-debasing lewd sensual
type of rejoicing. It is decently done and stays "in order!"
It also may refer to the Glory of God! Why do we rejoice?
Because of Who God is! And because of what God does!
To "sing aloud" is "ranan," a verb meaning to
shout! It also means to emit a creaking noise. (They must have
heard about the singing of folks like me!) Whatever it sounds
like ... it is to go on continually!
And the word "beds" translates a term that
means couch, bed or even bedchamber. Its first use in Scripture
speaks of an old sinful act (Genesis 49:4). But our verse here
uses it obviously in a godly manner! (The Holy Spirit reclaims
a lot of these words and sanctifies them!)
This short little verse sure does present a
joyful picture of the child of God! Another text that reminds
me of singing upon one's bed is Psalm 63:5-6.
"My soul shall be satisfied as with
marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise thee with
joyful lips: When I remember thee upon my bed, and
meditate on thee in the night watches."
May God grant us this kind of spirit today!
What a bright and cheerful "nugget" I've
found this morning!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
LESSON 6 ... VERSE 6:
Todayís verse is from Psalm 149. It is within
itself somewhat of a riddle. I say that because it links two
strange things. Let me show you what I mean:
the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a twoedged sword
in their hand." Psalm 149:6
See! The verse mentions two things: praises
for God and swords for battle! How can the two be explained
In the Hebrew Masoretic Text (from which the
King James Bible is translated) there are no verbs in this verse
at all. It is not even a sentence as it stands! Look at the King
James text printed above in larger type. Notice all the words
that are italicized. The translators tell us (again, King James)
that they have added these words for clarity. Iím so glad they
did. It helps us.
This all means that the verb in Hebrew is
"understood." It is "implied" to be present! The Psalmist got so
excited that he skipped words in his great joy!
I do see something right away however. Two
body parts are mentioned! The "mouth" and the "hand."
The noun for "mouth" is a bit unusual too. It
is derived from a verb that means "to bring up the cud!" (Like a
ruminating animal does!) Thatís a perfect picture of Bible
"meditation" as you know! (Chewing the "cud!") The word comes to
mean oneís throat.
By the way, where does the Christian get his
material for praising God? Why, from the Scriptures on which he
has been meditating!
By the word order here (and the ancient
teachers say that thereís a great deal of importance in Hebrew
word order) it appears that whatís in the mouth must be right
before whatís in the hand will be effective! You canít use the
sword rightly if you havenít used your mouth rightly!
"High praises" translates the Hebrew "romemah"
which means that which is uplifting or arising! Strongís Bible
Dictionary says it means exaltation or praise! You can see that
the noun is plural! I can only find this one time the word
occurs in the whole Bible! That makes it even more special! (And
harder to define!)
The Name for God here is just "El!" (Not
Elohim as usual!) It is used 213 times for God in Scripture. It
means strong one or mighty one! (One of rank or dignity!)
The adjective "twoedged" is "piyphiyah." Itís
only used twice in the Bible ... once here and then in Isaiah
41:15 where it is rendered "teeth." It means edge, side or
mouth! Here is a many "mouthed" sword! (66 Books in the Bible,
the Sword of the Spirit! Written by over 40 men over a period of
1600 years! You can call that a book of many mouths but all
directed by One Lord!)
The noun "sword" comes from a line of words
that mean "drought" (dry, no water) then "parched" then "to
destroy or kill" (hence making "dry" forever)!
Obviously the idea is defeating the enemy!
And even the little word "hand" is not
without significance. It is in Hebrew "yad" and that syllable
alone gives us the Hebrew word for Judah ("yadah") which means
praise! So hereís another link between fighting and praising!
Iím not sure I can properly piece this
together for you. I just know that the more we praise him ...
the more victorious weíre going to be in battle for Him!
Does anyone happen to remember how little
David praised God just before killing Goliath in 1 Samuel 17?
Or how much Jehoshaphatís army praised God
before defeating the enemy army in 2 Chronicles 20?
Or how many times Paul just happened to be
praising God when the Lord sent some great victory? (Singing in
jail in Acts 16 comes to mind!)
Notice even how the Book of Revelation is
arranged. Before we get to the fighting where God defeats
antichrist and his army ... we have much praising of the Lord
Thereís a principle here.
Praise first ... fight next!
It always enhances oneís access to power,
here Godís Power!
Lord willing, more about this tomorrow.
I donít know the world record for the size of
a "nugget" ... but I think weíve very close here today!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
LESSON 7 ...
All of a
sudden in Psalm 149 we have a "troubling" verse!
We have gone
from praising God to desiring vengeance upon His enemies!
vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people"
I believe I can quote from Charles Spurgeon
"This was once literally the duty of Israel:
when they came into Canaan they fulfilled the righteous sentence
of the Lord upon guilty nations. At this hour, under the gentler
dispensation of grace, we wrestle not with flesh and blood; yet
is our warfare none the less stern, and our victory none the
less sure. All evil shall eventually be overthrown: the Lord
shall display his justice against evildoers, and in that warfare
his servants shall play their parts. The saints shall judge the
world. Both the conflict and the victory at the end of it shall
cause glory to God, and honour to his holy ones."
To "execute" translates the verb "asah" and
just means to do or to make (to build or fabricate also). It's
a Qal infinitive meaning that God is the One doing the action
and that it is a continuous thing.
"Vengeance" is a Hebrew noun that comes from
a root verb which means "to avenge, to punish or even to
grudge!" (I am NOT implying that the Lord here does anything
wrong. He is sinlessly perfect in all His doings!)
Now I am not about to tell you to practice
this literally or physically. That would violate all Jesus
taught us in the New Testament. BUT I am (like many preachers
before me) going to remind you that we have many spiritual
enemies (like the devil and like the sins that stalk us week by
week)! We CAN by means of the Power of God exercise revenge
upon those sins! Kill that old sin of worry that pesters you!
Destroy that demon of lust that hounds you! Ask God to help you
conquer that old wagging tongue in your mouth!
The word "heathen" is usually used of the
Gentile nations and speaks of those who are lost and away from
God ... usually vile and filthy in their lives! Christian, stay
away from sin!
The word for "punishments" is "tokechah" and
means reproof, rebuke, argument or even chastisement! (It is
only used 28 times in the whole Bible!) In 2 Kings 19:3 our
word is translated "rebuke." Believer friend, REBUKE the
devil. Rebuke those sins that so easily beset you! (All in the
name of Jesus and through the power of His Blood!)
And the word "people" here is again a bit
different. "Leom" means a community of people or a nation of
people. Once it is translated "folks!" (Jeremiah 51:58 ... the
"folk" in the fire!) Jeremiah used this phrase when preaching
about the destruction of Babylon! It sounds like a bunch of
"good old boys" to me! But that crowd sure can get you in
Perhaps our verse today is teaching us that
the more we PRAISE the Lord ... the more we shall DEFEAT the
enemy! Let me remind you of the preceding verse too: Psalm
149:6 --- "Let
the high praises of God be
in their mouth, and a twoedged sword in their hand."
Therefore ... "To execute vengeance upon
the heathen, and punishments upon the people."
This I will guarantee you: a defeated
discouraged Christian (who has lost his "praise") will be much
less likely to overcome the enemies of sin that tempt so often!
I say this: Thank God for the victory!
(Why, that sentence alone says it all. THANK GOD ... that's
praise! For the VICTORY ... that's warfare!) God has put it
all together and given us a great "secret" of battle!
That's today's "nugget" from Scripture!
Dr. Mike Bagwell
LESSON 8 ...
Psalm 149 definitely turns
from a Psalm of Praise into a Psalm of War!
"To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters
of iron." Psalm 149:8
This great Psalm is teaching us something of
the power of praise! God willed it that His Old Testament
people should defeat their enemies in literal physical battle.
And they did! Read the lives of Moses and Joshua and David and
you will see what I mean! How did they do such? (By God's
power and presence of course ... but with a "song"
and a "sword!" Those two words
summarize Psalm 149 very well!)
What they did literally we can do
figuratively, spiritually! The "kings" of sin and the "nobles"
of wickedness can be defeated by us Believers today as we use
God's "song" and "sword" in our own lives!
The noun "kings" comes from a little Hebrew
verb that means "to reign." Is there something "reigning" in
your life that should not be? Let God help you kill that
besetting sin! (Be it anger or lust or jealousy or whatever!)
The verb to "bind" translates "asar" and
means to tie down or to put in prison! It's the same verb used
when Samson was bound by ropes in Judges 15:10.
And the noun for "chains" originally meant
"what leaps forth" from the fire! It's a picture probably of
the blacksmith forging the metal to make those chains! (Just
think of binding something in flames of fire! That's what hell
The word for "nobles" is the root word for "honour
or glory" in the Old Testament. It means that which is so
important that it's HEAVY to your thinking ... or heavy in your
estimation! These nobles are important people it seems! BUT
they fall down before the praises and swords of God's victorious
What "sin" is so heavy in your life that you
can't handle it? God can help you conquer that thing. (Sin is
a hard slave master!)
The word "fetters" is from a verb that means
to twine or braid together. It's another way of picturing one
being bound by restraint.
Verses like this one caused Paul to burst
forth with praise, "I can do all things
through Christ which strengtheneth me." Philippians 4:13
"Lord, put the spirit of praise in my heart
today and teach me to use the Word of God like a sword to
conquer the enemies of faith! In Jesus' Name I pray, Amen."
We got a sin fighting "nugget" today I
LESSON 9 ... VERSE 9: