"So foolish was I, and ignorant; I was as a beast before thee."
Remember this is the confession of the man after God's own heart; and in telling us his inner life, he writes, "So foolish was I, and ignorant." The word "foolish," here, means more than it signifies in ordinary language. David, in a former verse of the Psalm, writes, "I was envious at the foolish when I saw the prosperity of the wicked," which shows that the folly he intended had sin in it. He puts himself down as being thus "foolish," and adds a word which is to give intensity to it; "so foolish was I." How foolish he could not tell. It was a sinful folly, a folly which was not to be excused by frailty, but to be condemned because of its perverseness and wilful ignorance, for he had been envious of the present prosperity of the ungodly, forgetful of the dreadful end awaiting all such. And are we better than David that we should call ourselves wise! Do we profess that we have attained perfection, or to have been so chastened that the rod has taken all our wilfulness out of us? Ah, this were pride indeed! If David was foolish, how foolish should we be in our own esteem if we could but see ourselves! Look back, believer: think of your doubting God when he has been so faithful to you--think of your foolish outcry of "Not so, my Father," when he crossed his hands in affliction to give you the larger blessing; think of the many times when you have read his providences in the dark, misinterpreted his dispensations, and groaned out, "All these things are against me," when they are all working together for your good! Think how often you have chosen sin because of its pleasure, when indeed, that pleasure was a root of bitterness to you! Surely if we know our own heart we must plead guilty to the indictment of a sinful folly; and conscious of this "foolishness," we must make David's consequent resolve our own--"Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel."
"Who went about doing good."
Few words, but yet an exquisite miniature of the Lord Jesus Christ. There are not many touches, but they are the strokes of a master's pencil. Of the Saviour and only of the Saviour is it true in the fullest, broadest, and most unqualified sense. "He went about doing good." From this description it is evident that he did good personally. The evangelists constantly tell us that he touched the leper with his own finger, that he anointed the eyes of the blind, and that in cases where he was asked to speak the word only at a distance, he did not usually comply, but went himself to the sick bed, and there personally wrought the cure. A lesson to us, if we would do good, to do it ourselves. Give alms with your own hand; a kind look, or word, will enhance the value of the gift. Speak to a friend about his soul; your loving appeal will have more influence than a whole library of tracts. Our Lord's mode of doing good sets forth his incessant activity! He did not only the good which came close to hand, but he "went about" on his errands of mercy. Throughout the whole land of Judea there was scarcely a village or a hamlet which was not gladdened by the sight of him. How this reproves the creeping, loitering manner, in which many professors serve the Lord. Let us gird up the loins of our mind, and be not weary in well doing. Does not the text imply that Jesus Christ went out of his way to do good? "He went about doing good." He was never deterred by danger or difficulty. He sought out the objects of his gracious intentions. So must we. If old plans will not answer, we must try new ones, for fresh experiments sometimes achieve more than regular methods. Christ's perseverance, and the unity of his purpose, are also hinted at, and the practical application of the subject may be summed up in the words, "He hath left us an example that we should follow in his steps."
Today's reading: Psalm 46-48, Acts 28 (NIV)View today's reading on Bible Gateway
Today's Old Testament reading: Psalm 46-48
For the director of music. Of the Sons of Korah. According to alamoth. A song.
1 God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.
4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
5 God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.
6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
he lifts his voice, the earth melts....
Today's New Testament reading: Acts 28
Paul Ashore on Malta
1 Once safely on shore, we found out that the island was called Malta. 2 The islanders showed us unusual kindness. They built a fire and welcomed us all because it was raining and cold. 3 Paul gathered a pile of brushwood and, as he put it on the fire, a viper, driven out by the heat, fastened itself on his hand. 4 When the islanders saw the snake hanging from his hand, they said to each other, "This man must be a murderer; for though he escaped from the sea, the goddess Justice has not allowed him to live." 5 But Paul shook the snake off into the fire and suffered no ill effects. 6 The people expected him to swell up or suddenly fall dead; but after waiting a long time and seeing nothing unusual happen to him, they changed their minds and said he was a god....
[Găd] - good fortune, a troop or a seer.
1. The seventh son of Jacob, first-born of Zilpah, Leah's maid, and full brother of Asher. A tribe also sprang from Gad (Gen. 30:11; 35:26; 46:16; 49:19; Exod. 1:4; 1 Chron. 5:11; 12:14).
The Man of Enlargement
No name in all the twelve tribes of Israel is so much played upon in Jacob's blessing as the name of Gad, meaning "a troop." Invaders and robbers might try to plunder Gad but victory would be his with resultant enlargement. Jacob predicted for the tribe of Gad a time of sore conflict, yet of final conquest. "He shall overcome at last." God enabled Gad to discomfit and defeat his foes (1 Chron. 5:18-22).
The men of Gad had faces like "the faces of lions," and when David needed help, the Gadites of lion-like character befriended the fugitive king. "They put to flight all them of the valleys, both of the east and of the west." These Gadite helpers of David "executed the justice of the Lord, and His judgments with Israel." Jephthah the Gileadite, of the tribe of Gad, judged Israel six years after delivering the nation from Ammonite oppression.
How fortunate Gad was to have God to enlarge him! "The place where we dwell... is too strait for us." Such an energetic, aggressive tribe could not remain static, so their inheritance was extended beyond its original limits until it covered the whole of Gilead. How loathe we are to possess our spiritual possessions! May ours be the enlargements of heart David prayed for (Ps. 119:32)! May ours also be the constant victorious Christian experience!
2. The prophet who joined David when in "the hold," and through whose advice he left it for the forest of Hareth ( 1 Sam. 22:5; 2 Sam. 24:11-19; 1 Chron. 21:9-19; 2 Chron. 29:25). Gad, "the king's seer," announced God's judgment upon David for numbering the people. "The arm of flesh will fail us, we dare not trust our own." Gad the prophet advised the erection of the altar, and is also before us as an associate of the prophet Nathan.