How are you? I hope you are well. We are now at the last verse in Psalms 13. We have seen negative emotions in the first few verses. In Psalms 13:5 and now in Psalms 13:6, we see more happy and joyful emotions. Let’s ponder this verse as we wrap up our series on Psalms 13.
Psalms 13:6 May be a Continuation of Psalms 13:5:
If we read Psalms 13:5 and Psalms 13:6, it is easy to see that they may go together. Psalms 13:6 may even be a continuation of Psalms 13:5. Let’s read them both together.
“But I have trusted in thy mercy; by heart shall rejoice in thy salvation. I will sing unto the LORD, because he hath dealt bountifully with me.”
Psalms 13:5-6 (KJV)
In the beginning of Psalms 13, we see a depiction of what it’s like when God seems far away and doesn’t seem to be listening to our prayers. The feelings were sad and desperate. Psalms 13:5 is the turning point in the psalm. The feeling isn’t that of sadness anymore.
Psalms 13:5 seems to be a breakthrough in faith. After a time of feeling far from God, it seems to be a remembrance and acknowledgement that even though God has seem far before, He is trustworthy and gives us salvation. God is faithful in being a loving Father to us. He has mercy on us.
Psalms 13:6 goes on from that remembrance and acknowledgement of God’s mercy, faithfulness, trustworthiness, and love. Psalms 13:6 shows what we can do when we feel that love, trust, faithfulness, and mercy. It shows what we can do when we acknowledge how much God does for us and when we rejoice in the salvation God gives us. We can sing! (Yes, even those who don’t carry a tune well can sing or at least make a joyful noise as we read in Psalms 100:1.)
God Gives Us So Much:
It may not feel like it when we go through difficult times, but God gives us so much. He blesses us, gifts us things, provides for us, loves us, leads us, and so much more. It is no wonder that we are told to count our blessings, even when we are down. Even in the depths of our despair, God gives us so much. God offers us a multitude of both earthly blessings and heavenly blessings.
If we sit down and take inventory of every little thing and every single person that comes into our lives, if we look around us and see God’s creations, if we acknowledge that God created us, if we realize all the intricate cycles and systems God created in the world and in every living person, animal, plant, and organism, then we can start to realize just how much God does give us. The heavenly gift such as salvation and eternal life are things that we can’t even begin to imagine yet, so we can’t even completely recognize all that God does for us. Also, sadly, we often take God’s blessings and gifts for granted or overlook the fact that the gifts are even from God.
However, once we start to count our blessings and recognize all that God does for us, even in times of great hardship we can have hope. We can hold onto the fact that God has great power and love. We can hold onto the fact that God loves us and provides for us greatly. We can have hope and trust that God will get us through difficult times, love us, and provide us with all our needs, even before we actually see it happen.
Singing for Joy:
Have you ever felt so happy that you just felt like singing (or making that joyful noise)? I think that is what David was describing in Psalms 13:6. Because he knows that God has been so good to him and has given him so much, he can and will sing with for joy to God.
Isn’t that the same thing we are doing when we sing and worship God at church? We are glorifying God for his wondrous works and love. At church, it may not be as spontaneous as what David is describing though.
I know that I have sometimes just spontaneously started singing. Have you? It is a nice feeling. I don’t remember the specifics, but I remember they were happy times.
Sometimes when we read God’s Word, we lose something or miss something when we don’t look at a passage or chapter as a whole. Let’s look at Psalms 13 in its entirety.
“(To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.) How long wilt thou forget me, O LORD? for ever? how long wilt thou hide thy face from me? How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily? How long shall mine enemy be exalted over me? Consider and hear me, O LORD my God: lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death; Lest mine enemy say, I have prevailed against him; and those that trouble me rejoice when I am moved. But I have trusted in thy mercy; my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation. I will sing unto the LORD, because he hath dealt bountifully with me.”
Psalms 13 (KJV)
It is easier to see the pattern of feelings and cycle of faith when we look at Psalms 13 as a whole. We can see and feel the lowness that David describes in the beginning of the psalm and the great joy at the end of the psalm. We can see how our feelings seem to change depending on how far or how close we feel we are to God. We can see that it isn’t that God has moved far away, but that we move ourselves farther away from God or closer to God as our foci, beliefs, and attitudes change.
Another thing I like to do to understand God’s Word better is to research and pray about the customs of the times. For example, because of the singing mentioned at the end of the psalm, I looked up some of the customs about singing in biblical times. There are many outside sources of the customs surrounding singing in biblical times as well as various verses in God’s Word. I invite you to do your own research to see if it adds to your understanding as well.
Thank you for your Holy Word. Thank you for being our Heavenly Father, our Provider, and our Creator. Thank you for the multitude of gifts and blessings you give us, both earthly and heavenly, including life itself. Help us to keep these gifts and blessings in mind, from the smallest earthly gift to the largest and most awesome heavenly gift. Help us to count our blessings and thank you and praise you continuously out of love and joy. I ask you this through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
If you missed other posts in the series, you may want to go back and read them now. Here they are:
*Psalms 13: Crying Out to God
*Psalms 13: When God Seems Far, Do We Fend for Ourselves?
*Psalms 13: Crying for Life Over Death
*Psalms 13: Good Versus Evil
*Psalms 13: What has Changed?
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“When they were filled, he said unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost.”
John 6:12 (KJV)
How are you? I have been writing posts on the topic of thanksgiving during the month of November. At first glance, John 6:12 might not seem like a topic of thanksgiving. There is no word that resembles “thanks”, “thankfulness”, “thank you”, “thankful”, “giving thanks”, or “thanksgiving” in the verse. Yet, to me, it fits in so many ways.
Let’s refresh our memory about what happened before this verse. Jesus just fed about or over five thousand people starting with five barley loaves and two small fish. (John 6:9-10) Now, we are hearing that there are leftovers.
Before we dive into meaning and thoughts about John 6:12, let’s think about our food practices for a moment. How often do we forget that we have something in the fridge and it gets pushed aside just to spoil? How often do we have leftovers and not want to eat them, so we just throw them away?
I don’t know about you, but Thanksgiving Day is a prime time to have leftovers. And, once we look into it and ponder it awhile, I think we will see that John 6:12 has more to do with thanksgiving than leftovers.
So, what can we learn from the words in John 6:12? Well, from the first part of the verse we can see that the people were filled. It wasn’t just a snack or a crumb that Jesus gave the people to “hold them over” until they could eat again. They were filled!
I have to wonder just how thankful everyone in the crowd was that Jesus gave them such a gift. I mean, not only did Jesus perform a miracle right in front of them, but also they got to eat of its bounty. It must have been an awesome experience!
From the words in John 6:12, we can also tell how Jesus feels about wasting food. The Bible has a number of verses about not wasting things, so I am guessing that waste of any sort is not anything that Jesus likes. We can learn from this verse, that it isn’t good to be wasteful.
Also, I think being wasteful is not a way to show thankfulness. Remember, Jesus gave thanks for the barley loaves and fish before they were multiplied. Did people give thanks after they were received? Would they have thrown away the leftovers if Jesus hadn’t told his disciples to go pick up them up? What do you do with your leftovers?
I can’t help but think that maybe this verse is about more than food. I think we can look at it and also ponder how we look at everything God gives us. Are we wasteful about our home, our family, our vehicle, our friends, our possessions, our body, our land, or our time? Are we wasteful of our thoughts, emotions, spirit, presence, or life? Are we wasteful of our skills or talents? Are we wasteful of our impressions, expressions, guidance, or care?
There are many ways to be wasteful. It isn’t just throwing away leftovers instead of eating them or forgetting that something was in the fridge and letting it go bad. Wasteful can be in many forms. It can be in the form of not keeping up the maintenance on your vehicle or not letting things get in a state of disrepair, so they don’t last as long as their potential duration. Being wasteful can come in the form of not valuing a person, their talents, or skills that God puts into your path. Wastefulness can come in the form of not embracing the “personal development” opportunities that God puts in front of you. I am thinking about all those times when God says to reach outside of our comfort zone and rely on Him and we say…. “No, we are too scared.” I am sure we could spend all kinds of time pondering about the meaning of wastefulness. There are so many ways to be wasteful!
Now, let’s consider not only our own wastefulness, but also the wastefulness of those around us. Are we convicted for just our own wastefulness or are we also convicted for not trying to dissuade the wastefulness in others? It might seem like we are only convicted about our own wastefulness. After all, in Deuteronomy 24:16 (KJV) we read, “The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin.” That doesn’t sound like we are to be convicted for other people’s wastefulness. However, we also have verse like Colossians 3:16 which tells us to admonish one another and Hebrews 10:24 which tells us to provoke each other to do good things. So, maybe we are convicted if we don’t at least encourage others not to be wasteful or show them that it isn’t a good thing to do. Maybe we can even brainstorm ways to be less wasteful. And, of course it is always good to encourage each other to use our gifts, talents, blessings, resources, knowledge, thoughts, feelings, time, and life to the fullest.
There is something else about John 6:12 that we can wonder. Do you know what it is? Are you wondering it too? We all know that God knows all and can do all. He knew how much each would eat. So, how come when He multiplied the fish and barley, He didn’t make just enough? I know I sometimes make extra on purpose, so that I can use it for multiple meals and in different ways. That way, I don’t always have to cook every meal. I can just pop something in the microwave. (Well, my hubby does most of the cooking, because I don’t care for cooking. But… I have cooked and have done that, and so does he.)
But, it isn’t like the disciples were just going to gather the leftovers, wrap them in foil or plastic wrap, and put them in the fridge. They gathered the leftovers into baskets, which they would probably have to carry for quite a distance. So, why create the extra food, so that they would have to carry it?
Obviously, we may not ever know the real answer to that. We might not even be called to question it. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if it wasn’t to teach us multiple things. Maybe it was as pragmatic as the fact that He knew that Jesus and the disciples would need food to eat later on. Maybe it was to tell us that it is okay to have leftovers and they should be valued as well as the original meal.
The reason could be something above and beyond the pragmatic though. It could be that God wants to show us that when we give thanks, when we ask, and when we have faith, that He can and will give us even something even better and even more than what we ask. It could be to show us that He is an awesome God and cares for us and provides for us more than we can ever imagine. What do you think?
Thank you for being such an awesome God. Thank you for creating us and for providing for us. Thank you for the meaning blessings, gifts, and resources you give us. Thank you for the love you have for us. Thank you for your Word and for your Son, Jesus. Help us to not be wasteful, but to be thankful and value the gifts you give us instead. I ask you this through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Reflective questions for John 6:12 (KJV):
*What does John 6:12 mean to me?
*What are all the ways it means to be wasteful?
*Am I wasteful?
*In what ways and in what areas of my life am I wasteful?
*Do I encourage others to not be wasteful?
*Am I thankful for the gifts and blessings God gives me?
*What other verses remind me of John 6:12?
*What other verses help me to understand John 6:12?
*What can I do to better heed the words in John 6:12?
If you liked this post, you may also like the following posts:
Now, it is your turn:
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Happy Thanksgiving! Have a great week! And... remember to be mindful about wasting. God bless.
This is Jodi. I am so glad you are here! I am a Christian and life-long learner. I enjoy sharing and encouraging others. I pray you are blessed by this blog. Thank you for being here.