Psalm 1461NIV New International Version Translations
1 Praise the LORD. Praise the LORD, O my soul. 2 I will praise the LORD all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live. 3 Do not put your trust in princes, in mortal men, who cannot save. 4 When their spirit departs, they return to the ground; on that very day their plans come to nothing. 5 Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD his God, 6 the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them—the LORD, who remains faithful forever. 7 He upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets prisoners free, 8 the LORD gives sight to the blind, the LORD lifts up those who are bowed down, the LORD loves the righteous. 9 The LORD watches over the alien and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked. 10 The LORD reigns forever, your God, O Zion, for all generations. Praise the LORD.
Bible students call the last 5 psalms The Hallelujah Psalms. This is because they all start and end with the Hebrew word “Hallelujah”. The Jews spoke the Hebrew language and wrote their psalms in Hebrew. “Halel” means “praise”, or “tell someone that they are very great”. The “u” means “you” … all of you! “Jah” is one of God’s names. Most Bibles translate it LORD with 4 capital letters. It has a meaning and a use. The meaning may be that he will always be alive. The use is as a covenant name. A covenant is when two people (or groups of people) agree. Here, God agrees to love and give help to his people. And his people agree to love and obey him. Bible translators do not often translate the word “hallelujah” into another language. Usually we spell it “hallelujah”, but the Hebrew word is “hallelujah”.
We do not know who wrote Psalms 146-150. And we do not know when they wrote them. Most Bible students think that the psalmist wrote them for the new temple in Jerusalem. The psalmist was the person that wrote the psalms. For half of the psalms David was the psalmist. But there were many other psalmists, most of them after David died. Some Bible students think that maybe Ezra or Nehemiah was the psalmist for Psalms 146-150. The temple was God’s house in Jerusalem. Enemies destroyed it 600 years before Jesus came to the earth. But 70 years after the army of Babylon destroyed it, the Jews built it again. They made the Book of Psalms at this time to use in the new temple.
Verses 1-2. Many Bibles translate “myself” as “soul”. The soul is the part of us that lives when our bodies die. We say “praises” when we praise someone, (or tell them that they are very great).
Verses 3-4 tell us not to trust in human leaders. “Trust (in) someone” means “believe that someone will do as they have promised”. In the psalmist’s time, “leaders” meant kings and rulers. For us it means everyone with authority. Many leaders do what they have promised. But some do not. But none of them can give us help after we die. Only God can do that. That is why we must trust only in God. In verse 3, the psalmist maybe thought “save” meant “give help while we are alive”. Now, for Christians, it means “give help after we die”. It means that God will save us so that our souls will not die.
Verses 5-6 The God of Jacob may mean the God of the people of Israel; but it may mean just the God of the man Jacob. But that God is the LORD. He gives help to people that ask him for it.
Verses 7-9. Oppressed people are people that stronger people are not kind to. The stronger people make the weaker people work for them. They do not pay them much money for the work. Also, the oppressed people are not free to do what they want to do. So, they are often hungry. And they feel that life is like being in a prison. A blind person cannot see. But God will help people like this, if they ask him. In verse 8, the word “righteous” here means God’s people. The word “righteous” itself means “very, very good”. Only God is really righteous. But he says his own people are righteous too. He makes them righteous because he is with them. In verse 9, “protects strangers” means “does not let anyone hurt strangers”. These strangers were people from foreign countries. They lived in the country round Jerusalem. Today we would call them aliens or perhaps refugees. God also protects children that have no fathers. And he protects widows (women whose husbands have died). God does not protect, or send help, to wicked people. Wicked people are very, very bad people.
Verse 10. The LORD will always be king! Again, for Christians this means something else than it does for the psalmist. Jesus is the Lord who will always be king. Zion could be a name for his new people, the Church. Jesus will come back to the earth as king, one day. Then everybody will see that this psalm is true.
Items for Discussion
- Where does this Psalm tell us that God focuses His attention?
- If we were to re-prioritize the Christian church to these same areas, what would you expect to see from a congregation?
- Why should this Psalm give us hope?
1 As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” 3 “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life. 4 As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. 5 While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” 6 Having said this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. 7 “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means Sent). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing. 8 His neighbors and those who had formerly seen him begging asked, “Isn’t this the same man who used to sit and beg?” 9 Some claimed that he was. Others said, “No, he only looks like him.” But he himself insisted, “I am the man.” 10 “How then were your eyes opened?” they demanded. 11 He replied, “The man they call Jesus made some mud and put it on my eyes. He told me to go to Siloam and wash. So I went and washed, and then I could see.” 12″Where is this man?” they asked him. “I don’t know,” he said. 13 They brought to the Pharisees the man who had been blind. 14 Now the day on which Jesus had made the mud and opened the man’s eyes was a Sabbath. 15 Therefore the Pharisees also asked him how he had received his sight. “He put mud on my eyes,” the man replied, “and I washed, and now I see.” 16 Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath.” But others asked, “How can a sinner do such miraculous signs?” So they were divided. 17 Finally they turned again to the blind man, “What have you to say about him? It was your eyes he opened.” The man replied, “He is a prophet.” 18 The Jews still did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight until they sent for the man’s parents. 19 “Is this your son?” they asked. “Is this the one you say was born blind? How is it that now he can see?” 20 “We know he is our son,” the parents answered, “and we know he was born blind. 21 But how he can see now, or who opened his eyes, we don’t know. Ask him. He is of age; he will speak for himself.” 22 His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews, for already the Jews had decided that anyone who acknowledged that Jesus was the Christ would be put out of the synagogue. 23 That was why his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.” 24 A second time they summoned the man who had been blind. “Give glory to God,” they said. “We know this man is a sinner.” 25 He replied, “Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!” 26 Then they asked him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?” 27 He answered, “I have told you already and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples, too?” 28 Then they hurled insults at him and said, “You are this fellow’s disciple! We are disciples of Moses! 29 We know that God spoke to Moses, but as for this fellow, we don’t even know where he comes from.” 30 The man answered, “Now that is remarkable! You don’t know where he comes from, yet he opened my eyes. 31 We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly man who does his will. 32 Nobody has ever heard of opening the eyes of a man born blind. 33 If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.” 34 To this they replied, “You were steeped in sin at birth; how dare you lecture us!” And they threw him out. 35 Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and when he found him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” 36 “Who is he, sir?” the man asked. “Tell me so that I may believe in him.” 37 Jesus said, “You have now seen him; in fact, he is the one speaking with you.” 38 Then the man said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him. 39 Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.” 40 Some Pharisees who were with him heard him say this and asked, “What? Are we blind too?” 41 Jesus said, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.
Christ give sight to one born blind. (1-7) The account given by the blind man. (8-12) The Pharisees question the man that had been blind. (13-17) They ask concerning him. (18-23) They cast him out. (24-34) Christ’s words to the man that had been blind. (35-38) He reproves the Pharisees. (39-41)
Chapter 9 opens with the case of a man that gives rise to a question from the disciples, in relation to the government of God in Israel. Was it his parents’ sin that brought this visitation on their child, according to the principles God had given them in Exodus? Or was it his own sin, known to God though not manifested to men, that had procured him this judgment? The Lord replies, that the man’s condition did not depend on the government of God with respect to the sin either of himself or of his parents. His case was but the misery which gave room for the mighty operation of God in grace. It is the contrast that we have continually seen; but here it is in order to set forth the works of God.
God acts. It is not only that which He is, nor even simply an object of faith. The presence of Jesus on earth made it day. It was therefore the time of work to do the works of Him that sent Him. But He who works here, works by means that teach us the union which exists between an object of faith and the power of God who works. He makes clay with His spittle and the earth, and puts it on the eyes of the man who was born blind. As a figure, it pointed to the humanity of Christ in earthly humiliation and lowliness, presented to the eyes of men, but with divine efficacy of life in Him. Did they see any more? If possible, their eyes were the more completely closed. Still the object was there; it touched their eyes, and they could not see it. The blind man then washes in the pool that was called “Sent,” and is enabled to see clearly. The power of the Spirit and of the word, making Christ known as the One sent by the Father, gives him sight. It is the history of divine teaching in the heart of man. Christ, as man, touches us. We are absolutely blind, we see nothing. The Spirit of God acts, Christ being there before our eyes; and we see plainly.
The people are astonished and know not what to think. The Pharisees oppose. Again the Sabbath is in question. They find (it is always the story) good reasons for condemning Him who bestowed sight, in their pretended zeal for God’s glory. There was positive proof that the man was born blind, that he now saw, that Jesus had done it. The parents testify to the only thing that was important on their part. As to who it was that had given him sight, others knew more than they; but their fears bring out in evidence, that it was a settled thing to cast out, not only Jesus, but all who should confess Him. Thus the Jewish leaders brought the thing to a decisive point. They not only rejected Christ, but they cast out from the privileges of Israel, as to their ordinary worship, those who confessed Him. Their hostility distinguished the manifested remnant and put them apart; and that, by using confession of Christ as a touchstone. This was deciding their own fate, and judging their own condition.
Items for Discussion
- What is Christ saying about a parents sins and how they affect a child?
- How does accountability and responsibility impact a child when the parents do sin?
- What is Christ saying about the blindness of the Pharisees?
- How does the world demonstrate this same blindness today?
- Look at verse 39 – Is this saying that some will be spiritually blind no matter what they see?
- How was the guilt being generated that Christ talks about in verse 41?
- This parable is teaching us lessons, can you find what they are?
- As a church, how can we model what Christ is teaching here?
- What are the miracles happening today?
- 1NIV New International Version Translations