How To: Reading Plans & Devotionals

Posted by on 12/26/2017 in: ,

1) DEVOTIONALS VS. READING PLANS

When looking at enhanced devotionals on olivetree.com, you will quickly see what sets them apart from simple reading plans that walk through the Bible. These are well-crafted, thought-out devotional books that you might think to buy at a bookstore. They all contain great content meant to encourage and inspire you. Some devotionals pick a certain passage of Scripture to talk about each day. Meanwhile, other devotionals may be topical.

On our website, you will see familiar names like Ann Voskamp, Sarah Young, Franklin Graham, and Brian Simmons. You could start on a year-long devotional plan or work through a 40-day plan with your family.

2) WHAT ARE ENHANCED DEVOTIONALS?

This is where our addition of reading plans really improved the way certain devotionals work inside our app. Any devotional that is enhanced (see a full list here) can be read and tracked as a reading plan. All you have to do is head on over to the reading plan tab and start reading.

Enhanced devotionals will appear under “My Devotionals.”

Look at your assignments in advance.

Receive reminders and customize your plan in the settings. 

Read until you reach the “Completed Reading” button. Tap it to finish!

3) BIGGEST SALE OF THE YEAR ON DEVOTIONALS

It’s our largest sale of the year: 12 Days of Christmas! Look through all of our enhanced devotionals that are on sale by clicking here. You can start your reading plan today and keeping reading on any device that is logged into the Olive Tree Bible App.

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How To: Study Bibles

Posted by on 12/25/2017 in: ,

3 WAYS OLIVE TREE MAKES STUDY BIBLES BETTER

1) USE WITH ANY TRANSLATION

When you purchase a study Bible with Olive Tree, you’re given two resources: study Bibles notes and the corresponding translation. Example: You purchase the ESV Study Bible. You can now read the ESV in the main window and the ESV study Bible notes in the Study Center. Want to read the NIV? You can still access the ESV Study Bibles notes!

2) READ MULTIPLE STUDY NOTES

Want to read more than one paper study Bible? You’ll have to have two huge books laid out in front of you (and do TWICE the page flipping). We’ve simplified the steps it takes to study the Bible well with the Resource Guide. You’ll be notified when you have study notes on a passage. Just tap and navigate quickly between all your resources.

3) USE ANYWHERE, ANYTIME

After you’ve downloaded your new study Bible notes, you’ll never have to use the Internet to access them again. That’s right—no WiFi required. You could read a study Bible on top of a mountain, in line at the bank, and waiting to pick your kids up from school… without carrying a huge book around with you.

OUR BIGGEST SALE OF THE YEAR

Right now, we are having our 12 Days of Christmas Sale, and it is the BIGGEST sale we have during the year. You don’t want to miss the discounts we have on all the best study Bibles.

Don’t get stuck waiting for next year’s sale. Look at the discounts now!

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The Second Joshua

Posted by on 12/22/2017 in:

How does the Old Testament—specifically the book of Joshua—have anything to do with Jesus? Read this content pulled from the Bible Knowledge Commentary to find out.

THE PURPOSE OF THE BOOK OF JOSHUA

The purpose of the Book of Joshua is to give an official account of the historical fulfillment of the Lord’s promise to the patriarchs to give Israel the land of Canaan by holy war. A “holy war” was a conflict with religious overtones rather than one with a political motivation of defense or expansion. This can be seen in both the opening charge (1:2-6) and the concluding summary (21:43).

IT STARTS WITH ABRAHAM

Specifically, the conquest of Canaan under Joshua’s leadership was based on the Abrahamic Covenant. God, having dealt with all nations, made Abraham the center of His purposes and determined to reach the lost world through Abraham’s seed. The Lord made a contract or covenant with Abraham, promising unconditionally to give a land, a posterity, and spiritual blessing to the patriarch and his descendants (Gen. 12:2-3). Soon thereafter God said He was giving the land to Israel forever (cf. Gen. 13:15). The boundaries of the land were then given to Abraham (Gen. 15:18-21).

GOD KEEPS HIS PROMISES

Later God affirmed that the rightful heirs to the Promised Land were Isaac and his descendants (Gen. 17:19-21). Thus the Book of Joshua records the fulfillment of the patriarchal promise as Israel appropriated the land pledged to her by her faithful God centuries before. That the nation was later dispossessed reflects not on the character of God but on the fickleness of a people who took divine blessings for granted, fell into the worship of their neighbors’ gods, and therefore came under the chastisement God had warned them about (cf. Deut. 28:15-68).

But Israel must possess the land forever according to the promise, something that awaits the return of Messiah and the redemption of Israel. According to the Prophet Isaiah, the Messiah will be a “second Joshua,” who will “restore the land and … reassign its desolate inheritances” (Isa. 49:8).

THE SECOND JOSHUA

Paul taught that the events of the Exodus and Conquest are meaningful for Christians in that those events possess significance as types (cf. 1 Cor. 10:1-11). The Greek form of the name “Joshua” (“Yahweh saves” or “Yahweh is salvation”) is “Jesus.” As Joshua led Israel to victory over her enemies and into possession of the Promised Land, and as he interceded for the nation after it had sinned and been defeated, so does Jesus.

He brings the people of God into a promised rest (Heb. 4:8-9); intercedes for His own continually (Rom. 8:34; Heb. 7:25); and enables them to defeat their enemies (Rom. 8:37; Heb. 2:14-15).

LEARN MORE

The Bible Knowledge Commentary has thorough notes, outlines, and introductions to the books of the Bible. You can learn more about it and see how it works in our app by visiting our website.

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Two Ways To Give

Posted by on 12/20/2017 in:

Do you want to give someone the gift of Olive Tree resources?

Not sure how?

In this blog, you can either watch the video where I’ll show you how to give a monetary gift or a resource! If you’d rather read, I provided screen shots and instructions below.

GIFT CARD

With an Olive Tree gift card you can give any amount starting at $10. Fill out the form and choose to have it sent directly to the recipient or send it to yourself so you can wrap it and put it under the tree. We recommend putting the piece of paper inside a box that’s inside another box that’s inside another box.

Once the form is filled out you’ll see the following screen. You can then add more gift cards or continue to checkout by clicking on the ‘Purchase Cards’ button.

After you’ve completed the checkout the gift card redemption code will be sent to the email you chose.

#2 GIFT A RESOURCE

Another way to give is by gifting a specific title.

Go to the specific product page of the title you want to give. Under the ‘Add to Cart’ button you’ll see the option to ‘Give As Gift’.

giveasgift

Once you click/tap fill out the next screen. Similar to Gift Cards, you have the option to have the redemption code sent directly to the recipient or sent to your email so you can deliver it later.

giveasgift1

GOT QUESTIONS?

Email support@olivetree.com if you ever have any questions. If you’re ready to give a great gift that encourages spiritual growth this Christmas, head on over to olivetree.com to get started.

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An Update on the New American Commentary

Posted by on 12/18/2017 in: ,

Here’s some news! We just released a new version of our New American Commentary Old & New Testament Set. It now holds 42 volumes. You can visit our website here to see all of the volumes included, along with what ones are not available yet.

With this update, we thought it would be nice to share some information with you about this resource. We’ll even give you a look inside. Let’s start!

WHAT IS THE NAC?

The New American Commentary collects the best in contemporary evangelical scholarship in a series that examines the entire Bible in depth. Currently, it offers 18 volumes of commentary on the New Testament and 24 volumes of commentary on the Old Testament.

It based on the NIV Bible text and provides verse-by-verse analysis. Additionally, it is considered to be a mid-level commentary, relfecting comprehensive biblical research in the original languages of the Bible, but avoids using overly-technical language. That way, you don’t have to have a seminary background in order to understand.

The New American Commentary consistently supports the inerrancy of Scripture and contributing scholars all hold explicit commitments to Scripture’s infallibility. Its distinctive perspective is a focus on the theological ideas springing from Scripture.

Along with the textual grounding of an expository commentary, the New American Commentary also focuses on the broader strokes of theology developed by each book, and interprets each book as a theological unity. Rooted in conservative theology, this resource also directly engages a wide range of theological and exegetical issues raised by contemporary biblical scholarship.

A LOOK INSIDE

Every book comes with an outline and book introductions. You can easily navigate through the commentary set with the List View of our toolbar navigation.

You can read the commentary in the main window and open Scripture references and footnotes in a helpful pop-up window.

And as you are reading the Bible, the resource guide will let you know if the NAC has an article on the passage you are reading. All you’ll need to do tap, and it will open, following along with wherever you are in the main window.

If a verse in a different section is references in the commentary, you can still open a pop-up window to read it.

LEARN MORE

If you want to see how the commentary works in our app or learn about its contents, head on over to our website by clicking here.

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5 Helpful Tips to Deepen Your Bible Study

Posted by on 12/14/2017 in:

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. — 2 Timothy 2:15 KJV

The Bible is not an end in itself, but is a means to the end of knowing God and doing His will. The apostle Paul said, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15). God has given us the Bible in order that we might know Him and that we might do His will here on earth.

Therefore, devotional Bible study is the most important kind of Bible study. Devotional Bible study means reading and studying the Word of God in order that we may hear God’s voice and that we may know how to do His will and to live a better Christian life.

For your devotional reading and study of the Bible, here are several important, practical suggestions:

1. BEGIN YOUR BIBLE READING WITH PRAYER

Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law. — Psalm 119:18, KJV

 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you. John 16:13-15

2. TAKE BRIEF NOTES ON WHAT YOU READ

Keep a small notebook for your Bible study.

3. READ SLOWLY

Read slowly through one chapter, or perhaps two or three chapters, or perhaps just one paragraph at a time. After reading, ask yourself what this passage means. Then reread it.

4. IT IS OFTEN VERY HELPFUL IN FINDING OUT THE TRUE MEANING

of the chapter or passage to ask yourself the following questions, then write the answers in your notebook:

  1. What is the main subject of this passage?
  2. Who are the persons reveals in this passage? Who is speaking? About whom is he speaking? Who is acting?
  3. What is the key verse of this passage?
  4. What does this passage teach me about the Lord Jesus Christ?
  5. Does this passage portray any sin for me to confess and foresake?
  6. Does this passage contain any command for me to obey?
  7. Is there any promise for me to claim?
  8. Is there any instruction for me to follow?

Not all of these questions may be answered in every passage.

5. KEEP A SPIRITUAL DIARY

Either in your Bible study notebook mentioned above, or in a separate notebook. Write down daily what God says to you through the Bible. Write down the sins that you confess or the commands you should obey.

Additional Note: Do not try to adopt all of these methods at once, but start out slowly, selecting those methods and suggestions which appeal to you. You will find, as millions of others have before you, that the more you read and study the Word of God, the more you’ll want to read it.

Do you have any tips to add to this list? Share them in the comments

This content was taken from the KJV Study Bible Notes, Full Color Edition. Learn more about this fantastic resource on our website.

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Team-Oriented Ministry

Posted by on 12/13/2017 in:

Ministry is not something that we do alone! Learn about team-oriented ministry from 1 Thessalonians. The content in this blog is taken directly from the Story of God Bible Commentary.

PAUL’S TEAM-ORIENTED MINISTRY

Paul’s opening in his letter to the Thessalonians demonstrates something important about ministry. It is never done by one person. Although Paul may be the primary person in this tripartite ministry team, there is much that he would have been unable to accomplish if he did not also have the support and assistance of Silas and Timothy, his fellow missionaries.

This type of support is evidenced in many of Paul’s letters where he mentions those who assist him — people like Prisca and Aquila (Rom 16:3), Urbanus (Rom 16:9), Timothy (Rom 16:21; 1 Thess 3:2), Apollos (1 Cor 3:5, 9), Silvanus (2 Cor 1:19), Titus (2 Cor 8:23), Epaphroditus (Phil 2:25), Eudoia, Syntyche, and Clement (Phil 4:2–3), Aristrachus, Mark, and Jesus Justus (Col 4:10–11), Demas, Luke, and Philemon (Phm 1, 24; see also Col 4:11).

When you take stock of the number of Paul’s ministry companions and all that he accomplished with them, you realize he had a lot of help.

THE DIFFICULTY OF LEADING A SMALL CHURCH

Most people who train to be pastors will never serve a large congregation. Unless there is someone who works in the church office, chances are they will be the only paid staff member. This means that a lot of responsibility for the ministry of the church falls to them. They are the ones doing the preaching, planning/leading the services, performing weddings and funerals, and visiting the congregation (to name a few).

Leaders feel it’s their job to know everything about everyone in the congregation and to be there for them. And to some degree this can’t be helped. The pastor is usually the one who has the calling and the training for ministry while those she or he serves are often working in jobs outside of the church. But the inherent danger here is that the pastor and congregation can enter into an unspoken agreement that all ministries are the purview of the pastor. The pastor cares and does so much that the congregation forgets or is unaware of its responsibility to bear one another’s burdens.

Ministry, however, is a community effort. It requires all of us to pitch in and do what the Lord bids.

DELEGATION IN MINISTRY

Helping a congregation participate in the ministry of the church can happen in small ways. Rather than do everything, a leader can delegate some responsibility to others in the church.

For example, the pastor doesn’t always need to be the one who opens and closes in prayer or says grace over the church dinners. There may be some who are more gifted in the area of mercy and compassion and have more time in their schedule to visit and minister to the sick.

Developing a lay ministry team within the church can help alleviate the leader of some responsibilities while at the same time training future leaders who will either serve that congregation or another one in some other location. I have met many a student who heard the call to ministry while serving as a volunteer in their home church.

PAUL’S EXAMPLE: TIMOTHY

Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians is an example of team-oriented ministry. Although Paul is the lead person, he is careful to talk about the apostles’ ministry in the plural (“we”).

The role of Timothy in this letter may seem a minor one as he acts as messenger. But this is a role he will serve in faithfully later as he travels on behalf of Paul to both Corinth (1 Cor 4:17) and Philippi (Phil 2:19–24). He is also listed as the coauthor to six of Paul’s letters (2 Corinthians; Philippians; 1 and 2 Thessalonians; Colossians; Philemon). In later life Timothy served the church at Ephesus, and instead of writing and delivering letters for Paul, he was receiving them from Paul (1 Tim 1:2).

Timothy is an excellent example of how team-oriented ministry not only helps the leader to be successful but also prepares them for a leadership role in the church.

LEARN MORE

This content came directly from the Story of God Bible Commentary! You can learn more about this fantastic resource by visiting our website.

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New! Verse of the Day Graphics

Posted by on 12/11/2017 in:


We’ve had the option for our users to receive Verse of the Day notifications for awhile now. We know that it can be a great reminder to get into the Word and to spend time thinking about the Lord.

Now, we’ve been able to add something new to this already well-loved feature on iOS devices.  Let’s check it out.

WHERE TO FIND IT

All you need to do is open the main window and tap “Verse of the Day.” If you have your apps set-up to automatically update on your phone, you’ve probably already seen this! If you haven’t updated yet, you’ll need to do so.

HOW TO USE IT

There’s much more you can do with Verse of the Day than simply read the verse. Tap “Read” to be taken to the passage in context in the main window. Tap “Share” to share the Verse of the Day on social, in a text, or anywhere else. Lastly, tap “settings” to customize this feature the way you want.

VERSE OF THE DAY SETTINGS

Inside the settings, you’re able to select your preferred translation and turn on verse delivery. You can even choose what time you want to receive the notification on your device.

ENJOY!

We hope you love this new feature. Always remember that you can follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. We’ll be sharing these graphics once in awhile!

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Reading Proverbs In the Context of the Old and New Testament

Posted by on 12/11/2017 in:

This post is curated from the Zondervan Academic blog.

Reading Proverbs

One of my seminary professors used to cheekily refer to common Christian devotional practices as our “daily bread crumb.” Meaning: we often take a verse or even part of a verse and spin out a comforting crumb of exhortation at the expense of the whole loaf of biblical bread—whether the surrounding pericope or greater.

Perhaps with no other place in Scripture do we do this than with Proverbs. Ryan O’Dowd offers an important reminder in his new commentary on Proverbs (Story of God Bible Commentary) when studying this book:

such casual study of individual proverbs can be shortsighted, both because it is apt to overlook the endless depth of each saying and also because the sayings take on a whole new life in the larger collection of thirty-one chapters….To get wisdom one must wrangle seriously with all of these proverbial sayings as a collection. (17)

Further still, to fully appreciate this collection of wisdom, we need to set it into its proper context by understanding the entire breadbasket, as it were, of wisdom in the Old and New Testament. Below we’ve briefly engaged the five contexts O’Dowd outlines in his sturdy introduction to fully appreciate the wisdom Scripture offers us.

Wisdom and Creation

First, the Old Testament expresses a role of wisdom in God’s creation of the world. “‘Wisdom’ here is not merely an inert adjective. Rather it speaks to the pattern by which God creates three realms in days 1–3 and then fills them with their appropriate form of life in days 4–6” (39). Psalm 104:24 expresses this relationship:

“How many are your works, O Yahweh! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures” (Author translation)

The wisdom-creation dynamic isn’t limited to the original creation, but also informs earthly project, like building the tabernacle. “The craftspeople are specifically skilled with ‘wisdom’” (40) in order that the glory of Yahweh might fill it.

Wisdom and Law

During the nineteenth and twentieth centuries scholars struggled to relate wisdom literature to Israel’s covenants and redemptive history. Franz Delitzsch was an exception. He argued Proverbs and Deuteronomy echo one another, and many recent scholars have followed suit, O’Doud included:

I argue throughout this commentary that wisdom provides insight into the created and moral order of God’s world, so it makes perfect sense for it to give way to just laws. If Israel had actually obeyed the law, it would have been clear to the nations that this way of ordering society surpassed their own stories and law codes. Indeed, Deuteronomy has a uniquely humanitarian character to it. (41)

Wisdom in Crisis

Then there is the relationship between Proverbs and the similar wisdom works of Job and Ecclesiastes. “The crises in these latter books do not react to the worldview in Proverbs so much as narrow and enhance the more idealistic message of Proverbs.…Job and Ecclesiastes react more strongly to the challenges of life in a fallen world” (40).

So Proverbs strong correlative view of character and consequences is sharpened in Job, drawing us to argue with God in prayer. Where Ecclesiastes is often styled as a reaction to Proverbs’s optimism, in the end it still brings its despair around to Proverbs same foundation of wisdom.

O’Dowd concludes, “whereas Proverbs looks back at the goodness of creation with a hope that is never fully articulated or justified, Job and Ecclesiastes look forward with desperate hope for relief from the heavenly realms” (43).

Wisdom and Prophets

Wisdom within the prophetic literature carries an interesting dynamic, for they are both critical and expectant of it.

On the one hand, “many of the prophets are critical of a class known as ‘the wise’” (43), and criticize Israel for breaking their covenant with Yahweh. On the other, “The prophets also look forward to the coming of a wise messiah,” the One who would “bring together the wisdom, hope, and justice of the law and the wisdom literature” (43-44).

Wisdom and the New Testament

Finally, O’Dowd observes, “We are also prone to overlook wisdom in the New Testament because Christian theology tends to focus more on Jesus’ kingship than his kingdom” (44). And yet wisdom shows itself in four distinct ways in the New Testament:

  • As a child Jesus is depicted as wise in his words and deeds; he is the model son of Proverbs 1:8 and 6:20
  • Jesus’ wisdom is evident in his teachings and works
  • Jesus is revealed through a “wisdom Christology”
  • Wisdom enables Christians to know God’s mysteries in Christ and to live them accordingly

***

“Wisdom is God’s gift to us, not merely to get by in life, but to bring about the flourishing of the whole creation….It could be argued that wisdom has the broadest applicability of the genres in the Bible. It is concerned with everything.”

Engage O’Doud’s commentary on Proverbs inside the Story of God Commentary Series. Learning to navigate Proverbs will help you live and teach others to live flourishing lives. Visit the Olive Tree website to learn more.

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The Satisfied Life – Psalm 91

Posted by on 12/07/2017 in:

Life can be difficult and dangerous, but in the Psalms we see God’s faithfulness to us through the difficult and dangerous times. This excerpt, taken directly from the BE Series Commentary by Wiersbe, walks us through Psalm 91. Even when life is dangerous, in God we can have a hidden, protected, and satisfied life.

BE Exultant – Book IV, Psalm 91

The previous Psalm focuses on dealing with the difficulties of life, but the emphasis in this psalm is on the dangers of life. The anonymous author (though some think Moses wrote it) warns about hidden traps, deadly plagues, terrors at night and arrows by day, stumbling over rocks, and facing lions and snakes! However, in view of terrorist attacks, snipers, reckless drivers, exotic new diseases, and Saturday-night handgun specials, the contemporary scene may be as dangerous as the one described in the psalm.

The saints who abide in Christ (vv. 1, 9) cannot avoid confronting unknown perils, but they can escape the evil consequences. Moses, David, and Paul, and a host of other servants of God faced great danger in accomplishing God’s will, and the Lord saw them through. However, Hebrews 11:36 cautions us that “others” were tortured and martyred, yet their faith was just as real. But generally speaking, walking with the Lord does help us to detect and avoid a great deal of trouble, and it is better to suffer in the will of God than to invite trouble by disobeying God’s will (1 Peter 2:18-25). The psalmist described the elements involved in living the life of confidence and victory.

FAITH IN GOD–THE HIDDEN LIFE (vv. 1-4)

The most important part of a believer’s life is the part that only God sees, the “hidden life” of communion and worship that is symbolized by the Holy of Holies in the Jewish sanctuary (Ex. 25:18-22). God is our refuge and strength (46:1). He hides us that He might help us and then send us back to serve Him in the struggles of life. (See 27:5) The author of the psalm had two “addresses”: his tent (v. 10) and his Lord (vv. 1, 9). The safest place in the world is a shadow, if it is the shadow of the Almighty. Through Jesus Christ we find safety and satisfaction under the wings of the cherubim in the Holy of Holies (36:7-8). Jesus pictured salvation by describing chicks hiding under the wings of the mother hen (Matt. 23:37; Luke 13:34), and the psalmist pictured communion as believers resting under the wings of the cherubim in the tabernacle.

The names of God used in these verses encourage us to trust Him. He is the Most High (Elyon, vv. 1, 9), a name found first in Genesis 14:18-20. He is higher than the kings of the earth and the false gods of the nations. He is also the Almighty (SHADDAI), the all-sufficient God who is adequate for every situation. (See Gen. 17:1.) He is Lord (vv. 2, 9), Jehovah, the covenant-making God who is faithful to His promises. He is God (ELOHIM, v. 2), the powerful God whose greatness and glory surpass anything we can imagine.

This is the God who invites us to fellowship with Him in the Holy of Holies! This hidden life of worship and communion makes possible the public life of obedience and service. This God shelters us beneath the wings of the cherubim, but He also gives us the spiritual armor we need (v. 4; Eph. 6:10-18). His truth and faithfulness protect us as we claim His promises and obey Him. The shield is the large shield that covers the whole person. (See Gen. 15:1; Deut. 33:29; 2 Sam. 22:3.) Some translations give “bulwark” or “rampart” instead of “buckler.” The Hebrew word means “to go around” and would describe a mound of earth around a fortress. But the message is clear: Those who abide in the Lord are safe when they are doing His will. God’s servants are immortal until their work is done (Rom. 8:28-39).

PEACE FROM GOD–THE PROTECTED LIFE (vv. 5-13)

When we practice “the hidden life” we are not alone, for God is with us and compensates for our inadequacies. This paragraph emphasizes that we need not be afraid because the Lord and His angels watch over us. In the ancient Near East, travel was dangerous, unless you were protected by armed guards. (It is not much different in some large cities today.) “Terror by night” could mean simply “the fear of the dark” and of what can happen in the darkness. Contaminated water and food, plus an absence of sound health measures, made it easy to contract diseases by day or by night, although “the destruction that lays waste at noon” (v. 6 NASB) could refer to the effects of the burning rays of the sun.

Verses 7-8 read like the description of a battle and may have a direct relationship to the covenant promises God made with Israel (Lev. 26:8; Deut. 32:30). With their own eyes, Israel saw the grief of the Egyptians over their firstborn who died on Passover night (Ex. 12:29-30), and they also saw the Egyptian army dead on the shore of the Red Sea (Ex. 14:26-31), yet no harm came to the people of Israel. God’s angel went before them to prepare the way and to lead the way (Ex. 23:20). Satan quoted part of verses 11-12 when he tempted Jesus in the wilderness (Matt. 4:6), and the Lord responded with Deuteronomy 6:16.

If the Father had commanded Jesus to jump from the temple pinnacle, then the angels would have cared for Jesus, but to jump without the Father’s command would have been presumption, not faith, and that would be tempting the Father. In Scripture, the lion and serpent (cobra) are images of Satan (1 Peter 5:8; Gen. 3; 2 Cor. 11:3; Rev. 12:9; 20:2; and see Luke 10:19; Rom. 16:20). In the ancient Near East, both were dangerous enemies, especially for travelers walking along the narrow paths.

LOVE FOR GOD–THE SATISFIED LIFE (vv. 14-16)

The Lord spoke and announced what He would do for those of His people who truly loved Him and acknowledged Him with obedient lives. The word translated “love” is not the usual word but one that means “to cling to, to cleave, to be passionate.” It is used in Deuteronomy 7:7 and 10:15 for the love Jehovah has for His people Israel. (See John 14:21-24.) Among His blessings will be deliverance and protection (“set him on high”), answered prayer, companionship in times of trouble, honor, satisfaction, and a long life (see 21:4; Ex. 20:12; Deut. 30:20).

The salvation mentioned at the end of the psalm may mean help and deliverance during life, as in 50:23, or the joy of beholding the glory of God after a long and satisfied life. To the Jewish people, living a long life and seeing one’s children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren was the ultimate of blessing in this life. Like Abraham, they wanted to die in a good old age and “full of years” (Gen. 25:8), which means “a fulfilled life.” It’s one thing for doctors to add years to our lives, but God adds life to our years and makes that life worthwhile.

QUESTIONS FOR DEEPER THINKING

  1. What two addresses did the psalmist have (vv. 1, 9, 10)? Which one is everlasting? How should you live, knowing which address is everlasting?
  2. Do you agree or disagree that the believer who does the will of God is safer in a war zone than in a house in the suburbs? Explain.
  3. How would you define “high quality of life” according to this psalm? What is the good life?

LEARN MORE

Interested in more articles and questions like these to enrich your study of God’s Word? The BE Series Commentary is currently on sale! You can learn more about this resource and how it works in our app by visiting our website.

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