July 28

Pastor’s Note

In Psalm 53 we read a set of sobering lyrics regarding the moral issues that drive bad theology (or no theology at all). May we see the world’s great need for Christ’s redemptive work through the words of this psalm. May we personally respond with the comforting perspective found in Psalms 54-55. Paul’s tumultuous journey continues in the second half of Acts 27. May his life and ministry remind us that most of ours are relatively peaceful by comparison.

— Pastor Mike

Psalms 53-55

There Is None Who Does Good

To the choirmaster: according to Mahalath. A Maskil [1] of David.

53:1 The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”
They are corrupt, doing abominable iniquity;
there is none who does good.

God looks down from heaven
on the children of man
to see if there are any who understand, [2]
who seek after God.

They have all fallen away;
together they have become corrupt;
there is none who does good,
not even one.

Have those who work evil no knowledge,
who eat up my people as they eat bread,
and do not call upon God?

There they are, in great terror,
where there is no terror!
For God scatters the bones of him who encamps against you;
you put them to shame, for God has rejected them.

Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion!
When God restores the fortunes of his people,
let Jacob rejoice, let Israel be glad.

The Lord Upholds My Life

To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments. A Maskil [3] of David, when the Ziphites went and told Saul, “Is not David hiding among us?”

54:1 O God, save me by your name,
and vindicate me by your might.
O God, hear my prayer;
give ear to the words of my mouth.

For strangers [4] have risen against me;
ruthless men seek my life;
they do not set God before themselves. Selah

Behold, God is my helper;
the Lord is the upholder of my life.
He will return the evil to my enemies;
in your faithfulness put an end to them.

With a freewill offering I will sacrifice to you;
I will give thanks to your name, O Lord, for it is good.
For he has delivered me from every trouble,
and my eye has looked in triumph on my enemies.

Cast Your Burden on the Lord

To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments. A Maskil [5] of David.

55:1 Give ear to my prayer, O God,
and hide not yourself from my plea for mercy!
Attend to me, and answer me;
I am restless in my complaint and I moan,
because of the noise of the enemy,
because of the oppression of the wicked.
For they drop trouble upon me,
and in anger they bear a grudge against me.

My heart is in anguish within me;
the terrors of death have fallen upon me.
Fear and trembling come upon me,
and horror overwhelms me.
And I say, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove!
I would fly away and be at rest;
yes, I would wander far away;
I would lodge in the wilderness; Selah
I would hurry to find a shelter
from the raging wind and tempest.”

Destroy, O Lord, divide their tongues;
for I see violence and strife in the city.
10 Day and night they go around it
on its walls,
and iniquity and trouble are within it;
11 ruin is in its midst;
oppression and fraud
do not depart from its marketplace.

12 For it is not an enemy who taunts me—
then I could bear it;
it is not an adversary who deals insolently with me—
then I could hide from him.
13 But it is you, a man, my equal,
my companion, my familiar friend.
14 We used to take sweet counsel together;
within God’s house we walked in the throng.
15 Let death steal over them;
let them go down to Sheol alive;
for evil is in their dwelling place and in their heart.

16 But I call to God,
and the Lord will save me.
17 Evening and morning and at noon
I utter my complaint and moan,
and he hears my voice.
18 He redeems my soul in safety
from the battle that I wage,
for many are arrayed against me.
19 God will give ear and humble them,
he who is enthroned from of old, Selah
because they do not change
and do not fear God.

20 My companion [6] stretched out his hand against his friends;
he violated his covenant.
21 His speech was smooth as butter,
yet war was in his heart;
his words were softer than oil,
yet they were drawn swords.

22 Cast your burden on the Lord,
and he will sustain you;
he will never permit
the righteous to be moved.

23 But you, O God, will cast them down
into the pit of destruction;
men of blood and treachery
shall not live out half their days.
But I will trust in you.

Acts 27:26-44

26 But we must run aground on some island.”

27 When the fourteenth night had come, as we were being driven across the Adriatic Sea, about midnight the sailors suspected that they were nearing land. 28 So they took a sounding and found twenty fathoms. [7] A little farther on they took a sounding again and found fifteen fathoms. [8] 29 And fearing that we might run on the rocks, they let down four anchors from the stern and prayed for day to come. 30 And as the sailors were seeking to escape from the ship, and had lowered the ship’s boat into the sea under pretense of laying out anchors from the bow, 31 Paul said to the centurion and the soldiers, “Unless these men stay in the ship, you cannot be saved.” 32 Then the soldiers cut away the ropes of the ship’s boat and let it go.

33 As day was about to dawn, Paul urged them all to take some food, saying, “Today is the fourteenth day that you have continued in suspense and without food, having taken nothing. 34 Therefore I urge you to take some food. For it will give you strength, for not a hair is to perish from the head of any of you.” 35 And when he had said these things, he took bread, and giving thanks to God in the presence of all he broke it and began to eat. 36 Then they all were encouraged and ate some food themselves. 37 (We were in all 276 [9] persons in the ship.) 38 And when they had eaten enough, they lightened the ship, throwing out the wheat into the sea.

The Shipwreck

39 Now when it was day, they did not recognize the land, but they noticed a bay with a beach, on which they planned if possible to run the ship ashore. 40 So they cast off the anchors and left them in the sea, at the same time loosening the ropes that tied the rudders. Then hoisting the foresail to the wind they made for the beach. 41 But striking a reef, [10] they ran the vessel aground. The bow stuck and remained immovable, and the stern was being broken up by the surf. 42 The soldiers’ plan was to kill the prisoners, lest any should swim away and escape. 43 But the centurion, wishing to save Paul, kept them from carrying out their plan. He ordered those who could swim to jump overboard first and make for the land, 44 and the rest on planks or on pieces of the ship. And so it was that all were brought safely to land. (ESV)

Footnotes

[1] 53:1 Probably musical or liturgical terms
[2] 53:2 Or who act wisely
[3] 54:1 Probably a musical or liturgical term
[4] 54:3 Some Hebrew manuscripts and Targum insolent men (compare Psalm 86:14)
[5] 55:1 Probably a musical or liturgical term
[6] 55:20 Hebrew He
[7] 27:28 About 120 feet; a fathom (Greek orguia) was about 6 feet or 2 meters
[8] 27:28 About 90 feet (see previous note)
[9] 27:37 Some manuscripts seventy-six, or about seventy-six
[10] 27:41 Or sandbank, or crosscurrent; Greek place between two seas

  • CheriClark

    OT

    Psalm 55:22 22 Cast your burden on the Lord,and he will sustain you;he will never permit

    the righteous to be moved.

    Then: David is asking for God’s help against his enemies.

    Always: As believers we can cast our burdens upon the Lord.

    Now: How precious it is that we can tell our burdens to God, leave them in His hands, and let Him handle them. He is more than capable of handling our burdens. And He tells us to give them to Him. Not to give them and then take them back but to completely give what is causing us heartache to Him. May we rest totally in the arms of our loving ‘Abba’, Father, and leave our burdens at His feet.

    NT

    Acts 27:35-36 35 And when he had said these things, he took bread, and giving thanks to God in the presence of all he broke it and began to eat. 36 Then they all were encouraged and ate some food themselves.

    Then: After 14 days of being tossed by the storm and with an impeding shipwreck seeming to be unavoidable, Paul gives thanks to God in the presence of all.

    Always: We as believers should thank God in all circumstances.

    Now: It seems so contradictory to give thanks to God when things are falling apart. But we should. It seems unreal to praise God when our hearts are breaking but we should. It seems silly to be grateful when we feel a loss but we should. Circumstances of life are just that – circumstances – they come and go. God remains. He is eternal, He endures, and He never changes. May we be joyful in our circumstances not because of them but because of who God is. God is in control. We are in His loving hands. He is on His throne. The victory is won. It is finished. Our future is secured. May those facts cause joy to be our ever present mindset and may we give thanks to God in all situations.

    • Anne Ventura

      God is our sustainer. May I always give my burdens to Him and not be an Indian Giver.

  • Anne Ventura

    Psalm 55:22

    22 Cast your burden on the Lord,
and he will sustain you;
he will never permit 
the righteous to be moved.

    Lord, you are merciful to not let the righteous continue in their burden, but to vindicate in the end.

    Acts 27:34

    34 Therefore I urge you to take some food. For it will give you strength, for not a hair is to perish from the head of any of you.

    Paul knows that God will sustain them all and encourages them.

    Lord may I always seek you and obey in the storms of my life.

    • CheriClark

      Are you feeling better? Missed you on Sunday in Class.

      • Anne Ventura

        Thank you Cheri. Yes, was just tired and resting. Watched CLASS on-line.

  • Debbie Maxwell

    Acts 27:43 But the centurion wanted to spare Paul’s life and kept them from carrying out their plan.

    In the midst of a tremendous trial, Paul continues to totally stay calm and assured… Knowing he is in the center of Gods will for his life.

    Thinking about that centurion….. and the witness of Paul during this voyage….reminds me of the importance of our witness, no matter how severe the trial or circumstance, knowing our Heavenly Father will provide all that we have need of,as we walk in His ways and carry out His will for our lives.

    Thankful for the precious Lamb of God, who for the joy set before Him….
    Heb. 12:2 looking to Jesus., the founder and perfecter of our faith, endured the cross,despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

    May we allow Him to have His perfect way with us.

    • CheriClark

      “May we allow Him to have His perfect way with us.” — YES!

    • Anne Ventura

      Yes Debbie, Amen!!!

  • Beth Metcalf

    Behold, God is my helper; the Lord is the upholder of my life. Psalm 54:4 Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you;he will never permit the righteous to be moved. Psalm 55:22 “And when he had said these things, he took bread, and giving thanks to God in the presence of all he broke it and began to eat.” Acts 27:35 ( O Lord God we need to remind ourselves in your Word, that you are our helper! The upholder of our lives! We need not be sad or stressed! We need to cast our burdens on you, and take actions where you want us to, and trust you! because you sustain your children. Do we always remember to thank you in everything? Especially every time you provide food for us? Thank you triune God!)

  • NonieS

    Psalm 55

    22 Cast your burden on the Lord,
    and he will sustain you;
    he will never permit
    the righteous to be moved.

    Thank you Lord!

    Acts 27

    43 But the centurion wanted to spare Paul’s life and kept them from carrying out their plan.

    Paul had been the one to keep up the moral of the men, and show his trust in the Lord. This must have impressed those on the ship, to see how calm he remained through the storm. When I go through storms, am I showing others my trust in the Lord? I pray that I will! Maranatha!

  • CrisFrancisco

    July 28, 2015

    OT
    22 Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved. (‭Psalm‬ ‭55‬:‭22‬ ESV)

    NT
    35 And when he had said these things, he took bread, and giving thanks to God in the presence of all he broke it and began to eat. (‭Acts‬ ‭27‬:‭35‬ ESV)

    These verses work in conjunction with one another. In the middle of a long stay and see when others are fearing death and starvation, Paul is able to remain calm because he has cast his burden upon the Lord. No matter what trials we face we need to trust in the one true God who will never let the righteous be moved.

    Rejoice always, pray without seizing, give thanks in all circumstances for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

  • Alyssa Cuccia

    “And the rest on planks or on pieces of the ship. And so it was that all were brought safely to land.” Acts 27:44

    In verse 22 Paul had said that there would be no loss of life among anyone that was on the ship with him, 276 people to be exact (as we are told in verse 37). As we continue reading, there are a few things that come up that may have caused doubt about these words that Paul had heard from an angel of the Lord. What I was reminded of as I read this chapter was the promise found in Job 42:2 where it says, “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.” I reference this verse often because it holds such encouraging truth–NO purpose of God’s can be thwarted. The men could’ve died of starvation, Paul could’ve been left behind for dead along with all the prioners…but because of Gods intercession all 276 made it safely to land just as He had said. As we battle through the Christian life may we always remember the truth that the Lord will bring us safely home. Marantha, O Lord come!

  • Cj Kemble

    Acts: 27:42-44
    The soldiers’ plan was to kill the prisoners, lest ay should wim away and escape. But the centurion, wishing to save Paul, kept tem from carrying out their plan. He ordered those who could swim to jimp overboard first and make for the land, and the rest on planks, or on pieces of the ship. And so it was that all were brought safely to land.

    Then: Paul was a prisoner on a ship sailing to Rome when a storm hit the ship and ended up having to wreck it on the shores of Malta. In the midst of the chaos and fear, Paul told them in an earlier verse, that an angel of the Lord told him that everyone would come out of that storm safely. Even admist the soldiers’ desire to kill the prisoners to save their own skin, Paul had an ally in the centurion who made sure everyone made it safely to shore. As the angel told Paul, so it came to be, as we see in verse 44.

    Always: God is sovreign. No matter how difficult or scary the circumstances may seem, his purpose will be accomplished.

    Now: How often do I doubt God’s sovreignty and omnipotence? How often am I overwhelmed by the storms of life and the uncertainy of the future? I have been quite convicted of this since going through chapter two of Partners and since then, have been praising God daily for his absolute power and plan for my life. I take such comfort in Isaiah 14:24 “The Lord of hosts has sworn: “As I have planned, so shall it be, and as I have purposed, so shall it stand,” and Job 42:2 “no purpose of the Lord’s can be thwarted.” I am SO thankful to serve a God who is awesome in power and faitful to lead and protect me!!

  • RyanDamato

    Psalm 54-

    7 For he has delivered me from every trouble,

    and my eye has looked in triumph on my enemies.

    David was writing from a difficult time in his life. He was fleeing from his own king and the Ziphites knew where he was. Their allegiance to King Saul would once again put David in a position of sparing Saul’s life, proving to them that his God leads to triumph and continues to deliver him.

    Christians should see the confidence they can gain by trusting fully in God’s salvation and his justice. If we do as we’re expected to do, he will work his will and give us victory in the long run.

    It’s easy to try and “fix” things my own way. It’s easy to see an “acceptable” way out and justify it based on human principals but God is bigger. I need to allow God to work his plan his way and I need to make sure I’m not injecting my way into it. I want to smart and be strong and seek God in all of my words and actions and allow him to deliver me no matter what the trial might be.

    Acts 27-

    42 The soldiers’ plan was to kill the prisoners, lest any should swim away and escape. 43 But the centurion, wishing to save Paul, kept them from carrying out their plan. He ordered those who could swim to jump overboard first and make for the land,

    The storm that set in caused all kinds of craziness in the minds of the soldiers. They were so concerned with their punishment of letting the prisoners escape that they thought killing them would be the solution. They quickly turned from Paul’s words of nobody dieing and they wanted to try and handle things their way. God had different plans as he used Paul to make an impression on the centurion an as a result thwarting the plans of the soldiers.

    Christians have an inherent opportunity to make an impression on the right people. If we speak truth and our truth is based on gentleness and respect, we’ll tweak the ears of many. God can and will use those truths to build trust and respect towards us, giving us a platform to speak and proclaim the gospel.

    Paul is a great example of this. The way he gained respect from powerful people is a great example to me. I want to be able to use the right words…the truth, to gain respect from others. I don’t want to be disrespected because of a lack of wisdom and discernment when speaking. I want to make sure that when I’m in need, those that I’ve left an impression on won’t turn their back on me but rather give me another opportunity to share the hope that I have.

  • maverick moore

    Acts 27:42-44 God was there with Paul the entire time.