Shining a light on the weekly Bible Lessons published in the Christian Science Quarterly® 

Soul

from the Golden Text

Psalms 22:27

Everyone on this earth 
will remember you, Lord.

—Contemporary English Version

Psalm 22 opens with the cry recalled by Jesus from the cross—“My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”—but concludes with triumphant language, including this declaration of hope.

from the Responsive Reading

Psalms 77:11, 12

I will remember the works of the Lord: surely I will remember thy wonders of old. I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings.

Hebrew Bible texts refer repeatedly to God’s wonders, especially the manifestations of divine might performed during the Exodus from Egypt. “The biblical religion was not evolved from some theory concerning God’s power,” explains a scholar, “but arose through an actual historical manifestation of that power.” 

Meditating on the things of God is a common precept in the book of Psalms (see examples in 1:2119:97). The same commentator depicts meditation as “active contemplation, not wandering reverie. It depends on purposeful concentration of the mind on the subject of meditation and deliberate expulsion of discordant thoughts and images.” 

Hebrew leader Joshua mentions meditation on Mosaic law as a means of following it: “Thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein” (Joshua 1:8).

commune: talk or communicate closely
diligent: careful; thorough
sanctuary: holy or sacred place

Job 23:5, 10

I would know the words which he would answer me, and understand what he would say unto me. . . . he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.

Job is speaking here, greatly desiring above all else to understand God. Though at this moment he doesn’t see clear evidence of God in his life, Job believes that God is aware of his innocence—and he is confident that God will meet his needs.

esteemed: thought of; considered

from Section 1

1 | Leviticus 26:1, 11, 12

I am the Lord your God. . . . And I will set my tabernacle among you: and my soul shall not abhor you. And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my people.

Centuries after this writing, the Revelator echoes this promise: “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God” (Revelation 21:3).

Assurance of God’s presence—conveyed by the pledge “I will be with thee”—is given to Isaac, Jacob, Moses, and Joshua (see Genesis 26:331:3Exodus 3:12Deuteronomy 31:23). And Isaiah prophesies, “When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee” (Isaiah 43:2).

abhor: feel deep hatred or disgust

Translation
2 | Isaiah 26:8, 9

In the way of thy judgments, O Lord, have we waited for thee; the desire of our soul is to thy name, and to the remembrance of thee. With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early.

• • •

Certainly, we wait with hope for you, O Lord,
as we follow the path of your guiding principles. 
We want to remember you and your name. 
With my soul I long for you at night. 
Yes, with my spirit I eagerly look for you.

—GOD’S WORD Translation

from Section 2

4 | Psalms 63:1, 5, 6

O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is. . . . My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips: when I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches.

The words “A psalm of David, when he was in the wilderness of Judah” introduce this poem. Some Bible authorities think the attribution alludes to a time David was forced to hide in the wilderness, either from King Saul or from his own son Absalom (see I Samuel 22:5II Samuel 15:13–28). David longs to feel God’s presence in the wilderness as vividly as he has “seen” God in his place of worship (see v. 2). One source notes, “God supplies the seeking spirit with the maximum good.”

Translation
4 | Psalms 63:5, 6, 8

My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips: when I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches. . . . My soul followeth hard after thee: thy right hand upholdeth me. 

• • •

You satisfy me more than the richest feast. 
   I will praise you with songs of joy. 
I lie awake thinking of you, 
   meditating on you through the night. . . . 
I cling to you; 
   your strong right hand holds me securely.

—New Living Translation

from Section 3

7 | Isaiah 61:10

I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.

Translation

The Lord makes me very happy. 
   All that I am rejoices in my God. 
The Lord has covered me with clothes of salvation. 
   He has covered me with a coat of goodness. 
I am like a bridegroom dressed for his wedding. 
   I am like a bride dressed in jewels.

—International Children’s Bible

Images of bridal garments and jewels convey the glory God bestows on His children. This verse follows the prophetic text quoted by Jesus in announcing his status as Savior (see Luke 4:18, 19).

Mention of covering with “the robe of righteousness” recalls Ruth’s request of Boaz: “Spread thy skirt over thine handmaid” (Ruth 3:9)—considered a marriage proposal by some commentaries. Similar language appears in Ezekiel 16:8 to describe God’s protective care: “I spread my skirt over thee, and covered thy nakedness.”

8 | Genesis 24:14, 27

Let it come to pass, that the damsel to whom I shall say, Let down thy pitcher, I pray thee, that I may drink; and she shall say, Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also: let the same be she that thou hast appointed for thy servant Isaac; and thereby shall I know that thou hast shewed kindness unto my master. . . . Blessed be the Lord God of my master Abraham, who hath not left destitute my master of his mercy and his truth.

Public wells were gathering places for community members and visitors, so this location was a natural destination for Abraham’s servant. Upon arriving, he petitions Yahweh for help in identifying Isaac’s future wife—an indication of his conviction of God’s guidance in human affairs. (Later both Jacob and Moses would meet their future wives at wells; see Genesis 29:1–18Exodus 2:13–21.)

A scholar suggests, “Individual, direct contact with God, a feeling of constant nearness to the divine, an understanding of God as approachable—all these are prominent motifs in the religion of Israel, and they find expression in the simple pious prayer of Abraham’s servant.”

kindred: family and relations
damsel: young unmarried woman
destitute … of: lacking something necessary

8 | Genesis 24:64

Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she lighted off the camel.

lighted off: dismounted; got down

9 | Matthew 19:6

What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

A group of Pharisees, trying to entrap Jesus, have asked him whether or not divorce is lawful. In response the Master first refers them to Genesis 1:27, which records God’s creation of man in His image, “male and female” (see Matthew 19:4). Then he cites Genesis 2:24: “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh” (see Matthew 19:5). 

asunder: apart

from Section 4

Translation
10 | I Chronicles 22:19

Now set your heart and your soul to seek the Lord your God.

• • •

Now set your mind and heart to seek (inquire of and require as your vital necessity) the Lord your God.

—Amplified® Bible Classic

Translation
11 | Job 11:16

Thou shalt forget thy misery, and remember it as waters that pass away.

• • •

. . . you will forget your suffering, 
recalling it only as waters that have flowed by.

—Holman Christian Standard Bible

misery: great unhappiness or discomfort

12 | II Timothy 1:7

God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Translation

. . . the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.

—New International Version

Deilia, the Greek word translated fear, appears only here in Scripture. It describes extreme timidity, even cowardice, in the face of a challenge or battle.

sound: healthy; stable; free from injury or disease

from Section 5

Translation
13 | Psalms 42:11

Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.

• • •

Why are you discouraged, my soul? 
Why are you so restless? 
Put your hope in God, 
because I will still praise him. 
He is my savior and my God.

—GOD’S WORD Translation

Translation
14 | Job 36:24

Remember that thou magnify his work, which men behold. 

• • •

Remember to praise his work 
   that all of us have seen.

—Common English Bible

from Section 6

17 | Matthew 12:18

Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles.

Translation

“Here is my servant whom I have chosen. 
   I love him, and I am pleased with him. 
I will put my Spirit upon him, 
   and he will tell of my justice to all people.”

—New Century Version

Gospel writer Matthew uses Hebrew Bible prophecy multiple times as evidence of Christ Jesus’ divinely appointed mission (see other instances in 1:22, 238:16,17). In this passage he is alluding to Isaiah 42:1 (citation 21).

Gentiles: people who are not Jewish

Translation
18 | Matthew 16:24

Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

• • •

Then Jesus said to his followers, “If people want to follow me, they must give up the things they want. They must be willing even to give up their lives to follow me.

—New Century Version

from Section 7

Translation
21| Isaiah 42:6

I the Lord have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles.

• • •

The Lord says, “I called you to do right. 
   And I will hold your hand. 
I will protect you. 
   You will be the sign of my agreement with the people. 
   You will be a light to shine for all people.”

—International Children’s Bible

Translation
22 | Psalms 116:7

Return unto thy rest, O my soul; for the Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee.

• • •

I tell myself, You can be at peace again, 
   because the Lord has been good to you.

—Common English Bible

Related healing ideas


Read a related article at: https://jsh.christianscience.com/bride-and-bridegroom

The Bible Lessons serve as weekly study guides as well as the sermon in every Christian Science Sunday church service. Learn more at BibleLesson.com

Resources quoted in this issue

GT: Contemporary English Version, copyright © 1991, 1992, 1995 by American Bible Society. Used by permission.

RR: Richardson, Alan. A Theological Word Book of the Bible. London: SCM Press, 1977.

Cit. 4: Buttrick, George Arthur, Harmon, Nolan B., et al., eds. The Interpreter’s Bible: A Commentary in Twelve Volumes. Vol. 4, Psalms, Proverbs. Nashville: Abingdon, 1951–57.

Cit. 8: Sarna, Nahum M. Understanding Genesis. New York, NY: Schocken, 1966.

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