Thursday, August 29, 2013

Ps 42

Ps 42:1 As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God.
:2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?
:3 My tears have been my food day and night, while they continually say to me, “Where is your God?”
:4 When I remember these things, I pour out my soul within me. For I used to go with the multitude; I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept a pilgrim feast.
:5 Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance.
:6 O my God, my soul is cast down within me; therefore I will remember You from the land of the Jordan, and from the heights of Hermon, from the Hill Mizar.
:7 Deep calls unto deep at the noise of Your waterfalls; all Your waves and billows have gone over me.
:8 The Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night His song shall be with me – a prayer to the God of my life.
:9 I will say to God my Rock, “why have You forgotten me? Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?”
:10 As with a breaking of my bones, my enemies reproach me, while they say to me all day long, “Where is your God?”
:11 Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God.

This is listed as Yearning for God in the Midst of Distresses.
This is the first psalm to designate someone other than David as the author.

How long has it been since you were thirsty for God? Maybe as you read this you feel far from the Lord. You might be discouraged or depressed. You might be exhausted from pursuing success or financial security. You might realize as you stop for a minute and really think about it, that you are the one who has put so much distance between yourself and God. Let the Holy Spirit use the words of this psalm to stir a longing for God in your heart. Pursue a restored relationship with the Lord as if your spiritual life depended on it, because it does!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

PS 41

Ps 41:1 Blessed is he who considers the poor; the Lord will deliver him in time of trouble.
:2 The Lord will preserve him and keep him alive, and he will be blessed on the earth; You will not deliver him to the will of his enemies.
:3 The Lord will strengthen him on his bed of illness; You will sustain him on his sickbed.
:4 I said, “ Lord, be merciful to me; heal my soul, for I have sinned against You.”
:5 My enemies speak evil of me: “When will he die, and his name perish?”
:6 And if he comes to see me, he speaks lies; his heart gathers iniquity to itself; when he goes out, he tells it.
:7 All who hate me whisper together against me; against me they devise my hurt.
:8 “An evil disease,” they say, “cling to him. And now that he lies down, he will rise up no more.”
:9 Even my own familiar friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, as lifted up his heel against me.
:10 But You, O Lord, be merciful to me, and raise me up, that I may repay them.
:11 By this I know that You are well pleased with me, because my enemy does not triumph over me.
:12 As for me, You uphold me in my integrity, and set me before Your face forever.
:13 Blessed be the Lord God of Israel from everlasting to everlasting! Amen and Amen.

This is headed as the Blessing and Suffering of the Godly.

Sounds like David is seriously ill and his enemies are hoping he dies.

This psalm kinda reads like a review of the first 40.

  1. Sin that needs forgiving. (ps 32 and 38)
  2. Sickness that needs healing (ps 6 and 38)
  3. A cry for help is heard and a new song emerges (ps 40)
  4. A whole lot of enemies hoping something bad happens to him

We don't really know the actual circumstance of when this was written. But it doesn't really matter. It applies to a lot of situations.

  1. When we are sick.
  2. When we need God's forgiveness.
  3. When we are attacked or betrayed.

As you read through this psalm underline or circle everything the Lord does.

  1. He delivers
  2. He preserves
  3. He blesses
  4. He strengthens
  5. He restores us to health
  6. He has mercy on us
  7. He upholds us

It is easy in the tough times to focus on the problems; David challenges us to focus on the Lord.

David knew what it was like to have a close friend turn against him. (verse 9)

If you've had a trusted friend, spouse or child turn against you, you know how David felt. His son and his friend turned against him. You also know how Jesus felt. One of Jesus' closest followers betrayed Him. In John 13:18 Jesus quoted from Psalm 41:9 as a prediction of His own betrayal by a close friend. He never took revenge on His betrayer. He just kept reaching out to him in grace and Judas turned away from Jesus' love forever. Jesus can help you respond in grace to your betrayer too. Easy to say, hard to do. I have been betrayed by close friends a couple of times. It is much easier being attacked no matter how wrongly by someone who doesn't really know you isn't it?

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Ps 40

Ps 40:1 I waited patiently for the Lord; and He inclined to me, and heard my cry,
:2 He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my steps.
:3 He has put a new song in my mouth – praise to our God; many will see it and fear, and will trust in the Lord.
:4 Blessed is that man who makes the Lord his trust, and does not respect the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.
:5 Many, O Lord my God are Your wonderful works which You have done; and Your thoughts toward us cannot be recounted to You in order; if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.
:6 Sacrifice and offering You did not desire; my ears You have opened, Burnt offering and sin offering You did not require.
:7 Then I said, “Behold, I come; in the scroll of the book it is written of me,
:8 I delight to do Your will, O my God, and Your law is within my heart.”
:9 I have proclaimed the good news of righteousness in the great assembly; indeed, I do not restrain my lips, O Lord, You Yourself know.
:10 I have not hidden Your righteousness within my heart; I have declared Your faithfulness and Your truth from the great assembly.
:11 Do not withhold Your tender mercies from me, O Lord; let Your lovingkindness and Your truth continually preserve me.
:12 For innumerable evils have surrounded me; my iniquities have overtaken me, so that I am not able to look up; they are more than the hairs of my head; therefore my heart fails me
:13 Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver me; O Lord, make haste to help me!
:14 Let them be ashamed and brought to mutual confusion who seek to destroy my life; let them be driven backward and brought to dishonor who wish me evil.
:15 Let them be confounded because of their shame, who say to me, “Aha, aha!”
:16 Let all those who seek You rejoice and be glad in You; let such as love Your salvation say continually, “The Lord be magnified!”
:17 Bur I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinks upon me. You are my help and my deliverer; do not delay, O my God.

This is headed as Faith Persevering in Trial.

This psalm shows God bringing David through a trial and another one starting. Isn't that the way life is? It may not have been in the timing or way David wanted or expected but He came through. He will always come if we are faithful.

Until God comes we must wait, not the angry pacing back and forth kind of waiting. Not the impatient why isn't this drive through line moving. Not the sleepy when will this sermon end waiting,. David waited expectantly. He knew that God had heard his cry and would come to his aid.

Think back to your last crisis. Was your first impulse to call out to God for help and deliverance> Once you prayed did you trust God to be actively working for your good in the situation? Did you wait expectantly? That's the response of a faith filled heart.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Ps 39

Ps 39:1 I said, “I will guard my ways, lest I sin with my tongue; I will restrain my mouth with a muzzle, while the wicked are before me,”
:2 I was mute with silence, I held my peace even from good; and my sorrow was stirred up.
:3 My heart was hot within me; while I was musing, the fire burned. Then I spoke with my tongue:
:4”Lord, make me to know my end, and what is the measure of my days, that I may know how frail I am.
:5 Indeed, You have made my days as handbreadths, and my age is as nothing before You; certainly every man at his best state is but vapor. Selah.
:6 Surely every man walks about like a shadow; surely they busy themselves in vain; he heaps up riches, and does not know who will gather them.
:7 “And now, Lord, what do I wait for? My hope is in You.
:8 Deliver me from all my transgressions; do not make me the reproach of the foolish.
:9 I was mute, I did not open my mouth, because it was You who did it.
:10 Remove Your plague from me; I am consumed by the blow of Your hand.
:11 When with rebukes You correct man for iniquity, You make his beauty melt away like a moth; surely every man is vapor. Selah
:12 “Hear my prayer, O Lord, and give ear to my cry; do not be silent at my tears; for I am a stranger with You, a sojourner, as all my fathers were.
:13 Remove Your gaze from me, that I may regain strength before I go away and am no more.”

This is headed as Prayer for Wisdom and Forgiveness

David had a lot of questions. But he also had answers. His question, Lord, what do I wait for? Answer, my hope is in Your. David was under the discipline and rebuke of the Lord as he wrote, but he knew that eventually God would bring him out into a place of joy and peace. That's what we need to keep in mind when life seems empty and meaningless. When God is involved, nothing is wasted, no act is worthless. The problem is we don't always see the impact we have. Most of our influence for good and for God won't be revealed until we stand before Christ.

Sin erects a wall between us and God. In the last verses of this psalm David says he feels like a stranger in God's presence. Like someone who doesn't belong or who doesn't have the right to come close to God. If you feel far away from God, He hasn't moved, you feel that way because of disobedience. The good news is when we turn back to God in repentance and confession, we find He is willing to restore us to a close relationship with Him. We may still suffer the consequences of our sinful choices, but God walks through those difficult times with us.  

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Ps 38

PS 38:1 O Lord, do not rebuke me in Your wrath, nor chasten me in Your hot displeasure!
:2 For Your arrows pierce me deeply, and Your hand presses me down.
:3 There is no soundness in my flesh because of Your anger, nor any health in my bones because of my sin.
:4 For m iniquities have gone over my head; like a heavy burden they are too heavy for me.
:5 My wounds are foul and festering because of my foolishness.
:6 I am troubled, I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long.
:7 For my loins are full of inflammation and there is no soundness in my flesh.
:8 I am feeble and severely broken; I groan because of the turmoil of my heart.
:9 Lord, all my desire is before You; and my sighing is not hidden from You.
:10 My heart pants, my strength fails me; as for the light of my eyes, it also has gone from me.
:11 My loved ones and my friends stand aloof from my plague, and my relatives stand afar off.
:12 Those also who seek my life lay snares for me; thoe who seek my hurt speak of destruction, and plan deception all the day long.
:13 But I, like a deaf man, do not hear; and I am like a mute who does not open his mouth.
:14 Thus I am like a man who does not hear and in whose mouth is no response.
:15 For in You, O Lord, I hope; You will hear, O Lord my God.
:16 For I said, “Hear me, lest they rejoice over me, lest, when my foot slips, they exalt themselves against me.”
:17 For I am ready to fall, and my sorrow is continually before me.
:18 For I will declare my iniquity; I will be in anguish over my sin.
:19 But my enemies are vigorous, and they are strong; and those who hate me wrongfully have multiplied.
:20 Those also who render evil for good, they are my adversaries, because I follow what is good.
:21 Do not forsake me, O Lord; O my God, be not far from me!
:22 Make haste to help me, O Lord, my salvation!

This is headed as Prayer in Time of Chastening.

Sometimes sickness is just sickness. An attack of the enemy. Sometimes it is the chastening of God.
The next time you get sick, ask God to heal you. Take full advantage of the good things God has provided to help restore you to health – doctors, medication, surgery, therapy, rest. If the sickness persists, however, give quiet consideration to your spiritual health. Be open to God's Spirit. He won't play games. If there is a sin issue, He will make it very clear. Then pray David's prayer in Psalm 38, The Lord will come quickly to help,

Mt 7:7 “Ask, and it will be gien to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
:8 For everyone who ask receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.
:9 Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread will give him a stone?

Ever have unanswered prayer? Wonder why? Honestly all prayers are answered but sometimes the answer is no. Ever feel like God isn't hearing your prayer?

The example here is a good child asking for a good thing. What parent will reward bad behavior by giving a child what they are asking for? Our Father God is no different. Have I been asking God for money for something when I have not taken care of something that I had/have the money to take care of? Have I not forgiven someone for something I think they did or that they did do that hurt me? Have I been unkind to someone? Would you give your child something they want if they acted in this way? Then why are you surprised if you are acting this way that God isn't giving you what you ask for?

The evil one uses three D's to keep you from finding God. Distractions, deception, and discouragement.

Friday, August 23, 2013

PS 37

PS 37:1 Do not fret because of evildoers, nor be envious of the workers of iniquity.
:2 For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.
:3 Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.
:4 Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.
:5 Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass.
:6 He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday.
:7 Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him; do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, because of the the man who brings wicked schemes to pass.
:8 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; do not fret – it only causes harm.
:9 For evildoers shall be cut off; but those who wait on the Lord, they shall inherit the earth.
:10 For yet a little while and the wicked shall be no more; indeed, you will look carefully for his place, but it shall be no more.
:11 But the meek shall inherit the earth, and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.
:12 The wicked plots against the just, and gnashes at him with his teeth.
:13 The Lord laughs at him, for he sees that his day is coming.
:14 The wicked have drawn the sword and have bent their bow, to cast down the poor and needy, to slay those who are of upright conduct.
:15 Their sword shall enter their own heart, and their bows shall be broken.
:16 A little that a righteous man has is better than the riches of many wicked.
:17 For the arms of the wicked shall be broken, but the Lord upholds the righteous.
:18 The Lord knows the days of the upright, and their inheritance shall be forever.
:19 They shall not be ashamed in the evil time, and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied.
:20 But the wicked shall perish; and the enemies of the Lord, like the splendor of the meadows, shall vanish. Into smoke they shall vanish away.
:21 The wicked borrows and does not repay, but the righteou shows mercy and gives.
:22 For those blessed by Him shall inherit the earth, but those cursed by Him shall be cut off.
:23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He deligths in his way.
:24 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the Lord upholds him with His hand.
:25 I have been young, and now am old; yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his descendants begging bread.
:26 He is ever merciful, and lends; and his descendants are blessed.
:27 Depart from evil, and do good; and dwell forevermore.
:28 For the Lord loves justice, and does not forsake His saints; they are preserved forever, but the descendants of the wicked shall be cut off.
:29 The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell in it forever.
:30 The mouth of the righteous speaks wisdom, and his tongue talks of justice.
:31 The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide.
:32 The wicked watches the righteous, and seeks to slay him.
:33 The Lord will not leave him in his hand, nor condemn him when he is judged.
:34 Wait on the Lord, and keep His way, and He shall exalt you to inherit the land; when the wicked are cut off, you shall see it.
:35 I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like a native green tree.
:36 Yet he passed away, and behold, he was no more; indeed I sought him, but he could not be found.
:37 Mark the blameless man, and observe the upright; for the future of that man is peace.
:38 But the transgressors shall be destroyed together; the future of the wicked shall be cut off.
:39 But the salvation of the righteous is from the Lord; He is their strength in the time of trouble.
:40 And the Lord shall help them and deliver them; He shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in Him.

This is headed as the Heritage of the Righteous and the Calamity of the Wicked .

It sorta reads like a chapter in Proverbs. Short wise sayings of how to live or not live for God.

If you want to get the most out of it, underline every command as you read: Do not fret, trust in the Lord, do good, delight yourself also in the Lord, commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him. That is just the first 5 verses! Most of us don't like being told what to do. We didn't like it when we were children and our parents told us what to do, and we don't like it when as children of God, He tells us what to do sometimes. However, we need to take these words to heart if we are going to live successfully in a corrupt and corrupting world.

It seems unfair that ungodly people prosper while some children of God struggle. That's where this psalm helps out. How do we respond when life seems so unfair? Not by fretting over it, and not by getting angry at life's injustices. The proper response is to refuse to play the game the wicked play. What God calls us to do first is to have confidence in Him, trust Him, delight in Him, commit to Him.

Life isn't fair. Sometimes the wicked seem to prosper and the godly suffer. In the end, God will set everything straight. Until then we must live faithfully and trust in God.  

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Ps 36

Ps 36:1 An oracle within my heart concerning the transgression of the wicked: there is no fear of God before his eyes.
:2 For he flatters himself in his own eyes, when he finds out his iniquity and when he hates.
:3 The words of his mouth are wickedness and deceit; he has ceased to be wise and to do good.
:4 He devises wickedness on his bed; he sets himself in a way that is not good; he does not abhor evil.
:5 Your mercy, O Lord, is in the heavens; Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.
:6 Your righteousness is like the great mountains; Your judgments are a great deep; O Lord, You preserve man and beast.
:7 How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Your wings.
:8 They are abundantly satisfied with the fullness of Your house, and You give them drink from the river of Your pleasures.
:9 For with You is the fountain of life; in Your light we see light.
:10 Oh, continue Your lovingkindness to those who know You. And Your righteousness to the upright in heart.
:11 Let not the foot of pride come against me, and let not the hand of the wicked drive me away.
:12 There the workers of iniquity have fallen; they have been cast down and are not able to rise.

The heading on this is Man's Wickedness and God's Perfections.

Our day is full of choices. Whether it is at the grocery, movies, channels on tv, we are overwhelmed with options all day. The bible gives us two choices. Life or death, light or darkness, truth or error, God's way or our way. That's it. No other choice. We can live a life that ignores God, or a life that embraces God. The choice is ours. It isn't a choice we make just once. We make it constantly in the things we choose to do or say. Every choice we make shows where our heart is really.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Ps 35

Ps 35:1 Plead my cause, O Lord, with those who strive with me; fight against those who fight against me.
:2 Take hold of shield and buckler, and stand up for my help.
:3 Also draw out the spear, and stop those who pursue me. Say to my soul, “I am your salvation.”
:4 Let those be put to shame and brought to dishonor who seek after my life; let those be turned back and brought to confusion who plot my hurt.
:5 Let them be like chaff before the wind, and let the angel of the Lord chase them.
:6 Let their way be dark and slippery, and let the angel of the Lord pursue them.
:7 For without cause they have hidden their net for me in a pit, which they have dug without cause for my life.
:8 Let destruction come upon him unexpectedly, and let his net that he has hidden catch himself; into that very destruction let him fall.
:9 And my soul shall be joyful in the Lord; it shall rejoice in His salvation.
:10 All my bones shall say, “Lord, who is like You, delivering the poor from him who is too strong for him, yes, the poor and the needy from him who plunders him?”
:11 Fierce witnesses rise up; they ask me things that I do not know.
:12 They reward me evil for good, to the sorrow of my soul.
:13 But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth; I humbled myself with fasting; and my prayer would return to my own heart.
:14 I paced about as though he were my friend or brother; I bowed down heavily, as one who mourns for his mother.
:15 But in my adversity they rejoiced and gathered together; attackers gathered against me, and I did not know it; they tore at me and did not cease;
:16 with ungodly mockers at feasts they gnashed at me with their teeth.
:17 Lord, how long will You look on? Rescue me from their destructions, my precious life from the loins.
:18 I will give You thanks in the great assembly; I will praise You among many people.
:19 Let them not rejoice over me who are wrongfully my enemies; nor let them wink with the eye who hate me without a cause.
:20 For they do not speak peace, but they devise deceitful matters against the quiet ones in the land.
:21 They also opened their mouth wide against me, and said, “Aha, aha! Our eyes have seen it.”
:22 This You have seen, O Lord; do not keep silence. O Lord, do not be far from me.
:23 Stir up Yourself, and awake to my vindication, to my cause, my God and my Lord.
:24 Vindicate me, O Lord my God, according to Your righteousness; and let them not rejoice over me.
:25 Let them not say in their hearts, “Ah, so we would have it!” Let them not say, “ We have swallowed him up.”
:26 Let them be ashamed and brought to mutual confusion who rejoice at my hurt; let them be clothed with shame and dishonor who exalt themselves against me.
:27 Let them shout for joy and be glad, who favor my righteous cause; and let them say continually, “Let the Lord be magnified, who has pleasure in the prosperity of His servant.”
:28 And my tongue shall speak of Your righteousness and of Your praise all the day long.

This is headed up as The Lord the Avenger of His people.

David was handling his anger toward his enemies in the right way. He was not taking matters into his own hands but was committing the whole thing to God in prayer. He had a right to be angry with those who were doing what was wrong. Amos 5:15 and Roman 12:9 say hate what is evil.

This one helps me to remember that my enemies are in God's hands. Those enemies may be flesh and blood people who atack me, or they may be spiritual enemies, powers of darkness, who seek to lead my away from a walk of obedience and love for Christ. Wherever the opposition comes from, I can ask God to protect me. We aren't alone in the battle. Jesus is with us.

Ps 103:17 But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him, and His righteousness to children's children.

How often does the Lord tell us in the His word trust and we hear try, rest and we hear strive, He says I love you just the way you are and we hear I love you bu I'd love you a bit more if you'd change a few of your bad habits.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Ps 34

Ps 34:1 I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
:2 My soul shall make its boast in the Lord; the humble shall hear of it and be glad.
:3 Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together.
:4 I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.
:5 They looked to Him and were radiant, and their faces were not ashamed.
:6 This poor man cried out, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.
:7 The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him, and delivers them.
:8 Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him!
:9 Oh, fear the Lord, you His saints! There is no want to those who fear Him.
:10 The young lions lack and suffer hunger; but those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing.
:11 Come, you children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
:12 Who is the man who desires life, and loves many days, that he may see good?
:13 Keep your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking deeit.
:14 Depart from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.
:15 The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their cry.
:16 The face of the Lord is against those who do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.
:17 The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles.
:18 The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit.
:19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.
:20 He guards all his bones; not one of them is broken.
:21 Evil shall slay the wicked, and those who hate the righteous shall be condemned.
:22 The Lord redeems the soul of His servants, and none of those who trust in Him shall be condemned.

The heading in my bible for this one says: The happiness of those who trust in God

The first 10 verses are a song of thanksgiving to God. The last 12 are words of wise instruction. It is marked by a sense of relief and gratitude to God for a miraculous escape from danger, but we also learn what it means to trust God in our daily lives.

The Hebrew word bless in verse one comes from the word for knee. Literally it means to bend the knee. David was saying that in every situation, as frightening, difficult, painful, or joyous it might be, he would bend his knee before the Lord. He would submit to God's authority. He would accept these circumstances as part of God's right to rule in his life. The key to this psalm and to lowering stress in our lives is the realization that the Lord is present in every situation of life. He has not abandoned us. We are not limited to our own resources. A God of compassion and grace goes through the situation with us.

Half way through the psalm David goes from praising God to teaching those around him. Verses 11-22 almost read like proverbs. Short, wise sayings to help us live honorably before the Lord.  

Friday, August 16, 2013

Ps 33

Ps 33:1 Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous! For praise from the upright is beautiful.
:2 Praise the Lord with the harp; make melody to Him with an instrument of ten strings.
:3 Sing to Him a new song; play skillfully with a shout of joy.
:4 For the word of the Lord is right, and all His work is done in truth.
:5 He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.
:6 By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth.
:7 He gathers the waters of the sea together as a heap; He lays up the deep in storehouses.
:8 Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him.
:9 For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast.
:10 The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; He makes the plans of the peoples of no effect.
:11 The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of His heart to all generations.
:12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people He has chosen as His own inheritance.
:13 The Lord looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men.
:14 From the place of His dwelling He looks on all the inhabitants of the earth;
:15 He fashions their hearts individually; He considers all their works.
:16 No king is saved by the multitude of an army; a mighty man is not delivered by great strength.
:17 A horse is a vain hope for safety; neither shall it deliver any by its great strength.
:18 Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him, on those who hope in His mercy,
:19 to deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine.
:20 Our soul waits for the Lord; He is our help and our shield.
:21 For our heart shall rejoice in His holy name.
:22 Let Your mercy, O Lord, be upon us, Just as we hope in You.

This is headed up as the sovereignty of the Lord in creation and history.

This psalm remind us of how great the Lord really is. He is the Creator who spoke the universe into existence. He is the Ruler who can bring our best intentioned plans to nothing but Whose own plans stand forever. God is the Watcher who looks down on all who live on the earth.

Maybe our view of God is too small. If you see the Lord as sitting up in heaven, crossing His fingers hoping everything turns out ok, you need to step back and rethink. God made it all, He keeps it all and controls it all to accomplish His desires and plans. He is also our Father. We are under His eye and in His hand. He is our hope and our help. All we should want to do is worship, trust and serve Him.

This psalm teaches one of the most important and most difficult principles of a life lived for God's glory. Rescue comes from God alone – and it comes to the person who “waits for the Lord”. Sometimes God leaves us in a difficult place or situation to teach us to trust Him more as we wait for His deliverance.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Ps 32

Ps 32:1 Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.
:2 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
:3 When I kept silent, my bones grew old through my groaning all the day long.
:4 For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; my vitality was turned into the drought of summer. Selah
:5 I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, “ I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and You forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah
:6 For this cause everyone who is godly shall pray to You in a time when You may be found; surely in a flood of great waters they shall not come near him.
:7 You are my hiding place; You shall preserve me from trouble; You shall surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah
:8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye.
:9 Do not be like the horse or like the mule, which have no understanding, which it must be harnessed with bit and bridle, else they will not come near you.
:10 Many sorrows shall be to the wicked; but he who trusts in the Lord, mercy shall surround him.
:11 Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous; and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!

This is listed as the joy of forgiveness. Information says he wrote it after the prophet Nathan exposed his sin with Bathsheba. '

David had it all. Wealth, power, influence, success. David didn't fall into sin with her, he walked right in, eyes wide open. He thought with killing her husband and marrying her everything was ok now.

He thought he hid it well. He looked like a hero marrying the widow. But even though it was well hidden and no one knew, God knew. For about a year everything was kept silent by David and by God. God was waiting on David to admit what he had done. David was hoping God would forget. There are no recorded psalms written during that year. David was dying inside because of the unrepented sin.

David used 4 different words to describe his sin.

  1. 32:1 transgression – means to rebel; it is a deliberate act of disobedience; a willful choice.
  2. 32:1 sin – comes from a Hebrew word that means to miss the mark, to go in the wrong way. God sets the standard for our behavior and we fall short of what He requires.
  3. 32:5 Iniquity – means to twist or pervert; we take God's good gifts and we twist them into actions or attitudes that dishonor Him.
  4. 32:2 Deceit – is the process of deception we use to convince ourselves and others that we are living honestly before God when, in fact, we are not.

Before you get to burdened by your own failures before God, remember that this psalm is about forgiveness. Each of our failures is dealt with freely and fully by God's grace. If we let Him. When we experience God's grace and cleasning, we are blessed – means happy, complete, healed, made whole. Sin will discourage us; trying to hide our sin will destroy us.

Some people thing God forgets sin when the reality is that God forgives sin. There is a difference. Forgiving someone means that we take the cost of and pain of someone else's wrong on ourselves. When Jesus died on the cross, He was enduring what my sin and your sin required. God in Christ was paying our debt and absorbing the price of sin Himself. The full impact of God's forgiveness hits us when we read the new testament commands to forgive each other just as God has forgiven us. When we forgive the person who has wounded us or betrayed us, we absorb the pain, Vengeance wants the other person to pay; forgiveness means we pay the price ourselves.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Ps 31

Ps 31:1 In You, O Lord, I put my trust; let me never be ashamed; deliver me in Your righteousness.
:2 Bow down Your ear to me, deliver me speedily; be my rock of refuge, a fortress of defense to save me.
:3 For You are my rock and my fortress; therefore, for Your name's sake, lead me and guid me.
:4 Pull me out of the net which they have secretly laid for me, for You are my strength.
:5 Into Your hand I commit my spirit; You have redeemed me, O Lord God of truth.
:6 I have hated those who regard useless idols; but I trust in the Lord.
:7 I will be glad and rejoice in Your mercy, for You have considered my trouble; You have known my soul in adversitites,
:8 and have not shut me up into the hand of the enemy; You have set my feet in a wide place.
:9 Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am in trouble; my eye wastes away with grief, yes, my soul and my body!
:10 For my life is spent with grief, and my years with sighing; my strength fails because of my iniquity, and my bones waste away.
:11 I am a reproach among all my enemies, but especially among my neighbors, and am replusive to my acquaintances; those who see me outside flee from me.
:12 I am forgotten like a dead man, out of mind; I am like a broken vessel.
:13 For I hear the slander of many; fear is on every side; while they take counsel together against me, they scheme to take away my life.
:14 But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord; I say, “You are my God.”
:15 My times are in Your hand; deliver me from the hand of my enemies, and from those who persecute me.
:16 Make Your face shine upon Your servant; save me for Your merices' sake.
:17 Do not let me be ashamed, O Lord, for I have called upon You, let the wicked be ashamed; let them be silent in the grave.
:18 Let the lying lips be put to silence, which speak insolent things proudly and contemptuously against the righteous.
:19 Oh, how great is Your goodness, which You have laid up for those who fear You, which You have prepared for those who trust in You in the presence of the sons of men!
:20 You shall hide them in the secret place of Your presence from the plots of man; You shall keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues.
:21 Blessed be the Lord, for He has shown me His marvelous kindness in a strong city!
:22 For I said in my haste, “ I am cut off from before Your eyes”; nevertheless You heard the voice of my supplications when I cried out to You.
:23 Oh, love the Lord, all you His saints! For the Lord preserves the faithful, and fully repays the proud person.
:24 Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all you who hope in the Lord.

This is listed as: the Lord a fortress in adversity.

There is no one I want more on my side during a problem or situation then the Lord!

David, from the sounds of it was in terrible trouble again. Sounds like he was trapped in a situation and there was no way out. Ever felt like that? He was alone, no protection, support, help, or escape. Sound like you feel sometimes?

We aren't told how he escaped. But we know for sure God made a way out of it for him, and He will for us too.

The Lord is a specialist in impossible situations.

1 Pet 5:6 Therefore humble yourself under the mighty hand of God, that He may exhalt you in due time.

When you are feeling weighed down by your circumstances, change your perspective by looking up to God. Submit to God and His ways in your life even though you long to break free. This keeps you from fighting a battle (with God) you can't win. Use that energy to cope with the situation and learn from it. Trust that God will lift you up in His time and His way.

Heb 12:5 And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as sons: “My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him;
:6 for whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives.”

Sanctification is not my idea of what I want God to do for me, it is God's idea of what He wants to do for me, and He has to get me into the attitude of mind and spirit where at any cost I will let Him sanctify me completely.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Ps 30

Ps 30:1 I will extol You, O Lord, for You have lifted me up, and have not let my foes rejoice over me.
:2 O Lord my Godm I cried out to You, and You healed me
:3 O Lord, You brought my soul up from the grave; You have kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit.
:4 Sing praise to the Lord, you saints of His, and give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name.
:5 For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.
:6 Now in my prosperity I said, “I shall never be moved.”
:7 Lord, by Your favor You have made my mountain stand strong; You hid Your face, and I was troubled.
:8 I cried to You, O Lord; and to the Lord I made supplication:
:9 what profit is there in my blood when I go down to the pit? Will the dust praise You? Will it declare Your truth?
:10 Hear, O Lord, and have mercy on me; Lord, be my helper!”
:11 You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness,
:12 to the end that my glory may sing praise to You and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever.

This psalm is headed up in my bible as the blessedness of answered prayer. That is an encouraging heading don't you think?

This is a good one to sing when God heals you or someone you love. Whether it is from sickness, sin's destruction, disobedience, division in family or church. It is a psalm of restoration.

When God allows you to go through a trial, look at it as His vote of confidence in you. He knows you can handle that trial.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Ps 29

Ps 29:1 Give unto the Lord, O you mighty ones, give unto the Lord glory and strength.
:2 Give unto the Lord the glory due to His name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.
:3 The voice of the Lord is over the waters; the God of glory thunders; the Lord is over many waters.
:4 The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is full of majesty.
:5 The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars, yes, the Lord splinters the cedars of Lebanon.
:6 He makes them also skip like a calf, Lebanon and Sirion like a young wild ox.
:7 The voice of the Lord divides the flames of fire.
:8 The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness; the Lord shakes the Wilderness of Kadesh.
:9 The voice of the Lord makes the deer give birth, and strips the forest bare; and in His temple everyone says, “Glory!”
:10 The Lord sat enthroned at the Flood, and the Lord sits as King forever.
:11 The Lord will give strength to His people; the Lord will bless His people with peace.

David appears to like thunderstorms.

David heard the Lord in the thunder. The God who can control a powerful storm can protect His people. Next time you are in a storm of life remember that.

Baal was worshipped as the god of thunder and rain. David wanted his people to understand Baal wasn't in charge of the storm, the God of Israel was and is.

Mt 6:14 Jesus said, “ If you forgive others the wrongs they have done to you, your Father in heaven will also forgive you.

Hands that reach out in reconciliation freely offer forgiveness. Forgiving others, especially those who refuse to reconcile or acknowledge their own part in a problem, is down right difficult. The key is remembering how much God has forgiven you – then extending that same grace to others. Even after you've forgiven someone, angry feelings may still arise. You may need to exercise your choice to forgive again. And again.

At the heart of forgiveness is unconditional love. Only God can offer that gift perfectly. But He has provided us a way to work on how to do it,

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Ps 28

Ps 28:1 To You I will cry, O Lord my Rok: do not be silent to me, lest, if You are silent to me, I become like those who go down to the pit.
:2 Hear the voice of my supplications when I cry to You, when I lift up my hands toward Your holy sanctuary.
:3 Do not take me away with the wicked and with the workers of iniquity, who speak peace to their neighbors, but evil is in their hearts.
:4 Give them according to their deeds, and according to the work of their hands; render to them what they deserve.
:5 Because they do not regard the works of the Lord, nor the operation of His hands, He shall destroy them and not build them up.
:6 Blessed be the Lord, because He has heard the voice of my supplications!
:7 The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in Him and I am helped; therefore my heart greatly rejoices, and with my song I will praise Him.
:8 The Lord is their strength, and He is the saving refuge of His anointed.
:9 Save Your people, and bless Your inheritance; shepherd them also, and bear them up forever.

Sometimes we don't listen when we should. Hubby once told me sometimes he hears what I say, but he wasn't really listening. Ever feel like the Lord hears, but isn't really listening?

Here David must have felt like he had gone to God so many times before even in the same sort of situation. He may have thought God was getting tired of it.

God doesn't ignore us. Sometimes He wants us to wait patiently. Sometimes He wants us to seek Him more. One thing is true though, God is never to distracted to give us personal attention. Even though you might not see it, God is working on your side. His timing, not ours.

We should lay our needs at His feet and trust Him to do what is best for us.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

August 8, 2013

Ps 27:1 The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
:2 When the wicked came against me to eat up my flesh, my enemies and foes, they stumbled and fell.
:3 Though an army may encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war may rise against me, in this I will be confident.
:4 One thing I have desired of the Lord that will I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in His temple.
:5 For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; in the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock.
:6 And now my head shall be lifted up above my enenies all around me; therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord.
:7 Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice! Have mercy also upon me, and answer me.
:8 When You said, “ Seek My face,” my heart said to You, “Your face, Lord, I will seek.”
:9 Do not hide Your face from me; do not turn Your servant away in anger; You have been my help; do not leave me nor forsake me, O God of my salvation.
:10 When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take care of me.
:11 Teach me Your way, O Lord, and lead me in a smooth path, because of my enemies.
:12 Do not deliver me to the will of my adversaries; for false witnesses have risen against me, and such as breathe out violence.
:13 I would have lots heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
:14 Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say on the Lord!

My bible says this is an exuberant declaration of faith by David.

Where do you turn to first when your world starts to fall apart and fear raises its ugly head in your heart? Your spouse? A friend? Is the Lord your first thought or a last resort? Stress and fear are reminders to turn to the Lord first.

David had learned that lesson. God didn't just give David light, deliverance and security. God was all those things to David. David trusted in the Lord Himself, not just in what the Lord was able to do.

One of the best ways to bolster your courage is to remind yourself of who God is and to reaffirm your trust in Him. Let God know what you need. Finally, wait on the Lord. That's the hardest part isn't it? I am not great at waiting in general. I get stressed and impatient. I try to always be on time for things. I think it shows respect for the other person and that you value their time. Waiting on the Lord though should be different. You know what time you have an appointment or what time you are supposed to meet friends. God doesn't give a specific time. While waiting on the Lord, it should be a time of peace and rest. His timing is perfect. Ours isn't.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

August 6, 2013

Ps 26:1 Vindicate me, O Lord, for I have walked in my integrity. I have also trusted in the Lord, I will not slip.
:2 Examine me, O Lord, and prove me; try my mind and my heart.
:3 For Your lovingkindness is before my eyes, and I have walked in Your truth. 
:4 I have not sat with idolatrous mortals, nor will I go in with hypocrites.
:5 I have hated the assembly of evildoers, and will not sit with the wicked.
:6 I will wash my hands in innocence; so I will go about Your altar, O Lord,
:7 that I many proclaim with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all Your wondrous works.
:8 Lord, I have loved the habitation of Your house, and the place where Your glory dwells.
:9 Do not gather my soul with sinners, nor my life with bloodthirsty men.
:10 In whose hands is a sinister scheme, and whose right hand is full of bribes.
:11 But as for me, I will walk in my integrity; redeem me and be merciful to me.
:12 My foot stands in an even place; in the congregations I will bless the Lord.

David speaks in his own defense here.

There comes a time in your life where you have just had enough. It's time to put aside that immature behavior, end a relationship that is compromising your commitment to the Lord, deal with an area of disobedience. No more excuses. You draw a line and aren't looking back.

That is where David found himself. He wasn't claiming to be sinless; he was claiming to be blameless. There is a difference. He wasn't claiming to be perfect. Blameless means sin is handled correctly before God and others. He was letting everyone know the whole intent of his heart was to do the will of God.

Are you done with halfhearted commitment to the Lord> are you ready to take a stand in your home, your church, with your friends?

Friday, August 2, 2013

August 2, 2013

Ps 25:1 To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
:2 O my God, I trust in You; let me not be ashamed; let not my enemies triumph over me.
:3 Indeed, let no one who waits on You be ashamed; let those be ashamed who deal treacherously without a cause.
:4 Show me Your ways, O Lord; teach me Your paths.
:5 Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; on You I wait all the day.
:6 Remember, O Lord, Your tender mercies and Your lovingkindness, for they are from of old.
:7 Do not remember the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions; according to Your mercy remember me, for Your goodness sake, O Lord.
:8 Good and upright is the Lord; therefore He teaches sinners in the way.
:9 The humble He guides in justice, and the humble He teaches His way.
:10 All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth, to such as keep His covenant and His testimonies.
:11 For Your name's sake, O Lord, pardon my iniquity, for it is great.
:12 Who is the man that fears the Lord? Him shall He teach in the way He chooses.
:13 He himself shall dwell in prosperity, and his descendants shall inherit the earth.
:14 The secret of the Lord is with those who fear Him, and He will show them His covenant.
:15 My eyes are ever toward the Lord, for He shall pluck my feet out of the net.
:16 Turn Yourself to me, and have mercy on me, for I am desolate and afflicted.
:17 The troubles of my heart have enlarged; bring me out of my distresses!
:18 Look on my affliction and my pain, and forgive all my sins.
:19 Consider my enemies, for they are many; and they hate me with cruel hatred.
:20 Keep my soul, and deliver me; let me not be ashamed, for I put my trust in You.
:21 Let integrity and uprightness preserve me, for I wait for You.
:22 Redeem Israel, O God, out of all their troubles!

My bible heads this as a plea for deliverance and forgiveness. How appropriate.

Do you ever get distracted while praying? David did and it is recorded for us to read here as a reminder we are human.

He starts to pray for protection in verse 2, guidance in verse 4. Then other thoughts come to mind. He remembers his past sins in verse seven. Then by verse 9 he is praying for guidance again. Verse 11 he is back to his past. Verses 12-15 back to guidance and instruction. Verses 16-20 more of his struggles. The last 2 verses find him shouting affirmation and trust in God, not only for himself but also for the nation.

This is a very private prayer that was just between David and God. Not every prayer is one that should be shared with others. It goes back and forth, focusing on main themes, but also addressing issues that come to mind. Don't ignore those distractions during prayer. Sometimes it is satan trying to distract us, but sometimes it is God pointing out issues He wants addressed. Prayer isn't (or shouldn't ) be just our talking to God. It is a conversation between God and us. Be sure to listen and not just talk. If we have truly repented and asked forgiveness it is the devil but if those issues come up we need to search our heart to see if we have truly repented.

Jn 16:33 These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.

Some think the Christian life means deliverance from trouble. It means deliverance in trouble and that is very different. God doesn't give strength for tomorrow, or even the next hour, but for the next moment. It is a moment by moment deliverance.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

August 1, 2013

Ps 24:1 The earth is the Lord's, and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein.
:2 For He has founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the waters.
:3 Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord Or who may stand in His holy place?
:4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, nor sworn deceitfully.
:5 He shall receive blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.
:6 This is Jacob, the generation of those who seek Him, who seek Your face. Selah.
:7 Lift up your heads, O you gates! And be lifted up, you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in.
:8 Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle.
:9 Lift up your heads, O you gates! Lift up, you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in.
:10 Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, He is the King of glory. Selah.

People say they can worship God anywhere And you can. The real question is do you?

We are called to come before Him in worship with clean hands and a pure heart. Clean hands means no moral impurity in our lives. We confess our sin and receive God's forgiveness. Pur hearts is a reference to the devotion of our hearts to God in love and obedience. Worship is not just going through the motions on Sunday at church. Worship is an attitude that we carry with us all the time.

Rom 8:8 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come,
:39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Joshua 1:5 No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I shall be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you.

Is 49:15 Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne?> Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of My hands; your walls are ever before me.

Remember when you start to feel fearful or overwhelmed nothing can separate you from God.

Ex 14:14 The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.

Ps 46:10 Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!

Rom 8:6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

Ps 91:1 He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

The Lord will fight for us if we will just be still. We struggle sometimes just to keep our head above water in certain situations. It is then that we have to stop trying to do it alone. Let Him fight for us. It's not easy. We feel like if we stop struggling we won't survive. He is calling us to rest. Resting our bodies is easier then resting our minds.

Have you ever tried to physically rest and physically do something else at the same time? Can't be done. Neither can resting in Him and struggling in our mind at the same time.