Monday, September 30, 2013

PS 67

Ps 67:1 God be merciful to us and bless us, and cause His face to shine upon us, Selah
:2 That Your way may be known on earth, Your salvation among all nations.
:3 Let the peoples praise You, O God; let all the peoples praise You.
:4 Oh, let the nations be glad and sing for joy! For You shall judge the people righteously, and govern the nations on earth. Selah
:5 Let the peoples praise You, O God; let all the peoples praise You.
:6 Then the earth shall yield her increase; God, our own God, shall bless us.
:7 God shall bless us, and all the ends of the earth shall fear Him.

This is headed up as An Invocation and a Doxology.

In this short small the word praise or bless is used 7 times, the word nations or peoples 8 times and the name of God is sung 6 times.

It is written to use as a worship and praise song. Sometimes when we are feeling beat up by the world we just want to close ourselves off from everyone. That however is not what God has called us to do. God has called us to reach others with the message of Jesus.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Ps 66

Ps 66:1 Make a joyful shout to God, all the earth!
:2 Sing out the honor of His name; make His praise glorious.
:3 Say to God, “How awesome are Your works! Through the greatness of Your power Your enemies shall submit themselves to You.
:4 All the earth sahll worship You and sing praise to You; they shall sing praises to Your name.” Selah
:5 Come and see the works of God; He is awesome in His doing toward the sons of men.
:6 He turned the sea into dry land; they went through the river on foot. There we will rejoice in Him.
:7 He rules by His power forever; His eyes observe the nations; do not let the rebellious exalt themselves. Selah
:8 Oh, bless our God, you peoples! And make the voice of His praise to be heard,
:9 who keeps our soul among the living, and does not allow our feet to be moved.
:10 For You, O God, have tested us; You have refined us as silver is refined.
:11 You brought us into the net; You laid affliction on our backs.
:12 You have caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water; but You brought us out to rich fulfillment.
:13 I will go into Your house with burnt offerings; I will pay You my vows,
:14 which my lips have uttered and my mouth has spoken when I was in trouble.
:15 I will offer You burnt sacrifices of fat animals, with the sweet aroma of rams; I will offer bulls with goats. Selah
:16 Come and hear, all you who fear God, and I will declare what He has done for my soul.
:17 I cried to Him with my mouth, and He was extolled with my tongue.
:18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear.
:19 But certainly God has heard me; He has attended to the voice of my prayer.
:20 Blessed be God, who has not turned away my prayer, nor His mercy from me!

This is headed as Praise to God for His Awesome Works.

Life is tough. We experience disappointments, failure, struggle, and even despair. But through it all God calls us to praise Him.

Some people think if God is good, we shouldn't experience any pain, or if we are experiencing pain, God is no longer good. Neither is right. God is good all the time. As Christians we may still go through pain and suffering, discouragement. But still God is good. He is with us as we go through the situation. This too will end. The person who praises through the trial lives under the conviction that God has everything under control.  

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Ps 65

Ps 65:1 Praise is awaiting You, O God, in Zion; and to You the vow shall be performed.
:2 O You who hear prayer, to You all flesh will come.
:3 Iniquities prevail against me; as for our transgressions, You will provide atonement for them.
:4 Blessed is the man You choose, and cause to approach You, that he may dwell in Your courts. We shall be satisfied with the goodness of Your house, of Your holy temple.
:5 By awesome deeds in righteousness You will answer us, O God of our salvation, You who are the confidence of all the ends of the earth, and of the far-off seas;
:6 Who established the mountains by His strength, being clothed with power;
:7 You who still the noise of the seas, the noise of their waves, and the tumult of the peoples.
:8 They also who dwell in the farthest parts are afraid of Your signs; You make the outgoings of the morning and evening rejoice
:9 You visit the earth and water it, You greatly enrich it; the river of God is full of water; You provide their grain, for so You have prepared it.
:10 You water its ridges abundantly, You settle its furrows; You make it soft with showers, You bless its growth.
:11 You crown the year with Your goodness, and Your paths drip with abundance.
:12 They drop on the pastures of the wilderness, and the little hills rejoice on every side.
:13 The pastures are clothed with grain; they shout for joy, they also sing.

This is headed as Praise to God for His salvation and Providence.

It's easy to focus just on our own stuff and never look at the big picture of what God is doing in our world, or even our own church. It was a problem for ancient Israel too. We get our heads down and all we see are our kids, our careers, our home, our needs. This was written to lift our heads and to help us see beyond the boundaries of our little circle. God has a global perspective. God is not your own exclusive possession. He is God to all who accept Him.

God is not limited to one nation. Some people in our country get that impression sometimes. Some from every nation will be saved.

God in His goodness chose to bless the world with abundance. He cares about the land. He waters it and brings a bountiful harvest year after year. People around the world suffer not because God doesn't provide but because those with plenty aren't willing to share with those in need.  

Friday, September 27, 2013

PS 64

Ps 64:1 Hear my voice, O God, in my meditation; preserve my life from fear of the enemy.
:2 Hide me from the secret plots of the wicked, from the rebellion of the workers of iniquity,
:3 who sharpen their tongue like a sword, and bend their bows to shoot their arrows – bitter words,
:4 that they may shoot in secret at the blameless; suddenly they shoot at him and do not fear.
:5 They encourage themselves in evil matter; they talk of laying snares secretly; they say, “ Who will see them?”
:6 They devise iniquities: “We have perfected a shrewd scheme.” Both the inward thought and the heart of man are deep.
:7 But God shall shoot at them with an arrow; suddenly they shall be wounded.
:8 So He will make them stumble over their own tongue; all who see them shall flee away.
:9 All men shall fear, and shall declare the work of God; for they shall wisely consider His doing.
:10 The righteous shall be glad in the Lord, and trust in Him. And all the upright in heart shall glory.
It shows God as a hunter who pursues His prey and shoots with deadly accuracy. That is how David described God here.

David had done nothing to deserve being attacked here. David knew where to turn for help. He called on the Lord. He was confident of two things:

  1. That God would protect him from their wicked plots
  2. That God would make sure his enemies got what they deserved

When we hear that some notoriously evil person has been brought to justice, we feel like “finally they are getting what they deserve”. But that kind of attitude carries a hidden punch. What if we were to get what we deserve from God? Have you ever heard someone say when they get to heaven they just want God to be fair? When I hear that I think, no, you don't want what's fair. You want grace. If God were fair, we would all be separated from Him forever. The message of the Bible is that guity people can find grace in Jesus. He gives us what we don't deserve.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Ps 63

Ps 63:1 O God, You are my God; early will I seek You; my soul thirsts for You; my flesh longs for You in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water.
:2 So I have looked for You in the sanctuary, to see Your power and Your glory.
:3 Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise You.
:4 Thus I will bless You while I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name.
:5 My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness, and my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips.
:6 When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches.
:7 Because You have been my help, therefore in the shadow of Your wing I will rejoice.
:8 My soul follows close behind You; Your right upholds me.
:9 But those who seek my life, to destroy it, shall go into the lower parts of the earth.
:10 They shall fall by the sword; they shall be a portion for jackals.
:11 But the king shall rejoice in God; everyone who swears by Him shall glory; but the mouth of those who speak lies shall be stopped..

This is headed as Joy in the Fellowship of God.

Sometimes it takes a crisis to get us to seek after a deeper relationship with God. Other times we coast through life as a christian, barely surviving spiritually. Then something happens that stops us in our tracks and make us reevaluate everything. Whatever it is physical, emotional, financial, it forces us to our knees. That crisis moves us to a closer walk with God.

David had a pretty good life and grew to love the Lord before having to be on the run from Saul for 10 years. In the beginning he was all alone except for the Lord. I hope it doesn't take a crisis to stir a longing for God in your heart. If you are content with your relationship with God and if you yawn your way through worship and bible reading, your soul has already started to dry up. If you come to God and are honest about your lack of passion, He will help you stir those dying embers back to life.  

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

PS 62

Ps 62:1 Truly my soul silently waits for God; from Him comes my salvation.
:2 He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be greatly moved.
:3 How long will you attack a man? You shall be slain, all of you, like a leaning wall and a tottering fence.
:4 They only consult to cast him down from his high position; they delight in lies; they bless with their mouth, but they curse inwardly. Selah
:5 My soul, wait silently for God alone, for my expectation is from Him.
:6 He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be moved.
:7 In God is my salvation and my glory; the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God,
:8 Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. Selah
:9 Surely men of low degree are a vapor, men of high degree are a lie; if they are weighed on the scales, they are altogether lighter than vapor.
:10 Do not trust in oppression, nor vainly hope in robbery; if riches increase, do not set your heart on them.
:11 God has spoken oncem twice I have heard this: that power belongs to God.
:12 Also to You, O Lord, belongs mercy; for You render to each one according to his work.

This is headed as A Calm Resolve to Wait for the Salvation of God.

Where do you go when you need a little peace and quiet? Once in a while we all need time to think, time to pray, time to listen to our hearts and to God. When David needed a little peace and quiet he went to the Lord.

He calls God his rock, his salvation, his fortress, his refuge. Over and over he says that it was God alone who gave him the strength to stand against the pressures of life.  

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Ps 61

Ps 61:1 Hear my cry, God; attend to my prayer.
:2 From the end of the earth I will cry to You, when my heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
:3 For You have been a shelter for me, a strong tower from the enemy,
:4 I will abide in Your tabernacle forever; I will trust in the shelter of Your wings. Selah
:5 For You, O God, have heard my vows; You have given me the heritage of those who fear Your name.
:6 You prolong the king's life, his years as many generations.
:7 He shall abide before God forever. Oh, prepare mercy and truth, which may preserve him!
:8 So I will sing praise to Your name forever, That I may daily perform my vows.

This is headed as Assurance of God's Eternal Protection.
David felt far from God when he wrote this. But he knew he could still cry to God and He would hear. God hears us also, no matter how far from Him we feel.

Every image of God was a picture of protection and strength.

  1. God is a rock – a secure, high place, safe from attack.
  2. God provides a tabernacle – a sanctuary, the safety of home.
  3. God covers us in the shelter of His wings – He guards His own while they rest.

In verse 2 David confesses his heart is overwhelmed. He was saying he was drowning in his circumstances. He couldn't cope. Ever feel like you are on the edge of blowout or burnout? That is how David felt. What do we do in that situation? We turn to God and ask Him to be our refuge and sanctuary. We use wisdom in how to live.

Once many years ago I was at the breaking point and cried out to God to just take me. I couldn't go on anymore. I actually had the devil whispering in my ear to jump out of the back of the truck I was riding in and it would be better and I would be with God. I looked up and saw a vision. It was God and He opened up His arms as though they were wings and I saw myself hidden right there beneath His wing next to His heart. I knew then that no matter how bad things looked right then, that God was my refuge and strength and He would take care of me no matter what. I am so thankful for that vision. God knew what I needed at that moment and made sure to meet me there. He will meet you also.

Monday, September 23, 2013

PS 60

Ps 60:1 O God, You have cast us off; You have broken us down; You have been displeased; oh, restore us again!
:2 You have made the earth tremble; You have broken it; heal its breaches, for it is shaking.
:3 You have shown Your people hard things; You have made us drink the wine of confusion.
:4 You have given a banner to those who fear You, that it may be displayed because of the truth. Selah
:5 That Your beloved may be delivered, save with Your right hand and hear me.
:6 God has spoken in His holiness: “I will rejoice; I will divide Shechem and measure out the Valley of Succoth.
:7 Gilead is Mine, and Manasseh is Mine; Ephraim also is the helmet for My head; Judah is My lawgiver.
:8 Moab is My washpot; over Edom I will cast My shoe; Philistia, shout in triumph because of Me.”
:9 Who will bring me to the strong city? Who will lead me to Edom?
:10 Is it not You, O God, who cast us off?
And You, O God, who did not go out with our armies?
:11 Give us help from trouble, for the help of man is useless.
:12 Through God we will do valiantly, for it is He who shall tread down our enemies.

This is headed as Urgent Prayer for the Restored Favor of God.

David saw the attack against them as an act of God;s discipline. The people had drifted from their love and obedience to the Lord, They went to church but their hearts were cold. God's conviction began with His gentle prompting to return to Him. When God's mercy was rejected, He used stronger measures to get their attention. Sound familiar? Prayers began to go up, asking the Lord to rescue His people. They finally realized that armies and weapons do not protect them, only the Lord can preserve His people. Don't get me wrong, God will use the armies and weapons, but without God on our side we lose the battle and the war.

Verse 11 and 12 ask for help from God because the help of man is useless. We need God to help us win whatever type of battle we are in. Sometimes man can help, but it is God who brings us through. The best thing others can do is pray for us.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Ps 59

Ps 59:1 Deliver me from my enemies, O my God; defend me from those who rise up against me.
:2 Deliver me from the workers of iniquity, and save me from bloodthirsty men.
:3 For look, they lie in wait for my life; the mighty gather against me, not for my transgression nor for my sin, O Lord.
:4 They run and prepare themselves through no fault of mine. Awake to help me, and behold!
:5 You therefore, O Lord God of hosts, the God of Israel, awake to punish all the nations; do not be merciful to any wicked transgressors. Selah
:6 At evening they return, they growl like a dog, and go all around the city.
:7 Indeed, they belch with their mouth; swords are in their lips; for they say, “Who hears?”
:8 But You, O Lord, shall laugh at them; You shall have all the nations in derision.
:9 I will wait for You, O You his Strength; for God is my defense.
:10 My God of mercy shall come to meet me; God shall let me see my desire on my enemies.
:11 Do not slay them, lest my people forget; scatter them by Your power, and bring them down, O Lord our shied.
:12 For the sin of their mouth and the words of their lips, let them even be taken in their pride, and for the cursing and lying which they speak.
:13 Consume them in wrath, consume them, that they may not be; and let them know that God rules in Jacob to the ends of the earth. Selah
:14 And at evening they return, they growl like a dog, and go all around the city.
:15 They wander up and down for food, and howl if they are not satisfied.
:16 But I will sing of Your power; yes, I will sing aloud of Your mercy in the morning; for You have been my defense and refuge in the day of my trouble.
:17 To You, O my Strength, I will sing praises; for God is my defense, my God of mercy.

This is headed as The Assured Judgment of the Wicked.

During the days David had to run from Saul he learned to watch. He watched the horizon for troops, for signs that Saul's army had camped nearby, for enemies who would betray him. Most of all he learned to watch for the Lord, his Strength, his Fortress.

I wonder how much we watch for the Lord. When enemies try to bring us down when troubles and worries pile on, we look for a way out, but I don't think we have much expectation that the Lord will show up. When we're stressed, we look for some escape, but usually our first impulse is not to watch for the Lord.

Try to start watching for God as you go through life today. Listen for His voice. Remember verse 9 “ I will wait for You, O You his Strength, for God is my defense.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Ps 58

Ps 58:1 Do you indeed speak righteousness, you silent ones? Do you judge uprightly, you sons of men?
:2 No, in heart you work wickedness; you weigh out the violence of your hands in the earth.
:3 The wicked are estranged from the womb; they go astray as soon as they are born, speaking lies.
:4 Their poison is like the poison of a serpent; they are like the deaf cobra that stops its ear,
:5 which will not heed the voice of charmers, charming ever so skillfully.
:6 Break their teeth in their mouth, O God! Break out the fangs of the young lions, O Lord!
:7 Let them flow away as waters which run continually; when he bends his bow, let his arrows be as if cut in pieces.
:8 Let them be like a snail which melts away as it goes, like a stillborn child of a woman, that they may not see the sun.
:9 Before your pots can feel the burning thorns, he shall take them away as with a whirlwind, as in His living and burning wrath.
:10 The righteous shall rejoice when he sees the vengeance; he shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked,
:11 so that men will say, “Surely there is a reward for the righteous' surely He is God who judges in the earth.”

This is headed The Just Judgment of the Wicked.

The evil today in our world is a reflection of the evil in the hearts of humans.

David prayed that God would bring the evil ones to justice in His court.

Jesus is full of grace and mercy toward those who repent and believe in Him, but He will also be the judge of all mankind in the end. When the ones who reject Him stand before Him they will have nothing to say to justify their disobedience and sin.

We will stand before Him also, but in evaluation, not condemnation. The only way to avoid God's condemnation is to accept the gift of God's grace.

David used a series of vivid images to picture the judgment of God on lawless leaders and unjust judges.

  1. He asked God to break the fang of these lion like evildoers(verse 6)
  2. He wanted the wicked to evaporate like water poured out on the hot sand (verse 7)
  3. He asked that their arrows would be as harmless as sticks with no points (verse 7)
  4. Slugs or snails don't really melt away as they crawl, but the trail of slime they leave makes the appear to , that is what he wanted to happen to all those who were corrupt and crooked (verse 8)
  5. He hoped they are scattered the way cooking pots over a campfire are scattered by a tornado (verse 9)
  6. Then, like a soldier taking soil from a battlefield gets blood on his shoes, he wanted God to “wash his feet in the blood of the wicked” (verse 10).

Powerful, difficult images of the final end of those who pursue their own way instead of following God's way. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Ps 57

Ps 57:1 Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me! For my soul trusts in You; and in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge, until these calamities have passed by.
:2 I will cry out to God Most High, to God who performs all things for me.
:3 He shall send from heaven and save me; He reproaches the one who would swallow me up. Selah God shall send forth His mercy and His truth.
:4 My soul is among lions; I lie among the sons of men who are set on fire whose teeth are spears and arrows, and their tongue a sharp sword.
:5 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let Your glory be above all the earth.
:6 They have prepared a net for my steps; my soul is bowed down; they have dug a pit before me; into the midst of it they themselves have fallen. Selah
:7 My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast; I will sing and give praise.
:8 Awake, my glory! Awake, lute and harp! I will awaken the dawn.
:9 I will praise You, O Lord, among the peoples; I will sing to You among the nations.
:10 For Your mercy reaches unto the heavens, and Your truth unto the clouds.
:11 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let Your glory be above all the earth.

This is headed as Prayer for Safety from Enemies.

Some of these verses are repeated in Psalm 108:1-5. David never got tired of singing some songs.

Here he repeats God's deliverance from his enemies, God's protection in trial, taking refuge in the Lord during a disaster.

Even though David was facing trial and tribulations he was not whining or complaining. He sang with great confidence in God. He was confident that God was at work in his life to fulfill His purposes.

Ever been where David was? Emotionally discouraged, wounded, alone? Did you feel God was actively working His purpose for your life?

We sometimes think God is only at work in our lives when things are going well. We forget that He will include difficulty or hardship, or want or pain. David and others God used to write the bible never forgot that.

Romans 8:28 We know that ALL things work together for good to those who love God.

God is not sitting up in heaven hoping things turn out okay. He is the One at work in every situation to bring glory to Himself and eternal good to us.

Remember that next time you are going through something and give God praise and honor.

Rick Warren said: When you realize that life is a test, you realize that nothing is insignificant in your life. Even the smallest incident has significance for your character development. Every day is an important day, and every second is a growth opportunity to deepen your character, to demonstrate love, or to depend on God. Some tests seem overwhelming, while others you don't even notice. But all of them have eternal implications.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

PS 56

Ps 56:1 Be merciful to me, O God, for man would swallow me up; fighting all day he oppresses me.
:2 My enemies would hound me all day, for there are many who fight against me, O Most High.
:3 Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You.
:4 In God (I will praise His word), in God I have put my trust; I will not fear. What can flesh do to me?
:5 All day they twist my words; all their thoughts are against me for evil.
:6 They gather together, they hide, they mark my steps, when they lie in wait for my life.
:7 Shall they escape by iniquity? In anger cast down the peoples, O God!
:8 You number my wanderings; put my tears into Your bottle; are they not in Your book?
:9 When I cry out to You, then my enemies will turn back; this I know, because God is for me.
:10 In God (I will praise His word), in the Lord ( I will praise His word),
:11 In God I have put my trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?
:12 Vows made to You are binding upon me, O God; I will render praises to You,
:13 for You have delivered my soul from death. Have You not kept my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of the living?

This is headed as Prayer for Relief from Tormentors.

David was really good with words. He makes us feel exactly what it's like to be under the attack he was experiencing. His refuge was the Lord and he makes that clear also.

When we're under attack or bound up in fear, it is easy to feel forgotten. He asked God to put his tears in God's bottle. He knew God saw the tears. When we cry into our pillow at night God sees those tears also. We may feel alone, but we aren't.

David asked twice what man can do to him. The answer: a lot! They can ruin my reputation with slander and lies, leave me behind for someone else, steal from me, misuse my friendship, reject me, turn others against me, hate me, attack me, even kill me. They can make my life miserable.

The truth that overrides all of that is simply this: if God is for us, who can be against us? David knew that people are only able to go so far with their persecution and attacks. Jesus knew that too, He said, “Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” Matthew 10:28). Christians may suffer intensely in this life, but God is our refuge from the storm now and our dwelling place forever.

Monday, September 16, 2013

PS 55

Ps 55:1 Give ear to my prayer, O God, and do not hide Yourself from my supplication.
:2 Attend to me, and hear me; I am restless in my complaint, and moan noisily,
:3 because of the voice of the enemy, because of the oppression of the wicked; for they bring down trouble upon me, and in wrath they hate me.
:4 My heart is severely pained within me, and the terrors of death have fallen upon me.
:5 Fearfulness and trembling have come upon me, and horror has overwhelmed me.
:6 So I said, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest,
:7 Indeed, I would wander far off, and remain in the wilderness. Selah
:8 I would hasten my escape from the windy storm and tempest.”
:9 Destroy, O Lord, and divide their tongues, for I have seen violence and strife in the city.
:10 Day and night they go around it on its walls; iniquity and trouble are also in the midst of it.
:11 Destruction is in its midst; oppression and deceit do not depart from its streets.
:12 For it is not an enemy who reproaches me; then I could bear it. Nor is it one who hates me who has exalted himself against me; then I could hide from him.
:13 But it was you, a man my equal, my companion and my acquaintance.
:14 We took sweet counsel together, and walked to the house of God in the throng.
:15 Let death seize them; let them go down alive into hell, for wickedness is in their dwellings and among them,
:16 As for me, I will call upon God, and the Lord shall save me.
:17 Evening and morning and at noon I will pray, and cry aloud, and He shall hear my voice.
:18 He has redeemed my soul in peace from the battle that was against me, for there were many against me.
:19 God will hear, and afflict them, even He who abides from of old. Selah Because they do not change, therefore they do not fear God.
:20 He has put forth his hands against those who were at peace with him; he has broken his covenant.
:21 The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart; his words were softer then oil, yet they were drawn swords.
:22 Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.
:23 But You, O God, shall bring them down to the pit of destruction; bloodthirsty and deceitful men shall not live out half their days; but I will trust in You.

This is headed as Trust in God Concerning the Treachery of Friends.

Ever feel like you just wish you could get away from it all? That is how David felt also when the stress level got up to high. Running away only seems like a solution. It never solves anything. Where ever you go the problem will follow.

David always had enemies after him. But this time it was someone he considered a friend. That made things so much worse for him. David realized that flying away wasn't happening so he did what he needed to do. He cast his burden on God.

David realized the only answer to the panic was to face it. Our circumstances are never outside the concern of God. Whatever is happening He has allowed it. He will use it for His Glory and our blessing. When troubles come, and they will, remember God's promises. Focus on who He is and what He has committed Himself to do in your life. He didn't design us to carry those burdens. Cast them on the Lord. Don't pick those burdens back up once you give them to God. If you do, however, just give them back again.  

Sunday, September 15, 2013

PS 54

Ps 54:1 Save me, O God, by Your name, and vindicate me by Your strength.
:2 Hear my prayer, O God; give ear to the words of my mouth.
:3 For strangers have risen up against me, and oppressors have sought after my life; they have not set God before them. Selah
:4 Behold, God is my helper; the Lord is with those who uphold my life.
:5 He will repay my enemies for their evil. Cut them off in Your truth.
:6 I will freely sacrifice to You; I will praise Your name, O Lord, for it is good.
:7 For He has delivered me out of all trouble; and my eye has seen its desire upon my enemies.

This is headed as Answered Prayer for Deliverance from Adversaries.

David never asked God to come halfway. He went to a big God with big requests. He asked God to save him, but also to vindicate him.

Do we ever have the courage to pray a prayer like this? How do you pray when you are attacked? Do you have enough confidence in God to ask Him to not only save you out of the situation but to vindicate you also? Do I? Are you confident in your actions to ask God to hear both sides and decide? (verse 2).

He ends with a promise of praise. How do you respond after God has come through in your life for you?  

Saturday, September 14, 2013

PS 53

Ps 53:1 The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, and have done abominable iniquity; there is none who does good.
:2 God looks down from heaven upon the children of men to see if there are any who understand, who seek God.
:3 Every one of them has turned aside; they have together become corrupt; there is none who does good, no not one.
:4 Have the workers of iniquity no knowledge, who eat up my people as they eat bread, and do not call upon God?
:5 There they are in great fear where no fear was, for God has scattered the bones of him who encamps against you; you have put them to shame, because God has despised them.
:6 Oh, that the salvation of Israel would come out of Zion! When God brings back the captivity of His people, let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad.

This is headed as Folly of the Godless, and the Restoration of Israel.

This is almost the same as Psalm 14. The fool is the person who lives like there is no God. Not the person who doesn't believe at all there is a God. Left to ourselves we all are lost. That is David's point. The only refuge for the person who has offended God is to run to God. When we sincerely seek Him for forgiveness He gives it.

Since it was included twice it must be important. We should really meditate on it.

Michael Wilcock said: Trust God, and you have nothing to fear. Ignore Him, and you have everything to fear.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Ps 52

Ps 52:1 Why do you boast in evil, O mighty man? The goodness of God endures continually.
:2 Your tongue devises destruction, like a sharp razor, working deceitfully.
:3 You love evil more than good, lying rather than speaking righteousness. Selah
:4 You love all devouring words, you deceitful tongue.
:5 God shall likewise destroy you forever; He shall take you away, and pluck you out of your dwelling place, and uproot you from the land of the living. Selah
:6 The righteous also shall see and fear, and shall laugh at him, saying,
:7 “ Here is the man who did not make God his strength, but trusted in the abundance of his riches, and strengthened himself in his wickedness.”
:8 But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God; I trust in the mercy of God forever and ever.
:9 I will praise You forever, because You have done it; and in the presence of Your saints I will wait on Your name, for it is good.

The heading is The End of the Wicked and the Peace of the Godly.

This psalm is in response to the story in 1 Samuel 21-22. The story of Doeg the Edomite is one of the worst in scripture.

Here is a recap. The tabernacle was located in Nob. A whole family of the Lord's priests lived there. David was on the run from Saul. David went to the priest, not telling who he really was and asked for bread for his men, a sword, and a blessing from the Lord. The priest not knowing who he was granted all three.

Standing in the crowd watching however was one of Saul's men, Doeg. He of course told Saul everything. Saul confronted the priest and in a rage ordered his men to kill him and his family. The soldiers refused to harm the priests of the Lord. Doeg, seeing a way to get in good with Saul, volunteered. He killed eighty-five members of the priest family along with everyone in Nob. Only one person escaped, Abiathar, Ahimelech's son, and he went to find David.

David was very upset of course. Soon David sat down and wrote Psalm 52 condemning Doeg and every other person who tries to grow strong by destroying others.

We are never told what happened to Doeg. We can be sure that God at some time brought Doeg to ruin.

David is compared to a green olive tree. Several psalms mention olive trees.

  1. They have a remarkably long life.
  2. The tree is evergreen and hardy even in a harsh environment.
  3. Its fruit is valuable and satisfying.   

Thursday, September 12, 2013

PS 51

Ps 51:1 Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; according to the multitude of Your tender mercies, blot out my transgressions.
:2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.
:3 For I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is always before me.
:4 Against You, You only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Your sight – that You may be found just when You speak, and blameless when You judge.
:5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me.
:6 Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts, and in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom.
:7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
:8 Make me hear joy and gladness, that the bones You have broken my rejoice.
:9 Hide Your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities.
:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
:11 Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take You Holy Spirit from me.
:12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me by Your generous Spirit.
:13 Then I will teach transgressors Your ways and sinners shall be converted to You.
:14 Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God, the God of my salvation, and my tongue shall sing aloud of Your righteousness.
:15 O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall show forth Your praise.
:16 For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it; You do not delight in burnt offering.
:17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart – these, O God, You will not despise.
:18 Do good in Your good pleasure to Zion; build the walls of Jerusalem.
:19 Then You shall be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering; then they shall offer bulls on Your altar.

This is headed A Prayer of Repentance.

David used three words in this psalm to describe his failure.

  1. Transgression, which means “to deliberately break through the boundary of God's law.”
  2. Sin, which means “to fall short of what God requires.”
  3. Iniquity, an act that springs from the inner twistedness of our human nature.

He also told about God's mercy, unfailing love, and great compassion.

He told us how God views our sin after we confess it.

  1. Our transgressions are blotted out (erased from God's record book)
  2. Our iniquities are washed away (like stains rinsed out of a cloth)
  3. Our sins are cleansed (purified by God)

Some people think forgiveness is easy. They flippantly ask God to “forgive me for anything I've done wrong today, “ and off they go. They need to read Ps 51. Confessing sin to God means to say the same thing about our sin that God says about it. David called it by its name and we should also.

1 Jn 1:9 promises that when we confess our sin, God is faithful to forgive. But don't skimp on the confessing part. We don't have to beg God to forgive us. But when we follow David's example here in confession, we recognize how much our sin hurts our Father – and how big a price Jesus paid to wash us clean from sin's stain.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

PS 50

Ps 50:1 The Mighty One, God the Lord, has spoken and called the earth from the rising of the sun to its going down.
:2 Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God will shine forth.
:3 Our God shall come and shall not keep silent; a fire shall devour before Him, and it shall be very tempestuous all around Him.
:4 He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that He may judge His people:
:5”Gather My saints together to Me, those who have made a covenant with Me by sacrifice.”
:6 Let the heavens declare His righteousness, for God Himself is Judge. Selah
:7 “Hear, O My people, and I will speak, O Israel, and I will testify against you; I am God, your God!
:8 I will not rebuke you for your sacrifices or your burnt offerings, which are continually before Me.
:9 I will not take a bull from your house, nor goats out of your folds.
:10 For every beast of the forest is Mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills.
:11 I know all the birds of the mountains and the wild beasts of the field are Mine.

:12 “If I were hungry, I would not tell you; for the world is Mine, and all its fullness.
:13 Will I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats?
:14 Offer to God thanksgiving, and pay your vows to the Most High.
:15 Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.”
:16 But to the wicked God says: “What right have you to declare My statues, or take My covenant in your mouth,
:17 seeing you hate instruction and cast My words behind you?
:18 When you saw a thief, you consented with him, and have been a partaker with adulterers.
:19 You give your mouth to evil, and your tongue frames deceit.
:20 You sit and speak against your brother; you slander your own mother's son.
:21 These things you have done, and I kept silent; you thought that I was altogether like you; but I will rebuke you, and set them in order before your eyes.
:22 “Now consider this, you who forgot God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver:
:23 whoever offers praise glorifies Me; and to him who orders his conduct aright I will show the salvation of God.”

This is headed as God the Righteous Judge.

When your spouse says, “we need to talk” you know it is serious and may not be something you want to hear. That is what God was saying here. He asked some pointed questions that weren't easy to answer. We can't lie or cover up what is really in our hearts. God is not happy with just the outward ritual of worship; He looks deep into our hearts.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Ps 49

Ps 49:1 Hear this, all peoples; give ear, all inhabitants of the world,
:2 Both low and high, rich and poor together.
:3 My mouth shall speak wisdom, and the meditation of my heart shall give understanding.
:4 I will incline my ear to a proverb; I will disclose my dark saying on the harp.
:5 Why should I fear in the days of evil, when the iniquity at my heels surrounds me?
:6 Those who trust in their wealth and boast in the multitude of their riches,
:7 none of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him -
:8 for the redemption of their souls is costly, and it shall cease forever -
:9 that he should continue to live eternally, and not see the Pit.
:10 For he sees wise men die; likewise the fool and the senseless person perish, and leave their wealth to others.
:11 Their inner thought is that their houses will last forever, their dwelling places to all generations; they call their lands after their own names.
:12 Nevertheless man, though in honor does not remain; he is like the beasts that perish.
:13 This is the way of those who are foolish, and of their posterity who approve their sayings. Selah
:14 Like sheep they are laid in the grave; death shall feed on them; the upright shall have dominion over them in the morning; and their beauty shall be consumed in the grave, far from their dwelling.
:15 But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave for He shall receive me. Selah
:16 Do not be afraid when one becomes rich, when the glory of his house is increased;
:17 for when he dies he shall carry nothing away; his glory shall not descend after him.
:18 Though while he lives he blesses himself (for men will praise you when you do well for yourself),
:19 he shall go to the generation of his fathers; they shall never see light.
:20 A man who is honor, yet does not understand, is like the beasts that perish.

This is headed as The Confidence of the Foolish.

This psalm was written to everyone. Young, old, rich, poor. God's warning is clear – if you put your trust in wealth, the end is disaster. God isn't impressed by what you own. Money can't buy you eternal life. We all stand on equal ground when we face God after death. Everyone leaves everything behind when they die.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Ps 48

Ps 48:1 Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in His holy mountain.
:2 Beautiful in elevation, the joy of the whole earth, is Mount Zion on the sides of the north, the city of the great King.
:3 God is in her palaces; He is know as her refuge.
:4 For behold, the kings assembled, they passed by together.
:5 They saw it, and so they marveled; they were troubled, they hastened away.
:6 Fear took hold of them there, and pain, as of a woman in birth pangs,
:7 as when You break the ships of Tarshish with an east wind.
:8 As we have heard, so we have seen in the city of the Lord of hosts, in the city of our God: God will establish it forever. Selah
:9 We have thought, O God, on Your lovingkindness, in the midst of Your temple.
:10 According to Your name, O God, so is Your praise to the ends of the earth; Your right hand is full of righteousness,
:11 Let the daughters of Judah be glad, because of Your judgments.
:12 Walk about Zion, and go all around her. Count her towers;
:13 mark well her bulwarks; consider her palaces; that you may tell it to the generation following.
:14 For this is God, Our God forever and ever; He will be our guide even to death.

This is headed up as The Glory of God in Zion.

It is an open invitation to visit the City of God.

We used to sing a song years ago in church that went like this:
Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised,
in the city of our God, in the mountains of His holiness.
Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth,
Is Mount Zion on the sides of the north
the city of the Great King.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Ps 47

Ps 47:1 Oh, clap your hands, all you peoples! Shout to God with the voice of triumph!
:2 For the Lord Most High is awesome; He is a great King over all the earth.
:3 He will subdue the peoples under us, and the nations under our feet.
:4 He will choose our inheritance for us, the excellence of Jacob whom He loves. Selah
:5 God has gone up with a shout, the Lord with the sound of the trumpet.
:6 Sing praises to God, sing praises! Sing praises to our King, sing praises!
:7 For God is King of all the earth; sing praises with understanding.
:8 God reigns over the nations; God sits on His holy throne.
:9 The princes of the people have gathered together, the people of the God of Abraham. For the shields of the earth belong to God; He is greatly exalted.

This is headed Praise to God, the Ruler of the Earth.

This psalm declares that the Lord God is King over all the nations and people of the world,. We sometimes say, “make Jesus the Lord of your life, “ but it's a fact that Jesus IS Lord. We either live as if He is Lord or we live as if we are. How we respond to it doesn't change the fact that He is Lord of all. We don't submit to His Lordship because he is gonna do something if we don't. We submit willingly.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Ps 46

Ps 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
:2 Therefore we will not fear, even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
:3 though its waters roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with its swelling. Selah
:4 There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High.
:5 God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved; God shall help her, just at the break of dawn.
:6 The nations raged, the kingdoms were moved; He uttered His voice, the earth melted.
:7 The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah
:8 Come, behold the works of the Lord, who has made desolations in the earth.
:9 he makes wars cease to the end of the earth; He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two; He burns the chariot in the fire.
:10 Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will exalted in the earth!
:11 The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah

This is headed as God the Refuge of His People and Conqueror of the Nations.

The writer looked to God for all kinds of help.

  1. First, God is a refuge. A safe place where we can run for protection.
  2. Second, God is a help. A source of inner strength when troubles come into our lives
  3. Sometimes God is a fortress. He shields us from the troubles.
  4. Sometimes God allows us to go through the trouble but He walks through it with us.

It is broken into three parts by the word Selah. It gives us time to think about what we just read or sang.

  1. Proclaims God alone is our refuge. Money, ability, social status, friends, family – none of these bring any lasting security and stability. Life changes ALL the time. The only true source of security is the unmoving and unchanging love of God.
  2. Next one proclaims the safety and security of dwelling in God's presence. For Christians that is the conscious awareness that God is always with us.
  3. The last one looks forward to the day in the future when all of God's enemies will be destroyed.   

Friday, September 6, 2013

Ps 45

Ps 45:1 My heart is overflowing with a good theme; I recite my composition concerning the King; my tongue is the pen of a ready writer.
:2 You are fairer than the sons of men; grace is poured upon Your lips; therefore God has blessed You forever.
:3 Gird Your sword upon Your thigh, O Mighty One, with Your glory and Your majesty.
:4 And in Your majesty ride prosperously because of truth, humility, and righteousness; and Your right hand shall teach You awesome things.
:5 Your arrows are sharp in the heart of the King's enemies; the peoples fall under You.
:6 Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom.
:7 You love righteousness and hate wickedness; therefore God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness more tha Your companions.
:8 All Your garments are scented with myrrh and aloes and cassia, out of the ivory palaces, by which they have made You glad.
:9 Kings' daughters are among Your honorable women; at Your right hand stands the queen in gold from Ophir.
:10 Listen, O daughter, consider and incline your ear; forget your own people also, and your father's house;
:11 so the King will greatly desire your beauty; because He is your Lord, worship Him.
:12 And the daughter of Tyre will come with a gift; the rich among the people will seek your favor.
:13 The royal daughter is all glorious within the palace; her clothing is woven with gold.
:14 She shall be brought to the King in robes of many colors; the virgins, her companions who follow her, shall be brought to You.
:15 With gladness and rejoicing they shall be brought; they shall enter the King's palace.
:16 Instead of Your fathers shall be Your sons, whom You shall make princes in all the earth.
:17 I will make Your name to be remembered in all generations; therefore the people shall praise You forever and ever.

This is headed as The Glories of the Messiah and His Bride

There are many ways to interpret this psalm.

  1. The psalm was composed as a love song to exalt the love of King Solomon for his bride.
  2. It is also clear that the author looked beyond Solomon to the King of Israel, the Lord God.
  3. We as Christians have come to know God as Jesus Christ, so this psalm is also a messianic psalm that pictures Israel's future Messiah.

The “bride” in the psalm can be viewed in three ways:

  1. Originally the bride referred to one of Solomon's wives, perhaps the first wife, the wife of his youth and of his heart.
  2. The bride of the King can also be understood as the Old Testament nation of Israel. The Lord often refers to Himself as Israel's bridegroom.
  3. It can also be applied to the New Testament church, the bride of Christ.

The psalm is a hymn about the majesty of Christ and His marriage to a bride. Four aspects of Jesus' majesty are emphasized:

  1. First about Christ the man – verse 2. The King in the psalm was a man, but He was more than a man, He came to the world with a message of grace; He is blessed by God forever.
  2. Second was Christ the King – verse 3. It simply confirms what all the rest of scripture teaches that Jesus is King over all.
  3. Third is Christ the Lord – verse 6. King is a title of majesty. This King, this Man, is called God.
  4. Finally the Messiah was pictured as Christ the Bridegroom – verses 13-15). Christ has chosen a bride and He has made the bride perfect and clothed her in the costliest garments. The day will soon come when Jesus will step out of heaven and claim His bride as His own. He is not just Lord of all; He is the lover of our souls.

Redeemed: Big Daddy Weave

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Ps 44

Ps 44:1 We have heard with our ears, O God, our fathers have told us, the deeds You did in their days, in days of old:
:2 You drove out the nations with Your hand, but them You planted; You afflicted the peoples, and cast them out.
:3 For they did not gain possession of the land by their own sword, nor did their own arm save them; but it was Your right hand, Your arm, and the light of Your countenance, because You favored them.
:4 You are my King, O God; command victories for Jacob.
:5 Through You we will push down our enemies; through Your name we will trample those who rise up against us.
:6 For I will not trust in my bow, nor shall my sword save me.
:7 But You have saved us from our enemies, and have put to shame those who hated us.
:8 In God we boast all day long, and praise Your name forever. Selah
:9 But You have cast us off and put us to shame, and You do not go out with our armies.
:10 You make us turn back from the enemy, and those who hate us have taken spoil for themselves.
:11 You have given us up like sheep intended for food, and have scattered us among the nations.
:12 You sell Your people for next to nothing, and are not enriched by selling them.
:13 You make us a reproach to our neighbors, a scorn and a derision to those all around us.
:14 You make us a byword among the nations, a shaking of the head among the peoples.
:15 My dishonor is continually before me, and the shame of my face has covered me,
:16 because of the voice of him who reproaches and reviles, because of the enemy and the avenger.
:17 All this has come upon us; but we have not forgotten You, nor have we dealt falsely with Your covenant.
:18 Our heart has not turned back, nor have our steps departed from Your way;
:19 but You have severely broken us in the place of jackals, and covered us with the shadow of death.
:20 If we had forgotten the name of our God, or stretched out our hands to a foreign god,
:21 would not God search this out? For He knows the secrets of the heart.
:22 Yet for Your sake we are killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
:23 Awake! Why do You sleep, O Lord? Arise! Do not cast us off forever.
:24 Why do You hide Your face, and forget our affliction and our oppression?
:25 For our soul is bowed down to the dust; our body clings to the ground.
:26 Arise for our help, and redeem us for Your mercies' sake.

This is headed as Redemption Remembered in Present Dishonor.

Ever feel like God must have fallen asleep while dealing with your situation? Well Psalm 44 is for you right then. It will help you put into words that frustration, and find help to keep trusting.

Here are four things it points out:

  1. God has helped us before. (verses 1-8). As they looked back over history they saw time and again when God had helped His people. If we look back over our lives or the lives of the people in the bible we will see the same thing.
  2. God wasn't helping them right then. (verses 9-16). So what changed? They were confused. Sometimes we get that way too when it seems God isn't working on our behalf.
  3. God should be helping them (us). (verses 17-22) The usual reason He wasn't helping was sin or disobedience, but here they say they are being faithful to God. So they appealed to God's honor for deliverance from their enemies (situation),.
  4. God will help us. (verses 23-26). God may seem asleep but He never sleeps. God will have the final word. We never know what He is doing that is unseen on our behalf. And sometimes, He is trying to teach us something in the meantime.

There are times when we go through things through no fault of our own (sin or disobedience). But so did Jesus. He suffered the cross and He had done NOTHING to deserve it. Our situation seems small in comparison doesn't it?

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Ps 43

Ps 43:1 Vindicate me, O God, and plead my cause against an ungodly nation; oh, deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man!
:2 For You are the God of my strength; why do You cast me off? Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?
:3 Oh, send out Your light and Your truth! Let them lead me; let them bring me to Your holy hill and to Your tabernacle.
:4 Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy; and on the harp I will praise You, O God, my God.
: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, the help of my countenance and my God.

This is headed as Prayer to God in Time of Trouble.

Ever had a time of trouble and you just didn't know what to pray? Pray this psalm for starters.