Psalm 31

Psalm 31
of David.
1 In you, O LORD, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame; deliver me in your righteousness.
2 Turn your ear to me, come quickly to my rescue; be my rock of refuge, a strong fortress to save me.
3 Since you are my rock and my fortress, for the sake of your name lead and guide me.
4 Free me from the trap that is set for me, for you are my refuge.
5 Into your hands I commit my spirit; redeem me, O LORD, the God of truth.
6 I hate those who cling to worthless idols; I trust in the LORD.
7 I will be glad and rejoice in your love, for you saw my affliction and knew the anguish of my soul.
8 You have not handed me over to the enemy but have set my feet in a spacious place.
9 Be merciful to me, O LORD, for I am in distress; my eyes grow weak with sorrow, my soul and my body with grief.
10 My life is consumed by anguish and my years by groaning; my strength fails because of my affliction and my bones grow weak.
11 Because of all my enemies, I am the utter contempt of my neighbors; I am a dread to my friends those who see me on the street flee from me.
12 I am forgotten by them as though I were dead; I have become like broken pottery.
13 For I hear the slander of many; there is terror on every side; they conspire against me and plot to take my life.
14 But I trust in you, O LORD; I say, “You are my God.”
15 My times are in your hands; deliver me from my enemies and from those who pursue me.
16 Let your face shine on your servant; save me in your unfailing love.
17 Let me not be put to shame, O LORD, for I have cried out to you; but let the wicked be put to shame and lie silent in the grave.
18 Let their lying lips be silenced, for with pride and contempt they speak arrogantly against the righteous.
19 How great is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you, which you bestow in the sight of men on those who take refuge in you.
20 In the shelter of your presence you hide them from the intrigues of men; in your dwelling you keep them safe from accusing tongues.
21 Praise be to the LORD, for he showed his wonderful love to me when I was in a besieged city.
22 In my alarm I said, “I am cut off from your sight!” Yet you heard my cry for mercy when I called to you for help.
23 Love the LORD, all his saints! The LORD preserves the faithful, but the proud he pays back in full.
24 Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the LORD.

As I read this psalm, I can see this as a psalm that the Lord would prayer, since it reflects his life on this earth.

As I read this psalm today I could not help think of David’s life from the time that Samuel anointed him as the king that would replace Saul in I Samuel 15:13 to the time of his death I Kings 2:10,11. I King 1:29 is David’s testimony to this “And the king swore, and said, as Jehovah lives, who hath redeemed my soul out of all adversity, verily as I swore unto thee by Jehovah, the God of Israel, saying, assuredly Solomon thy son shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne in my stead; verily so will I do this day. David knew that his seed would reign after him as promised by God; however, his son Absalom try to take the kingdom from him by the use of force. Adonijah try to take the kingdom when David was well stricken in years by using politics to arrange a collation that would make him king. It is interesting that David did not interfere with Adonijah setting himself up as King. I King1:6 “His father (David) had never interfered with him by asking, “Why do you behave as you do?” He was also very handsome and was born next after Absalom”. However, when informed of what was happening, he charged Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet and Benaiah son of Jehoiada to set up Solomon as king. As I study David’s life, I see a pattern of how David waited on the Lord to make major decisions. His indecision is sometimes viewed as not taking a stand, however the more I study David’s life I can see how this was his waiting on God to intervene.

After studying the life of President George W. Bush, I learned that this psalm as well as psalm 91 were his two favorite psalms. I can see several of the characteristics in his life and his administration that seem to others as being indecisive, but in reality, he was reflecting the characteristics of a mature servant of Christ. The characteristic of waiting on the Lord is a characteristic that only comes by having a personal wilderness experience where God’s presence since so far removed from you. In fact some of the verse that Christ quoted to Satan in Matthew chapter four when he was in the wilderness came from Psalms 91. Knowing about the faith of President George W. Bush in God I can now see how the role of President given to him by God came about after much preparation of the events God placed in his life.

As I try to apply this principle of waiting in my own life over the past several years, I realized how strong my personal belief must be in God’s ability to take care of everything in our life. What then is the role I take in making those major decisions in my life?
Keys from this chapter:
• I have taken refuge in the Lord
• I let God lead and guide me
• Into God’s hands I commit my spirit
• I hate those who cling to worthless idols
• I trust in the LORD
• I will be glad and rejoice in your love
• I trust in the Lord
• I have cried out to the Lord
• I called to the Lord for help
• I will be strong and take heart
• I hope in the LORD
• And most important, I will leave the judgment of the wicked, proud and those who cling to worthless idols to the Lord.

So sometimes my waiting on the Lord may be viewed by others as indecisiveness, a weakness or not taking a stand on an issue, but like David I have learned to wait upon the Lord.

As I study this psalm, I look to it as a prayer that Christ would prayer during his ministry here on earth. Verse eight “You have not handed me over to the enemy but have set my feet in a spacious place” reminds me of the one enemy that all mankind faces and that is death. As I studied this psalm this morning, I realized that Christ has conquered death. In I Corinthians 15 Paul discuss the resurrection and how this is the heart of the gospel. Without the resurrection there is not gospel. As believers we must realize that the battles we face and the enemies we face are dominions, authorities, and powers in the heavenly realm. The last enemy to be destroyed is death itself. So, as we face the issues in life itself remember that the real battles are spiritual and not of things on this earth. Do not let the events of today and our daily concerns over what we should eat, wear or what activities we should do guide your conversion. Turn your eyes to Christ who set the example for all believers by depending on the Father to meet all his needs. Study the gospels and learn of him, and your walk on this earth will be different.

Psalm 30

Psalm 30
for the dedication of the temple. Of David.
1 I will exalt you, O LORD, for you lifted me out of the depths and did not let my enemies gloat over me.
2 O LORD my God, I called to you for help and you healed me.
3 O LORD, you brought me up from the grave; you spared me from going down into the pit.
4 Sing to the LORD, you saints of his; praise his holy name.
5 For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.
6 When I felt secure, I said, “I will never be shaken.”
7 O LORD, when you favored me, you made my mountain stand firm; but when you hid your face, I was dismayed.
8 To you, O LORD, I called; to the Lord I cried for mercy:
9 “What gain is there in my destruction, in my going down into the pit? Will the dust praise you? Will it proclaim your faithfulness?
10 Hear, O LORD, and be merciful to me; O LORD, be my help.”
11 You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
12 that my heart may sing to you and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever.

This psalm of dedication for the Temple came from David’s experiences of daily walking with God. Paul like David also had many incidents in his daily walk with Christ. Oswald Chamber’s devotional for February 6 centered on II Timothy 4:6 where Paul stated, “I am already poured out as a drink offering…”. Paul knew that his time on earth was near, and that his work for Christ was almost finished. In this devotional Oswald Chambers reveals three characteristics that will come from our experience of being broken bread and poured out wine. First God will send you through an unexplainable crisis in private, one where no other person (even those close to you) can help you. I believe God has given us the book of Job to help us through these times. For then we go through a time of crisis it is usually like Job’s crisis where no one including Job himself could explain why it was happening. The second characteristic of this crisis that we must understand is the way we must deal with the crisis. Sympathy will be showered on us by others when we try to handle the crisis in our own strength. However, the true work of the crisis does not come until we deal this the crisis with God and God alone. This process is just like offering a sacrifice, it must go through the fire, be purified and set apart for God’s use. The third and last characteristic that happens in your life is when another crisis arises, you now realize that God is always presence, even though you might not be able to see him. Any crisis that is faced after going through this process will no longer touch us like they did in the past. People will see the change in you but cannot usually explain it unless they have been through this process too.

As I read verse one the words “for you lifted me out of the depths” seem to describe those to whom the Lord uses for his special purposes on this earth. It is the process of regeneration, of Christ living in us, that transforms us into an instrument that God can use for his ministry. As you read this Psalm notice how it is God that makes things happen. He is the one that lifts me up, heals me, brings me up from the grave, spares me from the pit, who favors me, makes me stand, who turns my wailing into dancing, and removes my sorrow and clothes me with joy.

Psalm 29

Psalm 29
of David.

1 Ascribe to the LORD, O mighty ones, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.
2 Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness.
3 The voice of the LORD is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the LORD thunders over the mighty waters.
4 The voice of the LORD is powerful; the voice of the LORD is majestic.
5 The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars; the LORD breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon.
6 He makes Lebanon skip like a calf, Sirion like a young wild ox.
7 The voice of the LORD strikes with flashes of lightning.
8 The voice of the LORD shakes the desert; the LORD shakes the Desert of Kadesh.
9 The voice of the LORD twists the oaks and strips the forests bare. And in his temple all cry, “Glory!”
10 The LORD sits enthroned over the flood; the LORD is enthroned as King forever.
11 The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace.

As I read this psalm, I guess my life is not really “All about me”. In reality it is really all about my relationship to God and others. This relationship could be understood and illustrated by studying the relationship the Sun has with the Moon, and the Earth. Of these three the sun is the only source of power; the moon and the earth only receive their energy from the Sun. Our relationship with God can be seen as the same relationship that the Moon and the Earth has with the Sun. My relationship to the people around me should be like the relationship that the moon has to the earth. The light of the moon is nonexistence. It has no light of its own. It only reflects the light of the Sun. Its presence can sometimes be seeming dimly in the daytime when its darkness is revealed in the light of the day. But the glory of the moon is really revealing at night when it is reflecting the light of the Sun in the darkness that surrounds the Earth at that time. It is the position of the Moon in its relationship to the Earth and the Sun that determines the brightness of the moon.

This is also true of the believer. It is our relationship with God and the world that determines how bright our light shines for Him. A Christian’s walk that is worldly can be compared to the moon when it is barely visible during the day and its present is usually not noticed at all. However, it is in the darkness that sin brings into this world that God uses those who are in the right relationship with Him to reflect his glory and give light to a dark world. As Christ reminded us of in Matthew 5:14-16 “Ye are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a lamp, and put it under the bushel, but on the stand; and it shine unto all that are in the house. Even so let your light shine before men; that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”. Yes, my life is really “All about Him” and He should receive all the glory. So, the question I must ask myself daily is “Do I really live my life so that others see God working in my life, or do I try to take this glory and heap it on myself?”.

Psalm 28

Psalm 28

Of David.
1 To you I call, O LORD my Rock; do not turn a deaf ear to me. For if you remain silent, I will be like those who have gone down to the pit.
2 Hear my cry for mercy as I call to you for help, as I lift up my hands toward your Most Holy Place.
3 Do not drag me away with the wicked, with those who do evil, who speak cordially with their neighbors but harbor malice in their hearts.
4 Repay them for their deeds and for their evil work; repay them for what their hands have done and bring back upon them what they deserve.
5 Since they show no regard for the works of the LORD and what his hands have done, he will tear them down and never build them up again.
6 Praise be to the LORD, for he has heard my cry for mercy.
7 The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.
8 The LORD is the strength of his people, a fortress of salvation for his anointed one.
9 Save your people and bless your inheritance; be their shepherd and carry them forever.

As I read this verse today in relationship to Oswald Chamber’s devotion from August fourth I noticed that the Psalmist does not claim to have done anything great in these verses. This point was also made in Oswald Chamber’s devotion from August 4th in that it is out of our poverty that God uses us for His purpose. As I read this devotion, I thought back to II Timothy 2:20-22 ” Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some unto honor, and some unto dishonor. If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honor, sanctified, meet for the master’s use, prepared unto every good work. After righteousness, faith, love, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart”. So, as a believer we must present ourselves as a clean vessel for the master’s use. Remember a vessel is empty, it is God that fills and uses the vessel. All we must provide for God to use us for his purpose is a vessel of honor. People who know not God who plot evil in their heart and show no regard for the things of God might not see the true believer as a vessel of God, but God does. My prayer is for anyone that reads Psalms twenty-eight to see that the way of the wicked (see Psalms one) is the wrong path to travel. The right path is for those who call on God out of a pure heart.

As I study this psalm today the phase found in verse one “For if you remain silent, I will be like those who have gone down to the pit” revealed how strong my relationship with God must be. I searched and realized this is the first psalm that uses the word pit to refer to the grave. Without God in our life we are dead. If you jump over to Psalm 88 you will read a psalm that is probably one of the hardest psalms to understand. The reason is that we look for hope when we read the Psalms. There is no hope in Psalm 88. This psalm ends with the verse “you have taken my companions and loved ones from me; the darkness is my closest friend. This I believe was the psalmist greatest fear in his life, a life without God. Yet how many people do we meet daily who are living in the pit and living the lifestyle of the wicked. Verses three and five sums up the characteristic of the wicked “those who do evil, who speak cordially with their neighbors but harbor malice in their hearts, they show no regard for the works of the Lord”, Study the makeup of the pit as the Lord gives it in Luke 16:19-27 and as I believe Psalms 88 portrays it. Yes there is a hell (the pit where God’s presence cannot be found) as well as a heaven (where the dwelling of God is with men). The choose of your final resting place depends your answer to one question. What will you think of Christ?

As I study this psalm, I noticed that verse three starts out with the phase “Do not drag me away with the wicked with those who do evil” and verse seven ends with the phrase “he has heard my cry for mercy”. This is the message of the gospel. We are all guilty before God, but he does extend to us mercy. As I read Oswald Chambers devotional for November 5, he brings out the role of Jesus in our life. He illustrated how Mary believed that Jesus had a special intimacy with God, and that whatever He asked of God, God would do. However, he brought out the point that Mary realized that she needed a closer personal intimacy with Jesus. In verse two we see that this is also what David wanted. His desire was to have a closer personal intimacy to God. This Psalm contains the gospel message of God. We are all guilty before God, however God does extend his mercy to us. Once this happens, we are changed and see the old wicked way in which we walked for what it was and turn from that way. We then find our strength in the Lord and our desire than focus on become more like God.

Psalm 27

Psalm 27
Of David.
1 The LORD is my light and my salvation whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life of whom shall I be afraid?
2 When evil men advance against me to devour my flesh, when my enemies and my foes attack me, they will stumble and fall.
3 Though an army besieges me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then will I be confident.
4 One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.
5 For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock.
6 Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me; at his tabernacle will I sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the LORD.
7 Hear my voice when I call, O LORD; be merciful to me and answer me.
8 My heart says of you “Seek his face!” 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 helper. Do not reject me or forsake me, O God my Savior.
10 Though my father and mother forsake me, the LORD will receive me.
11 Teach me your way, O LORD; lead me in a straight path because of my oppressors.
12 Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes, for false witnesses rise up against me, breathing out violence.
13 I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.
14 Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.

As I read verse four I am drawn to John 14: 2-3 “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” American society is overexposed to the daily outlet of media broadcasting that has had a great impact unto our lifestyle. This media overexposure impacts many believers with a great desire to live for today and building a brighter future for living their life on this earth than seeking heavenly treasure. However, the true believer’s focus should also be looking for the Lord’s coming and the arrival of the New Jerusalem and the New Heaven and the New Earth.

Key points from this chapter:
Can you state the same truths in your life with the (I) statements as David did in this psalm?
• whom shall, I fear?
• whom shall I be afraid?
• I ask of the LORD that I may dwell in his house
• I seek that I may gaze upon his beauty
• I seek him in his temple
• I sacrifice with shouts of joy
• I will sing and make music
• I call on the Lord
• I will seek his face
• I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living

Can you state the same truths in your life with the (me) statements as David did in this psalm?
• LORD is my light
• LORD my salvation
• LORD is the stronghold of my life
• He will keep me safe in his dwelling
• He will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle
• He set me high upon a rock
• my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me
• Hear my voice when I call
• LORD; be merciful to me
• Lord answer me
• Though my father and mother forsake me, the LORD will receive me
• Teach me your way
• lead me in a straight path because of my oppressors
• Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes
• false witnesses rise up against me

Can you wait for the LORD and can you be strong and take heart?
A text sent to me:
Sincerely the Fallen
At what point in our life do we reach the crossroads?
How do we determine which path to follow?
Do we follow our heart or our ambitions?
Why is there enough religion to insight war, but not enough to find peace?
When is it time to give up on the world and seek a better place?
Only the truth will set you free.
Where do you find it in a world of lies?
God have pity on the fallen.
May you find peace in this life for it has failed me.
Sincerely the Fallen
My reply:
At what point in our life do we reach the crossroads?
This crossroad is reached when you must decide which path you desire to follow, the way of the wicked or the way of God.
How do we determine which path to follow?
You make this choice. Do I travel and walk with the wicked, stand with the sinners, and sit with the mockers or do I travel and walk, stand, and sit with the righteous? The choice is yours.
Do we follow our heart or our ambitions?
Neither, we follow Christ.
Paul states that we should have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had in our relationship to others. Christ was Lord, yet he humbles himself and died as a criminal on the cross. The human nature struggle with the issues of pride and humility daily. To aid us in this struggle Paul gives us this advice: don’t be selfish, do not try to impress others, think others as better than yourself, do not look to your own interest but take an interest in others.
Why is there enough religion to insight war, but not enough to find peace?
You must realize that religion is man-made and attempts to find peace. Real peace only comes when we have a true relationship with God.
When is it time to give up on the world and seek a better place?
Christ stated it as simply “Come unto me all who are weak and heavy laden, and I will give you rest”.
Only the truth will set you free.
Ask must add to this statement “free from what?”. As I look at John chapter 18 in the discourse between Pilate and Christ:
Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then. Jesus answered; thou say that I am a king. To this end have I been born, and to this end am I come into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth hearth my voice. Pilate said unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and said unto them, I find no crime in him. But ye have a custom, that I should release unto you one at the Passover: will ye therefore that I release unto you the King of the Jews? They cried out therefore again, saying, Not this man, but Barabbas. Now Barabbas was a robber.
I once heard of a man that that went searching for Truth, met Truth and turned and walked away. This is what Pilate did. Yes, Truth can set you free, but only if you face it.
Where do you find it in a world of lies?
In Christ who is the truth, the life, and the way and the only way to the Father.
God have pity on the fallen.
He has for we are all fallen creatures. However, God so loved us that he sent his only son into this world to die on the cross to pay for my sins. In his love he pitied us, but also made a way out in Christ.
May you find peace in this life for it has failed me.
Read Psalm 88.

Psalm 26

Psalm 26
Written by David

1 Vindicate me, O LORD, for I have led a blameless life; I have trusted in the LORD without wavering.
2 Test me, O LORD, and try me, examine my heart and my mind;
3 for your love is ever before me, and I walk continually in your truth.
4 I do not sit with deceitful men, nor do I consort with hypocrites;
5 I abhor the assembly of evildoers and refuse to sit with the wicked.
6 I wash my hands in innocence, and go about your altar, O LORD,
7 proclaiming aloud your praise and telling of all your wonderful deeds.
8 I love the house where you live, O LORD, the place where your glory dwells.
9 Do not take away my soul along with sinners, my life with bloodthirsty men,
10 in whose hands are wicked schemes, whose right hands are full of bribes.
11 But I lead a blameless life; redeem me and be merciful to me.
12 My feet stand on level ground; in the great assembly I will praise the LORD

As I look at this Psalm written by David, I see a Psalm of prayer. The word I is used in this Psalm ten times and the word me or my is used twelve times. Usually when we focus on how many times a person uses the word I in their conversation it portrays a sense of self-confidence in their abilities which leads to pride and the desire to live a life without God. But here in this Psalm David’s I’s focus on his walk with God and his desire separation from the way of the wicked, by looking at the words I and me we can get an idea of how David leads a blameless life. He starts out with the request to the Lord of vindicate me. He is asking the Lord to clear him of either some accusation, blame, suspicion, or doubt with supporting arguments stating he has led a blameless life. He is asking the Lord to defend, maintain, or insist on the recognition of his blameless life because he trusts in the Lord without wavering. In other words, his faith did not move unsteadily back and forth his faith remains unchanging. Unchanging faith in the Lord is a characteristic that David learned at an early age in his life. It was this faith in the Lord that kept him going when he was running from Saul. David’s faith knew who God was, knew the nature of God, knew the nature of man, and knew how-to walk-in truth. This walk of truth that David had is the same walk that we need to follow in our walk on this earth.
Paul gives us the fruits that are a characteristic of this walk in Galatians 5:
• love
• joy
• peace
• longsuffering
• kindness
• goodness
• faithfulness,
• meekness
• self-control;
He goes on in this chapter to state that the whole law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: Thou shall love thy neighbor as thyself.

David asks the Lord to test him, try, him, and examine his heart and his mind. When you ask for a procedure that includes a critical evaluation and a means of determining the presence, quality, or truth about your statement I led a blameless life; then I hope you are ready for the real test. This will put you in the same league as Job, Joseph, and David himself. However, David was sure of two facts: that God’s love is forever, and David’s walk was a regular daily walk which was not interrupted and was steady according to God’s truth.

Verses four and five reminds me of Psalm one. David refused to sit with deceitful (deliberately misleading) men, nor to keep company or be in accord or agreement with those that pretend to practice the beliefs, feelings, and virtues of godliness but whom do not hold or possess these qualities. He also hated the assembly of those that performs evil acts and refused to be in the company of those who were evil by nature and who had destructive, troublesome and corrupt practices.

Verses six and seven gives us a key to David’s blameless walk. He includes in these verses the act of washing his hands in innocence as he states in Psalm 51 “Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow” which refers to his knowing he is not perfect. This is the beauty of God’s Word for it is like a mirror which when we look into it, we get a sense of Christ’s nature and this similarity in appearance and character will become more of our nature the more we stay in His Word. This was fact number two; fact number one is David’s proclaiming aloud the praises of God and the telling of His wonderful deeds. Question, do you let others know how great God is to you? David did.

As I look at verse four “I do not sit with deceitful men, nor do I consort with hypocrites” I must stop and think about what groups would other people around me associate me with? As we investigate God’s Word (the true mirror to our inward self) it should reveal to us our true intent of our hearts. However, how do I appear to others? Can they see the true intents of my heart? It depends upon what their true intents are. Remember, a person’s view of God does not reveal to them what God is but what that person wants to believe about God. This is the same view they have about me and anyone else they are around. Just as people can reject or accept God’s true nature so they can reject or accept our true nature. Look at verse four in this light then and ask yourself which group you associate yourself with, deceitful men or men of true.

In I Samuel 12:20-25 Samuel gives the children of Israel the desire of their heart, a king. They recognized this as an act of adding to their sins but ask Samuel to pray for them so that they might not die. Samuel’s answer was “Do not fear. You have committed all this evil, yet do not turn aside from following the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart.” David was not even born when Samuel gave this warning to the children of Israel and when he stepped aside and let them, have Saul as their king. After Saul’s failure to follow the Lord and his ways, the Lord rejected him. I Samuel 15:30 “Then he said “I have sinned, but please honor me now before the elders of my people and before Israel and go back with me, that I may worship the Lord your God” illustrates the true abandonment of Saul’s association with God and God’s association with Saul. David did not want this abandonment. To David the words of Samuel from the past “Only fear the Lord and serve Him in truth with all your heart, for consider what great things He has done for you”, became the guiding light to the blameless walk that David led.

Psalm 25

Psalm 25IMG_0595

written by David.
1 To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul;
2 in you I trust, O my God. Do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me.
3 No one whose hope is in you will ever be put to shame, but they will be put to shame who are treacherous without excuse.
4 Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths;
5 guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.
6 Remember, O LORD, your great mercy and love, for they are from of old.
7 Remember not the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways; according to your love remember me, for you are good, O LORD.
8 Good and upright is the LORD; therefore he instructs sinners in his ways.
9 He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way.
10 All the ways of the LORD are loving and faithful for those who keep the demands of his covenant.
11 For the sake of your name, O LORD, forgive my iniquity, though it is great.
12 Who, then, is the man that fears the LORD? He will instruct him in the way chosen for him.
13 He will spend his days in prosperity, and his descendants will inherit the land.
14 The LORD confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them.
15 My eyes are ever on the LORD, for only he will release my feet from the snare.
16 Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted.
17 The troubles of my heart have multiplied; free me from my anguish.
18 Look upon my affliction and my distress and take away all my sins.
19 See how my enemies have increased and how fiercely they hate me!
20 Guard my life and rescue me; let me not be put to shame, for I take refuge in you.
21 May integrity and uprightness protect me, because my hope is in you.

22 Redeem Israel, O God, from all their troubles!

 

When I was in the third grade, I had a teacher who share his belief about God with the entire class.  He told us we needed to grow up and take control of our life and leave the notion that we are special before God behind.  God gave us a brain and we should rely on thinking abilities to make our decisions since the notion of a personal God was a myth.  However, my fourth-grade teacher believed in a personal God in which you could have a personal relationship with and her life reflected that relationship.  As I look back to these two teachers I realize that one of the first steps in understanding the book of Psalms is knowing that the loving God of the universe has not only reached out to mankind; but he has reached out to each individual to have this personal relationship that was reflected in Mrs. Wilson’s life.  So, as we study this psalm we need to focus on David’s actions and the request that he is requesting from his personal Lord.

Actions:

  • I lift up my soul
  • I trust in God
  • I desire honor not shame
  • I desire victory over my enemies
  • I hope in the Lord
  • I desire to be a student of the Lord’s ways
  • I desire to be guided into truth by the Lord
  • I desire redemption from my rebellious ways
  • I desire to keep our ways
  • I take refuge in the Lord

We can also see some of God’s attributes in this psalm:

  • God honors those who hope in him
  • The Lord has great mercy and love
  • The Lord is good and upright
  • The Lord guides and instruct the humble
  • All the Lord’s ways are loving and faithful for those who keeps the demand of his covenant
  • The Lord confides in those who fear him
  • The Lord makes known his covenant to those who know him
  • Only the Lord can release me from the snares of the wicked

Now the real focus of this psalm “David’s request before the Lord”

  • Do not let me be put to shame
  • Do not let my enemies triumph over me
  • Show me your ways
  • Teach me your paths
  • Guide me in your truth and teach me
  • Remember not the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways
  • Forgive me my iniquities
  • Release me from the snares of the wicked
  • Lord turn to me and be gracious to me
  • Free me from the anguish of my troubles
  • Guard my life and rescue me
  • May your integrity and uprightness protect me, since my hope is in you.
  • Redeem Israel (USA) from all their troubles

Is your God a God that just lives way up there and looks down at the world and treats each of us as if we were but ants on an anthill; or is your God a God that knows your name and knows the count of every hair on your head?

 

As I read Psalms twenty-one through twenty-five today and relate it to the events happening in our nation today, I gain a new apprehension for President Bush.  Stephen Mansfield wrote in his book The Faith of George W. Bush:

“The great undeniable change in George W. Bush is revealed in his total commitment to help his country preserve freedom’s blessing, to feel compassion for those who suffer, his love for God, his faith, and his desire for peace around the world.” (page 163)

 

“George W. Bush shared his belief that Jesus Christ is the greatest example of principled living and the person he most admires.” (page 164)

 

I am afraid that is not the position that our current President Obama has in his running of our nation.  In a recent article I read by Senator Jim DeMint titled We the People vs I Won he wrote:

It is too early to draw conclusions about President Obama and his administration.  But so far, nothing so encapsulates the president’s approach to executive leadership than his famous rebuke to stimulus critics: “I won.”

In a press conference in Turkey (April 6 2009) President Obama remarked:

“I think that where — where there’s the most promise of building stronger U.S.-Turkish relations is in the recognition that Turkey and the United States can build a model partnership in which a predominantly Christian nation and a predominantly Muslim nation, a Western nation and a nation that straddles two continents — that we can create a modern international community that is respectful, that is secure, that is prosperous; that there are not tensions, inevitable tensions, between cultures, which I think is extraordinarily important.

That’s something that’s very important to me. And I’ve said before that one of the great strengths of the United States is — although as I mentioned, we have a very large Christian population, we do not consider ourselves a Christian nation or a Jewish nation or a Muslim nation; we consider ourselves a nation of citizens who are bound by ideals and a set of values.

I think Turkey was — modern Turkey was founded with a similar set of principles, and yet what we’re seeing is in both countries that promise of a secular country that is respectful of religious freedom, respectful of rule of law, respectful of freedom, upholding these values and being willing to stand up for them in the international stage. If we are joined together in delivering that message, East and West, to — to the world, then I think that we can have an extraordinary impact. And I’m very much looking forward to that partnership in the days to come.”

 

President Bush like David shared his personal faith in God and Christ the King of Kings and Lord of Lords; however, President Obama like Saul look to himself as the chief administration who does not have to answer to God.  I pray that he realizes that there is a warning in Psalm 2:10-12 for all rulers:

“Therefore, you kings, be wise; be warned, you rulers of the earth.  Serve the LORD with fear and rejoice with trembling.  Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you be destroyed in your way, for his wrath can flare up in a moment.   Blessed are all who take refuge in him.”

As I observe the events around me, I must realize that all things are in the Lord’s hands.  Even when the rulers of this earth do not realize the Lord we can be like the seven thousand who have not bowed down to the gods of this world, but who remain faithful to God.  So, as I read Psalms twenty-one through twenty-five today I will chose to make my God a personal God and follow after Mrs. Wilson’s example instead of a third grade teacher’s example who by the way his name I have long forgotten.

Psalm 24

Psalm 24IMG_0146

Of David.

1 The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it;
2 for he founded it upon the seas and established it upon the waters.
3 Who may ascend the hill of the LORD? Who may stand in his holy place?
4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear by what is false.
5 He will receive blessing from the LORD and vindication from God his Savior.
6 Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek your face, O God of Jacob. Selah
7 Lift up your heads, O you gates; be lifted up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may 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 them up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in.
10 Who is he, this King of glory? The LORD Almighty he is the King of glory. Selah

 

How would you answer the following questions?

  • Who is he this King of Glory in your life?
  • Are you watching for his coming?
  • How do you react to the news in today’s media?
  • Do your reactions to this news reflect your desire to see Christ coming?
  • Is he the king of your life?
  • Have you open the doors to your heart to this King?
  • Are you ready to ascend the hill of the Lord and stand in his holy place?

You really only have two chooses: The Lord or the idol of the god you have created.

 

Psalm 23

Psalm 23

IMG_5762

of David.

1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters,
3 he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

 

This is one of the first psalms that many young people memorize and place in their heart.  It is a simple psalm yet rich in meaning.  The relationships are simple.  The Lord is the shepherd, and we are his sheep.  He leads and we follow.  He takes care of us and we enjoy the life he gives us.  Our companions are goodness and love and they will be with us along the entire journey.  Our dwelling will be in the house of the Lord forever.

 

I could go deeper with this psalm as many other writers have in the past.  However, this is a personal psalm, a psalm of a personal relationship between the Lord (shepherd) and the believer (sheep).  Once you know the Lord and walk with Him then these words will have a special meaning to you.  You will recall times in your past walks that he gave you rest, times in the past that he had to restore you, times in the past when everything seem too far gone to be save and yet he rescued you, times that he blessed you as your enemies were watching and observing how great God rewarded you, times when the peace of God that passes all understanding came over you and finally you truly realized that this world is not your home but heaven is and you enjoy your life on this as a journey with friends and family.  If you don’t know the Lord and you are going about this journey on earth alone, then you are missing the most precious relationship that you could have on this earth.

As I read this Psalm, I realized that it is a Psalm that I have hidden in my heart.  As I journey daily on this life, I must realize that this shepherd in Psalms twenty-three is also the one who opens and closes the doors of opportunity for me as I continue on this journey of life on this earth.  Verse six which states “surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life” should be the goal we pursue daily.  It is easy for us to want more.  I remember a picture of four cows divided into four pastures with each cow reaching between the barbwire into the pasture of the other cow.  The words underneath this picture was “The grass is greener on the other side”.   Ask yourself this question today, “are you happy to be in the green pastures that the Lord makes you lie down in today”?  Remember it is the shepherd that leads you in the path of life.  Stay on the path and Goodness and Mercy will follow you all the days of your life.

Psalm 22

Psalm 22IMG_3783

of David.
1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from the words of my groaning?
2 O my God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night, and am not silent.
3 Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One; you are the praise of Israel.
4 In you our fathers put their trust; they trusted and you delivered them.
5 They cried to you and were saved; in you they trusted and were not disappointed.
6 But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by men and despised by the people.
7 All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads:
8He trusts in the LORD; let the LORD rescue him. Let him deliver him, since he delights in him.”
9 Yet you brought me out of the womb; you made me trust in you even at my mother’s breast.
10 From birth I was cast upon you; from my mother’s womb you have been my God.
11 Do not be far from me, for trouble is near and there is no one to help.
12 Many bulls surround me; strong bulls of Bashan encircle me.
13 Roaring lions tearing their prey open their mouths wide against me.
14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. My heart has turned to wax; it has melted away within me.
15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; you lay me in the dust of death.
16 Dogs have surrounded me; a band of evil men has encircled me, they have pierced my hands and my feet.
17 I can count all my bones; people stare and gloat over me.
18 They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing.
19 But you, O LORD, be not far off; O my Strength, come quickly to help me.
20 Deliver my life from the sword, my precious life from the power of the dogs.
21 Rescue me from the mouth of the lions; save me from the horns of the wild oxen.
22 I will declare your name to my brothers; in the congregation I will praise you.
23 You who fear the LORD, praise him! All you descendants of Jacob, honor him! Revere him, all you descendants of Israel!
24 For he has not despised or disdained the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help.

25 From you comes the theme of my praise in the great assembly; before those who fear you will I fulfill my vows.
26 The poor will eat and be satisfied; they who seek the LORD will praise him– may your hearts live forever!
27 All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the LORD, and all the families of the nations will bow down before him,

28 for dominion belongs to the LORD and he rules over the nations.
29 All the rich of the earth will feast and worship; all who go down to the dust will kneel before himthose who cannot keep themselves alive.
30 Posterity will serve him; future generations will be told about the Lord.
31 They will proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn- for he has done it.

 

 

As one reads and studies this psalm the main theme that should be considered in this psalm is the prophecy concerning the afflicted one.  This is the afflicted one that the eunuch, the official in charge of all the treasury of the queen of the Ethiopians, asks Philip about in Act chapter eight.  His question to Philip as he was reading Isaiah chapter fifty-three was if Isaiah was writing about himself or another.   Philip then began with that very passage of Scripture and told the Ethiopian eunuch the good news about Jesus.  I can see Philip also referring to Psalm 22 as he told the eunuch about Jesus.  This psalm of David from the past points to the future coming of the afflicted one and the promises of his future kingdom.  This chapter now points us to the past of the suffering one who ministry was recorded for us in the gospels.  This psalm outlines the gospels for us.  However, when reading this psalm, we must remember that there is still the later part that must still be fulfilled.

 

After losing a loved one the words of verse 26 “they who seek the LORD will praise him may your hearts live forever” and verse 29 “all who go down to the dust will kneel before him those who cannot keep themselves alive” bring extra comfort from reading this psalm.  In a way the life that we live on this earth is also a life that seems to have a lot of things in common with this psalm as we walk in God’s ways.  For we also have Satan as our enemy, and the key to winning our daily battles is not in our strength, but our faith in our Lord.  As we study Ephesians six we see that our struggles are not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.  However, God has given us an armor to wear that we may stand against the evil one.  This armor:

 

             the belt of truth buckled around your waist

the breastplate of righteousness

the sandals of the gospel of peace which are fitted with the readiness to be presented to a world in need of the truth.

the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one

the helmet of salvation

the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God

  • and a prayer life in the Spirit for the purpose of praying for all the saints

Therefore, as we walk on our journey through life we must realize that we must be Christ-like in our walk.  And if we walk in this way, we will face some of the issues that David and Christ faced in his psalm.  Remembering this one theme as we journey through life that Christ came to save sinners and give them eternal life.  Eternal life is not depended upon how I lived my life on this earth, but on what Christ did on Calvary for all who believed on him.  However, my walk should have one purpose in life and that is to be more Christ-like in everything I do.  This is the type of walk that should bring the people who meet me to a greater understanding of this psalm and a deeper understanding of Christ.  If this is not the purpose of my life, then I will become as one that at the time of my death my life would have been saved but will have my life’s works on this earth destroyed.

I Corinthians 3:10-15

By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds.

For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.

If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw,

his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work.

If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward.

If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.

 

This passage from I Corinthians helps us understand and even comfort us when those who knows Christ but does not live a life that is worthy of him dies.  Our justification for our salvation rest in his works alone while the receiving of this justification from our sins in our faith in him alone.  As I John 5:12 puts it best “He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.”  Yes, their rewards will be lost, but they will be saved.  What a wonderful God.

 

 

As I study David’s life I realize that God’s plan for us in much more deeper than we can imagine.  In I Samuel 27 we are given a picture of David’s heart after his running from Saul for several years. In verse one we see a change in David’s desire for his future “And David said in his heart, I shall now perish one day by the hand of Saul: there is nothing better for me than that I should escape into the land of the Philistines; and Saul will despair of me, to seek me any more in all the borders of Israel: so shall I escape out of his hand.”  He was tired of running from Saul.  The words found in verses one through eighteen this psalm could have set the stage for David’s decision found in I Samuel 27:1. But God did not have this in his plans for David.   Read I Samuel 29:1-11 on how God intervene to keep David from fighting against Israel.  It is amazing how God used David (the one who Samuel anointed king) to write about the events in his life that would point to the events and sufferings of the future Anointed One (Christ).  It is also amazing how we can look at the events in David’s life to help us live a more Christ-like in our own lives.   This is the principle that Paul puts forth for us to live by in Philippians chapter three.

 

 

As I study David’s life, I have a problem searching for events in his life where he made the wrong decision and because of that decision events happened that could have been prevent.   I base this belief on I King 15:4 “because David did that which was right in the eyes of Jehovah, and turned not aside from anything that he commanded him all the days of his life, save only in the matter of Uriah the Hittite.”  David was a man after God’s own heart, in other words his thoughts and actions where Godlike.  David realized the sinful nature within himself, but he also realized that all men had this sinful nature.  However, his knowledge went one step farther, and that he also knew the loving-kindness of the Lord and he reflected this in his actions to other.  He also knew that wickedness and evil came from a rejection of God’s kindness and forgiveness (grace) just as wickedness and evil comes from the rejection of our kindness and forgiven to others.  As I reflect upon the words of this Psalm, I can see how the life of David and Christ are reflective of the same type of scarifies that we must reflect in our life.  They left judgment to God and made their duty to proclaim the righteousness of God to their brothers.  This too is the life I must pursue.