1 Give ear to my words, O LORD, considers my sighing.
2 Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for to you I pray.
3 In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.
4 You are not a God who takes pleasure in evil; with you the wicked cannot dwell.
5 The arrogant cannot stand in your presence; you hate all who do wrong.
6 You destroy those who tell lies; bloodthirsty and deceitful men the LORD abhors.
7 But I, by your great mercy, will come into your house; in reverence will I bow down toward your holy temple.
8 Lead me, O LORD, in your righteousness because of my enemies– make straight your way before me.
9 Not a word from their mouth can be trusted; their heart is filled with destruction. Their throat is an open grave; with their tongue they speak deceit.
10 Declare them guilty, O God! Let their intrigues be their downfall. Banish them for their many sins, for they have rebelled against you.
11 But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them that those who love your name may rejoice in you.
12 For surely, O LORD, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield.
As you read this chapter think back to the examples that God has given to us in the Old Testament as examples of righteousness and unrighteousness lifestyles. Also, as you reflect on the psalms remember that the writer and the readers did not have all the scripture that we have now. The Pentateuch (the writings of Moses) were the main writings that David or the writers of the other psalms were referring to as God’s Word or his Law. However, in this law they were given examples such as Cain and Abel, Isaac and Esau, Joseph and his brothers, and others as an illustration on how they should live their life on this earth.
This is a psalm related to prayer. The very reason I started my reading of the psalms several years ago was to help my prayer life. Prayer is the process of making request to God. As I have been studying the psalms in my quest to improve my prayer life, I have found out how important the Lord’s Prayer found in Matthew 6:9-15 is in a believer’s life. This prayer has five simple parts which are very important in guiding our prayer life.
- Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.
- Your kingdom come; your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
- Give us today our daily bread.
- Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
- And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one
Simply put we look to God for our daily needs. Leave the future to him. In the past few years my prayer request has change from praying for things to a prayer of becoming more Christ-like in my daily walk. As I take a close look at this psalm, the Lord’s prayer and the life of Christ from the Gospels I realized that our daily prayer is a prayer for God to need our physical needs and a prayer to guide us in the activities of the coming day. That all! In this process the things that God has taken out of my life and the things He has brought into my life has richly blessed me. The psalmist stated better than I could in verses eleven and twelve of this psalm. So just take refuge in Christ, rest in the peace he gives you, and enjoy the blessings he brings your way.
One of the interesting facts about the Bible is that it is a great history book of the nation Israel. One interesting period of this history is the first one hundred and twenty years of nation under the three kings: Saul, David, and Solomon. If we looked at the first one hundred and twenty years in American history 1789 – 1909 we can see how much God has blessed this nation just like Israel was blessed. This time period in American history would represent the time period of the presidents from George Washington to William Howard Taft. During this time period our nation grew from the thirteen original states to forty-six states. It grew from the western boundaries of the nation being the Appalachian Mountains to the western boundaries being the Pacific coast. It grew from a colonial state that just gained its independence to one of the most powerful nation in the world. When we look at the history of Israel during these one hundred and twenty years, we must consider that the growth of the nation of Israel was also similar to the growth of the America during her first one hundred and twenty years. It grew from a group of disorganized tribes to the most powerful nation on earth at that time. When studying the psalms, the reader must realize that much of the history of this book was written during the latter part of Saul’s reign and the reign of David as king. By understanding the history of this time period and the relationship between Saul and David, as well as the relationships of David with his sons and other officials we can grasp a better understanding of the psalms.
As one grows daily in the Lord, we learn that the disappoints that come into our life are usually self-imposed or imposed upon us by others. Yet, we listen as the inexperience and immature believer question situations in their life as to “why God would let this happen to me?”. The simple reply to their question is “Have you turned your eyes upon Jesus?”. The words from Helen Howarth Lemmel song Turned Your Eyes upon Jesus remind us that when we do turn our eyes upon Jesus that the things of earth grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.
O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free!
Through death into life everlasting
He passed, and we follow Him there;
O’er us sin no more hath dominion—
For more than conquerors we are!
His Word shall not fail you—He promised;
Believe Him, and all will be well:
Then go to a world that is dying,
His perfect salvation to tell!
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.
One of the greatest signs that a believer walk is mature is where his or her focus on life lies. Is it on the things that causes the lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and the pride of life or is the focus on walking with Christ?