1I call on the LORD in my distress, and he answers me. 2 Save me, O LORD, from lying lips and from deceitful tongues. 3 What will he do to you, and what more besides, O deceitful tongue? 4He will punish you with a warrior’s sharp arrows, with burning coals of the broom tree. 5 Woe to me that I dwell in Meshech, that I live among the tents of Kedar! 6 Too long have I lived among those who hate peace. 7I am a man of peace; but when I speak, they are for war.
This is the 1st of the fifteen Song of Ascents psalms. This psalm can have a special meaning to those individuals who have faced a time in their life where the lies and deceitful actions of others has caused and created destructive circumstances in their life. In verses one and two the psalmist calls to the Lord in his distress with the request to deliver him from lying lips and deceitful tongues. One of the pitfalls I now realized in dealing with people who use deceptive practices is the idea that the truth will prevail. Verse two describes these people as having lying lips and a deceitful tongue. These people use the same methods as Satan practices. Paul states this same type of description of the false prophets in the early church found in II Corinthians 11:13-15 “For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.”. The pitfall that we face is that we expect that truth will prevail over deceitful tongues and lying lips almost immediately. That is not the case. If this is true, then the real question we must face is how do we deal with people in our life you use lies and deceitful actions to get their way. The answer is not easy.
One of the issues I discovered is that people who used deceptive ways are cunnings. Psalm 64 describes their ways as a perfectly devised plan. So be careful in dealing with people in your life those that use lies and deceitful actions to get their way. It is better to turn the issue over to the Lord then to handle it yourself. This is the action that the psalmist is describing here in verse three when he states, “What will he (the Lord) do to you and what more besides”. Leaving judgment in God’s hands may seem impossible at the time, however, this is the action that David practiced in dealing with people who use lies and deceitful actions to get their ways.
One of the timeless truths that comes from this psalm is the wonder of God’s grace in our life. By waiting on God to take action we will not only see righteousness prevail, but we can also experience the peace that his grace affords use. The words of the song He Giveth More Grace by Annie J. Flint described to us how boundless his grace ready can be.
He giveth more grace as our burdens grow greater, He sendeth more strength as our labors increase; To added afflictions He addeth His mercy, To multiplied trials He multiplies peace.
When we have exhausted our store of endurance, When our strength has failed ere the day is half done, When we reach the end of our hoarded resources Our Father’s full giving is only begun.
Fear not that thy need shall exceed His provision, Our God ever yearns His resources to share; Lean hard on the arm everlasting, availing; The Father both thee and thy load will upbear.
His love has no limits, His grace has no measure, His power no boundary known unto men; For out of His infinite riches in Jesus He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again
So, wait on the Lord and watch his grace grow in your life which will give you a much richer life.
Psalm 119 is simple a poem about the law, testimonies, ways, precepts, statues, commandments, ordinances, word, judgements, and promises of the Lord. As one slowly reads these words we are reminded how important it is to stay in God’s Word.
Psalm 118 1 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever. 2 Let Israel say: “His love endures forever.” 3 Let the house of Aaron say: “His love endures forever.” 4 Let those who fear the LORD say: “His love endures forever.” 5 In my anguish I cried to the LORD, and he answered by setting me free. 6 The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? 7 The LORD is with me; he is my helper. I will look in triumph on myenemies. 8 It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man. 9 It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in princes. 10 All the nations surrounded me, but in the name of the LORDI cut them off. 11They surrounded me on every side, but in the name of the LORD I cut them off. 12 They swarmed around me like bees, but they died out as quickly as burning thorns; in the name of the LORDI cut them off. 13I was pushed back and about to fall, but the LORD helped me. 14 The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. 15 Shouts of joy and victory resound in the tents of the righteous: “The LORD‘s right hand has done mighty things! 16 The LORD’s right hand is lifted high; the LORD’s right hand has done mighty things!” 17I will not die but live, and will proclaim what the LORD has done. 18 The LORD has chastened me severely, but he has not given me over to death. 19 Open for me the gates of righteousness; I will enter and give thanks to the LORD.
20 This is the gate of the LORD through which the righteous may enter. 21 I will give you thanks, for you answered me; you have become my salvation. 22 The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone; 23 the LORD has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes. 24 This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. 25 O LORD, save us; O LORD, grant us success. 26 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD. From the house of the LORDwe bless you. 27 The LORD is God, and he has made his light shine upon us. With boughs in hand, join in the festal procession up to the horns of the altar. 28You are my God, and I will give you thanks; you are my God, and I will exalt you. 29 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.
THE STONE THE BUILDERS REJECTED HAS BECOME THE CAPSTONE is also found in Matthew 21:42, Mark 12:10, Luke 20:17, Acts 4:11, Ephesians 2:20 and 1 Peter 2:7. In Matthew 21:42 Christ used it to sum up the parable of the wicked tenants. “Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: ” ‘The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes’? “Therefore, I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit. He who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces, but he on whom it falls will be crushed”.
As I study the scriptures I realize that without Jesus there is no need for the Bible. Jesus is the story of redemption that is proclaimed throughout the entire Bible. If your foundation of understanding the Bible is not built on the cornerstone of Jesus then you foundation will be unstable. Christian organization therefore must bases it foundation on Christ.
The first and last verses of this psalm “Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever” is a testimony of one that has walked in the way of the Lord for a long period of time. It is easy to talk to other Christians about the Bible and the blessings as well as the tribulations we seem to face on our daily journey in life. However, our conversations with those that have not witness the love of Christ in their life seem to be short-lived. This is why it is so important to be a light that points others to Christ, by our actions. Our actions and lifestyle can often lead an individual to Christ, where our preaching to them will usually turn them away.
Psalm 117 1 Praise the LORD, all you nations; extol him, all you peoples. 2 For great is his love toward us, and the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever. Praise the LORD.
This short psalm is everything a person really needs to know about God.
This poem was from a chain email, so I will pass it on all who look at this psalm.
God Lives Under The Bed
I envy Kevin. My brother Kevin thinks God lives under the bed. At least that’s what I heard him say one night.
He was praying out loud in his dark bedroom, and I stopped to listen,” Are you there, God?” he said. “Where are you? Oh, I see. Under the bed…” I giggled softly and tiptoed off to my own room. Kevin’s unique perspectives are often a source of amusement.
But that night something else lingered long after the humor I realized for the first time the very different world Kevin lives in. He was born 30 years ago, mentally disabled as a result of difficulties during labor. Apart from his size (he’s 6-foot-2); there are few ways in which he is an adult.
He reasons and communicates with the capabilities of a 7-year-old, and he always will. He will probably always believe that God lives under his bed, that Santa Claus is the one who fills the space under our tree every Christmas and those airplanes stay up in the sky because angels carry them.
I remember wondering if Kevin realizes he is different. Is he ever dissatisfied with his monotonous life? Up before dawn each day, off to work at a workshop for the disabled, home to walk our cockier spaniel, return to eat his favorite macaroni-and-cheese for dinner, and later to bed. The only variation in the entire scheme is laundry, when he hovers excitedly over the washing machine like a mother with her newborn child. He does not seem dissatisfied. He lopes out to the bus every morning at 7:05, eager for a day of simple work. He wrings his hands excitedly while the water boils on the stove before dinner, and he stays up late twice a week to gather our dirty laundry for his next day’s laundry chores. And Saturdays-oh, the bliss of Saturdays! That’s the day my Dad takes Kevin to the airport to have a soft drink, watch the planes land, and speculates loudly on the destination of each passenger inside. “That one’s going’ to Chi-car-go!” Kevin shouts as he claps his hands. His anticipation is so great he can hardly sleep on Friday nights. And so goes his world of daily rituals and weekend field trips.
He doesn’t know what it means to be discontent.
His life is simple.
He will never know the entanglements of wealth of power, and he does not care what brand of clothing he wears or what kind of food he eats. His needs have always been met, and he never worries that one day they may not be.
His hands are diligent. Kevin is never as happy as when he is working. When he unloads the dishwasher or vacuums the carpet, his heart is completely in it.
He does not shrink from a job when it is begun, and he does not leave a job until it is finished. But when his tasks are done,
Kevin knows how to relax.
He is not obsessed with his work or the work of others.
His heart is pure.
He still believes everyone tells the truth, promises must be kept, and when you are wrong, you apologize instead of arguing.
Free from pride and unconcerned with appearances,
Kevin is not afraid to cry when he is hurt, angry or sorry.
He is always transparent, always sincere.
And he trusts God.
Not confined by intellectual reasoning, when he comes to Christ, he comes as a child.
Kevin seems to know God – to really be friends with Him in a way that is difficult for an “educated” person to grasp.
God seems like his closest companion.
In my moments of doubt and frustrations with my Christianity I envy the security Kevin has in his simple faith.
It is then that I am most willing to admit that he has some divine knowledge that rises above my mortal questions.
It is then I realize that perhaps he is not the one with the handicap.
I am. My obligations, my fear, my pride, my circumstances – they all become disabilities when I do not trust them to God’s care.
Who knows if Kevin comprehends things I can never learn?
After all, he has spent his whole life in that kind of innocence, praying after dark and soaking up the goodness and love of God.
And one day, when the mysteries of heaven are opened, and we are all amazed at how close God really is to our hearts, I’ll realize that God heard the simple prayers of a boy who believed that God lived under his bed.
1I love the LORD, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy. 2 Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live. 3 The cords of death entangled me, the anguish of the grave came upon me; I was overcome by trouble and sorrow. 4 Then I called on the name of the LORD: “O LORD, save me!” 5 The LORD is gracious and righteous; ourGod is full of compassion. 6 The LORD protects the simple hearted; when I was in great need, he saved me. 7 Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the LORD has been good to you. 8 For you, O LORD, have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling, 9 that I may walk before the LORD in the land of the living.
10I believed; therefore I said, “I am greatly afflicted.” 11 And in my dismay I said, “All men are liars.” 12 How can I repay the LORD for all his goodness to me? 13I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the LORD. 14I will fulfill my vows to the LORD in the presence of all hispeople. 15 Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of hissaints. 16 O LORD, truly I am yourservant; I am yourservant, the son of yourmaidservant; you have freed me from my chains. 17I will sacrifice a thank offering to you and call on the name of the LORD. 18I will fulfill my vows to the LORD in the presence of all hispeople, 19 in the courts of the house of the LORD in your midst, O Jerusalem. Praise the LORD.
Charles Spurgeon notes to the Village Preacher called this Psalm “Psalm of Thanksgiving in the Person of Christ”. As I read this Psalm, I can picture Christ living this Psalm during his time on this earth. Spurgeon writes that this Psalm is a continuation of Psalm 115 was is consider the Passover Psalm. It could be considered as a Psalm that represents the nation of Israel coming out of the bondage of Egypt. As we look at the first verse, we see three key points that should be in our life. First, I love the Lord. Second, God hears my voice. And third, my cry that he heard is for mercy. Why do I cry for mercy? Mercy is defined as: compassionate or kindly forbearance shown toward an offender, an enemy, or other person in one’s power; compassion, pity, or benevolence. Who else could I turn to, beside God? However, if I picture this as a Psalm that my Lord would pray, why would he call for mercy? Would it be because of John 3:16?
As a young boy around eleven I would help milk the cows in the early mornings and evenings seven days a week. It was during this time in my life I remember the song “Tell Me the Story of Jesus” that would play on the radio at this time. This was back in the early sixties. This Psalm reminds me of my story of a journey with Jesus that started at an early age. The Christian walk is not just a walk that means I go to church on Sunday but left out my beliefs in my daily secular walk. No, it is a walk that makes me a servant to God’s way, and His will.
1 Not to us, O LORD, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness. 2 Why do the nations say, “Where is their God?” 3OurGod is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him. 4 But theiridols are silver and gold, made by the hands of men. 5They have mouths, but cannot speak, eyes, but they cannot see; 6they have ears, but cannot hear, noses, but they cannot smell; 7they have hands, but cannot feel feet, but they cannot walk; nor can they utter a sound with their throats. 8Those who make them will be like them and so will all who trust in them. 9 O house of Israel, trust in the LORD –he is their help and shield. 10 O house of Aaron, trust in the LORD –he is their help and shield. 11You who fear him trust in the LORD – he is their help and shield. 12 The LORD remembers us and will bless us: He will bless the house of Israel, he will bless the house of Aaron, 13he will bless those who fear the LORD – small and great alike. 14 May the LORD make you increase, both you and your children. 15 May you be blessed by the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. 16 The highest heavens belong to the LORD, but the earth he has given to man. 17 It is not the dead who praise the LORDthose who go down to silence; 18 it is we who extol the LORD, both now and forevermore.
Praise the LORD.
In chapter one of his book Knowledge of The Holy, A.W. Tozer writes:
That our idea of God corresponds as nearly as possible to the true being of God is of immense importance to us. Compared with our actual thoughts about Him, our creed statements are of little consequence. Our real idea of God may lie buried under the rubbish of conventional religious notions and may require an intelligent and vigorous search before it is finally unearthed and exposed for what it is. Only after an ordeal of painful self-probing are, we likely to discover what we actually believe about God.
By studying God’s Word daily, we get to look into his mirror of truth. It is amazing how the first impression of the people we meet are later changed as we grow to know the other person better. If we get pass the first impression our personal relationship with that person will usually deepen and grow richer. This is also true of our idea of God. This relationship grows once we learn the fear of the Lord which is the beginning of wisdom. In today’s reading the phrase fear of the Lord or fear the Lord is used in Psalm 111, Psalm 112, Psalm 115 and Proverb 23. So, as a starting point in developing a better relationship with God ask yourself this question “What does the fear of the Lord mean to me?”. Therefore, as I study the Psalms and the rest of God’s Word I must start off with a fear of the Lord that looks at God as creator of this universe and a God that does whatever pleases Him.
Verses sixteen, seventeen, and eighteen gets us the focus of our praise. Our praise goes to the Lord of heaven, not to men on this earth. No matter how powerful a man becomes, no matter how rich a man becomes, no matter how famous a man becomes; he will die. Those who gods are created by man will die and go down in silence; however, we who extol the Lord will praise the Lord both now and forever. Yes, we have life eternal.
Psalm 114 1 When Israel came out of Egypt, the house of Jacob from a people of foreign tongue, 2Judah became God’s sanctuary, Israelhis dominion. 3 The sea looked and fled, the Jordan turned back; 4 the mountains skipped like rams, the hills like lambs. 5 Why was it, O sea, that you fled, O Jordan, that you turned back, 6 you mountains, that you skipped like rams, you hills, like lambs? 7 Tremble, O earth, at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob, 8who turned the rock into a pool, the hard rock into springs of water.
Image you are fifty-eight years old. You are one of the oldest survivors among a nation that has spent the last forty years in the wilderness, but now are ready for the promises of God made to this generation. You are one of the few that can recall the riches of Egypt that this nation left to travel to the new land that God had promise to Abraham almost five hundred years earlier. As this generation looked back on the past forty years on a journey through the desert they could look back to not only to the rebellious ways of their parents and grandparents; but also to the many miracles that also witness that came from God.
This is one of the advantages that a believer has when he or she accepts the way of the Lord at an early age. Having grandparents and a mother that loved the Lord I was blessed to have an early start in my life to be introduce and follow the way of the Lord. During this journey of over sixty years, I have witness both the rebellious ways of many believers as well as the great triumphs of God working miracles in the believers’ lives. So, I do not have to worry about tomorrow because the God that brought an entire nation out of slavery to become a nation (which still exist to this day) is more able to take care of an individual believer.
Psalm 113 1 Praise the LORD. Praise, O servants of the LORD, praise the name of the LORD. 2 Let the name of the LORD be praised, both now and forevermore. 3 From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the LORD is to be praised. 4 The LORD is exalted over all the nations, his glory above the heavens. 5 Who is like the LORDourGod, the One who sits enthroned on high, 6who stoops down to look on the heavens and the earth? 7He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap; 8he seats them with princes, with the princes of their people. 9 He settles the barren woman in her home as a happy mother of children. Praise the LORD.
One of the simple truths that we sometimes overlook in reading the psalms is the truth it reveals about the relationship between God and man. Verse one starts out with the phase “Praise Yahweh”. The phrase “Praise the Lord” comes from the Hebrew word Hallelu Yah and is used twenty-four times in the Hebrew Bible and four times in the Greek form in the book of Revelations. The word Hallelujah (Alleluia) that we use in Christians songs today literally means Praise the Lord. This psalm puts in place when we should praise the Lord, now and forever, and from the raising of the sun to the setting of the sun. In other words, everything we do should reflect our Praising of the Lord. In good times and bad times, we should always praise the Lord. Yes, even in the bad times as we learn from Job. In Job, 1:21 after Job lost all his earthly goods as well as his children he fell to the ground in worship and said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb and naked I shall return.” The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord”. In other words, no matter what is happening in your life today your life should always reflect the phrase “Praise the Lord”. This is truly the relationship that man was created to have with God.
1 Praise the LORD. Blessed is the man who fears the LORD, who finds great delight in his commands. 2Hischildren will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed. 3 Wealth and riches are in his house, and his righteousness endures forever. 4 Even in darkness light dawns for the upright, for the gracious and compassionate and righteous man. 5 Good will come to him who is generous and lends freely, who conducts his affairs with justice. 6 Surely he will never be shaken; a righteous man will be remembered forever. 7He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the LORD. 8His heart is secure, he will have no fear; in the end he will look in triumph on hisfoes. 9He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor, his righteousness endures forever; his horn will be lifted high in honor. 10 The wicked man will see and be vexed, he will gnash his teeth and waste away; the longings of the wicked will come to nothing.
When I consider the phrase “blessed is the one who fears the Lord” I reflect to Psalm one. The key in understanding this phrase is found in the word blessed. In Psalm 1, we are told, “Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law, he meditates day and night.” The fear of the Lord is an understanding of God and his way. To grasp an understanding of this verse we must understand the definition of fear. Fear can be defined as a feeling of anxiety (restlessness caused by uncertainties) that marks a state of guard apprehension and uneasiness that forces one to make decisions. This blessing comes from a trust and obeys relationship with the Lord.
As I study this Psalm, I cannot help to be drawn back to the teaching of Psalm one. God has given us the way to walk in; however, humankind seems to want more. The truth of this Psalm is we are to trust and obey the God.
The difference in the life of the man who fears the LORD and the life of the man who does not is the caretaker. As I work in my backyard or on my land, I realize how much the design reflects the desire and purpose of me the caretaker. The same is with the one that looks to the Lord as the one that directs his life. This is the type of relationship that Christ spoke of in John chapter fifteen:
1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
2 Every branch in me that bears not fruit, he takes it away: and every branch that bears fruit, he cleanses it, that it may bear more fruit.
3 Already ye are clean because of the word, which I have spoken unto you.
4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; so, neither can ye, except ye abide in me.
5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abides in me, and I in him, the same bears much fruit: for apart from me ye can do nothing.
6 If a man abides not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
The wicked, the one that does not have the fear of God in their life does not have the caretaker in their life. May my life (the work of God’s hand in the life of an old saint) reflects the same joy in God that I have when I set in the designer’s chair, look out, and delight in the beauty that my secret garden gives me?
1 Praise the LORD, I will extol the LORD with all my heart in the council of the upright and in the assembly. 2 Great are the works of the LORD; they are pondered by all who delight in them. 3 Glorious and majestic are his deeds, and hisrighteousness endures forever. 4He has caused hiswonders to be remembered; the LORD is gracious and compassionate. 5He provides food for those who fear him; he remembers his covenant forever. 6He has shown hispeople the power of hisworks, giving them the lands of other nations. 7 The works of his hands are faithful and just; all hisprecepts are trustworthy. 8They are steadfast for ever and ever, done in faithfulness and uprightness. 9He provided redemption for his people; he ordained hiscovenant forever-holy and awesome is his name. 10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow hisprecepts have good understanding. To him belongs eternal praise.
Last night during the silent of my time in prayer, I realized how important the very first verse of the Bible is to humanity “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth”. God is responsible for our very being; however, we become so wrapped up in our affairs and the social environment in which we live in that we forget that God even exist. The world around us has taken God out of the picture. God is either too big to care about the events of our individual lives, or he really does not exist. This psalm helps bring us back to the simple relationship we need to have with God. God is our creator and we are his creation. After reading Proverbs twenty-two, I realized that “Rich and poor have this in common: The LORD is the Maker of them all”. All men must call him creator.
First, we must praise and extol the One who made our being possible. Do this with your entire heart. The path of knowledge starts with this simple understanding of “in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth”. If you do not have this as the foundation and starting point to ponder everything you see, hear, taste, and touch then your thoughts will lead to the wrong conclusions. Today as you read, the psalms focus on the phrase the fear of the Lord. This fear is the starting point in understanding the world around you.
When I consider the second part of verse ten “all who follow his precepts have good understanding”, I cannot help but place an emphasis of the importance of starting the day out with the Word. The world is ready to let us know our problems. In Genesis, three Adam and Eve hide from God because they were afraid and naked. As we study the account of the fall in Genesis chapter three, we realize that God did not asked Adam why he was afraid; but instead ask him “who told you that you were naked?” However, before Adam could reply to God’s answer God ask Adam another question “have you eaten from the tree?” Adam’s reply it was the woman who you gave me that gave me the fruit. So, in fact, Adam blames God instead of taking the blame himself. In I Timothy 2 :14 we realize that Adam was not deceived or beguiled, but freely chose to take the fruit. Whom do we listen to every day? The world around you, or God? Therefore, do we follow God’s precepts, or do we listen to the world?