Psalm 89

Psalm 89

A maskil of Ethan the Ezrahite.
1 I will sing of the LORD’s great love forever; with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known through all generations.
2 I will declare that your love stands firm forever, that you established your faithfulness in heaven itself.
3 You said, “I have made a covenant with my chosen one, I have sworn to David my servant,
4I will establish your line forever and make your throne firm through all generations.‘ Selah
5 The heavens praise your wonders, O LORD, your faithfulness too, in the assembly of the holy ones.
6 For who in the skies above can compare with the LORD? Who is like the LORD among the heavenly beings?
7 In the council of the holy ones God is greatly feared; he is more awesome than all who surround him.
8 O LORD God Almighty, who is like you? You are mighty, O LORD, and your faithfulness surrounds you.
9 You rule over the surging sea; when its waves mount up, you still them.
10 You crushed Rahab like one of the slain; with your strong arm you scattered your enemies.
11 The heavens are yours, and yours also the earth; you founded the world and all that is in it.
12 You created the north and the south; Tabor and Hermon sing for joy at your name.
13 Your arm is endued with power; your hand is strong, your right hand exalted.
14 Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; love and faithfulness go before you.
15 Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, O LORD.
16 They rejoice in your name all day long; they exult in your righteousness.
17 For you are their glory and strength, and by your favor you exalt our horn.
18 Indeed, our shield belongs to the LORD, our king to the Holy One of Israel.
19 Once you spoke in a vision, to your faithful people you said: “I have bestowed strength on a warrior; I have exalted a young man from among the people.
20 I have found David my servant; with my sacred oil I have anointed him.
21 My hand will sustain him; surely my arm will strengthen him.
22 No enemy will subject him to tribute; no wicked man will oppress him.
23 I will crush his foes before him and strike down his adversaries.
24 My faithful love will be with him, and through my name his horn will be exalted.
25 I will set his hand over the sea, his right hand over the rivers.
26 He will call out to me, ‘You are my Father, my God, the Rock my Savior.’
27 I will also appoint him my firstborn, the most exalted of the kings of the earth.
28 I will maintain my love to him forever, and my covenant with him will never fail.
29 I will establish his line forever, his throne as long as the heavens endure.
30 “If his sons forsake my law and do not follow my statutes,
31 if they violate my decrees and fail to keep my commands,
32 I will punish their sin with the rod, their iniquity with flogging;
33 but I will not take my love from him, nor will I ever betray my faithfulness.
34 I will not violate my covenant or alter what my lips have uttered.
35 Once for all, I have sworn by my holiness and I will not lie to David
36 that his line will continue forever and his throne endures before me like the sun;
37 it will be established forever like the moon, the faithful witness in the sky.” Selah
38 But you have rejected, you have spurned, you have been very angry with your anointed one.
39 You have renounced the covenant with your servant and have defiled his crown in the dust.
40 You have broken through all his walls and reduced his strongholds to ruins.
41 All who pass by have plundered him; he has become the scorn of his neighbors.
42 You have exalted the right hand of his foes; you have made all his enemies rejoice.
43 You have turned back the edge of his sword and have not supported him in battle.
44 You have put an end to his splendor and cast his throne to the ground.
45 You have cut short the days of his youth; you have covered him with a mantle of shame. Selah
46 How long, O LORD? Will you hide yourself forever? How long will your wrath burn like fire?
47 Remember how fleeting is my life. For what futility you have created all men!
48 What man can live and not see death, or save himself from the power of the grave? Selah
49 O Lord, where is your former great love, which in your faithfulness you swore to David?
50 Remember, Lord, how your servant has been mocked, how I bear in my heart the taunts of all the nations,
51 the taunts with which your enemies have mocked, O LORD , with which they have mocked every step of your anointed one.
52 Praise be to the LORD forever!
Amen and Amen.

This psalm is a story of the promise savior given to mankind thru the line of David. The start of this psalm “I will sing of the LORD’s great love forever; with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known through all generations.” sets the stage for the rest of this psalm. The Lord’s great love for mankind can never be fully understand by anyone. This is one of the psalms that was forward looking from the time it was written to the time of the cross. Just like the Passover feast points to God’s deliverance of the first born at the time of the Exodus, this psalm gives us a picture of the ministry of the rejected anointed one.

As I was reading this psalm from my KJV study Bible verse one made me recall one of my favorite hymns of the past. Verse one in the King James Version reads ” I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations.” these words which were used in a hymn written by James Fillmore in the early 1900s. These words are so important in today’s world do I make known God’s faithfulness to all generations?

Psalm 88

Psalm 88

A maskil of Heman the Ezrahite.

1O LORD, the God who saves me, day and nightIcry out before you.
2 May my prayer come before you; turn your ear to my cry.
3 For my soul is full of trouble and mylife draws near the grave.
4 I am counted among those whogo down to the pit; I am like a man without strength.
5 Iam set apart with the dead, like the slain who lie in the grave, whom you remember no more, whoare cut off from your care.
6 You have put me in the lowest pit, in the darkest depths.
7 Your wrath lies heavily upon me; you have overwhelmed me with all your waves. Selah
8 You have taken from me myclosest friends and have made merepulsive to them. Iam confined and cannot escape;
9 my eyes are dim with grief. Icall to you, O LORD , every day; Ispread out my hands to you.
10 Do you show your wonders to the dead? Do those who are dead rise up and praise you? Selah
11 Is your love declared in the grave, your faithfulness in Destruction?
12 Are your wonders known in the place of darkness, or your righteous deeds in the land of oblivion?
13 But I cry to you for help, O LORD ; in the morning myprayer comes before you.
14 Why, O LORD , do you reject me and hide your face from me?
15 From my youth I have been afflicted and close to death; I have suffered your terrors and am in despair.
16 Your wrath has swept over me; your terrors have destroyed me.
17 All day long they surround me like a flood; they have completely engulfed me.
18 You have taken mycompanionsand loved onesfrom me; the darkness is my closest friend.

This is probably one of the hardest psalms to understand. Marshall H. Lewis wrote about this psalm “Psalm 88 is like no other psalm. There is nothing like it in the Psalter, nothing like it in the rest of the Bible, nothing like it among Israelite and Judean non-canonical psalms, nothing like it among Babylonian and Egyptian psalms. It is unique in its utter hopelessness, its complete lack of praise, its unmitigated blame of God. Brueggemann goes so far as to call it “an embarrassment to conventional faith.” Not even the Book of Job is as dark. At least God responds to Job; here, the cry of the psalmist disappears into the void. God is invoked, but remains absent. This is the challenge in interpreting Psalm 88.” I believe that this psalm can be understood best as a psalm for those that rejects God’s provisional way of salvation. Read this psalm after you have read Luke 16:19-27. Put the rich man of Luke 16 in the subject role of this psalm. Notice that this psalm does not mention anything about repentance. Now read Romans chapter one, then reread Luke 16:19-27 and then reread this psalm. Unless you seek God and the righteousness found in the work of His son this will become your psalm after your death.

As I was reading this psalm I realized how much this gift of salvation really means to me. Now for the hard question, does my life reflect how important it is in my life to share God’s Word and his message of salvation from the pit, the grave, the place of darkness, the land of oblivion with others? In Luke 16:26 where Abraham tells the rich man that there is a great gulf fixed between us and that none can pass either way makes me realize how important God’s Word is in this world. When the rich man ask Abraham to send Lazarus back to warn his brothers Abraham stated “If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded if one rise from the dead”. It is not my lifestyle that leads other to Christ, but my lifestyle that can leads them to the source of my salvation which is Christ. Christ became the living Word. The song Let the Lower Lights Be Burning by Philip P Bless was written to encourage believers of their responsibilities to be the light on this earth to point others to the greater light so that they to might make it safely into the harbor.

  1. Refrain:
    Let the lower lights be burning!
    Send a gleam across the wave!
    Some poor fainting, struggling seaman
    You may rescue, you may save.

As you read verse eighteen “You have taken my companions and loved ones from me; the darkness is my closest friend” remember David’s words from Psalm 51:10-13:

  • Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
    Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.
    Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
    Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will turn back to you.

Remember it is your relationship with God that makes you shine, not the relationship you have with others. Strive to renew your relationship with God and he will make your light shine and hopefully your light will point them to the greater light.

I was presented another view of this psalm the other day that I believe opens up another side of looking at these verses that I have not considered. As I study the ministry of Christ I realize that during his ministry he knew it would end not only with his death on the cross, but also a separation from God. Paul writes in Ephesians 4:8-16:

Wherefore he said, When he ascended on high, he led captivity captive, And gave gifts unto men. (Now this, He ascended, what is it but that he also descended into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.) And he gave some to be apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, unto the work of ministering, unto the building up of the body of Christ: till we all attain unto the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a full-grown man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ: that we may be no longer children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, in craftiness, after the wiles of error; but speaking truth in love, we may grow up in all things into him, who is the head, even Christ; from whom all the body fitly framed and knit together through that which every joint supplies, according to the working in due measure of each several part, make the increase of the body unto the building up of itself in love.

The portion of these verses “Now this, He ascended, what is it but that he also descended into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.” refers to Christ fulfilling all things. So could this Psalm represent a prayer that the Lord prayed during his earthly ministry? If so we may never truly realized the price that Christ had to pay for our salvation. If your do a quick search of the word suffer in the Bible you will find one hundred and fifty reference the the word suffer in the New International Version:

and one hundred and nineteen reference to the word suffer in the New American Standard Version:

I Peter alone has nineteen references to the word suffer or suffering:

  1. 1 Peter 1:6
    In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.
  2. 1 Peter 1:11
    trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow.
  3. 1 Peter 2:19
    For it is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God.
  4. 1 Peter 2:20
    But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God.
  5. 1 Peter 2:21
    To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.
  6. 1 Peter 2:23
    When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.
  7. 1 Peter 3:14
    But even if you shouldsuffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear what they fear ; do not be frightened.”
  8. 1 Peter 3:17
    It is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.
  9. 1 Peter 4:1
    Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin.
  10. 1 Peter 4:12
    Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you.
  11. 1 Peter 4:13
    But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.
  12. 1 Peter 4:15
    If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler.
  13. 1 Peter 4:16
    However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.
  14. 1 Peter 4:19
    So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.
  15. 1 Peter 5:1
    To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder, a witness of Christ’s sufferings and one who also will share in the glory to be revealed:
  16. 1 Peter 5:9
    Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
  17. 1 Peter 5:10
    And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.

Committing yourself to suffering according to God’s will (as Christ suffered for our sins) is a difficult task for the believer. It is only by dying daily to His will and not ours that we can live the life that is found in the writings of Peter and the other apostles.

Psalm 87

Psalm 87

Of the Sons of Korah..

1 He has set his foundation on the holy mountain;

2 the LORD loves the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob.
3 Glorious things are said of you, O city of God: Selah
4 “I will record Rahab and Babylon among those who acknowledge me Philistia too, and Tyre, along with Cush and will say, ‘This one was born in Zion.'”
5 Indeed, of Zion it will be said, “This one and that one were born in her, and the Most High himself will establish her.”
6 The LORD will write in the register of the peoples: “This one was born in Zion.” Selah
7 As they make music they will sing, “All my fountains are in you.”

As I read the psalms there are some, I seem to read over to jump to the next and Psalm eighty-seven is one of these Psalms. As I read this Psalm, I reflect upon the verses found in Revelation chapter twenty-one.

And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

The phrase “those who acknowledge me” means more than just stating that there is a possibility that god could existed. The meaning of the word acknowledge is “to admit being real or true; recognize the existence, truth, or fact of” which is more than recognizing God, it is accepting Him. Not only is it accepting Him, but it is also accepting His way. Knowing God is more just becoming religious. Oswald Chambers stated in his devotional The Mystery of Believing “Many people begin coming to God once they stop being religious, because there is only one master of the human heart— Jesus Christ, not religion.” To truly acknowledge God, we must make Him the master of our heart.

Psalm 86

Psalm 86

A prayer of David.

1 Hear, O LORD, and answer me, for I am poor and needy.
2 Guard my life, for I am devoted to you. You are my God; save your servant who trusts in you.
3 Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I call to you all day long.
4 Bring joy to your servant, for to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
5 You are forgiving and good, O Lord, abounding in love to all who call to you.
6 Hear my prayer, O LORD; listen to my cry for mercy.
7 In the day of my trouble I will call to you, for you will answer me.
8 Among the gods there is none like you, O Lord; no deeds can compare with yours.
9 All the nations you have made will come and worship before you, O Lord; they will bring glory to your name.
10 For you are great and do marvelous deeds; you alone are God.
11 Teach me your way, O LORD , and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.
12 I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever.
13 For great is your love toward me; you have delivered me from the depths of the grave.
14 The arrogant are attacking me, O God; a band of ruthless men seeks my life men without regard for you.
15 But you, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.
16 Turn to me and have mercy on me; grant your strength to your servant and save the son of your maidservant.
17 Give me a sign of your goodness, that my enemies may see it and be put to shame, for you, O LORD, have helped me and comforted me.

There is an old hymn of the faith called “Tell Me the Story of Jesus” written by Frances J. Cosby that I am reminded of when I read verse eleven. The refrain of this song:

Tell me the story of Jesus,
Write on my heart every word.
Tell me the story most precious,
Sweetest that ever was heard

reminds me of the way of God that David wrote about in all his psalms. David look forwarded to the Savior, but we are so much more richer since we now have the story of Jesus in your life. David’s desire was to walk in God’s way and to walk in his truth. We should have the same love in sharing the story of Jesus that David had for studying God’s way. By sharing the story of Jesus to those around us, we will be more inclined to live this type of a blameless walk that David wrote about in Psalm 15. Paul’s writings also encouraged us to make our walk blameless before others:

  1. 1 Corinthians 1:8 He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
  2. Ephesians 1:4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love
  3. Ephesians 5:27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.
  4. Philippians 1:10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ,
  5. Philippians 2:15 so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe
  6. 1 Thessalonians 2:10 You are witnesses, and so is God, of how holy, righteous and blameless we were among you who believed.
  7. 1 Thessalonians 3:13 May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones.
  8. 1 Thessalonians 5:23 May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

In this psalm David also refers to himself as your servant. To truly be devoted to God we must become a servant to God just as David refers to in verse two. To gain a better understanding of the concept of this type of servant see my comments to Psalm 40. By being a servant of God two things will occur, God’s presence will be in your life and the wicked will stand against you.

In the daily reading of the Psalms today we start the devotional time with this Psalm and end with Psalm 90. In Psalm 86 David wrote “Teach me your way, O LORD, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.” These words bring to life the key to living a Christian life which is found in Psalms one. This fact is also found in Psalms 90:12 as Moses wrote “Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom”. Teach me God is a prayer that we need to pray more in our daily walk.

Psalm 85

Psalm 85

1 You showed favor to your land, O LORD; you restored the fortunes of Jacob.
2 You forgave the iniquity of your people and covered all their sins. Selah
3 You set aside all your wrath and turned from your fierce anger.
4 Restore us again, O God our Savior, and put away your displeasure toward us.
5 Will you be angry with us forever? Will you prolong your anger through all generations?
6 Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you?
7 Show usyour unfailing love, O LORD, and grant us your salvation.
8 I will listen to what God the LORD will say; he promises peace to his people, his saints but let them not return to folly.
9 Surely his salvation is near those who fear him, that his glory may dwell in our land.
10 Love and faithfulness meet; righteousness and peace kiss each other.
11 Faithfulness springs forth from the earth, and righteousness looks down from heaven.
12 The LORD will indeed give what is good, and our land will yield its harvest.
13 Righteousness goes before him and prepares the way for his steps

Love and faithfulness meet; righteousness and peace kiss each other. Faithfulness springs forth from the earth, and righteousness looks down from heaven. As I read these two verses, I see a beautiful picture of the gospel. God in his righteousness looked down from heaven and send his son into the world to give us hope. Now with hope we look to heaven with faithfulness knowing that Christ will come again and restore all things to him. This hope gives us peace. We no longer need to worry about today or tomorrow for the Lord will indeed give what is good to us.

Yet, this is not the hope of those who know not the Lord. Those who know not the Lord look to this hope as foolishness and a weakness to those who believe in this hope. I realized that their eyes are indeed blinded to this hope. Why this blindness? Is it because of the desires for the things of this life (the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life) that is ever portrait before them by Satan? As I look back on my walk with the Lord, I realize the hardships that were part of my path, the many failures I had; however, I realize also that through it all God was there with me. The more I travel down this path with the Lord the more I realized I do not deserve these blessings from the Lord, and yet I come to a peace about this relationship because I realize that His nature is slowly being reflected by me to others.

As I started today’s journey in the psalms, I started it off this morning by sharing with a friend the first verse of Psalm 81 as a song of joy. Verse one of Psalm 81 states “Sing for joy to God our strength; shout aloud to the God of Jacob!” In this psalm the psalmist writes “The LORD will indeed give what is good, and our land will yield its harvest”. As I read these Psalms 81 through 85, I see a picture of the believer’s journey in this world. This walk is a walk of trust and obey. By leaving the worries of this world behind me and focusing more on my daily fellowship with God; the care for the things of this earth will grow strangely dim as I look for the coming return of my Lord to this earth.

Psalm 92

Psalm 92
1 It is good to praise the LORD and make music to your name, O Most High,
2 to proclaim your love in the morning and your faithfulness at night,
3 to the music of the ten-stringed lyre and the melody of the harp.
4 For you make me glad by your deeds, O LORD; I sing for joy at the works of your hands.
5 How great are your works, O LORD, how profound your thoughts!
6 The senseless man does not know, fools do not understand,
7 that though the wicked spring up like grass and all evildoers flourish, they will be forever destroyed.
8 But you, O LORD, are exalted forever.
9 For surely your enemies, O LORD, surely your enemies will perish; all evildoers will be scattered.
10 You have exalted my horn like that of a wild ox; fine oils have been poured upon me.
11 My eyes have seen the defeat of my adversaries; my ears have heard the rout of my wicked foes.
12 The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon;
13 planted in the house of the LORD, they will flourish in the courts of our God.
14 They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green,
15 proclaiming, “The LORD is upright; he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him.”

As I was studying the last week of Christ’s ministry on this earth this week the phase from Matthew 27:46 stood out “My God, my God why have you forsaken me”. Why did God forsake him? I believe because of the sin of the human race was upon Christ at this time. Paul wrote of this in Philippians 2:5-8 “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death even death on a cross!” And yet as Christ took on the form of human likeness, we can now take on the form of a son of God in this world. This should be the purpose of all believers today. In I John 3:2-3 “now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure.”

In the year that has passed since my son’s death I reflected to the voids that his death has left in my life. Yet as all the voids in one’s life (especially those that comes about because of the death of a love one) usually start to be filled over time by the demands placed upon us by life itself, there does comes moments when these voids open again. When these times come, I try to reflect upon songs from the past. As I reflected on my experiences at church as a young person, I realize how much music was a big part of these experiences. The songs that I memorized and placed in my heart as a young man has help me get through some of the most difficult times in my life. The opening statement of this psalm “It is good to praise the Lord and make music to your name” reveals the type of relationship a person needs to have with the Lord. Verse four “For you make me glad by your deeds, O LORD; I sing for joy at the works of your hands” enlightens us on the themes that have made these our songs. The song It is Well With My Soul is one such song. However, it is the history behind the story that help gives the peace to the one that sings it.

Psalm 84

Psalm 84

1 How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD Almighty!
2 My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.
3 Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young a place near your altar, O LORD Almighty, my King and my God.
4 Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you. Selah
5 Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage.
6 As they pass through the Valley of Baca, they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools.

7 They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion.
8 Hear my prayer, O LORD God Almighty; listen to me, O God of Jacob. Selah
9 Look upon our shield, O God; look with favor on your anointed one.
10 Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked.
11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless.
12 O LORD Almighty, blessed is the man who trusts in you.

This psalm can picture the walk of the believer on their pilgrimage to heaven. As you read this psalm ask yourself this one question “Am I living my daily walk for gaining thing for this world or enjoying the things in this world as I make my way to heaven?”. As I pray that God will use me in his service verse eleven makes me realize how useless for me to search for God’s purpose in my life. The more I study God’s Word the more I realize that to walk in God’s way is to have a walk that is blameless. The word blameless can be found fifteen times in the Psalms, fourteen times referring to the type of walk we should have:

Psalm 15:2 He whose walk is blameless and who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from his heart
Psalm 18:23I have been blameless before him and have kept myself from sin.
Psalm 18:25To the faithful you show yourself faithful, to the blameless you show yourself blameless,
Psalm 19:13Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then will I be blameless, innocent of great transgression.
Psalm 26:1Vindicate me, O LORD, for I have led a blameless life; I have trusted in the LORD without wavering.

Psalm 26:11 But I lead a blameless life; redeem me and be merciful to me.
Psalm 37:18 The days of the blameless are known to the LORD, and their inheritance will endure forever.
Psalm 37:37 Consider the blameless, observe the upright; there is a future for the man of peace.
Psalm 84:11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless.
Psalm 101:2 I will be careful to lead a blameless life— when will you come to me? I will walk in my house with blameless heart.
Psalm 101:6 My eyes will be on the faithful in the land, that they may dwell with me; he whose walk is blameless will minister to me.
Psalm 119:1 Blessed are they whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the LORD.
Psalm 119:80 May my heart be blameless toward your decrees, that I may not be put to shame.

My purpose then should be to stay in God’s Word, look for God to reveal himself in my relationships with others and to keep myself unspotted by the world. As Paul told Timothy in II Timothy 2:20, 21 ” 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.”.

Psalm 83

Psalm 83

This is the last of twelve Psalms bear the name of Asaph
1 O God, do not keep silent; be not quiet, O God, be not still.
2 See how your enemies are astir, how your foes rear their heads.
3 With cunning they conspire against your people; they plot against those you cherish.
4 “Come,” they say, “let us destroy them as a nation, that the name of Israel be remembered no more.”
5 With one mind they plot together; they form an alliance against you
6 the tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites, of Moab and the Hagrites,
7 Gebal, Ammon and Amalek, Philistia, with the people of Tyre.
8 Even Assyria has joined them to lend strength to the descendants of Lot. Selah
9 Do to them as you did to Midian, as you did to Sisera and Jabin at the river Kishon,
10 who perished at Endor and became like refuse on the ground.
11 Make their nobles like Oreb and Zeeb, all their princes like Zebah and Zalmunna,
12 who said, “Let us take possession of the pasturelands of God.”
13 Make them like tumbleweed, O my God, like chaff before the wind.
14 As fire consumes the forest or a flame sets the mountains ablaze,
15 so pursue them with your tempest and terrify them with your storm.
16 Cover their faces with shame so that men will seek your name, O LORD.
17 May they ever be ashamed and dismayed; may they perish in disgrace.
18 Let them know that you, whose name is the LORD that you alone are the Most High over all the earth.

Charles Spurgeon in his work The Treasury of David writes about the historical background on this psalm. One of the interesting points in his commentary about this historical background was his comment on why the Lord keeps silent. He gives three examples from scripture on this subject. The first example was from Matthew chapter eight, Mark chapter four and Luke eight. This was the incident when the Lord was asleep during the storm. This silent was one that test our faith. The next example was from Isaiah fifty-nine were God is silent in the times when his people are experiencing trouble times. This type of silent test the uprightness of men’s heart. The third example he gives is a type of silent that we usually do not consider and is found in this Psalm. We seem to focus most of our attention on God and his relationship with the righteous. In this psalm God seems be silent in dealing with the wicked. This is a time of silent in which God gives the wicked a chance to turn from their wicked way. However, in Matthew 25:31-46 our Lord gives an example when this silent will end. In verse forty-one his judgment is this: depart from me accursed ones into the eternal fire which is prepared for the devil and his angels. This is when verses seventeen and eighteen of this psalm will come to pass.

As I examine this Psalm considering the third example of God’s silent and consider the direction in which the societies of the whole are drifting, I cannot help but consider the words from II Peter chapter three. In this chapter Peter states his purpose of writing to them was to give them a reminder to stimulate them to wholesome thinking. He reminds them that this wholesome thinking starts with an understanding of God’s Word. The failure of wholesome thinking starts with a denial of the Lord’s return and the denial of the Flood. With this denial comes a denial of God’s Word. But God is patient. Why? Here in II Peter chapter three we are told that it is because the Lord does not want anyone to perish, but for everyone to come to repentance. So how do we as believers pursue a lifestyle during these times when the wickedness of the world seems to surround us on every side? The answer is simple but is hard to understand. Peter writes that we should look forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness. As we wait, we should make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and have the peace of God within us. However, in verse sixteen Peter describes the state in which Christians are in today. They find the scriptures hard to understand and distort them to fit their lifestyles. This description of the church is also found in Revelation chapter three of the church of Laodicea where Christ is pictured outside of the church. So, as we watch the direction in which the world is drifting read II Peter chapter three, grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord and look for the coming of our Savior Jesus Christ to usher in the home of the righteousness.

As I read the last psalm ascribed to Asaph, I am remained again of the seven thousand that God let Elijah know that had not bowed knees to Baal (I Kings 19:18). These seven thousand lived during the reign of Ahab and his wife Jezebel at a time in which the world around them worshiped other Gods. Not only did the nations around them worship other gods, but Jezebel even cut off the prophets of Jehovah and tried to silent their voice. During this time, we see Elijah as the only one taking an active stand for God. Not even the incident of Elijah calling fire down on the burnt-offering on Mt Carmel and the power of God being magnified could turn the nation back to God. Soon after this show of God’s might and power Elijah was running with fear from Jezebel. I Kings 18 gives us the example of people like Obadiah who feared God and remained faithful to God, in the quietness of doing his assigned work assigned to him as head of Ahab’s household. In this position he was able to protect and take care of a hundred of the Lord’s prophets. Here we see two examples of how Godly men react to the events in a troubling time. As we too are living in times when the movement of our social is moving against the ways of God, we have the examples found in I Kings chapters eighteen and nineteen. Yes, God will raise up powerful evangelists such as Elijah to stand in the way, yet at the same time he will reserve a remnant that will not be a part of this world. Therefore, do not be discourage when it seems like the enemies of God have the upward hand. God did not seem present during the time of Elijah, but he was. God might not seem present now, but he is and is just silent for a while.

Psalm 82

Psalm 82

of Asaph.

This is the eleventh of twelve Psalms bear the name of Asaph

1 God presides in the great assembly; he gives judgment among the “gods”:
2 “How long will you defend the unjust and show partiality to the wicked? Selah
3 Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed.
4 Rescue the weak and needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.
5They know nothing, they understand nothing. They walk about in darkness; all the foundations of the earth are shaken.
6 “I said, ‘You are “gods”; you are all sons of the Most High.’
7 But you will die like mere men; you will fall like every other ruler.”
8 Rise up, O God, judge the earth, for all the nations are your inheritance.

This is the psalm that Christ referred to in John 10:34. It was on this discourse that the Jews ask him this question “How long dost thou hold us in suspense? If thou art the Christ, tell us plainly.” Christ answer was simple “I told you and you believed not.” He ended by saying “I and the Father are one.” To this the Jews took up stones to stone him and answer him “we stone you not for your good works, but because thou being a man make thyself God.” Then Jesus referred them to this psalm. The theme of John chapter ten is the good shepherd and his flock. In this discourse Christ pictured himself as the good shepherd who took care of his sheep and did not act as a hireling who did not care for the sheep, but for his own personal needs. The good shepherd cares for the sheep, but the hireling only cares for himself. The rulers of the Jews who were to guide the weak and needy, the fatherless and the poor, forsook their duty and focused on making their lives better at the expense of the ones that were entrusted to protect. As I was studying A.W. Tozer’s book Knowledge Of The Holy this week I realized that the religious as well as the political leaders at the time of Christ did not have right view of God. The same can also be said about the religious and political leaders of today. As I study the truths in his book, I realized how much of our daily activities does not included the realization God in our decisions. After studying the chapter on God Incomprehensible, I realized how thankful I am for Christ. By trusting in Christ, I can get a glimpse of God. As John writes in I John 1:3 “that which we have seen and heard declare we unto you also, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and our fellowship is with the Father, and with his son Jesus Christ.” I can now fellowship with my creator. He also states in chapter 3 verses one and two that we are the sons of God.

So, think about the quote from this psalm “ye are Gods” in relationship to John’s writings in I John chapter three. Christ the son of God came to earth as the son of Man and was manifested to take away sins so that one day we too will be like him. Therefore, everyone that has this hope in Christ purifies himself even as Christ is pure. Ask yourself this question today “where is your hope for eternity found?”. Do your daily activities center around the pursuit of the knowledge of the holy, eternal, and incomprehensible God?

Psalm 81

Psalm 81

Of Asaph.

This is the tenth of twelve Psalms bear the name of Asaph

1 Sing for joy to God our strength; shout aloud to the God of Jacob!
2 Begin the music, strike the tambourine, play the melodious harp and lyre.
3 Sound the ram’s horn at the New Moon, and when the moon is full, on the day of our Feast;
4 this is a decree for Israel, an ordinance of the God of Jacob.
5 He established it as a statute for Joseph when he went out against Egypt, where we heard language we did not understand.
6 He says, “I removed the burden from their shoulders; their hands were set free from the basket.
7 In your distress you called and I rescued you, I answered you out of a thundercloud; I tested you at the waters of Meribah. Selah
8 “Hear, O my people, and I will warn you if you would but listen to me, O Israel!
9 You shall have no foreign god among you; you shall not bow down to an alien god.
10 I am the LORD your God, who brought you up out of Egypt. Open wide your mouth and I will fill it.
11 “But my people would not listen to me; Israel would not submit to me.
12 So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts to follow their own devices.
13 “If my people would but listen to me, if Israel would follow my ways,
14 how quickly would I subdue their enemies and turn my hand against their foes!
15 Those who hate the LORD would cringe before him, and their punishment would last forever.
16 But you would be fed with the finest of wheat; with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.”

At the start of my journey of reading five psalms a day the purpose of this journey was to help me improve my prayer life. During this journey I also discovered the writings of Oswald Chambers. In his October 17 devotional The Key of the Greater Work, he makes this statement about prayer “Prayer does not equip us for greater works— prayer is the greater work. Yet we think of prayer as some commonsense exercise of our higher powers that simply prepares us for God’s work”. As I reflect upon this statement I am reminded of the Paul’s references to prayer:

Ephesians 6:18 – Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints

I Thessalonians 5:17 – Pray without ceasing.

Philippians 1:4 – Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy.

It is prayer and worship then that must play an important part in our daily spiritual walk. As I consider the first four verses of this chapter, I see the importance of daily worship. Do I have a song of praise in my daily walk? Do I thank the Lord for my daily needs that have been met? Do I take moments from my daily walk to devote to prayer? Do I consider prayer as asking God for something, or is it a request that we present before God? A great example of prayer from the business world would be that of a budget request. We put together our budget and then submit it to our manager and hope it gets approve. Prayer is the process of submitting our request to God. In verse ten we see God wanting us to open our mouth wide and he will fill it. However, we have not listened to God. Our prayers (budget request) are not in line with what is needed. We ask for things outside the requirements of God’s will. Verse seven gives us an example of what prayer is like “in your distress you called, and I rescued you, I answered you and I tested you”. The two parts of prayer are seen in this verse. I called and God rescued me. I ask and he fulfilled my requested desires.

The second part is the testing God gives to each believer after he has answered their request. This testing by the waters of Meribah comes when God has already answered our prayers, however we are again in a place that we need God’s help again. In Exodus 17 this place is called both Massah (which means testing) and Meribah (which means quarreling). Question yourself and considered if your request before God is either testing God or quarreling with God? Sometimes during our journey on this earth, we get hungry and thirsty for spiritual things in our life. However, instead of asking God to meet these needs we start to complaint about how God has just deserted us. We let our hearts become stubborn like Israel and stop listening to God and stop following his ways. To succeed in this time of testing we must practice the principle of trust and obey and know that God is God.