Psalm 25

Psalm 25

written by David.


1 To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul;
2 in you Itrust, 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 themhis 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 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 that the Lord is the one in charge. We can choose to 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 choose to make my God a personal God and follow after Mrs. Wilson’s example instead of the example of my third grade teacher who by the way his name I have long forgotten. 

Psalm 24

Psalm 24

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.

When I am studying the Psalms, I realize that my focus turns back to my creator. This psalm helps me realize that everything was created by the Lord and for the Lord. Therefore, when I focus on my daily activities, I must realize that God is still in control. Also, in verse four we have been given a way to walk in this world, we are to have clean hands and a pure heart, and not to lift up our soul to an idol or swear by what is false. To have clean hands and a pure heart cover both our actions and our thoughts. If we live this way God will bless us and our generation; however, if we do not live this way, we as well as our generation will lose the blessings of the Lord.

Psalm 23

Psalm 23

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 were “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 22

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 youare 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 Rescueme 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 theLord.
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.

Psalm 21

Psalm 20

David.
1 May the LORD answer you when you are in distress; may the name of the God of Jacob protect you.
2 May he send you help from the sanctuary and grant you support from Zion.
3 May he remember all your sacrifices and accept your burnt offerings. Selah
4 May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.
5 We will shout for joy when you are victorious and will lift up our banners in the name of our God. May the LORD grant all your requests.
6 Now I know that the LORD saves his anointed; he answers him from his holy heaven with the saving power of his right hand.
7 Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.
8 They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm.
9 O LORD, save the king! Answer us when we call!

Webster defines prayer as: an address (as a petition) to God or a god in word or thought, or an earnest request or wish. In this Psalm David makes seven requests for Israel:

May the LORD answer you when you are in distress.

May the name of the God of Jacob protect you.
May he send you help from the sanctuary and grant you support from Zion.
May he remember all your sacrifices and accept your burnt offerings.
May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.
May the LORD grant all your requests.

Answer us when we call.

He is praying but he is also trusting in the Lord’s name.

Verse four “may he give you the desire of your heart” is a verse that is difficult to understand. Reflect upon these questions:

What are your heart’s desires?

Are my desires good for me?

Are my desires godly desires?

Does God pick and choose the desires I receive?

Psalm 20

Psalm 20

David.
1 May the LORD answer you when you are in distress; may the name of the God of Jacob protect you.
2 May he send you help from the sanctuary and grant you support from Zion.
3 May he remember all your sacrifices and accept your burnt offerings. Selah
4 May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.
5 We will shout for joy when you are victorious and will lift up our banners in the name of our God. May the LORD grant all your requests.
6 Now I know that the LORD saves his anointed; he answers him from his holy heaven with the saving power of his right hand.
7 Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.
8 They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm.
9 O LORD, save the king! Answer us when we call!

Webster defines prayer as: an address (as a petition) to God or a god in word or thought, or an earnest request or wish. In this Psalm David makes seven requests for Israel:

May the LORD answer you when you are in distress.

May the name of the God of Jacob protect you.
May he send you help from the sanctuary and grant you support from Zion.
May he remember all your sacrifices and accept your burnt offerings.
May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.
May the LORD grant all your requests.

Answer us when we call.

He is praying but he is also trusting in the Lord’s name.

Verse four “may he give you the desire of your heart” is a verse that is difficult to understand. Reflect upon these questions:

What are your heart’s desires?

Are my desires good for me?

Are my desires godly desires?

Does God pick and choose the desires I receive?

Psalm 19

Psalm 19

of David.
1 The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
2 Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge.
3 There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard.
4 Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun,

5 which is like a bridegroom coming forth from his pavilion, like a champion rejoicing to run his course.
6 It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is hidden from its heat.
7 The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul.
The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple.
8 The precepts of the LORD are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes.
9 The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever. The ordinances of the LORD are sure and altogether righteous.
10 They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb.
11 By them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.
12 Who can discern his errors? Forgive my hidden faults.
13 Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then will I be blameless, innocent of great transgression.
14 May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.

This psalm gives to us the ways that we can know God. First there is nature (natural Revelation) that declares God to us. The heavens declare his glory, the skies proclaim his work, night after night they display knowledge and by this knowledge, we can know God in an impersonal way. However, just observing the world around us scream that there must be a creator, one vastly greater than men. But we also have his written Word (law, statutes, precepts, commands, and ordinances) which to the seeker of God is more precious than gold and sweeter than honey. As I study this psalm, I realized the importance of staying in God’s word daily. His word revives my soul, it gives me wisdom, it gives me a joy and peace beyond understanding, and gives me light and direction for my daily life. By keeping them and meditating on them one can keep himself blameless, and innocent of great transgression. Yes, as we continue our journey in this life we will sometime slip and fall as we follow Christ, but as long as we stay in his word, we will not commit great transgressions.

Psalm 18

Psalm 18

1 I love you, O LORD, my strength.
2 The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
3 I call to the LORD, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies.
4 The cords of death entangled me; the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me.
5 The cords of the grave coiled around me; the snares of death confronted me.
6 In my distress I called to the LORD; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears.
7 The earth trembled and quaked, and the foundations of the mountains shook; they trembled because he was angry.
8 Smoke rose from his nostrils; consuming fire came from his mouth, burning coals blazed out of it.
9 He parted the heavens and came down; dark clouds were under his feet.

10 He mounted the cherubim and flew; he soared on the wings of the wind.
11 He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him the dark rain clouds of the sky.
12 Out of the brightness of his presence clouds advanced, with hailstones and bolts of lightning.
13 The LORD thundered from heaven; the voice of the Most High resounded.
14 He shot his arrows and scattered the enemies, great bolts of lightning and routed them.
15 The valleys of the sea were exposed and the foundations of the earth laid bare at your rebuke, O LORD, at the blast of breath from your nostrils.
16 He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters.
17 He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, whowere too strong for me.
18 They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the LORD was my support.
19 He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.
20 The LORD has dealt with me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands he has rewarded me.
21 For I have kept the ways of the LORD; I have not done evil by turning from my God.
22 All his laws are before me; I have not turned away from his decrees.
23 I have been blameless before him and have kept myself from sin.
24 The LORD has rewarded me according to my righteousness, according to the cleanness of my hands in his sight.
25 To the faithful you show yourself faithful, to the blameless you show yourself blameless,
26 to the pure you show yourself pure, but to the crooked you show yourself shrewd.
27 You save the humble but bring low those whose eyes are haughty.
28 You, O LORD, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.
29 With your help I can advance against a troop; with my God I can scale a wall.
30 As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him.
31 For who is God besides the LORD? And who is the Rock except our God?
32 It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect.
33 He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he enables me to stand on the heights.
34 He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
35 You give me your shield of victory, and your right hand sustains me; you stoop down to make me great.
36 You broaden the path beneath me, so that my ankles do not turn.
37 I pursued my enemies and overtook them; I did not turn back till they were destroyed.
38 I crushed themso that theycould not rise; they fell beneath my feet.
39 You armed me with strength for battle; you made my adversaries bow at my feet.
40 You made my enemies turntheir backs in flight, and I destroyed myfoes.
41 They cried for help, but there was no one to save them – to the LORD, but he did not answer.
42 I beat them as fine as dust borne on the wind; I poured themout like mud in the streets.
43 You have delivered me from the attacks of the people; you have made me the head of nations; people I did not know are subject to me.

44 As soon as they hear me, they obey me; foreignerscringe before me.
45 They all lose heart; theycome trembling from theirstrongholds.
46 The LORDlives! Praise be to my Rock! Exalted be God my Savior!
47 Heis the God who avenges me, who subdues nations under me,
48 who saves me from my enemies. You exalted me above my foes; from violent men you rescued me.
49 Therefore I will praise you among the nations, O LORD; I will sing praises to your name.
50 He gives his king great victories; he shows unfailing kindness to his anointed, to David and his descendants forever.

As you read this psalm it refers to David and his descendants. Of course, the last descendant we know from the Bible is Christ. A form of this Psalm is also found in II Samuel chapter twenty-two. This Psalm reveals David’s understanding of God’s way. Read each phase and see if your understanding of God’s way matches David’s understanding of God’s way.

I love you

I take refuge in the Lord

I call to the LORD

I am saved from my enemies.

The cords of death entangled me the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me the cords of the grave coiled around me the snares of death confronted me. In my distress I called to the LORD I cried to my God for help.

The Lord heard my voice

my cry came before him
The Lord reached down from on high and took hold of me

he drew me out of deep waters.
He rescued me from my powerful enemy

from my foes, who were too strong for me.
They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the LORD was my support.
He brought me out into a spacious place

he rescued me because he delighted in me.
The LORD has dealt with me according to my righteousness

according to the cleanness of my hands he has rewarded me.
For I have kept the ways of the LORD

I have not done evil by turning from my God.
All his laws are before me

I have not turned away from his decrees.
I have been blameless before him

I have kept myself from sin.
The LORD has rewarded me according to my righteousness according to the cleanness of my hands in his sight.
To the faithful you show yourself faithful

to the blameless you show yourself blameless,
to the pure you show yourself pure

but to the crooked you show yourself shrewd.
You save the humble but bring low those whose eyes are haughty.
You, O LORD, keep my lamp burning

my God turns my darkness into light.
With your help I can advance against a troop

with my God I can scale a wall.
As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him.
For who is God besides the LORD? And who is the Rock except our God?
It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect.
He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he enables me to stand on the heights.
He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
You give me your shield of victory, and your right hand sustains me; you stoop down to make me great.
You broaden the path beneath me, so that my ankles do not turn.
I pursued my enemies and overtook them; I did not turn back till they were destroyed.
I crushed them so that they could not rise; they fell beneath my feet.
You armed me with strength for battle

you made my adversaries bow at my feet.
You made my enemies turn their backs in flight, and I destroyed my foes.
They cried for help, but there was no one to save them – to the LORD, but he did not answer.
I beat them as fine as dust borne on the wind; I poured them out like mud in the streets.
You have delivered me from the attacks of the people

you have made me the head of nations; people I did not know are subject to me.

As soon as they hear me, they obey me; foreigners cringe before me.
They all lose heart; they come trembling from their strongholds.
The LORD lives!

Praise be to my Rock!

Exalted be God my Savior!
He is the God who avenges me,

who subdues nations under me,
who saves me from my enemies.

You exalted me above my foes

from violent men you rescued me.
Therefore, I will praise you among the nations, O LORD

I will sing praises to your name.
He gives his king great victories

he shows unfailing kindness to his anointed to David and his descendants forever.

Psalm 17

Psalm 17


A prayer of David.
1 Hear, O LORD, my righteous plea; listen to my cry. Give ear to my prayer – it does not rise from deceitful lips.
2 May my vindication come from you; may your eyes see what is right.
3 Though you probe my heart and examine me at night, though you test me, you will find nothing; I have resolved that my mouth will not sin.
4 As for the deeds of men – by the word of your lips I have kept myself from the ways of the violent.
5 My steps have held to your paths; my feet have not slipped.
6 I call on you, O God, for you will answer me; give ear to me and hear my prayer.
7 Show the wonder of your great love, you who save by your right hand those who take refuge in you from their foes.
8 Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings
9 from the wicked whoassail me, from my mortal enemies who surround me.
10 They close up theircallous hearts, and their mouths speak with arrogance.
11 They have tracked me down, they now surround me, with eyes alert, to throw me to the ground.
12 They are like a lion hungry for prey, like a great lion crouching in cover.
13 Rise up, O LORD, confront them, bring themdown; rescue me from the wicked by your sword.
14 LORD, by your hand save me from such men, from men of this world whosereward is in this life. You still the hunger of those you cherish; their sons have plenty, and they store up wealth for their children.
15 And I in righteousness I will see your face; when I awake, I will be satisfied with seeing your likeness.

Self-examination by studying God’s word and letting his word speak to us is a process that all believers must go through. It is the process by which we realized the holiness of God and our sinfulness. It is by the process of studying his word daily that we realize that our walk is reflective of one of two paths given to us from God. These two paths reflect either the way of the righteous or the way of the wicked. This theme is developed for us in Psalms one and is expanded on throughout the remainder of the psalms. As we read this psalm reflect on Psalm one and the way in which we should walk. The ways outline in Psalm one is simple, you can choose to go the way of Cain or the way of Abel.

This psalm starts out with a prayer for vindication. However, it is a prayer that does not come from a deceitful heart, but it is a prayer for God to take action. Notice it is not a prayer for God to give the psalmist the knowledge or power to react back to the ones that are assailing him. Notice that the psalmist is stating I resolved not to sin with my mouth or walk in the ways of the wicked. We must not fall into the trap that we can do wrong in order that right may prevail. This is the same message that Paul tells us in Romans 3:5-6 “But if our unrighteousness brings out God’s righteousness more clearly, what shall we say? That God is unjust in bringing his wrath on us? (I am using a human argument.) Certainly not! If that were so, how could God judge the world?” Righteousness is impossible for man to attain, but with God all things are possible. As Paul states in Romans 8:1 “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” the same message that David writes in verse 15 “And I in righteousness I will see your face; when I awake, I will be satisfied with seeing your likeness.” So, our vindication rest in God’s hand. As we watch the news, or if we are ever involved in our court system, we soon realize that it is not the truth and doing what is right that is the goal of the verdict but winning and winning at all cost. It is usually a matter of who has the best lawyer, the best attack and the most money to win the fight. However, for the believer we must seek after what is right even if we must suffer for a season. However, this season will soon give way to eternally, where the Righteous Judge will rule in truth and in righteousness and the deeds of the wicked will no longer exist.

As I was studying Luke this morning, I could not help but dwell on the words of the two companions after they had been with Christ on their way to Emmaus. Christ had address them as foolish men and slow of heart to believe the writing of all the prophets. He then interpreted to them all the scriptures which concern him. It only after Christ had revealed himself to them and then vanished that the words, he had spoken came alive to them. On the road to Emmaus Christ educated them and gave them knowledge which caused their hearts to burn; but it was only after the Savior was revealed to them that they were able to put this knowledge together and grasp an understanding of the gospel. I have seen this truth come alive in last several years as I study the psalms daily.

The key to understanding the psalms is the gain an understanding of David, yet the more I study David the more I see how his life reflects the life of Christ during his earthly ministry. The same struggles and issues that Christ faced where like those of David, as well as the struggles that believers face in the world today. The more we study the life of Christ the more we can see how to walk in God’s way. An example of how this psalm portraits Christ can be found by comparing verse to of this psalm to Matthew 27:12-15:

And when he was accused by the chief priests and elders, he answered nothing.

Then said Pilate unto him, hears thou not how many things they witness against thee?

And he gave him no answer, not even to one word: insomuch that the governor marveled greatly.

Christ waited on his vindication to come from God. So, as you read this psalm relate it to the events in Christ’s earthly ministry, David’s life as revealed in the scriptures and to the personal struggles that you are facing in your daily walk. Then the Holy Spirit will give you a better understanding of the way of righteous and just as the two companions on their way to Emmaus had their eyes open you too will gain a better understanding of the psalms.

Psalm 16

Psalm 16

David.
1 Keep me safe, O God, for in you I take refuge.
2 I said to the LORD, “You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.”
3 As for the saints whoare in the land, they are the glorious onesin whomis all my delight.
4 The sorrows of those will increase who run after other gods. I will not pour out their libations of blood or take up their names on my lips.
5 LORD, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure.
6 The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.
7 I will praise the LORD, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me.
8 I have set the LORD always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
9 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure,
10 because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay.
11 You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

As I look at verse five, I cannot help but look back to the Luke 22: 42 “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done”. Are we able to pray the same prayer as our Lord prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane? We can, once we realized that God has made our lot secure. As I travel this journey that the Lord has prepared for me, I must look to these verses as coming from the heart and life of King David. For as he wrote of Christ in his psalms, he also wrote words that can help us develop a closer walk with God.

This psalm helps us realized that God is our refuge and our delight. He does assign to us our portion in life and the cup we are to bear. Again, we are warned in this psalm not to follow after other Gods, or those who seek fellowship with those who follow other gods. God counsels us and instructs us day and night. As long as we seek him in his word, we will know he will lead us in the right path. Surely the grave is not our destiny but being in his presence with eternal pleasures.

As you read this psalm take a look at your epistemology. Ask yourself this question “What is knowledge?”. Verse eleven points out the fact that the psalmist realized that his knowledge came from God and it is God who has made known to him the path of life. This is the knowledge that the psalmist describes in Psalm One. When one start studying epistemology the first two questions that must be answered are: what knowledge is and how is knowledge acquired. To the psalmist (as we will see in Psalm nineteen) knowledge is the work of God’s hand. By studying nature knowledge is revealed to us. However, to acquire knowledge God has given to us his written Word (law, statutes, precepts, commands, and ordinances) to understand his creation.

Verse ten “because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy Onesee decay” was used by Peter in Act 2:27 in his message on the day of Pentecost as verses that David referred to the suffering and resurrection of Christ.

In verse eleven David writes “You have made known to me the path of life”. As I grow in my faith daily, I realize that it is God who seeks after me and not me seeking God. We have a way of wanting to stray away from God, but in his loving kindness he brings us back to him. As we travel along on our journey here on earth, we like the Psalmist must realize that God is the shepherd that guides us along this path of life. As we walk along this path, we can have joy, but this joy is in knowing that God’s presence is with us. This psalm illustrates our walk on earth with God. Let each verse speak to you as it did to David. Remember each person’s walk with God is unique, however they all share the characteristics of the walk that this psalm describes.