Psalm 9

Psalm 9

A psalm of David.
1 I will praise you, O LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonders.
2 I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing praise to our name, O Most High.
3 My enemies turn back; they stumble and perish before you.
4 For you have upheld my right and my cause; you have sat on your throne, judging righteously.
5 You have rebuked the nations and destroyed the wicked; you have blotted out their name for ever and ever.
6 Endless ruin has overtaken the enemy, you have uprooted their cities; even the memory of them has perished.
7 The LORD reigns forever; he has established his throne for judgment.
8 He will judge the world in righteousness; he will govern the peoples with justice.
9 The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.
10 Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.
11 Sing praises to the LORD, enthroned in Zion; proclaim among the nations what he has done.
12 For he who avenges blood remembers; he does not ignore the cry of the afflicted.
13 O LORD, see how my enemies persecute me! Have mercy and lift me up from the gates of death,
14 that I may declare your praises in the gates of the Daughter of Zion and there rejoice in your salvation. 15 The nations have fallen into the pit they have dug; their feet are caught in the net they have hidden.
16 The LORD is known by his justice; the wicked are ensnared by the work of their hands. Higgaion. Selah 17 The wicked return to the grave, all the nations that forget God.
18 But the needy will not always be forgotten, nor the hope of the afflicted ever perish.
19 Arise, O LORD, let not man triumph; let the nations be judged in your presence.
20 Strike them with terror, O LORD; let the nations know they are but men. Selah

As I read this psalm, I see a portrait of the reign of David written here. The opening verses reveal three characteristics that David had in his life as he strives daily to walk in the way of the Lord; which should also be the characteristics that we have in our life as well. These characteristics of praising the Lord with all our heart, telling of all his wonders, and being glad in the Lord and rejoicing in him should be the focus of our daily mediation.

This psalm not only portraits David’s rule but also the coming reign of Christ. The mystery of Christ is one that has consumed my quiet moments for most of my life. How can Christ be King of kings and at the same time be my Savior who I can have a personal relationship. This personal relationship is available to all who accept him as Lord and Savior. In Psalm eight David ask the question of “what hat is man that Thou are mindful of him”. In this psalm we see how man has taken the gifts that God has given to him and has used these gifts to set himself equal or above God.

This psalm has a promise for those who know him in verse ten: Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you. Knowing the Lord and then trusting him is a promise that all Christians should embrace. In the sixty plus years that I have known Him and placed my trust in Him as a young boy He has never forsaken me. Sometimes like the poem Footprints in the Sand that refers to a man that looks back on his walk with the Lord and sees several times when trouble was in his life there was only one set of footprints, I too have felt that way. But the more I trust Him the more I see how He has carried me. So, as you go along the journey of life trust in the Lord and lean not on our understand; but let the Spirit guide you in all understanding. He will if you let him. He is more loving than you can ever imagined.

Psalm 5

Psalm 5

1 Give ear to my words, O LORD, considers my sighing.
2 Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for to you I pray.
3 In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.
4 You are not a God who takes pleasure in evil; with you the wicked cannot dwell.
5 The arrogant cannot stand in your presence; you hate all who do wrong.
6 You destroy those who tell lies; bloodthirsty and deceitful men the LORD abhors.
7 But I, by your great mercy, will come into your house; in reverence will I bow down toward your holy temple.
8 Lead me, O LORD, in your righteousness because of my enemies– make straight your way before me.
9 Not a word from their mouth can be trusted; their heart is filled with destruction. Their throat is an open grave; with their tongue they speak deceit.
10 Declare them guilty, O God! Let their intrigues be their downfall. Banish them for their many sins, for they have rebelled against you.
11 But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them that those who love your name may rejoice in you.
12 For surely, O LORD, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield.

As you read this chapter think back to the examples that God has given to us in the Old Testament as examples of righteousness and unrighteousness lifestyles. Also, as you reflect on the psalms remember that the writer and the readers did not have all the scripture that we have now. The Pentateuch (the writings of Moses) were the main writings that David or the writers of the other psalms were referring to as God’s Word or his Law. However, in this law they were given examples such as Cain and Abel, Isaac and Esau, Joseph and his brothers, and others as an illustration on how they should live their life on this earth.

This is a psalm related to prayer. The very reason I started my reading of the psalms several years ago was to help my prayer life. Prayer is the process of making request to God. As I have been studying the psalms in my quest to improve my prayer life, I have found out how important the Lord’s Prayer found in Matthew 6:9-15 is in a believer’s life. This prayer has five simple parts which are very important in guiding our prayer life.

  1. Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.
  2. Your kingdom come; your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
  3. Give us today our daily bread.
  4. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
  5. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one

Simply put we look to God for our daily needs. Leave the future to him. In the past few years my prayer request has change from praying for things to a prayer of becoming more Christ-like in my daily walk. As I take a close look at this psalm, the Lord’s prayer and the life of Christ from the Gospels I realized that our daily prayer is a prayer for God to need our physical needs and a prayer to guide us in the activities of the coming day. That all! In this process the things that God has taken out of my life and the things He has brought into my life has richly blessed me. The psalmist stated better than I could in verses eleven and twelve of this psalm. So just take refuge in Christ, rest in the peace he gives you, and enjoy the blessings he brings your way.

One of the interesting facts about the Bible is that it is a great history book of the nation Israel. One interesting period of this history is the first one hundred and twenty years of nation under the three kings: Saul, David, and Solomon. If we looked at the first one hundred and twenty years in American history 1789 – 1909 we can see how much God has blessed this nation just like Israel was blessed. This time period in American history would represent the time period of the presidents from George Washington to William Howard Taft. During this time period our nation grew from the thirteen original states to forty-six states. It grew from the western boundaries of the nation being the Appalachian Mountains to the western boundaries being the Pacific coast. It grew from a colonial state that just gained its independence to one of the most powerful nation in the world. When we look at the history of Israel during these one hundred and twenty years, we must consider that the growth of the nation of Israel was also similar to the growth of the America during her first one hundred and twenty years. It grew from a group of disorganized tribes to the most powerful nation on earth at that time. When studying the psalms, the reader must realize that much of the history of this book was written during the latter part of Saul’s reign and the reign of David as king. By understanding the history of this time period and the relationship between Saul and David, as well as the relationships of David with his sons and other officials we can grasp a better understanding of the psalms.

As one grows daily in the Lord, we learn that the disappoints that come into our life are usually self-imposed or imposed upon us by others. Yet, we listen as the inexperience and immature believer question situations in their life as to “why God would let this happen to me?”. The simple reply to their question is “Have you turned your eyes upon Jesus?”. The words from Helen Howarth Lemmel song Turned Your Eyes upon Jesus remind us that when we do turn our eyes upon Jesus that the things of earth grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.

O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free!
Through death into life everlasting
He passed, and we follow Him there;
O’er us sin no more hath dominion—
For more than conquerors we are!

His Word shall not fail you—He promised;
Believe Him, and all will be well:
Then go to a world that is dying,
His perfect salvation to tell!

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.

One of the greatest signs that a believer walk is mature is where his or her focus on life lies. Is it on the things that causes the lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and the pride of life or is the focus on walking with Christ?

Psalm 121

IMG_4046I will lift up mine eyes unto the mountains: From whence shall my help come?  My help cometh from Jehovah, Who made heaven and earth.  He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: He that keepeth thee will not slumber.  Behold, he that keepeth Israel Will neither slumber nor sleep.  Jehovah is thy keeper: Jehovah is thy shade upon thy right hand.  The sun shall not smite thee by day, Nor the moon by night.  Jehovah will keep thee from all evil; He will keep that thy soul.  Jehovah will keep thy going out and thy coming in From this time forth and for evermore.  (ASV)

This psalm shows us how much God watches over us. Yes we do have angels that attend to our needs, but it is the Lord that watches over us not his angels. Read Matthew 18:10 “See that you do not look down on these little ones.” “ For I tell you that their angels in heaven always look to the face of my father in heaven.” and you will see that it is God who watches over us not angels. The angels are looking to God for directions. With this in mind should not we also be looking to God for directions in everything we do as we walk the path of life that he has placed before us.

In a world of uncertainty ask yourself where is the answer to your problems and the issues you face in life?  Do we really look to the Lord to meet our everyday needs?  As I was reading Psalms 119 yesterday verse one introduces the reader to the true purpose of this Psalm.  The purpose is to help and strengthen the one who wants to live a blameless life and who wants to walk in the way of the Lord.

This psalm helps illustrates the personal relationship an individual can have with God.  The individual relationship that David had with God can be seem through out his writings as well as the other authors of the Psalms.  Yet it is not only an individual relationship that we share with God, but also a national relationship as illustrated in the fourth verse.  God does watch over the nations.  This Psalm illustrates the importance of looking to God for deliverance.  But what do we do then our nation as a hole rejects God ways?   Christ gives us the answer is given in in Luke 13:1-9:

There were present at that season some that told him of the Galileans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galileans were sinners above all the Galileans, because they suffered such things?  I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. He spoke also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none.  Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbered it the ground?  And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it:  And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shall cut it down.

In these verses we are given two events, one political and one natural where Christ was asked the reason why these happened.  His reply was simply, do not worry about why these events are happening, or what caused them, but instead make sure you repent.  In other words we need to focus on our relationships with God and our fellowmen.  The parable of the fig tree also shows how much the servant is willing to just do to save the tree under his care.  This is the same care Christ has for us when we place ourselves under his leadership.

Psalm 111

day beginnning 1

Praise ye Jehovah. I will give thanks unto Jehovah with my whole heart, In the council of the upright, and in the congregation.  The works of Jehovah are great, Sought out of all them that have pleasure therein.  His work is honor and majesty; And his righteousness endureth for ever.  He hath made his wonderful works to be remembered: Jehovah is gracious and merciful.  He hath given food unto them that fear him: He will ever be mindful of his covenant.  He hath showed his people the power of his works, In giving them the heritage of the nations.  The works of his hands are truth and justice; All his precepts are sure.  They are established for ever and ever; They are done in truth and uprightness.  He hath sent redemption unto his people; He hath commanded his covenant for ever: Holy and reverend is his name.  The fear of Jehovah is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all they that do his commandments: His praise endureth for ever.  (ASV)

Last night during the silent of my time in prayer I realized how important the very first verse of the Bible is to mankind “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 psalms 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 pondered 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 can not 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 ask 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 eat from the tree?”.  Adam’s reply it was the woman who you gave me that gave me the fruit.  So in fact Adam blame 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.  Who do we listen to every day?   The world around you, or God?  Do we follow God’s precepts or do we listen to the world?