Psalm 27

Psalm 27

Of David.
1 The LORD is my light and my salvation whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life of whom shall I be afraid?
2 When evil men advance against me to devour my flesh, when my enemies and my foes attack me, they will stumble and fall.
3 Though an army besieges me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then will I be confident.
4 One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.
5 For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock.
6 Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me; at his tabernacle will I sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the LORD.
7 Hear my voice when I call, O LORD; be merciful to me and answer me.
8 My heart says of you “Seek his face!” Your face, LORD, I will seek.
9 Do not hide your face from me, do not turn your servant away in anger; you have been my helper. Do not reject me or forsake me, O God my Savior.
10 Though my father and mother forsake me, the LORD will receive me.
11 Teach me your way, O LORD; lead me in a straight path because of my oppressors.
12 Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes, for false witnesses rise up against me, breathing out violence.
13 I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.
14 Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.

As I read verse four I am drawn to John 14: 2-3 “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” American society is overexposed to the daily outlet of media broadcasting that has had a great impact unto our lifestyle. This media overexposure impacts many believers with a great desire to live for today and building a brighter future for living their life on this earth than seeking heavenly treasure. However, the true believer’s focus should also be looking for the Lord’s coming and the arrival of the New Jerusalem and the New Heaven and the New Earth.

Key points from this chapter:

Can you state the same truths in your life with the (I) statements as David did in this psalm?

  • whom shall, I fear?
  • whom shall I be afraid?
  • I ask of the LORD that I may dwell in his house
  • I seek that I may gaze upon his beauty
  • I seek him in his temple
  • I sacrifice with shouts of joy
  • I will sing and make music
  • I call on the Lord
  • I will seek his face
  • I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living

Can you state the same truths in your life with the (me) statements as David did in this psalm?

  • LORD is my light
  • LORD my salvation
  • LORD is the stronghold of my life
  • He will keep me safe in his dwelling
  • He will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle
  • He set me high upon a rock
  • my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me
  • Hear my voice when I call
  • LORD; be merciful to me
  • Lord answer me
  • Though my father and mother forsake me, the LORD will receive me
  • Teach me your way
  • lead me in a straight path because of my oppressors
  • Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes
  • false witnesses rise up against me

Can you wait for the LORD and can you be strong and take heart?

A text sent to me:

Sincerely the Fallen

At what point in our life do we reach the crossroads?

How do we determine which path to follow?

Do we follow our heart or our ambitions?

Why is there enough religion to insight war, but not enough to find peace?

When is it time to give up on the world and seek a better place?

Only the truth will set you free.

Where do you find it in a world of lies?

God have pity on the fallen.

May you find peace in this life for it has failed me.

Sincerely the Fallen

My reply:

At what point in our life do we reach the crossroads?

This crossroad is reached when you must decide which path you desire to follow, the way of the wicked or the way of God.

How do we determine which path to follow?

You make this choice. Do I travel and walk with the wicked, stand with the sinners, and sit with the mockers or do I travel and walk, stand, and sit with the righteous? The choice is yours.

Do we follow our heart or our ambitions?

Neither, we follow Christ.

Paul states that we should have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had in our relationship to others. Christ was Lord, yet he humbles himself and died as a criminal on the cross. The human nature struggle with the issues of pride and humility daily. To aid us in this struggle Paul gives us this advice: don’t be selfish, do not try to impress others, think others as better than yourself, do not look to your own interest but take an interest in others.

Why is there enough religion to insight war, but not enough to find peace?

You must realize that religion is man-made and attempts to find peace. Real peace only comes when we have a true relationship with God.

When is it time to give up on the world and seek a better place?

Christ stated it as simply “Come unto me all who are weak and heavy laden, and I will give you rest”.

Only the truth will set you free.

Ask must add to this statement “free from what?”. As I look at John chapter 18 in the discourse between Pilate and Christ:

Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then. Jesus answered; thou say that I am a king. To this end have I been born, and to this end am I come into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth hearth my voice. Pilate said unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and said unto them, I find no crime in him. But ye have a custom, that I should release unto you one at the Passover: will ye therefore that I release unto you the King of the Jews? They cried out therefore again, saying, Not this man, but Barabbas. Now Barabbas was a robber.

I once heard of a man that that went searching for Truth, met Truth and turned and walked away. This is what Pilate did. Yes, Truth can set you free, but only if you face it.

Where do you find it in a world of lies?

In Christ who is the truth, the life, and the way and the only way to the Father.

God have pity on the fallen.

He has for we are all fallen creatures. However, God so loved us that he sent his only son into this world to die on the cross to pay for my sins. In his love he pitied us, but also made a way out in Christ.

May you find peace in this life for it has failed me.

Read Psalm 88.

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 21

Psalm 21


of David.

1 O LORD, the king rejoices in your strength. How great is his joy in the victories you give!
2 You have granted him the desire of his heart and have not withheld the request of his lips. Selah
3 You welcomed him with rich blessings and placed a crown of pure gold on his head.
4 He asked you for life, and you gave it to him – length of days, forever and ever.
5 Through the victories you gave, his glory is great; you have bestowed on him splendor and majesty.
6 Surely you have granted him eternal blessings and made him glad with the joy of your presence.
7 For the king trusts in the LORD; through the unfailing love of the Most High he will not be shaken.
8 Your hand will lay hold on all your enemies; your right hand will seize your foes.
9 At the time of your appearing you will make them like a fiery furnace. In his wrath the LORD will swallow them up, and his fire will consume them.
10 You will destroy their descendants from the earth, their posterity from mankind.
11 Though they plot evil against you and devise wicked schemes, they cannot succeed;
12 for you will make them turn their backs when you aim at them with drawn bow.
13 Be exalted, O LORD, in your strength; we will sing and praise your might.

As I study this psalm, I cannot help but see this as a psalm that refers to David’s reign as well as the coming reign of Christ. As I read the first six verses, I can picture David’s kingdom as it become one of the most powerful nations on the earth during this period of history. However, the last seven verses seem to point to a coming King, one who will destroy the enemies of God. This King is Christ. In Deuteronomy 17 we are given instructions for a King to follow. Verses eighteen through twenty reads:

And it shall be, when he sits upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book, out of that which is before the priests the Levites: and it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life; that he may learn to fear Jehovah his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them; that his heart be not lifted up above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left: to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he and his children, in the midst of Israel.

As we study these verses, we realized that knowledge of the law of the Lord and the fear of the Lord are key to how a king rule.

As I read verse ten of this Psalm, I must reflect on Peters words concerning the latter days (the times that we are living in today). Verse ten states “you will destroy their descendants from the earth”. In studying the scripture, I realized that this had already happened once before in the history of mankind The Great Flood of Genesis. In II Peter chapter three Peter writes about the last days in which men deny that this great flood ever happened. He gives us two characteristics of the mockers that Christians will face during these times.

The first characteristic is they walk after their own lust. As I reflect on the phrase “walking after one’s own lust” I ask myself “why is this an issue?”. Peter wrote this epistle to stir up the minds on the believers. He wrote this epistle to remind them of the message of the gospel. In fact, in verses fifteen and sixteen of chapter three he reminds them that Paul wrote to them in words that were sometimes hard to understand the salvation of the Lord. As I reflect on Paul’s writings about the gospel, the resurrection of Christ and our future resurrection I gain a new perceptive of the message of the gospel. Paul states in I Corinthians 15:12-19

Now if Christ is preached that he hath been raised from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, neither hath Christ been raised: and if Christ hath not been raised, then is our preaching vain, your faith also is vain. Yea, we are found false witnesses of God; because we witnessed of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, neither hath Christ been raised: and if Christ hath not been raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also that are fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If we have only hoped in Christ in this life, we are of all men most pitiable.

In other words, if the message of the gospel was just to make the world a better place to live in and that this life we are living really is all there is then I am preaching the wrong message. If my message does not focus on gaining eternal life with God, but just on how to make the world a better place to live; then why would people give up walking after their own lust? They would not. If all I had was hope in this life, then I would be the Lord of my life and live my life for my pleasures only. So, until a man looks at the eternal value of their life the message of the gospel really has no meaning to him.

The second characteristic is they deny the Word of God. They question the Word and the promises found in the Word. They deny the creation, the flood, the call of Abraham, the law, the prophets and the ministry of Christ. What is so sad about questioning God’s Word is that most believers do not even read it. Yes, it is true that the Word of God is often abused by many and twisted to support their own personal belief system; however, that does not justify holding the Word of God out of your life. You have the same freedom as others to study the Word. You have as much access to the Word of God as anyone else. So, as I look at the second characteristic of the latter days, I must ask the question “what do you think of God’s Word?”. Do you stand on the Word of God? And what do you think about God’s son the King (Christ) in relationship to how you live your life? Read Psalms 22 and study how He suffered for us when he came the first time to earth and then read Psalms 2 to see how he will reign the second time he comes to the earth.

As I read this Psalm this morning, I thought of King David and his son Solomon. David walked in life was before the Lord and on the integrity of heart and walking in a righteous manner before man. However, we see in Ecclesiastes that Solomon gave his heart to seek and search out wisdom concerning all things that all under heaven. Two kings, a father and a son, however two different walks. A young shepherd that learned of God at an early age, who seek to know the way of God and not to stray from this way. A young prince of one of the greatest kingdoms on earth at his time who focus was really on himself. Read Ecclesiastes and circle all the Is in the Book. As I read the account of Solomon’s turn from God in I Kings 11:1-13 I see how God offered his mercy to Solomon, but Solomon refused to turn back to God. Unlike David his father who repented and turned back to God after the prophet Nathan stated to David “Thou art the man”, Solomon in all his wisdom decided to go the way of the world and not God’s way. Why are I writing this paragraph? Because someone who use to be very close to me wrote me to state that peace could not be found in this world and that religion did not have the answer. Like Solomon he was searching everywhere for answers but refused to consider the right way (God’s way). The shepherd king of Israel found God by finding God’s Word in his heart. This was David’s true foundation believing in the Word of God. This is the secret of my faith and the peace I have every day. Believing this first that God can be found only in his Word. This is the preaching of the Cross that Paul strives daily to achieve and may all who see me also see my Savior life in me. Salvation can come by no other means than by believing on the message of the death, burial, and the resurrection on Christ.

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.

Psalm 12

Psalm 12

of David.
1 Help, LORD, for the godly are no more; the faithful have vanished from among men.
2 Everyone lies to his neighbor; their flattering lips speak with deception.
3 May the LORD cut off all flattering lips and every boastful tongue
4 that says, “We will triumph with our tongues; we own our lips who is our master?”
5 “Because of the oppression of the weak and the groaning of the needy, I will now arise,” says the LORD. “I will protect them from those who malign them.”
6 And the words of the LORD are flawless, like silver refined in a furnace of clay, purified seven times.
7 O LORD, you will keep us safe and protect us from such people forever.
8 The wicked freely strut about when what is vile is honored among men.

As we just faced another election year and the debate about who is right and best for the position, we must consider verse eight of this psalm “the wicked freely strut about when what is vile is honored among men”. As we look at the value system that is in place today, we see a system that is very corrupt. In verse two David writes that everyone lies to his neighbor and their flattering lips speak with deception. This too seems to be present in our political and business world today. In II Timothy 3:1-5 Paul warns Timothy about times like David was facing “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God having a form of godliness but denying its power”. As I study David’s life, I even see this deception happening in his own life as he tries to get Uriah to sleep with Bathsheba so that his child could seem to be Uriah’s son to cover up David’s sin. However when this did not work David arrange for Uriah’s death on the battlefield. Then, when Nathan confronted David with his sin and said to David “You are the man! David realized that he was guilty of the very principles that he tried to uphold. David’s repentance (see Psalm 51 and Psalm 32) is an example of the type of true repentance that we as believers must follow when we are confronted with our sin. However, today I believe we have departed from true repentance and are living in a culture were the wicked proudly strut about knowing that their actions are really honored in this society.

When studying the seven churches in Revelation two and three repentance plays an important part in the believer’s walk. These examples:

  • To the church of Ephesus – Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first.
  • To the church of Pergamum – Nevertheless, I have a few things against you. Repent therefore!
  • To the church in Thyatira – Nevertheless, I have this against you I have given her time to repent of her immorality, but she is unwilling; so I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways.
  • To the church of Sardis – I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent.
  • To the church of Laodicea – I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent.

However, there are two churches that were not ask to repent: Smyrna “I know your afflictions and your poverty—yet you are rich!” and Philadelphia – “I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name”. It is interest that II Samuel 11:1 starts out with these words “In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, David sent Joab out with the king’s men and the whole Israelite army. They destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem.” This verse set the stage for David’s fall. David was not doing what he was supposed to be doing but left it to others. The churches of Smyrna and Philadelphia gives us examples what the church should be doing today. So, as we take a look at the value system of nation we should look and study the seven churches of Revelation. Is our value system that of Smyrna and Philadelphia or is it like the value of the other five churches?

Is there a difference between knowing God’s way and living in God’s way? Does living a righteous lifestyle before God guarantee a wonderful and bless life? Is living life and following God’s way simply a matter of if you do this then this will happen? As I study the Psalms and the life of David, I have come to realize that the answers to life’s tough questions are not simple. This Psalm deals with living in an environment where the godly are no more. It is an environment where everyone lies to his neighbor, is deceitful, where what is vile and wicked is honored among men. As I study I Kings chapter twenty one I see a picture of Israel that reminds me of this type of an environment. To summarize this chapter, we see four main characters: Naboth, Ahab, Jezebel, and Elijah. Ahab wanted Naboth’s vineyard to make himself a vegetable garden. Naboth told him no, this is my inheritance from my father, and I will not sell it to you. So, Ahab went home sad and angry. When Jezebel found out about this, she took matters in her own hands and set Naboth up with made-up charges and had him killed. She then gave his land to Ahab. When Ahab went to see his new possession, Elijah met him and proclaim God’s Word to him. Surprising Ahab humbled himself before God (something Jezebel would never do). To this God had mercy on him and did not bring the promise disaster during his lifetime. As I read this story the issues, we face today in our society are similar to the issues that Elijah faced during his time on this earth.

How then does this story answer the question “Is living life and following God’s way simply a matter of if you do this then this will happen?”? The answer can be found in reading I Peter. According to I Peter 5: 8-9 we are to be “self-controlled and alert”. Why? Because our enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. How do we react to the devil? Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because we know that our brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. So, in evil times is your goal living a wonderful and bless life, or living a blameless lifestyle as a witness of God’s working in your life? Knowing that the evil in this world will take advantage of our living a blameless life before God.

Psalm 4

Psalm 4

A psalm of David.
1 Answer me when I call to you, O my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; be merciful to me and hear my prayer.
2 How long, O men, will you turn my glory into shame? How long will you love delusions and seek false gods? Selah
3 Know that the LORD has set apart the godly for himself; the LORD will hear when I call to him.
4 In your anger do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent. Selah
5 Offer right sacrifices and trust in the LORD.
6 Many are asking, “Who can show us any good?” Let the light of your face shine upon us, O LORD.
7 You have filled my heart with greater joy than when their grain and new wine abound.
8 I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.

The purpose of starting my study in the psalms twenty years ago was to help improve my prayer life. This started the process of reading five psalms a day and letting them speak to me as I poured my heart out to God, just as David does in a lot of his psalms. This psalm is an example of a simple pray. This prayer starts out with the request for God to answer his prayers. Here David is requesting relief from his distress. As you read verse one and look at David’s requests, “answer me when I call to you, give me relief from my distress, be merciful to me and hear my prayer” reveals that this was a prayer that came from a hurting man. Verse two reveals that the distress David is referring to in verse one is from men that are trying to destroy David’s character. When you study David’s life it is not a study of how God rewards the godly as they live a righteous life on this earth, but it is a reflection on the struggle between the two walks (way of the righteous and the way of the wicked) on this earth. This struggle is also the struggle we face as we are sojourners on this earth. When David was running from Saul, he was forced to give up relationships with those who were close to him such as his wife (Saul even gave Micah to another man), his family, and his closest friend (Jonathan). As these events of rejection happened in David life they also happen in the life of Christ as well as in your life today. However, verses three, four, and five gives us an insight to handle ourselves when we are experiencing these events in our life. First know that God has set the godly apart for himself. This means that in times of trouble we do not seek to right the wrong, but instead focus on becoming godly. This is only done by becoming more Christ-like in our walk on this earth. Second, we need to know that God will take care of us just as he did Joseph. Joseph’s life serves as a great example of how even when we are wronged by others God is still in control. And last of all we must be continually in a state of self-examination. As David states here search your heart and be silent. God will speak to you in these dark times things that you will not be able to share even those who are very close to you. By following these principals, we like David will have great joy in our hearts and will be able to lie down and sleep in peace.

As I study David’s life, I realize how much of his life was guided by one principal and that was by staying in God’s Word. As one studies the Bible in a spirit of self- examination the Holy Spirit will reveal more and more of God’s ways to us. By reading these psalms daily and seeking to walk in his ways we will experience joys that this world can’t give.

Psalm 3

Psalm 3

A psalm of David. When he fled from his son Absalom.

1 O LORD, how many are my foes! How many rise up against me!

2 Many are saying of me, “God will not deliver him.” Selah
3 But you are a shield around me, O LORD; you bestow glory on me and lift up my head.
4 To the LORD I cry aloud, and he answers me from his holy hill. Selah
5 I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the LORD sustains me.
6 I will not fear the tens of thousands drawn up against me on every side.
7 Arise, O LORD! Deliver me, O my God! Strike all my enemies on the jaw; break the teeth of the wicked.
8 From the LORD comes deliverance. May your blessing be on your people. Selah

As I read this psalm, I recall the verses that recount the story of David and Absalom. I am not one that fills in the blanks so I will not try to determine the relationship that David had with his son Absalom. Absalom was David’s third son (2 Samuel 3:3) and the half-brother to Ammon who was David’s oldest son but whom also had raped Tamar Absalom’s sister. Read the story in 2 Samuel 13:1 – 19:43 to get a full account of the story that leads to this psalm. However, until you have one of your own children rebel against you to the point of wanting to destroy you and go against the truth; you can never fully understand how David felt here. David waited on the Lord. This is different from the approach that many take today. The belief that God takes care of those who take care of themselves is a belief that carries over to almost every aspect of our life. We are living in an age where we must make it happen, and when it does it must be God’s will; yet I believe we have really forgotten the art of waiting on the Lord. As you read these verses look at David’s response to the trial he is going through. He is trusting in God as his shield and the one that gives glory. He will rest and lie down because the Lord sustains him. He will not fear because from the Lord will comes deliverance. David knew how to trust God and that when we measure the battles, we fight in the fleeing moments of this life they are nothing compare to the victories we will have with him for eternality.

May your blessing be on your people reminds us to walk in the way of the Lord. Remember there is only one way and he is the way, the truth, and the life, so walk in this way and be bless.

Here we see David the father of Absalom running from his son. When studying David’s life, the main theme I have realized is his personal relationship with the Lord and how this relationship changed David. In I Kings 15:3-5 David’s character is described as having a heart that was wholly devoted to his God. The only blemish on David’s life was the case of Uriah the Hittite. David’s examples of how he lived his life reflects a man who was truly a man after God’s own heart. He was not a man who was searching for God, but a man who walked in the way of God who waited on God’s transforming power to make his heart like God’s heart. This is reflected in the way he handled himself at the death of his son Absalom. He wept. Joab and Israel could not understand this weeping, just as the world today cannot understand the love and patience of God as Peter writes about in II Peter 3:9. Just as the thought that David had in his heart as he walked in his chamber “O my son Absalom, my son Absalom! Would I have died instead of you.” is the same love God has for us his children. In fact, that is why Christ died on the cross for us. With his death and resurrection, he made a way to restore the broken relationship between God and man. So, when you study the psalms as well as all scripture wait on God to open up his Word to you. Then you will start to see God’s transforming work in your heart as he makes you into a child of God. Stop searching for God in our way and start walking and growing in his way by studying his Word and letting it speak to you. Let your walk be characterized as a man or women who is walking with the Lord and enjoying sweet communion with Him. Let your communion with Him be a candle that sheds light to those who are searching for God.

Psalm 2

Psalm 2

1 Why do the nations conspire, and the peoples plot in vain?
2 The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the LORD and against his Anointed One.
3 “Let us break their chains,” they say, “and throw off their fetters.”
4 The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them.
5 Then he rebukes them in his anger and terrifies them in his wrath, saying,
6I have installed my King on Zion, my holy hill.”

7 I will proclaim the decree of the LORD: He said to me, “You are my Son; today I have become your Father.
8 Ask of me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession.
9 You will rule them with an iron scepter; you will dash them to pieces like pottery.”
10 Therefore, you kings, be wise; be warned, you rulers of the earth.
11 Serve the LORD with fear and rejoice with trembling.
12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you be destroyed in your way, for his wrath can flare up in a moment. Blessed are all who take refuge in him.

This psalm is about the Lord. As you look at this psalm you will see a lot of purple that represents the Lord and a lot of green which represents those against the Lord. However, the only red which represents the saints is found only in the last sentence. We are blessed (reread psalm one) our refuge is in him. It is not by our acts but by his grace that we are blessed. Therefore, heed verse twelve kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you be destroyed in your way. Notice that way is singular. In Psalm 1:6 David writes but the way of the wicked will perishes, this is the way that the son destroys in verse twelve of this psalm. Kiss the son is an act of reverence. Your way then is simply put to this one question “what do you think of Christ?” Is he the way, the truth and the light in your life?

As I read Psalm two, I wonder what the Lord told the two disciples going to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-32) about this portion of the scriptures. In Luke 24:32 “And they said one to another, was not our heart burning within us, while he spoke to us in the way, while he opened to us the scriptures?” was a trip that one of my favorite Bible teachers stated as his dream trip. That short journey from Jerusalem to Emmaus was the best discourse on Old Testament theology that was ever delivered. Christ himself gives us the keys to understanding the scriptures in Luke 24:46,47 “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer, and rise again from the dead the third day; and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name unto all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.” Simply put it is the gospel.

As I watch the news and listen to everyday discussions about the affairs of men, I see little refer being made to the King of Kings in either case. As I study the Sermon on the Mount found in Matthew chapters five through seven, I see the King of Kings presenting his kingdom and his principles to mankind. The theme of this psalm can be found in the first three verses. The people of this earth take their stand against God. Their goal is to break the chains that they state that God has placed upon them. These chains that the kings and the rulers want to break are simply the desire to set themselves up as gods so that men would worship them instead of God. As I study Isaiah fourteen verse twelve through seventeen, I realize that this was the same chains that Satan wanted to break. In Isaiah 14:12-17:

How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! You said in your heart, “I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.” But you are brought down to the grave, to the depths of the pit. Those who see you stare at you, they ponder your fate: “Is this the man who shook the earth and made kingdoms tremble, the man who made the world a desert, who overthrew its cities and would not let his captives go home?”

Just as Satan, these kings and rulers of the earth paid no heed to God’s law and disregard the honor due Him. However, God has set Christ up as King. As you study the gospels take a close look at the parables that Christ gave after his Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem. The parables of the two sons, of the tenants, the wedding banquet, the ten virgins, and the talents all point to a returning Lord. As we approach each day are our eyes focused on the clouds and looking for the coming King or are we so focused on the daily activities around us and being part of this world that we have taken our eyes away from looking for the return of the coming King.

I was asked the other day if God ever laughs. Here in verse four of this Psalm, as well as Psalm 37:13 and Psalm 59:8 I have found the answer. God laughs at the wicked. In these three Psalms the issue that God laughs at is the stand the wicked have taken against God and his anointed One. He laughs that they believe that they can rebel against God and free themselves from his ways. God looks down from heaven and views this as foolishness. His advice is simply “serve the Lord with fear and rejoice with trembling”. So be warned “Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you will be destroyed in your way”.

Psalm 1

Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers. Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.

As I start my quest of detailing my philosophy of life to my children over the next one hundred and fifty days, I will explore each of the one hundred and fifty Psalms and will focus on these four universal questions:

1. Does God exists?

2. Who am I?

3. Is there a correct way to live?

4. How can we live together?

Psalm one is a great stating point since all four of the questions are addressed. Does God exist? It is interesting that the very first verse of the Bible states “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” In this Psalm God is the law giver, he is the judge, and the protector of the righteous. So, the very first Statement I must make in writing about my philosophy on life is the fact (the foundation) of my belief statement is that God is the creator of both heaven and earth.

The second question is what or who am I? If God is the creator of the world than does that means man is a creation? In this Psalm man is described as either walking with the wicked or meditating on the law of the Lord (the path of the righteous). It is interesting that this Psalm gives us a way to walk. Our walk or way seems to determine what or who we are. So, what is man? A creature created by God who has the gift of choose. The law of God was simple to Adam and Eve as Eve stated it the serpent: “And the woman said unto the serpent, Of the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat but of the fruit of the tree, which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.” However, the counsel of the wicked changes God’s words: “And the serpent said unto the woman, you shall not surely die for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as God, knowing good and evil.” And as the story goes in Genesis chapter three, we realized that this was the fall of man. “And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat; and she gave also unto her husband with her, and he did eat. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig-leaves together and made themselves aprons.” (ASV) As Paul writes in Roman five verses 17 through 19: For if, by the trespass of the one, death reigned through the one; much more shall they that receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one, even Jesus Christ.  So then as through one trespass the judgment came unto all men to condemnation; even so through one act of righteousness the free gift came unto all men to justification of life.  For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the one shall the many be made righteous. (ASV) So with first decision to disobey God by Adam the sinful nature was passed upon all mankind.

There with this sinful nature being a part of all mankind is there a correct way to live and if so, how can we live together? His Psalm address this path as the law of the Lord. But it not a law to know but to be mediated upon. Live is very complicated. And because of the sinful nature that exist in everyone we must follow David’s advice of mediating on God’s law both day and night.

As I was growing up one of the pictures that was in many Christian homes was an old man praying for his meal with a Bible next to him. Growing up I witness my grandparents finishing the evening by reading the Bible before bedtime. It is amazing how busy our lives have become that the simple pleasures of hiding God’s Word in our heart has lost it importance, The truth I want to leave my children is the importance of hiding God’s Word in your heart and mediating on it all day long. Life is not easy. However, I start the day out knowing to answers of two of the four major questions. Yes, God exist and is in control, and yes, I know I am a sinner saved by grace. The other two questions can only be answered daily by mediating on God’s Word. For it is the convicting power of the Holy Spirit that helps my sinful nature grow closer to God.

Psalm 6: 1-3

Tallapossa 4O Lord, rebuke me not in thine anger, neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure. Have mercy upon me, O Lord; for I am weak: O Lord, heal me; for my bones are vexed.  My soul is also sore vexed: but thou, O Lord, how long?

In his devotional My Utmost for His Highest for April 2, 2009 Oswald Chambers  writes “The lasting characteristic of a spiritual man is the ability to understand correctly the meaning of the Lord Jesus Christ in his life, and the ability to explain the purposes of God to others.” as the spiritual insight that we need to portray in our daily walk.  This psalm is an example of those events that take place in our life in which we know God, but we can not grasp an understanding on how God is using those events in our life at that moment to shape us for his purpose.

In this psalm David knows the Lord.  He knows of God’s anger and discipline and he knows of his unfailing love.  He had witness how God had used Saul to united Israel as a nation, but also witness how God had deserted Saul when he refused to obey God.  He saw the pain and suffering that Saul went through when the Spirit of the Lord left Saul.  He also saw the type of person that Saul became when he forsook the Lord’s way and pursued his own path.  However, he also saw how much pain and suffering Saul could inflict on others.  Events such as when Saul had Doeg the Edomite kill eighty-five members of the priest family were hard for David to grasp when it came to understanding God intervention in the affairs of man.

 

As I study the issues that David must have faced in this psalm and apply it to the issues that I face I realize that David is wrestling with gaining an understanding of the events surrounding him.  The more I study the psalms the more I realize that David was writing his psalms to help him understand the nature and attributes of God.  David knew that God was in control, however, he also realized that evil existed in the world and that this evil was godless.  Godliness and godlessness can not exist together.  Therein lies the conflict that we see in the world today, those who walk in the way of the righteous and those who opposes the righteous way of God.   The major issue that I see today is that many believers strive to make a stand against all unrighteous that they see exist all around them and take matters into their our hands, instead of leaving it to God.  We should become like David and become obsessed with the pursue of knowing God and living a blameless life.  If we truly believe like David; then we like him, will know that the four results of verses nine and ten will take place.

 The LORD has heard my cry for mercy the LORD accepts my prayer. All my enemies will be ashamed and dismayed they will turn back in sudden disgrace 

Living a blameless life is different then living a perfect life.  One of the earliest struggles that I faced as a Christian was striving for human perfection.  Paul also gives us an example of his struggle with living a life of perfection in Philippians chapter three.  Paul purpose changed from striving to live a life of perfection to knowing God and the power of his resurrection.  He sought the fellowship of Christ suffering and being made conformable unto God’s nature.  Oswald Chambers summarizes Christian perfection in his devotional from December 2 as “Christian perfection is not, and never can be, human perfection. Christian perfection is the perfection of a relationship with God that shows itself to be true even amid the seemingly unimportant aspects of human life.”   So as we go through times in our life that we can not understand God’s leading look at them as a time that God is making us conformable unto His nature