I started blogging many years ago…I don’t have a huge following but I know I had a few. My blogging turned into a Facebook group, that then that turned into a mess. I want to turn my mess into a message, but to be honest…it got too messy.
My husband of 20+ years has asked for a divorce…but refuses to file. He just kicked out our 18 year old son. Thankfully my mom is willing to take him in. Like Chrissy says… “I should have known better.”
As I pack my things…I cry. Ugly tears. You know the kind that makes your nose cry and your eyes hurt. The kind of crying where there is not enough make-up to hide your face after even the weekend is over. My marriage is over and yet I want to cling to what little we have left. I reach into my closet and I see the project I started so long ago…I forgot it was there. “I waited patiently on the Lord…”
I sit at my mom’s…next to my 18 year old son. He is still my baby. Yet…my husband gave me no other choice as he asked me to leave and then told my son he had to leave as well.
Emotional abuse is never okay! God will forgive me for throwing in the towel. I know someone else will hear me and will need to hear the rest of my messy story. Someone that is clinging to the crumbs of a marriage spoiled by crazy making and a hand that holds too tightly and leaves marks that only fade with time. Someone that doesn’t want to admit that they have been shattered and battered…and left alone to pick up the pieces. I’ve been there…and my battle hasn’t even begun. I still have children at home…sleeping in a house that is no longer mine…with a father that doesn’t want their mother anymore. A father that only considers family to be those that share his blood. A father that has squashed the dreams of a mother that only wanted the best for him…but he didn’t love himself enough to believe her.
I should stop now…it is just a rant at this point. A journal entry that really should just be between me and God…but I know someone else needs my messy message. Could I be brave enough to post this? Am I being selfish if I don’t? Do I break my silence and really tell the world that I cry at night and don’t sleep sometimes because my home is not my home anymore? Could I be so brave?
- They do not acknowledge God (v.1)
- They do not obey God (v.1)
- They do not understand God (v.2)
- They do not seek God (v.2)
- They do not follow God’s way (v. 3)
- They do not call on God (v.4)
- They do not fear God (v.5)
- They do not hope in God (v.6)
- The Starting Point—Danger from the Enemy (vv. 1–3). David’s life was in danger (v. 3; see 1 Sam. 23: 15), and he called on God to save him and vindicate his cause (1 Sam. 24: 15). David was the rightful king of Israel, and the future of the nation and the dynasty lay with him. This included the promise of the Messiah, who would come from David’s line (2 Sam. 7). “By your name” means “on the basis of your character,” especially His strength (v. 1) and faithfulness (v. 5). David promised to praise God’s name after the great victory (v. 6). He used three different names of God in this brief psalm: Elohim (vv. 1, 2, 3, 4), Adonai (Lord, v. 4), and Jehovah (LORD, v. 6). “Hear my prayer” (v. 2) is a favorite approach with David (4: 1; 39: 12; 143: 1). “Strangers” (v. 3) doesn’t suggest that his enemies were Gentiles, for the Ziphites belonged to the tribe of Judah, David’s own tribe. The word is used in Job 19: 13 to describe Job’s family and friends, and David used it in a similar way in 69:8. It can describe anybody who has turned his or her back on someone, which the Ziphites certainly did to David, their king. Why did they do it? Because they disregarded the Lord and His will for the nation of Israel. Unlike David (16: 8), they did not set God before them (see 10: 4–5; 36: 1; 86: 14).
- The Turning Point—Confidence in the Lord (v. 4). This is the central verse of the psalm, and it records the turning point in David’s experience. The word translated “help” or “helper” is related to “Ebenezer” in 1 Samuel 7: 12: “Thus far the LORD has helped us” (NASB) and is a word David often used in his prayers (10: 14; 30: 10; 33: 20; 79: 9; 86: 17; 115: 9–11). It’s worth noting that Jonathan visited David about this time, and the Lord used him to encourage His servant (1 Sam. 23: 16–18). The Lord doesn’t always send angels to encourage us; sometimes He uses other believers to minister to us (see Acts 9: 26–28; 11: 19–26). Every Christian ought to be a Barnabas, a “son of encouragement.”
- The Finishing Point—Praise to the Lord (vv. 5–7). Twice David had opportunity to slay Saul but refrained from doing so, for he knew that God would one day deal with the rebellious king (see 1 Sam. 26: 8–11). “He will pay back evil to my enemies” (v. 5 AB). (See 7: 15–16; 35: 7–8; Prov. 26: 27; 28: 10; 29: 6.) David was away from the sanctuary, but he lifted his voice in praise to God, and his words were like a freewill offering to the Lord (Heb. 13: 15). In verses 1–6, David spoke directly to the Lord, but in verse 7, he spoke to those around him and gave witness to the blessing of the Lord. His words revealed his faith, for he spoke of his deliverance as already completed as he looked calmly at his enemies (22: 17; 59: 10; 92: 11; 118: 7). David had more suffering and peril to experience before he would ascend the throne, but he was confident that the Lord would see him through—and He did!”
- He is the Most High
- He is to be feared (the Hebrew word for fear is being in “awe”)
- He is a great King over all the Earth
- He subdued people under us and placed nations at our feet
- He chose our heritage for us
- The shields of the earth belong to him
- He is highly exalted
- We talk about Zion: Spiritually Zion is the joy of the whole earth. (Gen 12:1-3) (48:1-3)
- We see Zion: We look to Jerusalem and are encouraged in our faith. (Read about Hezekiah in 2 Kings 18-19-this is the story behind this psalm) (48:4-8)
- We enter Zion: The Jews went to the temple 1st. We have a greater victory to share with the Earth. Our Lord Jesus died for us and had risen again. (48:9-11)
- We walk about Zion: This is a triumphant procession of praise. Praise him for what He has done for you!” (48:12-14)
(I have fallen behind in my Blog but I have not fallen behind on God’s word. I will be posting what I have been doing.)
(Notes based upon the commentary and devotions of Psalm 36 by Warren Wiersbe)
In Psalm 36 David comes to the conclusion that sin occurs because of an absence of fear of God. David again looks upon those that are sinners but as Warren Wiersbe states, “David did a wise thing when he stopped contemplating the sinners and started focusing on the glories of the Lord.” As David looked at God’s character in psalm 36 he shares with us that God is full of mercy, protection, abundance, guidance, and pleasures. David also explains where these characters are found and available to us:
1. We are protected in the shadow of his wings (psalm 36:7).
2. He provides us satisfaction and abundance at his table (psalm 36:8).
3. He provides us guidance with his light (psalm 36:9)
4. He provides abundance and power as he is the fountain of life (psalm 36:9)
Heavenly Father, you are merciful and you provide us with refuge, abundance, and delights. You are a God we can glorify for the many things you do but most importantly by the God that you are. Thank you for providing us protection under the shadow of your wings, refuge in the Holy of Holies, satisfaction at your table, guidance by your light, and power and abundance by your fountain of life. It is hard sometimes for us to live amongst those that do not fear you. We can seek to find our own justice or we can focus on you. Please forgive us for not always focusing on you Lord. Please continue your steadfast love upon those who know you. Please continue your righteousness to the upright of heart. Help us to continue to seek you and to seek an upright heart. Let not the foot of arrogance come upon us or the hand of the wicked drive us from you. May we continue to praise your steadfast love in all circumstances and situations. In your Great name, Amen!
(I believe that Cheryl Ann was the one that told me we are never late or behind but right where God wants us to be. The past couple of weeks have been long for me and these past couple days even more challenging. Recently I have been dealing with diverticulitis, dehydration, and recently learning I am at high risk of developing colon cancer. All of this after an elected colonoscopy. I was weak and tired. Today though I wake up feeling the effects of much needed rest and I sit in the presence of his word. I was absent for a few days but I truly believe I was where God needed me to be. Now for some time with the Lord🙏.)
Many times throughout my day I have to remind myself and others that the world thinks differently than we were created to think. As an Ostomy nurse I help many through the process of accepting the unacceptable. Our world does not embrace “different” and sometimes one can even feel shunned. When one is struggling I explain to them how different we can be from the way the “world” portrays. As Christians, it is much the same. Psalm 37 explains how Christians can live in a world that they reside in but don’t have to belong to.
Warren Wiersbe explains Psalms 37 well when he states, “The theological foundation for the psalm is the covenant God made with Israel, recorded in Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 27—30. God owned the land, and if the nation obeyed Him, they could live in the land and enjoy its blessings. But if Israel disobeyed the Lord, He would first chasten them in the land (invasion, drought, famine), but if they continued to rebel, He would then take them out of the land (captivity). But it seemed that the wicked were prospering and that God wasn’t doing anything about it (see Jer. 12). The righteous could fret over the problem (vv. 1, 7–8), leave the land (v. 3), or go on being faithful, trusting the Lord to keep His Word (vv. 3, 5, 7, 34, 39). Like any mature believer who had been through his own share of suffering, David took the long view of the situation and evaluated the immediate and the transient in terms of the ultimate and the eternal. He encouraged Solomon and the people to believe God’s promises and wait on Him. In the psalm, he gave four encouraging assurances to believers who question how God is running His world. (See also Ps. 49 and 73.)
1. The Lord can be trusted (vv. 1-11): We build trust by not fretting, delighting in the Lord, committing ourselves to the Lord, and resting in the Lord. Fretting leads to anger, lack of trust, lack of peace, and lack of joy.
2. The Lord understands your situation (vv. 12-20). As Warren Wiersbe states, “Since God can be trusted, we should not fret, and because God understands our situation, we should not fear.”
3. The Lord blesses his people (vv. 21-31). The Lord blesses us with the provision of our daily needs, his protection, his presence, he enables us to live obedient lives, and he gives us his word.
4. The Lord judges the wicked (vv. 32-40). The Lord protects us from the wicked by placing them on trial, by allowing the righteous to prosper and the wicked to wither, and he rescues the righteous from the wicked.
The First Five App discusses another important fact about inheritance of the land from God as they help us remember that all of these things we do not do on our own but with the help of Jesus Christ. “Five times David contrasts the wicked’s gain in this world to those who will “inherit the land.” (Psalm 37:9, 11, 22, 29, 34) This land David speaks of can be seen in John’s account in Revelation 21. John saw a new heaven and earth come down after the old heaven and earth had passed away, and he said, “The one who conquers will have this heritage” (Revelation 21:7). There is a new and better land on its way.
And who receives such an inheritance? David says it will be those who wait for the Lord, the meek, and those blessed by God. These are traits we cannot manufacture on our own. They are the result of the Holy Spirit working in a heart surrendered to Jesus. Only those with lives yielded to Christ will inherit the new land. Yes, sometimes it looks like evil is running this old world. But as Christ-followers, we must remember who inherits the new world … the world that will last forever. Envy, anger and worry are natural, but they don’t help us. This world and its treasures will “vanish — like smoke they [will] vanish away” (Psalm 37:20b). You and I do not need to be malicious or fight and elbow our way to the top of the ladder. We have something better. We have the indwelling Holy Spirit, who is the “guarantee of our inheritance” (Ephesians 1:14). And it will be an inheritance unending and unimaginably good. As Christians, we do not have to strive like the men of the world. Jesus said, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:28-29). Our Savior described Himself as “gentle and lowly in heart.” This can also translate to “meek.” Jesus was meek … and He conquered this world. Let’s follow His lead knowing we share the inheritance of the new world with Him. In knowing this, we can have rest for our souls.”
You can be trusted above all things. We can find our delight in you. You call us to commit to you and in you we will find rest. You remind us that the wicked are only temporary. Thank you for knowing the days of the blameless and allowing their heritage to remain forever. Thank you for providing us with abundance. Thank you for understanding our situations and helping us through them. Sometimes we find ourselves fretting over the circumstances of our lives instead of looking towards you. This fretting leads to anger. This fretting leads us to not trust in you. Fretting steals us of your joy and your peace. Please forgive us for our worrying and fretful heart. Help us to find your joy and your peace. Help us to trust in you. Continue to bless us with your daily provisions, your protection, your presence. Please continue to enable us to live obedient lives. Help us to continue to seek your word. In your great name, Amen!
Warren Wiersbe breaks down Psalm 38 once again. He states, “The Bible speaks about the pleasure of sin for a season. What Season? The season of sowing. The pleasure of sin comes when we sow, but the pain comes when we reap.” In Psalm 38, David speaks about his current situation and how his illness and distress was related to his sin. Warren Wiersbe explains that, “we are free to disobey the Lord, but we are not free to change the circumstances.” Warren then explains that when we sow sin we then reap God’s rebuking, God’s wrath, God’s displeasure, and even physical symptoms. These are noted in the beginning of Psalm 38. Warren Wiersbe goes on to explain that we have choices what we sow.
1. Sow your focus on yourself and reap the experience of sin’s painfulness. (vv. 1-8)
2. Sow your focus on others and reap sin’s loneliness. (vv. 9-14)
3. Sow your focus on the Lord and experience sin’s forgiveness. (vv. 15-22)
Warren Wiersbe continues to explain how David gives us tips for when we want to give up:
1. Don’t give up: “When he is tempting you, he (satan) whispers in your ear-‘You can get away with this.’ Then after you’ve sinned, he sneers, ‘You’ll never get away with this. You’re done for.’ Satan wants us to give up, but if we do, we’re playing right into his hands.
2. Confess your sins: “David didn’t say, ‘ I will be sorry that I’m suffering for my sin’ or ‘I will be sorry for the consequences.’ He said, ‘I’m sorry I have sinned.”
3. Trust in the Lord: “Do not forsake me, O Lord! O my God, be not far from me! Make haste to help me, O Lord, my salvation. (Psalm 38: 21-22).
Heavenly Father, you rightly rebuke us in your anger and we can find discipline in your wrath. Sin separates us from you and we can feel this into our bones. You are however a merciful God and you see our hearts even in our sin. You hear our cries. You forgive us and you restore us as your word says. Heavenly Father, Thank you for not forsaking us Lord. Thank you for helping us to see our sins. Thank you for your forgiveness. Sometimes it is hard to admit our sins. We sometimes need to feel your rebuke and your wrath so we return to you Lord. Sometimes it is difficult for us to be humble. Please forgive us for our shortcomings. Show us our sins and help us to return to you at all times. Keep us from our enemies Lord. Keep us close to you. In your great name, Amen.
According to Warren Wiersbe, “Both Psalm 38 and 39 record David attempting to remain silent in a time of trial, lest he say something that would offend believers or give ammunition to unbelievers.”
I sit in the waiting room of a busy doctor’s office. My to do list is long and my energy short. Unable to once again get into God’s word, I feel behind and unable to catch up. Illness had struck me and my mind continues to catch up with the time that has passed. As the days go by this page remains silent and I know that I must get back into God’s word.
Warren Wiersbe continues to state that, “Recorded in this psalm are four progressive stages in David’s overcoming his difficult experience.
“1. He Was Silent—a Burning Heart (vv. 1–3). Seeing the prosperity of the wicked and hearing their blasphemous words so angered David that he wanted to retaliate and say something to defend God, but he deemed it best to keep quiet. But this restraint only made his heart burn with intense pain until finally he had to speak out.”
I too want to remain silent. Unable to get the fuzziness out of my mind and feel clear with God’s word. I read on as Warren explains what David does next.
“2. He Was Despondent—a Burdened Heart (vv. 4–6). When we find ourselves burying our true feelings and creating physical and emotional pain for ourselves, then it’s time to talk to the Lord and seek His help. David knew that life was short and that the days would pass swiftly; he also knew that he was frail and that one day he would die.”
I sat in the quiet and I began to pray to God using his word:
There are times when we want to be silent. We attempt to guard our ways and we remain silent. We attempt to remain quiet but peace does not find us and our distress worsens. But you do not seek that we are quiet. You seek that we search for you. You ask for us to call out to you so that our hope is in you. You will deliver us from our transgressions, you hear our prayer, and you give your ear when we cry. This requires us to remember to cry out to you Lord. In times of trouble Lord we sometimes seek silence over crying out to you. Help us Lord to remember to cry out instead of remaining silent. Forgive us our failures and our transgressions. Help us to be confident in who you are and not reliant on our own ways. Help us to seek you as our foundation and may we stand on nothing more. We pray this in your great name, Amen.
As I sit in the lobby, I feel the fuzziness of my mind begin to clear. I once again sense the presence of the Lord. I remember the feeling of closeness that I have missed in the days that I have been silent.
As Warren Wiersbe explains how David felt after he broke his silence and cried out to the Lord,
“3. He Was Confident—a Believing Heart (v. 7). This is the central verse in the psalm and the turning point in David’s experience. “If life is short and goes past so swiftly,” asks David, “what am I waiting for? If the world is nothing but a shadow image, let me give myself to the Lord, who is the foundation of all that is real and lasting.” Today we would say, “The reality is … found in Christ”
4. He Was Repentant—a Broken Heart (vv. 8–13). We begin with David the sinner and listen to his prayer for forgiveness (vv. 8–9). Like every truly convicted sinner, his mouth had been stopped (Rom. 3: 19), and he admitted his guilt before God (see 1 Sam. 3: 18; Lam. 1: 21).
David was silent in his troubles and so many times we can be too. The answer is to cry out to the Lord and find our confidence in him once more. We can ask for God’s forgiveness and find his great mercy once again.
I used to walk in the fuzziness of my mind and didn’t know how the clearing began. God’s word is essential to find the peace and clarity we need to get through each day. Physical sickness got me down and the lack of God’s word seeped in as well. Spiritual dehydration left me fighting for God’s truth. The answer is simple and yet once again I could not see it due to my troubles. As David shows, silence is never the answer and we must remember to cry out to God and seek him at all times! May the silence be broken and may he hear our cry!
My relationship with God is such a gift. I can rejoice for the changes that it has made in my life. For the first time since my journey with God began, I knew what I was missing when I had not been in his word. I craved the quiet moments of God’s word and the ability to clear my mind. I had slept through too many days without checking in. I had thought that physical sleep and rest would strengthen me and yet my soul was also in need. Never have I felt so sick and worn down, yet never have I also felt so completed by God’s word. I had provided my body with rest but I was starving the parts that needed God. The moment I opened his word I felt his truth sink into the parts of my spiritually dehydrated soul. Like I needed to drink physical water when I was ill, I also had to remember to feed my soul. Like pain medication lifting away pain, his word began to lift away the pain of the emptiness from lack of his truth.
I begin with Psalm 40, the place where I had left off. David speaks of how he waited on the Lord and God drew him up from the pit of destruction. He placed a new song in his mouth. I think of my journey with God and I realize that so many days God has done just this. If I take the time to sit in his word, no matter the pit that I wake up in…God places me into a secure place where I can find praise. My circumstance don’t change…the pit remains, but he changes me. As David speaks of trusting in the Lord and who he is, I know that this is what I have been lacking. No longer thinking my own thoughts and going my own way, but trusting in God. David speaks of his heart and how his heart is changed by God’s words. He reminds us how God thinks of us and that we are never alone.
Less, than an hour ago…I felt lost. Trying to put away the to do list and pick up God’s word seemed to be daunting. I felt alone in a crowd of people and sucked up into the noise of the day. Panic started to set in and the loneliness was too much to bear. I needed the quite of God’s word. I needed his truth to change me. I needed the reminder that he truly is all that I need. The world has a way of trapping us into what seems like the facts of the day and yet it is only in God’s word that we will see the truth. As the unknown outcome of my husband’s diagnosis creeps in, I must be prepared to fight back with God’s truth.
As the First Five App points out that, “in Psalm 40:1-10, David praises God for delivering him, but then in verses 11-17 he cries out for God to deliver him again. David is hurting but still hoping. And he knows where his hope is found.” The First Five talks about this type of hope as they state, “Hoping doesn’t mean we ignore reality. No, hoping means we acknowledge reality in the very same breath that we acknowledge God’s sovereignty. Our hope can’t be tied to whether or not a circumstance or another person changes. Our hope must be tied to the unchanging promise of God. We hope for the good we know God will ultimately bring from our situation, whether the good turns out to match our desires or not.” I’ve found this hope. This hope is fed to me in God’s word. Every day I may wake up on bottom of the pit again, but God’s word is ready to create a strong foundation in which I can stand upon. I may praise God as I take a breath in for saving me and ask God to save me again as I exhale. King David did this very same thing and we cannot expect anything more of ourselves as well. Despite the hurting…God’s word will always give us hope. I can’t help but continue to settle into God’s word of hope.
We can wait patiently on you. You hear our cries. You draw us up out of destruction and provide us with solid ground. Thank you for placing your new song in our mouth. Thank you for trading our sorrows into praise. Thank you for being a God that we can trust and in you we find a solid hope beyond our circumstances. Thank you for the reminder of who you are in your word. Lord there is times that I forget to seek you and in these times there is despair. Please forgive me for not always seeking you. Forgive me for not always delighting in your will because my heart has gone astray. Help us to share the news of your deliverance. Help us to speak of your faithfulness and your salvation. Continue to deliver us Lord. Continue to help us when we call. Help us to seek you so we can rejoice and be glad in your presence. May you always be our help and our deliverer. In your great name, Amen!
Warren Wiersbe commentary shares with his readers how we can use Psalm 41 to look at our spiritual condition. After being sick and out of God’s word for sometime this helps me to really look at how things are going. It is a reminder of the path God is asking us to take each day. Warren states, “When we find ourselves in difficulty, we may use this psalm to take an inventory of our spiritual condition by asking and answering four questions.
1. Integrity: How Do We Treat Others (vv. 1–4)? Before we can claim God’s promises, we must examine our own hearts to see if we have sincerely met the conditions the Lord has laid down. David no doubt based his prayer on the stipulations given in the covenant (Lev. 26:1–13; Deut. 7:13–16; 28:1–14). He knew that he had no right to claim mercy from the Lord if he himself had not shown mercy to others.
2. Treachery: How Do Others Treat Us (vv. 5–9)? It wasn’t enough that David was sick in bed, but he also had to deal with treachery among his own family and friends, including men like Ahithophel, his official counselor, who sided with Absalom. Ahithophel was Bathsheba’s grandfather (2 Sam. 11:3; 23:34) and hated David for what he did to her and to her husband Uriah. These false friends visited the king and lied to him (“We hope you’ll get well soon”), but they really wanted David to die and even plotted against him. But if Absalom became king, that would be the end of the Davidic dynasty, for Absalom had no son (2 Sam. 18:18). God promised David that his descendants would sit on the throne of Israel forever (2 Sam. 7:11–16), a promise ultimately fulfilled in Jesus Christ (Luke 1:31–33). David was gifted at reading people (2 Sam. 14:17–20) and knew the truth.
3. Mercy: How Does God Treat Us (vv. 10–12)? God in His mercy doesn’t give us what we do deserve, and God in His grace gives us what we don’t deserve, and He does this because of Jesus Christ His Son, who died for us on the cross. David prayed for mercy, because he knew he had sinned (v. 4). He also
affirmed his integrity (v. 12), for he had walked before the Lord in humility and submission (7:8; 18:19–25; 25:21; 78:72). When confronted with his sins, he confessed them and sought the face of the Lord (2 Sam. 12:13ff.).
4. Glory: How Do We Treat God (v. 13)? This verse was probably added later by an editor to mark the end of book I of the Psalms. Each of the first four books ends with a similar doxology (41:13; 72:18–20; 89:52; 106:48), and book V ends with a praise psalm (150). But the verse reminds us that the main thing in our lives must be the eternal praise and glory of the Lord. “Hallowed be thy name” is the first request in the Disciples’ Prayer (Matt. 6:9), and it governs all the other requests. God answers prayer, not to make His people more comfortable, but to bring glory to
Wiersbe, Warren W.. Be Worshipful (Psalms 1-89): Glorifying God for Who He Is (The BE Series Commentary) (p. 150). David C. Cook. Kindle Edition.
Your word speaks of the blessings that you will give to those that consider the poor. You will protect and keep those that look over the poor. You will sustain your people if they also look out for each other. You are gracious and you will raise your people up when we are willing to come to you and admit our iniquities. You will hold us up in our integrity. Thank you Lord for your blessings, your protection, for your grace and mercy. Sometimes we forget that doing your will means that we look out for others. Sometimes we forget that we must be prepared to follow your will and your word. I admit that I have sinned against your ways but I ask for your help to be humble. May your word continue to guide me to make the right choices and walk your path. Please be gracious to us as we come to you and admit our sins. Protect us from our enemies. Protect us from the enemy that is ready to steal and destroy. Help us to walk in the integrity of your ways and not our own. Help us to consider the poor and needy and be there for others as your word asks us to do. Help us to remain in your presence forever. In your great name, Amen.
I sat down at supper with my husband. His appointments were all over with and we would be heading home soon. Even after spending time in God’s word, I couldn’t shake the sadness. I sat and wondered why I was so sad. I eventually just decided that I had to feel my sadness. As I read Warren Wiersbe’s commentary on Psalm 42 it reminds me of my moments of sadness. “There may be times when we are not at our best physically. I think of Elijah, who had that difficult experience on Mount Carmel when he battled the prophets of Baal and God sent fire from heaven. When it was over, he was tired. His nerves had been stretched to the breaking point, and he got discouraged and ran away. He needed food and sleep, so God sent an angel to feed him and give him rest.” This was how I felt. So many times our emotions can get the best of us and even if they don’t…there are times when sadness and depression become real issues we must deal with. Warren Wiersbe goes on to state other reasons for depression. “Sometimes our depression is satanic. The enemy is throwing darts at us. And instead of holding up the shield of faith, we fail to trust God. Those darts then start fires of depression and discouragement in our lives. Sometimes our depression comes from guilt because of unconfessed sin. Sometimes it’s just sorrow because of circumstances.”
Psalm 42 is the first of 11 Psalms that are authored by the Son’s of Korah. The son’s of Korah were singers and the descendants of Levi. Levi was the 3rd son of Jacob and his 1st wife Leah. Psalm 42 and 43 flow together and are thought to be one psalm initially but have now been separated. In this psalm the issue of sadness and depression is noted. Warren Wiersbe explains the stages the writer goes through before he comes to victory and peace. Psalm 42 covers the first 2 stages and we will discuss Psalm 43 tomorrow. Much like I had realized that I needed God as much as physical water when I was sick, the writer in Psalm 42 sees this as well. Warren explains the first stage that the writer was going through:
“1. Longing for God (42: 1–5). During a drought, the writer saw a female deer (hind) panting and struggling to reach water to quench her thirst (Joel 1: 20), and this reminded him that he thirsted for the Lord and wanted to go on pilgrimage to Jerusalem. The living God was the God of his life (v. 8; see 84: 2), and he could not live without Him. Note that the essentials for physical life are mentioned here: air (panting, v. 1), water (v. 2), and food (v. 3), but without worship (v. 4), life to him was meaningless.”
I remember how it felt to be physically stronger but I was missing the Lord so very much. I knew I had to return to God. Warren explains the second stage that the writer goes through in this psalm.
“2. Remembering God (42: 6–11). The emotional and spiritual landscape changes from drought to a storm, with the writer feeling like he was drowning in sorrow and pain (vv. 6–7). In verse 8, the writer used Jehovah instead of Elohim, and this was a turning point in his difficult experience. Jehovah is the God of the covenant, the faithful God who cares for His people. He is the God who showers His people with loving-kindness, gives them promises they can claim when they pray, and hears them when they praise and worship. The writer didn’t have to go to Jerusalem to worship; he could worship God right where he was! The hand of God was with him in the daytime and the song of the Lord in the long hours of the night.”
Sadness seems to be something we all feel at some point. As Warren points out the many reasons that we feel sadness, God’s word give us the same answer despite the reasons why we feel the way we do. We are to turn to God and look towards him and who he is regardless of our circumstances and how we feel!
There are so many times that we feel such a desire for you. During times of sadness and depression our soul aches and we sometimes feel as if you cannot be found. The answer for these times are given in your word. We are to look up and praise you as you are our constant and the one we can praise over and over. Despite our changing emotions and circumstances, you remain the same. When we are down all we have to do is remember you. Thank you for being the place we can return to when we are sad and down. Thank you for your steadfast love for us during the day and your songs and prayers at night. Sometimes we do get sad and depressed. Sin may separate us from you or our circumstances may leave us weak and empty. Please forgive us if it is our own actions that separate us. Help us to seek you and your ways. Help us to be humble when we need to seek your forgiveness. Help us to remember to find hope in you God no matter how we feel or the circumstances that come our way. Help us to turn our sorrow into praise as we remember that our salvation is in you. In your Great name, Amen!
Type of Psalm: Praise
Emotions: Abandonment by God
A psalm of David.
Give to the LORD, you sons of God, give to the LORD glory and might;
Give to the LORD the glory due his name.
Bow down before the LORD’s holy splendor!
The voice of the LORD is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the LORD, over the mighty waters.
The voice of the LORD is power;
the voice of the LORD is splendor.
The voice of the LORD cracks the cedars;
the LORD splinters the cedars of Lebanon,
Makes Lebanon leap like a calf, and Sirion like a young bull.
The voice of the LORD strikes with fiery flame;
the voice of the LORD shakes the desert;
the LORD shakes the desert of Kadesh.
The voice of the LORD makes the deer dance and strips the forests bare. All in his Temple say, “Glory!”
The LORD sits enthroned above the flood!The LORD reigns as king forever!
May the LORD give might to his people;
may the LORD bless his people with peace!
-This psalm is used as part of Jewish ceremonies in the celebration of Pentecost
-Magnifies the sovereignty of God and the power of God in his creation
-Looks at God’s power through a storm over the Mediterranean
-Remembers God’s power in the flood
- Splendor of Holiness
- His voice is over the waters
- His glory thunders
- His voice is powerful
- His voice is full of majesty
- His voice breaks the cedars
- His voice flashes forth the flames of fire
- His voice shakes the wilderness
- He sits enthroned over the flood
- He sits enthroned as the King forever
- He gives strength to his people
- He blesses his people with peace
Yesterday I started to come to the realization that I was finding ways to seek God in the middle of the storm. I was seeing the need to praise God even when the days were tough. I was beginning to seek him and wanting to do even more. Today in Psalm 29 we see that in the midst of the storm the heavenly angels proclaim glory!
As the First Five App states, “As Psalm 29 glorifies the God who rules over creation, we are reminded that when things look bad in the moment, we can trust the view from above is entirely different. Even the angels have a front-row seat in the heavenlies, and they cry, “Glory!”
We find the power of God in his word. David shows God’s power as he describes God’s voice through a storm that comes over the Mediterranean. David saw God’s power and so can we. As the First Five explains, “The Word of God is just as powerful today as it was when David described His voice in Psalm 29. When we submit to God’s Word — to His commands throughout Scripture — we invite God’s power to transform us from the inside out. Because His voice changes everything.”
Warren Wiersbe reminds us, “When we see clouds gathering and know that a storm is about to come into our life, do you think about the glory of God? David did. So often we don’t. We think of escape rather than the glory of God. God often speaks to you in the storm. The next time you find yourself in a storm, listen to his voice. Look for His glory and power and be reminded that He is in control.”
God’s voice is powerful and it is greater than the storms that come through our days. May we remember to follow his voice instead of focusing on the noise of the storm!
As we affirm and acknowledge what you can do may we bring glory to your name. Your voice is over the waters and it is more powerful than the storms. Thank you for the reminder today that things here on earth look different from your view in Heaven. As our storms rage, the Angels praise your glory. Help us to do the same. I don’t always seek your voice in the middle of the storm. Many times I want to run from trouble. Help me to be like David and seek your glory in the middle of the storms of life. Help us to listen to your voice and to always remember that you are in control. In your Great name, Amen!
Type of Psalm: Thanksgiving
Emotions: Mourning turned into Joy
A psalm. A song for the dedication of the Temple. Of David.
I praise you, LORD, for you raised me up
and did not let my enemies rejoice over me.
O LORD, my God, I cried out to you for help and you healed me.
LORD, you brought my soul up from Sheol; you let me live, from going down to the pit.
Sing praise to the LORD, you faithful; give thanks to his holy memory.
For his anger lasts but a moment; his favor a lifetime. At dusk weeping comes for the night; but at dawn there is rejoicing.
Complacent, I once said, “I shall never be shaken.”
LORD, you showed me favor, established for me mountains of virtue. But when you hid your face I was struck with terror.
To you, LORD, I cried out; with the Lord I pleaded for mercy:
“What gain is there from my lifeblood,
from my going down to the grave? Does dust give you thanks or declare your faithfulness?
Hear, O LORD, have mercy on me; LORD, be my helper.”
You changed my mourning into dancing;
you took off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness.
So that my glory may praise you and not be silent. O LORD, my God, forever will I give you thanks.
-David exalted the Lord because God brought him up and did not let his enemies rejoice over him.
-David tells others to give thanks to the Lord because his anger is only for a moment but his favor is for a lifetime
-David learned that his own self-assurance is not enough when things go well. He had to submit all things to the Lord. He had to stop saying “I shall” or “I shall not” and say “You have…”
-God heals David from sickness
-Comes from 1 Chronicles 21:1-22 and 2 Samuel 24
- He draws his people up
- He does not let our foes rejoice over us
- He heals
- He restores
- His name is Holy
- His anger is but for a moment
- His favor is for a lifetime
- He is our helper
- He turns our mourning into dancing
- He loosens our sackcloth and clothes us with gladness
Over the past couple of years, I have been moved in ways that I did not understand. I did not want to live in the constant chaos of emotions that guided my actions. I wanted to find out a way to not be moved by my circumstances. I thought I was doing well until the day that it became clear that I was not. Fearing the start of the school year moved me more than I expected. Thinking that if I did certain things I would not be moved eventually left me lost when I was indeed shaken. In my fear, I started to look to distractions and things I could control. I then began to accept that maybe it is okay to just not be okay. This worked for awhile but then I was back into the chaos again, not knowing how to get out. Looking back I can see how I was moving away from the will of God, but it was not until I read Psalms 30 that I really looked at what had happened. We must remember to stay focused on God’s will, his word, and his way or we will indeed be moved, left unstable, and left wondering what has happened. God’s favor can leave us but it is most often in those times that we leave him first. David’s Psalms continues to show us how to remain and what to look for if we are being moved and better yet how to find the face of God when we loose our way.
Psalm 30 describes a time when David has disobeyed God and has seen how God does indeed hide his face from his people. It is assumed that this psalm is from the time of 1 Chronicles 21:1-22 and 2 Samual 24. As Warren Wiersbe explains, “This recounts the national plague David caused when he numbered the people and 70,000 people died. David also purchased a plot of ground from Ornan and dedicated it to be the site for the temple and he began to use the plot as his own personal place of worship.The message of the psalm is clear: “the Lord forgave David and gave him the blessing of a new beginning.”
In order for these blessings to be noted by David he went through a process of realizing that he was wrong in his thinking. David had to realize that it was not his works that was keeping him grounded but the works of the Lord. The First Five App describes how David realizes his pride that was getting in the way of God’s blessings as they explain, “Psalm 30 begins and ends with words of thanksgiving, but right in the middle of this psalm, David confesses a certain heart-attitude. He says: “As for me, I said in my prosperity, ‘I shall never be moved.’ By your favor, O LORD, you made my mountain stand strong; you hid your face; I was dismayed.” (Psalm 30:6-7) This is a telling admission. Beneath an earlier facade of confidence, David says a heart of pride lurked beneath his prosperity. In other words, when things went well and David prospered, he knew it was because of God’s favor, and he assumed it would last forever. It never occurred to him the Lord might remove His favor. But sometimes God allows our world to crumble so we won’t misplace our confidence either in ourselves or in any earthly system — like wealth or status or relationships — because none of these things can ultimately sustain us. God wants our total dependence on Him and nothing else. He wants us to know that without Him, nothing is possible. This leaves us with the question: In whom do we place our confidence? If we place our confidence in any thing or any person other than the Lord Jesus Christ, we will be like David and experience deep dismay. Psalm 30, then, is a gentle reminder for us to put our hope in God alone, because with Him all things are possible.”
It is pointed out by Warren Wiersbe that the words “You have” is repeated 5 times in Psalms 30. This is important as we see how David goes from focusing on his prosperity to what God has done. Once David sees that he can not stand on his own ways he then must focus on the Lord.
Warren Wiersbe speaks of prosperity as he explains that, “Prosperity means careless ease, a carefree self-assurance because things are going well. When we have prosperity without humility we have adversity. Why? Because we start to be more concerned with things than we are with God. David said in his prosperity, “I shall not be moved.” But then he found out that he could be moved. He found out his prosperity did not guarantee security. So instead of saying, “I shall” or “I shall not,” he began saying “You have.” He submitted his will to God’s will.”
David realized that his pride led him to a deep pit that only God could save him from. David went from focusing on his own ways to looking to what God does. David disobeyed God but as he humbled himself before God he was forgiven and many blessings were given to him by God. Many times our feet can become unplanted. Just when we feel that we have it figured out, God shows us that he can and will shake things up so we remember once again who is in control. When we feel that we are loosing our footing may it be our reminder to turn our face towards this truth and may it be our guide back to his will instead of our own.
Sometimes your words are hard to swallow, but the truth is so important. Just as you hid your face from David, we must know that you can do the same with us. But we must also remember that just like you forgave David, you also forgive us. Your son is our mediation and we must remember that it is never about the strength we have or the things we do, but the things that you have already done for us and what you continue to do. You draw us up when we are lowly. You save us from our enemies, and you are the ultimate healer. Your ways are higher than our ways. Though we may not always understand your ways, you heal in perfect and heavenly ways. We are to give thanks to your holy name. Even if weeping is noted for the night, you provide new joy every morning. Thank you for your word that shows us that there may be weeping but because of you…it does not last forever. There have been times that in my own pride and lack of humility that I have gone astray. In my own ways and under my own terms I tried to deal with my own weeping. Please forgive me Lord. Help me to seek your face with humility and to know that you are the one in control of all things. Help me to remember that your way will always be better than my own. Help me to stand strong in your ways and may I know to seek you when I start to be moved. Turn our mourning into dancing and our weeping into joy. Clothe us with gladness. May we continue to seek your ways and have prosperity that relies on you Lord and not on our own assurances. We pray all these things in your name, Amen!
Type of Psalm: Exile, Lament, Thanksgiving
Emotions: Fear turned into Security
For the leader. A psalm of David.
In you, LORD, I take refuge; let me never be put to shame. In your righteousness deliver me;
incline your ear to me; make haste to rescue me! Be my rock of refuge, a stronghold to save me.
For you are my rock and my fortress; for your name’s sake lead me and guide me.
Free me from the net they have set for me, for you are my refuge.
Into your hands I commend my spirit;
you will redeem me, LORD, God of truth.
You hate those who serve worthless idols,
but I trust in the LORD.
I will rejoice and be glad in your mercy,
once you have seen my misery, [and] gotten to know the distress of my soul.
You will not abandon me into enemy hands, but will set my feet in a free and open space.
Be gracious to me, LORD, for I am in distress; affliction is wearing down my eyes, my throat and my insides.
My life is worn out by sorrow, and my years by sighing. My strength fails in my affliction; my bones are wearing down.
To all my foes I am a thing of scorn, and especially to my neighbors a horror to my friends. When they see me in public, they quickly shy away.
I am forgotten, out of mind like the dead;
I am like a worn-out tool.
I hear the whispers of the crowd; terrors are all around me. They conspire together against me; they plot to take my life.
But I trust in you, LORD; I say, “You are my God.”
My destiny is in your hands; rescue me from my enemies, from the hands of my pursuers.
Let your face shine on your servant; save me in your mercy.
Do not let me be put to shame, for I have called to you, LORD. Put the wicked to shame; reduce them to silence in Sheol.
Strike dumb their lying lips, which speak arrogantly against the righteous in contempt and scorn.
How great is your goodness, Lord, stored up for those who fear you. You display it for those who trust you, in the sight of the children of Adam.
You hide them in the shelter of your presence, safe from scheming enemies. You conceal them in your tent, away from the strife of tongues.
Blessed be the LORD, marvelously he showed to me his mercy in a fortified city.
Though I had said in my alarm, “I am cut off from your eyes.” Yet you heard my voice, my cry for mercy, when I pleaded with you for help.
Love the LORD, all you who are faithful to him. The LORD protects the loyal, but repays the arrogant in full.
Be strong and take heart, all who hope in the LORD.
-Because God had been faithful, David knows he can trust God.
-Quoted by Jesus when he was on the cross (31:6 is seen in Luke 23:46)
-Speaks of the besieged city, most likely Keilah in 1 Sam 23:5-14 and Saul’s attempt to capture David.
-According to Warren Wiersbe in his commentary of this psalm:
- David shows that when others do evil, we are to trust God for his strength (vv.1-8)
- David shows that when others cause you pain, you ask God for mercy (vv.9-18)
- David shows that when others see victory, you give God Glory (vv. 19-18*
- David makes sure his life was right before God.
- David puts his trust in the Lord.
- Remember that others are going through trial too.
-First Five App states, “Pride is the enemy of rest for our souls. And while humility is so opposite from almost everything we see in the world around us, Jesus is not asking us to do something He did not model for us. Our flesh will not produce this humility. We must daily take up our cross and follow Jesus and boldly approach God’s throne to receive mercy and find grace to help us.”
- Strong fortress
- Steadfast Love
- Sees our afflictions
- Knows the distress of our souls
- Does not deliver us into the hand of the enemy
- Sets our feet in a broad place
- Our times are in his hands
- His goodness is abundant
- Preserves the faithful
- Abundantly repays the one who acts in pride
I don’t do illness well. Unlike my husband who can live with cancer for 8 years and many not even know it, I cringe at sickness. I sit this morning with what seems like a daunting task of 7 more glasses of the worst tasting liquid I have had. My body is cold and empty. I want to be strong but this is the time I must call on the Lord. Last night as glass number 4 of 17 caught me in the throat…I looked up to God and cried for help. A simple procedure has brought me to my knees. As I am tired and worn down, I know I must make it to the bottom of glass 17. I have many diversions to choose from…reading material, my laptop, and endless distractions that good old Apple has brought to my eye! Yet, I know it is God that will get me through this morning. I go to the First Five App and smile as I read,” Don’t struggle to get out; instead, lean into it.” I can’t help but read on as they explain, “Remember those instructions if you ever find yourself in quicksand. Though most of us have never experienced getting stuck in quicksand, I’ve always been fascinated by the method of getting out of it. Experts say if you’re waist-deep in quicksand, you should actually lean back into it, putting more of your upper body into the quicksand. And while it may seem scary, you’ll actually float instead of sink. But if you try to stand, that’s a sure scenario for sinking in the sand. When we meet David in Psalm 31, he seems to be in the quicksand of life. He was no stranger to struggle. From his time as a shepherd boy to the time of his death, David faced circumstances that threatened to swallow him. Psalm 31 details David’s response to one of these sandpits of life. When we can’t see how God’s will is being worked out in our lives, we can still trust that His plan is good. When our circumstances take us places we wouldn’t have chosen, we, too, can choose to hope in God’s goodness and love. Yes, in the midst of our own desperate circumstances, releasing our lives completely to God can feel scary. But, just like quicksand, when we lean back into our faithful God, He will keep us afloat. It’s when we try to stand on our own that we risk sinking.”
With the thought of David in a cave fighting for his life or even worse…Jesus on the cross, a couple of glasses of liquid seem so trivial. God’s word has a way of putting so much into perspective. Yet, daily I forget and must submerge myself in this truth. Not sinking into quicksand, but still not wanting to embrace the next few hours…I go to the Lord in prayer.
We can take refuge in you. You are our rock of refuge and our strong fortress. You lead us and guide us. As David stated in the cave of Keilah and Jesus stated on the cross, “Into your hand I commit my spirit”, we too are to submit our lives to you. Thank you for being the one thing we can trust. So many times I can let pride get in the way of where my humility should be. I forget that I must come to you as frequently as needed to combat my fleshy desires. I want to do things my way and yet your perfect way waits for me every time. Forgive me for not choosing you first. Be gracious to us when we are in distress. When our eyes are wasted from grief and our soul and body is spent with sorrow, be gracious to us. Help us to find your strength when ours has failed because of our iniquity. May your face shine upon us and may we be saved in your steadfast love. May we be strong and may our hearts take courage as we wait for you Lord. In your great name, Amen!
Type of Psalm: Penitential/Thanksgiving
Emotions: When we need forgiveness
Of David. A maskil.
Blessed is the one whose fault is removed, whose sin is forgiven.
Blessed is the man to whom the LORD imputes no guilt, in whose spirit is no deceit.
Because I kept silent, my bones wasted away; I groaned all day long.
For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength withered as in dry summer heat.
Then I declared my sin to you; my guilt I did not hide. I said, “I confess my transgression to the LORD,” and you took away the guilt of my sin.
Therefore every loyal person should pray to you in time of distress. Though flood waters threaten, they will never reach him.
You are my shelter; you guard me from distress; with joyful shouts of deliverance you surround me.
I will instruct you and show you the way you should walk, give you counsel with my eye upon you.
Do not be like a horse or mule, without understanding; with bit and bridle their temper is curbed, else they will not come to you.
Many are the sorrows of the wicked one,
but mercy surrounds the one who trusts in the LORD.
Be glad in the LORD and rejoice, you righteous; exult, all you upright of heart.
-Discusses the 4 basic facts about sin and forgiveness according to Warren Wiersbe:
- The Blessing of Forgiveness (vv. 1-2)
- The folly of Impenitence (The result of sin) (vv. 3-4)
- The way of Deliverance (vv. 5-7)
- The Joy of obedience (vv. 8-11)
-Paul quotes Psalm 32 in Romans 4:6-8
-Psalm 32 comes from 2 Samuel 11-12 (After David sinned with Bathsheba)
-It is a song of Wisdom
-The Lord had sent the prophet Nathan to David to confront him and his sins and bring God’s word of forgiveness (2 Samuel 12)
- Forgives the iniquity of our sins
- He is a hiding place
- He preserves us
- He surrounds us with shouts of deliverance
- Steadfast love
(The biggest part of me wants to be silent, but I know I must share. These words were not easy to write but I know that humility is the step I must take to reach the joy of forgiveness. I believe we all fight silent battles and today I will share one of mine.)
Humility is a tough subject to speak about. Harder than admitting my weakness when I am sick, admitting my faults to others is harder. As I read through Psalm 32, I feel the pangs of guilt that have held part of me in bondage for sometime. I’ve always wanted to do things the right way. I raised my kids in church. We prayed together daily. I tried to do the best that I knew how. Some how something changed in these past few years. As my oldest became physically anxious in church and unable to go, our family activity of church attendance broke. As I got more into the Bible, my home church teachings did not seem to match what I was learning. As weeks went by…the habit of church attendance was no longer a habit. My family and I no longer attend church. I know I need the fellowship of other believers and yet I choose to no longer make it a priority. I want to sugar-coat it with reasons that are truly just excuses, but I know I must humble myself and admit the truth. I no longer place value in church attendance as God asks me to do. Just as my body was physically weak yesterday, my soul is weaker yet. I want to ask God for forgiveness but next Sunday will most likely be the same. I have to make a choice. Warren Wiersbe discusses how there are three levels on which God can deal with you. “You must decide whether you want Him to treat you as a thing, an animal, or one of His own children.” Warren explains how David went through these levels in Psalm 32. “David was rebelling. So God had to treat David like a thing. God also had to treat David like an animal. David had acted like a horse-impulsively, he rushed ahead and sinned. And then He became stubborn like a mule and would not confess his sin. But God wants to deal with us as children.” We must decide if we are going to walk in rebellion, be stubborn, or allow God to guide us as his children.
Psalm 32 has helped me to see the power behind forgiveness. I want to be forgiven but that also means changing my ways. The first place to start was God’s word and the next place to go is to prayer.
You bless those that come to you humbly confessing their sins. You will instruct and teach your people on the way to go. You are righteous Lord. You are rightly to be praised. Thank you for being a forgiving God. Thank you for being our hiding place in times of trouble. Thank you for surrounding your people with shouts of deliverance. Your word today finds me in much shame and with much need to be humble. I come before this group of women wanting to share how you have helped me to endure and yet, I do not make going to church a priority. I know I need a church family and I know that you are calling me to greater fellowship, but my flesh is weak and my heart is unsure. My plans of family unity and church attendance is no longer a reality and yet I know that your plans ask for my presence no matter what. Forgive me Lord and may the joy of forgiveness help me to find my way back to you. Help me to no longer be silent. Help me to acknowledge my sin to you. Help me to confess my transgressions and I ask for forgiveness of my iniquities. Help us to offer prayer to you in time when you are found. Help us not to be like stubborn animals but may we come to you as children. Help us to seek your forgiveness Lord. In your Great name, Amen.
Type of Psalm: Praise and Thankfulness
Rejoice, you righteous, in the LORD;
praise from the upright is fitting.
Give thanks to the LORD on the harp;
on the ten-stringed lyre offer praise.
Sing to him a new song; skillfully play with joyful chant.
For the LORD’s word is upright; all his works are trustworthy.
He loves justice and right. The earth is full of the mercy of the LORD.
By the LORD’s word the heavens were made; by the breath of his mouth all their host.
He gathered the waters of the sea as a mound; he sets the deep into storage vaults.
Let all the earth fear the LORD; let all who dwell in the world show him reverence.
For he spoke, and it came to be, commanded, and it stood in place.
The LORD foils the plan of nations, frustrates the designs of peoples.
But the plan of the LORD stands forever,
the designs of his heart through all generations.
Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people chosen as his inheritance.
From heaven the LORD looks down and observes the children of Adam,
From his dwelling place he surveys
all who dwell on earth.
The One who fashioned together their hearts is the One who knows all their works.
A king is not saved by a great army, nor a warrior delivered by great strength.
Useless is the horse for safety; despite its great strength, it cannot be saved.
Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon those who fear him, upon those who count on his mercy,
To deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive through famine.
Our soul waits for the LORD, he is our help and shield.
For in him our hearts rejoice; in his holy name we trust.
May your mercy, LORD, be upon us; as we put our hope in you.
-From the Bible Study: “Psalms-Managing Our Emotions by Christian Bible Studies”
- “We think joy is dependent upon our circumstance, but the Psalms help us to realize that we can find joy in every circumstance.Joy stems from the knowledge of God’s work in our past, his plan for our present, and his power over our future.”
- Psalm 33 is a song of joy and a call to worship to assemble in celebration
- In the Hebrew, all pronouns in this psalm are plural, meaning that this joy is something that happens with others
- We express joy even if we are not joyful by finding our joy in God.
- God’s voice in this psalm is his actions and events.
- The secret of joy is to take our focus off of our circumstances and ourselves and put it firmly upon God and his goodness
- God is able to thwart the plans of the nations
- God’s plans stand firm forever! He is good and he never has evil plans
- God sees our hearts and our actions. He is concerned with our concerns.
- The word of the Lord is upright
- All his work is done in faithfulness
- He loves righteousness and justice
- The earth is full of the steadfast love of the Lord
- By the word of the Lord the heavens were made
- By the breath of his mouth all their host were made
- He gathers the waters of the sea as a heap
- He puts the deeps in the storehouses
- He spoke and it came to be
- He commanded and it stood firm
- The lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing
- He frustrates the plans of the peoples
- The counsel of the Lord stands forever
- The Lord looks down from heaven and sees all the children of man
- From where he is enthroned he looks out on all the inhabitants of the earth
- He fashions our hearts
- He observes our deeds
- His love is steadfast
- He is our help
- He is our shield
- Our heart is glad in him
- We can trust his Holy name
I lay in bed yet one more day. Yet, because of God’s word…I find joy. His truth continues to help me to seek what is higher and what is greater. My circumstances may change but His joy is everlasting!
The book of Psalms covers a variety of emotions. One of the common emotions is Joy. As I did the Bible Study: “Psalms-Managing Our Emotions” by Christian Bible Studies, I want to resonate with their words, “We think joy is dependent upon our circumstances, but the Psalms helps us to realize that we can find joy in every circumstance. Joy stems from the knowledge of God’s work in our past, his plans for our present, and his power over our future.”
Psalm 33 shows how this is done. In verses 1-9, David looks at the past.
- The word of the Lord is upright.
- His works are done in faithfulness.
- He loves justice and righteousness.
- The earth is full of his steadfast love.
- The heavens were made by his word.
- He gathered the waters.
- He spoke and it came to be.
- He commanded and it stood firm.
David then explains God’s plans for the present in verses 10-15.
- The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing.
- He frustrates the plans of the people’s.
- His counsel stands forever.
- He blesses the nation he has chosen as his heritage.
- He looks down and sees the children of man.
- He looks on all the inhabitants of the Earth.
David ends the Psalm by looking at God’s power over our future in verse 16-22.
- The eye of the Lord is on those who fear him.
- He delivers our soul from death.
- He will keep us alive in famine.
- He will be our help and our shield.
- We can trust in his holy name.
- His steadfast love will be always upon us.
We can find joy in all things as we can always find joy in you. Through our past, our present, and our future you are there and you are faithful. Your word is upright and we can stand on its truth to bring us everlasting joy. Thank you for all that you have done in the past, all you are doing in the present, and all you will do in the days to come. Forgive us when we seek to find temporary joy in our circumstances instead of everlasting joy in who you are. Help us to remember what you have done and continue to do. Help us to seek joy in who you are. May your truth always be in our heart and may we profess your joy from our mouths. May we find joy in the knowledge of your work in our past, your plans for our present, and your power over our future in all that we do. In your Great name, Amen!
Type of Psalm: Acrostic/Thanksgiving
Of David, when he feigned madness before Abimelech, who drove him out and he went away.
I will bless the LORD at all times;
his praise shall be always in my mouth.
My soul will glory in the LORD; let the poor hear and be glad.
Magnify the LORD with me; and let us exalt his name together.
I sought the LORD, and he answered me,
delivered me from all my fears.
Look to him and be radiant, and your faces may not blush for shame.
This poor one cried out and the LORD heard, and from all his distress he saved him.
The angel of the LORD encamps
around those who fear him, and he saves them.
Taste and see that the LORD is good;
blessed is the stalwart one who takes refuge in him.
Fear the LORD, you his holy ones; nothing is lacking to those who fear him.
The rich grow poor and go hungry,
but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.
Come, children, listen to me; I will teach you fear of the LORD.
Who is the man who delights in life, who loves to see the good days?
Keep your tongue from evil, your lips from speaking lies.
Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.
The eyes of the LORD are directed toward the righteous and his ears toward their cry.
The LORD’s face is against evildoers to wipe out their memory from the earth.
The righteous cry out, the LORD hears
and he rescues them from all their afflictions.
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted,
saves those whose spirit is crushed.
Many are the troubles of the righteous,
but the LORD delivers him from them all.
He watches over all his bones; not one of them shall be broken.
Evil will slay the wicked; those who hate the righteous are condemned.
The LORD is the redeemer of the souls of his servants; and none are condemned who take refuge in him.
-The title connects the psalm with David’s dangerous experience with the Philistines (1 Samuel 21:10-22:1)
-According to Warren Wiersbe it explains how to live a life pleasing to God:
- Control your tongue
- Depart from evil and do good
- Seek peace and pursue it
- Trust the Lord because he is watching you
-According to Warran Wiersbe it explains why bad things happen:
- It is part of human life
- Satan is against us
- It is one of God’s tools to help us grow
-According to Warren Wiersbe this psalm shows that we are to entrust 5 burdens to the Lord:
- Trust the Lord with your frustrations (v.17)
- Trust the Lord with your feelings (v.18)
- Trust the Lord with your future (v.20)
- Trust the Lord with your foes (v.21)
- Trust the Lord with your failures (v. 22)
-According to Warren Wiersbe we can use this psalm to remember what to do if things are not going well:
- Remember that god is near-The more we like God the nearer we will be to him.
- Remember God knows the meaning of a broken heart
- God give grace to the humble (James 4:6)
-According to Warren Wiersbe this psalm shows that:
- “Praise sanctifies us, Magnifies the Lord, and unity is created”.
- “The Lord does the following when we praise him: He answers us, Delivers us, Hears us, Saves us, and Makes us lack nothing.”
- He answers us
- He delivers us from all our fears
- He hears us
- He saves us from trouble
- The Lord is good
- Those who fear him have no lack
- Those who seek him lack no good things
- The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous
- His ears are toward our cry
- The face of the Lord is against those who do evil.
- The Lord is near to the brokenhearted
- He saves the crushed in spirit
- The lord redeems the life of his servant
Warren Wiersbe helps us to break down Psalm 34. He speaks about how David is teaching us how to live each day in a way that will be pleasing to God. (The following are notes based on Warren Wiersbe’s devotions and commentaries on Psalm 34.)
- We are to Bless the Lord. We bless the Lord because as David states in Psalm 34:1-3, praise will sanctify us at all times, it magnifies the Lord, and unity is created.
- We are to seek the Lord. In seeking the Lord we learn what he does when we praise him. As David states in Psalm 34:4-8, the Lord answers us, delivers us, hears us, saves us, and makes us lack nothing.
- We are to fear the Lord. David helps us to know how to have a good day in Psalm 34:11-16. He points out that we are to control our tongue, depart from evil and do good, seek peace and pursue it, and trust the Lord because he is watching you.
- We are to trust the Lord even if things do not go our way. Warren Wiersbe points out that even if things are not good we are to remember that God is always near, we are to remember that God knows the meaning of a broken heart, and that God gives grace to the humble. Warren also points out that bad things will happen because it is a part of human life, Satan is against us, and affliction is a tool God uses to help us grow.
You are rightly to be praised. You sanctify, you answer our call, you deliver us, you hear us, you save us, and because of you we lack nothing. Thank you for all that you provide when we are willing to praise you. It is hard at times to fear you as we should. Our flesh gets in the way when we should be controlling our tongue, departing from evil, seeking peace, and trusting you. Forgive us for the times we do not seek you and fear you as we should. Help us to trust you Lord even when things do not go as we would like. Help us to understand that you don’t prevent afflictions but that you deliver us from them. Help us to trust you with our frustrations, our feelings, our future, our foes, and our failures as your word guides us to do. In your Great name, Amen!
Type of Psalm: Implecatory
Oppose, O LORD, those who oppose me;
war upon those who make war upon me.
Take up the shield and buckler; rise up in my defense.
Brandish lance and battle-ax against my pursuers. Say to my soul, “I am your salvation.”
Let those who seek my life be put to shame and disgrace. Let those who plot evil against me be turned back and confounded.
Make them like chaff before the wind,
with the angel of the LORD driving them on.
Make their way slippery and dark, with the angel of the LORD pursuing them.
Without cause they set their snare for me;
without cause they dug a pit for me.
Let ruin overtake them unawares; let the snare they have set catch them; let them fall into the pit they have dug.
Then I will rejoice in the LORD, exult in God’s salvation.
My very bones shall say, “O LORD, who is like you, Who rescue the afflicted from the powerful, the afflicted and needy from the despoiler?”
Malicious witnesses rise up, accuse me of things I do not know.
They repay me evil for good; my soul is desolate.
Yet I, when they were ill, put on sackcloth,
afflicted myself with fasting, sobbed my prayers upon my bosom.
I went about in grief as for my brother,
bent in mourning as for my mother.
Yet when I stumbled they gathered with glee, gathered against me and I did not know it. They slandered me without ceasing;
without respect they mocked me, gnashed their teeth against me.
O Lord, how long will you look on? Restore my soul from their destruction, my very life from lions!
Then I will thank you in the great assembly; I will praise you before the mighty throng.
Do not let lying foes rejoice over me, my undeserved enemies wink knowingly.
They speak no words of peace, but against the quiet in the land they fashion deceitful speech.
They open wide their mouths against me.
They say, “Aha! Good! Our eyes have seen it!”
You see this, LORD; do not be silent; Lord, do not withdraw from me.
Awake, be vigilant in my defense, in my cause, my God and my Lord.
Defend me because you are just, LORD;
my God, do not let them rejoice over me.
Do not let them say in their hearts, “Aha! Our soul!” Do not let them say, “We have devoured that one!”
Put to shame and confound all who relish my misfortune. Clothe with shame and disgrace those who lord it over me.
But let those who favor my just cause
shout for joy and be glad. May they ever say, “Exalted be the LORD who delights in the peace of his loyal servant.”
Then my tongue shall recount your justice, declare your praise, all the day long.
-This psalm is from 1 Samuel 19-26
-According to Warren Wiersbe:
- David prays 1stthat when he encounters trouble
- David then admits his helplessness
-According to Warren Wiersbe David makes 3 requests to God:
- Protect me (1-10)
- Reward me (11-18)
- Vindicate me (19-28)
- He delivers the poor
- Delights in the welfare of his servant
Psalm 35 is another imprecatory psalm. This is a psalm where the writer is seeking revenge.Warren Wiersbe points out the actions of David. He explains how David first went to God in prayer when he was encountering trouble. Psalm 35:1-6 is David’s call out to God. He makes the request to God to protect him. David then admits his helplessness in verse 35:10, “All my bones shall say, ‘O Lord, who is like you,delivering the poor from him who is too strong for him, the poor and needy from him who robs him?”. The psalms never fail to show us the way. What if we went to God in prayer at all times? What if we were able to admit our helplessness before we tried to fix things ourselves? David shows us a great example that we can learn from. David is upset but instead of seeking revenge on his own, he gives it up to God.
Warren Wiersbe explains how there are different levels of reactions to others when we are hurt. The human level will repay good for good and evil for evil. This is better than the demonic level which returns evil for good. Warren points out that what David does is not the human level or the demonic level as he chooses the divine level. The divine level returns good for evil.
When we are in trouble our human instinct is to take things into our own hands. Our instinct when someone hurts us is to hurt them back. We have other choices though and God’s word shows us what these choices are. Let’s seek God first in prayer, admit our helplessness to him, and seek to return good for evil!
You are the one we should seek first when trouble comes. You are the one that can help us when we are helpless. You deliver the poor and the weak. Thank you for being a righteous God. Thank you for hearing our troubles and helping us when we are weak. So many times it is hard to come to you first. So many times it is easy to want to seek revenge over your perfect justice. So many times it is hard to admit we are weak. You are the perfect vindicator and yet it takes humility to ask for your vindication. Teach us Lord how to come to you and ask for you to search our heart and soul. Help us to reach out to you first and to admit humbly when we need your help. Help us to not seek revenge on others but to return good for evil. Help us to have a heart like David even when we have been wronged. In your great name, Amen!
Type of Psalm: Lament/Thanks
For the leader; according to “The deer of the dawn.” A psalm of David.
My God, my God, why have you abandoned me? Why so far from my call for help, from my cries of anguish?
My God, I call by day, but you do not answer; by night, but I have no relief.
Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One;
you are the glory of Israel.
In you our fathers trusted; they trusted and you rescued them.
To you they cried out and they escaped;
in you they trusted and were not disappointed.
But I am a worm, not a man, scorned by men, despised by the people.
All who see me mock me; they curl their lips and jeer; they shake their heads at me:
“He relied on the LORD—let him deliver him; if he loves him, let him rescue him.”
For you drew me forth from the womb,
made me safe at my mother’s breasts.
Upon you I was thrust from the womb;
since my mother bore me you are my God.
Do not stay far from me, for trouble is near, and there is no one to help.
Many bulls surround me; fierce bulls of Bashan encircle me.
They open their mouths against me, lions that rend and roar.
Like water my life drains away; all my bones are disjointed. My heart has become like wax, it melts away within me.
As dry as a potsherd is my throat; my tongue cleaves to my palate; you lay me in the dust of death.
Dogs surround me; a pack of evildoers closes in on me. They have pierced my hands and my feet
I can count all my bones. They stare at me and gloat;
they divide my garments among them;
for my clothing they cast lots.
But you, LORD, do not stay far off; my strength, come quickly to help me.
Deliver my soul from the sword, my life from the grip of the dog.
Save me from the lion’s mouth, my poor life from the horns of wild bulls.
Then I will proclaim your name to my brethren; in the assembly I will praise you:
“You who fear the LORD, give praise!
All descendants of Jacob, give honor;
show reverence, all descendants of Israel!
For he has not spurned or disdained the misery of this poor wretch, Did not turn away from me, but heard me when I cried out.
I will offer praise in the great assembly;
my vows I will fulfill before those who fear him.
The poor will eat their fill; those who seek the LORD will offer praise. May your hearts enjoy life forever!”
All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the LORD; All the families of nations will bow low before him.
For kingship belongs to the LORD, the ruler over the nations.
All who sleep in the earth will bow low before God; All who have gone down into the dust will kneel in homage.
And I will live for the LORD; my descendants will serve you.
The generation to come will be told of the Lord, that they may proclaim to a people yet unborn the deliverance you have brought.
From Commentary by Warren Wiersbe
-The Good Shepard dies for his sheep (John 10:1-8).
-There were 3 burdens that moved David to pray for God’s help and they apply to Jesus as well.
- He was abandoned by the Lord (22:1-5).
- He was despised by the people (22:6-11).
- He was condemned by the Law (22:12-21).
-David realizes that God has never abandoned him.
-God knows what it feels like to be abandoned, because he himself was abandoned.
Abandonment: From the Bible Study “When you Feel Alone-Managing your Emotions”
- The New Testament alludes to this Psalm 24 times.
- The 1stverse of Psalm 22 is quoted by Jesus on the cross.
- Have you ever felt abandoned by a person or God? Why?
- Did Jesus ever feel abandoned by God? If so When and why? When he took on sin.
- David remembers how God was faithful.
- We need to be honest about our feelings so God can meet us where we are. If we don’t admit it and we try to tough it out, we won’t see our need to let him help us.
- We should not isolate ourselves when we feel abandoned.
- We should seek strength from others.
- We can find hope in God’s kingdom to come.
- Enthroned on the praises of Israel.
- Can be trusted
- Does not put his people to shame.
- Does not hide his face.
- Hears his people.
As we looked at Psalm 21 yesterday in parallelism to Jesus, in Psalm 22…we hear David prophesy about Jesus. Crucifixion was not something of David’s time. It was a Roman way of punishment developed many years if not centuries after David’s time. What is fascinating is that even David knew Jesus! Psalm 22 foretells of the crucifixion of Jesus through the eyes of David. We also begin to see the image of the Shepherd. In Psalm 22, the Shepherd dies for his sheep.
Your word today is rich with the story of your son. As we read the psalms we learn much about you as our Father, but today we are reminded again about your son. As we think about our spiritual battles, about being overwhelmed or distracted…we are guided back to the reality of what was done for us. Your son was forsaken so that we would never have to feel truly forsaken. Your son took on being despised and condemned so we could be set free. The plans for your son were planted into the eyes of those that never saw him so we could grow his truth in our hearts. Your word shouts of praises as we stand in awe of your son. Thank you for always remembering the afflicted, for not hiding your face or the face of your son from your people, and for reminding us all of your son. So many times the enemy tries to help us forget about what has been done for us. The enemy attempts to overwhelm and distract us, but your word is the ultimate reminder. Forgive us for failing to remember and for allowing ourselves to become distracted and overwhelmed. As David praised the one to come even though he never saw him…we can praise the one we also have not seen! Help us to always remember your son and what he did for us. Help us to not forget what all happened the day that your son died for our sins. Help us to look to your word always. May we not forget, may we not get distracted, and may your word help us to not be overwhelmed. In your Great name, Amen!
Type of Psalm: Trust
A psalm of David.
The LORD is my shepherd; there is nothing I lack.
In green pastures he makes me lie down;
to still waters he leads me;
He restores my soul. He guides me along right paths for the sake of his name.
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 comfort me.
You set a table before me in front of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Indeed, goodness and mercy will pursue me all the days of my life; I will dwell in the house of the LORD for endless days.
-The Great Shepherd lives for the sheep and cares for them (Hebrews 13:20-21).
- He is our Shepherd
- He leads
- He restores
- He is with us
- He comforts us
- He prepares a table before us
- He makes our cup overflow
In Psalm 22 we saw how the Shepherd died for his sheep. In Psalm 23 we continue to learn about the Great Shepherd. We learn today how the Great Shepherd lives and cares for his sheep. We learn that we are the sheep and much like how a shepherd physically cares for sheep…God cares for us as well.
Charles Swindoll in his book Living for the Psalms does a great job to explain how we are like sheep and how our Shepherd cares for us. He explains that sheep:
- Have no direction. He explains how many times sheep will wonder off and the Shepherd would have to break one of their legs so they were completely dependent on the Shepherd. We are like sheep in the fact that without God we have no direction as well. We need him to lead us in our paths.
- They are Defenseless: A sheep must have a Shepherd or they will die. We too are defenseless on our own against the world and it’s enemies.
- They are Easily Frightened: Sheep will get frightened and so worked up that the Shepherd has to physically make them lie down so they will calm down. We too need the help of our God to “make us lie down in green pastures.”
- They are Unclean: A sheep will not clean themselves like other animals. A sheep will stay unclean until physically washed. We are not clean without our Shepherds work as well.
- They are Afraid of Rapidly Running Water: Sheep would rather die then drink from water that runs too fast. They must rely on the Shepherd to “lead them beside still waters.” We too are dependent on our Shepherd to calm our rapid waters of life. When fear gets in the way, our Shepherd will lead us.
- They are dependent on the Shepherd for protection: Sheep in the ancient times would frequently get bitten by Adder Vipers. They would get bitten in the face. Their face would swell up and they would often die. The Shepherd would have to physically place oil around the snake holes to prevent them from being able to come out of the holes. The Shepherd would also place oil on their heads to further distract the snake from biting them. This so reminds me of the anointing we receive to keep away the snake that is always lurking about ready to strike us!
Psalm 23 has such symbolism to sheep and their Shepherd. It amazes me to see the similarities that are seen between sheep and Christians in their faith walk. It is so true that as explained by Charles Swindoll:
“The Lord is my Shepherd; in him I shall not want…
I do not lack rest as…”he makes me lie down in green pastures.”
I do not lack peace as…”he leads me besides still waters.”
I do not lack encouragement as…”he restores my soul.”
I do not lack guidance and fellowship as…”he leads me in paths of righteousness for his names sake.”
I do not lack courage and companionship because…”even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for you are with me.”
I do not lack comfort as…”his rod and your staff, comfort me.”
I do not lack protection and honor as…”he prepares a table before me in the presence of my enemies.”
I do not lack power as…”he anoints my head with oil.”
I do not lack abundance as…”my cup overflows.”
I do not lack God’s presence as…”surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.”
I do not lack security as…”I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
Psalm 23 is a wonderful prayer all in its own. Here is one example as found on
“Father, You are my shepherd, I shall not want. You make me lie down in green pastures, You lead me beside quiet waters. You restore my soul; You lead me in paths of righteousness for Your name sake! 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. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in Your house forever.”
Type of Psalm: Antiphonal/Hymn
Emotions: Seeking God
A psalm of David.
The earth is the LORD’s and all it holds,
the world and those who dwell in it.
For he founded it on the seas, established it over the rivers.
Who may go up the mountain of the LORD? Who can stand in his holy place?
“The clean of hand and pure of heart,
who has not given his soul to useless things, what is vain.
He will receive blessings from the LORD,
and justice from his saving God.
Such is the generation that seeks him,
that seeks the face of the God of Jacob.”
Lift up your heads, O gates; be lifted, you ancient portals, that the king of glory may enter.
Who is this king of glory? The LORD, strong and mighty, the LORD, mighty in war.
Lift up your heads, O gates; rise up, you ancient portals, that the king of glory may enter.
Who is this king of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the king of glory.
-The Chief Shepherd returns in glory to reward His sheep for their service. (1 Peter 5:4)
-The one that can ascend the hill of the Lord:
- Has clean hands
- Pure heart
- Does not lift up his soul to what is false
- Does not swear deceitfully
- Founded the earth upon the seas
- Established the earth upon the rivers
- He is strong and mighty
- He is mighty in battle
What kind of conversations do we have anymore? Today’s psalm makes me ponder our conversations. Psalm 24 is called an antiphonal psalm. One person or group of people ask a question or sing a phrase, while another answers or responds. A question that is repeated is, “Who is the King of Glory?” Though the people are able to proclaim an answer, my question is…Do we even ponder who our King is anymore in conversation? What is safe to talk about anymore? Could we have this type of conversation as depicted in Psalm 24 with those that we spend our days with? As I learn more and more about God, I am excited to share about him…but I get very little in response. Worse then no response is the response of others that believe the opposite of what God is asking of us. So how does one not get discouraged with our conversations today? We do just as Psalm 24 says, “Lift up your heads and be lifted up!” Let’s not be weary of today’s conversations…let’s be a generation that continues to seek the Lord and may we be expectant on his many blessings!
The First Five App reminds me of the reality of the world we live in but also the answer to what we can do about it:
“We live in a broken and fallen world, so we will always fall short in at least one of those things and become disqualified from standing in God’s presence. But because of God’s love and sovereignty, through Jesus Christ, we are offered grace to be able to stand in the presence of God as holy and acceptable. (Romans 5:1; Galatians 3:24) This prophetic psalm gives us a picture of a king … King Jesus … entering Jerusalem. And because He entered the Holy City knowing He would be sacrificed for our sins, die and be resurrected, we can enter the presence of God and live with Him forever. We end Psalm 24 reminded of God’s goodness and power: “Who is this King of glory?
The LORD, strong and mighty, the LORD, mighty in battle!” (Psalm 24:8) Jesus took His rightful place at the right hand of His Father, winning the battle of sin. Because of God’s glory, we are not only to serve and love Him but also live lives as beacons of light for those who do not know the gospel — a visible manifestation of the presence of God and His glory, in and through us because of Christ Jesus.”
Heavenly Father, the world and all that it is belongs to you. You have founded it upon the seas and you established it upon the rivers. We are not righteous enough in our own selves to ascend your Holy Hill. We are not righteous enough on our own to stand in your Holy place. You however sent your son to intercede for us and make us Holy and righteous in your eyes. In this we all shall praise. You tell us in your word to lift up our heads. We are to look up to you and spread your word to all so that your plan is heard to the ends of the earth. I admit I get discouraged. I put my head down instead of speaking up. I cower in conversations where I could speak and where a gate could be opened…I remain afraid. Help me to speak up. Help me to lift my head. Help me to remember what your son did so that we are righteous in your sight. None of us can be enough on our own. Remind me of my own failings and your mercy so that I can remember to extend grace on others. Thank you for who you are and what you have done in bringing your son to earth for us all. May I be able to speak of who the king of glory is. May I proclaim the Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory. In your Great name, Amen!
Type of Psalm: Acrostic/Lament
Emotions: Trust in God
To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul,
My God, in you I trust; do not let me be disgraced; do not let my enemies gloat over me.
No one is disgraced who waits for you, but only those who are treacherous without cause.
Make known to me your ways, LORD; teach me your paths.
Guide me by your fidelity and teach me,
for you are God my savior, for you I wait all the day long.
Remember your compassion and your mercy, O LORD, for they are ages old.
Remember no more the sins of my youth; remember me according to your mercy,
because of your goodness, LORD.
Good and upright is the LORD, therefore he shows sinners the way,
He guides the humble in righteousness,
and teaches the humble his way.
All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth toward those who honor his covenant and decrees.
For the sake of your name, LORD, pardon my guilt, though it is great.
Who is the one who fears the LORD? God shows him the way he should choose.
He will abide in prosperity, and his descendants will inherit the land.
The counsel of the LORD belongs to those who fear him; and his covenant instructs them.
My eyes are ever upon the LORD, who frees my feet from the snare.
Look upon me, have pity on me, for I am alone and afflicted.
Relieve the troubles of my heart; bring me out of my distress.
Look upon my affliction and suffering; take away all my sins.
See how many are my enemies, see how fiercely they hate me.
Preserve my soul and rescue me; do not let me be disgraced, for in you I seek refuge.
Let integrity and uprightness preserve me; I wait for you, O LORD.
Redeem Israel, O God, from all its distress!
-David put his trust in God and he wanted God to show him his ways.
-The word covenant is used for the 1sttime in this Psalm
- Trusts in God
- Desires that his enemies will not prosper
- Waits on God
- Desires to walk with God
- Desires the truth
- Needs God’s mercy
- Looks to the troubles on his mind and shares them.
-The Lord protected David from:
- Being Lonely
- A broken heart
- No one who waits for him is put to shame
- He is our salvation
- Steadfast love
- Good and upright
- He instructs sinners in the way
- He leads the humble in what is right
- He teaches the humble the way
- His paths are steadfast love and faithfulness
- Those who fear him find friendship
- He makes known his covenant
- He plucks our feet our of the net
Psalm 25 came with great timing. The past two years of school have been tough on my oldest child. Fear, anxiety, and sickness hit him hard. As a mom I struggled in how to handle my child whose emotions had become quite fragile. It seemed like each day was a battle. As school approached this year, I became anxious and I feared what each day was going to bring. For at least a month, I dreaded the beginning of the school year. The first day of school came and it was not as I expected. My son got ready and was more than willing to go to school. Things were not like I had once feared for so long. I decided I wanted to look intently at the good days and count them versus expecting the bad ones…I began to see how I could trust the Lord to provide for me more truly good things than what my fears were leading me to.
The First Five explains how this can be our starting point all the time:
“In Psalm 25, we see that trust and waiting are interchangeable to David. The chapter begins with trust: “Oh my God, in you I trust; let me not be put to shame; let not my enemies exult over me” (Psalm 25:2). David then follows up this initial plea with a reminder to himself of the truth: “Indeed, none who wait for you shall be put to shame; they shall be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous” (Psalm 25:3). That is because David has chosen to accept the goodness and timing of God and therefore God’s sovereignty. Have you ever had to wait for the Lord to break through in your life? Maybe you’re waiting for something to change, or for someone to change. No matter what you’re waiting for, waiting with trust is a hard and holy thing to do. What’s easier (and often comes more naturally) is to wait with anxiety or fear. That’s because waiting forces us to remember we’re not in control. God is ultimately the only One who can change things. Trust in God and waiting on God are partnered here in Psalm 25. So take heart! If you are waiting on the Lord, you are also learning to trust in Him — and that is a gift, even if it is a hard one to receive. Like David, you can learn to say what he says at the end of this Psalm: “Let me not be put to shame, for I take refuge in you. May integrity and uprightness preserve me, for I wait for you” (Psalm 25:20b-21).
Unlike many other psalms, which end with victorious shouts or cries of deliverance, this psalm ends with a quiet resolution to continue to wait on the Lord. May we do the same as we trust in Him.”
To you we can lift our soul. In you we can place our trust. God you are good and upright. You teach the humble what is right and what is the way. Your paths are steadfast love and faithfulness for those that keep your ways. You are rightly to be praised. Please pardon our guilt and instruct us in our ways. May our souls abide in well-being and may our children inherit the many blessings that you promise. Thank you for the times that you have conquered us from danger, saved us from loneliness, fixed our broken hearts, eased our regrets, lessened our fears, and removed our despair. I have struggled in the past to remember your goodness. I have focused only on the challenges of the day. Today I hope to look at all that you have done and build upon my trust in you instead of my fear. Help me to always look to you first as I start each morning and continually through my day. You do not promise easy paths but ones filled with your steadfast love and faithfulness. May I walk with you in trust and may I learn to have integrity and uprightness preserve me…especially during the times I must wait on you. In these times of waiting may I receive the blessing of greater trust in you. In your Great name, Amen.
Type of Psalm: Lament/Thanksgiving
Judge me, LORD! For I have walked in my integrity. In the LORD I trust; I do not falter.
Examine me, Lord, and test me; search my heart and mind.
Your mercy is before my eyes; I walk guided by your faithfulness.
I do not sit with worthless men, nor with hypocrites do I mingle.
I hate an evil assembly; with the wicked I do not sit.
I will wash my hands in innocence so that I may process around your altar, Lord,
To hear the sound of thanksgiving, and recount all your wondrous deeds.
Lord, I love the refuge of your house, the site of the dwelling-place of your glory.
Do not take me away with sinners, nor my life with the men of blood,
In whose hands there is a plot, their right hands full of bribery.
But I walk in my integrity; redeem me, be gracious to me!
My foot stands on level ground; in assemblies I will bless the LORD.
-David speaks of living a life of integrity.
-David asks others not to sin because of what other people do to them.
- Steadfast Love
- Does wonderous deeds
Psalm 26 teaches us more about integrity. It reminds us the importance of looking back on all God has done so we can continue to be faithful in the present. We then build strength to continue on into the future. The First Five describes how David modeled integrity as they state,
“Three times David mentioned how modeling integrity (completeness, fullness, innocence) was available to him because of God’s faithfulness. First, in reflecting on his past: “I have walked in my integrity” (Psalm 26:1). Second, in reflecting on his present situation: “I walk in your faithfulness” (Psalm 26:3). Third, in looking ahead to his future: “I shall walk in my integrity” (Psalm 26:11). David did not have the foreknowledge to know he would fulfill these statements he made to the Lord. It would not be by David’s might nor power, but by God’s Spirit that would activate integrity on a moment by moment, day by day, decision by decision, assignment by assignment basis in David’s life. And the same is true for us. God calls us to be people of integrity (Proverbs 10:9; 11:3; 28:6) and loves us enough to allow His one and only Son to walk this earth as the perfect example of a man of integrity. (Hebrews 4:15) So that we might turn to Jesus when moments arrive where our integrity is being challenged or questioned. Trusting God’s goodness and taking Spirit-empowered steps of obedience toward Him in every situation will help us — like David — walk out a life of integrity. Keeping those lines of communication open with God — whether it’s offering up a confession, a question, or a song of thanksgiving or adoration — will anchor our hearts and minds so that we, too, can ask God to judge us, test us or prove us, being confident of the outcome.”
Your word tells us how we can walk with integrity before you. Please help us to model our lives as David did as we come before you and ask for you to examine us, try us, and test us. Help us to continue to obey you and remember your love. May we not doubt and drift from you. Protect us from temptation that leads us to want to judge others. Help us to remain innocent when we are wronged by others. Help us to remain with others in public worship. May we always be patient as we wait on you. Lord, I do not always seek to be a person of integrity. I don’t want to be tried and tested and I run from trials. I try to remember what you have done for me, but I don’t always remember to provide grace to others. You are the ultimate judge. Please forgive me as I have turned away from public worship due to hurt feelings and complicated situations. Please help me to seek this path once again. I am far from patient at times. Help us to seek lives of integrity. May The words you gave to David be our guide and may we continue to seek your path. In your great name, Amen.
Type of Psalm: Lament
Emotions: Fear turned to Confidence
The LORD is my light and my salvation;
whom should I fear? The LORD is my life’s refuge; of whom should I be afraid?
When evildoers come at me to devour my flesh, These my enemies and foes
themselves stumble and fall.
Though an army encamp against me,
my heart does not fear; Though war be waged against me, even then do I trust.
One thing I ask of the LORD; this I seek:
To dwell in the LORD’s house all the days of my life, To gaze on the LORD’s beauty,
to visit his temple.
For God will hide me in his shelter in time of trouble, He will conceal me in the cover of his tent; and set me high upon a rock.
Even now my head is held high above my enemies on every side! I will offer in his tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing and chant praise to the LORD.
Hear my voice, LORD, when I call; have mercy on me and answer me.
“Come,” says my heart, “seek his face”; your face, LORD, do I seek!
Do not hide your face from me; do not repel your servant in anger. You are my salvation; do not cast me off; do not forsake me, God my savior!
Even if my father and mother forsake me,
the LORD will take me in.
LORD, show me your way; lead me on a level path because of my enemies.
Do not abandon me to the desire of my foes; malicious and lying witnesses have risen against me.
I believe I shall see the LORD’s goodness
in the land of the living.
Wait for the LORD, take courage; be stouthearted, wait for the LORD!
-David declares that the Lord is his light and his salvation.
-David wants to dwell in God’s house forever.
-David became confident in the Lord despite his afflictions
-God dwelt among the people in a tent, the temple was not constructed yet
- Hides us in his shelter
- Conceals us in the cover of his tent
- He lifts us high on a rock
- He is gracious
- He answers us
- He is goodness
I needed the words of Warren Wiersbe this morning. “He is our light, so we need not fear the darkness.” Twice my oldest son entered the darkness of my room as he could not sleep. An additional two times my phone went off as he texted that he could not sleep. Fearing what would happen this morning…I needed the reminder that God is my light. Warren continues, “He is our strength, so we need not fear because of our weakness.” The stress of emotions and uncertainty of what to do was great. I felt weak and unable to continue…though I knew that it was what I needed to do. Warren’s last statement was, “He is our salvation, so the victory is sure.” The reminder of the greater battle that has been won, helped me to face the day. Even if I knew that one of my greatest fears was before me…I knew that I do not battle alone. I had to believe. I knew that it was in these times that faith is built. AsWarren Wiersbe states, “We have to walk by faith just as David did. “I would have lost heart, unless I believed.” The world says that seeing is believing. Jesus says, “believing is seeing.” The evidence of faith are rather obvious. First, we seek the Lord. Second, we call on the Lord. That is prayer. Third, we do the hardest thing of all-wait on the Lord.”
I wanted to rush ahead and see how the morning would turn out. I wanted to put on my armor and fight and yet…I knew that I had to remember the hardest part…the waiting.
As the First Five App states, “How easy it is for us to run straight into battle, not fully prepared. David’s command to wait and be strong go hand in hand. Isaiah 40:31a says, “they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength.” Waiting on God makes us strong for battle. Waiting is the acknowledgment that we cannot enter a fight and win on our own. We NEED the Lord. He alone gives us the strength and courage we require. Before we jump into the fight, let’s wait for the Lord. His plans are good and worth waiting for.”
Not forging ahead on my own, I waited for God’s direction on where to go and on what to say. Fear would creep in and I would remember that God was my light. I would get weak with uncertainty and I would cry out to God for his strength. When I didn’t hear a reply, I would slow down and wait. I allowed God’s truth to settle my soul instead of following the lies that wanted me to believe that nothing was going to change. When I doubted, I asked God to settle my unbelief. I desperately wanted to believe so that I would truly see. I started to seek the Lord and wait on him…and while I waited…I prayed!
So many times we allow fear to guide us. Yet, your word provides us with our true direction. You are our light and our salvation. With your truth we truly know that we have nothing to fear. We can be confident in you. We can dwell in your house all the days of our life and for this we can give you praise! Thank you for the days you hide us in your shelter. Thank you for hiding us in days of trouble. Thank you for the days you conceal us under the cover of your tent as well as those days that you lift us high upon your rock. I admit that sometimes I want to see before I believe. I tremble in the fears of my past. I don’t always walk by faith, but I am trying to. As I focus on your truth Lord, I am beginning to see your light. Please continue to hear us when we cry out to you. Please be gracious to us and answer us. Help us to continue to seek your face. Do not hide your face from us. Help us to know your way and lead us on a level path. Help us to wait patiently on you. Help us to remain strong and let our heart take courage as we wait on you. In your Great name, Amen!
Type of Psalm: Thankfulness/Lament
Emotions: Justice/When God seems Silent
To you, LORD, I call; my Rock, do not be deaf to me, Do not be silent toward me,
so that I join those who go down to the pit.
Hear the sound of my pleading when I cry to you for help when I lift up my hands toward your holy place.
Do not drag me off with the wicked,
with those who do wrong, Who speak peace to their neighbors though evil is in their hearts.
Repay them for their deeds, for the evil that they do. For the work of their hands repay them; give them what they deserve.
Because they do not understand the LORD’s works, the work of his hands, He will tear them down, never to rebuild them.
Blessed be the LORD, who has heard the sound of my pleading.
The LORD is my strength and my shield,
in whom my heart trusts. I am helped, so my heart rejoices; with my song I praise him.
LORD, you are a strength for your people,
the saving refuge of your anointed.
Save your people, bless your inheritance;
pasture and carry them forever!
-David depends on God
-David has sinned and does not hear God
-David ends the psalm with songs of praise because he trusts the Lord
-David encourages others about what he has learned from the Lord
-David realizes he is totally dependent on God
-Sometimes we do not hear God because.
- We have sinned
- We are seeking a loud voice
- He has already spoken and we did not hear him
-David leaves judgment up to God
- He is our rock
- He hears the voice of our pleas for mercy
- He is our strength
- He is our shield
- He the is the strength of his people
- He is the saving refuge of the anointed
- He is a Shepherd
- He carries his people
In Psalm 28 we see how prayer led David to praise. David starts the psalm by crying out to God but he remains silent to David. David does not get frustrated but ends up singing songs of praise to the Lord.
As the First Five App states, “The contrast between the desperate petitions in Psalm 28:1-5 and David’s declarations of praise in Psalm 28:6-9 had me wondering, Is this a prayer or a praise party? How could David, on the heels of his complaint about his enemies, suddenly burst into praise? We find the answer in Psalm 28:7: trust. Because David trusted in God’s character, he confidently declared, “The LORD is my strength and my shield.” He praised God in advance for the outcome of his situation. So how can we transform our personal time of prayer into a praise party? Paul writes in Philippians 4:6, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” In other words, when trouble comes, don’t let it worry you. Instead, call to God in prayer. Then, praise God for what He’s already done and will do on your behalf. From a biblical perspective, there’s no need for us to separate prayer and praise. When our prayer gives way to praise, we can lift our downcast hearts with renewed strength and faith.”
Yesterday was a tough day for me. I feared my son’s anxiety about school would lead us down days of struggle once again. I tried and tried to rely on God for strength. My husband told me good-bye and he wished me a good day. My response startled me and made me realize that doubt had crept in even after my many prayers. My response was, “I hope I have a good day, but I don’t see it happening.” I wanted to believe before I saw the ending. I stopped and prayed desperately to God to help me believe even in my unbelief. I cried out to him and as I look back, I can see now how to praise in the middle of the storm. We certainly fear the uncertainty of how things might turn out. May faith over the past couple of months has grown though and I had changed. I was now relying on God’s strength…even if at times he seemed silent.
The First Five App continues to give us great advice for what to do when God seems silent: “Because David trusted God, he was able to praise Him in advance for answered prayer. David knew God would be his advance guard and defensive shield. (Psalm 28:7-9) But how do we trust God or the effectiveness of prayer when our prayers seem to go unanswered? This is the question I asked a prayer-warrior friend. At the time, I was frustrated because after spending years praying for the salvation of a family member, I saw no spiritual progress. Have you ever doubted that God was listening to your prayers? Below are a few truths my friend encouraged me to consider. This isn’t a complete list of prayer guidelines, but I gently encourage you to consider these truths when you experience doubt.
- Jesus wants us to believe we will receive what we ask for in prayer. (Mark 11:20-25)
When our requests are within God’s will — that is, according to God’s revealed truth and desires outlined in His Word — we can rest assured He will fulfill them in His timing. (1 John 5:14) This is why Christ encouraged His disciples and believers today to “have faith in God.” (Mark 11:22) When we pray confidently expecting to see God move, He does! (James 1:6-8)
- Spiritual warfare can delay the answer to our prayer. (Daniel 10:10-14)
In Daniel 10:10-14, we see that the same day Daniel prayed, God sent an angel to deliver the answer. However, a demon engaged in warfare with the angel, delaying the message for 21 days. Sometimes spiritual warfare can delay the answers to our prayer. Of course, worldliness (James 4:2-3) and sin (Psalm 66:18) can also hinder the effectiveness of our prayer. Ultimately, God will punish both the rebellious earthly kingdoms and the evil cosmic powers (Isaiah 24:21-22), but as we wait, it’s wise to pray that spiritual warfare doesn’t delay God’s answers as well.
- Jesus encourages us to be persistent in prayer. (Luke 18:1-8)
From Jesus’ parable of the persistent widow, we’re reminded to continue in prayer without losing heart. When you’re tempted to give up, remember God’s character and loving attitude toward His children.
My conversation with my friend helped me recognize an attitude of disbelief that I brought to my prayer. I repented, and the following week I prayed believing and thanking God for saving my family member in advance. Miraculously, by the end of that week, the Lord touched the heart of that loved one and he became a Christian. I hope my testimony and these truths encourage you. Prayer works. God hears and is working on your behalf — even when you can’t see what He’s doing.”
May we seek God’s face and know that he is listening. May he clear up our unbelief with moments that help us to trust and strengthen our faith. Yesterday was not the best of days but God saw me through it. Today will be a better day because of the trust I learned about yesterday and tomorrow doesn’t seem so dark as I know how to seek God even when he seems to be silent.
You are our rock. You hear our cries for help and you see us as we lift our hands toward your sanctuary. You are the ultimate judge and you protect us from the wicked. We are to be totally dependent on you. Thank you for hearing our voice as we plead for you. Thank you for being our strength and our shield. Thank you for allowing us to trust you with our hearts. Forgive us for the times we get impatient while we wait to hear your voice. Forgive us for the sins that mask your voice. Forgive us for the noise that covers your still, small voice. Help us to continue to cry out to you. Help us in our unbelief. Help us to believe that you truly hear us and you will answer us as your word tells us you will. Help us to know the enemy and to come to you to help us fight. Help us to remember the power and authority you give us over our enemies. Help us to be persistent in prayer. Thank you again for all that we are given in your word. In your Great name, Amen!