Archive for the ‘Psalms’ Category

Psalm 22:22-31

August 7, 2019

Today, we look at the spiritual side of the crucifixion. David describes what is going on between the Father and the Son even while on the cross.

I will declare your name to my people;
    in the assembly I will praise you.
23 You who fear the Lord, praise him!
    All you descendants of Jacob, honor him!
    Revere him, all you descendants of Israel!
24 For he has not despised or scorned
    the suffering of the afflicted one;
he has not hidden his face from him
    but has listened to his cry for help.

25 From you comes the theme of my praise in the great assembly;
    before those who fear you[a] I will fulfill my vows.
26 The poor will eat and be satisfied;
    those who seek the Lord will praise him—
    may your hearts live forever!

27 All the ends of the earth
    will remember and turn to the Lord,
and all the families of the nations
    will bow down before him,
28 for dominion belongs to the Lord
    and he rules over the nations.

29 All the rich of the earth will feast and worship;
all who go down to the dust will kneel before him—
those who cannot keep themselves alive.
30 Posterity will serve him;
future generations will be told about the Lord.
31 They will proclaim his righteousness,
declaring to a people yet unborn:
He has done it!

I will declare your name to my people; in the assembly I will praise you.
23 You who fear the Lord, praise him! All you descendants of Jacob, honor him! Revere him, all you descendants of Israel!

 

Jesus’ message was, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” Matthew 4:17. He brought the kingdom with Him. To receive Jesus was to receive the kingdom of heaven. IT STILL IS! Jesus did, indeed, declare His name to His people. In Matthew 11:25, we find Jesus praising the Father in the assembly of His people, “At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.” That’s pretty specific, don’t you think?

23 You who fear the Lord, praise him!
All you descendants of Jacob, honor him!
Revere him, all you descendants of Israel!
24 For he has not despised or scorned the suffering of the afflicted one;
he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help.

 

David calls us to fear the Lord, to praise Him, to honor Him and to revere Him. Why? Because Jesus’ sacrifice was pleasing to the LORD; through His obedience, we have forgiveness! But it was the Lord’s good plan to crush him and cause him grief. Isaiah 53:10a (the rest of the passage reinforces the salvation of the nations). God did NOT despise Jesus nor did He scorn Him while on the cross. In fact, He suffered right along with Jesus. THEY ARE ONE, REMEMBER? Jesus Himself told us that He only does what He sees His Father doing. “Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. John 5:19 Things didn’t change at the cross. He was still following His Father’s lead.

There is another passage (one of my favorites) that speaks to this relationship between the Father and the Son:

“Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. 28 Father, glorify your name!” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.” 

We must remember that it was God’s good plan to suffer for us. Let’s look at the PLAN:

Yet when his life is made an offering for sin, he will have many descendantsHe will enjoy a long life, and the Lord’s good plan will prosper in his hands. 11 When he sees all that is accomplished by his anguish, he will be satisfied. And because of his experience, my righteous servant will make it possible for many to be counted righteous, for he will bear all their sins.” Isaiah 53:10b-11 NLT

We are now Christ’s brothers and sisters with God as our Father through the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross! WOW! We are His DESCENDANTS. Does this fact make you want to praise His name? It did David, too!

25 From you comes the theme of my praise in the great assembly;
before those who fear you[a] I will fulfill my vows [just as Jesus did].
26 The poor [in spirit-see Matt. 5:3]  will eat and be satisfied;
    those who seek the Lord will praise him—may your hearts live forever!

27 All the ends of the earth [see Daniel 34-35, 44; Jesus is the Rock that becomes a huge mountain and fills the whole earth] will remember and turn to the Lord,

 

Now comes the restoring of Jesus to His original position and glory:

and all the families of the nations will bow down before him,
28 for dominion belongs to the Lord and he rules over the nations.

29 All the rich of the earth will feast and worship;all who go down to the dust [the poor] will kneel before him—those who cannot keep themselves alive [that’s everyone].

We know this part through another passage:

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
    and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should/will [it actually reads, “every knee bow”] bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge/confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
    to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:9-11

Jesus Himself prayed, “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.”

Here is where we fit into the story:

30 Posterity will serve him; future generations will be told about the Lord.
31 They will proclaim his righteousness, declaring to a people yet unborn:
    

WE are His posterity. WE are part of the future generations that have heard about the Lord and His sacrifice for us. WE proclaim His righteousness and declare to a people yet unborn–our children and their children!

He has done it!

Precept Austin Bible Website gives this interpretation:

MEDITATION ON “IT IS FINISHED” (John 19:30note) which can also be translated “PAID IN FULL!” THREE words in English, ONE word in Greek – TETELESTAI! The GREATEST WORD from the GREATEST MAN on the GREATEST DAY in all eternity! One word, but no word ever uttered has so changed the history and destiny of mankind.

It has been well said that Christ’s RESURRECTION is the Father’s “AMEN” to His Son’s declaration “IT IS FINISHED.” Looking at the Cross we see the work of redemption completed. Looking at the open tomb we see Jesus’ finished work fully accepted by the Father. The payment required for sin is death (cf Ge 2:17noteRo 5:12noteRo 6:23note) and when Christ said TETELESTAI, He was saying that the sin debt was “PAID IN FULL!” If you believe that dear reader, His righteousness has been credited to your account (Ro 4:3noteRo 4:24noteGal 3:6-7note). We owed a debt we could never pay. Jesus paid a debt He did not owe! Tony Evans says “All the funds necessary to pay for our total redemption were put up by Jesus Christ on the Cross.” Or as Warren Wiersbe put it “He took my bankruptcy and covered it with His solvency.” He didn’t just make a down payment and then expect me to keep up the installments. “But now he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of Himself” (Hebrews 9:26note). His empty tomb and His resurrection are indisputable testimony to the fact that the Father accepted His Son’s payment for sin on our behalf, as our Substitute. Thus TETELESTAI is not a cry of defeat of a dying Man, but a cry of triumph of a Living, Life Giving Redeemer, a divine proclamation that the WORK OF REDEMPTION had been fully, finally and forever accomplished (cf Jn 4:34noteJn 17:4note).

Precept Austin

Abba, may I spend the rest of my life and my future in heaven plumbing the height, depth, length and breadth of Your love for me demonstrated on the cross. My soul quickens just to consider it! May I live in response to this great love everyday. TODAY. It is my spiritual worship (Romans 12:1). Amen.

 

Psalm 22:2-21

August 6, 2019

Yesterday, we established that Jesus was calling people’s attention to this psalm even as He drew strength from David’s words about Himself. The verses we will study today are a description of His physical and perceived condition. Tomorrow, we will see His true spiritual condition and position.

My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer,
    by night, but I find no rest.[a]

Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One;
    you are the one Israel praises.[b]
In you our ancestors put their trust;
    they trusted and you delivered them.
To you they cried out and were saved;
    in you they trusted and were not put to shame.

But I am a worm and not a man,
    scorned by everyone, despised by the people.
All who see me mock me;
    they hurl insults, shaking their heads.
“He trusts in the Lord,” they say,
    “let the Lord rescue him.
Let him deliver him,
    since he delights in him.”

Yet you brought me out of the womb;
    you made me trust in you, even at my mother’s breast.
10 From birth I was cast on you;
    from my mother’s womb you have been my God.

11 Do not be far from me,
    for trouble is near
    and there is no one to help.

12 Many bulls surround me;
    strong bulls of Bashan encircle me.
13 Roaring lions that tear their prey
    open their mouths wide against me.
14 I am poured out like water,
    and all my bones are out of joint.
My heart has turned to wax;
    it has melted within me.
15 My mouth[c] is dried up like a potsherd,
    and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth;
    you lay me in the dust of death.

16 Dogs surround me,
    a pack of villains encircles me;
    they pierce[d] my hands and my feet.
17 All my bones are on display;
    people stare and gloat over me.
18 They divide my clothes among them
    and cast lots for my garment.

19 But you, Lord, do not be far from me.
    You are my strength; come quickly to help me.
20 Deliver me from the sword,
    my precious life from the power of the dogs.
21 Rescue me from the mouth of the lions;
    save me from the horns of the wild oxen.

 

My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night, but I find no rest.– Sometimes the answer to our question is, “No.” This is the portion of the psalm that best describes David–and us–when we are going through difficult times. We cry out like little children to God asking for deliverance even at the expense of whatever it is that the LORD is accomplishing in our lives. And it’s okay to cry out even as we TRUST Him in the circumstance, which is what David and Jesus did.

Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One; you are the one Israel praises.[b]
In you our ancestors put their trust; they trusted and you delivered them.
To you they cried out and were saved; in you they trusted and were not put to shame.

In these three verses, we find the key to faith. As David and Jesus looked back on Israel’s history, they saw that God is on His throne, that He delivered His people out of bondage and brought them through to the promised land, and that God accomplished all that He set out to do through them. He did it for their ancestors and He will do it for them, too. David knew that he was to be king over Israel; he trusted God to bring that promise to fruition. Jesus knew that He was saving the world from the bonds of sin. He trusted His Father to bring that promise to fruition, as well.

But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by everyone, despised by the people.
All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads.
“He trusts in the Lord,” they say, “let the Lord rescue him. Let him deliver him, since he delights in him.”

In the words of Isaiah, “He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.” Isaiah 53:3 Verse 7 is fulfilled in Matthew 27:39-40, and verse 8 is fulfilled in Matthew 27:41-43.

Yet you brought me out of the womb; you made me trust in you, even at my mother’s breast.
10 From birth I was cast on you; from my mother’s womb you have been my God.

11 Do not be far from me, for trouble is near and there is no one to help.

 

David is speaking for Jesus at this point. David knows his own spiritual condition, “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.” Psalm 51:5. But Jesus’ birth was miraculous and He was full of the Spirit. Jesus knew that He had no one on which to rely except His Father. Their connection was the Spirit.

12 Many bulls surround me; strong bulls of Bashan encircle me.
13 Roaring lions that tear their prey open their mouths wide against me.
14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. My heart has turned to wax; it has melted within me.
15 My mouth[c] is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth;
you lay me in the dust of death.

16 Dogs surround me, a pack of villains encircles me; they pierce[d] my hands and my feet.
17 All my bones are on display; people stare and gloat over me.
18 They divide my clothes among them and cast lots for my garment.

 

David gives a graphic description of the crucifixion. Verse 16 is fulfilled in the crucifixion itself (history gives us these facts), and is confirmed in John 20:25, 27, “But he (Thomas) said to them, ‘ Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.’ (27) Then He said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.'” Verse 18 is fulfilled in John 19:23-24; John even quotes Psalm 22!

19 But you, Lord, do not be far from me. You are my strength; come quickly to help me.
20 Deliver me from the sword, my precious life from the power of the dogs.
21 Rescue me from the mouth of the lions; save me from the horns of the wild oxen.

At this point, we are back to David as he states his faith and trust in the LORD to save him physically in order for him to fulfill the LORD’s purpose for his life. In Jesus’ case, He would have to go all the way to the grave to accomplish His mission. Yet, even then, these verses ring true, as we know full well by Christ’s resurrection!

We have seen four prophecies fulfilled in these verses. WOW! The statistics of these happening all at one time are nearly off the charts.

Tomorrow we look at the promises given in this Psalm and the comfort and encouragement our LORD must have drawn from them.

LORD Jesus, thank You for all you went through for us. I cannot imagine the pain and anguish you must have felt all because of me and my sin. I realize You died for us all, but I know that my sin is responsible for You having to go to such great lengths to save us. May I always see Your sacrifice when I am tempted to sin. If I can fix my eyes on You at that time, the temptation is put into perspective and I am able to remain strong until the moment passes. It is how I put 1 Corinthians 10:13 into practice. Thank You for loving me and giving me such practical handles. Coach me through life’s difficulties, LORD. I am trusting You. Amen.

Psalm 22:1

August 5, 2019

This psalm was written by King David. It is considered a Messianic Psalm due to its striking description of a crucifixion, the theme of the psalm, the fact that two verses are quoted by Jesus on the cross, and four fulfilled prophecies.

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
    Why are you so far from saving me,
    so far from my cries of anguish?

 

The first part of this verse is quoted by Jesus on the cross and may have been attributed an unwarranted message. Many pastors and theologians believe that the Father turned His face away from His Son as Jesus became the sin sacrifice for us. I THINK NOT! Let’s look at some background scriptures:

God made him who had no sin to be the sin offering for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:21

For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. Romans 8:3

And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death–even death on a cross! Philippians 2:8

So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me. (29) The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases him. John 8:28-29

Yet it was the LORD’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the LORD makes his life an offering for sin, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand. Isaiah 53:10

“I and the Father are one.” John 10:30

As we look at these verses, we can see a thread: It was God’s will that Jesus be made the sin offering for us. Jesus was pleasing to the LORD by being obedient–even unto death, dying on a cross for us. Since He and the Father are one, then there is no way that God could turn His back on Jesus, nor would He because He never forsakes Jesus, because Jesus always does what pleases Him.

The clinching verse is actually in Psalm 22 itself, verse 22: For he has not despised or scorned the suffering of the afflicted one; He has not hidden His face from him but has listened to his cry for help.

Was there a breach of fellowship between the God the Father and God the Son? I don’t think so. Rather, God was experiencing through Jesus our penalty. GOD TOOK OUR PLACE ON THAT CROSS!

Why did Jesus cry out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Could it be that He was in anguish and was feeling forsaken? He might have felt some of it, but because of His strong connection with the Father and His mission He was fulfilling, it would seem that He was only quoting the verse rather than relating to the verse in that Jesus KNEW that God wouldn’t, indeed, couldn’t save Him and still accomplish His mission.

Could it be that He was calling this psalm to the attention of passing Jews, who would be familiar enough with it, some even having memorized it in their studies, to associate it with Him? I’m sure that the Pharisees and Sadducees standing there knew it.

Could it be that He was passing the time by remembering all the beautiful promises in this psalm? If so, it explains the next words of Jesus from the cross, “It is finished,” which is the last verse of the psalm (since we do not have a definite timeline or order of Jesus’ sayings while on the cross, I have fit the two verses of this psalm into the phrase that John gives us, “I thirst,” and the one from Luke, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”).

What about the author of the psalm? King David had a very special relationship with God. We read about it in two places:

[Samuel talking to King Saul] “But now your kingdom will not endure; the LORD has sought out a man after his own heart [David] and appointed him ruler of his people, because you have not kept the LORD’s command.” 1 Samuel 13:14

[Paul giving a discourse to the leaders of the synagogue at Pisidian Antioch] “After removing Saul, he made David their king. God testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.'” Acts 13:22

David’s anguish and the LORD’s anguish were the same in that both may have felt all alone, but knew that they were never alone, that God was with them.

How close are David and Jesus? Let’s look into the future:

“‘In that day,’ declares the Lord Almighty,
    ‘I will break the yoke off their necks
and will tear off their bonds;
    no longer will foreigners enslave them.
Instead, they will serve the Lord their God
    and David their king,
    whom I will raise up for them. Jeremiah 30:8-9

23 I will place over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he will tend them; he will tend them and be their shepherd. 24 I the Lord will be their God, and my servant David will be prince among them. I the Lord have spoken. Ezekiel 34:23-24

We can trust David to speak for Jesus in this psalm. Jesus was speaking to us through David. Wow! What a beautiful message that Jesus was giving us even as He was dying for us. May we never take His sacrifice for granted.

Dear LORD Jesus, You knew exactly what You were doing when you went to the cross for me. THANK YOU!!! May I never take for granted Your sacrifice for me. I pledge my life to You; I may not be able to give my life for You, but I can give it TO You and live for You. In fact, I prefer You to live Your life through me. Just sensing Your presence and participation in me is ENOUGH! Oh, to feel Your love, joy and peace, to experience Your grace and to feel Your acceptance and approval–and that’s without me doing anything! I’m just sitting here enjoying Your presence! May I be You to those around me today. “Christ to You” is my motto. May I live it. Amen [so be it].

 

Psalm 66  11-22-16

November 22, 2016

The psalmist begins with exuberant praise to the LORD 

“Shout for joy to God, everyone!”

Then he lists what God has done for him and his people. Even though it is probably in reference to Egypt and the Exodus, he leaves it general enough to be applied to any situation. In doing so, the key to this psalm is verses 13-14,

[13] I will come to your temple with burnt offerings
and fulfill my vows to you—[14] vows my lips promised and my mouth spoke
when I was in trouble. 

He had made a vow during a troubling time to love, honor and serve the LORD if He would bring him out. The LORD did and so he is honoring that commitment. 

We, too, have made such a “deal” with God concerning salvation. What should be our response to so great a salvation? Telling others of what He has done for us! 

[16] Come and listen, all you who fear God; let me tell you what he has done for me.

[17] I cried out to him with my mouth; his praise was on my tongue.

[18] If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened;

[19] but God has surely listened
and heard my voice in prayer. 

[20] Praise be to God,
who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me! 

And we finish with, “and He will hear your prayer, too!” Of course, IF they are willing to give up the sin that is in their hearts. 

The GOSPEL was being preached a thousand years before Christ came to fulfill God’s Plan!

Psalm 64  10-6-16

October 6, 2016

[6] They plot injustice and say,
“We have devised a perfect plan!”
Surely the mind and heart of man are cunning. 

 They are envisioning the future without God. They do not take Him into account. Verses 7 and 8 describe what God does:

[7] But God will shoot them with arrows;
suddenly they will be struck down. 

[8] He will turn their own tongues against them
and bring them to ruin;
all who see them will shake their heads in scorn. 

God will use their retribution as a lesson for His people:

[9] All mankind will fear;
they will proclaim the works of God
and ponder what he has done. 

Verse 10 has the promise:

[10] Let the righteous rejoice in the LORD and take refuge in him; let all the upright in heart praise him!

Psalm 63  10-5-16

October 5, 2016

[2] I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. 

David’s experience with God was first-hand and personal. He experienced God in the fields and in the temple. Beholding God changes a person. Now we know why worship is so important. 

[3] Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you.

[4] I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands.

[5] My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you.

Enjoy His presence in personal worship today as we look forward to corporate worship this evening and Sunday. 

Psalm 62  10-4-16

October 4, 2016

“My soul finds rest in God alone…” I LOVE that song! We did it recently in church. 

“With their mouths they bless,
but in their hearts they curse.”

God said something similar through Isaiah, “These people come near to me with their mouth
and honor me with their lips,
 
but their hearts are far from me.
 
Their worship of me
is made up only of rules taught by men.” 

Our praise to God must come from a pure heart, one that is focused on and directed toward Him. “Pure” means “singularly devoted,” not necessarily without sin. It’s all about our intention. Do we mean to include Him in intentional sin, as in 1 Cor. 6:15, Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? May we always say with Paul, Never!

I understand that a prostitute is an extreme example, but sin is sin, whether it is prostitution or lying. We are still selling ourselves to sin. 

[11] One thing God has spoken,
two things have I heard: that you, O God, are strong,
[12] and that you, O Lord, are loving.
Surely you will reward each person according to what he has done. 

I am reminded of the child’s prayer, “God is great and God is Good…” it takes both to describe God! He also holds us accountable. 

Let’s trust in His goodness. 

 

Psalm 61  10-2-16

October 3, 2016

[4] I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings. 

Since the temple was not built until Solomon’s reign, David never knew anything but the tabernacle, the tent. Interesting, no?

[7] May he [the king-himself, but it can be attributed to Christ] be enthroned in God’s presence forever;
appoint your love and faithfulness to protect him. 

[8] Then will I ever sing praise to your name
and fulfill my vows day after day. 

Davids intention was to walk faithfully. We know from his biography that he failed with Bathsheba and Uriah, and with his children. Yet he was still known as “a man after God’s own heart,” and “God’s friend.”  

We can take great comfort in that!


Psalm 60  10-2-16

October 2, 2016

[11] Give us aid against the enemy, for the help of man is worthless. 

Anytime Israel looked to her neighbors for help, they got in trouble. It is when things get dark that God shines brightest. 

We are to be His light in a dark world. As things grow darker-and don’t he surprised when they do-make sure that you don’t turn to humans for help (especially politicians), but to the LORD. Only then will we see miracles and have that close bond with Him. 

I always think of Peter when he stepped out of that boat. I like to think that I would have clambered over the side with him…WOW! Wouldn’t that have been exciting? And it wasn’t even a particularly dangerous or strategic moment! It just comes with being with Jesus. 

Let’s lean in and trust Him. Get out of the boat-that’s where Jesus is!

Psalm 59  10-1-16

October 1, 2016

[8] But you, O LORD, laugh at them; you scoff at all those nations. 
Psalms 2:4-9 The One enthroned in heaven laughs;
the Lord scoffs at them. 

 [5] Then he rebukes them in his anger
and terrifies them in his wrath, saying,  [6] “I have installed my King
on Zion, my holy hill.” 

[7] I will proclaim the decree of the LORD:
He said to me, “You are my Son;  today I have become your Father. [8] Ask of me,
and I will make the nations your inheritance,
the ends of the earth your possession. 

[9] You will rule them with an iron scepter;
you will dash them to pieces like pottery.” 

David has a global view of world events and a pretty good idea of how God works. He has wise words for the rulers of the world:

[10] Therefore, you kings, be wise; be warned, you rulers of the earth.

[11] Serve the LORD with fear
and rejoice with trembling. 

[12] Kiss the Son, lest he be angry
and you be destroyed in your way,
 
for his wrath can flare up in a moment.
Blessed are all who take refuge in him. 

David finishes 59 with his intention and his practice:

[16] But I will sing of your strength,
 
in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress,
my refuge in times of trouble. 

[17] O my Strength, I sing praise to you;
 
you, O God, are my fortress, my loving God. 

Let’s make our practice, too, shall we? 😃

Psalm 58  9-30-16

September 30, 2016

Psalms 58:10-11 The righteous will be glad when they are avenged,
when they bathe their feet in the blood of the wicked.
 
[11] Then men will say,
“Surely the righteous still are rewarded;
surely there is a God who judges the earth.” 

What a gruesome psalm! Yet, I know that it will come true eventually,

Revelation 19:17-21 And I saw an angel standing in the sun, who cried in a loud voice to all the birds flying in midair, “Come, gather together for the great supper of God,
[18] so that you may eat the flesh of kings, generals, and mighty men, of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, small and great.” 

[19] Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to make war against the rider on the horse and his army.

[20] But the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who had performed the miraculous signs on his behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped his image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur.

[21] The rest of them were killed with the sword that came out of the mouth of the rider on the horse, and all the birds gorged themselves on their flesh.

Wow! What an ending——-Wait: It’s just the beginning!!!


Psalm 57 9-29-16

September 30, 2016

[7] My heart is steadfast, O God,
my heart is steadfast; I will sing and make music.
 
 [8] Awake, my soul! Awake, harp and lyre! I will awaken the dawn. 

 Now THIS is how we are to respond when the going gets tough! How did get this way? He hid in the shadow of the LORD’s wings: [1] Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me,
for in you my soul takes refuge.
I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings
until the disaster has passed. 

 It’s nice not having to explain anything to God. He knows me inside and out. As long as I am honest with Him, I can rest in Him and enjoy His sweet presence, comfort and love. There’s lots of joy there!

Psalm 56  9-28-16

September 28, 2016

What an attitude!

[3] When I am afraid, I will trust in you. [4] In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me?

David takes great comfort and courage from this promise:

1 Samuel 16:12-13 So he sent and had him brought in. He was ruddy, with a fine appearance and handsome features. Then the LORD said, “Rise and anoint him; he is the one.”
 
[13] So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the LORD came upon David in power. 

We have a similar promise:

Matthew 28:19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
[20] and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Acts 1:11 “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”

Revelation 22:12 “Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done.”  -Jesus

Therefore, let us not be afraid of mere mortals. All they can do is kill our bodies. Our soul and our hope rests in Him. 


Psalm 55  9-27-16

September 27, 2016

[12] If an enemy were insulting me,
I could endure it;
if a foe were raising himself against me,
I could hide from him.
 
[13] But it is you, a man like myself,
my companion, my close friend,
 
[14] with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship
as we walked with the throng at the house of God. 

No wonder David was downcast. He had been betrayed by a close friend! “Et tu, Brute’?” (Julius Caesar). 

[20] My companion attacks his friends;
he violates his covenant.
 
[21] His speech is smooth as butter,
yet war is in his heart; his words are more soothing than oil, yet they are drawn swords. 

We have known people like this. Proverbs 6:16-19 expresses it well: God hates…one who sows dissension among the brothers. 

How does David respond? [16] But as for me, I call to God, and the LORD saves me. [17]  Evening, morning and noon
I cry out in distress, and he hears my voice. 

How should we respond? [22] Cast your cares on the LORD
and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall. Why? “For He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7

Walk in His protection today. Will He protect us from suffering? Probably not, but we will never be severed from His love and His presence! Romans 8:35-39. 

Psalm 54  9-26-16

September 26, 2016

[2] Hear my prayer, O God;
listen to the words of my mouth. 

David is young and on the run. But he knows on Whom to call!

[4] Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me.

David trusted in God’s plan to make David King of Israel. He was also careful to give Him all the credit, too!

[6] I will sacrifice a freewill offering to you; I will praise your name, O LORD, for it is good. [7] For he has delivered me from all my troubles, and my eyes have looked in triumph on my foes. 

May we do the same. 

Psalm 53  9-25-16

September 25, 2016

[1] The fool says in his heart,
“There is no God.”
They are corrupt, and their ways are vile;
there is no one who does good. 

The literal rendering is, “no God for me.” The fool is saying, “I have no room for God in my life.” Therefore, he convinces himself that God doesn’t exist. He, at least, lives as if He doesn’t exist. 

Thank God for Christ! Were it not for Him, we would all be fools!

Let’s worship Him today. 

Psalm 52  9-24-16

September 24, 2016

It seems that David wrote a song about everything! Here is one about betrayal. 

The key verse about Doeg is:

[7] “Here now is the man who did not make God his stronghold but trusted in his great wealth and grew strong by destroying others!”

Here is David’s:

[9] I will praise you forever for what you have done; in your name I will hope, for your name is good. I will praise you in the presence of your saints.

Let’s hope in His name today. 

Psalm 51  9-23-16

September 23, 2016

This psalm was penned upon David’s repentance from his episode with Bathsheba and Uriah. 

Note that in verse 14 he asks to delivered from the guilt of bloodshed. Surely he is talking about Uriah!

One of the most interesting verses is verse 6. It lets us know God’s heart and desire. It also encourages us that He will teach us. Where? In our heart of hearts. 

[6] Surely you desire truth in the inner parts;
 
you teach me wisdom in the inmost place. 

(AMP) [6] Behold, You desire truth in the inner being; make me therefore to know wisdom in my inmost heart.

I am reminded of Elijah when he saw the tornado, the wildfire, felt the earthquake, but then heard the still, small voice of the LORD (1 Kings 19:11-12).

Also, verses 16-17 are added to the list!

1 Samuel 15:22

Psalms 50:8 and on

Proverbs 21:3

Hosea 6:6

Matthew 9:13

Matthew 12:7 

Psalm 50  9-22-16

September 22, 2016

Wow! What a psalm. Go, Asaph!

Note: Asaph was a contemporary of David and one of his worship leaders. He was in there with the Sons of Korah. 

[9] I have no need of a bull from your stall or of goats from your pens,

God gave them credit in verse 8 for sacrificing faithfully. However, He let them know quickly that He didn’t NEED their sacrifices. All they owned was His to begin with (v. 10)! 

God’s case against them was, “You hate my instruction and cast my words behind you.” V. 17

Even with good evidence, even with them thinking that God was like them because He had been silent (v. 21), God offers them salvation (v. 22-24). 

Samuel summed it up this way, 1 Sam. 15:22 But Samuel replied: “Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the LORD? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.

And Hosea like this, Hosea 6:6 For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings.

Jesus even quoted Hosea twice: Matthew 9:13, Matthew 12:7

Proverbs 21:3 says, To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice. 

Let’s live for Him today and receive His salvation and His pleasure!

Psalm 49  9-21-16

September 21, 2016

I used a lot of this psalm in my Proverbs post this morning. 

The key verse for me is:

[15] But God will redeem my life from the grave;
he will surely take me to himself.  

Through and in the Word of God we gain perspective. Would that we all kept the end in mind. 

Psalm 48

September 20, 2016

Psalms 48:12-13 Walk about Zion, go around her,
count her towers,
[13] consider well her ramparts,
view her citadels,
that you may tell of them to the next generation. 

To the next generation, yes, and for another 400+ years. David lived from c. 1040-970 BC  and his reign was from 1010-970 BC with the last 32 years in Jerusalem. The psalm was written sometime between 1010 and 970.  The fall of Jerusalem came in 586 BC. 

How can we believe verse 8?

[8] As we have heard, so have we seen in the city of the LORD Almighty, in the city of our God:
God makes her secure forever. 

The temple was never intended to be an eternal structure. It was first a tent! Then, it was three different temples. Then it was transformed from an earthly structure to the hearts of people with the death of Jesus and the tearing of the curtain. Also, God has a new Jerusalem coming that is beyond this world’s capacity at this present time:

Revelation 21:1-4 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.

[2] I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.

[3] And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.

[4] He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

 Wow! What an inheritance we have in Christ! Let us live up to our new heritage. 

Psalm 47  9-19-16

September 19, 2016

[5] God has ascended amid shouts of joy, the LORD amid the sounding of trumpets.
 
[6] Sing praises to God, sing praises;
sing praises to our King, sing praises.
 
[7] For God is the King of all the earth; sing to him a psalm of praise. 

Sounds like a Processional to me! The Sons of Korah were priests that were musicians, so we could rightfully call them Worship Leaders. 

In these verses, we are exhorted to use shouting, trumpets, singing, and psalms of praise. And we should! 😃🎶 Why? Because “God reigns over the nations; God is seated on His holy throne.” (8)

Let us exalt His name today!


Psalm 46  9-18-16

September 18, 2016

[46:1] God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble [2] Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea [again],

When driving through the mountains a couple of week ago it was pretty obvious that the Flood of Noah was the culprit behind such devastating beauty. I couldn’t help but think of verse 8, Come and see the works of the LORD, the desolations he has brought on the earth.

 The other theme to this psalm is in verse 6, Nations are in an uproar, kingdoms fall; He lifts His voice, the earth melts. 

When linked to 2 Peter 3:5-7, But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water.

[6] By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed.

[7] By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men, we get a clear picture of the future. GOD IS IN CONTROL!

Fire is mentioned again in verse 9 about burning their weapons of war. 

What is God’s goal? This:

[10] “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

Have a great day at church!

Psalm 45  9-17-16

September 17, 2016

What a beautiful song! I wish I knew the tune. I would have loved to hear it. 

The psalm has undertones of a spiritual wedding that is coming: The Wedding Feast of the Lamb!

Revelation 19:5-9 Then a voice came from the throne, saying:
“Praise our God,
all you his servants,
 
you who fear him,
both small and great!” 

[6] Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting:
“Hallelujah!
 
For our Lord God Almighty reigns. 

[7] Let us rejoice and be glad
and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come,
and his bride has made herself ready. 

[8] Fine linen, bright and clean,
was given her to wear.” 

 (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.)

[9] Then the angel said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!’” And he added, “These are the true words of God.”

 Favorite verse: [7] You love righteousness and hate wickedness;
therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions
by anointing you with the oil of joy. 

It takes us to another prophecy concerning our Messiah,

Isaiah 61:3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
 
the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor. 

Jesus anoints us with the oil of His joy! Rejoice today!



Psalm 43  9-15-16

September 15, 2016

[3] Send forth your light and your truth, let them guide me; let them bring me to your holy mountain, to the place where you dwell. 

David was once again being mistreated. Was it God’s pleasure for him to be mistreated? No; it was by the bad choices of other people. Yet, God uses even the malevolence of others to teach us to look to Him. David asked for God to send him light and care, both of which would lead him to His house so that he could worship:

[4] Then will I go to the altar of God,
to God, my joy and my delight. I will praise you with the harp,
O God, my God. 

David finished the psalm by borrowing the refrain from Psalm 42,

[5] Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

How do we beat depression? By remembering the works of God and His love for us!

Psalm 42  9-14-16

September 14, 2016

These things I remember…” v.4

As David comes before God in song, he is distressed. He likens his emotional state to a deer that has been running and its feet are overheated, so it takes refuge in the stream. What a beautiful picture of us in our world today!

What did David do when he was anxious and depressed? He remembered God’s faithfulness and good times with Him. Then he praised the LORD! I can’t think of a better remedy to depression than praising God through song. 

[8] By day the LORD directs his love, at night his song is with me—
a prayer to the God of my life. 

Beautiful!

Psalm 41  9-11-16

September 11, 2016

This psalm follows the same theme and form as 40. There are two verses that make it quite unique:

[9] Even my close friend, whom I trusted, he who shared my bread, has lifted up his heel against me.

This verse is considered a Messianic verse. David was betrayed by a close friend; Jesus was betrayed by Judas. 

[11] I know that you are pleased with me, for my enemy does not triumph over me.

Old-Testament thinking: Immediate cause and effect. 

New-Testament thinking: Delayed  rewards or consequences. 

God gives people chance after chance through us to turn to Him. Even at the cost of our own lives. But those who don’t will surely reap the consequences and we will reap the rewards!

[13] Praise be to the LORD, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting.
Amen and Amen. 


Psalm 40:11-17  9-10-16

September 10, 2016

As we finish this psalm, you will see David vacillating between displaying confidence and begging for mercy. Note that his confidence is in God’s mercy!

[11] Do not withhold your mercy from me, O LORD; may your love and your truth always protect me.

[12] For troubles without number surround me;
my sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see.
They are more than the hairs of my head,
and my heart fails within me.
David recognized his sinful state-the state of all mankind. 

[13] Be pleased, O LORD, to save me;
O LORD, come quickly to help me.
I interject confirmation that God did and does: 

Ephesians 1:5 (AMP) For He foreordained us (destined us, planned in love for us) to be adopted (revealed) as His own children through Jesus Christ, in accordance with the purpose of His will [because it pleased Him and was His kind intent] —

[14] May all who seek to take my life
be put to shame and confusion;
may all who desire my ruin
be turned back in disgrace. 
[15] May those who say to me, “Aha! Aha!”
be appalled at their own shame.
There is more here than defeat. I think David wants conviction to fall on them, as well. 

[16] But may all who seek you
rejoice and be glad in you;
may those who love your salvation always say,
“The LORD be exalted!” 

[17] Yet I am poor and needy;
may the Lord think of me.
You are my help and my deliverer; O my God, do not delay. 

May we put our confidence in His mercy and grace today!

Psalm 40:9-10  9-9-16

September 10, 2016

[9] I proclaim righteousness in the great assembly; I do not seal my lips, as you know, O LORD. 

[10] I do not hide your righteousness in my heart; I speak of your faithfulness and salvation. I do not conceal your love and your truth from the great assembly.

Bragging on God is always a good idea! Telling of God’s faithfulness is one of the pure pleasures in life. Nothing but good comes of it. I am reminded of when Jesus called out to the Father, “Father, glorify your name!” God answered Him, “I have, and I will!” (John 12:27-28)

May we brag on God and His faithfulness to those around us-tastefully, of course. 

Psalm 40:6-8  9-8-16

September 8, 2016

[6] Sacrifice and offering you did not desire,
but my ears you have pierced ;
burnt offerings and sin offerings
you did not require. 

Samuel spoke of this concept in 1 Samuel 15:22 But Samuel replied:

“Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices
as much as in obeying the voice of the LORD?
To obey is better than sacrifice,
and to heed is better than the fat of rams. 

Sacrifices were never meant to take away sin; they simply roll everything forward-to Christ! Speaking of Him,

[7] Then I said, “Here I am, I have come—
it is written about me in the scroll. [8] I desire to do your will, O my God;
your law is within my heart.” 

One more thing:

Exodus 21:2-6 If you buy a Hebrew servant, he is to serve you for six years. But in the seventh year, he shall go free, without paying anything.

[3] If he comes alone, he is to go free alone; but if he has a wife when he comes, she is to go with him.

[4] If his master gives him a wife and she bears him sons or daughters, the woman and her children shall belong to her master, and only the man shall go free.

[5] “But if the servant declares, ‘I love my master and my wife and children and do not want to go free,’

[6] then his master must take him before the judges. He shall take him to the door or the doorpost and pierce his ear with an awl. Then he will be his servant for life.

We have gone to the post with Jesus and He has pierced our ear!

Psalm 40:4-5  9-7-16

September 7, 2016

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[4] Blessed is the man who makes the LORD his trust,
who does not look to the proud,
to those who turn aside to false gods. 

I am reminded of the 20:7 Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.

People put their strength, their faith and trust in themselves, their stuff, other people, and even in gods, which is like following yourself because you get to choose the god you follow. I only know of one God who says, “Follow Me,” to each of us-even today!

[5] Many, O LORD my God,
are the wonders you have done.
The things you planned for us
no one can recount to you;
were I to speak and tell of them,
they would be too many to declare. 

I believe that David speaks in past and future tense here. God’s plans for us were made before He created the world and will continue into eternity!

They may be too many to declare, but let’s try, shall we?😃🎶🎵❤️