Blogging Through the Psalms: Blessed are the people whose God is the Lord.

Psalm 144

David now asks for the Lord to deliver him and his people in time of war. He praises God for past victories and asks for continued success for he now feels his weakness and is concerned about the overwhelming power of the enemy. He now recalls how God delivered in the past through supernatural use of the forces of nature such as storms and lightning. Yet the enemy is now advancing upon Israel like a flood, an image which conveys speed and violent destruction. He promises God then when he delivers him he will give him the appropriate praise and let others know of what the Lord has done.

David describes three conditions that result when God gives victory to a people who call out to Him: children who honor the Lord and their parents, widespread prosperity, and peace. These three things seem to be in short supply in our nation today. America has turned its back on the Lord, as have most nations of the western world. God was at one time honored through prayer and praise throughout our land even though many of the political leaders and the people did not always or even usually live lives of obedience to God’s Law. This is not surprising since all men are sinners in need of forgiveness. Yet the Lord always did honor those who had committed their lives to Him. But now the majority has forsaken the Lord. Though they seek peace, prosperity and godly children through social means, education diplomacy and legislation, these will elude them for America is now reaping the harvest of ungodliness. It is time for churches to act. Instead of trying to look like the rest of the world, she ought to be calling out for repentance which always begins at the household of God (1 Peter 4:17).

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Blogging Through The Psalms: Lord, Send That Help Soon.

Psalm 142-143

Again it seems that David penned these 2 Psalms while he was being pursued by his enemies, probably at this time King Saul and his soldiers who were intent on capturing and killing him. Though he was strong and courageous and had faith, he was exhausted from the constant pursuit and from being in danger all the time. He apparently had no one to support him or those who were with him were as worn out and demoralized as he. He had no hope of deliverance but from the Lord, but he needed the help right away. So he called out to the Lord for assistance and guidance.

We who are God’s people all tend to feel forsaken at some time or other. We can sometimes rely on our fellow believers to help us, for the constant stress of life can leave us shaken and shattered. But often we cannot because other believers are probably fighting their own battles. They have their own struggles with temptation and sin. And very often our fellow believers do not understand us. They want us to be upbeat and positive all the time and when we are not, they either shun us or shame us.

Thankfully, we can always call out to God to come alongside us and fight our battles. He will help us with aid and strength. He will remind us of when He has helped us or others in the past in similar situations, even as far as reminding us how He helped King David, Joseph, Moses, Paul or other faithful men and women of God. We should be mindful of this aid He gives us for the Lord calls on us to aid our Christian brethren in their struggles and despair.

Blogging Through the Psalms: Lord, We Need Your Help.

Psalm 140-141

Again David is praying to the Lord, this time to frustrate the attempts of his enemies to hurt him. These enemies were violent and wicked men who were attempting to stir up trouble not just for David but for all Israel. This makes them enemies of the Lord as well. This is why David can call out to the Lord for help and protection. God knows his heart is devoted to Him so David can boldly request aid trusting that the Lord will provide it. He is sure of this because he believes that the Lord is filled with compassion for the poor and oppressed. He will vindicate them and grant the justice.

We too are surrounded by enemies. They hate and dislike us because our lives are devoted to the Lord. It is easy for us to complain and lash out when we have been falsely accused because we want to clear ourselves. We want everyone to know that they are liars and they are wicked. Yet this will not help us when faced with men those in the world who are not concerned with serving the Lord. So we might as well not fight back. Rather we should appeal to the Lord who will fight our battles for us. Therefore we should take comfort in the fact that though others slander us the Lord knows the truth and will set things right. Those who make false and slanderous accusations against the weak and oppressed will eventually live to suffer punishment from the Lord either in this life or in the world to come.

Blogging Through the Psalms: God Knows All.

PSALM 139

In this Psalm, King David basically asked the Lord to examine him and reveal to him any sinfulness. In the process he praised God for His infinite attributes specifically His omniscience, omnipresence, and omnipotence.  David was aware that the Lord knew everything about him including the innermost thoughts and intentions of his heart. This is why he knew he could not fool God or hide anything from Him.

Neither can we. We can hide things from other men, and even from ourselves but it is really pointless to hide things from God. And so if we want to walk in obedience to the Lord God, when we have been accused by others or by Satan, we must always ask the Lord to examine our hearts and reveal to us what is there that it may be brought to light and confessed.

This Psalm also tells us that God’s awareness of us exists from the beginning, from the moment of our creation. The Lord knit us together from the moment of conception. We were in God’s heart and mind from the first linking of cells. What we are was already in His heart and mind as He shaped us into the form that suited His will. Those who deliberately set out to terminate this prenatal life by abortion for any reason are rebelling against the Lord because they are attempting to disrupt and circumvent His will and purpose. For this they will suffer His justice and wrath.

Blogging Through the Psalms: Our God is real.

Psalm 138

The psalmist here is David. Once again he is thanking the Lord for His loyal love and faithfulness in answering his prayer for he received help and great encouragement at just the right time. David knows that anyone who puts his faith in the Lord can be assured that He will answer them and give them peace and strength. He looks down upon the weak and oppressed and lifts them up. He walks with them in the midst of all their crises and tribulations and protects them from all that would harm them.

Consequently David promised the Lord that He would offer praise in the Temple and before the “gods” which perhaps refers to the idols that others surrounding him worshipped particularly the foreign kings and princes that he had to deal with all of whom were pagan idolaters. He promised that he would tell them of the greatness and the love of Yahweh who is infinitely superior to any god people worship because he is real and he exists and so he is capable of acting. All other so-called “gods” are either non-existent or else they are rooted in demons and fallen angels who cannot bless, reward or love as Yahweh does. These other gods are in fact dangerous because they serve only to destroy the works of the Lord and deceive humans into rejecting God. Our duty as believers is not only to stand up in face of these false idols including those of materialism, wealth and power but to proclaim the glories of Yahweh in the midst of a pagan people so they may worship Him alone.

Blogging Through the Psalms: Weep for your sins.

Psalm 137

The psalmist in this case appears to be among the Israelites in exile in Babylon. He weeps for Zion, for the Promised Land from which they have been taken, and hates those nations who caused this to happen as well as those like the Edomites, who applauded what was happening to Judah. As the exiles contemplated all the wonderful blessings they had lost they wept perhaps from sorrow over the loss and perhaps in remorse, with repentance for the things which they had done for which they were being punished. Despite the fact that God was using the pagan nations, Israel’s enemies, to chastise His people, those He so used would also suffer punishment for what they had done, for they were not without guilt.

Often when we get into trouble we forget that our sinfulness, thoughtlessness, foolishness and lack of consideration for other people often are the cause of our difficulties. We forget that if we violate the laws of God and of the land we will face problems as well as punishment. We do not like to think to admit we have done wrong but prefer to blame others for our mistakes so that we do not have to. We mourn for our loss but rather we should mourn for our sins and for our lack of humility. Without humility we will not grow into the likeness of Christ who surrendered His glory to die for our sins. Without humility we will never see the need for repentance. The good thing is that if we belong to Christ we will not get away with such behavior for long. He will take steps to discipline those whom He loves.

Blogging Through the Psalms: God’s love.

Psalm 136

This Psalm praises the Lord for His great acts and His loyal love that endures forever. The refrain that is repeated throughout the psalm explains the reason for praising Him: his love endures; it does not fail or change. Therefore we can look at each of the divine acts and realize how each one demonstrates His enduring love. We can acknowledge His love when we contemplate His work in creating the world and in the way He has provided sustenance for every creature especially man. The Lord is at work in saving the whole world through Israel, through His sovereign acts of deliverance, through Christ Jesus.

When we look at the repetition we may tend to overlook the importance of what the Psalmist wants us to see. He wants us not to forget God, because God never forgets us. We may complain and cry out against God when we are in the middle of adversity and trouble. Our tribulations may cause us to think God does not love us. But we forget to look at all the Lord has created and all that He has given us. In the light of such beauty and splendor we cannot help but conclude that God does love us no matter what we may experience. Yet sad to say that most humans do not reach out to God though surrounded and blessed by such glorious treasures. They misuse His bountiful gifts and attribute them to mindless forces or benevolent deities who do not exist. So let’s look at the world around us and list all the things we see that are expressions of God’s love for us.