Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Psalms 7, 8, 9 & 10

Today I read Psalms 7 - 10

Ps. 7:1-2 says "O Lord my God, I take refuge in You; save and deliver me from all who pursue me, or they will tear me like a lion and rip me to pieces with no one to rescue me."

The lion mentioned in those verses is also found in the New Testament.. 1 Peter 5:8 says "Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour."

Our enemy has been causing trouble from the beginning! He pursues us.. actively seeks us.. with the intent to destroy us! If you are saved, he can't really do that... destroy you... because you are sealed with the Holy Spirit and you will go to Heaven when you leave this earth, but he can destroy parts of you... your witness... your marriage... friendships... relationships.. finances... career... etc. He will rip your life to pieces. We must be diligent in our watch for him and keep ourselves safe.

Psalm 8 is a favorite of mine. Bill and I sang a song in choir years ago (pre-kids) based on this Psalm, so whenever I read it "The Majesty and Glory" starts playing in my head. This Psalm is an amazing picture of the awesomeness of God the creator!

Verse 2 hit me today... "From the lips of children and infants You have ordained praise because of Your enemies to silence the foe and the avenger." Even though this verse talks of children and infants praising, I believe it includes us -- 1) because Jesus tells us we must come to Him like a child and 2) I think it shows a lifelong habit started in childhood of praising God.

I love that Praising Him SILENCES our foe.. our enemy... reminds me of a line from the Newsboy's song "He Reigns".... it's about all God's children praising Him and singing He Reigns... I love it all, but this is my favorite part... "And all the powers of darkness Tremble at what they've just heard , 'Cause all the powers of darkness Can't drown out a single word." (

Psalm 9 is another Psalm that brings a song to mind. Cece Winans has a song based on verses 1 & 2 and I sing it often, especially in times of personal worship. Ps 9:1-2 "I will praise You, O Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all Your wonder. I will be glad and rejoice in Your name, O Most High."

I have often felt like the Psalmist in Verse 1 of Ps 10... "Why, O Lord, do You stand far off? Why do You hide Yourself in times of trouble?"

Of course God isn't far off nor does He hide Himself... it just feels that way at times, but we are assured in throughout the Word that He NEVER leaves us -- Ps. 9:10 "Whose who know Your name will trust in You, for You, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek You." ... Ps. 9:9b the Lord is... "a stronghold in times of trouble" ... Rom. 8:38-39 assures us that nothing can separate us from the Love of God... Joshua 1:5 "...I will never leave you nor forsake you." ... Heb. 13:5 "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."

Ps 10 then describes the wicked man -- his arrogance, boasting, pride - he sounds a great deal like many folks today. Think of people in the public eye... celebrities.. athletes...politicians... then bring it down a notch to folks you know.. and then look in the mirror. We must be very careful not to think we are safe from falling into the traps of this world. The enemies schemes fit our flesh perfectly and the world fuels the flames. We live in a world that feeds our arrogance... selfishness.. pride... our desire for more... we are not immune to this disease. We must fight it daily by staying in the Word and surrendered to the Lord.

And lastly... I love how Ps 10 ends... there is a confidence there... an assurance after beginning with doubt and concern.... v. 17 & 18 "You hear, O LORD, the desire of the afflicted; You encourage them, You listen to their cry, defending the fatherless and the oppressed, in order than man, who is of the earth, may terrify no more."

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Psalms 4,5,& 6

From today's walk in the Psalms....

I find it interesting that Ps 4 begins with the plea in verse 1 for the Lord to "be merciful to me and hear my prayer" and Ps 6 ends with (v 9) "The Lord has heard my cry for mercy; the Lord accepts my prayer." Cool, huh? He always hears us... and He always responds.

Ps. 4 verse 3 "know that the Lord has set apart the godly for Himself; the Lord will hear when I call to Him." I pray to be one of His godly. I certainly can't be on my own, but like the righteousness I talked about yesterday, my godliness comes through the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ. Set me apart for You, Lord, set me apart.

Love theses promises found in Ps 4... verse 7 assures me the God fills my heart with greater joy... not just ordinary joy, greater joy! ... and in verse 8 I learn that I can have peace because I know the Lord makes me dwell in safety.

Ps. 5:3 should be a verse every believer prays... "In the morning, O LORD, You hear my voice in the morning I lay my requests before You and wait in expectation." I have no problem laying my requests before the Lord, but my impatient flesh doesn't like to wait and my mind fills with doubts and I find myself not waiting and not expecting. I pray that the Lord will teach me to be still and know that HE is God... to rest in His everlasting arms... to EXPECT Him to be who He says He is and to do the things He promises in His Word.

Ps 6 is a "cry out" Psalm. I love how the Psalmist is crying out to God in verse 1 - 7 and in what feels like an instant, he has confidence in God (v. 8). It is also interesting to see that this comes after he admits his weakness in verses 6 & 7... there is a sense of surrender and then God steps in... God doesn't force Himself on us... we have a choice. In verse 6 & 7 the Psalmist is weak and tired... in verse 8 he is rebuking his enemies and proclaiming the Lord. Their is confidence in surrender.

Oh that I would let go of despair when it is upon me and go straight to surrender!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Walking Through the Psalms

Years ago, a wonderful Titus 2 woman in my life told me about something she did in her quiet time. She had learned about this in a Bible study she took. She read through the Psalms in 30 days and along the way she noted things she learned about God... His attributes, character, names. I loved the idea, so I decided to take my own walk through the Psalms. I kept a notebook and would write out verses and then what I learned about God. It was a wonderful adventure..... one I recommend to anyone who wants to know God better... I still have the notebook and have pulled it out over the years.

Recently our pastor mentioned that he was doing this....going through the Psalms... noting what he learns about God. I have been doing some hit and miss (mostly miss) in my quiet time and so this morning the Psalms came to mind again.. I decided to take a walk again....

So today I read through Psalms 1 - 3... read them out loud... more than once... found some exciting things and God led me to other verses that connect... I love seeing the connections in the Word!

Here are the things I noted in my journal.....

Ps 1 verse 6... God watches over the way of the righteous.... Thank you Lord that I am made righteous through the blood of Jesus! (2 Cor 5:21 God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the RIGHTEOUSNESS of God.)... God watches over my way....

Ps 2 v 12 tells us that we are blessed when we take refuge in God... Deut 33:27 says The eternal God is your refuge and underneath are the everlasting arms. He will drive out your enemy before you, saying "Destroy him!" .... Thank You, Father, for going before me... driving out my enemy.... You do this as You watch over my way... You are my refuge!

Ps 3 v 3 But you are a shield around me, O Lord, You bestow glory on me and lift up my head... I love this verse... I never have to walk around with my head hung in shame... or scared to look up into the face of God... HE lifts up my head...

Ps 3 also shows an active tense God.... the Lord answers me (v 4) .... sustains me (v. 5).... delivers me (v 8)....

Thank You, Abba Father, for being an active God... a participating Father.. present in my life, not an absentee! I thank You for the righteousness I have in Jesus and for the blessings that it brings... help me to walk in a way which is worthy of Your righteousness.

Thank You for being my refuge... that safe harbor needed in a storm... for hearing my cries.. my ranting and rambling,.. and answering me with Your truth.

Thank You for being my sustainer and delivered.. my shield... the one who lifts up my head. May I walk in the knowledge of these truths today.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Jesus Messiah

Focus on who HE is today...... no matter your circumstance, He is.....