Thursday, October 23, 2008

Psalms 38, 39 & 40

Written Oct. 20, 2008

Psalm 38 is a powerful Psalm and one I fear most of us cannot relate to. David is in anguish over the sin in his life…

v. 3-5 “Because of Your wrath there is no health in my body my bones have no soundness because of my sin. My guilt has overwhelmed me like a burden too heavy to bear. My wounds fester and are loathsome because of my sinful folly.”

Have you ever felt that way over the sin in your life? I can’t say it causes me anguish and certainly I don’t “go around” all day “mourning: (v. 6)

So should we? I think we should see our sin for what it is and be broken by it. 2 Cor. 7:10 says “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret but worldly sorrow brings death.”

We don’t want worldly sorrow … which is mainly upset for being “caught”… we want Godly sorrow.

I don’t believe we have to mourn all day as David did. We have Jesus and through Him the forgiveness of our sins.

1 John 1:9 promises that “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sings and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

What an awesome promise!

Psalm 39 starts with David trying to do the impossible…

v. 1 “I said, ‘I will watch my ways and keep my tongue from sinning; I will put a muzzle over my mouth.’”

James 3 makes it clear that no one can tame their tongue. Just try and you will quickly see how difficult and impossible this task is in your own strength. Only through God can this happen/

Verses 4 & 5 have come to my mind a number of times lately and I’ve realized what a powerful prayer they are…

Show me, O Lord, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting is my life. You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before You. Each man’s life is but a breath.

How differently would I live my life if I truly understood how short my time is here on earth?

Yesterday, my pastor told of a man given a terminal diagnosis and how he lived life differently and then he reminded us that we all are terminal and in light of the Kingdom calendar, we will all die soon. We need to live life with that mindset… I need to live life today with that mindset… and every day I have left where I have two days or 40 years.

V. 6 is a picture of the world today…

Man is a mere phantom as he goes to and fro; he bustles about, but only in vain; he heaps up wealth not knowing who will get it.

What a sobering and powerful verse!

“But now, Lord, what do I look for? My Hope is in You!” (v. 7)

The result of that hope is seen in Psalm 40:1-3

I waited patiently for the Lord; He turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.

David continues in Psalm 40 to talk of the blessings of trusting in the Lord. How different his tone here than in Psalm 38. Ps. 40 is a man who has been forgiven and is back on the right path.

V. 8 is one we should all learn and pray daily “I desire to do Your will, O my God, Your law is within my heart.”

That is key… get in the Word and get the Word in you.. then you will sing a new song like David.

Psalms 36 & 37

Written Oct. 16, 2008

I immediately start singing when I think of Psalm 36. Verses 5 & 6 are part of a Third Day song I love….

“Your love, O Lord, reaches to the heavens, Your faithfulness to the skies. Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, Your justice like the great deep.”

I love when I find a song in scripture! I love that writers do that… use scripture in songs. What better words to sing then those written by our Lord!

Psalm 37 has a number of verses in it that God has used in my life over the years.

V. 4 is one that a dear sweet elderly lady in my life shares a great deal… “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.”

That does mean… Love God, enjoy Him and you will get everything you want. To delight in the Lord, we spend time with Him in His Word and through prayer. The desires of our heart will line up with His will and will be of more importance than things.

Right now some of the desires of my heart are to know Him more… to be filled with His love to overflowing… to be acutely aware of sin in my life so that I can confess it quickly.. to love the Lord with all my heart, soul, mind and might.

I also have desires for my husband and children .. the main on being that they love the Lord with all their heart, soul, mind and might. (That is the best thing to pray for anyone!)

God has shown me (and continues to show me) the really important desires… the ones that last.

Ps. 37:5 is the verse God gave me when I first decided to Homeschool and was unsure of my ability to do so… “Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him and He will do this.”

Now the “this” in verse 5 refers to verse 6 which says “He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.”

But I believe when God led me to verse 5 as I prayed “How can I do this Lord.” He was answering me and I’ve seen Him do just what He promised.

Verse 7 is something God often calls me (all of us) to do and it isn’t easy not fun… “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him.”

When I’ve felt envious of others wealth and stuff, v. 16 he reminded me.. “Better the little that the righteous have than the wealth of many wicked.”

This is not to say all wealthy folks are wicked. It reminds me I have riches greater than the wealth here on earth.

Psalm 35

I have lived Psalm 35... I think most of us have. Obviously David is under attack and he starts off calmly crying out to God for help. He basically says, "When you do this, then I will rejoice." (v. 9) But apparently God isn't working the way David wants. I get the impression His time line is different than that of David's and David feels his prayers are going unanswered.. that God is not responding. "... when my prayers returned to me unanswered, I went about mourning." (v. 13-14)

He continues to cry out, but now with a bit of panic... excitement... in his words. Again, it is as if God's not there. "Don not be far from me, Lord. Aware and arise to my defense." (v. 22-23)

So why include a Psalm like this in the Bible? Because we all have times where we can't see or feel God at work. It may be a time of testing... of growth.. it could be of our own doing - unconfessed sin puts up a wall between us and God... no matter the reason, it isn't a fun place to be.

If you are there, ask God to show you if there is unconfessed sin in our life... truly seek to know this and deal with whatever He shows you.

If it isn't there, accept that God is at work in your life, just not in the way you want. Choose to trust Him. Follow David's example to cry out to Him.... tell Him how you feel...He can take it. And know that He is there at work and He has your best interest at heart.

Psalm 34

written Oct. 12, 2008

This Psalm contains one of my favorite Bible verses... "I sought the Lord and He answered me; He delivered me from all my fears." (v. 4)

God used this verse during one of the most difficult trials of my life. I still remember the exact moment He led me to it and He has continued to use it in my life.

Occasionally there is a verse that God shows me and writes on my heart without my having to work at learning it ... Ps. 34:4 is one of those verses.

This Psalm of David has many wonderful verses...

v. 1 -3 David talks of always praising God and encourages us to do the same.... and it seems to me the next several verses of this Psalm explains why we should praise Him.

v. 4 deliverance

v. 5 no shame

v. 6 saved

v. 7 Angel of the Lord surrounds us

v. 8 blessed

v. 9 lack nothing

v. 10 those who seek the Lord lack no good thing

David then teaches a bit about how we are to live...

1. 13 keep tongue from evil, no lies

v. 14 turn from evil, do good, seek peace

And once again he tells of all the Lord does for us....

v. 17-19 "The righteous cry out and the Lord hears them; He delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close tot he brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. A righteous man may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all."

Psalm 33

written Oct. 11, 2008

What a wonderful song of hope! The Psalmist starts off in verse 1 & 2 telling us to "sing joyfully to the Lord"... "praise the Lord" ... and the rest of this Psalm tells us why we are to do this. This Psalm is a picture of who God is and what He has done, is doing and will do. Really just a glimpse of all that for who can really grasp all God is and does!?

v. 4 "The Word of the Lord is right and true" Amen! How wonderful to know that we can stand on the promises knowing they are right and true!

v. 4 "He is faithful in ALL He does"

v. 5 "... the earth is full of His unfailing love"

v. 6-9 is a quick look at creation. I love being reminded that "by the Word of the Lord were the heavens made, their starry hosts by the breath of His mouth .... For He spoke and it came to be; He commanded and it stood firm."

Wow! I am always awed by the truth that God spoke the World into existence... I pray He speaks over me! Zeph. 3:17 tells me that He rejoices over me with singing.. how powerful that is in light of this reminder about the power in His Words.

v. 11 "The plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purpose of His heart through all generations"

God is not fickle or wishy-washy. He has had a plan from the beginning and He will see it through to the end.

v. 18 "The eyes of the Lord are on those who fear Him, on those whose hope is in His unfailing love."

May I be one whose hope is in His unfailing love!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Psalm 32

written October 7, 2008

The first five verses of Psalm 32 deal with confessing our sins. David reminds us that we are blessed because our sins are forgiven, they don't count against us (v. 1-2). Then verses 3 & 4 paint a picture of one who "hides" their sin, refuses to confess it... acknowledge it before the Lord... "my bones wasted away"... "groaning all day long"... "my strength was sapped." Surely unconfessed sin creates a wall between us and God -- it effects us spiritually, mentally, emotionally and this Psalm makes it clear that it effects us physically too. No doubt God allows this because He wants us to acknowledge our sin so we can have the blessing of forgiveness.

Verse 5 shows how quickly and easily we can have that blessing... "Then I acknowledged my sin to You and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, 'I will confess my transgressions to the Lord' and You forgave the guilt of my sin." It really is that simple! 1 John 1:9m says "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." Psalm 32:5 is a picture of that promise in action.

Verse 7 is one of my favorites:

You are my hiding place. You will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.

I love how God goes beyond for us. We see this over and over in the Word and verse 7 is a going beyond verse. God hides us when there is trouble and He protects us -- that in and of itself is more than we deserve but then we see that He "surrounds us with songs of deliverance." God confronts us by singing over us like a parent comforts a small child. I love the picture this verse creates in my mind of me being tucked up under God's wings -- safe, secure, close to Him and He is quietly singing words of peace and comfort to keep be calm and feeling secure.

Today, if you are feeling boxed in... pressed on all sides... stressed... worried... any and all of these worldly woes, follow Col. 3:2's exhortation and Look up! Set your mind on things above and You will experience Psalm 32:7 first hand. Keep your ears open and listen to the Father's perfect voice as He sings over you.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Psalm 31

written Oct. 6, 2008

Ps 31 is a cry for help... but a calm one... not a panicked prayer. I believe it is an example of what we are to do when we are in distress and feeling attacked. Throughout the Psalm David proclaims his trust in the Lord. He very confidently states what God has done and will do in his life. He does list his trouble,m but again there is no sense of panic here, but one of calm resolve and confidence in his Lord. In a way it is like he is reminding himself where his hope and confidence lie. I've done that too ... said the words even when my circumstances cause me to feel differently. Sometimes that is what it takes - a choice -- a determination to trust in WHO God is and WHAT He does no matter how we feel or what we see happening around us.

v. 1 In You, O Lord, I take my refuge

v. 3 You are my Rock and my Fortress

v. 5 Into Your hands I commit my spirit redeem me, O Lord, the God of truth.

v. 14 I trust in You, O Lord.

v. 15 My times are in Your hands.

v. 24 Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord.

Psalm 30

written September 30, 2008

As I was reading Psalm 30 today, it hit me that this is a Psalm of testimony. David is testifying to what God has done in his life:

He lifted me out of the depths (v. 1)
He healed me (v. 2)
He spared me (v. 3)
He favored me (v. 7)
He turned my wailing into dancing (v. 11)
He clothed me with joy (v. 11)

Do I need to be lifted out of the depths... healed... spared... favored... to dance... to have joy? I need only exalt my Lord (v. 10) and cry out to Him (v. 8) for He is my help (v. 10) and I am assured that no matter my circumstances "weeping may last for a night, but joy comes in the morning!" (v. 5) and so I will not remain silent, but instead my heart will sing to You, O Lord! (v. 12).

Psalms 28 & 29

written September 29, 2008

In Psalm 28, David cries out to His Lord who is his Rock (v. 10), his Strength and Shield (v. 7), the Strength of His people and a Fortress of Salvation (v. 8), and their Shepherd (v. 9). He is all that today and more! Jesus is our Lord ... our Rock... our Strength... our Shield... our Fortress of Salvation... our Shepherd. He hears our cries for mercy (v. 6) ... He saves His people and blesses His inheritance (v. 9).... He carries us forever (v. 9)... so our hearts can trust in Him and be filled with joy as we thank Him (v. 7).

The description of those who do evil on verse 3 is very poignant to me .. "Who speak cordially with their neighbors, but harbor malice in their hearts." Have I done this? Do I do this?

It reminds me of the verse in James about blessing and cursing coming from the same mouth. It is, to me, the picture of a liar... someone who is two-faced. This isn't to say that is you feel malice or have hard feelings toward someone, you should be rude to them.... in fact, your mouth isn't the problem... you heart is. If you feel these things about someone, you need to get before the throne and pour it all out to the Lord. He can take it... He already knows what you are feeling. There is no place for malice in the heart of a Believer and only God can remove it.... and it must be removed!

If we have malice in our heart, then we cannot love the Lord our God with all our heart and we certainly cannot love our neighbor as ourselves. If malice is there, quickly... immediately... go to the Lord and confess it all to Him.

If malice is not there, don't feel superior or safe... any of us can fall prey to our flesh. Guard your heart... stay in fellowship with Jesus... and take any wrong feeling, emotion, attitude etc. to Him. Even those small irritations can grow into something large and damaging.


I love Psalm 29 -- it is a wonderful Psalm of Praise and so powerful!

Verse 1 & 2 tells us to "Ascribe to the Lord glory and strength... the glory due His name; worship the Lord in the splendor of His holiness." WOW! Do I do that? Do I truly do that?

We need to keep Him before us... to remind ourselves daily of WHO God is and WHAT He has done. Verses 3- 11 of this Psalm paint an amazing picture of our Lord...

The voice of the LORD is over the waters; the God of glory thunders,the LORD thunders over the mighty waters. The voice of the LORD is powerful; the voice of the LORD is majestic. The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars; the LORD breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon. He makes Lebanon skip like a calf, Sirion like a young wild ox. The voice of the LORD strikes with flashes of lightning. The voice of the LORD shakes the desert; the LORD shakes the Desert of Kadesh. The voice of the LORD twists the oaks and strips the forests bare. And in his temple all cry, "Glory!" The LORD sits enthroned over the flood; the LORD is enthroned as King forever. The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace.

I encourage you to take time daily to sit and listen for the voice of the Lord and to look for all the signs of His might and power in the world around us.

Monday, October 6, 2008


I continue to read through the Psalms.. slowly... and I am enjoying them and all that God is showing me but this morning I was just in need of a personal word... I asked God to give me that... to give me a verse to hang onto this week. I have a very hectic week ahead with lots of extra activity (all good, but still...) and there are some things weighing heavy on my heart right now (I keep giving them to Him and taking them back)... He lead me to read Colossians 3, which is a most awesome passage full of great scriptures... the one that kept ringing in my mind... the one I know was His Word for me... is verse 2 which says "Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things."

A short simple straightforward verse... but wow! It is exactly what I need to do.. what we all need to do.. always! And that is my prayer today... that when I feel the weight of the world creeping in.. when I feel the lures of the world calling me... in the midst of having to be IN this world and surrounded by all that comes with it... I will look up! Not that I won't deal with stuff and people, but my focus will be on things above... my heart set on them.. my hope in HIM!

I pray that for each of you today... LOOK UP! The view is great!