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Praises for Life - Man

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Introduction to the Genesis Psalms Book 1

Every emotion of the heart is reflected in the Psalms with words that express our deepest and strongest feelings. They provide comfort and joy, leading us to the place where worship flows. Psalms is divided into five books, mirroring the Five Books of Moses that form the first few books of the Old Testament. Together they convey the depth of our longings and fears, joys and celebrations, becoming a mirror to the heart of God’s people in our quest to experience God’s presence. Book One of Psalms is the Genesis Psalms, composed of poems and songs of man and creation. They explore the splendor of our world in all of its glory and grandeur, the way of righteousness versus the way of the wicked, and the glory and honor of mankind. You’ll discover more of who our Creator is as our Best Friend, Good Shepherd, and Mighty One. There are songs of praise for God’s goodness and glory. There are songs of lament for man’s wickedness and injustice. And finally, there are prayers
and strongest feelings. They provide comfort and joy, leading us to the place where worship
flows. Psalms is divided into five books, mirroring the Five Books of Moses that form the
first few books of the Old Testament. Together they convey the depth of our longings and
fears, joys and celebrations, becoming a mirror to the heart of God’s people in our quest to
experience God’s presence. Book One of Psalms is the Genesis Psalms, composed of poems
and songs of man and creation. They explore the splendor of our world in all of its glory
and grandeur, the way of righteousness versus the way of the wicked, and the glory and
honor of mankind. You’ll discover more of who our Creator is as our Best Friend, Good
Shepherd, and Mighty One. There are songs of praise for God’s goodness and glory. There
are songs of lament for man’s wickedness and injustice. And finally, there are prayers
reflecting human frailty: the ones for help and healing, protection and provision, and trouble and thanksgiving. We’ve designed this study to help you explore these praises and prayers placed inside poems that spill out of a fiery, passionate heart. May the study of this poetry on fire free you to become a passionate, sincere worshiper, and to experience the heart of God anew in faith and worship
trouble and thanksgiving. We’ve designed this study to help you explore these praises and
prayers placed inside poems that spill out of a fiery, passionate heart. May the study of this
The Pathways of God’s Pleasure vs. Man’s Pleasure - , ,
poetry on fire free you to become a passionate, sincere worshiper, and to experience the
heart of God anew in faith and worship

The Pathways of God’s Pleasure vs. Man’s Pleasure - , ,

:This Psalm may be regarded as THE PREFACE PSALM, having in it a notification of the contents of the entire Book. It is the psalmist’s desire to teach us the way to blessedness, and to warn us of the sure destruction of sinners. When men are living in sin they go from bad to worse. At first they merely walk in the counsel of the careless and ungodly, who forget God—the evil is rather practical than habitual—but after that, they become habituated to evil, and they stand in the way of open sinners who willfully violate God’s commandments; and if left alone, they go one step further, and become themselves pestilent teachers and tempters of others, and thus they sit in the seat of the scornful. But the blessed man, the man to whom all the blessings of God belong, can hold no communion with such characters as these.(Note : The positive character. “His delight is in the law of the Lord” He is not under the law as a curse and condemnation, but he is in it, and he delights to be in it as his rule of life; he delights, moreover, to meditate in it, to read it by day, and think upon it by night. )He keeps himself pure from these lepers; he puts away evil things from him as garments spotted by the flesh; he comes out from among the wicked, and goes without the camp, bearing the reproach of Christ. For grace to be thus separate from sinners.
contents of the entire Book. It is the psalmist’s desire to teach us the way to blessedness, and
to warn us of the sure destruction of sinners.

3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,

which yields its fruit in season

and whose leaf does not wither—

whatever they do prospers.

When men are living in sin they go from bad to worse. At first they merely walk in the

And he shall be like a tree planted;” not a wild tree, but “a tree planted,” chosen, considered as property, cultivated and secured from the last terrible uprooting, for “every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up:” Matthew 15:13. “By the rivers of water;” so that even if one river should fall, he hath another. The rivers of pardon and the rivers of grace, the rivers of the promise and the rivers of the communion with Christ, are never-failing sources of supply. He is “like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season;” not unseasonable graces, like untimely figs, which are never full-flavoured. But the man who delights in God’s Word, being taught by it, bringeth forth patience in the time of suffering, faith in the day of trial, and holy joy in the hour of prosperity. Fruitfulness is an essential quality of a gracious man, and that fruitfulness should be seasonable. “His leaf also shall not wither;” his faintest word shall be everlasting; his little deeds of love shall be had in remembrance. Not simply shall his fruit be preserved, but his leaf also. He shall neither lose his beauty nor his fruitfulness. “And whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.” Blessed is the man who hath such a promise as this. But we must not always estimate the fulfilment of a promise by our own eye-sight. How often, my brethren, if we judge by feeble sense, may we come to the mournful conclusion of Jacob, “All these things are against me!” For though we know our interest in the promise, yet are we so tried and troubled, that sight sees the very reverse of what that promise foretells. But to the eye of faith this word is sure, and by it we perceive that our works are prospered, even when everything seems to go against us. It is not outward prosperity which the Christian most desires and values; it is soul prosperity which he longs for. We often, like Jehoshaphat, make ships to go to Tarshish for gold, but they are broken at Ezion-geber; but even here there is a true prospering, for it is often for the soul’s health that we should be poor, bereaved, and persecuted. Our worst things are often our best things. As there is a curse wrapped up in the wicked man’s mercies, so there is a blessing concealed in the righteous man’s crosses, losses, and sorrows. The trials of the saint are a divine husbandry, by which he grows and brings forth abundant fruit.

counsel of the careless and ungodly, who forget God—the evil is rather practical than
habitual—but after that, they become habituated to evil, and they stand in the way of open
sinners who willfully violate God’s commandments; and if let alone, they go one step further, and become themselves pestilent teachers and tempters of others, and thus they sit in the seat of the scornful. But the blessed man, the man to whom all the blessings of God belong, can hold no communion with such characters as these. He keeps himself pure from these lepers; he puts away evil things from him as garments spotted by the flesh; he comes out from among the wicked, and goes without the camp, bearing the reproach of Christ. For grace to be thus separate from sinners There are two paths in life: one is the pathway of the righteous, the other is of the wicked.
There are two paths in life: one is the pathway of the righteous, the other is of the wicked.
further, and become themselves pestilent teachers and tempters of others, and thus they sit
in the seat of the scornful. But the blessed man, the man to whom all the blessings of God
belong, can hold no communion with such characters as these. He keeps himself pure from
Spurgeon, C. H. (n.d.). The treasury of David: (Vol. 1, p. 2). London; Edinburgh; New York: Marshall Brothers.He keeps himself pure from these lepers; he puts away evil things from him as garments spotted by the flesh; he comes out from among the wicked, and goes without the camp, bearing the reproach of Christ. For grace to be thus separate from sinners There are two paths in life: one is the pathway of the righteous, the other is of the wicked.
these lepers; he puts away evil things from him as garments spotted by the flesh; he comes
out from among the wicked, and goes without the camp, bearing the reproach of Christ. O
for grace to be thus separate from sinners
There are two paths in life: one is the pathway of the righteous, the other is of the wicked.
Robert Frost echoes the Hebrew poet:

The Road Not Taken

TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And look down one as far as I could
To where it bent the undergrowth; 5
Every emotion of the heart is reflected in the Psalms with words that express our deepest
Watch Amazing Journey Video
Every emotion of the heart is reflected in the Psalms with words that express our deepest
Then took the other, as just as fair,
and strongest feelings. They provide comfort and joy, leading us to the place where worship
and strongest feelings. They provide comfort and joy, leading us to the place where worship
“Get
And having perhaps the better claim,
flows. Psalms is divided into five books, mirroring the Five Books of Moses that form the
flows. Psalms is divided into five books, mirroring the Five Books of Moses that form the
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
first few books of the Old Testament. Together they convey the depth of our longings and
first few books of the Old Testament. Together they convey the depth of our longings and
Though as for that the passing there
fears, joys and celebrations, becoming a mirror to the heart of God’s people in our quest to
fears, joys and celebrations, becoming a mirror to the heart of God’s people in our quest to
Had worn them really about the same, 10
experience God’s presence. Book One of Psalms is the Genesis Psalms, composed of poems
experience God’s presence. Book One of Psalms is the Genesis Psalms, composed of poems
and songs of man and creation. They explore the splendor of our world in all of its glory
And both that morning equally lay
and songs of man and creation. They explore the splendor of our world in all of its glory
In leaves no step had trodden black.
and grandeur, the way of righteousness versus the way of the wicked, and the glory and
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
and grandeur, the way of righteousness versus the way of the wicked, and the glory and
honor of mankind. You’ll discover more of who our Creator is as our Best Friend, Good
honor of mankind. You’ll discover more of who our Creator is as our Best Friend, Good
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
Shepherd, and Mighty One. There are songs of praise for God’s goodness and glory. There
I doubted if I should ever come back. 15
Shepherd, and Mighty One. There are songs of praise for God’s goodness and glory. There
are songs of lament for man’s wickedness and injustice. And finally, there are prayers
are songs of lament for man’s wickedness and injustice. And finally, there are prayers
reflecting human frailty: the ones for help and healing, protection and provision, and
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
reflecting human frailty: the ones for help and healing, protection and provision, and
trouble and thanksgiving. We’ve designed this study to help you explore these praises and
prayers placed inside poems that spill out of a fiery, passionate heart. May the study of this
trouble and thanksgiving. We’ve designed this study to help you explore these praises and
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
poetry on fire free you to become a passionate, sincere worshiper, and to experience the
prayers placed inside poems that spill out of a fiery, passionate heart. May the study of this
I took the one less traveled by,
heart of God anew in faith and worship
And that has made all the difference. 20
poetry on fire free you to become a passionate, sincere worshiper, and to experience the
The Pathways of God’s Pleasure vs. Man’s Pleasure - , ,
heart of God anew in faith and worship
The road less traveled by does make all the difference, for it is the pathway of God’s pleasures. Which path are you taking?
This Psalm may be regarded as THE PREFACE PSALM, having in it a notification of the
:
The Pathways of God’s Pleasure vs. Man’s Pleasure - , ,
path are you taking?
Why do the heathen rage,
And the people imagine a vain thing?
2  The kings of the earth set themselves,
And the rulers take counsel together,
Against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying,
3  Let us break their bands asunder,
And cast away their cords from us.
contents of the entire Book. It is the psalmist’s desire to teach us the way to blessedness, and

We have, in these first three verses, a description of the hatred of human nature against the Christ of God. No better comment is needed upon it than the apostolic song in Acts 4:27, 28: “For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, for to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.”

: There are two sorts of prayers—those expressed in words, and the unuttered longings which abide as silent meditations. Words are not the essence but the garments of prayer. Moses at the Red Sea cried to God, though he said nothing. Yet the use of language may prevent distraction of mind, may assist the powers of the soul, and may excite devotion. David, we observe, uses both modes of prayer, and craves for the one a hearing, and for the other a consideration. What an expressive word! “Consider my meditation.” If I have asked that which is right, give it to me; if I have omitted to ask that which I most needed, fill up the vacancy in my prayer. “Consider my meditation.” Let thy holy soul consider it as presented through my all-glorious Mediator: then regard thou it in thy wisdom, weigh it in the scales, judge thou of my sincerity, and of the true state of my necessities, and answer me in due time for thy mercy’s sake! There may be prevailing intercession where there are no words; and alas! there may be words where there is no true supplication. Let us cultivate the spirit of prayer which is even better than the habit of prayer. There may be seeming prayer where there is little devotion. We should begin to pray before we kneel down, and we should not cease when we rise up.

Our True Hero, Champion Defender, and Healer , , , AND 7

Spurgeon, C. H. (n.d.). The treasury of David: (Vol. 1, p. 45). London; Edinburgh; New York: Marshall Brothers.
This Psalm may be regarded as THE PREFACE PSALM, having in it a notification of the

Our True Hero, Champion Defender, and Healer , , , AND 7

to warn us of the sure destruction of sinners.
David had many enemies who were against him, from Saul to his very own son Absalom. Yet from the depths of his heart he knew who was his true Shield: The Lord! He cried out to him from the depths of despair for help, and it was the Lord who came to his rescue as his true Hero. This is why every time he needed help, David ran to the Lord in prayer. He prayed that the Lord wouldn’t condemn him or punish him in anger, but that he would heal him and restore him. He prayed that the Lord wouldn’t leave him helpless and let his foes triumph over him, but that he would be his that much, and we experience the same emotions as did David, “a man after God’s own heart” ()?
contents of the entire Book. It is the psalmist’s desire to teach us the way to blessedness, and
When men are living in sin they go from bad to worse. At first they merely walk in the
to warn us of the sure destruction of sinners.
depths of his heart he knew who was his true Shield: The Lord! He cried out to him from the depths of
counsel of the careless and ungodly, who forget God—the evil is rather practical than
despair for help, and it was the Lord who came to his rescue as his true Hero. This is why every time he
When men are living in sin they go from bad to worse. At first they merely walk in the
habitual—but after that, they become habituated to evil, and they stand in the way of open

” You will remember the sad story of David’s flight from his own palace, when, in the dead of the night, he forded the brook Kedron, and went with a few faithful followers to hide himself for awhile from the fury of his rebellious son. Remember that David in this was a type of the Lord Jesus Christ. He, too, fled; he, too, passed over the brook Kedron when his own people were in rebellion against him, and with a feeble band of followers he went to the garden of Gethsemane. He, too, drank of the brook by the way, and therefore doth he lift up the head.

” You will remember the sad story of David’s flight from his own palace, when, in the dead of the night, he forded the brook Kedron, and went with a few faithful followers to hide himself for awhile from the fury of his rebellious son. Remember that David in this was a type of the Lord Jesus Christ. He, too, fled; he, too, passed over the brook Kedron when his own people were in rebellion against him, and with a feeble band of followers he went to the garden of Gethsemane. He, too, drank of the brook by the way, and therefore doth he lift up the head.

counsel of the careless and ungodly, who forget God—the evil is rather practical than
needed help, David ran to the Lord in prayer. He prayed that the Lord wouldn’t condemn him or
sinners who willfully violate God’s commandments; and if let alone, they go one step
habitual—but after that, they become habituated to evil, and they stand in the way of open
punish him in anger, but that he would heal him and restore him. He prayed that the Lord wouldn’t
further, and become themselves pestilent teachers and tempters of others, and thus they sit
leave him helpless and let his foes triumph over him, but that he would be his that much, and we
sinners who willfully violate God’s commandments; and if let alone, they go one step
in the seat of the scornful. But the blessed man, the man to whom all the blessings of God
4: HEAR me when I call, O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer.
This is another instance of David’s common habit of pleading past mercies as a ground for present favor. Here he reviews his Ebenezers and takes comfort from them. It is not to be imagined that he who has helped us in six troubles will leave us in the seventh. God does nothing by halves, and he will never cease to help us until we cease to need. The manna shall fall every morning until we cross the Jordan.
experience the same emotions as did David, “a man after God’s own heart” ()?
further, and become themselves pestilent teachers and tempters of others, and thus they sit
belong, can hold no communion with such characters as these. He keeps himself pure from
Observe, that David speaks first to God and then to men. Surely we should all speak the more boldly to men if we had more constant converse with God. He who dares to face his Maker will not tremble before the sons of men.
The name by which the Lord is here addressed, “God of my righteousness,” deserves notice, since it is not used in any other part of Scripture. It means, Thou art the author, the witness, the maintainer, the judge, and the rewarder of my righteousness; to thee I appeal from the slander and harsh judgments of men. Herein is wisdom, let us imitate it and always take our suit, not to the petty courts of human opinion, but into the superior court, the King’s Bench of heaven.

In this second division of the Psalm, we are led from the closet of prayer into the field of conflict. Remark the undaunted courage of the man of God. He allows that his enemies are great men (for such is the import of the Hebrew words translated—sons of men), but still he believes them to be foolish men, and therefore chides them, as though they were but children. He tells them that they love vanity, and seek after leasing, that is, lying, empty fancies, vain conceits, wicked fabrications. He asks them how long they mean to make his honour a jest, and his fame a mockery? A little of such mirth is too much, why need they continue to indulge in it? Had they not been long enough upon the watch for his halting? Had not repeated disappointments convinced them that the Lord’s anointed was not to be overcome by all their calumnies? Did they mean to jest their souls into hell, and go on with their laughter until swift vengeance should turn their merriment into howling? In the contemplation of their perverse continuance in their vain and lying pursuits, the Psalmist solemnly pauses and inserts a Selah. Surely we too may stop awhile, and meditate upon the deep-seated folly of the wicked, their continuance in evil, and their sure destruction; and we may learn to admire that grace which has made us to differ, and taught us to love truth, and seek after righteousness

In this second division of the Psalm, we are led from the closet of prayer into the field of conflict. Remark the undaunted courage of the man of God. He allows that his enemies are great men (for such is the import of the Hebrew words translated—sons of men), but still he believes them to be foolish men, and therefore chides them, as though they were but children. He tells them that they love vanity, and seek after leasing, that is, lying, empty fancies, vain conceits, wicked fabrications. He asks them how long they mean to make his honour a jest, and his fame a mockery? A little of such mirth is too much, why need they continue to indulge in it? Had they not been long enough upon the watch for his halting? Had not repeated disappointments convinced them that the Lord’s anointed was not to be overcome by all their calumnies? Did they mean to jest their souls into hell, and go on with their laughter until swift vengeance should turn their merriment into howling? In the contemplation of their perverse continuance in their vain and lying pursuits, the Psalmist solemnly pauses and inserts a Selah. Surely we too may stop awhile, and meditate upon the deep-seated folly of the wicked, their continuance in evil, and their sure destruction; and we may learn to admire that grace which has made us to differ, and taught us to love truth, and seek after righteousness

these lepers; he puts away evil things from him as garments spotted by the flesh; he comes
in the seat of the scornful. But the blessed man, the man to whom all the blessings of God
: The Psalmist is very conscious that he deserves to be rebuked, and he feels, moreover, that the rebuke in some form or other must come upon him, if not for condemnation, yet for conviction and sanctification. He does not ask that the rebuke may be totally withheld, for he might thus lose a blessing in disguise; but, “Lord, rebuke me not in thine anger.” If thou remindest me of my sin, it is good; but, oh, remind me not of it as one incensed against me, lest thy servant’s heart should sink in despair.

David has found peace, and rising from his knees he begins to sweep his house of the wicked. “Depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.” The best remedy for us against an evil man is a long space between us both. “Get ye gone; I can have no fellowship with you.” Repentance is a practical thing. It is not enough to bemoan the desecration of the temple of the heart, we must scourge out the buyers and sellers, and overturn the tables of the money changers. A pardoned sinner will hate the sins which cost the Saviour his blood. Grace and sin are quarrelsome neighbours, and one or the other must go to the wall.

Spurgeon, C. H. (n.d.). The treasury of David: (Vol. 1, p. 34). London; Edinburgh; New York: Marshall Brothers.

He does not ask that the rebuke may be totally withheld, for he might thus lose a blessing in disguise; but, “Lord, rebuke me not in thine anger

David has found peace, and rising from his knees he begins to sweep his house of the wicked. “Depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.” The best remedy for us against an evil man is a long space between us both. “Get ye gone; I can have no fellowship with you.” Repentance is a practical thing. It is not enough to bemoan the desecration of the temple of the heart, we must scourge out the buyers and sellers, and overturn the tables of the money changers. A pardoned sinner will hate the sins which cost the Saviour his blood. Grace and sin are quarrelsome neighbours, and one or the other must go to the wall.

The Holy Spirit had wrought into the Psalmist’s mind the confidence that his prayer was heard. This is frequently the privilege of the saints. Praying the prayer of faith, they are often infallibly assured that they have prevailed with God. We read of Luther that, having on one occasion wrestled hard with God in prayer, he came leaping out of his closet crying, “Vicimus, vicimus;” that is, “We have conquered, we have prevailed with God.” Assured confidence is no idle dream, for when the Holy Ghost bestows it upon us, we know its reality, and could not doubt it, even though all men should deride our boldness

Spurgeon, C. H. (n.d.). The treasury of David: (Vol. 1, p. 56). London; Edinburgh; New York: Marshall Brothers.

The Always-Hearing, Ready-to-Act God of the Oppressed

out from among the wicked, and goes without the camp, bearing the reproach of Christ. O
belong, can hold no communion with such characters as these. He keeps himself pure from

The Always-Hearing, Ready-to-Act God of the Oppressed

for grace to be thus separate from sinners
these lepers; he puts away evil things from him as garments spotted by the flesh; he comes
There are two paths in life: one is the pathway of the righteous, the other is of the wicked.
out from among the wicked, and goes without the camp, bearing the reproach of Christ. O

, , , AND 12

Robert Frost echoes the Hebrew poet:
for grace to be thus separate from sinners
The Road Not Taken
We live in a day of oppression and exploitation. Whether economic or political, racial or ethnic, or even religious—oppression is a feature of our lives and the created order because of the wickedness of men and fallenness of creation. Israel understood this well; their story was one of constant oppression. The book of Exodus opens with this very theme. God’s people had grown numerous—so numerous that they threatened the established powers and economic balance. So, the empire enslaved them, and they cried out to God for help. says their cries drifted up to God like the smoke of a fragrant offering reaching every one of his senses. God saw their plight, heard their cries, and remembered his covenant with them. And then he acted. You know what? He still does! This lesson blossoms with a bouquet of psalms testifying to the always- hearing, ready-to-act God who stands up for our cause, is a stronghold for the weak, saves the humiliated, and shelters the oppressed. We are invited to join David in not only offering our praise to the God of the oppressed but also offering our prayers to him. Just like Israel did.
There are two paths in life: one is the pathway of the righteous, the other is of the wicked.
TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
Robert Frost echoes the Hebrew poet:
or even religious—oppression is a feature of our lives and the created order because of the
And sorry I could not travel both
The Road Not Taken
wickedness of men and fallenness of creation.
And be one traveler, long I stood
TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And look down one as far as I could
And sorry I could not travel both
Israel understood this well; their story was one of constant oppression. The book of Exodus opens
To where it bent the undergrowth; 5
with this very theme. God’s people had grown numerous—so numerous that they threatened the established powers and economic balance. So, the empire enslaved them, and they cried out to God for help. says their cries drifted up to God like the smoke of a fragrant offering reaching every one of his senses. God saw their plight, heard their cries, and remembered his covenant with them. And then he acted. You know what? He still does! This lesson blossoms with a bouquet of psalms testifying to the always- hearing, ready-to-act God who stands up for our cause, is a stronghold for the weak, saves the humiliated, and shelters the oppressed. We are invited to join David in not only offering our praise to the God of the oppressed but also offering our prayers to him. Just like Israel did.
And be one traveler, long I stood
z
established powers and economic balance. So, the empire enslaved them, and they cried out to God
And look down one as far as I could
Watch Amazing Journey Video
To where it bent the undergrowth; 5
for help. says their cries drifted up to God like the smoke of a fragrant offering
“Get
reaching every one of his senses. God saw their plight, heard their cries, and remembered his
covenant with them. And then he acted.
Watch Amazing Journey Video
“Get
You know what? He still does! This lesson blossoms with a bouquet of psalms testifying to the
always- hearing, ready-to-act God who stands up for our cause, is a stronghold for the weak, saves
the humiliated, and shelters the oppressed. We are invited to join David in not only offering our praise to the God of the oppressed but also offering our prayers to him. Just like Israel did.
ressed. We are invited to join David in not only offering our praise to
e God of the oppressed but also offering our prayers to him. Just like Israel did.
Though this world can be oppressive, we can enter it each day knowing there is one who is far greater and more powerful: the always-hearing, ready-to act God of the oppressed. He will shelter us and he will act to punish the oppressors. He will arise to help and rescue us because we are immensely valuable—just as he did for Israel and David.
greater and more powerful: the always-hearing, ready-to act God of the oppressed. He will shelter us

The first and last verses are a sweet song of admiration, in which the excellence of the name of God is extolled. The intermediate verses are made up of holy wonder at the Lord’s greatness in creation, and at his condescension towards man. Poole, in his annotation, has well said, “It is a great question among interpreters, whether this Psalm speaks of man in general, and of the honour which God puts upon him in his creation; or only of the man Christ Jesus. Possibly both may be reconciled and put together, and the controversy, if rightly stated, may be ended, for the scope and business of this Psalm seems plainly to be this: to display and celebrate the great love and kindness of God to mankind, not only in his creation, but especially in his redemption by Jesus Christ, whom, as he was man, he advanced to the honour and dominion here mentioned, that he might carry on his great and glorious work. So Christ is the principal subject of this Psalm, and it is interpreted of him, both by our Lord himself (Matt. 21:16), and by his holy apostle (1 Cor. 15:27; Heb. 2:6, 7).

and he will act to punish the oppressors. He will arise to help and rescue us because we are

From verses 1 to 6 is a song of jubilant thanksgiving; from 7 to 12, there is a continual declaration of faith as to the future. Prayer closes the first great division of the Psalm in verses 13 and 14. The second portion of this triumphal ode, although much shorter, is parallel in all its parts to the first portion, and is a sort of rehearsal of it. Observe the song for past judgments, verses 15, 16; the declaration of trust in future justice, 17, 18; and the closing prayer, 19, 20. Let us celebrate the conquests of the Redeemer as we read this Psalm, and it cannot but be a delightful task if the Holy Ghost be with us.

Charles Simeon gives an excellent summary of this Psalm in the following sentences:—“The Psalms are a rich repository of experimental knowledge. David, at the different periods of his life, was placed in almost every situation in which a believer, whether rich or poor, can be placed; and in these heavenly compositions he delineates all the workings of the heart. He introduces, too, the sentiments and conduct of the various persons who were accessory either to his troubles or his joys; and thus sets before us a compendium of all that is passing in the hearts of men throughout the world. When he penned this Psalm he was under persecution from Saul, who sought his life, and hunted him ‘as a partridge upon the mountains.’ His timid friends were alarmed for his safety, and recommended him to flee to some mountain where he had a hiding-place, and thus to conceal himself from the rage of Saul. But David, being strong in faith, spurned the idea of resorting to any such pusillanimous expedients, and determined confidently to repose his trust in God.”

immensely valuable—just as he did for Israel and David.

The subject will be the better before the mind’s eye if we entitle this Psalm: “GOOD THOUGHTS IN BAD TIMES.” It is supposed to have been written while Saul was persecuting David, and those who favoured his cause

How Much Longer, Lord?

, , , AND 20

How often do you long for God to do something about this broken world and the things that people do? We feel this burden when another terrorist bomb goes off—whether in our own country or someone else’s. Or when a tsunami or hurricane decimates a coastal village. More often we feel it personally when evil encroaches on our lives through sickness, job loss, gossip, or death.
do? We feel this burden when another terrorist bomb goes off—whether in our own country or
someone else’s. Or when a tsunami or hurricane decimates a coastal village. More often we feel it
David sure felt this longing at different times in his life. He also wondered where on earth the Lord had gone. Perhaps you can relate. But you know what we discover in today’s psalms? Something we can emulate in our own lives. With all the evil he witnessed and all the oppression he experienced, David asked the Lord, “How much longer?” He asked him why it seemed he stood so far off. He prayed that the Lord would punish the wicked. He cried out for justice. He told God he was hurting, and then asked him to do something about it.
personally when evil encroaches on our lives through sickness, job loss, gossip, or death.
David sure felt this longing at different times in his life. He also wondered where on earth the Lord
had gone. Perhaps you can relate. But you know what we discover in today’s psalms? Something we
can emulate in our own lives. With all the evil he witnessed and all the oppression he experienced,
David asked the Lord, “How much longer?” He asked him why it seemed he stood so far off. He
prayed that the Lord would punish the wicked. He cried out for justice. He told God he was hurting,
and then asked him to do something about it.
We discover something else David did as well: he trusted. He believed that God would not only listen to him but also answer him. And that made all the difference.
listen to him but also answer him. And that made all the difference.
Alongside David’s cry for justice was a song of trust. Yes, he wondered where God was and when he would help. But he also declared, “I know God gives me all that I ask for and brings victory to his anointed king. My deliverance cry will be heard in his holy heaven” (20:6). May you feel the freedom to echo David’s own cries while joining him in his declaration of trust.
would help. But he also declared, “I know God gives me all that I ask for and brings victory to his

Since this Psalm has no title of its own, it is supposed by some to be a fragment of Psalm 9. We prefer, however, since it is complete in itself, to consider it as a separate composition. We have had instances already of Psalms which seem meant to form a pair (Ps. 1 and 2, Ps. 3 and 4), and this, with the ninth, is another specimen of the double Psalm.

The prevailing theme seems to be the oppression and persecution of the wicked;

anointed king. My deliverance cry will be heard in his holy heaven” (20:6). May you feel the freedom
: The Psalm cannot be referred to any especial event or period in David’s history. All attempts to find it a birthplace are but guesses. It was, doubtless, more than once the language of that much tried man of God, and is intended to express the feelings of the people of God in those ever-returning trials which beset them.

This Psalm is very readily to be divided into three parts:—the question of anxiety, 1, 2; the cry of prayer, 3, 4; the song of faith, 5, 6.

to echo David’s own cries while joining him in his declaration of trust.

David would not have been a man after God’s own heart, if he had not been a man of prayer. He was a master in the sacred art of supplication. He flies to prayer in all times of need, as a pilot speeds to the harbour in the stress of tempest. So frequent were David’s prayers that they could not all be dated and entitled; and hence this simply bears the author’s name, and nothing more. The smell of the furnace is upon the present Psalm, but there is evidence in the last verse that he who wrote it came unharmed out of the flame.

In verses 1–4, David craves justice in the controversy between him and his oppressors. In verses 5 and 6, he requests of the Lord grace to act rightly while under the trial. From verse 7–12, he seeks protection from his foes, whom he graphically describes; and in verses 13 and 14, pleads that they may be disappointed; closing the whole in the most comfortable confidence that all would certainly be well with himself at the last.

We have before us a National Anthem, fitted to be sung at the outbreak of war, when the monarch was girding on his sword for the fight. If David had not been vexed with wars, we might never have been favoured with such Psalms as this. There is a needs be for the trials of one saint, that he may yield consolation to others. A happy people here plead for a beloved sovereign, and with loving hearts cry to Jehovah, “God save the King.” We gather that this song was intended to be sung in public, not only from the matter of the song, but also from its dedication “To the Chief Musician.” We know its author to have been Israel’s sweet singer, from the short title, “A Psalm of David.” The particular occasion which suggested it, it would be mere folly to conjecture, for Israel was almost always at war in David’s day. His sword may have been hacked, but it was never rusted. Kimchi reads the title, concerning David, or, for David, and it is clear that the King is the subject as well as the composer of the song. It needs but a moment’s reflection to perceive that this hymn of prayer is prophetical of our Lord Jesus, and is the cry of the ancient church on behalf of her Lord, as she sees him in vision enduring a great fight of afflictions on her behalf. The militant people of God, with the great Captain of salvation at their head, may still in earnest plead that the pleasure of the Lord may prosper in his hand.

My Prize, My Pleasure, My Portion , , AND 16

My Prize, My Pleasure, My Portion , , AND 16

Our lives are filled to the brim with trinkets that sing for our heart’s attention, trying to fill the God shaped hole in all of us. The typical, obvious dangers like money and possessions have been wrapping themselves around our souls like tentacles from the dawn of time. But there are less obvious newer ones too. Social networking sites, for instance, promise instant praise and adoration, feeding our longing to be liked and applauded.
hole in all of us. The typical, obvious dangers like money and possessions have been wrapping themselves around our souls like tentacles from the dawn of time. But there are less obvious newer ones too. Social networking sites, for instance, promise instant praise and adoration, feeding our longing to be liked and applauded.
are less obvious newer ones too. Social networking sites, for instance, promise instant praise and
been wrapping
adoration, feeding our longing to be liked and applauded.
These two examples illustrate something that: from the beginning of our creation, God has longed to be enough for us—which we try to deny at every turn. Some people insist there is no God and live as if that’s true. Some imagine their “Safe Place” (16:1) is rooted in the above examples of money and social approval. Others presume the privilege of being close to God and finding what they need in him but don’t want to do what the Lord requires of them. Discover below what it means and how it looks to choose the Lord alone as our inheritance—to find in him our prize, our pleasure, and our portion.
our creation, God has longed to be enough for us—which we try to deny at every turn. Some
people insist there is no God and live as if that’s true. Some imagine their “Safe Place” (16:1) is
rooted in the above examples of money and social approval. Others presume the privilege of being
close to God and finding what they need in him but don’t want to do what the Lord requires of
them. Discover below what it means and how it looks to choose the Lord alone as our inheritance—to find in him our prize, our pleasure, and our portion.
to find in him our prize, our pleasure, and our portion.
David is right: there is no one who seeks God, not even one! Not only has humanity wandered astray, stubbornly walking in evil, but they also find their dwelling and satisfaction in everything but the Lord. May we join David in not only daily dwelling with the Lord; may we also find our inheritance in the Lord—making him our prize, pleasure, and portion forever!
astray, stubbornly walking in evil, but they also find their dwelling and satisfaction in everything but

The fool.” The Atheist is the fool pre-eminently, and a fool universally. He would not deny God if he were not a fool by nature, and having denied God it is no marvel that he becomes a fool in practice. Sin is always folly, and as it is the height of sin to attack the very existence of the Most High, so is it also the greatest imaginable folly. To say there is no God is to belie the plainest evidence, which is obstinacy; to oppose the common consent of mankind, which is stupidity; to stifle consciousness, which is madness. If the sinner could by his atheism destroy the God whom he hates there were some sense, although much wickedness, in his infidelity; but as denying the existence of fire does not prevent its burning a man who is in it, so doubting the existence of God will not stop the Judge of all the earth from destroying the rebel who breaks his laws; nay, this atheism is a crime which much provokes heaven, and will bring down terrible vengeance on the fool who indulges it. The proverb says, “A fool’s tongue cuts his own throat,” and in this instance it kills both soul and body for ever: would to God the mischief stopped even there, but alas! one fool makes hundreds, and a noisy blasphemer spreads his horrible doctrines as lepers spread the plague. Ainsworth, in his “Annotations,” tells us that the word here used is Nabal, which has the signification of fading, dying, or falling away, as a withered leaf or flower; it is a title given to the foolish man as having lost the juice and sap of wisdom, reason, honesty, and godliness. Trapp hits the mark when he calls him “that sapless fellow, that carcase of a man, that walking sepulchre of himself, in whom all religion and right reason is withered and wasted, dried up and decayed.” Some translate it the apostate, and others the wretch. With what earnestness should we shun the appearance of doubt as to the presence, activity, power and love of God, for all such mistrust is of the nature of folly, and who among us would wish to be ranked with the fool in the text? Yet let us never forget that all unregenerate men are more or less such fools.

The fool “hath said in his heart.” May a man with his mouth profess to believe, and yet in heart say the reverse? Had he hardly become audacious enough to utter his folly with his tongue? Did the Lord look upon his thoughts as being in the nature of words to him though not to man? Is this where man first becomes an unbeliever?—in his heart, not in his head? And when he talks atheistically, is it a foolish heart speaking and endeavouring to clamour down the voice of conscience? We think so. If the affections were set upon truth and righteousness, the understanding would have no difficulty in settling the question of a present personal Deity, but as the heart dislikes the good and the right, it is no wonder that it desires to be rid of that Elohim, who is the great moral Governor, the Patron of rectitude and the punisher of iniquity. While men’s hearts remain what they are, we must not be surprised at the prevalence of scepticism; a corrupt tree will bring forth corrupt fruit. “Every man,” says Dickson, “so long as he lieth unrenewed and unreconciled to God is nothing in effect but a madman.” What wonder then if he raves? Such fools as those we are now dealing with are common to all time, and all countries; they grow without watering, and are found all the world over. The spread of mere intellectual enlightenment will not diminish their number, for since it is an affair of the heart, this folly and great learning will often dwell together. To answer sceptical cavillings will be labour lost until grace enters to make the mind willing to believe; fools can raise more objections in all hour than wise men can answer in seven years, indeed it is their mirth to set stools for wise men to stumble over. Let the preacher aim at the heart, and preach the all-conquering love of Jesus, and he will by God’s grace win more doubters to the faith of the gospel than any hundred of the best reasoners who only direct their arguments to the head.

“The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God,” or “no God.” So monstrous is the assertation, that the man hardly dared to put it as a positive statement, but went very near to doing so. Calvin seems to regard this saying “no God,” as hardly amounting to a syllogism, scarcely reaching to a positive, dogmatical declaration; but Dr. Alexander clearly shows that it does. It is not merely the wish of the sinner’s corrupt nature, and the hope of his rebellious heart, but he manages after a fashion to bring himself to assert it, and at certain seasons he thinks that he believes it. It is a solemn reflection that some who worship God with their lips may in their hearts be saying, “no God.” It is worthy of observation that he does not say there is no Jehovah, but there is no Elohim; Deity in the abstract is not so much the object of attack, as the covenant, personal, ruling and governing presence of God in the world. God as ruler, lawgiver, worker, Saviour, is the butt at which the arrows of human wrath are shot. How impotent the malice! How mad the rage which raves and foams against him in whom we live and move and have our being! How horrible the insanity which leads a man who owes his all to God to cry out, “No God”! How terrible the depravity which makes the whole race adopt this as their hearts’ desire, “no God”!

“They are corrupt.” This refers to all men, and we have the warrant of the Holy Ghost for so saying; see the third chapter of the Epistle to the Romans. Where there is enmity to God, there is deep, inward depravity of mind. The words are rendered by eminent critics in an active sense, “they have done corruptly:” this may serve to remind us that sin is not only in our nature passively as the source of evil, but we ourselves actively fan the flame and corrupt ourselves, making that blacker still which was black as darkness itself already. We rivet our own chains by habit and continuance.

“They have done abominable works.” When men begin with renouncing the Most High God, who shall tell where they will end? When the Master’s eyes are put out, what will not the servants do? Observe the state of the world before the flood, as pourtrayed in Genesis 6:12, and remember that human nature is unchanged. He who would see a terrible photograph of the world without God must read that most painful of all inspired Scriptures, the first chapter of the epistle to the Romans. Learned Hindoos have confessed that the description is literally correct in Hindostan at the present moment; and were it not for the restraining grace of God, it would be so in England. Alas! it is even here but too correct a picture of things which are done of men in secret. Things loathsome to God and man are sweet to some palates.

“There is none that doeth good.” Sins of omission must abound where transgressions are rife. Those who do the things which they ought not to have done, are sure to leave undone those things which they ought to have done. What a picture of our race is this! Save only where grace reigns, there is none that doeth good; humanity, fallen and debased, is a desert without an oasis, a night without a star, a dunghill without a jewel, a hell without a bottom.

the Lord. May we join David in not only daily dwelling with the Lord; may we also find our

This Psalm of David bears no dedicatory title at all indicative of the occasion upon which it was written, but it is exceedingly probable that, together with the twenty-fourth Psalm, to which it bears a striking resemblance, its composition was in some way connected with the removal of the ark to the holy hill of Zion. Who should attend upon the ark was a matter of no small consequence, for because unauthorised persons had intruded into the office, David was unable on the first occasion to complete his purpose of bringing the ark to Zion. On the second attempt he is more careful, not only to allot the work of carrying the ark to the divinely appointed Levites (1 Chron. 15:2), but also to leave it in charge of the man whose house the Lord had blessed, even Obededom, who, with his many sons, ministered in the house of the Lord. (1 Chron. 26:8, 12.) Spiritually we have here a description of the man who is a child at home in the Church of God on earth, and who will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever above. He is primarily Jesus, the perfect man, and in him all who through grace are conformed to his image.

We are not left to human interpreters for the key to this golden mystery, for, speaking by the Holy Ghost, Peter tells us, “David speaketh concerning HIM.” (Acts 2:25). Further on in his memorable sermon he said, “Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; he seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.” (Acts 2:29–31.) Nor is this our only guide, for the apostle Paul, led by the same infallible inspiration, quotes from this Psalm, and testifies that David wrote of the man through whom is preached unto us the forgiveness of sins. (Acts 13:35–8.)

inheritance in the Lord—making him our prize, pleasure, and portion forever!

What Captures Your Heart? , , AND 21

This section picks up on a theme from the last one: what has captured our heart. For some people, things have captured them; they delight in the objects of the world, what material items can do for them and how they make them feel. For others who have rejected God, saying, “There is no God!” they have captured their heart; they delight in themselves and lean on themselves for help. Not David. His heart was captured by the Lord, and David wanted more of God’s heart to meditate upon him and his ways. One reason why was because of what God had done for him. He had reached down from heaven and showed up in very tangible ways, delivering and rescuing him. David was also captivated by what he saw of God in creation. And then there was God’s Word, which he thought was like the rarest treasures of the finest gold; there was nothing sweeter to him than the revelation-truth found in it, and he savored it. Find what David found in the Lord by exploring and discovering what the heart of God means for you and your life.
things have captured them; they delight in the objects of the world, what material items can do for
them and how they make them feel. For others who have rejected God, saying, “There is no God!”
they have captured their heart; they delight in themselves and lean on themselves for help. Not David. His heart was captured by the Lord, and David wanted more of God’s heart to meditate upon him and his ways. One reason why was because of what God had done for him. He had reached down from heaven and showed up in very tangible ways, delivering and rescuing him. David was also captivated by what he saw of God in creation. And then there was God’s Word, which he thought was like the rarest treasures of the finest gold; there was nothing sweeter to him than the revelation-truth found in it, and he savored it. Find what David found in the Lord by exploring and discovering what the heart of God means for you and your life.
David. His heart was captured by the Lord, and David wanted more of God’s heart to meditate upon
him and his ways. One reason why was because of what God had done for him. He had reached
down from heaven and showed up in very tangible ways, delivering and rescuing him. David was
also captivated by what he saw of God in creation. And then there was God’s Word, which he
thought was like the rarest treasures of the finest gold; there was nothing sweeter to him than the
revelation-truth found in it, and he savored it. Find what David found in the Lord by exploring and
discovering what the heart of God means for you and your life.
Consider David’s question and answer: “Could there be any other god like you? You are the only God to be worshiped, for there is not a more secure foundation to build my life upon than you” (18:31). The truth is, we build our life upon whatever captures our heart. So how are you building? What has captured your heart?
God to be worshiped, for there is not a more secure foundation to build my life upon than

a Psalm of David, the servant of the Lord, who spake unto the Lord the words of this song in the day that the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul.” We have another form of this Psalm with significant variations (2 Sam. 22), and this suggests the idea that it was sung by David at different times when he reviewed his own remarkable history, and observed the gracious hand of God in it all. Like Addison’s hymn beginning, “When all thy mercies, O my God,” this Psalm is the song of a grateful heart overwhelmed with a retrospect of the manifold and marvellous mercies of God. We will call it THE GRATEFUL RETROSPECT. The title deserves attention. David, although at this time a king, calls himself “the servant of Jehovah,” but makes no mention of his royalty; hence we gather that he counted it a higher honour to be the Lord’s servant than to be Judah’s king. Right wisely did he judge. Being possessed of poetic genius, he served the Lord by composing this Psalm for the use of the Lord’s house; and it is no mean work to conduct or to improve that delightful part of divine worship, the singing of the Lord’s praises. Would that more musical and poetical ability were consecrated, and that our chief musicians were fit to be trusted with devout and spiritual psalmody. It should be observed that the words of this song were not composed with the view of gratifying the taste of men, but were spoken unto Jehovah. It were well if we had a more single eye to the honour of the Lord in our singing, and in all other hallowed exercises. That praise is little worth which is not directed solely and heartily to the Lord. David might well be thus direct in his gratitude, for he owed all to his God, and in the day of his deliverance he had none to thank but the Lord whose right hand had preserved him. We too should feel that to God and God alone we owe the greatest debt of honour and thanksgiving.

If it be remembered that the second and the forty-ninth verses are both quoted in the New Testament (Heb. 2:13; Rom. 15:9) as the words of the Lord Jesus, it will be clear that a greater than David is here. Reader, you will not need our aid in this respect: if you know Jesus you will readily find him in his sorrows, deliverance, and triumphs all through this wonderful Psalm.

you” (18:31). The truth is, we build our life upon whatever captures our heart. So how are you

It would be idle to enquire into the particular period when this delightful poem was composed, for there is nothing in its title or subject to assist us in the enquiry. The heading, “To the chief Musician, a Psalm of David,” informs us that David wrote it, and that it was committed to the Master of the service of song in the sanctuary for the use of the assembled worshippers. In his earliest days the Psalmist, while keeping his father’s flock, had devoted himself to the study of God’s two great books—nature and Scripture; and he had so thoroughly entered into the spirit of these two only volumes in his library, that he was able with a devout criticism to compare and contrast them, magnifying the excellency of the Author as seen in both. How foolish and wicked are those who instead of accepting the two sacred tomes, and delighting to behold the same divine hand in each, spend all their wits in endeavouring to find discrepancies and contradictions.

If we pray to-day for a benefit and receive it, we must, ere the sun goes down, praise God for that mercy, or we deserve to be denied the next time. It has been called David’s triumphant song, and we may remember it as The Royal Triumphal Ode. “The king” is most prominent thoroughout, and we shall read it to true profit if our meditation of him shall be sweet while perusing it. We must crown him with the glory of our salvation; singing of his love, and praising his power. The next Psalm will take us to the foot of the cross, this introduces us to the steps of the throne.

building? What has captured your heart?

Don’t Fear—Pray!

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In 1855, Joseph M Scriven wrote his mother a poem to comfort her during her time of illness. She was living in Ireland while he was living in Canada. He left his home to start another life across the ocean after his fiancee died the day their wedding. Here what he wrote:
was living in Ireland while he was living in Canada. He left his home to start another life across the
ocean after his fiancée died the day their wedding. Here what he wrote:
What a Friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!
O what a peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.
This poem, forged in the fires of personal suffering, would become the song “What a Friend We Have in Jesus,” a hymn that’s comforted people. It reflects what David himself had learned through suffering and taking countless causes to God in prayer. When he was hunted by enemies, he prayed; when he was downcast and feeling hopeless, he prayed; when darkness was close and death even closer, he prayed.
Have in Jesus,” a hymn that’s comforted people. It reflects what David himself had learned through
suffering and taking countless causes to God in prayer. When he was hunted by enemies, he prayed;
when he was downcast and feeling hopeless, he prayed; when darkness was close and death even
closer, he prayed.
And what did he learn through it all? We don’t have to fear when we turn to our Best Friend, our Good Shepherd.
Good Shepherd.

Lord, Direct My Life-Path

, , and 27

In the ancient world, there were two lists that categorized separate ways of living: a vice list and a virtue list. Vices included cowardice and theft, gluttony and greed; virtues included courage and truth, modesty and responsibility.
virtue list. Vices included cowardice and theft, gluttony and greed; virtues included courage and
truth, modesty and responsibility.
Book One of the psalms echoes this ancient world view. David wanted nothing more than Yahweh’s help to walk the life-path that would take him straight into God’s pleasure. He wanted God to escort him along this path, taking him by the hand and teaching him how to walk it. He recognized the Lord was his Revelation-Light who would guide him along the way, so he wanted more of him.
help to walk the life-path that would take him straight into God’s pleasure. He wanted God to escort
him along this path, taking him by the hand and teaching him how to walk it. He recognized the Lord
was his Revelation-Light who would guide him along the way, so he wanted more of him.
While walking this path, David promised to deny the company of sinners – to despise where they hung out and refuse to enter their domain. And along the way he wanted the Lord to show him grace and mercy, forgiving the failures of his youth.
hung out and refuse to enter their domain. And along the way he wanted the Lord to show him grace
and mercy, forgiving the failures of his youth.
David unveils a secret “There’s a private place reserved for the lovers of God where they sit near him and receive the revelation-secrets of his promise” (). Crave that place, and seek that place in order to walk the Lord’s life-path of peace and prosperity.
and receive the revelation-secrets of his promise” (). Crave that place, and seek that place
in order to walk the Lord’s life-path of peace and prosperity.

Into Your Hands I Entrust My Spirit , , , and 31

There is an undeniable quality about our created world and human condition: tragedy will strike. Someone close to you may die too early. Your company may downsize and you’ll have to find another job. Someone close to you may hurt you with their words or actions. The doctor may call with test results that sends your family into a panic.
Someone close to you may die too early. Your company may downsize and you’ll have to find another
job. Someone close to you may hurt you with their words or actions. The doctor may call with test
results that sends your family into a panic.
When tragedy strikes, into whose hands do you entrust yourself? It seems this is a question that David himself asked seemingly constantly. He was faced with one tragic situation after another – sometimes caused by his own hand but often the result of vicious enemies. Yet through it all David made a conscious choice: “ Into your hands I now entrust my spirit.” Why? Because through the course of David’s life, the Lord, the God of faithfulness, had a rescued and redeemed him. Yes, he pleaded with the Lord for help, but he also trusted him for it. The reason he did is because the Glory-God reigns.
himself asked seemingly constantly. He was faced with one tragic situation after another – sometimes
caused by his own hand but often the result of vicious enemies. Yet through it all David made a
conscious choice: “ Into your hands I now entrust my spirit.” Why? Because through the course of
David’s life, the Lord, the God of faithfulness, had a rescued and redeemed him. Yes, he pleaded with
the Lord for help, but he also trusted him for it. The reason he did is because the Glory-God reigns.

Celebrate The Goodness of God , , and 34

One of the things that the psalms help us with is not only giving voice to our prayers but also to our praise. They teach us to get our praise on as much as our praying on! And today’s poems teach us both the how and the why of praise.
praise. They teach us to get our praise on as much as our praying on! And today’s poems teach us both
the how and the why of praise.
First, the how. David encourages us to not only sing for joy but also to shout our joyous praises. We should praise God with all we have, which includes our voices and our instruments. Break out the guitar and the drums, use the organ and the piano, toot on trumpets and trombones. With whatever instruments we have however we’ve been skilled, we should make the Lord famous and make his name glorious!
should praise God with all we have, which includes our voices and our instruments. Break out the
guitar and the drums, use the organ and the piano, toot on trumpets and trombones. With whatever
instruments we have however we’ve been skilled, we should make the Lord famous and make his
name glorious!
And now the why. Why should we take so much time to expend such energy and skill? Yes, because of who he is as Yahweh, our awe-inspiring Creator. But also because of what he’s done – for us! He’s blessed and prospered us’ strengthened and delivered us. Most of all, he’s forgiven our rebellion, covered our sins with Christ’s blood, and wiped our slate clean.
who he is as Yahweh, our awe-inspiring Creator. But also because of what he’s done – for us! He’s
blessed and prospered us’ strengthened and delivered us. Most of all, he’s forgiven our rebellion,
covered our sins with Christ’s blood, and wiped our slate clean.

Wait for the Lord, Then Wait Some More! , , and 40

They say good things come to those who wait. After thirty-nine weeks, a mom and dad have a new bundle of joy. After a four-year-long college program, there’s usually a good job in store. Yet in our increasingly on-demand, instant-gratification world, patience is no longer a virtue. David aims to remedy this.
bundle of joy. After a four-year-long college program, there’s usually a good job in store. Yet in our
increasingly on-demand, instant-gratification world, patience is no longer a virtue. David aims to remedy this.
David was in trouble. This time he was being harassed and accused, and he wanted the Lord to fight for him, to put o his armor and rise up against his enemies. Then in David was sick with a fever, His strength sapped. But in the final psalm his tune changed: God came through for him! David sang the praises of the One who not only heard him but also delivered him. All because he waited and waited, then waited some more.
Lord to fight for him, to put o his armor and rise up against his enemies. Then in
David was sick with a fever, His strength sapped. But in the final psalm his tune changed:
God came through for him! David sang the praises of the One who not only heard him but
also delivered him. All because he waited and waited, then waited some more.
David recognized the only thing he could do in the midst of trouble was to wait for the Lord’s help and put his hope in him. When he did, he received what we all do-the blessings of the Lord poured out from the storehouses of heaven!
Lord’s help and put his hope in him. When he did, he received what we all do-the blessings
of the Lord poured out from the storehouses of heaven!

Our only Hope Is in the Lord! , , and 41

Hope is hard to come by these days. From constant unemployment to underemployment, hope clearly isn’t found in our economy. Government job approval ratings across the world prove that people don’t hope much in politics either. Technology was suppose to solve our problems, yet we’re busier and more stressed than ever!
clearly isn’t found in our economy. Government job approval ratings across the world prove that
people don’t hope much in politics either. Technology was suppose to solve our problems, yet we’re
busier and more stressed than ever!
We end our exploration of Book One of the psalms with an important question: where do you put your hope? King David draws our attention to a number of things that are hope-less, urging us not to misplace hope in these empty promises. Bringing us back to the beginning, he reminds us that hope isn’t in the pathway of the wicked, for they are “crooked and conceited” (36:2). It isn’t found in wealth either, for that shrivels and fades away. We shouldn’t even hope in ourselves, for our lives are limited and fleeting.
your hope? King David draws our attention to a number of things that are hope-less, urging us not
to misplace hope in these empty promises. Bringing us back to the beginning, he reminds us that
hope isn’t in the pathway of the wicked, for they are “crooked and conceited” (36:2). It isn’t found in
wealth either, for that shrivels and fades away. We shouldn’t even hope in ourselves, for our lives are
limited and fleeting.
After exploring this lesson, you will be left with the only conclusion David came to: Our only hope is in the Lord! As the old hymn reminds us: “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness; I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name.”
in the Lord! As the old hymn reminds us: “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and
righteousness; I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name.”

Devotion (Personal Study)

1. What comes to those who follow God’s ways rather than the ways of the wicked? What three words or actions are used in regard to following the ways of the wicked?
than the ways of the wicked? What three words or actions
are used in regard to following the ways of the wicked?
2. What do the nations plot and scheme against the Lord and his anointed? How does God respond?
3. In what ways might bringing our gifts just as we are and putting trust in the Lord be connected, as suggest? What is the connection between worship and trust? How does this Psalm challenge you personally?
suggest? What is the connection between worship and trust?How does this Psalm challenge you personally?
4. What did David promise that all who are oppressed can find in God?
5. What did David wonder when he stared into the sky?
6. Why don’t the orphans and the oppressed need to be terrified any longer? How will God help them?
What does this say about the heart of God?
7. Why is it that the people David described in “will never be shaken; they will stand firm forever” (v 5)?
8. In , David listed a number of characteristics of God to extol all the ways God had meant to him. List them here.
him. List them here.

Discussion (Small Group Study)

9. What does it tell about the heart of God that the Lord “delivered me safely from my mother’s womb” and “cared for me ever since I was a baby” (22: 9)? How should this inform our experience of his heart when our courage has vanished and we need rescue?
“cared for me ever since I was a baby” (22: 9)? How should this inform our experience of his heart when our
courage has vanished and we need rescue?
10. According to , how did David say he lived?What kind of life did he claim he lived?
11. What are all the ways that David identified God in ? List them here.
12. Who are those who are happy and fulfilled, blessed and relieved?
13. Part of the message of is that every person on the planet is immensely important and valuable; we are known by God and crowned by God. How might sharing this with someone you know draw them closer to the heart of God?
valuable; we are known by God and crowned by God. How might sharing this with someone you know draw
them closer to the heart of God?
to the heart of God?
14. Do you know anyone who is "poor and helpless" ()? Why is , such good news to those you know who are helpless and oppressed? How might it look to share the heart of God found in these verses?
good news to those you know who are helpless and oppressed? How might it look to share the heart
of God found in these verses?
15. Part of what David is saying in is that despite human injustice, God's justice and rescue will come. How might it look to share this aspect of the heart of God with the world around you?
will come. How might it look to share this aspect of the heart of God with the world around you?
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