Tuesday 21 May, 2013

Psalm 26

1 Lord, when you hand down your sentence, let it be in my favor. I have lived without blame. I have trusted in the Lord. I have never doubted him. 2 Lord, test me. Try me out. Look deep down into my heart and mind. 3 Your love is always with me. I have always lived by your truth. 4 I don’t spend time with people who tell lies. I don’t keep company with pretenders. 5 I hate to be with a group of sinful people. I refuse to spend time with those who are evil. 6 I wash my hands to show that I’m not guilty. Lord, I come near your altar. 7 I shout my praise to you. I tell about all the wonderful things you have done. 8 Lord, I love the house where you live. I love the place where your glory is. 9 Don’t destroy me together with sinners. Don’t take my life away along with murderers. 10 Their hands are always planning to do evil. Their right hands are full of money that bought them off. 11 But I live without blame. Set me free and show me your favor. 12 My feet stand on level ground. In the whole community I will praise the Lord.

This Psalm of David is a Psalm where he calls on God to vindicate him in one of his situations.  We are not told of the reason for the need of the vindication but for some reason he desires it.

What does David do and say – he reminds the Lord of his credentials, of his character of his practices.

David is confident that he lives a life of honour toward God.  He lays out that he is a man of integrity who loves the house of God and who is focused on God not his own gain or fame.

Who of us can make such claims?  These are bold claims with clearly some substance behind them.  David is no push over, he is certain of his walk with the Lord and calls

on God therefore to fulfill his promises of protection.

We do well to live righteously, obediently toward God for many of God’s promises are based in our obedience, not only His ability to perform His promises.

Father help me to live in obedience to Your Word and so walk uprightly before You and so claim Your promises without fear!

Written by Ps. Richard Botta

[comments closed]

Monday 20 May, 2013

Psalm 25

1 Lord, I worship you. 2 My God, I trust in you. Don’t let me be put to shame. Don’t let my enemies win the battle over me. 3 Those who put their hope in you will never be put to shame. But those who can’t be trusted will be put to shame. They have no excuse. 4 Lord, show me your ways. Teach me how to follow you. 5 Guide me in your truth. Teach me. You are God my Savior. I put my hope in you all day long. 6 Lord, remember your great mercy and love. You have shown them to your people for a long time. 7 Don’t remember the sins I committed when I was young. Don’t remember how often I refused to obey you. Remember me because you love me. Lord, you are good. 8 The Lord is honest and good. He teaches sinners to walk in his ways. 9 He shows those who aren’t proud how to do what is right. He teaches them his ways. 10 All of the Lord’s ways are loving and faithful for those who obey what his covenant commands. 11 Lord, be true to your name. Forgive my sin, even though it is great. 12 Who is the man who has respect for the Lord? God will teach him the way he has chosen for him. 13 Things will always go well for him. His children will be given the land. 14 The Lord shares his plans with those who have respect for him. He makes his covenant known to them. 15 My eyes always look to the Lord. He alone can set my feet free from the trap. 16 Turn to me and show me your favor. I am lonely and hurting. 17 The troubles of my heart have increased. Set me free from my great pain. 18 Look at how I’m hurting! See how much I suffer! Take away all of my sins. 19 Look at how many enemies I have! See how terrible their hatred is for me! 20 Guard my life. Save me. Don’t let me be put to shame. I go to you for safety. 21 May my honest and good life keep me safe. I have put my hope in you. 22 God, set Israel free from all of their troubles!

What an honest mix of thoughts from David. He so wants to connect with God but also knows he has mucked it up so often that maybe God doesn’t want to know him. He also acknowledges how much he needs God to help him with his enemies. He reminds himself of what God has done and he reminds himself to remember what God has done.

It is an amazing muddle really. Don’t you love how David just wrote it down anyway even though it jumps from here to there to the next thought. While it’s in the poetic style of the Psalms it covers so many ideas. It’s easy to not pray or study God’s word because we think we haven’t got our ideas perfectly organized or that we have not learned enough to do it properly. This is a great example of how God wants us to talk to Him however it works for us. He put examples of

all sorts of people connecting with Him in all sorts of ways into the Bible so each of us can find ourselves somewhere.

Thanks God that you want relationship with each of us in the way that works for each of us. You made us all different and with different areas of skills – the world wouldn’t work at all if we were all the same. Please help us to accept connections with You that work for us. Not to want the way that works for our friend or our pastor or that famous person. Thanks so much for how personal and specific you are prepared to be!!

Written by Therese Manning

[comments closed]

Sunday 19 May, 2013

Psalm 24

1 The earth belongs to the Lord. And so does everything in it. The world belongs to him. And so do all those who live in it. 2 He set it firmly on the oceans. He made it secure on the waters. 3 Who can go up to the temple on the hill of the Lord? Who can stand in his holy place? 4 Anyone who has clean hands and a pure heart. He does not worship the statue of a god. He doesn’t use the name of that god when he makes a promise. 5 People like that will receive the Lord’s blessing. When God their Savior hands down his sentence, it will be in their favor. 6 The people who look to God are like that. God of Jacob, they look to you. Selah 7 Open wide, you gates. Open up, you age-old doors. Then the King of glory will come in. 8 Who is the King of glory? The Lord, who is strong and mighty. The Lord, who is mighty in battle. 9 Open wide, you gates. Open wide, you age-old doors. Then the King of glory will come in. 10 Who is he, this King of glory? The Lord who rules over all. He is the King of glory. Selah

This psalm seems to have three parts.  The first part states that the earth and everything and everyone in it belongs to God because he made it.  The middle of the psalm asks who can approach this God.  The answer is those that are righteous can have a relationship with God and blessings stem from this relationship. The last verses of this psalm are like a wake up call!  David is asking the reader who is this God – He is our Lord, strong and mighty, the all powerful etc.  Not just God but Lord.  It becomes personal because you can know Him.

The opening verses of this psalm sure bring perspective ie.  God made everything and it belongs to Him.  So much for the self made man or woman!   We belong

to God.  God does not need to be distant though, we can know Him and worship Him.  The Lord saves and is by the side of the righteous.  We just need to open our hearts and restore our relationship with the God who made and owns it all.

Lord, please help us to remember that everything belongs to you.  Thank you that we can know and serve you, Amen.

Written by Ainslie Woods

2 replies
  1. Dimity Milne says:

    Yes, not only can the righteous have a relationship with God, but Jesus provides the righteousness which we cannot achieve for ourselves. This is grace. Thank you Jesus.

[comments closed]

Saturday 18 May, 2013

Psalm 23

1 The Lord is my shepherd. He gives me everything I need. 2 He lets me lie down in fields of green grass. He leads me beside quiet waters. 3 He gives me new strength. He guides me in the right paths for the honor of his name. 4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid. You are with me. Your shepherd’s rod and staff comfort me. 5 You prepare a feast for me right in front of my enemies. You pour oil on my head. My cup runs over. 6 I am sure that your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life. And I will live in the house of the Lord forever.

I was driving around recently. Just shopping and general bits and pieces when I felt God say “you need to go home”. I dismissed it at first thinking I was just imagining things. I drove past our house to my next stop when I heard God’s voice again but much stronger and insistent “you need to go home”. I couldn’t deny it that time. “Maybe something important is going on at home. Maybe my family need me. Maybe the

phone will ring with some important news”. I turned the car around and headed home.

I walked into the house and stood in the lounge room. Nothing. No note or answering machine message. The family were out. “Now what Lord?” Nothing. I thought I’d better just wait. I lay down on the couch to wait and fell asleep almost immediately. I hadn’t realised I was completely exhausted and probably needed to rest instead of running around like a crazy man.

I woke up an hour later in total awe of God’s love for me. He told me to go home for no other reason but to have me rest. He really does “MAKE me lie down…” and “restore my strength”.

Thanks so much Lord for being my shepherd – for caring for me, even in the small things.

Written by Boudy van Noppen

1 (reply)
[comments closed]

Friday 17 May, 2013

Psalm 21

1 Lord, the king is filled with joy because you are strong. How great is his joy because you help him win his battles! 2 You have given him what his heart longed for. You haven’t kept back from him what his lips asked for. Selah 3 You welcomed him with rich blessings. You placed a crown of pure gold on his head. 4 He asked you for life, and you gave it to him. You promised him days that would never end. 5 His glory is great because you helped him win his battles. You have honored him with glory and majesty. 6 You have given him blessings that will last forever. You have made him glad and joyful because you are with him. 7 The king trusts in the Lord. The faithful love of the Most High God will keep the king secure. 8 You, the king, will capture all of your enemies. Your right hand will take hold of them. 9 When you appear, you will be like a flaming furnace to them. The Lord will swallow them up in his anger. His fire will burn them up. 10 You will wipe their children from the face of the earth. You will remove them from the human race. 11 Your enemies make evil plans against you. They think up evil things to do. But they can’t succeed. 12 You will make them turn their backs and run away when you aim your arrows at them. 13 Lord, may you be honored because you are strong. We will sing and praise your might.

I love how King David is unashamedly and passionately acknowledging in this Psalm that his success, his strength and his prosperity come from God.

As a man of power, the King of a nation, it would be tempting for David to believe that his achievements are a result of his own doing. Yet he places the reason for

his success clearly on to the goodness and blessing of God.

It’s a good thing to be reminded regularly that every good thing we have, every talent, every success comes from God.

Lord, we humbly acknowledge that our success, strength and blessings all come from You. May we always remember that we apart from You we can do nothing of eternal value.

Written by Shelley Witt

[comments closed]

Thursday 16 May, 2013

Psalm 20

1 May the Lord answer you when you are in trouble. May the God of Jacob keep you safe. 2 May he send you help from the sacred tent. May he give you aid from Zion. 3 May he remember all of your sacrifices. May he accept your burnt offerings. Selah 4 May he give you what your heart longs for. May he make all of your plans succeed. 5 We will shout with joy when you win the battle. We will lift up our flags in the name of our God. May the Lord give you everything you ask for. 6 Now I know that the Lord saves his anointed king. He answers him from his holy heaven. The power of God’s right hand saves the king. 7 Some trust in chariots. Some trust in horses. But we trust in the Lord our God. 8 They are brought to their knees and fall down. But we get up and stand firm. 9 Lord, save the king! Answer us when we call out to you!

What an affirming psalm!  The confidence that the psalmist has in his Lord is infectious: “Now this I know:  The Lord gives victory to his anointed.  He answers him from his heavenly sanctuary with the victorious power of his right hand.  Some trust in chariots and some in horses but we trust in the name of the Lord our God”!  I love these verses for the passion for, and absolute trust in, God that is expressed!

The psalm makes me conscious of the times when I have trusted in my own possessions (chariots) or I have trusted in my own ability to work (horses).  But here, we are being exhorted to trust in God!  What a great psalm to pray through and to pray over situations that we may be facing!

 

Lord, I thank you that you give me victory.

Lord, I thank you that you answer me from your heavenly sanctuary with the victorious power of your right

hand.

I thank you, Lord, that I can put my trust in you rather than in things.

Lord, I thank you that I can rise up and stand firm while others around me are falling to their knees.

Lord, I thank you that you answer me when I call and that you give me victory!

Amen

Written by Ps Jen Irving

[comments closed]

Wednesday 15 May, 2013

Psalm 19

1 The heavens tell about the glory of God. The skies show that his hands created them. 2 Day after day they speak about it. Night after night they make it known. 3 But they don’t speak or use words. No sound is heard from them. 4 At the same time, their voice goes out into the whole earth. Their words go out from one end of the world to the other. God has set up a tent in the heavens for the sun. 5 The sun is like a groom coming out of the room where he spent his wedding night. The sun is like a great runner who takes delight in running a race. 6 It rises at one end of the heavens. Then it moves across to the other end. Nothing can hide from its heat. 7 The law of the Lord is perfect. It gives us new strength. The laws of the Lord can be trusted. They make childish people wise. 8 The rules of the Lord are right. They give joy to our hearts. The commands of the Lord shine brightly. They give light to our minds. 9 The law that brings respect for the Lord is pure. It lasts forever. The directions the Lord gives are true. All of them are completely right. 10 They are more priceless than gold. They have greater value than huge amounts of pure gold. They are sweeter than honey that is taken from the honeycomb. 11 I am warned by them. When I obey them, I am greatly rewarded. 12 Can I know my mistakes? Forgive my hidden faults. 13 Keep me also from the sins I want to commit. May they not be my master. Then I will be without blame. I will not be guilty of any great sin against your law. 14 Lord, may the words of my mouth and the thoughts of my heart be pleasing in your eyes. You are my Rock and my Redeemer.

This Psalm shows us that God reveals Himself in two different ways. One is by His creation and the other is by His words.

By His creation: (Apostle Paul referred to this psalm in book Romans 1:19-20)

  • Heavens and skies declare the glory of God, day after day, night after night.
  • They don’t speak or have a voice, but the message of God’s creation is abundantly spread into the whole earth.
  • God pitched a tent for the sun in the heavens – it rises in one end & moves to the other.
  • Nothing is hidden from its heat.

By God’s words:

  • God’s word is perfect, trustworthy, right, radiant, pure and true.
  • God’s word can revive us, make us wise, give joy to the heart, gives light to the mind.
  • God’s word is more precious than pure gold and sweeter than honey.
  • God’s word warns us and there is great reward in keeping it.
  • God’s word make us clean from secret evil.

My challenge is God already revealed Himself to the world from the beginning. How can I ignore His revelation and not keep His words

in mind deeply?

Dear Lord, you have revealed yourself in many ways. Help me to “see” your glory when I raise my eyes to the sky and follow your “Law” when I look down and read your scriptures.

Written by Allen Leu

[comments closed]

Tuesday 14 May, 2013

Psalm 18

1 I love you, Lord. You give me strength. 2 The Lord is my rock and my fort. He is the One who saves me. My God is my rock. I go to him for safety. He is like a shield to me. He’s the power that saves me. He’s my place of safety. 3 I call out to the Lord. He is worthy of praise. He saves me from my enemies. 4 The ropes of death were almost wrapped around me. A destroying flood swept over me. 5 The ropes of the grave were tight around me. Death set its trap in front of me. 6 When I was in trouble, I called out to the Lord. I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice. My cry for help reached his ears. 7 The earth trembled and shook. The base of the mountains rocked back and forth. It trembled because the Lord was angry. 8 Smoke came out of his nose. Flames of fire came out of his mouth. Burning coals blazed out of it. 9 He opened the heavens and came down. Dark clouds were under his feet. 10 He got on the cherubim and flew. The wings of the wind lifted him up. 11 He covered himself with darkness. The dark rain clouds of the sky were like a tent around him. 12 Clouds came out of the brightness that was all around him. They came with hailstones and flashes of lightning. 13 The Lord thundered from heaven. The voice of the Most High God was heard. 14 He shot his arrows and scattered our enemies. He sent great flashes of lightning and chased the enemies away. 15 The bottom of the sea could be seen. The foundations of the earth were uncovered. Lord, it happened when your anger blazed out. It came like a blast of breath from your nose. 16 He reached down from heaven. He took hold of me. He lifted me out of deep waters. 17 He saved me from my powerful enemies. He set me free from those who were too strong for me. 18 They stood up to me when I was in trouble. But the Lord helped me. 19 He brought me out into a wide and safe place. He saved me because he was pleased with me. 20 The Lord has been good to me because I do what is right. He has rewarded me because I lead a pure life. 21 I have lived the way the Lord wanted me to. I haven’t done evil by turning away from my God. 22 I keep all of his laws in mind. I haven’t turned away from his commands. 23 He knows that I am without blame. He knows I’ve kept myself from sinning. 24 The Lord has rewarded me for doing what is right. He has rewarded me because I haven’t done anything wrong. 25 Lord, to those who are faithful you show that you are faithful. To those who are without blame you show that you are without blame. 26 To those who are pure you show that you are pure. But to those whose paths are crooked you show that you are clever. 27 You save those who aren’t proud. But you bring down those whose eyes are proud. 28 Lord, you keep the lamp of my life burning brightly. You are my God. You bring light into my darkness. 29 With your help I can attack a troop of soldiers. With the help of my God I can climb over a wall. 30 God’s way is perfect. The word of the Lord doesn’t have any flaws. He is like a shield to all who go to him for safety. 31 Who is God except the Lord? Who is the Rock except our God? 32 God gives me strength for the battle. He makes my way perfect. 33 He makes my feet like the feet of a deer. He helps me stand on the highest places. 34 He trains my hands to fight every battle. My arms can bend a bow of bronze. 35 Lord, you are like a shield that keeps me safe. You help me win the battle. Your strong right hand keeps me going. You bend down to make me great. 36 You give me a wide path to walk on so that I don’t twist my ankles. 37 I chased my enemies and caught them. I didn’t turn back until they were destroyed. 38 I crushed them so that they couldn’t get up. They fell under my feet. 39 Lord, you gave me strength to fight the battle. You made my enemies bow down at my feet. 40 You made them turn their backs and run away. So I destroyed my enemies. 41 They cried out for help. But there was no one to save them. They called out to you. But you didn’t answer them. 42 I beat them as fine as dust blown by the wind. I poured them out like mud in the streets. 43 You saved me when my own people attacked me. You made me the ruler over nations. People I didn’t know serve me now. 44 As soon as they hear me, they obey me. People from other lands bow down to me in fear. 45 All of them give up hope. They come trembling out of their hiding places. 46 The Lord lives! Give praise to my Rock! Give honor to God my Savior! 47 He is the God who pays my enemies back. He brings the nations under my control. 48 He saves me from my enemies. You have honored me more than them. You have saved me from men who want to hurt me. 49 Lord, I will praise you among the nations. I will sing praises to you. 50 The Lord helps his king win great battles. He shows his faithful love to his anointed king. He shows it to me and my family forever.

This Psalm was included as Chapter 22 of 2 Samuel as a summary of David’s life. We saw, in the dramatic events of David’s life how God acted time and again to rescue him, to give him the strength he needed and give him victory when sense said there should be defeat.

But what God did is described much more dramatically here than even the dramatic events he would have seen with his eyes. The “reality” that David saw with his eyes was only the ripples on the surface showing the deeper and greater things God was doing.

Paul put it his way: “Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.” (1 Corinthians 13:11-12 NLT)

Seemingly little things in my life may form more significant parts of what God is doing. The simple word of forgiveness may be a decisive defeat for Satan’s plan to cause division. Telling a friend about something God has done in my life may form part of their dramatic rescue from death to life.

I’m sure that at the time it would not have been much fun for the surrounding nations to be conquered by David. Yet what Paul got out of this Psalm was blessing for the Gentiles, quoting it in Romans 15 “(Jesus) also came so that the Gentiles might give glory to God for his mercies to them. That is what the psalmist meant when he wrote: ‘For this, I will praise you among the Gentiles; I will sing praises to your name.’” Through pain they recognised God’s faithfulness, but we are also blessed by that faithfulness.

Father, give me eyes to see things your way.

Written by David Cornell

1 (reply)
  1. Andrew Mellor says:

    Thanks David,
    The ripples on the surface and deeper things concealed! I love it, great word picture that has really blessed me!

[comments closed]

Monday 13 May, 2013

Psalm 17

1 Lord, hear me when I ask you to treat me fairly. Listen to my cry for help. Hear my prayer. It doesn’t come from lips that tell lies. 2 When you hand down your sentence, may it be in my favor. May your eyes see what is right. 3 Look deep down into my heart. Study me carefully at night. Put me to the test. You won’t find anything wrong. I have made up my mind that my mouth won’t say sinful things. 4 I don’t do the things other people do. By obeying your word I have kept myself from acting like those who try to hurt others. 5 My steps have stayed on your paths. My feet have not slipped. 6 God, I call out to you because you will answer me. Listen to me. Hear my prayer. 7 Show the wonder of your great love. By using your powerful right hand, you save those who go to you for safety from their enemies. 8 Take good care of me, just as you would take care of your own eyes. Hide me in the shadow of your wings. 9 Save me from the sinful people who attack me. Save me from my deadly enemies who are all around me. 10 They make their hearts hard and stubborn. Their mouths speak with pride. 11 They have tracked me down. They are all around me. Their eyes watch for a chance to throw me to the ground. 12 They are like a hungry lion, waiting to attack. They are like a powerful lion, hiding in the bushes. 13 Lord, rise up. Oppose them and bring them down. With your sword, save me from those evil people. 14 Lord, by your power save me from people like that. They belong to this world. They get their reward in this life. You satisfy the hunger of those you love. Their children have plenty. And those children store up wealth for their children. 15 Because I do what is right, I will enjoy your blessing. When I wake up, I will be satisfied because I will see you.

This Psalm was written by David when he was surrounded by enemies who wanted to kill him. It is thought that this was the time when King Saul was called away to fight the Philistines and so abandoned his pursuit of David in the middle of the night, even though he had him surrounded.  There are 3 things to note in this Psalm.

Firstly, David is assured of his righteousness before God. Has asks God to examine the secrets of his heart by night and lays himself bare before God. We need to be assured of our salvation – our righteousness because we have accepted

Jesus as our saviour. We also need to be quick to confess and keep our slates clean so that we can remain confident before him.

Secondly, David is sure of God’s great love for him. He sees himself as “the apple of God’s eye” and is confident of God hiding him in the shadow of his wing. We are just as much the apple of God’s eye and are just as much under his protection as David was.

Finally, it is out of this confidence in his position before God and God’s love for him that David prays for God to save him. I believe that as we grow in knowledge of our true relationship with God that we will also grow in faith, and cry out confidently to him in times of trouble. We will also, as David is in verse 15, be absolutely certain of our salvation.

Written by Megan Cornell

[comments closed]

Sunday 12 May, 2013

Psalm 16

1 God, keep me safe. I go to you for safety. 2 I said to the Lord, “You are my Lord. Without you, I don’t have anything that is good.” 3 God’s people who live in our land are glorious. I take great delight in them. 4 Those who run after other gods will have nothing but trouble. I will not pour out offerings of blood to those gods. My lips will not speak their names. 5 Lord, everything you have given me is good. You have made my life secure. 6 I am very pleased with what you have given me. I am very happy with what I’ve received from you. 7 I will praise the Lord. He gives me good advice. Even at night my heart teaches me. 8 I know that the Lord is always with me. He is at my right hand. I will always be secure. 9 So my heart is glad. Joy is on my tongue. My body also will be secure. 10 You will not leave me in the grave. You will not let your faithful one rot away. 11 You always show me the path that leads to life. You will fill me with joy when I am with you. You will give me endless pleasures at your right hand.

Over and over David declares God’s goodness, and the reality of living under that goodness. We can step into David’s shoes and declare the same praise. David followed God’s ways and had relationship with God, and God looked after him. In the same way those of us who have accepted Christ’s sacrifice for us have relationship with God and He looks after us. Are you feeling weary and struggling to worship God? Are you

full of praise and thankfulness for what God has done? Whatever your circumstances take this psalm as your own, and use it to declare your trust in God. The truth of God’s goodness is unchanging through the centuries and millennia. Hallelujah!

Written by Beth Waugh

[comments closed]