Monday 31 March, 2014

Psalm 70

1 God, hurry and save me. Lord, come quickly and help me. 2 Let those who are trying to kill me be put to shame. Let them not be honored. Let all those who want to destroy me be turned back in shame. 3 Some people make fun of me. Let them be turned back when their plans fail. 4 But let all those who look to you be joyful and glad because of what you have done. Let those who love you because you save them always say, “May God be honored!” 5 But I am poor and needy. God, come quickly to me. You are the One who helps me and saves me. Lord, please don’t wait any longer.

Come quickly Lord… Dont Delay…

God’s timing can so often be mysterious, to be polite. Another way to describe it would be frustrating, or challenging… Dare I say annoying? While we can so often spiritualise situations and know in our heads that “his ways are higher than our ways” or “He will work all things together for the good of those who love him and are called unto his purpose” sometimes in the thick of living through the challenges that life throws at us, it can get really really hard to see God’s timing.

This Psalm is an encouragement not only because of its words, but because it was written by David, who faced and overcame some incredible challenges.

God, help us to understand your timing!

Written by Justin Ware

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Sunday 30 March, 2014

Psalm 69

1 God, save me. My troubles are like a flood. I’m up to my neck in them. 2 I’m sinking in deep mud. I have no firm place to stand. I am out in deep water. The waves roll over me. 3 I’m worn out from calling for help. My throat is very dry. My eyes grow tired looking for my God. 4 Those who hate me without any reason are more than the hairs on my head. Many people who don’t have any reason to be my enemies are trying to destroy me. They force me to give back what I didn’t steal. 5 God, you know how foolish I’ve been. My guilt is not hidden from you. 6 Lord, you are the Lord who rules over all. May those who put their hope in you not be dishonored because of me. You are the God of Israel. May those who worship you not be put to shame because of me. 7 Because of you, people laugh at me. My face is covered with shame. 8 I’m a stranger to my brothers. I’m an outsider to my own mother’s sons. 9 My great love for your house destroys me. Those who make fun of you make fun of me also. 10 When I sob and go without eating, they laugh at me. 11 When I put on black clothes to show how sad I am, people make jokes about me. 12 Those who gather in public places make fun of me. Those who get drunk make up songs about me. 13 But Lord, I pray to you. May this be the time you show me your favor. God, answer me because you love me so much. Save me, as you always do. 14 Save me from the trouble I’m in. It’s like slippery mud. Don’t let me sink in it. Save me from those who hate me. Save me from the deep water I’m in. 15 Don’t let the floods cover me. Don’t let the deep water swallow me up. Don’t let the grave close its mouth over me. 16 Lord, answer me because your love is so good. Turn to me because you are so kind. 17 Don’t turn your face away from me. Answer me quickly. I’m in trouble. 18 Come near and save me. Set me free from my enemies. 19 You know how they make fun of me. They dishonor me and put me to shame. You know all about my enemies. 20 They have broken my heart by saying evil things about me. It has left me helpless. I looked for pity, but I didn’t find any. I looked for someone to comfort me, but I didn’t find anyone. 21 They put bitter spices in my food. They gave me vinegar when I was thirsty. 22 Let their feast be a trap and a snare. Let my enemies get what’s coming to them. 23 Let their eyes grow weak so they can’t see. Let their backs be bent forever. 24 Pour out your anger on them. Let them feel its burning heat. 25 May their homes be deserted. May no one live in their tents. 26 They attack those you have wounded. They talk about the pain of those you have hurt. 27 Charge them with one crime after another. Don’t save them. 28 May their names be erased from the Book of Life. Don’t include them in the list of those who do right. 29 I’m in pain. I’m in deep trouble. God, save me and keep me safe. 30 I will praise God’s name by singing to him. I will bring him glory by giving him thanks. 31 That will please the Lord more than offering him an ox. It will please him more than offering him a bull with its horns and hoofs. 32 Poor people will see it and be glad. The hearts of those who worship God will be strengthened. 33 The Lord hears those who are in need. He doesn’t forget his people in prison. 34 Let heaven and earth praise him. Let the oceans and everything that moves in them praise him. 35 God will save Zion. He will build the cities of Judah again. Then people will live in them and own the land. 36 The children of those who serve God will receive it. Those who love him will live there.

I just love the way David is able to express his emotional state with imagery. I picture him drowning in quick sand. He is up to his neck, exhausted, parched and overwhelmed.  David does not doubt God’s unfailing love and mercy and power to save him. With his mind on this he says in v.30-31: THEN I will praise His Name with singing and honour Him with thanksgiving, because this pleases Him more than ritual sacrifice. He longs to see God glorified to his people.

This pattern here of complaint, expression of faith and anticipation of praise and thanksgiving for deliverance is one which I want to use in my times of trouble. Anticipation of Gods glorious saving grace.

Dear Lord when I am drowning please help me to look UP to you. And when I can’t do it on my own then please bring me back to this psalm, to pray it with David. Amen.

Written by Dimity Milne

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Saturday 29 March, 2014

Psalm 68

1 May God rise up and scatter his enemies. May they turn and run away from him. 2 As wind blows smoke away, so may God blow them away. As fire melts wax, so may he destroy sinful people. 3 But may those who do what is right be glad and filled with joy when they are with him. May they be happy and joyful. 4 Sing to God. Sing praise to his name. Lift up a song to the One who rides on the clouds. His name is the Lord. Be glad when you are with him. 5 God is in his holy temple. He is a father to those whose fathers have died. He takes care of women whose husbands have died. 6 God gives lonely people a family. He sets prisoners free, and they go out singing. But those who refuse to obey him live in a land that is baked by the sun. 7 God, you led your people out. You marched through a dry and empty land. Selah 8 The ground shook when you, the God of Sinai, appeared. The heavens poured down rain when you, the God of Israel, appeared. 9 God, you gave us plenty of rain. You renewed your worn-out land. 10 God, your people settled in it. From all of your riches, you provided for those who were poor. 11 The Lord gave a message. Many people made it widely known. 12 They said, “Kings and armies are running away. In the camps, Israel’s soldiers are dividing up the things they have taken from their enemies. 13 Even while the soldiers sleep near the campfires, God wins the battle for them. He gives the enemy’s silver and gold to Israel, his dove.” 14 The Mighty One has scattered the kings around the land. It was like snow falling on Mount Zalmon. 15 The mountains of Bashan are majestic. The mountains of Bashan are very rocky. 16 You rocky mountains are jealous of Mount Zion, aren’t you? That’s where God chooses to rule. That’s where the Lord himself will live forever. 17 God has come with tens of thousands of his chariots. He has come with thousands and thousands of them. The Lord has come from Mount Sinai. He has entered his holy place. 18 When he went up to his place on high, he led a line of prisoners. He received gifts from people, even from those who refused to obey him. The Lord God went up to live on Mount Zion. 19 Give praise to the Lord. Give praise to God our Savior. He carries our heavy loads day after day. Selah 20 Our God is a God who saves. He is the King and the Lord. He saves us from death. 21 God will certainly smash the heads of his enemies. He will break the hairy heads of those who keep on sinning. 22 The Lord says, “I will bring your enemies from Bashan. I will bring them up from the bottom of the sea. 23 Then your feet can wade in their blood. The tongues of your dogs can lick up all the blood they want.” 24 God, those who worship you come marching into view. My God and King, those who follow you have entered the sacred tent. 25 The singers are walking in front. Next come those who play the music. Young women playing tambourines are with them. 26 The leaders sing, “Praise God among all those who worship him. Praise the Lord in the community of Israel.” 27 The little tribe of Benjamin leads the worshipers. Next comes the great crowd of Judah’s princes. Then come the princes of Zebulun and the princes of Naphtali. 28 God, show us your power. Show us your strength. God, do as you have done before. 29 Do it from your temple at Jerusalem, where kings will bring you gifts. 30 Give a strong warning to Egypt, that beast among the tall grass. Warn the leaders of the nations, who are like bulls among the calves. May they bow down before you with gifts of silver. Scatter the nations who like to make war. 31 Messengers will come from Egypt. The people of Cush will be quick to bring gifts to you. 32 Sing to God, you kingdoms of the earth. Sing praise to the Lord. Selah 33 He rides in the age-old skies above. He thunders with his mighty voice. 34 Tell how powerful God is. He rules as king over Israel. The skies show how powerful he is. 35 How wonderful is God in his holy place! The God of Israel gives power and strength to his people. Give praise to God!

Have you ever poured your heart out to God like David did in Ps 68? Not in complaining or petition but in praise. Raw, earnest, completely undivided in your focus to give Him praise. Have you ever shouted His praise at the top of your lungs or worshipped Him with ever ounce of strength? v4. Have you ever written your own Psalm of praise to God? Describing His magnificence, His love, His incredible power and His answers to your prayers in the most descriptive, vivid detail? v13. Have you ever declared, with razor-sharp faith, the promises of God so that others are inspired to worship? v19. Have you ever been so hungry to praise Him that you can barely extract yourself away from His presence and you sprint with desperate abandon to the next moment you can fall at His feet?

O Lord, to be a worshipper like Your servant David!

Written by Boudy van Noppen

1 (reply)
  1. David Newton says:

    To my shame I can honestly say I have not!
    Like a lot of people I have lost the skill of staying mindfully focused on a single task. Worship requires mindfulness, which requires practice.

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Friday 28 March, 2014

Psalm 67

1 God, show us your favor. Bless us. May you smile on us with your favor. Selah 2 Then your ways will be known on earth. All nations will see that you have the power to save. 3 God, may the nations praise you. May all of the people on earth praise you. 4 May the nations be glad and sing with joy. You rule the people of the earth fairly. You guide the nations of the earth. Selah 5 God, may the nations praise you. May all of the people on earth praise you. 6 Then the land will produce its crops. God, our God, will bless us. 7 God will bless us. People from one end of the earth to the other will have respect for him.

Let the peoples praise You!

Why – because your salvation is clear – on display – all can see God’s blessing and grace as he deals with his people and the result is that all can see how magnificent, powerful truly wonderful you are!

When people see the acts of God’s grace or His blessing they will rise in spontaneous praise – this is why we need to see the acts of God on the earth.  As we see them it is not only those who believe who cry out in praise!

To what extent is God’s grace ad blessing on display in my life.  How often do I simply declare the goodness of God in my life?

My praise of God should come naturally off my lips – not so much in a service of worship but in the everyday elements of life!  For as people hear my declarations of praise – they too will join in as they see my joy!!

Father – may Your praise roll off my tongue with ever increasing frequency and joy!

 Written by Ps. Richard Botta

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Thursday 27 March, 2014

Psalm 66

1 Shout to God with joy, everyone on earth! 2 Sing about the glory of his name! Give him glorious praise! 3 Say to God, “What wonderful things you do! Your power is so great that your enemies bow down to you in fear. 4 Everyone on earth bows down to you. They sing praise to you. They sing praise to your name.” Selah 5 Come and see what God has done. See what wonderful things he has done for his people! 6 He turned the Red Sea into dry land. The people of Israel passed through the waters on foot. Come, let us be full of joy because of what he did. 7 He rules by his power forever. His eyes watch the nations. Let no one who refuses to obey him rise up against him. Selah 8 Praise our God, you nations. Let the sound of the praise you give him be heard. 9 He has kept us alive. He has kept our feet from slipping. 10 God, you have put us to the test. You put us through fire to make us like silver. 11 You put us in prison. You placed heavy loads on our backs. 12 You let people run over our heads. We went through fire and water. But you brought us to a place where we have everything we need. 13 I will come to your temple with burnt offerings. I will keep my promises to you. 14 I made them with my lips. My mouth spoke them when I was in trouble. 15 I will sacrifice fat animals to you as burnt offerings. I will offer rams, bulls and goats to you. Selah 16 Come and listen, all of you who have respect for God. Let me tell you what he has done for me. 17 I cried out to him with my mouth. I praised him with my tongue. 18 If I had enjoyed having sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened. 19 But God has listened. He has heard my prayer. 20 Give praise to God. He has accepted my prayer. He has not held his love back from me.

I see in this Psalm a man exuberant/overflowing in praise to God & his encouragement to others to join him.  God has heard his prayers & answered him.

There is such an excitement & joy – just like a kid at Christmas – v5 “come and see” wanting to show everyone & v16 “come & listen” to what God has done both in the past and now.

This psalm has challenged me.  I don’t sing out my praise to God enough for all the amazing things He has done for me personally & in a whole of world sense too. I don’t mean singing in church, but my everyday life.  We can all sing.  Testimony – v16 – is so powerful, both for me as it makes me articulate what God has done and for the hearers – it builds faith & shows the reality of God to both of us.

Father I want to be more like this psalmist and be more passionate & mindful of singing out in praise your work in my life, circumstances and environment around me.  To sing about the glory of your name! Amen.

Written by Suzie Hodgson

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Wednesday 26 March, 2014

Psalm 65

1 God, we look forward to praising you in Zion. We will keep our promises to you. 2 All people will come to you, because you hear and answer prayer. 3 When our sins became too much for us, you forgave our lawless acts. 4 Blessed are those you choose and bring near to worship you. You bring us into the courtyards of your holy temple. There in your house we are filled with all kinds of good things. 5 God our Savior, you answer us by doing wonderful things. You save us by your power. People all over the world and beyond the farthest oceans put their hope in you. 6 You formed the mountains by your power. You showed how strong you are. 7 You calmed the oceans and their roaring waves. You calmed the angry words and actions of the nations. 8 Those who live far away are amazed at the miracles you have done. What you do makes people from one end of the earth to the other sing for joy. 9 You take care of the land and water it. You make it very rich. You fill your streams with water. You provide the people with grain. That’s how you prepare the land. 10 You water its rows. You smooth out its bumps. You soften it with showers. And you bless its crops. 11 You bring the year to a close with huge crops. You provide more than enough food. 12 The grass grows thick even in the desert. The hills are dressed with gladness. 13 The meadows are covered with flocks and herds. The valleys are dressed with grain. They sing and shout with joy.

I am currently doing the C3 online Bible course on Leadership. I have been challenged to expand my thinking in the area of faith. Faith is a big part of being an effective leader. A person of faith sees the promises of God that have not yet been fulfilled, and can see as if it has already happened. Then they keep persevering in prayer until it comes to pass.

In Psalm 65, David is speaking (actually, singing) out his faith in the goodness of God and for what is to yet to come. He sings praise for answered prayer, for forgiveness, for salvation for all people, and for abundant provision. David is singing out his faith in what God will do, as well as being thankful for what He has already done.

It’s so easy to get stuck focusing on what our natural eyes can see – difficult circumstances and challenges, and not lift our eyes to see in faith what God will do. May I be a person of faith and one who will not give up praying until God’s purposes come to pass.

Written by Shelley Witt

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Tuesday 25 March, 2014

Psalm 64

1 God, hear me as I tell you my problem. Don’t let my enemies kill me. 2 Hide me from those who make evil plans against me. Hide me from that crowd of people who are doing evil. 3 They make their tongues like sharp swords. They aim their words like deadly arrows. 4 They shoot from their hiding places at people who aren’t guilty of doing anything wrong. They shoot quickly. They aren’t afraid of being caught. 5 They help each other make evil plans. They talk about hiding their traps. They say, “Who can see what we are doing?” 6 They make plans to do what is evil. They say, “We have thought up a perfect plan!” The hearts and minds of people are so clever! 7 But God will shoot my enemies with his arrows. He will suddenly strike them down. 8 He will turn their own words against them. He will destroy them. All those who see them will shake their heads and look down on them. 9 Everyone will respect God. They will tell about his works. They will think about what he has done. 10 Let godly people be full of joy because of what the Lord has done. Let them go to him for safety. Let all those whose hearts are honest praise him.

In this psalm we see David crying out to God and asking God to deliver him from those who are engaging in sin and plotting against him. David is not happy with what is happening and the threats he is facing. What is interesting is the way in which he follows up from his complaints: he states his problem and then he declares that God is going to bring the justice. God is going to sort out those who do wrong, and the result of all this is that people will see what God has done and God will get the glory. David can rest satisfied that the God of justice will bring justice in the end. He doesn’t blame or criticise God for what he is suffering, but takes comfort in the reality that God will right the wrongs.

Reflecting on this it is no surprise that David ends the psalm praising God, who he knows is altogether righteous. David can rejoice in God and His righteousness, even when he isn’t experiencing the final fulfilment of it in the world.

God, please help me when I feel the victim of injustice and when I’m wronged, help me to trust that in the end you will right every wrong. Help me to move from complaining to praising, my God who is perfectly righteous. Hallelujah!

Written by Beth Waugh

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Monday 24 March, 2014

Psalm 63

1 God, you are my God. I greatly long for you. With all my heart I thirst for you in this dry desert where there isn’t any water. 2 I have seen you in the sacred tent. There I have seen your power and your glory. 3 Your love is better than life. I will bring glory to you with my lips. 4 I will praise you as long as I live. I will lift up my hands when I pray to you. 5 I will be as satisfied as if I had eaten the best food there is. I will sing praise to you with my mouth. 6 As I lie on my bed I remember you. I think of you all night long. 7 Because you have helped me, I sing in the shadow of your wings. 8 I hold on to you. Your powerful right hand takes good care of me. 9 Those who are trying to kill me will be destroyed. They will go down into the grave. 10 They will be killed with swords. They will become food for wild dogs. 11 But the king will be filled with joy because of what God has done. All those who take an oath in God’s name will praise him. But the mouths of liars will be shut.

The Psalm starts with a graphic image. Thirsty in a parched and weary land, the only thing to do is to search earnestly for the water that will satisfy that thirst. If I don’t do that I am in great danger (or so Bear Grylls tells me). My soul thirsts for God in this spiritually dry and weary land, and the right response is to search earnestly for Him. I’m in danger if I forget that, as I sometimes do.

Having seen something of who God is (as all Christians have), the inevitable conclusion is that God’s love is better than life itself (though I sometimes forget). The right response is to praise Him for who he is (and I sometimes forget this too).

What’s the cure for this dangerous forgetfulness? Meditate on Him constantly. Cling to Him. Sing in the shadows of His wings.

God, fill my thoughts. Set me straight when I lose perspective and forget how much I need you, or value my life more than you.

Written by David Cornell

1 (reply)
  1. David Newton says:

    I just read an article on the death of L’Wren Scott. The conclusion was, like many celebrities she was faking her glamorous lifestyle.
    I wonder how many Christians, even in a small way fake their own Christianity. Most notably your behavior is different when people are watching you but at the deepest level the true test is; where do you draw your strength in times of trouble.
    I believe this is the theme of many of the recent Psalms on the Daily Digest.
    David, your insight and summation is impeccable.

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Sunday 23 March, 2014

Psalm 62

1 I find my rest in God alone. He is the One who saves me. 2 He alone is my rock. He is the One who saves me. He is like a fort to me. I will always be secure. 3 How long will you enemies attack me? Will all of you throw me down? I’m like a leaning wall. I’m like a fence that is about to fall. 4 You only want to pull me down from my place of honor. You take delight in telling lies. You bless me with what you say. But in your hearts you call down curses on me. Selah 5 I will find my rest in God alone. He is the One who gives me hope. 6 He alone is my rock. He is the One who saves me. He is like a fort to me. I will always be secure. 7 I depend on God to save me and to honor me. He is my mighty rock. He is my place of safety. 8 Trust in him at all times, you people. Tell him all of your troubles. God is our place of safety. Selah 9 Ordinary people are only a breath. Important people are not what they seem to be. If they were weighed on a scale, they wouldn’t amount to anything. Together they are only a breath. 10 Don’t trust in money you have taken from others. Don’t be proud of things you have stolen. Even if your riches grow, don’t put your trust in them. 11 God, I have heard you say two things. One is that you, God, are strong. 12 The other is that you, Lord, are loving. I’m sure you will reward each person in keeping with what he has done.

I love the Psalms. They instantly pierce through hardness in my heart with love, peace and truth from God’s own heart. King David wrote this Psalm and it speaks of the wonder of God’s presence. His presence is more powerful than the raging of David’s enemies. David literally has people trying to destroy him, yet he can find a peaceful and strong refuge in his God. In the presence of his God he sees everything clearly (vs9-10), everything falls into perspective.

Lord, I am not under the kind of pressures that King David was under, but I need you just as much as he did. I want to find the strength, rest and refuge that is in your presence. I want to see things clearly. Lord ONLY you and your presence can be my true shelter and rest. ONLY you speak perfect truth. Your presence I will seek Lord. Amen

Written by Andrew Mellor

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Saturday 22 March, 2014

Psalm 61

1 God, hear my cry for help. Listen to my prayer. 2 From a place far away I call out to you. I call out as my heart gets weaker. Lead me to the safety of a rock that is high above me. 3 You have always kept me safe from my enemies. You are like a strong tower to me. 4 I long to live in your holy tent forever. There I find safety in the shadow of your wings. Selah 5 God, you have heard my promises. You have given me what belongs to those who worship you. 6 Add many days to the king’s life. Let him live on and on for many years. 7 May he always enjoy your blessing as he rules. Let your love and truth keep him safe. 8 Then I will always sing praise to you. I will keep my promises day after day.

In this Psalm King David expresses his insatiable thirst for intimacy with his God. He enjoys the worship atmosphere of the Temple in company with other worshipers, but it is out in the wilderness on the run from his enemies that he acknowledges his complete dependence on God. This dependence draws him into an intimate and loving relationship with the LORD.

David’s fellowship with God is so real even though he has been forced into exile by his enemies. He is rejoicing because he knows that God is there. No matter what we are experiencing we know that an intimate relationship with God will make us able to meet any and every situation life throws at us.

Father I praise you that living in and through Jesus Christ brings me into an intimate relationship with you. I love you LORD and I lift my voice in worship in each situation of my life.

Written by Keith Bennett

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