Monday 12 October, 2020

Psalm 6

For the director of music. With stringed instruments. According to sheminith. A psalm of David. 1 Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger or discipline me in your wrath. 2 Have mercy on me, Lord, for I am faint; heal me, Lord, for my bones are in agony. 3 My soul is in deep anguish. How long, Lord, how long? 4 Turn, Lord, and deliver me; save me because of your unfailing love. 5 Among the dead no one proclaims your name. Who praises you from the grave? 6 I am worn out from my groaning. All night long I flood my bed with weeping and drench my couch with tears. 7 My eyes grow weak with sorrow; they fail because of all my foes. 8 Away from me, all you who do evil, for the Lord has heard my weeping. 9 The Lord has heard my cry for mercy; the Lord accepts my prayer. 10 All my enemies will be overwhelmed with shame and anguish; they will turn back and suddenly be put to shame.

Ever felt devastated, like the world is against you, and particular people!!  I love how the Bible is so true to life – no polished lives here, just the raw reality of life as we experience it.  Here the Psalmist hangs out life when we are under pressure with images that we can identify with.  ‘Eyes to weak with sorrow’, ‘flood my bed with tears’.  The Bible doesn’t hold back.  I love this about God’s Word.  Religious books polish the presentation of life – the Bible – living and active – doesn’t sugar coat faith in Jesus – we get to cry out to the God who never fails, even in the words of anguish of life when everything is against us!  Our challenge is for us to cry out like the Psalmist as well as experiencing the deliverance the Psalmist experienced.

Father, thank you that you are not so high and mighty that you are distant from us.  You enter our reality now through prayer and we are certain of this because you sent Your Son to enter our experience and He experienced life in its fullness of emotion, physicality, joys and disappointments, even to death.  So we cry out to you in our experience knowing you will deliver us!

Written by Ps. Richard Botta

1 (reply)
  1. Florence says:

    Hallelujah, it’s amazing message, i have many experiences about psalms, it’s working in my life many times, thanks God,
    God bless all of you and amen

[comments closed]

Sunday 11 October, 2020

Psalm 5

For the director of music. For pipes. A psalm of David. 1 Listen to my words, Lord, consider my lament. 2 Hear my cry for help, my King and my God, for to you I pray. 3 In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly. 4 For you are not a God who is pleased with wickedness; with you, evil people are not welcome. 5 The arrogant cannot stand in your presence. You hate all who do wrong; 6 you destroy those who tell lies. The bloodthirsty and deceitful you, Lord, detest. 7 But I, by your great love, can come into your house; in reverence I bow down toward your holy temple. 8 Lead me, Lord, in your righteousness because of my enemies— make your way straight before me. 9 Not a word from their mouth can be trusted; their heart is filled with malice. Their throat is an open grave; with their tongues they tell lies. 10 Declare them guilty, O God! Let their intrigues be their downfall. Banish them for their many sins, for they have rebelled against you. 11 But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you. 12 Surely, Lord, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield.

Defeat, depression, anger, sadness, anxiety, stress, confusion… just some of my immediate reactions to being challenged by something or somebody that threatens to overwhelm me. These responses are induced by the belief that a solution lies within me alone. I either go into overdrive trying to work my way through the problem or I hide from the challenge pretending it will go away. Both these roads are not healthy roads to walk down, they lead to broken relationships and unhealthy behaviours.

God is always the ‘third road’ when faced with difficult circumstances. He is both a retreat and fortress to find protection within and a mighty warrior who advances forward to defeat his foes.

When I take refuge in him, stress and anxiety, fear and sadness dissipate as God reminds me of my identity as his son. He takes care of me, he loves me and instructs me. As I take shelter in his presence he also sorts out my own heart and aligns me to his desires.

Then, I know which battles he wants to fight and I can trust that if God is going into battle, then he will have the victory.

“God, teach me to seek refuge in you and to join you in battle.”

Written by Andrew Mellor

[comments closed]

Saturday 10 October, 2020

Psalm 4

For the director of music. With stringed instruments. A psalm of David. 1 Answer me when I call to you, my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; have mercy on me and hear my prayer. 2 How long will you people turn my glory into shame? How long will you love delusions and seek false gods? 3 Know that the Lord has set apart his faithful servant for himself; the Lord hears when I call to him. 4 Tremble and do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent. 5 Offer the sacrifices of the righteous and trust in the Lord. 6 Many, Lord, are asking, “Who will bring us prosperity?” Let the light of your face shine on us. 7 Fill my heart with joy when their grain and new wine abound. 8 In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.

Psalm 4 is thought to be a pair with Psalm 3, which was written by David while he was being pursued by his son Absalom. David is in real danger of being killed by the son he loves deeply. You can sense the swirling turmoil in David’s mind in these fragments of an argument with his enemies: How long will you shame me? It may not look like it now, but you should know that the Lord will hear me. You should be trembling on your beds as you lie down.

I can relate to that swirling conversation in the mind of what I should have said (except I didn’t), and what I would say if … (except I won’t) – and it doesn’t help. What will help?

Surrounding this tumult are two parts addressed to God. It begins with desperate pleas to “answer me when I call to you”; and “give me relief from my distress”. Clearly, he hasn’t seen an answer yet and is still in distress. But David bases his hope on who God is: “my righteous God”. It ends in confidence: unlike his enemies trembling on their beds, “In peace I will lie down and sleep”. Again, that confidence comes from who God is.

Lord, “let your face shine on us”. “Fill my heart with joy”. Because you are “my righteous God” who does answer when I call and does have mercy on me, “In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.”

Written by David Cornell

2 replies
  1. Florence says:

    I love this chapter, I got many times answered from this chapter for my self and for many of my peoples, when they called me and asked for encouraged them,
    God bless all of you and amen

[comments closed]

Friday 9 October, 2020

Psalm 3

A psalm of David. When he fled from his son Absalom. 1 Lord, how many are my foes! How many rise up against me! 2 Many are saying of me, “God will not deliver him.” 3 But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high. 4 I call out to the Lord, and he answers me from his holy mountain. 5 I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me. 6 I will not fear though tens of thousands assail me on every side. 7 Arise, Lord! Deliver me, my God! Strike all my enemies on the jaw; break the teeth of the wicked. 8 From the Lord comes deliverance. May your blessing be on your people.

I feel like this Psalm starts from David’s mind when he lies down but can’t get to sleep. At the end of a hard day/week/year when I am weary it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and attacked. It would be easy at that point to believe the negative things those around me are saying. But what David knows is that it’s not the opinion of the masses that count but the Presence and Faithfulness of God. How much better and more positive does David feel after he’s had a good rest. Note to self – I can safely leave my problems and worries with God, and it’s ok (and a really good idea) to take rest when you need it. Verse 8 sums it up – ‘from the Lord comes deliverance’. You and I can safely leave our troubles with God because he is the One who will defend and rescue us. 

Heavenly Father thank you for all you do for me. Help me to trust you with the things that weigh me down. Help me to see my life thru your eyes. Thank you that you are my deliverer. In Jesus name I pray. Amen

Written by Christine Knight

[comments closed]

Thursday 8 October, 2020

Psalm 2

1 Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain? 2 The kings of the earth rise up and the rulers band together against the Lord and against his anointed, saying, 3 “Let us break their chains and throw off their shackles.” 4 The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them. 5 He rebukes them in his anger and terrifies them in his wrath, saying, 6 “I have installed my king on Zion, my holy mountain.” 7 I will proclaim the Lord’s decree: He said to me, “You are my son; today I have become your father. 8 Ask me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession. 9 You will break them with a rod of iron; you will dash them to pieces like pottery.” 10 Therefore, you kings, be wise; be warned, you rulers of the earth. 11 Serve the Lord with fear and celebrate his rule with trembling. 12 Kiss his son, or he will be angry and your way will lead to your destruction, for his wrath can flare up in a moment. Blessed are all who take refuge in him.

V 7 – “I will reveal the eternal purpose of God”

V 8 – “Ask me and I will give you the nations and I will do it”

V 10-11 – “Learn your lesson….serve and worship”

V 12 – “but many blessings are waiting, for all who turn aside to hide themselves in Him”

As I read this Psalm in The Passion Translation, the above verses jumped out at me.

As I write this we continue to journey through this “COVID” season, it has reminded me of the movie “Groundhog Day”.  The story of a reporter who wakes up and relives the same day over and over again.   At times, this COVID season feels like that.  As the days roll on, they seem similar!!  The news is the same, constrictions remain, recommendations come continually, etc. 

Then it made me think about the computer and how at times it becomes slow and is in need of “rebooting” and “refreshing”.

I wonder if in this season you are feeling flat, feeling that your prayers haven’t been answered, maybe feeling that God has become distant, you haven’t heard words from Him afresh.

God wants and desires to speak to us daily.  He desires that we would have open hearts and hear from Him.

I know that in my life and in my spiritual life I have been here before.  It has required me to “reboot”/”refresh” myself. 

So how do I do this?

I ask myself some questions:  Where is my heart at present?  Have I become stale in my walk with Jesus?  I spend some time reflecting on where I am at.  Then I think of what needs to change – I hit the “Refresh”/”Reboot” button of my soul:  What can I change?  What shall I start new?

I pray:  Come Holy Spirit, fill me afresh with your love and grace.

Come and overflow into my dry areas and bring your peace, your presence and your mercy.

Jesus you have eternal purposes for my life.  Reveal to me afresh your love.  Help me to learn your lesson at this time.  Revive in me a desire to serve and worship you.  Help me to hide myself in you at this difficult time.

Thank you that you love me and you promise to reveal to those who ask, will receive.

In Jesus Name.  Amen  

Written by Ps. Sue Botta

[comments closed]

Wednesday 7 October, 2020

Psalm 1

Psalm 1 1 Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, 2 but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. 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. 4 Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away. 5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. 6 For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.

I find that in my life I am surrounded by reminders of immediate needs, desires and circumstances.

  • My stomach reminds me that it is almost time to eat
  • A commercial reminds me of the latest and greatest ‘thing I should own’
  • My mind fixates on a presentation I have at work later today

The list goes on….

The word of God reminds me of realities that are often not front of mind for me, it speaks of the future I may not of considered, and it reminds me of realities that are more real than what often fills my mind.

In Psalm 1, I am reminded that my decisions and actions will bring about more than the immediate outcomes I may be thinking about. They will set me on a trajectory, a path that could head in one of two directions:

  • A life of fruitfulness and abundance
  • A life that counts for nothing and is simply swept away

It also speaks of a day of judgement we will all arrive at, a time I will have to give account for my life. At that destination those who have walked the first path will stand and inherit more of this righteous life and more on top of that!! Those who have walked the second path will be excluded from that inheritance.

God in heaven above, thank you for bringing your realities straight to my heart by your Word. Form in me a life that habitually meditates on your Word so that I may live by it and experience this abundance of righteousness. Amen.

Written by Andrew Mellor

[comments closed]

Tuesday 6 October, 2020

2 Samuel 24:18-25

18 On that day Gad went to David and said to him, “Go up and build an altar to the Lord on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.” 19 So David went up, as the Lord had commanded through Gad. 20 When Araunah looked and saw the king and his officials coming toward him, he went out and bowed down before the king with his face to the ground. 21 Araunah said, “Why has my lord the king come to his servant?” “To buy your threshing floor,” David answered, “so I can build an altar to the Lord, that the plague on the people may be stopped.” 22 Araunah said to David, “Let my lord the king take whatever he wishes and offer it up. Here are oxen for the burnt offering, and here are threshing sledges and ox yokes for the wood. 23 Your Majesty, Araunah[a] gives all this to the king.” Araunah also said to him, “May the Lord your God accept you.” 24 But the king replied to Araunah, “No, I insist on paying you for it. I will not sacrifice to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.” So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen and paid fifty shekels[b] of silver for them. 25 David built an altar to the Lord there and sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings. Then the Lord answered his prayer in behalf of the land, and the plague on Israel was stopped.

David is overwhelmed by the impact his sin (of taking a census) is having on the whole nation of Israel – 70,000 men have died because of his actions and he is filled with sorrow. He pleads with the Lord to end the plague because the people shouldn’t suffer because of his wrong doing. The Lord hears him and tells him to make a sacrifice of burnt offerings to atone for his sin.

This time David fully obeys the Lord. He goes to Araunah, who wants to provide everything that David needs. While this might be generous of Araunah, David does not want to choose the easy way out – v24 “I will not present burnt offerings to the Lord my God that have cost me nothing”. David already knows what happens when he does things his way. This time, David takes full responsibility and pays the full price for his wrongdoing. The result? The Lord is pleased and ends the plague.

For such a public sin and consequence, we also get another glimpse into the personal relationship David has with the Lord. That even though he made a very costly mistake, the Lord provides a way out for him by asking him to make a sacrifice. David’s heart response is to also make a peace offering, or fellowship offering, to the Lord to express his thankfulness and gratitude for the Lord’s generosity and kindness.

Father God, I thank you that when I sin, I can ask for forgiveness because of Jesus’ sacrifice for me. I thank you that because of Your actions our relationship can continue.   

Written by Gab Martin

[comments closed]

Monday 5 October, 2020

2 Samuel 24:1-17

24 Again the anger of the Lord burned against Israel, and he incited David against them, saying, “Go and take a census of Israel and Judah.” 2 So the king said to Joab and the army commanders with him, “Go throughout the tribes of Israel from Dan to Beersheba and enroll the fighting men, so that I may know how many there are.” 3 But Joab replied to the king, “May the Lord your God multiply the troops a hundred times over, and may the eyes of my lord the king see it. But why does my lord the king want to do such a thing?” 4 The king’s word, however, overruled Joab and the army commanders; so they left the presence of the king to enroll the fighting men of Israel. 5 After crossing the Jordan, they camped near Aroer, south of the town in the gorge, and then went through Gad and on to Jazer. 6 They went to Gilead and the region of Tahtim Hodshi, and on to Dan Jaan and around toward Sidon. 7 Then they went toward the fortress of Tyre and all the towns of the Hivites and Canaanites. Finally, they went on to Beersheba in the Negev of Judah. 8 After they had gone through the entire land, they came back to Jerusalem at the end of nine months and twenty days. 9 Joab reported the number of the fighting men to the king: In Israel there were eight hundred thousand able-bodied men who could handle a sword, and in Judah five hundred thousand. 10 David was conscience-stricken after he had counted the fighting men, and he said to the Lord, “I have sinned greatly in what I have done. Now, Lord, I beg you, take away the guilt of your servant. I have done a very foolish thing.” 11 Before David got up the next morning, the word of the Lord had come to Gad the prophet, David’s seer: 12 “Go and tell David, ‘This is what the Lord says: I am giving you three options. Choose one of them for me to carry out against you.’” 13 So Gad went to David and said to him, “Shall there come on you three[b] years of famine in your land? Or three months of fleeing from your enemies while they pursue you? Or three days of plague in your land? Now then, think it over and decide how I should answer the one who sent me.” 14 David said to Gad, “I am in deep distress. Let us fall into the hands of the Lord, for his mercy is great; but do not let me fall into human hands.” 15 So the Lord sent a plague on Israel from that morning until the end of the time designated, and seventy thousand of the people from Dan to Beersheba died. 16 When the angel stretched out his hand to destroy Jerusalem, the Lord relented concerning the disaster and said to the angel who was afflicting the people, “Enough! Withdraw your hand.” The angel of the Lord was then at the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. 17 When David saw the angel who was striking down the people, he said to the Lord, “I have sinned; I, the shepherd, have done wrong. These are but sheep. What have they done? Let your hand fall on me and my family.”

This has to be one of the more challenging sections of scripture because it appears that God gets angry with David for doing what God told him to do: vs 1 says that He incited David against them saying “go and take a census of Israel and Judah” then in verse 10, it says that David was conscience stricken, and God asked him to choose a punishment. 

It’s clearly not in the nature and character of God to tell someone to do something and then punish them for it, so I thought I’d go through a few possibilities of what might be going on here. 

1) Something about the WAY David did the Census was not what God intended: 

We see that David only counted the fighting men. God might have been angry with David for making calculations of his military strength, suggesting that David was trusting his own ability rather that God’s ability to protect the nation. 

Its also possible that God was angry for not counting the women, children, elderly and disabled people who couldn’t fight. God’s love and care for the least of His people means that He wanted David to count them too. 

2) David heard wrong:

The bible seems to suggest that David heard directly from God to take a census, but it’s possible that this was what David thought was the case. David’s men try to talk him out of the census, but it’s not until it’s all done that David realises he got it wrong. 

In this passage, both possibilities above lead me to reflect on the importance of being careful when I have a word from God.

I need to use discernment to make sure I have the message right, and I need to depend on the wise counsel of the people that God has placed around me in interpreting any word from God properly. 

Lord, let me hear your voice and let me do your will in all things. 

Written by Ps Justin Ware 

1 (reply)
[comments closed]

Sunday 4 October, 2020

2 Samuel 23:8-39

8 These are the names of David’s mighty warriors: Josheb-Basshebeth, a Tahkemonite, was chief of the Three; he raised his spear against eight hundred men, whom he killed[c] in one encounter. 9 Next to him was Eleazar son of Dodai the Ahohite. As one of the three mighty warriors, he was with David when they taunted the Philistines gathered at Pas Dammim for battle. Then the Israelites retreated, 10 but Eleazar stood his ground and struck down the Philistines till his hand grew tired and froze to the sword. The Lord brought about a great victory that day. The troops returned to Eleazar, but only to strip the dead. 11 Next to him was Shammah son of Agee the Hararite. When the Philistines banded together at a place where there was a field full of lentils, Israel’s troops fled from them. 12 But Shammah took his stand in the middle of the field. He defended it and struck the Philistines down, and the Lord brought about a great victory. 13 During harvest time, three of the thirty chief warriors came down to David at the cave of Adullam, while a band of Philistines was encamped in the Valley of Rephaim. 14 At that time David was in the stronghold, and the Philistine garrison was at Bethlehem. 15 David longed for water and said, “Oh, that someone would get me a drink of water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem!” 16 So the three mighty warriors broke through the Philistine lines, drew water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem and carried it back to David. But he refused to drink it; instead, he poured it out before the Lord. 17 “Far be it from me, Lord, to do this!” he said. “Is it not the blood of men who went at the risk of their lives?” And David would not drink it. Such were the exploits of the three mighty warriors. 18 Abishai the brother of Joab son of Zeruiah was chief of the Three. He raised his spear against three hundred men, whom he killed, and so he became as famous as the Three. 19 Was he not held in greater honor than the Three? He became their commander, even though he was not included among them. 20 Benaiah son of Jehoiada, a valiant fighter from Kabzeel, performed great exploits. He struck down Moab’s two mightiest warriors. He also went down into a pit on a snowy day and killed a lion. 21 And he struck down a huge Egyptian. Although the Egyptian had a spear in his hand, Benaiah went against him with a club. He snatched the spear from the Egyptian’s hand and killed him with his own spear. 22 Such were the exploits of Benaiah son of Jehoiada; he too was as famous as the three mighty warriors. 23 He was held in greater honor than any of the Thirty, but he was not included among the Three. And David put him in charge of his bodyguard. 24 Among the Thirty were: Asahel the brother of Joab, Elhanan son of Dodo from Bethlehem, 25 Shammah the Harodite, Elika the Harodite, 26 Helez the Paltite, Ira son of Ikkesh from Tekoa, 27 Abiezer from Anathoth, Sibbekai[f] the Hushathite, 28 Zalmon the Ahohite, Maharai the Netophathite, 29 Heled[g] son of Baanah the Netophathite, Ithai son of Ribai from Gibeah in Benjamin, 30 Benaiah the Pirathonite, Hiddai[h] from the ravines of Gaash, 31 Abi-Albon the Arbathite, Azmaveth the Barhumite, 32 Eliahba the Shaalbonite, the sons of Jashen, Jonathan 33 son of Shammah the Hararite, Ahiam son of Sharar the Hararite, 34 Eliphelet son of Ahasbai the Maakathite, Eliam son of Ahithophel the Gilonite, 35 Hezro the Carmelite, Paarai the Arbite, 36 Igal son of Nathan from Zobah, the son of Hagri, 37 Zelek the Ammonite, Naharai the Beerothite, the armor-bearer of Joab son of Zeruiah, 38 Ira the Ithrite, Gareb the Ithrite 39 and Uriah the Hittite. There were thirty-seven in all.

A few years back a friend of mine helped me demolish our en-suite ready for renovation. He lives south of the city and probably spent close to 2 hours in traffic to get to our house. We worked all day – hot, sweaty and dirty (it was mid-summer). He would have got home after dark. He did it just out of love for me.

Such generosity can’t be taken lightly. It’s precious and very rare. It has a sacredness about it, and I think that’s what David felt in verse 17 with the water from the well. “This act was so precious – how could I drink it all myself? I’ll pour it out in worship to God!”

It’s the same with Jesus. His gift of dying in my place on the cross is so precious, how could I ever keep that for myself? I must pour it out to others. (See Romans 12:1)

Jesus, please help me see and never forget that extravagant love you poured out for me on the cross. Show me how I can pour out that love to others.   Amen

Written by Boudy van Noppen

[comments closed]

Saturday 3 October, 2020

2 Samuel 23:1-7

23 These are the last words of David: “The inspired utterance of David son of Jesse, the utterance of the man exalted by the Most High, the man anointed by the God of Jacob, the hero of Israel’s songs: 2 “The Spirit of the Lord spoke through me; his word was on my tongue. 3 The God of Israel spoke, the Rock of Israel said to me: ‘When one rules over people in righteousness, when he rules in the fear of God, 4 he is like the light of morning at sunrise on a cloudless morning, like the brightness after rain that brings grass from the earth.’ 5 “If my house were not right with God, surely he would not have made with me an everlasting covenant, arranged and secured in every part; surely he would not bring to fruition my salvation and grant me my every desire. 6 But evil men are all to be cast aside like thorns, which are not gathered with the hand. 7 Whoever touches thorns uses a tool of iron or the shaft of a spear; they are burned up where they lie.”

When this passage talks about “David’s last words”, I don’t think it means that these were the sentences that he uttered before just before his dying breath. Rather, it is more like his final closing statement – How I Want To Be Remembered.

Let’s take a look at what David, one of the most famous people in all of history, records as his most valuable legacy:

  1. “The Spirit of the LORD spoke through me; his word was on my tongue” – He knew God’s word and His ways and was able to speak them to others.
  2. “When one rules in the fear of God, he is like the light of morning…” – He lived in the fear of God and knew that his life brought light to those around him.
  3. “If my house were not right with God, surely he would not have made with me an everlasting covenant…” – He was confident that he was right with God and his eternal future was secure.

What’s interesting, is that he doesn’t mention his great achievements such as being a mighty warrior, a King, and very wealthy as his legacy. David’s statements are quite simple and profound, and actually attainable for us all.

This is a great reminder to each one of us about what is ultimately important and lasting in this life, and my prayer is that these things may also be said of me…

That I knew God – His word and His ways, and shared it with others. That I lived in the fear of the Lord and brought light to those around me. And finally, that I was confident of my standing with God and knew my eternal future is secure with Him.  That’s how I want to be remembered.

Written by Shelley Witt

1 (reply)
[comments closed]