SCRIPTURE: “Cast your cares on the LORD and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous fall.” (Psalm 55:22 NIV)
David, brings his concerns and fears to God, asking Him to take care of the problems he’s facing. He knows he can trust God with the outcome. God has proven Himself before and will do so again. (Psalm 55:16-17). Much of the time, what we care about is not entirely within our control. We can’t dictate the results of our best efforts; we can’t force our hopes to materialize, and we definitely can’t make someone we love healthy and happy by the sheer force of our will. When we try to control outcomes, we carry a burden too heavy for human shoulders to bear. What a relief it is to finally let go, to heave our heavy burden onto the strong back of the Lord. He promises to sustain our hearts and minds with His peace (Philippians 4:6-7). And no matter what He chooses to do with what concerns us, we have the assurance that His decisions are guided by His love for us (1 Peter 5:7).
SCRIPTURE: “Give me a sign of your goodness, that my enemies may see it and be put to shame, for you, O LORD, have helped me and comforted me.”(Psalm 86:17 NIV)
Is it wrong to ask God to show himself, to prove Himself, to give us a “sign” of His goodness? The Israelites are rebuked and disciplined many times for putting God to the test, for insisting on more evidence of His goodness and power than He’s already abundantly provided (Psalm 78:41-51).
But here the psalmist’s motives are clearly not for his own benefit. He is not doubting God or demanding that the Lord demonstrate His character in a tangible way just so he will feel better. Rather, he wants the evidence of God’s loving presence to rebuke and shame the people who have no faith in the Almighty, to whom the psalmist owes his life. Like the prophet Micah, we need not hesitate to pray that God will help and honor us so that His glory will be revealed to the arrogant and unbelieving (Micah 7:8-10)
SCRIPTURE: “Set a guard over my mouth, O LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips.”(Psalm 141:3 NIV)
Have you ever wanted to retrieve words you just heard come out of your mouth-words better left unsaid, or even unthought? We’ve all experienced the discomfort, embarrassment, and repercussion of speaking when we should have kept our mouths shut. Sometimes our words have stung others with their poison, causing pain and destruction we later regret. The News Testament writer James calls the tongue “a restless evil, full of deadly poison” (James 3:8). James takes the believer’s speech so seriously that he says our religion is “worthless” if we fail to keep our tongues under control (James 1:26). The psalmist’s prayer here is clearly wise, a prayer we’d do well to emulate. Since we never know when foolish or sinful words will rush to the “door” of our lips, we need a divine sentry to keep constant watch. James agrees with the psalmist that we cannot tame our own tongues therefore we must rely on God to guard our mouths.
SCRIPTURE: “Delight yourself in the LORD and He will give you the desires of your heart”. (Psalm 37:4 NIV)
David expresses in his psalm a deep truth that he’s discovered: If he finds his life’s delight in the Lord, all his desires are fulfilled. To delight in someone is to find joy in their presence, to welcome their unique qualities, and to express pleasure in their company. When we make the Lord the object our delight, spending time in His presence and reveling in His character, our deepest heart’s desires gradually align themselves with His own. We discover that what we want is what He wants-and how delighted He is to honor our heart’s desire by keeping us in the center of His Will! As we believe in Him and grow to love Him more day by day, we will be “filled with inexpressible and glorious joy” for we will be enjoying the ultimate prize of our faith, the ultimate desire of our hearts: the eternal salvation of our souls (1 Peter 1:8-9).
SCRIPTURE: He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.” (Psalm 23:2-3 NIV)
The imagery in this snippet of the most known and beloved of all psalms could not be more soothing for women today. How often do we wish for nothing more than to “lie down,” to enjoy peace and quiet, to rest and revive in the midst of our harried lives? If we think it is God who demands superhuman effort and impossible schedules, we are wrong. God wants us to move steadily forward on our journey through life (Psalm 84:5-7), but rest and refreshment along the way are an integral part of His plan. He makes us lie down in verdant, nourishing “pasture” of His presence. He does not leave us in the desert but leads us directly to the banks of quiet pools of refreshment-if only we will follow. When we cooperate with the rejuvenating rhythms He has ordained for us each day, we will be physically, emotionally, and spiritually restored so that we can renew our pilgrimage and follow Him for eternity.
SCRIPTURE: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you far from saving me, so far from the words of my groaning?.” (Psalm 22 :1 NIV)
Part of the human condition is to encounter moments or seasons when God seems far, far away. We all experience the “dark night of the soul” at some point in our lives, and it is black indeed. How fortunate we are, however, to have a record of people who have felt exactly the same way, with the added benefit of knowing how their stories turn out. Many times David feels utterly dejected, forsaken by God, and overwhelmed by life. But time after God’s mercy and faithfulness prevail; David’s laments are eventually swallowed up in praise and thanksgiving.
Our ultimate encouragement comes from Jesus Christ Himself whose last Words on earth (other than the final, triumphant cry, “it is finished) are the same words of despair. In bearing our sin, He is crushed and momentarily separated from His Father. But His glorious destiny is sure, as is ours.
Never again will anything or anyone have the power to separate us from God’s love (Romans8:31-38)
SCRIPTURE: “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.” (Psalm 20:7 NIV)
David leads and engages in many military battles in his lifetime, he is equally well acquainted with the moral battles common to us all. In any altercation with an enemy, be it physical or spiritual, David’s confidence is not in himself or his resources, but in the power and authority of the Lord. When he is a mere boy, facing the giant Goliath, he proclaims that “the battle is the LORD’s” (1 Samuel 17:47) He knows he is no match for the Philistine; he doesn’t boast in his own strength or weaponry. (1Samuel 17:45) Instead, he has absolute confidence in his victorious God. In that early face-off and during the battles throughout his life, David recalls his conviction that only God’s strength and resources can be fully trusted. When we encounter spiritual battles in our own lives, we can use David’s proclamations of faith to remind ourselves who rules the battleground. Satan may launch all his powers of darkness against us, but God will have the victory. Depend on it!
May the Holy Spirit minister deeply into our hearts, the message He has for us today. Enjoy!
SCRIPTURE: “You broaden the path beneath me so that my ankles do not turn. (Psalm 18:36 NIV)
Picture making your way along a high, narrow ledge, picking your way over rocks and snags as you try to escape a dangerous enemy who is quickly gaining on you. When the terrain of life becomes rocky, steep, and narrow, the journey can be overwhelming. We are keenly aware of how easy it would be to turn an ankle, stumble and slip to our deaths. David’s praise-filled proclamation of God’s sustaining presence can be an affirmation of faith for us in daily life. Next time we find ourselves precariously perched on a dangerous precipice in a situation or relationship, we can say this verse aloud to the Lord. We can trust our Savior to broaden the path in front of us and keep our feet from slipping.
When words fail us, the book of Psalms can help us express our deepest emotions, whether we face problems or perils. The book of Psalms is not a book of doctrine but rather a guide or hymnal for worship and prayer.
Beloved in the Lord, For the next two weeks, we will talk about, THE PSALMS!
Today’s focus is on, PSALM 7:8
May the Holy Spirit minister deeply into our hearts, the message He has for us today. Enjoy!
SCRIPTURE: “Let the LORD judge the people. Judge me, O LORD, according to my righteousness, according to my integrity, O Most High.“ (Psalm 7:8 NIV)
Scripture clearly states that no human being is “good” or has cause to be self-righteous (Romans3:10-12); only through faith in Jesus Christ, who shed His blood for our sin, are we declared righteous (Romans 3:20-26). David does not claim to be perfect, but he confidently asserts that, to the best of his knowledge, he is following God’s Will and does not deserve to be persecuted by his enemies. He acknowledges that he could have a blind spot (Ps. 7:3-5), but he trusts that the perfect God who sees fully into every person’s mind and heart will honor his sincere desire to be a man of integrity (Ps. 7:9). Our God promises to reward those who earnestly seek him (Heb. 11:6) When we pursue relationship with Him, placing our ultimate faith in His character rather than in our own, we can be sure we will receive both justice and mercy.