Psalm 44

How do you pray when it seems God has deserted you? Learn from Psalm 44

Advertisements

Intro: Psalm 44 is a tough psalm because it asks God why he has seemingly deserted his people even though they have done nothing wrong.

To the choirmaster. A Maskil of the Sons of Korah.

1 O God, we have heard with our ears,
our fathers have told us,
what deeds you performed in their days,
in the days of old: Continue reading “Psalm 44”

Psalm 42 & 43

Intro: Psalms 42 & 43 teach us about the importance of the presence of the Lord in our lives. There are those who will doubt his presence, and mock us for our beliefs. Our own souls will even begin to doubt, but in these times we must remind ourselves of the goodness of the Lord, and sweetness of his presence.

Intro: Psalms 42 & 43 teach us about the importance of the presence of the Lord in our lives. There are those who will doubt his presence, and mock us for our beliefs. Our own souls will even begin to doubt, but in these times we must remind ourselves of the goodness of the Lord, and sweetness of his presence.

To the choirmaster. A Maskil of the Sons of Korah.

1 As a deer pants for flowing streams,
so pants my soul for you, O God.
Continue reading “Psalm 42 & 43”

Psalm 40

Intro: Psalm 40 is an explosion of praise for the way the Lord saves those who trust in him. It dwells deeply on the goodness and mercy of the Lord. It is a psalm that shows how the Lord delivers his people from their sin and enemies.

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.

1 I waited patiently for the Lord;
he inclined to me and heard my cry.
2 He drew me up from the pit of destruction,
out of the miry bog,
and set my feet upon a rock,
making my steps secure.
3 He put a new song in my mouth,
a song of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear,
and put their trust in the Lord.

4 Blessed is the man who makes
the Lord his trust,
who does not turn to the proud,
to those who go astray after a lie!
5 You have multiplied, O Lord my God,
your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us;
none can compare with you!
I will proclaim and tell of them,
yet they are more than can be told.

6 In sacrifice and offering you have not delighted,
but you have given me an open ear.
Burnt offering and sin offering
you have not required.
7 Then I said, “Behold, I have come;
in the scroll of the book it is written of me:
8 I delight to do your will, O my God;
your law is within my heart.”

9 I have told the glad news of deliverance
in the great congregation;
behold, I have not restrained my lips,
as you know, O Lord.
10 I have not hidden your deliverance within my heart;
I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation;
I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness
from the great congregation.

11 As for you, O Lord, you will not restrain
your mercy from me;
your steadfast love and your faithfulness will
ever preserve me!
12 For evils have encompassed me
beyond number;
my iniquities have overtaken me,
and I cannot see;
they are more than the hairs of my head;
my heart fails me.

13 Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver me!
O Lord, make haste to help me!
14 Let those be put to shame and disappointed altogether
who seek to snatch away my life;
let those be turned back and brought to dishonor
who delight in my hurt!
15 Let those be appalled because of their shame
who say to me, “Aha, Aha!”

16 But may all who seek you
rejoice and be glad in you;
may those who love your salvation
say continually, “Great is the Lord!”
17 As for me, I am poor and needy,
but the Lord takes thought for me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
do not delay, O my God!

Main Point: As I wrote above, this psalm truly is all about the Lord’s deliverance of His saints. There is not a readily perceivable structure, and for most of the psalm David is speaking of the Lord’s deliverance, kindness, and goodness or how he will tell everyone of it. Only the last two stanzas really stray from that main thought.  Even then, those stanzas are asking for the Lord’s deliverance. Psalm 40 is true to its theme of the Lord’s deliverance through and through.

Interesting Points: In the first stanza notice who is taking action. It is not David. He simply cries out and waits. It is the Lord who takes David out of the pit and places his feet on solid ground. It is just another reminder that the adage “God helps those who help themselves” just isn’t true. We can do nothing and offer nothing. He is the one who saves and rescues. Notice even the song that David sings of his deliverance comes from the Lord. One of David’s greatest gifts was writing of psalms, and yet even this was from the Lord. Salvation, first to last, is from the Lord.

Notice also that David didn’t do anything that caused the Lord to act other than cry out to him. Verse 17 teaches us that he had nothing to offer God for his deliverance, and verse 12 makes it clear that David was a horrible sinner. But God saved him because he loved him.

Verses 7-10 are a perfect picture of Jesus. He was the long awaited King who came to deliver the Lord’s people. He was written about in the scrolls. He constantly spoke of the kindness, goodness, and deliverance of the Lord. He brought comfort to the afflicted and peace to the poor. He ultimately was our deliverance. He made us, horrible sinners, into saints.

Both verse 5 and verse 17 make mention of the Lord’s thoughts. In verse 5, David tells us that the Lord has multiplied not just his acts of deliverance, but also his thoughts towards us. Have you ever paused to consider that the Creator of the universe thinks of you? Ponder that for a moment. For me that can be a little shocking because I spend so little time thinking of Him, but He has multiplied His thoughts about you. It is almost like He is obsessed with you – like He would do something crazy like die for you.

In 17 David writes, “I am poor and needy.” David has nothing to offer God for His help. He is like a beggar. But the Lord takes thought of him, and this makes all the difference.

Emotional Reaction: This psalm brought me a lot of comfort in a difficult time in my life. It allowed me to see my ultimate deliverance from my sin and enemies. It allowed me to rejoice even in the middle of the darkness and allowed me to tell others to rejoice and praise the Lord too.

Now, it humbles me to think that Lord loves me and thinks of me even though I have nothing to offer.

Great is the Lord! For none can compare with Him!

Psalm 39

We all know it is true that often when the Lord disciplines us he goes after those things that we hold more dearly than himself. He wants us to hold him more dearly than anything else in the world. He wants our love for him to be rivaled by nothing and no one. He does this because he knows that only in Himself will we be satisfied. He does it because he loves us, and only wants what is best for us. There is only one place to find joy, and this is in knowing him.



Intro: It appears that David is still reeling from the arrows with which he was pierced with in Psalm 38. He pledges to keep silent so that he does not sin, but he cannot hold his tongue. He sees how short his life is, and so he cries out to God that he might relent.

To the choirmaster: to Jeduthun. A Psalm of David.

1 I said, “I will guard my ways,
that I may not sin with my tongue;
I will guard my mouth with a muzzle,
so long as the wicked are in my presence.”
2 I was mute and silent;
I held my peace to no avail,
and my distress grew worse.
3 My heart became hot within me.
As I mused, the fire burned;
then I spoke with my tongue:

4 “O Lord, make me know my end
and what is the measure of my days;
let me know how fleeting I am!
5 Behold, you have made my days a few handbreadths,
and my lifetime is as nothing before you.
Surely all mankind stands as a mere breath!     Selah
6 Surely a man goes about as a shadow!
Surely for nothing they are in turmoil;
man heaps up wealth and does not know who will gather!

7 “And now, O Lord, for what do I wait?
My hope is in you.
8 Deliver me from all my transgressions.
Do not make me the scorn of the fool!
9 I am mute; I do not open my mouth,
for it is you who have done it.
10 Remove your stroke from me;
I am spent by the hostility of your hand.
11 When you discipline a man
with rebukes for sin,
you consume like a moth what is dear to him;
surely all mankind is a mere breath!          Selah

12 “Hear my prayer, O Lord,
and give ear to my cry;
hold not your peace at my tears!
For I am a sojourner with you,
a guest, like all my fathers.
13 Look away from me, that I may smile again,
before I depart and am no more!”

Main Point: In the first stanza(1-3) David begins by telling us that he had a plan to not sin. He was going to do so by not speaking, and especially when the wicked were in his presence. This didn’t work out too well though. He found himself getting more and more agitated. Finally he couldn’t hold it in anymore. David starts by speaking about the brevity of life. He speaks of life being a handbreadth, and man himself like shadow that is here only for a moment(4-6). David then turns his attention to the Lord’s Discipline in his life (7-11). He asks the Lord to deliver him from his sins. He asks the Lord to remove his hand of discipline from him not because he is undeserving, but because he can take no more. The Lord has taken what was dearest to him, and he is reeling. David closes by asking the Lord to hear his petition. David ask the Lord would please turn the face of his displeasure away from him so that he might experience joy again since his life is so short(12,13).

The point is this life is short. We don’t have much time. We better get busy with our lives. There is also a second point that is taught indirectly. David held his tongue as he went through his discipline, and it did him no good. It only agitated him, and ultimately looks like it led him to despair. We must seek the Lord as David did in the second half of the Psalm and speak to him about what we experience. We should ask him to relent as David does in the last stanza. It is here that the soul and heart can find rest.

Interesting Points: David uses great imagery when he speaks about the shortness of our life. We can be lured into thinking that we have quite sometime on this earth, but nothing can be further from the truth. Our lives are fleeting, and frail. David’s imagery helps us to see its shortness. We are truly like shadows that disappear with the changing of light. I think of the shadows around a camp fire, and how they almost have no substance. They are constantly changing; constantly appearing and disappearing. So are our lives.

David also calls attention to the foolishness of living your life to gather wealth. When you die it will be someone else’s. How foolish to spend your whole life seeking something you you can never have enough of, and will ultimately be given to someone else.

The most striking verse to me in this psalm is verse 11 that tells us when the Lord decides to discipline us he is “like a moth and consumes what is dear” to us. What a vivid image! Many of us have had the expreience of pulling out our favorite garment only to find it with holes all through it because a moth was in our closet. It is truly disappointing and frustrating to lose something you hold dear. However it is just a garment, and with the Lord what we lose often times can be much more painful.

We all know it is true that often when the Lord disciplines us he goes after those things that we hold more dearly than himself. He wants us to hold him  more dearly than anything else in the world. He wants our love for him to be rivaled by nothing and no one. He does this because he knows that only in Himself will we be satisfied. He does it because he loves us, and only wants what is best for us. There is only one place to find joy, and this is in knowing him.

Last, in verse 13 David asks the Lord to turn his face from him so that he might experience joy. I don’t think that David is asking for the Lord to go away from him, or for the Lord forget about him. I think it is more likely that David is speaking as he does in Psalm 34 when he says, “the face of the Lord is against the wicked.” I believe that David is asking for the Lord to remove his gaze of displeasure from him.

Emotional Reaction: It is motivating to remember that this life is short, and good for me to remember that it really could be over at any moment. That is a little nerve racking, but really motivating as well. I think also after reading the Psalm it makes facing the Lord’s discipline a little more frightening as well. It brings a note of seriousness to this life and the way we live.

Psalm 37

Intro: Psalm 37 encourages us to take the long view when it comes to our lives. David encourages us to not get angry when we see cheaters prosper but to trust in the Lord.  For he has promised to prosper and give unspeakable joy to his followers.

37:1 Fret not yourself because of evildoers;
be not envious of wrongdoers!
2 For they will soon fade like the grass
and wither like the green herb.

3 Trust in the Lord, and do good;
dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.
4 Delight yourself in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.

5 Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him, and he will act.
6 He will bring forth your righteousness as the light,
and your justice as the noonday.

7 Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him;
fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way,
over the man who carries out evil devices!

8 Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath!
Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil.
9 For the evildoers shall be cut off,
but those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land.

10 In just a little while, the wicked will be no more;
though you look carefully at his place, he will not be there.
11 But the meek shall inherit the land
and delight themselves in abundant peace.

12 The wicked plots against the righteous
and gnashes his teeth at him,
13 but the Lord laughs at the wicked,
for he sees that his day is coming.

14 The wicked draw the sword and bend their bows
to bring down the poor and needy,
to slay those whose way is upright;
15 their sword shall enter their own heart,
and their bows shall be broken.

16 Better is the little that the righteous has
than the abundance of many wicked.
17 For the arms of the wicked shall be broken,
but the Lord upholds the righteous.

18 The Lord knows the days of the blameless,
and their heritage will remain forever;
19 they are not put to shame in evil times;
in the days of famine they have abundance.

20 But the wicked will perish;
the enemies of the Lord are like the glory of the pastures;
they vanish—like smoke they vanish away.

21 The wicked borrows but does not pay back,
but the righteous is generous and gives;
22 for those blessed by the Lord shall inherit the land,
but those cursed by him shall be cut off.

23 The steps of a man are established by the Lord,
when he delights in his way;
24 though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong,
for the Lord upholds his hand.

25 I have been young, and now am old,
yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken
or his children begging for bread.
26 He is ever lending generously,
and his children become a blessing.

27 Turn away from evil and do good;
so shall you dwell forever.
28 For the Lord loves justice;
he will not forsake his saints.
They are preserved forever,
but the children of the wicked shall be cut off.
29 The righteous shall inherit the land
and dwell upon it forever.

30 The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom,
and his tongue speaks justice.
31 The law of his God is in his heart;
his steps do not slip.

32 The wicked watches for the righteous
and seeks to put him to death.
33 The Lord will not abandon him to his power
or let him be condemned when he is brought to trial.

34 Wait for the Lord and keep his way,
and he will exalt you to inherit the land;
you will look on when the wicked are cut off.

35 I have seen a wicked, ruthless man,
spreading himself like a green laurel tree.
36 But he passed away, and behold, he was no more;
though I sought him, he could not be found.

37 Mark the blameless and behold the upright,
for there is a future for the man of peace.
38 But transgressors shall be altogether destroyed;
the future of the wicked shall be cut off.

39 The salvation of the righteous is from the Lord;
he is their stronghold in the time of trouble.
40 The Lord helps them and delivers them;
he delivers them from the wicked and saves them,
because they take refuge in him.

Main Point: Psalm 37 was written by David in his later years, and from what seems to be a stable point in life. It is with this perspective of having seen a full life that he can write this psalm. It is the psalm of an old man who has seen the faithfulness of the Lord. It is the psalm of a King who cares for the hearts of his people and wants them to trust in the Lord no matter their circumstances or how prospereous those who do evil appear to be.

David has seen how those who appear to be prospering even though they do not follow the Lord meet a bitter end and how those who have placed their trust in the Lord are vindicated again and again. Having seen the Lord’s faithfulness over his lifetime has allowed David to say two things, “I have never seen the righteous forsaken” and the evil “pass away and they are no more.”

Interesting Points: The first thing I noticed was the use of the word “fret” three times in just 8 verses. When I think of the word fret in English, I think of a word similar to worry. However, the word here is better translated “agitated” or something similar. The Hebrew word has the idea of burning with anger. In this particular form it seems to mean something like “don’t set yourself ablaze with anger.”

Verse 8 illustrates this idea perfectly. David encourages us to let go of our anger and our wrath. He then encourages the reader to not “set yourself ablaze” because this leads us only to evil.

I know a few people who, when they get to meet a saint that has lived a long and faithful life, ask them “if you could do anything different what would it be?” I think we get an idea from this psalm what David might have done differently. I think he would have spent a lot less time getting worked up when the wicked around him seemed to prosper and spent more time trusting in God’s faithfulness and justice.

I also see the heart of a King who wants to remind his subjects to make good choices. I can imagine that the decisions in David’s day were similar to the ones that we have to make today. Often times, especially with the youth in our country, it can appear that the decision is to either become a law breaker and wealthy or to be righteous and poor. This, I think, is even more heightened in the disadvantaged communities in our nation. The choice is often between something like dealing drugs or a life in poverty. So David reminds us and the readers of his day in verse 16 that it is better to be poor and righteous than wealthy and wicked.

David’s connection with the wicked and paying borrowed money back is interesting. This is even more interesting to me considering that if you watch TV in any given hour, you are liable to see at least 1 commercial offering to settle your debt for pennies on the dollar. Surely for someone who can never afford to pay the debts that they have accumulated, this is okay and a form of grace. But the way it is being sold has nothing to do with your ability to pay it back. It comes across as our right to rid ourselves of this debt. As Christians, we should think twice before entertaining such ideas or we will find ourselves in the category of the wicked.

I also find it interesting that righteous are givers, not loaners with a reasonable rate of return. I am not saying that loans are evil, but I am saying that if we aspire to live up to the Biblical concept of love we need to consider being more generous and just give our stuff away. Isn’t that what Jesus told the rich young ruler to do?

Verse 25 is by far my favorite. David thinks back over his whole life and can say that he has never seen the righteous or their children lack. Just as a man who has lived many years can say with certainty that the sun will come up tomorrow, so David can say that the Lord will take care of the righteous.

Lastly, David tells us in verses 28 and 29 that righteous will be preserved forever and that they will live in the land forever. It is clear to me that David, as we have seen in other psalms, is referring not only to this life but also the one to come. It is a reminder for us that this life is only the beginning. While the time is short here, it will determine where we spend the rest of eternity.

It is also a reminder that while in this life in can appear at times that the righteous have been slain at the hands of the wicked, ultimately the Lord will grant them eternal life and pleasures evermore.

Emotional Reactions: I love to hear words from those who have lived this life well, and have seen the Lord’s faithfulness. Hearing the utterances of a wise old man just brings peace and encouragement to continue in following after the Lord. It brings a sense of reassurance that doing what is right will be rewarded.

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Quotation informationPurchase an ESV.

Psalm 36

The point: The foolishness of the wicked who do not fear God even though he shows great faithfulness and love. He is the fountain of life and the source of all light. Yet they have rejected him, and their ultimate destruction is assured.

Into: Psalm 36 is a short and beautiful Psalm. It is full of great imagery, and ponders two great truths. Man’s wickedness, and God’s goodness.

To the choirmaster. Of David, the servant of the Lord.

1 Transgression speaks to the wicked
deep in his heart;
there is no fear of God
before his eyes.
2 For he flatters himself in his own eyes
that his iniquity cannot be found out and hated.
3 The words of his mouth are trouble and deceit;
he has ceased to act wisely and do good.
4 He plots trouble while on his bed;
he sets himself in a way that is not good;
he does not reject evil.

5 Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens,
your faithfulness to the clouds.
6 Your righteousness is like the mountains of God;
your judgments are like the great deep;
man and beast you save, O Lord.

7 How precious is your steadfast love, O God!
The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
8 They feast on the abundance of your house,
and you give them drink from the river of your delights.
9 For with you is the fountain of life;
in your light do we see light.

10 Oh, continue your steadfast love to those who know you,
and your righteousness to the upright of heart!
11 Let not the foot of arrogance come upon me,
nor the hand of the wicked drive me away.
12 There the evildoers lie fallen;
they are thrust down, unable to rise.

Main Point: The psalm starts by pondering the wicked, and the thoroughness of their evil (1-4). However, David quickly turns his attention to the goodness of the Lord. He ponders how high and exalted is His faithfulness. He proclaims that the Lord is righteous in all that He does(5,6). In the next stanza David focuses on how the Lord is the sustainer of life and the light of man. (7-9). David begins to close by asking the Lord to continue to show his steadfast Love to those who know the Lord and to keep the wicked far from them(10,11). The psalm ends where it started – considering the wicked. The difference this time is that David is pondering their ultimate destiny. They will come to ruin(10-12).

The point: He highlights the foolishness of the wicked who do not fear God even though he shows great faithfulness and love. He is the fountain of life and the source of all light. Yet they have rejected him, and their ultimate destruction is assured.

Interesting Points: The discussion of the wicked is very interesting to me. Notice in verse 1 it is a heart issue. Second, the fear of God is missing before him. This is the beginning of foolishness.

I love how David gives us a window into the thinking of the wicked; “He flatters himself in his own eyes” and thinks that is evil acts won’t catch up with him. This is where I see wickedness in my own heart. I fool myself into thinking that my motives are true and pure at all times. This is foolishness.

This foolish thinking leads him to foolish actions. His words become trouble, and he ceases to do what is good. The cancer has spread so far that now even in the quiet moments before he falls asleep he ponders how he might do more evil.

The descriptions of the Lord’s faithfulness are amazing. When David says the “heavens” he is most likely referring to the heavenly bodies like the stars and moon. Ponder this: the Lord’s faithful love for you extends to the edges of the universe!

The descriptions of the Lord’s justice/righteousness are great word pictures. His righteousness is like the mountains. It is unshakeable and unmovable. It towers over us. Then you move on to his judgments being like the great deep. My minds goes to the idea of them being unsearchable.

David is also telling us something when he describes God’s faithfulness being in the heavens and his judgements in deep sea. When you have opposites like this, its kind of like saying, “they are in the extremes and everywhere in between.” So when you combine these two word pictures of God’s faithfulness and his justice, you have the universe being full of the God’s love, righteousness, and judgements. There is no where to turn that they are not on full display. They are glorious and they are great.

I could just write pages on the stanza in verses 7-9. I love the picture of God putting a wing of protection over us. This stanza also reminds us of how there is real joy to be had in knowing the Lord. So much so that David calls it a “river of delights.” On top of this it reminds us that the Lord is the genesis of all life. There is no other source of life, spiritual or physical. What a great stanza!

It ends on a note that I will also end on… “in your light do we see light.” That is a great way of saying, “if we understand anything it is only because you have allowed us to see it.” He is the light that illuminates all our thoughts and understanding. Without the Lord we only see darkness.

Emotional Reactions: Simply in awe of the God whose faithful love, righteousness, and judgements fill the universe.

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Quotation informationPurchase an ESV.

Psalm 35

Intro: Psalm 35 asks for the Lord to be a warrior for his people. It ask for the Lord to be our rescuer, and ultimately it asks for the Lord to be our righteous Judge who punishes those who falsely accuse His saints. It asks the Lord’s protection over his people. Enjoy the read.

Of David.

35:1 Contend, O Lord, with those who contend with me;
fight against those who fight against me!
2 Take hold of shield and buckler
and rise for my help!
3 Draw the spear and javelin
against my pursuers!
Say to my soul,
“I am your salvation!”

4 Let them be put to shame and dishonor
who seek after my life!
Let them be turned back and disappointed
who devise evil against me!
5 Let them be like chaff before the wind,
with the angel of the Lord driving them away!
6 Let their way be dark and slippery,
with the angel of the Lord pursuing them!

7 For without cause they hid their net for me;
without cause they dug a pit for my life.
8 Let destruction come upon him when he does not know it!
And let the net that he hid ensnare him;
let him fall into it—to his destruction!

9 Then my soul will rejoice in the Lord,
exulting in his salvation.
10 All my bones shall say,
“O Lord, who is like you,
delivering the poor
from him who is too strong for him,
the poor and needy from him who robs him?”

11 Malicious witnesses rise up;
they ask me of things that I do not know.
12 They repay me evil for good;
my soul is bereft.
13 But I, when they were sick—
I wore sackcloth;
I afflicted myself with fasting;
I prayed with head bowed on my chest.
14 I went about as though I grieved for my friend or my brother;
as one who laments his mother,
I bowed down in mourning.

15 But at my stumbling they rejoiced and gathered;
they gathered together against me;
wretches whom I did not know
tore at me without ceasing;
16 like profane mockers at a feast,
they gnash at me with their teeth.

17 How long, O Lord, will you look on?
Rescue me from their destruction,
my precious life from the lions!
18 I will thank you in the great congregation;
in the mighty throng I will praise you.

19 Let not those rejoice over me
who are wrongfully my foes,
and let not those wink the eye
who hate me without cause.
20 For they do not speak peace,
but against those who are quiet in the land
they devise words of deceit.
21 They open wide their mouths against me;
they say, “Aha, Aha!
Our eyes have seen it!”

22 You have seen, O Lord; be not silent!
O Lord, be not far from me!
23 Awake and rouse yourself for my vindication,
for my cause, my God and my Lord!
24 Vindicate me, O Lord, my God,
according to your righteousness,
and let them not rejoice over me!
25 Let them not say in their hearts,
“Aha, our heart’s desire!”
Let them not say, “We have swallowed him up.”

26 Let them be put to shame and disappointed altogether
who rejoice at my calamity!
Let them be clothed with shame and dishonor
who magnify themselves against me!

27 Let those who delight in my righteousness
shout for joy and be glad
and say evermore,
“Great is the Lord,
who delights in the welfare of his servant!”
28 Then my tongue shall tell of your righteousness
and of your praise all the day long.

Main Point: The meaning of this psalm is not subtle. The psalmist clearly ask for the Lord to be a warrior for his cause (1-6).  In verses 7-21 David lodges his complaint with his attackers. In these verses he also pledges that he will praise the Lord upon his deliverance (9,10, 18). David then again calls the Lord to action. He asks for the Great King, the Lord,  to arise from his throne and give him justice from his false accusers(22-26). David then closes by asking for the righteous in Israel to praise the Lord with him (27, 28).

The message is that the Lord is our deliverer and warrior. We can trust in him and know that He alone is our salvation.

Interesting Points: The imagery in this Psalm helps the imagination. In my mind, I see God like Maximus in The Gladiator. I imagine him to be like a soldier on the battlefield who moves quickly to fend of the enemy and has confidence in his stride. It is an image of strength. It is an image of one who knows his power, strength and ability to defeat the enemy.

I love how David asks for the Lord to speak to his soul in the opening lines. Our souls need to take comfort knowing that our salvation, both physical and spiritual are in the Lord’s hands not ours.

I think it is helpful too for us to sit and think of the significance of the Lord uttering those words to us. He is the salvation of those souls who come to Him in faith. The Word of the Lord is not like the words we utter. His words are not idle. When he speaks worlds are created and sinners are justified. In His words we can rest. When He speaks to our souls, it is absolute truth. His words are true and can never be false. If He has spoken it, it will be.

I think I have brought this up in other places, but I find it interesting that much of what has David up in arms is lying and false accusations. It should be a reminder for us that our truthfulness is important. David was a man after God’s own heart, and lying lips set him off more than many other things. Lying is one of the big ten so it shouldn’t be a big surprise for us. However, in our day we tend to over look someone who has a problem properly describing reality. The new testament gives us no quarter here either though when it comes to our tongues. Just look at James 3:1-12. We would do well to remember the importance of our speech. 

As I have pointed out elsewhere, David again is unafraid in bringing reasons why the Lord should answer his prayer. David gives at least 2 reasons. 1) Because He is righteous and should defend David’s righteous cause and 2) because David will praise him and glorify him upon his deliverance. We should learn from David and not shy away from offering prayers in this way.

Emotional Reactions: The strength with which this psalm portrays the Lord gives me great comfort and peace. It helps me to realize that it is the Lord who fights my battles, and will ultimately vindicate me. This allows me to relax because I know He is here.

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Quotation informationPurchase an ESV.