Psalm 18: “Praise in Victory”
We come to the 18th psalm, the longest we’ve seen so far. This psalm was written by David after he was delivered from his enemies. It is a psalm of thanksgiving in triumph. The first 19 verses speak to how the Lord was responsible for David’s victories. You will see verse after verse that it was the Lord who delivered him. David was a skilled fighter, and he had his mighty men, but despite this he knew the source of his victories. The next 12 verses speak to the Lord’s dealing with the wicked and those who belong to him. He begins by using himself as an example, then tells of how He deals with the wicked. David describes the Lord as just and merciful in this section. The last section is much like the first, where David goes into more detail on the Lord’s role in David’s successes. When we get to the last verse, we see that salvation comes through the Lord. We see here that victory and salvation are from the Lord. Isn’t that comforting? When we are in trouble, or triumph we can have confidence in the Lord because He is the source. Remember that today, in good time and in the not so good times.
Psalm 17: “A Prayer of David”
Many people “pray,” but have don’t really know how it all works, or if it really works. David, however, was confident in his prayers, as we see in verse 6: “I call upon you, for you will answer me, O God; incline your ear to me; hear my words.” As you may have expected, this psalm is a prayer for God to hear him in times of trouble. David has taught us this a lot in the Psalms, so far. We don’t exactly when this trouble occurred, or what it even was, but he knew that the Lord would hear his cry. This is important for us to understand as children of God. David also gives us a pretty good model to follow here. David acknowledges that he’s been tried and tested, but doesn’t blame the Lord. He holds to his innocence of various things he had been accused of. He asks for the Lord’s favor, then turns to pray for his enemies. They are described as wicked and as a lion, ready for attack. He closes with these words, “As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness; when I awake, I shall be satisfied with your likeness.” David’s reliance on the Lord was very evident in his Psalms. We knew that David’s desire was to please the Lord. This is where we ought to be. Our lives should focus on our desire to be more like Jesus. Where is your focus?
- Thanks again, Ryan! I should seek to please the Lord and this should be my focus. It remains my focus as I tell you about 1 Cor. 14. Chapter 12 and 14 form a sandwich talking about gifts but the meat is chapter12:31, chapter 13 and 14:1 which talk about love. Paul told the believers that everything needed to be in order. With love for each other governing our actions, then our expressions of spiritual gifts will be to build up one another in the church. This is one way to focus on our desire to be more like Jesus. The verse for today from my reading plan is Rev. 4:11 "You are worthy, O Lord our God to receive glory and honor and power. For you created all things, and they exist because you created what you pleased."
Psalm 16: “The Lord will not Abandon”
This psalm is yet another messianic psalm, this time pointing us to the resurrection of Jesus. How do we know that this is whom David is speaking of? Well, in Acts 2:25-28, Peter quotes this psalm, revealing that Jesus was the Man in which David spoke of in verses 8-11. This psalm was comforting to David’s readers, as it provided them hope. We know that the Lord will not abandon us. This is an interesting thought. Many people feel alone and feel like God is nowhere to be found. Did it ever occur to you that maybe the it wasn’t the Lord who has abandoned them, but that they abandoned the Lord? Verse 2 also reveals that we are not good, and that there is no good apart from Him. Verse 4 warns us about following after other gods, and conversely, verses 5-6 point us back to being content with the portion that we have from the Father. This psalm is a great reminder that our hope lies with the risen Christ, as we saw in Acts 2. When we feel alone, remember the risen Lord.
- Thanks again, Ryan. You are such an encouragement to faithfulness. Remember the risen Lord when I feel alone. Everything I have is from the Lord, so I will be content with my portion. Today I was reading in the wonderful love chapter of 1 Corinthians 13. There is so much good stuff in this book and this chapter is a good example of that. "Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance." I'm content with love that the Lord gives me, too. Keep on keeping on!
Psalm 15: “An Important Question”
David asks a very important question in verse 1: “O Lord, who shall sojourn in your tent? Who shall dwell on your holy hill?” In other words, David is asking the Lord how one can be a welcomed guest at the Lord’s table. He answers this question in verses 2-5. His answer could be summarized in one word: blameless. He says that we must be blameless. The ESV Study Bible makes this great point: “one striking feature of these specifics is that they are matters of character and go beyond what the laws of the Pentateuch require.” What an incredible preview that the Jewish people had with this Psalm to some New Testament principles that Christians are to adhere to as a response to our faith. Are you blameless before man? If not, that means that we are not representing Jesus well. Pray for the Lord to help become more like Him. Read His Word to see what that looks like. Ask for forgiveness in those areas of sin that the Word will reveal to you. If you are sincere, the Lord will honor this request. You may struggle along the way, but you must remain faithful. Draw near to the Lord, and He will draw near to you (James 4:8).
- Very intriguing news article - Hold fast to The Word:Lead singer of rock band Skillet issues dire warning after Christian influencers publicly renounce their faith'What is happening in Christianity?'www.theblaze.com
Psalm 14: “The Fool”
This post and verse are sure not to make me any friends, but I won’t shy away from the truths that are presented in the Scriptures. Many who don’t have a relationship with true Lord will shut down after the first verse. This is because of pride. The Bible is telling the unbelieving person that they are foolish for not believing in God. Belief, by the way is more than just knowing that a God exists (Jane 2:19), but it is about surrender and dying to the old self. When you really study this psalm, though you will realize that this another lamenting psalm, where David laments over the creation who has abandoned their Creator. You see this in the final verse, where the plea for salvation is made. It is also not meant to be an insult to the non-believer, but a plea to God to change their hearts. You see, the Bible teaches that no one is good (we are all sinners), and because we rebelled from God (we all rebel when we live in sin). It is only in Christ that salvation is possible (when we are forgiven of our sin and declares righteous before God). This is only possible because of God’s grace (Ephesians 2:8-10). When we call upon the name of the Lord, we are saved (Romans 10:13). It is the power of the Holy Spirit that provides wisdom and understanding, so when one does not have the Holy Spirit, they are declared foolish because they are unwise (Proverbs 2). Wisdom leads to good works, which is a proof of our salvation (James 2). If you are reading this and are an unbeliever, know that you can be forgiven (1 John 1:9) if you confess your sin and be saved if you confess with your mouth that He is Lord (Romans 10:13). If you know someone who is not saved, Christian, pray for him or her. Remind them that the will of the Father is that none perish (2 Peter 3:9). Will you do that today?
Psalm 13: “How Long”
This Psalm almost speaks for itself. We don’t have any context or history on the occasion of this psalm, but it is very apparent that this worshipper was in complete despair. No worshiper wants to feel alone, but every worshipper needs to be broken at some point. It seems like David, possibly speaking of himself, has already experienced brokenness, but is now feeling like he has been forsaken. Part of worship is surrender, and that is exactly what we see to close the psalm with these words; “But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, because he has dealt bountifully with me.” Do you see what happened here? Despite the feeling of being alone, his prayer and act of worship led him to remembering that the Lord is good, and has provided. When we are at the bottom of the road, we must see Him there at the end of that road, and our sorrow will turn to joy.
- Thanks Ryan! The act of worship led him to remembering that the Lord is good, and has provided. In 1 Cor. 10 Paul reminds us to remember the Israelíes and take the warning. Then he says that if I feel strong to take heed lest I fall - and then the verse about temptation, and God’s promise to make a way of escape. It’s in the middle of a warning. Confession is one part of worship. Confess that Jesus is Lord and confess my sin if I don’t take advantage of the way of escape. And if I do escape I can worship the Almighty One who is worthy of all praise and honor and power and glory for ever and ever!
- Pat Damiani published a newsletterReadThornydale Family ChurchAugust 12 , 2019
It's been really exciting to see many of you taking advantage of some of the Bible study tools that are available to all of us as a member of TFC. As we continue our study in the Psalms, I hope even more of you will learn to use some of those tools as it will really deepen your understanding of the passages we're studying. If you need some help with any of those apps or programs, just ask. I'd love to help.
Walking with you toward Jesus,