Psalms 10:1 Why, O LORD, do you stand far away?
To the tearful sufferer the Lord can seem to stand still, as if he calmly looks on does not sympathise with those that are afflicted. This of course is not true, It is also a feeling that is apparent to the unbeliever who is watching. Someone has said that if you talk about something that is false often enough it becomes the truth. There are three sayings that come in this section of the Psalm. The first saying is "there is no God", the second is "I shall not be moved" and the final one is "God has forgotten"
It is interesting that it begins with affirming that there is no God and gradually with each step that affirmation becomes weaker. Until there is a recognition of the existence of God but the challenge is to his memory. It takes human experience and attributes them to God. The probability of us being here, in a mathematical sense, without God is so large as to be ridiculous. It is easy to say there is no God, but if you do, it is difficult to describe anything else. Romans chapter 1 says the existence of God is evident by what is around us.
Next, to say that "I will not be moved" is to be like a man trying to stop a moving train. What we do not perceive is we regularly change our opinions and premises. The final one is "God has forgotten." We forget that God never forgets, that is why we need the forgiveness of Jesus. Without that we would have no eternity. Yet when we move into the eternal situation we will find that God never forgets.
Dear father, help to remember the needy in the daily problemns that they have. May I not be associated with those that seek to live independently of you and who look to victimise those that have little standing before the law. Help me to remember that the present and the future is in your hands. Most of all help me see and understand where the Spirit is moving and to praise you for what I see. Amen
Psalms 10:12 Arise, O LORD; O God, lift up your hand;
forget not the afflicted.
In this section of the psalm we get a fourth statement from the ungodly: “God will not call to account”. In other words the hope is that they will get away with ignoring God. How can a God of love be that nasty. If he judges me he is not a loving God. We know, with our children that love goes hand in hand with discipline and judgement and many times it is a matter of safety. We say "if you do not stay with me when we are down at the mall, there will be consequences when you get home." Why! Because you want your child to be safe. And if you are wise you will follow through on those consequences. God is the same but far more loving and provides the pathway to safety which is Jesus.
To suggest 'God will not call to account,' is very much wishful thinking. Throughout the Scripture and another Psalms, the fact that we will be called to account is quite clear. The issue is that we have all sinned and fallen short of what is required, and that the only protection from being called to account, is belief in Jesus who died for the forgiveness of sins. But he also died and rose again and becomes the first fruits of a new life. So people who die are revived to live again, and will be called to account. In that process the forgiveness of sins becomes paramount and is due to those who believe. Where the pressure of society has become so strong, that they haven't been able to bear it by themselves, they need to call on Jesus to give them the strength and the ability to be able to do ordinary, good and right things well.
The contrast in the psalm comes in the last few verses. The significant verse is the 16th "The Lord is king forever; the nations perish from His land." As king, he is concerned about the plight of all his subjects and the nations perish from his land. Acts 17:26 talks about that God determines the boundaries of the nations and their length of stay. This in iself is evidence that the Lord is concerned with the plight of his people and he is resposive to their need.
Dear father I know that I will be called to account, and I know there are things that I'm thoroughly ashamed of and there are things that I should be ashamed of . Because of these things which are so unnatural sometimes to do I deserve the consequences. But the thing that is wonderful is to know that Jesus died for my sins and when I'm called to give account I can use what his done and that my account becomes clean. Help me to appreciate the deposit that I gained through Jesus in in my behaviour bank account. May I never let down my guard in resisting sin. Amen
| Bible Reading
Psalms 11:1 In the Lord I take refuge.
How then can you say to me:
“Flee like a bird to your mountain.
2 For look, the wicked bend their bows;
they set their arrows against the strings
to shoot from the shadows
at the upright in heart.
3 When the foundations are being destroyed,
what can the righteous do?”
4 The Lord is in his holy temple;
the Lord is on his heavenly throne.
He observes everyone on earth;
his eyes examine them.
5 The Lord examines the righteous,
but the wicked, those who love violence,
he hates with a passion.
6 On the wicked he will rain
fiery coals and burning sulphur;
a scorching wind will be their lot.
7 For the Lord is righteous,
he loves justice;
the upright will see his face.
Theme: God’s rule provides stability in the midst of panic. Because we can trust him, we can face our problems.
David had several opportunities to kill Saul when he was the king but would not. This day you have seen with your own eyes how the Lord delivered you into my hands in the cave. Some urged me to kill you, but I spared you; I said, ‘I will not lay my hand on my lord, because he is the Lord’s anointed.’ See, my father, look at this piece of your robe in my hand! I cut off the corner of your robe but did not kill you. See that there is nothing in my hand to indicate that I am guilty of wrongdoing or rebellion. I have not wronged you, but you are hunting me down to take my life. The honour that was afforded Saul by David was not being returned to David. In this situation it is contrast between a person of faith as compared to someone without faith. David died in hi bed of old age, but Saul died violently. In this case David was encouraged by his advisors to flee. David’s answer is the Lord is my refuge. And God is in His temple and on his Heavenly throne. The temple, the place of worship and the heavenly throne, the place of authority. True worship involves a reference to both.
The reference to God hating those who use violence is interesting because the issue of violence depreciates through the scriptures and eventually Christ goes meekly to the cross, the power of a different Kingdom.
In the previous psalms David was wondering about the power of the ungodly. In this psalm it is the opposite, it was his advisers who had the limited view of God. David affirms that it is God who loves justice and the righteous who will see God’s face, which is the promise of God that will be fulfilled in heaven because in Jesus our sins are forgiven.
Dear Father I thank you that faith is a refuge. That you care for the sparrow and you care for me. I think of the people in my community that do not have this privilege. May the love of Jesus shine through me and may not l have insight as to how the Spirit is moving in my area so I can pray and act effectively. Amen
Psalms 12 :1 Help, Lord, for no one is faithful anymore;
those who are loyal have vanished from the human race.
2 Everyone lies to their neighbour;
they flatter with their lips
but harbor deception in their hearts.
3 May the Lord silence all flattering lips
and every boastful tongue—
4 those who say,
“By our tongues we will prevail;
our own lips will defend us—who is lord over us?”
5 “Because the poor are plundered and the needy groan,
I will now arise,” says the Lord.
“I will protect them from those who malign them.”
6 And the words of the Lord are flawless,
like silver purified in a crucible,
like gold refined seven times.
7 You, Lord, will keep the needy safe
and will protect us forever from the wicked,
8 who freely strut about
when what is vile is honoured by the human race.
Sometimes, walking in faith can be very lonely. this psalm depicts the problem. It is not unique description example Proverbs 20:6 Many claim to have unfailing love, but a faithful person who can find? There are times when even strong Christian friends can flutter away. Spurgeon divides the Psalm in the following way. In the first and second verses David spreads his complaint before the Lord concerning the treachery of his age and ours too; verses 3 and 4 denounce judgments upon proud traitors; in verse 5, Jehovah himself thunders out his wrath against oppressors; hearing this, the writer talks of the faithfulness of God and his care of his people, in verses 6 and 7; but closes on the old key of lament in verse 8, as he observes the abounding wickedness of his times. Those holy souls who dwell in tents loneliness, may read these sacred stanzas with hearts in full accord with their mingled with lowly mourning and lofty confidence.
The last verse is very appropriate for our age, where we struggle with drugs and abortion laws are becoming more liberal and alcohol adverts reach children. There is a need for the church to be far more the outspoken. Today it is too easy to hear the voice who think our society is going forward, they ignore the horrific pictures on the television news which proclaim the tragedies of a so-called march forward. What we need to remember is that when ordinary people do the ordinary correct and truthful things we are standing up for the truth of the Gospel and resisting this flow of false flattery.
Lord I thank you for the truth of the Gospel that salvation comes through faith Jesus. I thank you for the truth of the scriptures. Guide me though the many pitfalls that are in our society. May I help those that are in need and help people to do what is right and stand up for truth. Amen
Psalms 13:1 How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever?
The state "How Long" appears 4 times. First: How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever? second: How long will you hide your face from me? third: How long must I wrestle with my thoughts. Fourth:How long will my enemy triumph over me? There are times when I have thought in similar patterns to all of these four how long statements and perhaps I fall down in being selective in what I pray about and should folow David's example of actually expressing them to God.
There are several issues here. I am not always aware of what God is doing in both the short and long term. For example this quote from 1 Peter 1: 1 Peter 1:6- In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. It is easy to talk like Peter but hard to accept at the time that the troubles are of greater value than gold. In the short term trial it is hard to see that God is there and we need to see that he is. So there are things that God is allowing in the short term, like the trials, that have a long term purpose. and we look toward to heaven and the new earth. What we need to see that God has promised blessings right through history. The most important promise is based on the ressurection of Jesus, that is eternal life.
In the last verse of the psalm David come to accept that God's love is unfailing. It does not mean that the earlier verses are not relevant, but they need to be swallowed up by God's unfailing love as seen in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Dear God help me to be a learner and a listener. Help me to see to the story of Jesus as I read through the Bible. Help me to remember what I read so I can connect what I see with what I read. Help me to see that what happens to me daily actually has a purpose in your long term plans. May I do all the little things in life that reflect your love and truth effectively and may I always remember that your gifts to me come though your grace and not my efforts. Amen
Psalms 14:1 The fool says in his heart,
The first verse introduces two important issues. First the philosophical issue of what we choose to believe. The second issue is a moral one. When the philosophy suggests that there is no first cause or God it then frees people up to do what they want. There is no sense of sin or falling short of God's expectation, It is replaced by considerable pride and superiority, but only in relation to what seen. What people then achieve moves to the lowest common denominator. In Exodus 32 the people made their own god and gave it the credit for all that God had done. When Moses came down from the mountain with statutes from God he found the Hebrew people in a debauched state. On one side is the statutes of God which allow and encourage acchievement. On the other side there was debauchery and no achievement at all.
Man will take any opportunity to move away from any acknowledgement of God. Yet God knows the number of those that are faithful. 1 Kings 19:18 Yet I reserve seven thousand in Israel—all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and whose mouths have not kissed him.”
The issue of the possibililty of God being there is something that fills the evil doers with dread. C.S. is said to tell people that when he was an atheist God seemed very likely.
The last verse underlines that God has plans for those who have been troubled which involves what Jesus was to accomplish on the cross.
Dear Father I thank you for that fact that you care for those that love you. That you care for the fatherless and the unforntunate. Help me to understand your ways and to set my life to your priorities. I pray that you will show me how to support my friends and neighbours that do not know you. Help me also to support other people that believe. help me always to realize you company and that we have the privelege to continally be able to talk to you. Amen
Psalms 15:1 Lord, who may dwell in your sacred tent?
In this psalm the first verse is two questions and the rest of the psalm is questions.
There, are two aspects of most psalms. The first is to see how it adds to the story of Jesus and sometimes what it is adding in the sense of the future or prophecy. The second aspect is to look at the psalm for what attitude changes or comrehension changes it is encouraging in us.
The first two verses ask a two questions: who can dwell in your holy tent (a reference to the tabernacle)? and who can live in your holy hill. (Zion)? The answer is; the one who is blameless and behaves in an approprite way. Now the answer is the Lord Jesus, as he is the only one who fulfils the list. Yet, we too have that hope. Our hope entails being able to be where the temple and the hill are a symbol and that is heaven. Rev 21:1 Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
Having look at the first verse, we now turn to the behaviour and it large all encompassing list which word be valuable to follow. Our behaviour should also be seen in terms of a growing understanding of the role of Jesus and the Holy Spirit. As we seek to follow Jesus we open ourselves to work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. The word translated 'fruit' is singular so as belief and the work of the Spirit acts in our life we should find more and more of the basket of fruit in what we do. Note it is as we pray, worship and work that changes happen.
The second verse is very interesting; the challenge to walk a blameless life. In the new testament the greek word for faith and faithful are the same. What this suggests is that faith is not only about what we believe but what we do as a result of what we believe. Faith is active, it is walking the blameless life in other words we keep in step with the spirit.
|Father, I thank you for all that you have done for me. I pray that I may walk a blameless life. That my life will not be just what I believe and be words and ideas but actions; that I may walk a blameless life. I want you to help my awareness of what is going on so that I may may bring my faith and understanding to bare on every day issues. More than that may I be always concious of your present and carry on a continual discussion with you. Please help me to show my family what you mean to me in a meaningful way. May forgiveness be in my heart so my family may see that my faith is not just words but actions. Amen|
| Psalms 16:1 Keep me safe, my God,
for in you I take refuge.
2 I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord;
apart from you I have no good thing.”
3 I say of the holy people who are in the land,
“They are the noble ones in whom is all my delight.”
4 Those who run after other gods will suffer more and more.
I will not pour out libations of blood to such gods
or take up their names on my lips.
5 Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup;
you make my lot secure.
6 The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
The King James version doesn't use the term refuge. Instead it uses the term 'preserve' Psalms 16:1 (KJV) Preserve me, O God: for in thee do I put my trust. The word is used in a similar way in Job chapter 7:20 (KJV) I have sinned; what shall I do unto thee, O thou preserver of men? Refuge is a word referring to something that is of a short-term process, whereas 'preserve' has a much longer term picture. And it doesn't matter whether we are referring to Jesus, or David as the central person in the Psalm. Death is just one blip on the way to eternal life. Preservation is relevant because we are looking towards living on a new earth. Although David saw corruption, he died of old age he nevertheless looked for preservation so that he can enter eternity. Revelation 21:1-4 (LASB NIV - Bible Text) Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death. This is one of the most incredible promises of the new Testament .1 Corinthians 15:22-23 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. What we do not see is the word 'all' in that passage. So it would seem some will rise and be surprised only to see the second death spoken of at the end of revelation.
In the end there is a question of what do we live for. In the end God is our portion who makes life secure. This is an allusion to the the Levites in the Old Testament. Who did not have lend as there inheritance but rather what came from the worship process. Deuteronomy 18: The Levitical priests—indeed, the whole tribe of Levi—are to have no allotment or inheritance with Israel. They shall live on the food offerings presented to the Lord, for that is their inheritance.
|Prayer Thank you Father for directing our paths toward the Lord Jesus, rather than that of idols. However it is so easy to look at what the world offers and seek satisfaction that. Yet the reality is that it has nothing in it that should attract me anyhow. May my delight be in the Lord Jesus and not in things around me. May I look towards the goal that is heaven and realise the wonder of eternity. Father I thank you that when I slip, I can pick myself up through realising that Christ's death means forgiveness. Amen|
Psalms 16:7- I will praise the Lord, who counsels me;
There is a difference between consequence and penalty. When I do something there are consequences as a result of the action. Sometimes other people feel the consequences of my actions and unfortunately had to live with them. We can't change them. They are there. Penalty on the other hand is something imposed. So if people have to suffer consequences sometimes the state imposes a penalty. So a courtroom cannot change the consequences of my act but they can impose a penalty. Now unfortunately a lot of what I do and much of what I think is done without reference to God. Now there are consequences because of that, which are borne by myself and others. The most critical time is when I am thinking and conceiving ideas which are contrary to God's plan. The Bible calls this sin. The consequences of sin I can't change but God issues a penalty. Christ dies on the cross to remove two things firstly he removes the penalty that sin deserves. Secondly he removes death which is a consequence. We know the consequences removed because Christ rose from the dead and there is quite considerable historical verification for this fact. Now from David's point of view he looked forward to what God was going to achieve in Christ, and he saw the eternal pleasures at your right hand. But more than that, he understood that if his understanding was correct God was leading him or making known to him the correct path of life. God was also rewarding him with joy because of his presence. This second part of psalm16 outlines the joy of walking with God and following his precepts.
This psalm can apply to David. But there are parts that Scripture take as referring prophetically to Jesus. For example, Paul makes the statement Acts 13:35 So it is also stated elsewhere:“ ‘You will not let your holy one see decay.’" Peter make this statement Acts 2:25-) David said about him: “ ‘I saw the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand,I will not be shaken. 26 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;my body also will rest in hope, 27 because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, you will not let your holy one see decay.
Dear Father I thank you that we are I go you're at my right hand, I thank you to that I can look forward in the hope towards a new world and participating in it. More than that I know that as I go to sleep at night and wake up in the morning I can do that all because you're there. I thank you for the peace and for the joy that studying your Scriptures brings to me each day. May your light shine through me to others where ever I go. Help me to pray for my neighbours that they too may look forward to when you come again. Amen
Psalms 17:1-8 A prayer of David.
1 Hear me, Lord, my plea is just;
| Psalms 17:9 from the wicked who are out to destroy me,
from my mortal enemies who surround me.
10 They close up their callous hearts,
and their mouths speak with arrogance.
11 They have tracked me down, they now surround me,
with eyes alert, to throw me to the ground.
12 They are like a lion hungry for prey,
like a fierce lion crouching in cover.
13 Rise up, Lord, confront them, bring them down;
with your sword rescue me from the wicked.
14 By your hand save me from such people, Lord,
from those of this world whose reward is in this life.
May what you have stored up for the wicked fill their bellies;
may their children gorge themselves on it,
and may there be leftovers for their little ones.
15 As for me, I will be vindicated and will see your face;
when I awake, I will be satisfied with seeing your likeness.
| Psalms 18:1 I love you, Lord, my strength.
2 The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
3 I called to the Lord, who is worthy of praise,
and I have been saved from my enemies.
4 The cords of death entangled me;
the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me.
5 The cords of the grave coiled around me;
the snares of death confronted me.
6 In my distress I called to the Lord;
I cried to my God for help.
From his temple he heard my voice;
my cry came before him, into his ears.
7 The earth trembled and quaked,
and the foundations of the mountains shook;
they trembled because he was angry.
8 Smoke rose from his nostrils;
consuming fire came from his mouth,
burning coals blazed out of it.
9 He parted the heavens and came down;
dark clouds were under his feet.