You made my enemies turn their backs in flight,
In verse 41 David's enemies cried out for help but there was not forthcoming. Often people who are in trouble will cry out for help in prayer. Prayer is often point of last resort for those normally never give God a second thought. However, when there is no answer they will have a snide remark like "how can a God of love tolerate that." What they don't see, is that God is acting and putting them in the situation where they need to seriously seek him and if they came in humbleness, and turned the life around they would follow God is there. what we as Christians need to recognise that God is always there in the suffering Jesus. When victory comes to the faithful we should more than balance our excitement with prayer. The Striving person of faith should begin in prayer and finish the same way. It is interesting that those who come against us will over time eventually fade away.
Dear Father, when I am in trouble and you rescue me i am greatful, but when things are smooth I often don't realise the wonder of your grace. May I always wonder at the beauty of your presence and appreciate the wonder of your continual favour towards me. What I need to realise is that your grace is all I need. Amen
Psalms 19:1-6 For the director of music. A psalm of David.
Discussion I have divided this psalm into two because there are two clear areas of revelation. The first area is the revelation of nature which is covered in this reading. The second is that of the scripture itself. The fact that they are included in the one psalm shows that they are dependent on one another. This psalm is written by David for the choirs that he created. For example 1 Chronicles 23:5 Four thousand are to be gatekeepers and four thousand are to praise the Lord with the musical instruments I have provided for that purpose.” 4000 is quite a large choir.
When we consider the natural realm of creation there are three aspects that we find in the scriptures: the heavens, the land and the sea. This psalm considers the heavens. As you read this passage you may be reminded of what Paul wrote: Romans 1:20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine natu. re—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened." Where David seems to be just excited by the stars and the sun Paul uses the picture as a warning and is very clear that non believers are without excuse and there tendency to worship the created rather than the creator as nonsensical.
In verse in verse 4 of Genesis 1 God created light, in verse 14 (below he is filling the earth with light.
Genesis 1:14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so.
When the stars were created they had a purpose. These days we use them to more accurately measure the length of our day. For David thay were pooring out speech about the incredible creative and powerful God. Who creates such wonders but still get involve with individuals.
When David ponders the sun, he describes it as he sees it rising and falling each day with regularity. He see God's promises describled by it regularity and power.
Unfortiunately to notice the wonder of the heavens today we have to go away from city lights into the bush where there is no light pollution. The Jeweled sky then is breathtaking. Sunsets and sunrises are also remarkable. They keep on being there with little or no change. As such, is the nature of our God.
|Prayer Dear Father how magnificent you are. As I look at the heavens that you have made I amazed that a creator of something so vast could even consider the fall of a sperrow. So I am sure that you care for me. I thank you that Jesus died for me and he is now in acting as an advocate for me in heaven. It means that there is a man in heaven, the amazing three in one. Keep my eyes focused on you and your amazing grace. Amen|
Psalms 19:7 The law of the Lord is perfect,
The excitement of reflecting on the importance of the word of God, flowing loudly from the stars, for David, naturally progresses to God's written word. He would have access to a small part of God’s written word, certainly not what we have today. Nevertheless he saw that it had immense personal value. There are six different names and roles of the law and the results they have in his life. These are The law, the statutes, The precepts, the commands, the fear of the Lord, and the decrees of the Lord.
When we consider these areas we may see them as tools that would choke the fun we might have, but the truth is that they are the basis of joy and wisdom, in fact the study of them all is rewarding. The reward being compared with the what is most desired from the wealth point of view, that is Gold. It also compared to the sweetest of tastes of honey.
Finally, he had a concern which was that he knew sinful man is not always aware of the sins that they do. So David's prayer was for forgiveness and to be kept from wilful sins.
Would you change your life if you knew that every word would be assessed by God. What David wanted was each word he said and thought to be acceptable to God. Why? Because God was his redeemer. You see David saw that at God’s people were always redeemed.
There is an important point still to make from this psalm. The last line in the psalm is the following ‘Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer'. What David realised was that from the beginning of history, to his present situation, God had been redeeming. The nation would depart from faith and they would go downhill and God would heal them and redeem them. And what was happening to the nation was what David was experiencing in his life. We too find ourselves falling away and he forgives us and puts us back in the correct pathway, in other words he is redeeming us. And in the end we are brought to be with Him in a new earth and we are given new bodies and we are redeemed.
Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. The rock is Jesus.
Condsider Nebuchadnezzar's dream in Daniel 2:31 Your Majesty looked, and there before you stood a large statue—an enormous, dazzling statue, awesome in appearance. 32 The head of the statue was made of pure gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze, 33 its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of baked clay. 34 While you were watching, a rock was cut out, but not by human hands. It struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and smashed them. 35 Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were all broken to pieces and became like chaff on a threshing floor in the summer. The wind swept them away without leaving a trace. But the rock that struck the statue became a huge mountain and filled the whole earth.
We spend a lot of time talking about who each part of the statue is, but that doesn’t really matter. A stone not made human hands, that is out of the system comes and smashes the whole thing down and becomes King of kings. That stone or rock is Jesus.
Here =is another example.
The whole Israelite community set out from the Desert of Sin, traveling from place to place as the Lord commanded. They camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink. So they quarrelled with Moses and said, “Give us water to drink.
Dear Father I thank you for the written in the scriptures. Help me see what David saw that Abraham and Isaac were redeemed, when they fell into trouble. In a similar way the people were redeemed from Egypt. Again through the period of the judges. After David, it happened with Nehemiah. In my own life I have seen it. I thank you for it. May I help others see it also. Amen.
1 May the Lord answer you when you are in distress;
may the name of the God of Jacob protect you.
2 May he send you help from the sanctuary
and grant you support from Zion.
3 May he remember all your sacrifices
and accept your burnt offerings.
4 May he give you the desire of your heart
and make all your plans succeed.
5 May we shout for joy over your victory
and lift up our banners in the name of our God.
May the Lord grant all your requests.
6 Now this I know:
The Lord gives victory to his anointed.
He answers him from his heavenly sanctuary
with the victorious power of his right hand.
7 Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.
8 They are brought to their knees and fall,
but we rise up and stand firm.
9 Lord, give victory to the king!
Answer us when we call!
There comes a time when facing trouble the we think we have had enough and we need to go on the offensive. This psalm is written for just that situation.
We have seen psalms where David has been very upset with how the ungodly seem to progress at the expense of those who worship God. This psalm is about building or making acounter attack.It is a prayer for victory.
The main premise is that David is asserting that the only support we have is God. It is not our cleverness, ability or understanding that will bring success it is God.
There are several other things to remember. The first thing to understand is that we are making a petition to God who is the very source of victory. The very grounds for victory come from our worship. Therefore, David talks about God answering from the sanctuary.
The next point is that he bases it on the past. He says may God remember your sacrifices.Finally, it is not our superior understanding or ability it is about our faith in God’s faithfulness that counts. David, therefore, says we do not trust in our chariots but in God. God is the difference not our superior equipment.
The final statement is recognition that while we can expect an answer, it may not always be the answer we want. God’s will is not necessarily the same as ours. So we look forward with excitement.
Dear Father, as I look around there are many battles that I face. Teach me the ones that I must face first. As I think of things myself I need to keep reading the scriptures that I may know, comprehensively the theme of Jesus that runs through the scriptures. May l learn it in a way that can help. I met a man recently that was proud I his green values but he discarded the Bible. I managed to say that mathematically needed a first cause but I failed to tell him how the Bible is one of the great books in the history of mankind. Please help him to think about the limited things I told him. May he remember our meeting in his dreams. Lord I bring before you all the people in the church and those who I will meet today. Amen
Psalms 21:1 The king rejoices in your strength, Lord.
How great is his joy in the victories you give!
Psalm 20 was a petition for victory. Having received victory it is appropriate to give thanks for the answered prayer. Often when we have received an answer to prayer and we reflect backwards we can see a history of what we may see as coincidences but what really is God acting earlier to ensure the appropriate answer is received. Certainly David appreciated his. In fact David attributes all he has received to God. A good leader does the same. Right through this psalm the title ‘the King is used. In the some verses what is received cannot received by David in an earthly sense, for example living forever.
The most common title in the psalm is
“You are a king, then!” said Pilate.
Returning to verse 1 there is a strong sense that we too can bring ourselves into the psalm. The word translated ‘victories’ can also be translated as ‘salvation’. So the picture can be God granted him salvation in the midst of his accusers or opposition. The consequences being all the blessings enumerated in the psalm. In this sense the very thing that God granted David he has done for the believing reader that is salvation.
|Prayer Father, I thank you for the amazing grace that is bound up in you name and character. I praise that you do not want any to perish but all to repent and have eternal life. Knowing that I pray for my local community. The people that I say good morning to as they pass in the street, may there be a revival in my community. Teach me not only to pray for them but how to support them. Amen|
Psalms 21: 7 For the king trusts in the Lord;
In psalm 10 we have four statements that people who do not believe make, sometimes purposefully and sometimes unintentionally; these listed below.
6 He says in his heart, “I shall not be moved; throughout all generations I shall not meet adversity.” In other words; I will not change to a faith position, I want to stay just as I am.
13 Why does the wicked renounce God
There is a deliberate aspect to those statements in Ps 10. In the psalm above we see the consequences of such an understanding.
Those that do not believe often get quite angry and aggressive to christians who hold differing views because of faith. They are very keen to force their views onto everybody. Tolerance and loving thy neighbour is a Christian concept and is not a natural position of those who do not believe.
|Prayer Dear Father thank you that I see the Love and Justice in the death of Jesus. I thank and praise you to for Jesus Resurrection, which indicates the reality of life after death and as the bible says we will receive anew body. I pray for those that are so easily misled in this day and age. HJelp me to be responsive to the people you bring across my path. help me tpo be able to tell the story of Jesus as it threads its way through the chapters in the Bible. Help people to realise their need. Amen|
Psalms 22:1 My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?
6 But I am a worm and not a man,
scorned by everyone, despised by the people.
7 All who see me mock me;
they hurl insults, shaking their heads.
Have you ever felt you were alone and God was not there. Well David did and so did Jesus, but God never leaves us.
One of the difficulties of catching hold of a verse, and not pondering the whole verse and its context, is that you may analyse it falsely. If you analyse the first verse of this psalm at the time it was quoted you end up with a very popular picture, held by many writers who look at the verse in the gospels, and not its source and come out with the strange conclusions. They say that God the Father was not there. That he could not look at the Son in his time of anguish on the cross. That the Father could not look Son because all of the sin in the worlds history was poured out on the Son and it was too heinous for the Father to look at.
There is no doubt the psalm begins in tragedy but it ends with joy. A clear statement declaring the first statement to be false is made in the following verse of the psalm.
Psalms 22:24 For he has not despised or scorned the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help.
The problem is the idea conveyed by this false analysis, denies the Trinity. John says that God is Love and that it exists and is seen in the notion of the Trinity. Love never forsakes. More than that the trinity is three persons in one. If there could be a separation of one then there would not be a Trinity.
The suggestion is that the Father could not look at the Son because of the nature of the sin of mankind being poured out on the Son. But God has seen the sin of mankind since just past the creation of the world. Why would the Father be perturbed by the vision of sin when it was happening on the cross?
Why did Jesus point so markedly to the Psalm, and then breathe his last? The Psalm is a very clear picture of the very thing that had just happened, as Jesus hung on the cross. Some of the symptoms of pain, whilst being clear to those who stood around, are now, due to science been unravelled. The passage, fulfilled and explained the significance of the event and also the incredible pain Jesus suffered. Many of those who stood around, thought that Jesus had called Elijah when he shouted the first phrases of this psalm. For the people who understood the psalm became worried at seeing such a remarkable fulfilment of prophecy. So much so, they went to governor for the authority to seal the tomb, because Jesus had said he would arise in three days. All that commotion by just fepesating a simple verse.
Yet in another sense Jesus in his humanity is identifying himself with just how David felt. He felt deserted and was feeling that pain, even if that was not a reality.
Jesus on the cross, has every reason to feel conspicuous and depressed. To add to those feelings, the people round about him were preaching their self-righteousness as seen in the next verses of the psalm.
The thrust of what they are saying is very similar to when Jesus was tested by Satan in the wilderness. Hence, they ask him to prove what he has preached. A test that was rejected by Jesus. The cry of those taunting Jesus was one of pride, “we are right and Jesus you are wrong”.
The next verses talk about, the godly connection between Jesus in the womb and birth and the Father. What we must understand is that that Jesus is both God and man at the same time. So even in the womb God is able to connect to him.
A very interesting verse comes from John 3:12(below)
If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things? 13 No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven.
In this verse Jesus is talking to Nicodemus who is finding it hard to understand what Jesus is talking about. The final statement is that not that Jesus came down from heaven, but is the son of man who is in heaven. So he tells Nicodemus that he is in both places. The complexities of the Trinity enable Jesus to be the man and God as reflected in this statement to Nicodemus.
|Prayer Dear Father, how wonderful you are. With the immensity of Heaven and the masses of people you hear the sparrow land on the ground and the swallow flutter over the water and you are mindful of us. It does not matter what we feel like you are there encouraging us all the time. Father today I pray for those I know who are sick. In sickness and hardship is is easy to overlook your presence. I pray also that you will help me encourage those who are feeling depressed. Amen|
8 “He trusts in the Lord,” they say,
“let the Lord rescue him.
Jesus on the cross, has every reason to feel conspicuous and depressed. To add to those feelings the people round about him were preaching their self-righteousness.
The thrust of what they are saying is very similar to when Jesus was tested by Satan in the wilderness . Hence, they ask him to prove what he has preached. A test that was rejected by Jesus. The cry of those taunting Jesus was one of pride, “we are right and Jesus you are wrong”.
The next verses talk about, the godly connection between Jesus in the womb and birth and the father. What we must understand is that that Jesus is both God and man at the same time. So even in the womb God is able to connect to him.
It is further amplified when Jesus was a ten year old and accidentally left in the temple he was able to confound the most learned men in the land with his answers. Even then, his noteriety was such that the temple chiefs were notified and sought him out and stayed with hiom for considerable time.
The bulls of Bashan and the reference to lions is an interesting reference. Bashan was apparently a very fertile area so the bulls were large. Being in a paddock of cattle and you are not used to them can be very intimidating. Lions in palestine where plentiful and threatening. We know that for a fact that lions were plentiful, but they do not occur in the fossil records.
|Prayer Dear Father I praise you for who are, the creator and king in heaven, the King of Kings and you determine the strength and degree of influence of the leaders of this world. I pray for the nations of the world that there may be a turning to you in faith. I pray for my own area that there may be drawing of people to you similar to the revivals of the past. That there would be a realization of a need and people come to church doors. Amen|
Psalms 22:14 I am poured out like water,
There are some remarkable prophecies in the Bible of Jesus and this prophecy is one of them. Note the corresponding verse of fulfilment in Matthew.
Then they crucified Him, and divided His garments, casting lots, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet:
“They divided My garments among them,
And for My clothing they cast lots.”
One of my favourite poems was written by G. A. Studdard-Kennedy captures this scene
He was a Gambler too…
And, sitting down, they watched Him there,
The soldiers did;
There, while they played with dice,
He made His Sacrifice,
And died upon the Cross to rid
God’s world of sin.
He was a gambler too, my Christ,
He took His life and threw
It for a world redeemed.
And ere His agony was done,
And before the westering sun went down,
Crowning that day with its crimson crown,
He knew that He had won.
As you follow the pictures of the crucifixion and then read this section of the psalm written centuries before, it is breathtaking. There is nothing like it anywhere. The other issue that is clear is the barbarism of the sinful world, as you see in this passage of the bible reading.
The reference to dogs is interesting. Dogs is the negative term for gentiles ot non jews. It is they who are doing the nailing and Christ died in using a Roman system. Note the following story:
Matthew 15:22 A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly.” •Ministry in Phoenicia (Map)
|Prayer Dear heavenly Father, I praise you for the wonderful Father you are and I am proud of being you child and repect your Holiness. It just amazes me that Jesus world die for me and enable me to become your child. More than that, when I look at the cross and the pain of it I find it spine chilling. God may I ever be greatful. Help me to be able use the psalms to ecourage others to follow in Jesus' footsteps. Amen.|
Psalms 22:19-24 But you, Lord, do not be far from me.
One of the most amazing and surprising calls of the book of revelation is the following:
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. ‘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.”
So we look forward to dwelling with God it doesn’t mean that God is not present with us now. We use big words like omnipresent and omniscient to describe his presence and his knowledge of our circumstances. In this section of the psalm David and through him Jesus is making God’s presence personal and positive. God never leaves and never forsakes. That is not that we can be cognisant of it all the time, but he is there nevertheless.
So when a pack of dogs, the lowest picture of problems because they consume litter and hunt in packs, or lions which are fierce and large. God is there and understanding. The problem of thinking we are really alone is that we intervene in God’s solutions. God promises deliverance. That is what resurrection is about. Often in the quiet moments of reflection we can see the deliverance of God in a line of coincidences.
The psalm then concentrates on disseminating the information. How will people know if we do not tell them in a manner and when they would be receptive. It is us as individuals that need to speak and help people not an organisation.
|Prayer Dear Father i praise you name for what you have done for me to have a relationship you, that I can be born again through what you have done. More thatn that I will not be condemmed. All which is amazing to me. I know that there is a need to bring this to the attention of people in general. i know that you were very careful to people who enquired and wanted clarity in what you said. Teach me to reach people in a manner that honours you. Please bless those people that I meet. May they feel your presense with me.|
Psalms 22:25 From you comes the theme of my praise in the great assembly;
I like the way this Psalm finishes. “He has done it!”. When you look at the psalm you see that the only person it really talks about is the achievements of Jesus Christ on the cross. God wonderfully deliverers us, because of that, we should be prepared to testify in the public domain. In the quiet moments when we are hurting God is there. Jesus is acting on our behalf.
More than that, his influence spreads to the world as a whole. He is the King and as the King he appoints. And we can encouraged by verses such as the one below:
Acts 17:26 From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands.
That is what the king does. As verse 28 of the Psalm says all Dominion belongs to the Lord. This is nice to realise, especially when we think the government is not going in the right direction. It is time to stop and reflect and ask the question “what is God doing now,” and pray for guidance as to how we should respond.
Recently, a friend died. People readily said “she has gone to meet the Lord.” Now she was a Christian, and in the Christian life she may not have seen God but I’m sure she had met him many times. The great excitement of death is not that we meet the Lord, rather we see him in all his glory. What a wonder that’ll be. Verse 29 suggests that all who die will kneel before him. Some of us, that would be an exciting time. For others, it may be quite a surprise.
Dear Father, what a wonder you are. It is amazing that we can look forward to a time when even the poor will be satisfied, that there is a time when we will know the experience of living for ever. I praise you to that Dominion belongs to you. When things don’t go my way, it’s nice to know that you are still working. I pray that in acknowledging your Dominion I might be able to reflect on my own life and see how you are working. At the same time I would just pray that your Spirit will work in my community and that the work that you’re doing in the lives of the people around me may be recognised by them in a dynamic way and that they may have the privilege of knowing that when they meet you, they will be meeting a friend.