Tag Archives: psalm

psalm 22 (pt. 3)

psalm-22-pt3
Many bulls encompass me; strong bulls of Bashan surround me; they open wide their mouths at me, like a ravening and roaring lion.
I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax; it is melted within my breast; my strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to my jaws; you lay me in the dust of death.
For dogs encompass me; a company of evildoers encircles me; they have pierced my hands and feet — I can count all my bones — they stare and gloat over me; they divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots.
(v. 12-18)
I don’t know if you’ve ever been encompassed by many bulls, but I have been surrounded by many chickens before and it was terrifying. Like, straight up panic-attack-sprint-back-to-the-house-scared. And I don’t sprint for many things. So I feel like I can relate to David on a deeper level here.
But for serious.
I love that David was able to put words to his distress. That he was able to be raw and honest with himself and his Creator; that he trusted God enough to come undone.
Too often I think we (at least, I do) shove all of the hard stuff down. When we start to realize that trouble is near and there is none to help (v. 11), we draw back instead of stepping forward. We say things like, “Oh, yeah, ya know, this season is a little tough right now, but I’ll be okay. It’s not that big of a deal.” Or, “Well, there are people all over the world with worse problems than me. I’ll be fine. We don’t need to talk about it.”
The danger comes when we approach God with that demeanor.
“Hey Lord, yeah, I’m doin fine. Thanks for waking me up this morning and giving us Chick-Fil-A. Everything else is fine. I just need to keep my head down and work through this season and everything will be great.”
I think we rob ourselves of redemption and restoration when we do that.
When we put on the front that life isn’t really that hard and we don’t need anyone – including God Himself – we are missing the chance to be cared for and loved by the only true Lover of our souls.
I love that David sets the tone – that we have the freedom to say, “You know what God, I am dried up and poured out. My heart feels like wax and I don’t know how to move forward. There is nothing and no one that can save me. I need You to show up or I’m going to die.”
What beauty that when we are hanging on by a thread, we are in the best position we could ever be – trusting in the One who fully saves and redeems, and always comes through.
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psalm 21

21

O Lord, in your strength the king rejoices, and in your salvation how greatly he exults!
You have given him his heart’s desire and have not withheld the request of his lips.          Selah
For you meet him with rich blessings; you set a crown of fine gold upon his head.
He asked life of you; you gave it to him, length of days forever and ever.
His glory is great through your salvation; splendor and majesty you bestow on him.
For you make him most blessed forever; you make him glad with the joy of your presence.
For the king trusts in the Lord, and through the steadfast love of the Most High he shall not be moved.
Your hand will find out all your enemies; your right hand will find out those who hate you.
You will make them as a blazing oven when you appear.
The Lord will swallow them up in his wrath, and fire will consume them.
You will destroy their descendants from the earth, and their offspring from among the children of man.
Though they plan evil against you, though they devise mischief, they will not succeed.
For you will put them to flight; you will aim at their faces with your bows.
Be exalted, O Lord, in your strength!
We will sing and praise Your power.

The first thing that jumps off the page with me here: the king is not rejoicing in the kingdom that God has given him. He isn’t rejoicing in the riches, fame, women, glory that all come with being a king. He is rejoicing in the Lord’s strength and the salvation that God has given him.

That’s it.

“He asked life of you; you gave it to him.”

Man. I wish that were the simple prayer off my lips.

Instead, I’m asking for temporary satisfaction. I’m asking for God to remove trials from my life – trials that very well may be drawing me closer to Him than I realize, and I want them GONE. I’m asking for Him to pat me on the back with affirmation of how good I’ve done avoiding sin.

I’m asking Him to approve of me with all the kewl stuff I’ve done on His behalf.

I’m not asking for Him.
I’m just asking for what He can give me to keep me happy.

I am so challenged by the simplicity of these prayers and psalms of God’s great goodness and steadfast love. I find myself getting so wrapped up in begging for what I want, being disappointed that I don’t have what I want, and missing the profound beauty of a God who has given me life. Abundant life. Righteous life. Through the blood of the Perfect One, God’s wrath has been swallowed up on my behalf.

We are 25 days in to 2017 and I find myself already saying, “Yes!! Freaking yesssss!!!” to God’s character and truth found in this psalm.

“Though they plan evil against you, though they devise mischief, they will not succeed.” 

God has already shown up in big, big ways this year and I can’t wait to see how he kicks satan in the teeth in the days to come.

His glory truly is great and we will sing and praise His power.

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psalm 16

psalm-16

Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge.
I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you.”
As for the saints in the land, they are the excellent ones, in who is all my delight.
The sorrows of those who run after another god shall multiply; their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out or take their names on my lips.
The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot.
The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.
I bless the Lord who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me.
I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.
Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure. For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption.
You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Psalm 16

And now, a prayer from my journal:

Father, thank You for allowing the doubt, the heartache, the push-back, the eye-rolls, the distrust, the…well…the **** that I bring to You. Thank You for meeting me in that and loving me even still. Thank You for being a God that doesn’t get scared by that. Thank You for being a God that welcomes the hurt and pain and hard things. And thank You for being the only God that fully heals.

There are times in my life when Psalm 16 seems like a joke to me. I have a “yyyeeeeaaahhhh right!” moment with the writer. “You’re serious? You believe this God is for your good? That your sorrows won’t multiply because you’re not chasing other gods? That you can take refuge in this guy?”

It’s sometimes hard for me to feel that Jesus is sufficient. That God’s goodness is enough. That in His presence I can have fullness of joy.

But then I remember prayers like the one above. I’m reminded that I bring a LOT of junk to the table and God doesn’t throw it off to the side. He sifts through it with me. He welcomes it. He makes known to me the path of life. He really does do the things that the psalmist’s write about.

He isn’t some distant, far off, bully god that takes pleasure is the demise of His people.

No.

He is the God that was born of Mary.
He is the God that came to His people and dwelt among them.
He is the God that hung on a cross to bear the penalty of sin for me, and many.
He is the God that promises resurrected, new life, and has delivered on that promise!

He is the God that, even in the midst of me spitting in His face, He passionately pursues and loves me.
He doesn’t get scared by the crap I bring to Him.
If anything, I think He lovingly awaits me to bring the rest so He and I can deal with it.

Tonight I’m choosing to sit in the promise of not being shaken, because the Lord is my chosen portion and He holds my lot.

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