Tag Archives: psalms

psalm 35

A couple years ago I started writing through the Psalms in an effort to work out my finger muscles and then, well, I just got lazy and stopped.

So I thought tonight would be a great night to pick it back up with Psalm 35.

This psalm shows how the faithful people of God should pray when malicious people are seeking to harm them. It’s an interesting one to open up to on a day like today, where our nation’s capital has, essentially, been attacked.

It would be easy for me to take these verses and put a nice American twist on them, focusing on how God should rescue America from those that scheme against us (and let you interpret for yourself who the schemers are). But, may I remind us that God is not under America’s control. America is under God’s control. Because all of time and place is under God’s control. And the Bible does not exist to justify, or satisfy, our political or national agendas.

The plea of verse 1 – “Content, O Lord, with those who contend with me; fight against those who fight against me!” – has nothing to do with national imprecation.
Sure, David was singing this song of prayer while he was being pursued by enemies. He was crying out for his God to intervene and save his life. But David is not America.

This psalm does, however, have everything to do with God’s people being confident enough in the One who says He will, and already has, fight for His people. The One who defeated death so that we might have life. And, follower of Jesus, you belong to a Kingdom that America will never fully understand.

The cry of verse 1 is that God will take up the cause of His people.

This feels really disjointed and floppy and just not well written, but my finger muscles are starting to get worked out again and sometimes the first workout back is always the choppiest.

So with that in mind, I end with this prayer:
Holy, Just, and Righteous God – take up the cause of Your people. Give me, and those reading, consistent desire to hand our cause over to You – to be molded by Your Word, Your Spirit, and Your Father heart for us. When we ask, “How long, O Lord, will you look on?”, remind us that you are continually with us – that nothing catches You off guard. Remind us that You are still God and You are still good. That your mercy endures forever. That You will not be put to shame. And that Your Kingdom will reign eternal.
Amen.

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psalm 32

psalm 32.png

Here I go, here I go, here I go again….gurls what’s my weakness?

Getting back in the rhythm of writing.

But, here we are, writing again in the psalms.

Once again I find myself in the middle of David’s writing. Although, if I’m honest with myself, I am more prone to skip over the first 2 sentences.

I often skip the blessing and go straight to the groaning.

I feel the heaviness of my sin and the withering of my soul when I let my iniquity keep me away from God for too long.

But the beauty of this psalm – and many psalms – is that we aren’t left in the heat of summer. We are reminded that God is still God and He is still good. He is still the One that forgives the iniquity of my sin and all He asks of me is to come to Him.

That’s it.

Just show up.

And in the showing up I can be glad because His steadfast, never-ending, unconditional love is not only offered to me, it surrounds me. Like…I can’t get away from it.

So, instead of hiding from my great Savior, I will choose, like David, to make Him my hiding place – the great Light of the world where darkness cannot be found.

Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.
Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long.
For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer.

I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and you forgave the iniquity of my sin.

Therefore let everyone who is godly offer prayer to you at a time when you may be found; surely in the rush of great waters, they shall not reach him.
You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with shouts of deliverance.

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.
Be no like horse or a mule, without understanding, which must be curbed with bit and bridle, or it will not stay near you.
Many are the sorrows of the wicked, but steadfast love surrounds the one who trusts in the Lord.
Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!

 

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psalm 22 (the final part)

psalm 22 pt5
From you comes my praise in the great congregation; my vows I will perform before those who fear him.
The afflicted shall eat and be satisfied; those who seek him shall praise the Lord!
May your hearts live forever!
All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lordand all the families of the nations shall worship before you.
For kingship belongs to the Lordand he rules over the nations.
All the prosperous of the earth eat and worship; before him shall bow all who go down to the dust, even the one who could not keep himself alive.
Posterity shall serve him; it shall be told of the Lord to the coming generation; they shall come and proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn, that he has done it.
(v. 25-31)
I’m continually challenged by David’s words and posture toward the Lord. I’m amazed after all his struggle and doubt and heartache, he is able to turn back toward the Lord. He is able to remember that the afflicted shall eat and be satisfied.
Yes, we all know that David screwed some things up majorly during his time, but he is also the one known as the man after God’s own heart. We know that he is a sinner among sinners, but he is also a man who understands he is not outside of God’s sovereignty or redemption.
My natural bent is when I screw things WAY up or fall into sin and rebellion, I tend to believe the lie that God isn’t big enough to forgive me this time. That, with this one thing, I’m just too far gone.
David’s words remind me that I am never too far gone. That those who seek Him shall praise Him. That God has done a great thing and continues to do great things for His children.
I’m reminded that Kingship belongs to the Lord – that Jesus, the One they call the Christ, has lived, died, and risen again on my behalf and now rules over darkness and death. They have no power. Sin has lost its sting. Jesus is King!
May this truth be told of the Lord to the coming generation!
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psalm 22 (pt.2)

psalm-22-pt2

But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by mankind and despised by the people.
All who see me mock me; they make mouths at me; they wag their heads; “He trusts in the Lord; let Him deliver him; let Him rescue him, for he delights in Him!”
Yet you are He who took me from the womb; You made me trust You at my mother’s breasts.
On You was I cast from my birth, and from my mother’s womb You have been my God.
Be not far from me, for trouble is near, and there is none to help.

v. 6-11

[SO MANY PRONOUNS!]

For Christmas I received Tim Keller’s The Songs of Jesus. I highly recommend it. I mean, highly.

It just so happened that the last few days of the readings are lining up with psalm 22.

In my first pass at this psalm, last week, as I read the entire thing I couldn’t help but think of Jesus. I couldn’t help but see David’s words being reflective of what Jesus went through, even though David was writing them many a years prior to Christ’s sufferings.

This morning, as I caught up on the past couple days with Keller, he noted that this psalm in particular is a look inside what Jesus may have been feeling emotionally. That we may see a glimpse of his heart in suffering on our behalf as David writes out his words in the 31 verses of this psalm.

Now, before you scream, “Heretic!” at me, please know that I am fully aware that David was a man and Jesus is, well, Jesus. Fully God and fully human. One, a man full of sin and rebellion toward a holy, loving, righteous God. The other, Savior of mankind. Righteousness Himself.
I understand that Jesus is unable to sin.

But I also understand that Jesus was able to feel – because, well, he was fully human.

And us humans are good at the feelings.

As I read the 6 verses highlighted above, I can’t help but feel alongside David this tension of, “What the heck is happening to me? Aren’t You supposed to rescue me?” vs. “You are holy. You have not changed. You have brought me into Yourself and You will be near. You are my helper.”

Man. What a place to be.
What a God to allow us to wag our finger in doubt and questioning.
What a God to draw us in, to make us trust in Him.

When there is none to help, He is there.
When those around me mock me, He lifts my head.
When I am despised by people, I am called His beloved.

What a beautiful picture of the already-not-yet we have in these few verses. And what a wonderful God we are drawn into, that we are allowed to see a glimpse of His agony on our behalf and in that, can see the great love with which He has loved us!

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psalm 22 (pt.1)

psalm-22-pt1

I typically read through/write about an entire psalm, but this week I just can’t even you guys. There’s some stuff I need to sit with.

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning?
O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer, and by night, but I find no rest.

Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel.
In you our fathers trusted; the trusted, and you delivered them.
To you they cried and were rescued; in you they trusted and were not put to shame.

v.1-5

Why have You forsaken me?
Why have You not relieved me from this pain?
Do you even hear me?
Do you even care?

I ask God questions like this quite a bit. And I’m comforted to know I’m not the only one. Even the man they say was THE MAN after God’s own heart (that’s David, btw) questioned God.

He doubted for a hot second.
He wondered if God really was THE GOD He says He is.

I don’t get it.
I don’t fully understand how it can often feel as if God just doesn’t give a rip about my groaning. That I continually cry out and find no relief from the Great Healer.

It seems as if rest is illusive and the Lord is somehow using hard seasons of life to teach me some mean lesson.

If I were God, I would have given me what I wanted by now, because dangit I deserve it! I’ve been through enough! I’ve learned my lesson!

But then….

I am reminded that He has not changed.
He has not moved.
He is still holy and enthroned on high.

He has delivered those that have trusted in Him.

I’m so thankful the True God that loves me allows me to doubt Him for a hot second. That He welcomes the why-have-you-forsaken-me’s and the why-are-you-so-far’s.

So that’s what I’m going to sit with tonight.

I’m going to bang on His door and let myself in.
I’m going to have a chat with Him about the state of my heart.
But while I’m doing it, I’m going to remember that He is still God, He is still good, and He still loves me.

That the gift of redemption and complete restoration through Jesus Christ is still mine.

 

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