Tag Archives: psalms

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)

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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)

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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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psalm 17

psalm-17

Ahhh, psalm 17. Another psalm where David spends some time telling God how upright and good he is. Another psalm in which David ends up pleading for deliverance from his enemies. Another psalm where I find myself saying, “Yes, please. And me too.”

What hit me this morning is that I, like David, spend time trying to tell God how He has tried my heart, has tested me, and found nothing. (YEAH RIGHT He’s found NOTHING)
I try to fix my mind on keeping my mouth shut so that it will not transgress. (v3) I do my darnedest to convince myself, and the Lord, that I have avoided the ways of the violent. That I have not slipped. (v4-5)

And the whole time I’m reading this, I’m thinking – Gosh. Why do I feel like I have to work so hard to prove myself? Why do I, over and over again, say, “Hey God! Look at me! Look at all the good I’m doing and all the sin I’m not participating in! Don’t you see how I’ve been crushing this whole life thing?!”

And then I get to verse 7 and David and I turn a corner:

Wondrously show your steadfast love, O Savior of those who seek refuge from their adversaries at your right hand.

Lord, wondrously show your steadfast love to this little punk that keeps getting it all wrong. Wondrously show your steadfast love to the one who tries to prove herself time and time again, when all you ask is that I show up and trust you with my today. Wondrously show your steadfast love to the one that desires to walk in righteousness but often takes walks down weird paths that are more about self-righteousness than anything else.

Hide her in the shadow of your wings.
Deliver her.
Show up for her.

 

And then He does.

He shows up by placing His wrath on His Son – removing the justice that I deserve because I have not kept my mouth from transgressing. I have not avoided the ways of the violent. I have slipped.

But praise be to God that I am found in the shadow of His wings & the due penalty of my sin was covered by the blood of the spotless Lamb on the cross.

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psalm 13

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I’ve said this before, and I’ll probably say it 1,578,829 more times, but one of my favorite descriptions of the psalms is that they are where emotion and theology meet.

I sometimes feel a smidge of guilt when I want to throw some shade God’s way. There are days and moments when I want to throw my hands up and say, “For serious, Lord?!”

And in those moments I think, “crap. I’m not supposed to react this way. I’m always supposed to be happy and smiley and all the ‘pretty’ emotions because God has saved me from an eternity separated from Him….ya ta ta…”

But then…then I come upon the psalms. And I read David’s emotions. And I know, at the end of the day, it’s okay for me to be frustrated. For me to doubt. For me to have some questions for the Creator of all the things (emotions included).

The tricky part is if I let that shade turn into bitterness toward my Loving Father. I can bring my hurt and let-downs to God. I can have a hard conversation with Him. But I can’t let my emotions control who my God is. God is God and God is good, even on days when I don’t feel it.

And that’s where psalm 13 steps in:

How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day? How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?

Consider and answer me, O Lord my God; light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death, lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him,” lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken.

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.

Amen & amen.

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psalm 10

 

psalm 10

Do you know some crappy people?

Like, those people that just kinda stink and seem to get everything handed to them and all you can do is roll your eyes and get a little bitter about it?

I think that’s the type of person David is dealing with in this psalm.

For the wicked boasts of the desire of his soul, and the one greedy for gain curses and renounces the Lord.

His ways prosper at all times… (v3 & 5)

I get so frustrated with people like this. I get frustrated that, here I am, trying to do the right thing, keep on the straight and narrow, live life well and I feel like I’m getting the shaft.

I feel like God doesn’t see all the good I’m doing.
I feel like God looks over how righteous I am.
I feel like God could care less about actions of His people.

But my feelings don’t always win.

Truth wins.

And Truth says that God doesn’t care about all the good I do – but He cares about the good that Jesus did on the cross and sees me as righteous because of that!

Truth says that the enemy doesn’t win the day and the the people of God will always be covered in His abounding love.

But You do see, for you note mischief and vexation, that You may take it into Your hands; to You the helpless commits himself; You have been the helper of the fatherless.

O Lord, You hear the desire of the afflicted; You will strengthen their heart; You will incline Your ear to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed, so that man who is of the earth may strike terror no more. (v14 & 17-18)

God sees His people.

But most importantly, He sees His people through the blood of Jesus.

We don’t have to fight our way into the Kingdom.
We don’t have to prove ourselves with good works.

We just need to rest in the One who hears the desire of the afflicted.

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psalm 6

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Picture this. David – a man on the run, literally hiding in caves to escape from people hunting him down to kill him – is begging God to deliver his life.

He isn’t necessarily asking God to save his physical life.

He’s asking for God to save his soul.

And the reason?

For the sake of God’s great & steadfast love.

Yes, David is weary. Yes, he is overcome with grief and trouble. Yes, he can be physically killed at any moment.

But his plea isn’t for his own comfort or satisfaction.
His plea isn’t for a cushy life on a throne, ruling over a kingdom.
His plea is to be saved for God’s glory.

And the most beautiful part?
He knows the Lord has heard his plea.
He knows the Lord accepts his prayer.

Too often I beg for God to save me from despair for my own good, not looking beyond to what He can, has, and will do for me for HIS glory – not my own.

Too often I plea with my Father, but I don’t always believe He hears or accepts me.

May I be like David today – free from the lies of the enemy that say I’m not worthy of the Most High God accepting my cry for help.
May I be like David today – begging God to deliver my like for the sake of His steadfast love.
May I be like David today – weeping straight into the arms of my Father, knowing that He hears and accepts me right where I am.

O Lord, rebuke me not in your anger, nor discipline me in your wrath.
Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am languishing; heal me, O Lord, for my bones are troubled.
My soul also is greatly troubled. But you, O Lord – how long?
Turn, O Lord, deliver my life; save me for the sake of your steadfast love.
For in death there is no remembrance of you; in Sheol who will give you praise?
I am weary with my moaning; every night I flood my bed with tears; I drench my couch with weeping.
My eye wastes away because of grief; it grows weak because of all my foes.
Depart from me, all you workers of evil, for the Lord has heard the sound of my weeping.
The Lord has heard my plea; the Lord accepts my prayer.
All my enemies shall be ashamed and greatly troubled; they shall turn back and be put to shame in a moment.

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psalm 4

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Remember that time I started this whole “write about a psalm a day to become more disciplined” thing? And remember that time when, 3 days in, I missed 2 days in a row, thus ruining my perfect run?

Well, the cool thing is, God’s grace is bigger than me missing 2 days of writing. And, the other cool thing is, His Word draws me back. Just because I messed up doesn’t mean I’m completely out of the game. Coach isn’t putting me on the bench because I’m a big screw up. If anything, He’s inviting me back in, pushing me back onto the field, cheering me on as I continue growing in my game.

So, here we are. Psalm 4.

Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have given me relief when I was in distress. Be gracious to me and hear my prayer! O men, how long shall my honor be turned into shame? How long will you love vain words and seek after lies? (Selah)
But know that the Lord has set apart the godly for himself; the Lord hears when I call to him. Be angry, and do not sin; ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent. (Selah)
Offer right sacrifices, and put your trust in the Lord. There are many who say, “Who will show us some good? Lift up the light of your face upon us, O Lord!” You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound. In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.

This will probably be the first time of many that I say something along these lines: I am so thankful that there is a book in the Bible that articulates all kinds of feels. I am so thankful that there is a writer – a man after God’s own heart – that admits to being in distress. That begs God to be gracious with him. That agonizes over shame and vanity and lies.

And I’m so thankful that same man acknowledges that the only One who can grant safety is the Most High God.

I don’t think we admit our distress enough. I don’t think we are real with one another as much as we should be.

I know I’m not. Just today it was like pulling teeth for me to finally articulate to one of my best friends why I was feeling so wonky about life.

But here’s what happens when we admit distress to one another, and to God: He lifts up the light of His face upon us.

When we sit across the table from one another, sharing stories of heartache and hurt, we can look one another in the eye and say, “I am so sorry. I am right there with you.” And I think that is some of the light of God’s face shining upon us.

I think God puts more joy in our hearts when we lock hands and say, “What? You too? I thought no one but myself…” (that’s a C.S. Lewis quote, b-t-dubs, but it’s totally appropriate.)

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psalm 3

O Lord, how many are my foes! Many are rising against me; many are saying of my soul, there is no salvation for him in God. [Selah]
But you, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head. I cried aloud to the Lord, and he answered me from his holy hill. [Selah]
I lay down and slept;  I woke again, for the Lord sustained me. I will not be afraid of many thousands of people who have set themselves against me all around. Arise, O Lord! Save me, O my God! For you strike all my enemies on the cheek; you break the teeth of the wicked. Salvation belongs to the Lord; your blessing be on your people! [Selah]

That word, selah. From what research I have done (wikipedia…) we do not know exactly what this word means. However, most smart people agree that it is a term that means, “stop and listen.”

Stop. And listen.

Listen to this God who is a shield about you. Who is your glory. The lifter of your head.

Take a breath and let the Beautiful One reach His hands around your face and drawn you into Him. Know that salvation is yours because of what your great God has done.

Stop. And listen.

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