Tag Archives: psalms

psalm 13

psalm13

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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