Daily Word

Psalm 41 (again)

Read Psalm 41 again – Celebrate! Psalm 41 marks the end of our time in the book of Psalms for now. Scholars have broken the book into five sections the first of which is 1-41.

It reminds me of another celebration. My husband and I were flying over to Las Vegas to celebrate my mother and father-in-law’s 40th wedding anniversary. Their gift was a very nice bottle of champagne, and I brought along some champagne flutes because drinking this delicious bubbly out of a hotel cup was out of the question. But somewhere in my travel bag the base of these flutes broke off. Rather than despair, I thought how much more perfect, that they were endless glasses and not to be set down, but to be cherished and held until the last drop! It was quite a hit with my in-law’s too.

“In my integrity you uphold me and set me in your presence forever.” :12

As I mentioned yesterday, I got caught on this verse and have spent some time untangling my thoughts in prayer and through the wisdom of bible commentators. That is where I found this excellent commentary by Charles H. Spurgeon; it gave me clarity and tied it to the memory of celebrating with my in-law’s, and as if to seal it firmly, I tipped over a freshly washed stemmed glass that was drying on the counter, and the base broke off just like before!

“Thy power enables me to rise above the reach of slander by living in purity and righteousness. Our innocence and consistency are the result of the divine upholding. We are like those glasses without feet, which can only be upright while they are held in the hand; we fall, and spill, and spoil all, if left to ourselves. The Lord should be praised every day if we are preserved from gross sin.” Charles Spurgeon

Beloved, picture it, your very life is held in our Father’s most protective hand; you are not set down, but held and preserved by our Savior, Jesus Christ.

“Praise be to the LORD, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Amen and amen.” :13

Tomorrow we will begin the book of Matthew. It is the first book of the New Testament. It opens with a genealogy…. You may want to revisit your own today to open your heart to the fascination of lineage.

Thank you, Beloved, for taking this journey through God’s Word with me!

Daily Word

Psalm 41

Read Psalm 41 – Jesus is here.   It has been said that the Old Testament is the New Testament concealed and the New Testament  is the Old Testament revealed (Saint Augustine).  I say that to draw a correlation between David’s plea for himself, and the multifaceted way it also reflects our need, and gives prophetic whispers of Jesus.

“Blessed is he who has regard for the weak; the LORD delivers him in times of trouble.” :1  Because of the blessings we have received,  we are also called to be a blessing to those in need.  Jesus is the perfect model of this when he lived out his earthly, human mission with great regard for the weak, like me and you, hallelujah!  

“Even my close friend, someone I trusted, one who shared my bread, has turned against me. ” :9. We don’t know the exact situation David is referring to, but we know this is how Judas was identified by Jesus at the last supper (Matthew 26, John 13, Mark 14).

“But you have upheld me because of my integrity,  and set me in your presence forever.” :12 

This verse proved a giant block for me.  I thought David was bragging about his own integrity, which is contrary to the very need for a Savior, not to mention false, as the bible recorded David’s lapse in integrity most clearly.  Yet I know the bible is true and does not contradict itself, so it is my responsibility to dig deeper… and was I ever blessed by the effort!  

But I’ve used enough words for today, so I will share more tomorrow.  Keep reading Psalm 41, as I have been re-reading it daily since my last post.  It only grows more meaningful each time.

Daily Word

Psalm 40

Read Psalm 40 – we read this recently (as a reprieve during Deuteronomy) , yet the word of God is living and I know it will speak to you in brand new ways today.

In verses :1-4 we are blessed to trust in the LORD. In him there is rescue, firm footing, a new song and wonders galore! “The things you planned for us no one can recount to you; were I to speak and tell of them, they would be too many to declare.” :5

Jesus and the new covenant are hidden within these verses. In verses :6-8 we read that sacrifices and offerings are not what God requires, but a pure heart that is set on Him. That would have been shocking news to the Jewish community, but that is the good news of Jesus!

David urges the reader to, “Wait for the LORD, and keep his way. He will exalt you to inherit the land; when the wicked are cut off, you will see it. ” :34

And again he assures the reader, “Consider the blameless, observe the upright; there is a future for the man of peace…Salvation of the righteous comes from the LORD; he is their stronghold in times of trouble. ” :37, 39

Beloved, where are you today? Jesus will meet you there. Do you need rescue? Reassurance? Look back and remember his rescue. Look ahead, the best is yet to come! Take refuge in the LORD.

Daily Word

Psalm 39

Read Psalm 39 – Bite your tongue! Our Psalmist is much more poetic than that, yet we all know what it is to withhold words when chaos unfolds around us.

And when he does speak, it is to the Lord, “Show me, my LORD, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is. ” :4

Beloved, we are here for such a short time. Are the big things really SO BIG; are the little things SO LITTLE, in the light of eternity? What will matter most?

“Surely everyone goes around like a mere phantom, in vain they rush about, heaping up wealth without knowing whose it will finally be. ” :6 There’s a reality check for us all… what are we spinning our wheels for?

“But now, LORD, what do I look for? My hope is in you. ” :7

The Psalmist understands he is in a season of chastisement by the LORD, and pleads for it to end, “Remove your scourge from me; I am overcome by the blow of your hand. ” :10

His desire is for a little more time of joy in his life, “Look away from me, that I may enjoy life again before I depart and am no more.” :13

The closeness of the Psalmist to God is incredible. He clearly grasps that his times are under the Lord’s control, yet he is close enough to God to ask for reprieve.

Beloved, how is this Psalm speaking to you?

Daily Word

Psalm 38

Read Psalm 38 – Lament, it’s a rather pretty word, the way it sits on my tongue feels peaceful, though it’s not a peaceful word by definition. It means complaint and can come off as whinny.  David is in a pickle and he is lamenting to God throughout Psalm 38.

David knows his troubles and sickness are filtered by God, and to Him he makes his appeal.  “Oh LORD, all my longing is before you; my sighing is not hidden from you… But for you,  O LORD,  do I wait; it is for you, O Lord my God, who will answer. ” :9,15

As with most calamity,  David is partly responsible for which he confesses, “I confess my iniquity; I am sorry for my sin. ” :18

Beloved,  my question is,  where do you see yourself in this?   How do you handle trials, persecution, sickness and your own sin before our Holy God?   The relationship is everything.   Do you turn towards Jesus or away when you are in tough times? Have you considered He may be trying to get your attention? 

In the New Testament we are reminded to cast all anxieties on Jesus because he cares for us (see 1 Peter 5).  That’s a beautiful request,  right?   Why hang onto these burdens and laments when Jesus is there and listening with open arms.

Daily Word

Psalm 37

Read Psalm 37 -God’s got this – do not fret! Why we humans are prone to fretting is a mystery. God’s Word tells us over and over not to fret, worry or be anxious. Our Psalm freely acknowledges that there are evil folks in this world, but do not fret. Acknowledging that evil exists is better than pretending it doesn’t and being overwhelmed. Evil is here for a season, but it will wither away and be gone forever. We can trust in the LORD; the best is yet to come!

“Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.” :3-7

Those are words to rest in, to trust, to fill one with hope and direction. And yes, rotten people will do rotten things and seem to get away with it… but it is only for a time. “The LORD laughs at the wicked, for he knows their day is coming.” :13

There are so many power verses in our psalm. Will you ask the Holy Spirit to plant one in your heart to meditate on today?

Daily Word

Psalm 36

Read Psalm 36 – If they only knew…. Beloved, do you remember the old you, prior to Salvation? The old me was guilty of the :1-4 accusations. On the outside I was a nice person, but on the inside there was no fear of God, I was prideful about my sin and did not reject the things that were wrong to God.

There is an analogy about sheep standing on a vibrant green hillside. They look so white and pristine, but then the snow fell and their filth was apparent in contrast to the pure white snow.

Owning who we were apart from Jesus is essential to our surrender, Salvation, and celebration of who God is… Then the snow continued to fall, and the dirty fleece was covered in pristine white… as we emerge, clothed in Jesus Christ – hallelujah!

Verses :5-9 is a shift of focus from the wicked to the glory of God. There is a song by the band, THIRD DAY, and they sing these verses. If you know it you might find yourself reading to the tune.

“Your love, O LORD, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. Your righteousness is like the highest mountains. Your justice like the great deep.” :5-7

Do you feel the change in your heart as you read these verses of adoration? Do you feel the weight of this world lighten as you turn your focus to Jesus?

“How priceless is your unfailing love, O God! People take refuge in the shadow of your wings. ” :7

God bless your day.

Daily Word

Psalm 35

Read Psalm 35 – It all comes down to relationship, not religion. This Psalm felt somewhat like I was eavesdropping on David’s lunch date with God. He is so transparent in his need and desired outcome.

The Lord is teaching us about the relationship he longs for in this Psalm. Notice how specific David is. He asks the LORD to contend with those who contend with him in verse :1. That is somewhat general, but he goes on to say, “Take up shield and armor; arise and come to my aid. Brandish spear and javelin against those who pursue me.” :2-3. That is quite specific.

Beloved, when you pray be specific. If you pray vague prayers, how will you even know if they’ve been answered?

We had quite an adventure landing in Costa Rica on Monday. There was a heavy rain cloud over the airport forcing us to circle for a bit in hopes of it moving on. This monster cloud was so low and treacherous that the runway was too dark and slippery to safely set down our plane. David prayed that against his enemies, “May their path be dark and slippery, with the angel of the LORD pursuing them.” :6 (side note, we did land safely about 30 minutes late… praise God, no need to divert to San Jose for fuel!)

David goes on in his petition then says something curious. “Then my soul will rejoice in the LORD and delight in His salvation.” :9 The way I relate to this is how much sweeter our landing was, knowing God answered many prayers and showed us favor. An uneventful landing would not have stirred the round of joy and delight this one did. My pilots are extremely talented, but they cannot move the weather.

As you consider David needs, consider your own. What is the last answered prayer you can recall? Are you aware of who you are praying to? Words of praise and adoration will get your heart in a right place, and your words will be a light for others.

“My tongue will proclaim your righteousness, your praises all day long. ” :28

Daily Word

Psalm 34

Read Psalm 34 – The first thing we are told is that this was written as a praise to God right after David pretended to be insane before Abimelech…. And that is a grand adventure covered in 1 Samuel 21 if you are stirred to know more.   Suffice to say, it was an ‘only God’ kind of escape from certain death, and David is quick to respond in praise and encouragement for others to do the same.  

“I sought the LORD and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. ” :4-5

Have you seen that?   Who comes to mind when you think of someone who walks closest to Jesus? What about their countenance stands out? You can see it,  right?   Jesus offers this to all who seek him, including and especially you!   (I say that because this is one gift each person must say yes to personally. )

“The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them. ”  :7

Will you strive to carry that thought with you? In Christ, you do not walk alone. 

“The LORD is close to the broken hearts and saves those who are crushed in spirit. “:18

The life preserver is right there in Jesus. Take hold and rejoice! 

Daily Word

Psalm 33

Read Psalm 33 – Eternity will not make sense without an understanding of God.  As humans, we want to feel some measure of control – yet it is a world we did not create.  As we allow for awe, reverence and fear of God, even the most difficult things of this life can be entrusted to Jesus.  

My heart is aching for a loved one today.  She is facing something I fear, yet here is God’s Word, waiting for me… as if knowing all along I would need this Psalm today.  Verse :1 seemed too hard at first look, “Sing joyfully to the LORD, you righteous; it is fitting for the upright to praise him.”  But as I read on, my focus shifted to our Father’s glory, and the ache began to fade into trust, and my ability to sing joyfully came alive.

“By the word of the LORD were the heavens made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth.  He gathers the waters of the sea into jars; he puts the deep into storehouses.” :6-7 That makes me feel small in the very best way – like the view of the world out of my airplane window, or the feeling of standing on the edge of the Grand Canyon.  This world is such a simple thing to God.

“We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield.  In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name.  May your unfailing love rest upon us, O LORD, even as we put our hope in you.” :20-22