Psalm 7–When Choosing, The Smart Kings Pick God

There was no king like David.  He alone demonstrated the true understanding of being the king of a nation of priests. He actually lived a life in submission to God.  In doing that, He also trusted God to meet the needs of the king and the nation.  He was always under attack–whether Goliath, Saul, the Philistines, his son or anyone else–David learned early on; it was his dependence on God that always brought him a victory and kept him safe from death.

While David realized he was not the boss, he was the most loved and venerated king of Israel. He was large and in charge.  His men would die a thousand deaths for him. His God loved him despite his frail humanness. He led Israel to become a power in the region.  He finally brought peace back to a nation that had been at war for generations.  Still, in the midst of all his success and struggle–he never forgot he was under the leadership Of God.

Like David, we need to live a life under God’s authority. When we choose God over the world–he prepares, provides and protects us from the enemy.  As his chosen, we gain the respect and the peace that only he can provide.  Make no mistake–there will be battles, trials and temptation throughout the journey, but, in choosing sides, the wise money is always on God!

God Bless You

Lord my God, in You I put my trust;
Save me from all those who persecute me;
And deliver me,
Lest they tear me like a lion,
Rending me in pieces, while there is none to deliver.

Lord my God, if I have done this:
If there is iniquity in my hands,
If I have repaid evil to him who was at peace with me,
Or have plundered my enemy without cause,
Let the enemy pursue me and overtake me;
Yes, let him trample my life to the earth,
And lay my honor in the dust. Selah

Arise, O Lord, in Your anger;
Lift Yourself up because of the rage of my enemies;
Rise up for me[b] to the judgment You have commanded!
So the congregation of the peoples shall surround You;
For their sakes, therefore, return on high.
The Lord shall judge the peoples;
Judge me, O Lord, according to my righteousness,
And according to my integrity within me.

Oh, let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end,
But establish the just;
For the righteous God tests the hearts and minds.
10 My defense is of God,
Who saves the upright in heart.

Psalm 6–The Prayer of a Contrite King

David was a great servant of God and a great king.  Throughout his life, he was known as “a Man after God’s own heart.” Still, there were points in David’s life when sin caused him great sorrow. His seduction of Bathsheba, the murder of Uriah, the counting of his troops, and his troubles with Absalom–were times when David failed and failed large.

Still, in the midst of the failure, he was not spared the cost of his sin. He lost his baby, he almost lost his kingdom to Absalom, and he saw a devastating plague as a result of the counting of his troops. Still, in the midst of the horrific trials–David still repented and sought God.  He did not turn away from God, nor seek the world’s relief; no, instead–he repented and sought God’s mercy and God’s healing.  He was confident, that God would hear his prayer and heal and restore his life–He was right.

When we fail, we need to have the heart of David.  We need not try to hide our sin–we need to repent and move forward. It may be awful, and God may allow consequence; but, he does forgive and will continue to walk with us through the most difficult of circumstances. We must never be afraid to open our hearts and cry out to God–our Heavenly Father. We can confess our sin, and he will forgive us of that sin and cleanse us of all unrighteousness (I John 1:9).

God wants our heart. He will faithfully stand by us in all circumstance.  He simply seeks our devotion and our desire to follow him.

God Bless You

Lord, do not rebuke me in Your anger,
Nor chasten me in Your hot displeasure.
Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am weak;
Lord, heal me, for my bones are troubled.
My soul also is greatly troubled;
But You, O Lord—how long?

Return, O Lord, deliver me!
Oh, save me for Your mercies’ sake!
For in death there is no remembrance of You;
In the grave who will give You thanks?

I am weary with my groaning;
All night I make my bed swim;
I drench my couch with my tears.
My eye wastes away because of grief;
It grows old because of all my enemies.

Depart from me, all you workers of iniquity;
For the Lord has heard the voice of my weeping.
The Lord has heard my supplication;
The Lord will receive my prayer.
10 Let all my enemies be ashamed and greatly troubled;
Let them turn back and be ashamed suddenly.

 

Psalm 5–God Always Chooses His Own

One of the great parts about being one of God’s chosen, is that he truly loves and protects us in the midst of a cruddy world.  Make no mistake–God knows the difference.  When we interact in this world, God sees the incredible evil that exists.  He sees the lies, the violence, the selfishness and incredible mess the world has made of itself.  He hates it and wants nothing to do with it!

Conversely, God loves his own.  He welcomes us into his presence, he cherishes our time together and he separates us from those that would destroy us. He loves us and wants nothing more than to fellowship with us. While the world makes him sad and disgusted, we bring him joy and laughter. He will always choose us over the world; and he will care for us as his own–while the world destroys itself.

Make no mistake, God sees the difference and will never allow the world to replace us in his heart!

God Bless You

Listen to my words, Lord, consider my lament.
Hear my cry for help, my King and my God,
    for to you I pray. In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice;

    in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly.
For you are not a God who is pleased with wickedness; with you, evil people are not welcome.
The arrogant cannot stand in your presence. You hate all who do wrong;  you destroy those who tell lies. The bloodthirsty and deceitful you, Lord, detest.

But I, by your great love, can come into your house;
in reverence I bow down toward your holy temple.

Lead me, Lord, in your righteousness because of my enemies—
    make your way straight before me. Not a word from their mouth can be trusted;
    their heart is filled with malice. Their throat is an open grave;
    with their tongues they tell lies. 10 Declare them guilty, O God!


    Let their intrigues be their downfall. Banish them for their many sins,
    for they have rebelled against you. 

11 But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy.
Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you.

12 Surely, Lord, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield.

Sleep Peacefully God’s Got This–Psalms 4

Life is like the stage of a weather anchor on the news. We are like the weatherman we stand in front of a screen called a green screen and operate as if we can control what is going on behind us.  Truth is, the things going on behind us change frequently, and without notice.  The only thing that matters is that God is in control of the stuff going on in the background of our lives.

David, as God’s anointed, had become intimately familiar with that principle. He had spent a great portion of his life in battle, on the run, in hiding or in danger of being killed.  All through those times, he never lost sight that God was in charge of whether he lived or died. God was in charge of whether he was king–or a fugitive.  God was in charge of whether Israel won or lost battles. God was in charge of whether Israel prospered or starved.

When David finally grasped that concept–well, whatever was happening in the background–he simply trusted God to handle.  He learned to rest in God in times of trouble and in times of prosperity.  If we could also grasp the concept, we would enjoy the peace God has always intended that we possess.  We will never be able to control our circumstances–to think we can, is an illusion.  What we can control is our response to those circumstances–we can always trust God and pray with a thankful heart as we face life (Philippians 4:6-7).  And we can be content–whatever is going on behind us (Philippians 4:11-13)

That was the heart of King David–he could rest easily even when all around him seemed lost–he could do that simply because he knew it was God’s job to complete the plan, and his job to follow.

God Bless You

When I call, give me answers. God, take my side!
Once, in a tight place, you gave me room;
Now I’m in trouble again: grace me! hear me!

You rabble—how long do I put up with your scorn?
How long will you lust after lies?
How long will you live crazed by illusion?

Look at this: look
Who got picked by God!
He listens the split second I call to him.

4-5 Complain if you must, but don’t lash out.
Keep your mouth shut, and let your heart do the talking.
Build your case before God and wait for his verdict.

6-7 Why is everyone hungry for more? “More, more,” they say.
“More, more.”
I have God’s more-than-enough,
More joy in one ordinary day

7-8 Than they get in all their shopping sprees.
At day’s end I’m ready for sound sleep,
For you, God, have put my life back together.

God is Our Defender–Psalm 3

David was at a low point in his reign. He was on the run  from his own son, Absalom. His kingdom was in chaos, His family was a mess and his very life was in question.  He was accurate in his assessment–that all of his enemies and many of his friends were sure that this time, God would not deliver!

In the midst of that, David sees God for who he is and had been in his life. He recognizes God as his shield, his deliverer, the one that made him King.  He knew God would not only protect him, but he would also sustain, defend and ultimately avenge him against his enemies–even if his enemy was his son.  David had lived through so many trials and circumstances that it had to be God that would bring victory–that he was actually comfortable in that space. It seemed obvious to David–even on the run, that it would be God that would win the day.

In our lives, like in David’s, we have to be able to look back at God’s track record, look now at his call and mission, and look ahead to his promise and his power.  If we will, His record speaks for itself, his mission is true and inspired and his promise is consistent–He will protect, prepare and provide for our needs and for our journey. We can never give up, never give in and never forget the greatness and the promise of our Father, Lord and God!

God Bless You

Lord, how many are my foes!
    How many rise up against me!
Many are saying of me,
    “God will not deliver him.”[b]

But you, Lord, are a shield around me,
    my glory, the One who lifts my head high.
I call out to the Lord,
    and he answers me from his holy mountain.

I lie down and sleep;
    I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.
I will not fear though tens of thousands
    assail me on every side.

Arise, Lord!
    Deliver me, my God!
Strike all my enemies on the jaw;
    break the teeth of the wicked.

From the Lord comes deliverance.
    May your blessing be on your people

The Real Ruler–Psalm 2 Part 2

Psalm 2 is the 1st Messianic psalm.  David is writing as a king–about the placement as God’s chosen and anointed king. It is also David speaking as the patriarch of the lineage of Christ. The message of hope that follows the prophecy, is so much less about the Israelites of David’s time; and completely about the coming Son of God that created and will possess the ends of the earth.

Not only was David’s prophecy a message of hope for Israel and for us; but, it was also a warning to those that lead that they must serve God or suffer his wrath. Nations that attempt to rule without God have and will ultimately meet their end. Kingdom after kingdom and empire after empire have risen and fallen in a chaotic mess. 

History has given us a picture of the cycle of governments. The common theme is that the more a nation removes God from its core; the less stable it becomes.  First, individuals become godless and self-absorbed; then the fabric of governance is weaved of people who care nothing for the nation and only for themselves.  The very leadership then focus on their personal desires and, as a result, the national pride, honor and loyalty wanes. In the end, the governed neither care about who governs or how they govern; simply because, they know those in leadership are selfish and only serving their personal interest.

Conversely, when a nation honors God, they stand out.  There is stability, national pride and loyalty.  The nation serves God, and, as a result shows selflessness, integrity and a value for life, freedom and peace.  Such nations thrive–but, are constantly being threatened from the real enemy that presses for change. It is an attack on the moral fabric of the individuals, families and values that are instilled by God. As the people succumb to the desire to run their own lives; they fall prey to the enemy’s trap that ultimately robs them of the freedom and peace they desire. 

We live in a nation founded on the principle that we, as one nation–under God, will remain indivisible–granting liberty and justice for all. Sadly, the less we remain under God–the more we become divisible and the less we see liberty and justice for all.

God Bless You

I will proclaim the Lord’s decree:

He said to me, “You are my son;
    today I have become your father.
Ask me,
    and I will make the nations your inheritance,
    the ends of the earth your possession.
You will break them with a rod of iron[b];
    you will dash them to pieces like pottery.”

10 Therefore, you kings, be wise;
    be warned, you rulers of the earth.
11 Serve the Lord with fear
    and celebrate his rule with trembling.
12 Kiss his son, or he will be angry
    and your way will lead to your destruction,
for his wrath can flare up in a moment.
    Blessed are all who take refuge in him.

When Men Decide to Take on God–Psalm 2 Part 1

Since the time of Noah, Men have set about to prove to God that they can do it on their own and do things better than God.  They build towers, statues, Governments and cultures–doing everything possible to be like God but not giving God credit.  In their process, they invariably grow to dislike God and anyone willing to follow him.

Through the ages, Men have tried to take God down, they have persecuted his people and they have been passionate in their drive to rid the world of anything that credits God or encourages the rightful worship of God. God simply laughs! He has been around always. He has been under attack time and again.  The great news is, that God will always win.  He created us and the very earth we inhabit.  He knows the thoughts and the hearts of men; and, despite their continued efforts, he is always well ahead of any plan they devise.

We need to walk in that confidence.  We need to rest assured that if we trust him and follow him he will carry us to the end of our journey and make our path straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6). While the world continues to seek ways to minimize God’s name and impact on the world, we need simply to trust and seek him–allowing him to transform us into the people he created us to be.  

We need not fear God’s eradication from our culture–no, we need to celebrate that he is well prepared to deal with the world and its feeble attempts to replace him and dispose of us!  

God Bless You

Why do the nations conspire[a]
    and the peoples plot in vain?
The kings of the earth rise up
    and the rulers band together
    against the Lord and against his anointed, saying,
“Let us break their chains
    and throw off their shackles.”

The One enthroned in heaven laughs;
    the Lord scoffs at them.
He rebukes them in his anger
    and terrifies them in his wrath, saying,
“I have installed my king