Psalm 17 Part 2–The Apple of God’s Eye

One simply does not mess with the “Apple of Daddy’s Eye”!  That is what the enemy and the world seemed to have forgotten in David’s day, and still forgets this day!  David was God’s beloved King.  Saul had been Israel’s first King–but God used the people’s criteria–“We want a King like everyone else!” Saul was a king like every other. Selfish, Godless and corrupt.

 

Conversely, David was a man after God’s own heart–He was truly the apple of God’s eye.  From Goliath forward, David wanted nothing more than to please God, and be his man for Israel. Because of that, God protected, prepared and provided for him–until David was the king of a mighty and united Israel.  He was chased by the finest of every adversary; including Saul and Absalom–his own son. Still, He was a beloved, prosperous king to the end of his days.

 
God calls us to trust and follow him. As we do, like David, we become the apple of God’s eye.  He will do for us exactly what he did for the mighty King of Israel–protect, prepare and provide for us.  So, as we go into the week of Thanksgiving, we need to determine whether we want to be the King like everyone else (Saul) or the Apple of our Heavenly Father’s eye (David).  Just call me “Honey Crisp!!!”
 
God Bless You

I call on you, my God, for you will answer me;
    turn your ear to me and hear my prayer.
Show me the wonders of your great love,
    you who save by your right hand
    those who take refuge in you from their foes.
Keep me as the apple of your eye;
    hide me in the shadow of your wings
from the wicked who are out to destroy me,
    from my mortal enemies who surround me.

10 They close up their callous hearts,
    and their mouths speak with arrogance.
11 They have tracked me down, they now surround me,
    with eyes alert, to throw me to the ground.
12 They are like a lion hungry for prey,
    like a fierce lion crouching in cover.

13 Rise up, Lord, confront them, bring them down;
    with your sword rescue me from the wicked.
14 By your hand save me from such people, Lord,

Psalm 17 Part 1–The Right Guy Seeking the Great God

David made a decision early on knowing– that to be God’s anointed, he had to trust God, and also, be the man God called him to be.  David, as a young man, sought God with his whole heart! David chased God as if on a romantic quest.  He trusted God to the point that he was willing to face Goliath with nothing more than sling and stones.  David was able to come to God with a clear conscience and an expectant heart.

David knew God looked at the hearts of men.  God looked for a king without malice or deceit. God wanted a leader that was honest, trustworthy and intimately familiar with living a life of faith.  David was that man.  David, by God’s own word, was a man after His heart.  He was not perfect–in fact, he made some huge gaffs! Despite his failures and their consequence; David’s heart remained pure to the end of his days, and his trust changed Israel forever.

Inn our lives, we need to seek God with the same purity and faith.  We need to face each day comfortable with God examining our hearts.  We need to come to him with the same faith a child comes to their parent. We have to know that, like David, God loves us and wants for us a full and meaningful–purposeful life.  If we will trust him and allow him to lead; we can withstand whatever the world throws at us, and still walk with our hearts and hands raised to the one God–who loves us and gave himself for us!!!

God Bless You

Hear me, Lord, my plea is just;
    listen to my cry.
Hear my prayer—
    it does not rise from deceitful lips.
Let my vindication come from you;
    may your eyes see what is right.

Though you probe my heart,
    though you examine me at night and test me,
you will find that I have planned no evil;
    my mouth has not transgressed.
Though people tried to bribe me,
    I have kept myself from the ways of the violent
    through what your lips have commanded.
My steps have held to your paths;
    my feet have not stumbled.

I call on you, my God, for you will answer me;
    turn your ear to me and hear my prayer.
Show me the wonders of your great love,
    you who save by your right hand
    those who take refuge in you from their foes.
Keep me as the apple of your eye;
    hide me in the shadow of your wings
from the wicked who are out to destroy me,
    from my mortal enemies who surround me.

Psalms 16–“How Do I Love Thee…”

In the Shakespeare play Romeo and Juliet, Romeo asks the question–“How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.” David poses the similar thought in Psalm 16, “Why do I serve Our God? let me count the reasons…”

While it should be enough that God, “I AM” is God, He offers so much more. He is our refuge, our master and everything within us and around us that is good and of true value–comes from God.  Unlike the God’s created by men–our God does not want our trinket-like sacrifices, He wants our hearts, trust and devotion.  In exchange, like any loving dad, he provides for our needs. In addition, he protects us from the outside onslaughts that are the spiritual war.  He gives us a home and he gives us rest. He also gives us peace and security; and, finally, He even gives us the joy of our salvation.

We, like David, need to embrace the gift we have been given, and look to others as mentors–who have done the same. Ours is not to question God’s methods or plans; ours is to trust and follow Him.  As we do, we cannot help but treasure all that our God provides. “How do I love thee–Lord, truthfully, the ways are countless!”

God Bless You

Keep me safe, O God,
    for I have come to you for refuge.

I said to the Lord, “You are my Master!
    Every good thing I have comes from you.”
The godly people in the land
    are my true heroes!
    I take pleasure in them!
Troubles multiply for those who chase after other gods.
    I will not take part in their sacrifices of blood
    or even speak the names of their gods.

Lord, you alone are my inheritance, my cup of blessing.
    You guard all that is mine.
The land you have given me is a pleasant land.
    What a wonderful inheritance!

I will bless the Lord who guides me;
    even at night my heart instructs me.
I know the Lord is always with me.
    I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.

No wonder my heart is glad, and I rejoice.[b]
    My body rests in safety.
10 For you will not leave my soul among the dead[c]
    or allow your holy one[d] to rot in the grave.
11 You will show me the way of life,
    granting me the joy of your presence
    and the pleasures of living with you forever.[e]

Psalm 15–God’s Kind of Folks

 

So many times, we focus on what we should not do as God’s chosen people. We should not adopt the culture’s mentality. We should not chase the things of this world…In Psalm 15, David takes a moment to look at what the people God thinks are important, do each day. God is transforming us into his image. While we will never be perfect, until He returns and takes us home, he does highlight traits that set us apart.

God loves folks who are innocent and living a life that honors him. Those folks naturally speak the truth–about themselves, about others and are the helpful, selfless ones. They neither attack, nor defame those they call friends. While they do not have anything to do with the rough crowd, they keep good friends, and do what they say they will–no matter the cost. finally, they help, without keeping tabs and they are honest to a fault. In short, God loves people that seek him and desire to honor and become like him–no matter what it costs or what it takes. Help me, Lord to be one of those people!

God Bless You

Lord
    Who may live on your holy mountain?

The one whose walk is blameless,
    who does what is righteous,
    who speaks the truth from their heart;
whose tongue utters no slander,
    who does no wrong to a neighbor,
    and casts no slur on others;
who despises a vile person
    but honors those who fear the Lord;
who keeps an oath even when it hurts,
    and does not change their mind;
who lends money to the poor without interest;
    who does not accept a bribe against the innocent.

Whoever does these things
    will never be shaken.

Psalm 14–God’s Perception of the Foolishness of Men

As we continue to watch the media, we see men’s progress in reaching the stars, in defining life and in recreating some of the great mysteries of the world.  In that endeavor, the absolute and obvious conclusion should be how great God is.  Still, as in David’s time, men foolishly think they have appeared, advanced and survived on their own.  They truly believe that there is no God; and the amazing aspects of life and the universe, simply happened by chance.

God often shakes his head and wonders if anyone gets it. The amount of faith required to believe that all the wonders of the universe happened randomly is enormous. In God’s eyes it is not an issue of faith–science has great faith. It is, instead, an issue of where faith is placed. the world has chosen to base its faith on ever changing theories; and upon personal perceptions of life and the universe.  That is the epitome of foolishness. 

God calls us simply to believe he is God, and that He sent Christ to pay the price for our sin and selfishness. He created the wonders of life and the universe, to demonstrate his power and love for us. When we receive that truth, our desires change from self-preservation and reward to honoring God and serving others.  In that realm, we have peace and provision for life.  That peace drives the world nuts.  

They attack what they do not understand. They attempt to replicate God’s wonder in a selfish way for selfish reasons. The result becomes chaos, foolishness, greed and envy. That is why God shakes his head in sadness.  He loves us, and wants for us to have a full and meaningful life.  He gladly provides that life to those who accept His gift of salvation, and trust him to lead, guide and direct them to eternity.  For the rest…well, they are doomed to trust in the fleeting, unstable desires of a selfish heart.  Sadly, faith in such a fleeting reality will never end well.

God Bless You

Only fools say in their hearts,
    “There is no God.”
They are corrupt, and their actions are evil;
    not one of them does good!

The Lord looks down from heaven
    on the entire human race;
he looks to see if anyone is truly wise,
    if anyone seeks God.
But no, all have turned away;
    all have become corrupt.[a]
No one does good,
    not a single one!

Will those who do evil never learn?
    They eat up my people like bread
    and wouldn’t think of praying to the Lord.
Terror will grip them,
    for God is with those who obey him.
The wicked frustrate the plans of the oppressed,
    but the Lord will protect his people.

Who will come from Mount Zion to rescue Israel?
    When the Lord restores his people,
    Jacob will shout with joy, and Israel will rejoice.

Psalm 13–Hold On to What Is True

It is inevitable–sometimes the trials we face seem to gain the upper hand.  All the nice platitudes, self help books and podcasts simply are not working. We sit, facing the struggles and temptations before us–and feel alone, abandoned and afraid. David faced that as well.  He was a shepherd that saw God assist him in defeating lions and bears.  He was a soldier that killed a giant, hundreds of enemies and led a troop of superheroes. Still, in the midst of such a great career–he sat, feeling alone, abandoned and afraid.  

In the middle of that crisis of faith, David took hold of the one truth that would carry him through–God had been good to him. He was not all better, but, once he grasped the truth–all the lies the enemy would have him believe–faded into mist.  God loves us–he died for us. While we were a mess–he made a way back for us. He never promised us an easy journey, in fact, he promised just the opposite.  He also promised, however, that he would never leave us or forsake us.  He promised that if we would trust him he would make our paths straight.

Those truths have to become the anchors we cling to when the winds and storms of life attempt to take our legs out from under us.  God promises us eternal life with him.  He is preparing us for that life; transforming us into people of faith.  The transformation is neither easy, nor is it quick. So, like David–in the times when we feel alone, abandoned and afraid; we have to hold on to the truth of God’s unfailing love, and salvation.

God Bless You

 

How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever?
    How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
    and day after day have sorrow in my heart?
    How long will my enemy triumph over me?

Look on me and answer, Lord my God.
    Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death,
and my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,”
    and my foes will rejoice when I fall.

But I trust in your unfailing love;
    my heart rejoices in your salvation.
I will sing the Lord’s praise,
    for he has been good to me.

Psalm 12–In God We Trust

No one else, but God, is truly trustworthy. While that seems a little over-broad, truth is, we are all sinners.  The world is filled with folks, good and bad, that are ultimately torn to follow their own interests and needs. David, the King that changed Israel– sinned, his family sinned, his world was filled with people that would steal his throne, his life and his name. In his time, people were a mess. David’s kingdom was full of intrigue and dysfunction.  So David put it bluntly–God is truly the only trustworthy source.

In our day–God is still our only trustworthy source. Make no mistake, most folks in our lives–mean well. They never truly intend to lie, betray or hurt us.  We are, however, human and as such; always subject to sin. So, as David said, we need to place our trust in God–He is steadfast, true and eternal.  He loves us and has given so much to redeem us.  He will never lie, he will never leave and he will always love us–His beloved.  Solomon said it best–“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding, acknowledge Him in all your ways–and He will make your path straight!” Proverbs 3:5-6.

God Bless You

Help, Lord, for no one is faithful anymore;
    those who are loyal have vanished from the human race.
Everyone lies to their neighbor;
    they flatter with their lips
    but harbor deception in their hearts.

May the Lord silence all flattering lips
    and every boastful tongue—
those who say,
    “By our tongues we will prevail;
    our own lips will defend us—who is lord over us?”

“Because the poor are plundered and the needy groan,
    I will now arise,” says the Lord.
    “I will protect them from those who malign them.”
And the words of the Lord are flawless,
    like silver purified in a crucible,
    like gold[c] refined seven times.

You, Lord, will keep the needy safe
    and will protect us forever from the wicked,
who freely strut about
    when what is vile is honored by the human race.