Psalm 119 Part 4–The Word is a Lamp and a Shield

The versatility of God’s word in our lives is unmatched.  We must first understand that it is a living and dynamic part of our daily walk with God. Then, we can rest assured it will not only teach us and connect us with God; but, it will also provide light to our lives and protection from the enemy.

David says it best–the word is a lamp to our feet.  In the mountainous terrains in the Middle- East, travelers used foot lamps to traverse the trails along cliffs. Needing both hands to hold on, foot-lamps gave light where it was needed so the traveler would not trip over a rock or vine and tumble to his death.

God’s word is the same, it provides light and guidance to us–where and when we need it. In addition, the word provides protection from the enemy. The Bible is our shield against the world’s lies and Satan’s tricks that are set like traps along our path. As we remain informed, we can spot the traps and meet them–informed and prepared. The Bible brings stability and comfort to what would otherwise be a chaotic and fearful existence.  

Thanks Lord! for providing a lamp to my feet and a shield to my life!

God Bless You

Your word is a lamp for my feet,
    a light on my path.
106 I have taken an oath and confirmed it,
    that I will follow your righteous laws.
107 I have suffered much;
    preserve my life, Lord, according to your word.
108 Accept, Lord, the willing praise of my mouth,
    and teach me your laws.
109 Though I constantly take my life in my hands,
    I will not forget your law.
110 The wicked have set a snare for me,
    but I have not strayed from your precepts.
111 Your statutes are my heritage forever;
    they are the joy of my heart.
112 My heart is set on keeping your decrees
    to the very end.[d]

ס Samekh

113 I hate double-minded people,
    but I love your law.
114 You are my refuge and my shield;
    I have put my hope in your word.
115 Away from me, you evildoers,
    that I may keep the commands of my God!
116 Sustain me, my God, according to your promise, and I will live;
    do not let my hopes be dashed.

Psalm 109–God is Our Vindicator

One of the hard lessons in life we all learn, is that mean people, do mean things, even when we are nice. Each of us have encountered those that lie, cheat, abuse, accuse, berate, frustrate and seek to end our friendships, our reputations and even our lives–if possible.  They have no other reason to do so–other than “that they can.”

In recounting the life of David, he had several people like that. Saul, Absalom, Doeg, Ahithophel and many other enemies had one goal–to find, destroy and ultimately kill God’s dear friend. They didn’t have real cause to harm him, except for their personal gain realized from David’s demise. So David, a man after God’s own heart–went to his knees; and, took the task of vindication to the same God that had taken on all his other battles.

David had no where else to go! He was, at various points–hiding in caves, running for his very life, leaving his palace, or hiding in enemy territory. He did not have a local advocate, a media outlet or a 1-800 number to call for relief–He ONLY HAD the creator of the universe!!! History tells us that was all he needed. God did vindicate David. He prepared, protected and provided all David needed to be the greatest king in Israel.

He provides those same resources for us! We have no better outlet or resource for our preservation and vindication; than God Almighty. Life and those in our lives throw curve balls intended to up-end and destroy us. We want so badly to retaliate and avenge our wrongs. David reminds us that we need to look to our Father in Heaven for all things–even vindication–because, God can and will do it better than anybody else!

God Bless You

My God, whom I praise,
do not remain silent,
2 for people who are wicked and deceitful
have opened their mouths against me;
they have spoken against me with lying tongues.
3 With words of hatred they surround me;
they attack me without cause.
4 In return for my friendship they accuse me,
but I am a man of prayer.
5 They repay me evil for good,
and hatred for my friendship…

Help me, Lord my God;
save me according to your unfailing love.
27 Let them know that it is your hand,
that you, Lord, have done it.
28 While they curse, may you bless;
may those who attack me be put to shame,
but may your servant rejoice.
29 May my accusers be clothed with disgrace
and wrapped in shame as in a cloak.

30 With my mouth I will greatly extol the Lord;
in the great throng of worshipers I will praise him.
31 For he stands at the right hand of the needy,
to save their lives from those who would condemn them.

Psalm 100–How To Enter God’s Presence

In this age of identity protection, it seems like there is a need to have a password to go anywhere or do anything.  What is my user ID, What is my password…Well, to enter into the presence of God, the user ID is Jesus and the password is “Thank You”.  As the psalmist saw it, we are to come into God’s presence with a grateful heart and worshipful mindset.  

To be in the worshipful mindset, we need to understand Who God; is and who we are in him.  He is God-our Creator, our Master and Lord. But, He is also Father, Shepherd, and Savior.  God is our Provider, Healer, Shelter and Guide.  He is God.  We should come into His presence humbly, gratefully and joyfully.  When we do, we should be singing praises, giving thanks and expecting to be received with open arms. 

There is no mystery about who God is. There is no reason we cannot enter His presence each day. That is where we should be. We simply need to do so with the right spirit and the right heart–We simply need to know He is God, and that He is glad to see us!!

God Bless You

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!
    Serve the Lord with gladness!
    Come into his presence with singing!

Know that the Lord, he is God!
    It is he who made us, and we are his;[a]
    we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
    and his courts with praise!
    Give thanks to him; bless his name!

For the Lord is good;
    his steadfast love endures forever,
    and his faithfulness to all generations.

Psalm 92–Giving Credit Where Credit is Due

As the old saying goes, “Let’s give credit where credit is due!” The psalmist is making that the point of the day. It is good to praise the Lord.  He, after all, created all things. He has guided the lives of His people. While the godless seem to spring up and do well with no thought of God, they will pass away without a legacy.

God is God!!  He makes things work. He brings life out of nothing, and purpose out of a meaningless chaotic world. So, what does that mean to us? It means that in the midst of our prayer, we need to stop and not only thank Him for what he has done in our lives, but, also praise God for who He is.  We need to recognize His amazing efforts, and acknowledge his hand in our lives.  We simply need to give God the reverence, that he deserves.

When we do that, it blesses us. We see God for who he is, and it helps us to trust him with our lives, and our families. We also realize that we in no way measure up to him; and, therefore, should not try to take his job of leading us through life.  If we can recognize God for who he is, and trust him to make us into his image–then, we will experience the life of meaning and purpose that we have always dreamed of.

God Bless You 

It is good to praise the Lord
    and make music to your name, O Most High,
proclaiming your love in the morning
    and your faithfulness at night,
to the music of the ten-stringed lyre
    and the melody of the harp.

For you make me glad by your deeds, Lord;
    I sing for joy at what your hands have done.
How great are your works, Lord,
    how profound your thoughts!
Senseless people do not know,
    fools do not understand,
that though the wicked spring up like grass
    and all evildoers flourish,
    they will be destroyed forever.

But you, Lord, are forever exalted.

Psalm 90–Moses’ View of God

Moses wrote Psalm 90. It is a reminder, from one of God’s great partners of how little power and control that we have–as compared to God.  Few men understood God, his mission and his power more than Moses. God prepared Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. He did so by raising him as a prince, training him as a shepherd, using him as a liberator and guiding him for 40+ years through the desert.

Moses saw God at his best and worst. He grew to love and honor God like few others. He tolerated the most stiff-necked slaves, and slowly changed them into warriors and victors. He wrote the books of the law and was Israel’s 1st picture of Jesus. So, when we look at his view of God, we should take note.

Moses knew God was eternal; so our limited view of life and time means little to God. He also knew that God could change course in a second. When we as people think we can control our lives; we are living an illusion. Moses knew people should be both humble and reverent as they seek God. Displaying any other attitude would be arrogant and would lead to a difficult end.

Today, God who owns time and space–still calls us to respect and honor him. If we choose to do so; he will lead, guide and protect us–as he has done for his folks since the beginning. We can trust God, as Moses did, and watch Him fulfill His plan for our lives. It will not be as we expect; for, God’s ways are not our ways. He will, complete all He has planned for us, if we will simply allow Him to take the lead and humbly follow, like Moses did.

God Bless You

Lord, you have been our dwelling place
    throughout all generations.
Before the mountains were born
    or you brought forth the whole world,
    from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

You turn people back to dust,
    saying, “Return to dust, you mortals.”
A thousand years in your sight
    are like a day that has just gone by,
    or like a watch in the night.
Yet you sweep people away in the sleep of death—
    they are like the new grass of the morning:
In the morning it springs up new,
    but by evening it is dry and withered.

We are consumed by your anger
    and terrified by your indignation.
You have set our iniquities before you,
    our secret sins in the light of your presence.
All our days pass away under your wrath;
    we finish our years with a moan.
10 Our days may come to seventy years,
    or eighty, if our strength endures;
yet the best of them are but trouble and sorrow,
    for they quickly pass, and we fly away.

Psalm 88–The Saddest Psalm

All the commentators of the Bible indicate that Psalm 88 is the saddest psalm of the group.  It is a sad recount of the state of affairs in God’s chosen nation and the result of a life independent of the creator.  He has known nothing other than terror and defeat.  The story is simply that even with the right heart, the writer has paid a price for the sins of the nation.

In our lives, we sometimes are  faced with circumstances that one cannot put a smile on. death, rebellion, sickness, injustice, poverty and abuse happen to the ones that follow God–just as they do to those who do not. We want to make allowance or excuses for why things happen, but, like the psalmist, sometimes it is just horrible.  In those times, however, like the psalmist, we still need to turn to God and not away.  He is still the answer for this life and eternal life with God in Heaven,

There will be a time when we have no more sadness, sickness or sorrow. We will be with God, and see him face to face.  He is God–he knows, controls and directs our paths. Therefore, even when all seems hopeless and lost and there is little good news to spread–in those times; God is still God and he has us in his sight, care and plan.

God Bless You

Lord, you are the God who saves me;
    day and night I cry out to you.
May my prayer come before you;
    turn your ear to my cry.

I am overwhelmed with troubles
    and my life draws near to death.
I am counted among those who go down to the pit;
    I am like one without strength.
I am set apart with the dead,
    like the slain who lie in the grave,
whom you remember no more,
    who are cut off from your care.

You have put me in the lowest pit,
    in the darkest depths.
Your wrath lies heavily on me;
    you have overwhelmed me with all your waves.[d]
You have taken from me my closest friends
    and have made me repulsive to them.
I am confined and cannot escape;
    my eyes are dim with grief.

I call to you, Lord, every day;
    I spread out my hands to you.
10 Do you show your wonders to the dead?
    Do their spirits rise up and praise you?

Psalm 37–Delight Yourself in the Lord

It is so easy to lose perspective.  When everything around us leads us to believe that only the godless and the selfish prosper; one can become discouraged quickly.  David struggled with that.  He was anointed by Samuel to be king.  He had defeated Goliath, he and his men had changed the world’s perspective about Israel from being a joke, to being a warrior nation. He sought God and trusted God–yet, there he sat, hiding out and on the run from Saul and his army.  In the midst of that angst, David pinned one of the great songs of promise in the Bible.

In short, David says don’t fret over the appearance of the bad guys winning–trust God, delight in him and watch him go to work.  He will keep you safe, he will give you the desires of your heart, he will show the world you have done well, and make sure they know what you said about God was absolutely true!

We will never be able to explain God’s plan–in human terms; for the godless to understand. He will have to simply do what he does, and at the right time; it will be obvious that God is the one that makes all things amazing.  In the interim, we have to focus upon him, delight in him, and mostly–simply trust him.  Then, he will execute his plan and blow our minds.  God is amazing! We simply need to trust him and delight ourselves in him.

God Bless You

Do not fret because of those who are evil
    or be envious of those who do wrong;
for like the grass they will soon wither,
    like green plants they will soon die away.

Trust in the Lord and do good;
    dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
Take delight 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 righteous reward shine like the dawn,
    your vindication like the noonday sun.

Be still before the Lord
    and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when people succeed in their ways,
    when they carry out their wicked schemes.