Psalm 57–God Our Refuge

As David, God’s anointed king fled from his enemy, aka King Saul, he hid in a dark, dank and dusky cave. There, in the lowest point of his young life, he stopped and took refuge in the arms of God. As he paused and experienced the peace only God could provide; he was able to catch a glimpse of the futility his enemy faced. He was under God’s care, and standing in God’s will—as God’s chosen leader of the nation of God.

In that light, David could rest confidently, knowing–as with the bear, wolf, Goliath and countless other foes; God would be David’s armor and shield. David would be crazy to think that God would raise, nurture, train and anoint him; only to have him die in a cave. 

We may not have as clear a picture of God’s plan for our lives, but, we can stand with the same confidence as God’s favorite king and know God is in control.  As with David, there will be trials, battles, fears and temptations that we may find overwhelming, but, God is greater than all those things.

As Paul so graciously reminded the Philippians, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving bring your requests to God.  Then God’s peace, which passes all human understanding will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6

God is our refuge; crawl into his arms and rest.

God Bless You

Have mercy on me, my God, have mercy on me,
    for in you I take refuge.
I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings
    until the disaster has passed.

I cry out to God Most High,
    to God, who vindicates me.
He sends from heaven and saves me,
    rebuking those who hotly pursue me—[c]
    God sends forth his love and his faithfulness.

I am in the midst of lions;
    I am forced to dwell among ravenous beasts—
men whose teeth are spears and arrows,
    whose tongues are sharp swords.

Be exalted, O God, above the heavens;
    let your glory be over all the earth.

They spread a net for my feet—
    I was bowed down in distress.
They dug a pit in my path—
    but they have fallen into it themselves.

Psalm 55–When I Want to Turn Tail and Run

There are days, many of them, in a man’s life when he wants, simply to walk away and fall off the grid.  The forces that we face spiritually, culturally and personally can both overwhelm and defeat us.  David dealt with that. Chased by Saul, taking over a divided kingdom, Bathsheba and Nathan, Absalom and counting his troops were just a few of the highlighted events of this amazing king that drove him to his knees.  

Still, at the end of the day, David always ended up in the arms of the Heavenly Father.  He wanted many times to chuck it and leave; but, always found his way back to God.  There, covered by God’s grace and provision, David became the greatest king Israel ever knew. In a word, that was his distinction–standing in God’s shadow.

In our lives, we were never expected to be perfect. As Paul taught us in Romans,”God demonstrated His love for us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8. If we always make our way back to him, he stands ready to forgive, provide, prepare and protect us–His chosen. As we scan the events in our own lives, like David, it is not the times we fall that define us–it is our willingness to rise and to run back to the one who truly loves and cares for us.

God Bless You

 

My heart is in anguish within me;
the terrors of death have fallen on me.
5 Fear and trembling have beset me;
horror has overwhelmed me.
6 I said, “Oh, that I had the wings of a dove!
I would fly away and be at rest.
7 I would flee far away
and stay in the desert;[c]
8 I would hurry to my place of shelter,
far from the tempest and storm.”…

 

16 AS FOR ME, I CALL TO GOD,
AND THE LORD SAVES ME.
17 EVENING, MORNING AND NOON
I CRY OUT IN DISTRESS,
AND HE HEARS MY VOICE.
18 HE RESCUES ME UNHARMED
FROM THE BATTLE WAGED AGAINST ME,
EVEN THOUGH MANY OPPOSE ME.
19 GOD, WHO IS ENTHRONED FROM OF OLD,
WHO DOES NOT CHANGE—
HE WILL HEAR THEM AND HUMBLE THEM,
BECAUSE THEY HAVE NO FEAR OF GOD…

22 Cast your cares on the Lord
and he will sustain you;
he will never let
the righteous be shaken.
23 But you, God, will bring down the wicked
into the pit of decay;
the bloodthirsty and deceitful
will not live out half their days.

But as for me, I trust in you.

 

My heart is in anguish within me;
    the terrors of death have fallen on me.
Fear and trembling have beset me;
    horror has overwhelmed me.
I said, “Oh, that I had the wings of a dove!
    I would fly away and be at rest.
I would flee far away
    and stay in the desert;[c]
I would hurry to my place of shelter,
    far from the tempest and storm.”…

16 As for me, I call to God,
    and the Lord saves me.
17 Evening, morning and noon
    I cry out in distress,
    and he hears my voice.
18 He rescues me unharmed
    from the battle waged against me,
    even though many oppose me.
19 God, who is enthroned from of old,
    who does not change—
he will hear them and humble them,
    because they have no fear of God…

22 Cast your cares on the Lord
    and he will sustain you;
he will never let
    the righteous be shaken.
23 But you, God, will bring down the wicked
    into the pit of decay;
the bloodthirsty and deceitful
    will not live out half their days.

But as for me, I trust in you.

Psalm 52–Betting on the Wrong Horse

David was the prince. Son-in-law to King Saul. He was leading Israel to victories against the once mighty Philistine army. Yet, Saul, the King, was jealous of David, fearful for his son, Jonathan, and done with God. He used Doeg, the ancestor of Esau, to lie and accuse David of treachery and deceit. Based upon Doeg’s lie, Saul began the hunt for David.  

This psalm is a prophecy of Doeg’s eventual ruin. It came true. Doeg bet on Saul, Israel’s Godless King and lost it all. In life, it sometimes feels like the better bet is the “survival of the fittest” mentality. If we make our own needs our priority, we will always come out on top.  Sadly, that trick never works.  When we become selfless, humble and passionate about God and about others–then God has the ability to meet our needs, direct our path and protect us from a very evil world.

David was on the run for a long time. Still God prepared, protected and provided for him until one day he would become Israel’s greatest King. Doeg, conversely lost everything and died in obscurity as a sad footnote. Given those options, Jesus words in Matthew 6:33 still ring true, “Seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added to you!” We must make sure we put our faith in what is real, lasting and eternal.

God Bless You

Surely God will bring you down to everlasting ruin:
    He will snatch you up and pluck you from your tent;
    he will uproot you from the land of the living.
The righteous will see and fear;
    they will laugh at you, saying,
“Here now is the man
    who did not make God his stronghold
but trusted in his great wealth
    and grew strong by destroying others!”

But I am like an olive tree
    flourishing in the house of God;
I trust in God’s unfailing love
    for ever and ever.
For what you have done I will always praise you
    in the presence of your faithful people.
And I will hope in your name,
    for your name is good.

Psalm 49–Why Should I Fear When Evil Days Come?

We all grow up with a picture of how life is going to be.  In the midst of the journey; it is easy to be overcome with fear and depression.  The circumstances of life seem to favor those that are Godless and selfish–over those that are following the path and message of faith.  Still, the Psalmist understood as should we, that life is difficult, but God is awesome.  

The journey here is one that is both demanding and unpredictable.  Because we live in a fallen world, so much of life favors those that have no aspiration of loving God or walking with him.  Selfishness and survival mentality are very tempting models–and encouraged by the culture. Still,  the chosen stand out as we live a life worthy of the Gospel.  Those that follow the Lord leave lasting legacies and have full and purposeful lives.  They know that they have received the only true and lasting gift–eternal life in Heaven with God.  They also have His spirit to guide and encourage them here in this difficult but amazing journey.

While we are in this life, we are all destined to die–unless Christ returns. But, this life is a short part of an eternity yet to come.  We, who know him, brace for today, but, live for eternity.  As we do, we have to accept the challenges and trials this part brings; and, trust God to bring us through them and lead us home.

God Bless You

 
 

Why should I fear when evil days come,
    when wicked deceivers surround me—
those who trust in their wealth
    and boast of their great riches?
No one can redeem the life of another
    or give to God a ransom for them—
the ransom for a life is costly,
    no payment is ever enough—
so that they should live on forever
    and not see decay.
10 For all can see that the wise die,
    that the foolish and the senseless also perish,
    leaving their wealth to others.
11 Their tombs will remain their houses[b] forever,
    their dwellings for endless generations,
    though they had[c] named lands after themselves.

Psalms 48–To The Glory and Praise Of God The Father

This weeks Psalms were a grouping of Psalms that honored God through Honoring His King, His Glory and Jerusalem his holy city. For us as his kids, we need to understand that It is God’s presence in each aspect of our lives that makes life full and meaningful–not the circumstances, things or events.

The Palmist was extolling God’s presence and impact on Israel during a mighty victory for the nation.  But, he might just as well have been extolling his greatness for his impact on the lives and legacies of his people. Israel was to be the nation of priests–teaching the world about God and his love for us.  Instead, they tried to be a nation of power and riches, forgetting they were to be the ones that unite, not the dividers.  Still, in the midst, they continued to glorify Him whenever they stood firm in faith and trusted him and honored him in their lives.

That principle still holds true.  When we honor God, He will be glorified in who we are, what we do and where we live.  Our life, talent and legacies will point back to Him and not to us.  Make no mistake, when God is honored–we to are blessed and honored.  He does that–but, when we make it about us and not about Him, everyone loses.  Paul said it best in Philippians 2, “Therefore God lifted him up to the highest place and gave him a name that is above every name. So, that at the name of Jesus, every knee shall bow; in heaven, on earth and below the earth and every tongue confess, that Jesus Christ is Lord–to the GLORY AND PRAISE OF GOD THE FATHER!”

God Bless You

Great is the Lord, and most worthy of praise,
    in the city of our God, his holy mountain.

Beautiful in its loftiness,
    the joy of the whole earth,
like the heights of Zaphon[b] is Mount Zion,
    the city of the Great King.
God is in her citadels;
    he has shown himself to be her fortress.

When the kings joined forces,
    when they advanced together,
they saw her and were astounded;
    they fled in terror.
Trembling seized them there,
    pain like that of a woman in labor.
You destroyed them like ships of Tarshish
    shattered by an east wind.

As we have heard,
    so we have seen
in the city of the Lord Almighty,
    in the city of our God:
God makes her secure
    forever.[c]

Psalm 25 Part 1–In God We Trust–(Why Wouldn’t We)

David says what all who have truly surrendered their lives to God are thinking–I’m trusting you God, please don’t make me regret it. In truth, he never does.  But, God does allow us to experience life.  He protects us, provides for us and prepares us–but, he does not put us into a bubble and cause us to live circumstance free.

In the midst of our circumstances, he does often come through in ways we failed to expect.  A small windfall, a kind word. Other times, he does glorious and amazing miracles. In either scenario, he simply does what he is best at–being a Dad. We can question god’s methods and ways, its okay–He can handle it.  But, be confident that at the end of each and every day–like David, we can trust God to be God, and to work his plan for our lives.  He is gracious, merciful, loving and kind.  He wants nothing more than to see us free and humbly accepting all he has for us.  But, as a gentleman, he will not force his ways upon us.  Trust Him–Like David and let him be the LORD of your life.

God Bless You

In you, Lord my God,
    I put my trust.

I trust in you;
    do not let me be put to shame,
    nor let my enemies triumph over me.
No one who hopes in you
    will ever be put to shame,
but shame will come on those
    who are treacherous without cause.

Show me your ways, Lord,
    teach me your paths.
Guide me in your truth and teach me,
    for you are God my Savior,
    and my hope is in you all day long.
Remember, Lord, your great mercy and love,
    for they are from of old.
Do not remember the sins of my youth
    and my rebellious ways;
according to your love remember me,
    for you, Lord, are good.

Good and upright is the Lord;
    therefore he instructs sinners in his ways.
He guides the humble in what is right
    and teaches them his way.
10 All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful
    toward those who keep the demands of his covenant.
11 For the sake of your name, Lord,
    forgive my iniquity, though it is great.

Psalm 21 Part 2–God Our Protector

When We consider the hours we spend in fear, frustration and worries over how to treat those that would be our enemies, cause us grief and do evil to us…well, we should remember who is on our side.  King David remembered and though he had faced giants, scores of warriors and countless attacks upon his life and character–he looked to God as his protector and shield.  It was if he was actually saying–“You will have to deal with my dad–I do not think you are going to like it!”

God stands as our leader, our guide d our protector.  He grants peace–when nothing about the circumstance lends peace.  He grants safety–in the most perilous times.  He grants safe haven in the midst of the storm.  What’s more, he does it out of love and for no personal gain.  He, like any dad, is our protector, provider and mentor for life.  We simply have to trust him for who he is, and know he loves us for who and whose we are.  David’s son Solomon put it best, “Trust in the Lord with all your hart and 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

Your hand will lay hold on all your enemies;
    your right hand will seize your foes.
When you appear for battle,
    you will burn them up as in a blazing furnace.
The Lord will swallow them up in his wrath,
    and his fire will consume them.
10 You will destroy their descendants from the earth,
    their posterity from mankind.
11 Though they plot evil against you
    and devise wicked schemes, they cannot succeed.
12 You will make them turn their backs
    when you aim at them with drawn bow.

13 Be exalted in your strength, Lord;
    we will sing and praise your might.