Tuesday, August 21, 2018

The Savior's Cross

Read Psalm 22.

David described his suffering to be so intense it was like being put to death by his enemies.  Anyone who is familiar with the New Testament cannot help but see how prophetic this picture is of the crucifixion of Jesus.  Though on his own David certainly was not writing about Messiah directly (a thousand years in advance), the typology is there.  The Holy Spirit gave David the poetic descriptions of his circumstances and the Gospel writers got to see its ultimate fulfillment in the passion of Christ.

1. The cry of Christ (vv.1-2)
These are the exact words that Jesus used hanging on the cross (Matthew 27:46).  It came in the very moment that God, the Father, laid the sin of the world upon the Savior.
"For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." (2 Corinthians 5:21)

2. The criticism of Christ (vv.6-8)
Amazingly, in the fulfillment of God's prophetic word, the unbelieving crowd did not realize they were quoting these verses as they ridiculed Jesus on the cross (Matthew 27:39-44).
About 500 years in advance Isaiah wrote, "He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not." (Isaiah 53:3)

3. The crucifixion of Christ (vv.14-18)
There is no mention of crucifixion in David's day.  It was the Romans who used it to publicly humiliate those who dared oppose them.  The prophetic typology was fulfilled to the last detail, including the soldiers gambling for his garments. (Matthew 27:35)

Obviously, David did not die in this instance.  God answered his prayer.  Though Jesus died on the cross and was buried, He rose from the grave in proof that He is God.  In Acts 2:27, the Apostle Peter quoted Psalm 16:10 as a prophetic word concerning the resurrection of Jesus.  "For you will not abandon my soul to Hades, or let your Holy One see corruption."

David's deliverance caused him to praise the LORD and want to tell others about it (v.22).  In addition, he looked forward to a day when "all the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the LORD, and all the families of the nations shall worship before you." (v.27)

Monday, August 20, 2018

Counting our many Blessings

Read Psalm 21.

Quite often people only see prayer as a means for what they can get next from God.  Few take time to celebrate what He has already done.  King David took that time in this song.  God had been good to him and he wanted everyone else to know about it.

1. He celebrated God's provision in his life.
-God answered his prayers (v.2)
-God gave him material blessings (v.3)
-God spared his life and legacy (v.4)
-God honored him (v.5)
-God made His presence personally known to him (v.6)
-God established his life with His love (v.7)

2. He celebrated God’s protection of his life.
-God knows His enemies.  David's enemies were haters of God. (v.8)
-God judges those who oppose Him (v.9)
-God destroys the legacy of the wicked (v.10)
-God ensures that the plans of His enemies ultimately fail (v.11)
-God puts His enemies on the run (v.12)

This is an encouragement for all of us to stop and make our own lists of how God has blessed us and protected us.  Let the music begin.

"We will sing and praise your power." (v.13b)

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Moving from blessing to Blessings

Read Psalm 20.

When reading this Psalm it may remind us of the old traditional Gaelic blessing:
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

David's song of blessing takes us much deeper into the basis of our hope.  It is a prayer.
1. He prayed for specific responses from God. (vv.1-3)
"May the LORD answer you in the day of trouble!"
-protect you
-help you
-support you
-remember all your offerings
-regard your sacrifices

2. He prayed for requests to God (vv.4-5)
"May he grant you..."
-your heart's desire
-fulfill all your plans
-your deliverance
-your victories
-all your petitions

3. He prayed for powerful results from God (v.6)
-God saves
-God answers

At the root of our hope is where we put our trust.  Some put their faith in things that will ultimately fail them.
"But we trust in the name of the LORD our God." (v.7b)

Friday, August 17, 2018

This will change your Life

Read Psalm 19.

The purpose of the Bible is not information, but transformation.  Life-change is to be the result of a personal relationship with the LORD.  The better we know His Word the more our lives will be pleasing and acceptable to Him.

1. God's Work. (vv.1-6)
Creation is a testimony to the existence, power and presence of the living God.  When a heart is open and receptive, the message becomes real and obvious.
"For his invisible attributes, namely his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made.  So they are without excuse." (Roman 1:20)

2. God's Word. (vv.7-11)
The Scriptures are totally reliable.  They provide words of instruction, wisdom, encouragement, warning and blessing.
"All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work." (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

3. God's Worker. (vv.12-14)
Self-valuation is not always accurate.  Let the Scriptures be the unchanging standard of right and wrong.
"How can a young man keep his way pure?  By guarding it according to your word....I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you." (Psalm 119:9, 11)

A verse we should all memorize:
"Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer." (Psalm 19:14)

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Singing along with David

Read Psalm 18.

This is a song of victory.  The inscription identifies it as written in response to being rescued from his enemies, especially Saul.  Though a warrior with his own troops engaged in the battle, David gave God full credit for His divine intervention.

Here the sweet psalmist of Israel showed his giftedness in writing artistic poetry.  Using multiple metaphors, David described graphically who God is and how God acted on his behalf.  It began with a testimony of worship.  He sings of his love for God and here is why-
"I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies." (v.3)

1. God rescued him.
David was in a tight spot, cornered, and seemingly with no way out.  God opened a door for him to overcome the adversity.
"But the LORD was my support.  He brought me out into a broad place; he rescued me because he delighted in me." (vv.18b-19)
"You gave a wide place for my steps under me, and my feet did not slip." (v.36)

2. God rewarded him.
David had done nothing wrong, yet he was being pursued to the death.  God saw his character and humility.
"So the LORD has rewarded me according to my righteousness, according to the cleanness of my hands in his sight." (v.24)

3. God reminded him.
In his relief and joy, David recalled a truth he already knew, but at this point he could embrace it with even stronger faith.  God is trustworthy.
"This God-his way is perfect; the word of the LORD proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him." (v.30)

We can all sing along with David:
"The LORD lives, and blessed be my rock, and exalted be the God of my salvation." (v.46)

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

5 Prayer Requests in times of Trouble

Read Psalm 17.

As many other prayer songs in the book of Psalms, David was gravely concerned about attacks from his enemies.  Do not miss how confident in prayer he was.  His conscience and life were clean before God and, therefore, he came boldly into God's presence with his requests.

David not only knew God heard his prayers but also that the LORD would answer him.  What did he ask God to do?

1.  He asked to be the center focus of God's attention.
"Keep me as the apple of your eye." (v.8a)
It was the assurance that God had His eye on what was happening that provided courage.

2. He wanted God's protection.
"Hide me in the shadow of your wings." (v.8b)
God was the refuge that was needed.  Running to the presence of the Lord brought a sense of safety, perspective, and spiritual refreshment.

3. He wanted God's action.
"Arise, O LORD! (v.13)
God was more powerful than any enemy's threats.

4. He wanted God's succession.
"They leave their abundance to their infants."
Not only was his life and wealth a concern, but he wanted to be able to pass these blessings on to the next generation and beyond.  Leaving a legacy of faith was a top request of his.

5. He wanted God's satisfaction.
"As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness; when I awake, I shall be satisfied with your likeness."  It was enough for him to able to wake up from this trouble and find the character of God stamped on his life for all to see.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

What difference does it make if I trust in God?

Read Psalm 16.

Does faith in God make any difference in a person's daily life?  King David provided an analysis of the difference his trust in the LORD made both in the present and in his future.

1. "...in you I take refuge." (v.1)
When life became tough, God was there as a place of safety and comfort.

2. "I have no good apart from you." (v.2)
When everything around him looked bad and even his own sin bothered him, he turned to the LORD for His forgiveness and goodness.

3. "As for the saints...in whom is all my delight." (vv.3-4)
He loved to be with others who also trusted in God.  The mutual fellowship encouraged him.  While those who chose to place their trust in falsehoods only multiplied their sorrows in life.

4. "The LORD...you hold my lot." (v.5)
He recognized that the sovereign hand of God ultimately controlled what he received in this life.

5. "I have a beautiful inheritance." (v.6)
With God in control, his future provisions were secure.

6. "I bless the LORD who gives me counsel." (v.7)
As he meditated on upcoming decisions, he listened for God to guide his thoughts.

7. "I have set the LORD always before me."
He did not keep God compartmentalized at his place of worship.  God's presence was always in the forefront of his thinking.

8. "My heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure." (vv.9-10)
Inside and out- heart, soul and body-was upbeat because his eternity was secured by his faith in the promises of God.

9. "...life...fullness of joy...pleasures forevermore." (v.11)
All this was his as a result of his personal relationship with the LORD.

Who would not want such a life as this?