Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Tuesday - Psalm 26 - A Different Tune

f the last song was David's lament and confession concerning his own guilt, this song was a celebration of his own spiritual devotion.  Maybe you think this approach is not fitting for one of God's humble children... but wait, allow me to come to his defense for a moment.

Do you ever recall winning an award or getting a particularly good report card as a child and bringing that news to your father, or perhaps to some other adult that you loved and revered? There is a strange amalgamation of motives that drive us to that kind of action, but among the many that might be pointed out, there is the noble desire to please.  Imagine the other extreme.  Imagine a child who doesn't care to bring a good report home to his parents (because perhaps he has no interest in making them proud).  Or worse yet, imagine a child who intentionally does things which he knows will hurt his own parents and make them ashamed.  Those negative images help us to see more clearly just how commendable obedience, compliance, diligence and a desire to please really are.

Here is one more portrait that might help.  Imagine a student who was formerly a flunkout who has been rehabilitated and educated.  Imagine him coming to a former professor to retake an exam that he had previously failed miserably.  If the student now knows the material and can take the exam with fitting confidence, can't it be seen that his attitude can be both humble and celebratory at the same time.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Monday - Psalm 25 - Forgive & Forget

n Micah 7:18 & 19 we find that God has a sea of intentional forgetfulness.  It may seem strange or impossible for our omniscient God to blot out the memory of anything, but Micah speaks plainly about it.  According to that prophet's words concerning His people, God is able to "cast all their sins into the depths of the sea."  In Psalm 79:8 the worship leader Asaph specified that he wanted God to refrain from remembering FORMER transgressions AGAINST us.  Surely those 2 words are essential to our understanding of just how it is that God forgives and forgets our iniquities.

For us to commune with the Holy God of heaven, a miraculous exoneration must first occur.  Christ our Redeemer did the work necessary for that very purpose (see Romans 3:24 - 26).  In Psalm 25, David demonstrates the 3 essential ingredients WE need for communion with our Redeemer to flourish: contrition, dependence and humility.  He clearly recognized his need for God's direction and involvement in his future.  And, setting the tone for today's meditation, he asked God to forget the awful vices from his past (Psalm 25:7, 11 & 18).  He prayed, "Lord, remember Your mercy and forget my sins, please."  Essentially, forgive me and forget what I have done (Psalm 25:6 & 7).

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Saturday - Psalm 24 - The Lord Strong & Mighty

verything and everybody rightfully belongs to God.  However, when it comes to considering all of the individual “every bodies,” it is important to note that not every person gets to enjoy God's exalted presence.  He owns us... He holds the rights to our existence, yet there are many who will ultimately not benefit from having such a powerful and benevolent owner.  Only those who seek Him benefit from His position (Psalm 24:6 & Jeremiah 29:13).

Now, the entrance of this infinitely powerful and wealthy ruler onto any scene should command our utmost respect, wouldn't you agree?  He is the King; the boss; the mightiest of all beings.  His entrance should be accompanied by fitting devotion and adoration from His subjects.

Perhaps Psalm 24 was written for the entrance of the Ark of the Covenant into the sanctuary during the days of King David.  If this is true then surely, we should look into the present and consider seriously with what piety or lack thereof professing men, women, boys and girls come to Christ today.  Let us fear and reverence Him and not treat Him with nonchalance nor with casual disinterest.  He is God!  Even if He had never done anything for us, He would be worthy of great praise and admiration from us.  But, as we saw plainly in the last 2 psalms, He has done great things for us.  Of course, there will be a day when God’s kingdom will come to earth (Revelation 11:15) and the Almighty will finally be revered as He justly deserves.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Friday - Psalm 23 - The Greatest Chapter in the Bible

ike the Psalm before it, Psalm 23 also stands wonderfully without comment or explanation.  However, since I have known it by heart for as long as I can remember, I think I should like to take one small piece of it and ruminate on it for a moment. 

When I was a very small child I used to stand out in the front yard and quote Psalm 23 as loudly and as dramatically as I could.  I imagined myself a great preacher, like my dad or one of the many pastors, evangelists and missionaries that I had heard from the day I was born.  However, in my tirades to my neighborhood (which was comprised mostly of soy beans, a dog and the only neighbor within shouting distance), I don't ever recall getting past the second phrase in Psalm 23:1, "I shall not want." Now, in good Baptist form I ran every unrelated rabbit trail that I could think of from verse 1 and never got to the rest of the Psalm.  But then again, that's not all bad.  Think of the power in that one little phrase... I shall not want (or lack).

Since the Lord is my shepherd, I have everything I need. Hebrews 13:5 says, "Be content with such things as ye have: for He has said, 'I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee."' Again, Roman 8:32 adds, "He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?"  Oh the comfort, the strength, the assurance, the safety, the hope and the cheer we find in the words of this great old Psalm. When I read it or quote it, I can truly say, "My cup runneth over!"  The waters are calm; the grass is green; I have nothing to fear; the table is full; heaven is my home; the Lord is my shepherd... I have everything I need.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Thursday - Psalm 22 - Christ on the Cross

'm not sure anything really NEEDS to be said about Psalm 22.  Any Christian can see plainly that this is a prophetic picture of Christ on the cross.  Nevertheless, allow me to worship Him a little...

It was while He was on the cross that He felt alone.  It was the cross that brought His abject humiliation.  It was from before the cross that He heard the mockery concerning His claims about His relationship with the Father.  It was the threat of the cross that drove even His friends away from Him.  It was around the cross that the evil spirits gathered to watch the sacrifice of their divine nemesis (Luke 22:53 & Psalm 22:12).  It was the jarring erection of the cross which would have pulled His joints out of their sockets.  It was after His death on the cross that a Roman spear was used to discover the condition of His broken heart (Psalm 22:14 & John 19:34).  It is from the cross of Calvary that we hear the very Creator of the seas crying out, "I'm thirsty!"  It was through the cross that Jesus' hands and feet were pierced.  It was on the cross that the Son of God hung with His flesh torn away and His bones exposed.  It was at the foot of the cross that Jesus' clothes were divided among heathen soldiers.

But wait; don't lose sight of the end of Psalm 22.  It was also on the cross that Jesus prayed for His own resurrection (Psalm 22:19-21).  It was while He was on the cross that He meditated upon His intention to save His people and to exalt the name of His Father.  It was when He was on the cross that I was on His mind (Psalm 22:26-27).  It was His work on the cross that ultimately gave Him the absolute right to rescue and to govern the nations (Romans 3:26 & Revelation 5:9).  It was the cross that lifted the gospel high for all people to plainly see (John 12:32).  In the words of the apostle Paul, "I will glory in the cross" (Galatians 6:14)!

Truly, the Lord has done great things for us... whereof we are glad (Psalm 126:3)!  And, of all the great things that He has done for us, nothing compares to what He accomplished on the cross.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Tuesday - Psalm 21 - A Silhouette of the Messiah

esus has many titles, holds many offices and has acted in many distinct ways.  He is our Savior.  He is the King of Kings.  And, He is both a conqueror and a judge over His enemies.  These things and more are alluded to in Psalm 21.

Concerning the Christ; verse 4 hints of His resurrection.  Verses 5 & 6 point to His exaltation; verse 7 to His humiliation.  Verse 8 reminds us of His coming advent.  Verses 9-12 give us a peek into the day of the judgment of His enemies.  And, verse 13 helps us to see Him in His kingdom.

Oh surely, the Psalm was originally written with king David as it's object, but just like many other prophecies in the Scripture, it's full clarity isn't really seen until it is applied appropriately to its ultimate object - the Son of God And, don't try to tell me that applying Psalm 21 to the Messiah is a stretch.  I stand firmly on Romans 11:36, "For of Him, and through Him, and to Him, are all things:  to whom be glory forever. Amen."  Sometimes we look around and see the devil behind every bush.  Perhaps if we would look more closely at things in this life and if we would observe with faith-filled spiritual eyes, we would see our Lord in every situation instead of just noticing the devil (Philippians 4:8 & Romans 8:28).  Look for Him in every verse and in every line of Scripture (Jeremiah 29:13).  And, while you're at it, look for Him in the sky too (Titus 2:13).