Vs. 1, “I will exalt you, O LORD, for you lifted me out of the depths and did not let my enemies gloat over me.” Biblical scholars label this particular Psalm as a “declarative praise” to God. You can see the sense of David’s determination as he thanks the Lord for healing him. There are times in our lives for different emotions and this definitely was a time for praising God! It was believed that David was deathly ill at some point and when he finally got better, he wrote this Psalm.
Regarding application…God is the Great Physician. Vs. 2, “O LORD my God, I called to you for help and you healed me.” David is thanking God for a time when he healed him of sickness. David went from sickness to health, from weeping to joy, and from mourning to singing! This past weekend at church on Sunday, I was so sick! I had a fever the night before and we had church all day and even a joint service in the evening. I’m almost over it now and feeling much better. Try to remember a time when you were really sick…wasn’t it wonderful to be healthy again?!?! We take for granted the good health the Lord bestows upon us. I haven’t exercised all week, and find that I appreciate it even more now. God indeed heals us both physically, emotionally and physically! Let us be thankful!
Vs. 2, “Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness.” This psalm is a worship psalm to the Lord. David calls on the angels (mighty ones) and all people to call upon the Lord. David writes of a thunderstorm and thunder being the voice of God. Now during this time…pagan worship of Baal was prominient, and Baal was believed to be the God of storm. However, David makes it clear that it is God who is the creator of such splendor! But all storms eventually pass away and it is God whom David could find his peace.
Regarding application…Praising God in the Storm. Vs. 3, “The voice of the LORD is over the waters; the God of glory thunders.” Perhaps there were conditions like a hurricane that David had talked about. I’ve never witnessed a hurricane but if you ever see it in movies or the news…it really is incredible! Nothing can withstand a hurricane in its full powerful glory. And nothing can compare to God’s glory…for a storm/hurricane is but a small showing of God’s splendor. But there are spiritual storms that we as Christians will have to endure too. Jesus & the disciples went through a storm or two as well. Yet, Jesus was Lord even over the storm…and Jesus is Lord even over our own storms in life. Storms in nature and storms in life will end….and the rainbow of God’s promise will always shine through!
Vs. 7, “The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.” David was praying to God for his enemies were against him once again. We know that the Apostle Paul exhorts us to come to the Throne of Grace with boldness and confidence….and this is exactly what David is doing here. David turns to the Lord with two requests: 1. That God would speak to him. 2. That God would save him. It’s such a strong request that David feels he would die if God did not answer him.
Regarding application…God Hears Us. Vs. 6, “Praise be to the LORD, for he has heard my cry for mercy.” We see how David so earnestly sought an answer for the Lord. But just as importantly, look how Diavd responds to God when God does indeed answer. God heard David…and that same God hears us! Though we may not be able to rejoice for the situation or the enviornment around us…we still can rejoice in God! Prayer may not immediately change the situation around you, but prayer will most definitely change your spiritual situation inside of you. God does not ignore our prayers. Don’t forget…even when God says “No” he still answered our prayer. For David, it was God’s will to rescue him from his enemies. That doesn’t mean God will keep us from trials, but it does mean He is with us every step of the way. God does not forsake his children. When you pray to God, know with confidence that He hears you!
Vs. 1, “The LORD is my light and my salvation- whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life-of whom shall I be afraid?” Amen! The last few Psalms have been reminders of our own songs we sing. God was real to David! Light is the opposite of darkness and darkness is a biblical symbol of evil. David went near to the light and we must too. This one verse is a sermon in itself….He is my light, He is my salvation, and He is my strength =)
Regarding application…The One Thing. Vs. 4, “One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.” Sound familiar? I hope you see just how awesome Psalms are and where many of our own praise songs orginate from. Anyways…David was able to summarize everything of his life to “One Thing.” The Apostle Paul also was able to remember life was about “One Thing” too (Phil 3:13-14). I heard this analogy…Take a pencil…it has many uses…You can use it for chopsticks if you don’t have any, You can use it (or many) to light a fire, You can even use it as a back scratcher if all else fails…my point…a pencil has many other uses. Yet…how do we end up getting it to be used for the “One Thing” it was created for? We must whittle it down so that the lead appears. We are the pencil…God wants to whittle us down to be used for the same reason…to be used for what we were created for. Let God whittle you down so that you can be an effective Pencil (I mean Christian) for the Lord =)
Vs. 1, “Vindicate me, O LORD, for I have led a blameless life; I have trusted in the LORD without wavering.” David is probably responding to those who are slandering his name. Though David had a big sin in the past, he did not continue to live in sin. David’s delight in the Lord is so evident and he chose to allow God to guide him. Our faith in God will lead us to live a pure life. David exhorts us to examine our lives, to focus on the Lord & keep serving Him…no matter what. There is a quote that someone once said, “Look at others and be distressed; look at self and be depressed; look at Jesus and you will be blessed.”
Regarding application…Where Are You Standing? Vs. 12, “My feet stand on level ground…” As we journey in this life, we traverse through many different surfaces. Some are rocky, some are steep, some are soft, some are hard, etc… But we must stand on the solid rock of Jesus when it’s all said and done. One of my coworkers brought her daughter in for our work meeting. She was so cute! One of the things you always notice about children is that they will stand next to their parent. But as life continues, we get more independent and it’s no longer cool to stand near Mom or Dad. But that’s exactly the picture that David is painting for us today. Where are you standing?
Vs. 7, “Remember not the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways; according to your love remember me, for you are good, O LORD.” David is saddened about reflecting on his life and asks that God would forgive him. There are times in our lives where we realize that we have gone the wrong way. Often we don’t look into the mirror of our own hearts. It is a credit to David that he admits his brokeness and desires to walk righteously.
Regarding application…Depending on God. Vs. 4, “Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths.” David was not only a man after God’s own heart…but he was also a man that depended on God! In today’s society, we are not respected if we are dependent people….we must be independent & strong! However, David shows us a different way to be. We can depend on ourselves and go our way…or we can depend on God and let him show us his path. In order for God to teach us…we must be willing pupils. That is why we must always keep the Word of God close to our heart! God’s word teaches us about where we must go in this life. You all have plans for your future…but are you letting God’s word show you your path?
Vs. 3, “Who may ascend the hill of the LORD? Who may stand in his holy place.” This Psalm describes the entrance in Jerusalem. We don’t ever want to forget that God is sovereign over all things. This is a future fulfillment of when the true King will enter Jerusalem, for He is truly worthy! Everything is God’s…we are just renters in the world that God created. One day our lease will be up and we will have to move! What a glorious day it will be when the King of Glory comes down from Heaven a second time.
Regarding application…Being Sanctified. Vs. 4, “He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear by what is false.” Clean hands & pure hearts = Our actions and attitutudes. We have the tendency to lift up many things in this world that are not worthy of our attention. All too often we come before our Holy God not sanctified before Him. Everyday I take a shower and clean myself up to go out the rest of the day. I don’t want to offend others if my body odor is bad. Likewise…we need to ensure we are clean before God when we enter His presence.
Vs. 1, “The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.” This is probably the best known psalm! David paints us a picture of God’s goodness illustrated as a Shepherd. David being a shepherd himself could so vividly share how Jesus is our shepherd. Yet through all the dangers and struggles of this life, we can remember that one day we will dwell in the house of the Lord forever! It’s one thing to say “The Lord is my shepherd.”…in fact, we all as Christians have proclaimed this wonderful news! But what about the second half of this, “I shall not be in want.” You know the saying, “We want many things, but do you really need many things?” We need God. But we should also WANT God…not just on Friday’s or Sunday’s….our desire and want for God should be like a Deer that panteth for water!
Regarding application…Trusting God. Vs. 4, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” David had no fear because he knew God would protect him. David was a shepherd and this psalm he wrote would also point to the Jesus our true Shepherd. When the Sheep get scared they scatter from each other, but when the Shepherd speaks his voice the sheep come back to the voice they trust. They knew the Shepherd will protect them from any dangerous animals, but they also know the Shepherd will bring them back together again. That is what Jesus does when we trust in in Him. Some of us need to come back to Jesus…some of us need to come back to each other. Pray that you would hear your Shepherd’s voice.
Vs. 1, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from the words of my groaning?” This is one of the most well known Messianic psalms, for Jesus directly quoted from it on the cross. Though this psalm applied to David, it prophetically (in great detail) depicts what would happen to Jesus. Though beaten and abused…David continues to seek out the Lord. But this psalm also speaks of deliverance. Deliverance both for David & delierance for the Son of Man! It’s interesting to note that crucifixion was not a form of capital punishment in David’s time, yet he gave such a detailed description.
Regarding application…God’s Delivers Us. I don’t think there has even been a time in our lives where we could rightfully cry out “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” But, if it ever comes to that…I pray we would all remember the promises of God during times of trouble. One other thing that strikes me is vs. 30, “Posterity will serve him; future generations will be told about the Lord.” Once again, it is our purpose in this life to get that message out to the world! Pray that our hearts would be in tune with Jesus’ heart! Praise God for his love & delierance from a life of death to everlasting life!
Vs. 13, “Be exalted, O LORD , in your strength; we will sing and praise your might.” The previous psalm was a song for victory before the battle…this psalm is a song for rejoicing the victory after battle. As we read, we see a person who does not glory in his own ability, but rather gives credit where credit is due. Yet, there is a feeling of a victory to come…this psalm is also Messianic (about Jesus) and points to the King who will have the final victory! The victory is not just with David, but rather it is a victory for all and is shared with all through the writing & playing of this psalm.
Regarding application…Giving God the Credit. I find that requesting things of God is not the hard part of prayer. But the right response when God does answer prayer is lacking in many of our lives. God not only answers the prayers we request, but also answers prayers we don’t even know he answered for us. Yet, too often we forget to praise God when he does give us so much. I am reminded of the passage in the Gospels where Jesus healed the ten lepers. Yet only one came back to thank Jesus for healing them. That’s a 10% return. And you know what? I would guess that’s a pretty acurate percentage of people who rightfully praise God when he answers prayers today. Dearest brothers & sisters in Christ, Let us be people who Praise God and give credit for the many blessings He constantly pours out to us!