QT – Psalm 20

Vs. 7, “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.” King David was ready to go out to battle and he wrote this to encourage Israel! David calls for God’s blessings and assures everyone that God delivers. Take a look at Vs. 3, and think about the soliders who would go out to possibly die. Even today, we have our own soldiers risking thier lives against nations who do evil. Remember that we too are soliders…Soldiers in God’s army. What sacrifices have you prepared as you go out to fight the good fight?

Regarding application…God’s Power.  I memordized vs. 7, a few years ago and still love it today! Chariots were the force to reckon with back then…no other weapon could match it. Yet even chariots are nothing to God. We think of weapons of mass destruction…yet they are nothing compared to God’s power! The war we fight may look unbeatable in this life…but God’s only offensive weapon for the Christian soldier is the Word (Bible)! That is why we read & meditate on it. Because it is our one weapon against the forces of evil. This passage is better than Mel Gibson’s dialogue in Braveheart as he readies his army. It give me goosebumps thinking about the encouragement we find in trusting our Admiral..our General…our fellow fighter…who is Jesus Christ! What a glorious day it will be when Jesus defeats the enemy in the end! Until that day, let us trust not in ourselves…but in Jesus Alone!

QT – Psalm 19

Vs. 1, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” David knew what so many still refuse to believe today. God reveals himself simply by the world he created! As Christians, we know that God reveals himself through a few different ways. One being “General Revelation”(by nature) which David is referring to in this passage. And there is “Special Revelation” (Bible, Holy Spirit, Prayer, etc.) in which God directly reveals himself. Either way, we know we are without excuse (Romans 1) for God has made himself known to all.

Regarding application…Pleasing to God. Vs. 14, “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.” Isn’t that what its all about? What comes out of our mouth and what comes from our heart really does matter. David earlier prayed in this passage if there were any willful sins in his life…that God would reveal that to him. I still remember the first time I saw a mountain with snow on it…It was Mount Hood and I was a young teenybopper flying out to Oregon to be a counselor at my Adoption camp. I was most definitely in awe of the beauty of Oregon. I couldn’t help but see the majesty of God, that he could create such beauty! I thank God that I had the opportunity to live out in such beautiful country, but So. Cal has it’s own beauty too! As pleasing as God is to us…let us give back our lives so that we would be pleasing to Him!

QT – Psalm 18

Vs. 1, “I love you, O LORD , my strength.” This passage parallels II Sam. 22. David sang this song upon deliverance from Saul & his enemies and establishing him to be king. There were some definite difficult times in David’s life till this point. This psalm looks back at God’s faithfulness to his life. No matter how hard it was, David was also able to look at God’s righteousness during the storms of his life. It really is awesome to see such an appropriate response to the Lord!

Regarding application…Responding to God.  David was able to sing such a song because he knew such an awesome God. His knowledge of God shines through by his exaltation. How do you respond to God? In my short experience…I find that worship can sometimes become a routine in the church. Whether it is because we know the songs so well, or we just become a little too used to our enviornment…I think we don’t always realize what we are doing. Our response to God in good times & bad times should look like David! I believe there are far too many Christians with a lackluster response to God. Let us not be people who are ignorant of God…but let us be people filled with the knowledge of Him and can’t help but respond with all our hearts, soul, mind & strength!

QT – Psalm 17

Vs. 8, “Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings.” There were times where David suffered for his sins, but here David is confident that his present circumstances are not because of sin. This is a lament/prayer psalm and David in a way is protesting his innocence (vs.1). David knew God could see, He knew God could hear, He knew God’s hand could protect, and He knew God was real! Only God could deliver David from the hands of his enemies. David looked forward in being able to see God (vs. 15). As Christians, that will be glorious moment when we see Jesus face to face!

Regarding application…God See’s Us.  I want to comment on vs. 8 (mentioned from above). What is the apple of the eye? It is the pupil, symbolizing sight. David asked that God’s eye would be upon him. It is just another illustration of how much God cares for his creation! All you have to do is watch a mother cradle her first child and see the joy and love in her eye as she looks upon her firstborn. The expression “apple of my eye” is still used today. We are the apple of God’s eye!!! What a wonderful thought in knowing that God never takes his attention away from us. No matter what obstacles or stresses come our way!

QT – Psalm 16

Vs. 8, “I have set the LORD always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.” This is a lament song from David. Peter quotes this psalm from his sermon on Pentecost in Acts 2. This chapter really highlights David’s faith in God! David mentions the saints…and just like today…though Christians are not always perfect, we truly should delight in the fellowship of believers (vs.3) ! For we have an inheritance (vs.6) that awaits us in Heaven! And David even points towards the resurrection (vs.10) of Christ!

Regarding application…Maturing in Christ.  Vs. 2, “I said to the LORD , “You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.” How do you measure if you are mature in Christ? How do you know? Well…I think a person has taken a huge step in their maturity if they can say what David said from vs. 2 and mean it! Apart from Jesus, nothing compares! Imagine what the church would look like if everyone had such a mature view of the Lord & life?!?! Oh how easy it is to allow our minds to wonder and drift into this world. That is why we need God & each other all the more. What good is it to the church if you go just for the sake of going? When you attend church…be ready to grow in your maturity in Christ and help others to realize that Jesus is the reason!  That’s why we do our QT’s each day so we grow in the Lord!  I may not be able to grow taller anymore, but I sure can grow spiritually taller =P

QT – Psalm 15

Vs. 1, “LORD , who may dwell in your sanctuary? Who may live on your holy hill?” David opens up with a spiritual question. Who is righteous enought to dwell with God? Only one person was truly righteous and that was Jesus. But David poses a good point in which we must examine our lives before we draw near to God. Instead of listing a do’s and don’ts tally..David expounds on the character of a person. Not only should we approach God with right conduct but also right character. These qualties of character included integrity & honesty, our relationship with others, and even how we deal with money.

Regarding application…Approaching God.  How then do we approach God? Take a look at Hebrews 10:22, “let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.” Along with Psalm 15, we begin to see how we should strive to be when we come into the presence of God. By sincerely taking this to heart, it really should help us deepen our experience when we come into the presence of God whether in your own QT or @ church.  Back in the good old days high school wrestingl…everytime we would have a competition against an opponent,.I would always do several things leading up to the actual wrestling bout. Of course, I would maintain my weight level so when they weighed me I was not over. Then, I would spend up to an hour stretching & visualizing me taking down my opponent. I would also listen to music that would get my hyped up to go out there and claim victory! My point: When we are about to go into the presence of God…how much more should we get ourselves ready & prepared when we approach our Heavenly Father!

QT – Psalm 14

Vs. 2, “The LORD looks down from heaven on the sons of men to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God.” David contrasts the foolish and the righteous.  If this sounds familiar…Paul wrote something similar to this passage in Romans 3:10-12. The word “fool” from vs. 1, is not someone who is dumb….rather a person who lacks moral knowledge. There have been many geniouses who were fools. In our pursuit of knowledge, unfortunately many leave God out of the picture. 

Regarding application…The Pursuit of Knowledge.  We should genuinely ask ourselves which group do we fall under? Whether you realize this or not…all of your life up to this point as been for the pursuit of knowledge. Yet…especially as you go off to college you will literally pay thousands of dollars for the knowledge of man. Yet man’s knowledge is foolishness to God! In fact you can have all the biblical knowledge and still be a fool! However, I emphasize this soley because many of you do study dilegently enough to get pretty good grades. Why? For your parent’s approval, for your own esteem, for fear of what the school system can do to you if you don’t study? Yet, how dilegent are we in giving time to God that He would be honored with? It’s not about how many chapters we read or how long we pray….those do tie in, but rather making your whole life honoring to God!

QT – Psalm 13

Vs. 1, “How long, O LORD ? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me.” One of the proverbial questions of all time….How long? Four times in this passage David would ask that question. “It is faith’s work to claim and challenge lovingkindness out of all the roughest strokes of God.” Samuel Rutherford. In this short psalm…what is the difference maker from vs. 1 to vs. 6? Prayer. It is prayer that changes this by faith in God! Prayer can take us from the very pits of death to the glories of Heaven! This is prayer of honesty & openeness to God! David is not challenging God, but rather being real!

Regarding application…How Much Longer?  I am reminded of children who ask their parents “how much longer daddy or mommy?” when they are traveling somewhere. Perhaps it is a very long trip they are making. Perhaps there was a flat tire along the way. Perhaps they had to make more bathroom stops than they wanted. Perhaps they had to make the trip over 5 days instead of the planned 3 days. Yet, the parents are assured their young children will continue to ask, “How much longer?” You see…this is kind of how it is with life. On the road & journey to our final destination…there are going to be hiccups along the road of life. Times when we will ask our Heavenly Father…”how much longer?” Yet, we observe that the child is asking “How Long”…not “What if we don’t?” David would ask how long too…but in the end he knew the faithfulness & goodness of his Father! Do you?

QT – Psalm 12

Vs. 1, “Help, LORD , for the godly are no more; the faithful have vanished from among men.” In our previous psalm, David saw the foundations failing, but in this psalm he sees the faithful vanishing. This is another Lament Psalm as David cries out to the Lord for help. Just like in the Book of James, we see the influence the tongue has on our lives. David contrasts the evil words of men to the pure words of God! What made David come to this conclusion about evil men? It was their tongue…their language that was ungodly. Whether it is cursing God’s name, cussing, gossip, slander, etc…it is all to prevelant even in today’s society. How much more than should we hunger for the pure refined Word of God?

Regarding application…Taming our Tounge.  Vs. 4, “….We will triumph with our tongues; we own our lips—who is our master?”  It’s sad to know that each of you constantly hear cussing, cursing, gossip & slander everyday at your schools. In fact, you probably have gotten so used to it that you don’t even realize that it is so common. But, I urge us to be like David who would not grow tolerant of such talk. In our age of communication, are you able to discern what is Godly & what is Ungodly? Are you able to purify your speech so that God may be honored? How can praising & cursing come out of the same mouth? Brothers & sisters in Christ, if you are guilty of such trespesses, I implore you to put on the mind of God! I challenge each of you to really listen to what type of ways people hurt God & hurt others with the words they speak or type on Facebook. Though you may be used to it…it is something that we must not tolerate in our own minds.

QT – Psalm 11

Vs. 1, “The LORD I take refuge. How then can you say to me: “Flee like a bird to your mountain.” Due to the circumstances, David had a temptation to flee from everything that was surrounding him. David had others telling him to flee like a bird, but instead David turned to the Lord. What hope what there in the Lord? Vs. 4, “The LORD is in his holy temple; the LORD is on his heavenly throne. He observes the sons of men; his eyes examine them.” Once again, God’s word reminds us of that which we cannot escape. Not the eye of Sauron (Lord of the Rings)…but he eye of God! God’s eye is ever present and all seeing and David knew that God’s eye was also on the wicked.

Regarding application…Trusting in God.  In the KJV, Vs. 1 begins, “In the LORD put I my trust…” Perhaps there have been times and probably will be times in your life where you just want to escape. We pretend how nice it would to just flee from all our problems and go to a place where no one knows us. For myself, there have been a few times in my life where I felt like just giving up and selfishly wanting to flee a situation or circumstance. But David reminds us of our duty! When everything around us is falling apart…what can we do (vs. 3)? We can rebulid our foundation in the LORD! We can stop running from problems and start building the foundations like Ezra did when he returned to Jerusalem after the exile to Babylon. But before we can do any of this…we must put our Trust in Him!