Vs. 12, “With God we will gain the victory, and he will trample down our enemies.” This psalm of David has a military in its approach. This psalm speaks of a recent defeat, but a confidence in the eventual outcome! Perhaps David had underestimated his enemies at this time. Yet, David did not run like a coward, but voiced his confidence in the Lord Almighty. David knows and asks that God will deliver those He loves (vs. 5)…Did you know that David means “Beloved”? We are beloved by God…not because of who we are…but because of the Jesus Christ His only Son!
Regarding application…We Are His Beloved. I think of all of those who suffer from doubt & low self-esteem. Perhaps we struggle with these things because we are forgetting something that David was already assured….that we are simply loved by God! Of course, we are all very right in looking at ourselves and thinking we are nothing. It’s true (From one vantage point)….but if we are truly nothing…than God would not have sacrficed His only Son. This is not some simple antidote to cure us from our doubts & fears of ourselves…but it is an exhortation to NEVER forget that you also are God’s “Beloved.” All you have to do is turn to John 3:16 to prove that! The road of life is never an easy one…and God doesn’t promise it will be easy either. But one thing He does promise us is, “he will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Duet 31:6; Heb 13:5). As Paul wrote the Romans in Chapter 8, nothing can seperate us from the Love of God that is in Christ Jesus! It’s okay to be scared…its okay to doubt at times….but don’t ever forget that God loves you! That is why David was able to triumph in desperate times….and that’s why “WE” are able to triumph in the Lord today!
Vs. 2, “Deliver me from evildoers and save me from bloodthirsty men.” Scholars believe David is referring to the event from I Samuel 19, where David’s wife puts an idol where David was to sleep to trick Saul’s men into thinking David was still in his room…all the while that David escaped his enemy. Saul was after David again…and once again, it would be God who was to rescue him! Though it take a few years for David to reach the throne…we know that David had two opportunties to kill Saul…yet he allowed God to take vengence. Though the night was bleak…David was always able to remember God and praise Him as the morning sun rose (16).
Regarding application…Dealing with Unfairness. Vs, 3, “See how they lie in wait for me! Fierce men conspire against me for no offense or sin of mine, O LORD.” It got me to thinking. It isn’t as if David had never sinned…but for Saul’s wrath upon David…it was definitley not warrented. Yet, perhaps we have all been victims of some sort of injustice upon on us. Growing up in a small southern Indinana town of all white people wasn’t exactly the easist thing to do as a Korean. There were many a time that I found myself in predicatments that were no fault of my own…it was simply because I was different. Whether it was being made fun of, having kids challenge me to fight because maybe I was like Bruce Lee, etc… It’s not fun suffering consequences if you didn’t do anything to bring it upon you. Yet…we learn something from Daivd….we learn that the life we live on this earth isn’t always going to be fair. Rather than blame God….David turned to God all the more. Let us be people who roll with the punches and still put our trust in the Lord!
Vs. 10, “The righteous will be glad when they are avenged, when they bathe their feet in the blood of the wicked.” In words that seem nearly unchristian to say…David condemn’s the wicked and pleads to God that judgment would come upon them. But remember that David was God’s chosen King…David’s enemies would be God’s enemies. Though it seems like he is getting personal…David’s greatest concern was for the righteous. The extent of his images are quite vivid and we see just how these evil people affected him. But in the end…David also realized it would be God to whom vengence would come. God had given David the authority as King to denoucne these evil people. We don’t have that authority today…but we do have the power to Forgive! Hate the sin…love the sinner. It is God’s place to avenge!
Regarding application…Responding to Sin. I can’t help but commend David in some way. Why? Because of his intolerance for sin. Our tolerance for sin is so sad to see. Whether it be language, violence, sex, gossip and slander….we rarely flinch when we see it or even are a part of it. We can take a huge lesson from David today…we must have a truly holy anger towards sin…whether it be ours or the world we see. Why again? Because, the more we realize sin…the more we can forgive & see the grace of God upon our lives. It’s like the passage in the NT where the Apostle Paul admonished the Romans in chapter 5:20, “The law was added so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more.” I think I’m begining to finally understand what Paul meant. If we do not oppose the sin in our lives…then I would question if we really know the grace & holiness of our God.
What in justices do you know of in your own life? I’m not talking about the activists like people who chant Go Green! I’m talking about what social injustices are out there that you know of? I remember a few years back, our church in Oregon spent some time helping out World Vision. More specifically helping out the orphaned children in India who were being exploited for sex. Yet, this is still happening in the world today. What are you doing about it? This is the right type of anger we can have towards sins such as this. While we all may not be able to physically help….we can all be called to be prayer warriors for the injustice we see in this world. Like the old cartoon that has been revised…Justice League of America….we can be super-hero’s too….super-hero’s of prayer!
Vs. 1, “Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me, for in you my soul takes refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed.” Twice David would hide in caves to flee from this Saul. In this passage, this was the second time David fled into a cave. Notice that David’s confidence wasn’t necessarily on the rocks that hid him, but the God’s shadow of wings which protected him. We’ve been reading lately of David’s exploits in avoiding the enemy…and something that continues to amaze me about David is that never do we see a hint of the blame being put upon God. In fact…these very dangers David would endure ends up only increasing his faith in God!
Regarding application…Enduring Tough Situations. Have any of you experienced Caving? Back in the Midwest, there are many caves and I’ve visited a few tourist cave sites. But, the story that I’m about to tell you is when I had the chance to go caving “spelunking” with some friends of mine. It was a local cave about 80 minutes from Jasper. We all had the hats with the lights on the top (like the movies). We had gone about a 1/2 into the cave, when I had found a small opening that led to another way. Unbeknowest to me…this opening was smaller than I realized…in a few short minutes, I found myself completely trapped in a crevice. It was a pretty scary experience…It took about two hours to get me out! I had thought that I was going to have to be stuck there for days.
The point of that story is to share with you that Caves in general are not nice experiences. When David fled to a cave it wasn’t because he wanted to go exploring. Caves are dark…wet…and pretty scary places…believe me…I know! Yet…we metaphorically have our own caves in our lives. Times or places in our lives where we had to endure tough situations. It may be in your own home with family members…it may be at school or work….even at church sometimes. Yet, even when we are in the coldness of our own caves…don’t despair. For in these caves, David was able to find even more strength…and God can give you that same strength too!
Vs. 11, “In God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” This psalm is referring to the same event from Psalm 34, where David had to act insane before the Philistines to escape. The fact that he wrote about this event twice shows the realization of just how grave David’s situation was.
Regarding application…Being Afraid. Question: Is it okay to be afraid of things in this life? Earlier on in this psalm, David stated when he was afraid, he trusted in God. So, certainly…I would say yes it’s okay to be afraid. This world is a pretty scary place to live in. Besides, if we were not fearful or afraid of anything…than we probably wouldn’t turn to God. I vividly remember being literally scared of death. I was a junior high student at the time…I wondered what would happen if I died. Little did I know that this fear…is part of what led me to the cross. We have a promise from God in I John 4:18, “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” In this journey of life…there will be times that we too will be afraid…in those times, remember God’s promises and how His promises delivers those whom He loves!
Vs. 6, “I said, “Oh, that I had the wings of a dove! I would fly away and be at rest.” Running for your life takes its toll. David was getting tired and the fact that a close companion had betrayed him made it nearly impossible to endure. Some scholars believe David is referring to Ahihthophel, one of his trusted advisors. The psalm shows some Messianic undertones as we see that Jesus too was betrayed by Judas Iscariot. David wanted to escape, but what he really needs are not wings to take him away….rather wings to take him above! The storms of this life cannot be escaped, but God can help us see the storms from a different perspective and protect us.
Regarding application…Betrayal of Friendship. Vs. 20, “My companion attacks his friends; he violates his covenant while we may have not experienced such a betrayal as this.” I would venture to say that we all have been let down or dissappointed by a close friend. In fact, we have all probably been let down by those whom are close to us at one point or another. Yet, it would be Jesus who would show us this example of how we should respond. Bottom line…David realized that it would be God to whom would make justice prevail. Most of us will not experience a betrayal such as this…but let us remember that love covers over a multitude of sins! Remember that we are to Forgive as Christ forgave us!
Vs. 7, “For he has delivered me from all my troubles, and my eyes have looked in triumph on my foes.” This is an encouraging psalm, for David had his prayer answered! David was hiding in the region of Ziph, but was betrayed and Saul was informed. David would have have many close calls in his life. Saul would prove to be an unrelenting foe. But, God is bigger than any enemy that may rise up against his people!
Regarding application…Enemy Against Us. Vs. 3, “Strangers are attacking me; ruthless men seek my life-men without regard for God.” How true of a statement this is! Jesus reminded us that don’t be suprised if the world hates us, because it hated him first (John 15:18). As a naive young Christian who just came to God…I found that out real fast. I wore my bright neon colored Christian t-shirt to school that had in huge lettering “Jesus Rules” on the front. Literraly within seconds of walking in the hall, people began smirking and laughing at my shirt. When young Christians attend college, many College Professors and students will challenge your faith in God! This is a truly a dog eat dog world we live in. My encouragement to you is not to be in dismay when the enemy comes your way! Look at it as perhaps a compliment because the enemy sees you as a real threat! Always turn in prayer and God will provide a way out! He did it for David…and the same God will do it for you!
Vs. 1, “The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, and their ways are vile; there is no one who does good.” Does this look familiar? It should, because it is almost the same as Psalm 14. This psalm is a reiteration/adaptation of the previous. Some psalms were purposely adapted for various uses in the temple worship. We see how the same Scripture can be applied in different kinds of situations.
Regarding application…Who is The Fool? No, it is not a stupid person…on the contrary, it is one who is perhaps too smart for their own good. Most in this world will not deny the existence of God. (My personal belief that Atheists are only trying to convince themselves there is no God)….Anyways…since most do not deny the existence of God…the fool would be a person who does not deny the existence of God…yet lives as if there is no God. That can be termed as a “practical atheist”. We were all practical atheists at one point in our lives…but at some point we went from “fools” to “God’s beloved” when we stepped out in Faith in Christ. While it is true, there is no one that is righteous (Vs.3)…when we submit our wills unto Him…we become the rightousness of God! Live today as one who not only knows….but lives like there is a God!
Vs. 1, “Why do you boast of evil, you mighty man? Why do you boast all day long, you who are a disgrace in the eyes of God?” David is referrring to Doeg, who was an offical of King Saul’s. Doeg had spied on David when he saw David flee to Ahimelech, the priest at Nob. Unfortunately, we read in the past that this report angered Saul so much that Saul had the priests at Nob murdered. Perhaps David wrote this upon hearing of this news. We see a stark contrast from David who had sin in the previous psalm to Doeg who had sinned and boasted of it. But David knew something about God,,,,that God will bring forth judgment to the wicked.
Regarding application…Deceitful Tongue. Vs. 4, “You love every harmful word, O you deceitful tongue.” When you look at the actions of Doeg…it was his tongue that did its damage. Of course, the tongue can be a force of good or evil. We are reminded in the book of James how such a small part of the body can work like the rutter of a ship. While we may not have gone so far as to boast of our sins like Doeg, perhaps the use of our tongue has grieved God? Each of us must be careful to discern the line between conversation or gossip & slander. Though our tongues may not cause the death of many…it still can do far more damage than we may ever realize. Let’s guard our tongues and be quick to listen and slow to speak!
Vs. 1, “Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions.” Most scholars believe David wrote this psalm soon after Nathan had confronted David of his sin with Bathsheba. Before David had been confronted, he attempted to cover his sin up. But it’s also important to note that when Nathan confronted him, David did not lie, but immediately confessed his sin. If there is any chapter in the Bible that shows the high cost of sin…it is this one. If you read this carefully you will see that his sin affected his whole body…his eyes (3), mind (6), ears (8), heart (10), spirit (10), mouth (13-15). He lost fellowship with God (11) and the joy (12) that comes from the Lord.
Regarding application…Examining Sin. I found this very simple but profound illustration by Pastor John Vernon McGee….”Suppose I were holding behind me a stick and I told you it was a crooked stick. How do you think it would look? No two people would think it looked like it really does. No two would agree because it could be crooked in a million different ways. But suppose I say that I hold a ruler behind me that is perfectly straight. Everyone would think of it in just one way. It can’t be straight in more than one way. It is sin that is complicated; it is goodness that is simple.”
To sin is to transgress…and to transgress is to step over the boundaries of God. God has put boundaries in this life of ours…physcial boundaries, moral, & spiritual boundaries. When we take the initiative to step over these…we not only sin, but we also suffer the consequences. Sin doesn’t just affect us…it directly and indirectly hurts all of those who are close to us. Take David for a simple example…David’s sin led to Uriah’s death. Bathsheba’s baby died. David’s daughter Tamar was violated by her brother Amnon, who was then killed by Absalom, who in turn was slain by Joab. Is a fleeting moment of sinful pleasure worth a lifetime of sorrow? But most importanly, sin affects God…or better yet grieves God. If you wonder how it can hurt a God so powerful…all you have to do is go back Calvary and see his Son dying for the sins of the world…for your sins…for my sins. I believe it is safe to say that ours sins breaks God’s heart. By the Grace of God we are forgiven our sins and not given our just penalty. Though we may sin…come with a broken heart before Him, Vs. 17, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.”