Vs. 1, “The Mighty One, God, the LORD, speaks and summons the earth from the rising of the sun to the place where it sets.” The author of this psalm was Asaph, who was one of the musical leaders appointed by David. Here we see another perspective of what really honors God. The first half speaks of insincere worship and the latter focuses on hypocritical worship. Both of which are very needed reminders in the church.
Regarding application…What God Really Wants. Vs. 9, “I have no need of a bull from your stall or of goats from your pens.” The root of the problem was this: When we come to God, we think we have something he needs from us. But God reminded us that he doesn’t need such things. God doesn’t hunger for the things we give him whether it be the blood of bulls or the worship songs we sing in Church. God hungers for the heart and the righteousness we desire when we come before him. What causes this to happen? Trying to live in the world and trying to live for God at the same time. If we live like the world during the week and then come to try to show God respect on His day…this is the type of worship that God is rebuking. The folly is this: We think we can make everything okay by thinking God will be pleased if I at least try on Sunday. Trying and doing are two seperate entities. When you live for God…it is not just at Church…it is every aspect of your life…home, school, recreation. That is worship to God…your life and how you live it is worship to God. If you live this way…God will accept the sacrfice for he sees that you have bore the fruit of righteous living! Don’t wait until Church to try to make things right…turn to His Word today and worship at His feet! Praise God that we have access to Him 24/7 because of the work on the Cross!
Vs. 12, “But man, despite his riches, does not endure; he is like the beasts that perish.” Living in So. Cal. reminds me how many people come out to find fortune and fame. Whether we are rich or poor…this Psalm speaks to you. Compared to the rest of the world, we are so very rich. The Missions team from CTC church is down in Tecate, Mexico where the economy is very different than ours. Wealth cannot prevent the inevitable fact of death. We are reminded that our riches do not follow us to the grave. No matter how rich or famous you are, you will die and be forgotten.
Regarding application…Impressed with Riches. Vs. 16, “Do not be overawed when a man grows rich, when the splendor of his house increases.” Perhaps most of us (if not all of us) have been guilty of this. When we are young…it is the singers, athletes and actors we look up to. When we are adults, the awe turns more into envy. Either way…it is sheer foolishness to even desire wealth and when I hear Christians tell me “I want to have a great job and become rich so I can give more to the church.” Such foolishness. If you really wanted to give to the church…give your life, not your money. If you really love the church that much….sacrifice your life and devote it to hard work. Contrary to popular belief…Money doesn’t make the world go round….and the church certainly isn’t built on it. Don’t justify your selfish desire to be rich by disgracing God and yourself. If you are guilty of such foolish thinking…take a hard look within and realize that money & God can never be put together in your goals for life. Because time and time again…people choose money over God.
Vs. 1, “Great is the LORD , and most worthy of praise, in the city of our God, his holy mountain.” God made his presence known in the Temple…and the temple was in the city of Jerusalem. We see an emphasis of praise as the people found deliverance from their enemies within the safety of God’s Holy City. Yet, this psalm also can point to the future where Jesus will rule in the Heavenly city.
Regarding application…Final Destination. Though we have not yet reached the final destination…we can still enjoy the power of God through praise! Charles Spurgeon quotes, ” “Little faith will take your soul to heaven, but great faith will bring heaven to your soul.” Amen! When we ponder our future in the next world, our present world living will find success. But when we take off our eyes from the prize…our world around us falls. Perhaps that is why we live ineffective lives because we forget about the Great City that is to come! Until then, stop putting so much emphasis in your present situations and realize that there is a brighter future than we could possibly imagine! Let’s be thirsty, honest and hopeful towards the Lord today!
Vs. 1, “Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy.” Amen! This psalm really shows us the exuburance of praise! What causes such joy? The excitement of being in the presence of the King! God brings victory to our lives, we will one day see him seated at his throne where he will reign forever!
Regarding application…Exhuberent Praise. Many of you know how my natural preference is for slower and more worshipful style of songs. However, this psalm definitely challenges my preference and shows me the value of both Joyful praise songs and meditative woship songs. When you think about it….we are a society that is unimpressed with many things. It’s going to have to be something extraordinary to stir excitement in people. Everyonce in awhile we’ll see it in the church @ a rivial or retreat. But, perhaps the simple knowledge of Christ our King and His Awesome power should suffice. When you go to church tomorrow, reread this psalm and let the your voices sings praises to Our God!
Vs. 6, “Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever; a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom.” You may wonder…How does this psalm apply to me? Well, it is considered a royal wedding psalm and it is celebrating marriage. However, there is a dual meaning in this…for it also is Messianic and alludes to the Bridgegroom…who is Jesus! Now, take a moment to re-read this psalm and think of it written about our Lord Jesus! The bride is the us…the church.
Regarding application…Relationship of Marriage. As we are knee deep in our relationship series…I think we really get to see just how important a marriage is! It’s not only a celebration, but the realization that these two people have committed the rest of their lives together. Yet, the society we live in today…marriage is almost a joke. With prenuptials and the realization of divorce down the road, marriage has lost its luster. As part of the church (the bride), let us not mirror the world and for you younger generation…take marriage to heart! I pray that each of you will always remember just how important it is to prayerfully seek the one that was meant for you. Too many people have been hurt by broken marriages. Let us celebrate the commitment of marriage…but more importantly celebrate the marriage of the the Bridegroom & Church!
Vs. 26, “Rise up and help us; redeem us because of your unfailing love.” It was a time of national distress and though the psalmist was able to remember God’s deeds in the past…they prayed for a new deliverance for the future. The psalmist knew that it was God’s hand that brought victory in the past…and it could only be God’s hand in the future. But what do you do when it seems God has forsaken you? Pray and trust! Think of Job’s trials and remember that God will bring justice in His timing. Are you faithful only when it seems God is faithful? That is not faith. Faith is believing even when it seems God is not there. There is biblical precedent that God does indeed test our faith at times (I Peter 1:6-9). Are you ready?
Regarding application…God Never Sleeps. Vs. 23, “Awake, O Lord! Why do you sleep? Rouse yourself! Do not reject us forever.” David asks that God would wake up! But God does not sleep…God does not turn a deaf ear and blind eye to his Children. There will yet be a time when the world will think God is asleep. It will be the time of the Biblical “Tribulation” There will be all sorts of trials and the world will endure hardship and the coming of the Anti-Christ. Yet, God is patiently waiting for His will to unfold. I remember when I was a little boy and sometimes I would have a scary dream. I would go downstairs to my mom’s room and hope that she was awake so I could sleep next to her and feel safe. Just as our parents comfort us in our childhood….so will God this world of trials. He is never asleep. He is always there and ready to hear our petitions and requests as we trust in Him!
Vs. 4, “My guilt has overwhelmed me like a burden too heavy to bear.” David wrote this psalm not only when he was sick, but when he was also sick with guilt. Although David felt unworthy, he was able to still come to God. The suffering David endured here this time was a result of sin…remember not all suffering is a result of sin, but this this it was. David might have agreed with a saying of today, “When it rains…it pours!” Though his sin was upon him, he did not blame God…rather he confessed his sin.
Regarding application…God’s Response to Sin. Question: What does God do when we sin? He will convict you with the Holy Spirit, He may rebuke you through Christian brothers or sisters in Christ…but he will never forsake you. It is because of the blood of Christ that we can stand unblemished before the Lord God. There are times when we fail Him and feel unworthy to be His son or daughter, but don’t forget the Prodigal Son! Sin comes our way disguising itself as a friend, only to find out it seeks to enslave us. King David put Bathsheba before God and look what happened to him! Ask yourself if there is any hidden sins in your life…and then confess your inquities to Him for God is our Great Physician. He healed David and he will heal you!
Vs. 4, “Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.” This was a promise to Israel that David remembered. David here portrays the wisdom of an old man as he declares God’s faithfulness in times of trouble. Though David experienced the unrighteous seemingly win in life, he knew by now that God has His ways of looking after His children. David’s exhortation to us is not to fret (worry) about the life we have or the enemies we face. The desires of our heart depend on our delight in Him….When we delight in the Lord, our desires change to God’s desires!
Regarding application…Patience in the Lord. Vs. 7, “Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.” There are times when I like to believe that I’m a patient person. But, I realize that when I worry about things…I must not be very patient in the Lord. When we grow restless and impatient, it really can be a sign of unbelief. I don’t want to live a life of unbelief…for we walk by faith not by sight. I recently saw the “Book of Eli”…and was reminded that the main character must have been a very patient man to travel 30 years to his destination. Remember, God desires to give us all that we need…not necessarily all that we want. So let us be patient in His timing and may His desires become ours!
Vs. 1, “An oracle is within my heart concerning the sinfulness of the wicked: There is no fear of God before his eyes.” David reveals some wise insight on the topic of sin. Paul quotes from this psalm (Romans 3:18) and we see that part of the problem is this…having no fear of God. Yet, David is almost reminding himself that it is because of God’s unfailing love that we are not blotted out already. Question: What is an Oracle? An oracle is/was a divine utterance or a prophetic revelation!
Regarding application….God is Our Fountain. Vs. 9, “For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light.” The analogy of God being the fountain of life is just another awesome example of Him! I remember in the old days back in High School Wrestling. We would run, lift weights and then practice wrestling moves for hours and then have to run sprints after the practice was over. You know what the first thing we would do after practice? We would all run to the water fountains!!! During a typical wrestling practice, you can lose up to 9-10 pounds just in water weight! So you can only imagine just how thristy we were. The first taste of water was like you were in Heaven! And you know…with God being our Fountain…that’s how we should run to God! Our thirst for God should never be quenched!
Vs. 1, “Contend, O LORD , with those who contend with me; fight against those who fight against me.” David leaves no doubt that his enemies were definitely taking a toll on him. But rather than worrying or growing to the point of despair…David pours out his heart to the Lord! He would ask that God would protect him against such foes. His understanding of God displays how much he believed that God is far bigger than any enemy.
Regarding application…God Fights For Us! In light of July 4th…We are reminded we live in a country where freedom of religion exists and very little presecution transpires! We don’t always realize the extent of the enemies of Christians elsewhere in the world. The threat both physically and spiritually against Christians exists today. If it were satan’s choice, he would have all Christians perish from this earth. But the Lord is on our side…He fights for us! There will always be enemies of the cross, and we must do our best to pray that we would represent our Lord! For when the enemy attacks us, they also attempt to attack the Lord. Yet, we never have to fear the enemy. But let us not underestimate them either. Always turn to the Lord and find your peace in Christ, even as we live in a world of sin.