QT – Psalm 143

Vs. 1, “O LORD, hear my prayer, listen to my cry for mercy; in your faithfulness and righteousness come to my relief.” Another psalm of lament that is very similar to Psalm 6 we read long ago. Once again we remember that there are certainly struggles in this life. David took the time to remember good old days (vs. 4-6)…it’s never a bad thing to have good memories. And then David asks the Lord to help deliver him from his current struggles. While some of you may be getting tired of this theme…need I remind you that we are still battling everyday of our lives. Kudos to David who acknowledged such dependence! We would do well to do the same.

Regarding application…Teach Us Lord. Vs. 10, “Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit laad me on level ground.” As I get older in this life, one thing I’ve realized is that it’s hard to learn new things. Take a child growing up in a family that speak two languages. It’s much easier as a child to be fluent in both then to learn a new language as we get older. But, each and everyday…we must be willing students before our Lord. We must not be lazy (I need to work on this) and sit at the school of our Lord. They say it’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks (I should try this on Frankie now that he is getting older). But, we don’t have that excuse in our lives. Let the Lord teach you today!

QT – Psalm 142

Vs. 1, “I cry aloud to the LORD; I lift up my voice to the LORD for mercy.” Have you ever felt alone? Than this psalm of lament that David wrote is for you. This is considered one of David’s cave psalm’s as he wrote this when he was hiding out and on the run. Though David was in despair, by writing out his thoughts…notice how his emotion goes from down to up.

Regarding application…We are not Strong Enough. Vs. 6, ” Listen to my cry, for I am in desperate need; rescue me from those who pursue me, for they are too strong for me.” No matter how strong we try to get…both physically, mentally, spiritually…we will never be strong enough. There will always be someone who can beat us. That is why we need to put our dependence upon the Lord. Only when we are weak is He able to be stronger in our lives. Remember the song, Stronger…”You are stronger, sin is broken You have saved me.”

QT – Psalm 141

Vs. 1, “O LORD, I call to you; come quickly to me.  Hear my voice when I call to you.”  This psalm is considered a lament/imprecatory psalm.  David is humbly calling upon the Lord to hear His request.  Though David was away from Jerusalem, He still sought out the Lord.  Because David was away from God’s presence, He prayed even more that he would not conform to the evil that is around him (vs. 4).  It is a constant reminder to not allow the world we go into everyday to influence our actions.  

Regarding application…Prayer’s Rise Up.  Vs. 2, “May my prayer be set before you like incense…”  Incense was used in God’s tabernacle when Aaron would offer up sacrifices to the Lord.  Likewise, when we come before God each day…our prayer’s rise up as incense…holy and pleasing to God.  It reminds me of how the Bible tells us that we are the aroma of Christ. I remember reading that “smell” is one of the things in our life that help us remember and associate things with.  When I smell bacon, I think of my childhood years as my mom would make that for breakfast.  Aroma is pleasing to us….and prayer is pleasing to God!  Let us pray each and everyday!

QT – Psalm 140

Vs. 1, “Rescue me, O LORD, from evil men; protect me from men of violence.”  This is another imprecatory (judgement) psalm that Kind David wrote.  Don’t ever forget, when you choose to follow the Lord…Evil will surely go against you.  The enemy uses gossip and slander (vs. 3) and traps to ensnare us (vs. 4).  But David countered this with prayer and praise.  Notice how David requests God to be the one to avenge (vs. 8-10)

Regarding application…God Comforts Us.  Vs. 12, “I know that the LORD secures justice for the poor and upholds the cause of the needy.”  We see a God whose compassion reaches out to us and helps us in our time of need.  Think about times when we are really needy, such as being sick.  Isn’t it great to have your mom or your wife be there for you when you are sick.  They find ways to comfort us and provide nourishment when we need it the most.  That’s how God works when we go through extra hard times.  Praise the Lord for His comfort!

QT – Psalm 139

Vs. 13, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.”  This is considered a wisdom psalm and what a wonderfully written psalm!  David makes the effort to vividly give us some of good incredible attributes.  You can’t help but realize God knows everything about us.  He knew us even when we were in our mother’s womb.  This reminds me of that praise song “He knows my Name”.  Isn’t it wonderful to be aware that God already knows everything about us, we don’t have to worry about if He understands us.

Regarding application…God is Omniscient.  What does this mean?  It means God knows everything.  There are times in our life when we are going to question God’s ways.  If He knows everything why does it allow to happen in the first place.  Why did God dispense wrath upon people before He even created them?  Why would God allow His Son to die on the cross?  Such knowledge is too much for us to comprehend (vs. 6).  As we journey in this life it is not wrong to seek out answers, but also ensure that your faith in intact.

QT – Psalm 138

Vs. 1, “I will praise you, O LORD, with all my heart; before the “gods” I will sing your praise.”  This is a declarative psalm of praise and written by King David.  David comes confidently to the world and states His God is above all others!  This is also served as a testimony to the nations around that they too would sing of how great is our God.  Though troubles came into David’s life, he did not use them as an excuse to not worship the Lord (vs. 7-8)

Regarding application...I Called, You Answered.  Vs. 3, “When I called, you answered me…”  We sang this verse last night at Bible study.  It’s a wonderful reminder that no matter what our requests are….God answers them!  Of course, we may not always appreciate His answer to our request, but know God still answers them according to His timing and His will.  I think of so many people who have prayed for a request to God and didn’t get to see the fruition of their request before God called them heavenward.  Jim Elliott and his fellow missionary friends who shared the Gospel to the Auca Indians didn’t get to see their request answered.  Sometimes, that is the way God works.  We just have to be patient in faith.  

QT – Psalm 137

Vs. 1, “By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept when we remembered Zion.”  This is considered an imprecatory (bringing judgment upon others) and we see the intense emotion of the Psalmist. They are remembering the destruction of their land and sorrow that came with it.  All the ways of their life were taken from them.  But because of this, many stood up in their faith and their stories would become part of His living word (The Bible).

Regarding application…Dealing with Tough Times.  Vs. 4, “How can we sing the songs of the LORD while in a foreign land?”  Sometimes, I wish the Bible was all about happy stories.  Sometimes, I wish our lives were all easy without troubles.  However, we don’t live in that type of world just yet.  There was probably many families dispersed and separated from the exile.  And I think of our own lives…though we may not be physically separated, many families today are spiritually and emotionally separated.  The tough times have made us callous to each other.  How sad to realize such things….however, the Lord will deliver us in times such as these.  Keep your faith and the Lord Jesus close to your heart!

QT – Psalm 136

Vs. 1, “Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good.  His love endures forever.”  This an incredible descriptive psalm of praise!  The praise leader would sing a verse, and the congregation would sing “His love endures forever”.  We are reminded of God’s great wonders and deeds upon us.  His mercy and care upon us as we go into the spiritual battles of this world (vs. 10-25).  

Regarding application…His Love Endures.  I was watching Survivor Man (T.V. Show from Discovery Channel)…and I recall the character attempting to build fire.  He was living in the wild and trying to survive on his own.  It was so critical for him to continue feeding the fire and ensuring that it would not go out throughout the night.  Thankfully, we have a God whose fire endures forever.  His light will never go dark no matter how cold and wet it can get in this world.  Lord willing I can live another 37 years of my life and to testify of His enduring love!

QT – Psalm 135

Vs. 1, “Praise the LORD. Praise the name of the LORD; praise him, you servants of the LORD.”  This is the considered a psalm of praise that was probably written after the Babylonian exile.  They are reminded of their earlier rescue from Egypt.  It also addresses the issue of turning to idolatry.  God deserves our praise because He has saved us (vs. 4), He created us (vs. 5-7) and we can celebrate in Him!

Regarding application…Receiving/Giving God’s Compassion.  Vs. 14, “For the LORD will vindicate his people and have compassion on his servants.”  The beauty of all of this is that we didn’t even have to ask God for compassion.  He already extends this incredible offer to us.  Of course, we have to make the decision to receive His compassion upon us.  Often times I find myself being a more recipient of compassion than a giver of compassion.  But the basic definition of compassion: Deep awareness and sympathy towards another person suffering.  Wow, when you put it that way…I suppose we all have some work to do, huh?  Let us be people that not only receive compassion but give compassion.

QT – Psalm 134

Vs. 1, “Praise the LORD, all you servants of the LORD who minister by night in the house of the LORD.”  We have now finished up the Ascent series of Psalms.  Remember, they sang these series of songs as they made their pilgrimage to Jerusalem three times a year.  As the people would go to sleep at night, The priests would stand watch praising the Lord!  It was this continual attitude of prayer and worship that would sustain God’s people.

Regarding application…Posture of Worship.  Vs. 2, “Lift up your hands in the sanctuary and praise the LORD.”  One of the standard ways people worshiped God back in this time was to stand with arms stretched out to God.  And that way to worship hasn’t changed.  We are still to continue to lift up holy hands in worship!  Just as a child raises their hands to have their Daddy pick them up…we too lift our hands.  Question: Why do we do this?  Because it blesses pleases the Father in heaven.  And isn’t that reason enough?  Amen!