Psalm 34

Vs. 4, “I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.” In order to escape Saul, David fled to the Philistines only to have been recognized. This Psalm is the response to the LORD delivering David from the hands of Abimelech/Abimelek and the Philistines (I Samuel 21). This is another acrostic psalm (following the Hebrew alphabet). David begins the psalm with a wondrous call to worship (vs. 1-3). David could certainly testify that it is the LORD who delivers those who trust in Him (vs. 4-7). If we have any doubts, David challenges us to take us taste test and see for ourselves (vs. 8-10). Once we have tasted His goodness, David exhorts us to godly living (vs. 11-14). We close with the encouragement that the LORD will continue to encourage the righteous (vs. 15-22).

Regarding application…Seek Peace. Vs. 14, “Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.” David had been in this situation of divine deliverance because he had sought peace in his relationship with King Saul. Question: Are you a peaceful or confrontational person? I think it’s only natural to want to “strike back” when we feel threatened. However, we must remember that the LORD avenges; He is the one and only true Avenger! Our task is to make every effort to cross our “t’s” and dot our “i’s” when it comes to seeking peace in our earthly relationships and ultimately with the Lord!

Psalm 33

Vs. 1, “Sing joyfully to the LORD, you righteous; it is fitting for the upright to praise him.” We ended yesterday’s psalm being exhorted to turn and sing to the Lord. Question: How are we to sing? Joyfully! Our psalm today is a continuation of giving proper praise to the LORD. King David encourages us to praise and sing new songs (vs. 1-3). David is able to sing a new song unto the LORD because his eyes are opened more to God’s unfailing love and justice (vs. 4-5). It was God’s word that created the universe and it is His word that is in control of all things (vs. 6-9). God is above all nations and will thwart the wicked plans of leaders (vs. 10-17). God has not forgotten about those who are righteous and eyes are ever on us (vs. 18-19). His mercy and faithfulness will come in the right time (vs. 20-22).

Regarding application…Expecting? Vs. 22, “May your unfailing love be with us, LORD, even as we put our hope in you.” Our journey with the LORD has its mountains and valleys. Yet, we are called to praise him in the good times and the bad. One of the huge benefits of praising the LORD is acknowledging our expectation that He hears and protects us. The very definition of hope is an expectation that something will happen. Question: What are you expecting? What are you hoping for? I have my personal hopes and dreams, but in the end I must lay them at His feet. All I can hope for is that the LORD would protect and use me mightily for His kingdom.

Psalm 32

Vs. 1, “Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.” Some scholars believe David wrote this psalm after his sin with Bathsheba and death of Uriah. David had sinned. But he admitted it to the LORD and was blessed in the end for it (vs. 1-2). Question: What do you do when you sin? We can hide it. We can pretend it didn’t happen. We can deny it. Though King David wasn’t without sin, his response to sin is the model set for us (vs. 3-5). David directs this psalm to encourage all to turn to the LORD when such failures transpire (vs. 6-7). The LORD will be our guide and protector (vs. 8-10).

Regarding application…Mourning to Joy. Vs. 11, “Rejoice in the LORD and be glad, you righteous; sing, all you who are upright in heart!” Question: What do we see here? We see a revival of David’s heart. Question: How did it come? Because David confessed unto the LORD. It’s important to think about how such joyful praise is not an individual act. This was written to encourage the people to come together in confession, forgiveness and ultimately joy. The sweetest and most joyful moments I have experienced in the church setting is when we are able to praise joyfully after fervent prayer and confession. Pray that the Spirit of God would bring us conviction and a right heart as we go about our local church.

Psalm 31

Vs. 1, “In you, LORD, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame; deliver me in your righteousness.” Question: What do you do when the enemy is on all sides? King David would turn and seek the LORD for deliverance (vs. 1-5). This psalm is also quite meaningful for Jesus would quote it (vs. 5) up on the cross (Luke 23:46). I cannot imagine being the target of so much hate and scorn. Yet, David was able to put his confidence in the faithfulness of the LORD (vs. 6-8). Question: What was afflicting David? David elaborates on his painful trials and pours his heart out to the LORD (vs. 9-13). What an important it is to express not only our joys, but also our trials. The more David articulated his trials, the more he entrusted them to the Lord (vs. 14-20). At the end of it all, David praises the LORD (vs. 21-24).

Regarding application…Affirming Trust. Vs. 14, “But I trust in you, LORD; I say, “You are my God.” There is something powerful when we affirm our trust and love in a person. There are times when my wife and I will affirm each other. When I tell her that I’m so blessed to have the privilege of calling her my wife, she beams with joy! Our Father in heaven is our creator and maker, but He also delights in His relationship with us. Take time in your busy day to slow down enough to affirm your trust and hope in Him. Let His promises calm your heart in the midst of all the trials that come our way.

Psalm 30

Vs. 1, “I will exalt you, LORD, for you lifted me out of the depths and did not let my enemies gloat over me.” God lifted up King David and it was only natural for him to exalt the LORD (vs. 1-3). David must have had some type of illness or near death experience. Not wanting to be the only one praising, David encourages other to join him in praising (vs. 4-5). The latter half of our chapter (vs. 6-12) gives us insight into the emotions David experienced from being in the grave and given his life back. Question: Why did this happen to David? It seems his pride and security might have taken the best of him (vs. 6).

Regarding application…Lasting Joy. Vs. 5, “For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.” There are certainly moments when God’s anger and consequences can befall us. Yet, David is able to acknowledge that God’s favor is everlasting. There is a purpose and reason for our lives. Take heart dear brothers and sisters for no matter what troubles come, there is a joy that comes new every morning. Consider what great missionary Amy Carmichael had to say about joy, “Joys are always on the way to us. They are always traveling to us through the darkness of the night. There is never a night when they are not coming.”

Psalm 29

Vs. 1, “Ascribe to the LORD, you heavenly beings, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.” King David was calling God’s people to worship a God who is mighty in strength and splendor (vs. 1-2). Question: How does God reveal His glory? Through His voice; the voice of the LORD thunders and strike with flashes of lightening (vs. 3-9). Question: Have you ever been in an intense storm? It’s quite jarring! Growing up in the Midwest, I experienced many storms that would knock out the power. They are so intense; it’s dangerous to be outside! King David understood that this was not “mother nature”, but it is the voice of the LORD. Such display of awesome power causes David and the people to cry out, “Glory!” Question: What is glory? In essence it signifies giving honor to God.

Regarding application…King over the Flood. Vs. 10, “The LORD sits enthroned over the flood; the LORD is enthroned as King forever.” King David looks back to Genesis and remembers that the LORD’s display of power and grace was found in the mighty flood. The flood reminds us of His wrath, yet also His great promise (Genesis 8:21-22). Question: What reminded David of giving props to God? Being in awe of the display of God’s power! Living in southern California, thunderstorms come once in a blue moon. However, we do have rattling earthquakes! When the last one transpired, it humbled many of us who live in this area. It reminded me how fragile I am and how powerful God is. Our God is king over the storms, king over the earthquakes, and king over all the metaphorical floods that seem to engulf our lives. Give glory to Him!

Psalm 28

Vs. 1, “To you, LORD, I call; you are my Rock, do not turn a deaf ear to me. For if you remain silent, I will be like those who go down to the pit.” This is not a casual request; it is one of fervent prayer and urgency! King David cries out to the LORD, as he fears the ending of his life (vs. 1-5). It is likely David is in the midst of a battle and is not sure the outcome. I find it difficult to relate to David; an outright enemy is not so prevalent and my life is not at stake on a daily basis. David’s prayer would bring forth God’s hand of deliverance (vs. 6-9). God was not in the business of just saving one, but the whole community. Psalms like this would bring much encouragement to God’s people, as they would endure trials from the divided kingdom years and the eventual exiles.

Regarding application…Shepherd’s Protection. Vs. 9, “Save your people and bless your inheritance; be their shepherd and carry them forever.” Though David was the shepherd-king, he was not speaking of himself here. Being a shepherd, he saw clearly how God was the shepherd of his people. I love this idea of the shepherd carrying his sheep when the dangers of life are the worst. A shepherd might carry a sheep if it’s injured or fallen on it’s back. Question: Are you spiritually injured? Do you need to get back up on your spiritual feet? Let the shepherd king Jesus carry you and all of us through the dangers of this world!

Psalm 27

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?” Question: Do you trust the Lord? This is one of the overarching questions of our lives. King David is able to confidently declare his dependence upon the Lord (vs. 1-3). In the midst of that confidence, David’s passion to seek after the Lord is inspiring (vs. 4-6). Question: What do you seek? Question: What would cause David to earnestly seek such protection? Those who follow the Lord will always have the enemy targeting them (vs. 7-12). Yet it was such danger that would keep David seeking the Lord!

Regarding application…Glass Overflowing. Vs. 13, “I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.” The character of a person is often measured by their response to troubled times. Question: How was David able to have such an optimistic perspective? Not only was he a man after God’s own heart, but he was also a man of prayer. It is prayer that enabled David to see the glass overflowing rather than half-empty. Consider how the enemy is confronting you these days (relationships, addictions, selfishness, etc.). Like David, have the confidence through faith to keep your head up! Be willing to wait on the Lord no matter how long it takes (vs. 14).

Psalm 26

Vs. 2, “Test me, LORD, and try me, examine my heart and my mind;” King David’s psalm isn’t a boastful declaration, but rather an affirmation that he chose to be set apart from the wicked. Certainly there had been those who had accused David of mingling with the ungodly. However, David takes his case directly to the LORD (vs. 1-5). He can’t help but revel in the presence of God and delighting in worship (vs. 6-8). And lastly, there is safety found when we look for refuge under the Lord (vs. 9-12).

Regarding application…Home Sweet Home. Vs. 8, “LORD, I love the house where you live, the place where your glory dwells.” David was able to confidently declare loving the dwelling place of God’s house; this doesn’t sound like a man guilty of sin.  Those who dwell in dark places generally do not like the light. Indeed, there is no place like home. I’ve always looked at church as my second home. Home is where the heart is and the church is where our heart should be. Unlike David, God’s house is where his children congregate. We are not tethered to a temple, for we are God’s temple (I Corinthians 3:16).

Psalm 25

Vs. 1, “In you, LORD my God, I put my trust.” This psalm is in the form of an alphabetic acrostic where each verse begins with successive letters in the Hebrew alphabet. Question: Who does God protect in times of trouble? God protects those who trust and hope in Him (vs. 1-3). Rather than seek worldly ways, King David seeks the LORD’s ways (vs. 4-7). It is believed that David wrote this psalm when he was fleeing his son Absalom. David cries out to the LORD in confession as he realizes sins consequences (vs. 8-11). Question: Who will God rescue? God rescues those who have a godly fear (vs. 12-15). Our psalm ends today with a fervent plea as David lets all his concerns out (vs. 16-21).

Regarding application…You Are Not Alone. Vs. 16, “Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted.” When we go through troubles in life, one of the common denominators is this feeling of being alone. No one understands. No one can comprehend my personal situation. You are right, no one can; except for God! David had those who were fiercely loyal to him, but the struggles of being the shepherd King was unique. Yet, David was able to find comfort in the Lord! I suppose that is one of the realities all of us most reconcile to. My loving wife cannot understand everything I go through, nor should I put such an expectation on her. My source of strength must first come from the Lord God!