Psalm 75

Vs. 1, “We praise you, God, we praise you, for your Name is near; people tell of your wonderful deeds.” Our psalm today is from Asaph, one of the musicians appointed by King David to lead temple worship. Asaph gives thanks to the LORD for answered prayer from the previous psalm. It is God who brings judgment at the appointed time (vs. 1-3). When we look at the chaos around us today, these words of judgment ring true (vs. 4-8). Anticipating God’s timing and faithfulness upon those who are wicked, Asaph looks to praise God (vs. 9-10).

Regarding application…State of Emergency. Vs. 8, “In the hand of the LORD is a cup full of foaming wine mixed with spices; he pours it out, and all the wicked of the earth drink it down to its very dregs.” God’s judgment upon the wicked will come. I was just reading in USA Today that America has been in a perpetual state of emergency. There are officially thirty states of emergency that America is cautious of. Likewise, we as Christian’s must be aware of the wickedness around us, but not despair. There is a spiritual state of emergency that compels us to turn in trust to God. Though there is danger around every corner, we rejoice because Jesus will come again!

Psalm 69

Vs. 1, “Save me, O God, for the waters have come up to my neck.” Question: Have you ever been completely desperate? Our psalm today gives us a glimpse of David’s need for the LORD in the midst of seeming hopelessness. The enemy’s hatred towards David made him feel like he was drowning in despair (vs. 1-4). Though David was a sinner, his current troubles with others was not directly his fault (vs. 5-12). Instead of giving up, David again turns to plead for deliverance (vs. 13-18). Though this seems obvious, many believers make God their last resort in troubles. David gives us some great inspiration! David continues his case against his enemies and cries out for judgment (vs. 19-28). Our psalm ends with David going from sinking to singing (vs. 29-36). Spending time with the LORD elevates our hearts out of the mire!

Regarding application…Don’t Give Up. Vs. 3, “I am worn out calling for help; my throat is parched. My eyes fail, looking for my God.” Jesus would quote the next verse concerning those who hated him without reason (vs. 4, John 15:25). Question: Have you ever felt helpless? I saw a movie the other day starring Robert Redford called All is Lost. It’s about a man who is lost at sea. Days have gone by and it seems hopeless. A few times he sees huge ships go by, and his mouth is so parched he can hardly get a word out as he cries for help. King David gave us a metaphor of sinking in the depths of the deep waters. But, we must have a will to survive until the LORD calls us home. Keep fighting the good fight!

Psalm 68

Vs. 1, “May God arise, may his enemies be scattered; may his foes flee before him.” Our psalm today is written by King David and some scholars believe it is in the context of returning the ark of the covenant to Jerusalem. It is God who is able to scatter the enemy and bring triumph to His people (vs. 1-3). He is worthy of our praise and is the provider of our needs (vs. 4-6). David recalls God’s deliverance of the Israelites and the conquering of nations (vs. 7-18). The direct benefit of such wondrous deeds is the salvation and victory that comes (vs. 19-31). King David exhorts us to remember our greatest response is to praise & worship our God (vs. 32-35).

Regarding application…We Need Each Other. Vs. 6, “God sets the lonely in families, he leads out the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.” We are God’s family. There is something special about the very word family. It’s a place where we belong. Last weekend, my church celebrated a wedding! A new family was born. We were reminded from Genesis 2:18, “It is not good that man be alone.” Some are called to marry and some are called to be celibate, but all are called to be a part of God’s family. We need each other. Question: How can you meet the needs of another? How can you reach out for help to another?

Psalm 67

Vs. 3, “May the peoples praise you, God; may all the peoples praise you.” Our psalm today is is literally a call to worship for all people (vs. 1-3). Some scholars call this this missionary psalm for “all nations” are mentioned (vs. 2). The hope for all nations to worship God still exists thousand of years later. When we respond in worship, God is able to bless us richly both physically and more importantly spiritually (vs. 4-7).

Regarding application…Why Bless Us? Vs. 1,“May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine on us.” Sometimes we have this false way of thinking that God must bless us in the form we think best. The prosperity gospel misunderstands the concept of blessing. Blessings are not just in our prosperity, but also in our trials and suffering. The blessings we have are not simply for our benefit. We are blessed because God wants us to be a blessing to others. Whether I prosper or suffer, I will trust in the Lord.

Psalm 66

Vs. 1, “Shout for joy to God, all the earth!” The unnamed psalter calls all nations to praise the LORD (vs. 1-12). It’s important to see the insight that all nations are to universally bring praise. Like the nation Israel, we can get a bit myopic and think that God only favors our own country. The psalm goes from corporate praise to personal praise as the psalmist looks forward to bringing a sacrifice (vs. 13-15). The psalm ends with the psalter testifying of God’s faithfulness to the congregation (vs. 16-20).

Regarding application…Letting Go. Vs. 18, “If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.” Question: Do you see it? We must be willing to let go of the sins we may cherish in our hearts. Notice the assumption is that we all have something contrary to God that we cherish. He is jealous for me. Let’s say hypothetically, my wife found out I cherished another woman. Question: How would she feel? Why would she want to hear anything I have to say? Likewise, let go of that which dishonors the LORD.

Psalm 65

Vs. 1, “Praise awaits you, our God, in Zion; to you our vows will be fulfilled.” David’s psalm today is one of thanksgiving! God’s answered prayers are a reminder of His mercy even though we are sinners (vs. 1-4). Such goodness should bring God’s people to repentance. Think of the many “second chances” God has poured out into our own lives. The LORD’s awesome deeds come from His power above all things (vs. 5-8). He is the source of abundance and blessing upon the land and its harvest (vs. 9-13). God sends the rains, God provides the food, and God brings the sun in the day and the moon at night. Let’s not take His provision for granted!

Regarding application…God’s Grace. Vs. 3, “When we were overwhelmed by sins, you forgave our transgressions.” I am preaching on God’s grace from Ephesians today. Rather than allow his head to get big, David stays humble and encourages all to keep such a perspective. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9). The Apostle Paul echoes a very similar exhortation. We exist and are alive simply because of His grace. But God doesn’t stop there; he wants to bless us abundantly! Question: How is God’s grace and abundance displayed in your life? At the end of the day when it’s all said and done, His blessings far outweigh our trials and troubles; Praise God!

Psalm 64

Vs. 1, “Hear me, my God, as I voice my complaint; protect my life from the threat of the enemy.” Rarely have I ever had to pray for real protection in my life, but David’s plea for protection was poignant (vs. 1-2). He had specific enemies who desired to do nothing but wreak havoc and harm (vs. 3-6). This is a timely reminder for us not to be naïve about the evil intentions of others. As Jesus said, “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.” But David knew that God would bring divine judgment upon the enemies of his people (vs. 7-10). God has spiritual arrows too!

Regarding application…Foolish Ways. Vs. 5, “They encourage each other in evil plans, they talk about hiding their snares; they say, “Who will see it?” The potential of our pride knows no boundaries. The enemies of God in David’s day to our present day hold the same attitude: Who will see it? God doesn’t exist to them. They are truly fools. They have ignored the signs of God in this world. Question: Have you mimicked their foolish ways? When my car was broken into last week and the CD stereo stolen, I had plotted in my mind how I was going to get back at the perpetrator. I had envisioned me tackling them and beating them down. But, certainly this was and is a foolish plan. While my sinful nature wants to devise such plans, I realize that I must not act upon it. God will be their judge!

Psalm 63

Vs. 1, “You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water.” Question: Have you ever been really thirsty? David was physically and spiritually thirsting for the LORD (vs. 1-2). Rather than complain about his thirst, it brought him to remember the goodness of God (vs. 3-8). David envisions the sanctuary of God’s presence and can’t help but declare in praise! Though David was on the run from Saul, this moment of clarity and praise would help him rejoice in a confident victory (vs. 9-11).

Regarding application…Motivation to Worship. Vs. 3, “Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you.” Question: Why do we worship God? What motivates us to worship Him? Worship is making the effort to be cognizant of God in our lives. Not only does worship bring glory to God, there is spiritual renewal when we are in the very presence of God. Worship is the expression of our heart to God. After reading, praying, and meditating on this passage, I am so motivated to worship! Those of you who know me know that I cherish worshipping. It fuels my heart and reminds me that it’s not about my life, but His! Let this be motivation to worship God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength today and corporately on Sunday!

Psalm 62

Vs. 1, “Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him.” King David not only finds refuge in the LORD, but gives wise instruction to all. Despite the assaults of the enemy, David would find rest in God (vs. 1-5). In the midst of trials upon trials, David would be able to declare his trust in the Lord (vs. 6-8). I appreciate King David’s perspective on life and it’s wealth (vs. 9-10). Such things past away, but God’s power and love endure forever (vs. 11-12).

Regarding application…Status Symbol. Vs. 9, “Surely the lowborn are but a breath, the highborn are but a lie. If weighed on a balance, they are nothing; together they are only a breath.” If only I were in a rich family. If only I were the son or daughter of so and so. It doesn’t matter who we are or where we are from. The only true measurement is the holiness of God and all of us fall woefully short. Question: How do we flaunt our status? The cars we buy, the clothes we wear, the friends we choose and even the spouse’s we marry can all be motivated by elevating the status of our lives. Let’s keep a humble perspective on such worldly living.

Psalm 61

Vs. 1, “ Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer.” In our psalm today, you can sense the faith that King David was holding onto. While we are unsure of the context of David’s life when he wrote this psalm, it might have been when he was on the run from his son Absalom. David cries out to God to hear his plea for deliverance (vs. 1-5). Notice the affirmations of God’s past faithfulness that David is acknowledging. David closes out the psalm for a prayer request for a devoted long life (vs. 6-8).

Regarding application…The Eagles are Coming! Vs. 4, “I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings.” Eagles played a huge role in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings series. Just as Frodo and Samwise Gamgee found refuge in the wings of the eagles, we find refuge in the metaphorical wings of God. God’s wing’s of protection shelter us from the permanent damage of this world. Don’t be that adventurous chick that ventures too far out from the nest. No matter where life takes you, stay connected to the church where God protects us!