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!

Psalm 24

Vs. 3, “Who may ascend the mountain of the LORD? Who may stand in his holy place?” Our psalm yesterday reminded us of the pilgrimage the Shepherd leads us through. Today’s psalm looks to the specific journey to Jerusalem. King David was the author and some scholars see this psalm in the backdrop of the Ark of the Covenant coming to Jerusalem (II Samuel 6). Question: Who could ascend the mountain? David sought to help answer such a person (vs. 1-6). Question: Who is the King of glory? It is the LORD (vs. 7-10)!

Regarding application…Clean & Pure. Vs. 4, “The one who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not trust in an idol or swear by a false god.” There is a praise song that is based off this psalm that we sing today. Question: Does this mean we have to be perfect? God is looking at our motives and our desire to walk with Him. We cannot be clean and pure without Him. Jesus is the ultimate example! Like a reconciled relationship, God is cleansing us from our sin and impurities to come into His holy presence. By His grace, we can come pure and clean everyday we rest with Him in our devotions!

Psalm 23

Vs. 1, “The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing.” We come to one of the most beloved psalms and chapters in the whole bible! There is something very comforting to picture the LORD as our shepherd. A good shepherd will lay down his life for his sheep (John 10:15). King David would be able to accurately understand such imagery having been a good shepherd himself. The Shepherd leads the sheep to green pastures, quiet waters, and even through the dangers of the valley below (vs. 1-4). David was so confident of God’s provision that he envisioned God preparing a great banquet for the believer even in the midst of such danger (vs. 5). The goodness and love of God would guides us along until we get to our final destination (vs. 6).

Regarding application…Calm Down. Vs. 2, “He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters.” In the midst of danger, it is not natural for sheep to lie down. In fact, Philip Keller shares how sheep must be free from four things: 1) Free of all fear 2) Free of all friction 3) Free from flies or parasites 4) Free from hunger. If the sheep do not have these needs met, it is nearly impossible for them to calm down. In a dry and arid land, green pastures were very difficult to come by. The Shepherd had to travel far and wide to find such a place. It’s really a wonderful picture of how God provides such measures in our life. Though there is danger, fear, and small pockets of hope, the King Shepherd risks his life so we can be calm and trusting. Question: How can you trust the Shepherd this coming week?

Psalm 22

Vs. 1, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from my cries of anguish?” David’s psalm today carries us through the range of emotions from lament to rejoicing! It’s humbling to consider that Jesus quotes from this Psalm (Mark 15:34) and likely meditated on this psalm in the Garden of Gethsemane. David feels danger on all sides and cries out with feelings of abandonment (vs. 1-11). King David and King Jesus would both experience total rejection. The enemies of the anointed are many and quite vicious (vs. 12-21). All four gospels refer to the casting of lots for the garments (vs. 18). Question: What would cause David to erupt into hopeful praise? Prayer. It was his honest prayer and fervent searching that would increase his faith (vs. 22-31). It gives us a deeper appreciation when we consider this psalm prophetically picturing Jesus.

Regarding application…Conquered Death! Vs. 31, “They will proclaim his righteousness, declaring to a people yet unborn: He has done it!” Death has lost its sting! Question: When something amazing happens in our life, what do we do? We want to testify and tell others! David was surely dead, but is now alive! Jesus died, but has risen! We were once sinners, but are now saints! David is determined to ensure the good news of such faithfulness from God will not go unnoticed; nor should we. We will have times of despair beyond measure. But, God’s goodness and power will carry us through till eternity. Question: How has God delivered you? Take time to consider such things and open your heart in trustful praise!

Psalm 21

Vs. 1, “The king rejoices in your strength, LORD. How great is his joy in the victories you give!” Our psalm yesterday was a cry for help as Israel was about to go to war. In today’s psalm, we see that the LORD answered King David’s prayer (vs. 1-7). Much props to David for taking the time to acknowledge that the LORD was the reason for the victory. David’s victory meant the enemies defeat (vs. 8-12). No nation can stand up against God past, present, or future.

Regarding application…Corporate Praise! Vs. 13, “Be exalted in your strength, LORD; we will sing and praise your might.” As sweet as our individual devotions are, there is something powerful when we join together in praise! Few things are as awe-inspiring as witnessing God’s people worshipping with all their hearts. I’ve had the privilege to worship in stadiums filled to capacity with thousands of worshippers. I’ve also experienced the intimacy of worshipping at church, revivals, and retreats. It’s exhilarating to see the unity bonded through the Spirit when we join together in corporate praise. I implore you not to take this for granted. The next time you attend church and have the opportunity to praise, give it your all! He is worthy above all things!

Psalm 20

Vs. 1, “May the LORD answer you when you are in distress; may the name of the God of Jacob protect you.” Question: What do you when you need help? King David and all of Israel set the example for us as they turned to the LORD. Our psalm today is a royal one and the backdrop is likely a situation in which Israel was about ready to go to war. They lift up intercessory prayers for victory (vs. 1-5). King David found much encouragement from their prayers and declared his faith in God’s hand (vs. 6-9).

Regarding application…Who Are You Trusting? Vs. 7, “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.” Chariots and horses were the tanks of their time; the bigger the weapon, the likelier the victory. I’ve never been in battle, but I’m sure there is a sudden urgency to turn to God when life is at the brink. When you go into the battles of life, there is much assurance in the weapons you possesses. Of course, there is one metaphorical offensive weapon we possess as believers; the sword (Ephesians 6:17). Question: Who or what are you putting your trust in?

Psalm 19

Vs. 1, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” David’s psalm today is incredibly powerful! This was one of the psalms that my theology professor at Talbot Seminary had us meditate on. Our psalm today starts out with a glorious revelation of whom God is (vs. 1-6). This section speaks to us that we are without excuse; God has clearly revealed Himself to us. David goes on to declare that God’s law is perfect (vs. 7-11). It is awe-inspiring to consider the power that comes from the Word! In the latter section of our psalm (vs. 12-14), David responds with humility and prayer.

Regarding application…Honoring Prayer. Vs. 14, “May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.” My theology professor had us memorize this psalm verbatim as part of our final. Initially, I had much fear because I didn’t think I could do it. However, when I read the majesty of this psalm, I was inspired to honor the LORD! I felt like I was literally honoring Him by the words that came out of my mouth. So often, I feel my words and expression are inadequate. I believe that’s why it so encouraging to know and memorize Scripture! We join King David and many others when we read, pray, and declare God’s truth.