Archive for the ‘Psalm’ Category

Project 66 – Psalm 23

The seventh set of three portions from Project 66 is from the wisdom literature, where we get to hear God’s people pouring out their hearts to their Redeemer as they go through the chaos and tumult of this world.

This project is so needful in my life. What a beautiful state it must be to have every thought taken captive by the Lord Jesus Christ! Come Holy Spirit to do that captivating in me!

I’ll divide up Part 7 into two parts, since all of Psalm 23 is a masterpiece unto itself!

The Lord is my Shepherd

Psalms – Intimacy with God

How do you chose a portion from the longest book in the Bible with 150 chapters? Well, probably the most renowned is Psalm 23. It is this portion that a preacher once taught me how to meditate and contemplate the Scriptures. So…

The LORD is my Shepherd;

  • Not merely a lord, but THE Lord.
  • Not has been or will be, but is presently in the here and now, despite my circumstances.
  • And though it is true He is our Shepherd, He drives it closer to home, to a more intimate relationship of, He is MY Shepherd.
  • And speaking of intimacy, He is the Creator, the Master of the Universe, God Almighty, but to me He is a Shepherd. Watchful, caring, present, guiding, providing.

I shall not want.

  • Or better rendered as in the NIV, I lack nothing, or I shall not lack anything.
  • I may not have all I want or everything that I perceive as a need, but my Shepherd knows exactly what is required for my growth and faithfully provides it.

He makes me to lie down in green pastures;

  • There is much to-do about freewill and I suppose I believe in it (I’d hate to credit God for some of my impetuous sinful selfish behaviors),
  • but I am thankful that there are times when He just has to take over, to overrule my unruly ways.
  • He makes me lie down, to stop, to breath, to rest.
  • Not to stand, or even to sit. But in that most restful horizontal position, to lie down!
  • Not in the barren wasteland, or the desert places, but in the lush, healthy, nutritious green pastures.

He leads me beside the still waters.

  • And I’m also thankful there are times where He affords me the opportunity to follow.
  • And oh the places He will lead if I just let Him.
  • While the raging seas may look “adventuresome” and “exciting”, it is the still waters He prefers to lead me to.
  • Still waters should not be confused with stagnant or standing water, but rather quiet, peaceful, calm waters!
  • And notice that He doesn’t throw me in the deep end for my “own good” or pushes me in to be the butt of some prank. He simply leads me beside the still waters.

He restores my soul;

  • That’s my prayer for 2011, that He would restore my soul and my heart.
  • He doesn’t just wind me up and leave me to myself like a watch,
  • but like a good Shepherd, He feeds me daily and cares for me daily, and daily gets me out of jams that I manage to get myself into.
  • He constantly is always bringing me back to restoration, to Himself.

He leads me in the paths of righteousness

  • I may not naturally be attracted to righteousness, but I am most definitely attracted to Him. Where He leads, I will follow.
  • And though the way may seem dark and gloomy and lonely, I can be assured that it is the path of righteousness on which He leads me, if I will only follow Him.
  • Following Him, I don’t have to wonder or teeter back and forth on whether something was right or wrong. I can know it is righteousness.

For His name’s sake.

  • And it provides security to know that all these good things He does towards me does not hinge on me nor is motivated by me or my behavior.
  • It is for His unchanging namesake.
  • It is motivated for the glory of His name.
  • That is a motivation that will always remain constant and good.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;

  • Thankfully I have never been near the valley of death or even the shadow of death
  • But the darkest valleys that I have experienced, He has shown Himself faithful to care for me and be with me.
  • Broken hearts, shattered dreams, severed relationships, failures, etc…I will not fear
  • Why?
  • For Thou art with me. Right now. Always. Uninterrupted. Constant.
  • You are my light, my shield, my refuge, my lover, my Shepherd.

Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

  • It is YOUR rod that disciplines me
  • It is YOUR staff that rescues me
  • They are instruments of YOUR guidance
  • What rest there is in knowing that You have me girded in and protected…even from my own dastardly choices.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;

  • The Lord goes from Shepherd, to Guide, and now to the Host!
  • We are to wait on the Lord, but in this Psalm we find Him waiting on us!
  • Why in the presence of our enemies?
  • I count my enemies to be my doubts and fears. And the Lord responds to my doubts and fears and questions with His abundant provision, as if to silence them.

You anoint my head with oil;

  • Because of Psalm 133 I associate anointing with fellowship. He will provide friends.
  • Also, biblically, royalty was commissioned by the anointing of the head. A good reminder than I am royalty, daughter of the King.
  • And back to my prayer for 2011, anointing was used for healing. To heal wounds caused by my enemies of doubts, fears, and “old tapes”!

My cup runs over.

  • A sure sign of abundance.
  • Blessed so much that I cannot contain it all.
  • And presumably it is filled with wine, which signifies happiness and a carefree life.
  • At the beginning of the Psalm it is said minimalistically, “I lack for nothing.”
  • But after taking some time to count his blessings it is now reported in fullness “My cup runneth over!”

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life;

  • Two beautiful angels to have escort you through this life!
  • But why “follow” me? Why not “go before”?
  • Because some of my enemies are in the rear; they attack me from behind.
    There are foes in my yesterdays which can give me fatal wounds.
    They can stab me in the back!
    I have turned my face toward the Lord, but my yesterdays pursue me like a relentless hound!
    So I have an enemy in the rear.
  • But, blessed be His name, my mighty God is in the rear as well as my foe.
    “Goodness and mercy shall follow me!”
    Between me and my wounded past there is the infinite love of the Lord.
    The loving Lord will not permit my past to destroy my soul.
  • My Lord is Lord of the past as well as of the morrow, and so to-day “I will trust and not be afraid.”

And I will dwell in the house of the LORD Forever.

  • I will, not I hope so.
  • Dwell, like feel at home with, live, reside, a place to call my own.
  • It is not an enjoyment that I must wait for, but it can be a part of my life here and now.
  • In the same house he prepares me a feast and causes my cup to run over.
  • Why do I ever leave His house to go dine out of the dumpster?

Oh Keep me close to You Lord Jesus and never let me roam on my own.

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Project 66 – Psalm 23

The seventh set of three portions from Project 66 is from the wisdom literature, where we get to hear God’s people pouring out their hearts to their Redeemer as they go through the chaos and tumult of this world.

This project is so needful in my life. What a beautiful state it must be to have every thought taken captive by the Lord Jesus Christ! Come Holy Spirit to do that captivating in me!

I’ll divide up Part 7 into two parts, since all of Psalm 23 is a masterpiece unto itself!

The Lord is my Shepherd

Psalms – Intimacy with God

How do you chose a portion from the longest book in the Bible with 150 chapters? Well, probably the most renowned is Psalm 23. It is this portion that a preacher once taught me how to meditate and contemplate the Scriptures. So…

The LORD is my Shepherd;

  • Not merely a lord, but THE Lord.
  • Not has been or will be, but is presently in the here and now, despite my circumstances.
  • And though it is true He is our Shepherd, He drives it closer to home, to a more intimate relationship of, He is MY Shepherd.
  • And speaking of intimacy, He is the Creator, the Master of the Universe, God Almighty, but to me He is a Shepherd. Watchful, caring, present, guiding, providing.

I shall not want.

  • Or better rendered as in the NIV, I lack nothing, or I shall not lack anything.
  • I may not have all I want or everything that I perceive as a need, but my Shepherd knows exactly what is required for my growth and faithfully provides it.

He makes me to lie down in green pastures;

  • There is much to-do about freewill and I suppose I believe in it (I’d hate to credit God for some of my impetuous sinful selfish behaviors),
  • but I am thankful that there are times when He just has to take over, to overrule my unruly ways.
  • He makes me lie down, to stop, to breath, to rest.
  • Not to stand, or even to sit. But in that most restful horizontal position, to lie down!
  • Not in the barren wasteland, or the desert places, but in the lush, healthy, nutritious green pastures.

He leads me beside the still waters.

  • And I’m also thankful there are times where He affords me the opportunity to follow.
  • And oh the places He will lead if I just let Him.
  • While the raging seas may look “adventuresome” and “exciting”, it is the still waters He prefers to lead me to.
  • Still waters should not be confused with stagnant or standing water, but rather quiet, peaceful, calm waters!
  • And notice that He doesn’t throw me in the deep end for my “own good” or pushes me in to be the butt of some prank. He simply leads me beside the still waters.

He restores my soul;

  • That’s my prayer for 2011, that He would restore my soul and my heart.
  • He doesn’t just wind me up and leave me to myself like a watch,
  • but like a good Shepherd, He feeds me daily and cares for me daily, and daily gets me out of jams that I manage to get myself into.
  • He constantly is always bringing me back to restoration, to Himself.

He leads me in the paths of righteousness

  • I may not naturally be attracted to righteousness, but I am most definitely attracted to Him. Where He leads, I will follow.
  • And though the way may seem dark and gloomy and lonely, I can be assured that it is the path of righteousness on which He leads me, if I will only follow Him.
  • Following Him, I don’t have to wonder or teeter back and forth on whether something was right or wrong. I can know it is righteousness.

For His name’s sake.

  • And it provides security to know that all these good things He does towards me does not hinge on me nor is motivated by me or my behavior.
  • It is for His unchanging namesake.
  • It is motivated for the glory of His name.
  • That is a motivation that will always remain constant and good.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;

  • Thankfully I have never been near the valley of death or even the shadow of death
  • But the darkest valleys that I have experienced, He has shown Himself faithful to care for me and be with me.
  • Broken hearts, shattered dreams, severed relationships, failures, etc…I will not fear
  • Why?
  • For Thou art with me. Right now. Always. Uninterrupted. Constant.
  • You are my light, my shield, my refuge, my lover, my Shepherd.

Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

  • It is YOUR rod that disciplines me
  • It is YOUR staff that rescues me
  • They are instruments of YOUR guidance
  • What rest there is in knowing that You have me girded in and protected…even from my own dastardly choices.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;

  • The Lord goes from Shepherd, to Guide, and now to the Host!
  • We are to wait on the Lord, but in this Psalm we find Him waiting on us!
  • Why in the presence of our enemies?
  • I count my enemies to be my doubts and fears. And the Lord responds to my doubts and fears and questions with His abundant provision, as if to silence them.

You anoint my head with oil;

  • Because of Psalm 133 I associate anointing with fellowship. He will provide friends.
  • Also, biblically, royalty was commissioned by the anointing of the head. A good reminder than I am royalty, daughter of the King.
  • And back to my prayer for 2011, anointing was used for healing. To heal wounds caused by my enemies of doubts, fears, and “old tapes”!

My cup runs over.

  • A sure sign of abundance.
  • Blessed so much that I cannot contain it all.
  • And presumably it is filled with wine, which signifies happiness and a carefree life.
  • At the beginning of the Psalm it is said minimalistically, “I lack for nothing.”
  • But after taking some time to count his blessings it is now reported in fullness “My cup runneth over!”

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life;

  • Two beautiful angels to have escort you through this life!
  • But why “follow” me? Why not “go before”?
  • Because some of my enemies are in the rear; they attack me from behind.
    There are foes in my yesterdays which can give me fatal wounds.
    They can stab me in the back!
    I have turned my face toward the Lord, but my yesterdays pursue me like a relentless hound!
    So I have an enemy in the rear.
  • But, blessed be His name, my mighty God is in the rear as well as my foe.
    “Goodness and mercy shall follow me!”
    Between me and my wounded past there is the infinite love of the Lord.
    The loving Lord will not permit my past to destroy my soul.
  • My Lord is Lord of the past as well as of the morrow, and so to-day “I will trust and not be afraid.”

And I will dwell in the house of the LORD Forever.

  • I will, not I hope so.
  • Dwell, like feel at home with, live, reside, a place to call my own.
  • It is not an enjoyment that I must wait for, but it can be a part of my life here and now.
  • In the same house he prepares me a feast and causes my cup to run over.
  • Why do I ever leave His house to go dine out of the dumpster?

Oh Keep me close to You Lord Jesus and never let me roam on my own.

Psalm 2

Seems like the theme of Psalm 2 is similar to the first Psalm. Comparing the last verse of each chapter, we have those whom the Lord knows and those who opt to not know Him.

Psalm referring to Jesus
This Psalm ultimately refers to Jesus Christ and the plotting that occurred against Him. The fulfillment of this can be demonstrated in the one example of Herod and Pilate (who were lifelong enemies) becoming friends when it came to needing to plot against the Lord and His Anointed!

Know
John 17:3 says that knowing Him is eternal life…oh for more of that eternal life in the here and now!

Genesis 4:1 says that Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived! I guess the idea of kissing the Son ain’t too far off from knowing Him!

George Handel’s “Why do the nations”

Rage leads to folly
Where there is much rage, there is generally much folly. Certainly true in this case. It’s like men plotting together as to how they might extinguish the sun with a garden hose!

Meditation
In Psalm 1 we saw the blessed man meditating on the Lord and His Word and His goodness. The blessed man gives careful and full attention to it. Oh, what blessed delight and prosperity!

In Psalm 2 we see the rebellious man meditating on the Lord and how he might be done with God and His high standards, once and for all. The foolish man gives careful and full attention to it. Oh, what vanity and futility!

George Handel’s “Let us break their bonds asunder”

Bonds and Cords
Sometimes I feel as though I would be happier if not restrained by the words of the Lord and His ways, and simply did things my way. But this passage is a good reminder of what the end result will be. I’m not talking about heaven and hell necessarily, but derision, distress, displeasure versus purity, passion, prosperity.

God is a bondage-breaker, not a bondage-bringer.

George Handel’s “He that dwelleth in heaven”

Is God Laughing in Mockery?
God sits in the heavens, calm and unthreatened. Man’s boldest efforts to oppose such awesome power is ludicrous. The Almighty doesn’t even rise from His throne; He just laughs.

But is this a heartless or cruel laughter? No! His same infinite greatness that mocks man’s defiance also marks His sympathy for man in his lost condition.

But God’s laughter gives us the assurance that Christ will ultimately triumph over evil. All will be made right within us and around us. Instead of opposing the Son, kiss the Son and take refuge in Him.

God Speaks
Before God acts against defiant man, He first speaks to them.

This shows the great mercy of God. He has every reason and every right to simply act against defiant man. Love and mercy compel God to speak a word of warning before He acts. Listen, O my soul, to His pleas.

God’s Will is Done
While the nations of the earth combine all their wisdom and hoist it against God, the Lord still accomplishes His will by establishing His King upon His Holy Hill!

My heart takes comfort, that though the waves and winds may cause circumstantial distress, the Lord has established a King in my heart and has given me an Anchor steadfast and sure!

Outline of Psalm 2

  • The first 3 verses reveal the foolishness of the rebellious man
  • The next 3 verses gives us a peak at what the Father is doing in heaven
  • The following 3 verses records for us the Son’s mind and recollection
  • And the last 3 verses affords us sound counsel from the Psalmist himself

You are My Son
The writer to the Hebrews uses verse 7 to give proof to his readers that Jesus Christ is better than a prophet, angel or great teacher…He is God our Saviour, the Lord’s Anointed!

Ask of Me, and I will give You…
Though in this passage, the Father’s generosity is written to show the kings of the nations they are but the Anointed’s possession, I often take this verse and make it my missionary verse.

I will give you the nations for Your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for Your possession!

O to have the nations given to Christ, who is our inheritance, both visibly and presently, and that I might have a part in seeing that happen!

George Handel’s “Thou shalt break them”

2:9

Those who will not bend, must break.

O dear Lord, make me flexible and pliable in Your hands!

2:10
God in mercy is reaching out to the very kings and judges who have spun their wheels taking counsel against the Almighty. Let us not give any up as hopeless.

  • Serve the Lord
  • Rejoice
  • Kiss the Son–both in subjugation and love
  • Trust in Him

Who would object to such sound counsel and life purpose?

Choices

Psalm 1 shows two choices:

  1. Firmly Planted or
  2. Blown like Chaff

Psalm 2 shows us two choices as well:

  1. Broken or
  2. Blessed

Gracious God, thank You for the invitation to Kiss the Son, to serve You and to rejoice and be blessed. With Solomon, I ask for a discerning heart and for the strength to follow through with wisdom’s choices. You are King and Lord, and I love You. Amen.

Links about Psalm 2

http://www.spurgeon.org/treasury/ps002.htm

http://www.blueletterbible.org/commentaries/comm_view.cfm?AuthorID=4&contentID=1125&commInfo=5&topic=Psalms&ar=Psa_2_1

http://www.enduringword.com/commentaries/19002.htm

http://www.rbc.org/devotionals/our-daily-bread/2006/01/14/devotion.aspx

Psalm 1

Psalm 1 Tree Planted by the Rivers

Painting by Michael Mandia

I’m going to try and get a 3-day head start on my New Year’s Resolution of blogging about at least 2 chapters a week. I’m going to begin with the collection of 3,000 year old prayers, called the Psalms!

Psalm 1 is a Preface Psalm to the other 149 chapters. It is the shingle hung out to tell us what is inside. This book will teach us the way to blessedness, and warn us of the snare of sin.

Division
This Psalm simply divides into two portions:

  1. they who delight in the Lord, and
  2. they who choose not to.

The Downward Gradation of Verse 1

  He walketh not   in the counsel   of the ungodly,
  Nor standeth     in the way       of     sinners,
  Nor SITTETH      in the SEAT      of     SCORNFUL.

Negatively Blessed, and Positively Blessed

It is one thing

  • to avoid walking with those who do not acknowledge God, or
  • to refrain from parking myself in the way of sin, or
  • to recline with those who scorn the truth of the Lord…

but am I positively being blessed? Am I delighting? Am I in the word of the Lord?

When it is the day of prosperity and the sun is fully shining, or when darkness has fallen, and the cold air seeps underneath my skin…is my delight still to be found in the Lord?

Planted

I love that word…planted! Not a wild, by chance, evolutionary thing; but rather, chosen, intended, cultivated and nurtured. Planted by the Father!

Rivers

If I were to name the rivers He has planted me by…where would I begin?

  • Adoption
  • Blessing
  • Communion with Christ
  • Delightfulness
  • Encouragement
  • Faithfulness
  • Grace
  • Holiness
  • I…
  • Justification
  • Keeping power
  • Lovingkindness
  • Mercy
  • N…
  • Omniscient
  • Pardon
  • Q…
  • Restoration
  • Salvation
  • Truth
  • Unconditional Acceptance
  • Vision
  • Washing
  • X…
  • Youth (Renewed Youth)
  • Zenith (The Most High)

(if anyone has an idea for what the Lord has provided for them that starts with the four outstanding letters, I’d be very interested to know about them!)

…in his Season

That phrase has comforted me from the get-go especially as I spend time telling myself what I should be doing, or how I should be progressing, etc. That energy-killing Should-thinking.

But this phrase says that we have a season for fruitfulness, and a season to just get deeper. And my season may not look the same as David Brainerd or Hudson Taylor’s or even the gal sitting in the pew next to me. It’s just me and the Lord I delight in.

Prosperity

I suppose some folks think of wealth and outward success when they hear the word prosperity. But I cannot help but yearn for soul prosperity. To flourish in the fruit of the Spirit and the characteristics of Christ, to have vision and faithfulness like the Father…how does gold even compare to those traits!

Ungodly

I don’t necessarily think of this term in relationship to morality, as much as to interest and attention.

It’s the difference between the

  • (N)KJV translation and the NIV
  • ungodly vs wicked.

Ungodly can mean someone with God, or simply neglects God, whereas, I tend to put morality more with wicked.

Chaff

Worthless, dead, unserviceable, unsubstantial, easily-carried away, chaff. The exact opposite of what is to be had by delighting in the promises of the Lord. Why, o Why, do I neglect Him?

The Lord Knows…

What a powerful word know is!

Adam knew Eve, and she conceived.

Obviously, this was more than a cup of coffee, or a simple knowledge of facts regarding her! This was Intimacy. Relational. Communion. This is how the Lord wants to know us. And He says…

we shall be like a tree
Planted by the rivers of water,
That brings forth its fruit in its season,
Whose leaf also shall not wither;
And whatever he does shall prosper.

Lord Jesus Christ, You are the Ultimate Blessed Man in this Psalm. But I pray that You would make me like this man. Discerning, active, delighting, meditating, growing…fruitfulness from You and for You and for Your people. Where I am chaff-y in my life, I pray you will deal graciously, yet appropriately with those areas, and make all my leafs wither-proof by living for You!

Links about Psalm 1

http://www.spurgeon.org/treasury/ps001.htm

http://bible.org/article/psalm-1-two-ways-life-psalm-wisdom

http://www.blueletterbible.org/commentaries/comm_view.cfm?AuthorID=4&contentID=1124&commInfo=5&topic=Psalms&ar=Psa_1_1

http://www.enduringword.com/commentaries/19001.htm