Category Archives: Psalms

Psalm 69

ps69.jpgGreetings!

Psalm 69

1 Save me, O God,

for the waters have come up to my neck.

2 I sink in the miry depths,

where there is no foothold.

I have come into the deep waters;

the floods engulf me.

3 I am worn out calling for help;

my throat is parched.

My eyes fail, looking for my God.

4 Those who hate me without reason

outnumber the hairs of my head;

many are my enemies without cause,

those who seek to destroy me.

God knows the number of hairs on our head and He knows all about our enemies.

I am forced to restore

what I did not steal.

5 You know my folly, O God;

my guilt is not hidden from you.

6 May those who hope in you

not be disgraced because of me,

O Lord, the Lord Almighty;

may those who seek you

not be put to shame because of me,

O God of Israel.

David knows he is a sinner, just as all of us are.  Our righteousness is found in Jesus, not in ourselves.  I also pray that the bad things I do and say won’t disgrace God and his message.

7 For I endure scorn for your sake,

and shame covers my face.

8 I am a stranger to my brothers,

an alien to my own mother’s sons;

9 for zeal for your house consumes me,

and the insults of those who insult you fall on me.

As Christians we’ll be mocked for our faith, but we can trust that God knows all and that He (and we!) will win in the end. 

Zeal for God’s house should consume us as well.

10 When I weep and fast,

I must endure scorn;

11 when I put on sackcloth,

people make sport of me.

12 Those who sit at the gate mock me,

and I am the song of the drunkards.

13 But I pray to you, O Lord,

in the time of your favor;

in your great love, O God,

answer me with your sure salvation.

14 Rescue me from the mire,

do not let me sink;

deliver me from those who hate me,

from the deep waters.

15 Do not let the floodwaters engulf me

or the depths swallow me up

or the pit close its mouth over me.

16 Answer me, O Lord, out of the goodness of your love;

in your great mercy turn to me.

17 Do not hide your face from your servant;

answer me quickly, for I am in trouble.

18 Come near and rescue me;

redeem me because of my foes.

19 You know how I am scorned, disgraced and shamed;

all my enemies are before you.

20 Scorn has broken my heart

and has left me helpless;

I looked for sympathy, but there was none,

for comforters, but I found none.

21 They put gall in my food

and gave me vinegar for my thirst.

22 May the table set before them become a snare;

may it become retribution and a trap.

23 May their eyes be darkened so they cannot see,

and their backs be bent forever.

24 Pour out your wrath on them;

let your fierce anger overtake them.

25 May their place be deserted;

let there be no one to dwell in their tents.

26 For they persecute those you wound

and talk about the pain of those you hurt.

27 Charge them with crime upon crime;

do not let them share in your salvation.

28 May they be blotted out of the book of life

and not be listed with the righteous.

29 I am in pain and distress;

may your salvation, O God, protect me.

30 I will praise God’s name in song

and glorify him with thanksgiving.

31 This will please the Lord more than an ox,

more than a bull with its horns and hoofs.

God desires authentic worship and praise more than empty sacrifices.

32 The poor will see and be glad—

you who seek God, may your hearts live!

33 The Lord hears the needy

and does not despise his captive people.

34 Let heaven and earth praise him,

the seas and all that move in them,

35 for God will save Zion

and rebuild the cities of Judah.

Then people will settle there and possess it;

36 the children of his servants will inherit it,

and those who love his name will dwell there.

 The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

Psalm 68

ps68.jpgGreetings!  This psalm is about victory and celebration. 

Psalm 68

1 May God arise, may his enemies be scattered;

may his foes flee before him.

2 As smoke is blown away by the wind,

may you blow them away;

as wax melts before the fire,

may the wicked perish before God.

3 But may the righteous be glad

and rejoice before God;

may they be happy and joyful.

4 Sing to God, sing praise to his name,

extol him who rides on the clouds—

his name is the Lord

and rejoice before him.

5 A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows,

is God in his holy dwelling.

6 God sets the lonely in families,

he leads forth the prisoners with singing;

but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.

7 When you went out before your people, O God,

when you marched through the wasteland, Selah

8 the earth shook,

the heavens poured down rain,

before God, the One of Sinai,

before God, the God of Israel.

9 You gave abundant showers, O God;

you refreshed your weary inheritance.

10 Your people settled in it,

and from your bounty, O God, you provided for the poor.

11 The Lord announced the word,

and great was the company of those who proclaimed it:

12 “Kings and armies flee in haste;

in the camps men divide the plunder.

13 Even while you sleep among the campfires,

the wings of my dove are sheathed with silver,

its feathers with shining gold.”

14 When the Almighty scattered the kings in the land,

it was like snow fallen on Zalmon.

15 The mountains of Bashan are majestic mountains;

rugged are the mountains of Bashan.

16 Why gaze in envy, O rugged mountains,

at the mountain where God chooses to reign,

where the Lord himself will dwell forever?

17 The chariots of God are tens of thousands

and thousands of thousands;

the Lord has come from Sinai into his sanctuary.

18 When you ascended on high,

you led captives in your train;

you received gifts from men,

even from the rebellious—

that you, O Lord God, might dwell there.

My Life Application Study Bible pointed out how verse 18 is quoted in Ephesians 4:8 and is applied to the ministry of the acended Christ.  He won victory over evil and by having faith in him, so can we.

19 Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior,

who daily bears our burdens. Selah

20 Our God is a God who saves;

from the Sovereign Lord comes escape from death.

The Old Testament doesn’t have as many specific references to Heaven as the New Testament but there are many references to salvation and overcoming death.

21 Surely God will crush the heads of his enemies,

the hairy crowns of those who go on in their sins.

22 The Lord says, “I will bring them from Bashan;

I will bring them from the depths of the sea,

23 that you may plunge your feet in the blood of your foes,

while the tongues of your dogs have their share.”

24 Your procession has come into view, O God,

the procession of my God and King into the sanctuary.

25 In front are the singers, after them the musicians;

with them are the maidens playing tambourines.

26 Praise God in the great congregation;

praise the Lord in the assembly of Israel.

27 There is the little tribe of Benjamin, leading them,

there the great throng of Judah’s princes,

and there the princes of Zebulun and of Naphtali.

28 Summon your power, O God;

show us your strength, O God, as you have done before.

29 Because of your temple at Jerusalem

kings will bring you gifts.

30 Rebuke the beast among the reeds,

the herd of bulls among the calves of the nations.

Humbled, may it bring bars of silver.

Scatter the nations who delight in war.

31 Envoys will come from Egypt;

Cush will submit herself to God.

32 Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth,

sing praise to the Lord, Selah

33 to him who rides the ancient skies above,

who thunders with mighty voice.

34 Proclaim the power of God,

whose majesty is over Israel,

whose power is in the skies.

35 You are awesome, O God, in your sanctuary;

the God of Israel gives power and strength to his people.

Praise be to God!

The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

Psalm 67

ps67.jpgGreetings!  This short Psalm makes many references to how God is the God of all people, not just the Israelites.  They were the messengers of his salvation and the message is to go to all nations.  Sadly, many Jewish people didn’t pick up on that theme and many in the  church today ignore this.  They rationalize that all religions lead to God, but that isn’t a biblical theme at all.

Psalm 67

1 May God be gracious to us and bless us

and make his face shine upon us, Selah

2 that your ways may be known on earth,

your salvation among all nations.

3 May the peoples praise you, O God;

may all the peoples praise you.

4 May the nations be glad and sing for joy,

for you rule the peoples justly

and guide the nations of the earth. Selah

5 May the peoples praise you, O God;

may all the peoples praise you.

6 Then the land will yield its harvest,

and God, our God, will bless us.

7 God will bless us,

and all the ends of the earth will fear him.

The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

Psalm 66

ps66.jpgGreetings!  Praising God is a great start to putting our minds in proper perspective.  When we don’t acknowledge who He is and what He has done then it is hard to have everything else in line.

This does convict me though in that I’m a poor singer and am not the most demonstrative in church.  I do want to focus my attitude more on joyful worship of him.

Verse 18 points out that if we cherish sin in our hearts that God may not hear our prayers. 

Psalm 66

For the director of music. A song. A psalm.

1 Shout with joy to God, all the earth!

2 Sing the glory of his name;

make his praise glorious!

3 Say to God, “How awesome are your deeds!

So great is your power

that your enemies cringe before you.

4 All the earth bows down to you;

they sing praise to you,

they sing praise to your name.” Selah

5 Come and see what God has done,

how awesome his works in man’s behalf!

6 He turned the sea into dry land,

they passed through the waters on foot—

come, let us rejoice in him.

7 He rules forever by his power,

his eyes watch the nations—

let not the rebellious rise up against him. Selah

8 Praise our God, O peoples,

let the sound of his praise be heard;

9 he has preserved our lives

and kept our feet from slipping.

10 For you, O God, tested us;

you refined us like silver.

11 You brought us into prison

and laid burdens on our backs.

12 You let men ride over our heads;

we went through fire and water,

but you brought us to a place of abundance.

13 I will come to your temple with burnt offerings

and fulfill my vows to you—

14 vows my lips promised and my mouth spoke

when I was in trouble.

15 I will sacrifice fat animals to you

and an offering of rams;

I will offer bulls and goats. Selah

16 Come and listen, all you who fear God;

let me tell you what he has done for me.

17 I cried out to him with my mouth;

his praise was on my tongue.

18 If I had cherished sin in my heart,

the Lord would not have listened;

19 but God has surely listened

and heard my voice in prayer.

20 Praise be to God,

who has not rejected my prayer

or withheld his love from me!

The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

Psalm 65

ps65.jpgGreetings!  This Psalm has many blessings and truths about our relationship with God and his mercy and grace.  He hears our prayers.  He chooses us and we are blessed by that.  He created everything.  He controls nature.  He is in all the details and inner workings of the world. 

This Psalm may have been written by David to celebrate the first harvest of the year.  We are so comfortable in being able to go to multiple grocery stores and have an unbelievable array of foods to choose from.  Contrast that with what most people in the world experience and you’ll feel very fortunate.

Psalm 65

For the director of music. A psalm of David. A song.

1 Praise awaits you, O God, in Zion;

to you our vows will be fulfilled.

2 O you who hear prayer,

to you all men will come.

3 When we were overwhelmed by sins,

you forgave our transgressions.

4 Blessed are those you choose

and bring near to live in your courts!

We are filled with the good things of your house,

of your holy temple.

5 You answer us with awesome deeds of righteousness,

O God our Savior,

the hope of all the ends of the earth

and of the farthest seas,

6 who formed the mountains by your power,

having armed yourself with strength,

7 who stilled the roaring of the seas,

the roaring of their waves,

and the turmoil of the nations.

8 Those living far away fear your wonders;

where morning dawns and evening fades

you call forth songs of joy.

9 You care for the land and water it;

you enrich it abundantly.

The streams of God are filled with water

to provide the people with grain,

for so you have ordained it.

10 You drench its furrows

and level its ridges;

you soften it with showers

and bless its crops.

11 You crown the year with your bounty,

and your carts overflow with abundance.

12 The grasslands of the desert overflow;

the hills are clothed with gladness.

13 The meadows are covered with flocks

and the valleys are mantled with grain;

they shout for joy and sing.

The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

Psalm 64

ps64.jpgGreetings!  We certainly don’t have the persecution in the Western world (where most readers of this blog are), but it still exists throughout the world.  And we are attacked daily with words and false accusations.  May we all stand up for the truth in authentic Christian fashion!

And regardless of what we face, let’s follow verse 10 and rejoice in the Lord, take refuge in him and praise him!

Psalm 64

For the director of music. A psalm of David.

1 Hear me, O God, as I voice my complaint;

protect my life from the threat of the enemy.

2 Hide me from the conspiracy of the wicked,

from that noisy crowd of evildoers.

3 They sharpen their tongues like swords

and aim their words like deadly arrows.

4 They shoot from ambush at the innocent man;

they shoot at him suddenly, without fear.

5 They encourage each other in evil plans,

they talk about hiding their snares;

they say, “Who will see them?”

6 They plot injustice and say,

“We have devised a perfect plan!”

Surely the mind and heart of man are cunning.

7 But God will shoot them with arrows;

suddenly they will be struck down.

8 He will turn their own tongues against them

and bring them to ruin;

all who see them will shake their heads in scorn.

9 All mankind will fear;

they will proclaim the works of God

and ponder what he has done.

10 Let the righteous rejoice in the Lord

and take refuge in him;

let all the upright in heart praise him!

The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

Psalm 63

ps63.jpgGreetings!  Feel the passion that David has for God.  May we all feel that today and every day!  My we know and acts as if his love is better than life itself.  May we remember the times we have seen his power and glory.  May we be satisfied with him over earthly things.  May we trust that God will deal with our enemies so that we won’t have to.

Psalm 63

A psalm of David. When he was in the Desert of Judah.

1 O God, you are my God,

earnestly I seek you;

my soul thirsts for you,

my body longs for you,

in a dry and weary land

where there is no water.

2 I have seen you in the sanctuary

and beheld your power and your glory.

3 Because your love is better than life,

my lips will glorify you.

4 I will praise you as long as I live,

and in your name I will lift up my hands.

5 My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods;

with singing lips my mouth will praise you.

6 On my bed I remember you;

I think of you through the watches of the night.

7 Because you are my help,

I sing in the shadow of your wings.

8 My soul clings to you;

your right hand upholds me.

9 They who seek my life will be destroyed;

they will go down to the depths of the earth.

10 They will be given over to the sword

and become food for jackals.

11 But the king will rejoice in God;

all who swear by God’s name will praise him,

while the mouths of liars will be silenced.

The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

Psalm 62

ps62.jpgGreetings!

Psalm 62

For the director of music. For Jeduthun. A psalm of David.

1 My soul finds rest in God alone;

my salvation comes from him.

2 He alone is my rock and my salvation;

he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.

Verses 1-2 were the theme of a Walk to Emmaus weekend that I worked a few years ago.  The weekend is a short course in Christianity to encourage and develop people to lead the church, but it is open to all believers. 

It is a great passage to memorize and recall.  We should make him our fortress and place of rest, and remember that salvation comes from him and not from anything that we do. 

3 How long will you assault a man?

Would all of you throw him down—

this leaning wall, this tottering fence?

4 They fully intend to topple him

from his lofty place; they take delight in lies.

With their mouths they bless,

but in their hearts they curse. Selah

5 Find rest, O my soul, in God alone;

my hope comes from him.

6 He alone is my rock and my salvation;

he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.

7 My salvation and my honor depend on God;

he is my mighty rock, my refuge.

8 Trust in him at all times, O people;

pour out your hearts to him,

for God is our refuge. Selah

Not only should we trust him, but we should pour out our hearts to him.  I never noticed that verse before.   We are not only invited but told to do that.

9 Lowborn men are but a breath,

the highborn are but a lie;

if weighed on a balance, they are nothing;

together they are only a breath.

10 Do not trust in extortion

or take pride in stolen goods;

though your riches increase,

do not set your heart on them.

There is nothing wrong with wealth, but much wrong in how we may pursue it or covet it.  We should not set our heart on it, but use it for God’s kingdom. 

11 One thing God has spoken,

two things have I heard:

that you, O God, are strong,

12 and that you, O Lord, are loving.

Surely you will reward each person

according to what he has done.

The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

God is strong and loving.  Unlike the myth of the “mean” Old Testament God, He is unchanging throughout eternity and the Bible.

Psalm 61

ps61.jpgGreetings!  This is a short Psalm.  One thing we can be confident of as believers is that God will hear our prayers.  The answer may be yes, no, or later, but He will hear them.  My prayer life is one of the areas of my spiritual walk in need of improvement.  I do try to praise him often, as verse 8 notes.

Is your prayer life all it should be?  I don’t ask that to burden you, but to challenge us all to take advantage of the rich blessing God has given us in letting us come to him any time we like.

Psalm 61

For the director of music. With stringed instruments. Of David.

1 Hear my cry, O God;

listen to my prayer.

2 From the ends of the earth I call to you,

I call as my heart grows faint;

lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

3 For you have been my refuge,

a strong tower against the foe.

4 I long to dwell in your tent forever

and take refuge in the shelter of your wings. Selah

5 For you have heard my vows, O God;

you have given me the heritage of those who fear your name.

6 Increase the days of the king’s life,

his years for many generations.

7 May he be enthroned in God’s presence forever;

appoint your love and faithfulness to protect him.

8 Then will I ever sing praise to your name

and fulfill my vows day after day.

The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

Psalm 60

ps60.jpgGreetings!  This Psalm has some information about the reign of King David that isn’t included in the books of Samuel or Chronicles. 

God can use many means to bring us to him. 

Psalm 60

1 You have rejected us, O God, and burst forth upon us;

you have been angry—now restore us!

2 You have shaken the land and torn it open;

mend its fractures, for it is quaking.

3 You have shown your people desperate times;

you have given us wine that makes us stagger.

4 But for those who fear you, you have raised a banner

to be unfurled against the bow. Selah

5 Save us and help us with your right hand,

that those you love may be delivered.

6 God has spoken from his sanctuary:

“In triumph I will parcel out Shechem

and measure off the Valley of Succoth.

7 Gilead is mine, and Manasseh is mine;

Ephraim is my helmet, Judah my scepter.

God is in control of all things.  He either makes things happen or lets them happen for his good and ultimate purpose.  Some people don’t like to hear or believe that.  They think that God can’t be all-powerful and all-loving or He wouldn’t let bad things happen.  But each of us does evil things.  If God vanquished all evil at noon today then at 12:01 we’d all be gone.

8 Moab is my washbasin,

upon Edom I toss my sandal;

over Philistia I shout in triumph.”

9 Who will bring me to the fortified city?

Who will lead me to Edom?

10 Is it not you, O God, you who have rejected us

and no longer go out with our armies?

11 Give us aid against the enemy,

for the help of man is worthless.

12 With God we will gain the victory,

and he will trample down our enemies.

The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

Psalm 59

ps59.jpgGreetings!  I don’t think many of us will ever know the fear and anxiety of having someone try to kill us.  And not just one time, but for many years.  And not just anyone, but the king of the country – God’s annointed king!  We would have no one to turn to – no police, no media – no one to to protect us.

Here are some of David’s thoughts as he was being persecuted.  May we cry out to God in our times of need, and may we also not whine about the little things in life that aren’t even worth discussing.

Note how he praises God – his loving God – and wants the results to give God glory and not David.  It is so tempting to want our good deeds to bring us glory before men, but we should always want the glory to go to God.

Psalm 59

For the director of music. To the tune of “Do Not Destroy.” Of David. A miktam. When Saul had sent men to watch David’s house in order to kill him.

1 Deliver me from my enemies, O God;

protect me from those who rise up against me.

2 Deliver me from evildoers

and save me from bloodthirsty men.

3 See how they lie in wait for me!

Fierce men conspire against me

for no offense or sin of mine, O Lord.

4 I have done no wrong, yet they are ready to attack me.

Arise to help me; look on my plight!

5 O Lord God Almighty, the God of Israel,

rouse yourself to punish all the nations;

show no mercy to wicked traitors. Selah

6 They return at evening,

snarling like dogs,

and prowl about the city.

7 See what they spew from their mouths—

they spew out swords from their lips,

and they say, “Who can hear us?”

8 But you, O Lord, laugh at them;

you scoff at all those nations.

9 O my Strength, I watch for you;

you, O God, are my fortress,

10 my loving God.

God will go before me

and will let me gloat over those who slander me.

11 But do not kill them, O Lord our shield,

or my people will forget.

In your might make them wander about,

and bring them down.

12 For the sins of their mouths,

for the words of their lips,

let them be caught in their pride.

For the curses and lies they utter,

13 consume them in wrath,

consume them till they are no more.

Then it will be known to the ends of the earth

that God rules over Jacob. Selah

14 They return at evening,

snarling like dogs,

and prowl about the city.

15 They wander about for food

and howl if not satisfied.

16 But I will sing of your strength,

in the morning I will sing of your love;

for you are my fortress,

my refuge in times of trouble.

17 O my Strength, I sing praise to you;

you, O God, are my fortress, my loving God.

The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

Psalm 58

ps58.jpgGreetings!

Psalm 58

1 Do you rulers indeed speak justly?

Do you judge uprightly among men?

2 No, in your heart you devise injustice,

and your hands mete out violence on the earth.

3 Even from birth the wicked go astray;

from the womb they are wayward and speak lies.

I can relate to that.  Original sin is a sound and well supported concept.  We are born with sinful natures and need to have them shaped and improved by parents.  But we still need a Savior because we can’t fix our sinful natures ourselves. 

I remember doing all sorts of bad things even as a 4-5 year old – lying, stealing, coveting and more.  Sinning came quite naturally to me. 

4 Their venom is like the venom of a snake,

like that of a cobra that has stopped its ears,

5 that will not heed the tune of the charmer,

however skillful the enchanter may be.

6 Break the teeth in their mouths, O God;

tear out, O Lord, the fangs of the lions!

7 Let them vanish like water that flows away;

when they draw the bow, let their arrows be blunted.

8 Like a slug melting away as it moves along,

like a stillborn child, may they not see the sun.

9 Before your pots can feel the heat of the thorns—

whether they be green or dry—the wicked will be swept away.

10 The righteous will be glad when they are avenged,

when they bathe their feet in the blood of the wicked.

11 Then men will say,

“Surely the righteous still are rewarded;

surely there is a God who judges the earth.”

 The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

David wanted to see God’s justice now.  But if God removed all evil at noon today, where would you be at 12:01?  I know I’d be destroyed. 

Still, it is good that we desire that evil be done away with.  Jesus defeated sin and death at the cross, so in a sense we already have the victory.  We can live our lives with confidence in that.  But there are still many things God wants to play out.

Psalm 57

ps57.jpgGreetings!  David was fleeing for his life from Saul and wrote this in a cave.  He could have killed Saul, but trusted in God’s timing and control. 

In the midst of this he shares his fears with God then shifts his focus to God’s love and faithfulness.  When we are under attack – even far lesser attacks than what David experienced – it is so easy to whine and complain.   How much better to focus on God’s eternal power and love?  Turn it over to God and let him deal with them. 

Now to follow my own advice . . .

Psalm 57

1 Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me,

for in you my soul takes refuge.

I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings

until the disaster has passed.

2 I cry out to God Most High,

to God, who fulfills his purpose for me.

3 He sends from heaven and saves me,

rebuking those who hotly pursue me; Selah

God sends his love and his faithfulness.

4 I am in the midst of lions;

I lie among ravenous beasts—

men whose teeth are spears and arrows,

whose tongues are sharp swords.

5 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens;

let your glory be over all the earth.

6 They spread a net for my feet—

I was bowed down in distress.

They dug a pit in my path—

but they have fallen into it themselves. Selah

7 My heart is steadfast, O God,

my heart is steadfast;

I will sing and make music.

8 Awake, my soul!

Awake, harp and lyre!

I will awaken the dawn.

9 I will praise you, O Lord, among the nations;

I will sing of you among the peoples.

10 For great is your love, reaching to the heavens;

your faithfulness reaches to the skies.

11 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens;

let your glory be over all the earth.

The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

Psalm 56

ps56.jpgGreetings!  David was in Gath, the home of Goliath, whom David had killed years before.  I don’t think we can fully relate to how he would have felt there. 

Psalm 56

For the director of music. To the tune of “A Dove on Distant Oaks.” Of David. A miktam. When the Philistines had seized him in Gath.

1 Be merciful to me, O God, for men hotly pursue me;

all day long they press their attack.

2 My slanderers pursue me all day long;

many are attacking me in their pride.

3 When I am afraid,

I will trust in you.

4 In God, whose word I praise,

in God I trust; I will not be afraid.

What can mortal man do to me?

What a great passage!  We will be afraid at times, but what should we do?  Trust in God.  I will try to practice switching from thoughts of fear to thoughts of God as quickly as possible. 

5 All day long they twist my words;

they are always plotting to harm me.

It isn’t just physical harm that he was dealing with.  Many of us aren’t threatened physically today but we are attacked with words each day.  The world hates Christians, just as Jesus predicted. 

6 They conspire, they lurk,

they watch my steps,

eager to take my life.

7 On no account let them escape;

in your anger, O God, bring down the nations.

8 Record my lament;

list my tears on your scroll—

are they not in your record?

God knows of every one of your tears. 

9 Then my enemies will turn back

when I call for help.

By this I will know that God is for me.

10 In God, whose word I praise,

in the Lord, whose word I praise—

11 in God I trust; I will not be afraid.

What can man do to me?

That repeated theme reminds me of Matthew 10:28 Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

12 I am under vows to you, O God;

I will present my thank offerings to you.

13 For you have delivered me from death

and my feet from stumbling,

that I may walk before God

in the light of life.

The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

Psalm 55

ps55.jpgGreetings!  This Psalm was probably written during the time when David was betrayed by Absalom, his son, and Ahithophel.  We expect enemies to be against us, but betrayal by friends and family hurt much more. 

Psalm 55

For the director of music. With stringed instruments. A maskil of David.

1 Listen to my prayer, O God,

do not ignore my plea;

2 hear me and answer me.

My thoughts trouble me and I am distraught

3 at the voice of the enemy,

at the stares of the wicked;

for they bring down suffering upon me

and revile me in their anger.

4 My heart is in anguish within me;

the terrors of death assail me.

5 Fear and trembling have beset me;

horror has overwhelmed me.

6 I said, “Oh, that I had the wings of a dove!

I would fly away and be at rest—

7 I would flee far away

and stay in the desert; Selah

David was a very brave man, so for him to speak so desparately is powerful.  Sometimes I think our praise and worship songs at church are too consistently positive.  They don’t explore the range of emotions that the Psalms do.

8 I would hurry to my place of shelter,

far from the tempest and storm.”

9 Confuse the wicked, O Lord, confound their speech,

for I see violence and strife in the city.

10 Day and night they prowl about on its walls;

malice and abuse are within it.

11 Destructive forces are at work in the city;

threats and lies never leave its streets.

12 If an enemy were insulting me,

I could endure it;

if a foe were raising himself against me,

I could hide from him.

13 But it is you, a man like myself,

my companion, my close friend,

14 with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship

as we walked with the throng at the house of God.

Verses 12-14 are considered by some to be Messianic, that is, foreshadowing of Jesus.  They seem to be describing Judas’ betrayal of Jesus (see Matthew 26).

15 Let death take my enemies by surprise;

let them go down alive to the grave,

for evil finds lodging among them.

16 But I call to God,

and the Lord saves me.

17 Evening, morning and noon

I cry out in distress,

and he hears my voice.

18 He ransoms me unharmed

from the battle waged against me,

even though many oppose me.

19 God, who is enthroned forever,

will hear them and afflict them— Selah

men who never change their ways

and have no fear of God.

We feel this in a tiny way in our culture today.  People who will probably never convert oppose us at every turn with their Godless plans.  They distort our words and revile us.  We should just turn it over to God and continue to speak the truth.

20 My companion attacks his friends;

he violates his covenant.

21 His speech is smooth as butter,

yet war is in his heart;

his words are more soothing than oil,

yet they are drawn swords.

22 Cast your cares on the Lord

and he will sustain you;

he will never let the righteous fall.

23 But you, O God, will bring down the wicked

into the pit of corruption;

bloodthirsty and deceitful men

will not live out half their days.

But as for me, I trust in you.

The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

Simply put, God wins in the end.  We can trust in that.