Promises of Psalm 37

Leave a comment

psalm-37We serve a God who loves to give.  To read through the Word and miss that fact is to close your eyes to what you are reading.   All throughout the Scriptures we are introduced to a God who enjoys blessing His people, works overtime to bless His people, has removed all obstacles to blessing His people, and who desires to continuously bless His people.  In fact – entwined within the typical OT examples of God NOT blessing His people, there is always sin which inhibits that Blessing from flowing.

     Psalm 37 is another beautiful example of this character of God we have described.  As are many others, this Psalm is written by David – a man who overflowed with love for his Creator.  It is literally packed with Promises that God has made toward His people – and if we will only learn to walk within the confines of those Promises, our lives would become abundantly better (John 10:10).

     Let’s take a quick look at the Promises outlined in Psalm 37 and how they transfer to us in our modern society:

1.       1.  We will dwell in the land forever (v3).  Safety, security, protection, provision.

2.       2.  We will be fed (v3). 

3.       3.  God will give us the desires (and secret petitions) of our hearts (v4). 

4.      4.   God will bring His plan to pass in our lives (v5).  The result of committing our way to Him.

5.     5.    God will establish our right relationship just as the light of day is established (v6).

6.     6.    God will secure His judgment of right and wrong upon the earth (v6).

7.      7.   We will inherit the earth (v 9).

8.       8.  We will delight in an abundance of peace (v11).

9.     9.    The Lord will uphold us (v17).

           10.  Our inheritance or heritage will exist forever (v18).

           11.  We will not be put to shame in times of evil (v19).  Like today!

           12.  We will be satisfied in times of famine (v19).  When others are going without – we will have plenty.

           13.  We will not be cast down if we fall (v24).

           14.  God will never forsake us (v28).

           15.  We will be preserved forever (v28).  Preserved means “to be hedged about or protected”.

           16.  None of the steps of those who have the Law of God in their hearts, shall slide (v31).

           17.  We will not be left in the hands of the wicked (v33).

           18.  We will not be condemned (v33).

           19.  We will have a happy ending (v37).

           20.  We will be saved (v39).

           21.  Strength from God when in trouble (v39).

           22.  Help and deliverance from God (v40).

 

Sit back and think on those Promises for a while… it will bring a smile to your face and a skip in your step!

 

 

Be Fruitful & Multiply,

PK

Psalm 34

Leave a comment

light switchI was speaking with a fellow Christian the other day who expressed reservations about their prayer life and how we are taught to pray.  For them, praying in authority and proclaiming the Promises of God in faith made them feel as if they were “demanding God to act”.  They shared that this made them feel uncomfortable due to the fact that we owe our everything to God and (in their opinion) have no right to demand of anything from Him.  (After all – who are we to demand?)

This is a fairly common perception by people who possess a lack of understanding when it comes to the Word of God and what it means to be the Righteous.  While, on the surface, it appears quite holy and humble to make statements such as this – in reality is an off-handed way of rejecting everything Christ purchased for us on the cross.  (I’m not insinuating the friend I was speaking to was purposefully thinking this… but it is the reality nonetheless).

In Psalm 34 we see Scriptural support for “demanding” of God… yet it isn’t how the phrase comes across when used in its correct stance.   Does God owe us anything?  NO… we owe Him everything!  But – we can “make a withdraw” on the power and promises God has outlined for us in His Word – and, in essence, make a “demand (or pull) from that power.  This is sort of like a demand is made on the Electric Company when you flip the light switch!

Let’s look at a couple of verse in Psalm 34 from the Amplified version which explains this:

“I sought (inquired of) the Lord and required Him [of necessity and on the authority of His Word], and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. – Psalm 34:4 AMP

 As you can see – the demand is made on what God has already said in His Word.  You and I (as believers) can come before Him in boldness and authority – based on what He has spoken in His unchanging Word.  The authority isn’t on our own merit… but on the merit of Christ on the cross.  The word “required” need not distract us into thinking we are coming arrogantly – but more so that we are activating a switch that He established many millennia ago for our use (Matt 7:7).

“O fear the Lord, you His saints [revere and worship Him]! For there is no want to those who truly revere and worship Him with godly fear.  The young lions lack food and suffer hunger, but they who seek (inquire of and require) the Lord [by right of their need and on the authority of His Word], none of them shall lack any beneficial thing.” – Psalm 34:9-10 AMP

Here again we see the “demand’ made upon the authority granted to us in His Word.  God has decreed that His people will not want for anything… and so I can stand in agreement upon that declaration – and in essence make a demand upon that Promise when I have a need.  I can look my situation right in the face and call upon the Lord based upon the already establish Word!

None of us (including you and me) will lack any beneficial thing…  we can take that to the bank!

“When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their distress and troubles. – Psalm 34:17 AMP

Earlier in verse 15 we are told that God’s eyes and ears are attentive to the cry of the righteous.  (The Righteous are those who have gained righteousness by accepting Jesus as Lord – 2 Cor 5:21).  Now, here in verse 17, we are promised that when we (the righteous) cry for help… not only does God hear us, but He will deliver us out of ALL our troubles.

All is all.

So as you progress through the Word – reading it each day – place yourself in the position of each Promise.  While it was written by David during a particular situation – it is also written FOR you and I in our particular situations!

Be Fruitful & Multiply,

PK

Psalm 23

Leave a comment

Psalm 23I normally do not post back to back blogs due to time constraints – but this classic psalm is just too good to pass up!  Although only 6 verses long, Psalm 23 is probably the most recognizable and oft-quoted psalm in the Bible.  As we shall see – it is packed with Promises for the Believer – and contrary to popular use, it is far from a psalm about death!

Most of the time Psalm 23 is quoted during funerals.  This is due to misunderstanding among a large portion of our church population regarding the theme of this psalm.  While it does mention death and the ultimate victory for God’s people – the main ingredient of Psalm 23 is LIFE!  Correctly referred to as the “John 10 of the Old Testament”, this psalm provides (in beautiful poetic imagery), the experience of the abundant life that is provided the sheep by the coming Messiah.  While John 10 speaks after the fact – Psalm 23 is looking forward to the day when He will come as our Shepherd!

Right out of the gate we are told that, for God’s true people, the Lord is Shepherd; and one of the benefits to having Him as our Shepherd is that we will not want for anything.  (The Amplified Bible says “I shall not lack”).  Despite what religion has tried to infuse into people – the Word of God is loaded with Promises from God to not only supply our needs – but also our wants.  (A few examples are:  Psalm 84:11; Matt 21:22; John 15:7; James 1:5-8).

As for the use of this Psalm during funerals – one can quickly peruse these 6 verses to see that they are speaking of life in the here and now!

                “He makes me to lie down…” (vs 2) – NOT DEAD!

                “…though I walk through the valley… of death…”  (vs 4) – NOT STAYING!

                “table prepared in the presence of mine enemies…” (vs 5) – NO ENEMIES AFTER I’M DEAD!

                “… goodness and mercy follow me all the days of my LIFE…” (vs 6)

The real point of what David is saying in Psalm 23 is all directed toward our lives here on earth.  He is emphatically singing praises to His Lord for all of the Blessings that will accompany those who faithfully serve the Shepherd as sheep. (Deut 28:2).

Finis Jennings Dake lists 14 Blessings for the sheep as outlined in Psalm 23:

1.           1.   The Lord as their Shepherd. (v 1)

2.           2.   No want or lack. (v 1)

3.           3.   Rest in choice green pastures. (v 2)

4.           4.   Guidance to still, deep waters of rest and refreshing. (v 2)

5.            5.  Restoration of soul. (v 3)

6.            6.  Guidance in paths of right for His name’s sake, which gives no cause for stumbling, falling or going astray. (v 3)

7.            7.   Safe passage through the valley of the shadow of death – the deep, waterless, gloomy, wild, beast-infested, rocky, dangerous death-lurking ravine so common in Palestine. (v 4)

8.             8.  No fear of evil because of the Shepherd’s constant companionship, watch, and protection. (v 4)

9.             9.   The comfort of the Shepherd’s rod and staff (club and crook, the only two things carried by shepherds for defense and help – the club for the sheep’s enemies and the crook for the sheep’s protection).  (v 4

                   10.  Prepared and full tables of food to feast on in the presence of enemies. (v 5)  They feast in safety while the Shepherd watches, fights and protects.

           11. Heads anointed with perfumed oil.  (v 5)  This preceded feast of ancient times.

                    12.  Cups running over. (v 5)  Not only plenty of food, but plenty of wholesome drink.

                    13.  Confidence that such goodness and mercy will follow them to the end of life.  (v 6)

                     14.  Faith that in the next life they will dwell in God’s house forever.  (v 6)

 

Be Fruitful & Multiply,

PK

Psalm 22 – “The Psalm of the Cross”

Leave a comment

Psalm 22When you study the Bible – it is important to understand that there are many layers to what we are reading.  On the one hand the words were written by individuals who were going through situations in their present day… as well it can prophetically point towards something that will happen in the future … and those same words are being spoken through that individual to all of us in our present day as well!  We refer to this as the Law of Double Reference – and that is why the Bible is called the LIVING Word of God – it speaks to everyone at the same time (as if it were alive).

 Based on that understanding – Psalm 22 is known as “The Psalm of the Cross”.  While, on one side, David is writing a song of lament about his current predicament – his words also speak of the future coming of God’s Messiah to save all of humanity.  Scattered throughout this psalm are references which are identical to those spoken of Jesus on the cross.  This is not a coincidence or an accident – but instead is more beautiful evidence that God had already fashioned our deliverance from the foundations of time.

Let’s take a quick look at a few of these cross-references:

1.       “My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?”Psalm 22:1.  While David is speaking of his current situation – Jesus prophetically echoes this heartbreaking thought while on the Cross (Matt 27:46; Mark 15:34).

 

2.       “But I am a worm, and no man; I am the scorn of men, and despised by the people.Psalm 22:6.  David sees himself as completely worthless (a worm) – but this is also a beautiful reference a different kind of “worm”.  This worm is the Hebrew word “tola” and it is used in the Middle East region to make crimson (or scarlet red) dye.  Again – here is a reference to Jesus – willingly becoming the lowest of low (a worm) all in order to spill His crimson (scarlet red) blood for the deliverance of humanity!  (You can read more about this phenomenon here).

 

3.       “All who see me laugh at me and mock me; they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, He trusted and rolled himself on the Lord, that He would deliver him. Let Him deliver him, seeing that He delights in him!” – Psalm 22:7-8.  Again – speaking of David in his situation, but also a future reference to what Jesus would endure while on the cross (Matt 27:39-44; Mark 15:29-32).

 

4.       Psalm 22:12 – David speaks of strong bulls surrounding him like those of Bashan.  Bashan is an area in Israel, east of Jordan, which was known for raising the largest and fattest livestock in the region.  A bull is a symbol of strength – and the “Bulls of Bashan” is also a reference to the prideful leaders of Israel who were determined to crucify Jesus at all cost.

 

5.       “My strength is dried up like a fragment of clay pottery; [with thirst] my tongue cleaves to my jaws; and You have brought me into the dust of death.Psalm 22:15.  Again – a reference to David and to Jesus on the cross, who cried out “I thirst” (John 29:28).

 

6.       “For [like a pack of] dogs they have encompassed me; a company of evildoers has encircled me, they pierced my hands and my feet.Psalm 22:16.  David felt pierced by his enemies… and Jesus would eventually actually BE pierced by them!

 

7.       “… the evildoers gaze at me.”Psalm 22:17.  They gawked at David with accusing eyes and they did the same to Jesus up on the cross.

 

8.       “They part my clothing among them and cast lots for my raiment (a long, shirtlike garment, a seamless undertunic). ”Psalm 22:18.  They also cast lots for Jesus’ undergarment while He was up on the cross (John 19:23-24).

 

9.       Psalm 22:22-25 – A prophetic call for all of us to sing our praise to Jesus for His work on the cross on our behalf.

 

10.   Psalm 22:26-31 – The results of this future sacrifice of the Messiah – King Jesus.  “The poor and afflicted shall eat and be satisfied…” 22:26.  “They shall go and tell of the Lord to the next generation…” – 22:30.

 

11.   In the end Psalm 22 culminates with the resounding statement… “He has done it!”.  (22:31).   In the same way, Jesus cries out on the cross “It is finished!” before He dies.  (John 19:30).

 

Perhaps you should take a moment and reread this Psalm – keeping in mind both the stressful situation which David found himself in – along with the prophetic proclamation of a coming Deliverer.  Then cross-reference your current situation… Jesus has come!  Your calamity has been reversed!  Verses 22-31 are for you!  Declare it… shout it… live it!!!!

 

Be Fruitful & Multiply,

PK

Psalm 14

Leave a comment

foolSo far, most of the psalms we have read up to this point have been written by David – and appear to be cries of mercy to God for the evil-doers around him.  Unfortunately, as we have read in the past, David brought most of his calamity upon himself due to his sin – but one cannot help to still feel a hint of empathy for him in his sorrowful songs.  Yet, in the midst of the mercy topic – Psalm 14 stands out on its own.  Also written by David – this Psalm charges out of the gate with a bang:

“The [empty-headed] fool has said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable deeds; there is none that does good or right.” – Ps 14:1 AMP

The word for “fool” is nabal and it literally means “a stupid, wicked, vile person”.  (Talk about shooting straight from the hip)!  David comes right out and declares in the opening line that the individual who claims God does not exist is stupid – of little intelligence – an idiot.  This is the exact opposite of how our world currently defines this type of individual.

David continues on by describing God as bending low to examine the earth – looking for anyone who seeks Him out with a pure heart, of which the Psalmist laments that none can be found by God in His search.

As we read through the Bible – you will find this exact phrase repeated twice more.  The first is in Psalm 53 – which is almost an identical copy of Psalm 14.  The other is in Rom 3:10-12; where a portion of this psalm is quoted.  These two references do much to shed light into what David is saying in Psalm 14 as well.

First, let’s deal with Psalm 53.  While at casual glance, these two psalms appear identical – there are a few differences.  One major difference is the use of the word for “God”.  While in Psalm 53 the word for God is “elohim” – and describes the righteous correction of God in more general terms… in todays Psalm 14 the word used for God (or LORD) is “Yahweh” and is speaking of a more personal relationship level.  It is here that David speaks of the “fool” going further and oppressing the poor – and his use of “Yahweh” points to this “fool” being one who claims to know God – yet really does not by the actions.

This leads us right into Paul’s use of portions of these psalms in Rom 3:10-12.  Here Paul is speaking of the universal problem of sin and how no one is clean before the Lord in their own merit.  He quotes portions of these psalms to connect the issue of the “fool” (both generally and personally) to all of us.  The Truth that we are ALL unable to escape the trappings of sin without the assistance of a Savior is made quite clear by Paul in Romans 3.

When we read of the “fool” in Psalm 14 – it is quite easy to become Pharisaical in our position.  We naturally take the position that “those are the fools” and we look down on them in judgment.  Yet, as Paul points out, we are all “fools” in this sense – until we accept the sacrifice of Jesus and become born again.  Even then (as Psalm 14 says) our actions dictate the revelation in our hearts…  either oppressing the poor as a fool – or living out what we believe.

Be Fruitful & Multiply,

PK