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A Psalm for the Angry

May 20, 2018 | Psalm 4 | anger

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Anger is a powerful emotion, and if we let it control us, it can destroy relationships and cause harm to our souls. In Psalm 4, King David had received help from the Lord for his anger towards those who had betrayed him and he sought to advise them how they might rightly handle their anger as well. We can receive help from the Lord to rightly handle our anger.

A Psalm for the Discontent

May 13, 2018 | Psalm 131 | discontentment

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Are you content? Happy with your life, your job, your house, your marriage, your kids…? Or do you struggle with discontentment? Does a constant restlessness plague you, so that you never feel fully satisfied and at peace? We go to a doctor when our bodies are sick, but where do we go when we need help for our souls? Go to the Psalms. They are God’s medicine for the soul!

In Psalm 131, David wrote of how he overcame his discontentment by finding contentment in the Lord. We can overcome our discontentment by finding contentment in the Lord.

“I will count Egypt and Babylon among those who know me— also Philistia and Tyre, and even distant Ethiopia. They have all become citizens of Jerusalem!” (Psalm 87:4 NLT).

April 18, 2018

The psalmist prophesied a day when the Lord would “count” even those who had been Israel’s enemies as friends. Both Egypt and Babylon had dominated and enslaved Israel. Philistia was a constant near threat. Tyre, a commercial ally, was a conduit of idolatry. And Ethiopia, the distant land of Cush and the Queen of Sheba, had long desired a closer relationship. Yet, there is coming a Day when all shall be brought near. All that “know” the Lord shall be counted as friends and “citizens of Jerusalem.”

“A single day in your courts is better than a thousand anywhere else! I would rather be a gatekeeper in the house of my God than live the good life in the homes of the wicked” (Psalm 84:10 NLT).

April 15, 2018

The psalmist meditated on his love of worshiping and serving in the Temple courts. He would rather have one day in the Temple courts than a thousand elsewhere. He would rather take the lowest position in God’s house than the highest seat in the house of sinners. He loved being in God’s presence worshiping with God’s people.

There are many things that compete for our worship and many voices invite our fellowship, but worshiping and serving together with God’s people in God’s house is better.

“But as for me, I will sing about your power. Each morning I will sing with joy about your unfailing love. For you have been my refuge, a place of safety when I am in distress” (Psalm 59:16 NLT).

March 16, 2018

David wrote this psalm regarding the time that Saul was pursuing him to kill him. Yet, notice how he determined to begin each day. He started his days with singing and thanksgiving for God’s power and love and for being his refuge during hard times. David knew how to “encourage himself in the Lord” (1 Sam. 30:6 KJV). He knew how to get his morning praise on to get his day started right with God.

Have you learned to begin each morning with singing and praise? It will change your day!

“I am surrounded by fierce lions who greedily devour human prey” (Psalms 57:4 NLT).

March 14, 2018

David wrote this psalm asking for the Lord’s protection and rescue from his enemies who were like “fierce,” man-eating lions. This reminds me of how the Lord rescued David and centuries later, Daniel, who was thrown into the lion’s den by King Darius the Mede (Dan. 6).

Lions are often used both literally (Daniel) and symbolically (David) in the Bible to describe the enemies of God and of His people. The apostle Peter described Satan as being like a lion, “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour” (1 Pet. 5:8). So, “stay alert” and don’t be afraid for though the lion may be the king of the jungle, Christ is the King of Kings! He has overcome sin, Satan, death and the grave!

“O God, we meditate on your unfailing love” (Psalm 48:9 NLT).

March 5, 2018

Meditation is not an emptying of the mind as the Eastern religions teach. Rather, it is a focusing of the mind on God and His word. Here, the Psalmist focused the thoughts of his mind on God’s character, namely, His “unfailing love.”

We are called to meditate on God’s character and God’s word. Yet, we are so busy and our world is so loud and chaotic. And meditation requires quiet and focused reflection. Meditating is like chewing every bite of a meal well, so that its flavor is savored and its nutrients fully digested. Meditation is feasting on God’s word. As Jesus said, “Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4).

How long can we chew on God’s “unfailing love?” I imagine it will sustain us for time eternal.

“Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires” (Psalm 37:4 NLT).

February 18, 2018

To take delight is to take great pleasure and joy. David wrote this psalm as one who had learned to find his joy and satisfaction in the Lord. As he took delight in the Lord the desires of his heart were brought into alignment with the Lord’s heart, so that he wanted what the Lord wanted. What the Lord wants is not smaller than what you want. But what He wants is harder to obtain. For only the Lord can give you what will truly satisfy your heart.

“Your unfailing love, O Lord, is as vast as the heavens; your faithfulness reaches beyond the clouds” (Psalm 36:5 NLT).

February 17, 2018

The quality of the love of God is unfailing and its quantity is as vast as the heavens. David knew and wrote of the love of God. Yet, its highest expression is found in Christ. For He is the apex of God’s love expressed. He is the demonstration of God’s love for all to see. As the apostle Paul wrote, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8).