God Cares…

Read: Psalms 70-73
Marked: Psalms 72:12-14, For He will deliver the needy when he cries, The poor also, and him who has no helper. He will spare the poor and needy, And will save the souls of the needy. He will redeem their life from oppression and violence; And precious shall be their blood in His sight.

The governments and rulers of today appear more concerned with staying in power than they are with governing.

These verses show the heart of the King of kings. His governance is concerned with delivering the needy, the poor, and him who has no helper.

His government is a government of redemption. But in our system of governing the poor, needy, and oppressed are mostly forgotten or are the last to receive help; or as little help as can be afforded.

That is not God’s way. He cares deeply for the poor, needy, and oppressed. Precious is their blood in His sight, as it should be in ours.

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Gladness in God…

Read: Psalms 66-69
Marked: Psalms 68:3, But let the righteous be glad; Let them rejoice before God; Yes, let them rejoice exceedingly.

Verse 2 in this chapter says, “So the wicked perish at the presence of God”. Then verse 3 says, “But let the righteous be glad”.

There are two types of people, those who do wickedly before the Lord and won’t be humbled by His presence, they perish. And then there’s the righteous who are glad and rejoice before God because in their humility they acknowledge their wickedness and repent.

The righteousness they enjoy is the Righteousness of God. And in God, gladness and joy is found. In His presence the righteous rejoice exceedingly because they have peace with God.

Pastor Chuck Smith, the founder of Calvary Chapel, used to say, “You can’t know the peace of God until you know the grace of God.”

In my wickedness I turned to God in repentance and He gave me righteousness by His grace and forgave me so I could enjoy peace with Him.

Upheld by His Right Hand…

Read: Psalms 58-65
Marked: Psalms 63:8, My soul follows close behind You; Your right hand upholds me.

David remained close enough to the Lord that God’s right hand could uphold him should he stumble.

I realize this is metaphorical, but the sense is David worked on doing what he could to stay close to the Lord through prayer, through the word, and through fellowship with other men of faith.

How to Be Steadfast…

Read: Psalms 51-57
Marked: Psalms 57:7, My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast; I will sing and give praise.

Be Steadfast. Twice this word is used in this verse. I looked it up and the Hebrew word is,“kün” and means, to be firm, stable, and established. It has the additional meaning of being fixed, or set.

I thought of the nautical usage of fix, as in fixing or setting a course on a compass and thought that was an interesting way of looking at the verse.

Following Jesus requires me to fix my eyes firmly on Him, to set my course on Him and not deviate to the left or right. Then my heart will be steadfast and so too will be my life.

Pleasing God…

Read: Psalms 40-45
Marked: Psalms 41:11, By this I know that You are well pleased with me, Because my enemy does not triumph over me.

David was surrounded by enemies who spoke evil about him, V5, and who hated him and plotted to hurt him, V7, and spoke lies against him, V8. Even a trusted friend had risen up against him, V8.

But David knew God would be merciful and raise him up in his trials. So he waited on the Lord to take care of his enemies and had hope because God had not allowed his enemies to triumph over him.

I want to trust God to the same degree, not seeking vengeance on those who seek to do me harm or speak evil against me. The ones that are the hardest to trust God in are close friends or family.

Knowing My End…

Read: Psalms 36-39
Marked: Psalms 39:4, “LORD, make me to know my end, And what is the measure of my days, That I may know how frail I am.”

We may ask, “Why are we here?” The answers can be varied. But, one thing is for sure, we all know there will be an end. So what lies beyond deaths door?

David had similar questions. But he sought the source of life. God’s word gives us the answers we seek. Why we’re here, and what comes after.

If we are willing to ask, seek, and knock, the answers might surprise us.

Transgression Forgiven…

Read Psalms 32-35
Marked: Psalms 32:1-2, A Psalm of David. A Contemplation. Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, Whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man to whom the LORD does not impute iniquity, And in whose spirit there is no deceit.

It is hard to reconcile God’s just nature with His forgiveness of transgressions without knowing God’s grace.

In God’s Grace the answer is found to both His Justice and His forgiveness. God must hold transgressors accountable, yet desires that none perish but that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9).

In Christ we find the full measure of God’s grace and Justice in that Christ took upon Himself the penalty for our transgressions.

Through faith in Christ we receive forgiveness, not because we deserve it, but because of what Jesus has done.

This is called substitutionary atonement. Jesus substitutes His righteousness for our transgressions because we place our faith in Him and what He did on the cross. We then become, in essence, one with Him in the sight of God.

No wonder the verses say, blessed, or happy is he who is forgiven, blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity.

An Examined Life…

Read: Psalms 26-31
Marked: Psalms 26:2-3, Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; Try my mind and my heart. For Your lovingkindness is before my eyes, And I have walked in Your truth.

The first of the Ten Commandments says I am not to have any other gods before me. In other words, put God first before anything.

Jesus said the greatest commandment is, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and with all your mind.”

If I spend more time on other things than I spend time with the Lord, can I really say I serve God, or love God with my entire being? Probably not.

David asked God to examine him saying that he always placed God’s loving kindness before his eyes. In other words, he was thinking about God, and walked in God’s truth.

That’s hard to do unless I take the time to do that. Unless I am consistently putting God first, I would probably fail God’s examination of my heart and mind.

Obtaining Goodness and Mercy…

Read: Psalms 21-25
Marked: Psalms 23:6, Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the LORD Forever.

Goodness and mercy follow when I make the Lord my Shepherd as verse 1 says.

Many might think of God merely as a religious figure; perhaps an ornament around their neck. But God wants me to know Him as a Shepherd who cares for me.

He cares by instructing me in the things I need to know for life. Leading me to green pastures, still waters, restoration of my soul, and on paths of righteousness.

Even when I walk through dark valleys, His word, His rod and staff, comforts me and sustains me even in the presence of my enemies.

Blessing is found at His hand and my cup is full. And the greatest promise is yet to come. I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

The Lord Rewards Righteousness…

Read: Psalms 17-20
Marked: Psalms 18:20, The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness; According to the cleanness of my hands He has recompensed me.

David wasn’t claiming that he was righteous or had clean hands, but he saw that God had a higher expectation for all who call on the name of the Lord.

Verses 21-23 give clarity to how David expected to become righteous; by keeping the ways of the Lord and not by wickedly departing from God, V21

Furthermore, by looking to God’s judgments and not putting away His statutes from him, V22.

And finally, by being blameless before God and keeping himself from iniquity, V23. Good advice for all who follow Christ.