When we compare the length of our lives to eternity and to God, our lives are so short. The psalmist describes our life span as withering grass or a dream that disappears. Although short, we wish to make the most of our lives. To have more joy than pain, to see God at work around us, to please the Lord with our choices.
So, teach us to number our days, That we may cultivate and bring to you a heart of wisdom. Psalm 90:12
Lord, regardless how our life’s circumstances change, please help us to continually adjust our lives to your service. Maybe I can’t do all I used to, but I can continue to help others find you, Jesus.
Psalm 89 is a thoughtful reflection on God’s promises to David. His unbreakable promise that David’s descendants shall always rule. The psalmist describes how God’s qualities are incomparable. Even when He punished Israel for their sin, his unfailing love stood by the promise he made to David.
Maybe you have had relationships fail. Maybe you walked away from a painful relationship or maybe someone walked away from you? We’ve all experienced broken promises. It’s an amazing example to witness someone keep a promise, when there is pain and betrayal to work through. God is the ultimate example to us of faithfulness. There is no one like him. He loves you because he loves you and he will never forsake you. You will experience this through time. Even when it’s hard to believe, his faithfulness remains true.
LORD, God of my salvation, I cry out to you by day. I come to you at night. Now hear my prayer; listen to my cry. Psalm 88:1-2
We have all had times when our prayers have been as desperate and serious as the psalmist in psalm 88. We’ve had times when we knew the only help that would help – is the help that comes from the Lord.
We ask, and we wait and things change.
They may change suddenly, they may change slowly over time, or His comfort may change us. The blessed assurance we have is that He will hear our cry and He will respond in his lovingkindness. We are secure in Him.
Thank you Lord for being with me in the good times and the bad times. I trust you.
“The home where’er the heart is, Where’er it living treasures dwell;”
These lyrics express what I hear in psalm 87. God’s favorite city is where his heart is, where his living treasures, his people, dwell. The psalmist expresses Jerusalem as the location of God’s affection. He didn’t know how the story would continue – to Bethlehem, to Nazareth and then into our hearts.
Since the Garden of Eden, God has longed to live with his people and dwell with them. We are living in a blessed time. He is always with us and in this psalm, we are considered citizens of his favorite city, Jerusalem. Oh, Emmanuel, Christ within us.
On my journey through the psalms, my heart has become fond of David’s voice as he sings to the Lord. I especially love the ones he penned towards the end of his life. His relationship with the Lord is so intimate and sure. He speaks to the Lord from a place of knowing the Lord’s heart and motives. He knows what to expect in this relationship and his words teach us.
O Lord, you are so good, so ready to forgive, so full of unfailing love for all who ask for your help. Psalm 86:5
When we need help, we have a loving Father to go to.
This psalm has inspired several contemporary Christian songs. It was written around 535 B.C, during the time that the foundation of the second temple was laid. As I read this psalm, I heard these words as foundational to our faith today.
We will find our strength in the Lord
Our trust in the Lord will bring us Joy
One day living in the Lord’s courts is worth a thousand years elsewhere
When we love the Lord, we long to live with Him. He is with us every day, but it is easy to forget that and battle on within our own strength. But when we call to Him for help, He will be faithful to help us.
For the LORD God is our sun and our shield. He gives us grace and glory. The LORD will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right. Psalm 84:11
I am grateful today that the Lord calls us home. He lives within us today and welcomes us to spend eternity in His courts.
May they know that you alone are the LORD, supreme ruler over all the earth. Psalm 83:18
This prayer will one day be completely answered. It was prayed during the Babylonian exile, and we pray it again today. We pray it over those we love that are not yet believers, and we pray it over the world we live in, that one day, the Lord will be recognized for who He is – the supreme ruler over all the earth,
The last line in today’s psalm, reminds me who is in control. It is impossible for me to truly judge some of the situations that are occurring in my nation and the nations around me. I don’t have enough information or context to judge who is right and who is wrong. To discern what is true and what is not true. But God does and all nations belong to Him and are ultimately accountable to Him alone. He will judge each nation and each of us accordingly.
Rise up, O God, judge the earth, for all the nations are your inheritance. Psalm 82:8
I trust you God. Help me live my life according to your expectations of me, all I have control over is myself.
Answered prayers sometimes require a change in our behavior in order to complete God’s work. This psalm is a perfect example. Judah is back in Jerusalem and they are dedicating the new temple. They are re-establishing the festivals and returning to the Law that God gave them to follow.
We don’t always wake up brand new when our prayers are answered. There is often some work to do to align ourselves back to God’s expectations. Most notably, to love the Lord our God with all our heart, all our mind and all our soul – and to have no other gods before Him. Help us to return again to you, Father God, our first love.
As I was reading through this psalm, I could hear the psalmist trying to change his atmosphere from despair to rejoicing. He is in captivity, far from home and what he loves and what brings him comfort. He does what he knows he must, he must praise the Lord, he must remember the Lord’s lovingkindness and power. He is pushing uphill because he knows that’s the only way to find God again.
This made me think of the times I am stuck in a fibromyalgia flare. I know exactly what I need to do to turn things around. I need to go for a walk, even if its a very short walk. I need to drink more water, cut out all sugar and be kind to myself. It can take me days to start on this path to wellness. Even though I feel held back by pain, I must start moving up hill. It’s always worth even the very first tiny step.
We are moving towards you today God, even if it’s only with a glance.
The psalmist paints a picture for us of how the days of the Babylonian exile felt. It was devastating to witness such death and destruction. The remedy he calls for, God’s vengeance towards the other nations and God’s forgiveness of their sins, is ultimately answered. God seeks revenge on the nations around them. Then for his name’s sake, he brings them a Messiah who brings to them the full forgiveness of their sins.
The psalmist did not witness all of the answers to the prayers he lifted to God. This is true for us today. Our prayers are also in process of being answered. Some we will witness, some will be answered after we have left this earth. But, not one prayer is forgotten, and all are considered. What an amazing God we serve.
This is one of David’s final psalms. He tells his people the story of when God brought Israel out of Egypt. He highlights the ways God cared for and provided for His people and the miracles that took place along the way. He also tells the cautionary tale of Israel’s rebellion and how God responded. A full – 360 view – of Love.
I am so grateful for these words left behind for us to read and study. I am also grateful that we are living in the time of Jesus. God continues to take care of His people. Providing for us more than we could even ask for.
The sermon our pastor shared today was about victory. He encouraged us to keep a record of the moments in our lives when God won a victory for us. An answered prayer, a healing, a word, a reconciliation, a miracle, or, what my husband and I call a God-incident. The times that you know, in your knower, God intervened on your behalf. These records help us during difficult times when we are waiting for God to respond to us. Remembering how God has responded to us in the past, helps us expect that He will again.
Thank you God for the records of encouragement we can stand on. Like our pastor said today, when we fight, we don’t fight for victory, we fight from victory.
As we were listening to the sermon, I nudged Bill and said, “he is basically talking about most of the psalms I have studied this year”. Like today’s psalm that celebrates a victory. A record written for the day and for future generations. This psalm can give us confidence of what God can do and will do for the ones he loves.
My journey through the psalms is at the half-way point. Reflecting on a psalm a day for the last 75 days has expanded my trust in God. I trust that He is approachable and able to hear whatever is on my mind in whatever words I can muster. I trust that He will respond to me. I trust that even though I don’t understand what is happening in the world around me, God is in control. I have found a camaraderie with the psalmists, their feelings, the questions they ask while waiting for God to act and their shaky yet unshakeable faith.
Today’s psalm appears to be an answer to the troubling questions asked in psalm 73. The answer is: God’s got it. He will bring justice to the wicked and uphold the righteous. His economy of justice is sure and pure and right on time.
This psalm gave me a lump in my throat. I felt a pang of anguish as the psalmist described how God’s temple and altars were destroyed and turned to ruins. That would be a horrifying scene to witness. The psalmist feels powerless over this violence. He continues the psalm by reminding God of His mighty power, listing many great acts God has done. He asks God to arise and defend his cause and his people.
We can look back and see that God did defend His cause, in His perfect timing. He always does. He will again. That’s our assurance.
I’ve written a version of this psalm in my heart long before I ever read it. My version goes something like this…. Why do some people prosper and sail through life with few problems? Why does it appear they don’t pay any consequences for their bad behavior? It looks like they do whatever they want and remain carefree and wealthy. I chose you Jesus and I try to live my life in a way that honors you. Yet, I have face challenge after challenge. In some seasons, it feels like all I do is wait for you to help me.
When I only consider my problems, the truth gets fuzzy. The truth that my eternal victory is secured in you, Jesus. Nothing can take it from me. Even when I struggle, I have my ever-present savior by my side. I can ask my questions and you will answer me in your perfect timing. You have always helped me. I am forever loved.
My body and mind may fail, but you are my strength and my choice forever. Psalm 73:26
This is a beautiful “royal psalm”. David is praying for and prophesying over his son Solomon as he becomes King. His proclamations also sound like a foreshadow of Jesus’s reign. If a king on this earth could walk in the promise David is proclaiming, we would be living in a wonderful world. To imagine this psalm coming to be has been an inspiring exercise for my imagination today.
May the king’s name endure forever; may it continue as long as the sun shines. May all nations be blessed through him and bring him praise. Psalm 72:17
We look forward to your return Jesus and to our eternal life with you.
David is writing this psalm in the last years of his life. His son Absalom is pursuing him, trying to dethrone him. As he pleas for help from God, he is also reflective, recalling the mighty way the Lord has supported him – his whole life. David’s desire is to reach the new generation and teach them about God and His ways. This is a great psalm for all of us to reflect on.
As our lives change, we may look back and miss the past. We may not feel satisfied with our new normal. David is encouraging us to set a new course for our lives. To reach out to the next generation. To share our faith and testify what the Lord has done in our lives. To become translators for God’s Kingdom, teaching others to seek God. Our lives can speak of God’s love and faithfulness.
Now that I am old and gray, do not abandon me, O God. Let me proclaim your power to this new generation, your mighty miracles to all who come after me Psalm 71:18
This psalm is a short and urgent plea from David to God for help. It also includes a blessing proclaimed over all who follow and will follow the Lord. David’s life is an example to us of how to be in relationship with God. He pleas for help when he is in need and at the same time, he praises the Lord for His strength and love.
This is the blessing David proclaims over you. May you walk in it’s promise today.
May all those who seek You [as life’s first priority] rejoice and be glad in You; May those who love Your salvation say continually, “Let God magnified!” Psalm 70:4
This psalm is a sorrowful lament. David is in deep water, feeling overwhelmed and persecuted. When He praises the Lord, the people around him scoff. You can feel the oppression he feels as he describes his situation to the Lord. He also gives the Lord a lot of suggestions on what to do to the people who are hurting him and dishonoring God. These curses can be hard to read, because when Jesus came, he taught us a new way. To hate the sin and love the sinner.
One of my sons and I talked about this a few days ago. We were talking about some of the changes in our culture and the new definitions for acceptable and unacceptable behavior. What should our attitude be towards people who are caught up in a sinful lifestyle? This is a good question to think and pray over. What would Jesus do?
But as for me, my prayer is to you, O LORD. At an acceptable time, O God, in the abundance of your steadfast love, answer me in your saving faithfulness Psalm 69:13
We put our requests in your hands and we trust you Lord. May your will be done.
This Psalm takes us back to time of David’s kingship. The ark of the Lord is being brought back to Jerusalem. This is a time of great celebration. It must have been the most magnificent parade as all the tribes of Israel lined up to bring the Ark home.
To be united in a mission with other believers is a powerful experience. Maybe it’s in a church setting when you are all united, learning and growing together. Maybe it’s with a group on a missions trip. Maybe it’s in a season of a ministry outreach to your community. Being united with others in pursuit of God’s work among us, is a time to witness God’s strength together. It’s the best of times.
Our God, show us your strength. Show us once again! Psalm 68.28
Yesterday’s psalm was written after Judah’s exile to Babylon. Today’s psalm was written during the exile. The psalmist’s words in the first line is the prayer that was answered in Psalm 66:20.
May God be merciful and bless us. May his face smile with favor on us. Psalm 67:1
This prayer reflects the desire of the psalmist’s heart, for himself and his people. To return to an intimate relationship with God.
I have noticed in my own life that my desire for God is the fuel that draws me closer to Him. It may be possible for a person to approach God by “going through the motions”, but to truly experience Him, desire has to be present. Well, that’s my working theory.
Lord, help us to desire you and as we seek you that we will find you. Please make your face shine on us with your favor. Thank you for hearing our prayers God, and never losing track of one of them!
This Psalm was written after Judah’s exile in Babylon. They have returned to Jerusalem and are beginning the work of rebuilding God’s temple. They are also rebuilding their relationship with God. The psalmist expresses his relief at the end of the psalm; “Praise God who did not ignore my prayer or withdraw his unfailing love from me.” Psalm 66:20.
The relationship between God and Israel is full of ups and downs. As Israel moves from one generation to the next, their commitment to God swayed. Some generations honored God, some turned from God and did “evil in His sight”. God remains steadfast in his love for his people. His discipline and punishment is a consequence of sin, and an invitation to come back to Him.
We can feel this ebb and flow within our own relationship with God. When we are honoring God, it’s hard to imagine we may one day go astray. When we do go astray, we share the same relief as the psalmist when we return to God and find His unfailing love covering us.
David praises God in this Psalm, for the way God cares for and nourishes the land and His people. He acknowledges that God is the hope for all people, even those who sail on distant seas. God is our hope and the hope for those who are yet to acknowledge Him. This can be easy to forget when we consider other nations or far off lands. It can be easy to demonize people we don’t know. A better strategy would be to pray for them ~ to find the One to put their hope in.
In this psalm, David describes the people around him. They are actively plotting the perfect crime. They are setting raps and actively trying to do evil. David goes on to say that even in the midst of their plots, He knows that God will win in the end.
In my late 30’s, I joined an organization that was over 100 years old. I noticed right away that the politics and the alliances between leaders were well established. There were several factions plotting against each other. They CEO was about to retire which fueled the undercurrents as each faction tried to shape the future. Being new and not sure who to trust, I decided the focus on my job and to lead my team with the highest integrity I could muster. I was approached by several leaders, trying to influence me. I did my best to weigh their request against the policies of the company and good business ethics. During the next four years, the organization went through a transformation as a new CEO stepped in. The alliances fell apart, several leaders left the organization and a new team formed.
I witnessed the “right” decisions stand and the schemes and alliances fall apart. Maybe this is an example of what David is sharing with us? When the short run looks treacherous and chaotic, trust in the One that is leading us home. He will win.
The title of this psalm is: God’s Love Means More Than Life. David wrote this while he was in the wilderness. He praises God for all He has done and for who He is. David’s love for God is evident throughout the words of this beautiful psalm.
I love verse 6:
I think about you, God, before I go to sleep, and my thoughts turn to you during the night.
I have had seasons in my life when I felt plagued by nightmares. The kind that make your heart race. It was so hard to shake them off and go back to sleep. A friend of mine taught me a prayer that included this verse. When I say it before I sleep, it always keeps the nightmares away.
Jesus, be with me as I close my eyes to sleep. I will think of you as I fall to sleep. I ask that my thoughts will continue to return to you as I sleep. Please join me in my dreams. Thank you for being with me tonight.
This psalm starts out with a powerful declaration:
“Only God can save me, and I calmly wait for him.” Psalm 62:1
In these words I hear confidence and assurance. David knows who God is and has learned throughout his lifetime that his true victory comes from God and that God will help him. So, he waits on God.
This psalm speaks so loudly to me right now. The ministry work I am part of is parked in the “waiting room”. We are waiting for the Lord to guide us and to show us where He is in this work that He called us to. It sounds so easy to wait on the Lord, but for me, it takes practice and intention. I have to focus on not getting impatient, distracted, worried, disruptive or discouraged. I have to chose to be calm and to trust the Lord. I have to chose to spend time in prayer. I then have to chose to pause to listen for the Lord to speak.
In verse 8, David speaks to us and gives us a suggestion for how to wait.
“Trust God my friends, and always tell him each of your concerns. God is our place of safety.”
And he closes with an inside scoop, revealing what he has heard from God.
“I heard God say two things: I am powerful and I am very kind.” The Lord rewards each of us according to what we do. Psalm 62:11-12
We share our concerns with you God and we trust you. We will keep the dialog going with you and listen for you while we wait. Amen
This psalm was written during the last years of David’s life. He writes confidently of what God has done and how he desires to live with the Lord forever. He reminds God that He has heard David’s promises and given David what belongs to those who honor God. The list of things that belong to those who honor God is a long one that extends to eternal life.
I woke up this morning with Isaiah 61:3 on my mind. This verse gives us some gifts to consider:
Isaiah 61:3: To grant to those who mourn in Zion the following: To give them a turban instead of dust [on their heads, a sign of mourning], The oil of joy instead of mourning, The garment [expressive] of praise instead of a disheartened spirit. So they will be called the trees of righteousness [strong and magnificent, distinguished for integrity, justice, and right standing with God], The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.
Lord Jesus, help us to see all that you have given to us.