When I started to lose my vision, I was compelled to read every bible verse that had “eyes” or “look” in it. In my concordance there were 34 verses. I wrote them out long hand in hopes I would remember them. I became very fond of the verses that mentioned turning our eyes to the Lord. To catch a glimpse of what God was doing. To signal humility as we “look up” at the LORD who is greater than us.
Recently someone asked me if my other senses have increased as my vision decreased. I had to really think about that. I do feel like I can sense the LORD more in my heart, and my hearing is more sensitive. I pay attention whenever I hear someone in public say his name. My perception has improved, I am able to “catch on” to what’s happening around me faster. Is it because my vision has decreased or is it because I sought the LORD with earnest during this season of my life? Maybe the answer is “yes” to both. I’m still mulling it over. I can testify that you can see the LORD even with low vision.
LORD, I look up to you, up to heaven, where you rule. Psalm 123:1
I look to the LORD for mercy, understanding, acceptance, and to sense what He is doing so that I can join in.
Lord, give us eyes to see you and a heart to follow you.
A psalm of ascents to be sung while entering Jerusalem.
Jerusalem is one of the oldest cities in the world. According to wikipedia, Jerusalem has been destroyed at least twice, besieged 23 times, captured and recaptured 44 times, and attacked 52 times. Even today there is conflict and unrest in this holy city.
In Psalm 122, David demonstrates his love for Jerusalem and his people, Israel. Reading his request to pray for peace in Jerusalem has echoed through the many generations that followed him.
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: “May those who love you prosper. May there be peace inside your walls and safety in your palaces.” Psalm 122:6-7
When I read this psalm, I thought of the spiritual attack we all face. The deceiver, the accuser, the father of all lies. When we are not clear about our identity in Christ, the deceiver will pitch options at us, hoping we will agree with one. If we do, we can become trapped under this bullying and spend days, months or years in sorrow.
Let’s remember today that there is no condemnation in Christ Jesus. Our sins are forgiven and we are called to take part in God’s plan. In God’s plan we will find our true hope and purpose.
Save us, Jesus, from the lies of the deceiver. Remind us who we are and that in you, we are free.
Psalm 119 is the longest psalm with 176 verses. It is a song that celebrates the greatness of God’s Word. Some people study one verse of Psalm 119 a day – throughout the year, working through the psalm twice. It’s written in a way that allows you to meditate on one verse at a time, if you choose to.
Psalm 119 encourages the reader to study the Word, to ask God for understanding and to apply the Word in our daily lives. As I read this psalm, I was remembering my own journey with God’s Word. I remember feeling that I had to read the scriptures to be a good person. Yet i was utterly confused by the scriptures and mostly frustrated. Eventually, I thought to pray for understanding before I read, which helped. Then one day, I asked to be filled with the Holy Spirit and everything changed. I hungered for the Word of God and began to learn from it. Holy Spirit helped to interpret the Word for me. Sometimes He would slowly reveal its’ meaning to me as I continued to wrestle with verses that confused me.
I love verse 130 for this reason. It says, “Understanding your word brings light to the minds of ordinary people”. We can’t truly understand the Word of God without His help – and He will help anyone who asks, even those of us who are “ordinary”.
Verse 18 is a perfect prayer to say as you open your bible, “Open my eyes [to spiritual truth] so that I may behold Wonderful things from Your law.”. I believe this is one of those prayers that God will always answer. Crack a Bible open and see for yourself.
This is a beautiful psalm to read during the Advent season. As we prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus, to recognize he is our salvation and to look forward to his return. The words that are repeated several times in this psalm, “His faithful love endures forever”, come alive in the life of Jesus. Emmanuel, God with us.
The prophetic statements in this psalm give David, and all who read it, a promise to hold on to. A foreshadowing of what God will ultimately do to save us. God’s unfailing, eternal love for us is made evident in His son Jesus. “The stone which the builders rejected turned out to be the most important of all.”(Psalm 118:22). Don’t miss it.
I am left wondering tonight if David knew the eternal message in these words;
The LORD is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation.psalm 118:14
Jesus, thank you for being our strength and our song, helping us win our lifetime battles, both big and small. And thank you for becoming our salvation. Doing for us only what you could do. This is love.
Psalm 117 is the shortest psalm and the middle-mark of the Bible. These fun-facts don’t mean too much to me but they may be useful in a trivia game.
What I found powerful about this psalm is that you can apply it to your life at any time and in every situation. We are to always praise the Lord – in good times, bad times and so/so times. He is the source of our praise and the truth that never changes. Maybe we could say – God put the true in truth.
Verse 2, in the amplified bible is thought-provoking. “His lovingkindness prevails over us and we triumph and overcome through Him”. As I thought through these word, I saw some victories in my life differently. I triumphed and overcame when I found the self-control to step-back. To be still. To let go of something to let God work it out. The victories He achieved in me and for the situation were far more than I could have done under my own power.
Thank you Jesus. I praise you because you are the truth, the way and the life.
O praise the LORD, all you nations! Praise Him, all you people! For His lovingkindness prevails over us [and we triumph and overcome through Him], And the truth of the LORD endures forever. Praise the LORD! (Hallelujah!). Psalm 117
Psalm 116 is a tribute to God for his saving power. The psalmist faced certain death and called out to the LORD. “I beg you, LORD, save me!” The LORD saved him in a way he knew that it could have only been the LORD who acted. His psalm is full of gratitude and praise.
I’ve been thinking about psalm 111:9 since I posted it a few days ago. The words that stuck with me are: “He has paid a full ransom for his people”. In our economy, to pay for something in full is a transaction that transfers ownership and a ransom is to pay for someone’s release. God not only released us, he transferred ownership. This isn’t new news to me, but it took on a deeper meaning to me and has made me feel safe and content.
I am full of gratitude to belong to God. The God who loves me, helps me, cares for me and totally “gets me”. I will call on him as long as my feet are on this earth.
Psalm 115 is a confession that our God is “The One True God”, and all other gods are nothing compared to Him. I was attracted to the list in verses 4-8, because I love a good list. This list describes the characteristics of other gods. It’s blunt and powerful. Simply summed up: other gods are formed by human hands are are not alive. They are no competition to our God.
The psalmist calls us to trust the LORD and reminds us that the LORD will bless us, protect us and help us. He is alive, he made heaven and earth and us. He alone deserves the glory.
To you alone, O LORD, to you alone, and not to us, must glory be given because of your constant love and faithfulness. Psalm 115:1
Psalm 114 celebrates and brags on God, the miracle worker. The psalmist reflects on some of the moments God transformed nature to make a way for his people Israel; parting the Red Sea, stopping the Jordan river from flowing, bringing water out of a rock in the desert. God commands nature to come under his authority. Nature responds. God’s good will prevails.
If God can work miracles with nature, what miracles can he work in your life? He calls you to come under his authority. How do you respond? Who’s will prevails?
Psalm 113 is a Hallelujah psalm. Praising God for who He is and all he does for his people. It is a psalm of action, describing what the LORD does: He stoops down to look upon us, he lifts the poor and the needy out of their situations, he sets them among the royalty, he gives the childless woman a family to love. He sees our needs and he meets them, transforming our lives from despair to hope, from empty to full.
We pray, God acts, things change. Amen
Who can be compared with the LORD our God, who is enthroned on high? Psalm 113:5
Psalm 112 is a “glass half-full” psalm. I may also call it a “sunny side-up” psalm. The psalmist portrays the life of a believer as always hopeful regardless of the situation they may find themselves. Their confidence in what the LORD can and will do helps them to be a light to others.
We can demonstrate this by sharing true and encouraging words with people who are struggling, we can pray for those who need healing, we can give to those who need help. We can speak of a future that includes God’s mercy and faithfulness. We know we are not alone. Our traveling partner has every resource we could ever need.
Light shines in the darkness for good people, for those who are merciful, kind, and just. Psalm 112:4
A psalm of Thanksgiving, written after Israel left Babylon. This psalm is sung during passover, in grateful remembrance of God rescuing Israel from Egypt. The verse that popped out to me is verse 9.
He has paid a full ransom for his people. He has guaranteed his covenant with them forever. What a holy, awe-inspiring name he has! Psalm 111:9
When I read this verse, I think of Jesus. When the psalmist wrote this verse, he was thinking of Israel’s deliverance from Egypt. The psalmist didn’t know what God would do in the future for all of us, as God’s provision continued to evolve. There is more to come, we have prophecy to inform us but we don’t know the day or time or exactly how things will play out. But we do know that God has a plan and He will provide for us.
Psalm 110 is the most quoted psalm in the new testament and verse 1 is the most quoted verse. It is a succinct foretelling of God’s plan for Jesus, His Lordship and victory.
God has been giving mankind previews of His plan and its unfolding since Adam. Sometimes sharing words directly to his followers or indirectly, through prophets. Some messages have been more clear than others. The message behind all the messages is that God loves us and He has a plan we are invited to join.
The LORD (Father) says to my Lord (the Messiah, His Son), “Sit at My right hand until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet [subjugating them into complete submission].” Psalm 110:1
Psalm 109 is a imprecatory psalm. It is probably one of the harshest, in terms of curses and language. David’s suffering was great at the hands of his enemy. He describes his personal condition in dire terms, “I am vanishing like a shadow when it lengthens and fades.” And, “my flesh is gaunt and without fatness”.
In humility, this brave warrior calls on God to save him and to save all who are suffering. He wants everyone to know that it was God who saved them.
Please help me, LORD God! Come and save me, because of your love. Let others know that you alone have saved me. Psalm 109:26-27
He also gives God a lot of ideas on how to punish, destroy and humiliate his enemy and his enemy’s family. He gives God some ideas but he also gives God the job of vengeance.
My first reaction to this psalm was to “step-back” from it’s violent language and see only the positive, praise-worthy language. As I re-read it, I considered the suffering and persecution that David and his people were enduring. I could see the humble courage in David as he “stepped-back” to let God resolve this situation.
I’m praying for some painful situations that my friends and family members are facing today. This psalm has given me confidence that God will do what only He can do for them.
David is praising God in this psalm and also asking for God’s help. David praises God because he knows where his true help comes from. He knows there are some victories that only God can win for him. I have prayed my own version of verse 12 and 13, when I faced struggles too large to fix on my own. Yesterday’s psalm said something similar. The psalmist was writing about the men lost at sea. “(they) were at their wits’ end [all their wisdom was useless].”
In his own desperate situation, David, the warrior, prayed:
Oh, please help us against our enemies, for all human help is useless. With God’s help we will do mighty things, for he will trample down our foes. Psalm 108:12-13
Both Psalm 107 and 108, although written over 500 years apart, teach us to pray and ask God for help in all situations, no matter how far lost we think we are. We are also encouraged to be thankful and to praise God’s mighty name.
David’s words of praise:
“Your love is so extravagant, it reaches higher than the heavens! Your faithfulness is so astonishing, it stretches to the skies! Psalm 108:4 TPT
I think I’ve heard a few pastors say. “Go and do likewise”.
Psalm 107 is a psalm of praise, thanking God for how he rescues us. The psalmist highlights four situations that God’s people called on Him for help; those hopelessly lost in the wilderness, those imprisoned and bound by chains, those buried in their own sin and rebellious decisions, those lost at sea and caught in fierce storms. None of these situations were too desperate for God to intervene and rescue His people and return them to safety. The psalmist asked them each to do one thing: Pray and ask God for HiS help.
God, through his compassion and lovingkindness, was faithful to help them all.
We can be caught in these same situations, physically or metaphorically. Either way, we can ask the same God to help us and He will.
O give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; For His compassion and lovingkindness endure forever! Psalm 107:1
I recently read a commentary about the fruits of the spirit. I paused and soaked-up what I read regarding patience. As the author described what this fruit looks like in its maturity, I was challenged. Patience isn’t just about waiting, but what you do while you wait. Psalm 106 touches on this wisdom. The psalmist points out that while Israel waited for God to act, they quickly turned toward sin. While waiting, they forgot what the Lord had done for them and who He was. They doubted God. They grumbled. They turned to other gods. They took matters into their own hands.
But they quickly forgot His works; They did not [patiently] wait for His counsel and purpose [to be revealed regarding them]. Psalm 106:13
Their sin had difficult and painful consequences and delayed their entry into the promised land.
Now, when I find myself waiting, I think about how I’m waiting. Often I am tempted to take matters into my own hands, instead of waiting for God to reveal His will in my situation.
Help me wait with confident assurance in who you are Father God. Show me how to imprint your lovingkindness on my heart so I can lean on that promise, while I wait. Thank you for always hearing my prayers and responding with your perfect will for my live.
David composed and sang this psalm as the ark was being moved to Jerusalem. The words in this psalm accompanied the ark, giving God tribute for keeping His covenant with His people. David highlights God’s miraculous works, from the covenant with Abraham to Israel’s entrance to the Promised Land. I am imagining the physical movement of the Ark and the reciting of their story. Illustrating their evolving relationship and knowledge of God. The unforgettable moments God intervened for them. Their gratitude, their praise and worship of His presence and strength in their lives. Their story proves that they wouldn’t be the nation they’ve become without the part He played. The momentum of the ark’s journey and the telling of their story sets a tone of anticipation- of the wonderful things God will do in the future.
Think over your testimony of God’s loving intervention in your life. What do you need His help with today? Ask.
Seek and deeply long for the LORD and His strength [His power, His might]; Seek and deeply long for His face and His presence continually. Psalm 105:4
Psalm 104 is a tribute to God’s handiwork. David is reflecting on the rhythms he has witnessed that the Lord, thoughtfully, put in place. The lions hunt at night and the men work during the day. The sea is full of its own creatures and the Lord feeds them all. The moon and the sun know exactly where to set.
God’s handiwork is never-ending. The more you look, the more you’ll find. We adore you Lord and all that the you have created.
All of creation testifies that our redeemer lives.
Psalm 103 is full of hope for you and for the generations that follow you. David speaks of God’s lovingkindness towards his life and over those who will succeed him. He is clear to point out that we must honor and keep God’s covenant. We need to remember to do His commandments and imprint His word upon our hearts.
I’m sure you’ve heard the analogy that relationships are like tennis matches. You each give and receive from on another. The more interaction we have with God, the more we learn about Him and the more we receive from Him. Every second we spend in relationship with Him, he gives back exponentially. There’s never a bad time to stop and connect with God. He will never be too busy to receive you.
Anguish. To be extremely distressed and in severe mental or physical pain.
Psalm 102 was written during the time Judah was held captive in Babylon. The author is describing his affliction and anguish. He also gives praise and honor to the Lord. Deep inside he knows that the Lord will act and free them one day.
The author, deeply feels the punishment they are now enduring, because of their collective sin against God. His words are dramatic and weighty.
Because of your anger and fury, ashes are my food, and my tears are mixed with my drink. Psalm 102:10
When we are in a valley of anguish, can we wait on the Lord with hope? Knowing that the Lord’s love for us will prevail?
Included in this psalm is a prayer that God has answered and is answering as you read this verse:
Write down for the coming generation what the LORD has done, so that people not yet born will praise him. Psalm 102:18
I am thankful for the writets of that generation that wrote about this event so that we can look back and see what the Lord did for his nation. It gives us confidence that he will also act on our behalf.
Psalm 101 is a list of qualities David finds honorable and dishonorable. He tells God that his desire is to associate only with people who are honest and trustworthy and to cut out people who exhibit the qualities he finds despicable. It’s important to evaluate those who you chose to associate closely with and this Psalm can help us think that out.
I wondered today, what our country would look like if there were more people in leadership that David himself would have hired. Running attack ads would be forbidden and taking credit for only the good things you’ve done would also be frowned upon. It may be a cheap shot, but it’s all so visible right now during the election season.
My 150 day journey through the psalms has hit the triple digits. I am happy and a bit surprised to be at day 100 and to not have missed one day. It’s been a great new habit to add to my weekly schedule and it’s been very nourishing to my hungry soul. It also means there is only 50 days left in 2022 and the cold weather is rolling in. I’m bundling up for the final 50-day stretch and looking ahead with great expectation for what I will learn.
Psalm 100 is a continuation of the celebration of God’s temple in Jerusalem. The focus is an invitation to recognize that God created us and to joyfully, with gratitude, draw near to Him. My curiosity was heightened when I read verse 3 in the amplified version.
Know and fully recognize with gratitude that the LORD Himself is God; It is He who has made us, not we ourselves (and we are His). We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
We do not hold the power to have created ourselves, we have a creator. And our creator welcomes us through his gate and into his courts. Let’s enter with a song of thanksgiving – and praise – and meet the one who calls us home. Amen.
The celebration of God’s presence in the new temple continues in today’s psalm. The psalmist focusses on the sovereignty, majesty, and holiness of the Lord our God. He encourages the people (and us) to look to the Lord with submissive wonder. Remembering all that the Lord has done for his people. His holy presence is in the temple, sitting enthroned above the cherubim.
I pause to imagine what that may have been like. All I have to compare that to is my own experience with the Lord – the times I have felt his presence or seen his mighty work around me. To witness his presence with my nation would be so wonderful and I can’t picture it without wanting to retreat a little and move to the center back of the crowd. This may be the very definition of submissive wonder.
Exalt the LORD our God! Bow low before his feet, for he is holy! Psalm 99:5
In this Psalm, Israel is celebrating the completion of God’s Temple and rejoicing that His presence is dwelling with them. In 2 Chronicles 7, we learn that Israel celebrated the dedication of the altar for seven days and the Festival of Shelters for seven days. The priests sang: “His faithful love endures forever”. In this great season of celebration, music spilled from their hearts.
As I paused to imagine this type of joy, I had a memory from my childhood. One summer day, when I was a young girl, I was sitting outside my grandmother’s house in North Dakota. I looked up to see my uncle walking towards the house. His feet were almost off the ground, he was sort of skipping and was making a joyful sound. He had the happiest news. His daughter, Amy, had just been born. He could not contain his happiness.
I imagine the happiness that Israel was experiencing during this season was like my uncle, times 100. The Lord’s presence filled them with love and confidence and they couldn’t stop expressing joy.
Sing for joy to the LORD, all the earth; praise him with songs and shouts of joy! Psalm 98:4
The next four psalms, Psalm 97-100, were written during the dedication of the Temple that Solomon built for God’s presence. Today’s psalm paints a dramatic picture of the holiness and fierceness of the Lord. He is supreme over all the earth and exalted far above all gods. In 2 Chronicles 7: 16 God tells Solomon:
“I have chosen this Temple and set it apart to be holy—a place where my name will be honored forever. I will always watch over it, for it is dear to my heart.
He continues to instruct Solomon saying, if Solomon faithfully follows God like his father David did, then God will continue to bless him and Israel. But if Solomon or his people abandon God and disobey God’s commands then He will reject the Temple, in addition to other consequences.
The psalmist, in verse 10 keeps it simple and gives these instructions to the people:
You who love the LORD, hate evil; He protects the souls of His godly ones (believers), He rescues them from the hand of the wicked.
This simple instruction would help them stay focussed on following the Lord’s commands.
It’s a good baseline for us as well. Paul tells us in Romans 12:9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.
Take a look at your hands. What are you clinging to?
This psalm is an excerpt of a psalm from 1 Chronicles 16. The psalm was written to celebrate and worship God. The ark was returned to David’s city. All of Israel participated in the Ark’s return and the Levites ministered before the Ark and sang this song, proclaiming God’s name and his wonders over the land, the people, the earth and the seas. They clarified and declared God’s Lordship over all. As it is today and always was.
O, Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His lovingkindness endures forever.” 1 Chronicles 16: 34
Can you hear this psalm and it’s truths echoing over you today?
To let God provide for us is vastly different than the ways we may provide for ourselves. I lived in the rat-race for 30 or more years. Carrying the burden for providing for my family. Always trying to advance my career so that the value of my work per hour would continue to increase year after year. My street smarts served me well, so I thought. I was able to continually increase my value and push up my salary. But, I also added responsibilities and consequently tied myself to my work in an unbalanced way.
When I suddenly found myself unable to work and had to trust God to provide for me, it was the crash course I never signed up for. A dear friend of mine taught me to write my needs down and put them in God’s hands, then let go and wait.
Within 18 months, God worked everything out in ways that I never could on my own. He flooded me with his provisions: much needed time with my family, new grandkids to snuggle, a new interest in cooking, a new ministry to be involved with, and my financial provisions were met in creative ways. My trust in Jesus multiplied significantly.
Did I sit quietly and wait patiently while He worked things out? Heck no. I flopped around in agony for longer than I’d like to admit (14 months). Eventually, I started to calm down and fully enjoy my new God-given provisions. It’s been so good for my soul. His lovingkindness towards me has humbled me in profound ways.
“Come, let us bow down and worship him; Let us kneel before the Lord, our maker! He is our God, we are the people He cares for, the flock for which he provides.” Psalm 95:6-7
I have yet to meet another person who can soothe my anxious thoughts. Usually, other people tend to ramp up my anxious thoughts or try to negate them with platitudes.
“Everything will work out ok”
“Tomorrow will be a better day”
“You worry too much”
Some may say, “Pray about it”, “Bring it to God”, or maybe “Let go and Let God”. These are helpful because they at least point us in the right direction. But, we have to go and do to make these suggestions work. We have to shift our focus from worry to seeking God. We might have our hearts set on a fast resolution but what we really need is to meet with our King, share our anxious thoughts, and rest under His presence. He will be faithful to calm us.
When my anxious thoughts become overwhelming, your comfort encourages me. Psalm 94:19