Learning From the Psalms Part 2

psalms2Here we continue our series on how all of us can learn things that are important us by reading the Psalms. Let’s hope we can all can continue to learn from the Psalms and all parts of the Bible.

 

Psalm 41

“The Lord sustains them on their sickbed, allays the malady when they are ill.”  (Psalm 41:4)

In Psalm 40 we can learn about how not to grow in bitterness if we have been struck down with an injury or illness. In this Psalm we see that an illness afflicts David and it seems to be something that relates to his own sin. Even his close friend rejects him, but the Lord continues to sustain him. If you are a Christian who is suffering from some sort of long term illness that it looks as if God has not seen fit to remove, you can’t give in to bitterness, rebellion, self-pity, or guilt. When we let those emotions well up inside of us, as they surely will, we need to be honest with God. He understands. And as long as you keep your life open to Him, your afflictions will never touch your heart and turn it hard.

Psalm 42

“As the deer longs for streams of water, so my soul longs for you, O God.” (Psalm 42:2)

Have you ever been really thirsty? I mean really, really thirsty! The psalmist in this Psalm tries to compare our physical thirst with our spiritual thirst. His thirst was that of a deep and desperate longing for his God, the one and only living God. Are you like this? Do you long for something this world simply can’t provide? This dissatisfaction is a thirst of the soul for our God and His love. So don’t hesitate, run to the One who alone can quench this thirst.

There are a lot of different things that can distance us from God, but the only way for our great thirst to be quenched is the result of searching and finding a place again where we can meet with God and drink in our fellowship with Him.

Psalm 46

“God is our refuge and our strength, an ever present help in distress. Thus we do not fear, though earth be shaken and mountains quake to the depths of the sea. Though its waters rage and foam and mountains totter at its surging. The Lord of hosts is with us; our stronghold is the God of Jacob.”  (Psalm 46:2-4)

Whenever we feel weak or threatened we need to remember through this Psalm just how strong our God is. God’s power is definitely evident in Psalm 46. Here we can see that He has power over the elements, power over attackers, and power over warring nations. Indeed, our God the “God of Jacob is our fortress.”

Psalm 48

“Great is the Lord and highly praised in the city of our God.”  (Psalm 48:2)

The main focus of Psalm 48 is on just how great God is and toward His holy city. It also urges us to praise God at all times because He is worthy of all praise. God is our Shepherd, He is our fortress in times of need, He is our salvation, our strength and our shield against all that is wicked, He is our help when we are in trouble and so much more. This is why it is important that we praise Him for all that He does.

Let’s get started right now and worship and praise our God with true honesty and in all earnest, for He is the One who gives us so many reasons why we need to praise Him.

 

Psalm 49

“You of lowly birth or high estate, rich and poor alike. My mouth shall speak wisdom, my heart shall offer insight…..Those who trust in their wealth and boast of their abundant riches. One cannot redeem oneself, pay to God a ransom. Too high the price to redeem a life; one would never have enough and never see the pit. Anyone can can see that the wisest die, the fool and the senseless pass away too, and must leave their wealth behind to others.”  (Psalm 49:3-4; 7-11)

Here the psalmist is referring to those who have riches and honor are giving the appearance of being confident and strong when in reality they lack any kind of spiritual understanding and will perish just like the animals.

We see this today, people who seem to be something they simply aren’t. Whether it’s in front of a camera, behind a desk, or all dressed up in their best clothes, they come off as pictures of confidence and being strong and powerful people. But we need to stop kidding ourselves, we are all made of the same flesh and if it were not for the grace of God and His power we’d all be just helpless and pathetic. It is only by us yielding to the Holy Spirit that we can find the inner resources that we need.

Are you displaying His power or are you going around wearing a mask that covers up all your mars and weaknesses under the surface?

Psalm 51

“My sacrifice, God, is a broken spirit; God, do not spurn a broken, humbled heart.”  (Psalm 51:19)

If you read Psalm 51 you will see that David is expressing his deep sense of guilt and his desperate need for God’s forgiveness and cleansing. As he grieves over his sin, he goes to the Lord with the sacrifice of “a broken and contrite heart.” David thought about God’s love, mercy, and grace and he was filled with gratitude and praise.

Once we ourselves recognize the seriousness of our sin, we too will go to the Lord wit the sacrifice of “a broken and contrite heart.” Stop and think about what Jesus did for us on the cross. He took the full punishment of all our sins. Take a look at that grand gesture and you will be overwhelmed with the wonder of His grace.

Psalm 53

“Fools say in their hearts, ‘There is no God'”  (Psalm 53:2)

There are a lot of people in this world today that spend far too much time and effort trying to disprove the existence of God. By doing this, however, they are undermining their own arguments. Addison Leitch wrote the following: “Unless an atheist is carrying on his fight against absolute nothingness and this makes us wonder about his zeal then he must be arguing against something he finds ingrained in himself and in others.”

This inherent belief in God of course does not prove that He exists, but it does strongly hint in that direction. When C.S. Lewis was an atheist, he rejected the idea of a divine Being because of all the injustice in the world. But when he asked himself where he had gotten the idea of justice in the first place, he had a problem. “Man doesn’t call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line,” Lewis wrote. “What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust?” Lewis realized that his case for atheism was too simple. If the idea of justice were merely a product of his own imagination, that would have destroyed his argument, which depended on real injustices. Injustice in the world, in fact, pointed to a God who himself set the standard of justice.

The fool says there is no God. So be wise instead and make it your number one goal to love the God who is there.

Psalm 55

“Cast your care upon the Lord, who will give you support. God will never allow the righteous to stumble.”  (Psalm 55:23)

You will find in Psalm 55 that David spoke of the anxiety he felt because his enemies were attaching him. But then he gave his concerns to the Lord and was filled with a renewed hope and confidence. That’s why he could write, “Cast your cares on the Lord, and He will sustain you.”

So instead of trying to carry your burdens all on your own shoulders, set them down and put them in God’s hands.

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