Learning From the Psalms Part 4

psalms4We continue our series “Learning From the Psalms” with part four starting with Psalm 95.

“Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; for He is our God.”  (Psalm 95:6-7)

Psalm 95

You know it can be pretty easy for all of us to simply take it for granted all of the material and the spiritual blessings that God gives us. It gets lost in our daily lives as society tries to distract us from the truth. This is where Psalm 95 comes into play. This is a Psalm that reminds us of who our Maker is and that we need to remember to bow down and worship Him in gratitude. We need to stop and remember that the Bible tells us who the true owner is of all that we think we possess and that true owner is God. Everything in heaven and on earth belongs to Him and it is only through His graces that He blesses us with what we do have. Even our own bodies don’t really belong to us, even if society screams out to us that no one has rule over our bodies but ourselves. “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit…” You are not your own; you were bought at a price.”  (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

We need to remember that we are abundantly blessed with good things from God and listen to what Psalm 95 tells us about acknowledging our Lord and Maker and not forgetting all that He has given us.

Psalm 96

“Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth. Sing to the Lord, praise His name.”  (Psalm 96:1-2)

Here we see how important it is to praise God with song. St. Augustine once said that “Music is like praying twice.” What a wonderful thought. God loves music no doubt and when He hears it coming from the voices of His children it must be wonderful to hear. As Christians, we have an incredible heritage of music to enjoy and to sing. From the old time hymns to the more contemporary music of today, all of it offers us a way to joyfully rejoice in the love of God and it allows us to express ourselves in a manner that is powerful and heartfelt. Singing to God has been around since the beginning and Psalm 96 and many other places in the Bible encourage us over and over again to sing to the Lord and praise His name through song. Music is an important way to express ourselves and God knows this. He knows that music is an uplifting way in which we can joyfully praise Him. So, turn on the radio or pull out an old hymn book and sing to your hearts desire because God is listening.

Psalm 100

“The Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations.”  (Psalm 100:5)

There’s a real simple lesson to be found here in Psalm 100 and it’s an extremely important theological lesson and it’s simply this: God is good. Period, end of discussion, God is good. God is eternally merciful, and His truth endures forever and He will always be faithful to ALL generations. Now that’s some lesson to be learned.

Psalm 101

“I will be careful to lead a blameless life…I will conduct the affairs of my house with a blameless heart.”  (Psalm 101:2)

Psalm 101 is trying to teach us the importance of integrity. Even though David had made some really, really terrible choices in his life, in Psalm 101 we see his commitment to integrity and it’s importance. Here he declares to live blamelessly and his integrity begins in the privacy of his own home and then extends to his friends and colleagues. In sharp contrast to the corrupt lives of most of the other kings in the ancient Near East, the integrity that David showed led him to respect the life of even his sworn enemy King Saul.

As followers of Christ, we are all called to walk in integrity and to maintain a clear conscience. So, when we honor our commitments to God and to others, we will walk in fellowship with God at the same time. It’s our integrity that will guide us and help us walk more securely.

Psalm 102

“He will respond to the prayer of the destitute; He will not despise their plea.”  (Psalm 102:17)

Over and over again the Bible and especially the Psalms try to remind us of just how important prayer is in our lives and how important it is to God they pray to Him on a regular basis and not just when we are in dire need. The writer of Psalm 102 knew just how important that prayer was and is in our lives and how important prayer is to God. God cares for each and every one of us and He wants to hear from us on a personal level. Whether it’s just a few minutes to start the day with asking for His blessings or if it’s spending a lot of time with Him in prayer crying out to Him for His help and mercy, it’s all important in His eyes. You don’t have to be in deep distress to talk to the Lord, no not at all, just talk to Him in some fashion each day and you’ll be amazed at the impact it will have on your life and others around you.

Psalm 103

“Praise the Lord, you His angels.”  (Psalm 103:20)

Psalm 103 shows us that even the angels of heaven know the importance of praising God and they are good examples for us to follow. There are a variety of different beliefs and myths about angels but the Bible tells us the truth about them:

  • God created angels (Colossians 1:15-17)
  • Angels worship God (Nehemiah 9:6) and are known by these terms: archangels (Jude 1:9), cherubim (2 Kings 19:15), and seraphim (Isaiah 6:1-3)
  • They minister to God’s people (Hebrews 1:13-14) by guarding and protecting them (Psalm 91:9-12)
  • They are given special assignments by God (Matthew 1:20; Luke 1:26)
  • God’s angels rejoice when we repent of sin and turn to Christ for salvation (Luke 15:7, 10)

In this Psalm and other parts of the Bible we see that even God’s heavenly hosts, His angels, are called to bless Him and with that being the case, shouldn’t we do the exact same thing? Remember, only God deserves our worship so let’s join in with the angels and sing our praises.

Psalm 104

“The Lord touches the mountains, and they smoke.”  (Psalm 104:32)

Here we are reminded that God touches all things even the mountains. It was long ago when David stood looking up at the night sky and stood in awe of the creation of God. Even David understood that the entire universe belonged to God. He also knew that whatever was created on earth could be shook by the hand of God and that it all belonged to Him. We need to remember that no matter how advanced we might become, we are the creators of none of it. We have no control over nature nor what lies out in wait in space. Should we ever reach far away places in space there will no doubt be incredible wonders discovered, but what man cannot forget is that even these far away wonders in the universe are all the work of one Creator, our God. The universe alone just glancing at it like David did, should move us to praise God just as it moved the shepherd boy/king long ago as he gazed up towards the heavens.

Psalm 107

“Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story…those He redeemed from the hand of the foe.”  (Psalm 107:2)

In this Psalm we see that it is important to the people who have been redeemed by the Lord to tell their story so that others will come to know the Lord as well. When this Psalm was written the redemption that the people knew then was that God had taken them out of Egypt and into the Promised Land east of the Jordan and it was important to continue to tell this story to future generations so they wouldn’t forget how they got there. When we read this same Psalm we know of a different kind of redemption given to us through the sacrifice of Christ. For us, we’ve been redeemed from our sin and given a Promised Land that can be found in heaven and that is the story that we all need to tell!

Psalm 109

“They accuse me, but I am a man of prayer.”  (Psalm 109:4)

With one simple sentence this Psalm tells us how to respond to being accused falsely. It’s simple…prayer. Again we are being taught the importance of prayer.

King David was being accused of terrible things that undermined his position as king and it caused him a lot of grief and anguish. So, faced with false accusations and the threat of ruining his position of king, what did David decide to do in such a difficult situation? Did he use the authority he had as king and have the accuser killed? No, instead, he prayed. He prayed and asked God to intercede for him, to punish the slanderer and to make things right again.

We need to learn from David’s experience and choices when someone tries to spread false rumors around about us. Sure we might want to immediately retaliate because it hurts. But, how much better is it to answer our accusers with the power of prayer?

Psalm 112

“Even in darkness light dawns for the upright, for those who are gracious and compassionate and righteous.”  (Psalm 112:4)

Here we are reminded that no matter how dark things might become, we can always rely on the Lord to light our way. Remember that God lights our paths even in the darkest of times. When we accept Christ as our personal Savior He becomes our light, our own personal light because after all He is the Light of the World and once He is allowed to enter into our lives, he removes the darkness of our sin and despair. His light then will continue to give us comfort through times of sorrow, sadness, trouble, illness and disappointments. The Lord brightens the way for us and encourages us by giving us hope. This hope can come through a word of exhortation from a fellow believer or it might be the soothing illumination of His Word through the Holy Spirit or it might be reassurance in response to a heartfelt prayer or even a miraculous event leading to a specific need. Whatever it might be, God sends us light even when we are engulfed in darkness.

Next week….Part 5

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