Psalms Chapter 20

Psalms Chapter 20 #Prayer #Expectancy #Trust 

(Unless otherwise stated all Scriptures in this devotional are from the King James Version of the Bible.)

 Context

Psalms 20 and 21 are actually one Psalm. The first Psalm is a prayer for King David.  This is a pre-battle song. Although the title declares David as its author, it is highly probable that he wrote the Psalms down after the fact. Or in other words, someone dictated it to him after the battle (Longman 2014, 121; Lawson 2004, 119). The people are asking God to hear and answer all of David’s prayers for the battle the nation is about to begin. Psalms 21 is a prayer of thanksgiving for the glorious victory that David and Israel received. The victorious king routed the enemy in pure form. But they also know that the victory is theirs because they worship and serve a Warrior King-The Almighty God [The True King of His loyal servant and his people.] The three-parts of Psalm 20 are: 1) The Prayer Offered to God. David is referred to in the second person during (Verses 1-5). 2) The People’s Confidence in God. David is  (Verses 6-8). 3) The People’s Dependence on God (Verse 9).

David describes the prayer for military victory offered for him by the people before he leads the armies of Israel into battle.

The Petitions for the King (20:1– 5)

(To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.) The LORD hear thee in the day of trouble; the name of the God of Jacob defend thee; 

The psalmist asks God to “The LORD hear thee [David] in the day of trouble.” The people also remember the words of Jacob in (Gen. 35:3), “I will make there an altar unto God, who answered me in the day of my distress.”  As he flees his brother Esau’s wrath, Jacob receives a vision from God.

This is God’s promise to Him. “And, behold, the Lord stood above it, and said, I am the Lord God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed; And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of” (Genesis 28:13-15). The people believed in the God of Jacob, and so did their King. “[T]he name of the God of Jacob defend thee[.]”

Today Christians all over the world also believe in the promises of God. His ultimate protection of his people extends to us too. See Galatians 3:29 “And if ye [be] Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”

Send thee help from the sanctuary, and strengthen thee out of Zion; 

At this stage in Israel’s history, there was no temple. The sanctuary refers to the presence of God in the Ark. If you remember David captured the Ark and placed it in a tabernacle on mount “Zion.” This verse identifies the place from which David would receive help. Today Christians know that the Lord is their helper. We are His sanctuary. The Lord protects and provides for His Church. “

All this is evidence that God’s judgment is right, and as a result, you will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering. God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with His mighty angels. He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 

They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his might on the day He comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed. This includes you because you believed our testimony to you” (2 Thessalonians 1:5-10).

Remember all thy offerings, and accept thy burnt sacrifice; Selah.

 The people are reminding God that He accepted Davids offerings and burnt sacrifices. David followed the Levitical offerings and sacrifices. Leviticus 9:24 describes how the people knew that God allowed their offerings and sacrifices. “And there came a fire out from before the Lord, and consumed upon the altar the burnt offering and the fat: which when all the people saw, they shouted, and fell on their faces.”

Grant thee according to thine own heart, and fulfill all thy counsel. We will rejoice in thy salvation, and in the name of our God we will set up our banners: the LORD fulfill all thy petitions.

“Keep your promises to the King, oh God!” That is what we would say today. David [and apparently the people knew that David took counsel only from God] did not take advice from men. He received his counsel directly from The Lord. The people also acknowledge that God heard and answered David’s prayers. How do we know that?  They declare it in verse 5.  “We will rejoice in thy salvation, and in the name of our God we will set up our banners: [They are battle ready. Not in their name but in the name of] the LORD [who] fulfill all thy petitions.”

The Lord God Almighty still answers the prayers of His Children. 

  1. “To whom God would make known what [is] the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” Colossians 1:27.
  2. “And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive” Matthew 21:22.
  3. “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God” Philippians 4:6.
  4. “Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full” John 16:24.

Now know I that the LORD saveth his anointed; he will hear him from his holy heaven with the saving strength of his right hand.

 The people know that God has saved David before. They have nothing but confidence that He will do it again. Christians today have an intercessor in heaven. Romans 8:34 (NIV) Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.”

Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God. 

In the midst of any sort of battle remember that the battle is not ours to win. Military might and prowess was not the reason why Israel won their battles. They “remember[ed] the name of the LORD [their] God. See Deut. 17:16; 20:1-4; Lev. 26:7-8; Psalm 33:16-17; Isa. 31:1-3; Jer. 9:23-24; Zech. 4:6 The children of Israel has a long-standing tradition of trusting in the name of the Lord their God. It started as they stood at the Red Sea. “And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will show to you today: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen today, ye shall see them again no more forever. The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace” Exodus 14:13-14.

The people are also used to rejoicing after the victory too.  Moses certainly did (see Exodus 15:1-6; Cayce 2017). The confidence in God the deliver and triumphant warrior continues in verses They are brought down and fallen: but we are risen, and stand upright. Save, LORD: let the king hear us when we call. Jesus tells us to trust Him too.

  1.  John 14:1 “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.” 
  2. Galatians 3:6 “Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.”

https://youtu.be/3M__eHGicWc

 

References

Cayce, Ken. Discover Books of the Bible. http://www.bible-studys.org/index.html

Longman, Tremper, III. 2014. Psalms: An Introduction and Commentary. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press. Accessed August 30, 2018. ProQuest Ebook Central.

Lawson, Steven. 2004. Holman Old Testament Commentary – Psalms. Nashville: B&H Publishing Group. Accessed August 28, 2018. ProQuest Ebook Central.

Psalms Chapter 19

Psalms Chapter 19 #Words #Accepted #Meditation #Praise #Trust 

(Unless otherwise stated all Scriptures in this devotional are from the King James Version of the Bible.)

Throughout the Psalms, David illustrated The Lord God Almighty as the author of both His created universe and all that lives in it as well as the Creator of His Holy Word. In Psalms 19 David combined both concepts into one song hymn. God has revealed Himself to mankind through these two avenues. David understood the construct of the Glory of God and the revelations of God as He reveals Himself to man – man ascribed attributes to Him.  Lawson explains it beautifully.

 

What is God’s glory? A distinction must be made between his intrinsic glory and his ascribed glory.

  1. God’s intrinsic glory: God’s intrinsic glory is the sum total of all his divine attributes— his holiness, sovereignty, righteousness, grace, truth, goodness, mercy, justice, omnipresence, omniscience, omnipotence, and more. All these divine perfections constitute his intrinsic glory, and it is this that God desires to display in all his creation and works. [God’s intrinsic glory is revealed through revelation. [In Psalm 19 general revelation is expressed in verses 1-6  and special revelation is noted in verses 7-14 (Cayce 2017).]
  2. God’s ascribed glory:  Then, as God unveils this glory to man, man is to give him glory, which is ascribed glory, or the glory due his name [as revealed through His Holy Word]. This is man’s chief purpose in life. He is to live to make God’s glory known in the world and to ascribe glory to him (Lawson 2004, 111).
  3. Lawson also explains Psalm 19 is a magnificent psalm declaring that God’s intrinsic glory is unveiled to man through two primary means: general revelation (vv. 1– 6) and special revelation (vv. 7– 14). General revelation is God’s self-disclosure through creation. This revelation is available to all people, and it provides basic, foundational truths about God’s existence and attributes. On the other hand, special revelation is God’s manifested greatness to people through his inspired Word, the Bible. This revelation is special because it goes beyond the elementary truths of general revelation and testifies to how a person may know this great God and how he or she may live in a manner pleasing to him (Ibid).

We can outline Psalms 19 with the following headings and subheadings.

I. God’s Intrinsic Glory  (19:1-6).

  • Chronicling the Creation of the Skies (19:1-4b);
  •  The Conspicuity of the Sun (19:4c-6).

II God’s Ascribed glory (19:7-14).

  • The Attributes of God ascribed through His the Word and declared to the world. (19:7-9).
  •  A Testimonial of the Personal Worth of Word (19:10-11).
  •  David Applies the Word [Or the acknowledgement of the ascribed glory of God as the Holy Spirit reveals it to David.] to his Life. (19:12-14).

God’s Intrinsic Glory  (19:1-6).

1(To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.) The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.

I love to walk out into my garden, or even standing on the front porch, at night. When I look out at the sky, this verse always comes to mind. There is nothing more awe-inspiring than the heavens displaying its splendor and the creative handiwork of its Creator.  Romans 8:18-25 talks about creation waiting with expectation for the return of its Creator.  “For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities– all things have been created by Him and for Him” (Colossians 1:16 NET). This song reminds us of who created the universe. Listen to the words and give Him the glory that is due to His name! 

https://youtu.be/2scxkUPlCk4

2Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.

For the atheist Psalm 19 will be dismissed. Why? It goes back to Genesis when God created day and night. Genesis 1: 3-5 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.” Can you imagine what would happen to human relationships, families, and society at large if the sun shone 24/7/365 in the area where you lived? As long as we have light, we believe that we should be doing something.  In the darkness of the night, our mental faculties begin to slow down. Our minds begin to cease the continual hum and buzz that they experienced during the day. Finally, our eyes close and our bodies experience the rest that it needs to rejuvenate itself. God made us a promise in Genesis 8:22 “While the earth remaineth, seed time and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.” I am so thankful for this promise. What about you?  Just listen to the first part of the song here-this part addresses this verse so well.

https://youtu.be/2scxkUPlCk4

3There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. 4 Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun,

All of creation speaks in a unified chorus that requires no interpreter to explain their meaning. But are to be understood by people of all languages on the face of the earth.

Even the heathens of this world can look into the skies and know there is a God. They can also look around them at the beauties of this earth and know there is God. No person who can see or hear or feel has any excuse to believe there is no God. The very elements of nature preach a beautiful sermon. We have no excuse when it speaks to us if we do not believe.

Romans 1:20 “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, [even] his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse;”

5Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race.

Isaiah 61:10 I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.”  Matthew 25:1–13 talks about the ends times and God’s people being prepared for Christ to return for his bride.  His bride is the church. Are you waiting to see your bridegroom? Revelation 18:23 And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.” Revelation 19:9 “And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.”

His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.

Now David goes back to the sun. He uses the personal pronoun “his.” Within a 24 hour period of time, the Sun rises in the east and sets in the west. Nothing is hidden from it.  The spiritual application of this Scripture also speaks to The Son of God. There isn’t a single thing that we do within a 24 hour period of time that is hidden from Him. He knows our thoughts. There is no end to His grace. From sunrise to sunset it remains resolute and steadfast.

II God’s Ascribed glory (19:7-14).

7The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. 

God is revealed through His Holy Word.  The law of God is indeed perfect. The law of works does not give us salvation. That comes through faith and grace. However, Paul clarifies the holiness of the law in Rom. 7:12 Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.” The Law [Word] of God Psalm 23:3 “He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.”  Restore means to “repair or renovate (a building, work of art, vehicle, etc.) so as to return it to its original condition.”

There is nothing more rejuvenating that pouring over God’s Word. One’s strength is renewed, and their faith is bolstered. “[A student of God’s Word can confound many people because it “Mak(es) the simple wise.” 2 Timothy 3:15 “And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” There is much truth to the term “a child raised on the “True Word of God” is wiser than many degreed persons.

The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.

God’s Word is never corrupt. It is always “right.”  There is a song that states when I think of the goodness of Jesus and all that He has done for me. My soul cries out ‘Hallelujah.’ Thank God for saving me.”  This rejoicing comes from knowing not just Jesus, but feasting on His Holy Word. It clears away the darkness of this world and makes our path crystal clear.

It eliminates the drama that permeates this world. It eliminates the gray areas of life.  I have had folks say to me “Well this is what the statute says, but you know that there are always gray areas!”  Gray is the color that is produced when we attempt to mix darkness with light. In other words, we are creating our own light. Psalm 119:105 tells us that “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Nothing makes things clearer for us than His Word.

9The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.

Not only is the fear of the Lord “clean” it is also clear. Christ is the vine, and we are the branches.  There is nothing more disappointing than going to a grapevine that is covered with lush leaves [The outward appearance.] But when the time of harvest comes, it is utterly fruitless.  John 15:2 proposes that God has expectations for His children, Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, [WHY?] that it may bring forth more fruit.” Purging is serious business. It is to “do away withuseless branches.

David knew that he was expected to grow in God’s word and it should be seen in His life. In Psalm 119:25 he exclaimed: My soul cleaveth unto the dust: quicken thou me according to thy word.” I do not want to be a fruitless vine. I want to produce much fruit for the Kingdom of God.  David states that knowing God is “10More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.”  WHY? Because we should be doing this “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal.  But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matthew 6:19-21). Therefore, we know that living by the Word of God “[His] servant [are] warned [as they read it and live it.] They also know that “in keeping of them there is great reward.”

12Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults13Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.

God does not make mistakes. He knows his children. Thus, the psalmist plea for God to cleanse him. We may not fully understand the reason for our thoughts.

We have sins that are hidden in the deep recesses of our minds that we are not aware of, but God knows them  David said Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin” Psalm 51:2 .  Speaking of the Children of Israel, God declared And I will cleanse them from all their iniquity, whereby they have sinned against me; and I will pardon all their iniquities, whereby they have sinned, and whereby they have transgressed against me” Jeremiah 33:8. 

Acts tell all Gentile followers of Jesus Christ that “But the voice answered me again from heaven, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common” Acts 11:9.  The Apostle John penned But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the bloodofJesusChrist his Son cleanseth us from all sin” 1 John 1:7. Finally, Revelation makes it clear that “from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood” Revelation 1:5.

14Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.

Our minds/hearts reveal our spirit man. It shows our true self.

  1. 2 Corinthians 12:9 “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
  2. Luke 6:45 “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.”
  3. Matthew 5:8 “Blessed [are] the pure in heart: for they shall see God.”
  4. Finally my brethren how we should live in this world 1 Thessalonians 5. See also 2 Thessalonians Chapter 1. “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer. Because “But [we] are a chosen generation, a royal priesthoodan holy nation, a peculiar people; that [we] should shew forth the praises of him who hath called us out of darkness into his marvellous light.”

Finally, my friends, we must stand up for who God is. Protect what He has created, and live according to what He has revealed to us through His Word.

https://youtu.be/cmD6Ak0FAtM

References

Cayce, Ken. 2017.Books of the Bible.”  http://www.bible-studys.org/About%20Me.html. Accessed August 29, 2018

Lawson, Steven. 2004. Holman Old Testament Commentary – Psalms. Nashville: B&H Publishing Group. Accessed August 29, 2018. ProQuest Ebook Central.

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