January 21, 2014.
Daily Reading: Psalms 6-8.
Background: Psalm 3-5.
All three of these Psalms are attributed to David, a man after God’s own heart (ref. I Samuel 13:14). David was well in tune with the Spirit of God and he often expressed his emotion in the form of a psalm. These have been recorded and have strengthened the souls of many who have looked towards the Lord in their time of need over the years.
Concepts and Connections.
1. We are weak: It would seem that David writes this psalm in a time of healing, perhaps after he has fallen into sin, repented and is struggling to climb out of the guilt that is associated with it. Though it is hard to say what David was referencing exactly, David’s prayer is for deliverance. This could be both deliverance from sin and from his enemies. David recognizes that we are weak. There is no pretending to be strong in his words, nor is there a false sense of complete self competence. We are not able to rely on ourselves alone, but we must rely on the Lord if we are to thrive. It is through His strength and His power that we are able to fully realize our potential and purpose in life. When we are in the process of healing, we need only ask the Lord for His deliverance.
2. The Lord hear’s our prayer: David ends this psalm by expressing his confidence in the Lord. As far as we know, the Lord didn’t come to him and physically tell him that He had delivered David (though this is not outside the realm of possibilities as David prophesied through the Spirit at times). All we know for sure is that David was confident that the Lord had heard His prayer and that his enemies should be on alert, for the Lord was on David’s side. We can be confident that the Lord hears the prayers of His children and will respond accordingly (cf. Psalm 34:17). Though this does not necessarily mean that God will answer our prayers in the way that we would like Him to, it does mean that He will answer them according to His infinite wisdom. The Lord cares about His children. We should never underestimate the love He has for us.
1. Taking refuge in the Lord: David’s relationship with the Lord is a model that we should all strive to reach. He was so close to Him that he felt completely safe in His arms. David took refuge in the Lord when the situation around him was anything but peaceful. When his soul was troubled, he cried out to the Lord and entered into His peace. The Lord should be our Rock and Guide just as He was for David. When we are in trouble, we should run to Him. In times of distress, our soul should cry out to Him. When things are going well, we should praise Him with all our heart. Let us become people after God’s own heart.
2. Judgement: Just as David felt safe in the arms of the Lord, here he actually asks for His judgement. “Judge me, O Lord, according to your righteousness.” This is a bold move by David, for we know that we are sinful creatures and we often fall short of the glory of God (cf. Romans 3). But David knew that the Lord would deliver the righteous, and show mercy to those who called upon His name. David’s shield was God, for he had an upright heart. David messed up on different occasions in his life, but his heart remained devoted to the Lord. For this he was both delivered from his enemies and blessed to have a descendent on the throne forever, with the final and reigning king as Christ (cf. Psalm 132:11 and Luke 1:26-33). David also knew that the Lord was a righteous judge who would not spare the unrighteous who had not come to repentance, but would devote them to destruction because of the iniquity that is within them. God is holy and righteous, and He will judge us accordingly.
1. Giving the Father praise: “Oh Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth.” This is the opening and closing line to the psalm that David wrote as a praise to the Father above. These words ring true throughout time, as we too sing a song that incorporates them into it, praising the Father who created all things. David used the glory of the heavens above him to praise the One who formed them. Their glory spoke ultimately to His glory. In this moment of praise, David realized how little we are compared to God, which caused him to marvel that God would even think about mankind, much less show His steadfast love to us. Let us ever praise the Father, glorifying His name through the work of His hands.
2. The dominion of man comes solely from God: It is evident that man has been given dominion over all animals that roam this earth. We are set apart from them and are considered to be in a higher order when compared to other living things on this earth. But where did this dominion come from? Where did our ability to think and reason come from? From whom were we granted deliverance and power over nature? Our dominion comes directly from the Father. He has made man just lower than the heavenly beings (i.e. angels and spiritual creatures, cf. Revelation 5:8-13) and given him power on the earth (see Genesis 1:26-28). Though mankind was given dominion in the beginning, it is not until after the flood that God puts the fear of man in all living creatures (see Genesis 9:1-2). However, without God, we would never have this dominion. This is yet another reminder that everything that we have, our talents and abilities, are given to us as a gift from God. For this we should praise Him just as David did.
Tomorrow’s Reading: Job 6-7.
Let the Lord deliver you.