Psalm 90 deals with the reality of the brevity of life. In this psalm, Moses contrasts God’s eternity with human transitoriness. In doing so, he reveals that humanity wrestles with two major issues. First, humanity is sinful and subjected to death Second, how can sinful humans relate to an eternal and holy God?
Romans 12:1-2 informs us that as we offer our bodies to God as living sacrifices in worship, He will transform our minds and we will demonstrate God’s good, acceptable and perfect will. Thus, God’s will is revealed as a result of worship. Have you ever considered the link between worship and God’s will? In our corporate church life, we gather to worship. We sing hymns, pray, give our offerings, and then hear God’s Word preached. Do we actually take the time to consider how those actions transform our minds? In going through the motions of worship have we demonstrated God’s will?
Psalm 81 addresses this issue. In this psalm, Israel worships God and God reveals His will. They open their heart in praise and God reminds them of what He has done in the past and reminds them to continue to submit to Him. If they respond in obedience, God will lift His judgment from them and restore His blessing upon them.
A New Year brings about new resolutions. In fact, the idea of making new years resolution goes back about three thousand years ago to ancient Babylon. A resolution involves making firm decision to commit to do or not to do something. A recent poll revealed the top ten things people resolve to do each new year. They are: 1) Exercise more; 2) Lose weight; 3) Get organized; 4) Learn a new skill or hobby; 5) Live life to the fullest; 6) Save more money / spend less money ; 7) Quit smoking; 8) Spend more time with family and friends; 9) Travel more; 10) Read more.
While the Bible does not specifically speak to New Years resolutions, there are a number of Scriptures that challenge believers to make commitments to certain behaviors. Psalm 22:8 — commit yourself to the Lord. Psalm 37:5 — Commit your way to the Lord. Proverbs 16:3 — Commit your works to the Lord. Making a resolution is an act of the will to commit oneself to a certain course of action. In Psalm 101, David resolves to live a blameless life and to surround himself with purity.
The beloved Christmas carol, Joy to the World was written by Isaac Watts, based on his study of Psalm 98. The carol was first published in 1719 with a melody different from the one sung today. The more familiar tune was written in 1836 by Lowell Mason after he combined various pieces of Handel’s Messiah.
Because Psalm 98 was written before Jesus’ birth, the original readers rightly read it as a proclamation of the Messiah’s coming. For modern readers, Psalm 98 is both a proof that the Messiah came and a prophecy that the Messiah is coming again. Joy to the world is, then, both a Christmas song and an apocalyptic song.
In Psalm 36, David contrasts the wicked with the righteous. While contemplating the lifestyle of the wicked and their evil schemes, David found relief in knowing God who pour out His mercy on His people. As such, David prayed that God would continue to display mercy so that the wicked would not destroy his integrity.
Unbelief is not a modern problem, it is as old as the Garden of Eden. Satan’s suggestion that Adam and Eve could be like God presented God as being out of reach of humanity. As such, humanity was free to live as if God did not exist. In that moment, unbelief was born. In the context of Psalm 10, the oppressed has been crying for justice. Yet, the wicked proper, God seems absent, and in comes unbelief. As David soon discovers, however, God is very much present and at work!
Psalm 9 is written during a time of crisis in David’s life. Yet, it is a triumphant song of thanksgiving for justice. In his hour of trouble, he turns to the Lord. David praises the Lord for his righteousness and justice in judging wicked nations and for being the Eternal Judge who the oppressed and afflicted can trust. Psalm 9 demonstrates that God is the Living God who is active in human history and life.
Ephesians 5:18 exhorts believers to be filled with the Spirit of God. The evidence of this fullness is that believers are joyful (5:19), thankful (5:20), and submissive (5:21–6:9). These three characteristics of the believer controlled by God’s Spirit and God’s Word—and they are presented in Psalm 100 — “a Psalm for Thanksgiving.” The focus of this devotional will be upon the five parts of thanksgiving.
How often have you heard it said, "Contracts were made to be broken." This self-serving morality dominates politics, businesses, and relationships. When there is no longer any sense of justice, moral responsibility, or accountability, the societal order and individual relationships collapse and injustice emerges. Psalm 7 addresses the issue of injustice.
In Psalm 6, David prays to God for healing as well as deliverance from his enemies. David prays all through the night for healing. He expresses his battle with severe pain and deep depression yet at the same time expresses his faith and relief in God’s presence. As we come to this psalm, we learn that when illness strikes, to cry out to God for healing balancing that request with an appeal for God’s perfect will to be done.
Psalm 49 deals with the age old question, “Why do the wicked seem to prosper?” Yet, the psalmist present something that both the wicked and righteous, all have in common — death. Indeed death is the great equalizer. So, the psalmist contemplates the effect death has on both the wicked and righteous. In doing so, he give consolation for the oppressed.
In Psalm 26 David is rehearsing his case in preparation for standing before the Lord in judgment. Every person will stand before God for judgment. The righteous will stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ and the unrighteous before the Great White Throne. Sadly, most pulpits today are silent regarding the issue of God’s judgment. Interestingly, every major revival in history has in common preaching on God’s judgment. The great revivalists such as Edwards and Whitfield warned their listeners to flee from the wrath to come. So today, if revival is to come to the church and the world at large, pulpiteers must recover not only the holiness of God but also the truth that God will judge and all will stand before Him in judgment.
God’s holiness receives little attention today from either the pew or the pulpit. Instead, professing believers crave a God who is accepting and tolerable, a God who will build up their self-esteem. Regardless of how people want to view God, the stark reality is that He is holy.
This lack of attention on God’s holiness has resulted in the moral malaise tearing apart this nation. The news is filled with sleaze and scandal. We have descended into moral relativity. The only answer to recovering from this moral malaise is a spiritual awakening… a biblical revival of God’s holiness from the pulpit and in the pew. As such, we come to Psalm 99 to discover a sense of God’s holiness.
Churches are full of hypocrites. Sadly that sentiment is too often true. Christians do not practice what they preach. Psalm 50 speaks to this issue. It demands a faith that acts, what the Bible refers to as faith and obedience. As James said, “faith, if it has no works is dead… show me your faith without the workds, and I will show you my faith by my works” (James 2:17-28).
Psalm 66 is a psalm of thanksgiving to the Lord by an individual who has been rescued by God. The unknown psalmist calls upon God's people to praise Him for redemption. He then recites God's awesome deeds of redemption. Finally, he calls on God's people to join him in worshiping God.
Psalm 141 is presents the reality that even the holiest of saint has the potential to be the most horrific of sinners. The closer one draws to God, the more aware he or she becomes of their potential to sin. The psalm demonstrates that if one toys with sin, it will overtake them. Thus David, prays to God to guard his mouth and lips, to turn his heart from evil, and to protect against the allurement of the delicacies of those who work iniquity.
In Psalm 57, David experiences calamities coming from an enemy who is like a lion out for the kill. Although his enemies have set traps for him, David is confident that they will fall into their own traps. Hiding under the “shadow of His wings,” David knows that God will protect and deliver him.
As the Bible unfolds, little by little, it reveals a spiritual battle raging behind our earthly struggle. As Christians we are engaged in this spiritual battle. Our enemies are the world, the flesh, and the devil... and they are subtle in their disguises. Like Israel, we need to know how to fight. Psalm 47 provides us with the how to fight. We fight with praise to God, because our God reigns.
If Psalm 1 is about the blessed man, then Psalm 2 is about the rebellious man. In many ways Psalm 1 and 2 parallel Genesis 1-4. In Genesis 1 and 2 Adam was the blessed man. Beginning in Genesis 3, Adam became the rebellious man. In Genesis 4, Cain continues the rebellion and went out from God. Now in Psalm 2 the descendants of Adam are in full rebellion against God, but God has the final word. Thus, Psalm 2 is an exhortation to humankind to abandon their rebellious plans against the Lord and His anointed king and to submit to the authority of the Son whom God has ordained to rule the nations with a rod of iron.
David likely penned this psalm as a young man, tending David struggles to comprehend how this great God, who is glorified by the wonders of the creative universe, can be glorified on earth through frail and puny people. Thus, he asks the question, “What is man that You are mindful of him?”
Human injustices and prejudices arise when men forget about the dignity of man as God created him. Psalm 8 is a reminder that God made man “a little lower than divine.” It reminds us of Genesis 1:26, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness, and let them have dominion …” When one remembers that each person in the world, without regard to his ethnic background or social status, has been created in God’s image, crowned with glory and honor, and given dominion over the works of God, it is unforgivable to degrade or dishonor that person.