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.
In many ways, we embrace a god of the gaps theology. A theology that teaches that God only shows up in the major events of life, but not in the day to day. It denies God’s active control over us and pushes Him to the sidelines. Such a theology allows us to lead a radically secularized life and yet cry out to God. Psalm 86 rejects a radical secularized worldview and instead embraces a radical supernatural worldview. As David demonstrates, God is not a god of the gaps, but the God who is actively at work in the day to day life of His people.
In Psalm 40, David bears witness to what God has done in the past. He has delivered the psalmist from the miry clay and set his feet upon a firm rock. Now, however, as new evils have come upon him, his sins are suffocating him and his enemies are in pursuit. The psalmist once again needs God’s forgiveness and freedom from those who wish him evil. He sees himself as “poor and needy,” and he eagerly calls upon the Lord to deliver him.
Psalm 91 is a triumphant psalm. It is triumphant because it promises that God will guard and guide believers through spiritual warfare. This does not promise that believers will be free from the evils of life, but that God will bring them through those evils. As well, it should be noted that the promises of Psalm 91 do not necessarily apply to all believers, but only to those who dwell in the secret place of the Most High and confess Him as their refuge and fortress.
Psalm 19 is a gold mine of theology. It reveals God speaking through His works (vv. 1–6) and through His Word (vv. 7–14). The psalmist moves from the general revelation given in heaven and earth, to the special revelation in God’s Law, the Torah and finally ending with his own heart. It is God’s intention in communicating through all His works in nature and through all the specifics of His Word to reach humanity. God speaks in order that people might hear and obey.
Often we go through life with a low sense of spiritual vitality, because our days are consumed with secular pursuits. We do not realize how spiritually hungry we are. However, God uses chaos, calamities, and contagions to bring us to a crisis point. These emotional earthquakes break down our defenses and open us up to the Lord. Psalm 63 is written during such a crisis point in David's life that opened him up to the Lord and revitalized his spiritual life.
Psalm 15 deals with the moral and ethical qualifications which determine who can worship the Lord. It lists ten characteristics of the person who is fit to worship the Lord. The purpose of this list is to remind people to examine themselves before worshiping. It’s important to note that Psalm 15 is not a prescription for being saved but a description of how saved people ought to live if they want to worship God.
We are facing multiple crisis at one time: a global pandemic, fluctuating financial markets, political turmoil, and social upheaval. One crisis is enough to deal with but when presented with multiple crises, they begin to take an emotional and mental toll. Many are looking for help but unfortunately as they are looking for help in all the wrong places. Our help is not going to come from politicians, entertainers, media personalities, talk show hosts, or self-help guru. Psalm 121 presents the only One who can help when the going gets tough.