Archive for the 'Psalms' Category

Aug 20 2008

Among all the saints whose lives are recorded in Holy Writ, King David possesses an experience of the most striking, varied, and instructive character.

August 20th — David’s Psalms give us so many models and insights to worship of God… and also show the challenges David faced… and God’s merciful grace… which we too can ‘interpolate into our lives, circumstances and challenges’… 

“The sweet psalmist of Israel.” 2 Samuel 23:1  Continue Reading »

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May 17 2006

Psalm 63 – The Thirsting Soul Satisfied in God

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This morning in my quiet time with the Lord, I was brought to Psalm 63 – and I love the Psalms – if ever the cares and troubles of the world – or strife in our lives – anything is creating problems – and hinders our focusing on the Lord in worship – going to the Psalms and reading them always will ‘re-direct’ our hearts and minds to the Lord, and to His Person in worship. So often we need ‘to step back’ and again ‘realize He is God’ – He is my God – He is our God! He is Sovereign, and ‘in control.’

In many ways, it seems we have ‘lost touch’ with ‘true worship of Him.’ We get ‘so busy’ or ‘distracted’ or ‘involved’ in everything – often even in ‘kingdom work’ for the church – that we ‘wander away from our very first love’ – which should be to ‘worship our God, our Lord and our Savior.’

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Jan 16 2006

MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?

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As Christ cried out on the cross these words of David’s in Psalm 22, haven’t each one of us too also ‘cried out to God?’

Psalm 22:1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Far from my deliverance are the words of my groaning.

In the ‘fullness of time’ as Christ endured being executed on a Roman cross—-and in that event while suffering more than any man—–before, present or after—-so that He could provide salvation for us—-but as perfect man and perfect God, knowing every word and action there would be preserved and analyzed by mankind for each one’s personal reasons—-He still fulfilled even more prophecy concerning Him, written centuries before His incarnation here on earth as He quoted Psalm 22:1.

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Sep 07 2005

Psalm 46: God With Us

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as my wife’s son Craig is so close to his ‘redeployment’ to Iraq, and the Sunni Triangle, and we are also witnessing the devastation of Hurricane Katrina; I was reading in Psalms, and also using William MacDonald’s Believer’s Bible Commentary, which really helps illuminate Psalms 46 in a very special way. Please let me share this with you as he wrote:

During the First World War in an island community in the highlands of Scotland, young men were being called up in increasing numbers for military service. Each time contingents of them gathered at the pier to sail to the mainland, their relatives and friends assembled there and sang:

God is our refuge and our strength,

in straits a present aid;

Therefore, although the earth remove,

We will not be afraid:

Though the hills amidst the seas be cast;

Though waters roaring make,

And troubled be; yea, though the

hills by swelling seas do shake.

A river is, whose streams make glad

the city of our God;

The holy place, wherein the Lord

most high hath His abode.

God in the midst of her doth dwell;

nothing shall her remove:

The Lord to her an helper will,

and that right early prove.

Be still and know that I am God:

among the heathen I

Will be exalted; I on earth

will be exalted high.

Our God, who is the Lord of hosts,

is still upon our side:

The God of Jacob our refuge

for ever will abide.

—-From the Scottish Psalter

This scene is one of thousands in which God’s saints have been comforted by this Psalm in times of great crisis. No one can know the hearts that have been lifted as these majestic lines have been read in the sickroom, the house of mourning, the dungeon of persecution and the narrow chamber of suffering and tragedy. It was this Psalm that led a tried and harried former Augustinian monk named Martin Luther to pen his famous Reformation hymn, “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God.” Its message is timeless and its encouragement unceasing. (I have found it on the Internet, and pasted it here for you too.)

A Mighty Fortress is Our God

Martin Luther. Tr. Frederick Henry Hedge (1483-1546)

A MIGHTY fortress is our God,
A bulwark never failing;
Our helper he, amid the flood
Of mortal ills prevailing.
For still our ancient foe

5

Doth seek to work us woe;
His craft and power are great;
And, armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.
Did we in our own strength confide,

10

Our striving would be losing,-
Were not the right man on our side,
The man of God’s own choosing.
Dost ask who that may be?
Christ Jesus, it is he,

15

Lord Sabaoth his name,
From age to age the same,
And he must win the battle.
And though this world, with devils filled,
Should threaten to undo us;

20

We will not fear, for God hath willed
His truth to triumph through us.
The prince of darkness grim,-
We tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure,

25

For lo! his doom is sure,-
One little word shall fell him.
That word above all earthly powers-
No thanks to them-abideth;
The Spirit and the gifts are ours

30

Through him who with us sideth.
Let goods and kindred go,
This mortal life also;
The body they may kill:
God’s truth abideth still,

35

His kingdom is forever.

There are three distinct sections to the Psalm, which G. Campbell Morgan has titled as follows:

1-3 Nothing to fear. God is with us. The challenge of confidence.

4-7 The Lord enthroned in Jerusalem. The secret of confidence.

8-11 Peace on earth and worldwide dominion. The vindication of confidence.

It is generally thought that the historical background of the Psalm is the miraculous deliverance of Jerusalem when it was besieged by the Assyrian wolf, Sennacherib (2 Kings 18:13-19:35; Isa, 36: 1-37:36). At this time the people of Judah were tremendously conscious of God’s presence with them in a unique way. And so the Psalm celebrates the praises of Him who is Immanuel—-God with us.

46: 1-3 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. He is also “abundantly available for help in tight places” (NASB marg.). Blessed are we when we realize that our safety and protection lie not in riches or armies but in Jehovah alone!

Imagine the worst that can happen! Suppose the earth itself should melt as if caught in the flow of a gigantic volcano. Suppose an earthquake should toss the mountains into the midst of the sea. Suppose a flood of water should roar and foam over the land, or that the mountains should stagger with the wild convulsions of nature.

Or think of the mountains as symbols of empires or cities, and the waters as nations. The very foundations of society are crumbling: kingdoms are toppling and disintegrating. The nations of the world are churning with political, economic and social confusion and trouble of unprecedented intensity is enveloping the world.

But God…! The worst that can happen is no cause for fear. God Himself is still with us! (***My note: Psalm 23, the Lord is my shepherd—–even through the valley of the shadow of death.)

46: 4 He Himself is the river whose streams shall make glad the city of God. Actually the city of Jerusalem has no river. But everything that a river is to an ordinary city, God is to His holy habitation—-and more, for He is the fountain of life and refreshment, the river of mercy and goodness!

There the majestic Lord will be for us a place of broad river and streams, in which no galley with oars will sail, nor majestic ships pass by (Isa. 33:21).

46: 5 It is because God is enthroned in Jerusalem that she shall never be moved. God shall help her, just at the break of dawn. It has been a long dark night for God’s people, but soon the morning will dawn and Christ will take His rightful place, showing Himself strong on behalf of His own.

46:6 The nations of the earth may rage in fury; the kingdoms may totter. When God speaks in His wrath, the earth will melt in subservience to Him.

46: 7 These words look forward in a special way to the Great Tribulation when the earth will be racked with violent disturbances of nature, with political upheaval, with wars and pestilences, and with inconceivable distress. Then the Lord will appear from heaven to crush all insubordination and rebellion and reign in righteousness and peace. At that time the believing remnant of the nation of Israel will say, “The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.”

The assurance of this verse is inexpressibly sweet. The Lord of hosts is with us, that is, the Lord of the angelic armies of heaven. But He is also the God of Jacob. Now Jacob means “cheat” or “surplanter.” Yet God speaks of Himself as the God of Jacob. Put the two thoughts together and you learn that the God of angelic hosts is also the God of the unworthy sinner. The One who is infinitely high is also intimately nigh. He is with us in every step of our way, our unfailing refuge in all the storms of life.

46: 8 By the time we get to verse 8 the tumult and cataclysms have ended. Man’s day is over. Now the King is seated upon His throne in Jerusalem. We are invited to go out and examine the field of His victory. Everywhere we look we see the wreckage of His defeated foes. Everywhere lies the evidence of the awful judgments which have descended on the world during the Tribulation and at His glorious appearing.

46:9 But now that the Prince of Peace is enthroned, wars have ceased throughout the world. What councils and leagues and summits have been helpless to achieve, the Lord Jesus brings about by His iron rod. Disarmament has passed from discussion to actuality. Weaponry is scrapped, and the funds formerly spent on munitions are now diverted into agriculture and other productive channels.

46: 10 The voice of God rings out to all the inhabitants of the earth in accents of assurance and supremacy. “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” Every fear is stilled, every anxiety quieted. His people can relax. He is God. His cause is victorious. He is supreme among the nations, supreme over all the earth.

It is from verse 10 that Katharina von Schlegel, the author of the hymn “Be Still, My Soul” drew inspiration.

Be still, my soul; they God doth undertake

To guide the future as He has the past.

Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;

All now mysterious shall be bright at last.

Be still, my soul; the winds and waves still know

His voice who ruled them while He dwelt below.

46: 11 Not matter what may happen or how dark the hour may be, the believer can still say with confidence and fearlessness, “The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.” If the One who directs the armies of heaven is on our side, who can be successfully against us? The God of the unworthy worm Jacob is a fortress in which we can all take refuge from the storms of this uncertain life!

Be still, the morning comes,

The night will end;

Trust thou in Christ thy Light,

Thy faithful Friend.

And know that He is God,

Whose perfect will

Works all things for thy good:

Look up—Be still.

—-Florence Wills

My note: Revelation 22: 20, 21: He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming quickly.” Amen. Come Lord Jesus. The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.

“Maranatha”—-which means: “O Lord come!” An expression used by the early church as a cry that the second coming of Christ may soon take place. And they lived their lives ‘ready for His 2nd coming.’

May you too gain peace and security in Him—knowing He has provided for us eternally—-so that anything we may experience here on earth will soon pale in eternity with Him.

These verses promise us that. John 14: 1-3: “Do not let your hearts be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that were I am you may be also.”

The second advent of Christ as described in Psalm 46 is fulfillment for His chosen people, Israel, here on earth during His millennial reign—for which we can all draw strength and comfort because He keeps His covenants (promises.) But the eternal rest is with Him in heaven, forever! Maranatha! Thus, even death here on earth is ‘victory in Jesus,’ because absent from the body, home with the Lord.

In Him,

Bill Watts

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May 25 2005

Psalm 33: A New Song

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There seems to be an unmistakable link between the last verse of Ps. 32, and the first verse of this one. Psalm 32 was about ‘forgiveness’—-the ‘New Song’ is the song of ‘redemption’ and follows the forgiveness of sins (Ps. 32) and belongs to all who have been cleansed by the precious blood of Christ.

But this song will be sung in a very special way at the outset of the Millennium (Rev. 14:3).

In this song there is no mention of ‘active enemies,’ of persecution, of tribulation,—-it is rather a peaceful scene with Israel dwelling in safety and the Lord acknowledged as the universal Sovereign. Thus, this Psalm connects us to the beginning of Christ’s kingdom, when Gentile oppression has been smashed and the time of Jacob’s trouble is past.

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May 25 2005

Psalm 31 in Relation to Christ on the Cross

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This morning as I spent time in the Word, I was reading in the Psalms—-a wonderful place when we are ‘troubled’ or maybe having a hard time ‘closing out’ the ‘noise of the world’ in our lives——a place that always allows us (leads us) to focus upon the Lord God—-and shows us so many ways to praise Him—–to lift our hearts and voices in adoration and worship in thanksgiving for His provision for us in His Son, Jesus Christ!

If you view the 31st Psalm as a Messianic Psalm with Christ on the cross, it really opens your heart. This perfect man, in His life here on earth maintained total dependence upon God the Father—–and in His time of sacrifice on the cross, He called out to Him. What a beautiful example He left for us.

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Apr 19 2005

Looking at Psalm 27 in Relation to the Arrest and Trial of Jesus Christ

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God’s Word is the ‘revelation of Himself’ to His creation, termed ‘mankind.’ Thus, in all of His Word, there is also revelation of His Son, Jesus Christ—-someone has said that in the Old Testament it is Christ ‘hidden’ and the New Testament is Christ ‘revealed.’

For me, the beauty of the entire Bible is its total harmony—-and that we can see God revealed in the fullness of the Trinity: The Father, The Son, and the Holy Spirit.

But as we are drawn to Him through the Scriptures, and see Christ, it is so special as each nuance of Him is revealed to us—-especially as we see Him in the Old Testament—-and then, that fulfilled in the New Testament.

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Mar 07 2005

The 18th Psalm: The Power That Raised Christ From the Dead!

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(There was a supernatural battle with the ‘fiends of hell’ trying to prevent His resurrection from the grave! But, God the Father triumphed over all, and Christ is Risen! Hallelujah, He is Risen!)

God is faithful—-and so good. He loves us so! From the moment of our ‘being saved’ we begin a lifelong ‘process’ in Him, as He seeks to have ‘relationship (fellowship) with us’ through His Son, Jesus Christ—–and to help us mold ourselves to a closer image of His Son—preparing us for eternity with Him.

That relationship can have tremendous ‘ups and downs’—–we can break it even daily, as it is so fragile because He is righteous and holy (Light, which represents purity, holiness, righteousness—-the opposite of darkness, which represents sin against Him, disobedience to His will), and so, to maintain our relationship, we must be ‘in His will for us’—–and ‘obedient’ to Him, and His ‘revealed precepts.’

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Apr 22 2003

The Resurrection: An Event For Celebration!

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First, as I have said before, it all gets down to one premise: Is Jesus Christ who He said He was and is, or is He a liar?! Is God a Liar?

That is really the total issue, and what our entire faith is based upon, because ‘if He is NOT Risen,’ then ‘our faith’ is without basis or validity—–and, ‘our eternal security’ has no promise or future. (Again, I am not an authority, but hope this stimulates you to decide for yourself what you believe.)

Then, we must establish “our authority” as to the revelation of Jesus Christ, in His earthly form: as perfect God and perfect man, who came to earth to redeem us from our sins, and to reconcile us to His Father in heaven. That authority is the Holy Bible.

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May 27 2001

Psalms 136: The Great Hillel!

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The 2nd member of each of the 26 verses is the same “response:” “for His mercy endures forever.” The repetition of the theme is not tiresome; it says to us that the steadfast love of the Lord needs to be constantly before us, and that the subject can never be exhausted.

His kindness, loyalty, and fidelity never fail!

136: 1-3; The Call to Worship! To give thanks to the Lord, because of who He is, and because of His intrinsic goodness.

His names are so significant. He uses them in His revelation of Himself in the context of how He is addressing us—–to allow us to better “see Him.” In the first three verses there is such empowering revelation of Him just by His name used. (We have so simplified it, but in the Hebrew, it was distinct.)

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