Ps 19:14 May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and redeemer.
Think about your life. Did the sun rise or set? Did you see a flower or a rainbow? Did that moment “speak” to you? If so, these are the words of God because he made everything on earth for us. He speaks to us in a language of love.
Have you ever said something and then regretted it? I have. Once, while working, a conversation about Disney World “gay week” occurred. When asked if I would go, I said, absolutely not! Several friends were offended and questioned me about God’s love for all people. At first, I was at a loss. I remembered the above scripture and asked God for the correct words.
I wanted to explain that God loves everyone but there are times God is not pleased with people’s actions. Several became defensive and asked “why”. I knew that God examines every word and thought so I regretted getting into this discussion. I wanted to explain God’s words on homosexuality but knew this was not the time or place. Instead, I said that in all fairness when Disney sponsors Christian week then we could talk about it again.
Human effort rarely works, but God will give us wisdom to control the tongue. When I realized that God judges on thoughts and words, I summoned extra effort to think and speak more positively, be non-judgmental and try to avoid gossip.
Controlling our words can be a daily contest but remember who is standing with you. Starting each day knowing that God is present to help in everything makes it easier to choose our words wisely, to smile a little more, be patient in a long line and even sing songs of praise in traffic. Every day, I pray God’s love and wisdom will guide my words and thoughts to be the best I can for him.
Ps 15:4-5 Those who despise flagrant sinners, and honor the faithful followers of the Lord, and keep their promises even when it hurts. Those who lend money without charging interest, and who cannot be bribed to lie about the innocent. Such people will stand firm forever.
David asks the question in verse one, “who can live in your presence”? (Paraphrased) Desiring and then committing to walk in fellowship with God in a God-honoring life sounds easy but keeping the promise of our commitment is difficult. Temptation is everywhere. The little white lie, choosing the path that benefits us, wasting time or even putting a negative “spin” on a situation. However, remember your promise to God to change your life.
This Psalm provides insight and instruction in skillful living with the Lord. David also reminds us that worshippers need to live in such a way that pleases God. Moral uprightness shows when we mark our lives by the holy character of the God we serve. We all need to strive to be the person God wants us to be to fulfill his purpose in our life. These key points will help and link back to the Ten Commandments. Integrity, doing right, truthfulness, guarding our words, kindness, no negative comments about others, discernment, faithfulness, generosity and no corruption.
Hard to live by. You would need to be perfect to live like that. Obviously, we all fall short of the goal. Every time I miss that goal, I ask God’s forgiveness and help, start over and keep trying. As a young Christian, I saw no problem with watching “soap-operas” on TV. On my day off, I would view hours of recorded shows and “catch up”. Then God reminded me of my promise to change my life and serve him. I finally comprehended that those hours belonged to him and should be for his glory, not the “soap stars”.
It took time but one day at work, I realized that I had no idea what the others were discussing and felt out of place. It was who did what and who slept with whom on TV. I was free and that was liberating. After keeping my promise, I had so much more time to spend with family, friends and God. Now, years later, I don’t miss all the TV drama. Life is all the drama I want and with God it is so worth it.
Ps 18:1-3 I love you, Lord; you are my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety. I called on the Lord, who is worthy of praise and he saved me from my enemies.
Being a military man David described God in symbols known to him. A rock, a fortress, and a shield. However, he also knew God personally, from his experiences of past victories. He names God as my strength, my savior, my place of safety and the power that saves. Even though most of us have no military background, we need God in all these aspects of life to feel secure and safe.
God is our foundation of rock, a starting point to build our lives. He is our fortress and a shield to protect us from harm. His power gives us the feeling of safety and security throughout our lives. We need these not only to survive but also to thrive.
Survival means to live or exist in spite of danger or hardship. Fear of death is what helps us survive this life. There were times in my life I felt my survival was in question. Each time I survived adversity, whether pain, loneliness, fear or danger, I tried harder, pushed through and thrived. Every time the Lord rescued King David, he prayed, pushed through and thrived in God’s plan.
God created us for a specific purpose and will gives us the tool needed to be our best, do our best, and live for him. In other words, he wants us to not only survive but also thrive as we fulfill his plan. So today, will you merely survive or will you thrive?
Ps 16:11 You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasure of living with you forever.
There is a theme flowing throughout Psalms 16 that shows the joy and benefits of living with God, not only now but for eternity. When David penned this text, he was contemplating life, now and life after his death. After so many horrible experiences and bad days, he was finally focused on the pleasure of daily living with God. During this time of peace, all he wanted was to live the life God promised him.
Sometimes we experience days of depression and self-incrimination. We are tense, stressed and uptight. It can be difficult to meet new people, start anything new and even make decisions. However, we need to relish days when we have self-assurance and confidence in God’s way. In the presence of God, we become more confident of his plan in our life and the more time we spend in his presence, the more confident we become. The glorious pleasure of what awaits us in heaven starts with knowledge in the promises of God.
David had this knowledge, which is why this Psalm is considered Messianic. Through God, he saw a future with a savior that cleanses humankind with his blood and forgives all our sins. He saw hope, for a better tomorrow, and the pleasure of being with the Lord forever. Paul quoted David when speaking of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. (Acts 2:25-28, 31) How can we not be excited living with Jesus forever?
Ps13:5-6 But I trust in your unfailing love. I will rejoice because you have rescued me. I will sing to the Lord because he is good to me.
David has run from Saul for years and now is at the end of his rope. The promise of Kingship was right there, just beyond his grasp. He tried everything to appease and please Saul but never seemed to achieve his goal. He was exhausted, sick of heart and spirit and ready to quit. Giving up and giving in to his circumstances, would finally give him a much needed rest. David felt he could not go on, not another minute.
David felt hopelessness, discouragement, desperation, distress, anguish. These emotions are precursors of the road to despair. What does David do at this point? He did not succumb to despair, he held on to his faith. A good definition of faith is to be persuaded of certain facts because God said them, not because our immediate situation supports them. It is much harder to hold on than to give up.
David prayed because he trusted God and knew that he could always turn to him. God responded by giving him the assurance of unfailing love and strong knowledge of his rescue. Never give up on God’s promises. You may not see them now but trust that the answer is coming. Then sing, “As David sang”, because the Lord is good.
Ps 11:5-7 The Lord examines both the righteous and the wicked. He hates those who love violence. He will rain down blazing coals and burning sulfur on the wicked. For the righteous Lord loves justice. The virtuous will see his face.
This Psalm speaks to us about deliverance from the wicked. God will not keep believers from difficult situations. He may even make it extremely “hot” while we are going through life’s problems. Sometimes these situations become a refining fire, but for others they become an incinerator for destruction. That is fine because he is always with us, remember; he was in the fiery furnace with the three Hebrew children. He will bring us through (sometimes carrying us) and then deliver us to a stronger better place, perhaps physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually.
These situations in life are necessary to bring us closer to him. Use these challenges as opportunities to grow. When faced with wickedness, violence or wrong choices remember who is in control. God’s plan is perfect and continuing in that plan will bring us closer to God’s goal for our lives.
That is exactly what David did. He saw God in heaven and in total control. The Lord was not in a panic, and definitely not confused. He knew exactly what would happen in David’s situation, thus God’s answer. The wicked will obtain their just rewards and the virtuous will see his face. When we see his face, it will all be worth it.
Ps 9:9-10 The Lord is a shelter for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. Those who know your name trust in you, for you, O Lord do not abandon those who search for you.
As you go through life, you may feel confident in the plan God set before you. Then something changes. Perhaps someone tests your character, a child rebels against family beliefs or a friend slanders you. How do you feel, maybe abandoned.
Maybe not physically abandoned but perhaps emotionally. Jesus went through everything we do. He suffered pain, rejection and doubt. On the cross, Jesus said, “Why have you forsaken me?”
After a relationship breakup, we feel abandoned. Feeling emotionally drained is heartbreaking. It takes weeks, even months, before the feelings of worthlessness, rejection and betrayal are healed enough to go forward with our life.
However, spiritual abandonment is devastating. The question remains-who left? Since God will never leave us, we must be the culprit. Go to God, just like David, and pray for assurance of his presence. He will never abandon you if you are constantly looking for Him. Does that mean that we will escape loss or suffering? No, but He is always there to walk with us and help us no matter what we face.