Psalm 131; Psalm 133; Psalm 138-141; Psalm 143
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Psalm 131 verse 2 is a beautiful reflection! "But I have stilled and quieted myself, just as a small child is quiet with its mother. Yes, like a small child is my soul within me." What a great reflection and reminder to take 1 day a week as a Sabbath day of rest. A day to still and quiet yourself. Just like a small child is with its mother. Have you been still and quieted yourself recently? Why would David, the Psalmist, write about this? Why would this be a good thing to do?
Psalm 133 is a great short Davidic Psalm about harmony! Verse 1 sets the pace of this psalm nicely: "How wonderful it is, how pleasant, when brothers live together in harmony!" Do you consistently seek harmony in your interactions with others? Do you pray for peace?
Psalm 138 is an awesome Psalm of thanksgiving and praise to God from David! You'll note that the word Temple is used in verse 2 - and of course the Temple was built by David's son Solomon. It is thought that David used the word Temple in reference to the tent holding the Ark of the Covenant. Some have also thought that this Psalm possibly was written after David's time, in the post-exile period. Either way, it is a beautiful Psalm of praise. Psalm 138 begins a final collection of eight "Davidic" Psalms, which are framed by songs of Praise in Psalm 138 & Psalm 145 - and Psalms 139 through 144 are six prayers.
In Psalm 138 today, verse 3 stood out to me - "When I pray, you answer me; you encourage me by giving me the strength I need." Do you believe that God answers your prayers? Maybe not exactly in the way you'd expect, but that they are answered? Do you believe that God answers your prayers through encouragement and by giving you strength?
Psalm 138:7 stood out to me as well - "Though I am surrounded by troubles, you will preserve me against the anger of my enemies. You will clench your fist against my angry enemies! Your power will save me." Do you believe that Jesus' power will save you in times of trouble? Or do you rely on your own power and maybe forget about Jesus during times of trouble? Will you rely on Jesus, realizing that only His power will ultimately save you?
Today we read Psalm 139! I LOVE this Psalm... and had somehow forgotten about it. Is this Psalm anyone's favorite Psalm out there? I would not doubt it if was. This is just an incredibly beautiful Psalm about how much God loves and cares for us. And just how well God knows us. Please read and re-read this Psalm this week if you can. And rejoice in how much God loves you and how much he knows you. Each of the verses in this Psalm are incredible. I'll highlight a few. Verse 3 - "You chart the path ahead of me and tell me where to stop and rest. Every moment you know where I am." Do you believe that God charts out your path for you? Do you believe that God gives you true rest? Do you believe God knows where you are every single moment of your life?
Verses 13 & 14 - "You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother's womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous--and how well I know it." Do you believe that God was loving and caring and creating you in your mother's womb? Are you amazed by the complexity and wonder of the human body? Could it be anything other than the marvelous workmanship of a loving and creative and living God? (next two images below courtesy of heartlight.org)
And verses 23 & 24 to close out the Psalm: "Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life." Do you consistently ask God to search your heart and mind? Do you confess to God what is not right in your heart and mind? What needs healing? Do you ask God to even point out to you things that you may not realize are destructive to you and others in your heart and mind? Do you believe that this process of confessing your sins to God and asking for forgiveness and healing will lead you along the path of everlasting life?
Psalm 140 is a prayer for deliverance from evil. And this Psalm certainly should be a good reminder of the Lord’s Prayer, where we pray – “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” What is the one thing that can truly deliver us from evil? Can we deliver ourselves from evil on our own? Or do we need something beyond ourselves for this deliverance?
Verse 7 in this Psalm gives each of us something to consider and should be an encouragement: “O Sovereign LORD, my strong savior, you protected me on the day of battle.” Do you believe God is your strong savior who will protect you from evil on the day of battle? Do you believe that perhaps every day is a day of battle? Do you believe that Satan or evil ever rests in attempting to tempt people? Should we pray for protection from evil on a very regular basis? The Lord’s Prayer / Our Father is one great way to do this each day…
From 1928’s Book of Common Prayer: “Our Father, who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.” Lord, teach us how to pray...
Psalm 141 is a beautiful prayer of David's - praying for deliverance from the wicked and their ways. Verse 4 is powerful - "Don't let me lust for evil things; don't let me participate in acts of wickedness. Don't let me share in the delicacies of those who do evil." Is this a prayer you could incorporate into your prayer life? What might be some examples of "delicacies of those who do evil"? Will you pray to God to avoid these "delicacies" and "treasures" that will ultimately fail you?
Psalm 143 verse 8 stood out to me today - "Let me hear of your unfailing love to me in the morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I have come to you in prayer." I read somewhere before - I think it was Bruce Wilkinson's book "Secrets of the Vine" - that many great men and women of our Christian faith connect with God in the morning through prayer, reading the Bible, and other quiet time activities. Bruce even suggested that this is the preferential way to go - to start your day by spending time with God in the morning, rather than at night. Because he said this would then transform the rest of your day - in terms of being more conscientious of our relationship with God. This does make sense to me - and in fact, I have started reading the One Year Bible now in the mornings, and it is a beautiful way to start the day! I like what this Psalmist says - "Let me hear of your unfailing love to me in the morning." And it reminds me that somehow, someway, it almost seems easier to me to connect with God in the morning. Actually - one other thing I used to do in the morning is read a page or two from Oswald Chambers "My Utmost For His Highest." And I am thankful that I did this in the morning for a season. How about you? Do you have some way that you connect with God in the morning? Are you able in some way to hear of God's unfailing love for you in the morning?
YouTube: Today's readings in Psalm 139 reminds me of the beautiful song by Josh Wilson called "Before the Morning:"
Are you awaiting the Morning dawn in your spiritual life? Click here for a new day!
Please join us in memorizing and meditating on a verse of Scripture today: "How good and pleasant it is when God's people live together in unity!" Psalm 133:1 TNIV
Prayer Point: Pray that you are living in unity today with God's people! Pray that your life is good and pleasant to other Believers in your life.
Comments from You: What verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!
p.s. Download our monthly Small Group study notes for our Chronological Bible readings at this link.
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