Psalm 12-17; Psalm 19-21
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Psalm 12 verses 1 & 2 are intriguing verses for me - "Help, O LORD, for the godly are fast disappearing! The faithful have vanished from the earth! Neighbors lie to each other, speaking with flattering lips and insincere hearts." Are there days when you feel like this? I think there are some days when I do... but not too many. I guess I sometimes wonder about the state of my heart - or if I've gotten enough sleep the night before :) - when I feel like this Psalmist does. It is interesting how this verse goes into people talking with "flattering lips and insincere hearts". I do notice right away when that's happening... particularly the insincerity. Maybe this is something we should ask of ourselves - do we talk at times with flattering lips or insincere hearts? Or are we sincere people? I like that thought... being a sincere person. I pray that we all are and can become more and more "sincere" in our dealings with each other and that we would just simply be sincere people. Are you a sincere person? Do you want to be sincere? Was Jesus a sincere person?
Psalm 13 is thought to be a prayer by David for recovery from a grave illness, based on verse 3: "Restore the light to my eyes, or I will die." Yet, even in the midst of this serious illness, David amazingly proclaims in verse 5: "But I trust in your unfailing love." How about you? When you are sick or in the midst of a very challenging or sad situation, do you trust in God's unfailing love? Always? No matter what is going on around you? Do you trust that God will ultimately restore the light to your eyes?
Psalm 14 could be seen at first glance as a discouraging Psalm...
Particularly as we look at verse 3: "But no, all have turned away from God; all have become corrupt. No one does good, not even one!" I think it is important to keep in mind that there is truth in this verse (particularly if we ever start thinking we're "good" and others around us are not...). But also I think it's good to keep in mind that this verse was written before Jesus came to the earth. Jesus was perfect. And through His resurrection we are called toward greater holiness and ultimately perfect goodness once we meet Jesus face to face in heaven. Jesus gives us the hope spoken of in the closing of this Psalm in verse 7: "Oh, that salvation would come from Mount Zion to rescue Israel! For when the LORD restores his people, Jacob will shout with joy, and Israel will rejoice." Do you recognize the salvation that has come to us? Are you shouting for joy for this salvation? Are you rejoicing!?
Psalm 15 verses 1 & 2 today are awesome: "Who may worship in your sanctuary, LORD? Who may enter your presence on your holy hill? Those who lead blameless lives and do what is right, speaking the truth from sincere hearts." Psalm 15 was written for those that wished to have access to God in his Temple in Jerusalem. However, I do believe that today, through Jesus, anyone can worship God anywhere - in a church or in our homes or wherever we find ourselves. However, I do think there is truth in these Psalm verses in that we can worship God beautifully by living a blameless life (not perfect life - only Jesus was perfect this side of heaven - we will need to confess sins & repent), doing what is right, and speaking the truth from sincere hearts. I do believe these are acts of worship that demonstrate our friendship with God and our growth in becoming more like his son Jesus in our lifetimes. Do you seek to lead a blameless life? Do you seek to do what is right? Do you speak the truth from a sincere heart? Do you seek to worship God in some way each and every day? How?
Today we read Psalm 16, which I absolutely love! I could probably share with you some thoughts on just about every verse in this Psalm. Verse 1 tells us: "Keep me safe, O God, for I have come to you for refuge." Do you believe that God will keep you safe if you come to Him for refuge? And verse 2 is so true: "I said to the LORD, "You are my Master! All the good things I have are from you."" Everything good thing in our life - absolutely everything good thing in our life - comes from God. Do you believe this? Verse 3 reminds me to rejoice for and pray for our pastors and spiritual mentors: "The godly people in the land are my true heroes! I take pleasure in them!" Do you appreciate your pastors / ministers / priests and spiritual mentors? And do you appreciate other godly people you know too? Are they true heroes? Do you pray for these folks regularly? If not, will you?
And verse 11 is a powerful closing to this Psalm 16 and perhaps a prayer for us to pray fervently: "You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever." Do you want to be shown the way of life from God? Do you want to be granted the joy of God's presence? Do you want the pleasure of living with God forever? Have you prayed to God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit to give you these things in your life? Will you pray this prayer?
In Psalm 17 David appeals to God as Judge when he is being attacked by foes. Verse 7 is a great prayer and comfort! "Show me your unfailing love in wonderful ways. You save with your strength those who seek refuge from their enemies." Do you seek refuge with God from whatever might attacking you? Do you believe that God will show you his unfailing love in wonderful ways? Have you been saved by God's strength? Have you sought refuge with God from your "enemies"?
Today we read Psalm 19, which is one of my favorite Psalms! In large part this Psalm is one of my favorites because one of my former pastors taught from this Psalm 3 a few years ago in such a powerful way. Have you had this type of experience? Where you hear a sermon on a chapter of the Bible and then that chapter becomes one of your favorites? I do hope that this One Year Bible experience will allow you to tune-in a little bit more whenever you hear your pastors or ministers or priests teaching you from the Bible in church. I know this is the case with me. Thanks to reading the Bible each day, I now have better context of what is being taught from the pulpit and it makes going to church a richer experience overall. I also now often catch some Bible verses in the worship songs or hymns we sing as well. And this adds a lot to my worship of God now through music. This year, as you go through the One Year Bible and as you go to church, will you tune-in to the sermons and the songs in church more than ever and look for and appreciate how they tie in to the Bible?
Back to Psalm 19 – I do encourage everyone to really read through and meditate on every verse in this Psalm of David and how this Psalm might be speaking to you this week. Please do take a few minutes to go through the Psalm twice if possible and really reflect upon it. You may even want to journal to God some thoughts or ideas or prayers that come to you through reading this Psalm. I find verse 14 in this Psalm to be so powerful – again in large part because one of my former pastors often sang a worship song that simply repeats this verse over and over again – and what a beautiful prayer it is for each of us to repeat over and over again as well: “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.” Are the words of your mouth and the meditation of your heart pleasing in God’s sight? Is God your Rock? Is God your Redeemer?
Bible.org's commentary on Psalm 19 is at this link.
Psalm 20 is a prayer for a king as he goes out into battle - check out verses 1 through 5 again and you can imagine a group of people saying these words to the king. Maybe another way to read this Psalm, personally, is as a prayer for yourself as you go out into battle against a sin or a struggle in your life. And this verse 5 then is for you as you go into this battle: "May we shout for joy when we hear of your victory, flying banners to honor our God. May the LORD answer all your prayers." Amen! Let the banners fly soon in your life!
Psalm 21 today follows up Psalm 20 and is a psalm of praise for victories granted to the king. I like the credit given to God in verse 1: "How the king rejoices in your strength, O LORD! He shouts with joy because of your victory." The king is not rejoicing in his own strength. He is not claiming victory as his. He is giving credit to God! How about you in your life today? Do you give credit to God for the blessings and gifts he has given you? Do you shout for joy and rejoice simply because God is in your life?
Worship God: Psalm 16 today reminded me of the fantastic Casting Crowns song "The Voice of Truth." This is such a beautiful song...
Do you know the Voice of Truth? Click here for Truth!
Please join us in memorizing and meditating on a verse of Scripture today: "May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer." Psalm 19:14 NIV
Prayer Point: Pray that the words of your mouth today would be pleasing in God's sight. Pray that the very meditations of your heart today would be pleasing in His sight. Pray that you would know and experience Jesus as your Rock and your Redeemer this very day.
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.
p.p.s. Download a schedule of our Chronological Bible readings for the year in PDF format at this link.
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