Psalm 42; Psalm 43; Psalm 44; Psalm 45; Psalm 46
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Today we read Psalm 42 verse 1, which is one of my favorite verses in the Bible! "As the deer pants for streams of water, so I long for you, O God." That is so right on. Lately these days I have been longing for God more than ever - and I love that. I am thankful for that. There have been seasons in my life - which can certainly be called "dry" seasons - where I have not longed for God. Where I have not longed for the true Living Water. I just love the picture this Psalm verse paints in my mind - a deer in the wilderness is fleeing from hunters. It is literally dying of thirst as it runs. It is tired. It is weary. It is running from death. And it needs water. It pants for streams of water. Like this deer, I pray that I long for God in the same way. As I flee from sin. As I am tired. As I am weary. As I run from death. I need God. I long for God. How about you? Do you long for God these days as a deer longs for water? Are you consistently drinking from the true Living Water?
I think Psalm 43 verse 5 starts off with a couple of questions that then answer themselves by the end of the verse - "Why am I discouraged? Why so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again--my Savior and my God!" I would agree with what this verse is getting at. If I find myself to be discouraged or sad, it comes as no great surprise to me that I have been putting my hope in things other than God. I have been perhaps even praising false idols. And the sure fire way to be freed from the discouragement or sadness? To put my hope once again in God and God only. And to praise him again! I think this Psalm verse is a great reminder to make sure we are not placing our hope in anything other than God. For anything other than God will only leave us empty in the end.
Psalm 44 verse 3 is a wise statement about where the Israelites and our true strength and victory in life comes from! "They did not conquer the land with their swords; it was not their own strength that gave them victory. It was by your mighty power that they succeeded; it was because you favored them and smiled on them."
Every time I read Psalm 44 verse 23 it reminds me of one of the amazing aspects of the Psalms - that the Psalms are people like us speaking to God - and in all sorts of emotional ways: "Wake up, O Lord! Why do you sleep? Get up! Do not reject us forever." This type of verse reminds me that it's okay for us to not always talk to God in our "church voice." It's okay to get a little bit passionate in our prayers to God. I think God would prefer us to be real with him - where we are right now or at any given moment - rather than try to put on any special facades for God. If ever you feel like you are at a loss for words for what you might want to say to God - how you might be needing to pray to God - surf through the Psalms... you'll very likely find voice for what you are trying to say.
Today we read Psalm 46, which is an incredible Psalm! This Psalm represents a song of hope celebrating the certain triumph of God’s kingdom – even in the midst of times of severe trouble. This Psalm served as the inspiration for Martin Luther’s famous Hymn, “A Mighty Fortress is Our God.” Just after 9/11 I saw emails and posts on the internet floating around with the entirety of this Psalm. I would encourage you to keep this Psalm in your “back-pocket” as a Psalm to meditate upon whenever you personally might be going through times of severe trouble – or whenever our world might be going through times of severe trouble. Near the end of Psalm 46 in verse 10 we read a tiny little verse that I think is the key to this Psalm – “Be still, and know that I am God.” If you are going through a time of trouble in your life right now, will you take some time to meditate upon Psalm 46 and in particular verse 10?
Psalm 45 is very likely a song of praise to King David on his wedding day. Interestingly, after the Babylonian exile, this Psalm was applied to the Messiah, Jesus Christ, the promised Son of David. I can see how some verses in this Psalm could apply to both the current king of the day and the true king yet to come. Verse 7 is a good example: "You love what is right and hate what is wrong. Therefore God, your God, has anointed you, pouring out the oil of joy on you more than on anyone else." Below is Mary's (Martha's sister) anointing of Jesus from the Gospel of John chapter 12 verses 1-8.
YouTube: Psalm 42 and my reflections above on Living Water reminded me of the Brother Yun book titled Living Water. Brother Yun wrote the well-known book Heavenly Man, and Living Water is his second book. Below is a 10 minute talk from Brother Yun about his imprisonment in China and his ultimate freedom in Christ.
Are you drinking deeply of the Living Water? Click here for Water!
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!
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