050814AM COR-12 LHC-09 Psalm 13 Everything was going so well for so long—Goliath, worship leader for the king, warrior, king’s cabinet, king’s son-in-law and then everything fell apart! Christ is our Refuge—but not if we can’t see His open arms. Sometimes, in the lives of some believers, there comes a point so low that we […]
050814PM COR-13 Psalm 40 Christ is our refuge; we can flee to Him at any time and in any condition—and He will never turn anyone away. In a pitiful muddy mess David trudges to the Lord. Like the buddies on their way back from digging along the creek, head to toe in mud—David comes just […]
050820AM COR-14 Psalm 40 Fleeing to Christ as our refuge works in no matter what spiritual, physical or emotional state we find ourselves in—throughout all of our lives. This morning in Psalm 40 David confesses for all the world to hear—that he has become stuck in the pits of life. And this Psalm is his […]
050827AM COR-15 Psalm 40 As we open to Psalm 40 this morning, David feels all alone, abandoned and dejected. Why? In verses 1-4 we find that he was out of touch with the Lord. His life was defeated. He had yielded to sin. He had cultivated bad habits. He had allowed his circumstances to get […]
COR-16 050828PM How does God rescue us from all the pits we fall into through life? That’s what Psalm 40 is all about! The Pathway out of the Pits Christ is our refuge we can flee to Him at any time and in any condition—and He will never turn anyone away. So how did David […]
050904AM COR-17 Psalm 40, 70 Since Hurricane Katrina hit last Sunday— • Millions of lives have been disrupted. • Tens of thousands have lost everything. • Tens of thousands are homeless. • Thousands are out of touch with friends and family. • Multiplied thousands are jobless. • Many thousands are refugees. • And all of […]
COR-18 050904PM The last two steps in the pathway out of the pits of life are prayer and praise. Psalm 40 shows us that praying and praising gets us through the pits. In fact if we back up through all we have seen so far—it all makes so much sense. When we pray we can […]
051016AM COR-23 Psalm 57 Every day, most of us leave from home to study or work with a group of people by nature hostile to what we are in Christ. And an equally large number of us return home from work or school to live with a similarly hostile crowd. How do we make it? […]
051030AM COR-24 Psalm 142 Most of the Bible is in the major key. Saints fearlessly witnessing, churches valiantly serving against all odds—and what a joy those sections are to our souls. But side-by-side with all that is the minor key. God’s Word contains true glimpses into the weaknesses and frailties that God understands and shows […]
051030PM COR-25 Psalm 142 THERE ARE NO SUPER SAINTS! That is the first lesson of our look at David tonight. We all struggle with the same challenges in life—that is the message of James 5.17. James 5:17 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; […]
ACL-19 DAV-13 DSS-40 971102AM COMING BACK TO GOD JAMES 1:13-16 DAVID ON PSALM 51 Where have all the songs gone? The ornate halls of Jerusalem’s royal palace were strangely silent these days. It seemed as if David had lost his voice. In days past sweet songs of God’s power were often heard coming from the […]
ACL-20 971109AM “THE SONG OF A SOUL SET FREE JAMES SERIES 59-16 PSALM 32 One day which was just like all the other days, the generals of King David’s cabinet made their way to the palace. Walking the cobbled streets up the winding way to the palace as they did each morning. Arriving at the […]
ACL-21 DAV-12 DSS-38 971116AM DAVID PSALM 32 “LEARNING FROM FAILURE” PSALM 32 This morning we need to soberly look at a story of two men. Men who towered over their generations. Men who held the highest offices to be had on earth. Yet from their privileged position one is elevated to heavenly proportions and the […]
ZNA-421 890604AM Ps19-1 A PORTRAIT OF SCRIPTURE PSALM 19 PART #1 Perhaps the clearest picture of the Power of Scripture was painted by a shepherd boy on a grassy hill in the Middle East 3,000 years ago. Unquestionably the most majestic and awesome affirmation of the Divine Scriptures is in Psalm 19. As we turn […]
ZNA-411 890813PM DIVINE DIRECTIONS Psalm 19:8a Psalm 19:8 Let’s dig in and see the first half of this verse. The Statutes = KD says: “declarations concerning man’s obligations” Scroggie said: “God’s directions designed to secure obedience and check disobedience” Others have “God’s guidelines for living” said: The word statute or precepts is the Hebrew word […]
ZNA-409 890827PM Ps19-5 DIVINE DECREES PSALM 19:8B Our precious portion of scripture to meditate upon in our study this evening is Ps. 19:8. Note the second half. This is the fourth of six sets of divine snapshots of the perfect sufficiency of God’s word each focuses on a special facet of God’s written revelation. Our […]
ZNA-404 890924PM Ps19-7 JUDGMENTS OF GOD PSALM 19:9B As we open our Bibles to the Psalm extolling the majesty of God’s word, Psalm 19:9 is our text. Many years ago a missionary statesman stood holding a well worn Bible and said: Though the cover is worn and pages torn… and places bore traces of tears– […]
ZNA-233 930502AM FAMILY-1 FAMILY SERIES PART ONE GOD HAS NO GRANDCHILDREN PSALM 78 A biblical family is a choice every generation must make. This morning each of us is either a personal member of God’s family or not. You can’t get spiritual life by association, only by personal reception… To best understand the biblical family […]
ZNA-90 970406AM The Song of the Word Psalm 19 On 9/22/96 we began a journey. We have studied the Psalm or Song of the Word. As we open our Bibles to the Psalm extolling the majesty of God’s word, Psalm 19 years ago a missionary statesman stood holding a well worn Bible and said: Though […]
DAV-01 ZNA-66 981101AM PSALM 63 This past Wednesday I preached at my home church. The church where I was saved and baptized and dedicated my life to the Lord and preached my first sermon— which by the way my first sermon was when I was 12 years old— the Scripture reading, the opening prayer, […]
DAV-02 ZNA-65 981101PM Turn in your Bible to the 142nd Psalm. It sure has been a wonderful evening. I can’t think of many things that are more delightful than little lives as D. L. Moody used to always say: children have their whole life ahead of them and when we see the Lord work in […]
031019AM WFL-32 DOAGL-32 Psalm 119-13 Afflictions-8 The Disciplines of a Godly Life: Meditation Psalm 119: Part 12 The Blessing of Affliction – Bringing God to Our Doorstep This morning you and I are just a heartbeat, just a brainwave, just a breath – away from the Door to Eternity. For a moment can I remind […]
030921AM WFL-29 DOAGL-29 Psalm 119-10 The Disciplines of a Godly Life: Meditation Psalm 119: Part 10 The Blessing of Affliction – We Get Focused on Our Teacher Two old men sat down and wrote their summary of life. One was the father, the other his son. Both wrote under the inspiration of God’s Spirit. Both […]
WFL-20 030622AM God has designed a plan for the complete takeover of your heart and mind. He wants us to ponder — What are we here for? If we lose sight of our purpose in life, we often compensate by increasing motion. Yet it is motion without purpose. Daily time in the presence of […]
WFL-19 030608AM From the earliest times Ein Gedi has been known and inhabited by desert travelers. From the rocks there flows the coolest, sweetest, and freshest waters imaginable. The contrast between the stark and barren and lifeless shores of the Dead Sea and the sun baked mountains that ring it – and the lush green […]
WFL-08 030223AM What does God need? Our all sufficient Lord needs nothing. Then what does God want? God’s Word tells us He seeks only two things: to save the lost and for them to worship Him! So as believers, found by our Savior, what does God want from us? For us to willingly […]
WFL-06 030209AM Genesis honors Abel for GIVING the offering that pleased the Lord; Enoch for GIVING God his walk; Abraham for GIVING God his faith; Joseph for GIVING God his life with its hurts and fears. Exodus records that only the families GIVING the Lord what He desired were saved on Passover. Leviticus portrays crowds […]
WFL-03 030112AM His movement became the fastest growing system in the history of the world. By 1980 his followers controlled almost 4/6ths of the world — and brutally held on to their power. Solzhenitsyn said in the mid-1970’s that the salamander, by which he means the prison-camp network, is still alive. In The Gulag Archipelago (Vol. II, 1975) he […]
WFL-01 021229AM With each new year that comes, it is time to rethink our plans and priorities. To help us settle in on what the Lord desires for each of us, we need to refresh our minds with God’s plan. One key passage is I Timothy 4:7. Paul says we are to discipline our selves […]
SUF-04 951112PM The Lord’s Purpose for Pain is that Suffering for God Enables Us to Experience: The Song Giving Power of Suffering in Paul and Silas’ Life Acts 16 and the Philippian JailPsalm 142 The Sight giving Power of Suffering in Job’s Life TO SEE GOD CLEARLY God takes Job on a divinely guided tour of pain. Along the way He teaches […]
OTI-19 970312WE The Psalms are preeminently focused upon our Triune God. His character is more clearly and dramatically proclaimed here than in any other book of the Bible. Divine Names are prominently in use: Adonai “Lord,” occurs 63 times, El and Elohim “God” occur 427 times, and the name Yahweh is found no less than […]
MOI-03 NR5-09 010211PM This evening have you ever connected the happenings in the world, in our newspapers, history books, and on the evening news – with God’s Word the BIBLE? To begin with open to Isaiah 11:11 as God describes the 2nd Return of His People. The 1st was after the Babylonian Exile in 586 BC, this is […]
A Refuge for the Abandoned LHC-09 Christ Our Refuge Aug 14, 2005 | Psalm 13 tags: cor, 050814am Everything was going so well for so long—Goliath, worship leader for the king, warrior, king’s cabinet, king’s son-in-law and then everything fell apart! Christ is our Refuge—but not if we can’t see His open arms. Sometimes, […]
EBG-16 SPC-56 981122AM American History chronicles numerous events called the “first” Thanksgiving. Perhaps the earliest recorded Thanksgiving celebration occurred 57 years before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth in 1621. The first American Thanksgiving was at a small colony of French Huguenots who established a settlement near present-day Jacksonville, Florida. On June 30, 1564, their leader, Rene de Laudonniere, […]
061112PM DSS-49 Psalm 6 A life long personal pursuit of worshiping God is not only what God came seeking for (John 4), and what we will be doing forever as Revelation 4 onward teaches us—it is what we are to be now. The definition of true believers as worshipers is at the heart of the […]
DSS-48 061112AM This morning as we listen to his voice in Psalm 63—David is an old man, all alone, staying in the Judean Wilderness (code for the Dead Sea area) one of the most desolate spots on earth, and on the run from his own son Absalom. That is the context that God uses to write for […]
DSS-45 061022PM David ended well because his whole life was built around heading towards his eternal home. I would like to begin this evening where every verse in the Bible ends—with Jesus Christ. God’s Word ends with Jesus inviting us to join Him in Heaven. Revelation 22:20-21 He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am […]
061022AM DSS-44 David–Fearing No Evil DSS-38.doc David: Ending Well by— Fearing No Evil Psalm 23:4 Please open with me to Ecclesiastes 12. When God describes what happens as we age, he calls it difficult times or even “evil” days. Old age can become a time when life is hardest, strength is least, and evil is […]
061008PM DSS-42 Psalm 71 The older we get, the harder it is to hide what is really going on inside our hearts and minds. We become more and more transparent with our feelings and fears. God designed it that way so that as this clay pot, this tent we live in cracks and tears—the treasure […]
061008AM BIO-11 DSS-41 David–Living Purposefully Psalm 71 David: Ending Well by— Living Purposefully Psalm 71 Jesus gave all of us something to look forward to. He told us what He would like to say to each of us when we arrive safely home to dwell with Him forever–“Well done good and faithful servant”! Christ’s well […]
060910AM DSS-39 Psalm 31 This morning Psalm 31 confronts all of us with a serious question—“Am I seeking the Lord deliberately with all my heart—or just coasting along spiritually”? Many weeks ago when we began this look at David’s life we read God’s epitaph for David’s life. In nine words God summarizes all that David […]
060827PM DSS-37 Psalm 3 In the midst of the worst time of his life David fell sound asleep. In the midst of one of the most dangerous situations David had ever faced he relaxed, sang a song to the Lord and laid down–completely confident that the Lord would protect him. Have you ever really thought […]
060827AM DSS-35 2 Samuel 16:1-14 One of the oldest and meanest tricks in the book is to hit someone when they’re down. Just sneak up on them when they are distracted by something else and hit them with a knockout blow. That is one of Satan’s tactics. EXPECT SATAN’S ATTACK WHEN YOU ARE DOWN He […]
900318PM DAV-10 DSS-34 WFL-41 PSALM 18 David – our focus these past weeks! Why? Because he’s so much like all of us… Loves God Falls… Sins… Discouraged… Encouraged… Righteous… Conquers… Worships God… In fact, David and Psalms (1/2 he wrote) mirror nearly all our lives the ups and downs! Let’s do a quick review: 1. […]
DSS-33 060820PM Psalm 3 There is probably no more touching, poignant moment in all the incredible life of David than the scene of 2 Samuel 15:13-37. To the loud wails of the country people who watched (v. 23) a somber band of commanders in their armor walked in formation. They were surrounding the King of Israel […]
060820AM DSS-31 PSALM 51 Psalm 51 is a treasure display, much like the Florida museum of treasure hunter Mel Fisher, where case after case displays priceless gold and gems from shipwrecks on the sea bottom, so David has laid out for all to see the priceless treasures he received when God forgave him. To know […]
060813PM DSS-29 PSALM 51 When David stood at the other end of Nathan’s boney finger, pointed directly in his face—he was guilty, and he knew it. David had broken every law in the book, God’s Book. DAVID BROKE ALL TEN In reality, David had broken all of the Ten Commandments when he sinned with Bathsheba. […]
060813AM DSS-28 PSALM 51:1-7 Have you ever felt so dirty that you just can’t stand it any longer? There is nothing like a good hot bath after camping for a few days, or working in the attic or barn—when you feel dirty, completely grimy, sweaty and stinky. That was how David felt. It is Psalm […]
060723PM DSS-27 PSALM 51 I am guilty. I was wrong. I am sorry—please take from me the just punishment I deserve. So begins the greatest song about the love of God experienced by a most desperate man named David. David was overwhelmed. In a moment he went from absolute gloom and heaviness of soul to […]
060723AM DSS-26 PSALM 51 David fell so far, so fast—he didn’t even realize it until the dullness of his soul spread to every inch of his spiritual life. Soon his cold heart was combined with his tormented soul and trapped in a painfully chastened body. David was at the bottom, and he stayed there for […]
060716AM DSS-25 PSALM 32 Forgiveness. Nothing matters more to any who have sinned—and God says all have sinned. One moment before your last breath, one thing will matter more than anything else— whether you are dying forgiven or unforgiven. That state (of being forgiven or unforgiven) transforms those days that lead up to that one […]
060701PM DSS-24 PSALM 32 The Miracle of Complete Forgiveness is wonderful, but how did God do such a thing? This evening we will start a look at our salvation and how God accomplished the once and for all sacrifice of Christ for our sins. But we will do it in a way that is very […]
060701AM DSS-23 PSALM 32 Have you ever wondered secretly in the back of your mind if you could be completely forgiven of all your sins? I mean the really bad ones that most or nearly all people don’t know about? COMPLETELY FORGIVEN What makes complete forgiveness seem even more impossible is if you are someone […]
060625PM DSS-22 PSALM 32 One day the generals of King David’s cabinet made their way to the palace. They walked the cobbled streets up the winding way to the palace, as they did each morning. Arriving at the huge stone citadel they expected to be dismissed again by the frustrated and depressed King of Israel. […]
900225PM DAV-09 DAVID – Even the mention calls such valued thoughts to mind: Warrior Poet Musician Father King Shepherd Outdoorsman Sinner Saint We see David most clearly when we view Him through the eyes of our God. 1. In I Samuel 17 we see him Standing Alone Before God. Because he had an unchanging concern […]
011112PM GDGW-9 HOW TO HAVE A NO REGRET MARRIAGE AND FAMILY Psalm 127-128 DWM-05 WFF-09 The Four Stages of a No-Regret Marriage and Family Psalm 127-128 When your life is done, and you look back those last few weeks or months that you have before cancer, or heart or respiratory problems overtake you – will […]
090830AM DWM-15 Praying.doc Praying with Personal Integrity Psalm 66:18 DWM-50 One of the greatest tools God gave us was the tool that the Apostle Paul used so widely. Prayers from a heart and life of integrity can touch the whole world. Paul lived in integrity. As he faced prison for his testimony he declared […]
960922AM BYT-10 Open your Bibles to the Psalm extolling the majesty of God’s word, Psalm 19:7 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. (KJV) Many years ago a missionary statesman stood holding a well worn Bible and said: Though the cover is worn […]
960929AM Psalm 19 BYT-11 Perhaps the clearest picture of the Power of Scripture was painted by a shepherd boy on a grassy hill in the Middle East 3,000 years ago. Unquestionably the most majestic and awesome affirmation of the Divine Scriptures is in Psalm 19. As we turn there think with me. . . […]
961103AM BYT-12 Genesis 1: The first words the Bible opens are the Creator introducing Himself to us, His creations. “In the beginning God . . . “ John 1: The Gospels start and Jesus is introduced as the Creator announcing His coming to earth “In the beginning was the Word . . .all things were made by Him […]
961110AM Psalm 19 BYT-13 Our text this morning is Psalm 19:7 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. (KJV) IN THE DRAWING ROOM (1954 R.B. Munger) We walked next into the drawing room. This room was rather intimate and comfortable. […]
961117AM BYT-14 The source that gives ultimate light is the sublimely described Scriptures.Psalm 19:7-9 has six synonyms for God’s Word and twelve qualities ascribed to it. Each of these 18 descriptions of the Word of God is an inspired photo of the divine power of God’s Word. It is sufficient. It can absolutely meet its purpose! […]
961124AM Psalm 19 BYT-15 Our world is filled with mysteries. For thousands of years humans have lived, left their accomplishments and died. Only in our day of global travel and television has the magnitude of these ancient mysteries been confirmed. Who constructed the megaliths of Europe that number in the tens of thousands. Each stone […]
961201AM Psalm 19 BYT-16 God’s Word: the divine Witness Do you know what Abraham Lincoln had in his pockets the night of his assassination at the Ford Theater? The actor John Wilkes Booth, shot and mortally wounded the 16th president of the US, on April 14th, 1865, just 5 days after the South surrendered and […]
961208AM BYT-17 Flight 961 It was a typical flight. One that occurs thousands of times every day around the world. Ethiopian Air Flight 961 took off November 23rd, 1996 from Addis Ababa. Onboard were 163 passengers and 12 crew members. Among those flying that Saturday were Mr. & Mrs. Andy Meakins. Andy was an elder at […]
961215AM BYT-18 Psalm 19:8a Psalm 19:8 The statutes [or directions] of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: (KJV) “God’s directions are the only way to make it to happiness now and forever!!” God has given guidelines for life. What happens if you miss them? Have you ever been lost as you travel? That’s […]
961222AM Psalm 19:8b BYT-19 “The glory of God” On an unnamed hill, surrounded by sheep contentedly munching their grass, a handful of shepherds witnessed the greatest sound and light show ever staged. God’s birth announcement filled the front page of the sky that night. The only ones He found that were in tune were the […]
961229AM Psalm 19:8b BYT-20 “our glorious God” Please open with me to Luke 9:28 on our way to our study of Psalm 19. 19Come with me to the place Jesus let His Glory shine. Come to that hallowed spot that Peter couldn’t shake the memory of. To his dying day he remembered that awesome […]
970105AM Psalm 19:9a BYT-21 The fear of the Lord may best be described in the lives of two shepherd boys. Both knew only nomadic life. Following the pasture. Feeding the sheep. Leading the flock. Protecting the weak. It was a quiet and demanding sort of life. Cold and damp nights on the ground. Long […]
970119AM Psalm 19:9a BYT-22 Psalm 19:9 The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. (NKJV) The pre-eminate attribute of God is His HOLINESS. All other aspects of His character radiate outward from that attribute. His holiness is His utter distinction from all His […]
970202AM PSALM 19:9B BYT-23 As you open your copy of God’s Divine Truth this morning, turn to Psalm 19:9. History records one tragic life lived off the pathway of truth. Let’s heed it!  Who really cared? His was a routine admission to busy Bellevue Hospital. A charity case, one among hundreds. A bum […]
970209AM BYT-24 Worshiping God is the highest calling we can have as His creation. We were created to worship God. Yet I find more resistance in my life to worship than anything else. Distractions pour in, doubts arise and the constant downward tug of the world, the flesh and the devil all make it hard. […]
970223AM BYT-25 We all are surrounded each day by warnings of every kind; that bothersome seat belt alarm in our cars, the smoke detectors when the toast gets stuck in the toaster, labels on food warning that it has too much fat or sugar and so on! Radiation, sun, and air are all dangerous, we […]
970302AM Psalm 19:11 BYT-26 ILLUSTRATION: RIMMER LETTER As you turn to this portion of Scripture let me read a letter Dr. Harry Rimmer wrote in 1953, just a week before his death. He wrote to the great radio Bible teacher, Dr. Charles Fuller who was just starting a series on heaven, just as we are […]
970316AM Psalm 19:11 BYT-27 Psalm 19:11 Moreover by them is thy servant warned: [and] in keeping of them [there is] great reward. (KJV) Have you ever heard anyone say, “Well you can’t take it with you!” That is true. God no less says the same thing. But so many have tried. Most notably we think […]
161113AM SWS-37 The Justifying Death of Christ Opens for me the Sanctifying Life of Christ: The Sword of the Spirit Explained in Psalm 119 Ephesians 6:17 & Psalm 119 We are looking at the final piece of our spiritual armor from Ephesians 6:17, which is the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of […]
161016AM SWS-36 Psalm 119: Ezra’s Spiritual Diary on How to Use God’s Word as the Sword of the Spirit Ephesians 6:17 & Psalm 119 What does the Sword of the Spirit look like when used in the life of a believer? Psalm 119: The Bible’s Longest Chapter is a Spiritual Diary on How to […]
Please join me in Psalm 119 and look over God’s curriculum in “The School of Suffering”, where our Lord shares with us what He expects from each of us as we go through all the various painful forms of suffering, afflictions, trails, and troubles.
The longest chapter in the Bible is the summary of the entire Old Testament written by Ezra after he had copied all of the chapters of the Old Testament into what we would call Biblical Hebrew, In fact, the famous Dead Sea Scrolls would be copies of the scrolls that Ezra hand wrote as the founder of the Biblical Scribes.
When Ezra was inspired by God to write the 119th Psalm, God used him to give us the most complete explanation of how God uses suffering as a classroom to teach us lessons in His Great Faithfulness that can never be learned anywhere else.
As we open to Psalm 119:71, we as a nation are in the midst of one of the most challenging times American’s have faced for over a generation. But as bad as it may seem, think about how hard life was here in the USA in 1917.
That year, World War I was sapping the finances, wearing down the resolve, and destroying the young men of this nation. In the midst of all that, there was no government security for the sick or unemployed.
People only lived on what they could make and scrape out on their farms or in the cities. Even the churches were struggling. So much so, that one church in Kentucky couldn’t afford to keep their pastor as a paid staff member any longer.
There are 1189 chapters in the Bible. As we open to Psalm 127-128, we open to two of the most beautiful pictures of marriage and family life in all of God’s Word, captured on paper for us to read. God allows us to see marriage and family life from His perspective, with children described as growing like these healthy green, fruitful trees, entwined lovingly into our lives as parents, and growing with us in godliness.
The picture seen in this Psalm would be the dream come true for every parent who knows and loves God today. But we must balance this picture with the reality taught by the other 1187 chapters of God’s Word:
Each of us here this morning are engineered by God; and as we open to Psalm 139, He wants us to understand His intentional design and reflect His glory, by loving the way He made all of the unchangeable features of our lives.
One of the greatest reminders of God’s creative power is the reality that each of us humans who have ever lived are distinctly, uniquely, and wonderfully different. From our fingerprint, to our tongues, from our DNA to our lives—we are all spiritual snowflakes, truly one-of-a-kind.
Application is the best part of Bible study.
But, just like a “straight from the garden” meal, there is so much work to do. For food grown or caught, there are many stages to go through. Pick up and clean or wash; cut up and prepare; cook and serve-and then at last: the meal. There is nothing like fresh, homemade meals, in all the world. It is the best; and it is hard!
The same is true for Bible study. The passage must be hunted, the truths must be dug out and stored, then they are prepared into personally applicable truths, then the meal: the personal prayerful application.
As we open to Psalm 3 we can note some details that set this Psalm apart as a very special Psalm to learn from:
First, this is the first of the Psalms, called a Psalm, note the superscript says: A Psalm, and no other Psalm before this one says that.
Secondly, this is the first Psalm attributed to David in the Psalter, note it says: A Psalm of David. There are 72 others after this one ascribed to David, but this is the first.
Third, this is the first time we see the term Selah used in a Psalm. After three occurrences in Psalm 3, Selah shows up 68 more times in 38 other Psalms. This term is a pause for emphasis and reflection upon what has just been stated.
And finally, this is the first inspired setting to any Psalm. Note the rest of the title to Psalm 3 that says: “A Psalm of David when he fled from Absalom his son”. Here we find a message from God to each of us on how to deal with fear. David flees for his life, pursed by his own son. What a fearful and sad time in life. What a rich time to learn from the God who is able to help us in time of need.
Psalm 51 is a roadmap to anyone who has ever gotten away from the Lord; it is a beacon that clearly captures for us the roadway back to God.
David fell so far, so fast, and he didn’t even realize it until the dullness of his soul spread to every inch of his spiritual life. Soon his cold and lonely heart was combined with his tormented soul and trapped in a painfully chastened body. And he stayed at the bottom like that for almost a year.
Does that length of time surprise you? After all, think of whom it was that had fallen so far away from the God he passionately loved and served. For David was a man who was:
Getting out of The Ditch of Sin
As we open to Psalm 101, may I remind you of a transformational truth? Your habits are shaping your destiny, one little action at a time.
Habits are the default settings of our soul. When we do not consciously plan our behavior we are taken over by habit. It is easier to operate by habit, also sometimes called our instinct, than it is to consciously choose each act. Therefore perhaps the most powerful part of our lives is that box of mental auto-choices we call our habits. Be sure that you are choosing to reap the result of holy habits, not unholy ones.
As we open to Psalm 40, David feels life’s become like a horrible pit. Probably the closest public event that would mirror David’s life is what the quake-struck residents of Haiti and Chile have felt, going through in the ten plus weeks since the 7.0 quake hit Haiti on 1/12/10 and less than a month ago, the much larger 8.8 quake hit in Chile 2/27/10. Since these twin events:
Millions of lives were disrupted.
Over 200,000 have died.
Nearly 100,000 are still homeless.
Tens of thousands got out of touch with friends and family.
Multiplied thousands are jobless, and have become refugees.
And all of them are unsure about the future.