Blogging the Psalms: Psalm 50

If I were hungry, I would not tell you,
     for the world and its fullness are mine
— Psalm 50:12

Reading this verse reminded me of something very important that is easy to forget: God does not need us for anything. We do not provide Him with anything that He needs or wants. Truthfully, we cannot… because everything is His.

For the Christian, that includes our time, our money, all of it. It is all His.

Yet we have a strange idea that we “need” to do something for God—that we can somehow earn His favor, or pay Him back for the gift of grace we have received.

But there is one thing we can give Him. It seems like such a small thing, but it’s incredibly difficult for us to do sometimes: We can give Him thanks.

The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me;
    to one who orders his way rightly
    I will show the salvation of God!
— Psalm 50:23

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Blogging the Psalms: Psalm 32

Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven,
    whose sin is covered.
Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity,
    and in whose spirit there is no deceit
(Psalm 32:1-2).

This psalm opens with this bold statement: We are blessed when the Lord forgives our sins and transgressions. This weekend, Christians have celebrated the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus—by which all our sins are covered and our transgressions are forgiven. Because “He who knew no sin became sin,” we can now, in Him, “become the righteousness of God” (2 Cor 5:21).

Those who have trust in Christ for the forgiveness of sin, who have been born again by the power of the Holy Spirit, have been given the greatest blessing of all.

But sometimes I wonder—do I really see repentance as the blessing that it truly is? [Read more…]

Blogging the Psalms: Psalm 25

Good and upright is the Lord;
    therefore he instructs sinners in the way.
He leads the humble in what is right,
    and teaches the humble his way.
All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness,
    for those who keep his covenant and his testimonies
(Psalm 25:8-10).

Humility is crucial to understanding and obeying Jesus. We cannot be obedient when we are so consumed with pride that we will not accept teaching or correction. And God will not lead the proud. Indeed, God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble (James 4:6, 1 Pet. 5:5, emphasis mine).

Psalm 25 is a recognition of this fact. The Psalmist is crying out in repentance: “Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions” (v. 7); “For your name’s sake, pardon my guilt, for it is great” (v. 11). [Read more…]

Blogging the Psalms: Psalm 19

The law of the Lord is perfect,
reviving the soul;
the testimony of the Lord is sure,
making wise the simple;
the precepts of the Lord are right,
rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the Lord is pure,
enlightening the eyes;
the fear of the Lord is clean,
enduring forever;
the rules of the Lord are true,
and righteous altogether.
More to be desired are they than gold,
even much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey
and drippings of the honeycomb.
Moreover, by them is your servant warned;
in keeping them there is great reward
(Psalm 19:7-11).

The Psalmist tells us that the Bible is perfect. It is sure. It is right. It is pure.

It is true.

He says that the rules of the Lord are more desirable than gold and sweeter than honey, profitable for those who hold fast to it.

I have to wonder, do I really believe it? Do I love the Scriptures the way that the Psalmist describes? [Read more…]

Blogging the Psalms: Psalm 10

For the wicked boasts of the desires of his soul,
and the one greedy for gain curses and renounces the Lord.
In the pride of his face the wicked does not seek him;
all his thoughts are, “There is no God” (Psalm 10:3-4).

His ways prosper at all times;
your judgments are on high, out of his sight;
as for all his foes, he puffs at them.
He says in his heart, “I shall not be moved;
throughout all generations I shall not meet adversity” (v. 5-6)

The helpless are crushed, sink down,
and fall by his might.
He says in his heart, “God has forgotten,
he has hidden his face, he will never see it” (v. 10-11)

Psalm 10 centers around the prosperity of the wicked. This theme appears a number of times within the Psalms: Why do the wicked always seem to escape judgement? Why do they prosper when the righteous suffer?

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Blogging the Psalms: Psalms 1-4

This week I began my trek through the Psalms. I love the Psalms because they have so much to teach us about true worship of Jesus. I’m going to handle this a little differently (for now at least) than the Nehemiah series, in that I’ll be dealing primarily with the verses that struck me while reading. So while it may appear disjointed at times, I hope you find this glimpse into my personal study helpful in your own.

The Psalms:

Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
but his delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on his law he meditates day and night (Psalm 1:1-2).

Serve the Lord with fear,
and rejoice with trembling (Psalm 2:11).

Salvation belongs to the Lord… (Psalm 3:8).

Be angry, and do not sin;
ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent. Selah
Offer right sacrifices,
and put your trust in the Lord (Psalm 4:4-5).

What do these seemingly disconnected verses have to do with each other? In their original context, and together, they teach us about right worship.

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