Thursday, May 29, 2014

Psalm 22 - The Psalm about Jesus Suffering.

Psalm 22 - Verse One.

 "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning?"

Pulpit Commentary
Verse 1. - My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Not a cry of despair, but a cry of loving faith, "My God, my God - Why hast thou for a time withdrawn thyself?" It is remarkable that our Lord's quotation of this passage does not follow exactly either the Hebrew or the Chaldee paraphrase - the Hebrew having 'azab-thani for sabacthani, and the Chaldee paraphrase metul ma for lama. May we not conclude that it is the thought, and not its verbal expression by the sacred writers, that is inspired? Why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring? It is very doubtful whether our translators have done right in supplying the words which they have added. The natural translation of the Hebrew would beFar from my salvation are the words of my roaring.And this rendering yields a sufficiently good sense, viz. "Far from effecting my salvation (or deliverance) are the words of my roaring;" i.e.of my loud complaint. Our Lord's "strong crying and tears" in the garden (Hebrews 5:7) did not produce his deliverance. 

 "My God, my God!" The spirit of adoption was strong within the suffering Son of Man, and he felt no doubt about his interest in his God. Oh that we could imitate this cleaving to an afflicting God! Nor does the sufferer distrust the power of God to sustain him, for the title used - "El" - signifies strength, and is the name of the Mighty God. He knows the Lord to be the all-sufficient support and succour of his spirit, and therefore appeals to him in the agony of grief, but not in the misery of doubt. He would fain know why he is left, he raises that question and repeats it, but neither the power nor the faithfulness of God does he mistrust. 

What an enquiry is this before us! "Why hast thou forsaken me?" We must lay the emphasis on every word of this saddest of all utterances. "Why?" what is the great cause of such a strange fact as for God to leave his own Son at such a time and in such a plight? There was no cause in him, why then was he deserted? "Hast:" it is done, and the Saviour is feeling its dread effect as he asks the question; it is surely true, but how mysterious! It was no threatening of forsaking which made the great Surety cry aloud, he endured that forsaking in very deed.  Hell itself has for its fiercest flame the separation of the soul from God. "Forsaken:" if thou hadst chastened I might bear it, for they face would shine; but to forsake me utterly, ah! why is this? "Me:" thine innocent, obedient, suffering Son, why leave me to perish? A sight of self seen by penitence, and of Jesus on the cross seen by faith will best expound this question. Jesus is forsaken because our sins had separated between us and our God.

"Why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?" The Man of Sorrows had prayed until his speech failed him, and he could only utter moanings and groanings as men do in severe sicknesses, like the roarings of a wounded animal. To what extremity of grief was our Master driven! What strong crying and tears were those which made him too hoarse for speech! What must have been his anguish to find his own beloved and trusted Father standing afar off, and neither granting help nor apparently hearing prayer. This was good cause to make him "roar." Yet there was a reason for all this which those who rest in Jesus as their Substitute well know.

Jesus took our eternal death upon himself. "Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.

Jesus felt as we would feel if we were to go through the second death in which our soul will die.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Psalm 21 - I Will Rejoice

Psalm 21 - What it means to me.

I feel confidence and joy in you Lord because I know how strong you are. When I look at the victories you give to myself and others, I am  happy and excited.

So many times you have given me my heart's desire. You have answered yes to so many prayers it astounds me and makes me feel grateful. How wonderful it is to have such a God as you.

I've asked you to spare my life and you have done it. (I almost died after giving birth to my second daughter. I lost too much blood and then was given the wrong blood type. I've come close to death in cars a few times too. Thank you God for letting me live thus far.) 

The victories you have given to me over losing my temper, hating someone or falling into great sin - it is all your doing that I have gotten any victory at all. Thank you, God.

I am daily learning to trust your unfailing love. You fight against evil spiritual forces for me. I really appreciate that. Thank you for praying for me, Jesus, "My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one."

Monday, May 26, 2014

Psalm 20 - Trust in God.

Psalm 20 - What it means to me.

May the Lord hear all our prayers and give us the desires of our hearts.

Some people trust in armies, some trust in money; but we will trust in the name of the Lord our God.

Sometimes we stumble and fall during this life but God lifts us up each time. He helps us stand firm.

God has given me the most important desire of my heart: a family with love in it. I have stumbled and fallen many, many times while walking with him. However, this is one way of learning how much I need God. As Jesus said, "I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand." John 10:28

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Psalm 19 - The Words of the Lord.

Psalm 19 - What it means to me.

Even if you have never heard of God he speaks through the starry skies. The stars, sun and moon don't speak, but their amazing, complex beauty calls to us and says, "There is a God."

The words of the Lord are perfect, trustworthy, right, radiant, pure and firm. They are worth more than gold. They are sweeter than honey. God's words refresh us, make us wise and give us joy and light. Unlike the things of this world, his words last forever.

We are warned by God's words. Forgive my sins, O Lord. May they not rule me. I know you can wash me and make me innocent. You are my rock and my redeemer and I love you.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Psalm 18 - The Lord Lives.

Psalm 18 - What it means to me.

I love you God because you give me strength in this journey of life.

You are like a  rocky mountain or a fortified castle. I feel surrounded by you.

I have been close to death many times but you have rescued me. When I cry to you, I know you hear me.

At the end of time, you will come down from heaven and rescue me. The earth will tremble and shake. You will part the clouds and come down. You will speak, and your words will thunder. The valleys of the seas will be exposed when you come.

You will reach down and take me up out of deep waters. You will rescue me from my enemies because they are too strong for me. You will take me to a spacious place because you are delighted with me. You are faithful to those who are faithful to you.

You are perfect, Lord. Every word you say is flawless. Beside you, there is no other God. You give me strength and make my feet like the feet of a deer. You bring me up to stand upon a high mountain. You show me a broad path to walk in.

I have heard people say, "God is dead."

But I say, "The Lord lives! Blessed be the rock of my salvation!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Psalm 17 - We are the Apple of God's Eye.

Psalm 17 - My Favorite Part.

I call on you, my God, for you will answer me;
turn your ear to me and hear my prayer.

Show me the wonders of your great love,
you who save by your right hand.

Keep me as the apple of your eye;
hide me in the shadow of your wings.

Since reading the Psalms I picture myself being under the shadow of His wings. I love that image. 

I consider my children and grandchildren as the apples of my eye. Being the apple of God's eye is a happy thought. I found some references and comments on what that means.

God says, "Keep my commands and you will live; guard my teachings as the apple of your eye." Proverbs 7:2

"... he who touches you touches the apple of his eye." Zechariah 2:8

The apple of his eye; literally, the mannikin (אִישׁון) of his eye, the pupil; so called because in it, as in a mirror, a person sees his own image reflected in miniature, or because, being the tenderest part of the eye, it is guarded as one would a babe. 

Verse 2. - Keep my commandments, and live (see on Proverbs 4:4). As the apple of thine eye; literally, the little man (ishon, diminutive of ishof the eye; so called from the miniature reflection of objects seen in the pupil, specially of the person who looks into another's eye. It is a proverbial expression for anything particularly precious and liable to be injured unless guarded with scrupulous care.

The language is human. Israel is very precious to God; and they who vex and harass him are as they who hurt that which God prizes inestimably, and which a mere touch offends and injures. The word rendered "apple" is usually considered in mean "aperture," or "gate," the pupil being the entrance to the visual organ; but Dr. Wright regards it rather as a natural word of endearment, like the Latin, pupa, pupilla, indicating "a doll,"

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Psalm 16 - Everlasting Happiness.

Psalm 16 - What it means to me.

Keep me safe, God. This world is a scary place.
Apart from you, there is no good in me. That's because you are the author and maker of all that is good so how can there be any good apart from you. It isn't possible.

I am glad there are so many people in the world who have your Spirit in them. Those are people I love to be with and I want no other God but you.

You are my family and I will take this cup of life you have given to me. With you beside me, I feel secure.

Thank you for teaching me and speaking to my heart and mind; even in the night you instruct me in the way I should live.

I want to keep my eyes always on you so I won't be shaken out of your hand. Doing this makes my heart so happy that I tell you this and also tell other people.

You always show me what is the path to life eternal; I'm full of joy in your presence; there is everlasting happiness as I stand at your right hand.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Psalm 15 - What Does God Want?

Psalm 15 - What it Means to Me.

Who is allowed to fellowship with you in your house, O Lord?
Who can enter into your presence on your holy hill?

He who walks with integrity and does what is right, speaking truth from a sincere heart.
The one who does not say nasty things about his neighbor or spread gossip. He does no evil to his friends.
Someone who esteems others as being above himself and honors those who fear the Lord.
Someone who keeps her word even if it is difficult.
She who does not collect interest on a loan nor takes bribes against the innocent.

He who does these things will never be shaken away from God.

I love this Psalm. These are beautiful things God asks us to do. I have not always been faithful to do all these things. I pray God will help me and all of us to follow his word.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Psalm 14 - The Human Race.

Psalm 14 - What it means to me.

Only a fool says in his heart, "There is no God."
These kind of people are corrupt so their actions are evil. None of them do good.

The Lord looks down from heaven on the whole human race. He looks to see if there are who understand, who seek after God. But no, all have turned away from God; all have become corrupt. There is no one who does good, not even one.

Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary
 The disease of sin has infected the whole race of mankind. They are all gone aside, there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Whatever good is in any of the children of men, or is done by them, it is not of themselves, it is God's work in them. They are gone aside from the right way of their duty, the way that leads to happiness, and are turned into the paths of the destroyer. Let us lament the corruption of our nature, and see what need we have of the grace of God: let us not marvel that we are told we must be born again. And we must not rest in any thing short of union with Christ, and a new creation to holiness by his Spirit.

Will those who do evil never learn? They eat up my people like they eat bread and do not call upon the Lord. One day they will be filled with fear for God is with the righteous. The evil want to shame the oppressed but the Lord will protect his people.

I wish salvation would come out of Zion! When the Lord restores his people they will rejoice and shout with joy!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Psalm 13 - A Struggle with God.

Psalm 13 - What it means to me.

How long will you forget me, O Lord? Will it be forever? How long will you look the other way?

How long must I struggle with anguish in my soul, with sorrow in my heart every day?

How long will the enemy have the upper hand?

Please answer me, oh Lord my God! Give light to my eyes or I will sleep in death.

But even if I feel this way, I will trust in your unfailing love. I will rejoice because of your salvation.

I will sing to the Lord because he has been so good to me.

Many times, when I have been depressed, when anguish filled my soul, I have prayed for God's help. His help doesn't always come at once. I go back to him again and again to pour out my heart. Always, in his time, God comes to me to give me strength to meet another day; to give me hope and peace of mind. I must have trust in His unfailing love as David did.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

How long wilt thou forget me, O Lord? for ever?.... When God does not immediately deliver his people from their enemies, or help them out of an affliction; when he does not discover his love, communicate his grace, apply the blessings and promises of his covenant as usual; and when he does not visit them in his usual manner, and so frequently as he has formerly done, they are ready to conclude he has forgotten them; and sometimes this continues long, and then they fear they are forgotten for ever; and this they cannot bear, and therefore expostulate with God in a querulous manner, as the psalmist does here; but this is to be understood not in reality, but in their own apprehension, and in the opinion of their enemies; God never does nor can forget his people; oblivion does not fall upon him with respect to common persons and things; and much less with respect to his own dear children, for whom a special book of remembrance is written; See Gill on Psalm 9:18

Monday, May 12, 2014

Psalm 12 What is Exalted?

Psalm 12 - What it means to me.

Help me, Lord. For it feels like loyal people are gone from the earth. People lie to their neighbors with flattery and speak with a double-heart.

I wish you would stop them from speaking. But they say, "My lips belong to me, who can stop me?"

"Because the poor are being oppressed, because of the groaning of the needy, I will rise up," says the Lord.
"I will place him in the safety for which he longs."

The words of the Lord are pure words. They are like silver refined in the furnace seven times. Therefore, Lord, we know you will keep them. You will preserve them from this generation forever.

The wicked strut around and what is worthless is exalted among the human race.

This last verse reminds me of what Jesus said, "What is exalted among men is detestable in the sight of God." Luke 16:15

This verse also reminds me of our culture. What is exalted among men? Money, power, fame, sex, an abundance of material things, expensive cars, drinking, good looks, the latest clothes, a huge house, and an impressive career.

But what is exalted in God's eyes? Love, joy, peace, goodness, kindness, generosity, patience, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Galatians 5:22, 23

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Psalm 11 - God and Anarchy.

Psalm 11 As I see it.

Why do you tell me to flee? I will trust in the Lord for protection. Evil people want to kill me, in fact, they are against all good people. The foundations of law and order have collapsed! What are the righteous to do?

The Lord is in His holy Temple; the Lord still rules from heaven. (This shows absolute faith and trust in God no matter what is happening around us.) He watches everything closely, examining everyone on earth. He tests both the good and the evil. He will punish the wicked.

The Lord is good and He loves justice. Those who do what is right will one day see His face.

David wrote this when Saul was King of Israel. Saul did evil and killed those who were good. Law and order were overthrown. We can learn from David how to believe if we ever live in such a place or time. "The Lord is in his holy temple; the Lord still rules from heaven." We must keep our eyes on God and be at peace.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Psalm 10 - Justice.

Psalm 10 the way I see it.

Sometimes it feels like you are so far away, God. (But I know this isn't true.) When I see evil people oppress the poor, the people who are proud and brag about their evil desires, then I wonder where you are.

These people are too proud to seek You. They seem to think God is dead and there will be no punishment for what they do. They are full of cursing, lies and threats. They wait for when people are vulnerable and drag them away. Like lions they crouch silently waiting to pounce on the helpless. They say, "God isn't watching."

Rise up, O Lord, and punish the wicked. You see the trouble and grief they cause. You take note of it and will punish them.

Do not forget the helpless for they put their trust in you. You defend the orphans and hear their cry. You know all their hopes. You will listen to their cries and comfort them. One day you will bring justice to the oppressed and orphans so people can terrify them no more. You are king forever.

I know that the weak and powerless do not always get justice here on earth. But one day they will be with God in heaven and he will satisfy all their hopes and dreams. It is hard to see what goes on in this world - all the pain and suffering, but God will make it up to us.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Psalm 9 - God is Our Haven.

I thank you, O Lord, with all my heart; I want to tell everyone the wonderful things you have done for me. I am filled with joy because we know each other. I love to sing praises to you.

You have made enemies turn back from me. (How many times have you saved me from harm? I don't even know.)

All through history, evil nations have fallen. You have judged with fairness. Even their names are forgotten but you will rule forever with justice and fairness.

Lord, you are a shelter for the oppressed; a haven to run to in times of trouble. Those who know you trust in you, for you never abandon those who search for you.

God cares for the helpless and doesn't ignore those who cry for help. He will avenge murder.

The wicked will go down to the grave; this is the fate of all the nations who ignore God. But the needy will not be forgotten; the hopes of the poor will not always be crushed.

Jesus said,  "In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world." John 16:33

We will have trouble and sorrow in this world. Jesus warned us of this, but one day God will repay us with great joy and happiness in heaven and he is a real comfort and joy to us even while we are here.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Psalm 8 - Creation & Stewardship.

Orion Nebula - NASA

This is Psalm 8 in my own words.

Oh Lord, our Lord, the greatness of your name fills the whole earth! (I see it in the trees, lakes, oceans, and flowers) Your beauty is higher than the heavens.

Babies and children know enough to praise you for the beauty in the world. (Every thing in nature makes them smile.)

When I look up at the night sky and see the work of your fingers - the moon and stars you have placed there - it tells me of your power. It is amazing such a powerful God looks down and loves us all.

For you have made us to be a little lower than yourself and you even gave us glory and honor. You put us in charge of everything you made, the sheep, cattle and all animals; the birds that fly, the fish in the sea and everything in the ocean.

O Lord, our Lord, the greatness of your name fills the whole earth!

Since sin has come into the world we have done a terrible job of being in charge of the earth and animals. The earth is now dying under pollution and we have treated animals as if they have no sense or feeling. Even when we found out we were destroying the atmosphere, we still kept on with our lifestyle. I'm afraid we will reap what we have sown.

"The earth is also polluted by its inhabitants, for they transgressed laws, violated statutes, broke the everlasting covenant." Isaiah 24:5

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Psalm 7 - God as Judge.

Psalm 7 - What it means to me.

Lord, save me from those who would harm me, evil spirits or people.

Lord, if I have done evil, such as harming someone who trusted me or stolen something, then let those I harmed catch me and judge me.

Please rise up against my enemies. I look forward to the day you judge all people. You will decree justice. You will show who is innocent and bring an end to the violence of the wicked and make the righteous safe.
You are the God of all good who sees into the minds of hearts of all people.

My shield is God Himself who saves those who give their hearts to him. My God is a great and good judge. He is angry with evil. He knows the best time to punish evil.

An evil man conceives trouble, is pregnant with evil and gives birth to disillusionment.
An evil man digs a hole and then falls in it himself.
An evil man's violence comes down on his own head.

I'm so thankful God is good. I will praise him every day.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Psalm 6 - God Hears Our Cry.

Psalm 6 In my own words.

Lord, forgive my sins and have mercy on me.

I feel faint, in agony and my soul is in deep pain.

How long must I feel this way? How long?

Lord, deliver me from this because your love for me never fails.

Perhaps I should die; but who praises you from the grave?

I am so tired of crying day and night. My pillow is wet with tears and my eyes are full of sorrow.

But the Lord has heard my weeping.
The Lord has heard my cry for mercy.
The Lord accepts my prayer.

I have felt like this many times. But if I keep praying the Lord comforts me and lifts me up.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Psalm 5 - Evil People.

Psalm 5 in my own words.

O Lord, hear my prayer. I need your help because I am feeling so bad. I will never pray to anyone but you. Each morning I pray and then wait, expecting you to help me.

God, you have no pleasure in seeing sin. How it must hurt your heart! People who do evil, who lie, murder and are proud. You hate what they do because they hurt themselves and other people.

Your love never fails and that is why I worship you. I feel deep awe when I go into your house.

Please lead me in the right paths, O Lord. I don't want my enemies to conquer me. Tell me clearly what to do and which way to turn.

Some people are so evil they want to murder people. Their speech is horrible, like the smell of a dead animal. They flatter people to draw them in. God hates these sins.

Lord, judge them. May they be caught in their own traps. They are rebels against you. When I think of people like this it makes me think of Nero, Saddam Hussain and other dictators who kill people by the thousands. Drive them away, Lord. may their people be freed from tyranny.

But may all who take refuge in you rejoice! May we sing joyful praises to you forever! Protect us, so all who love your name may be filled with joy. Surround us with your shield of love. Amen.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Psalm 4 - Reputation and Anger.

Psalm 4 in my own words.

Oh God, please hear my prayer. People are telling lies about me and ruining my reputation. You know I am innocent.

I know this; you have set me apart for yourself. You will answer when I call to you.

The Lord has taught me not to let anger control me. He says to think about things and remain silent then offer praises to him and trust him to take care of things.

Lots of people say, "Will we ever have better times than this?"  But I say, "Lord, may your face shine upon us." You have given me more joy than those who are rich in lands and money. I will lie down in peace and sleep, knowing you will keep me safe.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Psalm 3 - God's Help.

Photo by, Charlieeleven

This is just my own words on what Psalm 3 means to me.

Lord, a lot of people are against me and my beliefs. They say, "God won't help her."

They don't realize you are like a shield around me. You are the one who is great, who I glory in, and you will lift up my head when it is down in sadness.

When I call out to you, you listen from your holy mountain in heaven. I lay down and sleep and wake in safety because you were watching over me.

I'm not afraid of thousands of enemies or those who would harm me even if they surround me. I trust you no matter what happens.

Rescue me, O God from wicked people. Judge them and stop them.

If I have victory, it all comes from you. May your blessing rest on all your people.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Psalm 2

Psalm 2

My own take on the Psalms.

Kings and rulers make plans against what is good and right; rulers like Herod Agrippa, Nero, Stalin and Hitler. They rage against God's laws of justice and wish to be free of them. But God laughs at them because he knows their power is feeble and short.

The Lord tells us his Son rules in the heavens and all the nations are his. He warns the nations, "Serve the Lord with reverent fear and submit to his Son or he will become angry.

But what joy for all who find protection in Him!