Category Archives: Psalms

Whose counsel are we taking? (Psalm 1-2)

Recently, I made the observation on Facebook that when the church’s message becomes so like the world’s that you can’t tell the difference between the two, you know the church is in trouble. As I said that, I was particularly … Continue reading

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The 23rd Psalm from the Lord’s perspective

Last Sunday, I heard a message touching on the 23rd Psalm, and it helped me to see the Psalm from God’s perspective. I AM your shepherd; you shall not want. I make you lie down in green pastures. I lead … Continue reading

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Joy (Psalm 30)

This psalm was written by David, probably after his sin that took place in I Chronicles 21. And it talks about the joy of forgiveness and restoration. But I also see Jesus in this psalm. On the cross, the Father hid … Continue reading

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Captivated by grace and truth (Psalm 26)

When I read this passage, the first thing I saw was some parallels between this psalm and Psalm 1. If you have time, check it out. But the thing that really struck me was verse 3. For your faithful love … Continue reading

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Keeping a pure heart (I Corinthians 5, Psalm 19)

Today I was reading I Corinthians 5 and Psalm 19, and as I meditated on them, the two passages connected in my heart. In I Corinthians 5, Paul was talking about sin in the church and the need to discipline … Continue reading

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Being honest with yourself (Psalm 15)

One theme that runs throughout this psalm is integrity. And as I read verse 2, it really struck me. In one translation, it reads this way, “[He] speaks truth in his heart.” (ESV) Another reads, [He] acknowledges the truth in his heart.” … Continue reading

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The One who is on the throne (Psalm 9)

Sometimes, we look at the world, and it can get discouraging. We see all the evil and all the people who are hurting. Sometimes we ourselves are hurting. And we wonder where God is. But to David, the answer was … Continue reading

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The Lord is my salvation (Psalm 3)

As I read this psalm, the very last verse struck me: “Salvation belongs to the LORD.” That is pretty much what Jesus’ name means. “The Lord is our Salvation.” Those are words that are worth meditating on: “The Lord is … Continue reading

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Declaring God to the next generation (Psalm 145)

As I was looking at this Psalm today, these words struck me. One generation will declare your works to the next and will proclaim your mighty acts. (4) And then David seems to model what he said in the next … Continue reading

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How we see sin (2 Samuel 11-12; Psalm 51)

In these passages, we see one of the horrid sins of David, committing adultery with Bathsheba and then murdering her husband. And God had some hard words for David concerning that sin. “Why then have you despised the Lord’s command … Continue reading

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Trust (Psalm 131)

As those of you who follow this blog know, this has not been an easy week for me. And when we come face to face with the storms and trials of life, it’s easy to ask, “Why.” The truth is, … Continue reading

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Hearts set on the highway (Psalm 84)

I love this psalm. It is a beautiful psalm from start to finish. I could spend days meditating on it. But here’s what struck me today. Blessed are those whose strength is in you, in whose heart are the highways … Continue reading

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His faithful love (Psalm 118)

You’ll have to pardon the direction my thoughts naturally go this week. As I mentioned yesterday, my pastor and friend passed away this week, and today is the day of his funeral. Thinking about him colors a lot of what … Continue reading

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Costly (Psalm 116)

I suppose it’s apropos that this passage come up at this time of my life. I actually was thinking on this passage a couple of days ago, when for the second time in several months, I lost a pastor to … Continue reading

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What is my heart saying? (Psalm 27)

What is my heart saying? In good times? In bad times? In normal times? What our heart says often shows to whom we belong. It’s clear who David’s heart belonged to. My heart says this about you: “Seek his face.” … Continue reading

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Why we have hope (Psalm 88)

This is probably the most depressing psalm in the Bible. And yet as I read it today, I saw something different: I saw Jesus. This is not what is typically thought of as a Messianic Psalm. And of course, not … Continue reading

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Psalm 18 — The God who came down

It’s strange how my diverse reading plans come together at times. I was reading Psalm 18 yesterday, and by chance came across II Samuel 22 today. They’re two different passages, but the same psalm are in them. And something struck … Continue reading

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Grace and truth (Psalm 57)

We all face troubles at times. David certainly did so, running for his life from Saul. What sustained him? Two things: God’s faithful love and truth. God had promised that he would make David king. And because of God’s faithful … Continue reading

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Continually (Psalm 71)

There are advantages to a more “literal” translation at times. And one of those advantages is that you can see repetition of words more clearly within the same passage. This is one of those cases, and so I’ll be using … Continue reading

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Striving…to rest (Psalm 62)

As I read this Psalm today, I saw it in a different way from how I’ve always seen it. David writes, I am at rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. (1) And again, Rest in God alone, … Continue reading

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Conscious of our sin (Psalm 51)

I’ve probably seen (and sung) this psalm hundreds of times. Today, verse 3 strikes me. David writes, For I am conscious of my rebellion, and my sin is always before me. There are two kinds of problems Christians face when … Continue reading

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Stop fighting! (Psalm 46, I Samuel 19)

It’s been a few days since I last posted. I’ve either been fighting a cold or hay fever since last week, and it’s hard to tell which. Not to mention the fact that it’s been a slow week for insights … Continue reading

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Failing to see God and ourselves for who we are (Psalm 36)

There are two kinds of blindness in this world. And one affects the other. There is the blindness as to who God is. David writes, An oracle within my heart concerning the transgression of the wicked person: Dread of God … Continue reading

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For whom the fruitful tree prospers (Psalm 1)

I was reading this Psalm earlier this week, but didn’t get a chance to write about it, so I thought I would do so today. The psalmist wrote, How happy is the one who does not walk in the advice … Continue reading

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Psalm 150 — Let everything that has breath…

And so we reach the final psalm in the book of Psalms.  And it closes with the most appropriate phrase. Let everything that has breath praise the LORD.  (6) Where is he to be praised?  In his sanctuary, both here … Continue reading

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Psalm 149 — A time to sing, a time to fight

I must admit that upon first reading, this psalm can be a bit disturbing, particularly from verses 6 on. It is a psalm that first calls on God’s people to praise him.  To rejoice in him because he is our … Continue reading

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Psalm 148 — A call to worship

There’s a song by Tommy Walker that I love called “All the Saints Join in” which is basically Psalm 148 set to modern music. The psalm and song are essentially a call to all creation to praise its Creator.  From … Continue reading

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Psalm 147 — When we put our trust in him

In Psalm 146, we see a God who is worthy of our trust.  In this psalm, we see the results of trusting in him. As I mentioned in the blog on Psalm 146, for years, the Israelites had rebelled against … Continue reading

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Psalm 146 — The God who is trustworthy

So many times in this life, people let us down.  We look to them to help us and support us, but they leave us hung out to dry. And so the psalmist here writes, Do not put your trust in … Continue reading

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Psalm 145 — Our infinite, personal God

I was reading a book by Paul Miller this morning called A Praying Life.  I highly recommend it. In one chapter, he emphasizes two things about God.  He emphasizes his infiniteness, but also just how personal he is to us.  … Continue reading

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Psalm 144 — The God who brings us victory

This psalm was likely written just before a battle that David was facing.  And it’s interesting to me that he begins it with praise. Most times when we face a difficult battle or situation, we usually start by asking for … Continue reading

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Psalm 143 — Where we turn

Where do we turn when things are against us?  When people are against us?  It’s a question that David had to ask himself numerous times. He could have, as so many people do, turned to himself.  To his wisdom, to … Continue reading

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Psalm 142 — Pouring out our hearts before God

I’ve already written one post concerning Psalm 142, but it was in combination with another psalm, so I decided to give it its own post. Here we see David in one the caves he spent his time hiding in during … Continue reading

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Psalm 141– Lead me not into temptation…

As Psalm 140 was a prayer similar to our Lord’s in asking for deliverance from evil, Psalm 141 continues that theme and adds the other part of that verse in the Lord’s prayer. Lead us not into temptation.  (Matthew 6:13) … Continue reading

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Psalm 140 — Deliver me from evil

And so we come down to the homestretch for the book of Psalms.  It’s taken about 4 months to get this far, and we have just under two more weeks to complete it. Anyway, as I look at this psalm, … Continue reading

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Psalm 139 — The God who knows and loves me

This is one of the most famous psalms, and probably the favorite of many along with Psalm 23.  Why are these two psalms so beloved?  Probably because they show the loving care of God Actually this psalm could either be … Continue reading

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Psalm 138 — The God who fulfills his purpose in me

After the depressing nature of Psalm 137, this psalm is quite refreshing.  Why?  I suppose it’s because the focus is back where it should be:  on God. When David composed this psalm is uncertain, but I suppose it’s possible he … Continue reading

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Psalm 137 — Dwelling in self-pity

This is one of the more depressing psalms in the book, a lament apparently written during the Babylonian captivity. It pictures the psalmist sitting by the rivers of Babylon, harp in hand, but so depressed by the fall of Jerusalem … Continue reading

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Psalm 136 — Remembering the goodness and love of God

The first verse pretty much sums up the whole psalm. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good. “His love endures forever.” This whole psalm is about God’s goodness and love toward his people.  But as we look at … Continue reading

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Psalm 135 — The God of gods

This psalm starts out pretty much as Psalm 134 does, with a call to worship, and you also see elements of Psalm 115 in this psalm as well. But the main theme of this psalm is the greatness of our … Continue reading

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Psalm 134 — Maintaining a heart of worship

This is the last of the song of ascents, and it has been conjectured that it was sung after the pilgrimage to the temple in Jerusalem had been made, and the people were ready to go home. And as they … Continue reading

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Psalm 133 — Unity

As the pilgrims continued their ascent up to Jerusalem to worship at the temple, they sang about something that is vital for the church today.  Unity. David wrote, How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity! … Continue reading

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Psalm 132 — The God who is faithful to his promises

This is an interesting psalm.  It starts with a prayer to God, and it ends with his answer.  I don’t know of many psalms offhand that are like this. This is one of the last songs of ascent, and as … Continue reading

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Psalm 131 — Humility

Another short but sweet psalm, in which David shows us the kind of heart we need when approaching God, which is appropriate considering that people sang this on their way to worship God in the temple. What kind of heart … Continue reading

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Psalm 130 — A God of forgiveness and mercy

This is a very short, but sweet psalm which reflects on the forgiveness and mercy of God in a time of distress. The date of this psalm is not known, but it has the feel of someone writing after the … Continue reading

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Psalm 129 — Though we are persecuted

Here in this psalm we see two things.  First we see the persecution that the Jewish people have suffered throughout history.  We see it first in Egypt, then through the times of the judges and periods of the kings, all … Continue reading

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Psalm 128 — When we put God first

So many of us seek happiness in our lives.  We seek it in our families, we seek it in our jobs, and we seek it in financial security. But in this psalm, we see the key to true happiness.  The … Continue reading

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Psalm 127 — The limits of our own efforts

This psalm was written by Solomon, but it reminds me of a later time in Israel’s history when Nehemiah was trying to rebuild the walls. Solomon wrote, Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain.  Unless the … Continue reading

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Psalm 126 — Set free!

I would guess that this was written after the Babylonian captivity, perhaps during the time of Ezra or Nehemiah, or perhaps sometime after as the Jews looked back on their return to Jerusalem.  And as you look at this psalm, … Continue reading

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Psalm 125 — Unshaken

This is another of my favorite psalms, in part because there was a song we used to sing at my church way back when that was based on it.  I especially love the first two verses. Those who trust in … Continue reading

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Psalm 124 — Rejoicing in God’s favor

This psalm was written by David, but it’s not clear what the context of the psalm was.  In all probability, it was written after a great victory in battle when the odds seemed against them.  It’s the type of psalm … Continue reading

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Psalm 123 — A cry for mercy

This is a very interesting psalm in the imagery it gives.  The psalmist writes, I lift up my eyes to you, to you whose throne is in heaven.  As the eyes of slaves look to the hand of their master, … Continue reading

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Psalm 122 — The joy of being with God’s people

As the pilgrims came upon the gates of Jerusalem, they probably started singing this song.  And it shows their joy in coming to the house of God. I rejoiced with those who said to me, “Let us go to the … Continue reading

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Psalm 121 — The God who watches over us

This is one of the most beautiful psalms in the book, and was my father’s favorite.  I can see why. It is a psalm of utter trust in the Lord. It starts out, I lift up my eyes to the … Continue reading

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Psalm 120 — Angered by the evil around us

How often do you get angered by the evil that you see around you?  That’s how the psalmist felt. What did he see around him?  Lying lips.  Deceitful tongues.  (2)  And people who not only disrupted peace, but caused war … Continue reading

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Psalm 119:145-176 — Refusing to give in to evil

And so we come to the close of Psalm 119.  As I’ve said before, it’s an anonymous psalm, but I wouldn’t be surprised if David was the author.  One reason is how this psalm ends, and the experiences of the … Continue reading

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Psalm 119:97-144 — The way to understanding

All of us would like to grow in wisdom and understanding.  And in this passage, we see how we can do so. The psalmist writes, Your commands make me wiser than my enemies, for they are ever with me.  I … Continue reading

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Psalm 119:81-96 — Where we put our hope

And so we hit the halfway point of this psalm. I love the psalmist’s words to open this section. My soul faints with longing for your salvation, but I have put my hope in your word.  (81) Sometimes we go … Continue reading

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Psalm 119:65-80 — A soft heart

I noted in an earlier blog on this psalm that the psalmist had a humble heart.  A heart that admitted that it didn’t know everything, and was very teachable. We see more of that here, but we also see a … Continue reading

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Psalm 119: 41-64 — The word that brings freedom and comfort

The love that the writer has for God’s word really strikes me as I go through this psalm.  So many people take God’s word as something that binds.  Namely, something that takes away our freedom to enjoy life.  “Do this, … Continue reading

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Psalm 119:17-40 — The need for understanding

And so we continue on with this, the longest psalm in the book. The thing I see in this passage, is the humble heart of the psalmist.  A heart that says, “I don’t know everything.  Give me understanding.” He says … Continue reading

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Psalm 119:1-15 — A desire for holiness

We now hit the longest chapter in the Bible.  Needless to say, it’s also the longest psalm.  I toyed with the idea with just getting it all over with in one shot, but I figured I wouldn’t be able to … Continue reading

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Psalm 118 — A psalm of salvation

If there is one psalm that will be sung when Jesus returns, I would guess that this would be it.  Because it is a song of utter praise for our salvation, that has more meaning for us than it had … Continue reading

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Psalm 117 — When all nations worship

This is the calm before the storm.  Here we have the shortest psalm in the Bible (as well as the shortest chapter), soon to be followed by the longest one.  I’m still not sure how I will tackle Psalm 119, … Continue reading

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Psalm 116 — Hope in the darkest of times

I think I’ve loved this psalm ever since I heard a song based on the Living Bible version of it. The Living Bible puts it something like this, I love the Lord because he hears my prayers and answers them. … Continue reading

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Psalm 115 — The One who deserves our praise and trust

The psalmist starts out this psalm with a cry that resonates. Not to us, O LORD, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness.  (1) Who are you living for?  For yourself?  … Continue reading

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Psalm 114 — Saved to be a sanctuary, and a kingdom

This is a psalm that talks about how God delivered the Israelites out of Egypt, led them through the desert, and into the promised land. From the partings of the Red Sea and the Jordan, to God’s appearance on Mount … Continue reading

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Psalm 113 — The God on high, who stooped down

Probably the most incredible thing about God is that as great and awesome as he is, he cares about us. This psalm starts with a call to worship, as the psalmist sings, Praise the Lord.  Praise the Lord, you his servants; praise … Continue reading

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Psalm 112 — The blessing of fearing and delighting in God

Fear and delight.  Those are two words that you don’t often seen thrown together.  But the psalmist here does use them together, talking about the blessing that comes from fearing God and delighting in him and his word. He writes, … Continue reading

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Psalm 111 — Pondering the Lord’s works

It’s so easy sometimes to ponder over the negative things in life.  To see the bad things that have happened in our lives and to let them dominate our thinking.  Honestly, that’s what I’ve been doing over the past several … Continue reading

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Psalm 110 — Our King and Priest

Today, we see one of the most famous Messianic psalms.  Jesus, himself quoted it in posing a puzzle to the Pharisees (Matthew 22:41-45). And here, Yahweh (the LORD, that is, God the Father) says to the Messiah (David’s Lord), Sit … Continue reading

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Psalm 109 — Bitterness and forgiveness, mercy and justice

This is another of the imprecatory psalms, where we see the psalmist calling for the judgment of God on those who have wronged him. A lot of people, including myself, get disturbed reading these kinds of psalms, because it seems … Continue reading

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Psalm 107 — Telling our story

Somehow through my years as a Christian, the beauty of this psalm escaped me.  But the new NIV’s rendition, particularly verse 2 struck me and put it into a new light.  It reads, Let the redeemed of the Lord tell … Continue reading

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Psalm 104 — The Creator and his creation

And so we come to the end of book IV of the Psalms (actually it ends with Psalm 106, but we’ve already covered 105 and 106 earlier). Whether David is the author of this psalm or not is unknown, but … Continue reading

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Psalm 103 — The love and mercy of God

This is a psalm of praise for the love and mercy of God.  When David wrote this, we don’t know, but I kind of think it was written after his sin with Bathsheba or perhaps his sin concerning the census. … Continue reading

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Psalm 102 — The God who never changes

I love how this psalm ends. In the beginning you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands.  They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment.  Like … Continue reading

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Psalm 101 — Becoming like Him

In this psalm, we see a glimpse of why God called David a man after his own heart. He starts by singing, I will sing of your love and justice; to you, Lord, I will sing praise.  (1) Because of God’s … Continue reading

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Psalm 100 — True worship

This is, above all, a song of worship. It starts out with a call to worship, as the psalmist sings, Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.  Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.  (1-2) It then … Continue reading

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Psalm 99 — The God who is holy

So often, when we think of God and his character, the first word that comes to mind is “love.” And it is true.  God is love.  But here we see another aspect of his character.  His holiness.  And so while … Continue reading

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Psalm 98 — Rejoicing in our salvation

This psalm is anonymous, so it could’ve been written in any number of contexts.  It could’ve been written following the Israelites deliverance from Egypt, or perhaps it was written by David after his reign was firmly established, or it could’ve … Continue reading

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Psalm 97 — Rejoicing in our King

This is another psalm that rejoices in the greatness of our King. The psalmist starts by shouting out, The LORD reigns, let the earth be glad; let the distant shores rejoice.  (1) “Let the earth be glad.”  In a perfect … Continue reading

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Psalm 95 — The one worthy of our praise and trust

This psalm is very interesting to me in that it starts out with great praise and rejoicing, and concludes with a solemn warning. You can easily hear the joy in the psalmist’s voice as he sings, Come, let us sing … Continue reading

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Psalm 94 — The God who judges, the God who disciplines

Judgment and discipline.  I think a lot of times we get confused about which God is doing in our lives, particularly when bad things happen to us.  It’s easy to think, “God must be judging and punishing me for what … Continue reading

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Psalm 93 — The God who reigns

This is a very short psalm, and it reminds me of the old song by Jack Hayford, “Majesty.” For it reminds us of the majesty of God and how it is he that reigns over this whole earth.  The psalmist … Continue reading

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Psalm 92 — Making music towards God

This psalm was written for the Sabbath.  As most people know, the Sabbath was a day that God told the Israelites to set aside in order to worship him.  That’s exactly what this psalm does. I like verses 1-2. It … Continue reading

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Psalm 91 — Shadow of the Almighty

One of my favorite books is “Shadow of the Almighty.”  It’s a book that has a lot of the letters and journal entries of a man named Jim Elliot, a missionary to the Aucas in South America.  If you’ve never … Continue reading

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Psalm 90 — Keeping our perspective

I wrote briefly on this psalm a while back, but after rereading it, I’ve decided to come back to it and add to my comments.  In this psalm, we see the mortality of people in contrast to the eternal nature … Continue reading

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Psalm 89 — The God who never fails

After such a depressing psalm in Psalm 88, Psalm 89 starts off on a much brighter note.  Nevertheless, it too was also written in a time of trouble. The psalmist starts by singing, I will sing of the Lord’s great love … Continue reading

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Psalm 88 — God’s silence

This psalm could almost have been written by Job.  This is yet another psalm that deals with God’s silence in our suffering.  And as in real life, we don’t always see a happy ending. The psalmist starts by basically crying … Continue reading

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Psalm 87 — The people of God

This psalm is talking about Jerusalem, but as I read it, I really see the love God has for his people, and how he rejoices over us. The psalmist says of Jerusalem, He has founded his city on the holy … Continue reading

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Psalm 86 — Guarding our hearts in times of trouble

Solomon once wrote “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.”  (Proverbs 4:23) This is always true, of course, but especially in times of trouble.  And Solomon’s father David certainly had his share of it. … Continue reading

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Psalm 85 — Repentance and mercy

It’s not certain when this psalm was written.  Charles Spurgeon seems to have thought it was written by David, but I tend to agree with the scholars who say it was written after the Babylonian captivity. The psalmist writes, You, Lord, … Continue reading

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Psalm 84 — Setting our sights

This is one of the most beautiful psalms in my opinion and one of my favorites.  And it’s one in which we are encouraged to set our sights, not on the things of this earth, but on eternity. It was … Continue reading

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Psalm 83 — Deliver us from evil

When I look at this passage, it reminds me of our Lord’s prayer, when he told us to pray, “Deliver us from evil.” In this psalm, Israel was facing some really big threats by the surrounding nations.  And so the … Continue reading

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Psalm 82 — When the judges will be judged

I think a lot of us get frustrated by the injustices we see in our courts.  People we know are guilty get set free, and the people they hurt are left even more wounded. It’s not a new problem.  It … Continue reading

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Psalm 81 — If only…

In this psalm, the psalmist begins with a call to worship, singing, Sing for joy to God our strength; shout aloud to the God of Jacob!  Begin the music, strike the timbrel, play the melodious harp and lyre.  (1-2) The … Continue reading

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Psalm 79-80 — The consequences of sin

These two psalms seemed linked, so I’m putting them together.  Both apparently happened after the fall of Jerusalem to Babylon, and are very similar in tone to Lamentations. Psalm 79 opens with this lament: O God, the nations have invaded your … Continue reading

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Psalm 78 — Telling the next generation

For my daughter’s last birthday, we bought her a children’s Bible.  What’s nice is that it’s in English and Japanese, so my wife reads to her in Japanese, and I read to her in English.  It’s our hope that through … Continue reading

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Psalm 77 — Abandoned?

One thing I’ve noticed about the psalms as I’ve been going through them is that a lot of the themes seem to be similar.  Particularly, the struggles people have when dealing with an invisible God.  It’s kind of comforting, actually. … Continue reading

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Psalm 76 — The God who will be praised

It has been conjectured that this psalm was written after the incident with Sennacherib, during the time of Hezekiah.  Whether this is true or not, I’m not sure, but it does fit with the events laid out in Kings and … Continue reading

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Psalm 75 — When justice finally comes

Whenever I look at this psalm, I can’t help but sing to myself the old chorus based on this psalm. We give thanks to thee O Lord, we give thanks. For thy name is near, Thy wondrous works men declare. … Continue reading

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Psalm 74 — A cry for mercy

It’s not certain when this psalm was written.  There are a couple of problems with trying to date it.  First, the notation attributes this psalm to Asaph who lived during the times of David, Solomon, and Rehoboam.  There is nothing … Continue reading

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Psalm 73 — Discouraged by the evil we see.

It  can be discouraging at times to see all the evil that is in this world.  To see people who prosper despite having no fear of God at all.  People who only look out for themselves and don’t care who … Continue reading

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Psalm 72 — When Christ reigns

This is a psalm written by Solomon that looks forward to the time when Christ, the great King, reigns. So often we look at the people ruling or governing our nations, and all we are left with is disappointment.  People … Continue reading

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Psalm 71 — Our hope and confidence

This is probably not the most well known of Psalms, but the more I read it, the more I like it.  It shows the hope and confidence that the psalmist had from knowing God, even during the darkest of times. … Continue reading

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Psalm 70 — Hurry up God!

I debated briefly whether to give this chapter it’s own blog entry, considering it’s very similar to the latter part of Psalm 40.  But I don’t think I really commented much on that part of Psalm 40, so I decided … Continue reading

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Psalm 69 — The cry of Christ

This psalm is largely, though not completely messianic.  In it we see many references which are applied to Christ in the New Testament. We see his suffering on the cross in which he starts sinking into death.  He cries out … Continue reading

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Psalm 68 — A God of power…and mercy

As I read this psalm two things strike me.  First, God’s power. It starts out with a prayer showing God’s power to cast down the enemy. May God arise, may his enemies be scattered; may his foes flee before him. … Continue reading

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Psalm 67 — Blessed that all may know

This psalm starts out much as the priestly blessing does in Numbers 6:24-26. The psalmist writes, May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine upon us. (1) What’s interesting to me is the reason … Continue reading

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Psalm 66 — The God who brings us through trial

Nobody likes trials.  At least, I can’t say I do.  But in this psalm we see the rejoicing of God’s people having come through those trials. The psalmist sings, Shout for joy to God, all the earth!  Sing the glory … Continue reading

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Psalm 65 — The God who saves us and fills us

It’s hard to tell in what situation this psalm was written.  It’s possible it was written after a time of famine or drought as a result of God’s judgment, followed by a time of repentance and blessing. The psalmist starts … Continue reading

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Psalm 64 — No escape

One of my all-time favorite shows is “Columbo.”  They often show it on “Mystery Channel” here in Japan.  And in it, the criminals always think they have devised the perfect crime, only to see it come unraveled thread by thread … Continue reading

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Psalm 62 — Where we place our trust

This has always been another of my favorite psalms and songs.  In a time of great trouble (when was David ever NOT in trouble), he sang, My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him.  He alone … Continue reading

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Psalm 61 — The God who is where we are

In this psalm, it seems that David is once again on the run.  Apparently, he was already king at this time, so it’s likely that he wrote it when he was in exile during the time of Absalom’s rebellion. And … Continue reading

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Psalm 108 — Remembering our times of victory

We’re taking a brief jump to Psalm 108, basically because it’s a combination of Psalms 57 and 60.  Verses 1-5 come from the latter part of Psalm 57 while verses 6-13 come from the latter part of Psalm 60. Whether … Continue reading

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Psalm 60 — In the face of defeat

This psalm is a bit unusual in that if you look at its title, it seems to have been written in a time of victory.  And yet, when you look at it, the Israelites seem to have suffered a terrible … Continue reading

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Psalm 58 — When we see injustice

One thing that I think frustrates us all is to see a person that we know is guilty be set free by a judge.  Perhaps the police or prosecutors mishandled the case, or perhaps the judges or juries themselves were … Continue reading

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Psalm 55 — Though friends may betray you

We don’t know when this psalm was written, but it’s possible it was written during Absalom’s rebellion against David.  During that time, one of David’s former counselors, a man named Ahithophel, turned his back on David and sided with Absalom.  … Continue reading

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Psalm 50 — Two misconceptions of God

This psalm reads a lot like the message of the prophets in terms of its contents.  And it tackles two common misconceptions people have of God. In the first part, God is seen coming into the courtroom, calling the defendants … Continue reading

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Psalm 49 — What money can’t buy

As the old saying goes, “Money makes the world go round.”  But the psalmist here reminds us of another more important truth.  “There are some things that money can’t buy.” He writes, No man can redeem the life of another … Continue reading

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Psalm 48 — When God dwells within us

This psalm was probably written after an attack was made upon Jerusalem.  And it praises the greatness of God who protected her. It exults, Great is the Lord, and most worthy of praise, in the city of our God, his … Continue reading

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Psalm 47 — Sing and shout!

Yesterday morning, I was on the train listening to a worship song and I was really getting into it, singing along.  Of course, I didn’t do this out loud.  I was just mouthing the words, but nevertheless, I noticed a … Continue reading

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Psalm 46 — When all is chaos around us

Chaos. Children screaming.  Sick spouses.  Deadlines and and pressure coming in from all sides. Sound familiar? We all face the clamor of life from time to time.  And sometimes the whole world seems to be crashing in upon us. If … Continue reading

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Psalm 45 — Bonded to Jesus

It says in the title of this song that it was written for the wedding of a king.  But in it, we see the wedding not only of the king it was written for, but the wedding of the great … Continue reading

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Psalm 44 — Why is this happening to me?

“Why is this happening to me?” Have you ever felt that way?  The psalmist certainly did.  What the background of this psalm is, is unclear.  Apparently it was at a time when the people were trying to serve God, and … Continue reading

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Psalm 42-43 — Depression

Depression.  All of us go through it at some point in our lives.  Some go deeper into it than others.  The writer of these psalms was no exception, and he writes about it in utterly striking pictures. He starts by … Continue reading

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Psalm 41 — Being merciful

We now come to the end of the first book of psalms (there are five all together). And David starts it by writing, Blessed is he who has regard for the weak; the LORD delivers him in times of trouble.  … Continue reading

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Psalm 40 — Song of a Savior

In this psalm by David, we see his suffering and deliverance. But we also see the song of our Savior, as he sings about his suffering on the cross and his resurrection. It starts out with David praising God for … Continue reading

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Psalm 38-39 — True repentance

There may or may not be any direct connection between these two psalms, but both seem to be dealing with David’s attitude toward God’s discipline in his life, and so I place them together here. We don’t know what the … Continue reading

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Psalm 37 — Frustrated by the evil we see

“What’s the point of following God and doing what’s right, when I’m struggling and so many people I see doing their own thing are prospering?” So many times we feel that way.  We look at all the people doing evil … Continue reading

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Psalm 36:5-12 — The goodness of God

In the first half of this psalm, we saw the evil of mankind.  In the second half, we see the goodness of God. I love how David describes the character of God here. Your love, O LORD, reaches to the … Continue reading

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Psalm 36:1-4 — The evil of mankind

As I write this, a major story in the American sports world is the arrest of an NFL star named Aaron Hernandez.  Hernandez is charged with murder. It seems quite unreal to me.  I am by no means a New … Continue reading

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Psalm 35 — When people hate us

When I was a kid, I had a friend that I would often hang out with.  But by the time we hit junior high school, we had kind of drifted apart, and it soon became evident that he really didn’t … Continue reading

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Psalm 33 — The One worthy of our praise and our trust

I’ve noted this before, but if you’ve noticed that we’ve “skipped” Psalm 32, we really haven’t.  I wrote about a number of the psalms when going through the life of David, so if you’re interested, just do a quick search … Continue reading

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Psalm 31 — Placing ourselves in God’s hands

When David wrote this psalm is a matter of speculation, as are most of his psalms.  At a guess, it was written during his flight from Saul, and based on verse 21, perhaps after his flight from Keilah.  (I Samuel … Continue reading

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Psalm 30 — When God disciplines

Looking back, I really should have put this psalm back in the life of David.  I missed it somehow.  It has been conjectured that this psalm was written just after David’s sin in conducting a census of the people out … Continue reading

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Psalm 29 — The awesome God…who cares about you

Many people in Japan think I’m strange, but I love thunderstorms.  I love hearing the lightning flash and the thunder roar.  Of course, this is much cooler indoors, than out.  🙂 I was looking at the Amplified Bible today, and … Continue reading

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Psalm 28 — Crying out in times of trouble

Sometimes as we pray, it seems that God is slow in answering.  Or that perhaps he’s just ignoring us.  We see this here in this psalm.  David cries out, To you I call, O LORD my Rock; do not turn … Continue reading

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Psalm 27 — Waiting on God

It has been said that when we fear God, we need not fear anything else.  And we see this so clearly in this psalm. David starts by singing, The LORD is my light and my salvation – whom shall I … Continue reading

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Psalm 26 — Blameless, under God’s grace

This is another psalm where I wish I knew when David wrote it.  Did he write it during the time of his flight from Saul?  Or from Absalom?  Or did he write it at some other time in his life? … Continue reading

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Psalm 25 – Crying out for God

I often wish that we had a little more insight as to the background of the songs that David wrote.  Some of the psalms have the background written in the title.  This one, unfortunately, does not. But what strikes me … Continue reading

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Psalm 24 — Making way for the King

In the last psalm, we saw God as a loving shepherd.  Here we see him as king. On what basis does he claim that title?  That he is our creator.  David sang, The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in … Continue reading

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Psalm 23 — Our Shepherd

This is probably the most famous psalm in the book.  Probably because of the intimacy it displays between God and us.  In other psalms, we see God as king.  As judge.  As avenger.  As warrior.  But in this passage, we … Continue reading

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Psalm 22 — The God who understands suffering

Our pastor was continuing his message series on suffering yesterday, and he made an interesting point.  “Just because God doesn’t ‘cooperate’ with us, doesn’t mean he doesn’t exist.”  That is, just because God doesn’t answer our prayers the way we … Continue reading

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Psalm 21 — Remembering where victory and blessing come from

When things are going badly, our thoughts often quickly turn towards God.  But what about during times of victory and blessing?  Do our thoughts turn quickly in praise towards God?  Or do our thoughts turn towards ourselves, and how great … Continue reading

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Psalm 20 — The key to victory

It seems that David wrote this psalm on the eve of a battle.  And here, the people pray for God’s blessing on him as he and his army go out. May the Lord answer you when you are in distress; … Continue reading

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Psalm 19 — How God reveals himself

This is another one of my favorite psalms and it powerfully shows how God reveals himself to us. First, David shows us how God reveals himself through creation.   He sang, The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim … Continue reading

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Psalm 17 — To be like Him

As is often the case with David, he wrote this psalm when he was in trouble, and people were pursuing his life. One thing that strikes me about David is he refused to lower himself to the level of his … Continue reading

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Psalm 16 — The Path to Life

Everyone wants a life worth living.  That’s what David found, despite all his troubles, and in this psalm he shows us how to find the path to life. In short, the path to life is not primarily a way of … Continue reading

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Psalm 15 — A life of holiness

I once heard someone describe the word holiness as “wholeness.”  That when we live a holy life, that’s when we’re whole, because we’re living the way that God intended us to live. I mentioned yesterday how when people reject God, … Continue reading

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