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Tag Archives: psalm

My Help Comes From the Lord

1I lift up my eyes to the hills— from where will my help come?
2My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
3He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber.
4He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
5The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade at your right hand.
6The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.
7The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life.
8The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time on and forevermore.
(Psalm 121, NRSV)

This is one of my favorite Psalms.

It reminds me in any and all circumstances that God is always there for me and will shelter me and guide me. God will always be there to help me and protect me. God will keep me from harm and evil and will watch over me.

That is comforting to me. To know no matter where I go or what I do God will never fail me.

 

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Crying out to God

1My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from helping me, from the words of my groaning?
2O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer; and by night, but find no rest.
3Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel.
4In you our ancestors trusted; they trusted, and you delivered them.
5To you they cried, and were saved; in you they trusted, and were not put to shame.
6But I am a worm, and not human; scorned by others, and despised by the people.
7All who see me mock at me; they make mouths at me, they shake their heads;
8“Commit your cause to the Lord; let him deliver— let him rescue the one in whom he delights!”
9Yet it was you who took me from the womb; you kept me safe on my mother’s breast.
10On you I was cast from my birth, and since my mother bore me you have been my God.
11Do not be far from me, for trouble is near and there is no one to help.
12Many bulls encircle me, strong bulls of Bashan surround me;
13they open wide their mouths at me, like a ravening and roaring lion.
14I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax; it is melted within my breast;
15my mouth is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to my jaws; you lay me in the dust of death.
16For dogs are all around me; a company of evildoers encircles me. My hands and feet have shriveled;
17I can count all my bones. They stare and gloat over me;
18they divide my clothes among themselves, and for my clothing they cast lots.
19But you, O Lord, do not be far away! O my help, come quickly to my aid!
20Deliver my soul from the sword, my life from the power of the dog!
21Save me from the mouth of the lion! From the horns of the wild oxen you have rescued me.
22I will tell of your name to my brothers and sisters; in the midst of the congregation I will praise you:
23You who fear the Lord, praise him! All you offspring of Jacob, glorify him; stand in awe of him, all you offspring of Israel!
24For he did not despise or abhor the affliction of the afflicted; he did not hide his face from me, but heard when I cried to him.
25From you comes my praise in the great congregation; my vows I will pay before those who fear him.
26The poor shall eat and be satisfied; those who seek him shall praise the Lord. May your hearts live forever!
27All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord; and all the families of the nations shall worship before him.
28For dominion belongs to the Lord, and he rules over the nations.
29To him, indeed, shall all who sleep in the earth bow down; before him shall bow all who go down to the dust, and I shall live for him.
30Posterity will serve him; future generations will be told about the Lord,
31and proclaim his deliverance to a people yet unborn, saying that he has done it.
(Psalm 22:1-11, NRSV)

Here we see the writer crying out to be saved and at first, it seems like God is not going to be there, he is mocked and seemingly left to die…

Yet read it again and see that God never left and through God there is victory!

 

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The Crucifixion

27Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the governor’s headquarters, and they gathered the whole cohort around him. 28They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, 29and after twisting some thorns into a crown, they put it on his head. They put a reed in his right hand and knelt before him and mocked him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” 30They spat on him, and took the reed and struck him on the head. 31After mocking him, they stripped him of the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him. 32As they went out, they came upon a man from Cyrene named Simon; they compelled this man to carry his cross. 33And when they came to a place called Golgotha (which means Place of a Skull), 34they offered him wine to drink, mixed with gall; but when he tasted it, he would not drink it. 35And when they had crucified him, they divided his clothes among themselves by casting lots; 36then they sat down there and kept watch over him. 37Over his head they put the charge against him, which read, “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.”38Then two bandits were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left. 39Those who passed by derided him, shaking their heads 40and saying, “You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” 41In the same way the chief priests also, along with the scribes and elders, were mocking him, saying, 42“He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down from the cross now, and we will believe in him. 43He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he wants to; for he said, ‘I am God’s Son.’” 44The bandits who were crucified with him also taunted him in the same way. 45From noon on, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. 46And about three o’clock Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” 47When some of the bystanders heard it, they said, “This man is calling for Elijah.” 48At once one of them ran and got a sponge, filled it with sour wine, put it on a stick, and gave it to him to drink. 49But the others said, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save him.” 50Then Jesus cried again with a loud voice and breathed his last. 51At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, and the rocks were split. 52The tombs also were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised.53After his resurrection they came out of the tombs and entered the holy city and appeared to many. 54Now when the centurion and those with him, who were keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were terrified and said, “Truly this man was God’s Son!”55Many women were also there, looking on from a distance; they had followed Jesus from Galilee and had provided for him. 56Among them were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee. 57When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who was also a disciple of Jesus. 58He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus; then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. 59So Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth 60and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn in the rock. He then rolled a great stone to the door of the tomb and went away. 61Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were there, sitting opposite the tomb. (Matthew 27:27-61, NRSV)

My God, My God, Why have you forsaken me? Why did Jesus say this if he was God? How can God forsake God? Some say this is the point where God had to leave Jesus in order that he could die, or that Jesus wasn’t actually God all along, or that maybe this wasn’t Jesus on the cross. Besides the fact that it would be physiologically impossible for a man who was on the cross as long as Jesus was here to even mutter a sound, we are hung up on the words Jesus says. But here Jesus says the first line os Psalm 22. And it is my understanding that in Jesus day for a person to pray the entirety of a psalm all they had to do was say the first line. So maybe Jesus was praying Psalm 22, which is a psalm that starts out it seems with God forsaking the person, but in the end, it is that God has never left them at all and has vindicated them. So is Jesus asking why he was left, or saying hold on, I’ll be right back?

 

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A Psalm of David

1The Lord says to my lord, “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies your footstool.”
2The Lord sends out from Zion your mighty scepter. Rule in the midst of your foes.
3Your people will offer themselves willingly on the day you lead your forces on the holy mountains. From the womb of the morning, like dew, your youth will come to you.
4The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind, “You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.”
5The Lord is at your right hand; he will shatter kings on the day of his wrath.
6He will execute judgment among the nations, filling them with corpses; he will shatter heads over the wide earth.
7He will drink from the stream by the path; therefore he will lift up his head.
(Psalm 110:1-7, NRSV)

This is an interesting psalm, written by David, under the prompting of the Holy Spirit according to Jesus in Matthew 22:43.

This psalm is written by God through David and is about the Messiah.

The Messiah is on who will sit at God’s right hand, he will rule over everyone, his people will willingly follow him, he will be a priest forever, he will shatter kingdoms and execute judgment over all. Some of this can be kind of scary when you take it in a militaristic sense, which is probably why the people did not recognize Jesus as the Messiah, he didn’t come leading an army, yet he still did most of these things and is coming back to finish the process.

How do you want Jesus to be a ruler and a savior of the world?

 

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God laughs…

Why do the nations conspire, and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and his anointed, saying, ‘Let us burst their bonds asunder, and cast their cords from us.’ He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord has them in derision. Then he will speak to them in his wrath, and terrify them in his fury, saying, ‘I have set my king on Zion, my holy hill.’ I will tell of the decree of the Lord: He said to me, ‘You are my son; today I have begotten you. Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron, and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.’ Now therefore, O kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, with trembling kiss his feet, or he will be angry, and you will perish in the way; for his wrath is quickly kindled. Happy are all who take refuge in him. (Psalm 2, NRSV)

A really good movie is My Sisters Keeper. It starts out with the quote, “If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans.”

The psalmist tells us that He who sits in the heavens laughs. He is doing this because we are so funny in our lives and our undertakings. We think we have it all together and everything will be so good and cool.

When in reality on our own we can do nothing. He is laughing because we are taking refuge in ourselves. And to be happy and without the need for our own planning we need to take refuge in Him…

If you take refuge in Him, He will be laughing with you instead of at you!

 

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forgiven!

Happy are those whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Happy are those to whom the Lord imputes no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit. While I kept silence, my body wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Then I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not hide my iniquity; I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord’, and you forgave the guilt of my sin.Therefore let all who are faithful offer prayer to you; at a time of distress, the rush of mighty waters shall not reach them. You are a hiding-place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with glad cries of deliverance. (Psalm 32, NRSV)

Happy are they…

Are you happy?

Well according to David you should be if there is no deceit in your spirit… If all of your dealings are upright and trust worthy!

David also says you should be happy if the Lord imputes no iniquity to you…

Ok I admit I had to look up imputes. While I can come up with meaning from context, what does it really mean…

Merriam-Webster defines impute as: to say or suggest that someone or something has or is guilty of (something)

So you should be happy when the Lord says you are not guilty of committing sin. When you have been forgiven.

Now forgiveness of the sins we have committed and imputing no iniquity is not the same. We are forgiven, and then told that we are not guilty of committing any sins. So we are truly clean and because of that we are happy.

We can be forgiven and made clean by God, and that should make all of us very happy!

 

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live where?

How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord of hosts! My soul longs, indeed it faints for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God. Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, at your altars, O Lord of hosts, my King and my God. Happy are those who live in your house, ever singing your praise. Happy are those whose strength is in you, in whose heart are the highways to Zion. As they go through the valley of Baca they make it a place of springs; the early rain also covers it with pools. They go from strength to strength; the God of gods will be seen in Zion. (Psalm 84, NRSV)

Have you ever been homeless?

It is not an easy thing to take. A few years ago we were in kind of the situation we are now. Only we did not have jobs, nor the savings we did have recently (thanks in part to Dave Ramsey!).

At that point in time we were living with some friends, because they had a house big enough for the 2 of them and the 5 of us. we were very fortunate. But then they were adopting and needed to do a home study, and with us there it was not going to work…

So for a while we wondered where we wold live. We had not found a call, and we needed to be out of the house we were living in quickly so they could start the family we had been talking about for a long time. So we were almost homeless. We did find a place to stay and were taken care of.

And you see that is the point of the psalmist today. We need to rest and live in the house of the Lord. Does the swallow or the sparrow fret about where they will live? No they find a place, and if you are resting in the Lord, He will take care of you, just like He provides for the sparrow and the swallow!

 

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help…

I lift up my eyes to the hills—from where will my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber. He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade at your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time on and for evermore. (Psalm 121, NRSV)

Where do you get help when you need it?

When you are walking in the valley and the world seems to be closing in around you, where do you go for help?

The psalmist says that his help comes from the Lord, the creator of everything. The Lord neither slumber or sleeps, so He is always available. He is your shade and protection against the sun, moon, stars, wind, rain and all things! He protects you.

The Lord will keep you in all ways and be your protection.

So look up and see the Lord is there for you. and know He is your help.

 

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Have mercy!

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against you, you alone, have I sinned, and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are justified in your sentence and blameless when you pass judgement.  Indeed, I was born guilty, a sinner when my mother conceived me. You desire truth in the inward being; therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have crushed rejoice. Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me. (Psalm 51:1-10, NRSV)

Do yo know what you have done wrong? Do you think about the mistakes you have made?

Most of us think about the things we messed up. We spend a lot of time going over the details of our failures in our minds and have a hard time letting them go.

We are constantly looking at our failures, how can we see the wonder that God sees when He looks at us? He sees a wonderful creation made to wonders! If we can only lay our burdens at His feet, give up our mistakes and hand them over to Him and allow Him to create a new and right spirit within us so that we can have a clean heart and be focused on Him.

Give up your mistakes to the one who created you to be a wonder!

 

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Joy vs Sorrow

I will extol you, O Lord, for you have drawn me up and have not let my foes rejoice over me. O Lord my God, I cried to you for help, and you have healed me. O Lord, you have brought up my soul from Sheol; you restored me to life from among those who go down to the pit. Sing praises to the Lord, O you his saints, and give thanks to his holy name. For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning. As for me, I said in my prosperity, “I shall never be moved.” By your favor, O Lord, you made my mountain stand strong; you hid your face; I was dismayed. To you, O Lord, I cry, and to the Lord I plead for mercy: “What profit is there in my death, if I go down to the pit? Will the dust praise you? Will it tell of your faithfulness? Hear, O Lord, and be merciful to me! O Lord, be my helper!” You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever! (Psalm 30, ESV)

Have you ever had a bad day?

A bad week?

A bad month?

A bad year?

I think we have all been there where the world around us seems to be against us and everything is going wrong. So what do we do?

We cry out for help. Some of us will seek out a source of power we may have never went to before, or we may seek out God after a long time away.

We seek comfort in our times of trouble. That is our nature. We look for what is good for us. We are not usually worried too much with the world around us unless our lives are in order. We should always though sing the praises of the Lord and seek what is right and just for all of His creation around us.

You see the psalmist here tells us that God’s anger lasts only a moment, but His favor a lifetime, and even though we cry ourselves to sleep and mourn through the night His joy comes with the morning.

God helps us to turn around to Him and see the joy that is waiting for us. Take the joy Hi has for you and run with it. Even in the darkest times, Joy is always there to have from the one who created you and made you to help others see the love He has for them!

 

 

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