Dr. David Rose, Pastor
Thursday, April 22, 2021—Psalms 34-36
Prince Phillip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II of England, was born in Greece. His family line made him royalty in his homeland as well as in several other European countries, but it was his connection to the Greek Orthodox Church that became an issue. In order to marry Elizabeth, he had to renounce his ties to the Orthodox church and join the Anglican church, of which his wife was the head. He gave up identity in one realm in order to enjoy much more in another.
The Psalmist celebrates the benefits of knowing God, the holy and perfect One, while living in this temporary place. This world leads to hunger and heartbreak, but those who seek the Lord lack nothing and enjoy His presence when sadness encroaches (34:10, 18). The Lord delivers His people from their fears (34:4). He hears His people when they cry, and He delivers them from their affliction.
God pleads the case of His people and goes to battle for them (35:1-2). His people, therefore, are able to live differently, not conforming to the ways of the world. They speak truthfully and depart from evil to seek peace (34:13-14). They humble themselves and pray for those who are against them (35:13-14). They don’t compare themselves to others, whether good or bad people, but seek to live in the righteousness of God (35:24).
His love and faithfulness reach to the heavens. His righteousness is like an immovable mountain, and He saves His people (36:5-6). His Kingdom is worth giving up everything to become part of it.
Wednesday, April 21, 2021—Psalms 31-33
God is the creator of all things. Everything, therefore, belongs to Him. There is nothing in your possession that doesn’t actually belong to Him. God is the source of righteousness. He is holy and makes holy those who come to Him by faith in the work of Jesus. There is no personal act you can perform that will provide holiness.
Walking with God is a relationship of reliance. He is the source. You are the vessel. There is work to be done, of course, because you are His servant, but there is no status to be earned. He clothes you in the righteousness of Jesus. He gives His spirit to counsel and empower the way.
Faith in Him gives confidence to cry out to Him in trouble. “Deliver me, God, in your righteousness” (31:1). Disciples are not calling on personal character but His. Despite the troubles that surround and press down, they can say, “I trust you, Lord” (31:14). His love for them and theirs for Him build strength and belief. Love and courage abound (31:23-24).
This love and trust spur the believer to confess sin. God already knows it, and keeping it inside is like a bitter poison (32:3). The one who has confessed and is forgiven, however, shouts for joy (32:1, 11).
God is in charge of everyone and everything. He watches over those who fear Him, who trust in His unfailing love (33:18). Rejoice in Him today. Be strong and confident in Him today. Wait for Him and worship.
Tuesday, April 20, 2021—Psalms 28-30
Differences can be subtle. A real dollar bill and a counterfeit look very similar, but the slight variations are the key. The word “dear” and the word “dead” differ by only one letter but mean two totally different things.
The Psalmist cried out to God and prayed for Him to listen and respond. The only thing separating those dear to God and those dead to God was the grace of God on those to whom He listened. He shepherded and protected the ones He called His own. He heard their cries for help. They trusted Him and celebrated Him (28:7). Others failed to honor Him and lived with evil schemes and activities. God did not listen to them.
In return, His people listen to His voice. They hear Him in the majesty and power and splendor of all of His creation. They see His handiwork and give Him the glory He deserves (29:1-2). He is before all things, and in Him everything holds together. He deserves worship.
The Psalmist knows the only thing separating him from those who will spend eternity separated from God is the listening ear and graceful hand of God (30:1-3). That grace and mercy inspire songs of praise. Difficulty will come in life, but it will be short-lived because of the presence and work of God (30:5). He turns sorrow into dancing.
Praise God for listening to the prayers of the repentant and righteous. Pray for a life that responds to His voice in praise and obedience.
Monday, April 19, 2021—Psalms 25-27
Generation after generation has seen the pattern. The haughty and the arrogant make the headlines, but the humble make the differences. The celebrities have followings, but those who think of others more than they think of themselves are able to help the needy and change communities.
Psalm 25 presents this difference-making spirit of humility. The writer confesses his complete trust in Yahweh. He wants to learn His ways and walk in His paths. He knows God is faithful to prosper the humble and bless their descendants. He surrenders himself to the protection of God against the many enemies that surround him and prays that his integrity and uprightness will provide protection. His hope in is Yahweh alone.
This humility produces a holy confidence. The Psalmist boldly calls on God (26:1-2) to examine him because He knows the character of God and has walked faithfully in his ways. He wants God’s vindication from the attacks he has endured and has not lived like the evil ones who are attacking. Living in holiness allows His people to approach Him boldly.
When the Lord is the light for the path of life, the strength to walk in that direction, and the hope of salvation, what is there to fear? The Psalmist made a conscious decision to seek the Lord. He wanted nothing more than to be in His presence and was confident He would enjoy God’s goodness if he were willing to wait on Him and endure (27:13-14).
Humble yourself. Boldly come to God. Worship, pray, and wait.
Sunday, April 18, 2021—Psalms 22-24
God has wired people with emotion so they can use them to express what they are feeling. He intended for what is on the inside to come to the outside. While feelings are not facts and, therefore, can change or be misleading, emotions are important. The Psalms express so many emotions.
David wrote Psalm 22 to express the depths of despair. He was surrounded by his enemies. He felt complete separation from God, and he was physically spent. At the end of himself, he remembered the unchanging character of God. He recalled how those before him trusted in God and saw Him do great things. He concluded he, too, would one day praise God with the saints, and he called others to praise God’s faithfulness and victory.
This confidence during catastrophe is the reason Jesus quoted Psalm 22 from the cross. Jesus had hidden the Word in His heart and used it as His life ebbed away to comfort His body and embolden His soul. God is good, and God is near even when emotions call that into question. Walking through the valley of the shadow of death, His sheep find that He is ever-present, leading the way (23:4). He is the Good Shepherd.
He is the King of glory, the Self-existent One in charge of angel armies, strong and mighty (24:10). He is strong enough to defend and provide. He is caring enough to listen and comfort. Bring your emotions to Him and compare them to His strength and love.
Saturday, April 17, 2021—Psalms 19-21
C. S. Lewis said his belief in Christianity was like his belief in the risen sun. Not only did he see it, but by it he saw everything else. The thing which gives light also gives visibility to much more.
King David found illumination from two important sources. When he looked around at Creation, he saw the handiwork of God. The skies, without saying a word, cried out to the glory of God day after day and night after night. When he looked into the Book of the Law, he understood the perfection of God and the righteousness of His ways. The Law warned him of danger and guided him in the path of protection and provision.
God’s general revelation in nature is available to everyone. His special revelation in Scripture is available to those who interact with the Word. His goal in both is to draw people into a relationship with Him in which they desire to be pleasing in His sight (19:14). In this personal relationship, they rejoice in His strength and salvation (20:5-7).
To see God in His holiness and perfection is a life-changing experience. To trust Him leads one to praise Him and follow Him in every area of life. Even those in the highest positions and with the richest of possessions find joy in Him (21:1).
Praise God for revealing Himself in Creation and in the Scriptures. Thank Him for personally coming to reveal Himself as a human being so we can know Him more fully and worship Him more faithfully
Friday, April 16, 2021—Psalms 16-18
Marriages suffer when husband and wife have little time for one another. Families struggle when members grow distant and don’t make time to communicate. Believers grow weak when they drift from the one in whom they believe. God has made people to thrive in relationship.
Psalm 16 celebrates this prosperity that comes from knowing and walking with God. There is no satisfaction in simply being called a child of God. He knows the path God has put before him, he experiences the joy that comes only in His presence, and he sees the eternal reward waiting for him (16:11). This is a constant, life-giving journey with the one true God. He praises God, and God takes delight in him (16:3).
David describes an ongoing, personal relationship with God. He makes God his refuge (16:1). He asks for counsel and protection from Him (16:7, 17:6-9). He wants God to examine his heart and his motives (17:3). In his sorrow and exhaustion, David declares his satisfaction in relying on God and waking to another day of knowing Him (17:15).
Without his healthy relationship with God, David would have been destroyed. He openly describes his faithfulness to God (18:20-21) and, in turn, God’s faithfulness to him. God delighted in David and delivered him from his enemies. God shields those who take refuge in Him (18:30).
Be amazed that God would take delight in you. Pray for a heart like David’s that walks faithfully with God and finds joy only in Him. Pray that this faithfulness enriches your relationship with Him and others.