Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny
Create for me a pure heart, O God! Renew a resolute spirit within me! Psalm 51:10
The context here is David’s sin with Bathsheba. So often after we give in to temptation and sin, our resolution to go forward wavers. We have built the wall of separation once more. But, David understands very well who it is that creates. Whether it be everything from nothing, as our universe attests, or a pure heart, through the blood of Jesus, the ability to create comes from God. He is the one who creates in me a pure heart. He is the one that renews my resolution. How is this done? Through the power that God has. And that power is infinite! There is no end to His power! I have to plug in with Him through reading His Word and prayer. There is no other way. Through reading His word, I will learn what I must accept and obey. For yes, that pure heart is created through repentance and obedience.
#risingjoy #Psalms #Word-of-God
“The Lord is just; he cut the ropes of the wicked.”
God’s justice is shown in caring for his people and thereby fulfilling his promise. He is faithful to his covenant. He frees from the oppressor.
God’s people often cry and ask how long they must suffer. They appeal for justice, v. 5. Justice is not blessing those who oppose the Lord, v. 8.
#votd #Psalms #justice
“Moreover, keep me from committing flagrant sins; do not allow such sins to control me. Then I will be blameless, and innocent of blatant rebellion.”
The psalmist wants to please God, v. 14. He knows that keeping the Word will guide him to do that, vv. 7-11. He will commit errors, v. 12, but he prays he will never be consciously rebellious.
Where do we cross the line from inadvertent error to blatant sin? Premeditation may well define it, Rm 13.14.
#votd #Psalms #rebellion
Psalm 119 has the distinction of being the longest chapter in the Bible, consisting of 176 verses. It is divided into twenty-two sections, each composed of eight verses and each beginning with a letter of the Hebrew alphabet. The psalm is a beautiful tribute to the word of God, with all but six verses making direct reference to God’s word. Even those six verses (84, 90, 121, 122, 132, and 149) are tied to statements of tribute to the word of the Lord. Continue reading
“The tribes go up there, the tribes of the Lord, where it is required that Israel give thanks to the name of the Lord.”
God gave Israel three feasts to celebrate at the temple in Jerusalem. Thanksgiving was to be done in community.
In moments of intense feeling, people tend to congregate. The church is that place today for our deepest expressions of gratitude.
#votd #Psalms #thanksgiving
“O Lord, I come before you in prayer.”
David knew the essence of prayer as approaching the presence of God. How this simple act required him to be circumspect, at the same time he asked for help and protection.
Prayer requires the right attitude, not only a seeking for something from God. It recognizes who God is and how he acts, vv. 7-10. It honestly and humbly lays out one’s need.
#prayer #Psalms #votd
“Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord, O my soul!”
This psalm, beginning the last group, psalms of praise, declares that man’s help is limited; God’s is not. The Creator maintains his creation, vv. 5-6. The King of Kings helps his people, vv. 7-10.
Our plans last only as long as our life, vv. 3-4. So we must not place trust in man, no matter how powerful. When God is our help and hope, v. 5, how happy we will be!
#votd #Psalms #praise
“I choose the path of faithfulness; I am committed to your regulations.”
Early in this acrostic psalm about the word of God, the writer focuses on his need to choose faithfulness to God’s law and commitment to his ordenances.
The new covenant requires the same choice of following Christ faithfully and commitment to the Lord’s commandments. His Word is central to our faith.
#votd #Psalms #commitment #choice
“Wicked men will be wiped out, but those who rely on the Lord are the ones who will possess the land.”
Man must do his part: rely on the Lord, rather than attempt to make things happen. (Think Abraham and Sarah.) God will do his part: bless and fulfill the terms of the covenant.
To inherit the earth, or possess the land, is to receive the full promise of God to his people. To receive it, the question is: How much do we rely on the Lord?
#votd #Psalms #land
“He has sent redemption to his people. He has ordained his covenant forever. His name is holy and awe-inspiring.”
Psalm 111.9 CSB
This acrostic wisdom psalm acknowledges the greatness of God’s good deeds, as well as his precepts, v. 7, which should be “faithfully and properly carried out” v. 8b NET. Redemption is in his covenant. All this makes his name inspire deepest respect by those who study and treasure his works, v. 2b.
How does my heart consider the name of God?
#votd #Psalms #Name
“I was glad because they said to me, ‘We will go to the Lord’s temple.’”
The writer knew the value of being in God’s presence together with the people of God. To be inside, v. 2, where God has built his abode, v. 3, to pray and praise together, vv. 4-9, is a great joy.
God is in the midst of his family, the church. We gather together to praise God and pray for one another. Does this give me joy? Do I assemble with high hopes?
#votd #Psalms #church #joy
“But they soon forgot what he had done and did not wait for his plan to unfold.”
Psalm 106.13 NIV
At the Red Sea, Israel “believed [God’s] promises; they sang praises to him” v. 12. But facing the desert, they lost their faith. In their impatience they did not wait for his “counsel.” So they died there.
What a beautiful moment to see God powerfully work his salvation! But when we face the desert, do we wait in faith for his plan to unfold? Or do we require him to act now?
#votd #Psalms #wait
“God, the one who has reigned as king from long ago, will hear and humiliate them. (Selah) They refuse to change, and do not fear God.”
David felt despair because of enemy attacks. He did not give up because of God’s certain judgment. Refusal to change and fear God is a sure path to destruction.
Repentance is necessary for salvation, Lk 24.47. One must make the decision to change and then make the change. God’s people are repentant ones and confident of his judgment against those who refuse to change.
#votd #Psalms #repentance
“I will praise the Lord as long as I live! I will sing praises to my God as long as I exist!”
Man is concerned with how long he can live. God’s people are concerned with praising and fear him for as long as they live. One’s life may be long, but futile.
People in the world’s “Blue Zones” live longer, so there is great interest in what they do to love so long. People in God’s Kingdom have eternal life. How interested are you in it?
#votd #Psalms #eternal-life
“He gives food to those who fear him; he always remembers his covenant.”
Psalm 111.5 NLT
Food represents “everything necessary to live” (NBV). God’s giving is a part of his covenant with his people. So is that reverent fear which demonstrates itself in obedience.
With the Lord as shepherd, “I lack nothing” Ps 23.1. How do I gain that confident sufficiency? What must I do to possess the good gifts of God?
#votd #Psalms #sufficiency