Intro to the Psalms – “Psalms” basically means “praise songs.” Many people contributed the songs, David being the main one. Moses wrote Psalm 90 and it probably dates from about 1405 B.C. Those David composed would have originated between about 1020 and 975 B.C. Most likely, some Jews collected and compiled them over the years. They express extreme feelings and describe various experiences. Although the content is ancient, it still relates to us today. The entire Book is like an Old Testament Hymnal comprised of 5 major books:

1) Psalms 1-41 – Personal Experience,
2) Psalms 42-72 – Book of Elohim,
3) Psalms 73-89 – the Dark Book,
4) Psalms 90-106 – Book of the King,
5) Psalms 107-150 – Book of Praise (120-134 have been known as the “Psalms of ascension” leading up to the Temple).

At the end of each section, there is a doxology (a praise to God). The doxology at the very end (Psalms 150) is the grand one for the entire collection (Book). Historically, the psalms cover a period of about 1000 years, from the time of Moses (about 1400 B.C.) to the Israelites’ return from exile (about 450 B.C.). There are also several messianic prophecies intermingled throughout the Book that are exciting to discover, especially the one in the 22nd Chapter. Finally, some believe that many Psalms are the actual prayers that Jesus offered up to the Father during His earthly ministry. There are many verses that relate directly to Jesus. Some are quite hidden if not for the New Testament interpretation given to us. For example, if you read Psalms 91, the context is King David extolling the greatness of God’s protection. It describes a beautiful picture of his relationship with God. However, verses 11-12 were quoted by Satan to Jesus during the temptations in the desert (Luke 4:10). Satan knew that these verses were talking about the Messiah. This is deep insight to the Psalms! Maybe because Satan is a spirit, he knows God’s Word better than most people think. He certainly attacked Jesus with God’s Word, which is interesting by itself. Jesus also countered each temptation with God’s Word which is something we should do in our battles with evil entities tempting us. I don’t think anyone in history thought those two verses pertained to the Messiah until Satan spoke those words to Jesus. If we read these chapters with the Holy Spirit’s insight, God will open great truths to us and we will have greater feel for what Jesus went through on earth. So sit back and enjoy our ride through the most often quoted Old Testament Book by the New Testament, The Psalms!

Palms 1:

v1: The first thing that God says to us is to be careful about who we hang with and who we allow to give us advice. People always say that we should not judge others. A better word to use is “condemn” because God has given us His Word so we can discern truth from lies. This involves judging. In order to avoid wicked people as this verse demands, we first must judge them as being wicked.

v2-3: We must meditate on “His Law” (contemporary term would be His “Word”) day and night. This means think about it, chew on it, and figure out how it applies to our daily lives. Ask questions about it. Wonder about it. Be in awe of it. If we do this, God will prosper us (this does not mean we will be millionaires).

v4-6: Wicked people are like chaff – something weak, temporary, and destined to be blown away and considered worthless. In Christ, there is always the hope that evil will not last forever because He alone has conquered it.

Psalms 2 -This whole chapter is expressed through God’s point of view from His Heavenly Throne looking down at the kingdoms of the earth. He sees that some rulers conspired against His Anointed (Messiah) and that the kings of the earth rally against the Messiah and (possibly) His people throughout the Church Age. This chapter is full of prophecy. In verse 3, leaders rebel against the moral laws of God that Christianity brought to earth as they complained against their “fetters” and “cords” all of which restrain people from doing what they want. Sound familiar today? All the plots against God’s Kingdom are in vain. He laughs at their feeble attempts.

Throughout history the main ways this world has tried to stamp out Truth have been:

1) persecution of believers, including murdering them,
2) forbidding the reading of God’s Word,
3) religious legalism and ritual,
4) doctrinal compromise,
5) prosperity,
6) infiltration.

Although these have worked on some people, there have always been many who made it through. In other words, the attempt to end God’s Truth has failed, and always will. (Matthew 16:18 and Acts 4:25-26).

God makes it clear that He has “installed His King” (Jesus Christ) and the nations will be His inheritance (that’s going to be some victory party). Remember that Satan would offer Jesus these nations as well. Fortunately for everyone, Jesus knew how He was supposed to gain them. Then He mentions the most important thing anyone can do within their lifetime, that is, to “kiss the Son” (or do homage) lest you perish. I believe this refers to the necessity of bowing to Jesus’ lordship at some time during our lives, and the more we do this, the better off we will be on Judgment Day. The big final exam question to all people is, “What have you done with My Son?” Christ is God’s focal point. Christ holds all things together (Colossians 1:16-17). Christ is the reason for the creation of all things. If we ignore or reject Him, God’s anger will be fierce. Why? Because Christ’s life is the greatest love story ever told. It is so great that even the best, most creative novelist could not make up one better. Many people have no idea how critical, how crucial, how essential Christ is to the overall meaning of existence and purpose. I don’t think this Psalmist had the total picture of the importance of what he recorded. This chapter is truly loaded with essential truth for this life.

Psalm 3 – David wrote this when he was fleeing from his wayward son Absalom. David was in the midst of many enemies at this point in his life and sings about it here. His solution? He proclaimed God to be his shield and the lifter of his head, therefore he would not be afraid of ten thousands of people. When times get tough against us, we need to do what David did in this psalm.

Psalm 4 – David views ungodly men as being attracted to worthless things and deception. He recognizes that only God can show us good and will put gladness in our hearts if we turn to Him and godly ways. David said that this gladness is better than what this world offers to make him glad. David can sleep well because he proclaimed that God alone makes him dwell in safety. I remember as a young boy feeling very good inside when I helped an adult do something without being asked. I guess God was planting His seed of truth in my heart about serving in His Kingdom.

Application for Today: When we worship and lift up God as being our everything, He places a joy within us that this world cannot match. When we have faith in Him for all things, we sleep better. Many people today suffer from various forms of anxiety. Sometimes psychosomatic illnesses can be caused by mental stress. In Christ, all these self-imposed maladies can be conquered.

Psalm 5 – David seeks God in the morning. He knows that wicked men will be destroyed, but he, because of God’s love, will be able to enter God’s House. He also wants to be led in righteous paths and he hates the ways of the wicked. He gives God credit for blessing a righteous person.

Application for Today: Morning quiet times with the Lord are good. It sets the mood and anticipation for the rest of the day. Anticipation of God doing something extraordinary that day reflects good faith in our heart and I believe God likes this. We need to take refuge in Him as soon as we awake because each day has enough trouble.

Psalm 6 – David pleads with God so that He would not rebuke him when He was angry, so David must have been guilty of something. In the midst of David’s grief and sufferings because of his enemies, he still professed that God heard his prayers for relief and eventual justification before those enemies. David demonstrated his total dependence on God for mercy, forgiveness, and healing in spite of enemies surrounding his life at this time. We need to do the same.

Psalm 7 – When David needs protection, he runs to God for He is his refuge. David prayed that God would rise up against his enemies. This type of prayer is called an imprecatory prayer.

Two questions arise: 1) Was David out of the spirit by selfishly praying for the downfall of his enemies? and 2) Is it right for us to pray this type of prayer today?

In John 15:25, Jesus quotes Psalm 35:19 and 69:4, and Paul did so as well in Romans 11:9-10, which is a quote of Psalm 69:22-23. Since Jesus and Paul quoted verses from these imprecatory psalms, it proves those psalms were inspired by God and removes all thought that they were sinful or simply selfish prayers of revenge. Since Jesus wants us to pray for our enemies, however, I find it difficult to justify asking Him to destroy someone. Fallible humans would not be able to draw a line with having someone killed. Even in the case of a bin Laden-type, I think it’s good to ask God to stop him, leaving the HOW up to God alone. In Luke 9:51-56, Jesus’ disciples wanted to “command God” to have fire come down and kill people in a Samaritan village that would not receive them because they were Jews. This was wrought in human fallibility and was quickly rebuked by Jesus. First, we do not command God, and second, we do not know God’s plan for other people’s souls. After all, we are to be “salt” in this earth (preserver of righteousness). Jesus did say if a person lives by the sword, he will die by the sword.

Psalm 8 – Tremendous revelation of the heart of God and His wise ways – strength will come from babies (not sophisticated adults). Jesus elaborated on this revelation in Matthew 21:15-16 when the Pharisees became indignant over the fact that children were praising Jesus. He quoted this Psalm to emphasize that the only way people can know Truth is to be humble as a little child. In Matthew 11:25-26 He again stated that truth would be hidden from the “wise and intelligent” and revealed unto babes. This chapter also seems to be talking about humans in general when it mentions they will be made a little lower than the angels. But Hebrews 2:6-9 provides the full revelation as to its meaning. It is referring to Jesus who was made lower than the angels (took human form) but will later be exalted above all. So there is much Messianic prophecy and revelation about God’s Kingdom in this one brief Psalm. Several times in the Old Testament we find statements that refer to contemporary people/situations, but they contain what I would call a parallel meaning or application. The “second” (or hidden) meaning is more supernatural in its fulfillment. The OT-inspired writers often began a message speaking plainly about a contemporary thing, then drifted to a futuristic fulfillment, and ended with the contemporary thing again.

Psalm 9 – David reflects his intimate knowledge of God by stating these attributes: 1) He judges all people rightly, 2) He is a stronghold for the oppressed, 3) He’s a stronghold for those in trouble, 4) He does not forsake those who seek Him, 5) He pays heed to the cry of the afflicted, 6) He is sovereign over nations and 7) He has made Himself known. Now just think about the kinds of complaints and criticisms about God from the skeptics over the years: If He exists, He is not fair, He does not help the downtroddened, He does not help those in trouble, He must not exist because many people are suffering, and He doesn’t prove Himself to anyone (stays hidden). It is no wonder that God said David was a man after His own heart. To top all off, David gives much thanks to God and promises to tell of His wonders. God wants us all to give glory to Him and tell others how wonderful He is. People need to know that if they turn from their ways and look to God, He will be there for them.

Psalm 10 – David described what the wicked are like. Among many evil things, they are arrogant and greedy, they believe there is no God, and, if there is, He does not see what they do. He declares their ultimate destruction by God, even entire nations have been destroyed due to God’s judgment. David also expressed frustration that God does not execute judgment immediately upon those wicked people, but he knows God eventually will.

Psalm 11 – This is short but powerful. God tests both the wicked and the righteous, and He hates violence. He will also send traps for the wicked, but the upright will see his face (at life’s end – implied). Perhaps the most thought-provoking verse is 3 – “If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?” This concept has several applications. I’d like to share just one. I cannot help but think about the foundations of Christianity and how they have been attacked in these last days. Genesis is the Book of Beginnings which also means Foundations. In Genesis we find the foundation of marriage, family, work, the work week, sin, death, suffering, and blood atonement (remember, God had to slay an innocent animal in order to provide Adam & Eve skins to cover their sin and this concept set the stage for the meaning of the Cross). What phenomenon on earth seeks to destroy the meaning of those last four foundations mentioned? It would have to call into question the fact that there is a Creator who made the first man and woman different from all animals, and they disobeyed (sinned) which caused suffering and death to enter into the world. If this foundational truth can be destroyed, then what is sin? It becomes an opinion. Why do we die? It’s just a defect in the genetic code. Why is there suffering in this world? Whatever began things did not do a perfect job (and it is up to us to perfect it over time). This philosophy dominates secular humanism and its “right arm” is evolution. If those Foundational truths in Genesis are wiped out, so is the meaning of the Cross. Telling an “educated” (indoctrinated) person today that Jesus died for their sin may make little or no sense to them. They do not know about or believe the Genesis Foundation. Sin is a relative term to them because they do not know about the authority of God’s Word. To them, Jesus died merely due to political and religious conflicts. You can see that we’ve got our work cut out for us. It becomes difficult for the saved (righteous) to speak of God’s wonderful plan of salvation to the “educated” in these end days.

The Theory of Evolution has attempted to wipe out our Genesis foundation. This terribly weak theory, with no concrete scientific evidence (observation), has raised the exact same question as Satan brought up when he was lying to the human race for the first time – “Did God really say that?” The spirit behind evolution seeks to discredit God’s Word. Far too many people now believe that science has disproved the Bible, so they see no reason to trust the Scriptures for life’s meaning and truth. God gives us an ominous warning about all this in 1 Timothy 6:20-21: “O Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you, avoiding worldly and empty chatter and the opposing arguments of what is falsely called science (or knowledge) which some have professed and thus gone astray from the faith.”

Some believe this verse was stated to combat gnosticism (the belief that secret knowledge leads to salvation). I agree, but I still maintain the verse can apply to the arrogance of scientific theories that oppose Biblical teaching. Evolution has the “spirit of Goliath” that arrogantly struts before God’s children and hurls insults at their God, and many Christians don’t even perceive this. Some (theistic evolutionists) have even “made peace” with this “unclean Philistine” and perpetual enemy of God, and have wrapped their arms around him having no idea what they are doing. Some groups are throwing some stones at “Goliath’s head.” You can tell when they “land a good one” because of the uproar it causes evolution advocates such as was the case when a book entitled, “The Grand Canyon: A Different Point of View” was placed in the national park bookstore in Arizona. This book asserts that the canyon was formed rather quickly by a huge flood about 4500 years ago rather than millions of years of min-floods and slow erosion. Fortunately, it survived the outrageous attacks from the so-called “scientific community.” So much for open mindedness in science today. I think truth suppression is currently at its highest peak in history.

 Psalm 12 – Wicked people seemed to be taking over and they took advantage of weaker ones, but David clung to his belief that those people who look to God for salvation will get it.

Psalm 13 – David hits a time of frustration and fear because God is not dealing with David’s enemies promptly. Yet in the midst of his crying out to God he keeps trusting in God’s lovingkindness and he will rejoice in his salvation.

Psalm 14 – God’s Word states that if a person does not believe in God, he is a fool. Strong language coming from the Lord. In context, it seems that this person’s problem is more a heart issue than an intellectual issue. David goes on to say that all have gone astray and not even one person does good. Both Isaiah and Paul dittoed this statement. Sounds like humans are basically evil, not good as humanists insist. Humans have a choice, they can bow to God and yield to His spirit, or strive within their own understanding and strength to bring about a better self and world (which, in reality, is to fight against God because He says we cannot succeed in doing that). Human pride and striving have consistently failed throughout history, yet humanists cling to faith in themselves rather than God. This is why the theory of evolution is so powerfully persuasive despite lacking evidence. It is a convenient way to rub out God and His rules for living.

Psalm 15 – David lists character traits that allow an intimate relationship with God and stability in this life:

1) Integrity
2) Speak truth in his/her thought-life
3) No slander
4) No evil to neighbor
5) Does not discredit others
6) Disapproves of anti-God heathens and honors those who follow the Lord
7) Keeps his/her word even if it costs money
8) Does not lend money at interest (thus taking advantage of a poorer person)
9) Does not accept bribes.

Psalm 16 – David, as successful as he has been and having much power over others, confesses that he has no good in himself. His goodness comes only from the Lord inside him. This is the perspective we all need to have in order to walk in the spirit and to be used by God in this life. When David thinks of his inheritance, he thinks only of the Lord being it (selfless), not wealth or other selfish things. Furthermore, David has set the Lord before him continually, meaning that he is always thinking about Him and considering Him and His ways of righteousness. We need to do the same. Then suddenly in verse 10, the miraculous happens. While professing that God will not abandon him when he dies, he quickly adds deep insight concerning the Messiah. He predicts the physical, bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ by stating that God’s Holy One would never experience physical decay. This is one of the most remarkable passages in the entire Bible. David ends this chapter by giving the proper perspective of the word “pleasure” by saying (and I’m paraphrasing), “If we are saved, we will be at His side and the joy experienced surpasses anything this world can offer us.”

Psalm 17 – David is not claiming that God should accept him because he was sinless, he asked God to help deliver him from evil enemies because David had not done any wrong to deserve their onslaughts. In contrast to the wicked, David found his joy in God, not in the temporal things of this world.

Application for Today: Let us do the same. We need to meditate continually on how wonderful He is. In verse 8, David wants God to keep him as the apple of His eye. This could refer to the pupil of the eye which is the center and allows light in. This certainly reflects an intimate relationship, and we all need to realize how much we ARE the apple of God’s eye. It will help us “walk rather than talk.” David’s description of his enemies surrounding him may reflect Jesus Christ’s own experience while on earth. In fact, Jesus may have even prayed some of the Psalmist’s words in several chapters throughout the entire Book. We especially see this concept fulfilled in Chapter 22. People who come against us are of this world, and they worship the things of this world. No matter what happens to us, Jesus remains the “apple of our eye” and we are the “apple of His eye,” and we are comforted to know that we will dwell with Him forever and that all wrongs that happen on this earth will be righted by His judgments. The wicked of this world will have none of this.

Psalm 18 – Certainly this chapter is about David trusting God to be his rock (all strength comes from Him), salvation, deliverer, and refuge from powerful enemies. On a deeper level, however, there are several parallels with Jesus’ experience on earth as well. In verses 18-19 he describes a moment of great weakness (end of Jesus’ 40 day/night fast?), but God sustained him in the broad place to which he was brought (dessert/wilderness?). In the following verses, David claims to be blameless possibly beyond the point of being a mere faithful human being that still has sinned. Verse 50 seals the context by referring to not only David, but also to his “seed” (Jesus). Again, if we read many Psalms through the eyes of Jesus, we may gain more insight about what His life was like while on earth those three years of ministry. I think what David experienced Jesus also experienced, but with more intensity because of who He is.

Psalm 19“The heavens are telling the glory of God, they are a marvelous display of His craftsmanship.” I’ve heard many people say that when they stare into outer space on a clear night they quickly conclude that there must be a Creator. David had this same experience. I believe only a hardened heart cannot perceive a Creator in the stars. For example, if you ask an evolutionist, who does not believe in a creator, if George Washington’s stone face on Mt. Rushmore came to be from chance over billions of years, he/she would say “no.” Why? Because there is familiar meaning attached to those shapes, especially considering there are three other past US presidents’ likenesses next to it. They know that chance weathering forces may cause rock erosion but cannot cause that much clear meaning in shapes. So they quickly use their scientific method to conclude that George’s head and face was designed by a higher intelligence rather than random processes. They are obviously correct. But ask that same evolutionist if their body, which is much more complex than those stone faces, came about from higher intelligence, they would say, “no.” They wrongly conclude (by using no scientific method other than defining science in naturalistic terms only) that all our bodies came by random chance mutations and natural selection, neither of which have the scientific power to do so (it has never been demonstrated). In short, they have “defined” God away. I don’t think that will hold up in God’s Court after that Final Trumpet sound. These people are found in Romans 1:18-22.

David’s statements about the sun smacked false religions in the face because he said that God made the sun, therefore God alone should be given the credit (or worshiped). Most cultures in David’s time believed in many gods, the sun being one of them. To assert that earth, wind, fire, sun, moon, stars, and protection all come from one entity was quite radical thinking back then. But, after all, this was one of the purposes of God’s people, the Jews. They were to obey the one true God so that they could be blessed and other nations would know there is only one God and He must to be obeyed. Unfortunately, that not happen with good consistency. David goes on to claim that God’s laws are perfect and obeying them brings a great reward. He sees the perfection of God and the imperfection in himself, therefore he is constantly seeking to be acquitted of any wrong within him.

Psalm 20 – David intercedes for God’s people. He encourages people to know that God will answer and help His anointed ones on earth when they turn to Him. In contrast, people of this world make their boast in chariots (materialistic things) and in horses (things of this world that give power). David puts all in God’s hands. We need to do the same. This is what makes us a “peculiar people” (Titus 2:14 and 1 Peter 2:9).

Psalm 21 – David thanks God for giving him victories over enemy kings. He believed that victory came because he trusted in the only true God. He asserts that he will also have more victories and that God’s “right hand” (power and authority) will do it.

Application for Today: Give credit to God and share it with others. Remember, with Christ now victorious over Satan and sitting “at the right hand of God” (all authority), we are reigning with Him and can have spiritual victories similar to the magnitude of David’s physical victories. This is part of what “walking in the Spirit” means. What God accomplished in the Old Covenant was physical, but in the New Covenant, it is spiritual (1 Cor.15:46; Heb.8:5-9, 9:1-2,11).

Psalms 22: Crucifixion described before its invention!

v1: Psalm starts with, “My God, My God why hast Thou forsaken me?” There are two reasons why Jesus uttered these same on the cross (Matthew 27:46):

1) He was telling the world that He was fulfilling the prophecy of crucifixion described in this Psalm, and
2) God’s presence withdrew from His mind and body at that moment because the Bible says He became sin (2 Cor.5:21) and God cannot tolerate sin in His presence (Habakkuk 1:13).

This had to be a most haunting feeling for Jesus – perhaps for the very first time in His life. I do not believe that this statement indicates that He was doubting the Father, but rather in this state He was just a bit confused (not for long though!). No doubt that King David was expressing his own anguish when enemies were getting the best of him, but he transcends his experience by accurately describing a crucifixion in about 1000 B.C. Crucifixion was not even invented until about 300-400 B.C. by the Persians. It was later “perfected” by the Romans in the first century B.C. In David’s day, if someone was to be executed, it was done by stoning. This chapter is not describing a stoning.

v2-5: David and Jesus spent sleepless nights crying out in anguish to God yet maintaining total trust in Him no matter what the circumstance.

v6-8: This describes Jesus’ view from the cross. He feels much less than a man (stripped of all dignity) and was hated and mocked by the people surrounding Him. His mockers scoff and jeeringly say, “If he can save others, let us see if God will save him!” (my paraphrase). This is exactly what the Pharisees said facing Jesus on the cross (Matthew 27:43).

v9-10: David and Jesus continue to fall back on their Rock, the Father Himself.

v11-14: Isolation – there is no one to bail Him out; he goes through this alone. Due to the stresses on the physical body with being suspended on a cross, bones dislodge from their joints – very painful.

v15: Excessive thirst comes (Jesus got very thirsty – John 19:28).

v16: The CLINCHER! “They have pierced my hands and my feet.” David is now far beyond his own experience and has moved forward through time to the crucifixion. I do not believe he had much of an idea of why he was penning those words.

v17-18: His clothing was taken by those near Him, but the robe that Herod gave Him in mockery of His alleged kingship was seamless and intact therefore valuable. To rip it apart and divide the remnants among those taking it would destroy its value, so they gambled for it (“cast lots” as this Psalm says). I don’t think this ever happened to David.

v19-21: Unwavering faith that God is aware of his plight and will deliver him (David survived and remained as king; God did raise Jesus from the dead for His deliverance).

v22-26: God is awesome and deserving of all praise. Tell about Him to others! He is an active God who not only hears the cry of people but He will give help to the downtrodden. God’s great reputation will be proclaimed throughout future generations and in the end, all will be made right by Him.

Wow, what a finish from what began as the most tragic, horrific, dismal, sad event in human history. This pattern of no hope to hope, sadness to joy, seemingly utter defeat to victory is typical of the way of God in order to prove Himself and His goodness to the world. Our whole life on earth and then our experience in heaven fit this pattern as well. Not realizing this pattern is a principle of God, Hollywood uses it in many movies. The good begins to be overcome by the bad, but then recovers and wins in the end. Whether it be an old western movie or Star Trek, the “guy in the white hat” gets beat up and is almost defeated just before he makes that comeback and licks his foe. I always had to chuckle when Captain Kirk went through this in so many episodes considering all the high tech weaponry that could be employed, it always seemed to come down to an old-fashioned fist fight between him and the bad guy. And you know who won every time! So does God.

Psalm 23: The Famous “The Lord is My Shepherd.” David, under the anointing of the Holy Spirit, lists many attributes and promises of God in only 6 brief verses. Here’s a paraphrase of what David said about God:

v1: Because God is my leader and protector, I will not long for things I don’t need.
v2: He will prosper me and give me inner peace.
v3: He will restore whatever needs to be restored due to my imperfect attitudes and behaviors and He will guide to keep me in good behavior because my existence is not about me but about Him.
v4: Though threats to my safety lurk continually, I will not have fear because He is my protector, and I am comforted knowing that His boundaries and discipline prove He loves me.
v5: He will make me look good and secure in front of foes, and due to His great anointing, I have abundant life that spills over to others.
v6: I am guaranteed goodness and lovingkindness in this earthly life because of Him, and best of all, I am guaranteed everlasting life in His presence.

Comment: Can any other religion promise all this? What makes this so powerful for me is that David is not speaking merely from head knowledge and philosophy (opinion). He experienced all these blessings because of all that God led him through in his earthly life. Skeptics may say that these things are not true for persecuted Christians and those who are martyred. The truth is if we are strong in the spirit, God gives us grace to go through anything while maintaining a good attitude and confession of faith. When this occurs, unbelievers take note. If we are killed for Christ’s sake, our enemies have not triumphed because they just sent us to eternal life and they must face God’s judgment when they die. So as long as we are in Christ, our enemies can never win. The good news is that we can make this our confession and profession no matter what path He leads us down.

Psalm 24 – A song of high emotional praise…the type I dare say that many churches would not warm up to today (I mean, how can one not lift up his hands when singing those words about the King of glory?). David also proclaims that the whole earth belongs to God which is a rebuke to the pagan notion that gods are limited to regions and certain functions. God also blesses people who do righteous things and have pure hearts.

Psalm 25 – A song or a prayer for help during a stressful time for David, but it also contains grand revelations: 1) David, although upright in heart, still knows he is a great sinner, especially when reflecting upon his youth, 2) although God’s ways are higher than ours, He will reveal His way if we are humble, and 3) God will actually reveal His covenant (way of salvation?) to those who fear Him. David also states that he keeps his eyes toward the Lord continually. I think this means he is always thinking about Him or at least aware that He is watching everything and knows his thoughts.

Application for Today: We also need this awareness for each day. It creates intimacy between us and Him. Some Christians compartmentalize their lives thinking of the Biblical worldview on Sundays, but not when at work, for example. We need to walk every day and everywhere as if it was Easter Morning!

Psalm 26 – David is having a good stretch of righteous living. He praises God with a spirit of thanksgiving and declares His wonders. God is pleased when we tell others of His majesty and goodness and deeds. David even asks God to examine him and to test his heart (that’s bold and great).

Application for Today: It is a good thing for us to bare ourselves before the Lord and ask Him to reveal any wayward way within us. This may take some courage, but it is a worthwhile thing to do from time to time (wrong attitudes sneak into us quietly sometimes – they do not like to announce loudly that they have entered our souls). I had a fear-of-man problem sneak into me and the Lord used a crisis to reveal the problem. At that point I simply confessed it as sin to Him and asked that the Holy Spirit would not only remove it but fill me up with something that is from Him. I slept peacefully that night, even while still in the midst of that crisis, so I knew God did something good for me. Hey, I just proclaimed one of His good deeds.

Psalm 27 – David once again praises and revels in the Lord. His faith in God casts out any fear from this life. David’s priority is to dwell in God’s presence, see his beauty, and meditate on Him. This all reflects a close, personal relationship with God that David had. For Old Testament culture, this seemed to be rare, although it has always been God’s desire for all people.

Application for Today: As in OT times, few people today seem to grasp how much God wants to be intimate with them now, and fewer still have obtained it. They seem content to busy themselves with the cares of this world (and thinking like the world), some even attend church, but do nothing to enhance their one-on-one relationship with their Creator, even though He has broken all barriers to achieve such a reality. Verse 10 offers encouragement to those who have had negligent or abusive parents. People can gain a perfect Parent in Christ Jesus.

Psalm 28 – David values his relationship with God. He forever wants God to hear him and to bless righteousness and judge evil people. He also describes wicked people as ones who speak peace with others but have evil in their heart. I guess David saw how adults can put on “good masks” as they continue to do today.

Psalm 29 – A song that extols the majesty and strength in God’s voice. Clearly, for David there was no other god in his life. Nothing mattered more to him than God and his relationship with Him. This is yet another reason why God said of David, “He is a man after my own heart.” We need to have this same priority. May we all have David’s spirit within us via the Holy Ghost.

Psalm 30 – Lots of praise and thanks to God from David. He also sees life in God’s perspective by exclaiming that “God has turned my mourning into dancing.” This overall concept includes the fact that sorrows from this life are but a fleeting moment compared to the everlasting joy in heaven as well as giving us some joy while on earth after experiencing sorrow.

Psalm 31 – David continues to proclaim that God is his refuge and rock in life. Anguish caused by his sin and his enemies permeates his words. Some verses describe Jesus on the cross once again – “Into Thy hands I commit my spirit; Thou has ransomed me….” in verse 5 (see Luke 23:46) and again in verse 13 – “While they took counsel together against me, they schemed to take away my life” (See Matthew 27:1).

Psalm 32 – David recognizes the utmost importance of being forgiven of sin by God. He notes that keeping his sin unconfessed (hidden) only went against his health (probably both emotionally and physically). Stress has the power to do so to our “dust frames.” God promises us that He will teach us and lead us in the right direction in this life. What a promise! Therefore, we should be glad in the Lord and shout for joy if we are upright in heart. In sharp contrast, he says that the wicked people have many sorrows. This is true. I have not yet met a happy wicked person.

Psalm 33 – In David’s joy of praising the greatness of God, he incorporates musical instruments such as the lyre (small harp with only 10 strings) and a harp (12 strings). This Psalm reveals that God created matter into existence by speaking, and Hebrews 11:3 tells us He used invisible things to create matter. Evolutionists only believe in natural (visible) matter, so they (and we) will never know how things were originally made. God also thwarts the counsel of nations and people, and that if a nation has God as its Lord, it will be blessed. Few nations have learned this, unfortunately. It also says that physical strength or weaponry (horses) does not determine battle outcomes, but that belongs to God also. Israeli history bears this out, for in OT and modern times they were out-tanked and outnumbered by Arab foes yet won battles and wars. The fact that Israel exists today testifies to God’s existence and His intervention in human history. He is not a God that is far off as the agnostic asserts. If individuals fear (respect) Him, He will deliver them from death and famine. Just think, if developing countries would repent and turn toward the God of the Bible, then that nation’s woes would dissipate.

Psalm 34 – David, high in the spirit, says praise for God is always in his mouth. Christians today in America need more of this attitude. David knows if we seek God, we find Him. Jesus taught this as well. David is so confident in God that he invites people just to try Him out (taste). He also affirms the notion that God sets Himself against evil doers but is near to the brokenhearted and saves those crushed in spirit. He acknowledges that righteous people will have many “afflictions” but God will deliver them. The NT teaches that “those who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Timothy 3:12).

Finally, in verse 20, he slips a prophetic concept about the Messiah’s bones, that they shall not be broken. Exodus 12:46 and Numbers 9:12 describe how a sacrificial lamb is to be prepared, and a broken bone disqualifies it. This is why the Roman soldiers did not break Jesus’ legs to hasten death as they did with the two thieves. God worked it out so that Jesus gave up His spirit (died) before they came with those clubs. This verse in Psalms 34 is another example where the writer records contemporary accounts, drifts into future events (probably unknowingly), and then drifts back to the contemporary.

Psalm 35 – A prayer for rescue from enemies. Still, a few descriptions of what Jesus went through: 1) v7 – evil people, without cause, planning to get Him, 2) v11 – malicious witnesses rise up against Him, 3) v12 – they repay evil for good, and 4) v14-15 – despite weeping over Jerusalem, leaders in Jerusalem rejoiced at Pilate’s decision.

Psalm 36 – The heart of the ungodly has no fear of God. They are proud of their iniquity when it is presented to them which boosts their ego and prevents them from hating it. In deep contrast, the righteous know and have the lovingkindness of God which is the ultimate good thing.

Psalm 37 – This is power-packed with great promises. We are not to get upset at evil doers because they will pass quickly and have no posterity to follow them. If we delight ourselves in the Lord, He will give us the desires of our heart. I think “delighting” means to love Him above all else and being continually aware of His presence in this life. If we do this, He will withhold no good thing from us (Psalm 84:11). “Desires of our heart” do not include evil ones, of course. As we delight in Him, He may reveal some of our hidden desires as well. In addition, if we commit our way to the Lord, He will perform it. In other words, if we allow Him to work through us, He will cause us to have success. God further promises that if we do these things, even though we fall down, it will only be temporary and not a big fall because He holds us up and never forsakes us. Lastly, verse 34 may also allude to the final judgment when all the wicked people are cut off and the righteous ones (clothed in the blood of Christ) inherit a new earth and live on with God forever.

Psalm 38 – A penitent David cries out to God for help because he is in physical and emotional pain from his sins.

Psalm 39 – David seems to be very ill, possibly making him think he might die soon. He recognizes how frail and temporal a human being’s life is. This, however, makes him hope only in God.

Application for Today: If we realize how short our lives are, we may make better use of our time (Ephesians 5:16). Our gravestones will have only a short dash between the dates of our birth and death. For most of us, the first 15-20 years are spent just growing up and learning the basics about life (not much living for God yet). This shortens our time of actual effectiveness for His Kingdom. If we live to 80 or 90, how many people at this age serve the Lord by serving others? Not many, due to the frailty of aging frames. So, we must subtract even more years off that effectiveness time. Furthermore, just a hand full of years after we die, very few people living will have ever heard of us, and the memory of our lives is totally rubbed out in a generation or two (unless we become super famous which is unlikely). Only God preserves all that we are and all that we’ve done, and only what He has done through us will be an eternal light for all to see (1 Corinthians 3:11-15). Only because of Him, our life will never be extinguished or forgotten. This idea probably ties in with Colossians 3:3-4 where the Word talks about our lives being hidden with Christ because we have “died in Him.” I think “died” means “died to sin and self” when we were born-again (saved) and only what Jesus does through us will count for a reward on Judgment Day.

Psalm 40 – Verse 3 describes a “new song” that God has given David and he says many will see it and trust also in God.

Application for Today: We all have a testimony (a new song about how great our God is) that can reach others. Let us tell them of it. David comes to the belief that God is still very mindful of him (“many are Thou thoughts toward us”) in verse 5. Perhaps some of us think this is scary, but it is actually wonderful. I melt in tears at the thought that the Almighty Creator God is aware of little ol’ me (warts and all). I’d rather have his total awareness than no awareness…which is the worst horror I could ever face.

Verse 6 speaks of religious rituals that do not fulfill what God wants from us. He wants our love and devotion stemming from a good relationship (just like in a marriage). David perceives the big difference between “religion” and “relationship.” We have many people who are satisfied with some church attendance. To them this is their big sacrifice to God (because they rather be elsewhere). Rituals, they believe, cover all the bases with God despite their hearts being far from Him. Both Isaiah and Matthew spoke of this problem: “This people honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. But in vain do they worship Me, teaching as their doctrines the precepts (ideas) of men” (Matthew 15:8-9; Isaiah 29:13). The Psalmist clinches the Truth in Verse 7 when he receives the answer from God Himself saying, “Behold, I come in the volume of the book” (Bible). In other words, doctrines must be based on the revelation of His Word, not the traditions of men. If we want to know God personally, then read the Bible. If we follow and trust in men’s religious ideas, the life and fervency of God is snuffed out. I think many people who think they are Christians would be amazed to discover how many religious institutions in America are experiencing this very thing (too many traditions and not enough life from God).

Verse 15 seems to be describing what happens when non-believers carefully watch our behavior, and, as soon as we slip, they are right there to say, “Aha!”

Psalm 41 – David is in the middle of describing how his enemies can’t wait for him to die and be snuffed out of memory. In verse 9, however, he transcends once again from his contemporary day and sneaks in a prophecy about Judas betraying Jesus. The New Testament in John 13:18 verifies this interpretation by proclaiming that it was indeed a Messianic prophecy. Again, I don’t think there is any reason to believe that David was aware of this when he wrote this psalm. God’s Word is Awesome!

Psalm 42 – One of my favorite songs comes from these first two verses: “As the deer panteth for the water so my soul longeth after Thee.” It is a great worship song and reflects where our very sustenance comes from. In rough times David sings to the Lord and always puts his hope in Him. When we are “dry” we need to turn toward God who supplies all our needs.

Psalm 43 – David has many enemies just waiting and wishing that he falls. He asks the Lord to deliver him from these types of people. He turns to spiritual warfare just like we are supposed to do when things come against us.

Psalm 44 – David reveals that he knows what the Hebrew history is because he heard from “the fathers.” He mentions several things God had done with the Hebrews as a nation and emphasized that it was all God’s power, not Jewish swords, bows, or physical strength. Still, during this time of David’s life, God was dealing once again with the nation of Israel. Things were difficult. In fact, David states that his people were being killed daily as if they were sheep who were being led to be slaughtered. Romans 8:36 quoted David as Paul was describing the Christian plight.

Psalm 45 – Another parallel between David’s time and Jesus Christ. This psalm describes a king (bridegroom) preparing to marry a queen (bride). But this gist of the passage, as the writer of Hebrews reveals to us, is that verse 6 is God referring to His Son Jesus Christ. With this revelation from Hebrews, God is actually calling His Son God – “Thy throne O God is forever and ever…and…God has anointed (Him) above all others.” Way back about 1,000 years BC, God was revealing the future wedding between Jesus and the Bride of Christ (the church) that the Book of Revelation describes. It shows how much God had in store for people at such an early phase of human history. I’ve always thought He knew all His plans before He made the earth and Adam and Eve. He has a “Plan A” with no “Plan B” in mind. Some believe that Plan B was Gentile salvation (because the Jews rejected Jesus). I disagree.

Psalm 46This Psalm inspired Martin Luther to pen “A Mighty Fortress is Our God.” Verse 10 which says, “Cease striving and know that I am God,” has spoken to me many times. Verse 4 speaks of a river that makes glad the city of God. Perhaps these two verses are connected. First, I don’t think that “the river” was a literal river because Jerusalem, which is “the city of God,” never had a river running through it (perhaps for security reasons). So I tend to view “the river” as spiritual belonging to and being God. Therefore it is peaceful, strong, and eternal. More importantly, I believe that He offers it to us now, in this life, not just in heaven. This is where the verses may connect. When we cease striving within our own strength to serve Him and allow His grace to flow through us, then life is easier and more good results can come to fruition. It is a lesson that we will be ever learning until we die. I have experienced this “river” once in a while during my 44 years as a Christian. It doesn’t get any better than that. To flow in “His River,” we need to humble ourselves, trust in Him, anticipate being used by Him, and always give Him the credit for any good work we do. We can apply this to countless areas in our lives: parenting, working at our career job, athletics, studies, building relationships, etc. The “cease striving” verse does not mean we do nothing. It means we recognize God’s sovereignty and view Him with the passion and integrity of David, and allow His power and strength to flow through us in order to do what He wants us to do.

Psalm 47 – Clapping hands to the Lord in praise is recommended here. Sadly, many churches today will not do this. Show me a church that claps with joy, and I’ll show you a church that is growing. Biblical intellectual ascent alone will not fulfill God’s plan for our lives. Clapping for joy before the Lord is emotional, but it is based upon a clear perception of God, not temporal senselessness. Besides, if stoic critics ever met Jesus face-to-face, are they claiming they would not get emotional?! Maybe the clappers have met Someone for real….just saying… :-). The church I was raised in thought that merely waving to a friend before the service started was taboo! Even as a young kid I knew that was a wrong attitude.

Psalm 48 – This is another psalm that praises God for delivering His people from their enemies and proclaims there is security in trusting in Him lasting a lifetime. I actually made up a melody and chord progression for the first two verses. It’s fun to put the Word of God to different music, and it’s powerful to sing His Words to oneself and to others.

Psalm 49 – Earthly wealth is useless after death and if a man puts his trust in it, he will die no better than an animal. More importantly, no wealth in this world has the power to redeem someone because redemption of a man’s soul is too costly. This concept is incredible to be realized in 1,000 BC. I think the psalmist used money in this example because people of this world tend to view money as being all-powerful (the attitude of anything can be bought for a price). In addition, common people tended to fear the power of rich people. This psalm helps people understand that if their hearts are right, they are of more value to God than the wealthy whose hearts may not be right. Verses 7 & 8 set the stage for the concept of Jesus Christ redeeming us rather than we trying to be good enough (or rich enough to buy our way to heaven). Jesus, of course, later underscored this psalm by saying it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter heaven.

Psalm 50 – This sings of God’s beauty and perfection noting that even the heavens declare His righteousness. God also is more pleased with a thankful attitude than animal sacrifices (since He owns all the animals anyway). This did not mean that proper sacrifice was not important to Him at this time of history, but it meant He was not liking their attitude. The people were probably thinking that ritual was all God wanted. He has always wanted a loving relationship with people, not a religious one. Too many people today still don’t get this, probably because they do not want it. God describes the wicked as ones who hate discipline and cast His words behind them (today, they are the ones with no regard for what the Bible says).

Psalm 51 – Truth in Our Thoughts? David confessed how much of a sinner he was and knew how essential God’s merciful forgiveness is. He also recognized how God desires us to be honest in our thoughts. Do we really speak truth when we converse in our minds? If yes, it brings us in closer relationship with our Father. Verses 10-12 is one of my favorite Christian songs from the Psalms. David wants a clean heart and entreats God to bathe him continually in the Holy Spirit so he can once again have the joy of knowing he has eternal life. This reflects the depth of the power of sin’s effects upon us. After this transformation, David would then teach others about God and some would be converted. Verse 4 does not mean that sin isn’t against other people. If David is referring to his sin with Bathsheba, he did hurt her, her husband, and her grandfather, Ahithophel, who held a grudge and then committed suicide when his advice to attack David was rejected by Absalom (2 Samuel Chapters 15-18). But the verse puts all sin in proper perspective, that is, all of it is first and foremost against God (meaning that this is the worst part of sin). We can lose sight of this with certain sins. David, however, had it right and this may have helped him to not take sin too lightly as many people may do today.

Application for Today: We need to go through this same process as the song. Let God’s spirit clean us from our sin and put a right attitude inside us in order to have more success witnessing to others. Perhaps just singing this song to Him will help. Our starting point needs to be with a humble (contrite) heart (attitude).

Psalm 52 – God will break down forever the evil man but those who trust in Him will last forever.

Psalm 53 – It is foolish to believe there is no God. I believe that since God has written His law upon human hearts, everyone knows there is a right and wrong in this life. I also believe that when people see design in machinery, they know there is a designer. So when an atheist sees even more design in biology but proclaims there is no designer, it is a foolish conclusion. David seems to explain why some people do this. It is because they are corrupt in the heart and care not to seek for God. I recall many years ago showing an atheistic math teacher Isaiah’s prophecy of a virgin bearing a child (referring, of course, to Jesus). He was looking over my shoulder following the passage as I read it aloud to him. Then he started walking away saying, “If you can prove those words were written before Jesus life, then I will believe.” I said, “That’s easy to prove by history.” He just kept walking away and never brought it up again. I have not seen him for over 40 years. He did leave the district and accepted a Principal’s position in another district. I believe he did not WANT to believe so he could continue in his ways. Can you imagine what would happen if just 50% of the world’s population would humble themselves and be willing to forsake their own ways and give God a chance to help?

Psalm 54 – A prayer for God to save David from his enemies and a confession that God alone is his helper. David knows that God will ultimately judgment his enemies….whew! I guess we don’t have to. 🙂

Psalm 55 – Motivation for Judas’ Betrayal? Once again David is in anguish because of his enemies. They pressure him and fear has overtaken David, and he wishes he could just fly away from his troubles. To make matters worse, a major source of his anguish stems from a close friend who has turned on him. Verses 12-14 seem to parallel Christ’s betrayal experience with Judas. If so, it says the betrayer did not hate him. We then could conclude that Judas’ motive was not dislike for Jesus, but perhaps fear that Rome was going to kill all of them (the disciples and Jesus) soon, and he was trying to save his own neck. Although this is pure speculation, it makes more sense because it was always difficult for me to believe that Judas hated Jesus after all he heard and saw in those three years of Christ’s ministry, and, why would a person commit suicide after betraying someone they hate? The suicide is more of an indication that Judas was very upset that Jesus was to be crucified. Perhaps Judas only wanted Jesus to be put in prison for a while to “quiet things down.” Later, David advocates casting our burdens onto the Lord which is the same message from Jesus 1,000 years later. David’s “heartbeat” was in sync with God’s.

Psalm 56 – David is in deep trouble with many enemies that relentlessly assail him and wish for his demise. Yet he trusts so much in God that he proclaims, “What can mere man do to me?” Well, mere man could kill him, but either he believes that God will supernaturally deliver him each time (as He had done is the past) or he realizes that even if he dies, he is with God forever and therefore cannot be touched by “mere man” there, ever.

Psalm 57 – Song of praise to God, the One who preserves the righteous walk of King David as he takes refuge in Him. David continually gives God credit for his life and longevity amidst many mortal enemies. The parallels with Jesus throughout the Psalms are remarkable. It would not surprise me if, when Jesus prayed alone, He uttered the same ideas to God that David did.

Psalm 58 – David is deeply bothered by corrupt judges (called “gods”). When God takes vengeance out on them people will know there is a God and they must be responsible to Him. David, being king, could have punished those judges and perhaps he did, but he still put it all in God’s arms.

Application for Today: Like David, we should pray for corrupt judges as well. It is okay to ask God to deal with them. Years ago I remember praying for a new vice principal. I asked God to open his heart to His voice but also to remove him if he was closed to His voice. He left for another district the next year. We always should pray for our leaders in political positions.

Psalm 59 – Once again David is being hounded, harassed, and hunted by enemies for no other reason than they do not like him. He asks God to protect him and scatter those people.

Psalm 60 – This starts out as a lament due to Israel being defeated in a recent battle. David, however, turns to the Lord and strengthens himself in God by quoting a prophecy of victory and confessing that all the glory goes to God in battle victories.

Application for Today: When we pray, it is good to quote the Word of God to God (and to any “interfering voices”). It shows Him and evil principalities that we stand on His Word.

Psalm 61 – The first three verses have been put to a nice song of modern praise that I used to sing and play on guitar often.

Psalm 62 – David has trained himself to wait silently for God because he knows God is the only hope of salvation, deliverance, and true freedom. David puts no trust in man, but only in God.

Application for Today: This is a good role model for us. Mankind offers nothing that we actually need. This world will shake, but resting in God provides a solid rock that cannot be shaken. Many songs over the years have expressed the pain of this world – loneliness, fear, heart break, unfaithfulness, bondage, and despair. Many singers sing about their yearning to be free, but they never articulate “free from what.” It is sin, but they do not know it. Those types of pop songs reflect the darkness of this fallen world. It is easy for the believer to see this, but not for the unbeliever. Non-believers have their “rock.” It is what keeps their sanity in an insane world. It is their god. Whatever a person turns to for help or guidance is their god. For unbelievers it is self, materialism, people, drugs, sex, hobbies, sports, music, money, fame, power, or false religion. Many people don’t realize that all humans worship something because there is a sin vacuum inside every human heart that will fill itself with something false or real. David, sees right through all the darkness and lives in the Light of the Lord. He, indeed, is a man after God’s own heart.

Psalm 63 – How to Get Closer to God. David thirsts after God. He wants to be closer to Him. He wants to know more about Him. He knows that God is better than life because He is so full of love. This life is not. When he lays down to sleep, he meditates on Him.

Application for Today: Every night on my bed I think about how great Jesus is and I try to envision what He looks like in glory. Then I think that He is mindful of me, and that is difficult for me to grasp. It is wonderfully frightening, if that makes any sense. The end result of my nightly meditation on Him is that I cling to Him more and more, and that is what happened to David also. I think too many American Christians do not meditate on Jesus enough. We need to discipline our minds not to get caught up in the materialism, life of ease, or the distractions of a busy life. Take time just to contemplate our God. We will then allow God’s thoughts to enter our thought-life. The benefits are always good but do it to get closer to Him, not for the perks.

Psalm 64 – David gives vivid insight to the world of the evil people. They really think no one sees their evil thoughts and doings. David knows, however, that God sees all and will intervene against the evil ones eventually.

Psalm 65 – David sees and deeply appreciates God’s faithfulness to the earth. Rather than blaming or doubting God’s existence or His love by complaining about what is wrong with the world like many people today, David knows that God made things right the first time and it is sinful mankind that wrought the wrongs. When witnessing to people, I think this fact must be stressed.

Psalm 66 – More praise for God’s works. Verse 4 may be prophetic (“All the earth shall worship Thee”). Verse 6 is one of several confirmations of the parting of the Red Sea miracle. Here, David says the sea floor was dry when the Hebrews passed through. Scoffers and some theologians assert that this event was not literal. What they fail to deal with is that David, Jesus, and Peter all said it was. Genesis is a reliable Book. Verses 10-12 describe one purpose of human life. That is to be brought successfully through rough experiences (“fire & water”) to a place of abundance. This is not only a salvation experience, but a refining one as well. So the end results are that God’s kids are no longer “diamonds in the rough” but shining gems.

Psalm 67 – David makes clear what scoffers don’t understand to this day because they do not want to understand. The purpose of the Hebrew people was not to show off favorites of God who are more loved by Him, but rather to bless all nations and tongues with the knowledge of His existence and of His ways. David got that. I guess God wanted to start somewhere with His revelation to fallen mankind so He started with Abraham, a man who, like God, was willing to give up his beloved son..

Psalm 68 – A song of praise and a song that rejoices because God defeats His enemies. Verse 5 claims that God is a father to the fatherless and that He makes a home for the lonely.

Application for Today: This is comforting to those who come from rough family backgrounds and/or find themselves alone as a child or an adult. God is their answer if they turn to Him, and we need to spread that message far and wide so that it reaches those people. There may be rare exceptions, but I think this verse implies that no one should live alone. Verse 18 speaks of Jesus Christ descending to earth and ascending from earth leading captives out of their bondages or sin (Ephesians 4:8).

Psalms 69 – Even though David acknowledged that he was a sinner, he believed his enemies were bent on his destruction not due to those sins, but because he was forgiven and living the right way. MANY DESCRIPTIONS OF JESUS’ EXPERIENCE ON THE CROSS.

Application for Today: We, too, should expect to make enemies from this world when we live godly (2 Timothy 3:12). Many aspects of this psalm seem to parallel Jesus’ experiences, and perhaps utter some of the very same words Jesus used when He prayed. David’s unwarranted opposition is similar to Jesus’ treatment by His enemies. Verse 3 refers to Jesus’ thirst on the cross. Verse 8 may refer to Jesus’ own brothers having a difficult time believing in Him, or perhaps His disciples deserting Him during His arrest. Verse 21 speaks of the vinegar offered to Jesus on the cross. Paul applied verses 22 and 23 to the Jews who had opposed the Lord Jesus, in Romans 11:9-10. Verse 9 clearly is quoted in John 2:17 as referring to why Jesus cleaned out the corrupted people from the Temple. What strikes me is how the disciples would even think to connect Psalm 69:9 with the Temple cleansing. They must have thought that David was speaking for Jesus back in 1,000 BC. If so, I can only conclude that the Holy Spirit had to inspire what John recorded because I do not think that any group of people would come up with that on their own.

Psalm 70 – How did David spell “relief”? A-P-P-E-A-L T-O G-O-D.

Psalm 71 – Another psalm of David taking refuge in God while his enemies wait for opportunistic times to destroy him, especially in his old age. David chose to praise God more with age.

Psalm 72 – This psalm seems to take another stroll down “Messiah Lane.” If so, it reveals how Jesus will judge fairly and He will right wrongs for the poor, and those suffering violence and oppression. When skeptics scoff at God because of this messed up world that He made, they fail to realize that the final chapter has not yet been written. When He writes it, all will be righted. David ends his series of psalms by looking forward to the day when God’s glory fills the earth.

Psalm 73 – Asaph wrote this one. He initially complains that wicked people can have wealth and few troubles. But when he comes into the presence of God, he realizes the wicked are but vapors – here today gone tomorrow, and their judgment from God will be just. He concludes that he wants nothing this world can offer. He only wants God, and though he fails at pleasing God sometimes, God is still his strength.

Application for Today: Let’s take a lesson from Asaph. We need to know how much God is on our side when we fail Him. We also need to forsake the love of temporal things this world offers and be consumed with God and His love for us.

Psalm 74 – Asaph emotes a strong lament as the enemies of the Hebrews had completely burned down the Temple and had destroyed all other forms of worship and replaced them with their heathen idols and practices in the land of Israel. This probably occurred in 586 B.C. when the Babylonians did a number on Israel. It was extremely traumatic for any God-fearing Jew. This wasn’t just about buildings being destroyed. It was the spirit that did it and the spirit that remained in the land that was so bad for God-sensitive people such as Asaph. The heart of Israel and the “hope of this world” was just ripped out and discarded. Though lamenting, Asaph still maintains his faith in Yahweh.

Application for Today: When bad things happen to us or to loved ones, we can still have faith that God is at work and He is still in charge. This faith can still our easily fretted souls.

Psalm 75 – This thanksgiving psalm senses a victory in Israel when God, as Judge, would destroy the wicked and establish the righteous.

Psalm 76 – Asaph praised God for His power.

Psalm 77 – Asaph’s soul is still troubled and he responds by seeking God. He begins to wonder if God has forsaken the Hebrew people at this point. So this time period had to be one of the many “downs” of the “ups and downs” in the history of Israel. I like what he does to combat his doubts. He muses (thinks or meditates) on the past deeds of God and soon his spirit is lifted.

Application for Today: When we get depressed over whatever, we need to muse on God’s past doings. We need to be ever mindful of how He has helped us before.

Psalm 78More detail on the Red Sea crossing. Asaph sings an accurate history recap of the Jews’ exodus from Egypt. He recounts in detail all of the miracles and provisions God gave them, but yet their hearts were never with Him, and they continuously rebelled and did not believe God. He reviews for the people what God wants: 1) teach about God to children so they can teach their children, 2) put confidence in God, 3) not to forget the works of God, and 4) keep His commandments. They failed miserably with all this and if God did not remind Himself that they were mere flesh, He would have destroyed all of them. He did destroy many, but not all. He chose the tribe of Judah (v68) to carry on His plan for us all. Verse 2 predicts that the Messiah would speak in parables. Verse 13 specifically states that the water during the Red Sea parting stood up like a heap. Some scholars assert that the strong wind alone pushed back the waters to allow Israel to escape the Egyptian army. Though the Genesis account mentions the east wind, it alone does not adequately explain how the water could be “like walls.” Moreover, how then could all the Egyptian soldiers and chariots get consumed by water to the extent of killing all of them? I think the wind just served to dry the sea bottom for the Jews. It seems as though God utilized natural and supernatural forces to pull this one off. Critics always try to eliminate the supernatural accounts in Scripture. The timing of this event should silence the critics if nothing else does.

Psalm 79 – A lament over the destruction of Jerusalem. This was violent and extremely gross. Asaph perceives that neighboring groups consider the Hebrews now as a reproach to them and some would spout out their scoffing regarding the Hebrew God. Asaph pleads with God for His name’s sake to stop His mighty wrath against His people (though they do deserve it). He tells God that their forefathers were the bad ones therefore let him and his contemporaries have mercy and forgiveness.

Psalm 80 – More begging God to stop the destruction and to restore His people. In verses 15-17, there seems to be a prophetic reference to the Messiah Jesus and it seems that Asaph was “reminding” God to keep in mind on His long-term glorious Plan concerning His Son so that the current destruction would not be total. It is like the Holy Spirit is speaking to God through Asaph’s pen. If so, this is quite a peek into that spiritual realm! Perhaps God revealed His thought-life to mankind here..uh, wow.

Psalm 81 – Yet another testimony about Israel’s waywardness. People can reach a point where God gives them over to their own devices (not good). God later does the same as Paul states in Romans 1:24,26. God does have patience but it is not limitless, and He does restore the repentant one as long as they have never blasphemed the Holy Spirit (giving credit to Satan for miracles done by the Holy Spirit).

Psalm 82 – Unjust judgments are rebuked. Judges were called “gods,” but because they were wicked, they would die like any other common man rather than having a respectful passing.

Psalm 83 – God is asked to confound Israel’s enemies. Verse 4 says: “They have said, ‘Come, let us wipe them out as a nation.'” This is the very mission statement of the modern-day Hamas, Al-Qaeda, Isis, and other Islamic extremist groups. They live for the extermination of Israel. Back in the psalmists’ day, it was the Edomites, Ishmaelites (starters of the Arab nation), Moabites, Hagrites, Ammonites, Amalekites, and more who were wanting to kill all the Jews. No other people in the history of the world have been so hated for so long as the Hebrews. This indicates to me that they are indeed God’s chosen ones just as the Bible claims. Satan will always work against whatever or whoever God anoints to do His work on earth.

I must add, however, that the nation of Israel (not all individual Jews) rejected God and was destroyed in 70 A.D. along with the Temple and the OT animal sacrificing. This judgment was predicted by Jesus in Luke 21:6. Though Jews have returned to Israel, neither the Temple nor animal sacrificing have been re-introduced. According to the Book of Hebrews, it would be an insult to God if they were. Since Christ’s coming, God’s people are now both Jews and Gentiles who have been circumcised in heart and are in Christ. Furthermore, since Jesus accomplished His mission, He now is the Temple and we are as well (John 2:19-21; Matt.26:61; 2 Cor.6:16; Heb.8:2, 9:11). Through the original offspring of Abraham, God revealed to the world that He is One God, Creator of heaven and earth, there are rules and expectations of behavior, that He intervenes on the behalf of fallen mankind, and He will finally dwell among redeemed people in a new, spiritual Temple that will thrive forever. No other religion contains this magnitude of revelation.

Psalm 84 – A longing for Temple worship by the sons of Korah. They say that one day inside God’s courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. Contemporary Christians have put these words to a nice song back in the 1970s. Verse 11 contains ample application for today: “No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly (with integrity).”

Application for Today: When we desire to have something but we do not have it, we need to remember this verse so that His perfect contentment can be ours as well.

Psalm 85 – A prayer for mercy on behalf of the nation of Israel.

Psalm 86 – This reveals several attributes of God: 1) He is good, 2) He ready to forgive, 3) He will answer in our time of trouble, 4) He is slow to anger, and 5) abundant in lovingkindness. It also prophecies that all nations will worship Him.

Psalm 87 – Zion is the apple of God’s eye. Now, because of the New Covenant, the universal church of Christ around the world for all generations is His Bride-to-be. I would say this would qualify us to be the apple of His eye.

Psalm 88 – A cry out to God to save from death.

Psalm 89 – This was written by Ethan, a servant of David. He is full of the knowledge of who God is and wants to proclaim His lovingkindness to all generations. He goes on to list many of the great works of God and I just sense that his love for Him was bubbling over as he thought about what to say next. He finishes by confirming God’s promise to David’s seed, that it will rule forever. This, I believe, refers to Jesus the Christ.

Application for Today: It is good for non-believers to see our excitement about our Lord. They need to see how much we really love Him. No other religion has followers that do this. Think about that.

Psalm 90 – This one was written by Moses. He states that God existed before earth was made and that time to Him is not like time to us (1,000 years is like a day to Him). The NT affirms this in 2 Peter 3:8, although I don’t believe it to be taken as a literal number. I think it simply means that God is not locked into our time. Moses also realizes how fleeting human life is and pleads for God’s mercy in spite of our sinful nature (even our secret sins come to light in His presence). Verses 9-10 yield insight to the history of man’s longevity. Before the Flood, the people mentioned in Scripture lived 900 or so years, but right after the Flood that longevity dropped to 230 or so. A short time later, it dropped further to 70 (with strength, 80) in Moses’ day. Despite medical breakthroughs and improved scientific knowledge, our longevity has not improved much since Moses. More people, however, do live longer than our pioneer days and have a better quality of life. Moses, though, did live to be 120 and Joshua 110, which I believe indicates God’s favor and anointing upon these individuals. Sometimes for reasons unknown to us, “decent” folks die young. He ends by asking God to make their work on earth count for something. That last line is a good prayer because so much of what we do will not count forever, and, if we do not allow Him to work through us, we accomplish nothing (John 15:5).

Psalm 91 – Ooh, what Satan gets from Scripture! Author is unknown. It talks about God being a refuge for those who believe and love Him. Over the years, many soldiers have memorized verses 5-7. Satan quoted verses 11 and 12 when he tempted Jesus in the wilderness (Matt.4:6). He wanted Jesus to interpret this promise literally. Jesus, however, declined to tempt God by deliberately putting Himself in a dangerous situation to see if God would miraculously deliver Him. Jesus gave the power described in verse 13 (Luke 10:19) to His disciples. I have always noticed how seriously Satan’s attitude was toward the Scriptures. To have him actually quote verses 11-12 from Psalm 91 indicates to me how important and God-breathed those words are, and how deeply Satan knows it (a sobering thought). It also seemed that Satan realized that they were referring to the Messiah whereas the average person reading that Psalm would certainly have missed that. It also makes me wonder about other OT Scriptures and how much more knowledge and truth are contained that we haven’t known about yet. Satan has deeper insight into The Word than Christians (ouch). Yes, he has been defeated by Jesus, but let us never underestimate the power of deception that he has (2 Corinthians 2:11).

Psalm 92 – Author is unknown. Back in the late 1970s, musician Mike Johnson put verses 1-4 together in a song that I love. I have changed it somewhat on my guitar, and I absolutely love playing it because it causes me to worship Him. This is the highest purpose of music. The rest of this psalm reassures us that the wicked, even if they are successful and wealthy, will be totally destroyed and gone in the end. So, we need not fret ourselves with what extremely immoral people may have in this life.

Psalm 93 – Unlike false gods made up by man, this affirms that God affects, rules, and controls over the whole earth so He should be worshiped and obeyed.

Psalm 94 – Another cry for God to arise and destroy wicked people. And, if God chastens someone, this is a good sign because He is trying to correct them. The upright in heart will follow Him. This seems to be advocating not taking revenge in our own hands, but trust that God will do it at the proper time.

Psalm 95 – This psalmist rejoices in knowing God and wants to come into His presence with thanksgiving and shouting joyfully in songs to Him. I don’t think too many churches in America are willing to do this, but it will be a part of a vibrant, loving church. He also proclaims a warning that was repeated in the Book of Hebrews (3:7-11,15; 4:7): “Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts” (as the Jews in the wilderness did). If we do harden, we, like they, will never enter His rest.

Application for Today: The spiritual condition of our heart is paramount to our relationship with Jesus. The softer it is, the more meaningful conversations we can have with Him, and the more we can grow. Furthermore, we will sin less because sin, especially when repeated, has the ability to harden our heart toward God. It is extremely deceiving (Hebrews 3:13).

Psalm 96 – When we really know God, everything becomes new and exciting. This is why the psalmist says to sing a new song to Him. God is never stale, but we can be. He gives life to old situations. He gives life to all kinds of people.

Psalm 97“The LORD reigns; let the earth rejoice.” Knowing that God is sovereign, we can have peace because we know He wins in the end and all wrong shall be made right. This is a good source of solace for we who dwell in fleshly bodies observing a sin-filled world. Verse 6 proclaims that “the heavens declare His righteousness.”

Psalms 98-100 – New songs can be sung because God is full of newness and renewal. Many modern praise songs use words from these psalms.

Application for Today: If you are a musician, God has given you the lyrics in these psalms. Now you can create the melodies. Obviously, we can make up lyrics as well, but do not neglect the treasure we have before our eyes.

Psalm 101 – Verse 3 says, “I will set no worthless thing before my eyes; I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not fasten its grip on me.”

Application for Today: TV? Most movies and programs are created, written, and produced by people “who have fallen away.” Notice the Scripture says that a “worthless thing” has power to hold us in its grasp. I marvel at people who are addicted to soap operas. Talk about worthless things! Watch out, because many things of this world are vying for our affections, and they are worthless in the real, overall picture of our brief stay on earth.

Psalm 102 – A cry for help and better health. This psalmist knew that the things that he wrote would benefit future generations and cause more people yet created to praise God.

Psalm 103 – Great revelations about God: 1) slow to anger, 2) abounding in lovingkindness, 3) does not deal with us according to our sins/iniquities (I think this means that we will not get what we deserve), 4) He has infinitely removed our sin from us never to return again, 5) He is ever mindful that we are but dust (weak and vulnerable to sin, and will not live long on earth).

Comment on God being ever mindful that we a but dust: As people age, they often forget what it was like for them in their younger years. Sometimes parents, for example, will be harsh and strict with their young children or get extra angry with them when they do something wrong only to realize later that they did the same thing when they were that age. We would ALL be in big trouble if God did the same with us. I know it has been 2,000 some years since He walked the earth in a human body, but He has NOT forgotten what that was like.

Psalm 104 – A big clue to the Genesis history. Much of this psalm praises God’s handiwork and provision for life and keeping the planet secure to support life. But in verses 5-9, I wonder if He explains something that skeptics have attacked for ages. The psalmist is clearly describing what God did as recorded in the Book of Genesis, but rather than having an initial creation context, it definitely is referring to Noah’s Flood (“the waters were standing above the mountains”). The only time in history when water was above all the mountains was at the beginning of the creation and during Noah’s Flood. However, it becomes clear that this can only be describing the time of the Flood.

When contemplating the Flood account in the Bible, skeptics look at this present earth and say, “Where did all the water come from and where did it go?” They know that there is not enough water in the oceans to cover the highest peak on earth (Mt. Everest) by 15 cubits as Genesis states. They are correct, but they error in assuming that Mount Everest was there at the time of the Flood. Verses 7-8 state that the mountains and valleys formed when the waters were going down. Verse 9 explains why – to set a boundary for the water so that it can never again cover the whole earth. If this chapter refers only to the creation, then, according to this verse 9, water would never cover the earth from that point of history thus making Noah’s Flood a lie. If the mountains and valleys were not present during the Flood, then there is enough water in the oceans to cover the entire earth’s land now. It is a scientific fact that if all mountains were pushed down and all valleys (including oceanic trenches) were pushed up, the entire world would be under water! There is plenty of water on earth’s surface to account for a global flood. This is quite a remarkable revelation that comes almost out of nowhere in the Psalms.

Interesting Note: Closed, petrified clams were discovered long ago on the top of Mt. Everest. The fact that they were closed and petrified is key. When clams die, they open their shell. In order to have closed, dead clams they had to be suddenly buried with sediment. The Biblical Creation Model asserts that the land that is now on the top of Everest was originally at the bottom of the sea. When the waters burst up from under the earth’s crust during Noah’s Flood, tons of sediment would have formed and shifted to new places. The bursting of “all the fountains of the great deep on the same day” as Genesis states, would have also caused our present-day plate tectonic movements for the first time in history. As plates collided, mountains and valleys formed via an accordion type scenario, further shifting all the new surface water to the present-day boundaries that protect us from repeated global flood water just like God promised.

Application for Today: True science has been extremely beneficial to mankind, but man’s theories can be full of error. Please beware of man’s ideas, especially if they have rejected the God of the Bible. I know there are various interpretations by true believers but there are people who believe in a creator, although they do not know His name and therefore do not know His Word. In other words, because they have not made an effort to know Him, they have no idea what He has said to mankind. I think that is the most important thing to find out during one’s lifetime. Merely believing in God doesn’t mean anything – demons do and they are doomed (James 2:19). There is also a huge difference between believing in Jesus and following Him. Get to know His Word and you will get to know Him (Psalms 40:7).

Psalm 105 – An extensive review of God’s wondrous works for His people, the Hebrews, and His faithfulness to them over many years. We are to make known His great deeds to others.

Psalm 106 – An extensive recount of the rebellious history of the Hebrews. It contains lots of detailed confirmation of the Red Sea splitting. A major problem with the Jews that escaped Egypt was that they tended to forget God’s miracles too quickly, and fell into complaining and self-centeredness which angered God. He, however, would always have mercy and remember His promise to them. They did not destroy their enemies like God told them to do, so they mingled cultures and began practicing immoral things. It got so bad that they actually lowered themselves to sacrifice the lives of their innocent children to the idols (demons) of Canaan. The Bible says the land became polluted with blood.

Application for Today: First, these things were written for our benefit, so we would not make the same mistakes as they did (1 Cor. 10:11; Rom.15:4). So let us be ever mindful of God’s faithfulness to us and His great works He did in the Scriptures and in our lives as well. If we do this, there will be no room for depression or doubting His covenant with us through Christ. Second, Americans are lowering themselves to child sacrifice like the heathen Canaanites by promoting abortions. I’ll be frank here, Satan does not care under what name this is done – Baal or “choice” or personal rights – the results are the same. How can God bless a nation that sanctions this barbarism that pollutes its land with innocent human blood? For those women who have had an abortion and those men who may have pressured the woman to have one can seek and obtain complete forgiveness from the Lord. Any guilt or condemnation will be gone when God heals us (Romans 8:1). Also, Christians should never look down upon someone who have done these things because we have all sinned and have fallen far short of being holy, and we may not understand all the pressures they were facing at that time.

Psalm 107 – This unknown writer tried to stimulate worship by recounting God’s great powers and deeds. There is a nice little Messianic prophecy in verse 29 that speaks of Jesus calming the rough sea.

Psalm 108 – We can trust God for His promises.

Psalm 109 – David wrote this one. Verse 8 contains a prophecy about Judas being replaced because of his betrayal and early death. I don’t think David had a clue about this. Luke was quoting a speech by Peter (Acts 1:2), and Peter, a non-educated person, knew that this psalm was referring to Judas. How did he know? Even a scholar may not have perceived such an interpretation from the psalm, but this is how the Holy Spirit deals with Scripture. Verses 17-18 sheds light on the total spiritual effects of habitual cursing. Powerful stuff. They are NOT mere words. Those words not only have meanings, but they have a spirit behind them instigating expression. Not good. Too many people are consistently ignorant of the spiritual realm and its effects on people and situations. Finally, verse 25 gives the future view of Jesus on the Cross while people “wag their heads” at him (Matthew 27:39).

Psalm 110 – The New Testament contains more references to this psalm than to any other chapter in the Old Testament (cf. Matt. 22:44; 26:64; Mark 12:36; 14:62; 16:19; Luke 20:42-44; 22:69; Acts 2:34-35; Rom. 8:34; 1 Cor. 15:25; Eph. 1:20; Col. 3:1; Heb. 1:3, 13; 5:6; 7:17, 21; 8:1; 10:12-13; 12:2). Jesus quoted verse 1 trying to convince people of His day that the Messiah was not merely a son of David because David was calling Him LORD in this context of psalms. It worked, the people could not answer Him any more on the point. Jesus’ challenge was to convince people that He was “the Big One” without being arrogant or seemingly insane. So, He seemed to accomplish this in small increments along His 3-year time limit.

Psalm 111 – What B.I.B.L.E. stands for: Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth). More praise for the works of God. Reveals basic truths about God we take for granted: 1) all His rules for moral conduct are trustworthy, 2) these precepts will be upheld forever, 3) they are performed in truth and uprightness, 4) He sent redemption to us, and 5) His covenant with us is forever. Verse 10 tells us that “The fear (reverence) of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.”

Psalm 112 – A tremendous appraisal of a righteous person (one who trusts in God to forgive sins, fears God, and delights in His commandments):

1) His/her descendants will be mighty,
2) Wealth,
3) His/her righteousness lasts forever,
4) Gracious and compassionate,
5) Things are well,
6) He/she lends to the poor,
7) Does not fear evil things,
8) Steadfast heart,
9) Will be honored.

The wicked, however, will be angry at the righteous one, gnash his/her teeth, melt away, and all their evil desires will perish.

Psalm 113 – Describes God as a God who gives great things to people who have nothing. I assume this refers to the afterlife in all cases and in some cases these blessings occur in this life on earth. This is a strong NT theme as well.

Psalm 114 – A recounting of how God miraculously delivered His people out of Egypt and set up His sanctuary among those people. It gives further confirmation about the Red Sea splitting, the Jordan River holding back, and water spewing out from a rock with Moses.

Psalm 115 – Idols compared to God – though men have carved sense organs on their wooden idols, none of them can do or sense anything, and those who make them will become like them (no life). The true God will bless those who revere Him.

Application for Today: Americans may not form idol images out of wood to worship, but anything they put their trust into apart from Christ is one. I think materialism is the biggest one in our modern, USA culture, followed closely by human intelligence. These things cannot save them now or at their end.

Psalm 116 – God is happy when we die? Thanksgiving for deliverance from death. Verse 15 says a rather strange thing: “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of His godly ones.” I think this means that God is so looking forward to our arrival into His Kingdom and the fact that we have been successfully snatched away from the Destroyer.

Psalm 117 – A very short one – only 2 verses. God’s love is great toward us and His truth will never end.

Psalm 118 – This one has some real gems. It affirms the eternal nature of a great and loving God by proclaiming that “His lovingkindness is everlasting.” It also deals with one of our most powerful inherent weaknesses – “the fear of man” by proclaiming, “The LORD is for me; I will not fear; What can man do to me?” Now, in reality, people can do a lot of bad things to us, but none of them can hurt our experience in heaven with God. In fact, sometimes what they do to us gives us more in eternity. Jesus told us not to fear man who can only destroy our bodies, but fear only God who can destroy both body and soul in hell. This is a tough lesson to learn. I dare say that most believers, especially those of us who have never been tortured for Christ or had our lives/job/security threatened by others, have not yet attained to this “brave level.”

The exact middle verse in the entire Bible is verse 8 which reveals that we should not trust man or princes (politicians?) but rather take refuge in the LORD. I suppose that if we have deep reverence for God (which is the beginning of wisdom according to Proverbs 9:10), this verse will follow in our hearts.

Application for Today: What does trusting in God and not man look like in today’s world? It certainly does not mean we should not vote for politicians. We need to stay informed and vote our conscience. After my first year teaching, my principal told me he may not rehire me for the next year. I told him, “That’s okay, because if you decide that, I will know God wants me somewhere else.” By the way he looked at me, I don’t think he ever encountered such a statement. My refuge, or security, was not in my principal nor the Spencerport School District’s paycheck. It was Jesus Christ. He would provide my needs. Now, I must admit that it was easier for me to proclaim such a thing in those days. I was not married, I had no children to care for, and I was rather new in Christ so I was still “on that honeymoon” with Him. Twenty years later my responsibilities changed radically, and I’m not so sure I would have passed that “security-source test” as well as I did at age 22. Needless to say, the principal gave me a new contract the next day and I stayed on for 35 years, but I realized that this was God’s doing, not man’s. The bottom line is: Do we really trust God for our earthly needs? If we are not sure, then ask Him and He will tell us.

Verses 22-23 contain a marvelous prophetic insight about God’s plan for human salvation – that proud, self-righteous people will never perceive until it is too late: “The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. This is the LORD’s doing and it is marvelous in our eyes.” I’m sure the OT writers did not have the actual meaning known to them, but Jesus Himself told us its meaning. The stone is Jesus, the builders are the Jewish leaders, and the cornerstone (most important pillar or support of the Eternal Kingdom) is Jesus emerging as the All-Powerful, Perfect One who is worthy of all praise. I think this is the MOST SIGNIFICANT revelation to mankind ever given. The fact that Jesus quoted and viewed several verses from Psalms lends tremendous credibility to the belief in their divine inspiration.

Psalm 119 – What a Blueprint! One hundred and seventy-six verses! Here is a summary list of things we need to do or attitudes we need to possess:

1) Seek Him with all of our heart (for daily life) and we are blessed if we obey – v2
2) A young man can keep his way pure by observing and obeying God’s Word – v9
3) Treasure God’s Word in our hearts – v11
4) Be willing to be taught Truth – v12
5) Remember His Word – v16
6) Ask God to open our mind to the truth contained in His Word – v18
7) Meditate on His wonders – v27
8) Ask God to remove every false way from us – v29
9) Depend on God and ask Him to help us turn away from the vanity of this world – v37
10) Speak up for God and His great works and do not be ashamed of Him – 46
11) Be honest about how we think and act and turn away from wrong and into Him – 59
12) Value God’s Word because it is a lamp unto our feet and a light to guide us through this world’s darkness – v105
13) Ask God to prevent an iniquity from having control over us – v133 (if we consistently stumble with some kind of sin, it could be due to a spirit of iniquity that has dominion over us. This can be removed via repentance and the authority given us by Jesus Himself).
14) Realize how small we are compared to Him – v141
15) Meditate on His Word – v148
16) Love His Law – v165
17) Confess how wayward we live and do not forget His commandments – v176 (this last one implies total dependence on God rather than self to save us from ourselves).

Finally, verse 130 states, “The unfolding of Thy words gives light; It gives understanding to the simple.” I always think about this verse when intellectuals debate the interpretations of God’s Word. I know God. I know Him because of His Word, and His Word says it will be understood even to a simple-minded person. Therefore, I have concluded that although metaphors and symbolic passages are sometimes employed in His Word, most of the Bible is literal. The Book of Genesis, for example, is written as a narrative recalling literal history. Those who think everything is symbolic in Genesis (mostly due to their belief in evolution) have missed an important characteristic of God’s heart. Intellectuals do not limit their re-interpretations to Genesis. They will go after every inspired Word from God. He wants all to understand His Word. I admit there are difficult to understand passages in Scripture, but for the most part we do not need high IQ people to tell us what it all means. It is the Spirit that gives life, not human intelligence. Although I do appreciate smart scholars that do their homework and flow in the Holy Spirit. But the things that we NEED to know from the Scriptures are understandable to all. To summarize this Psalm I would say that we need to be God-dependent and we need to “marry” His Word to our hearts. “Marry” means read it, love it, revere it (do we capitalize the word “Bible”?) think about it, apply it, let it guide our decisions, value it over man’s thoughts. The NT people in Berea seemed to have it right (Acts 17:11).

Psalm 120 – This psalmist recognizes the poisonous strength that lying tongues contain. He wants peace but others want war.

Psalm 121 – Our source of help comes from God. He may use people, situations, or organizations, but He is the Source. He is also our Guard.

Psalm 122 – David was thrilled to go up to the House of God. Just think what our nation would be like if every Christian looked forward to church as much as David looked forward to going into the Temple. Many Christians complain about how bad the USA is becoming, but very few of them have led anyone to Christ. After all, isn’t HE the real solution to a nation’s problem? Do you realize how many more believers we would have if every Christian led just one person to Jesus each year?

Psalm 123 – This psalmist was lamenting the fact that scoffers surrounded him and they were at ease (they had enough of life’s essentials).

Application for Today: Many Americans are at ease but do not know God. Some of them scoff at Christianity. We may have to deal with some of these people. This psalmist looked up to God for help. We need to do the same. Perhaps rather than memorizing certain responses to their off-the-wall comments, we might do better if we ask the Spirit what we should say to them AS AN INDIVIDUAL (please look closely at Colossians 4:6). This way, we will say something that is more convicting. It may be a certain Bible verse(s) or simply some comment that hits home with them. We need to be one with the Holy Spirit.

Psalm 124 – David gives total credit to God for the continuing existence of Israel. Indeed it was God acting on behalf of His promise to Abraham that was at work for Israel. Verse 7 seems to illustrate a picture of personal salvation for individuals as well as the sparing of the nation of Israel over the centuries.

Application for Today: While God is for us and not against us, we need to pray not so much that God is on OUR side but that we are on HIS side (Abe Lincoln has been credited with this idea, but there is no proof of it; it was orated by Rev. Matthew Simpson at Lincoln’s funeral, however). If we do this, then we avoid self-righteousness and endeavoring to do things without the Spirit involved. Otherwise, we accomplish nothing though we do a lot. Moreover, we may do harm.

Psalm 125 – This psalm proclaims that Mount Zion cannot be moved. “Mount Zion,” some Bible teachers believe, represents the Universal Church, however dispensationalists abhor this idea. One reason is that it can lead to anti-semitism. It shouldn’t, but perhaps it has in some cases. If we use the former interpretation, however, we may get more insight from the Book of Psalms.

Psalm 126 – This comments on how other nations realized that the God of Israel had done great things for that nation. It ends with optimism saying that those who sow in tears will reap with joy. I think this may refer to us going through this world’s resistance to the Gospel yet we keep sharing about Jesus with others, then later in the hereafter, we will see all our fruit (results) and shout with joy.

Psalm 127 – Solomon wrote this one. He states a basic tenet of Christianity: “Unless the LORD builds the house they labor in vain who build it.” I believe “house” means anything we try to accomplish in this life, as well as starting a church. Unless God does it through us, that thing will not matter in eternity. Verse 2 says, “Unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman keeps awake in vain.” Again, this reveals who needs to be in charge and obeyed and followed. We, however, have a natural tendency to strive to accomplish things on our own, and become proud if we succeed. So have we really succeeded? Verse 3-5 puts a proper attitude toward having children unlike the pro-abortion attitude today. It says they are a gift from God, not a burden, and we are blessed if we have many. Today, people think that they could not support many kids financially. This depends on whether or not they are living for God through His Holy Spirit. One of God’s promises to us is that food, shelter, and clothing will be provided if we are seeking first His Kingdom (Matthew 6:33).

Psalm 128 – The results of a man fearing the Lord are: He’ll be content eating the fruit of his labor, he will be happy and well, his wife will be fruitful within his house, and his children will make “beneficial contributions” (I think the reference to “olive plants” may mean this).

Psalm 129 – Israel represented the revelation to mankind of the one and only true God. Fallen mankind, in general, did not like that, so many persecuted that nation (even to this day). In a broader sense, “Zion” and “Israel” is the Christian Church today with Christ as the Chief Cornerstone. This too is being persecuted continually by fallen mankind. The good news is that it has prevailed as has the literal nation of Israel.

Psalm 130 – This psalmist recognizes how bare (guilty) he is if God would take into account all his sins, but he rejoices in the fact that God forgives and therefore he will revere Him. In this mindset, he can wait on God and put his hope in His Word. We can do the same.

Psalm 131 – David finds solace in humility and has the prudence not to involve himself in matters that are far above him.

Psalm 132 – This recounts David’s determination to build a house for God. It was his main priority at one time. It also reminds us of God’s unbreakable promise to David’s royal lineage. Then it describes God’s beautiful resting place for forgiven and redeemed souls. These souls will have great joy, but God will shame those who lived as enemies of these people.

Psalm 133 – This describes the beauty of people dwelling in unity. Oh that all churches would attain this!

Psalm 134 – States how blessed even the night watchers of God’s House are.

Application for Today: No matter what “status” we have in heaven, we are all going to be thoroughly blessed.

Psalm 135 – Verse 7 intrigues me. The psalmist makes a scientific statement that was not known at that time – the evaporation process from the seas and lakes of earth. When you think about this, it is a master stroke of genius to figure out a method to lift tons of water against gravity so that rain can come to the soil thus preserving life on the planet. This chapter also mentions that there will be a judgment of God’s people, but with compassion. Still, this does not mean all will be rosy. Yes, we have eternal life. That’s been settled by our faith in the blood sacrifice of the Christ, but our judgment will still involve both good and bad things we’ve done (Romans 14:10-13 and 2 Corinthians 5:10). Also mentioned is the vanity of idols because they are mere carvings (productions) of man. Moreover, they cannot breathe, speak, see, or hear, and those who make them will become like them…scary.

Psalm 136 – All 26 verses contain the phrase, “For His lovingkindness is everlasting.” After thoroughly researching the original Greek and Hebrew words for this sentence, I think, and I hope I am not going out on a limb here, it actually means that “His lovingkindness is everlasting!” The chapter also precludes each proclamation by reviewing the great deeds throughout the history of the Hebrew nation and the Creation.

Psalm 137 – Recounts a mournful time of captivity where the captors demanded the Hebrews to sing their songs of Zion (probably to further humiliate them). For this psalmist, there was no love for his enemies, in fact, he looked forward to the day when their children would be dashed to death against rocks…yikes!

Psalm 138 – A sobering message here about the amount of reverence we need to have for His Word. It states, “Thou has magnified thy word above all thy name.” If His name is Holy, and it is, how much more is His Word? No wonder It is trashed, ignored, and twisted more than any other written work on this planet.

Psalm 139 – David realized how thoroughly God knew him, and as he mused over this, it frustrated his mind because it was too wonderfully beyond anything he could understand. He also knew that he could never escape from God’s presence. Then he realized how awesome his physical body was and that God saw him even before he was conceived in the womb. We all are “fearfully and wonderfully made.” Each body has about 50 trillion cells. In each cell are chromosomes and DNA instruction strands. All these strands from one human body can fit into two tablespoons, but when extended end to end they go to the earth and sun and back 400 times! If we typed all the instructions from the DNA code to make your body, the books would fill the Grand Canyon 40 times. Darwin assumed that the smaller the size of anything, the simpler and therefore the more primitive the life form is. Modern science proves this wrong. God can create millions of tiny mechanisms within a cell structure that, working all together, keep the cell alive. Therefore, no matter what size the cell is, if it is alive, it is complex. The phrase “primitive cell” or “primitive life form” remain in biology textbooks today despite being scientifically inaccurate. These words, of course, help promote the lie of evolution.

How and why would a complex, intelligent brain evolve with no intelligent force behind it? Chaos and random chances never produce codes or complex organization. Yet this is what evolution teaches. That takes more faith than believing in Genesis. How can evolution explain why humans have a conscience? If Genesis is not true, then why even have life with the concept of morality? I could argue that killing a human is a good thing because it takes him/her out of this horrible world that the skeptics think a defective god made. We need to think deep enough about WHY something is morally wrong, i.e., we get beyond “because it hurts others,” or “just because.” The only reason left is because God says so. If the Bible is false, then hurting someone else is good FOR ME because it could make ME stronger and give ME a better chance to survive. Darwin did say life is the survival of the fittest. There is a brutal side of evolutionary thought that few like to reckon with. David had it right about God and he would be beside himself if he could see people believing in evolution today. David ends this psalm with an extremely mature prayer. He asks God to search him deeply to see if there be any wayward way within him…that takes courage.

Application for Today: Ask God to tell us what is wrong with us. When He tells us, there will be no condemnation (Romans 8:1). And now, we just need to let Him do the spiritual surgery.

Psalm 140 – The problem with vengeance. David appeals to God for protection against evil people, especially proud ones who seem to constantly set traps for him.

Application for Today: Because of his power, David could have easily sent men to kill every enemy he had. Instead, he focused on God and turned to Him to “take care” of them. We need to do the same. God wants to free us from vengeful thoughts and attitudes. This is a huge undertaking for Him. He assures us that no one will get away with anything. He will write the final chapter for every person who has lived on earth. More importantly, we never know about those we would like to see be destroyed. In time, they may become a strong believer and work for His Kingdom. Furthermore, in our “before Christ” days, we may have done wrong to others and stimulated hateful, vengeful thoughts against us! If they had their way with us at that time, we would have been destroyed and not ever been saved. We usually do not realize all the “attachments” with vengeful desires. They can be symptomatic of self-centeredness, self-righteousness, covetousness, greed, lust, envy, etc. God sees it all, and tells us not to take out vengeance on people. We can trust the wisdom in that.

Psalm 141 – The psalmist again emphasizes his dependence on God and that He is his safety net while walking on earth. He pleads with God to guard his mouth from saying wrong and to keep his desires away from evil, even to the point of not enjoying the “delicacies” of evil men. This man’s eyes are toward God.

Application for Today: Like this psalmist, we need to have our eyes toward God as well. This means we are continually aware of His love and our dependence on Him (not striving to be good ourselves). It means we are also anticipating His spirit at work each day. We know He is present in every thought we have. We commune with Him in “thought conversation.” We view circumstances as opportunities to grow in Christ and serve others. We keep the eternal perspective rather than fretting over the temporal. This is “walking in the spirit.” We have a better chance to do this if we have devotions right after we get up in the morning. Our day will go better and we tend to respond in a godly manner to adversity (remember, Jesus said each day has trouble of its own – Matthew 6:34).

Psalm 142 – David was in trouble and sought out God as his refuge. This may have been when Saul was trying to kill him.

Psalm 143 – David states what Paul wrote in Romans 3:10 – not one human being in righteous. When David was being tormented in his mind by “the enemy,” he meditated upon the great things God had done in the past.

Application for Today: When we are bothered in mind, our heart needs to be “toward” God, and call into remembrance all the great things God has done for us. Demons do not like this and usually leave us alone – especially if we start worshiping Jesus, they HATE that. Sometimes we have to literally stand against demonic voices in our thoughts by commanding them to leave in the name of Jesus. They will go.

Psalm 144 – David realizes how small man is and is in awe of the fact that an Almighty God is even aware of us let alone takes care of us.

Psalm 145 – David gives an incredible description of God, especially considering that many people believed in many gods who were all limited in power in one way or another (not a sovereign one in the midst). Therefore, this chapter is a deep revelation of the One and Only True God:

1) His greatness is unsearchable (no matter how much we realize about it, there is more),
2) Gracious and merciful,
3) Good to all,
4) Mercies over all His works (all He does is motivated by mercy),
5) Sustains all who fall,
6) Raises up all who are bowed down (He exalts the humble),
7) Gives enough food to those who look to Him (welfare not needed?),
8) Satisfies the desires (not evil ones) of those who fear Him,
9) All His ways and deeds are righteous,
10) He will hear our cries to Him and save us,
11) He will eventually destroy all wicked people,
12) He is near to those who call upon Him in truth (“in truth” probably means sincerely with good motivations or a willingness to obey God).

We take these descriptions for granted, but for this to be recorded 1,000 years before Christ….well, that was something! I’m not sure if Job had this much revelation about what God is like.

I recall a scene from the hit movie, “Cool Hand Luke” starring Paul Newman. He had escaped once again from a chain gang prison in the south and the authorities were closing in on him. They had promised to kill him this time. So Luke (Newman) went into a church and was even willing to kneel down to get some response from God, but nothing happened…just silence as he looked up to the rafters of that church. In my opinion, that is what his character was expecting, but tried anyway out of desperation, not necessarily with the right motives. He really did not show any signs of wanting to follow and obey God. He just wanted to get away from the law. Of course, this was Hollywood “speaking,” but it did get me thinking about “calling to God in truth” in this kind of situation. As expected, Luke looked down from that ceiling and said he’d have to go his own way since God, even if He exists, was not going to help him. What I did not like about this scene is Hollywood’s message that there really isn’t a God out there that loves and cares for us and would intervene on our behalf.

Psalm 146 – Describes the brevity of man compared to the eternal power and existence of God. Verse 3 says not to trust in “princes.” I think “politicians” could be included here. That is not to say we should not vote, but rather keep our trust only in the One that can truly deliver and make good changes.

Psalm 147 – It is good to sing praises to God (and He doesn’t mind if we can’t sing well). This tells of the might and majesty of God. It also reveals in verse10 that He is not impressed with muscular strength of man. People of this world are always impressed with human muscular strength, but God’s Kingdom usually has tenets that are opposite that of this temporal world. This world says to obtain is to gain; God’s Kingdom says to give up is gain. This world fears strong men, but God says to fear only the One who can destroy both body and soul in hell.

Psalm 148 – God is so great that all life, and even objects made by Him, should praise Him. “Sea monsters” are mentioned once again in verse 7. This could be referring to swimming dinosaurs and/or Loch Ness Monster type creatures that have been seen by reputable people throughout the entire world (even in Lake Erie and Lake Champlain), not just Loch Ness. In the big sail ship days before motors, many captains’ log books had entries describing sea monster sightings. When noisy motors began to power ships, sightings dropped off sharply, probably because the creatures could hear the ship coming from miles away. Also, since ocean currents have been discovered, ships now often stay in those “lanes” when crossing seas, therefore leaving much water not traveled or seen any more. Lots of room for sea monsters to frolic and not be seen. This may be further indication that our world is not billions of years old and that some dinosaurs that lived in the oceans survived Noah’s Flood.

Psalm 149 – This speaks of singing new songs to God which is quite a joy for musicians. Churches that really get into worship offend some people. They think those types of believers are crazy. But it says here that we are to be glad in God and praise Him with dancing and instruments all the while realizing that He takes pleasure in His people. Somehow I don’t think this is describing pew sitting, singing three hymns, and staying quiet for an hour. I think many American Christians need a good dose of God’s joy. I’ve often thought that if someone actually met Jesus face-to-face, then they would get very excited (probably for the rest of their life). Satan loves to make fresh things stale. If it were up to him, we’d all be stale.

Psalm 150 – To summarize this last psalm, I would say, “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord with anything that is available with which to make music!” What a great way to end this fantastic Book of the Psalms.