Today we take a break from our story as we go through a couple of David’s psalms. The Psalms are poems and songs. There are 5 “books” of Psalms within the Book of Psalms. The first two are attributed to David. The two we are reading today date to 1013 BC, when David was hiding from King Saul who wanted to kill him. You can check out the last two blogs or podcasts to catch the story of David and Goliath and then how King Saul goes nuts. The psalms are interesting as you’ll see a pattern throughout. Let’s dig in….
For the choir director: A psalm of David, to be accompanied by the flute.
1 O Lord, hear me as I pray;
pay attention to my groaning.
2 Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God,
for I pray to no one but you.
Many of the psalms start with “groaning”. They begin as prayers of lament, of suffering. He is crying, “Hey, God, pay attention to me! I’m hurting here!”
It’s OK to yell at God. If you’re angry, scared, lost, or feeling hopeless.
Verse 2 is important. Notice that David, who is anointed to be king, cries out for help to whom? His King and his God. Why both? Could he be referring to Jesus, who is the King of kings, as well as God the Father? Then he writes that he prays to no one but Him. That is God. Not saints or Mary, not dead people!
The paganism that the church brought in, starting in the 4th century, was wrong! Read about it here.
3 Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord.
Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly.
There’s no better way to start the day than by praying to God! Try it! When you commit your day to God, things will go MUCH smoother!
4 O God, you take no pleasure in wickedness;
you cannot tolerate the sins of the wicked.
5 Therefore, the proud may not stand in your presence,
for you hate all who do evil.
6 You will destroy those who tell lies.
The Lord detests murderers and deceivers.
7 Because of your unfailing love, I can enter your house;
I will worship at your Temple with deepest awe.
We can worship God anytime and anywhere! But do it with awe, with respect. That’s called “fearing the Lord”. Respecting His power and awesomeness.
8 Lead me in the right path, O Lord,
or my enemies will conquer me.
Make your way plain for me to follow.
If you ask God for guidance, do as He says! Sure, sometimes what you hear from Him may not make any sense to you, but remember, His thoughts are not like your thoughts! Seek His will for your life and when He lets you in on what it is, follow it. Don’t follow the world.
9 My enemies cannot speak a truthful word.
Their deepest desire is to destroy others.
Their talk is foul, like the stench from an open grave.
Their tongues are filled with flattery.
10 O God, declare them guilty.
Let them be caught in their own traps.
Drive them away because of their many sins,
for they have rebelled against you.
Today’s enemies may not be “enemies” like you think. Any church or preacher who does not speak the Gospel truth is an enemy of Jesus Christ. They may call themselves “Christian”, but if they water down the Gospel and only teach on the “feel good” parts, then they are “filled with flattery”. They may sound good, but they are liars.
Ask the Holy Spirit to help you tell the difference between false priests and preachers and those who are teaching the truth. Pray for discernment. That’s what I felt when I was in a progressive church and something the preacher said just didn’t make sense. That was the Holy Spirit telling me to flee from that church and don’t look back.
11 But let all who take refuge in you rejoice;Psalm 5 NLT
let them sing joyful praises forever.
Spread your protection over them,
that all who love your name may be filled with joy.
12 For you bless the godly, O Lord;
you surround them with your shield of love.
You have divine permission to be joyful. Joy is available to everyone who believes in Jesus! Yahweh is a hearing God. He is a Holy God, He is a helpful God. Finally, He is a heaping God. God surrounds us with His love, grace, peace and joy. Joy is not just something that you sing about at Christmas time. You can have the joy of salvation every single day, 24/7!
For the choir director: A psalm of David, regarding the time Saul sent soldiers to watch David’s house in order to kill him. To be sung to the tune “Do Not Destroy!”
1 Rescue me from my enemies, O God.
Protect me from those who have come to destroy me.
2 Rescue me from these criminals;
save me from these murderers.
3 They have set an ambush for me.
Fierce enemies are out there waiting, Lord,
though I have not sinned or offended them.
4 I have done nothing wrong,
yet they prepare to attack me.
Wake up! See what is happening and help me!
5 O Lord God of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel,
wake up and punish those hostile nations.
Show no mercy to wicked traitors.
Many psalms will have the word “selah” or “interlude” at the end of certain passages. No one knows exactly what this means from the original Hebrew, but scholars think that it’s to take time to pause and think about what you’ve just read. Not a bad idea! Sometimes we rush through reading the Bible and we don’t take even just a few moments to ponder what God is trying to tell us. So, what’s He saying here?
Well, David wrote this right after yesterday’s story when jealous and crazy Saul sent his army to hunt and kill David. See, he’s yelling at God again. He’s desperate. Yet, he knows that God is all-powerful, the King of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel. He’s praying to God to punish the hostile nations and to not show any mercy to traitors.
6 They come out at night,
snarling like vicious dogs
as they prowl the streets.
7 Listen to the filth that comes from their mouths;
their words cut like swords.
“After all, who can hear us?” they sneer.
8 But Lord, you laugh at them.
You scoff at all the hostile nations.
9 You are my strength; I wait for you to rescue me,
for you, O God, are my fortress.
10 In his unfailing love, my God will stand with me.
He will let me look down in triumph on all my enemies.
11 Don’t kill them, for my people soon forget such lessons;
stagger them with your power, and bring them to their knees,
O Lord our shield.
12 Because of the sinful things they say,
because of the evil that is on their lips,
let them be captured by their pride,
their curses, and their lies.
13 Destroy them in your anger!
Wipe them out completely!
Then the whole world will know
that God reigns in Israel (Jacob).
David doesn’t want vengeance, he wants to see God’s justice. He wants God to teach them a lesson. Vengeance is the Lord’s.
14 My enemies come out at night,
snarling like vicious dogs
as they prowl the streets.
15 They scavenge for food
but go to sleep unsatisfied.
16 But as for me, I will sing about your power.Psalm 59 NLT
Each morning I will sing with joy about your unfailing love.
For you have been my refuge,
a place of safety when I am in distress.
17 O my Strength, to you I sing praises,
for you, O God, are my refuge,
the God who shows me unfailing love.
At the end, David praises God. How many times do we pray, asking God for something, yet we just don’t praise or thank Him for what He’s already done? Here’s where writing prayers down in a journal really helps. Sometimes, the world clogs ours minds with stuff and we can’t think about all the good God has done in our lives. Pause, look up, thank HIM!
Praying the Psalms
Most of the psalms are just prayers. They are a great way to pray back God’s Words to Him. It’s OK to write them out like if you were speaking them. Or like if He was speaking to you.
We’re also going to discover that some of the psalms are Messianic psalms predicting the coming Messiah and we’ll see that only Jesus totally fulfills every one of them.
Do you KNOW Jesus in Your Heart?
Sure you can have knowledge of who Jesus is, but do you have Heart knowledge of Him?
Jesus is knocking at the door of your heart. Isn’t it about time that you let Him in?