Psalms 77-78

Psalms 77-78

Chapter 77: The Righteous Remember Wonders of God

To the chief Musician, to Jeduthun, A Psalm of Asaph.

                In the days of trouble Asaph sought the Lord, and in these days he remembered the great works of the Lord. God does many works and wonders. God redeemed the sons of Jacob and led Israel like a flock in the ancient times.

Chapter 78: Israel= Teach the Lords Law

Maschil of Asaph.

                This Psalm gives us a pretty good summary of the first five books of Moses. Asaph tells us that Israel must teach their children the Laws of the Lord in order to remain at peace with the Lord.

He reminds us of the ancient Israelites, who disobeyed God. The problem was simple, it was one of memory loss. The Israelites had seen the mighty power of the Lord throughout the first five books of Moses.

The Lord…

                “…divided the sea, and caused them [Israelites] to pass through…” (Psalms 78:13)

“… he [The Lord] led them [Israelites] with a cloud, and all the night with a light of fire.” (Psalms 78:14)

“…gave them drink as out of the great depths.” (Psalms 78:15)

                “…he [The Lord] smote the rock, that the waters gushed out…” (Psalms 78:20)

                “…rained down manna upon them to eat…” (Psalms 78:24)

“…rained down flesh also upon them… fowls like as the sand of the sea…” (Psalms 78:27)


“For all this they sinned still, and believe not for his wondrous works.” (Psalms 78:32)

However, if the Lords anger was not kindled and he started to slay them with his mighty power “…they remembered that God was their rock… Nevertheless they did flatter him with their mouth, and they lied unto him with their tongues… neither were they stedfast in his covenant.” (Psalms 78:35-37)

When trouble arose, these Israelites remembered God and told God, lying to him, that they would no longer do evil, and “turn” themselves “over” to God. Even after being lied to, the Lord in his great majesty, power and empathy remembered himself that they were but “flesh” or mortal and with human error.

These Israelites provoked the Lord to anger; they caused him to be jealous of their worship to false idols. May we remember that we must not provoke the Lord; we must remember all that he has done for us and not forget about Him.


Psalms 41-42

Psalms 41-42

Chapter 41: Treachery of Judas Foretold

To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.

                David starts off by telling the reader that the man who considers the poor will be delivered in times of trouble by the Lord, because a man who takes care of the poor will be a blessed man. David also asks the Lord to “…heal my soul; for I have sinned against thee.” (Psalms 41:4). This is a great reminder of how sin works; once we have committed the sin we must understand that to be completely forgiven we must go through a process. I have no doubt in my mind that David was already forgiven of the sin that he had committed, but his soul was still in the healing process.

We also learn about a future event;

“…mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me.” (Psalms 41:9). This particular verse is a scripture that would be fulfilled much later in John 13:18… “I speak not of you all; I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me” Jesus was talking to his disciples and one of them Judas Iscariot he was specifically talking to, because he would betray Jesus!

Chapter 42: The Righteous Thirst for God; The wicked say… “Where is thy God?”

To the chief Musician, Maschill, for the sons of Korah.

                This is a relatively short Psalm and the most important thing we can understand and learn from this Psalm is that we need to be constantly seeking the Lord as we do for water and sustenance.

David clearly opens this Psalm; “My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God…” (Psalms 42:2)


Psalms 17-18

Psalms 17-18

Chapter 17: The Righteous Shall See God

A Prayer of David.

                “…O Lord, attend unto my cry, give ear to my prayer…” (Psalms 17:1)

Like most of the Psalms, David opens by asking God to hear him. He goes on to say that he has “…kept… from the paths of the destroyer” (Psalms 17:4) and he asks God to “Keep… [him]… as the apple of the eye, [and to] hide… [him]… under the shadow of… [God’s]…wings.” (Psalms 17:8)

                The men (and women) of the world are wicked, but those who are righteous “…will behold… [God’s]…face in righteousness” (Psalms 17:15). We learn that the righteous will in fact see God when they die (face to face). Here we can also learn that God is like us, after all we were created in his image!

David closes with a very interesting statement; “…I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.” (Psalms 17:15). In other words, when David dies and become resurrected again (in the resurrection) shall “awake” with the likeness of God!

What does that mean? Well we already know that we are created in God’s likeness, therefore God has a body of flesh and bones like we do. But we also know that God is still above us, we are not God. However, we can become “like” God in the sense that our end goal is perfection, to become like our Father in Heaven.

If we are faithful, and live in righteousness then when we awake, we will become like our Father in Heaven, a god. Notice how the “god” is not capitalized? Because God is our Father, we can become like Him, but NOT become Him. We have the ability to become “gods” but not become THE God.

Chapter 18: The Lord is Perfect

To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David, the servant of the Lord, who spake unto the Lord the words of this song in the day that the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul: And he said,

Most of the Psalms are relatively short, however this is a long Psalm; there only happen to be three Psalms longer (78, 89, and 119). Its length is well suited to its theme, as described in the title. The title itself is long, with only one longer (Psalm 60).

David starts by telling us in the title that the Psalm was written for God. He tells us why he was writing the Psalm and for what period in history… which includes not only the immediate aftermath of Saul’s death (1 Samuel 31; 2 Samuel 1), but also of the time leading to David’s enthronement (2 Samuel 2-5) David also tells us about Saul. This Psalm can be compared to the Psalm sung by David at the very end of his life (2 Samuel 22). It is likely that David composed this song as a younger man and while in his old age, David could look back with great gratitude and sing this song again!

“I WILL love thee, O Lord, my strength.” (Psalms 18:1)

This was a bold and triumphant declaration made in a season of great triumph. It is true that David decided to love the Lord; but David also felt more compelled to love the Lord who delivered him from his enemies!

“In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple…” (Psalms 18:6)

Although, the temple of Solomon was to be built many years later, the city of Jerusalem wasn’t even in Israeli control when David wrote this (2 Samuel 5:6-10). Yet David knew that God had a temple, a heavenly temple that was the model for the tabernacle and the later temple (Exodus 25:9, 40), and that God heard him from his holy temple.

“The Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands…” (Psalms 18:20). The Lord will reward those who are not only righteous, but who have clean hands. This means that they had faith in God, enough to follow ALL of His commandments.

David once again repeats this same declaration of rewards for the righteous 3 verses later. This of course is strongly favoring that Salvation comes through Faith AND WORKS!  Salvation is in fact a FREE gift, in that sense having faith will get you salvation! However, faith includes works. If you have faith in someone, it means that you have faith in what they stand for. Following the commandments of God, requires work; “…faith, if it hath not works, is dead…” (James 2:17)

David proclaims that “The Lord liveth; and blessed by my rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted” (Psalms 18:46)

David knows that the “rock” was not a person, but more of an idea. If you have that rock, which is strong and hard to break…, i.e. your faith in the Lord and his strength (as a rock) you will build a foundation upon that rock that cannot be torn down! David ends his Psalm by giving thanks to the Lord for his deliverance!

Psalms 15-16

Psalms 15-16

Chapter 15: The Righteous Shall Dwell with God

A Psalm of David.

                David opens this Psalm by asking the Lord a simple question, which happens to have a very simple answer; “Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle?” (Psalms 15:1)

Who shall dwell with God, once again? “He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh truth in his heart” (Psalms 15:2)

                “He that putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent…” (Psalms 15:5)

So who shall return to live with God? Those who are righteous, upright and full of integrity.

So what does that? It means you MUST follow the commandments, and be righteous and have integrity. Does that mean you must be perfect? No, but we must strive to have the integrity to be righteous before the Lord.

Chapter 16: Fullness of Joy is found with God

Michtam of David.

“Michtam – is commonly understood as ‘golden’. However other Biblical Scholars believe that since this word is only associated with Psalms 16 and 56-60 (which were times of peril), that Michtam could also mean the covering of the lips in the sense of ‘secrecy’”

                “PRESERVE me, O God: for in thee do I put my trust” (Psalms 16:1)

We can see that David wrote this Psalm in a time of trouble, because he asked for preservation, but he put his trust God. “…my goodness extendeth not to thee; But to the saints that are in the earth…” (Psalms 16:2-3). God will be with the saints in the earth, even though troubling times.

David goes on to rejoice in the Lord, “…because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth…For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One [Jesus Christ] to see corruption.” (Psalms 16:8-10)

David knew that with his trust in the Lord, he could rejoice knowing that everything would be ok, or eventually be ok. Times of trouble happen, but the Lord will be there for his saints.


Psalms 11-14

Psalms 11-14

Chapter 11: The Lord Tests the Righteous

To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.

This Psalm records well-intentioned, but faithless advice of David’s friends when he was a fugitive from King Saul. David lifts his eyes to the Lord to find faith in a time of testing. He knew the safest place to stand was with trust in God.

In the years before he took the throne of Israel, David lived the life of a fugitive. He was constantly hunted by King Saul, and lived in constant danger. In such a time, his friends advised him, “…Flee as a bird to your mountain…” (Psalms 11:1), I think that his friends meant well, but they were nevertheless wrong.

David responds to them and asks; “…how say ye… Flee as a bird to your mountain? For, lo, the wicked bend their bow, [and] …make ready their arrow…” (Psalms 11:2)

David goes on to say that; “… the Lord’s throne in in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men.” (Psalms 11:4)

Now this doesn’t make much sense until we read the Inspired Version of the King James Version (as re-translated by Joseph Smith)

“…sitting upon God’s throne in heaven, his eyes shall pierce the wicked.” (Psalms 11:4, Joseph Smith Translation of the King James Bible)

David would not listen to the advice of his friends and flee, because if he put his trust in the Lord he would be ok.

Chapter 12: Flattering Lips and Tongues

To the chief Musician upon Sheminith, A Psalm of David.

“Sheminith-  Is a musical term, a similar direction is found in the title of Psalms 6:1 and in 1 Chronicles 15:21. Although we don’t know for sure, it seems that Sheminith denotes a certain air known as the eighth, or a certain key in which the psalm was to be sung.”

                “HELP, Lord; for the godly man ceaseth… they speak vanity… with flattering lips and with a double heart…the tongue that speakth proud things.”  (Psalms 12:1-3)

David opens this Psalm with a plea of HELP from the Lord. David explains that the “godly” or “good” man cease to exist. However, David says that the “…words of the Lord are pure… O Lord, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.” (Psalms 12:6-7)

David knew that the wicked existed, they had double hearts and double minds. They manifested good, but in reality worked in wickedness. Even though the wicked spoke with vanity and flattering lips, their words would not last forever. However, the words of the Lord are pure and shall endure forever.

Chapter 13: Rejoice in Salvation

To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.

“Who is the chief Musician? – Some believe that it is the Lord God Himself, others believe he was a leader of a choir or choirs in the time of David.”

                “How long wilt thou forget me, O Lord? …how long wilt thou hid thy face from me?” (Psalms 13:1)

David, like many others felt that God was abandoning him. How often has one of God’s children knelt down in tears, begging God to answer their prayers… only to feel like they are talking to themselves? It happens. Often times it happens for our own good, so that we can gain/learn something on our own. This is why we live, to learn and grow… so that when we die and return to our celestial home we can have the gained knowledge to live in the presence of our Heavenly Father.

David knew deep down that God was there and that he still trusted Him to answer; “…I have trusted thy mercy; my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation.” (Psalms 13:5). I strongly believe that David is talking about the Atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ. Through Jesus Christ we can be saved and have Eternal Salvation.

Chapter 14: The Fool Says: There is NO God!

To the Chief Musician, A Psalm of David.

                “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God…” (Psalms 14:1) 

David makes a very clear point, those who say that there is NO God, are FOOLS! He goes on to say that those same people, who say there is no God; “…are corrupt, [and] they have done abominable works…” (Psalm 14:1)

Essentially we learn that those who believe God does not exist have become corrupt and have done evil works. David then goes on to say that “The Lord looked down from heaven…to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God.” (Psalms 14:2)

                The Lord said that all together His children had become corrupt, filthy and workers of iniquity with no knowledge. (see verses 3 & 4). The Lord sought to restore his gospel (like He does, every time the generation becomes filthy). When the day of Restoration comes; “…Jacob shall rejoice, and Israel shall be glad” (Psalms 14:7)

Psalms 9-10

Psalms 9-10

Chapter 9: The Righteous in Zion; the Wicked in Hell.

To the chief Musician upon Muth-labben, A Psalm of David.

                “Muth-labben – What this phrase means is somewhat disputed, but it likely indicates either what the motivation for writing the Psalm was (in which case it probably means “the death of Labben” or “the death of the son” or “the death of the fool”) OR how the psalm was to be sung (in which case it probably denotes a specific musical instrument to be used for accompaniment, or an existing song whose tune was to be used.

Some (as in the New King James Version) associate the title with the phrase ‘The Death of the Son’, and apply that title as the ancient Chaldee version does: ‘Concerning the death of the Champion who went out between the camps,’ referring to Goliath. Perhaps David wrote this Psalm remembering the victory over Goliath from the advantage of many years since that triumph.”

David tells about the judgment of the Lord and how he shall judge the world in righteousness…

“…the Lord shall endure for ever: he hath prepared his throne for judgment.” (Psalms 9:7)

David also mentions that those who trust in the Lord will have his help…

“The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.” (Psalms 9:9)

David goes on to say that “…they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.” (Psalms 9:10)

Those who put their trust in God will not be forsaken, or in other words will not be abandoned. If you put your trust in the Lord he will be a refuge for you in times of trouble. So that we can later “…rejoice in…salvation” (Psalms 9:14). However, those who forsake the Lord and put their trust in the Devil, who by the way WILL FORSAKE YOU, will be “…turned into hell…” (Psalms 9:17)

                David, in closing, asks the Lord to put the wicked people and nations “…in fear… that the nations may know themselves to be but men.” (Psalms 9:20). We can learn a lot from this, as the world falls apart around us, we can know that we are just men (human) we must obey our master, Lord and Savior.

Chapter 10: The Lord is King Forever and Ever

Because this Psalm has no title (in the middle of several Psalms that do), and because it shares some similar themes with Psalm 9, some have thought that it was originally the second half of Psalm 9. But many arguments of Bible Scholars have led to this being really unknown.

David starts off by questioning the Lord;

“Why standest thou afar off, Lord? Why hidest thou thyself in times of trouble?” (Psalms 10:1)

The answer is pretty simple, usually we don’t understand the workings of the Lord, but as we are reminded in the last chapter, the Lord is a refuge for those who trust him and he will not forsake them. See Psalms 9:9-10. Sometimes we just don’t fully understand things that happen in our short life, most people live to an average age of 75? 80? In the scheme of Eternity, that is nothing!

David goes on to mention that the evil/wicked ones are “…full of cursing…deceit and fraud…” (Psalms 10:7)

                David asks the Lord in closing of this chapter to “…forget not the humble.” (Psalms 10:12) and to “Break… the arm of the wicked and evil man…” (Psalms 10:15). One thing we can know for sure is that the wicked will never prevail, those who trust in the Lord will be lifted up in the last day and given refuge.


2 Chronicles 29-30

2 Chronicles 29-30

Chapter 29: Hezekiah Reigns in Righteousness

Hezekiah became king when he was twenty-five years old, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Abijah the daughter of Zechariah. And he did what was right in the sight of the Lord.

In the first year of his reign, in the first month, he opened the doors of the house of the Lord and repaired them. Then he brought in the priests and the Levites, and gathered them in the East Square, and said to them: “…Hear me, ye Levites, sanctify the house of the Lord God of your fathers, and carry forth the filthiness out of the holy place. For our fathers have trespassed, and done that which was evil in the eyes of the Lord our God, and have forsaken him, and have turned away their faces from the habitation of the Lord, and turned their backs. Also they have shut up doors of the porch, and put out the lamps, and have not burned incense nor offered burnt offerings in the holy place unto the God of Israel. Wherefore the wrath of the Lord was upon Judah and Jerusalem, and he hath delivered them to trouble, to astonishment, and to hissing, as ye see with your eyes. For, lo, our fathers have fallen by the sword, and our sons and our daughters and our wives are in captivity for this. Now it is in mine heart to make a covenant with the Lord God of Israel, that his fierce wrath may turn away from us. My sons, be now negligent: for the Lord have chosen you to stand before him, to serve him, and that ye should minister unto him, and burn incense.” (2 Chronicles 29:5-10)

Then these Levites arose: Mahath the son of Amasai and Joel the son of Azariah, of the sons of the Kohathites; of the sons of Merari, Kish the son of Abdi and Azariah the son of Jehallelel; of the Gershonites, Joah the son of Zimmah and Eden the son of Joah; of the sons of Elizaphan, Shimri and Jeiel; of the sons of Asaph, Zechariah and Mattaniah; of the sons of Heman, Jehiel and Shimei; and of the sons of Jeduthun, Shemaiah and Uzziel. They gathered their brethren, sanctified themselves, and went according to the commandment of the king, at the words of the Lord, to cleanse the house of the Lord.
The priests went into the inner part of the house of the Lord to cleanse it, and brought out all the debris that they found in the temple of the Lord to the court of the house of the Lord. And the Levites took it out and carried it to the Brook Kidron. Now they began to sanctify on the first day of the first month, and on the eighth day of the month they came to the vestibule of the Lord. Then they sanctified the house of the Lord in eight days, and on the sixteenth day of the first month they finished. Then they went in to King Hezekiah and said, “We have cleansed all the house of the Lord, and the altar of burnt offering, with all the vessels thereof, and the showbread table, with all the vessels thereof. Moreover all the vessels, which King Ahaz in his reign did cast away in his transgression, have we prepared and sanctified, and, behold they are before the altar of the Lord.” (2 Chronicles 29:18-19)

Then King Hezekiah rose early, gathered the rulers of the city, and went up to the house of the Lord, with them they brought seven bulls, seven rams, seven lambs, and seven male goats for a sin offering for the kingdom, for the sanctuary, and for Judah. Then he commanded the priests, the sons of Aaron, to offer them on the altar of the Lord. So they killed the bulls, and the priests received the blood and sprinkled it on the altar. Likewise they killed the rams and lambs and sprinkled the blood on the altar. Then they brought out the male goats for the sin offering before the king and the assembly, and they laid their hands on them. And the priests killed them; and they presented their blood on the altar as a sin offering to make an atonement for all Israel, for the king commanded that the burnt offering and the sin offering be made for all Israel. And he stationed the Levites in the house of the Lord with cymbals, with stringed instruments, and with harps, as they were commanded of the Lord. The Levites stood with the instruments of David, and the priests with the trumpets. Then Hezekiah commanded them to offer the burnt offering on the altar. And when the burnt offering began, the song of the Lord also began, with the trumpets and with the instruments of David king of Israel.

So all the assembly worshiped, the singers sang, and the trumpeters sounded; all this continued until the burnt offering was finished. And when they had finished offering, the king and all who were present with him bowed and worshiped. King Hezekiah and the leaders commanded the Levites to sing praise to the Lord with the words of David and of Asaph the seer. So they sang praises with gladness, and they bowed their heads and worshiped.

Then Hezekiah answered and said, “Now ye have consecrated yourselves unto the Lord, come near and bring sacrifices and thank offerings into the house of the Lord” (2 Chronicles 29:31).  So the assemblies brought in sacrifices and thank offerings. The assembly brought a total of; seventy bulls, one hundred rams, and two hundred lambs. The consecrated things were six hundred bulls and three thousand sheep. But the priests were too few, so that they could not skin all the burnt offerings; therefore their brethren the Levites helped them until the work was ended and until the other priests had sanctified themselves, for the Levites were more diligent in sanctifying themselves than the priests. Also the burnt offerings were in abundance, with the fat of the peace offerings and with the drink offerings for every burnt offering. So the service of the house of the Lord was set in order. Then Hezekiah and all the people rejoiced that God had prepared the people.

Chapter 30: Hezekiah Invites all to the Passover

Hezekiah sends a letter to all Israel, Judah and to Ephraim and Manasseh that they should come to the house of the Lord at Jerusalem, to keep the Passover to the Lord God of Israel. For the king and his leaders and all the assembly in Jerusalem had agreed to keep the Passover in the second month. For they could not keep it at the regular time, because a sufficient number of priests had not consecrated themselves, nor had the people gathered together at Jerusalem. And the matter pleased the king and all the assembly. So they resolved to make a proclamation throughout all Israel, from Beersheba to Dan, that they should come to keep the Passover to the Lord God of Israel at Jerusalem, since they had not done it for a long time in the prescribed manner.

Then the runners went throughout all Israel and Judah with the letters from the king and his leaders, and spoke according to the command of the king: “Ye children of Israel, turn again unto the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, and he will return the remnant of you, that are escaped out of the hand of the kings of Assyria. And be not like your fathers, and like your brethren, which trespassed against the Lord God of their fathers, who therefore gave them up to desolation, as ye see. Now be ye not stiffnecked, as your fathers were, but yield yourselves unto the Lord, and enter into his sanctuary, which he hath sanctified for ever: and serve the Lord your God, that the fierceness of his wrath may turn away from you. For if ye turn again unto the Lord, your brethren and your children shall find compassion before them that lead them captive, so that they shall come again into this land: for the Lord your Godis gracious and merciful, and will not turn away his face from you, if ye return unto him. (2 Chronicles 30:6-9)

So the runners passed from city to city through the country of Ephraim and Manasseh, as far as Zebulun; but they laughed at them and mocked them. Nevertheless some from Asher, Manasseh, and Zebulun humbled themselves and came to Jerusalem. Also the hand of God was on Judah to give them singleness of heart to obey the command of the king and the leaders, at the word of the Lord.

Now many people gathered at Jerusalem to keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread in the second month. They arose and took away the altars that werein Jerusalem, and they took away all the incense altars and cast them into the Brook Kidron. Then they slaughtered the Passover lambs on the fourteenth day of the second month. The priests and the Levites were ashamed, and sanctified themselves, and brought the burnt offerings to the house of the Lord. They stood in their place according to their custom, according to the Law of Moses the man of God; the priests sprinkled the blood received from the hand of the Levites. For there were many in the assembly who had not sanctified themselves; therefore the Levites had charge of the slaughter of the Passover lambs for everyone who was not clean, to sanctify themto the Lord.

There were many people, many from Ephraim, Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun, had not cleansed themselves, yet they ate the Passover contrary to what was written. But Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, “The good Lord pardon everyone that prepareth his heart to seek God, the Lord God of his fathers, though he be no cleansed according to the purification of the sanctuary.” (2 Chronicles 30:18-19) And the Lord listened to Hezekiah and healed the people.

So the children of Israel who were present at Jerusalem kept the Feast of Unleavened Bread seven days with great gladness; and the Levites and the priests praised the Lord day by day, singing to the Lord, accompanied by loud instruments. And Hezekiah gave encouragement to all the Levites who taught the good knowledge of the Lord; and they ate throughout the feast seven days, offering peace offerings and making confession to the Lord God of their fathers.

Then the whole assembly agreed to keep the feast another seven days, and they kept it another seven days with gladness. For Hezekiah king of Judah gave to the assembly a thousand bulls and seven thousand sheep, and the leaders gave to the assembly a thousand bulls and ten thousand sheep; and a great number of priests sanctified themselves. The whole assembly of Judah rejoiced, also the priests and Levites, all the assembly that came from Israel, the sojourners who came from the land of Israel, and those who dwelt in Judah. So there was great joy in Jerusalem, for since the time of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel, there had been nothing like this in Jerusalem. Then the priests, the Levites, arose and blessed the people, and their voice was heard; and their prayer came up to His holy dwelling place, to heaven.