Psalms 140-141

Psalms 140-141

Chapter 140: Pray for Deliverance from Enemies

To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David

David’s prays for the deliverance from his enemies; “Deliver me, O Lord, from the evil man: preserve me from the violent man; Which imagine mischiefs in their heart; continually are they gathered together for war.” (Psalms 140:1-2)

                This is something that we can all, honestly pray to the Lord. Deliver us from our enemies; this could go beyond people to include our addictions or sins.

David continues “Grant not, O Lord, the desires of the wicked man…” (Psalms 140:8) In a world of ever changing values and constant violence… we can pray for peace and we can pray for the protection of the Lord.

Chapter 141: David Pleads with the Lord

A Psalm of David

David pleads with the Lord for Him to hear his prayers. He tells the Lord; “Let the wicked fall into their own nets…” (Psalms 141:10). We almost don’t need to do anything, and simply let the wicked destroy themselves.

 

Psalms 47-48

Psalms 47-48

Chapter 47: Sing with Intelligence

To the chief Musician, A Psalm for the sons of Korah.

                “O CLAP your hands… shout unto God with the voice of triumph” (Psalms 47:1)

I hope that no one takes offense to this post, because my thoughts are only those of trying to understand why certain people or groups praise God the way they do.

This first verse in this Psalm clearly says to clap your hands and shout unto God. I am sure that this is where some of the Bible and Evangelical churches get the idea to have loud music and to scream while throwing their hands in the air clapping ‘praising’ Jesus. Don’t get me wrong, I am not insulting these people. I am a firm believer that everyone has freedom of religion and freedom to worship the Almighty in any way they wish. In fact, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believes: “We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.” (Articles of Faith #11) I just don’t understand why these groups do this, and for this purpose I am bringing this Psalm to the spotlight, to break it down and understand.

Should we rejoice and triumph in the Lord? Absolutely! But this very same Psalm tells us that we should “…sing ye praises with understanding.” (Psalms 47:7), this is where my constructive criticism begins…

I honestly do not believe that most of the praises are done with understanding. I do believe that most praises to the Lord are actually made with misunderstanding and ignorance. I am not however attacking the churches that praise God in this manner, because I do believe you can shout with joy toward the heavens, and God will listen! However, as respect for the Lord, I don’t believe shouting and screaming his name is appropriate.

Joshua mentions that we “…shall not shout…” (Joshua 6:10) and Isaiah speaks of the screaming man in the streets; “He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street.” (Isaiah 42:2) Elijah even mocked the prophets and priests that worshiped Baal, because they were also screaming to a ‘god’ without much understanding; “…Cry aloud: for he is a god; either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awakend.” (1 Kings 18:27)

                Elijah knew that they were worshiping a false god and that he knew they were making fools of themselves. In the very next chapter of Kings, we learn why Elijah was mocking these people. Elijah was commanded by the Lord to go upon a mountain and wait for the Lords instruction. Elijah himself was probably a little shocked that “… the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord: but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.” (1 Kings 19:11-12)

                Elijah was waiting for the Lord to give him instruction, and he too was probably shocked that the strong winds, earthquake and fire were not actually the voice or the instruction from the Lord. Instead the instruction the Lord was going to give him was from a “still small voice”. So what does this tell us? The Lord does not make huge spectacles to answer our prayers nor will he speak with thunder from the heavens… the Lord will use his spirit to speak with a “still small voice”.

I sincerely believe that the ‘spirit’ people feel from loud music and screaming is adrenaline. Let’s be clear, that the Lord CAN speak to us in any way He wishes. But He does not need to yell at us, and He is most definitely not deaf. He can hear us! I think that when we scream and yell we lose the reverence that the Lord demands. After all, would we scream at our earthly parents? No. So why scream at our Heavenly parents?

When we sing and shout praises, we must make sure that we understand completely what we are saying. We must sing with intelligence, reverence and joy towards our God, and our Heavenly Father. Either way, He will listen. But I get a feeling that He enjoys a nice, calm, light hearted conversation of intellectual value. Speak with the Lord, prayer is our TWO-WAY communication with Him. We speak, He listens, He responds and WE act!

Chapter 48: God Never Changes

A Song and Psalm for the sons of Korah.

                “Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God… Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion…” (Psalms 48:1-2)

Great is the Lord and great is the city of Zion. They are the joy of the whole earth, and shall be established forever.

We are also reminded that God never changes and is there for us always, and forever. “For this God is our God for ever and ever: he will be our guide even unto death” (Psalms 48:14)

                God NEVER CHANGES, He is the “…same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.” (Hebrews 13:8)

 

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.

 

Job 9-10

Job 9-10

Chapter 9: Man cannot contend with God

Job answers Bildad;

                “…how should man be just with God? If he will contend with him, he cannot answer him one of a thousand. He is wise in heart, and mighty in strength: who hath hardened himself against him, and hath prospered?” (Job 9:2-4)

Job continues to praise God and tell of his justice, and greatness. Job’s answer to Bildad seems so much more gracious than Bildad’s harsh and unforgiving words he had for Job in the previous chapter. Job began by agreeing with Bildad’s general statement, that God rewards the righteous and corrects (or judges) sinners.

“How… shall I answer him, and choose out my words to reason with him? …though I were righteous, yet would I not answer, but I would make supplication to my judge. If I had called, and he had answered me; yet I would not believe that he had hearkened unto my voice.” (Job 9:14-16)

Job has a problem and that problem is very clear… he feels distant from God. How many of us can relate to that? Job clearly identifies that God does infact answer each and every prayer… but sometimes we do not believe that He has answered us, because perhaps he has answered in a way we do not understand or did not give us the answer we wanted.

Job continues with is discussion by concluding that man cannot contend with God, and frankly should not contend with Him.

Chapter 10: Why are we born?

Job gives God a little piece of his mind here…

“My soul is weary of my life; I will leave my complaint… I will speak in the bitterness of my soul. I will say unto God, Do not condemn me… thou… despise the work of my hands…” (Job 10:1-3)

Job continues to inquire of God… asking him why he was created… and why he was born;

“Thine hands have made me and fashioned me together… yet thou dost destroy me.” (Job 10:8)

                Job continues to tell God (and Bildad) that he is “…full of confusion; therefore (he pleads) see thou mine affliction; For it increaseth.” (Job 10:15-16)

                While it may appear that Job is speaking harshly to God, I think Job said it best… he is confused. I would be too, but even with all of his affliction and even with his begging and longing for death he praises God and thanks him for his life.

 

2 Kings 19-20

2 Kings 19-20

Chapter 19: Hezekiah Seeks Counsel from Isaiah

Hezekiah rents his clothes and covers himself with sackcloth and went into the house of the Lord. Hezekiah sends Eliakim and Shebna also covered in sackcloth to see Isaiah the son of Amoz.

Isaiah receives word from the Lord and tells the messengers to return to Hezekiah saying; “…Be not afraid of the words which thou hast heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed me. Behold I will send a blast upon him, and he shall hear a rumour, and shall return to his own land; and I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own land.” (2 Kings 19:6-7)

But the king of Assyria (after Hezekiah had heard the above words), tells Hezekiah to not put trust in his God, because the other nations that have fallen into his hands have also put their trust in their gods and they fell under his rule.

But Hezekiah prays to the Lord asking him for deliverance to show the rest of the people roundabout that the Lord God is the ONLY God. Isaiah hears from the Lord and sends message to Hezekiah saying that his prayers would be answered. In the middle of the night an angel comes and slays 185,000 Assyrians while they slept in their camps and Sennacherib the King of Assyria flees only to be killed by his own sons (Adrammelech and Sharezer). Esarhaddon  his other son reigned in his place.

Chapter 20: Hezekiah Pleads with the Lord

Hezekiah is on his death bed and is visited by Isaiah who tells him to set his house in order, because the Lord had told him that he will not live, but surely die. So Hezekiah pleads with the Lord to heal him and permit him more time. So the Lord tells Isaiah to deliver a message to Hezekiah that his prayers had been heard and that he would receive fifteen more years.

Isaiah prophesies about the Babylonian captivity of Judah and Hezekiah dies and is buried. His son Manasseh reigns in his stead.