Sunday, February 7, 2010

Genesis 3:21 - God's first example of his GRACE

I just thought it was interesting how God showed his first example of GRACE in the Bible in Genesis. After Adam and Eve had disobeyed God and eaten from the tree of knowledge; yes, He did punish them, but then He immediately made clothes for them to cover themselves up! I think this is incredible as the Bible is certain to say that "the Lord God" created garments for them. It really is His first sign of being gracious after they just had disobeyed Him.

Genesis 3:21 - "The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them." (NIV)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Psalm 13: TRUST in God's NEVER FAILING Love!

This is a great great short Psalm! It starts of gloomy as David is asking the Lord how long he will forget him. David asks the Lord to stop hiding his face from him. These are some dark feelings for a Christian to feel. He must be going through some hard times. I can definitely relate to this as I feel God just isn't with me through the tough times.

I absolutely love verse 2. I never type it all out, but here it is:
  "How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
     and every day have sorrow in my heart?
     How long will my enemy triumph over me?"
Just thinking about that made me realize David is just like us. He struggles with things too.  He loses control of his thoughts as well; and he wrote the Psalms here! I struggle with so many thoughts of selfishness, I'm judgmental, of lust and so much more. And I pray to God to let me stop thinking these things as only He can control my thoughts. But it always seems to keep happening. I can consider these thoughts my "enemies" as they triumph over me time and time again. And yes, it brings me sorrow as I know it is not something the Lord looks upon and smiles.

The second stanza (2-3) is basically David asking the Lord to look on him and "give light to my eyes".  He does not want his enemy to triumph over him any more.

Verses 5 and 6 are just so encouraging and refreshing. Lately I have felt overwhelmed with things and have lost sight of the Lord and I have and thought, "How can God really help me here?" And verse 5 says:
  "But I trust in you unfailing love;
      my heart rejoices in your salvation."
UNFAILING LOVE! NEVER EVER EVER EVER FAILING. God isn't going to give up. He isn't going to fail us when we look to him for help. He isn't going to fail us when we look to him for encouragement or support or in times of need. This is because God's love is something we cannot even comprehend. To send his son to die for our sinful hearts? We cannot earn this love and cannot really understand its greatness! And we still worry!? Why? God loves us and will take care of us. His love never fails.

The last verse is so good too! It says that God has been good to me. This made me realize not only is God obsessively in love with me, he has blessed me so much! And once again, I still worry and most of all; I still complain. It is kind of pathetic. But I need to remember God's unfailing love. I have heard that word thrown around before, but when really thought about, it is an incredible thing.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Psalm 12: God's PROTECTION when it seems the world is falling apart.

The Psalm starts off by David saying, "the godly are no more." By saying this, David obviously feels alone in his walk with God at the moment. But we have to remember that we ARE NOT ALONE IN OUR WALK. It may seem like it at times, but there are so many others out there struggling with the same things.

David believes that "the godly are no more" because he sees everyone lying to him and flattering him because he is king. People are 'sucking-up' to him basically, and he can tell. As a result, he asks the Lord to punish these such people. And he knows that the Lord will do so, and that the Lord will PROTECT those who need his protection.

David ends the Psalm by saying that even though evil is everywhere and it seems that the wicked have taken over, we know that the Lord will keep us safe. I think this can apply to the world today as it seems that everything is becoming more and more and more sinful. But we need to remember that the Lord is still in control of the world and will keep us safe from all these evils. And when we are struggling with them, we need to remember we are not alone in our struggles.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Psalm 11: God WATCHES with his EYES

Psalm 11 is a short Psalm in which David starts off by asking the Lord why he makes him flee in times of trouble. He asks this because he knows the Lord is in control. As a result, if the Lord can easily punish and judge the wicked who are pursuing him, why would he make David flee?

David then responds by saying that the Lord is holy and OBSERVES and WATCHES man with his EYES. This is a very vivid picture for me as I imagine God sitting and watching man and everything I/he does.

David then ends the Psalm by once again reassuring that the Lord will one day judge all he has seen in the evil. He says that the Lord's soul HATES the evil, but he loves justice. David does this a lot in his Psalms because he needs to reaffirm himself these troubles will not last and the Lord WILL TAKE JUSTICE one day and David "will see his face."

Friday, January 15, 2010

Psalm 10 - Why God allows bad things to happen / God HEARS

Psalm 10 is another Psalm about the Lord hearing the cries of the helpless and on the judgment the Lord will one day apply to the wicked.

In the first verse David asks, "O Lord, why do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?" I think this is a very important verse because it is a very popular and important question in the Christian faith; why does a loving God allow for bad things to happen? David goes on in the Psalm to try to help explain an answer.

Verses 2-11 are used to describe how the wicked man manipulates and takes advantage of the helpless. My favorite part of it was in verse 4 where David says, "in all his thoughts there is no room for God." This is a great line showing that the wicked man is so SELF-CENTERED and as a result, he loves himself so much that there is no room for God.

But the nine verses David uses to describe how the wicked take advantage of the helpless are then followed by David pleading the Lord to not forget the helpless. He asks the Lord to "break the arm of the wicked and evil man." I thought it was interesting that David doesn't ask the Lord to simply kill the wicked man; he asks him to break his arm. I think this is because he wants the wicked to suffer from the Lord's judgment.

David then ends the Psalm by describing that the nations will NOT LAST and will PERISH, but the Lord will be Lord FOREVER. Times may seem hard now, and it may seem like the Lord isn't fair, but the hardships will FADE. The evil will be JUDGED. The Lord will NOT FADE. And then David ends the Psalm by saying the Lord throughout all HEARS the cry of the helpless.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Psalm 9: EVIL will be judged but NEEDY will be judged RIGHTEOUS

Psalm 9 is a great Psalm. Once again it starts off with David praising the Lord! Maybe this is a lesson I should take; David praises the Lord first in almot all his Psalms and he is being chased and hated by all! Before he complains or asks the Lord for anything, he gives him PRAISE. This is something I need to do more often as I am blessed by the Lord.

David then goes on to say, "I will tell of your wonders." I took another lesson out of this as David makes it obvious he does NOT hold back when witnessing or showing his joy in the Lord's majetsic wonders. Sometimes we are ashamed to show how 'Christian' or entusiastic of the Lord we are, and why? Because we might be embarassed or called weird? That isn't right at all...

David then addresses the Lord PROTECTING him as his enemies are being judged and stumbling because of the Lord. Then Verse 5 states that the Lord has blotted out the names of the wickid forever. This got me thinking of the Book of Life and maybe it was a reference to it? I'm not sure though. And then David says, "even the memory of them has perished." And immediately, my mind thought of Matthew 23:7 where Jesus says, "Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me you evildoers!'"

The Psalm continues on to enforce that the Lord WILL JUDGE all the evil and wicked. However, it then says the Lord is a STRONGHOLD and he NEVER FORSAKES THOSE WHO SEEK HIM, which is encouraging...David then reinstates what he did in Psalm 7 saying the wicked will fall into the pits they have dug for themselves.

Verse 18 then says, "but the NEEDY will not always be forgotten." This says we need to NEED the Lord. The evil to not aspire the Lord and eventually fall and are judged as so. We need to want to NEED the Lord.

Then the last couple verses are powerful! David says, "let not man triumph...Strike them with terror...let them know they are BUT MEN." This last verse ("let them...") hit me hard. He is saying we cannot be ONLY MEN. We NEED to have the Lord on our side! Without him, we will crumble and be judged as wicked! But with God, we can be JUDGED RIGHTEOUS!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Psalm 8: Man's God given AUTHORITY over the earth.

Psalm 8 is a short Psalm. David starts off by praising the Lord for his majestic ways. He then talks about how high the glory of %od is; higher than the heavens!

He says the Lord demands CHILDLIKE FAITH out of his followers. He says "from the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise." This is showing that the Lord doesn't want us to OVERCOMPLICATE/OVERTHINK OUR FAITH. He wants us to be like a child and get rid of doubt and trust/believe he is the one and only controlling God!

Then the meat of the Psalm begins as David starts to brag about the majesty and glory of the Lord. He describes how the Lord basically created the world from his fingers...

But then David shows true HUMILITY and asks, "what is man that you are mindful of him?" David is basically saying; you are so great Lord, why would you care about mortal men?

The ending of the Psalm is strange, and honestly a little dissapointing to me, but I think it what David wrote the Psalm for: He ends it by talking about everything the Lord has put man in AUTHORITY over here on earth. He uses a couple of verses to desribe how man has been put in charge of the air, land and sea.

The thing that makes this Psalm dissapointing to me is David never answers the question that caught my mind! ("what is man..."). However, I think David realized he will never know why the Lord is so loving and gracious to put mortal man in authority, and as a result David just ends the Psalm by one again praising the Lord!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Psalm 7: God's REVENGE and JUSTICE

I first got some background on the Psalm from my study bible:

David is writing this Psalm because he had been wrongly accused of trying to kill Saul and seize the throne (1 Sam. 24: 9-11). And when seeking REVENGE, David turned to the Lord because, as Romans 12:19 says, "I will take revenge; I will pay them back." And even though the Psalms were obviously written before Romans, there are similar verse and ideas in the Old Testament, especially Deuteronomy. As a result, David takes the revenge he desires and gives it to the Lord.

He starts the Psalm off telling the Lord, "I take refuge in you." This is like all the previous Psalms as he is desperate and being chased by the wickid but TRUSTS in the Lord still. Then he takes a few lines to HUMBLY as the Lord to rightly punish him if he has done wrong. WE NEED TO BE THIS HUMBLE!

Then the Psalm gets into the meat of it as David then asks the Lord to "arise in anger" and "awake to decree justice." He even asks the Lord to judge him, but righteously. This is the main point of the Psalm as David realized it is NOT his job to judge others, but to LEAVE THE JUDGING TO THE LORD.

David then goes on to say that if the Lord doesn't relent right away, He has still heard and is getting ready to take revenge. This really shows David's TRUST and PATIENCE in the Lord, which is something I could learn from.

Towards the end of the Psalm, David writes how the evil eventually end up destroying themselves. They tell lies, dig and fall into their own pits, and all their violence eventually "comes down on their own heads." He takes comfort in this. But it is important to remember that sometimes the Lord will intervene on evil, but sometimes He'll let it run its course. Either way, the only thing we can do its pray for protection, as David continually does.

David then ends the Psalm saying he still praises the Lord, throughout all these troubles. We should continually give praise to the Lord, no matter what our current situation.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Psalm 6: CRY OUT to the Lord with HONESTY

Psalm 6 is David crying out to the Lord. He starts the Psalm off by pleading to the Lord not to discipline him with His wrath. This shows Davids HUMILITY as he admits he has done wrong and is begging the Lord not to punish him because of it. The Psalm then says that David knows the Lord will save him because of His "unfailing love". David is so weak he cries out, "My soul is in aguish / How long, O Lord, how long?" In crying out, David HOLDS NOTHING BACK. He is HONEST with the Lord in feeling weak and desperate.

Finally, David ends the Psalm telling all the evil to get away from David because he is confident the Lord has heard him. He says all his enemies will "turn back with sudden disgrace" because the Lord is watching over him.

The main point of the Psalm is that we can HONESTLY CRY OUT TO THE LORD AND HE WILL HEAR AND TAKE CARE OF US.


Psalm 5 starts off with David telling how he prays to the Lord in the morning, is sure the Lord hears and eagerly WAITS in expectation.  One key point in this is that he prays in the morning. My study Bible then suggested to pray and read/study more in the morning as this is when our minds are less cluttered with things. Another point taken is that David WAITS in expectation after he prays. He trusts the Lord listens and will take care of him so he has learned to trust and wait. This is something I could definitely learn from.

Then the Psalm starts attacking those who do evil. It states the the Lord does not take pleasure in evil and actually "hates all who do wrong". This intense view the Lord has of wickidness is then contrasted with his view of us Christians.

David then says, "But I, out of your great mercy / Will come into your house." This is a huge contrast from a few verses before where David says "with you the wickid will not dwell". But as believers in the Lord, we will ENTER HIS HOUSE (heaven)! This is a very encouraging verse for me.

David then asks the Lord to LEAD him there as he cannot trust the wickid. This shows that we need to focus on the Lord to lead us and not others, who are worldly and wickid by nature. The Psalm even says that they cannot be trusted. It then says that if we TRUST in the Lord and let him LEAD us we will "be glad", "ever sing for joy", be "protected", and "rejoice". All these are great things!

Finally the Psalm is once again ended with another encouraging verse from David as he restates that the Lord will BLESS and PROTECT his people, which is always nice to hear. Psalm 1-5 have all ended with an encouraging/reassuring verse which David uses to show that despite everything, the Lord will take care of him/us as followers of Christ.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Psalm 4: COMFORT in the Lord

In Psalm 4, David cries out to the Lord to hear his prayer. He says people have turned against him. He has been trying to find comfort in men, but they are against him. He then reassures himself as he knows the Lord has set apart a place for the godly and the Lord HEARS him when he calls out.

The Psalm then adresses that when you don't feel comforted, do not get angry, but lie silent and ask the Lord to comfort you; because he can! The Lord is what is good in this life. David asks the good light of the face of the Lord to be shined upon him because he sees no other good. When we ask for this good and seek it out, we will feel a great JOY like David did. And the last verse shows David found comfort in the Lord as he is able to lie in peace.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Psalm 3: God's PROTECTION

Psalm 3 talks about how the Lord protects us when many are against us. David is the author and is surrounded by thousands of enemies and he takes comfort in the Lord because he has his protection. He knows God will bring DELIVERANCE to him and will judge his enemies justly.  Most importantly, David is humble enough to trust in the Lord's TIMING.

Overall the Psalm shows us God's protection is good and tough times. It sort of relates to Psalm 2 which talks about the Lord's power: God provides all power, all power is his...he will protect us as he controls all power, just as he protected David.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Psalm 1 and 2

Started studying the Psalms today. Paster John gave a great (I think one of his best I've ever heard) on Sunday about Psalm 1. I restudied it and reassured what he said.
  • I need to study the Bible more.
  • The Bible will provide answers.
  • I am a tree and it is my water.
  • I need to DELIGHT in his law (hard to do)
  • Don't listen to advice from others, especially "wicked"...look to the Bible
  • Blessed is the man who does this, he will prosper.
Psalm 2 talks about God's power and how people (more specifically rulers and leaders) try to break free and say that the power is theirs. God LAUGHS and SCOFFS and this initially because he provided these people with this power and now they are breaking away from him! He says he can provide power and take it all comes from him.
Then he WARNS us to SERVE with FEAR and REJOICE with TREMBLING. It then says that his fear can strike up at any time. I believe this means that we should fear his judgment and power. His judgment because he can come back at any time. We should be ready...
But the last line is comforting as it reminds us that the Lord will watch over those who follow him.