What word describes a broken, desperate, and tearful man crying to God after being confronted with sin? A repentant man. The man seen in Psalm 51. David, the cover of his evil scheming blown, is left gazing at the murder/adultery he arranged. Gazing at sin exposed as sin. All sins promises of dreams fulfilled, pleasures satisfied, and needs met are still out of reach and seemingly even further away from David’s grasp. What is someone to do? What does a repentant man do?
David relies on what he knows about God. He appeals to what he knows about God. He clings to what he knows about God. Who is God but a God of steadfast love (v1). Who is God but a God of mercy (v2). Who is God but a God who always calls true evil as evil (v4), but also offers forgiveness as true forgiveness (v9). David calls on the God he knows, with a repentant heart, to be, well God.
What else does David seek? Forgiveness yes, but also a clean heart that is joyfully aware of God’s redeeming presence (v7, 11). He desires to know the joy of God’s salvation and the pleasure knowing God is upholding you (v12). All so he can bring sinners back to God, fruit of a clean heart (v13).
What do you do when confronted with sin? As David does, we weep, cry out and desperately call God to be who he truly is. Do you know who God is? What verses can you cling to in repentance? We cannot ‘get over’ the guilt of sin ourselves, but we can trust in God, the God we know to forgive us, to punish sin, and then to wash it away all through the blood of his son.
Pastor Josh Dekker
3 Month Reading Plan - Psalms 48-49
The Folly of Earthly Wealth
1 Hear this, all you peoples; listen, all who live in this world,2 both low and high,
rich and poor alike: This statement includes every person, the whole of humanity.
3 My mouth will speak words of wisdom; the meditation of my heart will give you understanding. Like the writings of most wisdom writers, God is not addressed directly in this psalm; with the main purpose being, to present a meditation on the riddle of life.
The way this psalm is presented is not in the usual way with just words, but with music and a harp.
5 Why should I fear when evil days come, when wicked deceivers surround me--
6 those who trust in their wealth and boast of their great riches? The psalmist is taking the optimistic approach to the idea that evil men prosper in this life. Why worry!! Ya, they make a lot of money but really, what do they gain when it comes to the reality of life? STUFF
10 For all can see that the wise die, that the foolish and the senseless also perish,
leaving their wealth to others.
Verse 11 states that people with wealth, think they are so important that they name lands after themselves. Despite their wealth they perish just like the beasts.
Verse 12 emphasizes that all of us will come to the end of life and all our earthly wealth will be left behind.
The end of verse 14 - Their forms will decay in the grave,
far from their princely mansions.
Verse 15 has encouragement for the believer - Be encouraged; God will redeem us from the realm of the dead, he will surely take us to himself. Don’t be envious when others grow rich for they will take nothing with them when they die. While alive and wealthy, they count themselves blessed, but they will go on to never see the light of life again.
And in closing once again the refrain is sung with music and harp.
20 People who have wealth but lack understanding
are like the beasts that perish.
Proverbs 22:4 - By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches, and honour, and life.
3 Month Reading Plan - Psalms 45-47
Now it is your turn, read Psalm 48. Write a few words what this Psalm means for you. If you are willing, share your thoughts with someone.
3 Month Reading Plan - Psalm 44
Ps 47:1 “Clap your hands, all peoples! Shout to God with loud songs of joy!”
Have you ever spontaneously started clapping and shouting? Has the Spirit of God moved upon you and clapping, and shouting was the first thing that came to your mind? I can’t say that it happens often, but it has for me. I’m glad no one is around because my rhythm is not very stellar, but I know God appreciates the attempt.
In this Psalm there is much to be thankful for as you read the Psalm.
He is the King over all the earth- “Shout to God!”
He has subdued the nations of the world- “Shout to God!”
He has chosen our inheritance, “eternal Life”- “Shout to God!”
He sits on his holy throne; He is a reigning King- “Shout to God!”
Verse 9 ends with a glimpse of what heaven will look like as we gather to worship the King of Kings- Read the words,
Ps 47:9 “9 The princes of the peoples gather as the people of the God of Abraham. For the shields of the earth belong to God; he is highly exalted!”
Have you felt the need to clap and shout, go ahead, no one is watching… if not, we can look forward to the day, as the Psalmist writes, God will be praised.
3 Month Reading Plan - Psalms 41-43
Sermon - Please read Psalm in preparation.
3 Month Reading Plan - Psalm 40
Anxiety. Fear. Loneliness. Depression. The list could go on and on. Words like this have plagued so many of us for a long time…especially in the last few years. We look around the world we are living in, and we feel so many emotions like this. We have all have wrestled with them at some point. But is that all? As this world continues to fail and we see the devastation all around us should we just accept that this is a fallen place and lose hope?
Look at the opening verse of Psalm 46…God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. God begins this song to us with a promise… a promise of hope. He is our refuge. He is our strength. He is our ever-present help. This song goes on and on soothing our fears and calming our anxieties. Hear the words God uses to ease our loneliness and concerns:
God is within her and God will help(v5)
The Lord Almighty is with us(v7)
He lifts His voice(v6)
I AM GOD(v10)
I foresee a lot more suffering in the coming years. Even reading this Psalms foreshadows the unrest we can expect. But through it all I know who holds my future in His hands. I know who I can lean on and take a hold of when I am wracked with fear. I am holding on the One who tells me to rest, be still and know the He is God.
3 Month Reading Plan - Psalms 38-39
This psalm can be almost overwhelming in its imagery and in its connections to other Scripture.
First there is the image of Jesus as bridegroom, seen as so holy that the description would be embarrassing if said of any other groom. Then we have the Wedding Feast, or Wedding Supper of the Lamb pictured, as also seen in Revelation 19: 7 - 10. Also, we have echoes of the Parable of the Ten Virgins as delivered by Jesus in Matthew 5: 15.
What most captures my attention is the description of the bride adorned in “the gold of Ophir.” The bride, of course, is the Church, here seen as dressed in gold, the holy metal of God. Jesus is said (verse 11) to be “enthralled by your beauty,” the beauty of his spotless Church/Bride.
Now I just have to look in the mirror to see that we have a problem here. There is nothing about me that Jesus could possibly be enthralled by. Quite the contrary. Yet Scripture clearly states that I, as part of His Church will be clothed with the holiness of God. How am I to understand the difference between what I see and what Scripture states will be?
The difference seems to be the difference between sanctification and glorification. During my earthly life the Holy Spirit continues His ongoing work of my sanctification working with all the frailties of my sinful flesh, that is, hindered only by that unknowable dynamic between God’s sovereignty and my free will.
At the moment between the Church Age and the Millennial Kingdom, that is, at the Wedding Feast of Jesus with His Church I, along with millions of other believers will be glorified by the Father as He proclaims “I now pronounce you…”
3 Month Reading Plan - Psalm 37
Today’s psalm is directly tied to psalm 42, as the psalmist continues his lamenting exclusion from God’s sanctuary (v. 1-2). However, the psalmist shifts in language as he calls upon God to draw near to him (v. 3) which would give him great joy (v. 4). We end with the refrain that appeared twice in psalm 42, “Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Saviour and my God.” Though this time these words are more hopeful, whereas the first two were bleak and sorrowful.
When I reflected on this psalm, and the previous psalm, I thought of how often I don’t call upon the Lord to draw near to me. I know that I often find myself leaving His presence to seek out my own desires and paths, but when the realization hits, all I do wallow in self-pity. Shouldn’t we know that we can call on the Lord to help us return to Him? Shouldn’t we be more joyful with the knowledge that our Lord is ready and willing to accept us back into his arms? We should be joyful that He is our stronghold and that He will lead us back to his alter. While it is important to recognize when we have strayed away from God, I think it equally important to recognize that He does bring us back into the fold and that we should praise Him! We can be certain in God, for He is unchanging in His ways.
3 Month Reading Plan - Psalm 36
Hospital waiting rooms are sometimes quiet filled with anxiety as medical personnel walk purposefully through those swinging doors. As the doors flap in the aftermath, heart rates settle but thoughts are still whirring…”what if?” “What’s happening?”
Time stands still. Waiting is hard. It’s as if nothing is happening.
I may be in the waiting room, but there is a flurry of activity happening. Doctors with expertise beyond my years are putting their studies and experience to work as they gather the information and perform what procedures are needed. Nurses and other personnel are processing my loved one through a battery of tests. Each putting their experience and knowledge together. Years of proficiencies and capabilities culminate to this point of determining how best to deal with the person I brought into the hospital. Even the machinery for those tests have been put together by mechanical experts to make it work, which took years of training, reading, and trying out new concepts. All this is happening while I am waiting. That’s a lot of activity of which I am seemingly unaware. There is an orchestra of activity to make sure my loved one is getting the best care they need…all while I wait, anticipating a favourable outcome.
Waiting on God is not passive. It is assuming an anticipatory posture; expectant and accepting God’s timing. It may seem as if your time of waiting is very still and very quiet, as if nothing is happening. It’s long. It’s arduous. And it’s lonely. All the while, behind the swinging doors which are so very close by, God is orchestrating events, people, and hearts to do their diagnostic work in my situation.
Your waiting room experience may feel like nothing is happening. But, my friend, God is at work! We must “be still”—be at peace without any resolution in sight. This is work, hard work. Lean into God’s faithfulness, not your own understanding. Settle into his arms for he will carry you through your waiting room experiences.
3 Month Reading Plan - Psalm 35
The flow of this Psalm starts with a familiar theme. If you have spent anytime in proverbs, you will see a definite contrast between two types of people. The Wise and the Foolish. As believers in Christ, we should be making every effort in being people described as wise and to work hard at removing anything that has to do with foolish.
The Psalmist begins this Psalm with a description of the foolish, but you must take notice of the description of this person. Vs 1 Transgression speaks to the wicked. The Psalmist doesn’t hold back for those who stand in opposition to God. They falter themselves, words from their mouth are trouble, they stay up at night plotting evil, and like a moth to the flame they are drawn to evil.
Continuing in the comparison the Psalmist then moves to the declaration of the wise in God’s eyes. One would even call this a confession of Faith that is held dear in the heart of the believer. There is the acknowledgement of the steadfast love of God. The immovability of God’s righteousness and His judgements are there to save us. He completes his confession of faith in God in words that describe a life of peace and satisfaction. When we have a conviction and confession like that of the Psalmist written in this Psalm we are at peace. Our lives are driven by a desire to seek God more and more.
The Psalmists ends with a personal challenge to himself and opens his life to be examined by God. Words like “Let not” (Vs 12) show that we can easily fall into the camp of the wicked if our eyes stray away from God’s love. It is my prayer that we all take notice of the way of the wicked can enslave us but the way of the wise is found in the declaration of God’s Steadfast and Faithful Love.
3 Month Reading Plan - Psalm 34