27th June: Psalms 10-17

Psalms

10:1-18– Wickedness seems to be so prevalent. Many ‘renounce the Lord’, saying ‘There is no God’(3-4). It seems that the wicked ‘prosper at all times’, while the innocent victims of oppression feel that ‘God has forgotten’ (5-11). When it appears that God ‘has hidden His face’, when we feel that He has forgotten us, we must remember this: ‘The Lord is King for ever and ever’(11,16). Do not judge by appearances. Do not trust your feelings. Everything changes. Nothing remains the same. Everything changes – except God. He is unchanged, unchanging and unchangeable in His faithful love for us. We rejoice in this: ‘Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever’(Hebrews 13:5). Whatever circumstances and feelings may suggest, never forget this: ‘He loved us from the first of time, He loves us to the last’(Church Hymnary, 293).

11:1-13:6– ‘The Lord is in His holy temple, the Lord’s throne is in heaven’: We ‘take refuge’ in Him (11:4,1). We are to seek His face, confident that ‘when He appears…we shall see Him as He is’ (11:7; 27:8; 1 John 3:2). Seeking God’s face, we learn to rest in His promises, we are protected, we are kept (12:6-7). We may face difficult circumstances (13:1-4). We can still trust in the Lord’s ‘steadfast love’. We can still ‘rejoice’ in His ‘salvation’. We can still say with the Psalmist, ‘I will sing to the Lord, because He has dealt bountifully with me’ – ‘God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work (13:5-6; 2 Corinthians 9:8).

14:1-15:5– Life can be testing and trying. In all of this, God makes Himself real to us. This is our assurance of faith: ‘The Lord restores the fortunes of His people’. He makes us ‘glad’- In Him, we ‘rejoice’(7). God Himself is the Sure Foundation for our lives: Build on Him, and you ‘shall never be moved’(15:5). We long for God’s blessing, ‘O that salvation…would come…’(7). He will not disappoint us. Do not be ‘the fool’ who ‘says in his heart, “There is no God”’(14:1). ‘Fear the Lord’- ‘and give Him glory’(15:4; Revelation 14:7). We are to ‘act wisely’- ‘seeking after God’, ‘calling upon the Lord’(14:2,4). Do you want to ‘dwell on God’s holy hill’(15:1)? – ‘There is a way for man to rise to that sublime abode…’(Church Hymnary, 357): Christ is the Way to God and Heaven (John 14:2-6).

16:1-11– ‘Thou wilt show me the path of life; in Thy presence is fulness of joy; at Thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore’(11). In this earthly life, there are many difficulties. For all of God’s people, there is something better still to come. We must look not only at the things which are happening now. We must look also to the glory which is yet to come. Our hope of eternal glory is based on Christ’s resurrection. David’s words (8-11) are quoted by Peter in connection with ‘the resurrection of the Christ’(Acts 2:24-33). ‘Christ has been raised from the dead…at His coming those who belong to Christ…will be raised imperishable’(1 Corinthians 15:20-23, 52). ‘The Lord is my chosen portion…Therefore my heart is glad’(5,9). Is this your testimony? Choose Christ and be glad.

17:1-15– Here is the prayer of a man whose earnest desire is to walk with God, to have a close walk with God in the centre of His will (5). His prayer is sincere. It ‘does not rise from deceitful lips’(1). He is painfully aware of ‘the onslaughts of the wicked’. His ‘enemies cluster round him, breathing hostility’(9). Whatever troubles we may encounter, we must learn to pray with the Psalmist: ‘Hear, O Lord, my righteous plea; listen to my cry. Give ear to my prayer’(1). As we call upon the Lord, He gives the assurance of His protection. Through His Word and Spirit, He assures us that He will ‘keep us as the apple of His eye’(8). We are precious in His sight. He looks upon us in love. He does not see our sin. He sees us ‘in Christ’- ‘accepted in the Beloved’, ‘no condemnation’(Psalm 32:1; Ephesians 1:6; Romans 8:1).

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