108:1-13– ‘With God we shall gain the victory. He will trample down our enemies’(13). In ourselves, there is only defeat. We are no match for ‘our enemies’- the world, the flesh and the devil. We are surrounded by the world – ‘The world is ever near. I see the sights that dazzle. The tempting sounds I hear’. We live with the constant problem of the flesh – ‘the storms of passion, the murmurs of self-will’(Church Hymnary, 434). Behind the world and the flesh, there is an even stronger enemy – the devil: ‘Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against… the spiritual forces of evil…’(Ephesians 6:12). Our situation seems to be utterly hopeless. How can we possibly win the victory? The simple truth is: We cannot. There is, however, a deeper truth: God is with us– and ‘with God we shall win the victory’!
109:1-31– We must come to the Lord, recognizing that, without Him, our situation is hopeless – ‘I am poor and needy, and my heart is wounded within me. I fade away like an evening shadow’(22). When our enemies are on the attack, we are no match for them. What are we to do when the world, the flesh and the devil are threatening to overwhelm us? We must come to the Lord, praying for His help, asking Him to save us – ‘Help me, O Lord my God; save me in accordance with Your love’(26). Let us look away from ourselves and our own weakness. Let us put our trust in the Lord and His strength. The Lord will not fail us. He ‘stands beside’ us in our time of testing. He ‘saves’ us from our enemies. Let us praise Him: ‘I will greatly praise the Lord with my mouth. I will praise Him among many people…’(30-31).
110:1-7 – ‘The Lord says to my Lord: ‘Sit at My right hand…’(1). These words direct our attention to our Lord Jesus Christ: When ‘He was taken up into heaven, He sat at the right hand of God’(Mark 16:19). When Jesus ascended to the Father’s right hand, the Holy Spirit was sent down from heaven to fill our lives with God’s blessing (John 7:37-39). Through the power of the Holy Spirit, our lives are changed: ‘In the Day of Your power, Your people will come to You willingly…’. We come to the Lord in our weakness, and He ‘renews our strength’. We come to Him in our weariness, and we are ‘refreshed’ by His ‘streams of living water’(3,7). ‘Come, Thou Fount of every blessing, tune my heart to sing Thy grace. Streams of mercy never ceasing call for songs of loudest praise’(Revised Church Hymnary, 435).
111:1-112:10– ‘Praise the Lord… To Him belong eternal praise… Blessed is the man who fears the Lord… His heart is secure, he will have no fear; in the end he will look in triumph on his foes…’(111:1,10; 112:1,8). Those who ‘fear the Lord’ have no need to live in fear of man. Those who know that ‘eternal praise belongs to the Lord’ can face their enemies with confidence. Our confidence is not in ourselves. Our confidence is in the Lord. We know how good the Lord has been to us – ‘He provided redemption for His people’. We have heard and believed the Good News of Christ. We need not ‘fear’ any ‘bad news’ which the devil sends our way. We ‘trust in the Lord’, confident that the ‘light ‘will triumph over the ‘darkness’. The Good News of Christ will triumph over the devil’s bad news (111:9; 112:4,7).
113:1-114:8– ‘The Lord is high above all nations… Who is like the Lord our God, who is seated on high?… Tremble, O earth, at the presence of the Lord, who turns the hard rock into springs of water’(113:4-5; 114:7-8). The Lord is greater than we could ever imagine. There is no greatness like the greatness of the Lord. All human greatness cannot even begin to compare with the greatness of God. His greatness is not only the greatness of His power. It is also the greatness of His love. When we sing, ‘How great Thou art’, we sing not only of His power – ‘Thy power throughout the universe displayed’. We sing also of His love – ‘And when I think that God His Son not sparing, sent Him to die – I scarce can take it in, that on the Cross my burden gladly bearing, He bled and died to take away my sin…’(Mission Praise, 506).
115:1-18– ‘Not to us, O Lord, not to us but to Your Name be the glory because of Your love and faithfulness’(1). God loves us. He loves us with a faithful love, ‘an everlasting love’, a ‘love that will not let us go’. His love ‘never comes to an end’. Nothing can separate us from His love (Jeremiah 31:3; Lamentations 3:22-23; Romans 8:38-39; Church Hymnary, 677). What have we done to deserve such love? Absolutely nothing! We are ‘sinners’. We do not deserve to be loved by God. We have done nothing to earn His love. Love begins with God. It comes from Him. How do we know that He loves us? Have we proved ourselves worthy of His love? No! – ‘God shows His love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us’. ‘To God be the glory!’(Romans 5:8; Church Hymnary, 374).
116:1-117:2– ‘I love the Lord… I will call on Him as long as I live’(116:1-2). Our love for God is to be a lifelong life. It is to be the love of our life. What are we to do when our love for God grows weak? We must remember His love for us – ‘Great is His love towards us. The faithfulness of the Lord endures forever’(117:2). When we find it difficult to keep on loving God, we must remember how much He loves us. When we feel like giving up on loving God, we must remember that He never gives up on loving us. He loves us when our love for Him is strong. He loves us when our love for Him is weak. In love, He reaches out to us. He brings us out of our weakness and into His strength. Let His strong love reach you in your weakness and give you His strength: ‘Loving Him who first loved me’(Church Hymnary, 450).
118:1-29– ‘The Lord is my Strength and my Song. He is my Saviour’(14). Knowing that Jesus Christ is our Saviour gives us a song to sing: ‘Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine… This is my story, this is my song, praising my Saviour all the day long’. Knowing that Jesus Christ is our Saviour, we sing His song with strength, committing ourselves to His service, earnestly seeking to win others for Him: ‘We’ve a story to tell to the nations, that shall turn their hearts to the right … We’ve a song to be sung to the nations, that shall lift their hearts to the Lord…We’ve a message to give to the nations, that the Lord, who reigneth above, hath sent us His Son to save us… We’ve a Saviour to show to the nations…’(Mission Praise, 59,744). Don’t keep your Saviour to yourself. Share Him with others. Win others for Him.