2018 Poetry Readings
Monthly Archives: January 2018
Psalms 11-15; David has an ongoing dilemma of living in the world but not being of the world. The struggle is watching the wicked prosper and even rejoice in living. Often I have even wanted to run away, but truly there is not a place to run except “in the cleft of the Rock!” Our hiding place is in the security of Jehovah. When I read about someone wanting to take refuge, it leads me to consider Elijah when he ran from Jezebel to the cave. The LORD asked him what he was doing there; Elijah replied with his excuses. God told him to get back into life. Now this does not mean we should not have times of rest and refuge; but we are not to run away from life either.
In Psalm 12, the first verse struck me right between the eyes! As a pastor and a person I ask the same question. Where are all the righteous? We do now live in a post-Christian world; more so lately our culture has been described as a Pre-Christian world. You may ask what is the difference? The difference is the influence of Christianity on culture. In a post-Christian world, there is rejection of the Gospel. People reject the message of the Bible. In Pre-Christian thinking; God is not even a topic of discussion or thought for people. In the Pre-Christian thought; God is not on the radar, people are not rejecting the Gospel, God and eternity are not on their minds.
Which is worse? Good question, both are difficult for the believer who desires to live godly. In one respect, they are discounted as foolish for believing in God [post-christian] and rejected as irrelevant or cultic for believing in God [Pre-Christian].
Back to David’s question – where are the righteous? We are currently being inundated with all the sexual abuse in Hollywood and politics. I find this to be a bit hypocritical – why now after in some cases of 20 yrs. past? In mankind these actions have been going on since time began. This is not to excuse the actions, but the world has always acted like the world – when it begins judging itself to make headlines, what is the objective?
David outlines for us the “actions” of the wicked – deceitful, boastful, prideful and even arrogant. This is the world we live in today.
In Psalm 13, the underlining question “How Long” – how long will God put up with the evil of mankind before He does something? This question is asked in Revelation 6:9-11 by the martyrs. One wonders how long before the end of the world, and the judgment of God happens? I have heard people say that if God doesn’t judge America, that He will have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah. I have learned that God’s ways are not my ways and His thoughts are not mine – likewise His timing is not mine either. God desires that all should come to salvation – oh, that we would too!
In Psalm 14 – the famous verse the “fool has said in his heart there is no God.” David continues to lament the wicked that surrounds him. Verses 1b-3 are quoted in Romans 3:10 and following. The condition of man without Christ is a dead man, living by animal instincts. Why do we persist in expecting the world [lost] to live godly? Actually we want them to live morally not godly. Is there a difference? Absolutely! Psalm 15 recounts for us the expectations of God on the redeemed. Can it be that we are so concerned with everyone else that we fail to be who were profess to be? Sounds too much like the Pharisees to me. Three specific things David says are required: 1) walk with integrity 2) walk in works of righteousness and 3) speaks truth in his heart. We have a full-time job living our life – if we did maybe there would be a greater desire for the Lord on High. If we don’t like our world – let’s begin changing it by changing the way we serve and life for the LORD!
Psalms 6-10, in looking at how the Psalms are written, while we find that they are often created for the Choir Master; they are more readily the thoughts and prayers of David; which are set to music. Charles Spurgeon wrote a devotional years ago called Morning and Evening. These Psalms we read are many times the Prayers of the writer from his Morning and Evening meditations with the LORD. For example, Psalm 9 and 10 this week are evening prayers.
There is also a couple of distinct themes for the Psalms: they range from laments, to prayers of praise to affirmations of the Sovereignty of God. We talked of David and his dealing with Absalom in Psalm Three; David laments [mourns] before the LORD about his enemies and the adversaries who want to dethrone him and destroy his life. David also speaks often about the injustices that occur in daily life.
When I read these this time I keep in the back of my mind that they could be considered the “journal writings of King David.” They come across as his deep innermost thoughts. They seem to me that the writings are the soul of David expressing a great ethos at times for the situations of Saul and Absalom towards him.
However, in similar fashion David also brings great worship to his “daily Journal inputs” – David praises God for the justice and providential care he receives. Surely you cannot read the Psalms without gaining the confidence that David has in Jehovah!
Psalm 8 is a wonderful pronouncement of the value of Life and of Mankind. As I read this Psalm, I couldn’t help but be in awe of how special man is in the scope of God’s creation and instrumental in His plans. In this Psalm as with many others there is a “high view” of God. What I mean by this is the LORD GOD is worshiped with great awe and respect. Sometimes we might even call this “High Church;” or more formal, even liturgical in form.
I am not sure, but these Psalms this week indicate a great struggle in the life of the Psalmist. Obviously being the King of Israel is not without its scrutiny; as is even our own lives. How we handle scrutiny speaks a lot about our character. David seeks the comfort of God, and the rests in the knowledge that He, David is walking with the LORD and the LORD will take care of the injustices and adversaries in His own time. We do well to let the Lord do according to His will rather than try to fight [devil and enemies] in our own strength. [Romans 12:19-21]
Well it is 2018! It is amazing to think that as I type this we are on our fourth year of blogging through the Bible. Our reading for this year will be primarily the Poetry books of the Bible; that will leave us only the History books. to follow along on our daily reading list go to 2018 poetry Readings and click on the link. It is in excel so click on it and the reading plan will come up.
Our look at the Psalms will give us a better understanding of the Author – David, a Man after God’s own heart. While David was not perfect, He was the anointed King of Israel. The Psalms have brought great relief, lifting of spirits and inspiration over the ages. I hope the readings and blogs will lift your spirits as we read the “Songs” of David.
Psalm 1 is a great way to begin the year. It does cause us to stop and reflect on who we are in the grand scope of things. When we know that God is transcendent [outside space and time] and cannot be contained or described adequately with words; yet He is mindful of us. We are His pinnacle of creation. How is it that an infinitesimal God would care about us? Well for one thing we are made in His image. He breathed into us the breath of life. We are a living soul. We are not like the rest of creation; God has put His stamp/ seal on us.
There is a definite contrast between the life of a righteous man and the man of the world. The worldly man listens to the scoffers and the wickedness of men. The righteous will feast on the Word of God. It makes sense then that there would be two different outcomes of their lives. To be firmly planted by a stream, being filled with the refreshing flowing waters, and to know that there will be a fruitful season in our lives. Of course the opposite is true for the one who scoffs at God and lives life for himself. The chaff from the dried up leaves and grass leave an ominous scene in my mind. Looking at verse 5, brings to mind Revelation 20:11-15.
Psalm 2 really depicts the world we live in now. The rulers of this generation are out of control. There seems to be very little respect for them or the position they hold. Rather than be humbled by the awesome task of leading, they become braggarts of their own accomplishments. Its funny but not; that the Lord would laugh at us in our futility of trying to govern the world without Him. There is fair warning about those in power to be the right kind of leader. many of the Kings in the Old Testament found this out. I must understand more fully Romans 13, and the giver of the power for men to rule is God and God alone.
Psalm 3 – this Psalm affected me greatly; I looked back at 2 Samuel 15 which this Psalm is based on. To see the world of Absalom against his father David the King. Yet in all the rebellion against his father; David cries out that he would have rather died instead. Many of us have enemies; oh the sorrow when they are our family! David shows a great weakness in his dealing with Absalom. When Absalom does finally come home; David doesn’t see or talk to him for over two years. It is in this rejection or worse yet neglect of Absalom that he tries to overthrow his father.