Posts Tagged ‘David’

Proverbs 4:5-11

In Proverbs 4:5-11 Solomon reminds his kids to focus on learning and gathering wisdom.  The method is listening to the teaching he gave.  As parents, we really are an important part of helping our kids find success as we teach God’s wisdom and set that example through our daily life.  “Get wisdom; get insight; do not forget, and do not turn away from the words of my mouth”. Parenting matters.  And we need to be very intentional about investing time to help our kids discover God’s wisdom.  They can still choose to ignore it.  But it is our responsibility to help plant it and help it grow.

Solomon gives hope for those who learn and live by wisdom. “Do not forsake her, and she will keep you; love her, and she will guard you”. If we remain on the path of wisdom, and love wisdom , it will preserve keep us safe. Wisdom protects us.  It keeps us from making decisions that can harm us.  So how do we get it?  We often chase the wrong things. “The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom, and whatever you get, get insight”. Men and women often regard money or fame or romance as the principle thing; God’s people should give a higher place to wisdom.  It alone is how we can gain insight and make the right choices.

The love and pursuit of wisdom is rewarded. “Prize her highly, and she will exalt you; she will honor you if you embrace her”. Solomon experienced this early in his life. And when we live following wisdom, we receive great accolades and are known by our life. “She will place on your head a graceful garland; she will bestow on you a beautiful crown”.  But beyond exultation, honor or a crown, living based on God’s wisdom does something far more important.  “Hear, my son, and accept my words, that the years of your life may be many”.  Solomon has told us several times already that wisdom will extend our life.

Solomon has done his job teaching his son wisdom. “I have taught you the way of wisdom; I have led you in the paths of uprightness”. Solomon received satisfaction in fulfilling his duty to teach his son wisdom, even as his father taught him. This would guide his children well into the future. Parents often work hard to prepare their children to succeed in the world – to run well in the race of life. But without also working hard to impart God’s wisdom to our children, we may set them up to run, but they will stumble and be hindered if we don’t equip them with the wisdom to live God’s way.

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Psalm 145

Psalm 145 has David singing praises to God.  Remember, David is king himself, yet he puts God in a very different place of praise.  “I will extol you, my God and King, and bless your name forever and ever”.  David knows that God is the King of Kings, not merely another king among kings.  He has a daily relationship with His King.  “Every day I will bless you and praise your name forever and ever”.  It is the dailyness of our relationship with God that is so important. This isn’t a couple hours on a Sunday morning.  It is day by day, moment by moment.  David walked with God that way.

He also knew of God’s greatness and how worthy He was of praise.  “Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable.”  God sits on His throne above all.  He is so far above mankind that we truly can’t even comprehend His greatness.  Part of our role as humans is to pass on that message and make sure the next generation knows who God is and how great is His majesty.  We’re falling short on that job.  “One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts”. We aren’t telling the story of God’s goodness and blessings well at all.  The coming generations have little if any understanding of the greatness of our God.

Our example and the words we speak are self-centered, not God centered.  We take credit for the good that occurs rather than pointing to the One who actually deserves the praise and glory.  We need to get focused on God, not self.  We don’t deserve credit for anything.  God is the One who creates and controls all.  We need to focus on Him.  We need to meditate and talk about His power and goodness. “On the glorious splendor of your majesty, and on your wondrous works, I will meditate”. That’s what David did.

Fortunately for us, “The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. The Lord is good to all, and his mercy is over all that he has made”. God puts up with our selfish focus, at least for a while.  But His patience will run out and we’ll have to give account for how we live and what we do.  He never changes.  He isn’t going anywhere.  He wants to be known to all mankind.  He wants His message of grace and mercy shared among all peoples.  It is a forever message.  “Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures throughout all generations”.  Are you telling the story?

Psalm 144

Psalm 144 has David praising God for His steadfast protection.  “Blessed be the Lord, my rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle; he is my steadfast love and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield and he in whom I take refuge, who subdues peoples under me”.  He begins this passage by being grateful to the God who is our Rock and shield.  God alone can protect and deliver us.  We need to take refuge in Him and cling to His steady place in our life.

We’re reminded just how short life is.  “O Lord, what is man that you regard him, or the son of man that you think of him? Man is like a breath; his days are like a passing shadow”.  First of all, we’re nothing in comparison to our God who created us.  We aren’t the center of the universe, God is.  We aren’t even the center of our own little universe, He is.  And we need to be careful not to think more highly of ourselves than we ought.  Our life is fragile and short in comparison to God’s place.

Although it may seem like we have plenty of time for whatever we want to do, the reality is that life is but a breath that is here today and can be gone tomorrow, or today for that matter.  There is no guarantee that there will be a tomorrow.  So we have to make the most of today, and every day, because our 168 hours for next week is not certain.  We have to live like there will be no tomorrow and be grateful if we’re allowed to wake up and be part of it.  God is in control of all of life.  He knows our days.  They are numbered and short.

David asks for God’s blessings.  He asks very specifically that God will deal with his enemies, but also that He’ll bless him:

  • May our sons in their youth be like plants full grown
  • may our daughters like corner pillars cut for the structure of a palace
  • may our granaries be full, providing all kinds of produce
  • may our sheep bring forth thousands and ten thousands in our fields
  • may our cattle be heavy with young, suffering no mishap or failure in bearing
  • may there be no cry of distress in our streets

He asks for a detailed list of blessings, and then ends with this truth.  “Blessed are the people to whom such blessings fall! Blessed are the people whose God is the Lord”!  God loves to bless us.  We need to ask for His blessing and live in such a way that He is able to do so!

Psalm 143

Psalm 143 has David again reaching out to God in prayer.  “Hear my prayer, O Lord; give ear to my pleas for mercy! In your faithfulness answer me, in your righteousness”!  He reminds us that God is a God of mercy and His love for us.  The truth is that our sins (falling short and missing the mark God has set) are so many and we fall so far from God’s standards that it is only by His mercy we have life.  David also reminds us of God’s faithfulness and the fact that He never leaves and is always available to answer.  But he also calls out God’s righteousness – God is a God that cannot stand sin and evil.

That creates a real problem for every man, woman and child on this planet.  We are sinners plain and simple.  “Enter not into judgment with your servant, for no one living is righteous before you”.  The ground is level at the foot of the cross as we all come before God unrighteous and doomed for an eternity of separation from Him.  At least if we try to achieve it on our own merit.  None of us are righteous and able to pass His judgment on our own merit.  That’s where Jesus comes in – He alone is our source of forgiveness and cleansing.  He alone can set us free from the penalty of sin.

David is worn down.  He has been pursued for a long time and is weary.  “Therefore my spirit faints within me; my heart within me is appalled”.  The enemy wants to defeat us, most of all in the area of our spirit.  Sure we face physical and emotional challenges where we are defeated, but the enemy wins when he robs us of our joy and walk with God.  David knows that is what his enemies want to do – to drive a wedge between himself and God and get David focused on how bad life is.  David shows us four responses to stay connected with God:

  1. I remember the days of old
  2. I meditate on all that you have done
  3. I ponder the work of your hands
  4. I stretch out my hands to you; my soul thirsts for you like a parched land

David runs to God and remembers all that He has done.  He doesn’t give up or give in.  He asks God to reveal Himself and speak to him.  He runs to God for protection.  “Deliver me from my enemies, O Lord! I have fled to you for refuge”!  Although he is still under attack, David asks God to show him clearly what His will is and to help him walk in it.  “Teach me to do your will, for you are my God”!  We cannot win the battle on our own.  Our hope and strength must come from the Lord.  He has the solution.  He knows the situation and is ready to come to our aid.  We simply need to ask!

Psalm 142

Psalm 142 has David crying out to God as he feels trapped and overwhelmed by the troubles in his life.  He writes this while in a cave, hiding out and fearful for his life.  “With my voice I cry out to the Lord; with my voice I plead for mercy to the Lord. I pour out my complaint before him; I tell my trouble before him”.  David again shows us what to do when we are overcome with fear – we need to run to God.  Look at what he does:

  • I cry out
  • I plead for mercy
  • I pour out my complaint
  • I tell my trouble

David knows He can’t deal with the enemy alone.  So he raises his voice to God.  He doesn’t sit quietly – he literally cries out and allows his soul and spirit to connect with God.  His crying out was a form of supplication, or praying to the Lord humbly asking for grace and mercy.  He brings his requests openly to God.  He relies on God to sustain him.  “When my spirit faints within me, you know my way! In the path where I walk they have hidden a trap for me”.  And he knows they are out to get him, so he asks God to keep him safe from their traps.

When we face trials and tribulations, our spirit too can faint.  We can run out of our own energy, the tank can go dry, and we need to learn to lean on God for that sustenance and strength. He never runs out.  He never fails.  God already knows the battles we face and is there waiting for our cry for help.  But we need to cry out and ask.  “I cry to you, O Lord; I say, You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living”.  God is our refuge and our strength, an ever present help in times of trouble if we’ll only seek Him.

Life can be overwhelming.  David was king, and a man after God’s heart, yet he experienced a life filled with ups and downs and overwhelming difficulty.  But he always does the same thing – he runs to God for his strength and protection.  And God always responds.  “Attend to my cry, for I am brought very low”!  When things seem overwhelming, that’s when we run to God.  When we feel like we’re down and out and just can’t keep on, that’s when we need to run to God.  When we’re in the pit of life and can’t see out, that’s when we run to God.  God is our refuge and strength.  We need to run to Him!

Psalm 141

Psalm 141 has David again crying out to God.  David was in distress when he penned this psalm, pursued most likely by Saul.  “O Lord, I call upon you; hasten to me! Give ear to my voice when I call to you”!  He has a personal relationship with God, and walks constant in His presence so when he prays, he knows God is listening.  We can have the same confidence.  Same God today as was there for David.  And He is listening and ready fo come to us just like He did David.

David knows that his lips are powerful.  “Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips”!  The tongue is a powerful thing.  And it can lead us into sin.  David was in fear of sin, and he begs God that he might be kept from sin, knowing that his prayers would not be accepted unless he watched against sin. We must be as earnest for God’s grace in us as for anything.  Sin is a real issue.  It gets in the way of relationships, particularly between us and God.  We need to watch our mouth and keep our tongue controlled.

Who we are with matters.  Our hearts are already bent toward sin and doing evil, so who we hang with can pull us over the edge and move us from the temptation to sin to the act of committing sin.  “Do not let my heart incline to any evil, to busy myself with wicked deeds in company with men who work iniquity, and let me not eat of their delicacies”!  We must guard against temptation and stay away from those who would draw us into the sinful pleasures that the enemy will put before us.  Often we choose to go with the crowd rather than stand alone in righteousness.

So how do we stay the course?  We keep our eyes focused on God, not the allure of the world.  “But my eyes are toward you, O God, my Lord; in you I seek refuge; leave me not defenseless! Keep me from the trap that they have laid for me and from the snares of evildoers”!  Our defense against temptation and ultimately sin is to keep our eyes directly on God and to walk in His presence.  Evil cannot be in God’s presence, so if we abide there and walk with Him, we will be safe.  God is our rock and protection.  In Him we need have no fear!

Psalm 140

Psalm 140 has David crying out to God for help.  “Deliver me, O Lord, from evil men; preserve me from violent men, who plan evil things in their heart and stir up wars continually”.  David was under attack for much of his life.  People were out to destroy him and take his life.  He was being pursued by men with a record of violence and doing wrong.  They were not amateurs, but planners of evil set on removing him from the scene.  David cries out to the only One who can protect him, God Himself.  God is his deliverer and protector.

David pleas with God to guard him from the enemy.  “Guard me, O Lord, from the hands of the wicked; preserve me from violent men, who have planned to trip up my feet. The arrogant have hidden a trap for me, and with cords they have spread a net; beside the way they have set snares for me”.  David knows that God has complete understanding of their plans and traps to take him out.  So he asks God to intervene and guard his path that he won’t walk into their snare.  God knows all, sees all, and understands the hearts of all so He knows the plans of every man.  He can guard and protect us.

David has a personal relationship with God.  This isn’t a request out of nowhere.  He walks with God intimately.  “I say to the Lord, You are my God; give ear to the voice of my pleas for mercy, O Lord! O Lord, my Lord, the strength of my salvation”.  This is what God wants from each of us – to be close to Him and to have our hope and faith completely built upon His love.  He is Lord.  He is King.  He wants to be my God and yours.  God is a personal God who not only listens to our cries, but is our strength and salvation.  He alone is worthy of our praise.  He alone can save us.

David asks God to deal harshly with his enemies.  “Let burning coals fall upon them! Let them be cast into fire, into miry pits, no more to rise”!  He is tired of running and hiding from evil.  And he wants God to be victorious and glorified.  God is faithful.  Our response to His action needs to be one of praise and telling that story.  “Surely the righteous shall give thanks to your name; the upright shall dwell in your presence”.  God is alive in your life every day.  Do you give thanks and dwell in His presence?  That is what our response ought to be!

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