July 11, 2007
Psalms 140 - 145
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- (To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.) Deliver me, O LORD, from the evil man: preserve me from the violent man;
- Which imagine mischiefs in their heart; continually are they gathered together for war.
- They have sharpened their tongues like a serpent; adders' poison is under their lips. Selah.
- Keep me, O LORD, from the hands of the wicked; preserve me from the violent man; who have purposed to overthrow my goings.
- The proud have hid a snare for me, and cords; they have spread a net by the wayside; they have set gins for me. Selah.
- I said unto the LORD, Thou art my God: hear the voice of my supplications, O LORD.
- O GOD the Lord, the strength of my salvation, thou hast covered my head in the day of battle.
- Grant not, O LORD, the desires of the wicked: further not his wicked device; lest they exalt themselves. Selah.
- As for the head of those that compass me about, let the mischief of their own lips cover them.
- Let burning coals fall upon them: let them be cast into the fire; into deep pits, that they rise not up again.
- Let not an evil speaker be established in the earth: evil shall hunt the violent man to overthrow him.
- I know that the LORD will maintain the cause of the afflicted, and the right of the poor.
- Surely the righteous shall give thanks unto thy name: the upright shall dwell in thy presence.
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- (A Psalm of David.) LORD, I cry unto thee: make haste unto me; give ear unto my voice, when I cry unto thee.
- Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.
- Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.
- Incline not my heart to any evil thing, to practise wicked works with men that work iniquity: and let me not eat of their dainties.
- Let the righteous smite me; it shall be a kindness: and let him reprove me; it shall be an excellent oil, which shall not break my head: for yet my prayer also shall be in their calamities.
- When their judges are overthrown in stony places, they shall hear my words; for they are sweet.
- Our bones are scattered at the grave's mouth, as when one cutteth and cleaveth wood upon the earth.
- But mine eyes are unto thee, O GOD the Lord: in thee is my trust; leave not my soul destitute.
- Keep me from the snares which they have laid for me, and the gins of the workers of iniquity.
- Let the wicked fall into their own nets, whilst that I withal escape.
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- (Maschil of David; A Prayer when he was in the cave.> I cried unto the LORD with my voice; with my voice unto the LORD did I make my supplication.
- I poured out my complaint before him; I shewed before him my trouble.
- When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then thou knewest my path. In the way wherein I walked have they privily laid a snare for me.
- I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul.
- I cried unto thee, O LORD: I said, Thou art my refuge and my portion in the land of the living.
- Attend unto my cry; for I am brought very low: deliver me from my persecutors; for they are stronger than I.
- Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise thy name: the righteous shall compass me about; for thou shalt deal bountifully with me.
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- (A Psalm of David.) Hear my prayer, O LORD, give ear to my supplications: in thy faithfulness answer me, and in thy righteousness.
- And enter not into judgment with thy servant: for in thy sight shall no man living be justified.
- For the enemy hath persecuted my soul; he hath smitten my life down to the ground; he hath made me to dwell in darkness, as those that have been long dead.
- Therefore is my spirit overwhelmed within me; my heart within me is desolate.
- I remember the days of old; I meditate on all thy works; I muse on the work of thy hands.
- I stretch forth my hands unto thee: my soul thirsteth after thee, as a thirsty land. Selah.
- Hear me speedily, O LORD: my spirit faileth: hide not thy face from me, lest I be like unto them that go down into the pit.
- Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee.
- Deliver me, O LORD, from mine enemies: I flee unto thee to hide me.
- Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness.
- Quicken me, O LORD, for thy name's sake: for thy righteousness' sake bring my soul out of trouble.
- And of thy mercy cut off mine enemies, and destroy all them that afflict my soul: for I am thy servant.
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- (A Psalm of David.) Blessed be the LORD my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight:
- My goodness, and my fortress; my high tower, and my deliverer; my shield, and he in whom I trust; who subdueth my people under me.
- LORD, what is man, that thou takest knowledge of him! or the son of man, that thou makest account of him!
- Man is like to vanity: his days are as a shadow that passeth away.
- Bow thy heavens, O LORD, and come down: touch the mountains, and they shall smoke.
- Cast forth lightning, and scatter them: shoot out thine arrows, and destroy them.
- Send thine hand from above; rid me, and deliver me out of great waters, from the hand of strange children;
- Whose mouth speaketh vanity, and their right hand is a right hand of falsehood.
- I will sing a new song unto thee, O God: upon a psaltery and an instrument of ten strings will I sing praises unto thee.
- It is he that giveth salvation unto kings: who delivereth David his servant from the hurtful sword.
- Rid me, and deliver me from the hand of strange children, whose mouth speaketh vanity, and their right hand is a right hand of falsehood:
- That our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth; that our daughters may be as corner stones, polished after the similitude of a palace:
- That our garners may be full, affording all manner of store: that our sheep may bring forth thousands and ten thousands in our streets:
- That our oxen may be strong to labour; that there be no breaking in, nor going out; that there be no complaining in our streets.
- Happy is that people, that is in such a case: yea, happy is that people, whose God is the LORD.
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- (David's Psalm of praise.) I will extol thee, my God, O king; and I will bless thy name for ever and ever.
- Every day will I bless thee; and I will praise thy name for ever and ever.
- Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable.
- One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts.
- I will speak of the glorious honour of thy majesty, and of thy wondrous works.
- And men shall speak of the might of thy terrible acts: and I will declare thy greatness.
- They shall abundantly utter the memory of thy great goodness, and shall sing of thy righteousness.
- The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy.
- The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.
- All thy works shall praise thee, O LORD; and thy saints shall bless thee.
- They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom, and talk of thy power;
- To make known to the sons of men his mighty acts, and the glorious majesty of his kingdom.
- Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and thy dominion endureth throughout all generations.
- The LORD upholdeth all that fall, and raiseth up all those that be bowed down.
- The eyes of all wait upon thee; and thou givest them their meat in due season.
- Thou openest thine hand, and satisfiest the desire of every living thing.
- The LORD is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works.
- The LORD is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth.
- He will fulfil the desire of them that fear him: he also will hear their cry, and will save them.
- The LORD preserveth all them that love him: but all the wicked will he destroy.
- My mouth shall speak the praise of the LORD: and let all flesh bless his holy name for ever and ever.
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Thought for the day:
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Psalms 140-144 can be taken as a unit. It is believed that they were composed by David while he was fleeing from Saul. It is interesting to see the progression that takes place in them. In Psalm 140-143 David is truly in anguish of soul. He pours out his difficulties before the Lord and begs for his intervention (140:1). He calls for God's judgment upon those who are harming him (140:9-10). He asks God to help him not to fall into sin himself (141:3-4), and he calls to remembrance the great things that the Lord has done in the past (143:5).
David's attitude seems to change some in Psalm 144. He continues to ask for God's protection and deliverance (11), but he does so from an attitude of praise. After writing four psalms from a position of heartache, he concludes this song with the statement,
"Happy is that people, that is in such a case: yea, happy is that people, whose God is the LORD," (15).
In the preceding verses, David spells out the "case" which makes people happy. In verses 10-11 he once again calls for deliverance, and does so with the confidence that the Lord will respond. The result of this will be that the children will grow strong and beautiful (12), that the granaries ("garners")of the land will be full (13), the livestock will be productive (13), the work animals will be strong (14), a man's possessions will be safe, and there will be no threat of war (14), and that people will have no cause to complain about their situation (14). David calls people who live in this type of environment "happy", and I think we can understand why he would say so. Imagine a scenario where everything you had prospered. Your children grew up right, your farm or business produced abundantly, and you had no fears for your personal safety or the protection of your assets. Not only were you being blessed personally, but all your neighbors were as well, and you never had to listen to someone else talk about how tough their life was. Wouldn't this be great? Wouldn't you be happy?
David concludes the chapter by comparing the source of the happiness delineated above with another source of happiness. This happiness is simply found in people "whose God is the Lord". Certainly there is a prophetic aspect to this. When Jesus Christ is established as the King of Kings during the Millennial Kingdom, the land will produce abundantly, men will prosper, the kingdom will be at rest and in safety, and there will be no reason for complaining. However, I do not believe that these Scriptures are simply telling the Jewish people that they have a lot to look forward to someday. I believe they address an attitude that all believers can have today. The principle simply is this: if you make Jesus Christ the Lord of your life, you will be just as happy as if you had all the material possessions you could want. He will make you as happy as healthy, beautiful children would. He will satisfy you as would peace and safety. Jesus Christ alone is all you need for true joy.
There is no blessing like spiritual blessing. We all know of individuals who have all the material goods that they could ever want, and yet they are miserable. We know people who have good families and good health who spend all their lives complaining about what they don't have and worrying about what calamity might befall them in the future. However, most of us also know people who have little of this world's goods, who have chronic illnesses and pains, who live in decidedly unsafe conditions, and yet who still keep a smile on their face and spend their time speaking of the goodness of God. How do they do this? They do it because "Happy is the man whose God is the Lord".
Are you saved? Is Jesus Christ the Lord of your life? Are you obeying Him and trusting Him? If so, the reality of happiness is yours. If not, then you do not know the joy that comes from being in a correct relationship with God. Put the Lord in His proper place in your life, and see what it does to your outlook and disposition. You'll be pleased with the results.
Pastor Mark J Montgomery