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Psalm 5

DAILY DEVOTION

FOR

THURSDAY, JANUARY 4

 SCRIPTURE: Psalm 5

Have you ever noticed that our prayer often takes on our mood?  When things are good, our prayers are often more light hearted.  When things are bad, our prayers are often deeper and more painful.  As David opens this Psalm he speaks of his prayer as groaning and a cry for help. 

Obviously David was in a difficult time in life.  And that difficulty had an impact on how he spoke with God.  But it was to God that he spoke because he knew that only God could provide the help that he needed.  David was so sure of that he prayed every morning certain that God heard him.  We must never doubt that God hears us as well.

In verses 4-6, David compares God with bad men.  He speaks of the righteousness of God and His unwillingness to tolerate wickedness or evil.  God will destroy those who lie, who practice murder, and those who deceive.  When it comes to sin, God has absolutely no tolerance.

In verse 7, David does not extol his virtues or innocence.  Instead he stressed God’s loyal love.  It is because of who God is that David is able to approach Him and worship Him.  It is out of that worship that David asks God to lead Him in the straight paths of righteousness (verse 8). 

Interestingly enough, immediately following that request, David (verses 9-10) is basically telling God to “get ‘em”.  He is asking God to not only see their guilt but punish them for that guilt.  I don’t know if you have ever prayed that way or not but I suspect you have had those thoughts about someone at some point in time.  God knows that about us.  So, at some point, we might just as well be honest with ourselves and with God and talk to Him about those kinds of thoughts.

David closes this Psalm talking about another group of people.  Not the bad guys.  But now those who are in relationship with God.  David says we are to rejoice.  We are to sing.  And David asks God to protect us in our praise.

I absolutely love the last verse.  David asks God to cover the righteous with favor as with a shield.  Imagine living a life surrounded by God’s favor…

Posted by Joe Ligon with

Psalm 6

DAILY DEVOTION

FOR

FRIDAY, JANUARY 5

SCRIPTURE: Psalm 6

It is difficult to know the context of this Psalm.  We know that David is suffering mightily.  But we are not sure why.  And we are not even sure how he is suffering.  There are some who believe that David is suffering from a physical illness that has brought him near to death.  There are others who tend to think this is more of a spiritual, mental, relational struggle.  Regardless of which understanding you go with, there is much to consider in this Psalm.

As the Psalm opens, David is pleading with God to stop chastening him.  On one hand chastening is a good thing.  First, it proves that we belong to God.  Hebrews 12:7 teaches that God only chastens his own children.  Second, it proves that God has higher expectations for us.  His chastening is not for His pleasure but for our good.  He chastens us to make necessary corrections in us.  On the other hand chastening is a most difficult thing.  No one likes to be punished.  No one enjoys being corrected.  We all would rather not be disciplined.  Nevertheless, because God loves us, He chastens us.

Regardless of what was going on in David’s life, he is in a most difficult spot.  In verses 2-3, we find where he was languishing or feeling weak to the point of fainting.  He hurt so badly it was as if his bones were aching.  But it was just not physical.  His soul was troubled as well.

In the last part of verse 3, David asks an unfinished question.  He asks, “How long?”  Obviously he was asking how long he would have to endure this.  How long was this going to go on?  But the most he could muster was simply: “How long?”

In verses 4-5, David’s thoughts and prayers turn.  As desperate and miserable as he was, he still had confidence that God could bring healing.  His prayer for deliverance is based upon two things.  First, it is based upon God’s steadfast or unfailing love.  In other words, God’s healing was based on His character not David’s.  What God does may be done for us but it done because of Him.  God always operates out of His holy character.

The other basis for David’s prayer for deliverance is more than a bit interesting.  In verse 5, David basically said, “If I die, I can’t praise you for delivering me.”  David’s reasoning is that if God desires our praise (and He does), then He would have to heal David so that David could continue to praise Him. 

From there David returns to his lament but as he brings this Psalm to a conclusion, his focus changes.  He was confident that God heard him.  And he was confident that God would deliver him.  Therefore, his enemies would be put to shame.  They would be disgraced because David didn’t die but instead recovered as evidence of God’s loyal love.

There is something very visceral about many of the Psalms like this one.  We find David speaking in terms that we would probably not use.  In fact, we might even be ashamed or afraid to speak to God like David did.  That doesn’t mean David was being disrespectful.  It just means David was being very honest with a God who loved him very much.  Honesty is a great foundation for all of us to build our relationship with God on.

Posted by Joe Ligon with

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