July 12, 2011

Today you should read: Psalms 55

Have you ever been betrayed by a close friend or family member? Has your safety ever been put in jeopardy by someone you love? Many of you reading this have had the misfortune of understanding this very idea. It is one of the scariest and hardest things to ever have to deal with.

In Psalm 55 we see a lament (defined as to mourn for or over ~ Dictionary.com) concerning oppression from an enemy. However, the psalmist is very clear that this is no ordinary enemy. In fact, this is someone who was a very close friend (Psalms 55:12-15). This person has caused the psalmist to lash out in his emotional distress and wish evil on his friend. There is a deep anger toward the oppressor. If you have ever been hurt by someone close I am sure you can relate to this part of the psalm. There have been times in my life when my thoughts toward friends and family have been that of revenge due to the pain that I felt from their actions. Is this ok? The answer is yes and no. It is ok when you get hurt to feel anger. It is not ok to dwell on it and harbor hatred toward them. The question to ask yourself when you are hurt is how should I respond?

Verses (22-23) show us the correct response. We must cast our burdens upon the Lord for the judgment of others is His. The commentary from the ESV Study Bible states: “cast your burden on the Lord.” The singer addresses each of his fellow singers in v.22-23. The reason the faithful can cast their burdens on the Lord is that He can be trusted to bring judgment upon the evildoers. The psalms do not say when God will cast them down; the faithful will wait for God’s own good timing.

In other words, it is God’s job to judge and it is our job to share the gospel. My challenge to you when you are going through these kinds of struggles is to run hard to the Lord and pray for the strength to love your enemy. Ask for God to save your enemy through the blood of His son Jesus, because that is exactly what He did for you when you were His enemy (Romans 5:8).

Posted by: Chad Wiles

July 11, 2011

Today you should read: Psalm 54

The first verse says it all, doesn’t it? “O God, save me by Your name…” (Psalm 54:1a ESV).

David begins his lament psalm knowing that his hope for salvation and vindication comes from God. What’s happening in this psalm is that Saul — who once supported David — was now jealous and was willing to kill him. David was on the run from Saul. Here is the correlating passage in 1 Samuel:

Then the Ziphites went up to Saul at Gibeah, saying, “Is not David hiding among us in the strongholds at Horesh, on the hill of Hachilah, which is south of Jeshimon? Now come down, O king, according to all your heart’s desire to come down, and our part shall be to surrender him into the king’s hand.” 1 Samuel 23:19-20 ESV

A bunch of rats! The Ziphites ratted David out. Thus, Psalm 54 comes at a moment of great vulnerability for David. He is fearing for his life and has nowhere else to turn. The Lord, whose name is I AM, is the only one he trusts. That’s why it’s fitting that David begins with a plea to God’s name. There is refuge in His name.

This Old Testament verse has a direct correlation to a New Testament truth. See, for us as believers in Christ, there is refuge in the name of Jesus. In fact, Jesus’ name in Hebrew literally means “deliverance” or “salvation”. For David, I AM was all he needed. For us who are in Christ, YESHUA is all we need.

Verse 4 continues this theme:

Behold, God is my helper; the Lord is the upholder of my life.
He will return the evil to my enemies; in your faithfulness put an end to them.
Psalm 54:4-5 ESV

Are you going through any major trials right now? Do you feel like your back is against the wall in some way or another? Remember that the name of the Lord is a fortress for those who trust in it. Wherever you are, whatever you are going through, the Lord is capable of seeing you through. He did it for David. He can do it for you too.

Blessings to you today, CPC!

Posted by: Todd Thomas

July 9, 2011

Today you should read: Psalm 53

Psalm 53 was written by David about the depravity of man. Wikipedia defines depravity: As a consequence of the Fall of Man, every person born into the world is enslaved to the service of sin and, apart from the efficacious or prevenient grace of God, is utterly unable to choose to follow God or choose to accept salvation as it is offered. Not bad!

If this Psalm seems familiar, it’s because it’s the second time David has received it from the Lord. See Psalm 14. This is a song of man’s disease – his most grievous problem – sin.

“The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God.” (v.1) The great theologian, Charles Spurgeon, wrote about this: “and this he does because he is a fool. Being a fool he speaks according to his nature; being a great fool he meddles with a great subject, and comes to a wild conclusion. The atheist is, morally as well as mentally, a fool, a fool in the heart as well as in the head; a fool in morals as well as in philosophy. With the denial of God as a starting point, we may well conclude that the fool’s progress is a rapid, riotous, raving, ruinous one. He who begins at impiety is ready for anything. No God, being interpreted, means no law, no order, no restraint to lust, no limit to passion.”

Craig Groeschel writes and talks about how we can be atheists – even as Christians. He describes what he calls a practical atheist. This is a person, who although they may believe in God internally, lives as if they don’t. They go about their daily routine (with the possible exception of Sunday morning) living just like God doesn’t exist. So in practicality – they are atheists – living without God. Does that describe you? Are you a practical atheist?

Verse 3 is often quoted as Romans 3:10-12. Verse four asks, “will those who do evil never learn?” What a probing question, even to those of us who know and love God. Will we ever learn? The children of Israel never seemed to… what about you?

As you go about your day, have some pity for those you see – groping around in darkness, because they have not seen the light. So today…be the Light! Share the Light! Turn the Light On!!

Posted by: Tim Parsons

July 8, 2011

Today you should read: Psalm 52

You can read the background of this story in 1 Samuel 21 and 22. I highly suggest taking the time to read it because it will give you a better understanding of the psalm and a better perspective in the contrast of two men – one who is evil and one who is righteous.

This psalm tells of a wicked man named Doeg the Edomite who was King Saul’s main herdsman. Doeg was sent to spy on David and then tattle to Saul about David’s activities. He also killed Ahimilech and over eighty of the Lord’s priests.

Verses 1-4 are expressing David’s thoughts about this traitor Doeg and the sinfulness of his pride. Allow the imagery of these phrases to grip your heart; “razor sharp tongue” ,“love evil more than good”, and, “words that devour.”

Verse 5 is somewhat of a prophetic voice in that Doeg’s end is known. Divine justice will have its way and God will break this man down and “uproot him from the land of the living.”

Verses 6-9 simply contrast Doeg’s evil character to David’s righteous character. Verse 8 sends chills down my spine as I pray that I will be able to say the same…“but as for me, I am like a green olive tree in the house of God; I trust in the loving kindness of God forever and ever.”

David trusts in the Lord and knew that the unrighteous Doeg would be dealt in a just manner.

May we trust in the loving kindness of the Lord God forever!

Worship Jesus – Enjoy Jesus – Be Useful to His Kingdom

Posted by: Zach Monroe