20180920

Psalms 8:2 From the mouths of infants and nursing babies, you have established a stronghold on account of your adversaries in order to silence the enemy and the vengeful one.

The NLT gives the sense of the verse:

Psalm 8:2 (NLT) You have taught children and infants to tell of your strength, silencing your enemies and all who oppose you.

So, not only nature, but also human nature gives witness to the honor of the Lord.

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20180919

Psalms 8:1 Yahveh, our Lord, how honorable is your name throughout the land! You have covered the skies with your honor.

Nature reflects the glory and honor of its creator. This whole psalm is about the tremendous reputation of God— a reputation we human beings can reflect because he made us in his image.

Climbing mountains, crossing beautiful streams, getting color overload by looking at the trees— on the trail the truth of this verse is all too evident.

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20180918

Psalms 7:17 I will thank Yahveh for his righteousness; I will sing about the name of Yahveh Most High.

The psalmist concludes his prayer with an anticipation of future praise. His expectations are not based on what he has accomplished, or even the fact that he has prayed. His hope is built on nothing less than who God is.

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20180917

Psalms 7:14-16 Notice, the wicked one is pregnant with evil, conceives hardship, and gives birth to a lie. 15 He dug a pit and hollowed it out but fell into the hole he had made. 16 The hardship he plans for others comes back on his own head; his own violence comes down on top of his head.

The psalmist is adding a corrective nuance to the image of God as a warrior ready to punish evil. While it is true that God is ready to punish evildoers, he gives his victims opportunity to repent and convert. If anyone is punished for their sins— whether in this life or on judgment day— it will be because of their deliberate actions.

Evildoers are described as pregnant women, as builders of traps. What they conceived and constructed to harm others will fall on them. God is just.

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20180916

Psalms 7:12-13

12 If anyone will not repent, he will sharpen his sword; he has strung his bow and made it ready. 13 He has readied his deadly weapons; he tips his arrows with fire.

The psalmist feels like his enemies have assumed that God is all talk and no action. But he sees God as a warrior ready for battle— a sniper in position for a kill shot.

Lord, restore to us an awareness of your readiness to punish wrongdoing.

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20180915

Psalms 7:11 God is a righteous judge and a God who demonstrates his wrath every day.

The psalmist is speaking to those who bank on a God who only interferes in human lives and events on some cosmic chronological scale. No, he says. God is constantly both judging and punishing those who disregard his laws. He didn’t just set things in motion in his universe and sit back with popcorn in hand and watch. He’s watching all right. But he is also acting.

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20180914

Psalms 7:10 My shield is from God, who saves those who are upright in heart.

Having called on God to treat both himself and his enemies with the same justice, the psalmist now boasts of a protective shield from God. The Lord will act to right the wrongs inflicted on his servant. The Lord will save and vindicate those who are upright in heart.

Loyalty to Christ in an age like this one will require praying like this. We will have many enemies who claim we are being unjust, who will claim to be genuine, and accuse us of being hypocritical. We must trust in the shield of God. We must pray through those terrible accusations.

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20180913

Psalms 7:9 Cause the evil of the wicked to come to an end, but make the righteous permanent. The one who tests the thoughts and emotions is a righteous God.

What the psalmist is praying for is the victory of righteousness over evil. The victory is not gained by the mere separation of the two groups for eternity. No, God’s righteousness must win, and the devil’s unrighteousness must lose. Only one is going to be permanent. The loser comes to an end: evil must die.

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201809012

Psalms 7:7 Cause the assembly of peoples to gather around you; take your exalted seat presiding over it.

Psalms 7:8 Yahveh who judges the peoples — vindicate me, Yahveh, based on my righteousness and my integrity.

We know that God plans to judge the world on judgment day. In prayer, we can ask him for a present installment of that judgment. We are asking him to intervene in our lives. He is willing to do this for his children who stay loyal to him.

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20180911

Psalms 7:6 Get up angrily Yahveh ; lift yourself up against the burning anger of my enemies; awake for me; you have destined a judgment.

The psalmist knows that God has destined a judgment day against all evil in he future. He calls on God to enact that judgment now against his enemies.

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