he has options

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Psalm 27:7-9

Psalm 27:7 Yahveh, hear my voice when I call; be gracious to me and answer me.

Psalm 27:8 My heart says this about you: “Seek his face.” Yahveh, I will seek your face.

Psalm 27:9 Do not hide your face from me; do not turn your servant away in anger. You have been my helper; do not leave me or abandon me, God of my rescue.

he has options

Our LORD is sovereign over prayer. He has three options every time we turn to him. He can hide his face from us when we seek him. We hide from him enough that it is never wrong for him to be silent when we are crying out. Or, he can turn us away in anger. Again, we are sinners, and always deserve this response. We spend our lives abandoning him and his word. Sometimes he has to rebuke us for that rebellion.

But he wants to help us. He is our helper, and his glorious reputation is at stake. He wants us to call out to him, and he wants to rescue us.

If today, you cry out, and it seems God is ignoring you, keep trying, and try again tomorrow as well. He hears. He can rescue. He’s the only one who can.

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confidence in Him

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Psalm 27:1-6

Psalm 27:1 Yahveh is my light and my rescue– whom should I fear? Yahveh is the stronghold of my life– whom should I dread?

Psalm 27:2 When evildoers came against me to devour my flesh, my foes and my enemies stumbled and fell.

Psalm 27:3 Though an army deploys against me, my heart will not be afraid; though a war breaks out against me, I will still be confident.

Psalm 27:4 I have asked one thing from Yahveh; it is what I desire: to dwell in the house of Yahveh all the days of my life, gazing on the beauty of Yahveh and seeking him in his temple

Psalm 27:5 because he will conceal me in his shelter in the day of adversity; he will hide me under the cover of his tent; he will set me high on a boulder.

Psalm 27:6 Then my head will be high above my enemies around me; I will offer sacrifices in his tent with shouts of joy. I will sing and make music to Yahveh.

confidence in Him

This first part of the psalm expresses the confidence of faith, while the second part expresses the fears of the faithful. Both are honest emotions, and both are accepted by the LORD. He wants us to know that we can rely on him, and he wants us to express our praise and our prayers to him.

So, even if you are overwhelmed by feelings of abandonment and fear, it is perfectly acceptable to pray these words of confidence, because no matter what you are facing, or no matter what you feel, God is your guiding light, your rescuer, and your fortress of protection.

Lord, thank you for who you are, no matter what we feel.

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his glorious level ground

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Psalm 26:8-12

Psalm 26:8 Yahveh , I love the house where you dwell, the place where your glory resides.

Psalm 26:9 Do not destroy my soul along with sinners, or my life along with men of bloodshed

Psalm 26:10 in whose hands are evil schemes and whose right hands are filled with bribes.

Psalm 26:11 But I live with integrity; redeem me and be gracious to me.

Psalm 26:12 My foot stands on level ground; I will bless Yahveh in the assemblies.

his glorious level ground

I used a lot of descriptive terms to describe the terrain as I hiked the Appalachian Trail. But there was only one feature for which I reserved the adjective glorious. After hours of painful uphill climbing, or stressful descent, getting to a stretch of level ground was a welcome change. I found myself sometimes saying and always thinking “this is glorious.” The freedom to walk without challenges or fear is a great feeling.

David had come to a point in his spiritual life when he felt the most free in the assembly worshipping God. May we all get to this point.

Lord, lead us to your glorious level ground.

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the best defense

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Psalm 26:1-7

Psalm 26:11 Defend me, Yahveh, because I have lived with integrity and have trusted in Yahveh without wavering.

Psalm 26:2 Test me, Yahveh, and try me; examine my heart and mind

Psalm 26:3 because your covenant faithfulness guides me, and I live by your truth.

Psalm 26:4 I do not sit with the worthless or associate with hypocrites.

Psalm 26:5 I hate a crowd of evildoers, and I do not sit with the wicked.

Psalm 26:6 I wash my hands in innocence and go around your altar, Yahveh,

Psalm 26:7 raising my voice in thanksgiving and telling about your wondrous works.

the best defense

David could appeal to God for his defense because he had lived his life focused on God. He avoided the crowd, choosing not to sit among the wicked. Instead, he spent lots of time at the altar, and when he did go out among others, it was to tell them about God’s wondrous works. The best defense is not a good offense. It is a relationship with God.

LORD, we long to say what David said. Change our wandering hearts, and give us the commitment to you that enables us to live by your word, and come boldly to you when we need your help.

1superscription: of David.

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what supports us as we wait

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Psalm 25:16-22

Psalm 25:16 Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am abandoned and afflicted.

Psalm 25:17 The distresses of my heart are increasing; bring me out of my sufferings.

Psalm 25:18 Consider my affliction and trouble, and forgive all my sins.

Psalm 25:19 Consider my enemies; they are numerous, and they hate me violently.

Psalm 25:20 Guard my soul and rescue me; do not let me be put to shame, because I take refuge in you.

Psalm 25:21 May integrity and what is right watch over me, for I wait for you.

Psalm 25:22 God, redeem Israel, from all its distresses.

what supports us as we wait

Spurgeon guessed that “Perhaps the integrity and uprightness referred to are those righteous attributes of God, which faith rests upon as a guarantee that the Lord will not forfeit his word.” I think he may have been right, because David had already admitted to being a sinner in need of deliverance. If we have any hope of an answer to our prayers, it does not come from our own worthiness, but the one to whom we pray.

LORD, as we wait on you, we will trust in your integrity.

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deliverance and direction

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Psalm 25:12-15

Psalm 25:12 Who is this person who fears Yahveh? He will show him the road he should choose.

Psalm 25:13 His soul will live well, and his descendants will inherit the land.

Psalm 25:14 The secret counsel of Yahveh is for those who fear him, and he reveals his covenant to them.

Psalm 25:15 My eyes are always on Yahveh, because he will pull my feet out of the net.

deliverance and direction

I pondered over the meaning of this secret counsel of Yahveh. What particularly did the psalmist refer to? I see an emphasis on the feet here, as a symbol for the direction one should take in life (the road) and for deliverance from traps (the net). The secret counsel is a word from God that goes beyond the principles everyone should live by. It is information to rescue, and legacy.

LORD, deliver us, and set us on the right road.

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an enormous violation

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Psalm 25:8-11

Psalm 25:8 Yahveh is good and upright; that is why he shows sinners the road.

Psalm 25:9 He leads the humble in what is right and teaches them his road.

Psalm 25:10 All Yahveh’s ways show covenant faithfulness and truth to those who keep his covenant and decrees.

Psalm 25:11 Yahveh, for the sake of your name, forgive my violation, because it is enormous.

an enormous violation

Anyone who seriously considers the holiness of God can come to no other conclusion concerning himself than David did. He realized his sinfulness was not a mere stain, but an enormous violation. Although he was a “great” man in other peoples’ estimation, he could only approach God by humbly asking for forgiveness. He did not even seek forgiveness for his own sake, but sought it for the sake of the LORD’s name.

LORD, this is our starting point. We seek your forgiveness and your guidance. We want to know you and even to lead others to you, but our enormous violation keeps getting in the way. Forgive us, LORD. and change us.

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The king who waited for God

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Psalm 25:1-7

Psalm 25:11 Yahveh, I lift up my throat to you.

Psalm 25:2 My God, I trust in you. Do not let me be disgraced; do not let my enemies gloat over me.

Psalm 25:3 No one who waits for you will be disgraced; those who act treacherously without cause will be disgraced.

Psalm 25:4 Make your roads known to me, Yahveh; teach me your paths.

Psalm 25:5 Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my rescue; I wait for you all day long.

Psalm 25:6 Remember, Yahveh, your compassion and your covenant faithfulness, for they have existed for an age.

Psalm 25:7 Do not remember the sins of my youth or my acts of rebellion; in keeping with your covenant faithfulness, remember me because of your goodness, Yahveh.

The king who waited for God

David is known for his courage and skill and passion. But it is his capacity to wait trustingly on God which is highlighted in this psalm. He waited on God both for rescue and guidance.

It was neither David’s indiscretions of youth nor his willful rebellion as an adult which indelibly marked his soul. It was his trust in God.

May that be our life story as well.

1superscription: of David.

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The coming King of glory

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Psalm 24:7-10

Psalm 24:7 Lift up your heads, you gates! Rise up, permanent doors! Then the King of glory will come in.

Psalm 24:8 Who is this King of glory? Yahveh, strong and mighty, Yahveh, mighty in battle.

Psalm 24:9 Lift up your heads, you gates! Rise up, permanent doors! Then the King of glory will come in.

Psalm 24:10 Who is he, this King of glory? Yahveh of Armies, he is the King of glory. (Selah).

The coming King of glory

David wrote this psalm and he was not referring to himself.

Yahveh of armies is David’s God. Compared to this coming king — David is a nobody. When Jesus came to this planet, some wanted to make him a lesser king, like David was. But he is the King of glory. When he comes again, everyone will acknowledge that. But only those who acknowledge it now will share in his reign.

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permission to climb

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Psalm 24:1-6

Psalm 24:11 The land and everything in it, the world and its inhabitants, belong to Yahveh;

Psalm 24:2 because he built its foundation on the seas and established it on the rivers.

Psalm 24:3 Who may climb up the mountain of Yahveh? Who may stand in his holy place?

Psalm 24:4 The one who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted up his throat to what is false, and who has not sworn deceitfully.

Psalm 24:5 He will receive blessing from Yahveh, and righteousness from the God of his rescue.

Psalm 24:6 This is what the lifetime of those who inquire of him looks like, those who seek the face of the God of Jacob. (Selah).

Permission to climb

This psalm is not very comforting if you approach it as a description of salvation by works. If you see It as saying that you have to keep pure and righteous— and still getting into the presence of God will be an uphill climb— you are bound to be frustrated.

You need to recognize that blessings and righteousness are both gifts from our holy God. The clean hands and pure heart and faithfulness in worship are all outcomes of seeking him.

It is the seeking God that the psalm describes as an uphill climb. It is hard work— all mountain climbing is. But it helps to see this psalm as an encouragement to (and permission to) get climbing.

The view at the top is worth it.

1superscription: A Psalm of David.

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