To “fear” God is to have reverence for Him. When we revere God, we put our trust and hope in Him. In Psalm 147:11 it says, The Lord delights in those who fear Him, Who put their hope in His unfailing love. Once we put our trust in God and know His power over all we do, then God can use our abilities most effectively.
When we trust in other men, no matter what their status in life, we put our trust in an flawed savior. In Psalm 146:3-4 the author says, 3 Do not put your trust in princes, in mortal men, who cannot save. 4 When their spirit departs, they return to the ground; on that day their plans come to nothing. We are all the same; flawed, sinful, and ultimately inadequate. True hope for the weak can only come from a perfect God and savior.
God’s grace is more abundant than we can ever truly grasp and He loves us more than we can comprehend. In Psalm 145:8 David reminds us, The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. No matter how bad things get, God’s grace is what He wants us to experience more than anything else because of His love for us.
In Psalm 144:4 David reminds us, Man is like a breath; his days are like fleeting shadow. This is very similar to James 4:14 where it says, “…You are a midst that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” God never promised us eternal life here on earth; He promised it with Him in eternity. But God did place us here on earth for a purpose. Let us not waste our time on inferior endeavors that have little to no impact in the light of eternity. Let us live our life with purpose, constantly seeking God’s will for our lives.
A prayer for guidance is self-centered if it is not accompanied by a recognition that God has the power to redirect our path. Wanting guidance to fit out wants and ignoring God’s will is not obedience. Psalm 143:10 says, Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground. David asked God to teach him to do God’s will and not his own. We should be asking God to open our eyes to His will so that we may know the right direction for our lives and align our wills with God’s.
We all get overwhelmed by our circumstances and stress. And while we don’t always turn to God as our first response, He is the best solution to all our problems in ever situation. In Psalm 142:1 David begins the Psalm with a plea for help, I cry aloud to the Lord; I lift up my voice to the Lord for mercy. There is no question God is the only guaranteed solution to all our problems. We may not always like the answers, and our requests may not be answered exactly as we had envisioned in our minds, but when God answers our prayers, it is the best answer in the light of eternity.
On average, a person opens their mouth over 700 times per day to speak. In Psalm 141:3 David wisely asked God to guard his mouth from speaking evil, Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips. Jesus was the perfect example of keeping silent when He was being persecuted before He was crucified. We would all be wise to ask God to guard our mouths to speak wisely and in a way that would honor Him.
In today’s Psalm, David’s pray to God is for protection from those who threaten and slander him. In Psalm 140:4 David says, Keep me, O Lord, from the hands of the wicked; protect me from men of violence who plan to trip my feet. When we are able to focus on our relationship with God, we turn our focus away from the things that threaten to harm us. Keeping our eyes firmly on God allows us to be led more effectively by God.
At the end of this Psalm, David asks God to search for any wickedness in his life. In Psalm 139:23-24 David says, 23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. 24 See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. David is not challenging God to find him perfect, he is challenging God to identify sin and make it known so he can fix it. Too often we justify our sin and make excuses for the choices we make. If we are honest and open our hearts and minds to God, He will help us.
God deserves our praise above all else. In Psalm 138:1 David says, I will praise you, O Lord, with all my heart; before the “gods” I will sing your praise. When David mentions “gods”, this could be anything we put before the only true God. It could be an actual idol or simply something we deem more important than God. We must put God higher than anyone and anything, because he deserves our praise and reverence.