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.
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.
The “fear” of the Lord is not meant as a cowering response to God, it is a reverence and respect for our Creator, Savior, and Lord. Psalm 128:1 says, Blessed are all who fear the Lord, who walk in his ways. God never stops pursuing us, but it is our acceptance and obedience of Him where our blessing come.
There is no problem which is too big for God. If He is the creator of all things, then our problems are not too big for him. David says in Psalm 124:8, Our help is in the name of the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. God knows the way out of your circumstances. He is able to guide you through it. In the previous verse, David compared this to God’s ability to guide a bird through the escape of a fowler’s snare. We just need to trust Him and obey His guidance and we will make it through.
Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in the Bible. It is a beautiful Psalm whether you break it into small chunks or take the time to read it all the way through. The major theme of the Psalm is to remind us God’s word is wonderful and true. If we remain obedient to God we have the ability to achieve real happiness. Psalm 119:1-2 begins with 1 Blessed are they whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the Lord. 2 Blessed are they who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart. If we remember the Bible is the only real source of truth, we will find everything we need to live a pure life. Everything else is opinion and ways people find to justify their sinful choices. Don’t be fooled.
Today is my oldest daughter’s birthday; she turns 20 today. I will be 50 this year and my mom turned 87 a couple months backs. Where does the time go? While 20 seems like the just the beginning, time seems to accelerate the older we get. Psalm 90:10 says, The length of our days is seventy years – or eighty, if we have the strength; yet their span is but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away. Let us not waste our time here on earth. The span of our life is not guaranteed, so we should make the most of the time we have to impact lives for eternity. We are God’s hands and feet if we truly commit to be used by him. Let us not reach the end of your time here on earth and look back with regret.
Psalm 83 is a prayer to God asking Him to reveal Himself to the world. While there are times we feel God is unknown to most of the world, there will come a time when God will be revealed to all and no one will be able to deny His existence, power, and authority. Until then, we can live with that knowledge and work to build our personal relationship with Him.
In the Old Testament, God would often bring wrath and judgement on an entire nation because of the sins of the people within that nation. In Psalm 79:6 Asaph pleaded with God to bring judgement on the kingdoms that refused to acknowledge God’s authority, Pour out your wrath on the nations that do not acknowledge you, on the kingdoms that do not call on your name. It is interesting to see that Asaph was ultimately praying for the foreign nation’s submission to God and not for necessarily for conquest. May we be as obedient in our prayers for those who do not believe the same as us. May we pray for their relationship with God and may God use those around us, including our enemies, to bring us and them to a righteous knowledge and relationship with God.