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.
There is no greater brother or sister in Christ than the one who chooses to worship and grow in their relationship with God along side you. In Psalm 122:1, the author David says, I rejoiced with those who said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” When we worship God, it can be a chore or it can be fulfilling and even fun. When we worship in community with others and grow closer to God in the process, we are more likely to find delight in worshipping Him. Ultimately, our attitude towards God will determine our attitude in worshipping Him and how we build community with other believers.
Psalm 106 give a summary of God’s faithfulness, which in turn shows us the degree of man’s sinfulness. The good news is God’s faithfulness is greater than the gap created by our sinful nature. Psalm 106:1 says, Praise the Lord. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. Without God’s unfailing and eternal love for us, sin would keep us from enjoying a relationship with Him. God never stops wanting a genuine relationship with us. Praise God for His love and His never ending pursue of relationship with us.
People who have influence over our lives matter. On rare occasion there are minor acquaintances who have minimal influence, but anyone who has access to us can be influential in how we live our lives and whether we live for God or for our selfish desires. In Psalm 101:6 David says, My eyes will be on the faithful in the land, that they may dwell with me; he whose walk is blameless will minister with me. Friends and associates who have influence in our lives should be faithful to God and should help us grow closer to Him.
As we grow closer in our relationship with God, we learn to love what He loves and hate what He hates. Psalm 97:10 says, Let those who love the Lord hate evil, for he guards the lives of His faithful ones and delivers them from the hand of the wicked. Let us learn to love God’s ways and hate evil in every form just as He does.
When we trust in our Almighty God, we can rest in the fact that He can carry us through any danger or fear in our lives. In Psalm 91:1 the author says, He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. This is a prefect picture of what our trust should look like. When we stay within God’s protection, which can only come from a true relationship with Him, His will deliver us no matter what may come in our path.
The author in today’s reading not only recognized God’s authority, but he also recognized God’s protection and refuge we can only find in Him. Psalm 84:1 says, How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord Almighty! When we are with God, the rest of the world fades away. We can find peace and feel God’s comforting presence when we focus on Him.
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.
Three times the writer repeats his call to God in Psalm 80:3,7,19, Restore us, O God; make your face shine upon us, that we may be saved. Restoration into relationship with God is a continuous process. While grace was granted to us all through Christ, fellowship with Him requires effort to building a strong relationship with God. To many people salvation only serves the purpose of eternal life, but God’s ultimate purpose of Christ’s sacrifice for our salvation was to give us a way to a personal relationship with Him. If we miss this, we are missing out on a life of purpose.
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.