Read thru Old Testament Devotional – July 11, 2017

July 11

 

Psalms 4-6

 

Book #1: 1-41, cont’d.

 

Psalm 4

Psalm 4:1-It has been suggested that this Psalm was written in the same context as Psalm 3…the revolt of David’s son, Absalom, against him.  David now writes about God and prayer to Him.

  • God responds to us when we pray. He gives us relief (literally: to be made wide, large…as room or distance being given when caught in a tight space; being relieved from pressure or stress) (:1).
  • David asks those who are attacking him how long they will continue to do so. He warns them that God hears (and by inference He answers) the prayer of a godly man.  It should strike fear in their hearts when they realize that God will defend David against them (:3-4).
  • David tells them to have a change of heart…to offer sacrifices and trust in God because they are unaware that they can pray to the LORD. (:5-6a).
  • God gives us gladness, peace, and safety (:6b-8). What God gives is more than anything that this world has to offer.

 

Psalm 5

Psalm 5:1-2-This is a deep and heartfelt Psalm of lament.  David speaks of his “groaning” and “cry for help”.  David says that he prays in the mornings and then waits with anticipation to see how God will answer (:3).  There is no wickedness, no evil, whatsoever in God.  And, God does not accept wicked men into His presence…in fact, He destroys them (:4-6).  It is only because of God’s “lovingkindness” that David may reverently enter into God’s presence.  The Hebrew word for “lovingkindness” is “hesed” and means “loyal, faithful, or steadfast love”.  It places emphasis on the idea that those involved are in a loving relationship and they belong together.  It is used about 250 times in the Old Testament (:7).  David asks God to lead Him in His ways so that he will be kept from becoming involved in the ways of the wicked.  Their ways are untrustworthy and only lead to sorrow.  Eventually, their own actions will prove that they are in rebellion against God (:8-10).  He encourages those who trust God to express their thanksgiving to Him in song...because He blesses them and gives them His favor and protection (:11-12).

 

Psalm 6

Psalm 6:1-David is experiencing a very difficult time in life.  He believes that God is using his adversaries to punish him.  This Psalm is a lament…as David is expressing his struggle and sorrow.  The extent of his emotional struggle is seen in that it is having a physical affect on him, as well (:2).  This is also a “confessional, or penitential psalm”…in that he confesses (agrees with God’s determination) that the reason for his struggle is his own sin.  Other confessional psalms include Psalms 32, 38, 51, 102, 130, 143.  He asks God how long it will continue (:3).  He asks God to save him and reminds Him that his death would not be productive to Him (:4-5).  David says that he is so depressed that he cries all night long and cannot sleep (:6-7).  David expresses confidence that God will hear his prayer and his adversaries will be ashamed of their actions (:8-10).

 

Prayer: Lord, many times I have had people tell me that they were so worried, so overwhelmed, that they could not sleep.  Sometimes they cannot focus at work.  Other times it begins to affect their marriage.  Sometimes they would be physically affected…they have no energy, no desire to do anything.  All they can do is worry.  It can become all-consuming.  I pray that you would help me to know how to help people when they go through times like this.  Give me wisdom to identify the real cause…if it is oppression from without, sin from within, a physical source, or some other cause.  And give me the words I need to provide godly counsel that will bring hope and promise back into their life.

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