A Christian Perspective on Psalm 14

v1, The Spirit inspired David to sing this because of the plain evidence that there is a God: There is evidence in both creation and human conscience that Paul described in Romans 1. The fact that some people insist on denying the existence of God does not erase God from the universe; it instead speaks to their own standing as foolish. As Paul wrote in Romans 1:22, Professing to be wise, they became fools. Most people taking the atheist stance in this life are merely ignorant of the fools they are following, but because of some academic intellectuals “professing to be wise”, they became fools. “The Hebrew word for fool in this psalm is nabal, a word which implies an aggressive perversity, epitomized in the husband named Nabal, ref: 1 Samuel 25:25. The God-denying man David has in mind is not merely troubled by intellectual objections to the existence of God; in his heart he wishes God away, typically for fundamentally moral reasons. The Apostle John explains it this way in John 3:20, For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. This means that the man David had in mind is not an atheist for primarily intellectual reasons. Honest intellectual agnosticism does not necessarily produce immorality but dishonest emotional atheism always does.”

v2, The LORD looking down from heaven upon the descendants of men, is not a condescending attitude of our Creator, but while men may wish to forget about God, God never forgets about man. He is always observing us. In man’s rejection of God, there is often the wish that God would just leave us alone. This is an unwise wish, because all human life depends upon God, see Acts 17:28, Matthew 5:45. This is an impossible wish, because God has rights of a creator over His creation. The words remind us of God descending from heaven to observe the folly of those building the tower of Babel (Genesis 11:5) What do you think he sees today? How many times have you spoken to someone about Jesus and found out they understand the words you used, but they are totally confused about why you said it? They don’t have enough understanding about God, to even follow the reasoning behind what you said about Him, much less believe it! This should evoke sympathy from us, not anger.

v3-6, The whole idea of “none” doing good, is the reason the Apostle Paul quotes it in the context of both Jews & Gentiles needing the New Testament’s gospel in Jesus. Jews have no advantage over anyone else in the world, when it comes to dealing with the problem of sin. It ruins their desire and ability to do good, as well as ours and any other nationality. Just because you’re born in the USA doesn’t give you an advantage over sin corrupting your ability to do good, see Romans 3:10-12.

v7, The Restoration of Israel, is a phrase David uses to describe the sentiment of victory he has upon remembrance of bringing the Hebrews out of Egypt, and as he looks to the future, he knows God can do it again, and again, and again. The best restoration of Israel was during the first century anno domini  AD33 in Jerusalem as the church was born, spiritual Israel was given a new creation in the body of Christ, and when Christians lose their direction as a whole, descending into denominationalism, God can restore us again! Worse yet, when churches lose their identity in the world, repentance is necessary before God can restore them. Thank God this praise has a lot to do with teaching us what our priorities are towards erroring children of God.

A Christians Perspective of Psalm 11

v1 “How can you say to my soul, “Flee as a bird to your mountain”?

David’s friend advises with a well meaning direction, but it’s ungodly. Like when Peter advised Jesus to not go the way of the cross, Matthew 16:22-23. Peter meant well, but he was really being used by the devil. We must always be careful with the advice we give to others. First, we must always mind our own business and not be busybodies, 1st Thess, 4:11 & 1st Tim. 5:13. Second, we can be too confident in our own perception of a situation. Job’s friend confidently said, “I will tell you, hear me; what I have seen I will declare” (Job 15:17), but he was wrong. Our motive is good but the advice is wrong.

v6, This shall be the portion of their cup: What people deserve is generally what they get, sooner or later, and the image of the cup as a container of judgment reminds us of Jesus’ prayer in the garden: O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will (Matthew 26:39) The cup Jesus dreaded was the cup that contained the wrath of God against sin, wrath that we deserved, but Jesus drank for us.

v7, He loves righteousness: David knew that as he walked righteously, he would keep [himself] in the love of God (Jude 21). It isn’t that we must earn God’s love by our personal righteousness; instead, our pursuit and practice of righteousness keeps us flowing in the benefits of God’s love which was poured out into our hearts by grace on the day we were baptised into Christ by faith, Romans 5:5-6:7. God’s love extends everywhere. Nothing can separate us from God’s love, and He loved us while we were still sinners, (Romans 5:8) But we can deny ourselves the benefits of God’s love, until we, by faith are buried with him in baptism, then His love is poured out into our hearts to drink and drink, forever! The water of Life. Christians who don’t keep themselves in the love of God end up living as if they are on the dark side of the moon. The sun is always out there, always shining, but they are never in a position to receive the light or warmth of the sun. We can choose to be like the Prodigal Son of Luke 15, who was always loved by the father, but for a time he did not benefit from that love. “His countenance beholds the upright”. Translators debate if this means “God’s upright people see Him” or “the LORD sees His upright people.” Most modern translations think it speaks of God’s people seeing Him: Upright men will see his face (NIV), The upright will behold His face (NASB),The godly shall see his face (LB). However, it really doesn’t matter, because both are true. God shines His face on His people. God’s people will see Him. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God  (Matthew 5:8). In fact, the desire to behold God is one of the greatest motivations to an upright life and heart.

A Christian Perspective on Psalms 9 & 10

These two psalms are linked together by an Acrostic which is irregular and broken, just like the troubled times which both of these psalms address. This Acrostic tells us that the subject of the two Psalms is one and that they are to be connected together. From 9:1 to 10:17, each line of each Psalm starts with a letter in the Hebrew alphabet, and they each appear in order, except for the third letter, the gimmel, and there are 3 letters missing, but the rest of the alphabet is used in order. Psalm 9 is written with a note as authored by David, whereas 10 is not noted, like an addendum added by the same author, but written at a later date. Many theology scholars explain this by defining “Muth-labben” (the tune psalm 9 is to be sung with) meaning “the death of the man who went out between camps”. This word is used of Goliath in 1st Samuel 17:4. So it’s plausible David wrote Psalm 9 soon after the incident of killing him and he could have written Psalm 10, much later upon reflection on one of his last battles with the Philistines mentioned in 2nd Samuel 21:15. Whatever the case, it is referenced in the New Testament, See Romans 3:9-20, as verse14 is where Paul quotes from Psalm 10:7, Why? Because the nature of sin that we all explore and experience is exactly what God’s enemies live like. Both of these Psalms are praising God for his eventual victory over the enemies of God’s children.

The deeds David refers to here in 9:11 are likely the wonderful acts the Lord performed on behalf of Israel (Psalm 9:1–6). This might have implied His deliverance of His people from Egypt and His miraculous provisions for them in the wilderness. However, the actions in question might be more personal: what God has done in the lives of the oppressed. Christians today should declare how much God has done for them (Luke 8:39; 1 Peter 2:9–10; 3:15; Romans 10:14–15) in spite of our failings with sin or problems or discipline. Praise God!

Psalm 9:13 has the term “the gates of death” found in Job 38:17, Psalm 107:18, and Isaiah 38:10. It echoes the idea of death as crossing some barrier or border, from which there is no escape until the resurrection. David believed the Lord could and would preserve his life. Believers need not fear death, because it ushers them into the presence of the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:8). The apostle Paul regarded death, for the Christian, as gain (Philippians 1:21).

Psalm 10 reflects the natural frustration we feel in the face of evil. In our limited understanding, we cannot grasp why God is not intervening right here, right now, and in exactly the way we’d prefer. As with other Old Testament passages, the psalmist later returns to the idea of God’s established faithfulness, but the initial cry of his heart is one of a disturbed spirit. Though the passage began with a sense of frustration and anguish, it ends with a hopeful, faithful tone. What God has accomplished for His people produces confidence: a trust that He will hear and act according to His perfect goodness.

A Christian Perspective on Psalm 8

v1, God is magnificent, in that he has displayed his glorious nature throughout heaven and earth, See Romans 1:19-20. In our physical universe we have tangible evidence of a superior intelligence that is powerful in nature and beautiful in design. 

v2, “From the mouths of babes”, David here touched on a familiar theme in the Bible: the idea that God uses otherwise weak things to display His glory and strength. 1st Corinthians 1:27 is an example of this idea: But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty. Jesus quoted from this Psalm as recorded in Matthew 21:15-16, but his critics hated it. Jesus warned them that if people didn’t praise him with the purity of an innocent child, the rocks would cry out to praise Him. Never forget the power of praise from your own lips, no matter how insignificant you seem in the world’s view. God has done great things through praise, He has even won wars with praise. Jesus told His accusers who He was and who they were. Since the little children praise God in Psalm 8, Jesus identified Himself as God. In this, Jesus also identified the indignant scribes and teachers as an enemy described in this psalm. C.H. Spurgeon put it this way, “Aha! O adversary! To be overcome by a behemoth might make thee angry; but to be smitten out of infants’ mouths causes thee to bite the dust in utter dishonor. Thou art sore broken, now that ‘out of the mouth of babes and sucklings’ thou art put to shame.”

v3, “Consider the heavens”, With the naked eye, we can see about 5,000 stars. With a four-inch telescope, we can see about 2 million stars. With a 200-inch mirror in a great observatory, one can see more than a billion stars. The universe is so big that if we were to travel at the speed of light, it could take 40 billion years to reach the edge of the universe, and it is EXPANDING! Considering the heavens makes us see the greatness of God. 

v4-5 is quoted in Heb. 2:5-9 to reinforce and build upon this exact point. In it he notes that man’s low estate relates only to this world, and not the world to come. More pointedly, the writer of Hebrews used this passage from Psalm 8 to show that Jesus really did add a genuinely human nature to His divine nature and so became a little lower than the angels in our humanity and in this way has “crowned him with glory and honor. Though for a little while we are set lower than the angels, man’s destiny is one day to be crowned with a glory and honor that surpasses even the angels. It is the destiny of redeemed men and women to one day be lifted above the angels, see 1st Corinthians 6:3 & Revelation 1:6, 5:10.

v6-9, For now, on this side of eternity, we have a wonderful domain over His creation, but Jesus has even more, Matthew 28:18. What a Lord we follow! Praise Him.

A Christian Perspective on Psalms 6 & 7

Both Psalm 6 & 7 address God’s furious anger, 6:1 & 7:11. In Psalm 6, his anger is  towards David in relation to his enemies, and in Psalm 7 towards David’s enemies. Both Psalms are almost repetitive but there is a change in David’s attitude towards God. In Psalm 6, he is expressing the need to repent, while in Psalm 7 he is expressing a need for justice.

Another aspect these two Psalms have in common is that they both refer to tunes which are most likely very lively. 6:1 “sheminith” which may refer to being forceful, and 7:1 “shiggayon” translated as “musical composition”, that is most likely fast with rapid changes of rhythm. So there is obviously a lot of passion in both of these Psalms. When do we sing robustly or with great feeling? There are quite a few Psalms that obviously have the Spirit’s endorsement on this type of music. 

Some of David’s remorse is related to something he did towards his enemies. There is a strong possibility that David felt he had sinned against God because of a moment of weakness, cowardice or maybe even simply retreating as a bad strategy? (6:4) Whatever went wrong in his action toward his enemy, it angered God and David was convinced of this. Probably because he felt sickness overtaking him, 6:3. This might refer to Philistines (1 Samuel 21:10–13), King Saul (1 Samuel 19:2), or his rebellious son, Absalom (Psalm 3). But in the next Psalm, it references an enemy from the Tribe of Benjamin, named Cush. David pleads with God to spare him, pointing out that a dead body can not worship or praise Him (Psalm 6:4–5).

Despite a period of fear and despair (Psalm 6:6–7), David resolves that God will rescue him. He warns his enemies to retreat, knowing that the Lord has heard him and will respond (Psalm 6:8–10). David’s confidence in having an answer (6:9) warrants us to likewise have faith in God’s answers. How do you know God has answered your prayer?

The desire David has in being right with God is so strong in Psalm 7:3-5 & v9, as strong as the Apostle Paul’s desire is to save the lost and be with God. Paul could wish his own salvation to be exchanged because of his love for the enemies of God, see Romans 9:1-3. Do you ever feel in turmoil because of people who are enemies. Do you believe this is why Jesus instructs us to pray for them? Matthew 5:44 & Romans 12:19. 

Praising God for his justice (Psa. 7:17) sometimes seems lacking because of our lack of faith in the perfect timing of God. See Romans 11:30-36 is written like a song with the same sentiment. Do we have any songs in our hymnal that even come close to praising God for his justice?

A Christian Perspective on Psalm 5

How do you begin your day? Probably when you’re trying to wake up, many of us try to start thinking about what is facing us? Preparation! The way David found the greatest blessings in life was to begin the day preparing to serve the Lord. He would first take his “GROANINGS” to God in prayer and ask to be heard. This was his experience because of an eternal truth expressed in Romans 8:26. It was true in ancient times for David and it can be true for you & me. 

V2-3, David knew what kind of God was the one and only true God, He was the king’s King. Little did he know that one day God would choose to come into our world as a baby in poverty and face enemies on a cross. But for now God had a house, that is a Temple. Literally it was physically a tabernacle, but in David’s heart, he knew the King of kings deserved a much better place or house to dwell in. So he offered him a sacrifice to show God his debt. David knew he could not produce what God deserved. A righteous holy life and a house made of the most expensive material, but David could show him his love and debt for God’s sovereign rule and protection over his life, so he started his day with a prayer and a sacrifice. 

V4-7, To understand why David would call the Lord’s house a Temple, instead of a tabernacle, which it was in his day, you need to back a few years before David was even born., In 1st Samuel 3:3, When Samuel was just a little boy, the tabernacle was called a Temple. It’s the very first occurrence in the Old Testament, where this word is used. Why? Because the future of a Messianic King for the throne eternal was to be promised through Samuel. God so desired to let the world know that the spiritual perspective of their future, would not refer to a big tent (Tabernacle) as anything other than a Temple. To the world and everybody outside Israel, it was just a big tent, but little Samuel would grow up to anoint David as King and God would give him a throne that would be eternal in Christ. See Revelation 22:16

v8-10, So David was brave before the Lord and spoke against his enemies brashly in prayer, because he knew his security in a Sovereign God. His enemies that he may face daily were violent liars v6, arrogant v5, & rebels against God, v10. So David knew he would win and was able to rejoice in God’s love.

v11-12, Here are some privileges we as God’s children get to enjoy.

“Take refuge in God” because of his powerful name that covers us like a shield of righteousness. “Sing for Joy” because of His blessings that are eternal & spiritual, are more to be desired than any physical property or riches. Do we sing like this?

A Christian Perspective on Psalm 4

There are a few Psalms (6, 67 & 76) written specifically for music to be played while singing the words. Many Christians feel awkward singing to God with instruments, because there is no example of a Christian congregation in the New Testament using any kind of instrumental music in praise to God. But there obviously was a time when God accepted it and was pleased with the congregation of Israel using instruments, there was also a time when God accepted the sacrifice of animal blood. So just because instrumental music was accepted with Jewish praise, doesn’t mean it’s accepted in Christian praise. Christian praise is exclusively centered and directed from the human heart directly and uniquely to the Spirit of Christ, nothing added and nothing taken away. Perhaps the reason instruments were used with this song in particular is because David was deeply distressed and found the sound of strings emphasized the feeling behind the words of truth that relieved his stress so well. God does use many different tools to treat human conditions and music therapy may indeed be as effective as aromatherapy for some ailments. But the ailment of the soul, which is sin, is not treated with anything better than the words and love of Christ. The gospel and presence of Christ’s Spirit is very effective in dealing with a Christian’s stress or distress and there is nothing that can enhance it. If we try to add anything, we venture into the fields of our will instead of God’s will and therein lay sin.

In verse 1, we find David stirring himself up to take hold of God’s strength. This is something that Israel really lacked during Isaiah’s day, See Isaiah 64:7, when he said “NO ONE” stirs himself up to take hold of You. Do we prepare ourselves for worshiping God? Do we stir ourselves up for prayer? If not, let me encourage you to learn more about Biblical meditation, 1st Timothy 4:15.

In verses 2-3, Despite the discouragement of his enemies, David may be disrespected publicly, but he finds that God answers his prayers. Do we focus on God’s answers when we are tempted and tried by the trials of life? There are many things that can stop us from seeing God’s answers to prayer, they are: 1-Not living in Christ Jesus (Jn. 15:7), 2-Unbelief (Mt. 17:20-21), 3-Bad marriages (1Pt. 3:7), 4-Unconfessed sin (Jas. 5:16), 5-Trusting in the length or style of prayer itself (Mt. 6:7) So we must do whatever it takes, to be heard, if not, the Bible gives us no certainty in an answer!
In verses 4-8, David used Biblical meditation, not the Eastern practice of meditation. In Biblical meditation, we fill our heart and mind with God’s word, the TRUTH. In eastern meditation, the idea is to empty the heart and mind, leaving us open potentially for LIES. David proclaims that the Lord’s goodness puts gladness in David’s heart. Here David sounds alot like Aaron’s High Priestly promise in Numbers 6:24-26 coming true and fulfilled in his life experience. Is this your experience in Christ?