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“O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name
together.” (Psa 34:3).
It is certainly possible to praise the Lord when alone. But
there is something very special about two or more who love the Lord praising His
name together. David was here so moved as he contemplated the greatness and
goodness of the Lord that he wanted someone to join him in praise. The early
church enjoyed meeting together, “Praising God, and having favour with all the
people....” (Acts 2:47). When together they “... lifted up their voice to God
with one accord....” (Acts 4:24). They experienced power in their united praise.
What would draw a family closer together than by praising
Him together? Have you experienced spiritual coldness lately? Then go to the
assembly of the saints, call your family together, or find a likeminded
Christian friend and “exalt His name together.”
“The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and
saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.” (Psa 34:18).
"Contrite” means “crushed in spirit by a feeling of remorse
or guilt.” the Hebrew word here translated “contrite” means “crushed to powder.”
When God convicts a man of his sinfulness that man is just crushed. He sees how
vile he is and he knows that he deserves the full wrath of God to fall upon him.
He is miserable and fears that sudden destruction will fall upon him. He fears
that there is no hope for him.
Do you feel this way? Has God shown you your awful
If so, there is blessed hope for you! There is no hope for
the one who is self-satisfied and complacent. But if God has broken your heart
it is sure that He will bring real healing to you. Look to Him for mercy. Flee
to the cross in repentance. David understood that “... a broken and a contrite
heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.” (Psa 51:17).
" Plead my cause, O LORD, with them that strive with me:
fight against them that fight against me.” (Psa 35:1).
Here David prayed what each child of God should pray. When
we try to live for the Lord and experience opposition and persecution we are to
let Him fight our battles for us. We are never to seek vengeance, for “...
Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” (Rom 12:19).
When we take up weapons of our own we are sure to be the
losers. Jesus told Peter, “... Put up again thy sword into his place: for all
they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.” (Mat 26:52). The same
could be said about the tongue.
When we turn our battles over to the Lord, we have this
precious promise: “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and
every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This
is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me,
saith the LORD.” (Isa 54:17).
" Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou
envious against the workers of iniquity.” (Psa 37:1).
Here we are warned against two attitudes into which the
saints are liable to fall. They are in danger of fretting themselves because of
the activities of evildoers. To fret is to be irritated, to become “envious
against the workers of iniquity.”
The reason why saints develop these attitudes is that it
often seems like the evil ones are prosperous and happy, while the saints are
often beset with afflictions. Satan comes to them and tells them that it is just
not worth it to live for the Lord. When we get to feeling this way we are liable
to fall into despair, doubt, and other sins.
But the inspired Word tells us that the evil ones shall
“... soon be cut down like the grass....” (Psa 37:2). But of the righteous it is
said, “... their inheritance shall be for ever.” (Psa 37:18).
Yes, it is worth it to live for the Lord! Walk by faith and
trust God for the outcome.
"O spare me, that I may recover strength, before I go
hence, and be no more.” (Psa 39:13).
Are you ready to die? Have you done everything that you
hoped to do in this life? Is there anyone with whom you have had a conflict that
you have not become reconciled to? Have you so lived before your family, church,
and friends that you would like them to remember you as you are now? Are you
living in sins that you have not repented of? Have you openly confessed Jesus
Christ as your Savior and been baptized as He commanded? Are you walking in
close fellowship with Jesus? Would you like to die when you are spiritually cold
or would you rather die when you are spiritually warm? How long do think you
will live? Could you die unexpectedly? Would you like to have a little more time
to “get your house in order” with God and with man? Would you make good use of
that time or would you waste it?
" I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me,
and heard my cry.” (Psa 40:1).
Several things are taught in this verse. First, it is
obvious that the writer was troubled in soul. He did not feel the presence of
the Lord. Be he did not give up in despair; he “waited” for the Lord. He knew
that the Lord would again visit him. Thus he exhibited faith. And he waited
“patiently.” He didn’t fret, murmur, nor complain. He knew that the Lord knew
his needs better than he did himself. But this patient waiting didn’t stop him
from praying. He prayed fervently -- he “cried” unto the Lord.
The Lord rewarded this patient waiting and fervent praying.
“He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my
feet upon a rock, and established my goings. And he hath put a new song in my
mouth, even praise unto our God....” (Psa 40:2, 3).
"I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within
my heart.” (Psa 40:8).
The only time a child of God can experience any real peace
is when he is doing the will of God. The law of God has been written in the
heart of every one who has been born from above. When one of these goes contrary
to the will of God he is living in conflict with his very spiritual nature;
misery and discontent are the results.
We need to discover the will of God for our lives (by
prayerful Bible study), and then delight in performing it in the power of the
We need to live like David of whom God said, “... I have
found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all
my will.” (Acts 13:22).
Jesus said, “... My meat is to do the will of him that sent
me, and to finish his work.” (John 4:34).
Are you doing the will of God in your life? Do you even
know what it is?
"I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart; I have
declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation: I have not concealed thy
lovingkindness and thy truth from the great congregation.” (Psa 40:10).
It is one thing to experience the wonderful salvation of
the Lord. It is another thing to tell others of it. God does not want His people
to hide the blessings they have received from Him. We glorify Him when we tell
others of His goodness toward us. It is ingratitude and sin to remain silent
about our wonderful Lord. We are not to “hide” nor “conceal” what He has done
Christians are generally so close-mouthed that they won’t
testify of the goodness of the Lord even in their assemblies -- much less to the
outside world. Brethren, these things ought not to be!
Let us say with David, “Come and hear, all ye that fear
God, and I will declare what he hath done for my soul.” (Psa 66:16).
" Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the LORD will
deliver him in time of trouble.” (Psa 41:1).
We manifest mercy when we relieve the poor and afflicted.
We manifest a selfish nature and a hard heart when we turn our backs upon them.
One of the evidences of a regenerated soul is liberality toward the poor. “But
whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up
his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?" (1 John
This compassion on the poor was even taught under the Law
when the people of Israel were taught to leave the gleanings of the vineyard for
the poor and the stranger. (Lev 19:10).
He that would receive mercy from the Lord should consider
the following words: “He that giveth unto the poor shall not lack: but he that
hideth his eyes shall have many a curse.” (Prov 28:27).
“As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my
soul after thee, O God.” (Psa 42:1).
We should never be satisfied unless we feel the near
presence of the Lord. The curse of the church at Laodicea was their lukewarmness.
(Rev 3:16). They weren’t close to the Lord but it didn’t bother them.
David, by contrast, didn’t feel the nearness of the Lord
and it greatly grieved him. He was thirsty for God! He represents his thirst as
that of a deer who, perhaps fleeing from the hunter, was parched with thirst. He
was panting in his agony. He was seeking fresh brooks of sparkling water. How
sweet and refreshing a drink of cool water would be to him.
This is how it should be with the Christian. It is no
disgrace to be thirsty for God. On the contrary it is a disgrace to not thirst
for Him. The wonderful promise is, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst
after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” (Mat 5:6).
Are you thirsty for God?
"Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou
disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of
his countenance.” (Psa 42:5).
There are times when a Christian just has to “get hold of
himself.” Many times when we get down we tend to wallow in self-pity. We feel
sorry for ourselves and feel that there is no hope for us. But there are many
times that we can help our selves through the in-dwelling power of the Holy
David was feeling low and he began to talk to himself. He
questioned why he was in his present condition then he admonished himself to
“hope in God.” And, laying hold of the promises of God, he expressed the
confidence that he would yet praise Him -- that he would feel the smiles of God
You can do what David did, but don’t get the idea that mere
will-power can pull you through. David didn’t do this in his own strength. He
“... encouraged himself in the
LORD his God.” (1 Sam. 30:6).
"In God we boast all the day long, and praise thy name for
ever. Selah.” (Psa 44:8).
It is always wrong for a Christian to boast in himself.
“... All the workers of iniquity boast themselves....” (Psa 94:4). But it is
also wrong for a Christian to not boast in God! We are to live victorious
lives in Him. When we live defeated lives it is a reflection on His goodness
and power. The victory cry of the saint is, “I can do all things through Christ
which strengtheneth me.” (Phil 4:13). We must continually say, “My soul shall
make her boast in the LORD....” (Psa 34:2).
When we overcome sin in our lives let us boast in God. When
we grow in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ let us boast in
God. Let us be like the illiterate preacher who said that all he could do was
“brag on Jesus.”
What problem in life do you have today? Take it to the Lord
in prayer. Then overcome it through Him. And when you have overcome it don’t
forget to brag on Jesus.
“The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God....” (Psa
There are many today who deny God. This denial takes many
forms. Some are out-and-out atheists. Some, by holding the theory of
naturalistic evolution, deny His direct work of creation. Some, by denying the
supernatural inspiration of the scriptures, deny what He Himself has said is His
infallible and inerrant word. Some claim that there is a God, but in reality,
they deny Him by their lives. “They profess that they know God; but in works
they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work
reprobate.” (Titus 1:16).
Into this latter class fall all those who advocate relative
morality. These deny that God as Creator has the authority to tell us just
exactly how to live.
Many of these people are very intelligent and highly
educated. Many are regarded as respectable citizens and hold high positions in
the government and in schools.
But God says that they are fools.
"Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry
aloud: and he shall hear my voice.” (Psa 55:17).
The custom of Jews was to pray at three stated times each
day. We are not today tied down to these particular times of prayer, but we
should pray just as frequently. No single thing will revive a drooping spiritual
life like a revival of prayer. Each morning we should thank God for protection
through the night and implore Him for strength for the day. The Lord Jesus rose
up early to pray. (Mark 1:35).
In the middle of the day we need to renew our strength by
prayer. Peter went to pray at noon (the sixth hour) and was blessed with a
marvelous answer. (Acts 10:9).
Every evening we should fervently thank God for the mercies
of the day and commit ourselves into His hands for protection through the night.
Then we can say, “I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD,
only makest me dwell in safety.” (Psa 4:8).
A praying Christian is one who knows the joy of the power
of God in his life. Bestir yourself and pray!
"Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee:
he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.” (Psa 55:22).
The word translated “burden” here is YEHAB which
means “what is given by Providence.” (Strong’s Concordance). God is good
and is a kind Father to His children. He never lets anything come their way but
that which is ultimately for their good. This has to be believed by faith, for
there are many things which befall us that we can’t see the good in with our
natural understanding. We simply have to believe God’s word and trust His
One of the things that He does to teach us to trust Him is
to give us burdens to bear. We soon learn that we can’t bear the burdens, and we
are constrained to cast them upon the Lord. To our joy we find that He will
If you are burdened today, that burden will prove to be a
blessing. It will teach you not to rely on your own self but on the Lord. Cast
it upon Him. He has broad shoulders.
"There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but
the tongue of the wise is health.” (Prov 12:18).
The tongue is a very small member of our bodies, but what
vast power it has for either good or evil. The tongue can cause death, even
literal, physical death. People can be incited to murder by wicked use of the
tongue. The tongue can also cause the death of a reputation. Here it is said
that the tongue speaks “... like the piercings of a sword....” David speaks of
“... the sons of men, whose teeth are spears and arrows, and their tongue a
sharp sword.” (Ps. 57:4). Speaking of the wicked Paul says, “... with their
tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose
mouth is full of cursing and bitterness....”(Rom. 3:13, 14). The sting of the
asp is a poisonous sting which can cause death. James says the tongue can cause
a “forest fire” of destructive slander and gossip. (James 3:5, 6). This fire can
burn down years of hard work and dedicated effort.
We usually don’t realize how destructive some of our
conversation is. Let us carefully guard every word that comes out of our
"The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as
soon as they be born, speaking lies. Their poison is like the poison of a
serpent: they are like the deaf adder that stoppeth her ear....” (Psa 58:3, 4).
Every human that is born into this world after Adam sinned
has been born in sin. “Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? Not one.”
(Job 14:4). There is no such thing as infantile purity. If infants were pure and
innocent they would not die, for sin is what brings about death. (Rom 5:12).
Children don’t have to be taught to do wrong -- on the
contrary they have to be taught to do right. Little children can be very cruel
to their playmates.
If little ones are sinners how is it they can be saved?
Those for whom Christ died are saved by His blood. Many of them are born again
at a very early age. John the Baptist had eternal life even when he was in his
mother’s womb. (Luke 1:4).
How terrible that sin is, even affecting little ones. But,
oh, how wonderful is the salvation of the Lord.
"... Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” (Psa
Some people would like to put themselves on a level with
God. As God spoke of them: “... thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an
one as thyself....” (Ps. 50:21). Still others would exalt themselves above God
and sit in judgment of Him.
But the humble child of God is thankful that He is “the
rock that is higher than I.” When we are in trouble we recognize that we need a
God Who is vastly superior to us in power and in wisdom. If God were on such a
level that we could thoroughly understand Him, He wouldn’t be God. The child of
God who realizes the need of an almighty Savior rejoices in the following words
and in many words like them: “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so
are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isa
Don’t try to fully understand the infinite Lord. Just be
thankful for Him and trust Him.
"When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in
the night watches.” (Psa 63:6).
Life is so short and the Lord is so wonderful that there is
no time to be lost in serving Him. As we are in bed falling asleep, we can use
this time to meditate on Him. There is no better way to relax and relieve the
tension of the day’s burdens than by immersing our minds in the sea of God’s
The best way to meditate on the Lord is to memorize
scriptures that reveal His glorious attributes and revolve them in the mind
while falling off to sleep. The more we do this the more we will delight in such
exercises. We will be in the company of the blessed man whose “... delight is in
the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.” (Ps. 1:2).
Faithfully practiced and diligently cultivated, these night
seasons with the Lord will become some of the most enjoyable times of our lives.
"If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear
me....” (Psa 66:18).
When we pray we need to have an open channel of
communication and fellowship with the Lord. Any known sin should be repented of
immediately. The failure on our part to do this probably explains many of our
failures in prayer. Solomon wrote, “He that turneth away his ear from hearing
the law, even his prayer shall be abomination.” (Prov 28:9). God spoke through
Isaiah, “... yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are
full of blood.” (Isa 1:15). Remember this was spoken to God’s chosen people in
the kingdom of Judah. Isaiah said again, “But your iniquities have separated
between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will
not hear.” (Isa 59:2).
These examples, which could be multiplied, are sufficient
to show that we must continually repent before God if we are to experience any
power in our prayers.
"Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits,
even the God of our salvation. Selah.” (Psa 68:19).
We have much to bless the Lord for. Many of His most
valuable blessings we take for granted. We often murmur in ingratitude when
things don’t go exactly as we think they should.
One of the best antidotes to ingratitude is to list God’s
daily blessings to us. As we compile the list we will be very amazed at His
bountiful blessings that we will have hearts overflowing with thanksgiving
rather than hearts filled with ingratitude.
We are blessed with marvelous bodies with which to serve
Him -- organs of sight, hearing, tasting, smelling, feeling. We have voices with
which to communicate. So marvelous are our bodies that David said, "I will
praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works;
and that my soul knoweth right well.” (Psa 139:14).
Yes, there is much reason to praise the Lord.
"I will go in the strength of the Lord GOD: I will make
mention of thy righteousness, even of thine only.” (Psa 71:16).
Many people have an exaggerated sense of their own strength
and righteousness. The fact is that sinful humans have no strength nor
righteousness of their own. As far as strength is concerned, it is “... in Him
we live, and move, and have our being.” (Acts 17:28). Let us be very careful to
give God all the credit for any and all good that we may be blessed to
accomplish. Let us say with Paul: “... I laboured more abundantly than they all:
yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.” (1 Cor 15:10).
As far as our righteousness is concerned, it is true that
“... all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags.” (Is. 64:6). The righteousness
that a child of God has is the imputed righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ.
“But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and
righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is
written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.” (1 Cor 1:30, 31).
"Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee: the remainder
of wrath shalt thou restrain.” (Psa 76:10).
God is glorified even in the lives of the wicked. Truly,
“The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the
day of evil.” (Prov. 16:4). As the inspired writer, John, wrote , “Thou art
worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all
things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” (Rev 4:11).
God lets the wicked rage in His wrath and rebellion until
it suits His purposes to restrain him. He let Pharaoh rage and boast and show
great wrath. Then He restrained His wrath and finally destroyed him. God was
glorified in it all.
Today many men and women display a hatred of God and say
many blasphemous things against Him. But, somehow this wrath will be used to
praise God, and He will restrain the remainder of wrath at the precise right
What a wonderful consolation this is.
"Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace
have kissed each other.” (Psa 85:10).
This verse contains a wonderful description of what
transpired on the cross in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ.
God is a Holy God Who is “...
of purer eyes than to behold evil,
and canst not look on iniquity....” (Hab. 1:13). Man fell in sin and
became separated from the Holy God. If God extended mercy but did not require
that sin be paid for, He would violate His righteous nature. How could mercy be
extended without a violation of truth and justice?
There can be no true peace between God and man where there
is no righteousness on the part of man. How can righteousness and peace “kiss”
each other? Job asked the question long ago: “I know it is so of a truth: but
how should man be just with God?” (Job 9:2).
The grand answer to these questions is found in the
glorious Person and Work of the Lord Jesus Christ. He satisfied divine justice
for His people. He paid the price for their sins. He made peace by the blood of
the cross. He is their righteousness. He is truth incarnate. Praise His Holy
"Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit
is good; lead me into the land of uprightness.” (Psa 143:10).
This is a wonderful prayer and should be the constant
petition of every child of God. God’s will is revealed in the scriptures.
However, we need the illumination of the Holy spirit as we study the scriptures.
We must understand not only the letter but also the spirit of the scriptures. (2
We also need the chastening hand of God upon us if we are
to learn to do His will. This is necessary because of the stubbornness of our
sinful natures. God’s chastening is an indication of His love. (Heb 12:6).
We also need to be directed by the providence of God into
the experience in life that will enable us to experience the reality of the
truths contained in the word of God!
Indeed, we are saying a lot when we pray, “teach me to do
"LORD, my heart is not haughty, nor mine eyes lofty:
neither do I exercise myself in great matters, or in things too high for me.” (Psa
David here makes a statement of his humility that would be
well for us all to be able to truthfully repeat. Nothing becomes a child of God
like true humility. Nothing is more unbecoming to a saint than to be lifted up
with pride. “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a
fall.” (Prov 16:18).
The man who is lifted up with pride will soon find himself
in water that is too deep for him. He will presumptuously take upon himself jobs
which he can’t handle. He will always be restless and dissatisfied.
The humble man has peace within. He just does the best job
he can and depends upon God to advance him. Thus David, the humble shepherd boy,
is exalted by God to be king over Israel. Let us pray that God will make and
keep us humble.
"Those that be planted in the house of the LORD shall
flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bring forth fruit in old
age; they shall be fat and flourishing....” (Psa 92:13, 14).
The house of the Lord today is the local church. (1 Tim
3:15). Here God’s house is compared to a beautiful orchard of fruit-bearing
trees. The wonderful promise is that those in this orchard will still be
producing fruit in old age. Some of the choicest fruit of the saints is borne in
old age. Old age is, for the saint, not a time to be dreaded, but a time to be
looked for with anticipation.
But this promise of fruit-bearing is only to those who are
“planted” in the house of the Lord. Here is where the Lord nourishes with the
“... rivers of water....” (Psa 1:3).
"I am a companion of all them that fear thee, and of them
that keep thy precepts.” (Psa 119:63).
Our companions have a great deal of influence on us. An
evil companion will inevitably corrupt us in some way. A righteous companion
will always be an influence for good.
We must choose as our friends only those who fear God. A
person who doesn’t fear God will engage in almost any kind of conduct.
Those who truly fear God will keep His precepts. As we walk
with such along life’s road we can help each other along the pathway of
"I rejoice at thy word, as one that findeth great spoil.” (Psa
It is impossible to overestimate the preciousness and value
of the word of God. Without the blessed word we would not know where we had
come from nor where we were going. We would not know how to live, and would not
have anything like an adequate knowledge of the Savior. But words fail to
express the value of the Holy scriptures.
As we pore over its pages in an attitude of prayer God will
open to us His storehouse of great treasures. These treasures are to be esteemed
far above silver and gold. A man may have much silver and gold and still be
miserable, but the man who rejoices at the word of God has true contentment. He
alone has a right sense of values.
"Seven times a day do I praise thee because of thy
righteous judgments.” (Psa 119:164).
How many times have you praised God today? Have you
even thought once about His righteous judgments? Do you know that there
is power in praise? Do you know that Satan hates praise rendered to God? He will
do anything he can to stop the sound of praise. As the song-writer put it:
“Hell’s foundations quiver at the shout of praise, Brothers, lift your voices,
Loud your anthems raise!”
Don’t wait until you feel like it to praise God. He is
worthy of our praise at all times, whether or not we feel like it.
Begin to praise Him and you’ll soon feel like it!
"... What man is there that is fearful and fainthearted?
let him go and return unto his house, lest his brethren’s heart faint as well as
his heart.” (Deu 20:8).
This is what the commanders of the armies of Israel were to
tell the people before they entered into battle. They realized that fear and
doubt were contagious and would spread like wildfire among the troops,
The same holds true in our Christian warfare. We will
greatly discourage our brethren if we manifest faithless attitudes of fear and
For the glory of God, for our own good, for the good or our
brethren -- let us “... be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might.”