Saturday, November 9, 2013

Psalm 129

Israel celebrates rescue, most probably from the Babylonian exile.

Though Israel used to be oppressed by their enemies, they were unable to gain victory over Israel.
Psalm 129:4 But the LORD is righteous;
    He has cut me free from the cords of the wicked.
May all those who hate Israel be put to shame, and may they be short-lived. May they be like grass growing on rooftops, which a reaper cannot fill his hands with.
Psalm 129:8 May those who pass by not say to them,
    “The blessing of the LORD be on you;
    we bless you in the name of the LORD.”

My Thoughts
Only a righteous man will thank LORD for cutting his cords free from the wicked. All others will enjoy their company and are on constant watch towards that next opportunity to be in their presence.

The enemies treated Israelites like dirt and walked over them, and as the author puts it, plowed their backs. When others treat us like dirt, we gotta follow the ABC rule:
Accept it,
Benefit from it,
Commit to the LORD.

The blessings mentioned towards the end of the psalm is aimed at grass growing on rooftops. Nobody in their right mind will use such language in reference to grass growing on the roof. It will be absurd to use such blessings upon such worthless and withered grass.

Psalm 128

This psalm served as a word of instruction to those who assembled from their homes to worship in Jerusalem. It narrates the blessings of a godly man - a word of wisdom concerning hearth and home.

Those who fear the LORD and walk in His commands are blessed. LORD will bless them with prosperity and make sure they will earn the fruits of their labor. They will be blessed with a wife and children. It is a blessing for who fears the LORD.

Such people will be blessed to see prosperity.
Psalm 128:6 May you live to see your children’s children
    peace be on Israel.

My Thoughts
Based on the lines of earlier psalms, this psalm resonates the same theme - blessings come from the LORD. Here, the author speaks specifically about the home.

Guys - pay attention: Just as the psalmist said, a wife is a blessing from the LORD. Don't take it for granted; I know of several guys who could not find a wife, and lead a solo life - not by choice, but by circumstance. Once blessed with a wife, we are fully responsible for their physical and emotional well being - all the days of our lives.

As we get into proverbs, we will see more about the gift of a wife. As a reminder to myself, I have compiled few proverbs related to wife and hung it next to my desk - to serve me as a reminder at all times. Here is what it reads:

Psalm 127

This Psalm, written by Solomon, is a timeless Godly Wisdom concerning home and hearth. This very psalm reminded pilgrims on their way to Jerusalem that all of life's securities and blessings are from LORD, than their own achievements.

There is a universal dependence on LORD in human undertakings, whether it is a house, temple or any place of worship for that matter. Unless LORD assists them, they will be building it in vain, without practical wisdom, regardless of their skill or strength. For the best available protection, LORD has to be watching over us, rather than any other security device.

Hard work without LORD's blessing will not secure what they hoped to accomplish.
Psalm 127:2 In vain you rise early
    and stay up late,
toiling for food to eat—
    for He grants sleep to those He loves.
Children are an inheritance from the LORD. The fruit of the womb is a blessing and LORD's reward.

My Thoughts
We ought to treat our children as our inheritance from the LORD and nurture them accordingly. Anyone ignoring them and going after worldly pleasures are throwing away their godly gift. A wise man treats his children as an investment, and pays more attention to them, rather that his stocks on the Wall Street.

Parents need to remember that these are not our children - we are taking care of LORD's children for a brief period of time. We are fully responsible for teaching them about their Father in Heaven, their upbringing and are answerable to LORD during judgement time.

As long as we are alive, we maybe in a position to guide them with advice. Once we wave goodbye, they need to learn how to trust LORD and walk in His ways. For that reason, may our children be taught by those best spiritual teachers.

I wonder how many parents will have some free time and the freewill to say, "Son, here is the Bible - the book written by your Father in Heaven; study it and complete your walk on this planet."

In their youth, children are filled with vigor and can be molded anyway we please - preferably in the way of the LORD. Children are ones who we can turn towards, at times of self protection and defense.

Sleep here refers to tranquil, and calm, free from worldly affairs when others are busy, bustling, worried, filled with anxiety and restlessness.

Last Thursday, a good old friend tried reaching me several times, from across the continent, to share the latest blessings of his newborn boy/girl twins. I think below verses from this chapter will be apt for the occasion:
Psalm 127:3 Children are a heritage from the LORD,
    offspring a reward from him.
4 Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
    are children born in one’s youth.
5 Blessed is the man
    whose quiver is full of them.
They will not be put to shame
    when they contend with their opponents in court.

Psalm 126

A song of joy for restoration of Zion.

The Israelites were filled with laughter and joy when LORD restored the fortunes of Zion. Among the nations, everyone recognized that LORD did great things for Israel.
Psalm 126:5 Those who sow with tears
    will reap with songs of joy.
Israelites  who returned from captivity prayed that LORD will restore their fortunes and bless them with rich harvest.

My Thoughts
The converse of verse 5 should be:
Those who sow with songs of joy
will reap with tears.
Is that what our parents and teachers taught us as well?

Those who go through the pain of working hard and studying for an exam will be glad and filled with joy when the results show up.


Those who are singing songs and busy having fun partying before an exam will be in tears when results are announced.

This reminds me of an upcoming exam. Here is something that hangs over to the right of my study desk:

Psalm 125

Israel's security is celebrated in testimony, prayer and benediction.

Those who trust in the LORD cannot be shaken - they endure like Mount Zion. Similar to those mountains surrounding Jerusalem, LORD surrounds His people.

The wicked will never rule over the righteous. If they do, even the righteous will start doing wicked things through them.
Psalm 125:4 LORD, do good to those who are good,
    to those who are upright in heart.
The LORD will banish those who follow crooked ways.

My Thoughts
A mountain is a natural symbol of firmness and stability. Those who trust in the LORD always remain firm and unshakable. Those who are pious have taken the "insurance policy" of divine protection, and are under the watchful eyes of our LORD.

When righteous men are in the company of the wicked, they tend to be under pressure to follow wicked ways. It is hard (extremely hard), to resist their temptations and easy to slip into evil ways. The process is called "hardening of hearts." The consciousness of righteous men call out, "This is not right.. this is not fair... this is not not just... This can't be... "

But in the presence of wicked, they have no room to maneuver and start suppressing that inner voice of their hearts by saying, "It is okay to do this now.... Look, everyone around us is doing this.... I am directly not hurting anyone...  I will just keep quiet for now... Even if I am not around, they will do so and I cannot make a difference..... The Jones' are doing it... etc.

At that point, the righteous are granting silent permission to perform wicked things. From then on, the inner voice of the righteous becomes faint and faint and gradually subsides. Before they know, the righteous have started to be numbered among the wicked.

The wicked will not assign any particular tasks to these newly initiated members, and will keep them as mere spectators - until they have assurance that the **moral compass** has been broken.

The simple litmus test to check if one is in the company of righteous or wicked is easy. If anyone seeks wealth and honor among men, they are in the company of wicked. Righteous, on the other hand seek LORD's favor.

Psalm 124

Since LORD was on the side of Israelites, they won their battle. If He was not on their side, they would have lost at the hands of their enemies.

Let us praise LORD for our escape.
Psalm 124:7 We have escaped like a bird
    from the fowler’s snare;
the snare has been broken,
    and we have escaped.
 The help came from LORD, the creator of heaven and earth.

My Thoughts
Escape from danger is a blessing, and it happens only when LORD's hands are taking care of us. It is not by our smartness or capability that we are able to avoid such situations. A helping hand from above is present in such situations. David is excited and recognizes LORD's presence at times of their victory. 

Friday, November 8, 2013

Psalm 123

The author looks toward Heaven, at the LORD, who sits there enthroned. Just like a slave looking at the master for mercy.

He begs to have mercy upon them as they have endured contempt and ridicule from those proud and arrogant.

Psalm 122

David's hymn of joy over Jerusalem.

David rejoiced with those who asked him to accompany him. They asked David to join them at the LORD's house to worship LORD.

Jerusalem city was well built, joining the upper and lower parts together - it's streets and houses were in good condition. This is where the tribes went up to praise LORD. The city had both LORD's throne and David's throne.

David asked people to pray for the peace of Jerusalem.
Psalm 122:8 For the sake of my family and friends,
    I will say, “Peace be within you.”
He vows to seek peace for Jerusalem.

My Thoughts
House of the LORD is a wonderful place to be. Within a heartbeat, I will take up every opportunity to go there. Going to the LORD's house with your loved one is even better - it is a time to rejoice.

I wonder... can we rejoice with those who do NOT go with us to the LORD's house?

Many of us, we may never get such an opportunity as the author speaks. If we are unable to say, "Let's go to the house of the LORD," it is quite unfortunate between us. However, on the bright side, there is hope that one day we will be able to stand together, in front of the LORD, praising Him.

Psalm 121

A confession of trust in LORD.

The author lifts up his eyes to Mount Moriah (Zion), wondering where his help will come from. He In distress, he sets his eyes at the LORD, the maker of heaven and earth.

LORD never sleeps as He does not need rest like human beings. He is always watching over his faithful - those who hold on to Him. He is faithful enough to shine sunlight and moonlight during day and night.

He protects His faithful from all harm. He loves you and His love towards you is expressed in the verse below.
Psalm 121:7 The LORD will keep you from all harm—
    He will watch over your life;
8 the LORD will watch over your coming and going
    both now and forevermore.

Psalm 120

In distress, the author cried out to the LORD and He delivers him from his distress. He now wants to escape those lying tongues of his enemies.

Those lies have a negative impact upon the author. He feels as if he is pierced by warrior's arrows and burning coals of broom tree.

He feels troubled because he is currently dwelling among wicked people who hate peace.

Trivia - Psalm 119

King David and young Solomon

Jewish tradition has it that King David used Psalm 119 to teach his son, young Solomon the Hebrew alphabet. It was not just the alphabet for writing letters, but the alphabet of spiritual life.

Here are few questions King David possibly asked young Solomon.

King David: Why is Psalm 119 unique among among chapters of the Bible. 
Solomon: Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in the Bible, there are 176 verses. Moses is traditionally credited with writing it. Psalm 119's author is listed as anonymous.

King David: In which way does the author tell a young person to stay pure?
Solomon: By obeying God's word and following His rules.
Psalm 119:9 "How can a young person stay pure?
By obeying your word and following its rules."

King David: "Give me understanding and I will obey your ___."
Solomon: Law.
Psalm 119:33-34 "Teach me, O Lord, to follow every one of your principles.
Give me understanding and I will obey your law;
I will put it into practice with all my heart."

King David: In 119:36, the author begs the Lord not to inflict him with something. With what doesn't he want to be inflicted?
Solomon: Love of money.
Psalm 119:36-37 "Give me an eagerness for your decrees;
do not inflict me with love for money!
Turn my eyes from worthless things,
and give me life through your word."

King David: "Your principles have been the ___ of my life..."
Solomon: Music.
Psalm 119:54 "Your principles have been the music of my life
throughout the years of my pilgrimage."

King David: "I believe in your commands; now teach me justice and mercy for others." Is this verse correct?
Solomon: No.
Psalm 119:66 "I believe your commands;
now teach me good judgement and knowledge."

King David: What did the suffering the author went through teach him?
Solomon: To pay attention to God's principles.
Psalm 119:71-72 "The suffering you sent was good for me,
for it taught me to pay attention to your principles.
Your law is more valuable to me than millions in gold and silver!"

King David: The author exalts God for restoring ___ with the Word. What does he praise God for restoring?
Solomon: Joy and health.
Psalm 119:92-93 "If your law hadn't sustained me with joy,
I would have died in my misery.
I will never forget your commandments,
for you have used them to restore my joy and health."

King David: Is this verse correct? "Your word is a light for my feet and a lamp for my path."
Solomon: No.
Psalm 119:105 "Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path."

King David: Who does the author hate?
Solomon: Those who are undecided about God.
Psalm 119:113 "I hate those who are undecided about you,
but my choice is clear - I love your law."

King David: "You are my refuge and my shield; your word is my only source of ___."
Solomon: Hope.
Psalm 119:114. "You are my refuge and my shield;
your word is my only source of hope."

King David: Is this verse correct? "All the wicked of the earth are the scum you skim off..."
Solomon: Yes.
Psalm 119:118-119 "But you have rejected all who stray from your principles.
They are only fooling themselves.
All the wicked of the earth are the scum you skim off;
no wonder I love to obey your decrees!"

King David: "Give __ to me your servant; then I will understand your decrees." What does the author want in order to understand God?
Solomon: Discernment.
Psalm 119:124-125 "I am your servant; deal with me in unfailing love,
and teach me your principles.
Give discernment to me, your servant;
then I will understand your decrees."

King David: How many times a day does the author say he will praise God?
Solomon: Seven.
Psalm 119:164 "I will praise you seven times a day because all your laws are just."

King David: Is this the last verse in Psalm 119? "Let me live so I can praise you, and may your laws sustain me."
Solomon: No.
The verse in the question is 119:175, the second to last verse.
The last verse is:
Psalm 119:176 "I have wandered away like a lost sheep;
come and find me, for I have not forgotten your commands."


Psalm 119

Psalm 119 is an acrostic poem, the stanzas begin with successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet. The verses of each stanza begin with the same letter of the Hebrew alphabet. To appreciate the beauty of this psalm, one should review the psalm in Hebrew. It has 22 parts.

Click here to see how it appears in Hebrew.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot - this is the longest chapter in the Bible. It describes how the Word of God enables us to grow in holiness and suggests how to walk an obedient walk of faith.

The author, whoever it was, had an intense hunger for holiness and a passionate desire to understand LORD's words in a deeper sense. Prayer, worship praise and admonition is evident in this psalm.

Those who keep LORD's way are blessed and will inherit eternal life. The author hopes to be steadfast before the LORD.

By keeping LORD's word, a young man can lead an upright life. The author desired to seek the LORD and hence did not want to sway from LORD's words. His intent was to lead an upright lifestyle.

A prayer that the LORD will be kind to him. The request is to open his eyes so that he can see things. LORD rebukes the arrogant and those who spread slander. The author he will continue to meditate on God’s decrees.

He realized he was laid low in the dust, and must approach the LORD with a humble heart. He prayed to be kept away from deceitful ways and requested help to walk in His commandments.

Author requests to teach him His decrees so that he may follow it till the end. He wished his eyes turned away from worthless things. He prayed for God to not lead him into temptation and preserve him according LORD's righteousness.

The prayer is for salvation. He has put his hope in LORD's laws. He delights in them because he loves them. He wants to meditate upon LORD's commandments.

A prayer that LORD remembers His promise and preserves his life. LORD's decrees are the theme of his song wherever he stays. He is meditating upon them day and night.

LORD is the author's portion. He remembers His words even at times of difficulty. At all times including day and night, he gives thanks to the LORD and His righteous ways. He requests the LORD to teach him His decrees.

One request to LORD is to be good to him. The prayer is to gain wisdom so that he can make sound judgement. Earlier he was in trouble and now he has changed his way to follow LORD's commandments. LORD's law is precious than gold and silver.

This time the request is for understanding LORD's commands. He wants LORD's unfailing love and compassion to be his comfort and delight. He wants follow LORD wholeheartedly so that he is not put to shame.

His soul longs for LORD's salvation and he has been waiting for too long. He is being persecuted without cause and requests LORD to come fast. He wants to obey LORD's statues.

LORD's words are eternal and stands firm in heavens. His faithfulness continues forever. LORD has preserved his life by his precepts He requests to be saved from the hands of the wicked.

The author loves LORD's law and meditates over them. It makes him wiser than his enemies. It makes him smarter than his teachers and elders, and keeps him on a straight path. LORD's words are sweeter than honey to his mouth.

LORD's words are a lamp to his feet and light to his path. He has taken an oath to follow LORD's ways. The prayer is to preserve his life and save him from his enemies. The wicked set snares for him, but still he not strayed from LORD's ways. He wants to follow LORD's decrees forever.

He hates double minded people who are confused about following LORD. He wants to keep away from such people so that he can follow LORD's ways. He loves LORD because He discards them. The author trembles in fear and stays in awe of LORD's laws.

A prayer not to leave him to his oppressors. The author believes he has done what is righteous and just. He hopes help arrives fast. He requests for an understanding of LORD's statues. He calls out to the LORD to act. He tells LORD that he loves His commands more than wealth. He considers LORD's precepts right and hates all evil paths.

He obeys LORD's statues because he finds them wonderful. As it unfolds, it gives light and provides understanding. He hopes that sin does not rule over him. He requests to be redeemed from human oppression so that he can obey LORD's precepts. He requests LORD's face to be shone upon him. He is crying whenever LORD's law is not followed.

LORD is righteous and trustworthy. His enemies ignore his words and at times of difficulty, the word of LORD provides him delight. Although he is lowly, he promises LORD to keep His commands.

With all his heart, he calls out to the LORD for help. He has trusted and put his hope in the LORD. He meditates the word of LORD day and night. The psalmist called out to God to save him. He knew that those who devise wicked schemes are very near, but far away from LORD's words. He could feel the presence of LORD and His statutes are established forever to be lasted.

He requests LORD to pay attention to his sufferings and deliver him. He prayed that the LORD defended, redeemed and preserved his life according to LORD's promise. Even though his enemies are persecuting him, he has not turned away from His decrees. All of LORD's words are true and eternal.

Rulers are persecuting him without cause, be he is holding on to LORD's promise. He praises LORD seven times a day. Those who love LORD's law experience great peace, and they do not stumble. The LORD can see all those ways of humans, and he wants to follow His statutes.

The prayer is that the cry will reach LORD's presence. He requests for an understanding heart, and deliverance from his enemies. He wants to sing praise and hopes the LORD helps him soon. He longed for LORD's salvation and was delighted in His law. He had strayed like a lost sheep, but he has not forgotten LORD's commands.

My Thoughts
Those who earnestly seek the LORD can hear the author echo his thoughts. There are people who have sought our LORD before us - and they have found Him. Isn't that a wonderful and motivating news? Wouldn't that inspire us to go visit Him?

Psalm 118

Let's give thanks to the LORD because He is good and His love endures forever.

Psalm 118:4 Let those who fear the LORD say:
    “His love endures forever.”

When the psalmist had a problem, he reached out to the LORD and concluded:
Psalm 118:8 It is better to take refuge in the LORD
    than to trust in humans.
He sought LORD's help while his enemies swarmed around him. He was about to be defeated, but LORD came for his help. He will proclaim those great deeds of the LORD.

The LORD performed a miracle:
118:22 The stone the builders rejected
    has become the cornerstone;
Those who come in the name of the LORD are blessed.

We should give thanks to the LORD because he is good.

My Thoughts
Another beautiful and thought provoking psalm. 

Forever is a concept that is bit hard to digest, for us human beings. Forever = Till the end of time. We ought to choose the place and people we want to be with, during that 'forever' period. 

Have you already made your pick? 

Halfway through the Bible

Sandwiched between the shortest and longest pslam is the center of the entire Bible - Psalm 118. And can you believe - we just got half way through the Bible.

Wow - what an astounding journey this has been, so far. The Bible has been the best book I ever read. This is no ordinary book, and as a reader, I can feel the divine presence. There is so much mystery surrounding it. The beauty is that the mystery will be revealed to those who set forth towards seeking the truth. LORD opens the doors of His gates to all those who seek Him. 

It has been truly rewarding and I thank LORD for walking me through the Bible. 

As far as you guys who read my blog - thank you for giving me company. I have a good feeling that we will get there on time. The LORD is with us on this journey and we are learning His word. On the way, it is only natural to encounter evil forces who will try to slow us down.

Just yesterday when I came out for lunch, I saw people putting up Christmas decorations outside, on the streets. It gave me great joy to see those lights. We should complete our travel through Old Testament by Christmas, and get ready to celebrate the birthday of our hero and role model - Jesus Christ.

True that we are not alone - the LORD is with us and let Him lead our journey. 

Have a blessed Friday. 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Psalm 117

LORD's love towards us is great. Therefore let us all extol Him.

His faithfulness endures forever.

My Thoughts
This is the shortest psalm. Just for the sake of it, let us read it together.
Psalm 117:1 Praise the LORD, all you nations;
    extol Him, all you peoples.
2 For great is His love toward us,
    and the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever.
Praise the LORD.
His love and faithfulness towards us endures forever and is so great.  

Psalm 116

The psalmist loves LORD because He answered his cry for mercy and he will call Him as long as he is alive. He came close to death, and called out to the LORD. At that time, the LORD heard his prayer. Now he is able to rest in peace because the LORD delivered him from death as well as all his problems.

Now he is wondering how to repay LORD.
Psalm 116:12 What shall I return to the LORD
    for all His goodness to me?
The psalmist will fulfill all his vows to the LORD in the presence of all his people.

LORD loves those who are faithful towards Him and their souls are precious to Him.
Psalm 116:15 Precious in the sight of the LORD
    is the death of His faithful servants. 
Once again, the psalmist repeats his promise about the vows he has taken.

Psalm 115

Let LORD's name be glorified, because of His love and faithfulness.

When other nations inquire about our LORD, we know our righteous LORD is in Heaven.

Idols made for worship do not have senses and those who make them are like them.

Israelites are to trust and love the LORD. He will protect His people.
Psalm 115:14 May the LORD cause you to flourish,
    both you and your children.
The dead do not praise the LORD - only we who are alive do so.

My Thoughts
Verse 14 is an apt one to jot down as a blessing, to family and relatives.

Psalm 114

A short psalm proclaiming the glory of LORD.

When Israelites were released from Egypt, Judah became LORD's sanctuary.

LORD performed miracles at the sea and mountains.

The earth trembles at the LORD's presence. He can bring water out of rock. 

Psalm 113

This psalm is all about praising the LORD.

All servants of the LORD should praise the name of the LORD all over the world, both now and forever.
Psalm 113:3 From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets,
    the name of the LORD is to be praised.

LORD's name is all over the nations and His glory resides above the Heavens. There is nobody like our LORD.

He does miraculous things in His righteousness. He is the only one who can grant the gift of life.
Psalm 113:9 He settles the childless woman in her home
    as a happy mother of children.
Praise the LORD.

Psalm 112

Blessed is the man who fear God and delight in walking in his commandments. Their children will become mighty and their generation will be blessed. Wealth and riches stay within their houses. Righteousness endures forever within their walls.
Psalm 112:4 Even in darkness light dawns for the upright,
    for those who are gracious and compassionate and righteous.
5 Good will come to those who are generous and lend freely,
    who conduct their affairs with justice.
Those who are righteous will be remembered forever.They will always feel secure and have no fear. They will share their gifts with those who are poor.

The wicked will always envy the righteous, and their plan will never succeed.

Psalm 111

The author wishes to praise the LORD in front of the entire assembly, because His works are so great. All those who delight in Him, ponder His works. The LORD does majestic and glorious deeds. His righteousness stays the same forever.
Psalm 111:5 He provides food for those who fear Him;
    He remembers His covenant forever.
The LORD is trustworthy, and His people have witnessed His deeds. His precepts are established in faithfulness and uprightness.
Psalm 111:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom;
    all who follow His precepts have good understanding.
    To Him belongs eternal praise.

My Thoughts
LORD is truly majestic. The qualities He exhibits can only be imagined - only few get to experience His wonderful qualities such as His Love, His Faithfulness, His Trustworthiness, His Righteousness, His Precepts etc.

The last verse of this chapter is a directional verse, which guides a man towards obtaining THE MOST valuable treasure in the universe - Wisdom.

Psalm 110

David's psalm about Jesus Christ.

LORD said to Jesus Christ to sit at His right hand until the time He makes His enemies a footstool at His feet.

The LORD will extend His mighty scepter to Jesus Christ, who will be exalted so that He becomes the ruler of the entire earth.

Jesus Christ is anointed as the High Priest forever - similar to Melchizedek, who was the King of Salem and High Priest of LORD during Abram's time, as mentioned in Genesis 14.

Jesus, seated on the right side of our LORD will crush those who refuse to walk in His commandments.
Psalm 110:7 He will drink from a brook along the way,
    and so he will lift his head high.
The drinking (of water) from the brook signifies those sufferings Jesus would have to undergo, in order for Him to lift His head high.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Psalm 109

When wicked and deceitful people were slandering against David, he called out to the LORD not to remain silent for long. Their words of hatred surrounded him and they were repaying evil for good.

He requested LORD to appoint someone evil to take care of his enemies. He wished that the LORD took vengeance over those who spread those slander. He also gave good reasons to the LORD to punish them as they never took care of the poor and pronounced curses.

Then David explained his situation to the LORD. He requested to be delivered from his current situation.
Psalm 109:22 For I am poor and needy,
    and my heart is wounded within me.
He was feeling tired and knew his days were numbered. Further, he was an object of scorn to his accusers. David requested to be saved from them. He wanted to send a message that it was LORD who saved him.
Psalm 109:27 Let them know that it is Your hand,
    that you, LORD, have done it.
He knew that LORD would stay with the needy. David was going to extol the name of the LORD greatly among worshipers.

- David confided to God that people are slandering him (Psalm 109:1-5)

- David prayed that God will take vengeance on those who slander him (Psalm 109:6-15)

- David gave God reason for punishing those who slander him (Psalm 109:16-20)

- David prayed that God will deal well with him because he is good to the needy (Psalm 109:21-25)

- David prayed that God will rescue him from his accusers (Psalm 109:26-29)

- David is enthusiastic about praising God in the public (Psalm 109:30-31)

Additional Info
Few may remember seeing the bumper sticker below, back in 2009. 
On the surface, this theme looks so innocent, and hardly few knew it was an anti-Obama slogan. Those who took time to look up what Psalms 109:8 found this: 

Psalm 109:8 May his days be few;
    may another take his place of leadership.

Well, it did not stop there. Those who read further were disturbed. 
Psalm 109:9 May his children be fatherless
    and his wife a widow.
10 May his children be wandering beggars;
    may they be driven[a] from their ruined homes.
11 May a creditor seize all he has;
    may strangers plunder the fruits of his labor.
12 May no one extend kindness to him
    or take pity on his fatherless children.
.. and it goes on. 

Psalm 108

David had a steadfast and singing heart before the LORD. He wanted his harp and lyre to stay awake to make music. At dawn he wants to praise the LORD among nations as His love is great and faithfulness reaches the sky.
Psalm 108:6 Save us and help us with your right hand,
    that those you love may be delivered.
He then prays for deliverance at from his enemies. He wants LORD to go out with them and to lead their armies. He is asking for protection against enemy. When LORD is leading the army, victory is certain.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Psalm 107

Psalm Book V

LORD is good and His love endures forever – therefore, let us give thanks to Him. Those who are redeemed and those moved from coast to coast tell their story. The hungry and the thirsty cried out to the LORD and He helped them.
Psalm 107:8 Let them give thanks to the LORD for His unfailing love
    and His wonderful deeds for mankind,
9 for He satisfies the thirsty
    and fills the hungry with good things.
Those who rebelled against the LORD were put to bitter labor and sufferings. They then cried out to the LORD and he delivered them from their labor and sufferings. Let such people give thanks to the LORD.

Some became fools through their rebellious ways and suffered afflictions. They loathed their food and almost arrived at the gates of death. Then they cried out to the LORD and He rescued them. Let such people give thanks to the LORD.

Those sailor and mountain climbers have encountered danger and cried out to the LORD. They have seen how LORD delivered from their troubles and saved their lives. Let such people give thanks to the LORD.

LORD has turned rivers into deserts and flowing springs into thirsty grounds because of the wicked who dwell there. When those men cried out to the LORD, He has turned deserts into pools of water and parched ground into flowing springs.

He has fed the hungry and blessed their harvest. He has also poured contempt on nobles and made them wander.

Those who are upright see the LORD and rejoice. The wicked shut their mouth.
Psalm 107:43 Let the one who is wise heed these things
    and ponder the loving deeds of the LORD.

Psalm 106

The author praises the LORD for His goodness. He is good and His love endures forever.
Psalm 106:3 Blessed are those who act justly,
    who always do what is right.
The people of Israel sinned and rebelled against the LORD from the time they came out of Egypt. LORD also punished those who became envious against His friend Moses while they were with him in the desert.

They forgot the LORD and made a golden calf. The first generation of Israelites were punished and not allowed to enter Canaan. The intermarriage with Midianites and subsequent Baal worship provoked LORD to anger. Phinehas showed his righteous anger and LORD was happy about it. While in the desert, Israelites complained about no water to drink and LORD was unhappy about their faith.

It was a failure on the part of Israelites not being able to destroy the entire idol worshiping Cannanites. LORD gave them numerous chances to remember and follow the covenant that was made between them. The Israelites shed innocent blood by sacrificing their sons and daughters to lifeless idols. They defiled and prostituted themselves.
Psalm 106:40 Therefore the LORD was angry with his people
    and abhorred his inheritance.
41 He gave them into the hands of the nations,
    and their foes ruled over them.
Several times He delivered them from the hands of their enemies, but they kept sinning over and over.  The psalmist is now praying for deliverance and requesting LORD to restore them.
Psalm 106:47 Save us, LORD our God,
    and gather us from the nations,
that we may give thanks to Your holy name
    and glory in Your praise.
Praise the LORD who exists forever.

Psalm 105

A psalm that focuses on LORD's covenant.

Give praise to the LORD and proclaim His name. May those who seek His face rejoice. Call upon the LORD during times of trouble.

His wonders are visible all over earth. His judgement is over the entire earth as well.

The LORD keeps His promises.
Psalm 105:8 He remembers His covenant forever,
    the promise He made, for a thousand generations,
He made a covenant with Abraham, which he swore to Isaac and confirmed with Jacob. He protected their children prior to moving to Egypt.

Before the famine hit Egypt, LORD raised Joseph to become the governor and prepared the ground before their move. Later, Moses and Aaron were appointed to release the Israelites from Egyptian bondage. They struck deadly plagues upon the Egyptians and Israelites left laded with gold and silver.

LORD remembered His Holy Promise and brought them into the land of Canaan.

Psalm 104

A magnificent hymn celebrating the glory of the LORD.

The Greatness of Our LORD
LORD is a King so great. He is clothed with splendor and majesty. He wears light for a robe. The clouds are His chariots and He rides on the wings of wind. His angel servants serve as quickly and invisibly as the wind and posses awesome powers like flames of fire.

He created the heaven so easily as putting up a tent. He then hung earth on nothing, where it remains firmly fixed as if resting on a foundation that cannot be moved. Earth wore water as a garment. One command from the LORD and the water was frightened away. They dared not to cross the boundary which He established.

The Generosity of Our LORD
The LORD is at constant work in the Universe, meeting the needs of His creation. He provides water for all His creatures and those mountains for cultivation. He created the seasons and the cycle of day and night.
Psalm 104:19 He made the moon to mark the seasons,
    and the sun knows when to go down.
All those animals, including the lion seek food from the LORD.

The Wisdom of Our LORD
LORD created everything in wisdom. The land and the sea, and all those who live in the sea. There is diversity in His creation which is amazing. The earth is filled with LORD's rich creation. Everything depends upon the LORD.
Psalm 104:27 All creatures look to you
    to give them their food at the proper time.
When LORD provides, they are satisfied; when He turns His face, they are terrified.

May His works endure forever, and may Him rejoice in His works.

The psalmist will sing praises for the LORD as long as he lives. He hopes this psalm makes the LORD happy.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Psalm 103

This psalm of David has three types of praises:

Personal Praise:
David tells his soul to praise the LORD. He wants his soul to remember all those benefits and healing LORD has provided him. Further, the LORD has redeemed his life from the deepest pit and his youth soars like an eagle. The LORD's righteousness is apt for those oppressed.

National Praise:
LORD performed numerous miracles through Moses and is compassionate, gracious, slow to anger and abounding in love. He does not treat us according to our sins.
Psalms 103:11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
    so great is His love for those who fear Him;
As a compassionate father, he loves those children who fear him. He knows how weak we are.
Psalms 103:15 The life of mortals is like grass,
    they flourish like a flower of the field;
16 the wind blows over it and it is gone,
    and its place remembers it no more.
Those who fear and walk in LORD's way will experience His love, and His righteousness will be with their children's children.

Universal Praise:
LORD has established His throne in the Heaven and it is His kingdom that rules over everything. 
Let everything in the Heaven praise the LORD. Let us praise all His works. 

My Thoughts
LORD loves those who fears Him. He has the capacity to forgive anybody's sins. Nobody can question or challenge His decision.

The life of humans is just for a brief period. This is a fundamental principle which we human beings tend to forget.

Psalm 102

An afflicted person who has grown weak pours out a lament before the LORD.

The psalmist cries out to the LORD to hear his prayers during distress. He begs the LORD to give ears to his prayers. He feels as if his days are vanishing and his life is like withered grass due to his affliction. He is so deeply distressed that he even forgets to eat food.
Psalm 102:7 I lie awake; I have become
    like a bird alone on a roof.
The author is going through several tribulations, who is eating ashes as his food and he mingles his drink with tears.

He then sees the LORD sitting enthroned forever in the heavens. LORD rises and has compassion towards Israel; He responds to the prayers of the destitute.

The author wishes that those who are still unborn may praise the LORD. He wants all assemblies in the world to worship the LORD. He prays that the LORD will restore the remnant of Israel so that LORD's kingdom will be established.

Everything else including the heaven and earth can perish, but LORD Himself will remain till the end.

My Thoughts
We lie awake in our bed when certain problems keep disturbing us. Essentially, during those times, we are seeking LORD's intervention. Lying awake in our bed, the only company we have is the LORD. And guess what - He sees us in our distress.

Have you thought about this; "Everything including the Heaven and the Earth are LORD's creation. All His creation can perish; LORD will remain till eternity."

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Psalm 101

A king's pledge to reign righteously.

This is a psalm of king David. He said,

- He will sing of LORD's love and justice and praise Him.
- He will be careful to lead a blameless life,

He then asks LORD as if one asks his best friend, "When will you come to me?"

- He will not put himself into temptations by being before vile things,
- He will hate those wicked deeds,
- He will stay away from wicked people,
- Those who are blameless will minister him, and dwell with him,
- He will silence those who spread slander in secret,
- Make sure nobody tells lies at workplaces,
- Will get rid of wicked people from the land,

My Thoughts
This psalm serves as a cornerstone for a fabulous administration. Traits mentioned here are ones which any righteous culture will welcome.

Psalm 100

A call to praise the LORD.

The entire earth should shout for joy and worship the LORD with gladness. They all should come before Him and sing joyful song. He is our creator, and we are His.

Let's enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise.
Psalm 100:5 For the LORD is good and His love endures forever;
    His faithfulness continues through all generations.

Psalm 99

A celebration on the reign of LORD in Jerusalem.

When the LORD reigns, let the nations tremble. He is enthroned between cherubims. Let His awesome name be praised - He is Holy.

LORD is mighty, and loves justice. Exalt the LORD and worship His footstool - He is Holy.

Moses, Aaron and Samuel called upon Him and He answered them. They kept the LORD's commandments. Though the LORD punished Israel's misdeeds, He is a forgiving LORD.
Psalm 99:9 Exalt the LORD our God
    and worship at his holy mountain,
    for the LORD our God is holy.

Psalm 98

A call to celebrate the righteous reign of the LORD.

For all those marvelous deeds the LORD has done, let us sing a new song. He has made his righteousness knows to the entire nations. His love and faithfulness has been remembered in the house of Israel.

Let's shout for joy and praise him with music. Let us use trumpets and harp along with the songs. May the sea sing along, rivers clap their hands, and mountains sing together before the LORD.

The LORD comes to judge the earth in righteousness and the people according to their motives and deeds.

Psalm 97

A joyful celebration of the LORD"s righteous reign over all earth.

The psalmist gives a testimony to the nations that they have seen LORD's majesty being displayed, as He reigns.

LORD is surrounded by clouds and thick darkness. Righteousness and justice serve as the foundation of His throne. Fire consumes his enemies, lightning lights enlightens the world, and mountains melt before Him like wax. Those heavenly beings proclaim LORD's righteousness. Those idol worshipers are put to shame.

People of Jerusalem will rejoice when they hear His judgement.
10 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.
For those who remain righteous, His light is shed upon them. He pours joy into those upright hearts. The psalmist calls everyone those who are righteous to praise the Holy name of the LORD.

My Thoughts
Righteousness - a key trait found in the LORD, and we see it repeated over and over. According to St. Paul, righteousness is a godly gift. One way to become righteous is to desire the presence of Jesus Christ in our life. We ought to pursue our goal passionately, with pure hearts.

Those who set out to seek the LORD need to have the quality of righteousness, to be able to **see** Him.

Psalm 96

A call to all nations to praise the LORD.

Sing to the LORD and praise His name day after day. He is great, worthy of praise and to be feared.
Psalms 96:6 Splendor and majesty are before Him;
    strength and glory are in His sanctuary.
The call is to all nations to worship the LORD. Let the heavens rejoice and earth be glad. May all creatures of the earth sing praises to the LORD. On judgement day, He will judge people according to their righteousness in His truth.

Psalm 95

A call to worship the LORD.

Let us come to the presence of the LORD and sing praises for Him with music and joy.

He describes the majesty of the LORD. LORD is great above all gods and everything in the earth belongs to Him - including the sea and the lands.

He then calls everyone for worship.
Psalm 95:6 Come, let us bow down in worship,
    let us kneel before the LORD our Maker;
LORD is our shepherd, and we are His sheep. LORD guides us with care, just how a shepherd guides his sheep.

Today if LORD calls you, do not harden your hearts and make Him angry. Do not try to test the LORD. 

Psalm 94

An appeal to the LORD as "Judge of the Earth."

In this appeal, the author requests LORD to take vengeance for those who are righteous. He wonders how long those wicked will be jubilant, pouring out arrogant words and boasting. They continue doing evil such as slaying the widow, murdering the fatherless and say, "The LORD does not see."

The author wonders when the people will start seeing the reality. He asks if these fool will ever become wise. The LORD knows every plan that man devises.
Psalm 94:12 Blessed is the one you discipline, LORD,
    the one You teach from your law;
The LORD disciplines those whom he loves. He will not reject His people and forsake their inheritance. He supports those slipping. LORD will be the only one for help.

The wicked team up against the righteous and condemn innocent to death. LORD will repay the wicked for their sins and destroy them.

LORD will never be an ally to those unrighteous powers.

Psalm 93

LORD reigns forever and is armed with strength. He created and established the world and His throne was established long ago.

The seas have lifted up their voice and waves to praise the LORD.
Psalm 93:5 Your statutes, LORD, stand firm;
    holiness adorns Your house
    for endless days.

Psalm 92

It is good to praise LORD with music, and to proclaim LORD' love and faithfulness.

The author sang joy at the the works of LORD. Fools do not understand how great are the works of LORD. Though the wicked flourish, they will be destroyed forever.

The LORD will defeat the adversaries of the psalmist and he has such things with his eyes. LORD will take vengeance against those evildoers.
Psalm 92:12 The righteous will flourish like a palm tree,
    they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon;
13 planted in the house of the LORD,
    they will flourish in the courts of our God.
The righteous will still bear fruit during old age and will stay fresh and green. They will proclaim that the LORD is their rock.

Psalm 91

A glowing testimony to the security of those who trust in LORD.

Those who seek the shelter of LORD during times of distress will find Him to be a refuge and fortress.

If we seek Him patiently and persistently, LORD will save us from the hands of our enemies. Danger may come near us, but it will not be able to hurt those who place their trust in the LORD.

For those who take refuge in the LORD and pray for His protection, He will send His angels to protect them and to watch over them.
Psalm 91:14 “Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him;
    I will protect him, for he acknowledges My name.
LORD will protect and rescue those who acknowledge His name. Anybody who calls upon the LORD will most certainly be delivered from their troubles.

Psalm 90

Psalms Book IV

Psalms 90 - 100 convey the message, "LORD, you have been our dwelling place and your faithfulness continues throughout all generations."

A psalm of Moses.

LORD existed before everything else did, and He has been our dwelling place. He is the only one who can give and take away life. A thousand years are like a day in your sight. The human life is so short.
Psalm 90:10 Our days may come to seventy years,
    or eighty, if our strength endures;
yet the best of them are but trouble and sorrow,
    for they quickly pass, and we fly away.
LORD's anger has great power. Moses requests LORD to teach him how to gain wisdom. He prayed that the LORD show His splendor to the children of Israel.

Psalm 89

A prayer that mourns the fall of David's dynasty.

The psalmist is going to proclaim LORD' love forever, and for all generations. He wants everyone to know that LORD's love stands firm forever. The psalmist recalls LORD's promise to David that He will establish David's throne firm through all generations.

LORD is the most powerful among everyone in Heaven.
Psalm 89:7 In the council of the holy ones God is greatly feared;
    he is more awesome than all who surround him.
He is mighty and rules over the entire heaven and earth. Righteousness and Justice are the foundations of His throne. Love and faithfulness go before Him.

Those who have learned to walk in His light and learned to acclaim Him are blessed. They rejoice all day long and celebrate His righteousness.

LORD anointed David and strengthened him. The enemy and wicked will not oppress David. LORD will crush his enemies. He said that he will punish David's sons if they disobeyed Him. Still He would not take His love from them, and betray His faithfulness.

Now it appears that the LORD has rejected the earlier covenant he made with David. Destruction has come upon Israel. The psalmist wonders how long the LORD will continue to burn his wrath like fire. He then asked LORD for the former great love He showed.

My Thoughts
A love that stands firm forever - that only love is the LORD's love. How much love have we experienced - say  if we can weigh it in pounds. How much love are we capable of handling? Do we get to a point and say, "I cannot take anymore love from you - please don't love me anymore."

The author acknowledges the great Love of LORD. He has seen that earlier - how LORD poured out His Love. Now he requests that very love to be showered again.

Psalm 88

A prayer of one who is on the edge of death.

Day and night the psalmist cried out to the LORD about his affliction. He prays that the LORD heard his cries as his soul is in trouble, going down the pit.

He felt as if LORD has cut him off and he is about to die. He thinks he has hit the bottom and is in a deadly situation.
Psalm 88:8 You have taken from me my closest friends
    and have made me repulsive to them.
I am confined and cannot escape;
He spread out his hands and prays to the LORD. He wonders how it feels to be dead and whether the dead praise the LORD. He does not know why he is feeling rejected by the LORD. Everything is taken away from him.

Darkness is his only friend now.

My Thoughts
The psalmist cries out loud and experiences near death situation. He has lost his lost closest friends, and it does hurts him. When things closest to us are gone, we are left in the dark. He is experiencing near-death situation.

Psalm 87

LORD loved Jerusalem the most because it had the gates of Zion. Several good things are said about Jerusalem.

He watched over Jerusalem and will establish her. The names of all those who are born in Jerusalem are written in the register. People will praise Jerusalem.