Showing posts with label Psalms. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Psalms. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Psalm 150

The final great Hallelujah.

Praise the LORD in the sanctuary or heaven, where He is enthroned and reigns over the universe. Let us praise Him for those miracles and wonders He has performed among our people as a testimony of His existence, which are to be remembered from generation to generation.

Let us use all kinds of musical instruments to praise the LORD, including trumpet, harp, lyre, tambourine, dancing, strings, flute, and cymbals.

May every creation of LORD that has the breath of life praise Him.
Psalm 150:1 Praise the LORD
Praise God in His sanctuary;
    praise Him in His mighty heavens.
2 Praise Him for His acts of power;
    praise Him for His surpassing greatness.
3 Praise Him with the sounding of the trumpet,
    praise Him with the harp and lyre,
4 Praise Him with timbrel and dancing,
    praise Him with the strings and pipe,
5 Praise Him with the clash of cymbals,
    praise Him with resounding cymbals.
6 Let everything that has breath praise the LORD.
Praise the LORD.


Psalm 149

Praise of LORD for the high honor bestowed upon Israel.

The author calls to sing a new song in the assembly of His faithful people. He wants Israel rejoice in the LORD.

He calls everyone to praise Him with dancing, tambourine, and harp.
Psalm 149:4 For the LORD takes delight in his people;
    He crowns the humble with victory.
May the LORD take vengeance upon the enemies of the Israelites. May the praise of LORD be like a double-edged sword to inflict vengeance and punishment upon the wicked.

My Thoughts
Those who humble themselves to the LORD will inherit eternal life.

The double edged sword here refers to LORD's words. One side is the LORD's law and on the other side is His Gospel. LORD's law cuts into men's hearts, and their conscience. The Gospel teaches men to be holy and righteous. 

Psalm 148

A call to all things in all creations to praise the LORD.

The psalmist calls every creation including heavenly, angels, heavenly hosts, stars, waters above the skies, and other creatures on earth.

All those sea creatures, lightning and hail, snow and clouds, stormy winds, mountains, hills, fruit trees, cedars, wild animals, cattle, small creatures, flying birds, kings, nations, princes, rulers, young men, maidens, old men and children.
Psalm 148:13 Let them praise the name of the LORD,
    for His name alone is exalted;
    His splendor is above the earth and the heavens.
Praise the LORD.

Psalm 147

Praise of LORD, the creator and LORD over all, for His special mercies over Israel.

It is pleasing and fitting to praise the LORD.

The LORD brought back the people from exile and restored them in Jerusalem once they were heartbroken. He knows everything including the names of every star in the sky. He is great and His power has no limit. He helps the humble and casts the wicked.

Let's sing and make music to our LORD with harp. He is the provider for everything including rain, grass, cattle and ravens.
Psalm 147:11 The LORD delights in those who fear Him,
    who put their hope in His unfailing love.
LORD is the protector and the one who grants peace and rich harvest. He is the one who sends snow, frost, hail and wind. His words can melt them.

His words will be revealed to those who seek Him.

Praise the LORD.

Psalm 146

A praise to Zion's Heavenly King due to His Powerful and Trustworthy Care.

The author will sing praises to LORD as long as he lives. He advises not to put our trust in mortal men who will eventually die. He speaks about the spirits or mortal men at death:
Psalm 146:4 When their spirit departs, they return to the ground;
    on that very day their plans come to nothing.
5 Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob,
    whose hope is in the LORD their God.
LORD, the creator or heaven and earth remains faithful forever.

LORD watches over the oppressed and hungry,
LORD sets prisoners free,
LORD gives sight to the blind,
LORD lifts up those who are bowed down,
LORD loves the righteous,
LORD watches the foreigner,
LORD sustains fatherless and widow,
and LORD frustrates the wicked.

The LORD reigns forever and let us praise Him.

Psalm 145

David's magnificent hymn to the LORD for His mighty acts and benevolent virtues.

David has found out that LORD the King deserves to be praised forever and ever.
Psalm 145:2 Every day I will praise You
    and extol Your name for ever and ever.
LORD is the most worthy of praise, as nobody can fathom His greatness. His mighty deeds, glorious splendor, majesty, awesome works, and miracles are retold from generations to generations.

Our LORD is the best when it comes to love and compassion.
Psalm 145:8 The LORD is gracious and compassionate,
    slow to anger and rich in love.
He shows compassion towards all His creatures. Ask anyone, and all of them praise Him and they all speak about His might and glorious splendor. He has that kingdom which lasts forever.
Psalm 145:13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
    and Your dominion endures through all generations.
The LORD is trustworthy in all He promises
    and faithful in all He does.
He lifts up all those who fall down. He feeds everyone in the world at the proper time. He satisfies the needs of everyone when they open their hands.

All of LORD's ways are righteous. Here is a good news - He is so near us, and fulfills the desires of those who fear Him.
Psalm 145:18 The LORD is near to all who call on Him,
    to all who call on Him in truth.
He will destroy the wicked.

David has decided to praise the LORD forever. Let every creature offer praise to the LORD forever and ever.

My Thoughts
In this Psalm of praise, David mentions several attributes of the LORD. Few among them:
- His Greatness,
- His Grace, Goodness, & Compassion,
- His Glory and Might,
- His Righteousness and Kindness,
- His Providential Care, etc.

David also tells us when we should praise the LORD.
- From generation to generation,
- From nation to nation,
- From need to need,
- From prayer to prayer,
- Forever and ever.

When it comes to love and compassion, there is no equal. Anyone who has tasted a drop of His love, care and compassion will hunger for more. No other food/drink can equal the taste of His love.

One cannot find anyone so truthful and faithful as the LORD. He is the epitome of those characters, and hence Holy.

This is an awesome Psalm wherein David pens down those magnificent traits of the LORD. It is better to quote the psalm verbatim.

Psalm 144

David's prayer of deliverance from a treacherous enemies.

David praises the LORD for his Rock and shield in whom he takes refuge. Human beings are nothing compared to the LORD.
Psalm 144:4 They are like a breath;
    their days are like a fleeting shadow.
He asks LORD to come down and reveal His magnanimity by sending lightening and shooting arrows. He prays for deliverance and rescue from mighty waters and foreigners, whose mouths are filled with lies and deceit.

When LORD has delivered him, he will sing a new song for the LORD. He prays for deliverance from these people.

With LORD's help, our sons and daughters will adorn the place. Our provisions will increase with His blessings, and those people on the streets will be happy.
Psalm 144:15 Blessed is the people of whom this is true;
    blessed is the people whose God is the LORD.

Psalm 143

David's prayer for deliverance and divine leading.

The prayer is for LORD's mercy, to come in His faithfulness and righteousness. He begged not to bring him into judgement as nobody is righteous in front of LORD.

His enemies are pursuing him and he was tired of them. His spirit was growing weak and heart dismayed. He sought LORD's help as thirsty as a parched land.

He asked LORD to answer him quickly and to save him from his enemies. He had full trust in the LORD and asked for His directions.
Psalm 143:10 Teach me to do Your will,
    for you are my God;
may Your good Spirit
    lead me on level ground.
As a servant of LORD, he prayed to preserve his life and to bring him out of trouble. He requested LORD to silence his enemies.

Psalm 142

David's prayer for deliverance from powerful enemies, while he was inside a cave.

David came in front of the LORD, for mercy, when he was in serious trouble. In the past, LORD has delivered him. Nobody else seems to care for him. He has no refuge and cannot run towards anyone other than the LORD.
Psalm 142:5 I cry to you, LORD;
    I say, “You are my refuge,
    my portion in the land of the living.”
David prayed that the LORD rescued him from those who are pursuing him, as they are too strong. He wants to praise the name of the LORD so that the righteous will hear his testimony and praise the LORD.

Psalm 141

David's prayer for deliverance from the wicked and their evil ways.

This time, David prays to come fast towards Him, and may his prayers be like an incense and his lifting of eyes be like evening prayers.

Two things David asks LORD are to set a guard for his mouth so that he does not speak any evil and not to let heart draw towards evil.
Psalm 141:3 Set a guard over my mouth, Lord;
    keep watch over the door of my lips.
4 Do not let my heart be drawn to what is evil
    so that I take part in wicked deeds
along with those who are evildoers;
    do not let me eat their delicacies.
David prefers a righteous man to strike him or rebuke him, rather than sinning against LORD. He did not want to hate his enemies, but requested LORD to take vengeance against their evil deeds.

His eyes are focused on the LORD. He prayed for protection, while those evil men fall into their own traps.

My Thoughts
I wish I was surrounded by righteous men who were rebuking and correcting me every now and then. Sadly, it is so hard to find such honest and sincere people in our circles. Hardly anyone dares to say, "You are wrong in doing so, and instead, this is what you should be doing." Everyone wants to be in the "good books" of others, by being polite and sounding sweet.

What most people desire is to hear whether they have supporters, even while they are doing the wrong thing.

Life will be fabulous if we have just one such righteous friend, who is willing to correct us, regardless of fear of rejection. Look at David - he is even willing to receive strikes at the hands of a righteous man.

Psalm 140

David's prayer for deliverance from slander and unscrupulous enemies.

David cried out to the LORD to rescue him from those violent evildoers who devise evil plans all the time. Their tongues appear to David as that of serpents and their lips contain viper's poison

The prayer is to keep him safe from those enemies trying to trap him. He cries out for LORD's mercy and not to grant the desires of those wicked. He asked LORD to strike his enemies with troubles they planned. Those slanderers should not be established in the land.

He has great hope and trust in the LORD.
Psalm 140:12 I know that the LORD secures justice for the poor
    and upholds the cause of the needy.
13 Surely the righteous will praise Your name,
    and the upright will live in Your presence.

My Thoughts
Notice David speaking about the LORD in the last two verses - 12 and 13. He has tremendous faith in the LORD. He has seen LORD act in the past and is able to predict how LORD will behave. David knows what the LORD loves to see.

Psalm 139

David's beautiful prayer to LORD to examine his heart and see it's true devotion.

David knew about the LORD. He knew LORD was searching his heart.
Psalm 139:1 You have searched me, LORD,
    and You know me.
Also, David knew that the LORD knew everything about him - when he sits, when he rises, his thoughts, and even the words he is about to utter.
Psalm 139:4 Before a word is on my tongue
    You, LORD, know it completely.
LORD has been beside David - all around him. Due to LORD's omnipresence, He is everywhere, and He can see even in darkness. The LORD knew David even before his birth and knit him in his mother's womb.
Psalm 139:14 I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    Your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
LORD's eyes have seen David's unformed body. David cannot count how precious LORD is to him.
Psalm 139:17 How precious to me are Your thoughts, God!
    How vast is the sum of them!
He then prayed to punish his enemies after examining his heart.

My Thoughts
When I look at verse 1 of this chapter, it reminds me of the great friendship between two wonderful friends. Ones who love each other search for the other. Further the ones who love each other know each other. David knew the LORD's mind. He knew the LORD was searching his heart to see it He was inside.

When lovers look at each other, they see their own reflection in the other's eye.

David is courage enough to invite LORD to come inspect his heart. How many of us have that level of courage to ask LORD to come examine our hearts. Suppose the LORD comes for an inspection, will He find Himself, or something/someone else instead?

If we know our friend too well, we can predict what he/she will say in a particular situation. As we know their thoughts, it becomes easy to step into their shoes and predict their words. Verse 4 essentially indicates that. 

Psalm 138

A song of praise for LORD's help against threatening foes.

Due to LORD's unfailing love and faithfulness, David says he will bow down towards LORD's temple and praise His name. At times of distress, LORD heard and answered his prayers.
Psalm 138:3 When I called, You answered me;
    You greatly emboldened me.
Let all those kings of earth offer praise to the LORD. May they sing glory to the LORD.

An observation David made is that even thought LORD is exalted, He looks with favor towards those who are humble. He recognizes such humble people from a distance.

He thanked LORD for answering his prayers while he was facing trouble. LORD's love endures forever and He did not abandon His creation.

Psalm 137

The Levites were very sad that they had to sing a song to their captor in Babylon. Their tormentors asked them to sing a song of joy and they were unable to do so. It was as if it was insulting them.

Psalm 137:4 How can we sing the songs of the LORD
    while in a foreign land?

They asked LORD to remember Edomites crying out loud to tear down the walls of Jerusalem. The author prayed to take vengeance against the Babylonians.

The author expresses his emotions of war which was cruel where women and children were not spared.
Psalm 137:9 Happy is the one who seizes your infants
    and dashes them against the rocks.

My Thoughts
Back in the 80's Boney M used to be one of our favorite singers. The song "Rivers of Babylon" just brought me memories from childhood. Little did I know at that time that this song is based on Psalm 137, and it expressed yearnings of the Jewish people in exile, following the Babylonian conquest of Jerusalem in 586 BC.

Psalm 137:1 By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept
    when we remembered Zion.
Rivers of Babylon
By the rivers of Babylon
Where he sat down
And there he wept when he remembered Zion.

Oh from wicked, carry us away from captivity
Required from us a song
How can we sing the LORD's song in a strange land?

So let the words of our mouth
And the meditations of our hearts
Be acceptable in thy sight
Here to-night. 

By the rivers of Babylon
Where he sat down
And there he wept when he remembered Zion.

Oh from wicked, carry us away from captivity
Required from us a song
How can we sing the LORD's song in a strange land?
How can we sing the LORD's song in a strange land?

Monday, November 11, 2013

Psalm 136

A psalm of thanksgiving.

Every verse in this psalm ends with, "His love endures forever."

The author calls out to give thanks to the LORD because He is good.

LORD has done great wonders by making heaven, earth, light, sky and stars.

With His mighty outstretched arm, He released the Israelites from Egypt and struck down the firstborn of Egypt.

He divided the Red Sea and led Israel through wilderness.

LORD struck down mighty kings and gave their inheritance to Israel.

He feeds every creature on earth.
Psalm 136:26 Give thanks to the God of heaven.
His love endures forever.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Psalm 135

A call to praise the One True LORD.

Let all those who are servants of the LORD praise Him.

The LORD's name is good, therefore praise Him.

Our LORD is great and greater than all gods and He does whatever pleases Him in the heavens and earth. He is the most powerful.

He helped those Israelites out of Egypt and were given the land of Canaan as their inheritance. His name endures forever throughout all generations.

Others serve man made lifeless idols and the ones who make them are like them - lifeless.

All those who fear Him, praise the LORD.

Psalm 134

All those people who are doing good deeds are servants of the LORD. They are praising LORD and giving Him the glory.

Psalm 134:3 May the LORD bless you from Zion,
    He who is the Maker of heaven and earth.

My Thoughts
All those true servants of the LORD will do good deeds. 
Some call them "Angels." 

Psalm 133

The psalm describes the blessings of people living together in peace and unity.
Psalm 133:1 How good and pleasant it is
    when God’s people live together in unity!
The LORD bestows His blessings at such places.
Psalm 133:3 It is as if the dew of Hermon
    were falling on Mount Zion.
For there the LORD bestows his blessing,
    even life forevermore. 

My Thoughts
Being together in peace and unity is a communal blessing.

Those who love LORD work hard towards preserving this unity, as they want everyone to receive LORD's blessings.

Psalm 132

A prayer for LORD's favor on David.

The author calls out to the LORD to remember all those hardships David had to endure, and the oath he took:
Psalm 132: 3 “I will not enter my house
    or go to my bed,
4 I will allow no sleep to my eyes
    or slumber to my eyelids,
5 till I find a place for the LORD,
    a dwelling for the Mighty One of Jacob.”
David had brought the mighty Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem - it's resting place. He then makes a blessing:
Psalm 132:9 May your priests be clothed with your righteousness;
    may your faithful people sing for joy.
The LORD made a covenant with David that one of his descendants will be on the throne forever and ever. He also chose Zion as His dwelling place and blessed it abundantly. The enemies will be put to shame.

Psalm 131

A song of David.

David's heart is not proud, but humble and his eyes are not haughty.

He has trained his soul.
Psalm 131:2 But I have calmed and quieted myself,
    I am like a weaned child with its mother;
    like a weaned child I am content.
He calls out everyone to put their hope in the LORD both now and evermore.