Day 24 – Psalm 47 – Praise with Music

I. Read Psalm 47.

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of the Sons of Korah.

Clap your hands, all peoples!
    Shout to God with loud songs of joy!
For the Lord, the Most High, is to be feared,
    a great king over all the earth.
He subdued peoples under us,
    and nations under our feet.
He chose our heritage for us,
    the pride of Jacob whom he loves. Selah

God has gone up with a shout,
    the Lord with the sound of a trumpet.
Sing praises to God, sing praises!
    Sing praises to our King, sing praises!
For God is the King of all the earth;
    sing praises with a psalm!

God reigns over the nations;
    God sits on his holy throne.
The princes of the peoples gather
    as the people of the God of Abraham.
For the shields of the earth belong to God;
    he is highly exalted! (ESV)

Introduction – One of the great musical and worship revolutions in Scripture was when David brought the Ark of the Covenant into Jerusalem (2 Sam. 6). At this stage a new kind of worship began with music and praise at the Tabernacle of David, while animal sacrifice worship continued at another location, Gibeon. Throughout David’s life, he worshiped at this Tent/Tabernacle set up for the Ark with musical praise and worship. (This was before Solomon built the temple and united sacrifices and musical praise.) This psalm reflects the great event of bring the Ark to Jerusalem. Verse 5 says, “God has gone up with a shout,” i.e., gone up to Jerusalem. David remembers Uzzah (2 Sam. 6:5-11) and was afraid of the LORD, and so reminds the peoples that God is to be feared (v. 2). Two ideas dominate this Psalm: 1) All peoples are to offer praise to God, because, 2) He is the great King over all the earth. The promise that God made to Abraham (v. 9) that all nations through him would be blessed, is the foundation rejoicing that God reigns over all peoples, and not just Israel. Because of God’s universal kingship, all peoples are to clap their hands and shout to God with joy. God is highly exalted!

  1. God’s kingship over all the earth calls us to worship. Do you fear Him? Do you rejoice in Him? How can you fear God and rejoice in Him at the same time?
  2. Count the commands to worship God. How many are there? List the ways you are to give God praise (clapping, shouting, etc.).
  3. Think of what God’s kingship means in your own life. How does God extend His rule to you?
  4. In your daily life and at church, does your worship look and sound like what this Psalm commands? How could you increase your physical participation in worship?

II. Pray Psalm 47. Write out a prayer based on Psalm 47.

III. Sing Psalm 47.

Contributed by Michael Shover, M.Div.

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Day 23 – Psalm 12 – Is No One Faithful?

I. Read Psalm 12.

For the director of music. According to sheminith. A psalm of David.

Help, Lord, for no one is faithful anymore;
    those who are loyal have vanished from the human race.
Everyone lies to their neighbor;
    they flatter with their lips
    but harbor deception in their hearts.

May the Lord silence all flattering lips
    and every boastful tongue—
those who say,
    “By our tongues we will prevail;
    our own lips will defend us—who is lord over us?”

“Because the poor are plundered and the needy groan,
    I will now arise,” says the Lord.
    “I will protect them from those who malign them.”
And the words of the Lord are flawless,
    like silver purified in a crucible,
    like goldrefined seven times.

You, Lord, will keep the needy safe
    and will protect us forever from the wicked,
who freely strut about
    when what is vile is honored by the human race. (NIV)

Introduction – This psalm has a strong sense of desperation. David feels alone in a world of evil. He feels as if godliness is a lost cause. He sums up the situation and then offers a prayer. Then in verse five the Lord Himself speaks through the voice of David in answer to the prayer. If we look around our world today it can often seem that the cause of godliness is lost. However, we should take comfort. God is in control. His words are flawless. It is true that many evil ideas are common thought now. What is often honored among men is vile but the cause of the Lord will triumph.

Answer the questions in your own words:

  1. Why is David so pessimistic about the cause?
  2. In what ways can you see the same things today?
  3. As you consider verses 5 – 7, what is encouraging about the promises of God to us as His people still in this world?

II. Pray Psalm 12. Write out a short prayer to the Lord in your own words.

III. Sing Psalm 12.

Help, Lord, because the godly mandoth daily fade away;And from among the sons of menthe faithful do decay. 

2 Unto his neighbor ev’ry one

doth utter vanity:

They with a double heart do speak,

and lips of flattery.

 

3 God shall cut off all flatt’ring lips,

tongues that speak proudly thus,

4 We’ll with our tongue prevail, our lips

are ours: who’s lord o’er us?

 

5 For poor oppressed, and for the sighs

of needy, rise will I,

Saith God, and him in safety set

from such as him defy.

 

6 The words of God are words most pure;

they be like silver tried

In earthen furnace, seven times

that hath been purified.

 

7 Lord, thou shalt them preserve and keep

for ever from this race.

8 On each side walk the wicked, when

vile men are high in place.


Page Copyright 2001, Music for the Church of God

 

 

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Day 22 – Psalm 127 – Building and Guarding

I. Read Psalm 127.

 A Song of Ascents, of Solomon.

Unless the Lord builds the house,
They labor in vain who build it;
Unless the Lord guards the city,
The watchman keeps awake in vain.
It is vain for you to rise up early,
To retire late,
To eat the bread of painful labors;
For He gives to His beloved even in his sleep.

Behold, children are a gift of the Lord,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,
So are the children of one’s youth.
How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them;
They will not be ashamed
When they speak with their enemies in the gate. (NASB)

Introduction – Psalm 127 is the first psalm in our devotions that is ascribed to Solomon. It has structure that also is a two-part parallel pattern.
A – Building
…B – Guarding
A’ – Building in Painful Labors vs the Gift of Children
…B’ – Guarding with Children-Arrows with no Shame
We must actively depend on the Lord in building our lives. Unless the Lord . . . The first verse of this Psalm addresses the God-condition on which our plans fail or succeed. “Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. In first place the constructive efforts of “building” should be guided by a complete dependence on the Lord doing the “building.” We must also actively depend on the Lord in protecting our lives. “Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.” Secondly, the watching/guarding to  protect what has been constructed must also be grounded on the Lord’s complete control. These are the two basic activities that we are doing throughout life: “building” and then “guarding” that which we have built. Whether you intend to or not, you are building and guarding what you have built. Maybe it’s a poor “house” with bad angles in the corners, but you are building. And perhaps you are asleep at the watch, but you are protecting or letting your your building be looted. In both of life activities, we must yield to the Lord accomplishing these activities. Building or protecting apart from the Lord will result in futility or fruitlessness. This psalm makes clear that we must actively depend on the Lord to avoid futility and fruitlessness. In the last verses there is a benediction on children who are “gift,” a “reward,” “like arrows,” and many are desired since they succeed us “at the gate” (the place of judgment and transaction). God accomplishes His building and guarding through our children. It is critical that we transfer our faith (and kingdom building/guarding) through them.

Reflect on this psalm using these questions.

  1. The Lord is not doing the building or guarding without our asking Him to do so. Invite the Lord into your home and life (once again) today.
  2. The Lord is not doing the building or guarding when we are not following His blueprint. Can you list areas of disobedience in your life? If so ask Him to grant you repentance.
  3. The Lord is not doing the building or guarding if it is not resulting in the fruitfulness of gratitude, joy and serving others. What is one action you could do or plan today to show gratitude for God’s building and protecting in your life?
  4. Children are a gift and reward. Purpose to take time to bless the children in your life today. They need affirmation, kindness, and good examples.

II. Pray Psalm 127. Turn Psalm 127 into a prayer.

III. Sing Psalm 127.

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Day 21 – Psalm 63 – Thirsting for God

Note: If you have been with us since May 1st, we are two-thirds through this 31 Day challenge! Good job! If you are just joining us, please continue and we will post the previous days after May 31st. Remember, keep journaling, keep praying the Psalm, and keep singing. Sometimes you may have to do the devotional silently, but I encourage you to try to sing audibly whenever possible. Make a joyful noise.

I. Read Psalm 63.

A Psalm of David, when he was in the wilderness of Judah.

O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly;
My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You,
In a dry and weary land where there is no water.
Thus I have seen You in the sanctuary,
To see Your power and Your glory.
Because Your lovingkindness is better than life,
My lips will praise You.
So I will bless You as long as I live;
I will lift up my hands in Your name.
My soul is satisfied as with marrow and fatness,
And my mouth offers praises with joyful lips.

When I remember You on my bed,
I meditate on You in the night watches,
For You have been my help,
And in the shadow of Your wings I sing for joy.
My soul clings to You;
Your right hand upholds me.

But those who seek my life to destroy it,
Will go into the depths of the earth.
10They will be delivered over to the power of the sword;
They will be a prey for foxes.
11 But the king will rejoice in God;
Everyone who swears by Him will glory,
For the mouths of those who speak lies will be stopped. (NASB)

Introduction – This psalm is structured in two main parallels around thirsting for God:
A. Thirsting for the Lord (v.1)
…B. Knowing God’s Covenant Love (vv.2-3)
…..C. Results in Praise (vv.4-5)
A’. Thirsting for the Lord (vv.6-8)
…B’. Knowing God’s Covenant Deliverance (vv.9-10)
……C’. Results in Praise (v.11)

1) We will thirst for the Lord if we know His Covenant Love (vv.1-5). David, in a time of trial, “seeks”  earnestly and his “soul thirsts” for the Lord. His flesh “yearns” for the Lord (v.1). He sees literally and metaphorically (in the desert) that everything else is dry and weary. David thirsts for the Lord because he has seen God in the sanctuary. He has seen God’s power and glory (v. 2). Seeing God as He is has led him to see that the covenant love (hesed) of the Lord is “better than life.” The result is that the Lord is to be “blessed” and worshiped. The experience of authentic worship brings the realization that “My soul is satisfied” as with literally “fat food.”
2) We will thirst for the Lord if we trust His Covenant Deliverance (vv.6-11). David seeks God in his “down time” (“on my bed”). In the restlessness of troubled times he contemplates (meditates) the Lord’s salvation/deliverance. God has been his help, his cover, and his strength (v.7-8). David knows that the enemies that hunger to destroy him will be “delivered over” to His Covenant Protector. Their mouths will be stopped. Those who would prey upon him will become prey because David prays. The result of hungering for the Lord is to glimpse His glory. “Everyone who swears by Him will glory” (v.11).

Reflect on this psalm by answering these questions.

  1. Why does David begin this psalm with the image of thirsting?
  2. Remember God’s kindnesses and covenant love for you. Name a few of them.
  3. Do you have any enemies, those that may be seeking to do you harm? How did David view his enemies in this psalm? (vv9ff) Why so? (vv6-8)
  4. If our thirst increases as we trust in His deliverance (vv. 6-11) – what are several ways can you show a desire for the presence of God in your daily life?

II. Pray the Psalm. Write a prayer from Psalm 63 that expresses your heart to God.

III. Sing Psalm 63. Sing this psalm using a famous melody written by Thomas Tallis, also used in the music to the film, “Master and Commander.”

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Day 20 – Psalm 34 – Facing Trouble

I. Read Psalm 34.

Of David. When he pretended to be insane before Abimelek, who drove him away, and he left.

I will extol the Lord at all times;
    his praise will always be on my lips.
I will glory in the Lord;
    let the afflicted hear and rejoice.
Glorify the Lord with me;
    let us exalt his name together.

I sought the Lord, and he answered me;
    he delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to him are radiant;
    their faces are never covered with shame.
This poor man called, and the Lord heard him;
    he saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him,
    and he delivers them.

Taste and see that the Lord is good;
    blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.
Fear the Lord, you his holy people,
    for those who fear him lack nothing.
10 The lions may grow weak and hungry,
    but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.
11 Come, my children, listen to me;
    I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
12 Whoever of you loves life
    and desires to see many good days,
13 keep your tongue from evil
    and your lips from telling lies.
14 Turn from evil and do good;
    seek peace and pursue it.

15 The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
    and his ears are attentive to their cry;
16 but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil,
    to blot out their name from the earth.

17 The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them;
    he delivers them from all their troubles.
18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
    and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

19 The righteous person may have many troubles,
    but the Lord delivers him from them all;
20 he protects all his bones,
    not one of them will be broken.

21 Evil will slay the wicked;
    the foes of the righteous will be condemned.
22 The Lord will rescue his servants;
    no one who takes refuge in him will be condemned. New International Version (NIV)

Introduction – This psalm contains a mixture of ideas, but there are a couple of key themes that run throughout. First, times of trouble come. Second, seek the Lord in these times of trouble. Third, He will answer our cries for help in these times of trouble. Have you ever faced a time of overwhelming trouble? If you have not, chances are very good that you will. This is life. Maybe you or a person you love will suffer a tragic situation. Probably you have heard someone say to another person who was suffering, “it will be alright.” The good news is that this is very simply the way it is for those of us who belong to Him. In our very worst moments, we can cry out to Him and He will look at us and comfort us with the truth that it will in fact be alright. This is not a comfort available to the rest of the world. They have only fate, often cruel fate, to count on things working out. As we learn to trust Him in the small problems of life this builds us up and prepares us to trust Him in the larger issues of life.

Answer these questions as means to reflect on Psalm 34:

  1. In what ways does the psalm describe trouble?
  2. How does the psalm describe the responses of David to trouble?
  3. What trouble do you or could you possibly face in life? What is your worst fear?
  4. In what ways could you respond as David did? What would it look like in your behaviors?

II. Pray Psalm 34. Use David’s prayer in this psalm to pour our your heart to Him prayer. Let Him know those things that trouble you and commit yourself to trust Him with this. Let Him know your worst fears and commit yourself to trust Him come what may. Write out this prayer in your own words.

III. Sing Psalm 34 using this metrical arrangement. It can be sung to the tune of “All Hail the Power of Jesus Name.”

1 I will give laud and honor both unto the Lord always; My mouth also for evermore shall speak unto his praise. 2 I do delight to praise the Lord,in soul, ill heart, in voice,That humble men may hear thereof,and heartily rejoice.3 Therefore see that ye magnifywith me the living Lord;

Let us exalt his holy Name

always with one accord.

4 For I myself besought the Lord,

he answered me again,

And me delivered speedily

From all my fear and pain.

5 Whoso they be that him behold,

shall see his light most clear;

Their countenance shall not be dashed,

they never need to fear.

6 The poor distressèd man for help

unto the Lord doth call,

Who doth him hear without delay,

and rid him out of thrall.

7 The angel of the Lord doth pitch

his tents in ev’ry place,

To save all such as do him fear,

that nothing them deface.

8 Taste, and consider well therefore,

that God is good and just!

O happy man, that maketh him

his only stay and trust!

9 O fear the Lord, all ye his saints,

who is a mighty King;

For they that fear the living Lord,

are sure to lack nothing.

10 The lions shall be hunger-bit,

and pined with famine much;

But as for them that fear the Lord,

no lack shall be to such.

The Second Part.

11 Come near to me, my children, and

unto my words give ear;

I will you teach the perfect way,

how ye the Lord shall fear.

12 Who is the man that would live long,

and lead a happy life?

See thou refrain thy tongue and lips

from all deceit and strife.

13   Turn back thy face from doing ill,

and do the godly deed:

Inquire for peace and quietness,

and follow it with speed.

14 For why? the eyes of God above

upon the just are bent;

His ears likewise to hear the cry

of the poor innocent.

15 But he doth frown, and bend his brows

upon the wicked train,

And cuts away the memory

that should of them remain.

16 But when the just do call and cry,

the Lord doth hear them so,

That out of pain and misery

forthwith he lets them go.

17 The Lord is ever nigh to them

that broken-hearted are,

And for the contrite spirit he

salvation doth prepare.

18 Full many be the miseries

that righteous men endure;

But of deliv’rance from them all

the Lord doth them secure.

 

19 The Lord doth so preserve and keep

their very bones alway,

That not so much as one of them

doth perish or decay.

20 The sin shall slay the wicked man

which he himself hath wrought;

And such as hate the righteous man

shall soon be brought to nought.

21 But they that fear the living Lord

are ever safe and sound;

And as for those that trust in him,

nothing shall them confound.


Page Copyright 2001, Music for the Church of God

 

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Day 19 – Psalm 91 – Under the Mercy

I. Read Psalm 91.

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High,
    who abides in the shadow of the Almighty,
will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress;
    my God, in whom I trust.”
For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler
    and from the deadly pestilence;
he will cover you with his pinions,
    and under his wings you will find refuge;
    his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.
You will not fear the terror of the night,
    nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
    nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.

A thousand may fall at your side,
    ten thousand at your right hand;
    but it will not come near you.
You will only look with your eyes
    and see the recompense of the wicked.

Because you have made the Lord your refuge,[a]
    the Most High your habitation,
10 no evil shall befall you,
    no scourge come near your tent.

11 For he will give his angels charge of you
    to guard you in all your ways.
12 On their hands they will bear you up,
    lest you dash your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread on the lion and the adder,
    the young lion and the serpent you will trample under foot.

14 Because he cleaves to me in love, I will deliver him;
    I will protect him, because he knows my name.
15 When he calls to me, I will answer him;
    I will be with him in trouble,
    I will rescue him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him,
    and show him my salvation.

Introduction – What do you worry about? What do you fear? This psalm describes the peace that comes from resting in God’s protection. God shelters his people like a bird who spreads it’s wings over it’s chicks to keep them from prey. Those who trust in God should not fear, night or day. The Lord is our God. Verse 11 is part of Satan’s temptation of Christ and the psalm has a Messianic quality after these verses. In verse 14, voice of the psalm moves from the writer to God, Himself, speaking. God promises that he will deliver, protect and always be with his people in their troubles. He promises and answer those who call out to him, and promises to send his salvation. Nothing happens beyond God’s power and God’s purpose. The Father’s care for the Son which led to Christ’s resurrection and ascension is a pattern for us to remember. God does promise deliverance in the first place to Jesus and through His deliverance, we are all to be fully delivered in the resurrection.

Reflect on this Psalm with these questions.

  1. Taking this Psalm to heart, when you are in trouble, what should you do?
  2. In the past few weeks have you faced trouble or hardship? How did you respond?
  3. How might thinking about God’s protecting care in Christ change how you responded to your hardships? Based on this how will you deal with the next problem?
  4. Give praise to God since He will ultimately deliver you through Christ in resurrection.

II. Pray Psalm 91. Use these thoughts and ideas to write a prayer with Psalm 91.

III. Sing Psalm 91. Listen to or download this Genevan version of Psalm 91.

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Day 18 – Psalm 32 – My Hiding Place

I. Read Psalm 32

1. Blessed is he

whose transgressions are forgiven

whose sins are covered

2. Blessed is the man

whose sin the Lord does not count

against him

and whose spirit there is no deceit.

3. When I kept silent,

my bones wasted away

through my groaning all day long.

4. For day and night

your hand was upon me;

my strength was sapped

as in the heat of summer.

5. Then I acknowledged my sin to you

and did not cover up my iniquity.

I said, “I will confess

My transgressions to the Lord”—

And you forgave

The guilt of my sin.

6. Therefore let everyone who is godly

pray to you

while you may be found;

surely when the mighty waters rise,

they will not reach him.

7. You are my hiding place;

you will protect me from trouble

and surround me with songs of

deliverance

8. I will instruct you and teach you in the

way you should go;

I will counsel you and watch over

you.

9. Do not be like the horse or the mule,

which have to be controlled by bit and bridle

or they will not come to you.

10 Many are the woes of the wicked,

but the Lord’s unfailing love

surrounds the man who trusts in

him.

11. Rejoice in the Lord and be glad, you

righteous;

sing, all you who are upright in

heart!

Introduction: There are several interesting points about this psalm. First, there is a note that states this psalm is a ‘maskil’ of David. A maskil is thought by some to be a psalm written by David during the time he did himself from those who sought to harm him. Recall that David fled from Saul and others in his lifetime. In verse seven David affirms the Lord as his hiding place, a refuge, a place of protection. Second, note the change of voice throughout this psalm. At times David comments on truths from a third person point of view (vs. 1,2,6,10,11). At other times he speaks of his own experience and addresses this in prayer to the Lord (vs. 3,4,5,7). At another point in the psalm he appears to take the voice of the Lord as he instructs (8,9).

Answer these questions in your words as you reflect on the truths of this psalm:

  1. What the general timeless truths that David expresses in his third person statements?
  2. What truths does David express from his own personal experience in his relationship with God?
  3. How do David’s circumstances at that time add meaning to what he writes?
  4. How would these truths connect with your life in your moments of struggle?

 

5. What truths come from the voice of the Lord in this psalm and how do we appropriate these promises in our life?

 

 

II. Pray Psalm 32

Write out a short prayer expressing your own response to these truths. Pray in response to the general truths in this psalm. Pray in response to David’s own personal statements. Pray in response to what the Lord promises in this psalm.

III. Sing Psalm 32. Rejoice in the Lord and be glad, you righteous; sing, all you who are upright in heart! Apply this verse right now by using these musical versions:

1 Happy the man to whom his God No more imputes his sin,But, washed in the Redeemer’s blood,Hath made his garments clean.2 Happy beyond expression heWho debts are thus discharged;

And from the guilty bondage free,

He feels his soul enlarged.

 

3 His spirit hates deceit and lies,

His words are all sincere;

He guards his heart, he guards his eyes,

To keep his conscience clear.

 

4 While I my inward guilt suppressed,

No quiet could I find;

Thy wrath lay burning in my breast,

And racked my tortured mind.

 

5 Then I confessed my troubled thoughts,

My secret sins revealed;

Thy pard’ning grace forgave my faults,

Thy grace my pardon sealed.

 

6 This shall invite thy saints to pray;

When like a raging flood

Temptations rise, our strength and stay

Is a forgiving God.


Page Copyright 2001, Music for the Church of God
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