Friday, November 15, 2013

CCVII - Psalms 19-30

We have looked at eighteen of the first forty-one Psalms that carry the theme of man’s difficulties, those difficulties being mostly enemies.  We will continue this with Psalm 19.

I like Psalm 19.  In this Psalm David is praising God as he sees God’s testimony of Himself in the night and in the day.  It seems to me that David writes this psalm as he is watching daybreak, wondering how anybody could question God’s magnificence, as both the day and the night reveal so much about Him.  Then David suddenly (vs 7) begins talking about God’s written Law, and how perfect it is.  He continues to talk about how God is faithful in His Law, ready to reward all of those who will abide by it fully.

While Psalm 20 seems to be a prayer for others, 21 is a prayer for David himself as a leader going into battle.  Then (I think this is in progression) David seems to be in deep agony, perhaps sick or even wounded in battle.  He seeks God’s immediate help, being careful not to show any doubt that God is with him.

The all-familiar Psalm 23 – a precious Psalm.  Probably the most quoted, most memorized.  But this Psalm has earned this status.  Look at it with me.  I promise to be as brief as this Psalm will allow.  It begins with “The Lord is my Shepherd.”  We need the Lord as our Shepherd.  What better situation could we have?  Shepherds are the most protective people.  They must possess this quality in order to successfully perform their duties.  They often risked their lives for the sake of their flock.  They would even abandon the entire flock briefly to find one sheep that has gone astray.  A sheep’s instincts are not as sharp as those of other animals.  Sheep easily can go astray because of their eating habits.  They will keep their heads down, looking only for the next tuft of grass, totally disregarding the rest of the flock.  As they graze, they are totally unaware of their surroundings.  When they finally look up and realize they are lost, they cry aloud, confident that their ever-faithful shepherd will come for them.  And He will.  {Shepherds are special to God.  He chose shepherds to be the first to hear the news of the birth of Christ.}  “I shalt not want.”  This means we will lack for nothing.  The Shepherd constantly sees to it that His sheep have everything they need, every day.  "He leads his sheep to green pastures"; the best pastures, "beside still and quiet waters" where they can drink without fear of attack.  (Vs 4) Although life takes us through many difficult trials and grievous situations (valley of the shadow of death) we are to fear no evil because our Shepherd is always there to protect us.  God’s protective hand (His rod and His staff) should remind us that He is there for us and no evil can penetrate His protective shield.  (Vs 5) God will not only deliver us from our enemies, He will prepare a banquet setting, honoring us in the presence of our enemies, showing them that we are victorious because we kept our faith in God.  He will further honor us in their presence by anointing us with oil, giving us great honor.  “My cup runneth over” (KJV) means that my heart is so full of blessings, it seems like it can contain no more.  So much that I cannot even reflect on one before another one comes, one right after another.  {Ever feel like that.  I have.  It’s wonderful.}  So much so, that David cannot even imagine an end to this flow of blessings (vs 6).  And to top it off, "we will dwell in the house of the Lord forever".  A beautiful psalm.

Psalms 24-29 are all psalms of David, in times of his distress, seemingly in battle.  He continues his praise to God and his pleas for God’s help.

I’ll end this post with Psalm 30.  This Psalm is written to be sung during the dedication to the Temple (Tabernacle).  At this time David seems to have been given victory in battle and was able to direct his attention to something besides war with his enemies.  He praises God for deliverance from those enemies.  He praises God for healing him of his wounds.  And in the final verses, God has turned David’s clothing from sackcloth to fresh clothes of joy.  Parts of this Psalm 30 are beautiful.  We might be reminded of this Psalm in times when God has answered our prayers after one of our many lengthy battles in life.

In the next post we will finish the Psalms that deal with man’s struggles.


  1. Can you elaborate on verse 5 of Psalm 23? I'm intrigued with this notion of preparing a table in the presence of enemies. I don't quite understand what he means here.

  2. Adam, this is a show of complete victory. By preparing a banquet table "in the presence of enemies" displays the victory so there is no question as to whom the victory belongs.