Archive for the ‘Psalms’ Category


>Psalm 150

In Psalms,Theology on January 4, 2008 by mstevensrev

>150:1 Praise the Lord!
Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty heavens!
2 Praise him for his mighty deeds;
praise him according to his excellent greatness!

3 Praise him with trumpet sound;
praise him with lute and harp!
4 Praise him with tambourine and dance;
praise him with strings and pipe!
5 Praise him with sounding cymbals;
praise him with loud clashing cymbals!
6 Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord!

If you haven’t gotten this from the Psalms yet, let’s hear it one more time. God is worthy of our praise always and everywhere. You cannot be creative enough to come up with ways to praise him. Use your voice, instrument, but most importantly your life. If you have breath go and do what you were created to do which is praise God. For me that clearly means to love others, there is no greater way I feel more of who I was created to be then when I am doing that whether it is my family or anyone else around me.



>Psalm 149

In Psalms,Theology on January 3, 2008 by mstevensrev

>149:1 Praise the Lord!
Sing to the Lord a new song,
his praise in the assembly of the godly!
2 Let Israel be glad in his Maker;
let the children of Zion rejoice in their King!
3 Let them praise his name with dancing,
making melody to him with tambourine and lyre!
4 For the Lord takes pleasure in his people;
he adorns the humble with salvation.
5 Let the godly exult in glory;
let them sing for joy on their beds.
6 Let the high praises of God be in their throats
and two-edged swords in their hands,
7 to execute vengeance on the nations
and punishments on the peoples,
8 to bind their kings with chains
and their nobles with fetters of iron,
9 to execute on them the judgment written!
This is honor for all his godly ones.
Praise the Lord!

Let your song ring out. I have vivid memories in my house of my mom walking around often on Saturdays while cleaning singing at the top of her lungs. That is something I also do. When you are happy, doing what you are supposed to be doing you let it out in song.

Dance break out the instruments, let the party begin, for God finds leasure with us and raises up the humble. It takes humilty to set aside all that there is to do and dance, what you are struggling with often can be set aside so that you can realize that it is God who is most important. He is God and to be prasied.


>Psalm 148

In Psalms,Theology on January 2, 2008 by mstevensrev

>148:1 Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord from the heavens;
praise him in the heights!
2 Praise him, all his angels;
praise him, all his hosts!

3 Praise him, sun and moon,
praise him, all you shining stars!
4 Praise him, you highest heavens,
and you waters above the heavens!

5 Let them praise the name of the Lord!
For he commanded and they were created.
6 And he established them forever and ever;
he gave a decree, and it shall not pass away.

7 Praise the Lord from the earth,
you great sea creatures and all deeps,
8 fire and hail, snow and mist,
stormy wind fulfilling his word!

9 Mountains and all hills,
fruit trees and all cedars!
10 Beasts and all livestock,
creeping things and flying birds!

11 Kings of the earth and all peoples,
princes and all rulers of the earth!
12 Young men and maidens together,
old men and children!

13 Let them praise the name of the Lord,
for his name alone is exalted;
his majesty is above earth and heaven.
14 He has raised up a horn for his people,
praise for all his saints,
for the people of Israel who are near to him.
Praise the Lord!

There is not a place in this world that should not praise the Lord! All people all things give glory to God for what he has done and who he is! His word is powerful speaking things into creation. Those systems that allow life, sun, move, stars he put into being. All of it is his.

The horn for his people is so that we can call upon him, think The Lion the witch and the wardrobe where the one girl has a horn to blow only when you are in terrible trouble. We can also praise him with such a horn, for he is God.


>Psalm 147

In Psalms,Theology on December 31, 2007 by mstevensrev

>147:1 Praise the Lord!
For it is good to sing praises to our God;
for it is pleasant, and a song of praise is fitting.
2 The Lord builds up Jerusalem;
he gathers the outcasts of Israel.
3 He heals the brokenhearted
and binds up their wounds.
4 He determines the number of the stars;
he gives to all of them their names.
5 Great is our Lord, and abundant in power;
his understanding is beyond measure.
6 The Lord lifts up the humble;
he casts the wicked to the ground.

7 Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving;
make melody to our God on the lyre!
8 He covers the heavens with clouds;
he prepares rain for the earth;
he makes grass grow on the hills.
9 He gives to the beasts their food,
and to the young ravens that cry.
10 His delight is not in the strength of the horse,
nor his pleasure in the legs of a man,
11 but the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him,
in those who hope in his steadfast love.

12 Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem!
Praise your God, O Zion!
13 For he strengthens the bars of your gates;
he blesses your children within you.
14 He makes peace in your borders;
he fills you with the finest of the wheat.
15 He sends out his command to the earth;
his word runs swiftly.
16 He gives snow like wool;
he scatters hoarfrost like ashes.
17 He hurls down his crystals of ice like crumbs;
who can stand before his cold?
18 He sends out his word, and melts them;
he makes his wind blow and the waters flow.
19 He declares his word to Jacob,
his statutes and rules to Israel.
20 He has not dealt thus with any other nation;
they do not know his rules.
Praise the Lord!

How many of the Psalms have to do with God being in control? A large majority of them do. You find that theme central in the theological background I come from and I would make the case that it is essential in prayer. Our life is often our of control and prayer is the place where we come and see that God is and we can rest. We understand our humble position more clearly and that leads us into praise.

Praise for how he protects us. As we start this new year, with resolutions or goals or whatever you call you hopes for this next year, I find it essential to trust and look to a God who will protect me when I risk. When I really go for the things that are in our heart. He will build up the city and protect it, He will protect against the elements. There is great encouragement in this message.


>Psalm 146

In Psalms,Theology on December 31, 2007 by mstevensrev

>This one is a little different We broke it up in our family devotion to reflect on this Psalm…

146:1 Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord, O my soul!
2 I will praise the Lord as long as I live;
I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.

3 Put not your trust in princes,
in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation.
4 When his breath departs, he returns to the earth;
on that very day his plans perish.

5 Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the Lord his God,
6 who made heaven and earth,
the sea, and all that is in them,
who keeps faith forever;
7 who executes justice for the oppressed,
who gives food to the hungry.

The Lord sets the prisoners free;
8 the Lord opens the eyes of the blind.
The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down;
the Lord loves the righteous.
9 The Lord watches over the sojourners;
he upholds the widow and the fatherless,
but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.

10 The Lord will reign forever,
your God, O Zion, to all generations.
Praise the Lord!

Mike- We are too always give praise to God. Don’t trust in leaders they and their plans disappear when they die. We are to give praise to God until we die.

Aidyn- I kinda think the first part actually talks about creation and God helping people like the hungry, the earth didn’t just get shaken he made the it all. It is actually talking about how God made the heavens and earth too. He keeps faith forever which means he will never give up.

Karin- The prisoners and the blind give us hope, for those who feel imprisoned we can count on the lord to not leave us in that place. The bowed down and the righteous are connected sorrow and humility. He loves us and doesn’t leave us hurting. He takes care of the sojourner, fatherless, widow. and brings to ruin the wicked. The seeker who is always traveling in a world that is not as it should be and can be unfamiliar in it’s difficulty. We all can feel the loneliness of fatherless and widows, God is hope in that. God is there forever to all generations.


>Psalm 145

In Psalms,Theology on December 30, 2007 by mstevensrev

>145:1 I will extol you, my God and King,
and bless your name forever and ever.
2 Every day I will bless you
and praise your name forever and ever.
3 Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised,
and his greatness is unsearchable.

4 One generation shall commend your works to another,
and shall declare your mighty acts.
5 On the glorious splendor of your majesty,
and on your wondrous works, I will meditate.
6 They shall speak of the might of your awesome deeds,
and I will declare your greatness.
7 They shall pour forth the fame of your abundant goodness
and shall sing aloud of your righteousness.

8 The Lord is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
9 The Lord is good to all,
and his mercy is over all that he has made.

10 All your works shall give thanks to you, O Lord,
and all your saints shall bless you!

11 They shall speak of the glory of your kingdom
and tell of your power,
12 to make known to the children of man your mighty deeds,
and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
and your dominion endures throughout all generations.

[The Lord is faithful in all his words
and kind in all his works.]
14 The Lord upholds all who are falling
and raises up all who are bowed down.
15 The eyes of all look to you,
and you give them their food in due season.
16 You open your hand;
you satisfy the desire of every living thing.
17 The Lord is righteous in all his ways
and kind in all his works.
18 The Lord is near to all who call on him,
to all who call on him in truth.
19 He fulfills the desire of those who fear him;
he also hears their cry and saves them.
20 The Lord preserves all who love him,
but all the wicked he will destroy.

21 My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord,
and let all flesh bless his holy name forever and ever.

We have something to give God, that is everything. Lifting him up and using our lives to be a blessing to him. How wonderful must it be to see your creation do what it is supposed to do! We are to encourage all those around us to do the same. Live as God has intended, talk of the amazing things he has done, sing, dance, and let everyone know that he is good, kind, gracious, merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in love.

Use your life for something worthwhile, let God be seen thought it. Thankfulness is the cornerstone to this life. Just last night we had a tragedy on our first photo-walk. After being out for just a few minutes the batteries ran out on Aidyn’s camera. I changed them but the end result was none of the pictures she took last night came out. None, before or after the battery change. I was so disappointed. Aidyn was bummed but she was not as upset as I would expect. She really had enjoyed our time together and was thankful for that, even though it didn’t work out. I wish that I had that attitude of thankfulness more often!


>Psalm 144

In Psalms,Theology on December 28, 2007 by mstevensrev

>144:1 Blessed be the Lord, my rock,
who trains my hands for war,
and my fingers for battle;
2 he is my steadfast love and my fortress,
my stronghold and my deliverer,
my shield and he in whom I take refuge,
who subdues peoples under me.

3 O Lord, what is man that you regard him,
or the son of man that you think of him?
4 Man is like a breath;
his days are like a passing shadow.

5 Bow your heavens, O Lord, and come down!
Touch the mountains so that they smoke!
6 Flash forth the lightning and scatter them;
send out your arrows and rout them!
7 Stretch out your hand from on high;
rescue me and deliver me from the many waters,
from the hand of foreigners,
8 whose mouths speak lies
and whose right hand is a right hand of falsehood.

9 I will sing a new song to you, O God;
upon a ten-stringed harp I will play to you,
10 who gives victory to kings,
who rescues David his servant from the cruel sword.
11 Rescue me and deliver me
from the hand of foreigners,
whose mouths speak lies
and whose right hand is a right hand of falsehood.

12 May our sons in their youth
be like plants full grown,
our daughters like corner pillars
cut for the structure of a palace;
13 may our granaries be full,
providing all kinds of produce;
may our sheep bring forth thousands
and ten thousands in our fields;
14 may our cattle be heavy with young,
suffering no mishap or failure in bearing;
may there be no cry of distress in our streets!
15 Blessed are the people to whom such blessings fall!
Blessed are the people whose God is the Lord!

All my war is metaphorical. Unlike David or the Psalmist if it was not him, I have not fought to destroy another person, something that in a strange way would need a power greater than we possess in and of ourselves. The war that rages around me is mostly relationally. Perhaps that is why a movie light Fight Club has so much appeal.

My battles are fought with words. Recognizing the feelings and drives of myself and others and attempting to create positive change around them. But what does it all amount to? Even a breath? Even all our struggle and strife the only thing that truly makes a difference in this world is a new Kingdom established by God. Where all the work I am doing and have done has signficance, where the true meaning of it all is exposed, and where all my unrigheous motivation melts away.

May that day come! The kings will celebrate, the people will sing, ther will not be a people who do not know the wonder and glory of God. Children will grow in strength with plenty of food to eat, not a toss up whether they survive (like lots of places in the world) or end up strung out or crazy. The land will not be violated, but will bear fruit and food without effort. The street will be a safe place.


>Psalm 143

In Psalms,Theology on December 27, 2007 by mstevensrev

>143:1 Hear my prayer, O Lord;
give ear to my pleas for mercy!
In your faithfulness answer me, in your righteousness!
2 Enter not into judgment with your servant,
for no one living is righteous before you.

3 For the enemy has pursued my soul;
he has crushed my life to the ground;
he has made me sit in darkness like those long dead.
4 Therefore my spirit faints within me;
my heart within me is appalled.

5 I remember the days of old;
I meditate on all that you have done;
I ponder the work of your hands.
6 I stretch out my hands to you;
my soul thirsts for you like a parched land. Selah

7 Answer me quickly, O Lord!
My spirit fails!
Hide not your face from me,
lest I be like those who go down to the pit.
8 Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love,
for in you I trust.
Make me know the way I should go,
for to you I lift up my soul.

9 Deliver me from my enemies, O Lord!
I have fled to you for refuge!
10 Teach me to do your will,
for you are my God!
Let your good Spirit lead me
on level ground!

11 For your name’s sake, O Lord, preserve my life!
In your righteousness bring my soul out of trouble!
12 And in your steadfast love you will cut off my enemies,
and you will destroy all the adversaries of my soul,
for I am your servant.

“For no one living is righteous before you.” This is a hard reality that I find keep a number of people from faith. It is nearly impossible for them to see themselves as not good.

The Psalmist describes the first thing that has messed up our righteousness. The actions of others have harmed us. And as I have learned and hear many wise people say, hurt people hurt other people. We all live with wounded hearts, whether we can name the abuse we suffer or if it is merely living everyday life. It is there.

This and my own actions don’t keep me from God, actually it leads me to seek him more! I look back on all that I have done, and God’s faithfulness over that time. i sing songs thanking him and ask that his Spirit would lead me more deeply into a life that honors him.


>Psalm 142

In Psalms,Theology on December 26, 2007 by mstevensrev

>142:1 With my voice I cry out to the Lord;
with my voice I plead for mercy to the Lord.
2 I pour out my complaint before him;
I tell my trouble before him.

3 When my spirit faints within me,
you know my way!
In the path where I walk
they have hidden a trap for me.
4 Look to the right and see:
there is none who takes notice of me;
no refuge remains to me;
no one cares for my soul.

5 I cry to you, O Lord;
I say, “You are my refuge,
my portion in the land of the living.”
6 Attend to my cry,
for I am brought very low!
Deliver me from my persecutors,
for they are too strong for me!
7 Bring me out of prison,
that I may give thanks to your name!
The righteous will surround me,
for you will deal bountifully with me.

Snitch or tattle tale, there were really bad things when I grew up. You did not want to be the one giving someone else up. And yet part of maturing and growing up is being able to express your needs and problems to people without selling out others.

God is there to hear our complaints, worries and needs. He loves us and he loves everyone he has created therefore you don’t have to worry about him being convinced to do something he doesn’t want to do. He will surround us with people who have our good in mind. The righteous are available to us.


>Psalm 141

In Psalms,Theology on December 23, 2007 by mstevensrev

>141:1 O Lord, I call upon you; hasten to me!
Give ear to my voice when I call to you!
2 Let my prayer be counted as incense before you,
and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice!

3 Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth;
keep watch over the door of my lips!
4 Do not let my heart incline to any evil,
to busy myself with wicked deeds
in company with men who work iniquity,
and let me not eat of their delicacies!

5 Let a righteous man strike me—it is a kindness;
let him rebuke me—it is oil for my head;
let my head not refuse it.
Yet my prayer is continually against their evil deeds.
6 When their judges are thrown over the cliff,
then they shall hear my words, for they are pleasant.
7 As when one plows and breaks up the earth,
so shall our bones be scattered at the mouth of Sheol.

8 But my eyes are toward you, O God, my Lord;
in you I seek refuge; leave me not defenseless!
9 Keep me from the trap that they have laid for me
and from the snares of evildoers!
10 Let the wicked fall into their own nets,
while I pass by safely.

We all love things that smell good. Just last Friday I came home from work and Aidyn and my mother-in-law had baked cookies. Needless to say it made me happen. May our requests to God be the same…hopefully he doesn’t then get hungry and eat us.

I like this second prayer about our lips. I talk, talk alot, and could use God’s protection with the words that I use. This could keep me out of trouble, as well as staying away from those who are evil.

I want to be like that guy in the Atari game PitFall. Remember swinging and jumping over all those things? Then while those who were trying to trap others get what’s coming to him.