Break Their Teeth (Psalm 58)

PSALM 58

Do you indeed speak righteousness, you silent ones? Do you judge uprightly, you sons of men? 2 No, in heart you work wickedness; You weigh out the violence of your hands in the earth.

PSALM 58:1-2

BREAK THEIR TEETH

There is a part of the human soul that cries out for justice. When we see injustice we want justice to be served. One of the clear ways this comes out in our society is when we see crimes against children. We understand that the adults who have mistreated, mishandled, or hurt children are sinister and deserve to be punished.

David saw some folks in his own day were were supposed to be people who saw that victims got justice but instead of overseeing justice, they were unjust themselves. They furthered the corruption. They oppressed the already oppressed. They favored the oppressor.

And so David was indignant. He was mad. He had a righteous anger. He knew God would do something one day about these people of an unsavory character who filled an office that was supposed to guarantee justice. But he also wanted God to move in his own day. Waiting for Justice isn’t easy.

David prays some pretty harsh things, or at least he uses harsh metaphors. He calls out to God to provide justice by breaking the teeth (see verse 6) of these unjust judges. He wants God to silence them. To hit them where the abuse comes from (their mouths). He wants their rule or oversight to be short lived like a snail in the sun or a stillborn child. These imprecations are harsh, but they reveal a real zeal for God’s justice to happen even now.

Who do you need to pray for today that has been a victim of injustice? What injustices are happening around the world or in our community that we need to pray against?

PRAYER

Father, Break my heart for what breaks yours. We see lots of injustice in our world today. From the baby in the womb who never gets to see the light or day, to animosities between groups of people, to the mistreatment of people perhaps in our own communities. I ask for righteous leaders in our community, state, and nation. We ask for people in positions of power to make fair and right decisions. We pray that our politicians and leaders aren’t swayed by polls, but rather hold firm to truth and righteousness. May they act with integrity. Limit the sins of those who do unjust violence against others. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

I’m reading and blogging the Psalms Through The Summer. I’d love for you to join me. You can find out a little more here.

My Heart Is Steadfast (Psalm 57)

PSALM 57

My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast; I will sing and give praise.

PSALM 57:7

MY HEART IS STEADFAST

This Psalm is tied to the one we looked at yesterday. David was facing some serious crisis moments in his life. He didn’t necessarily feel like singing praise to God. Perhaps he was even sliding into a depression (you know stress can trigger that sort of thing).

Sometimes it’s hard to feel the weight of worship when we are so burdened by our present circumstances. We know that we should rejoice in the Lord for all of his goodness, his greatness, and for his glory, but our hearts just don’t feel it. Our present circumstances seem to fight against it. Some times in those situations we can look to other places to blame. Maybe it’s the music? Or the preacher? Or the church we are in? We blame something externally for the thing we feel internally.

The reality is the God hasn’t changed, regardless of how we feel, or the circumstances we face, He is worthy of worship! David recognizes this in his own heart and so chooses his attitude in worship (Did you know that you could do that?) It’s not being fake to let your will lead your emotions. It’s shallow to let your emotions lead your will! David doubles down on trusting God in the middle of his fear. He confesses that he is steadfast twice! He sings in the middle of his depression because God is worthy! In the next verse he even goes as far as to say he is waking up his soul to sing to God. Sometimes when we feel the most Blah, is the time that we need to sing to the Lord the most!

Who need this encouragement today? I’m publishing this on a Sunday morning. Are you going to church today? I hope you have an opportunity to go to church somewhere and worship the Lord, He is worthy of praise! Go even if you don’t feel like it. You may find in the midst of your blah feeling that being with God’s people is the exact place you need to be. Go with the attitude and intention of worship. Let your heart be steadfast today!

PRAYER

Father, YOU are worthy of all Glory, Honor and Praise! You are worthy of all our worship. Sometimes my body feels tired and I don’t feel like singing your praise. Sometimes I am stressed and I find it hard to focus. Sometimes my soul is tired. Today Lord, let me be steadfast. I offer you praise because you are worthy, not just because I enjoy the company of my neighbors. I am leading my feelings with my will. I’m not allowing my feelings to run the show. So dear Lord please meet me as I gather to worship today! Please awaken my soul to your glory and your goodness! You are worthy of all my praise! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

I’m reading and blogging the Psalms Through The Summer. I’d love for you to join me. You can find out a little more here.

Whenever I Am Afraid, I Will Trust In You (Psalm 56)

PSALM 56

Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You.

PSALM 56:3

WHENEVER I AM AFRAID, I WILL TRUST IN YOU

David was on the run for his life from Saul. He ended up in the town where Goliath (the giant he killed) was from. It was a horrible situation. He certainly had cause for anxiety and fear. He is running for his life from the king of Israel and he ended up in the hometown of a hero to the Philistines, whom he happened to have killed. His life is in danger from all sides.

How do you begin to sing praise to God when you are afraid for your life? How do you deal with the mounting pressure that seems like it will never let up? How do you handle the stress of having so many enemies? Somehow David finds a place to pen this prayer and song to the Lord.

Verse three summarizes everything beautifully, “Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in you.” David knows where to go when his life is filled with stress and anxiety. He goes to God confidently knowing that God is for him (see verse 9) and so his cause won’t fail. He is seeking God with his whole heart. We fight anxiety by faith in God. He knows that bringing his anxiety to God will help him face his fears.

And it worked. There would be other days of fear and anxiety in David’s life, but he knew where to take it all. He prayed and he trusted the Lord. God’s promises held firm. God’s word held true for David and it holds true for us today when we trust him.

What we read in God’s word is multiplied when we share it with others. Who needs this short verse of encouragement in their life today? Who can you encourage?

PRAYER

Father, I am grateful that you are “for me.” You have called me, chosen me, set me apart, that through Christ I might become on of your children. As Paul says in Romans, If you are for me, who could be against me? So today I am placing all of my fears and anxieties in your hands. When I feel afraid, I will trust in you. Let this be the one things my mind and soul cling to more than any other. Thank you for your overwhelming grace and kindness to me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

I’m reading and blogging the Psalms Through The Summer. I’d love for you to join me. You can find out a little more here.

Cast Your Burden On The LORD (Psalm 55)

PSALM 55

1 To the Chief Musician. With stringed instruments. A Contemplation of David. Give ear to my prayer, O God, And do not hide Yourself from my supplication. 2 Attend to me, and hear me; I am restless in my complaint, and moan noisily, 3 Because of the voice of the enemy, Because of the oppression of the wicked; For they bring down trouble upon me, And in wrath they hate me. 4 My heart is severely pained within me, And the terrors of death have fallen upon me. 5 Fearfulness and trembling have come upon me, And horror has overwhelmed me. … 22 Cast your burden on the LORD, And He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.

PSALM 55:1-5, 22

CAST YOUR BURDEN ON THE LORD

I was at the beach the other day loaded down with all of our beach gear. I somehow had managed to try and carry/ pull an ice chest, along with some beach chairs, a bag of toys, towels, etc… I was barely making progress to the spot my wife picked out. I didn’t start out with the intention to get loaded down. I started out with the intention of having a fantastic day at the beach. As I loaded up I didn’t ask for help, I just started carrying everything (Which was so much easier when everyone was little). Finally my family must have noticed my struggle and before I knew it, everything was off of me and on to them and the journey became much more bearable.

Sometimes we go through life like that. Along the way we pick up burdens or problems and we think we have to carry it all. It’s at this point that David reminds us to cast all our cares on the LORD! We are given the freedom to give our problems over to God. Indeed, if we don’t take them to God, where are we taking them? We don’t have to carry our troubles on our own, we can cast our burdens on the LORD. We can trust Him to take care of our issues and challenges. He is more than able to handle it.

I know I feel a lot better about an issue after I’ve prayed over it and placed it in the Lord’s hands. I am grateful that he encourages us to carry our problems to him. We come to him not as perfect people who can carry everything, but as those changed and changing by grace who trust him to carry all of our burdens and challenges.

PRAYER

Father, Thank you that we can cast all our cares on you. I am grateful that you hear me when I pray for those who I am worried about. I know I bring many requests each day for health and healing of loved ones, for those who don’t know you, and your grace to develop leaders. Thank you that you see and know the burden I carry and you have bidden me to cast my cares on you. I trust in you. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

I’m reading and blogging the Psalms Through The Summer. I’d love for you to join me. You can find out a little more here.

Uphold My Life (Psalm 54)

PSALM 54

1 To the Chief Musician. With stringed instruments. A Contemplation of David when the Ziphites went and said to Saul, “Is David not hiding with us?” Save me, O God, by Your name, And vindicate me by Your strength. 2 Hear my prayer, O God; Give ear to the words of my mouth. 3 For strangers have risen up against me, And oppressors have sought after my life; They have not set God before them. Selah 4 Behold, God [is] my helper; The Lord [is] with those who uphold my life. 5 He will repay my enemies for their evil. Cut them off in Your truth. 6 I will freely sacrifice to You; I will praise Your name, O LORD, for [it is] good. 7 For He has delivered me out of all trouble; And my eye has seen [its desire] upon my enemies.

PSALM 54:1-7

UPHOLD MY LIFE

I once had a vehicle break down at the beach and waited an hour to get a tow truck and spent an hour talking to the driver. The next week, miles away in another town, I had a malfunction on another vehicle. The same tow truck driver came in a different tow truck for a different company and picked me up. I don’t believe in coincidences and sensing God was up to something so I asked the driver more pressing questions about what was going on in his life. Sure enough, God was already at work in a situation and this man needed a pastor to listen and encourage him in his faith journey. At the end of the conversation I shared that I thought God had put me in his path that day for a reason. He had admitted that he had almost forgotten that he had prayed a prayer of desperation a few weeks ago and God had put me in his path twice!!! I prayed over him and we both parted company very encouraged knowing that God had heard his prayers and placed a pastor in his path to encourage him and help him.

This Psalm is David’s prayer to God asking to be vindicated from that harm that someone has done him. He asks God to hear his prayer, then he remembers that God has helped him in a million ways all along the way (so surely he won’t abandon him to his enemy now), and so his heart erupts in gratitude for the goodness and grace of God. Even in his prayer for justice David finds reason to rejoice because of God’s holy character.

Sometimes we forget just how far the Lord has taken us. We need to stop and see just where he has been working in our lives. David noted that God had helped him all along the way. I am often amazed at how I see God orchestrating my steps along the way as well. I know that I’m in good hands when I am in God’s hands and that should provoke us to praise.

PRAYER

Father, Thank you for the millions of things you are actively doing in and around me. With David I can confess that you have held me up. You have been at work in my life and the lives of those around me. Thank you for hearing my prayer and answering so many times before I could even think to say amen. Help me to walk into this day with gratitude and grace. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

I’m reading and blogging the Psalms Through The Summer. I’d love for you to join me. You can find out a little more here.

Same Song, Different Tune (Psalm 53)

PSALM 53

[Psa 53:1-6 NKJV] 1 To the Chief Musician. Set to “Mahalath.” A Contemplation of David. The fool has said in his heart, “[There is] no God.” They are corrupt, and have done abominable iniquity; [There is] none who does good. 2 God looks down from heaven upon the children of men, To see if there are [any] who understand, who seek God. 3 Every one of them has turned aside; They have together become corrupt; [There is] none who does good, No, not one. 4 Have the workers of iniquity no knowledge, Who eat up my people [as] they eat bread, And do not call upon God? 5 There they are in great fear [Where] no fear was, For God has scattered the bones of him who encamps against you; You have put [them] to shame, Because God has despised them. 6 Oh, that the salvation of Israel would come out of Zion! When God brings back the captivity of His people, Let Jacob rejoice [and] Israel be glad.

PSALM 53:1-7

SAME SONG, DIFFERENT TUNE

We had a pick your favorite hymn night the other night in church. Folks were glancing through their hymnals to call out songs for us to sing. I had one in mind (Come Thou Fount) and while I glanced through the hymnal I noticed two hymns with the same name; both sets of words started the same but there were some slight differences and one version had a whole extra chorus.

Remember Psalm 14? Most of this Psalm is repeated there. There are a few notable changes. 1. David gives the music director the “tune” to which this song is to be sung. 2. In Psalm 14, the name LORD (all caps, the English way of noting God’s divine personal name) is used, where as in Psalm 53 He is referred to as God (a less personal term). 3. Verse 5 is different.

So what do these changes tell us? It’s quite literally almost the same song, just a different tune. I guess in a very literal way there will be some folks who are fools and deny the existence of God either by their lips of their lives. Some perhaps will deny the personal God of the Bible and others have a beef with the idea of God in general, but they are both fools and they are both missing the richness of understanding the world as a work of it’s personal creator. Its the same song, just a different tune.

One of the biggest things that those who have no regard for even a general sense of God will face is a blinding anxiety. Without hope of God in this world, their actions will be driven by fear rather than faith. Their worldview will tend to peter towards the hopeless rather than the hope offered in a creator and sustainer. They will have no sense of purpose or place and so they will purpose to do things in their own heart that may drive them against the very purpose for which they were created. Similar to that guy we looked at yesterday who used his voice to demean God’s servant rather than reflect God’s glory.

PRAYER

Father, Thank you that you have revealed yourself in your creation, in your word, in Jesus Christ, through your church, and by your Holy Spirit. You are not without witness in my life. I am grateful for the abundance of evidence there is not only for your existence, but for the purpose of life, even my life. I pray that I would have the benefit and grace to point others to you today. I ask that you would open the eyes of the blind who cannot see you and will not see you apart from your sovereign grace. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

I’m reading and blogging the Psalms Through The Summer. I’d love for you to join me. You can find out a little more here.

A Cheater Cheats Himself The Most (Psalm 52)

PSALM 52

1 To the Chief Musician. A Contemplation of David when Doeg the Edomite went and told Saul, and said to him, “David has gone to the house of Ahimelech.” Why do you boast in evil, O mighty man? The goodness of God [endures] continually. 2 Your tongue devises destruction, Like a sharp razor, working deceitfully. 3 You love evil more than good, Lying rather than speaking righteousness. Selah 4 You love all devouring words, [You] deceitful tongue. 5 God shall likewise destroy you forever; He shall take you away, and pluck you out of [your] dwelling place, And uproot you from the land of the living. Selah 6 The righteous also shall see and fear, And shall laugh at him, [saying], 7 “Here is the man [who] did not make God his strength, But trusted in the abundance of his riches, [And] strengthened himself in his wickedness.” 8 But I [am] like a green olive tree in the house of God; I trust in the mercy of God forever and ever. 9 I will praise You forever, Because You have done [it]; And in the presence of Your saints I will wait on Your name, for [it is] good.

PSALM 52:1-9

A CHEATER CHEATS HIMSELF THE MOST

Have you ever tried to play golf with someone who constantly would cheat? If your back was turned they were happy to throw their ball further down the fairway or onto the green and toss yours into the woods. It really takes the joy out of the game because they have tried to skew your efforts to make you worse than you are and their efforts to make themselves better than they are. Indeed they are cheating everyone!

In life we find folks like that. Sometimes they are at your work reporting to your boss every success you’ve had as if it were theirs and every failure they’ve had as if it were yours. They plot and scheme and hope to some how get ahead by all of their plotting.

David had a guy like that in his life. His name was Deog the Edomite. He had no use for David other than to betray him, tattle on him, and belittle him in the eyes of Saul. His sharp tongue caused David much pain and perplexity.

David meditates on his situation and he notes that Doeg is playing a short-term game. Doeg thinks he will advance himself somehow in Saul’s regime. He thinks he is winning the day, but David notes that his schemes will only bring about his own destruction. David is playing the long game. He is trusting God. He is acting with integrity. He doesn’t opt for what is easy, convenient, or practical. He is opting instead to honor God in everything and in doing so, God will honor him with all that he has already promised.

My takeaway from today’s psalm was to trust God and live righteously even when someone antagonizes you, slanders you, or speaks evil against you. I also am asking God to search my heart for those traits. It’s easy to deceive ourselves into thinking we are acting justly when we are just marching to our own party lines instead of looking to the Lord to lead.

PRAYER

Father, Thank you that you see all and know all. I ask you to search my heart and see. I pray that I am never a Doeg in someone else’s life. I don’t want to be inclined to deception and I certainly don’t want to deceive myself. I trust in you and your promises. Please keep my feet firmly placed on the foundation of Christ Jesus. Please work out your salvation in me to will and to do and to honor you in all things. I pray that I walk righteously and confidently in the truth of your word. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

I’m reading and blogging the Psalms Through The Summer. I’d love for you to join me. You can find out a little more here.

You Can Come Back To God (Psalm 51)

PSALM 51

1 To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David when Nathan the prophet went to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba. Have mercy upon me, O God, According to Your lovingkindness; According to the multitude of Your tender mercies, Blot out my transgressions. 2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, And cleanse me from my sin. 3 For I acknowledge my transgressions, And my sin [is] always before me. 4 Against You, You only, have I sinned, And done [this] evil in Your sight–That You may be found just when You speak, [And] blameless when You judge. 5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me. 6 Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts, And in the hidden [part] You will make me to know wisdom. 7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. 8 Make me hear joy and gladness, [That] the bones You have broken may rejoice. 9 Hide Your face from my sins, And blot out all my iniquities. 10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. 11 Do not cast me away from Your presence, And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. 12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, And uphold me [by Your] generous Spirit. 13 [Then] I will teach transgressors Your ways, And sinners shall be converted to You.

PSALM 51:1-13

YOU CAN COME BACK TO GOD

David did a terrible thing. It was horrible. He abused his power as king to force Bathsheba into an adulterous relationship with him and then he had her husband killed. There is no way around this. David, the man after God’s own heart, had done some really terrible things. This wasn’t a mere wayward glance or an abrupt, tired, and ill timed remark. This was life altering sin that had sever consequences for Uriah (the man he had killed) and his family. David destroyed lives with his sin. It was no small matter.

But no matter how bad David’s sin was, there was still a way back to God. I think sometimes we take this for granted that God forgives. We fail to take into account how profound that really is. Apart from the grace of God, we can’t forgive one another when we are sinned against in such violent ways. Apart from God’s grace, how do you forgive a cheating spouse? How do you forgive a person who you believed in, were supposed to be able to trust, and they commit violent acts to destroy you and your family? How does God forgive such heinous sinners? And if we just so happen to be that sinner, how do we even imagine being able to ask God for the forgiveness and grace we so desperately need?

Enter Psalm 51, David shares his prayer. He mourns his sin. It’s not something he can just wash off on his own. The dirt on his soul is so putrid, so foul, and so deep in his heart that there is no way to cleanse it with soap and a rag. No matter how hot the water and no matter how much he scrubs, his deeds are out there forever to make ripples in the lives of those he has betrayed.

David is a man’s man, he is independent. He is the guy who trusted the Lord to kill the giant. He is the one who has lead his nation into battle time and time again. He has fought on the front lines. You won’t find many things that David can’t do…. but David readily admits that he can’t wash his soul of these horrific sins… but God can.

This confession, this dependence, this poverty of spirit before almighty God is perhaps why David is a man after God’s own heart. He has no problem recognizing his sin and that God is the only one who can forgive him and that God will forgive when he boldly approaches seeking his forgiveness.

This is great news for both the sinner and the one’s wrestling with how to forgive sin. The good news for sinners is that you can come home to God through repentance. It’s not an easy grace, it’s costly. Jesus went to the cross so that you could come to God. A sacrifice had to be made on David’s behalf and fortunetly for David, God was willing to pay it. Like the prodigal son, he can come home.

And for those wrestling with how to forgive. We offer forgiveness not in our strength or our power, but through trusting God to render everyone their just due. Those who have betrayed us will answer for their sins, either through Christ who payed their sin debt or their souls forever in a place called Hell.

PRAYER

Father, I am overwhelmed by your mercy. I know people who have hurt others like David. If I’m really honest before you, I know sin plagues my soul to the same depth that it touched David’s. I may not have acted in out in the ways that he did, but my heart has been deceptive and wicked. I need you to forgive and cleanse me from unrighteous deeds, thoughts, and desires. I want only what is pure, lovely, and holy to remain. I am grateful we can come to you for forgiveness of our sins and restoration of our relationship, no matter how far we have run from you. I am grateful that we can trust you to deal with the sins of others. Thank you father for your grace. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

I’m reading and blogging the Psalms Through The Summer. I’d love for you to join me. You can find out a little more here.

God Doesn’t Need Me, But He Wants Me (Psalm 50)

PSALM 50

7 “Hear, O My people, and I will speak, O Israel, and I will testify against you; I [am] God, your God! 8 I will not rebuke you for your sacrifices Or your burnt offerings, [Which are] continually before Me. 9 I will not take a bull from your house, [Nor] goats out of your folds. 10 For every beast of the forest [is] Mine, [And] the cattle on a thousand hills. 11 I know all the birds of the mountains, And the wild beasts of the field [are] Mine. 12 “If I were hungry, I would not tell you; For the world [is] Mine, and all its fullness. 13 Will I eat the flesh of bulls, Or drink the blood of goats? 14 Offer to God thanksgiving, And pay your vows to the Most High. 15 Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.”

PSALM 50:7-15

GOD DOESN’T NEED ME, BUT HE WANTS ME

I’ve heard a few pastors or speakers get up and declare something that God ‘needs.’ “God needs faithful men.” “God needs his people to be consistent.” etc. etc. It’s always irritating when I hear that kind of language. First because God does NOT need anything! He is self-sufficient. He created everything. He has no need! There isn’t anything you can give God that He doesn’t already have! To think that God needs something from you is to completely misunderstand God! Indeed, it mislabels God. If God needs something from you, He is not God, you are!

God does not need so therefore He cannot be manipulated. You can’t withhold something from God in an attempt to get him to do your bidding. You can’t promise him something to get him to do what you want. There is no real bargaining with God (See the book of Jonah). You have no leverage…. on the other hand, everything you have comes from God. Your body, your life, your breath, your possessions, even your cat (I know I’m assuming your a cat person). In a very real sense weather you recognize it or not, you need God!

God does not need anything from you, that means he has no reason to manipulate you. He has no reason to tell you lies (That’s one thing by definition that God can not do). It means that everything that comes from Him, quite simply comes as a gift. There is nothing you can offer to purchase what God gives.

So if God doesn’t need anything from me, and I need everything from Him, how do I interact with God? The proper response to God is to show God gratitude (v. 14) and give Him glory (v.15). Gratitude is a recognition of His provision and gifts. Glory is a recognition of His greatness. These responses aren’t a payments (we could never repay God) they are praises. These are “offerings” from the heart, not just the flock (or checkbook). We recognize that even the offering itself comes from God, it’s the heart that expresses gratitude and gives glory.

There is much more to this psalm, especially as we contemplate sin and separation from God, but I found this section the most thought provoking as we consider our worship of God.

PRAYER

Father, I am grateful that you have provided all that I need. You have given me gifts great and small that are all greater than I can comprehend. I am limited in my ability to perceive the full depth of your provision. I am humbled today to think that you have no need of anything I could give you, but you should choose to hear my prayers. Forgive me for when I have thought that worship was transactional or when I misunderstood your gracious gifts as those things to which I was entitled. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

I’m reading and blogging the Psalms Through The Summer. I’d love for you to join me. You can find out a little more here.

Beware Of Empty Treasures (Psalm 49)

PSALM 49

1 To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of the sons of Korah. Hear this, all peoples; Give ear, all inhabitants of the world, 2 Both low and high, Rich and poor together. 3 My mouth shall speak wisdom, And the meditation of my heart [shall give] understanding. 4 I will incline my ear to a proverb; I will disclose my dark saying on the harp. 5 Why should I fear in the days of evil, [When] the iniquity at my heels surrounds me? 6 Those who trust in their wealth And boast in the multitude of their riches, 7 None [of them] can by any means redeem [his] brother, Nor give to God a ransom for him– 8 For the redemption of their souls [is] costly, And it shall cease forever– 9 That he should continue to live eternally, [And] not see the Pit. 10 For he sees wise men die; Likewise the fool and the senseless person perish, And leave their wealth to others. 11 Their inner thought [is that] their houses [will last] forever, Their dwelling places to all generations; They call [their] lands after their own names. 12 Nevertheless man, [though] in honor, does not remain; He is like the beasts [that] perish. 13 This is the way of those who [are] foolish, And of their posterity who approve their sayings. Selah 14 Like sheep they are laid in the grave; Death shall feed on them; The upright shall have dominion over them in the morning; And their beauty shall be consumed in the grave, far from their dwelling. 15 But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave, For He shall receive me. Selah 16 Do not be afraid when one becomes rich, When the glory of his house is increased; 17 For when he dies he shall carry nothing away; His glory shall not descend after him. 18 Though while he lives he blesses himself (For [men] will praise you when you do well for yourself), 19 He shall go to the generation of his fathers; They shall never see light. 20 A man [who is] in honor, yet does not understand, Is like the beasts [that] perish.

PSALM 49:1-20

BEWARE OF EMPTY TREASURES

I love going to the beach. We usually see a lot of wonderful marine life where we are. We see everything from hermit crabs, sand dollars, starfish and sea cucumbers, to sting rays, sharks, and dolphins. We also enjoy the sugar like white sands of the gulf coast. Often I see kids at the beach flying kites and building sandcastles. Sandcastles are the one thing I never really understood about beach life. You could build one today, but you know it would be gone in just a few hours when the tide comes in. It won’t matter how much work you put in, how many decorative shells you’ve placed on it, or how elaborate it all is, it will wash away in the tide.

There are a lot of our lives that are like that as well. There are things we can place our time and effort into that in the great grand scheme of things don’t really matter. When the great tide of death comes (and it comes for us all) it will wash away all that we have built with our hands. The Psalmist reminds us that to have a vast estate, a great amount of wealth, wisdom, or posterity in the end won’t really mean a whole lot when death comes for us. We won’t be able to think our way out of death. We won’t be able to buy our way out of death. We won’t be able to work our way out of death. We won’t have any influence or control over death. And when it comes it will render all of those things useless.

BUT GOD (see verse 15)…. The only one who can redeem us from death is God. So while this world pursues many worthless things, we are reminded to pursue God. He is the only treasure worth seeking after. Jesus said it this way in Matthew 6:33:“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”

PRAYER

Father, keep me from pursuing worthless treasure. This world values so many things that in the end will not profit me anything. Teach me to be diligent with all that you have entrusted to me. I don’t want to waste my life or my time on things that don’t even matter. I am grateful for your salvation. Let me seek my peace, my hope, my souls redemption in you today! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

I’m reading and blogging the Psalms Through The Summer. I’d love for you to join me. You can find out a little more here.