April 23, Psalm 43-45, 49, 84-85, 87

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Psalm 43[a]

Vindicate me, God, and champion my cause
against an unfaithful nation;
rescue me from the deceitful and unjust person.
For you are the God of my refuge.
Why have you rejected me?
Why must I go about in sorrow
because of the enemy’s oppression?Send your light and your truth; let them lead me.
Let them bring me to your holy mountain,
to your dwelling place.
Then I will come to the altar of God,
to God, my greatest joy.
I will praise you with the lyre,
God, my God.Why, my soul, are you so dejected?
Why are you in such turmoil?
Put your hope in God, for I will still praise him,
my Savior and my God.

Psalm 44

Israel’s Complaint

For the choir director. A Maskil of the sons of Korah.

God, we have heard with our ears—
our ancestors have told us—
the work you accomplished in their days,
in days long ago:
In order to plant them,
you displaced the nations by your hand;
in order to settle them,
you brought disaster on the peoples.
For they did not take the land by their sword—
their arm did not bring them victory—
but by your right hand, your arm,
and the light of your face,
because you were favorable toward them.You are my King, my God,
who ordains[b] victories for Jacob.
Through you we drive back our foes;
through your name we trample our enemies.
For I do not trust in my bow,
and my sword does not bring me victory.
But you give us victory over our foes
and let those who hate us be disgraced.
We boast in God all day long;
we will praise your name forever.SelahBut you have rejected and humiliated us;
you do not march out with our armies.
10 You make us retreat from the foe,
and those who hate us
have taken plunder for themselves.
11 You hand us over to be eaten like sheep
and scatter us among the nations.
12 You sell your people for nothing;
you make no profit from selling them.
13 You make us an object of reproach to our neighbors,
a source of mockery and ridicule to those around us.
14 You make us a joke among the nations,
a laughingstock[c] among the peoples.
15 My disgrace is before me all day long,
and shame has covered my face,
16 because of the taunts[d] of the scorner and reviler,
because of the enemy and avenger.17 All this has happened to us,
but we have not forgotten you
or betrayed your covenant.
18 Our hearts have not turned back;
our steps have not strayed from your path.
19 But you have crushed us in a haunt of jackals
and have covered us with deepest darkness.
20 If we had forgotten the name of our God
and spread out our hands to a foreign god,
21 wouldn’t God have found this out,
since he knows the secrets of the heart?
22 Because of you we are being put to death all day long;
we are counted as sheep to be slaughtered.23 Wake up, Lord! Why are you sleeping?
Get up! Don’t reject us forever!
24 Why do you hide
and forget our affliction and oppression?
25 For we have sunk down to the dust;
our bodies cling to the ground.
26 Rise up! Help us!
Redeem us because of your faithful love.

Psalm 45

A Royal Wedding Song

For the choir director: according to “The Lilies.” A Maskil of the sons of Korah. A love song.

My heart is moved by a noble theme
as I recite my verses to the king;
my tongue is the pen of a skillful writer.
You are the most handsome of men;[e]
grace flows from your lips.
Therefore God has blessed you forever.Mighty warrior, strap your sword at your side.
In your majesty and splendor—
in your splendor ride triumphantly
in the cause of truth, humility, and justice.
May your right hand show your awe-inspiring acts.
Your sharpened arrows pierce the hearts of the king’s enemies;
the peoples fall under you.Your throne, God, is[f] forever and ever;
the scepter of your kingdom is a scepter of justice.
You love righteousness and hate wickedness;
therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of joy
more than your companions.
Myrrh, aloes, and cassia perfume all your garments;
from ivory palaces harps bring you joy.
Kings’ daughters are among your honored women;
the queen, adorned with gold from Ophir,
stands at your right hand.10 Listen, daughter, pay attention and consider:
Forget your people and your father’s house,
11 and the king will desire your beauty.
Bow down to him, for he is your lord.
12 The daughter of Tyre, the wealthy people,
will seek your favor with gifts.13 In her chamber, the royal daughter is all glorious,
her clothing embroidered with gold.
14 In colorful garments she is led to the king;
after her, the virgins, her companions, are brought to you.
15 They are led in with gladness and rejoicing;
they enter the king’s palace.16 Your sons will succeed your ancestors;
you will make them princes throughout the land.
17 I will cause your name to be remembered for all generations;
therefore the peoples will praise you forever and ever.

Psalm 49

Misplaced Trust in Wealth

For the choir director. A psalm of the sons of Korah.

Hear this, all you peoples;
listen, all who inhabit the world,
both low and high,
rich and poor together.
My mouth speaks wisdom;
my heart’s meditation brings understanding.
I turn my ear to a proverb;
I explain my riddle with a lyre.Why should I fear in times of trouble?
The iniquity of my foes surrounds me.
They trust in their wealth
and boast of their abundant riches.
Yet these cannot redeem a person[a]
or pay his ransom to God—
since the price of redeeming him is too costly,
one should forever stop trying[b]—
so that he may live forever
and not see the Pit.10 For one can see that the wise die;
the foolish and stupid also pass away.
Then they leave their wealth to others.
11 Their graves are their permanent homes,[c]
their dwellings from generation to generation,
though they have named estates after themselves.
12 But despite his assets,[d] mankind will not last;
he is like the animals that perish.13 This is the way of those who are arrogant,
and of their followers,
who approve of their words.[e]Selah
14 Like sheep they are headed for Sheol;
Death will shepherd them.
The upright will rule over them in the morning,
and their form will waste away in Sheol,[f]
far from their lofty abode.
15 But God will redeem me
from the power of Sheol,
for he will take me.Selah16 Do not be afraid when a person gets rich,
when the wealth[g] of his house increases.
17 For when he dies, he will take nothing at all;
his wealth will not follow him down.
18 Though he blesses himself during his lifetime—
and you are acclaimed when you do well for yourself—
19 he will go to the generation of his ancestors;
they will never see the light.
20 Mankind, with his assets
but without understanding,
is like the animals that perish.

Psalm 84

Longing for God’s House

For the choir director: on the Gittith. A psalm of the sons of Korah.

How lovely is your dwelling place,
Lord of Armies.
I long and yearn
for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and flesh cry out for[a] the living God.Even a sparrow finds a home,
and a swallow, a nest for herself
where she places her young—
near your altars, Lord of Armies,
my King and my God.
How happy are those who reside in your house,
who praise you continually.SelahHappy are the people whose strength is in you,
whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.
As they pass through the Valley of Baca,[b]
they make it a source of spring water;
even the autumn rain will cover it with blessings.[c]
They go from strength to strength;
each appears before God in Zion.Lord God of Armies, hear my prayer;
listen, God of Jacob.Selah
Consider our shield,[d] God;
look on the face of your anointed one.10 Better a day in your courts
than a thousand anywhere else.
I would rather stand at the threshold of the house of my God
than live in the tents of wicked people.
11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield.
The Lord grants favor and honor;
he does not withhold the good
from those who live with integrity.
12 Happy is the person who trusts in you,
Lord of Armies!

Psalm 85

Restoration of Favor

For the choir director. A psalm of the sons of Korah.

Lord, you showed favor to your land;
you restored the fortunes of Jacob.[e]
You forgave your people’s guilt;
you covered all their sin.Selah
You withdrew all your fury;
you turned from your burning anger.Return to us, God of our salvation,
and abandon your displeasure with us.
Will you be angry with us forever?
Will you prolong your anger for all generations?
Will you not revive us again
so that your people may rejoice in you?
Show us your faithful love, Lord,
and give us your salvation.I will listen to what God will say;
surely the Lord will declare peace
to his people, his faithful ones,
and not let them go back to foolish ways.
His salvation is very near those who fear him,
so that glory may dwell in our land.10 Faithful love and truth will join together;
righteousness and peace will embrace.
11 Truth will spring up from the earth,
and righteousness will look down from heaven.
12 Also, the Lord will provide what is good,
and our land will yield its crops.
13 Righteousness will go before him
to prepare the way for his steps.

Psalm 87

Zion, the City of God

A psalm of the sons of Korah. A song.

The city he founded[a] is on the holy mountains.
The Lord loves Zion’s city gates
more than all the dwellings of Jacob.
Glorious things are said about you,
city of God.Selah“I will make a record of those who know me:
Rahab, Babylon, Philistia, Tyre, and Cush—
each one was born there.”
And it will be said of Zion,
“This one and that one were born in her.”
The Most High himself will establish her.
When he registers the peoples,
the Lord will record,
“This one was born there.”Selah
Singers and dancers[b] alike will say,[c]
“My whole source of joy is[d] in you.”

A popular song these days has many singing of God’s miraculous power to make a way for His children. In Psalm 85:13 “(God’s)Righteousness goes before him (His children) and prepares the way for his steps.” Again in Isaiah 45:2 the Bible says “I will go before you and level the uneven places; I will shatter the bronze doors and cut the iron bars in two.” The idea that God goes before us and makes a way where there was none is a great encouragement for us (His children) today. When the social norm becomes hopelessness, and the world says that we should trust in science and science fails to deliver. The Christian has an awesome promise from God today. Not only is there a way that has been made for us but it was determined from long ago that Jesus would be our path to God. He is our righteousness and all of our failures are cancelled in Him. Today take hope that God has made a way for you. He makes a way when horrible things have been done to you and He makes a way when we have done the same. Forgiveness, freedom, and righteousness are freely given to any who would call upon the name of Jesus.

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