May 4, Psalm 1-2, 15, 22-24, 47, 68

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The Two Ways

How happy is the one who does not
walk in the advice of the wicked
or stand in the pathway with sinners
or sit in the company of mockers!
Instead, his delight is in the Lord’s instruction,
and he meditates on it day and night.
He is like a tree planted beside flowing streams[a]
that bears its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
Whatever he does prospers.

The wicked are not like this;
instead, they are like chaff that the wind blows away.
Therefore the wicked will not stand up in the judgment,
nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.

For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked leads to ruin.

Psalm 2

Coronation of the Son

Why do the nations rage
and the peoples plot in vain?
The kings of the earth take their stand,
and the rulers conspire together
against the Lord and his Anointed One:[a]
“Let’s tear off their chains
and throw their ropes off of us.”

The one enthroned[b] in heaven laughs;
the Lord ridicules them.
Then he speaks to them in his anger
and terrifies them in his wrath:
“I have installed my king
on Zion, my holy mountain.”

I will declare the Lord’s decree.
He said to me, “You are my Son;[c]
today I have become your Father.
Ask of me,
and I will make the nations your inheritance
and the ends of the earth your possession.
You will break them with an iron scepter;
you will shatter them like pottery.”

10 So now, kings, be wise;
receive instruction, you judges of the earth.
11 Serve the Lord with reverential awe
and rejoice with trembling.
12 Pay homage to[d] the Son or he will be angry
and you will perish in your rebellion,[e]
for his anger may ignite at any moment.
All who take refuge in him are happy.

Psalm 15

A Description of the Godly

A psalm of David.

Lord, who can dwell in your tent?
Who can live on your holy mountain?

The one who lives blamelessly, practices righteousness,
and acknowledges the truth in his heart—
who does not slander with his tongue,
who does not harm his friend
or discredit his neighbor,
who despises the one rejected by the Lord[a]
but honors those who fear the Lord,
who keeps his word whatever the cost,
who does not lend his silver at interest
or take a bribe against the innocent—
the one who does these things will never be shaken.

Psalm 22

From Suffering to Praise

For the choir director: according to “The Deer of the Dawn.” A psalm of David.

My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?
Why are you so far from my deliverance
and from my words of groaning?
My God, I cry by day, but you do not answer,
by night, yet I have no rest.
But you are holy,
enthroned on the praises of Israel.
Our ancestors trusted in you;
they trusted, and you rescued them.
They cried to you and were set free;
they trusted in you and were not disgraced.

But I am a worm and not a man,
scorned by mankind and despised by people.
Everyone who sees me mocks me;
they sneer[a] and shake their heads:
“He relies on[b] the Lord;
let him save him;
let the Lord[c] rescue him,
since he takes pleasure in him.”

It was you who brought me out of the womb,
making me secure at my mother’s breast.
10 I was given over to you at birth;[d]
you have been my God from my mother’s womb.

11 Don’t be far from me, because distress is near
and there’s no one to help.

12 Many bulls surround me;
strong ones of Bashan encircle me.
13 They open their mouths against me—
lions, mauling and roaring.
14 I am poured out like water,
and all my bones are disjointed;
my heart is like wax,
melting within me.
15 My strength is dried up like baked clay;
my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth.
You put me into the dust of death.
16 For dogs have surrounded me;
a gang of evildoers has closed in on me;
they pierced[e] my hands and my feet.
17 I can count all my bones;
people[f] look and stare at me.
18 They divided my garments among themselves,
and they cast lots for my clothing.

19 But you, Lord, don’t be far away.
My strength, come quickly to help me.
20 Rescue my life from the sword,
my only life[g] from the power of these dogs.
21 Save me from the lion’s mouth,
from the horns of wild oxen.
You answered me![h]
22 I will proclaim your name to my brothers and sisters;
I will praise you in the assembly.
23 You who fear the Lord, praise him!
All you descendants of Jacob, honor him!
All you descendants of Israel, revere him!
24 For he has not despised or abhorred
the torment of the oppressed.
He did not hide his face from him
but listened when he cried to him for help.

25 I will give praise in the great assembly
because of you;
I will fulfill my vows
before those who fear you.[i]
26 The humble will eat and be satisfied;
those who seek the Lord will praise him.
May your hearts live forever!

27 All the ends of the earth will remember
and turn to the Lord.
All the families of the nations
will bow down before you,
28 for kingship belongs to the Lord;
he rules the nations.
29 All who prosper on earth will eat and bow down;
all those who go down to the dust
will kneel before him—
even the one who cannot preserve his life.
30 Their descendants will serve him;
the next generation will be told about the Lord.
31 They will come and declare his righteousness;
to a people yet to be born
they will declare what he has done.

Psalm 23

The Good Shepherd

A psalm of David.

The Lord is my shepherd;
I have what I need.
He lets me lie down in green pastures;
he leads me beside quiet waters.
He renews my life;
he leads me along the right paths[j]
for his name’s sake.
Even when I go through the darkest valley,[k]
I fear no danger,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff—they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Only goodness and faithful love will pursue me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in[l] the house of the Lord
as long as I live.[m]

Psalm 24

The King of Glory

A psalm of David.

The earth and everything in it,
the world and its inhabitants,
belong to the Lord;
for he laid its foundation on the seas
and established it on the rivers.

Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord?
Who may stand in his holy place?
The one who has clean hands and a pure heart,
who has not appealed to[n] what is false,
and who has not sworn deceitfully.
He will receive blessing from the Lord,
and righteousness[o] from the God of his salvation.
Such is the generation of those who inquire of him,
who seek the face of the God of Jacob.[p]Selah

Lift up your heads, you gates!
Rise up, ancient doors!
Then the King of glory will come in.
Who is this King of glory?
The Lord, strong and mighty,
the Lord, mighty in battle.
Lift up your heads, you gates!
Rise up, ancient doors!
Then the King of glory will come in.
10 Who is he, this King of glory?
The Lord of Armies,
he is the King of glory. Selah

Psalm 47

God Our King

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

Clap your hands, all you peoples;
shout to God with a jubilant cry.
For the Lord, the Most High, is awe-inspiring,
a great King over the whole earth.
He subdues peoples under us
and nations under our feet.
He chooses for us our inheritance—
the pride of Jacob, whom he loves.Selah

God ascends among shouts of joy,
the Lord, with the sound of a ram’s horn.
Sing praise to God, sing praise;
sing praise to our King, sing praise!
Sing a song of wisdom,[a]
for God is King of the whole earth.

God reigns over the nations;
God is seated on his holy throne.
The nobles of the peoples have assembled
with the people of the God of Abraham.
For the leaders[b] of the earth belong to God;
he is greatly exalted.

Psalm 68

God’s Majestic Power

For the choir director. A psalm of David. A song.

God arises. His enemies scatter,
and those who hate him flee from his presence.
As smoke is blown away,
so you blow them away.
As wax melts before the fire,
so the wicked are destroyed before God.
But the righteous are glad;
they rejoice before God and celebrate with joy.

Sing to God! Sing praises to his name.
Exalt him who rides on the clouds[a]
his name is the Lord[b]—and celebrate before him.
God in his holy dwelling is
a father of the fatherless
and a champion of widows.
God provides homes for those who are deserted.
He leads out the prisoners to prosperity,[c]
but the rebellious live in a scorched land.

God, when you went out before your people,
when you marched through the desert, Selah
the earth trembled and the skies poured rain
before God, the God of Sinai,[d]
before God, the God of Israel.
You, God, showered abundant rain;
you revived your inheritance when it languished.
10 Your people settled in it;
God, you provided for the poor by your goodness.

11 The Lord gave the command;
a great company of women brought the good news:
12 “The kings of the armies flee—they flee!”
She who stays at home divides the spoil.
13 While[e] you lie among the sheep pens,[f]
the wings of a dove are covered with silver,
and its feathers with glistening gold.
14 When the Almighty scattered kings in the land,
it snowed on Zalmon.[g]

15 Mount Bashan is God’s towering mountain;
Mount Bashan is a mountain of many peaks.
16 Why gaze with envy, you mountain peaks,
at the mountain God desired for his abode?
The Lord will dwell there forever!
17 God’s chariots are tens of thousands,
thousands and thousands;
the Lord is among them in the sanctuary[h]
as he was at Sinai.
18 You ascended to the heights, taking away captives;
you received gifts from[i] people,
even from the rebellious,
so that the Lord God might dwell there.[j]

19 Blessed be the Lord!
Day after day he bears our burdens;
God is our salvation. Selah
20 Our God is a God of salvation,
and escape from death belongs to the Lord my Lord.
21 Surely God crushes the heads of his enemies,
the hairy brow of one who goes on in his guilty acts.
22 The Lord said, “I will bring them back from Bashan;
I will bring them back from the depths of the sea
23 so that your foot may wade[k] in blood
and your dogs’ tongues may have their share
from the enemies.”
24 People have seen your procession, God,
the procession of my God,
my King, in the sanctuary.
25 Singers lead the way,
with musicians following;
among them are young women
playing tambourines.
26 Bless God in the assemblies;
bless the Lord from the fountain of Israel.
27 There is Benjamin, the youngest, leading them,
the rulers of Judah in their assembly,[l]
the rulers of Zebulun, the rulers of Naphtali.

28 Your God has decreed your strength.
Show your strength, God,
you who have acted on our behalf.
29 Because of your temple at Jerusalem,
kings will bring tribute to you.
30 Rebuke the beast in the reeds,
the herd of bulls with the calves of the peoples.
Trample underfoot those with bars of silver.[m]
Scatter the peoples who take pleasure in war.
31 Ambassadors will come[n] from Egypt;
Cush will stretch out its hands to God.

32 Sing to God, you kingdoms of the earth;
sing praise to the Lord, Selah
33 to him who rides in the ancient, highest heavens.
Look, he thunders with his powerful voice!
34 Ascribe power to God.
His majesty is over Israel;
his power is among the clouds.
35 God, you are awe-inspiring in your sanctuaries.
The God of Israel gives power and strength to his people.
Blessed be God!

Many of the Psalms we read today are familiar to many and full of instructions to live faithfully and righteous in our daily lives. Psalm 1 begins with three negative action statements for the believer: 1) do not walk in the advice of the wicked 2) do not stand in the pathway of sinners and 3) do not sit in the company of those whose who ridicule others. Then in Psalm 2:3 we are instructed to tear off the chains of oppression by the world, and later in verse 6 we are told to put God on the throne of our lives. Even in Psalm 23 the familiar verse 1 declares that the Christian should not want. How can we do all these things knowing that we all fail at some point? Each of us today can say “I have never been perfect in the instruction of the Bible”.

But that’s just it though; no one can ever do enough to be righteous with God. This is why His son had to die for us so that the freely given righteousness of Jesus could be made available. The do’s and do not’s taught in the Bible are still required but God has grace for us and Jesus himself takes our weaknesses
and carries our diseases (Mat 8:17)Our reading ends in Psalm 68 today and we end there with verse 19”

19Blessed be the Lord!
Day after day he bears our burdens;
God is our salvation.

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