Book 1

Psalm 1

The first verse or the first two of many psalms give in short form the message of the psalm as a whole. In the same way the first psalm is a taste of much that is found in the entire book of Psalms. Still more completely we may think of the first eight psalms as giving an example of the book as a whole. Psalms 1 and 2 teach doctrine. Psalms 3-7 are prayers and Psalm 8 is a song of praise, prayer and teaching.

The first psalm describes the righteous man and Psalm 2 the struggle between the saints and the world. Both of these ideas are important in the book of Psalms. Moreover the perfectly righteous man in Psalm 1 is none other than our Lord Jesus Christ. God’s answer to the hate of the world in Psalm 2 is to set His King on the throne. Here again we see our Lord Jesus. In many psalms we see pictures of Christ and in some of them are verses which are also found in the New Testament about Christ.

We do not know who wrote the first psalm nor are any of its verses in the New Testament. Yet the truth contained in Psalm 1 is found throughout the Bible. It could be called THE TWO WAYS: The way of the righteous, vs. 1-3, and the way of the ungodly, vs. 4-6.

God’s blessing is promised in verse 1 on any righteous man. The Lord Jesus pronounced nine blessings on the righteous, Matthew 5:3-11, and in the book of Revelation seven other blessings can be found. In Psalm 1:1 the blessing is for the separated man. Three words show how a man gets closer and closer to the world: walk, stand, sit. The man who is not separated becomes ever more friendly with sinners, finally sitting in happy fellowship with those who laugh at God, 2 Peter 3:3.

Verse 1 tells us what can be seen in the life of the godly man, three things he does not practice. Verse 2 tells us of his true inner pleasures. The “law” may refer to the Scriptures and this man gets his pleasures in thinking about the Word of God at all times. He does not just obey God’s law from a sense of duty, but finds pleasure in doing so.

The Holy Spirit through the writer describes the righteous man. In Old Testament times no doubt many partly lived up to this level. The only Man who ever lived to fit this description perfectly is the Lord Jesus Christ. These verses set a high level for us to reach and a blessing is promised if we do in part reach it. They also describe the perfections of our Saviour, the only Man who completely did God’s will.

The righteous man not only has a deep inner pleasure, he is also a blessing to others, v. 3. A tree planted by a river sends its roots down deep into the ground and finds plenty of the life giving water. Its leaves give shade the year around and it bears fruit at the usual time. In the same way the believer can be a blessing to others. The nine fold fruit of the Spirit is described in Galatians 5:22, 23. Some of these, such as love, joy, peace, can be shown forth by the Spirit’s power at all times. Others, such as longsuffering are seen at times of trouble. All were seen to perfection in the spotless life of the Lord Jesus.

The man whose joy is in pleasing the Lord may take for himself the promise “Whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.” In the Old Testament the righteous man got along well and became rich in this world. The believer today should think of this promise in a spiritual way. In the New Testament we are not promised wealth in this world, but told, if we have food and clothing, to be content, 1 Timothy 6:8.

A tree planted by rivers of waters cannot be moved. This is quite different from the waste of the grain blown away by the wind. Many seem to succeed in this world for a time, but their end is judgment. John the Baptist foretold that the waste of the wheat would be burnt, Matthew 3:12. Both wind and fire are a picture of the Holy Spirit, Acts 2:2, 3. Standing in the judgment, v. 5, means to stand accepted. All the wicked must appear before the Great White Throne to hear God’s sentence of judgment, Revelation 20:12. Jehovah knows the pathway of the righteous man and keeps him safely in it, but the way of the ungodly leads to death, John 3:36.

The first psalm brings us face to face with the most important problem of life, our relation to God. In the New Testament we read that there is none righteous, no not one, and that faith is needed to please God, Romans 3:10, Hebrews 11:6. The Man who did perfectly please God laid down His life, the Just for the unjust that He might bring us to God, 1 Peter 3:18. Those of us who belong to Him should walk in separation from the world, v. 1, think with pleasure about the Word of God, v. 2, bring forth fruit for His glory, v. 3, and warn others of coming judgment, vs. 4-6.

Psalm 2

The second psalm was written by David, Acts 4:25. Like the first psalm it teaches doctrine about Christ. It may be divided into four parts of three verses each. In each part we have the voice of a different speaker.

1. THE KINGS SPEAK, vs. 1-3. David raises the question, Why do men fight against God? Their plan is at once said to be a vain thing. God has never created enough beings, even if all work together, to overthrow His throne.

People are led by their kings and rulers who set themselves against Jehovah and His Anointed. The word Christ means the Anointed One and whoever rejects Christ rejects God.

He who receives me receives Him who sent me. John 5:23; 13:20. Their plan is nothing less than to reject the authority of God, v. 3. They evidently find God a cruel master. In the beginning Satan suggested to Eve that God did not really love them, Genesis 3:5. Some servants find their masters to be cruel, Luke 19:21. Those of us who know the Lord agree that His “burden is light”, Matthew 11:30.

When did or will this rejection of God take place? In Psalm 83:5 we read that the nations had joined together against God, but we do not know when this happened. The believers in Acts 4:25, 26 saw a fulfilment of this psalm in the time of Christ. Herod and Pilate, the Gentiles and the Israelites joined together against the Lord Jesus and put Him to death. In Revelation 19:19 we see the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to make war against the Lord. This takes place at the end of the Great Tribulation and the result is seen in verses 20 and 21. At the end of 1000 years of Christ’s reign Satan will be loosed and gather the nations together against God and His saints. This is the final effort of men to reject God, and again results in ruin, Revelation 20:7-9.

2. GOD SPEAKS, vs. 4-6. When the heathen and the kings of the earth join together to upset God’s throne, He does not have to worry about the result. Verse 4 does not mean that God laughs at the unsaved, but at their childish plan to overthrow His throne. For example imagine a little two year old boy who is angry with his father. He runs at his father, throwing his arms around wildly, trying to get his own way. The father might lift him up in one hand and hold him over his head, kicking and crying.

God however cannot allow this rejection to go unpunished. In verse 5 He speaks in anger and states that He has set His own King on His holy hill in Zion.

It would be terrible to face the anger of God. I was once in a court where a man was brought up for not looking after his family. The judge was very angry with this man and told him he should be ashamed of himself. How much worse to stand before the throne of an angry God! No true believer will ever have to do this because the wrath of God was laid upon our Saviour.

3. THE SON SPEAKS, vs. 7-9. The words of God are very precious to the Lord Jesus and here He tells what Jehovah said to Him. While the Lord Jesus was on earth, God privately declared Him to be the Son: to John the Baptist, Matthew 3:17, John 1:32-34; to Peter, James and John, Matthew 17:5. He is declared to be the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, Romans 1:4. The very words of Psalm 2:7 are quoted of Christ in relation to His resurrection in Acts 13:33. These words teach that He is greater than angels, Hebrews 1:5, and a priest forever, Hebrews 5:5.

God commanded Christ to ask for the people of this world for Himself, v. 8. His complete victory over all His enemies is promised in verse 9.

You should think about these verses very carefully. Christ is called God’s Anointed, v. 2, His King, v. 6, and His Son, v. 7. It would seem that Nathanael was thinking of Psalm 2 when he said to the Lord Jesus,

“You are the Son of God, you are the king of Israel.” The Lord Jesus promised to show him still more of His glory, John 1:49, 51. As you believe in your heart what God has shown you about Christ, you will be led on to see more truth, more of His glory.

4. THE HOLY SPIRIT SPEAKS, vs. 10-12. The last three verses of this psalm are words of counsel from the Holy Spirit speaking through David. Instead of going on in their senseless hate to God, they should receive warning, v. 10, serve Jehovah with fear and joy, v. 11, and accept the love of God in Christ and trust in Him, v. 12.

In the first psalm a blessing is promised to any man who walks in the way of the Lord. In the last verse of Psalm 2 blessing is promised for ALL who put their trust in Him. There is really only One who perfectly pleased God, but those who trust in Him get great blessing, by faith, not works.

The wicked shall not go unpunished, but the righteous shall be delivered.

Proverbs 11:21

Psalm 3

The third psalm was written by David when he fled from Absalom, his son. This goodlooking, clever young man wanted very much to be king. He was the third son of David, 2 Samuel 3:3. The second son called Chileab or Daniel, 1 Chronicles 3:1, is never heard of and may have died at an early age. The firstborn naturally in line to be the king after David was Amnon. His sin is found in 2 Samuel 13:14, and his death at the hand of Absalom in 13:28. Thus Absalom became the oldest son in line for the throne. He could not wait for his father to die. He tried to win the hearts of the people for himself, 2 Samuel 15:6, then to take the throne of his father, 15:10. At first David fled, 15:17, but returned when Absalom had been killed. This psalm was written by David as a prayer to God for deliverance from his enemies.

These enemies are described in the first two verses. They were many and as the rebellion spread, they kept increasing. Many thought that God would not help David in this time of trouble, v. 2.

David had often experienced God’s help in times past. God had promised to care for Abraham, Genesis 15:1, and David knew He would save him in this danger. He cried to the Lord and was heard out of Mount Zion where Jehovah had decided to set His King, Psalm 2:6. David prayed, received peace and was able to lie down and go to sleep.

The word Selah, vs. 2, 4, 8, is found 71 times in the book of Psalms and in no other book of the Bible except Habakkuk 3:3, 9, 13. It is thought to mean stop and pray. To understand the deep meaning of Scripture it is necessary to pray and think about it. These things take time, but will help you to understand better the riches of God’s wonderful Book.

This experience increased David’s confidence for the future. He could face 10, 000 enemies without fear, v. 6. He prayed again for salvation, v. 7, but felt that with God’s keeping power his enemies were already as good as dead. So the psalm ends with a note of praise to Jehovah.

Psalm 4

David wrote this psalm to the chief musician on Neginoth. The psalms were sung by the Israelites when they came to worship Jehovah. Neginoth may have been a musical instrument. Our “Chief Musician” is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ who in Psalm 22:22 is seen leading the praises of His people, Hebrews 2:12.

The psalm contains a prayer to God, v. 1, a message to men, vs. 2-5, and a statement of David’s trust in Jehovah, vs. 6-8. David is still in trouble and perhaps this psalm was also written while he was running away from Absalom.

He asks the people not to turn his honour into shame nor seek vain and false words, v. 2. Jehovah had chosen David for Himself, v. 3, and the people should not act quickly, but think things through quietly, v. 4. They should put their trust in Jehovah.

That is what David was doing. Many had turned against him, 3:2, but he asked for the Lord’s blessing, Numbers 6:26. David told them that his joy from the Lord was greater than the joy of the world even when they had plenty to eat, v. 7. With this assurance David was able to lie down and sleep. He knew that God would save him from those who were trying to kill him. In every time of danger and trouble we can be sure that the God of David is able and willing to keep us in His hand.

Psalm 5

David also wrote the fifth psalm to the chief musician. Nehiloth is no doubt a musical instrument.

The psalm is a prayer addressed to Jehovah. David asks his God to hear his prayer, vs. 1, 2. He promises that in the morning he will pray again to God, v. 3. Psalm 3 may have been written in the morning, v. 5; Psalm 4 in the evening, v. 8; and Psalm 5 at night. Certainly the ear of God is open to His children at all times. As we study these old prayers together, may we learn to pray to our great Jehovah!

The Lord Jesus Christ taught us to pray in His name, John 14:14; 15:16; 16:23. In Scripture the name of Jehovah often means His character, and so David’s prayer is according to God’s character. His thoughts toward the wicked are declared: no pleasure, v. 4; hatred, vs. 5, 6. God’s great pleasure is in His Son, Matthew 12:18. Only those who are found in Christ shall live with Him. In Scripture sinners are often called foolish, specially in the book of Proverbs. Throughout the Bible we are taught that God hates sin but loves the sinner. Disciples of the Lord Jesus should love and honour their parents, but this is so much less than their love for Christ, it is like hatred, Luke 14:26. God hates sinners, v. 5, that is, He hates their sins. He loves them enough to give His Son for them and will save them if they trust in Him. The judgment of murderers and liars, v. 6, is taught in Revelation 21:8.

Jehovah’s character is the ground of David’s confidence in coming to Him. He is merciful but holy, v. 7, and David can come in confidence and in godly fear. He desires to be given righteous judgment because his enemies had falsely accused him, and wants to follow in God’s pathway, v. 8.

These enemies may be the rebellious Israelites who followed Absalom, but David’s description of the wicked in verse 9 is much broader and takes in the most wicked men of all ages, Romans 3:13. David prayed that they might be destroyed because their rebellion is really against Jehovah, v. 10. Christians do not pray that their enemies might be destroyed, but rather that they may be forgiven, Luke 23:34. Still it is God’s will that they should be destroyed and God’s will is best.

David is also praying according to God’s will and asking His blessing on those who trust in Him, vs. 11, 12. The saints of God are seen rejoicing at the judgment of evil in Revelation 18:20 and 19:1, 2. God cannot bless the wicked who turn from His blessing. Those who turn from the gift of eternal life must remain without it. This is their eternal judgment. No wonder that God has commanded His saints to tell the unsaved of His love to them.

Psalm 6

This psalm was also written by David to the chief musician with certain musical instruments. In this psalm David is still being hunted by his enemies. He takes this as chastening from the Lord. His prayer is in verses 1-7 and the assurance of God’s answer in verses 8 and 9.

He asked God to remove the chastening, v. 1, because he is weak, v. 2, and filled with sorrow, v. 3. He feels he is near to death, v. 5, and that the dead cannot praise the Lord. David did not have the Christian’s hope. We know that to die is to be with Christ which “is far better” than to remain in this world, Philippians 1:23. After a night of weeping and without sleep he was tired, vs. 6, 7. When he received the assurance of God’s answer, vs. 8, 9, he commanded his enemies to leave him and prayed that they might be put to shame, v. 10. Unrepentant sinners will one day hear the terrible word “Depart” from One greater than David, the Lord Jesus Christ, Matthew 7:23, Luke 13:27. He has asked them to come, Matthew 11:28. He stood at the door and knocked, Revelation 3:20, and they did not want to let Him in. Let us tell them once more that God is love and really wants them to be with Him for all eternity.

Psalm 7

This psalm is called a shiggaion of David. The last chapter of the book of Habakkuk is also in the form of a psalm “upon Shigionoth”, Habakkuk 3:1. David sang this song “concerning Cush”. This man Cush is not named in the history of David, but may be the same as Shimei, 2 Samuel 16:7.

At first David prays for deliverance, vs. 1, 2. He reminds God that he is innocent and prays that if He finds sin in him, that He will let the enemy overcome him, vs. 3-5. Far from returning evil for good, David spared Saul when he could have killed him, v. 4, 1 Samuel 24:1-12. In this David is a picture of our Lord Jesus Christ, Psalm 69:4.

Then David prayed for righteous judgment, vs. 6-10, He felt that he could pray for God’s judgment because God Himself had so commanded, v. 6. The result of this judgment is that the true people of God would be gathered together to Him, v. 7. He prays that the Lord would judge him and manifest his righteousness and honesty. He looks forward to the time when evil will come to an end and God will establish David and all the righteous, vs. 9, 10.

In the last part of the psalm David as teacher describes the character of God and of the evil man. God judges the righteous by showing their innocence and is angry with sinners everyday, v. 11. If they do not repent, God will prepare instruments of death, vs. 12, 13. The wicked man acts according to his sinful nature, v. 14, but his evil deeds will fall upon his own head, vs. 15, 16.

David is able to praise Jehovah, not only for delivering him from his enemies, but because His judgment is according to His righteous character.

I will sing of my Redeemer,
And His wondrous love to me;
On the cruel cross He suffered,
From the curse to set me free.

—P.P. Bliss

Psalm 8

This psalm of praise was written by David for the chief musician “upon Gittith”, which means the winepress. In verse 1 he declares that Jehovah’s name is great in all the earth, that His glory is above the heavens. God gets praise from babies, v. 2. The Lord Jesus Christ used this verse in Matthew 21:16: Out of the mouths of babies you have brought perfect praise. No doubt thousands of innocent children in heaven are praising God all the time. We can also think of a person who has just been born again as a “babe in Christ.” Out of his joy and first love for Christ he may praise the Lord more than later on when other things come in. We should not leave our first love, Revelation 2:4, but grow in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, 2 Peter 3:18.

In verses 3 and 4 David asks a question. As a youth he had many times looked after his father’s sheep and kept them from their natural enemies both day and night. As he considered the sun, moon and stars in their courses he was deeply stirred as he thought about the littleness of man. David wrote again about the heavens showing forth the glory of God in Psalm 19. Also look at Job 9:4-10; 36:26-33; chs. 39-41. It is valuable for a child of God to study the world of nature which the Lord has created. However today in many schools science is taught by people who do not believe in God. The true study of creation should lead one to give glory to God and to see better the dependence of man.

David by the Holy Spirit answers his own questions inverses 5-8. These verses tell us that man has been made lower than God, in fact lower than the angels, Hebrews 2:7, but has been given his place over other creatures of God. He was put over all animals, even wild ones, v. 7, birds and fish, v. 8. Today most wild animals, birds and fish are afraid of man, but in the garden of Eden, Adam, the first man gave a name to all living creatures, Genesis 2:19, 20. Man’s control over nature was lost when he listened to the voice of a creature and disobeyed God. Even so man is greater than animals in that he has a spirit and can talk with God. It is very wrong to bow down to an animal or suppose that God should be worshipped in the form of an animal.

Even though man has failed, God has planned that the Perfect Man shall be given complete authority over all creation. Even here in this world the Lord Jesus had control over the fish of the sea, Luke 5:6, Matthew 17:27, John 21:6. When the Lord Jesus reigns in this world for 1000 years, wild animals will be controlled, Isaiah 11:6-9.

We can see in the New Testament that the promises of Psalm 8 will be fulfilled perfectly in the Lord Jesus Christ. In Hebrews 2:6-8 the writer by the Holy Spirit says that when God promised ALL things will be put under His feet, nothing was left out. The word ALL means everything, but we do not see this as yet. We do see Jesus who became a man and like all men, lower than angels. The Son of God became a man with the purpose of dying for our sins. This fits in with the title of Psalm 8, “upon Gittith”, because Christ went through the winepress of God’s anger alone, Isaiah 63:2, 3. Now He has been crowned with glory and honour and when He comes again He will be glorified by all men.

Even when the kingdom is set up, there will be those who will turn against the rule of Christ. Still God has promised that all things shall be put under His feet, Psalm 8:6; 110:1. In 1 Corinthians 15:24-27 we see that all enemies will be put under Him, and even death itself will be destroyed. Christ will give the kingdom to the Father and will Himself be subject throughout all ages.

It was not given to David to realize the full meaning of the words which he wrote. From the New Testament we may say that the human race has been glorified by the Son of God becoming a Man. Even so David ends his psalm with another note of praise, using the same words he started with in verse 1. Thinking of what God is and what He has done, we can also offer up the praise of our hearts to the Father and the Son.

Psalm 9

This psalm is said to be “upon Muth-labben” which means “for the death of the son.” It is closely connected with Psalm 10 which has no heading of its own. In the old Greek Bible these two psalms are put as one with 38 verses. In some of the psalms the first letter of each verse is in the order of our letters a, b, c, d, and down to x, y, z. In Psalms 9 and 10 this order is seen, but only in the first letter of each two verses: verse 1, a; verse 3, b; verse 5, c, and so on. In this way the twenty verses of Psalm 9 use the first ten Hebrew letters.

The ninth psalm is a song of praise to God. David promises to praise the Lord with his whole heart, vs. l, 2. He looks forward to the time when his enemies will be overcome and he himself shown to all men as being righteous, vs. 3-6. Jehovah is on His throne and will judge the world in righteousness, vs. 7, 8. This means that His people will be delivered, vs. 9, 10.

David then calls upon Israel to praise Jehovah and tell of His works among other people, v. 11. The Lord will not forget the cry of the humble man, and in verses 13 and 14 we have the cry of David himself who was nearly dying.

As the governor of the world God will always punish the wicked. The very things which they make to destroy others will be used for their own judgment, vs. 15, 16. An example of this is Haman who was hung on the tree he set up for Mordecai, Esther 7:10. Satan also has had the power of death, but will himself be destroyed through the death of Another, the Lord Jesus Christ, Hebrews 2:14. Higgaion means slow music and the word Selah means to stop. The reader would do well to think of the end of evil men. The wicked and all who forget God will be turned into Sheol, the place of the dead, v. 17. Sheol or Hades will give up the dead to be judged at the Great White Throne, Revelation 20:13. This is another reason why God judges men, so others may see that they too need mercy, v. 20. We who have eternal life are responsible to give them the good news before it is too late.

Psalm 10

The psalmist continues his prayer for deliverance. In Psalm 9:9 he saw Jehovah a refuge in times of trouble, but in 10:1 Jehovah seems to have hidden Himself. Even though God is on the throne, He allows the wicked to appear victorious for a little while, v. 2.

The order of letters seen in psalms 9 and 10 is broken in 10:3-11. Here the writer is describing the wicked man who is proud and who loves money, v. 3, like the Pharisees, Luke 16:14. He is so proud that he denies there is a God, v. 4. He cannot see God’s righteous judgments, v. 5, and never expects to get into trouble himself, v. 6. His speech is described in verse 7, and in verses 8 to 10 he hides himself to catch the poor like an animal. He does not expect God to remember his sins, v. 11.

No doubt these verses describe many evil men, but the time is coming, after the Church is taken home to be with the Lord, when two great persons will arise in the earth. The man of sin is described in 2 Thessalonians 2:3-12. Both of them are seen in Revelation 13. These are both cast into the lake of fire, Revelation 19:20. Even today we see the idea spreading among men that there is no God, or that He has forgotten about men.

In the last part of Psalm 10 we are reminded that God will not forget the humble. Even if a wicked man admits that there is a God and that He may remember sins, he still comforts himself that God will not call him to account, v. 13. But God does see and will punish the wicked, vs. 14, 15.

So the psalm ends on a note of confidence in Jehovah. He is King. He hears the cry of the humble and will take care of them, vs. 16-18.

Psalm 11

Here David is still trusting in the Lord while being persecuted by his enemies. Someone had suggested that he should run away, v. 1. Indeed Saul tried to kill him, 1 Samuel 18:11; 19:10, and David did escape from his presence. Usually we cannot run away from our enemies, but we can look to God for help in other ways.

The nation of Israel was supposed to be a holy nation, governed by the laws of God. In the reign of Saul the very grounds of society and government were destroyed, v. 3. What could the righteous do?

The answer is very simple: trust in Jehovah, vs. 4-7. The Lord will try the righteous and keep them, vs. 5, 7, but He will judge the wicked, vs. 5, 6. The Lord did rain fire from heaven on the cities of the plain, Genesis 19:24, and in the coming time of great tribulation one man out of three will be destroyed in this way, Revelation 9:18. These verses should be a warning to those who reject God. They are also a warning to us, His children, to send out the Gospel message. In our daily lives, instead of trying to run away from problems, we should learn to trust the Lord for victory.

Psalm 12

Here is another psalm of David to the chief musician upon Sheminith, Psalm 6, 1 Chronicles 15:21. The first four verses give David’s prayer; the last four Jehovah’s promise.

David prays because the number of true believers was becoming smaller all the time, v. 1. On the other hand worldly people seemed to succeed. They were proud and told lies to make other people proud, vs. 2, 3. They thought they had a right to say whatever they wanted to, v. 4.

The Lord promised to deliver poor people from their enemies, v. 5. David believed this promise of God and says all the Lord’s words are pure, v. 6. He was certain that the Lord would keep the saints forever, even though the wicked seemed to succeed at that time, vs. 7, 8.

In this psalm we seethe difference between the words of men, vs. 2-4, and the words of Jehovah, vs. 5, 6. Men today still talk proudly, and tell lies. They even attack the Bible itself and say it is not true. We can be sure that the words of the Lord are pure. The Bible stands firm.

Psalm 13

This little psalm gives us David’s sorrow, vs. 1, 2, his supplication or prayer, vs. 3, 4, and his song, vs. 5, 6.

He thought that the Lord had forgotten him or hidden His face from him, v. 1. He received no guidance from the Lord and had to take counsel in his own soul. He received neither joy nor victory, v. 2.

In verses 3 and 4 he prays to Jehovah to hear and give light to his eyes. If not, he was afraid that he would die and that his enemies and those who troubled him would rejoice.

After praying like this, David’s faith was strengthened. He trusted in the Lord’s mercy and rejoiced as if his prayer was already answered. He realized all the Lord’s goodness and so was able to sing a song of praise.

We can be sure that the Lord hears our prayers even in time of great trouble. If we really believed this, we could give Him thanks before we see the answer. Our prayer too would be followed by praise.

Psalm 14

In this psalm the Holy Spirit through David describes the wicked man. He says in his heart that there is no God. This results in wicked works, v. 1.

Some people today say there is no God, but the Bible calls them fools.

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,” Proverbs 9:10.

The time is coming when “the man of sin” will appear. He will set himself up as if he himself were God, as if there were no other God, 2 Thessalonians 2:4.

Jehovah looks down from heaven and finds that no one really does good, that everyone has turned aside and become unclean, vs. 2, 3. These verses are used by the apostle Paul to prove that all men need salvation, Romans 3:10-12.

Wicked men without knowledge would like to destroy God’s people and take all their money, v. 4. They should be afraid of God, but they try to make the poor saints ashamed, vs. 5, 6. So David prays for the day when the Saviour will come and bring back His people and deliver them from their trouble, like Job, Job 42:10. The people of Israel will rejoice in the day of the Lord.

What should we do when people say there is no God or the Bible is not true? We should pray for them and try to tell them about the Lord. Some day all will know that we are on God’s side.

Psalm 15

In Psalm 15 David describes the righteous man. He asks in verse 1 the question “Who shall live in the Lord’s tabernacle or His holy hill?” In the rest of the psalm we have the Spirit’s answer.

In verse 2 we see the walk, work, word and thought of the righteous man. He loves his neighbour as himself, v. 3. He does not harm his friend byword or act. He separates himself from the wicked, but honours those who fear the Lord. When he swears, he will fulfil his promise even if it is not for his own good, v. 4. He does not covet money, v. 5.

The man who does these things can abide in the tabernacle of the Lord and never be moved, v. 5. But who could do all these things perfectly?

Only one Man, the Lord Jesus Christ. While some men are more righteous than others, we have seen in Psalm 14:3 and Romans 3:12 that no man is without sin. Just as we see the coming man of sin in Psalm 14, we see the Lord Jesus Christ in Psalm 15.

His walk, works and words were perfect in the sight of God. He loved His neighbour and His enemies to the point of giving His life for men. He told the truth about the religious leaders of His day, Matthew 23, but honoured the faithful ones in Israel. When He was on trial, the high priest made Him swear if He was the Christ or not. He confessed He was, although He knew that it would result in His death, Matthew 26:63-65.

The last verse of Psalm 15 says that the perfect man will never be moved. How then do we explain that the Perfect Man was put to death? The answer is that He was without sin, but became sin for us, 2 Corinthians 5:21.

In the Old Testament we have many promises for the safety and success of the righteous man. In the New Testament we see that men killed the perfect Man, and we can expect nothing better for us, His disciples. God honoured His Son by raising Him from the dead. May we be willing to suffer with Him that we may also reign with Him.

Psalm 16

Psalm 16 is called a Miktam of David. We do not know what this word means, but Psalms 56-60 have the same title. David is speaking of himself as a man who obeys God.

He put his trust in God, vs. 1, 2, but knew that his own goodness was not sufficient, Luke 17:10. The obedient man gets his pleasure on earth with the saints of God, v. 3. He is separate from those who worship false gods, v. 4.

He has many blessings here in this world. His joy is the Lord Himself, v. 5. Even in this world he gets pleasure, v. 6. He praises the Lord for His guidance, v. 7.

No wonder he is able to trust the Lord for the future, vs. 8-11. With the Lord at his side, he is sure he will not be moved from the pathway of blessing, v. 8, Psalm 15:5. Even death cannot take away his joy because he believes that God will not leave him in Sheol, the place of the dead, v. 10. Instead of death he will receive life in the presence of the Lord, v. 11. There he will have pleasure forever more.

These promises we can take for ourselves, but in this psalm also we have a description of the Lord Jesus Christ. While almost everything could apply to David and to the saints of all ages, the last part of verse 10 could apply only to the Lord. Both Peter and Paul in their first messages in the book of Acts used this verse. Their point is that David believed in the resurrection, but in this passage was speaking about Christ. The Jews knew that David was dead and buried and that his grave was close by, Acts 2:25-32. David could truthfully say that God would not leave his soul in Sheol, but his body did see destruction. The body of the Lord Jesus Christ in death was kept by God from spoiling, Acts 13:35-37.

Many of us who live at the end of the age may not experience death. When the Lord Jesus comes we will be caught up alive to meet the Lord in the air, 1 Thessalonians 4:17. For all believers death has lost its victory, 1 Corinthians 15:55. We know that we shall receive a new body and be happy in the Lord’s presence forever more. As we think about these things, we should praise the Lord and tell others so that they too can have these blessings.

Psalm 17

The seventeenth psalm is called a prayer of David. He asks Jehovah to hear his prayer because it is true and his cause is right, vs. 1, 2. David is sure that his cause is right because Jehovah has proved him and tried him and found nothing wrong, v. 3. David had made up his mind that he would not sin with his mouth, v. 3, but also knew that it was the word of Jehovah which kept him, v. 4.

In the next part of David’s prayer he asks that Jehovah would keep him in His paths and was confident that He would do so, vs. 5, 6. David then prayed for deliverance from sinners. Here he puts his trust in God who saves His people, v. 7, keeps and delivers them, vs. 8, 9. The apple of the eye is the centre of the eye.

The wicked are described as proud, v. 10. Like Eglon, king of Moab, Judges 3:17, 22, they hate the people of God, v.11. They hide like a wild animal to catch people, v. 12. David asks the Lord not to let them succeed in their desire to kill him. Even though these people seem to prosper in this world, the judgment of God will come upon them. They are interested in their families and the wealth of this world. David’s desire is to see the Lord and be like Him in the NEXT world, v. 15. In the New Testament we read of those whose god is their own body, Philippians 3:19. Those who love the Lord will see Him and be like Him, 1 John 3:2.

In these psalms David speaks of himself as a righteous man, and also of other faithful men in Israel. Today most of the Jewish people are unbelievers, but in the end time some will surely turn to the Lord, Romans 9:27.

Psalm 18

David wrote this psalm of praise when the Lord gave him victory over his enemies, 2 Samuel 7:1; 22:1. After verse 1, Psalm 18 is almost the same as 2 Samuel 22. Some verses are slightly different, for example verses 35 and 43. In the heading David is called a servant of the Lord as Moses and Joshua had been, Joshua 22:4; 24:29. Psalm 18 is the longest psalm of David and since these verses are found in two books of the Bible, we can see how important they must be.

The first three verses show us the whole psalm is a song of praise. David says he loves Jehovah, v.1, and gives eight names describing his thanks for God’s deliverance. A rock is a picture of strength. A buckler or shield speaks of the Lord’s power when the enemy attacks. Many animals fight against their enemies by using their horns and so the horn is a picture of its strength. A high tower is also a place of safety. Zacharias, the father of John, used these words concerning the Lord Jesus Christ, Luke 1:69.

When his enemies were all around him, David thought he was going to die. Then he called upon God who heard him in heaven, vs. 4-6. Sheol is the place of the dead.

God showed His power in nature: the earth shakes, v. 7; a mountain gives out fire, v. 8; the storm, vs. 11-13; lightning, v. 14; floods, v. 15. God used this same power to deliver David from his enemies, vs. 16-19.

David considers his reward to be the result of his righteousness, vs. 20-24. This does not mean that he thought he was sinlessly perfect. The Lord delivers His saints from the hands of the wicked because of His righteousness. He delivers us from our own sin by His grace. David is saying that he had done nothing to deserve death and certainly followed the Lord more than his wicked enemies.

God will deal with all men according to their own character, vs. 25-27. Those who show mercy shall obtain mercy, Matthew 5:17; 6:14, 15. On the other hand God will work against the crooked, v. 26, and the proud, v. 27.

As we have seen, God delivered David, v. 17. He also gave him power to do great things. By God’s strength he was able to run through a large number of his enemies, to jump over a wall, to break a bow of metal, vs. 29-34. God’s way is perfect, v. 30, and He made David’s way perfect, v. 32. David was a man of war and had to fight like a soldier. Even so we read of God’s gentleness, v. 35, which is a form of the Spirit’s fruit, Galatians 5:22, 23.

The Lord gave David strength and he was able to overcome his enemies, vs. 37-42. David’s life was important as the anointed king of Israel, v. 50. As a father of the Messiah David was a special object of Satan’s hate. His enemies in their distress even cried to Jehovah, but not really in faith, v. 41.

When he had overcome his enemies David was able to rule over the people, vs. 43-45. Many nations bowed down to him, for example the Philistines, 2 Samuel 5; Moabites, Syrians and Edomites, 2 Samuel 8; Ammonites, 2 Samuel 12.

So the psalm ends with thanksgiving and praise to Jehovah, the living God. Because God gave him victory, David will praise His name among the nations.

Most of us today do not have to go to war, and if we do, we can hardly say that the enemies of our country are the enemies of God. In the New Testament however we do read that the Christian has enemies who can only be overcome by spiritual means, 2 Corinthians 10:4. We overcome by prayer, Ephesians 6:18, by the word of testimony, Revelation 12:11, and by the power of the Lord, John 16:33.

Psalm 19

This psalm is neither a prayer for deliverance from enemies like Psalm 17 nor a psalm of praise to God, like Psalm 18. In Psalm 19 David describes the two great revelations of God: creation and Scripture.

The first great witness to the glory of God is the starry heavens. As we noticed in Psalm 8, David must have meditated on the glory of God as he watched his father’s sheep. The starry heavens glorify God. The word firmament is used for the air, Genesis 1:6-8, 20, and outer space, Genesis 1:14-17. Nature tells us much about the power and glory of God. The flow of time, day and night, have lessons for us, v. 2. David tells us here that nature has a message that can be understood by people all over the world, vs. 3, 4.

The heavens are also a dwelling place for the sun which seems to follow its pathway through the heavens day by day, vs. 4-6. Its heat is helpful to creatures all over the world.

The second part of the psalm tells us about the Word of God, vs. 7-11. Six different names of Scripture are given, each describing the Word of God in a different way. For example:


What it is:

What it does:

The law of the Lord


restores the soul

The testimony of the Lord


makes wise the simple

The command of the Lord


gives light to the eyes

God has given us His Word for our good. When we turn to the Lord, we can have wisdom, joy and light. The words “the fear of the Lord” are another name for the Law of God, showing that we should fear Him as God and Father. The Scriptures shall endure forever and are perfectly true, v. 9. They are more valuable than gold and more desirable than the best food. They warn us about the danger of not obeying God and promise great rewards if we obey, vs. 10, 11.

The last three verses are a prayer of David. Even though he learned of the power of God from the heavens and the righteousness of God from Scripture, he still needs the Lord’s help in his daily life. None of us can really understand all his own mistakes and David asks that he might be kept from secret sins and daring sins. If sin were to rule over him, it might lead to “the great transgression” and he might turn from God for the last time. Then David prays that his words and thoughts might be acceptable to the Lord. As in Psalm 18 he calls Jehovah his strength and his Redeemer.

The first part of the psalm speaks of God’s works and the second part His words. People who do not have the Word of God can know something of Him from His creation. Most of the people of the world do not follow this light, but turn away from God, Romans 1:18-28. The Word of God was given specially to Israel in the Old Testament and they too turned away, Romans 2:17-29. Both the work and words of God glorify Him. Both are a blessing to mankind, and both come to us through Christ. The world was created by God the Son, Colossians 1:16, John 1:3, and everything we know about God comes to us through Him, John 1:18.

Those of us who have the Bible should allow it to do its perfect work in our hearts, as in verses 7 to 11. In addition to reading the Scripture every day we should pray the Lord to keep us from any kind of sin. We should also pass on the good news to others. It is true that people without the Bible have the light of nature. God will hold them guilty if they do not follow that light. However He has commanded us to give them the much greater light of Scripture. If we obey Him, we will bring Him pleasure.

Sing them over again to me,
Wonderful words of Life;
Let me more of their beauty see,
Wonderful words of life;
Words of life and beauty,
Teach me faith and duty;

Beautiful words, wonderful words,
Wonderful words of life. —P. P. Bliss

Psalm 20

The twentieth psalm is a prayer for David before a battle. It is the language of the people praying for their king. They ask the Lord to hear his prayer, remember his offerings and send help, vs. 1-5. They fully believe that the Lord will give the victory, v. 5.

David also shares this confidence, v. 6. Their trust is not in chariots or horses, but in the name of Jehovah, v. 7, Deuteronomy 20:1. One time the Syrians with 700 chariots came to fight against David, but he won the battle, 2 Samuel 10:18. The people believed that the Lord will answer their prayer and looked upon the enemy as already beaten, v. 8. Verse 9 may mean “So Lord save the king” or the King may be Jehovah, as in Psalm 10:16; 95:3; 98:6.

In this psalm we see worship and warfare, as in 2 Chronicles 20:22. In every struggle the saints of God need first of all to seek His presence. “The joy of the Lord is your strength,” Nehemiah 8:10.

This psalm also speaks to us of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is Jehovah’s Anointed, v. 6. As our Great High Priest He is praying for us. Some day He will rise from His Father’s throne. He will go out to battle and His enemies shall be made a place for His feet, Psalm 110:1, Hebrews 10:13. We can be sure that He will gain the victory, but in our daily lives also we should pray for one another and put worship before warfare.

Psalm 21

Psalm 20 is a prayer before the battle and Psalm 21 is a song of praise for victory given.

First the people speak to Jehovah, vs. 1-7, and praise Him for answering the king’s prayer. God gave him his heart’s desire, v. 2 (20:4). God prepared many blessings for David. He established him as king, v. 3, and gave him the promise of a long life, v. 4. He gave him glory, v. 5, and joy, v. 6. All this was because David believed in Jehovah, v. 7. The Lord’s promise for “length of days for ever and ever”, v. 4, means David (and we) will live after death and resurrection, Psalm 16:10, 11.

Then the people speak to the king, vs. 8-12. His victory would be complete and all his enemies destroyed. When they plan evil against David, they will not succeed, vs. 11, 12. No doubt David joined with the people in praising Jehovah in verse 13. We too should be careful to give God the praise for answers to prayer and victory over our spiritual enemies.

Psalm 22

This psalm of David was to the chief musician upon “Aijeleth Shahar” or “the hind of the dawn” which may refer to some musical instrument. It was written by David at some time of great persecution and trial. In the first part of the psalm he felt he was going to die. In the last part he came to know that the Lord had heard his prayer and he praised Him for deliverance.

At first it seemed that his prayer was not answered. God had forsaken him, was far away, and did not hear his continual prayer, vs. 1, 2. David knew that God was holy and perhaps this was the reason for His silence, v. 3. Still he remembered that God had often delivered the people of Israel when they trusted in God, vs. 4, 5.

But David thought of himself as less than a man and certainly the people around him despised him completely, vs. 6-13. They laughed at him especially because he had made it known that he trusted in Jehovah, v. 8. He could not understand why God had not answered his prayer, and people laughing at him made it all the worse. Still he made up his mind to trust in Jehovah his Creator who had looked after him since the day he was born, vs. 9-11. The people seemed as cruel as wild animals, vs. 12, 13.

Beside being laughed at by his enemies, David was suffering great pain and thought he was going to die, vs. 14, 15. He was so thin he could count his bones, v. 17. The people did not care about his sickness and started to divide up his clothing which they might get if he died, v. 18.

David could only turn to the Lord, vs. 19-21. His enemies seem like cruel dogs or wild animals. As he prayed, he felt sure that the Lord had heard, v. 21.

Then he knew that he would be able to praise the Lord before all the people of Israel, v. 22. He calls upon them to glorify the Lord, v. 23. Even in the great gathering of all nations David will praise the Lord, vs. 25, 26.

All the nations will hear the name of the Lord and turn to Him. No doubt David himself witnessed to many foreign visitors who came to Jerusalem, but he is looking forward to the day when his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, will reign over the whole world.

Right from the beginning of this psalm we can see that Christ is in view. In fact some of the verses are hard to understand when we think of David alone, but much plainer when we remember the sufferings of the Lord Jesus.

David himself went through a time of great trial. As he wrote down his own feelings, the Holy Spirit led him to say many things which tell us the feelings of our Lord Jesus Christ on the cross. We read in the gospels the details of Christ’s death which could be seen by other men. In the psalms we see some of His thoughts when He lay down His life for us.

To kill a wicked person the custom of the Jews was to stone him to death, Deuteronomy 13:10, John 8:59. Herod cut off the head of John the Baptist, Luke 9:9. Crucifying was the practice of the Romans. If men had stoned the Lord Jesus or cut off His head, many verses in the psalms would not have been fulfilled. To be crucified meant to suffer for a long time and to listen to the mocking of the people. Hanging on the cross the Lord Jesus could indeed see His bones standing out, v. 17. He would also suffer intense thirst, v. 15.

In crucifixion the victim’s hands and feet are nailed to the cross, v. 16. The Lord Jesus told His disciples after His resurrection to behold His hands and feet, Luke 24:39. He told Thomas to put his finger into the print of the nails in His hands, John 20:25, 27.

They parted my garments among them, and cast lots for my clothing, v. 18.

In the time of Christ when anyone was crucified, the soldiers according to custom divided up the clothing of the person put to death. However the main garment of the Lord Jesus was made in one piece, so instead of dividing it the soldiers cast lots to see whose it would be, Matthew 27:35.

In the four gospels we see at different times the chief priests, the rulers, the soldiers, the scribes and elders and the people that passed by, all mocking the Lord Jesus. In fact the scribes and elders used almost the same words in Matthew 27:43 as we find in Psalm 22:8.

The Lord Himself used the actual words of Psalm 22:1 in Matthew 27:46, Mark 15:34. What this meant to Him we cannot fully understand. Some day we will be able to enter into His thoughts better than now.

The first part of the psalm, vs. 1-21, tells of the Lord’s death, and the other part, vs. 22-31, His resurrection. In the first part He is ALONE, even forsaken by His God, in the second part He is TOGETHER with His brothers, in the congregation, v. 22, and in the great gathering of the people, v. 25, Hebrews 2:11-13.

If we have to go through a time of great trouble we may feel that God has forgotten about us. We should remember that no one will ever have to go through a trial such as the Lord Jesus Christ did. Read this psalm again carefully, thinking of the Lord Jesus and His thoughts when suffering for you. This will help you to worship and love Him more.

Psalm 23

David was a keeper of sheep for years before he went to the house of the king. Knowing the needs of the sheep he was able to write this psalm. Psalm 23 is perhaps the best known of all the psalms and every believer can use these words for himself.

Psalm 23 is sometimes called the Shepherd Psalm and the first two verses speak of the Lord’s supply for His children. With Jehovah as his Shepherd, David was sure he would have every good thing, Philippians 4:19, Ephesians 1:3. Other verses speak of God as the Shepherd of His people, Psalm 78:52; Isaiah 40:11; Ezekiel 34:11. In John 10:11, Hebrews 13:20 and 1 Peter 5:4 the Lord Jesus is called our Shepherd. Psalm 22 makes us think of John 10, for in it we see the Good Shepherd giving His life for the sheep. Psalm 23 tells us of the Great Shepherd of the sheep who has been raised from the dead. Through Him God is working in us that which is well pleasing in His sight, Hebrews 13. We shall see that Psalm 24 speaks of the coming of the Lord, the Chief Shepherd, 1 Peter 5.

We can say of the Great Shepherd He makes us to lie down in green fields with lots of food. The sheep has to rest after eating and we need to read the Bible as our daily food and then quietly think about what the Lord would say to us. The Word of God is our spiritual food. Sometimes we are not willing to spend time with the Lord. He knows we need this and perhaps will send a time of sickness so we can think about Him. When He makes us lie down, it is really in green fields for our own good. He also leads besides still waters.

In verses 3 and 4 the Lord is seen as a Guide for a traveler. We are strangers in this world and cannot know the right way without God’s help. If I wander from the right way, He brings me back, Galatians 6:1. He is always leading me in the right way. This is for His name’s sake or according to His character which is righteous.

The Lord Jesus Himself walked through dark valleys of sorrow and death in this world and He is able to lead us safely. In time of danger or death we do not need to fear any evil. The Lord is with us and can keep us from every enemy. Even if we go through death, we are taken right into the presence of the Lord which is far better, Philippians 1:23. The rod is to keep off the enemy and the staff is to help the weak. Both bring comfort as we walk through the land of God’s enemies on the way to God’s home.

Jehovah is seen preparing a meal for His friends in verses 5 and 6. We can sit down with the Lord at His table even though there are many enemies around, Revelation 3:20, 21. Oil is a picture of the Holy Spirit whom the Lord has given to those who believe in Him. Surely our cup runs over with joy. We can look forward to the end of life knowing that God’s goodness and mercy are with us. At the end of the journey we will abide in the house of the Lord forever.

There are many sheep, many travelers, many friends, but each one of us can think of the Lord Jesus as his own Shepherd and Guide. David called Jehovah “My Shepherd” and in this psalm he is not thinking of other believers, but of his own standing with the Lord. We should read the twenty third psalm the same way. The New Testament has many promises that the Lord will supply our need, guide us according to His will, bring us back if we leave the right way, comfort us in time of trouble and keep us from all evil. He gives us peace, John 16:33, joy, 16:24, and a place with Him for all eternity, 14:3.

Psalm 24

This psalm may have been written by David at the time the ark of Jehovah was brought up to Jerusalem, 2 Samuel 6:12-17. The ark made the people think of the presence of Jehovah and of His holiness. The Holy Spirit would have us think of our Lord Jesus Christ in these verses.

This psalm, like Psalm 23, has three parts. In the first the writer speaks of Jehovah as the One who owns the earth, everything in it and all people, v. 1. This is because He is Creator, v. 2. In Genesis 1 we see that after God created the earth, the waters of the seas covered the whole world. God commanded the waters to be gathered together so that the dry land would appear, Genesis 1:9. This was by the word of God, 2 Peter 3:5.

In the next part of the psalm, vs. 3-6, the question is asked, Who shall ascend into heaven? In the last part, vs. 7-10, the command is heard to open the gates of Jerusalem and the king of glory shall come in. Now the question is, Who is this king of glory, vs. 8, 10? The answer is Jehovah.

The questions asked in verse 3 are about the hill of Jehovah and His holy place. The hill is where the king will reign, Psalm 2:6, and only the priest can enter the Holy Place. While there were many kings and many priests in Israel, only our Lord Jesus Christ is really both King and Priest.

The answer to these questions is found in verses 4 and 5. The kings and priests in Israel should have been holy men, but only the Lord Jesus Christ is perfect. As we saw in Psalm 15 there is only one truly righteous Man. Christ is the One to whom was given the right to be a blessing to mankind, v. 5. The Lord Jesus was falsely accused and God has shown that He was righteous. This will be made plain to all men when the Lord comes back again as King of Israel. Then the nations of the world will ask for the favor of Israel, called Jacob in verse 6.

The Lord Jesus Christ was rejected by Israel when He came the first time. When He comes the second time He will be welcomed. The gates of Jerusalem will be opened for Him. The keepers of the gates will know that He is the Lord God, vs. 7-10. The command to open the gates is given in verses 7 and 9 and the question of the gatekeepers is asked again. The answer in verse 8 is that the King of glory is Jehovah, victorious, Colossians 2:15. In verse 10 He is the Lord of angels and the King of glory.

This psalm speaking of the coming of the Lord makes us think of the Chief Shepherd in 1 Peter 5:4. The first two verses glorify Jehovah the Creator and in the New Testament we learn that all things were made by the Son of God. The next part of the psalm tells us that only the Perfect Man could stand before Jehovah as King and Priest. This is the Christ who became a blessing to many. In the third part the King of glory is seen as Jehovah Himself. So in this psalm we see Christ the Son of God overall, vs. 1, 2; Jesus the Son of Man, perfect, vs. 3-6; and Christ victorious as God Himself, vs. 7-10.

It is good for us to be on God’s side. We could not stand in His presence until cleansed by the blood of Christ. Although men turn from Him now, we will reign with Him when He comes again. If we are ashamed of Him now, 2 Timothy 1:8, He will be ashamed of us when He comes, Mark 8:38.

Psalm 25

There are twenty two letters in the Hebrew language and the twenty fifth psalm is written so that almost each verse begins with a different letter. Psalms 9 and 10 are partly in the order of Hebrew letters and here in Psalm 25 also it is not perfect. This does not mean that we cannot understand the psalm or that it is not part of God’s inspired Word.

Psalm 25 is a prayer of David, vs. 1-3. He prays that he might not be ashamed before his enemies. In verses 4 and 5 he asks the Lord to lead him in the right way. He prays the Lord to remember His mercy of old times, but not David’s sins, vs. 6, 7.

David then writes down many of God’s wonderful promises concerning His guidance, vs. 8-10. More promises for the blessing of those who fear the Lord are found in verses 12-15. In verse 11 David prays again for pardon and continues his prayer in verses 16 to 22. He asks the Lord to have mercy on him and to deliver him from his cruel enemies. In the last verse he prays that God would deliver Israel out of all his troubles.

This psalm could have been written by David when he fled from Jerusalem and crossed the river Jordan, 2 Samuel 17:22. David accepted this time of trouble as punishment for his own sins and in Psalm 25 he prays for forgiveness, vs. 11, 18. However he had not wronged those who were persecuting him and in verses 2 and 19 he prays that he might be delivered from his enemies. This should be our thought as well. We do not say we are sinlessly perfect before God, but we try to live in this world before men without harming them or grieving the Lord. In this way we can speak to people about Christ when we have an opening.

Psalm 26

In this psalm David is praying, not for deliverance from his enemies, but for a closer walk with God. He asks the Lord to judge him righteously and remember his faithfulness. He is confident that the Lord will find his heart to be pure, vs. 1, 2. David was faithful to God, v. 3, and did not go along with sinners, vs. vs:4, 5. With clean hands he can worship at the altar of Jehovah, v. 6, and tell others of the Lord’s goodness, v. 7.

David loved the house of Jehovah, v. 8, and prayed that the Lord would not take him away with sinful men, vs. 9, 10. He will continue to walk in the right path, but knows that he needs God’s help, v. 11. With this help he will stand and praise the Lord, v. 12.

Today we long to be with the Lord’s people and the church is called the temple of God, Ephesians 2:20, 21. We love to be with the Lord who walks with those who obey Him. Some day we will be in His presence, 2 Corinthians 5:8.

Psalm 27

In this psalm David starts with praise and confidence before he makes his prayer to the Lord. This confidence is built on the character of Jehovah. Jehovah is David’s light, salvation and strength. Why should he be afraid of anyone? This is the only place where David called Jehovah his light, but see Isaiah 60:20, Micah 7:8, 1 John 1:5.

David’s confidence is strong because of the Lord’s actions in the past in delivering him from his enemies, v. 2. Goliath said he would feed the birds with David’s flesh, but instead of that he was the one that fell to the earth, 1 Samuel 17:44, 49. We may also think of the men who came to take the Lord Jesus Christ in Gethsemane, John 18:6.

As he thought of these things, David had peace for the future, vs. 3-6. His desire was to dwell in the house of the Lord, Psalm 15:1; 23:6. This would result in safety in time of trouble, v. 5, and victory over his enemies. Then David would sing praise to the Lord, v. 6.

David was sure that the Lord would look after him, yet he felt he should make his prayer to God. He asked the Lord to hear, v. 7, to hide not His face, to forsake him not, v. 9, to teach him in the way, v. 11, and to deliver him from his enemies, v. 12. He sought the Lord, v. 8, was confident that Jehovah would take care of him, v. 10, and believed that he would not die at that time, v. 13. The Lord Jesus Christ in the garden of Gethsemane prayed to His Father and had peace in His soul as David did in verses 1 to 6. Then the Lord was arrested and went back to Jerusalem to face His enemies, John 18:1-12, like David, vs. 11, 12.

After these experiences David is well able to instruct others, v. 14. Taught by the Holy Spirit he promises that the Lord will strengthen those who wait on Him. It is the same with us. It is possible to know a great deal about the Bible, and still not be of much help to others. A man who has learned by experience in the presence of God is the one who can show others the right way.

Psalm 28

In this psalm David first makes his prayer to the Lord, vs. 1-5, then praises Him, vs. 6-9.

Jehovah is his only help. If He does not answer David’s prayer, he will be like the dead. Therefore David cries to the Lord in the Most Holy Place of the temple, v. 2. He prays that he may not be judged like sinners who deceive their neighbors, v. 3. He knows that it is God’s will to punish the wicked, vs. 4, 5. As Christians we should pray for the salvation of men, even those who persecute us, Matthew 5:44. The Lord Jesus Christ Himself did this, Luke 23:34, but like David in this verse He had to prophecy judgment on those who refused the truth, Matthew 11:20-24. When David felt that his prayer was answered he praised the Lord, vs. 6, 7.

David wanted to be separated from the wicked, v. 3, and joined with the people of God, vs. 8, 9. The Lord is the strength of His people and of His anointed one. David himself had been anointed with oil, 1 Samuel 16:13, but here also looks forward to Christ, God’s Anointed One. So he asks Jehovah to care for His people as a shepherd looks after his sheep, v. 9. David knew the Lord as his own Shepherd, Psalm 23, and wants His blessing for all the saints. David praying for the people of Israel reminds us of God’s Anointed One, the Lord Jesus Christ, praying for us. He IS our Shepherd.

Psalm 29

This psalm of David is a song of praise to God, the Creator. David calls on the mighty angels or kings to give glory to Jehovah. They should declare His glory and strength and worship Him with holiness. People who do not know God do not want holiness, but to those of us who love God it is beautiful. God as Creator controls the storms. The noise of a storm may be called the voice of Jehovah, vs. 3, 4. During a storm trees are broken down, flashes of light are seen, and sometimes the earth and the mountains shake, vs. 5-7. Lebanon and Sirion (or Hermon) are mountains in the north of Israel and the wilderness of Kadesh, v. 8, is in the south. The storm has an effect on all nature, v. 9.

When God shows His power in the storm, men should consider that He is God and fear His name. In the temple everyone speaks of His glory, v. 9. The greatest storm ever seen by men was the flood in the days of Noah. Even then the Lord was in control and He will be King forever, v. 10. Here and now He will give strength and peace to His people.

In this world the children of God have many trials and problems. God lets these come or even plans them so we can learn patience and faith. We need the Lord’s help in time of trial and in time of peace. His help is always near to those who trust in Him.

Psalm 30

Psalm 30 is a psalm of David praising Jehovah as His Saviour. The Lord gave him victory over his enemies, v. 1, healed him when he was wick, v. 2, although he thought he was going to die, v. 3.

David calls upon the saints of the Lord to praise Him whenever they remember His holiness. God may be angry with His people, but only for a short time, vs. 4, 5. The Father will chasten His children when they do not obey Him, but even this is a mark of His love. For all who love God the best is yet to come.

When things went well with David, he became proud and said to himself that he would never be moved, v. 6. Really it was the Lord who had made him strong and when Jehovah stopped helping David, he was troubled, v. 7. Then he cried to the Lord, v. 8, and asked if his death would really profit God, v. 9. If he went into the dust of death, he would not be able to praise the Lord nor declare the truth of God.

Then God answered David’s prayer. David had been afraid he would die and put on rough cloth as a sign of his repentance. When his prayer was answered, he was so happy he was ready to dance. God did not save him just to make him happy, but that he should sing praises to the Lord and tell others about Him. We should not be silent either. God has saved us to praise Him. His purpose is that we should also tell others about His love.

Psalm 31

This is another prayer of David in which his trust in the Lord is very plain. We should always pray in faith, James 1:6, Mark 11:24.

Four times in the first eighteen verses we see David’s trust in Jehovah and his prayer. In verses 1 and 2 he starts by telling Jehovah he is trusting in Him, then he prays for deliverance.

In verses 3 and 4 God is his strength. He asks for guidance and deliverance from the snare of his enemies. He commits his spirit to the Lord, v. 5.

In verses 6 to 13 David trusts in the Lord, v. 6, and is happy in His mercy, v. 7. Because of these past mercies he prays again for help. Within himself he has trouble and sorrow and feels that he is at the end of his life, vs. 9, 10. Outside his enemies speak against him and even his own friends and neighbors, vs. 11-13.

Again in verse 14 David declares his trust in Jehovah. His life, his times, are in the Lord’s hand, v. 15. So he prays that the Lord would deliver him from his enemies and put them to shame, vs. 16-18, specially those who tell lies and speak proudly.

Then David speaks as if his prayer was already answered, vs. 19-22. He praises Jehovah for His great goodness toward those who trust in Him, v. 19. David himself had been trusting in the Lord, vs. 6, 14. The Lord hides righteous men in the secret of His presence, v. 20. He delivers them from their enemies. David praises the Lord for His wonderful kindness in delivering him, v. 21, as he had been praying in the first part of the psalm. Even when David’s faith was weak, the Lord heard him, vs. 22, 9, 10.

In this psalm we see prayer, trust and thanksgiving. If God answers our prayers, we should be careful to thank Him for it. We should also praise the Lord by telling others about His goodness. This David did in verses 23 and 24. He calls upon the saints to love the Lord and to be of good courage. In these two verses we have three things that abide, faith, hope and love, 1 Corinthians 13:13,

It is possible that Jeremiah the prophet got a blessing from this psalm of David. When Jeremiah was attacked by his enemies, he trusted in the Lord. In verse 12 David said he was like a broken vessel. Jeremiah used these words in 18:4; 19:10, 11; 22:28. In verse 13 David spoke about fear on every side. Jeremiah uses these words also in 6:25; 20:3, 10; 46:5; 49:29.

Both Jeremiah and David went through great trials for the sake of their God, but the Lord Jesus Christ suffered much more than any man. Just as David committed himself to the Lord, vs. 17, 18, so Christ committed Himself to Him who judges righteously, 1 Peter 2:23. The Lord Jesus actually used the words of verse 5 in speaking to His Father just before He died on the cross, Luke 23:46.

Psalm 32

This is the first psalm which is called Maskil, which means instruction or teaching. David is not praying for deliverance nor praising the Lord for answered prayer, but giving instruction on the joy of forgiveness.

The man whose sin is forgiven by the Lord is a happy man. There are three words for sin in verses 1 and 2, transgression, sin and iniquity. Sin is a crime against Jehovah. All men are sinners and all can be forgiven. It is said of the Lord Jesus that no guile or deceit was found in His mouth, Isaiah 53:9; 1 Peter 2:22. He who knows all hearts found no deceit in Nathanael, John 1:47. Paul taught that God counts a man righteous not because he has done many good works, but because he has trusted in Christ, Romans 4:4-8.

David himself knew the joy of sins forgiven. When he fell into sin, he at first did not confess it to the Lord, but something inside told him he should repent. The Lord was speaking to him and he became sick. When Jehovah’s hand was heavy upon him, his bones felt old, v. 3, and his body dried up, v. 4. Finally he was willing to confess and in verse 5 there are three words: acknowledge, hide not, and confess. Then he speaks to the Lord, vs. 6, 7, and the Lord speaks to him, v. 8. The godly man prays to Jehovah before it is too late. We read of the foolish young women who came to the Lord too late, Matthew 25:11, 12. Those who come in time will not be sent away by the floods of God’s judgment. Like David they will find Jehovah to be a hiding place, v. 7. They will also sing His praises.

Not only will the Lord forgive and keep us from trouble, He will also guide us in the right way, v. 8. The whole Word of God gives us help in doing those things that please the Lord. We should keep looking to Him and we will know what is the right thing to do.

Then there is a warning for the people not to stand still like the ass, or be in a hurry like the horse. These animals must be controlled by putting a piece of metal in their mouths. The Lord sometimes has to allow us pain and suffering before we will do His will. Even then the child of God knows the Lord’s mercy. We should be glad in the Lord and tell others about the joy we have received in Christ, v. 11.

Psalm 33

In the thirty second psalm we have read of the joy of the man whose sins are forgiven. The last verse calls on righteous men to rejoice in the Lord. Psalm 33 does the same.

In the first part, vs. 1-7, the Holy Spirit calls on the righteous to praise the Lord. This is good and fitting for all who have been made righteous in Christ. When the people of Israel worshipped the Lord in the temple, some could play music on harps and other instruments, v. 2. All could sing a new song when they knew the joy of sins forgiven, Psalm 32:11, Revelation 5:9.

The righteous are called upon to praise the Lord because of what He is and what He has done: His Word and His work, v. 4; His righteousness and love, v. 5. Then we are told of God’s power, vs. 6, 7. He created the heavens and controls the sea.

God was not only interested in the people of Israel, but in the whole world. This is certainly true today because God has commanded us to preach the Gospel to every creature. In Psalm 33, verses 8-19 give the call to all men to fear the Lord. There are four reasons for this call. All people of the world should know God’s POWER in creating the world, v. 9, Romans 1:19, 20.

God’s power is great enough so that He can carry out His PURPOSES. Man’s plans will come to nothing, v. 10, but the counsel of Jehovah will remain forever. His great purpose is to bless any nation which will believe in the Lord and trust Him, v. 12. Israel was specially chosen for this purpose, but God’s blessing today is for all people, Ephesians 2:11-13.

Another reason why people should fear God is because He KNOWS all things, vs. 13-15. This means that we cannot hide anything from the Lord, even our own thoughts.

The fourth reason to fear the Lord is because He alone can save. In time of danger people of the world think that a great army can save them. In old times in a war men on horses were able to fight better than those without horses. We should not trust in man or our own strength. The Lord is looking after His own to save them in time of danger or great hunger, vs. 18, 19.

The people of Israel knew the Lord and trusted in Him. They found He was a help and shield, v. 20. They could rejoice because they had trusted in the Lord’s Name, v. 21. So they asked the Lord for mercy, v. 22.

We as Christians should rejoice in the Lord always. When we pray about everything we will know God’s peace in our hearts, Philippians 4:4, 6, 7. Others will see this joy and hear our songs of praise and will want to know our Saviour too. God’s will is that all men should fear Him and love Him.

“Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and turn away from evil,” Proverbs 3:7.

Psalm 34

Nine of the psalms are written so that each verse begins with a different letter. We have already studied psalms 9, 10, and 25. The others are psalms 34, 37, 111, 112, 119 and 145.

Psalm 34 was written by David after the Lord delivered him from Abimelech or Achish, the king of Gath, 1 Samuel 21:10-15. David ran away from Saul, but in his fear he did not trust Jehovah. Among the Philistines he was also afraid and acted as if he had lost his sense. When he escaped from the Philistines, he went to Adullam, 1 Samuel 22:1.

The first part of this psalm, vs. 1-10, is a call to the saints of God to praise, trust and fear Him. David himself promises to praise the Lord, vs. 1, 2, and calls upon others to do the same, v. 3. As Christians we should each one praise the Lord when alone and also when we come together as a church.

Then David tells how the Lord answered his prayer and delivered him, vs. 4-6. The angel of the Lord will deliver all who fear Jehovah. David just asks the people to taste and see that the Lord is good, v. 8. He also calls upon the people to fear Jehovah and gives them the promise that the Lord will fulfil all their needs, vs. 9, 10.

Then David speaks specially to children, vs. 11-22. God wants His people to teach their children the truth, Exodus 12:26, Deuteronomy 4:10, Ephesians 6:4. If anyone wants a long happy life, he must say and do what is right, vs. 12-14. The Lord will help the righteous in doing these things, v. 15. On the other hand He will punish those who do evil, v. 16. This is not to say that the righteous will never have any trouble, but their Lord promises to deliver them, vs. 17-20. The difference between wicked men and the servants of the Lord is seen again in verses 21 and 22.

The apostle Peter loved this psalm. When he wrote the first epistle of Peter, he used verse 8 in chapter 2, verse 3, and verses 12 to 15 in chapter 3, verses 10 to 12. God does not promise that we will never have any trouble in this world, but does promise His presence all the way.

This psalm also makes us think of the Lord Jesus Christ. Inverse 6 David calls himself a poor man and the Lord, though rich became poor for our sakes, 2 Corinthians 8:9. The promise in verse 20 that no bones will be broken was true of the Lord Jesus, John 19:31-36. Just as David teaches the saints and the children, so the Lord Jesus told His disciples to learn of Him, Matthew 11:29. As we become more like Christ, we will bring more pleasure to the Father. God loves His Son and wants us to become more like Him.

Psalm 35

In Psalm 35 David prays that God will return evil on those who have done evil to His people. Other psalms with this kind of prayer are 52, 58, 59, 69, 109, 137. Here David prays for vengeance on his enemies because of God’s promises, vs. 1-10, because of God’s righteousness, vs. 11-18, and because of God’s people, vs. 19-28.

1. God had promised Abraham that He would curse anyone who cursed him, Genesis 12:3. He promised to keep Abraham from danger, Genesis 15:1, and to fight for Israel, Deuteronomy 20:4. David may have had these verses in mind in praying as in verses 1 to 3. He may have been thinking of Exodus 23:23 when he asked that the angel of the Lord would drive his enemies away, vs. 5, 6.

It was right for David to pray this way because he had done no wrong to his enemies, vs. 7, 8. His soul and his whole being would praise the Lord if God delivered him, vs. 9, 10.

2. God is the righteous Judge of all the earth, Genesis 18:25, and it would be only fair for Him to judge those who told lies about David, v. 11. David had been kind to his enemies and prayed for them when they were sick, vs. 13, 14. Instead of returning kindness to him, they gathered together to mock him, vs. 15, 16. Biting their teeth, v. 16, shows hate as in Acts 7:54. Then David asks how long it will be before the Lord will rescue him. He then promises to praise God before all the people, vs. 17, 18.

3. David is not praying for himself alone. His enemies are planning to do wrong to the people who live quietly in the land. His enemies thought that they had gained a victory over him, v. 21, but David still cries to Jehovah to rise up and save him. Notice he is praying now because of Jehovah’s righteousness, v. 24, and not because of his own, as in verses 7 and 8. David belonged to the Lord and so men hated him, John 15:18. Therefore he asks God to deliver him for His own sake. David calls upon his friends to praise the Lord and promises that he will speak of God’s righteousness all the daylong, vs. 27, 28. When God answers our prayer, we should be careful to praise Him in our hearts and before others as well.

The Lord Jesus Christ, David’s Son, was more righteous than David. He too was persecuted by His enemies. The Lord Jesus did not pray that His enemies would be judged, but rather forgiven, Luke 23:34. He did commit Himself to Him that judges righteously, 1 Peter 2:23, Luke 23:46. We as Christians should pray for those who treat us wrongly, Matthew 5:44. Stephen did this, Acts 7:60, and the Holy Spirit has commanded us to bless them which persecute us; not to return evil for evil nor to seek vengeance, but to be kind to our enemies, Romans 12:14, 17, 19, 20. Let us pray that God would make us more like the Lord Jesus Christ.

Psalm 36

Psalm 36 was written by David who is called a servant of Jehovah as in the heading of Psalm 18. Here the contrast is between wicked men, vs. 1-4, and the good Lord, vs. 5-9.

David understood from the way men act that they do not fear God. If they did, they would obey His commands, v. 1. Part of this verse is quoted in Romans 3:18 where Paul proved that all men are sinners and some are very wicked indeed.

The wicked man is very proud until his sin is known, v. 2. His WORDS are false and his WORKS are not good, v. 3. His plans and thoughts are evil, v. 4.

Then David gives praise to the good Lord. His mercy and faithfulness are great, v. 5. God is faithful with His children. He always keeps His word and so we can put our faith in Him. God is righteous and must judge sin, v. 6. This also means that He will judge wicked men who attack His people. As God He is able to keep both men and animals. Because of His love men can trust Him, v. 7, Psalm 91:4. He supplies their needs, v. 8, and gives them life and light, v. 9. Sinners walk in darkness and are dead in their sins. The Lord Jesus Christ is the Light of the world and came to give life to all, John 1:9; 8:12; 10:10; 11:25.

What will the good Lord do to men? David prays that God would keep on giving His love and righteousness to the saints, v. 10, and keep him from proud and wicked men, v. 11. These wicked people will be cast down and will not be able to rise up again, v. 12. We should give them the Gospel so that they can be saved.

Psalm 37

Like Psalm 34 this psalm has a different letter for each two verses. This is as if verse 1 began with the letter A, verse 3 with B, verse 5 with C, and so on. There are 22 letters in Hebrew, the language of the Old Testament.

The first two verses tell us what the psalm is about. We should not worry about evil doers nor feel badly when they seem to succeed. After a short life God will judge them.

Then David by the Spirit of God tells us to do seven things. Along with these commands are many wonderful promises.

1. Trust in the Lord, v. 3.

God will keep safely.

2. Do good, v. 3.


3. Get all your pleasure in the Lord, v. 4.

He will answer your prayers.

4. Commit your way to the Lord, v. 5.

He will act for you and show others that you are righteous.

5. Rest in Jehovah, v. 7.

God’s promises are found in the next part of the psalm.

6. Do not worry, v. 7.

7. Do not be angry, v. 8.

Next we see the difference between the righteous and the wicked. The wicked will be cut off from the earth, but the righteous will live, vs. 9-11. These wicked men hate the righteous and plan to do wrong to them, v. 12. Verse 13 does not mean that God is happy about the judgment of sinners, Psalm 2:4, but of course He is not afraid of their plans. The wicked will be killed with their own sword like Goliath, 1 Samuel 17:51. A poor righteous man is better than a rich wicked man, v. 16. Then again David tells us the end of life for wicked men, vs. 17, 20, and of the upright, vs. 18, 19.

The wicked gets rich by not paying his debts, but the righteous man gives away money to help the poor, v. 21. God will take care of the righteous, v. 22. He will guide him in the right way. The righteous man takes pleasure in following God’s way, v. 23. This does not mean he will never fall into sin, but the Lord holds him up, v. 24. If any man sin, we have a Comforter with the Father, 1 John 2:1. David knew that the Lord will supply the need of the righteous man and his children. For this reason the righteous man is able to help others, vs. 25, 26. The Lord Jesus promised us that God would supply all we need, Matthew 6:25-33.

In the last part of the psalm, vs. 27-40, there are more commands. We should stop doing what is wrong and do only what is good, v. 27. Again we see that the righteous will be kept in the land. They speak wisely, v. 30, and think about the law of God, v. 31. When the wicked tries to kill the righteous man, the Lord will take care of him, vs. 32, 33.

The next command is to wait on the Lord, v. 34. David in his long life had seen the Lord looking after the righteous, v. 25. He had also seen wicked men who seemed to succeed, v. 35, but they soon pass away, v. 36. The end of the upright and the end of the wicked are different, vs. 37, 38. Then finally we have another promise that the Lord will look after His own because they trust in Him, vs. 39, 40.

In this psalm the Holy Spirit tells us to trust in the Lord and not to worry about the wicked, because in the end the wicked will be punished, but the Lord will look after His own people. These truths are so important that the Spirit says them over and over again. We need to learn these lessons and day by day trust the Lord more and more. If our only pleasure is in the Lord, He will give us what we desire. He will give us more of Himself and we will enjoy Him more than ever.

Psalm 38

Psalm 38 was written by David as a prayer that the Lord would remember him in his trouble. It has the same heading as Psalm 70. We have seen in many psalms that David prayed to God to deliver him from his enemies. Here in Psalm 38 David sees himself as the sinner and accepts his trouble as from the Lord. There are seven psalms which are called “penitential psalms” because the writer is really sorry for his sins and repents before God. These seven penitential psalms are 6, 32, 38, 51, 102, 130, 143. Five were written by David and we do not know who wrote the other two.

Four times in Psalm 38 David prays to Jehovah, vs. 1, 15, 21, or to Adonai, which means Lord or Master, v. 9. The word LORD with big letters is Jehovah; Lord with small letters is Adonai. David asks the Lord not to be angry with him and says that God’s punishment is like sharp sticks in him, vs. 1, 2. God does not let His children go on in sin, but will chasten them as His children. David was sick and took this as from the Lord, vs. 3-8. He confessed his sins to God, vs. 3, 4.

He took this whole problem to the Lord, v. 9. He knew that he had no strength left in himself, v. 10. His friends had left him, v. 11, but his enemies spoke against him, v. 12. David did not try to answer these wicked men. He just kept quiet like the Lord Jesus Himself, Isaiah 53:7, Matthew 26:63, 1 Peter 2:23.

His hope was only in the Lord, v. 15. If the Lord would not help him, his enemies would certainly rejoice, v. 16. David was sorry for his sins, vs. 17, 18, but felt that his enemies were treating him wrongfully because he followed the Lord, vs. 19, 20.

At the last David just prays to the Lord to help him quickly. As Christians, if we get sick, we should ask ourselves, “Is the Lord chastening me for some sin in my life?” If the Lord shows us some sin, we should confess it and stop it. If men hate us because we belong to God, we should pray for them. All these things will make us more like the Lord Jesus Christ.

Psalm 39

This psalm was written by David for Jeduthun, one of the leaders of the temple music, 1 Chronicles 16:41; 25:1. Psalms 62 and 77 are also addressed to Jeduthun.

In Psalm 38:13, 14 David said he was like a man who cannot hear or speak. In Psalm 39 he tells of his purpose not to sin with his tongue, vs. 1, 2. It is indeed a good thing to control the tongue, Matthew 12:36, James 3:2, 3. At last his heart burned and he spoke out in prayer to God, v. 3.

His prayer was that he might know his own weakness, v. 4. The Lord showed him that his days at best were very short, v. 5. This is true of all men, 1 Peter 1:24. Many people seem to act as if they would live forever. They spend their time getting rich, but when they die, someone else will get their money, v. 6.

David’s hope is only in Jehovah. He prays that God will save him from his sins, but knew that his trouble came from the Lord, vs. 9-11. Sometimes the Lord, to make us more patient or longsuffering, allows trouble or tribulation to come in our lives. In Romans 5:3 we read that suffering makes us more patient. In his prayer David reminds God that he is in this world for only a little while and asks for strength, vs. 12, 13.

David’s son, king Solomon, may have been thinking of this psalm when he wrote the book of Ecclesiastes. Psalm 39:5, 6, 11 sound a lot like the book of Ecclesiastes. Solomon speaks of the folly of a man seeking riches when he does not know whether his son will be wise or foolish, Ecclesiastes 2:18, 19. David did not know what he would find after death, v. 13. Solomon says a man on this point is no better than an animal, Ecclesiastes 3:19-21. In the New Testament we get more light about what we shall find after death. Paul said to be with Christ is far better, Philippians 1:23. The Old Testament gives us part of the truth of God and the New Testament still more. When we get to heaven, we will know fully. Down here we should learn all we can about God and His truth as found in the Bible. We will then come to know that life indeed is short and we should use our days, not for sin or self, but for God’s glory.

Psalm 40

In the first part of Psalm 40 David tells what God has done for him, vs. 1-4. Then he tells what God has shown to him, vs. 5-10. The last part of the psalm gives us his prayer to God.

God had answered David’s prayer. God did not answer the prayer as soon as it was made, and David had to wait patiently, v. 1. He knew that God would answer his prayer and he had peace in his heart. David had been in trouble which he says was like a deep hole, like Joseph, Genesis 37:24, and Jeremiah, Jeremiah 38:6. The Lord brought David out of his trouble and set his feet upon a rock. This rock speaks of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God on Whom the Church is built, 1 Corinthians 3:11.

Someone asked a Christian why he thought the Lord Jesus Christ was better than Buddha or Confucius, two great leaders of older times. The Christian said, “A man fell into a deep hole and could not get out. Buddha came along and told him if he had followed the right pathway he would not have fallen into the hole. Confucius came along and told him if he got out of the hole, he should live a better life. But the Lord Jesus Christ came, went right down into the hole and carried the man out. Then He gave him power to walk according to God’s will in this world.”

God not only put David’s feet upon a rock, but He showed him the right way and gave him power to walk in it. More than that, He gave him a new song to sing. Other people saw what God had done to David and the joy which he had and they wanted to trust the Lord also, v. 3. Everyone who trusts the Lord will be blessed, v. 4.

When David thinks of God’s wonderful works and thoughts, he sees they are more than he could count. One of God’s wonderful works is creating or making this world, Psalm 8:3 and 19:1. More wonderful still is God’s work in saving man from his sin. He sent His own Son into this world to die for all men. He forgives our sins and then gives us power to live for Him. When we get to heaven, we will talk together about God’s wonderful works and His thoughts of love toward us.

Then David, by the Holy Spirit, gives us a wonderful example of God’s love. In verses 6 to 8 we hear the voice of the Lord Jesus, Hebrews 10:5-9. It is true that God commanded Moses and the people to bring sacrifices and offerings for sin, Exodus 12:3-8; Leviticus 16 and 23. But the blood of animals could not take away sin, Hebrews 10:4. Besides that, some of the people of Israel thought that they could sin and just bring a sacrifice and God would have to forgive them.

When David himself fell into sin, he knew that God wanted real sorrow in his heart more than a burnt sacrifice, Psalm 51:16, 17.

The Son of God knew that all the sacrifices of Israel pointed forward to His own sacrifice on the cross, so He said, “Lo, I come,” v. 7. This book is the book of God’s purposes and the Son of God had joy in doing His will.

Some people refuse to do God’s will and others do it because they feel they have to. The Lord Jesus loved His Father and was happy in His will. This pleased the Father, Matthew 3:17; 17:5. If we love God we will have no greater joy than to do His will. This also will please the Father because it makes Him think of His beloved Son.

The words in verses 6 to 8 were true of David in his desire to please God. He went on to say that he told the good news before all the people of Israel, v. 9. He told them of God’s salvation, love and truth, v. 10. The Lord Jesus also came into the world to teach men the truth of God. We who know God’s salvation should always be ready to tell others, one by one, in small groups or large groups, about our wonderful Saviour.

The rest of the psalm is David’s prayer in which he asks the Lord to keep him, v. 11, to deliver him from sin, vs. 12, 13, to punish his enemies, vs. 14, 15, to give joy to the saints, v. 16, and be a help to David, v. 17. In the first verse he tells us that after waiting patiently the Lord heard his prayer. When he got in trouble again he knew the Lord would help him and asks Him not to wait too long. If God answers our prayer we should remember to thank Him, then ask again according to our needs, Philippians 4:6. He loves to hear our prayer and thanksgiving and will do anything that will help us to become more like the Lord Jesus.

Psalm 41

This psalm starts off with a promise from God, vs. 1-3. The blessing is for the man who thinks about the poor and helps him. The Lord will deliver or save this man when he is in trouble. He will deliver him from his enemies and bring him back to health when he gets sick.

David knew the promise of God and his prayer is found in verses 4 to 10. He confessed his sin and asked for healing, v. 4. David felt very badly because his enemies were speaking evil of him, v. 5. If anyone came to see him, it was not out of love. He would just go out and tell others about it, v. 6. They were all planning to hurt David and said he would no doubt die soon, v. 8. In fact his own friend had become his enemy, v. 9. This may have been Ahithophel who was David’s friend and counsellor, who helped him think through the many problems of the country. When David’s son Absalom tried to become king, Ahithophel left David to help Absalom, 2 Samuel 15:12, 31; 16:23. David was a man who loved his friends. It hurt him very much to think that Ahithophel had left him.

David knew that God had heard his prayer because his enemy did not gain the victory over him, vs. 11, 12.

The last verse of this psalm is David’s praise for answered prayer. For every believer, when the struggle of life is over, there will be the endless years of eternity to praise the Lord for ever and ever.

The book of Psalms is divided into five books and this is the last verse of the first book. “Amen” means “May it be so.” The people of Israel in saying “Amen” agreed that God should be blessed forever. So do we.