Psalm 83

Please read Psalm 83 (18 verses)

The enemy is continually plotting and looking for opportunities to destroy the people of God. He hates human beings and especially those who belong to the faith, and are alive to God. The psalmist asks God to speak the word of deliverance for His people and to not remain silent or deaf to their cries. The enemy cannot destroy the people of God but can make trouble and heartache and render them ineffective. He tries to do this by keeping us silent to the mercy of the Lord and making us doubt our witness to Him. He will undermine and discourage us, but we must be always aware of his schemes.

The enemy will plot together to overthrow the righteous and form all sorts of unlikely alliances, just to fulfil this one goal. Satan can motivate armies, cities and nations against God’s people, but we remember that God is always in control and will not allow His faithful ones to be shaken. All the traditional armies have lined up against the people of God, and all who have been rejected by God are now going to mobilise against Him. The nations of the world militate against the land of God and imagine that they are great enough and strong enough to overcome Judah and take the inheritance given by God. This is the folly of the human thinking. It is so common, for the people of God look weak and insignificant and easy to overthrow. But the might of heaven is with them and they cannot fail.

The psalmist calls to God to protect and wreck vengeance on the enemies of God’s people and to completely subdue and humiliate them and their leaders, like Sisera who was tricked and put to shame in his death with a tent peg. Jabin who was also humiliated and put to flight by the hand of the Lord against him. The writer prays that God will make enemies useless and ineffectual and their reputation and power will just dissipate and become like tumbleweed. He wishes shame and disgrace for them and that the outward manifestations of the power of God will be against all who set themselves against the Lord and His people. Everyone will know that the Lord is God and He alone vanquishes all evil.

Psalm 82

Pleases read Psalm 82 (8 verses)

God alone is God. He rises in judgment on all the other gods, who are not gods at all. He calls us to do the same. Then will we be great and be set above all things with Christ, to rule in the heavenly kingdom. If we will be bow our knees to Him and honour Him and all His holy commandments, then we will be daughters and sons of the Living God, set on high.

But we do not love justice. We put down the weak and lowly people and give honour and equity to the rich and seemingly noble, and are prejudiced on their behalf. We show partiality to those who we think will benefit our personal causes and ignore the plight of the needy who can do nothing for us at all. We do not take bribes, but we load the dice against the helpless and take from them what they cannot afford. The widow and the fatherless who have nothing of this world’s goods nor the comfort of family and home we still leave destitute and ignore their pleas for mercy. We deny their case for justice and give it to the rich and influential instead. Indeed, we deliver them into the hands of their enemies for our own satisfaction and benefit.

The gods we follow lead us into darkness and spiritual poverty and death. We build ourselves up to the detriment of other parties and God labels us as unjust and unprofitable. It does not matter who we think we are or what we imagine we have accomplished, it is dross without Him. If we continue in our chosen way we will reach trouble and our whole world will be shaken. We will wreck our societies, institutions and organisations because we are morally and spiritually corrupt. The whole edifice will fall and God will allow it, so that His majesty and justice is seen. All who build for themselves will perish with their works.

The psalmist asks the Lord to rise up and intervene, that the world will be saved from us and our corrupt ways. No one is exempt from the justice of God because the nations belong to Him.

Psalm 81

Pleases read Psalm 81 (16 verses)

If only we would follow the Lord and obey Him, we would enjoy the finest of all things, food from the table of heaven. But we think we know better and our fleshly desires draw our hearts after the blessings of this life and we lose out on closeness to the Lord. We lose our delight in the Word of God and prefers other things. We find ourselves enslaved by troubles and personal foibles, and lose out on the liberty of Christ.

The psalmist tells us to rejoice in the Lord and to express our praise on all the instruments of music that He has given us. The Lord has instigated feast days, happy days of pleasure and rejoicing in Him and we are to do so with a full heart. We can meet with others to share the name of the Lord and be thankful for all His rich and merciful blessings, in this life and in our souls. God has so richly blessed us and set us free from the shackles of the enemy and the slavery of this present life and set us at liberty to enjoy Him and live life in His light.

God has rescued us from our burdens and distresses and set our heart in the highest of places to serve and obey Him. His burdens are easy and light and resonate with our souls, for we are made for God and His closeness. This is the place of happiness and joy and true hearted rest. To enjoy this, God must be only and first in our life and no other dearest thing is to take His place – not ideas, beliefs, possessions or people. He must be central in all our mindset and considerations. He will set us on high and when we have need or desire, He will fill it with all His goodness.

The only hindrance, is that we will not put the Lord at the centre or top of our thinking. We will not trust the Lord so implicitly and we will not set aside our preponderances to sin and self. If only we would then all our enemies would be put to flight and cringe before us. Only in the Lord do we have the finest things in life and even death is ours, for we have the victory in Christ.

Psalm 80

Please read Psalm 80 (19 verses)

If the Lord does not hear us, there is no one to shepherd us. The psalmist calls on the God of the cherubim to come and save His nation, the people of His possession. The writer seeks restoration and the acceptance of God in the form of salvation. The people of God have suffered greatly and shed many tears and shouldered many sufferings at the hand of the Lord, because of His anger towards them. The Lord has given them tears by the bottle full and the people eat the very bread of tears. Enemies treat them with derision because of their sin. God brought them out of Egypt and planted them as a vine in the promised land, which filled the whole land and prospered. The whole earth was blessed by the influence of this vine and it sheltered many under its good branches.

But now the walls have broken down and strangers are permitted to pick its grapes and desecrate its holy position. God has removed His protection and allowed His vineyard to be ravaged by those who hate His people, using them as a deep chastisement to His flock. Animals ravage it and even insects thrive on its fruit to the detriment of the vine. The psalmist calls on God to look from heaven and see what is happening and how His vine is being desecrated and even burned with fire. The rebuke of the voice of the Lord has brought this desolation and the writer asks God to look again and save His people.

The psalmist asks God to look to the man at His right hand, even Jesus, the only righteous one, the second person in the Holy trinity of God. He is the Saviour of His people and the only one who can put things right and stay the hand of trouble on the vine of the Lord. The Lord Jesus has been raised up as the Saviour and He must save His people or they will die. Only the substitutional death of Christ on the cross, is able to fix this gulf between God and His people and purchase forgiveness for them. This makes Him the only Saviour and the only one who is willing and able to save us. The psalmist asks God to deliver them, so that they can again praise the name of the Lord. May the face of the Lord shine on us again in great blessing that we will be saved.

Psalm 79

Please read Psalm 79 (13 verses)

The psalmist prays to the Lord and speaks of the carnage that has been meted out against the people of God. God has delivered His people into the arms of their enemies, for they refuse the exclusivity of His love and constantly want novelty and physical satisfaction. Jerusalem has been sacked and levelled to the ground. The people are slain and their bodies left as carrion for the birds of the air and the wild beasts. Their blood is poured out like water all around the holy city, for they have paid double for all their sins.

The writer calls out to God to step in and avenge the blood of His people and render the enemy helpless. The worst of the slaughter is not the physical but the disgrace that now has overtaken the people. They are viewed as weak and defeated and forsaken by their God the Lord. The psalmist prays that the Lord will rise up and restore the reputation of His beloved ones and avenge the horrible deaths their fellow citizens have suffered.

They are in desperate need and think that the Lord is punishing them for their own sins and the sins of past generations. The people know that only the Lord can sort out this mess and forgive them freely for all their transgressions. They appeal to the name of God, that He will not forget them, or the nations around them will believe they are forsaken by God and therefore vulnerable and open to plundering. The psalmist asks God to avenge His people and pay back more retribution than the punishment that been given to them, that His name alone is vindicated. The punishment inflicted by the wicked nations is seen to be against the Lord Himself, and therefore cannot be let go and forgotten. The people promise to remember the works of the Lord through all the generations…

Psalm 78

Please read Psalm 78 (72 verses)

The Lord remonstrates with his people to listen to His words and teachings from of old. He has long laboured to get his people, to understand and follow, but they are slow and reticent. God is going to remind them about the hidden things, a parable from the generations that have passed.

God released His people from the hand of the Pharaoh and brought them out of Egypt with great power and many signs and wonders. He unleashed His hot anger against those who oppressed His people and refused to give them their liberty, so He conquered them all by the hand of the avenging Angel of death.

He led them through the wilderness with great power, bringing them through the sea on dry land, destroying their enemies and providing for all their needs. They always wanted more and their covetous hearts were never satisfied. He led them in peace with cloud and fire; rained down heaven’s food – the manna to satisfy their hunger. It was not enough, they wanted meat, so He rained down flesh, which they complained about while it was still in their mouths! God was furious with them and put them to death in the wilderness, permitting them to wander and die. They ended their years in futility because of their unbelief.

God drove out their enemies before them and allocated their own lands to each one. Still it was not enough and they craved more and turned to the false gods of wood and stone. God was furious and unleashed His sharp swords against them, sending them into wars and conflicts with their deadly enemies. God rejected His people and put them to flight but had mercy on Judah alone. He called them Mount Zion and established the kingdom with godly king David who lead them in peace, righteousness and integrity. This they did not deserve, but God has provided for His people right to the present time. God will alway deal with those who are truly His and will teach them the everlasting way to peace with Himself. He does not treat us as our sins deserve.

Psalm 77

Please read Psalm 77 (20 verses)

The psalmist is remembering a time of extreme distress when God seemed far away and all his requests for comfort remained unanswered. He has called out to God in the darkness of the night and stretched out untiring hands for help and support, but the heavens seem hard as iron. He searches for the Lord because no other comfort will do. He sees no succour in the delights of this life, but only in the Lord his God. Even as he thinks of the Lord, he groans in his soul and grows faint with looking for the Lord. God keeps his eyes awake and his lips silent, even as God seems silent.

The writer asks some serious questions about God. He asks if His mercy has gone forever – has His love gone, never to return? Has God forgotten all His promises to the psalmist and forgotten to keep His everlasting Word? This is how it seems to the psalmist because the felt comfort of the compassion of the Lord is not in his life just now. He resolves to not give up and to seek the Lord. He will appeal to the goodness of the Lord and deliberately remember all the deliverances in the past when he felt and knew the closeness of God.

The psalmist tutors himself into remembering who God is and His faithfulness to all His people in times past. God is holy and great and therefore will not break His promises to His people who He has redeemed long ago. The psalmist remembers the demonstrations of power in the control of the great waters of the ocean, the storm and thunder storm and knows that the Lord is able, as well as willing, to deliver him no matter how he feels. He remembers that the Lord is a shepherd to His people and God will lead him safely on to his final destination just as He led His people in the past. Sometimes the footprints of the Lord cannot be seen and we must walk in faith that our Lord God will not fail.

Psalm 76

Please read Psalm 76 (12 verses)

The Lord is renowned by His people and His dwelling place is in the city of God. From His city of Zion he breaks the arrows, the shields and swords and all the weapons of war. No weapon formed against the Lord or the people of God will prosper, for God is to be feared and no one can stand against Him when He is angry. The Lord is radiant with light and lifted high in His inherent majesty. His enemies sleep the sleep of death not one of them can lift their hands against the Lord and all their means of war lie still.

The Lord is the only judge and the whole earth awaits the righteous judgment of the Lord, so that peace can prevail. Even the wrath and war-like tendency of humankind will end in praise to the Lord. The anger in the human heart will praise Him and vindicate His judgments.

As we make our vows to Him, we carry them out in faithfulness and purity and we bring all our gifts to Him as is His deserving. Even rulers acquiesce to Him because He is their Lord and feared by them. So also we fear the Lord and serve Him with faithful hearts, lifting His name high above all other names.

Psalm 75

Please read Psalm 75 (10 verses)

It is the Lord who is in total control of all things. His name is exalted above all and to Him all glory is due. His very name is with us and near us and people witness to God’s mercy and goodness every day. God chooses when things happen and how they happen. We can presume to know His plans and purposes, but we do not. Only He knows the end from the beginning of a series of events, and He is working out His holy agenda throughout the whole world.

When trouble comes to people, families and nations it is He who holds things together and overrules in mercy and grace. When we have a heart to sin, it is the restraining power of the Holy Spirit who restrains us and stops the hand of evil from working out its purposes. None of us from any part of the world, West or East, can exalt ourselves above the Lord, and to try to do so will brings down folly upon our lives. We can try to lift ourselves to positions of authority and influence, but it is the Lord who sets people as leaders and also brings them down, according to His perfect will. The Lord has judgments for the high and mighty and all who do not acknowledge Him or worship Him, and He pours out trouble to stay the hand of evil and the natural outworking of the sinful human heart.

It is folly to boast in anything, especially our perceived strength, for it is the Lord who gives it and can take it away. We bow our knees to Him and petition Him for peace and that the kingdom will come on earth. The righteous seek these things and know that they will be exalted in the Lord, but the influence of the wicked will be cut off.

Psalm 74

Please read Psalm 74 (23 verses)

The Lord seems to have cast off His people and allowed the desecration of His holy sanctuary. Mount Zion has become an everlasting ruin! The enemy has brought destruction and have roared and raved in the places of the holiness of God. The ungodly have behaved like vandals, smashing and destroying the fabric of the temple and burning every place where God is worshipped in the land. The enemy has deliberately ruined all the places of the godly and all outward remembrances of the Lord. Their wanton acts of vandalism have destroyed the land and the precious things that are valued by the people of God. They have breathed out threat and slaughter towards the people of God, and God seems to have rejected His holy nation.

No prophets are left and the voice of the Lord is no longer heard in the land. God has withheld His hand of judgment on evil and now it is rampant. Only God can bring salvation on the earth, but for now, evil has stirred and is trashing all the holy things in sight.

The psalmist is in no doubt as to the power of God to save, but wonders at His reluctance to intervene. God has power over the mighty waters of sea and river and the huge beasts that frolic there. Day and night, the seasons, the sun and moon belong to the Lord, and He orders the natural rhythms of the whole world and universe. The writer asks the Lord to remember the wickedness of the wicked and to not forget His people, who He has delivered in the past. He reminds the Lord to not forget His covenant promises, that God will not leave His people or forsake them. The clamour of the foes continually rise to heaven and their violence fills the dark earth. The plea of the psalmist to know the full deliverance of the Lord rises to the skies. This Psalm is his petition and prayer. He asks God to rise up and defend His name.

Women who glorify God