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Prayer, Pardon, Praise And Power

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6/1/2003
Psalms 31-35
Many of the Psalms teach us how to pray by following the psalmist example knowing that his very words were inspired by the Holy Spirit. As we read of the trials and experiences of David and others, we can understand how God wants us to respond when we go through difficult times. For instance in Psalm 34 we find David ending up in the enemy’s camp because of being driven by fear and not trusting God. In other psalms we learn that sometimes the writers struggled with holding onto sin or not being able to forgive which kept them from experiencing God’s blessings. Therefore, sin did take its toll and eventually David was brought before the Lord to confess his sin.
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Learning By Contrast And Need

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6/1/2003
Psalms 36-40
In Psalm 31, David contrasts the righteous and the wicked. David has about a half dozen things to say early on about the wicked giving us clear insights into life without God. David wrote Psalm 32 in his old age and deals with the perennial problem man has dealt with throughout the ages: why do the wicked so often prosper while the godly face great hardships? Psalm 33 is read by the Jews on Yom Kippur or Day of Atonement and records the physical effects that sin had upon David’s life after his sin with Bathsheba. David acutely aware of his physical frailties cries out to God in Psalm 39 to have a right perspective on life. Psalm 40, is a song of thanksgiving and praise to the Lord. No doubt David looked back on how God, in His faithfulness, brought him through a difficult time.
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A Weak Man's Strong Cry

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6/1/2003
Psalms 41-45
Psalm 41 concludes book one of the book of Psalms and is a continuation of David’s cry to God for help and deliverance from the effects of his sin resulting from his affair with Bathsheba and death of Uriah. Pastor Jack has called Psalms 42 and 43, “An upward look from a downcast soul.” Written by the sons of Korah, who were facing severe threats from outward enemies, which left them in a depressed state. These two psalms relate to anyone going through depression. Psalm 44 is an encouragement for us to pray for our nation as King Hezekiah did for his. Psalm 45 is a wedding song written during the time of Hezekiah and prophetically speaks of Jesus and His love for His Bride, the Church.
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How Awesome Is Our God

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6/1/2003
Psalms 46-50
Psalms 46-48 seems to be centered around the time of the threatened invasion of the Syrian army during the reign of King Hezekiah. This prompted the King to cry out to God for help and deliverance resulting in one angel slewing 185,000 soldiers in one night. This great victory by God prompted writing these words to commemorate God’s faithfulness. Psalm 49 is all about the futility of putting one’s trust in riches. Pastor Jack calls this psalm “worthless wealth.” Finally Psalm 50 is a prophetic psalm and a call to God to bring judgment which will occur at a future time when Jesus will return and judge the nations.
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Repentance Vs. Resistance

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6/1/2003
Psalms 51-55
Psalm 51 begins a new series of psalms that are attributed to David. In fact, all but four between here and psalm 72 and the end of the second book are attributed to him. This psalm was written after David had been confronted about his sin(s) with Bathsheba by Nathan the prophet (2Sa.11-12). In this psalm we see David’s response of confession before God. Psalm 52 records David’s run from Saul and when Doeg, the Edomite, told Saul the whereabouts of David. Psalm 53 is a repeat of psalm 14. Psalm 54 tells about the Ziphites who betrayed David by telling Saul of his whereabouts. Certainly a lesson on what to do when those close to us betray us. Lastly, psalm 55, like psalm 54, speaks of betrayal when David’s own son, Absalom, sought to overthrow him and take over the kingdom.
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My Enemies And God's Care

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6/1/2003
Psalms 56-60
Psalm 56 was written as we are told in the introduction at that time when David found himself in the Philistine city of Gath and fleeing from King Saul and up to his neck now in deep water. Under arrest and waiting to appear before King Achish, in his cell David sees he was wrong in coming here to the hometown of Goliath and wearing his sword. Psalm 57 is a lesson of learning to trust God in dire circumstances. Psalm 58 addresses injustices brought about by dishonest judges. Psalm 59 returns to David’s run from Saul and his many enemies whom he likened to bloodthirsty dogs. Lastly Psalm 60, documents David’s leadership of the Israeli army in time of war.
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Hiding In His Fellowship

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6/1/2003
Psalms 61-65
So many of the psalms are a mix of emotions and feelings of the writers and psalm 61 is no exception. It would appear that David wrote this psalm after the death of his son Absalom, which no doubt brought anguish and brokenness to his heart. Psalm 62 recounts when Absalom stole the people’s hearts away from David which left David somewhat incapacitated due to his own sin. We like, David, can find ourselves drowning in guilt and self-pity wherein our only option is to turn to the Lord and cast our cares and burdens on Him. When David was on the run from Absalom, he wrote Psalm 63 that expressed his longing to be back in Jerusalem and in fellowship with God. Psalm 64 speaks of those who slander and smear the good name of godly people. This was the case with David and the many enemies that surrounded him. Psalm 65 is a psalm of praise where David ascribes to God his greatness as seen in His creation.
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Price Paid, Return Imminent

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6/1/2003
Psalms 66-70
Psalm 66 is a psalm of worship and praise for deliverance that also looks ahead to the millennium and the joy to the earth that Jesus will then bring! The initial reason for writing was the result of some awesome victory perhaps Hezekiah over the Assyrians? Psalm 67 like the previous psalm is written by an anonymous individual who looks forward to the cry of God’s people for His rule to take hold upon the earth. In Psalm 68 we find a march of God down through the ages of history with His people Israel: from Egypt to Canaan; from Moses to the millennium. David writes of the logical outcome of Israel’s history being that they will one day be exalted as the Messiah rules from there…we look for that too! Psalm 69 paints a picture of the suffering of Jesus upon the cross. All the pronouns are singular and in the 1st person making the psalm directly apply to the sacrifice of Jesus upon the cross. Psalm 70 is a psalm of David as once again we find him crying out to God for deliverance from his enemies.
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Some Foundational Truths

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6/1/2003
Psalms 71-75
Psalm 71 was written by an anonymous individual, who could have been David, who was no doubt up in years. As such, he recounts God’s goodness and faithfulness that was shown to him through his many years. In his frail years, he calls upon the Lord to keep him all the way to end. A prayer that should apply to us as well. Psalm 72 was written by Solomon and is a prayer for the wisdom to rule the people that finds its greatest fulfillment, of course, in the coming reign of Jesus upon the earth in the millennium. Psalm 73 is all about foundational truths. People so often try to understand God through their circumstances as this psalmist tried to do. Thankfully he came back to the foundational truths that he had learned and realized that the wicked, even though outwardly seem to have everything together, yet they were on thin ice. The subject matter of the Psalm 74 is a time of real overwhelming odds as the enemy has come in, invaded the sanctuary and burned it to the ground…even setting up their own wicked heathen worship in its midst. And God had let it all happen. Why? Psalm 75 answered the question of the previous psalm. God will step in when the time is right - not our time, but His.
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History Lessons For Spiritual Growth

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6/1/2003
Psalms 76-80
Like Psalm 75 this Psalm 76 is also a psalm of praise and most commentators place it as a result of the deliverance God brought to Jerusalem and its inhabitants under attack from Sennacherib and the Assyrian army…185,000 dead as the angel came into their camp one night. Psalm 77 is one of moods and tenses that cannot be seen or translated into English but finds the psalmist overwhelmed with sorrow and grief as he sees the trouble coming…in it we get a vocabulary of prayer when our own personal circumstances seem overwhelming. Psalm 78 is a reminder that we need to teach our children who God is. Here the psalmist recounts God’s deliverance from Egyptian bondage and the miraculous parting of the Red Sea. Psalm 79 seems to have been written when the Babylonians were devastating Jerusalem leaving behind unbelievable torment and destruction. This prompted the writer to cry out to God asking Him for his mercy upon His people. Psalm 80 appears to have been written at the end of the 70 year Babylonian Captivity when the cry was for salvation and restoration.
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