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Lowell Brueckner

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June 29 - July 5 Daily Meditations in the Psalms


June 29

Psalms 57

1.  Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast.
2.  I will cry unto God most high; unto God that performeth all things for me.
3.  He shall send from heaven, and save me from the reproach of him that would swallow me up. Selah. God shall send forth his mercy and his truth.
4.  My soul is among lions: and I lie even among them that are set on fire, even the sons of men, whose teeth are spears and arrows, and their tongue a sharp sword.
5.  Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens; let thy glory be above all the earth.
6.  They have prepared a net for my steps; my soul is bowed down: they have digged a pit before me, into the midst whereof they are fallen themselves. Selah.
7.  My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise.
8.  Awake up, my glory; awake, psaltery and harp: I myself will awake early.
9.  I will praise thee, O Lord, among the people: I will sing unto thee among the nations.
10.  For thy mercy is great unto the heavens, and thy truth unto the clouds.
11.  Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens: let thy glory be above
all the earth.

     David has made a decision and casts himself upon the mercy of God. It is a recommitment to a life of trust in God, but there are many adversaries. Though all earth is against him, all heaven is working on his behalf. God is his refuge and is performing His will for David. Selah – once again, meditate on this and relate it to your life. Jesus sent us out as sheep among wolves and David said he walked among lions. Unless our faith is tried, how will we know the extent of God’s mercy to us and the overcoming power of His truth?
     Notice the repetition of the refrain of verse five in verse eleven. It states the purpose of David’s existence, that is, to give glory to God and it also reveals the reason for his multiplied troubles. He is an instrument through whom God is glorified and therefore, all hell is against him. He, as Paul and Silas in prison, will not be silenced. From the darkness of a cave, he sings and gives praise, stirs up his soul above the circumstances and determines that if there are no other among the nations to praise the Lord, he, at least, will do so. He sings of mercy and truth in the midst of cruelty and deceit. God still has His people to give testimony and manifest his grace to the earth.

June 30

Psalms 58:1-6

1.  Do ye indeed speak righteousness, O congregation? do ye judge uprightly, O ye sons of men?
2.  Yea, in heart ye work wickedness; ye weigh the violence of your hands in the earth.
3.  The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies.
4.  Their poison is like the poison of a serpent: they are like the deaf adder that stoppeth her ear;
5.  Which will not hearken to the voice of charmers, charming never so wisely.
6.  Break their teeth, O God, in their mouth: break out the great teeth of the young lions, O LORD.

     David is a man of war and Psalm after Psalm speaks of the battle against his enemies. Only Christian soldiers can sing the Psalms. The Christian life is a conflict, therefore Paul instructs us to “put on the whole armor of God.” There is no settling into relaxation, half-heartedness, or getting involved with the affairs of this life. That is too dangerous.
     In this Psalm, David attacks the unrighteousness of men, especially leaders. “They are speaking of righteousness. Is it heart righteousness?” he asks. There is a contradiction between words and deeds. The problem is in the heart, in the very nature of man. They, or shall I say we, are born to wickedness, cut off from God and running away from the light. Lies and hypocrisy are their language.
     Several analogies are given to describe the wicked (especially leadership). They are like deaf adders, young lions, running water, a snail, untimely birth and thorns for fuel. We will just briefly consider two in this meditation. Their sin is lethal and all the charm and sophistication in the world cannot stop its strike. Dress it with education, put on a suit and tie, and allow it to inhabit offices of leadership and the elite districts of town. It cannot stop the flow of poison. Their poison is as an adder, but deadlier yet, they have the hunting instinct, the speed and the strength of a young lion. This is no joking matter. They are hunting our souls.  

3rd Quarter

     David is the most famous of the Psalmists. He was a legend in his time and a historical figure sine par, until his glorious Son arose in Israel to be its King and the Savior of the world. Second Samuel, chapter 23, describes David as “the man who was raised up on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob, and the sweet psalmist of Israel.”

     Remarkably, besides being a fierce warrior, David was also a gentle poet; not a common one, but the most read sage of all times, far outshining Shakespeare, Longfellow, Browning or any other that we could name. The good care of God for David made him a great man, but what made him beloved among his people, was the gentleness of God that was manifested through him. This was the quality, which won the heart of the common man. Above all else that we could say about this great king, we recognize him as a man after God’s own heart.

    The Psalms uncover a deep personal relationship between a man and his God. Samuel, when he came to Jessie’s house to anoint a king, heard His voice say, “The Lord looketh on the heart.” For that reason, the Lord found one, who, from his boyhood could be molded to His likeness. Never before or since has there been a king like David. He is unique among the powerful men of earth. God is the one who puts all rulers in their place, but we are now speaking of one who walked with Him from his youth, sought His direction and came to the throne with full assurance that God had brought him there. He ruled under His hand. What was most significant about his life was that his obedience was an overflow of a yielded heart, not something superficial. He credited the Lord with the success he had experienced and always gave Him glory.


July 1

Psalms 58:4-11

4.  Their poison is like the poison of a serpent: they are like the deaf adder that stoppeth her ear;
5.  Which will not hearken to the voice of charmers, charming never so wisely.
6.  Break their teeth, O God, in their mouth: break out the great teeth of the young lions, O LORD.
7.  Let them melt away as waters which run continually: when he bendeth his bow to shoot his arrows, let them be as cut in pieces.
8.  As a snail which melteth, let every one of them pass away: like the untimely birth of a woman, that they may not see the sun.
9.  Before your pots can feel the thorns, he shall take them away as with a whirlwind, both living, and in his wrath.
10.  The righteous shall rejoice when he seeth the vengeance: he shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked.
11.  So that a man shall say, Verily there is a reward for the righteous: verily he is a God that judgeth in the earth.

     Men, who are naturally wicked, are no match for God. The presence of God is the deterrent against the fulfillment of the wicked’s intentions and the protection of the righteous. David implores Him to break the adder’s teeth and the young lions’ fangs. He wants them to be as water off a duck’s back or as a snail that shrivels up under the hot sun. They should be as an unborn child that never has an opportunity to find any satisfaction in life. Like thorns used for fuel, they are to be swept out of the fireplace before their heat can reach the pot.
     Babylon is fallen. Rejoice over her, ye saints! When God deals wickedness a blow and it loses its poison, strength, purpose and heat, the lovers of righteousness exult in its downfall. The life blood of the wicked, the principles that govern their existence, is exposed and spilt upon the earth, cut short from reaching its goal.     
     It becomes a testimony to the careful observer. He is given clear evidence of the consequences of wickedness and the reward of righteousness. God, as a righteous judge, becomes a reality to him. May this Psalm come to pass in modern times with similar results.

July 2

Psalms 59

When Saul sent and they watched the house to kill David.
1.  Deliver me from mine enemies, O my God: defend me from them that rise up against me.
2.  Deliver me from the workers of iniquity, and save me from bloody men.
3.  For, lo, they lie in wait for my soul: the mighty are gathered against me; not for my transgression, nor for my sin, O LORD.
4.  They run and prepare themselves without my fault: awake to help me, and behold.
5.  Thou therefore, O LORD God of hosts, the God of Israel, awake to visit all the heathen: be not merciful to any wicked transgressors. Selah.
6.  They return at evening: they make a noise like a dog, and go round about the city.
7.  Behold, they belch out with their mouth: swords are in their lips: for who, say they, doth hear?
8.  But thou, O LORD, shalt laugh at them; thou shalt have all the heathen in derision.
9.  Because of his strength will I wait upon thee: for God is my defence.
10.  The God of my mercy shall prevent me: God shall let me see my desire upon mine enemies.
11.  Slay them not, lest my people forget: scatter them by thy power; and bring them down, O Lord our shield.
12.  For the sin of their mouth and the words of their lips let them even be taken in their pride: and for cursing and lying which they speak.
13.  Consume them in wrath, consume them, that they may not be: and let them know that God ruleth in Jacob unto the ends of the earth. Selah.
14.  And at evening let them return; and let them make a noise like a dog, and go round about the city.
15.  Let them wander up and down for meat, and grudge if they be not satisfied.
16.  But I will sing of thy power; yea, I will sing aloud of thy mercy in the morning: for thou hast been my defence and refuge in the day of my trouble.
17.  Unto thee, O my strength, will I sing: for God is my defence, and the God of my mercy.

     Though David would not lay a hand on Saul’s person, he recognized that there was something about him that was not anointed. He told Abishai that the Lord would strike Saul, his time would come to die or he would go into battle and perish. David was very expressive, when talking to the Lord concerning his enemies. The evil spirit that troubled Saul was murderously opposed to the future of Israel and everyone who bore God’s mark. Therefore, David uttered this prayer.
     David remembered his own anointing and the preparation he received in order to be in the Lord’s army. The Spirit of the Lord was upon him. Saul and all his mighty men were against David and their opposition was totally unjust. It was due, not to David’s faults or sin, but to the fresh anointing. The leaders of Israel were acting as heathen, opposing themselves and destroying their own land. The evil spirit upon Saul was more interested in destroying David than fighting the Philistines, who finally won decisive battles against Saul.
     David desires that Israel should return to the Lord’s rulership, which had been lost when Saul was appointed king. He wants Israel to learn from this experience and never forget it. He asks that God not be merciful to the wicked, because they demonstrate more the nature of dogs than that of human beings. He asks that they might be scattered, brought down, caught in their pride, cursing and lying, consumed in wrath, and unsatisfied in their quest for human blood.
     As is commonly the case in the Psalms, this one begins with prayer and ends with praise, as faith overcomes on the battlefield of prayer and the victory is decided in spiritual realms before the actual deliverance comes. That is the nature of spiritual warfare.

July 3

Psalms 60:1-4, 7-8

When Joab returned, and smote of Edom in the valley of salt twelve thousand.
1.  O God, thou hast cast us off, thou hast scattered us, thou hast been displeased; O turn thyself to us again.
2.  Thou hast made the earth to tremble; thou hast broken it: heal the breaches thereof; for it shaketh.
3.  Thou hast shewed thy people hard things: thou hast made us to drink the wine of astonishment.
4.  Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee, that it may be displayed because of the truth. Selah.
7.  Gilead is mine, and Manasseh is mine; Ephraim also is the strength of mine head; Judah is my lawgiver;
8.  Moab is my washpot; over Edom will I cast out my shoe: Philistia, triumph thou because of me.

     David, as a type of Christ, executed judgment upon the heathen and brought back to Israel that which was God’s. It was an Edomite a few chapters back, one of Saul’s chief men, who smote the priests of the Lord, when Saul’s Israelite soldiers feared to do so. The vengeance was awesome. Joab, David’s general, stayed six months in Edom slaying every male. Here, the number given is 12,000. David united Israel under the banner of holiness and truth so that a holy God could say, “Manasseh is mine; Ephraim also is the strength of mine head.” Heathen nations were brought into subjection.
     Under Saul, there had been division. God was displeased with His people from the time that they demanded a king. There was instability in the land and hard treatment, evidence of man’s despotism.

July 4

Psalms 60:4-5

4.  Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee, that it may be displayed because of the truth. Selah.
5.  That thy beloved may be delivered; save with thy right hand, and hear me.

     “Let God be true and every man a liar.” If there are no men who will stand on the side of truth, God will stand there alone. With a man after God’s own heart before Him, a banner of truth waved over His people. He gave it to those that feared Him and under it, they triumphed. Here we may stop and meditate. Men who turn from truth to lies and deceit are their own worst enemies. When they establish truth and march in step with it, there can be unity and victory.
     It was not so much that God had come onto Israel’s side, but David had brought Israel to God’s side and consequently, He handed them truth’s banner. Once again, men feared God. Saul’s disregard for that which was holy, his self-confidence and self-dependence was a thing of the past. The new kingdom of righteousness had struggled and panged in birth, but now it was victorious. God’s love is ever the same for His people, but we need today a flag of truth to bring us deliverance. “The truth will set you free.”

July 5

Psalms 60:6-12

6.  God hath spoken in his holiness; I will rejoice, I will divide Shechem, and mete out the valley of Succoth.
7.  Gilead is mine, and Manasseh is mine; Ephraim also is the strength of mine head; Judah is my lawgiver;
8.  Moab is my washpot; over Edom will I cast out my shoe: Philistia, triumph thou because of me.
9.  Who will bring me into the strong city? who will lead me into Edom?
10.  Wilt not thou, O God, which hadst cast us off? and thou, O God, which didst not go out with our armies?
11.  Give us help from trouble: for vain is the help of man.
12.  Through God we shall do valiantly: for he it is that shall tread down our enemies.

     God never will compromise an ounce of His holiness. If His people revert to uncleanness, He will cast them off. In David’s day it was possible for God to speak to His people in His holiness. They had conformed to His ways and He rejoiced in them again. He could work among them and continue the unfolding of His plan, manifesting His power. He gathered all the tribes to Himself and meted blessings to each. He subdued their enemies and made them become lowly servants. What a great thing it is when God smiles on His people!
     We must return to the God of truth and holiness, Who has cast us off and refused to go out with our backslidden armies. Vain is self-effort or the help of men. Humans offer no suitable substitute, program or other means. Who will lead us and bring us into a position of victory? Will human motivation, church growth programs, seminars or united effort? Use them, my friend, if you will, but they will not bring you into the strong city that God wants you to conquer. “Through God (alone) we shall do valiantly, for He (alone) it is that shall tread down our enemies.”


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