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Lowell Brueckner

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December 18 - 24 Daily Meditations in the Psalms


December 18

Psalms 139:1-18

1.  O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me.
2.  Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.
3.  Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.
4.  For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether.
5.  Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me.
6.  Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.
7.  Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?
8.  If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.
9.  If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;
10.  Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.
11.  If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me.
12.  Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.
13.  For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb.
14.  I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.
15.  My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
16.  Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.
17.  How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!
18.  If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.

     Nothing on this earth is more satisfying than knowing the sovereign dealings of God in our lives. God only recognizes what He has done, therefore for us to be known of God, means that we must be a product of His creative work. The Lord holds infinite interests in His holdings. He watches over every activity, word and motive. He keeps His hand upon our lives and there is no escape from Him. I am possessed by God! That is an awesome thought and no language can express the wonder of it. The new creation is a miracle that began in the foreknowledge of God. We are incapable of the first move in His direction without His aid. May we fill our soul with the nourishment of this Psalm and let it live in us, thinking these precious thoughts. That is the purpose for which they were written.

December 19

Psalms 139:19-24

19.  Surely thou wilt slay the wicked, O God: depart from me therefore, ye bloody men.
20.  For they speak against thee wickedly, and thine enemies take thy name in vain.
21.  Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee?
22.  I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies.
23.  Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:
24.  And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way

     We must be willing to hear the whole counsel of God. Open your heart and mind to Him, then pray the prayer in verse 23 and 24. Self-examination is too great a responsibility for us, so we must be willing for God to search us. We are far too easily self-deceived. We can hide from ourselves, but to Him, darkness and light are both alike and there is nowhere to hide. He finds His way into every crevice and performs a perfect search. He knows our heart far better than we can know ourselves. He will uncover the wickedness, be it in the motives of our heart, the thoughts of our mind, or the steps of our way. I find comfort in the fact that we can come under a perfect scrutiny, a diagnosis conducted by the omniscient God, and He will try us and lead us in the everlasting way. He, who would partake of eternity, must be open to heavenly examination, for human judgment cannot see past the temporal realm.

December 20

Psalms 140

1.  Deliver me, O LORD, from the evil man: preserve me from the violent man;
2.  Which imagine mischiefs in their heart; continually are they gathered together for war.
3.  They have sharpened their tongues like a serpent; adders' poison is under their lips. Selah.
4.  Keep me, O LORD, from the hands of the wicked; preserve me from the violent man; who have purposed to overthrow my goings.
5.  The proud have hid a snare for me, and cords; they have spread a net by the wayside; they have set gins for me. Selah.
6.  I said unto the LORD, Thou art my God: hear the voice of my supplications, O LORD.
7.  O GOD the Lord, the strength of my salvation, thou hast covered my head in the day of battle.
8.  Grant not, O LORD, the desires of the wicked: further not his wicked device; lest they exalt themselves. Selah.
9.  As for the head of those that compass me about, let the mischief of their own lips cover them.
10.  Let burning coals fall upon them: let them be cast into the fire; into deep pits, that they rise not up again.
11.  Let not an evil speaker be established in the earth: evil shall hunt the violent man to overthrow him.
12.  I know that the LORD will maintain the cause of the afflicted, and the right of the poor.
13.  Surely the righteous shall give thanks unto thy name: the upright shall dwell in thy presence.

     There is one, to whom we can go for freedom from man or devil. We should not underestimate the evil powers against us. There is poison directed against the saints of God, ferocious attacks typified in this Psalm by traps, cords, nets and snares to overthrow the righteous. The enemy’s efforts are constant and supernatural. It is no wonder that so many fall. However, prayer that is offered to an all-sufficient God is sufficient defense. We must only seek to bring the Lord on the scene. He has no intention of allowing success for those who will establish evil. He comes to the aid of the afflicted and poor and they will have occasion for thanksgiving.

December 21

Psalms 141

1.  LORD, I cry unto thee: make haste unto me; give ear unto my voice, when I cry unto thee.
2.  Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.
3.  Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.
4.  Incline not my heart to any evil thing, to practise wicked works with men that work iniquity: and let me not eat of their dainties.
5.  Let the righteous smite me; it shall be a kindness: and let him reprove me; it shall be an excellent oil, which shall not break my head: for yet my prayer also shall be in their calamities.
6.  When their judges are overthrown in stony places, they shall hear my words; for they are sweet.
7.  Our bones are scattered at the grave's mouth, as when one cutteth and cleaveth wood upon the earth.
8.  But mine eyes are unto thee, O GOD the Lord: in thee is my trust; leave not my soul destitute.
9.  Keep me from the snares which they have laid for me, and the gins of the workers of iniquity.
10.  Let the wicked fall into their own nets, whilst that I withal escape.

     Prayer is the strength behind ministry. Unless He gives, His servants have nothing to offer and so five requests, that require a speedy answer, arise from David’s heart. He asks, first, that prayer would take the place of religious ritualism. He wants it to be as incense to the Lord and that his upraised hands would be as sacrifices. “Sacrifices and offering Thou wouldest not…a body hast Thou prepared me.” His second request is for sanctified speech. Lips that are kept from that, which is foolish, are a powerful weapon to the glory of God. Thirdly, he asks for a clean heart that does not lust for the pleasures of the wicked. It is the heart that must be changed, or else a man will surely compromise integrity and righteousness to obtain the world’s dainties. Fourthly, he asks for grace, when he is under reproof. To be able to appreciate discipline and profit by it always requires insight from the heavenly realms. He must tune to the eternal, in order to take reproof as a kindness. His last request is for defense and David must keep his eyes on the Lord for daily protection.

December 22

Psalms 142

1.  I cried unto the LORD with my voice; with my voice unto the LORD did I make my supplication.
2.  I poured out my complaint before him; I shewed before him my trouble.
3.  When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then thou knewest my path. In the way wherein I walked have they privily laid a snare for me.
4.  I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul.
5.  I cried unto thee, O LORD: I said, Thou art my refuge and my portion in the land of the living.
6.  Attend unto my cry; for I am brought very low: deliver me from my persecutors; for they are stronger than I.
7.  Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise thy name: the righteous shall compass me about; for thou shalt deal bountifully with me.

     The writer of Hebrews speaks of David, when he writes of those who were in caves (Hebrews 11:38). David was sustained and protected there by the Lord. Although he already had the anointing of Samuel, there was little popular support and no outward evidence of any kingdom ahead. He learned to express Himself to the Lord alone with no hope from man. The Lord is always there, oh cave dweller. Cast every care on Him.
     He faithfully watched over David, and when he was overwhelmed, the Lord was not. He knew the path with the hidden snares that David could not see. No man cared – it was just David and God. Men could not discern their future king, anymore than they could see the Christ, who would come through his line. It was not David that they were refusing, but the eternal plan of God leading to his descendant, Jesus, the anointed One. They saw only the obvious and pragmatic.
    The attacks on David’s person were difficult to endure, but the incarceration of his soul was impossible. The cave was similar to Joseph’s prison, where the word tried him and faith came by hearing. Faith saw the day of the Lord’s bountiful dealings, when he would no longer be alone, but encompassed by many of the righteous.

December 23

Psalms 143

1.  Hear my prayer, O LORD, give ear to my supplications: in thy faithfulness answer me, and in thy righteousness.
2.  And enter not into judgment with thy servant: for in thy sight shall no man living be justified.
3.  For the enemy hath persecuted my soul; he hath smitten my life down to the ground; he hath made me to dwell in darkness, as those that have been long dead.
4.  Therefore is my spirit overwhelmed within me; my heart within me is desolate.
5.  I remember the days of old; I meditate on all thy works; I muse on the work of thy hands.
6.  I stretch forth my hands unto thee: my soul thirsteth after thee, as a thirsty land. Selah.
7.  Hear me speedily, O LORD: my spirit faileth: hide not thy face from me, lest I be like unto them that go down into the pit.
8.  Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee.
9.  Deliver me, O LORD, from mine enemies: I flee unto thee to hide me.
10.  Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness.
11.  Quicken me, O LORD, for thy name's sake: for thy righteousness' sake bring my soul out of trouble.
12.  And of thy mercy cut off mine enemies, and destroy all them that afflict my soul: for I am thy servant.

     David could plead his cause, asking for the Lord to judge the opposition. He knew that his calling was according to God’s purpose. However, when it came to his right to stand in the presence of a holy God, he knew that he had no chance. No man ever does. His glaring sins and imperfections appear before the pure white holiness of God. Here he must approach on the grounds of mercy, not judgment. “If we say we have no sin, we lie and the truth is not in us.” We plead for cleansing and the purifying work of the indwelling seed that will not allow the continuance of sin.
     In this Psalm, David’s enemies are not flesh and blood. He is under a spiritual attack, the soul is persecuted and the spirit is overwhelmed. The accuser is an expert and he has much material, with which to work. Every sin, act of unkindness, disobedience and omission was dragged out of the closet. Man is deserving of condemnation and hell and has every reason to be disgraced, fall and never rise again. The harm he has done is immeasurable.
     The enemy uses past failures and comes mercilessly after the soul. He knocks it to the ground and it is enveloped in darkness. There is no defense. Man lies helplessly and desolate, while he heaps abuse upon him.
     The soul thirsts and prayer begins. The sincere, saved sinner, who desires with his whole being to make an end of sin and walk like Jesus, finds a well within at the driest hour. A well of holy remembrance springs, replete with the unmistakable works of God in his life history. Supplication flows freely.

December 24

Psalms 144

1.  Blessed be the LORD my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight:
2.  My goodness, and my fortress; my high tower, and my deliverer; my shield, and he in whom I trust; who subdueth my people under me.
3.  LORD, what is man, that thou takest knowledge of him! or the son of man, that thou makest account of him!
4.  Man is like to vanity: his days are as a shadow that passeth away.
5.  Bow thy heavens, O LORD, and come down: touch the mountains, and they shall smoke.
6.  Cast forth lightning, and scatter them: shoot out thine arrows, and destroy them.
7.  Send thine hand from above; rid me, and deliver me out of great waters, from the hand of strange children;
8.  Whose mouth speaketh vanity, and their right hand is a right hand of falsehood.
9.  I will sing a new song unto thee, O God: upon a psaltery and an instrument of ten strings will I sing praises unto thee.
10.  It is he that giveth salvation unto kings: who delivereth David his servant from the hurtful sword.
11.  Rid me, and deliver me from the hand of strange children, whose mouth speaketh vanity, and their right hand is a right hand of falsehood:
12.  That our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth; that our daughters may be as corner stones, polished after the similitude of a palace:
13.  That our garners may be full, affording all manner of store: that our sheep may bring forth thousands and ten thousands in our streets:
14.  That our oxen may be strong to labour; that there be no breaking in, nor going out; that there be no complaining in our streets.
15.  Happy is that people, that is in such a case: yea, happy is that people, whose God is the LORD.

     From the beginning, David knew no other way to fight his battles, but God’s way. It was an insult to God that the enemy should defy God’s army, while Israel stood, measuring their potential. When the measurement is high, pride will result, and when it is low, there will be despair, but David acted according to his trust in God. Man is a creature, who has strayed and become an alien from God. God’s people must be a separate people, who have a different source of confidence than the rest of mankind do. We must teach our children to find that same source. The Lord is asking for an inheritance in our children, sons and daughters to garnish His kingdom. We long for a happy state, in which God’s work can prosper through us without distraction.


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