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Lowell Brueckner

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January 15 - 21 Daily Meditations in the Psalms


January 15

Psalms 4:1-2

1.  Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer.
2.  O ye sons of men, how long will ye turn my glory into shame? how long will ye love vanity, and seek after leasing? Selah.

     David sees God as the root of his righteousness. He can clearly see that righteousness is at work in his members, but it is not self-righteousness. He recognizes that he has received it through the workings of God in him. David has simply been led into the paths of righteousness, which were laid before his existence. For the Lord's purposes, ancestors before him came into these paths and descendants after him walked down its corridors.
    After David addresses God, he can address men – men in their unrighteous, ungodly state – mere sons of men. They turn the truth of God into a lie, make nothing into something, then love and worship it, and seek to destroy the plain manifestation of God's eternal power and godhead. They are so far removed from God that their senses have been turned entirely inside out. Glory becomes shame, emptiness is their fulfillment, and truth becomes lies. They must struggle in their rebellion continuously in order to maintain this unnatural state. They must continually hide from God. They are as a ball that would come to the surface of the water if let loose, but they endeavor to hold it under water. They must practice their unbelief, spend long hours meditating upon lies, and carefully avoid every exposure to God's light. They must desperately find ways to busy themselves, so as not to face reality. Their minds must wander or sleep should they find themselves under the hearing of God's word.

January 16

Psalms 4:2-4

2.  O ye sons of men, how long will ye turn my glory into shame? how long will ye love vanity, and seek after leasing? Selah.
3.  But know that the LORD hath set apart him that is godly for himself: the LORD will hear when I call unto him.
4.  Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah.

     The only hope for the general populace is contact with God's witnesses. They must start, instead of scorning them, by considering the "set apart" state of the godly. What is so different about them? True witnesses must not endeavor to be like them, but be supernaturally different. They have another source of help and a mysterious insight into life and reality.
     A personal knowledge of the godly has an effect upon the heathen. When reality strikes home, they awake to the wasted years of wrongful training and thinking. They see the extreme vanity and peril of their situation. “Stand in awe”, as it is quoted in the New Testament (Ephesians.4:26), means a trembling, soul-deep anger, not at the righteous now, but at themselves and their deceivers. They will determine to make an end of their sins. For once, they will be quiet and let themselves think, as light and truth pour into their lives. Instead of turning on the TV, reaching for a book or listening to music, they will begin serious contemplation. The dominating question will be, "How is it with my soul?"

January 17

Psalms 4:5-6

5.  Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the LORD.
6.  There be many that say, Who will shew us any good? LORD, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us.

     Here are necessary practical steps. One must offer himself to God as a peace offering. He drops earthly pursuits and interests and surrenders wholeheartedly to trust in the Lord.  Christ is offered as the personal Savior, by means of His sacrifice and blood.
    Once that has taken place, a message of hope follows to those who say, "Who will show us any good?" The earthling has every reason for being depressed. If he is an honest, forthright thinker, his conclusion will be, "The situation is hopeless." Only the light of God's countenance can overcome the darkness. Bring light, Lord! Bring revival!

January 18

Psalms 4:7-8

7.  Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn and their wine increased.
8.  I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety.

     The “set apart” ones (verse 3) with their mysterious Source, come up with some mystifying emotions. The ungodly need a bumper crop of grain and grapes to fill their emptiness and lift their souls. The godly smile in times of want and when there is no apparent reason for joy. There is an inner well, supplied by heaven's spring that bubbles up at most unusual times.
     The Lord is the defense and protection of the truster and so sleep and peace are his portion, though no earthly fortress can be found. Notice the singularity of the Psalmist's trust: “Thou, Lord, only…” Divided trusts will spoil peace. Those who are secretly looking for earthly support cannot fool a jealous God. Only full trust can satisfy Him and quiet His jealousy. "The just shall live by faith."

January 19

Psalms 5:1-2

1.  Give ear to my words, O LORD, consider my meditation.
2.  Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King, and my God: for unto thee will I pray.

     Again, prayer is the theme of David's Psalm. It is a plea that God should hear the words of a mortal. How unlikely, it would seem, that such a lowly being should capture the attention of the Almighty. Yet, He is God of the small as well as the great. No sound is without significance, neither the caw of the crow, the chirp of the cricket, or the buzz of the insect. God hears, not only the intelligible words, but also the sigh and the groan. He hears us in the orderly form of communication. He also gives ear to that which comes from the soul in anguish, which can only be expressed in cries and groans. In meditation, the Holy Spirit moves the strings of the inner man and causes him to sound forth, not only in word, but “in groanings that cannot be uttered.”

January 20

Psalms 5:2-3

2.  Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King, and my God: for unto thee will I pray.
3.  My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.

     David has a Lord, King, and God. The supreme majesty of the heavenly throne humbles earth’s greatest king of the day. He sees his own position as minutely small in comparison to heaven’s might. David's throne is subject to God's. It is his desire that God command and dominate the affairs of government.
     He does not care to rule without his King. As the day begins, David's first order of business is to catch the ear of God. He looks above that which earth deems essential and maintains heavenly equilibrium. He vows that it will be his practice as a safeguard against the wickedness of earth. The umbilical cord from Mother Jerusalem must be kept intact with her earthly child.

January 21

Psalms 5:4-8

4.  For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee.
5.  The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity.
6.  Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing: the LORD will abhor the bloody and deceitful man.
7.  But as for me, I will come into thy house in the multitude of thy mercy: and in thy fear will I worship toward thy holy temple.
8.  Lead me, O LORD, in thy righteousness because of mine enemies; make thy way straight before my face.

     If we hope to deal with God, we must be free from sin. God cannot live with sin, anymore than we can live with a nagging toothache. His pleasures surround Him and, if we would live close to Him, we must be kept clean from earth's evils. The greatest wisdom on earth is foolishness in heaven and none who lives by it may stand before God.
     The Bible very clearly informs us of God’s hatred and we must accept that divine characteristic. God not only hates the work of iniquity, but also the worker. Unless the sinner separates from his sin, he is a child of wrath, destined for eternal destruction. The Lord abhors the liar, the seducer, and the violent. Think of that, He abhors them! He is unchanging. We may harden ourselves to such things, until they do not affect us. We become accustomed to them and tolerate them. It is not so with God. He views every lie and act of violence with the same abhorrence, startled gasp, and unfeigned shock as the first.
     David maintains the fear of the Lord in worship. He will not stray from God's house, but stays close to the seat of abundant mercy. He asks God for guidance in the way of righteousness.


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