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Lowell Brueckner

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January 22 - 28 Daily Mediatations in the Psalms


January 22

Psalms 5:8-10

8.  Lead me, O LORD, in thy righteousness because of mine enemies; make thy way straight before my face.
9.  For there is no faithfulness in their mouth; their inward part is very wickedness; their throat is an open sepulchre; they flatter with their tongue.
10.  Destroy thou them, O God; let them fall by their own counsels; cast them out in the multitude of their transgressions; for they have rebelled against thee.

     All around us are enemies, whose chief purpose is to cause the righteous to fall. Their words are worthless and they have no intention of keeping them. Words are a means to gain their end and nothing, which binds them to integrity. We are to expect no good from them, for the heart, from which their words proceed, is filthy. When it vents itself, as it does through the medium of speech, it is as the stench of uncovered graves. Do not let their commendation impress you. They utter it only to gain a higher position for themselves and it has nothing to do with an appreciation for the listener.
     David asks for the destruction of the wicked. While we seek God's mercy, in order that sinners be separated from their sin, we must also know that all those, who persist in sin, have no other end than perdition. We must be rid of sin. It is certain that we must deal with it and put it away. Preferably, the human being can separate from it, but if he will hold to his sin, he must be destroyed with it. The release of God's hand will cause him to fall immediately, because of his own foolish counsel. He is a rebel, unfit to have any place in heaven or any part in the eternal realities of God. He is to be cast outside the presence, love, and blessing of a good God.

January 23

Psalms 5:11-12

11.  But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.
12.  For thou, LORD, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield.

     Trust” is either an Old Testament equivalent or a close synonym of faith. Was it not trust that caused Abraham to leave Ur and all that he knew behind, in search of unknown territory? Is David not trusting, as he prays in this Psalm? He is looking for Divine guidance and protection from wickedness. Apparently, God derives great satisfaction from a trusting human being. It is His purpose to cause men to “put their trust” in Him.
     Trust is the beginning of righteousness and true joy in a person’s life. Without God, one gropes in the dark, trying to find something to satisfy the need of the inner man. When God invades an individual’s thoughts and prayer becomes a natural instinct, when his soul is drawn into His presence and worships in the fear of the Lord, that person finds joy in three dimensions: 1) He rejoices in the reality of One in Whom he can fully trust. 2) He shouts for joy, because he has an impenetrable defense. 3) He is joyful in Him, with Whom he has formed a love relationship.
     The blessing of God begins in our life, when we find His righteousness. God's smile and the outpouring of heaven's abundance is reserved for the one who “puts his trust” in the Lord. Therefore righteousness is imputed unto him, to be worked out and perfected daily. Divine favor surrounds him as a shield. The righteous walks through a hostile climate in a greenhouse of God's protecting sunshine and care.

January 24

Psalms 6:1-7

1.  O LORD, rebuke me not in thine anger, neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure.
2.  Have mercy upon me, O LORD; for I am weak: O LORD, heal me; for my bones are vexed.
3.  My soul is also sore vexed: but thou, O LORD, how long?
4.  Return, O LORD, deliver my soul: oh save me for thy mercies' sake.
5.  For in death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who shall give thee thanks?
6.  I am weary with my groaning; all the night make I my bed to swim; I water my couch with my tears.
7.  Mine eye is consumed because of grief; it waxeth old because of all mine enemies.

     Did David ever pray anything less than a desperate prayer? He was a needy man. His songs reflected that need and all Israel sang them. Do we have any similar songs in our hymnology today?
     This Psalm recognizes the anger and displeasure of the Lord and acknowledges His rebuke and chastisement. David feels these have been combined upon him. The effect of God’s chastening has racked his body and soul. For a long time, he has been begging, crying, and groaning and is weak and weary under the weight of the burden. Can you imagine weeping that soaks a bed? It is more than physical pain. It is supernatural intercession by someone awakened to the realities of life-and-death, spiritual struggle. Who wants the ministry of intercession? Who wants to travail in the same spirit, as that of Christ?       
     David, the prophet, experiences the testimony of Christ in his body and soul. He did not wait in a comfortable office for a voice from heaven saying, "Thus saith the Lord." He gives every member of his being to his ministry. Not only his mouth prophesies, but also his bones, eyes, and soul. He becomes his prophecy. His eyes lose their focus. He is old before his time and his very life is at stake. It is a battle to the death.


January 25

Psalms 6:2-4

2.  Have mercy upon me, O LORD; for I am weak: O LORD, heal me; for my bones are vexed.
3.  My soul is also sore vexed: but thou, O LORD, how long?
4. Return, O LORD, deliver my soul: oh save me for thy mercies' sake.

     We hear much talk about inner, spiritual warfare, but nothing makes it so severe as when the body is threatened. There are fighting and fears within and enemies without. Jesus had soul agony and physical agony. Paul bore marks in his body and David did, too. He was a man of blood with many enemies. They had worn him down and aggravated his deep soul-anguish.
     David cries for mercy and has no other plea, but that he is weak. The weak need mercy; the strong can help themselves. The whole need not a physician, but those that are sick. God has placed him in that position, so that David would learn to pray and cast himself into the Lord’s hands. He prays for healing
     It is punishment enough that God has hidden Himself from David. If God is his reward, then His absence is his chastisement. What believer can exist without His presence? God is his very breath. It is in a state of spiritual asphyxiation that he desperately cries, "How long? Thou, oh Lord, return!"

January 26

Psalms 6:4-10

4.  Return, O LORD, deliver my soul: oh save me for thy mercies' sake.
5.  For in death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who shall give thee thanks?
6.  I am weary with my groaning; all the night make I my bed to swim; I water my couch with my tears.
7.  Mine eye is consumed because of grief; it waxeth old because of all mine enemies.
8.  Depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity; for the LORD hath heard the voice of my weeping.
9.  The LORD hath heard my supplication; the LORD will receive my prayer.
10.  Let all mine enemies be ashamed and sore vexed: let them return and be ashamed suddenly.

     As far as I am concerned, revival is a return of the manifest presence of God. We must come to a realization that anything less than revival, is an insupportable vacuum that must be filled with the breath of life. Thereby comes desperation in prayer. Who, but God, can deliver souls? Psychiatrists and psychologists have tried and even Christians have put great effort and technique into it. It is all to no avail. Only God can deliver souls and prayer is the only way to God.
     David appeals to God's mercy. It is that in which God glories and delights. Mercy glorifies Him more than judgment. Can the body, which is severed from the soul, remember or give thanks? David pleads for the continuance of body and soul union. In this life, we must testify of the glory of God to a world gone astray.
     When faith grips the heart, enemies depart. In David’s intercession comes assurance that the Lord has heard the sound of weeping and the voice of supplication. The prayer has resounded in heavenly realms and heaven accepts it. The just shall live, as he trusts in the living God. Sudden shame must come upon God’s enemies, if His glory is to be vindicated.

January 27

Psalms 7:1-2

1.  O LORD my God, in thee do I put my trust: save me from all them that persecute me, and deliver me:
2.  Lest he tear my soul like a lion, rending it in pieces, while there is none to deliver.

     True prayer always denotes trust in God. There is no reason for prayer, if there is no trust, for without it, prayer is the senseless, religious duty of a hypocrite. Because David trusts, he prays to God for salvation from his persecutors. He recognizes his helplessness before his enemies and is convinced that God is his only recourse. There is no one else to deliver. The roaring lion seeks out the defenseless soul. All that the world offers to guard and protect may surround that person, but these are useless in defense of the soul. In our day, souls, which are torn to shreds by the roaring lion, inhabit well-preserved bodies.

January 28

Psalms 7:3-9

3.  O LORD my God, if I have done this; if there be iniquity in my hands;
4.  If I have rewarded evil unto him that was at peace with me; (yea, I have delivered him that without cause is mine enemy:)
5.  Let the enemy persecute my soul, and take it; yea, let him tread down my life upon the earth, and lay mine honour in the dust. Selah.
6.  Arise, O LORD, in thine anger, lift up thyself because of the rage of mine enemies: and awake for me to the judgment that thou hast commanded.
7.  So shall the congregation of the people compass thee about: for their sakes therefore return thou on high.
8.  The LORD shall judge the people: judge me, O LORD, according to my righteousness, and according to mine integrity that is in me.
9.  Oh let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end; but establish the just: for the righteous God trieth the hearts and reins.

     David opens himself to divine judgment. Is the self-deceived soul in less danger than he, who stands in God's light? If he has practiced in a wicked fashion, should it not be returned to him? If he has walked in cruelty and has inflicted harm, then it is only right that he should suffer the consequences. They, at least, open his eyes to his error. Should we seek God's protection while running crosscurrent to His intentions? Would that be just? No, it is far better to let the searchlight of God's truth penetrate all the darkened areas of our lives and bring us face-to-face with ourselves. Honesty is a bitter pill, but it is far bitterer to wake up from spiritual slumber on the great day of final judgment.
     God responds in kind to the anger of the wicked: "The nations were angry, and the day of Thy wrath has come." David invites God to execute justice and to take His place of sovereign rule, before the conscious eyes of the world. This should be a rallying point for God's people. He is their battle Champion. Is there still a people, who will form ranks behind an angry God? Will the fear of God once more be prominent? It was in the early, post-pentecost church in Jerusalem.


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