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Lowell Brueckner

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February 5 - 11 Daily Meditations in the Psalms


February 5

Psalms 10:1-2

1.  Why standest thou afar off, O LORD? why hidest thou thyself in times of trouble?
2.  The wicked in his pride doth persecute the poor: let them be taken in the devices that they have imagined.

     David asks questions in his prayer. Though his feeling is deep, he is not demanding, but is open to better understanding. He realizes that God is all wise, therefore he questions: Why do you stand afar off? Why do You hide Yourself in times of trouble?
     One of the reasons is for the creation of this Psalm. The dealings of God press down and imprint, not only upon David’s heart, but also on paper, to become an eternal word of the Holy Spirit for the benefit of all God’s people. Deep trouble and turmoil produce long-lasting impressions, which in turn help the afflicted one later to minister to God’s people.
     David presents His case. He knows that pride is one of the seven cardinal sins and that the Lord abhors it. He contrasts the pride of the wicked with the lowliness of those who trust in the Lord, in order to stir God to move on behalf of His people. Above all, it is pride that causes the sinner to justify his sin and ultimately condemns him.

February 6

Psalms 10:2-6

2.  The wicked in his pride doth persecute the poor: let them be taken in the devices that they have imagined.
3.  For the wicked boasteth of his heart's desire, and blesseth the covetous, whom the LORD abhorreth.
4.  The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.
5.  His ways are always grievous; thy judgments are far above out of his sight: as for all his enemies, he puffeth at them.
6.  He hath said in his heart, I shall not be moved: for I shall never be in adversity.

     Pride exalts self and demeans others. Beyond that, it pampers self, while it persecutes others. The wicked pride themselves in their social standing (verse 2), living off the poor and fleecing him for the little substance or strength that he has. He sets out lures to trap the poor (Could it be called advertisement?).
     He boasts in his goals (verse 3). He makes public mention of high ambitions and careful plans for his life. His heroes are the ambitious, who set their hearts on earthly things and prepare and scheme to attain them, while he despises the one who is not so careful for the future. The God of the Bible is not the Lord of such.
     There is the pride of self-confidence (verse 4). To the degree that self-confidence reigns in a life, to that degree will that one ignore God. It is a matter of will. He WILL not seek after God. He is in love with himself and the immediate benefits, which he can attain, and the will of God runs crosscurrent to his goals. God’s people seek those things, which are above. ALL their thoughts are in God.
     There is the pride of self-defense, including the attainment of physical, financial and social security (5). The wicked insulates himself in a secure nest and sneers at the adverse elements that he has shut outside his door. He has secured himself against calamity. There is neither openness nor understanding of God’s providential disciplines and dealings. He has established his position through old age (verse 6) and nothing can touch him. The way of the wicked in the Psalms seems to be the normal Western way of life.

February 7

Psalms 10:7-18

7.  His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and fraud: under his tongue is mischief and vanity.
8.  He sitteth in the lurking places of the villages: in the secret places doth he murder the innocent: his eyes are privily set against the poor.
9.  He lieth in wait secretly as a lion in his den: he lieth in wait to catch the poor: he doth catch the poor, when he draweth him into his net.
10.  He croucheth, and humbleth himself, that the poor may fall by his strong ones.
11. He hath said in his heart, God hath forgotten: he hideth his face;
he will never see it.
12.  Arise, O LORD; O God, lift up thine hand: forget not the humble.
13.  Wherefore doth the wicked contemn God? he hath said in his heart, Thou wilt not require it.
14.  Thou hast seen it; for thou beholdest mischief and spite, to requite it with thy hand: the poor committeth himself unto thee; thou art the helper of the fatherless.
15.  Break thou the arm of the wicked and the evil man: seek out his wickedness till thou find none.
16.  The LORD is King for ever and ever: the heathen are perished out of his land.
17.  LORD, thou hast heard the desire of the humble: thou wilt prepare their heart, thou wilt cause thine ear to hear:
18. To judge the fatherless and the oppressed, that the man of the earth may no more oppress.

     In verses 7-11, we see the wicked in action. His most formidable weapon is his mouth, with which he contends against reality, taints truth and exaggerates facts. He gains his end by “snow-jobs” that sell the gullible on things that they do not need. If he can use God to further his ends, he will do it. Behind it all is mischief and vanity. No wonder that, in spite of all the material achievements in modern times, ruined lives and families are strewn along the pathway of earthly gain. His selling tactics are exclusive ‘secrets’ (verse 8), which he will only reveal to those who let him get his foot in the door. He is at war against poverty and a friend of wealth. He is compared to a hunting lion, stealthily, mysteriously camouflaged and waiting. There is a network like a spider’s web, spread out to catch the unwary. He will humble himself, if need be, that he may later attain his goal. His undying lust for self-gratification, through it all, perverts and twists his concept of God.
     Having exposed the wicked and laid the evidence against him before God, as an attorney would do, David pleads the case of the lowly. Notice the nouns: humble (12, 17), poor, fatherless (14, 18) and oppressed (18). David is the friend of the poor. He takes his message to the slums and the mission fields of the world. “The poor,” he says, “committeth himself unto Thee.” He has nothing, but God. God is looking for a trusting people and he finds them among the fatherless. Will He not move on behalf of those who look only to Him? Will not He, who is Lord and King forever and ever, come to the aid of those who have no earthly prince on whom to lean?

February 8

Psalms 11:1-2

1.  In the LORD put I my trust: how say ye to my soul, Flee as a bird to your mountain?
2.  For, lo, the wicked bend their bow, they make ready their arrow upon the string, that they may privily shoot at the upright in heart.

     The one who trusts in the Lord has the highest and securest refuge, perfectly and totally protected from every possible barrage of spiritual, physical, natural, mental, environmental or financial enemies. It is the perfect standard of security against which every earthly insurance attempts, unwittingly, to measure itself. They can never in their wildest dreams hope to offer even a small particle of the indemnity guaranteed by the shelter of God.
     Yet, they attempt to present their advantages. Their weapon is fear and the target is the soul. They intimidate by enumerating the risks of every possible calamity, then present a mountain of promises, to which the soul can lay claim and so rise above the potential dangers. How exaggerated are the promises! They offer health insurance, but cannot guarantee a day of health to their clients. They offer life insurance, but every party ever to draw up a policy will one day experience the clammy claws of death.

February 9

Psalms 11:1-4

1.  In the LORD put I my trust: how say ye to my soul, Flee as a bird to your mountain?
2.  For, lo, the wicked bend their bow, they make ready their arrow upon the string, that they may privily shoot at the upright in heart.
3.  If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?
4.  The LORD is in his holy temple, the LORD's throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men.

     He, who has dealt with Heaven’s Insurance Agent, has grounds for questioning the sanity of any would-be competitor. He “gives unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish, nor shall any man pluck them out of his hand”. Now, that is life insurance! The policy is wonderfully outlined in Psalms 91. Too many verbal believers are atheists in practice. Too many, alleging to be followers of the Truth, treat His word as though it were lies.
     “No other foundation can man lay than that which is laid”. “On Christ the solid Rock I stand. ALL OTHER GROUND is sinking sand.” Certainly, even more than the rest of earth’s inhabitants, the righteous is subject to calamity, but in his position of trust, he is stationed out of range of real harm. There is no other true foundation, upon which men can stand. There are no substitutes and there is no second best. ALL other ground is sinking sand.
     When has Christ failed that we should trust in another? What other source is so infallible as to be worthier of our trust? We go higher than the mountains of earthly security. The Lord’s throne is in heaven.

February 10

Psalms 11:4-7

4.  The LORD is in his holy temple, the LORD’s throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men.
 5.  The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth.
6.  Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup.
7.  For the righteous LORD loveth righteousness; his countenance doth behold the upright.

     The Lord is not only a faithful protector, but He is also an unerring judge. The righteous are to trust His judgments as well as His protection. His holy temple is of unspeakable religious sanctity and the highest order of worshipful glory. His throne is the seat of exact rectitude and omniscient judgment. In the midst of the temple and seated on the throne is the One, of whom all eloquence and the most descriptive language of men and angels fall far short of depicting. His all-seeing eyes never miss the slightest thought or motive of any one at any time. He makes perfect and clear-cut distinction between the righteous and the wicked. He never justifies one of the best of the wicked. In contrast, He does not condemn the least of the righteous, though as misplaced and poorly accompanied as Lot. Heaven makes no mistakes.
     The righteous Judge differentiates in the execution of His justice upon the individuals. He metes out trials to the righteous, none above what he can bear, that are designed to bring out his highest potential. He distributes deserving retribution progressively to the wicked, until it reaches a full portion.
     The salvation or damnation of men is subject to the Lord’s inherent love for righteousness. Only men who choose to walk the narrow way of uprightness will gain the favorable glow of God’s smile.

February 11

Psalms 12:1-2

1.  Help, LORD; for the godly man ceaseth; for the faithful fail from among the children of men.
2.  They speak vanity every one with his neighbour: with flattering lips and with a double heart do they speak.

     God help us! Prayer is our only recourse and God is our only hope. Godly men are disappearing from the face of the earth. They are becoming more and more a rarity and an antique. Where are those who look a person in the eye and tell him the truth about himself? Where is the one who stands against all the prevalent waves of the times and declares the unchanging truth of God’s word?
     This is a day given over to flattery; men patting each other on the back. They stand back-to-back, one supporting and leaning dependently upon another. Here is my question: Is God in the picture? The preacher depends on his congregation for support, therefore he must cater to them. The old hymn proclaimed, “I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name.” Who wholly leans on Jesus name, anymore? Who dares not trust the sweetest frame? Apostasy floods in, when men depend on one another. Righteousness is only upheld, when men honor God alone. Where is the salt of the earth, the Shadrachs, Meshachs, and Abednegos, who bow only to the Lord?


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