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Lowell Brueckner

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April 16 - 22 Daily Meditations in the Psalms


I am sorry that I am two days late posting these Psalms. I thought that this series started on the 18th. My apologies…

April 16

Psalms 35:1-10

1.  Plead my cause, O LORD, with them that strive with me: fight against them that fight against me.
2.  Take hold of shield and buckler, and stand up for mine help.
3.  Draw out also the spear, and stop the way against them that persecute me: say unto my soul, I am thy salvation.
4.  Let them be confounded and put to shame that seek after my soul: let them be turned back and brought to confusion that devise my hurt.
5.  Let them be as chaff before the wind: and let the angel of the LORD chase them.
6.  Let their way be dark and slippery: and let the angel of the LORD persecute them.
7.  For without cause have they hid for me their net in a pit, which without cause they have digged for my soul.
8.  Let destruction come upon him at unawares; and let his net that he hath hid catch himself: into that very destruction let him fall.
9.  And my soul shall be joyful in the LORD: it shall rejoice in his salvation.
10.  All my bones shall say, LORD, who is like unto thee, which deliverest the poor from him that is too strong for him, yea, the poor and the needy from him that spoileth him?

     What we examine today is not self-defense or self-vindication. The Bible exploits no such thing. Here is a man firmly and intrinsically identified with his message and ministry. He was God’s man, His ambassador, with His heart. Therefore, his enemies were God’s enemies. Jesus said, “And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor Me.” It is clear also that these are not common personal enemies with a simple grudge against another man. These are mad, devilish rebels, who are using David in order to attack His God. They pursue the eternal destruction of souls.
     The Almighty has a shield, buckler, and spear. Who can stand before Him? All the threats of the enemy come to nothing and they are caught in their own net. It is cause for joy for those, whom God defends, because victory is certain. Salvation is of the Lord and He helps the poor and needy to triumph over the strong spoiler. They have no other recourse, but to hope in the Lord. Are we weak enough to qualify for divine help? It is a most fortunate position in which to be.

April 17

Psalms 35:11-28

11.  False witnesses did rise up; they laid to my charge things that I knew not.
12.  They rewarded me evil for good to the spoiling of my soul.
13.  But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth: I humbled my soul with fasting; and my prayer returned into mine own bosom.
14.  I behaved myself as though he had been my friend or brother: I bowed down heavily, as one that mourneth for his mother.
15.  But in mine adversity they rejoiced, and gathered themselves together: yea, the abjects gathered themselves together against me, and I knew it not; they did tear me, and ceased not:
16.  With hypocritical mockers in feasts, they gnashed upon me with their teeth.
17.  Lord, how long wilt thou look on? rescue my soul from their destructions, my darling from the lions.
18.  I will give thee thanks in the great congregation: I will praise thee among much people.
19.  Let not them that are mine enemies wrongfully rejoice over me: neither let them wink with the eye that hate me without a cause.
20.  For they speak not peace: but they devise deceitful matters against them that are quiet in the land.
21.  Yea, they opened their mouth wide against me, and said, Aha, aha, our eye hath seen it.
22.  This thou hast seen, O LORD: keep not silence: O Lord, be not far from me.
23.  Stir up thyself, and awake to my judgment, even unto my cause, my God and my Lord.
24.  Judge me, O LORD my God, according to thy righteousness; and let them not rejoice over me.
25.  Let them not say in their hearts, Ah, so would we have it: let them not say, We have swallowed him up.
26.  Let them be ashamed and brought to confusion together that rejoice at mine hurt: let them be clothed with shame and dishonour that magnify themselves against me.
27.  Let them shout for joy, and be glad, that favour my righteous cause: yea, let them say continually, Let the LORD be magnified, which hath pleasure in the prosperity of his servant.
28.  And my tongue shall speak of thy righteousness and of thy praise all the day long.

     This is a Messianic Psalm, as evidenced especially in verses 11, 12, and 18. The righteous purpose is the purpose of the ages – the cause of Christ – and this is the cause that must and will triumph. All of heaven comes to support it. Absolutely nothing is held back towards the progression of the Kingdom of Christ.
     We must not think that David is referring to devils as enemies. One does not pray for devils (verse 13). This man of God prayed for His human enemies, was merciful to them in their distress and only desired their good. Yet, as they persisted in opposition, he prayed for the Lord’s assistance on his own life and shame for theirs. How otherwise can men distinguish that which is from God and His sovereign purpose from that which is not? It is God’s purpose to manifest Himself through His people. He must distinguish between them and the ungodly. “Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you” (2 Thess.1:6-10), “In flaming fire taking vengeance...who shall be punished with everlasting destruction....when He shall come to be glorified in His saints.”
     The Captain of our Salvation is not ashamed to identify with weak humans (Hebrews 2:12) and joins with them in the victory songs of praise and thanksgiving. God is actively involved on this earth and is working on behalf of His people. He has brought about our salvation and now his presence is evident in our praise.

 April 18

Psalms 36:1, 9

1.  The transgression of the wicked saith within my heart, that there is no fear of God before his eyes.
9.  For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light.

     From the New Testament in John 1:4 are words which correspond with verse 9: “In him was life: and the life was the light of men.”  In John 4:29, we see light and life working practically in a Samaritan woman:  “Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?” We will adopt verse 9 as a text over the next days.
     Two of the versions I have in my parallel Bible miss the point brought out in the King James, but the NIV simplifies and clarifies it: “An oracle is within my heart concerning the sinfulness of the wicked.” We are all in a school and have the same Educator. The Lord is not limited in the many avenues He will use to teach us. Here, he transforms the transgression of the wicked into a heavenly oracle, as the man of God contemplates  it. The Spirit of God is interested in conveying to him, as well as to us, the cause behind the erring ways of this world’s people. We only need to pay attention.

April 19

Psalms 36:1-4, 9

1.  The transgression of the wicked saith within my heart, that there is no fear of God before his eyes.
2.  For he flattereth himself in his own eyes, until his iniquity be found to be hateful.
3.  The words of his mouth are iniquity and deceit: he hath left off to be wise, and to do good.
4.  He deviseth mischief upon his bed; he setteth himself in a way that is not good; he abhorreth not evil.
9.  For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light.

      We will hold to verse one of Psalms 36 as the King James Version translates it. God uses the wicked to teach us. What possible good can God’s servants derive from observing evil people? First, rarely a day goes by, but that we have some dealings with the earth-bound crowd, so we need to be aware of what we are up against. We need to know what precautions to take and with what care we need to handle ourselves in our necessary contact with the ungodly. Then, we need to understand the nature of the worldlings, in order to determine to separate ourselves wholly from them in all our manner of living, thinking and motivation and adopt as a rule for our lives the opposite viewpoint, which is God’s. Thirdly, if we are going to be of any help in bringing these people into the Kingdom, we must know the whole truth, as God sees it, as to their present state-of-being.
     Now, it will do us little good to try to meet and understand these people on their level. This is commonly called, “relating” to them – an attempt to adapt our way of thinking and adjust to their point of view. This will only bring confusion, if not deception. Opposite natures cannot “relate”. If you are truly born of the Spirit of God, you will never be able to comprehend that which motivates the unconverted, how he thinks and what is behind his acts. He receives his drive and reason, or lack of it, from a totally different source than that from which a Christian draws his.

April 20

Psalms 36:1

1.  The transgression of the wicked saith within my heart, that there is no fear of God before his eyes.

     Who are the souls that are so different from born-again creatures, so that there is no common spiritual ground on which to meet? It’s the friendly neighbor, who leans over the back-yard fence to speak to you. It’s the clerk, who smilingly checks out your groceries at the corner store. It’s the familiar TV commentator, who comes into your living room every evening with the news and do not rule out some of the exciting preachers who wind their way into your life over the airwaves. I think it was George Whitefield, who called these seemingly harmless acquaintances, “Monsters of Iniquity”. Rotten to the core and in league with the devil, they pursue a one-way course to the Lake of Fire. They will never give us the true picture of themselves, and if we will have it, we must get it from God.
     The simple oracle that the Lord placed within the Psalmist’s heart is the foundation, or rather lack of foundation, upon which every sinner reels: “There is no fear of God before his eyes.” The wicked have inner eyes, but God is not in the picture. His name may be upon their lips, many biblical stories and concepts may be in their mind, but the eyes of their spirit have never captured a revelation of His glorious person. They are without hope and without God.

April 21

Psalms 36:1

1.  The transgression of the wicked saith within my heart, that there is no fear of God before his eyes.

     The first true concept of God must be, necessarily, one of fear. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” Our unsaved friend cannot take the first wise step in God’s direction without fear. If you would have him “see” God, go beyond simply informing him that God is love, He is merciful and is his friend. Pray, talk, and labor so that the fear of God will enter his being.
     How can we define a fear of God and from where does it come? It is an awe that comes from the spiritual comprehension of His glorious greatness. It is that which knocked Saul of Tarsus off his high horse and sent him groveling sightless in the dirt. It caused him to utter the one title that could save his soul – “Lord”. There is a sense of personal filthiness and unworthiness that comes with the realization of His holiness. It prompted Peter’s expression, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, Oh Lord.”  It is the soul-shaking conviction of His certain and terrible coming judgment. Conviction reduced the Roman governor, Felix, to a trembling sinner and in panic he banished the preacher, Paul, from his presence.

April 22

Psalms 36:1-2

1.  The transgression of the wicked saith within my heart, that there is no fear of God before his eyes.
2.  For he flattereth himself in his own eyes, until his iniquity be found to be hateful.

     The lack of holy fear leaves the wicked to practice personal flattery: “He flattereth himself in his own eyes” (verse 2). Rather than having the fear of God before his eyes, he paints a pretty picture for himself to behold. He will paint it for you also, if you are gullible enough. Many preachers fall for the trick. Far be it from them to bring the fear of God upon the soul. They think that man’s problem is a lack of self-worth or a poor self-image. If they can only teach him to love himself and boost himself up with positive thoughts, it will melt the wickedness of his heart and make him a lover of his neighbor.
     God, who is truth, will not be party to such a mirage. He knows it for the desert of human independence and rebellion that it is. This facade only enhances the sinner’s inherent hatefulness: “…until his iniquity be found to be hateful.” God knows him according to Ephesians 2:1-3, dead in trespasses and sins, walking in the world’s course, led by the prince of the power of the air, and, by nature, the child of wrath. God knows it, you should know it and if you intend to help the poor soul, you will bring him to acknowledge it.



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