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Lowell Brueckner

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April 2 – 8 Daily Meditations in the Psalms


April 2

Psalms 30:1-4

1.  I will extol thee, O LORD; for thou hast lifted me up, and hast not made my foes to rejoice over me.
2.  O LORD my God, I cried unto thee, and thou hast healed me.
3.  O LORD, thou hast brought up my soul from the grave: thou hast kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit.
4.  Sing unto the LORD, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.

     This is a Psalm of celebration and victory. If there is to be any lifting, God has to do it. Let us not be delving into a work that belongs exclusively to Him. No amount of pep talks, positive thinking, and motivational stimulus can do more than lift us by our bootstraps.
     When his battles were over, David stood as perhaps the greatest king of his day, a testimony to the One in Whom he trusted. David cried unto the Lord. He saved David from death, lifted and healed him. It was unquestionably a work of God, without interference from man and therefore, He reaped the praise and man did not. David invites his people to join him in honoring the Lord. They are holy ones, who remember His holiness. What God desires to be the overriding characteristic of men is also the most celebrated attribute of God. We can be happy, when we see God takes steps in our lives, so that we might acquire holiness, for that is a sign of His favor. An uncaring God would leave us as we are.

April 3

Psalms 30:4-12

4.  Sing unto the LORD, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.
5.  For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.
6.  And in my prosperity I said, I shall never be moved.
7.  LORD, by thy favour thou hast made my mountain to stand strong: thou didst hide thy face, and I was troubled.
8.  I cried to thee, O LORD; and unto the LORD I made supplication.
9.  What profit is there in my blood, when I go down to the pit? Shall the dust praise thee? shall it declare thy truth?
10.  Hear, O LORD, and have mercy upon me: LORD, be thou my helper.
11.  Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness;
12.  To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever.

      God chastens “for our profit, that we might be partakers of HIS holiness.” David, as Peter, was self-confident in his own righteousness, but Christ cannot allow such attitudes to continue. Both had to be brought low for a night of weeping, as the Lord vented His anger and hid His face. However, the joy that follows mourning is especially refreshing!
     David’s prayer is for Jesus’ sake and his help comes in answer to a desire to broadcast and exalt the name of the Lord. Death will return the poor human back to dust. He asks, “Can the dust praise you and be Your spokesman for truth to this generation?” 
     As we depend on the Lord, He: 1) Breaks down our self-confidence 2) drives us to prayer and 3) lifts us up in holiness. The discipline is complete, when God is exalted in the heart (not the mind, for no true praise originates in the mind) and David exults in praise and thanksgiving. God’s stories end on this note, for He delights in mercy.

April 4

Psalms 31:1-6, 24

1.  In thee, O LORD, do I put my trust; let me never be ashamed: deliver me in thy righteousness.
2.  Bow down thine ear to me; deliver me speedily: be thou my strong rock, for an house of defence to save me.
3.  For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name's sake lead me, and guide me.
4.  Pull me out of the net that they have laid privily for me: for thou art my strength.
5.  Into thine hand I commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O LORD God of truth.
6.  I have hated them that regard lying vanities: but I trust in the LORD.
24.  Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD.

     This is a Messianic Psalm, but I wonder if all of them are. Some are more obviously so than others, but they all point to Jesus, our perfect example, High Priest and Captain of our salvation. What is true concerning Him, is true for us - his weaker, younger brethren - as well. This Psalm is for “all ye that hope in the Lord.” Let us look then to Him, our forerunner, for an example of perfect trust. God is very interested that we learn to trust Him fully.
     Trust and righteousness are coupled. God must be righteous, by His very nature, in dealing with those that trust Him. God cannot ignore trust. It is not right that a trusting soul, as a helpless baby, should be dropped. He is righteous towards us and, when he takes possession of us, He is righteous in and through us. “Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? God forbid!” He imparts His righteousness to those who trust Him, that He might deliver them in righteousness. He will not have His name profaned by delivering those who persist in being habitual scoundrels. The Lord will not side with evildoers; therefore our testimony must exemplify righteousness.

April 5

Psalms 31:2-16

2.  Bow down thine ear to me; deliver me speedily: be thou my strong rock, for an house of defence to save me.
3.  For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name's sake lead me, and guide me.
4.  Pull me out of the net that they have laid privily for me: for thou art my strength.
5.  Into thine hand I commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O LORD God of truth.
6.  I have hated them that regard lying vanities: but I trust in the LORD.
7.  I will be glad and rejoice in thy mercy: for thou hast considered my trouble; thou hast known my soul in adversities;
8.  And hast not shut me up into the hand of the enemy: thou hast set my feet in a large room.
9.  Have mercy upon me, O LORD, for I am in trouble: mine eye is consumed with grief, yea, my soul and my belly.
10.  For my life is spent with grief, and my years with sighing: my strength faileth because of mine iniquity, and my bones are consumed.
11.  I was a reproach among all mine enemies, but especially among my neighbours, and a fear to mine acquaintance: they that did see me without fled from me.
12.  I am forgotten as a dead man out of mind: I am like a broken vessel.
13.  For I have heard the slander of many: fear was on every side: while they took counsel together against me, they devised to take away my life.
14.  But I trusted in thee, O LORD: I said, Thou art my God.
15.  My times are in thy hand: deliver me from the hand of mine enemies, and from them that persecute me.
16. Make thy face to shine upon thy servant: save me for thy mercies'

     The Seed of David testifies in the Holy Spirit through the Psalmist, “Into Thine hand I commit my spirit.” Jesus is the greatest example of perfect trust and dependence in the Father unto death. God is always trustworthy. Observe the kinds of defense, which He provides. He is: 1) my strong rock, 2) a house of defense and 3) my strength. Those who lean on His name (several names are given here) will be delivered for His name’s sake. His name is truth and therefore He will redeem them that hate lying vanities. When we realize that He will care for us in trouble, then we are glad and rejoice in mercy. God’s honor is at stake, when we make Him our rock and fortress. When we make Him our strength, it becomes His business to lift us from our dilemma. When we commit to Him our spirit, it is His concern to redeem us.
     “In this world ye shall have tribulation.” Adversities, trouble, grief, sighing, reproach, fear, slander, persecution and lies were all persecutions that the Green Tree (see Luke 23:31) experienced. What will the world do to the branches? Life for the Christian on earth is by no means a picnic, but when our friends and loved ones cut us off, it hurts the most. When Jesus was forgotten by His friends, as a broken vessel, facing trial and crucifixion, it was a greater pain than the slander and counsel of those against Him. He bore it all alone. There is no companionship on the cross. All His followers must face that fact.

April 6

Psalms 31:17-24

17.  Let me not be ashamed, O LORD; for I have called upon thee: let the wicked be ashamed, and let them be silent in the grave.
18.  Let the lying lips be put to silence; which speak grievous things proudly and contemptuously against the righteous.
19.  Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men!
20.  Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence from the pride of man: thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues.
21.  Blessed be the LORD: for he hath shewed me his marvellous kindness in a strong city.
22.  For I said in my haste, I am cut off from before thine eyes: nevertheless thou heardest the voice of my supplications when I cried unto thee.
23.  O love the LORD, all ye his saints: for the LORD preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer.
24. Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that
hope in the LORD.

     When we determine to call only upon God, when we are reduced to prayer alone, then He delivers from shame. He finally silences the proud, lying lips that sought to bring disgrace upon God’s dependent servant. Goodness is a guarantee in all God’s contracts. You can let your trust in Him be known publicly. Even the Jews recognized concerning Jesus, “He trusted in God, let Him now deliver Him.”
     We are very quick, however, to forget His goodness. We often see only the trouble, consider our sins, think He has neglected to show mercy and has abandoned us. David writes a wonderful nevertheless. God overruled his hasty conclusions and heard his cry in spite of his fears. How can we help but love Him? He preserves those who are faithful in trusting Him. He says to them, “Arise, be not afraid.” This Psalm is undying, the eternal word of God. It was fulfilled in Jesus centuries later and lives today for all you that hope in the Lord. The Holy Spirit inspired David, so that he could encourage us. We can know His goodness in this dispensation of grace.

April 7

Psalms 32:1-2

1.  Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.
2.  Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.

     In Romans 4, Paul refers to this Psalm, telling of a righteousness, which does not come through the law. The verse does not say, “Blessed is the man who blamelessly keeps the law”, but “blessed is the man, though he has broken the law (meaning he has committed transgression), who finds forgiveness and whose iniquity is not laid to his charge.” This man is a debtor, but his debt is covered freely, by grace, and he is put into right standing before God. Blessed, indeed! All boasting is excluded and all glory belongs to God in His mercy.
     What fallible men and their religions may do about forgiveness is of little consequence. Their systems may try to take God’s place and provide some way to lift the burden of guilt from their people. However, men may forgive, when forgiveness should be withheld for the sake of God’s justice, or they may withhold forgiveness, when it should be given. Blessed is the man, whom the LORD in mercy and justice forgives. Blessed is the man who looks longingly towards heaven for forgiveness and will be satisfied or comforted with nothing less. Along with forgiveness, God gives a new spirit, which is guileless. It will lead the forgiven in the paths of righteousness.

April 8

Psalms 32:3-7

3.  When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long.
4.  For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah.
5.  I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah.
6.  For this shall every one that is godly pray unto thee in a time when thou mayest be found: surely in the floods of great waters they shall not come nigh unto him.
7.  Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Selah.

     Before forgiveness, anguish of heart came to David. It was because the Lord’s hand lay heavily upon him. His reluctant soul held to pride and rebellion and he could find no peace. He was under conviction for his sin, but unwilling to confess and yield. His sin was uncovered and he could find no cloak for it. He was disillusioned, until he abandoned all resistance. Forgiveness came with honesty and open confession without reservation. It is our business to confess and it is God’s to forgive.
     “He that doeth truth cometh to the light” and he must come in God’s time and not at his own convenience. God always interrupts man’s schedule and demands that man should come aside and submit to his bidding, as Matthew, the publican, at the seat of custom, or as the fishermen, who left off mending the nets. A salvation that fits God into our will and plans is false. True salvation comes when we submit to the Lord and that being accomplished, God surely brings deliverance.


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