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Lowell Brueckner

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April 9 – 15 Daily Meditations in the Psalms


April 9

Psalms 32:8-11

8.  I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.
9.  Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee.
10.  Many sorrows shall be to the wicked: but he that trusteth in the LORD, mercy shall compass him about.
11.  Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart.

     The Lord Himself interrupts the Psalm and David’s prayer. Prayer, you see, is a two-way street. Says the Lord, “Let’s go on to instruction and guidance in my way.” He teaches that bits and bridles are for self-willed animals, forced restraints to keep them from their wild ways. God’s salvation is for the broken and contrite heart. It is broken to the extent that it doesn’t even need outward restraints. God desires people who obey from the heart, through the slightest prompting. His wish is their command. Romans six proves that Christ Jesus has dealt a death-blow to the old man with his selfish, rebellious ways.
     Trust is the crux of this whole matter of doing business with God. The merciful work of Jesus is fulfilled in righteousness in those who wholly cast themselves upon Him. At the completion of that work, there is cause for joy in excess. We stand complete and accepted without reservation before the Almighty.

April 10

Psalms 33:1-5

1.  Rejoice in the LORD, O ye righteous: for praise is comely for the upright.
2.  Praise the LORD with harp: sing unto him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings.
3.  Sing unto him a new song; play skilfully with a loud noise.
4.  For the word of the LORD is right; and all his works are done in truth.
5.  He loveth righteousness and judgment: the earth is full of the goodness of the LORD.

     The unrighteous can never enter into praise. The glory of the Lord is so wrapped up in righteousness, judgement and truth that praise can only stem from a heart that possesses these attributes. The Psalm exhorts us to praise Him because the word of the Lord is right and His works are done in truth. Praise Him because He loves righteousness and judgement. Unclean lips and hypocritical hearts cannot do this.
     The righteous love what the Lord loves. They find in the Lord, that which adheres to their redeemed souls, rejoicing in His judgment, deeds and statutes. The word fills their heart with satisfaction, because it is uncompromisingly just and never gives place to anything that is wrong. They cannot accept that which aids in the expansion of sin and error. They know that only in God’s righteousness can the earth find rest and be enjoyable.
     Only God is worthy of wholehearted praise and when we praise, we can give way to exuberance. The voice can reach down to the diaphragm for fullness of tone and volume. The fingers can freely move and play. There should be no reservations before a God, who has lavishly distributed His goodness. He has done all things well.

April 11

Psalms 33:4-11

4.  For the word of the LORD is right; and all his works are done in truth.
5.  He loveth righteousness and judgment: the earth is full of the goodness of the LORD.
6.  By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.
7.  He gathereth the waters of the sea together as an heap: he layeth up the depth in storehouses.
8.  Let all the earth fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him.
9.  For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast.
10.  The LORD bringeth the counsel of the heathen to nought: he maketh the devices of the people of none effect.
11.  The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations.

     All His works are done in truth. When individual Christians or the church in general lie or exaggerate, they act on their own, because God is not in it. God doesn’t need the cunning, deceptive work of men to promote His cause. Away with the deceptive literature of our day! Many modern “miracles” are the result of a writer’s eloquence and overactive imagination, but every account in the Gospels and the Book of Acts is fully true. If one account is false, then the whole Bible is false, because there is no lie in the truth. The biblical account of creation is true. To end right, you must start right. Those who have trouble with creation are in trouble with God from start to finish.
     You cannot have God without His Bible. To accept Him is to accept the Bible, which is the revelation of his person, counsel and thoughts. His precepts are absolute and eternal. The proper creature response to His word should be one of awe and fear.

April 12

Psalms 33:11-22

11.  The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations.
12.  Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.
13.  The LORD looketh from heaven; he beholdeth all the sons of men.
14.  From the place of his habitation he looketh upon all the inhabitants of the earth.
15.  He fashioneth their hearts alike; he considereth all their works.
16.  There is no king saved by the multitude of an host: a mighty man is not delivered by much strength.
17.  An horse is a vain thing for safety: neither shall he deliver any by his great strength.
18.  Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy;
19.  To deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine.
20.  Our soul waiteth for the LORD: he is our help and our shield.
21.  For our heart shall rejoice in him, because we have trusted in his holy name.
22.  Let thy mercy, O LORD, be upon us, according as we hope in thee.

     The Bible stands and by it the Lord reveals His heart to all generations. There is no need to be left in the dark, relying upon inadequate earthly understanding. God has faithfully left us a sure witness, to declare His person and purpose.
     Even modern and sophisticated nations have gods. The gods of force are prominent – gods of war, atomic gods and missile gods. The only nation today, whose God is the Lord, is that spiritual kingdom, in the midst of all others, which lays down its arms and picks up the cross. It strikes a note of fear in the heart, upon discovering that God is looking over the whole earthly scene and examining the inward motives of every man. What does He see? He uncovers idolatry, especially man-worship. He sees the effort to amass a great host that security can be derived from numerical strength. He watches the confidence in material resources and the hope attached to mechanical wonders. Does He see any that fear Him, that hope in His mercy to deliver their soul from death and keep them alive in famine? How many can He find, who wait on the Lord, as their only help and shield, and trust in His holy name? “When the Son of man cometh, shall He find faith in the earth?” Notice that God’s mercy towards us is directly related to the hope that we have in him. Faith is the fountain of righteousness, which is, in turn, the fountain of joy and true praise.

April 13

Psalms 34:1-3

A Psalm of David, when he changed his behaviour before Abimelech; who drove him away and he departed.
1.  I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
2.  My soul shall make her boast in the LORD: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad.
3.  O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together.

     Fitting to the title or introduction to this Psalm are these two New Testament verses: Paul declared, “If we are beside ourselves, it is of God” and it was said of Jesus, “He is beside Himself”. Spiritual “madness” can deliver from the bondage of being subject to earthly-minded associates, who make frequent attacks against God’s property. Compromise will bind, but a radical commitment will free us. Does the world consider us to be “mad” for Christ?
     When Abimelech drove him away, David happily used these verbs to describe his reaction: Bless, praise, boast, magnify and exalt. He was “beside himself” in offering grateful praise. He was boasting in the Lord’s intervention and deliverance and he wanted to have humble people join with him. He inspired them to a heartfelt, concerted exaltation of God. To this day, he continues to inspire people. We personally should praise the Lord, but we need to get others to join us.

April 14

Psalms 34:4-16

A Psalm of David, when he changed his behaviour before Abimelech; who drove him away and he departed.
4.  I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.
5.  They looked unto him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed.
6.  This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.
7.  The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.
8.  O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.
9.  O fear the LORD, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him.
10.  The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the LORD shall not want any good thing.
11.  Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD.
12.  What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see good?
13.  Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile.
14.  Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.
15.  The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.
16.  The face of the LORD is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.

     David remembers to thank the Lord for answered prayer and deliverance. His associates considered him mad, but his face was unashamed. He was humble and needy, cast upon God, who heard and saved him. He feared the Lord more than Abimelech and would not join him in his raids against Israel. He, as the prophet Elisha, counted on the unseen forces of the Angel of the Lord for salvation. What a great thing it is to be in conjunction with heaven’s army in the midst of conflict! It’s a whole new kind of warfare.
     The councils of war of this battle-scarred general were, “Fear Him, trust Him, seek Him, and wait on Him.” Fear and faith are not opposites, but companions in the healthy pursuit of God. Those who trust Him will taste His goodness and be blessed. Those who fear Him will have no want, though the mightiest and stealthiest lack.
     The exhortation concerning the fear of the Lord continues in verse 11. In the fear of God, keep your tongue from two maladies, which can cut life short: The first is evil speaking. The tongue of the righteous must support God’s cause and not give in to personal grudges. The second is guile. The tongue must speak truth and honesty and never resort to questionable tactics. If you know the Lord’s righteousness and fear His reprisals, tame the tongue.
     There is a departure from something, before there is a search towards something else. Evil is part of the past and is abandoned, while peace lies before the people of God. Let goodness and peace be your pursuit. Be conscious of the eyes and ears of the Lord, while you pass the time of your sojourning on the earth in fear, because evildoers will have the Lord Himself as their foe, and He will wipe their remembrance from the earth.


April 15

Psalms 34:17-22

17.  The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.
18.  The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.
19.  Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.
20.  He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken.
21.  Evil shall slay the wicked: and they that hate the righteous shall be desolate.
22.  The LORD redeemeth the soul of his servants: and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate.

     Three times in this Psalm, David assures us that the Lord hears and saves, when the righteous cry. He speaks of a valuable acquisition in the life of God’s people - brokenness. The heart that has been torn and broken is an open invitation to divine invasion. When Peter came to this state, he was met, forgiven and empowered. For the purpose of brokenness, “many are the afflictions of the righteous.” Though the heart breaks, the person himself is delivered and kept. Even at the cross, Jesus experienced deliverance. Though He was beaten, bloodied, and pierced, yet His inner constitution remained intact and untouchable. Though His spirit was broken, yet His commitment remained – “Lo, I come to do Thy will, Oh God.”  Though the enemy did his worst, he could not sever His resolve and therefore, only the heel was bruised, and ultimate victory was assured. “Nothing can separate us from the love of God.” On the other hand, the wicked will not be broken, but ground to powder. The Lord will redeem all of His servants and none of them will come into condemnation, but are passed from death unto life. What a blessing it is to be a truster!


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