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Lowell Brueckner

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May 21 – 27 Daily Meditations in the Psalms


May 21

Psalms 40:5-8

5.  Many, O LORD my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.
6.  Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required.
7.  Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me,
8.  I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.

     Verse five gives the main theme of this Psalm. Praise evokes for what preceded, for what now follows and for uncounted blessings beyond human capability to enumerate. Many are the Lord’s thoughts and works for our benefit, abundantly above what we ask, think or can appreciate. It is God’s way to go above the necessary to an overflow that exceeds our intake abilities.
     The Lord’s thoughts, which are far above ours, are towards those who trust in Him. His is an inward work of the heart. Without it, our outward works are useless. What is needed far more than religious busybodies is a person with spiritual ears and divine revelation. Let there be one John the Baptist who can proclaim the Lamb of God, rather than the priests in the temple, who offer daily sacrifice. What is needed is not someone who offers of his possessions, as Cain did, but one who is purchased of God, re-created and wholly set apart for the Lord – body, soul and spirit. Christ’s life was a personification of perfection in godliness, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.

May 22

Psalms 40:9-17

9.  I have preached righteousness in the great congregation: lo, I have not refrained my lips, O LORD, thou knowest.
10.  I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation: I have not concealed thy lovingkindness and thy truth from the great congregation.
11.  Withhold not thou thy tender mercies from me, O LORD: let thy lovingkindness and thy truth continually preserve me.
12.  For innumerable evils have compassed me about: mine iniquities have taken hold upon me, so that I am not able to look up; they are more than the hairs of mine head: therefore my heart faileth me.
13.  Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me: O LORD, make haste to help me.
14.  Let them be ashamed and confounded together that seek after my soul to destroy it; let them be driven backward and put to shame that wish me evil.
15.  Let them be desolate for a reward of their shame that say unto me, Aha, aha.
16.  Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee: let such as love thy salvation say continually, The LORD be magnified.
17. But I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinketh upon me: thou art my help and my deliverer; make no tarrying, O my God.

     Blessed is the prophet who does not refrain his lips or apologize for preaching righteousness. Many have been disqualified and shelved because they could not stand the vituperation, resulting from bold proclamation. David intimates its price, expecting mercy from God in return. He did not keep the message to himself, regardless of the cost. His message was the Lord - his faithfulness, salvation, lovingkindness and truth. It came out of his personal experience of God’s preservation (verse 11) and he shares it with the congregation.
     His desire is not only for himself, but that all those who seek the Lord might experience what he has experienced. His proclamation has one purpose – that the Lord may be magnified. Once again, the real heart condition of the seeker is revealed. He knows that he is poor and needy. That alone makes him a candidate to become a beneficiary of divine preoccupation. God’s wisdom and planning is for his benefit. We cry with him, “Please, our God, do not wait! We need You now!”

May 23

Psalms 41

1.  Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the LORD will deliver him in time of trouble.
2.  The LORD will preserve him, and keep him alive; and he shall be blessed upon the earth: and thou wilt not deliver him unto the will of his enemies.
3.  The LORD will strengthen him upon the bed of languishing: thou wilt make all his bed in his sickness.
4.  I said, LORD, be merciful unto me: heal my soul; for I have sinned against thee.
5.  Mine enemies speak evil of me, When shall he die, and his name perish?
6.  And if he come to see me, he speaketh vanity: his heart gathereth iniquity to itself; when he goeth abroad, he telleth it.
7.  All that hate me whisper together against me: against me do they devise my hurt.
8.  An evil disease, say they, cleaveth fast unto him: and now that he lieth he shall rise up no more.
9.  Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me.
10.  But thou, O LORD, be merciful unto me, and raise me up, that I may requite them.
11.  By this I know that thou favourest me, because mine enemy doth not triumph over me.
12.  And as for me, thou upholdest me in mine integrity, and settest me before thy face for ever.
13.  Blessed be the LORD God of Israel from everlasting, and to everlasting. Amen, and Amen.

     Once again, David is in poor straits. This is certainly not a happy position and never a popular one. Blessed is the one who will not consider personal advantages in his relationships, but will befriend the poor and needy. Before David went into exile, his enemies came in to wish the king a polite goodbye. It was the end of their relationship. One by one, as they came out of his presence, they whispered among themselves, “He won’t make it.” David had few who accompanied him through his exile. Most hearts were not with him and they only feigned respect in the days of his prosperity. Even among his trusted friends and counselors, there was one who abandoned and turned against him. Christ, from His life on earth to the present, has had such acquaintances - fair weather friends, who are enemies at heart. He often found a home with the poor, so when all other help and counsel fails us, we often provide the best company for Him.
     Elijah found deliverance in the home of the poor widow, whose situation was then blessed by his presence. There God fed, protected and kept him. The things that we fear, the intentions of our enemies, never come to pass. The Lord is the great intervener and healer. He turns our sickness and weakness into blessings, forgives and restores our soul.
     The Lord requites the evil and even uses his servants for that purpose, such as Noah, who condemned the world. There is no doubt from scripture that He favors and is merciful towards His own. He sets us before His face and is always conscious of our need. For this, we return blessing to His name forever.

May 24

Psalms 42

1.  As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.
2.  My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?
3.  My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God?
4.  When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me: for I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday.
5.  Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.
6.  O my God, my soul is cast down within me: therefore will I remember thee from the land of Jordan, and of the Hermonites, from the hill Mizar.
7.  Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me.
8.  Yet the LORD will command his lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life.
9.  I will say unto God my rock, Why hast thou forgotten me? why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?
10.  As with a sword in my bones, mine enemies reproach me; while they say daily unto me, Where is thy God?
11.  Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.

     Give us, oh Lord, the blessing of a thirsty soul. Oh, for a manifestation of the resurrected Christ! It is not so much His condescension, for which we plead at this time, but a lifting of our spirits into His presence to behold Him. For our part, we must ignore the relief for our thirst, which all other streams offer, and be satisfied with nothing less than the living God. The remembrance of better days augments the plea from parched lips and dry throats, while the world around us cries, “Where is thy God?” As the heathen mock and blaspheme, is there no one, who can show them reality? We can only show them, after we personally behold Him.
     Speak to your soul. Don’t be distraught by unbelieving thoughts and moods. You will yet be brought into His presence and behold His face. It is time to hope. The time of praise lies before you, for your spirit will taste the living water.

May 25

Psalms 43

1.  Judge me, O God, and plead my cause against an ungodly nation: O deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man.
2.  For thou art the God of my strength: why dost thou cast me off? why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?
3.  O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles.
4.  Then will I go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy: yea, upon the harp will I praise thee, O God my God.
5.  Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.

     It is best to take questions to God and be real and honest about them. David shows again in this Psalm that he has nowhere to go, but to God. He is his strength. He wonders why he has so much oppression and God seems to send no immediate relief. He pours out his complaint reverently to the Lord. He does not want to fall into the snare of the deceitful and unjust. He pleads with God to take sides against the ungodly.
     I can hardly add to the power of a message delivered by Duncan Campbell, emphasizing verses three and four. He said that truth comes accompanied by light to dispel the awful cover of darkness that blinds men and holds them in deceit. Light is deliverance. If God’s people would only let him lead, there would be a mighty deliverance from sin and a great glow of revealing light. Light and truth lead us into holiness and the presence of God. At that place comes the declaration, “Woe is me!” and death to self results. Resurrection joy and praise follow.
     David speaks to his oppressed soul to hope in God. His dilemmas would kill him were it not for divine hope. He is a personal God to David, intimately involved with his affairs, and His delivering glory lies just ahead.

May 26

Psalms 44:1-3

1.  We have heard with our ears, O God, our fathers have told us, what work thou didst in their days, in the times of old.
2.  How thou didst drive out the heathen with thy hand, and plantedst them; how thou didst afflict the people, and cast them out.
3.  For they got not the land in possession by their own sword, neither did their own arm save them: but thy right hand, and thine arm, and the light of thy countenance, because thou hadst a favour unto them.

     Here is a prayer over which those hungry for revival should pore. Revival has come into their ears. They have read the books and heard the stories. Our spiritual forefathers left a record, which all true children of God devour with relish. They observe how the forces of righteousness came to the fore. The works of darkness were driven back and intercessors prevailed in prayer. Strong and wicked men trembled before the sword of the Lord. They fell prostrate and waved the white flag of surrender. The fear of God was in the streets and upon the homes of the unregenerate.
     The cause and power behind it was not the might of strong, capable men with the finest equipment. Every true seeker of revival realizes that God is the one necessity. He is disillusioned with man-centered means and manners. He has only one hope and one goal. It was God alone who brought the victory to his fathers and it is God alone who can take the battle today. They found grace in the eyes of the Lord and He moved on their behalf. The modern seeker must be settled in that fact, determined that all else is fruitless and worthless. The days of experimentation are over for him and he has only one last recourse. If God does not act, then he intends no further effort. He points his soul towards God and waits, until He rends the heavens and comes down or he dies on his knees. It is the Lord’s hand, arm and countenance that we need or we will surely suffer defeat.

May 27

Psalms 44:4-16

4.  Thou art my King, O God: command deliverances for Jacob.
5.  Through thee will we push down our enemies: through thy name will we tread them under that rise up against us.
6.  For I will not trust in my bow, neither shall my sword save me.
7.  But thou hast saved us from our enemies, and hast put them to shame that hated us.
8.  In God we boast all the day long, and praise thy name for ever. Selah.
9.  But thou hast cast off, and put us to shame; and goest not forth with our armies.
10.  Thou makest us to turn back from the enemy: and they which hate us spoil for themselves.
11.  Thou hast given us like sheep appointed for meat; and hast scattered us among the heathen.
12.  Thou sellest thy people for nought, and dost not increase thy wealth by their price.
13.  Thou makest us a reproach to our neighbours, a scorn and a derision to them that are round about us.
14.  Thou makest us a byword among the heathen, a shaking of the head among the people.
15.  My confusion is continually before me, and the shame of my face hath covered me,
16.  For the voice of him that reproacheth and blasphemeth; by reason of the enemy and avenger.

     The present-day seeker must line up with the Psalmist. First, He must make God King. While he continues to reign, God sends nothing from heaven. Secondly, he must have an expectant heart (verse 5). Though he be as doubting Thomas, yet he must recognize the Lord’s personal interest in him and cry “My Lord and my God.” Thirdly, he has lost confidence in the material at hand. Fourthly, the glory, praise and attitude of heart must all be pointed heavenward. Self-related desires have been quenched in a fiery zeal for the honor of His name.   
      From the days of Joseph to that of Daniel and on to the life of St. Paul, no zeal for God has ever gone unchallenged. Faith is tried and at that point, thousands drop their interest. Instead of the expected victory, they feel cast aside, put to shame and deserted. There seems to be no profit to seeking the kingdom of God. The heathen count them as worthless and helpless. This is to be expected.


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