"Let Israel Hope" is the title of this KJV video devotion from Psalm 130, verses 7 and 8. Perhaps you have heard it said, "There is always hope." But, is there always hope? That depends entirely upon one's object of hope. The Psalmist said, "Let Israel hope in the Lord: for with the LORD there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption." So, the object of Israel's hope was more important than the command to hope. For if the object of one's hope is not trustworthy, then there is no basis for one's hope.
"I Wait" is the title of this KJV video devotion from Psalm 130, verses 5 and 6. Waiting! Now, that is a hard thing to do. Most of us are rather impatient if we have to spend much time waiting, whether it is in a doctor's office, or waiting for someone to come home. The longer it has been, and the later it gets, the harder it is to continue to wait. Yet, we are just speaking of a matter of minutes or maybe even hours, but what about waiting for years--or even for an entire lifetime. How easy is that? Our waiting for the Lord may be a matter of waiting for His help or assistance. However, our waiting for the Lord also involves our waiting for His return. The New Testament believers waited for the Lord, believing that His return was imminent. Yet, here we are almost 2000 years later and He still has not returned. How are we to think about that?
"Who Shall Stand?" is the title of this KJV video devotion from Psalm 130, verses 3 and 4. The writer of Psalm 130 poses a rather interesting question, If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? Sadly, that is the true state of every man, for no man, except the Lord Jesus Christ has ever or will ever live with no iniquities or sins held to their account. Who, then, can stand before a righteous and holy God who cannot even look upon sin? No one. Oh, but the Psalmist did not stop there, did he? But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared. Yes, we can have a relationship with God; we can love, trust, and fear Him. Why? We can love, trust, and fear Him because their is forgiveness through the Lord Jesus Christ.
"Out of the Depths" is the title of this KJV video devotion from Psalm 130, verses 1 and 2. Life consists of considerable opposites. There are good days and bad days, there is sunshine and rain, and there are certainly heights and depths, both physically and emotionally. Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O LORD, says the writer of Psalm 130. It seems that we do not have to be very old to have experienced those depths. The Psalmist was simply overcome with life. No help seemed available except from the Lord. Lord, hear my voice: let thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications. Wisely, he understood that no matter how bad things were, God was the One to Whom he needed to turn.
"Blessing of the Lord" is the title of this KJV video devotion from Psalm 129, verses 5 through 8. t had been a bittersweet relationship that the people of God had had with God. By the time Psalm 129 was written, the Israelites had tasted God's loving hand upon them as well as God's great hand of discipline. They savored the blessing of the Lord when they faithfully served Him, and they tasted the bitterness of His wrath when they turned against them.
"Many a Time" is the title of this KJV video devotion from Psalm 129, verses 1 through 4. As we continue our series from the Psalms, called "First Love," Psalm 129 continues with in a rather somber tone. The Psalmist cried, "Many a time have they afflicted me from my youth." This appears to be no minor affliction, for the writer continues in verse 3 with the words, "The plowers plowed upon my back: they made long their furrows." We make joke, when getting up in the morning, saying, "I feel like I was run over by a Mack truck," but the afflictions of the Psalmist were such that he was, indeed, run over by that Mack truck, and was still alive to tell about it. He was speaking of afflictions that left him raw, maybe not physically, but certainly emotionally.
"Blessed by God" is the title of this KJV video devotion from Psalm 128, verses 3 through 6. Psalm 128 continues with its theme: blessed by God. What does the Psalmist picture? He shows us a man, sitting at his table with his wife and children about him. With God's blessing he will see the good of Jerusalem (God's people) all the days of his life, and will live to see his children's children. Sometimes Psalms such as this can be confusing. After all, we see saints of God, faithful to Him in every way who have lost their spouses, maybe their children have died, or they have no children, and their life is not one of peace or ease. How do we justify that picture in light of this Psalm? No matter how "good" we may be or appear to be, God does not owe us anything. Second, God, who knows our heart of hearts, takes us through rivers and valleys--even valleys of the shadow of death--that He might refine us and make us more like Him.
"Blessed" is the title of this KJV video devotion from Psalm 128, verses 1 and 2. What does it mean to be blessed? It is a rather important question when one considers that being blessed is a rather relative term. In a day when happiness, which one would consider a by product of being blessed, seems to have all but disappeared from our day to day lives, especially in countries which abound in prosperity, we need to look at what it means to be blessed by God. In a world filled with greed, envy, violence, and a constant quest to get more, man seems to be less and less satisfied with what he already possesses. To the rich, there is always need for more money, to the talented, there is always someone a little bit better, the the athlete, one never reaches the top, or at least stays on the top for very long. But, what does it matter?
"Children, An Heritage of the Lord" is the title of this KJV video devotion from Psalm 127, verses 3 through 5. What can we say about Psalm 127? There is probably no portion of Scripture that seems so antiquated to our way of thinking than Psalm 127:3-5. Yet, the problem clearly lies in our convoluted way of thinking. In our day of blind achievement and search for prosperity, a large family just does not work. How can we afford a large family and still give them all we desire to give them? Where, in the Bible, do we find the necessity for dumping prosperity upon our children? As Christian parents, what is our proper understanding of the teachings of God's Word? I fear that in our professing Christians of this day, we are far too concerned about consuming the goods of this world than we are about training our children to lead successful, productive, faithful Christian lives. By our very actions, what have we taught our children?
"Except the Lord" is the title of this KJV video devotion from Psalm 127, verses 1 and 2. No three words can give a greater theme for the successful Christian life than, "Except the Lord." Our life is not about ourselves--it has never been about ourselves. As believers, no matter what our abilities, no matter what our financial state, and no matter what our personality, living a life pleasing to God is all about, "Except the Lord."
"Sow in Tears" is the title of this KJV video devotion from Psalm 126, verses 5 and 6. One of the concerns that I have in today's Christian community is the propensity to speak of the "abundant life." I will admit, it is much easier to convince people to follow the Lord if we promise them an abundant life, but what happens to them, then, when their world begins to fall apart? While it is true that the Christian life is, indeed, an abundant life, we must realize that this present life will be filled with many times of great sorrow and affliction. The abundant life is two-fold. First, we have a great Advocate who will lift us up and carry us through our difficulties, and second, we have a great eternal home that will follow this vale of tears.
"Celebration" is the title of this KJV video devotion from Psalm 126, verses 1 through 4. The Babylonian captivity was over! After 70 years, God fulfilled His promise and brought the captives back to their home city, Jerusalem! Indeed, they were like those that dreamed a dream--could it really be true that they were free again? We can just imagine their celebrations of joy: "Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, The LORD hath done great things for them."
"Two Camps" is the title of this KJV video devotion from Psalm 125, verses 4 and 5. The Psalmist presents two camps of people: those that are upright in their hearts and those that turn aside unto their crooked ways. In other words, only two classes of people exist in the world: the righteous and the wicked. We do not like to think in such simplistic terms, but from God's perspective, that is the reality that exists. In the Psalmist's day, the righteous were equated with the nation Israel, even though it was never true that all Israelites were righteous. Righteousness is actually an impossibility with man. The only true righteousness we can know is the righteousness of Christ which is imputed to us as believers.
"Rod of the Wicked" is the title of this KJV video devotion from Psalm 125, verse 3. "For the rod of the wicked shall not rest upon the lot of the righteous; lest the righteous put forth their hands unto iniquity." What a wonderful proclamation of God's grace to His people, but if we look at the land of Israel, to which the Psalmist was referring, has this verse been born out through history? Do we see faithful Israel living in the land without the oppressing hand of the wicked in their midst? No! Then, how can these verses be true?
"As Mount Zion" is the title of this KJV video devotion from Psalm 125, verses 1 and 2. In a time of great uncertainly, God's Word rings clear and true, bringing great peace to those who would heed its words. God's people are like Mount Zion! Why? They are like Mount Zion because they cannot be removed, but rather live forever! We tend to think in the temporal terms of this life, but that is not true for the believer. We, as believers in Christ, have already begun our eternal life. Though our location may change at death, our souls live on for eternity, moving from this world to life in heaven with the Lord Jesus Christ.
"Blessed Be the Lord" is the title of this KJV video devotion from Psalm 124, verses 6 through 8. As a believer we understand the sentiment expressed by the Psalmist for, truly, blessed be the Lord, who has not given us what we truly deserve! Does anyone deserve salvation? Does anyone deserve Christ? No! Yet, by the wondrous grace of God, He has chosen to save a people for Himself, and to that end, sent His only Son to come to this earth as our Sacrificial Lamb! Understanding our true estate, apart from Christ, none of us would be granted entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven. Through no merit of our own, we have been set aside by God Himself, and through Christ's shed blood are able to stand before Him, because of the righteousness of Christ.
"If It Had Not Been" is the title of this KJV video devotion from Psalm 124, verses 1 through 5. As we look to the future, this is a rather remarkable Bible passage to consider. "If it had not been for the Lord," the Psalmist begins, ". . . then the waters had overwhelmed us, the stream had gone over our soul." We, too, can say, "If it had not been the Lord, who was on our side, we would not be where we are today, looking to the years ahead to live for the glory and honor of God, our Father.
"Contempt" is the title of this KJV video devotion from Psalm 123, verses 3 and 4. We all like to be liked, do we not? As a matter of fact, sometimes it is hard to be different--to always be at odds with the popular opinions of the day. For the believer, however, to be true to the teachings of God's Word, often being different becomes the norm. The Psalmist certainly felt the contempt manifested in the pride and arrogance of the people. Pride, however, has no place in the heart of the Christian. Jesus, the Son of God, King of Kings, and Lord of Lords did not manifest pride and arrogance. He, who was above all, came to this earth with the heart of a servant, ready to do His Father's will. How, then, can we expect to do less?
"Wait upon the Lord" is the title of this KJV video devotion from Psalm 123, verses 1 and 2. How well do we wait upon the Lord? The Psalmist said he waited upon the Lord His God until He had mercy upon Him. Waiting is not necessarily a pleasant or easy thing to do, but could it be that God withhold's His blessing to help us learn to wait and trust upon Him? As we look to God who dwells in the heavens let us realize that God is to us as the master to his servants, or as the mistress to her maidens. I fear that all too often we forget that our relationship to God is one of servanthood. Rather than approach God with numberless requests, we need to approach Him, not just as a servant, but as a servant who trusts completely in His provisions for all of our needs.
"Peace of Jerusalem" is the title of this KJV video devotion from Psalm 122, verses 3 through 9. Verse 6 of Psalm 122 could very well be a headline right out of the newspaper today: Pray for the peace of Jerusalem. The world has certainly changed since the day this was written. With the coming of Christ, God's people now emerge from almost every nation on the globe, and Jerusalem is no longer considered the epicenter of God's church. As a matter of fact, there is no one city or country that we could consider the "center" of Christianity. As Christians today, let us continue to pray for the peace of Jerusalem, and pray that soon, the Lord will return.
"Jerusalem" is the title of this KJV video devotion from Psalm 122, verses 1 and 2. As we continue our series, "First Love," from the Psalms we find ourselves at Psalm 122, extolling the praises of Jerusalem. You have to realize that it is pretty amazing that this city, important to the Israelites thousands of years ago is still an important city for, not only the Jewish people and the Arabs who live there, but for all Christians as well. God's chosen people, the Jewish nation, established Jerusalem as their capital city during the reign of King David. It was also the site of the temple built by Solomon, and then later restored and enlarged during the time of Herod. We know that when Christ comes to rule on this earth, He will rule from the city of Jerusalem.
"The Lord" is the title of this KJV video devotion from Psalm 121, verses 5 through 8. No wonder we love Psalm 121 so much! Look at the all-encompassing compassion and help we find in the Lord. Just like the Psalmist, we can attest to the same things in our own lives, can we not? Who keeps us? The Lord! Who protects us from the forces of nature? The Lord. Who keeps our feet from wandering in the path of wickedness? The Lord. Who promises to lead and guide us all of the days of our lives? The Lord.
"From the Lord" is the title of this KJV video devotion from Psalm 121, verses 1 through 4. How trustworthy is your help? When you are in the middle of a devastating situation, where do you turn for help? We often hear the cliche, "there's safety in numbers," but is that really true? Truthfully, it is not about numbers, but rather, dependability! The Psalmist set his eyes upon the distant hills and said, "I will life up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth." As we gaze upon the starry skies, watch a lingering sunset, or hear the cheerful cry of the birds on our morning walk, let us lift our hearts and minds above the things of this world and set them upon our Creator God who truly is our help--our only help!
"They Are for War" is the title of this KJV video devotion from Psalm 120, verses 1 through 7. As we leave Psalm 119 we come to the last 31 Psalms of the book of Psalms. Psalm 120 recounts the difficulties and frustrations of the Psalmist who was surrounded by the ungodly. Finding no comfort in his surroundings, the writer cried out to the Lord for help and comfort. God, who faithfully surrounds His children, even in the worst of situations, responded to the Psalmist with comfort. Just what were the difficulties the Psalmist faced? Though we live thousands of years later, the frustrations of the writer do have a familiar sound to us.
"Do Not Forget" is the title of this KJV video devotion from Psalm 119, verses 173 through 176. As we come to this, the last devotion from Psalm 119, the Psalmist stated, "I do not forget thy commandments." What a theme for one's life! Yet, how easy it is for us to do exactly that. Surrounded by the glitz and glamor of the 21st Century, we Christians must constantly be on our guard so that the things of this world do not wipe away the clear teaching of God's Word and its influence in our lives.
"Give Me Understanding" is the title of this KJV video devotion from Psalm 119, verses 169 through 172. As we come to the epilogue of Psalm 119, the Psalmist cried out to God: "Let my cry come near before thee, O LORD: give me understanding according to thy word." That is our universal cry to God, is it not? "Give me understanding!"
"Great Peace" is the title of this KJV video devotion from Psalm 119, verses 165 through 168. One has only to look at the current headlines to realize that the 21st century is not exactly a time of great peace. The Psalmist, himself, did not live during a time of great peace either, yet he had learned the secret of inner peace even during a tumultuous time. His heart was settled in God as revealed to him through God's Word, which he not only read, but which he loved exceedingly!
"Awe of Thy Word" is the title of this KJV video devotion from Psalm 119, verses 161 through 164. How precious is God's Word to us? The Psalmist rejoiced at God's Word as one who found great spoil, or great treasure. Do we love our Bibles more than our bank accounts, or more than the thought of winning the lottery? Oh yes, the Word of God is a treasure greater than all of the wealth this world has ever known. Let us, then, join the Psalmist who said, "Seven times a day do I praise thee because of thy righteous judgments."
"True from the Beginning" is the title of this KJV video devotion from Psalm 119, verses 157 through 160. In our day of relativism, how do we really know what is true? We believe what we believe, but our neighbor believes something different. How are we to know who believes the truth? The Psalmist boldly declared, "Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever." When one takes that first step of wondering whether the Bible is actually true, one is on the verge of a very precarious journey away from the Lord!
"Consider" is the title of this KJV video devotion from Psalm 119, verses 153 through 156. As I read through this section from Psalm 119, I thought of how approachable God is to His people. The Psalmist reached out to God and said, "Consider!" He had every right to know and believe that he was not too small or too insignificant for God to notice. We cannot begin to understand the great love that God has for each and every one of His children. We are never outside of His hand of care. God works through all of the events and happenings of this life to mold us and make us more like Christ, and to bring us closer to Him.
"Thy Lovingkindness, Thy Judgment" is the title of this KJV video devotion from Psalm 119, verses 149 through 152. We do not tend to have difficulty embracing God's love, but it is not always as easy to embrace God's judgment. The writer of Psalm 119, however, understood that there is a proper balance between both. Both are necessary for us who are entrenched in a sin darkened world. God's love is our foundation; no matter how bleak things are for us, we see the utter goodness and love of God and are encouraged to continue on for Him. Yet, it is God's judgment which provides the prod we need to keep us focused on living this life for Him and not according to the pleasures of this world.