Monday, March 25, 2019

Finding the Gospel in Psalm 18

One of my favorite expressions is “we tend to find what we’re looking for.”  One of the places that is especially true is finding Jesus woven all through the Old Testament.  Today’s study is about finding the gospel nestled neatly inside Psalm 18.  I’m in awe of the step-by-step parallelism of the verses in the psalm and how they perfectly reflect the truth of the gospel.

Psalm 18:19
“…He rescued me because He delighted in me.”

Things to think about:
·      David is singing, praising, celebrating his rescue by God from Saul
o   Psalm 18:3 – I called to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and I have been saved from my enemies.
o   In it we find really strong parallels to the gospel
·      David was victorious over his enemy, not because of his superior merit but because of God’s mercy, power, and love.
o   This story isn’t just for David but for you and me too.
·      Psalm 18:5 – “The cords of the grave coiled around me; the snares of death confronted me.”
o   And that’s just the condition each of faces without the saving grace of Jesus.
o   Ephesians 2:1-2 – “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world…”
o   Before you accepted Christ, do you have a recollection of the desperateness of your situation?
·      Psalm 18:5 – “In my distress I called to the Lord, I cried to my God for help. From His temple he heard my voice; my cry came before Him, into His ears.”
o   Romans 10:13 – “Whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
o   Where were you when you first called out to Him for help?
o   Did you have the feeling that He heard you?
o   If you aren’t sure if you’ve ever done this TODAY is an excellent day to do this.
·      Psalm 18:7 – “The earth trembled and quaked, the foundations of the mountains shook;”
o   Matthew 27:51b – “…The earth shook, the rocks split, and the tombs broke open.”
o   At the very moment Jesus died, the literal foundations of the earth trembled and shook!
·      Psalm 18:9 – “He parted the heavens and came down.”
o   Matthew 27:51a – “The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.”
o   The visual representation of the separation of man from God because of sin was dramatically and permanently torn.
·      Psalm 18:11 – “He made darkness His covering.”
o   Mark 15:33 – “At noon, darkness came over the whole land”
·      Psalm 18:16 – “He reached down from on high and took hold of me.”
o   Phil.3:12 – I press on to take hold off that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.”
·      Psalm 18:17 – “He rescued me from my powerful enemy…”
o   1 Cor.15:26, 54-55 – “The last enemy to be destroyed is Death.” “Death has been swallowed up in victory. Where O death is thy victory, where O death is thy sting?”
§  1 Cor. 15:57 – “But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
o   The greatest fear the enemy has to threaten us with has been defeated.  Let’s meditate on that when we’re inclined to worry.
·      Psalm 18:19 – “He brought me out into a spacious place, He rescued me because He delighted in me.”
o   John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.”
o   God has prepared a place for us that is wonderful infinitely beyond our ability to comprehend it.
·      And God’s love and grace don’t stop with our salvation, they are just getting started!
·      Today, whatever is confronting you, remember that God is present, caring, capable, and active.  He will see you through to victory. Amen and amen!

Monday, March 18, 2019

God's Gift Bag

King David was a soldier, a mighty warrior.  In Psalm 18 we read that God had uniquely gifted him for his calling with great strength and physical abilities.  Like David, you too have been painstakingly created in Christ for the good works God had prepared beforehand for you to accomplish.  Let’s take a few minutes to consider how you and I have been forged physically, intellectually, spiritually, and emotionally for God’s glory.

Psalm 18:32-34
It is God who arms me with strength
    and keeps my way secure.
He makes my feet like the feet of a deer;
    He causes me to stand on the heights.
He trains my hands for battle;
    my arms can bend a bow of bronze.

Things to think about:
·      In David’s case, let’s take a quick look at his make up:
o   Physically – a strong, powerful man
o   Intellectually – an excellent military strategist and tactician
o   Spiritually – a man after God’s own heart
o   Emotionally – both hot headed and soft hearted
·      God used these different qualities to win wars, write psalms, and serve as a biblical model of a godly man. 
·      How is God using you to accomplish His work?
o   Does it sound weird to you to think that God made you just as He did so you could accomplish His agenda?
·      How would you describe yourself on each of these aspects?  Before you answer, remember God says you are His handiwork!
o   Physically
o   Intellectually
o   Spiritually
o   Emotionally
·      How can you see them coming together to achieve a Kingdom purpose?
o   Sometimes, when discouragement gets the better of us, we can feel like we got the leftovers from the gifts bag.  Have you ever / do you ever feel that way?
·      If you don’t know your purpose yet, does reflecting on these help you see the puzzle pieces painting a picture for you?

My prayer is that each of us would embrace the high calling God has placed on us to do the good works He planned in advance for us.  And when we are done, that God would get the praise and glory. Amen!