In the center of the Bible you will discover the wonderful illustrious Book of The Psalm! It is a marvelous collection of spiritual songs,hymns, prayers, heartfelt expressions, sympathy, compassion and wisdom for all of humanity! Herein is a collective, dynamic, reflective, deep compelling expression of the inner intimate thoughts of many! The often experienced transparency is emotional, illuminating and enlightening! The myriad of beautiful Psalmists wonderfully and often poetically share their anxieties, confessions, weaknesses, strengths doubts, fears and most important Love for the Lord!
Proverbs – The Goldmine Of Spiritual Wisdom
The Book of Proverbs is a standard of Divine Truth! These Words of wisdom are from the “Court” of King Solomon. They are powerful instructions for everyday godly living! King Solomon himself composed over 3,000 Proverbs! He was the wisest man to ever live and left a legacy of Wisdom. He was the builder of the first Temple in Jerusalem. He was the son of King David, the richest King to ever live ~ and had seven hundred royal wives and three hundred concubines! We can all learn from Solomon’s accomplishments as well as his mistakes! He was known for his great God given wisdom that was sought after by many throughout the world.
Proverbs is full of short pithy sayings that express timeless TRUTH! Here lies the knowledge of Wisdom, instructions for life and discernment. Spiritual understanding is what awakens and matures our discernment! Proverbs was written to teach moral insight! It is here in the Proverbs you will find a Goldmine of Wisdom.
~ Lamentations ~ A case study in Sorrow & Grief
The book of Lamentations is a riveting historical narrative of the prophet Jeremiah’s agonizing heartfelt disconsolate melancholic despondency. Jeremiah scribes in detail an impressive account on the fall of Jerusalem. He candidly expresses his cavernous emotions and sorrowful laments of his soul. The Holy City has died! He is overwrought with pain from the tremendous losses not just for himself but for his people and the nation at large. Jeremiah is known as “the weeping prophet.” No doubt he was despondent over the devastation of Jerusalem, the destruction of the Temple as well as the disaster that was upon his people for their disobedience.
These Old Testament Laments are analogously written in the same rhythmic cadence of the ancient Jewish funeral songs. There are five dirges in Lamentations. Four of the five chapters contain 22 verses except chapter three that contains 66 verses. Here in Lamentations you will discover laments of wisdom, ritual and prophecy. Jeremiah reflects back on what has been. This elegy is laden with a plethora of depressive moments that takes us into the darkness of emotional pain. It is a definite funeral “dirge” reflective of the mournful end of what was. God’s people have rejected His will and His way and forsaken His principles to the point of utter pandemonium! Many of Jeremiah’s prophecies have fallen on deaf ear! He stands alone, sorrowful, isolated, misunderstood and rejected, his tears plenteous and bountiful due to his genuine care and concerns. It is only because of God’s mercy they have not been completely annihilated, yet carried away into Babylonian captivity by King Nebuchadnezzar.
This Old Testament treasure contains a wealth of spiritual wisdom that can help us better navigate through “the valley of the shadow of death” today. It provokes us to introspectively examine our own emotions and sins under the spiritual microscope via the Word of God. We must become cognizant of the things that are happening all around us, within our homes, our nation, the world at large and especially within God’s Church! We today can relate to what has happened here in Lamentations to degree right now. The calamities that we see happening today around us are a reflection of aberrant rebelliousness and the abandoning of God’s intended purpose for His Creation.
Sin separates us from God! To sin means that we have missed the mark. Let this passage of Scripture marinate in your mind as you ponder this narrative on Lamentations if you will. The Word of God teaches us “for all have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God, and are justified freely by His Grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Him as a sacrifice of atonement, through Faith in His Blood. He did this to demonstrate His justice, because in His forbearance He had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished – He did it to demonstrate His justice at the present time, so as to be just and the One who justifies those who have FAITH in Jesus…” Romans 3
We can delve into the pain and extreme sorrow projected here in Lamentations emphatically. We can use this as a marvelous life lesson of what has been to help us now! We can learn much as we peer beyond the broken walls of Jerusalem. The Temple is gone, the king is gone the people are in exile and the city of Jerusalem has been destroyed and chaos abounds! The elders and religious leaders are also gone. The obliteration is humongous. Jeremiah’s tears are not for himself but for what was, what has been and what could be? This prophet of God was sorrowful most importantly because God has been grieved as well, thus Jeremiah laments. This is what Jeremiah says when he mourns about Jerusalem: “How deserted lies the city, once was so full of people! How like a widow is she, who once was great among the nations! She who was a queen among the provinces has now become a slave!” Lamentations 1
Truly God is faithful and His compassion and wisdom infinite! Confession and repentance are necessary for restoration. Only God can cleanse us from the wages of sin. Sin entices us away from what God has said not to do.
We have freedom in the Lord to choose but there are consequences for those choices. If we say that we have not sinned the Word of God unveils us as liars. All of us need Jesus Christ as Savior & Lord! It is His Blood by which we can be cleansed from our sins. As we embrace and apply His Word to our lives we should begin to “sin less!” We are the saints of God! Yes indeed! There‘s POWER in the BLOOD! This is why it is important for us to know firsthand His Word! “The Lord is righteous, yet I rebelled against His command. Listen, all you peoples; look upon my suffering. My young men and maidens have gone into exile. My priests and my elders perished in the city while they searched for food to keep themselves alive. See, O Lord, how distressed I am! I am in torment within, and in my heart I am disturbed, for I have been most rebellious. Outside, the sword bereaves; inside, there is only death. People have heard my groaning but there is no one to comfort me.” Lamentations 1 God used the Babylonians to punish His people for their rebelliousness. Today; Lord help us!
Here in Lamentations we learn that there is always Hope in the Lord! Jeremiah encourages the people to pour their hearts out to the Lord! Worship had become stale and ritualistic, false prophets and misleading oracles were given to the people. They embraced what they wanted to hear opposed to what God wanted them hear. No doubt Jeremiah’s prophecies where thought to be negative. We often shriek at the thought of what we perceive to be negative. Listen closely “The visions of your prophets were false and worthless; they did not expose your sin to ward off your captivity. The oracles they gave you were false and misleading.” Lamentations 2. Oh my! Perhaps some of this could have been avoided only if they had listened?
The streets of Jerusalem were laden with orphaned children and infants. The prophet Jeremiah’s heart was broken as he walked through the ruins of the city. He knew that God was faithful but they were yet experiencing the consequences for their choice to not listen. The few that remained faithful had to also experience the judgment brought on by the wrath of God. Jeremiah has a glimmer of hope; he too remained faithful to share God’s Word in the midst of much adversity. He was confident and knew that the prophecies given to him by God was true. Even though Jeremiah was thrown into the depths of a cistern and left there to die the Lord had favor upon him. He knew at some point he could count on the future restoration of Jerusalem. “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your Faithfulness, I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait on Him.” The Lord is good to those whose hope is in Him. To the one who seeks HIM; it is good to wait patiently for the Salvation of the Lord.” Lamentations 3
While Jeremiah laments he is reminded of the fuming sulfur that destroyed Sodom & Gomorrah! Now the sins of the false prophets were apparent. All Jerusalem’s material goods that had not been taken for spoils lay before them marred or destroyed within the ruins of this collapsed wasteland. Many of the priests and prophets became defiled rather than maintain their dignity and duties of the Lord. They neglected their responsibility to be role models and examples to the people causing Jerusalem’s ultimate downfall; they conformed to the ways of the world! Before the elders, priests, judges, magistrates and leaders would sit at the gates and articulately discuss religion, politics, current issues and their business affairs. “Now desolate the jackals were prowling all over it” Lamentations 5. Here in this marvelous narrative Jeremiah captures the bitter, astringent longsuffering that this nation experienced all because they got caught up in sin and turned their back on God! We who confess to be God’s people must be willing to succumb to a Holy sadness of remorse whenever we are found to be in err. We must pray fervently and weep whenever necessary if we have sinned and then sincerely repent.
We must also PRAY for The United States of America & this world at large to REPENT… ONLY once Refreshed and refueled we can gracefully rise once again and obediently embrace the marvelous principles for life and living within the oracles of God through the Power of His Holy Spirit! As we walk in the principles of Your Divine & Holy Word; May Your Favor rest upon us Lord in Jesus Name! “To God Be The Glory!”
Lamentations concludes: “You, O LORD reign forever; Your throne endures from generation to generation. Why do You forsake us so long? Restore us to Yourself, O LORD, that we may return; renew our days as of old unless You have utterly rejected us and are angry with us beyond measure!” Lamentations 5
This is a splendid, impressive, awe-inspiring Psalm! It starts with a complaint, progressively takes you on an expedition of distress and at its conclusion you find hope & relief! What a marvelous spiritual journey! As David did quite often, know we too can earnestly cry out to the Lord at anytime! Here we can find comfort knowing that in even our darkest moments we can find respite and solace in the Lord! Whatever you may be going through you can rest assured that God is totally aware of whatsoever is happening! You are not alone! Although David complains at first he eventually launches into a powerful heartfelt prayer!
What is so beautiful about the Lord; you can just be who we are! If you are not in a good place ask Him to help you! We can’t fool God! He sees us from the inside out! We are ALL totally transparent to Him! Therefore it really is best for us to sincerely confess how we are feeling and what’s going down or happening in our life and then ask the Him to help us be where we need to be.
One of the fabulous wonders of life is; the ability to be able to grow spiritually is lifelong! Discovering who you are in the Lord can bring “Joy” for the journey! Joy is part of the Fruit of His Spirit! God is beyond able!
David goes through some tumultuous moments, days & years! No doubt there is a plethora of responsibilities and numerous challenges with him being the King, a father and “a man after God’s own heart!” I Samuel 13. He was the greatest king ever to rule over Israel! He was a man of great character and had steadfast trust and faith in the Lord! Yet it is clear with all that wisdom, and power he still needed the Lord! There were times of great distress and notable times he succumbed to his weaknesses… Yet he repented genuinely and pressed forward. His heartfelt confessions and accolades of praise inversely permeate throughout the duration of these Psalms!
Here he presents a question to the Lord! “How long?” We never know how long or short our test or trial will be but we can during the process; “Trust in the LORD with ALL our heart and lean not to your own understanding. In ALL your ways acknowledge Him and HE WILL make your path straight…” Proverbs 3. God will direct our path through whatever circumstance that presents itself! We however must position ourselves to hear Him and see clearly the narrow path. We can trust His Word!
There are many amazing and glorious stories of David’s plethora of experiences and turbulent times! However his good days outweigh them all! He was an exceptional king! Here in the Word of God we have a brilliant reliable record that the Lord brought him through each time! Therefore we can REJOICE knowing that this is the same God that we love and serve! Holy and Mighty is the LORD our GOD! He is the “GREAT I AM!” God truly is able!
~ PSALM 13~
Book of Praise Lesson Highlights
“A Psalm of David.” The Prayer For God’s Answer – NOW!
Theme: Praying for relief from despair. We must continue to TRUST GOD even when He doesn’t answer us immediately.
The 6th of seven “penitential” Psalms
Here David’s soul is in calamitous anguish! He vociferously cries out in the midst of his troubles! His heart is heavy laden and his mind is bothered! He heavily contemplates upon what will be the duration of his current dilemma that seems to be without end!
David desperately wants to hear from the Lord! He apparently is beginning to feel apprehensively anxious and impatient. So much so he asks the Lord if He has forgotten him? Here we get a glimpse of the close intimate relationship David has with the Lord! He candidly expresses the depth of his inner feelings! He is being beleaguered by his emotions! He wants some answers and is beginning to display much impatience… “How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me?”
David is so beside himself that his mind is heavy with thoughts! His confidence is diminishing and he feels that his persecutors appear to be winning triumphantly over him? Everyday his heart is burdened more and he is now simply anxious and weighed down with worry! Many lessons here for us to learn!
The Word of God is so vitally important! In the New Testament in Philippians, the Apostle Paul tells us; “DO NOT be anxious about anything but in everything by prayer and petitions, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the PEACE of God which transcends understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4. When we are going through we must make a sincere effort to focus on the Lord and allow Him to lessen the load in His time. This of course can at times be easier said than done… Through Jesus Christ He has given us the gift of His Holy Spirit to be our Teacher & Comforter! When we remain focused on Him He can and will guard our hearts and minds! “How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and everyday have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me?”
David feels so bad that he is pleading with the Lord to relieve him! The pain is so ghastly he fears death! The pressures of life are making Him feel so hopeless he is overcome with worry! He feels as though his enemies will overtake him and over power him and that they will soon celebrate his downfall. “Look on me and answer, O LORD my GOD. Give light to my eyes or I will sleep in death; my enemy will say; “I have overcome him,” and my foes will rejoice when I fall.”
As soon as David expresses his doubts and fears his load is lifted to the point he is now rejoicing! His trust and confidence in the Lord takes the forefront! How appropriate because the Lord time after time has brought him through. David now feels the Lord will save him! Here we too can rejoice in this life lesson because; “The Lord is Faithful!” He will deliver us and keep us as well! We in turn must keep our focus on Him and not the situation! We too must learn to trust Him! Like David we can be confident in the Lord!
Behind ever dark cloud there is light! This is why we must go to the Lord and invite Him into the “messiness” that life sometimes hurls upon us! He will make our path straight! Yet we must position ourselves humbly into His hands in order to hear Him! Although David commences this Psalm complaining and feeling forsaken he does not camp there very long! He does not allow himself to be pulled into the pit of endless depression!
Life can certainly be overwhelming at times! It can appear as though you are all alone and everyone and just about everything is coming against you. But when you have the Lord it is important to know that you are never alone! “This too shall pass!” David shows us in this Psalm that there can be an immediate turn around in your situation. Or if not’ while going through you can acquire more patience! This is why we need a Savior! To save us from the power of sin reigning in our lives and keep us connected to the Lord!
Sin separates us from the Lord and doubt wants to make you worry and weaken your connectedness! When this happens it is the perfect time to seek the Lord’s presence! Invite Him to come even closer and see how He will reveal Himself to you! He can make a way out of no way! At the same time He can cultivate His Fruit within you! This is why while going through we must learn to focus on the many bountiful blessings and promises in His Word! We don’t have to stay in the “How Longs?”The Love of God is powerful! “But I TRUST in your unfailing LOVE; my heart REJOICES in Your SALVATION.” Thank God for Jesus Christ and His precious Holy Spirit! The Lord truly is GOOD! HE IS AWESOME!
This Psalm concludes by saying: “I will sing to the LORD, for He has been GOOD TO ME!”