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Psalm 53: "The Fool"

This psalm is nearly identical to Psalm 14. When we spoke about Psalm 14, I noted this psalm is really a cry to the Lord to change the hearts of those who deny His presence. When David opens these psalms with "the fool says in his heart, "There is no God," immediatley the one who says this is turned off from listening to the rest of the psalm. Its is too bad too, because Daivd ends with "Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion! When God restores the fortunes of his people, let Jacob rejoice, let Israel be glad!" From this verse alone, we know that this psalm was written for Israel, and for their specific restoration as the called out nation of God, but it obviously applies to us today as well, at least in priciple. Consider 1 Timothy 2:4, where Paul says that the Lord "desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth," or 2 Peter 3:9, where Peter says that the Lord is "not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance." You see, the Lord calls the unbeliever a fool because he has denied the Lord, despite the fact that even creation has revealed His presence (see Romans 1:18-21). Others have heard the Gospel message directly, and have still denied the invitation to salvation. This is why they are fools, not as an insult, but because of the refusal for eternal life. Our responsibility, as Christians, is too keep praying for them, and to continue to share Jesus, and live our lives in obedience as an outward illustration on how our hearts have been changed. Will you do that?


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Psalm 52: “The Steadfast Love of the Lord”

This psalm takes place in 1 Samuel 21-22, when David fled from Saul, leading to the slaughter of those who helped David. Worth this background in mind, seemingly, David is speaking of Saul when he says “why do you boast of evil, O mighty man?” The next three verses describe this type of person. Think about that. Don’t we see that in our culture today? The culture today has shifted where sin is celebrated and widely accepted. David knows, and it is a good reminder for us, that even though these people who love their sin are accepted and celebrated, God will break them down forever. He will not let the sinner prevail. This psalm shows us that sin is not and never is the right choice. We find refuge in the Lord, not sin. Despite what David went through with Saul consistently chasing him down, like sin chases us, David can end his psalm confidently saying, “I trust in the steadfast love of God forever and ever. I will thank you forever, because you have done it. I will wait for your name, for it is good, in the presence of the godly.” It takes faith to turn from sin, and towards the Lord. But notice the word “forever” that David used, the pleasures associated with sin are temporary, while Gods steadfast love is eternal. Wouldn’t you prefer an eternal and pure love? 


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Psalm 51: “A New Heart”

This psalm is similar to Psalm 32, and some believe they were written after the same event, David’s sin with Bathsheba and all of the effects of this wicked sin. At least we know for sure that this psalm does take place after Nathan rebukes David for his sin.  We see Nathan rebuking David for his sin with Bathsheba in 2 Samuel 12, and the recap of this sin is found in 2 Samuel 11. What I find to be fascinating in this psalm of confession is the many descriptive words David uses for sin. In verse 1, David asks for his transgressions to be blotted our. In verse 2, he speaks of his iniquities and asks to be washed from it. In verse 4, David acknowledges that he had sinned against the Lord and that sin is evil. Note again that David confessed to God, “against You, You only I have sinned.” David recognized that sin against man, is sin against the Lord. David recognizes that only the Lord game make Him justifies and blameless. Finally, David also has many requests of God in relation to forgiveness. He requests to be taught and purged. He requested to be washed and restored. And finally, he requested deliverance. Once again, we see David’s faith. He knew that the Lord will forgive. He also teaches us how essential this process is through confession. When David requests for the Lord to “create in me a clean heart”, where we must note that the idea here is a new heart. Think about it, the heart of man is deceitful (see Jeremiah 17:9), so it is unclean. The Lord gives us a new heart, one that is more aligned with the Lord. Isn’t that the heart you would desire to have? That’s possible through confession and repentance. 


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Psalm 50: “The Judge”

We are out of the last section, which were a series of psalms from the Sons of Korah (Psalms 42-49), and now we shift to a new section. This psalm is from Asaph. You may recall, Asaph was one of those placed in charge of the music (1 Chronicles 6). Asaph is named as the author of 12 of the psalms. If you were to make up an outline to this psalm, you can break it into 4 parts. First, in verses 1-6, we see that the Lord summons the earth and calls an assembly. In verses 7-15, we see the Lord speaking to His people, and requires them to worship Him from their heart. In verses 16-22, Asaph records the Lord rebuking the wicked. Finally, in verse 23, we see the summary, that is to worship God with our hearts. You see, there a perfect picture of the Lord as judge, the One that we are called to worship. Notice too that an act of worship without a heart of worship is not enough. The Lord wants our hearts, not just our hands. The Lord makes it very clear in this psalm that He will also judge show people, in fact, here (50:7) and 1 Peter 4:17, it says that it will start with His people. As Christians, we must respond in complete obedience. Ask the Lord to help you with this. 


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Psalm 49: "True Wealth”

First thing we notice in this psalm is he audience. The Son of Korah write to “all peoples.” We have further context to this song because he later addresses both the rich and the poor. Some look at this psalm as a warning of sorts for the rich. While there may be a little bit of truth in this, I think the psalm is more about trusting in the Lord for provision and less on our money or resources. Others say that the Son of Korah actually wrote this about their own father, whose wealth was a cause of his downfall, teaching us that how we live our lives, and our preparation for our eternal future is more important to what we have here on earth. Those who choose monetary possessions are described as foolish, and that their true home are the graves. We know that this world is temporary, and that we won’t take any of this with us when we die. We cannot not have dependence on money or possessions, but instead on our Lord. Because of His promises and His providence, we can be assured that our wealth is in the Lord and that He is our true treasure. 


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Psalm 48: "The City of our God"

This psalm is yet another psalm of celebration. This time, the setting is Mt. Zion, described as the City of our God. The psalmsist(s) open with a proclamation: "Great is our God!" who is worthy of our praise. The psalmist(s) describes Jerusalem (Mt. Zion) as the Holy City of God. In the New Testament, Zion is used as a sharp contrast to Mt. Sinai, making the contrast of law versus grace. It also points the reader to the "New Jerusalem" as described in Revelation 3 and 21. What does this mean?  Well, for the reader then, it directed them to remember the holiness of God, while for the readers today, we are reminded of the hope we have in the New Jerusalem, and Jesus' second coming as the King. In light of all of this, we are directed again to the required response, beginning in verse 9. We are to recall His steadfast love, sing praises to the ends of the earth, and rejoice. Finally, we see here that part of that response is that of telling "the next generation." Celebration and sharing of the greatness of our God should be our default response.  


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Psalm 47: “Celebrate the King”

“This psalm celebrates God’s kingship” (ESV Study Bible). Today is Sunday, when most Christians gather at a church building for corporate worship. This is a great psalm for today! We see that the Lord is celebrated, because He is great, because He is King over creation, and because He is the God of Abraham. It is essential that we publicly worship and celebrate our Lord. It is also essential that we do this personally as well. We should be able to look back, like the psalmist(s) did here, and be able to ”shout to God with loud songs of joy,” and “clap” our hands. Are you celebrating the Lord today?


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Psalm 46: “God is our Fortress”

The sons of Korah, as well as a lot of the other writers of the psalms were consistently under attack. This is a picture of the spiritual battle we face today. And in these attacks we, like Israel can take comfort in knowing that the Lord is our fortress. He protects us from the enemy. He provides us safety and shelter, which in turn provides us comfort. The sons of Korah, in these times of trouble could say that “the Lord of hosts is with us.” The Lord Himself says to us “be still, and know that I am God.” He is telling us, in essence, “I got this!” Isn’t that comforting, knowing that the Lord‘s got this?! Easier said than done, but we must let the Lord fight our battles, and trust that He has it all under control. 


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Psalm 45: “A Royal Wedding”

This is another psalm from the sons of Korah. It speaks of a royal wedding. This wedding consists of a king and his bride. It’s likely that this is a picture of Jesus reuniting with His bride, the church. Now, this psalm is quoted in Hebrews 1:8-9, but doesn’t speak directly of the known relationship of Christ as the bridegroom, and the church as the bride. Consider Ephesians 5, where Paul writes, “husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish ... this mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church” (5:25-27,32). ‬‬This psalm helps us to see the relationship between Christ and the church, and how He has promised to return for her. This is a very special relationship, therefore our mirrored relationships here on earth should be a picture of this. This about this in your own marriage, and take the time to thank the Lord for the promised return. 


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