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The Heavens Declare

May 2018
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Lately I have let myself get weighed down by the challenges I’ve been facing while trying to find low income housing on a Social Security income. While looking for housing I’ve been staying at a hotel, which is, to say the least, a very transient way to live. Probably too often when life is particularly challenging we might tend to go to the Psalms where David cried out for help from the Lord, and there are many psalms that aptly fit whatever we are going through. However, this morning I ran across Psalm 19 and Psalm 20 which puts our focus back where it belongs while seeking God’s help in any situation. While I read the Psalms in various translations, I have chosen the New King James Version to quote these two psalms for this blog post.

Psalm 19 New King James Version (NKJV)

The Perfect Revelation of the Lord
To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David.

The heavens declare the glory of God;
And the firmament shows His handiwork.
Day unto day utters speech,
And night unto night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech nor language
Where their voice is not heard.
Their linehas gone out through all the earth,
And their words to the end of the world.

In them He has set a tabernacle for the sun,
Which is like a bridegroom
coming out of his chamber,

And rejoices like a strong man to run its race.
Its rising is from one end of heaven,
And its circuit to the other end;
And there is nothing hidden from its heat.

The law of the Lord is perfect,
converting the soul;

The testimony of the Lord is sure,
making wise the simple;

The statutes of the Lord are right,
rejoicing the heart;

The commandment of the Lord is pure,
enlightening the eyes;

The fear of the Lord is clean,
enduring forever;

The judgments of the Lord are true
and righteous altogether.

More to be desired are they than gold,
Yea, than much fine gold;
Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
Moreover by them Your servant is warned,
And in keeping them there is great reward.

Who can understand his errors?
Cleanse me from secret faults.
Keep back Your servant also
from presumptuous sins;

Let them not have dominion over me.
Then I shall be blameless,
And I shall be innocent
of great transgression.

Let the words of my mouth
and the meditation of my heart

Be acceptable in Your sight,
Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.

Bible teaching notes on Psalms 19 are available at this link and provided by Omar C. Garcia, Missions Pastor at Kingsland Baptist Church in Katy, Texas, and Bible lesson writer for LifeWay Christian Resources, on BibleTeachingNotes.com. I’ve included a few of his notes on Psalm 19 below:

Practical Considerations [Psalm 19:1-6]: God has not left Himself without a witness.

The evidence for the existence of God is abundant. It is everywhere to be seen in the universe around us. Biblical scholar John Phillips comments, “It is significant that the Bible makes no attempt to prove that there is a God … The fact of God’s existence is self evident and taken for granted. The person who says differently is bluntly called a fool (Psalm 14:1 and 53:1). The root cause of atheism is traced in both these psalms to moral rather than to intellectual sources. It is not that a man cannot believe so much as that he will not.”

Practical Considerations [Psalm 19:7-14]: God’s Word can change people’s lives.

God’s Word can lead men to salvation, can make men wise, can fill the heart with joy, can give men discernment, can warn men of danger, and can help them live meaningful and rewarding lives. We should commit ourselves to a consistent study of the Word of God. We should purpose to live our lives according to the truths of God’s Word. Those who fail to study and obey God’s Word miss out on the many benefits of so doing.

David concluded the Psalm, which began with the universal glory and revelation of God, on a very personal note (v. 14). His desire was to remain in a right relationship with God and live a life pleasing to God. (Quote source here.)

Following on the heels of Psalm 19 is Psalm 20The background of Psalm 20 is that this psalm is “a prayer for the king’s protection and victory over enemies in battle [David is King at this time]. The king was fighting for the welfare of the nation. Verses 1-5 record the nation’s Godspeed to the king. Verses 6-8 record either the king’s or the worship leader’s reply. Verse 9 is a final prayer for the king” (quote source here.) Here is Psalm 20:

Psalm 20 New King James Version (NKJV)

The Assurance of God’s Saving Work
To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David.

May the Lord answer you in the day of trouble;
May the name of the God of Jacob defend you;
May He send you help from the sanctuary,
And strengthen you out of Zion;
May He remember all your offerings,
And accept your burnt sacrifice. Selah

May He grant you according
to your heart’s desire,

And fulfill all your purpose.
We will rejoice in your salvation,
And in the name of our God
we will set up our banners!

May the Lord fulfill all your petitions.

Now I know that the Lord saves His anointed;
He will answer him from His holy heaven
With the saving strength of His right hand.

Some trust in chariots,
and some in horses;

But we will remember
the name of the Lord our God.

They have bowed down and fallen;
But we have risen and stand upright.

Save, Lord!
May the King answer us when we call.

As stated for Psalm 19 above, Bible teaching notes on Psalms 20 are available at this link and provided by Omar C. Garcia, Missions Pastor at Kingsland Baptist Church in Katy, Texas, and Bible lesson writer for LifeWay Christian Resources, on BibleTeachingNotes.com. I’ve included a few of his notes on Psalm 20 below:

Practical Consideration [Psalm 20:1-4]: No person is exempt from troubles.

We are not exempt from troubles. We often experience dark days and sorrowful nights. We often grow weary from the constant and unrelenting pressures of life. It seems that there is always something to threaten our welfare and security. It seems that there is always something bent on defeating and destroying us. Like the psalmist, we too should seek the Lord’s help in the day of trouble. We should look expectantly to God for help and assistance. We should put our trust in Him.

Practical Consideration [Psalm 20:5]: We should remember God in our hour of victory and triumph as well as in our hour of need.

It is easy to remember God when we are in great and desperate need. It is easy to look to heaven when we are threatened on every side. It is easy to earnestly voice our petitions when problems close in. We should be careful, however, to remember God in our hour of victory and deliverance. We should not be so elated by triumph as to forget to give thanks. We should not allow success to cause us to forget the source of our help.

Practical Consideration [Psalm 20:6-8]: Confidence in God gives us courage for the battle.

The king’s confidence in God gave him courage for the battle. He marched into battle with the conviction that God would grant him victory. He put his trust in the Lord rather than in armaments or coalitions. He remained standing while his enemies fell around him because he trusted in God.

Practical Consideration [Psalm 20:9]: We should pray for our leaders.

Someone has commented, “The well-being of a people is suspended on the character and doings of the monarch. Prayer should be offered for him continually that he might be guarded from evil, that he may be wise, equitable, and prosperous.” (Quote source here.)

“May the King answer us when we call.” I hope these two Psalms have been an encouragement to you if you are going through some trying circumstances. God is still on the throne. May it remind us to pray for our leaders, and also remind us that our true “King” is the Lord our God, who made Heaven and Earth. . . .

May the Lord . . .

Answer us . . .

When we call . . . .

YouTube Video: “Revelation Song” by Phillips, Craig & Dean:

Photo #1 credit here
Photo #2 credit here

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