Being both a fan of Charles Spurgeon and an avid student of the Psalms; I was delighted to be offered a free copy of Spurgeon and the Psalms as a member of the Bible Gateway Blogger grid community to review. When it arrived in the mail last week, I eagerly unboxed it and was amazed at the beauty of the soft faux leather volume. My first thought as I opened its pages, was that I would find in it a verse-by-verse commentary. Instead, I discovered that, Spurgeon highlights a single short passage from each Psalm, and shares it in a simple straightforward manner. There is no referencing the Hebrew meanings or intricately weaving together how it fits into church doctrine. Spurgeon has instead chosen, to give us a practical insight into how the words of King David, Moses, Solomon and the other ancient writers can help us in our everyday life. Whether you are buying this book as a gift or like myself, would simply love reading it for yourself, you will not be disappointed. If you would like a copy of this wonderful little book, you can find it by following the link below –
I will bless the Lord at all times. His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make her boast in the Lord. The Humble shall hear thereof and be glad. O magnify the Lord with me and let us exalt His name together. Psalm 34:1-3 KJV
We won’t have read far into the Bible before we realize that our Sunday School hero; that giant killing boy named David, grew to be a man with plenty of moral failures. Yet in spite of his sins, weaknesses and mistakes, God tells us that David was, “A man after my own heart” Acts 13:22. What makes David so special? We could point to His courage as He faced the giant, His humility in the way He obediently continued taking care of sheep even after He had been chosen to be king or even His musical ability. Yet there are other people in the Bible who also had these characteristics, but what makes David unique is his legacy of praise. Praise is a part of our prayer life equally as important as intercession and without it we will just drift along between problems, wondering what crisis we will need to intercede for next. But if we like David, we begin to praise God when we get victory in battle, then God will also teach us to worship when we are being hunted down by people like the jealous King Saul. (See Psalm 52 and 63). And just as David worships when the ark is brought into Jerusalem, we ought to be praising in church. But David also worships after the death of his child who Bathsheba bore as a result of their adultery, and we he leaves us His heart-rending cry for forgiveness and renewal in Psalm 51.
Our real, honest to goodness legacy of praise is not just “Hip-Hip Hooray, I am so blessed!” when we are nicely dressed and singing in church. We hear David praise the Lord “At all times” even when those all times are hard times. Even in those times when we fail most miserably, we can turn to God in humble repentance and praise Him for His wonderful and undeserved mercies. In Psalm 118:24 David tell us that, “This is the day that the Lord hath made.” That means every one of our days is made by God. Our good days and our bad – successes and failures – our greatest celebrations and our deepest moment of grief all belong to God. But if we praise God at all those times, moment by moment and day by day we become more like the person most like God’s own heart – His Son Jesus Christ. And as His praise remains continually in our mouths, we leave behind for others a true legacy of praise.
I love the Mullett family’s rendering of “Though You Slay Me” and it gives us just a peek into their story and how the God who has kept them through it all is worthy of all our worship, our trust and our praise. I pray you will be blessed as you listen, and that God will help you with whatever you are facing today. He is always worthy of our praise!
I cried unto the Lord with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah. Psalm 3:4 KJV
Last week I broke one of my toes while tripping over a chair on the way to the coffee machine in the morning. What bothers me almost as much as the pain is the fact that this injury has put a halt to many of the activities I had planned for this week. I have had to pause and reconsider what is most important. Now in the Bible there is a word that reminds me of my situation and that is the word Selah. Though the precise meaning of Selah is debatable, it is some sort of annotation denoting a time to pause and reflect. Selah is used much the way a rest is used in music. When I was a child I struggled with those rests in my clarinet lessons. A four beat rest was especially hard, though it gave me the needed moment to take a breath, it was hard not to start tooting my next note before it was finished. In that same way, God sometimes places a long rest between events in our lives. Oh yes it is hard to wait out those full four beats with nothing we can do!
We take a quick breath and ask – “When can I play my next note?” But God, who is the wise orchestra director of our life knows exactly how long we the rest must be. This rest is not just an accident, it is written into the composition of His symphony. It is time to pause and reflect on the last measures He gave us to play. Not until just the right moment, with our full attention given to the direction of His baton, will it be time to start tooting again. Maybe like me, you are experiencing God’s call for Selah today. Instead of fussing and fretting over what we can’t do, we need to see this as His perfect timing, for taking a deep breath so that we will be ready to play just the right note! So I’ve shared my personal Selah moment for this week – is anyone else willing to share yours? It just might give someone else a needed blessing today!