Read Psalm 13

Even though our stereotype of the Psalms is one of upbeat praise, a closer look reveals that “Lament Psalms” actually represent the largest category.  These words, you see, speak to the realities of our human condition in a fallen world…a world filled with sorrow, pain, and injustice.  Psalm 13 serves as a good example of the elements typically found in these psalms.  Here we find the following general themes addressed:

  • Address to God: “How long, O Lord?” (1a)  Instead of flowery opening lines, David seemed more interested in getting to the heart of what he wants to say.
  • Lament itself: “How long…will you forget me forever?” (1b-2)  David felt as if the Lord was delaying His response.  Four times, he used the words “how long?”  While he wrestled with his own thoughts, with personal sorrow, and with opposition, he had the impression that the Lord had hidden his face from him.  Ever felt like that?  Do you feel like that today?  Like your prayers ricocheted off of the ceiling of your home, car, or even off of the clouds above?
  • Prayer: “Look on me and answer” (3-4)  With seemingly no end in sight, David voiced his request to the Lord once again.  There is no shame in repeatedly expressing your request to God.  In fact, Jesus seems to applaud you for doing so (Lk. 18:1-5) provided that your prayers do not become a mindless and meaningless babbling (Matt. 6:7).
  • Trust: “But I trust in your unfailing love” (5)  This can be the hard part.  When you have been in your situation for so long, can you really hope?  When you have prayed and yet there has been no obvious answer, can you really depend on Him?  You can, if you retreat to the assurances from the word of God that point out that God neither forsakes you (Heb. 13:5) nor burdens you with more than you, by His grace, can bear (2 Cor. 12:9).
  • Praise: “I will sing to the Lord” (6)  What a contrast from the opening lines to these final words!  David began with questions of “Where are you?”  But with these words he actually worships the Lord.  That is often characteristic of these psalms of lament.  They start in sorrow and end in exaltation.  Renewed with hope, the psalmists moved beyond their own circumstances to a God deserving of adoration.  Can you?


A Heavenly Kiss

Read Psalm 2

The word of God is timeless describing the historic past, applying to the current present, and prophesying of the anticipated future.  That timelessness is illustrated well in today’s psalm as well.  Let’s take a closer look.

Rewind to the historic past:  The words of this Psalm were used as part of the coronation of kings following in David’s lineage.  You see God had not only established a covenant with Abraham (Gen. 12:1-3) about Israel’s role but also with David (2 Sam. 7:4-17) about Israel’s ruler. It was laughable to think of other nations conspiring against anointed kings like David…and ultimately Jesus (Acts 4:23-30).  The Lord was to accomplish His will in spite of man’s best efforts!

Fast forward to the anticipated future:  The elements that make this messianic psalm are much further reaching than a reference to the crucifixion of Jesus.  Jesus will one day reign as God’s Anointed here on this earth.  On that day, it will be said with finality that the nations are His inheritance, the ends of the earth are His possession, and that He is ruling with an iron scepter (vv. 8, 9).  This will begin as Jesus returns with His saints from heaven to the earth at the end of a 7-year period of tribulation.

Hit play for the current present:  In the meantime, nations do conspire against both the nation of Israel and its leaders as well as against the Lord Himself.  While we anxiously look on at the evil played on the global stage, “the One enthroned in heaven laughs.”  (v. 4)  He is not laughing at us, but at those who would think that they will stand against Him and His people and come away as victors.  His present counsel to kings and rulers (and to us as well) is to be wise and warned (v. 10).  Don’t try to act in opposition to or independently of the Lord!  Instead “serve Him with fear and rejoice with trembling” (v. 11).  In fact, we are to seek ways today to “kiss the Son” (v. 12).  This kiss is not a self-serving apple-polishing designed to get on His good side so that we will get what we want.  No, it is a genuine expression of love, honor, respect, and obedience.  What conscious, intentional steps will you take to give that kiss today?