Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Psalm 15

Summary: To be worth even a spot as a stranger in God's presence, David says, a person has to be just about blameless, living with integrity in his word and deed.

Response: I mean, it's not being holy (set apart for God's use), but each thing talked about is really about being honest so that you don't take advantage of other people. That sounds doable, though I know I've failed at this plenty.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Psalm 14

Summary: David sees the suffering of his people at the hands of the wicked and, though he wishes for God's deliverance, he acknowledges that no one is really deserving of it.

Response: Again, that David knew of these feelings, came to those different conclusions, and still felt bold enough to ask for mercy anyway is pretty amazing. I'm hoping that, with time, I find some boldness in prayer or in spreading God's love.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Psalm 13

Summary: David feels ignored because God hasn't yet delivered him; still, he trusts God to save him and praises Him even now.

Response: If anything, I feel like the one who's ignoring God, not the other way around. Lord, help me to truly make time for You in the little choices that add up to big chunks of time.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Psalm 12

Summary: David paints God as a defender of the poor and needy against those who would take advantage of them.

Response: So maybe I'm just more in tune with this raw emotion of David's? Like, I'd much rather pray about justice for the less fortunate than smiting those who I feel deserve it. I know more than some just how blessed I am, so I don't want to discredit that blessing. Lord, continue to grow me in passion for You, not just knowledge.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Psalm 11

Summary: David scoffs at the notion that he should fear from wicked people when he has the backing of God.

Response: Lord, help me to trust in You to get through this week. Help me to do Your will in spite of my busyness.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Psalm 10

Summary: David sees injustice caused by wicked men all around, while God seemingly looks the other way. He pleads with God not to let them go unpunished.

Response: Now this is a primal urge I can get behind. Man injustice is rampant today. The way our ways of life are set up are designed to take advantage of one another. That's not how God designed us to live! Lord, help me be part of that change, part of that justice; help me to take that first small step.

(recommended listening: "The Trapper and the Furrier," Regina Spektor [warning: mild language])

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Psalm 9

Summary: David exclaims God's mercy and provision. Even while others give up and fall, those who are trusting in the Lord don't just survive but thrive.

Response: The Lord is good! I was fairly grossly sick yesterday afternoon and evening, but I'm feeling much better this morning. Yes, I followed steps so it would happen, but I won't miss an opportunity to praise God for healing!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Psalm 8

Summary: David can't help but praise God, who formed the biggest things in our universe but stepped low to come be a part of each of our lives.

Response: Lord, show me Your grandeur, the majesty of Your works that makes me want to praise You. But reminds me more of Your intimacy, that I get to be Yours and that You choose to be mine!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Psalm 7

Summary: David compares God to a judge but also a defending warrior, asking Him to protect him and keep him safe.

Response: So over the weekend, I took my problem to some people I trust in these matters, and the main consensus is that David is showing his most primal emotions to God. After all, God's definitely big enough. I'm not always that way. My brain will have a primal thought and work it over before saying or writing anything about it. After all, my personality is that of a people pleaser, and it's not very pleasing to get yelled at or point out flaws. I know there is some value to what David is doing and, in my private time, I hope to be more fully human in that way.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Psalm 6

Summary: David pleads for mercy with great sorrow, then wishes humiliation on his enemies.

Response: But seriously! I think I'm going to have to read elsewhere, unless I get some word to keep trudging through.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Psalm 5

Summary: David uses legal language to let God hear his case. He knows that wicked people are wicked and that he has been invited into God's presence, and asks that the wicked meet their demise while he and other faithful stay with God.

Response: Did I mention before that I'm not a fan of us vs them in Scripture? Without trying to push too far, this is what brought us so much terrible history in the church, from the Inquisition to needing the civil rights movement. I understand that David is fighting true pagans, the eat-your-children kind, but I'm not; am I supposed to think this about those around me? I guess I'm not a fan of this kind of psalm. Lord, reveal Your truth in spite of what I think I want to hear.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Psalm 4

Summary: The psalmist surrounds a plea for his enemies to repent with confidences that God can and will deliver him.

Response: This might be one of the struggles for me as I trudge through the Psalms--I don't feel like I have enemies. I mean, obviously nobody is trying to pillage my house or anything, but I just don't go out of my way to cause trouble. Nor do I know anyone well enough to rebuke or exhort them that. But the deliverance? If not from anything but my own sloth, yeah, God is a great deliverer.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Psalm 3

Summary: David, on the run from an attempted coup, feels abandoned by the world. Still, he doesn't put his trust there, but in God, who defends and uplifts him.

Response: Yes, I've heard of this one. It takes some effort to keep that feeling fresh and to keep that commitment holding firm. Lord, I want to rest in Your promise; help me to rely on You through thick and thin.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Psalm 2

Summary: The psalmist assumes the role of God's chosen king, beating back attempts from earthly powers to overthrow him. He asks the other kings to listen to advice, insisting that serving God is the only right way.

Response: If taken the wrong way, some of this does seem mean spirited, such as God Himself laughing derisively at the other kings. But as I wrote above, David (it's more than likely David) offers repentance even to the other nations. I need to accept that mercy, I need to change my life because of it, and it starts by offering that mercy to others around me who need it. Not "who deserve it" (I'm sure none of the other kings took David's offer, but I'm sure none deserved it), but "who need it."

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Psalm 1

Summary: (The book of Psalms is a collection of sacred Jewish poetry; the authors are somewhat anonymous, though a great many were written by King David.) The author sees those who follow wicked ways, and how their way leads to failure upon being unable to withstand God's judgement; he contrasts that with an ideal of studying and living out God's Word, which nourishes like roots close to water and bears fruit.

Response: Yup, going to the biggie. The psalmist does talk about eventual fates, but the big thing in my eye is that failing or bearing fruit is the normal action for the two groups. I know I'm not always a failure, but I want to keep rooting myself in God to be nourished by Him, to do His work.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Acts 28

Summary: The islanders help Paul get to Rome after he heals and spreads the Gospel. Once there, he again meets with the Jews and explains the Gospel; and again, some believe and others don't.

Response: First, there's an exchange with the islanders and Paul about a viper that seems ripped from a cartoon or anime. It's worth a look.

But hey, this is it? I mean, Paul appealed to Caesar, which I thought meant he was going to, y'know, talk to the guy. I guess the journey is what's important? I dunno. Not sure where I'm headed next, but getting Acts right after a Gospel really helped put it in perspective.