A Psalm of Praise for Victory
David rejoices over the victory God has granted 21:1-7). David rejoices because God has answered his prayer. He thanked God because he withheld nothing his heart desired. This victory brought great honor and eternal blessings to Israel. David is trusting in the unfailing love of the Most High God and confident that the Lord will not allow him to stumble. Do you experience the victory over sin? Are you rejoicing today over God’s faithfulness? Do you experience his strength in your life? Christians are not immune from troubles (John 16:33). All who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution (2 Tim 3:12). But we are more than conquerors through Christ who loved us (Rom 8: 37). He destroyed the power of Satan. There is nothing the world that can separate us from the love of God which in Christ Jesus (Rom 8:38-39). Do you rejoice in God’s salvation? The secret of joy is our identification with Christ.
David anticipated in God’s lasting blessings (21:8-13). David expresses his heartfelt gratitude joy in God’s salvation. He found his satisfaction in the Lord. David is confident that his enemies will be defeated. Many Christians live in fear. God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power and of love and of sound mind (2 Tim 1:7). God cannot use fearful people. God has given us his precious promises to live a victorious and usefulness life. We don’t fight against flesh and blood. We should let God’s anger to work against the enemies and not ours. There is a sinful anger and a righteous anger. Paul says “Be angry, and do not sin (Eph 4:26). David was assured of future victory and blessing (21:11-12). The psalmist exhorts the people to praise God who alone is worthy of worship. His name is the exalted name. You may be facing many trials today. Take your hands off them and give to God. He will take care of you (Ps 55:22).
The Crucifixion Psalm
This psalm is a prayer for deliverance (22:1-19). David reflects his personal experience when he was going through severe trails. Some scholars suggest that this psalm may also reflect the experiences of the nation of Israel. But the fulfillment of this psalm in the life of Christ clearly shows that this psalm is messianic in nature. David prophetically wrote a description of Christ’s crucifixion in this psalm. My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Jesus spoke these words from the cross (Matt 27:46). This is fervent prayer of one who was forsaken by God (22:1-19). Christ was forsaken that we might not be forsaken by God. David says “Our ancestors trusted in you, and you rescued them”. He is confident that God will not abandon him forever. David felt like worthless. He was despised by many but not forsaken. Jesus went through similar experiences (Matt 27:39-42). Jesus cried for help but found none. He was abandoned by all. When people put Jesus on the cross, they acted like animals. That is what happens when we put God out of our lives. Jesus was willing to be forsaken in our place. He humbled even to the point of death on the cross to save us. He will never leave us nor forsake us (Heb 13:5; M at 28:20). There is no love like the love of dying Savior. What a merciful Savior!
David prayed for deliverance from death (22:20-31). David cried “Save me from the sword; spare my precious life from these dogs. Be not far from me”. The psalmist goes from prayer to praise. “I will declare your name to my brethren; in the midst of the congregation I will praise you”. He praised God for his deliverance. The benefit of salvation is that we can praise God in the land of living and declare God’s name to others. Those who are meek will be satisfied. Christ died to save us. He promised us forgiveness and eternal life (John 5:24). All the ends of the world will acknowledge the Lord and turn to him one day. Meanwhile the gospel is being preached though out the world. Many souls are being saved from eternal hell. In the closing verses the psalmist exhorts all people to worship the Lord. God always has a remnant to declare his righteousness and praise. From generation to generation people will hear what God has done for them. The message of gospel never gets old. Do you share the gospel with others?
The Shepherd Psalm
David reinforces his confidence in the covenant making God (23:1-3). This is the most known psalm in the Bible. It was most probably written at the end of David’s life. He shares his feelings about God from his personal experiences. He uses the figure of a shepherd to reflect on God’s care for his children. God is the source of all blessings in our lives. “The Lord is a wonderful shepherd and he is more than adequate for me” (23:1-3). This is a psalm of serenity, calm and confidence in God. There is no prayer in this psalm. This is also a psalm about Jesus Christ. Jesus identified himself as the good Shepherd (John 10:14). He is called the Great Shepherd and the Chief Shepherd in the Bible (Heb 13: 20; 1 Pet 5:4). David enjoyed his spiritual nourishment from God. The food for our soul is the Word of God. Only Jesus can satisfy our spiritual hunger. Sheep will not lie down when they are hungry nor drink from running water. Jesus is the source of nourishment, rest and tranquility. Secondly sheep are restored by shepherd. The Lord restores us from our lost sinful condition. We are in need of renewal and restoration because we live in a fallen world. God uses his Word and circumstances to restore us. He provides forgiveness and peace for those who follow him. The good shepherd leads us in the path of righteousness for his name sake. He gave us his Word to guide us in this dark world (2 Tim 3:16-17). When we follow him our future is safe and secured. Our good shepherd goes before us and must follow his steps. Christ sets the good example to follow him. Psalm 22 gives the picture of the suffering Savior and psalm 23 is about saving Shepherd. In psalm 24, we see the sovereign Savior.
The good shepherd protects the sheep (23:4-6). “Even though we walk through the darkest valley of death, we need not to fear because the Lord is close beside us”. David was comforted by God’s presence in his life. Sometimes God may allow us to go through the valleys of danger and grief but our Lord is with us (Heb 13:5). Sufferings and difficulties often draw us closer to the Lord. His rod and staff comfort us. The rod and staff are the shepherd’s equipment to protect and comfort the sheep. He not only leads up but also prepares a path before us (John 10:3). Our good shepherd is our provider. He blesses us abundantly (2 Cor 9:8). The good shepherd honors us by anointing us with oil and our cup overflows with blessings. Despite danger the Lord lavishes us with his blessing (Eph 3:18). He gives more than what we needed.
Surely goodness and unfailing love of good shepherd will pursue all the days of our life (23:6). No matter what our circumstances may be, our good shepherd makes sure of our welfare and promises his presence with us always. He supplies mercy for our failures and goodness to equip us for his serve. David concludes his psalm with confidence in the Good Shepherd. He says “I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever”. That was David’s heartfelt passion and desire. He longed for communion with the Lord forever (Ps 27:4). Do you long for communion with Christ? Do you have the blessed hope to be with the Lord when you die?
The Ascension Psalm
David praises God for all his blessings (24:1-6). Many scholars think that this psalm was written when the Ark of the Covenant was brought to Jerusalem by David (2 Sam 6). God is the creator of all things and he is also the sovereign Lord. “The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it. The world and all its fullness belong to him”. We are only care takers of what God has given us. He owns all things. David asked the question “Who would ascend the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? The answer is given in verse 4. “He, who has clean hands and pure hearts, walks uprightly and does not worship idols. Cleans hands refers to right action and pure heart speaks of right attitude. Idol worship and true worship will never go together. Only true worshipers can enter the holy presence of God.
David exhorted Israel to sing joyfully to God (24:7-10). The psalmist exhorts people to lift up their heads because the King of glory is about to come in. The triumphal entry of Jesus is about to take place. He is the King of kings and the Lord of lords. He is sovereign Lord who reigns in righteousness. He is strong and mighty. Christ’s return is our blessed hope. When you are threatened, remember that the earth and its fullness is our Lord’s and he is in control. Meanwhile we have the responsibility to be the good stewards of things God has given us. Also we should live in anticipation of Christ’s return in humble attitude toward God. It is the greatest truth that our creator God loves us. This love was proven when God sent his only Son to die on the cross to save us from sin. Salvation comes to each person when they embrace Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Do you believe that Jesus is the Son of the living God? Those who receive Christ by faith will be saved.
Prayer for Forgiveness and Guidance
David sought God for forgiveness (25:1-7). This psalm is a meditation on the character of God. David trusted in the all sufficient God for his deliverance. He trusts God for his guidance in life (25:1-7). He is confident that those who trust in God will ever be disgraced. David prayed for God to show him the right path to walk. He wanted the Lord to lead him in his truth. This also echoes the prayer of Moses (Ex 33:13). David remembers the Lord’s unfailing love and the compassion which he had shown to his ancestors. Also he prayed that the sins of his youth should not be held against him. David did not want that anything in his life should rob God’s glory. We are exhorted to do all things for the glory of God (1 Cor 10:31). Do you desire to bring glory to God by depending on God’s grace and doing his will?
In verses 8-22, psalmist meditates upon the attributes of God. The psalmist says “The Lord is good and he does what is right”. Because God is good, he will not abandon sinners. He sent his Son to seek and save that which was lost (Luke 19:10). God shows his unfailing love and faithfulness to his people. They should keep his covenant and obey his commands. David is confident that the Lord will forgive his many sins. The Lord’s name reveals his character. For those who honor and fear the Lord, he will show them the path they should take. He instructs them by His Word. David concludes the psalm with a prayer for his gracious deliverance from his enemies. God reveals his secrets to those who fear him and bless them with his presence. David admits his sins before God and pleads for mercy. He cried for God’s help in his deep distress and pain. David affirms that God alone can forgive his sins. In this psalm we see David’s prayer for deliverance, guidance and the forgiveness for sin. He is confident that the Lord will redeem Israel from all their trouble. Jesus promised to lead his sheep. Do you know this Good Shepherd? The Good Shepherd gives his life for the sheep. Christ died to save sinners.