BDBD is Psalm 22:9-11

Jesus was betrayed by a close follower and turned over to the religious leaders. (Matthew 10:4, 26:14, 16, 47-49; Mark 14:43-45; Luke 22:48) When arrested the rest of his followers deserted him and fled. (Matthew 26:56; Mark 14:50) Simon, whom Jesus called Peter (meaning the rock) denied him three times. Peter walked away from Jesus during the trials. Jesus was alone. (Luke 22:54-62) All those who knew him, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching Jesus’ crucifixion and the manner of his death. (Luke 23:49)

Verses 9 through 11 reveal Jesus’ lonely heart prayer, “Do not be far from me, for trouble is near and there is no one to help.” Everyone comes to a time when they feel alone. Though people are around them they find that none are friends. Most are foes wishing them harm or at best unmoved by their suffering. I have experienced times like these. “It is not good for man to be alone.” (Genesis 2:18)

Jesus trusted in God since he was in his mother’s womb. Yet, he came to the worst life circumstances he found that he was alone. Loneliness can come to those who know and trust in God. I can truly confess that though I knew God was with me, it seemed like little consequence when I was alone. I talked, but no one responded. I prayed with an anguished heart. He heard me. Though alone, this time will pass if I allow it to. If I seek, I can find. Not far away is a congregation of Bible-believing Spirit-filled followers of Jesus. Not everyone in the church will become a friend. Yet, I can find a small group in the church to become friends with. (Acts 2:46, 5:12, 18:26) If you attend a church and see someone standing alone every week, walk up to them and be friendly. Loneliness need not be a problem in a congregation.

BDBD is Psalm 22:6-8

Jesus was humiliated, scorned, insulted, ridiculed, and despised as he hung on the cross. No wonder for the torture alone spawned hideous revulsion. A later regretted glimpse of the guilty crucified would turn the stomach and head. The prophecy in these three verses was fulfilled during the passion of Christ.

Worms, maggots, and grubs with the appearance of shreds of skin are crushed under the feet, never noticed, not cared about, and when spotted repulsed due to their hideous appearance. When flogged by a short whip made of leather strips with glass and steel bards, Jesus’ skin was torn open. The splintered beam or entire cross he was forced to carry on his body kept the wounds open allowing trickles of blood to seep. As Jesus hung on the cross his body looked like red most worms. When spotting the condemned one was repulsed due to his hideous appearance.

“All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads: ‘He trusts in the LORD; let the LORD rescue him. Let him deliver him, since he delights in him,'” is recited with examples in Matthew 27:39-44, “Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads, and saying, “You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!’ In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him. ‘He saved others,’ they said, ‘but he can’t save himself! He’s the King of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, ‘I am the Son of God.” In the same way the robbers who were crucified with him also heaped insults on him.”

Remembering what Jesus had to endure enables me to see how repulsive my sin is; what it did to me and what it did to Jesus.

BDBD is Psalm 22:3-5

When anguish, pain, suffering, sorrow, depression, loneliness, betrayal, and bankruptcy become constant demanding partners the godly press their anguish knees in the soil at the base of Jesus’ empty cross as their tears water splintered prayers. My fathers of faith trusted in Jesus; fathers such as David, the author of Psalm 22. They cried to you and were saved. Yet, knowing the past while under the cross during another morning of bent knees is not a comfort. The anguish remains though splinters fall.

Knowing the Holy One is enthroned in majesty after being taken from the cross and walking out of his tomb should be peace, but knowledge does not save a weeping soul. “Why, Oh Lord do you look away? Why does my trouble remain as a knot in a plank?” You are enthroned; being praised for rising above. Your praise enthrones you. Please see me.”

The apostles, also fathers of the faith saw the Holy One’s agony. They know more anguish than I and yet wrote, “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.”

And, “In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons: “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.” Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons.” (Hebrews 12:4-8)

BDBD is Psalm 22:1-2

The psalm that follows this one (Psalm 23) is known by more modern-day parishioners than this one. However, this one is alluded to and quoted by the apostles more than all the other psalms. (Matthew 27:35, 39, 43, 46; Mark 15:34; John 19:23-24, 28, 34; Romans 10:19, 11:13-14; Hebrews 2:12)

Jesus voiced verse 1a in the then common Palestine language, Aramaic (but with some Hebrew characteristics) while suffering on the cross. “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Jesus reveals how deeply he felt abandoned by God as he bore the sins of the world – my sins – in his body. (Matthew 27:46) David’s anguished prayer psalm is from a godly isolated sufferer immolated by ruthless, unrelenting, and hateful enemies whom he did not provoke.

Jesus verbally portrayed that he is prophecy fulfilled to those willing to hear and consider. The questions are not because Jesus didn’t know the answer. The questions are for the hearer to consider why the sinless Lamb without blemish, the Son of God, the Anointed One, the one whom the Most High God said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased,” (Matthew 3:17, 17:5; Luke 3:22; 2 Peter 1:17) has not only abandoned Jesus to vile evil men but taken light from him for three hours as he placed dark sin into him.

The blatant truthful answer to these “whys” Jesus reveals is, “I place myself here to bear your sin in my body for this is the only way to remove it from you, cleaning your soul and spirit like a lavender soap cleans your flesh.” Since Jesus died the extreme for me, shouldn’t I live his extreme for me?

BDBD is Psalm 21:8-12

God’s people have their say in this reciprocated repertoire psalm (8-12). Their voices are clearly a prophecy of the second coming of the Messiah. Therefore, the first half of the psalm is about Jesus’ ascension after his death and resurrection.

The first enemy Jesus defeated was sin while on the cross. The second enemy to be defeated was death with his resurrection. Since I died with him I will also live with him. (Romans 1) “When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: ‘Death has been swallowed up in victory.’ ‘Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?'” (1 Corinthians 15:54-55) When he comes again his third victory will be against those who plotted against him. (11)

At the time of Jesus’ appearance, he will make his enemies like a fiery furnace. In his wrath, the LORD Jesus will swallow them up, and his fire will consume them. He will make them turn their backs when he aims at them with a drawn bow. Though attacked today, I know my king will prevail. Like God’s people’s recital in this psalm, I will rejoice at this coming. Instead of turning away, I will run toward him. The victory is his. The victory is mine. The victory is God’s.

BDBD is Psalm 21:7

Trust is the firm reliance on a person’s integrity, ability, or character. It is also something committed into the care of another. (American Heritage Dictionary) Trust is linked with hope. Apostle Paul said to the fearful Roman congregation, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13) When I trust someone, I hope they will keep their integrity, ability, and word; especially when I trust them with my life and well-being.

The repertoire psalm continues with a prophet or Levitical priest proclaiming the king’s trust in the LORD. Through the unfailing love of the Most High, the king will not be shaken even in life-threatening battles. David trusted in the LORD. Therefore, he could face Goliath though he was a giant military man and David was only a young lad. King David always boldly went into battle in confidence because he trusted the love of God.

I once was betrayed by someone I trusted and loved. I trusted her with my life and finances. When I later discovered that I had been deceived by a selfish and fearful person my soul was shaken. Trusting in another human again requires faith in God’s love for me. Jesus taught, “Put your trust in the light while you have it, so that you may become sons of light.” (John 12:36) And to the troubled and concerned disciples, he encouraged with, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.” (John 14:1) I can have hope for my future when I believe in the love of God.

BDBD is Psalm 21:2-6

King David had been given much. He went into battle leading Israel as was his direction from the Lord his God. He obeyed and the Lord granted him the desire of his heart and had not withheld the request of his lips. What did David desire? Verse 4 reveals that he desired what all soldiers pray as they go to and are in battle. He asked for life, length of days, forever and ever.

When the Lord granted his request David did not forget who made it all possible. He thanked God with a praise offering. David’s confidence in the Lord was sure. He knew the Lord gave him victory, glory, and eternal blessings. (5)

I need to examine my heart. When the Lord answers my prayer am I thankful with a praise offering? Do I celebrate the Lord when I am at a worship service? Or do I just stand and listen to the music? Do I get emotionally moved when I sing? Am I a statue at worship time? Am I concerned about what others would think if I sang joyfully and clapped my hands? Does all of me celebrate including my soul and body? Heartfelt worship is the only kind the Lord desires for he said, “Love me with all your heart, soul, body, and strength.” (Deuteronomy 6:5; Mark 12:30; Luke 10:27)

Psalm 21:1 & 13

The psalm’s theme is revealed in the first and last verses, with the center, verse 7 being the pivot that makes this psalm spin. As with the psalm before, this one also is a repertoire to be reciprocated between the king and God’s people, except it is after the king engaged in a successful enterprise for God’s people, especially after a victorious battle.

The king – starting with David, the author of the psalm – expresses utter joy in the strength of the Lord God at the beginning and the end of this psalm. He is more than happy. He is exhilarated delight at the strength of this God, Jesus the Messiah. The jubilant celebration is full of lively songs and praise. There is a party in the house of the King of the king. Laughter and love flow through the streets. God be exalted! Oh, happy day! He has won. The war is over!

I woke up early, as usual, this Monday morning – before work. before I began considering God’s words, and before I wrote BDBD – I repeated a recurring thought, “Are my blog, podcasts, and website having any positive impact on people’s lives? Does all the effort and hard work to get the good news out encouraging and advancing people toward the heart of God?”

At first, when I read the psalm, I condescendingly thought, “Good for David and Israel. David received his heart’s desire. What have I got for my endeavors?” After reading and after beginning to write the Lord turned my depressed thoughts to joy. The Spirit filled me. My God is alive in me. What have I got for my endeavors? The celebrating joy performing in my heart.

BDBD is Psalm 20:6-9

The congregational repertoire continues with a devout man of God such as a prophet or Levitical priest singing, “Now I know that the LORD saves his anointed; he answers him from his holy heaven with the saving power of his right hand.”

When I am about to place myself in an engagement that if I lose, would cost others and myself, I should know that God is with me. Jesus promised, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)

Those who will be engaging in the battle connect their heart to their vocal cords, “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.” David said similar to Goliath, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the LORD will hand you over to me, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. Today I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel… All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the LORD’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.” (1 Samuel 17:45-46, 47) All battle outcomes are the Lord’s and he enables those whom he desires to win. I can trust in the name of the LORD my God.

The repertoire concludes with a prayer, “O LORD, save the king! May the King of our king answer us when we call!”

BDBD is Psalm 20:1-5

David composed this psalm. Most commentaries agree that the intent was for this repertoire to be reciprocated between the king and God’s people before the king engaged in a challenging enterprise for God’s people, especially before a battle. The intent is the same as when a congregation prays for its elders and pastor, when a nation prays for its leaders, and especially when a family prays together.

Any venture involving a group of united people will be taxing and can cause distress, especially to its leaders. Collectively asking for the LORD’s help before the project begins is wise for he will be a sanctuary when the tough gets going. The Lord God will grant support when believers ask him as a group. Jesus taught, “Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.” (Matthew 18:19-20)

Before David and any believing king began a great work they also offered sacrifices (3). The sacrifices were part of the petition. When David acquired the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite he said, “No, I insist on paying you for it. I will not sacrifice to the LORD my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.” (2 Samuel 24:24) The threshing floor is where the temple would be built, the later desire of David. The Lord enabled David’s plan to succeed through his son Solomon.

The people responded, “We will shout for joy when you are victorious and will lift up our banners in the name of our God. May the LORD grant all your requests.”

BDBD is Psalm 19:14

The last verse states two actions of a believer in Jesus, indicating that the entire psalm resulted in their enacting. The first is meditation of the heart. The second action is speaking or singing what he had meditated. Of course, David or someone else wrote down his meditations.

Meditations are contemplations of the mind and heart on a particular subject that do not quickly pass through the mind. They are thinking over at length the mysteries of life. When I first heard of meditations I considered them as something far east religions did while humming and Christian monks did while chanting. The Hebrew word for meditation here means “solemn murmuring sound” coming from a person and/or a musical instrument. The sound can help the mind concentrate. It could even be songbirds, wind, distant thunder, waves, rivers, and waterfalls.

Meditating doesn’t have to be about spiritual things such as God, Satan, salvation, damnation, heaven, hell, angels, and demons. They can be about practical matters like whether or not to go to college, marry someone, have children, buy a house, take a job, and move to another state or country. However, for a believer in Jesus meditation is often about spiritual matters even when it includes secular subjects.

This psalm reveals that David first deeply considered the silent words of the heavens. That made his mind shift to the written word of God, the law of the LORD. He contemplated and discovered that living by them had accomplished so much. He considered how the ordinances of the LORD kept him from doing things harmful and destructive. He had great admiration for how speaking to him through the written word had freed him from being ruled by his sinful nature.

Meditation is good. Meditating is allowing the Spirit of God to help me seek and understand myself, my life, my environment, and other people in light of all that God is doing in and through me, and in and through them. May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock, and my Redeemer.

BDBD is Psalm 19:10-13

The Pentateuch (first five books of the Bible) is equated to the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:1-7:29) and the Sermon on the Plain (Luke 6:17-49). They are wise instructions and encouragement to followers of the Lord Jesus. Those like me who are rescued from poor life choices and being controlled by sinful impulses know that living by these ordinances of the LORD is more precious than much pure gold. Though at first living by these takes effort and repeated application which can be heart-wrenching the commands of the LORD are sweeter than honey.

The sweetness is because through them I am warned. Before I was blindly walking toward a cliff, about ready to drop into the depths. However, the word of God called out to me to stop. Then God took the blinds off by calling to me his precepts. They turned out to be a great reward. They showed me a path where instead of falling into the pit, I was given instructions on how not to fall into the pit and how to find good things.

The blinders of a sinful nature kept me from discerning my errors. I thank God for removing the blinders. I was blind, but now I see the truth. Through the Word of God, I know wisdom living. I asked God for forgiveness and he heard me. I asked and he kept me from willful sins. My sinful nature no longer rules over me. I am a new person. I am now alive.

I pray as David, “Keep your servant blameless, innocent of great transgression.” Remind me of your laws so that I may know you.

BDBD is Psalm 19:7-9

Five Hebrew words describe the Pentateuch – also known as the Decalogue, the five books of Moses, and the laws of the covenant with Israel. The Hebrew words are translated: the law (instruction), statutes, precepts (testimony), commands, and ordinances (judgments) of the LORD. At the time of the creation of this psalm, the only other Biblical books that existed for David and all of Israel were Joshua and Judges. The two books accredited to Samuel were not complete because they concern the Lord’s dealing with his people through Samuel, Saul, and David.

The Pentateuch is described as perfect, trustworthy (steadfast), right, radiant (pure), sure (true, reliable), and altogether righteous. When tempted Jesus quoted Deuteronomy 8:3, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'” (Matthew 4:4) In parables he described it as a seed that a farmer planted in our soul, some of it growing and producing grain. (Luke 8:11)

This psalm also states the effects the word of God has on a person. It can revive the soul, make wise the simple, give joy to the heart, and give light to the eyes. The writer of Hebrews states, “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” (Hebrews 4:12-13)

Therefore, a person who does not read and study the word of God so that it penetrates every part of their beings is a fool. Likewise, anyone who presents the word of God for self-profit should be concerned. Paul and the other prophets did not preach the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ, they spoke before God with sincerity, like men sent from God. (2 Corinthians 2:17)

BDBD is Psalm 19:4b-6

The sun rises above the horizon into the visible sky in the morning and sets below the opposite horizon in the evening often in brilliant displays of kaleidoscope colors. Paired with its absence as its emitted light shines on and rays heat up the opposite side of the earth, the day is established marking the human mind with the traverse of time.

Whether standing in a valley low or sitting on a mountain high I view the sun as it brightens the sky, a lamp hung on a tent pole. The sun traverses the heavens and the earth orbits the sun. God established it all. The ancients worshiped the sun and distant stars that shine in the night sky. (Deuteronomy 4:19, 17:3; 2 Kings 23:5, 11; Jeremiah 8:2; Ezekiel 8:16) I worship the Lord God who created the sun and its distant bright spheres with the command, “Let there be…” (Genesis 1).

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made… The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:1-3, 14)

“Jesus Christ is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” (Colossians 1:15-17)

“You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.” (Revelation 4:11)

BDBD is Psalm 19:1-4a

A clear night silent gaze beholds bright lights twinkling little diamonds in the sky. Questions befall. “Why,” I wonder, “do you shine so divine above my sigh and awe.” You speak non-audibly to my spirit and soul. What message do I behold? “Where it to my future,” a fool quires. “No,” the wise answer, “The Father has that in haul.” (Isaiah 47:13; Jeremiah 10:2; Daniel 4:7) “Where it to the teller of time,” “No I answer, “Not at all.” Then what do the tapestry of light declare for my spirit hears their call?

“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.”

The Father of your soul has heard the cries of all due to the fall. A plan he has made that can rescue a soul darkened by the fall. His name is Jesus, the bright morning star. He is here to save some from the fall. His divine nature within will instill you to illume again. Heart open up and let his light come in.

BDBD is Psalm 18:47-50

David, named in the last verse concludes his doxology by summing up what he has been proclaiming. David is God’s king. David is God’s anointed. David knows he is the Lord’s chosen and anointed king. David recalls God’s promise while a lad. (1 Samuel 16:13) He experienced God’s grace in making it happen.

The whole song is to be understood in the context of David’s official capacity and the Lord’s covenant with him fulfilled. What David claims in this grand conclusion and in the whole psalm has been and is being fulfilled in Jesus Christ, David’s great descendant.

Jesus’ resurrected avenges the wrongful torture, crucifixion, and death. Jesus ascended to heaven and was crowned with glory. Jesus sits at the right hand of the Most High God. Jesus rules all creation. Jesus will come again in glory to claim what is his. He will drive out and punish his enemies. He will give rewards to his faithful and loving subjects.

While on trial “…the high priest asked him, ‘Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?'” (Mark 14:61) “‘I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.’ ‘Yes, it is as you say,’ Jesus replied. ‘But I say to all of you: In the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.’ Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, ‘He has spoken blasphemy! Why do we need any more witnesses? Look, now you have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?’ ‘He is worthy of death,’ they answered. Then they spit in his face and struck him with their fists. Others slapped him and said, ‘Prophesy to us, Christ. Who hit you?'” (Matthew 26:63-68)

They killed Jesus and Jesus arose from the grave.

BDBD is Psalm 18:46

The psalm’s crescendo has reached its climax. The choir reaches its highest chords and exhibits the mastery of a virtuoso. The musicians’ souls pour into their instruments. The limbs of the audience tingle and their torsals swell. Joyous tears moisten checks. Arms reach to the heavens in exultation, “The LORD lives! Praise be to my Rock! Exalted be God my Savior!”

Ancient Hebrew scribes pressed hard on their iron pens to thicken the ink on the scroll to reveal strong emotion. The exclamation points do the same in English. David expresses the three main cases of the psalm.

The Lord is alive and interactive in human society and people. David believed and experienced what only God could have done by what was miraculously accomplished.

The Lord is a rock that deserves praise. He is a sure foundation. He kept David from sinking into his grave. He kept him alive and exalted him.

Though many people sought to kill David, they failed to succeed. God is the Savior who is exalted above any human or spiritual being. God saves from the grave. God saves his people from evil people. God places them on a throne. God humbles his people’s enemies.

God is alive. God is the only Savior. Praise be the Lord God.

BDBD is Psalm 18:43-45

David endured so many threats from his own people in the days of Saul’s reign. Now he was crowned king of Israel. He reigns over other nations. People he never had acquaintances bow down to him. His commands are obeyed with trembling. David is the unquestioned premier monarch.

This psalm is a prophecy psalm relating to the Messiah. The pattern laid down in the first half relates to Jesus’ first coming. The pattern of the second half relates to his second coming. Just as David experienced so Jesus the Messiah has and will experience. The Apostle John saw and wrote of the future, “The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.” He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.” (Revelation 19:14-16)

BDBD is Psalm 18:37-42

David prayed and trusted in God. He waited for God for many years to rescue him from a life he did not want to live. God did not send an army of immortal spiritual beings we call angels to strike down all his enemies so David could be king of Israel. Instead, God enabled him to pursue his enemies and overtake them.

After King Saul committed suicide in a battle with the Philistines, David’s house and the house of Saul fought for many years. (2 Samuel 3:1) David did not just sit idle as he waited for God’s promise to become a reality.

First, there was something that David had to refrain from doing. He must not kill God’s anointed King Saul. This would have been a sin. The continual decision to hide from Saul was not easy. It meant he had to live the life of a fugitive and in exile. Yet he knew he should not sin by killing King Saul.

Second, there was something David had to do. His house had to fight the battles with Saul’s house after Saul and his son died. The civil war lasted for many years. David understood and acknowledged that the victories were possible only because of the Lord God. David pursued and crushed the enemy. God armed him and made his enemies turn back. The enemy cried for help, but the Lord did not answer their pleas. David beat them.

When I pray to God for help and deliverance I know there are things to do and not do on my part. First, I have faith always no matter how hard life gets. Second, I have to refrain from sin even though it means life circumstances can be hard. Third, I need to engage in the work God has for me.

The apostle James wrote, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.” (James 1:2-8)

BDBD is Psalm 18:30-36

David publically acknowledged in this Psalm the depths of his soul’s firm belief that the Lord God’s blessing had made freedom from his enemy’s oppression a reality. This Psalm was written sometime between Saul’s suicide (1 Samuel 30-31; 1 Chronicles 10) and when David’s kingship over all of Israel was finally fully established (2 Samuel 5; 1 Chronicles 14). 2 Samuel 5:12 and 1 Chronicles 14:2 declare the truth, “David knew that the LORD had established him as king over Israel and had exalted his kingdom for the sake of his people Israel.”

Remembering and believing the Lord God’s promise for many years against all known possibilities, and then seeing it fulfilled by faith through grace David proclaims, “As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him.” When the promise became a reality God reminded him through the prophet Nathan, “This is what the LORD Almighty says: I took you from the pasture and from following the flock to be ruler over my people Israel. I have been with you wherever you have gone, and I have cut off all your enemies from before you. Now I will make your name great, like the names of the greatest men of the earth.” (2 Samuel 7:8-9)

David’s rhetorical question, “For who is God besides the LORD? And who is the Rock except our God?” establishes the believer’s hope for the future, whose present life events have proven bleak and barren; meaningless and forgotten. God strengthens me so that I can continue. God makes my way and that way is perfect though currently not pleasant. His eventual victory makes a joyous dance in the elegance of a deer’s vaulted springs begin. It enables a stable stance on a rocky mount height in the assurance of a ram’s confidence.

All the life engagements’ victories are made possible by the Lord God. He trains me for battle. He protects with his shield. He stoops down to make me great. He broadens the path and keeps the ankle from turning. Everything that leads to the sure jubilance is all because of God. I should never forget and always proclaim this truth.

BDBD is Psalm 18:25-29

God reveals his character to all; yet to each, he reveals himself in his own way. Those who are faithful to the Lord God and his ways, the Lord God is faithful to them. He does not leave them. Jesus promised, “All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away.” (John 6:37)

To those who are blameless in dealing with others, the Lord God is blameless, that is upright. Jesus promised, “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” (Matthew 5:7)

When a person is pure of heart, the Lord God reveals his pure self. Jesus taught, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” (Matthew 5:8) Being in the Lord God’s presence and His purity within the pure heart is an unforgettable experience.

God is shrewd when dealing with devious, crooked, stubbornly contrary, and disobedient people. Jesus declared, “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done.” (Matthew 16:25-27)

David learned this when the Lord God removed his enemies before him. He sang, “You, O LORD, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light. With your help I can advance against a troop; with my God I can scale a wall.”

BDBD is Psalm 18:20-24

While David was on the run from Saul and his army David made sure to inquire of the Lord (1 Samuel 22:1-6) and follow the Lord’s ways (21). David did not harm Saul even when he could have killed him twice. (1 Samuel 24 & 26) The temptation was great for his men said, “This is the day the LORD spoke of when he said to you, ‘I will give your enemy into your hands for you to deal with as you wish.'” But David kept the laws of God. He spared Saul’s life.

While hiding in barren places, David and those who followed him were often in need of food and shelter. Even then David was blameless before the Lord. He kept from sin. He stopped from killing Nabal who disrespected David. Instead of robbing Nabal, David protected him and his flock. Nabal repaid this with disgrace and humiliation. He did not pay David for this kindness. Even then David kept the laws of God. He did not shed blood to avenge himself. (1 Samuel 25)

God tests the heart of all. (Deuteronomy 8:2; 1 Chronicles 29:17; 2 Chronicles 32:31; Jeremiah 11:20) He refines the soul. (Jeremiah 9:1; Zechariah 13:9) Just as gold, silver, and iron are refined by fire, so God allows trouble, temptation, and distress to occur in my life so that I may be a better person and improve my character. Just as many reheats purify metals even more. So I find that the same hard life circumstances are repeated in my life.

Jesus also repeated verbal and life event teachings with his disciples. I should not be surprised that I am in a fire purification yet again. Speaking of Jesus’ first coming the prophet Malachi wrote, “But who can endure the day of his coming? Who can stand when he appears? For he will be like a refiner’s fire or a launderer’s soap. He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; he will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver. Then the LORD will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness.” (Malachi 3:2-3)

Why again? This is why. When I keep his way while being heated eventually “The LORD will reward me according to my righteousness, according to the cleanness of my hands in his sight.” (24)

BDBD is Psalm 18:16-19

The Lord God had anointed David to be the next king of Israel when he was but an unrecognized lad. (1 Samuel 16:13) The fulfillment of the promise began looking possible when he was moved from being the family shepherd boy to the court musician and armor-bearer in the household of King Saul. (1 Samuel 16:21-23)

When the Spirit enabled David to kill the giant Goliath the promise of being the next king seemed possible until Saul became jealous of David’s growing popularity. Saul tried to kill David many times. (1 Samuel 18:8-11; 19:11, 18) David fled and was pursued for many years. He lived in lonely deserts and slept in caves. Through all the cold nights and hot days, David never lost his faith in the Lord God who promised that he would become king.

These verses relive David’s alienated life. They tell of the Lord’s eventual rescue from King Saul’s hate. He reached down from on high and took hold of David. He drew him out of deep waters. The Lord God rescued him from his powerful enemy, a foe who was too strong for him. Even after Saul’s death, Saul’s supporters fought with the forces of David for many years. They confronted him in the day of his disaster. Through all his troubles the Lord God was David’s support.

The Lord God has made several promises to me many years ago. Like David, I have been pursued by people who hate me. The enemy Satan has many who blindly follow his evil ways. I am inspired by men like David to have faith in God for many years though the promise seems far off. The Lord God is my support. I have not lost faith like many. Jesus will bring me to a spacious place where I am free to roam unconfined by the threats and dangers that had hem me in. Do not lose faith. Jesus’ promise is true.

BDBD is Psalm 18:7-15

The oppressed have a day of gladness and celebration to look forward to. Those ridiculed and harassed because of their steadfast faith in God can rest assured that their fear and tears are answered. Those excluded and reviled by the powerful wicked can be assured that their hope in Jesus is not misplaced. The start of this day of delight and rejoicing is described in these verses. The day is the coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus, the Anointed One.

The coming of the Lord to his servant’s rescue is a fearful theophany. The divine manifestation of the heavenly Warrior is descending in a wrathful attack upon the enemies of God’s people. Ancient Egypt and Pharoh’s army experienced the power and might of God, but not to this excellence. The earth will tremble and quake. The strong foundations of the mountains shake. God is coming.

God’s fierce majesty is like a dragon or mighty leviathan (Job 41:19-21) – smoke from his nostrils, fire from his mouth, burning coals blaze past his teeth. He opens the gates of heaven and descends to the earth on his quest to free the oppressed. He commands the darkness. Thunder and lighting his crown. Clothed in brilliant illumination. Glory his clothes.

The Lord’s Word is his weapon. His voice thunders. The Most High chords are a thousand trumpets. There is nowhere to hide, even the valleys of the sea are exposed and the foundations of the earth are laid bare at his rebuke. No place is safe for the wicked. The faithful rejoice as arrows scatter enemies. Energy as lightning separates sheep and goats. No place safe for the wicked. The vile are no more on the earth. Their power is gone. Their names are forgotten.

BDBD is Psalm 18:4-6

Mortal danger is poetically personified. Deep sorrow is like cords entangling and pulling one down to death. Mellencolly emotions weigh one down immobilizing the soul till death becomes one’s closest attendant, waiting for me to willing follow to the end. Some live in a state of numbness. Invisible cords keep one from moving.

Some turn to alcohol, others to drugs. Solitude, dark rooms, and sleep push away visitors who help for a short while and then leave. Even long-term friends and family stay away. Loneliness is all that is wanted.

In distress, there is one who can help. The Almighty Love and Strength will deliver is asked. From his temple, he will hear a desperate voice. The despondent voice is heard by Jesus. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest,” he promises. “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

Come now, let us reason together,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” (Isaiah 1:18)

BDBD is Psalm 18:3

David states the reason for praising his Lord. His acclimation is because the LORD, whom he prayed to is worthy of praise. All should have a reason to praise the LORD. This reason is best and always true; Jesus is worthy. If for no other reason, I can and will praise the Lord Jesus who is worthy of praise and honor.

The physical world is not all that exists. Realms and entities exist that transcend the physical universe. Extensions of creation exist that are beyond current human comprehension. Even known creations such as time, light, and consciousness have yet to be defined and understood properly by mankind. (John 1:1-4, 14) Even the universal constants discovered and used in mathematics, physics, and science (i.e. speed of light, tau, gravitational constant, Planck constant, etc.) were created by the One True God, Jesus. Thus, he is worthy of praise.

The known physical world in all its vast array is full of wonder and awe. Jesus created them all – fluorescent sunsets, kaleidoscope mornings, flickering fires, infant eyes, gentle touches, spice aroma, fruit’s tang, romantic orchestral, I love you whispers, joy, hope, and love. He is indeed worthy of all praise. Do I need any more reasons? No. But I have them just as well.

BDBD is Psalm 18:1-2

Who is worthy of praise? If anyone is worthy of praise because of strength, glory, prowess, wisdom, ferocity, love, compassion, and truth, then the Lord Jesus is worthy by an eternity more. When to praise the one who deserves loving exultation? David, the servant of the Lord sang praises to Jesus when he delivered David from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul. More than deliverance the time to sing songs of praise is when oppressed, overpowered, and a soul depressed. David did and was delivered and relieved.

David experienced the Lord Jesus’ rock strength. Though one pounds their fists on a rock mountain it will not move, falter, or give way. David experienced the Lord Jesus’ fortress protection. Though assaulted on every side by a determined enemy, those who take refuge in a mighty fortress will rest at ease. Jesus is a rock fortress.

A shield is a defense that protects. A horn is a strong offense. Together they are personal salvation that wins the battle against an obsessed foe. Jesus is a stronghold. A stronghold is a kingdom’s best fortress that holds its most precious and elite and elect.

When delivered from enemies whether physical, personal, or practical I will sing songs of praise to Jesus.

BDBD is Psalm 17:13-15

Whenever someone does ill towards me I sometimes think, “The Lord judge between me and them,” not wanting to take revenge against them, but let the Lord Jesus vindicate me. I want the Lord to rise up, confront, and bring them down. I beseech the Lord to rescue me from the wicked. This is what David is requesting the Lord to do.

I even think that the next time they or someone does ill towards me I will say, “The Lord judge between you and me who is right.” I hope that by pronouncing judgment they will get their just due. I believe that my hunger will be stilled and my bank full. But when the wicked attack I don’t say that. Rather, I am startled and gaze at them in amazement. Later, I remember what they did and hope they are taken away from my presence and I am restored.

I think of Jesus who often retreated so that he could continue the work his Father gave him to do until the time was right for him to be betrayed, arrested, tortured, and crucified. Jesus lived under God’s precise timing. So he was not alarmed nor disheartened by his retreats from danger.

Ruthless people often receive rewards in this life (14). However, the righteous will see the Lord Jesus’ face. They will not die. They will awake and be satisfied with seeing his likeness for eternity. Jesus is the center of eternal paradise.

BDBD is Psalm 17:10-12

David is pleading to the Lord God against his foes who surround him. They have callous hearts. They have an unfeeling indifference to David’s suffering. They have ganged up against him and want to pulverize him to the ground. They are determined and eager like a hungry wolf whose gaze is fixed on the sheep. The mortal enemy has surrounded him.

The feeling of overwhelming entrapment drives the soul to crouch down and hide. What can be done when unrelenting powers tighten their grip around the heart? Does a champion exist who stops the wolf from scattering the sheep?

Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand is not the shepherd who owns the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me– just as the Father knows me and I know the Father–and I lay down my life for the sheep.” (John 10:11-15)

BDBD is Psalm 17:6-9

David requests God because he knows the Lord will answer him. He seeks God’s ear so that He can hear his prayer. Confidence in God is a part of prayer. Do I believe God will hear my prayer? Even though God may not grant my request will I have faith in him?

David asks the Lord God to “show the wonder of his great love.” In generations before David, the Lord heard the prayers of his people who were slaves in Egypt. In His love, He rescued them and made a covenant of love with them. From Egypt to Mount Sinai, the mountain of the covenant, the Lord God performed wonders, including parting the Red Sea. He saved them with his right hand. The Israelites took refuge in him from their foes, the Egyptian army.

Now, in confidence, David asks the Lord to keep him as the apple of his eye and hide him in the shadow of His wings from the wicked who assail and desire to kill. David is being pursued by King Saul and his army.

Remembering the Lord’s work in the past helps. I have not, but should have kept a detailed journal of the Lord’s deliverance and answer to prayer. This would have helped me have confidence in God when I pray.

BDBD is Psalm 17:1-6

David is praying to the LORD his God. He has a request that he calls a cry. He is sure that his request is righteous. Before he presents his request he invites God to examine his heart and way. He confides that he is not trying to deceive. David said that though the LORD would probe his heart and examine him at night and test him he would not find fault for he had resolved that he would not speak a lie. David knows the word of God and follows the direction the Lord God has set for us to live. After keeping the Lord’s ways David presents his cry to God.

Keeping my heart and way pure is wise and good. Knowing God’s word and living according to it is wise. The Holy Spirit is given so I can remember Jesus’ words and have the power, strength, and ability to live by faith. Jesus taught, “Therefore if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.” (Matthew 5:23-24)

God is true to me and I need to be true to him. Be genuine towards God for God is genuine towards me.

BDBD is Psalm 16:8-11

Jesus is the path of life that God made known to David (11). Jesus is life, in him is no death. Jesus told confused Martha and Mary just before he raised their brother Lazarus from the dead, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

David knew and believed. Jesus was David’s Holy One who would not see decay. Apostles Peter and Paul quoted these verses stating that David prophesied about Jesus’ resurrection from the dead.

David also knew that he would not be abandoned to the grave. As the Lord his God was with him in life, he would be with him when the body and heart fail. (73:26) David was not shaken. He believed.

The fact that there is a resurrection from the dead and this resurrection is where those who believe in Jesus will be filled with joy in his presence and with eternal pleasures made David glad and his tongue rejoiced. Today I may have trouble, but I can be glad and rejoice because Jesus has overcome the world. Let my tongue sing praises and tell others this good news.

BDBD is Psalm 16:5-7

David, the youngest of many brothers and perhaps the only son of his father’s second wife (or concubine), had an ongoing life problem. He pondered his unsure future and where he belonged. His inheritance according to the law of Moses was questionable. His seven elder brothers did not think well of him. They gave him the most unwanted job tending sheep and often mocked him. (1 Samuel 16:10-11, 18-20; 17:28) This concern was perhaps one of the reasons he had to conquer the city of Jerusalem (Jebus). He needed a home for himself and the men who served under him.

David’s search for a place that was his own ceased to burden because of his personal relationship with and faith in the LORD. He believed that the LORD had assigned him a portion. In the Lord Jesus, his lot was secure (5). He believed he had a delightful inheritance and it wasn’t Jerusalem on earth. It was the New Jerusalem.

In Jesus, David was happy and praised God because God counseled him. Instead of troubled nights of worry, concern, and loneliness, David was counseled by the Lord in his heart. All have reason to be concerned about the future. The Messiah Jesus is the cure to an unsure future.

BDBD is Psalm 16:1-4

David is the author of this Trust Psalm. He asks God to keep him safe. Why? Because David takes refuge in God. God is his protector and shelter from danger and hardship. He rescues him from death and gives him a delightful inheritance. God is his inheritance. (Numbers 18:20-24; Deuteronomy 10:8-9)

God in verse 1 is the Hebrew noun “El” the root word for God also used in Genesis 1:1 portraying God’s power, majesty, and prestige. The first LORD in verse 2 is the Hebrew word “YHWH” the covenant name of God given to Moses at the burning bush. The second Lord in verse 2 is the Hebrew word “Adonay” meaning “Sovereign” an affectionate name for God his Master. God inspired David to use three names of God because this psalm is also a Prophesy Psalm. Apostle Peter quoted part of this Psalm during the first Pentecost (Acts 2:27) and Apostle Paul also quoted this when the Roman soldiers rescued him from almost being killed at the temple (Acts 13:35). The Holy Spirit inspired them to see that God was referring to Jesus’ resurrection from death.

Jesus is my refuge. He saves from the grave. He gives me an inheritance. Jesus is my inheritance. As Jesus rose from the grave so will I. I take refuge in Jesus. Those who run after other gods will forever reap sorrow. I will forever reap the joy of my Lord and my God, El YHWY Adonay.

BDBD is Psalm 15

Everyone wants access to God though our core being is also repulsed by the nature of God (Romans 1). The essence of this psalm, composed by David, is how one gains access to God. Access to God is of course granted by God. Without permission, a person may not enter the King of kings presence. David is considering who the King of kings wants in his presence. What quality must he and everyone else have to be given permission to enter and remain in God’s sanctuary?

God established through Moses hundreds of years before David the Tabernacle, the Tent of Meeting (Exodus 28:43, 29:4, 30, 42). Exodus 25:8-9 states, “Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them. Make this tabernacle and all its furnishings exactly like the pattern I will show you.” Only Aaron and his descendants could enter the Tent of Meeting at designated times. Exodus 30:20-21 states, “Whenever they enter the Tent of Meeting, they shall wash with water so that they will not die. Also, when they approach the altar to minister by presenting an offering made to the LORD by fire, they shall wash their hands and feet so that they will not die. This is to be a lasting ordinance for Aaron and his descendants for the generations to come.” If a person were to not be presentable when they entered the Tent of Meeting they would die.

David wanted to dwell with God in his Tabernacle even though he was not a descendant of Aaron. He was wondering how this might be possible. He wanted to be God’s guest.

God is holy, holy, holy. David accepted that only the blameless can be in God’s presence. A blameless person is guilt-free. David states items beyond the basic tenets of the covenantal law (Exodus 20:1-17). He concludes moral righteousness gives access to God. He was correct for Jesus commanded, “Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48) How can the sinful be perfect? Only by grace through faith in Jesus. Jesus also said, “No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)

BDBD is Psalm 14:4-7

Hope exists for everyone. Jesus’s ministry included everyone. He helped and taught the rich and the poor, the religious elite and the social outcast, and the intelligent and the simple-minded. However, the evildoers never learned. They devour God’s people as men eat bread. Some believe, but most reject.

The Lord Jesus, David’s God, was the same past, present, and future. He gave people in David’s day a chance too. However, as David saw many still believed that God does not exist (1). Even though they have many chances to repent, they never learn (4). These same people frustrate the plans of the poor.

The poor in this psalm are those who learned and repented. They believe in God. Thus, in God they are righteous. The fools who say there is no God are out to devour them (4). The righteous are at times poor and the fools frustrate their plans (6). However, God is always present in the company of the righteous (5). The LORD is their refuge (6).

As David, I hope and pray that the salvation of Israel found in Jesus the Messiah would come to all (7). David looked to the future for the Messiah. The Messiah came and he will come again. I too look to the future for the Messiah when the LORD will restore the fortunes of his people. Hope exists for everyone. For the atheists when they repent. And for the oppressed righteous when Jesus comes again and restores their fortunes.

BDBD is Psalm 14:1-3

The Psalm starts by establishing a truth with fact. The truth is that every human soul is morally depraved. With this truth, God says that we are fools. Fool in Hebrew is “nabal” meaning “vile person, one who is morally deficient”. The fact to establish the truth that every soul is morally depraved is that we all say in our hearts, “There is no God.” (Psalm 10:4, 11; 36:1; 130:3; 143:2; Job 1-3; Ecclesiastes 7:20-22; 1 Kings 8:46)

This does not state that we say, “There is no God” with our mouths. This says we say it with our hearts. The fact is that our heart holds the belief that there is no God. The heart motivates the body. So when trouble or good times come our heart motivates us to do things and say things from its core belief that there is no God. This is sin, a morally deficient heart.

Everybody acts from their heart-belief that there is no God. It takes things into our own control. It conducts all kinds of vile acts. It keeps us from doing righteous acts. This is true for everyone including the religious, including the devout.

In everyone’s mind comes thoughts from the heart-belief that there is no God. We may repent of such thoughts and actions, but the fact remains that if we had heart-believed that there is a God we would have never had that thought nor the act from the start.

Worse yet is when we realize that we had an ungodly thought and say to ourselves, “That thought didn’t come from me. The devil gave me that thought.” We do not admit that the thought came from a morally deficient heart-belief. So again we establish that we are a fool who will not accept the fact that we are also among those who are vile.

When the Psalms and other books in the Bible state the truth that there is no one who does good (Psalm 53:1, 3; Romans 3:12), it does not continue with “…except those that read the Bible and are active in their congregation,” nor does it continue with “…except those that share the good news,” nor does it continue with “…except those that shepherd my people.” This is because the LORD God who looks down from heaven to judge the heart of everyone determines there are no one who understands, no one who seeks God and he reveals this truth through his word.

The actions and the thoughts that come from our vile hearts make it clear for everyone to self-see if we are honest with ourselves before God, our true and ultimate judge. The Spirit of God reveals to us our heart-belief that there is no God. It shows us we are the ones that corrupt ourselves.

Is there any hope for anyone? Yes. Only by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. Through Jesus’ blood, God overlooks, forgives, and gets rid of the morally depraved soul that motivates us to be the fool. Salvation for the morally depraved human race rests only in Jesus. (John 14:6; Acts 4:12; 2 Corinthians 6:2)

BDBD is Psalm 13

Psalm 13 could be titled “How Long” or “Forget Me Not”. David, the author is grappling with melancholy and disturbing thoughts. Repeated stupefying speculation has become like an unrelenting railroad wheel clanging over rail cracks. Thought is fixated on his enemy’s triumph over him. Sorrow fills his being. He is entangled in his own web.

David emphatically believes the Lord is the soul’s balm and the mind’s salve, not just the thought of the Lord, but the Lord blended with his spirit. Yet, the Lord is not within. “How long will you hide your face from me?” is bound with “forget my misery and oppression” in Psalm 44:24. This time misery and oppression are self-wrought. He is on death’s brink.

Deeply looking into someone’s eyes is looking into their being. If the Lord were to look at David, they would be looking into each other’s eyes and be one in spirit. David’s dark soul would light up when united with the LORD his God.

When mind, soul, and spirit are grappling in dark holes David presents the remedy. Trust in God’s unfailing love. Rejoice in Jesus’ salvation. Sing to the LORD for he is good to me. These conscience decisions to engage in the irrational balm and salve are not comfortable. Every substance of being resists though it is so easy to do. Open up thy soul. Look into the Lord’s eyes. Or mind and soul will sink into death.

BDBD is Psalm 12:7-8

Confidence in the Lord is expressed and believed. Though evil people walk around boldly because they have the upper hand, those who trust in the Lord will be strengthened by their God. We know that he protects us from such people forever. Though at present liers oppress and deceive I can have confidence in the love of the maker and sustainer of the universe.

Fear will drive a person to either withdraw from a happy and productive life or drive to sin and destruction. Fear does not exist when I have confidence in the Lord Jesus. Fear and courage are opposites.

When Moses died and the Lord was about to bring the Israelites across the Jordan River and into the Promised Land Joshua and the people were tempted to be afraid because the wicked Canaanites were proud and confident. It was then that the Lord told Joshua, “Be strong and courageous because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them. Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:6-9) Now is the time for followers of Jesus to be strong and courageous.

BDBD is Psalm 12:5-6

The Lord responds with a reassuring word to the cast down and to David who presented the request. The Lord God does see the oppression of the weak and he hears the groaning of the needy. After the prayer, the Lord says he will arise and protect them from those who malign them.

I note that there are times when some do experience oppression and groaning. Verse 1 tells me that these people were most likely not godly from the beginning. Most were liars just as their oppressors still are. However, others were more clever in their evil schemes and they lost, falling to the bottom of society. At the bottom they repented, called out to the Lord, and awaited his deliverance. Such is the case of Israel as recorded in the book of Judges. Such is the case for many today.

When God responds with the awaited yes I can be sure that his will expressed in words will come to be (6). This is in sharp contrast with the boastful words of the adversaries. Every word in the Holy Bible is true, exact, and trustworthy. Those who call on the name of the Lord and trust in him during the waiting can take his words to heart. Believe, wait, and trust in the day of deliverance.

BDBD is Psalm 12:2-4

David’s appeal to the Lord in verses 1 and 2 has two parts. First, the faithful, those who are morally true and loyal have disappeared (1). Second, everyone is lying. Their lies are flattery, saying one thing while not believing what they say (2). The worst scenario is when they say kind words while secretly plotting to displace or even kill. False compliments with the intent to win favor are as devastating today as it was in David’s time.

David’s request to the Lord is in verses 3 and 4. David asks the Lord to cut off all flattering lips. Cut-off does not literally mean physical mutilation. Rather, it poetically means stop the lies and boasting. They are very proud of their crafty words that manipulate others. They plot wicked schemes and implement them with crafty lies. David is asking the Lord to put an end to words that are deadlier than weapons of war.

I pause this morning thinking about the motivation behind my words. Why do I say as I do? If my words are selfish and harmful, then I need to stop talking. My mother told the youthful me, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, do not say anything at all.” Now I have determined why I am not speaking purely and ask God to change my heart to be like Christ. And not only mine but my enemies as well.

BDBD is Psalm 12:1

Psalm 12 is a plead-psalm. David is seeking the Lord’s help for every tongue seems false, the weak are oppressed, and the needy groan. Looking everywhere he cannot find anyone who is godly. The Hebrew adjective “hasid” is translated as “godly” meaning a kind, virtuous, and moral person. As the Lord later said through the prophet Micah, “What misery is mine! I am like one who gathers summer fruit at the gleaning of the vineyard; there is no cluster of grapes to eat, none of the early figs that I crave. The godly have been swept from the land; not one upright man remains. All men lie in wait to shed blood; each hunts his brother with a net.” (Micah 7:1-2)

The start of the new year finds many comparing last year to the year before, and last decade to the prior. The new year is a time to consider needed changes; stop doing this and start doing that to improve one’s self and perhaps society too. I too examine my society, my acquaintances, and my life. The godly can still be found, yet their numbers have dwindled. Some that I consider friends from days past have lost faith. They live either for themselves or they have begun wearing hypocritical piety.

What of me? Am I a hypocritical follower of Jesus? Has my practical faith in Jesus gone virtual? Does it have a fallacy form and function? Am I moving about and interacting in a false reality and truth? When I examine my motives and heart do I hear the Spirit say to me, “O you of little faith?” (Matthew 6:30, 8:26, 14:31, 16:8) The choice is mine to make. I require a plead-psalm to become “hasid”.

BDBD is Psalm 11:4-7

The LORD is the covenant name for the God of Israel. Since the LORD came in bodily form he has also been called Jesus. Jesus is now on his heavenly throne. Jesus is observing every act and the motivation for the act of the righteous. He examines their heart. Those that are wicked the LORD, the Righteous One hates those who love violence. A judgment of fiery coals and burning sulfur will come. But the upright will see his face and rejoice.

BDBD is Psalm 11:1-3

Everyone has had life’s foundations, including relational, political, and moral support give way. (“Foundations” in vs 3 is “shata” in Hebrew meaning political and moral support; i.e. 82:5) Most are too familiar with life-pillars unexpected shaking. Just as citizens living in cities built near a seismic fault ask, “What can we do now that shaking has begun?” so when life’s foundations are being destroyed we ask, “What can the righteous do?”

Unwise advice answers, “Flee like a bird to your mountain. For look, the wicked bend their bows; they set their arrows against the strings to shoot from the shadows at the upright in heart.” Perhaps the opinion is from a hero, friend, relative, spouse, or confidant. Perhaps it is from my sinful nature. The advice seems reasonable and wise. But is it? Though a mountain retreat may give temporary relief, if I can flee to the mountain, so the wicked can follow. And what is to eat and drink on a mountain? If I leave without the Lord, can my soul be fed the bread of life when I arrive at the top without him?

“In the LORD I take refuge.” When the foundations are being destroyed the righteous can take refuge in the LORD. “My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.” (Psalm 62:1-2)

BDBD is Psalm 10:12-18

David’s lamented questions turn into a jubilant poetic prayer. His joy is engulfed in the Lord’s compassionate triumph. The Lord does see trouble and grief. He is the helper of the fatherless. God calls all to account for wickedness, all things done while in the flesh. His patience allowed them to repent, not wanting any to meet a dismal completion. Yet, the call for enough comes. “Arise, LORD! Lift up your hand, O God.”

The LORD is King forever and ever. His way is often not understood and more so misunderstood. Yes. The godless concludes, “He won’t call me to account.” And the victim acks, “Why?” and “How long?” The faithful declare, “You hear, O LORD, the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry, defending the fatherless and the oppressed, in order that man, who is of the earth, may terrify no more.”

Wait just a little more and we will all see the Victoms’ Defender and the Evils’ Judge. He will “break the arm of the wicked and evil man; call him to account for his wickedness that would not be found out.”

BDBD is Psalm 10:1-11

David looks at society and his unassuming life and asks two grievous life questions, “Why, O LORD, do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?” Repeating too often it seems, God does not seem to see me in my time of trouble for I am not happy, do not have what I want, and have that which I do not want. Nothing seems to heal the troubled soul. The tears flow till the well dries up. The soul empties till the body is numb. “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

David, thinking of the wicked in society adds to the belief that God does not see, does not care, and does not get involved. The wicked are arrogant, boastful, proud of their evil ways, haughty, lie, distaining, and self-assured. They feed by stealing from the lowly and the weak. He reviles God. In all his thoughts there is no room for God. The wicked prosper. They are the rich and powerful. The famed and celebrated. Others want to be in their life till they are consumed by the wicked and left for dead. They are secret murderers. “He says to himself, ‘God has forgotten; he covers his face and never sees.'” And David is tempted to agree with the wicked.

Whose soul does not ask these questions? All souls must deliberate on such queries for them to be purified. The conclusion is the determining factor. One of two belief are birthed in David’s hole in the ground and on Job’s ash heap; faith in or disdain and disbelief in God.

“Now fear the LORD and serve him with all faithfulness… But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve… as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” (Joshua 24:14-15)

BDBD is Psalm 9:17-20

The grave (Sheol in Hebrew) is not the subject of family and friends parties. Most people do not like thinking about the end of our physical life. The one who brings up the subject will find themself alone in a crowd of lifetime acquaintances.

Two occasions exist when we ponder the eventual end of our physical life. Usually, it is a funeral of a family member or friend. Then there is the occasion when all are so hopeless and distraught that we consider ending our life. Such events can compel us to reach out to someone to help us understand and believe that hope exists beyond Sheol’s pangs.

Yesterday while walking on a rip tide beach during a much-needed week vacation I learned of lifeguards rescuing a family from knee-deep churning Gulf of Mexico waves. The forty-eight-year-old mother did not survive. Sheol doesn’t consider a person’s circumstances when feeding its unquenchable hunger pains. Her husband, children, and friends are asking, “Why?” and hoping for a happy life after physical death. Now is the time to consider what happens when Sheol becomes hungry for me.

The wicked are people who forget God. Forgetting in verse 17 is not completely erasing God from my memory. Rather forgetting is knowing that God exists, but not maintaining loving and respectful attention to him. This is wickedness. Those who do not choose to know God in life, will not know him in death.

The needy and afflicted are often forgotten by others. Family and friends do not necessarily erase them from memory. Rather, they do not maintain a loving and respectful relationship with them. (1 John 3:14) This is especially true if the needy and afflicted maintain a relationship with God who holds life and death in his hands. (Revelation 1:18) “…the needy will not always be forgotten, nor the hope of the afflicted ever perish.” When hopeless and distraught come, don’t let these tricks of Shoel consume the soul. Rather, let Jesus, the defender be my hope of happy life after death.

BDBD is Psalm 9:11-16

Today’s BDBD verses have some joined phrases requiring God’s revelation during deep Bible study. Phrases like “enthroned in Zion” (What Zion for the temple was not built in David’s life? The tabernacle and then the ark was moved to Jerusalem late in David’s life. So, what and when is Zion referring to?); “proclaim among the nations” (David only left Israel a few times, yet not to declare the LORD’s praises.); “in the gates of the Daughter of Zion” (Neither the tabernacle nor the ark were in gated land during David’s life, except if this is referring to Jerusalem.); “declare your praises… gates of… Zion” (David could and did go in the Tabernacle and next to the ark, so why only at the gates?); “avenges blood” (Who’s blood? David’s blood?); “the nations… enemies… the nations” (Almost sounds prophetic.); “gates of death” (Is this merely poetry?). Considering the whole psalm, I believe this is a prophecy-psalm to be fulfilled when Christ returns bodily.

Despite the need for more thought, these verses are clear, the Lord God is in control. As a king sits in judgment on his throne, God controls the nations. He avenges blood. He hears the cry of the afflicted. He has mercy. He lifts up from the gates of death. I am reminded that no matter how bleak the situation, if I have faith in God and wait for him, he will save and restore me.

BDBD is Psalm 9:3-10

The Psalms (like this one), the prophets, Jesus, and the apostles all agree, that a time is coming when God will judge the living and the dead. (Daniel 11-12, Matthew 24, Mark 13) When Jesus comes again, “he will judge the world in righteousness; he will govern the peoples with justice.” Those who were enemies of God and his people will turn back; they will stumble and perish before him.” Those who trusted in Him, he will uphold “our right and our cause.” David sings of what happened in his life. I will sing when this happens in my life.

David instructs me how to deal with enemies who oppress me until then. “The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.” (9,10) I am to trust God. How to trust in times of trouble, when all seems hopeless? How to turn back depression because of my enemies? Trust and obey by faith. There is no better way than to trust and obey Jesus by faith.

BDBD is Psalm 9:1-2

David announces a decision to the Lord his God. David declares that he is going to praise the LORD. David is going to let it all out. His heart will gush forth with exaltation like a geyser from the earth. David is going to reveal in song all of the Most High’s wonders.

Heartful worship and praise generate gladness and joy from even the most depressed and weary heart. This kind of reaction can only be obtained when the praise is genuine and sincere. How this transpires is a mystery of the Divine, a miracle in the making. Yet I can say it happens for it has happened to me.

Christmas is four days away, a time that is joyful for some and depressing for others. No matter which will I declare the wonders of the Lord? Will I praise the one who left perfection so I can be perfect?

BDBD is Psalm 8:3-9

Verses 3 and 4 remind me of the celebrated hymn “O Lord My God”. I also think of Apostle Paul’s letter to the Roman congregation, “…since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.” (Romans 1:19-20)

However, when David looked at the stars and planets he asked the question, “What is man that God, the Creator is mindful of man, the son of man that you care for him?” He was thinking of God’s grace to all of mankind and sure of himself as well. Why would the infinite, omnipotent, and eternal God care for little ol’ him?

The author of Hebrews makes it clear that this Psalm is referring to Jesus, the Son of God. (Hebrews 2:6) Jesus left heaven and became man. Adam and Eve were created a little lower than the angels. Jesus became one of us, sharing in our humanity. Jesus had flesh and blood and walked on the earth interacting with other humans. Jesus died and God raised him from the grave. Jesus was crowned with glory and honor. Jesus is the ruler over all of creation. Those that are in Christ will rule with him at the resurrection of the dead. (1 Thessalonians 4:14, 5:10; 2 Thessalonians 3:11-12)

“O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!”

BDBD is Psalm 8:1-2

The Psalm of David starts with praise for the LORD (YHWH in Hebrew), our Lord (adon in Hebrew meaning sovereign). The name of the LORD is the manifestation of his character. It has no separate existence apart from the YHWH, but is synonymous with God in his gracious manifestation and accessibility to his people.

The name of a person, place, or object is more than a letter sequence and vocal pronunciation. If someone were to say my mother’s or father’s first name, two prevalent English names, I would react in a very unique personal way for their names mean something to me. I will re-experience their character, mannerisms, events we shared, their smile and scowl, their words, actions, and reactions, their emotions expressed to and for me. The name of my parents is the manifestation of their character and more than my perception of their being.

So is it with the LORD, my Lord. His name is majestic in all the earth! When Jesus entered Jerusalem on a donkey just before he was about to suffer for his people, the crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!”

Then Jesus entered the temple, drove out the buying and selling, and healed the blind and lame. The children kept repeating the words of their parents and other adults, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” Their adoration is greater than the angels who continually declare at the heavenly throne, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and will come.”

The chief priest and teachers of the law took objection to this and indignantly asked Jesus, “Do you hear what these children are saying?” Jesus replied with verse 2 of this psalm, “Yes, have you never read, ‘From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise’?” Jesus did not finish the verse which explains why the children praised the name of the LORD Jesus, “because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.”

This early morning with less than a week till Christmas, I am moved by the name of the LORD, our Lord. How majestic is his name in all the earth. I will not be silenced. I will declare praises to his name.

BDBD is Psalm 7:11-17

David was on the run from a man who wanted to kill him. He was a fugitive in his own land. Life was not sunshine on the beach. David did not take action for he considered he might be wrong. Instead, David asked the Lord to be his shield. He asked God to be the judge.

God is not far off from the daily activities in people’s lives. He knows our troubles. He knows our pain. God is a righteous judge. He views the motives that drive actions. He executes justice. Every day the Lord expresses his wrath on the guilty. He is not slow to express wrath as some perceive.

Rather, he is patient seeing if the guilty repent. All the while he is ready to engage the bully. God enables the bully to fall prey to his own trap. David was rescued. He praised the LORD. He sang praises to the name of the LORD Most High.

God has his plans. God is at work all the time. When I call on him he hears. Though I do not experience immediate relief I can be sure that God is a righteous judge who expresses his wrath every day.

BDBD is Psalm 7:6-10

Life is often overwhelming, a relentless barrage for adults and adolescents alike. Continuous are the assaults against body, heart, and mind. Few reliefs can be found that are not self-destructive. Life is often like living in a besieged city. Enemies’ weapons encircle, constantly firing at a shield wall with gaps and grass openings with no shield to stand behind and no counterattack that can surely break through let alone entirely remove their multilayered fronts. Life often seems like an entrenched war.

A shield does exist for the embattled. David, trying to evade a pursuing enemy, prayed to God for refuge. He asked the LORD to be his champion. Hope exists for all who call on the name of the LORD. Like David, I can proclaim, “My shield is God Most High, who saves the upright in heart.” Justice is decreed by my God addressing the battle when called to action. Call upon the LORD Jesus right now.

The engine for the daily battle is from within. The righteous God, who searches minds and hearts, brings to an end the violence of the wicked and makes the righteous secure. As David prayed, “Let the assembled peoples gather around you. Rule over them from on high;┬álet the LORD judge the peoples. Judge me, O LORD, according to my righteousness, according to my integrity, O Most High.”

BDBD is Psalm 7:1-5

David was being pursued by Cush, a Benjamite. King Saul was also a Benjamite. Cush was part of the forces that Saul sent to find and tear David apart like a lion would, or at least Cush would bring him to King Saul for judgment, prison, and/or execution. David could not go to one of the refuge cities the Lord through Moses had established. (Numbers 35:6-34) So he declared that the LORD, his God would be his refuge. “Save and deliver me from all who pursue me,” David cried out to his Refuge.

David did not take it for granted he was innocent. Rather he searched his soul to see what was his part in ending up on the run as a fugitive. He considered if he had done any wrong. If he was guilty he would accept the pursuit ending with his life being trampled to the ground and sleep in the dust.

I too am to search my soul for why I am here in these circumstances. Self-examination in humility before God is a vital step in repentance and healing. If I have harmed or offended another I need to make recompense as long as doing so doesn’t further harm others. “A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep. But if we judged ourselves, we would not come under judgment. When we are judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be condemned with the world.” (1 Corinthians 11:28-32)

BDBD is Psalm 6:6-10

David’s illness is physical, caused by a heavy soul. He is faint because he is in anguish. He groans and weeps all night long because of his foes. Sorrow endlessly flows like the tears from his eyes, down his cheeks, and into his drenched pillows. A weighed-down heart and turbulent mind can be the source of physical illness.

For David, the remedy is found in the LORD. He prayed and his prayer was heard. Though it took teary nights and weeping days his enemies fleed. Their jars, jabs, insults, and lies were wisped into nonexistence like smoke from a snuffed-out candle. “Away from me, all you who do evil,” David joyfully extolled, “for the LORD has heard my weeping.” Relief and exaltation replaced oppression and depression. It is good to record and celebrate when the LORD answers prayer. Not praising God for accepted prayers is a sin I commit too often.

On the day of reckoning all my enemies will be ashamed and dismayed; they will turn back in sudden disgrace. At my restoration, all my enemies will be discredited and dishonored. Praise be to the LORD.

BDBD is Psalm 6:1-5

David starts this psalm with a plea to the LORD for mercy. David knows he is a sinner and thus deserves rebuke and discipline. Part of God’s wrath is disciplining his congregation. David asks the LORD for relief and mercy.

David is very ill. He is faint and his bones are in agony. Though he knows he doesn’t deserve it, David asks the LORD to be healed. This morning I am not feeling well. I am not as sick as David who believed he was about to die. Yet, I am weak and a headache is growing in strength. Like David, my soul is in anguish. The reoccurring mysterious illness is drawing my strength.

How long O LORD, how long? How many times will I be drained?” I have to accept that my youthful strength to press my body through till I am exhausted is not what it once was. Lord, have mercy and revise me and strengthen me for today.

BDBD is Psalm 5:9-12

David’s enemies spoke lies about him, not a word from their mouth can be trusted. Their heart, the source of the lies is filled with destruction. David did not take revenge against his enemy’s lies. He did not strike out against them. He may have been king when he wrote these words. He may have been running from Saul in the desert and lonely places. He may have been a soldier in the army when Saul was king. He did not take revenge. Instead, he brought his anguish to God in prayer. He asks God to declare them guilty and banish them.

David is not alone and he knows it. He knew others experienced this too. He prayed for them, “Let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you. For surely, O LORD, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield.”

The righteous will have enemies who spread lies. Yet the Lord does bless the righteous. He surrounds them with his favor. Some may ask how can having enemies who spread lies about them be God’s favor. Others know that this was also the way they treated Jesus, the Son of God who went about doing good. Jesus told us, “If this is the way they treated me, then they will treat you this way too. All will hate you on account of me.” (Mark 13:9, John 15:21)

BDBD is Psalm 5:7-8

David has great respect for the LORD. Reverence is a feeling of profound awe, respect, and love. In God’s mercy and righteousness, David trusts. He tells the LORD that he will come into God’s house and bow down toward God’s holy temple.

The house and holy temple that David is speaking of is not the temple in Jerusalem, which was not built until after David died. David instructed his son, Solomon to build the temple on Mount Zion in Jerusalem. Rather, David is speaking of the LORD’s home in heaven. The holy temple is in heaven. By God’s grace, David knew he would worship God in the holy temple in heaven.

David had many enemies. He knew his final resting place would be heaven where he would worship his God. But he did not know the way he should go between now and his final resting place. He asks God to lead him, to show him the way he should go. David wanted God to direct him because of his enemies.

I too have enemies. Those who enjoy harassing me and telling lies about me. Like David’s enemies, they are bloodthirsty and deceitful. I know my final destiny is with my God. Until then Lord, like David, show me the way. Lead me. Have mercy on me. Then bring me to your house; your holy temple.

BDBD is Psalm 5:1-6

Prayer for David was a regular morning routine. Prayer for David was communicating and communion with his God, his King, and his LORD. This personal psalm starts with David asking God to give an ear to his words and sighs. David is crying to his God and King for help. God hears not only words, but he feels sighs. My God experiences my emotions and troubles with me.

Factual statements about God are professed: God takes no pleasure in evil, hates all who do wrong, destroys liars, and abhors bloodthirsty and deceitful. The wicked do not dwell with God. The arrogant cannot stand in God’s presence. Knowing these and the magnificence of God compels me to be the opposite.

Is it possible for me and anyone to come to God in prayer for all sin and fall short of the glory of God? Is there any hope for the spiritually starving repenting soul? Yes. God does give mercy and grace through his Son. By his stripes, I have been healed. By his blood, I am forgiven. By the punishment he received in my place, I can enter the throneroom of the Holy One. Through Jesus, I have communication and communion with my God.

BDBD is Psalm 4:5-8

David called to the Lord in anxiety and distress. The Lord heard and stilled his soul. David searched his heart in the silence of a dark night. The light of the morning star calmed and quieted. He meditated on his bed instead of sinning. The thought entered his mind, “Offer right sacrifices and trust in the LORD.”

Many asked the cynical and rhetorical question, “Who can show us any good?” David in the face of widespread uncertainty, prays for the LORD to bless. When he said, “Let the light of your face shine upon us, O LORD,” he was asking the LORD to bless them with not only his presence but also his undivided attention and favor. David not only prayed for his own relief but for others too.

Many responses to unsettling times persist; fear, doubt, anger, violence, hopelessness, self-pity, and sin. The one that is greater joy than food and wine is the peace and tranquility of the presence of the LORD. How can I obtain a satisfied heart? Seek the LORD. Be quiet and rest. Meditate on God and his goodness. Know that he is Lord. Do not sin. Offer right sacrifices. Sing songs of praise. Then, “I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.”

BDBD is Psalm 4:1-4

David, the author is calling on the LORD, his God. He beseeches God to answer his prayer. David asks for relief from his distress. Anxiety has entered his soul weighing him down like an elephant is sitting on his chest and a methodical drum pounds in his head. He seeks God’s mercy. David knows his God is kind to his people. He will hear him.

God has set apart a people for himself. They are his godly people. The godly are devoted to God; faithful to the LORD. God is faithful to them. A strong love and respect relationship exists between God and the godly. They pray to him and he hears them. David knows this as he seeks relief from his distress from his God.

Anxiety is a problem to bring to God. Thoughts that exasperate can consume and degrade life. Anger, even anger against evil can control and weaken a soul. The sin that I will later regret can follow bouts of anxiety and anger. David shows me to seek God in meditation and prayer when stressful anxious thoughts persist and plunge me into the dark depths. Ask and God will help me search my heart. Ask and God will silence my soul. Though men turn my glory to shame; God will lift me from thoughts of the depths.

BDBD is Psalm 3:1-8

King David, the author is amidst despair and trouble. His beloved son Absalom has turned against him in a violent attempt to become king. (2 Samuel 13:22, 29, 39, 14:33, 15:12, 31, 15:13-14, 16:8, 21, 17:1) Much of David’s life had encountered many foes, among them some have tried to kill him. David responded by turning to God in prayer. “O Lord, how many my foes! How many rise up against me!” When despondent circumstances like a torrent of rain and hail befall me, I open my soul to the Prince of Peace, a shelter amidst the storm.

If Absolom’s personal attack wasn’t devastating enough, David overheard many during his prayer, “God will not deliver him.” Misforture exposes shallow ice cold love. A faithful friend who can find? Jesus is often the only friend who bears my burden with me.

The LORD sustains me. After prayer, the peace that passes understanding warms a bed as David lies down and sleeps. “I will not fear the tens of thousands drawn up against me on every side. Arise, O LORD! Deliver me, O my God! Strike all my enemies on the jaw; break the teeth of the wicked.” David experienced from the LORD comes deliverance.” The turbulent clouds rushed off and the warm sun dried the tears from the clouds. “May your blessing be on your people.”

BDBD is Psalm 2:8-12

A warning is made to kings, rulers, presidents, and leaders. Jesus’ inheritance will be to the ends of the earth. He will rule with an iron scepter. A scepter is a staff held by a sovereign as an emblem of authority. A scepter could be made of anything. Being made of iron, the scepter displayed power and strength. With his iron scepter, Jesus will dash to pieces like pottery the evil who ruled the earth.

Therefore the warning, “Serve the LORD with fear and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son…” Though I am not in control of a country, state, or city I heed these words. I seek to serve the LORD in all my life. Kissing the feet of a sovereign was a sign of submission (1 Samuel 10:1; 1 Kings 19:18 Hosea 13:2)

The LORD Jesus while speaking to John revealed an amazing prophecy about the future of his congregations. “To him who overcomes and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations– ‘He will rule them with an iron scepter; he will dash them to pieces like pottery’– just as I have received authority from my Father. I will also give him the morning star. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” (Revelation 2:26-29)

Blessed are all who take refuge in the Anointed Son when oppressed by the evil rulers of the world. A day will come when they will be gone and I will rule under Jesus in his worldly kingdom. If I submit to him now I will serve with him then.

BDBD is Psalm 2:7

Jesus is the Anointed One meaning he is the Absolute King (2, discussed in the previous BDBD). This verse and verse 12 declare that Jesus is also God’s Son. (Acts 13:32-33) When Jesus was baptized “…a voice came from heaven (declared): “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” (Mark 1:11, Luke 3:22) When Jesus was transfigured on the mount before Peter, James, and John a bright cloud enveloped them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!” (Matthew 17:5)

Jesus is not an angel. “For to which of the angels did God ever say, ‘You are my Son; today I have become your Father?’ Or again, ‘I will be his Father, and he will be my Son’? (Hebrews 1:5, 5:5; 2 Samuel 7:14; 1 Chronicles 17:13) Being God’s Son, Jesus is the Lord of the host of angels. (Matthew 26:53)

Many in the world are getting ready to celebrate Jesus’ birth. When he was conceived in Mary’s womb and nine months later came forth as a human baby Jesus did not at that time become God’s Son. He was always God’s Son. Mary was and remained a virgin during the pregnancy. The immaculate conception was the power of the Spirit. In that aspect, God was Jesus’ Father. Yet, even before this, Jesus was God’s Son in status and station.

Jesus, the Son of God is due my worship, respect, and praise. My soul is in awe of the King who is the Son of God.

BDBD is Psalm 2:1-6

Psalm 2 is about the messianic reign of Jesus, the Anointed One as confirmed by New Testament quotes. (Matthew 1:17; Acts 4:25-27, 13:32-33; Hebrews 5:6; Revelation 2:26-27, 12:5, 15) The rage and conspiring against his rule is a fallen human state that all inherited from Adam. This was demonstrated when Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in Jerusalem to conspire against Jesus. (Acts 4:25-27) This will be exhibited again when Jesus comes again. Before God’s grace in my life, my inner being also raged against the Lord of the Universe.

Rage against God is a joke. The “Whys” in verse one are rhetorical questions that imply, “How dare they!” And the laughter of the One Lord in verse 4 reveals the reality that no one can resist the majesty and might of God. What God has established is Jesus is King of kings and Lord and lords. (6) This will never end.

So with the Eternal King reign in my heart, I too will never end. The question I need to address is, “Does Jesus’ will preside in my life?” “Or am I still raging against him?” As Proverbs 20:8 declares, “When a king sits on his throne to judge, he winnows out all evil with his eyes.” And as Jesus taught above love for enemies on the mountainside, “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48)

BDBD is Psalm 1

This Psalm by an unknown author compares two ways; that is lifestyle choices and their results. The first is the way of the wicked, sinners, and mockers (1). The second is the way of the righteous (6). The way of the righteous is blessed. Blessed, used 516 times in the Bible is a translation of the Hebrew words “esher” here and “barak” elsewhere (transliterations). “Esher” means happiness. The Lord God is simply saying through the author, “How happy is the righteous!” I want that. So then, what are some of the lifestyle choices of the righteous?

The righteous person delights in the Word of God (2). They constantly think about it, study it, and apply it to their life. The Author of Life says, “If you want to be happy in life, then have the Holy Bible in your heart, soul, mind, and body. Have it nearby, ready to read and meditate on. Jesus, the Word made Flesh tells his disciples, “All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.” (John 14:25-27a)

When the Word is in me, then I am promised three things. First, I will always produce delectable succulent fruit, like a fruit tree that receives plenty of water and sunshine. The fruit of the Spirit of God will grow from my soul. (Galatians 5:22-25)

Second, I will not wither as I age. My physical body will decay as my soul and spirit not only remain but are always ever-increasing life. My leaf will never wither (3).

Third, I will not perish when my physical body ceases to function (5-6). The wicked will perish. I, if I follow the way of the righteous will live eternally. I will be happy for the rest of the days of my life. I will flourish eternally. I will know the joy of God and delight with the righteous forever. Eternity will be mine and he will never leave me. I will be blessed without ceasing. I will not be blown away like chaff as the wicked on the day of judgment.

BDBD is Proverb 21:30

The fact that nothing; no wisdom, no insight, no plan can succeed against the LORD is proclaimed. The LORD is sovereign and controls people and nations. (16:4, 9, 19:21, 21:1) Being sovereign simply means that he exercises supreme and permanent authority. God is absolute. He has absolute right and ability to do all things according to his own good pleasure. (Daniel 4:25, 35; Romans 9:15-23; 1 Corinthians 3:19-20; 1 Timothy 6:15; Revelations 4:11)

I am humbled reading passages like this and Romans 9:15-23. I also find hope. If one leader attacks another and I am subject to the devastation of their battle I can call on the mercy of God. Perhaps he will hear me as he did the people of Ninevah during the time of Jonah and free me from death under falling walls. I can cry out to the Sovereign LORD and help his people as Rahab did during Jericho’s end. She and her family found safety in the LORD’s sovereignty when her neighbors were crushed by falling debris. Comfort exists under the wings of the Almighty. The Sovereign is not without mercy and love.

BDBD is Proverb 21:29

Walking around with a bold face is for show. I do this to portray a fearless and daring demeanor. I want others and myself to believe I am courageous and in control of fear or even that I have no fear. Yet, is this what is happening inside? No. Circumstances control the wayward soul whether admitted or not. Mustering up courage is not the same as eliminating fear, nor is it as the fool brags, “I use fear. It emboldens me.”

Setting up a mental bold front is not the same as being at peace and calm in troubled times. What is the source of a soul’s security even when all seems hopeless? This proverb states it is a decent way of life and as the NIV states it, “giving thought to my ways”. True decency emanates from faith in God, hope for God, and love of God. For the way of life with these present has the inner presence of God, and this by His grace.

Jesus’ instruction to his disciples’ reaction on the night he was betrayed, when he revealed to them the evil that was about to happen was, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) I can take heart; that is, have faith, hope, and love because I know that Jesus has overcome the world. When war is imminent, I can take heart. When there is not enough money, I can take heart. When diagnosed with illness, I can take heart. When a loved one has lost a good path, I can take heart. When the righteous suffer, I can take heart. When I am lower than tears, I can take heart. Jesus the prince of peace has overcome.

BDBD is Proverb 21:28

This is the seventh and final time the book of Proverbs has a proverb concerning a false witness. (6:19, 12:17, 14:5, 25, 19:5, 9, 21:28) Some would say that seven is of significance because seven is considered “fullness” and “completion” in the Hebrew language and the Bible. I find it interesting that these seven contain two pairs that say almost the same thing (12:7 & 14:5, 19:5 & 19:9), and the first half of this one is the same as 19:6 & 9 making their stated truth a trio, just as the God of the Bible is a triune God. The number three is “divine wholeness” and “perfection” in the Hebrew language and the Bible. The triune truth concerning a false witness is a firm prediction of their destiny; they will perish. (See also Isaiah 29:20-21.) The finale, the second half of 21:28, is unique in Proverbs’ subject of a false witness.

All English translations sync the translation of “kazab ed abad” in the first half of the proverb. The false (lying) witness will perish. The finale second half of the proverb concerns those who listen. English translations say either they will speak successfully or they will speak eternally (NIV’s alternate translation too). The Hebrew noun “netsach” (a transliteration) contains the combined essence of speaking successfully forever. The point is they will not cease to exist because they always listen and then speak the truth. They have been a true witness. Proverbs 12:17, 14:5, and 14:25 declare that a truthful witness gives honest testimony, does not deceive, and saves lives. So now in verse 21:28, the Lord God declares through Solomon that they will continue to speak truth without end.

Jesus commissions me and all his followers to be his witness to the ends of the earth. If I remain a truthful witness and do not become a false witness of all the things he said and did, then I will live forever in the Kingdom of Truth with him and all the saints (John 5:8-15, 8:24; Acts 1:8). This is encouragement in a generation where lies often go unpunished and even rewarded.

BDBD is Proverb 21:27

Anyone can offer a sacrifice to God, and anyone can make sacrifices for God, the sacrifice may be great, and the sacrifice may be small, if it is made with wicked intent, it is not acceptable at all. Such was the case of Cain. His sacrifice was not acceptable, for his heart was wicked. The Lord detests the sacrifice of the wicked. (15:8; Isaiah 1:11-15)

So what of mine? Do I sacrifice for God not knowing I am wrong? I heed the warning of Ecclesiastes 5:1 “Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. Go near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools, who do not know that they do wrong.” And Jeremiah 6:19-20, “Hear, O earth: I am bringing disaster on this people, the fruit of their schemes, because they have not listened to my words and have rejected my law. What do I care about incense from Sheba or sweet calamus from a distant land? Your burnt offerings are not acceptable; your sacrifices do not please me.”

What a sad encounter it would be if the righteous and holy Lord God of the universe were to say to me, “Go away from me. I do not know you. You did not obey my law. You did not love your neighbor. You did not love me. You were not thankful. All your efforts, works, and offerings were detestable.”

BDBD is Proverb 21:26

This verse is the second half of the proverb that started in the previous verse. Verse 25 is about a lazy sluggard. I take to heart the warning to not be a physical and spiritual sluggard. God enables me and gives me his strength when I ask him to help me live His way and forgive me when I fault like an electrical circuit.

Whereas the first half is how not to live, the second half is the result of what happens when I live as God intends me to live. When I do the work of Him who sent me, God overflows my spiritual and physical vaults, then I am able to give without sparing. He promises that the righteous are prosperous, so they can share with those in need. (Psalm 112:8-10)

As Ephesians 4:7-8 states, “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. This is why it says: “When he ascended on high, he led captives in his train and gave gifts to men.” And as Psalm 37:25-27 promises me, “I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread. They are always generous and lend freely; their children will be blessed. Turn from evil and do good; then you will dwell in the land forever.”

BDBD is Proverb 21:25

What does a sluggard crave? I presume it is anything that others crave. The reason that which he craves for will be the death of him is because he doesn’t work enough (if at all) to purchase or trade for it. He craves, but cannot obtain because he is poor and lazy. When he becomes hungry, as other proverbs state, he will not be able to buy or harvest food. (19:24, 20:4, 24:30, 26:15)

For me, this is a warning and an encouragement. I at times do not want or feel like doing work and/or going to my job. I have some valid reasons to not work. But here I find a valid reason to work. Though work may be hard and a drudge sometimes, it is better than dying because I am a sluggard. Work is not guaranteed to be easy for anyone. In fact, the Lord God told Adam, “By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.” (Genesis 3:19)

One final thought comes to mind. Obeying the great commission is work too. It falls under the curse the Lord gave to Adam and his descendants. Jesus tells me to take up my cross and follow him. He did not have an easy life. He also tells me, “As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” (John 9:4-5) Though at times the gospel work is hard, I strive on doing the work of the Father.

BDBD is Proverb 21:24

The Lord warns me through this proverb and in other Biblical passages about the danger of pride and arrogance. (3:34, 19:25, 29. 21:11) Biblical pride is undue confidence in and attention to one’s own skills, accomplishments, state, possessions, or position. The proud are haughty and conceited. The arrogant person expresses their pride.

God gives the proud and arrogant a name, “Mocker.” (3:34) God treats them with scorn and ridicule. He declares, “To the arrogant I say, ‘Boast no more,’ and to the wicked, ‘Do not lift up your horns.'” (Psalm 75:4) Why? Because God is in charge. He directs in the way one should go. (21:1; Isaiah 48:17) When trouble and calamity come as it does to all, they will have nothing to boast about. Their pride vanishes like the due in the morning. Their boasts are proved wrong. They are no different than others.

Then, “the righteous will see and fear; they will laugh at him, saying, ‘Here now is the man who did not make God his stronghold but trusted in his great wealth and grew strong by destroying others!’ But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God; I trust in God’s unfailing love forever and ever.” (Psalm 52:6-8) I acknowledge like Moses, “The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him.” (Exodus 15:2)

BDBD is Proverb 21:23

I should guard my mouth and tongue if I want to avoid calamity. I should be as choosy with the words that come out as I am choosy with the food that goes in. I can easily keep dirty food out of my mouth. Why then is it not easy for me to stop dirty words from coming out? The reason it is easy to keep from eating foul food is because I have been practicing and daily working at it since I was an infant. If it smells rotten and looks to be decayed, then I will naturally not eat it. So, it is reasonable to assume that if I continually practice and work at watching my words, then I will eventually and naturally be able to keep my words in check.

Just as I use other senses to determine what I can and cannot eat (sight and smell), I can determine what makes me say something bad before I create self-made calamity. Jesus wisely taught those who spoke words that bring calamity, “Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.” (Matthew 12:33-37, 15:16-20; Luke 6:43-45)

So how to monitor the heart before it tells the mouth to speak words of self-filled calamity? Better yet, how to change an evil heart to a good heart so that I naturally speak good words instead of evil words? Hezekiah prayed this during the Passover because many people had not purified themselves, yet they ate the Passover, contrary to what was written, “May the LORD, who is good, pardon everyone who sets his heart on seeking God–the LORD, the God of his fathers–even if he is not clean according to the rules of the sanctuary.” And the LORD heard Hezekiah and healed the people.” (2 Chronicles 30:18-20) So, I can turn to God in prayer asking him to purify my evil heart. Then I will be clean.

As Jesus proclaimed, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” (Luke 5:31-32) Jesus can make me clean. Then my heart will be guarded and I will be kept from calamity. “…if the Son sets you free (from your evil heart), you will be free indeed.” (John 8:35)

BDBD is Proverb 21:22

Taking this proverb to mean a battle of wits instead of brawn would not be a stretch for “the wise has great power, and knowledge increases strength.” (24:5) Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthian congregation, “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)

Every day the battle of truth is waged against my soul. Everyday stories, tales, fibs, and falsities are presented to my mind and senses with the intent to convert, defeat, and destroy. The wisdom of Christ is better than strength (Ecclesiastes 9:16) as the love of God covers over all wrongs. (10:12; 1 Peter 4:8)

Wisdom and knowledge are not meant as a defense. Rather, they are an offensive advantage. The wise in this proverb attacks the city of the mighty. They pull down the stronghold in which they trust. They do so in love and compassion. Jesus, the apostles, and the prophets did not take up physical weapons meaning to maim and kill. Rather, their sword was the word of God and love was their armor. (Ephesians 6:10-18)

As Paul wrote to the Roman congregation, “And do this, understanding the present time. The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.” (Romans 13:11-14)

Buy the truth and do not sell it; get wisdom, discipline and understanding.” (23:23) Jesus tells me, “I am the truth…” (John 14:6) Get close to Jesus asking myself, “Do you got Jesus?”

BDBD is Proverb 21:21

The Lord God promises that he who pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity, righteousness, and honor. Pursue means to follow in an effort to capture like a fox is pursued by hounds and a beautiful lady is often pursued by many suitors. The one who obtains the prize has put all of themself in the pursuit. They did not give up, lose hope, nor did their will diminish.

If I am to be characterized as a man who pursues righteousness and love what would that mean? Jesus said, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:33-34) So when I pursue righteousness and love I and not concerned with finding life, prosperity, and honor. As backward as that sounds it is true. My eyes should be fixed on the prize which is love and righteousness, not the results of the pursuit. Life, prosperity, and honor are the result, not the goal.

David was a man who was after God’s own heart. Is that the same? God is love and righteousness is part of his character. So in pursuing God’s heart, David was pursuing love and righteousness. When I pursue righteousness and love I am to practice them today and every day. God promises me, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13)

BDBD is Proverb 21:20

Storing up goods for future use is wise. Saving in good times so that when hard times come concerns the same principle. This was God’s direction through Joseph to Pharoah, “This food should be held in reserve for the country, to be used during the seven years of famine that will come upon Egypt, so that the country may not be ruined by the famine.” (Genesis 41:36) Proverbs 30:25 wisely points out, “Ants are creatures of little strength, yet they store up their food in the summer…”

Food is not the only wise thing to save up. Proverbs 10:14 states, “Wise men store up knowledge, but the mouth of a fool invites ruin.” 2:1 and 7:1 wisdom is, “My son, keep my words and store up my commands within you. Keep my commands and you will live; guard my teachings as the apple of your eye.”

The wisest advice is Jesus’s. He promised, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” The secret is to determine what is heavenly treasure.

BDBD is Proverb 21:18

Though this proverb is easy to read, I ponder what it means and how to apply it to life. The verse is about barter between two unnamed parties. Two types of people are being bartered. The wicked and unfaithful are being used as a ransom for the righteous and upright. This implies that the righteous and upright were taken captive. Now the thief wants to get rid of them in exchange for something they want. The rightful owner of the righteous wants them back because he loves and greatly values them. The negotiation commenced and a trade was made.

The question remains. Who are the two unnamed negotiating parties? Would the Lord God and Satan barter for people as C.S. Lewis’s characters the Lion and the Witch did? Is that what is recorded by the prophet Isaiah? “For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I give Egypt for your ransom, Cush and Seba in your stead. Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you, I will give men in exchange for you, and people in exchange for your life.” (Isaiah 43:3-4)

Atonement money as ransom is part of the law given through Moses. Exodus 30:12 states, “When you take a census of the Israelites to count them, each one must pay the LORD a ransom for his life at the time he is counted. Then no plague will come on them when you number them.” The Lord God wrote through David, “No man can redeem the life of another or give to God a ransom for him– the ransom for a life is costly, no payment is ever enough– that he should live on forever and not see decay.” (Psalm 49:7-9)

So God promised through the prophet Jeremiah, “For the LORD will ransom Jacob and redeem them from the hand of those stronger than they.” (Jeremiah 31:11) And Hosea the prophet, “I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death. Where, O death, are your plagues? Where, O grave, is your destruction?” (Hosea 13:14)

What Holy One was used as a ransom? God sent his Son as a ransom for many. Jesus proclaimed, “… the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:28; Mark 10:45) Apostle Paul made it clear, “For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men–the testimony given in its proper time.” (1 Timothy 2:5) Jesus did not barter with Satan. Jesus mediated between God and men; The Father and the fallen. “… Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance–now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.” (Hebrews 9:15)

I am forever grateful to Jesus who bartered on my behalf, giving himself for my redemption.

BDBD is Proverb 21:17

This proverb contains the guaranteed result of depleted human practice. Love pleasure => poverty. Love wine and oil => not becoming rich. It is designed to be a warning. Its intent is to keep me on the good and wise path. Amos’ prophecy stands, “You drink wine by the bowlful and use the finest lotions, but you do not grieve over the ruin of Joseph. Therefore you will be among the first to go into exile; your feasting and lounging will end.” (Amos 6:6-7) This proverb is well to follow the previous.

Two questions arise. What to do if not pleasure, wine, and oil? What is the antonym of this mindset and lifestyle? The answer to the second is persistent prudence, productivity, and providence. The answer to the first has different answers depending on my age, stature, and education as well as my personal and provincial faith, hope, and passion.

I search my soul for that which is not a depleted human practice and present these to my Heavenly Father. Someone once said, “The road to my desired destination is full of many steps.” This limited truth implies that I walk a chosen life path steady and alone. This human proverb portrays a constant easy stroll in the park or forest. This is not the reality of human existence. Therefore, I seek my Heavenly Father as a necessity and as a life-sustaining surety. He is the pilgrim’s progress.