Weds 28 July - Psalm 28
1 To you, Lord, I call;
you are my Rock,
do not turn a deaf ear to me.
For if you remain silent,
I shall be like those who go down to the pit.
2 Hear my cry for mercy
as I call to you for help,
as I lift up my hands
towards your Most Holy Place.
3 Do not drag me away with the wicked,
with those who do evil,
who speak cordially with their neighbours
but harbour malice in their hearts.
4 Repay them for their deeds
and for their evil work;
repay them for what their hands have done
and bring back on them what they deserve.
5 Because they have no regard for the deeds of the Lord
and what his hands have done,
he will tear them down
and never build them up again.
6 Praise be to the Lord,
for he has heard my cry for mercy.
7 The Lord is my strength and my shield;
my heart trusts in him, and he helps me.
My heart leaps for joy,
and with my song I praise him.
8 The Lord is the strength of his people,
a fortress of salvation for his anointed one.
9 Save your people and bless your inheritance;
be their shepherd and carry them for ever.
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Meditation on Psalm 28
Here go again, you might be forgiven for exclaiming, as you read this Psalm. Does David, or the other writers ever say anything upbeat?
Let’s be honest – if everyone went around with a smile on their faces and, when asked, they respond that everything is good, we might raise an eyebrow as to how real they are being.
Conversely, some people may go round like a bear with a sore head and nothing is right or good – we might raise the other eyebrow.
If the Psalms teach us anything, it is to be open and honest; to tell it as it is; to say that we are having a tough time but recognising that God is there.
I was talking with a friend today, whose husband died 5 years ago. He was actively involved in Christian ministry but he died very suddenly, or, as she said to me, ‘he went to heaven with his boots on.’
I asked her how she is doing. ”All right,” she said. “Really?” I asked. Then she looked and said, “No I’m not.” She started to talk and I realised how much she is still hurting, even though she knows God’s presence with her each day.
Verses 1-2 The cry of a man in trouble
- he knows where to turn – ‘to you, LORD, I call.’
- he has confidence in the One he turns to – ‘you are my Rock.’
Come back to Psalm 18:2 ‘the LORD is my Rock, my fortress and my deliverer.’ In the OT ‘rock’ is an everyday word for God, letting us know of His unfailing love, His strength, His protection and His security.
- he pleads for a hearing. Even though David confirms his faith and trust in the LORD, he is still crying out to be heard.
- he thinks about the alternative – if you, LORD, don’t listen, I might as well be dead: ‘go down to the pit’ which speaks of the grave.
- he repeats his cry for help, for mercy. He is focused on the LORD as he reminds himself of God’s dwelling place on earth, i.e. the ‘Most Holy Place.’
Verses 3-5 The cry of a man for justice
David knows the temptations of getting involved with the wicked. He describes them, as in many other Psalms, as they really are.
- those who do evil – not just thinking about evil but practising evil.
- those who are two-faced – gentle, friendly conversations with neighbours but … full of malice. ‘malice’ is ‘the desire to cause pain, injury or distress to another.’ Come back to Psalm 5:9 as David describes those who are wicked.
Here David is pleading with the LORD to judge them for their sins – ‘their deeds, their evil work, what their hands have done – they deserve what’s coming to them.
Don’t we all?
But for the grace of God, we would all get what we deserve ‘because of the deeds done in the body.’
We often pray against the ‘wiles of the devil.’ We pray, ‘deliver us from evil.’
Verse 6-9 The cry of a man who focuses on the LORD
Here is the personal testimony of a man who had confidence in the LORD. What is the basis of this confidence?
- He has heard me
- He is my strength
- He is my shield
- He can be trusted
- He helps me
- He is my strength – but also the strength of His people
- He is a fortress of salvation
- He is a shepherd to His people
- We, His people, are His inheritance.
Think on these as your personal testimony. Then come back to verse 6 and say, ‘Praise be to the LORD.’
Thursday 29 July - Psalm 29
Friday 30 July - Psalm 30
Saturday 31 July - Psalm 31
Sunday 1 August - Psalm 32
Monday 2 August - Psalm 33
Tuesday 3 August - Psalm 34