Psalm 20 – We Will Trust The God Who Saves

This Psalm comes across as someone encouraging someone else to trust in God.

Why? Trust because He is able to deliver us from troublesome situations. Trust because He is engaging with you and the life you live. It’s not a one-sided relationship with a deaf, dumb and mute idol. He shows grace and we respond and H engages further in the conversation. He hears, engages and sees us in our situation and then acts to ensure we are saved from that which seeks to crush and lead us away from that which is right.

When that trust is placed in God and we see Him act on our behalf it’s another reason to offer praise and thanksgiving for the great things He has done. It’s also another reason to reaffirm that what we trust in the most is not material and physical. It’s not a product of our own ingenuity, it is not manmade in the slightest. While others can place their trust in those, our experience says that we can trust the God who saves. That trust is a greater, stronger trust, not because of our efforts, but because of the source of the trust.

It’s a difficult trust in the God who save in a world that looks to trust in so many other things – nationalities, personalities, technologies, institutions, philosophies – all things that people invest in and all leads to the same fatal outcome. It doesn’t save, it just appears to postpone the inevitable. It is appealing, it sways so many, you’re made to feel inferior in any way for ignoring these.

Take heart,though, trusting the God who saves who has also rescued His King, makes all the difference. Take who in continuing to trust in the God who saves – He doesn’t just rescue for the moment, He is in the business of saving for life – eternal life.

For His Name’s Sake

Shalom

C. L. J. Dryden

Psalm 19 – The Wonder of Revelation 

Awe. It’s quite a word. 

One thing that comes across to me reading Psalm 19 is how awestruck the Psalmist is. He looks at creation, he considers the written word of God and He has the same awe. Isn’t awesome how God has spoken. Not only has He spoken but that He has spoken. 

In how He has spoken He reveals Himself and His glory. In how He speaks He indicates how we can live to reflect His character and His glory. He has not left anything to chance at all, He has made it quite clear in nature and in His Word that He longs to show us just who He is and who we were created to be in the light of Him. That picture is a glorious one if we but had the sense to behold it and be captivated. 

That awe influences that last verse which now more than ever sounds like the request of a child to a father to help her make sure everything she does is right so she can enjoy everything made for her. Similarly we can enjoy the life we were made for as we ensure what is in the heart and flows out of the mouth is something reflective of this glorious God in whom we should be in awe. 

To see that awe then take on human flesh and walk among us and die for us to rise from the dead and offer life eternal through faith in Him is all the more awe-inspiring and truly embracing that provokes a heart desperate to know Him, love Him and live for Him. 

For His Name’s Sake 

Shalom 

C. L. J. Dryden 

Psalm 18 – Epic Psalm (Part One) 

Some of the Psalms take on an epic nature and the 18th one is a great example. 

Reading it is like watching a movie. Look at the hero, now secure. The journey there, however called upon God to do some awesome works in majesty and power. 

These awesome works are done because of right relationship where our hero knows where to put his trust. As a result not only does God do awesome things, but He equips our hero to get in on the act. 

There are thrills and spills galore know this retelling of the wonderful works for and through His people. Then when the action stops and you catch your breath there is something to realise. It is not just a story. It is someone who is recounting the goodness of the Lord, to display the wonders of the glorious God fulfilling His greatness utilising creative expression to do so. Our God is worthy of it. 

If we were to truly consider the things God has done for us and how privileged we are to be in right relationship with Him, we would likewise look to be effusive in displaying those good works to others too. 

For His Name’s Sake 

Shalom 

C. L. J. Dryden 

Psalm 17 – Stay In The Right

To know that all these are words to things that people would sing continues to amaze me.

Not to say profound lyrics are rare these days, I don’t believe that’s the case. What Psalms highlights however is how amazing it is to convey such real truths of life with God.

Here it’s the way how the Psalmist relates to God in saying that after being examined and tested he is still desirous to do the right thing by God. On that basis the writer wants God to deal with the opposition who carry out everything against the right thing.

The overriding feeling I get from this Psalm is the passion for righteousness. It is not a childish flounce begging God to kill his enemies. Its a concern for righteousness and a desire for that to be sustained.

That degree of passion is coming from a life committed to doing what’s right and looking to God to help him to stay that way. That level of passion is one to be admired and pursued ourselves to enrich and deepen our relationship with God and appreciation of life. That puts everything in perspective – it’s not just dealing with things on a superficial level. It is no longer about taking things personally to the degree that we have individuals in our sights who we hold a grudge against. This is about righteousness being at stake. A state of being we not just admire, it’s one we adore and devote our life to. Something of such great value when it is going to be challenged or corrupted should evoke strong reactions. How we do that now will say much about what we value. It’s not something that can be expressed in cool distilled measured language, just as you wouldn’t express such a tone if you saw someone precious to you about to get run over.

That passion to stay in the right is one that I take from the Psalm and informs and instructs my own relationship with the Almighty.

For His Name’s Sake

Shalom

C. L. J. Dryden

Psalm 16 – For Safe Keeping

Yeah, I would take some of the chocolate biscuits for ‘safe keeping’.

When I was a boy (a younger legit one at home with Mum and Dad that is) I remember the day Mum would go shopping. That was undoubtedly the best day of the week, because often among the essentials that she purchased was a packet of chocolate biscuits.

I grew up with two siblings and the three of us knew very well what would happen the moment the shopping was unpacked. The deal was to get a hold of as many of those biscuits as possible and either scoff them or put them away. They were precious, they were scrumptious, they brought delight and so it was worth nabbing the collection and stashing them in a safe place where no one else could get to them.

I read Psalm 16 a few times and as I read it, that memory came to me. It came to me because the Psalmist, quite clearly to me, saw himself as the pack of chocolate biscuits. As long as he knew he was in God He knew He was safe and secure. His body was secure (verse 9), his lot was secure (verse 5)  there was great security in Him. As if God delighted to have him in His presence and would keep Him away from evil that lurked around. That’s why it was somewhere he could run to and find that degree of safety because of God’s track record of taking His own for sake keeping.

It’s also why it’s so fitting that efforts were made to ensure that the Psalmist was kept on the path to life. That way the Psalmist had a profound understanding of just how precious God was to Him and likewise just how precious He was to God. He and all those who feared the Lord and loved Him.

That degree of reassurance and confidence in the land of the living is rare. So fragile is the state of affairs outside God, so prone to anxiety and stress. So liable to the circumstances that can be ever changing and at times so cruel. This is not a confidence that says bad things will never happen. This is a confidence that says that there is a place and a divine presence that you can resort to in those times. This is a confidence that says that even in the anguish of death there is still a path to life. Where the tears of sorrow in the night can be turned to joy in the morning.

That confidence in God is very much needed in a world of debilitating and unsettling uncertainty. It’s certainly better than the pack of chocolate biscuits.

For His Name’s Sake

Shalom

C. L. J. Dryden

Psalm 15 – Even If It Hurts

I gotta say I had not paid that much attention to this Psalm before. 

For me I thought the whole thing about being in the Holy mountain was about clean hands and pure heart. This Psalm definitely puts some meat on them bones suggesting it’s not just the hands and heart, but the mouth too among other aspects. 

As you might have gathered from the title of the blog, I was certainly arrested by the character of someone who wants to be in God’s presence. 

who keeps an oath even when it hurts, and does not change their mind; (Psalm 15:4b NIV) 

Yeesh. Yikes. Wowsers. Yoiks. 

It got me thinking who would exercise that degree of integrity. I get into a tricky position when it comes to a commitment I made and I am looking for the best way out of it. Not so this guy. This guy will do what it takes to fulfil his word. Who does that? Well OK there’s that guy Jephthah who had to give up his only child because of a promise he made to the Lord. It surely doesn’t get much more painful than that. 

Oh but it does, because I was then reminded of a Father whose love for His creation was such that He sent His Son to fulfil this very painful prophecy, 

But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5 KJV) 

Wounded, bruised, chastised, lashed with stripes. That is painful and all that as a precursor to being nailed to a cross having been rejected and betrayed. All that to keep His Word. 

Now, amazingly, because He kept His Word even though it caused considerable pain, His presence in our lives means we can keep our word. We can do it. Even if it hurts. 

For His Name’s Sake 

Shalom 

C. L. J. Dryden 

Psalm 14 – No God or Know God

The fool says in his heart there is no God

I like how the KJV italicised ‘there is’ suggesting some manuscripts had the quote as:

The fool says in his heart, No God.

In this Psalm, David is obviously aggrieved at the No God crew who look to do their own thing. In complete rebellion to Him and thus corrupting and corroding society. It says a lot about what life is like with a No God mentality.

What’s intriguing about this No God lifestyle is how the Psalmist still refers to them living in dread because they have that feeling that the great one is supporting the righteous. The God of Justice takes care and compassion on the poor and downtrodden. It’s so good to know that the God who is, is on the side of those in need of Him.

There is something here about hope that even in the helpless situation or caught in a trap of any sort, there is hope of restoration from the God who saves. That’s why it’s so much more preferable to Know God than live No God.

For His Name’s Sake 

Shalom 

C. L. J. Dryden