Psalm 31 – Open Spaces to Roam

Psalm 31 captures a lot of what the Psalmist has to say about what to do when you’re in a tight spot. It refers to themes that have been prominent in Psalms so far. Themes of the character of God, the ability to access from Him in a right relationship with Him.

There was one phrase in this Psalm that arrested me and it was highlighted to me in a conversation. Verse 8 sees the Psalmist declare that God has not allowed this man to be overwhelmed, but his feet has been set into a spacious place.

The conversation I was having were with two people who really enjoy their space. I am someone who can operate and thrive in rather closed spaces. Not cramped, but I can deal with the door shut, a table, a chair, a laptop, wifi access and steady supply of my favourite snacks. My friends, however, need space and love it. They love open expanses. It sings to them of freedom – freedom to roam, stretch, expand, explore and just be without any sense of inhibition.

The Psalmist later on would later praise God for delivering him from a besieged place. That sense of having the space cramped around you, the suffocating, restricting feeling of being confined because you are surrounded by opposing forces can be a crippling situation. It is until God who redeems and rescues, swoops down and destroys the efforts of the enemy again that we are given once more that sense of freedom to roam.

Look at what the Lord has done – giving us the opportunity to explore open spaces. No more confined by the enemy – we are free to roam the wide spaces of abundant life.

For His Name’s Sake

Shalom

C. L. J. Dryden

Psalm 30 – Reasons To Praise 

When there is success in an endeavour there is reason for praise. Seeing sports personalities and their fans celebrating key victories is a prime example of that in action.

Considering the contents of this Psalm, no wonder there wasn’t going to be any gagging going on. Rescues from dangerous situations, turning around potentially fatal circumstances, ensuring those that trusted in God were never put to shame but elevated again and again. These are great reasons to praise. Seeing how God would respond to prayer and how He would come through for them is a great reason to praise.

Acknowledging His goodness to us and His greatness in all the earth, it’s a great reason to praise. Counting those occasions of His faithfulness, that’s a great reason to praise.

The Psalmist identifies these realities and sees them for what they are – great reasons to praise. Great reasons to know you won’t be silenced on the matter. Great reasons for us to consider for ourselves just how many things He has done for us over our lives for which we we should be thankful as they are good reasons to praise.

For His Name’s Sake

Shalom

C. L. J. Dryden

Psalm 29 – Something About His Voice 

Credit where credit’s due. 

James Earl Jones had a brilliant voice. The guy who gave us the menace in the utterances of  Darth Vader was a masterful orator in his own way. Morgan Freeman has distinctive tones that also does much for the listener. For these and other noted speakers it is something about the way they command respect through the authority in their delivery. Even in the reassuring way they sooth you with their soft dulcet tones they command in a compelling way that others cannot match with all the hollering, screeching or bellowing. 

Credit where credit’s due. 

For all these folks with great voices, this Psalm expresses adoration for one with a voice even greater. A voice that can rearrange mighty pieces of creation. A voice that shatters that which appears indestructible. A voice that makes the bravest souls quiver in dread. A voice so awesome that all at the sound of it acknowledge the glory therein. 

Such knowledge of this voice is worthwhile for those difficulties in life. Some situations seem insurmountable, some issues appear to be so well embedded any sign of change is considered a fantasy. We are told that’s the way things are and that’s the way things will stay. Yet knowing the voice of the Lord can make all the difference even in that situation. 

It reminds me of an episode where a group of fishermen were in a tough spot as far as the weather was concerned to the point they thought they would die. They woke up their snoozing passenger who commanded the elements to be still by the power in his voice. He did not shout or scream, they all sweetly obeyed His will. 

Oh to be closer wrapped up in adoration of the one whose voice makes the difference in those situations. 

Credit where credit’s due. 

For His Name’s Sake 

Shalom 

C. L. J. Dryden 

Psalm 28 – Sticking With Him

It would be very tempting when it appears as though evil is prevailing to slip into some of it.

The Psalmist was aware of the sorts who would put up a good front but behind the smiling eyes would lurk the menacing type who would betray in a heartbeat. He was aware of the types who used deception and distraction to take advantage of others.

It would have been more than understandable if he chose to fall in with those who were that way inclined, but there’s something about knowing God that makes you aware that as far as they might go there is an end awaiting them that willnot be pleasant. Not only that, but there is something farmore reliable, real and true to be found in trusting God who has never failed in doing what’s right.

That degree of trust is how the writer knows that it’s worth sticking with the Rock of his salvation. At times when we are sorely tempted to engage in something untoward, let us be about the business of remembering where our trust is assured.

Let’s stick with Him.

For His Name’s Sake

Shalom

C. L. J. Dryden

Psalm 27 – How To Wait 

Waiting.

Circumstances can determine how you wait. If the situation is pressing, there may be something of the urgent that makes waiting very difficult. How often we need to let God know what time it is and how He needs to be quick.

This Psalm is great for helping with waiting. This reminds us that because of the nature of the one we’re waiting for. Reminding ourselves of his enormous worth and His reliable track record, it is for us to go with Jim rather than the reports on the circumstances.

Indeed if God really is the one thing we desire then it puts waiting into perspective. Seeing Him operate and trusting Him can do wonders for us.

It can at least help us to wait better.

For His Name’s Sake

Shalom

C. L. J. Dryden

Psalm 26 – Bless Him Because We Belong to Him

The Psalmist was not perfect. Neither was he writing from a position of never having done a thing wrong in his life. 

Nevertheless the claims he makes in this Psalm are bold ones. Very bold ones indeed – trusted in the Lord without wavering, walked in his integrity, washes his hands in innocence before God. Bold claims and could give someone the impression that you have to have it altogether before you can cry out to God for help in times of trouble. 

Here is a word of reassurance. The Psalmist is as much talking about the desire of his heart than a perfect record. This is what would mark him out as one God selected because here was a guy after his own heart – ever desirous to enjoy God’s presence and do things right by his God. 

Something incredible happens to those who likewise look to the Lord. They too discover the heart to be desirous for the things that please Him and develop a disgust for the things that disgust Him. That heart inclination is a marvellous work of God. It also puts us in a position where the intentions of this Psalm can be our own. We live by integrity, we love being wherever God is, we choose Him and disregard those who would prove to be a hindrance to Him. 

It is not to suggest that we then have God at our beck and call because we’re so good. It is to know that our God is delighted to rescue us from opposition, He is willing to deliver us from the evil one. He does this for His pleasure because He sees that we are His. 

That’s why it’s also good to regularly open ourselves to godly scrutiny to ensure that we are in line with Him. 

For His Name’s Sake 

Shalom 

C. L. J. Dryden 

Psalm 25 – A Song From the Trenches 

When you are hemmed in from various tough circumstances in life you know the reality of being in warfare. It’s just that the war is not against personalities. It is not against people. It is against something far more sinister than that. 

This Psalm is a great one to help in the trenches of life’s spiritual warfare. As the arrows and bullets of fear and doubt fly around us, it is so important to remember whose we are. It is so important to remember who we trust, remember His character, knowing how faithful He is, knowing how He delights in righteousness, knowing how He is someone we can take refuge in. 

When the battle gets fierce and we feel as afflicted as this Psalmist did, there is this Psalm to give us hope, give us an outlet, give voice to our desire for rescue and for His character and nature to be our refuge. 

For His Name’s Sake 

Shalom 

C. L. J. Dryden