All of the Psalms are not songs of praise. Some of them are songs that describe deep despair. Psalm 141 is one of those songs. The writer, David, has suffered at the hands of the ungodly in Israel but rather than pray for deliverance from them he prays that God keep him from sin.
In His prayer David asks for strength to overcome temptation. He asks God for the power to guard his tongue, to keep him pure, and to keep him from taking part in the things, and pleasures of the wicked. He is certain that God will continue to strengthen him. He is also certain that God will turn the plan of the wicked back on them and they will fall into their own traps.
In order to apply this Psalm to us today we must change our perspective in times of adversity from our view to t God’s perspective. We should seek the Lord on and depend on Him to deliver us. We need not fear the because we know that God is good, that He loves us, and that He will never leave or forsake us.
Psalm 119:68 (NIV) You are good, and what you do is good; teach me your decrees.
John 3:16 (NIV) For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Deuteronomy 31:6 (NIV )Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Protection From Sin And Sinners
Psalm 141:1-10 (NIV) I call to you, Lord , come quickly to me; hear me when I call to you. May my prayer be set before you like incense; may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice. Set a guard over my mouth, Lord ; keep watch over the door of my lips. Do not let my heart be drawn to what is evil so that I take part in wicked deeds along with those who are evildoers; do not let me eat their delicacies. Let a righteous man strike me—that is a kindness; let him rebuke me—that is oil on my head. My head will not refuse it, for my prayer will still be against the deeds of evildoers. Their rulers will be thrown down from the cliffs, and the wicked will learn that my words were well spoken. They will say, “As one plows and breaks up the earth, so our bones have been scattered at the mouth of the grave.” But my eyes are fixed on you, Sovereign Lord ; in you I take refuge—do not give me over to death. Keep me safe from the traps set by evildoers, from the snares they have laid for me. Let the wicked fall into their own nets, while I pass by in safety.
Psalm 6, written by David, is a clear picture of a man in considerable distress because of a severe illness. Although he refers to his enemies, he’s really crying out for relief from his sickness. He believes that he is suffering because of God’s wrath resulting from sin.
A Cry For Relief
Psalm 6:1-10 NIV Lord , do not rebuke me in your anger or discipline me in your wrath. Have mercy on me, Lord , for I am faint; heal me, Lord , for my bones are in agony. My soul is in deep anguish. How long, Lord , how long? Turn, Lord , and deliver me; save me because of your unfailing love. Among the dead no one proclaims your name. Who praises you from the grave? I am worn out from my groaning. All night long I flood my bed with weeping and drench my couch with tears. My eyes grow weak with sorrow; they fail because of all my foes. Away from me, all you who do evil, for the Lord has heard my weeping. The Lord has heard my cry for mercy; the Lord accepts my prayer. All my enemies will be overwhelmed with shame and anguish; they will turn back and suddenly be put to shame.
When you feel that your life is falling apart, you’re discouraged, confused and in trouble, when you're helpless and everything seems hopeless, don’t give up. It may not be an illness, it could be the end of a relationship, an eroding marriage, financial distress, a church hurt. It may be the result of your sin, or somebody else’s sin. It may be the result of living in a fallen world. No matter what the struggle, it causes groaning, tears, and grief. When you find yourself in these circumstances pray the words of Psalm 6. God has not left you alone.
Deuteronomy 31:6 NIV Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Jeremiah 29:11-12 NIV For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord , “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.
God cares for us when we are hurting, so cry out to Him and allow Him to give you His peace
Philippians 4:6-7 NIV Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
It is believed that David wrote this psalm when he was in a cave while running for his life from King Saul. Whether it was in the cave of Adullam, or En Gedi, is not important.
1 Samuel 22:1-2 NIV David left Gath and escaped to the cave of Adullam. When his brothers and his father’s household heard about it, they went down to him there. All those who were in distress or in debt or discontented gathered around him, and he became their commander. About four hundred men were with him.
1 Samuel 23:26-29 NIV Saul was going along one side of the mountain, and David and his men were on the other side, hurrying to get away from Saul. As Saul and his forces were closing in on David and his men to capture them, a messenger came to Saul, saying, “Come quickly! The Philistines are raiding the land.” Then Saul broke off his pursuit of David and went to meet the Philistines. That is why they call this place Sela Hammahlekoth. And David went up from there and lived in the strongholds of En Gedi.
What is important is that David, the great mighty soldier, who had killed Goliath and slain his ten thousands was disgraced and distress.
1 Samuel 18:6-9 NIV When the men were returning home after David had killed the Philistine, the women came out from all the towns of Israel to meet King Saul with singing and dancing, with joyful songs and with timbrels and lyres. As they danced, they sang: “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands.” Saul was very angry; this refrain displeased him greatly. “They have credited David with tens of thousands,” he thought, “but me with only thousands. What more can he get but the kingdom?” And from that time on Saul kept a close eye on David.
He feared for his life as he was being pursued all over Israel by Saul. Although surrounded by his family and about four hundred men he felt alone. He only refuge was God and he was praying that God deliver him from his enemies. He was convinced that God would deliver him and promised that he would give Him all the praise for that deliverance.
Psalm 142 teaches us how to pray when we feel trapped and alone, with no apparent way of escape from overwhelming circumstances.
When You Feel Trapped By Circumstances Cry Out To God in Prayer
Psalm 142:1-7 NIV I cry aloud to the Lord ; I lift up my voice to the Lord for mercy. I pour out before him my complaint; before him I tell my trouble. When my spirit grows faint within me, it is you who watch over my way. In the path where I walk people have hidden a snare for me. Look and see, there is no one at my right hand; no one is concerned for me. I have no refuge; no one cares for my life. I cry to you, Lord ; I say, “You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.” Listen to my cry, for I am in desperate need; rescue me from those who pursue me, for they are too strong for me. Set me free from my prison, that I may praise your name. Then the righteous will gather about me because of your goodness to me.
Psalm 3 was written by David during the time he had to flee from an insurrection led by his son Absalom. It was his prayer for deliverance and protection at a time that he feared for his life. It can become the morning prayer of those of us facing dire circumstances with no apparent way out. Because we don’t see any way out we default to our trust in God who we know is in total control of everything even our dire circumstances. We rely on God’s because of His nature which is love. We rely on Him because He promises that He will never leave or forsake us.
Joshua 1:5 (NLT) No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live. For I will be with you as I was with Moses. I will not fail you or abandon you.
1 John 4:7-10 (NLT)7 Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God.8 But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.9 God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him.10 This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.
Our prayer each morning, as we face the uncertainties, of the day is one of trust. Trust that God will protect us no matter what may come our way. We have the promise of Jesus who said that although there will be trials in this life but we are to not become discouraged because He has overcome them.
John 16:33 (NLT) I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”
The psalmist, David, ends his prayer and we can end ours confident that God will deliver us and we will emerge victorious.
Romans 8:37-39 (NLT)37 No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The Security Of God’s Protection
Psalm 3:1-8 (NLT)1 O LORD, I have so many enemies; so many are against me.2 So many are saying, “God will never rescue him!”
3 But you, O LORD, are a shield around me; you are my glory, the one who holds my head high.4 I cried out to the LORD, and he answered me from his holy mountain.
5 I lay down and slept, yet I woke up in safety, for the LORD was watching over me.
6 I am not afraid of ten thousand enemies who surround me on every side.7 Arise, O LORD! Rescue me, my God! Slap all my enemies in the face! Shatter the teeth of the wicked!8 Victory comes from you, O LORD. May you bless your people.
Thou, Oh Lord- Lyrics
Many are they increased that troubled me
Many are they that rise up against me
Many there be which say of my soul
There is no help for him in God
But Thou, oh Lord are a shield for me
My glory and the lifter of my head
Thou, oh Lord are a shield for me
My glory and the lifter of my head
I cried unto the Lord with my voice
And he heard me out of His holy hill
I laid me down and slept and awaked
For the Lord sustained, for he sustained me
Thou, oh Lord are a shield for me
My glory and the lifter of my head
Thou, oh Lord are shield for me
My glory and the lifter of my head
For Thou oh Lord are a shield for me
My glory and the lifter of my head
Of my head
The writer of Psalm 143 was depressed. Because of his past actions his enemies and persecutors had done everything but taken his life. He admits his guilt as a sinner, and repents of his sins. He was now asking that God deliver him. He needed an immediate answer, and he believed that God would come to his aid before it was too late.
This should be our prayer whenever we face daunting circumstances no matter their origin. Our first cry for help should be to God who is the only one who can deliver a permanent solution. If where we are is our fault all we need to do is confess, ask forgiveness, know that God will forgive and deliver us. He has promised two things He will forgive and will never leave or forsake us.
Deuteronomy 31:6 (NIV) Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
1 John 1:9 (NIV) If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
A Cry For Help
Psalm 143:1-12 )NIV) Lord , hear my prayer, listen to my cry for mercy; in your faithfulness and righteousness come to my relief. Do not bring your servant into judgment, for no one living is righteous before you. The enemy pursues me, he crushes me to the ground; he makes me dwell in the darkness like those long dead. So my spirit grows faint within me; my heart within me is dismayed. I remember the days of long ago; I meditate on all your works and consider what your hands have done. I spread out my hands to you; I thirst for you like a parched land. Answer me quickly, Lord ; my spirit fails. Do not hide your face from me or I will be like those who go down to the pit. Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life. Rescue me from my enemies, Lord , for I hide myself in you. Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground. For your name’s sake, Lord , preserve my life; in your righteousness, bring me out of trouble. In your unfailing love, silence my enemies; destroy all my foes, for I am your servant.
Recently, my Pastor has become very excited about Psalm 9 because of it’s praise to God for maintaining our position with and protection in Him.
This is the verse that that really gets him excited;
“For You have maintained my right and my cause; You sat on the throne judging in righteousness.“
The Hebrew word translated maintain is ʿāśâ. Various versions translate the word as “maintained”, “judged”, “upheld”, “gave approval”or “defended”. Strong’s Greek and Hebrew Dictionary says that ʿāśâ conveys the following images; to do or make, in the broadest sense and widest application (as follows) :- accomplish, advance, appoint, apt, be at, become, bear, bestow, bring forth, finish, fit, fly, follow, fulfill furnish, gather, get, go about, govern, grant, bring (come) to pass, perform, practice, prepare, procure, provide, put, requite, - Strong's Talking Greek & Hebrew Dictionary.
No wonder he gets to excited!
The writer, David was confident, as we can be as well, that God takes care of everything for the righteous, including the judgement of our enemy, Satan, and everything he uses against us in spiritual warfare.
Praise For Destruction Of The Enemy
Psalm 9:1-20 (NKJV)1 I will praise You, O LORD, with my whole heart; I will tell of all Your marvelous works.2 I will be glad and rejoice in You; I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High.3 When my enemies turn back, They shall fall and perish at Your presence.4 For You have maintained my right and my cause; You sat on the throne judging in righteousness.5 You have rebuked the nations, You have destroyed the wicked; You have blotted out their name forever and ever.6 O enemy, destructions are finished forever! And you have destroyed cities; Even their memory has perished.7 But the LORD shall endure forever; He has prepared His throne for judgment.8 He shall judge the world in righteousness, And He shall administer judgment for the peoples in uprightness.9 The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, A refuge in times of trouble.10 And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; For You, LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You.11 Sing praises to the LORD, who dwells in Zion! Declare His deeds among the people.12 When He avenges blood, He remembers them; He does not forget the cry of the humble.13 Have mercy on me, O LORD! Consider my trouble from those who hate me, You who lift me up from the gates of death,14 That I may tell of all Your praise In the gates of the daughter of Zion. I will rejoice in Your salvation.15 The nations have sunk down in the pit which they made; In the net which they hid, their own foot is caught.16 The LORD is known by the judgment He executes; The wicked is snared in the work of his own hands. Meditation. Selah17 The wicked shall be turned into hell, And all the nations that forget God.18 For the needy shall not always be forgotten; The expectation of the poor shall not perish forever.19 Arise, O LORD, Do not let man prevail; Let the nations be judged in Your sight.20 Put them in fear, O LORD, That the nations may know themselves to be but men. Selah
The God Of Compassion
In Psalm 146 the psalmist promises never ending praise to God. Don’t put all your trust in man no matter their position or title. Even the highest of among men (government or religions leaders) are not worthy of our confidence. If we put all of our trust in them we are sure to be disappointed. God Almighty is the only one worthy of our unending trust and praise.
This trust and praise based upon God's creation of the universe, his loving care of man, and the fact that He will reign forever. His leadership has no term of office and will never be terminated. He is the champion of the needy and the oppressed; He frees those bound by sin,; He opens the eye of the blind so that they can see their salvation; He protects the strangers (those who are not one of us); He cares for the widows and orphans those who need it most; and He frustrated the plans of the wicked they will not succeed forever their end is destruction.
For all these things we give God praise.
Never Ending Praise
Psalm 146:1-10 (NLT)1 Praise the LORD! Let all that I am praise the LORD.2 I will praise the LORD as long as I live. I will sing praises to my God with my dying breath.3 Don’t put your confidence in powerful people; there is no help for you there.4 When they breathe their last, they return to the earth, and all their plans die with them.5 But joyful are those who have the God of Israel as their helper, whose hope is in the LORD their God.6 He made heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them. He keeps every promise forever.7 He gives justice to the oppressed and food to the hungry. The LORD frees the prisoners.8 The LORD opens the eyes of the blind. The LORD lifts up those who are weighed down. The LORD loves the godly.9 The LORD protects the foreigners among us. He cares for the orphans and widows, but he frustrates the plans of the wicked.10 The LORD will reign forever. He will be your God, O Jerusalem, throughout the generations. Praise the LORD!
In Psalm 17 David is praying for deliverance from unjust treatment from his enemies. This prayer is probably one during the time that David was running from Saul. In his prayer he presents his his case and cries out for justice. He appeals to God’s love for him, and asks that He keep him safe. He talks about the difference in himself and his enemies who he describes as wicked, murderous, people who are without pity who like hungry lions want to team him apart. He asks God to defeat them so decisively so that there will be no doubt that it was God who delivered him.
He ends his prayer with confidence that God will answer his prayer. The statement, “When I awake", may refer to the next morning after this experience or to a vision of God after the resurrection.
Vindication Of The Righteous
Psalm 17:1-15 (NLT)1 O LORD, hear my plea for justice. Listen to my cry for help. Pay attention to my prayer, for it comes from honest lips.2 Declare me innocent, for you see those who do right.3 You have tested my thoughts and examined my heart in the night. You have scrutinized me and found nothing wrong. I am determined not to sin in what I say.4 I have followed your commands, which keep me from following cruel and evil people.5 My steps have stayed on your path; I have not wavered from following you.6 I am praying to you because I know you will answer, O God. Bend down and listen as I pray.7 Show me your unfailing love in wonderful ways. By your mighty power you rescue those who seek refuge from their enemies.8 Guard me as you would guard your own eyes. Hide me in the shadow of your wings.9 Protect me from wicked people who attack me, from murderous enemies who surround me.10 They are without pity. Listen to their boasting!11 They track me down and surround me, watching for the chance to throw me to the ground.12 They are like hungry lions, eager to tear me apart— like young lions hiding in ambush.13 Arise, O LORD! Stand against them, and bring them to their knees! Rescue me from the wicked with your sword!14 By the power of your hand, O LORD, destroy those who look to this world for their reward. But satisfy the hunger of your treasured ones. May their children have plenty, leaving an inheritance for their descendants.15 Because I am righteous, I will see you. When I awake, I will see you face to face and be satisfied.
Psalm 150 says let everything that has breath praise the Lord. The writer is using the analogy of every living thing praising the Lord.
Psalm 150:6 (NLT) Let everything that breathes sing praises to the LORD! Praise the LORD!
Psalm 148 says every living thing that breathes praising God isn’t enough. The psalmist calls on the entire creation to praise Him breathing or not. The creation itself shouts praise to its creator. That’s one of the reasons that Paul says that man is without excuse in not acknowledging the existence of God the Creator of all things.
Romans 1:18-20 (NLT)18 But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness.19 They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them.20 For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.
“Let everything, absolutely everything praise the Lord”!
Creation’s Praise Of The Lord
Psalm 148:1-14 (NLT)1 Praise the LORD! Praise the LORD from the heavens! Praise him from the skies!2 Praise him, all his angels! Praise him, all the armies of heaven!3 Praise him, sun and moon! Praise him, all you twinkling stars!4 Praise him, skies above! Praise him, vapors high above the clouds!5 Let every created thing give praise to the LORD, for he issued his command, and they came into being.6 He set them in place forever and ever. His decree will never be revoked.7 Praise the LORD from the earth, you creatures of the ocean depths,8 fire and hail, snow and clouds, wind and weather that obey him,9 mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars,10 wild animals and all livestock, small scurrying animals and birds,11 kings of the earth and all people, rulers and judges of the earth,12 young men and young women, old men and children.13 Let them all praise the name of the LORD. For his name is very great; his glory towers over the earth and heaven!14 He has made his people strong, honoring his faithful ones— the people of Israel who are close to him. Praise the LORD!
In this psalm the writer is asking God to act not against nations outside Israel but the misuse of power and evil inside the nation. Although he starts with this plea he realizes that God is in control no matter what it looks like, so he ends by thanking God for the justice that He will eventually bring.
This psalm provides a picture of what is happening our nation today. The psalmist's prayer was answered, in part, by the coming of Jesus.
Isaiah 9:6-7 (NLT) 6 For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.7 His government and its peace will never end. He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David for all eternity. The passionate commitment of the LORD of Heaven’s Armies will make this happen!
The final answer will come when He returns, and He’s coming soon.
Revelation 22:20 (NLT) He who is the faithful witness to all these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon!” Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!
From YouVersion Eat this Book: One Year with Daily Psalm Reading Plan - In light of the brazen abuses committed by wicked people, the psalmist wondered aloud, “Why, Lord, do you stand far off?” (v. 1). At first glance, it would seem that the perennial question of the problem of evil has again stolen the spotlight and remained unanswered. Yet, the psalmist’s conclusion suggests not only an answer, but also an entirely different emphasis — a faith-filled focus on the trustworthiness and action of God. Consider the psalmist’s proclamation that “the Lord is King for ever and ever” (v. 16)! Clearly he believed that God hears, God sees, God acts and God defends “the fatherless and the oppressed”; and God promises that the wicked, ultimately, “will never again strike terror” (v. 18). The truth is that God is in control. God’s kingdom is now, and it is coming. God will reign as King. The bottom line is that the reality of God’s authority and actions come to bear on today’s injustices — if not now, then in the future. Because of this, God’s people can take heart in the good news that Jesus is coming, and he is “coming soon”
God Is In Control
Psalms 10:1-18 (NLT) O Lord , why do you stand so far away? Why do you hide when I am in trouble? The wicked arrogantly hunt down the poor. Let them be caught in the evil they plan for others. For they brag about their evil desires; they praise the greedy and curse the Lord . The wicked are too proud to seek God. They seem to think that God is dead. Yet they succeed in everything they do. They do not see your punishment awaiting them. They sneer at all their enemies. They think, “Nothing bad will ever happen to us! We will be free of trouble forever!” Their mouths are full of cursing, lies, and threats. Trouble and evil are on the tips of their tongues. They lurk in ambush in the villages, waiting to murder innocent people. They are always searching for helpless victims. Like lions crouched in hiding, they wait to pounce on the helpless. Like hunters they capture the helpless and drag them away in nets. Their helpless victims are crushed; they fall beneath the strength of the wicked. The wicked think, “God isn’t watching us! He has closed his eyes and won’t even see what we do!” Arise, O Lord ! Punish the wicked, O God! Do not ignore the helpless! Why do the wicked get away with despising God? They think, “God will never call us to account.” But you see the trouble and grief they cause. You take note of it and punish them. The helpless put their trust in you. You defend the orphans. Break the arms of these wicked, evil people! Go after them until the last one is destroyed. The Lord is king forever and ever! The godless nations will vanish from the land. Lord , you know the hopes of the helpless. Surely you will hear their cries and comfort them. You will bring justice to the orphans and the oppressed, so mere people can no longer terrify them.
Donald Jacobs is an ordained minister with the spiritual gift of teaching. He is the Associate Pastor of a non-denominational church in Los Angeles, CA.