Psalm 4:1-8, 7-8

"You have given me greater joy than those who have abundant harvests of grain and new wine. In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, O Lord, will keep me safe" (Ps 4:7-8, NLT).

Theme: To know peace in a world with no peace; finding peace in a world without much peace.

Sex trafficking--a world without peace. Last Mon (1/26/15) I watched a documentary on sex trafficking in the U.S. on channel 11 called A Path Appears. It is based on a book with the same title, written by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, a couple dedicated to fighting poverty and the oppression of women in the 21st century. It was highly disturbing and sad to hear accounts of how young girls, usually runaways--as young as 11 to 13 years old--are ensnared by pimps who use them as prostitutes. Often, these girls sleep with an average of 10-20 different men a day (or night) every single day for countless years until they escape or die--usually from violence (beaten to death) or from a drug overdose. Prior to being prostitutes most of these women have a history of incest or were sexually abused by some family member or boyfriend of the mother. To hear these women recount their stories in detail is truly jarring to listen to. One of the most eerie accounts is to hear how pimps are on the lookout for young runaway girls to enslave and ensnare them to a life of prostitution and sex trafficking. The pimps looks for young girls walking alone aimlessly in malls. They say to the innocent young girl, "Your eyes look beautiful." If the girl says, "Thank you very much," the pimp would walk away and move on. But if the girl looks down sadly and says, "No, I'm not," the pimp knows that he has her, and he seeks to win her over as though he really cares for her. In no time, the pimp knows that she will become his sex slave and source of income. Hearing this was simply chilling to my bones.

Sun, Feb 08, 2015

Psalm 5:1-12; 7, 11

"But I enter Your house by the abundance of Your faithful love; I bow down toward Your holy temple in reverential awe of You" (Ps 5:7, HCSB). "But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them sing joyful praises forever. Spread your protection over them, that all who love your name may be filled with joy" (Ps 5:11, NLT).

Theme: Enter God's presence by the abundance of his mercy, love and grace, and tell God your honest feelings.

Cry out to God in your distress. Psalm 5 is a lament and a prayer petitioning the Lord in the midst of distress. Why was the psalmist distressed? The psalmist's inner angst was caused by liars and deceitful speech (Ps 4:2; 5:6, 9; 31:13, 18). However, during his morning prayer (Ps 5:3), the psalmist found joy, refuge and favor in the Lord's protection (Ps 5:11-12).

Lies hurt. The devil is the father of lies (Jn 8:44). The destiny of all liars is the second death (Rev 21:8). James understood how destructive lying words can be (Jas 3:5-6). We have all experienced that when lies are spread about you, it hammers, wounds, disheartens and devastates you. David experienced devastating lies said about him (Ps 4:2; 5:6, 9; 31:13, 18). If he allowed the words of liars to get to him he would become bitter and crushed. He would have retaliated in anger and rage (Ps 4:4). But when he entered God's presence and took refuge in the Lord, he found joy amidst the scathing lies (Ps 5:11).

Sun, Feb 22, 2015
Duration: 42 mins 54 secs

Psalm 7:1-17; 8

"The Lord judges the peoples; vindicate me, Lord, according to my righteousness and my integrity" (Ps 7:8, HCSB).

Theme: When (not if) you experience injustice, know for certain that God is NEVER indifferent toward injustice.

What do you do when you feel misunderstood, maligned and marginalized? Psalm 7 is an individual lament, petition and prayer by an innocent person who was slandered, opposed and attacked by those who wanted to disgrace, discredit, dishonor and defeat him.

Psalm 7 is titled in different commentaries as follows:

  1. A Cry for Justice (Ps 7:8-10). [Derek Kidner]
  2. The Blessing of a Good Conscience (Ps 7:3-5, 9-10). [Alec Motyer]
  3. Surviving Slander (Ps 7:1-2, 6, 14; 4:2; 5:6, 9). [George Zemek]