25:1-22- ‘Lead me in Thy truth, and teach me, for Thou art the God of my salvation’(5). We can pray this prayer with confidence. God has given His promise: ‘He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble His way’(9). Our confidence is in the Lord. We ‘put no confidence in the flesh’(Philippians 3:3). Jesus teaches us that God hides Himself from the proud and reveals Himself to the humble: ‘…Father…Thou hast hidden these things from the wise and revealed them to babes’(Matthew 11:25). In the life of faith, the most important thing is the right attitude - not the ‘best education’! The proud may concern themselves with impressing ‘the right people’. For the humble, there is something more important - pleasing God. His opinion is the one that really matters!
26:1-27:12- God’s love for us inspires our loyalty to Him: ‘Your love is ever before me, and I will walk continually in Your truth’(26:3). Loyalty to the Lord involves worshipping Him and walking with Him (26:11-12). Walking with God is not easy. There are ‘enemies round about’ us (26:4-5, 9-10; 27:2-3,6,11-12). What are we to do? We are to worship God: ‘One thing have I asked of the Lord…that I may dwell in the House of the Lord…’(27:4). What are we doing when we gather in the Lord’s House for worship? This is what we are doing - ‘Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage’(27:14). Where does our strength come from? It comes from God: ‘The Lord is my light and my salvation… The Lord is the stronghold of my life’. Strong in Him, we say, ‘My heart will not fear… I will be confident’(27:1,3).
28:1-29:11- ‘The Lord is my Strength…The Lord is the Strength of His people’(28:7-8). Our personal strengthening is closely related to the strengthening of God’s people. Don’t be a ‘lone ranger’, going it alone, keeping yourself to yourself. Share your strength with others. Draw strength from them. ‘Let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another’(Hebrews 10:24-25). Where does your strength come from? It comes from ‘the Lord’ who ‘sits enthroned as King for ever’(29:10). We grow strong as we listen for ‘the voice of the Lord’(29:3-9). Don’t let God’s voice be drowned out - ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God’(Matthew 4:4).
30:1-12- ‘I will exalt You, O Lord’(1). God is not exalted because we exalt Him. We exalt Him because He is exalted: ‘He is exalted, for ever exalted, and I will praise His Name’(Mission Praise,217). How do we come to the point where we say, ‘I will exalt You, O Lord’? We realize our need of Him - ‘when You hid Your face, I was dismayed’(7). We look to Him for mercy - ‘To You, O Lord, I called; to the Lord, I cried for mercy’(8). God hears and answers our prayer - ‘You turned my wailing into dancing; You removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy’(11). God calls us to worship Him - ‘Sing praises to the Lord, O you His saints, and give thanks to His holy Name’(4). ‘The joy of the Lord’, His ‘unutterable and exalted joy’, gives us ‘strength’(Nehemiah 8:10; 1 Peter 1:8). We worship God: ‘O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever’(12).
31:1-24- ‘Into Thy hand, I commit my spirit’(5). These words were spoken by Christ as, in death, He gave Himself for our sins (Luke 23:46). For Christ, there was suffering - ‘I am the scorn of all my adversaries’(11). His suffering was followed by rejoicing, the joy of the resurrection - ‘I will be glad and rejoice in Your love, for You saw my affliction and knew the anguish of my soul. You have not handed me over to the enemy but have set my feet in a spacious place’(7-8). God answered the prayer of His Son - He brought Him into the ‘spacious place’ of the resurrection, the ‘spacious place’ which is, for us, ‘eternal salvation’(Hebrews 5:7-9). We look to the crucified Christ and we say, ‘Praise be to the Lord, for He showed His wonderful love to me’(21). In the risen Christ, we are ‘strong and our hearts take courage’(24).
32:1-11- The forgiveness of sins - what a tremendous blessing this is (1-2). We receive God’s forgiveness when we confess our sins to Him. This is the Psalmist’s testimony: ‘I made my sins known to You, and I did not cover up my guilt. I decided to confess them to You, O Lord. Then You forgave all my sins’(5). This is the promise of God: ‘If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness’(1 John 1:9). Knowing that our sins have been forgiven by God, we can face our many trying times with confidence in Him: ‘You are my hiding place. You always fill my heart with songs of deliverance whenever I am afraid. I will trust in You, I will trust in You. Let the weak say, “I am strong in the strength of my God”’(7; Mission Praise, 793).