Jesus in Psalms: Purpose in the Pain
Psalms is one of the five books of wisdom and poetry we find in Scripture. The wisdom of God is inspiring beyond imagination. Entering conversations with people who are filled w wisdom is like entering a room that is filled with inspiring treasure.
Psalms are filled with fascinating clues of the coming Messiah who would not show up for almost 1,000 years after they were written.
Clearly Jesus is revealed in Psalms as our shepherd. But a more in depth look reveals Christ in fascinating ways in Psalms.
Ps 22:1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?...6 I am a worm and not a man, scorned by men and despised by the people. 7 All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads…16 a band of evil men has encircled me, they have pierced my hands and my feet…18 They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing. NIV
Many Psalms were written under enormous pressure.
Everybody wants to be a diamond but nobody wants to go through the painful process of heat and pressure it takes to get there.
No pressure = No diamonds.
Some of the psalms have have additional notations connecting them with events in David’s life.
Ps 63 is linked to 1 Sam 23 where Saul was pursuing David into the hot, dry and rocky terrain of the desert of Judah.
1 Sam 23:14 “…Saul sought him every day, but God did not deliver him into his hand. NKJV
Imagine being on the run and in fear for your life from a person you were choosing to honor though he was trying to kill you.
Ps 63:1 O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water. 2 I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. 3 Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. 4 I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands… NIV
In Saul’s relentless pursuit David continued to turn to God for grace and strength. None of us will ever be the person we can be if all pressure, tension and discipline are taken out of our lives. A clay pot simply remains a clay pot sitting in the sun. It’s not until it goes through the white heat of a furnace that it becomes porcelain.
Walk out your pain with wisdom & then help others to do the same using your hurt to bear fruit.
- Pain become purpose when hurt produces fruit.
- Pain becomes poison when hurt produces hate.
2 Cor 1:4 (Jesus) comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us. MSG
WISDOM FOCUSES ON OTHERS: Jesus' mission cost him his life because his mission was not this life. Your mission is bigger than this life.
Back to Ps 22:6 “I am a worm” this speaks specifically of the crimson grub which was protected by the king. It had a very rich red blood and was used to make a dye that only the king was allowed to wear when crushed.
As this worm is about to die it attaches itself to a tree and upon its death its eggs hatch allowing life to come from its death on a tree.
After dying the worm is scraped from the tree and the crimson gel is used to make this dye – but only for 3 days.
This worm also contains an anti-bacterial agent and was used in the formula for the ashes of the red heifer (Lev 14:4) for when someone came into contact with a dead body (a host for bacteria).
This worm was necessary to make one clean, which I see as symbolic of removing sin, not to mention the many references in the Bible, to Jesus being a healer, in his life, and forever.
GP4RL: Purpose a conversation with somebody you know to be deeply considerate of others this week asking them for advice about life.
Psalms, a collection of poems and is one of only two Old Testament books containing multiple authors (Proverbs is the other). David was responsible for writing 73 of the Psalms.
The psalms are organized into five books or collections. They were probably collected gradually, as corporate worship forms developed along with temple worship.
Some of the psalms attributed to David have additional notations connecting them with documented events in his life (for example, Psalm 59 is linked with 1 Samuel 19:11; Psalm 56 is connected with 1 Samuel 21:10–15; Psalm 34 is associated with 1 Samuel 21:10–22:2; and Psalm 52 is linked with 1 Samuel 22:9).
Open this with explanation of David’s famous Psalm of repentance Ps 51. This helps understand direction for the study.
• You never will be the person you can be if pressure, tension and discipline are taken out of your life.
1 Sam 16:14-23 – But the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and a distressing spirit from the Lord troubled him. Ps 23 is appropriately considered a possible text David might sing to his troubled and unstable King.
A psalm of David.
Ps 23:1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, 3 he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousnessfor his name's sake. 4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 6 Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
1 Sam 19:15 – Saul attempted to capture David at his own house.
For the director of music. [To the tune of] "Do Not Destroy." Of David. A "miktam." When Saul had sent men to watch David's house in order to kill him.
Ps 59:1 Deliver me from my enemies, O God; protect me from those who rise up against me. 2 Deliver me from evildoers and save me from bloodthirsty men. 3 See how they lie in wait for me! Fierce men conspire against me for no offense or sin of mine, O LORD. 4 I have done no wrong, yet they are ready to attack me. Arise to help me; look on my plight! 5 O LORD God Almighty, the God of Israel, rouse yourself to punish all the nations; show no mercy to wicked traitors. "Selah" 6They return at evening, snarling like dogs, and prowl about the city. 7 See what they spew from their mouths-- they spew out swords from their lips, and they say, "Who can hear us?" 8 But you, O LORD, laugh at them; you scoff at all those nations. 9 O my Strength, I watch for you; you, O God, are my fortress, 10 my loving God. God will go before me and will let me gloat over those who slander me. 11 But do not kill them, O Lord our shield, or my people will forget. In your might make them wander about, and bring them down. 12 For the sins of their mouths, for the words of their lips, let them be caught in their pride. For the curses and lies they utter, 13 consume them in wrath, consume them till they are no more. Then it will be known to the ends of the earth that God rules over Jacob. "Selah" 14 They return at evening, snarling like dogs, and prowl about the city.15 They wander about for food and howl if not satisfied. 16 But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble. 17 O my Strength, I sing praise to you; you, O God, are my fortress, my loving God.
1 Sam 21 – David flees to Gath. David running for his life defected over to join forces with Achish, the king of Gath. Achish voiced resistance to this idea referencing how Saul was known for killing thousands but David was known for killing tens of thousands. David, hearing this, pretended to be insane scratching at doors allowing saliva to run out of his mouth and down his beard in hopes of being spared.
For the director of music. To [the tune of] "A Dove on Distant Oaks." Of David. A "miktam." When the Philistines had seized him in Gath.
Ps 56:1 Be merciful to me, O God, for men hotly pursue me; all day long they press their attack. 2 My slanderers pursue me all day long; many are attacking me in their pride. 3 When I am afraid, I will trust in you. 4 In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me? 5 All day long they twist my words; they are always plotting to harm me. 6 They conspire, they lurk, they watch my steps, eager to take my life. 7 On no account let them escape;in your anger, O God, bring down the nations. 8 Record my lament; list my tears on your scroll-- are they not in your record? 9 Then my enemies will turn back when I call for help. By this I will know that God is for me. 10 In God, whose word I praise, in the LORD, whose word I praise-- 11in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? 12 I am under vows to you, O God; I will present my thank offerings to you. 13 For you have delivered me from death and my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before God in the light of life.
Of David. When he pretended to be insane before Abimelech, who drove him away, and he left.
Ps 34:1 I will extol the LORD at all times; his praise will always be on my lips. 2 My soul will boast in the LORD; let the afflicted hear and rejoice. 3 Glorify the LORD with me; let us exalt his name together. 4 I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. 5 Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. 6 This poor man called, and the LORD heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles. 7 The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them. 8 Taste and see that the LORD is good;blessed is the man who takes refuge in him. 9 Fear the LORD, you his saints, for those who fear him lack nothing. 10 The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing. 11 Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD. 12Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days, 13 keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies. 14 Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. 15 The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their cry; 16 the face of the LORD is against those who do evil, to cut off the memory of them from the earth. 17 The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. 18 The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. 19 A righteous man may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all; 20 he protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken. 21 Evil will slay the wicked; the foes of the righteous will be condemned. 22 The LORD redeems his servants; no one will be condemned who takes refuge in him.
1 Sam 22 - David was in need of a sword. He secured Goliath’s sword from Ahimelech, a priest at the City of Nob, who accommodated the request only knowing David’s heart to serve his King. Doeg was there that day observing what was taking place and would alert King Saul to the situation. In response Saul gave the command for all 85 priests to be killed as well as people in the City. When Saul’s own guards refused to strike the Lord’s priests, the Edomite, Doeg did not hesitate to carry out the evil deed.
For the director of music. A "maskil" of David. When Doeg the Edomite had gone to Saul and told him: "David has gone to the house of Ahimelech."
Ps 52:1 Why do you boast of evil, you mighty man? Why do you boast all day long, you who are a disgrace in the eyes of God? 2 Your tongue plots destruction; it is like a sharpened razor, you who practice deceit. 3 You love evil rather than good, falsehood rather than speaking the truth. "Selah" 4 You love every harmful word, O you deceitful tongue! 5 Surely God will bring you down to everlasting ruin: He will snatch you up and tear you from your tent; he will uproot you from the land of the living. "Selah" 6 The righteous will see and fear; they will laugh at him, saying, 7 "Here now is the man who did not make God his stronghold but trusted in his great wealth and grew strong by destroying others!" 8 But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God; I trust in God's unfailing love for ever and ever. 9 I will praise you forever for what you have done; in your name I will hope, for your name is good. I will praise you in the presence of your saints.
In the wilderness of Judah. The arid rocky region along the Western shore of the Dead Sea. 1 Sam 23:13-27 Saul was tracking David into this terrain of a dry and thirsty land = the wilderness of Maon and were closing in on him surrounding him. Suddenly a messenger came to Saul saying the Philistines had invaded the land causing Saul to return from pursuing David perhaps not knowing just how close he was to capturing him. 1 Sam 23:14 “…Saul sought him every day, but God did not deliver him into his hand. NKJV
A psalm of David. When he was in the Desert of Judah.
Ps 63:1 O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water. 2 I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. 3 Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. 4 I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. 5 My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you. 6 On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night. 7 Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. 8 My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me. 9 They who seek my life will be destroyed; they will go down to the depths of the earth. 10 They will be given over to the sword and become food for jackals. 11 But the king will rejoice in God; all who swear by God's name will praise him, while the mouths of liars will be silenced.
1 Sam 24 – David continues hiding in the caves of the Judean wilderness. Jewish Zealots who rebelled against the Roman Empire would hide here also. There were many caves there very useful for hiding. The Dead Sea Scrolls were hidden there for hundreds of years before they were ever discovered. This is where David spares Saul’s life by merely cutting the corner off of his robe without his knowing it. Then David is convicted about doing this to God’s anointed King. Though he’s lost God’s presence he’s still in the process of working out his loss of position and David honors his position as he addresses him saying he will not harm the Lord’s anointed. Saul is convicted and turns away from his pursuit of David at last.
57:7-11pp -- Ps 108:1-5
For the director of music. [To the tune of] "Do Not Destroy." Of David. A "miktam." When he had fled from Saul into the cave.
Ps 57:1 Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me, for in you my soul takes refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed. 2 I cry out to God Most High, to God, who fulfills [his purpose] for me. 3 He sends from heaven and saves me, rebuking those who hotly pursue me; "Selah" God sends his love and his faithfulness. 4 I am in the midst of lions;I lie among ravenous beasts-- men whose teeth are spears and arrows, whose tongues are sharp swords. 5 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let your glory be over all the earth. 6 They spread a net for my feet-- I was bowed down in distress. They dug a pit in my path-- but they have fallen into it themselves. "Selah" 7 My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast; I will sing and make music. 8 Awake, my soul! Awake, harp and lyre! I will awaken the dawn. 9 I will praise you, O Lord, among the nations; I will sing of you among the peoples. 10 For great is your love, reaching to the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies. 11 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let your glory be over all the earth.
A song. A psalm of David.
Ps 108:1 My heart is steadfast, O God; I will sing and make music with all my soul. 2 Awake, harp and lyre! I will awaken the dawn. 3 I will praise you, O LORD, among the nations; I will sing of you among the peoples. 4 For great is your love, higher than the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies. 5 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens, and let your glory be over all the earth. 6Save us and help us with your right hand, that those you love may be delivered. 7 God has spoken from his sanctuary: "In triumph I will parcel out Shechem and measure off the Valley of Succoth. 8 Gilead is mine, Manasseh is mine; Ephraim is my helmet, Judah my scepter. 9 Moabis my washbasin, upon Edom I toss my sandal; over Philistia I shout in triumph." 10 Who will bring me to the fortified city? Who will lead me to Edom? 11 Is it not you, O God, you who have rejected us and no longer go out with our armies? 12 Give us aid against the enemy, for the help of man is worthless. 13 With God we will gain the victory, and he will trample down our enemies.
A "maskil" of David. When he was in the cave. A prayer.
Ps 142:1 I cry aloud to the LORD; I lift up my voice to the LORD for mercy. 2 I pour out my complaintbefore him; before him I tell my trouble. 3 When my spirit grows faint within me, it is you who know my way. In the path where I walk men have hidden a snare for me. 4 Look to my right and see; no one is concerned for me. I have no refuge; no one cares for my life. 5 I cry to you, O LORD; I say, "You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living." 6 Listen to my cry, for I am in desperate need; rescue me from those who pursue me, for they are too strong for me. 7 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.
1 Sam 25 God vindicated David from Nabal’s foolish rampage. Nabal is now dead and David has taken his wife, Abigail as his own. These final chapters of 1 Sam are Saul’s last years when David will actually defect over to the Philistines.
For the director of music. With stringed instruments. A "maskil" of David. When the Ziphites had gone to Saul and said, "Is not David hiding among us?"
Ps 54:1 Save me, O God, by your name; vindicate me by your might. 2 Hear my prayer, O God; listen to the words of my mouth. 3 Strangers are attacking me; ruthless men seek my life-- men without regard for God. "Selah" 4 Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me. 5 Let evil recoil on those who slander me; in your faithfulness destroy them. 6 I will sacrifice a freewill offering to you; I will praise your name, O LORD, for it is good. 7 For he has delivered me from all my troubles, and my eyes have looked in triumph on my foes.