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PSALM 21:13

As we are learning to discover Christ in every psalm, as Bonhoeffer did, and so many saints of old, there is a richness I had not known before. In “Christ in the Psalms,” Patrick Reardon says that Psalms 20 and 21 were prayed “by the holy Church, both east and west, during the earliest hours of Sunday morning, the Resurrection day of her Lord Jesus Christ. …The voice of the Church can be heard in this psalm, celebrating the Son’s victory over sin, death, and hell.” I believe you too will see these psalms afresh, and also find strength for your own battles. Jesus trusted in His God, who delivered Him, and has led the way for us, to not trust in ourselves or our methods, to not trust in chariots or horses, but to trust in our the LORD our God.


With permission, I want to tell you a story of how our own Rebecca (who sang for you in last week’s post) trusted the Lord when things seemed bleak, and how He came running for her. Rebecca and her husband Patrick has struggled in finding a church that felt like home. Rebecca longed for a church with gospel-centered preaching and a church that would fully welcome their sons, two of whom are on the autism spectrum. Finally, last year, they found such a church. I have seen Rebecca and Patrick so rejoice, for they and their sons LOVED the church.

I have met Patrick, and he is a strong, yet tender-hearted husband and father. When he learned that their new church had a policy to give women freedom to be in leadership positions, he was concerned. Indeed, there are Scriptures that I believe make it clear that men are to be the head of the home and of the governing of the church. Yet there are other Scriptures that show women in leadership positions in Israel and in the early church.  Patrick feared the church was not honoring Scripture and told Rebecca he wanted them to return to their old church. Rebecca was so sad, and struggled for the next day so! Yet she told Patrick she would follow his leadership — all the while crying out to her God. Patrick wrote a letter to their pastor with his questions, and the pastor responded with gentleness and wisdom and his scriptural reasons. Patrick, showing his teachable heart, did a complete turn-a-round. (When we finish the first book of Psalms we will spend a week or two on this controversial topic — and we will probably have to give one another grace, for this is is a topic over which those who truly love the Lord disagree.) My point in this story is that Rebecca modeled trust in the Lord. She did not resort to the methods so many of us would have been tempted to use, but trusted in her God, and He gave her the desire of her heart. Will there be more battles ahead? You can count on it! But I so respect Rebecca and Patrick for seeking and trusting the Lord. I love how He gave them likemindedness. Our God is for us, He has gone before us, and He will, in the end, triumph over every enemy.

Sunday Icebreaker

1. What stood out to you from the above and why?

2. What battle are you facing right now that the God of angel armies can handle?

Note: Next week we will be doing Psalm 23, the most beloved psalm, as we did Psalm 22 during Holy Week. I encourage you to get Philip Keller’s A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23 from inter-library loan, or Amazon for under $4 (and less if you get it used) or from Audible.com (If you sign up for a free month’s trial you can get it for free and than cancel if you choose.) This is optional — but it is a classic that will so enhance your understanding of this psalm.

Today is Mother’s Day — a day to thank God for our mothers, and pray both for  each here who is mothering and those who have the pain of waiting to be a mother, wondering if God will give them the desire of their hearts.  I’m speaking at my daughter Sally’s church and would love prayers for that. Please spend some time this morning praying for all of the above!

Monday-Thursday Bible Study

Bonhoeffer suggests singing to prepare your heart before you open the Word each day. Here are some possibilities for this week — and feel free to suggest others!

3. Read Psalm 20

    A. Read this through the perspective that this King is Jesus and write down all you see through that lens.

    B. In the lesson from MIke Reeves, he shows how verses 1-4 are prayers for Jesus. Why wouldn’t you, for example, pray verse 4 for just any king?

    C. I love seeing this as the Church praising the LORD — Christ for HIs sacrifice, God the Father for His victorious answer, and The Spirit inflaming our hearts. Slow down and meditate on verses 4-6:

           1) Why did Jesus leave paradise, and why did God the Father want Him to leave — what was His heart’s desire?

        2) Compare verse 5 to Song of Songs 6:4. What do you see?

          3) What does verse 6 say — how was this fulfilled on Resurrection Day?

    D. What does verse 7 say — and how did Christ refuse to trust in His power and might?

    E. With Rebecca’s story in mind, how might you apply verse 7 to your life right now? Ask Him for help to do this.


4. Read Psalm 21:1-7

    A. Read this through the perspective that Jesus is the King and write down all you see through that lens.

    B. Christ received not only everlasting life — but joy. Find it in this passage, knowing this also will be yours one day. Write a prayer of praise.


Friday: Mike Reeves teaching on Psalms 20-24.


For those of you who have been with us since we began psalms, you remember how Mike Reeves shows us that the psalter has a flow, a continuity — and in this teaching sesson (not a sermon) he shows how Book 1 begins with many psalms emphasizing creation, as in Genesis 1-2, but then moves into the One who will rescue us from the fall, as promised in Genesis 3. It becomes more Messianic. I know some of you don’t have an easy way to turn up your volume and you will have to listen closely — I’m sorry for that inconvenience.

5. Share your notes and comments on Mike Reeves.


6. What is your take-a-way and why?


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  1. Testing!    I’ll be a blimp with you Laura….we will be beautiful in heaven!
    Heard there were problems posting  ( from facebook) today…so if this works…that’s great. …things got worked out!

    1. Thanks Joyce! Love you sister 😉

  2. In bold red it said….Something went wrong….After I pushed submit.   It done that yesterday too….but finally it worked.   Done it again when I just posted.  Had to keep trying.

  3. Worked fine that last time!

  4.            1) Why did Jesus leave paradise, and why did God the Father want Him to leave — what was His heart’s desire?
    Jesus left paradise for us…..the Father wanted to make sure He saved us so we had the chance to be with Him.
            2) Compare verse 5 to Song of Songs 6:4. What do you see?
    “May we shout for joy over your victory and lift up our banners in the name of our God. May the Lord grant all your requests.” (Psalm 20:5 NIV)
    “You are as beautiful as Tirzah, my darling, as lovely as Jerusalem, as majestic as troops with banners.” (Song of Solomon 6:4 NIV)
    Both have banners mentioned. Both are joyous, and speak of “Jerusalem” (“victory” in the Psalm). Both are praising to the recipient of the statement.
              3) What does verse 6 say — how was this fulfilled on Resurrection Day?
    “Now this I know: The Lord gives victory to his anointed. He answers him from his heavenly sanctuary with the victorious power of his right hand.” (Psalm 20:6 NIV)
    He he took our sins and that meant we could be with Him in heaven! Oh glorious day!!!!

  5. Dee, there have been several “issues” with posting on the blog for me today. It seems that others have had trouble as well. One thing is replying to another after posting myself. The dialog box is yellow and it won’t allow typing.

  6. You can order Philip Keller’s A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23 online from Walmart Store for $2.96.   You can choose to pay cash for it at a Walmart store within 48 hours and the only cost added will be tax.  (credit card option is also available). You will then be issued a estimated pick up date.

  7. 4. Read Psalm 21:1-7
        A. Read this through the perspective that Jesus is the King and write down all you see through that lens. I think I also answered B. here. :))))

    OH I LOVE THIS. I so see Jesus’ intimacy with God. 

    Psalm 21:1-“The King rejoices in your strength Lord-How great is His joy in the victories you give!”- This verse is power packed-it is hard to move on. This beautiful Intimacy between Jesus and God is sticking with me this morning:

    God is Jesus goodness, His strength, His Joy, and Jesus loves God with all his heart, soul and strength-He rejoices in God- God is His strength. This might be a stretch-but how God longs for us to  “REJOICE” in Him in good and bad times-I think of Jesus crying out on the cross “My God, MY GOD why have you forsaken me!” it was PAINFUL, He screamed it..then I see Him sitting at the right hand of God in victory!   REJOICE! We can find Joy in Him despite our circumstances because we are with Jesus in victory. I am not saying-and this would be totally weird-that we don’t grieve or cry or struggle here and now..I think it is about rejoicing in Him not necessarily our circumstances but trusting Him with them and pressing into Him in them-and reminding ourselves of being with Him in full- intimacy, adoration and worship in the future. Yet He makes us glad here and now even though it is only in part and not in full.
    God is Jesus’ delight….Yes we will in full in the future, but I fully believe as I am seeing more and more of Jesus in places like Song of Songs and in the Psalms-oh my..He sings to me in His word. He wants to melt me to desire Him and to be like Him in how He trusts and depends on God-with JOY although in part here and now but in full in the future,  Sometimes with me Joy may not come at first in the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning. :))
    Oh Lord-Thank you that because of your amazing Love how you suffered I can rest in the full Joy I will have in you in the future for I know now it is in part..but I know when you remove Baal from my lips in the future-how there will be no night-no darkness but JOY in full and I will praise You unlike any moment here on Earth..I can’t imagine-but I so want more of You now..I confess I don’t always rejoice in You-I haven’t hid in you and instead I stand outside in the cold clutching my blanket like a ragamuffin all alone..I can easily rejoice in my idols-in approval of others, in comfort of food, in control of hard situations that arise and I act as if you aren’t even here! But thank you that you made me yours and in those times I fall you pick me up..You fill me with your Joy through difficult situations. You have given me so many stones of remembrance-and it is all You moving in me..Forgive me, help me to press in, remake me into Your image where you are more and more my strength, my trust-my Joy. 

    Sorry-I rambled! 🙂

    1. Rebecca, this is such a beautiful post. I sure see Him in you!

    2. If this is rambling, keep on rambling, girl :)))

  8. Our internet has been down since last evening…powerful storms moved through our area. Thankfully, with the help of a man from our cable company on the phone, I was able to get reconnected!
    I was able to visit Tom yesterday at the hospital. He may be released tomorrow. His lung has re-expanded but he still has the chest tube in. I am hoping he will stop smoking now!

  9. 4. Read Psalm 21:1-7
        A. Read this through the perspective that Jesus is the King and write down all you see through that lens.
    I see verse 3 as a prediction of Jesus when he ascended to heaven following his resurrection.  
    “You welcomed him with rich blessings, and placed a crown of pure gold on his head.”     Jesus was given eternal life and so are we.    Verse 6 – “Surely you have granted him eternal blessings and made him glad with the joy of your presence.     
    However, I think that verses 8 – 10   refer to Christ’s second coming and the judgment to follow.  Verse 8 “Your hand will lay hold on all your enemies; your right hand will seize your foes.”  Verse 9 – “At the time of your appearing you will make them like a fiery furnace.   In his wrath the Lord will swallow them up, and his fire will consume them.”  Verse 10-   “You will destroy their descendants from the earth, their posterity from mankind.”      
        B. Christ received not only everlasting life — but joy. Find it in this passage, knowing this also will be yours one day. Write a prayer of praise.
    Feel like I’m repeating myself, but verse 6 says “Surely you have granted him eternal blessings and made him glad with the joy of your presence.”     The joy comes from being in the presence of God.    I think we get glimpses of that now on earth, when we draw especially close to God.   His presence makes us joyful.   It is for that reason we want to go to church and worship God – we are hoping for one of those experiences when God seems to be intimately close to us.   Once we experience that, we hunger for it again and again.    Sometimes when we go for worship we have that kind of experience, but sometimes we do not.   Then we worship out of duty – or is it because we are worshiping out of duty that we don’t have the close, joyful experience?   Sometimes I wonder which is the cause and which is the effect.   I only know we can’t/don’t live on the mountain-top all the time!   
    Dear God,   Thank you for sending your son, Jesus, who paved the way for us into eternal life and heaven and face-to-face presence with you. I praise you for making this possible — for loving me and all your children enough and caring enough to work it out.    Until that time when Jesus comes again, and until that time when we are also face-to-face with you,  please treat us with frequent glimpses of your presence and also the flashes of joy that come with our sensing your close presence with us.   I just love that you love me and I love you!  

  10. Testing….testing…..Wasn’t able to post on two different browsers yesterday…..Will this post?  Here I go….to hit the Submit button….

    Whew! it worked! don’t know if I can muster up the things that I had all ready to say yesterday…..maybe that’s okay. I was a silent sister for a day……

  11. Yesterday was a day when everything I had previously ‘learned’ and pondered from this week was put to a test.  And on top of the mostly difficult day I had,  every time I tried to post and keep my focus on the Lord…..the blog wasn’t working for me.  Hmmm.  As my mentally disabled friend, Charlotte tells me…’well, the Lord works in mysterious ways, you know.’. 
    On Tuesday I spent a long time thinking over and composing a prayer in answer to the assignment.  I did post that and here’s a part of it:   
    I had decided to write all of the specific ‘troubles’ I had been experiencing Sun-Tues of this week. 
    And you are my ROCK.  This brings my heart peace, because life is hard.  Trouble comes most every day.  ~a tense conversation that brings misunderstanding and hurt feelings ~a deteriorating knee that brings sudden pain ~unexpected costs that bring to a loved one worry and disappointment ~advancing and untreatable cancer in several friends that bring feelings of loss ~the churches devaluing of important spiritual doctrines, disciplines and traditions that brings disillusionment ~the corporate sins of pride, greed, injustice and hate that we are faced with every day that bring death, destruction and heartbreak  And yet….you are my ROCK.  I cannot trust in ‘horses and chariots’ ~ in military strength, in governments or policies, in financial power or even good health or the institutional Church which is made up of flawed individuals.  I can only trust in you, Lord God.  You alone are the source of wisdom, gracious speech, health, provision, fulfillment, immortality through the gift of eternal life, justice, restoration and joy to abundantly bring relief from every trouble I encounter.
    What I wasn’t prepared for is that the first four items in my list all intensified greatly on Wednesday.   The ‘tense conversation’ that I referred to originally was very minor compared to the conflict I encountered that evening…...The pain in my knee, which I thought was resolving on Tuesday got much worse again, leading me to believe it’s probably a sign of more permanent arthritic damage and will need intervention,  the unexpected cost…..which was originally a reflection of a phone call with my daughter about a medical bill,   hit my husband and I with a car repair that was over 3 times what we had originally thought and far worse than any of these… I learned that my friend’s cancer has spread greatly and there is very little left to do but try to buy a little more time.    
    Tuesday evening,  I had felt confident and peaceful after composing my thoughts.  I was certain I believed them and that I would be able to handle the next test honorably, in God’s strength.  In fact, I was ready to share my prayer with my husband as he relayed the news of the financial hit to me.  Well….true confession.   I failed miserably.   I didn’t do well with each of these tests.  I ended my day feeling like a complete failure.   
    Yet, God, in His mysterious ways, draws me back to Himself.   And I am seeing today, how weak I am in my own flesh and how gracious He is to restore….time and time again. 
    And one more note:  For those of you who recall my reference to my friend, Charlotte, from last week…..I am excited to say that I am spending Saturday and Sunday with her and two high school friends who also knew her as a child!  I have not seen her for close to 40 years! 

    1. Thanks Dee and David!   (turned out to be a good experience for me as I learned how other browsers work.  I get stuck in a rut easily 🙂 )

        1. Thanks, Dee, for your link to your 2010 blog on “I was a hymn snob”. I went and read your comments plus scanned some of the comments of others. The story about the farmer from the country church and the young man from the city church is hilarious. Good perspective on the music culture wars that still are simmering in many hearts.

        2. Thanks for that link, Dee.  I do appreciate this perspective and do agree that simple worship songs minister to many hearts.  I feel like I have ‘opened a can of worms’ which wasn’t my intention when I first wrote about my struggles.  It was the struggle that most stood out to me on Sunday when we shared the trouble for which we could entrust to the Lord for the week.  Later, I wrote a lot more in depth about my struggle with our current worship services.  It’s SO much more than the music.   In fact, my husband and I were the couple at church who, for about 10 years, organized and took with us van loads of students to a regional Christian Rock festival when our kids were in jr. high/high school.  I was happy to be there with the 10’s of thousands of mostly kids and college students and participated fully and gained a lot from it.  We always encouraged our kids with the music that they found most meaningful to them…..from Christian rock, rap, heavy metal etc.  And interestingly..now that they are grown up, the ones who are not following the Lord, would not feel comfortable at all in a service of contemporary, ‘seeker style’ worship but are willing and do appreciate on occassion…..a formal worship with hymns and liturgy.   (even though in their secular lives, they enjoy many other styles).   I do know a lot of young people who are looking for deeper, meaningful lyrics which sometimes, but not always….come from the hymns.  And then, of course, there are some hymns that are not very deep or laced with meaning and theology at all.   So….it sure is a complicated issue.  The other components of our services (and lack thereof) are a much greater struggle for me.  Thanks for everyone’s patience.  I didn’t plan for or expect my first comment to grow into a large discussion, but I have also taken away some relevant things to ponder and I appreciate that.  My week ended up having many more unrelated struggles as it progressed which put some of this on the back burner……and God has been faithful!  

  12. (Short) notes on Mike Reeves:
    David is praying for the king even though he himself is king. This must be the ultimate king. the anointed king who will bring salvation.  David reflects The King. The earthly king shadows the reality.  Reading the psalms together provides a grid and a context for them and makes them even more messianic.
    Psalm 23 – He restores my soul – from what? From Psalm 22, from death (this is Christ).  I shall return to the house of the Lord – who has been there? Christ.  These are primarily about Christ and therefore a comfort to believers, it has been fulfilled.  It is not primarily about comfort to the believer.  
    When they would pick up the ark Moses would say “arise O Lord” and when they would put it down Moses would say “return O Lord.” 
    I am struck anew, listening to Mike Reeves connect the dots, how I cannot fully understand the New Testament without understanding the Old Testament.  I am renewed in my desire to continue to seek the whole story that I may know Him fully by knowing His word fully (unaccomplishable, but the fruit is in the journey). 
    All thing belong to Him because He created it and because he conquered it.  The King spoke of in Psalm 15 and forward is Him, the King of Glory. 

  13.   B. Christ received not only everlasting life — but joy. Find it in this passage, knowing this also will be yours one day. Write a prayer of praise.
    Father God,  How inexpressible is the JOY that awaits us!   And it is all because You delight in us and sent us Jesus “who for the JOY set before Him endured the cross, scorning the shame and is now, seated on high at your right hand.”  And we long for that embrace of JOY.  For as “surely as You have granted King Jesus eternal blessings and made Him glad with your presence”, You have promised eternal life to all who believe and are redeemed by your mercy and grace.  We have your unfailing love and your eternal, steadfast Word to sustain us for you  “will not abandon us to the grave” as you did not abandon your son, Jesus, but raised Him up to be  “filled with JOY in your presence and eternal pleasures at your right hand.” Father, help us to look in reverent fear, holy awe and joyful anticipation to that day when our tears are wiped away and we stand whole and restored before you.  Amen.
    Hebrews 12:1,2  Psalm 21:6,7   Psalm 16: 10,11  

    I’m so far behind this week. Nervous about getting my grades in next Wednesday, a guest speaker that same day, another guest to observe me, AND I need to wrap my head around 2 decent lesson plans that aren’t really planned yet 🙁 becoming VERY anxious right now and definitely need to trust in God to bring me through all of it.
        E. With Rebecca’s story in mind, how might you apply verse 7 to your life right now? Ask Him for help to do this.
    Well, as you can see, I am up to my eyeballs in “responsibilities” and no where does any of it include my family or house…..in the past when I have had occurrences like this, I am usually in panic mode. I barely sleep, eat too much, drive everyone else crazy, and stress until the day comes, and then it goes well and I release all that stress in a matter of minutes. It’s crazy. I don’t know if it’s my medicine or the fact that I’m 50 (!) now or what, but I just can’t get overly stressed about this. I guess I just really don’t want to. I can don’t have that “ummmph” from my stomach; to bust my behind and stress out. Having cancer this past year has really put things in a different light for me. Also, my husband made a comment a couple months ago about how much time we still have if we were to live our to our fullest here on earth, and it really isn’t that much more time to enjoy. Most of my time is spent working, and so is his. I could go tomorrow. I really want to enjoy every minute of every day. Yesterday I went running and I saw for the first time in my life “Woody woodpecker” you know?, the ones with the redhead! It flew from one tree to the next and I couldn’t stop watching it. It was beautiful. Very cool. Maybe God gave me cancer for me to change my perspective on life here on earth. 
    So with all of that in mind, I’m going to pray and have hope that Jesus guides me in the next five days. I will do the work here; I’ll do the best I can, and leave the stress for Him. It is scary but I do believe he loves me and will take care of this. Thank you Jesus for being here with me. Thank you for taking my stress and taking my responsibilities on you and giving me peace as I work through them in the next five days. If it pleases you Lord would you help my mind to be clear and focused? I pray in your holy name Lord, Amen.

    1. Laura, Praying for you and with you in your busy next week. It is interesting how your perspective has changed about work stress since the cancer scare. We all need to sometimes remember the big picture and not get too stressed about details. I love birds and we hear those pileated woodpeckers regularly, though don’t often see them. The ones around here are huge and awesome. 
      From the well-known song:

      “His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me.”

    2. Laura….just have to comment on a couple things you said.  First, I love that you saw ‘Woody’!  I love the pileated Woody and I love his ‘laugh’….Where I live, he comes to our suet feeders and I see him fairly often, but he never fails to inspire!  So glad you were able to enjoy him.  Also…I know completely what you mean when you say you have been pondering how much time may be left here for you.  That thought is one I have a lot.  Considering the health history and lack of longevity of my parents as well as 3 out of 4 of my grandparents and personal and family history of cancer, I sometimes feel like time is very short also.  It DOES put so much in perspective.  I am praying for you as you wrap up your teaching year and have so much coming together all at once.  May God’s peace transcend all.

    3. Laura….praying for you! You’ll get through it.

  15. I had no problem getting Mike Reeves’ sermon this morning. It is a good broad sweep on Psalm 20-24 from the Messianic perspective. I need to go over it again to get all the nuances of what he is saying.

  16. Mike Reeves:   He is describing the “sweep of the Messianic Story” in Ps 19-24.   His overview was eye-opening/affirming in that it helped make some puzzle pieces fit into place.
    Up to Psalm 19, creational language dominates.  Ps 19 is the climax to an explicit creation focus.

    From Psalm 20, the emphasis shifts to look at the fulfillment of the Genesis 3 rescue plan.  Salvation’s been there all the time, but focus shifts.  In vs. 5, “your salvation” refers to victory.  Banners come up.  David is speaking to someone who is victorious, who brings salvation.  David is praying for the king.  Which king?  THE ANOINTED.  (interesting that some of this was brought into British coronation system)
    Psalm 21: similar themes
    Psalm 22:  The prophecy of Jesus’ sufferings was made with extraordinary accuracy. Though it reflects David’s sufferings, we can’t say it was primarily about David.   From vs 22, we see Hebrews 2  — great HOPE built into the Psalm.

    Psalm 23  He restores my soul.  He brings my soul back.  From what?  The context? He brings my soul back from death.  This is a Psalm of resurrection!
    Psalm 24:  A psalm of ascension!  Reeves say this makes more sense after Ps 15 (I guess I should reread it!)
    It is thought that this was composed when David brought the ark of the covenant up Mt Zion to jerusalem.  see I Chron 15:29.  Why is David so excited?  It might be because of something deeper in Ark’s history. 
    In Numbers 10:33 (“Moses having a lot of fun!”), The ark of Lord is going to seek a resting place for the Israelite. Moses says, “Arise, O lord” when the ark is picked up. He says,    “Return O lord”  when ark is put down.  Ps 68 is an exposition of those two verses.  “God shall arise”  “God went before your people”  Eph 4:18.  The ark is the throne.  At the ascent of throne, even a couple of feet, Moses is excited.  That theology is in background in Ps 24.
    Ascending the hill of the Lord.  The ark going in – throne of the Lord going in, going up into temple, but something is a little different.  “Ancient or everlasting doors” refer to a higher reality, ascending into heaven itself, the true Holy of Holies — that the King of Glory may come in.  Consider the identity of the person being talked about.  Who is the King of Glory?  The Lord of hosts.  These are military terms, a victory train.  It’s not just that the earth was already the Lord’s.   All things are his by virtue of creation and conquest 

    Jesus is not just the High Priest. He is the King of Glory. Jesus is the Lord of Hosts.

    1. I was able to listen to Mike Reeves.   However, he took us rapidly sweeping from here to there in the Scriptures, and I felt like Diane — that I needed to go over it some more to get all of his nuances.     However, Renee,  I think you caught the essence of the lecture very well!    In fact,  I think I will not bother to post my notes, as they would not add anything of significance, except to say that in your third-to-last paragraph I believe it was Mike Reeves who was having fun and not Moses!   🙂     Mike Reeves was enjoying jumping from here to there in the Scriptures. However, I think he did a good job of  show ing a progression in Psalms 20-24  from the crucifixion to the resurrection to the ascension of Jesus. Thank you, Renee, for your great notes!

  17. Doing this backwards (again).4. Read Psalm 21:1-7
    After listening to Reeves, it’s impossible NOT to see Jesus in this psalm!  I hope I’m not stretching this too much since it is about Jesus, but I want to pray vs 1-7 of this Psalm:
    O LORD, I rejoice in your strength and in your salvation. You are giving me my heart’s desire because you are changing my heart. You are my heart’s desire. You hear my prayers and you answer. You meet me with rich blessings daily, and continue to meet me, even when I don’t look for you. You gave me my life; you saved my life.I’ve lived longer than expected here and will live with you forever. May you be glorified through the salvation you have given me. May my words and my life honor you. I am blessed to worship the One you have made “most blessed forever;” I look forward to being glad with the joy of your presence, face-to-face, forever.You have given me your Spirit so that I experience the joy of your presence and the joy of fellowship now. I trust you LORD. It is only through your steadfast love, my Rock, my Refuge, and my Redeemer, that I shall not be moved. I praise you that You have made the way for me to be Yours.In Jesus name.

    1. Thank you Renee…I needed to hear that.

  18. Early Saturday take-away:    Since I’m getting ready to leave town in the morning (going to see my friend, Charlotte 🙂 )  I’m going to wrap up now, while I have a chance.    So glad to hear that the Mike Reeve’s sermon will be repeated in a couple weeks!   I do still hope to listen..but may save my note taking until then.  (will perhaps copy and save the good notes already posted in the mean time).   I’ve really appreciated this week.  In many ways, it’s been a roller coaster for me in my personal life but it has been excellent to be able to return here and feel encouraged and challenged.  Again, I am gaining so much from learning to look for Christ in each of these psalms.  Just this morning, I shared some of the things that have stirred my heart this week, with a good friend, who was feeling overwhelmed with so much stress happening all at once in her life.  Even though, I failed miserably a couple days ago (an experience that showed me my weakness and need for God’s continual cleansing and restoration) , I have made some forward strides also.  Still re-reading ‘Hinds Feet on High Places’ which is reinforcing in me, the need to trust the Shepherd even when He leads me to places that look so foreboding….  (financial ‘surprises’, physical pain, emotional distress/conflict, grief over a friend’s prognosis….all things that happened this week)…He is beside me.   Looking forward to also re-reading some of Philip Keller’s book on Psalm 23.  I have my mother’s copy and have read it in the past.  I love that we can gain so much from His Word, the wisdom of good books and from each other.  Thank you again, Dee.  My heart is grateful.  

  19. Had time to listen to Mike Reeves and finally got my questions answered about 20:1-6.  So glad!  And as he spoke from Psalm 68….I was reminded of this favorite and profoundly moving song from Third Day.   ‘Who is this King of Glory who pursues me with his love?”    The words and music are so stirring.   The timed release photos of creation:  mind boggling….migration of birds, changing seasons….phenomenal scenery.  I think you will all love it!  I am nearly trembling as I watch it.   King of Kings….precious Jesus….King of Glory!

    Okay….bear with me….the link didn’t copy right. Will try the link again!

  20. trying again to post the song I described above…..

    1. Wanda, thanks for sharing this song. Feeling overwhelmed today-Friday, tired, husband away and alone by myself. The majesty of the words of the song renewed me “Jesus, Precious Jesus, Lord Almighty,  King of my heart, King of glory“. The one who is king of glory is the king of my heart. Thank you, Jesus.

    2. Wanda, what a beautiful song and video. It speaks peace to my soul.

    3. Thank you Wanda…that’s a keeper song!

  21. 3. C. 2. Compare verse 5 to Song of Songs 6:4. What do you see? They both have banners.  In SoS it refers to the banners as “majestic” in the Psalm it refers to the banners as lifted up. Both indicate victory – which fits the Psalm. Armies that have lost do not hold their banners high, they droop and are even lowered? But if you have won – you are proud to proclaim who you are, who you belong to! They raise the banners high!
    3. C. 3. What does verse 6 say – how was this fulfilled on Resurrection Day? This refers to God Himself reaching down and saving Christ.  This is interesting to me. I have never pondered that our Savior was saved. I assumed Christ saved Himself, but this says that the Lord answers the anointed from his holy heaven with the power of his right hand.
    D. What does verse 7 say – and how did Christ refuse to trust in His power and might? I immediately think of Simon Peter cutting off the ear of the high priest’s servant when the time came for the worst and Christ answered that He could call on His Father to save Him with legions of angels but He was submitting to the prophecies and His Father’s will. 
    E. With Rebecca’s story in mind, how might you apply verse 7 to your life right now? Ask Him for help to do this. I am restless. It is obvious that I am where God wants me – at home being a caretaker and educator to my two boys and serving my husband.  I find joy in this and do not desire to leave this calling but…I want more. I see faces from Africa staring at me, pictures of turmoil from tragedies calling to me, and a desire to be radical and it provokes my heart… I do not know if I have a calling for something else in life, eventually or if this is an idol calling to me. But I submit. Like I said it is obvious I am where I am supposed to be, the most obvious of signs is my husband’s leading in his calling in the Army.
    God,forgive me for my discontent, for second guessing, for looking over the fence at the ‘greener’ grass.Change me, God. Open my eyes to what you would have me do. Open my heart to love those around me even when there are too many to love. Grant me a defined purpose. Make me sensitive to Your leading that I would see Your specific appointments, even in familiar circumstances. I desire to radically obey and spread your Word around the world, but I know that the world starts with my home, my street, my neighbor. Give me courage, change my heart,  to be radical (is that the right word, Lord? to simply obey with nothing from my heart or mind in the way?) in what you have called me to now.  And God if there is something else – for later in life – I pray that you would begin to touch hearts and open doors and give vision and desire to those involved that it may come to be. Thank you for where I am.  Thank you for giving peace and affirmation for where I am.  Thank you for You. Thank you for drawing me close and refining me and desiring me and loving me and teaching me again and again. Amen.

    1. Jill, I love the words of your prayer, “defined purpose”. I hear you, friend. I am at a place, too, Lord where there are so many needs clamoring for my attention. I feel tired and I want your direction. I find myself trusting in the chariot of self and failing…terribly. Keep my focus on you, Lord.

      1. Sounds like a great idea Dee.  Loved meeting you Jill and am praying for you sweet sister.

  22. 4. Read Psalm 21:1-7
        A. Read this through the perspective that Jesus is the King and write down all you see through that lens.
    Jesus has strength in God and His requests to be with God have been made. He sits with the Father, in heaven; the ultimate place to be. He won the battle and was rewarded.
        B. Christ received not only everlasting life — but joy. Find it in this passage, knowing this also will be yours one day. Write a prayer of praise.
    “Surely you have granted him unending blessings and made him glad with the joy of your presence.” (Psalm 21:6 NIV)
    I just would like to be at peace Lord. Is this possible? Every time I turn around another problem arises! I am hitting the cusp of a new wave I believe. Each time I try to remember You are not far, but sometimes I feel alone. Please consider my prayer dear One. You are my king and savior, the rock who is firm and unwavering. I know You love me! Thank You for dying for me so I could eventually know how it feels to be at true peace. Thank You for blessing me and my family. In Your Holy name. Amen.

    1. Oh, Laura. Amen to this honest cry of your heart to God. Praying this for you as well.

  23. Take-a-way: I feel distracted from study this week with busyness. I definitely am taking away an even deeper appreciatation for the depth of psalms as a continuous (is that the right word?) story about Christ. I find that when I make the psalm about Christ there is even more application to me and my life than if I just took the psalm straight to my life for application. 
    Also, trusting in the wait – if even Christ had to wait for God’s deliverance (through His suffering) then I, too, can serve His purpose by being patient and focussing on Him. 

    1. Yes, Jill, so true.

       I find that when I make the psalm about Christ there is even more application to me and my life than if I just took the psalm straight to my life for application. 

  24. Takeaway:
    This study of the Psalms has given me a wonderful insight into Christ in the Psalms. It explains so much that I did not understand before and gives new depth. I am actually glad to discover that the psalms are not all about David or me, but about the Christ. I so agree with Jill’s statement that ” I find that when I make the psalm about Christ there is even more application to me and my life than if I just took the psalm straight to my life for application. ”
    I have not been able to participate in the Bible study here as I would have liked for the past many months, and I am especially aware of it this past month. I can’t seem to find the energy to put my thoughts down in words on a page, or even think in a focused manner. As some of you already know, our 30 year old daughter Krista is moving in with us within the next couple of weeks. Krista has been through a difficult divorce involving separation from her 3 young sons during the last couple of years. Before that she was a stay-at-home mom. She now has joint custody of the boys, but they live primarily with their father. She has been unable to find work and has now had to give up her apartment. Please pray for us, not only as we sort, pack and clean in the next couple of weeks, but also as we make the major relational adjustments that living together involves, and as we try to create a godly, peaceful, secure refuge for the boys whenever they are here. As for the boys, we expect to have them with us at least half of the summer and that will make life interesting indeed. 
    All that being said, I am not sure at all how much I will be able to participate here on the blog. It tears my heart to say this. I miss you already. Thank you all for the support you have been to me and to Krista as we have walked this difficult journey. You have no idea how much your faith, Scripture and Christ-focus, perseverance and encouragement have been to me. I love you all. I am not going to quit the blog completely. I’m going to try to get the gist of each lesson and listen to the sermon each week. I’ll continue with the odd comment.  I just don’t know how the next few months will play out. I would so much appreciate your prayers. 
    Question: Dee, (or Renee) is there any way to get the comments each week on email without actually commenting?

    1. Diane,
      I miss you already, but do understand and will look forward to when you are able to jump on and let us hear from you. I will commit to praying for all of you–I can’t imagine all the layers of transition, change–for each of you. I am praying God will use this to do more beautiful work than we could ask or imagine. I am praying you can lay this at His feet and not take too much on your shoulders. What a gift for those boys to have this time with you and Aubrey–this will be a life-transforming memory for them forever.
      Lord, I lift up Diane, Aubrey, Krista and the boys to Your hands, that You, Lord, would cover them. I ask that You would fill each of them with Your peace and protection. I ask that You would use this time to bring healing, restoration, true JOY. I pray that they will be able to look back and see Your hand of blessing through all of this. I ask that You give them wisdom and comfort as they each adjust to this new situation, and for times of rest and laughter. In Your Name~

    2. Diane, I will miss you here and will be praying for you and your family. My prayer for you is Psalm 18:16-19 “He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful  enemy, from my foes who were too strong for me. They confronted me in the day of my disaster but the Lord was my support. He brought me into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.”

    3. Oh Diane, this makes me so sad…..life is hard isn’t it? I also miss you already too; you have been such a great source of  encouragement for me here. I hope you can manage all that is ahead, with minimal stress, and I will be praying for you.  Love you sister!

    4. Wow, Diane!   You are indeed going to have a full plate!   My heart goes out to Krista so much, and also to you and her boys.   Will be praying for all of you.   I don’t think you know how much you will be missed here.   Come back any time you can — and don’t feel guilty!  What you are doing is so very important.  

    5. Diane, you will be deeply missed by us all. I will be praying for your family as you make this transition. Krista and the boys are blessed to have you and Aubrey to support and love them and I truly hope this will be the most wonderful summer you’ve ever had with those precious boys, for the time that they are with you. You have continually modeled for us how you press into Him throughout your trials and dark times. Love to you, Diane.

    6. Diane, my heart is burdened for you (and for Krista).  Even more than joyful times it is in these hard times that I wish I lived close to my blog sisters to come along side you physically and help with tangible hands. You will be heavy in my prayers and I will always be glad to see your beautiful face and sweet spirit comments come across the feed.  I so appreciate,you and will miss you. 

    7. Oh Diane…please drop in here or Dees Facebook page for us sisters and keep us updated.   You will certainly be in my prayers. ..all of you.   Love you sweet sister.

    8. Dear Diane,     I am just returning to the blog since last Friday and surely I agree with all of the above sentiments.  I appreciate you  much and will miss you much.  It makes my heart sad to know all that you are going through.  I immediately felt a connection to you as you so readily encouraged me when I shared my own heartaches with my adult kids.  Your love and sincere compassion has always been  evident.  I will also be praying for your family this summer.  Prayers that God’s peace will transcend the disquieting circumstances and that you will rest in His love.  I so agree with those who have said it would be so wonderful if we could be close geographically and give you assistance.  Will be praying that the friends who are  near will be an encouragement and help to you and your husband and daughter and that the boys will also adjust and thrive in your loving home this summer.  Hugs.

    9. Thanks for all your kind words and prayers. I do hope to visit regularly. We’ll see how the days go. I wanted you to know what was going on and I was feeling guilty for not being able to participate as much as I would like. I just have to find ways to alleviate pressures for now. I will continue to check in each week for now, so that I can get comments on email. You guys are just such an important part of my life.

  25. What is my take away?
    Psalm 68:1,7,17,18,24 procession of my God into the sanctuary
    Context- Who shall ascend the hill
    The ark going in
    The entrance to heaven  v. 7 entered by the King of glory-The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord of host.
    Lord of Creation and conquest
    Jesus not only the high priest but the king of glory
    Who is Jesus? The Lord of host, the one who ascends is the Lord of host.
    Above is a spattering of my notes towards the end of Mike Reeves’ exposition. What a wonderful end once again to be reminded that Jesus is embodied in the Psalms. The Lord of creation and conquest is the king of glory, king of my heart-Jesus! Oh that I may remember this always and rest secure.
    On  a side note: I was able to borrow Phillip Keller’s book, The shepherd look at Psalms 23 and have started reading it. Oh my! What wonderful metaphors! Can’t wait till next week. Blessings to everybody!

  26. Diane–one thought I had, if we don’t find a better way for you to subscribe to comments–on the first day, I can enter your email address and just do a blank post so that you’d be subscribed. But oh how I will miss you 🙂

  27. 6. What is your take-a-way and why?
    Warning—my take-aways seem to be becoming more hodge-podge-y lately and this one may top them all–will work on getting concise! Feel free to skip 😉
    I’ve struggled this week a bit, enemy attacks I think. I started the week with some residual pain–recently I shared vulnerably with a friend and my words were then twisted and I felt misunderstood, judged. My physical pain has also been strong the last few weeks and with that the enemy whispers that God doesn’t really care for me, or that I am somehow to blame. My youngest, oh that tender sweet heart, but he is again struggling with something out of his control and I pray God hears me. And while I am most comfortable “in the background”, and I really pull away from getting a lot of attention, the enemy can magnify that part of me and say God doesn’t see me, I am too small to Him.
    But this week’s passage, what a gift He gave me in 2 verses. The prayer for Christ in Psalm 20:4 “May He grant you your heart’s desire and fulfill all your plans!” And then the answer in Psalm 21:2 “You have given Him His heart’s desire”. We know from John 17:24, that we ARE His heart’s desire:  “ Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.” Luke 23:34 tells us He asks the Father to forgive us: “And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
    I am His heart’s desire. He does not simply say He desires us to be saved, but that we are His heart’s desire, we are the passion of the most tender, personal part of Him-His heart. Here He silences the lies that He doesn’t see me or hear me, that I am unworthy or un-loveable. It is a lie that He doesn’t care for me, He says I am His heart’s desire! Such value assigned to us because of what He declares about us. The King of all Kings has me in His heart. To meditate and “marinate” in that kind of love—should transform me to a place that nothing stops me from joy. Lord, help me be still enough to soak in it.
    When I read about Christ’s desire, I am called to ask what is my desire? If I look at my daily thoughts and what I struggle with, I am faced with the truth–I desire physical comfort, peace and quiet, friends who love me as I am and “get” me…approval, control. If I truly set Christ as my desire above all others, what would it look like? To forgive without needing an apology. To risk loving when I’m likely to be hurt again. To believe in the face of physical pain that He is here and really truly cares. The only way to love like He loves is to let His desire for me change the desires of my heart.
    His desire for me overpowered all other desires in Him. He proves this at the Cross. He demonstrates that power of an expulsive affection and we are the object of His affection. Oh, for my heart’s desire to be Christ alone—to love like He loves; to endure physical and emotional pain because my eyes are fixed on Him. I want my desire for Him to overpower, over shadow all other desires in me. 

    1. Elizabeth, I think your take-away is awesome. I too am sorry that you are dealing with pain again, but how you have applied these verses to yourself, that you are His heart’s desire…how this silences the lies…is beautiful.

    2. Elizabeth,  this is all so good. I sometimes feel like we walk the greatest distance when we walk through mud? As in when we really start thinking through the hard stuff and the deep stuff, the stuff still mucky in our hearts we tend to ‘go the furthest’. Thank you for the good questions to apply to my own heart as well.  Praying for you now in all the situations you mentioned above. 

  28. I can relate to Jill’s comment about being distracted with busyness this week. My sister and I had a bridal shower for my niece at my house today, and I have definitely felt distracted and busy all week. A lot of ‘praying on the fly’ as I was doing this and that. I’m hoping to get caught up later tonight. I did listen to Reeves’ message earlier in the week…I love how all the Psalms tie together as a book, and the history about the ark and how it was brought back to Jerusalem by David. It’s so amazing how the Bible all weaves together.
    My brother-in-law was released from hospital yesterday, but still needs prayers to recover fully. He’s done much damage to his lungs from years of heavy smoking, which was revealed by a CT scan, and now has limitations on what he can and cannot do. So I think he’s feeling kind of down.

    1. Susan, praying now for your brother-in-law. 

  29. Praying for your brother in law too Susan…so hard for him:(
    Elizabeth…praying for you too.  I’m so sorry for all the physical and emotional pain your going through.
    I’ve had a horrible stiff neck for a week and I know most of you have had this and remember how miserable you felt.

    So instead of complaining to the Lord. ..I praise him  for my normal regular pains. …as this new added one would be terrible to have all the time….so I’m so thankful for it will go away!   It’s hard to be thankful for pain…but  praise him for every good thing you can think of Elizabeth.   He will bless you!

  30. Forgot to get the comments on email! Sorry

  31. Didn’t work…trying again!

  32. 6. What is your take-away and why?
    Just finishing up this week. I also am appreciating the richness of these two psalms (and all the psalms) when I read them as being first and primarily about Jesus, and not just a psalm to turn to when I need something for my life to help me. Psalm 20 has a whole new meaning for me now. I think, too, of how many of the “little” psalms I’ve kind of ignored or scanned over quickly…turning instead to the “meatier” ones. I am learning to appreciate ALL of them. I wasn’t too familiar with Psalms 20 and 21, but reading Psalm 20 as about The King Jesus has opened my eyes to see Him in it, and to take-away the “May He give You the desire of Your heart” – I also turned to John’s gospel to look over the many things that Jesus prayed for us. I am convicted by verse 7, as I look back and see how in so many situations, I call in the “horses and chariots” (and like Renee said, I want to be the driver, too!) instead of trusting in God. I think verse 8 is important, too, as those who do trust in human devices “are brought to their knees and fall”. I think of the many times over the past couple of weeks when my idols surfaced-comfort and control, in planning the bridal shower with my sister. I had to go to God over and over, asking Him to change my heart.
    Psalm 21 now has new meaning…”You have granted Him the desire of His heart, and have not withheld the request of his lips.” I don’t know when I wrote it in there, but in my Bible, for the word “request”, I have written that it means “a longing to possess and contentment”. Jesus was given the desire of His heart – US, me. Verses 3-6 picture, for me, Jesus’ grand re-entrance into heaven to be reunited fully with His Father after He suffered and died for us. And verse 6, which says that He was also  was “made glad with the joy of Your presence”, and our question about this…I know that we have the hope of this one day, but I am thinking that we also have it now. So many have shared this week about their hardships and struggles. Yes, this life is HARD. Every day, every week, there are disappointments, disillusionments, trials, pain, sorrow – not to mention dealing with my own sinful heart. Yet Jesus promised to not leave me alone like an orphan. He promised me His Spirit, Who would be with me and live in me – my Comforter and my Helper. I am feeling like I need to remember in the midst of this hard life to step away, to steal away to the secret place and remember that He is with me now. I need to practice experiencing His presence more.