Your Commands Are My Delight

141 Though I am lowly and despised,
I do not forget your precepts.

142 Your righteousness is everlasting
and your law is true.

143 Trouble and distress have come upon me,
but your commands are my delight.

144 Your statutes are forever right;
give me understanding that I may live.

– Psalm 119

What revelation must the Psalmist have in order to tell another Person that the Person’s commands are his delight? How much do you have to love someone to delight in the commands they give you?

Psalm 6

A psalm of David.

1O LORD, do not rebuke me in your anger
or discipline me in your wrath.

2 Be merciful to me, LORD, for I am faint;
O LORD, heal me, for my bones are in agony.

3 My soul is in anguish.
How long, O LORD, how long?

4 Turn, O LORD, and deliver me;
save me because of your unfailing love.

5 No one remembers you when he is dead.
Who praises you from the grave?

6 I am worn out from groaning;
all night long I flood my bed with weeping
and drench my couch with tears.

7 My eyes grow weak with sorrow;
they fail because of all my foes.

8 Away from me, all you who do evil,
for the LORD has heard my weeping.

9 The LORD has heard my cry for mercy;
the LORD accepts my prayer.

10 All my enemies will be ashamed and dismayed;
they will turn back in sudden disgrace.

Dwell in the Land

Something about Psalm 37:3 caught my eye last night. I felt like the Holy Spirit told me to read that chapter, and this particular part stood out.

Trust in the LORD and do good;
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
(New International Version)

Most of the other translations say something a little different, like:

Trust in the LORD, and do good;
Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.
(New King James Version)

Or

Trust in the LORD and do good;
Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.
(New American Standard)

I like the first version because of the mental image I had when I read it. I pictured myself as a shepherd in a pasture inside the land of Israel, looking out at the border of our land. I can see the pastures in the distance outside of our property. They look lush and good for grazing. The thought occurs to me that I could take my sheep and goats just a little ways beyond our borders and let them feed on something fresh and new.

Then the Word of the Lord comes to me: Dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. SAFE pasture. Then I realize that I’d be taking unnecessary risk out there beyond our borders. There is no protection. I would be outside of my protected territory. I could be attacked and no one would defend me.

It may look good, but it’s not safe. It’s not where I am protected. It’s not what God has given me. Now that I think of it, I am grateful for the protection that allows me to graze safely and make a living without enemies swarming in and surrounding me.

God, in His kindness and mercy, directs me to dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. He loves me and He’s trying to protect me. I can choose to take risks and dwell outside of the land He provided. But I feel loved knowing that He’s going out of His way to warn me of the dangers and to encourage me to remain where His provision and safety can be found.

Psalm 37

Psalm 37

Of David.

1 Do not fret because of evil men
or be envious of those who do wrong;

2 for like the grass they will soon wither,
like green plants they will soon die away.

3 Trust in the LORD and do good;
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.

4 Delight yourself in the LORD
and he will give you the desires of your heart.

5 Commit your way to the LORD;
trust in him and he will do this:

6 He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn,
the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.

7 Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when men succeed in their ways,
when they carry out their wicked schemes.

8 Refrain from anger and turn from wrath;
do not fret—it leads only to evil.

9 For evil men will be cut off,
but those who hope in the LORD will inherit the land.

10 A little while, and the wicked will be no more;
though you look for them, they will not be found.

11 But the meek will inherit the land
and enjoy great peace.

12 The wicked plot against the righteous
and gnash their teeth at them;

13 but the Lord laughs at the wicked,
for he knows their day is coming.

14 The wicked draw the sword
and bend the bow
to bring down the poor and needy,
to slay those whose ways are upright.

15 But their swords will pierce their own hearts,
and their bows will be broken.

16 Better the little that the righteous have
than the wealth of many wicked;

17 for the power of the wicked will be broken,
but the LORD upholds the righteous.

18 The days of the blameless are known to the LORD,
and their inheritance will endure forever.

19 In times of disaster they will not wither;
in days of famine they will enjoy plenty.

20 But the wicked will perish:
The LORD’s enemies will be like the beauty of the fields,
they will vanish—vanish like smoke.

21 The wicked borrow and do not repay,
but the righteous give generously;

22 those the LORD blesses will inherit the land,
but those he curses will be cut off.

23 If the LORD delights in a man’s way,
he makes his steps firm;

24 though he stumble, he will not fall,
for the LORD upholds him with his hand.

25 I was young and now I am old,
yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken
or their children begging bread.

26 They are always generous and lend freely;
their children will be blessed.

27 Turn from evil and do good;
then you will dwell in the land forever.

28 For the LORD loves the just
and will not forsake his faithful ones.
They will be protected forever,
but the offspring of the wicked will be cut off;

29 the righteous will inherit the land
and dwell in it forever.

30 The mouth of the righteous man utters wisdom,
and his tongue speaks what is just.

31 The law of his God is in his heart;
his feet do not slip.

32 The wicked lie in wait for the righteous,
seeking their very lives;

33 but the LORD will not leave them in their power
or let them be condemned when brought to trial.

34 Wait for the LORD
and keep his way.
He will exalt you to inherit the land;
when the wicked are cut off, you will see it.

35 I have seen a wicked and ruthless man
flourishing like a green tree in its native soil,

36 but he soon passed away and was no more;
though I looked for him, he could not be found.

37 Consider the blameless, observe the upright;
there is a future for the man of peace.

38 But all sinners will be destroyed;
the future of the wicked will be cut off.

39 The salvation of the righteous comes from the LORD;
he is their stronghold in time of trouble.

40 The LORD helps them and delivers them;
he delivers them from the wicked and saves them,
because they take refuge in him.

(New International Version)

Removing Strongholds: 30 Days to Liberation

Strongholds are beliefs that are built upon lies or half-truths. They affect the way we live, the way we hear God, and the way we understand who we are in Christ.

Demonic forces don’t have any power over those saved through faith in Jesus. But we can all believe the lies they whisper and find ourselves wrapped up in a mental stronghold we didn’t even notice. The only power the enemy has over us now is what we give them through our own belief.

Strongholds lead to:

  • unforgiveness
  • division
  • church splits
  • family splits
  • the need to be in control
  • financial disorder
  • victim mentality

By allowing yourself to continue thinking like a victim, you are making the declaration that your victimization is greater than God’s power. You are holding on to something God has already provided freedom from.

Join me over the next 30 days. It’s simple. Each morning, ask God to pull down the strongholds in your mind. Ask him to complete kill and remove them. Not sure that you HAVE strongholds? Ask Him anyway. The only things you have to lose are your strongholds. Either nothing will happen or He will destroy the strongholds in your mind and your quality of life will be improved.

Ask Him today. Ask Him tomorrow. And the next day. And the next day. Do it with me. Expect some resistance, but do not give up. Keep asking for the next 30 days and let’s talk when it’s over.

*Thanks to John Paul Jackson for providing the inspiration for this post.

Psalm 5

For the director of music. For flutes. A psalm of David.

1 Give ear to my words, O LORD,
consider my sighing.

2 Listen to my cry for help,
my King and my God,
for to you I pray.

3 In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice;
in the morning I lay my requests before you
and wait in expectation.

4 You are not a God who takes pleasure in evil;
with you the wicked cannot dwell.

5 The arrogant cannot stand in your presence;
you hate all who do wrong.

6 You destroy those who tell lies;
bloodthirsty and deceitful men
the LORD abhors.

7 But I, by your great mercy,
will come into your house;
in reverence will I bow down
toward your holy temple.

8 Lead me, O LORD, in your righteousness
because of my enemies—
make straight your way before me.

9 Not a word from their mouth can be trusted;
their heart is filled with destruction.
Their throat is an open grave;
with their tongue they speak deceit.

10 Declare them guilty, O God!
Let their intrigues be their downfall.
Banish them for their many sins,
for they have rebelled against you.

11 But let all who take refuge in you be glad;
let them ever sing for joy.
Spread your protection over them,
that those who love your name may rejoice in you.

12 For surely, O LORD, you bless the righteous;
you surround them with your favor as with a shield.

Psalm 4

For the director of music. With stringed instruments. A psalm of David.

Answer me when I call to you,
O my righteous God.
Give me relief from my distress;
be merciful to me and hear my prayer.

How long, O men, will you turn my glory into shame?
How long will you love delusions and seek false gods?
Selah

Know that the LORD has set apart the godly for himself;
the LORD will hear when I call to him.

In your anger do not sin;
when you are on your beds,
search your hearts and be silent.
Selah

Offer right sacrifices
and trust in the LORD.

Many are asking, “Who can show us any good?”
Let the light of your face shine upon us, O LORD.

You have filled my heart with greater joy
than when their grain and new wine abound.

I will lie down and sleep in peace,
for you alone, O LORD,
make me dwell in safety.

Psalm 3

A psalm of David. When he fled from his son Absalom.

1 O LORD, how many are my foes!
How many rise up against me!

2 Many are saying of me,
“God will not deliver him.”
Selah

3 But you are a shield around me, O LORD;
you bestow glory on me and lift up my head.

4 To the LORD I cry aloud,
and he answers me from his holy hill.
Selah

5 I lie down and sleep;
I wake again, because the LORD sustains me.

6 I will not fear the tens of thousands
drawn up against me on every side.

7 Arise, O LORD!
Deliver me, O my God!
Strike all my enemies on the jaw;
break the teeth of the wicked.

8 From the LORD comes deliverance.
May your blessing be on your people.
Selah

Psalm 2

Psalm 2

1 Why do the nations conspire
and the peoples plot in vain?

2 The kings of the earth take their stand
and the rulers gather together
against the LORD
and against his Anointed One.

3 “Let us break their chains,” they say,
“and throw off their fetters.”

4 The One enthroned in heaven laughs;
the Lord scoffs at them.

5 Then he rebukes them in his anger
and terrifies them in his wrath, saying,

6 “I have installed my King
on Zion, my holy hill.”

7 I will proclaim the decree of the LORD :
He said to me, “You are my Son;
today I have become your Father.

8 Ask of me,
and I will make the nations your inheritance,
the ends of the earth your possession.

9 You will rule them with an iron scepter;
you will dash them to pieces like pottery.”

10 Therefore, you kings, be wise;
be warned, you rulers of the earth.

11 Serve the LORD with fear
and rejoice with trembling.

12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry
and you be destroyed in your way,
for his wrath can flare up in a moment.
Blessed are all who take refuge in him.

Psalm 1

Psalm 1

1 Blessed is the man
who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked
or stand in the way of sinners
or sit in the seat of mockers.

2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
and on his law he meditates day and night.

3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither.
Whatever he does prospers.

4 Not so the wicked!
They are like chaff
that the wind blows away.

5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.

6 For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked will perish.

(New International Version)