I picked a couple of Psalms with Selah in them, so that we can have an opportunity to continue to practice the pause in our lives. We’re about to dive into Psalm 24, but first I want to tell you a little story about it. It was just a few days before my trip to Africa, and I was a little nervous. I’d never left the continent before and nobody in my family was going. I was going on the trip with some amazing colleagues and friends, but I was scared and God gave me this psalm, Psalm 24, and it really helped me. I’ll never forget sitting on my front porch and reading this, and the Lord God comforting me. I hope it helps you too, when in times of fear. Here we go.
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It’s Friday, so you know what that means. It is time for Joy Bombs in the Psalms on the Bible for Busy People. I’m Erica and I’m so glad you’re here. Of course, since we’ve been talking about Selah, the Hebrew word that’s kind of mysterious, but we think it kind of means a pause in music, a pause to consider God’s wondrous words, and the beautiful work he’s doing in our lives. So, I picked a couple of Psalms with Selah in them, so that we can have an opportunity to continue to practice the pause in our lives. We’re about to dive into Psalm 24, but first I want to tell you a little story about it. It was just a few days before the incredible trip to Africa I had the privilege of taking, and I was a little nervous. I’d never left the continent before and nobody in my family was going. I was going on the trip with some amazing colleagues and friends, but I was scared and God gave me this psalm, Psalm 24, and it really helped me. I’ll never forget sitting on my front porch and reading this, and the Lord God comforting me. Here we go. Verse one.
The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to him. For he laid the earth’s foundation on the seas and built it on the ocean depths. Who may climb the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? Only those whose hands and hearts are pure, who do not worship idols and never tell lies. They will receive the Lord’s blessing and have a right relationship with God their savior. Such people may seek you and worship in your presence, O God of Jacob. Selah.
So, here we pause, we stop down. And I want to tell you what God showed me that day on the porch, that he is in Africa just as much as he is in America with you and with me right now. The Lord God is omnipresent. It means he is present everywhere at the same time. Isn’t that wonderful to consider? So, I was absolutely comforted in those moments as I consider that, and it made going so much easier knowing that I was going with my best friend, the one who the Bible calls the friend who sticks closer than a brother. Okay, so let’s continue in Psalm 24,
Open up, ancient gates! Open up, ancient doors, and let the King of glory enter. Who is the King of glory? The Lord, strong and mighty; the Lord, invincible in battle. Open up, ancient gates! Open up, ancient doors, and let the King of glory enter. Who is the King of glory? The Lord of Heaven’s Armies— he is the King of glory. Selah
Did you catch that? The king of glory, our king, the Lord is invincible in battle. This is the God who we recall week after week, who says, I will fight for you. He is invincible in battle. He is strong and mighty. When you are weak and when you are feeling exhausted, he is strong and mighty. Isn’t that wonderful to pause and consider today? All right, we’re going to read one more Psalm together as we wrap up our week on the Bible for busy people. This is Psalm 143. Let’s see what the Lord has for us in the words penned here.
Hear my prayer, O Lord; listen to my plea! Answer me because you are faithful and righteous. Don’t put your servant on trial, for no one is innocent before you. My enemy has chased me. He has knocked me to the ground and forces me to live in darkness like those in the grave. I am losing all hope; I am paralyzed with fear.
Here comes the turn. Are you ready? Verse five.
I remember the days of old. I ponder all your great works and think about what you have done. I lift my hands to you in prayer. I thirst for you as parched land thirsts for rain. Selah
Okay, let’s pause right now because maybe you’re having a day and you are paralyzed with fear and you are losing hope. This is your opportunity to pause and remember what God has done for you in the past. He was faithful before. He will be faithful again, and he is faithful right now in the middle of this thing. This is why it’s good to open up God’s Word. This is why I’m so glad we meet together. All right, here we go. Verse seven now.
Come quickly, Lord, and answer me, for my depression deepens.Don’t turn away from me, or I will die. Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you.Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you. Rescue me from my enemies, Lord; I run to you to hide me. Teach me to do your will, for you are my God.May your gracious Spirit lead me forward on a firm footing. For the glory of your name, O Lord, preserve my life. Because of your faithfulness, bring me out of this distress. In your unfailing love, silence all my enemies and destroy all my foes, for I am your servant.
See, King David who wrote this psalm, he knows who he is and he knows who he’s talking to. He is a king, but he is a child of the one true king, the king of kings, the Lord of lords. And he is leaning in and he is saying, Lord, I feel like this, but I know that you have a plan. I know who you are. I know that you win every battle. I know that you can reign on me today and this parched feeling can go away. I know these things. It’s like, Lord, help me to focus on you. That’s what I hear him saying, and that’s what you and I can say in those moments where we’re losing hope, where we’re feeling parched in spirit and dry. The Lord is willing to reign on us. He’s willing. His love is unfailing. It has been so good this week to pause and consider how good God is with you. You are really loved.
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