Friday, November 30, 2012


A dramatic increase in deadly earthquakes in the last decade (info through 2008)

I found the following chart while searching the internet for current data on this subject, and it is not easy to find.  The chart only provides information through 2008.  I keep a fairly close check on earthquake activity as daily provided through the USGS and am certain that the overall trend of increasing activity is continuing. (Link to original graph

I just looked at a chart on the USGS site of the largest earthquakes in the world since 1900, and 13 of the 17 listed have happened since Israel became a nation.
Matthew 24:7-8 “For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.  All these are the beginning of sorrows.

The Greek for sorrows connects to the idea of birth pains.  In other words, the identified signs will increase in frequency and intensity during the time preceding the return of Jesus as King of kings.

World conditions similar to the days of Noah

Matthew 24:37–42 “But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.”

I believe the main point of the above verses is to declare that people on earth will be living normal lives prior to the return of Jesus.  However, I believe the context is in connection with the time preceding the rapture—the time when Jesus comes to take the body of believers home to the Father’s house as He declared in John 14.

John 14:2–3 “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”

According to the biblical record, we know that planet earth will be in complete chaos preceding the Lord’s physical return to take His place on David’s throne in Jerusalem.  Matthew’s record declares that people will be working in the fields, eating, drinking, and marrying—living normal lives.  It is during this kind of environment that the Lord declares that people will vanish from off the face of the planet.

We cannot ignore the fact, however, that God declares in His word that humanity was wicked through and through during the time preceding the flood.

Genesis 6:5 “And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”

Yes, evil has existed throughout the ages, but the significance of this truth is in light of the ministry of Jesus when He was on earth almost 2000 years ago.  I don’t think a rational person can deny that the overwhelming majority of people in the world reject the truth of God’s word—and the sad truth today--that includes even those who profess themselves to be “Christian.”  

The truth of this connection is validated in Paul’s letters to Timothy.

1 Timothy 4:1–3 “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.”

2 Timothy 3:1–7 “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

Again, these characteristics have been in evidence since the time that Paul wrote these letters; but I believe that these have now become the dominant characteristics of the world since Jesus ministered on earth, and that dominance is continuing to strengthen.

Formation of an alliance between Russia and Iran and other Moslem nations

The alliance of Russia with Iran and some of the other nations listed as part of the coalition of Gog foretold by the prophet Ezekiel has only come into existence during this time period.  Though an alliance between all these nations is yet to be solidified, I believe that Russia will eventually be forced to take the lead (“hooks in the jaws” as stated in the verses below) in this coalition’s attack on Israel to preserve its position of influence and power in that part of the world.

Ezekiel 38:3–6 “And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords: Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet: Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee.”

Persia references today’s Iran.  Ethiopia is the translation for biblical Cush, a reference to black Africa, specifically Sudan.  Libya also includes the nations of Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco or a reference to Somalia, according to which prophecy expert you choose to believe.  Gomer and Togarmah are both rooted in the nation today known as Turkey.  The common denominator for most of this coalition is the fact that they are Muslim nations.  It is this factor that makes it all the more conspicuous that Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan are not identified as part of this coalition.

(to be continued…)

Monday, November 26, 2012


In this next series of blog posts I want to draw your attention to prophecies from the word of God that have been fulfilled basically since the time that Israel once again was recognized as a sovereign nation.  I will also address events that are on the prophetic horizon followed by the implications of the prophetic accuracy of scripture.

1948 – Israel reborn as a nation

The nation of Israel was non-existent for almost 2000 years before its amazing rebirth as foretold by the prophet Ezekiel.

Ezekiel 37:1–11 “The hand of the LORD was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones…and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry. And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord GOD, thou knowest. Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the LORD. Thus saith the Lord GOD unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live: And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the LORD. So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone. And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them. Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live. So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army. Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel….”

Jerusalem to become a cup of trembling to all nations

The prophet Zechariah spoke of a time in which Jerusalem would be a cup of trembling and burdensome stone to all people on earth.

Zechariah 12:2-3 “Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem.  And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.”

Development of technology allowing events across the globe to be seen worldwide in real time

From his vision on the island of Patmos, John prophesied of two witnesses that would declare God’s truth from Jerusalem during the last seven-year period (more commonly known as the tribulation) before Jesus returns as King.  He also foretold that when they are killed by the Antichrist, the peoples of all nations will be able to see their dead bodies.

Revelation 11:3–9 “And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth….And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves.”

Development of technology allowing for mark of beast

John also foretold from his vision that the Antichrist would cause every person on earth to receive a mark in the right hand or forehead in order to be able to conduct business of any type during the last half of the tribulation period.

Revelation 13:16–17 “And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.”

Development of technology that results in weapons that do not miss their mark

The prophet Jeremiah talks about a time in which weapons will exist that will hit their targets without fail—a description of today’s “smart” weaponry.

Jeremiah 50:9 “For, lo, I will raise and cause to come up against Babylon an assembly of great nations from the north country: and they shall set themselves in array against her; from thence she shall be taken: their arrows shall be as of a mighty expert man; none shall return in vain.”

Development of technology allowing for destruction of the global population

Since the development of nuclear weapons and the ensuing arms race, the nuclear potential exists to destroy mankind.

I found the following information at, the website for The International Commission on Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament:  “The destructive power of nuclear weapons is mind-numbing in more ways than one: far too much policy debate about the role of nuclear weapons is abstract and detached from the horrific reality of their lethal capability. The short point is that the combined stockpile of existing weapons is capable of destroying our world as we know it many times over.”

Matthew 24:21–22 “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved….”

(to be continued…)

Thursday, November 22, 2012

I'm Thankful for "God's Grace"

Before God spoke a word
Creating heaven and earth
He had a plan in place
To bless us with His grace

He knew that we were sure
To yield to Satan's lure
So He had a plan in place
To bless us with His grace

Redemption was His plan
To send The Perfect Man
Who on the cross would make
A sacrifice of grace

That Man--His only Son
The holy, sinless One
Who suffered in our place
God's precious gift of grace

To heaven He has gone
Preparing there a home
For those who have in faith
Received His saving grace

And one day soon He'll call
His children one and all
To gather in one place
Around the throne of grace

No sorrow, tears or pain
Eternal joy will reign
The blessing of His grace
Because He had a plan in place

Monday, November 19, 2012

Salvation is Ours in the Secret Place – Psalm 91 (conclusion)

Psalm 91:13 Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.

I think this is the psalmist’s expression of the invincibility of a person who is under the protection of Almighty God.  The lion is the king of beasts and references a mighty fearful enemy.  The adder references the asp, a poisonous snake whose bite causes death in a few hours.   The dragon references a sea monster.  Isn’t it interesting that all of these images are also used in reference to Satan in scripture.

·      Lion - 1Peter 5:8 “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour….”
·      Adder/serpent - Revelation 12:9 “And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.”
·      Dragon – Same verse as above.  It’s also interesting that the future Antichrist, the beast that comes from the sea, also falls into this description; and John specifies that he gets his power and authority from the dragon, Satan.

Revelation 13:1-2 “And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.

In other words, the psalmist tells us that the person of faith has nothing to fear from the attack of the spiritual forces of evil.  Why?  The answer follows.

Psalm 91:14 Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.

The psalmist at this point becomes a prophet; he is speaking the words of the Lord.  The Hebrew for love states, “to cling, delight in, desire.”   To know God’s name is to understand the power behind that name.  In context with God’s love it made the reference to “familiar friend” in the Hebrew for known stand out as well.  God delights in honoring those who honor Him.  Jesus was very clear as to the greatest commandment.

Matthew 22:36-38 “Master, which is the great commandment in the law?  Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.  This is the first and great commandment.”  

He was equally clear that the Father responds in love to those that love Him.

John 14:23 “Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.”

The Lord comforted Jeremiah with this same truth.

Jeremiah 39:18 “For I will surely deliver thee, and thou shalt not fall by the sword, but thy life shall be for a prey unto thee: because thou hast put thy trust in me, saith the LORD.”
Psalm 91:15 He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.

The person who delights in the Lord and has placed his life in His hands by faith can be assured that God will answer when he calls. 

The next phrase is important—He will be with him in trouble.  In other words, we aren’t promised that we will never experience trouble, but that God will always be with us in our time of trouble.  Then He promises deliverance from that trouble—according to His wisdom and His timing.  He also promises to honor the believer, and that speaks of glory and riches beyond our imagination. 

God always hears the prayer of His child and He always answers.  Sometimes the answer is yes, sometimes no, sometimes wait a while or not yet.  His presence, provision, deliverance and honor are sure.  His word never fails.

Deuteronomy 31:6 “Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.”

Isaiah 55:11 “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.”

Psalm 91:16 With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.

I thought it was interesting that the Hebrew for long referenced “forever.”   That is the proper perspective.  We all know of people of faith who have died young.  The only way this verse makes sense is in reference to eternity.  Scripture is clear in stating that our lives here are but a vapor and that we cannot be sure of tomorrow.

James 4:14 “Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.”

Isaiah 40:6-8 “The voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field: The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: because the spirit of the LORD bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass.  The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.”

1Peter 1:24 “For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away….”

This verse also fits right in with the truth stated by Jesus.

John 11:25-26 “Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.”

The Hebrew for salvation references “deliverance; hence, aid, victory, prosperity:—deliverance, and health.”   Salvation includes both deliverance from and victory to.  Deliverance from everything evil and wicked and victory to prosperity, health and everything associated with the blessings of God. 

This is a most important point of focus for the child of God today as the times continue to grow spiritually darker.  We will enjoy eternal life in the presence of the LORD.  Our present life is but a tiny dot on the line that represents eternity.  Death is only a transition to a better life.

Come Lord Jesus!!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Safe in the Secret Place - Psalm 91 (cont.)

Psalm 91:5-6 Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.

In these verses the psalmist describes four things the believer has no need to fear.

1)    The terror by night – Terror is a general term for anything that causes extreme fear, causes us to feel dread, or agitates body and mind (according to Webster).  Night is a reference not only to darkness, but also to the presence of evil.

Job 24:13-15 They are of those that rebel against the light; they know not the ways thereof, nor abide in the paths thereof.  The murderer rising with the light killeth the poor and needy, and in the night is as a thief.  The eye also of the adulterer waiteth for the twilight, saying, No eye shall see me: and disguiseth his face.

Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

              This is fear of danger that you cannot see.

2)    The arrow that flieth by day – The Hebrew for arrow references a “piercer” or something that “wounds.”  This would seem to reference fear from danger of which you are aware, an attack that you see coming.

3)    The pestilence that walketh in darkness – The root for pestilence references something that subdues or destroys.  I couldn’t help but think of this verse from Peter when I saw that definition.

1Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

4)    The destruction that wasteth at noonday – Maybe the noonday is a reference to the time of day when we are getting fatigued, the times when we aren’t as vigilant and ready to face attack.  I decided to look for a little help on this phrase and Adam Clarke made an enlightening comment:  The ancients thought that there were some demons who had the power to injure particularly at noonday.”

Psalm 91:7 A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.

I think the “thousand” refers back to the arrows and figuratively to any danger or attack of the enemy.  The child of God should realize that the protecting hand of Almighty God can overpower the enemy no matter how big, how many or how powerful.

Psalm 91:8 Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.

This seems to acknowledge a promise that we can be sure that the wicked will be judged; they will reap what they have sown.  It is also implies that the child of God who has placed His faith in Him will observe this judgment from a place of protection.

Psalm 91:9-10 Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.

The psalmist is basically conveying the truth that those who have turned to YHWH in faith, as he has, and are trusting YHWH with their lives have no reason to fear any evil or wickedness.  Paul restated this truth in his letter to the Romans.

Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Those who love God and those who have faith in God are the same.  Everything that God allows to touch the lives of those who trust Him is meant for good.  What we may at first determine to be evil is actually meant for good.  It’s a matter of trusting God with the outcome.  It’s a matter of accepting the truth stated by Isaiah.

Isaiah 55:8-9 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Psalm 91:11-12 For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.

These verses immediately make me think of Satan’s use of them in tempting Jesus in the wilderness.

Matthew 4:5-7 Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.

It’s interesting to me that Satan made direct application of this scripture to the man Jesus, the perfect man of faith, the Son of God.  The amazing truth is that as a child of God, the same truth applies to me.  The angels are identified as ministering spirits to the children of faith.

Hebrews 1:13-14 But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool?  Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?

They have been assigned to minister to ALL our ways, our journey through this life.  It doesn’t mean that we will never get hurt.  It does mean that (as stated above) God is in control and will only allow in our lives that which He intends to use for good.  When Satan used these verses, he (as the wicked often do) used the Word for his own purposes—not God’s.

(to be continued…)

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Dwelling in the Secret Place - A look at Psalm 91

This psalm is a very special word from God to the believer today in light of the times in which we live.  Our nation, as well as the rest of the world, is descending further and further into spiritual darkness as the influence of the “god of this world,” Satan in his many deceptive forms, are on the rise.  In my opinion, this was to be expected according to scripture as the time draws near for the return of Jesus to establish His kingdom.  Every child of God should feel the urgency of getting out the truth of the gospel to as many as possible as soon as possible.  I believe the time is coming sooner rather than later when the ability to freely share that truth will be severely restricted and those who try to share that truth will face persecution.  It is during that time that the word of God will prove more precious to the child of God than ever before.

Psalm 91:1 He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

The “secret place” is a reference to a place of covering or protection, a hiding place.  To dwell in the secret place of the most High is to dwell in the most secure place available.  I see that as being hidden in plain view under cover of the protective hand of God.  Webster defines dwell as “to linger…to continue…to abide as a permanent resident.”  This describes a person who has fully committed his life to God in submission and obedience.  The word linger gave me the idea of someone who likes where he is, he is comfortable there; there is nowhere else he would rather be. 

The second part of this verse is basically a restatement of the first, a characteristic of Hebrew poetry.  Abiding in the shelter of the Almighty is another way of saying that you are living under the protection of God Almighty.  The Hebrew for shadow references being shaded or defended from a root that states “through the idea of hovering over.”  It gives me the picture of a loving Father Who is very attentive to the smallest needs of his child.

Psalm 91:2 I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.

Now the psalmist makes it personal—“He is my refuge and my fortress: my God.”  Refuge speaks of a place of shelter provided by someone you trust.  Fortress speaks of a defense or a strong place.  “My God” refers back to LORD (YHWH), the self-existent, eternal Supreme Being.  The psalmist is declaring a personal relationship with the LORD—a relationship based on trust or faith in the God who gives him security, confidence and hope.  This is a man whose mind is at rest or peace because he has faith in God’s protection of him.

Psalm 91:3 Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.

The “snare of the fowler” speaks of an enemy who is out to trap you.  Who else could that be but Satan, the god of this world, and his army of evil spiritual forces and the wicked men and women who serve him.

In looking at the Hebrew for “noisome pestilence” it seems that the psalmist is referencing a sudden onset of plague or disease that affects many people or cattle.  It seems to allow for application in today’s world of an evil attack using chemical or biological weapons to bring about the destruction of many.  In fact, it could reference a sudden overwhelming destruction of any kind that is a result of evil forces whether spiritual or physical.

The psalmist is convinced that God will deliver His people from such evil.  I believe that is true.  I also believe that God’s deliverance can come in unexpected ways.  I thought it was interesting that the Hebrew for deliver included a variety of possibilities—to snatch away, escape, preserve, recover, rescue.  In my mind that allows for Him to take us home to escape being touched by the evil, to preserve us through the evil to recovery, or to rescue us physically from danger. 

Notice that the psalmist switched from first person to third person.  He is speaking on behalf of all those who trust in God the same way he does.

Psalm 91:4 He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.

In this verse the psalmist is comparing God’s protection of people of faith to a bird that is protecting its young by covering them with its wings.  God is compared to an eagle in scripture.  I believe the psalmist was thinking of the words of Moses in Deuteronomy.

Deuteronomy 32:9-12 For the LORD’S portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance.  He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; he led him about, he instructed him, he kept him as the apple of his eye.  As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings: So the LORD alone did lead him, and there was no strange god with him.

A shield is a reference to protection from a specific point of attack, while a buckler seems to reference a protective surrounding.  God’s truth, His Word, provides us with a defense from spiritual attack in particular.  The Lord Jesus exampled this truth when he faced the temptations of Satan in the wilderness.  God’s word also provides people of faith with a protective hedge if they will but live according to its truth.  When we step out of God’s revealed will for us as established by His word, we are inviting danger.

(to be continued…)

Monday, November 5, 2012

Meditating on Psalm 5

In this blog I am sharing thoughts with you on Psalm 5.  I pray you will find a blessing and/or some insight that will encourage you.

Psalm 5:1-2 Give ear to my words, O LORD, consider my meditation. Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King, and my God: for unto thee will I pray.

As I learned in my study of Isaiah, Hebrew poetry is expressed through repetition or restatement.  These two verses, and many others in this Psalm, represent that poetic style as used by David.

David is calling out to the Lord to listen to him.  The Hebrew for consider included the statement “to separate mentally.”  David is aware that God is the God of all people, and he is crying out for God to listen specifically to him.  Every time I stop to think about this truth I am in awe.  I know that God hears me when I talk to Him—even though He is listening to millions of others that may be talking to Him at the same time.   

As David cries out, he recognizes YHWH, the self-existent and eternal God, as his King and his God.  He is expressing an attitude of total humility and submissiveness even as he approaches the Lord with his requests.

The use of the word voice indicates that David is praying out loud.  That is not something that comes naturally to me.  It seems that more often than not, my prayers are expressed from within.  I think it has something to do with feeling safer because the devil and his legions can’t hear me and use it against me. 

Psalm 5:3 My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.

Evidently, it was David’s custom to seek the Lord’s face in the morning at the break of dawn.  He wanted guidance for the day from the Lord.  The word direct includes the idea of getting things prepared and in order, as one getting ready for battle; and this is language that you would expect from a warrior like David.  That he was looking up indicates that he is ready to wait for the Lord’s answer.

Again, my true prayer times have come much more naturally in the late evening and early morning hours.  In the last few years, I have been privileged to be awakened in the early morning hours for fellowship with the Lord.  I can truly say that some of my most precious times with the Lord have been in the hours before dawn.

Psalm 5:4-5 For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee. The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity.

David seems to be declaring why he is so disciplined to seek the Lord early in the morning and wait for His instruction; he wants to be sure that He is following God’s will.  He knows that God has no pleasure in wickedness.  Those who practice evil have no chance to dwell with God and enjoy His fellowship.  Wickedness and iniquity or evil actions are actions that go against the will of God.

Verse 5 is basically repeating the truth of verse 4.  The foolish (boastful, prideful) will not be allowed the privilege of enjoying the presence of God.  God hates those who continually practice (from the Hebrew for workers) evil deeds.

Psalm 5:6 Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing: the LORD will abhor the bloody and deceitful man.

Those who speak lies and deceit (leasing) will be destroyed by God.  The Lord loathes and detests (from the Hebrew for abhor) those who are murderers and those who lie and deceive others.  David is aware from personal experience, that if he does not keep himself close to the Lord, he is apt to fall into such sins; and the same is true for us.  He wants to guard his relationship with YHWH.

Psalm 5:7 But as for me, I will come into thy house in the multitude of thy mercy: and in thy fear will I worship toward thy holy temple.

As David comes back in his thoughts to the request he wants to make before God, he makes personal application of the truths he has just stated.  Because of his understanding of YHWH, he is careful to approach Him in holy fear and reverence, dependent on God’s mercy.  He doesn’t take his worship before God lightly; it’s not just a routine to him; he is sincere.

I believe this is a sad description of much of the professing church today.  What many call worship is just a ritual that is performed to satisfy a sense of obligation and/or the expectation of others.

Psalm 5:8 Lead me, O LORD, in thy righteousness because of mine enemies; make thy way straight before my face.

David is requesting the Lord to lead, to guide him to act according to His righteousness toward his enemies.  He is asking God to make him prosperous and pleasant (from the word straight).  I think he is asking for victory based on a heart attitude that is seeking God’s will.  In that regard, his enemies are God’s enemies.

Psalm 5:9 For there is no faithfulness in their mouth; their inward part is very wickedness; their throat is an open sepulchre; they flatter with their tongue.

David realizes that his enemies are not to be trusted.  They do not speak according to truth; their words and manner of speech are chosen to accomplish their own selfish purposes.  They have no moral standards.  Their mouth is used to flatter; their words are smooth and persuasive.

The following excerpt from my journal on Romans applies here.

Romans 3:13-14 Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:

Paul now basically states that men are no good from head to toe.  As an astute student of scripture, he relies on it heavily as he makes his case.

Psalm 5:9 For there is no faithfulness in their mouth; their inward part is very wickedness; their throat is an open sepulchre; they flatter with their tongue.

The word throat in the Greek refers to the larynx, the voicebox.  An open sepulchre (grave) makes you think of a place from which rot and decay are evident.  I like Webster’s definition for deceit:  An attempt or disposition to deceive or lead into error; any declaration, artifice, or practice, which misleads another, or causes him to believe what is false; a contrivance to entrap; deception; a wily device; fraud.”

Psalm 140:3 They have sharpened their tongues like a serpent; adders’ poison is under their lips. Selah.

Psalm 10:7 His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and fraud: under his tongue is mischief and vanity.

Poison/venom speaks of that which injures or is deadly, like malicious or spiteful words.  Cursing involves evil speaking with the intent to cause great injury.  Bitterness involves speaking sharply with resentment and/or sarcasm; Webster even adds that it is with the intent to draw someone into apostasy (rejecting their faith).

The Spirit has gone to great pains to emphasize the evil that can come from the words we speak and the way we speak them.  He also emphasizes these same truths through the writings of James:

James 3:6 & 8 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.  [end excerpt]

Psalm 5:10 Destroy thou them, O God; let them fall by their own counsels; cast them out in the multitude of their transgressions; for they have rebelled against thee.

David recognizes that it is God who has proper authority over life and death.  He is praying that they be destroyed as a result of their own evil purposes; they should be allowed to reap what they have sown through their many sins and their rebellion against God.

That is a hard lesson to learn.  We are so naturally geared to want to “get even” and take care of things ourselves.  It takes a conscious, disciplined effort to realize that vengeance belongs to God, and that we are to trust Him to accomplish His judgment in His timing.

Romans 12:19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

Deuteronomy 32:41 If I whet my glittering sword, and mine hand take hold on judgment; I will render vengeance to mine enemies, and will reward them that hate me.

Psalm 5:11 But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.

Those who put their trust in the Lord have every reason to rejoice and be happy because God is hedging them in, defending them.  It’s interesting that David connects trusting in God with loving His name.  I think we have gotten really lax as His children in loving and honoring the name of God.  For instance, the phrase “O my God,” is used as an exclamation of surprise—even by many Christians.  It is something that really bothers me. 

Psalm 5:12 For thou, LORD, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield.

David is confident of God’s blessing upon those who choose to live righteously and be morally clean.  God takes pleasure and delight in surrounding those who serve Him and trust Him and love His name with a shield of protection.

What a motivation!  God gives so much in return for so little from us. 

Father, help me to always seek your guidance and direction as I strive to live a life that is righteous before you.  May I be sensitive to the correction of the Holy Spirit.  Please help me grow in faith and to genuinely rest in Your protection as Your child.  Amen.