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BLESSED ARE THE PEOPLE WHOSE GOD IS THE LORD

Psalm 144:1-144:15
Key Verse: 144:15

This psalm is the psalm of David. In this psalm David lists God’s blessings for his people one by one. Then at the end, he concludes that these blessings belong to the people whose God is the LORD. May God bless us to be the people of whom this is true and the people whose God is the LORD. So let’s think about God’s blessings one by one.

First, the LORD is my Rock.(1-2) Look at verse 1. “Praise be to the LORD my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle.” David praises God because the LORD is his Rock. Here, ‘Rock’ has the same meaning of ‘strength’ in Hebrew. He praises God because he became David’s strength. David had been a soldier most of his life. Many times he felt his enemies were too strong for him. But in his helplessness, David cried out to God for his help. Then God became his strength so that he could fight against enemies and win a great victory. God is our strength. This is the secret of our victory. We are weak, but our God is strong, stronger that our enemies. When we depend on God, he gives us courage and boldness to fight against enemies. In the battle, fighting skill is as important as strength. Especially, hands are very important in handling sword, and fingers in shooting arrows. David confesses that God trained his hands for war, and his fingers for battle. David became a victorious general because God was his Trainer.

Now best athletes from all over the world gathered in London to compete for gold medals. They became best athletes because they had best trainers who trained them to develop their strength and skills. They are blessed to have good trainers. But God’s people are much more blessed because God is our Trainer. God knows how to train his people to become great soldiers. Sometimes training is very hard. When we are trained by God can we become good soldiers and even grow to become great generals. God trains us through the word of God. 2 Timothy 3:16, 17 say, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” I pray that God may train us to become good soldiers of Christ Jesus. I pray that God may train us to become good disciples of Jesus and disciple-makers for Gospel ministry.

Look at verse 2. “He is my loving God and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield, in whom I take refuge, who subdues peoples under me.” David called the LORD ‘my loving God.’ He had a personal love relationship with God. He loved God with all his heart and felt God’s personal love for him. When he called God ‘my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield,’ he is not just saying habitually. He really meant it because he experience God personally in his real life. The last part of verse 2, David says, “God subdues peoples under me.” When David fought for God’s glory, God subdued people under him, and raised him as a king and a shepherd for his people.

Second, the LORD cares for man. (3-11) Look at verse 3. “O LORD, what is man that you care for him, the son of man that you think of him? Man is like a breath; his days are like a fleeting shadow.” When God raised him as a leader of God’s people, he did not become proud. He was humble before God. It was because he had a correct understanding of man. David understood that man is like a breath; his days are like a fleeting shadow. He realized that man is so insignificant like a short breath of air. Did you see fleeting shadow? It quickly disappears before the sun. His life is too short like a fleeting shadow. Why is it so important to have the correct understand of man? When we know who man is we can be truly humble before God. Why are people proud? Is it because they have something to be proud? No. It is because they do not know who they are before God. When we know what man is, we can truly know what we should do with our life. We can truly understand the grace of God who cares for a mere man like me.

Then how could David come to have such an understanding of man? He could have the correct understanding of man when he compared himself with the greatness of God. Who is God? Our God is the Creator and Lord of heaven and earth. He is all powerful God who created everything out of nothing. He is eternal God who exists from everlasting to everlasting. Our God is infinite and eternal God. Last week, we learned that God is omnipresent and omniscient. God is everywhere, and he knows everything, even the inmost thoughts of our heart. Compared to the greatness of God, how insignificant and unworthy a man is!

We feel that the earth we live in is all we see, but we know that it’s just a tiny planet in a vast Solar System. (Now our Solar System has 8 planets, not including Plato) And our Solar System is just one member of a vast Milky Way galaxy with 200 to 400 billion stars. But how many galaxies are there in the entire Universe? We don’t know, since we can only see a fraction of the Universe. But the most current estimates guess that there are 100 to 200 billion galaxies in the Universe, each of which has hundreds of billions of stars. Our God is the Creator of this vast Universe. How small and tiny a man is compared to this great God!

Someone compares a man as fleeting dust in the earth, as a disappearing vapour in the air, as a breaking bubble in the water, and as consuming smoke in the fire. We can truly understand what man is when we stand before the greatness of God. We can be truly humble when we find true ourselves before God. We can grow mature when are humble before God. The measure of one’s greatness is humbleness, not pride.

Look at verse 3 again. “O LORD, what is man that you care for him, the son of man that you think of him?” It is easy to despair when we discover how tiny we are in this great Universe. David’s understanding of himself led him into the deep grace of God. He was deeply moved by God’s care and his mercy for a mere man like him. When we know who we truly are can we begin to understand how much God cares for us. In the same way, when we know who we truly are can we understand how much God loves us. Before we study the Bible, we think we are okay. We thought, “I am a pretty nice guy, and nice girl. I am a pretty good guy, comparing with other guys.” But the more we study the Bible, the more we despair and become frustrated about ourselves when our sinfulness and ugliness is revealed before the holy word of God. Bible is like a mirror. We wonder why we feel more miserable and hopeless than before. In fact, we are just discovering our true selves as sinners because God opens our spiritual eyes through his word. It is the time we must humbly look at God and understand his wonderful grace through his Son Jesus Christ. When we look at Jesus on the cross, we begin to understand how much God cares a mere man like me that the Son of God died for me, shedding his holy blood on the cross. Martin Luther said once, “If I were God, I’d kick the world to pieces.” But God did not do that. Instead, he sent his One and Only Son to save the world. Romans 5:8 says, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Who could die for a sinner like me? But Christ died on the cross in order to save you and me from our sins.

Look at verses 5-8. “Part your heavens, O LORD, and come down; touch the mountains, so that they smoke. 6 Send forth lightning and scatter the enemies;

shoot your arrows and rout them. 7 Reach down your hand from on high;

deliver me and rescue me from the mighty waters, from the hands of foreigners

8 whose mouths are full of lies, whose right hands are deceitful.”

In these verses, David prays for God’s help in his desperate situation. It seems that the enemies are coming toward him like the mighty waters. But in this helpless situation he did not despair or become intimidated. Instead, he cried out to God in prayer. His prayer seems unrealistic. But this was how he prayed to God and how God saved him each time when he was in danger. He believed that God would come down from heaven with his mighty army to fight for him and his people. Our God is consuming fire. When his fire touches mountains, they smoke. God sends forth lightening and scatters the enemies. He shoots his arrows and routs them. In this way God gave victory to David. There is a time when we feel that we are totally helpless, and our situations are totally out of control. But we must know that we are not alone in our battle. God is with us, and he fights for us. God comes down with his mighty army of heaven and defeats our enemies. If God is for us, who can be against us? We are more than conquerors through him who loves us. (Romans 9:37)

Look at verse 9 and 10. “I will sing a new song to you, O God; on the ten-stringed lyre I will make music to you, to the One who gives victory to kings, who delivers his servant David from the deadly sword.“ David was filled with thanks to God who gives him victory. God came for his rescue and delivered him from the deadly sword. He described this victory in Psalms 18:17-19. “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 out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.” God’s victory moved David to sing a new song. He wants to praise God with a new song, a song which was never sung before. He wants to praise God with the best song he could sing. We do not need a voice training to be a great singer. We can be a great singers and best musicians when we experience God’s victory in our life.

Third, the LORD blesses his people abundantly. (12-15) Now David lists God’s abundant blessings that would come upon his people following God’s victory. Look at verse 12. “Then our sons in their youth will be like well-nurtured plants, and our daughters will be like pillars carved to adorn a palace.” Well-nurtured plants grow strong and straight until they become giant trees. These days we see many crooked and perverse young men. They waste away their youth for pleasure-seeking and becomes like withered plants. But when God blesses, our sons can grow like well-nurtured plants. Joseph in Genesis is a good example. There were many hardships and temptations in his life. But God protected him, and he became fruitful vine near a spring, whose branches clime over a wall according to the word of blessing given to him by his father Jacob (Genesis 49:22). Young men can grow strong and tall when they are deeply rooted in Jesus Christ. Not only that, our daughters will be like pillars carved to adorn a palace. These pillars are cornerstones of a palace, which are the most important part of the building. These pillars adorn a palace beautifully. Our young women will grow beautifully like beautiful pillars in a palace. Women become truly beautiful when they meet God personally and grow in the fear of God. Men seem to be stronger than women. But in reality when women fears God and become pillars in a family, society and a nation, men can grow as strong and influential leaders like well-nurtured plants. May God grow our sons and daughters to become like well-nurtured plants and beautiful pillars in our family. May God raise our young men and young women as well-nurtured plants and beautiful pillars in God’s house.

Look at verses 13 and 14. “Our barns will be filled with every kind of provision.

Our sheep will increase by thousands, by tens of thousands in our fields ; our oxen will draw heavy loads. Spiritual blessings are much better than material blessings, but when God’s people seek God and serve his will, material blessings follow. Jesus also promised in Matthew 6:33. “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” All blessings come from God as an expression of his love for his people. Our barns will be filled with every kind of provisions, and our sheep will cover the field. God’s blessings are so abundant that we need strong oxen that can draw heavy loads.

Look at verse 14b. “There will be no breaching of walls, no going into captivity,

no cry of distress in our streets. “ This is God’s blessing for security for the society and nation. There will be no breaking of walls by the attack of enemies. There will be no more captivity into other nations. There will be no more violence in the street.

Look at verse 15. ”Blessed are the people of whom this is true; blessed are the people whose God is the Lord.” This verse is the conclusion of this psalm. God’s people are blessed because all the blessings listed here are true to them. They will experience all these blessings. Most of all, God’s people are blessed because their God is the Lord. Having the LORD as our God is the best blessings of all blessings. May all these blessings of God become true to us when we love God wholeheartedly and live for his glory as God’s people.

By James Lee

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