Psalm 105

pillar of fireO give thanks unto the Lord and call upon His name
Sing His praises, tell His wonders, spread abroad His fame
Ye who worship Adonai rejoice with gladdened hearts
Never cease to seek His presence and His strength He will impart.

Call to mind His countless wonders, untold marvels, wise decrees
Sons of Jacob, all His chosen, come before Him, bend your knees
He, the Lord our God, is righteous, faithful to His promises
For a thousand generations He will do just what He says.

Once He promised Canaan’s portion as their lasting heritage
Abra’m, Isaac, Jacob, Israel –wand’rers on a pilgrimage
God preserved them and protected “touch not My anointed ones”
Warning kings of foreign nations not to harm His chosen sons.

As His sov’reign plan unfolded, Canaan’s famine caused them grief
But He sent ahead a savior who would bring them much relief
Joseph, sold as slave in fetters, down to Egypt bound with chains
Tested, tried, and oft rejected, in dark prisons he remains.

Then, when time had reached its fullness, he would see his dreams come true
Pharaoh made him prince of Egypt, wise men sought his point of view
Then it was in Ham they settled, Jacob’s humble tribe of few
There they prospered and were hated as their numbers grew and grew.

Over time they were subjected to oppressive slavery
God had turned the hearts of Egypt planning their delivery
Moses, Aaron, chosen servants, worked His signs and wonders there
Caused the captors grievous troubles driving them to deep despair.

When the land was cloaked in darkness, Egypt would not set them free
Water turned to blood around them, frogs and flies, a scourge of fleas
Hail and light’ning shattered trees and hordes of locusts ate their fields
Hardened hearts would not surrender, still to God they would not yield.

Then the firstborn sons of Egypt, pride and joy of every home
Were the object of death’s angel, Israel now was free to roam
Throughout all the tribes of Israel no one stumbled or was hurt
Egypt gave them all their treasures, having earned their just deserts.

Out they went with cloud to shield them, fiery pillar lit night skies
Quails and manna, food from heaven, water from a rock supplies
Faithful to His sacred promise, out they came with joyful songs
Eating crops they had not planted, now the land to them belongs.

All these things the Lord accomplished, faithful to His covenant
As He promised Abraham with sacred oath and testament
So these loved and chosen people would His will and laws obey,
Follow closely all His teachings, from His precepts never stray.

Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!  All God’s children sing His praise!
Shout for joy, recount His blessings, to His throne your voices raise!

© 2014  J Dan Small

Psalm 81

MeribahSing and celebrate, shout for joy
Blow the shofar, festive songs employ
New moon, full moon, every feast day
Tamborines and harps are waiting to be played.

This jubilation commanded by our God
As we left Egypt by Moses’ rod
What is this language I have not heard?
From the mouth of God, listen to His word.

“Call to mind when your burdens I relieved
And from your oppressors I gave you reprieve
You were in trouble and called out to Me
I answered from the thunderclouds and set you free.

“Remember what I said on Meribah’s plain?
‘Hear, O My people, and let me explain
Listen very closely, please hear what I say
From every foreign god you must stay away.

“I, the Lord, your God, rescued you from Egypt land
If you will obey Me, choose to heed My command
I will fill your mouth when you open it wide
All that you desire I’ll abundantly provide.

“But you would not heed or listen to My voice
So I let you go to your own stubborn choice
You rejected Me and then went your own way
Sadly I watched as you proudly went astray.

“Oh I wish My people would listen to Me
How quickly I’d subdue all their enemies
If My chosen people would just walk in My way
Protection and deliv’rance I could then display.

“Enemies of Adonai will meet their doom
But those I love and cherish I will cause to bloom
With honey from the rock I will satisfy
They’ll eat the living bread and they will never die.”

© 2014 J Dan Small

Psalm 74

Temple destroyedO God, look at the ruins
Have You rejected us?
Tho once You chose us as Your own
Mt Zion lies in dust.

The sanctuary smolders
The carvings axed and smashed
The enemy destroyed it all
Our place of worship trashed.

There are no signs or prophets
To tell us what to do
How long will this go on, God
With them insulting You?

Why do You withhold judgment?
Strike with Your pow’rful hand
Recall the time You split the sea
Turned rivers into sand.

O God, from ages past
You’ve been our Savior King
You reign majestic o’er the earth
For You made everything.

Recall, O Lord, this truth
Our foes reviled Your name
Do not forget Your turtledove
Or let this end in shame.

The covenant You made
We ask you to fulfill
Arise, O God, and plead Your cause
Their uproar You must still.

© 2014 J Dan Small

Psalm 66

Group PraiseShout to God, now, all the earth
Praise His name, declare His worth
Majestic chorus, skillful song,
To Him all glory must belong.

How awesome, God, are all Your deeds
Before Your pow’r the foe concedes
While all the earth bows down to You
And lifts their praise to Your name, too.

Come and behold the works of God
His awesome dealings we applaud
He turned the sea into dry land
We crossed on foot by His command.

His eyes keep watch on enemies
Before Him every rebel flees
We bless our God, our voices raise
He saved us, let us sound our praise.

Like silver in the furnace tried
You let men over our heads ride
When thru the fire and flood we passed
You led us to abundance vast.

The promises and vows I made
When I appealed to You for aid
I come now to Your house to bring
Choice sacrifice and offering.

Come, listen, all who fear the Lord
As I, His wonders, now record
When deep in trouble I cried out
My enemies He then did rout.

If in my heart sin did abound
No help from God would then be found
But He has heard my feeble prayer
In mercy He my life did spare.

So join with me in blessing God
Declare His praise home and abroad
He did not from my pleas refrain
Nor His great love and grace restrain.

© 2014 J Dan Small

Psalm 59

wolfBackstory: Written by David as he hid in his house from Saul’s men who were sent to kill him.

Deliver, O my God, from my enemies
Set me out of reach somewhere on high
Fierce and ruthless men full of iniquities
Thirsty for my blood they terrify.

Look, they lie in wait with plans to take my life
I’ve done them no wrong to justify
Openly they gather stirring up more strife
Innocent, I plea to Adonai.

Awaken, Lord of Hosts, see how they stalk me
Punish evildoers everywhere
God, don’t spare these traitors or let them go free
Make them reap in full what is their share.

Just like prowling dogs all night they wander ‘round
Spewing wicked words and evil plots
Thinking they are safe, no one can hear their sound
Laughing, Adonai, You know their thoughts.

O God, You are my Strength, You are my Fortress
Confident, I watch, knowing You’ll come
Your grace and lovingkindness, Lord, is priceless
All my foes will soon be on the run.

Don’t wipe them out or people will forget You
Scatter them to wander to and fro
Bring them down, O Lord our Shield, their schemes undo
Make them reap the evil that they sow.

When You, in wrath, bring to an end the wicked
Men will know that You rule over all
When snarling dogs return and I’m afflicted
Songs will fill my heart, on You I’ll call.

The morning will bring songs about Your mercy
Joyfully, my Strength, I sing Your praise
My fortress and my Refuge provides safety
Grace, You give, to keep me all my days.

© 2014 J Dan Small

Psalm 54

Backstory: 1 Samuel 23:19-29 A Psalm “on the run” as Saul pursues David. Here, David’s own countrymen betray his location to Saul. See commentary below.

Save me, God, I’m counting on Your Name
By Your great pow’r defend me from this shame
Hear my prayer, and turn Your ear toward me
Before You, God, I voice my desp’rate plea.

Violent men are trying to take my life
Strangers, too, rise up and create strife
All their schemes and plots are greatly flawed
As they neglect to turn their thoughts to God.

But God’s my helper, He is in control
Adonai, the Lord sustains my soul
My evil foes He’s sure to recompense
In faithfulness He’ll come to my defense.

I gladly bring my offerings to You
Express my thanks for all the good You do
Adonai has now delivered me
With great relief I watch opponents flee.

WorshipMatthew Henry Commentary: 23:19-29 In the midst of his wickedness, Saul affected to speak the language of piety. Such expressions, without suitable effects, can only amuse or deceive those who hear, and those who use them. This mountain was an emblem of the Divine Providence coming between David and the destroyer. Let us not be dismayed at the prospect of future difficulties, but stay ourselves upon Him who is wonderful in counsel and excellent in working. Sooner than his promise shall fail, he will commission Philistines to effect our escape, at the very moment when our case appears most desperate. God requires entire dependence on him, If ye will not believe, surely ye shall not be established, Isa 7:9.

© 2014 J Dan Small

Psalm 31 (Part 1)

I run to You, O Lord
And hide myself in Thee
Because You always do what’s right
My Rock and Fortress be.

Let me not be ashamed
In You I put my trust
Bow down Your ear, deliver me
I know that You are just.

You are my hiding place
I get my strength from Thee
For Your name’s sake, please lead and guide
From their nets rescue me.

Into Your hand, O Lord
My spirit I commit
You have redeemed. O God of truth
I willingly submit.

I hate idolaters
Who worship worthless gods
But I put my trust in the Lord
Whose mercy I applaud.

You cause me to rejoice
In Your amazing grace
You’ve seen my plight and set my feet
Secure in a wide place.

Have mercy on me now
My troubles have increased
I spend my days in sighs and tears
My life has almost ceased.

Scorned by my enemies
Rejected by my friend
Forgotten, lonely, full of fear
When will this madness end?

I’m like a shattered pot
Ignored as if I’d died
I hear their slander and their threats
These all against me side.

© 2014 J Dan Small