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Psalms 31-41


A Devotional Journey    
     led by Dr Gene Pearson 
Thru the Bible in a Year
     Psalm 31 is a prayer for God's protection as David faces some sort of conspiracy.  Luke tells us (23:46) that Jesus applied verse five of this psalm to His own experience on the cross.  The key passage in the psalm is 9-18, which is immediately followed by an affirmation of God's goodness, protection and responsiveness.
     Psalms 32-34 are psalms of praise for God's forgiveness, protection and deliverance.  Psalms 33 and 34 are written with 22 lines to match the Hebrew alphabet.  Psalm 33 was probably sung by the choir of Levites mentioned in 1 Chronicles 16:7-36 and 25:1.
     Psalms 35 and 36 are prayers for God's vindication and protection.  Psalm 37 builds on 36 by instructing the listener in how to understand and deal with evil:  "Trust in the Lord and do good!  Delight in the Lord ... Commit your way to the Lord ... Be still before the Lord ... Refrain from anger and turn away from wrath ..."
     Psalm 38 is a prayer for relief from physical suffering which has alienated friends and emboldened enemies with the idea that if there is illness there must be a broken relationship with God (the very theology the book of Job was written to counteract!).  Following  on a similar theme, the frailty of human beings, Psalm 39 is a prayer for forgiveness and healing.
     Psalm 40 is a prayer for help which begins with a recounting of all God has done in the past to make David secure in spite of opposition and obstacles.  Still the point is in verse twelve:  "For troubles without number surround me."
     Psalm 41 is similar to those preceding in its request for mercy and healing.  It concludes Book I of the Psalms with words of triumph:  APraise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting.  Amen and Amen!@
     When you pray for help, do you always first thank God for all He has already done and then again for what you believe He will do?  When our petitions are sandwiched between expressions of thanksgiving and praise, we are strengthened even as we bring our problems to God.  Perhaps that is why Paul urges us to bring all our needs to God in prayer with thanksgiving!  (see Philippians 4:6). 
     Today, make sure your prayers follow that pattern and see if it does not make a difference.
© A. Eugene Pearson 2010