Tag Archives: Psalms


Two books on friendship — who needs ’em?  The answer is — I DO!  As an introvert, I try to avoid people, large crowds, telemarketers. But God in His humor has me writing two books on . . . friendship! This first book is tentatively entitled With Friends Like These . . . Biblical Friendships from Job to Jesus. We began in our last post thinking about the Old Testament on friendship.

While our study must be cursory, we noticed in the Pentateuch that Adam needed human companionship, that God actually had the Levites kill their friends for idolatry, and that two men specifically (Abraham and Moses) were called “the friend of God.”

In the History Books we mentioned the beautiful friendship between Jonathan and David and how it is perversely viewed as a homosexual relationship by some today, causing many men not to get close to other men out of fear!

Let’s take a brief look at the Poetry Books of the Old Testament this morning.  What do we see there?  The book of Job lays out for us the truth of being with a friend in pain. It also shows the danger of trying to “help” one’s friend through their pain when the helper’s view of God and reality is flawed. Job’s three friends each lecture him on his sin and his need to repent.  And they are wrong in their assessment (see Job 42:7). Theology is important, but can be used as a weapon to further hurt the wounded.

The Psalter has much to say about friendship, especially the pain of friends’ turning away when life becomes hard (see 31:11; 38:11; 41:9; 55:12-14; etc.). David declares he is “a friend to all who fear you, to all who follow your precepts” (Ps. 119:63).  The book of Proverbs reminds us that the rich have many friends (19:6).  The righteous choose their friends carefully (12:26) and we are warned that gossip separates close friends (17:9). One of the most critical points about friendship made in the book of Proverbs is found in 27:6 where we read, ““Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.” None of us likes to be wounded, but there are useful wounds from those who love us which are far more valuable than empty expressions of affection. Similarly, Proverbs 27:9 says, “Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of a friend springs from their heartfelt advice.” (27:9). Very practically we are told in 22:24 that we should “not make friends with a hot-tempered person; do not associate with one easily angered.”

In our next and last post on the Old Testament’s advice on friendships we will look at the major and minor prophets.








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Posted by on January 19, 2019 in friendships


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Time for a Great Picture: Venting!

Screen Shot 2015-08-01 at 6.53.03 AM Screen Shot 2015-08-01 at 6.52.57 AM

Okay, okay. I admit it.  I sometimes take pictures of other vehicles when I’m driving.  I usually wait until I’m stopped at a stoplight, but I can’t resist a good sermon illustration.

You’ll notice that this tanker truck has a sign on the back that read:  “TANK VENTING IS NORMAL.”  I’ve enlarged the sign in the 2nd picture.

Venting dangerous chemicals into the atmosphere is normal?  Although this tanker says it is carrying carbon dioxide, I wonder if tankers carrying dangerous chemicals have the same sign?

It’s sometimes dangerous when we vent, isn’t it?  But we need to express ourselves, Screen Shot 2015-08-01 at 7.18.38 AMto put into words what we are going through, what we are feeling.  As I read through the book of Psalms, it seems to me that the Lord gives the Psalmist a lot of freedom to express exactly what he is feeling.  At times, he speaks of his discouragement as he sees the wicked prosper, his fear as he is being chased by his enemies, his sense of abandonment when he feels the Lord is not acting on his behalf.  And yet, the Lord does not strike him down or even rebuke him for his “venting.”

Do you feel free to vent before the Lord?  He will not break when we express our honest feelings to Him.  He is not a porcelain God who is fragile and needs our frustrations sanitized before we share them with Him!

Screen Shot 2015-08-01 at 7.22.48 AMDo you have a human friend with whom you can share your deepest feelings?  I love this quote by George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans):  “Oh, the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person; having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but to pour them all out, just as they are, chaff and grain together, knowing that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then, with a breath of kindness, blow the rest away.”

Do you feel “safe” with the Lord?  Free to share your deepest feelings?  Any friends come to mind who provide you with the same kindness?

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Posted by on September 10, 2015 in emotions


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Psalms of My Life (Psalm 3)

Psalm 3


A psalm of David. When he fled from his son Absalom.

Lord, how many are my foes!Screen Shot 2014-12-10 at 5.20.32 AM
    How many rise up against me!
Many are saying of me,
    “God will not deliver him.”[b]

But you, Lord, are a shield around me,
    my glory, the One who lifts my head high.
I call out to the Lord,
    and he answers me from his holy mountain.

I lie down and sleep;
    I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.
I will not fear though tens of thousands
    assail me on every side.

Arise, Lord!
    Deliver me, my God!
Strike all my enemies on the jaw;
    break the teeth of the wicked.

From the Lord comes deliverance.Screen Shot 2014-12-10 at 5.24.53 AM
    May your blessing be on your people.

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Posted by on December 17, 2014 in Psalms


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