This is the fourth part in a week-long series of “Mizmowr” Psalms. “Mizmowr” is a Hebrew word for a specific type of Psalm – one that is set to music (taken from the Hebrew praise word “Zamar“). Each Mizmowr poem or song reflects specific emotions and circumstances faced by the people of God. I’ve provided links to each Psalm so you can read them in their entirety when the Lord quickens one to your spirit. I highly encourage you to PRAY before you begin the journey each day of this week and commit your spirit to Him as you search His Word for His way.
There are 56 “mizmowr” Psalms – one for each week of the whole year! If you’ve lost the song of worship in your heart or if you need a fresh word for the season you’re in, I am fully persuaded that the Lord will help you find the right Word to stand on and the Spirit-led song to sing as you seek Him each day of your life.
One of the things I say over and over and over is this: “Worship” is finding the song to sing in every circumstance. What a challenging thought! Even in the darkest, most painful times of your life, your praise and exaltation of the Lord should be as passionate, vibrant and powerful as it is when you are at the heights of joy and victory. In fact, this is even more true: The lower life gets, the higher your praise should be. Why? Because bad problems don’t change the goodness of God. Darkness cannot diminish His light. Praising God amid your problems is one of the most difficult and challenging things you’ll ever do, but that’s where the power is! Putting down the flesh and then using that flesh, your body, as a sacrifice to the Lord in praising Him turns you into a spiritual weapon of warfare that God will use in mighty ways! God’s faithfulness to provide a “song for all seasons” will shine a light into the darkness for you and as you praise Him, you’ll find that in His presence is all you need to keep moving forward.
Psalm 73: Real. Raw. Emotional. The power of a song written from a very honest place is found in holding nothing back. And yet, the perspective of a godly person is brought into clarity through the acknowledgement of God’s faithfulness to bring justice. The strength to let go and release anger is found through the praise of the Lord Almighty who is a refuge. The reliance on on the Lord is where true power and peace come from. “But as for me, my feet almost stumbled; my steps had almost slipped….Thus my heart was embittered… When I thought to understand this,it was troublesome in my eyes, until I went into the sanctuary of God;then I understood their end… Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart fails,but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”
Psalm 75: “The name of the LORD is a strong tower; The righteous run to it and are safe.” (Proverbs 18:10) The name of the Lord holds true power over every circumstance and lends power to all who call upon it. This Psalm of praise worships the Lord who is over all, in and through all and lifts high His mighty name! As you worship His name, He is near to you! “We give thanks to You, O God; we give thanks, and Your name is near; Your wondrous works declare it… I will declare forever, I will sing praises to the God of Jacob.”
Psalm 76: The great King above all gods is our Lord! Just like anyone else, God experiences wrath – only His is against sin – not you! Yet those who dwell with Him, in His presence, entering in through praise, are under His mighty protection. Look! God will save you and His power will be on display because nothing can stop Him from working in the lives of the willing worshipper! “In Judah God is known; in Israel His name is great. In Salem is His abode, and His dwelling place in Zion. There He broke the fiery arrows of the bow, the shield, the sword, and the weapons of war.”
Psalm 77: The heart in turmoil, the soul in trouble, the spirit crying out, the flesh struggling – all reasons to WORSHIP! When you are overwhelmed, anxious, pressed down, shaken… this is the time to praise God. This Psalm is written as a cry to the Lord who listens, who cares, who sees. Remember today that you are not alone. Stay connected to the Spirit of God by ministering to Him and remind your spirit of His great power: “Then I said, ‘This is my grief; yet I will remember the years of the right hand of the Most High.’ I will remember the works of the Lord; surely I will remember Your wonders of old. I will meditate also on all Your work and ponder on Your mighty deeds. Your way, O God, is holiness; what god is as great as our God? You are the God who can do wonders…”
Psalm 79: Sometimes “life happens” because of the fallen, sinful world and other times we are victimized and traumatized by our own choices. BUT God is faithful, even when we are not! Why? Because He is faithful to His Word and its promises. Your part of the job? WORSHIP, declare His praise – while you’re still walking through it not because life is good, but because GOD is good: “Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of Your name; deliver us, and purge away our sins, for Your name’s sake… We are Your people, the sheep of Your pasture, and will give You thanks forever; we will declare Your praise to all generations.”
Psalm 80: After a season in which you have experienced a difficult part of the journey, the chastisement or redirection of the Lord in your life, know that His love is unfailing. Why does the Lord allow troubles in? Sometimes it’s because we insist on having them and so He uses our own willful sin to show us His great mercy! Here is your song: “Restore us again, O God, and cause Your face to shine, and we shall be delivered…Return again, O God of Hosts; look down from heaven, and behold, have regard for this vine and the root that Your right hand has planted, and the shoots that You made strong for Yourself…. Let Your hand be upon the man of Your right hand, the son of man whom You made strong for Yourself. So we will not turn back from You; give us life, and we will call upon Your name.”
Psalm 82: God is the ultimate judge and sits among the “gods” of this world, the demonic forces that influence people to sin, and He rebukes them, but thanks to Jesus Christ, the judgement against sin has been paid for! However, outside of Christ, the world still suffers and dies. If you’re struggling with the evils of the world, this is your song to the Lord: “Defend the poor and fatherless; vindicate the afflicted and needy. Grant escape to the abused and the destitute, pluck them out of the hand of the false… Arise, O God, judge the earth, for You shall inherit all nations.”
Psalm 83: Sometimes it’s hard to see injustices in the world and we wonder if God sees or knows how bad it really is! He does! God has inexplicably tied Himself to humanity and through us and our worship and prayer and through His word, “Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” becomes reality. The Lord’s power is beyond measure and if your eyes have been opened to specific areas of need, pray, take authority in Jesus’ name! Why? Because He wants to act through you, that ALL should come to repentance, just as you once did. Here is your song: “Do not keep Your silence, O God; do not hold Your peace or be still, O God. For, look, Your enemies make an uproar, and those who hate You have lifted up their heads…For they have conspired together; they make a covenant against You… As fire burns a forest, and as the flame sets the mountains ablaze, so pursue them with Your storm, and make them afraid with Your hurricane. Fill their faces with shame, that they may seek your name, O Lord.”
Psalm 84: This Psalm is pure adoration. As much as anyone else, the Lord loves to be adored. Worship is exclusively God-centered so it’s important that worship is not just a “habit, but a lifestyle that drives you. God has intricately woven blessing to His people into their worship because He is so faithful. Take time to connect with the Spirit of the Lord today and just let Him know how much you love Him and He will do the same! “How lovely is Your dwelling place, O Lord of Hosts! My soul longs, yes, even faints for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my body cry out for the living God… For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than to dwell in the tents of wickedness. For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord will give favor and glory, for no good thing will He withhold from the one who walks uprightly!”
Psalm 85: Drawing hear to the Lord has many spiritual purposes and benefits like strength, wisdom and power, but also direction, protection, joy and peace. It is God’s desire to walk with us, but we must walk in His path and trust where He leads. Will you hear what He is speaking? If so, you will experience the life He has laid out for your benefit and His glory: “I will hear what God the Lord will speak, for He will speak peace to His people and to His saints, but let them not turn again to folly. Surely His salvation is near to them who fear Him, that glory may dwell in our land. Mercy and truth have met together; righteousness and peace have kissed. Truth springs from the ground, and righteousness looks down from the sky. Yes, the Lord gives that which is good…!”
Psalm 87: As a Christian, you are a “citizen” of heaven and with that comes reward and responsibility. One of the hallmarks of the Levites, those set aside to worship the Lord, was that they had a “set apart” life. They didn’t act like everyone else. They didn’t live like everyone else. And in return for their dedication to worship Him and live according to His ways, the Lord’s glory was evident throughout all their lives. The same is promised to you! “Glorious things are spoken of you,O city of God… I will make mention [to] those who know Me… it shall be said, ‘This one and that one were born in her,’ for the Most High shall make her secure.”