Sunday, January 27, 2008

Studying Psalm 25

Psalm 25 (and many other Psalms) expresses David confiding in the Lord, where he poured his heart out to Him.

Yet Psalm 25:14, rather unexpectedly, switched around to tell us that even 'the LORD confides in those who fear him; He makes His covenant known to them'.

What a two-way communication of intimacy and deep reliance David shares with the Lord.

Imagine having the Prime Minister of Singapore calling you up and saying, 'Can i tell you what is on my heart? Can we have a heart-to-heart talk?'

Yes, the King of Kings, the God of the Universe, the Supreme Lord wants to confide in us!


In the New Testament, there is also an example of this.

In John 20:10-18, Jesus, after He resurrected, appeared to Mary Magdalene at the empty tomb.

+ He called her by her name, Mary (verse 16)
+ Then He told Mary what was going to happen to Him soon, where He was going (back to the Father) after this. (verse 17)

Mary Magdalene was one of the few who did not abandon Jesus even when she might not have understood Jesus' predicament. She had a relationship and encounter with Jesus; she continued to love Him as Lord.

Little will we doubt why Jesus would choose to appear to Mary and tell her His plans.


Not only does Jesus want to confide in us, through an intimate relationship with Him, know that He will do it first by calling our names! What a personal God we have.

Two Sweeties

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Studying Psalm 23 - Why Sheep?

(drawn by me!)

1. Sheep has virtually no defenses.
Most of God's animal creations have some kind of effective defense mechanism, whether claws or teeth, special colouring or speed, strength or sharp senses.

But sheep have none. They are weak, slow, and awkward. They cannot even growl. Their only protection comes from their shepherd. And the same is true with the Christian.

2. Sheep have difficulty finding food and water.
They must depend totally on their shepherd for sustenance. If they fail to get it, they will eat poisonous weeds and die. We are just as dependent on God who sustains us.

3. Sheep can be easily frightened.
And fright can lead them to do things that can threaten their lives. So the shepherd attempts to keep them calm, by singing and simply being with them.

We can have the same kind of reassuring relationship with our Shepherd.

4. Sheep have a poor sense of direction.
They get lost easily - even in their own territory. Believers can behave very similarly. We simply cannot be our own guide; we get in trouble every time we do. We must trust our Shepherd and listen to His voice implicitly.

5. Sheep cannot clean themselves very well.
It falls on the shepherd to keep them clean. We too are by nature, unclean. Only our Shepherd can cleanse us.

(Source: Your Daily Walk, Bruce Wilkinson)

My Shepherd King... You're watching over me...

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Studying Psalm 18

Psalm 18 is a Song of Praise from David unto God when he was delivered from his enemies and Saul (historical background in 2 Samuel 22). What a big and awesome victory that surely David would remember for the rest of his life!

As David dwelled on the memories of God's deliverances in his life, he had these action steps of obedience:
(From verses 21-23)
- I WILL keep the ways of the Lord
- I WILL NOT do evil by turning from God
- I WILL NOT turn away from His decrees
- I WILL keep myself from sin

Do we become complacent when we bask in our past victories and times of God's help?

Resolve to follow the action steps of obedience of David.

He knows he can and always has to rely on the God who 'reached down from on high to take hold of us' (v.16) and who 'stooped down to make us great' (v.35b).

The God of the universe, the almight God, worthy of the highest praise and authority, humbled Himself so low for us!

Could you imagine that???

Below is a writing by Max Lucado which echoes this mindblowing thought:


He Loves to Be with the Ones He Loves
by Max Lucado

Holiday travel. It isn't easy. Then why do we do it? Why cram the trunks and endure the airports? You know the answer. We love to be with the ones we love.

The four-year-old running up the sidewalk into the arms of Grandpa.

The cup of coffee with Mom before the rest of the house awakes.

That moment when, for a moment, everyone is quiet as we hold hands around the table and thank God for family and friends and pumpkin pie.

We love to be with the ones we love.

May I remind you? So does God. He loves to be with the ones he loves. How else do you explain what he did? Between him and us there was a distance--a great span. And he couldn't bear it. He couldn't stand it. So he did something about it.

Before coming to the earth, "Christ himself was like God in every-thing.... But he gave up his place with God and made himself nothing. He was born to be a man and became like a servant" (Phil. 2:6--7 NCV).

Why? Why did Jesus travel so far?

I was asking myself that question when I spotted the squirrels outside my window. A family of black-tailed squirrels has made its home amid the roots of the tree north of my office. We've been neighbors for three years now. They watch me peck the keyboard. I watch them store their nuts and climb the trunk. We're mutually amused. I could watch them all day. Sometimes I do.

But I've never considered becoming one of them. The squirrel world holds no appeal to me. Who wants to sleep next to a hairy rodent with beady eyes? (No comments from you wives who feel you already do.) Give up the Rocky Mountains, bass fishing, weddings, and laughter for a hole in the ground and a diet of dirty nuts? Count me out.

But count Jesus in. What a world he left. Our classiest mansion would be a tree trunk to him. Earth's finest cuisine would be walnuts on heaven's table. And the idea of becoming a squirrel with claws and tiny teeth and a furry tail? It's nothing compared to God becoming a one-celled embryo and entering the womb of Mary.

But he did. The God of the universe kicked against the wall of a womb, was born into the poverty of a peasant, and spent his first night in the feed trough of a cow. "The Word became flesh and lived among us" (John 1:14 NRSV). The God of the universe left the glory of heaven and moved into the neighborhood. Our neighborhood! Who could have imagined he would do such a thing.

Why? He loves to be with the ones he loves.

From Next Door Savior
Available in Hardback or Paperback
Copyright (W Publishing Group, 2003) Max Lucado

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Studying Psalms 7-11

1. Observation
You could have noticed that David began Psalm 7-11 all with 'O Lord', whether it is:

- Asking God to cover him in danger/accusation (Ps 7, 11)
- Proclaiming the majesty of God (Ps 8)
- Praising God in times of adversary (Ps 9)
- Asking God to come near and reveal again (Ps 10)

2. Inference
This tells me:
- God was the first thing in David's mind (and heart) in every situation.
- He chose to 'O Lord' rather than 'Oh dear, oh no'.
- He focused on God and not the problems.
- He shares a very intimate relationship with God, in which God is truly His confidant whom he leaned on

3. Going Deeper
Zooming into Psalm 7 as focus:

Historical background of Ps 7 -> 2 Samuel 16:5-14
Many bible scholars believed that the Benjamite, Cush which David wrote about in Ps 7, is actually Shimei in 2 Samuel 16. The verses show that Shimei cursed David when he was on the runaway from his son Absalom, and also throwing stones at him.

Special Note -> Watch David's response to the cursings of Shimei in 2 Sam 16:11-12.
- He did not retaliate with cursing or violence.
- He rebuked his follower Abishai who wanted to cut Shimei's head.
- David focused back unto God in the midst of the situation (2 Sam 16:12 'It may be that the Lord will see my distress and repay me with good for the cursing I am receiving today')

In Psalm 7, we see that David:
- asked the Lord to check his heart if he did anything against Shimei
- Even in anguish, he asked God to deliver him because 'the Lord is his shield' (Ps 7:10)

4. Application
How do you know God's heart more?

David not only knew God's heart; his own heart was like Jesus.

In 2 Sam 19:18b-23 (which happened on the day that David was restored as King of Israel), Shimei came to David to repent and ask for forgiveness.

Once again, David's response was:
- He spared Shimei at once.
- He rebuked his follower Abishai again for wanting to put Shimei to death.
- And he even made an oath not to kill Shimei.

This brought me to remember the scene where Jesus was being arrested in the garden of Gethsemane in Luke 22:47-51.
Jesus' response was:
- He scolded his followers for wanting to strike with their swords, especially the one who cut off one of the enemy soldier's ears.
- Then he immediately healed the ear.

Notice how similarly David and Jesus responded?

*How to know God's heart closer and even have a heart that beats like His?
-> Cultivate an intimate relationship with God!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Studying Psalm 6

Step ONE - Observation

What are some of the key idea or word that has been repeated throughout the Psalm?
(Phrases that describe David’s affliction and pain… What are they?)

With the above description, it is not difficult to guess that David must be terribly disturbed and afflicted.

Step TWO - Interpretation


David was suffering from some kind of illness that brought him great agony. Psalm 6 is one of the 7 penitential psalms which convey David’s sorrow over his sin.

This psalm consists of 4 parts
a. Prayer for relief from suffering (v. 1 – 3)
o David pleaded with the Lord to stop chastening him in anger for his sin. His question of “How long?” reflects of his intense anguish and frustration. He longed for God’s healing and restoration.

b. Prayer for deliverance (v. 4 & 5)
o David gave 2 reasons why God should answer his prayer
i. God will rescue him because of His unfailing live for him. He pleaded healing on the basis of God’s character as time and again God has shown that he is abundant in love.
ii. David reasoned that God would desire to have someone stand in His sanctuary to proclaim the salvation of the Lord. Thus there’ll be absence of praises for God if he were to die because of this illness.

c. His lament over his illness (v. 6 – 7)
o David confessed his anguish. The vivid description of his condition and state in these verses showed that he bared his heart before the Lord and did not hide his feelings and thoughts. He wrestled with God on the basis of his relationship with Him.

d. Assurance of restoration from God (v.8 – 10)
o David was confident that God accepts his prayer and would deliver him from his pain. His enemies would be disgraced and ashamed

Q: What is the theme of this psalm?
A: In the darkest of nights, God is ever present to hear the prayers of the afflicted. He is able to deliver and rescue those who cry out to Him in times of trouble.

Q: What is the key verse?
A: v. 9 & 10 The LORD has heard my cry for mercy, the LORD accepts my prayer. All my enemies will be ashamed and dismayed; they will turn back in sudden disgrace.

Step THREE - Application

Q: Was David still in pain by the time he ended this psalm?

Q: What has helped David to persevere in times of pain and despair?

How do we overcome affliction and pain?


1. Bare your heart before God and draw near to Him.
o Draw near to God and do not run away from Him in times of pain. You can be honest with Him and tell Him how you feel.

2. Believe in God and rest in the character of God.
o Receive His unfailing love that assures you that He will answer the cry of your heart.

Is there an area in your life that has caused pain and crippled you in life?
Pain is inevitable in life but misery is a choice!

Today, you can make a choice not to live in misery and suffering. Get up and rest in your relationship with God to know that His unfailing love for you will keep you safe from all harm.

• Psalms Library Edition (Marilyn Hickey)
• The Bible Knowledge Commentary (Old Testament; Cook)
• The NIV Study Bible

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Studying Psalm 5

Step ONE - Observation

What are some of the key idea or word that has been repeated throughout the Psalm?

Step TWO - Interpretation


David may have penned psalm 4 in the evening before he went to sleep. And he wrote psalm 5 in preparation for battle in the next morning when he awoke. This psalm is a morning prayer. (Hickey, Psalms)

Q: What is the theme of the psalm?
A : Wickedness and the lies of the enemies will not succeed in attacking the people of God. God is able to defend us from lies spoken against us and negative thoughts lingering around us. He is our shield!

Q: What is the key verse?
A: v. 12 For surely, O LORD, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield.

Q: What gave David the security to lie through the day?
A: He knows of the protection and shield of God over him.

Step THREE - Application

How do we stand against the negative thoughts and battle of everyday life and yet be steadfast and immovable?

1.Live Smartly. Seek the Lord first in the morning.
Prepare yourself for the day by drawing near to the Lord, recognizing the King and God in your life.
2.Lay Safely. Speak of the blessings of God into every situation of the day.
Win the battle of the day in the spirit before a problem even materialize in the natural. The promises of God are for us to claim. V. 11 & 12. Let there be gladness and joy because he is able to protect you!

The Bible Knowledge Commentary (Old Testament; Cook)
The NIV Study Bible
Psalms Classic Library Edition by Marilyn Hickey

Friday, January 4, 2008

Applying Psalm 3 into our lives

In face of challenges and problems in our lives, do these:

Step 1 - CONFRONT the challenges before the Lord. (Yes, to the Lord. Not complaining or gossiping about them to other people)

In Psalm 3:1-2, David admitted the problems he faced to the Lord - many enemies were after him, nobody believed he would be saved. He faced the problems, not ran away from them.

Step 2 - CONFESS who God is. The true character of God.

Verse 3 - David proclaimed that the Lord is his Shield, and Glory who is mighty enough and cares enough to uphold him. Lift your eyes away from the problem and to the Problem Solver.

Step 3 - Be CONVICTED again of His promises in our lives

Verse 4 - David remembered the times when the Lord heard and answered his cries; He remembered that He promised that He will always hear and answer him.

Step 4 - CLAIM His blessings into your lives

Verse 8 - David did not yet see the deliverance he prayed for. But he still praised God and claimed the blessing at the end.

Guess what, this is the secret manual to avoid sleeplessness in our lives too! Let peace and assuredness be in your heart as you apply these steps in face of challenges.

Studying Psalm 4

Step ONE - Observation

How many groups of people is David speaking to? (list the verses.)

What was he asking or telling them to do?

In the last part of the Psalm, (vs7-8) David declares certain promises from God. What are they?

Step TWO - Interpretation


This psalm is closely related to Psalm 3 in content and timing. David was confident of God’s blessing and protection. This is a psalm of trust to God who give him peace and safety – even in his sleep. Psalm 4 is also known as an “evening psalm”.

Q: What is the theme of the psalm?
A: Our security and happiness lies in our relationship with God who bless the righteous. As His righteous ones, we can rejoice in God’s protection and peace. We can place our confidence in Him because He will listen when we call on Him on the basis of our relationship with Him.

Q: What is the key verse?
A: v.8 I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.

Q: Was David already in safety when he wrote the psalm?
A: No.

Q: Was he eventually delivered?
A: Yes. He slept.

Q: What helped him to persevere to the end?
A: Having a relationship with God and experience His protection and peace even when there is danger everywhere!

Step THREE - Application

How to be able to sleep in peace in times of trouble?


1) Call unto the Lord! (v.1)
• The Lord hears when we call and we can trust Him to bring relief for us.

2) Cast your burdens unto God! (v.8)
• Have a habit of clearing your mind of fears, anxieties and troubles before you sleep. Replace them with meditations and prayer upon God’s faithfulness and protection. Then you can sleep in peace, knowing that you dwell in His safety.

• The Bible Knowledge Commentary (Old Testament; Cook)
• Psalms Classic Library Edition by Marilyn Hickey

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Studying Psalm 3

Step ONE - Observation

What are some of the key idea or word that has been repeated throughout the Psalm?

Q: How many times did the word ‘deliverance/salvation’ (depending on version of bible) appear?

Step TWO - Interpretation


This is a psalm of David. He wrote this when he was fleeing from his son Absalom.
Q: What is the theme of the psalm?

Q: What is the key verse?

Q: Was David already delivered when he wrote the psalm?

Q: Was he eventually delivered?

Q: What helped him to persevere to the end?

Step THREE - Application


How to face challenges in our lives?


1) Confront the challenges before the Lord (v1 and 2)

2) Confess who God is (v3 to v6)

3) Claim the promises of God for me (v7 and 8)

Is there an area in your life right now which you find it very challenging to manage? Lift it up to the Lord now and believe in God whose blessings are on His people.

The Bible Knowledge Commentary (Old Testament; Cook)
Psalms Classic Library Edition by Marilyn Hickey
Pastor Seng Lee’s teaching

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Studying Psalm 2

STEP 1 - Observation

What are some of the key idea or word(s) that has been repeated throughout the Psalm?

STEP 2 - Interpretation

Psalm 2 begins with a curse and ends with a blessing.

Q: What is the main theme of the psalm?
A: God’s ultimate rule. A psalm written to celebrate the coronation of an Israelite king. It is also written for the coronation of Christ, the eternal King. It is futile for man to resist God and God’s plan on this earth.

Q: What was God’s response to the feeble efforts of men trying to over throw God?
A: God laughs.

Q: What is the key verse?
A: v. 12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry and you be destroyed in your way, for his wrath can flare up in a moment. Blessed are all who take refuge in him.

STEP 3 - Application

How can you laugh in response to adversity?

1. Know who your God is and who you are in Him
• Your Father, the King rules and reigns with authority. You who are God’s sons and daughters rules and reigns with Him with power and authority. (v.7 – 9)

2. Live your life with eternal perspective of circumstances and events.
• Christ is coming back! The second coming means wrath to all who rebel against God and great joy and refuge for all who by faith submit God’s rule and reign.

• The Bible Knowledge Commentary (Old Testament; Cook)
• Psalms Classic Library Edition by Marilyn Hickey

Studying Psalm 1

STEP 1 - Observation

What are some of the key idea or word that has been repeated throughout the Psalm?

In the first part of the psalm, how does the psalmist describe what a blessed man is not (v.1)?

a. He does not _____________________________
b. He does not _____________________________
c. He does not _____________________________

What does a blessed man look like then? (v.2)

a. ______________________________________________
b. ______________________________________________

What is the picture painted of a blessed man who delights and meditates on the law of God?

He is one who (v. 2 & 3)

a. is like ____________________________
b. yields ___________________________
c. has leaf _________________________

As a result, whatever the blessed man does, he prospers.

What does the psalmist compare the wicked or the ungodly to?(v. 4 & 5)

a. He is like _______________________________
b. He will not stand ________________________

As a result, whatever the wicked or ungodly does, he will not prosper.

STEP 2 - Interpretation


This psalm summarises the ways open to man:
• the way of the righteous
• the way of the wicked

v.1 signifies a progression from casual influence by the ungodly to the collusion with them in the ways against the righteous. It began with ‘walking’, then ‘standing’ and followed by ‘sitting’ in the midst of negative influence.

A godly person is influenced by his meditation on the Word of God. For all who take delight in living by God’s word, there is prosperity (fruitful tree). Thus whatever the righteous does will prosper. He is right with the Lord and enjoys peace and joy that results from the relationship.

The opposite of a blessed man is an ungodly man. The psalmist compared them to chaff, the worthless husks of the grain blown away by the wind in the process of winnowing. He is not approved of God and he will perish.

Q: What is the main theme of this Psalm?
A: God will separate the righteous from the wicked in judgement. The righteous will have a prosperous life in accordance to the Word of God. However, the ungodly shall perish.

Q: What is the key verse?

STEP 3 - Application

Do you want to receive the approval of God and be prosperous in whatever you do?

How can we receive God’s happiness for you and be prosperous?

1. Desire God and His Word
 Ask of a supernatural desire for the WORD
2. Be Disciplined in His Word
 Ask of a supernatural encounter and revelation of the WORD
3. Delight yourself in His presence and Word
 Ask of a new joy to know the LORD

Are you feeling dissatisfaction in your life? Or are you seeking the wrong source for counsel and advice?

Set apart time with the WORD and allow the God of the WORD to come near you to strengthen you, refresh you with new joy and release new life into you. God is the God of prosperity and protection. He watches over you and blesses the works of your hands so that you may be prosperous! Come this day, do not hesitate anymore!

• Psalms Classic Library Edition by Marilyn Hickey
• The Bible Knowledge Commentary (Old Testament; Cook)

Christmas Celebrations

A beautiful gal whom i got to know better recently - Diana. There's an unique bond of love and gentle fun that we both share. Thank you for being in my life, Diana. =) *HUGS*

Christmas celebrations service!

Pretty Sharon in a pretty white dress - my Christmas present for her. =) *hugs*