Psalm 23 - For Mothers

Psalm 23

All day long mothers deal with needs and wants.  Someone always wants something from you.  It may be a drink, a snack, a toy, attention, love, etc.  You are constantly giving of yourself, your energies, time, and resources.  Sitting in the hair salon one Saturday, you may read in a magazine about making time for yourself. You are torn.  You know that you have duties as a mother, but you really would like a week-long vacation on an island - population-1.  You have needs.  You have wants.  The magazine would say – take those wants!  Find something (or someone) to meet your needs!Look no further. The Lord gives you all your needs.  He gives you your wants as well (Psalm 37:4).  Read this familiar Psalm again from the eyes of a mother who has worn to the bone.

The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.
 My needs are always met in God.  I need love.  I have it. I need acceptance. I have it.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures.
Sleep in peace.  God is watching over you.  Do not your head on the pillow with worry.
He leads me beside the still (quiet) waters.
Rest. Relax.  DO not let the troubles of your day follow you to bed at night.
He restores my soul;
Restore can mean repair.  Do you have hurts or brokenness?  Let God fix them.
He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
Worrying that you are being a good mother?  God will guide you. 
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.
Do not fear the evil of this world.  The unseen or seen evils.
For You are with me; Your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
The rod and staff represent the strength of our God.  Rest in His power!
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
Your children may have daily needs, but God provides for your daily needs as well.
You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.
Even in your mistakes, God’s grace is more than enough.  It runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.
The path for you and your family maybe cloudy – but God knows the way.  His goodness and mercy are like wildflowers growing along the path of life. Abundant and ready to be picked!
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord – Forever.
We know where the path ends.  There is no fear in death. Heaven awaits.


Psalm 19

Psalm 19:1-4, 7-10, 14

 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night reveals knowledge. There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard. Their sound has gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world….The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; the statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb…Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.

 The two revelations are mentioned in this passage.  God has revealed Himself, first through creation.  All of creation, from the tiniest ant to the great oak tree, speaks of a Creator.  No place on earth is void of God’s general revelation through Creation. Although we may see that there is a God through creation, we cannot know Who that God is unless He reveal Himself through the Bible. 

David describes God’s Word as perfect, sure, right, pure, clean, true, and righteous.  He also identifies those things the Bible does: converts the soul, makes one wise, brings forth rejoicing, opens eyes, endures forever, and is desired more than gold.  If God’s Word is all of those things, what about my words? I cringe with embarrassment as I replay only a few conversations from today.  The tone of my voice has been harsh and critical.  I have not been pure or clean, true or righteous with all of my words today.  What about you?  Are your words hurtful or helpful?  Are they testy or true? 

 The people that we love the most are often the most hurt by our words.  I am convicted greatly in this area of my life.  I do not build my children and husband up with my words as much as I should.  I fuss, complain, and criticize far too often during the day.  My words are a reflection of my heart. The Psalmist knew this as well.  Verse 14: Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight.  What pours forth from our mouths is a reflection of what is bubbling in our hearts.  Meditating on what is acceptable to God is the key to having acceptable speech.

What is bubbling around in your heart?  Is it thoughts of discontentment?  Are thoughts and feelings of inadequacies poisoning your soul?  Is it bitterness or hatred?  What you think about will ultimately be what you talk about.    If you find in yourself a negative speech pattern, look at your heart.  The source for that negative speech is found in your heart. 

When our hearts are acceptable to the Lord, our speech will be as well. (Gal. 5:22-23)


Psalm 5

Psalm 5
Give ear to my words, O Lord,
Consider my meditation.
2 Give heed to the voice of my cry,
My King and my God,
For to You I will pray.
3 My voice You shall hear in the morning, O Lord;
In the morning I will direct it to You,
And I will look up.
4 For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness,
Nor shall evil dwell with You.
5 The boastful shall not stand in Your sight;
You hate all workers of iniquity.
6 You shall destroy those who speak falsehood;
The Lord abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man.
7 But as for me, I will come into Your house in the multitude of Your mercy;
In fear of You I will worship toward Your holy temple.
8 Lead me, O Lord, in Your righteousness because of my enemies;
Make Your way straight before my face.
9 For there is no faithfulness in their mouth;
Their inward part is destruction;
Their throat is an open tomb;
They flatter with their tongue.
10 Pronounce them guilty, O God!
Let them fall by their own counsels;
Cast them out in the multitude of their transgressions,
For they have rebelled against You.
11 But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You;
Let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them;
Let those also who love Your name
Be joyful in You.
12 For You, O Lord, will bless the righteous;
With favor You will surround him as with a shield.

Spurgeon: When the dew is on the grass, let grace drop upon the soul. Let us give to God the mornings of our days and the morning of our lives.

            Mornings have always been a great time for me.  As a mother, you learn to get up early with your children.  Spend time with God, even if it is only 15 minutes.  The dishes can wait 15 minutes.  The floors can wait 15 minutes.  Breakfast, for the most part, can wait 15 minutes.  I usually try to read and pray right after I get out of the shower.  I not only feel refreshed and awake, but my children have learned to leave me alone when I tell them I am taking a shower.  It only takes me a few minutes to shower and get ready.  I try to spend just as much time in God’s word and in prayer as well.  The time is well spent when spent with God.  This year I have decided to be more diligent in keeping a prayer journal.
             Prayer is that one sure way to come to God. Not just simple, “God bless us” prayers.  We cry out in prayer.  As mothers we know all about crying. We know the cries of our babies.  We know the cry of labor. We know the cries of post partum depression.  We cry out in prayer in every circumstance.  Whether it is pain or joy, God is a God who listens to our cries. Verse three says “My voice You shall hear.” God hears us.  He is not up in heaven vaguely listening to the myriad of prayers being offered. He hears with understanding.
            We come to Him with meditation.  Meditation is that thing that causes us to repeat in our minds over and over a truth (or sometimes a lie).  Mothers know about worry.  We know what it is like to think on a matter over and over.  We have something “on the back burner” of our minds almost constantly.  We can turn our worry into trust by meditating on God’s Word.  Repeating truths (Scripture) in our mind over and over again allows us to dwell in God’s truth.  We can experience joy and peace though our circumstances may not change.  Not by changing our attitudes, but our eyes.  Verse three says “And I will look up.”  Look to God and find a truth about God that you can meditate on.      
            While our eyes are focuses on God the natural response is that of worship.  We can worship because of God’s great mercy.  Yet, that mercy does not allow us to be cavalier, but allows us to worship in fear as well.  God is a holy God.  Although mercy pours down on His children like a flood, He is still to be reverenced and feared.   

Martin Luther: Hope and fear, which are as it were, those two springs…the one form above, the other from beneath. Fear comes from beholding the threats and fearful judgments of God; as a being a God in whose sight no one is clean, everyone is a sinner, everyone is damnable. But hope comes from beholding the promises, and the all-sweet mercies of God;…Between these two, as between the upper and nether millstone, we must always be grounded and kept, that we never turn either to the right hand or to the left. For this turning is the state peculiar to hypocrites, who are exercised with the two contrary things, security and presumption.
            The wicked, evil, boastful, and liars are all separated from God.  They provide no faithfulness to God and are in complete rebellion against Him.  May this be a warning to us, to examine our hearts completely to see if any wickedness lies dormant.  Destruction is the only thing waiting for those that do not follow God.  May it be a cause for witness for us as well.  We must warn those around us to seek God, love God, and serve God.  Only in God can salvation be found.  When we know that complete destruction awaits those that disregard God, may it cause us to spread the gospel even further.
            Look at verses eleven: "But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You." If your trust is in God, rejoice.  If you love God and all that He is, be joyful!  God will bless those that love and worship Him.  His favor is like a shield.  It protects us.  We can trust that when our eyes are focused, meditating, and crying out to God our Father, He is listening, He protects, and we can rejoice.


Psalm 9

Psalm 9:1-2, 4, 9-10

I will praise You, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will tell of all Your marvelous works. I will be glad and rejoice in You; I will sing praise to Your name. O Most High....For You have maintained my right and my cause; You sat on the throne judging in righteousness…The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; for You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.

I sometimes look at David’s life and do a mental comparison.  I note first all of the things God did for David: Slaying the giant, protecting from Saul, winning all those battles, and establishing a kingdom.  I then list all of the things God has done for me: Giving me a good education, a good church, and a nice family.  Suddenly, my list looks pretty pathetic next to “slaying giants.” I then develop this very silly logic: “Well, no wonder David praised God more than I do….look at all God did for him, compared to me.” 

Not one of those things I listed for David is even mentioned in Psalm 9.  What is mentioned?  David focuses on just one thing in this psalm that God has done for him.  God judged with righteousness. Why is David praising God for being Judge?  Why can I praise God for being Judge?  David declares it in verses 9-10:  The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; for You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You. Those who seek God do not have to fear Him as judge.  He promises to be our refuge and defend us from those around us who would hurt us.


As mothers, we can identify with feelings of being in times of trouble and oppression due to other people.  You may feel rejected by your former friends. You may feel manipulated by a family member. You may feel just plain tired because of your small children – so tired you cannot think of doing dishes, laundry, diapers, and tantrums one more day. We may not have a maniac king after us, but we do have a toddler who is bent on destroying all that is nice and pretty in our homes! 

What is the solution, according to this Psalm?  Trust God.  We are promised that God will be our refuge when we seek Him.  He does not forsake.  He is our ultimate strength!  Read through the entire Psalm and see what kind of God you can trust!  Give your oppressions and troubles to Him.  Sometimes I pray for the strength to make it until naptime.  After naptime, I can ask for strength until bedtime!


When our trust is in a God who never forsakes and is all-powerful, what other response can we have but praise?

Psalm 1

Psalm 1

 Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in it season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper. The ungodly are not so but are like the chaff which the wind drives away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the ungodly shall perish.


When I read Psalm 1, I dream of the day when I can be the tree that is planted by rivers, not just a river, but rivers of water.  I want to be the type of mother my children need and deserve.  The type of mother God would have me be.  I want to minister to those in need, both in my church and in my community.  I want to be able to provide some encouragement to a lonely soul.


 Before I bear this fruit, I must nourish myself.   It is a warning found here.  I must examine those with whom I surround myself.  Are they godly?  Do they encourage me spiritually?  If you are like me, and have little ones, friends are limited.  So, I encourage you to examine what you read and watch.  The mediation here is speaking of purposefully allowing God’s Word to dwell on your mind, all throughout your day.  Not only should you meditate on God’s Word, you should enjoy it!  It says “delight” in the NKJV.  We should fall in love with God’s Word that our mind is filled constantly with it. 


Are you feeling empty, tired, and just dried-up?  Look to God’s Word.  Find your delight in His Word.  Take a closer look at who your friends are.  Are they godly and lift you up?  If not, get rid of them.  Find new friends.  Even if God’s Word is your only friend, you are blessed beyond measure.  You will be satisfied and your fruit will come.