Summer in the Psalms

June 21-25


The Perfect Father: Praise

O God, we have heard with our ears, our fathers have told us, what deeds You performed in their days, in the days of old: – Psalm 44:1 (ESV)

The institution of Father’s day is credited to a woman by the name of Sonora Smart Dodd. She wanted a special day to honor her father, Henry Jackson Smart. Her father was widowed when his wife died during the birth of their sixth child. Mr. Smart was left to raise the newborn and his other five children by himself on a rural farm in eastern Washington State.

As an adult, Sonora realized the sacrifice her father had shown in raising his children as a single parent. In the eyes of this daughter, he was a courageous, selfless, and loving man. In 1910, Sonora Smart Dodd started writing letters in support of a national Father’s Day observance. In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson proposed that Father’s Day be proclaimed as a national day of observance. In 1956, Father’s Day was recognized by a Joint Resolution of Congress. In 1966, President Lyndon Johnson signed a presidential proclamation declaring the third Sunday of June as Father’s Day.

God is the only perfect Father. There are no perfect earthly fathers. However, Father’s Day was created to honor those men who are doing the best they can by following God’s perfect example of what a father should look like. The Psalmist breaks out in praise as he remembers the deeds of God in the past as told by his own father.


What are some of the good things you learned from your earthly father about God? What are some of the things your earthly father was not able to provide for you that you have found in your Heavenly Father?


Praise God for the gift of fatherhood. Praise God for the ways you’ve experienced Him as Father.


The Perfect Father: Planted

You with Your own hand drove out the nations, but them You plantedYou afflicted the peoples, but them You set free; – Psalm 44:2 (ESV)

(Source unknown) Build me a son, O Lord, who will be strong enough to know when he is weak and brave enough to face himself when he is afraid; one who will be proud and unbending in honest defeat, and humble and gentle in victory.

Build me a son whose wishbone will not be where his backbone should be; a son who will know Thee and that to know himself is the foundation stone of knowledge. Lead him, I pray, not in the path of ease and comfort, but under the stress and spur of difficulties and challenges. Here let him learn to stand up in the storm; here let him learn compassion for those who fail.

Build me a son whose heart will be clean, whose goal will be high; a son who will master himself before he seeks to master other men; one who will learn to laugh, yet never forget how to weep; one who will reach into the future, yet never forget the past.

And after all these things are his, add, I pray, enough of a sense of humor, so that he may always be serious, yet never take himself too seriously. Give him humility, so that he may always remember the simplicity of greatness, the open mind of true wisdom, the meekness of true strength. Then I, his father, will dare to whisper, “I have not lived in vain.” -General Douglas MacArthur

General MacArthur summed up the desire of most good fathers. You want to see your children grow up and live strong and godly lives. God wants the same in our lives. In Psalm 44, the psalmist is grateful that God has “planted” His people. “Planted” implies strong roots and growth.


What are some valuable lessons you learned from your father that brought stability to your life? What are some decisions you have made apart from God that brought instability in your life?


Thank God for the promises found in Matthew 7:24-25, “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.”


The Perfect Father: Pardons

You with Your own hand drove out the nations, but them You planted; You afflicted the peoples, but them You set free; – Psalm 44:2 (ESV)

The story is told of a young boy who was driving a big hayrack down the road and it turned over right in front of a farmer’s house. The farmer came out and saw the young boy crying and said, “Son, don’t worry about this, we can fix it. Right now dinner’s ready. Why don’t you come in and eat with us and then I’ll help you put the hay back on the rack.”

The boy said, “No, I can’t. My father is going to be very angry with me.” The farmer said, “Now don’t argue, just come in and have some lunch and you’ll feel better.” The boy said, “I’m just afraid my father is going to be very angry with me.” The farmer and the young boy went inside and had dinner. Afterward, as they walked outside to the hayrack, the farmer said, “Well, don’t you feel better now?” The boy said, “Yes, but I just know that my father will be very angry with me.” The farmer said, “Nonsense. Where is your father anyway?” The boy said, “He’s under that pile of hay.”

Every father knows the feeling of being frustrated with their kids. God, the Father, also knows what it’s like to have your kids let you down. The bible clearly teaches that “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”(Romans 3:23) The psalmist is grateful, in Psalm 44:2, that God has set him free. The psalmist was grateful for the grace and mercy of his Heavenly Father.


Hurt people hurt people and forgiven people forgive people. Was your home a place where you learned how to forgive and be forgiven? How has your understanding of forgiveness been affected by God’s grace toward you?


Thank God for offering you pardon for your sins. Ask God to grow the mercy you are willing to show toward others.


The Perfect Father: Delight

… for not by their own sword did they win the land, nor did their own arm save them, but Your right hand and Your arm, and the light of Your face,  for You delighted in them. Psalm 44:3 (ESV)

Glad Tidings ran the story of Doctor James Simpson, the man who discovered that chloroform could be used to render people insensible to the pain of surgery. This discovery made it possible for people in the late 1800s and many years beyond to go through the most dangerous operations without pain and suffering during the procedure.

Once during a lecture at the University of Edinburgh, Dr. Simpson was asked by one of his students, “What do you consider to be the most valuable discovery of your lifetime?” To the surprise of his students, who had expected him to refer to chloroform, Dr. Simpson replied, “My most valuable discovery was when I discovered myself a sinner and that Jesus Christ was my Savior.”

King David concludes in Psalm 44 that “God delighted” in His people and that was the source of their success. David asks in 2 Samuel 7:18, “Who am I, O Lord…that you have brought me thus far?” David was able to remain humble because even though he had incredible success as a King, he realized he would be nothing without God’s help.


A Christian father understands everything he has been given is by the grace and delight of God. This includes his children. The deep realization of our unworthiness to receive God’s grace affects how we treat those around us.


Thank God for delighting in you. Ask God to grow your delight in Him.


The Perfect Father: Protector

You are my King, O God; ordain salvation for Jacob! – Psalm 44:4 (ESV)

The boy sobbed, “But Dad, I want my ball.” “You can play with your ball,” I said, “but you’ll have to go downstairs and get it yourself.” Now the tears flowed. Tony’s playroom held the stuffed animals, toys, and games that four-year-olds love. He spent hours there. But to turn on the basement light, you had to descend the darkened stairway, step into the shadowy playroom, then reach for the light switch.

 “Tony,” I said. “You know what’s in the playroom. Everything in there’s the same in the dark as it is in the light.” “B-b-but Dad,” he sniffed. “I’m s-s-scared of the dark.” “Okay,” I said. “I’ll stay at the top of the stairs so you can hear my voice while you go down. How’s that sound?” A grin replaced Tony’s tears. He got up and bravely started down the stairs. Then, partway down into the darkness, I heard him hesitate. “Dad?” he called out. “Yes, Tony?” “Nothing.” Seconds later the light was on, and Tony was happily throwing a Nerf basketball through a hoop. Simply knowing his father was nearby gave him the courage to face and overcome his fear of the darkness. (The Courage to Be a Christian, Mike Nappa)

Life and people can be scary but God is bigger. Even King David needed a King. His King was God. David found peace and courage knowing that God was personal and present.


Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen.” Complete the sentence: “Sensing God’s presence in my life gives me the courage to face..”


Praise God for His attributes that give you courage. Thank God for the courage to face the things you listed above.