1680.) Proverbs 6

October 9, 2015

“I love ants!  Do they have uncles?  Ha-ha!”     (Elmo, on Sesame Street)

Proverbs 6 (The Message)

Like a Deer from the Hunter

Prov6 deer

1-5 Dear friend, if you’ve gone into hock with your neighbor or locked yourself into a deal with a stranger,
If you’ve impulsively promised the shirt off your back
and now find yourself shivering out in the cold,
Friend, don’t waste a minute, get yourself out of that mess.
You’re in that man’s clutches!
Go, put on a long face; act desperate.
Don’t procrastinate—
there’s no time to lose.
Run like a deer from the hunter,
fly like a bird from the trapper!

A Lesson from the Ant

6-11 You lazy fool, look at an ant.
Watch it closely; let it teach you a thing or two.
Nobody has to tell it what to do.
All summer it stores up food;
at harvest it stockpiles provisions.
So how long are you going to laze around doing nothing?
How long before you get out of bed?
A nap here, a nap there, a day off here, a day off there,
sit back, take it easy—do you know what comes next?
Just this: You can look forward to a dirt-poor life,
poverty your permanent house guest!

Scripture tells us to consider the ways of the ant and be wise.

When my family and I lived in Nigeria, we were often attacked by driver ants, little black meat eaters.  If you stood in one place after a heavy rain and they were nearby, they might move up your leg and start their dinner.  You would pick them off and quickly go somewhere else.  Sometimes they would move into your house en masse.  You might just move out and let them clean out all the scraps of meat lying in corners and wait until they left.  One night they moved into my biology lab at school and cleaned out (literally) the white rats awaiting dissection.

Ants work together.  They cooperate.  One ant is insignificant, but an army of them can accomplish a great task.  They also plan.  They prepare ahead of time for the dry season when no food is available, and look ahead to the harvest.  They are self-starters.  They initiate and need no one to tell them what to do.

What great lessons we can learn when we ponder God’s work in little creatures.  By applying them we avoid unprofitable independence and sloth.

—Dr. James H. Kraakevik, in Stones of Remembrance

Always Cooking Up Something Nasty

12-15 Riffraff and rascals
talk out of both sides of their mouths.
They wink at each other, they shuffle their feet,
they cross their fingers behind their backs.
Their perverse minds are always cooking up something nasty,
always stirring up trouble.
Catastrophe is just around the corner for them,
a total smashup, their lives ruined beyond repair.

Seven Things God Hates

Prov6 John 3.16

16-19 Here are six things God hates,
and one more that he loathes with a passion:
eyes that are arrogant,
a tongue that lies,
hands that murder the innocent,
a heart that hatches evil plots,
feet that race down a wicked track,
a mouth that lies under oath,
a troublemaker in the family.

Warning on Adultery



Alan Jackson, from Newnan, Georgia (my hometown for 10 years), is one of the big names in current country music. HERE  he sings  “She Just Started Liking Cheatin’ Songs.”


20-23 Good friend, follow your father’s good advice;
don’t wander off from your mother’s teachings.
Wrap yourself in them from head to foot;
wear them like a scarf around your neck.
Wherever you walk, they’ll guide you;
whenever you rest, they’ll guard you;
when you wake up, they’ll tell you what’s next.
For sound advice is a beacon,
good teaching is a light,
moral discipline is a life path.

Deuteronomy 5:18 (New International Version)

“You shall not commit adultery.”

24-35 They’ll protect you from wanton women,
from the seductive talk of some temptress.
Don’t lustfully fantasize on her beauty,
nor be taken in by her bedroom eyes.

Model Claudia Lynx has  (beautiful)  sultry bedroom eyes.

You can buy an hour with a whore for a loaf of bread,
but a wanton woman may well eat you alive.
Can you build a fire in your lap
and not burn your pants?
Can you walk barefoot on hot coals
and not get blisters?
It’s the same when you have sex with your neighbor’s wife:
Touch her and you’ll pay for it. No excuses.
Hunger is no excuse
for a thief to steal;
When he’s caught he has to pay it back,
even if he has to put his whole house in hock.

Adultery is a brainless act,
soul-destroying, self-destructive;

Expect a bloody nose, a black eye,
and a reputation ruined for good.

For jealousy detonates rage in a cheated husband;
wild for revenge, he won’t make allowances.
Nothing you say or pay will make it all right;
neither bribes nor reason will satisfy him.


The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

Images courtesy of:
ants carrying food.    http://freshread.files.wordpress.com/2009/07/ants-3.jpg
deer.    http://www.iowasportsman.com/images/userphotos/2111USMC.jpg
driver ant.    http://www.butterfly-designs.com/butterflies/images/driverant2.jpg
John 3:16.    https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/46/93/05/469305d9675ef334f571343fd93b8baf.jpg
Claudia Lynx.    https://pp.vk.me/c11503/u105211982/a_121a4aa9.jpg
lipstick on his collar.    http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2550/3684211748_1407aff5ed.jpg

1679.) Psalms 77

October 8, 2015

Psalm 77 (English Standard Version)

In the Day of Trouble I Seek the Lord

To the choirmaster: according to Jeduthun. A Psalm of Asaph.

A lament . . . about me. Note all the times the author says “I.”

1I cry aloud to God,
aloud to God, and he will hear me.
2 In the day of my trouble I seek the Lord;
in the night my hand is stretched out without wearying;
my soul refuses to be comforted.
3When I remember God, I moan;
when I meditate, my spirit faints.

4You hold my eyelids open;
I am so troubled that I cannot speak.
5I consider the days of old,
the years long ago.
6I said, “Let me remember my song in the night;
let me meditate in my heart.”
Then my spirit made a diligent search:
7“Will the Lord spurn forever,
and never again be favorable?
8Has his steadfast love forever ceased?
Are his promises at an end for all time?
9 Has God forgotten to be gracious?
Has he in anger shut up his compassion?”

Isaiah 49:15 (NIV)

“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast
   and have no compassion on the child she has borne?
Though she may forget,
   I will not forget you!”

10Then I said, “I will appeal to this,
to the years of the right hand of the Most High.”

A hymn . . . to praise the Lord. Note all the references to “You” and “Your.”

11I will remember the deeds of the LORD;
yes, I will remember your wonders of old.

“I will remember” — Do God and God’s help seem far away? The psalmist composes a list, making present God’s great deeds of Israel’s past by reciting them. Could that method work for us?

12I will ponder all your work,
and meditate on your mighty deeds.

Philippians 4:8 (NIV)

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

13Your way, O God, is holy.
What god is great like our God?
14You are the God who works wonders;
you have made known your might among the peoples.
15You with your arm redeemed your people,
the children of Jacob and Joseph.

The story of God parting the Red Sea and bringing his people out of Egypt never gets old!

16When the waters saw you, O God,
when the waters saw you, they were afraid;
indeed, the deep trembled.
17The clouds poured out water;
the skies gave forth thunder;
your arrows flashed on every side.
18 The crash of your thunder was in the whirlwind;
your lightnings lighted up the world;
the earth trembled and shook.
19Your way was through the sea,
your path through the great waters;
yet your footprints were unseen.
20You led your people like a flock
by the hand of Moses and Aaron.



We worship the God who saves us, who is worthy of all our praises!  HERE  is “Hosanna”  by Paul Baloche and Brenton Brown.

Praise is rising, eyes are turning to You, we turn to You
Hope is stirring, hearts are yearning for You, we long for You
‘Cause when we see You, we find strength to face the day
In Your Presence all our fears are washed away, washed away

Hosanna, hosanna
You are the God Who saves us, worthy of all our praises
Hosanna, hosanna
Come have Your way among us
We welcome You here, Lord Jesus

Hear the sound of hearts returning to You, we turn to You
In Your Kingdom broken lives are made new, You make us new
‘Cause when we see You, we find strength to face the day
In Your Presence all our fears are washed away, washed away

Hosanna, hosanna
You are the God Who saves us, worthy of all our praises
Hosanna, hosanna
Come have Your way among us
We welcome You here, Lord Jesus

‘Cause when we see You, we find strength to face the day
In Your Presence all our fears are washed away
‘Cause when we see You, we find strength to face the day
In Your Presence all our fears are washed away, washed away

Hosanna, hosanna
You are the God Who saves us, worthy of all our praises
Hosanna, hosanna
Come have Your way among us
We welcome You here, Lord Jesus

Hosanna, hosanna
Hosanna, hosanna


English Standard Version (ESV)   The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.

Images courtesy of:
Ps. 77:14.    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3015/2963789034_1f30766c55.jpg
two hands.  http://fabliz.files.wordpress.com/2011/02/jesus_holding_hands_with_child_5ts3.jpg
I will meditate . . .  calligraphy by Mark Williams.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/ps-77-121.jpg
parting the Red Sea.  http://www.myuniquegiftidea.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/crossing-the-red-sea.png

1678.) Psalm 37

October 7, 2015

Ps37 starfish
Psalm 37 (New American Standard Bible)

1Do not fret because of evildoers,
Be not envious toward wrongdoers.

“The words ‘do not fret’ literally mean ‘do not get heated,’ which is also how we might express it. Or we might say, ‘Don’t get all worked up.’ Or even, ‘Be cool.'”

–James. M Boice

2For they will wither quickly like the grass
And fade like the green herb.
3Trust in the LORD and do good;
Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.
4Delight yourself in the LORD;
And He will give you the desires of your heart.

–from Tozer on the Holy Spirit

Admiration . . . is appreciation of the excellency of God. Man is better qualified to appreciate God than any other creature because he was made in His image and is the only creature who was. This admiration for God grows and grows until it fills the heart with wonder and delight.

“In our astonished reverence we confess Thine uncreated loveliness,” said the hymn writer. “In our astonished reverence.”

The God of the modern church person rarely astonishes anybody. He manages to stay pretty much within the constitution. Never breaks over our bylaws. He’s a very well-balanced God and very denominational and very much one of us, and we ask Him to help us when we’re in trouble and look to Him to watch over us when we’re asleep. The God of the modern church person isn’t a God I could have much respect for. But when the Holy Ghost shows us God as He is — we admire Him to the point of wonder and delight.

5Commit your way to the LORD,
Trust also in Him, and He will do it.

Spurgeon wrote: “They said of Martin Luther as he walked the streets, ‘There comes a man that can have anything of God he likes.’ You ask the reason of it. Because Luther delighted himself in his God.”

6He will bring forth your righteousness as the light
And your judgment as the noonday.

7Rest in the LORD and wait patiently for Him;
Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way,
Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes.
8Cease from anger and forsake wrath;
Do not fret; it leads only to evildoing.

–from My Utmost for His Highest,
by Oswald Chambers


“Fret not thyself, it tendeth only to evil doing.” –Psalm 37:8

Fretting means getting out at elbows mentally or spiritually. It is one thing to say “Fret not,” but a very different thing to have such a disposition that you find yourself able not to fret. It sounds so easy to talk about “resting in the Lord” and “waiting patiently for Him” until the nest is upset – until we live, as so many are doing, in tumult and anguish, is it possible then to rest in the Lord? If this “don’t” does not work there, it will work nowhere. This “don’t” must work in days of perplexity as well as in days of peace, or it never will work. And if it will not work in your particular case, it will not work in anyone else’s case. Resting in the Lord does not depend on external circumstances at all, but on your relationship to God Himself.

Fussing always ends in sin. We imagine that a little anxiety and worry are an indication of how really wise we are; it is much more an indication of how really wicked we are. Fretting springs from a determination to get our own way. Our Lord never worried and He was never anxious, because He was not “out” to realize His own ideas; He was “out” to realize God’s ideas. Fretting is wicked if you are a child of God.

Have you been bolstering up that stupid soul of yours with the idea that your circumstances are too much for God? Put all “supposing” on one side and dwell in the shadow of the Almighty. Deliberately tell God that you will not fret about that thing. All our fret and worry is caused by calculating without God.

9For evildoers will be cut off,
But those who wait for the LORD, they will inherit the land.
10Yet a little while and the wicked man will be no more;
And you will look carefully for his place and he will not be there.
11But the humble will inherit the land
And will delight themselves in abundant prosperity.

Matthew 5:5 (NIV)

Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.

“The ‘meek’ are they who bear their own adversities, and the prosperity of their enemies, without envy, anger, or complaint.”

–Thomas Hartwell Horne

12The wicked plots against the righteous
And gnashes at him with his teeth.
13The Lord laughs at him,
For He sees his day is coming.
14The wicked have drawn the sword and bent their bow
To cast down the afflicted and the needy,
To slay those who are upright in conduct.
15Their sword will enter their own heart,
And their bows will be broken.
16Better is the little of the righteous
Than the abundance of many wicked.

“A little blest is better than a great deal curst;
a little blest is better than a world enjoyed;
a pound blest is better than a thousand curst;
a black crust blest is better than a feast curst;
the gleanings blest are better than the whole harvest curst;
a drop of mercy blest is better than a sea of mercy curst.”

–Thomas Brooks

17For the arms of the wicked will be broken,

Psalm 10:15 (CEV)

Now break the arms

of all merciless people.

Punish them for doing wrong

and make them stop.

But the LORD sustains the righteous.
18The LORD knows the days of the blameless,
And their inheritance will be forever.
19They will not be ashamed in the time of evil,
And in the days of famine they will have abundance.
20But the wicked will perish;
And the enemies of the LORD will be like the glory of the pastures,
They vanish–like smoke they vanish away.
21The wicked borrows and does not pay back,
But the righteous is gracious and gives.
22For those blessed by Him will inherit the land,
But those cursed by Him will be cut off.
23The steps of a man are established by the LORD,
And He delights in his way.
24When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong,
Because the LORD is the One who holds his hand.

Ps37 plus3

Three benefits for the righteous man or woman:  1) The reward comes not only in the future age; in the present day God will guide our steps. 2) Believing in Jesus and being justified by faith through grace is reason to cause God to delight in us. 3) Even if we stumble on account of our own poor choices or mistakes, God is always there to help us get back on the right path.

25I have been young and now I am old,
Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken
Or his descendants begging bread.
26All day long he is gracious and lends,
And his descendants are a blessing.
27Depart from evil and do good,
So you will abide forever.
28For the LORD loves justice
And does not forsake His godly ones;
They are preserved forever,
But the descendants of the wicked will be cut off.
29The righteous will inherit the land
And dwell in it forever.



How wonderful to have such a faithful God who will care for our every need and always do what is right! He is worthy of our praise!  “Great Is Thy Faithfulness”  is sung  HERE  by Cece Winans. The hymn was written in 1923 by Kentucky school teacher/newspaperman/pastor Thomas Chisholm;  it was  popularized around the world by George Beverly Shea and the choirs of the Billy Graham Crusades.


30The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom,
And his tongue speaks justice.
31The law of his God is in his heart;
His steps do not slip.
32The wicked spies upon the righteous
And seeks to kill him.
33The LORD will not leave him in his hand
Or let him be condemned when he is judged.

2 Peter 2:9 (NLT)

So you see, the Lord knows how to rescue godly people from their trials.

34Wait for the LORD and keep His way,
And He will exalt you to inherit the land;
When the wicked are cut off, you will see it.
35I have seen a wicked, violent man
Spreading himself like a luxuriant tree in its native soil.
36Then he passed away, and lo, he was no more;
I sought for him, but he could not be found.

37Mark the blameless man, and behold the upright;
For the man of peace will have a posterity.
38But transgressors will be altogether destroyed;
The posterity of the wicked will be cut off.
39But the salvation of the righteous is from the LORD;
He is their strength in time of trouble.
40The LORD helps them and delivers them;
He delivers them from the wicked and saves them,
Because they take refuge in Him.

from the blog www.stuckincustoms.com

Further reflection:

Psalm 37:4 (KJV)
Delight thyself also in the LORD: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

There is satisfaction in serving the Lord Jesus; sweetness in suffering for His Name; blessing in bearing His reproach; pleasure in becoming a pilgrim; delight in doing His bidding. To have every natural delight:  face, form, education, erudition, personality, position, achievement, and acclaim of others is to need the discipline of delight, that every gift be acknowledged as from the Giver, that every talent become a sacred trust, that every honor become a humbling of the heart before Him, in order that He have all the glory. Then, like Moses of old, with lowly heart and veiled face, we shall walk where He leads, shall be thankful for daily manna, shall endure as seeing Him who is invisible, shall believe Him when every other friend fails.

–Dr. V. Raymond Edman (president of Wheaton College 1941-1965)
in Stones of Remembrance


New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation

Images courtesy of:
starfish and verse 4.   http://media.salemwebnetwork.com/ecards/scripturecards/cc_starfish.jpg
heart and verse 4.    http://i46.photobucket.com/albums/f124/toia29483/Decorated%20images/Heart-1.jpg
NO sign.    http://z.about.com/d/diyfashion/1/0/Q/6/-/-/NoSign.JPG
“Children Inherit the Earth” — drawing by Dave Card and Adrianna Steele-Card.   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2010/05/37-inherit-earth.jpg
x-ray of a broken arm.    http://crissiecudd.files.wordpress.com/2009/07/xray-broken-arm2.jpg
plus 3.   https://lh5.ggpht.com/7qxoKinAu13WuAr3Fe3sbfvqMlU3PAre8ypr-HQlo3V_II2H4ZNRCmA9_Iu0YEdMiJM=w300
rescue dog.    http://changebydoing.files.wordpress.com/2009/08/rescue-dog.jpg
stream in the valley and verse 4.    http://www.christianmingler.com/wp-content/uploads/Psalm3742a.jpg

1677.) Psalm 36

October 6, 2015

Psalm 36 (New American Standard Bible)

The wicked man . . .

1Transgression speaks to the ungodly within his heart;
There is no fear of God before his eyes.
2For it flatters him in his own eyes
Concerning the discovery of his iniquity and the hatred of it.
3The words of his mouth are wickedness and deceit;
He has ceased to be wise and to do good.

His sins include what he does and what he does not do.

4He plans wickedness upon his bed;
He sets himself on a path that is not good;
He does not despise evil.

The good and righteous God . . .

5Your lovingkindness, O LORD, extends to the heavens,
Your faithfulness reaches to the skies.
6 Your righteousness is like the mountains of God;
Your judgments are like a great deep.
O LORD, You preserve man and beast.

Looking to the God of mercy for help against wicked men . . .

7 How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God!
And the children of men take refuge in the shadow of Your wings.

“The word precious establishes at once the change of scale from the immense (the heavens, the skies, the mountains, a great deep, in vs. 5-6) to the intimate and personal.”

–Derek Kidner

8They drink their fill of the abundance of Your house;
And You give them to drink of the river of Your delights.

from Whispers of His Power,
by Amy Carmichael


Psalm 36:8 — They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of Thy house; and Thou shalt make them drink of the river of Thy pleasures.

The Septuagint has “They shall be fully satisfied,” and a footnote says that the Greek means “intoxicated.”  It is not difficult to be “abundantly satisfied” or even “intoxicated” with God’s goodness when all is going well.  But when things are, as we say, “impossibly hard,” what then?

Well, the Word still stands, and we must learn to live in the power of that word:  They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of Thy house. In other words, satisfied with Him, His will, His providence, His provision, His withholdings as well as His givings.  We must not build our satisfaction, our happiness, on any earthly thing; not on having what we want, or going where we want, or doing what we want.

The foundation of our happiness must be invisible, not visible.  It must not depend on circumstances of any sort whatever.  Let us gratefully take all that is given us of visible good things, for they are the gift of our most loving Father.  But do not let us build on these things.  No, never.

9For with You is the fountain of life;
In Your light we see light.

10O continue Your lovingkindness to those who know You,
And Your righteousness to the upright in heart.
11Let not the foot of pride come upon me,

Proverbs 21:4 (Contemporary English Version)

Evil people are proud

and arrogant,

but sin is the only crop

they produce.

And let not the hand of the wicked drive me away.
12There the doers of iniquity have fallen;
They have been thrust down and cannot rise.



HERE  is Third Day and “Your Love, O Lord” — from verses 5-7.


New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation

Images courtesy of:
rainbow and 36:9.   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2010/05/36-rainbow-and-v91.jpg
Holy Bible.    http://s1.hubimg.com/u/415740_f260.jpg

1676.) Psalm 15

October 5, 2015
St. John's Cathedral in North Brabant, Holland -- a photograph by Tim Van Woensel

St. John’s Cathedral in North Brabant, Holland — a photograph by Tim Van Woensel

Psalm 15

Who Shall Abide in God’s Sanctuary?

1O Lord, who may abide in your tent? Who may dwell on your holy hill?

The word translated abide can be better thought of as sojourn; it describes a visit, receiving the hospitality of a tent-dwelling host. This opening is understood in light of the customs of hospitality in the ancient near east.

“In the gracious hospitality of the antique world, a guest was sheltered from all harm; his person was inviolable, his wants all met. So the guest of Jehovah is safe, can claim asylum from every foe and share in all the bountiful provision of His abode.” (Maclaren)

–David Guzik (and all following comments in red)

2Those who walk blamelessly, and do what is right,

In one sense David speaks from an Old Covenant perspective. Though the Old Covenant gave an important place to sacrifice and atonement through blood, it also based blessing and cursing on obedience (Leviticus 26, Deuteronomy 28). The disobedient could not expect blessing, including the blessing of God’s presence.

The New Covenant gives us a different ground for blessing and relationship with God: the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross. Under the New Covenant, faith, not performance, is the basis for blessing.

Nevertheless, David’s principle is also accurate under the New Covenant in this sense: the conduct of one’s life is a reflection of their fellowship with God. As John wrote: If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth (1 John 1:6). We might say that under the Old Covenant a righteous walk was the precondition for fellowship with God; under the New Covenant a righteous walk is the result of fellowship with God, founded on faith.

and speak the truth from their heart;

3who do not slander with their tongue, and do no evil to their friends, nor take up a reproach against their neighbors;

Ps15 mouth speaks
“I think more damage has been done to the church and its work by gossip, criticism, and slander than by any other single sin. So I say, don’t do it. Bite your tongue before you criticize another Christian.”

–James M. Boice (pastor of Philadelphia’s historic Tenth Presbyterian Church, 1968-2000)

4in whose eyes the wicked are despised, but who honor those who fear the Lord; who stand by their oath even to their hurt;

5who do not lend money at interest, and do not take a bribe against the innocent.

God wants us to be helpful to others, even when it might require our own expense.

Those who do these things shall never be moved.

15. Yes Lord

The righteous ones will abide in God’s sanctuary!

1 John 2:17 (NLT)

And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.



HERE  is Hillsong with  “Dwell in Your House.”


The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Images courtesy of:
Van Woensel.   http://k41.pbase.com/g6/53/729353/2/73792176.j5AI0rgi.jpg
“the mouth speaks.”    http://lh6.ggpht.com/-Ph3G3Wwzgew/TqDRPos_LFI/AAAAAAAAh4Q/1gNVAImRQLc/image%25255B17%25255D.png?imgmax=800
Nathalie Kelley silk print banner.  http://nathaliekelleyart.com/Flag-Yes%20Lord.jpg

1675.) Psalm 90

October 2, 2015

Psalm 90   (English Standard Version)

From Everlasting to Everlasting

“Psalm 90 is one of the most magisterial of the psalms.”
–Walter Brueggemann

A Prayer of Moses, the man of God.

Moses taught the people of Israel to pray, and put words into their mouths which they might make use of in turning to the Lord. Moses is here called the man of God, because he was a prophet, the father of prophets, and an eminent type of the great prophet.

–Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible, 1710

Lord, you have been our dwelling place
    in all generations.
Before the mountains were brought forth,
    or ever you had formed the earth and the world,
    from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

You return man to dust
    and say, “Return, O children of man!”
For a thousand years in your sight
    are but as yesterday when it is past,
    or as a watch in the night.

2 Peter 3:8-9 (ESV)

But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.  The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

You sweep them away as with a flood; they are like a dream,
    like grass that is renewed in the morning:
in the morning it flourishes and is renewed;
    in the evening it fades and withers.

Psalm 90 has long been used at funerals and burials.

There was a young lady from Guam,
Who said, “Now the sea is so calm,
I will swim, for a lark.”
But she met with a shark —
Let us now sing the ninetieth psalm.

For we are brought to an end by your anger;
    by your wrath we are dismayed.
You have set our iniquities before you,
    our secret sins in the light of your presence.

9 For all our days pass away under your wrath;
    we bring our years to an end like a sigh.

Verse 9 in the King James Version —  For all our days are passed away in thy wrath: we spend our years as a tale that is told.

“A tale that is told.” That rings a bell. I wonder if Shakespeare didn’t have Psalm 90 in front of him as he wrote Macbeth’s soliloquy (Act V, scene v):

“Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more; it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.”

10 The years of our life are seventy,
    or even by reason of strength eighty;
yet their span is but toil and trouble;
    they are soon gone, and we fly away.
11 Who considers the power of your anger,
    and your wrath according to the fear of you?

12 So teach us to number our days
    that we may get a heart of wisdom.

from Whispers of His Power,
by Amy Carmichael

Some time ago I was given two big pieces of soap, and I use both every day. For a while I saw very little difference in either, but gradually I saw that both were just a little less. Of course one can’t at the same time both give and keep, and soap is always giving. Every time you use it, it gives you something of itself, so naturally it becomes less and less.

Did you ever think of life as a piece of soap? Every day, hour, minute, it is giving you something of itself. Soon it will have given all, and then there won’t be any more of it here. When we are young we think things will go on just as they are forever. But they don’t.

Next time you use your soap, will you think of the little prayer in Psalm 90:12?

13 Return, O Lord! How long?
    Have pity on your servants!
14 Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love,
    that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
15 Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us,
    and for as many years as we have seen evil.

My father taught me to say, as soon as I awakened in the morning, “This is the day the Lord has made; I will rejoice and be glad in it.” And my mother often said, “Today is the best day of my life.” When I questioned her once for saying it so often, she explained, “But today is the only day I have. Yesterday is gone, and who knows about tomorrow?” My parents were both children of the Depression. They had to be terribly frugal most of their lives. Death and disappointment were frequent visitors in their experiences. But they lived out the verses above, in that they were glad even in the days that included affliction.

If you are basing your joy on your circumstances, on your present situation, on sunny breezes and the comfortable situation you inhabit, then following this command day in and day out will not be easy. But if you are satisfied with God’s mercy, if you do not forget the joy of Christ risen! — then you will find, even in the dark days, the glory of the Lord present in your heart.

May God help us to put our confidence and our joy in Christ, who alone is worthy of all our praise!

16 Let your work be shown to your servants,
    and your glorious power to their children.
17 Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us,
    and establish the work of our hands upon us;
    yes, establish the work of our hands!

So our situation is not finally defined by dust and grass, but by the One who brings us and keeps us home safely.



The hymn “O God, Our Help in Ages Past,” a paraphrase of Psalm 90, was written by Isaac Watts in 1719. It is sung  HERE  by the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge. The choral piece is sandwiched between two partial keyboard pieces using the tune, St. Anne. If you feel cheated at the end and want to hear all of J. S. Bach’s beautiful Fugue in E-Flat (St. Anne) BWV 552, go to youtube and you can listen to a wide variety of renditions; I recommend it!


English Standard Version (ESV)   The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
Images courtesy of:
Psalm 90:1-2.   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/psalm-90-1-2.jpg
clock.  http://thejourneyfortruth.files.wordpress.com/2010/02/clock.gif
burial.  https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/funeral-pictures.jpg
Macbeth.   http://www.bbc.co.uk/drama/shakespeare/60secondshakespeare/images/star/macbeth.jpg
washing with soap.  http://www.heartlandscience.org/future/images/bar%20of%20soap.jpg
Fruit of the Spirit.   http://i165.photobucket.com/albums/u62/ParkcrestHSM/blogg/FruitoftheSpirit02JoyTitle.jpg

1674.) Deuteronomy 34

October 1, 2015

Moses was buried somewhere around here!  Mt. Nebo, in present-day Jordan.

Deuteronomy 34 (English Standard Version)

The Death of Moses

Question: What is thy only comfort in life and death?

Answer: That I, with body and soul, both in life and death,
am not my own,
but belong unto my faithful Savior Jesus Christ;
who, with his precious blood, has fully satisfied all my sins,
and delivered me from all the power of the devil;
and so preserves me that without the will of my heavenly Father,
not a hair can fall from my head;
yea, that all things must be subservient to my salvation,
and therefore, by his Holy Spirit,
He also assures me of eternal life,
and makes me sincerely willing and ready,
henceforth, to live unto him.

Q/A 1 of the Heidelberg Catechism, 1563

1Then Moses went up from the plains of Moab to Mount Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, which is opposite Jericho. And the LORD showed him all the land, Gilead as far as Dan, 2all Naphtali, the land of Ephraim and Manasseh, all the land of Judah as far as the western sea, 3 the Negeb, and the Plain, that is, the Valley of Jericho the city of palm trees, as far as Zoar. 4And the LORD said to him, “This is the land of which I swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, ‘I will give it to your offspring.’ I have let you see it with your eyes, but you shall not go over there.”

5So Moses the servant of the LORD died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the LORD, 6and he buried him in the valley in the land of Moab opposite Beth-peor; but no one knows the place of his burial to this day.

Psalm 49:15 (NIV)

But God will redeem my life from the grave;
he will surely take me to himself.

“And when she (the Church) buries a man, that action concerns me:  all mankind is of one author, and is one volume; when one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book, but translated into a better language; and every chapter must be so translated; God employs several translators; some pieces are translated by age, some by sickness, some by war, some by justice; but God’s hand is in every translation, and his hand shall bind up all our scattered leaves again for that library where every book shall lie open to one another.”

–John Donne, Meditation XVII

7 Moses was 120 years old when he died.

Moses’ life was neatly divided into thirds. He spent 40 years as the crown prince of Egypt, 40 years as a humble shepherd in the wilderness, and 40 years leading the children of Israel to their destiny in the Promised Land. The first two-thirds were in preparation for the last one third. Moses was willing to let God prepare him for 80 years.

–David Guzik

His eye was undimmed, and his vigor unabated. 8And the people of Israel wept for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days. Then the days of weeping and mourning for Moses were ended.

Hebrews 3:1-6 (NIV)

Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess. He was faithful to the one who appointed him, just as Moses was faithful in all God’s house. Jesus has been found worthy of greater honor than Moses, just as the builder of a house has greater honor than the house itself. For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything. Moses was faithful as a servant in all God’s house, testifying to what would be said in the future. But Christ is faithful as a son over God’s house. And we are his house, if we hold on to our courage and the hope of which we boast.

9And Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom, for Moses had laid his hands on him. So the people of Israel obeyed him and did as the LORD had commanded Moses. 10And there has not arisen a prophet since in Israel like Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face, 11none like him for all the signs and the wonders that the LORD sent him to do in the land of Egypt, to Pharaoh and to all his servants and to all his land, 12and for all the mighty power and all the great deeds of terror that Moses did in the sight of all Israel.

“What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.”

quoted in The New Gold Standard, by Joseph A. Michelli



Moses was “Going Home.”  The tune is from Dvorak, sung  HERE  by Libera.


English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.

Images courtesy of:
monument on Mt. Nebo.    http://student-sites.net/xhtml_projects/LoriA/Images/MtNebo3.jpg
Life and Death.    http://lifeanddeath.baduk.org/media/box.jpg
Christ Church Cemetery, Philadelphia.    http://www.worldatlas.com/webimage/countrys/namerica/usstates/pennsylvaniaphotos/philly/christchurch.jpg


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