1865.) Psalm 95

June 24, 2016

Psalm 95 (New International Version)

A call to exuberant praise to the Lord!

1 Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD;
let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.
2 Let us come before him with thanksgiving

Thanksgiving:  A “confession, praise” of God’s character and works. The verb is used to express one’s public proclamation or declaration (confession) of God’s attributes and his works.

–Ralph F. Wilson (and all following in green)

and extol him with music and song.

Ps95 created

The reason to praise — the Lord’s greatness as Creator and King!

3 For the LORD is the great God,
the great King above all gods.
4 In his hand are the depths of the earth,
and the mountain peaks belong to him.
5 The sea is his, for he made it,
and his hands formed the dry land.

Ps95 sheep

A call to bow down in humble worship before our God our Shepherd!

6 Come, let us bow down in worship,
let us kneel before the LORD our Maker;
7 for he is our God
and we are the people of his pasture,
the flock under his care.

We worship, we bow down, because we recognize both God’s ownership of us and his responsibility to care for us. As Jesus put it, he is not a hireling, but the owner of the sheep. Therefore, he is willing to lay down his life for the sheep — and did! He is the Shepherd, we are the sheep, the flock. He cares for us.

Ps95 obey

A warning and exhortation to obey the Lord!

Today, if only you would hear his voice,
8Do not harden your hearts as you did at Meribah,
as you did that day at Massah in the wilderness,
9 where your ancestors tested me;
they tried me, though they had seen what I did.
10 For forty years I was angry with that generation;
I said, ‘They are a people whose hearts go astray,
and they have not known my ways.’
11 So I declared on oath in my anger,
‘They shall never enter my rest.’”

Why did the psalmist insert this warning right after high praise and prostrate submission in Psalm 95? The topic of the psalm is worship. His point is that worship not only consists of praise, thanksgiving, and outward submission, but also submissive hearts before the Lord. This is not an outward worship, but inward. Too often our worship is empty words, rather than a submissive spirit full of faith in God and a readiness to obey him. The Apostle Paul reminds us:

“I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” (Romans 12:1)

The way we live our lives comprises our worship of God, not just what we say with our mouths on “worship days.”

_________________________

Music:

Psalm 95 is a favorite for singers and composers!

HERE  is the oldest piece offered to you today, “Venite, exultemus Domino,” by William Byrd, an English composer of the Renaissance, 1607.

HERE  the psalm is put to music by the Sons of Korah, an Australian folk band.

HERE  is John Michael Talbot and “Come Worship the Lord.”

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New International Version (NIV)   Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica

Images courtesy of:
Psalm 95:1.   http://oneyearbibleimages.com/psalm95_1.jpg
Psalm 95:3-4.   http://kellydavenport.zenfolio.com/img/s/v-3/p587217046-3.jpg
Psalm 95:6-7.     http://www.xarisxpressions.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Psalms-9567.jpg
obey.    https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/d1/70/08/d17008d7307ad9dd79c2643b8943c582.jpg

1840.) Psalm 69

May 20, 2016

“Save me, O God, for the waters have come up to my neck.”

Psalm 69 (English Standard Version)

Save Me, O God

To the choirmaster: according to Lilies. Of David.

As with Psalm 45, this Psalm is Set to The Lilies. The phrase may refer to general beauty of the composition, to the tune, or even to a six-stringed instrument known as the Shoshannim (the literal translation of the Hebrew).

“Perhaps in no psalm in the whole psalter is the sense of sorrow profounder or more intense than in this. The soul of the singer pours itself out in unrestrained abandonment to the overwhelming and terrible grief which consumes it.” (G. Campbell Morgan)

–David Guzik

1Save me, O God!
For the waters have come up to my neck.
2I sink in deep mire,
where there is no foothold;
I have come into deep waters,
and the flood sweeps over me.

DEEP WATER
by David Wilkerson
[May 19, 1931 – April 27, 2011]

“I sink in deep mire,
Where there is no standing;
I have come into deep waters,
Where floods overflow me”
(Psalm 69:2).

Save me, O God,
For my soul is being flooded
With foolishness.
My sins are not hidden from Thee.
I am sinking
With no place to stand;
I am in deep water.
Floods overflow me;
I wait for God to rescue me.
My throat is dry
From calling on Him.
I weep and chasten my soul,
Mocking my own weakness.
Hear me speedily, God,
And don’t hide your face.
I need a comforter:
Turn to me with tender mercy.
Deliver me out of this mire.
Let me not sink.
Save me from this deep water:
I am in real trouble—
Danger.
Don’t let the deep swallow me up.
Let not the pit shut her mouth upon me.
Make haste, O God,
Tarry not;
You are my help
And deliverer.

3 I am weary with my crying out;
my throat is parched.
My eyes grow dim
with waiting for my God.

4 More in number than the hairs of my head
are those who hate me without cause;
mighty are those who would destroy me,
those who attack me with lies.
What I did not steal
must I now restore?

John 15:18-25 (NLT)

“If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first.  The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you.  Do you remember what I told you? ‘A slave is not greater than the master.’ Since they persecuted me, naturally they will persecute you. And if they had listened to me, they would listen to you.  They will do all this to you because of me, for they have rejected the One who sent me.  They would not be guilty if I had not come and spoken to them. But now they have no excuse for their sin.  Anyone who hates me also hates my Father.  If I hadn’t done such miraculous signs among them that no one else could do, they would not be guilty. But as it is, they have seen everything I did, yet they still hate me and my Father.  This fulfills what is written in their Scriptures: ‘They hated me without cause.'”

5O God, you know my folly;
the wrongs I have done are not hidden from you.

6Let not those who hope in you be put to shame through me,
O Lord GOD of hosts;
let not those who seek you be brought to dishonor through me,
O God of Israel.
7For it is for your sake that I have borne reproach,
that dishonor has covered my face.
8I have become a stranger to my brothers,
an alien to my mother’s sons.

John 7:1-5 (NLT)

After this, Jesus traveled around Galilee. He wanted to stay out of Judea, where the Jewish leaders were plotting his death.  But soon it was time for the Jewish Festival of Shelters,  and Jesus’ brothers said to him, “Leave here and go to Judea, where your followers can see your miracles!  You can’t become famous if you hide like this! If you can do such wonderful things, show yourself to the world!”  For even his brothers didn’t believe in him.

I am grateful that Jesus understands the alienation we face.

9For zeal for your house has consumed me,
and the reproaches of those who reproach you have fallen on me.
10When I wept and humbled my soul with fasting,
it became my reproach.
11When I made sackcloth my clothing,
I became a byword to them.
12I am the talk of those who sit in the gate,
and the drunkards make songs about me.

13But as for me, my prayer is to you, O LORD.
At an acceptable time, O God,
in the abundance of your steadfast love answer me in your saving faithfulness.
14Deliver me
from sinking in the mire;
let me be delivered from my enemies
and from the deep waters.
15Let not the flood sweep over me,
or the deep swallow me up,
or the pit close its mouth over me.

16Answer me, O LORD, for your steadfast love is good;
according to your abundant mercy, turn to me.
17 Hide not your face from your servant;
for I am in distress; make haste to answer me.
18Draw near to my soul, redeem me;
ransom me because of my enemies!

19You know my reproach,
and my shame and my dishonor;
my foes are all known to you.
20 Reproaches have broken my heart,
so that I am in despair.
I looked for pity, but there was none,
and for comforters, but I found none.
21They gave me poison for food,
and for my thirst they gave me sour wine to drink.

John 19:28-30 (NLT)

Jesus knew that his mission was now finished, and to fulfill Scripture he said, “I am thirsty.”  A jar of sour wine was sitting there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put it on a hyssop branch, and held it up to his lips.  When Jesus had tasted it, he said, “It is finished!” Then he bowed his head and released his spirit.

22 Let their own table before them become a snare;
and when they are at peace, let it become a trap.
23 Let their eyes be darkened, so that they cannot see,
and make their loins tremble continually.
24Pour out your indignation upon them,
and let your burning anger overtake them.
25 May their camp be a desolation;
let no one dwell in their tents.


Acts 1:15-20 (NLT)

During this time, when about 120 believers were together in one place, Peter stood up and addressed them.  “Brothers,” he said, “the Scriptures had to be fulfilled concerning Judas, who guided those who arrested Jesus. This was predicted long ago by the Holy Spirit, speaking through King David.  Judas was one of us and shared in the ministry with us.”

(Judas had bought a field with the money he received for his treachery. Falling headfirst there, his body split open, spilling out all his intestines.  The news of his death spread to all the people of Jerusalem, and they gave the place the Aramaic name Akeldama, which means “Field of Blood.”)

Peter continued, “This was written in the book of Psalms, where it says, ‘Let his home become desolate, with no one living in it.’ It also says, ‘Let someone else take his position.’

26For they persecute him whom you have struck down,
and they recount the pain of those you have wounded.
27 Add to them punishment upon punishment;
may they have no acquittal from you.
28Let them be blotted out of the book of the living;
let them not be enrolled among the righteous.

29But I am afflicted and in pain;
let your salvation, O God, set me on high!

30I will praise the name of God with a song;
I will magnify him with thanksgiving.

__________________________

Music:

HERE  is “Rise Up and Praise Him.”  This should raise your energy level!

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31This will please the LORD more than an ox
or a bull with horns and hoofs.
32When the humble see it they will be glad;
you who seek God, let your hearts revive.
33For the LORD hears the needy
and does not despise his own people who are prisoners.

34Let heaven and earth praise him,
the seas and everything that moves in them.
35For God will save Zion
and build up the cities of Judah,
and people shall dwell there and possess it;
36 the offspring of his servants shall inherit it,
and those who love his name shall dwell in it.

from Whispers of His Power,
by Amy Carmichael

The lovers of His Name shall settle down therein is written of His people find their home in their own land.  We are lovers of His Name.  Let us settle down in peace as a bird settles down in its nest, not wanting any other nest, not wondering why the wind blows our tree so fiercely sometimes, or why the sky is sometimes dark and the rain fall heavily.  All that comes—by the time it touches us—is His holy providence, His beneficent care.  It will only cause to shine forth more clearly the truth of His words of strong consolation.

_________________________

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

Images courtesy of:
high water.     https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-GPuV7MUpAes/TXbipMmtUxI/AAAAAAAAATI/km4MJXBNhbM/s1600/PSALM+69A.jpg
hate tattoo.    http://www.creativeclass.com/creative_class/_wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/hate.jpg
Jesus’ brothers and sisters.    http://www.goodnews.ie/famjesus.gif
I thirst.     http://wheat4paradise.files.wordpress.com/2009/10/i-thirst2.jpg?w=500&h=329
Judas betrays Christ with a kiss.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/judaskiss.jpg
robin on nest.    http://ibc.lynxeds.com/files/pictures/Robin_on_nest.jpg

1839.) Psalm 64

May 19, 2016

 

Psalm 64 (English Standard Version)

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.

As with many of David’s Psalms, this one concerns a crisis that made him cry out to God. It is impossible to connect this Psalm to a specific event in David’s life with certainty.

–David Guzik

1Hear my voice, O God, in my complaint;
preserve my life from dread of the enemy.

“We need to pray as the psalmist does, not so much for the deliverance from enemies as for deliverance from fear of them.” 

–G. Campbell Morgan

2Hide me from the secret plots of the wicked,
from the throng of evildoers,
3who whet their tongues like swords,
who aim bitter words like arrows,
4shooting from ambush at the blameless,
shooting at him suddenly and without fear.

. . . the throng of evildoers . . . 

Mark 15:12-14 (NLT)

Pilate asked them, “Then what should I do with this man you call the king of the Jews?”

They shouted back, “Crucify him!”

“Why?” Pilate demanded. “What crime has he committed?”

But the mob roared even louder, “Crucify him!”

5They hold fast to their evil purpose;
they talk of laying snares secretly,
thinking, “Who can see them?”
6They search out injustice,
saying, “We have accomplished a diligent search.”
For the inward mind and heart of a man are deep!

How often we as believers lack an encouraging spirit. But look at these evil doers! They are constantly coming up with new plans and new attacks, keeping each other’s spirits up in their wicked deeds!

7 But God shoots his arrow at them;
they are wounded suddenly.
8They are brought to ruin, with their own tongues turned against them;
all who see them will wag their heads.
9Then all mankind fears;
they tell what God has brought about
and ponder what he has done.

To ponder, to consider carefully, to reflect deeply — it runs both ways!

Proverbs 21:2 (KJV)

Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth the hearts.

10Let the righteous one rejoice in the LORD
and take refuge in him!
Let all the upright in heart exult!

God’s dealing with the wicked will be a lesson to all people, but it will be special joy to the righteous!

_________________________

Music:

HERE  is Hillsong and “Came to my rescue.” Indeed, He never fails!

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

Images courtesy of:
flowers.    https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/95/5a/dd/955adda74edf6c49357d4348ca309d39.jpg
crown of thorns.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/jesus-crucified.jpg
pondering statue.     https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/ponder1.jpg

1838.) Psalm 62

May 18, 2016

 

Psalm 62   (Good News Translation)

The title of this Psalm is, To the Chief Musician. To Jeduthun. A Psalm of David.

The Chief Musician is thought by some to be the Lord God Himself, and others suppose him to be a leader of choirs or musicians in Davids time, such as Heman the Singer or Asaph (1 Chronicles 6:33, 16:17, and 25:6).

Jeduthun was one of the musicians appointed by David to lead Israel’s public worship (1 Chronicles 16:41; 25:1-3). Charles Spurgeon wrote regarding Jeduthun: “The sons of Jeduthun were porters or doorkeepers, according to 1 Chronicles 16:42. Those who serve well make the best of singers, and those who occupy the highest posts in the choir must not be ashamed to wait at the posts of the doors of the Lords house.”

–David Guzik

1 I wait patiently for God to save me; I depend on him alone.

“The natural mind is ever prone to reason, when we ought to believe; to be at work, when we ought to be quiet; to go our own way, when we ought steadily to walk on in Gods ways.” 

–Charles Haddon Spurgeon

2 He alone protects and saves me; he is my defender, and I shall never be defeated.

“He alone is my rock and my salvation.” — Psalm 62:2 (NIV)

3 How much longer will all of you attack someone who is no stronger than a broken-down fence?
4 You only want to bring him down from his place of honor; you take pleasure in lies. You speak words of blessing, but in your heart you curse him.

5 I depend on God alone; I put my hope in him.

Ps62 5 hope

WHERE IS YOUR HOPE?

It is the believer’s privilege to use this language. If he is looking for anything from the world, it is a poor hope indeed. But if he looks to God for the supply of his needs, whether temporal or spiritual blessings, his hope will not be in vain. He may constantly draw from the bank of faith and get his need supplied out of the riches of God’s loving-kindness. I know this: I would rather have God for my banker than all the Rothschilds.

My Lord never fails to honor His promises; and when we bring them to His throne, He never sends them back unanswered. Therefore I will wait only at His door, for He always opens it with the hand of abundant grace. At this hour I will turn to Him afresh.

But we have “hope” beyond this life. We will die soon; and still our “hope is from him.” May we not expect that when we face illness He will send angels to carry us to His bosom? We believe that when the pulse is faint and the heart is weak, some angelic messenger shall stand and look with loving eyes upon us and whisper, “Come away!” As we approach the heavenly gate, we expect to hear the welcome invitation, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” We are expecting harps of gold and crowns of glory; we are hoping soon to be among the company of shining ones before the throne; we are looking forward and longing for the time when we shall be like our glorious Lord–for “We shall see him as he is.”

Then if these are your hopes, O my soul, live for God; live with the desire and resolve to glorify Him from whose grace in your election, redemption, and calling you safely “hope” for the coming glory.

–Charles Spurgeon, revised and updated by Alistair Begg

6 He alone protects and saves me; he is my defender, and I shall never be defeated.
7 My salvation and honor depend on God; he is my strong protector; he is my shelter.

“Observe how the Psalmist brands his own initials upon every name which he rejoicingly gives to his God — my expectation, my rock, my salvation, my glory, my strength, my refuge; he is not content to know that the Lord is all these things; he acts in faith towards him, and lays claim to him under every character.”

–Spurgeon again

8 Trust in God at all times, my people. Tell him all your troubles, for he is our refuge.

9 Human beings are all like a puff of breath; great and small alike are worthless. Put them on the scales, and they weigh nothing; they are lighter than a mere breath.
10 Don’t put your trust in violence; don’t hope to gain anything by robbery; even if your riches increase, don’t depend on them.

Matthew 6:19-21 (ESV)

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal,  but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

11 More than once I have heard God say that power belongs to him
12 and that his love is constant.  You yourself, O Lord, reward everyone according to their deeds.

“David says that he has learned two lessons: that God is strong and that God is loving.”

–James Montgomery Boice (pastor of Tenth Pres in Philadelphia for over 30 years)

Psalm 62 seems to come from a time of trouble, yet it asks God for nothing. It is full of faith and trust, but has no fear, no despair, and no petition. Oh, let me have such a faith!

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Music:

HERE  is a musical version of Psalm 62.

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Scripture taken from the Good News Translation – Second Edition, Copyright 1992 by American Bible Society.

Images courtesy of:
engraved stone.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/psalm62_11.jpg
big rock at the beach.    http://www.trinityinspirations.com/images/Haystack2.jpg
Psalm 62:5.   http://arkangel.godinterest.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/220/2015/06/psalm-62-5.jpg
hearse with uhaul.    http://spiritualblueprint.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/hearseuhaul01-300×225.jpg?w=300&h=225

1837.) Psalm 55

May 17, 2016

 

Psalm 55 (New International Version)

For the director of music. With stringed instruments. A contemplation of David.

For the remainder of this week we will be looking at some other psalms of David.

This psalm describes a time of some kind of rebellion or power struggle against David, and a key leader in the struggle was a trusted associate who betrayed David. The city is dangerous because of the rebellion, and David cries out to God. It may be that the events connected with this Psalm are unrecorded in the sacred history of the life of David.

–David Guzik

1 Listen to my prayer, O God,
do not ignore my plea;
2 hear me and answer me.
My thoughts trouble me and I am distraught
3 because of what my enemy is saying,
because of the threats of the wicked;
for they bring down suffering on me
and assail me in their anger.

4 My heart is in anguish within me;
the terrors of death have fallen on me.
5 Fear and trembling have beset me;
horror has overwhelmed me.

Ps55 wingsdove
6 I said, “Oh, that I had the wings of a dove!
I would fly away and be at rest.
7 I would flee far away
and stay in the desert;
8 I would hurry to my place of shelter,
far from the tempest and storm.”

9 Lord, confuse the wicked, confound their words,
for I see violence and strife in the city.
10 Day and night they prowl about on its walls;
malice and abuse are within it.
11 Destructive forces are at work in the city;
threats and lies never leave its streets.

But it is you, my companion, my close friend . . .

12 If an enemy were insulting me,
I could endure it;
if a foe were rising against me,
I could hide.
13 But it is you, a man like myself,
my companion, my close friend,
14 with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship
at the house of God,
as we walked about
among the worshipers.

15 Let death take my enemies by surprise;
let them go down alive to the realm of the dead,
for evil finds lodging among them.

16 As for me, I call to God,
and the LORD saves me.
17 Evening, morning and noon
I cry out in distress,
and he hears my voice.
18 He rescues me unharmed
from the battle waged against me,
even though many oppose me.

rescue helicopter in Australia

Colossians 1:11-14 (NLT)

We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy, always thanking the Father. He has enabled you to share in the inheritance that belongs to his people, who live in the light. For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son,  who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins.

19 God, who is enthroned from of old,
who does not change—
he will hear them and humble them,
because they have no fear of God.

20 My companion attacks his friends;
he violates his covenant.
21 His talk is smooth as butter,
yet war is in his heart;
his words are more soothing than oil,
yet they are drawn swords.

22 Cast your cares on the LORD
and he will sustain you;
he will never let
the righteous be shaken.

Care is a burden; it makes the heart stoop; we must cast it upon God by faith and prayer, commit our way and works to him; let him do as seemeth him good, and we will be satisfied. To cast our burden upon God is to stay ourselves on his providence and promise. And if we do so, he will carry us in the arms of his power, as a nurse carries a child; and will strengthen our spirits by his Spirit, so that they shall sustain the trial. He will never suffer the righteous to be moved; to be so shaken by any troubles, as to quit their duty to God, or their comfort in him. He will not suffer them to be utterly cast down.

–Matthew Henry’s Commentary

He shall bear both thee and thy burden. What a glorious promise to a tempted and afflicted soul! God will carry both thee and thy load.

–Adam Clarke’s Commentary

Matthew 11:28-30 (NLT)

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”

23 But you, God, will bring down the wicked
into the pit of decay;
the bloodthirsty and deceitful
will not live out half their days.

But as for me, I trust in you.

_________________________

Music:

In the King James Version, verse 22 reads this way:

Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.

What a comfort for us as we face the difficult days of life!  HERE  is “Cast Thy Burden” by Felix Mendelssohn. As you listen, rest in God’s loving care for you.

_________________________

New International Version (NIV) Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2010 by Biblica

Images courtesy of:
dove.    https://farm1.staticflickr.com/48/120456254_96e4efab70_z.jpg
Psalm 55:6.   http://40.media.tumblr.com/293f4847ab0cdaccbcc224c8356a941b/tumblr_no0jc5eU5O1ri7q4ro1_1280.jpg
betrayal.    http://matthewcleek.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Betrayal.jpg
rescue helicopter.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2010/11/rescue-helicopter1.jpg
man carrying a burden.    http://irregulartimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/burden.jpg

1831.) Psalm 30

May 9, 2016

Ps30 weeping
Psalm 30 (New International Version)

A song. For the dedication of the temple.

Some scholars think that this psalm was actually written prophetically for the dedication of the temple –- which David prepared for, but Solomon built.

1 I will exalt you, O LORD,
for you lifted me out of the depths
and did not let my enemies gloat over me.

2 O LORD my God, I called to you for help
and you healed me.

Mark 10:46-52 (NLT)

Then they reached Jericho, and as Jesus and his disciples left town, a large crowd followed him. A blind beggar named Bartimaeus (son of Timaeus) was sitting beside the road. When Bartimaeus heard that Jesus of Nazareth was nearby, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”

“Be quiet!” many of the people yelled at him.

But he only shouted louder, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”

When Jesus heard him, he stopped and said, “Tell him to come here.”

So they called the blind man. “Cheer up,” they said. “Come on, he’s calling you!”  Bartimaeus threw aside his coat, jumped up, and came to Jesus.

“What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked.

“My rabbi,” the blind man said, “I want to see!”

And Jesus said to him, “Go, for your faith has healed you.” Instantly the man could see, and he followed Jesus down the road.

3 O LORD, you brought me up from the grave ;
you spared me from going down into the pit.

4 Sing to the LORD, you saints of his;
praise his holy name.

5 For his anger lasts only a moment,
but his favor lasts a lifetime;
weeping may remain for a night,
but rejoicing comes in the morning.

1 Peter 1:8 (NLT)

You love him even though you have never seen him.
Though you do not see him now, you trust him;
and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy.

6 When I felt secure, I said,
“I will never be shaken.”

7 O LORD, when you favored me,
you made my mountain  stand firm;
but when you hid your face,
I was dismayed.

8 To you, O LORD, I called;
to the Lord I cried for mercy:

Ephesians 2:4-7 (CEV)

But God was merciful! We were dead because of our sins, but God loved us so much that he made us alive with Christ, and God’s wonderful kindness is what saves you. God raised us from death to life with Christ Jesus, and he has given us a place beside Christ in heaven. God did this so that in the future world he could show how truly good and kind he is to us because of what Christ Jesus has done.

9 “What gain is there in my destruction,
in my going down into the pit?
Will the dust praise you?
Will it proclaim your faithfulness?

10 Hear, O LORD, and be merciful to me;
O LORD, be my help.”

When a man is at his wits’ end
it is not a cowardly thing to pray;
it is the only way he can get in touch with Reality. 

–Oswald Chambers (author of the widely-read devotional book My Utmost for His Highest)

11 You turned my wailing into dancing;
you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,

12 that my heart may sing to you and not be silent.
O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever.

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Music:

Ps30 mourning into dancing

American Jewish composer and singer Debbie Friedman set a number of Psalms to music — HERE  is Psalm 30, “Mourning into Dancing.”

_________________________

New International Version (NIV) Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica

Images courtesy of:
Joy.   https://i.ytimg.com/vi/KC04a2yWmQw/hqdefault.jpg
Jesus healing blind Bartimaeus.    http://freetobefred.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/blind-man-healed.jpg
“Greet the morning.”    http://i74.photobucket.com/albums/i242/formebb/Greet_the_Morning_by_phatpuppy.jpg
Mercy window from Central Christian Church, Orlando, FL.   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/30-mercy.jpg
Lord’s Prayer.    http://www.drpaulose.com/wp-content/uploads/Lords-prayer.jpg
mourning into dancing.   http://36.media.tumblr.com/489f946571367182d07bfd2596b05771/tumblr_n5llachBOM1safybko1_1280.jpg

1819.) Psalm 4

April 21, 2016

Ps4 evening prayer

Psalm 4   (NRSV)

Confident Plea for Deliverance from Enemies

In this psalm David pours out his complaint against slanderous enemies and finds peace and refuge in God. It is not so much his safety that is endangered as it is his reputation being threatened.

1Answer me when I call, O God of my right! You gave me room when I was in distress. Be gracious to me now, and hear my prayer.

Prayer tip from David #1:  Use past mercy as a ground for future help.

2How long, you people, shall my honor suffer shame? How long will you love vain words, and seek after lies? Selah

3But know that the Lord has set apart the faithful for himself; the Lord hears when I call to him.

Prayer tip from David #2:  Be confident that God will hear your prayers.

4When you are disturbed, do not sin; ponder it on your beds, and be silent. Selah

Prayer tip from David #3:  Meditate by filling your heart and mind with God’s word.

5Offer right sacrifices, and put your trust in the Lord.

6There are many who say, “O that we might see some good! Let the light of your face shine on us, O Lord!”

Numbers 6:24-26 (ESV)

The LORD bless you and keep you;
the LORD make his face to shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the LORD lift up his countenance upon you
and give you peace.

7You have put gladness in my heart more than when their grain and wine abound.

Reflection:

“The kingdom of God is not food and drink, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”
–Romans 14:17

What feeds your heart?

8I will both lie down and sleep in peace; for you alone, O Lord, make me lie down in safety.

Prayer tip from David #4:  Once you have prayed, rest in the Lord.

Jesus said, “If you are tired from carrying heavy burdens, come to me and I will give you rest.”

— Matthew 11:28 (CEV)

4-baby-sleeping-bw_________________________

Music:

From the fairy tale opera Hansel and Gretel, by German composer Engelbert Humperdinck (1854-1921), the beautiful lullaby, “Evening Benediction,” from Act 2.  HERE  it is performed by Libera.

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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:
Psalm 4.   http://spreadjesus.org/26w/Psalm-4-An-Evening-Prayer-of-Confidence-from-The-book-of-Psalms-The-Holy-bible.jpg
Aaron’s benediction.     http://www.ratnermuseum.com/includes/images/photos/bible/bible-43.jpg
baby sleeping.  http://www.babyphotospictures.com/thumb/baby-sleeping-black-and-white.jpg

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