2554.) Psalm 131

February 14, 2019

P131 quiet child

Psalm 131    (ESV)

I Have Calmed and Quieted My Soul

A Song of Ascents. Of David.

This short Psalm is a beautiful denial of pride, arrogance, and selfish ambition. “It is one of the shortest Psalms to read, but one of the longest to learn. It speaks of a young child, but it contains the experience of a man in Christ.”

–Charles Spurgeon

O Lord, my heart is not lifted up;
    my eyes are not raised too high;

In Biblical language the heart is the center of the human spirit, from which spring emotions, thoughts, motivations, courage, and actions.  (The Archaeological Study Bible)

I do not occupy myself with things
    too great and too marvelous for me.

James 4:6 (ESV)

Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

But I have calmed and quieted my soul,

The soul is not a spiritual aspect distinct from the physical but an individual’s very self as a living, conscious, personal being.  (The Archaeological Study Bible)

    like a weaned child with its mother;
    like a weaned child is my soul within me.

A child not-yet weaned embraces the mother with the thought of food and immediate satisfaction. A weaned child embraces the mother out of a desire for love, closeness, and companionship. Such was David’s humble desire to draw near to God.

God is beyond what we normally think of as gender; He is neither male nor female. Yet overwhelmingly, God is represented to us as a Father. This is one of the few passages where God is represented in some way as a mother, and others include Isaiah 49:15 and Isaiah 66:13.  

–David Guzik

O Israel, hope in the Lord
from this time forth and forevermore.

“The last verse rouses us from contemplating David to following his example and that of his greater Son: not through introspection but through being weaned from insubstantial ambitions to the only solid fare that can be ours. ‘My food is to do the will of him who sent me, and to accomplish his work’ (John 4:34)” 

–Derek Kidner

Romans 15:13   (NIV)

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

_________________________

Music:

HERE  is Marty Goetz and “Psalm 131.” Marty describes himself as “a Jewish gospel singing, piano playing, family cherishing, Bible reading, ever learning, G-d fearing, baby booming follower of Yeshua HaMashiach, the Messiah of Israel and the Savior of the world.” He lives in Nashville. I hope you have time to take 5 minutes and sit at the feet of the Lord with this lovely combination of words and music.

________________________

English Standard Version (ESV)   The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.
Images courtesy of:
quiet child.    http://livingthelectionary.blogspot.com/2011/02/
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2553.) Psalm 114

February 13, 2019

skipping and leaping like a lamb!

Psalm 114   (NIV)

The saga of Israel’s redemption from Egypt, her wilderness experiences, and her arrival in the land of promise was a tremendous display of the power of God from beginning to end.  In fact, to the Jewish mind it was the greatest demonstration of divine power that had ever taken place.

–William MacDonald

Israel’s deliverance from Egypt was the central act of redemption under the Old Covenant. It was to be constantly remembered and celebrated, and this song joins in the celebration. For those who are under the New Covenant in Jesus, the work of Jesus at the cross and empty tomb becomes the central act of redemption. We are likewise called to constantly remember and celebrate what God did to set His people free.

–David Guzik

When Israel came out of Egypt,
Jacob from a people of foreign tongue,
Judah became God’s sanctuary,
Israel his dominion.

 “They are two names for the one people that came out of Egypt at the exodus. This one people is declared to be both God’s dwelling place and God’s kingdom.”

–James Montgomery Boice

The sea looked and fled,
the Jordan turned back;

As in other places in Hebrew poetry, the Psalmist personified nature and described it as responding to God in fear or reverence. Here he mentioned the parting of waters at both the Red Sea and the Jordan River, at the beginning and end of Israel’s journey to the Promised Land.

the mountains leaped like rams,
the hills like lambs.

Why was it, sea, that you fled?
Why, Jordan, did you turn back?
Why, mountains, did you leap like rams,
you hills, like lambs?

Perhaps this has reference to the strong earthquakes and similar phenomenon that happened at Mount Sinai (Exodus 19:16-20) when God manifested His presence there. They shook and “leaped” like sheep.

Tremble, earth, at the presence of the Lord,
at the presence of the God of Jacob,
who turned the rock into a pool,
the hard rock into springs of water.

1 Corinthians 10:1-4  (NLT)

I don’t want you to forget, dear brothers and sisters, about our ancestors in the wilderness long ago. All of them were guided by a cloud that moved ahead of them, and all of them walked through the sea on dry ground.  In the cloud and in the sea, all of them were baptized as followers of Moses.  All of them ate the same spiritual food and all of them drank the same spiritual water. For they drank from the spiritual rock that traveled with them, and that rock was Christ.

_________________________

Music:

As in verse 2 — Oh, to be God’s sanctuary!  HERE  is “Lord, prepare me.” This prayer of our hearts surely honors our God!

_________________________

New International Version (NIV)   Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Images courtesy of:
leaping lamb.  https://steemit.com/fiftywords/@ablaze/springtime-in-the-countryside-fiftyword-story
water from the rock.    http://www.bullartistry.com.au/wp/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/waterfromrock.jpg

2552.) Psalm 104

February 12, 2019

Psalm 104 (ESV)

O Lord My God, You Are Very Great

“The Psalm gives an interpretation to the many voices of nature, and sings sweetly both of creation and providence. The poem contains a complete cosmos: sea and land, cloud and sunlight, plant and animal, light and darkness, life and death, are all proved to be expressive of the presence of the Lord.”

–Charles Spurgeon

Bless the Lord, O my soul!
O Lord my God, you are very great!
You are clothed with splendor and majesty,
2 covering yourself with light as with a garment,
stretching out the heavens like a tent.

He lays the beams of his chambers on the waters;
he makes the clouds his chariot;
he rides on the wings of the wind;
he makes his messengers winds,
his ministers a flaming fire.

Immortal, invisible, God only wise,
In light inaccessible hid from our eyes,
Most blessed, most glorious, the Ancient of Days,
Almighty, victorious, thy great name we praise.

He set the earth on its foundations,
so that it should never be moved.


You covered it with the deep as with a garment;
the waters stood above the mountains.

The Psalmist had in mind two events. First, the separation of the waters at creation (Genesis 1:9-10) and the global flood mentioned in Genesis 7.

At your rebuke they fled;
at the sound of your thunder they took to flight.

Centuries later God the Son would rebuke waters and calm them (Mark 4).

The mountains rose, the valleys sank down
to the place that you appointed for them.

Unresting, unhasting, and silent as light,
Nor wanting, nor wasting, thou rulest in might;
Thy justice like mountains high soaring above
Thy clouds which are fountains of goodness and love.

You set a boundary that they may not pass,
so that they might not again cover the earth.

10 You make springs gush forth in the valleys;
they flow between the hills;


11 they give drink to every beast of the field;
the wild donkeys quench their thirst.
12 Beside them the birds of the heavens dwell;
they sing among the branches.
13  From your lofty abode you water the mountains;
the earth is satisfied with the fruit of your work.

14 You cause the grass to grow for the livestock
and plants for man to cultivate,
that he may bring forth food from the earth

15  and wine to gladden the heart of man,
oil to make his face shine
and bread to strengthen man’s heart.

16 The trees of the Lord are watered abundantly,
the cedars of Lebanon that he planted.
17 In them the birds build their nests;
the stork has her home in the fir trees.
18 The high mountains are for the wild goats;
the rocks are a refuge for the rock badgers.

19 He made the moon to mark the seasons;
the sun knows its time for setting.
20  You make darkness, and it is night,
when all the beasts of the forest creep about.

night mule deer herd

21  The young lions roar for their prey,
seeking their food from God.
22 When the sun rises, they steal away
and lie down in their dens.
23  Man goes out to his work
and to his labor until the evening.

“And as it would not be convenient for man and the wild beasts of the forest to collect their food at the same time, he has given the night to them as the proper time to procure their prey, and the day to rest in. When MAN labours, THEY rest; when MAN rests, THEY labour.”

–Adam Clarke

24 O Lord, how manifold are your works!
In wisdom have you made them all;
the earth is full of your creatures.
25 Here is the sea, great and wide,
which teems with creatures innumerable,
living things both small and great.


26 There go the ships,
and Leviathan, which you formed to play in it.

27 These all look to you,
to give them their food in due season.
28 When you give it to them, they gather it up;
when you open your hand, they are filled with good things.
29 When you hide your face, they are dismayed;
when you take away their breath, they die
and return to their dust.

To all life thou givest to both great and small;
In all life thou livest, the true life of all;
We blossom and flourish as leaves on the tree,
And wither and perish but nought changeth thee.


30 When you send forth your Spirit, they are created,
and you renew the face of the ground.

31 May the glory of the Lord endure forever;
may the Lord rejoice in his works,

“This is perhaps the highest and most daring note in all this wonderful song of praise. So impressed with the glory and wonder and beauty of creation was the singer, that he positively called upon God to rejoice in what He had wrought.”

–G. Campbell Morgan

32 who looks on the earth and it trembles,
who touches the mountains and they smoke!
33 I will sing to the Lord as long as I live;
I will sing praise to my God while I have being.
34 May my meditation be pleasing to him,
for I rejoice in the Lord.


35 Let sinners be consumed from the earth,
and let the wicked be no more!

This seems a strange and solemn declaration in this Psalm. Yet it is the logical consequence for those who reject God as creator. Paul later developed this thought in Romans 1, speaking of the guilt and consequences due to those who reject God as creator and worship the creature rather than the creator.

–David Guzik

“The psalmist is not vindictive in his prayer against the wicked but longs for a world fully established and maintained by the Lord, without outside interference.”

–Willem A. VanGemeren

Bless the Lord, O my soul!
Praise the Lord!

Great Father of glory, pure Father of light,
Thine angels adore thee, all veiling their sight;
All laud we would render: O help us to see
‘Tis only the splendour of light hideth thee.

–Walter Chalmers Smith (1824-1908)

_________________________

Music:

HERE  is “Creation Calls”  by Brian Doersken, with video from the BBC Planet Earth series.  I PROMISE you will enjoy this piece!

I have felt the wind blow,
Whispering your name
I have seen your tears fall,
When I watch the rain.
(Refrain)
How could I say there is no God?
When all around creation calls!!
A singing bird, a mighty tree,
The vast expanse of open sea
(Musical interlude)
Gazing at a bird in flight,
Soaring through the air.
Lying down beneath the stars,
I feel your presence there.
I love to stand at ocean shore
And feel the thundering breakers roar,
To walk through golden fields of grain
With endless bloom horizons fray.
Listening to a river run,
Watering the Earth.
Fragrance of a rose in bloom,
A newborn’s cry at birth.
(Refrain)
I love to stand at ocean shore
And feel the thundering breakers roar,
To walk through golden fields of grain
With endless bloom horizons fray
I believe
I believe
I believe
(Interlude)
I believe
I believe
I believe just like a child
(Choir I believe..)
I believe

_________________________

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

Images courtesy of:    http://sdunnpastor.files.wordpress.com/2010/10/god-created.jpgGod created.
earth from outer space.    https://www.hd-wallpapersdownload.com/planet-earth-pics/
stream in the hills.   http://wallpaper4god.com/en/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/psalm104_10.jpg
grass.    http://wallpaper4god.com/en/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/Psalm-104-14.jpg
bread and wine.   https://blogs.georgefox.edu/dminlgp/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/images.jpeg
deer.   http://fireflyforest.net/firefly/2008/02/05/sunset-and-twilight/
fish.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/psalm104-25.jpg
butterfly.     https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/psalm104b.jpg
meditation.   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/psalm104e.jpg

2551.) Psalm 53

February 11, 2019


Psalm 53 (NIV)

For the director of music. 

1 The fool says in his heart,
“There is no God.”

Thoughts from atheists:

“Is man merely a mistake of God’s? Or God merely a mistake of man?”
 ― Friedrich Nietzsche

“Religion has actually convinced people that there’s an invisible man living in the sky who watches everything you do, every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a special list of ten things he does not want you to do. And if you do any of these ten things, he has a special place, full of fire and smoke and burning and torture and anguish, where he will send you to live and suffer and burn and choke and scream and cry forever and ever ’til the end of time!

But He loves you. He loves you, and He needs money! He always needs money! He’s all-powerful, all-perfect, all-knowing, and all-wise, but somehow just can’t handle money!” 
― George Carlin

“We are all atheists about most of the gods that humanity has ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further.” 
― Richard Dawkins

They are corrupt, and their ways are vile;
there is no one who does good.

2 God looks down from heaven
on all mankind
to see if there are any who understand,
any who seek God.

“The words remind us of God descending from heaven to observe the folly of those building the tower of Babel (Genesis 11:5) or looking down upon the wickedness of the race prior to his judgment by the flood.”

–Derek Kidner

3 Everyone has turned away, all have become corrupt;
there is no one who does good,
not even one.

Romans 3:9-12 (NIV)

What shall we conclude then? Do we have any advantage? Not at all! For we have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under the power of sin.  As it is written:

“There is no one righteous, not even one;
there is no one who understands;
there is no one who seeks God.
All have turned away,
they have together become worthless;
there is no one who does good,
not even one.”

4 Do all these evildoers know nothing?

They devour my people as though eating bread;
they never call on God.
5 But there they are, overwhelmed with dread,
where there was nothing to dread.
God scattered the bones of those who attacked you;
you put them to shame, for God despised them.

6 Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion!

The psalmist knew that God was a refuge for His people and that the workers of iniquity would never win. Yet that was hard to see at the present time, so the writer expressed his great longing that God would bring the victory and deliverance He had promised to His people.

–David Guzik

When God restores his people,
let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad!

Thoughts from believers:

“God has put enough into the world to make faith in Him a most reasonable thing. But He has left enough out to make it impossible to live by sheer reason or observation alone.”
― Ravi Zacharias

“Faith for my deliverance is not faith in God. Faith means, whether I am visibly delivered or not, I will stick to my belief that God is love.”
― Oswald Chambers

“Faith is a living and unshakable confidence, a belief in the grace of God so assured that a man would die a thousand deaths for its sake.”
― Martin Luther

“So often we have a kind of vague, wistful longing that the promises of Jesus should be true. The only way really to enter into them is to believe them with the clutching intensity of a drowning man.”
― William Barclay

“Believing in him is not the same as believing things about him such as that he was born of a virgin and raised Lazarus from the dead. Instead, it is a matter of giving our hearts to him, of come hell or high water putting our money on him, the way a child believes in a mother or a father, the way a mother or a father believes in a child.”

― Frederick Buechner

“Faith is not belief without proof, but trust without reservation.”

― Assorted Authors

“Believe God’s love and power more than you believe your own feelings and experiences. Your rock is Christ, and it is not the rock that ebbs and flows but the sea.”

― Samuel Rutherford

_________________________

Music:

To be a fool or not.

HERE Steve Martin and his group will amuse you with a clever piece — “Atheists Don’t Have No Songs.”

HERE  is an old familiar song with a wonderful (new to me) piano accompaniment — “My hope is built on nothing less.”

_________________________

 

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

Images courtesy of:
atheism.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2010/11/atheism.jpg
verse 6.   https://i.pinimg.com/originals/31/68/b5/3168b55a1ab60d60b2983679cc331d5d.jpg

2550.) Psalm 111

February 8, 2019

Psalm 111   (NLT)

The Wonderful Works of the Lord

Many commentators note the connection between Psalms 111 and 112. James Montgomery Boice observed, “the two psalms are an obviously matched pair. The first is an acrostic poem about God; the second is an acrostic poem about the godly man.”

I love to read this psalm out loud — loudly, gratefully, proclaiming it to myself and to God– practicing for Heaven!

Praise the Lord!

In Hebrew, Hallelujah! The declaration has the sense of encouraging others to do the same—I will praise the LORD, you should also.

I will thank the Lord with all my heart
as I meet with his godly people.
How amazing are the deeds of the Lord!
All who delight in him should ponder them.

“In design, in size, in number, in excellence, all the works of the Lord are great. Even the little things of God are great.”

–Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Everything he does reveals his glory and majesty.
His righteousness never fails.
He causes us to remember his wonderful works.
How gracious and merciful is our Lord!

“The word zeker (‘remembrance’; NIV, ‘to be remembered’) is a noun in Hebrew. It connotes the act of ‘proclamation.’ Israel not only remembered but proclaimed what God had done.”

–Willem A. VanGemeren

from Whispers of His Power,
by Amy Carmichael

Psalm 111:4 — The merciful and gracious Lord hath so done His marvelous works: that they ought to be had in remembrance.

Do you ever thank God for His daily preservations? For every time the car goes out and returns in safety? For His gift, guarded so wonderfully, of sight, hearing, speech, feeling, power to walk and run and work, and to enjoy life?

Don’t wait till “something happens” that we must pray about, but praise for every day that “nothing happens.” And when there is some very special lovingkindness, remember the great word:  The merciful and gracious Lord hath so done His marvelous works: that they ought to be had in remembrance.

He gives food to those who fear him;
he always remembers his covenant.
He has shown his great power to his people
by giving them the lands of other nations.
All he does is just and good,
and all his commandments are trustworthy.
They are forever true,
to be obeyed faithfully and with integrity.

Revelation 15:3   (NIV)

They sang the song of Moses the servant of God and the song of the Lamb:

“Great and marvelous are your deeds,
    Lord God Almighty.
Just and true are your ways,
    King of the ages.”

He has paid a full ransom for his people.
He has guaranteed his covenant with them forever.
What a holy, awe-inspiring name he has!
10 Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true wisdom.
All who obey his commandments will grow in wisdom.

Praise him forever!

Taking into account the greatness of God’s works, we should praise Him, and never stop praising Him!

The angels surrounding God’s throne see His greatness of His works, and they never stop praising Him!

_________________________

Music:

HERE  is my favorite praise hymn, “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of Creation,” presented in a vintage recording of the St. Olaf Choir. I sing this hymn nearly every day.

The author of the original German hymn, known as Lobe den Herren, is Joachim Neander (1650-1680), who studied theology in Bremen. Neander was a Calvinist educator who was also a hymn-writer. In 1674, Neander became the clergyman of the Latin School at Düsseldorf, a Calvinist German Reformed institution. John Julian, a hymnologist, referred to the German original as “a magnificent hymn of praise to God, perhaps the finest creation of its author.”

Catherine Winkworth introduced this hymn to the English-speaking world nearly three centuries later. Winkworth, the daughter of Henry Winkworth, was born in London in 1827, and died close to Geneva, Switzerland, in 1878. She was one of the most prominent 19th-century translators of German hymns. Most hymnals will include at least five or six of her translations.

And if you are like me, you will love  THIS  too — J.S. Bach’s Cantata Lobe den Herren, den maechtigen Koenig der Ehren, BWV 137. Karl Barth once explained how he imagined things might sound in heaven. What the angels would play for their own amusement would be Mozart, he said, but when it came to praising God, the music they’d perform would be Bach. I agree!

_________________________

New Living Translation (NLT)   Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Images courtesy of:
“Great are the works of the Lord.”   http://wallpaper4god.com/wallpapers/psalm-1112_4403_1024x768.jpg
What if you only . . .     http://keepingitpersonal.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Screen-shot-2011-12-30-at-8.07.12-PM.png
All saints.   http://www.orleans.catholique.fr/vivre-sa-foi/fetes-et-temps-liturgiques/toussaint
Revelation 4:8.   https://www.skrbc.org/wp-content/uploads/sermons/2018/09/rev-48.png

2535.) Psalm 97

January 18, 2019

Psalm 97 (The Message)

God Rules

G. Campbell Morgan summarized this Psalm: “The effects of His judgments are declared. His adversaries are destroyed, His glory is revealed, His people are filled with joy.”

Rejoicing in the Greatness of God

God rules: there’s something to shout over!
On the double, mainlands and islands—celebrate!

_________________________

Music:

HERE  is an old (well, not that old — copyright 1996!) favorite — “Rise Up and Praise Him!”

Let the heavens rejoice
Let the earth be glad
Let the people of God
Sing His praise all over the land
Everyone in the valley
Come and lift your voice
All those on the mountaintop
Be glad and shout for joy

Rise up and praise Him
He deserves our love
Rise up and praise Him
Worship the Holy One
With all your heart
With all your soul
With all your might
Rise up and praise Him

_________________________

2 Bright clouds and storm clouds circle ’round him;
Right and justice anchor his rule.

3 Fire blazes out before him,
Flaming high up the craggy mountains.

4 His lightnings light up the world;
Earth, wide-eyed, trembles in fear.

5 The mountains take one look at God
And melt, melt like wax before earth’s Lord.

6 The heavens announce that he’ll set everything right,
And everyone will see it happen—glorious!

Instructing the People

7-8 All who serve handcrafted gods will be sorry—
And they were so proud of their ragamuffin gods!

modern day idols

On your knees, all you gods—worship him!
And Zion, you listen and take heart!

Daughters of Zion, sing your hearts out:
God has done it all, has set everything right.

9 You, God, are High God of the cosmos,
Far, far higher than any of the gods.

10 God loves all who hate evil,
And those who love him he keeps safe,
Snatches them from the grip of the wicked.

from Whispers of His Power,
by Amy Carmichael

Psalm 97:10 — O ye that love the Lord, see that ye hate the thing which is evil.

Do we hate enough? I hate all evil ways, the writer of Psalm 119 said in verse 104, and in verse 128, All false ways I utterly abhor.

Do we truly hate every false way? Or are we covering up something which will one day come out to our shame before God and His holy angels? There is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known (Matthew 10:26).

Do we hate unkind suspicions, whisperings, backbitings, all unlove?

Do we hate all weakening things, or are we sliding along in an easy kind of tolerance that is far removed from the “hate” of such verses as this?

Do we hate laziness and slackness and all kinds of selfishness?

See that you love all that God loves, but see also that you hate all that He hates. They are two sides of the same coin.

11 Light-seeds are planted in the souls of God’s people,
Joy-seeds are planted in good heart-soil.

12 So, God’s people, shout praise to God,
Give thanks to our Holy God!

“He began with bidding the world be glad. He now bids each of us concentrate that universal gladness in our own hearts.”

–Alexander Maclaren

Quick! What can you thank God for today? 

Make it a long, long, all-day-long list!

_________________________

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

Images courtesy of:
Psalm 97:9.  http://wallpaper4god.com/wallpapers/psalm-979_5526_1280x960.jpg
bright clouds, storm clouds.   https://www.pixcove.com/florida-vacation-travel-light-bright-storm-clouds-sky-blue-clouds-sunset-vapors-storm/
lightning.   http://www.smsbase.co.za/2011/11/storms-will-come.html
modern day idols.  http://images.christianpost.com/full/48009/modern-day-idols.jpg
hate evil.   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/psalm97_10.jpg
Dear God . . .    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/dear-god-from-the-bottom-of-my-heart-i-want-to-thank-you.jpg

2520.) Psalm 75

December 28, 2018

Yes, God will judge each one of us, according to righteousness and his grace.

Psalm 75 (ESV)

God Will Judge with Equity

To the choirmaster: according to Do Not Destroy. A Psalm of Asaph. A Song.

1We give thanks to you, O God;
we give thanks, for your name is near.
We recount your wondrous deeds.

 “We should praise God again and again. Stinted gratitude is ingratitude. For infinite goodness there should be measureless thanks.”

–Charles Haddon Spurgeon

2“At the set time that I appoint
I will judge with equity.

The rightness, the timing, and the power of God’s judgments are all worth of our deep consideration.

3When the earth totters, and all its inhabitants,
it is I who keep steady its pillars.
Selah

1 Samuel 2:8 (ESV)

He raises up the poor from the dust;
   he lifts the needy from the ash heap
to make them sit with princes
   and inherit a seat of honor.
For the pillars of the earth are the LORD’s,
   and on them he has set the world.

4I say to the boastful, ‘Do not boast,’
and to the wicked, ‘Do not lift up your horn;
5do not lift up your horn on high,
or speak with haughty neck.'”

“Lifting one’s horn against heaven is the equivalent of shaking one’s fist in God’s face.”

–James Montgomery Boice

6For not from the east or from the west
and not from the wilderness comes lifting up,
7but it is God who executes judgment,
putting down one and lifting up another.

Years ago when I was an Army wife, I was introduced to this verse by a sergeant-major’s wife during a Bible Study. The promotion list was soon to come out, and many of the women in our study were eagerly / anxiously / hopefully waiting to see if their husband’s name would be on it. Promotion depended on so many factors, but a large one was the evaluation of the service member’s immediate commander. This means, of course, that if one’s husband didn’t get promoted, one could blame it on his boss. (As we progress up the military ladder, however, the coin shows another side — that if a person under your husband doesn’t get promoted, the wife could blame your husband.)

So that particular morning, as women were sharing horror stories of what their husbands had to put up with under terrible bosses — this woman opened her Bible to this verse. It is not from the Army that promotions come, she said to us.  It is God who chooses who will get promoted and when. Then she added, since we know that God is a loving father, we can trust him to do the right thing for us on the promotion list.

“Promotions in any direction, to positions of credit, influence, or consideration, are the gift and the work of God.”

–F. B. Meyer

My husband was eligible for promotion that year — but his name was not on the list. He was very discouraged amid the public “humiliation” that comes with being passed over. But the next year he was promoted to lieutenant colonel, and right then his #1 choice of a battalion command came open. Had he been promoted a year earlier, he would not have been free at the right time. So we spent two wonderful years at his dream job — leading the 313th Military Intelligence Battalion, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, North Carolina.  Wonderful years!

Yes, the Lord knew what he was doing. “We give thanks to you, O God;  we recount your wondrous deeds.”

8 For in the hand of the LORD there is a cup
with foaming wine, well mixed,
and he pours out from it,
and all the wicked of the earth
shall drain it down to the dregs.

“The metaphor of Psalm 75:8, in which judgment is represented as a cup of foaming wine, which God puts to the lips of the nations, receives great expansion in the prophets, especially in Jeremiah, and recurs in the Apocalypse. There is a grim contrast between the images of festivity and hospitality called up by the picture of a host presenting the wine cup to his guests, and the stern compulsion which makes the ‘wicked’ gulp down the nauseous draught held by God to their reluctant lips.”

–Alexander Maclaren

9But I will declare it forever;
I will sing praises to the God of Jacob.
10 All the horns of the wicked I will cut off,
but the horns of the righteous shall be lifted up.

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Music:

You could think horns of bulls, I guess. But I prefer righteous French horns! Steve Park, a horn teacher at Utah State University, plays his French horn beautifully for this, Noctorno Op. 7, by Franz Strauss,  HERE.  If you are a lover of French horn, as I am, you can find many more pieces recorded by him on youtube.

“We give thanks to you, O God, we give thanks” — the first words of this psalm. As you listen, give thanks to God!

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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:
Only God can judge me.    http://www.mytinyphone.com/uploads/users/sexyflakita/280420.gif
Living and dead.   https://images.knowing-jesus.com/i/1-peter-4-5-they-will-give-an-account-to-him-who-judges-orange-8161
82nd Airborne Division patch.   http://www.clevelandseniors.com/images/events/airborne-2007/82nd-airborne-shoulder-sleeve.jpg
God, our righteous judge.   https://www.slideserve.com/bishop/god-our-righteous-judge