1714.) Psalm 136

November 26, 2015

P136 God is love

Psalm 136   (NIV)

For you on this Thanksgiving Day! God is good, today and every day, and we thank him with all our hearts!

What makes this psalm unique is that the second member of each of the twenty-six verses is the same antiphonal response, “for His mercy endures forever.” “If one everlasting is not enough,” wrote Thomas Goodwin, “there are twenty-six everlastings in this one psalm.”

It is known as the Great Hallel, the singing of which was a regular part of the observance of both Pesach and Rosh Hashanah—the Jewish Passover and New Year celebrations. It was also used in their daily worship.

The repetition of the theme is not tiresome; it says to us that the steadfast love of the Lord needs to be constantly before us and that the subject can never be exhausted. His kindness, loyalty and fidelity never fail.

–William MacDonald

This psalm is an antiphonal liturgy with the memorable refrain, “his steadfast love endures forever.” A priest or soloist would chant the first part of a verse, and the congregation would respond with the refrain. Performances of the liturgy would have been powerful and moving, as the priest added example to example of God’s praise. (The Reformation Bible)

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of gods.
His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the Lord of lords:
His love endures forever.

P136 Earth
God is good as Creator:

to him who alone does great wonders,
His love endures forever.
who by his understanding made the heavens,
His love endures forever.
who spread out the earth upon the waters,
His love endures forever.
who made the great lights—
His love endures forever.
the sun to govern the day,
His love endures forever.
the moon and stars to govern the night;
His love endures forever.

P136 crossing-red-sea
God is good as Redeemer:

10 to him who struck down the firstborn of Egypt
His love endures forever.
11 and brought Israel out from among them
His love endures forever.
12 with a mighty hand and outstretched arm;
His love endures forever.

13 to him who divided the Red Sea asunder
His love endures forever.
14 and brought Israel through the midst of it,
His love endures forever.
15 but swept Pharaoh and his army into the Red Sea;
His love endures forever.

P136 Pillar Fire Cloud
God is good as Guide:

16 to him who led his people through the wilderness;
His love endures forever.

P136 King-of-Kings
God is good as Champion:

17 to him who struck down great kings,
His love endures forever.
18 and killed mighty kings—
His love endures forever.
19 Sihon king of the Amorites
His love endures forever.
20 and Og king of Bashan—
His love endures forever.
21 and gave their land as an inheritance,
His love endures forever.
22 an inheritance to his servant Israel.
His love endures forever.

P136 helpGod is good as Helper:

23 He remembered us in our low estate
His love endures forever.
24 and freed us from our enemies.
His love endures forever.
25 He gives food to every creature.
His love endures forever.

26 Give thanks to the God of heaven.
His love endures forever.

A friend said to me:  “I believe it would be a great exercise for our family to write our own Hallel — naming specifically the Lord’s faithfulness to us. It might help us to remember instead of worrying anew with each new crisis.”

Thank you, Sue! Let’s start today as we are around the feasting table!



Join in  HERE  — “His Love Endures Forever.”


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:
God is love.    http://cordof3strands.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/GodIsLove-1207912618.jpg
Earth hanging in space.    http://stuffpoint.com/space/image/277328-space-earth-from-space.jpg
crossing the Red Sea.    http://mudpreacher.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/moses-crossing-red-sea.jpg
pillar of fire and cloud.    http://dailyprayer.us/photos/Pillar_fire_cloud_david_ascalon.jpg
King of kings.    http://www.christianbanners.com/product_images/uploaded_images/King-of-Kings-Point-Burgund_md.jpg
God is my help.    http://www.mssscrafts.com/memoryverses/2001_4/psalm54_4.gif

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

1634.) Psalm 46

August 6, 2015

Psalm 46 (ESV)

God Is Our Fortress

1God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
2Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
3though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling.

from This Day with the Master
by Dennis F. Kinlaw

One of the characteristics of human personhood is that we never find our fulfillment in ourselves.  We must look beyond ourselves if we would ever really know fulfillment.  As human beings we need purpose and meaning in our lives.  We need something of which we can boast, something that gives us some confidence, self-esteem, and inner joy.  But the effect of sin on us is such that we naturally look in the wrong places to find this fulfillment.  We look for something when we should be looking for Someone.  Our true fulfillment, the only ultimate fulfillment, is in God himself.

As we look for fulfillment, we also seek security.  We seek it in creatures, institutions, possessions.  Again, our sin blinds us and deceives us.  All things other than Christ are only temporary refuges.  David learned this and said, “God is our refuge.” He is the haven to whom we should all flee.  Peter was sensing this when he said to Jesus, “Lord, to whom shall we go?  You have the words of eternal life” (John 6:68).

Are you looking for a refuge today?  A place not only of security but also of fulfillment?  Run to Jesus.  He is the One you seek.

4There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy habitation of the Most High.

Cairo has the Nile.  Paris has the Seine.  Washington has the Potomac.  My hometown of Independence, Iowa has the Wapsipinicon (pictured here).  But Jerusalem’s river is beyond compare.

Revelation 22:1-2 (NIV)

Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.

5 God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved;
God will help her when morning dawns.
6 The nations rage, the kingdoms totter;
he utters his voice, the earth melts.
7 The LORD of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.

2 Corinthians 1:21 (NIV)

It is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ.

8 Come, behold the works of the LORD,
how he has brought desolations on the earth.
9 He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
he breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the chariots with fire.

10 “Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!”


from My Utmost for His Highest,
by Oswald Chambers

“Be still, and know that I am God.” — Psalm xlvi.10

Tenacity is more than endurance, it is endurance combined with the absolute certainty that what we are looking for is going to transpire.  Tenacity is more than hanging on, which may be but the weakness of being too afraid to fall off.  Tenacity is the supreme effort of a man refusing to believe that his hero is going to be conquered.  The greatest fear a man has is not that he will be damned, but that Jesus Christ will be worsted, that the things He stood for—love and justice and forgiveness and kindness among men—will not win out in the end; the things He stands for will look like will-o’-the-wisps.  Then comes the call to spiritual tenacity, not to hang on and do nothing, but to work deliberately on the certainty that God is not going to be worsted.

If our hopes are being disappointed just now, it means that they are being purified.  There is nothing noble the human mind has ever hoped for or dreamed of that will not be fulfilled.  One of the greatest strains in life is the strain of waiting for God.  “Because thou hast kept the word of my patience.”

Remain spiritually tenacious.

11 The LORD of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.



Will God be worsted?  Absolutely not!  As Martin Luther wrote, “God’s truth abideth still; His kingdom is forever.”

One of the truly great hymns of the faith — “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God” — written in 1529 by Martin Luther — performed  HERE  by GLAD.


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

Images courtesy of:
Psalm 46:1-2 with waves.    http://media.photobucket.com/image/Psalm%2046/glorifing/Bible%2520Scripture/psalm46_1-2.jpg
Cry out to Jesus.     http://media.photobucket.com/image/jesus,%20refuge/pinkyfan17p/Various%20Myspace%20Stuff/cry_to_jesus.jpg
the Wapsipinicon River, Independence, Iowa.    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Wapsipinicon_River_Bridge.jpg
Stand firm.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2010/08/46-stand-firm-gif.gif?w=450
Psalm 46:10 with a candle.    https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/ee/9a/c0/ee9ac014c6314613ecf69ecd9dee91a9.jpg
rock climbing.     https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2010/08/46-rock-climbing2.jpg?w=450


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