2095.) Psalm 85

May 12, 2017

“Psalm 85” by John August Swanson. Click on the picture to see it larger. And as you read, refer back to this to see how many details and verses the artist has included!

Psalm 85 (NIV)

For the director of music. Of the Sons of Korah. A psalm.

1 You, LORD, showed favor to your land;
you restored the fortunes of Jacob.
2 You forgave the iniquity of your people
and covered all their sins.
3 You set aside all your wrath
and turned from your fierce anger.
Thank you, God, for forgiving me and covering all my sin. As John 3:16 says, you loved the world and you gave your Son for our salvation. Such grace and kindness!
4 Restore us again, God our Savior,
and put away your displeasure toward us.
5 Will you be angry with us forever?
Will you prolong your anger through all generations?
6 Will you not revive us again,
that your people may rejoice in you?
.
W. P Mackay, a Scottish Presbyterian minister of the 19th century, wrote a hymn based on this verse.
  1. We praise Thee, O God!
    For the Son of Thy love,
    For Jesus Who died,
    And is now gone above.

    • Refrain:
      Hallelujah! Thine the glory.
      Hallelujah! Amen.
      Hallelujah! Thine the glory.
      Revive us again.
  2. We praise Thee, O God!
    For Thy Spirit of light,
    Who hath shown us our Savior,
    And scattered our night.
  3. All glory and praise
    To the Lamb that was slain,
    Who hath borne all our sins,
    And hath cleansed every stain.
  4. All glory and praise
    To the God of all grace,
    Who hast brought us, and sought us,
    And guided our ways.
  5. Revive us again;
    Fill each heart with Thy love;
    May each soul be rekindled
    With fire from above.
7 Show us your unfailing love, LORD,
and grant us your salvation.
.

8 I will listen to what God the LORD says;
he promises peace to his people, his faithful servants—
but let them not turn to folly.

Thank you, Lord, for giving me peace that does not depend on circumstances but on your eternally true promises. Let me not listen to other voices that would lead me to confusion and distress.

9 Surely his salvation is near those who fear him,
that his glory may dwell in our land.

10 Love and faithfulness meet together;
righteousness and peace kiss each other.

“Now, Where did these meet? In Christ Jesus. When were they reconciled? When he poured out his life on Calvary.”

–Adam Clarke, 1763-1832. He is chiefly remembered for writing a commentary on the Bible which took him 40 years to complete and which was a primary Methodist theological resource for two centuries.

11 Faithfulness springs forth from the earth,
and righteousness looks down from heaven.

Thank you, Jesus, for showing us in real life what love and faithfulness and righteousness truly are. May these characteristics shine out from me as I reflect your glory!

12 The LORD will indeed give what is good,
and our land will yield its harvest.
.

13 Righteousness goes before him
and prepares the way for his steps.

John 1:14 (NASB)

And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Thank you, Lord, that you walked on earth to save us from our sins and to reconcile us to God and one another. Help us to delight in your will and walk in your ways!

_________________________

Music:

HERE Is “Dona Nobis Pachem” played and sung by one woman, Julie Gaulke.

_________________________

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

Images courtesy of:
Swanson.    http://www.johnaugustswanson.com/www.johnaugustswanson.com/ImagesUpload/Ps85-700.jpg
Revive us again.    https://i.ytimg.com/vi/ahp6ga2cJh4/maxresdefault.jpg
Imagine God’s salvation.   http://magnifythelord.files.wordpress.com/2010/10/psalm85_6-7.jpg
Truth and righteousness.   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2017/05/0251a-dscf0651.jpg
harvest basket.   http://brazosvalleyfarmersmarket.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Fall-Harvest.jpg

2077.) Psalm 65

April 18, 2017

calligraphy by Kathleen Borkowski.

Psalm 65 (The Message)

A David Psalm

God is in his temple and God is in his creation.

1-2 Silence is praise to you, Zion-dwelling God,
And also obedience.
You hear the prayer in it all.

2-8 We all arrive at your doorstep sooner
or later, loaded with guilt,
Our sins too much for us—
but you get rid of them once and for all.

“Risen As He Said” by Florida artist Rick Short

What I know about sinners I know chiefly about me. We did not mean to do the deed, of course. What we have done wrong—they seemed, or mostly seemed, small things at the time. The word of encouragement withheld, the touch of kindness not given, the visit not made, the trust betrayed, the cutting remark so clever and so cruel, the illicit sexual desire so generously entertained, the angry answer, the surge of resentment at being slighted, the time we thought a lie would do no harm. It is such a long and tedious list of little things. Surely not too much should be made of it, we thought to ourselves. But now it has come to this. It has come to the cross. All the trespasses of all the people of all time have gravitated here, to the killing grounds of Calvary.

–Richard John Neuhaus

1 John 1:8-9 (ESV)

If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Blessed are the chosen! Blessed the guest
at home in your place!
We expect our fill of good things
in your house, your heavenly manse.
All your salvation wonders
are on display in your trophy room.
Earth-Tamer, Ocean-Pourer,
Mountain-Maker, Hill-Dresser,
Muzzler of sea storm and wave crash,
of mobs in noisy riot—
Far and wide they’ll come to a stop,
they’ll stare in awe, in wonder.
Dawn and dusk take turns
calling, “Come and worship.”

9-13 Oh, visit the earth,
ask her to join the dance!
Deck her out in spring showers,
fill the God-River with living water.
Paint the wheat fields golden.

“Wheat Field with Cypresses” by Vincent Van Gogh, 1889.

Creation was made for this!
Drench the plowed fields,
soak the dirt clods
With rainfall as harrow and rake
bring her to blossom and fruit.
Snow-crown the peaks with splendor,

Downtown Los Angeles with snow capped mountains. Photograph by Jeff Lowe.

scatter rose petals down your paths,
All through the wild meadows, rose petals.
Set the hills to dancing,
Dress the canyon walls with live sheep,
a drape of flax across the valleys.
Let them shout, and shout, and shout!
Oh, oh, let them sing!

_________________________

Music:

HERE  is a full-of-praise Easter worthy hymn! “The Strife is O’er, the Battle Won.”

There is, in this text, a sense of finality. This, in a very real sense, is it. “It is finished.” Albert Bailey writes, “The words present the theological statement that the Crucifixion was a contest between Christ and the devil’s legions, in which Christ won. This is proved by the fact that Christ did not stay dead” (The Gospel in Hymns, 278). Christ rose and brought new life, and in so doing, through his declaration, “It is finished,” was also saying, “It has all just begun!” The finality of this text is the finality of newness. It is the realization that we are continually being made new, that Creation is continually being restored, and that every day we are called to life anew with Christ. Alleluia. What a song of victory that is!

–hymnary.org

_________________________

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

Images courtesy of:
Borkowski.     http://www.kathleenborkowski.com/images/about_me/psalm65-8.jpg
Short, with thanks for his permission.     http://www.redbubble.com/people/scenicearth.
Van Gogh.    http://www.yamashitariki.com/i/S02E07.Vincent.Van.Gogh.1889.Wheat.Field.with.Cypresses.jpg
Lowe.    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3457/3312907661_d24d937a70.jpg

2075.) Psalm 22

April 14, 2017

“The Christ of Saint John of the Cross” by Salvador Dali, 1951 (Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow, Scotland)

Psalm 22 (ESV)

Why Have You Forsaken Me?

1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

Mark 15:34 (NIV)

And at three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?”—which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning?
2O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer,
and by night, but I find no rest.

3Yet you are holy,
enthroned on the praises of Israel.
4In you our fathers trusted;
they trusted, and you delivered them.
5To you they cried and were rescued;
in you they trusted and were not put to shame.

6But I am a worm and not a man,
scorned by mankind and despised by the people.
7All who see me mock me;
they make mouths at me; they wag their heads;
8 “He trusts in the LORD; let him deliver him;
let him rescue him, for he delights in him!”

Mark 15:29-32  (NLT)

The people passing by shouted abuse, shaking their heads in mockery. “Ha! Look at you now!” they yelled at him. “You said you were going to destroy the Temple and rebuild it in three days. Well then, save yourself and come down from the cross!”

The leading priests and teachers of religious law also mocked Jesus. “He saved others,” they scoffed, “but he can’t save himself! Let this Messiah, this King of Israel, come down from the cross so we can see it and believe him!” Even the men who were crucified with Jesus ridiculed him.

9Yet you are he who took me from the womb;
you made me trust you at my mother’s breasts.
10
On you was I cast from my birth,
and from my mother’s womb you have been my God.

Psalm 22 is a Messianic psalm, one of those in which we hear the voice of the Son in the agony of his crucifixion pleading for the presence and rescue of the Father. “It was you,” he prays, “who brought me safely through birth”—in a manger at the end of a dreary journey. “And when I was a baby, you kept me safe”—from the soldiers of Herod and on the long journey to Egypt. Love followed him—the love of God and his human father, Joseph; the love of God and his human mother, Mary. There was the fullness of the love of God, beyond our ability to fully comprehend, and the beauty of the most admirable of human love from Mary and the no-doubt-amazed Joseph, trying to understand what his marriage to Mary had brought into his life.

“I have relied on you since the day I was born, and you have always been my God,” the psalmist says. That reliance and constancy give to life the experience of love that can make of it a great experience, whether we refer to the love and care of a devoted mother such as Mary was, or to the “steadfast love of the Lord.” His constancy surpasses even hers. In that love, we experience the support and nourishment that leads us to victory in an unsteady and often frightening world.

–unknown

11Be not far from me,
for trouble is near,
and there is none to help.

12Many bulls encompass me;
strong bulls of Bashan surround me;
13they open wide their mouths at me,
like a ravening and roaring lion.

14I am poured out like water,
and all my bones are out of joint;
my heart is like wax;
it is melted within my breast;
15my strength is dried up like a potsherd,
and my tongue sticks to my jaws;

John 19:28 (NLT)

Jesus knew that his mission was now finished, and to fulfill Scripture he said, “I am thirsty.”

you lay me in the dust of death.

16For dogs encompass me;
a company of evildoers encircles me;
they have pierced my hands and feet—

John 20:25 (NASB)

So the other disciples were saying to him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.”

17I can count all my bones—they stare and gloat over me;
18
they divide my garments among them,
and for my clothing they cast lots.

Matthew 27:35 (NIRV)

When they had nailed him to the cross, they divided up his clothes by casting lots.

19But you, O LORD, do not be far off!
O you my help, come quickly to my aid!
20Deliver my soul from the sword,
my precious life from the power of the dog!

21Save me from the mouth of the lion!
You have rescued me from the horns of the wild oxen!

22 I will tell of your name to my brothers;
in the midst of the congregation I will praise you:

Colossians 3:16 (J.B. Phillips New Testament)

Let Christ’s teaching live in your hearts, making you rich in the true wisdom. Teach and help one another along the right road with your psalms and hymns and Christian songs, singing God’s praises with joyful hearts. And whatever you may have to do, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, thanking God the Father through him.

23You who fear the LORD, praise him!
All you offspring of Jacob, glorify him,
and stand in awe of him, all you offspring of Israel!
24For he has not despised or abhorred
the affliction of the afflicted,
and he has not hidden his face from him,
but has heard, when he cried to him.

_________________________

Music:

From Handel’s Messiah —  HERE  is “Behold the Lamb of God,”  performed by The London Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus.

_________________________

25From you comes my praise in the great congregation;
my vows I will perform before those who fear him.
26 The afflicted shall eat and be satisfied;
those who seek him shall praise the LORD!
May your hearts live forever!

27All the ends of the earth shall remember
and turn to the LORD,
and all the families of the nations
shall worship before you.
28For kingship belongs to the LORD,
and he rules over the nations.

29All the prosperous of the earth eat and worship;
before him shall bow all who go down to the dust,
even the one who could not keep himself alive.
30Posterity shall serve him;
it shall be told of the Lord to the coming generation;
31they shall come and proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn,
that he has done it.

John 19:30 (CEV)

After Jesus drank the wine, he said, “Everything is done!” He bowed his head and died.

_________________________

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

Images courtesy of:
Dali.    http://2churchmice.files.wordpress.com/2009/06/christ_of_saint_john_of_the_cross.jpg
clock.    http://etc.usf.edu/clipart/17500/17508/300_17508_md.gif
Mary holding Jesus.   https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/c1/c6/18/c1c618b25fb2727ff1623b811a63d496.jpg
Jesus on the cross:  I thirst.  http://www.catholiceducation.org/en/images/religious%20general/Ithirst.jpg
nail-scarred hands.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2010/02/nailscarredhands.jpg
casting lots for Jesus’ clothing.    http://www.thevictor.org/story/97221901.jpg
“It is finished.”     https://elizabethfbabatunde.files.wordpress.com/2010/07/it_is_finished.jpg

2070.) Psalm 25

April 7, 2017

Psalm 25 (NIV)

Of David.

“David is pictured in this Psalm as in a faithful miniature. His holy trust, his many conflicts, his great transgressions, his bitter repentance, and his deep distresses are all here; so that we see the very heart of ‘the man after God’s own heart.’”

–Charles Haddon Spurgeon

1 To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul;

Our Father, who art in heaven . . . 

2 in you I trust, O my God.
Do not let me be put to shame,
nor let my enemies triumph over me.

This is an expressive figure of speech speaking of the surrender, submission, and waiting upon David directed toward Yahweh (the Lord), the covenant God of Israel. It was as if David held his soul in outstretched hands up to heaven saying, “Here I am Lord, completely surrendered unto you.”

–David Guzik

Lead us not into temptation . . . 

3 No one whose hope is in you
will ever be put to shame,
but they will be put to shame
who are treacherous without excuse.

4 Show me your ways, O LORD,
teach me your paths;

Thy will be done . . . 

5 guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my Savior,
and my hope is in you all day long.

a poem by Emily Dickinson

“Hope” is the thing with feathers—
That perches in the soul—
And sings the tune without the words—
And never stops—at all—

And sweetest—in the Gale—is heard—
And sore must be the storm—
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm—

I’ve heard it in the chillest land—
And on the strangest Sea—
Yet, never, in Extremity,
It asked a crumb—of Me.

6 Remember, O LORD, your great mercy and love,
for they are from of old.

7 Remember not the sins of my youth
and my rebellious ways;
according to your love remember me,
for you are good, O LORD.

8 Good and upright is the LORD;
therefore he instructs sinners in his ways.

9 He guides the humble in what is right
and teaches them his way.

This prayer is a pattern for all Christian praying. Jesus is teaching that prayer will be acceptable when, and only when, the attitudes, thoughts, and desires expressed fit the pattern — that is to say: every prayer of ours should be a praying of the Lord’s Prayer in some shape or form. We never get beyond this prayer; not only is it the Lord’s first lesson in praying, it is all the other lessons too.

–J. I. Packer (renowned theologian, author of Knowing God, General Editor of the English Standard Version)

10 All the ways of the LORD are loving and faithful
for those who keep the demands of his covenant.

11 For the sake of your name, O LORD,

Hallowed be thy name . . .

forgive my iniquity, though it is great.

Forgive us our sins . . . 

12 Who, then, is the man that fears the LORD ?
He will instruct him in the way chosen for him.

13 He will spend his days in prosperity,
and his descendants will inherit the land.

14 The LORD confides in those who fear him;
he makes his covenant known to them.

Proverbs 3:32 (NIV)

The LORD takes the upright into his confidence.

15 My eyes are ever on the LORD,
for only he will release my feet from the snare.

16 Turn to me and be gracious to me,
for I am lonely and afflicted.

17 The troubles of my heart have multiplied;
free me from my anguish.

18 Look upon my affliction and my distress
and take away all my sins.

1 Timothy 1:15 (NLT)

This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.”

19 See how my enemies have increased
and how fiercely they hate me!

20 Guard my life and rescue me;
let me not be put to shame,
for I take refuge in you.

Deliver us from evil . . .

21 May integrity and uprightness protect me,
because my hope is in you.

_________________________

Music:

HERE  is a joyful song! “My Life Is in You, Lord” — my strength is in you, Lord, my hope is in You, Lord!  Hillsong.

_________________________

22 Redeem Israel, O God,
from all their troubles!

One of the worst aspects of difficulty and trial in the life of the believer is that it can lead one to become terribly self-focused and concerned only with their own problems. David, in his humility and reverence to God, was guided in a better way.

–David Guzik

_________________________

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

Images courtesy of:
25:5 with sunrise.   http://www.doorpostverses.com/1525_sunrise_w_tree_Psalm_25.gif
hope.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2011/08/6a00d835343a2869e2010535faa079970b-800wi.jpg
Lord’s Prayer.    http://www.drpaulose.com/wp-content/uploads/Lords-prayer.jpg
cross.    http://worshiphousemedia.s3.amazonaws.com/images/main/s/mo/vsn/mo/rollingthundercross-purple.jpg

2059.) Psalm 99

March 23, 2017

Psalm 99   (NRSV)

Praise to God for His Holiness

1The Lord is king; let the peoples tremble! He sits enthroned upon the cherubim; let the earth quake!

2The Lord is great in Zion; he is exalted over all the peoples.

3Let them praise your great and awesome name. Holy is he!

Psalm 138:2 (ESV)

I bow down toward your holy temple
   and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness,
   for you have exalted above all things
   your name and your word.

4Mighty King, lover of justice, you have established equity; you have executed justice and righteousness in Jacob.

5Extol the Lord our God; worship at his footstool. Holy is he!

The fundamental idea behind the Hebrew word qadosh which occurs three times in this psalm (verses 3,5,9) is apart or separate. A place where the Lord once appeared may be called “holy ground” (Exodus 3:5). Or a place where God is especially present may be described as a “holy temple” (Psalm 11:4; Habakkuk 2:20). In modern Israel to this day, a place of special significance is called a maqom qadosh or “holy place.”

Thus to say that God is holy is to stress the otherness or separateness of God. Isaiah saw the Lord and heard the angels singing “holy, holy, holy” (Isaiah 6:3). The twentieth-century theologian Karl Barth liked to speak of God as “wholly other.”

Yet, according to the Bible, the Lord has not cut off contact with humans but is active among them. Hosea put it this way, “I am God and no mortal, the Holy One in your midst” (Hosea 11:9). The fourth Gospel speaks the same way, “And the Word became flesh and lived among us” (John 1:14).

–James Limburg (Professor Emeritus of Old Testament, Luther Seminary, St. Paul, Minnesota)

6Moses and Aaron were among his priests, Samuel also was among those who called on his name. They cried to the Lord, and he answered them.

7He spoke to them in the pillar of cloud; they kept his decrees, and the statutes that he gave them.

8O Lord our God, you answered them; you were a forgiving God to them, but an avenger of their wrongdoings.

9Extol the Lord our God, and worship at his holy mountain; for the Lord our God is holy.

“This psalm rather remarkably draws together the key elements of Israel’s faith tradition. God’s enthronement makes holy presence accessible and makes righteous will more urgent.  Neither emphasis can be minimized without distorting who this ruling one is.”

–Walter Brueggemann

_________________________

Music:

HERE  is “Holy, Holy” by Tim Hughes.

_________________________

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 99:9.   https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/85/34/0c/85340cec6adbc923076fae7957308e6f.jpg
O praise His Name.   https://i.ytimg.com/vi/LqBpifDpNKc/maxresdefault.jpg
Holy holy holy.   http://media.salemwebnetwork.com/ecards/church-family/holy-is-the-lord-1-550×320.jpg

2058.) Psalm 19

March 22, 2017

19. outer space

Psalm 19   (NRSV)

God’s Glory in Creation

Welcome, Springtime!

“The creation is quite like a spacious and splendid house, provided and filled with the most exquisite and the most abundant furnishings.  Everything in it tells us of God.”

— John Calvin (1509-1564)

1The heavens are telling the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.

Genesis 1:1 (KJV)

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

_________________________

19. earth_rotation

“How clearly the sky reveals God’s glory!
How plainly it shows what he has done!”
— Psalm 19:1, Today’s English Version

“At this latitude, I’m spinning 836 miles an hour round the earth’s axis; . . . In orbit around the sun I’m moving 64,800 miles an hour.  The solar system as a whole, like a merry-go-round unhinged, spins, bobs, and blinks at the speed of 43,000 miles an hour along a course set east of Hercules.  Someone has piped, and we are dancing a tarantella until the sweat pours . . . I close my eyes and I see stars, deep stars giving way to deeper stars, deeper stars bowing to deepest stars at the crown of an infinite cone.”

–Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

2Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night declares knowledge.

3There is no speech, nor are there words; their voice is not heard;

4yet their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In the heavens he has set a tent for the sun,

5which comes out like a bridegroom from his wedding canopy, and like a strong man runs its course with joy.

6Its rising is from the end of the heavens, and its circuit to the end of them; and nothing is hid from its heat.

19. SunMoonStars

a poem by Joseph Addison, published in 1712

The spacious firmament on high,
with all the blue ethereal sky,
and spangled heavens, a shining frame,
their great Original proclaim.
The unwearied sun from day to day
does his Creator’s power display;
and publishes to every land
the work of an almighty hand.
=============================
Soon as the evening shades prevail,
the moon takes up the wondrous tale,
and nightly to the listening earth
repeats the story of her birth:
whilst all the stars that round her burn,
and all the planets in their turn,
confirm the tidings, as they roll
and spread the truth from pole to pole.
=============================
What though in solemn silence all
move round the dark terrestrial ball?
What though no real voice nor sound
amid their radiant orbs be found?
In reason’s ear they all rejoice,
and utter forth a glorious voice;
for ever singing as they shine,
“The Hand that made us is divine.”

God’s Glory in the Law

7The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the decrees of the Lord are sure, making wise the simple;

8the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is clear, enlightening the eyes;

9the fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever; the ordinances of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.

10More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey, and drippings of the honeycomb.

Psalm 119:103 (NIV)

How sweet are your words to my taste,
sweeter than honey to my mouth!

11Moreover by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.

12But who can detect their errors? Clear me from hidden faults.

13Keep back your servant also from the insolent; do not let them have dominion over me. Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression.

from This Day with the Master,
by Dennis F. Kinlaw

Let the meditation of my heart be acceptable.

Some of us need to realize that we possess hurtful patterns of behavior that are deeply seared upon our souls and our psyches. Have you ever been guilty of using a person for your own ends without even knowing it? Have you ever taken advantage of people without realizing you were hurting them? Have you watched while people in powerful positions crushed those underneath them? Have you seen parents manipulate children and vice versa? Many times we act in our own self-interest without being aware that we are doing so.

The psalmist wrote about this long before any psychology class was taught or any theory of counselling was developed. If you begin to let God’s Spirit have his way in your life, you will find that he reveals to you your patterns of behavior and coping mechanisms that are sinful and harmful to other persons. We can pray along with the psalmist, “Lord, there are hidden sins in me that I don’t even know about. What do I do about them?” The psalmist prayed that God would hold him innocent until he became aware of his presumptuous sins and could fix them. He asked God to keep him from these sins committed in ignorance. Then he could sincerely pray the last verse of the psalm:

14Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

_________________________

Music:

HERE  is “Psalm 19” by Benedetto Marcello (1686-1739).  Played on the great organ at St. Bavo Cathedral in Holland by organist Diane Bish.

_________________________

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:
outer space.  https://fewox.files.wordpress.com/2015/04/wpid-psalms-19vs1_10241.jpg
earth’s rotation.   http://www.physicalgeography.net/fundamentals/images/earth_rotation.jpg
sun, moon, stars.   http://i203.photobucket.com/albums/aa180/Golden3000_photo/Eons%20Uploads/SunMoonStars.jpg
honeycomb.  http://www.englishhoneyonline.co.uk/images/uploads/LittleoverApiaries_honeycomb.JPG
Let the words of my mouth.   https://sd.keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk/i/let-the-words-of-my-mouth-and-the-meditation-of-my-heart-be-acceptable-in-your-sight-o-lord-psalm-19-14.png

2057.) Psalm 103

March 21, 2017

Psalm 103  (NIV)

Of David.

There is hardly any place in Scripture that conveys such passion and exuberance for God as Psalm 103!

Psalm 103 is exceedingly regular in its structure and composition; beautiful in its language and conceptions; adapted to all times and ages; suited to express the feelings of gratitude to God for deliverance from trouble, and for the manifestation of his mercy; suited to elevate the soul, and to fill it with cheerful views.

–Albert Barnes

Praise the Lord, my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, my soul,
and forget not all his benefits—
who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

The Lord works righteousness
and justice for all the oppressed.
He made known his ways to Moses,
his deeds to the people of Israel:

The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever;
10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

God says that He has separated my sins from me as far as the east is from the west.  God gives us a beautiful illustration of his long lasting forgiveness in this verse.  One day I was sitting at my desk contemplating these verses.  I wondered why God said that He had separated our sins from us as far as the east is from the west.  I know that He was careful to choose words that paint a clear picture for us, so I wondered why He chose that direction instead of saying that our separation from sin is as far as the north is from the south.

As I thought about that I realized that I could begin traveling from my office and drive south to the South Pole, then begin driving north till I reached the North Pole, then travel south again to my starting point.  However, I could also travel around the world millions of time going east, reaching my starting point over and over without ever driving in any direction but east.  It hit me like a lightening bolt.  Though there is a South Pole and a North Pole, there is no East Pole and no West Pole. 

There is no place at which east meets west.  And suddenly that verse took on a whole new meaning for me.  If God had chosen the words “north from south” then that would mean that there would be some eventual point at which I would meet up with my sins again.  But by carefully choosing the words “east from west” God was showing me that there will never be a point in the future where I will meet my sins again.

I won’t face my sins again; not in this life and not in the life to come.  After fully realizing that fact through an understanding of this verse, everything began to make sense.  God’s forgiveness is truly forever.  And He cared enough about my sense of security that He painted a picture in His creation that will forever assure me of that fact.

–Tim and Debbie Childers

13 As a father has compassion on his children,
so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;
14 for he knows how we are formed,
he remembers that we are dust.

from Whispers of His Power,
by Amy Carmichael

Psalm 103:14 — He knoweth our frame; He remembereth that we are dust.

Job 23:10 — He knoweth the way that I take: when He hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.

Perhaps those words, He knoweth, are meant for you today because God has allowed you some special trial of faith.  The love of God is very brave.  He does not hold trial off lest we should be overwhelmed.  He lets it come and then gloriously strengthens us to meet it.  And at the end, I shall come forth as gold.

15 The life of mortals is like grass,
they flourish like a flower of the field;
16 the wind blows over it and it is gone,
and its place remembers it no more.


17 But from everlasting to everlasting
the Lord’s love is with those who fear him,
and his righteousness with their children’s children —
18 with those who keep his covenant
and remember to obey his precepts.
19 The Lord has established his throne in heaven,
and his kingdom rules over all.

20 Praise the Lord, you his angels,
you mighty ones who do his bidding,
who obey his word.
21 Praise the Lord, all his heavenly hosts,
you his servants who do his will.
22 Praise the Lord, all his works
everywhere in his dominion.

Praise the Lord, my soul.

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I do believe this is my most favorite hymn!  It is based on Psalm 103.

“Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation”

Text: Joachim Neander, 1680
Translated by Catherine Winkworth, 1863

Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation!
O my soul, praise Him, for He is thy health and salvation!
All ye who hear, now to His temple draw near;
Praise Him in glad adoration.

Praise to the Lord, who over all things so wondrously reigneth,
Shelters thee under His wings, yea, so gently sustaineth!
Hast thou not seen how thy desires ever have been
Granted in what He ordaineth?

Praise to the Lord, who doth prosper thy work and defend thee;
Surely His goodness and mercy here daily attend thee.
Ponder anew what the Almighty can do,
If with His love He befriend thee.

Praise to the Lord, O let all that is in me adore Him!
All that hath life and breath, come now with praises before Him.
Let the Amen sound from His people again,
Gladly for aye we adore Him.

_________________________

Music:

Matt Redman has another song based on Psalm 103 —  HERE  is “Ten Thousand Reasons.”

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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:
Bless the Lord oh my soul.    http://www.religionquotes.info/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/psalm-103.png
“He made known his ways”  by Tim Botts.   http://www.eyekons.com/img/Calvin/Tim-Botts_Psalm-103_APD.jpg
east – west.   http://www.hotel-r.net/im/hotel/ba/east-west-24.jpg
“He knoweth our frame”   http://adustyframe.files.wordpress.com/2007/04/frame2.jpg
dandelion seed.   https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/98/cf/99/98cf9940813240fdafab3997c456d110.jpg
“The Lord has established his throne”   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/psalm103-19.jpg
Praise the Lord.   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/praise_the_lord255b1255d.jpg