1880.) Psalm 45

July 15, 2016

This psalm is a wedding hymn, honoring God, the king, and his princess bride.  We can also read it as a Messianic psalm, describing Jesus and his bride, the Church.

Psalm 45 (English Standard Version)

The excitement of a wedding day! Brides in beautiful gowns, an abundance of sweet-smelling flowers, nervous grooms and fathers waiting in the wings for the bride to make her entrance—and all are overflowing with a sense of expectancy that fills the air. The reason behind all of the extravagance, beyond the legal joining of two individuals together, is to celebrate a wonderful event and to capture it as something to remember for all time. This psalm is a celebration, both for the joy of the day and for the joy that is still to come.

–from ivpress.com

A fitting psalm after having read The Song of Solomon!

Your Throne, O God, Is Forever

1My heart overflows with a pleasing theme;
I address my verses to the king;
my tongue is like the pen of a ready scribe.

2You are the most handsome of the sons of men;
grace is poured upon your lips;
therefore God has blessed you forever.
3 Gird your sword on your thigh, O mighty one,
in your splendor and majesty!

4In your majesty ride out victoriously
for the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness;
let your right hand teach you awesome deeds!
5Your arrows are sharp
in the heart of the king’s enemies;
the peoples fall under you.

6 Your throne, O God, is forever and ever.
The scepter of your kingdom is a scepter of uprightness;

7 you have loved righteousness and hated wickedness.

from Tozer on the Holy Spirit,
edited by Marilynne E. Foster

“The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; pride and arrogancy and the evil way and the froward mouth, do I hate.
— Proverbs 8:13

Our attachment to the Person of Christ must exclude all that is contrary to Christ. These are the days when we are trying to be 100 percent positive. But the Scripture says of Jesus, “Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness” (Psalm 45:7) . . . If He had to hate in order to love, so do you and I.

To be 100 percent positive would be as fatal as to inhale steadily all your life without exhaling. You can’t do that.

When the Church inhales the Holy Spirit she must exhale everything that is contrary to Him.

I don’t believe any man can love until he’s able to hate. I don’t think he can love righteousness unless he hates sin; for the Scripture leaves us with the belief that in order to accept there are some things you must reject. In order to affirm there are things you have to deny; in order to say yes you have to be able to say no.

Therefore God, your God, has anointed you
with the oil of gladness beyond your companions;

8your robes are all fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia.
From ivory palaces stringed instruments make you glad;
9daughters of kings are among your ladies of honor;
at your right hand stands the queen in gold of Ophir.

Myrrh Resin

Myrrh Resin

.

The ad describes it as “a blend of warm sandalwood, spice with woods and liquid suede . . .”

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cassia

cassia

Myrrh is a fragrant gum of an Arabian tree, generally used in perfumes. Aloes, a spice, may have come from sandalwood, a close-grained and fragrant wood often used for storage boxes or chests. Cassia was probably made from the flowers of the cinnamon tree. These expensive fragrances were appropriate for a king’s wedding. The location of Ophir is unknown, but believed to be in either Arabia or Africa. It was famous as a source of gold.

–from the notes on Psalm 45:8,9 in the Life Application Bible

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Verses 8 and 9 describe a marriage service.  Traced for us here is a remarkable series of preparations. First, the groom has prepared himself. The writer says, All your robes are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia. These are burial spices. You remember that when the women went to the tomb on Easter Sunday morning, they carried with them a quantity of spices–myrrh and aloes–in order to wrap the body of the Lord and preserve it in its death. And yet here these same spices are present at the wedding. What does this mean? This marriage is made possible out of death; somehow out of death comes this fragrant incense that makes glorious the scene of the wedding. You can see how beautifully this fits with what the apostle Paul describes for us in Ephesians 5:25 when he says that Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it. He died for it. He went into the bonds of death for us. Why? In order that He might present to Himself a glorious church, a beautiful bride, without spot or blemish or any such thing.

Then, he has prepared a place. We read of where this wedding is to take place: From palaces adorned with ivory the music of the strings makes you glad. It is a picture of a beautiful place, and it reminds us immediately of Jesus’ words to His disciples before the cross. He said to them, I am going there to prepare a place for you (John 14:2). That place is being prepared now. It is a place of beauty and glory beyond any possible description. These terms used here are simply a way of suggesting to us what it is like: ivory palaces filled with music and gladness with a rejoicing company around.

And finally the bride herself is prepared: At your right hand is the royal bride in gold of Ophir. In Oriental custom, the bridegroom himself, who paid for the golden dress, always presented this golden dress to the queen. This is also a wonderful picture for us. Who is it that is preparing us for this day, for this sharing of life together? It is He who is preparing us. He has clothed us with His own righteous golden robe. Gold, in Scripture, is always the picture of deity, and this is a hint of what Peter speaks of: You may participate, he says, in the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4). Do you really grasp this? This is true! Jesus Christ is blending our lives with His and giving us all His position and all His privileges. All that belongs to Him belongs to us. One of the things that is most seriously wrong with the church today is that we are forgetting the privileges we have. We do not reckon on them, we do not think about how tremendous they are. Yet here stands the bride, ready to join Him, dressed in gold that He has provided.

–Ray Stedman

10Hear, O daughter, and consider, and incline your ear:
forget your people and your father’s house,

11and the king will desire your beauty.
Since he is your lord, bow to him.
12The people of Tyre will seek your favor with gifts,
the richest of the people.

13All glorious is the princess in her chamber, with robes interwoven with gold.
14 In many-colored robes she is led to the king,
with her virgin companions following behind her.
15With joy and gladness they are led along
as they enter the palace of the king.

Revelation 19:6-9 (ESV)

Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out,

“Hallelujah! For the Lord our God
the Almighty reigns.
Let us rejoice and exult
and give him the glory,
for the marriage of the Lamb has come,
and his Bride has made herself ready;
it was granted her to clothe herself
with fine linen, bright and pure”—

(for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints).

And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.”

16In place of your fathers shall be your sons;
you will make them princes in all the earth.
17 I will cause your name to be remembered in all generations;
therefore nations will praise you forever and ever.

.

Ps45 bride

Reflections:

  • We are Christ’s bride. What promises do you see for yourself in this passage?
  • What kind of a response does seeing the majesty of Christ cause in your own life?

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Music:

HERE  is a beautiful hymn for our beautiful Lord:  “Beautiful Savior,” arranged by F. Melius Christiansen. Conductor Emeritus Kenneth Jennings (1925-2015) leads over 900 choir alumni during the 100th Anniversary Celebration of the St. Olaf Choir in June of 2011.

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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:
crown.    http://www.torchleader.com/tl/crown.jpg
love – hate.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2016/07/a00c3-love-hate.jpg
myrrh.   http://www.bellybytes.com/herbs/images/myrhh-resin.jpg
sandalwood scent in Stetson after shave.    http://www.fragrancex.com/images/products/SKU/big/MSTBLKAS2.jpg
cassia.    http://toptropicals.com/pics/garden/c19/1076.jpg
marriage supper.     http://media.photobucket.com/image/wedding%20supper%20of%20the%20Lamb/romanticjewly/TheWeddingSupper.jpg
bride.   https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/564x/34/5f/ac/345fac6658765d80242e11125441ec2e.jpg

1871.) Psalm 33

July 4, 2016
According to the U.S. Department of Treasury, the motto “In God We Trust” first appeared on the 1864 two-cent coin.

According to the U.S. Department of Treasury, the motto “In God We Trust” first appeared on the 1864 two-cent coin.

Psalm 33   (ESV)

The Steadfast Love of the Lord

Shout for joy in the Lord, O you righteous!
    Praise befits the upright.
Give thanks to the Lord with the lyre;
    make melody to him with the harp of ten strings!
Sing to him a new song;
    play skillfully on the strings, with loud shouts.

Ps33 sing

“‘New song’ simply means that every praise song should emerge from a fresh awareness of God’s grace.”

–James Montgomery Boice

For the word of the Lord is upright,
    and all his work is done in faithfulness.
He loves righteousness and justice;
    the earth is full of the steadfast love of the Lord.

By the word of the Lord the heavens were made,
    and by the breath of his mouth all their host.

Ps33 breath

The power of the voice of the Lord!

He says to Jairus’ daughter, lying dead on her little bed, “Get up!” — and all the rules of the natural universe bend to obey him!

He says to the leper, “Be healed!” — and the leprosy disappears!

On the cross he said, “It is finished!” — and there is nothing more to be done in all the earth to accomplish salvation!

He says to you and to me, “Your sins are forgiven!” — and they are gone, washed away!

And Luther reminds us in his great hymn, “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God,” that Satan will be banished forever by the Word of the Lord — “One little word shall fell him!”

He gathers the waters of the sea as a heap;
    he puts the deeps in storehouses.

8 Let all the earth fear the Lord;
    let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him!

Ps33 filled with awe

For he spoke, and it came to be;
    he commanded, and it stood firm.

10 The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing;
    he frustrates the plans of the peoples.
11 The counsel of the Lord stands forever,
    the plans of his heart to all generations.
12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,
    the people whom he has chosen as his heritage!

Ps33 flag

On this July 4th, as we in the United States look ahead to a presidential election, we pray for the Lord to lead our nation in God’s good ways and to help us align ourselves with God’s eternal purposes.

13 The Lord looks down from heaven;
    he sees all the children of man;
14 from where he sits enthroned he looks out
    on all the inhabitants of the earth,
15 he who fashions the hearts of them all
    and observes all their deeds.
16 The king is not saved by his great army;
    a warrior is not delivered by his great strength.
17 The war horse is a false hope for salvation,
    and by its great might it cannot rescue.

18 Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him,
    on those who hope in his steadfast love,
19 that he may deliver their soul from death
    and keep them alive in famine.

20 Our soul waits for the Lord;
    he is our help and our shield.

Ps33 shield

There is nothing to fear. His love commands all our circumstances and delivers us from all distress.

21 For our heart is glad in him,
    because we trust in his holy name.
22 Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us,
    even as we hope in you.

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Music:

For July 4th and every day —  HERE  is Larnelle Harris and “Let Freedom Ring!”

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1869.) Psalm 132

June 30, 2016
Artwork: Baruch Nachshon, Israel

Artwork: Baruch Nachshon, Israel

Psalm 132   (ESV)

The Lord Has Chosen Zion

A Song of Ascents.

We do not know who wrote this psalm. One possible viewpoint:  It was composed by Solomon when he brought the ark of the covenant to its proper place in the newly-constructed temple in Jerusalem. The first ten verses, then, are Solomon’s prayer that the Lord will descend in the Shekinah (the glory cloud) and dwell above the ark . . .

Remember, O Lord, in David’s favor,
    all the hardships he endured,
how he swore to the Lord
    and vowed to the Mighty One of Jacob,
“I will not enter my house
    or get into my bed,
I will not give sleep to my eyes
    or slumber to my eyelids,
until I find a place for the Lord,
    a dwelling place for the Mighty One of Jacob.”

Behold, we heard of it in Ephrathah;

Ephrathah is an ancient name for Bethlehem. In time, it came to refer to the district around Bethlehem.

    we found it in the fields of Jaar.
“Let us go to his dwelling place;
    let us worship at his footstool!”

Ps132 ark

Arise, O Lord, and go to your resting place,
    you and the ark of your might.

This is the only mention of the ark of the covenant in the Psalter.

Let your priests be clothed with righteousness,
    and let your saints shout for joy.
10 For the sake of your servant David,
    do not turn away the face of your anointed one.

. . . Verses 11 and 12 reaffirm the covenant that God made with David . . .

11 The Lord swore to David a sure oath
    from which he will not turn back:
“One of the sons of your body
    I will set on your throne.
12 If your sons keep my covenant
    and my testimonies that I shall teach them,
their sons also forever
    shall sit on your throne.”

. . . And the last six verses contain specific promises from God corresponding to Solomon’s specific requests. 
–William MacDonald

13 For the Lord has chosen Zion;
    he has desired it for his dwelling place:

Ps132 v13

14 “This is my resting place forever;
    here I will dwell, for I have desired it.
15 I will abundantly bless her provisions;
    I will satisfy her poor with bread.
16 Her priests I will clothe with salvation,
    and her saints will shout for joy.
17 There I will make a horn to sprout for David;
    I have prepared a lamp for my anointed.
18 His enemies I will clothe with shame,
    but on him his crown will shine.”

"Resplendent" acrylic on canvas by Canadian artist Melani Pyke

“Resplendent” acrylic on canvas by Canadian artist Melani Pyke

The head that once was crowned with thorns
Is crowned with glory now!
Heaven’s royal diadem adorns
The mighty Victor’s brow!

–Thomas Kelly

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Music:

Recently David and I spent some time with a dear friend, Carole McCutcheon. One morning as we had our devotions together, David read Psalm 132 and Carole mentioned this song. Thank you, Carole!

HERE  is Steve Fry and his musical version of Psalm 132, “O the Glory of Your Presence.”


1868.) Psalm 72

June 29, 2016

Psalm 72   (New International Version)

Of Solomon.

The title of this Psalm is, A Psalm of Solomon. It is possible to translate the Hebrew here (and in almost all the Psalms which reference an author) as “A Psalm to Solomon,” and some have regarded it as David’s Psalm to and about his son Solomon and his Greater Son the Messiah. Yet, the most natural way to take the title is as it is given, A Psalm of Solomon and that the line about David in 72:20 refers to the collection of Book Two of the Psalms, which is heavy with David’s Psalms, separating it from Book Three, which begins with 11 Psalms authored by Asaph.

It is possible that Solomon complied this second book of the Psalms (Psalms 42-72) and composed this Psalm as a fitting conclusion for the collection of mostly David’s Psalms. It is a fitting conclusion, because it unexpectedly does not focus upon David himself, but on the Messiah – the King of Kings and the Son of David.

–David Guzik

“The New Testament nowhere quotes it as Messianic, but this picture of the king and his realm is so close to the prophecies of Isaiah 11:1-5 and Isaiah 60-62 that if those passages are Messianic, so is this.”

–Derek Kidner

The King and the King of Kings

1 Endow the king with your justice, O God,
the royal son with your righteousness.

Solomon began this Psalm asking God to bless him as the monarch of Israel, and to bless him with wise judgments and a reign displaying God’s righteousness. This was the same heart behind is great request to God in 1 Kings 3:5-9.

–David Guzik

This psalm belongs to Solomon in part, but to Christ more fully and clearly. Solomon was both the king and the king’s son, and his pious father desired that the wisdom of God might be in him, that his reign might be a remembrance of the kingdom of the Messiah. It is the prayer of a father for his child; a dying blessing. The best we can ask of God for our children is, that God would give them wisdom and grace to know and to do their duty.

–Matthew Henry

2 May he judge your people in righteousness,
your afflicted ones with justice.

Psalm 36:6 (NLT)

Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains,
      your justice like the ocean depths.

3 May the mountains bring prosperity to the people,
the hills the fruit of righteousness.
4 May he defend the afflicted among the people
and save the children of the needy;
may he crush the oppressor.
5 May he endure as long as the sun,
as long as the moon, through all generations.

6 May he be like rain falling on a mown field,
like showers watering the earth.
7 In his days may the righteous flourish
and prosperity abound till the moon is no more.

Ps72 sun earth

Mark 13:31 (NLT)

Heaven and earth will disappear, but my words will never disappear.

8 May he rule from sea to sea
and from the River to the ends of the earth.
9 May the desert tribes bow before him
and his enemies lick the dust.

“Tongues which rail at the Redeemer deserve to lick the dust.”

–Charles Haddon Spurgeon (British “Prince of Preachers,” 1834-1892)

10 May the kings of Tarshish and of distant shores
bring tribute to him.
May the kings of Sheba and Seba
present him gifts.
11 May all kings bow down to him
and all nations serve him.

12 For he will deliver the needy who cry out,
the afflicted who have no one to help.

13 He will take pity on the weak and the needy
and save the needy from death.
14 He will rescue them from oppression and violence,
for precious is their blood in his sight.

15 Long may he live!
May gold from Sheba be given him.

Matthew 2:10-11 (NL)

When they saw the star, they were filled with joy!  They entered the house and saw the child with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasure chests and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

May people ever pray for him
and bless him all day long.
16 May grain abound throughout the land;
on the tops of the hills may it sway.
May the crops flourish like Lebanon
and thrive like the grass of the field.
17 May his name endure forever;
may it continue as long as the sun.

Philippians 2:6-11 (NLT)

  Though he was God,
      he did not think of equality with God
      as something to cling to.
  Instead, he gave up his divine privileges;
      he took the humble position of a slave
      and was born as a human being.
   When he appeared in human form,
    he humbled himself in obedience to God
      and died a criminal’s death on a cross.

  Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor
      and gave him the name above all other names,
  that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
      in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
  and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
      to the glory of God the Father.

Then all nations will be blessed through him,
and they will call him blessed.
18 Praise be to the LORD God, the God of Israel,
who alone does marvelous deeds.
19 Praise be to his glorious name forever;
may the whole earth be filled with his glory.
Amen and Amen.

Jude 1:24-25 (NLT)

Now all glory to God, who is able to keep you from falling away and will bring you with great joy into his glorious presence without a single fault.  All glory to him who alone is God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord. All glory, majesty, power, and authority are his before all time, and in the present, and beyond all time! Amen.

20 This concludes the prayers of David son of Jesse.

The prayers of David: We take this as Solomon’s postscript on the collection of Psalms gathered into Book Two. David authored most of the Psalms in Book Two, and Asaph composed the first 11 Psalms of Book Three, so this is a good marking point. We also note that these are not only songs, but also prayers.

David the son of Jesse: Because this Psalm so exalts the King of Kings, Solomon properly did not refer to David with any royal title, though deserved. David happily takes the lower place before the Greater Son of David and is simply the son of Jesse, a simple farmer of Bethlehem.

–David Guzik

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Music:

The hymn “Jesus Shall Reign,” by Isaac Watts, is a lyrical adaptation of Psalm 72.  HERE  it is, performed by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Singers.

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Images courtesy of:
Ps. 72.5.  http://www.turnbacktogod.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/Psalm-72-5-Wallpaper.jpg
misty mountains.  http://media-cdn.tripadvisor.com/media/photo-s/01/be/5a/bc/the-misty-mountains.jpg
earth and sun.    http://freesoftwarekit.com/server13/photos/X9oQrDl0zrK5sM~/122946_light-sun-shining-behind-planet-Earth_1600x1000.jpg
Persian nativity.    http://media.photobucket.com/image/recent/Patrap_2006/magi.jpg
Jesus crosses.  http://i2.squidoocdn.com/resize/squidoo_images/250/draft_lens5895372module46665122photo_1248705236Jesus_Crosses.jpg
rainbow.    http://www.wunderground.com/data/wximagenew/r/RevMac/280.jpg

1865.) Psalm 95

June 24, 2016

Psalm 95 (New International Version)

A call to exuberant praise to the Lord!

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

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

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

and extol him with music and song.

Ps95 created

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

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

Ps95 sheep

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

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

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

Ps95 obey

A warning and exhortation to obey the Lord!

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

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

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

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

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Music:

Psalm 95 is a favorite for singers and composers!

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

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

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

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

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

1840.) Psalm 69

May 20, 2016

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

Psalm 69 (English Standard Version)

Save Me, O God

To the choirmaster: according to Lilies. Of David.

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

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

–David Guzik

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

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

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

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

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

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

John 15:18-25 (NLT)

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

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

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

John 7:1-5 (NLT)

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

I am grateful that Jesus understands the alienation we face.

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

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

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

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

John 19:28-30 (NLT)

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

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


Acts 1:15-20 (NLT)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Music:

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

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

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

from Whispers of His Power,
by Amy Carmichael

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

_________________________

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

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

1839.) Psalm 64

May 19, 2016

 

Psalm 64 (English Standard Version)

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.

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

–David Guzik

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

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

–G. Campbell Morgan

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

. . . the throng of evildoers . . . 

Mark 15:12-14 (NLT)

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

They shouted back, “Crucify him!”

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

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

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

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

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

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

Proverbs 21:2 (KJV)

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

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

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

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Music:

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

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

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

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