2180.) Psalm 16

September 8, 2017

Psalm 16   (NRSV)

Song of Trust and Security in God

1Protect me, O God, for in you I take refuge.

2I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you.”

3As for the holy ones in the land, they are the noble, in whom is all my delight.

4Those who choose another god multiply their sorrows; their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out or take their names upon my lips.

5The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot.

6The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; I have a goodly heritage.

farm land in Minnesota

“boundary lines” — farm land in Minnesota

7I bless the Lord who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me.

8I keep the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.

9Therefore my heart is glad, and my soul rejoices; my body also rests secure.

10For you do not give me up to Sheol, or let your faithful one see the Pit.

16. resurrection butterfly Noyes

John 11:25-26 (ESV)

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

11You show me the path of life. In your presence there is fullness of joy; in your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Pentecost Psalm

The apostle Peter quoted from this psalm while speaking to the crowd on the day of Pentecost.

Acts 2:22-32 (New Living Translation)

People of Israel, listen! God publicly endorsed Jesus the Nazarene by doing powerful miracles, wonders, and signs through him, as you well know.  But God knew what would happen, and his prearranged plan was carried out when Jesus was betrayed. With the help of lawless Gentiles, you nailed him to a cross and killed him.  But God released him from the horrors of death and raised him back to life, for death could not keep him in its grip.  King David said this about him:

‘I see that the Lord is always with me.
I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.
No wonder my heart is glad,
and my tongue shouts his praises!
My body rests in hope.
For you will not leave my soul among the dead
or allow your Holy One to rot in the grave.
You have shown me the way of life,
and you will fill me with the joy of your presence.’

Dear brothers, think about this! You can be sure that the patriarch David wasn’t referring to himself, for he died and was buried, and his tomb is still here among us.  But he was a prophet, and he knew God had promised with an oath that one of David’s own descendants would sit on his throne.  David was looking into the future and speaking of the Messiah’s resurrection. He was saying that God would not leave him among the dead or allow his body to rot in the grave.

“God raised Jesus from the dead, and we are all witnesses of this.”

_________________________

Music:

HERE  is Shane and Shane and “Psalm 16 (Fullness of Joy).”

_________________________

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:
v. 1.   https://dailyverses.net/images/en/NIV/psalms-16-1.jpg
Without you, nothing makes sense.   https://patriciawonders.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/hum.jpg?w=720
farm land.  http://cache.eb.com/eb/image?id=65699&rendTypeId=4
Michael Noyes butterfly and calligraphy.   http://www.michaelnoyes.com/images/products/product_36_copyright.png
Advertisements

2178.) Psalm 94

September 6, 2017

Psalm 94 (The Message)

1-2 God, put an end to evil;
avenging God, show your colors!
Judge of the earth, take your stand;
throw the book at the arrogant.

3-4 God, the wicked get away with murder—
how long will you let this go on?
They brag and boast
and crow about their crimes!

5-7 They walk all over your people, God,
exploit and abuse your precious people.
They take out anyone who gets in their way;
if they can’t use them, they kill them.
They think, “God isn’t looking,
Jacob’s God is out to lunch.”

8-11 Well, think again, you idiots,
fools—how long before you get smart?
Do you think Ear-Maker doesn’t hear,
Eye-Shaper doesn’t see?
Do you think the trainer of nations doesn’t correct,
the teacher of Adam doesn’t know?
God knows, all right—
knows your stupidity,
sees your shallowness.

Yes, yes, I thoroughly agree! Way too many people are stupid and shallow! (Strain to pat self on back.)   

(Pause to reconsider.)

Lord, you know that often I am stupid and shallow. Help me grow wiser in your truth and kinder in my dealings with others.

12-15 How blessed the man you train, God,
the woman you instruct in your Word,
Providing a circle of quiet within the clamor of evil,

Where is your “circle of quiet”? 

According to these verses, it is where you are studying the Word of God and praying. Jesus often got up early and went to a remote place to pray to his Father. Susanna Wesley, mother of 19 children, found her circle by throwing her apron over her head; the children knew she was praying and waited until she came out. My mother had devotions early every morning at the kitchen table, reading Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening.  I hope that DWELLING provides a circle of quiet for my readers.

while a jail is being built for the wicked.
God will never walk away from his people,
never desert his precious people.
Rest assured that justice is on its way
and every good heart put right.

.
16-19 Who stood up for me against the wicked?
Who took my side against evil workers?
If God hadn’t been there for me,
I never would have made it.
The minute I said, “I’m slipping, I’m falling,”
your love, God, took hold and held me fast.
When I was upset and beside myself,
you calmed me down and cheered me up.

Psalm 94:19 (Good News Translation)

Whenever I am anxious and worried,
      you comfort me and make me glad.

Here are some of God’s  “comforts” for us:

Psalm 46:1-3 (New International Version)

God is our refuge and strength,
   an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
   and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
   and the mountains quake with their surging.

John 16:33 (New International Version)

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

2 Corinthians 1:5 (English Standard Version)

For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.

20-23 Can Misrule have anything in common with you?
Can Troublemaker pretend to be on your side?
They ganged up on good people,
plotted behind the backs of the innocent.
But God became my hideout,
God was my high mountain retreat,
Then boomeranged their evil back on them:
for their evil ways he wiped them out,
our God cleaned them out for good.

_________________________

Music:

Be it the frightening power of nature, or the success of the wicked, or anxiety over our own lives, we as believers need have no fears — we are safe in God’s arms.  HERE  is “Safe”  by Phil Wickham.

_________________________

The Message (MSG)    Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson
Images courtesy of:
Psalm 94:18.  https://68.media.tumblr.com/d2eadb00b77f229c5ca04a903a63695b/tumblr_omsfitBHED1s91yx0o1_1280.jpg
stupid people.   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/stupidpeoplelarge.jpg
A Circle of Quiet (actually a book by one of my favorite authors, Madeleine L’Engle).   https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51eOV3mwl9L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg
Psalm 94:19.  https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/gods-comfort-psalm-94-19.jpg

2177.) Psalm 47

September 5, 2017

Psalm 47 (NIV)

1 Clap your hands, all you nations;
shout to God with cries of joy.

2 How awesome is the LORD Most High,
the great King over all the earth!

 

3 He subdued nations under us,
peoples under our feet.

4 He chose our inheritance for us,
the pride of Jacob, whom he loved.
Selah

Amy Carmichael, 1867-1951.  Born in Ireland, she went to the mission field of India in 1895 and never left.  Much of her work involved rescuing young children from temple prostitution.

from Whispers of His Power,
by Amy Carmichael

“He shall choose our inheritance for us, the excellency of Jacob, whom He loved.”

Have you ever looked longingly at another life and wished that you had as much as it has to offer? But He shall choose, and He does not call the inheritance of any Jacob “poor.” He calls it the excellency of Jacob. The marvel is not that we have so little to offer, but that we have anything at all. There was no worthiness in Jacob.  Whom He loved is the only explanation.

But—and is not this comforting?—God needs each separate soul, each personality with the inheritance of His choice, for the perfecting of His purpose in the spiritual creation. And when it is perfected He will be satisfied, and we too shall be satisfied, “lost in wonder, love, and praise” that we ever were allowed the smallest share in it.

5 God has ascended amid shouts of joy,
the LORD amid the sounding of trumpets.

6 Sing praises to God, sing praises;
sing praises to our King, sing praises.

7 For God is the King of all the earth;
sing to him a psalm of praise.

8 God reigns over the nations;
God is seated on his holy throne.

9 The nobles of the nations assemble
as the people of the God of Abraham,
for the kings of the earth belong to God;
he is greatly exalted.

_________________________

Music:

“Love Divine, All Love Excelling” is one of Charles Wesley’s most sung hymns. It ends with a glorious vision of heaven, with the redeemed falling before the throne of God, “lost in wonder, love, and praise.”

HERE  The Sanctuary Choir, The Cathedral Choir of Young Men and Boys, The Cecilian Carolers, organ and orchestra perform “Love Divine, All Loves Excelling” in the 2009 Christmas concert from First Presbyterian Church, Davenport, Iowa. Arrangement by Mack Wilberg, conducted by Steven R. Jobman.

1. Love divine, all loves excelling,
joy of heaven, to earth come down;
fix in us thy humble dwelling;
all thy faithful mercies crown!
Jesus thou art all compassion,
pure, unbounded love thou art;
visit us with thy salvation;
enter every trembling heart.

2. Breathe, O breathe thy loving Spirit
into every troubled breast!
Let us all in thee inherit;
let us find that second rest.
Take away our bent to sinning;
Alpha and Omega be;
end of faith, as its beginning,
set our hearts at liberty.

3. Come, Almighty to deliver,
let us all thy life receive;
suddenly return and never,
nevermore thy temples leave.
Thee we would be always blessing,
serve thee as thy hosts above,
pray and praise thee without ceasing,
glory in thy perfect love.

4. Finish, then, thy new creation;
pure and spotless let us be.
Let us see thy great salvation
perfectly restored in thee;
changed from glory into glory,
till in heaven we take our place,
till we cast our crowns before thee,
lost in wonder, love, and praise.

_________________________

New International Version (NIV) Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica
Images courtesy of:
Psalm 47 with hands.   https://i.ytimg.com/vi/TsinZiRvEh8/hqdefault.jpg
Psalm 47:2 with river and cliffs.     http://oneyearbibleimages.com/psalm47.jpg
Amy Carmichael.    http://www.myfrienddebbie.com/images/amycarmichael.jpg
Sing praises.   https://c1.staticflickr.com/8/7773/18142703966_f029609324_b.jpg
Lost in wonder.   http://www.atlantamasterchorale.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/wonder.jpg

2148.) Psalm 106

July 26, 2017

Psalm 106  (ESV)

“This psalm is the dark counterpart of its predecessor, a shadow cast by human self-will in its long struggle against the light.” 

–Derek Kidner

“The keynote of Psalms 105 is, ‘Remember His mighty deeds,’ that of Psalms 106 is, ‘They forgot His mighty deeds.’”

–Alexander Maclaren 

“Israel’s history is here written with the View of showing human sin, even as the preceding Psalm was composed to magnify divine goodness. It is, in fact, a national confession.”

–Charles Spurgeon

Give Thanks to the Lord, for He Is Good

Praise the Lord!
Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
for his steadfast love endures forever!

Psalm 106 begins the way Psalm 105 ended, saying hallelujah! Psalm 105 gave praise because of God’s many gifts and blessings to Israel. Psalm 106 gives praise because of God’s great mercy to an often rebellious and ungrateful Israel.

–David Guzik

Who can utter the mighty deeds of the Lord,
or declare all his praise?
Blessed are they who observe justice,
who do righteousness at all times!

Galatians 5:22-23    (NLT)

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

Remember me, O Lord, when you show favor to your people;
help me when you save them,
that I may look upon the prosperity of your chosen ones,
that I may rejoice in the gladness of your nation,
that I may glory with your inheritance.

Both we and our fathers have sinned;
we have committed iniquity; we have done wickedness.

Psalm 106 is mainly focused the repeated failure of Israel through her history. Yet the singer of this Psalm does not see failure as something only of Israel’s past. He identified his present generation with Israel of old, connected in their sin, their iniquity, and their wicked deeds.

–David Guzik

Our fathers, when they were in Egypt,
did not consider your wondrous works;
they did not remember the abundance of your steadfast love,
but rebelled by the sea, at the Red Sea.
Yet he saved them for his name’s sake,
that he might make known his mighty power.
He rebuked the Red Sea, and it became dry,
and he led them through the deep as through a desert.

from Whispers of His Power,
by Amy Carmichael

Psalm 106:9  —  He led them through the depths, as through the wilderness.

“Led” means there “caused to go on.” We all want to go on, not through the shallows but through the depths of prayer. The wild donkey of the Mexican deserts digs and digs in the sand until it finds water. It invariably does. What our wonderful God can do for His donkeys in the natural world He can do for those of us who are just that in the spiritual.

Let us allow all sorts of things to act as reminders, as calls to prayer. For example, once when held up by traffic on the road, the friend with me talked of someone who was lonely; thereafter, to be held up on the roads reminded me to pray for the lonely of the earth.

Then there is the flash of memory. A name, place, person, or something seen or heard or read flashes for one second across the mind. It can be lost or turned to prayer; the choice is with us.

As we go on practicing prayer in this simple way we can trust that He who caused His people to go through the depths as through an open wilderness will cause us also to go through these deeper places of prayer. The patient Spirit will help us in our weakness, for though we do not know how to pray as we ought, He Himself prays for us (Romans 8:26).

_____

As a child growing up on an Iowa farm, I was given the task of the family’s ironing (see picture above, ha ha!).  My mother taught me to pray for the person whose clothing I was ironing.  It is a habit I do not choose to break, even though I do precious little ironing these days!

Joyce Meyer suggests hanging plaques of Bible verses around the house, to remind us to pray, to give thanks, to praise, to confess.  Others listen to Christian music as they work at home or as they travel to keep themselves in a prayerful frame of mind and heart.  I encourage us all to be more intentional in taking every thought and every minute captive to Christ, that He may lead us deeper and deeper into fellowship with Him. 

10 So he saved them from the hand of the foe
and redeemed them from the power of the enemy.
11 And the waters covered their adversaries;
not one of them was left.
12 Then they believed his words;
they sang his praise.

13 But they soon forgot his works;
they did not wait for his counsel.

“Is it that way with you? You see God’s miracles, but at the first sign of any new opposition you forget what God has done and are soon rebelling against what you suppose to be your hard and painful life? Then, when God saves you again, you sing his praises but soon forget even that deliverance? That is exactly what you and I are like.” 

–James Montgomery Boice

14 But they had a wanton craving in the wilderness,
and put God to the test in the desert;
15 he gave them what they asked,
but sent a wasting disease among them.

I like how the King James Version puts verse 15:

And he gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul.

Let us not seek the material gifts if they come without spiritual blessing!  Better a thin body, and a thin pocketbook, than a thin soul!

16 When men in the camp were jealous of Moses
and Aaron, the holy one of the Lord,
17 the earth opened and swallowed up Dathan,
and covered the company of Abiram.
18 Fire also broke out in their company;
the flame burned up the wicked.

19 They made a calf in Horeb
and worshiped a metal image.
20 They exchanged the glory of God
for the image of an ox that eats grass.

by contemporary artist Wilfried Joye of Belgium

21 They forgot God, their Savior,
who had done great things in Egypt,
22 wondrous works in the land of Ham,
and awesome deeds by the Red Sea.

Their sin was not only of idolatry and immorality, but also of plain ingratitude.

23 Therefore he said he would destroy them—
had not Moses, his chosen one,
stood in the breach before him,
to turn away his wrath from destroying them.

24 Then they despised the pleasant land,
having no faith in his promise.
25 They murmured in their tents,
and did not obey the voice of the Lord.
26 Therefore he raised his hand and swore to them
that he would make them fall in the wilderness,
27 and would make their offspring fall among the nations,
scattering them among the lands.

Which countries in the world have the largest Jewish population?

According to the Jewish Virtual Library’s figures for 2016:  Israel has 6.3 million Jews (44% of all Jewry), and the USA has 5.7 million, (nearly 40%). Next is France, with less than 500,000 (3.2%). Then Canada, the UK, Argentina, and Russia.

28 Then they yoked themselves to the Baal of Peor,
and ate sacrifices offered to the dead;
29 they provoked the Lord to anger with their deeds,
and a plague broke out among them.
30 Then Phinehas stood up and intervened,
and the plague was stayed.
31 And that was counted to him as righteousness
from generation to generation forever.

32 They angered him at the waters of Meribah,
and it went ill with Moses on their account,
33 for they made his spirit bitter,
and he spoke rashly with his lips.

Spurgeon noted that sometimes congregations provoke their ministers or pastors as Israel provoked Moses. “We ought also to be very careful how we treat the ministers of the gospel, lest by provoking their spirit we should drive them into any unseemly behaviour which should bring upon them the chastisement of the Lord. Little do a murmuring, quarrelsome people dream of the perils in which they involve their pastors by their untoward behaviour.”

Oh, what can we do and say and pray, in order to support the ministers at our churches? Let us be encouragers rather than complainers!

34 They did not destroy the peoples,
as the Lord commanded them,
35 but they mixed with the nations
and learned to do as they did.
36 They served their idols,
which became a snare to them.

from Luther’s Small Catechism:

The First Commandment.

Thou shalt have no other gods.

What does this mean?

Answer:  We should fear, love, and trust in God above all things.

37 They sacrificed their sons
and their daughters to the demons;
38 they poured out innocent blood,
the blood of their sons and daughters,
whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan,
and the land was polluted with blood.
39 Thus they became unclean by their acts,
and played the whore in their deeds.

Joining themselves to a false god, they became spiritual adulterers. 

Lord, where am I playing loose with You?  Where do I not fear, love, and trust You above all things?

40 Then the anger of the Lord was kindled against his people,
and he abhorred his heritage;
41 he gave them into the hand of the nations,
so that those who hated them ruled over them.
42 Their enemies oppressed them,
and they were brought into subjection under their power.
43 Many times he delivered them,
but they were rebellious in their purposes
and were brought low through their iniquity.

44 Nevertheless, he looked upon their distress,
when he heard their cry.
45 For their sake he remembered his covenant,
and relented according to the abundance of his steadfast love.
46 He caused them to be pitied
by all those who held them captive.

“This was particularly true as to the Babylonish captivity; for Cyrus gave them their liberty; Darius favoured them, and granted them several privileges; and Artaxerxes sent back Nehemiah, and helped him to rebuild Jerusalem and the temple.”

–Adam Clarke

47 Save us, O Lord our God,
and gather us from among the nations,
that we may give thanks to your holy name
and glory in your praise.

48 Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,
from everlasting to everlasting!
And let all the people say, “Amen!”
Praise the Lord!

_________________________

Music:

Jewish music with pictures of synagogues around the world. The first song is “Oseh Shalom” and the second is “Am Israel Chai.” They are both sung  HERE  by Sam Glaser who also plays the piano.

_________________________

English Standard Version (ESV)   The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.
Images courtesy of:
verse 1 withrainbow.  http://alittleperspective.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/psa-106-1-ww-stock-9x.jpg
Girl Ironing, photograph by Russell Lee, Feb. 1939, Harlingen, Texas.   http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/spdest/findadest/historic_sites/ccc/new_deal_texas_html/media/images/girl_ironing_600x403.jpg
Joye.    http://www.wilfriedjoye.com/images%5Cpsalms%5C2.jpg
menorah.   http://img.ehowcdn.com/article-new/ehow/images/a06/kp/l5/music-traditions-sephardic-jews-morocco-1.1-800×800.jpg
idol worship.    http://www.somepcguy.com/FactFantasy/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/idol-worship.png

2147.) Psalm 105

July 25, 2017

Psalm 105  The Message (MSG)

After reading Stephen’s account of the history of Israel vigorously proclaimed to the Sanhedrin, we will now look at two Psalms which also give us a historical perspective. Remember that, as part of the family of God, this history is YOUR history, too!

Whoever arranged and ordered the Psalms set 105 and 106 together purposefully. “This and the following psalm are companions. They reveal the two sides of the relation between God and His people during a long period. This one sings the song of His faithfulness and power; while the next tells the sad story of repeated failure and rebellion on the part of His people.” (G. Campbell Morgan)

–David Guzik

Hallelujah! Thank God! Pray to him by name!
Tell everyone you meet what he has done!

“Be thankful for the smallest blessing, and you will deserve to receive greater. Value the least gifts no less than the greatest, and simple graces as especial favors. If you remember the dignity of the Giver, no gift will seem small or mean, for nothing can be valueless that is given by the most high God.”

–Thomas a Kempis

Sing him songs, belt out hymns,
translate his wonders into music!
Honor his holy name with Hallelujahs,
you who seek God. Live a happy life!
Keep your eyes open for God, watch for his works;
be alert for signs of his presence.


Remember the world of wonders he has made,
his miracles, and the verdicts he’s rendered—
O seed of Abraham, his servant,
O child of Jacob, his chosen.

7-15 He’s God, our God,
in charge of the whole earth.

We believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is, seen and unseen.

–from the Nicene Creed

And he remembers, remembers his Covenant—
for a thousand generations he’s been as good as his word.
It’s the Covenant he made with Abraham,
the same oath he swore to Isaac,
The very statute he established with Jacob,
the eternal Covenant with Israel,

Namely, “I give you the land.
Canaan is your hill-country inheritance.”
When they didn’t count for much,
a mere handful, and strangers at that,
Wandering from country to country,
drifting from pillar to post,

“Not all who wander are lost.”

–J. R. R. Tolkien

He permitted no one to abuse them.
He told kings to keep their hands off:
“Don’t you dare lay a hand on my anointed,
don’t hurt a hair on the heads of my prophets.”

16-22 Then he called down a famine on the country,
he broke every last blade of wheat.
But he sent a man on ahead:
Joseph, sold as a slave.

They put cruel chains on his ankles,
an iron collar around his neck,
Until God’s word came to the Pharaoh,
and God confirmed his promise.
God sent the king to release him.
The Pharaoh set Joseph free;
He appointed him master of his palace,
put him in charge of all his business
To personally instruct his princes
and train his advisors in wisdom.

Proverbs 23:17-18  (NLT)

Don’t envy sinners,
but always continue to fear the Lord.
You will be rewarded for this;
your hope will not be disappointed.

23-42 Then Israel entered Egypt,
Jacob immigrated to the Land of Ham.
God gave his people lots of babies;
soon their numbers alarmed their foes.
He turned the Egyptians against his people;
they abused and cheated God’s servants.
Then he sent his servant Moses,
and Aaron, whom he also chose.

I tremble for my country when I hear of confidence expressed in me. I know too well my weakness, that our only hope is in God.

–General Robert E. Lee

They worked marvels in that spiritual wasteland,
miracles in the Land of Ham.
He spoke, “Darkness!” and it turned dark—
they couldn’t see what they were doing.
He turned all their water to blood
so that all their fish died;
He made frogs swarm through the land,
even into the king’s bedroom;


He gave the word and flies swarmed,
gnats filled the air.
He substituted hail for rain,
he stabbed their land with lightning;
He wasted their vines and fig trees,
smashed their groves of trees to splinters;


With a word he brought in locusts,
millions of locusts, armies of locusts;
They consumed every blade of grass in the country
and picked the ground clean of produce;
He struck down every firstborn in the land,
the first fruits of their virile powers.
He led Israel out, their arms filled with loot,
and not one among his tribes even stumbled.
Egypt was glad to have them go—
they were scared to death of them.
God spread a cloud to keep them cool through the day
and a fire to light their way through the night;

“Pillar of Fire” by Jeanne Kun

They prayed and he brought quail,
filled them with the bread of heaven;
He opened the rock and water poured out;

Rock of Ages, Cleft for Me . . .

“The earthly form of Christ is the form that died on the cross. The image of God is the image of Christ crucified. It is to this image that the life of the disciples must be conformed; in other words, they must be conformed to his death (Phil 3.10, Rom 6.4) The Christian life is a life of crucifixion (Gal 2.19) In baptism the form of Christ’s death is impressed upon his own. They are dead to the flesh and to sin, they are dead to the world, and the world is dead to them (Gal 6.14). Anybody living in the strength of Christ’s baptism lives in the strength of Christ’s death.”

–Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship

it flowed like a river through that desert—
All because he remembered his Covenant,
his promise to Abraham, his servant.

43-45 Remember this! He led his people out singing for joy;
his chosen people marched, singing their hearts out!
He made them a gift of the country they entered,
helped them seize the wealth of the nations
So they could do everything he told them—
could follow his instructions to the letter.

Hallelujah!

_________________________

Music:

Perhaps you are in a busy or difficult or trying time in your life right now.  Perhaps you have lost a loved one, or maybe you are moving, or you could be looking for a different job.  As I was working on this psalm, I felt a sweet assurance that, just as God led the people of Israel out of bondage in Egypt to the Promised Land, so we can count on the Lord to lead us where we need to go.  And this is not wishful thinking, or a false hope — Jesus has promised to be with us always!

Fanny Crosby wrote the hymn “All the Way My Savior Leads Me.”  HERE  is Chris Tomlin’s version.

_________________________

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

Images courtesy of:
Keep your eyes open.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/psalm105_04.jpg
Seek the Lord and his strength.   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/psalm105b.jpg
Abraham and the stars.   http://www.sundayschoollessons.com/sunfolder2/image9.gif
Joseph sold.   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/3_3_joseph_sold.jpg
frogs.   http://www.lindaedwards.co.uk/i/pics/sm/webphoto_dza8.jpg
hail.   http://www.bl.uk/learning/images/story/haggadah/large6195.html
Kun.   http://www.swordofthespirit.net/bulwark/pillar-of-fire-by-jeanne-kun.jpg
He opened the rock.   http://biblestudyoutlines.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Psalm-105-41-43.jpg
Hallelujah.   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/hallelujah1.jpg

2133.) Psalm 27

July 5, 2017

Psalm 27 (NIV)

1 The LORD is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?

In the New Testament, John 1:9 calls Jesus the light:”The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.”

The LORD is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?

If we rarely know what it is to have God be the strength of our life, perhaps it is because we trust in so many other things for strength. We find it easy to trust in our wisdom, our experience, our friends, and our resources. David knew a strength greater than all that.

–David Guzik

2 When evil men advance against me
to devour my flesh,
when my enemies and my foes attack me,
they will stumble and fall.

3 Though an army besiege me,
my heart will not fear;
though war break out against me,
even then will I be confident.

4 One thing I ask of the LORD,
this is what I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD
and to seek him in his temple.

_________________________

Music:

I have a soft spot for musical plays, and one of the best, I think,  is Fiddler on the Roof. My favorite song from this touching show is  HERE,  “If I Were a Rich Man” — for what Tevye thinks would be “the sweetest thing of all” to do with his wealth. . .

_________________________

5 For in the day of trouble
he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle
and set me high upon a rock.

6 Then my head will be exalted
above the enemies who surround me;
at his tabernacle will I sacrifice with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make music to the LORD.

7 Hear my voice when I call, O LORD;
be merciful to me and answer me.

8 My heart says of you, “Seek his face!”
Your face, LORD, I will seek.

Revelation 22:1-4 (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. No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.

9 Do not hide your face from me,
do not turn your servant away in anger;
you have been my helper.
Do not reject me or forsake me,
O God my Savior.

10 Though my father and mother forsake me,
the LORD will receive me.

    Our Father, which art in heaven.

    What does that mean?

    Answer.  With these words God invites us to believe that He is our true Father, and that we are His true children, so that we may pray to Him in confidence and in all trust, as little children do to their fathers.

–Martin Luther’s Small Catechism

11 Teach me your way, O LORD;
lead me in a straight path
because of my oppressors.

12 Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes,
for false witnesses rise up against me,
breathing out violence.

13 I am still confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the LORD
in the land of the living.

14 Wait for the LORD;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the LORD.

from Experiencing God Day-by-Day
by Henry T. Blackaby and Richard Blackaby

Waiting is one of the hardest things to do.  We want to be people of action.  We feel better if we are doing something to address our need, but waiting forces us to rely on God.  David learned what it meant to wait.  He was chosen by God to be the next king of Israel, then spent years waiting for the day God’s word would come to pass in his life.  As he waited, a paranoid, egocentric king occupied the throne that had been promised to him.  David spent his time hiding in caves and living among his enemies.  As he waited he saw good friends murdered and his family and possessions taken.  He saw Israel’s enemies wreak havoc on his nation.  Perhaps no one ever faced greater adversity while waiting upon God’s promise than David did.  He certainly understood what it meant to become discouraged and fearful.

But David also enjoyed the reward for waiting upon the Lord.  He became the greatest king in Israel’s history, and, more importantly, through his trials he became a man after God’s own heart.  The psalms David wrote during his days as a fugitive have been cherished words of encouragement for millions of people through the ages.  Through David’s descendants came the Messiah.  David’s willingness to wait has blessed us all.

Times of waiting on the Lord can be some of the most precious moments in your life (John 11:1-6).  If you are waiting on God for something, read Isaiah 40:31 and find encouragement as you wait for Him to fulfill His promises to you.

“God’s timing is always perfect, and always later than mine.”

–my dear friend Hansi

_________________________

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

Images courtesy of:
Psalm 27:1 and lighthouse.    http://i131.photobucket.com/albums/p308/christianmyspace/graphics/psalm27_1.jpg
v. 4.  http://www.thefellowshipsite.org/uploads/7/4/1/7/7417809/7403250.jpg?711
“Face of Jesus” sculpture by Patrick Rankin.    https://images.fineartamerica.com/images/artworkimages/mediumlarge/1/face-of-jesus-patrick-rankin.jpg
The Lord’s Prayer.   https://askgramps.org/wp-content/uploads/the_lords_prayer.gif
“Waiting in repose.”    https://www.journeywithjesus.net/Essays/Waiting_In_Repose_sm.jpg
wrist watch.    https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/a8/6a/93/a86a936e7dbc1cb38270a6db88078fc2.jpg

2120.) Psalm 146

June 16, 2017

Ps146 praise Jesus

Psalm 146   (NIV)

Praise the Lord.

Praise the Lord, my soul.

I will praise the Lord all my life;
    I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.

Ps146 praise 2

Do not put your trust in princes,
    in human beings, who cannot save.
When their spirit departs, they return to the ground;
    on that very day their plans come to nothing.
Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob,
    whose hope is in the Lord their God.

He is the Maker of heaven and earth,
    the sea, and everything in them—

Colossians 1 tells us that JESUS is supreme in all creation:  For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.

    he remains faithful forever.

Ps146 neverfail

He upholds the cause of the oppressed
    and gives food to the hungry.

Think of Jesus touching and healing lepers and feeding thousands of people with miraculous bread and fish!

The Lord sets prisoners free,
    the Lord gives sight to the blind,

. . . and remember how Jesus helped crippled people to walk and opened the eyes of the blind!

the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down,

. . . and don’t forget the bent-over woman, and the woman with the issue of blood, when Jesus took their hands and literally lifted them up!

    the Lord loves the righteous.
The Lord watches over the foreigner

. . . and look at how kindly Jesus healed the centurion’s servant and the Syro-Phonecian woman’s daughter!

    and sustains the fatherless and the widow,

. . . and he brought joy to the widow of Nain when he brought her son back to life!

    but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.

10 The Lord reigns forever,
    your God, O Zion, for all generations.

From the Nicene Creed, speaking of Jesus:

And He shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end.

Praise the Lord.

_________________________

Music:

HERE  is a song that just begs you to sing along! — “Jesus, What a Beautiful Name.”

_________________________

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:
Praise Jesus.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/ps146-praise-jesus.gif
Psalm 146:2.    https://myloveforjesus.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/psalm146.jpg
I will never fail you.    https://testimoniesofhisgoodness.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/neverfail.jpg?w=570