1910.) Psalm 124

August 26, 2016

Ps124 our help

Psalm 124   (NIV)

A song of ascents. Of David.

Praise to the Lord who accepts us as a living sacrifice, who gives us many and various spiritual gifts, who helps us live peaceably with one another! Praise God that he is on our side, helping us! Paul’s theme of God’s great love for us from Romans 12 is heard again here.

The Lord is able to protect His church from the attacks of principalities and powers in the spiritual realm (Eph. 6:10-20).

If the Lord had not been on our side—
    let Israel say—
if the Lord had not been on our side
    when people attacked us,
they would have swallowed us alive
    when their anger flared against us;
the flood would have engulfed us,
    the torrent would have swept over us,
the raging waters
    would have swept us away.

Praise be to the Lord,
    who has not let us be torn by their teeth.
We have escaped like a bird
    from the fowler’s snare;
the snare has been broken,
    and we have escaped.

We have escaped like a bird . . .

Our help is in the name of the Lord,
    the Maker of heaven and earth.

_________________________

Music:

HERE  is Pilgrim Band and “Psalm 124.”

________________________

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:
Our help.   https://dailyverses.net/images/en/NIV/psalms-124-8.jpg
escape like a bird sketch.    http://www.moreh.net/p2/albums/userpics/normal_XXXPsalm_124_7.jpg

1905.) Psalm 130

August 19, 2016

Ps130 depths
Psalm 130    (ESV)

My Soul Waits for the Lord

A Song of Ascents.

Luther calls Psalm 130 the most Pauline of Psalms, a proper master and doctor of scripture. God forgives sin and God redeems and restores, as shown in Israel’s return from exile. This psalm proclaims the hope of full restoration, experienced by us in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and looks ahead to the future hope for the church and world.

Listen for echoes of Romans 8!

Psalm 130 is a psalm in four parts, best seen as a conversation. We hear the voice of personal experience in verses 1 and 2, and 5 and 6, and the voice of theological insight in verses 3 and 4, and 7 and 8. The reality of human existence, and in response the reality of God’s character, combine to give us hope.

–Howard Carter (and all following in blue)

Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord!
    O Lord, hear my voice!
Let your ears be attentive
    to the voice of my pleas for mercy!

Ps130 Yahweh

The repetition accentuates the distress that the psalmist finds himself in. The depths are a vivid metaphor for trouble and sorrow and suffering in life, as if one is being tossed round on the waves of life. Walter Brueggemann identifies this as a psalm of disorientation, when we seem to have sunk into a pit and the world seems totally upside down.

If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities,
    O Lord, who could stand?
But with you there is forgiveness,
    that you may be feared.

Ps130 record

It’s important to note that God’s grace, shown in mercy and forgiveness, is given as a reason to fear and serve the Lord. God’s grace and kindness is always seen as the foundation for relationship. The Ten Commandments and the Sinai covenant are based on God’s grace, rescuing Israel from Egypt. God’s invitation for all who believe in Christ to be the sons and daughters of God is based on Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins. God calls us to love him and so keep his commands out of love, not out of fear of some tyrant. Walter Brueggemann sums this up by saying that  “there is forgiveness and from it everything else flows. It is the first fact of the new life, of the new age.”

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
    and in his word I hope;
my soul waits for the Lord
    more than watchmen for the morning,
    more than watchmen for the morning.

Ps130 wait for the Lord

The psalmist still finds himself journeying through the depth, sojourning in a dark landscape, but his posture has changed—from wailing to waiting, from despair to hope, from fretting to trust. Knowing the character of God, knowing God’s forgiveness and grace, means the Psalmist can wait for God to act. To wait on the LORD is to live trusting in God. The dawn will come. The psalmist says he is like the watchman, going about his task in the sure knowledge that the sun will soon rise.

O Israel, hope in the Lord!
    For with the Lord there is steadfast love,
    and with him is plentiful redemption.
And he will redeem Israel
    from all his iniquities.

Ps130 hope

So the psalmist calls us to put our hope in the LORD—to wait and watch and see what God will do. The depths are real, the suffering is real, but the bottom is not the bottom, for we find underneath us the Everlasting Arms. It is in the depths perhaps we can find the deep truth about God’s grace. The psalmist met God in the depths, and it changed things. The psalmist encountered the true gracious nature of God and we can too. Charles Spurgeon puts it so eloquently: “The one who cries out in the depths will sing in the heights.”

_________________________

Music:

HERE  are the Sons of Korah and their soulful rendition of Psalm 130.

_________________________


1894.) Psalm 89

August 4, 2016

Ps89 sing

Psalm 89 (Contemporary English Version)

(A special psalm by Ethan the Ezrahite.)

The LORD’s Agreement with David

1Our LORD, I will sing

of your love forever.

Everyone yet to be born

will hear me praise

your faithfulness.

2I will tell them,

“God’s love

can always be trusted,

and his faithfulness lasts

as long as the heavens.”

3You said, “David, my servant,

is my chosen one,

and this is the agreement

I made with him:

4David, one of your descendants

will always be king.”

5Our LORD, let the heavens

now praise your miracles,

and let all of your angels

praise your faithfulness.

6None who live in the heavens

can compare with you.

7You are the most fearsome

of all who live in heaven;

all the others fear

and greatly honor you.

8You are LORD God All-Powerful!

No one is as loving

and faithful as you are.

9You rule the roaring sea

and calm its waves.

Mark 4:39    (English Standard Version)

And he said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.

10You crushed the monster Rahab,

and with your powerful arm

you scattered your enemies.

11The heavens and the earth

belong to you.

And so does the world

with all its people

because you created them

12and everything else.

Mount Tabor and Mount Hermon

gladly praise you.

Wheat fields below Mount Tabor. Photograph by Ferrell Jenkins.

13You are strong and mighty!

14Your kingdom is ruled

by justice and fairness

with love and faithfulness

leading the way.

15Our LORD, you bless those

who join in the festival

and walk in the brightness

of your presence.

16We are happy all day

because of you,

and your saving power

brings honor to us.

17Your own glorious power

makes us strong,

and because of your kindness,

our strength increases.

18Our LORD and our King,

the Holy One of Israel,

you are truly our shield.

19In a vision, you once said

to your faithful followers:

“I have helped a mighty hero.

I chose him from my people

and made him famous.

20David, my servant, is the one

I chose to be king,

21and I will always be there

to help and strengthen him.

22“No enemy will outsmart David,

and he won’t be defeated

by any hateful people.

23I will strike down and crush

his troublesome enemies.

24He will always be able

to depend on my love,

and I will make him strong

with my own power.

25I will let him rule the lands

across the rivers and seas.

26He will say to me,

`You are my Father

and my God,

as well as the mighty rock

where I am safe.’

27“I have chosen David

as my first-born son,

and he will be the ruler

of all kings on earth.

28My love for him will last,

and my agreement with him

will never be broken.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (New International Version)

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

29“One of David’s descendants

will always be king,

and his family will rule

until the sky disappears.

30Suppose some of his children

should reject my Law

and refuse my instructions.

31Or suppose they should disobey

all of my teachings.

32Then I will correct

and punish them

because of their sins.

33But I will always love David

and faithfully keep all

of my promises to him.

34“I won’t break my agreement

or go back on my word.

35I have sworn once and for all

by my own holy name,

and I won’t lie to David.

36His family will always rule.

I will let his kingdom last

as long as the sun 37and moon

appear in the sky.”

Ps89 moon

38You are now angry, God,

and you have turned your back

on your chosen king.

39You broke off your agreement

with your servant, the king,

and you completely destroyed

his kingdom.

40The walls of his city

have been broken through,

and every fortress

now lies in ruin.

Ps89 Hiroshima

from Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption,
by Laura Hillenbrand

This book moved me.  In the passage that follows, the war between Japan and the USA has just ended, and the American POWs are beginning their journey home.

From the top of Japan to the bottom, trains packed with POWs snaked toward Yokohama. Men pressed their faces to the windows to catch their first glimpse of what all those B-29s had done. Once-grand cities were now flat, black stains, their only recognizable feature a gridwork of burned roads, passing nothing, leading nowhere.

At the first sight of the destruction of their enemy, the POWs cheered. But after the first city there was another, then another, city after city razed, the survivors drifting about like specters, picking through the rubble. The cheering died away. On Louie’s train, the silence came as they passed through Tokyo. A week after Louis had left Omori (one of the POW camps where Louie had stayed), sixteen square miles of Tokyo, and tens of thousands of souls, had been immolated by B-29s.

A few of the trains slipped past Hiroshima. Virtually every POW believed that the destruction of that city had saved them from execution. John Falconer, a survivor of the Bataan Death March, looked out as Hiroshima neared. “First there were trees,” he told historian Donald Knox. “Then the leaves were missing.  As you got closer, branches were missing. Closer still, the trunks were gone and then, as you got in the middle, there was nothing. Nothing! It was beautiful. I know it’s not right to say it was beautiful, because it really wasn’t. But I realized this was what had ended the war.”

41All who pass by

take what they want,

and nations everywhere

joke about the king.

42You made his enemies powerful

and let them celebrate.

43But you forced him to retreat

because you did not fight

on his side.

44You took his crown and threw his throne

in the dirt.

45You made an old man of him

and put him to shame.

46How much longer, LORD?

Will you hide forever?

How long will your anger

keep burning like fire?

47Remember, life is short!

For all who know me and my fondness for high heels . . .

Why did you empty our lives

of all meaning?

48No one can escape the power

of death and the grave.

We can get pretty busy in our lives and not think about God’s great mercy.  It’s very easy, especially if we live a comfortable life, to take God for granted. The Psalmist gives us the formidable words of verse 48:  What man can live and not see death? Can he deliver his life from the power of the grave?

It is a good thing to declare the mercies of God and His faithfulness to us, but in doing so we must still remember that each of us will see death. The only hope of being delivered from the power of the grave is through the Lord Jesus Christ.

Thank you, Jesus, for death-defying, life-giving grace!

49Our Lord, where is the love

you have always shown

and that you promised

so faithfully to David?

50Remember your servant, Lord!

People make jokes about me,

and I suffer many insults.

51I am your chosen one,

but your enemies chase

and make fun of me.

52Our LORD, we praise you

forever. Amen and amen.

_________________________

Music:

“Never Gonna Stop” praising You, Lord!  HERE  is a kinda funky number by Tommy Walker.

_________________________

Contemporary English Version (CEV)   Copyright © 1995 by American Bible Society

Images courtesy of:
I will sing.   https://shareaverse.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/psalm-89-1.png?w=505&h=383
covenant.   http://wallpaper4god.com/wallpapers/psalm-8934_2798_1024x768.jpg
“Peace, Be Still,”  by He Qi.    http://metrolutheran.org/files/2014/03/WS-He-Qi-Peace-Be-Still1.jpg
Jenkins.  http://bibleworld.com/travel-blog/MountTabor_wheat_fjenkins_050110_205c.jpg
Psalm 89:15.  http://www.photosbyjanine.com/uploads/processed/0729/0707160038041psalm_89_15_niv.jpg
David and Goliath.   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/david-goliath.jpg
Keep calm and trust God.  http://29.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_liigsxu1uK1qby6rio1_500.png
candy hearts.    http://www.rockindeals4you.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/candyhearts.jpg
moon.   http://www.heartlight.org/graphics/gallery/psalm89_37.jpg
Hiroshima aftermath.  http://history105.libraries.wsu.edu/fall2014/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2014/08/hiroshima-destruction-825×499.jpg
Buy the shoes.   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/lifeisshortpillowpic2edited.jpg
cemetery in Dallas.   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/cemetery.jpg

1893.) Psalm 39

August 3, 2016

Psalm 39 (New American Standard Bible)

To the Chief Musician. 

“The Chief Musician” is thought by some to be the Lord God Himself.

1I said, “I will guard my ways
That I may not sin with my tongue;
I will guard my mouth as with a muzzle
While the wicked are in my presence.”

Ps39 words and meditations

The psalmist began this Psalm by remembering his prayer -– asking God’s help in not speaking foolishly or sinfully when the ungody were listening.

“He knew how his words would be misunderstood and misused by such persons. To them his words would seem to be a criticism of God and his ways.”
–James Montgomery Boice (pastor of Tenth  Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia from 1968 until his death in 2000)

2I was mute and silent,
I refrained even from good,
And my sorrow grew worse.
3
My heart was hot within me,
While I was musing the fire burned;
Then I spoke with my tongue:

4“LORD, make me to know my end
And what is the extent of my days;
Let me know how transient I am.

Ps39 cactus

“The reader learns that, since life is short, the only real meaning of a man or woman’s existence must be in his relationship to God, for God is eternal.”

–James Montgomery Boice 

5“Behold, You have made my days as handbreadths,
And my lifetime as nothing in Your sight;
Surely every man at his best is a mere breath. Selah.
6“Surely every man walks about as a phantom;
Surely they make an uproar for nothing;
He amasses riches and does not know who will gather them.

Ps39 busy

Sounding very much like the later Book of Ecclesiastes, the psalmist thought about the mass of humanity that lived ignoring the shortness and frailty of life.

· Each of them walks about, but like a shadow, living a life with no substance.

· They are busy, but in vain, being blind to eternal things.

· Each of them works hard and heaps up riches, yet does not think beyond their own short and frail life.

“‘Every man that exists, is vanity.’ All his projects, plans, schemes, &c., soon come to nothing. His body also moulders with the dust, and shortly passes both from the sight and remembrance of men.” –Adam Clarke (1762-1832, British Methodist biblical scholar)

–David Guzik

7“And now, Lord, for what do I wait?
My hope is in You.

_________________________

Music:

This psalm shows the writer experiencing very trying times, calling out for healing, protection, and mercy. During some of the hardest times in my life things have seemed just so overwhelming that I cannot breathe; it is hard for me even to get air in and out. At such times, I have found that the simple repetition of the phrases  HERE  from this song help me. “My life . . . my strength . . . my hope . . . is in you, Lord.” And indeed, I have good reason find it so:   Job 12:10 says, “For the life of every human being is in his hand, and the breath of every human being.”

May God bless you with healing, protection, mercy, strength, hope, and easy breathing.

_________________________

8“Deliver me from all my transgressions;
Make me not the reproach of the foolish.
9“I have become mute, I do not open my mouth,
Because it is You who have done it.
10“Remove Your plague from me;
Because of the opposition of Your hand I am perishing.
11“With reproofs You chasten a man for iniquity;
You consume as a moth what is precious to him;
Surely every man is a mere breath. Selah.

Calendar, Pages Flipping bxp34754h

James 4:13-15 (Contemporary English Version)

You should know better than to say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to the city. We will do business there for a year and make a lot of money!” What do you know about tomorrow? How can you be so sure about your life? It is nothing more than mist that appears for only a little while before it disappears. You should say, “If the Lord lets us live, we will do these things.”

12“Hear my prayer, O LORD, and give ear to my cry;
Do not be silent at my tears;
For I am a stranger with You,
A sojourner like all my fathers.

Ps39 world home

“Abraham first described himself as a stranger and a sojourner…All his children, those who inherit a like faith, must say the same. Faith cannot find a home on this side of the stars. It has caught a glimpse of the Infinite, and it can never be content with anything else.”

–F. B. Meyer

“If an Englishman goes to the Continent, and tries to pass himself off as a German or a Frenchman, he is soon detected; and, in a similar fashion, a true Christian reveals the, fact that he is an alien in this world, his ways and manners and customs are not those of the men of the world, who have their portion in this life.” 

–Charles Haddon Spurgeon

13“Turn Your gaze away from me, that I may smile again
Before I depart and am no more.”

_________________________

New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation

Images courtesy of:
Psalm 39 puff of wind.   http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3640/3305943940_cdf7829fa4.jpg
Psalm 19:14.   https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/ab/39/f3/ab39f383933a2b0c5678e3cf69caf95e.jpg
cactus and 39:4.    http://wonders.wallpaperdave.com/ps39-04v.jpg
calendar pages.    http://lh3.ggpht.com/_z291oaHU3ps/Sg25Xia7JoI/AAAAAAAAQm4/AQFXIeGNKSE/bxp34754h.jpg
This world is not my home.   http://image.slidesharecdn.com/thisworldisnotmyhome193-130828194305-phpapp02/95/this-world-is-not-my-home-1-638.jpg?cb=1377719025

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 . . .”

.

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

____________________

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?

_________________________

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.

_________________________

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.”


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