3508.) Psalm 146

September 28, 2022

Ps146 praise Jesus

Psalm 146   (NIV)

One of the Hallelujah psalms!

“Hallelujah is a compound word made up of two Hebrew words: hallel (an imperative verb meaning ‘praise’) and jah (a contraction of the name for God, Jehovah). So hallelujah means ‘Praise the Lord (or Jehovah).’” 

— James Montgomery Boice

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

“We cannot be too firm in the holy resolve to praise God, for it is the chief end of our living and being that we should glorify God and enjoy him for ever.”

–Charles Haddon Spurgeon

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.

“Here endeth this gladsome Psalm. Here endeth not the praise of the Lord, which shall ascend for ever and ever.”

–Charles Haddon Spurgeon

_________________________

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

3482.) Psalm 85

August 23, 2022

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

Psalm 85 (NIV)

The psalm is filled with promise in the midst of a time of waiting and uncertainty. 

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

1 You, LORD, showed favor to your land;
you restored the fortunes of Jacob.
2 You forgave the iniquity of your people
and covered all their sins.
3 You set aside all your wrath
and turned from your fierce anger.
Thank you, God, for forgiving me and covering all my sin. As John 3:16 says, you loved the world and you gave your Son for our salvation. Such grace and kindness!
4 Restore us again, God our Savior,
and put away your displeasure toward us.
5 Will you be angry with us forever?
Will you prolong your anger through all generations?
6 Will you not revive us again,
that your people may rejoice in you?
.
W. P Mackay, a Scottish Presbyterian minister of the 19th century, wrote a hymn based on this verse.
  1. We praise Thee, O God!
    For the Son of Thy love,
    For Jesus Who died,
    And is now gone above.
    Refrain:
    Hallelujah! Thine the glory.
    Hallelujah! Amen.
    Hallelujah! Thine the glory.
    Revive us again.
  2. We praise Thee, O God!
    For Thy Spirit of light,
    Who hath shown us our Savior,
    And scattered our night.
  3. All glory and praise
    To the Lamb that was slain,
    Who hath borne all our sins,
    And hath cleansed every stain.
  4. All glory and praise
    To the God of all grace,
    Who hast brought us, and sought us,
    And guided our ways.
  5. Revive us again;
    Fill each heart with Thy love;
    May each soul be rekindled
    With fire from above.
7 Show us your unfailing love, LORD,
and grant us your salvation.
.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

John 1:14 (NASB)

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

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

_________________________

Music:

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

_________________________

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

Images courtesy of:
Swanson.    http://www.johnaugustswanson.com/www.johnaugustswanson.com/ImagesUpload/Ps85-700.jpg
Revive us again.    https://i.ytimg.com/vi/ahp6ga2cJh4/maxresdefault.jpg
Imagine God’s salvation.   http://magnifythelord.files.wordpress.com/2010/10/psalm85_6-7.jpg
Truth and righteousness.   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2017/05/0251a-dscf0651.jpg
harvest basket.     https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2017/05/ps85-harvest.jpg

3435.) Psalm 29

June 17, 2022

Psalm 29 (New International Version)

In eleven verses, the name of the LORD (Yahweh) occurs 18 times. “The Voice of the Lord” repeats seven times. And over the course of the Psalm, the repetitions have a powerful affect on the reader. I suggest you read this psalm out loud to get the full effect!

From the drumbeat of the Lord’s name and voice, the Psalm follows the storm of the Lord. Ripping through the coastland cedars of Lebanon (v. 5), on to Sirion (or Hermon) in the center of Israel (v. 6), to the wilderness east of Canaan (v. 8), Psalm 29 follows the path of God’s thunderous voice like storm trackers would follow a tornado.

Capturing the effect of Psalm 29’s words, Konrad Schaeffer in his book Psalms comments, “The [Psalmist] reproduces auditory and visual effects: the echoing crash of the thunder (‘the voice of the Lord’), the flames of fire, and the quaking earth and twisting trees” (Psalms, 72). As it often happens in the Psalms, the literary devices are meant to do more than explain truth; they make you feel God’s truth.

And the truth in this Psalm is that the God who sits enthroned over all his creation has power to do as he pleases. With the breath of his mouth he subdues the massive trees of Lebanon, shakes the Wilderness of Kadesh, and strips bare the forests. In the presence of such a God, all of creation is reduced to one word: “Glory!”

–David S. Schrock

1 Ascribe to the LORD, O mighty ones,
ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.

2 Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name;
worship the LORD in the splendor of his  holiness.

3 The voice of the LORD is over the waters;
the God of glory thunders,
the LORD thunders over the mighty waters.

Water is the most abundant compound on Earth's surface, constituting about 70% of the planet's surface.  These still waters are off the coast of Tahiti.

Water is the most abundant compound on Earth’s surface, constituting about 70% of the planet’s surface. These still waters are off the coast of Tahiti.

4 The voice of the LORD is powerful;
the voice of the LORD is majestic.

5 The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars;
the LORD breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon.

Cedars from Lebanon were used by King Solomon in the construction of the Temple.

6 He makes Lebanon skip like a calf,
Sirion (Mount Hermon) like a young wild ox.

7 The voice of the LORD strikes
with flashes of lightning.

Lightning rapidly heats the air in its immediate vicinity to about 36,000 degrees Fahrenheit, which is about three times the temperature of the surface of the sun.

8 The voice of the LORD shakes the desert;
the LORD shakes the Desert of Kadesh.

9 The voice of the LORD twists the oaks
and strips the forests bare.
And in his temple all cry, “Glory!”

10 The LORD sits  enthroned over the flood;
the LORD is enthroned as King forever.

11 The LORD gives strength to his people;
the LORD blesses his people with peace.

This closing word with peace is like a rainbow arch over the Psalm. The beginning of the Psalm shows us heaven open while its close shows us his victorious people upon earth, blessed with peace in the midst of the terrible utterance of his wrath. Gloria in excelsis (glory in the highest) is the beginning, and in terra pax (peace on earth) the close. 

–Derek Kidner

_________________________

Music:

HERE  is Matt Redman and “All Glory.”

_________________________

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

Images courtesy of:
Psalm 29:2.   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2011/08/ascribetothelordthegloryduehisname.jpg
water of Tahiti.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2015/04/ps29-water.jpg
cedar of Lebanon.    http://farm1.static.flickr.com/41/100083847_9de945d7d7.jpg
lightning.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/29-lightning.jpg

3405.) Psalm 88

May 6, 2022

Psalm 88 (The Message)

A Korah Prayer of Heman

I think of this as Job’s psalm.

Many scholars call this the saddest of all the psalms.

“In this Psalm, Heman makes a map of his life’s history, he puts down all the dark places through which he has traveled. He mentions his sins, his sorrows, his hopes (if he had any), his fears, his woes, and so on. Now, that is real prayer, laying your case before the Lord.”

–Charles Haddon Spurgeon

1-9 God, you’re my last chance of the day.
I spend the night on my knees before you.
Put me on your salvation agenda;
take notes on the trouble I’m in.

The psalmist is overwhelmed with his troubles, unable to find relief, pouring out his heart to God. There is no happy ending here, no answer. Yet even in such a comfortless situation, he prays. God has promised never to leave us or forsake us, to carry us through the floods and fires. So let us not dishonor the Lord by saying he doesn’t care, or he has forgotten us. Christ’s death on the cross is irrevocable proof that God loves us dearly and will lay down his life to save us, even — perhaps especially — when we are caught in our darkness.

I’ve had my fill of trouble;
I’m camped on the edge of hell.
I’m written off as a lost cause,
one more statistic, a hopeless case.
Abandoned as already dead,
one more body in a stack of corpses,
And not so much as a gravestone—
I’m a black hole in oblivion.
You’ve dropped me into a bottomless pit,
sunk me in a pitch-black abyss.

The Psalms and the Old Testament in general do not present a comprehensive theology of the world beyond. The Psalms express the agony, fear, and uncertainty of death’s doorstep. The singers in the Psalms often know they can remember God and give Him thanks now, but don’t have the same certainty about the world beyond.

2 Timothy 2:10 says that Jesus brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. The understanding of the after-life was murky at best in the Old Testament; but Jesus let us know more about heaven and hell than anyone else could. Jesus could do this because He had first-hand knowledge of the world beyond.

–David Guzik

I’m battered senseless by your rage,
relentlessly pounded by your waves of anger.
You turned my friends against me,
made me horrible to them.
I’m caught in a maze and can’t find my way out,
blinded by tears of pain and frustration.

9-12 I call to you, God; all day I call.
I wring my hands, I plead for help.
Are the dead a live audience for your miracles?
Do ghosts ever join the choirs that praise you?
Does your love make any difference in a graveyard?
Is your faithful presence noticed in the corridors of hell?
Are your marvelous wonders ever seen in the dark,
your righteous ways noticed in the Land of No Memory?

13-18 I’m standing my ground, God, shouting for help,
at my prayers every morning, on my knees each daybreak.

This is a crisis, but it is a crisis of faith, not of unbelief. The writer refuses to give up on God and his help. He continues in fervent prayer.

Why, God, do you turn a deaf ear?
Why do you make yourself scarce?
For as long as I remember I’ve been hurting;
I’ve taken the worst you can hand out, and I’ve had it.
Your wildfire anger has blazed through my life;
I’m bleeding, black-and-blue.
You’ve attacked me fiercely from every side,
raining down blows till I’m nearly dead.
You made lover and neighbor alike dump me;
the only friend I have left is Darkness.

“Hello, Darkness, my old friend.”

–Paul Simon

“We thank God that there is one such song as this, with its revelation of what results in character when a soul, in the midst of the most appalling suffering, still maintains the activity of practiced relationship with God. We have also met such souls, and their witness to the power of the Divine grace is more potent than any theoretical expositions.”

–J. Campbell Morgan

“But the pleas here used were peculiarly suited to Christ. And we are not to think that the holy Jesus suffered for us only at Gethsemane and on Calvary. His whole life was labour and sorrow; he was afflicted as never man was, from his youth up. He was prepared for that death of which he tasted through life. No man could share in the sufferings by which other men were to be redeemed. All forsook him, and fled. Oftentimes, blessed Jesus, do we forsake thee; but do not forsake us, O take not thy Holy Spirit from us.”

–Matthew Henry

_________________________

Music:

Neville Peter was born in St. Thomas in 1971, and before he was one he was diagnosed with glaucoma; he was completely blind by age 12. A musical child, he sang and played piano, eventually going to the University of Miami for a degree in Studio Music and Vocal Jazz. He worked with Gladys Knight and other big names in jazz, pop, reggae, and R&B. Then one New Year’s Eve at a party in South Beach, he decided he had seen what the world had to offer and he did not find it appealing. He turned all his talents over to the Lord. Now he has written over 100 Gospel songs and performed at the White House. His two favorite Bible verses are Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” and Isaiah 42:16, “I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them. I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.” His greatest joy, he says, is to use his music to introduce people to the Savior and to show them how to get ready for His soon return.

HERE  — I think you will enjoy his rendition of “Near the Cross.”

_________________________

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

Images courtesy of:
Psalm 88:1-2.   http://www.4catholiceducators.com/graphics/Psalm88_1-2.jpg
verse 6.   https://thebottomofabottle.files.wordpress.com/2017/11/psalm-88-61.jpg
Jesus on the cross in darkness.  https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/jesus-christ-cross-0204.jpg

3368.) Psalm 97

March 16, 2022

Psalm 97 (The Message)

God Rules

G. Campbell Morgan summarized this Psalm: “The effects of His judgments are declared. His adversaries are destroyed, His glory is revealed, His people are filled with joy.”

Rejoicing in the Greatness of God

God rules: there’s something to shout over!
On the double, mainlands and islands—celebrate!

_________________________

Music:

HERE  is an old (well, not that old — copyright 1996!) favorite — “Rise Up and Praise Him!”

Let the heavens rejoice
Let the earth be glad
Let the people of God
Sing His praise all over the land
Everyone in the valley
Come and lift your voice
All those on the mountaintop
Be glad and shout for joy

Rise up and praise Him
He deserves our love
Rise up and praise Him
Worship the Holy One
With all your heart
With all your soul
With all your might
Rise up and praise Him

_________________________

2 Bright clouds and storm clouds circle ’round him;
Right and justice anchor his rule.

3 Fire blazes out before him,
Flaming high up the craggy mountains.

4 His lightnings light up the world;
Earth, wide-eyed, trembles in fear.

5 The mountains take one look at God
And melt, melt like wax before earth’s Lord.

6 The heavens announce that he’ll set everything right,
And everyone will see it happen—glorious!

Instructing the People

7-8 All who serve handcrafted gods will be sorry—
And they were so proud of their ragamuffin gods!

modern day idols

On your knees, all you gods—worship him!
And Zion, you listen and take heart!

Daughters of Zion, sing your hearts out:
God has done it all, has set everything right.

9 You, God, are High God of the cosmos,
Far, far higher than any of the gods.

10 God loves all who hate evil,
And those who love him he keeps safe,
Snatches them from the grip of the wicked.

from Whispers of His Power,
by Amy Carmichael

Psalm 97:10 — O ye that love the Lord, see that ye hate the thing which is evil.

Do we hate enough? I hate all evil ways, the writer of Psalm 119 said in verse 104, and in verse 128, All false ways I utterly abhor.

Do we truly hate every false way? Or are we covering up something which will one day come out to our shame before God and His holy angels? There is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known (Matthew 10:26).

Do we hate unkind suspicions, whisperings, backbitings, all unlove?

Do we hate all weakening things, or are we sliding along in an easy kind of tolerance that is far removed from the “hate” of such verses as this?

Do we hate laziness and slackness and all kinds of selfishness?

See that you love all that God loves, but see also that you hate all that He hates. They are two sides of the same coin.

11 Light-seeds are planted in the souls of God’s people,
Joy-seeds are planted in good heart-soil.

12 So, God’s people, shout praise to God,
Give thanks to our Holy God!

“He began with bidding the world be glad. He now bids each of us concentrate that universal gladness in our own hearts.”

–Alexander Maclaren

Quick! What can you thank God for today? 

Make it a long, long, all-day-long list!

_________________________

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

Images courtesy of:
Psalm 97:9.  http://wallpaper4god.com/wallpapers/psalm-979_5526_1280x960.jpg
bright clouds, storm clouds.   https://www.pixcove.com/florida-vacation-travel-light-bright-storm-clouds-sky-blue-clouds-sunset-vapors-storm/
lightning.   http://www.smsbase.co.za/2011/11/storms-will-come.html
modern day idols.  https://www.christianpost.com/news/modern-day-idols.html
hate evil.   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/psalm97_10.jpg
Dear God . . .    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/dear-god-from-the-bottom-of-my-heart-i-want-to-thank-you.jpg

3352.) Psalm 90

February 22, 2022

Psalm 90   (English Standard Version)

From Everlasting to Everlasting

“Psalm 90 is one of the most magisterial of the psalms.”
–Walter Brueggemann

A Prayer of Moses, the man of God.

Moses taught the people of Israel to pray, and put words into their mouths which they might make use of in turning to the Lord. Moses is here called the man of God, because he was a prophet, the father of prophets, and an eminent type of the great prophet.

–Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible, 1710

Lord, you have been our dwelling place
    in all generations.
Before the mountains were brought forth,
    or ever you had formed the earth and the world,
    from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

You return man to dust
    and say, “Return, O children of man!”
For a thousand years in your sight
    are but as yesterday when it is past,
    or as a watch in the night.

2 Peter 3:8-9 (ESV)

But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.  The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

You sweep them away as with a flood; they are like a dream,
    like grass that is renewed in the morning:
in the morning it flourishes and is renewed;
    in the evening it fades and withers.

Psalm 90 has long been used at funerals and burials.

There was a young lady from Guam,
Who said, “Now the sea is so calm,
I will swim, for a lark.”
But she met with a shark —
Let us now sing the ninetieth psalm.

For we are brought to an end by your anger;
    by your wrath we are dismayed.
You have set our iniquities before you,
    our secret sins in the light of your presence.

9 For all our days pass away under your wrath;
    we bring our years to an end like a sigh.

Verse 9 in the King James Version —  For all our days are passed away in thy wrath: we spend our years as a tale that is told.

“A tale that is told.” That rings a bell. I wonder if Shakespeare didn’t have Psalm 90 in front of him as he wrote Macbeth’s soliloquy (Act V, scene v):

“Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more; it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.”

10 The years of our life are seventy,
    or even by reason of strength eighty;
yet their span is but toil and trouble;
    they are soon gone, and we fly away.
11 Who considers the power of your anger,
    and your wrath according to the fear of you?

12 So teach us to number our days
    that we may get a heart of wisdom.

from Whispers of His Power,
by Amy Carmichael

Some time ago I was given two big pieces of soap, and I use both every day. For a while I saw very little difference in either, but gradually I saw that both were just a little less. Of course one can’t at the same time both give and keep, and soap is always giving. Every time you use it, it gives you something of itself, so naturally it becomes less and less.

Did you ever think of life as a piece of soap? Every day, hour, minute, it is giving you something of itself. Soon it will have given all, and then there won’t be any more of it here. When we are young we think things will go on just as they are forever. But they don’t.

Next time you use your soap, will you think of the little prayer in Psalm 90:12?

13 Return, O Lord! How long?
    Have pity on your servants!
14 Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love,
    that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
15 Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us,
    and for as many years as we have seen evil.

My father taught me to say, as soon as I awakened in the morning, “This is the day the Lord has made; I will rejoice and be glad in it.” And my mother often said, “Today is the best day of my life.” When I questioned her once for saying it so often, she explained, “But today is the only day I have. Yesterday is gone, and who knows about tomorrow?” My parents were both children of the Depression. They had to be terribly frugal most of their lives. Death and disappointment were frequent visitors in their experiences. But they lived out the verses above, in that they were glad even in the days that included affliction.

If you are basing your joy on your circumstances, on your present situation, on sunny breezes and the comfortable situation you inhabit, then following this command day in and day out will not be easy. But if you are satisfied with God’s mercy, if you do not forget the joy of Christ risen! — then you will find, even in the dark days, the glory of the Lord present in your heart.

May God help us to put our confidence and our joy in Christ, who alone is worthy of all our praise!

16 Let your work be shown to your servants,
    and your glorious power to their children.
17 Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us,
    and establish the work of our hands upon us;
    yes, establish the work of our hands!

So our situation is not finally defined by dust and grass, but by the One who brings us and keeps us home safely.

_________________________

Music:

The hymn “O God, Our Help in Ages Past,” a paraphrase of Psalm 90, was written by Isaac Watts in 1719. It is sung  HERE  by the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge. The choral piece is sandwiched between two partial keyboard pieces using the tune, St. Anne. If you feel cheated at the end and want to hear all of J. S. Bach’s beautiful Fugue in E-Flat (St. Anne) BWV 552, go to YouTube and you can listen to a wide variety of renditions; I recommend it!

_________________________

English Standard Version (ESV)   The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
Images courtesy of:
Psalm 90:1-2.   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/psalm-90-1-2.jpg
clock.  https://onceuponarhyme.org/2020/09/20/midnight/
burial.  https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/funeral-pictures.jpg
Macbeth.   http://www.bbc.co.uk/drama/shakespeare/60secondshakespeare/images/star/macbeth.jpg
washing with soap.  http://www.heartlandscience.org/future-horizons
Fruit of the Spirit.   http://i165.photobucket.com/albums/u62/ParkcrestHSM/blogg/FruitoftheSpirit02JoyTitle.jpg

3329.) Psalm 106

January 20, 2022

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 2021:  Israel has 6.9 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 with rainbow.  https://wiirocku.tumblr.com/image/163169184320
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.   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/p106-joye.jpg
menorah.   https://moroccoculturetravel.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/article-new-thumbnail-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

3328.) Psalm 105

January 19, 2022

Psalm 105  The Message (MSG)

After reading the bulk of the historical books of the Old Testament, we will now look at two Psalms (today and tomorrow) 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

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.  https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/psalm105_411.jpg
Hallelujah.   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/hallelujah1.jpg

3316.) Psalm 145

January 3, 2022

Psalm 145   The Message

David’s Praise

A magnificent hymn reminding us of all that God has provided for us! We sing praises to Him for his greatness, his goodness, his grace, and his glory!

Psalm 145 is an acrostic psalm that uses each of the letters of the Hebrew alphabet in order, almost like an ABC book. Today we alphabetize lots of things, but not usually our poetry. The Hebrews didn’t have books readily available, so much of their theology was memorized. Psalm 145 may have been written the way it was to make it easier to remember, since each verse starts with the next letter in the Hebrew alphabet.

–Robert J. and Laura Keeley

Psalm 145 is the last psalm attributed to David in the collection of Psalms.

(1-3) Learning from David’s example of a heart fully given to praise.

I lift you high in praise, my God, O my King!
    and I’ll bless your name into eternity.

· He did it with the direct address (You)

· He did it with the personal reference (my God)

· He did it with a surrendered heart (my King)

· He did it unending (forever and ever…every day)

–David Guzik

I’ll bless you every day,
    and keep it up from now to eternity.

God is magnificent; he can never be praised enough.
    There are no boundaries to his greatness.

(4-7) Passing the praise of God from one generation to another.

Ps145 future generations

Generation after generation stands in awe of your work;
    each one tells stories of your mighty acts.

Your beauty and splendor have everyone talking;
    I compose songs on your wonders.

Your marvelous doings are headline news;
    I could write a book full of the details of your greatness.

The fame of your goodness spreads across the country;
    your righteousness is on everyone’s lips.

(8-9) The memory and present experience of God’s goodness.

God is all mercy and grace—
    not quick to anger, is rich in love.

Ps145 steadfast love

God is good to one and all;
    everything he does is suffused with grace.

(10-13) All creation declares God’s praise.

10-11 Creation and creatures applaud you, God;
    your holy people bless you.

They talk about the glories of your rule,
    they exclaim over your splendor,

12 Letting the world know of your power for good,
    the lavish splendor of your kingdom.

13 Your kingdom is a kingdom eternal;
    you never get voted out of office.

Psalm145_13 flowers

God always does what he says,
    and is gracious in everything he does.

(14-16) The kindness of God to those in need.

14 God gives a hand to those down on their luck,
    gives a fresh start to those ready to quit.

15 All eyes are on you, expectant;
    you give them their meals on time.

16 Generous to a fault,
    you lavish your favor on all creatures.

My family has often used the verses above as a grace at table.

(17-21) The love and righteousness of the Lord.

17 Everything God does is right—
    the trademark on all his works is love.

Ps145 pray

18 God’s there, listening for all who pray,
    for all who pray and mean it.

19 He does what’s best for those who fear him—
    hears them call out, and saves them.

20 God sticks by all who love him,
    but it’s all over for those who don’t.

21 My mouth is filled with God’s praise.
    Let everything living bless him,
    bless his holy name from now to eternity!

 “Whatever others may do, I will not be silent in the praise of the Lord, whatever others may speak upon, my topic is fixed once for all: I will speak the praise of Jehovah. I am doing it, and I will do it as long as I breathe.”

–Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“The last verse of Psalm 145 is the last word we have from David in the Bible. It is his last will and testament. If he had said nothing else in his long life, these words would be a fine legacy for future generations. In it he praises God and invites others to praise God also.”

–James Montgomery Boice

“So ends David’s contribution to the Psalter, on a note of praise which is wholly his own (v 21a), yet as wide as mankind and as unfading as eternity.”

–Derek Kidner

_________________________

Music:

Happy New Year, dear readers! How thankful I am for your support of DWELLING! I pray that this year we will come to love the Lord more fervently as we read and study His words in Scripture!

HERE is “For the Beauty of the Earth,” sung by BarlowGirl (3 sisters from Elgin, IL).

HERE  is another version of the hymn, but a different tune, sung by Libera (English boys choir).

_________________________

The Message (MSG)   Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson
Images courtesy of:
verse 1.   https://i.pinimg.com/originals/cd/47/f8/cd47f8c872facc0422bed0649a1b3f12.jpg
Imagine God’s future.    https://www.heartlight.org/powerpoint/2138.html
steadfast love.    http://patriciawonders.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/hearts.jpg
Psalm 145:13.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/63c1d-psalm145_13.jpg
verses 15-16.   https://cccooperagency.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/encouragement_psalm_145_15_16.jpg?w=394
The Lord is near to all.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/c299c-psalms145_18.jpg
King David.  https://dwellingintheword.wordpress.com/2017/11/23/2234-psalm-145/#jp-carousel-43054

3290.) Psalm 95

November 26, 2021

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.”

_________________________

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.”

_________________________

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.     https://mysundayblog.com/2016/09/25/sheep-worrying/
obey.    https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/d1/70/08/d17008d7307ad9dd79c2643b8943c582.jpg