2059.) Psalm 99

March 23, 2017

Psalm 99   (NRSV)

Praise to God for His Holiness

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

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

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

Psalm 138:2 (ESV)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

–Walter Brueggemann

_________________________

Music:

HERE  is “Holy, Holy” by Tim Hughes.

_________________________

The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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

2058.) Psalm 19

March 22, 2017

19. outer space

Psalm 19   (NRSV)

God’s Glory in Creation

Welcome, Springtime!

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

— John Calvin (1509-1564)

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

Genesis 1:1 (KJV)

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

_________________________

19. earth_rotation

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

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

–Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

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

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

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

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

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

19. SunMoonStars

a poem by Joseph Addison, published in 1712

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

God’s Glory in the Law

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

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

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

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

Psalm 119:103 (NIV)

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

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

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

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

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

Let the meditation of my heart be acceptable.

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

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

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

_________________________

Music:

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

_________________________

The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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

2057.) Psalm 103

March 21, 2017

Psalm 103  (NIV)

Of David.

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

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

–Albert Barnes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

–Tim and Debbie Childers

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

from Whispers of His Power,
by Amy Carmichael

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

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

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

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


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

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

Praise the Lord, my soul.

_________________________

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

_________________________

Music:

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

_________________________

New International Version (NIV)   Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.®Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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

2056.) Psalms 100 and 101

March 20, 2017

Psalm 100   (NRSV)

All Lands Summoned to Praise God

This is the only Psalm entitled “A Psalm of Praise.”

1Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth.

2Worship the Lord with gladness; come into his presence with singing.

3Know that the Lord is God. It is he that made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

4Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise. Give thanks to him, bless his name.

5For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.

_________________________

Music:

Two choices for our first psalm:  In Latin Psalm 100 begins, Jubilate Deo, and it has frequently been put to music with that title.  HERE  is a beautiful composition by Peter Anglea (born in 1988 and a graduate of Bob Jones University in Church Music, piano and composition), sung by the Rivertree Singers, a choral ensemble of young professionals from Greenville, South Carolina.

HERE  is Messianic praise and worship musician Paul Wilbur and “Praise Adonai.”

_________________________

Psalm 101   (NRSV)

A Sovereign’s Pledge of Integrity and Justice

This psalm is a carefully balanced psalm of decision.  Carefully formed positive decisions are balanced equally with the negative decisions that enable the positive decisions to be carried out.

Making a choice involves two things.  It is the rejecting of one thing to do another.

1I will sing of loyalty and of justice; to you, O Lord, I will sing.

2I will study the way that is blameless. When shall I attain it? I will walk with integrity of heart within my house;

Oh, that the Lord would guide my ways
To keep His statutes still!
Oh, that my God would grant me grace
To know and do His will!

3I will not set before my eyes anything that is base. I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cling to me.

4Perverseness of heart shall be far from me; I will know nothing of evil.

Order my footsteps by Thy Word
And make my heart sincere;
Let sin have no dominion, Lord,
But keep my conscience clear.

5One who secretly slanders a neighbor I will destroy. A haughty look and an arrogant heart I will not tolerate.

6I will look with favor on the faithful in the land, so that they may live with me; whoever walks in the way that is blameless shall minister to me.

Assist my soul, too apt to stray,
A stricter watch to keep;
And should I e’er forget Thy way,
Restore Thy wandering sheep.

7No one who practices deceit shall remain in my house; no one who utters lies shall continue in my presence.

8Morning by morning I will destroy all the wicked in the land, cutting off all evildoers from the city of the Lord.

Make me to walk in Thy commands,
‘Tis a delightful road;
Nor let my head, or heart, or hands,
Offend against my God.

–Isaac Watts

_________________________

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:
Worship.   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/psalm100-2cborders.jpg
Psalm 101.   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/sing-101.jpg?w=450

2042.) Psalm 44

February 28, 2017

Psalm 44 (ESV)

Come to Our Help

1O God, we have heard with our ears,
our fathers have told us,
what deeds you performed in their days,
in the days of old:

ps44-ear

Matthew 11:15 (NLT)

Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand!

2you with your own hand drove out the nations,
but them you planted;
you afflicted the peoples,
but them you set free;
3for not by their own sword did they win the land,
nor did their own arm save them,
but your right hand and your arm,
and the light of your face,
for you delighted in them.

“Right Hand” — bronze sculpture by Kevin Pettelle

Psalm 20:6 (NIV)

Now I know that the LORD saves his anointed;
he answers him from his holy heaven
with the saving power of his right hand.

4 You are my King, O God;
ordain salvation for Jacob!
5Through you we push down our foes;
through your name we tread down those who rise up against us.
6For not in my bow do I trust,
nor can my sword save me.
7But you have saved us from our foes
and have put to shame those who hate us.
8 In God we have boasted continually,
and we will give thanks to your name forever.
Selah


Psalm 20:7 (NIV)

Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.

9But you have rejected us and disgraced us
and have not gone out with our armies.
10You have made us turn back from the foe,
and those who hate us have gotten spoil.
11You have made us like sheep for slaughter
and have scattered us among the nations.
12 You have sold your people for a trifle,
demanding no high price for them.
13You have made us the taunt of our neighbors,
the derision and scorn of those around us.
14You have made us a byword among the nations,
a laughingstock among the peoples.
15All day long my disgrace is before me,
and shame has covered my face
16at the sound of the taunter and reviler,
at the sight of the enemy and the avenger.

ps44-candle

Prayer for Purity
by Nicolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf

(the creator of Daily Texts)

and translated by John Wesley

O Thou to Whose all searching sight
The darkness shineth as the light,
Search, prove my heart; it pants for Thee;
O burst these bonds, and set it free!

Wash out its stains, refine its dross,
Nail my affections to the cross;
Hallow each thought; let all within
Be clean, as Thou, my Lord, art clean!

If in this darksome wild I stray,
Be Thou my light, be Thou my way;
No foes, no violence I fear,
No fraud, while thou, my God, art near.

When rising floods my soul o’erflow,
When sinks my heart in waves of woe,
Jesu, Thy timely aid impart,
And raise my head, and cheer my heart.

Savior, where’er Thy steps I see,
Dauntless, untired, I follow thee!
O let Thy hand support me still,
And lead me to Thy holy hill!

If rough and thorny be the way,
My strength proportion to my day;
Till toil, and grief, and pain shall cease,
Where all is calm, and joy, and peace.

17 All this has come upon us,
though we have not forgotten you,
and we have not been false to your covenant.
18Our heart has not turned back,
nor have our steps departed from your way;
19yet you have broken us in the place of jackals
and covered us with the shadow of death.
20If we had forgotten the name of our God
or spread out our hands to a foreign god,
21 would not God discover this?
For he knows the secrets of the heart.
22Yet for your sake we are killed all the day long;
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.

ps44-nothing-can-separate

Romans 8:36-39 (NIV)

As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

23 Awake! Why are you sleeping, O Lord?
Rouse yourself! Do not reject us forever!
24Why do you hide your face?
Why do you forget our affliction and oppression?
25For our soul is bowed down to the dust;
our belly clings to the ground.
26Rise up; come to our help!
Redeem us for the sake of your steadfast love!

_________________________

Music:

The father of lies would have you believe that God has abandoned you.  Never!  God loves you far too much to ever forget you!  HERE  33 Miles sings “Hold On.”

_________________________

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

Images courtesy of:
Psalm 44:26 and Jerusalem.    http://media.photobucket.com/image/Psalm%2044/Frank4YAHWEH/Psalm44_26.jpg
ear.    http://i.huffpost.com/gen/3898786/images/o-EAR-facebook.jpg
Pettelle.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2010/08/44-pettelle-right-hand-bnz.jpg?w=450
horse and chariot.    http://www.estatevaults.com/bol/chariot-roman.jpg
candle.     http://il3.picdn.net/shutterstock/videos/11892521/thumb/1.jpg
Nothing can separate us.   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2017/02/01397-10953562_434527386737713_1853529433_n.jpg

2041.) Psalm 143

February 27, 2017

Ps143 8

Psalm 143   Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

a penitential psalm

A psalm of David:

Adonai, hear my prayer;
listen to my pleas for mercy.
In your faithfulness, answer me,
and in your righteousness.

David appeals to God’s faithfulness and righteousness, to God’s very nature and character. Since God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, we can count on Him to work with us in faithfulness, righteousness, and love. God will keep His promises. God will defend His defenseless servant.

Don’t bring your servant to trial,
since in your sight no one alive
would be considered righteous.

For an enemy is pursuing me;
he has crushed my life into the ground
and left me to live in darkness,
like those who have been long dead.
My spirit faints within me;
my heart is appalled within me.

I remember the days of old,
reflecting on all your deeds,
thinking about the work of your hands.

ps143-rain
I spread out my hands to you,
I long for you like a thirsty land. (Selah)

Answer me quickly, Adonai,
because my spirit is fainting.
Don’t hide your face from me,
or I’ll be like those who drop down into a pit.

THE ANGUISH OF FAITH
by Os Hillman, Today God Is First

“Do not hide Your face from me or I will be like those who go down to the pit.” – Psalm 143:7b

Of all the biblical characters, David gives us a glimpse of a man who walked with God with great emotion in victory and in defeat. David never lost a battle throughout his many years of serving as king of Israel. In many of the Psalms, David often lamented about the difficult places where God had placed him. He talked of his enemies and the need for God to deliver him. He talked of God’s everlasting love for him. How do you suppose David came to this understanding after years of being sought after by King Saul who wanted to take his life? His years of turmoil within his family gave him many reasons to lose all hope in a loving God.

David often began his Psalms in a place of discouragement and loss of hope. But he never ended one Psalm in defeat. He always came to a place of victory in God by the end of the Psalm. David always placed his life in God’s hands, knowing He would care for him. Let the morning bring me word of Your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in You. Show me the way I should go, for to You I lift up my soul. Rescue me from my enemies, O Lord, for I hide myself in You. Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God; may Your good Spirit lead me on level ground (Psalm 143:8-10).

It is okay to feel discouragement. It is part of the process of grieving and working through those times of pain. But God wants each of us to allow Him to walk with us in these places. If you find yourself in one of these places, do what David did. Ask God to show you the way and let Him bring the word of His unfailing love to you.

Make me hear of your love in the morning,
because I rely on you.

Lamentations 3:21-23   (NIV)

Yet this I call to mind
    and therefore I have hope:
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,

    for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.

Make me know the way I should walk,
because I entrust myself to you.
Adonai, rescue me from my enemies;
I have hidden myself with you.

Ps143 10
10 Teach me to do your will,
because you are my God;
Let your good Spirit guide me
on ground that is level.

11 For your name’s sake, Adonai, preserve my life;
in your righteousness, bring me out of distress.
12 In your grace, cut off my enemies;
destroy all those harassing me;
because I am your servant.

_________________________

Music:

HERE  is an old favorite to comfort the hurting and assure the fearful — “Great Is Thy Faithfulness,” sung by Twila Paris.

_________________________

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)   Copyright © 1998 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved.
Images courtesy of:
verse 8.    http://ih3.redbubble.net/image.7032297.5987/flat,550×550,075,f.jpg
 verse 6.    https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/3f/1b/82/3f1b8239c8a810f642a9729843dd82cb.jpg
verse 10.    http://media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/c5/0c/ad/c50cad833146fb755463c84504913bd7.jpg

2039.) Psalm 102

February 23, 2017

Psalm 102   (NRSV)

(a penitential psalm)

Prayer to the Eternal King for Help

A plea for the presence of God.

1Hear my prayer, O Lord; let my cry come to you.

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Music:

From Psalm 102,  HERE  is the Taize song, “O Lord, Hear My Prayer,” sung by the Taize Community Choir.

O Lord, hear my prayer,
hear my prayer
When I call answer me
O Lord, hear my prayer,
hear my prayer
Come and listen to me

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2Do not hide your face from me in the day of my distress. Incline your ear to me; answer me speedily in the day when I call.

The agony of being afflicted in health.

3For my days pass away like smoke, and my bones burn like a furnace.

4My heart is stricken and withered like grass; I am too wasted to eat my bread.

5Because of my loud groaning my bones cling to my skin.

6I am like an owl of the wilderness, like a little owl of the waste places.

7I lie awake; I am like a lonely bird on the housetop.

The agony of being afflicted by enemies.

8All day long my enemies taunt me; those who deride me use my name for a curse.

9For I eat ashes like bread, and mingle tears with my drink,

10because of your indignation and anger; for you have lifted me up and thrown me aside.

11My days are like an evening shadow; I wither away like grass.

Recognizing the everlasting God.

12But you, O Lord, are enthroned forever; your name endures to all generations.

Recognizing the favor of God to Jerusalem.

13You will rise up and have compassion on Zion, for it is time to favor it; the appointed time has come.

2 Corinthians 6:2 (NIV)

For God says,

   “In the time of my favor I heard you,
   and in the day of salvation I helped you.”

I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.

14For your servants hold its stones dear, and have pity on its dust.

Recognizing God’s exaltation among the nations.

15The nations will fear the name of the Lord, and all the kings of the earth your glory.

16For the Lord will build up Zion; he will appear in his glory.

17He will regard the prayer of the destitute, and will not despise their prayer.

Recognizing the great deliverance God brings.

18Let this be recorded for a generation to come, so that a people yet unborn may praise the Lord:

This is an interesting suggestion: that God considers and plans for those yet to be created. We don’t enter into the consciousness of God when we are conceived in our mother’s womb, but when we are conceived in the heart and mind of God.

–David Guzik

19that he looked down from his holy height, from heaven the Lord looked at the earth,

20to hear the groans of the prisoners, to set free those who were doomed to die;

21so that the name of the Lord may be declared in Zion, and his praise in Jerusalem,

22when peoples gather together, and kingdoms, to worship the Lord.

A confession of weakness and its cause.

23He has broken my strength in midcourse; he has shortened my days.

A prayer from the afflicted Psalmist.

24“O my God,” I say, “do not take me away at the mid-point of my life, you whose years endure throughout all generations.”

Psalm 90:1-2 (NIV)

Lord, you have been our dwelling place
   throughout all generations.
Before the mountains were born
   or you brought forth the whole world,
   from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

25Long ago you laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands.

26They will perish, but you endure; they will all wear out like a garment. You change them like clothing, and they pass away;

27but you are the same, and your years have no end.

28The children of your servants shall live secure; their offspring shall be established in your presence.

This is a remarkable declaration of trust in God’s promise to make all things right and good, if not in the present day, then in days to come. It shows a wonderful progression in Psalm 102.

· He began with honest declaration of his own misery.

· Then he looked outside himself to his community

· Then he looked outside his community to the world

· Then he looked outside his time to future generations

–David Guzik

My three children — Devlin, Maureen, and Sean — on Lake Eola, downtown Orlando.  May they dwell secure in the Lord!

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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:
earth, verse 25.   http://www.bestfreechristian.com/stock_03/images/earth-001.gif
desert owl sketch.  http://img1.etsystatic.com/il_fullxfull.300822501.jpg
Today.   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/8871-today-is-the-day-ep.jpg
“Let this be written . . .”   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/psalm10218.jpg