2454.) Psalm 38

September 27, 2018

“Psalm 38” — oil on canvas by Elena Hopsu, 2003 (born in Russia but now living and working in Helsinki, Finland)

Psalm 38 (NASB)

People unfamiliar with Scripture generally expect the Bible to be filled with upbeat aphorisms, spooned over with positive thinking, a sort of imbecilic simpleness disconnected from the rigors of true trouble; they don’t often expect Scripture to be filled with frank talk about deep personal distress over sickness and sin, and its impact on a person’s relationship with the LORD. Sure there’s some stuff in the Bible about Jesus’ suffering – people unfamiliar with Scripture remember hearing about that from when that Mel Gibson movie came out years ago – and there’s that stuff about Job – the guy who needed so much patience in his trouble – but that’s about it, right? Psalm 38 is no baby blister or minor cut in need of some Polysporin and a Band-Aid. Psalm 38 is deadly serious.

–Ted Giese

It is often only in desperation that we come to God.

–Michael Gunn (and all following in blue)

Psalm 38 shows us how 4 prayers and three complaints can be worked together to form a proper human response to pain and to God. There are too many people who either want to blame God and be bitter, or gloss over the elephant in the room (Human Pain) and try to put on a “Religious Front.” Neither method will help us with our pain, or move us toward God.

Prayer #1:

1O LORD, rebuke me not in Your wrath,
And chasten me not in Your burning anger.

Show me your mercy!

Complaint #1:

2For Your arrows have sunk deep into me,
And Your hand has pressed down on me.
3There is no soundness in my flesh because of Your indignation;
There is no health in my bones because of my sin.
4For my iniquities are gone over my head;
As a heavy burden they weigh too much for me.

 

5My wounds grow foul and fester
Because of my folly.
6I am bent over and greatly bowed down;
I go mourning all day long.
7For my loins are filled with burning,
And there is no soundness in my flesh.
8I am benumbed and badly crushed;
I groan because of the agitation of my heart.

No matter why the author is suffering, he is aware of his sin, since suffering and death is a judgment for sin, whether that judgment is direct or not. As C.S. Lewis writes, “Pain is a megaphone to a deaf world.” God’s discipline can be painful, but His intentions are always to turn you from disaster.

Prayer #2:

9Lord, all my desire is before You;
And my sighing is not hidden from You.

We come to the Lord not so much to inform him of our needs, as to receive help and comfort.

Complaint #2:

10My heart throbs, my strength fails me;
And the light of my eyes, even that has gone from me.
11My loved ones and my friends stand aloof from my plague;
And my kinsmen stand afar off.
12Those who seek my life lay snares for me;
And those who seek to injure me have threatened destruction,
And they devise treachery all day long.

13But I, like a deaf man, do not hear;
And I am like a mute man who does not open his mouth.
14Yes, I am like a man who does not hear,
And in whose mouth are no arguments.

In addition to the physical pain, the psalmist admits to the pain of loneliness and rejection.

Prayer #3:

15For I hope in You, O LORD;
You will answer, O Lord my God.

2 Timothy 1:12 (NLT)

I know the one in whom I trust, and I am sure that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until the day of his return.

The psalmist knows that the only answer, the only help, is from the Lord. To flee from him is to abandon all hope of help.

Complaint #3:

16For I said, “May they not rejoice over me,
Who, when my foot slips, would magnify themselves against me.”

17For I am ready to fall,
And my sorrow is continually before me.
18For I confess my iniquity;
I am full of anxiety because of my sin.
19But my enemies are vigorous and strong,
And many are those who hate me wrongfully.
20And those who repay evil for good,
They oppose me, because I follow what is good.

Add it all up and the writer confesses to a failing faith. He is overwhelmed by his troubles.

Prayer #4:

21Do not forsake me, O LORD;
O my God, do not be far from me!
22Make haste to help me,
O Lord, my salvation!

And God has helped! He done exactly what he promised by the death of Jesus on the cross and the glory of his resurrection!

_________________________

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 so overwhelming that I cannot breathe; it is hard for me even to get air in and out. At such times, I have found the simple repetition of the phrases from this old 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.”  HERE  is “My Life Is in You.”

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

_________________________

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

Images courtesy of:
Hopsu.   http://www.elenahopsu.com/images/psalmi_38.jpg
sack of guilt.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2010/05/guilt.jpg
God is faithful.    https://whitmantoland.com/2017/05/09/god-is-faithful/
Advertisements

2453.) Psalm 21

September 26, 2018

Psalm 21 (ESV)

The King Rejoices in the LORD’s Strength

Jesus is God’s king, as Revelation 19:16  makes clear — KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS. So this psalm can be read as about Jesus.

1O LORD, in your strength the king rejoices,
and in your salvation how greatly he exults!
2You have given him his heart’s desire
and have not withheld the request of his lips.
Selah

Verse 2 is talking about prayer. We remember how Jesus prayed. Up early and out away from the crowds, he spent long hours with the Father. At Gethsemane, knowing the time has come for him to be arrested and killed, he prays. Even on the cross, he cries out for forgiveness for those who are crucifying him, for salvation for one who is beside him.

Hebrews 5:7 (NIV)

During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission.

3For you meet him with rich blessings;
you set a crown of fine gold upon his head.
4He asked life of you; you gave it to him,
length of days forever and ever.
5His glory is great through your salvation;
splendor and majesty you bestow on him.

6For you make him most blessed forever;
you make him glad with the joy of your presence.

“Now may He that bore the crown of thorns bring us to his bliss.”

–from Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, a fourteenth century Arthurian romance

Hebrews 12:1-2  (NIV)

And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

7For the king trusts in the LORD,
and through the steadfast love of the Most High he shall not be moved.

8Your hand will find out all your enemies;
your right hand will find out those who hate you.
9You will make them as a blazing oven
when you appear.
The LORD will swallow them up in his wrath,
and fire will consume them.
10You will destroy their descendants from the earth,
and their offspring from among the children of man.
11Though they plan evil against you,
though they devise mischief, they will not succeed.
12For you will put them to flight;
you will aim at their faces with your bows.

13Be exalted, O LORD, in your strength!
We will sing and praise your power.

_________________________

Music:

HERE  is “In your strength, the king will rejoice,” a musical presentation of Psalm 21. Composer Karl Kohlhase is a contempoary Christian musician and this song has a distinctly Hebraic flair.

And if you like organ music,  HERE  is a beautiful improvisation from Jacob van der Perk (born 1947) based on Psalm 21. Once when asked what the purpose of music is, he replied, “Music must be made to God’s honor. That is my goal. By the way, the whole Bible speaks like that. They praised God and that was accompanied by music.”

_________________________

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 21:13 mountains.    http://wonders.wallpaperdave.com/ps21-13v.jpg
Romans 12:12.   https://twitter.com/p4cm/status/419193311396524032
Psalm 21:6.   https://picturescriptures.files.wordpress.com/2015/05/p5100066.jpg
Psalm 21:13 bird.   https://biblia.com/bible/esv/Ps%2021.13

2448.) Psalm 139

September 19, 2018

P139 cover

Psalm 139    (NIV)

For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.

God is so great!
There is nothing He does not know.
There is nowhere He is not present.
There is nothing He cannot do.

.

P139 sitting down

David begins by talking about the omniscience of God:

You have searched me, Lord,
    and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
    you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
    you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
    you, Lord, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before,
    and you lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
    too lofty for me to attain.

Such a personal God we have! It’s not just that God knows everything, He knows me. It’s not just that God is everywhere, He is everywhere with me. It’s not just that God created everything, He created me. Such knowledge is too amazing, too wonderful!

God is omnipresent as well, which is a great comfort to those who are mourning or considering their own end:

Where can I go from your Spirit?
    Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
    if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
    if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
    your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
    and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
    the night will shine like the day,
    for darkness is as light to you.

P139 baby foot

Now David turns to consider God’s power and skill, his omnipotence:

13 For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.

“Woven together” or “skillfully wrought” or “curiously formed” — these different translations all come from a Hebrew word meaning embroidered.

16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
    How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
    they would outnumber the grains of sand—
    when I awake, I am still with you.

When I awake may therefore have its strongest sense, a glimpse of resurrection.”

–Derek Kidner

Who are those who would stand against such a God?

19 If only you, God, would slay the wicked!
    Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty!
20 They speak of you with evil intent;
    your adversaries misuse your name.
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, Lord,
    and abhor those who are in rebellion against you?
22 I have nothing but hatred for them;
    I count them my enemies.

P139 search me

David took his theological understanding of God’s nature and attributes and applied it to his own personal discipleship. The nature and attributes of God were not mere theories; they were guides to David’s spiritual growth.

–David Guzik

23 Search me, God, and know my heart;
    test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
    and lead me in the way everlasting.

Let us not be counted among the wicked! Make this prayer of David’s our own daily prayer.

_________________________

Music:

HERE  is “Search me, O God!”  by Christ Our Life.

_________________________

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:
Search me, O God – with rose.   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2018/09/4813d-searchme_psalm139_23-24.jpg
O Lord, you have searched me.    http://media.salemwebnetwork.com/ecards/scripture-cards/psalm-139-1-3-nkjv-550×320.jpg
If I ascend.   https://www.healyoufirst.com/if-i-ascend-into-heaven-god-is-there/
baby foot.    https://static1.squarespace.com/static/564e2a34e4b0ad118963f571/564e2aa4e4b058efffcc120c/564e2abbe4b058efffcc1f75/1447963323505/images-41.jpeg?format=original
Search me, God.   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/p139-search-me.jpg

2435.) Psalm 67

August 31, 2018

Psalm 67   (NRSV)

The Nations Called to Praise God

1May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us,

Selah

2that your way may be known upon earth, your saving power among all nations.

Of all of the ways of God, this is the most precious and needful. We should see a perishing world and long for God’s salvation among all nations. This is the reason for blessing. Are you a member of the “bless me” club? Always crying out to God, “Bless me, bless me, bless me!” But your cry is essentially a selfish one, the kind of cry a self-interested child makes. Yes, we unashamedly ask God to bless us – but not only for ourselves, but so His way will be made known on all the earth, and His salvation among all nations!

–David Guzik

Matthew 28:18-20 (NIV)

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”


3Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you.

4Let the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you judge the peoples with equity and guide the nations upon earth.

Selah

5Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you.

6The earth has yielded its increase; God, our God, has blessed us.

7May God continue to bless us; let all the ends of the earth revere him.

_________________________

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.

Images courtesy of:
world map.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/worldmap.gif
urban scene.    http://hilldaleworship.blogspot.com/2012/03/150-days-of-psalms-psalm-67.html
rural scene.   http://www.kohsamuichurch.com/psalm-challenge-day-19.html

2431.) Psalm 40

August 27, 2018

Psalm 40 (NIV)

There are a number of psalms which speak of the Person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. They are called Messianic psalms since they speak of the Messiah. The question may be asked: “How can we recognize a Messianic psalm?” The answer would be:  where there is a reference to the Messiah in a psalm, and it is applied to Christ and expounded in the New Testament.

–The Messianic Psalms, by T. Ernest Wilson

1 I waited patiently for the LORD;

“Think ye, brethren, might it not read — ‘I waited impatiently for the Lord,’ in the case of most of us?”

–Charles Haddon Spurgeon

he turned to me and heard my cry.

2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.

3 He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear
and put their trust in the LORD.

from The Message of the Psalms,
by Walter Brueggemann

The beginning of the psalm is a familiar phrase:  “I waited patiently.” This is a weak rendering. The text has an infinitive absolute which might better be translated, “I hope intensely for Yahweh.” Indeed all other hopes were exhausted. Verses 1-10 tell that this passionate hope was fulfilled and not disappointed. The hope was against all the evidence in the conviction that Yahweh could work a genuine newness. The hope was not disappointed.

The rescue that was hoped for was granted:  he inclined, he heard, he drew me up, he set my feet, he put a new song in my mouth. And the psalmist is eager to assert that this is not a private matter. The personal rescue is a matter of public interest and benefit, for Yahweh’s trustworthiness in this instance leads others to trust.

The verbs of thanksgiving are of interest. No doubt they refer to a personal experience, but the words have imaginative power because they also touch and allude to the primal memories of Egypt and the exodus. That God inclines and hears, brings up, and sets feet in new places is the experience of all of Israel (see Exodus 2:23-25; 3:7-15). The new song is enacted there in the Songs of Moses (Exodus 15:1-18) and Miriam (Exodus 15:21). When one uses this psalm, one stands in solidarity with, participates in, and relives the whole saving memory of Israel.

4 Blessed is the man
who makes the LORD his trust,
who does not look to the proud,
to those who turn aside to false gods.

5 Many, O LORD my God,
are the wonders you have done.
The things you planned for us
no one can recount to you;
were I to speak and tell of them,
they would be too many to declare.

John 21:25 (NLT)

Jesus also did many other things. If they were all written down, I suppose the whole world could not contain the books that would be written.

And these next verses clearly point us to Jesus!

6 Sacrifice and offering you did not desire,
but my ears you have pierced;
burnt offerings and sin offerings
you did not require.

What did God desire instead of sacrifice? Obedience. This was true for David’s predecessor Saul. King Saul offered sacrifices just fine; what he didn’t do was obey God (1 Samuel 15:22-23). Ultimately this was fulfilled by the Son of David. Jesus came and was perfectly obedient, and His obedience is counted unto us.

7 Then I said, “Here I am, I have come—
it is written about me in the scroll.

8 I desire to do your will, O my God;
your law is within my heart.”

John 4:34 (ESV)

Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work.”

Hebrews 10:1-10   (NLT)

The old system under the law of Moses was only a shadow, a dim preview of the good things to come, not the good things themselves. The sacrifices under that system were repeated again and again, year after year, but they were never able to provide perfect cleansing for those who came to worship. If they could have provided perfect cleansing, the sacrifices would have stopped, for the worshipers would have been purified once for all time, and their feelings of guilt would have disappeared.

But instead, those sacrifices actually reminded them of their sins year after year. For it is not possible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. That is why, when Christ came into the world, he said to God,

“You did not want animal sacrifices or sin offerings.
    But you have given me a body to offer.
You were not pleased with burnt offerings
    or other offerings for sin.
Then I said, ‘Look, I have come to do your will, O God—
    as is written about me in the Scriptures.’”

First, Christ said, “You did not want animal sacrifices or sin offerings or burnt offerings or other offerings for sin, nor were you pleased with them” (though they are required by the law of Moses). Then he said, “Look, I have come to do your will.” He cancels the first covenant in order to put the second into effect. For God’s will was for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all time.

9 I proclaim righteousness in the great assembly;
I do not seal my lips,
as you know, O LORD.

It was true of Jesus in His earthly ministry. “This is what Jesus can say. He was the Prince of open-air preachers the Great Itinerant, the President of the College of all preachers of the gospel.” (Spurgeon)

It is also true of Jesus in eternity come. Of Jesus it is true, in the midst of the assembly I will sing praise to You (Hebrews 2:12 as a fulfillment of Psalm 22:22). It’s a remarkable thing to think of Jesus leading the assembly of God’s people in praise to God the Father.

–David Guzik

10 I do not hide your righteousness in my heart;
I speak of your faithfulness and salvation.
I do not conceal your love and your truth
from the great assembly.

11 Do not withhold your mercy from me, O LORD;
may your love and your truth always protect me.

12 For troubles without number surround me;
my sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see.
They are more than the hairs of my head,
and my heart fails within me.

13 Be pleased, O LORD, to save me;
O LORD, come quickly to help me.

my all-purpose prayer

14 May all who seek to take my life
be put to shame and confusion;
may all who desire my ruin
be turned back in disgrace.

15 May those who say to me, “Aha! Aha!”
be appalled at their own shame.

16 But may all who seek you
rejoice and be glad in you;
may those who love your salvation always say,
“The LORD be exalted!”

17 Yet I am poor and needy;
may the Lord think of me.

“With such a Father and such a Friend, poverty becometh rich, and weakness itself is strong.”

–Thomas Hartwell Horne

You are my help and my deliverer;
O my God, do not delay.

_________________________

Music:

HERE   is a beautiful harmonization of an ancient (5th century Greek) hymn — “Lord Jesus, Think on Me.”

_________________________

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

Images courtesy of:
verse 16 and mountains.    http://wonders.wallpaperdave.com/ps40-16v.jpg
rescued.    https://guyanachronicle.com/2016/01/16/rescued
books on shelves.   https://www.argosybooks.com/browse-books.php
soup bowl.   https://redeeminggod.com/did-jesus-teach-social-justice/
Help!    http://strictlygospel.files.wordpress.com/2009/11/help.jpg

2420.) Psalm 137

August 10, 2018

psalm137graphic

Psalm 137    (ESV)

How Shall We Sing the Lord‘s Song?

In 586 BCE, Judah was taken captive to Babylon. Losing their homeland and temple was a traumatic experience for the Israelites. The Babylonians added insult to injury by mockingly requesting that they sing songs of Zion as the Israelites struggled to learn to worship God in a foreign land without the benefit of the temple.

By the waters of Babylon,
    there we sat down and wept,
    when we remembered Zion.
On the willows there
    we hung up our lyres.
For there our captors
    required of us songs,
and our tormentors, mirth, saying,
    “Sing us one of the songs of Zion!”

How shall we sing the Lord‘s song
    in a foreign land?
If I forget you, O Jerusalem,
    let my right hand forget its skill!
Let my tongue stick to the roof of my mouth,
    if I do not remember you,
if I do not set Jerusalem
    above my highest joy!

“In my Babylonian moods keep the vision of Jerusalem alive in my heart and teach me new songs of praise.”

–Eugene H. Peterson, Praying with the Psalms: A Year of Daily Prayers and Reflections on the Words of David

Remember, O Lord, against the Edomites
the day of Jerusalem,
how they said, “Lay it bare, lay it bare,
down to its foundations!”
O daughter of Babylon, doomed to be destroyed,
blessed shall he be who repays you
with what you have done to us!
Blessed shall he be who takes your little ones
and dashes them against the rock!

This awful blessing is understood in light of the previous line. No doubt the singer had seen this done to the little ones of Jerusalem, and the horrible image was seared upon his mind. He prayed that the Babylonians would get as they had given.

–David Guzik

“Let those find fault with it who have never seen their temple burned, their city ruined, their wives ravished, and their children slain; they might not, perhaps, be quite so velvet-mouthed if they had suffered after this fashion.”

–Charles Haddon Spurgeon

An interesting application on v. 9 comes from the Rule of St. Benedict. He advises his monks to capture their evil thoughts, which are the conception of sin, and dash them against the rock of Christ before they can grow up.

_________________________

In 1937 Stephen Vincent Benet published a post-apocalyptic short story called “By the Waters of Babylon.”  It is one of my favorites!  I could tell you a bit about it, but it is better that you just jump in and figure it out as you read!  Click  HERE  or  HERE  to read it for yourself!

_________________________

“By the Waters of Babylon,” by Evelyn de Morgan (1882)

Music:

HERE  is a beautiful rendition of the opening of this psalm — Sweet Honey in the Rock sings “By the Waters of Babylon.”

And  HERE  is a  round, different but equally moving, by Don McLean (only a minute and a half).

_________________________


2415.) Psalm 82

August 3, 2018

artwork by Bob Smerecki, via Flickr

Psalm 82 (NIV)

A psalm of Asaph.

Earthly Judges Before the Great Judge

He questions them and exposes their weaknesses and then pronounces judgment on them:

1 God presides in the great assembly;
he renders judgment among the “gods”:

The gods — Earthly judges and magistrates are called gods, because they have their commission from God, and act as his deputies.

–John Wesley

2 “How long will you defend the unjust
and show partiality to the wicked?

How long — The psalmist speaks to them in God’s name.

–John Wesley

3 Defend the weak and the fatherless;
uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed.
4 Rescue the weak and the needy;
deliver them from the hand of the wicked.

“These verses, indeed the whole psalm, every prince should have painted on the wall of his chamber, on his bed, over his table, and on his garments. For here they find what lofty, princely, noble virtues their estate can practice, so that temporal government, next to the preaching office, is the highest service to God and the most useful office on earth.”

–Martin Luther

5 “The ‘gods’ know nothing, they understand nothing.
They walk about in darkness;
all the foundations of the earth are shaken.

The foundations — This corruption of the supreme rulers, flows from them to their inferior officers and members.

–John Wesley

6 “I said, ‘You are “gods”;
you are all sons of the Most High.’
7 But you will die like mere mortals;
you will fall like every other ruler.”

A prayer to God to exercise his perfect judgment:

8 Rise up, O God, judge the earth,
for all the nations are your inheritance.

Arise — Take the sword of justice into thine own hand.

–John Wesley

_________________________

Music:

We generally shy away from singing songs about God’s judgments, but that judgment is a theme found in many Psalms and Scriptural songs. And there are certain things to remember. First, God is the Judge, not us. We’re concerned about his fame and vindication, not ours. That means we don’t sing about God’s judgments with self-righteousness or callousness. Second, God judging evil is part of the Bible’s story line to redeem a people for his glory. As one commenter said, “God’s judgment is simply the ‘negative’ side of our great heartcry, ‘Let your kingdom come!’” Finally, the predominant theme of our gatherings is not simply that God judges wickedness, but that he rejoices in righteousness. And that his righteousness has been most clearly demonstrated in the Jesus Christ, the Son of God, dying for our sins and rising from the dead. Because Christ was made to be sin for us, we are now clothed in the righteousness of God and are no longer under his wrath. Definitely cause for great rejoicing!

–Bob Kauflin, worshpmatters.com

HERE  is a hymn that speaks to the coming judgment — “Lo! He Comes with Clouds Descending,” a Charles Wesley hymn.

1 Lo! He comes, with clouds descending,
once for our salvation slain;
thousand thousand saints attending
swell the triumph of His train.
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
God appears on earth to reign.

2 Ev’ry eye shall now behold Him,
robed in dreadful majesty;
those who set at naught and sold Him,
pierced, and nailed Him to the tree,
deeply wailing, deeply wailing,
shall the true Messiah see.

3 Every island, sea, and mountain,
heav’n and earth, shall flee away;
all who hate Him must, confounded,
hear the trump proclaim the day:
Come to judgment! Come to judgment!
Come to judgment, come away!

4 All the tokens of His passion
Still His dazzling body bears;
Cause of endless exultation
To His ransomed worshippers;
With what rapture
Gaze we on those glorious scars.

5 Yea, amen! Let all adore Thee,
high on Thine eternal throne;
Savior, take the pow’r and glory,
claim the kingdom for Thine own:
O come quickly, O come quickly,
Alleluia! Come, Lord, come!

_________________________

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

Images courtesy of:
Smerecki.   https://www.flickr.com/photos/snapnpiks0304/28286990439
Defend the poor and fatherless.   https://dwellingintheword.wordpress.com/2012/01/12/704-psalms-82-and-83/
verse 8, Arise.   https://www.pinterest.com/pin/211739619963884523/