TRUMPET

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 SHOFAR

DRAWING NEAR  

Begin your days with praise.  Accept the gift of dawn as a day of opportunity, and celebrate the end of the day as leading us to better days that will never end.  This life is a short day of trials and challenges. But the next life is endless joy.  The challengers who confront us are challenging God and they will be answered in his time.  The signs of the day of the Lord are here now.

Psalm 100  (A Psalm of praise.)

Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands.  Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.  Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.  Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.  For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.  Psalm 100:1-5

Can I begin my day better than a song to the Lord?  I thank God for a new day, and I ask forgiveness and guidance, but am I just mumbling?  We are his sheep, and have a new day to graze on the bread of life.  Even the sheep make a little noise as they move through their day.  So we should be in the spiritual temple even on days when life keeps us at work and home, always announcing his greatness to the world.

Psalm 101 (A Psalm of David.)

I will sing of mercy and judgment: unto thee, O LORD, will I sing.  I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. O when wilt thou come unto me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart.  I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.   A froward heart shall depart from me: I will not know a wicked person.  Whoso privily slandereth his neighbour, him will I cut off: him that hath an high look and a proud heart will not I suffer.  Mine eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me: he that walketh in a perfect way, he shall serve me.  He that worketh deceit shall not dwell within my house: he that telleth lies shall not tarry in my sight.  I will early destroy all the wicked of the land; that I may cut off all wicked doers from the city of the LORD.  Psalm

David begins his day with praise, and with the purpose to be a living example of God’s goodness.  He expects God to answer, and he aims to keep his house and heart free of sin when he arrives.  I can ask God to forgive and to deliver me from temptation every morning.  But it is hard for me to feel spiritually lifted if I carry the weight of my own mischief.  David has also decided to be separated from evil people.

Now even in the church we may encounter an infiltrator, one who serves the enemy more than the Lord.  We need to turn away from these without trying to impose our laws on them.  Church leadership should know how to deal with problems.  But we may have to warn a friend away from error if we truly love them.  That means we ask if they understand without intending to hurt or belittle them.  Similarly our feed on Facebook may need to un-follow or un-friend those who feed us too much gossip or whining.  I can speak up when people are being bullies or when they belittle the gospel too.  The world is attempting to burn down the house of God.

Psalm 102   (A Prayer of the afflicted, when he is overwhelmed, and poureth out his complaint before the LORD.)

Hear my prayer, O LORD, and let my cry come unto thee.  Hide not thy face from me in the day when I am in trouble; incline thine ear unto me: in the day when I call answer me speedily.  For my days are consumed like smoke, and my bones are burned as an hearth.  My heart is smitten, and withered like grass; so that I forget to eat my bread.  By reason of the voice of my groaning my bones cleave to my skin. Psalm 102:1-5

Lord hear my prayer and come quickly to help me.  Medication does not cure depression.  Prosperity does not lift your spirits unless you are imbibing spirits.  Those spirits and drugs only drag you deeper into despair.  Humor will not make the nightmares go away.  But some troubles are connected to real enemies and violent threats.  Poverty, sickness, and death follow us along the road of life.

I am like a pelican of the wilderness: I am like an owl of the desert.  I watch, and am as a sparrow alone upon the house top.  Mine enemies reproach me all the day; and they that are mad against me are sworn against me.  For I have eaten ashes like bread, and mingled my drink with weeping,  Because of thine indignation and thy wrath: for thou hast lifted me up, and cast me down. Psalm 102:6-10

I wish I could fly above these threats like a bird.  How many Christians are being attacked and driven out by every manner of false cults?  In some cases our own sins have invited God to add to our suffering.  But we don’t have to take guilt from everyone because repentance and faith can lift us out of our despair.

My days are like a shadow that declineth; and I am withered like grass.  But thou, O LORD, shalt endure for ever; and thy remembrance unto all generations.  Thou shalt arise, and have mercy upon Zion: for the time to favour her, yea, the set time, is come.  For thy servants take pleasure in her stones, and favour the dust thereof.  So the heathen shall fear the name of the LORD, and all the kings of the earth thy glory. Psalm 102:11-15

Don’t these days disappear like smoke in the wind, or like the grass without water?  But God does not fade, and he remains on the throne of mercy.   Zion is to be favored again, and the land of Israel is still holy.  Rebellious men and their kings will know the power of God in his season.

When the LORD shall build up Zion, he shall appear in his glory.  He will regard the prayer of the destitute, and not despise their prayer.  This shall be written for the generation to come: and the people which shall be created shall praise the LORD.  For he hath looked down from the height of his sanctuary; from heaven did the LORD behold the earth;  To hear the groaning of the prisoner; to loose those that are appointed to death; To declare the name of the LORD in Zion, and his praise in Jerusalem;  When the people are gathered together, and the kingdoms, to serve the LORD.  Psalm 102:16-21

How do the Christians retain hope and joy in the face of persecution?  This is possible because this verse is a solid promise to them from God.  He will hear their prayers, see the evil earth, and deliver the oppressed.  The world today is marked by persecution in many nations.  They will see their hope in God.  HE will release them to peace in his service.  http://www.persecution.com/public/newsroom.aspx

He weakened my strength in the way; he shortened my days.  I said, O my God, take me not away in the midst of my days: thy years are throughout all generations.  Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands. Psalm 102:21-25

We may often feel like God has left us suffering and fear an early demise.  But the psalmist asks God for relief knowing that he will be heard.  God forms heaven and earth and the days of every soul.

They shall perish, but thou shalt endure: yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed:  But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end.  The children of thy servants shall continue, and their seed shall be established before thee. Psalm 102:26-28

The creation itself will fade while God is eternal.  There will be a new heaven and a new earth, but God and his people will endure eternally.  We can see the world around us a mankind circling the drain.  I watch old television shows on the internet and notice the gradual slide towards immorality.  We see the news and the anarchy that seems to reign as Christians and Jews are persecuted.  As Joseph and Daniel prospered in captivity so we will continue in the days ahead.  How the son of God will shine on the dark day of his return.  Are we living in the generation to witness that event?  Perhaps the trumpet is being blown in Zion this very day.

A WORLD OF JOY

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IMG_7917

ENTER IN   

The psalms are your invitation to enter into the joy of worship through singing.  People of every nation have discovered the real presence of God in worship.  There are populations around the world celebrating a real relationship with the living God in the name of Yeshua Ha Meschia, Jesus of Nazareth.  This is the only name by which people can find salvation, and our God welcomes you in song.

 

 

PSALM  96

 

O sing unto the LORD a new song: sing unto the LORD, all the earth.  Sing unto the LORD, bless his name; shew forth his salvation from day to day.   Declare his glory among the heathen, his wonders among all people.  For the LORD is great, and greatly to be praised: he is to be feared above all gods.  For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the LORD made the heavens.  Honour and majesty are before him: strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.  Psalm 96:1-6

 

Yes, sing your own new song and sing into the joy of the Lord!  This is your road to relationship with God.  Abandon your doubts in faith as you glorify God in his peace.  This is the living God who is great and who is also willing to join you where you are in your celebration.  The Lord is no stone idol, he is real, and created this universe.  He deserves honor and he honors those who honor him.  Sing a new song to him.

 

Give unto the LORD, O ye kindreds of the people, give unto the LORD glory and strength.  Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come into his courts.  O worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness: fear before him, all the earth.  Say among the heathen that the LORD reigneth: the world also shall be established that it shall not be moved: he shall judge the people righteously.  Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof.  Let the field be joyful, and all that is therein: then shall all the trees of the wood rejoice before the LORD: for he cometh, for he cometh to judge the earth: he shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth.  Psalm 96:7-13

 

Give the Lord honor for his glory and power all people of every nationality.  Bring the sacrifice of praise in holiness, free from sin.  Let all the people of the world know that our God reigns as the sovereign of heaven and earth.  Let all the voices of nature glorify God who will judge the people of the earth.

 

PSALM  97

 

The LORD reigneth; let the earth rejoice; let the multitude of isles be glad thereof.  Clouds and darkness are round about him: righteousness and judgment are the habitation of his throne.  A fire goeth before him, and burneth up his enemies round about.  His lightnings enlightened the world: the earth saw, and trembled.  The hills melted like wax at the presence of the LORD, at the presence of the Lord of the whole earth.  The heavens declare his righteousness, and all the people see his glory.  Psalm 97:1-6

 

God is the Lord and all nations have a celebration in our King.  The people of many continents and islands celebrate in their psalms.  As the clouds move about the moon so there is mystery and revelation in his light.  His truth melts away the people of darkness.  More than the thunder of summer God’s presence is awesome to the earth.

 

 

Confounded be all they that serve graven images, that boast themselves of idols: worship him, all ye gods.  Zion heard, and was glad; and the daughters of Judah rejoiced because of thy judgments, O LORD.  For thou, LORD, art high above all the earth: thou art exalted far above all gods.  Ye that love the LORD, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked.  Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart.  Rejoice in the LORD, ye righteous; and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness. Psalm 97:7-12

 

There is no God before the Lord and their followers are without hope.  The people of faith celebrate his righteousness and hate evil.  Those who serve him know prosperity and peace as they rejoice in these victories.

 

PSALM  98

 

O sing unto the LORD a new song; for he hath done marvellous things: his right hand, and his holy arm, hath gotten him the victory.  The LORD hath made known his salvation: his righteousness hath he openly shewed in the sight of the heathen.  He hath remembered his mercy and his truth toward the house of Israel: all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.  Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise.  Sing unto the LORD with the harp; with the harp, and the voice of a psalm. Psalm 98:1-5

 

All nations sing their own new songs to God.  He has done great things and his right arm is his holy one.  God has revealed his salvation, and he is Yeshua Ha Meschia.  God remembers his promise to save Israel and they have cause to rejoice.  All nations that have joined the Kingdom of God sing and praise with voice and instruments.

 

 

With trumpets and sound of cornet make a joyful noise before the LORD, the King.  Let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.  Let the floods clap their hands: let the hills be joyful together before the LORD; for he cometh to judge the earth: with righteousness shall he judge the world, and the people with equity. Psalm 98:6-9

 

Musical instruments, orchestras, choirs, oceans, wind and storms deliver the concert of joy to the Lord.  The day of the Lord is coming when God will judge evil and leave an inheritance to the meek.  Join the celebration of the nations joined into the Kingdom of God!

 

PSALM  99

 

The LORD reigneth; let the people tremble: he sitteth between the cherubims; let the earth be moved.  The LORD is great in Zion; and he is high above all the people.  Let them praise thy great and terrible name; for it is holy.  The king’s strength also loveth judgment; thou dost establish equity, thou executest judgment and righteousness in Jacob.  Exalt ye the LORD our God, and worship at his footstool; for he is holy. Psalm 99:1-5

 

The Lord our God is the power of heaven and lives between the terrible creatures of heaven.  He is high and mighty, celebrate his name and his fame in Zion.  The people of Abraham  in Zion do worship him.

 

 

Moses and Aaron among his priests, and Samuel among them that call upon his name; they called upon the LORD, and he answered them.  He spake unto them in the cloudy pillar: they kept his testimonies, and the ordinance that he gave them.  Thou answeredst them, O LORD our God: thou wast a God that forgavest them, though thou tookest vengeance of their inventions.  Exalt the LORD our God, and worship at his holy hill; for the LORD our God is holy. Psalm 99:6-9

 

Moses and Aaron got help, and later Samuel also heard his God.  God appeared to them as a pillar of smoke or fire by night and he spoke to them.  While God corrected their  transgressions, he still answered their prayers.  Celebrate the Lord who is living, real, and holy.

 

The psalms tell us to sing a new song, and the world does so with joy and skill.  Still I have seen no scripture that says that God will smite you for singing an old song.  Sing as you are led, but do so with joy for the promises we have in him.  We have hope that the angels have not been given.  Believe the testimony of the joy of the whole world.

SOS

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 SOS

THE LONG AND THE SHORT OF IT   

A psalm of only five verses is to accomplish a mission and a message.  God is real, he warns us of danger, and he wants to save our life.  This is like the telegraph or early radio messages that signaled alarm: SOS.  The morse code was for those three letters;

. . . – – – . . .

This is information that the world needs to receive and consider.  We find those three letters transmitted in three psalms here.  Mission accomplished.

PSALM 93:  SOVERIGN

The LORD reigneth, he is clothed with majesty; the LORD is clothed with strength, wherewith he hath girded himself: the world also is stablished, that it cannot be moved.  Thy throne is established of old: thou art from everlasting.  The floods have lifted up, O LORD, the floods have lifted up their voice; the floods lift up their waves.  The LORD on high is mightier than the noise of many waters, yea, than the mighty waves of the sea.  Thy testimonies are very sure: holiness becometh thine house, O LORD, for ever.  Psalm 93:1-5

God is in charge and all powerful.  He established our planet in a path that cannot be changed except by him.  The throne of God is eternal and timeless.  Although the nature of earth can drive the waves to fury, God has authority over them.  What God has declared in his word is certainty and his house is established for holiness but not for sin.  This psalm is a short pointed message to everyone to consider.  God has spoken through his word, and even this short psalm establishes what our priority should be.  Consider the words of the one God.  Now consider a longer version of what a psalm can be.

PSALM 94:  ORDAINED

O LORD God, to whom vengeance belongeth; O God, to whom vengeance belongeth, shew thyself.  Lift up thyself, thou judge of the earth: render a reward to the proud.  LORD, how long shall the wicked, how long shall the wicked triumph?  How long shall they utter and speak hard things? and all the workers of iniquity boast themselves?  They break in pieces thy people, O LORD, and afflict thine heritage.  Psalm 94:1-5

Vengance belongs to the Lord, and not to man.  So do your job Lord and demonstrate your vengeance for us.  How we want to help God but that demonstrates our unbelief  as we demonstrate that we don’t trust him to do his part.  How long will evil men have a free run to oppress and kill the righteous?  The gangsters of life brag about their exploits against the law while they destroy families, communities, and themselves.  The people of God are suffering along with the rest of the oppressed.

They slay the widow and the stranger, and murder the fatherless.  Yet they say, The LORD shall not see, neither shall the God of Jacob regard it.  Understand, ye brutish among the people: and ye fools, when will ye be wise?  He that planted the ear, shall he not hear? he that formed the eye, shall he not see?   He that chastiseth the heathen, shall not he correct? he that teacheth man knowledge, shall not he know?  Psalm 94:6-10

Men and women engage in violent crime and warfare in our world.  These are confident that God will not see them because they are unaware that he exists.  The announcement of the last psalm revealed our God so wake up your ignorant brutes!  God even wants to warn you that he lives, hears, sees, and knows you.  God who formed you knows your nature and your real value.

The LORD knoweth the thoughts of man, that they are vanity.  Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, O LORD, and teachest him out of thy law;  That thou mayest give him rest from the days of adversity, until the pit be digged for the wicked.  For the LORD will not cast off his people, neither will he forsake his inheritance.  But judgment shall return unto righteousness: and all the upright in heart shall follow it.  Psalm 94:11-15

God knows that all men think vain and evil things.  But if you know that he lives and that he is warning you, then you have good news.  God cares enough to warn you that he is ready to punish you.  He wants you to hurt enough to stop hurting others.  If you can turn to life he will give you life instead of death in the pit of hell.  Become one of his because he will not fail to protect his people.  God will return life to the repentant and a wise man will decide to follow righteousness.

Who will rise up for me against the evildoers? or who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity?  Unless the LORD had been my help, my soul had almost dwelt in silence.  When I said, My foot slippeth; thy mercy, O LORD, held me up.  In the multitude of my thoughts within me thy comforts delight my soul.  Shall the throne of iniquity have fellowship with thee, which frameth mischief by a law?  Psalm 94:16-20

In an evil world we may feel vulnerable if we become as righteous potential victims.  We can turn from evil and know that God will protect us and enable us to be good.  I might be hopeless and discouraged without seeing God step in to help me.  God’s mercy did intervene to keep me from falling so I am now assured.  I have a renewed mind of hope that brings me peace in the daily trials.  Can God have any tolerance for those who pass laws to oppress the weak?

They gather themselves together against the soul of the righteous, and condemn the innocent blood.  But the LORD is my defence; and my God is the rock of my refuge.  And he shall bring upon them their own iniquity, and shall cut them off in their own wickedness; yea, the LORD our God shall cut them off.  Psalm 94:21-23

While voices raise false accusations against the brethren God provides answers and protection to their frustration.  As Haman of old these evil workers are hanged on their own gallows.  God is as real and as powerful at that 93rd Psalm has declared.  So rejoice in the rock fortress of his sanctuary.  Now we can enter into a full worship in the next psalm of celebration.

PSALM 95: SALVATION

O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.  Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms.  For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods.  In his hand are the deep places of the earth: the strength of the hills is his also.  The sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land.  O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker.  Psalm 95:1-6

This is a psalm, a song of celebration of the rock of ages, our salvation.  Giving praise to God reminds the world of the declaration of God presented in that last psalms.  The rock of our salvation is a spirit, a God and a King.  He has the power that has been ascribed to him before and forever.  Worship and bow before the God who is the master of his creation.  We are invited to the temple to be in his presence.

For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his  hand. To day if ye will hear his voice,  Harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness:  When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my work.  Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said, It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known my ways:  Unto whom I sware in my wrath that they should not enter into my rest.  Psalm 95:7-11

This is our God, we are welcomed by him as his own, and he cares for us as his flock of sheep.  If you have heard his voice you are not too evil for him, he will accept you one of his own sons.  Avoid the mistake of the Jews who were rescued from Egypt but turned against their savior later because of some temptations in hard times.  These were his own children who rejected him, and he was forced to let them go.  Those who saw their redeemer and followed his word entered into the prosperity of his rest.

SOARING

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 Bald-Eagle

WIND RIDER

Now we find a psalm from long before the sons of Korah or David.  Moses too sang when praise to God was appropriate.  This song is also a prayer that takes us back to our roots and ponders our destiny; it lifts us from the low times to high places.

(A Prayer of Moses the man of God.)

Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations.  Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.  Thou turnest man to destruction; and sayest, Return, ye children of men.  For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.  Thou carriest them away as with a flood; they are as a sleep: in the morning they are like grass which groweth up.  In the morning it flourisheth, and groweth up; in the evening it is cut down, and withereth.  Psalm 90:1-6

In the beginning Lord you were always our home and family.  Before creation you are God.  God is over creation, time and space.  A thousand years are like a day or an hour to the Lord, and they vanish like trees in the flood or like smoke on the wind.  You are the author and measure of time Lord.

“A time warp is a hypothetical, rather than fictitious, change in the continuing of space-time, such as in time dilation or challenge.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_Warp

Hmm, hypothetical, that’s one step closer to being possible I guess.  Warping space-time, real starships considered possible by NASA. 

“An Alcubierre warp drive would involve a football-shape spacecraft attached to a large ring encircling it. This ring, potentially made of exotic matter, would cause space-time to warp around the starship, creating a region of contracted space in front of it and expanded space behind.”

http://www.space.com/17628-warp-drive-possible-interstellar-spaceflight.html

So man finally thinks we can change space and time.  But he still thinks that such things are not done by God.  Man has misunderstood both science and the scriptures as long as they have tried to be experts who know everything.  Moses just released us from our still young knowledge of the universe and life.  Consider the spiritual signs.

For we are consumed by thine anger, and by thy wrath are we troubled.  Thou hast set our iniquities before thee, our secret sins in the light of thy countenance. For all our days are passed away in thy wrath: we spend our years as a tale that is told.  The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.  Who knoweth the power of thine anger? even according to thy fear, so is thy wrath.  So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.  Psalm 90:7-12

Do we sense that there is a God who sends us what we deserve?  Is that a guilty conscience or is there actually a being who is moving life around us?  As we age we notice how hard life has been.  As we start to approach those eighty years we have long memories of struggles and a short future of regrets.  Are we finally aware of an angry God?  Now we can focus our remaining strength on better results.

Return, O LORD, how long? and let it repent thee concerning thy servants.  O satisfy us early with thy mercy; that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.   Make us glad according to the days wherein thou hast afflicted us, and the years wherein we have seen evil.  Let thy work appear unto thy servants, and thy glory unto their children.  And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.  Psalm 90:13-17

Moses asks God to return, but in reality we need to return to him.  May God turn our mistakes to a profit in the end.  Lord reveal your goodness to all of us who serve you, and to the generations that follow as we return to being good examples.  Let the blessings of God shine in the things we can still do here to encourage others.  Lord, you establish the evidence of your goodness in your work in us.

He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.  I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.  Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.  He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.  Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;  Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.  Psalm 91:1-6

Who lives in the secret place of the almighty?  God has chosen to be a secret, beyond the measure of science.  If we ignore all the testimony of God, and the premonitions reported in the world we can deny the mystery of the invisible.  Dreams are a problem if you see a glimpse of the spiritual realm in your own sleep.  Moses has a secure understanding of God as a fortress, a stone walled shelter of safety.  He will save you, and shelter you under his wing.

Mankind is fascinated by the eagle that navigates the vapors and the clouds so effortlessly.  Modern man understands a little about aerodynamics now, but still adds lessons from his wind tunnels.  The eagle was born to master the air by nature.  We are not safe in the places where he nests, unless he gives us his mastery of high places.  No plague, enemy, or disaster can rule those who dwell in his nest.

A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.  Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.  Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;  There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. Psalm 91:7-10

Everyone faces the challenges of life; sickness, war, crime, poverty, and death.  Even death has been overcome by our messiah, so we can pass through this too.  There are many people who reject the wisdom of faith, and they chose pure evil.  These have too much spiritual baggage to master the flight we will see with the most high.  The Lord is our habitation and our heritage to soar with him.  There is no harm that can take us from him.

For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.  They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.  Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.  Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.  He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.  With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation. Psalm 91:8-16

Satan used this very verse to tempt Yeshua to leap from the heights of the temple.  He replied that we should not tempt the lord or deliberately go in harm’s way.  (Would the president take his Secret Service men into a Klan rally?)  To be protected from the serpent doesn’t mean that we should embrace him.  Spiritual pride has killed many snake handling preachers.  Here we may be hearing from the Lord again as he promises to deliver those who put their love on him.  He will answer prayers, accompany him, and honor him who trusts God.  Salvation and long life are both offered to us here.  Every day a give thanks to see the dawn, and to know that the endless day is also waiting for us.

So if every day is a gift, the Lord’s day is a special gift.  This psalmist is singing a worship song about the day of the worship service.  This is the song of the special day of celebration and spiritual manifestations.

(A Psalm or Song for the sabbath day.)

It is a good thing to give thanks unto the LORD, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High:  To shew forth thy lovingkindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night,  Upon an instrument of ten strings, and upon the psaltery; upon the harp with a solemn sound.  For thou, LORD, hast made me glad through thy work: I will triumph in the works of thy hands.  O LORD, how great are thy works! and thy thoughts are very deep.  Psalm 92:1-5

Thank God for every day that dawns, and advertise his kindness to everyone around us.  Make music to celebrate his greatness and I have victory in you Lord.  God’s works and his words show the depth of his thought.

A brutish man knoweth not; neither doth a fool understand this.  When the wicked spring as the grass, and when all the workers of iniquity do flourish; it is that they shall be destroyed for ever:  But thou, LORD, art most high for evermore.  For, lo, thine enemies, O LORD, for, lo, thine enemies shall perish; all the workers of iniquity shall be scattered.  But my horn shalt thou exalt like the horn of an unicorn: I shall be anointed with fresh oil. Psalm 92:6-10

A pure brute is of force that can’t find resistance in a spirit.  A fool may have education but misses wisdom.  Both prosper in the world, but have a short summer to grow in.  While God’s enemies are fading in the fall his people are provided with food and shelter for the long winter.  They are anointed by their God.

Mine eye also shall see my desire on mine enemies, and mine ears shall hear my desire of the wicked that rise up against me.  The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.  Those that be planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God.  They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing;  To shew that the LORD is upright: he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.  Psalm 92:11-15

When I am in this relationship God will deliver me from enemies and I will hear the story of their defeat.  Good men are planted in God’s house and grow like the great cedars.  Their prosperity will demonstrate the goodness of God, who is righteous.

As Israel will see these promises so too will those who recognize the messiah of Israel.  Beyond the obvious understanding of science and politics there is a spiritual being who can navigate the thin air of improbability.  We are Israel, and he will deliver us.

INSTRUCTION FOR HOPE

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OPERATORS INSTRUCTIONS

Psalms have been demonstrations of the power of worship.  They often show us a situation full of danger and discomfort initially.  As the Psalmist moves pat fear and into faith by praising God, we have witnessed answers coming from heaven as God speaks through the song writer.  Worship lifts us from the world and opens a way to communication with God.  This psalm is a song of instruction.  It does again demonstrate how to overcome the storms through worship that celebrates and glorifies God.

I will sing of the mercies of the LORD for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations.   For I have said, Mercy shall be built up for ever: thy faithfulness shalt thou establish in the very heavens.  I have made a covenant with my chosen, I have sworn unto David my servant,  Thy seed will I establish for ever, and build up thy throne to all generations. Selah.  And the heavens shall praise thy wonders, O LORD: thy faithfulness also in the congregation of the saints.  Psalm 89:1-5

A maschil is a song of instruction and wisdom, so praising God is the first step in that direction.  As so many psalms have led us to praise God we are again encouraged to tell all generations about his faithfulness.  If you want wisdom, receive it and share it.  Again the Lord injects his own conversation into the worship as he acknowledges David as his servant.  The excitement of this relationship rises to another prophesy of the descendant of David who will possess the eternal throne.  The singer declares that God’s faithfulness will be known in heaven and in the gathering of believers.

For who in the heaven can be compared unto the LORD? who among the sons of the mighty can be likened unto the LORD?  God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had in reverence of all them that are about him.  O LORD God of hosts, who is a strong LORD like unto thee? or to thy faithfulness round about thee?  Thou rulest the raging of the sea: when the waves thereof arise, thou stillest them.  Thou hast broken Rahab in pieces, as one that is slain; thou hast scattered thine enemies with thy strong arm.  Psalm 89:6-10

To lift the Lord to the world we should know that he is also the highest in the spiritual realm.  Wherever truly spiritual people assemble God is feared.  He controls the physical worlds he created, and he controls the destinies of men and nations.

The heavens are thine, the earth also is thine: as for the world and the fulness thereof, thou hast founded them.  The north and the south thou hast created them: Tabor and Hermon shall rejoice in thy name.  Thou hast a mighty arm: strong is thy hand, and high is thy right hand.  Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne: mercy and truth shall go before thy face.  Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O LORD, in the light of thy countenance. Psalm 89:11-15

Ownership of the worlds that God created is clearly his.  The nations acknowledge his sovereignty.  Justice is his domain and the people who know the joy of the psalm of worship know the spiritual light.  The singer has been giving glory to God, and he will be joined in the song by the Lord himself speaking prophetically through him.

In thy name shall they rejoice all the day: and in thy righteousness shall they be exalted.  For thou art the glory of their strength: and in thy favour our horn shall be exalted.  For the LORD is our defence; and the Holy One of Israel is our king.  Then thou spakest in vision to thy holy one, and saidst, I have laid help upon one that is mighty; I have exalted one chosen out of the people.  I have found David my servant; with my holy oil have I anointed him: Psalm 89:16-20

Those who know the joy of the Lord rejoice because they are increased by God’s own righteousness.  Joy breeds confidence, and there is no greater confidence than the Lord.  The joy of celebration song about the Lord induces fellowship with him.  Lord, you spoke to your servant in a vision, revealing a chosen one.  The singer relates the words of God as the worship moves on into prophesy.  This is how the Holy Spirit makes personal communication with us in sermons and worship.  This is how the psalm is a teaching tool, showing us a path to direct communion with God.  The Lord continues to reveal his chosen one.

With whom my hand shall be established: mine arm also shall strengthen him.  The enemy shall not exact upon him; nor the son of wickedness afflict him.   And I will beat down his foes before his face, and plague them that hate him.  But my faithfulness and my mercy shall be with him: and in my name shall his horn be exalted.  I will set his hand also in the sea, and his right hand in the rivers. Psalm 89:21-25

This chosen one will be strengthened by me, the Lord says.  When a prophetic word is emerging from a song or a sermon we witness the greatest demonstration of the Holy Spirit.  This is the manifestation in the Old Testament, and it continues to this day.  In this psalm the Lord continues his message, promising to exalt his son.

He shall cry unto me, Thou art my father, my God, and the rock of my salvation.  Also I will make him my firstborn, higher than the kings of the earth.  My mercy will I keep for him for evermore, and my covenant shall stand fast with him.  His seed also will I make to endure for ever, and his throne as the days of heaven.  Psalm 89:26-29

David is pleasing to God but his descendant is the focus of this message now.  This is the seed of David, but he is more than David.  The seed of David will be made eternal, a king of kings forever.  In the joy of this psalm is the communion of revelation from God.

If his children forsake my law, and walk not in my judgments;  If they break my statutes, and keep not my commandments;  Then will I visit their transgression with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes.  Nevertheless my lovingkindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer my faithfulness to fail.  My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips.  Once have I sworn by my holiness that I will not lie unto David. Psalm 89:30-35

God promises to discipline the children of David and of Israel, but he will not turn against them.  He has made a covenant with David and with Israel, and he will bring them salvation as he promises.

His seed shall endure for ever, and his throne as the sun before me.  It shall be established for ever as the moon, and as a faithful witness in heaven. Selah. But thou hast cast off and abhorred, thou hast been wroth with thine anointed.   Thou hast made void the covenant of thy servant: thou hast profaned his crown by casting it to the ground.  Thou hast broken down all his hedges; thou hast brought his strong holds to ruin.  Psalm 89: 36-40

The seed of David is Messiah, and he will be eternal, and faithful to God and man.  But the world has witnessed his life and hated him.  His own people of Israel, and all nations  have despised his royal claim and denied him.  He was accused and mounted on a tree as a public disgrace.

All that pass by the way spoil him: he is a reproach to his neighbours.  Thou hast set up the right hand of his adversaries; thou hast made all his enemies to rejoice.  Thou hast also turned the edge of his sword, and hast not made him to stand in the battle.  Thou hast made his glory to cease, and cast his throne down to the ground.  The days of his youth hast thou shortened: thou hast covered him with shame. Selah.  Psalm 89: 41-45

Because he was hanged on a tree he was falsely branded as a sinner and a reproach to all.  He was not here to rebel against the world, and never offered to raise a sword in battle.  Mankind revealed human nature by ending his young life shamefully.  The Lord has spoken to all of us in this psalm.  The singer feels the loss of God’s presence in the conclusion of this worship.

How long, LORD? wilt thou hide thyself for ever? shall thy wrath burn like fire?  Remember how short my time is: wherefore hast thou made all men in vain?  What man is he that liveth, and shall not see death? shall he deliver his soul from the hand of the grave? Selah.  Lord, where are thy former lovingkindnesses, which thou swarest unto David in thy truth?  Remember, Lord, the reproach of thy servants; how I do bear in my bosom the reproach of all the mighty people;  Wherewith thine enemies have reproached, O LORD; wherewith they have reproached the footsteps of thine anointed.  Blessed be the LORD for evermore. Amen, and Amen.  Psalm 89: 46-52

How Long will you hide, Lord?  Will the world be left with only the fruit of sin; crime, plagues, and war?  Is man made only to die without hope?  Where is the hope you promised to David now?  Israel and the children of David are hated by the world today, and our enemies have accused the brethren.  When they demean us, they also insult your anointed messiah.  May God be blessed as we learn how your promise will be delivered.

Friends of faith, trust God to deliver Israel, and prepare to welcome the sons of Abraham to the Kingdom of God.  YOU are the ambassadors to share the joy of this lesson with the world.  You too may enter the joy of worship and discover revelation from God in this rapture of joy.  When you encourage others to trust Yeshua your personal experience and the word of God can become anointed in your faith.  Your encouragement of others can become instruction coming directly from God as the Holy Spirit enables you.  Answer the call to worship expecting to be inspired and used to build the kingdom of faith.

EXHORTATION

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 HAMAS Rocket Men

UNENDING ENCOURAGEMENT

Here are two Psalms that again reach out to the sons of Korah.  Their ancestor had caused trouble by attempting self promotion in service to God.  If the sins of the fathers may be passed down through generations, the mercy of God continues to invite them home.  We all encounter the soil on the road of life, and so Jesus ordained a spiritual foot washing.  God cares about those of us who as believers are experiencing temptation to fail.

(A Psalm or Song for the sons of Korah.)

His foundation is in the holy mountains.  The LORD loveth the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob.  Glorious things are spoken of thee, O city of God. Selah.  I will make mention of Rahab and Babylon to them that know me: behold Philistia, and Tyre, with Ethiopia; this man was born there.  And of Zion it shall be said, This and that man was born in her: and the highest himself shall establish her.  The LORD shall count, when he writeth up the people, that this man was born there. Selah.  As well the singers as the players on instruments shall be there: all my springs are in thee.  Psalm 87:1-7

Mount Zion and Jerusalem are established as a focal point for the attention of God.  He will honor good men from many places.  He has promised salvation to whosoever is willing to obey Him.  For those who are born in Zion God has promised salvation and some special attention.  While the sons of Korah may be drawn to manmade religions, their heritage of Jerusalem gives them a special promise.  Those designated to serve in the temple as musicians and singers are also more honored in Israel.

Christians of gentile heritage may be proud to be grafted into Zion through faith in Yeshua.  Still a promise of salvation remains for Israel, even if they may not yet acknowledge the grace being offered to them.  It was natural for many of Israel to be conservative about such an ancient God.  If some human traditions tempt them away from a revelation of grace, they are not deprived of the promise of the prophets.  So could we be in danger of the same spiritual pride by presuming to be better than the Sons of Korah?  Jesus showed us that Jews are the source of salvation, because he was Jewish.

Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.  But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.  God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.  John 4: 22-24

As God continues to encourage the Sons of Korah to stay near him are we Christians even more guilty of man made doctrines that can separate us from God?  The other sons of Korah perished in the wilderness, and gentiles too are being removed from the tree of life.

And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree;  Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee.  Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in.  Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear:  For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.  Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.  And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again.  For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be graffed into their own olive tree?  For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.  And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:  For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.  Romans 11:17-27

Today Israel is under a siege of rocket fire.  It seems the aggressor because Hamas is using civilians as shields against air strikes.  The rockets of Gaza seem crude but they have a real mission.  First they turn public opinion against Israel, while forcing their hand.  Secondly they allow technicians to discover the weaknesses of the Iron Dome anti-missile shield.  Dumb rockets are cheap, and the interceptor missiles cost about $60,000 apiece.  But the technology loss could turn the tide of battle.  Fortunately the nations of the world do not understand who the real shield of Israel is.  One day Israel will fully understand who that shield is too.  Those born of Jerusalem will be the first to see.

The LORD also shall save the tents of Judah first, that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem do not magnify themselves against Judah.  In that day shall the LORD defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the LORD before them.  And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.  And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.  In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon.Zechariah 12:7-11

As Joseph was presumed dead, so Yeshua was also presumed to be pierced and dead also.  Yet as Joseph, Yeshua will return as the Messiah of Israel, with deliverance and salvation for the Sons of Korah.  They will have time to mourn, and to be forgiven as well.

For the sons of Korah there may be mourning as they identify the temptations that try to remove them from the grace of God.  For the brethren of Yeshua our hope is in daily repentance.  We have entered the house of the Lord by faith in Yeshua.  Are we given a place of honorable service only to consider our own religious rituals more important?  Do we “help” God by gossiping about our neighbors?  Do we leave the house to make an offering at the house of the Accuser of the Brethren?  God wants us to pull back to the safety of his sanctuary.

(A Song or Psalm for the sons of Korah, to the chief Musician upon Mahalath Leannoth, Maschil of Heman the Ezrahite.)

O LORD God of my salvation, I have cried day and night before thee:  Let my prayer come before thee: incline thine ear unto my cry;  For my soul is full of troubles: and my life draweth nigh unto the grave.  I am counted with them that go down into the pit: I am as a man that hath no strength:  Free among the dead, like the slain that lie in the grave, whom thou rememberest no more: and they are cut off from thy hand.  Thou hast laid me in the lowest pit, in darkness, in the deeps.  Psalm 88:1-6

The unidentified psalmist sings to God, not just about him.  This is the prayer of one who is full of troubles.  This is a bitter lament, not a celebration of life.  The singer is deeply into the blues as he finds himself in the lowest pit of despair.  He  is separated from the source of life, our God.

Thy wrath lieth hard upon me, and thou hast afflicted me with all thy waves. Selah.  Thou hast put away mine acquaintance far from me; thou hast made me an abomination unto them: I am shut up, and I cannot come forth.  Mine eye mourneth by reason of affliction: LORD, I have called daily upon thee, I have stretched out my hands unto thee.  Wilt thou shew wonders to the dead? shall the dead arise and praise thee? Selah.  Shall thy lovingkindness be declared in the grave? or thy faithfulness in destruction?  Shall thy wonders be known in the dark? and thy righteousness in the land of forgetfulness?  Psalm 88:7-12

God doesn’t need to strike us for punishment; merely turning from us takes away our hope.  When I was in Scouts our scoutmaster was an imposing and dignified figure.  One night a boy had a nightmare and awakened crying out “Slim won’t look at me!”  How much more do we need affirmation from the creator who breathed life into our world?

This psalmist is expecting death and asks how God would be glorified in a dead world.

But unto thee have I cried, O LORD; and in the morning shall my prayer prevent thee.  LORD, why castest thou off my soul? why hidest thou thy face from me?  I am afflicted and ready to die from my youth up: while I suffer thy terrors I am distracted.  Thy fierce wrath goeth over me; thy terrors have cut me off.  They came round about me daily like water; they compassed me about together.  Lover and friend hast thou put far from me, and mine acquaintance into darkness.  Psalm 88:13-18

I have known elderly men who passed from life both with and without faith in God.  The man of faith seemed demented to some but his scripture and his joy remained intact as he passed through the veil of death.  He had already seed what was awaiting him and he was at peace.  The man who was educated in the world seemed sharp and competent, but his nights and dreams were filled with terrors.  To live in your own strength is the ultimate weakness.

This Psalmist has felt lost, separated from one he esteemed to be a friend and a lover.  The Lord he has cried out to is not without hearing or feeling.  He will not die in despair, for our God is faithful.

So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him.  And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the LORD.  As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the LORD; My spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed’s seed, saith the LORD, from henceforth and for ever.  Isiah 59:19-21

RESTORATION

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 idf-infantry

FALLEN WARRIORS

Asaph is contributes Psalm 85 and David returns with a prayer in Psalm 86.  For Asaph to write a Psalm for the sons of Korah, he addresses descendants of the survivors of the rebellion in Moses time.  The sons of Korah still served in the temple, in positions of honorable ministry.  They also still possessed free will, and the temptation to stray as their fathers had.

(To the chief Musician, A Psalm for the sons of Korah.)

LORD, thou hast been favourable unto thy land: thou hast brought back the captivity of Jacob.   Thou hast forgiven the iniquity of thy people, thou hast covered all their sin. Selah.  Thou hast taken away all thy wrath: thou hast turned thyself from the fierceness of thine anger.  Turn us, O God of our salvation, and cause thine anger toward us to cease.  Wilt thou be angry with us for ever? wilt thou draw out thine anger to all generations?  Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee?  Psalm 85:1-6

Asaph acknowledges the gifts of God and the good history of Israel in his care.  Even as he praises God for past help he is asking that the people be turned back to their old faith.  He sees some anger from God for their ways, and looks for mercy.  Does he hold out hope for the Sons of Korah to turn from their sin?  It seems they retained a few bad ways from the old days.  Still, Asaph does not expect God to hold a grudge forever.

Shew us thy mercy, O LORD, and grant us thy salvation.  I will hear what God the LORD will speak: for he will speak peace unto his people, and to his saints: but let them not turn again to folly.  Surely his salvation is nigh them that fear him; that glory may dwell in our land.  Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.  Truth shall spring out of the earth; and righteousness shall look down from heaven.  Yea, the LORD shall give that which is good; and our land shall yield her increase.  Righteousness shall go before him; and shall set us in the way of his steps.  Psalm 85:7-13

Asaph offers intercessory prayer for God’s peace to his people and his saints; the masses and the righteous few.  The sons of Korah had been forgiven and he prays they will not return to errors of their elders.  All need to stay on the straight path, forgiven and forgiving.  Prosperity will follow those who follow God.  There is hope for all of us, no matter how our fathers may have failed.

While Asaph offers intercession for others, David is seeking mercy for his own failings.  In both cases we can see that people can have a high place in serving God and still be tempted to fall away.  God’s own people fail daily and need to make the repairs of repentance daily.

(A Prayer of David.)

Bow down thine ear, O LORD, hear me: for I am poor and needy.  Preserve my soul; for I am holy: O thou my God, save thy servant that trusteth in thee.  Be merciful unto me, O Lord: for I cry unto thee daily.  Rejoice the soul of thy servant: for unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul.  For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.   Give ear, O LORD, unto my prayer; and attend to the voice of my supplications.  Psalm 86: 1-6

David submits his personal need and comes humbly to petition God for his needs.  David joins in a relationship with God daily for forgiveness and mercy.  David asks God to hear out his request.

In the day of my trouble I will call upon thee: for thou wilt answer me.   Among the gods there is none like unto thee, O Lord; neither are there any works like unto thy works.  All nations whom thou hast made shall come and worship before thee, O Lord; and shall glorify thy name.  For thou art great, and doest wondrous things: thou art God alone.  Teach me thy way, O LORD; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name.  I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify thy name for evermore.  Psalm 86: 7-12

Psalms often come with news of trouble, but God is acknowledged as the cure for all of these.  As the psalmist promises to continue praising God to the world the psalm, or song, gathers energy.  Here David is looking forward to more praise and awareness of the great works has and will do.

For great is thy mercy toward me: and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell.  O God, the proud are risen against me, and the assemblies of violent men have sought after my soul; and have not set thee before them.  But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.  O turn unto me, and have mercy upon me; give thy strength unto thy servant, and save the son of thine handmaid.  Shew me a token for good; that they which hate me may see it, and be ashamed: because thou, LORD, hast holpen me, and comforted me.  Psalm 86: 13-17

David already knows that God is merciful because of past victories so he can face the challengers.  The psalm is showing the confidence of the often confirmed compassion of God.  David knows that he needs grace for his failures but he is expecting that help.  He asks for a token, a sign of God’s deliverance which his enemies too can see.  When the world sees the evidence that God’s people are really being favored by God a few are prepared to accept.  This is a token, a warning to the violent and corrupt of the world.  The psalms again move beyond threats to the excitement of God’s personal answer.  This kind of intercession and repentance still works today.

God is more concerned about the righteous falling away, and a few unrighteous may still turn to join us as well.  To praise God produces his intervention and the victories that carry momentum towards our victory.  Let us not forget our own behavior and the warriors on our left and right.  Remember the rewards of serving in the house of God and call our own to follow the banner, the cross.

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