XYZs OF FAITH

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WHO SCATTERS OUR ENEMIES

As there is another side of life that is found on the other side of the veil, this is the other half of Psalm 119.  How great to know that the other side of life is the greater, the eternal and unlimited side.  Let’s continue to learn the ABCs of getting there.

PSALM 119 (Part 2)

LAMED. For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.  Thy faithfulness is unto all generations: thou hast established the earth, and it abideth.  They continue this day according to thine ordinances: for all are thy servants.  Unless thy law had been my delights, I should then have perished in mine affliction.  I will never forget thy precepts: for with them thou hast quickened me.  I am thine, save me; for I have sought thy precepts.  The wicked have waited for me to destroy me: but I will consider thy testimonies.  I have seen an end of all perfection: but thy commandment is exceeding broad.  Psalm 119:89-96

Lord your word is eternal and living in heaven.  We know his name now, being Yeshua ha Meshiah, or Jesus, who is the word.  Your faithfulness is available to every generation, past, present, and future.  Your servants are all alive today with him.  I would have died in my sins had I not discovered your laws and promises.  I will not forget your teachings because they awakened me to spiritual understanding.  I want to obey you, so teach me and save me from my natural mind.  My enemies tempt me to sin but I will remember your wisdom as my path around their snares.  All worldly good is limited, but your spiritual wisdom is infinite.

MEM. O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day.  Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me.  I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation.  I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts.  I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep thy word.  I have not departed from thy judgments: for thou hast taught me.  How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!  Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way.  Psalm 119:97-104

This is joy and love to embrace your wisdom and commandments.  You give me divine inspiration over the natural mind of my ever present enemies.  I understand more than my teachers because the wisdom of God is greater than the foolishness of man.  I can avoid the snares and minefields of evil to be obedient to your word.  Since you were my teacher I have not turned away from your instructions.  Yours ways and words are sweet like honey to my tastes.  Because your principles are proven experiences that I now trust, I now hate the false ways of the world.

NUN. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.  I have sworn, and I will perform it, that I will keep thy righteous judgments.  I am afflicted very much: quicken me, O LORD, according unto thy word.  Accept, I beseech thee, the freewill offerings of my mouth, O LORD, and teach me thy judgments.  My soul is continually in my hand: yet do I not forget thy law.  The wicked have laid a snare for me: yet I erred not from thy precepts.  Thy testimonies have I taken as an heritage for ever: for they are the rejoicing of my heart.  I have inclined mine heart to perform thy statutes alway, even unto the end. Psalm 119:105-112

What more can I want than a spiritual light to guide my steps?  The word of God is the light that I have promised to follow, guiding me away from destruction.  Although I am under attack I ask you Lord; show me the way to safety.  Accept my worship, my song, and my praise as tuition for your classes.  Although my fears and doubts are always close at hand, I remember your rules.  Real enemies are stalking me but I have not sinned against your commandments.  The faithful testify of your goodness, and I embraced these as my inheritance for eternity.  These promises are my reason for joy.  I am determined to follow you Lord to the end.

SAMECH. I hate vain thoughts: but thy law do I love.  Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word.  Depart from me, ye evildoers: for I will keep the commandments of my God.  Uphold me according unto thy word, that I may live: and let me not be ashamed of my hope.  Hold thou me up, and I shall be safe: and I will have respect unto thy statutes continually.  Thou hast trodden down all them that err from thy statutes: for their deceit is falsehood.  Thou puttest away all the wicked of the earth like dross: therefore I love thy testimonies.  My flesh trembleth for fear of thee; and I am afraid of thy judgments. Psalm 119:113-120

Vain thoughts, ideas that exalt themselves over God are repulsive.  God you are my fortress and armor.  You who prefer the darkness can do so away from the light of God.  Lord keep me well so I am not shamed in honoring you before the world.  You can hold me up as proof of your statutes while evil workers are falling away.  Lord you put away those who lie and kill, so I love your promises.  I fear your power and I fear your condemnation.

AIN. I have done judgment and justice: leave me not to mine oppressors.  Be surety for thy servant for good: let not the proud oppress me.  Mine eyes fail for thy salvation, and for the word of thy righteousness.  Deal with thy servant according unto thy mercy, and teach me thy statutes.  I am thy servant; give me understanding, that I may know thy testimonies.  It is time for thee, LORD, to work: for they have made void thy law.  Therefore I love thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold.  Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way. Psalm 119:121-128

As I obey you as ask you not to abandon me to my enemies.  Lord be the security deposit on your promise for my life.  Give me the Holy Spirit who is the ring of spiritual engagement.  I look for the hope of salvation and the word of God, but my eyes are strained by the search.  Give me your mercy as I find it in your word.  Train me to be your servant so I will become a witness of your faithfulness.  The heathen have tried to revoke your laws, so be the God of enforcement now.  Your laws are more precious than gold and prosperity.  Your ways are righteous above all, and I despise the darkness of rebellion.

PE.  Thy testimonies are wonderful: therefore doth my soul keep them. The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple. I opened my mouth, and panted: for I longed for thy commandments.  Look thou upon me, and be merciful unto me, as thou usest to do unto those that love thy name.  Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me.  Deliver me from the oppression of man: so will I keep thy precepts.  Make thy face to shine upon thy servant; and teach me thy statutes.  Rivers of waters run down mine eyes, because they keep not thy law. Psalm 119:129-136

Your good works are treasures that I keep within my soul.  When your word enters there it brings the light of wisdom to me.  Wanting more I pant like a hunter pursuing your word as food for my hunger.  See my need and give me the mercy you gave the patriarchs who loved you of old.  Let my feet follow your word so I do not travel off the road into the way of sin.  Keep me safe from the traps of evil men so I am not tempted to sin.  Favor me with understanding your will and commandments.  I weep for the sins that I still indulge.

TZADDI. Righteous art thou, O LORD, and upright are thy judgments.  Thy testimonies that thou hast commanded are righteous and very faithful.  My zeal hath consumed me, because mine enemies have forgotten thy words.  Thy word is very pure: therefore thy servant loveth it.  I am small and despised: yet do not I forget thy precepts.  Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and thy law is the truth.  Trouble and anguish have taken hold on me: yet thy commandments are my delights.  The righteousness of thy testimonies is everlasting: give me understanding, and I shall live. Psalm 119:137-144

Lord, you alone are righteous, your judgment and testimonies alone are true.  I am more passionate about your truth because your enemies have turned away from them.  The word of God is pure, and we love the word that is our Messiah.  While in the eyes of the world I am of low esteem, I still cling to your promises.  I have the same trials as others, but I have joy in your comforting word.  Your promises are eternal, so teach me your ways so I too may live forever.

KOPH. I cried with my whole heart; hear me, O LORD: I will keep thy statutes.  I cried unto thee; save me, and I shall keep thy testimonies.  I prevented the dawning of the morning, and cried: I hoped in thy word.  Mine eyes prevent the night watches, that I might meditate in thy word.  Hear my voice according unto thy lovingkindness: O LORD, quicken me according to thy judgment.  They draw nigh that follow after mischief: they are far from thy law.  Thou art near, O LORD; and all thy commandments are truth.  Concerning thy testimonies, I have known of old that thou hast founded them for ever. Psalm 119:145-152

I call on God without holding back, with your help Lord I will obey you.  I cry out for you so teach me how to be saved in keeping your word.  My despair darkened my day until I prayed and found hope in your promises.  Instead of watching for night fears I meditate on your comforting pro

RESH. Consider mine affliction, and deliver me: for I do not forget thy law.  Plead my cause, and deliver me: quicken me according to thy word.  Salvation is far from the wicked: for they seek not thy statutes.  Great are thy tender mercies, O LORD: quicken me according to thy judgments.  Many are my persecutors and mine enemies; yet do I not decline from thy testimonies.  I beheld the transgressors, and was grieved; because they kept not thy word.  Consider how I love thy precepts: quicken me, O LORD, according to thy lovingkindness.  Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.Psalm 119:153-160

Lord feel my pain and recognize my acceptance of your word.  Be my advocate and lift me from my depression as your word promises.  Violent and evil people do not even try to follow your will so their hope is removed from them.  I know that you are merciful and ask you to lift my spirit.  I am surrounded by critics and violence but I trust your ways and your word.  I was sorry that our enemies have rebelled against the hope that you offer us.  Lord search my heart and see my faith in you; teach me how I may follow you more closely.  Your words are living truth from beginning to end and your decisions are eternally righteous.

SCHIN. Princes have persecuted me without a cause: but my heart standeth in awe of thy word.  I rejoice at thy word, as one that findeth great spoil.  I hate and abhor lying: but thy law do I love.  Seven times a day do I praise thee because of thy righteous judgments.  Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.  LORD, I have hoped for thy salvation, and done thy commandments.  My soul hath kept thy testimonies; and I love them exceedingly.  I have kept thy precepts and thy testimonies: for all my ways are before thee. Psalm 119:161-168

The people with power and authority have belittled me and attacked me when I was innocent.  Still I find that your words have been true against their evil.  Lies and evil I hate while I love your law.  I praise you and no one who loves your law is vulnerable to the anger of the world.  I live for your salvation and your commandments, my heart loves your principles.  Your ways are my ways in everything I do.

TAU. Let my cry come near before thee, O LORD: give me understanding according to thy word.  Let my supplication come before thee: deliver me according to thy word.  My lips shall utter praise, when thou hast taught me thy statutes.  My tongue shall speak of thy word: for all thy commandments are righteousness.  Let thine hand help me; for I have chosen thy precepts.  I have longed for thy salvation, O LORD; and thy law is my delight.  Let my soul live, and it shall praise thee; and let thy judgments help me.  I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek thy servant; for I do not forget thy commandments.  Psalm 119:169-176

Lord hear my prayers and my calls for help, and give me spiritual hearing and vision.  May my prayers rise like incense to your throne and give me deliverance.  I will praise you to the world, so help me as I desire your truth.  I desire your salvation as I live in your will.  As long as I live I will tell my world of your righteousness and I will allow your words to guide me.  I have wandered away in sin, so seek me as your lost sheep because I am yours.  Your commandments are my master’s voice.

The sum of the psalm is repeated from Aleph to Tau; there is trouble but there is hope.  We will be challenged and we will respond with faith to wait on God for deliverance.  We praise God to our neighbors who are his lost sheep.  We embrace the promises and laws of God and we see the faithfulness of God in his season.  This repetition is like memorizing the alphabet; it plants understanding that we can depend on for our entire lifetime.  It delivers another lifetime for eternity, so we can live by it.

THE ABCs OF FAITH

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PATTERNS OF HOPE

Aleph…the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet.  In fact Aleph, Beth inspires our word for alphabet.  These are similar to the Greek and Roman letters as well.  In any language this psalm is the “ABCs” of faith.  This is the longest psalm, so I have broken it in two sections for this study.  Now we can read and take time to reflect on the messages here.

PSALM 119

ALEPH. Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD.  Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart.  They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways.  Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently.  O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes!  Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments.  I will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned thy righteous  judgments.  I will keep thy statutes: O forsake me not utterly.  Psalm 119:1-8

Those who are without sin in the law are blessed.  That is our best first step, our beginning.  Blessed are those who obey and seek God in truth.  God you commanded us to observe your word faithfully.  Oh if I could always conform to your rules!  I have no reason for shame when I live within your boundaries.  I can tell others of your goodness with a clear conscience when I learn and follow your word.  I will obey you, only do not forsake me.  The psalmist announces his faith and his dependency on God to achieve those goals.

BETH. Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.  With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments.  Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.  Blessed art thou, O LORD: teach me thy statutes.  With my lips have I declared all the judgments of thy mouth.  I have rejoiced in the way of thy testimonies, as much as in all riches.  I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways.  I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word.  Psalm 119:9-16

How can anyone find a clean life?  By directing that life as the word of God directs us.  I look for you my God with my whole heart, don’t let me wander away from you.  Even as I seek God I need him to keep me in his will.  I take your word to heart Lord, so teach me.  I have told my world about you and I rejoice in what you do for us more than I do in wealth.  I will study and think long on your principles and delight in your rules.  I will not forget the word.  Now we know the word by his name as God has revealed his son to be the word of God.  Our teacher heard our prayers and came in the flesh.

GIMEL. Deal bountifully with thy servant, that I may live, and keep thy word.  Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.  I am a stranger in the earth: hide not thy commandments from me.  My soul breaketh for the longing that it hath unto thy judgments at all times.  Thou hast rebuked the proud that are cursed, which do err from thy commandments.  Remove from me reproach and contempt; for I have kept thy testimonies.  Princes also did sit and speak against me: but thy servant did meditate in thy statutes.  Thy testimonies also are my delight and my counsellors.  Psalm 119:17-24

Lord let me prosper so I can live without sin.  Give me spiritual vision to see prophetic revelation in your scriptures.  I am unfamiliar with the mysteries of this life so let me see your wisdom as a sign.  My heart breaks to find the wisdom that it lacks of your guidelines.  Lord you have brought the proud men low for their sins.  Move me away from the reproach of hypocrisy as I have not failed to obey you.  Men in power spoke false accusations against me but I focused on your instructions and ignored them.  Your word is my pleasure and my guiding light.  Even as I read and paraphrase your word for others, it reveals more to me than I have known before.

DALETH. My soul cleaveth unto the dust: quicken thou me according to thy word.  I have declared my ways, and thou heardest me: teach me thy statutes.  Make me to understand the way of thy precepts: so shall I talk of thy wondrous works.  My soul melteth for heaviness: strengthen thou me according unto thy word.  Remove from me the way of lying: and grant me thy law graciously.  I have chosen the way of truth: thy judgments have I laid before me.  I have stuck unto thy testimonies: O LORD, put me not to shame.  I will run the way of thy commandments, when thou shalt enlarge my heart.  Psalm 119:25-32

I am low in faith under the cares of life, Lord help my faith and energize my walk.  You heard my proclamation of faith so teach me to live according to your word.  Let me understand wisdom so I can tell my world about your goodness.  My core is melting down in sorrows, please give me strength in faith.  Deliver me from the temptation to lie and let me find peace within your law.  I have decided to follow Yeshua, and your judgment is my choice.  I stay in your path so don’t leave me ashamed as I follow you.  You will give me heart and courage.

This writer finds the worries too, and I hope God will help me enough to walk with spring in my step.  As long as I am on the path of God’s will I should not shuffle like a beaten dog.  It would dishonor God to act as if I have no hope.

HE.Teach me, O LORD, the way of thy statutes; and I shall keep it unto the end. Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart. Make me to go in the path of thy commandments; for therein do I delight.  Incline my heart unto thy testimonies, and not to covetousness.  Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity; and quicken thou me in thy way.  Stablish thy word unto thy servant, who is devoted to thy fear.  Turn away my reproach which I fear: for thy judgments are good.  Behold, I have longed after thy precepts: quicken me in thy righteousness.  Psalm 119:33-40

Lord, teach me the rules of life as I am willing to comply all my life.  I will follow you if you teach me the way.  I enjoy living in your light so turn me away from the desires of the world.  Turn me away from vanity for I fear a bad testimony.  I want your truth as I long for it.  God’s warnings are like the signs along a winding mountain road.  To fear those messages will keep us from the edge of eternal pain.  The more we see God’s good judgments the more we know that his warnings are for our good, not to oppress us.

VAU. Let thy mercies come also unto me, O LORD, even thy salvation, according to thy word.  So shall I have wherewith to answer him that reproacheth me: for I trust in thy word.  And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth; for I have hoped in thy judgments.  So shall I keep thy law continually for ever and ever.  And I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts.  I will speak of thy testimonies also before kings, and will not be ashamed.  And I will delight myself in thy commandments, which I have loved.  My hands also will I lift up unto thy commandments, which I have loved; and I will meditate in thy statutes.  Psalm 119:41-48

Give me all of your mercy especially your salvation.  I can answer the trash talk of the world with the assurance of eternal salvation.  Your word is my hope; his name is Yeshua.  Encourage me to speak your word so I have hope.  I will live in your law and speak of hour honor to rulers shamelessly.  I will live in and love your commandments and I will consider those thoughts at length and in peace.

ZAIN. Remember the word unto thy servant, upon which thou hast caused me to hope.  This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me.  The proud have had me greatly in derision: yet have I not declined from thy law.  I remembered thy judgments of old, O LORD; and have comforted myself.  Horror hath taken hold upon me because of the wicked that forsake thy law.  Thy statutes have been my songs in the house of my pilgrimage.  I have remembered thy name, O LORD, in the night, and have kept thy law.  This I had, because I kept thy precepts.  Psalm 119:49-56

Remember the promises that give me hope as your word takes the pain from my afflictions.  I have no reason to despair in persecution because your advice is a psalm of celebration to me.  You are the name of my joy in the night and I have this because I followed your path in life.

CHETH. Thou art my portion, O LORD: I have said that I would keep thy words.  I intreated thy favour with my whole heart: be merciful unto me according to thy word.  I thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto thy testimonies.  I made haste, and delayed not to keep thy commandments.  The bands of the wicked have robbed me: but I have not forgotten thy law.  At midnight I will rise to give thanks unto thee because of thy righteous judgments.  I am a companion of all them that fear thee, and of them that keep thy precepts.  The earth, O LORD, is full of thy mercy: teach me thy statutes.  Psalm 119:57-64

You are my reward in life over material gain because I value your approval enough to follow your path.  I came ahead without hesitation in spite of the theft of evil humanity.  I praise you in the night and fellowship with the righteous people.  As all of life on earth reveals your goodness teach me your ways.

TETH. Thou hast dealt well with thy servant, O LORD, according unto thy word.  Teach me good judgment and knowledge: for I have believed thy commandments.  Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word.  Thou art good, and doest good; teach me thy statutes.  The proud have forged a lie against me: but I will keep thy precepts with my whole heart.  Their heart is as fat as grease; but I delight in thy law.  It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.  The law of thy mouth is better unto me than thousands of gold and silver. Psalm 119:65-72

You have treated me well Lord, even as your word promised.  Now teach me judgment and faith because I believed you.  Before I had trouble and I backslid for lack of faith, but now you proved your promises and I keep your word.  Since you are good, and do good, teach me the principles of life.  Evil men lie about me but I will stay on course by your words.  They have the fat heart of death while we find life in your word.  Our pain is where we witness the deliverance found in your promises.  Better to have the treasure of scripture than the wealth of the few world owners.  They only hold a temporary lease.

JOD. Thy hands have made me and fashioned me: give me understanding, that I may learn thy commandments.  They that fear thee will be glad when they see me; because I have hoped in thy word.  I know, O LORD, that thy judgments are right, and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me.  Let, I pray thee, thy merciful kindness be for my comfort, according to thy word unto thy servant.  Let thy tender mercies come unto me, that I may live: for thy law is my delight.  Let the proud be ashamed; for they dealt perversely with me without a cause: but I will meditate in thy precepts.  Let those that fear thee turn unto me, and those that have known thy testimonies.  Let my heart be sound in thy statutes; that I be not ashamed.  Psalm 119:73-80

I am your workmanship; complete the work in my understanding by your wisdom and guidance.  The other believers who fear you will welcome me as a brother in your promises.  Lord you are righteous and what trouble reaches me is to teach me and strengthen me.  Return mercy and comfort to me now because I have lived in compliance to your will.  Let our proud enemies be shamed as they are caught in their false accusations.  Let your faithful people see me and come to me as a brother in your testimony.  Build me into a faithful servant so I will not be ashamed when they do see me.

CAPH. My soul fainteth for thy salvation: but I hope in thy word.  Mine eyes fail for thy word, saying, When wilt thou comfort me?  For I am become like a bottle in the smoke; yet do I not forget thy statutes.  How many are the days of thy servant? when wilt thou execute judgment on them that persecute me?  The proud have digged pits for me, which are not after thy law.  All thy commandments are faithful: they persecute me wrongfully; help thou me.  They had almost consumed me upon earth; but I forsook not thy precepts.  Quicken me after thy lovingkindness; so shall I keep the testimony of thy mouth.  Psalm 119:81-88

My works fail to give what I need from your salvation, I am weak but I still hope.  My sight doesn’t reveal faith as well as your word does, so what is the hour when faith will heal my sight?  I am diminished but I remember your word as substance for my faith.

How long will I live before you deliver me from my enemies?  They make traps for me in their rebellion against you, they mutiny against your righteousness.  I am surrounded and near defeat without your guiding words and kindness, so I will remain in the refuge of your wisdom.

So the first half of Psalm 119 opens in varied crisis and leaves us with reassuring testimony of the value of the word of God.  There is more to come, and so it also is with this life.  Go to your destiny with this assurance.

REINFORCEMENTS

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WHO SCATTERS OUR ENEMIES

 

PSALM 116

 

I love the LORD, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications.  Because he hath inclined his ear unto me, therefore will I call upon him as long as I live.  The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow.  Then called I upon the name of the LORD; O LORD, I beseech thee, deliver my soul.  Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; yea, our God is merciful.  Psalm 116:1-5

 

I love the Lord because he heard me.  How does the psalmist know this?  He knows because he got results in some form that convinced him that God stepped in.  God answers, intervenes, helps, and saves us.  Because he listens I will always call on him.  Serious problems and mortal danger and fear of hell, the wrath of God fell on me.  The fear of God and sorrow motivated a cry to God for help.  The Lord does give us grace.  Last night I dreamed that my house was falling into the basement, where giant serpents waited to devour us.  I ran around telling the kids to get out in time.  Can we warn our children as the psalmist is doing here?

 

The LORD preserveth the simple: I was brought low, and he helped me.  Return unto thy rest, O my soul; for the LORD hath dealt bountifully with thee.  For thou hast delivered my soul from death, mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling.  I will walk before the LORD in the land of the living.  I believed, therefore have I spoken: I was greatly afflicted:  I said in my haste, All men are liars.  Psalm 116:6-11

 

God saves the simple and foolish people like myself.  God did answer with help, so breathe easy my worried soul!  You Lord have delivered me from real fears and death when my feet were slipping.  I have the privilege to walk with God here in the land of the living.  I spoke what I believed when I was threatened, and my hasty response was to call all men liars.

 

What shall I render unto the LORD for all his benefits toward me?  I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD.  I will pay my vows unto the LORD now in the presence of all his people.  Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints. Psalm 116:12-15

 

How can I repay God for all he has done?  I can accept the sweet taste of salvation and call on God for my help.  I will behave righteously towards God in full view of his people.  If I do die, God sees our death as being precious.  If he is there for me, how can I complain about passing through the veil into his realm?  Come with us!

 

 

O LORD, truly I am thy servant; I am thy servant, and the son of thine handmaid: thou hast loosed my bonds.  I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the LORD.  I will pay my vows unto the LORD now in the presence of all his people,  In the courts of the LORD’S house, in the midst of thee, O Jerusalem. Praise ye the LORD. Psalm 116:16-19

 

I am the servant of you alone Lord, as a son of a faithful mother and a servant released from slavery.  I am willing to make the effort to give you thanks and to turn to you for my help.  In the view of everyone in Jerusalem I will honor my promises to honor you and praise the Lord.

 

PSALM 117

 

O praise the LORD, all ye nations: praise him, all ye people.  For his merciful kindness is great toward us: and the truth of the LORD endureth for ever. Praise ye the LORD. Psalm 117:1-2

 

Every person of every nation should be praising God.  Considering the evil in the world God has proven his mercy and kindness to all of us.  Praise the Lord.  What part of telling the world that God is good can we fail to understand?  In two lines we have his word; his commandment.

 

Psalm 118

 

O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: because his mercy endureth for ever.  Let Israel now say, that his mercy endureth for ever.  Let the house of Aaron now say, that his mercy endureth for ever.  Let them now that fear the LORD say, that his mercy endureth for ever.  I called upon the LORD in distress: the LORD answered me, and set me in a large place.  Psalm 118:1-5

 

Give thanks to God just because he is good to us, and he forgives us endlessly.  All of Israel should say that mercy is eternal.  We are of Israel as believers and we know that we test God’s patience and he proves his mercy regularly.  Let the House of Aaron, the priests and shepherds, that God is merciful.  If you fear God say that his mercy is forever.  When we say this it becomes part of our life that the world witnesses.  I called on God when I was in despair and he made me prosper again.

 

The LORD is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?  The LORD taketh my part with them that help me: therefore shall I see my desire upon them that hate me.  It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.  It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes.  All nations compassed me about: but in the name of the LORD will I destroy them.  Psalm 118:6-10

 

The Lord is with me, this is a fact that he can reveal to you in crisis.  Then you know for sure that man can do nothing to harm you.  We will witness our victory over our enemies.  God is more trustworthy than men or princes.  Even if surrounded by enemy nations then in the name of the Lord Yeshua we will have victory.

 

They compassed me about; yea, they compassed me about: but in the name of the LORD I will destroy them.  They compassed me about like bees; they are quenched as the fire of thorns: for in the name of the LORD I will destroy them.  Thou hast thrust sore at me that I might fall: but the LORD helped me.  The LORD is my strength and song, and is become my salvation.  The voice of rejoicing and salvation is in the tabernacles of the righteous: the right hand of the LORD doeth valiantly.  Psalm 118:11-15

 

Although the enemy nations surround me I know that I will destroy them by the power of the name of the Lord.  They surrounded me like a swarm of bees.  That happened to me in Arizona so the dog and I broke records running to safety.  Those bees stayed with us for a great distance too!  But we see the sting of our enemies neutralized when we call on the name of the Lord.  I too have received the thrust of enemies who seek to harm or discourage me and today we still receive the Lord’s help.  A song is part of our strength, and the church should echo with his praises as he delivers victory to us.

 

The right hand of the LORD is exalted: the right hand of the LORD doeth valiantly.  I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the LORD.  The LORD hath chastened me sore: but he hath not given me over unto death.  Open to me the gates of righteousness: I will go into them, and I will praise the LORD:  This gate of the LORD, into which the righteous shall enter.  Psalm 118:16-20

 

Thr right hand of the Lord is exalted.  In the New Testament Jesus is destined to stand at the right hand of God.  He is God’s right hand man; he is the arm and the hand of the Lord.  God has given me trials and punishment, but he spares me from death.  There is a gate; a barrier against injustice that we are allowed to pass through with God’s permission.

 

I will praise thee: for thou hast heard me, and art become my salvation.  The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.  This is the LORD’S doing; it is marvellous in our eyes.  This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.  Save now, I beseech thee, O LORD: O LORD, I beseech thee, send now prosperity.  Psalm 118:21-25

 

I will praise you for hearing and saving me.  Now the psalmist (David?) is in the spirit of God again and about to speak for him.  The stone the builders turned down has become the cornerstone of the whole church now.  This line is recalled before the Priests of Israel by Peter in the New Testament:

 

Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.  This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.  Acts 4:10-11

 

So the singer has spoken a prophesy that would be witnessed by the high priest of Israel many generations later.  This is indeed marvelous in our eyes, and Peter remembered to praise the Lord by naming his name as our only salvation!  So the psalms teach rules of spiritual warfare that worked in Peter’s day, and still work for us today.  This is the day the Lord has made, and men still sing of it today.  Send me salvation too Lord!

 

 

Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the LORD: we have blessed you out of the house of the LORD.  God is the LORD, which hath shewed us light: bind the sacrifice with cords, even unto the horns of the altar.  Thou art my God, and I will praise thee: thou art my God, I will exalt thee.  O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.  Psalm 118:26-29

 

And who can come in the name of the Lord more than he who bears the name of the Lord?  Yeshua of Nazareth who is known as the Word was with god and was God in the beginning, before Abraham was I Am.  He who is the word spoke this line again in his time:

 

For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.  Matthew 23: 39

 

You are my God and I will exalt you by telling the world who you are.  All of us should thank God for being merciful to all of us who do not deserve you.

WEALTH OF ASSURANCE

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BY ALL MEANS    

when instructions are simple we may be tempted to do more.  But can we do more than what God asks us to do?  The Law would refute our effort to earn salvation, so we do better to hear his idea.  From the psalms before we can do a lot by just lifting his name in praise.

PSALM 113

Praise ye the LORD. Praise, O ye servants of the LORD, praise the name of the LORD.  Blessed be the name of the LORD from this time forth and for evermore.  From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the LORD’S name is to be praised.  The LORD is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens.  Psalm 113: 1-4

And indeed why not praise the Lord?  After all these reminders we should have seen the power reflected back from this act.  David has been inspired to be a voice for God himself in these psalms.  We should want our lives and our business to reflect the goodness of our God.  We have our entire day for as many days as we have to illuminate the name that gives life.  This one name; Yeshua, Jesus, is the only salvation and he is above all of us.

Who is like unto the LORD our God, who dwelleth on high,  Who humbleth himself to behold the things that are in heaven, and in the earth!  He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth the needy out of the dunghill;  That he may set him with princes, even with the princes of his people.  He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the LORD.  Psalm 113: 5-10

Who is like this God, who left heaven to look on us as a mere man?  He redeems the homeless and poor to give them honor.  The poor and childless woman is transformed by God to be the mother of nations.  Do praise God for these mercies.

PSALM 114

When Israel went out of Egypt, the house of Jacob from a people of strange language;  Judah was his sanctuary, and Israel his dominion.  The sea saw it, and fled: Jordan was driven back.  The mountains skipped like rams, and the little hills like lambs.  Psalm 114: 1-4

In the Exodus Israel was delivered from Egypt and its strange language, superstitions, and bondage.  Most of us have to move out of a bad situation into an unfamiliar situation at some point in life.  When God finally moves us he provides an open door.  The enemy was real, and so was the sea, but God moved all the obstacles that blocked Israel.

What ailed thee, O thou sea, that thou fleddest? thou Jordan, that thou wast driven back?  Ye mountains, that ye skipped like rams; and ye little hills, like lambs?  Tremble, thou earth, at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob;  Which turned the rock into a standing water, the flint into a fountain of waters.  Psalm 114: 5-8

What caused the great disturbances of nature that let Israel pass?  The supernatural is superior to nature.  When our knowledge of nature shows no way we may be about to discover new science as God reveals it to us.  If I set out to start a business or to get an education I have real work ahead of me.  But I should focus on the wonders that pave my way more than the obstacles that threaten failure.  God brought living water out of the rock of ages so we would see Yeshua in every part of nature around us.

PSALM 115

Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth’s sake.  Wherefore should the heathen say, Where is now their God?  But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased.  Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands.  They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not: Psalm 115: 1-5

No Lord we are not to be honored for the great works that you have done.  Why should unbelievers say that our God is gone if they can see your name glorified in our prosperity?  Our God lives in the heavens and blesses his people while other beliefs are misguided towards stone and metals carved by men.

They have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not:  They have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat.  They that make them are like unto them; so is every one that trusteth in them.  O Israel, trust thou in the LORD: he is their help and their shield.  O house of Aaron, trust in the LORD: he is their help and their shield. Psalm 115: 6-10

Those statues have features that do not live and move in the earth, let alone move the earth itself.  Those who carve idols are as lifeless as the images they form.  People of faith, please trust God who lives and helps and shields you.  Everyone faces challenges, but you face them with help from the throne of heaven.

Ye that fear the LORD, trust in the LORD: he is their help and their shield.  The LORD hath been mindful of us: he will bless us; he will bless the house of Israel; he will bless the house of Aaron.  He will bless them that fear the LORD, both small and great.  The LORD shall increase you more and more, you and your children.  Ye are blessed of the LORD which made heaven and earth. Psalm 115: 11-15

You that are wise enough to fear God trust him to be greater than your lesser fears.  God cares for us and he will bless us.  He will bless the children of faith.  He will bless the weak and the strong alike.  He will bless.  He will cause you and your family to prosper and grow.  You are blessed.  The God of heaven and earth has done this for you.

The heaven, even the heavens, are the LORD’S: but the earth hath he given to the children of men.  The dead praise not the LORD, neither any that go down into silence.  But we will bless the LORD from this time forth and for evermore. Praise the LORD. Psalm 115: 16-18

The heavens are God’s realm, but he gave the earth to men to have dominion over it.  The dead do not praise the lord, nor those that are silent, having no praise for God.  Those who live without praising God are already dead.  The people of God know his goodness and give him praise forever; Praise the Lord!

SONG OF ALL GLORY AND POWER

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 THE KING OF THE KINGS TO BE       

 

David in songs entered the presence of God and had communion there.  He may have begun with concerns about the day, but shifted quickly to praise of God.  The songs would endure, and the praise is still educating our generation.  The Psalms are a source of peace, even to people who have not fully discovered the grace in Yeshua, our Messiah.  In this Psalm David skips the introductions to report a direct announcement from God.  David is receiving a priority message direct from the central command of the universe.  It is short but vital.

 

PSALM 110  (A Psalm of David.)

 

The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.  The LORD shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies.  Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth.  The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.  The Lord at thy right hand shall strike through kings in the day of his wrath.  He shall judge among the heathen, he shall fill the places with the dead bodies; he shall wound the heads over many countries.  He shall drink of the brook in the way: therefore shall he lift up the head.  Psalm 110:1-7

 

The Lord is speaking to David’s Lord?  David is living before the Messiah and yet seems to be speaking of a Lord like Christ as if he knows him already.  Indeed David has already prophesied about the branch of the Lord and if God spoke through him he fully understood the earlier conversation.  Yeshua, Jesus, is revealed often in the Old Testament.  God tells David’s Lord to sit at his right hand, honor mortals have not known.  He promises to make the enemies of this Messiah into a footstool.  The first sentence has already earned a paragraph of revelations.

 

The Lord will send the rod of your strength out of Zion so you can rule even when enemies are closing from every side.  Messiah would live among enemies and have his power even as they crucified him.  That did not seem to be a day of power, but that day will come.  When he returns his people will be willing and reflecting the beauty of holiness in their lives too.  Was the womb of the morning that day when he left the tomb to become eternally young?

 

God promised unwaveringly that his Lord would be a priest forever, as Melchizedek, who Abraham honored.  Indeed Melchizedek may have been a manifestation of David’s Lord, Yeshua.  He was a priestly order long before the Law or Aaron.  That Lord will become a king in power in the wrath of God.  He will strike kings and judge the heathen with death.  He will drink of the brook, perhaps the living water that he shares with his flock.  In this living water; which is his living word, our bible, he lifts up our head in salvation.  Now this message itself is the living word, the bible you now read, to lift our head and our hope.

 

Psalm 111

 

Praise ye the LORD. I will praise the LORD with my whole heart, in the assembly of the upright, and in the congregation.  The works of the LORD are great, sought out of all them that have pleasure therein.  His work is honourable and glorious: and his righteousness endureth for ever.  He hath made his wonderful works to be remembered: the LORD is gracious and full of compassion.  He hath given meat unto them that fear him: he will ever be mindful of his covenant.  Psalm 111:1-5

 

Now the Psalmist is encouraged and inspired to praise God.  We have heard God speak through the writer in the previous psalm and this motivates the proclamation of God’s glory to the world.  This is not hesitation; it’s a proclamation and a testimony that God is good.

 

He hath shewed his people the power of his works, that he may give them the heritage of the heathen.  The works of his hands are verity and judgment; all his commandments are sure.  They stand fast for ever and ever, and are done in truth and uprightness.  He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name.  The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.  Psalm 111:6-10

 

God has given evidence for his people.  The world may never learn, even when the evidence is powerful.  To those with only a little faith God’s works give confidence.  The humble and repentant people have redemption and they know it.  Their fear was well-directed to God who can destroy the soul.  Their fear is taken away from the threats of our enemies and redirected towards the real power of God.  Their fear produced wisdom and understanding that eludes those who trust their own works.  When they heard the praise of God they obeyed by faith and found life.

 

Psalm 112

 

Praise ye the LORD. Blessed is the man that feareth the LORD, that delighteth greatly in his commandments.  His seed shall be mighty upon earth: the generation of the upright shall be blessed.  Wealth and riches shall be in his house: and his righteousness endureth for ever.  Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness: he is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous.  A good man sheweth favour, and lendeth: he will guide his affairs with discretion. Psalm 112:1-5

 

Praise the Lord, give the world evidence that God is good.  Announce the rewards of the fear of God and the blessing of obedience.  The man who lives of God will have a prosperous family.  He will prosper in this life and in eternal righteousness.  He will be compassionate and generous to the world around him.

 

Surely he shall not be moved for ever: the righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance.  He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the LORD.  His heart is established, he shall not be afraid, until he see his desire upon his enemies.  He hath dispersed, he hath given to the poor; his righteousness endureth for ever; his horn shall be exalted with honour.  The wicked shall see it, and be grieved; he shall gnash with his teeth, and melt away: the desire of the wicked shall perish. Psalm 112:6-10

 

It is a certainty that a good man will not be moved and his righteousness will be remembered forever.  To be remembered as good for a few years is honorable, but how much more for eternity?  That is the realm that belongs exclusively to God, and his declaration of your goodness is a reward past this life’s treasures.

 

This man will not fear bad news.  His confidence is anchored and unmoving, while his enemies will Fade before him.  We remember how this was so for Joseph even as slavery and false imprisonment passed into history.  So as Joseph all God-fearing men will be part of God’s eternal honor.  As Pharaoh was vanquished so are the threats that speak against any of God’s own.  Our God has given us salvation greater than Moses, and as David was promised this hope is also ours in Yeshua Ha Meschia.

 

PRAISE HIM OR FEAR HIM

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 Persecution2

ACKNOWLEDGE HIM    

We are usually admonished to praise God in these psalms.  But today the psalmist addressed God directly as a participant in the song of life.  To live for God we have to live with God, illustrating our trust for the world to see.  Like dark matter and dark energy we cannot measure the spiritual realm, but we know that it holds the universe together.  Someone is there for anyone who can see with the eyes of faith.

PSALM 108 (A Song or Psalm of David.)

O God, my heart is fixed; I will sing and give praise, even with my glory.   Awake, psaltery and harp: I myself will awake early.  I will praise thee, O LORD, among the people: and I will sing praises unto thee among the nations.  For thy mercy is great above the heavens: and thy truth reacheth unto the clouds.  Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens: and thy glory above all the earth;  Psalm 108: 1-5

I have joy in the morning because God has given me a day.  Since he has also given me eternal days I have even more reason to praise him.  Now I have a greater adventure because I can share that eternal gift with others.  All I have to do is to make sure I tell people about the gifts of God.  God’s mercy reaches all the people on the earth, and he can also reach those in orbit in space.  Remember Apollo 8 astronauts reading from Genisis?  We too can praise him today!

That thy beloved may be delivered: save with thy right hand, and answer me.  God hath spoken in his holiness; I will rejoice, I will divide Shechem, and mete out the valley of Succoth.  Gilead is mine; Manasseh is mine; Ephraim also is the strength of mine head; Judah is my lawgiver;  Moab is my washpot; over Edom will I cast out my shoe; over Philistia will I triumph.  Who will bring me into the strong city? who will lead me into Edom?  Psalm 108: 6-10

Lord, be glorified by my testimony to others so I too can be saved.  I will divide the lands of Seechem and deliver the property to its owners of Israel.  This same passage is found in Psalm 60.  David is assured of victory and ownership of the Canaan lands.  He is confident of victory over the enemies of Israel.

Wilt not thou, O God, who hast cast us off? and wilt not thou, O God, go forth with our hosts?  Give us help from trouble: for vain is the help of man.  Through God we shall do valiantly: for he it is that shall tread down our enemies. Psalm 108: 11-13

You, the God who threw us away, won’t you go into the battle with us now?  Our generals are only men, and their plans are feeble next to yours.  Now we will remember to call on you and with your help we will have our victory.  It is God who wins our battles for us, not our own works.

Oh my, this writer has been unemployed for over five years now, and I have no education of note.  But the trade skill that I have remains in reach and God has pointed out open doors to serve.  My plans are feeble, but I have seen deliverance.  We can invest in business or plant crops, but it is the Lord who will bring the harvest.

PSALM 109  (To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.)

Hold not thy peace, O God of my praise;  For the mouth of the wicked and the mouth of the deceitful are opened against me: they have spoken against me with a lying tongue.  They compassed me about also with words of hatred; and fought against me without a cause.  For my love they are my adversaries: but I give myself unto prayer.  And they have rewarded me evil for good, and hatred for my love.  Psalm 109: 1-5

Is there true evil in the world?  Do people allow their minds to imagine false accusations?  At times even the people of faith may be tempted to judge falsely without evidence or even an excuse for investigation.  Rumors are just as good as facts, and some even invent the rumors to serve their jealousy.  For these David asks God to be the judge.  David will not act against them except in prayer.  He will trust God to clear a safe path for him.

Set thou a wicked man over him: and let Satan stand at his right hand.  When he shall be judged, let him be condemned: and let his prayer become sin.  Let his days be few; and let another take his office.  Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow.  Let his children be continually vagabonds, and beg: let them seek their bread also out of their desolate places. Psalm 109: 6-10

If these people love evil then give them a leader of their own kind.  Those who hear the dark ideas are listening to Satan and they are the leaders who will draw the evil men down to the lake of fire with their dark lord.  If they spawn like flies their children learn the ways of maggots, so the sins of the fathers will draw them into decay as well.

Let the extortioner catch all that he hath; and let the strangers spoil his labour.  Let there be none to extend mercy unto him: neither let there be any to favour his fatherless children.  Let his posterity be cut off; and in the generation following let their name be blotted out.  Let the iniquity of his fathers be remembered with the LORD; and let not the sin of his mother be blotted out.  Let them be before the LORD continually, that he may cut off the memory of them from the earth. Psalm 109: 11-15

Extortioners may be crude criminals or respected elected officials.  So evil men may suck the life blood of other evil men as they gather in dark cities.  The sins of fathers, sons, and grandchildren are all observed and noted by God.  They are already booked for prosecution.

Because that he remembered not to shew mercy, but persecuted the poor and needy man, that he might even slay the broken in heart.  As he loved cursing, so let it come unto him: as he delighted not in blessing, so let it be far from him.  As he clothed himself with cursing like as with his garment, so let it come into his bowels like water, and like oil into his bones.  Let it be unto him as the garment which covereth him, and for a girdle wherewith he is girded continually.  Let this be the reward of mine adversaries from the LORD, and of them that speak evil against my soul. Psalm 109: 16-20

These Are people who have a memory problem about mercy.  These people may have bible teaching, but the natural heart yearns for vengeance.  If they do not ask for supernatural help they may start a tale that turns into a lynch mob.  So David asks God to mark the works of evil “return to sender”.  So the cursing will become the covering of those who launched the attack.

But do thou for me, O GOD the Lord, for thy name’s sake: because thy mercy is good, deliver thou me.  For I am poor and needy, and my heart is wounded within me.  I am gone like the shadow when it declineth: I am tossed up and down as the locust.  My knees are weak through fasting; and my flesh faileth of fatness.  I became also a reproach unto them: when they looked upon me they shaked their heads. Psalm 109: 21-25

David has been a target, and he asks God to save him.  Later in the book of Esther we will see a demonstration that returns evil to the enemy of Esther and her uncle Mordecai.  They may have remembered this example that David has left for us during their crisis.

Help me, O LORD my God: O save me according to thy mercy:  That they may know that this is thy hand; that thou, LORD, hast done it.  Let them curse, but bless thou: when they arise, let them be ashamed; but let thy servant rejoice.  Let mine adversaries be clothed with shame, and let them cover themselves with their own confusion, as with a mantle.  I will greatly praise the LORD with my mouth; yea, I will praise him among the multitude.  For he shall stand at the right hand of the poor, to save him from those that condemn his soul. Psalm 109: 26-31

When your enemies know that God was their judge, they witness another form of praise.  This revelation is evidence of a mighty God.  Enemies will learn to fear God while the persecuted learn to praise God.  When the poor are delivered, they know that their God was their hope and their strength.  These are the witnesses that praise with sincerity.  Their testimony is the hope of the world around us

CAUSE AND EFFECT

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DRY SEA 

ACKNOWLEDGE HIM    

We are usually admonished to praise God in these psalms.  But today the psalmist addressed God directly as a participant in the song of life.  To live for God we have to live with God, illustrating our trust for the world to see.  Like dark matter and dark energy we cannot measure the spiritual realm, but we know that it holds the universe together.  Someone is there for anyone who can see with the eyes of faith.

O give thanks unto the LORD, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.  Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy;  And gathered them out of the lands, from the east, and from the west, from the north, and from the south.  They wandered in the wilderness in a solitary way; they found no city to dwell in.  Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them.  Psalm 107:1-5

To speak to God with gratitude acknowledges his participation in the conversation and in our conversion.  Acknowledgement to him and to our world confirms the source of safety to all who know they need to be saved from a spiritual enemy.  Everyone so redeemed still has a journey to reach a promised land, and it is still a hard road.  When I announce that God is my source and destination our fellow travelers know where to find what they are hungering for.

Then they cried unto the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their distresses.  And he led them forth by the right way, that they might go to a city of habitation.  Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!  For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.  Such as sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and iron;  Psalm 107:6-10

Amazingly after all these lessons the people do remember who to turn to for help.  They find the right road through the hard times and arrive at the city of glory.  If people would just give honor and praise to God for the neighbors to learn about him!  He does deliver hope to the needy.  Those neighbors are bound in death by the mistakes that tear their lives apart.  Old fashioned mistakes like fornication and greed fail to build a good life.  Avoidable mistakes bring them disease, divorce, poverty, and prison.

Because they rebelled against the words of God, and contemned the counsel of the most High:  Therefore he brought down their heart with labour; they fell down, and there was none to help.  Then they cried unto the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them out of their distresses.  He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and brake their bands in sunder.  Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!  For he hath broken the gates of brass, and cut the bars of iron in sunder.  Psalm 107:11-16

Because they rebelled…the cause is found in their choices.  Although God allowed the consequences they suffered, but only enough to be awakened.  We can all wake up and follow their example.  They cried to the Lord and he saved the people who didn’t deserve to be saved.  There was real pain and despair before that relief came, and we only need to remember to appreciate what God has offered us.  We should tell our neighbors who gives us mercy, grace, and wisdom for safety.  The Lord is good.

Fools because of their transgression, and because of their iniquities, are afflicted.  Their soul abhorreth all manner of meat; and they draw near unto the gates of death.  Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he saveth them out of their distresses.  He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions. Psalm 107:17-20

Who is punished?  Those who try to evade the natural laws of God.  Those who refuse to believe that they answer to a real God discover real distress until they hear that God is good.  Then they speak to God and discover mercy.  Israel repeated this cycle endlessly as an example to us.  Don’t we sometimes read the bible and wonder why they never learn?  They are our example for today.

Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!  And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing.  They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters;  These see the works of the LORD, and his wonders in the deep.  For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof. Psalm 107:21-25

So, church, it is our job to praise God to our friends so they remember his name.  Giving thanks is a sacrifice for them, a huge effort after actively ignoring him.  Once they start he joins them and inspires their rejoicing.  This pattern is also seen among the men who go to sea as sailors.  They witness the power of his works as the waves sink and rise to tower over them.  I took a canoe past a breakwater in Lake Huron once, and immediately felt the power of the lake pulling me away from the safety of land. I retreated quickly.

They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble.  They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wits’ end.  Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses.  He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.  Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven.  Psalm 107:26-30

Those stormy waves can still overpower the modern super freighters.  The oceans, and even the Great Lakes have broken the backs of steel leviathans.  Those men witness a ship capsizing and rolling like a toy while their legs forget where their balance is at.  These men remember what prayer is for, and God remembers to honor them.  There are many kinds of storms in life, and God is prepared to guard the coasts of your home as well.

Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!  Let them exalt him also in the congregation of the people, and praise him in the assembly of the elders.  He turneth rivers into a wilderness, and the watersprings into dry ground;  A fruitful land into barrenness, for the wickedness of them that dwell therein.  He turneth the wilderness into a standing water, and dry ground into watersprings. Psalm 107:31-35

How can God bring them to the desired haven if no one is operating the lighthouse?  Who will publish a declaration of the safe haven in Jesus name?  God can turn the rivers and seas into a desert.  In Russia the Aral Sea has become a desert as our cover photo shows, but in Israel the desert has been made to bloom as the people of the land return.

And there he maketh the hungry to dwell, that they may prepare a city for habitation;  And sow the fields, and plant vineyards, which may yield fruits of increase.  He blesseth them also, so that they are multiplied greatly; and suffereth not their cattle to decrease.  Again, they are minished and brought low through oppression, affliction, and sorrow.  He poureth contempt upon princes, and causeth them to wander in the wilderness, where there is no way. Psalm 107:36-40

Where God created the waters he brought the hungry to build their city.  Even today God has planted the Jews in prosperous fields and they are blessed in Israel.  They do still see war and strife, but they will see their way to salvation in his time.  God has no respect for leaders who mislead or abuse their flocks so they are left in confusion.

Yet setteth he the poor on high from affliction, and maketh him families like a flock.  The righteous shall see it, and rejoice: and all iniquity shall stop her mouth.  Whoso is wise, and will observe these things, even they shall understand the lovingkindness of the LORD. Psalm 107:41-43

While leaders are lost, their people are delivered from poverty and established their families as his own sheep.  Those who observe the deliverance of the oppressed will celebrate while evil will fall silent in fear.  Wisdom will have the spiritual view of all this and reflect the love that God would want, even as he gives.

 

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