CONSUMING ZEAL

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RECOVERY

David faced real persecution and violent enemies.  He was aware of his own sins, and experienced weariness.  But he knew how to pull out of a dive and regain altitude by singing the praises of God.  He found a friend in his relationship with God.

Save me, O God; for the waters are come in unto my soul.  I sink in deep mire, where there is no standing: I am come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me.  I am weary of my crying: my throat is dried: mine eyes fail while I wait for my God.  They that hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of mine head: they that would destroy me, being mine enemies wrongfully, are mighty: then I restored that which I took not away.  O God, thou knowest my foolishness; and my sins are not hid from thee.  Psalm 69:1-5

David was overwhelmed.  He had crisis.  We know about war today in Syria and other kinds of spiritual warfare surround us today.  Illness, poverty, storms, and crime can bring us low.  Active enemies, especially former friends and family are even more destructive to morale.  David’s own son Absalom led a revolution against King David.

Let not them that wait on thee, O Lord GOD of hosts, be ashamed for my sake: let not those that seek thee be confounded for my sake, O God of Israel.  Because for thy sake I have borne reproach; shame hath covered my face.  I am become a stranger unto my brethren, and an alien unto my mother’s children.  For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me.  When I wept, and chastened my soul with fasting, that was to my reproach.  Psalm 69:6-10

The enemies of God will turn on the people of God because their arms are too short to reach God.  David didn’t want his people to suffer with him.  He would take the blame if it would take punishment away from Israel.  He is consumed with passion to serve God, and will take the punishment for them.  Or was he again channeling the coming messiah?

And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise.17 And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.  John 2:16-17

After Yeshua whipped the moneychangers in the Temple in the New Testament, his disciples remembered these words.  David had foreseen the persecution of his messiah.

I made sackcloth also my garment; and I became a proverb to them.  They that sit in the gate speak against me; and I was the song of the drunkards.  But as for me, my prayer is unto thee, O LORD, in an acceptable time: O God, in the multitude of thy mercy hear me, in the truth of thy salvation.  Deliver me out of the mire, and let me not sink: let me be delivered from them that hate me, and out of the deep waters.  Let not the waterflood overflow me, neither let the deep swallow me up, and let not the pit shut her mouth upon me.  Psalm 69:11-15

David suffers the rejection and persecution of the prophets.  Those prophets who followed him would share the fellowship of oppression.  Jeremiah would be set in the sewers of the prison and in the mire.  He too would see his freedom, as David will too.  They had confidence in their salvation.

Hear me, O LORD; for thy lovingkindness is good: turn unto me according to the multitude of thy tender mercies.  And hide not thy face from thy servant; for I am in trouble: hear me speedily.  Draw nigh unto my soul, and redeem it: deliver me because of mine enemies.  Thou hast known my reproach, and my shame, and my dishonour: mine adversaries are all before thee.  Reproach hath broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness: and I looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none  Psalm 69:16-20

David can call on God knowing that his nature was to show kindness to man.  He confesses the sins that God already knows, and invites deliverance.  He will find his comforter.

They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.  Let their table become a snare before them: and that which should have been for their welfare, let it become a trap.  Let their eyes be darkened, that they see not; and make their loins continually to shake.  Pour out thine indignation upon them, and let thy wrathful anger take hold of them.  Let their habitation be desolate; and let none dwell in their tents. Psalm 69:21-25

David is living as a shadow of the messiah to come.  He lives experiences not unlike those of Yeshua on the cross.  His prayers against the dark spiritual realm may sound a bit like a tribulation wish list.  God already has such punishments slated for his enemies so we can focus on keeping ourselves in line.  Revelation and Daniel make the future of God’s enemies.

For they persecute him whom thou hast smitten; and they talk to the grief of those whom thou hast wounded.  Add iniquity unto their iniquity: and let them not come into thy righteousness.  Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous.  But I am poor and sorrowful: let thy salvation, O God, set me up on high.  I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving. Psalm 69:26-30

Enemies of God persecute the one who God has wounded.  They add sorrow to one who was already brought low by God.  David prays that these will be removed from the afterlife for their sins.  Another prophet will point to the same victim and we begin to see the portrait of our messiah emerge.  The Lamb of God was predestinated to death by God but further tormented by his persecutors.  David and Isaiah prepared their peers to recognize their king before his arrival.  These threads tie our New and Old Testaments together in one continuing design for hope.

Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.  Isaiah 53:4

This is important enough for God to communicate through two different prophets in two different times.  David praises God with a song and with thanksgiving.  As he composes he is guided by another spirit, who also appears for Isaiah.  Praise invites the participation of God.

This also shall please the LORD better than an ox or bullock that hath horns and hoofs.  The humble shall see this, and be glad: and your heart shall live that seek God.  For the LORD heareth the poor, and despiseth not his prisoners.  Let the heaven and earth praise him, the seas, and every thing that moveth therein.  For God will save Zion, and will build the cities of Judah: that they may dwell there, and have it in possession.  The seed also of his servants shall inherit it: and they that love his name shall dwell therein. Psalm 69:31-36

Can we afford to make an impressive sacrifice for the offering?  The collection plate pales in comparison to the heartfelt sacrifice of praise.  The rich cannot match the offering of the poor worshiper who meets God in his praise and worship.  Creation itself joins our celebration because God has promised to build the city of our sanctuary.  The  children of faith shall inherit the earth.

Make haste, o god, to deliver me; make haste to help me, o lord.  Let them be ashamed and confounded that seek after my soul: let them be turned backward, and put to confusion, that desire my hurt.  Let them be turned back for a reward of their shame that say, Aha, aha.  Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee: and let such as love thy salvation say continually, Let God be magnified.  But I am poor and needy: make haste unto me, O God: thou art my help and my deliverer; O LORD, make no tarrying.  Psalm 70:1-5

When the media paints the world with Walter White, Vick Mackie, and Frank Underwood, do we buy the despair of our corrupt world?  When our friends and family rant agaist our Christian faith are we downcast?  Let them be ashamed and bring joy to those who rejoice in Christ.  Let God be magnified and praised so he can join us, entering in to our worship and guiding our days.  The weak and the poor have the knowledge of God’s personal encouragement.  Lord join our worship quickly with your personal help for us.

Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.  Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.  Matthew 5:11-12

As David, Isiah, Elijah, and Jerimiah, and Yeshua were persecuted, so you too are honored in heaven when men persecute you for the sake of Yeshua.  Rejoice, and give praise to God with the joy of his fellowship.

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DAVID’ WISH LIST

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A BLAST FROM THE PAST

David’s songs are still living on in our time.  Psalm 68 is long enough and right enough to stand on its own.  The Old Testament is hard for many readers because it involves so much violence and conflict.  God seems so uncompromising and dangerous.  If we hide in the New Testament we see the fulfillment of the Law in Yeshua, a Jew with a different view of the path to life.  Yet David has already testified of his relationship with this mystery king of kings.

The mercy of salvation will come but David still vents his anger about violent enemies.  In the New Testament we learn that our real enemies are the spirits behind the actions of evil men.  We are to target the spiritual enemies, not the carnal men.  But there remains a promise that God will eliminate the weeds from his garden in his time.  It is only fair to warn men that they are not supposed to follow demonic spirits to a punishment that was only intended for the fallen angelic enemies of God.

Let God arise, let his enemies be scattered: let them also that hate him flee before him.  As smoke is driven away, so drive them away: as wax melteth before the fire, so let the wicked perish at the presence of God.  But let the righteous be glad; let them rejoice before God: yea, let them exceedingly rejoice.  Sing unto God, sing praises to his name: extol him that rideth upon the heavens by his name JAH, and rejoice before him.  A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, is God in his holy habitation.  Psalm 68:1-5

David is expecting a major blast from God against his enemies.  I think David knew that the spiritual realm was the source of opposition, but we don’t feel too bad if their human representatives are set back a bit too.  David again magnifies the person and power of Jah our God who represents the weak and fatherless.

God setteth the solitary in families: he bringeth out those which are bound with chains: but the rebellious dwell in a dry land.  O God, when thou wentest forth before thy people, when thou didst march through the wilderness; Selah:  The earth shook, the heavens also dropped at the presence of God: even Sinai itself was moved at the presence of God, the God of Israel.  Thou, O God, didst send a plentiful rain, whereby thou didst confirm thine inheritance, when it was weary.  Thy congregation hath dwelt therein: thou, O God, hast prepared of thy goodness for the poor.  Psalm 68:6-10

David’s god cares for the hopeless and removes hope from the arrogant and violent.  David remembers the testimony of Israel through history.  That testimony still stands for 6 million Jews surrounded by more than 90 million enemies.  It will still stand if the entire world decides to become enemies of God.

The Lord gave the word: great was the company of those that published it.  Kings of armies did flee apace: and she that tarried at home divided the spoil.  Though ye have lien among the pots, yet shall ye be as the wings of a dove covered with silver, and her feathers with yellow gold.  When the Almighty scattered kings in it, it was white as snow in Salmon.  The hill of God is as the hill of Bashan; an high hill as the hill of Bashan.  Psalm 68:11-15

God gave the word, and he even became the word to live among us.  He lived a true life and many have published the testimony of it.  David is only one of the many writers who have published, and more still give their evidence to the world today.  I believe that all who are in the book of life are also published as the word of God.  Your testimony too is accepted in heavenly places.  You who were in the ashes will be found on wings in the pure places of Mount Zion.

Why leap ye, ye high hills? this is the hill which God desireth to dwell in; yea, the LORD will dwell in it for ever.  The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels: the Lord is among them, as in Sinai, in the holy place.  Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive: thou hast received gifts for men; yea, for the rebellious also, that the LORD God might dwell among them.  Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah.  He that is our God is the God of salvation; and unto GOD the Lord belong the issues from death  Psalm 68:16-20

If there is a disturbance on earth, a shaking of nature, look for the God who wants to live here among us.  The Army of the Lord is gathering to him on the hills for a season on earth; the millennial reign.  It even sounds like he will be available to the rebellious in that season.  Salvation is available to whosoever will…just be willing.

He that is our God is the God of salvation; and unto GOD the Lord belong the issues from death.  But God shall wound the head of his enemies, and the hairy scalp of such an one as goeth on still in his trespasses.  The Lord said, I will bring again from Bashan, I will bring my people again from the depths of the sea:  That thy foot may be dipped in the blood of thine enemies, and the tongue of thy dogs in the same.  They have seen thy goings, O God; even the goings of my God, my King, in the sanctuary.  The singers went before, the players on instruments followed after; among them were the damsels playing with timbrels.  Psalm 68:20-25

God is of help and hope, not destruction.  The matters of the afterlife belong to him, but even in this life his enemies will have setbacks.  One who does not repent of sin will be wounded if he makes war on the people of God.  Blood is a price the people of God will witness as they are lifted out of the sinking ship of this world.  This Kingdom of God has seen the evidence of God and the celebration is underway now.

Bless ye God in the congregations, even the Lord, from the fountain of Israel.  There is little Benjamin with their ruler, the princes of Judah and their council, the princes of Zebulun, and the princes of Naphtali.  Thy God hath commanded thy strength: strengthen, O God, that which thou hast wrought for us.  Because of thy temple at Jerusalem shall kings bring presents unto thee.  Rebuke the company of spearmen, the multitude of the bulls, with the calves of the people, till every one submit himself with pieces of silver: scatter thou the people that delight in war.  Psalm 68:26-30

The congregations of God are worldwide now and are all called to honor and exalt the name of the Lord.  The tribes of Israel are empowered by God now not by the weapons or warriors.  Submissive sacrifice of offerings signifies a new rank over the old promotion of carnal warfare.  In this New Testament they who live by the sword shall perish by it.

Princes shall come out of Egypt; Ethiopia shall soon stretch out her hands unto God.  Sing unto God, ye kingdoms of the earth; O sing praises unto the Lord; Selah:  To him that rideth upon the heavens of heavens, which were of old; lo, he doth send out his voice, and that a mighty voice.  Ascribe ye strength unto God: his excellency is over Israel, and his strength is in the clouds.  O God, thou art terrible out of thy holy places: the God of Israel is he that giveth strength and power unto his people. Blessed be God.  Psalm 68:31-35

We who have been touched by God know the truth and are called to proclaim the goodness of God.  His sheep know their master’s voice know it comes from the scriptures that are the word of God, Emanuel, God with us.  Testify of the strength of that voice and its author.  You oh Lord are the power that enables the people to be righteousness out of our nature of sin.

FINAL APPROACH

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LIGHTS  

LANDING LIGHTS

Someone out there is listening and watching for signs of hope.  God has freely given us eternal hope and so expects us to freely give it to others now.  You who have seen his work know that his promises are real, so use that confidence to rescue those hidden listeners.  You are like the landing lights that guide pilots to the ground at night.  Make the message of safety clear to the people who are willing to come.

Make a joyful noise unto God, all ye lands:  Sing forth the honour of his name: make his praise glorious.  Say unto God, How terrible art thou in thy works! through the greatness of thy power shall thine enemies submit themselves unto thee.  All the earth shall worship thee, and shall sing unto thee; they shall sing to thy name. Selah.  Come and see the works of God: he is terrible in his doing toward the children of men.  Psalm 66:1-5

You have this joy to know that God will take your enemies low.  You have joy that will pass through the veil of death unharmed.  Can you invite the world to see the works of God?  Call them before they become the men to whom God is terrible.

He turned the sea into dry land: they went through the flood on foot: there did we rejoice in him.  He ruleth by his power for ever; his eyes behold the nations: let not the rebellious exalt themselves. Selah.  O bless our God, ye people, and make the voice of his praise to be heard:  Which holdeth our soul in life, and suffereth not our feet to be moved.  For thou, O God, hast proved us: thou hast tried us, as silver is tried.  Psalm 66:6-10

The testimony of Israel in Egypt is also your testimony.  God sinks the rebellious even as he sank the army of Egypt.  God lets enemies test our faith until we stand without fear, not running from evil threats.  God melts us in the fire only to remove impurities.

Thou broughtest us into the net; thou laidst affliction upon our loins.  Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water: but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place.  I will go into thy house with burnt offerings: I will pay thee my vows,  Which my lips have uttered, and my mouth hath spoken, when I was in trouble.  I will offer unto thee burnt sacrifices of fatlings, with the incense of rams; I will offer bullocks with goats. Selah. Psalm 66:11-15

How many went down and God allowed it to happen?  Man and nature have brought men low for thousands of years.  David has seen these bad days, but he testifies that his God overcame his oppression and delivered prosperity.  So he is going to pay the price of deliverance which is praise and honor.  David pays his offerings and praise as a testimony for all the generations that read his testimony here; God is good.

Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what he hath done for my soul.  I cried unto him with my mouth, and he was extolled with my tongue.  If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:  But verily God hath heard me; he hath attended to the voice of my prayer.  Blessed be God, which hath not turned away my prayer, nor his mercy from me. Psalm 66:16-20

We are being invited to hear the praise David offers for the God who answered his prayers.  As David moved to repent of his sins he was assured that God would hear his needs.  God did rescue him, and David blesses his God for his mercy.

God be merciful unto us, and bless us; and cause his face to shine upon us; Selah.  That thy way may be known upon earth, thy saving health among all nations.  Let the people praise thee, O God; let all the people praise thee.  O let the nations be glad and sing for joy: for thou shalt judge the people righteously, and govern the nations upon earth. Selah.  Let the people praise thee, O God; let all the people praise thee.  Then shall the earth yield her increase; and God, even our own God, shall bless us.  God shall bless us; and all the ends of the earth shall fear him.  Psalm 66:1-7

David asks God to bless the faithful and shine on them so the world can see the prosperity of the faithful.  If the people praise God the nations can discover his mercy and salvation.  From the growing joy of the nations God will build a kingdom of his people.  When the people praise God nd the kingdom prospers, even the crops of the earth will increase to glorify God.

God be merciful unto us, and bless us; and cause his face to shine upon us; Selah.  That thy way may be known upon earth, thy saving health among all nations.  Let the people praise thee, O God; let all the people praise thee.  O let the nations be glad and sing for joy: for thou shalt judge the people righteously, and govern the nations upon earth. Selah.  Let the people praise thee, O God; let all the people praise thee.  Then shall the earth yield her increase; and God, even our own God, shall bless us.  God shall bless us; and all the ends of the earth shall fear him.  Psalm 67:1-7

God shine mercy on us so the world can see the way to safety in you.  Let all the people praise you so we can prosper and the evil in the world will fear you.  As we grow up we leave the nest and learn that is easy to fly.  It is more difficult to come in for a safe landing.  When our flight through life is ending we can find a safe landing on the other side of the veil of death and darkness.  Follow the lights of so many saints who have safely come home before us.