Monday, April 30, 2018

Monday - Psalm 90 – Time

OSES was used by God to author this great psalm.  It is a meditation about time.  First of all, let us all be reminded that God existed before time existed.  And, when time has expired, God will still exist in all of His immutable reality.  Not only this, but God also perceives time very differently than we do (v. 4).  Because of His omniscience, wisdom, power, sovereignty and immutability, He knows every detail about the past and about the future. He sees them as clearly as if it were the present (Is. 46:9-10).  In fact, He knows the future better than we know the past or present.

I suppose that if it had not been for the fall in Eden, time would be all but irrelevant.  Without sin, there would be no curse.  Without the curse, there would be no limitations, deaths or conclusions.  Would time have any bearing on us if we weren't going to run out of it?  Time, that is, history has been dominated and even castrated by evil (Ephesians 5:16).  If humanity hadn't rebelled against God, our existence would not be hollow and empty and evil.  But, we did (and do) rebel and hence our world is abundantly given over to vanity (Ecclesiastes 1:14).  In the words of Moses, "All our days are passed away in Thy wrath..." (Psalm 90:8).

For us, time is indeed a gift.  None of us know when we will run out of time permanently.  It is (in a way) a more valuable asset than money, property, intelligence or many other of our prized resources.  Yet, it is limited, and we would all be wise to do well in the time that has been allotted to us.  The time will come eventually when it will be "time" to answer to God for how we spent our time.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Saturday - Psalm 89 - Amen, and Amen!

E have met several authors in the book of Psalms so far: David, Asaph, Heman... and now, Ethan. Ethan has much to say in Psalm 89 about how wonderful and admirable Jehovah really is.  There are also a number of verses here that apply variously to David and to the Messiah.

So, what is the message of Psalm 89?  Worship God! He is merciful.  He is faithful.  He is the Creator.  He has made great and precious promises to His people and to their king.  He is unique.  He is strong.   He is holy and good. He defends His people.  He executes justice against transgressors.  God is worthy to be praised!  In short, those of us who know Him are blessed indeed (Psalm 89:15).

However, sometimes God's wonderful and attractive characteristics can be temporarily eclipsed to our mind by the difficulties of life and by His willingness to delay the fulfillment of His words.  To us it may seem (at times) that time means nothing to God.  Perhaps that's not as far from the truth as we might imagine either (Psalm 89:46-47).  Especially when we look at life only through our own eyes, we may suspect that God has hidden Himself somewhere and isn't active.  Of course, God's ways are perfect.  We must have faith that every promise God has ever made, He will keep (Hebrews 6:18 & Titus 1:2).

Friday, April 27, 2018

Friday - Psalm 88 - Distracted by Death

EMAN had a preoccupation with death.  In just 18 verses, the author here throws in a baker's dozen references to the morbid mortality of his own existence.  Not surprisingly, what he perceived as his impending death frightened him and caused him to spend his time in tears.  He said that he was ''free among the dead" - that is, he felt that he had more in common with the residents of the local graveyard than he had with the living.  He was losing his ties with this life.

When our troubles overwhelm us, and we perceive that death is truly imminent, the common cares of life can begin to recede from our view.  Our monthly bills or the pennant race may fittingly become irrelevant trivialities.  Suddenly our preferred foods, our favorite color or our most ingrained habits can slip away from us into absolute extraneousness.  Heman's coming death was a harsh realization for Him.  He felt like God's rage against him was flowing over him in waves of affliction (Psalm 88:7).  If all of that wasn't bad enough, he felt like he was going it alone through the valley of the shadow of death (Psalm 88:8).  So, he was torn.  On the one hand He had consigned himself to the inevitability of his own end (Psalm 88:15), yet he was also praying for God to deliver him from what he thought was truly an untimely demise.  Practically speaking, living is more needful and useful than dying (Psalm 88:11-12).  When you are at your lowest, focus on staying alive.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Thursday - Psalm 87 - How Beautiful Heaven Must Be

ERHAPS you have sung the lines of the old hymn, "Glorious things of thee are spoken, Zion, city of our God."  Obviously, John Newton got his inspiration from this very Psalm (Psalm 87:3).  And indeed, whether we are referring to the historic city of Jerusalem or to the New Jerusalem spoken of by John the Apostle in Revelation 3:12 & 21:2, truly, great things are spoken of these poleis. As I have stated recently, Abraham was looking for a city that had divinely designed and divinely constructed foundations (Hebrews 11:10 & 14-16).  He never found that in Canaan.  He never saw with his physical eyes what he was looking and searching for. But he certainly did see it with his spiritual eyes of faith (John 8:56).  Not only did he find the city he had hoped to discover, but he found the Mayor too (Revelation 21:22).

What a city!  I speak of the heavenly city of John 14:2.  The Father's house is a spectacular sight (Revelation 21:10).  The street, the river, the rainbow, the light, the walls, the gates, the music, the tree of life and most of all, the city Manager makes for a metropolis of incomparable beauty and pleasantness.  However, for us in this context, the thing in focus is the fact that there are some who can claim Zion as the place of their birth (I Corinthians 15:48 & 49).

Are you born from above... born of God... born of the Spirit (I John 5:18 & John 3:6-8)? Is heaven your home?  God has established that city and it will last forever. He died outside the walls of the earthly Jerusalem and was birthed again from the grave there as well (Colossians 1:18). He will someday sit on the throne of David there for 1000 years.  And, He will bring heaven down to earth and the city of our new birth will be the joy of the whole earth (Rev. 21:24 & 26).

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Tuesday - Psalm 86 - Ready to Forgive

EOPLE can be hesitant to forgive... or even absolutely unwilling to forgive.  God is notnaturally that way though.  David knew by experience that God is habitually ready to forgive (Psalm 86:5).  And by the way, the forgiveness that extends forth from heaven is offered even to stiff-necked and hardhearted rebels (Romans 5:6 & 8).  He has plenty of mercy.  What a God we serve!

There is no extra-biblical concept of divinity that even compares to the reality of who our God actually is (Psalm 86:8).  We come to Him day after day after day, and what do we find?  We discover that He is rich in mercy... eager to forgive.  We find that He has a tender place in His heart for the poor and needy.  We find that He is thrilled when we come to depend on Him.

When we learn to rest confidently in His unchanging goodness, then and only then will we be able to say with David, "In the day of my trouble I will call upon You: for You will answer me" (Psalm 86:7).  We might tend more toward hoping and wishing and wondering.  Even in asking, I am naturally guilty of James 1:6 violations. At times, my heart is divided.  We should have a single heart (Acts 2:46). If we lack in that area, we should pray as David did that God would intervene and unite our heart for us (Psalm 86:11).  Then and only then can we praise God with all of our heart (Psalm 86:12).  If for no other reason, we should worship Him because of the fact that even though God had no demand levied upon Him to forgive His wayward creations, He is ready and eager to forgive.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Monday - Psalm 85 - Mercy and Truth

NLY in God can we find perfect balance.  Perhaps you know men and women who are full of compassion and kindness... even to a fault. Some people roll the other way... being all rules and duty and right and justice... also to a fault, because of their own well-hidden imperfections.  God alone has a cup full of both compassion and justice.  He alone perfectly utilizes both qualities at the same time.  Nowhere in all of the plan of redemption has God ever set aside justice for the sake of mercy (Romans 3:26).  He has found a way to simultaneously exercise His will in righteousness and with deep compassion toward unrighteous men (Ephesians 2:4-5).  So, the psalmist says that mercy and truth have met together, righteousness and peace have kissed each other.  

God has looked upon us with favor.  He has forgiven us.  He has paid for our infractions and allowed us to abscond safely.  He volunteered His own Son and sent Him to be our propitiation. God's righteous indignation against us has been appeased.  He has commissioned his Spirit to come and to convince us to turn back to Him.  When He finally is able to produce a proper fear of Himself in our hearts, suddenly we find ourselves mysteriously graced with His glory and blessings.  He doesn't compromise His character nor His principles, but He does condescend to us to lift us up from the mire of sin.  He doesn't bend the rules, but He does bend Himself down to rescue our guilty hides from Satan's trap.  He provides assurance that no transgression will go unpunished, but also that every transgressor can have the hope of escaping punishment.  

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Saturday - Psalm 84 - The Amiability of God's House

HERE is no place like home. And, for God children, we've never even been home before.  Heaven is our home.  We are pilgrims; strangers; aliens; ambassadors here on earth.  Like our father Abraham was... we are looking for a city that has foundations whose builder and maker is God.  Of course, in our dispensation, we aren't just the children of God, we are His temple; His building. He dwells in us.  Yet, even with this great privilege, we read in Matthew 18:20 that if there are a few of us who gather together in His name, He will be there "in the midst" of us. Clearly, He willingly manifests His approving presence in a special way when we gather in His name... or shall we say, in His house.

We should all want to be in God's presence and we should treasure fellowship in the assembly of the saints.  God's house is amiable.  Certainly, dwelling where He dwells is much more agreeable than dwelling where He doesn't dwell. Now, what is the key to dwelling in the house of the Lord forever (Psalm 23:6)?  Not surprisingly, the answer is "faith" - faith is the key that opens heaven's doors.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Friday - Psalm 83 - That Men May Know

ONTRARY to the voice of the ancient infidel Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900), God is not dead. The fool has said in his heart, "There is no God" (Psalm 14:1, 36:1 & 53:1).  However, there are many more practical atheists, agnostics and polytheists than there are philosophical infidels like Nietzsche. These everyday unregenerate characters were the ones Asaph was targeting in this prayer.  Psalm 83:18 clearly indicates Asaph's burden.

In a logical world, God's detractors wouldn't be detractors at all.  They would only be disinterested.  It's interesting that unbelievers typically find it necessary to blaspheme and dissuade.  Humanity apart from God is not known for its indifference to Him, but for its antagonism against Him and against His adherents.  It was true in the days of Israel's original rise.  It is still true today during our time.  The conspiracy is strong (Psalm 83:5).  Many different banners fly over the various camps. There are so many people who do not know or won't admit that the God of the Bible stands alone as the most-high God, ruler of heaven and earth. God's enemies are abundant and prolific.

Asaph prayed for God to dismantle the resistance of His detractors to the point where they would have no choice but to acquiesce at the least, or better yet that they would learn to submit humbly and with conviction (Psalm 83:16).  He asked for divine action, intervention and retribution so that the men of this world would know that God alone has the ultimate jurisdiction over this universe.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Thursday - Psalm 82 - You are gods

O us, perhaps this is a strange passage. However, it is an important one.  Jesus quoted from this psalm (as is recorded in John 10:34-36) in His defense of His claim of deity.  Presumably, He meant that to claim to be a son would (or should) seem to be less of an offense than applying the name of the original.

It is true that the use of the word "god" in reference to men of God appears to us to be unusual to say the least.  But as Jesus pointed out, the Spirit of God chose that usage.  He had a purpose and a point.  Jesus wasn't exalting humanity beyond our rightful place, He was demonstrating the incongruity of the legalism of the Jews to whom He was attempting to minister.  They were condemning Him for a claim that in some ways should have been less shocking than words from the very law that they claimed to revere above everything else (John 5:39).  And, as we know... His claim was actually true, so any criticism directed His way in that regard was absolutely unjustified.

But wait, look back at the use of the label "gods" to describe any humans.  What was the actual and original point?  We are, after all, created beings. There is only one God. There are 4 issues that we can point to in trying to discover God's motive for using an exalted term such as this in reference to His mere creations.  First of all, He did make us in His image.  Bearing His likeness is no light matter (Genesis 9:6 & James 3:9). Secondly, some among us are called of God to deliver His words to the rest of us (Romans 10:15 & Isaiah 52:7).  Thirdly, God has endowed some among us with authority over others (Romans 13:1-2). As such, we function as His representatives.  Forth, finally and most obviously in our text, we are the children of God (1stJohn 3:2, Luke 3:38 & Psalm 82:6).  

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Tuesday - Psalm 81 - What Could Have Been

OD wanted to bless Israel. But, God doesn't always do what He wants to do.  He had a program of grace and goodness which He alone initiated toward the Jews when He caused them to escape from Egyptian bondage.  They moaned in pain… He responded with a mighty rescue.  In exchange, He required loyalty from them. That was a fair covenant.  It wasn't like He wanted to turn them into oppressed slaves or permanent prisoners (Psalm 81:10).  

Obviously, He wanted to bless them.  But, He couldn't.  They wouldn't let Him.  They were disinterested.  They were disobedient. Generally, they wanted nothing to do with His offer.  So, He did what He didn't want to do.  He left them to their own way and let them take a destructive path.  He had been willing to be their champion (Psalm 81:11 & 14).  What was the downside in that?  Fine wheat and "honey out of the rock" were on the menu, but they walked out the back door of their proverbial restaurant and chose rather to dig through the trash like the rest of the "free-spirited" vagrants of the world.  

God is not stingy (Isaiah 55:1).  He isn't eager to condemn.  He is patient, loving, kind, generous and good.  But, He allows us to make our choices... to exercise our will and to flex our prerogatives.  He made us autonomous and He means to honor that even when the cost is intense.  If you aren't persuaded of that fact, consider that our free­will cost God His only begotten Son.  If He was willing to make that sacrifice, then clearly, He is set on maintaining that condition.  However, when we make wrong choices we limit God's grace and prevent His generosity (Psalm 78:41).  

Monday, April 16, 2018

Monday - Psalm 80 - Visit This Vine

HIS is a psalm of revival. What is revival?  Revival is a miraculous visitation of God's Spirit through which His approving presence brings life and vigor back to His people after a period of spiritual decline.  Perhaps it is futile to try to give a recipe for revival.  Certainly, there is no guarantee that if we will just use the right "incantation" then God will be obligated to give us water from a rock on our whim. When it comes to the impartation of life, we are at God's mercy.

For us to experience a reviving, God must hear our cry.  He must come to us.  He must deliver us.  He must turn us to Himself.  He must show us His favor.  He must bring us back to life.  That having been said, there are surely some common prerequisites which might be found before each major revival in history.  If God doesn't revive us, we will not be revived.  Then again, if we don't really even care if we have revival or not, we can be fairly certain that God will not force feed it to us (2ndChronicles 7:14).

We are His people.  He redeemed us with His own blood.  We are His temple.  We are His workmanship.  He wants to fellowship with us and to bless us and to use us.  If we are lifeless and lethargic and powerless then there must be a disconnect somewhere.  The problem cannot be in Him.  So, the problem must be with us.  We look around lazily and wonder why God doesn't do something fresh among us.  It couldn't be our apathy, could it (1stThessalonians 5:19)?  Let's pray to God and ask him to "visit this vine" again.  But, as we wait, let's diligently show our sincerity by making preparations for His arrival.  

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Saturday - Psalm 79 - How about the Heathen?

E are the heathen. The word translated "heathen" here was translated as such by gentile translators.  The same Hebrew word translated as "heathen" here is translated as "Gentiles" elsewhere in the KJV.  Generally, the Jews had no place in their mind or heart for those who were not Jews.  It wasn't just a matter of racial prejudice. Through Moses God had instructed the children of Israel not to intermingle with strangers; heathen; Gentiles... us (Deut. 7:1-4 & Josh. 23:12-13).  The Jews were the chosen people of God.  They lived (or were supposed to live) in stark contrast with the rest of the world. The Gentiles of Moses, Joshua and Asaph's days were polytheistic and utterly debauched.  The ones who lived close enough to the Jews to be known by them were perpetually opposed to them.  So, when Asaph prayed about the uncircumcised who were all around him, he prayed for God's wrath upon us.

Sometimes we Christians have a tough time understanding the mindset of these OT Jews.  With all of our tolerance and equality and metropolitan integration and Great Commission of worldwide missions and "whosoever-wiliness" - we have a difficult time realizing what the world was like during those times. It was a different era. It was a different dispensation. When God sent Moses out of Egypt, He didn't tell his people to pass out gospel tracts on their way out.  When He sent Joshua into Canaan, He didn't tell him to make disciples of all nations... he told him to eradicate and annihilate them without mercy and without exception.  So, it's no real surprise that Asaph's righteous prayers called for damnation upon our Gentile ancestors.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Friday - Psalm 78 - Teaching from History

HE first dozen verses of Psalm 78 tell us the purpose of the remaining 60 verses. Looking back, Asaph saw much failure in his ancestry. Although God had done great things for His people, they had miserably neglected Him and had not lived by faith. So, in looking forward to the future, Asaph recognized that his generation needed to learn from the past and that they needed to teach the up and coming generations well in order to protect them from making the same mistakes that their forefathers had made.

Now, Asaph wasn't revisiting historical narratives just for the sake of curiosity, he had moral and spiritual objectives.  There were two topical objectives in Asaph's history lesson.  He first wanted his children and grandchildren to know of God's mighty power so that they would praise Him.  Secondly, he knew that they needed to know God's commandments. Knowledge of God's power can motivate us move, but His commandments show us the proper direction of those movements. Together, awe and law can cause "hope in God" to be affected in the hearts of young people (Psalm 78:7).

To teach well, there are a few primary considerations which must be in order.  The curriculum must be accurate.  People are better off in ignorance than they are being propagandized or brainwashed with erroneous philosophies, manufactured data or hollow legends. In reading Psalm 78:13-72, it is obvious that Asaph was using the Holy Scriptures as his textbook, so he was off to a good start.  It is also essential that the information taught be evidently pertinent.  As Asaph lived daily in the light of the Word, he was able to demonstrate just how vital the truth was to his pupils.  Thirdly, the students must, to some degree, be studious.  Teaching and training is not really possible if one has no willing disciples (Proverbs 17:10 & Psalm 78:1).

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Thursday - Psalm 77- Can’t Sleep, Can’t Speak

SAPH was so troubled that he temporarily lost his ability to either sleep or talk (Psalm 77:4). Whatever his heartache was, it was intense(Psalm 77:2).  Even though Asaph was able to reflect positively on God's past faithfulness to him, he was wrestling desperately with his own present and future.  He asked six straight questions demonstrating how deep his pain was piercing into his soul (Psalm 77:7-9).

Although it seems like a contradiction of terms, evidently Asaph's faith and loyalty were resilient and strong while at the same time his confidence was distressingly low.  This prayer spikes and dips variously to great heights of praise and then to agonizing depths of frustration.  What brazenness for Asaph to inquire concerning the "failure" of God's promises and to wonder if God had ''forgotten to be gracious?"  Consider just how far down Asaph really was emotionally.  He complained... but not without reason.  He was overwhelmed despite his most valiant effort at faithfulness and worship.  But before we condemn him, let's take note of the fact that his expressions throughout the bulk of this song are devout and pious.  Besides that, as we evaluate his anguish we have to be a little introspective too.  Have we ever been where he was?  Have you ever been there?  What's the old saying about walking a mile in another man's shoes? 

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Tuesday - Psalm 76 - Of Anger & Fear

T is ironic in a way that the one and only living God, who is a God of wrath and judgment, should chose Salem for His tabernacle. Jerusalem... the place of peace (Hebrews 7:2), is listed in this psalm as a home of our great and mighty God.  Now, what has He done there?  Well, to begin with, He soundly defeated the enemies of His people.  His rebuke was enough to render His foes absolutely impotent in battle.  This is the nature of the God we serve.

The God of the Bible is a God of anger (Psalm 76:7).  Some people want to know how a perfect God could ever become angry... isn't anger an imperfection?  Obviously not!  His anger is a perfect response against our imperfections.  His standard is holiness; perfection (Gen. 17:1, Deut. 18:13, Matt. 5:48, John 17:23, 2ndCor. 13:11, 2ndTim. 3:17 & Heb. 13:20-21).  We had perfection (in the form of innocence) prior to our fall and death in Adam. But, Adam’s willful rebellion, and ours, has put perfection beyond our grasp.

Another critic might ask, if He already knows what's coming, why does God get angry. This is a flawed opposition though. We humans who were made in God's image and patterned in His likeness get angry all the time as a result of things that we knew were coming... and that many times we could have even prevented. So, why should we be surprised if a similar emotive pattern is perceivable in our Creator.  Whatever divine and human emotions really are, they are not necessarily always connected to logic nor choice.  As such, rather than imagining what the world might look like if anger did not exist, we should realize that anger would not be needed if sin did not exist... and sin is our prerogative.  

Monday, April 9, 2018

Monday - Psalm 75 - Who, How & Why

HO? God. How? Sovereign Providence. Why? Because He is holy.  Wait, what are we even talking about here?  Well, Asaph wrote this psalm of gratitude and worship expressing his worshipful attitude toward God for the way that He handles humankind.  So, in this context there are a few understood questions.  Here they are in reverse order.  Why do men of influence and authority have their positions?  How do they rise to their places of power?  And, who is the mover and shaker behind it all?

There are a couple of entities whom Asaph introduces right off - the congregation (the assembly or "the masses") and judges (people in positions of power).  From the time of Noah's flood on up until now, God has been giving certain men authority over their peers.  The purpose is simple.  God intends for kings, presidents, mayors, police officers, judges, etc. to utilize their "sword" for the promotion of justice (Romans 13:4).  God intends for the quick execution of fair judgment to both rid society of its worst elements and also to motivate those remaining to avoid vices.  Ultimately though, the purpose of human authority is to point people's attention toward their Maker and Judge.  (Psalm 75:7). 

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Saturday - Psalm 74 - We’re Just Sheep… but We’re God’s Sheep

F all of the reasons that men of God have used to implore for God's mercy, this has to be one of the most transparent. It is noble and wise to ask God for mercy based upon His character, His compassion and His promises.  Here though, Asaph simply says to God, "We are just sheep... as a matter of fact, we're Your sheep. Have mercy!"  He asks, "Have you forsaken us?  Have you forgotten about us?  Why are you angry with us?  You bought us, don't you remember?  We are surrounded and infiltrated with enemies. Help!"  Asaph's words echo Job's similar argument in Job 10:8-9.  Amazingly, our pain can touch His heart... even when we asked for the nasty dish from which we dine.  Even when we deserve our misery, heaven can be touched by our cry (Judges 2:18).

Asaph did not end with His cry for sympathy though, he also reminded God of how their enemies and His were blaspheming Him and squelching the true religion of the Jews.  This was an additional reason to anticipate God's intervention on their behalf.  Asaph knew that the God of heaven is rightfully a jealous God.  He remembered the kinds of deliverance that God had executed for His people in the past and he prayed for more of the same.  He recalled how powerfully God had removed hurdles and accomplished mighty feats in days gone by... so, he pleaded for a divine encore. 

Friday, April 6, 2018

Friday - Psalm 73 - Doubts & Confusion

AVID was not the only psalmist.  Asaph was a psalmist... and a musician. Now, Psalm 73 is a record of a great struggle that raged within Asaph's heart.  He wrestled with the age-old question concerning the prosperity of evil men and the relative weakness of those who are comparatively innocent.  As Asaph admits to us how deep his inner battle really was, he begins in retrospect with his conclusion: "Truly God is good... too such as ore of a clean heart."   To be sure, this is not where he started out...otherwise this psalm would never have even been written.  The whole reason behind this psalm was that Asaph perceived conflicting evidence along the way in his journey through life; evidence which he interpreted as contradictions against his doctrine and theology.

Asaph very nearly "lost his faith" because of the success which he saw in the lives of ungodly men.  Specifically, Asaph compared his own plight as a faithful servant of Jehovah to the ease which he saw in the lives of unbelievers.  And, obviously it just made no sense to him.  The climax of Asaph's philosophical crisis came when he initially concluded that he had cleansed his heart in vain (Psalm 73:13).  

Verse 17 is a turning point in this Psalm.  When Asaph went to worship God (despite his doubts and questions) he was shown the end of the story, and his doubts were quelled.  Justice is not always immediate.  This was his epiphany.  His faith was notwasted.  God's wrath would be poured out against the ungodly eventually and they would be destroyed. They would pay for their unbelief (Luke 16:25).

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Thursday - Psalm 72 - The King’s Son

HERE are two kings considered here: Solomon... and Jesus. Some of David's words apply to both of them and some of his words obviously are only about one.  Let's focus on the greater of the two.

Jesus is certainly known as the Son, and He will be known as the King.  He is the righteous Judge. He is delivering the poor.  He is to be feared forever.  He causes righteousness and peace to flourish.  Absolute dominion is rightfully His and will be His full possession in time.  He is a deliverer of the needy and of the helpless.  He is the saver and redeemer of souls.  Life, prayer and praise are His.  His name will endure forever and all who are blessed, are blessed through Him. He is the wondrous expression of the Father and someday the whole earth will be filled with His glory.  These are the claims of Psalm 72.

Psalm 72:6, 9 & 16 stand out in this song like they were printed in neon colors.  "He shall come down like rain on the mown grass..." bringing revitalizing life and growth to all who have been cut down to size.  All men will "bow before Him; and His enemies shall lick the dust" Hallelujah!  And then, verse 16 speaks mysteriously about the way things will be during the millennial kingdom when the curse has been removed from the face of this old globe (Jeremiah 30:9 and Revelation 5:9 & 10).  It points to the new agriculture of the kingdom.  Normally, planting a handful of grain on top of a mountain is not likely to fill anyone's barns.  But, when the living Word of God reigns on earth, Eden will return.  Even the tops of mountains will be fruitful like nothing we have ever seen.  Oh, how marvelous life will be (John 1:18).  Even so pray to Him now... "Thy kingdom come!"

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Tuesday - Psalm 71 - What a Resort!

ROM the cradle to the grave... and even beyond (Psalm 71:20), God is our resting place (Hebrews 4:10).  It is the nature of faith that we rest in God; relying upon His strength and not upon our own strength.  David made it his habit to seek after God constantly.  He described God as his "habitation, whereunto," he said, "I... continually resort'' (Psalm 71:3). Sometimes we think of resorting as something which we do last.  Someone might resort to violence after exhausting all other perceivable options (for example) in self-defense.  Sadly, some of us only resort to praying when we are at the very end of our rope.  But David continually resorted to God.  Why not!  Resort first, not last.  Why try weaker options when we have a foolproof and time-tested solution (Psalm 71:19).  David trusted in God and had been doing so habitually from the time that he was very young (Psalm 71:1-6 & 17).

Now, David began to look somewhat wistfully at his coming "retirement."  He rightly anticipated that someday his physical strength would be completely gone (1st Kings 1:1).  So, in preparation for that day, he prayed for God's mercy upon him in his future... when he knew old age would prevail to weaken him (Psalm 71:9 & 18).  He desired that he would be able to rest then in his favorite refuge and resort (Psalm 71:21).  By his own admission, as long as he knew that God would be with him, he had a reason to look forward to the sunset of his journey.  And, since he didn't know how long the sun would take to set on his life, he committed himself to praising God while there was time (Psalm 71:15). 

Monday, April 2, 2018

Monday - Psalm 70 - Hurry Up

E are all supposed to be patient.  Yet there are times when patience is not a virtue.  The Bible says, "Now is the day of salvation!"  (II Corinthians 6:2).  Some things are just urgent, plain and simple.  At least, from our perspective they are urgent.  When God drove the first couple out of Eden, their flight was imperatively urgent (Genesis 3:24).  When Noah and his family were called into the ark, their immediate survival depended on their punctual obedience (Genesis 7:1).  When Lot was warned to flee from Sodom, he had to either leave right away or suffer the mortal judgment of God along with the Sodomites (Genesis 19:15).  And here, in whatever circumstance David was enduring, he needed help and deliverance right away.

We all have moments of crisis in our lives when we see absolute disaster on the horizon.  At such times, we can claim David's supplication for ourselves.  We can go to God and beg for a quick relief.  John the apostle closed the record of his visions by echoing the promise of God - praying spontaneously for His quick return (Revelation 22:20).  This world is in such intense turmoil.  The swelling tide of iniquity seems to be rising like a tsunami.  The hearts of men are hardening.  The immediate future looks awfully bleak.  This world isn't going to get better. This world is going to get worse. What we need above everything else is a heavenly invasion.  Our only remaining hope is for God to gather us out of this cesspool and initiate His program of purification.