Give Thanks to the Lord

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What I love about the Psalms is their depth of emotion. Emotions are one of the things that set us apart as human. The ups and downs of life expressed by those with the image of God imprinted upon them, but experiencing a corrupted creation that is groaning for something better.

In Psalm 118, the psalmist has a message of joy about the Lord that he is repeating for us:

his love endures forever
his love endures forever
his love endures forever
his love endures forever

The Lord is with me
The Lord is with me

It is better to take refuge in the Lord
It is better to take refuge in the Lord

he has become my salvation
you have become my salvation

the Lord has done this
The Lord has done it this very day

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
    his love endures forever

As we reflect on the week just gone and prepare for the week to come, let us remember with the Psalmist “his love endures forever”!

[Originally posted on 17/5/2015 by Andrew Zahra]

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Psalm 117 – Singing Signposts

Psalm 117


Praise the Lord, all you nations;
    extol him, all you peoples.
For great is his love towards us,
    and the faithfulness of the Lord endures for ever.

Praise the Lord.


 

Psalm 117 is the shortest Psalm in the Bible. In fact it is the shortest chapter also, (narrowly beating three other Psalms, 131, 133, and 134, and Esther 10, all with three verses). Yet in just these two verses there is wonderful truth staring us in the face that might be easy to miss. To help unpack that truth I’m going to take these verses in reverse order.

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Psalm 116: Oh worship the Lord

Today’s (Su 06/05/2018) Faithful Daily Read is Psalm 116.

We ought  not lose a moment to worship our God.  Our God who, as Psalm 23 (The Message version) tells us “Even when the way goes through Death Valley, I’m not afraid when you walk at my side. Your trusty shepherd’s crook makes me feel secure.

So what do you and I wait for?

This Psalm (NIV2011 Version) shows us what David thinks and does after he looks at what has happened to him and what the Lord has done for him.

I love the Lord, for he heard my voice;
    he heard my cry for mercy.
Because he turned his ear to me,
    I will call on him as long as I live.

The cords of death entangled me,
    the anguish of the grave came over me;
    I was overcome by distress and sorrow.
Then I called on the name of the Lord:
    Lord, save me!’

The Lord is gracious and righteous;
    our God is full of compassion.
The Lord protects the unwary;
    when I was brought low, he saved me.

Return to your rest, my soul,
    for the Lord has been good to you.

For you, Lord, have delivered me from death,
    my eyes from tears,
    my feet from stumbling,
that I may walk before the Lord
    in the land of the living.

10 I trusted in the Lord when I said,
    ‘I am greatly afflicted’;
11 in my alarm I said,
    ‘Everyone is a liar.’

12 What shall I return to the Lord
    for all his goodness to me?

13 I will lift up the cup of salvation
    and call on the name of the Lord.
14 I will fulfil my vows to the Lord
    in the presence of all his people.

15 Precious in the sight of the Lord
    is the death of his faithful servants.
16 Truly I am your servant, Lord;
    I serve you just as my mother did;
    you have freed me from my chains.

17 I will sacrifice a thank-offering to you
    and call on the name of the Lord.
18 I will fulfil my vows to the Lord
    in the presence of all his people,
19 in the courts of the house of the Lord –
    in your midst, Jerusalem.

Praise the Lord.

 

(This blog was published previously by Glenn on 03/05/2016.)

Mash up

Psalm 108 is not a new Psalm but rather a new arrangement – in today’s musical terms what would be referred to as a “mash-up”. Verses 1-5 are derived almost verbatim from Psalm 57:7-11 and verses 6-13 from Psalm 60:5-12. One alteration being the use of the great name of Jehovah in Psalm 108:3 instead of Adonai in Psalm 57:9.

In doing so, the writer (be that David himself or a later compiler) discards the laments that begin the original Psalms and therefore their historical contexts – David hunted in Psalm 57 and defeated in Psalm 60. Thus we are left with those portions which express confidence in the Lord.

The new Psalm positively positions David firstly as the composer / musician drawing his inspiration from his relationship with God – he will sing to the Lord his songs of praise – be that at the break of dawn, amongst the nations or up to the highest heavens v1-5.

One commentator states that the two joined fragments “offer a striking instance of true biblical faith. Human steadfastness (v1) rests upon divine steadfastness (v4). Divine steadfastness is expressed in the great promises (v7-9) which give confidence in coming victories (v10-13).”

Almighty God who was and is and will be, forever.

Today’s (Su 04/03/2018) FDR is Psalm 107

The last few month’s have seen many we know or with whom we have had contact, being called home by God to be with Him in glory. Some who were close to us and some who were close to our brothers and sisters.  Billy Graham tells us that he’s not dead, but that he’s changed his address.  So too have those we know  or those who are our friends or relatives.

Some who are our brothers and also dads, husbands, grandads and great grandads.  Some who were our sisters and also mothers, wives, grans or great grans.  Whatever our own personal relation, those who have gone home were close to us and close to our remaining sisters and brothers.  Some have been children, youths or younger adults of our families or families we know.  Those who are daughters and those who are sons.  But are no longer here.

Psalm 107 holds four vignettes that remind us that in times of trial and desolation, or stress and depression, we, on recognising our difficult and stressful circumstance, should turn to God and call on Him in prayer seeking His Grace so that we may persevere.  Then, when we recognise the grace He supplies, to worship and thank Him offering praise for lifting us up from the depths.

We may never find ourselves literally wandering in a desert wasteland (vv4-9), forced to dwell in a place of deep darkness (vv10-16), sick to the point of death (vv17-22), caught in a tumultuous storm at sea (vv23-32) but we can feel as if  these things have occurred to us.  Particularly buffeted by the physical separation from loved ones by death.

God will and does redeem and pour out His grace and love on us from all directions.  More often than not from surprising places and people. (Yes this is my experience and my witness.)

So we are reminded:

17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate [or reflect] the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”  [2 Corinthians 3:17-18 (NIVUK)]

Now, how to go on?   How to live in this life that always changes?

There are a few concise guides and many books but, you can read and live as
the Bible says in Colossians 3:1-17  {Just click this link to make a start.}

Yours in God’s grace and love,

Glenn

Psalm 103.

Today’s (Sun 04/02/2018) FDR is Psalm 103.

Writing for this blog is a joy, whether blogger or incidental commentator.  But more so the readings of Scripture and the growth in understanding that is opened to us all as we study in God’s name and under the Holy Spirit’s guidance.

Today, this psalm says all I want to say.  Enjoy.

Psalm 103

Of David.

Praise the Lord, my soul;
    all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, my soul,
    and forget not all his benefits –
who forgives all your sins
    and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
    and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things
    so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

The Lord works righteousness
    and justice for all the oppressed.

He made known his ways to Moses,
    his deeds to the people of Israel:
the Lord is compassionate and gracious,
    slow to anger, abounding in love.
He will not always accuse,
    nor will he harbour his anger for ever;
10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve
    or repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
    so great is his love for those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
    so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

13 As a father has compassion on his children,
    so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;
14 for he knows how we are formed,
    he remembers that we are dust.
15 The life of mortals is like grass,
    they flourish like a flower of the field;
16 the wind blows over it and it is gone,
    and its place remembers it no more.
17 But from everlasting to everlasting
    the Lord’s love is with those who fear him,
    and his righteousness with their children’s children –
18 with those who keep his covenant
    and remember to obey his precepts.

19 The Lord has established his throne in heaven,
    and his kingdom rules over all.

20 Praise the Lord, you his angels,
    you mighty ones who do his bidding,
    who obey his word.
21 Praise the Lord, all his heavenly hosts,
    you his servants who do his will.
22 Praise the Lord, all his works
    everywhere in his dominion.

Praise the Lord, my soul.

 

Singing as we live our lives before us.

Ten Thousand Reasons (Bless the Lord oh my soul.)

Thanks to biblegateway for this Psalm.
Thanks to youtube for this beautiful hymn written by Matt Redman.

Psalm 99

What a powerful psalm set before us today! The psalm wastes no time in putting into perspective God’s power and awesome name. I feel the thunderous proclamation of our eternal God; enthroned… exalted… awesome! Our response; trembling and quaking!

Yet, there is more to this psalm – it is also highly relational. In v4 and following, God (the King!) is described as one who loves justice, equity and righeousness. The psalmist outlines how God responds to people when they call upon him – both forgiving and protecting (v8).

Psalm 99 then shows us that God is both reigning king, mighty and awesome, AND loving father, responsive, forgiving and faithful. What more can we do than to fall upon our knees and ‘exalt the Lord our God for the LORD our God is Holy!’ (v9). May it be so for us today.