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,


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.


It’s easy to mistake apparent truth for actual truth.

We overhear a conversation and think we have the truth only to discover later, and often embarrassingly that we missed critical elements of the conversation. We didn’t have the truth after all.

We succumb to advertisements and buy the latest product that promises to do all the things you really want that none of it’s competitors are able to do. Of course, we quickly discover it can’t do these things. Again, we didn’t have the truth after all.

We watch the world go around. Greed seems to lead to prosperity. Harshness in employee relations seems to lead to management advancement. Self indulgence seems to lead to happiness.

Psalm 97 stops us in our tracks. It reorientates us around the actual truth that is not always apparent.

v7 is the key:

All who worship images are put to shame,
    those who boast in idols—
    worship him, all you gods!

In the middle of a psalm that is full of praise and adoration to God it gives the contrast. While those who worship and boast in idols may seem prosperous, successful and happy they actual truth is that they are put to shame. The Lord God reigns, he is exalted over all gods and brings joy to those whom are upright in heart.

In an age of fake news, and with a new year approaching, let’s remember the great truth that the Lord reigns and the great reality that the worship of idols, of fake gods, will result in shame not joy. Today, may we be glad that when it appears the idols are running our world, it is actually Lord God whom reigns.


Zion, City of our God.

Today’s (Su 05/11/2017) FDR is Psalm 87

Although fairly short in only seven verses this psalm has strong links to our past, present and our future as God’s people.

The psalm begins with God establishing His city on the mountain and how much He loves it.   Zion (see  Ps. 2:6; 48:1) is identified as the favourite and how glorious it is. (v1-3).  This picks up on God’s Old Testament (OT) promises to His people Israel, that they would eventually join Him in the Holy City set aside for them and over which He would preside.  Also there is a future perspective that this verse encompasses the New Testament (NT) future, mostly written in Revelation.  Here in Revelation 21:1-5.  In both pictures God is seen as being close to his people (Ps. 121:1).

The purpose of v4 is to describe an end-times picture in which all peoples are together and part of God’s people and He will affirm people as belonging.  Here the use of first person voice, (I and me) suggests it is God that is affirming the city and His people.

Verses 5 and 6 reaffirm people who belong to Zion and God’s establishment of this city.  Particularly by His keeping of a register of His people who belong here.  However both are written in the third person voice and indicate a witness to God’s actions.  In other words, ‘Yes, this is happening.’

Verse 7 speaks of the source of God’s peoples safety, fountains or springs, of God’s people as seen in Deut 33:28.

Overall, this psalm is a picture of the special place of God in which His people (OT), now His Church (NT), will live in close proximity to God who both raises Zion and collects and records the people who belong here.  As Jesus is the Messiah who brought God’s message of salvation and redemption for all the people of the world.  Jesus’ first coming is to bring not the select nation, Israel, into Zion but all His select people, the Church, into Zion under the new covenant.  But to do so at Jesus’ next and second coming.

This is the time for us to live in God’s grace and live as Christians in this broken world seeking to be ambassadors for Christ so that God’s Spirit might work in people’s lives bringing them into a personal relationship with Jesus and that they might join us as part of His Church.

Glorious things of Thee are spoken.
John Newton (1725-1807) wrote this well loved hymn which reflects on these subjects.

God’s Blessings,

(Thanks to for access to the music and lyrics.)

Storm’d at with shot and shell, Boldly they rode and well,[1]

Today’s (Su 08/10/2017) FDR is Psalm 83 .

This psalm sets out to call God’s attention to the assault made on Him through the attacks of His enemies on His people, Israel.  So in a similar way the poem describing the chaos and cacophony of the cannon against which the British Light Brigade rode in 1854 mimics, in an earthly way, the forces aligned against God and His people.

There are two perspectives here that I want to focus on briefly:

God is responsible.  Not for our troubles, but for our safekeeping.  Biblical historians tell us there is no time in earlier history when all these nations were arraigned, all at the same time, against God’s chosen people Israel.  Since the resurrection of our saviour Jesus we live in the ‘end times’, those times between Jesus’ resurrection and His second coming.  Various authors have suggested that now, in the late 20th and early 21st Centuries, there is an alignment of nations, descended from the listed nations in Psalm 83, arranged around the current physical home of the Israel nation. This cry of help calls for assistance from God prophetically for this occurrence.  This is a call for assistance against the physical threat of being overrun and wiped from the face of the earth.

God is attentive.  We have a much more important perspective to understand here.  Our living in the ‘end times’, before Christ returns to  judge the earth and its people, has a whole other level of understanding.  While, the spiritual struggle is won in Jesus Christ and death has lost its sting, we are to continue here on earth seeking to enable as many who don’t know Jesus as Lord to change their minds and accept Him.

None of our circumstances today deny the opposition Satan and his workers bring to our current environment whatever you or I think will crush us or destroy us.  Yet we too have the words of the Great Commission[2] and other repeated affirmations in Scripture, including the words of Jesus in many circumstances, to assure us that God is responsible for us and is attentive to us.

But more than that.  God has promised us that He alone provides us with an eternal life through faith in Jesus.  These promises are written in the Bible and on our hearts as we come to faith in Jesus and understanding of the great gift of eternal life in God.

Can I encourage you to take this psalm into your own personal armoury against the powers of evil to use when you feel overrun by those apparently arraigned against you or those whom you love.  To call on our Almighty God to hold back the perceived overwhelming forces opposed against Him and His children.  Yes, You and I too.

May you be blessed and strengthened through calling on Our God.


  1. Title from verse 3 of Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s poem The charge of the Light Brigade
  2. The Great Commission as recorded in Matthew 28: 18-20