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|Posted on October 11, 2016 at 5:20 PM||comments (0)|
God’s People Protected
Psalm 105:8 He hath remembered his covenant for ever, the word which he commanded to a thousand generations.
This passage is talking about the Abrahamic covenant in which God promised to give Sarah and Abraham an heir in their old age, to multiply his descendants to be as the stars in the sky, and to give them the land of Canaan as their inheritance (Gen. 12:1–3; 15; 17). The next few verses show how God remembered and acted upon His covenant through divine intervention.
Psalm 105:9 Which covenant he made with Abraham, and his oath unto Isaac; 10 And confirmed the same unto Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant: 11 Saying, Unto thee will I give the land of Canaan, the lot of your inheritance: 12 When they were but a few men in number; yea, very few, and strangers in it.
God reaffirmed the Abrahamic covenant with Abraham’s son Isaac (Genesis 26:1-5).
Genesis 26:3-4 (KJV) Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father; 4 And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed;
What is the point in the Psalmist recounting these historical events? He is reminding the nation of Israel of God’s faithfulness and protection throughout their journey as a nation.
Abraham and his family were nomads in the land of Canaan up until the famine that took them to Egypt which will be discussed later. They lived in tents and had no permanent dwelling even though the Lord already knew the land would ultimately be theirs. It would be generations before they truly possessed the promised land.
How does their story relate to us as Christians? Abraham continued to trust that God would fulfill His covenant even when he could not see the completion of the promise. This belief, this trust, was what was counted as righteousness, not Abraham’s good works. Abraham demonstrated faith in God.
Romans 4:3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.
Galatians 3:6 Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.
James 2:23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.
Hebrews 11:1 gives the best definition of the kind of faith Abraham had and we need:
Hebrews 11:1 (KJV) Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Using the wonderful website www.biblegateway.com, we were able to look at this verse in several translations, each of which enhances our understand and insight to faith.
Hebrews 11:1 (CJB) Trusting is being confident of what we hope for, convinced about things we do not see.
Hebrews 11:1 (VOICE) Faith is the assurance of things you have hoped for, the absolute conviction that there are realities you’ve never seen.
Hebrews 11:1 (AMP) Now faith is the assurance (title deed, confirmation) of things hoped for (divinely guaranteed), and the evidence of things not seen [the conviction of their reality—faith comprehends as fact what cannot be experienced by the physical senses].
Like the children of Israel, we do not yet possess everything the Lord has promised us; but we can be assured He is guiding and protecting us throughout our journey. Susie and I get lessons in this almost every day.
Psalm 105:13 When they went from one nation to another, from one kingdom to another people; 14 He suffered no man to do them wrong: yea, he reproved kings for their sakes; 15 Saying, Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.
Even when Abraham and later his descendants acted foolishly, God still kept His covenant and protected them (Genesis 12:10-20, 26). We must remember, that in this covenant, God was the one responsible for making it all happen; and He kept His word.
In our covenant relationship with Jesus, who did all the work to make it possible? Jesus did it all on the cross. He paid the penalty for our sin, then defeated death by His victorious resurrection from the grave. We did not earn or deserve this gift of being able to know God and spend eternity with Him. Since He gave this life to us, He is also the one responsible for keeping us in His care. But oh, how thankful I am, that He redeemed me with the wonderful sacrifice of His life as the perfect, sinless Lamb of God! We have committed our lives to Jesus, and can say with Paul that we know Jesus is capable of taking care of the rest.
2 Timothy 1:12b (KJV) for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.
Chew on this: God has preserved the nation of Israel throughout persecution, wars, famine, the Holocaust and all kinds of trials. As Christians, we are also His people – a chosen generation (1 Peter 2:9). Meditate on the safety net of being held securely in the hand of the almighty God (John 10:27-29).
|Posted on October 8, 2016 at 12:00 AM||comments (0)|
Psalm 104:19-27 (KJV) - God, Our Provider
Psalm 104:19 He appointed the moon for seasons: the sun knoweth his going down.
One of the jobs of the moon is to regulate seasons along with the sun. It is the force of the moon that causes fluctuations in the tides. It also serves as a nightlight for God’s creation. The sun appears to go down each evening and come up each morning. We know it is due to the earth’s rotation; but even so, God planned and continues to orchestrate the motion of our planet rotating on its axis for night and day and orbiting the sun creating seasons on the earth.
Psalm 104:20 Thou makest darkness, and it is night: wherein all the beasts of the forest do creep forth.
How can the Light create darkness? God created light. Technically, darkness is the absence of light. Of course, He “makes” it dark by spinning the earth around, so that portions are out of the sun’s light while others are in it. Sorry – I just had a mind picture of God, like Meadowlark Lemon, spinning the world on his finger. Darkness, in the sense of evil, is a result of rejecting the Light. Many animals are nocturnal, seeking their prey at night.
Psalm 104:21 The young lions roar after their prey, and seek their meat from God. 22 The sun ariseth, they gather themselves together, and lay them down in their dens.
At night, the lionesses go forth to kill animals for food. They bring them back to the pride, and they all feast in harmony together. Sounds a bit like Thanksgiving Day. We must all remember that God provides the meat for the animals, and provides their meat for us to eat. God also provides our spiritual feast in His word.
Psalm 104:23 Man goeth forth unto his work and to his labour until the evening.
There is an order to God’s creation. Work is a part of that order. In an agriculture society such as Israel at the time of the Psalmist, man’s work was accomplished during the daylight hours.
Psalm 104:24 O Lord, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches.
God’s works are multifaceted in their nature. His creation encompasses such wide variety – animal, vegetable, mineral, etc. God wisely and precisely created everything necessary to sustain life on our planet. It was also created to bring the Lord pleasure – He saw that it was good. We were created to bring Him pleasure. Do we?
Psalm 104:25 So is this great and wide sea, wherein are things creeping innumerable, both small and great beasts.
Even the waters are teeming with life. Science in the psalmist’s day had not even begun to discover all the types of life in the sea! We serve an amazing God!
Psalm 104:26 There go the ships: there is that leviathan, whom thou hast made to play therein.
What is leviathan?
Webster’s 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language:
LEVI'ATHAN, noun [Heb.]
1. An aquatic animal, described in Job 41:1, and mentioned in other passages of Scripture. In Isaiah, it is called the crooked serpent. It is not agreed what animal is intended by the writers, whether the crocodile, the whale, or a species of serpent.
Job 41:1 (KJV) Canst thou draw out leviathan with an hook? or his tongue with a cord which thou lettest down?
Reformation Study Bible
41:1 Leviathan. Possibly “Leviathan” and “Behemoth” form a poetic repetition, both referring to one creature. The poetic description in these lines is anchored in nature, but the creature or creatures described represent something more. Like
Isaiah 27:1 (KJV) In that day the Lord with his sore and great and strong sword shall punish leviathan the piercing serpent, even leviathan that crooked serpent; and he shall slay the dragon that is in the sea.
Reformation Study Bible
Leviathan . . . dragon. The Old Testament employs this image to denote evil, autocratic powers (30:7 note; 51:9; Ezek. 28:2; 32:2 and notes) and to assure the godly that the Lord will punish all such human expressions of power and resistance to His kingdom. Behind earth’s tyrants is Satan, and behind the elect is Christ (Gen. 3:15; Rom. 16:20; Rev. 12:1–6).
The consensus seems to be that Leviathan is a symbolic creature, evil that is conquered by God.
Psalm 104:27 These wait all upon thee; that thou mayest give them their meat in due season.
In what way is every creature dependent upon God’s provision? God provides what sustains them just as He does for us. He sends the rain, provides the climate for plants to grow, and as noted before provides the water necessary for all life – plant and animal. He provides the sunlight for growing things, for photosynthesis, and for the health of creatures and man. If we just went out in the sun, because of the SON, our bodies would absorb the vitamin D necessary for energy and good health. If God provides for the beasts of the field and the fish of the sea, how much more will He provide for you and me?
Chew on this: Meditate on all God has provided for you, not just the big things like salvation through Jesus, but the small ones like the sip of water you just enjoyed. Be thankful!
|Posted on October 7, 2016 at 4:30 PM||comments (0)|
Psalm 104:28-35 (KJV) – Created For God’s Pleasure
Psalm 104:28 That thou givest them they gather: thou openest thine hand, they are filled with good. 29 Thou hidest thy face, they are troubled: thou takest away their breath, they die, and return to their dust.
Every creature receives its sustenance from God. He opens His hand to provide, and that are satiated. By His spoken word, Jesus created them and gave them life (breath). So He also has power to take that breath, so that they die. Our words have power to build up or tear down those around us. We should be careful to breathe out blessings rather than curses.
Psalm 104:30 Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth.
God spoke the animals into being with His words, and all life comes from Him. But He formed Adam from the mud, and breathed life into Him. He made man in His own image, giving humanity His own attributes. They possessed creativity and the ability to nurture the creation placed in their care and one another as well. After Adam and Eve disobeyed God, they became spiritually dead, and men remain so until they come to know Jesus and the breath of the Holy Spirit enters them.
Psalm 104:31 The glory of the Lord shall endure for ever: the Lord shall rejoice in his works.
Nothing and no one can dim the glory of God. Everything God made has the potential to give Him pleasure. For this we were created. Our purpose is to glorify God.
Revelation 4:11 (KJV) Revelation 4:11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.
Psalm 104:32 He looketh on the earth, and it trembleth: he toucheth the hills, and they smoke.
God can cause earthquakes and turn hills into volcanoes. He has the power to sustain or destroy His creation.
Psalm 104:33 I will sing unto the Lord as long as I live: I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.
God is deserving of our praise, our joyful noise lifted to Him. My poetry is my song to God.
Psalm 104:34 My meditation of him shall be sweet: I will be glad in the Lord.
Meditation – prayerful, thoughtful concentration on God and His word – is like eating dessert. How could we not want to eat dessert at least five times a day? This dessert will not make you gain weight but it will make you sturdy for life’s day to day battles. Joy can be ours in the middle of tough times when our focus is on our Father and His loving care. Susie and I have found this to be true even during a month in hospitals after my amputations. It is a conscious choice to refocus our attention from our difficulties to the only One who can bring us through them victoriously.
Psalm 104:35 Let the sinners be consumed out of the earth, and let the wicked be no more. Bless thou the Lord, O my soul. Praise ye the Lord.
The day will come when the sinners (those who have not repented and trusted Jesus) will be thrown into the lake of fire. Sometimes the evil around me makes me want to cash in my reservation for Heaven early, but God’s grace sustains me. When the new Heaven and new Earth are brought down at the end of what we know as “time,” evil will be totally gone. Those who have trusted Jesus will be made like Him and will live in harmony with Him and each other forever. Lord, Jesus, we praise You and thank You for this blessed hope.
Chew on this: We were created for God’s pleasure. Are we living in a way that would please God? What might I need to change in order to be more pleasing to the One who gave His all to save me?
|Posted on September 29, 2016 at 12:00 AM||comments (0)|
Psalm 104:10-18 (KJV)
The Ultimate Caregiver
Psalm 104:10 He sendeth the springs into the valleys, which run among the hills. 11 They give drink to every beast of the field: the wild asses quench their thirst.
The Lord sends water to specified places, the springs, the rivers, the lakes, the oceans. Why is it so important that God provides water for man and beast? Without water, living things cease to live. We die. People and animals can live without food much longer than they can live without water. Dehydration causes all kinds of health problems. When one becomes dehydrated, not only do the organs start shutting down, but a person can become delirious. Water is essential to thinking clearly.
From an article by Joshua Gowin, Ph.D.:
Our brains depend on proper hydration to function optimally. Brain cells require a delicate balance between water and various elements to operate, and when you lose too much water, that balance is disrupted. Your brain cells lose efficiency.
You can read the entire article at https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/you-illuminated/201010/why-your-brain-needs-water" target="_blank">https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/you-illuminated/201010/why-your-brain-needs-water
The Lord knows what we need most and provides it for us.
Psalm 104:12 By them shall the fowls of the heaven have their habitation, which sing among the branches.
Creatures tend to live near a water source, not just the mammals and reptiles, but the birds as well. Even desert creatures who need less water must have some water to exist. Aren’t you glad God made birds sing instead of all sounding like grackles?
If God takes notice when the smallest of sparrows fall, how much more does He care about all that concerns me because I am His child, after all.
Matthew 10:29 (VOICE) Look, if you sold a few sparrows, how much money would you get? A copper coin apiece, perhaps? And yet your Father in heaven knows when those small sparrows fall to the ground.
This reminds me of the song, “His Eye is on the Sparrow.” Like the birds, I sing (not very well) because I’m happy. Enjoy the song at the link below.
Psalm 104:13 He watereth the hills from his chambers: the earth is satisfied with the fruit of thy works.
God may or may not have giant water tanks in the sky, but He is the one who provides the rain. Scientifically, water is stored in clouds, but it is God who creates the specific atmospheric conditions to send it to earth as rain, sleet, snow, or even hail. God provides sustenance for everything, the animals, the people, even the plant life on the earth.
Psalm 104:14 He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth;
Genesis 1:11 (KJV) And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.
What purpose does vegetation on the earth serve? It becomes food, nourishment, for animals and people. Mankind must work the soil and help the plants to grow, but God has provided the basics we need to produce food. Before the fall, before man sinned, cultivating crops was not the work it is now. There were no weeds to pull, and the canopy of water kept everything in perfect balance.
Psalm 104:15 And wine that maketh glad the heart of man, and oil to make his face to shine, and bread which strengtheneth man's heart.
Acts 14:17 (KJV) Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.
God is the ultimate caregiver. The previous verses explained His care for the beasts and birds, and verse 15 discusses God’s provisions for man: drink, food, and even oil both as food and cosmetic.
Psalm 104:16 The trees of the Lord are full of sap; the cedars of Lebanon, which he hath planted; 17 Where the birds make their nests: as for the stork, the fir trees are her house.
When did God plant the trees? God spoke them into being during creation. If God used His words to create everything on the earth, this means words have weight and importance. Our own words have power as well, and the Lord instructs us to use them for good and not destruction.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NASB)
Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.
Hebrews 3:13 (NASB) But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.
Sometimes we need to use our words to admonish someone and help them see a need to change direction, but this should still be done in love and to encourage, not to tear down.
Ephesians 4:15 (NASB) but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ,
Psalm 104:18 The high hills are a refuge for the wild goats; and the rocks for the conies.
Wild goats leap and scamper on the rocky hills. God has provided them hiding places there. Conies (coneys) are small mammals that live among the rocks in the Holy Land. The Lord provides for creatures great and small.
Challenge: Remember your science classes in elementary, junior high, high school and/or college. Think of all the classifications of living things. God created, sustains, and provides for all of them from the amoeba to the elephant. Praise the Lord for His tender care of everything on earth and especially for His provision for you!
|Posted on September 27, 2016 at 4:45 PM||comments (0)|
Psalm 104:1-9 (KJV) - Praise the Creator & Sustainer
This Psalm emphasizes and celebrates the power of God in creation and the fact that He alone is worthy of worship, not things created by Him.
Romans 1:22-23 (ESV) Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.
Psalm 104:1 Bless the Lord, O my soul. O Lord my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty.
In 1 Peter 3:15, we are told to “honor Christ the Lord as holy.” The first chapter of John puts forth the fact that Jesus created the earth. We should praise, bless, glorify God as Creator. Susan, what do you think is meant by describing God as clothed with honor and majesty? Honor is to be understood as deserving of respect, reverence, veneration – God is most honorable above all created beings. His kingly authority is above that of all kings. Jesus is the ruling authority of Heaven and Earth and is clothed in majesty as royal robes:
Matthew 28:18 (ESV) And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me…
Jude 24-25 (ESV) Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, 25 to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.
When I think of something majestic, I picture mountains bathed in the sunset. How much more majestic is the One who created both the mountains and the sunset! We really have no idea! Wow, what a thrill it will be to meet Him face to face! I can only imagine – oops, there I go singing about everything again! Susie has a song for everything!
Psalm 104:2 Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment: who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain:
Genesis 1:3 (ESV) And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.
Matthew 17:2 (ESV) And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light.
Jesus had Mr. Clean beat all to pieces when it came to white clothing! How do you put on light? I think perhaps it emanates from Him and surrounds His body. Literally lit from inside out. At any rate, it would be magnificent.
The curtain of the sky has been drawn across, and cloaks the heavens yet to be revealed to those who love, trust, and believe Jesus, who rely on Him alone for salvation, those who recognize Him as the Lord of all.
Jeremiah 10:12 (NIV) But God made the earth by his power; he founded the world by his wisdom and stretched out the heavens by his understanding.
Psalm 104:3 Who layeth the beams of his chambers in the waters: who maketh the clouds his chariot: who walketh upon the wings of the wind:
The waters refer to those at creation when there were waters above the earth. Only our God could make His house stable on the waters in the sky! This is probably not literal, but it very well could be!
The clouds carry Him as if the clouds are a heavenly escalator.
1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.
Of course, believers who die on this earth are in the presence of the Lord immediately; but when that trumpet sounds, their “earth-suit” will be resurrected, gloriously changed and reunited with them.
Psalm 104:4 Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire:
God’s angels are spirits that can travel anywhere He commands them to go instantaneously in order to serve Him and His people. One type of angels are the seraphim which is a Hebrew word probably meaning “burning ones.” And we, as His ministers, should be aflame with the Gospel message!
Psalm 104:5 Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed for ever.
God created the earth and sustains it in the heavens:
Hebrews 1:3a (NIV) The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.
Scientists tell us that if any planet in our solar system moved even a miniscule amount from its set orbit, disaster would result.
If Earth changes its orbit, perhaps due to the sudden appearance of a heavier (than the sun) body in the solar system, it would mean disaster for our planet.
If the equilibrium between the sun and Earth is disturbed, then our planet would crash into the sun. The orbit is the path that keeps our planet from being destroyed by the giant heat ball in the center of our solar system. www.ScienceABC.com
Listen to one of my favorite songs about our Creator-Redeemer:
God orchestrated the plan that keeps the planets in orbit, and that plan will stay in effect until He returns to establish the new Heaven and new earth.
Revelation 21:1 (NIV) Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.
Psalm 104:6 Thou coveredst it with the deep as with a garment: the waters stood above the mountains. 7 At thy rebuke they fled; at the voice of thy thunder they hasted away. 8 They go up by the mountains; they go down by the valleys unto the place which thou hast founded for them.
Genesis 1:9 (NIV) And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so. 10 God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters he called “seas.” And God saw that it was good.
Psalm 104:9 Thou hast set a bound that they may not pass over; that they turn not again to cover the earth.
In the Noahic flood, all the waters were loosed above and on the earth to cover the earth. God has now set boundaries to prevent a global flood. From time to time there may be a flood in one area of the globe but never the entire planet at once. Even when there are rainstorms, we see the symbol of God’s covenant with Noah and all future generations that He would never again destroy the world with a flood. The beauty of the rainbow is the seal of God’s promise.
Challenge: Slow down the busy pace long enough to contemplate the majesty of creation. Think about the large things like mountains and oceans but also examine the small wonders like the butterfly emerging from its cocoon. Praise the Lord for His power and majesty displayed in His creation. Don’t neglect to marvel at the intricacy of your own body. We serve a mighty God!