Saturday, January 13, 2018

Psalm 103, mercy and redemption 515-2 - 18 - 3

Psalm 103:1, “Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.” 
Although I pray throughout the day as well as speaking audibly to God, I have a bad habit of forgetting to give thanks for the food I eat. When I catch myself, I smile and remember what CM said about Psalm 193:1 and say thanks.
Psalm 103:2, “Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:”
Psalm 103:2 is a call to praise God by David, however, there is an increasing and vocal ingratitude for His creation by unbelievers. The populace is “reaping the whirlwind” of Romans Chapter 1.
Psalm 103:4, “Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;”
Mercy is not getting what we deserve through our fallen nature. Jesus was/ is our propitiation, the gift of redeeming grace.
Psalm 103:8-9, “8 The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. 9 He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever.”
Here is good news, bad news. God is merciful but eventually His anger will build to a final judgment. In my opinion, the United States has received many “smaller” judgments/ shakings as a wake-up call to revival.
Psalm 103:12, “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.”
How very comforting it is to know that by grace we are justified before our righteous God. I asked for forgiveness for past sins and then I had trouble remembering them. Now I have the Holy Spirit guiding me.
Psalm 103:16, “For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more.”
Although perhaps a bit of a stretch, this verse reminded me of the conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus. John 3:6, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit” harkens back to the redeeming grace of Psalm 103:4 above. John 3:8, “The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.”
Psalm 103 ends with “Bless the LORD, all his works in all places of his dominion: bless the LORD, O my soul.” We are very blessed to be in His dominion. 

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Psalm 100, God’s love is “Steadfast and Endures Forever.” 515-2 - 17 - 6

Psalm 100, so many riches and guidance in five short verses. God’s love is “Steadfast and Endures Forever.”
Psalm 100:1-2, “1 A Psalm of praise. Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. 2 Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.”
Here is a call to praise and worship. 
Psalm 100:3, “Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.”
John 10:4-5, “4 And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. 5 And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.”
Our God is the Creator God, our shepherd and worthy of worship.
Psalm 100:4, “Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.”
 Again, a call to worship and perhaps a foretelling of Matthew 28:18-20 and the Great Commission.
Psalm 100:5, “For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting (H5769); and his truth endureth to all generations.” 
H576, everlasting, the vanishing point; generally, time out of mind (past or future), eternity; always, perpetual, at any time, beginning of the world without end.
Many generation later Jesus made His Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem as the Angel Gabriel shared with Daniel hundreds of years earlier [Daniel 9:25]; in fulfillment of Zechariah 9:9, “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.” 
As Jesus entered Jerusalem people were rejoicing greatly, Luke 19:38, “Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest.” This did not set well with the Pharisees who said, “Master, rebuke thy disciples.” Luke 19:40, “And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.” 
Matthew 28:18-20, “18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen,” the Great Commission.
More to the point is this commentary, “We learn from these five short verses that worship is simple. The longest words are thanksgiving, everlasting, and generations. The language is neither involved nor flowery. We learn too that the simple recital of facts about God is worship. The words themselves carry cargoes of wonder. The plain facts are more wonderful than fiction.”
[Believer’s Bible Commentary

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Psalm 92, a Song for the Sabbath day. Psalm 93, The Lord Reigns 515-2 - 17 -2

Two powerful Psalms. Psalm 92 praises the great works of God and Psalm 93 celebrates the eternal King who always was/ is/ and will be when Jesus is on His eternal throne.
Psalm 92:1-2, “1 It is a good thing to give thanks unto the LORD, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High: 2 To shew forth thy lovingkindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night,”
Psalm 92 is referred to as Psalm or Song for the Sabbath day. Nevertheless, the Psalmist praises God’s loving kindness in the morning and faithfulness every night. 24/7 is always the correct time to praise the Lord for our many blessings.
Psalm 92:3, “Upon an instrument of ten strings, and upon the psaltery; upon the harp with a solemn sound.” 
Perhaps as CM suggested a veiled reference to the world having 10 dimensions.
Psalm 92:4, “For thou, LORD, hast made me glad through thy work: I will triumph in the works of thy hands.” 
Psalm 92:5, “O LORD, how great are thy works! and thy thoughts are very deep (H6009).”
H6009, deep, Brown-Driver Briggs Definition:
1) to be deep, be profound, make deep
1a) (Qal) to be deep
1b) (Hiphil) to make deep, make profound
Psalm 92:6, “A brutish man knoweth not; neither doth a fool understand this.”
Living in a fallen world, understanding the deep thoughts of God are beyond the natural man.
Psalm 92:9, “For, lo, thine enemies, O LORD, for, lo, thine enemies shall perish; all the workers of iniquity shall be scattered.” 
A coming judgment?
Psalm 92:15, “To shew that the LORD is upright: he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.” 
The Lord is upright, ethical and unchanging and the rock is our coming Messiah.
Psalm 93:1, “The LORD reigneth, he is clothed with majesty; the LORD is clothed with strength, wherewith he hath girded himself: the world also is stablished, that it cannot be moved.”
A song for the coming Messiah when He crowned Lord and is clothed with majesty rather than the homespun of His first incarnation.
Psalm 93:2, “Thy throne is established of old: thou art from everlasting.”
King Jesus is eternal with no beginning and no end.
Psalm 93:3-4, “3 The floods have lifted up, O LORD, the floods have lifted up their voice; the floods lift up their waves. 4 The LORD on high is mightier than the noise of many waters, yea, than the mighty waves of the sea.”
There will be a flood of Gentiles as all nations proclaim Jesus as Lord.
Psalm 93:5, “Thy testimonies are very sure: holiness becometh thine house, O LORD, forever.”
A warning is found in Revelation 21:27, “And there shall in no wise enter into it anything that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.” 

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Psalm 83, the inner ring 515-2 - 16 - 2

Asaph, the author of Psalm 83, cries out to God, Psalm 83:1, “Keep not thou silence, O God: hold not thy peace, and be not still, O God.”
This Psalm was/ is about a then besieged Israel as well as pointing to the future defeat of her enemies. 
Psalm 83:4-5, “4, They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance. 5, For they have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against thee.”
Not so fast, Isaiah 54:17 No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.”
Isaiah 17:1, “The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap.”
I expected the Damascus prophecy to be fulfilled a few years ago when time sensitive chemical WMD were being produced in Syria. Nevertheless, Syria is becoming a ruinous heap.
 Ezekiel 38 deals with a confederacy of Israeli’ outer ring enemies coming to “the land of unwalled villages; that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates to take a spoil.”
Israel certainly is not an unwalled village so is Psalm 83 sandwiched between Isaiah 17:1 and the Gog and Magog war of Ezekiel 38? Psalm 83:13-15, “O my God, make them like a wheel; as the stubble before the wind. 14 As the fire burneth a wood, and as the flame setteth the mountains on fire; 15 So persecute them with thy tempest, and make them afraid with thy storm.” Stubble before the wind,” the destruction of Damascus?
Bill Salus has an interesting take on Psalm 83 in his book. PSALM 83, The Missing Prophecy Revealed - How Israel Becomes the Next Mideast Superpower. To Mr. Salus, Psalm 83 is predictive of a future war between Israel and the “inner circle,” her enemies that border her.
After the fulfillment of Psalm 83 the area controlled by Israel will be greatly increased as she wins back land promised to her by God thousands of years ago. After Israel is victorious over these “inner ring” countries she will then dwell in peace in unwalled villages. In peace that is until the Gog and Magog war involving Israel’s “outer ring” countries, those not sharing a border with Israel.
Although Israel will most likely be responsible for winning the future Psalm 83 victory, God will intervene in the Gog and Magog war. Ezekiel 38:23, “Thus will I magnify myself, and sanctify myself; and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the LORD.” Indeed, He is the Lord.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Discernment is very important and verses are not to be taken out of a larger context. 515-2 - 16 - 1

Discernment is very important and verses are not to be taken out of a larger context.
Psalm 82:6, “I have said, Ye are gods (H430); and all of you are children of the most High.” 
H430, gods, gods in the ordinary sense; here specifically used in the plural thus, deference to magistrates.
Psalm 82:7, “But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes.” 
As an aside, the Mormon teaching of Eternal Progression, that a man can become a god, contradicts the clear teaching of Scripture that God has no beginning or end and that there is only one God. Psalm 90:2, “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God. “
Joseph Smith is often credited with the quotation "As man is, God once was; as God is, man may become," however, it is not found in “The Book of Mormon.” Nevertheless, this profession of faith is found in other declarations including “Then shall they be gods, because they have no end; therefore shall they be from everlasting to everlasting, because they continue; then shall they be above all, because all things are subject unto them. Then shall they be gods, because they have all power, and the angels are subject unto them.” [Doctrine and Covenants 132:20]
I researched this Doctrine of Eternal Progression which is promoted through the twisting of specific scriptures such as John 10:34, “Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?” Jesus was quoting Psalm 82:6, “I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.” They were called gods not because they were divine, rather because they represented God when they judged the people.
Digging a little deeper into Psalm 82:7, “But ye shall die like men, and fall (naphal) like one of the princes (sar).” The Hebrew verb naphal that is translated as "to fall" carries many meanings including cast down, cease, die. In this context, it means to die. The Hebrew noun masculine sar that is translated as "princes" means a ruler of some kind such as an official, captain or prince.
There is an implied warning to those who would abuse their authority through malfeasance while in office. One year of law school taught me the difference between malfeasance and nonfeasance in tort law. Malfeasance is an affirmative (intentional) act that is illegal or wrongful. A nonfeasance is a failure to act that is not intentional. Malfeasance carries a greater punishment.
Reading between the lines, have those in authority been guilty of graft, of corruption. Have the rich have been rewarded while the poor have been oppressed. Has someone put a thumb on the scales of justice? Now why do the names Clinton, Obama and Soros come to mind?
“Though exalted to heaven in privilege, they shall be cast down in punishment. The fact that God calls them gods and children of the Most High does not grant them immunity from judgment. They will be subject to the same treatment as other men, and fall like one of the princes. Actually, the degree of their punishment will be greater because of their greater privilege.”
[Believer’s Bible Commentary]
Again, discernment is important when searching scripture. Also, judges/ politicans, don't abuse your authority.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Reflections on Psalm 73 515-2 - 15 - 1

This is where I was more than a week ago, forming an answer to DQ#1.
Psalm 73:3, “For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. “Why does it seem evil is often rewarded?
Several Psalms deal with this including Psalm 37:1-2, “31 A Psalm of David. Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. 2 For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.” And Psalm 101:8, “I will early destroy all the wicked of the land; that I may cut off all wicked doers from the city of the LORD.” 
And of course, there is the judgment found in The Rich Man and Lazarus, Luke 16:25, “But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.” 
And now, perhaps it's the fact that I've been sick for more than a week and very lethargic that I've watched two favorite miniseries rather than getting my Psalms' homework done. These two miniseries are Peter and Paul starring Robert Foxworth and Sir Anthony Hopkins and Jesus of Nazareth starring then 26-year-old English actor Robert Powell.
The miniseries Jesus of Nazareth left out several important events including the slitting of the Veil in the temple when Jesus said, “It is finished” and died. That said, many important quotes were included such as:
Caiaphas stating, “Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not.” John 11:50.
Jesus said to Pilate, “To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.” To which “Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all.” John 18:38.
As CM has said many times, Jesus was in control. “Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.” John 19:11. 
John 19:14, “And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King!” Some translations quote Pilate as saying, “behold the man.”
So, what does this have to do with Psalms? Psalm 69:9, “For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me”. Mark 11:17, “And he taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves.” Here Robert Powell was very believable in his role as Jesus.
However, the mini-series failed to bring out the unhappy childhood as found in Psalm 69. No hint of Jesus being tainted by illegitimacy or the rejection from his siblings, “I am become a stranger unto my brethren, and an alien unto my mother's children.” Psalm 69:8 
Not made clear was His pain of rejection by His Father as Jesus was sin for us and a righteous God cannot look upon sin. Nevertheless, the ridicule of the crowd while on the cross detailed in Psalm 22 is brought out by the movie.
Quite a transition, from evil being punished to the purity of Jesus being the propitiation for all the sin that ever was or is or will be, the free gift of justification for those of us who choose to follow Jesus.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Psalm 80, from defeat to the Second Coming 515-2 - 15 - 6

Psalm 80:1, “Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, thou that leadest Joseph like a flock; thou that dwellest between the cherubim, shine forth." 
The Shepherd of Israel is a name of God enthroned between the cherubim on the mercy seat. Israel would sin and come under judgment, repent, and be reconciled with God the Shepherd and sin again. Finally the Shekinah Glory was removed from Solomon’s Temple.
Ezekiel 10:18, "Then the glory of the LORD departed from off the threshold of the house, and stood over the cherubim." Ezekiel, 11:22-23, “Then did the cherubim’s lift up their wings, and the wheels beside them; and the glory of the God of Israel was over them above. And the glory of the LORD went up from the midst of the city, and stood upon the mountain which is on the east side of the city."
When studying Ezekiel, I could nearly feel the sadness and disappointment of God as he withdrew his Shekinah Glory from his chosen people.
Israel again pleads for forgiveness and restoration. Psalm 80:3, "Turn us again, O God, and cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved." 
Psalm 80:12-13, “12 Why hast thou then broken down her hedges, so that all they which pass by the way do pluck her? 13 The boar out of the wood doth waste it, and the wild beast of the field doth devour it.” So, is Psalm 80 prophetic of the fall of the Northern Kingdom, the Babylon captivity, the abomination of desolation and victory of the Maccabees, the destruction of the temple by the Romans in 70 AD or the abomination of desolation during mid-tribulation?
Psalm 80:14-15, “14 Return, we beseech thee, O God of hosts: look down from heaven, and behold, and visit this vine; 15 And the vineyard which thy right hand hath planted, and the branch that thou madest strong for thyself.”
A transition from Israel to the Messiah, Psalm 80:16-17, “16 It is burned with fire, it is cut down: they perish at the rebuke of thy countenance. 17, Let thy hand be upon the man of thy right hand, upon the son of man whom thou madest strong for thyself.”
Israel was scattered, nevertheless, God would bring they back home; the State of Israel May 14, 1948 . Ezekiel 34:11, “For thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I, even I, will both search my sheep, and seek them out.”
Ezekiel 34:1213, “12 As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day. 13 And I will bring them out from the people, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land, and feed them upon the mountains of Israel by the rivers, and in all the inhabited places of the country.”
Psalm 80:18-19, “18 So will not we go back from thee: quicken us, and we will call upon thy name. 19 Turn us again, O LORD God of hosts, cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved.”  
Then the Messiah, Ezekiel 34:23, “And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd.”