Daily Nuggets

Aug. 1, 2018

Psalm 25:1-15 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible

Prayer for Protection, Guidance and Pardon.

A Psalm of David.

To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
O my God, in You I trust,
Do not let me be ashamed;
Do not let my enemies exult over me.
Indeed, none of those who wait for You will be ashamed; Those who deal treacherously without cause will be ashamed.

Make me know Your ways, O Lord;
Teach me Your paths.
Lead me in Your truth and teach me,
For You are the God of my salvation;
For You I wait all the day.
Remember, O Lord, Your compassion and Your lovingkindnesses,
For they have been from of old.
Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions;
According to Your lovingkindness remember me,
For Your goodness’ sake, O Lord.

Good and upright is the Lord;
Therefore He instructs sinners in the way.
He leads the humble in justice,
And He teaches the humble His way.
10 All the paths of the Lord are lovingkindness and truth
To those who keep His covenant and His testimonies.
11 For Your name’s sake, O Lord,
Pardon my iniquity, for it is great.

12 Who is the man who fears the Lord?
He will instruct him in the way he should choose.
13 His soul will abide in prosperity,
And his descendants will inherit the land.
14 The secret of the Lord is for those who fear Him, 

And He will make them know His covenant.
15 My eyes are continually toward the Lord,
For He will pluck my feet out of the net.

 

In today’s text the psalmist says:  Make me know Your ways, O Lord; Teach me Your paths.
Lead me in Your truth and teach me, For You are the God of my salvation.
   From who or what is it that David sought and acknowledged the salvation of the Lord?    He begins saying:   Do not let my enemies exult over me. Indeed, none of those who wait for You will be ashamed.   So, he sought protection; salvation from his enemies. He also says:    Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions; According to Your lovingkindness remember me, For Your goodness’ sake, O Lord… Pardon my iniquity, for it is great.    So, there is both an acknowledgment of sin and a request for pardon, forgiveness, salvation from sin. God will indeed rescue us and save us from our troubles and from our enemies. But often forget that our greatest enemy can be our own selfish desires; our great iniquity. Many of the difficulties we face are not an attack by our enemies, either natural or spiritual, but rather they are consequences of our own choices and actions. Like the psalmist we need to seek pardon for our iniquities. In Isaiah 43:25 God says:   "I, even I, am the one who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake, And I will not remember your sins.”    Beyond just not remembering our sins, God also does not hold those past sins against us. The negative consequences of our sin that we continue to experience are not from God. Here’s the thing we need to know, to understand, to believe and to receive from God. Our sins are not only forgiven through the salvation of Jesus work on the cross. We are redeemed from our sin. We are reconciled to God and we are restored to all that God intended for us from the beginning. If God does not remember our sin, then what He sees for us is a life without the consequences of sin, just like the life He intended in the garden. Jesus taught us to pray: Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.   In heaven, there is no sin, and so there are no consequences of sin, it is as God intended it to be. If God does not remember our sin, then we need not remember it either. We need to not continue to struggle with the consequences of sin. We need to walk in the redemption and restoration of Jesus. In John 10:10 Jesus says:  The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”   We need to walk in the abundance of redemption and restoration in Christ, rather than continuing to accept the consequences of forgiven, pardoned and forgotten sin.   

One of the problems for many of us is that we repeat the cycle of sin and consequence. Even though Jesus died once for all sin, past, present and future, if we choose to continue in sin, we also continue in sins consequences.  The psalmist knows the answer for our problem. He says:  Make me know Your ways, O Lord; Teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me… Good and upright is the Lord; Therefore He instructs sinners in the way. He leads the humble in justice, And He teaches the humble His way. All the paths of the Lord are lovingkindness and truth To those who keep His covenant and His testimonies.   If we will walk with the Lord, in and on the path He has for us, we will walk in lovingkindness and truth. James 1:12-17 says:   Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.    Neither the temptation to sin, nor the consequences of it, are God’s desire and will for our lives. Rather, He wills that we would walk with Him, in the path He has chosen for us and that we would receive the good and perfect gifts, the abundant life He has for us.  

To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul.  O my God, in You I trust… For You I wait all the day… My eyes are continually toward the Lord…  Thank You heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ and precious Holy Spirit; for Your forgiveness, redemption, reconciliation and restoration. Thank You for every good thing You have given me. Continue to lead me, to guide me, to teach me, that I might walk in Your way; always and all ways.   Amen.   
 

 

                                                  

 

Jun. 30, 2017

Psalm 148 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible

The Whole Creation Invoked to Praise the Lord.

Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord from the heavens;
Praise Him in the heights!
Praise Him, all His angels;
Praise Him, all His hosts!
Praise Him, sun and moon;
Praise Him, all stars of light!
Praise Him, highest heavens,
And the waters that are above the heavens!
Let them praise the name of the Lord,
For He commanded and they were created.
He has also established them forever and ever;
He has made a decree which will not pass away.

Praise the Lord from the earth,
Sea monsters and all deeps;
Fire and hail, snow and clouds;
Stormy wind, fulfilling His word;
Mountains and all hills;
Fruit trees and all cedars;
10 Beasts and all cattle;
Creeping things and winged fowl;
11 Kings of the earth and all peoples;
Princes and all judges of the earth;
12 Both young men and virgins;
Old men and children.

13 Let them praise the name of the Lord,
For His name alone is exalted;
His glory is above earth and heaven.
14 And He has lifted up a horn for His people,
Praise for all His godly ones;
Even for the sons of Israel, a people near to Him.                                                                    Praise the Lord!

 

The heading of today’s psalm is “The Whole Creation Invoked to Praise the Lord.” In reality it is only man who needs to be invoked to praise Him. It is only man who was given free will and has a choice. Creation the sun, the moon, plants, mountains, rivers, oceans and every living creature, do what they were created to do. They are obedient to the intentions of God, who created them. When Jesus was told to quiet the crowd, to stop them from praising Him, He said: "I tell you, if these become silent, the stones will cry out!" (Luke 19:40)   In Job 38-42, when God confronts Job, before he is restored, the many ways which all of creation are ordained to function and respond to the creator, God, are described. In Genesis 1:11-12; 20-22;24-25 it says:  Then God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees on the earth bearing fruit after their kind with seed in them; and it was so.  The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed after their kind, and trees bearing fruit with seed in them, after their kind… “Let the waters teem with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of the heavens.” God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarmed after their kind, and every winged bird after its kind; and God saw that it was good. God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.”…  Let the earth bring forth living creatures after their kind: cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth after their kind”; and it was so. God made the beasts of the earth after their kind, and the cattle after their kind, and everything that creeps on the ground after its kind.”     All of creation was made with a purpose and it is faithful to that purpose. A shrub does not aspire to be a tree. Neither does a bird think itself to be a dog and so on. All of creation, as created and commanded remains “after their kind.” Only man, who was given a free will, an ability, a privilege to choose, questions the plan and the design of God. Only man believes he can be something other than what God intended. Only man has a choice whether to obey and glorify the God of creation or aspire to be something else, trying to become their own god.

I once had a personal encounter, a life impacting example of creations obedience to God, an example of God’s creatures praising God not because of where they are, but because of who He is. It was a time, quite a few years ago. My daughter was in the hospital in Philadelphia. We spent a lot of time there and the stays were often long. One morning, after spending the night, I got up early, as I normally do. I went outside. It was early morning, first light, just before the sunrise. I am not a city person. I prefer the quiet and solitude of a rural setting. I prefer the sounds and the smells of the country over those of the city. That morning I hoped I could find some quiet, some peace, some solitude. Even then though, the city was already waking. There was traffic, with its noise and the smell of exhaust. There were people, hurrying this way and that. There was litter on the streets and sidewalks. As I sat on a bench, in a small area with a bit of grass and a few trees, I was emotionally drained. I was despondent and depressed by everything that was happening and all that was around me fueled those emotions. Then in the midst of the din of the city noise, I heard a song. It wasn’t on a passing car stereo. It was a song from a small bird in the nearby tree. I love the sounds of the many birds that sing to greet the morning in the country. This little bird didn’t know how awful its surroundings were. Despite the noise and the foul smells, despite the litter on the streets, that little bird did what it was created to do. It sang a song to greet the morning. It sang the song its creator had given it, a song of praise and glory to God. Soon, as I focused on the song rather than the noise, I too realized that the God of creation was there. He was with me in that unpleasant place. I found the peace and the solitude I so desperately needed and I too praised the God of creation, not because of where I was, but because of who He is.    

Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord from the heavens; Praise Him in the heights! Praise Him, all His angels; Praise Him, all His hosts! Praise Him, sun and moon; Praise Him, all stars of light!
Praise Him, highest heavens, And the waters that are above the heavens! Let them praise the name of the Lord, For He commanded and they were created. He has also established them forever and ever; He has made a decree which will not pass away… Kings of the earth and all peoples; Princes and all judges of the earth; Both young men and Old men and children. Let them praise the name of the Lord… Let them praise the name of the Lord, For His name alone is exalted; His glory is above earth and heaven… Praise the Lord!   Amen.

 

               

 

Jun. 29, 2017

Acts 19:13-22 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible

But also some of the Jewish exorcists, who went from place to place, attempted to name over those who had the evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, “I adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preaches.” 14 Seven sons of one Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. 15 And the evil spirit answered and said to them, “I recognize Jesus, and I know about Paul, but who are you?” 16 And the man, in whom was the evil spirit, leaped on them and subdued all of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. 17 This became known to all, both Jews and Greeks, who lived in Ephesus; and fear fell upon them all and the name of the Lord Jesus was being magnified. 18 Many also of those who had believed kept coming, confessing and disclosing their practices. 19 And many of those who practiced magic brought their books together and began burning them in the sight of everyone; and they counted up the price of them and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver. 20 So the word of the Lord was growing mightily and prevailing.

21 Now after these things were finished, Paul purposed in the Spirit to go to Jerusalem after he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia, saying, “After I have been there, I must also see Rome.” 22 And having sent into Macedonia two of those who ministered to him, Timothy and Erastus, he himself stayed in Asia for a while.

 

Philippians 2:10 says: At the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth. In John 14:13-14 Jesus says:     “Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.”    Luke 10:17 says:  The seventy returned with joy, saying, "Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name."  There is indeed power and authority in the name of Jesus. Yet in today’s text it says:  But also some of the Jewish exorcists, who went from place to place, attempted to name over those who had the evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, “I adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preaches.” Seven sons of one Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. And the evil spirit answered and said to them, “I recognize Jesus, and I know about Paul, but who are you?” And the man, in whom was the evil spirit, leaped on them and subdued all of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. This became known to all, both Jews and Greeks, who lived in Ephesus; and fear fell upon them all and the name of the Lord Jesus was being magnified. There is more to it then than just naming the name of Jesus. The evil spirit said: “I recognize Jesus, and I know about Paul, but who are you?” It is not only the name of Jesus on our tongue which gives us authority. It is the very presence of Jesus in us that causes every knee to bow. In John 14:23 Jesus says:  “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.”  It is the indwelling and abiding presence of God, walking in step with Him that is the source of power and authority in our lives. It is more than naming Him. It is knowing Him and being known by Him.

In Psalm 91 the psalmist says:   He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,
My God, in whom I trust!” For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper
And from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with His pinions, And under His wings you may seek refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark.

You will not be afraid of the terror by night, Or of the arrow that flies by day; Of the pestilence that stalks in darkness, Or of the destruction that lays waste at noon. A thousand may fall at your side And ten thousand at your right hand, But it shall not approach you. You will only look on with your eyes And see the recompense of the wicked. For you have made the Lord, my refuge,
Even the Most High, your dwelling place. No evil will befall you, Nor will any plague come near your tent. For He will give His angels charge concerning you, To guard you in all your ways.
They will bear you up in their hands, That you do not strike your foot against a stone. You will tread upon the lion and cobra, The young lion and the serpent you will trample down.

“Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him securely on high, because he has known My name. “He will call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. “With a long life I will satisfy him And let him see My salvation.”  Our protection, our provision, our power and authority is actually God working for us, because we have known His name, but also because we love Him.

Look again at what Jesus says in John 14:13-15:     “Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it. If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.”   It is not we, by the power of Jesus name that accomplishes the work. It is Jesus Himself, He says: “I will do it.”   Again in John 14:23 Jesus says:  “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.  If we are to have the abiding presence of God and Christ in us and with us we must keep His word, His commandments. The commandments we keep are both those concerning righteousness, avoiding sin and also those concerning how we relate to others, in love, mercy and forgiveness. James 2:10-20 says:  Whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all. For He who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not commit murder.” Now if you do not commit adultery, but do commit murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. So speak and so act as those who are to be judged by the law of liberty. For judgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment. What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself. But someone may well say, “You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder. But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless?  The demons believe in God, they recognize Jesus, but for us to have the power and authority that is in the name of Jesus, Christ must be in us. He will only be in us as we walk with Him, as we like Jesus, do the things that the Father does, keeping His commandments, walking in righteousness, compassion, forgiveness, mercy grace and love.

Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ; precious Holy Spirit thank You that through the redemption, the reconciliation and the restoration of Jesus finished work on the cross, I can have Your indwelling presence. You abide with me. Thank You that as I keep Your word, Your commandments, as I walk with You, it is You who will do the work. Jesus You said: “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. You have also given me authority in Your name, not my authority, nor my works, but You working through me, to do the works of the Father. In the name of Jesus, the name above every other name I pray. Amen.   

   

 

Jun. 28, 2017

2 Kings 13-14 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible

In the twenty-third year of Joash the son of Ahaziah, king of Judah, Jehoahaz the son of Jehu became king over Israel at Samaria, and he reigned seventeen years. He did evil in the sight of the Lord, and followed the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, with which he made Israel sin; he did not turn from them. So the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and He gave them continually into the hand of Hazael king of Aram, and into the hand of Ben-hadad the son of Hazael. Then Jehoahaz entreated the favor of the Lord, and the Lord listened to him; for He saw the oppression of Israel, how the king of Aram oppressed them. The Lord gave Israel a deliverer, so that they escaped from under the hand of the Arameans; and the sons of Israel lived in their tents as formerly. Nevertheless they did not turn away from the sins of the house of Jeroboam, with which he made Israel sin, but walked in them; and the Asherah also remained standing in Samaria. For he left to Jehoahaz of the army not more than fifty horsemen and ten chariots and 10,000 footmen, for the king of Aram had destroyed them and made them like the dust at threshing. Now the rest of the acts of Jehoahaz, and all that he did and his might, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel? And Jehoahaz slept with his fathers, and they buried him in Samaria; and Joash his son became king in his place.

10 In the thirty-seventh year of Joash king of Judah, Jehoash the son of Jehoahaz became king over Israel in Samaria, and reigned sixteen years. 11 He did evil in the sight of the Lord; he did not turn away from all the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, with which he made Israel sin, but he walked in them. 12 Now the rest of the acts of Joash and all that he did and his might with which he fought against Amaziah king of Judah, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel? 13 So Joash slept with his fathers, and Jeroboam sat on his throne; and Joash was buried in Samaria with the kings of Israel.

14 When Elisha became sick with the illness of which he was to die, Joash the king of Israel came down to him and wept over him and said, “My father, my father, the chariots of Israel and its horsemen!” 15 Elisha said to him, “Take a bow and arrows.” So he took a bow and arrows. 16 Then he said to the king of Israel, “Put your hand on the bow.” And he put his hand on it, then Elisha laid his hands on the king’s hands. 17 He said, “Open the window toward the east,” and he opened it. Then Elisha said, “Shoot!” And he shot. And he said, “The Lord’s arrow of victory, even the arrow of victory over Aram; for you will defeat the Arameans at Aphek until you have destroyed them.” 18 Then he said, “Take the arrows,” and he took them. And he said to the king of Israel, “Strike the ground,” and he struck it three times and stopped. 19 So the man of God was angry with him and said, “You should have struck five or six times, then you would have struck Aram until you would have destroyed it. But now you shall strike Aram only three times.”

20 Elisha died, and they buried him. Now the bands of the Moabites would invade the land in the spring of the year. 21 As they were burying a man, behold, they saw a marauding band; and they cast the man into the grave of Elisha. And when the man touched the bones of Elisha he revived and stood up on his feet.

 

In Luke 18:1-8 Jesus tells a parable about persistent prayer:  Now He was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart, saying, “In a certain city there was a judge who did not fear God and did not respect man. There was a widow in that city, and she kept coming to him, saying, ‘Give me legal protection from my opponent.’ For a while he was unwilling; but afterward he said to himself, ‘Even though I do not fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow bothers me, I will give her legal protection, otherwise by continually coming she will wear me out.’” And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge said; now, will not God bring about justice for His elect who cry to Him day and night, and will He delay long over them? I tell you that He will bring about justice for them quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?”   We need to understand what it is that Jesus is saying. It is not that we need to pray persistently so that we wear out God, as the woman in the parable wore out the judge. Jesus says God will not delay, He will bring about justice quickly. Why then is it necessary that we continue and pray persistently?

Today’s text offers us some insight into the benefit of persistent. It says:   When Elisha became sick with the illness of which he was to die, Joash the king of Israel came down to him and wept over him and said, “My father, my father, the chariots of Israel and its horsemen!” Elisha said to him, “Take a bow and arrows.” So he took a bow and arrows. Then he said to the king of Israel, “Put your hand on the bow.” And he put his hand on it, then Elisha laid his hands on the king’s hands. He said, “Open the window toward the east,” and he opened it. Then Elisha said, “Shoot!” And he shot. And he said, “The Lord’s arrow of victory, even the arrow of victory over Aram; for you will defeat the Arameans at Aphek until you have destroyed them.” Then he said, “Take the arrows,” and he took them. And he said to the king of Israel, “Strike the ground,” and he struck it three times and stopped. So the man of God was angry with him and said, “You should have struck five or six times, then you would have struck Aram until you would have destroyed it. But now you shall strike Aram only three times.”   How often do we stop with a partial victory? How often are we satisfied with a partial answer to our prayers? We pray and we see breakthrough so we stop praying. We should instead, give thanks, but continue and press the attack. In Mark 8:22-25 there is an account of Jesus healing a blind man.   They came to Bethsaida. And they brought a blind man to Jesus and implored Him to touch him. Taking the blind man by the hand, He brought him out of the village; and after spitting on his eyes and laying His hands on him, He asked him, “Do you see anything?” And he looked up and said, “I see men, for I see them like trees, walking around.”  Then again He laid His hands on his eyes; and he looked intently and was restored, and began to see everything clearly.    Jesus didn’t stop with a partial healing. He continued and pressed in until the man’s sight was fully restored. That’s something we need to understand, the finished work of the cross is not so that things might be better. The finished work of the cross provides victory, restoration, healing and abundance. We are restored not to what we were, not to what others have, but rather we are restored to what God created and intended for us. We are restored to His image and likeness. In Mark 5:34 after a woman was healed Jesus said"Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace and be healed of your affliction."   Again in Luke 17:19, after healing a man with leprosy, Jesus said: "Stand up and go; your faith has made you well."  Jesus doesn’t want us to be better. He wants us to be well.

Another reason for the need for persistent prayer is found in what Jesus said to those who were healed, “Your faith has made you well.”  In Mark 11:24 Jesus says:  “Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you.” In Matthew 21:22 He says:  “All things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”   Often the reason we need to pray persistently is not about God, it is about our needing to have the faith to receive born into us. We need to pray with persistence until we believe that we will receive what it is that we are asking for. Jesus taught us to pray: “Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”  It really isn’t a question of what God’s will is. The price that Jesus paid, the finished work of the cross makes it clear that God wants us to be fully restored to all that He intends. The key is that we see it and receive it here on earth, as it is in heaven. For us to fully know the will of God, for us to have the faith to believe and receive all that is ours through the finished work of the cross, we must see it from the perspective of heaven, not earth. We must pray persistently, but not as though we are far from God, that He might not hear. Rather as Hebrews 4:16 says:  Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.     In John 10:28,30 it says:  Jesus, knowing that all things had already been accomplished, He said, “It is finished!”  Knowing all things were accomplished.  The answer to our every need, the answer to every prayer is already finished and accomplished, through the cross, in heaven. We need to pray persistently until we see the finished work from the perspective of heaven. Then we can receive, by faith, all that we ask.

Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ; precious Holy Spirit thank You for the finished work of the cross. May I never stop short of all that You have for me, all that the finished work of the cross has accomplished. I choose to pray persistently until I see from the perspective of heaven, until faith is fully formed in me. I will not stop and be satisfied with a partial victory. When the enemy is at bay, I will not stop, but rather I will strike the ground repeatedly until he is defeated. In the name of Jesus.  Amen.

 

Jun. 27, 2017

Psalm 145 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible

I will extol You, my God, O King, And I will bless Your name forever and ever.
Every day I will bless You, And I will praise Your name forever and ever.
Great is the Lord, and highly to be praised,
And His greatness is unsearchable.
One generation shall praise Your works to another, And shall declare Your mighty acts.
On the glorious splendor of Your majesty And on Your wonderful works, I will meditate.
Men shall speak of the power of Your awesome acts, And I will tell of Your greatness.
They shall eagerly utter the memory of Your abundant goodness
And will shout joyfully of Your righteousness.

The Lord is gracious and merciful; Slow to anger and great in lovingkindness.
The Lord is good to all, And His mercies are over all His works.
10 All Your works shall give thanks to You, O Lord, And Your godly ones shall bless You.
11 They shall speak of the glory of Your kingdom And talk of Your power;
12 To make known to the sons of men Your mighty acts And the glory of the majesty of Your kingdom.
13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, And Your dominion endures throughout all generations.

14 The Lord sustains all who fall And raises up all who are bowed down.
15 The eyes of all look to You, And You give them their food in due time.
16 You open Your hand And satisfy the desire of every living thing.

17 The Lord is righteous in all His ways And kind in all His deeds.
18 The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth.
19 He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He will also hear their cry and will save them.
20 The Lord keeps all who love Him, But all the wicked He will destroy.
21 My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord,
And all flesh will bless His holy name forever and ever.

 

As I read and meditated on today’s psalm, I couldn’t help but to pause at the verses which say:  One generation shall praise Your works to another, And shall declare Your mighty acts. On the glorious splendor of Your majesty And on Your wonderful works, I will meditate. Men shall speak of the power of Your awesome acts, And I will tell of Your greatness. They shall eagerly utter the memory of Your abundant goodness And will shout joyfully of Your righteousness. There was a time, not that long ago, that what the psalmist says was true in our nation and our culture. One generation did praise the works of God to another. The mighty acts of God were declared. Men truly did speak of the power of God’s awesome acts. I was born in 1958. As I was growing up all those things were part of our culture and society. We sang hymns in school, public school. God was honored, reverenced, even praised in movies on television and in music. Today we have a new generation of children and young people being raised by a generation who has not known or been told of God’s awesome acts. They haven’t heard or known God’s abundant goodness. Righteousness is no longer something we shout about. Instead it is despised and viewed unfavorably. An adult who has not engaged in sex because they want to wait until they are married is mocked and ridiculed, while promiscuity is glorified. The accounts of God’s awesome acts, His miracles are considered fairy tales and fables by many. Our schools no longer permit teachers or students to speak of God, to praise Him. Even the open display of the Bible, scriptures, or the cross are thought of as unacceptable in schools and workplaces.  

The psalmist says:  The Lord is gracious and merciful; Slow to anger and great in lovingkindness. The Lord is good to all, And His mercies are over all His works. Those who study social and psychological tendencies will tell us the prejudices are often based in what we don’t know or understand. We fear and so reject or judge people or things that are different than ourselves. Because God’s goodness, His graciousness, His mercifulness, His lovingkindness are no longer spoken of, people no longer know the true character of God. Because God is no longer known, because few people meditate: On the glorious splendor of Your majesty And on Your(His) wonderful works, God is feared and rejected. Proverbs 9:10 says:  The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.    While the fear of the Lord may be the beginning of wisdom, knowledge of God, knowing His character of goodness, love, mercy and grace brings understanding of who He is. In the end knowing Him is the end of fearing Him. Rather than fear and reject what we don’t know, as 1 John 4:19 says:  We love, because He first loved us.  God has come to be rejected and despised in our culture because most people don’t know God. They are prejudiced, because they don’t know or understand who God is.

The psalmist says:  Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, And Your dominion endures throughout all generations. God is not God because we say He is. Neither does He stop being God because we have stopped saying He is and declaring His awesome acts, His righteousness and goodness.    “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”(Revelation 1:8)    He is the beginning and end, yet God has no beginning or end. He is eternal, everlasting, throughout all generations. The psalmist says:  I will extol You, my God, O King, And I will bless Your name forever and ever. Every day I will bless You, And I will praise Your name forever and ever. Great is the Lord, and highly to be praised… My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord, And all flesh will bless His holy name forever and ever.

Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ; precious Holy Spirit, bless Your name. Forgive this generation which has not known You. Forgive the generations who have failed to declare Your awesome acts. As for me, like the psalmist, I will extol You, my God, O King, And I will bless Your name forever and ever. Every day I will bless You, And I will praise Your name forever and ever. Great is the Lord, and highly to be praised… My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord.  Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, And Your dominion endures throughout all generations. As others come to know You, may they also: love You because You first loved them. May they know Your love, Your mercy, Your grace which is demonstrated for all in the cross, the most awesome of all Your awesome acts.     Amen.