Psalm 129 – 130 “Cat’s Eyes or God’s Eyes?”
Cat’s eyes are unlike human eyes. Whereas our pupils are round, theirs are elongated and vertical, which can adapt quickly and can open and close like the aperture of a camera. The author of Psalm 129 is “reflecting” (pun intended) that our eyes must be stayed upon Jehovah so that we can see Him at work even in the darkest of times. We need God’s eyes, His “cat’s eyes.” Like Habakkuk, the psalmist said he would stand on his guard post and station himself to keep watch. Are we asking for God’s “cat’s eyes” to see what He is doing? Are we standing and watching for the hand of the Lord to work? The psalmist said he would wait for the Lord more than the watchmen for the morning. Are we trying to fix the problem instead of letting God do His work?
May our prayer be as the psalmist: Lord, hear my voice! Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications. Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens. Yet this is still true: the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword. He will pierce the darkness because He can see with His “cat’s eyes” the danger before we can. Wait on Him!
Ps 115 For centuries men have asked: Where is God? Yet we need to ask: how often are our eyes focused inward and not upward? The psalmist begins by saying that it is not to us, but the Lord, we are to bring honor and praise. When you think about the name of the Lord, what comes to mind?
- Ex 15:3 He is a warrior, and the Lord is His Name
- Psalm 68:4 the one who rides on the clouds, the Lord is His Name
- Ex 17:15 Moses built an altar, and he called it “The Lord is my Banner.”
- Gen 22:14 And Abraham called the name of that place, “The Lord provides.”
- Acts 4:12 there is no other name under heaven given among people by which we must be saved.
We revere and call upon His Name, His lovingkindness, and faithfulness (which is new every morning). The world asks, “Where is God?” Men asked Jesus that question on the cross. They scoff and sneer, but God is where God has always been—in heaven where the scoffers will never set foot. It is there that those who revere and fear Him will find their place of refuge. It is where He who holds the universe in the palm of His hand sits undisturbed, his throne unshaken, and his purposes unchanged. it is there that He hears our cries and our prayers.
Where is God? He is in heaven where He has always been. Do you know Him?
Psalm 23 and 100 Diary Entry—What a Blessing!
Do you feel like you are lost in the midst of the voices that are shouting? Do you fear your bleating won’t be heard? Beloved, the Good Shepherd hears your bleating and He is coming to your rescue.
Memo to self on Day 100: Make a joyful noise unto the Lord! Shout out praises to the Lord! Worship the Lord with joy! Enter his presence with joyful singing! The psalmist reminded himself that this is the day the Lord has brought about. He wrote: I will, and we will be happy and rejoice in it. [Ps 118]
Indeed, we are the sheep of his pasture. He called us out of the darkness of sin into the light, and one day we will see our Good Shepherd. What a blessing to know that He directs our steps and takes us to the refreshing quiet living water. He knows that rushing water and the swirling waters of today’s news is unnerving. It is here that our thirst is quenched, and our heart renewed. What a blessing to know that in His pasture, we find peace amid the storms. It is in His pasture we can feed on the lush green grass and lie down in peace. What a blessing to know that He is the Good Shepherd who leads us, for we require His tender care. What a blessing to know that out of His love He ransomed us with His blood.
Truly the Lord is good, and his mercy is everlasting. His truth endures to all generations. Therefore, serve Him with gladness and come before Him with singing.
The Good Shepherd is coming soon!
Ps 13 to 15 “Through God’s Eyes”
Wouldn’t it be marvelous if we could see with God’s eyes? Instead, God says trust me, for I see not as man sees. King David reflected on his world around him and viewed with a renewed vision exactly what God saw. First, he saw men like blameless Job who probably wondered ‘how long.’ Then he saw men who were fools because although the creation screams God’s power and majesty, they refuse to bow the knee to Him. Lastly, he saw men of integrity as he examined their character.
Seeing with God’s Eyes about the past: God was faithful in the past and will be faithful in the future; therefore, we can trust Him.
Seeing with God’s eyes about men: Ps 14: Men are fools! They ignore the evidence before them. Although they are wicked and deny God, those who have chosen His way can say with assurance: He is our shelter.
Seeing with God’s eyes about ourselves: Ps 15: O God, I see it now! I may someday enter your presence because I have chosen Your way, Your standards, Your path. I want God, who sees all things.
Beloved, are you asking God to help you see with His eyes, or are you still satisfied to see with seeing with your earthly vision?
Psalm 1 to 4 “Blessed Men and Women”
God blessed Job; “a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and turns away from evil.” James references Job “Think of how we regard as blessed those who have endured. You have heard of Job’s endurance…” [James 5]
Now, as we leave Job behind and move on into the psalms, written over thousand years, we once again read about the blessings God bestows upon those who are righteous, of whom Job is an example. King David, who most likely wrote this first psalm, summarizes what God calls blessed.
These people choose their companions wisely; they revere God by obeying and fearing Him. They feed on God’s Word day and night, delighting in His Law. They see themselves as the Lord’s heritage. In times of peace and war, God is their shield and sustainer, their salvation, and sanctifier.
They are proof of what Moses told the Israelites: teach your children and speak of God in your house, and as you walk along the path of life. Be sure to educate them in the night as well as in the day; if trained early on, he will remain steadfast and immoveable later in life. [Prov 22:6]
If God spoke about you, would He use the word “Blessed?”
Job is in isolation just as we are in quarantine. We can relate to his isolation because of coronavirus isolation. Are you frustrated? Do you want to see an end to this pandemic? Imagine yourself as Job sitting in dust and ashes. What is your view of God? But Job rises to the occasion and tells his “so-called friends,” I know God, do you?
Job 21 to 24 The Truth of the Matter
Are you confounded by the responses of those who are asked; do you believe the Bible? Some answers come back like the Ethiopian’s question; how can I unless someone guides me? [Acts 8] Or, the Bible is too hard for me to understand; Or, I am too busy to read the Bible and on and on and on go the answers to our question. Yet, Job centuries before even a word was written, he could say: “I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my allotted portion; he is unchangeable; whatever he desired, he does.” [Jpb 23]
Did you catch that? Job had no Bible, no missionary came to tell him about God, yet he treasured the words of God. How did he know? Romans 1:20 answers that question: “For since the creation of the world his invisible attributes—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, because they are understood through what has been made. So people are without excuse.”
God has been silent with Job not because he didn’t want to interact with him but to prove to our arch-enemy the truth of what he knew about Job: There is no one like him. He is blameless and upright and fears Me. [Job 1] God knew that Satan was frustrated because Job did not curse him, yet He remained silent because just as Job knew God’s character, God knew Job’s character: if tested, he would come forth as gold. [Job 23]
What does God say about you?
God knows who you are and how you will respond. Trust Him.
Job 18 to 20 Are you feeling that God has abandoned you? Do you call and heaven is silent? Do others blame you for where you are spiritually or physically or emotionally? Then you will relate to Job.
When we are suffering, we need compassion; do we not? But, Job’s three comforters are anything but! He asks them, “how long will you torment me and crush me with your words.” We should take this as a lesson. Do we respond as these three men? Job’s heart is crushed. He is in pain. The last thing he wants to hear is that he is suffering because of some sin he is unaware of. Job says ten times you have reproached me. Where is your compassion?
While all of this is happening, heaven is silent. Have you ever thought heaven had shut its doors? Have you ever asked like Job; where are you, God? That has to be the hardest road to travel. When God is silent, we find it hard to be faithfully waiting and at peace, and it doesn’t help when others share harsh words. If there is one truth we can cling to at this juncture, it is what Job shared next:
“I know that my Redeemer lives and that at the last he will stand upon the earth. Even after my skin is destroyed, yet from my flesh, I shall see God Whom I shall behold, and whom my eyes will see and not another.”
We all need that reminder. If you are facing a hard time like Job, underline that verse, memorize it, and cling to it. God may be silent, but He is still where He was yesterday and is today and will be tomorrow.
Job 14 “Is There Life After Death?”
Job asks the age-old question: “man dies and is powerless, he expires – and where is he?” Then he continues asking, “if a man dies, will he live again?”
Research has shown that down through the centuries, no matter where you go and with whom you talk, you find that all religions believe in some form of an afterlife, but the real question is what Job asked: “will he live again?” Science has proved that the body dies, but it cannot answer the question about the soul, for it cannot be measured. To answer this question, we need to have a witness that can affirm and answer this question. That witness is Jesus Christ. He “died for our sins according to the scriptures, and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day according to the scriptures and that he appeared.” [1 Cor 15] He appeared to not just Peter but to the many that went forth to tell the world: yes, there is life after death.
From Jesus, we can know that yes, we will live again, but the better question is, where will you spend eternity? The two thieves on the cross and the story Jesus told in Luke 16 tell us that man must choose NOW for once death comes; there is no return ticket to this earthly life. What will you choose? Jesus said, “I have come that they might have life.” [Jn 10].
1Chronicles 10 Was it God’s will for Saul to die is a question that comes to mind as we read this short but vivid chapter. In vs. 14, we learned that “the Lord killed him,” so the answer to that question is yes. God willed that Saul should die because he was unfaithful. He did not obey the Lord’s instructions. He tried to use a witch to determine his safety. These are hard words for us to swallow, and we would like Saul’s end to be like many of our fairy tales; they lived happily ever after. But, Saul chose his path and his destiny just as we do. God’s grace is ever-present because He is longsuffering even to the point of death.
Preparing for our entrance into eternity is as simple that a three old can understand it: Admit you are a sinner in need of redemption; Believe and trust in God. Confess your sin to a loving and holy God who will cleanse you in preparation for his glory. We stand on the threshold of eternity every day. The gospel is God’s power for salvation, and the righteousness of God is revealed in the gospel from faith to faith. It is also true that since creation, God’s invisible attributes, His eternal power, and divine nature – have been seen and understood through creation. Therefore men are without excuse for not knowing. Saul knew it, and men today know it.
What do you want on your tombstone? This: “well-done thou good and faithful servant” or this: “he/she was unfaithful.” It really is your choice.
1Chron 4 As we ponder the many names listed in chapters 3 and 4 we come away with a yawn until we reach chapter 4. Of all the names listed, only Jabez is listed with a full description of his birth and a prayer he offered. He stands out amongst the others because of his pure heart.
First, he was respected or held in honorable estimation more than his brothers and that his mother birthed him in great pain but we are left to surmise the reasons. We know that Jabez called out to the God of Israel in sharp contrast to the culture about him. He was spiritually alert to God and His workings in his life. He sought Him in a time when his need was great. In his plea, he asked God to greatly bless him and expand his territory. Jabez asks God to expand his territory for more opportunities. Do we pray that God gives us more opportunities to glorify Him? Jabez believed this: “Lord, first, above all else, let there be this consciousness that you are my God; that I belong to you and you belong to me.” [Ray Stedman]
Jabez turned to God. He believed in the God of Israel. His prayer
was that of a heart that was pure. His one desire was to honor God. Jabez believed as James says “without
doubting” that God would transform his life for His glory and “God answered his
prayer.” We can learn much from this simple man for our ministry today.