Psalm 142:3 “Even though Fanny Crosby was blind, she knew this truth. “Even when my strength leaves me, you watch my footsteps…” Fanny knew that God was before her, behind her, beside her. God’s Holy Spirit lovingly guides us even as we struggle through the times of darkness, frailty, and distress. That is because God’s eyes are upon His children. He knows their goings in and going out. Nothing is hidden from His eyes, and thus we can appeal to Him for His guidance. Because of this promise, we can glory when the enemy seeks to destroy us because we can trust that God will ensure our protection. We know that our adversary lays a snare for us, but our God is greater than anything the enemy can send our way. Yet, we must have our armor on, pray for wisdom and discernment and then follow the Spirit’s leading.
“He sees you not with the indifference of a mere spectator, but he observes with attention, he knows, he considers your path: yea, he appoints it, and every circumstance about it is under his direction” John Newton.
“All the way my Savior leads me, What have I to ask beside? Can I doubt His tender mercy, Who through life has been my guide?”
Are these your questions as well? Take heart Beloved, “Jesus doeth all things well.”
Ps 139 Again, the pslamist reminds us that God sees and hears, and He is all-knowing for He is omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient. Throughout scripture, we come face to face with who He is. God is El Roi, who sees and cares; the Bread of Life upon which we may feed; the Living Water from which we may quench our spiritual thirst. He came as Immanuel [God with us] in human form to understand His love and His plan for humanity. He is the Good Shepherd that knows and calls his sheep by name yet is intimately acquainted with each one for He alone sees into the womb where the child is being woven as His perfect tapestry.
God knows our mindset, our ways, and our thoughts. We cannot even begin to fathom His thoughts about us; they are more significant than the grains of sand on the seashore. It is because of that, David prays: “Examine me, and probe my thoughts! Test me, and know my concerns! See if there is any idolatrous tendency in me, and lead me in the reliable ancient path!”
God knows you, do you know Him?
Ps 133 “Be Unified”
Unity is not a new idea. We read that even Jesus prayed for his disciples: “that they will all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I am in you.” [Jn 17] Before him, the psalmist wrote: “how beautiful it is to be unified as brethren.” As the Father and Son are unified, we are to be as well. Our model is the Trinity, and we are to be the messengers of this unity to the world.
In Genesis, we read a sad story about disunity and a family that failed to model that principle. Abraham and Lot had lived side by side, but disunity came about over water and grasslands. Whereas Lot was feuding, fussing and fuming, Abraham sought unity: “Let there be no quarreling between you and me, and between my herdsmen and your herdsmen, for we are close relatives.” [Gen 13:8] However, Lot chose to ignore this wise counsel and moved away from Abraham choosing his herdsmen and the well-watered plain of Jordan. He never returned even in his darkest hour. Lot’s decision is a lesson for us in what NOT to do. That is why we need Psalm 133:1,
“How wonderful, how beautiful, when brothers and sisters get along!”
Is there disunity in someplace in a relationship between you and another? Beloved: make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. [Eph 4:3]
Psalm 125: A mountain can withstand a storm’s fury standing tall and erect, yet from a spoken word from the God of the universe, the rocks can tumble forth. The psalmist recalls a time when it seemed like life’s troubles, like tumbling rocks, came calling. The nation was experiencing all of the dangers the evil one would or could plan against them. They needed a reminder that “if” they trusted in the LORD, they would know He is both deliverer and the creator of heaven and earth.
The prophet Elijah had to learn that valuable lesson, and he learned in a mountain cave 40 days after he ran away from his victory at Mt. Carmel.
Like us, Elijah was sure he knew God on Mt. Carmel. However, when Jezebel sent a scathing message of imminent death, he fell into depression and ran away. Sound like us? Satan likes to send us into a dither right after a victory. After running forty days, Elijah found himself in a mountain cave where he heard God’s voice. “What are you doing here, Elijah?” But, God’s voice was not in an earthquake or wind but the still soft, whisper of God. In the same way, God speaks to us in His Word not in a storm but in His quiet whisper.
Have you just experienced a victory? Be on guard, Satan is ready for the attack.
Stand still and hear God’s still quiet voice.
Psalm 119: Many of us have scores of Bibles at our fingertips and bookstores galore. But, the early Israelites learned through oral recitation using the memory aid tool: “abecedaries” just like children today learn their A-B-C’s in a sing-song fashion. All 176 verses of this psalm remind us of the steadfast love of God and His Word and mention the Word of God in nearly every stanza.
Martin Luther memorized this entire psalm, and as a monk, he followed the pattern to recite long passages of scripture. He found Psalm 119 was easy to memorize because of its sing-song pattern. What a great challenge for us! Just as the psalmist said, those who are blessed are blameless and obedient to the law of the Lord. They choose to observe God’s statutes and seek Him with their whole heart.
The psalmist knew the principle of 2Tim 3:16
“All scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, reproof correction, and training in righteousness.”
Take time to walk through each stanza for your edification so that you might know who God is and what He does through the hearts and minds of those who taste and see that the Lord is good.
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 106 Have you driven on a road that seems to go on and on and on? That is what it is like when we come face to face with the God of the universe. It is then that we are humbled and recognize how unworthy we are. We are overwhelmed, and many of us ask: “Who can adequately recount the Lord’s mighty acts, or relate all his praiseworthy deeds?” John noted that as well: “There are many other things that Jesus did. If every one of them were written down, I suppose the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.” [Joh 21:25 ] Perhaps that is why Job noted: I am utterly unworthy – how could I reply to you? I put my hand over my mouth to silence myself.
Job captures our very essence of how to answer the psalmist’s question. We are unworthy except by the blood of the Lamb of Jesus who “saved us not by works of righteousness that we have done but based on his mercy, through the washing of the new birth and the renewing of the Holy Spirit,” [Titus 3]
Today as you consider what God has done for you, consider how you came even to understand what He has done except by His never-ending mercy in calling you and saving you.
Psalm 103 & Isaiah 40 Isaiah must have been a bird watcher. He listed some spiritual principles and spiritual lessons to learn from the eagle: “those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.” [Is 40]
The eagle pictures the biblical marriage vows, committing to living together “until death do us part.” “For this reason, a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.” [Gen 2] Then together they build their “home” at the top of trees or cliffs where they securely can raise their young.
Like the eagle, believers are to be “spiritually vigorous until death.” [Constable] Eagles remain vigorous, symbolizing power, freedom, and transcendence exceeding in superiority to the end of their lives, which can be up to thirty-eight years. They have been blessed with a superior vision to see their prey up to three miles away. So too, believers have the indwelling Holy Spirit who anoints us with a spiritual vision to spot false doctrines and teachers.
Just as the eagle never surrenders to its prey but fights them to the end, we too should fight the spiritual forces of this darkness dressed in our spiritual armor and never surrender to them. [Eph 6]
Joshua told the Israelites to “choose you this day whom you will serve.” [Joshua 24:15] And that same choice is given to us.
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!
Psalm 85 The author of this psalm is unknown to us but not to God. One thing we immediately pick up on is that this author knows God and His character and he extols this in poetic form.
He showed favor, restored the well-being of Jacob, pardoned the people, forgave all their sin, withdrew all your fury, and turned back from your raging anger. Then, because of these attributes, the writer felt bold enough to enter God’s space and pray: Will you revive us once more? Will you show your lovingkindness?
But also the author realizes all of this cannot come to pass until he listens to what God says and not return to his foolish ways.
Where are you wandering in the wilderness expecting God to act, but you have not done your part? You will find out all about God and you in His Word.