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 99 “He is Holy!”
Three times in this psalm, the author references God as “holy.” Isaiah also referenced God as holy. He saw the Lord in the temple, and Seraph stood over him and called out to one another, “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies! His majestic splendor fills the entire earth.” God sits enthroned above the cherubim.
Whether we worship Him before his footstool (a reference to the Ark of the Covenant) or on his holy hill, we praise His great and awesome name because He is and evermore shall be ‘holy.’ Peter encourages us with these words: “like the Holy One who called you, become holy yourselves in all of your conduct, for it is written, “You shall be holy because I am holy.” [1Pet 1:15/16]
May we stop and ponder this marvelous thought this day. Go forth and be holy as He is holy for He reigns on high!
Psalm 91 God is El Elyon, Yahweh; El Shaddai; Elohim, and Jehovah. He is the God who provides us rest when others are “at war” with themselves and others.
El Elyon is God’s name of safety and our abiding. Jesus spoke of Himself as the vine and us as the branches. He said if you abide or remain in the vine, you will find shelter.
The Sovereign One; the El Shaddai. He is the All-Sufficient One, the Lord Almighty. He is the “I AM” who has great power. Trust Me and follow Me for I am immutable/unchangeable; therefore, you can find rest in Me and my protective shadow.
The Lord; Elohim is Sovereign, the Mighty One over all. As we observe the heavens and the sunrise and sunset, the stars and moon, we can know that all is well because Elohim is in control. He cares, and He is steadfast to carry us through even the most difficult of times. Nothing comes to us but filtered through His fingers.
No matter the name you use, know this: God is available 24/7 for us in contrast to the idols and false gods that are detracted from us unless we offer something to appease them. Jesus said, Come unto me, and I will give you rest. [Matt 11] Today, step aside and spend some time with Him and let your soul rest.
Have you ever noticed how often the word “sing or sang” is noted throughout scripture? Psalm 89 Ethan said he would sing continually about the Lord’s faithful deeds. “The heavens also praise his amazing deeds as well.” Job referenced this same thought: When the morning stars sang in chorus and all the sons of God shouted for joy. In Chronicles 16 and Psalm 105, the authors note: Sing to him! Make music to him. Tell about all his miraculous deeds. We should be praising God for he is Lord among the heavenly beings, a God who is honored in the great angelic assembly. At the birth of our Savior, the vast, heavenly army appeared with the angel, praising God.
The author Ethen exalted God in word and song. Paul told the Colossians to exalt God by exhorting one another with all wisdom, singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, all with grace in your hearts to God.
One author put it like this: “live your life in praise to God.” In psalm 113 we read that God is higher than anything or anyone, outshining everything you see in the skies.
What is your favorite hymn or praise song that you sing to give God praise?
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.
The world as we know it is fraught with danger, toils and tribulations. We can choose to fight them in our own strength or find our strength at the foot of the throne of God. As the people of God we can earnestly seek him in prayer and in our quiet times but it takes a conscious step to come apart from the noise of this world so that God can speak and reveal himself to us.
Have you chosen this way to begin your day today?
It is my prayer that you know God and His Son as your shepherd and/or as your invincible warrior for the need you have before you this day. Listen and hear his voice calling. Listen to his counsel and do not fear for he is your Shepherd and the Invincible Warrior that protects.
“I made you and I will support you; I will carry you and rescue you.” [Is 46]
Do you have insomnia? What do you do when it crops up in the middle of the night? What is its cause? Asaph faced it and I face it often. How about you?
Ps 77 “ Facing Insomnia?”
Insomnia is defined by the dictionary as an inability to obtain sufficient sleep, especially when chronic; difficulty in falling or staying asleep; sleeplessness. No matter the cause, the results are the same when we experience insomnia; bone weariness upon arising. Asaph seemed to have experienced this. Asaph uses this time to pray and seek the face of God. He cries out to God. He recalls God and His attributes, and he prays all night long. He “remembers the song I once sang. I will think very carefully. I tried to make sense of what was happening.” What do you do at times like this?
George Rogers once wrote: A good man cannot rest upon his bed until his soul rests upon God. That is a truth we need to remember when we have nights when we are chasing sleep or insomnia.
Do you talk to yourself? Let’s listen in on Asaph’s self-conversation.
Listen, God, life is not fair. You tell me to be humble, but I see the prosperous, and they are not! They are proud and pompous while I am poor and suffer adversity. They lack for nothing and live life with a “God owes me ” mentality. I am a man of integrity, and yet here I am facing problems. Where is my material prosperity, God? Why do I face challenges? If you are God, why am I suffering? Does this sound familiar? Asaph has a problem and we do as well. We fail to see life through the lens of the eternal perspective.
There are three lessons we should note. First, Asaph was envious. Envy is a sin that began in the Garden of Eden and is alive and well today. Secondly, Asaph shares, “If I had publicized these thoughts, I would have betrayed your loyal followers.” Today’s translation: I would become a stumbling block! Do we do the same without thinking what our grumbling might do to a young believer’s faith? Asaph then realized as he entered the precincts of God’s Temple; what he needed was cleansing. He pondered the consequences of being a stumbling block to others, so wisely, he sought God’s counsel. Lastly, in God’s presence, he saw the reality: We are here for one purpose:
to behold His beauty and to worship Him in all of His fullness.
In the parable of Luke 16, we see the point of it all. Lazarus was poor and needy, but in the end, he was the one whom God blessed. The rich man, not hardly. You see, he had the “God owes me mentality.” So, where are you in your thinking?
Psalm 71 and 78 Getting older is not for sissies, but until we take our last breath, God has work for us to do. Senior citizens have much to offer the younger generation about the lessons gleaned from trials to blessings. But how do we ensure that the next generation knows these lessons? We must purposefully choose to take time to sit with them and share our life’s story. How many years are there between you and the next generation? Twenty or even fifty? One of my regrets is that my parents did not tell us about their lives even when asked.
Beloved, time is fleeting, and memories are being lost. We must begin to tell the next generation of our story—whether good or bad.
The psalmist is writing from his perspective of being “old and gray.” He has one request of the Lord. His prayer is that God allows him to remain until he tells the next generation about God’s strength and His power. What is your prayer? Do we choose to tell about His praiseworthy acts, strength, and the amazing things He has done? Do we choose to teach and speak of His splendor and tell about His marvelous deeds, power, and majesty?
What is your prayer this day? Don’t waste this opportunity! Prepare now to tell your story.