Who Hears the Cry of a Child?

June 20, 2018

Women, more than men will get the notion of Who Hears the Cry of a Child? However, as an involved and engaged father, I too learned to hear the cry of my children among others. It was really fascinating to watch and learn from my wife. When our kids were babies and toddlers, we could be sitting in another room while my kids were with others or there was ambient noise. Despite that, she could hear my daughter’s or my son’s cry. Son, I learned to listen to the nuances of their cries or voice. I say all this to say that a parent hears and responds to the cry of their child.

You know what? Little children learn that too. Babies learn that when I cry help comes from that person whom I recognize their smell and their voice. While I would like to anoint my wife and other parents as special, we really are mimicking what God models in Who Hears the Cry of a Child? Let’s turn to Psalm 4 to see this in action.

Answer me when I call to you,
    my righteous God.
Give me relief from my distress;
    have mercy on me and hear my prayer.

How long will you people turn my glory into shame?
    How long will you love delusions and seek false gods?
Know that the Lord has set apart his faithful servant for himself;
    the Lord hears when I call to him.

Tremble and do not sin;
    when you are on your beds,
    search your hearts and be silent.
Offer the sacrifices of the righteous
    and trust in the Lord.

Many, Lord, are asking, “Who will bring us prosperity?”
    Let the light of your face shine on us.
Fill my heart with joy
    when their grain and new wine abound.

In peace I will lie down and sleep,
    for you alone, Lord,
    make me dwell in safety.

 

Who could argue that David was truly a child of God. While David messed up a lot, God never gave up on him. God constantly forgave, wiped him off and put him back in the game. In Psalm 4, David offers a prayer, a cry if you will, for God to hear him as he called. David seems to be keenly aware of Who Hears the Cry of a Child? He draws a line between who God will hear and whom He will not – those who know and seek Jehovah, the one true God or those who seek false gods and who does not know Jehovah. Look at verse 3, it says, “Know that the Lord has set apart his faithful servant for himself; the Lord hears when I call to him.” Not only did he confirm the difference, David puts himself in the category as one whom God had set apart for himself. 

I am sure your can relate to Who Hears the Cry of a Child? Can you confidently claim as David did that you have been set apart as a child of God? If you can, God invites you to cry out to Him. He wants to be your help. He wants the world to know and see the goodness that comes from relying on Him as Father. If you know God, let others see your confidence as David did.

Who Hears the Cry of a Child? God does!

Here are other verses that communicates that God responds to prayers of those that belong to Him

Psalm 3:4; 4:1; 17:6; 18:6; 22:2; 27:7; 86:7; 91:15; 99:6; 102:2; 120:1; 138:3; 1Ki 18:24; Pr 21:13; Isaiah 30:19, 65:12, 24

Perhaps Psalm 118:5 says it clearly, “From my distress I called upon the Lord;
The Lord answered me and set me in a large place.

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Divine Deliverance

June 18, 2018

According to Dictionary.com, deliverance is an act or instance of delivering. In this context, deliver is to set free or liberate; to release or save; to do or carry out as promised. We all have been in a situation where we needed delivering. The truth is that we are in those circumstances more often that not. In those circumstances, we are powerless to completely free, liberate, release or save ourselves. As such, we cannot fulfill the promise. We are not able to provide Divine Deliverance.

Divine Deliverance as is termed is God fulfilling the promise to free, liberate, release or save those who trust in Him. Whether with my spouse, my children, my parents, my health, my home or my work, there are circumstances in my life that I am completely unable to do anything about. I cannot make a significant difference in freeing, liberating, releasing or saving myself or others whom I love. I am completely helpless.

What do we do when we are helpless? We cry out for or call out for help in freeing, liberating, releasing or saving ourselves or those whom we love. We all share that in common. Where we differ is who we call on for help. Some call on other men, some rely on their wealth, some rely on their intellect, some rely on created means. The believer does not rely on any of those means. The believer relies on the Creator, the Divine Himself to deliver him or her.  In Psalm 3 and other places in the Word, God, through David, tells us where our deliverance comes from.

Lord, how many are my foes!
    How many rise up against me!
Many are saying of me,
    “God will not deliver him.”

But you, Lord, are a shield around me,
    my glory, the One who lifts my head high.
I call out to the Lord,
    and he answers me from his holy mountain.

I lie down and sleep;
    I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.
I will not fear though tens of thousands
    assail me on every side.

Arise, Lord!
    Deliver me, my God!
Strike all my enemies on the jaw;
    break the teeth of the wicked.

From the Lord comes deliverance.
    May your blessing be on your people.

 

Again, this passage captures when David was being pursued by his son Absalom who wanted to assume David’s kingship. Absalom wanted to kill David to assume his kingship. Needless to say, David need Divine Deliverance. David was a believer in Jehovah, so he relied on God for Divine Deliverance. In verse 7, David says to himself or I believe God led him to say “Arise, LordDeliver me, my God!” Why? Because those around him were saying “God will not deliver him.”(v2). 

If we want Divine Deliverance, we have to remember who God is, who we are and then we must call on God to deliver us – to completely free, liberate, release or save us. Look at the verses below that confirm that The Lord God is our deliverer in whom we can trust.

Psalm 3:8
From the Lord comes deliverance. May your blessing be on your people.

Psalm 27:1
The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the defense of my life; Whom shall I dread?

Psalm 9:9
The Lord also will be a stronghold for the oppressed, A stronghold in times of trouble;

Psalm 28:8
The Lord is their strength, And He is a saving defense to His anointed.

Psalm 35:3
Draw also the spear and the battle-axe to meet those who pursue me; Say to my soul, “I am your salvation.”

Psalm 37:16-19
16 Better is the little of the righteous Than the abundance of many wicked.
17 For the arms of the wicked will be broken, But the Lord sustains the righteous.
18 The Lord knows the days of the blameless, And their inheritance will be forever.
19 They will not be ashamed in the time of evil, And in the days of famine they will have abundance.

Psalm 37:39
But the salvation of the righteous is from the Lord; He is their strength in time of trouble.

Psalm 62:1-2
My soul waits in silence for God only; From Him is my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation, My stronghold; I shall not be greatly shaken.

Isaiah 43:3
“For I am the Lord your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior;
I have given Egypt as your ransom, Cush and Seba in your place.

Isaiah 43:11
I, even I, am the Lord, And there is no savior besides Me.

Isaiah 44:6
Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: ‘I am the first and I am the last, And there is no God besides Me.

Isaiah 44:8
‘Do not tremble and do not be afraid; Have I not long since announced it to you and declared it?
And you are My witnesses. Is there any God besides Me, Or is there any other Rock? I know of none.’”

Isaiah 45:17
Israel has been saved by the Lord
With an everlasting salvation;
You will not be put to shame or humiliated
To all eternity.

Psalm 118:14
The Lord is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation.

Psalm 140:7
“O God the Lord, the strength of my salvation, You have covered my head in the day of battle.

Isaiah 45:21
“Declare and set forth your case;
Indeed, let them consult together.
Who has announced this from of old?
Who has long since declared it?
Is it not I, the Lord?
And there is no other God besides Me,
A righteous God and a Savior;
There is none except Me.

Hosea 13:4
Yet I have been the Lord your God
Since the land of Egypt;
And you were not to know any god except Me,
For there is no savior besides Me.

Jonah 2:9
But I will sacrifice to You
With the voice of thanksgiving.
That which I have vowed I will pay.
Salvation is from the Lord.”

Revelation 7:10
and they cry out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.”

 

 

He Interrupts this Program

June 8, 2018

As a boy, there were periodic interruptions on the tv and radio. They would say, “We interrupt our program to bring you this important message.”

It was a test for the Emergency Broadcast System (EBS). It was like the fire and tornado drills many of us practiced in schools. They were practice in the event of a real fire or tornado we would be as prepared as possible.

Similarly, God gives us tests. He has a teaching process in which that EBS modeled itself unknowingly most likely. Whether through divine intervention or divine intermittence, God, through the alarms of life, declares He Interrupts this Program. We may think it is horrible, but we know that God promised never to leave us for sake us (Hebrews 13:5). He promised us peace (Philippians 4:6-7). He promised us power to deal with life.If that is the case, why does God provoke or permit life’s interruptions.

When we experience He Interrupts this Program, there is one expectation for the believer. He expects us to demonstrate faith. It is our faith that frees us. It is our faith that resolves the matter. It is our faith that God can and will work through us.

We see that in Matthew 17:14-20. The disciples were out doing as Christ had commanded, but they encountered a person where what God had told them to do did not come to fruition. Disclaimer – not everything that does not come to pass in your life is a function of a lack of faith. Some times, God has a different path than what we seek or envision. Remember, it is God’s will that will be done not ours. Okay, Jesus made a point of including this text in the Word of God in order for us to understand how to respond when we experience He Interrupts this Program.

14 When they came to the crowd, a man approached Jesus and knelt before him. 15 “Lord, have mercy on my son,” he said. “He has seizures and is suffering greatly. He often falls into the fire or into the water. 16 I brought him to your disciples, but they could not heal him.”

17 “You unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me.” 18 Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed at that moment.

19 Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?”

20 He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

Yesterday, I had one of those life’s interruptions while at work. The seemingly perfect plan had been derailed because of an oversight on my part. It is my error. I felt horrible even sick at the impact, but God challenged me to have faith in Him. He challenged me to remember that I had prayed last July to become a Mountain Mover. He reminded me that I am in the process of writing the book Moments of Faith. God was saying to me He Interrupts this Program. Now, it is time for me to respond as David did in Psalm 3. We saw that in How to Deal with Betrayal – Part I. I had to interrupt the second part of the post because God allowed me to experience He Interrupts this Program. In that post, we learned that David contends with the interruption of his program – being king by by reminding himself of who God is::

  • shield
  • glory
  • lifter of his head
  • answerer of his prayers
  • sustainer
  • deliverer
  • blesser

Yesterday, June 7, 2018, I had an He Interrupts this Program moment. My faith was tested. God through His Spirit and Word has reminded me of how I should respond.

13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

How to Deal with Betrayal – Part I

June 7, 2018

We all have experienced some type of betrayal. We know that acts of disloyalty and unfulfilling a trust is to betray some one. Obviously, the most noteworthy example of Jesus’ betrayal of Jesus; however, I submit the first instance of betrayal was in the garden. Adam and Eve had been trusted by God with all that He had provided for them. He was trusted to enjoy that which He had permitted them to and to not partake of that which He told them not to indulge. Even as I type each letter, God is expanding my thoughts on what I first believed He meant for me to write regarding How to Deal with Betrayal – Part I

The impetus for betrayal is selfishness i.e. idolatry. We cannot stop people from being selfish, so the old adage of ‘focus on what I can control’ is particularly true in the matter of being betrayed. Let’s get this straight. YOU WILL BE BETRAYED. As with most abuses, it is usually some one close to you that betrays you. By definition, you cannot be betrayed by some one whom you have not extended a trust. Since that is the case, the question is How to Deal with Betrayal – Part I

We will not get to the answer today, but we will start.

Psalm 3

Lord, how many are my foes!
    How many rise up against me!
Many are saying of me,
    “God will not deliver him.”

But you, Lord, are a shield around me,
    my glory, the One who lifts my head high.
I call out to the Lord,
    and he answers me from his holy mountain.

I lie down and sleep;
    I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.
I will not fear though tens of thousands
    assail me on every side.

Arise, Lord!
    Deliver me, my God!
Strike all my enemies on the jaw;
    break the teeth of the wicked.

From the Lord comes deliverance.
    May your blessing be on your people.

 

In this passage, God captures a small portion of David revealing How to Deal with Betrayal – Part I. In this account, David’s son Absalom is attempting to overthrow him as king. We see the beginning of it when Absalom’s sister, Tamar, is raped by one of his brothers by another mother. Hint: that is one of the causes. Who was selfish to bring about that? Listen, there are so many twists or facets to this story that I could not possibly know them all; however, what is important is to examine what we know.

What do we know? We know that we betray trust and that others betray our trust. How to Deal with Betrayal – Part I

David reveals How to Deal with Betrayal – Part I. In the text today, we see that David appeals to God. He prays. He contends with the popular belief that God would not deliver him by reminding himself of who God is:

  • shield
  • glory
  • lifter of his head
  • answerer of his prayers
  • sustainer
  • deliverer
  • blesser

I am not sure about you, but I am just encouraged remember who God is, who I am to God and His promises to me His child. I am not sure what you are facing today. I am not sure if you feel betrayed. If you do, David helps us to see How to Deal with Betrayal – Part I.

How to Be Blessed

June 6, 2018

In the post Broken or Blessed, the question was posed “Will you be Broken or Blessed? The choice is yours. Take refuge in the LORD God.” Taking refuge in God was one means God communicates to us of How to Be Blessed?

Almost every person who speaks the English language knows what it means to be blessed. Universally, it is something good bestowed upon you. A blessing is given.

For today’s post, the impetus for How to Be Blessed is from Psalm. The word for blessed first appears in Psalm 1:1 is ‘esher (eh’·sher)H835 . It is used 45 times in 42 verses in the Old Testament – 27 blessed and 18 happy. ‘Esher means happiness, blessedness. Where is it is 1.often used as interjection; 2. blessed are.  It is from the root ‘ashar (aw-shar’; or אָשֵׁר ʼâshêr); a primitive root; to be straight (used in the widest sense, especially to be level, right, happy); figuratively, to go forward, be honest, prosper:—(call, be) bless(-ed, happy)

I keep looking for an explanation or definition beyond happy. There is none. We all know that happy is an emotion or feeling that follows a circumstance. It is different from joy which is a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) Joy, while a feeling, is not dependent on circumstances. It is a state of being. Do you want to know How to Be Blessed?

The reference below are in the KJV and from the Blue Letter Bible.

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.
Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.
Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.
Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; andthe people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.
O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.
Blessed is that man that maketh the LORD his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.
[[To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.]] Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the LORD will deliver him in time of trouble.
Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and causest to approach unto thee, that he may dwell in thy courts: we shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, even of thy holy temple.
Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: they will be still praising thee. Selah.
Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee; in whose heart are the ways of them.
O LORD of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee.
Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O LORD, in the light of thy countenance.
Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, O LORD, and teachest him out of thy law;
Blessed are they that keep judgment, and he that doeth righteousness at all times.
Praise ye the LORD. Blessed is the man that feareth the LORD, that delighteth greatly in his commandments.
Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD.
Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and thatseek him with the whole heart.
Blessed is every one that feareth the LORD; that walketh in his ways.
Now therefore hearken unto me, O ye children: for blessed are they that keep my ways.
Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors.
The just man walketh in his integrity: his children are blessed after him.
Blessed art thou, O land, when thy king is the son of nobles, and thy princes eat in due season, for strength, and not for drunkenness!
And therefore will the LORD wait, that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you: for the LORD is a God of judgment: blessed are all they that wait for him.
Blessed are ye that sow beside all waters, that send forth thither the feet of the ox and the ass.
Blessed is the man that doeth this, and the son of man that layeth hold on it; that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and keepeth his hand from doing any evil.
Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days.

Do you want to know How to Be Blessed? Read each of those verses and begin asking God to help you live out what is contained in those verses. At the beginning of Psalm, we see in Psalm 1:1 – Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers. We see in Psalm 2:12 – Blessed are all who take refuge in him. Read each of the verses above. See what God allows to resonate with you then do it to exemplify How to Be Blessed?

Broken or Blessed

May 31, 2018

In many instances in the bible, a broken spirit refers to one who can be blessed by God. Today, broken refers to the condition of those who defy God rather than submitting to God. That is the key to being Broken or Blessed.

How many times have I heard, have seen or have experienced how one postures him/herself against authority determines how that authority responds. In human terms, I was just talking with a group of people this past Sunday about how posturing myself defiantly against my mother resulted in me being broken. She would definitely spank, and I use that term lightly, me. What about an employee, who in defiance, continues to not follow company policy? Think of when a defendant comes defiantly into a courtroom. The judge typically will not administer any leniency in determining the sentence of that defiant defendant.

This is exactly what God the Father and God the Son are saying in our passage today. There are two outcomes based on how you respond to them – Broken or Blessed.  Let’s hear the Word of the Lord.

Psalm 2

Why do the nations conspire
    and the peoples plot in vain?
The kings of the earth rise up
    and the rulers band together
    against the Lord and against his anointed, saying,
“Let us break their chains
    and throw off their shackles.”

The One enthroned in heaven laughs;
    the Lord scoffs at them.
He rebukes them in his anger
    and terrifies them in his wrath, saying,
“I have installed my king
    on Zion, my holy mountain.”

I will proclaim the Lord’s decree:

He said to me, “You are my son;
    today I have become your father.
Ask me,
    and I will make the nations your inheritance,
    the ends of the earth your possession.
You will break them with a rod of iron;
    you will dash them to pieces like pottery.”

10 Therefore, you kings, be wise;
    be warned, you rulers of the earth.
11 Serve the Lord with fear
    and celebrate his rule with trembling.
12 Kiss his son, or he will be angry
    and your way will lead to your destruction,
for his wrath can flare up in a moment.
    Blessed are all who take refuge in him.

What determines if we are Broken or Blessed? God says it is our attitude that leads to our obedience. Those who defy God refusing to TRUST in Him as God, Savior, Sovereign will be broken. The passage speaks of LORD’s Anointed. That is a clear reference to Jesus Christ, the Son (v.7).  Jesus is attributed to having absolute power over all including rulers, authorities, powers of this dark world, spiritual forces of evil and certainly people and nations. The Psalmist reveals that power over them in that they are like clay pots before him who can shatter them with a blow from His iron rod. Again, God is being merciful to show us how crazy and foolish it is for us to defy the Lord God and His Anointed, Jesus.  When you defy them, you will be BROKEN.

On the other hand, the one who submits and surrenders to the Lord God and His Anointed, Jesus will be BLESSED. One will not take refuge (i.e. seek shelter or safety from harm in Him) unless that person TRUSTS in God. God is calling us all to TRUST Him, so we can be blessed.

The contrast couldn’t be any more different. This is the same message that He conveyed in Deuteronomy 30 where He said,

15 See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. 16 For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess.

17 But if your heart turns away and you are not obedient, and if you are drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship them, 18 I declare to you this day that you will certainly be destroyed.

Whether your health, your wealth, your spouse, your child, your parent, your vocation or whatever, the expectation is the same. The LORD God wants you to TRUST and submit unto Him, so you can be BLESSED. It truly is a matter of life and death both literally and figuratively. Will you be Broken or Blessed? The choice is yours. Take refuge in the LORD God.

Kiss the Son

May 30, 2018

This is an interesting time in our country and world. There are a myriad of issues in which people are taking sides. From the Paris Climate Agreement to kneeling during football games, they are the latest issues du jour. Kiss the Son is no different.

What does it mean to Kiss the Son? Let’s read the text.

Psalm 2

Why do the nations conspire
    and the peoples plot in vain?
The kings of the earth rise up
    and the rulers band together
    against the Lord and against his anointed, saying,
“Let us break their chains
    and throw off their shackles.”

The One enthroned in heaven laughs;
    the Lord scoffs at them.
He rebukes them in his anger
    and terrifies them in his wrath, saying,
“I have installed my king
    on Zion, my holy mountain.”

I will proclaim the Lord’s decree:

He said to me, “You are my son;
    today I have become your father.
Ask me,
    and I will make the nations your inheritance,
    the ends of the earth your possession.
You will break them with a rod of iron;
    you will dash them to pieces like pottery.”

10 Therefore, you kings, be wise;
    be warned, you rulers of the earth.
11 Serve the Lord with fear
    and celebrate his rule with trembling.
12 Kiss his son, or he will be angry
    and your way will lead to your destruction,
for his wrath can flare up in a moment.
    Blessed are all who take refuge in him.

There is much being said in this passage. God’s sovereignty is the primary message. God wants us to know that He is in complete control. God was revealing His reconciliation plan way back then. In  Daniel 4:34 , God shows how He rules over all kings. In that verse,

“Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven, and my sanity was restored. Then I praised the Most High; I honored and glorified him who lives forever.

His dominion is an eternal dominion; his kingdom endures from generation to generation.”

Nebuchadnezzar honor God as sovereign, but He does not honor God as the one true sovereign God. In essence, that is what it means to Kiss the Son. It is the recognition that Jehovah is the One True God and that Jesus is His Son. We are to submit to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. That is what it truly means to Kiss the Son.

Have you Kiss the Son? Have you surrendered to the Lord Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior? Do so, for “Blessed are all who take refuge in him.” I have submitted to Jesus. I have surrendered to Jesus. As a result, He promises to be a refuge and a blessed one at that for me. 

The Walk

May 21, 2018

Whether we agree or not, people use the term walk to convey messages about life in a variety of instances. We have all kinds of studies that purport the benefits of walking. We have A Long Walk to Water which is a short novel written by Linda Sue Park. We have Walk This Way which is a song by Aerosmith and remade by RUN DMC. We have Walk to End Alzheimer’s or Walk to End ALS both of which are campaigns to raise awareness and funds to fight those diseases. There are many poems about walking. We have Thomas Hardy’s ‘The Walk’ where he contrasts the days ‘of late’ with the ‘earlier days’ he spent with his wife Emma: late in life, she was ‘weak and lame’ and so couldn’t accompany him on his walks, as she had when she was younger. The Walk

A walk is a direction, a path, a course to take. I submit the most important person and ideology to subscribe to is God Almighty. I think it is very interesting and not coincidental that the very first Psalm 1 is about walking. The Walk

Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners,
Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
He shall be like a tree
Planted by the rivers of water,
That brings forth its fruit in its season,
Whose leaf also shall not wither;
And whatever he does shall prosper.

The ungodly are not so,
But are like the chaff which the wind drives away.
Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment,
Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.

For the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
But the way of the ungodly shall perish.

In this work of art and authoritative writing, God conveys to us the importance of how to live our lives, The Walk if you will. Like with Thomas Hardy, a contrast is provided in this Psalm. The righteous and the wicked are contrasted in how they respond to the Word of God i.e. the way we should walk or the way we should live. In Psalm 1, the reader’s attitude toward the law of God has to be considered. The righteous person loves and studies the Word of God while the wicked person hates it. God is credited with knowing the difference between the two people. He aligns and helps him who walks with Him.

The Hebrew word for walk in this passage is halak (hä·lak’). It is to go, walk, come, depart, proceed, move, go away. God is calling us all to decide which way will we walk, come, depart, proceed, move or go away from. The Psalmist makes it clear that The Walk has only one path – the one in which the righteous person of God values and adheres to the way of God while the wicked despises God’s Word and does not abide by it. The Walk.

Where are you? What does The Walk mean to you? Are you on your own path or are you following the path that God has set for man? Don’t live live like Philippe Petit’s walk between the Twin Towers where he performed daring feats that dazzled crowds. Do not risk the fall where you will perish. Hear and heed God’s warning about following your own path – the way of the ungodly shall perish.

TRUTH: God, Our Refuge & Strength II

May 18, 2018

Psalm 46  tells us that God is Our Refuge & Strength. Remember that a refuge is is defined as a shelter 1. from rain or storm, from danger; 2. of falsehood. We saw that in the previous post TRUTH: God, Our Refuge & Strength.

Today, our focus is on strength. The state of being strong mentally, morally, emotionally, spiritually and the like. In many circles, it is having power which is the ability to do or act or the capability of doing or accomplishing something. We all have been in life’s storms i.e. a circumstance that saps all of our strength. We are not able to move as we are paralyzed by some part of that circumstance. We cannot act. We are not capable. What do we do when we don’t have the strength to respond? The Word of God is clear that we are to rely on God who is our strength. In Exodus 15, Moses and Israel sing of deliverance and hope as a means to gain strength from their bondage. David’s successful recovery of the Ark of the Covenant in 1 Chronicles 15-16. Isaiah’s example that God uses us in salvation of the elect in Isaiah 49:5-6TRUTH: God, Our Refuge & Strength II

Psalm 46

God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear,
Even though the earth be removed,
And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
Though its waters roar and be troubled,
Though the mountains shake with its swelling. Selah  (NKJV)

God is our strength!

The Hebrew word used for strength in Psalm 46:1 is`oz (ōze) which means might, strength

  1. material or physical

  2. personal or social or political

In practical terms oz (ōze) strength in various applications (force, security, majesty, praise):—boldness, loud, might, power, strength, strong. That word for strength is used 60 times in the Old Testament. Of God, strength is seen in Him in a couple of verses (NKJV):

Job 12:16 – With Him are strength and prudence. The deceived and the deceiver are His. 
Job 26:2 – “How have you helped him who is without power? How have you saved the arm that has no strength?

In regards to man, we see scripture reveals that is God who strengthens man to face life’s storms. (NKJV)

Psalm 29:11– The Lord will give strength to His people; The Lord will bless His people with peace.
Psalm 28:8 – The Lord is their strength, And He is the saving refuge of His anointed.
Psalm 68:35 – O God, You are more awesome than Your holy places. The God of Israel is He who gives strength and power to His people. Blessed be God!
Psalm 119:28My soul melts from heaviness; Strengthen me according to Your word.
Isaiah 40:29 – He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength.
Proverbs 24:5 – A wise man is strong, Yes, a man of knowledge increases strength;
Genesis 18:14 – Is anything too hard for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.”

The victory belongs to God and to those whom He strengthens. TRUTH: God, Our Refuge & Strength II. Is God your strength? Do you rely on Him for power, might and strength? Do you inquire of God when you cannot act, when you are not capable? God is calling all who call Him God, ‘elohiym, in our stormsWhere I live, the forecast for today is rife with thunderstorms. I am choosing to call on the Lord to be my strength.

 

TRUTH: God, Our Refuge & Strength

May 17, 2018

Let’s face it, there will be storms in life both literal and figurative. There were flash floods where I live yesterday. There is four more day of rain predicted. Just last week, there were tornadoes in other parts of the U.S. It has not been so long ago that Hurricane Harvey struck some Caribbean Islands and Florida. During those storms, there is always a call to seek refuge from the dangers of the storm. Invariably, there are those who do not heed the call to seek refuge from the dangers of the storm. TRUTH: God, Our Refuge & Strength

What is a refuge? Dictionary.com defines refuge as a place of shelter, protection, safety, relief or escape. In the Old Testament, there are several words used for refuge, but the one most closely aligned with a place of shelter from a storm is machaceh (makh·as·eh’). It is defined as a shelter 1. from rain or storm, from danger; 2. of falsehood. TRUTH: God, Our Refuge & Strength

Psalm 46  is perhaps the most recognized verse where machaceh is used for refuge.

God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear,
Even though the earth be removed,
And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
Though its waters roar and be troubled,
Though the mountains shake with its swelling. Selah  (NKJV)

Our connotes possession or ownership or at least a belongingness. In regards to belongingness, Psalm 46 is regularly related to or compared with Psalm. 487684; and 87, all of which are called “Zion Songs.” Furthermore, Psalm 46 is considered to be the impetus behind Martin Luther writing the well-known hymn, “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God.” For me, it reminds me of Proverbs 18:10 which says, “The name of the Lord is a strong tower; The righteous run to it and are safe.” A refuge is a place of shelter. TRUTH: God, Our Refuge & Strength

For me, Psalm 46 has been a source of meditation over the past few days. I am not sure what may be coming my way, but God is telling me who will help me and how I will be helped in the storm. It is God, ‘elohiymthat is my refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. God, ‘elohiymis used at a minimum 2,203 times and as many as 2,600 times in the bible. Debate about the meaning exists; however, it is accepted that Elohim in the Septuagint: theos – the standard Greek word for god, “a transcendent being who exercises extraordinary control in human affairs or is responsible for bestowal of unusual benefits” (BDAG). It specifically refers to the monotheistic God of Israel. Don’t we want to know and believe that God is in control, that God is sovereign even in the most trying and hurtful circumstances?

Often, people express alarms and helplessness because of they experience circumstances that far exceed their ability or power to contend with them. A tornado, hurricane or any life storm. God is telling us the TRUTH: God, Our Refuge & Strength. Let’s call, depend, and rely on God, ‘elohiymin our storms. Father, help us to remember to trust in you when our backs are against the wall and hope seems to have disappeared. Let us remember “The name of the Lord is a strong tower; The righteous run to it and are safe.”