The Earth: Why it is the LORD’S

The earth is the LORD’S, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. For He has founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods.”  Psalm 24:1-2 (KJV)

Adamkind, and that is all of us of the human race, have since sin came into the world became really tight fisted.  We want what we want, and we want it now, and we want it forever.  We grow into the mentality that this world and everything in it is ours.  The Bible has good news for us… It belongs to our Creator; the Creator of all that is… all that exists in this universe.

Let me share with you what the Treasury of David, written by C. H. Spurgeon says of verse two…

In the second verse we have the reason why the world belongs to God: namely, because he has created it, which is a title beyond all dispute. “For he hath founded it upon the seas.” It is God who lifts up the earth from out of the sea, so that the dry land, which otherwise might in a moment be submerged, as in the days of Noah, is kept from the floods. The hungry jaws of ocean would devour the dry land if a constant fiat of Omnipotence did not protect it. “He hath established it upon the floods.” The world is Jehovah’s, because from generation to generation he preserves and upholds it, having settled its foundations. Providence and Creation are the two legal seals upon the title-deeds of the great Owner of all things. He who built the house and bears up its foundation has surely a first claim upon it. Let it be noted, however, upon what insecure foundations all terrestrial things are founded. Founded on the seas! Established on the floods! Blessed be God the Christian has another world to look forward to, and rests his hopes upon a more stable foundation than this poor world affords. They who trust in worldly things build upon the sea; but we have laid our hopes, by God’s grace, upon the Rock of Ages; we are resting upon the promise of an immutable God, we are depending upon the constancy of a faithful Redeemer. Oh! ye worldlings, who have built your castles of confidence, your palaces of wealth, and your bowers of pleasure upon the seas, and established them upon the floods; how soon will your baseless fabrics melt, like foam upon the waters! Sand is treacherous enough, but what shall be said of the yet more unstable seas?

That same Creator has given life, gives life, and will continue to give life to all who live on earth.  He will give eternal life to all who will believe Him and receive Him through Jesus Christ His Son and His death, burial, and bodily resurrection.  It is all His.

Glory into Shame

“O you sons of men, how long will you turn my glory into shame? How long will you love vanity, and seek after leasing? Selah.” Psalm 4:2 (KJV)

The following is from The Treasury of David by Charles H. Spurgeon…

“In this second division of the Psalm, we are led from the closet of prayer into the field of conflict. Remark the undaunted courage of the man of God. He allows that his enemies are great men (for such is the import of the Hebrew words translated – sons of men), but still he believes them to be foolish men, and therefore chides them, as though they were but children. He tells them that they love vanity, and seek after leasing, that is, lying, empty fancies, vain conceits, wicked fabrications. He asks them how long they mean to make his honour a jest, and his fame a mockery? A little of such mirth is too much, why need they continue to indulge in it? Had they not been long enough upon the watch for his halting? Had not repeated disappointments convinced them that the Lord’s anointed was not to be overcome by all their calumnies? Did they mean to jest their souls into hell, and go on with their laughter until swift vengeance should turn their merriment into howling? In the contemplation of their perverse continuance in their vain and lying pursuits, the Psalmist solemnly pauses and inserts a Selah. Surely we too may stop awhile, and meditate upon the deep-seated folly of the wicked, their continuance in evil, and their sure destruction; and we may learn to admire that grace which has made us to differ, and taught us to love truth, and seek after righteousness.”

Something for us to keep in mind as we look at two of Psalm 4 is that the “sons of men” of whom David refers are sons of the enemy of David and of God.  It is these sons who turn the glory of David into shame.  We must also remember that David is the character of Scripture of whom God said, “The LORD has sought for Himself a man after His own heart” 1 Samuel 13:4, and Acts 13:22.

These sons of men seek their own welfare and glory, not the King’s neither the King of kings.  When I get to the word “Selah” of the Psalms or anywhere in Scripture, I see it as a chance to pause and meditate on what has just been said.

Jesus Christ is the King of kings. He came unto men through King David.  Let us rejoice in our King Jesus who came to earth to die on the cross, was buried, and He rose again.  One day He is returning as the Sovereign that He is promised to be.  O will you be ready for Him?

Praising GOD

“Praise ye the LORD. Praise God in His sanctuary: praise Him in the firmament of His power.” Psalm 150:1 (KJV)

One thing a Christian can learn from reading the Psalms, and especially those that express “Praise ye the LORD”; is that we are to “Praise the LORD”.

It does not matter the time, the place, life’s situation or circumstances; the child of God is to praise the LORD.  Why?  Because He is worthy.  That is reason enough.

Let me have Charles H. Spurgeon give you his words concerning Psalm 150:1;

“Praise ye the Lord.” Hallelujah! The exhortation is to all things in earth or in heaven. Should they not all declare the glory of him for whose glory they are, and were created? Jehovah, the one God, should be the one object of adoration. To give the least particle of his honour to another is shameful treason; to refuse to render it to him is heartless robbery. “Praise God in his sanctuary.” Praise El, or the strong one, in his holy place. See how power is mentioned with holiness in this change of names. Praise begins at home. “In God’s own house pronounce his praise.” The holy place should be filled with praise, even as of old the high-priest filled the sanctum sanctorum with the smoke of sweet-smelling incense. In his church below and in his courts above hallelujahs should be continually presented. In the person of Jesus God finds a holy dwelling or sanctuary, and there he is greatly to be praised. He may also be said to dwell in holiness, for all his ways are right and good; for this we ought to extol him with heart and with voice. Whenever we assemble for holy purposes our main work should be to present praises unto the Lord our God. “Praise him in the firmament of his power.” It is a blessed thing that in our God holiness and power are united. Power without righteousness would be oppression, and righteousness without power would be too weak for usefulness; but put the two together in an infinite degree and we have God. What an expanse we have in the boundless firmament of divine power! Let it all be filled with praise. Let the heavens, so great and strong, echo with the praise of the thrice holy Jehovah, while the sanctuaries of earth magnify the Almighty One.
from the TREASURY OF DAVID, e-Sword edition

We ought always Praise the LORD; for He is worthy of praise, worship, and adoration.

Unmovable

“They that trust in the LORD shall be as Mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but abideth for ever.” Psalm 125:1 (KJV)

I will let Charles Spurgeon do the commentary on this verse:

“They that trust in the Lord shall be as mount Zion.” The emphasis lies upon the object of their trust, namely, Jehovah the Lord. What a privilege to be allowed to repose in God! How condescending is Jehovah to become the confidence of his people! To trust elsewhere is vanity; and the more implicit such misplaced trust becomes the more bitter will be the ensuing disappointment; but to trust in the living God is sanctified common sense which needs no excuse, its result shall be its best vindication. There is no conceivable reason why we should not trust in Jehovah, and there is every possible argument for so doing; but, apart from all argument, the end will prove the wisdom of the confidence. The result of faith is not occasional and accidental; its blessing comes, not to some who trust, but to all who trust in the Lord. Trusters in Jehovah shall be as fixed, firm, and stable as the mount where David dwelt; and where the ark abode. To move mount Zion was impossible, the mere supposition was absurd. “Which cannot be removed, but abideth for ever.” Zion was the image of eternal steadfastness, – this hill which, according to the Hebrew, “sits to eternity,” neither bowing down nor moving to and fro. Thus doth the trusting worshipper of Jehovah enjoy a restfulness which is the mirror of tranquillity; and this not without cause, for his hope is sure, and of his confidence he can never be ashamed. As the Lord sitteth King for ever, so do his people sit enthroned in perfect peace when their trust in him is firm. This is, and is to be our portion; we are, we have been, we shall be as steadfast as the hill of God. Zion cannot be removed, and does not remove; so the people of God can neither be moved passively nor actively, by force from without or fickleness from within. Faith in God is a settling and establishing virtue; he who by his strength setteth fast the mountains, by that same power stays the hearts of them that trust in him. This steadfastness will endure “for ever,” and we may be assured therefore that no believer shall perish either in life or in death, in time or in eternity. We trust in an eternal God, and our safety shall be eternal.
From the TREASURY OF DAVID e-Sword edition

Put your trust in the Immutable, unmoving, unchanging GOD through His Son Jesus Christ.

At My Right Hand

“The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at My right hand, until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool.” Psalm 110:1 (KJV)

What a scene the Psalmist is seeing in heaven between the Father and the Son.  David has a great interest in this Second Person; he calls, “my Lord”.  As should all who have an interest in spiritual matters.

Of this verse C. H. Spurgeon can say it much better than myself.  Here are his words on this verse;

“The Lord said unto my Lord” – Jehovah said unto my Adonai: David in spirit heard the solemn voice of Jehovah speaking to the Messiah from of old. What wonderful intercourse there has been between the Father and the Son! From this secret and intimate communion spring the covenant of grace and all its marvellous arrangements. All the great acts of grace are brought into actual being by the word of God; had he not spoken, there had been no manifestation of Deity to us; but in the beginning was the Word, and from of old there was mysterious fellowship between the Father and his Son Jesus Christ concerning his people and the great contest on their behalf between himself and the powers of evil. How condescending on Jehovah’s part to permit a mortal ear to hear, and a human pen to record his secret converse with his co-equal Son! How greatly should we prize the revelation of his private and solemn discourse with the Son, herein made public for the refreshing of his people! “Lord, what is man that thou shouldst thus impart thy secrets unto him.”
Though David was a firm believer in the Unity of the Godhead, he yet spiritually discerns the two persons, distinguishes between them, and perceives that in the second he has a peculiar interest, for he calls him “my Lord.” This was an anticipation of the exclamation of Thomas, “My Lord and my God,” and it expresses the Psalmist’s reverence, his obedience, his believing appropriation, and his joy in Christ. It is well to have clear views of the mutual relations of the persons of the blessed Trinity; indeed, the knowledge of these truths is essential for our comfort and growth in grace. There is a manifest distinction in the divine persons, since one speaks to another; yet the Godhead is one.
“Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies they footstool.” Away from the shame and suffering of his earthly life, Jehovah calls the Adonai, our Lord, to the repose and honours of his celestial seat. His work is done, and he may sit; it is well done, and he may sit at his right hand; it will have grand results, and he may therefore quietly wait to see the complete victory which is certain to follow. The glorious Jehovah thus addresses the Christ as our Saviour; for, says David, he said “unto my Lord.” Jesus is placed in the seat of power, dominion, and dignity, and is to sit there by divine appointment while Jehovah fights for him, and lays every rebel beneath his feet. He sits there by the Father’s ordinance and call, and will sit there despite all the raging of his adversaries, till they are all brought to utter shame by his putting his foot upon their necks. In this sitting he is our representative. The mediatorial kingdom will last until the last enemy shall be destroyed, and then, according to the inspired word, “cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God even the Father.” The work of subduing the nations is now in the hand of the great God, who by his Providence will accomplish it to the glory of his Son; his word is pledged to it, and the session of his Son at his right hand is the guarantee thereof; therefore let us never fear as to the future. While we see our Lord and representative sitting in quiet expectancy, we, too, may sit in the attitude of peaceful assurance, and with confidence await the grand outcome of all events. As surely as Jehovah liveth Jesus must reign, yea, even now he is reigning, though all his enemies are not yet subdued. During the present interval, through which we wait for his glorious appearing and visible millennial kingdom, he is in the place of power, and his dominion is in no jeopardy, or otherwise he would not remain quiescent. He sits because all is safe, and he sits at Jehovah’s right hand because omnipotence waits to accomplish his will. Therefore there is no cause for alarm whatever may happen in this lower world; the sight of Jesus enthroned in divine glory is the sure guarantee that all things are moving onward towards ultimate victory. Those rebels who now stand high in power shall soon be in the place of contempt, they shall be his footstool. He shall with ease rule them, he shall sit and put his foot on them; not rising to tread them down as when a man puts forth force to subdue powerful foes, but retaining the attitude of rest, and still ruling them as abject vassals who have no longer spirit to rebel, but have become thoroughly tamed and subdued.

For further study consider Matthew 22:42-44;  Acts 2:33;  Hebrews 7:4;  2 Peter 1:17.

Save Me

“Save me, O God; for the waters are come in unto my soul.” Psalm 69:1 (KJV)

As Peter stepped out of the boat, in a storm, to walk on the water to Jesus; he began to sink.  His words as he was going down were “Lord, save me” (Matthew 14:30).  Have you ever cried out to Him, “Lord, save me”?

I never make a secret of the fact that I enjoy reading the preachers of old.  Many of them like Spurgeon, Edwards, Gill, Henry, and Wesley are ones that I am blessed in reading.  Most of the time I post the commentary of Spurgeon; and I do so today from The Treasury of David.

“Save me, O God.” “He saved others, himself he cannot save.” With strong cryings and tears he offered up prayers and supplications unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared (Heb_5:7). Thus David had prayed, and here his Son and Lord utters the same cry. This is the second Psalm which begins with a “Save me, O God,” and the former (Psa_54:1-7) is but a short summary of this more lengthened complaint. It is remarkable that such a scene of woe should be presented to us immediately after the jubilant ascension hymn of the last Psalm, but this only shows how interwoven are the glories and the sorrows of our ever-blessed Redeemer. The head which now is crowned with glory is the same which wore the thorns; he to whom we pray, “Save us, O God,” is the selfsame person who cried, “Save me, O God.” “For the waters are come in unto my soul.” Sorrows, deep, abounding, deadly, had penetrated his inner nature. Bodily anguish is not his first complaint; he begins not with the gall which embittered his lips, but with the mighty griefs which broke into his heart. All the sea outside a vessel is less to be feared than that which finds its way into the hold. A wounded spirit who can bear. Our Lord in this verse is seen before us as a Jonah, crying, “The waters compassed me about, even to the soul.” He was doing business for us on the great waters, at his Father’s command; the stormy wind was lifting up the waves thereof, and he went down to the depths till his soul was melted because of trouble. In all this he has sympathy with us, and is able to succour us when we, like Peter, beginning to sink, cry to him, “Lord, save, or we perish.”
from THE TREASURY OF DAVID

Jesus is our salvation.  When have you cried to Him for eternal salvation?  If you have not, then, do so now.

Praising the LORD

“Praise waiteth for Thee, O God, in Sion: and unto Thee shall the vow be performed.” Psalm 65:1 (KJV)

David was a man who was continually praising God; the three in one.  He is due the praise of His people.  He is worthy of the praise of the whole Universe; and all praise is due Him.

There is a proper place of praise, and that is before His throne.  He has made it possible for sinful man to approach His throne, and that is through the atoning death of Jesus Christ His holy, and blessed Son.  We can continually be before His throne.  We approach His throne through Christ being cleansed, forgiven, made whole through Him.

Of this Psalm “Praise waiteth for Thee, O God, in Sion…” Spurgeon has written,

Praise waiteth for thee, O God, in Sion.” Though Babylon adores Antichrist, Zion remains faithful to her King; to him, and to him only, she brings her perpetual oblation of worship. Those who have seen in Zion the blood of sprinkling, and know themselves to belong to the church of the firstborn, can never think of her without presenting humble praise to Zion’s God; his mercies are too numerous and precious to be forgotten. The praises of the saints wait for a signal from the divine Lord, and when he shows his face they burst forth at once. Like a company of musicians gathered to welcome and honour a prince, who wait till he makes his appearance, so do we reserve our best praises till the Lord reveals himself in the assembly of his saints; and, indeed, till he shall descend from heaven in the day of his appearing. Praise also waits like a servant or courtier in the royal halls – gratitude is humble and obedient. Praise attends the Lord’s pleasure, and continues to bless him, whether he shows tokens of present favour or no; she is not soon wearied, but all through the night she sings on in sure hope that the morning cometh.

THE TREASURY OF DAVID

Praising the LORD God is recognizing, knowing who He is, and blessing Him with words, acts of faith, and our lives.  Recognize who He is today.  Praise Him.

You owe Him praise.  No matter who you are; all praise is due Him.

To GOD for Deliverance

“Deliver me from mine enemies, O my God: defend me from them that rise up against me.” Psalm 59:1 (KJV)

Oh that I had a heart like that of David.  David often; as we read in the Psalms; would go to God when he found himself in peril.  I try too often to deliver myself, and that is usually to my own peril until I plead for God’s help, God’s deliverance.

Here are Spurgeon’s words on this verse,

“Deliver me from mine enemies, O my God.” They were all round the house with the warrant of authority, and a force equal to the carrying of it out. He was to be taken dead or alive, well or ill, and carried to the slaughter. No prowess could avail him to break the cordon of armed men, neither could any eloquence stay the hand of his bloody persecutor. He was taken like a bird in a net, and no friend was near to set him free. Unlike the famous starling, he did not cry, “I can’t get out,” but his faith uttered quite another note. Unbelief would have suggested that prayer was a waste of breath, but not so thought the good man, for he makes it his sole resort. He cries for deliverance and leaves ways and means with his God. “Defend me from them that rise up against me.” Saul was a king, and therefore sat in high places, and used all his authority to crush David; the persecuted one therefore beseeches the Lord to set him on high also, only in another sense. He asks to be lifted up, as into a lofty tower, beyond the reach of his adversary. Note how he sets the title “My God,” over against the word “mine enemies.” This is the right method of effectually catching and quenching the fiery darts of the enemy upon the shield of faith. God is our God, and therefore deliverance and defence are ours.

from THE TREASURY OF DAVID

Do you find yourself in a world of hurt, pain, despair, doubt, fear, anguish?  Your only help that will give you peace, and comfort is found in the One who made you from the dust of the earth.  He may not end the trouble or trial; but He will give you peace through it.

Be Merciful Unto Me…

“Be merciful unto me, O God: for man would swallow me up; he fighting daily oppresseth me.” Psalm 56:1 (KJV)

O how I need mercy.  I pray that I am just as merciful as much as I need it; for I need it greatly.  The world needs mercy.  We need God’s mercy.  Being gracious; having pity upon another is the meaning of mercy.

Of this verse Spurgeon has written,

“Be merciful unto me, O God.” In my deep distress my soul turns to thee, my God. Man has no mercy on me, therefore double thy mercy to me. If thy justice has let loose my enemies, let thy mercy shorten their chain. It Is sweet to see how the tender dove-like spirit of the Psalmist flies to the tenderest attribute for succour in the hour of peril. “For man would swallow me up.” He is but thy creature, a mere man, yet like a monster he is eager for blood, he pants, he gapes for me; he would not merely wound me, or feed on my substance, but he would fain swallow me altogether, and so make an end of me. The open mouths of sinners when they rage against us should open our months in prayer. We may plead the cruelty of men as a reason for the divine interposition – a father is soon aroused when his children are shamefully entreated. “He fighting daily oppresseth me.” He gives me no interval – he fights daily. He is successful in his unrighteous war – he oppresses me, he crushes me, he presses me sore. David has his eye on the leader of his foes, and lays his plaint against him in the right place. If we may thus plead against man, much more against that great enemy of souls, the devil. We ask the Lord to forgive us our trespasses, which is another way of saying, “Be merciful unto me, O God,” and then we say, “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” The more violent the attack of Satan the stronger our plea for deliverance.

From THE TREASURY OF DAVID by C. H. Spurgeon

Are you feeling desperate, down hearted, discouraged, or hated by others? Plead for God’s mercy.  He will give it.  Even David the king of Israel asked for mercy.  The mercy of God is given to us everyday; even though many do not realize it.  Believe it and receive it.

God’s Name and Power

“Save me, O God, by Thy name, and judge me by Thy strength.” Psalm 54:1 (KJV)

When we read the Bible we find many times where the characters of scripture cry out for salvation.  Many times that means deliverance from a present condition; as is with David’s case in the above verse.  It can carry with it an eternal meaning, and teach us that in every area of life we need God’s help.

On this verse Spurgeon has noted,

“Save me, O God.” Thou art my Saviour; all around me are my foes and their eager helpers. No shelter is permitted me. Every land rejects me and denies me rest. But thou, O God, wilt give me refuge, and deliver me from all my enemies. “By thy name,” by thy great and glorious nature. Employ all thine attributes for me. Let every one of the perfections which are blended in thy divine name work for me. Is not thine honour pledged for my defence? “And judge me by thy strength.” Render justice to me, for none else will or can. Thou canst give me efficient justice, and right my wrongs by thine omnipotence. We dare not appeal to God in a bad cause, but when we know that we can fearlessly carry our cause before his justice we may well commit it to his power.
From C. H. Spurgeon’s THE TREASURY OF DAVID

If we find ourselves harvesting a crop from evil seeds we should not expect God’s deliverance.  We do reap what we sow; both good and bad.  There is, however, forgiveness for every sin.

The True and Just Judge

Judge me, O God, and plead my cause against an ungodly nation: O deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man.  Psalm 43:1 (KJV)

On this verse I will let Charles H. Spurgeon do the commentary.  O how we as followers of Christ Jesus need to trust God’s judgment of us, and plead His grace and mercy, and then trust it.  We also must needs trust His judgment upon others.

“Judge me, O God.” Others are unable to understand my motives, and unwilling to give me a just verdict. My heart is clear as to its intent, and therefore I bring my case before thee, content that thou wilt impartially weigh my character, and right my wrongs. If thou wilt judge, thy acceptance of my conduct will be enough for me; I can laugh at human misrepresentation if my conscience knows that thou art on my side; thou art the only one I care for; and besides, thy verdict will not sleep, but thou wilt see practical justice done to thy slandered servant. “And plead my cause against an ungodly nation.” One such advocate as the Lord will more than suffice to answer a nation of brawling accusers. When people are ungodly no wonder that they are unjust: those who are not true to God himself cannot be expected to deal rightly with his people. Hating the King they will not love his subjects. Popular opinion weighs with many, but divine opinion is far more weighty with the gracious few. One good word from God outweighs ten thousand railing speeches of men. He bears a brazen shield before him whose reliance in all things is upon his God; the arrows of calumny fall harmlessly from such a buckler. “O deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man.” Deceit and injustice are boon companions: he who fawns will not fear to slander. From two such devils none can deliver us but God. His wisdom can outwit the craft of the vilest serpent, and his power can overmatch the most raging lion. Whether this was Doeg or Ahithophel is small matter, such double distilled villains are plentiful, and the only way of dealing with them is to refer the matter to the righteous Judge of all; if we try to fight them with their own weapons, we shall suffer more serious injury from ourselves than from them. O child of God, leave these thine enemies in better hands, remembering that vengeance belongeth not to thee, but to the Lord. Turn to him in prayer, crying, “O deliver me,” and ere long you shall publish abroad the remembrance of his salvation.
TREASURY OF DAVID e-Sword edition

No Fret, nor Envy

“Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.” Psalm 37:1 (KJV)

For short commentary on this verse I will turn to Charles H. Spurgeon this morning:

The Psalm opens with the first precept. It is alas! too common for believers in their hours of adversity to think themselves harshly dealt with when they see persons utterly destitute of religion and honesty, rejoicing in abundant prosperity. Much needed is the command, “Fret not thyself because of evildoers.” To fret is to worry, to have the heart-burn, to fume, to become vexed. Nature is very apt to kindle a fire of jealousy when it sees law-breakers riding on horses, and obedient subjects walking in the mire: it is a lesson learned only in the school of grace, when one comes to view the most paradoxical providences with the devout complacency of one who is sure that the Lord is righteous in all his acts. It seems hard to carnal judgments that the best meat should go to the dogs, while loving children pine for want of it. “Neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.” The same advice under another shape. When one is poor, despised, and in deep trial, our old Adam naturally becomes envious of the rich and great; and when we are conscious that we have been more righteous than they, the devil is sure to be at hand with blasphemous reasonings. Stormy weather may curdle even the cream of humanity. Evil men instead of being envied, are to be viewed with horror and aversion; yet their loaded tables, and gilded trappings, are too apt to fascinate our poor haft-opened eyes. Who envies the fat bullock the ribbons and garlands which decorate him as he is led to the shambles? Yet the case is a parallel one; for ungodly rich men are but as beasts fattened for the slaughter.

From The Treasury of David.

Evil people will fail in all their doings.  Their eternity will be loss.  What is there to envy?

The only hope for all people; no matter their religion or lot in life is Jesus Christ.  He died to pay our sin debt, was buried, and bodily arose again, and forever lives, and will one day soon return in all His glory.

Giving Unto the LORD

“Give unto the LORD, O ye mighty, give unto the LORD glory and strength.” Psalm 29:1 (KJV)

Today I will let only C. H. Spurgeon from THE TREASURY OF DAVID speak on this verse…

“Give,” i.e., ascribe. Neither men nor angels can confer anything upon Jehovah, but they should recognise his glory and might, and ascribe it to him in their songs and in their hearts. “Unto the Lord,” and unto him alone, must honour be given. Natural causes, as men call them, are God in action, and we must not ascribe power to them, but to the infinite Invisible who is the true source of all. “O ye mighty.” Ye great ones of earth and of heaven, kings and angels, join in rendering worship to the blessed and only Potentate; ye lords among men need thus to be reminded, for ye often fail where humbler men are ardent; but fail no longer, bow your heads at once, and loyally do homage to the King of kings. How frequently do grandees and potentates think it beneath them to fear the Lord; but, when they have been led to extol Jehovah, their piety has been the greatest jewel in their crowns. “Give unto the Lord glory and strength,” both of which men are too apt to claim for themselves, although they are the exclusive prerogatives of the self-existent God. Let crowns and swords acknowledge their dependence upon God. Not to your arms, O kings, give ye the glory, nor look for strength to your host of warriors, for all your pomp is but as a fading flower, and your might is as a shadow which declineth. When shall the day arrive when kings and princes shall count it their delight to glorify their God? “All worship be to God only,” let this be emblazoned on every coat of arms.

Go to the One and Only

“Unto Thee, O LORD, do I lift up my soul.” Psalm 25:1

The Psalmist knew to whom he would go in prayer.  He knew the LORD would accept only his whole being.  Lifted hands, and adoring hearts are great in worship, but only if you are giving the soul of your being in that worship as well.

Charles Haddon Spurgeon, of this verse, wrote in THE TREASURY OF DAVID,

“Unto thee, O Lord.” – See how the holy soul flies to its God like a dove to its cote. When the storm-winds are out, the Lord’s vessels put about and make for their well-remembered harbour of refuge. What a mercy that the Lord will condescend to hear our cries in time of trouble, although we may have almost forgotten him in our hours of fancied prosperity. “Unto thee, O Jehovah, do I lift up my soul.” It is but mockery to uplift the hands and the eyes unless we also bring our souls into our devotions. True prayer may be described as the soul rising from earth to have fellowship with heaven; it is taking a journey upon Jacob’s ladder, leaving our cares and fears at the foot, and meeting with a covenant God at the top. Very often the soul cannot rise, she has lost her wings, and is heavy and earth-bound; more like a burrowing mole than a soaring eagle. At such dull seasons we must not give over prayer, but must, by God’s assistance, exert all our power to lift up our hearts. Let faith be the lever and grace be the arm, and the dead lump will yet be stirred. But what a lift it has sometimes proved! With all our tugging and straining we have been utterly defeated, until the heavenly loadstone of our Saviour’s love has displayed its omnipotent attractions, and then our hearts have gone up to our Beloved like mounting flames of fire.

From e-Sword edition

Come to the LORD.  He has made the way, and that way is the way of the cross of Jesus Christ.  There and there alone can you worship the One and only GOD.

The LORD My Strength

“I will love thee, O LORD, my strength.” Psalm 18:1 (KJV)

For us to love GOD is the desire of His heart, and should be the desire of our heart.  The first four of the Ten Commandments have to do with our loving Him.  Yet true love for God cannot be legislated it must come from the heart.

David loved the LORD.  It was due to God’s love for David.  That is why we love God.  He first loved us.

The title of this song is given as,

To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David, the servant of the LORD, who spake unto the LORD the words of this song in the day that the LORD delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul: And he said,

We too have been delivered from our enemy; that is sin and death; through the death, burial and bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ God’s holy Son.

Charles Spurgeon’s commentary in THE TREASURY OF DAVID of this verse,

“I will love thee, O Lord.” With strong, hearty affection will I cling to thee; as a child to its parent, or a spouse to her husband. The word is intensely forcible, the love is of the deepest kind. “I will love heartily, with my inmost bowels.” Here is a fixed resolution to abide in the nearest and most intimate union with the Most High. Our triune God deserves the warmest love of all our hearts. Father, Son and Spirit have each a claim upon our love. The solemn purpose never to cease loving naturally springs from present fervour of affection. It is wrong to make rash resolutions, but this when made in the strength of God is most wise and fitting. “My strength.” Our God is the strength of our life, our graces, our works, our hopes, our conflicts, our victories. This verse is not found in 1 Sam 22, and is a most precious addition, placed above all and after all to form the pinnacle of the temple, the apex of the pyramid. Love is still the crowning grace.

Remember that we can only love God because He first loved us (1 John 4:19).  He loved us even when we were yet His enemies, and sent His Son to be our payment for our sin.  Now love God.

Help, LORD

“Help, LORD; for the godly man ceaseth; for the faithful fail from among the children of men.” Psalm 12:1 (KJV)

Help.  A cry for some aid from someone.  Some times anyone will do.  For the Psalmist the cry is made to the LORD – to Jehovah – “Help, LORD”.  Such a simple prayer; a simple request.  O how we need to realize we need His help.

The need David had was that he saw godly men passing away.  Godliness among people was ceasing.  I believe we can see that in our culture, in society today.  I endeavor to be a godly man.  I know other men who endeavor to be godly.

It seems that evil is taking over.  Oh, how we need to plea for godly men and women to rise up, be faithful, and yield to the leadership of the Spirit of God and His Word.

Let me close with words from THE TREASURY OF DAVID,

“For the godly man ceaseth;” the death, departure, or decline of godly men should be a trumpet-call for more prayer, They say that fish smell first at the head, and when godly men decay, the whole commonwealth will soon go rotten. We must not, however, be rash in our judgment on this point, for Elijah erred in counting himself the only servant of God alive, when there were thousands whom the Lord held in reserve. The present times always appear to be peculiarly dangerous, because they are nearest to our anxious gaze, and whatever evils are rife are sure to be observed, while the faults of past ages are further off, and are more easily overlooked. Yet we expect that in the latter days, “because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold,” and then we must the more thoroughly turn from man, and address ourselves to the Churches’ Lord, by whose help the gates of hell shall be kept from prevailing against us.

Let the people of God rise up, and live godly through the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Being godly is being different from the world in which we live.  Different in our dress, our speech, our actions, all of life.

Gethsemane

It has been some time since I posted anything.  I received this today by email from Bible Gateway, and thought I would share it with you.  It is from a sermon preached by Charles H. Spurgeon February 08, 1863.

Gethsemane

‘And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.’ Luke 22:44

Suggested Further Reading: Mark 14:32–42

Behold the Saviour’s unutterable woe. The emotions of that dolorous night are expressed by several words in Scripture. John describes him as saying four days before his passion, ‘Now is my soul troubled;’ as he marked the gathering clouds he hardly knew where to turn himself, and cried out ‘What shall I say?’ Matthew writes of him, ‘he began to be sorrowful and very heavy.’ Upon the word ademonein translated ‘very heavy,’ Goodwin remarks that there was a distraction in the Saviour’s agony since the root of the word signifies ‘separated from the people—men in distraction, being separated from mankind.’ What a thought, my brethren, that our blessed Lord should be driven to the very verge of distraction by the intensity of his anguish. Matthew represents the Saviour himself as saying ‘My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death.’ Here the word perilupos means encompassed, encircled, overwhelmed with grief. ‘He was plunged head and ears in sorrow and had no breathing-hole,’ is the strong expression of Goodwin. Mark records that he began to be sore amazed, and to be very heavy. In this case thambeisthai, with the prefix ek, shows extremity of amazement, like that of Moses when he did exceedingly fear and quake. Luke uses the strong language of my text—‘being in an agony.’ These expressions are quite sufficient to show that the grief of the Saviour was of the most extraordinary character, well justifying the prophetic exclamation ‘Behold and see if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow which is done unto me.’

For meditation: The instruments we associate with the shedding of Christ’s blood were wielded by men—the scourge, crown of thorns, nails and spear (John 19:1–2,18,34). The fact that he sweat ‘great drops of blood’ in Gethsemane before any man could lay a finger on him gives us an important glimpse behind the scenes—his life was not taken from him by men; it was given by him for men (John 10:17–18).

Sermon no. 493
8 February (1863)

Once a Curse… Spurgeon

The following is from Bible Gateway daily,

Once a curse but now a blessing

‘And it shall come to pass, that as ye were a curse among the heathen, O house of Judah, and house of Israel; so will I save you, and ye shall be a blessing: fear not, but let your hands be strong.’ Zechariah 8:13

Suggested Further Reading: Romans 11:13–24

In the dark ages, to be a Jew was to be deserving of all scorn and cruelty, and of no pity or consideration. To what exactions, to what fines, to what imprisonments and tortures, have not the sons of Jacob been subjected by the professed followers of the Messiah? It is perhaps the greatest of all modern miracles, that there should be one Jew upon earth who is a Christian, for the treatment they have received from pretended Christians has been enough to make them hate the name of Jesus; it has not been simply villainous, but diabolical. Devils in hell could not be more cruel to their victims than professed Christians have been to the sons of Abraham. They have been a curse indeed. Among all nations they have been a hissing and a byword. But the day is coming, and is dawning already, when the whole world shall discern the true dignity of the chosen seed, and shall seek their company, because the Lord has blessed them. In that day when Israel shall look upon him whom they have pierced, and shall mourn for their sins, the Jew shall take his true rank among the nations as an elder brother and a prince. The covenant made with Abraham, to bless all nations by his seed, is not revoked; heaven and earth shall pass away, but the chosen nation shall not be blotted out from the book of remembrance. The Lord has not cast away his people; he has never given their mother a bill of divorcement; he has never put them away; in a little wrath he has hidden his face from them, but with great mercies will he gather them.

For meditation: We should thank God for the Jews; through them he gave us his Word (Romans 3:2; 9:4) and his Son (Romans 9:5); he still has blessings to give to the world through them (Romans 11:12). If you blame them for Christ’s death, remember that he died for sinners, and that you, as a sinner, were also responsible.

Sermon no. 543
6 December (1863)

O what a blessing the Jewish people have been to the Christian and the world.  They have been used by God to provide us the Word of God, and our Lord and Saviour has come through them.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Walking in the Light and Washed in the Blood – Spurgeon

The following is posted by Bible Gateway daily;

Walking in the light and washed in the blood

‘But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.’  1 John 1:7

Suggested Further Reading: John 12:20–36

Whereas there are some who urge you to look to your doctrinal intelligence as a ground of comfort, I beseech you beloved, look only to the blood; whereas there are others who would set up a standard of Christian experience and urge that this is to be the channel of your consolation, I pray you, while you prize both doctrine and experience, rest nowhere your soul’s weight but in the precious blood. Some would lead you to high degrees of fellowship; follow them, but not when they would lead you away from the simple position of a sinner resting upon the blood. There be those who could teach you mysticism, and would have you rejoice in the light within; follow them as far as they have the warrant of God’s Word, but never take your foot from that Rock of Ages, where the only safe standing can be found. Certain of my brethren are very fond of preaching Christ in his second advent—I rejoice wherein they preach the truth concerning Christ glorified, but my beloved, I entreat you to build your hope not on Christ glorified, nor on Christ to come, but on ‘Christ crucified.’ Remember that in the matter of taking away sin, the first thing is not the throne, but the cross, not the reigning Saviour, but the bleeding Saviour, not the King in his glory, but the Redeemer in his shame. Care not to be studying dates of prophecies if burdened with sin, but seek your chief, your best comfort in the blood of Jesus Christ which ‘cleanseth us from all sin.’ Here is the pole star of your salvation; sail by it and you shall reach the port of peace.

For meditation: Blessings spring from our reliance on ‘nothing but the blood of Jesus’—eternal life (John 6:53), propitiation (Romans 3:25), justification (Romans 5:9), redemption and forgiveness (Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:14), peace (Colossians 1:20), access (Hebrews 10:19), and cleansing (1 John 1:7; Revelation 1:5). Why look elsewhere?

Sermon no. 663
3 December (1865)

Lifting the Standard in the Face of the Foe

The following is from the daily Spurgeon sponsored by Bible Gateway.

‘When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him.’ Isaiah 59:19

Suggested Further Reading: Ephesians 6:10–18

Christian, you are in the land where foes abound. There are enemies within you; you are not clean delivered from the influence of inbred sin. The new nature is of divine origin, and it cannot sin because it is born of God; but the old nature, the carnal mind, is there too, and it is not reconciled to God, neither indeed can it be; and therefore it strives and struggles with the new nature. The house of Saul in our heart wars against the house of David, and tries to drive it out and despoil it of the crown. This conflict you must expect to have continued with more or less of violence till you enter into rest. Moreover, in the world without there are multitudes of foes. This vain world is no friend to the principle of the work of grace. If you were of the world the world would love its own, but as you are not of the world but of a heavenly race, you may expect to be treated as an alien and foreigner, no, as a hated and detested foe. All sorts of snares and traps will be laid for you; those who sought to entangle the Master in his speech will not be more lenient towards you. Moreover there is one whose name is called ‘the enemy,’ the ‘evil one;’ he is the leader among your adversaries; hating God with all his might, he hates that which he sees of God in you. He will not spare the arrows in his infernal quiver; he will shoot them all at you. There are no temptations which he knows of—and he understands the art well from long practice—there are no temptations which he will not exercise upon you. He will sometimes fawn upon you, and at other times will frown; he will lift you up, if possible, with self-righteousness, and then cast you down with despair. You will always find him your fierce, insatiable foe. Know this then, and put on the whole armour of God.

For meditation: Self, society and Satan are an unholy trinity to follow (Ephesians 2:2–3) and an unholy trinity to fight, but, in Christ, self (Romans 7:24–25), society (Galatians 1:3–4) and Satan (John 17:15; Hebrews 2:14–15) can all be overcome (Hebrews 2:18).

Sermon no. 718
28 October (1866)

What Spurgeon said on October 28, 1866 is just as applicable in October of 2012.

-T.A.

 

Day 43 – Thoughts from Psalms; Enemies

Of all things for me to write about.  Enemies?  I really feel as though I have no enemies within the human race; at least as far as someone just out to destroy or hurt me.  However, I know that as a believer in Christ Jesus my Lord and Savior I do have enemies who would like to hush the message of Christ; and of God.  Therefore because there are enemies of Christ, His cross, His God and eternity they are and must be my enemies as well.

Have I noticed these enemies of the cross of Christ?  Most definitely.  They are those who hate God, hate righteousness, Justice, genuine peace and love, and all that is holy.  They are those who hate the way of God, and choose their own way.

My reading today took me from Psalm 108 through Psalm 121.  I found the word “enemies” seven times in those fourteen Psalms.  What is the deal with the Psalms and enemies?  It is quite apparent that David, and the kings of Israel had enemies.  You have enemies as well; especially if you are a Christian.

For the most part we need to realize that our enemy is the Devil, otherwise known as Satan, the Old serpent. He is also known as the “Accuser of the brethren”.  All conflict between human beings is because of sin and Satan.  Those people who hate God, God’s word and God’s people are full of hate for God because of the deceit of the devil.

I want us to look at what the seven verses have to say about “enemies”.

“Through God we shall do valiantly: for He it is that shall tread down our enemies.” Psalm 108:13 (KJV)

This comes from a Psalm which is called a Psalm or Song of David.  David of all people knows the strength and power of God to deliver from enemies, and from trouble.  He also knows that it is God who will give him the ability to do “valiantly” and that  God is the one who will “tread down our enemies”.

“The LORD said unto my Lord, ‘Sit Thou at My right hand, until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool.  The LORD shall send the rod of Thy strength out of Zion: rule Thou in the midst of Thine enemies.'” 110:1-2

Two uses of the word “enemies” is found in one Psalm and the first two verses.  It is a Psalm of David as well, and is directed as the LORD speaking to the Lord.  This, of course, has Messianic wording, and is speaking of the Messiah who is Jesus Christ.  This is not an argument.  It is a clear statement that the LORD – Jehovah, YHWH [YaHWeH] – has a Son and that He is deity.  The Messiah is being told by the Father, “Sit at My right hand, until I make thine enemies Thy footstool.”  Jesus’s former state before He was born a babe in a manger was a seated position at the Father’s right hand.  Following His death on the cross, burial and bodily resurrection He was given back that position, and all enemies were placed under His feet; where ultimately all the enemies of God and Christ will be destroyed.

“His heart is established, he shall not be afraid, until he see his desire upon his enemies.” 112:8

This Psalm is speaking of the “man that fears the LORD” (v. 1).  The heart of such a man is stable, trustworthy, and is not afraid of anything that enemies can throw at him.  He is a man who will see his desire come about upon his enemies.  Now for the Christian we pray for our enemies; our prayer being that they might have their eyes opened, their hearts opened to Christ, and be saved.  Then they would no longer be our enemy, but our brethren and friends.

“Thou through Thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me.” 119:98

Because the Christian has the commandments of God, trust them, believes them, and lives by them he/she will be wiser than the enemy of Christ.  The commandments of the LORD are forever, and they are forever with the one’s who love God, and His word.

“My zeal hath consumed me, because mine enemies have forgotten Thy words.”  119:139

The following is from the TREASURY OF DAVID on Psalm 119:139;

In Psa_119:137-138 David spoke concerning his God and his law; here he speaks of himself, and says, “My zeal hath consumed me, because mine enemies have forgotten thy words”, this was no doubt occasioned by his having so clear a sense of the admirable character of God’s word. His zeal was like a fire burning within his soul. The sight of man’s forgetfulness of God acted as a fierce blast to excite the fire to a more vehement flame, and it blazed until it was ready to consume him. David could not bear that men should forget God’s words. He was ready to forget himself, ay, to consume himself, because these men forgot God. The ungodly were David’s enemies: his enemies because they hated him for his godliness; his enemies, because he abhorred them for their ungodliness. These men had gone so far in iniquity that they not only violated and neglected the commands of God, but they appeared actually to have forgotten them. This put David into a great heat; he burned with indignation. How dare they trample on sacred things! How could they utterly ignore the commands of God himself! He was astonished, and filled with holy anger.
FROM the Treasury of David by Charles H. Spurgeon.  e-Sword

We will end these thoughts from Psalms with the final verse in the reading today.

“Many are my persecutors and mine enemies; yet do I not decline from Thy testimonies.” 119:157

Sometimes it seems we have all kinds of persecutions and enemies; but in all these things we are to be victors.  We are to never decline from the testimonies of our LORD.

-Tim A. Blankenship

The Sin Offering

The following is from BibleGateway.com

‘If the priest that is anointed do sin according to the sin of the people; then let him bring for his sin, which he hath sinned, a young bullock without blemish, unto the Lord for a sin offering.’ Leviticus 4:3

Those who would preach Christ, but not Christ crucified, miss the very soul and essence of our holy faith. ‘Let him come down from the cross, and we will believe in him,’ is the Unitarian cry. Anything but a crucified God. But there, indeed, lies the secret of that mystery, and the very core and kernel of our confidence. A reigning Saviour I do rejoice in: the thought of the splendour yet to come makes glad our eyes; but after all, it is a bleeding Saviour that is the sinner’s hope. It is to the cross, the centre of misery, that the sinner turns his eyes for comfort rather than to the stars of Bethlehem, or to the blazing sun of the millennial kingdom. I remember one joining this church, who said, ‘Sir, I had faith once in Christ glorified, but it never gave me comfort: I have now come to a faith in Christ crucified, and I have peace.’ At Calvary there is the comfort, and there only. That Jesus lives is delightful; but the basis of the delight is, ‘He lives who once was slain.’ That he will reign for ever is a most precious doctrine of our faith, but that the hand that wields the silver sceptre, once was pierced, is the great secret of the joy. O beloved, abide not in any place from which your eye cannot behold the cross of Christ. When you are thinking of the doctrines of the gospel, or the precepts of the Word, or studying the prophecies of Scripture, never let your mind relinquish the study of the cross. The cross was the place of your spiritual birth; it must ever be the spot for renewing your health, for it is the sanatorium of every sin-sick soul. The blood is the true balm of Gilead; it is the only catholicon [remedy] which heals every spiritual disease.

From a sermon at the Metropolitan Tabernacle #739, March 10 (1867)

Preacher, we ought always preach the cross of Christ.

-T.A.

Day 30 – Inspirational and Encourageing

Today marks the thirtieth day for the journey through the Bible in ninety days.  I have been thoroughly blessed, inspired, and encouraged.  I have also learned things I did not know, helping me to realize even more that “The more I know; the more I realize I do not know.”  I am now one third of the way through this journey and looking forward to the next 6o days.

I was greatly inspired and encouraged by reading through Ezra and the first four chapters of Nehemiah this morning; thus, the title for today’s post.

In yesterday’s reading, finishing 2 Chronicles we were left with Judah going into Babylonian captivity, Jerusalem being destroyed, the walls broken down, the temple destroyed, and all the vessels, gold, silver, bronze, taken to the storehouses of Babylon; just as the prophet Jeremiah warned and foretold.  The prophet Isaiah had warned of this destruction, and captivity at least one hundred years before it happened.

Some may ask, “Why do you put so much stock in the Bible?”  and my answer to that is, “Because, when God speaks, it comes to pass; just like He says it.”  There is not one word God speaks that has been diminished, is being diminished, or will be diminished.  That is why I was so inspired and encouraged by Ezra and the first four chapters of Nehemiah.

Someone has said, and I believe it was written by Charles H. Spurgeon; “God will not allow His children to sin successfully.”  Reading the Bible sure helps us see that.  God pulls no punches.  We can see clearly that God deals with sin.  We see also that He is gracious, and slow to anger and wrath.  He is also merciful in not giving us what we truly deserve.

According to Jeremiah’s prophecy the nation of Israel would be in Babylonian captivity for seventy years.  At the time of Ezra that seventy years has been fulfilled, and we read –

“Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying, ‘Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, ‘The LORD God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and He hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Who is there among you of all His people? his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house of the LORD God of Israel, (He is the God,) which is in Jerusalem.  And whosoever remaineth in any place where he sojourneth, let the men of his place helpa him with silver, and with gold, and with goods, and with beasts, beside the freewill offering for the house of God that is in Jerusalem.”  Ezra 1:1-4 (KJV)

Now here is a catcher for you.  The prophet Isaiah names the king that will do this probably 150 years or more before Cyrus is born.  How can this be?  The prophet, being inspired by God; God who knows all things; who knows the past, present and the future, and knows your name; and knew you before you were born; told the prophet what was going to happen, and to write it down.  Isaiah did –

“That saith of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, ‘Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid.’ Isaiah 44:28

‘Thus saith the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut; I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron: and I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the LORD, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel.  For Jacob My servant’s sake, and Israel Mine elect, I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known Me.”  Isaiah 45:1-4 (KJV)

In Ezra God has  put it in the heart of Cyrus, king of Persia to fulfill His word of promise to Israel/Judah and have the temple in Jerusalem rebuilt, even to providing the precious metals and all necessary costs at Persia’s expense.

God’s purpose in the captivity was to drive Israel from her sins, and to give rest to the land for the sabbath years the people had avoided to observe (2 Chronicles 36:21), and to restore their faith in Him.  In reading Ezra we read of much opposition from people of the area, even putting the work of the temple to a standstill until the king finds that it had been ordered by Cyrus years before, then the work is continued with the approval of Persia.  Haggai, and Zechariah were two prophets  who prophesied during this time, and encouraged the people to continue building without the approval of the king of Persia, until they did receive it (chapters 5 – 6).

Ezra went to encourage and lead in the temple’s rebuilding and to teach the word and law of the LORD –

“For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments.”  Ezra 7:10

There are some things I read in Ezra about their divorcing the foreign wives and sending them away that poses some problems. However, the problem was their sins and disobedience to the word of God, not God’s causing.  How seriously should God’s people take the matter  of holiness?  Very seriously.

Nehemiah had a burden for the building of the walls of Jerusalem.  He is sent by the king to go and rebuild the city.  He surveys the city walls, the city (chapter 2:12-20), then he challenges the people and they comply joyously with his requests.  Now see what God has wrought in the Old Testament with Judah.

Now, think of what God can do with you if you would surrender yourself to the way of Salvation which is found only through the gift of His Son Jesus Christ and His death on the cross, His burial where all our sin, guilt and condemnation was carried away as far as East is from West, and then He arose bodily from the grave; and is today seated by the Father’s right hand as our Great High Priest.  There is no one but Him who can deliver you from your sin.

Inspirational and Encourageing?  To me it definitely is.

– Tim A. Blankenship

Above His Name

The name of GOD is a name above every name.  The name Jesus is the name above every other name (Philippians 2:9-10).  Jesus is the Living Word of God; the Word become flesh (John 1:14) and dwelling among us.

Sometime ago I read a comment someone made on Facebook, about something they had said in writing.  They were sorry for the abusive, expletive use of a word or words they had used.  It is as though they wrote without thought.  I can somewhat understand a sudden outrage in speech, but not in writing.  Writing something down takes some thought; although I have read some things that did not take much thought; probably some of my own writing  would fit into that category 🙂 .

Anyhow, I only mention that to say, God has spoken His Word, and it is sure and steadfast, it is eternal, and He has said that it would not return unto Him void (Isaiah 55:11), so it will not.  He has also given us His written word, and by this Word we know Him, His name, His Son and His name, and the person of His Spirit.

The Psalmist has written,

“I will worship toward Thy holy temple, and praise Thy name for Thy lovingkindness and for Thy truth: for Thou hast magnified Thy word above all Thy name.”  Psalm 138:2 (KJV)

I have probably written too much already.  Let me let the writer of the Treasury of David clarify it for you;

I will worship toward thy holy temple,” or the place of God’s dwelling, where the ark abode. He would worship God in God’s own way. The Lord had ordained a centre of unity, a place of sacrifice, a house of his indwelling; and David accepted the way of worship enjoined by revelation. Even so, the true-hearted believer of these days must not fall into the will-worship of superstition, or the wild worship of scepticism, but reverently worship as the Lord himself prescribes. The idol gods had their temples; but David averts his glance from them, and looks earnestly to the spot chosen of the Lord for his own sanctuary. We are not only to adore the true God, but to do so in his own appointed way: the Jew looked to the temple, we are to look to Jesus, the living temple of the Godhead. “And praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth.” Praise would be the main part of David’s worship; the name or character of God the great object of his song; and the special point of his praise the grace and truth which shone so conspicuously in that name. The person of Jesus is the temple of the Godhead, and therein we behold the glory of the Father, “full of grace and truth.” It is upon these two points that the name of Jehovah is at this time assailed – his grace and his truth. He is said to be too stern, too terrible, and therefore “modern thought” displaces the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and sets up an effeminate deity of its own making. As for us, we firmly believe that God is love, and that in the summing up of all things it will be seen that hell itself is not inconsistent with the beneficence of Jehovah, but is, indeed, a necessary part of his moral government now that sin has intruded into the universe. True believers hear the thunders of his justice, and yet they do not doubt his lovingkindness. Especially do we delight in God’s great love to his own elect, such as he showed to Israel as a race, and more especially to David and his seed when he entered into covenant with him. Concerning this there is abundant room for praise. But not only do men attack the lovingkindness of God, but the truth of God is at this time assailed on all sides; some doubt the truth of the inspired record as to its histories, others challenge the doctrines, many sneer at the prophecies; in fact, the infallible word of the Lord is at this time treated as if it were the writing of imposters, and only worthy to be carped at. The swine are trampling on the pearls at this time, and nothing restrains them; nevertheless, the pearls are pearls still, and shall yet shine about our Monarch’s brow. We sing the lovingkindness and truth of the God of the Old Testament, – “the God of the whole earth shall he be called.” David before the false gods first sang, then worshipped, and then proclaimed the grace and truth of Jehovah; let us do the same before the idols of the New Theology.
For thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.” The word of promise made to David was in his eyes more glorious than all else that he had seen of the Most High. Revelation excels creation in the clearness, definiteness, and fulness of its teaching. The name of the Lord in nature is not so easily read as in the Scriptures, which are a revelation in human language, specially adapted to the human mind, treating of human need, and of a Saviour who appeared in human nature to redeem humanity. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but the divine word will not pass away, and in this respect especially it has a pre-eminence over every other form of manifestation. Moreover, the Lord lays all the rest of his name under tribute to his word: his wisdom, power, love, and all his other attributes combine to carry out his word. It is his word which creates, sustains, quickens, enlightens, and comforts. As a word of command it is supreme; and in the person of the incarnate Word it is set above all the works of God’s hands. The sentence in the text is wonderfully full of meaning. We have collected a vast mass of literature upon it, but space will not allow us to put it all into our notes. Let us adore the Lord who has spoken to us by his word, and by his Son; and in the presence of unbelievers let us both praise his holy name and extol his holy word.

Believe the LORD.  Trust His Word and be saved.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Marks of Iniquity

Our sins can many times be very grievous to our minds and hearts.  Our iniquities are many; at least mine are.  It gives me great peace, strength and courage to read in the Psalms such verses at this,

“If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?  But there is forgiveness with Thee, that Thou mayest be feared.” Psalm 130:3-4 (KJV)

We are a wretched lot.  We carry our sin around as a weight, even after we have sought forgiveness, received forgiveness, and we never forget it.  It is baggage that burdens us down.  Who do we think we are?  When we have asked God’s forgiveness; and that is the One whom sin really and truly offends.  He is the only one who can forgive.

If God “marked” or counted our sins and iniquities; there is not a one who could stand before Him.  We would all be doomed, condemned, and done for.  When we sin, and we ask for His forgiveness in repentance; the sin, the iniquity is gone for ever.  There is only forgiveness because of the gift of Jesus Christ and His death on the cross, His burial and resurrection.  Jesus paid the price for our sin debt.

The following are the comments of Charles H. Spurgeon on verse 3,

“If thou, Lord, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?” If Jah, the all-seeing, should in strict justice call every man to account for every want of conformity to righteousness, where would any one of us be? Truly, he does record all our transgressions; but as yet he does not act upon the record, but lays it aside till another day. If men were to be judged upon no system but that of works, who among us could answer for himself at the Lord’s bar, and hope to stand clear and accepted? This verse shows that the Psalmist was under a sense of sin, and felt it imperative upon him not only to cry as a suppliant but to confess as a sinner. Here he owns that he cannot stand before the great King in his own righteousness, and he is so struck with a sense of the holiness of God, and the rectitude of the law, that he is convinced that no man of mortal race can answer for himself before a Judge so perfect, concerning a law so divine. Well does he cry, “O Lord, who shall stand?” None can do so: there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Iniquities are matters which are not according to equity, what a multitude we have of these! Jehovah, who sees all, and is also our Adonai, or Lord, will assuredly bring us into judgment concerning those thoughts, and words, and works which are not in exact conformity to his law. Were it not for the Lord Jesus, could we hope to stand? Dare we meet him in the dread day of account on the footing of law and equity? What a mercy it is that we need not do so, for Psa_130:4 sets forth another way of acceptance to which we flee.

Once Jesus has forgiven our sin, the only marks of iniquity are in our own head.  The only one who desires to remember, and wants to condemn us is the accuser- the enemy of Christ and Christians.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Ordered Steps

It is usually not an excepted thing to have  your “steps” ordered by someone else.  However, it is the preferred thing for those who are made the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:21).  If a man or woman joins the military their steps are ordered, or they suffer consequences for their dereliction of duty or insubordination.  If we are followers of God through His Son Jesus Christ we too are soldiers of the cross of Jesus.

The Psalmist writes much in Psalm 119.  It is in fact the longest Psalm of the 150 which are given us in the Psalms.  It is 176 verses, and practically every verse has something to do with the Word of God.  I think there are three of those 176 which have no reference to God’s Word.  Now those references uses words such as “Commandments”, “Law”, “Statutes”, “Judgments”, “Word”, “Precepts” and “Testimonies”, being sure to cover every work of the Word of the LORD.  If you will look closely at the Psalm it is a prayer.

I want us to look at one verse which is the request of the Psalmist,

“Order my steps in Thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me.”  Psalm 119:133 (KJV)

It is a shame that professing Christians are ignorant of God’s Word.  Sometimes it amazes me how ignorant some preachers are concerning the Word of God.  I do not mean to belittle or be derogatory with them, or toward them, but come on men; what do we preach?  Our ignorance of Scripture is a personal detriment; as well as great harm to those we lead.  There is no shame in ignorance, just in choosing to remain ignorant.  That is stupidity.

The Psalmist; probably David; asks God to direct his steps.  Our steps; ordered by the LORD will lead us into holiness, righteousness and joy and peace.  The Psalmist also asks the LORD “…and let not any iniquity have dominion over me”.  Those who are in Christ Jesus are possessed by the Spirit of Christ – the Holy Spirit – and are directed by that Spirit every moment of every day.  We may not always listen and heed, but let us pray that our “Accounts will be short” with the LORD.  As with the whole of Psalm 119, let it be also with this verse; our prayer.

The following  is the commentary of Charles H. Spurgeon on this verse,

“Order my steps in thy word.” This is one of the Lord’s customary mercies to his chosen, – ‘“He keepeth the feet of his saints.” By his grace he enables us to put our feet step by step in the very place which his word ordains. This prayer seeks a very choice favour, namely, that every distinct act, every step, might be arranged and governed by the will of God. This does not stop short of perfect holiness, neither will the believer’s desires be satisfied with anything beneath that blessed consummation. “And let not any iniquity have dominion over me.” This is the negative side of the blessing. We ask to do all that is right, and to fall under the power of nothing that is wrong. God is our sovereign, and we would have every thought in subjection to his sway. Believers have no choice, darling sins to which they would be willing to bow. They pant for perfect liberty from the power of evil, and being conscious that they cannot obtain it of themselves, they cry unto God for it.

From The Treasury of David – e-Sword

Holiness, righteousness, peace and joy is only found by those who are in the faith of Jesus the Christ, Son of the Living God.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Delight In His Commandments

The people of God are a praising people.  I do not say that we should be a praising people, but that we are a praising people.  We are praising the LORD.  He is worthy of praise.  Why?  Because He is God.  He alone created all that is.  Everything in the Universe was made by Him.  There is not one thing which  did not come about, but that He spoke and it was.  He is the I AM – The all sufficient, Self-Existing, Self Sufficient One.  Without Him the Universe would fly apart, back into nothingness.

Hear the Psalmist in Psalm 112,

“Praise ye the LORD. Blessed is the man that feareth the LORD, that delighteth greatly in His commandments.”  Psalm 112:1 (KJV)

How can the redeemed of the LORD do anything else but praise the LORD who alone is worthy?   It would be a down, discouraged, darkened soul of a Christian who would not be praising the LORD, but rather going around complaining about their “lot” in life.  When you are praising God you cannot complain about anything.

The believer in Christ fears only the LORD, and is truly “Blessed”, happy, fulfilled, and a blessing to others.  The believer is also one who delights in the commandments of the LORD.  John the apostle says,

“For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments: and His commandments are not grievous.” 1 John 5:3

O, for the child of God who is walking with the LORD, praising Him, delighting in Him and His commandments; it is pure joy.

The following paragraph are the words of Charles H. Spurgeon from the Treasury of David on Psalm 112:1;

“Praise ye the Lord.” This exhortation is never given too often; the Lord always deserves praise, we ought always to render it, we are frequently forgetful of it, and it is always well to be stirred up to it. The exhortation is addressed to all thoughtful persons who observe the way and manner of life of men that fear the Lord. If there be any virtue, if there be any praise, the Lord should have all the glory of it, for we are his workmanship. “Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord.” According to Psa_111:10, “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom”; this man, therefore, has begun to be wise, and wisdom has brought him present happiness, and secured him eternal felicity. Jehovah is so great that he is to be feared and had in reverence of all them that are round about him, and he is at the same time so infinitely good that the fear is sweetened into filial love, and becomes a delightful emotion, by no means engendering bondage. There is a slavish fear which is accursed; but that godly fear which leads to delight in the service of God is infinitely blessed. Jehovah is to be praised both for inspiring men with godly fear and for the blessedness which they enjoy in consequence thereof. We ought to bless God for blessing any man, and especially for setting the seal of his approbation upon the godly. His favour towards the God-fearing displays his character and encourages gracious feelings in others, therefore let him be praised. “That delighteth greatly in his commandments.” The man not only studies the divine precepts and endeavours to observe them, but rejoices to do so: holiness is his happiness, devotion is his delight, truth is his treasure. He rejoices in the precepts of godliness, yea, and delights greatly in them. We have known hypocrites rejoice in the doctrines, but never in the commandments. Ungodly men may in some measure obey the commandments out of fear, but only a gracious man will observe them with delight. Cheerful obedience is the only acceptable obedience; he who obeys reluctantly is disobedient at heart, but he who takes pleasure in the command is truly loyal. If through divine grace we find ourselves described in these two sentences, let us give all the praise to God, for he hath wrought all our works in us, and the dispositions out of which they spring. Let self-righteous men praise themselves, but he who has been made righteous by grace renders all the praise to the Lord.

God is greatly blessed, honored and praised by the praises of His people.  Praise Him today and everyday by receiving His Son Jesus, believing and trusting Him for the day, and for your life; the rest of your life.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Listen Up

It is imperative that God’s people listen to Him and His Word.  We will look at Psalm 78:1 today, however I will let some of the preachers of decades, even centuries past give their exposition of this verse:

 “Give ear, O my people, to my law: incline your ears to the words of my mouth.”  Psalm 78:1 (KJV)

The first is Matthew Henry,

These verses, which contain the preface to this history, show that the psalm answers the title; it is indeed Maschil—a psalm to give instruction; if we receive not the instruction it gives, it is our own fault. Here,
I. The psalmist demands attention to what he wrote (v. 1): Give ear, O my people! to my law. Some make these the psalmist’s words. David, as a king, or Asaph, in his name, as his secretary of state, or scribe to the sweet singer of Israel, here calls upon the people, as his people committed to his charge, to give ear to his law. He calls his instructions his law or edict; such was their commanding force in themselves. Every good truth, received in the light and love of it, will have the power of a law upon the conscience; yet that was not all: David was a king, and he would interpose his royal power for the edification of his people. If God, by his grace, make great men good men, they will be capable of doing more good than others, because their word will be a law to all about them, who must therefore give ear and hearken; for to what purpose is divine revelation brought our ears if we will not incline our ears to it, both humble ourselves and engage ourselves to hear it and heed it? Or the psalmist, being a prophet, speaks as God’s mouth, and so calls them his people, and demands subjection to what was said as to a law. Let him that has an ear thus hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches, Rev. 2:7.

The second C. H. Spurgen from the Treasury of David,

“Give ear, O my people, to my law.” The inspired bard calls on his countrymen to give heed to his patriotic teaching. We naturally expect God’s chosen nation to be first in hearkening to his voice. When God gives his truth a tongue, and sends forth his messengers trained to declare his word with power, it is the least we can do to give them our ears and the earnest obedience of our hearts. Shall God speak, and his children refuse to hear? His teaching has the force of law, let us yield both ear and heart to it. “Incline your ears to the words of my mouth.” Give earnest attention, bow your stiff necks, lean forward to catch every syllable. We are at this day, as readers of the sacred records, bound to study them deeply, exploring their meaning, and labouring to practise their teaching. As the officer of an army commences his drill by calling for “Attention,” even so every trained soldier of Christ is called upon to give ear to his words. Men lend their ears to music, how much more then should they listen to the harmonies of the gospel; they sit enthralled in the presence of an orator, how much rather should they yield to the eloquence of heaven.

There is much in Scripture for calling the people of Christ to hear His Word and the Law.  It is necessary in days of darkness for God’s people to be enlightened, because we are people of the light, not of the darkness (1 Thessalonians 5:5).

-Tim A. Blankenship

A Time To Pray

Scripture tells us that Daniel prayed three times a day, even after the king had written an edict of death to anyone who was caught praying to anyone but the king (Daniel 6).  Paul the apostle tells Christians to “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17).  The Psalmist sang,

“Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and He shall hear my voice.”  Psalm 55:17

For the soul who was under the dictates of the law, they had morning and evening sacrifices, and that was a good time to pray.  Daniel seems to have had a special one; so too the Psalmist.  They loved to speak with the LORD; and Daniel loved to do so even if it meant certain death.  Do we pray as we ought?  I ask that question knowing that is one of my weakest areas.  I love to hear God speak, and He does through His word; however, He loves for His children to speak with Him.

The following is Spurgeon’s comments of verse 17 –

“Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray.” Often, but none too often. Seasons of great need call for frequent seasons of devotion. The three periods chosen are most fitting; to begin, continue, and end the day with God is supreme wisdom. Where time has naturally set up a boundary, there let us set up an altar-stone. The Psalmist means that he will always pray; he will run a line of prayer right along the day and track the sun with his petitions. Day and night he saw his enemies busy (Psa 55:10), and therefore he would meet their activity by continuous prayer. “And cry aloud.” He would give a tongue to his complaint; he would be very earnest in his pleas with heaven. Some cry aloud who never say a word. It is the bell of the heart that rings loudest in heaven. Some read it, “I will muse and murmur;” deep heart-thoughts should be attended with inarticulate but vehement utterances of grief. Blessed be God, moaning is translatable in heaven. A father’s heart reads a child’s heart. “And he shall hear my voice.” He is confident that he will prevail; he makes no question that he would be heard, he speaks as if already he were answered. When our window is opened towards heaven, the windows of heaven are open to us. Have but a pleading heart and God will have a plenteous hand.  From the TREASURY OF DAVID

With the spiritual condition of the churches of the United States and Christianity Christians need to humble themselves before God and get back to our dependence upon God our Savior, Redeemer, Friend and Deliverer.  Let’s commit ourselves to more time with God.  God will hear our voices and cries when we are humble before Him, and repentant of our sins.

-Tim A. Blankenship

God Our Refuge

Today we are going to take a gander at Psalm 46:1.  Before I get to that however, I want to explain the title of the Psalm.

To the chief Musician for the sons of Korah, A Song upon Alamoth.

There are seven of the Psalms here together.  From Psalm 42 – Psalm 49; with the exception of 43, they all refer to the “sons of Korah”.  Korah is mentioned in a rebellion in Numbers 16 who with Dathan and Abiram rebelled against the leadership of Moses and God.  Because of this rebellion the men and the families of these men were engulfed by an opening of the earth, and slain.  According to Numbers 26:11 -“Not withstanding the children of Korah died not.”

Korah was of the tribe of Levi; thus he had duties as a caretaker of the tabernacle.  There is much to know and learn of Korah, and his sons.  They evidently were needing encouragement.  These Psalms were written for that purpose.

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1

A refuge is a place you go to hide, to be protected from a source of harm.  It is a place to go when you are afraid.  The Psalmist says that “God is our refuge”.

The  Psalmist goes on saying that He is also our strength.  When you do not have the power to continue call upon the LORD and He will give you strength.  When fear robs you of the will to continue; and if you experience fear it will rob you of strength;  go to the One who is our refuge and strength.

The  LORD is God; not faraway, but very near you.  He is our very present help in trouble.

In the Treasury of David Spurgeon has written –

“God is our refuge and strength.” Not our armies, or our fortresses. Israel’s boast is in Jehovah, the only living and true God. Others vaunt their impregnable castles, placed on inaccessible rocks and secured with gates of iron, but God is a far better refuge from distress than all these: and when the time comes to carry the war into the enemy’s territories, the Lord stands his people in better stead than all the valour of legions or the boasted strength of chariot and horse. Soldiers of the cross, remember this, and count yourselves safe, and make yourselves strong in God. Forget not the personal possessive word “our;” make sure each one of your portion in God, that you may say, “He is my refuge and strength.” Neither forget the fact that God is our refuge just now, in the immediate present, as truly as when David penned the word. God alone is our all in all. All other refuges are refuges of lies, all other strength is weakness, for power belongeth unto God: but as God is all-sufficient, our defence and might are equal to all emergencies. “A very present help in trouble,” or in distresses he has so been found, he has been tried and proved by his people. He never withdraws himself from his afflicted. He is their help, truly, effectually, constantly; he is present or near them, close at their side and ready for their succour, and this is emphasised by the word “very” in our version, he is more present than friend or relative can be, yea, more nearly present than even the trouble itself. To all this comfortable truth is added the consideration that his assistance comes at the needed time. He is not as the swallows that leave us in the winter; he is a friend in need and a friend indeed. When it is very dark with us, let brave spirits say, “Come, let us sing the Psa_46:1-11.”
“A fortress firm, and steadfast rock,
Is God in time of danger;
A shield and sword in every shock,
From foe well-known or’ stranger.”

Be strong in the LORD today and always.  He is very Present with those who have called upon His name.

-Tim A. Blankenship

The Greatest Satisfaction

We are going to look at a verse today for Psalm 17.  It is a Psalm and a particular verse that has been special to me for several years; upon the revelation of it to me.  When the world and flesh of the world finds pleasure in things, material things, and things of others – dependence upon others for satisfaction – the greatest satisfaction for the Christian is in knowing Jesus.

“As for me, I will behold Thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with Thy likeness.”  Psalm 17:15 (KJV)

There is no way possible for the unrighteous to see the face of the Righteous.  That is made possible only by His grace, and His gift.  The gift is the cross of Christ.  When we behold His face it will be because that the righteous Lamb of God took our place, died the death of separation from God the Father, becoming sin for us (2 Corinthians 5:21); and by God’s own declaration we are declared “Righteous”.  When that has happened then we can say with the Psalmist, “I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with Thy likeness”.

The following is a note from the Treasury of David by Charles H. Spurgeon and a sermon he preached-

“I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.” The saints in heaven have not yet awaked in God’s likeness. The bodies of the righteous still sleep, but they are to be satisfied on the resurrection morn, when they awake. When a Roman conqueror had been at war, and won great victories, he would return to Rome with his soldiers, enter privately into his house, and enjoy himself till the next day, when he would go out of the city to re-enter it publicly in triumph. Now, the saints, as it were, enter privately into heaven without their bodies; but on the last day, when their bodies wake up, they will enter into their triumphal chariots. Methinks I see that grand procession, when Jesus Christ first of all, with many crowns on his head, with his bright, glorious, immortal body, shall lead the way. Behind him come the saints, each of them clapping their hands, or pouring sweet melody from their golden harps; all entering in triumph. And when they come to heaven’s gates, and the doors are opened wide to let the King of glory in, how will the angels crowd at the windows and on the housetops, like the inhabitants in the Roman triumphs, to watch the pompous procession, and scatter heaven’s roses and lilies upon them, crying, “Hallelujah! hallelujah! hallelujah! the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth.” “I shall be satisfied” in that glorious day when all the angels of God shall come to see the triumphs of Jesus, and when his people shall be victorious with him. – Spurgeon’s Sermons.

John the apostle wrote,

“Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew Him not.  Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is.  And every man that hath this hope in Him purifieth himself, even as He is pure.”  1 John 3:1-3

The Greatest Satisfaction for the Christian is in knowing Jesus.

-Tim A. Blankenship

A Plea of David

“O LORD, rebuke me not in thine anger, neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure.”  Psalm 6:1

There must have been something in David’s life that would cause him to make such a plea.  Yet, there are times we as Christians even make such a plea.  The Psalmist first words are directed to the Self-Existing One YaHWeH or JehovaH who relates to men who are redeemed by Him.

No one longs for the rebuke of the LORD, nor His anger; and God does get angry and is angry with sin and evil; because it is against everything He is.  None of us long to experience the “hot displeasure” of GOD.

His displeasure is directed toward any sin that may be in our lives.  He will do whatever it takes to rid us of our sin.

Let me give you a portion of what Charles H. Spurgeon writes of this Psalm, particularly verse 1 –

 “O Lord, rebuke me not in thine anger.” The Psalmist is very conscious that he deserves to be rebuked, and he feels, moreover, that the rebuke in some form or other must come upon him, if not for condemnation, yet for conviction and sanctification. “Corn is cleaned with wind, and the soul with chastenings.” It were folly to pray against the golden hand which enriches us by its blows. He does not ask that the rebuke may be totally withheld, for he might thus lose a blessing in disguise; but, “Lord, rebuke me not in thine anger.” If thou remindest me of my sin, it is good; but, oh, remind me not of it as one incensed against me, lest thy servant’s heart should sink in despair. Thus saith Jeremiah, “O Lord, correct me, but with judgment; not in thine anger, lest thou bring me to nothing.” I know that I must be chastened, and though I shrink from thy rod yet do I feel that it will be for my benefit; but, oh, my God, “chasten me not in thy hot displeasure,” lest the rod become a sword, and lest in smiting, thou shouldest also kill. So may we pray that the chastisements of our gracious God, if they may not be entirely removed, may at least be sweetened by the consciousness that they are “not in anger, but in his dear covenant love.”

May we all who are in Christ Jesus find peace in knowing that God finds pleasure in blessing those who will call on His name.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Spurgeon: “Thou hatest wickedness”

The following is from “Morning and Evening” devotions by Charles H. Spurgeon.  The morning reading for May 29.

Psalm 45:7
Thou hatest wickedness.

“Be ye angry, and sin not.” There can hardly be goodness in a man if he be not angry at sin; he who loves truth must hate every false way. How our Lord Jesus hated it when the temptation came! Thrice it assailed Him in different forms, but ever He met it with, “Get thee behind me, Satan.” He hated it in others; none the less fervently because He showed His hate oftener in tears of pity than in words of rebuke; yet what language could be more stern, more Elijah-like, than the words, “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayer.” He hated wickedness, so much that He bled to wound it to the heart; He died that it might die; He was buried that He might bury it in His tomb; and He rose that He might for ever trample it beneath His feet. Christ is in the Gospel, and that Gospel is opposed to wickedness in every shape. Wickedness arrays itself in fair garments, and imitates the language of holiness; but the precepts of Jesus, like His famous scourge of small cords, chase it out of the temple, and will not tolerate it in the Church. So, too, in the heart where Jesus reigns, what war there is between Christ and Belial! And when our Redeemer shall come to be our Judge, those thundering words, “Depart, ye cursed” which are, indeed, but a prolongation of His life-teaching concerning sin, shall manifest His abhorrence of iniquity. As warm as is His love to sinners, so hot is His hatred of sin; as perfect as is His righteousness, so complete shall be the destruction of every form of wickedness. O thou glorious champion of right, and destroyer of wrong, for this cause hath God, even Thy God, anointed thee with the oil of gladness above Thy fellows.

My prayer is that God will use these words to convict us to hate sin as He hates sin.

-posted by Tim A. Blankenship

Spurgeon: “I will pour water on him that is thirsty”

November 6
Morning…
Isaiah 44:3
I will pour water upon him that is thirsty.

When a believer has fallen into a low, sad state of feeling, he often tries to lift himself out of it by chastening himself with dark and doleful fears. Such is not the way to rise from the dust, but to continue in it. As well chain the eagle’s wing to make it mount, as doubt in order to increase our grace. It is not the law, but the gospel which saves the seeking soul at first; and it is not a legal bondage, but gospel liberty which can restore the fainting believer afterwards. Slavish fear brings not back the backslider to God, but the sweet wooings of love allure him to Jesus’ bosom. Are you this morning thirsting for the living God, and unhappy because you cannot find him to the delight of your heart? Have you lost the joy of religion, and is this your prayer, “Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation”? Are you conscious also that you are barren, like the dry ground; that you are not bringing forth the fruit unto God which He has a right to expect of you; that you are not so useful in the Church, or in the world, as your heart desires to be? Then here is exactly the promise which you need, “I will pour water upon him that is thirsty.” You shall receive the grace you so much require, and you shall have it to the utmost reach of your needs. Water refreshes the thirsty: you shall be refreshed; your desires shall be gratified. Water quickens sleeping vegetable life: your life shall be quickened by fresh grace. Water swells the buds and makes the fruits ripen; you shall have fructifying grace: you shall be made fruitful in the ways of God. Whatever good quality there is in divine grace, you shall enjoy it to the full. All the riches of divine grace you shall receive in plenty; you shall be as it were drenched with it: and as sometimes the meadows become flooded by the bursting rivers, and the fields are turned into pools, so shall you be-the thirsty land shall be springs of water.

-posted by T.A.

Who May Abide the Day of His Coming?

The following is the morning reading from “Morning and Evening” by Charles H. Spurgeon.  Let him who has ears to hear, hear.

Malachi 3:2
But who may abide the day of his coming?

His first coming was without external pomp or show of power, and yet in truth there were few who could abide its testing might. Herod and all Jerusalem with him were stirred at the news of the wondrous birth. Those who supposed themselves to be waiting for Him, showed the fallacy of their professions by rejecting Him when He came. His life on earth was a winnowing fan, which tried the great heap of religious profession, and few enough could abide the process. But what will His second advent be? What sinner can endure to think of it? “He shall smite the earth with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips shall He slay the wicked.” When in His humiliation He did but say to the soldiers, “I am He,” they fell backward; what will be the terror of His enemies when He shall more fully reveal Himself as the “I AM?” His death shook earth and darkened heaven, what shall be the dreadful splendour of that day in which as the living Saviour, He shall summon the quick and dead before Him? O that the terrors of the Lord would persuade men to forsake their sins and kiss the Son lest He be angry! Though a lamb, He is yet the lion of the tribe of Judah, rending the prey in pieces; and though He breaks not the bruised reed, yet will He break His enemies with a rod of iron, and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel. None of His foes shall bear up before the tempest of His wrath, or hide themselves from the sweeping hail of His indignation; but His beloved bloodwashed people look for His appearing with joy, and hope to abide it without fear: to them He sits as a refiner even now, and when He has tried them they shall come forth as gold. Let us search ourselves this morning and make our calling and election sure, so that the coming of the Lord may cause no dark forebodings in our mind. O for grace to cast away all hypocrisy, and to be found of Him sincere and without rebuke in the day of His appearing.

-posted by Tim A. Blankenship

Psalm 71:1

The following is a quote from a study on Psalm 71 and verse 1 from The Treasury of David, by C. H. Spurgeon.  The quote is by Musculus.

“In Thee, O LORD, do I put my trust: let me never be put to confusion.”  Psalm 71:1 (KJV)

“In thee, O Lord, do I put my trust.” As if he should say: O Lord, permit not those who put their trust in thee to be confounded, and to be held up as a laughing-stock. I have placed all my hope in thee, and thou art that God who, for the sake of thy goodness and truth, hast never deserted those who hope in thee. If thou shalt suffer me to be confounded, the enemies to triumph, and my hope to be placed in thee in vain, certainly this shame shall fall upon thine own name … Let us, therefore, learn from this place to be more anxious about what may happen to the name of God through us, than to our own; whether it be through us in doing, or in us in suffering. The prophet is fearful lest he should be confounded on account of his hope placed in God, although it was not in his own power, nor could he prevent it…
It is necessary, first, that we should be of those who place their hope in God, then it is necessary that this piety of our hearts should not be confined to ourselves only, but should be known to all those who come in contact with us, even our opponents and enemies; else it is not possible for us to dread this kind of confusion feared by the prophet, when nobody knows that our hope is placed in God. No artist suffers confusion, if he has never shared the good opinion of his fellow men. To no sick man can it be said, Physician, heal thyself, if his reputation for medical skill has never stood high. So of those, it cannot be said, They hoped in God, let him save them if he will have them, of whom it was never remarked that they placed any hope in God. This solicitude, therefore, belongs only to those whose hope is in the Lord: upon others it cannot fall. – Musculus.

Trust that endures and provides is only in the LORD.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Signs and Wonders

The following is the evening reading of Charles H. Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening devotional for the evening of September 02.  I pray you will hear God speak hear, believe and obey.

Evening …

John 4:48
Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe.

A craving after marvels was a symptom of the sickly state of men’s minds in our Lord’s day; they refused solid nourishment, and pined after mere wonder. The gospel which they so greatly needed they would not have; the miracles which Jesus did not always choose to give they eagerly demanded. Many nowadays must see signs and wonders, or they will not believe. Some have said in their heart, “I must feel deep horror of soul, or I never will believe in Jesus.” But what if you never should feel it, as probably you never may? Will you go to hell out of spite against God, because He will not treat you like another? One has said to himself, “If I had a dream, or if I could feel a sudden shock of I know not what, then I would believe.” Thus you undeserving mortals dream that my Lord is to be dictated to by you! You are beggars at His gate, asking for mercy, and you must needs draw up rules and regulations as to how He shall give that mercy. Think you that He will submit to this? My Master is of a generous spirit, but He has a right royal heart, He spurns all dictation, and maintains His sovereignty of action. Why, dear reader, if such be your case, do you crave for signs and wonders? Is not the gospel its own sign and wonder? Is not this a miracle of miracles, that “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him might not perish”? Surely that precious word, “Whosoever will, let him come and take the water of life freely” and that solemn promise, “Him that cometh unto Me, I will in no wise cast out,” are better than signs and wonders! A truthful Saviour ought to be believed. He is truth itself. Why will you ask proof of the veracity of One who cannot lie? The devils themselves declared Him to be the Son of God; will you mistrust Him?

-posted by Tim A. Blankenship

Charles H. Spurgeon 081411

The following is the evening reading from C. H. Spurgeons MORNING AND EVENING devotional readings for August 13.  It is about God’s memory.

Evening …

Genesis 9:15
‘And I will remember My covenant.’

Mark the form of the promise. God does not say, “And when ye shall look upon the bow, and ye shall remember My covenant, then I will not destroy the earth,” but it is gloriously put, not upon our memory, which is fickle and frail, but upon God’s memory, which is infinite and immutable. “The bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant.” Oh! it is not my remembering God, it is God’s remembering me which is the ground of my safety; it is not my laying hold of His covenant, but His covenant’s laying hold on me. Glory be to God! the whole of the bulwarks of salvation are secured by divine power, and even the minor towers, which we may imagine might have been left to man, are guarded by almighty strength. Even the remembrance of the covenant is not left to our memories, for we might forget, but our Lord cannot forget the saints whom He has graven on the palms of His hands. It is with us as with Israel in Egypt; the blood was upon the lintel and the two side-posts, but the Lord did not say, “When you see the blood I will pass over you,” but “When I see the blood I will pass over you.” My looking to Jesus brings me joy and peace, but it is God’s looking to Jesus which secures my salvation and that of all His elect, since it is impossible for our God to look at Christ, our bleeding Surety, and then to be angry with us for sins already punished in Him. No, it is not left with us even to be saved by remembering the covenant. There is no linsey-wolsey here-not a single thread of the creature mars the fabric. It is not of man, neither by man, but of the Lord alone. We should remember the covenant, and we shall do it, through divine grace; but the hinge of our safety does not hang there-it is God’s remembering us, not our remembering Him; and hence the covenant is an everlasting covenant.

I pray it is a blessing to your heart and life today

-Tim A. Blankenship

God of My Righteousness

GOD Of My Righteousness

Psalm 4:1-8

1.  The Psalmist pleads with God for help remembering past helps (v. 1).
2.  The Psalmist confronts the “sons of men” concerning their unrighteous behaviors (vv. 2-5).
3.  The Psalmist finds rest and peace in the safety of the LORD (vv. 6-8).

I.  SPEAKING FIRST WITH GOD; THEN WITH MEN (v. 1)
“He who dares to face his Maker will not tremble before the sons of men.”  C. H. Spurgeon from Treasury of David Psalm 4:1

II.  THE CONFRONTATION OF THE RIGHTEOUS AND THE UNRIGHTEOUSNESS (vv. 2-5)
The unrighteous see little benefit to righteousness; and love vanity and “leasing” which is lying, empty fancies, vain conceits, wicked fabrications.
The unrighteous watch for the fall of the righteous.
Stop along the way and take pause, reflect on righteousness, and the GOD of righteousness.
“The godly are the chosen of God, and are, by distinguishing grace, set apart and separated from among men.” ditto
The cry for men to search their hearts, and believe in the righteous God; and the righteousness of His Son our Savior; the sacrifice of Calvary.

III.  THE DWELLING PLACE OF REST AND SAFETY (vv. 6-8)
There are many who would see; rather than believe (Matthew 27:39-44).
Jesus said, “Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed (John 20:29b).
There is gladness and joy in the LORD; more than just when the crops come in.
With the LORD of our righteousness there is peace, safety and sleep (Ps. 127:1-2).

Summary –
i.  When the sons of God are in the righteousness of God, then we can and will stand before the sons of men.
ii.  There will be confrontation between righteousness and unrighteousness; between the sons of God and the sons of men.
iii.  There is peace, safety and rest for the righteous through the Lord our righteousness.

-T.A.

Preached at Carr Lane Baptist Church 08/07/11 a.m. worship.

Morning with Spurgeon 072911

The following is the morning devotion by Charles Spurgeon from Morning and Evening:

Psalm 73:23

Nevertheless I am continually with Thee.

    “Nevertheless,”-As if, notwithstanding all the foolishness and ignorance which David had just been confessing to God, not one atom the less was it true and certain that David was saved and accepted, and that the blessing of being constantly in God’s presence was undoubtedly his. Fully conscious of his own lost estate, and of the deceitfulness and vileness of his nature, yet, by a glorious outburst of faith, he sings “nevertheless I am continually with Thee.” Believer, you are forced to enter into Asaph’s confession and acknowledgment, endeavour in like spirit to say “nevertheless, since I belong to Christ I am continually with God!” By this is meant continually upon His mind, He is always thinking of me for my good. Continually before His eye;-the eye of the Lord never sleepeth, but is perpetually watching over my welfare. Continually in His hand, so that none shall be able to pluck me thence. Continually on His heart, worn there as a memorial, even as the high priest bore the names of the twelve tribes upon his heart for ever. Thou always thinkest of me, O God. The bowels of Thy love continually yearn towards me. Thou art always making providence work for my good. Thou hast set me as a signet upon thine arm; thy love is strong as death, many waters cannot quench it; neither can the floods drown it. Surprising grace! Thou seest me in Christ, and though in myself abhorred, Thou beholdest me as wearing Christ’s garments, and washed in His blood, and thus I stand accepted in Thy presence. I am thus continually in Thy favour-“continually with Thee.” Here is comfort for the tried and afflicted soul; vexed with the tempest within-look at the calm without. “Nevertheless”-O say it in thy heart, and take the peace it gives. “Nevertheless I am continually with Thee.”

-posted by Tim A. Blankenship