When GOD Seems to be Silent

Unto You will I cry, O LORD my rock; be not silent to me: lest, if You be silent to me, I become like them that go down into the pit. Hear the voice of my supplications, when I cry unto You, when I lift up my hands toward Your holy oracle.”  Psalm 28:1-2 (KJB)

This Psalm of David is the prayer of a man who is crying out to God; maybe even yelling out, shouting out to God for a hearing of his requests, or “supplications”, as he states it, which is his earnest prayer.  An individual who has a real need which they see, feel, or fear; one who knows the Almighty will go to Him with that need just as David, and plead, yearn, beg for an answer to their prayer.

In the New Testament we are told…

“Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”  James 5:16

Now, let us get something straight.  We do have someone to pray to.  It is not prayer that is the power.  It is the One who gives the power to whom we direct our prayers.  If our hearts are not of Him, His word, His way, His will, His heart and mind, then, we will not get an answer.

I have made a commitment to the Lord which may seem empty to some, maybe brave and bold and dangerous to others.  A few years ago I was praying, and said to Him, “If you never again answer a prayer of mine, I will still trust in You.”  I can still say that.  I know that He never fails to accomplish, to finish His word. He does what He says He will do.

What do you do when God is silent?  Keep on praying and keep on trusting in Him.

 

Being the Doorkeeper with God as Our Shield

“Behold, O God our shield, and look upon the face of Thine anointed. For a day in Thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness. For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly. O LORD of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in Thee.” Psalm 84:9-12 (KJV)

This Psalm was written for the “sons of Korah” (Numbers 16). Korah was a leader of rebellion against Moses and Aaron, along with Dathan and Abiram. Because of their rebellion they perished and much of their families also.

The Psalmist writes to those sons of Korah who did not participate in the rebellion. God is a shield to all those who trust in Him. The “shield” is also the king whom God has anointed.

Note that the Psalmist is saying that one day as a doorkeeper in the house of God is better than a thousand days in the tents of wickedness; even if with the wicked you are given the best amenities, and made wealthy by it.

God, the LORD, is our sun and shield; our light, our protector. It matters not what the world or the SCOTUS throws at us. The LORD of the Universe still reigns, His laws, and institutions are still up and going. What He said in Genesis 1 – Revelation 22 still stands.

“Blessed is the man [the individual] that trusteth in Thee”. The trust we show in YOU, O Lord is by believing your word. When we turn our backs against Your word, we turn our backs on You.

How Are Your Thoughts and Attitude?

“Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary: who is so great a God as our God? Thou art the God that doest wonders: Thou hast declared Thy strength among the people. Thou hast with Thine arm redeemed Thy people, the sons of Jacob and Joseph. Selah.” Psalm 77:13-15 (KJV)

This Psalmist, Asaph, has begun the Psalm feeling a bit sorry for himself. His thoughts are on his own life situation, and he is addressing the LORD, but only about his aches and pains of heart and soul. That is the place we all need to take them; but when we have encountered God those thoughts, attitudes will perish.

You alone are in charge of your attitude. It begins with your thoughts. If you are driving to work on one of these busy freeways in the cities, and someone rudely cuts you off; when the traffic is moving quite well; you say, “That affects my attitude”; but does it? It can. It is however your personal responsibility to redirect your thinking toward a different attitude.

The Psalmist began with sorrow, and basically a pity party with God; but he ended up focusing on the LORD; and he saw things completely different.

Asaph began to focus his thoughts on the strength of God; His deliverance of Israel from Egypt, the crossing of the Red Sea; and he saw the awesome, power and glory of God. In the verses ending this Psalm, the Psalmist describes the sea as being fearful of the LORD and parting at His appearance. He describes thunder, lightening, and trembling and shaking of the earth.

Oh my; when we see the power and glory of God all our problems melt away. Our thinking and our attitudes will reflect the glory of the LORD. All this begins with having a personal encounter with God through His Son Jesus. There is no other way (John 14:6). There is only one cross, one Saviour, one resurrected Lord, and one returning Lord of lords and King of kings. His name is Jesus.

So what is your problem today?

Comfort for the Broken Hearted

“Reproach hath broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness: and I looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none. They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.” Psalm 69:20-21 (KJV)

You have experienced it I am sure. Those times when you think a friend or loved one will stand with you, and for you; and they do not. The Psalmist David was experiencing one of those times when this Psalm was written.

Within it are 5 verses which are quoted in the New Testament concerning the Messiah. He had one of those days too. They gave Jesus vinegar to drink, mixed with gall, but He did not drink it (Matthew 27:34). That was while He was dying on the cross.

Now, what is “Gall”? It is a poisonous, bitter herb. It has come to mean “bitterness” like from others. What is reproach? “To find fault with (a person, group, etc.); blame; censure.” from Dictionary.com.

These words “Reproach”, “Gall” and “Vinegar” show us that the Psalmist was hurting and no one was coming to his aid. We have all felt that way at one time or another. Let us remember our Saviour.

Jesus was a sinless, blameless, faithful Man of God, and Son of God, who did always those things that pleased the Father/God. He was accused of blasphemy against God. He was found guilty of sin, which He was not guilty of. He was given vinegar mixed with gall for “refreshment” while He was suffering. Do you still think you are having a bad day?

Not only all of that, but then, He was rejected by the Father, because He became sin for us (2 Corinthians 5:21). Can you imagine the most heavenly man who ever walked on earth, being forsaken by all of heaven; when just hours before the angels of heaven were in attention awaiting His call to deliver Him; which did not come; and they now have turned their backs to Him?

If you think you have had it so bad; you have a lot of gall.

But Jesus said,

“Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

Jesus knows your broken heart, your every need, and He will not give you gall or vinegar to drink.

Greatness of the One

“I will praise Thee, O Lord, among the people: I will sing unto Thee among the nations. For Thy mercy is great unto the heavens, and Thy truth unto the clouds. Be Thou exalted, O God, above the heavens: let Thy glory be above all the earth.” Psalm 57:9-11 (KJV)

The Psalmist David was hiding from King Saul in a cave when he wrote this Psalm; or possibly shortly there after. You can see by this Psalm that he was still trusting in the LORD his God.

He was praising the Lord, and he would praise Him among the people of his nation. He would sing unto Him among the Nations of the world around him.

He recognized the greatness of the mercy of God, and proclaimed it. He bragged about God. We can, and we get to brag about His greatness as well; when we know Him.

The LORD God is exalted above all the earth. He is the most glorious of all. Even the stars in their astrological signs cannot hold candle, or light to the glory of their creator. Above the heavens [stars, planets, etc]; above the earth; that is the Lord our God.

He came as a Man.  His name is Jesus.  He bled and died on the cross for our sins, was buried, and He rose again.  He is returning some day soon.  Believe Him. Trust Him with your whole being.  There is no life apart from Him.  He is the One who holds all things together (John 1:3;  Colossians 1:17).

Spend time today in contemplation of the greatness of the One who is above all things; and exalt Him.

The Paths of the LORD

“All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth unto such as keep His covenant and His testimonies.” Psalm 25:10 (KJV)

There has been much said by the Psalmist of the “paths” of the LORD. The paths, of course, are the ways we go in God’s plan for our lives. All of us go in His way. Many of them are in different ministries, and ways of serving the LORD, but they are right.

Note that the Psalmist writes that “All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth…” None of them are without those two items of grace.

Contrary to some beliefs there is no separation between fact, and truth. It is in fact true that Jesus died for your sins. It is in fact true that God the Father loves us so much that He gave His only begotten Son to die on the cross for our sins.

Note also, that “Mercy and truth” is given “Unto such as keep His covenant and His testimonies”. For you to walk outside of His covenant of grace, doing your  own thing, your own will, in rebellion against God’s covenant; thumbing your nose at God and His word you are not walking in the path of the LORD, and there is no mercy or truth for you.

I choose the path the LORD has given me. I choose to walk according to His covenant, and His testimonies. I choose to live by His testimonies. After all He sent His Son Jesus to die for me. I am His.

Brethren in Unity

“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” Psalm 133:1 (KJV)

Let me let a master of teaching and preaching speak today:

“Behold.” It is a wonder seldom seen, therefore behold it! It may be seen, for it is the characteristic of real saints, – therefore fail not to inspect it! It is well worthy of admiration; pause and gaze upon it! It will charm you into imitation, therefore note it well! God looks on with approval, therefore consider it with attention. “How good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” No one can tell the exceeding excellence of such a condition; and so the Psalmist uses the word “how” twice; – Behold how good! and how pleasant! He does not attempt to measure either the good or the pleasure, but invites us to behold for ourselves. The combination of the two adjectives “good” and “pleasant,” is more remarkable than the conjunction of two stars of the first magnitude: for a thing to be “good” is good, but for it also to be pleasant is better. All men love pleasant things, and yet it frequently happens that the pleasure is evil; but here the condition is as good as it is pleasant, as pleasant as it is good, for the same “how” is set before each qualifying word.
For brethren according to the flesh to dwell together is not always wise; for experience teaches that they are better a little apart, and it is shameful for them to dwell together in disunion. They had much better part in peace like Abraham and Lot, than dwell together in envy like Joseph’s brothers. When brethren can and do dwell together in unity, then is their communion worthy to be gazed upon and sung of in holy psalmody. Such sights ought often to be seen among those who are near of kin, for they are brethren, and therefore should be united in heart and aim; they dwell together, and it is for their mutual comfort that there should be no strife; and yet how many families are rent by fierce feuds, and exhibit a spectacle which is neither good nor pleasant!
As to brethren inspirit, they ought to dwell together in church fellowship, and in that fellowship one essential matter is unity. We can dispense with uniformity if we possess unity: oneness of life, truth, and way; oneness in Christ Jesus; oneness of object and spirit – these we must have, or our assemblies will be synagogues of contention rather than churches of Christ. The closer the unity the better; for the more of the good and the pleasant there will be. Since we are imperfect beings, somewhat of the evil and the unpleasant is sure to intrude; but this will readily be neutralized and easily ejected by the true love of the saints, if it really exists. Christian unity is good in itself, good for ourselves, good for the brethren, good for our converts, good for the outside world; and for certain it is pleasant: for a loving heart must have pleasure and give pleasure in associating with others of like nature. A church united for years in earnest service of the Lord is a well of goodness and joy to all those who dwell round about it.
From THE TREASURY OF DAVID e-Sword edition

True unity of the brethren is found through the Lord Jesus Christ.  The brethren of Christ Jesus love Him, and love one another.

The Happy People

“ALEPH. Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD. Blessed are they that keep His testimonies, and that seek Him with the whole heart.” Psalm 119:1-2 (KJV)

The happiness of the world is fleeting.  Many people go along searching for happiness, and find what they think is “Happiness”, then……. it is gone.  Like a puff of smoke, a gust of wind; and it is done.  The search begins all over again.

The Psalmist has given us 176 verses in Psalm 119.  They all show us the way of the “Blessed” or the truely “Happy” people.

Happy  people walk in the way that is God’s.  They are the undefiled, not by their own decree, but by God’s decree, and that is by the blood of the sacrificed Lamb of God who is Jesus Christ.  These happy people find themselves in possession of the law of the LORD within their hearts, desiring to live for the LORD in all His holiness.

Happy people keep His testimonies, and seek Him with a “whole heart”.  That is a heart that is right with God; a redeemed heart, a clean heart, free from guilt shame, condemnation.

The apostle Paul wrote,

“There is therefor now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”  Romans 8:1

and he writes also,

“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”  Romans 5:1

Happy people have found true happiness through God’s own decree.  “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear Him.”  Matthew 17:5   You will not be happy until you do.

Speed Deliverance

“Make haste, O God, to deliver me; make haste to help me, O LORD.” Psalm 70:1 (KJV)

Like the Psalmist most of us often feel the pressures of this life; work, home, family, friends, even society and culture; pushing us, crowding us, holding us, even destroying us.  At least that is how we feel at times.

It  is in these times we plead for help.  Many who know not God through His Son Jesus will seek out solace, and comfort from sources which will only lead to more problems, and addictions.

For the Christian, born again by the Spirit of God, it is always the right time to plead for God’s deliverance, His help, His strength, His comfort.

If you are an non believer, no follower of Christ Jesus, and you find yourself in a quandary; you realize you cannot solve the problem of life, you realize you are a condemned, dying, person; then is the right time for you to cry out to the Living God for deliverance.  He will with all speed come to your deliverance.

Christian brother and sister; never fear God makes haste to come to you aid.  You may call out to Him from what ever situation you may find yourself.  He hears, He comes, He delivers, and gives you peace.

Mercy and Blessing

“God be merciful unto us, and bless us; and cause His face to shine upon us; Selah.” Psalm 67:1 (KJV)

Mercy and blessing is what the world needs today.  Mercy and blessing is what the Lord has given us.  Many will curse that last sentence because they curse God and all that He has said; all that He has done; and all that He is doing.

The Psalmist in praying this prayer may have the one big event in mind.  The coming of His Son; our Saviour into the world.  The greatest show of mercy from God toward the world was the sending of Jesus Christ, Son of God into the world to be propitiation for our sin.

The sinless Son of God became sin (2 Corinthians 5:21), took the judgment of God; and when we by faith look to Him He makes us the righteousness of God.  Now what could be more merciful than that?  What could be more gracious than that?

When we trust Jesus as our Lord and Saviour the face of God shines upon us and within us.  “Selah”  I always view this word as being a word to tell us “Pause and think on this for a while”.  Rejoice in the grace and mercy of God today and always.

Cast Off, Scattered, Displeased?

“O God, Thou hast cast us off, Thou hast scattered us, Thou hast been displeased; O turn Thyself to us again.” Psalm 60:1 (KJV)

Contrary to the way this Psalm begins it is really a Psalm of victory.  Of God being the Deliverer.

Just for a short thought.  It may feel sometimes as though God has cast us off, scattered us from our people, and from Himself; and/or even that He is displeased with us; however, there is always hope for the child of God.

With this one verse we see the Psalmists’ hope “O turn Thyself to us again”, and God always hears the cry of His people.

Remember how much God loves you.  He sent His Son to die on the cross for us, for you, and by trusting that precious work of Christ you can look to Him and live eternally.

Being Safe

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1 (KJV)

Being safe, and safety is a concern for many citizens of the United States and the rest of the world.  Many are dependent upon their government, security companies, body guards, and such.  These things have a great tendency to fail.

The place for “Refuge” is not in trusting government of any nation, or the United Nations.  The Psalmist tells us, and it is so very true; “God is our refuge” He is our place of safety.

“Refuge” is a shelter.  Maybe even a hiding place where we can go just to be alone with God.  God is also the source of our boldness, our might, our strength.

Some feel that God; if He exists is way off somewhere else, and nowhere near this earth; or at least nowhere near themselves.  The Psalmist has another thought, and the one I hold.  He is a very present help in trouble.  He is even Help when there is no trouble.

You can trust the Lord in times of trouble; in times of fear and assault from others.  You can depend on Him to aid you and give you strength through the worst trial of your life.  In Him through Jesus the Christ, Son of the Living God there is life.

Patience and the LORD

I waited patiently for the LORD; and He inclined unto me, and heard my cry. Psalm 40:1 (KJV)

Are you a patient person?  I probably could have gone all day without asking that question. right?  If your honest answer to that question is NO! Then join the growing crowd.  I am not normally a patient man.

Many Christians when we pray we want an answer to our prayers really quick; you know –  “Lord give me patience, and give it to me now.”

The Psalmist David “waited patiently for the LORD”.  If there is any where we should be patient it is in our walk with GOD.  I am growing to understand that He sees the bigger picture, and I only see a very small portion of it.  It is true of us all.  The LORD knows the beginning from the end.  He Himself is the First and the Last.  He is the Alpha and the Omega.

Waiting is not sitting down doing nothing.  Waiting takes much effort, much trust, and obedience.  So, in that time of waiting, what am I supposed to do?  Do all that He has said.

One of my favorite verses of Scripture is Isaiah 40:31 “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength…”  I will let you look it up yourself, and be blessed.  The LORD He hears the cry of those who “Wait” on Him.

Wrong Side of Judgment

“O LORD, rebuke me not in Thy wrath: neither chasten me in Thy hot displeasure.” Psalm 38:1 (KJV)

No one that I know wants to be on the wrong side of judgment.  By that I mean the danger end of a shotgun, rifle, or pistol.  For those unfamiliar with this thought I will just say, no one looks forward to standing in court before a judge; at least if they are in the right mind.

No one should desire to stand on the wrong side of the judgment of GOD.  I know that I sure do not want to.  Neither did David the Psalmist.  GOD is the supreme Judge.  He hates sin.  He judges sin; my sin and yours.  We cannot even appear  before Him unless sin has been dealt with.

No one can be good enough, sinless enough to appear before GOD of Creation on their own merit.  Not me, nor you.  Our own “righteousness” condemns us, it does not save us.  We are born in a condemned state, apart from GOD; without GOD.

GOD Himself stepped into the world picture in the person of His Son Jesus Christ, pouring out His wrath, His displeasure upon Him for us, that we might come into His presence and glory.

If you do not desire to be rebuked in the wrath of GOD; in which you will not survive it; neither will you survive His hot displeasure; then, you must receive GOD’S gracious gift of salvation He has provided by way of the cross of Jesus Christ.  Jesus died, was buried, and bodily arose and came out of the grave, and lives today awaiting the time to come again and make all things right.

Servant of the LORD

“The transgression of the wicked saith within my heart, that there is no fear of God before his eyes.” Psalm 36:1 (KJV)

In a day where no one likes to be anyone’s servant, even slave, we do not like the term “Servant of the LORD”.  That may just be where the “Transgression” begins.  It is where the transgression begins.

The title of the Psalm, “To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David the servant of the LORD.” has a reference to “David the servant of the LORD”  Do you; do I have a problem with being the servant of the LORD?

It is transgression if we are not.  In fact if we do not yield to the LORD we have no fear of God, and we are estranged from Him.

If we are servants of the LORD, then there is allegiance to Him, devotion to Him, love to Him, and of doing His Word; loving Him with all our hearts, all our soul, all our mind, and all our strength.  We obey God, even by obeying the laws of men, as long as they do not violate the law of God.  To do so is a transgression against God, and there is “…No fear of God before his eyes.”

GOD calls us to Himself through His Son Jesus.  Yield to the One who died on the cross, was buried, and rose again.  He is coming again. Live for Him.

Judgment You can Trust

“Judge me, O LORD; for I have walked in mine integrity: I have trusted also in the LORD; therefore I shall not slide.” Psalm 26:1 (KJV)

No one of us enjoy the thought of being judged by another human being.  We can be the worst, and the harshest of judges.

The Psalmist (David) goes to Jehovah, and request His judgment.  Would I do that?  I will say this; I do desire His judgment over yours.  It is a good thing to desire the judgment of GOD.  His judgment is holy, just and righteous.

As David; if we come to Him with with a moral integrity that is based on the grace of God, then you or I have nothing to fear in God’s judgment.

You will notice that David comes to make this request based on his trust in the LORD – “I have trusted also in the LORD…”

Let me give you some thoughts concerning judgment. First, when we have trusted the LORD we can know that His judgment is right.  Second, when we are trusting the LORD we can judge ourselves: “If we would judge ourselves we would not be judged” (1 Corinthians 11:31).  Third, we can be free of the fearful judgment of GOD by trusting in the One who took our judgment for us; that is, His Son  Jesus Christ.

Knowing Him, trusting Him, and He keeps us from the “Slide” ie., from falling.

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.

In Your Day of Trouble

“The LORD hear thee in the day of trouble; the name of the God of Jacob defend thee…” Psalm 20:1 (KJV)

The Psalmist is probably suiting up for battle at this point as the king of Judah.  The enemy is around and waiting to pounce.  In the time before the battle is a time for prayer.

When people pray before the battle we will be more secure in the thought of GOD hearing during the battle; those quick emergency prayers which are uttered from the heart.

His thought as he prays is on Jehovah [YaHWeH] the Almighty, the I AM of Moses and of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  He is our GOD too.

The whole of the Godhead is the GOD who will hear and aid us in our battles.  When?  In “The day of trouble”.  In defense He sets you up on a high place to shield you, protect you.  He is your shield.

There is no greater trust than to trust the One who is eternal GOD.  He has revealed Himself to mankind in the person of His Son.  At this time of year we are remembering His incarnation; God becoming man, that He might redeem us from our sins.  He is no longer that baby in a manger; rather He is the crucified, buried, and resurrected Lord of all the earth.  In your day of trouble He hears you.  Will you hear Him?

The Glory of God

“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth His handywork.” Psalm 19:1 (KJV)

The Bible speaks of the “Glory of God” quite frequently.  As I read the Scriptures it seems to me that is what the Bible is all about.  The GOD who has made all things, including humanity, wants us all to know Him and His glory.  He even has provide the fallen race with the way to Himself.

The Psalmist saw it in his day.  David was out under the stars most of the time as a shepherd boy guarding sheep, protecting the sheep, and leading them to clean water.  Every evening as the sun would be setting in the west he could and would lift up his eyes and watch for that first star; and behold it in wonder.

People who love God have an appreciation for God’s handiwork.  We can see it in the stars.  We see it in all of creation.  We see God’s working even in our farm animals, our pets, and the people who are our neighbors.

I love watching the stars.  I sometimes refer to them as “The floor joists of heaven”.  If the floor joists of heaven are so beautiful; I cannot begin to imagine what God’s heaven is like, except for what we are told by Scripture.

As I am writing this it is still dark out, the sky is partially clear, the moon is hanging in the west, and there are a few stars which can be seen.  “The heavens declare the glory of God…” and so will I.  Will you join me today in declaring the glory of God.

Begin by believing God.  His Son Jesus tells us, “I am the way, the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father but by Me.”  And He also tells us, “This is the work of God; that you believe on Him whom He has sent.”  Do so today declaring the glory of God.

No God???

“The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.” Psalm 14:1 (KJV)

Who would dare to say that there is “No God”?  Not the wise, observant person who has eyes to see.  Not the one’s who know that things do not just appear from nothing.  Everything has a designer, and builder.

When I see this verse and the one similar to it in Psalm 53:1 my mind goes immediately to those who are non theist.  They have conventions.  Just recently they had one in Springfield, MO. calling it “Scepticon”  I guess for a gathering of non believers in God.  They try to win people over to the idea that “God does not exist”.

Notice what the Psalmist says of these people.  “They are corrupt” they are wasters, destroyers, spoilers.  “They have done abominable works” the works that they do may seem good in the eyes of men, but according to God and His Word they are “abominable” abhor the honor and glory of God. “None that doeth good” all that they do is done for their own pride and pleasure, rather than to glorify God in whom they say they do not believe.

I need not prove the existence of God.  “The earth is the LORD’S  and all that is therein”  He has made it.  It declares His glory; and the greatest knowledge of God comes from the cross of Christ.  God came to man in human flesh in His Son Jesus Christ and gave His life a ransom for all who will believe.  God is for He is the “I Am” of all eternity.

Asked Again, and Again

“Why standest Thou afar off, O LORD? Why hidest Thou Thyself in times of trouble?” Psalm 10:1 (KJV)

It has been asked again and again, “Where was God on that day of despair?”  Maybe you are one who has asked the question.  Maybe, even like the Psalmist you asked God Himself; “Why are You so far away?  Why are You hiding Yourself in these times of trouble?”

I know that I  have.  God’s answer has always been, “I am right here in the midst of it.  Do you not see My mercy?  Do you not see My hand keeping harm at bay?”

Name a trouble or trial, and I can tell you He is right there in the midst of it.  He is holding you.  If it is a tragic event involving someone else He is there as well.

A very needful question to ask would be “Where was God on the day Jesus was crucified?”  After all Jesus was sinless, without spot or blemish.  He was there. He was displaying His grace; His love and His mercy for all human kind.  He was also displaying His judgment upon our sin upon His Son Jesus Christ.  He was not standing “afar off”; He was very near; fulfilling His Word.

He is right where you are as well.  Believe Him.  Trust Him today.

Whole Heart Praise

“I will praise Thee, O LORD, with my whole heart; I will shew forth all Thy marvellous works.” Psalm 9:1 (KJV)

The Psalmist David will praise the LORD.  That is what his heart desires.  We know from Biblical history that David was not a sinless man, yet he had a heart for God.  He heard God, and when he realized he had sinned he confessed, repented, and received forgiveness.

Whole Heart Praise would be the giving of one’s self to the praise of the one and only who is worthy of praise.  True praise is more than words spoken.  It is a life lived.

The “Marvellous works” are the works which God is continually doing.  Jesus says,

“This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him whom He hath sent.”
(John 6:29)

We can show for the marvellous works of God through the wonderful works Jesus does in our own lives.  Beginning with trusting Him for your eternal salvation.

Trust

“O LORD my God, in Thee do I put my trust: save me from all them that persecute me, and deliver me:” Psalm 7:1 (KJV)

We people put our trust in things and people everyday.  Every time we sit in a chair we are trusting that the chair will not fall or break in pieces.  We get in our cars, and trust that it will start (of course sometimes they do not). We do those things without so much as a second thought most of the time.

Is it not amazing that we can put so much trust in things made and built by human kind, but when it comes to God we cannot trust Him to the same extent.

The Psalmist did.  God is more trust worthy than any object made by man.  He may not always deliver us from our situation, tragedy, or circumstance in life; as we ask Him to, but trust goes much further than deliverance from situations.  With God it goes to His character, and who He is.

There is a question which has been asked:  “If God never answered another one of your prayers would you still trust Him?”

My answer to that question is Yes.  He is still God.  He still loves me.  I can still trust Him for my future, and for today.  He knows what is best for you and me.

Be as the Psalmist.  Put your trust in the LORD God through the death, burial and bodily resurrection of His Son Jesus Christ.

Call for a Hearing

“Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer.” Psalm 4:1 (KJV)

David the Psalmist had a great heart for calling on the LORD.  This appears to be his first action when facing difficulties.  Rather then complaining and being angry toward men he would often take his anxieties to the LORD, and receive comfort.

Now, David was by no means perfect.  He had his sins to deal with, and God chastised him for his sins; as God chastises all those who are His.

The man of God desires to have the ear of God.  Desires to have it during the bad times and the good.  He desires the righteousness of God.  Praises God for His blessings, and appreciates the mercy of God.

Call on God through His Son Jesus Christ today.  He will hear you.

Thirsty

“O God, Thou art my God; early will I seek Thee: my soul thirsteth for Thee, my flesh longeth for Thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; to see Thy power and Thy glory, so as I have seen Thee in the sanctuary.”  Psalm 63:1-2 (KJV)

Did the Psalmist know God?  David knew God.  Yet the more or better he knew Him the more he desired Him.

Jesus said,

“Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: but whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.”  John 4:13-14

The Christian is full of the water that Jesus gives, but is continually in need to drink from the Source.  The better we know Jesus the more we desire to know Him.

Life is Short

We hear of  people living to be 90 to 100+ years of age.  We marvel at reaching such ages.  We read, however, in the Scriptures of people living to be hundreds of years in age, then dying.

The Psalmist wrote,

“Behold, Thou hast made my days as an handbreadth; and mine age is as nothing before Thee: verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity. Selah.”  Psalm 39:5 (KJV)

And these are words that we know and hear.  Every human being knows that life is short, and many seek to live much longer.  We read in Psalm 90,

“The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is there strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.” (90:10)

The measure of a “handbreadth” is probably one of the shortest physical measures of man.  It is used to measure the height of a horse.  We are told that a horse is 14 hands high, and that means at the top of  their shoulder.  David says, “Life is short.” and it is.

A few years ago I was reading where the Psalmist had written, “So teach us to number our days…” and I began to think seriously about how old I was in days.  I did some calculations and came to a conclusion, and I still number my days.  To this day I am now 20,950 days old.  In days, at least to me, that does not seem so long.  I was just thinking if I had a dollar for every day, it would not equal a poverty level annual income.

Life is short.  So we best be sure that our lives are in connection with the LORD of Hosts through His Son Jesus.  The Psalmist has written the word “Selah” at the end of this verse.  I take that word to mean, “Pause and reflect” on what has just been said.  Life is short.  Let us reflect the image of God in a dark and dying world.

-Tim A. Blankenship

The Living LORD

I am looking at Psalm 18 this morning.  It is a Psalm which David wrote while fleeing from Saul the anointed king of Israel for the time.  Time after time God delivered David from the hands of his enemies, and Saul the king.  David never thought of king Saul as an enemy; even though the man sought many times to kill David himself.

In David we find the faith of a child.  The kind of faith our Lord Jesus speaks of,

“Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.  Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.  And whoso shall receive one such little child in My name receiveth Me.  But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in Me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.”  Matthew 18:3-6 (KJV)

In  the eighteenth Psalm David speaks much about the LORD, His way, His word, trusting Him, and in the verse for which the title comes he has written for all time and eternity;

“The LORD liveth; and blessed be my rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted.”  Psalm 18:46

One of the things that strengthens faith is knowing that God is the living GOD.  All others are dead, buried, on display, and the imaginations of wicked hearts.  Our God lives, even though He was crucified, died, was buried; He rose again bodily from the grave, and is alive forevermore.

He is the Rock of Ages.  He is to be exalted.  He is to be worshipped.  He is the Living LORD.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Day 42 – Thoughts from Psalms; Creator

When it comes to the Psalms we find much to sing and say about our Creator.  Some of the intellect of our day believe that all that is just came to pass by chance, or cosmic explosion alone; but where, O where did the materials come from that “caused the explosion”?

My reading today was Psalms 94 – 107 for my 14 chapters for the day.  My reading in the Psalms is not taking me as long in time as previously reading in Genesis through Esther; however, it is still quite fulfilling, and a great learning adventure.

The Bible speaks much about GOD, and His creating of all that is.  We seem most of it in the reading of the first two chapters of Genesis, but the rest of the Bible reveals things about creation as well.  We will today, look at the Creator, rather than His creation.

“O sing unto the LORD a new song: sing unto the LORD, all the earth.  Sing unto the LORD, bless His name; shew forth His salvation from day to day.  Declare His glory among the heathen, His wonders among all people.  For the LORD is great, and greatly to be praised: He is to be feared above all gods.  For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the LORD made the heavens.”  Psalm 96:1-5 (KJV)

The psalmist sings “unto the LORD  a new song”, and calls on “all the earth” to sing unto the LORD.  Is there some reason for the psalmist to sing out and call for the earth to “Sing unto the LORD”?  Most certainly it is because the Creator is worthy of our song and singing.  The one’s who sing this “new song” unto the LORD are people who have experienced “His salvation” and we are to show it forth to all the earth every day.

There are far to many people who profess to know God, and who will give Him honor one day a week, but then, will live solely for themselves the other six days in a week.  They are ruthless, ungodly, cruel, and demeaning in the business place, and are indeed no blessing to the LORD during those days.

Those who sing the new song unto the LORD speak of His wonders among all the people.  We speak of the wonderful salvation He has provided for us through His Son Jesus Christ.  We speak of the glories of the cross, His burial, and His bodily resurrection; that He still lives, and is our intercessor daily before the throne of God.

Some might say, “Well the Bible recognizes that there are other gods”.  Oh really?  It recognizes that there are idols that people through deception have chosen to worship, but that is not a recognition of other gods.  It is a recognition of the frailty, rebellion and sin of the human.  It could also be seen as the need of the human to worship something greater than one’s self.  However, idols are man made, and are patterned after something GOD created.  As the psalmist has said elsewhere, “They that make them are like unto them” (Psalm 115:8; 135:18).  The only thing on earth that is supposed to be in the image of GOD, is the human race; and due to sin that image has been greatly marred.

That is why Jesus Christ came, bled and died on a cruel, rugged cross; was buried, and bodily rose from the grave, and eternally lives.

“Let the field be joyful, and all that is therein: then shall all the trees of the wood rejoice before the LORD: for He cometh, for He cometh to judge the earth: He shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with His truth.” 96:12-13

-Tim A. Blankenship

Powerful and Great

People love their heroes.  We call our soldiers heroes, and maybe they are well deserving of that title; however they are doing what they have been called and trained to do.  That is essentially risking and at times giving their lives.  I will admit that is heroic.  The same could be said of firefighters, policemen, and others.  We need them to be heroes.  They are, however, only men and women who love their country, their cities, and/or the people they serve, and will risk it all for us.

Heroes for many people have been fictional characters, and maybe Biblical characters.  As a kid growing up in Southwest Missouri I saw Roy Rogers as a hero, and maybe Wyatt Earp.  Later on Superman became my hero, until I realized he was not real, and even now, I still enjoy the story.  Our heroes can lose their zest for us; because they can fail, and fall from their perch. I think every father wants to be their son’s hero; even that hero can fall; the first time Dad cannot attend that sports event, due to something he cannot prevent.

We need more than a hero; we need the GOD who has created us and all things.  We need His grace, His mercy, His strength, and power.  We need Him.  Hear what the Psalmist said of Him,

“Great is our Lord, and of great power: His understanding is infinite.” Psalm 147:5 (KJV)

He is great, distinguished, awesome, glorious, and the pinnacle of greatness; meaning their is no one or nothing greater.  He is the master and Lord over everything He has made.  He made the universe and everything in it.  Our world, the earth, and everything upon it, within it and all around it.  One day every thing will be just as He desires it to be.

There are many things you and I do not understand about God, creation and even us as part of His creation.   To know Him, however, is to know that we have an eternal future with Him.

The understanding of God is never ending, as the Psalmist has written, “His understanding is infinite”.  It is without limits.

You can know the Creator by believing, trusting in His Son Jesus who is the one who holds it all together (Colossians 1:16-17), and by Him we have a way to God.  It is because of the cross of Christ Jesus that our sin debt has been paid, by His burial the guilt and condemnation of our sin has been put away, and by His resurrection we have been justified – made righteous by God’s own decree.

Believe on Him, and be justified today.

“Great is our Lord, and of great power: His understanding is infinite.”

-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

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

Worship the LORD

With the weekend coming up, and Sunday only two days away worship should be a fitting topic for today.  Excitement, dancing, clapping of hands, jumping up and down, shouting words of worship are not necessarily worship.  Especially, in a Christian setting where Jesus Christ is to be worshipped. (By the way, I know I am spelling “worshipped” wrong compared to the new spelling.  I prefer the old way.  With two p’s).

I want us to look at Psalm 96 today.  It has much to say about worship.  Particularly verse 9,

“O worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness: fear before Him, all the earth.”  Psalm 96:9 (KJV)

“Worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness” may have to do with garments the people of God wore as they attended the tabernacle, or the temple; however there is a much better understanding of that, which would be one’s life lived with love and adoration of the One we worship.

There is a reference in this Psalm to “gods of the nations” (vv. 4-5), and I believe that is for a reason.  In the worship of the “gods of the nations” it involved much debauchery, and lewd practices with suggestive dancing and moving bodies.  The worship of our LORD is “in the beauty of holiness”; with no sexually suggestive moves, or profane acts.

Now, please do not take me wrong.  I think a little hand clapping to the timing of the music is okay; as long as it is done with the heart of praise to the Creator who alone is worthy of our praise, honor, glory and worship.

Remember what Jesus told the woman at the well,

“Woman, believe Me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.  Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.  But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship Him.  God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.”  John 4:21-24 (KJV)

God is holy, and His people must worship Him in the BEAUTY OF HOLINESS; not after the fashion of those attending a Rock concert.  There is a “garment of praise” (Isaiah 61:3), and that garment must be holiness.

-Tim A. Blankenship

O LORD, Hear Me

It is in the heart of every born again individual; that is every one who has been born of God through His Son Jesus Christ; to pray and longs for acknowledgment in that prayer.  We have assurance from God’s Word that when we pray He hears us.

In Psalm 86 we have the Psalmist singing a prayer; and I want us to look at verse 1 which reads,

“Bow down Thine ear, O LORD, hear me: for I am poor and needy.” Psalm 86:1

This is one of my favorite Psalms.  I have often read it and prayed these words as I read them.  I know that God will hear the heart that prays His Word.  The child of God is assured of having the ear of God, when we are humble before Him as the great and awesome, Creator and GOD that He is.

No wonder the writer of Hebrews said,

 “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”  Hebrews 4:16

Since we can come boldly to the throne of grace; God’s throne; then surely that is a promise of His hearing our prayers.  To come boldly.  Come without fear of refusal, rejection, or denial of you and your requests.  Come boldly into His presence, because of the work of Jesus Christ on the cross, His burial and resurrection has sealed it forever.

Jesus said,

“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: for every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.”  Matthew 7:7-8

If Jesus tells us to ask, then we can be assured that God will “Bow down” His “ear” and hear us when we pray.

-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

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.

The Destruction Of Evil

I have heard the question asked so many times, “If there is a god, and if this god is good, why does he allow evil?”  I guess I have even asked that question or one similar.  There are many questions that need to asked along with this:  Is God all powerful?  Is God all knowing?  Is God all present?  Is God unchanging?  Is God a god of love and mercy?  If you answer all of those from a Biblical perspective then you can answer the question of evil.

Let’s look at part of the prayer of the Psalmist and his concern about evil.

A prayer of the Psalmist.

“Break Thou the arm of the wicked and the evil man: seek out his wickedness till Thou find none.”  Psalm 10:15 (KJV).

One of the first things that comes to my mind as I read this is a question.  “Who are the wicked?”  To be extremely accurate about it, that would mean me, you, all of us.  Because God is holy, righteous, and just, and He cannot look upon iniquity, ie. evil.  Then He must rid the world of us.

I want to assure you that He has broken the arm of the wicked.  The arm of the wicked was broken when sin was put to death with Jesus on the cross.  “Boy, it sure doesn’t seem like it.  Look at what’s happening in the world, and in my life”.  Be assured that all sin has been paid for.

The way God has dealt with my evil and yours is by judging it on His Son Jesus Christ.  He paid the debt for our sin.  Ultimately there will be no more sin.  It will one day reach a height, and plunge into the eternity of nothingness.

When Jesus comes into our hearts to live, abide, and stay evil is banished.  You are no more evil.  That begs another question.  “Then, who are the evil?”  All those who reject the free gift of grace in Christ Jesus.

One day, and it may be soon Jesus will come and all evil will be eternally put away.  Even the lamb and the lion will roam together, and without threat to the lamb.  The small child will be able to play over the den of the serpent without any fear (See Isaiah 11).  There will be no more ruthless rulers in the world.  Jesus will rule in the hearts and lives of people the world wide.

-Tim A. Blankenship

God’s Horses and Chariots of Salvation

God’s Horses, and Chariots of Salvation

In these following verses we see pictures of the LORD riding in chariots pulled by horses. He has, of course, won many and mighty victories for the people of His name. The prophet Habakkuk is reminded and reminding those who read and/or sing this song of the greatness of our LORD.

Hear the Word of the LORD through the prophet:

“Was the LORD displeased against the rivers? was thine anger against the rivers? was thy wrath against the sea, that thou didst ride upon thine horses and thy chariots of salvation? Thy bow was made quite naked, according to the oaths of the tribes, even thy word. Selah. Thou didst cleave the earth with rivers. The mountains saw thee, and they trembled: the overflowing of the water passed by: the deep uttered his voice, and lifted up his hands on high. The sun and moon stood still in their habitation: at the light of thine arrows they went, and at the shining of thy glittering spear. Thou didst march through the land in indignation, thou didst thresh the heathen in anger. Thou wentest forth for the salvation of thy people, even for salvation with thine anointed; thou woundedst the head out of the house of the wicked, by discovering the foundation unto the neck. Selah. Thou didst strike through with his staves the head of his villages: they came out as a whirlwind to scatter me: their rejoicing was as to devour the poor secretly. Thou didst walk through the sea with thine horses, through the heap of great waters.” Habakkuk 3:8-15 (KJV)

We are reminded of God’s power over the waters of the earth. “Was the LORD displeased against the rivers?” and “Was Your wrath against the sea”; remind us of the children of Israel crossing the Jordon River by God’s stopping the waters upstream so they could cross on dry ground, and previously to this; the Red Sea, by God’s dividing the sea and them walking across on dry ground.

Of course, we know that God has no need of horses and chariots, but this is the picture of God’s power and victory over the enemy, as He freed the children of Israel from the bondage of Egypt, and promise of future deliverance from the captivity to come.

Let’s look at the word “Selah” for a moment. The meaning is not quite certain. I have found it quite meaningful to see it as the means or call for reflection upon what I have read. To go back and read it again. To meditate upon it, and reflect on the greatness of the LORD whenever this word is used. The Psalmist uses it quite often, and it may mean to go back and repeat the words. That is at least how I like to think about it. The word “Selah” is used three times in Habakkuk’s third song. Twice in the above passage alone.

The arrow God shoots from His bow is always on target. He hits what He aims at. It may not always be a “Bull’s-eye”. “Bull’s-eye” being what we think is the target. In other words it is not always what we think, but God hits what He aims for. His Word is always on target, never out of date, and pertinent in every point.

The waters of the earth are all at God’s beckoning and call. When He called for a flood upon the earth – there was a flood. When He called for a drought upon the Northern kingdom of Israel under the rule of Ahab, there was a drought for 3.5 years. When He commanded the Red Sea to part; it parted. When He called for the Jordan River to stop flowing; it stopped flowing. All the waters are at His command, and none can control these things but Him.

We are reminded in verse 11 of the power of God over the sun and moon. In the book of Joshua 10:12-14 we see God causing the sun to stand still for a whole day; and one other time several years later the shadow on the sundial of Ahaz went backwards 10 degrees to give king Hezekiah a sign that his life had been extended 15 years (2 Kings 20:8-11; Isaiah 38:4-8). Truly God is God of gods, King of kings, Lord of lords, and there really can be no other. There is none like Him. Praise the name of the LORD.

The LORD is a victorious GOD. He loves His people, protects them, sets them in the right paths, and corrects them when they go astray. He will always have a remnant of people. There have been times when He has used other nations to correct His people, and those people God uses think they serve themselves, and mistreat the people of God, but those who do will face the wrath of the Almighty. “You trampled the nations in anger. You went forth for the salvation of Your people, for salvation with Your Anointed.” This is likened to a “Threshing floor” where grain is taken, trampled, beaten, and tossed so the wind can blow away the waste and stubble. He, at times have even caused the enemy to turn their own weapons against one another – “You thrust through with his own arrows the head of his villages”.

Still yet we see the prophet rejoicing in the power of our great God. There is none who can withstand Him. He is victorious, and will always be victorious. We are reminded of another victory at the Red Sea. When the Egyptian army came by way of the path through the Sea, the Sea closed in on them – “You walked through the sea with Your horses, Through the heap of great waters”.

How glorious is our LORD. How majestic is His name. He will always bring His people through.

-by Tim A. Blankenship