Wisdom, Judgment, Flattery, Snare, and Song

“Whoso loveth wisdom rejoiceth his father: but he that keepeth company with harlots spendeth his substance.
The king by judgment establisheth the land: but he that receiveth gifts overthroweth it.
A man that flattereth his neighbour spreadeth a net for his feet.
In the transgression of an evil man there is a snare: but the righteous doth sing and rejoice.”  Proverbs 29:3-6  (KJB)

The LORD Is Great, and Greatly To Be Praised

“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.
Honour and majesty are before Him: strength and beauty are in His sanctuary.”  Psalm 96:1-6  (KJB)

When You Sing unto the LORD

“But I have trusted in Thy mercy; my heart shall rejoice in Thy salvation. I will sing unto the LORD, because He hath dealt bountifully with me.” Psalm 13:5-6 (KJV)

David is noted as being the author of this Psalm. In the beginning of it he has questioned “How long will You forget me, O LORD?”, and “How long will You hide Your face from me?” He has felt as though the LORD has neglected him, and is not listening to his pleas.

He has felt that his enemy is being exalted over him, and he is the one suffering for it. Does it ever seem that way for you? I must admit I have had my moments of despair, doubt, and fear.

Notice though how David ends this prayer song. “I have trusted in Thy mercy, my heart shall rejoice in Thy salvation.” How quickly things can change when you find yourself before the face of God; and all the questions seem to fade away.

When you get before the face of God the questions no longer matter. Have you ever heard someone say; or maybe you have said it yourself: “When I get to heaven I have a lot of questions I want to ask God?” I have thought that in years past, but I have learned also that when I get to see God face to face all the questions that I have thought I would ask will not even matter then. I believe that because when I have asked them here, and received the peace and comfort of God; the questions no longer mattered.  They certainly will not matter then.

Why does David place His trust in the LORD? “…Because He has dealt bountifully with me.” When we see God, His grace, His work in us where else is there to place our trust? Nowhere else; and No other One. He is our mercy and our salvation.

You will not begin to see His wondrous bounty, mercy, grace; until you come to Him through His Son Jesus who bled and died on the cross, was buried and bodily arose from the grave.  Trust Jesus Christ and His finished work; then witness the greatness and power and bounty of God as one of His own.

Robes of Priests and Kings

“And David was clothed with a robe of fine linen, and all the Levites that bare the ark, and the singers, and Chenaniah the master of the song with the singers: David also had upon him an ephod of linen. Thus all Israel brought up the ark of the covenant of the LORD with shouting, and with sound of the cornet, and with trumpets, and with cymbals, making a noise with psalteries and harps. And it came to pass, as the ark of the covenant of the LORD came to the city of David, that Michal the daughter of Saul looking out at a window saw king David dancing and playing: and she despised him in her heart.” 1 Chronicles 15:27-29 (KJV)

The “linen robe” and the “ephod of linen” were garments of the priests (Exodus 28:5-14). King David was celebrating the bringing of the ark of the covenant to Jerusalem because in his first attempt he had failed to consult the LORD and His word on the matter (15:13).

There was singing. There was dancing. There was such a jubilant celebration of worship to the LORD as the ark is brought into the city.

Michal, David’s wife, was not pleased with David. What was her problem. It was not because he was actually naked as what some suppose; but it was because he had stripped off his robes, the garments of being king, and put on the garments of a priest.

On David’s part it was an act of humility. On Michal’s part it was vanity and pride. Because of Michal’s act she would never have children.

David is representative of all Christians, in that when we come to God through His Son Jesus we are made priests ourselves and can through the blood of Jesus go directly to the throne room of the Most High (1 Peter 2:9;  Hebrews 4:16).

For further reading you may want to check out Shoulders of Blessing and On a Cart

Praising and Honoring God With Music

“And these are they whom David set over the service of song in the house of the LORD, after that the ark had rest. And they ministered before the dwelling place of the tabernacle of the congregation with singing, until Solomon had built the house of the LORD in Jerusalem: and then they waited on their office according to their order.” 1 Chronicles 6:31-32 (KJV)

These verses begin a chronicled list of Levites whom David placed as the authority over the singing in the “Tabernacle of the congregation” after it was brought to Jerusalem thus the phrase “after that the ark had rest”. You find that genealogy from verses 33-48.

I believe the LORD likes us to sing unto Him in worship. I also believe He is glorified with instruments of music, as they are played unto Him. He is glorified when we are enjoying Him. John Piper has written, “God is most glorified in us; when we are most satisfied in Him” and music is one way that is expressed when it honors His name, His holiness, and His righteousness.

I sometimes laugh as I drive in a city once in a while, and occasionally I will see folks in their cars tapping the steering wheel, or moving to the rhythm of a song they are listening; maybe even singing along. I laugh, because I find myself doing that, just about every time I have the car radio on, and listening to a good uplifting God honoring song.

Sing a song today, and honor God in your music.

Singing Mercy and Judgment

“I will sing of mercy and judgment: unto Thee, O LORD, will I sing.” Psalm 101:1 (KJV)

This a Psalm of David.  A man who knew of God’s mercy and judgment.  We ought to be thankful for His lovingkindness, and His chastisement of His own.  Our hearts filled with song, and singing to the One who alone is worthy of song and praise.

Of this verse and song, Spurgeon has written,

“I will sing of mercy and judgment.” He would extol both the love and the severity, the sweets and the bitters, which the Lord had mingled in his experience; he would admire the justice and the goodness of the Lord. Such a song would fitly lead up to godly resolutions as to his own conduct, for that which we admire in our superiors we naturally endeavour to imitate. Mercy and judgment would temper the administration of David, because he had adoringly perceived them in the dispensations of his God. Everything in God’s dealings with us may fittingly become the theme of song, and we have not viewed it aright until we feel we can sing about it. We ought as much to bless the Lord for the judgment with which he chastens our sin, as for the mercy with which he forgives it; there is as much love in the blows of his hand as in the kisses of his mouth. Upon a retrospect of their lives instructed saints scarcely know which to be most grateful for – the comforts which have cheered them, or the afflictions which have purged them. “Unto thee, O Lord, will I sing.” Jehovah shall have all our praise. The secondary agents of either the mercy or the judgment must hold a very subordinate place in our memory, and the Lord alone must be hymned by our heart. Our soul’s sole worship must be the lauding of the Lord. The Psalmist forsakes the minor key, which was soon to rule him in the one hundred and second Psalm, and resolves that, come what may, he will sing, and sing to the Lord too, whatever others might do.
from THE TREASURY OF DAVID

O, let us sing of the LORD’S mercy and judgment.  Let us sing.

All the Earth, Singing

“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.” Psalm 96:1-2 (KJV)

You will note much singing in the Psalms.  This Psalm is accredited to David in 1 Chronicles 16:7 where this Psalm is first noted, and verses 23-33 are much unchanged.  I would be in error if that be the case of an earlier statement I made in this study of Psalms.  Just proves that I am still learning.

One day those who are redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, Jesus Christ will sin a new song around the throne.  We will sing a song of redemption, of the Lamb, of the glory of God. We will sing. We will sing the song of salvation.

In the mean time let us show forth His glorious salvation everyday.  May we live to honor and glorify His name; that others may see Him in us.

The Rock

“O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the Rock of our salvation.” Psalm 95:1 (KJV)

This Rock is not speaking  of a former World Wrestling Federation “champion”, or a movie star.  It is speaking of One who has made all things from nothing.

There is only one who is worthy of our song, our music, our joy, and our praise.  His name is Jesus the Christ; Son of the Living God.  He is the Rock.

Paul the apostle mentions this Rock;

“And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.” 1 Corinthians 10:4

Let us forever sing to the One who is Lord.  He is the Rock of our salvation.  Let us sing.

Also see Exodus 17:6 and Numbers 20:8-11.

Song for the King

My heart is inditing a good matter: I speak of the things which I have made touching the King: my tongue is the pen of a ready writer. Psalm 45:1 (KJV)

The heart of the writer of this song is overflowing, jubilant, praising.  It may be because it is the King’s wedding day.

For a scribe, a ready writer, one who loved the King it would truly be a wonderful, glorious day; and he would write of it with a joyous heart.  This Psalm was written with a king in the lineage of David in mind; and it would not be wrong to especially include the Messiah of Israel as this King.

Those who love King Jesus can understand the jubilance of this song.  The Christian is longing for that day when we will see the King in His glory when He comes to claim His bride, and completes the redemption of creation.

“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 (KJV)

If you do not know this King He is the one who died on the cross, was buried, a bodily arose and came out of that grave alive.  He is the one who is soon returning.  Call on His name.  Ask forgiveness for your sins, and turn to Him believing Him.  His name is Jesus the Christ, Son of the Living God.

Music, Singing and GOD

A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet upon Shigionoth.  O LORD, I have heard Thy speech, and was afraid: O LORD, revive Thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy.”  Habakkuk 3:1-2 (KJV)

There is much that could be said about music and singing and for that matter GOD.  Habakkuk, at the beginning of his prophecy was asking questions.  It was like he was blaming God for not watching over His people, protecting them, but letting the enemies of the earth run rough shod over them.

At the end of his prophecy he uses a term which is probably related to music somehow.  It is not quite clear what the meaning of “Shigionoth” is.  God, however, must enjoy music and singing; and I know that the human race enjoys it very well.  Billions of dollars have been spent on buying recordings over the past 50 years in order for us to be able to drive down the road, put in a tape, a CD, plug in an iPod, or a jump drive, and listen to our hearts content.

Yesterday morning I heard on a radio program that NASA has discovered a “Plasma ring” around our planet; and within that ring are radio waves.  Evidently NASA sent up listening devices, and recorded sounds within that Plasma ring.  It almost sounds like a form of music.  Our Creator has made the earth to sing.

For more from Habakkuk you may want to follow this link to a post from February 28, 2008 here at Fire and Hammer.

The greatest song ever sung was in the death of God’s only begotten Son dying to pay the sin debt of the human race.

-T.A.

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

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

Wells Of Salvation

Though chapter twelve is a  short one it is full of song.  In fact it has two songs.  They are songs of the deliverance of Israel for the final time.  It is of a time yet future.  The prophet Isaiah shares with Israel/Judah that there is coming a day when they will be praising the LORD of host; the Holy One of Israel.

“And in that day thou shalt say, O LORD, I will praise Thee: though Thou wast angry with me, Thine anger is turned away, and Thou comfortedst me.  Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; He also is become my salvation.  Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.  And in that day shall ye say, Praise the LORD, call upon His name, declare His doings among the people, make mention that His name is exalted.  Sing unto the LORD; for He hath done excellent things: this is known in all the earth.  Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee.”  Isaiah 12:1-6 (KJV)

Some things which I want to point out-

  1. The people recognize the LORD’s anger, now in that future day forgiveness;
  2. The people, the prophet recognize the LORD  is their salvation;
  3. The LORD shows Himself doubly able to save in the phrase “LORD JEHOVAH” through this song.
  4. The people will “draw water out of the wells of salvation”
  5. There will be praise in the mouth of the people when they see the Holy One of Israel in their midst.

This is very relevant for the Christian of our day, any day as a matter of fact.  We always need to remember that the LORD hates disobedience which is sin, and all sins committed or sins of omitted obedient acts; and with our Lord there is forgiveness.  We must always remember that God is my salvation.  Remember the name of the prophet Isaiah means “God is salvation”.  The Lord’s use of the double “Jehovah” assures us that He is God, He is awesome, He is all powerful, all Present, all knowing, invisible, unexplainable, and immutable [unchanging].

According to John’s gospel chapter 4 we could see that those who know Jesus Christ are in a sense “Wells of salvation” –

“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 (KJV)

Until Jesus comes we have within us the water of everlasting life flowing from our hearts and lives because of the work of Jesus Christ on His cross.

We look forward to that day when Israel will look upon Him whom they have pierced and be saved.  We are delighted, full of excitement, when one lost sheep comes into the fold of our Lord.

There will be singing in that glorious day.  Let everyday of your life be a musical.  Sing unto the LORD.  Be that overflowing well of salvation you are called to be as a Christian.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Though It Be Told You…

THE FIRST PROMISE

Habakkuk 1:5

“ Behold ye among the heathen, and regard, and wonder marvelously: for I will work a work in your days, which ye will not believe, though it be told you.”

We have read and written a little of the five “Woes” of Habakkuk, and they are pronouncements of judgment against Babylon. They are not woes against Judah. The promises are for Judah, but this first one is probably not in the way one would hope.

Remember the prophet was questioning how God could use an unholy people to judge the people of God who were supposed to be holy.

We sometimes do not understand why there is such wickedness in the world and why such bad things happen to “good people”, while it seems that the wicked go without judgment, pain or sorrow. Some of them, as far as the things of the world are concerned have all their hearts could ever desire. My thought on that is – remember this will be the only place they can enjoy their life unless they come to faith in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. They then, will be paying throughout all eternity.

When God’s people turn a disobedient ear to His Word and His messengers, ie., the prophets, then He will open the gates to let evil men, nations and influences come in and be a thorn in the sides of His people. When was the last time you turned a deaf ear to the Word of the Lord or His prophet? Has things changed since that time? Has it been for the better or the worse? I would imagine it was for the worse.

One problem I see with many Christians today is they are crying out to see the mighty hand of God; to see a mighty move of God; and they are not seeing it. He is working. He is moving. He is first of all calling those who say they know Him to be bold in their faith and convictions. He is calling us to stand bravely for Christ in a wicked world that is sliding into Hell and that slippery slope is getting more and more slippery, and they are sliding with great speed into the dungeon of death everlasting.

Those who hate God and His Son Jesus are called upon to “Behold… and regard, and wonder marvelously”. What do the unbeliever’s see in us? Do they see faith, hope, and love; or do they see bitterness, anger, wrath, malice, filthy mouths, lying lips, sowing of discord among brethren, etc.?

The first promise we hear is that God is going to work a work in those who hate God’s people. That God is going to work a work in His own people, even, which will be hard to believe, because it is so marvelous. That work will be the bringing of “Woes” upon them, and using them to accomplish His purposes in God’s people. That work will be worked in God’s people as well.

-by Tim A. Blankenship

Prophet At Rest

The Prophet at Rest

In the beginning of this prophecy we see the prophet Habakkuk questioning God, wondering what is happening, why God is not judging His people. God answers with the prophecy of impending judgment coming from what the prophet sees as an unlikely source; mainly the Gentile Babylonians. He is troubled by this.

After some messages from the LORD the prophet realizes that the LORD is the One who knows best. That He still holds His people in His hands, will not continue to allow His people to live in sin without consequences. There have been five “Woes” pronounced against the Babylonians for there brutal abuses against God’s people, and their arrogance. There are also five promises, basically given to the prophet to show the worthiness and glory of the LORD.

We see in chapter three that the prophet is strengthened, encouraged, and that his faith is renewed. There is an element of verse 16 we must see. The prophet is trembling at the word of the LORD:

“When I heard, my body trembled;
My lips quivered at the voice;
Rottenness entered my bones;
And I trembled in myself,
That I might rest in the day of trouble.
When He comes up to the people,
He will invade them with his troops.”

Anytime we hear the Word of the LORD it should cause us to tremble; even when we see that His Word and will is going to be carried out. Within our lives, the lives of those who may oppose us, the lives of friends and/or family should make no difference. We can rest in the LORD our God.

When we hear, as did the prophet, that God is going to have His way with the people of the Chaldeans – the Babylonians – and with His people; accomplishing His purposes, we should rest in our days of trouble.

There should be perfect peace in our hearts knowing that all these matters are in the hand of the LORD, and fully embrace the will and Word of the LORD. Even in the midst of “The day of trouble”.

-by 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

The Coming of God

The Coming of God

I guess you could say we are to the final verse of the song of Habakkuk. He writes a song with question, and ends it with praise.

The prophet tells us:

“God came from Teman, The Holy One from Mount Paran. Selah. His glory covered the heavens, and the earth was full of His praise.” Habakkuk 3:3 (NKJV).

Have you ever had anyone ask you, “Where did God come from?” You have the answer in the verse above. “God came from Teman.” That is quite the statement. Someone once said that “Teman, means ‘nowhere’”. From what I have seen in Strong’s Concordance, and other places I have not found that, but we still find a great message in this statement.

As God led the children of Israel out of Egyptian bondage He also appears to them at Sinai and gives them the law of the Ten Commandments. In a place where they had felt deserted and abandoned. (You can see this in their many complaints, “We have no water”; “Why did you bring us out into this wilderness to die; we could have died with what we needed to live in Egypt.”). The people are given opportunity to hear God for themselves, and turn away, and request of Moses that he mediate for them (Exodus 20:18-21).

God appeared to them in a land which they did not expect the presence of God. His presence was an awesome presence. Habakkuk gives us the word “Selah” in this verse. My understanding of this word is that what you have just read or sang in this situation is worthy of repeating. So read it again. If you have a tune, sing it again. To sing it again is to really reflect on its power and purpose – stop and think about it, even, without singing it or reading it.

If you imagine this appearing at Sinai was really spectacular; just think of what the appearing of Jesus Christ in His glory will be. If the people of Israel trembled in the Exodus account of God’s presence what will this time be like? When He appears at His glorious appearing, the whole earth will tremble, and the people with it.

The following is the commentary from the LIBERTY BIBLE COMMENTARY:

3a. In reflecting upon the majesty of God and what He will do in the future, the prophet turns his eyes to what God has done in the past. Just as He manifested His majesty in the past, He will also manifest His majesty in the future; for God dwells in the eternal present. The prophet is not simply recalling the great deeds of the past, but is using them as sounding boards in order to project what God will do in the future. Teman was located in the extreme south of Edom and was probably its capital. Opposite Teman was Paran. The two were separated by the Valley of Ghor. In the background of the prophet’s thinking is the memory of the events surrounding Israel’s exodus from Egypt and their sojourn in Sinai. Just as God came and manifested Himself to the Israel of that day, God will come and manisfest Himself to the Israel of the prophet’s day. Just as God delivered Israel from the hands of the Egyptians after they had suffered under their cruelty, He will deliver the Israel of his day from the Chaldeans after they have suffered under their cruelty. God will deliver His people and will judge their foes.” p. 1769.

One thing that we need to be reminded through the words of the song of the prophet Habakkuk is that God has not and will not forsake the people known as Israel. He will deliver them from their blindness, and give them the peace only their Messiah Jesus can give. Where does God come from? It doesn’t matter. What matters is that He is coming at a time He will not be expected, in a very spectacular and glorious way. 

-by Tim A. Blankenship

The Musical

THE PROPHET’S MUSICAL

Habakkuk 3:1-2

Do you ever just feel like singing. I used to wonder why in the world would the movie people make a “Musical”. Then, one day as I was going along singing a song, with no one else to hear it but me; it hit me. My life was a “Musical”, since I spend a lot of time singing; mostly to myself and the Lord. I have noticed since then, as well that most people go around singing. Sometimes it is with the radio, ipod, CD player, or by whatever method they recieve their music; but many people are spending a lot of time singing.

It was not so odd after all that Hollywood would make “Musicals”. They are associated with our lives.

This final chapter of Habakkuk seems to be a song which sums the whole thing up. You do not find the prophet Habakkuk questioning God. You find him praising Him. Pleading for mercy from Him in behalf of Judah.

“A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet, on Shigionoth” Habakkuk 3:1 (NKJV).

I think it would be good for us to realize once again that this Prophetic message of Habakkuk is all in the form of a Psalm or “Song”. The first two chapters seem to just be the prophet’s questions to God of why the guilty seem to go unpunished – even among His people – but especially among those who capture, abuse, and kill His people, like Babylon.

There seems to be no certain meaning for this word, “Shigionoth”. You will find it used in the heading of Psalm 7:1, and the New King James Version translates it as “Meditation” – “A meditation of David”. The following is the notes of C.H. Spurgeon from THE TREASURY OF DAVID on the word “Shigionoth”; at least a form of the same word – “Shiggaion of David, which he sang unto the Lord, concerning the words of Cush the Benjamite.”— “Shiggaion of David.” As far as we can gather from the observations of learned men, and from comparison of this Psalm with the only other Shiggaion in the Word of God (Hab.iii), this title seems to mean ‘variable songs,’ with which also the idea of solace and pleasure is associated. Truly our life-psalm is composed of variable verses; one stanza rolls along with the sublime metre of triumph, but another limps with the broken rhythm of complaint. There is much bass in the saint’s music here below. Our experience is as variable as the weather in England.”

Strong’s definition for this word is “From H7686; properly aberration, that is, (technically) a dithyramb or rambling poem: – Shiggaion, Shigio-noth. ” It seems that this definition would fit with Spurgeon’s, “…Our life-psalm is composed of variable verses…”. At any rate we do see that the prophet has spent time in the presence of the Lord, heard His Word and come to a better understanding.

“O LORD, I have heard Your speech and was afraid; O LORD, revive Your work in the midst of the years! In the midst of the years make it known; In wrath remember mercy.” Habakkuk 3:2

In verse two Habakkuk is referring back to when God answered him concerning his question of “Why do I cry out to You concerning wickedness, and You do not hear?” (My paraphrase from chapter one and verses two through four). God’s answer in verses five through eleven is “Your speech” to which the prophet speaks. He admits his fear from those fearful words. Judgment is going to come on Judah for their sins by the hands of sinful pagans, but that seems to be a little more than Habakkuk could bear at the time.

This holy fear causes Habakkuk to pray for God’s mercy for Judah. “Revive Your work in the midst of the years” is the years they are in judgment in Babylon. Since God was going to judge them in a foreign land, the prophet is pleading that God show forth His saving hand in giving new life to the children of Judah. When in Your wrath “Remember mercy”.

Reading the prophet’s plea for God to remember mercy, causes me to think of God delivering the whole nation from Egypt to make of them a mighty nation; and it seems as though the prophet is asking God, “Do it again LORD; do it again”.

In the midst of those held captive in the United States of America, which is the whole nation; I would pray, do it again LORD, do it again. The USA needs a touch from God. Especially those who call themselves “Christian”. The church in America is held captive by political parties, by finances, by fear, by culture, by comfort, by entertainment, by apathy, by complacency, by a lethargic mind and heart; and we need to be awakened by the power of God’s Spirit; or this nation will perish. “O LORD, revive Thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy.”

Lord, in Your wrath remember mercy. Remember the death of Jesus Your holy Son for the sins of all who will believe.  The greatest Song and Singer who ever lived was Jesus Christ the Son of God.  To hear Him sing you must know Him.

-by Tim A. Blankenship