How Shall We Sing The LORD’S Song?

“By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion.
We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof. For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song; and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying, ‘Sing us one of the songs of Zion.’
How shall we sing the LORD’S song in a strange land?  If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy.
Remember, O LORD, the children of Edom in the day of Jerusalem; who said, ‘Rase it, rase it, even to the foundation thereof.’
O daughter of Babylon, who art to be destroyed; happy shall he be, that rewardeth thee as thou hast served us. Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.”  Psalm 137:1-9  (KJB)

Bless The LORD

“Behold, bless ye the LORD, all ye servants of the LORD, which by night stand in the house of the LORD.
Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless the LORD.
The LORD that made heaven and earth bless thee out of Zion.”  Psalm 134:1-3  (KJB)

Bearing Precious Seed

“When the LORD turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream.
Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, ‘The LORD hath done great things for them.’
The LORD hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad. Turn again our captivity, O LORD, as the streams in the south.
They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.”  Psalm 126:1-6  (KJB)

Seated At The Right Hand

“The LORD said unto my Lord, ‘Sit Thou at My right hand, until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool.’ The LORD shall send the rod of Thy strength out of Zion: rule Thou in the midst of Thine enemies.
Thy people shall be willing in the day of Thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: Thou hast the dew of Thy youth. The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, ‘Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.’
The Lord at Thy right hand shall strike through kings in the day of His wrath. He shall judge among the heathen, He shall fill the places with the dead bodies; He shall wound the heads over many countries. He shall drink of the brook in the way: therefore shall He lift up the head.”  Psalm 110:1-7  (KJB)

Glorious Things Spoken

“His foundation is in the holy mountains.
The LORD loveth the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob. Glorious things are spoken of thee, O city of God. Selah.
I will make mention of Rahab and Babylon to them that know me: behold Philistia, and Tyre, with Ethiopia; this man was born there. And of Zion it shall be said, ‘This and that man was born in her: and the Highest Himself shall establish her.’
The LORD shall count, when He writeth up the people, that this man was born there. Selah.
As well the singers as the players on instruments shall be there: all my springs are in thee.”  Psalm 87:1-7  (KJB)

The Heavens Shall Declare His Righteousness

“The mighty God, even the LORD, hath spoken, and called the earth from the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof.
Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined.
Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before Him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about Him. He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that He may judge His people.
Gather My saints together unto Me; those that have made a covenant with Me by sacrifice. And the heavens shall declare His righteousness: for God is judge Himself. Selah.” Psalm 50:1-6  (KJB)

For, Lo, I Come

“Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion: for, lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the LORD. And many nations shall be joined to the LORD in that day, and shall be My people: and I will dwell in the midst of thee, and thou shalt know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto thee. And the LORD shall inherit Judah His portion in the holy land, and shall choose Jerusalem again.

Be silent, O all flesh, before the LORD: for He is raised up out of his holy habitation.” Zechariah 2:10-13 (KJB)

Some thoughts from The Biblical Illustrator:

I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee

The restorer of Israel and Judah

Note that the name of “the Lord,” or “Jehovah,” is applied to two distinct persons; to Him who sends, and to Him who is sent.
Note also that in this prophecy the future restoration of the Jews is spoken of, as well as their settlement at Jerusalem after the Babylonish captivity. The words of the text evidently relate to the future restoration. A period is yet to come, of glory to God, and of prosperity to the people of Israel and Judah; and that the Son of God, the Messiah, will dwell among them, acknowledged and honoured as the Lord of hosts. Note some of the circumstances which will mark that season of the fulfilment of God’s promises to His people.

  1. The conversion of the people of Israel and Judah.
  2. The restoration of all the tribes to their own land.
  3. The people of God will be restored to their native land in the midst of wars and tumults. Their return will be preceded by violent convulsions, and by a season of disaster and tribulation, such as the world has never yet witnessed.
  4. The first and most remarkable circumstance in the condition of God’s people after their settlement in their own land, is His immediate presence among them.
  5. God will make a new covenant with them. It will involve a much higher degree of religious knowledge.
  6. The pardon of sin is mentioned as one of the promises under the new covenant.
  7. The consequence of this abundant pardon and superior know ledge is the greater practice of virtue. This superior degree of purity and holiness in the people of God, is the gift of God Himself, the effect of that abundant effusion of the Spirit which will adorn the Church under His own immediate care.
  8. The advantages will not be confined to Israel, but will flow out to other peoples.
  9. Jews and Gentiles being united as one body of faithful worshippers, a pure and holy service will be paid to God in Jerusalem. The people will enjoy all worldly and spiritual blessedness. Let us seek to attain a share of these coming blessings. (T. Bowdler, A. M.)

The joy of the Divine presence

1 No difficulty or strait can take away from the Church the true cause of her joy, nor excuse her for not rejoicing in it, for when the Jews are now a contemptible handful, deserted by their brethren, vexed by their enemies, and some of themselves conspiring against them, yet she is called to this duty, “Sing and rejoice.”

  1. The Lord’s own presence in and with His people, is His choice and matchless gift, which He is willing to give before any other thing, and which, as He will not disdain to bestow in His people’s lowest condition, so it is a gift that should occasion much joy and refreshment to them.
  2. As the Lord’s presence with His own chosen people is perpetual, and will bring intimate familiarity and love; so Himself will be at all the pains to make up this union, He will not, by sin putting Him, as it were, away for a time, be provoked to stay away, and will have this communion still upon the growing hand till they come to full fruition, for He will dwell constantly and familiarly “in the midst of thee.”
  3. It is the great ground of the Church’s encouragement, and the fountain of all other manifestations of God, that the Son of God became man, that her Redeemer is God, that He came and dwelt in our nature, and was like us in all things without sin; and that we may tryst with God in the man Christ, and know our tender-hearted Surety to be also God over all blessed forever, and able to save to the uttermost. This incarnation of Christ is it which this promise ultimately points at as the ground of their joy. “Sing, for I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith Jehovah.” (George Hutcheson.)

The joy of the millennial Church

The words point to the bright periods when messiah’s kingdom shall so extend as to embrace “many nations.” Three remarks are suggested concerning this joy.

  1. It is righteous. It is not only Divinely authorised, but commanded. “Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion.” Often we are informed by religious teachers that joy is a privilege, but seldom told that joy is a duty. It is as truly a sin against heaven to be spiritually gloomy and sad, as to be socially false and dishonest. “Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion.” Similar commands are found elsewhere on the pages of Holy Writ. “Break forth into joy, sing together” (Isa_52:9). “Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion” (Isa_12:6). Gratitude is joy; and ought not gratitude to fill every soul? Admiration is joy; and ought not every soul to be filled with admiration of the Divine excellence? Love is joy; and ought we not to love all creatures with the love of benevolence, and the Creator with the love of adoration?
  2. It is reasonable. But here are reasons suggested for this joy. What are they?
  3. The presence of God. “Lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the Lord.” The highest happiness of an intelligent creature, is the presence of the object it supremely loves. “In Thy presence is fulness of joy.”
  4. The increase of the good. “Many nations shall be joined to the Lord in that day.” Is not this a good reason for joy—to see the clouds of error in the human sky breaking, dissolving, vanishing, and the Sun of Truth rising, spreading, and penetrating the whole earth with its lifegiving beams? Is not this a sublime reason for lifegiving joy—“Many nations shall be joined to the Lord,” as the branches are joined to the roots of the tree, as the members of the body are joined to the head?
  5. The restoration of the Jews. “For the Lord shall inherit Judah His portion in the holy land, and shall choose Jerusalem again.”

III. It is reverential. “Be silent, O all flesh, before the Lord: for He is raised up out of His holy habitation.” “The Lord is in His holy temple, let all the earth keep silence before Him.” The profoundest emotions of the Soul are always mute. Superficial feelings are noisy and chattering. The shallow stream rattles amongst the hills. The deep river rolls by unheard. Deep joy is silent as the stars. It is so with the godly soul. In the presence of the supremely beautiful, it is filled with a joy that cannot speak. If we are loyal subjects of the great spiritual empire, we might well be happy. (Homilist.)”  From THE BIBLICAL ILLUSTRATOR on Zechariah 2:10-13

Holy Mountain

“So shall ye know that I am the LORD your God dwelling in Zion, My holy mountain: then shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shall no strangers pass through her any more.” Joel 3:17 (KJB)

You will need to read the verses previous to verse 17, and also the verses following, to grasp the message clearly.  These are not prophetic of the Church the Body of Jesus Christ, but of Judah/Israel, and the city of Jerusalem. Read Zechariah 14.

May I have your attention? There are judgments coming on this earth to judge the sins of men and women who have turned their backs on God, His holiness, and His righteousness.  He is God.  There is no other.

The only place of repentance is at the cross of Jesus Christ where He bled and died for our sins; He was buried and carried away all our sins; then He rose from the dead – the grave – and He forever lives seated at the right hand of the Father.

One day He will return to this earth, and put an end to evil forever. I pray you will realize the evil of your own heart, mind, and life and repent, calling on the name of Jesus Christ for salvation. Do it today before it is too late.

All will know that the LORD is God. Many will realize it too late.

The Coming Judgment

I know people do not like hearing it; but the word of the LORD is working, His word will be hastened, and His judgment is coming. Hear the word of the Lord.

“When thus it shall be in the midst of the land among the people, as the shaking of an olive tree, as the gleaning grapes when the vintage is done.  They shall lift up their voice, they shall sing for the majesty of the LORD, they shall cry aloud from the sea.

Wherefore glorify ye the LORD in the fires, the name of the LORD God of Israel in the isles of the sea.  From the uttermost part of the earth have we heard songs, glory to the righteous. But I said, My leanness, my leanness, woe unto me! The treacherous dealers have dealt treacherously; yea, the treacherous dealers have dealt very treacherously.

Fear, and the pit, and the snare, are upon thee, O inhabitant of the earth.  And it shall come to pass, he who fleeth from the noise of the fear shall fall into the pit; and he that cometh up out of the midst of the pit shall be taken in the snare: for the windows from on high are open, and the foundations of the earth do shake.  The earth is utterly broken down, the earth is clean dissolved, the earth is moved exceedingly.  The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall be removed like a cottage; and the transgression thereof shall be heavy upon it; and it shall fall, and not rise again.  And it shall come to pass in that day, the LORD shall punish the host of the high ones on high, and the kings of the earth upon the earth.  And they shall be gathered together, as prisoners are gathered in the pit, and shall be shut up in the prison, and after many days shall they be visited.

Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the LORD of Hosts shall reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously.” Isaiah 24:13-23 (KJB)

The only hope for Adam’s race, otherwise known as humankind, is Jesus Christ who is the Living Son of God, God the Living Son, who gave His own life for our redemption, was buried carrying away all our sin, condemnation, guilt, and shame, leaving that in the grave, and He arose victorious and because He lives we will live with Him forever.  Believe Him. It is coming to pass just as it has been said.

Redeemed With Judgment

“Therefore saith the Lord, the LORD of hosts, the Mighty One of Israel, ‘Ah, I will ease Me of Mine adversaries, and avenge Me of Mine enemies: and I will turn My hand upon thee, and purely purge away thy dross, and take away all thy tin: and I will restore thy judges as at the first, and thy counsellors as at the beginning: afterward thou shalt be called, The city of righteousness, the faithful city. Zion shall be redeemed with judgment, and her converts with righteousness…” Isaiah 1:24-27 (KJB)

Even though there were some kings who did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, there was still wicked hearted people. So it is in every age, and every nation.

God redeems His people  through Judgment.  I am so thankful that Jesus Christ took the judgment of God for our sins upon Himself, and suffered hell; that we might be redeemed unto God the Father.

Words of the Prophets – Isaiah (2)

All Nations Will Flow Unto It

“The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, ‘Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths.’ For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
And He shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
O house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the light of the LORD.”  Isaiah 2:1-5  (KJB)

Words of the Prophets – Jeremiah (3)

God Will Bring Them…

I Will Bring Them… from the Coasts of the Earth

“At the same time, saith the LORD, will I be the God of all the families of Israel, and they shall be My people.  Thus saith the LORD, The people which were left of the sword found grace in the wilderness; even Israel, when I went to cause him to rest.  The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.  Again I will build thee, and thou shalt be built, O virgin of Israel: thou shalt again be adorned with thy tabrets, and shalt go forth in the dances of them that make merry.  Thou shalt yet plant vines upon the mountains of Samaria: the planters shall plant, and shall eat them as common things.  For there shall be a day, that the watchmen upon the mount Ephraim shall cry, Arise ye, and let us go up to Zion unto the LORD our God.  For thus saith the LORD; Sing with gladness for Jacob, and shout among the chief of the nations: publish ye, praise ye, and say, O LORD, save Thy people, the remnant of Israel.  Behold, I will bring them from the north country, and gather them from the coasts of the earth, and with them the blind and the lame, the woman with child and her that travaileth with child together: a great company shall return thither. They shall come with weeping, and with supplications will I lead them: I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters in a straight way, wherein they shall not stumble: for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is My firstborn.” Jeremiah 31:1-9 (KJV)

Words of the Prophets – Zephaniah

“Sing, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel; be glad and rejoice with all the heart, O daughter of Jerusalem.  The LORD hath taken away thy judgments, He hath cast out thine enemy: the king of Israel, even the LORD, is in the midst of thee: thou shalt not see evil any more.  In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem, Fear thou not: and to Zion, Let not thine hands be slack.  The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; He will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; He will rest in His love, He will joy over thee with singing.  I will gather them that are sorrowful for the solemn assembly, who are of thee, to whom the reproach of it was a burden.  Behold, at that time I will undo all that afflict thee: and I will save her that halteth, and gather her that was driven out; and I will get them praise and fame in every land where they have been put to shame.  At that time will I bring you again, even in the time that I gather you: for I will make you a name and a praise among all people of the earth, when I turn back your captivity before your eyes, saith the LORD.” Zephaniah 3:14-20 (KJV)

He Will Help, Strengthen, and Remember You

The LORD hear you in the day of trouble; the name of the God of Jacob defend you; send you help from the sanctuary, and strengthen you out of Zion; remember all your offerings, and accept your burnt sacrifice; Selah. Grant you according to your own heart, and fulfil all your counsel.”  Psalm 20:1-4 (KJV)

In this Psalm of David he writes that the LORD will hear you, defend you, send you help from the sanctuary, strengthen you, remember your offerings, and accept your costly sacrifices.

Let us as Christians today come with the expectant heart of David, and God will be rich in blessing toward us as well.

Looking at verses 2 – 4 of the text above; it is GOD who sends help from our time of worship.  You see wherever we are in the worship of the Most High, holy, and Almighty God that is the sanctuary; the one who worships Him though throughout the week – Monday – Saturday – will not forsake the gathering with other believers on the first day of the week as the early church did.  He is our help.

Looking at the “strength out of Zion” we can see Zion is Jerusalem the City of David.  It is the city on a hill.  A city of strength.  You can notice from Scripture that when every one left Jerusalem they were always going down to Jericho, or down to Bethel, and down to Capernaum, etc..  A picture of strength, and a reminder to the Hebrew people where their strength came from.

The “offerings… and burnt sacrifice” are those things which David would have offered to the LORD.  In these verses he is offering praise, and worship.  The burnt sacrifice would have been the sacrifice of a bull, lamb, ram, goat, dove etc.  We do not sacrifice animals today.  We do not need to; neither are we commanded to.  So what is the offerings and sacrifices we give?  Ourselves; our surrender to the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ God’s Son, God the Son.

When we give our all to Him He gives us a desire to live for Him.  A desire to love like He does, to love what He loves; and to hate the things He hates.  He will fulfill the desires of the heart that is given to Him (Psalm 37:4); in life, liberty, and love.

Prophets Speak – Christmas Day 140

“Then rose up certain of the elders of the land, and spake to all the assembly of the people, saying, ‘Micah the Morasthite prophesied in the days of Hezekiah king of Judah, and spake to all the people of Judah, saying, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts; Zion shall be plowed like a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of the house as the high places of a forest.’ ‘Did Hezekiah king of Judah and all Judah put him at all to death? Did he not fear the LORD, and besought the LORD, and the LORD repented Him of the evil which he had pronounced against them? Thus might we procure great evil against our souls.'” Jeremiah 26:17-19 (KJV)

Jeremiah was facing the religious leaders, and they were trying to determine if the prophet should be put to death or not.  He had spoken against the temple, said it was going to be destroyed, and doing so made him worthy of death.

What do I want for Christmas today?

To always be bold in the Spirit of God and His word, to be faithful to His Word, and never diminish a word of what God has said; to always lift up Jesus Christ and His cross – His death, burial and resurrection, and that He is the eternal Son of God, God the Son, and that He is the exclusive way to God and eternity with Him

Prophets Speak – Christmas Day 160

“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 12:4-6 (KJV)

What do I want for Christmas?

Today I want to always see God as the One and only who is worthy of all my praise, and worship; I want to boast of Him, His power, His works, His grace, His love, His Sovereignty, His presence…; I want to always see that He  has done the “Excellent things” that are known in all the earth; and I want my voice to ring throughout the whole world, starting at home, and my community of His greatness.

Day Two Hundred Sixty and Three

What do I want for Christmas?

I want all the Nation of Israel to know that God has your back; He is watching over you; and I want you to know that  Jesus is the Christ the Son of God, and God the Son, and that one day you will look upon Him, bow before Him as your King and Messiah.

And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: for this is My covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins. As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes. For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.” Romans 11:26-29 (KJV)

“And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the LORD. As for Me, this is My covenant with them, saith the LORD; My Spirit that is upon thee, and My words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed’s seed, saith the LORD, from henceforth and for ever.” Isaiah 59:20-21

Stop, Look, and Listen

This title are words of warning I learned as a child about Railroad Crossings, and crossing them: STOP, LOOK, and LISTEN.  Perhaps you remember them; and they are practical words for all of life.  Especially for the words of our Lord.

“Hearken to Me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the LORD: look unto the rock whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence ye are digged. Look unto Abraham your father, and unto Sarah that bare you: for I called him alone, and blessed him, and increased him. For the LORD shall comfort Zion: He will comfort all her waste places; and He will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the LORD; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody.” Isaiah 51:1-3 (KJV)

People will hear what they want to hear. Have you heard that statement before? It is illustrated by the story of two men walking on the busy streets and sidewalks of New York City. One man is telling the other of how people will only hear what they want to hear. The one being told this did not agree, so the one who made the statement dropped a coin, on the concrete sidewalk, and nearly everyone stopped.

How much do we miss by not listening and by not hearing what God has to say? Much. Very much I would say.

The words above, “Hearken to Me…” is the plea to God’s people to listen to Him. He makes this plea to the “righteous” to those “that seek the LORD”. Note what He is asking them to do. First He tells them to listen; then, He tells them to “Look”.

It is very basically a call to remember the promises He has previously given. Promises concerning Abraham and Sarah (Genesis 12:1-3). It is a promise that He will bring them back to the land of Promise; and that it will be prosperous once again.

This too is a promise of the fulfillment of all that God has promised to Israel, His nation, and Zion [Jerusalem]. That is a promise which will be fulfilled when Jesus comes to earth again.

Christian, we can rejoice in knowing that these promises of God are irrevocable, and that the gifts and calling of God are without repentance (Romans 11:29).  Take time today to STOP what you are doing; LOOK into the word of God; and then LISTEN and hear His invitation to come to Him for deliverance from your sins.

Be sure and listen to our Lord, Creator, and Saviour today, and everyday.

Weeping in Babylon

“By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion.” Psalm 137:1 (KJV)

A Psalm of Israel’s captivity.  This Psalm could have been penned down by the prophet Daniel as he sat on the banks of Babylon’s rivers.

Everyone reading this has been homesick at one time or another.  Home is where you want to return.  Especially when you are forcibly taken away.

Taken to Babylon due to the evil that had invaded Israel and Judah; all the people were paying the price of the sins of the nation.  Thus it is, and thus it will be.

For the Jew Zion is home.  For the Christian “Zion” is the place where Christ dwells.  He dwells within us.  He lives.  He reigns.  He ultimately lives seated at the Father’s right hand; and we long for that day when we can see Him face to face.

Do we weep for that day as we remember the joys that await us?  Are we longing for that day when will be in His bodily presence; worshipping, bowing before Him, adoring Him?  There is a crown awaiting all who love His appearing (2 Timothy 4:8).

I do not know about you but I am homesick.

Blessing the LORD

“Behold, bless ye the LORD, all ye servants of the LORD, which by night stand in the house of the LORD. Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless the LORD. The LORD that made heaven and earth bless thee out of Zion.” Psalm 134:1-3 (KJV)

Look, see that the people of GOD are to bless the LORD.  The servants of GOD, the people of GOD are to be blessing the LORD.

This decree is to those who keep watch for the house of GOD in the night watches.  It is also true of the day watchers to bless the LORD.

We bless the LORD with our lips, our tongues, our mouth; but we also bless Him with our lives.  A life that is not lived holy wholly unto the LORD will not bless the LORD.

When we bless the LORD we will be blessed by the LORD.

There is no blessing the LORD – ie. praising, building up, bragging about; except through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus God’s Son.  Bless the LORD today by believing Jesus and trusting Him for salvation from sin’s condemnation.

Captivity

“When the LORD turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream. Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, The LORD hath done great things for them.” Psalm 126:1-2 (KJV)

The verses from Psalms whether written following the Egyptian captivity and the people’s deliverance, or the Babylonian captivity is of little importance.  Zion had been taken captive, and you yourself may be in captivity as I write.

I am a captive.  I will let you know in a moment what I am a captive of.  The people of Zion, Israel, if you will were captive for 70 years in Babylon, and when their deliverance came just as God had said, then, they were rejoicing.  “We were like them that dream” the Psalmist says.

It seemed almost unbelievable.  Are you a captive today.  Does sin hold you captive?  Are you doing things you know to be wrong, and then feel guilt following the act? Maybe no guilt, but you know it is wrong?  You are a captive to your own sins.  It rules you.  It controls you.

There is freedom from sin.  Sin is a horrible master.

I told you moments ago that I am captive.  What am I captive to?  To love, mercy and grace of God shown to me through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Through Him I am free from sins bondage, sins weight, drudgery, guilt, condemnation, and fear.  I am captive to the Lord Jesus Christ.  The Son of God, and God the Son.  He set me free.  My mouth is filled with laughter, and my tongue with singing unto Him.

The LORD has done great things for all those who are captive to the Lord Jesus Christ.

City on a Hill

“His foundation is in the holy mountains. The LORD loveth the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob. Glorious things are spoken of thee, O city of God. Selah.” Psalm 87:1-3 (KJV)

Our thoughts of the mountains are often of their strength and power; their height as they reach into the clouds.  The “Holy mountains” are those where Jerusalem is setting.  Jerusalem is the place where our Lord Jesus was crucified, buried, and rose again.

That is the place where God chose for His  name to dwell.  It is the place that He loves more than all the dwellings of Jacob, ie., more than Shiloh, and the other places the ark of the covenant has been.

If you will note the final word of the above verses.  “Selah”  It means “Pause”, or I see it as pausing to think about what has just been said.  God is holy.  The gates of Zion are holy.  This can really be speaking of the person of Jesus Christ.  He is the One, the only One by whom God’s people can enter into the holiest of all places; the throne of God, and worship Him.

Glorious is His name.

Praising the LORD

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

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

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

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

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

THE TREASURY OF DAVID

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

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

God’s Word Today 082112

“In those days, and in that time, saith the LORD, ‘the children of Israel shall come, they and the children of Judah together, going and weeping: they shall go, and seek the LORD their God.  They shall ask the way to Zion with their faces thitherward, saying, ‘Come, and let us join ourselves to the LORD in a perpetual covenant that shall not be forgotten.’  My people hath been lost sheep: their shepherds have caused them to go astray, they have turned them away on the mountains: they have gone from mountain to hill, they have forgotten their restingplace.  All that found them have devoured them: and their adversaries said, ‘We offend not,’ because they have sinned against the LORD, the habitation of justice, even the LORD, the hope of their fathers.  Remove out of the midst of Babylon, and go forth out of the land of the Chaldeans, and be as the he goats before the flocks.” Jeremiah 50:4-8 (KJV)

For many years I have heard people talk about the “Ten lost tribes of Israel”.  That seems; with the above verses in mind; that there is no such thing.  God has the people of the Northern kingdom of Israel, and the Southern kingdom of Judah as one.  It would seem to me that they have been one since they returned from the Babylonian captivity.

-T.A.

Day 53 – The Word of God Shall Prosper

There are many times there is debate over the meaning of God’s Word.  Even Christians, at times, debate over whether something is “Literal” or “Figurative” or allegorical.  For me if God was speaking literal about the first coming of Jesus, and He came just as He has proclaimed; then when He speaks of the second coming of Jesus; it too will be just as He proclaimed.  There is no argument, or debate about it; it is already sealed.

My reading this morning was Isaiah 49 – 62; and my what an exciting read it was; and it is.  By the time I was finished with my reading I was anxious for the return of Christ, and I am waiting and living just as if it might be today.  How about you?

My verse of thought today is,

“So shall My word be that goeth forth out of My mouth: it shall not return unto Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.”  Isaiah 55:11 (KJV)

I have heard people; even some preachers tell that the second coming of Jesus is when a person is has their new birth experience with Jesus Christ; or maybe when that person’s body ceases to live, “Jesus has come again to take them home”.  Now that could partially be true; however, if that is all there is to the second coming of Jesus we have truly missed something.

I know people and religions which believe that Jesus Christ is already ruling and reigning on earth, He has returned.  My question to those who believe that is, Where is Jesus?  Where is the Righteous rule of the King?  Where is Justice that is promised by the verses I read today?  Why is Israel still being threatened and attacked, almost daily?  Why has Israel not repented, believed in Jesus Christ and followed Him if Jesus is here?

The LORD’s purpose in casting Israel away, was not to forsake them but to redeem them.

“And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob,’ saith the LORD.  ‘As for Me, this is My covenant with them,’ saith the LORD; ‘My spirit that is upon thee, and My words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed’s seed,’ saith the LORD, ‘from henceforth and for ever.'” 59:20-21

“Whereas thou hast been forsaken and hated, so that no man went through thee, I will make thee an eternal excellency, a joy of many generations.  Thou shalt also suck the milk of the Gentiles, and shalt suck the breast of kings: and thou shalt know that I the LORD am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob.” 60:15-16

When Jesus Christ comes again what a wonderful blessing God has in store for Israel and the whole world of those who will humble themselves before Him, trust Him and believe;

“For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; ‘I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.  For I will not contend for ever, neither will I be always wroth: for the spirit should fail before Me, and the souls which I have made.” 57:15-16

We can look at our world today and see that there is no peace; and if we are honest in believing the Word of God we can also see that there will be no peace on earth until Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace comes, and fully redeems His people, for all time and eternity.  The word of God shall not return to Him void, and it shall prosper in the thing where He sends it.

-Tim A. Blankenship