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Showing posts from November, 2014

When God Is Silent

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Someone posted on FACEBOOK this morning a thought that ended like this: “I believe even when God is silent.”

That statement echoed through Psalm 42 as I read it. Listen to the writer’s words:

As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. Where can I go to meet with God?…These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go with the multitude, leading the procession to the house of God, with shouts of joy and thanksgiving among the festive throng” (Psalm 42:1, 2, 4).

A hunger to meet with God is a good thing. But it appears that the psalmist’s hunger remains unsatisfied, even in the house of the Lord. He used to go up to the temple with anticipation, with joy, at the head of the “pack.” But not anymore.

He is “downcast” (vs. 5) or depressed. He apparently isn’t sleeping well at night (vs. 8). He is sad, feels forgotten by God and is troubled by his enemies (vs. 9). He is in physical pain (vs. 10). And thos…

Unshakables

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I chuckled this morning as I read Psalm 40. David begins by saying, “I waited patiently for the Lord…” and ends by saying, “O my God, do not delay” (40:1, 17). Doesn’t that sound familiar? Take your time, Lord, but please hurry up!

But in-between those two verses is a wealth of good stuff.

This week I started to read Jesus, A Theography  by Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola. In the book the authors seek to show the connection, in detail, between the Old Testament and the New Testament. “What we will demonstrate in this book is that everything in the Bible points to Jesus—either His person, His work, or His character” (page xviii). So as I read Psalm 40 this morning I looked at it with slightly different eyes, searching again for the connection. It wasn’t hard to find. I only had to look at the first three verses.

I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to…

The God Who Rises to Our Defense

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Many years ago a roommate came to me to talk about a conversation she had just had with her pastor about me. He told her to have as little to do with me as possible (not easy since we were sharing a very small house). This advice was based on an accusation made against me to him by a coworker of mine.

I was devastated. Firstly, because the accusation was false. Secondly. because it came from a coworker who chose not to confront me personally with it. Thirdly, because the pastor had sat at my table and eaten my food several days earlier and hadn’t spoken to me about the issue. Fourthly, because there was no thought about correction, repentance or reconciliation, (supposing that I had committed the evil I was being accused of) only judgment. Fifthly, because if the misinformation spread my reputation, and that of others, could be ruined.

So when I read Psalm 35 this morning I could empathize with the psalmist. David’s issue was similar to mine. He had been falsely accused (35:19-21). Hi…

Hope: Expression of Certainty

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An old friend went home to be with the Lord over the weekend. Bob was delivered from cancer, Parkinson’s, and all the beating and battering of life that remind us that, though this world will one day be restored to the pristine beauty and perfection of creation before the fall, it is now only our temporary home.

As I read Psalm 33 this morning the last few verses would describe Bob’s hope, and mine. He has now seen the realization of this hope as he stands in the presence of Jesus, whom he loved greatly and served faithfully. For those of us who remain the promise lacks its crowning moment, but it is nonetheless a promise that can be trusted even while we wait to see it completely fulfilled.

…the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love, to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine. We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. May your unfailing love r…

In His Presence

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Psalm 21 starts out with a a list of things for which praise can be offered up to God. David could easily recite a litany of blessings that he had received from the Lord—and he does. But it is verse 6 of the psalm that hit me hard this morning:

Surely you have granted him eternal blessings and made him glad with the joy of your presence.

The presence of God.

Nothing that God could have given David compared to that.

As I sat thinking about the words of the psalm, the lyrics to a popular worship song came to mind. I have the song on a CD sung by Lynn DeShazo and produced by Integrity Music. It beautifully captures what so often eludes us—time in His presence.

IN YOUR PRESENCE O GOD.

In Your presence
That's where I am strong
In Your presence
O Lord my God
In Your presence
That's where I belong
Seeking Your face
Touching Your grace
In the cleft of the Rock
In Your presence O God

I want to go
Where the rivers
Cannot overflow me
Where my feet are
On the rock
I want to hide
Where the blazing
Fire canno…

From Heaven to Heart

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As I read through Psalm 19 this morning it struck me that there seemed to be a disconnect happening through these few verses—a drastic change in themes without any link between them.

From verses 1 to 6 we have the glorious reminder that the skies declare the wonder of God. The rising and setting of the sun proclaims Him without a sound being heard.

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour out speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice in not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun, which is like a bridegroom coming forth from his pavilion, like  champion rejoicing to run his course. It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is hidden from its heat.

There is a dramatic shift in verses 7 to 11 when the psalmist describes the value of the law …