Will God answer my distress call?

In the darkest moments, when the Psalmist cries to God for help, his words of despair are permeated with a deeper belief that God is there and that God will answer. He believes, against all appearances, that God will hear him.

Rescue me from the mud! Don’t let me sink!
Deliver me from those who hate me,
from the deep water!
Don’t let the current overpower me!
Don’t let the deep swallow me up!
Don’t let the Pit devour me!
Psa 69.14-15 NET

Confusion may reign, the hurt may throw him at the foot of death, circumstances may appear hopeless, but underneath it all lies a bedrock of faith in the benevolent purpose of God.

Many are the reasons why he possesses such a faith, but its essence derives from his knowledge of history, his own and his people’s. God is faithful. He holds to his promises. He has never failed his people.

Israel told the story of her creation and redemption time and again to her children. That story was preserved in Scripture.

Let the church tell, without shame nor revision, the inspired story of the faithfulness of God in Christ. It is this history, contained in the pages of Scripture, that will secure us to the Rock and feed our hope in the darkest hour.

#book-of-psalms, #faith, #faithfulness-of-god, #hope

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Psalm 150 Praise the LORD, not men!

These last 5 Psalms (146-150) are called “Hallelujah Psalms” because they begin and end with that expression: “Praise – Jehovah,” or “Hallelujah.” The author, date, and setting of each Psalm are undetermined, but their acceptance is unquestioned.

Verse 1: Where to “praise God;”

Verse 2: Why “praise God;”

Verse 3-5: How to “praise God;”

Verse 6: Who is to “praise God;”

Verse 1: “Praise the LORD” is “Hallelujah,” or praise Jehovah, The Self-existent Deity; the next is “Praise God,” or “Halleluel,” or praise Elohim, “The Power.” God’s “sanctuary” is the designated, set aside place as “holy” where God should be worshiped. The first in the tabernacle in the wilderness (Exodus 25:8; Hebrews 9:1-5) had a “sanctuary” where worship occurred, then “the Holiest of All” where God was represented as forgiving sins. Next, in the temple in Jerusalem (1 Kings 6:1-17), there was the “sanctuary” and the “inner sanctuary.” Now the church of Christ (Hebrews 8:1-2; 9:6-12; 2 Corinthians 1:1; 6:16) is the “sanctuary,” but Heaven, itself, is “the Most Holy Place.”

Verse 2: Praise Him because of “His mighty acts,” or all those miraculous or providential deeds far beyond “all that we ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20-21). Praise Him for “His excellent greatness,” realizing nothing is great without God, but that all God does is greater than men (1 Corinthians 1:18-25).

Verses 3-5: David added musical instruments to God’s worship (1 Chronicles 23:5), called “instruments of David” authorized by his own authority and not God’s (1 Chronicles 15:16; 2 Chronicles 7:6), and condemned by God’s prophet, Amos (Amos 6:1, 5). The only musical instrument specified by God for the church of Christ is “your heart” (Ephesians 5:19), and there is no authorization in the New Testament for the bringing over and use of “instruments of music, like David.”  None of the instruments listed in Psalm 150 were ever used in the church of Christ by the authority of God.

Verse 6: “Everything that has breath” means every living creature: those that are not human “praise God” because they demonstrate His Wisdom and Creative Power; those that are human praise with words and deeds from their heart: “Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased” (Hebrews 13:15-16).

“Praise the LORD!”

 All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #book-of-psalms, #daily-bible-reading, #david, #god, #hallelujah, #musical-instruments, #praise-jehovah, #singing, #worship

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Psalm 149 The God Who Will Not Be Conquered

These last 5 Psalms (146-150) are called “Hallelujah Psalms” because they begin and end with that expression: “Praise – Jehovah,” or “Hallelujah.” The author, date, and setting of each Psalm are undetermined, but their acceptance is unquestioned.

Verses 1-5 call for God’s People to praise Him for victory;

Verses 6-9 call for praise and defeat of their enemies.

Verses 1-5: (Verse 1) “A new song” indicates a “new heart,” celebrating a “new victory,” and a “new life.” “The assembly of the saints” is a worship service, where “God is greatly to be feared” (Psalm 89:7). In America, every time there is disaster, trouble, destruction, criminal death, or missing person, there is some candlelight “coming together.” When Peter was kept in prison with the intent of killing him, the church of Christ gathered for prayer (Acts 12:12), not candles! (Verse 2) The people, Israel, especially their religious center, Zion, should rejoice with (verse 3) “dance” and “timbrel and harp,” just as their forefathers had done when God parted the Red Sea for them to escape Egypt and be their own Nation (Exodus 14:21-15:21). (Verse 4) God’s “pleasure” is in His People, who develop beautiful, spiritual character. (Verse 5) “Saints” should be joyful, even on “their beds,” formerly places of sorrow.

Verses 6-9: (Verse 6) While praising God with their “mouth,” “And a two-edged sword in their hand.” This sounds like the Israelites re-building the wall of Jerusalem when they were returned to their Promised Land (Nehemiah 4:17). Apparently, there was no “gun control” then! A dis-armed people can do nothing against the enemies of God! (Verse 7) “Bearing the sword” in “vain” (meaninglessly), or using the power of the sword against “good works,” violates God’s intended purpose for “governing authorities” (Romans 13:1-5). Today, Christians are to praise God while Government uses the sword to be “God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil” (Romans 13:4).

(Verse 8) God’s government, acting as His minister, defeats evil. (Verse 9) God’s “judgment” in writing was: “When the LORD your God brings you into the land which you go to possess, and has cast out many nations before you, the Hittites and the Girgashites and the Amorites and the Canaanites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than you, and when the LORD your God delivers them over to you, you shall conquer them and utterly destroy them. You shall make no covenant with them nor show mercy to them” (Deuteronomy 7:1-2). Today, the “sword of the Spirit” in a Christian hand, “is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:17), and the “nations,” “peoples,” “kings,” and “nobles” must be conquered by teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:18-20). Since Jesus Christ established His spiritual kingdom on Earth in the 1st Century, there has been NO “Christian carnal war” waged against Muslims, Jews, or anyone else, for that matter, and therefore NO justification for persecuting the churches of Christ! All of those who persecute Christians, even to death, are persecuting Jesus (Acts 9:1-5), and, unless they repent, He will damn them forever (2 Thessalonians 1:3-10)!

“Praise the LORD!”

 All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #book-of-psalms, #daily-bible-reading, #evangelism, #faith, #god, #judgment-in-writing, #kingdom-of-christ, #mission, #obedience, #preaching, #teaching

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Psalm 148 The God Who Will Be Heard

These last 5 Psalms (146-150) are called “Hallelujah Psalms” because they begin and end with that expression: “Praise – Jehovah,” or “Hallelujah.” The author, date, and setting of each Psalm are undetermined, but their acceptance is unquestioned. Psalm 148 is the basis of the lyric for the hymn, “Praise the Lord, Ye Heavens Adore Him” with a tune written by Franz J. Haydn. “Praise the Lord” is used some 12 times in its 14 verses.

Verses 1-2 let us know God is praised above His Creation;

Verses 3-6 let us know God is praised in what we call “space;”

Verses 7-13 let us know God is praised among the living creatures on the Earth;

Verse 14 lets us know God is praised among His people.

Verses 1-2: Jehovah is praised in the “heights.” God’s praise comes from the Heavenly “host,” a multitude of which announced Jesus’ birth (Luke 2:13), and twelve legions of which could have kept Jesus from the cross (Matthew 26:53).

Verses 3-6: God spoke into existence the: “sun and moon” (Genesis 1:14-18),  “stars of light” (Genesis 1:16), “heavens of heavens,” “waters above the heavens” (Genesis 1:6-8). Verse 6 says, “He made a decree which shall not pass away.” Everything in space operates with such precision, timing, and position as to totally devastate any vestige of godless doctrines, such as “Evolution.” It is pathetic to see minds wasted repeating the mantras of “millions and billions of years” in describing this Earth, when ALL OF THE CREATION IS PRAISING GOD!

Verses 7-13: Praise of God comes “From the earth,” creatures below; weather above the surface; the surface itself; animals, reptiles, birds; all people “praise God.” NO ONE CAN SEE WHAT HAPPENS ON THE EARTH AND FAIL TO “PRAISE GOD.” Animals, reptiles, birds are different from each other, and No Scientific Fact demonstrates they came from one another! All animals of the earth are different from humans, and NO Scientific Fact demonstrates that humans came from animals! “For every house is built by someone, but He who built all things is God” (Hebrews 3:4). Everything God Created shouts “Hallelujah,” everyone who seeks to explain that Creation by substituting Time & Chance for God profanes and degrades all of it.

Verse 14: God should be praised by His People whom He has “exalted” and brought “near” to Him!

“Praise the LORD.”

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #book-of-psalms, #creation, #daily-bible-reading, #evolution, #faith, #god, #obedience

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Psalm 147 Jehovah is God – And We’re NOT!

These last 5 Psalms (146-150) are called “Hallelujah Psalms” because they begin and end with that expression: “Praise – Jehovah,” or “Hallelujah.” The author, date, and setting of each Psalm are undetermined, but their acceptance is unquestioned.

Verse 1 calls for praise;

Verses 2-6 give Israelite outcasts reasons to praise God;

Verse 7 calls for praise;

Verses 8-11 give those who fear Him reasons to praise God;

Verse 12 calls for Israelites to praise God;

Verses 13-18 call attention to God’s absolute Power;

Verses 19-20 call Israelites’ attention to God’s special Word to them.

Verse 1: Sing “Hallelujah” because it is “good,” “pleasant,” “beautiful.”

Verses 2-6: Jehovah “builds up Jerusalem” by making sure the “outcasts” are included. These are people who might be rejected by the religious snobs and overlooked for blessings. Verses 2-3 describe the work of Jesus Christ when He came (Jeremiah 30:10-17; Luke 4:16-20). God can account for all of Israel’s “outcasts” because only He knows the number, but also the name, of the stars. With all of today’s technologies, humans haven’t even seen all of the stars, yet! Although God is “great,” “mighty in power,” infinite in “understanding,” He compassionately “lifts up the humble,” but does not do the same for “the wicked.”

Verse 7: Praise should be sung, and the instruments of David left behind, for the only instrument that should accompany worship singing today is “your heart” (Ephesians 5:19).

Verses 8-11: The Earth follows God’s physical rules, as those who “fear Him” follow His spiritual rules: from cloud coverings come rain; from rain comes grass on mountains; from grass (greenery) comes food for beasts and ravens asking. God’s pleasure is not in the strength of horses or men’s legs, but “in those who hope in His mercy.”

Verse 12: Israel, whose capital of Jerusalem, was also its’ worship center, Zion, is alerted to “praise your God.”

Verses 13-18: A God-blessed nation has: 1) strong “bars” of its “gates.” Aren’t we talking about keeping out illegal immigrants, outsiders who corrupt, and disguised terrorists? A godless society has no limits! 2) blessed “children,” and this is not discussing their toys, games, sports, or other distractions, but genuine faith. 3) internal “peace,” and this is not with martial law, or a police state, but citizens with faithful obedience to God’s moral Law; 4) abundant harvest, because God has made the land cooperate and bless (Acts 14:14-17). It is by God’s Command that the Earth is blessed with: “snow,” “frost,” “hail,” “cold,” “melting,” blowing wind, and flowing water!

Verses 19-20: God gave the Israelites (including Jews!) the advantage of “His Word,” including His “statutes” and “judgments.” That Word should have lead them all the way to Jesus Christ (Deuteronomy 4:5; Leviticus 26:40-46; Malachi 4:4; Galatians 3:7-29). No other nation ever had that advantage of specific written revelation through prophets, and yet when Jesus came, “although He had done so many signs before them, they did not believe in Him” (John 12:37). Paul asked the question: “What advantage then has the Jew, or what is the profit of circumcision? Much in every way! Chiefly because to them were committed the oracles of God. For what if some did not believe? Will their unbelief make the faithfulness of God without effect? Certainly not! Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar” (Romans 3:1-4). God had given the Jews the advantage of having His Word first. “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek” (Romans 1:16). Having God’s Word, knowing it, and obeying it is our advantage, today. Jesus said: “For whoever does the will of God is My brother and My sister and mother” (Mark 3:35).

“Praise the LORD” or “Hallelujah!”

 All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #book-of-psalms, #daily-bible-reading, #faith, #god, #jesus-christ, #obedience, #praise, #salvation, #singing, #worship

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Psalm 146 What Has God Done For Me, Lately?

These last 5 Psalms are called “Hallelujah Psalms” because they begin and end with that expression: “Praise – Jehovah,” or “Hallelujah.” The author, date, and setting of each Psalm is undetermined, but their acceptance is unquestioned.

Verses 1-4 urge when God should be praised;

Verses 5-10 explain why God should be praised.

Verses 1-4: Praise should be given to God “while I live.” Duh! This is a statement of the obvious. The Word of God nowhere encourages anyone to not praise God until after death. Trust should not be transferred from God to “princes” (government leaders) or “a son of man” (humans in general), for deliverance. The middle verse of the entire Word of God says this: “It is better to trust in the LORD Than to put confidence in man” (Psalm 118:8). Humans die when the spirit goes back to God and the body is left on earth (Ecclesiastes 12:7), so that “in that very day his plans perish.”

Verses 5-10: “Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help, because He:

1. Is The God over History (verse 5), Jacob’s name was changed to “Israel” (Genesis 32:24-30), and God watched over those people (Isaiah 48) through the coming of Jesus Christ in the New Testament (Galatians 3:5-29);

2. Is The God over Creation (verse 6), which shows absolute, total wisdom in its very existence and orderliness (Proverbs 8:12, 22-31). All scientific factual discoveries, whether in Physics, Biology, or Chemistry are simply the uncovering of God’s Wisdom behind this World’s constitution;

3. Is The God over Justice (verse 7), evening the suppression or oppression of the hungry and imprisoned (Luke 4:16-41);

4. Is The God over Perfecting the Needy (verse 8), with physical healing through Jesus Christ (Matthew 15:30; Luke 13:11-13), then spiritually through His Word (Acts 26:12-19). God loves the righteous, those who do His will (1 Peter 3:8-12);

5. Is The God over Benevolence (verse 9), for He has always made rules for His people to help strangers, orphans, and widows (Exodus 22:21; Hebrews 13:2; Psalm 68:4-5; James 1:27);

6. Is The God over Eternity (verse 10, a quotation of Exodus 15:18), Who is timeless (Isaiah 57:15; Acts 15:18).  

“Praise the LORD.”   

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version,  unless otherwise noted.

#benevolence, #bible-study, #book-of-psalms, #creation, #daily-bible-reading, #eternity, #faith, #god, #history, #justice, #needy, #obedience, #salvation, #wisdom

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Psalm 144 How To Live In A Happy State

 This Psalm of David shows why God saw David as “a man after My own heart, who will do all My will” (Acts 13:22). This Psalm is from a heart that knows what God’s grace and mercy is all about!

Verses 1-2 acknowledge who is with David on his throne over Israel;

Verses 3-4 recognize how short the rule of a man is compared to God’s reign;

Verses 5-10 show who really deserves praise for victory over enemies;

Verses 11-15 summarize where a nation’s blessings and strengths come from.

Verses 1-2: “The LORD” was David’s “Rock” not a castle. God guided David’s conquests; God showed what “lovingkindness” was like in between battles; David’s “fortress” (protective dwelling), “high tower” (lofty position above the enemy), “shield” (protection against soldiers’ attacks) and “refuge” (safe haven), were all in God. Thus if David’s “people” didn’t obey God, David wouldn’t be king of a nation! Would that Governments recognized this today (John 19:10-11)!

Verses 3-4: “What is man” is the question David asks that shows great humility (Psalm 8:4). What makes us think we are so important that God would notice us? We are important not because of what we have done, but what God has done (Hebrews 2:17-18)! We do not live long enough to be impressive (James 4:13-15).

Verses 5-10: God, however, is so impressive that He can “come down” over the Earth; make mountains smoke; use lightning strikes; all as weapons of war “from above.” It is God “from above” who “rescues” the righteous from a flood of “foreigners” hurling “lying words” and lying handshakes.  Those who serve God cannot expect those who do not to be following the same rules in the same way! Christian behavior is not universal, but should be (Ephesians 5:1-17)! It is God who deserves praise for our salvation and daily life. The “harp of ten strings” was an instrument of David (1 Chronicles 23:5) which appealed to the spiritually lazy (Amos 6:3-7) and was condemned. No man-made musical instrument was authorized by Moses’ Law.

Verses 11-15: It would be by God’s rescue that the Nation of Israel would have: sturdy “sons” and “daughters;” plentiful “produce” and “sheep” and “oxen;” and no external raids nor internal struggles. A nation of people who respect God, will have “sons” who mature like plants and know their work to be done; “daughters” who accept their role of “pillars” as wife and mother; “produce” for people who know how to save for the next crop; fertile “sheep;” “oxen” useful for burdens; peaceful living without disruptiveness. Truly such a nation is “happy,” for “Happy are the people whose God is the LORD!” The plague of America is unhappiness, and it has become pandemic because people do not have the LORD God. “Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent” (John 17:1-3). “And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son” (1 John 5:11). “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:16). DO YOU KNOW GOD?

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #book-of-psalms, #church-of-christ, #enemies, #fortress, #god, #government, #happy, #heaven, #heavens, #jesus-christ, #obedience, #praise, #prayer, #refuge, #rock, #salvation, #singing, #unhappiness, #worship