Monday 10 November, 2014

Psalm 85

1 Lord, you showed favor to your land. You blessed the people of Jacob with great success again. 2 You forgave the evil things your people did. You took away all of their sins. Selah 3 You stopped being angry with them. You turned your burning anger away from them. 4 God our Savior, make us new again. Stop being unhappy with us. 5 Will you be angry with us forever? Will you be angry for all time to come? 6 Won’t you give us new life again? Then we’ll be joyful because of what you have done. 7 Lord, show us your faithful love. Save us. 8 I will listen to what God the Lord will say. He promises peace to his faithful people. But they must not return to their foolish ways. 9 I know he’s ready to save those who have respect for him. Then his glory can be seen in our land. 10 God’s truth and faithful love join together. His peace and holiness kiss each other. 11 His truth springs up from the earth. His holiness looks down from heaven. 12 The Lord will certainly give what is good. Our land will produce its crops. 13 God’s holiness leads the way in front of him. It prepares the way for his coming.

I love the dependence of the Psalmist here.  He starts in thanksgiving to God, remembering all God has done for them; then moves to petition asking God for restoration; then moves to anticipating salvation; then moves to hope.

How often do I find myself in this prayer filled flow where I need to recall all that God has done which reminds me of how far removed I have become from His will and purposes so I cry out for His restoration, His salvation and this again leads me to hope because I know the faithfulness of my Father in heaven.

I find this a natural flow in prayer and one that has enabled and empowered me often.  If you’re ever stuck in prayer then give it a go!!!

Father I want to thank You for Your faithfulness and love.  You are magnificent in all things and I come to You as the only hope of Salvation in every aspect of my life!

Written by Ps. Richard Botta

[comments closed]

Sunday 9 November, 2014

Psalm 84

1 Lord who rules over all, how lovely is the place where you live! 2 I long to be in the courtyards of the Lord’s temple. I deeply long to be there. My whole being cries out for the living God. 3 Lord who rules over all, even the sparrow has found a home near your altar. My King and my God, the swallow also has a nest there, where she may have her young. 4 Blessed are those who live in your house. They are always praising you. Selah 5 Blessed are those whose strength comes from you. They have decided to travel to your temple. 6 As they pass through the dry Valley of Baca, they make it a place where water flows. The rain in the fall covers it with pools. 7 Those people get stronger as they go along, until each of them appears in Zion, where God lives. 8 Lord God who rules over all, hear my prayer. God of the people of Jacob, listen to me. Selah 9 God, look with favor on your anointed king. You appointed him to be like a shield that keeps us safe. 10 A single day in your courtyards is better than a thousand anywhere else. I would rather guard the door of the house of my God than live in the tents of sinful people. 11 The Lord God is like the sun that gives us light. He is like a shield that keeps us safe. The Lord blesses us with favor and honor. He doesn’t hold back anything good from those whose lives are without blame. 12 Lord who rules over all, blessed is everyone who trusts in you.

I have loved this psalm for many years & many verses have been my heart cry.

It speaks to me of finding a home, a place to belong, place of safety & security a place to be productive … I get this picture of this big huge place & yet intimate .. all within God.

We all long to belong somewhere to fit in to be loved … this Psalm shows me that God is that place. His dwelling place, His courts, His alter, His house, Him.

Whenever I feel like I don’t fit in or don’t belong I need to keep my eyes on Him as in Him I will always belong I will always find home and when I find that in Him I am strengthened & I can bring it to others .. Making those desolate places springs.

Father thank you for this beautiful psalm this encouragement of complete inclusive belonging in You.

Written by Suzie Hodgson

[comments closed]

Saturday 8 November, 2014

Psalm 83

1 God, don’t keep silent. God, don’t keep quiet. Don’t be still. 2 See how your enemies are getting ready for action. See how they are rising up against you. 3 They make clever plans against your people. They make evil plans against those you love. 4 “Come,” they say. “Let’s destroy that whole nation. Then the name of Israel won’t be remembered anymore.” 5 All of them agree on the evil plans they have made. They join forces against you. 6 Their forces include the people of Edom, Ishmael, Moab and Hagar. 7 They also include the people of Byblos, Ammon, Amalek, Philistia and Tyre. 8 Even Assyria has joined them to give strength to the people of Moab and Ammon. Selah 9 Do to them what you did to the people of Midian. Do to them what you did to Sisera and Jabin at the Kishon River. 10 Sisera and Jabin died near the town of Endor. Their bodies were left to rot on the ground. 11 Do to the nobles of your enemies what you did to Oreb and Zeeb. Do to all of their princes what you did to Zebah and Zalmunna. 12 They said, “Let’s take over the grasslands that belong to God.” 13 My God, make them like straw that the wind blows away. Make them like tumbleweed. 14 Destroy them as fire burns up a forest. Destroy them as a flame sets mountains on fire. 15 Chase them with your mighty winds. Terrify them with your storm. 16 Lord, put them to shame so that people will worship you. 17 May they always be filled with terror and shame. May they die in dishonor. 18 Your name is the Lord. Let them know that you alone are the Most High God over the whole earth.

The psalmist is clearly frustrated by the ever encroaching enemies of God. He wants God to act. To sort it. The enemies are listed as Edomites and Ishmaelites; Moabites and Hagrites; Gebalites, Ammonites, and Amalekites; and people from Philistia and Tyre, Assyria too,  and the descendants of Lot. Asaph then goes on to suggest ways for God to deal with these enemies. Asaph gets more and more worked up and does not mince his words! Ultimately the Psalmist wants God’s enemies to acknowledge that the Lord alone is God and that he is supreme in all the earth.

Most of us at some point would have said to the Lord something to the effect, “Lord can’t you hear what they are saying can’t you see what they are doing and how it is affecting a certain person, family, organisation, church etc. it can’t go on… do something!” This is the same sentiment Asaph is expressing and most of us “get it!” A very passionate call for God’s intervention so that those that oppose the Lord will come to acknowledge him as the one true God, supreme over all. Being a New Testament believer I’m not sure about wanting God’s enemies being utterly disgraced, blown away, terrified forever etc. It may be a therapeutic read at times but we are called to love our enemies. Not sure that God needs my suggestions on how to deal with his enemies either. What this psalm does encourage me to do is to pray, to cry out on behalf of those that vehemently oppose the Christian faith. To pray for revelation and that people would experience the goodness of God.

Dear Lord, we pray that those who do not yet know you will learn that you alone are called the Lord, that you alone are the Most High, supreme over all the earth. Amen

Written by Ainslie Woods

[comments closed]

Friday 7 November, 2014

Psalm 82

1 God takes his place at the head of a large gathering of rulers and judges. He announces his decisions among them. 2 He says, “How long will you stand up for those who aren’t fair to others? How long will you show favor to sinful people? Selah 3 Stand up for those who are weak and for those whose fathers have died. See to it that those who are poor and those who are beaten down are treated fairly. 4 Save the weak and those who are in need. Save them from the power of sinful people. 5 “You rulers and judges don’t know anything. You don’t understand anything. You are in the dark about what is right. Law and order have been destroyed all over the world. 6 “I said, ‘Rulers and judges, you are “gods.” You are all children of the Most High God.’ 7 But you will die, just like everyone else. You will die like every other ruler.” 8 God, rise up. Judge the earth. All of the nations belong to you.

God’s idea of justice is amazing. He doesn’t protect the favoured or the powerful or those easy to look after, He wants to protect the unfavoured and those who have no power. He wants us to do the same. It’s important to remember that God notices when we help in perpetuating injustice.

Lord helps us to help You in Your plan for the world – to create a place where justice reigns. Remind us when we are not noticing what we should see.

Written by Therese Manning

[comments closed]

Thursday 6 November, 2014

Psalm 81

1 Sing joyfully to God! He gives us strength. Give a loud shout to the God of Jacob! 2 Let the music begin. Play the tambourines. Play sweet music on harps and lyres. 3 Blow the ram’s horn on the day of the New Moon Feast. Blow it again when the moon is full and the Feast of Booths begins. 4 This is an order given to Israel. It is a law of the God of Jacob. 5 He gave it as a covenant law for the people of Joseph when God went out to punish Egypt. There we heard a language we didn’t understand. 6 God said, “I removed the load from your shoulders. I set your hands free from carrying heavy baskets. 7 You called out when you were in trouble, and I saved you. I answered you out of a thundercloud. I put you to the test at the waters of Meribah. Selah 8 “My people, listen and I will warn you. Israel, I wish you would listen to me! 9 Don’t have anything to do with the gods of other nations. Don’t bow down and worship strange gods. 10 I am the Lord your God. I brought you up out of Egypt. Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it with good things. 11 “But my people wouldn’t listen to me. Israel wouldn’t obey me. 12 So I let them go their own stubborn way. I let them follow their own sinful plans. 13 “I wish my people would listen to me! I wish Israel would live as I want them to live! 14 Then I would quickly bring their enemies under control. I would use my power against their attackers. 15 Those who hate me would bow down to me in fear. They would be punished forever. 16 But you would be fed with the finest wheat. I would satisfy you with the sweetest honey.”

What strikes me about this psalm are the things that God is calling his people to do in the first half of the psalm: These things are not difficult or onerous and seem like they would be joyful to participate in. Yet the people do not listen or obey and God mourns their disobedience.

Upon reflection, it becomes clear that these things are all worship- The thing that God really wants us to obey him in the most is to have all of our lives as worship! When I think about it, this sums up so many of the promises and commandments in the Bible for me. When I truly worship Him, obedience in all other areas becomes so much easier.

Lord help me to keep learning new ways of opening all areas of my life up in worship of You and help me also to be fully obedient in all areas of my life.

Written by Ps. Justin Ware

[comments closed]

Wednesday 5 November, 2014

Psalm 80

1 Shepherd of Israel, hear us. You lead the people of Joseph like a flock. You sit on your throne between the cherubim. Show your glory 2 to the people of Ephraim, Benjamin and Manasseh. Call your strength into action. Come and save us. 3 God, make us new again. Let your face smile on us with favor. Then we will be saved. 4 Lord God who rules over all, how long will your anger burn against the prayers of your people? 5 You have given us tears as our food. You have made us drink tears by the bowlful. 6 You have let our neighbors fight against us. Our enemies laugh at us. 7 God who rules over all, make us new again. Let your face smile on us with favor. Then we will be saved. 8 You brought Israel out of Egypt. Israel was like a vine. After you drove the nations out of Canaan, you planted the vine in their land. 9 You prepared the ground for it. It took root and spread out over the whole land. 10 The mountains were covered with its shade. The shade of its branches covered the mighty cedar trees. 11 Your vine sent its branches out all the way to the Mediterranean Sea. They reached as far as the Euphrates River. 12 Why have you broken down the walls around your vine? Now all who pass by it can pick its grapes. 13 Wild pigs from the forest destroy it. The creatures of the field feed on it. 14 God who rules over all, return to us! Look down from heaven and see us! Watch over your vine. 15 Guard the root you have planted with your powerful right hand. Take care of the branch you have raised up for yourself. 16 Your vine has been cut down. Fire has burned it up. You have been angry with us, and we are dying. 17 May you honor the people at your right hand. May you honor the nation you have raised up for yourself. 18 Then we won’t turn away from you. Give us new life. We will worship you. 19 Lord God who rules over all, make us new again. Let your face smile on us with favor. Then we will be saved.

This seems to be a psalm that would be sung at the point of repentance when the people recognise that they are separated from God and that when they are separated from Him all sorts of bad things happen – some caused by their enemies, some they attribute to God – and they can’t make things right on their own.

There’s a refrain that is repeated three times which the NIV translates as “Restore us, O God; make your face shine upon us, that we may be saved”. Even though I repent I need God to restore me to a right place. And that depends on what Jesus did on the cross. I can’t do that myself.

But the NLT translates the first bit of that refrain as “Turn us again to yourself”. (The Hebrew word “shoo” here means both “return” (as in NIV) or “turn again” (as in NLT).) I found this phrase surprising at first. Surely it’s my responsibility to turn to God. But as I thought about it, I remembered that

  1. If I’m not in a right place in relation to God it’s not because he’s in the wrong place. Restoring me requires turning me around, moving me to where he is.
  2. One of the Holy Spirit’s jobs is to show me my sin (John 16:8) and it’s God who brings me to repentance (Romans 2:4, 2 Timothy 2:25). I can’t even do that on my own. I have to play my part in repenting but its God who brings me to that point.
  3. “Repentance” is literally changing my thinking. Romans 12:1-2 tells me to make myself a “living sacrifice” and to “be transformed by the renewing of my mind”. I need to actively be transformed (passive verb) – God and I need to make that repentance change of mind together. But that should have been obvious: doing it with Him rather than separately from Him is fundamental to that change from sin to son.

When I’m back in that right place, God’s face shines down upon me. Only then will I be saved. How good is that!

Father, renew my mind. Transform me from going my way to your way; from being separate to being with you; to face you as your face shines on me.

Written by David Cornell

1 (reply)
  1. Justin Ware says:

    At the moment, I am doing a 30 day devotional in The Bible App (by YouVersion) on prayer and my eyes have been opened further to the beauty of the psalms while going through this devotional. What strikes me about this psalm is that even though the writer recognises that they are in a bad way, they are not running from God, or bargaining with him (i.e. if you fix this God, I will come back to you). I know that when things don’t go as I would like, I do both of these things!

    As I read through more of the psalms, I am learning more about prayer and more about where my heart needs to go when times are tough- it is amazing how many of the psalms are written during hard times!

    Lord, change my heart to always seek you no matter what – and make it my instinct to seek you first.

    I love your words on this psalm David!

[comments closed]

Tuesday 4 November, 2014

Psalm 79

1 God, an army from the nations has attacked your land. They have polluted your holy temple. They have completely destroyed Jerusalem. 2 They have given the dead bodies of your people as food to the birds of the air. They have given the bodies of your faithful people to the animals of the earth. 3 They have poured out the blood of your people like water all around Jerusalem. No one is left to bury the dead. 4 We are something our neighbors joke about. The nations around us laugh at us and make fun of us. 5 Lord, how long will you be angry with us? Will it be forever? How long will your jealousy burn like fire? 6 Pour out your burning anger on the nations that don’t pay any attention to you. Pour it out on the kingdoms that don’t worship you. 7 They have swallowed up the people of Jacob. They have destroyed Israel’s homeland. 8 Don’t hold against us the sins of our people who lived before us. May you be quick to show us your tender love. We are in great need. 9 God our Savior, help us. Then glory will come to you. Be true to your name. Save us and forgive our sins. 10 Why should the nations say, “Where is their God?” Show the nations that you punish those who kill your people. We want to see it happen. 11 Listen to the groans of the prisoners. Use your powerful arm to save the lives of those who have been sentenced to death. 12 Lord, our neighbors have laughed at you. Pay them back seven times for what they have done. 13 We are your people. We are your very own sheep. We will praise you forever. For all time to come we will keep on praising you.

This psalmist talks of a physical enemy and the pain of the defeat and death and dishonour of real people – God’s people. As I live on this side of amazing grace (post Jesus dying for my sins and rising in resurrection power) – I’m trying to find a relevant connection for me as I read it.

I’m called to love my enemies and pray for those who persecute me – but here the psalmist cries out for vengeance – payback!

2 things strike me

  1. God’s amazing grace through Jesus absolutely changes the way I relate to God and to people
  2. I have enemies – but they are not flesh and blood –
    1. they are powers are principalities (satan and his demons) and
    2. the echo of my old sinful nature – that once rebelled against God’s rule in my life

With these things in mind as I re-read the psalm I see a cry to God for justice and I am stirred to echo the words of the Lord’s Prayer: “May Your kingdom come may Your will be done here on earth as it is in heaven.”

Lord you have called me to love You and to love people. When I look around at the state of the world – there is much that requires Your justice. But I cry out to You not for vengeance or payback – I cry out to You for Your Kingdom to come here on earth – as it is in heaven – across the earth – across every nation. May Your kingdom come here in my life and in the lives of everyone one of us who call you Lord and may You establish Your peace and righteousness across the earth.

Written by Ps. Linda Quinn

1 (reply)
[comments closed]

Monday 3 November, 2014

Psalm 78

1 My people, listen to my teaching. Pay attention to what I say. 2 I will open my mouth and tell stories. I will speak about things that were hidden. They happened a long time ago. 3 We have heard about them and we know them. Our people who lived before us have told us about them. 4 We won’t hide them from our children. We will tell them to those who live after us. We will tell them about what the Lord has done that is worthy of praise. We will talk about his power and the wonderful things he has done. 5 He gave laws to the people of Jacob. He gave Israel their law. He commanded our people who lived before us to teach his laws to their children. 6 Then those born later would know his laws. Even their children yet to come would know them. And they in turn would tell their children. 7 Then they would put their trust in God. They would not forget what he had done. They would obey his commands. 8 They would not be like their people who lived before them. Those people were stubborn. They refused to obey God. Their hearts were not true to him. Their spirits were not faithful to him. 9 The soldiers of Ephraim were armed with bows. But they ran away on the day of battle. 10 They didn’t keep the covenant God had made with them. They refused to live by his law. 11 They forgot what he had done. They didn’t remember the wonders he had shown them. 12 He did miracles right in front of our people who lived long ago. At that time they were living in the land of Egypt, in the area of Zoan. 13 God parted the Red Sea and led them through it. He made the water stand up like a wall. 14 He guided them with the cloud during the day. He led them with the light of a fire all night long. 15 He broke the rocks open in the desert. He gave them as much water as there is in the oceans. 16 He brought streams out of a rocky cliff. He made water flow down like rivers. 17 But they continued to sin against him. In the desert they refused to obey the Most High God. 18 They were stubborn and put God to the test. They ordered him to give them the food they longed for. 19 They spoke against God. They said, “Can God put food on a table in the desert? 20 When he struck the rock, streams of water poured out. Huge amounts of water flowed down. But can he also give us food? Can he supply meat for his people?” 21 When the Lord heard what they said, he was very angry. His anger broke out like fire against the people of Jacob. He became very angry with Israel. 22 That was because they didn’t believe in God. They didn’t trust in his power to save them. 23 But he gave a command to the skies above. He opened the doors of the heavens. 24 He rained down manna for the people to eat. He gave them the grain of heaven. 25 Mere men ate the bread of angels. He sent them all of the food they could eat. 26 He made the east wind blow from the heavens. By his power he caused the south wind to blow. 27 He rained meat down on them like dust. He sent them birds like sand on the seashore. 28 He made the birds come down inside their camp. The birds fell all around their tents. 29 People ate until they had more than enough. He gave them what they had longed for. 30 But even before they had finished eating, God acted. He did it while the food was still in their mouths. 31 His anger rose up against them. He put to death the strongest among them. He struck down Israel’s young men. 32 But even after all that, they kept on sinning. Even after they had seen the miracles he did, they still didn’t believe. 33 So he brought their days to an end like a puff of smoke. He ended their years with terror. 34 Every time God killed some of them, the others would look to him. They gladly turned back to him again. 35 They remembered that God was their Rock. They remembered that God Most High had set them free. 36 But they didn’t mean it when they praised him. They lied to him when they spoke. 37 Their hearts were not true to him. They weren’t faithful to the covenant he had made with them. 38 But he was full of tender love. He forgave their sins and didn’t destroy his people. Time after time he held back his anger. He didn’t let all of his burning anger blaze out. 39 He remembered that they were only human. He remembered they were only a breath of air that drifts by and doesn’t return. 40 How often they refused to obey him in the desert! How often they caused him sorrow in that dry and empty land! 41 Again and again they put God to the test. They made the Holy One of Israel sad and angry. 42 They didn’t remember his power. They forgot the day he set them free from those who had beaten them down. 43 They forgot how he had shown them his miraculous signs in Egypt. They forgot his miracles in the area of Zoan. 44 He turned the rivers of Egypt into blood. The people of Egypt couldn’t drink water from their streams. 45 He sent large numbers of flies that bit them. He sent frogs that destroyed their land. 46 He gave their crops to the grasshoppers. He gave their food to the locusts. 47 He destroyed their vines with hail. He destroyed their fig trees with sleet. 48 He killed their cattle with hail. Their livestock were struck by lightning. 49 He brought great trouble on Egypt by pouring out his blazing anger. In his hot anger he sent destroying angels against them. 50 God prepared a path for his anger. He didn’t spare their lives. He gave them over to the plague. 51 He killed the oldest son of each family in Egypt. He struck down the oldest son in every house in the land of Ham. 52 But he brought his people out like a flock. He led them like sheep through the desert. 53 He guided them safely, and they weren’t afraid. But the Red Sea swallowed up their enemies. 54 He brought his people to the border of his holy land. He led them to the central hill country he had taken by his power. 55 He drove the nations out to make room for his people. He gave to each family a piece of land to pass on to their children. He settled the tribes of Israel in their homes. 56 But they put God to the test. They refused to obey the Most High God. They didn’t keep his laws. 57 Like their people who lived before them, they turned away from him and were not faithful. They were like a bow that doesn’t shoot straight. They couldn’t be trusted. 58 They made God angry by going to their high places. They made him jealous by worshiping the statues of their gods. 59 When God saw what the people were doing, he was very angry. He turned away from them completely. 60 He deserted the holy tent at Shiloh. He left the tent he had set up among his people. 61 He allowed the ark to be captured. Into the hands of his enemies he sent the ark where his glory rested. 62 He let his people be killed with swords. He was very angry with them. 63 Fire destroyed their young men. Their young women had no one to get married to. 64 Their priests were killed with swords. Their widows weren’t able to cry. 65 Then the Lord woke up as if he had been sleeping. He was like a man waking up from the deep sleep caused by wine. 66 He drove his enemies back. He put them to shame that will last forever. 67 He turned his back on the tents of the people of Joseph. He didn’t choose to live in the tribe of Ephraim. 68 Instead, he chose to live in the tribe of Judah. He chose Mount Zion, which he loved. 69 There he built his holy place as secure as the heavens. He built it to last forever, like the earth. 70 He chose his servant David. He took him from the sheep pens. 71 He brought him from tending sheep to be the shepherd of his people Jacob. He made him the shepherd of Israel, his special people. 72 David cared for them with a faithful and honest heart. With skilled hands he led them.

It’s good to look back. To remember what God has done in our lives. It’s important too to let the past strengthen our faith for the future. I need to say to myself “God answered my prayers and came through for me in this situation. I can trust Him for the next”. Somehow though I seem to forget.

Verse 53 is the key for me,

He kept them safe so they were not afraid

If I’m afraid it means I’ve forgotten the past. I need to stop and remind myself “wait a minute, God can do this – He came through for me before and He will do it again. I am His adopted son!  He will not let me down.”

Heavenly Father, you are awesome in your power and love. You command me “do not fear” and then say “because I am with you”. Help me always remember your past provisions and with faith step confidently into my future.


Written by Boudy Van Noppen

[comments closed]

Sunday 2 November, 2014

Psalm 77

1 I cried out to God for help. I cried out to God to hear me. 2 When I was in trouble, I looked to the Lord. During the night I lifted up my hands in prayer. But I refused to be comforted. 3 God, I remembered you, and I groaned. I thought about you, and I became weak. Selah 4 You kept me from going to sleep. I was so troubled I couldn’t speak. 5 I thought about days gone by. I thought about the years of long ago. 6 I remembered how I used to sing praise to you in the night. I thought about it, and here is what I asked myself. 7 “Will the Lord turn away from us forever? Won’t he ever show us his kindness again? 8 Has his faithful love disappeared forever? Has his promise failed for all time? 9 Has God forgotten to show us his favor? Has he held back his tender love because he was angry?” Selah 10 Then I thought, “Here is what I will make my appeal to. For many years the Most High God showed how powerful his right hand is.” 11 Lord, I will remember what you did. Yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. 12 I will spend time thinking about everything you have done. I will consider all of your mighty acts. 13 God, everything you do is holy. What god is so great as our God? 14 You are the God who does miracles. You show your power among the nations. 15 With your mighty arm you set your people free. You set the children of Jacob and Joseph free. Selah 16 God, the water of the Red Sea saw you. It saw you and boiled up. The deepest waters were stirred up. 17 The clouds poured down rain. The skies rumbled with thunder. Lightning flashed back and forth like arrows. 18 Your thunder was heard in the windstorm. Your lightning lit up the world. The earth trembled and shook. 19 Your path led through the Red Sea. You walked through the mighty waters. But your footprints were not seen. 20 You led your people like a flock. You led them by the hands of Moses and Aaron.

What I see in this Psalm is the writer is struggling to see God at work at all in their life. I love the honesty and the determined seeking of God, even in the grief and distress. It speaks to me of real, biblical tenacity. But what catches my attention most is how the psalmist moves to meditating on the extraordinary works that the Lord has already done.

It would appear to me that when we are in the middle of a crisis of faith, there are two things we must do before God. Be completely honest about our distress, and then tenacious in remembering the mighty things God has already done for us. That builds faith – you can feel the faith build in the Psalm as the psalmist declares the good things God has already done.

Lord, I find it very easy to get stuck meditating on my difficult situation. This Psalm calls me to honestly express my distresses and worries to you…and then boldly and with deep tenacity remember all the good you’ve already done. Help me to form this as my constant practice in Jesus name.

Written by Ps. Rob Waugh

[comments closed]

Saturday 1 November, 2014

Psalm 76

1 In the land of Judah, God is known. His name is great in Israel. 2 His tent is in Jerusalem. The place where he lives is on Mount Zion. 3 There he broke the deadly arrows of his enemies. He broke their shields and swords. He broke their weapons of war. Selah 4 God, you shine like a very bright light. You are more majestic than mountains full of wild animals. 5 Brave soldiers have been robbed of everything they had. Now they lie there, sleeping in death. Not one of them can even lift his hands. 6 God of Jacob, at your command both horse and chariot lie still. 7 People should have respect for you alone. Who can stand in front of you when you are angry? 8 From heaven you handed down your sentence. The land was afraid and became quiet. 9 God, that happened when you rose up to judge. It happened when you came to save all of your suffering people in the land. Selah 10 Your anger against sinners brings you praise. Those who live through your anger gather to worship you. 11 Make promises to the Lord your God and keep them. Let all of the neighboring nations bring gifts to the One who should be respected. 12 He breaks the proud spirit of rulers. The kings of the earth have respect for him.

There is so much on the news to cause people to fear; war, political instability, disease and natural disasters…. Yet we serve a God who is far more powerful than the strongest human-built weapon, a God who causes the earth to fear, a God whose strategy to unleash hope and life is truly unstoppable, a God who is greater than any leader and who halts opposition with a rebuke.

Lord, help me make your name and your greatness known in the places that I go. May people see that you are the one who enables and empowers us to act in the face of difficulty, to bring hope and practical solutions. Help me to focus on what I can do and to take steps of faith, trusting in you to do immeasurably more than all I can ask or imagine. Amen.

Written by Beth Waugh

[comments closed]