How high is high?

Psalm 103:11-12

For as high as the heavens are above the earth,

so great is His faithful love

toward those who fear Him.

As far as the east is from the west,

so far has He removed

our transgressions from us.

Can you see beyond the stars with your naked eye? Can we see the farthest reaches of the galaxy, the universe?

Even if you could see that far, God’s love and forgiveness would still exceed it.

That is why our poor measure of sight and comprehension cannot cope with His grace. We cannot believe in an extension of compassion so vast and magnificent.

Ancient man could not comprehend a universe greater than what he could see. We now can see farther into the once-unknown than ever. And with that, we believe we can see it all. Our own God-given wisdom leads us to think we can fully know the breadth of God.

Oh, save us from our “wisdom”, Lord! Let us cast ourselves upon you and receive with childlike wonder and awe your blessing of grace.

In the morning you hear my voice…

O Lord, in the morning you hear my voice; in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you and watch. Psalm 5:3 (ESV)

O Lord – the first person I speak to in the morning is you, Lord. For only you hear me in the truest, deepest sense of hearing.

in the morning – at the beginning of the day, I need you. I need you to hear me. I need you to answer me.

you hear my voice – you do hear me, Lord. You hear me to the depths of my soul, whether in joy or despair, faith or hopelessness

in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you – what is my sacrifice for you today, Father? I sacrifice my self-assurance, my self-confidence, my confidence in my own wisdom and strength.

and watch – I watch for your answer! You answer prayer all the time, faithful God, and I miss it too often because I’m looking for my answer, the answer I want. Help me to look for your answer.

“I shall again praise him…”

Why are you cast down, o my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God. Psalm 42:11

The longing to praise God doesn’t go away when I am in the depths of despair. I wrestle within my soul because I know the truth: God is my salvation and my hope, my only surety, the only one in whom I can fully trust. I know these things!

So, why I am struggling so? Why am I so sad?

Oh, God, is my wrestling with these thoughts worship? I am trying to work these things out before you. Am I giving you praise in the midst of it? And by that I mean am I looking to you alone for the answers? Praise is recognizing God, recognizing you, Father, for all you are. All of your majesty, all of your holiness, all of your love, all of your grace, all of your justice, all of your faithfulness, all of your steadfastness, all of your power.

As I cry out to you from the depths of my despair I am seeing through the tears, through the dimness of the dark day, that you are the only one I can turn to. You are the only one I can cry out to. So, I am praising you. I am worshiping you, even in the pain. I praise you in the dark as I seek your light.

There is a dawn coming. And in the light of that dawn, I will see you anew and afresh. I shall again praise you in the light of day.

It Is Good

It is good to praise the Lord and make music to your name, O Most High, proclaiming your love in the morning and your faithfulness at night, to the music of the ten-stringed lyre and the melody of the harp. For you make me glad by your deeds, Lord; I sing for joy at what your hands have done. (Psalm 92:1-4 NIV)

My morning thought

Psalm 34:1 I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
2 My soul makes its boast in the LORD; let the humble hear and be glad.
3 Oh, magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together!

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For the 1st of October

A good psalm for the harvest:

Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
but his delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
He is like a tree
planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.
The wicked are not so,
but are like chaff that the wind drives away.
Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
for the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked will perish.

What fruit will we yield in this season?

Psalm for the day — Friday, Feb. 17, 2012

 

Psalm 48

1 Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised

in the city of our God!

His holy mountain, 2 beautiful in elevation,

is the joy of all the earth…

8 As we have heard, so have we seen

in the city of the Lord of hosts,

in the city of our God,

which God will establish forever.

Selah

9 We have thought on your steadfast love, O God,

in the midst of your temple.

10 As your name, O God,

so your praise reaches to the ends of the earth.

Your right hand is filled with righteousness.

We were practicing the song form of this Psalm just last night. We have sung it often through the years at FBC. “Great Is the Lord and Most Worthy of Praise” is the song we sing. The chorus is

“And Lord, we want to lift Your name on high;

And Lord, we want to thank You for the works You’ve done in our lives;

And Lord, we trust in Your unfailing love,

For You alone are God eternal, throughout earth and heaven above.”


So the song is a song of praise for God’s lovingkindness and work in our lives. This is based on God’s supreme majesty and unchangeableness. Because He is sovereign and eternal, He will not change. We can count on Him. Though the song doesn’t mention it per se, He grants us these blessings based on His generous grace, not on our worth. So then His grace is magnified in the light of His bestowing upon people like you and me.


The psalm is a paean to the City of God. vis.


1 Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised

in the city of our God!

His holy mountain, 2 beautiful in elevation,

is the joy of all the earth,

Mount Zion, in the far north,

the city of the great King.

3 Within her citadels God

has made himself known as a fortress.

12 Walk about Zion, go around her,

number her towers,

13 consider well her ramparts,

go through her citadels,

that you may tell the next generation

14 that this is God,

our God forever and ever.

He will guide us forever.


From the ESV Study Bible: “The singing congregation addresses one another, inviting them to review the strength of Zion; as vv. 1–3 made clear, this is not purely the city’s material defenses. The worshipers know that the people of God are secure, and are commissioned to tell the next generation of their security and their mission.”

The people of God are secure because God makes them secure, not the strength of their towers and walls. As in v. 3: “Within her citadels God has made Himself known as a fortress.” God is the fortress.


So we sing to God, our fortress. We give Him praise and thanks. Meditate upon this as we sing…