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…

Psalm for the day — Feb. 9, 2012

 Psalm 40

9 I have told the glad news of deliverance in the great congregation;

behold, I have not restrained my lips, as you know, O Lord.

10 I have not hidden your deliverance within my heart;

I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation;

I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness

from the great congregation.


It is my joy and privilege to speak and sing of God’s faithfulness and salvation, His steadfast love and righteousness, every Sunday before “the great congregation.” We get to do that with each other, too, as we address “one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs” (Eph. 5:19, see also Col. 3:16). These are truths that we need to hear and speak/sing every day, but we get a special joy and encouragement when we do this in “the great congregation.” Don’t forget, too, that there is an evangelistic aspect to our worship. (See 1 Cor. 14:24-25)

My excitement is stirred afresh to go to the house of the Lord. Remember, dear saints, that you are that house (Eph. 2:19-22).

Psalm for the Day – Feb. 6, 2012

 “Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4

I have always loved this verse. It speaks to me of what I call the upward spiral of delighting in the Lord. 

I think of it this way. As I delight in the Lord, He gives me more of Himself through the fellowship of the Spirit. So, I am filled with love, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control. As I am encouraged and refreshed by this fellowship with Him, it awakens in me a greater desire for *more*. God delights in giving us more of Himself, so He fulfills that desire. So then, I delight in Him afresh and all the more. So I am stirred to yet more Godly desires and leanings, and I pray to Him for them. And, He gives me *more*.

So I am on an upwardly ascending spiral, ever-reaching for Him and for my heavenly home, which becomes more and more my desire…

Psalm for the day

 From Psalm 36

5 Your steadfast love, O LORD, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds. 

6 Your righteousness is like the mountains of God; your judgments are like the great deep; man and beast you save, O LORD. 

7 How precious is your steadfast love, O God! The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings. 

8 They feast on the abundance of your house, and you give them drink from the river of your delights. 

9 For with you is the fountain of life; in your light do we see light. 

10 Oh, continue your steadfast love to those who know you, and your righteousness to the upright of heart! 

 

Is the Psalmist trying to tell us something of the steadfast love of the Lord? How will you respond to His steadfast love today?

Thirsting and Hoping

Ps. 42: 1 “As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God.
2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?”

Ps. 43:5 “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.”

I love the bookends of Ps. 42:1-2 and 43:5. In one of the most vivd word pictures of the Christian’s longing for fellowship with God, the psalmist speaks of his soul-thirst (Ps. 42:1-2). It is a poignant, powerful observation that God alone will satisfy the deepest thirst that we have: the thirst for living water.
Psalm 43 ends with the psalmist directly addressing his soul. It has been often said, perhaps best by Martin Lloyd-Jones, that we spend too much time listening to ourselves and not enough time talking to ourselves. The psalmist picks up this challenge and speaks directly to the very disquiet of his inmost being. It’s as if he is saying, “soul, don’t you remember who you were thirsting for and longing for just a short while ago? You were thirsting for the *living God*. You knew that only He could satisfy the deepest longing, the deepest appetite for nourishment and fulfillment. This same God is the One in Whom you will again find your hope. You will praise Him! Oh, remember!”
May God grant us the grace today to hope in Him.