Psalm 106

IMG_4046After reading this psalm of how God dealt with Israel in the past and his future dealings with Israel the reader should realize that God is a merciful God, a God that is always willing to forgive. However, we as a nation should also take heed of our relationship with God today. I am afraid that we as a nation today represents Israel at the time of Elijah and that the true worshipers are a part of the seven thousand that have not bowed their knees to Baal. These are individuals that walk daily in God’s way and are not a part of a movement. Movements are man’s way of making things happen, however the more I study God’s Word and watch events happening in the world around me, it seems that God uses individuals moved by His Spirit to make things happen both on a local scale as well as on a global scale. These individuals have the characteristics that are found in verse three, they maintain justice and constantly do what is right. They strive at living a blameless life.
Paul used the example of this psalm in his warning to the Corinthians in I Corinthians chapter ten. In verses 5-11 he writes “Howbeit with most of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness. Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, the people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand. Neither let us make trial of the Lord, as some of them made trial, and perished by the serpents. Neither murmur ye, as some of them murmured, and perished by the destroyer. Now these things happened unto them by way of example; and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages are come.” Yes God is a merciful God, but if we are bended on rebellion when as verse forty-three states we will waste away in our sins. Chose then the correct way to conduct your daily walk.

It is amazing how God has embedded simple truths in his Word. As I study this psalm the words of verses nineteen through twenty-three speaks of our society today.
19At Horeb they made a calf and worshiped an idol cast from metal.
20 They exchanged their Glory for an image of a bull, which eats grass.
21 They forgot the God who saved them, who had done great things in Egypt,
22 miracles in the land of Ham and awesome deeds by the Red Sea.
23 So he said he would destroy them had not Moses, his chosen one, stood in the breach before him to keep his wrath from destroying them.

The event that took placed at Horeb has been taking place in the course of history since the fall of man. Even in the very strong holds of religion itself we see God being exchanged for other gods. When you read Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” you must realize that this is the first of the simple truths that God reveals to men from the scriptures. This truth is that God started the process of the heavens and the earth by creating something out of nothing. This truth that God is a creator should shape and mold your understanding of everything that surrounds you. For without God nothing would or could exist. Therefore to gain an understanding of the world in which we live we must recognize God as creator. That is not the case with society today. In an article from the Houston Chronicle (6/21/2009) Opportunities to Fellowship With Other Humanists in Houston the author Hux (Brian Surratt) stated “The HOH seems to be getting stronger. I hope the options for humanists continue to grow overtime to include, say, more activities for families who desire to raise ethical children in a naturalistic tradition”.
What is a humanist? Just go to their website for the answer. In the Humanist Manifesto III, the American Humanist Association outlined the following basic principles of Humanism:
• Knowledge of the world is derived by observation, experimentation, and rational analysis.
• Humans are an integral part of nature, the result of unguided evolutionary change.
• Ethical values are derived from human need and interest as tested by experience.
• Life’s fulfillment emerges from individual participation in the service of humane ideals.
• Humans are social by nature and find meaning in relationships.
• Working to benefit society maximizes individual happiness.

At first glance these principles might sound great. However, a farther look at the Humanism definition of Humanism it states “Humanism is a worldview which says that reason and science are the best ways to understand the world around us, and that dignity and compassion should be the basis for how you act toward someone else. Humanism is nontheistic. By this, we don’t mean to say that there is no God. Instead, we say that there is no proof for the existence of God, any gods, the supernatural or an afterlife. Therefore, we take very seriously the idea that “No deity will save us; we must save ourselves.” We are living the only life we’ll have, in the only world we know about. The responsibility for the choices we make are ours and ours alone.” This statement is a reflection of exactly what the Israelites did here at Horeb, and what Paul describes in Romans chapter one as the condition that mankind now suffers. When we look at the last two verses of this Psalm we see the psalmist requests to God: save us and gather us from the nations. If one of the fundamental belief of Humanism is that God does not save us, only we can; then I can not abide in their company. However, like Moses may I stand in the breach between God and the Humanist and pray that they may see the light offered to them through Christ

Psalm 106

gullPraise ye the Lord. O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth forever.  Who can utter the mighty acts of the Lord? Who can shew forth all his praise?   Blessed are they that keep judgment, and he that doeth righteousness at all times.  Remember me, O Lord, with the favour that thou bearest unto thy people: O visit me with thy salvation; that I may see the good of thy chosen that I may rejoice in the gladness of thy nation that I may glory with thine inheritance.  We have sinned with our fathers, we have committed iniquity, we have done wickedly. Our fathers understood not thy wonders in Egypt; they remembered not the multitude of thy mercies; but provoked him at the sea, even at the Red sea.   Nevertheless he saved them for his name’s sake, that he might make his mighty power to be known. He rebuked the Red sea also, and it was dried up: so he led them through the depths, as through the wilderness.  And he saved them from the hand of him that hated them, and redeemed them from the hand of the enemy.  And the waters covered their enemies: there was not one of them left.  Then believed they his words; they sang his praise.  They soon forgat his works; they waited not for his counsel:  But lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, and tempted God in the desert.  And he gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul.  They envied Moses also in the camp, and Aaron the saint of the Lord.  The earth opened and swallowed up Dathan and covered the company of Abiram.  And a fire was kindled in their company; the flame burned up the wicked.  They made a calf in Horeb, and worshipped the molten image.  Thus they changed their glory into the similitude of an ox that eateth grass.  They forgat God their saviour, which had done great things in Egypt; Wondrous works in the land of Ham, and terrible things by the Red sea. Therefore he said that he would destroy them, had not Moses his chosen stood before him in the breach, to turn away his wrath, lest he should destroy them.  Yea, they despised the pleasant land, they believed not his word:  But murmured in their tents, and hearkened not unto the voice of the Lord.  Therefore he lifted up his hand against them, to overthrow them in the wilderness:  To overthrow their seed also among the nations, and to scatter them in the lands.  They joined themselves also unto Baalpeor, and ate the sacrifices of the dead.  Thus they provoked him to anger with their inventions: and the plague brake in upon them.  Then stood up Phinehas, and executed judgment: and so the plague was stayed.  And that was counted unto him for righteousness unto all generations for evermore.  They angered him also at the waters of strife, so that it went ill with Moses for their sakes:  Because they provoked his spirit, so that he spake unadvisedly with his lips.  They did not destroy the nations, concerning whom the Lord commanded them:  But were mingled among the heathen, and learned their works.  And they served their idols: which were a snare unto them.  Yea, they sacrificed their sons and their daughters unto devils, and shed innocent blood, even the blood of their sons and of their daughters, whom they sacrificed unto the idols of Canaan: and the land was polluted with blood.  Thus were they defiled with their own works, and went a whoring with their own inventions.  Therefore was the wrath of the Lord kindled against his people, insomuch that he abhorred his own inheritance.  And he gave them into the hand of the heathen; and they that hated them ruled over them.  Their enemies also oppressed them, and they were brought into subjection under their hand.  Many times did he deliver them; but they provoked him with their counsel, and were brought low for their iniquity.  Nevertheless he regarded their affliction, when he heard their cry:  And he remembered for them his covenant, and repented according to the multitude of his mercies.  He made them also to be pitied of all those that carried them captives. Save us, O Lord our God, and gather us from among the heathen, to give thanks unto thy holy name, and to triumph in thy praise.  Blessed be the Lord God of Israel from everlasting to everlasting: and let all the people say, Amen. Praise ye the Lord.

After reading this psalm of how God dealt with Israel in the past and his future dealings with Israel the reader should realize that God is a merciful God, a God that is always willing to forgive.   However, we as a nation should also take heed of our relationship with God today.  I am afraid that we as a nation today represent Israel at the time of Elijah and that the true worshipers are a part of the seven thousand that have not bowed their knees to Baal.  These are individuals that walk daily in God’s way and are not a part of a movement.  Movements are man’s way of making things happen, however the more I study God’s Word and watch events happening in the world around me, it seems that God uses individuals moved by His Spirit to make things happen both on a local scale as well as on a global scale.   These individuals have the characteristics that are found in verse three; they maintain justice and constantly do what is right.  They strive at living a blameless live.

Paul uses the example of this psalm in his warning to the Corinthians in I Corinthians chapter ten.  In verses 5-11 he writes “Howbeit with most of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness. Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.  Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, the people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.  Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand.  Neither let us make trial of the Lord, as some of them made trial, and perished by the serpents.  Neither murmur ye, as some of them murmured, and perished by the destroyer.  Now these things happened unto them by way of example; and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages are come.”   Yes God is a merciful God, but if we are bended on rebellion when as verse forty-three states we will waste away in our sins.  We then must choose the correct way to conduct your daily walk.

Psalm 100

River 1 Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth. 2 Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. 3 Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. 4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. 5 For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.

 1Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. 2Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing. 3Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. 4Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. 5For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.

This is one of the first psalms (along with psalm 23) that we teach our children.  Yes, it was from the King James Version that most of us remember.  As we read the truths found in this psalm we must also ask how much we apply these truths to our daily routine.  Do we truly worship the Lord with gladness, or do we question His actions or lack of actions in the affairs of man?  Do we come before him with joyful songs or does our praise seem to focus on the deeds of fallen man whom we have elevated above the common man?  Do we look to him as creator when we look at the world around us, or do we try to explain the existence of this universe to other forces?  When we said the phrase “we are his people and the sheep of his pasture” does our daily activity reflect his righteousness and truth in every aspect of our labor?  The phrase “the sheep of his pasture”  should reflect a total guidance of our daily activities being lead by him.   Do you really even in the darkest of times know that the Lord is good and his love endures forever?  When we consider the phase “and his truth endureth to all generations” do we stop and reflect upon this truth?  In John 14:6 Christ states that He is the way, the truth and the life and that no one comes to God, but through Him.

Psalm 95

Psalm 95River

1 Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. 2 Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song. 3 For the LORD is the great God, the great King above all gods. 4 In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him. 5 The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land. 6 Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker; 7 for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care. Today, if you hear his voice, 8 do not harden your hearts as you did at Meribah, as you did that day at Massah in the desert, 9 where your fathers tested and tried me, though they had seen what I did. 10 For forty years I was angry with that generation; I said, “They are a people whose hearts go astray, and they have not known my ways.” 11 So I declared on oath in my anger, “They shall never enter my rest.”

Today as I was reading Oswald Chambers’ devotional for October nineteen I realized that his observations of the Christians of his day are also true of the society in which we live in today.  “The great enemy of the Lord Jesus Christ today is the idea of practical work that has no basis in the New Testament but comes from the systems of the world. This work insists upon endless energy and activities, but no private life with God. The emphasis is put on the wrong thing. Jesus said, “The kingdom of God does not come with observation . . . . For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you” ( Luke 17:20-21  ). It is a hidden, obscure thing. An active Christian worker too often lives to be seen by others, while it is the innermost, personal area that reveals the power of a person’s life.”

As I read this Psalm I picture the churches of my youth, churches that came together for a worship service.  As I reflected on these services they were services that meet the need of a young growing Christian who loved the Word of God.  As a young Christian I was interested in reading and studying God’s Word and learning more about Jesus and his message.  I would carry a small New Testament with the Psalms and Proverbs with me and would pull it out and read it whenever I had a free moment.  As a reflect upon these times I now realize how much God’s Holy Word influenced my life.  My pastor Rev. Cairnes taught me the importance of having the Word of God within you, so that you could meditate on it throughout the day.  Knowing God’s Word and letting God lead you in all your daily activities were the key to living a life worth living for Christ.  Today however, it seems that the message being preached is the purpose driven life, a system for living a productive life for God.  Yes God’s Word is important in the life, however, the focus is more on the changes that you can have on finding God’s purpose in your life; a purpose that the world can see in you.  If we are not careful we will find ourselves with a void in our life.  So busy for the purpose of God that God has no place in our daily schedule.  No time to study God’s Word.  No time to reflect upon the way He is directing our daily walk. This is the great enemy that I believe that Oswald Chambers is writing about in his devotion.  Instead of using God’s Word to defend the activities of the church and make God’s Word fit into the mold the church needs we should let the Bible speak to us on an individual basis.  Today it seems that the light in the song “This Little Light of Mine” focus more on the activities that leads on how to live a purpose driven life instead of being the light of Christ that abides in me.

As I read this Psalm I realized how the fear of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom.  In verse eleven the Psalmist writes “So I declared on oath in my anger, “They shall never enter my rest” as a warning to us if we reject ways.  This Psalm is tied to the very first three commandments “Thy should not have any God before me.  Thou shall not make unto thee a graven image, nor any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shall not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them, for I Jehovah thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, upon the third and upon the fourth generation of them that hate me, and showing loving-kindness unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments.”  This same fear is what the author of Hebrews wrote about in the fourth chapter of Hebrews.  With salvation comes a change.  We turn from the lord of this world to the Lord of Creation.  Therefore keep your focus on Him.