Category Archives: Psalm thoughts

Psalm 119:153-160 – Resh

Look upon my suffering rescue me,
for I have not forgotten your instructions.
Argue my case;take my side!
Protect my life as You promised.
The wicked are far from rescue,
for they do not bother with Your decrees.
LORD, how great is Your Mercy;
let me be revived by following Your regulations.
Many persecute and trouble me,
yet I have not swerved from Your Laws
Seeing these traitors makes me sick at heart,
because they care nothing for Your Word.
See how I love Your Commandments,LORD.
Give back my life because of your unfailing love.
The very essence of Your words is truth;
all Your just regulations will stand forever.
Psalm
119:152-160 (NLT)

Ezra and the returning exiles faced many hardships not only from the mixed blood of Israel and the Assyrians, but from the local people who did not want them to return and reclaim the land. The things that trouble Israel today are no different. The things that face Christians today in the same lands are very much the same. We who live in “safe” lands take to much for granted. Yet we face a new persecution, that of people distorting the Word for power, glory, wealth and control. Many of the Law of Moses does not apply to our modern world, but the heart of the WORD still remains.
Ezra tried to instill a sense of order and religiosity among the returning Jews and enforce a custom of obedience to the people of the land to adhere to the Word of God. Yet he face many obstacles, least of all were the enemies at the gates. The real enemies were those who professed to be Jews yet did not follow God’s Law.

“Look upon my suffering” Those who are faithful to the word see themselves as victims of persecution by those who disagree with them. Ezra had to fight daily against enemies of Persia (who sent him back to Jerusalem to restore order and rebuild the Temple of Solomon) and the locals did not welcome the Jews but saw them as invaders. Today we see the “new” churches as invaders of our Faith. Many have strange doctrines, unclear teachings even things we consider to be heretical. But out of this come the “Old” Church and it is teaching new ideas as well. What are we to do? What if what we have been taught all these years is actually, the false teaching? God says, Jesus says, “Obey My Commandments.” What if we fail to understand that the Commandment are given as love? To share Love.
So we go to the LORD and we ask Him to take up our case,to examine us as to whether or not we trully Love His Commandments. As the Prophet Micah says, “I will be patient as the LORD punishes me,for I have sinned against Him. But after that He will take up my case and give me justice for all I have suffered from my enemies. …” . AS Paul say, we all fall short of the glory, we are all still sinners. Then, having confessed how weak and failures we are we can say, “O LORD, oppose those who oppose me. Fight those who fight me.” (NLT) The question is are we fighting the enemies of God or are we contending with the Children of God basing our beliefs on bad understanding. When does our understanding become “legalism” even as we protest the very same.

Salvation does not come to those who ignore the Law, but to those who Love the Law giver. Even among the believers in God there are those who know nothing of His Love, who show no love. Truly these are the wicked. They are the one far from rescue, those who feign believe but in their hearts ridicule God with their words, deeds and thoughts. The ones who say, God does not care what I do, I once said I believe in Him and that is my ticket to Paradise. O foolish people, do you not know in the Day of Judgement, Jesus will say, I know you not? Those who do not even bother to obey? To follow the Commandments of Love and Compassion? For all of the commandments are of God’s Love and Compassion for us, to keep us healthy, prosperous, emotionally calm, spiritually, sound. If we use the Word to destroy,to demean,to bring down then we are not following or loving the Law, we are enemies of it.

God told the people, before the exile, “Listen to Me, you stubborn people who are so far from doing right. For I am ready to set things right, not in the distant future,but right now!” a (NLT) And He did, “He brought the Good News of Peace to you gentiles who were far away from Him and peace to the Jews who were near. Now all of us can come to the Father through the same Holy Spirit because of what Christ has done for us.” (NLT). So are we to be stubborn? or are we to be willing to obey the heart of the Law? says, My child, listen when you father corrects you. Don’t neglect your mother’s instructions.” Is not God our Father? is not the Holy Spirit like a mother’s Instructions to us? Is not Christ’s Holy Church our unity with God? The Church who is Christ?

David cries out, ” O LORD, you are so good,so ready to forgive,so full of unfailing love for all who ask for Your help. …But you,O LORD, are a God of compassion and mercy, slow to anger and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness.”
: 5,15 (NLT) Let us be revived by His Law, not placed into bondage,as did the pharisees, but bonded in Love by
Christ. Let our cry be to the Father who revives us with great Compassion when we still in foolish pride, revile against His very Love. Let us find hope in the Law, Peace in the Law Love in the Law and Faithfulness in the Law. Let us not be like the prideful people of Jerusalem,who rebelled against Ezra and the Law. It is not enough to say I am Christian, we must fulfill the Word in our lives as Christ fulfilled the Promise to the Father. The Law of Love and Compassion, that Christ gave us,must be our life blood.

Unlikely as it seems, in most of the world, “You will be arrested, persecuted, and killed. You will be hated all over the world because you are My followers. And many will turn away, from Me, and betray and hate each other.” (NLT) So much for,once saved always saved. Yes even those who once believed will turn against you,we must be on watch that we do not in our own distortions of faith, turn against the will of God. AS the Jews turned against Christ Jesus so quickly, we in our pride turn against Him. We create lawlessness, and turmoil where there should be love and obedience. the sons of Korah write,() “But for your sake we are killed every day; we are beings slaughtered like sheep. Wake up O LORD! Why do you sleep? Get up! Do not reject us forever.” One of the reasons for writing is to wake US up to the reality that Christians the world over are being persecuted and we sit around and contend with each other over minor things forgetting that the Law was given out of God’s Love for us. He does not want us to suffer persecutions but we will, partly because we have abused His Love in the treatment of others,failing to show Love and Compassion, rejecting His Law for our own.

Ezekiel warns us that the day will come when God’s Judgement will fall on people who once called him LORD, bu the makes a promise to those who remain faithful. “[God ] said to Him (the man with the writing case = Jesus), ‘walk through the streets of Jerusalem and put a mark on the foreheads of all who weep and sigh because of the detestable sins being committed in their city.’ The he heard the LORD say to the other men. ‘Follow behind Him through the city and kill everyone whose forehead is not marked.'” Show no mercy,have no pity! Ezra says, the people of the city, the traitors to God, make him sick at heart. Can you imagine how sick at heart God is with us who mock His Law? Those who words say one thing yet in our hearts we live another more cruel reality? Yes God is merciful and forgiving but he hates mockery, falsehood and a lying heart.

Nehemiah was present in Jerusalem during this period of time, he was the governor sent by Cyrus to establish authority and order. He was give a free hand in the rule over the people. In it he dealt with each person fairly, and refused to be bribed,even take pay for leading the people. He was a part of the re-establishing the Law of Moses in the Land and at the end of it all, he said,”Remember me, O my God,all that I have done for these people,and bless me for it.” It is not what we do for ourselves, how holy we are but how we treat others, that God will remember us. If we want God’s Unfailing love, then we should be ready to give it to each other, If we want to be remembered as trustworthy, then we should be trustworthy in loving. The very essence of God’s Love is in His Law. The fragrance of His Love is in His Mercy. And His Law, Love and Compassion will last forever. While some things change, some laws are no longer applicable, the heart of the Law remains: The Law is given because God is fill of Unquenchable Love.

Three things never to forget: Every word of God proves true. He is a shield to all who come to Him for protection ~
All scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. ~
“I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not even the smallest detail of God’s Law will disappear until its purpose is achieved.” ~

Blessed is the Word of God.


Listen

I will bear the indignation of the Lord
because I have sinned against him,
until he pleads my cause
and executes judgment for me.
He will bring me out to the light;
I shall look upon his vindication. (ESV)


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35:1 Contend, O Lord, with those who contend with me;
fight against those who fight against me! (ESV)


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12 “Listen to me, you stubborn of heart,
you who are far from righteousness:
13 I bring near my righteousness; it is not far off,
and my salvation will not delay;
I will put salvation in Zion,
for Israel my glory.” (ESV)


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17 And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near.

Ephesians 2:18 (Listen

17 And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near.

Ephesians 2:18 (Listen)

18 For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. (ESV)


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Hear, my son, your father’s instruction,
and forsake not your mother’s teaching, (ESV)


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Hear, my son, your father’s instruction,
and forsake not your mother’s teaching, (ESV)


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86:1 Incline your ear, O Lord, and answer me,
for I am poor and needy.
Preserve my life, for I am godly;
save your servant, who trusts in you—you are my God.
Be gracious to me, O Lord,
for to you do I cry all the day.
Gladden the soul of your servant,
for to you, O Lord, do I lift up my soul.
For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving,
abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you.
Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer;
listen to my plea for grace.
In the day of my trouble I call upon you,
for you answer me.

There is none like you among the gods, O Lord,
nor are there any works like yours.
All the nations you have made shall come
and worship before you, O Lord,
and shall glorify your name.
10 For you are great and do wondrous things;
you alone are God.
11 Teach me your way, O Lord,
that I may walk in your truth;
unite my heart to fear your name.
12 I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart,
and I will glorify your name forever.
13 For great is your steadfast love toward me;
you have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.

14 O God, insolent men have risen up against me;
a band of ruthless men seeks my life,
and they do not set you before them.
15 But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.
16 Turn to me and be gracious to me;
give your strength to your servant,
and save the son of your maidservant.
17 Show me a sign of your favor,
that those who hate me may see and be put to shame
because you, Lord, have helped me and comforted me. (ESV)


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“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. (ESV)


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21 would not God discover this?
For he knows the secrets of the heart.
22 Yet for your sake we are killed all the day long;
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.

23 Awake! Why are you sleeping, O Lord?
Rouse yourself! Do not reject us forever! (ESV)


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Every word of God proves true;
he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. (ESV)


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16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, (ESV)


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18 For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. (ESV)

Psalms 119:137-144; “Tsadhe” (also called Sade)

“Righteous are you O LORD,
and right are your rules.
You have appointed Your testimonies in righteousness
and in all faithfulness.
My zeal consumes me,
because my foes forget Your words
Your promise is well tried,
and your servant loves it.
I am small and despised,
yet I do not forget your precepts.
Your righteousness is righteous forever,
and Your Law is true.
Trouble and anguish have found me out,
but Your commandments are my delight.
Your testimonies are righteous forever,
give me understanding that I may live.”

(ESV)

These verses are nothing more than a reprieve from much that has been said before. The Psalmist want to jump right into it with praise and thanksgiving as he nears a pause in the lesson that he has been giving the People of Judea. Here is a reminder that the Ways of the LORD God is paved with righteousness. That the Law is filled with His Righteousness and that every thing contained in the law is filled with the Righteousness of God’s wonder, Power and mercy! As I go through the verses I am going to use the Jerusalem Bible translation, because in this case it offers more intent understanding of what was spoken to the people.

“Righteous, indeed, Yahweh! And all Your rulings, correct!” All the rulings of the Lord are Correct. Nothing he has ever said is to be taken away or disregarded. Even in these days when we are free from the bondage of the Law, we are not free to regard them as incorrect. In the book of Tobit (from the Apocrypha), “You are just O Lord, and just are your works. all Your ways are grace and truth, and you are the Judge of the world.” and from , Paul speaks of his own righteousness, “And now the prize awaits me – the crown of righteousness that the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of His return.” (NLT) As we know that the righteous judge, who sits at the right hand of the Father, is Jesus rewards His faithful we also know that the God of the exiled Jews is the same judge. We know that the Laws and rules on righteousness Jesus, who sit at the Right hand of God came from the Father to the people of Israel and Judea. God Rewards His faithful,and obedient people. We know that what God has spoken is truth, correct and unwavering today just as it was for the returning children to Jerusalem.

So We can give thanks to God for giving to these people a reminder just as he reminds us through the words of Jesus, “Anyone who listens to my teaching and obeys Me is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock.” (Matt.7:24 NLT). Since Jesus is our Rock, we must build our house of faith on His foundations, and those foundation are built on the Righteousness of the Law, the Correctness of The Word of the Father to the children of Israel. But the Psalm continues with, “The decrees You impose, how righteous, how absolutely faithful!” . Look carefully at one word here, “impose”. The Law is not a suggestion or an rule to be taken lightly. God imposed them upon a unruled and contrary people, a people who would rather go back to the slavery of sin than follow the decrees God laid out for them. Today we try to wiggle out of the law by finding the excuse: “Jesus freed us from the bondage of the Law,” so we can sin without regard to the Righteousness of the Law and of the Lawgiver. We walk in unrighteous behavior, doing as we please and say that it is OK with God because He forgives my transgressions even if I don’t repent.

I think this was the attitude of the Remnant that was left in Judea and also of many who were returning to Jerusalem from captivity. God had abandoned them in their minds and they had forgotten how merciful He is. They were punished for their transgressions before the captivity, they had lived in a foreign land, picked up a new language, new culture and new bad habits and have forgotten why they were a people chosen of God. Perhaps they felt that because they were allowed to return to Jerusalem, their sins and the sins of their fathers were forgiven but they did not have to make changes in their lives. Is that not also what was taught by your churches, that won’t you said “I’m sorry” to God you didn’t ever have to worry about your future sins? Weren’t you told that all your sin, even those you would commit later in life were forgiven so you never had to worry about sinning again? That is like saying the Law of God is no longer applicable any more, that sin is justified by God condoning it. We have to remember that we are chosen to do good works, to live as Jesus lived, to preach the Good News of Salvation by living in the obedience of the Word, both the Oral Law of Moses and the Living Law of Christ.

But the Psalm writer has not forgotten. He knows the the Law is for the living and that it is perfect because it came from God. If I am right in my thinking that this was written by the instructions of Ezra and Nehemiah, the writer of this stanza is one who is devote and has a great love for God. In the next verse, I find the key to the stanza. If nothing else matters it is these words to the people of Judea and Jerusalem. “Zeal for Your House devours me, since my oppressors forgot Your Word.” . And this is a problem today. To many people who claim to know Christ and His Word, are not consumed by it. They do not have a zeal for righteousness in their own house. When Jesus told the priests that they must eat of His flesh and drink of His blood to get into heaven(see ), He was speaking to the zeal that they did not have for the righteousness of God. Their zeal was for power, they did not have the zeal to consume all that was Righteous and True before God or they would have recognized that Jesus was the Truth, the Way and the Light of the Father. When Ezra and Nehemiah returned to Jerusalem to build the temple and establish the city, they faced three types of personalities. The first is the Assyrians and Babylonians who had lived in the nation since the fall of the city, people who had no knowledge of the God of Abraham, Moses and David. People to whom the Law was foreign. The second was the remnant who were left behind after the conquest, people who had no spiritual leadership, who had no temple to worship God in and who had no Law of God left with them. Even when the Maccabees claimed the land briefly and tried to restore the temple, they were basically untrained. Their own soldiers carried “good luck” idols with them, symbols of false gods, or spirits. Yet even in their misguided beliefs, God performed the miracle of the lamps. The third were a people they brought with them, some not so willing who also had lost their culture, their written language and their traditions. The one thing that each of these three groups had was the loss of the Word, the Law. Many who no longer could read the script of the Hebrews. To each of these people, Nehemiah brought order, and the Law. It was his mission and the mission of Ezra to establish a zeal and a love for the Word, the Law of God. The Word, the Law, had to be rewritten in the text of the very enemies who had conquered them.

Today we have churches that don’t teach from the Law, or even allow it to be spoken of. We have churches that have no Sunday Schools, no Bible classes, no teaching from the Word. We have many that the preachers are poorly schooled, who only know what they have been taught by unqualified people locked into doctrines that are not biblical. But most of all we have leaders who do not have a Zeal for the Word. But perhaps the saddest thing is that they don’t want to know what is right. They contest and confront those who delve into the Word with the zeal they do not have. Instead of being warriors for the Word they have become foes to the knowledge of the Spirit. Because there is a lack of teaching the Law and the benefit of God’s Love through the Law, we are left “lawless” in a culture of sin. I see this in those who claim that the Holy Spirit’s gifts and signs are no longer in the church yet the evidence is all around them. They have eyes but do not see, ears that will not listen, hearts that can’t not understand that God is today the same as yesterday. Perhaps it was the same for the remnant, who felt abandoned, and the exiles who saw nothing new but animosity from the others in the land. Did they also feel that God was no longer relevant? Did they disregard the Law as “old School” and no longer pertaining to their lives?

This brings us to the response of the psalmist to the lack of zeal, the turning way from the knowledge of God’s Law. “But Your Promise is well tested, and your servant holds it dear!” () And it is still true today! God’s Promise of salvation, His promise never to abandon His Chosen is still true today. And like the Psalmist, we’re to hold the Promise dear to our hearts. We are to believe that the Promise is well tested. That Jesus came to fulfill all the Promises of The Father. What is understood here is that in spite of the loss of zeal for the Word and the Law, because of the rejection and persecution, the writer’s zeal is stronger. We need to look no further than to the persecuted Christians around the world to see that they also have that quantity of zeal and hunger for the Word. But the Promise of Christ is that the Law requirement is fulfilled. It does not replace the Law but shows us how to live in the Love of the Law, the Love in which it was given so that man could serve and know God. It is in the writing of Paul to Ephesus, I find a great zeal of the people for God, but then just a few years later, John records in , “But this I have against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first.” In many who came to Christ with great emotion, great zest and fervent love, they have become “lukewarm, tepid” and quite distasteful in God’s grace. They have set aside their love and returned to the pleasures of the world. They and their leaders have no zeal, no fire for the Word.

And I find that just as in the day of Ezra and Nehemiah, those who teach and love the Law are despised, they are thought as little and legalistic. Those who share that we are to live in accordance to the Word as taught to the exiles, the remnant and the new people in the land of Judea, that to have a good society, a healthy society, we must live within the Law of God. So when the psalmist says, “Puny and despised as I am, I do not forget your precepts.” I hold them dear to my heart. I may be despised, I may be thought of as legalistic, but I am bound with the Love of the Law giver. And statement that comes through in every passage of the law is that we are bound with Love to obey, not as slaves to a task master but as children to a loving Father. So it was with the spiritual leaders of the New Jerusalem. They presented a Old Law for a New People, but it is still the law that comes from Righteousness. To a people who condone divorce, adultery, exploitation of the people, the widows, elderly and the disabled, and yet lead our churches, I am weary. with a loud voice I cry out, where is the Law? Where is the teaching of the Word as God commanded? As Ezra complained about intermarriage (Pagans to Jews), and Idolatry (pleasure before God), and lack of intense worship with song and praise for the Law. We live in a world today that mocks devote worship and a zealous heart for the Word, the Whole Word.

The Psalmist says that. “Your Righteousness is eternal righteousness, Your Law holds true for ever!” Who then is man to tell me that because we are free from the bondage of sin, the LAW no longer has value? Who is it that reads the Christ Jesus came and replaced the covenant of Moses with a lawless one. What grace is there in rejection of God’s ever lasting, eternal law? Yes Righteous indeed is the Law and I will delight in it. As we read the bible, the Old and the new Covenant, we must take into our hearts that whenever God made a new covenant, He did not replace the old but refined it and expanded it. The Covenant with Adam was filled with promise, the Covenant with Abraham, with promise, the Covenant of Moses loaded with promise, the covenant with David, gave us Christ. And the Covenant of the Cross gave us life, but none of these covenants replace the elder. And while the atonement has been made by the Cross of Jesus, it did not exclude the responsibility of the believers to obey the commandments of God nor did it cause us to lose our zeal for the perfection of the love of God who gave us the Law. God gave Moses the Law so that man may know how to obey and serve Him. When Christ came we now know why to obey, we can understand the purpose of the Law and like Ezra and Nehemiah and the writers of the Psalms, we can understand to love it, not shun it as did the people of Jerusalem and Judea.

So while The psalmist laments the condition of the people, the lack of respect for God and his smallness before the people, he still cries out, “Though distress and anguish grip me, your Commandments are my delight.” Let our zeal for the Word and God’s Will through the Law be consuming in nature. Let is fill us with the desire to love and to serve God Forever! And his final cry is what drive us forward into the study and delight of the Word, “Eternally, your decrees – explain them to me,and I shall live.” Yes Lord, explain them to my heart! Let every part of me be filled with the law as an instrument of your Love. Let me see that I am not a slave to them but a lover of them as Christ loves me. Let me understand the depth of your Word, the greatness of you passion for me and your people. And let those who hear me share the Word and the Law, know that it is with the Love that Christ gives that I do so.


Listen

137 Righteous are you, O Lord,
and right are your rules.
138 You have appointed your testimonies in righteousness
and in all faithfulness.
139 My zeal consumes me,
because my foes forget your words.
140 Your promise is well tried,
and your servant loves it.
141 I am small and despised,
yet I do not forget your precepts.
142 Your righteousness is righteous forever,
and your law is true.
143 Trouble and anguish have found me out,
but your commandments are my delight.
144 Your testimonies are righteous forever;
give me understanding that I may live. (ESV)


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Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing. (ESV)


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138 You have appointed your testimonies in righteousness
and in all faithfulness. (ESV)


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139 My zeal consumes me,
because my foes forget your words. (ESV)


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52 The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” 53 So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. 55 For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. 56 Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like the bread [1] the fathers ate and died. Whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.” (ESV)

Footnotes

[1] 6:58 Greek lacks the bread


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141 I am small and despised,
yet I do not forget your precepts. (ESV)


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But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. (ESV)

Psalm 119:129-136 “Pe”

“Thy testimonies are wonderful:
therefore doth my soul keep them.
The entrance of thy words giveth light;
it giveth understanding unto the simple.
I opened my mouth and panted:
for I longed for thy commandments.
Look thou upon me, and be merciful unto me,
as thou used to do unto those that love thy name.
Order my steps in thy word;
and let not any iniquity have dominance over me.
Deliver me from the oppression of man;
so I will keep thy precepts.
Make thy face shine upon thy servant;
and teach me thy statutes.
Rivers of waters run down mine eyes,
because they keep not thy law.” (KJV)

The Psalmist, whom I believe to be Nehemiah, or by Ezra’s instructions to the priests, in this case, begins this stanza with the delight in the Law, the Torah. After many years in exile, the Hebrew Children have returned to Jerusalem and found the city and temple in ruin. The remnant has forgotten the Law and adapted the ways of the Assyrians and Persians. They have forsaken the teachings of the LORD Yahweh and married out of the faithful, they have begun to worship idols and taken on the customs of the pagans. The recurring theme of the Psalm is that God’s Precepts are wonderful, they are not to be taken light-heartily but embraced with passion. David says; “The Law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul. The decrees of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple.” ( -NLT). The people needed to be reminded of this. They have been in exile from the teaching of the Law for many years, they have forgotten the teachings, they no longer spoke the old language but now spoke Aramaic, the very written word has been lost to most and the Torah had to be explained to them in a new tongue and written down in a new script. They had to relearn the language of their fathers.

Today we have many translations of the text of the Old Testament, and many churches do not use the understandings of the Torah for teaching or for study. Yet to these people, they were as new words, new hope and a promise of God’s awesome might and glory. They received the instructions of Nehemiah as did Job when he said, “I long for the years gone by when God took care of me, when he lighted the way before me and I walked safely through the darkness,” ( NLT). Looking at we read into it that God’s Law is like a morning dawning, as the light grows in the east so does the light of the Word grow and warms us. It comforts us, it drives away the darkness. The Word, the Law, the teachings make us safe in the love of the Father. As sin hides us from peace, God’s Word drives out that darkness, it overcomes it. As Satan tries to hide in the dark, Jesus exposes him and we can see what is evil and unjust in God’s sight. As Christians today,we see through light of the Holy Spirit, we have learned what great Love God has for us. Because we know the sacrifice of Jesus we “pant expectancy” as a deer when it comes to the water. For we have seen the Living Water (). In Our purpose of life, are we still desiring to drink deep of the living water? Where are we walking? In a patched hot, dry desert or by the cool streams of springs of God’s Grace and Mercy? The message to the Children of Israel was to long for the commandments of the LORD, the desire of our hearts is to long for the Great commandment to Love with all of our being Our God and to love each other as equal to ourselves.

The Psalmist cries out for his people, “Come, show me your Mercy, as you do for all who love your name.” ( NLT). And God heard the prayer and he sent Jesus, His Son to die for us, giving us mercy. While the people were only looking for protection from their enemies, we see now that God has protected us fro the Great Enemy, Satan. And he has rescued us form eternal death and given us everlasting life. Yet in today’s temptations we surround ourselves with the very things that distract us, we justify our wrongness and pursue things that are ungodly and still call ourselves a people of God. Shame on us! We are no better than the remnant that lost their heritage while in captivity or exile. We have replaced the Wisdom of the Word with outlandish ideas of self-gain, self importance and into thinking we can dictate to God what is right and what is wrong. We justify our actions and tell ourselves that the Law of God is for us to desire what is good and what is evil. We continually sin against God and then deny that it is sin or we say that because God has forgiven us all sins, we can still commit them without recourse.

Because of the turmoil in the world today, because of the persecutions of Christians, because those in the West have taken on a god of wealth and perversion we are no different from the Children of Israel and Judea who return to Judea and Jerusalem to face the constant harassment of their neighbors. As the trials we face today to preserve the faithfulness, we cry out as did David, “With regard to the works of man, by the word of Your lips I have avoided the ways of the violent. My steps have held fast to your path.” ( -ESV). Or have we? Do we still linger in the desires of the violent, those who seek to take and not give, to the desires of the flesh and the enjoyment of things not of God? Are we like David in saying to God, “Keep back your servant also from presumptuous and let them not have dominion over me! Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression.” ( ESV). There seems to me there are to many weak an senseless reasons to flee from God’s ways and to hide from faithfulness. But we are to stand up to these temptations, these aggressions and trials. We need to be as the Psalmist says to the people, let God guide you, let the Spirit of God teach you to overcome evil and to be protected in Righteousness from any and all evil and wickedness.

Paul told the Roman Christian community, “When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners.” . And again he said “Do not let sin control the way you live! (or do not let sin reign in your body which is subject to death), do not give in to its lustful desires.” ( NLT). We are in a battle to preserve our souls, to stand up to the weakness that prevails around us, to reject the sins of the world that corrupt our beliefs and our Salvation. Are we no different from the Jews returning from Babylon? Do we harbour wrongness in our hearts and claim that we are still faithful to Jesus? Just because we say we are Christians does not mean that we are faithful to God any more than it meant that the Returning exiles were faithful to the Law of Moses.

But now as was in the day of Ezra and Nehemiah, we are surrounded by evil and wickedness. Our Media, our neighbors and your enemies seek to destroy our resolve to follow God’s way. The psalmist shouts out to the people and to God, “Rescue me!…then I can follow Your commandments.” In the prayer of Jesus, “Lead me not into temptation but deliver me from evil” David called out to God (Psalm142:5-6 NLT), “Hear my cry,for I am very low. Rescue me from my persecutors, for they are too strong for me.” WE can not stand “Then I pray to You,O LORD. I say,’You are my place of refuge. You are all I really want in life.alone or be brave enough to resist that which oppresses our soul. We need to cry out to God, “Protect – Preserve – Provide!” Lean onto God’s understanding, read the Word of God and learn from it how to pray, how to live and why to Love God.

This brings me to the point of the lesson, (NLT)”Rivers of tears gush from my eyes because the people disobey your Law.” . Throughout my life I have heard the heresy that we can continue to sin because we have been forgiven the sins we have yet to commit. But oh that is so untrue. We are still called to obey God, to not sin. We are told that those who claim to know God and yet continue to revel in the flesh will be dealt with more harshly than non-believers. As Jesus took our burdens to the cross, His sorrow was so great that He sweat blood, So great was the pain on the cross that he cries out to God, “Why have you forsaken me?” It is like the psalmist knew that regardless of the reassurance from God not to foresake the people if they keep His Law, they would time and time again. And even after the death and resurrection, those who followed Jesus would run away and hide. And over the centuries that followed, men would distort His Word, abuse His Love and ignore His Laws. Oh what sorrow it must have been for Jesus as He hung there knowing that man would not keep their word to God, they would turn away from His Statutes, His Decrees, His Love. “When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, your lives will produce evil results: sexual immorality, impure thoughts, eagerness for lustful pleasures, idolatry, participation in demonic activities, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, divisions, the feeling that everybody is wrong except those of your own little group.” ( (NLT) All these thing are the sins that violate the Law of God’s Love. All these attitudes cause our Lord Jesus to cry. For all these sins that filled the people returning to Israel and Judea from captivity still reign in the hearts of those who cry out “Lord, Lord!” and Our Father in heaven will not hear them for their sins revolt against the Love of the Cross. Add to these offences, Envy, drunkenness, sexual sins, wild living, and other sins. “Let me tell you again, as I have before, THAT ANYONE LIVING THAT SORT OF LIFE WILL NOT INHERIT THE KINGDOM GOD!” .

Joel told the people, in a Word from God, “Between the vestibule and the altar let the priests, the minister of the LORD weep…” (a ESV). God has sent judgement to his people because of their sins. Micah laments the voice of God in saying, “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.” and he follows with the Words from God to the sinful, arrogant people of the land with, “The voice of the LORD cries to the city and it is sound wisdom to fear Your Name;…. ‘Hear the rod and Him who appointed it!'” (Read ) For these reasons, the Psalmist weeps, because the people have still not heard in their hearts the Wisdom of God’s Will. Why then, even after we have come to the saving Grace of Jesus, do we seek to destroy the gift by returning to the ways of our past? Jesus told His disciples that we must continue to forgive the repentant sinner, but I as read , I see Jesus say, “Temptations to sin are sure to come, but woe to the one through whom they come!” And when it is our leaders, our ministers that tempt us with their sins, then woe be to them! When it is us who lead our children into sin because we struck down goodness with pride and envy and greed, then woe be to us!

For this we must also weep because Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. The Slave does not remain in the house forever: the son remains in the house forever. So if the son sets you free, you are free indeed.” But are we to return to the slavery of sin? No we are not! we are set free by Jesus and His grace but if we return to sin then we are again it’s slave and a slave by choice. For this Our Lord must weep! Paul told the Roman Christians, both Gentile and Jew, “For all who have sinned under the law will perish without the law, and all who have sinned under the law will be judged by the law. …For the Gentiles, who did not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even if they do not have the law. They show the work of the law on their hearts. …” (See ) the same goes for us today as Christians, if we who have the law of Christ, fail to abide are we then less than those who not knowing Christ abide in His teachings? Oh that I might cry for the many who claim Christ in the mouth but not in their hearts. We are to be careful in what we claims faith, because “For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin” (b). But remember this also, “We who are strong have an OBLIGATION to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves.” (). Those who are in leadership, who are the teachers of the Word must have the fortitude to lead, to encourage and to REBUKE and not to be examples of sin. We should be those who cry out for the sins of our brethren, to show the righteousness of obedience to the Word, to follow in every way the commandments of Love and service to the Word.

The psalmist weeps, tears gush down his face like a river because the people are tempted by the world to turn away from God’s instructions. Just as James wrote, “But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then the desire when it is conceived give birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth DEATH!”(). What then is there so enticing about sin? that is so grand that eternal life is worth placing in jeopardy? Oh I know that there are those who say that they have eternal life even as they sin, but is that really so? Did we ever have eternal life if we constantly turn from Christ and rejoin Satan in living with sin as our god? As I write this, I am constrained not to cry myself, because I see the world who says “I believe” yet with every breath they seek only the things that are not of god, but of the flesh. The Prophets wept for the people of Israel and Judea as they forsook Their God for the things of their neighbors, the false gods, the wealth of false prosperity and the oppression of their own. Today, I see governments who make claims that they represent God and godliness yet abuse the poor, the elderly, the weak and the infirm. So often we hear the politicians, “I am seeking after God” and then they reward the rich, line thier pockets with wealth from lavish gifts and take away from the working poor, the elderly and education, medical care and other important things in defiance of Jesus commandment to care for their neighbor. To many times I see churches close down ministries and give their leaders vast amounts of wealth and power, ignoring the needs of their communities wretched.

The Psalmist cries with tears like streams because they have forgotten to “…keep His word,in him is truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in Him: WHOEVER SAYS HE ABIDES IN HIM OUGHT TO WALK IN THE SAME WAY IN WHICH HE WALKED.” (1 John1:4-5 ESV). But as the psalmist knows, “Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness.” ( ESV). and we are commanded through John, “No one who abides in [Jesus] keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen Him or known Him. Little children, let no one deceive you. WHOEVER PRACTICES RIGHTEOUSNESS IS RIGHTEOUS. WHOEVER MAKES A PRACTICE OF SINNING IS OF THE DEVIL, for the Devil has been sinning from the beginning.” ( ESV). So this is the choice; be in Christ and resist temptation and sin or live outside of christ and continue to reject His grace by sinning. Are we to continue to live in the flesh, to ignore the Law of Love and the Commandments of God or are we to truly abide in Christ and live in every way for His wonderful grace and forgiveness by obeying the Testaments of forgiveness, service to each other and loving to obey His every command?

John tells us that “We know that every one who has been born of God does not keep on sinning, but who was born of God protects him, and the evil one does not touch him.” ( ESV). But then, if we continue to sin then are we rejecting Christ? Are we then still held in control by Satan? Are we carrying the ways of the world and rejecting the ways of Jesus? Were we ever truly “Saved”? And Angels weep and all the saints in Heaven and the very Salvation of Jesus mourn because we have made a choice to follow after Evil rather than Righteousness. On This very sad understanding I leave you; Repent and sin no more! Go forth and do godly works, speak with godly lips and live in the most godly way seeking after the things of God and reject the desires of the world and the death that it can only offer.


Listen

The law of the Lord is perfect, [1]
reviving the soul;
the testimony of the Lord is sure,
making wise the simple;
the precepts of the Lord are right,
rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the Lord is pure,
enlightening the eyes; (ESV)

Footnotes

[1] 19:7 Or blameless


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“Oh, that I were as in the months of old,
as in the days when God watched over me,
when his lamp shone upon my head,
and by his light I walked through darkness, (ESV)


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130 The unfolding of your words gives light;
it imparts understanding to the simple. (ESV)


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10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” 11 The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock.” 13 Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. [1] The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (ESV)

Footnotes

[1] 4:14 Greek forever


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132 Turn to me and be gracious to me,
as is your way with those who love your name. (ESV)


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With regard to the works of man, by the word of your lips
I have avoided the ways of the violent.
My steps have held fast to your paths;
my feet have not slipped. (ESV)


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13 Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins;
let them not have dominion over me!
Then I shall be blameless,
and innocent of great transgression. (ESV)


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For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. (ESV)


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12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. (ESV)


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136 My eyes shed streams of tears,
because people do not keep your law. (ESV)


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19 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy, [1] drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. (ESV)

Footnotes

[1] 5:21 Some manuscripts add murder


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22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, (ESV)


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17 Between the vestibule and the altar
let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep
and say, “Spare your people, O Lord,
and make not your heritage a reproach,
a byword among the nations. [1]
Why should they say among the peoples,
‘Where is their God?’” (ESV)

Footnotes

[1] 2:17 Or reproach, that the nations should rule over them


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They leap upon the city,
they run upon the walls,
they climb up into the houses,
they enter through the windows like a thief.

10 The earth quakes before them;
the heavens tremble.
The sun and the moon are darkened,
and the stars withdraw their shining.
11 The Lord utters his voice
before his army,
for his camp is exceedingly great;
he who executes his word is powerful.
For the day of the Lord is great and very awesome;
who can endure it?

12 “Yet even now,” declares the Lord,
“return to me with all your heart,
with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning;
13 and rend your hearts and not your garments.”
Return to the Lord your God,
for he is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love;
and he relents over disaster.
14 Who knows whether he will not turn and relent,
and leave a blessing behind him,
a grain offering and a drink offering
for the Lord your God?

15 Blow the trumpet in Zion;
consecrate a fast;
call a solemn assembly; (ESV)


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17:1 And he said to his disciples, “Temptations to sin [1] are sure to come, but woe to the one through whom they come! (ESV)

Footnotes

[1] 17:1 Greek Stumbling blocks


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12 For all who have sinned without the law will also perish without the law, and all who have sinned under the law will be judged by the law. 13 For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified. 14 For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them 16 on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus. (ESV)


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14:1 As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions. One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables. Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him. Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master [1] that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand.

One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God. For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.

10 Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God; 11 for it is written,

“As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me,
and every tongue shall confess [2] to God.”

12 So then each of us will give an account of himself to God.

13 Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother. 14 I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself, but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean. 15 For if your brother is grieved by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love. By what you eat, do not destroy the one for whom Christ died. 16 So do not let what you regard as good be spoken of as evil. 17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. 18 Whoever thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. 19 So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.

20 Do not, for the sake of food, destroy the work of God. Everything is indeed clean, but it is wrong for anyone to make another stumble by what he eats. 21 It is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that causes your brother to stumble. [3] 22 The faith that you have, keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who has no reason to pass judgment on himself for what he approves. 23 But whoever has doubts is condemned if he eats, because the eating is not from faith. For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin. [4]

15:1 We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. For Christ did not please himself, but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached you fell on me.” For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.

For I tell you that Christ became a servant to the circumcised to show God’s truthfulness, in order to confirm the promises given to the patriarchs, and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written,

“Therefore I will praise you among the Gentiles,
and sing to your name.”

10 And again it is said,

“Rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people.”

11 And again,

“Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles,
and let all the peoples extol him.”

12 And again Isaiah says,

“The root of Jesse will come,
even he who arises to rule the Gentiles;
in him will the Gentiles hope.”

13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

14 I myself am satisfied about you, my brothers, [5] that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another. 15 But on some points I have written to you very boldly by way of reminder, because of the grace given me by God 16 to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles in the priestly service of the gospel of God, so that the offering of the Gentiles may be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit. 17 In Christ Jesus, then, I have reason to be proud of my work for God. 18 For I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me to bring the Gentiles to obedience—by word and deed, 19 by the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God—so that from Jerusalem and all the way around to Illyricum I have fulfilled the ministry of the gospel of Christ; 20 and thus I make it my ambition to preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named, lest I build on someone else’s foundation, 21 but as it is written,

“Those who have never been told of him will see,
and those who have never heard will understand.”

22 This is the reason why I have so often been hindered from coming to you. 23 But now, since I no longer have any room for work in these regions, and since I have longed for many years to come to you, 24 I hope to see you in passing as I go to Spain, and to be helped on my journey there by you, once I have enjoyed your company for a while. 25 At present, however, I am going to Jerusalem bringing aid to the saints. 26 For Macedonia and Achaia have been pleased to make some contribution for the poor among the saints at Jerusalem. 27 For they were pleased to do it, and indeed they owe it to them. For if the Gentiles have come to share in their spiritual blessings, they ought also to be of service to them in material blessings. 28 When therefore I have completed this and have delivered to them what has been collected, [6] I will leave for Spain by way of you. 29 I know that when I come to you I will come in the fullness of the blessing [7] of Christ.

30 I appeal to you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God on my behalf, 31 that I may be delivered from the unbelievers in Judea, and that my service for Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints, 32 so that by God’s will I may come to you with joy and be refreshed in your company. 33 May the God of peace be with you all. Amen.

16:1 I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a servant [8] of the church at Cenchreae, that you may welcome her in the Lord in a way worthy of the saints, and help her in whatever she may need from you, for she has been a patron of many and of myself as well.

Greet Prisca and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, who risked their necks for my life, to whom not only I give thanks but all the churches of the Gentiles give thanks as well. Greet also the church in their house. Greet my beloved Epaenetus, who was the first convert [9] to Christ in Asia. Greet Mary, who has worked hard for you. Greet Andronicus and Junia, [10] my kinsmen and my fellow prisoners. They are well known to the apostles, [11] and they were in Christ before me. Greet Ampliatus, my beloved in the Lord. Greet Urbanus, our fellow worker in Christ, and my beloved Stachys. 10 Greet Apelles, who is approved in Christ. Greet those who belong to the family of Aristobulus. 11 Greet my kinsman Herodion. Greet those in the Lord who belong to the family of Narcissus. 12 Greet those workers in the Lord, Tryphaena and Tryphosa. Greet the beloved Persis, who has worked hard in the Lord. 13 Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord; also his mother, who has been a mother to me as well. 14 Greet Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas, and the brothers [12] who are with them. 15 Greet Philologus, Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas, and all the saints who are with them. 16 Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ greet you.

17 I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. 18 For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, [13] and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive. 19 For your obedience is known to all, so that I rejoice over you, but I want you to be wise as to what is good and innocent as to what is evil. 20 The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

21 Timothy, my fellow worker, greets you; so do Lucius and Jason and Sosipater, my kinsmen.

22 I Tertius, who wrote this letter, greet you in the Lord.

23 Gaius, who is host to me and to the whole church, greets you. Erastus, the city treasurer, and our brother Quartus, greet you. [14]

25 Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages 26 but has now been disclosed and through the prophetic writings has been made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith— 27 to the only wise God be glory forevermore through Jesus Christ! Amen. (ESV)

Footnotes

[1] 14:4 Or lord
[2] 14:11 Or shall give praise
[3] 14:21 Some manuscripts add or be hindered or be weakened
[4] 14:23 Some manuscripts insert here 16:25-27
[5] 15:14 Or brothers and sisters; also verse 30
[6] 15:28 Greek sealed to them this fruit
[7] 15:29 Some manuscripts insert of the gospel
[8] 16:1 Or deaconess
[9] 16:5 Greek firstfruit
[10] 16:7 Or Junias
[11] 16:7 Or messengers
[12] 16:14 Or brothers and sisters; also verse 17
[13] 16:18 Greek their own belly
[14] 16:23 Some manuscripts insert verse 24: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.


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15:1 We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. (ESV)


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15 Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death. (ESV)


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Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. (ESV)


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No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. (ESV)


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18 We know that everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning, but he who was born of God protects him, and the evil one does not touch him. (ESV)

God’s Dominion of the “god-kings”:Psalm 82

“I say, “You are gods and children of the Most High. but in death you are mere men. You will fall as any prince. for all must die.” (KJV)

is a song of the scribe Asaph, and while we may not know when he lived it can be assumed that this psalm is written for the benefit of the Children of Israel suffering from oppression either by their kings, abusive priests or by their neighboring kingdoms. As all the kingdoms surrounding Israel/Judea believed their kings to be gods it is fair to make such conclussion. The Psalm begins with, “God presides over heaven’s court.” (NLT) and that is a reminder that no god-king or false prophet or despot can create a law or rule that is greater than that of the Most High God. This Psalm is timely for every age because Israel has always been surrounded by those who set their own law above the Law of God.

We, as those who are the heirs of the kingdom by the blood of Christ, are also surrounded by unjust law, evil rulers and oppressive governments. If one of the children of God are suffering for His sake, we all suffer. If one of His People, Jew or Christian are endangered, all are in danger. There are three types of god-kings today. Those like the rulers of Zimbabwe, North Korea and Burma proclaim themselves as “gods” and demand to be worshipped. Others who created theocracies and impose ruling that impose hardships, slaughter and oppression on their own people and declare war on others who refuse to follow thier ways blindly as in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Libya other such nations are also ‘god-kings’ Those who repress all other religions or consider Religion to be detrimental to their oppressive ways have set themselves up as “god-kings”.

The Psalmist, Asaph, proclaims a message directly from God (YHWY), that is both blunt and cynical of them. reads, “Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”(ESV). While this pertains to the rulers that have set themselves up as “gods” it also pertains to us as members of society. I have heard many good christians complain that it is not the responsibility of government to care for the elderly, sick, poor, orphaned or the weak and needy, this verse clearly speaks directly from the voice of God that it is the goal of good and godly government to be the caretakers of those who can not care for themselves. But the issue I write on is not about that but of the “god-kings” that are causing much harm to the Christians, Jews and even those who do not proclaim God. Asaph says from the voice of God, “They have neither knowledge nor understanding, they walk about in darkness.” ( ESV). And it is in darkness that they live. They know nothing of the Compassion of God, nor do they understand that a people who live without fear and eager to serve their kings.

At each turn, nations, even those who proclaim freedom, seek to oppress Christ, to reject the Law of God, to oppress the weak and to steal from the poor. They refuse to obey the command of God to care for the elderly, the widows, the orphans nor to they care that they let their subjects go hungry and homeless because of their greed. While we look at nations like Egypt, Saudi Arabia, India, China and others as our “friends” we excuse their atrocities to their own people. We call Pakistan good neighbor even though they have oppressive laws that allow innocent people to be killed, women and children to be raped and their own subjects to be treated as slaves to Muslim thugs.

There are many verses in Psalms that tell of God’s retribution and His Justice. He will see that even the mightiest will fall. As has the leaders of land throughout history. In the end no tyrant, no despot, no villain as outlived God. All have died, most by the violence they lived by. The Psalmist finishes his song with a cry and a call to God to judge the earth for God (through Jesus) will inherit all nations. Remember the words of Paul, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord, and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. For the wrongdoer will be paid back for the wrong he has done, and there is no partiality.” (ESV)

To the many who live as the “god-kings”, you are doomed to die while we who live and serve Christ have life eternally with the True King.


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nevertheless, like men you shall die,
and fall like any prince.” [1] (ESV)

Footnotes

[1] 82:7 Or fall as one man, O princes


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82:1 God has taken his place in the divine council;
in the midst of the gods he holds judgment:
“How long will you judge unjustly
and show partiality to the wicked? Selah
Give justice to the weak and the fatherless;
maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute.
Rescue the weak and the needy;
deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”

They have neither knowledge nor understanding,
they walk about in darkness;
all the foundations of the earth are shaken.

I said, “You are gods,
sons of the Most High, all of you;
nevertheless, like men you shall die,
and fall like any prince.” [1]

Arise, O God, judge the earth;
for you shall inherit all the nations! (ESV)

Footnotes

[1] 82:7 Or fall as one man, O princes


Listen

Give justice to the weak and the fatherless;
maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute.
Rescue the weak and the needy;
deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”

They have neither knowledge nor understanding,
they walk about in darkness;
all the foundations of the earth are shaken. (ESV)


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They have neither knowledge nor understanding,
they walk about in darkness;
all the foundations of the earth are shaken. (ESV)


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23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. 25 For the wrongdoer will be paid back for the wrong he has done, and there is no partiality. (ESV)

Psalm 119:121-128: Ayin

Don’t leave me to the mercies of my enemies,
for I have done what is just and right.
Please guarantee a blessing for me.
Don’t let those who are arrogant oppress me!
My eyes strain to see Your deliverance,
to see the truth of your promise fulfilled.
I am your servant;
deal with me in unfailing love,
and teach me your principles.
Give discernment to me, your servant;
then I will understand Your decrees,
LORD, it is time to act,
for these evil people have broken Your Law.
Truly, each of your commandments is right.
That is why I hate every false way.

As Ezra and Nehemiah struggle to rebuild the temple walls and to restore the sanctuary, the returning exiles are constantly harassed and attacked by the people living in Judea. The sad thing is that these people who were assailing them were those who were left behind and by blood the same as those building the temple. Their faith had been diluted and twisted by the Assyrians, Babylonians and Persians. They no longer relied on the God of their fathers. Those people who should have welcomed the rebuilding of the Temple had rejected it and despised His People. Today we see the same twisted logic entering the churches. As the sins of the flesh are welcomed into the congregations we see a weakening of the Word of God. Fornication is O.K., Adultery is acceptable, Divorce is encouraged, homosexuality is ordained as right. “Don’t let those who are arrogant oppress me!”

Not to long ago, I was under attack by those who do not claim the Divine Nature of Jesus and who would use the Word of God as a weapon to destroy rather than to build up, encourage and edify Christ. In we read that David administered justice to all, that none were dealt unfairly. We know that David had a heart after God. As was Job, he was clothed in righteousness, yet he also failed sometimes. The psalmist knows of the heart of David and the righteousness of Job. He asks that he also do what is right and just with the Children of Israel. He asks that God pledge to him goodness and to protect him from his enemies. Do we seek what is right and just among the Children of Redemption? Are we judgemental and seek after unwise council? Or do we come to God with petition and contrition to do what is just before the Lord.

The psalmist cries out, “My eyes long for Your salvation and the fulfillment of Your righteous Promise.”(). But we live in the age that the Promise is made real. Jesus has come to redeem and to make right the ways of man. As we are the New Temple, restored by Grace, we are proof of the Promise given to David, Moses and to Isaiah. God has shown us His everlasting Kindness (), He has remembered His Covenant (), He has saved us with His unfailing Love (). By Christ, His Son, He has given to us everlasting Joy.

God’s Grace of the Spirit of Hope, the Divine Breath that breathed eternal life into our weariness, has fulfilled His Promise. Now we can truly be good and faithful servants to His Perfect will. Now we can have understanding that escaped the grasp of the ancients. Filled with the Holy Spirit, we can see the wisdom of God that eluded the sons of Adam.

“Now is the time for the LORD to act.”(). Not in the ways of Man but in His strength. And God acts not with a vengeance, even though it is in His Power, but with love. He turns away the sins of man and offers his love, forgiveness and His compassion. He did this on the Cross for you and for me who were once counted as enemies. And as was in the day of Nehemiah and Ezra, we still sin. We still take the Word of God and use it to justify our faults and our shortcomings. Can we not see that? Therefore work in us O LORD, Your righteous fire to burn away the dross, the things that separate ourselves from your love. We have continually broken Your Law of Mercy and Grace to continue living as enemies of righteousness while still claiming to be your faithful. We lie to you O God with our lives, untrue to your Grace.

And although we say that we love His commandment better than fine gold, we, in truth, love ourselves more than we love His Word. Repeatedly the Psalmist says in the Psalm, I love Your Precepts, Your Commandments, Your Law! But we still rebuke them, disregard them and ignore His Way. We say that we consider all the ways of the LORD to be fair, just and right but still we do not follow in them. We say that we hate every false and evil way but still we persist in living in the ways of the flesh without regard to His Holiness and His Judgement. We say the “magic words”, I am saved and live as do the unsaved.

Not only is this the time for God to act. It is the time for us to react to the will of Salvation, to live holy and blameless lives before God and man. It is time to live in the righteousness of Christ Jesus. Now is the Day of the Lord to be walking straight and steady on the narrow Path of the Lord. Do not waver, do not lean right or left, but keep your eyes upon the Way of the Lord. Be as directed by Paul to the fellowship in Corinth; “…do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers,nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the Kingdom of God.” ( ESV). To live in such is it deny God’s Word and the Redemption of Jesus. You will be counted as the “evil people who have broken the Law of God.


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15 So David reigned over all Israel. And David administered justice and equity to all his people. (ESV)


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123 My eyes long for your salvation
and for the fulfillment of your righteous promise. (ESV)


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51:1 Have mercy on me, [1] O God,
according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy
blot out my transgressions. (ESV)

Footnotes

[1] 51:1 Or Be gracious to me


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45 For their sake he remembered his covenant,
and relented according to the abundance of his steadfast love. (ESV)


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26 Help me, O Lord my God!
Save me according to your steadfast love! (ESV)


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126 It is time for the Lord to act,
for your law has been broken. (ESV)


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Or do you not know that the unrighteous [1] will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, [2] 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. (ESV)

Footnotes

[1] 6:9 Or wrongdoers
[2] 6:9 The two Greek terms translated by this phrase refer to the passive and active partners in consensual homosexual acts

“I Shall Not Die, But LIVE, and Declare the Works of the LORD” Psalm 118:17

We live in trying times. Our religious freedoms are slowly being diminished and our right to speak of the ways of the LORD GOD are being eroded like the cliffs on the sea. The stone foundation of our nations are no longer secure as the enemies of Salvation reach out to strangle us. In the nations that once declared Christ as Supreme in their laws now find ways to say that Christ is irreverent and out of step with social progress and stifle our voice.

The media, the press and the law makers, all find ways to silence our right to speak of God’s Law and the Promise of Christ. They make mockery of our Faith and our fortitude, our resolve to stay faithful to the ways of righteousness. In these difficult and aggravating times I turn to for comfort. From the opening verses of this procession hymn to the very last there is the song of Hope and Jubilation.

“Let Israel say,(that is the Nation)
His steadfast Love endures forever.
Let the house of Arron say, (The leaders of the churches)
His steadfast Love endures forever.
Let those who fear the LORD say, (Those who are faithful to God)
His steadfast Love endures forever.”

When the world turns against us, we are to rejoice in the blessings of the Most High God. As a society, we are to declare God’s enduring love for us. Our priests, pastors and spiritual leaders are to live His Holy Name up. And we as the congregation of Christ, are to sing praises of His Salvation. As we are surrounded by the trials of the world, we are to rely on God and the Law of His Loving-kindness to see us through. We are His eternally and our life with him is forever. As a nation, as a priesthood of believers and as a congregation of love, we are to retain an attitude of praise to the Creator.

says in part, “the LORD is on my side,…I shall look in triumph…” Nothing the world throws at true believers will sway them from the pleasure that God provides. tells us, “It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man.” With God on our side, the side that is surrounded with Righteousness, godly service, purity of body and spirit and abounding love for one another, how can the wicked ever prevail against our souls? The bodies we wear are of the world, made of flesh and bone. The homes we live in are of brick, wood and mortar. None of these things will last, they are of the world but we are not of the world, our souls are of heavenly things. Although the world may seem to triumph over us, that victory is short lived.

Every were we go, we are surrounded by the sinful nature of man. Wickedness and sin penetrate our workplaces, our schools and our homes (through the media). Even our churches seem to buckle under the weight of sin as leaders lead adulterous lives, condone homosexuality and extort poor people with false promises of prosperity. Yet under this barrage of ungodliness those who live in the rightness of God’s pure Law stand strong. Because we know that the true life began with Christ Jesus and is assured by the promise of the Holy Spirit (see ), we are held in the “Bosom of Abraham” and shall rest in the palm of His Hand.

We know that “I shall not die, but I shall live, and recount the deeds of the LORD.” (). With the grace of God and our desire to live wholly and honestly in His Ways, we are already triumphant. As we see our brothers and sisters tormented and slaughtered in strange lands, we are confident that they are victorious by their Faith. As we see our ideals of faith weakened and dismissed by permissive courts under false notions that we have a duty to protect the sinful, we remain strong. When the final battle is waged, God will send the man with the writing case (Jesus) to place the mark of salvation on our foreheads and none pf the wicked shall withstand his harsh judgement (Read ). We are always to adhere to His ways, His Words and His Love. “The LORD is my portion; I promise to keep Your words. …When I think on my ways, my feet turn to Your Testimonies.” (). In order to walk in the victory to the heavenly temple of the Most High, we are to keep our souls right with Him. Often I stress this little preached fact. Only those who obey God truly love Him. Only those who live to serve God in righteous living, are counted as the redeemed. To say Lord, I believe and not live in belief is to lie to God and deny salvation. Even Satan believes in God!

To get back on track, and following tell us, “OPEN the gates of RIGHEOUSNESS, that I may enter through them…I thank You that You have answered me and have become my salvation.” And, “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. This is the LORD’s doing…” (see ; ; and ). Jesus is the foundation stone that the Kingdom of God is built on. Through Him we walk in triumph over the true enemy of our souls. “Let us be glad and rejoice in it!” Are you living in triumph or are you coasting along on the seas of despair? Are you building on the foundation of Christ or are you stumbling over it? Are you singing praises to God’s Glory with thanksgiving or are you moaning on the wayside, lost and dejected? It is the time now to say with an open heart, filled with gratitude for the blessings bestowed upon us, “You are my God,and I will give thanks to You. You are my God; I will extol You. Oh give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; for His steadfast love endures FOREVER!” (


Listen

118:1 Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
for his steadfast love endures forever!

Let Israel say,
“His steadfast love endures forever.”
Let the house of Aaron say,
“His steadfast love endures forever.”
Let those who fear the Lord say,
“His steadfast love endures forever.”

Out of my distress I called on the Lord;
the Lord answered me and set me free.
The Lord is on my side; I will not fear.
What can man do to me?
The Lord is on my side as my helper;
I shall look in triumph on those who hate me.

It is better to take refuge in the Lord
than to trust in man.
It is better to take refuge in the Lord
than to trust in princes.

10 All nations surrounded me;
in the name of the Lord I cut them off!
11 They surrounded me, surrounded me on every side;
in the name of the Lord I cut them off!
12 They surrounded me like bees;
they went out like a fire among thorns;
in the name of the Lord I cut them off!
13 I was pushed hard, [1] so that I was falling,
but the Lord helped me.

14 The Lord is my strength and my song;
he has become my salvation.
15 Glad songs of salvation
are in the tents of the righteous:
“The right hand of the Lord does valiantly,
16 the right hand of the Lord exalts,
the right hand of the Lord does valiantly!”

17 I shall not die, but I shall live,
and recount the deeds of the Lord.
18 The Lord has disciplined me severely,
but he has not given me over to death.

19 Open to me the gates of righteousness,
that I may enter through them
and give thanks to the Lord.
20 This is the gate of the Lord;
the righteous shall enter through it.
21 I thank you that you have answered me
and have become my salvation.
22 The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone. [2]
23 This is the Lord’s doing;
it is marvelous in our eyes.
24 This is the day that the Lord has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.

25 Save us, we pray, O Lord!
O Lord, we pray, give us success!

26 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!
We bless you from the house of the Lord.
27 The Lord is God,
and he has made his light to shine upon us.
Bind the festal sacrifice with cords,
up to the horns of the altar!

28 You are my God, and I will give thanks to you;
you are my God; I will extol you.
29 Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
for his steadfast love endures forever! (ESV)

Footnotes

[1] 118:13 Hebrew You (that is, the enemy) pushed me hard
[2] 118:22 Hebrew the head of the corner


Listen

Let Israel say,
“His steadfast love endures forever.”
Let the house of Aaron say,
“His steadfast love endures forever.”
Let those who fear the Lord say,
“His steadfast love endures forever.” (ESV)


Listen

Out of my distress I called on the Lord;
the Lord answered me and set me free.
The Lord is on my side; I will not fear.
What can man do to me?
The Lord is on my side as my helper;
I shall look in triumph on those who hate me. (ESV)


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It is better to take refuge in the Lord
than to trust in man. (ESV)


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Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us [1] for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known [2] to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, 12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. 13 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee [3] of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, [4] to the praise of his glory. (ESV)

Footnotes

[1] 1:5 Or before him in love, having predestined us
[2] 1:9 Or he lavished upon us in all wisdom and insight, making known . . .
[3] 1:14 Or down payment
[4] 1:14 Or until God redeems his possession


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17 I shall not die, but I shall live,
and recount the deeds of the Lord. (ESV)


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9:1 Then he cried in my ears with a loud voice, saying, “Bring near the executioners of the city, each with his destroying weapon in his hand.” And behold, six men came from the direction of the upper gate, which faces north, each with his weapon for slaughter in his hand, and with them was a man clothed in linen, with a writing case at his waist. And they went in and stood beside the bronze altar.

Now the glory of the God of Israel had gone up from the cherub on which it rested to the threshold of the house. And he called to the man clothed in linen, who had the writing case at his waist. And the Lord said to him, “Pass through the city, through Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all the abominations that are committed in it.” And to the others he said in my hearing, “Pass through the city after him, and strike. Your eye shall not spare, and you shall show no pity. Kill old men outright, young men and maidens, little children and women, but touch no one on whom is the mark. And begin at my sanctuary.” So they began with the elders who were before the house. Then he said to them, “Defile the house, and fill the courts with the slain. Go out.” So they went out and struck in the city. And while they were striking, and I was left alone, I fell upon my face, and cried, “Ah, Lord God! Will you destroy all the remnant of Israel in the outpouring of your wrath on Jerusalem?”

Then he said to me, “The guilt of the house of Israel and Judah is exceedingly great. The land is full of blood, and the city full of injustice. For they say, ‘The Lord has forsaken the land, and the Lord does not see.’ 10 As for me, my eye will not spare, nor will I have pity; I will bring their deeds upon their heads.”

11 And behold, the man clothed in linen, with the writing case at his waist, brought back word, saying, “I have done as you commanded me.” (ESV)


Listen)

57 The Lord is my portion;
I promise to keep your words.

Psalm 119:59 (Listen

57 The Lord is my portion;
I promise to keep your words.

Psalm 119:59 (Listen)

59 When I think on my ways,
I turn my feet to your testimonies; (ESV)


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19 Open to me the gates of righteousness,
that I may enter through them
and give thanks to the Lord. (ESV)


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42 Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures:

“‘The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone; [1]
this was the Lord’s doing,
and it is marvelous in our eyes’?

43 Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people producing its fruits. 44 And the one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.” [2] (ESV)

Footnotes

[1] 21:42 Greek the head of the corner
[2] 21:44 Some manuscripts omit verse 44


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10 let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by him this man is standing before you well. 11 This Jesus [1] is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. [2] 12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (ESV)

Footnotes

[1] 4:11 Greek This one
[2] 4:11 Greek the head of the corner


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As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For it stands in Scripture:

“Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone,
a cornerstone chosen and precious,
and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”

So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe,

“The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone,” [1]

and

“A stone of stumbling,
and a rock of offense.”

They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do. (ESV)

Footnotes

[1] 2:7 Greek the head of the corner


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28 You are my God, and I will give thanks to you;
you are my God; I will extol you.
29 Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
for his steadfast love endures forever! (ESV)

Psalm 119:113-120 (Sameck)

“I hate those who are undecided about You,
but my choice is clear – I love Your Law.
You are my refuge and my shield;
Your Word is my only source of Hope.
Get out of my life, you evil minded people,
for I intend to obey the commands of my God.
LORD, sustain me, and I will be saved;
then I will meditate on your principles continually.
But you have rejected all who stray away from Your principles.
They are only fooling themselves.
All the wicked of the earth are the scum you skim off;
no wonder I love to obey Your decrees!
I tremble in fear of You:
I fear Your judgments.”

(NLT)

There are many who proclaim to love God and who are professing to be “born again Christians” who live in a double minded world. The author of has come from Babylon only to find that the remnant who was left behind has adopted the religion and culture of the Assyrians and Persians and corrupted their faith in the God of their ancestors.

While claiming to be faithful to God, they have in fact, deserted Him and the Law of Moses. He has come to hate these people that want to corrupt his Faith and the Law among the returning exiles. The is choice is clear! The only avenue to follow is one that holds the evil in the land with great contempt (see ) and to love the Law with a zealous heart. The writer is concerned that these people who have corrupted the word and joined with the “world view” will dilute and distort the faithful. Is that not also something that has happened in the churches today? Haven’t too many believers succumb to the teachings that divorce, abortion, sexual misconduct and homosexuality are not “sin”? All around us we see the Word of God weakened or outright attacked and the people who want to follow the Word of God and the teachings of Our Lord Jesus are mocked and persecuted.

But as for me and my family, we will stay in balance with God by obedience to the Heart of the Law, Jesus. As with the writer, I love the peace that God’s Law, his Word, gives me. My soul is secure not in the claiming to be a Christian but in the refuge and protection that living in obedience to His Loving Will offers me.

The psalmist tells the corrupt and deceivers, “Get out of my life!” Whenever we find those who condone, practice or promote sin in their lives and justify it by saying, “I am saved, God has forgiven me of what I am about to do,” we are to run to the nearest exit lest they corrupt us. Many times I have heard that contemptuous living is justified because, “Jesus forgave me and nothing I do is considered a sin.” That is not what Jesus said nor is it what Paul tried to convey to the early church. Jesus said, “If you love Me, you WILL obey my commandments.” In Jesus says, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord” will enter the Kingdom of heaven. … I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you workers of lawlessness.'” Then he continues with the illustration of the house built on rock (Faithfulness) and the house built on sand (foolishness). See ).

David says in , “How precious to me are Your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I could count them, they would be more than the sand. I awake, and I am still with you.” It is better to live one day with God than a thousand anywhere else. It is wiser, surer and more blessed to be living in the Word of God than to dwell in the failings of the world.

The Psalmist cries out, “Hold me up that I may be safe and have regard for your statutes continually!” ( ESV). While under the stress of the challenge of belief by those who would seek to justify falsehoods, he goes to the Creator to give him the strength and encouragement to withstand them. It is easy to say that it is alright to live a sinful life, Jesus has forgiven me, but the truth is that Jesus only forgives the contrite heart and those who seek to be true repentants thereby no long desiring to repeat the offenses against their Redeemer and purifier. “Uphold me according to Your promise that I may live [in grace]” is his desire. That is the dream of the faithful.

For it is by the Grace of the Father, given to us by the Divine Breath of the Holy Spirit as the result of the Sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. In this we are forgiven and in this we are live in obedience of the Law of Christ’s Perfect Sacrifice. While many will use Paul’s Letter to the Romans to say that we can not earn our right to salvation (and I have no argument with that), he also says in , “You therefore, are not of the flesh but of the spirit, if in fact the spirit of God dwells in you. … so then brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh to live according to the flesh.” We are to die to sin and to reject all things that lead to sin.

The psalmist goes on to condemn those who reject the law of godliness and embrace the ways of the flesh, even to call them the scum of the earth! In he claims that God has removed the wicked like dross, the film of waste that is left after refinement of metal. In , the claim that those who reject God are in turn rejected is made and we should take perfect note of that. When those who profess the faith yet reject all the teachings of moral behavior, who refuse to live within the Law of righteousness expect that God is so forgiving that he will allow them to be counted as the redeemed is ludicrous. Those who cry out “Lord, Lord,” and walked in the path of evil will not be counted as those who know the Lord Christ. As the New Living Translation says, “They are only fooling themselves.”

The choice is ours, to live in the loving care of Our Redeemer in obedience and service, or to live outside of His Grace by remaining in a sinful lifestyle. Will we love God’s testimonies by faithfulness to them or will we reject His love for us by disobedience? It is time, and long overdo, to stop the feel-good theology and return to the testament of godly obedience.

The final verse of this stanza, reads, “My flesh trembles for fear of Thee, and I am afraid of Thy Judgments.” (RSV). The fear is the respect of God, the reverence of His Awesomeness. It is not a fear of a coward or of as from a bully, but the fear that we might cause sorrow to the greater among us. And God is among us, through the Holy Spirit. If a police officer was standing beside you would you break the law before his eyes? Yet we who claim Christ, daily choose to disregard His presence and continue to sin; deliberately and continually claiming that His forgiveness allows us to behave this way.

Christ came that we might be free from the sinful nature that rules the flesh. Seek to walk in the path of Jesus and flee from the desires of the flesh. Love the Testimonies of Faith, righteousness and clean living that we may not be as the dross, the scum on the melting pot of purification. Let us not be like the remnant left behind who added to their beliefs the ways of the pagans, the common law of self-indulgence, and remain faithful to the command of Jesus to obey the meaning of the whole of the Law. That is to Love God with our entire being and to love our fellow man as we love ourselves. Let us live in the loving-kindness to each other and the devotion to God as Christ has shown us.

Let our Faith be one-way, all the way and in the Way. Put out the double minded man and become single-minded for Christ’s holiness. Let us become Wholly devoted to God. Let us stand up to those who want to defile us with hypocrisy, decadence and the foolishness of sin.


Listen

113 I hate the double-minded,
but I love your law.
114 You are my hiding place and my shield;
I hope in your word.
115 Depart from me, you evildoers,
that I may keep the commandments of my God.
116 Uphold me according to your promise, that I may live,
and let me not be put to shame in my hope!
117 Hold me up, that I may be safe
and have regard for your statutes continually!
118 You spurn all who go astray from your statutes,
for their cunning is in vain.
119 All the wicked of the earth you discard like dross,
therefore I love your testimonies.
120 My flesh trembles for fear of you,
and I am afraid of your judgments. (ESV)


Listen

119:1  [1] Blessed are those whose way is blameless,
who walk in the law of the Lord!
Blessed are those who keep his testimonies,
who seek him with their whole heart,
who also do no wrong,
but walk in his ways!
You have commanded your precepts
to be kept diligently.
Oh that my ways may be steadfast
in keeping your statutes!
Then I shall not be put to shame,
having my eyes fixed on all your commandments.
I will praise you with an upright heart,
when I learn your righteous rules. [2]
I will keep your statutes;
do not utterly forsake me!

How can a young man keep his way pure?
By guarding it according to your word.
10 With my whole heart I seek you;
let me not wander from your commandments!
11 I have stored up your word in my heart,
that I might not sin against you.
12 Blessed are you, O Lord;
teach me your statutes!
13 With my lips I declare
all the rules [3] of your mouth.
14 In the way of your testimonies I delight
as much as in all riches.
15 I will meditate on your precepts
and fix my eyes on your ways.
16 I will delight in your statutes;
I will not forget your word.

17 Deal bountifully with your servant,
that I may live and keep your word.
18 Open my eyes, that I may behold
wondrous things out of your law.
19 I am a sojourner on the earth;
hide not your commandments from me!
20 My soul is consumed with longing
for your rules [4] at all times.
21 You rebuke the insolent, accursed ones,
who wander from your commandments.
22 Take away from me scorn and contempt,
for I have kept your testimonies.
23 Even though princes sit plotting against me,
your servant will meditate on your statutes.
24 Your testimonies are my delight;
they are my counselors.

25 My soul clings to the dust;
give me life according to your word!
26 When I told of my ways, you answered me;
teach me your statutes!
27 Make me understand the way of your precepts,
and I will meditate on your wondrous works.
28 My soul melts away for sorrow;
strengthen me according to your word!
29 Put false ways far from me
and graciously teach me your law!
30 I have chosen the way of faithfulness;
I set your rules before me.
31 I cling to your testimonies, O Lord;
let me not be put to shame!
32 I will run in the way of your commandments
when you enlarge my heart! [5]

33 Teach me, O Lord, the way of your statutes;
and I will keep it to the end. [6]
34 Give me understanding, that I may keep your law
and observe it with my whole heart.
35 Lead me in the path of your commandments,
for I delight in it.
36 Incline my heart to your testimonies,
and not to selfish gain!
37 Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things;
and give me life in your ways.
38 Confirm to your servant your promise,
that you may be feared.
39 Turn away the reproach that I dread,
for your rules are good.
40 Behold, I long for your precepts;
in your righteousness give me life!

41 Let your steadfast love come to me, O Lord,
your salvation according to your promise;
42 then shall I have an answer for him who taunts me,
for I trust in your word.
43 And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth,
for my hope is in your rules.
44 I will keep your law continually,
forever and ever,
45 and I shall walk in a wide place,
for I have sought your precepts.
46 I will also speak of your testimonies before kings
and shall not be put to shame,
47 for I find my delight in your commandments,
which I love.
48 I will lift up my hands toward your commandments, which I love,
and I will meditate on your statutes.

49 Remember your word to your servant,
in which you have made me hope.
50 This is my comfort in my affliction,
that your promise gives me life.
51 The insolent utterly deride me,
but I do not turn away from your law.
52 When I think of your rules from of old,
I take comfort, O Lord.
53 Hot indignation seizes me because of the wicked,
who forsake your law.
54 Your statutes have been my songs
in the house of my sojourning.
55 I remember your name in the night, O Lord,
and keep your law.
56 This blessing has fallen to me,
that I have kept your precepts.

57 The Lord is my portion;
I promise to keep your words.
58 I entreat your favor with all my heart;
be gracious to me according to your promise.
59 When I think on my ways,
I turn my feet to your testimonies;
60 I hasten and do not delay
to keep your commandments.
61 Though the cords of the wicked ensnare me,
I do not forget your law.
62 At midnight I rise to praise you,
because of your righteous rules.
63 I am a companion of all who fear you,
of those who keep your precepts.
64 The earth, O Lord, is full of your steadfast love;
teach me your statutes!

65 You have dealt well with your servant,
O Lord, according to your word.
66 Teach me good judgment and knowledge,
for I believe in your commandments.
67 Before I was afflicted I went astray,
but now I keep your word.
68 You are good and do good;
teach me your statutes.
69 The insolent smear me with lies,
but with my whole heart I keep your precepts;
70 their heart is unfeeling like fat,
but I delight in your law.
71 It is good for me that I was afflicted,
that I might learn your statutes.
72 The law of your mouth is better to me
than thousands of gold and silver pieces.

73 Your hands have made and fashioned me;
give me understanding that I may learn your commandments.
74 Those who fear you shall see me and rejoice,
because I have hoped in your word.
75 I know, O Lord, that your rules are righteous,
and that in faithfulness you have afflicted me.
76 Let your steadfast love comfort me
according to your promise to your servant.
77 Let your mercy come to me, that I may live;
for your law is my delight.
78 Let the insolent be put to shame,
because they have wronged me with falsehood;
as for me, I will meditate on your precepts.
79 Let those who fear you turn to me,
that they may know your testimonies.
80 May my heart be blameless in your statutes,
that I may not be put to shame!

81 My soul longs for your salvation;
I hope in your word.
82 My eyes long for your promise;
I ask, “When will you comfort me?”
83 For I have become like a wineskin in the smoke,
yet I have not forgotten your statutes.
84 How long must your servant endure? [7]
When will you judge those who persecute me?
85 The insolent have dug pitfalls for me;
they do not live according to your law.
86 All your commandments are sure;
they persecute me with falsehood; help me!
87 They have almost made an end of me on earth,
but I have not forsaken your precepts.
88 In your steadfast love give me life,
that I may keep the testimonies of your mouth.

89 Forever, O Lord, your word
is firmly fixed in the heavens.
90 Your faithfulness endures to all generations;
you have established the earth, and it stands fast.
91 By your appointment they stand this day,
for all things are your servants.
92 If your law had not been my delight,
I would have perished in my affliction.
93 I will never forget your precepts,
for by them you have given me life.
94 I am yours; save me,
for I have sought your precepts.
95 The wicked lie in wait to destroy me,
but I consider your testimonies.
96 I have seen a limit to all perfection,
but your commandment is exceedingly broad.

97 Oh how I love your law!
It is my meditation all the day.
98 Your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies,
for it is ever with me.
99 I have more understanding than all my teachers,
for your testimonies are my meditation.
100 I understand more than the aged, [8]
for I keep your precepts.
101 I hold back my feet from every evil way,
in order to keep your word.
102 I do not turn aside from your rules,
for you have taught me.
103 How sweet are your words to my taste,
sweeter than honey to my mouth!
104 Through your precepts I get understanding;
therefore I hate every false way.

105 Your word is a lamp to my feet
and a light to my path.
106 I have sworn an oath and confirmed it,
to keep your righteous rules.
107 I am severely afflicted;
give me life, O Lord, according to your word!
108 Accept my freewill offerings of praise, O Lord,
and teach me your rules.
109 I hold my life in my hand continually,
but I do not forget your law.
110 The wicked have laid a snare for me,
but I do not stray from your precepts.
111 Your testimonies are my heritage forever,
for they are the joy of my heart.
112 I incline my heart to perform your statutes
forever, to the end. [9]

113 I hate the double-minded,
but I love your law.
114 You are my hiding place and my shield;
I hope in your word.
115 Depart from me, you evildoers,
that I may keep the commandments of my God.
116 Uphold me according to your promise, that I may live,
and let me not be put to shame in my hope!
117 Hold me up, that I may be safe
and have regard for your statutes continually!
118 You spurn all who go astray from your statutes,
for their cunning is in vain.
119 All the wicked of the earth you discard like dross,
therefore I love your testimonies.
120 My flesh trembles for fear of you,
and I am afraid of your judgments.

121 I have done what is just and right;
do not leave me to my oppressors.
122 Give your servant a pledge of good;
let not the insolent oppress me.
123 My eyes long for your salvation
and for the fulfillment of your righteous promise.
124 Deal with your servant according to your steadfast love,
and teach me your statutes.
125 I am your servant; give me understanding,
that I may know your testimonies!
126 It is time for the Lord to act,
for your law has been broken.
127 Therefore I love your commandments
above gold, above fine gold.
128 Therefore I consider all your precepts to be right;
I hate every false way.

129 Your testimonies are wonderful;
therefore my soul keeps them.
130 The unfolding of your words gives light;
it imparts understanding to the simple.
131 I open my mouth and pant,
because I long for your commandments.
132 Turn to me and be gracious to me,
as is your way with those who love your name.
133 Keep steady my steps according to your promise,
and let no iniquity get dominion over me.
134 Redeem me from man’s oppression,
that I may keep your precepts.
135 Make your face shine upon your servant,
and teach me your statutes.
136 My eyes shed streams of tears,
because people do not keep your law.

137 Righteous are you, O Lord,
and right are your rules.
138 You have appointed your testimonies in righteousness
and in all faithfulness.
139 My zeal consumes me,
because my foes forget your words.
140 Your promise is well tried,
and your servant loves it.
141 I am small and despised,
yet I do not forget your precepts.
142 Your righteousness is righteous forever,
and your law is true.
143 Trouble and anguish have found me out,
but your commandments are my delight.
144 Your testimonies are righteous forever;
give me understanding that I may live.

145 With my whole heart I cry; answer me, O Lord!
I will keep your statutes.
146 I call to you; save me,
that I may observe your testimonies.
147 I rise before dawn and cry for help;
I hope in your words.
148 My eyes are awake before the watches of the night,
that I may meditate on your promise.
149 Hear my voice according to your steadfast love;
O Lord, according to your justice give me life.
150 They draw near who persecute me with evil purpose;
they are far from your law.
151 But you are near, O Lord,
and all your commandments are true.
152 Long have I known from your testimonies
that you have founded them forever.

153 Look on my affliction and deliver me,
for I do not forget your law.
154 Plead my cause and redeem me;
give me life according to your promise!
155 Salvation is far from the wicked,
for they do not seek your statutes.
156 Great is your mercy, O Lord;
give me life according to your rules.
157 Many are my persecutors and my adversaries,
but I do not swerve from your testimonies.
158 I look at the faithless with disgust,
because they do not keep your commands.
159 Consider how I love your precepts!
Give me life according to your steadfast love.
160 The sum of your word is truth,
and every one of your righteous rules endures forever.

161 Princes persecute me without cause,
but my heart stands in awe of your words.
162 I rejoice at your word
like one who finds great spoil.
163 I hate and abhor falsehood,
but I love your law.
164 Seven times a day I praise you
for your righteous rules.
165 Great peace have those who love your law;
nothing can make them stumble.
166 I hope for your salvation, O Lord,
and I do your commandments.
167 My soul keeps your testimonies;
I love them exceedingly.
168 I keep your precepts and testimonies,
for all my ways are before you.

169 Let my cry come before you, O Lord;
give me understanding according to your word!
170 Let my plea come before you;
deliver me according to your word.
171 My lips will pour forth praise,
for you teach me your statutes.
172 My tongue will sing of your word,
for all your commandments are right.
173 Let your hand be ready to help me,
for I have chosen your precepts.
174 I long for your salvation, O Lord,
and your law is my delight.
175 Let my soul live and praise you,
and let your rules help me.
176 I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek your servant,
for I do not forget your commandments. (ESV)

Footnotes

[1] 119:1 This psalm is an acrostic poem of twenty-two stanzas, following the letters of the Hebrew alphabet; within a stanza, each verse begins with the same Hebrew letter
[2] 119:7 Or your just and righteous decrees; also verses 62, 106, 160, 164
[3] 119:13 Or all the just decrees
[4] 119:20 Or your just decrees; also verses 30, 39, 43, 52, 75, 102, 108, 137, 156, 175
[5] 119:32 Or for you set my heart free
[6] 119:33 Or keep it as my reward
[7] 119:84 Hebrew How many are the days of your servant?
[8] 119:100 Or the elders
[9] 119:112 Or statutes; the reward is eternal


Listen

Now the glory of the God of Israel had gone up from the cherub on which it rested to the threshold of the house. And he called to the man clothed in linen, who had the writing case at his waist. And the Lord said to him, “Pass through the city, through Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all the abominations that are committed in it.” And to the others he said in my hearing, “Pass through the city after him, and strike. Your eye shall not spare, and you shall show no pity. Kill old men outright, young men and maidens, little children and women, but touch no one on whom is the mark. And begin at my sanctuary.” So they began with the elders who were before the house. (ESV)


Listen)

21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

Matthew 7:23 (Listen

21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

Matthew 7:23 (Listen)

23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ (ESV)


Listen

24 “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. 26 And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.” (ESV)


Listen

17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 If I would count them, they are more than the sand.
I awake, and I am still with you. (ESV)


Listen

117 Hold me up, that I may be safe
and have regard for your statutes continually! (ESV)


Listen)

You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.

Romans 8:12 (Listen

You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.

Romans 8:12 (Listen)

12 So then, brothers, [1] we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. (ESV)

Footnotes

[1] 8:12 Or brothers and sisters; also verse 29

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Listen

120 My flesh trembles for fear of you,
and I am afraid of your judgments. (ESV)

God’s Idea of a Godly Businessman: Psalm 112

“Praise the LORD!
Blessed is the man who fears the LORD,
who greatly delights in His commandments!
His offspring will be mighty in the land;
the generations of the upright will be blessed.”

(ESV)

The priority of a godly businessman is to stay focused on those policies and practices that reflect a trust, respect and regard for what is right in God’s eyes. The word used as fear in the Hebrew context is used to refer to a respect with awe and wonder for the might, majesty and involvement of God for mankind. God guards the minds and the actions of those who follow His ways with love and joy. The test of a righteous man is not in the trials and struggles to get ahead in the world but if he can maintain an attitude of respect and love of doing it in a manner that pleases God and provides for his fellow man. When a businessman places the principles of the Word of God into his dealings with his clients and deals with them as God has dealt with him, he will not use unjust ways. The actions of a truly godly man will not overcharge, do shoddy work or use his “religion” to gain trust. The very heart of God will be sufficient to gain trust and to guarantee good workmanship.

The godly man will treat all customers with respect, especially those who are not of the same faith so that they will see that God is in thier lives. Paul tells the Roman Christians, “Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Out do each other in showing honor…Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all.” (). Good business practices demand that we deal fairly with each other. As honor is taught by fathers and elders in the business world to their children, so shall the offspring deal fairly and justly with their business interests. It is when the duties of enterprise cause them to defer or disregard the blessings of Godly work that greed, selfishness and injustice begin to rule the work ethnic. Then is when the children are not blessed but are cursed.

“Wealth and riches are in his house,
and the his righteousness endures forever.
Light dawns in the darkness for the upright;
he is gracious,merciful and righteous.”

(ESV)

The New Living Translation reads: “…their good deeds will never be forgotten. When darkness overtakes the godly, light will come busting in.” In today’s cut-throat world of business, to many “Christian” businessmen have left their faith at the church door and entered into the work place with the zeal of a demon. Their interests do not lie in the goal of fairness, compassion or generosity but in “getting ahead of the “other guy.” The one question they never ask themselves is whether or not it is in the interest of Christ to behave like this. The Godly man sees the brightness of a good deed and a just dealing as a offering to God for His mercy upon us in his every action. the true wealth of a man is not in the bank but in the treasures stored in heaven. when a man goes out of his way to do a kind thing for another, there is a light that warms the soul. Proverbs speaks of godly wisdom as; “Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honer. Her ways are the ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.” (). Those who seek to do their jobs and bless others with the grace of the Father, receive for themselves blessing from on High.

James warns us to watch out for the destructive attitudes. He says, “..If you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambitions in your hearts, don’t brag about being wise. That is the worse kind of lie.” (). Paul tells us not be unequally yoked, “For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness.” () when men of powerful positions deal with ungodly people and accept their practices and actions as normal, they yoke themselves to darkness. And their Children will suffer from it. they will not learn what it is to be godly men. Our children need to know that the parents live the walk of Jesus in their business.

“It is well with the man who deals generously and lends (freely);
who conducts his affairs with justice.
For the righteous will never be moved;
he will be remembered forever.”

(ESV)

There are several verses that tell us not to charge outlandish interest on loans. There was a time that the laws in America put limits on interest charged but as of late, it seems that the market has passed up fairness and godliness. As people become more desperate to have enough to survive, those who are the weakest, must pay the most. there is no generosity in the lending. I know of a man who qualified for a low interest loan backed by the government yet the bank refused to lend him the money and took away his home. Another person, a elderly lady, also lost her home because the lender would not give her an extension on her loan, even though they were aware that she was in the hospital. As a man of God, I refuse to yoke myself with such banks. Because they do not deal fairly with the weak, I will not deal with them. The righteous must stand up and rebuke the unrighteous. We must be moved to avoid the dealing with the ungodly. As a christian, I can not understand how those who call themselves lovers of God can work for them or be a part of shady businesses. Even in these economic times, if I worked for them, I would resign and offer my services to some other enterprise.

God judges us on how we treat each other. If we deal with one another as robbers and thieves, he will judge us accordingly. If we treat each other as beloved children, He will regard us as His Beloved children. We as a people of God are to be the examples of godly, blameless and holy dealings. The Word of God refutes those who practice usury, swindle their neighbors or causes them harm. To god they are not among the redeemed, but listed as the cursed. Their names are not in the Book of Life nor do they possess the mark of Salvation (see ). The righteous are spared, they shall see the Glory of the God because they live, work and pray in righteousness.

“He will have no fear of bad news;
his heart is steadfast, trusting in the LORD.
His heart is secure, he will have no fear;
in the end he will look in triumph on his foes.”

Psalm112:7-8 (NIV)

Just today I read a essay in TIME magazine by Andrea Sachs on the success of Amish small business. (April 19,2010). In it the explanation of the the work ethic of the Amish community is based on the “Golden Rule” rather than on golden calf. They do not worry about how much money they can make or if they can compete on the “world market” but on the needs of their employees, family and the usefulness of the work. Plain and simple lives and plain and simple livelihoods. Because of this attitude, they do not fear hostile takeovers, market lose or strikes.

When our business ventures are done with integrity and honestly, they will prevail. When we work with the joy of the LORD in our efforts, even if all else fails, we win. As we practice godly principles in our work place, we are spiritually secure. “‘Be just and fair to all,’ says the LORD. ‘do what is right and good, for I am coming soon to rescue you’.” ( NLT). As we have seen in the last few years, those men who took advantage of customers who put millions of people out of work. Who caused many people to lose their homes and then took money from the government. Yet they failed to compensate those they hurt and lost our trust. Even as they wallow in ill-earned profits, they are losers to the rest of us. The saddest thing is that many claimed to belong to Christ. even as they sang hymns in church, their hearts revealed themselves as villains of justice and foes of righteousness. In the end, they are defeated.

Those whose hearts are steadfast in the mercies of Chirst, rejoice in the presence of the Most High God. Those who live in integrity, do not fear the lose of mere money, because they are rich in the graces of God. They have placed their priorities on the Word of God and the hearts of the people. what is of the world, stays in the world, while that which is in God, returns to us and remains in us even to eternity. The great verse of tells it all: “He [GOD] has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.” In all our dealings we are to walk WITH GOD! Not just on Sunday, but every day, Mondays through Fridays from our rising up in the morning to our laying down at night.

“He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor;
his righteousness endures forever;
his horn is exalted in honor.”

(ESV)

Not only is the godly man an honest man, a fair man; he is a generous man who helps those who are in need freely. His heart is always extended to those who can not fend for themselves. He looks out for the widows, the orphans and those strangers in his midst who come to him seeking protection, food or clothing. He treats his employees as family, providing for their future, medical needs and the welfare of their families. That is the lesson of Scrooge in “A Christmas Carol.”

And the godly business man does not need to “toot his own horn,” because his actions are done quietly, privately so as to give glory to God rather than to himself. In my childhood, there was an old man who let us kids play in his yard anytime we wanted to because he loved children. He was the richest man I knew, owning several high end department stores yet he wanted to enjoy children playing among his very expensive manicured yard more than all the money he had obtained. When he died, most of his estate went to charities because his children where “rich enough without any more of this money.”

He was remembered not for his business practices as much as for his generosity and kind heart. This is the horn of dignity and respect that is raised in every corner of society. Many of us have similar memories of someone who went out of their way to be kind with no thought of reward for themselves. Their reward is recorded in the Book of Life.

The final verse of the Psalm is what is contained in the heart of the unrighteous businessman. The contempt of greed, the vileness of corruption and the disregard of righteousness toward others will end in spiritual ruin.

“The wicked man sees it and is angry;
he gnashes his teeth and melts away;
the desire of the wicked will perish!”

(ESV)

I get visions of the Wicked Witch of the West from the Wizard of Oz when I read this passage. Evil can not stand the pleasures of goodness. The cruel, selfishness of greed can not comprehend the joy and peace that is found in dealing honestly with others. They never find happiness because they can not grasp the meaning of sharing. The wicked only see power, wealth and destruction as rewards. Yet in the end, before the Judgement Seat of the Most High God, the will melt away into the eternal nothingness. The many lessons of Jesus repeat this theme; do what is right before God and love your neighbor or suffer the consequences of damnation. Those who fail to do right in the eyes of God will fall into the pit of fire with gnashing of teeth and with total despair.

The Godliness of good business and a heart of God toward others is a two fold reward. It makes you feel good as you do it and the blessings of God will be with you even into eternity. Let the principles of Godly behavior rule the practices of good business and let Christ guide you in every business venture. Let that be your reward and you will be blessed greatly.


Listen)

112:1  [1] Praise the Lord!
Blessed is the man who fears the Lord,
who greatly delights in his commandments!

Psalm 112:2 (Listen

112:1  [1] Praise the Lord!
Blessed is the man who fears the Lord,
who greatly delights in his commandments!

Psalm 112:2 (Listen)

His offspring will be mighty in the land;
the generation of the upright will be blessed. (ESV)

Footnotes

[1] 112:1 This psalm is an acrostic poem, each line beginning with the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet


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Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.

Romans 12:10 (Listen)

10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.

Romans 12:17 (Listen

Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.

Romans 12:10 (Listen)

10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.

Romans 12:17 (Listen)

17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. (ESV)


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Wealth and riches are in his house,
and his righteousness endures forever.
Light dawns in the darkness for the upright;
he is gracious, merciful, and righteous. (ESV)


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16 Long life is in her right hand;
in her left hand are riches and honor.
17 Her ways are ways of pleasantness,
and all her paths are peace. (ESV)


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14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. (ESV)


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14 Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? (ESV)


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It is well with the man who deals generously and lends;
who conducts his affairs with justice.
For the righteous will never be moved;
he will be remembered forever. (ESV)


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Now the glory of the God of Israel had gone up from the cherub on which it rested to the threshold of the house. And he called to the man clothed in linen, who had the writing case at his waist. And the Lord said to him, “Pass through the city, through Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all the abominations that are committed in it.” And to the others he said in my hearing, “Pass through the city after him, and strike. Your eye shall not spare, and you shall show no pity. Kill old men outright, young men and maidens, little children and women, but touch no one on whom is the mark. And begin at my sanctuary.” So they began with the elders who were before the house. Then he said to them, “Defile the house, and fill the courts with the slain. Go out.” So they went out and struck in the city. And while they were striking, and I was left alone, I fell upon my face, and cried, “Ah, Lord God! Will you destroy all the remnant of Israel in the outpouring of your wrath on Jerusalem?”

Then he said to me, “The guilt of the house of Israel and Judah is exceedingly great. The land is full of blood, and the city full of injustice. For they say, ‘The Lord has forsaken the land, and the Lord does not see.’ (ESV)


Listen

56:1 Thus says the Lord:
“Keep justice, and do righteousness,
for soon my salvation will come,
and my deliverance be revealed. (ESV)


Listen

He has told you, O man, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness, [1]
and to walk humbly with your God? (ESV)

Footnotes

[1] 6:8 Or steadfast love


Listen

He has distributed freely; he has given to the poor;
his righteousness endures forever;
his horn is exalted in honor. (ESV)


Listen

10 The wicked man sees it and is angry;
he gnashes his teeth and melts away;
the desire of the wicked will perish! (ESV)

Praising God in Times of Adversity: Psalm 62

I wait quietly before God,
for my salvation comes from Him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress where I will never be shaken.

(NLT)

The power of God to be always in our presence is the sureness of Faith that endures in time of strife. We may never know how God interacts in our lives but we can be assured that the Present and Eternal God is there with us. David relies on that strength to hope for his salvation from the onslaught of his own son, Absalom. David knows that he was chosen to be the king of Israel and that God would not abandon him. His prayer is the continuation of the hope and faith in God to confirm His covenant with David.

In the conflicts we face daily and the attacks that assail us, we too can be confident in the value of God’s Word to protect our spirit. Knowing that God is in control and that Jesus is the Word of God manifested for our Salvation give us the Grace of Hope Divine in our struggles. Jesus is the Rock of Salvation promised to David, to Moses and to Abraham. In Him we have a true, strong Tower, a fortress against which the onslaughts of the flesh and the torments of the world can not prevail. In these times we face many reasons to give up on ourselves, but we should never allow the problems of the world to reflect our love and hope from God.

Think of those who first embraced Jesus as Messiah and how they faced the torment of families, neighbors and the government yet held fast to the faith in Jesus. As they saw their sufferings as blessing and rejoiced that they live in Christ because of the persecution, we to can accept that we must let the struggles fall upon us as rain. As the proverb says, “On each of us, a little rain must fall.” For David the rain was a torrential gale. His own son sought to destroy him and he led the people to reject the anointed of God. David comes to God with his faith as should. “As you come to Him, the living Stone – rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to Him- you also like living stones are being built up into a spiritual house…” (NIV). David had his faith in God’s Word, we have our strength in the foundations of Christ. We, “who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” : 5 (ESV). We wait quietly for Our Lord and Redeemer to reveal Himself as the strong tower of refuge.

“So many enemies against one man-
all trying to kill me.
To them I’m just a broken-down wall
or a tottering fence.”

(NLT)

Because the ways of the world and the desires of the flesh are always there to torment us and to bring us down, it seems at times that we are easily broken. David saw the onslaught of the armies of Absalom bearing down on him, driving him from the Holy City. To him the whole world was out to destroy him and the tear down the kingdom sealed by God. All the snares of today reach out to knock us down as a crumbling wall. Yet God is there to fortify the wall of our resolve and to empower us by His Spirit and His Word. Isaiah says, “Because you despise this word… this iniquity shall be to you like a breach in a high wall.” (see ). The people who seek to rid the world of believers will themselves be the crumbling walls and the war fences they devise will not stand against God.

“My salvation and honor comes from God alone.
He is my refuge, a rock where no enemy can reach me.

O my people, trust in Him at all times.
Pour out your heart to Him,
for God is our refuge.”

(NLT)

Without God, there is only empty honor. Through Jesus we find honor that is worthy of God. David prays for his salvation and seeks not the honor given to mortal man but the honor to be given to His LORD. When we face the troubles the mortal world places before us, we are to give honor to God. We are to trust in the wisdom of God to see us through the trouble. And maybe the salvation is not of the world but the grace of God. God did not spare His Son on the cross so that we might be spared death that is eternal. Our refuge is not from the world but from Satan. It is he that we must seek sanctuary from. In every trial, decision and conflict pour out your heart to God. Call upon Christ and listen for the Holy Spirit to guide, correct and instruct you in how to go. Be as Paul’s desire, “…by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.” ( ESV). Be determined to be one mind with Christ, one heart with the Father and taking refuge in the Holy Spirit.

All the weight of the world against us can not bring down the goodness that comes from trusting God. Our rewards do not come from the wealth, power or zeal of worldly things but from the heavenly pursuits of our souls. Placing all of our hopes, desires and fears in God and knowing that in spite of all the turmoils that we face, God is in control of our eternal lives (if we allow Him), we can withstand all the slings and arrows flung at us. The barbs of insult, the stones of ridicule or the poison of accusation will fall away from our spirit when we place God in the forefront.

“From the greatest to the lowliest-
all are nothing in His sight.
If you weigh them on the scales,
they are lighter than a puff of air.”

(NLT)

We must never lose sight of the fact that in the eyes of God, we are as nothing yet he exalts us to claim an equality with Christ for His pleasure (See ). Jesus told His disciples who would be greater in the Kingdom of Christ, “Anyone who welcomes one of these little children in My name, welcomes Me; and anyone who welcomes Me, welcomes the One who sent Me.” ( TJB). Paul exhorts the believers to, “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in Love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” ( NIV). And we are told by Peter that Jesus, “When they hurled their insults at Him, He did not retaliate; when He suffered, He made no threats. Instead, He entrusted Himself to Him who judges justly.” ( NIV).

If Jesus, who is the Son of the Father and One in the Same as the Father considered Himself equal with man and entrusted Himself to the Father as nothing, then we too should be able to rely on God in our nothingness to accept His mercy and justice. On the scale of things important to the scheme of the universe, we are as puffs of air. Yet because God created us and selected us to be heirs of the promise of eternal Salvation, we become greater than the angels.

“Don’t try to get rich
by extortion or robbery.
and if your wealth increases,
don’t make it the center of your life.”
(NLT)

I was going to skip this verse but it brings up a pet grief of mine. To many “Christians” believe that because they go to church and have claimed to believe in Jesus, they are entitled to earn great wealth. The “Prosperity Gospel” is gaining support and my friends, that is a lie. Even David did not believe that his Wealth was a “reward” of being a believer. David understood that wealth distracted him from God. Placing importance on the material things rather than the spiritual things causes us to “worship manna” and that is the destruction of many souls.

Money and Power have caused the ruin of many who sought to serve as leaders of churches and communities. When churches and pastors become more interested in the wealth of their “empires” rather than spreading the Good News, they have replaced their God with a lesser one, one that will lead them to damnation instead of Sanctification. Jesus warns us that it is easier for a camel to go through the narrow gate than for a rich man to get to heaven. We are to want for only the Grace of God and not the pleasures that the world offers. Money can’t get you to heaven so why seek it. More importantly, do not seek unjust wealth. You can not sin your way into God’s mercy; cheating, overpricing and using your position in church to overcharge are sins against man and Christ.

“God has spoken plainly,
and I have heard it many times:
Power, O God, belongs to You;
unfailing love, O LORD, is Yours.
Surely You judge all people
according to what they have done.”

(NLT)

I know that David is saying to his enemies, “God will get you for this,” but he is right in the fact that God has the power of all creation in His control. All power, grace and mercy are His. The blessing is that we have Christ as our mediator to serve as our ram on the altar of atonement. The real question is; how plainly do we listen to God? Are we so busy with our lives and getting ahead in the world that we forsake the wisdom, love and instruction of the Most High God? The Power of God who created all things, the Ultimate being that set the universe into motion, breathed life into man and set apart a people that He would call His Own, sent His only Begotten Son to redeem and to offer us Sanctification.

Even though all power belongs to the Father, His mercy is for those who revere and love Him. In the Latin and in the Hebrew the word we use for Holy Spirit literally translates as Divine Breath. By the Breath of God we live, by the Breath of the Promised Son, we live eternally. God has judged us, and he found that we are worthy by His Grace to be called the sons of God. He has chosen not to rule His verdict by what we have done but by the grace of unconditional forgiveness. Through the blood offering of Jesus, we are held no longer accountable for our transgression but welcomed in to the courts of Heaven.

Surely God has judged according to His Mercy, and we who are unworthy do not face the retribution of God but receive the unfailing love. While David waits for God to rescue him from his enemies, we are offered the protection that comes only from the Most Loving Father. We who were once enemies of God and His Righteousness are now blessed as Children of the Promise. Seek to hear the Wisdom of God and live accordingly. Desire to live in the Righteousness of David. “It is God who saved us and chose us to live a holy life. He did this not because we deserved it, but because that was His plan long before the world began – to show His Love and Kindness to us through Jesus Christ.” ( NLT).

In we hear a cry from the writer to the LORD Most High; “You made me; You created me. Now give me the sense to follow your commands.” As each day passes, we find it harder rather than easier to hear what God wants us to hear. We get caught up in the world and forget to go to the Lord in Prayer. David in his many hours of need, from the assaults from Saul to the rebellion of Absalom, always turned to God. Even when he was in great sin he still relied on God to provide the avenue of safety and salvation. Like David we should be always attentive to God and hear what He says to us. We should be open to His justice, mercy and always to His Love. Therefore, we are to “..wait quietly before God,” He is our Salvation and our hope comes from Him.

“Be of good courage,
And he shall strengthen your heart,
All you who hope in the LORD.”

(NKJV)

These words are to give you strength in the Promise of God to each of us who seek His ways. Whether we suffer from poor health, abuse from employers, persecution form internal or exterior forces or form outright assault on our core beliefs, Gos is there with us. He says to us, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes I will help you. I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” (NKJV). And, “…they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be wear; they shall walk and not faint.” (ESV). As Jesus died to lift us up, let us be lifted up in the knowledge that no mere mortal can deter What god has made righteous.


Listen

62:1 For God alone my soul waits in silence;
from him comes my salvation.
He only is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken. (ESV)


Listen

As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. (ESV)


Listen

1:1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,

To those who are elect exiles of the dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood:

May grace and peace be multiplied to you.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

10 Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, 11 inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. 12 It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.

13 Therefore, preparing your minds for action, [1] and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, 15 but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” 17 And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, 18 knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. 20 He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you 21 who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.

22 Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, 23 since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God; 24 for

“All flesh is like grass
and all its glory like the flower of grass.
The grass withers,
and the flower falls,
25 but the word of the Lord remains forever.”

And this word is the good news that was preached to you. (ESV)

Footnotes

[1] 1:13 Greek girding up the loins of your mind


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How long will all of you attack a man
to batter him,
like a leaning wall, a tottering fence? (ESV)


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12 Therefore thus says the Holy One of Israel,
“Because you despise this word
and trust in oppression and perverseness
and rely on them,
13 therefore this iniquity shall be to you
like a breach in a high wall, bulging out, and about to collapse,
whose breaking comes suddenly, in an instant; (ESV)


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On God rests my salvation and my glory;
my mighty rock, my refuge is God.

Trust in him at all times, O people;
pour out your heart before him;
God is a refuge for us. Selah (ESV)


Listen

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (ESV)


Listen

Those of low estate are but a breath;
those of high estate are a delusion;
in the balances they go up;
they are together lighter than a breath. (ESV)


Listen

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known [1] to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. (ESV)

Footnotes

[1] 1:9 Or he lavished upon us in all wisdom and insight, making known . . .


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37 “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me.” (ESV)


Listen

with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. (ESV)


Listen

23 When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. (ESV)


Listen

10 Put no trust in extortion;
set no vain hopes on robbery;
if riches increase, set not your heart on them. (ESV)


Listen

11 Once God has spoken;
twice have I heard this:
that power belongs to God,
12 and that to you, O Lord, belongs steadfast love.
For you will render to a man
according to his work. (ESV)


Listen

who saved us and called us to [1] a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, [2] (ESV)

Footnotes

[1] 1:9 Or with
[2] 1:9 Greek before times eternal


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73 Your hands have made and fashioned me;
give me understanding that I may learn your commandments. (ESV)


Listen

24 Be strong, and let your heart take courage,
all you who wait for the Lord! (ESV)


Listen

10 fear not, for I am with you;
be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (ESV)


Listen

31 but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint. (ESV)

Psalm119:105-112; Nun

Your word is a lamp for my feet
and a light for my path.
I’ve promised it once and I’ll promise it again:
I will obey Your wonderful Laws.
I have suffered much, O LORD;
restore my life again, just as You have promised.
LORD, accept my grateful thanks
and teach me Your Laws.
My life constantly hangs in the balance,
but I will not stop obeying Your Law.
The wicked have set their traps for me along Your path,
but I will not turn from your commandments.
Your decrees are my treasure;
they are truly my heart’s delight.
I am determined to keep Your principles,
even forever, to the very end.
(NLT)

It has been awhile since I wrote on and that is in part because I had written on the first verse and at the time didn’t have anything else to say at that time (see: “Lamp Unto My Feet!”, posted Oct. 29 , 2009). The power of the first verse is so great that I had to wait upon the LORD to guide me into an understanding that went beyond the opening of this stanza. Even now, I wonder if it is the right message that I should give concerning the remaining verses of the text.

The writer of the Psalm is conveying that even as those who set snares and folly in his path to prevent him from walking safely in the Law, God’s Word is the Light that keeps him safe. It shows him the pitfalls of man and the entanglements of the world so that he might avoid them. He starts with the promise to stay firm in the Word and that he is grateful to have the instruction of Moses to keep his life in order. To him, the Law of God is wonderful! For many years I was taught that as Christians, we were no longer bound to the Law, yet as I matured in the understanding of the Ways of God, I found that I was compelled to regard them with fondness because they kept the Children of God safe.

When the Children of Israel, the remnant of Judea, returned from Babylon they had lost much of their culture, religious practice and their faith as well as their language. Nehemiah had to teach them the Law all over again. The Word of God had to be explained to them in Aramaic because they had forgotten their own language, Hebrew. This is something that I did not know until just a few weeks ago. With this in mind, we can see that Nehemiah was grateful that he had retained the language, customs and history of his people and of his God. The writer tells us that he and the people of Israel have suffered much. In fact they had lost their land and their nationality and had been scattered over the empire. The only thing they have left is their Faith and their God. And with that comes the Law, the Word of God for them.

The question for us is: Does the Law of Christ give us light as we are scattered among the secular ways of the world? Do we retain our love of God’s Ways for our lives? Or have we accepted a watered down version of the Truth that lets us stumble and trip into sin? What Nehemiah wanted for his people was the promise of God restored to them. He was grateful for the blessings that they had received, the freedom to return to Jerusalem and to restore the temple. Now he wants the Faith of the people to be restored as well. This song of love, to be sung in the restored temple, was to give the people the same desire to seek the commandments of God, the Law of God’s Love for mankind. Our lives hang in the balance of God’s mercy. The very Mercy given to us by the Sacrifice of Jesus is the restoration that the psalmist prayed for yet could not conceive.

As the “Oral Law” was the Light of God given to the people, Jesus is the “Living law” given to us. The Light of the Lamp is the promise of the Testament of the Jews and we are told that Jesus is the Lamp of the World. Because we have suffered much, living in the sinful nature, when we turn to Christ, we are shown the Light and our path of righteousness is bathed in the glow of His Light. Our lives are restored in the Promise. We are dead to the ways of the Oppressor, Satan, and made alive and fresh in Christ. In this we give thanks.

Because of Jesus giving us the opportunity to be reconciled with the Father, our lives hang in the balance of His Mercy and Grace. (See ). If we accept the Way of Christ as our way of life and srtive to live in harmony with the teachings of God’s Word, the balance tips in our favor. If we live outside of the will of God, teh balance it tipped away from His Love. To live as we are taught by the Love of God for us, is to live in harmony with Him. This is shown to us by the Law of Love given to us through the blood of the Lamb of God. Even as teh world sets the traps and snares before us, to trip us up into committing offenses to God, observing the commandments of Christ, given to us with the law of the Covenant of Abraham and Moses. Jesus does not give us something new but gives understanding to the Law that we may serve and obey fully the will of God.

Hosea says for us to; “Bring your petitions, and return to the LORD. Say to Him, “Forgive all our sins and graciously receive us, so that we may offer You the sacrifice of praise.” (). In our trials and facing the temptations of the world, we plead to God to restore us to righteousness, to renew in us a clean Heart, a right spirit, that we may be worthy of giving praise to Our King. Through Jesus, we have the forgiveness that the psalmist asks for his people. Because of the Cross we are welcomed back into the family of God. Our lives hang in the balance of God’s Mercy and His Justice. We deserve nothing from God because we have done no good thing with our lives. Yet because of Jesus, the efforts in our lives are considered good. We are able to do good things according to the Spirit of God directing our thoughts. It is because of our Love for God that we are able to accomplish great things. And as the result of the Mercy given to us by Christ, we are never to stop obeying the “Living Law” and the “Light of the World,” Jesus. His commands are the commands of the One who Loves far more than we can.

The Words of Jesus and the lessons from the Law that cause us to live in righteousness are to be held close to our hearts and be the Breath of the Spirit of God be our breath. For like the psalmist, I also am “determined to keep Your principles, even forever, to the end.” One verse that I love and stands alone is; “Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men , be strong. Let all that you do be done with love.” ( ESV). Because of the watchfulness of the Spirit of God within us, we are able to stand firm. We can act like true men of Redemption and weather the storms of evil that try and overtake us. We can determine to avoid the traps of men and to walk in right living according to the law that is given to us by the prophets and be the examples of Christ Jesus. And in all this we give thanks to God. We thank Him that we have the trials, the persecutions and the anxieties that confront us daily.

Let the decrees of God’s justice and His desire that we have the delight of His word in our hearts, guide us every day. As we grow in Faith and Love of Jesus, be determined to follow the path of Righteousness to the fullest. Desire only what is pleasing to the Father so that the Son of God may dwell in our every action and thought. Avoid the tricks of the Oppressor and the lies of the flesh that seek to destroy faith and love of God. Even forever to the very end of our days remain faithful and confident in His Word. When Paul wrote, “Don’t you realise how kind, tolerant and patient God is with you?….Can’t you see how kind He has been giving you time to turn from your sin?” () he is seeking of those false ideas, concepts and the folly that has led us into sin even as we profess our belief in Him. Gos has been merciful and by Grace has rescued us from our sins. For this reason, we should awaken to the Love of His law and the Love of Christ’s Way. We have what the Exiled Jews did not; the ability to understand the law as it was intended. The instrument of God’s Love to preserve us as His chosen children.

Each day I read of the persecutions of Christians around the world and I read the testimonies of those who have been imprisoned. They do not weep in fear but shout out in joy that they have Christ to live for and to die for. What little do we have to complain about in our sheltered lives, protected by laws and privilege? Nothing. Yet the Children of Israel, coming back to Jerusalem after years of exile, had much to fear. They were strangers in their own land, much as were the people who returned to Palestine after WWII. Today the Christians in Burma, North Korea, Egypt, Pakistan and many other nations face the same troubles as did the Israelites. Unwelcomed in their home lands. To them, the creed of is a beacon of hope and of promise. Let it also be the beacon of Promise and of the reality of Salvation for you. Let God speak His Law unto your hearts that you will strive to serve and obey out of thanksgiving and love.


Listen

105 Your word is a lamp to my feet
and a light to my path.
106 I have sworn an oath and confirmed it,
to keep your righteous rules.
107 I am severely afflicted;
give me life, O Lord, according to your word!
108 Accept my freewill offerings of praise, O Lord,
and teach me your rules.
109 I hold my life in my hand continually,
but I do not forget your law.
110 The wicked have laid a snare for me,
but I do not stray from your precepts.
111 Your testimonies are my heritage forever,
for they are the joy of my heart.
112 I incline my heart to perform your statutes
forever, to the end. [1] (ESV)

Footnotes

[1] 119:112 Or statutes; the reward is eternal


Listen

119:1  [1] Blessed are those whose way is blameless,
who walk in the law of the Lord!
Blessed are those who keep his testimonies,
who seek him with their whole heart,
who also do no wrong,
but walk in his ways!
You have commanded your precepts
to be kept diligently.
Oh that my ways may be steadfast
in keeping your statutes!
Then I shall not be put to shame,
having my eyes fixed on all your commandments.
I will praise you with an upright heart,
when I learn your righteous rules. [2]
I will keep your statutes;
do not utterly forsake me!

How can a young man keep his way pure?
By guarding it according to your word.
10 With my whole heart I seek you;
let me not wander from your commandments!
11 I have stored up your word in my heart,
that I might not sin against you.
12 Blessed are you, O Lord;
teach me your statutes!
13 With my lips I declare
all the rules [3] of your mouth.
14 In the way of your testimonies I delight
as much as in all riches.
15 I will meditate on your precepts
and fix my eyes on your ways.
16 I will delight in your statutes;
I will not forget your word.

17 Deal bountifully with your servant,
that I may live and keep your word.
18 Open my eyes, that I may behold
wondrous things out of your law.
19 I am a sojourner on the earth;
hide not your commandments from me!
20 My soul is consumed with longing
for your rules [4] at all times.
21 You rebuke the insolent, accursed ones,
who wander from your commandments.
22 Take away from me scorn and contempt,
for I have kept your testimonies.
23 Even though princes sit plotting against me,
your servant will meditate on your statutes.
24 Your testimonies are my delight;
they are my counselors.

25 My soul clings to the dust;
give me life according to your word!
26 When I told of my ways, you answered me;
teach me your statutes!
27 Make me understand the way of your precepts,
and I will meditate on your wondrous works.
28 My soul melts away for sorrow;
strengthen me according to your word!
29 Put false ways far from me
and graciously teach me your law!
30 I have chosen the way of faithfulness;
I set your rules before me.
31 I cling to your testimonies, O Lord;
let me not be put to shame!
32 I will run in the way of your commandments
when you enlarge my heart! [5]

33 Teach me, O Lord, the way of your statutes;
and I will keep it to the end. [6]
34 Give me understanding, that I may keep your law
and observe it with my whole heart.
35 Lead me in the path of your commandments,
for I delight in it.
36 Incline my heart to your testimonies,
and not to selfish gain!
37 Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things;
and give me life in your ways.
38 Confirm to your servant your promise,
that you may be feared.
39 Turn away the reproach that I dread,
for your rules are good.
40 Behold, I long for your precepts;
in your righteousness give me life!

41 Let your steadfast love come to me, O Lord,
your salvation according to your promise;
42 then shall I have an answer for him who taunts me,
for I trust in your word.
43 And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth,
for my hope is in your rules.
44 I will keep your law continually,
forever and ever,
45 and I shall walk in a wide place,
for I have sought your precepts.
46 I will also speak of your testimonies before kings
and shall not be put to shame,
47 for I find my delight in your commandments,
which I love.
48 I will lift up my hands toward your commandments, which I love,
and I will meditate on your statutes.

49 Remember your word to your servant,
in which you have made me hope.
50 This is my comfort in my affliction,
that your promise gives me life.
51 The insolent utterly deride me,
but I do not turn away from your law.
52 When I think of your rules from of old,
I take comfort, O Lord.
53 Hot indignation seizes me because of the wicked,
who forsake your law.
54 Your statutes have been my songs
in the house of my sojourning.
55 I remember your name in the night, O Lord,
and keep your law.
56 This blessing has fallen to me,
that I have kept your precepts.

57 The Lord is my portion;
I promise to keep your words.
58 I entreat your favor with all my heart;
be gracious to me according to your promise.
59 When I think on my ways,
I turn my feet to your testimonies;
60 I hasten and do not delay
to keep your commandments.
61 Though the cords of the wicked ensnare me,
I do not forget your law.
62 At midnight I rise to praise you,
because of your righteous rules.
63 I am a companion of all who fear you,
of those who keep your precepts.
64 The earth, O Lord, is full of your steadfast love;
teach me your statutes!

65 You have dealt well with your servant,
O Lord, according to your word.
66 Teach me good judgment and knowledge,
for I believe in your commandments.
67 Before I was afflicted I went astray,
but now I keep your word.
68 You are good and do good;
teach me your statutes.
69 The insolent smear me with lies,
but with my whole heart I keep your precepts;
70 their heart is unfeeling like fat,
but I delight in your law.
71 It is good for me that I was afflicted,
that I might learn your statutes.
72 The law of your mouth is better to me
than thousands of gold and silver pieces.

73 Your hands have made and fashioned me;
give me understanding that I may learn your commandments.
74 Those who fear you shall see me and rejoice,
because I have hoped in your word.
75 I know, O Lord, that your rules are righteous,
and that in faithfulness you have afflicted me.
76 Let your steadfast love comfort me
according to your promise to your servant.
77 Let your mercy come to me, that I may live;
for your law is my delight.
78 Let the insolent be put to shame,
because they have wronged me with falsehood;
as for me, I will meditate on your precepts.
79 Let those who fear you turn to me,
that they may know your testimonies.
80 May my heart be blameless in your statutes,
that I may not be put to shame!

81 My soul longs for your salvation;
I hope in your word.
82 My eyes long for your promise;
I ask, “When will you comfort me?”
83 For I have become like a wineskin in the smoke,
yet I have not forgotten your statutes.
84 How long must your servant endure? [7]
When will you judge those who persecute me?
85 The insolent have dug pitfalls for me;
they do not live according to your law.
86 All your commandments are sure;
they persecute me with falsehood; help me!
87 They have almost made an end of me on earth,
but I have not forsaken your precepts.
88 In your steadfast love give me life,
that I may keep the testimonies of your mouth.

89 Forever, O Lord, your word
is firmly fixed in the heavens.
90 Your faithfulness endures to all generations;
you have established the earth, and it stands fast.
91 By your appointment they stand this day,
for all things are your servants.
92 If your law had not been my delight,
I would have perished in my affliction.
93 I will never forget your precepts,
for by them you have given me life.
94 I am yours; save me,
for I have sought your precepts.
95 The wicked lie in wait to destroy me,
but I consider your testimonies.
96 I have seen a limit to all perfection,
but your commandment is exceedingly broad.

97 Oh how I love your law!
It is my meditation all the day.
98 Your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies,
for it is ever with me.
99 I have more understanding than all my teachers,
for your testimonies are my meditation.
100 I understand more than the aged, [8]
for I keep your precepts.
101 I hold back my feet from every evil way,
in order to keep your word.
102 I do not turn aside from your rules,
for you have taught me.
103 How sweet are your words to my taste,
sweeter than honey to my mouth!
104 Through your precepts I get understanding;
therefore I hate every false way.

105 Your word is a lamp to my feet
and a light to my path.
106 I have sworn an oath and confirmed it,
to keep your righteous rules.
107 I am severely afflicted;
give me life, O Lord, according to your word!
108 Accept my freewill offerings of praise, O Lord,
and teach me your rules.
109 I hold my life in my hand continually,
but I do not forget your law.
110 The wicked have laid a snare for me,
but I do not stray from your precepts.
111 Your testimonies are my heritage forever,
for they are the joy of my heart.
112 I incline my heart to perform your statutes
forever, to the end. [9]

113 I hate the double-minded,
but I love your law.
114 You are my hiding place and my shield;
I hope in your word.
115 Depart from me, you evildoers,
that I may keep the commandments of my God.
116 Uphold me according to your promise, that I may live,
and let me not be put to shame in my hope!
117 Hold me up, that I may be safe
and have regard for your statutes continually!
118 You spurn all who go astray from your statutes,
for their cunning is in vain.
119 All the wicked of the earth you discard like dross,
therefore I love your testimonies.
120 My flesh trembles for fear of you,
and I am afraid of your judgments.

121 I have done what is just and right;
do not leave me to my oppressors.
122 Give your servant a pledge of good;
let not the insolent oppress me.
123 My eyes long for your salvation
and for the fulfillment of your righteous promise.
124 Deal with your servant according to your steadfast love,
and teach me your statutes.
125 I am your servant; give me understanding,
that I may know your testimonies!
126 It is time for the Lord to act,
for your law has been broken.
127 Therefore I love your commandments
above gold, above fine gold.
128 Therefore I consider all your precepts to be right;
I hate every false way.

129 Your testimonies are wonderful;
therefore my soul keeps them.
130 The unfolding of your words gives light;
it imparts understanding to the simple.
131 I open my mouth and pant,
because I long for your commandments.
132 Turn to me and be gracious to me,
as is your way with those who love your name.
133 Keep steady my steps according to your promise,
and let no iniquity get dominion over me.
134 Redeem me from man’s oppression,
that I may keep your precepts.
135 Make your face shine upon your servant,
and teach me your statutes.
136 My eyes shed streams of tears,
because people do not keep your law.

137 Righteous are you, O Lord,
and right are your rules.
138 You have appointed your testimonies in righteousness
and in all faithfulness.
139 My zeal consumes me,
because my foes forget your words.
140 Your promise is well tried,
and your servant loves it.
141 I am small and despised,
yet I do not forget your precepts.
142 Your righteousness is righteous forever,
and your law is true.
143 Trouble and anguish have found me out,
but your commandments are my delight.
144 Your testimonies are righteous forever;
give me understanding that I may live.

145 With my whole heart I cry; answer me, O Lord!
I will keep your statutes.
146 I call to you; save me,
that I may observe your testimonies.
147 I rise before dawn and cry for help;
I hope in your words.
148 My eyes are awake before the watches of the night,
that I may meditate on your promise.
149 Hear my voice according to your steadfast love;
O Lord, according to your justice give me life.
150 They draw near who persecute me with evil purpose;
they are far from your law.
151 But you are near, O Lord,
and all your commandments are true.
152 Long have I known from your testimonies
that you have founded them forever.

153 Look on my affliction and deliver me,
for I do not forget your law.
154 Plead my cause and redeem me;
give me life according to your promise!
155 Salvation is far from the wicked,
for they do not seek your statutes.
156 Great is your mercy, O Lord;
give me life according to your rules.
157 Many are my persecutors and my adversaries,
but I do not swerve from your testimonies.
158 I look at the faithless with disgust,
because they do not keep your commands.
159 Consider how I love your precepts!
Give me life according to your steadfast love.
160 The sum of your word is truth,
and every one of your righteous rules endures forever.

161 Princes persecute me without cause,
but my heart stands in awe of your words.
162 I rejoice at your word
like one who finds great spoil.
163 I hate and abhor falsehood,
but I love your law.
164 Seven times a day I praise you
for your righteous rules.
165 Great peace have those who love your law;
nothing can make them stumble.
166 I hope for your salvation, O Lord,
and I do your commandments.
167 My soul keeps your testimonies;
I love them exceedingly.
168 I keep your precepts and testimonies,
for all my ways are before you.

169 Let my cry come before you, O Lord;
give me understanding according to your word!
170 Let my plea come before you;
deliver me according to your word.
171 My lips will pour forth praise,
for you teach me your statutes.
172 My tongue will sing of your word,
for all your commandments are right.
173 Let your hand be ready to help me,
for I have chosen your precepts.
174 I long for your salvation, O Lord,
and your law is my delight.
175 Let my soul live and praise you,
and let your rules help me.
176 I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek your servant,
for I do not forget your commandments. (ESV)

Footnotes

[1] 119:1 This psalm is an acrostic poem of twenty-two stanzas, following the letters of the Hebrew alphabet; within a stanza, each verse begins with the same Hebrew letter
[2] 119:7 Or your just and righteous decrees; also verses 62, 106, 160, 164
[3] 119:13 Or all the just decrees
[4] 119:20 Or your just decrees; also verses 30, 39, 43, 52, 75, 102, 108, 137, 156, 175
[5] 119:32 Or for you set my heart free
[6] 119:33 Or keep it as my reward
[7] 119:84 Hebrew How many are the days of your servant?
[8] 119:100 Or the elders
[9] 119:112 Or statutes; the reward is eternal


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109 I hold my life in my hand continually,
but I do not forget your law. (ESV)

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13 Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. (ESV)


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Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? (ESV)


Listen

105 Your word is a lamp to my feet
and a light to my path.
106 I have sworn an oath and confirmed it,
to keep your righteous rules.
107 I am severely afflicted;
give me life, O Lord, according to your word!
108 Accept my freewill offerings of praise, O Lord,
and teach me your rules.
109 I hold my life in my hand continually,
but I do not forget your law.
110 The wicked have laid a snare for me,
but I do not stray from your precepts.
111 Your testimonies are my heritage forever,
for they are the joy of my heart.
112 I incline my heart to perform your statutes
forever, to the end. [1] (ESV)

Footnotes

[1] 119:112 Or statutes; the reward is eternal