Friday, September 28, 2018


O. T. #1294  "Mercies"
Sept. 28, 2018
Psalm 89
I will sing of the mercies of the LORD for ever: with my mouth will I make known Thy faithfulness to all generations.  Psalm 89:1


David's never-ending dynasty-God kept his promises to David, making him  the mightiest king on earth and his descendent always on the throne of Israel. (2 Samuel 7) Yet, Jerusalem was destroyed after Israel became idol worshipers. Israeli kings no longer reigned there. Thus, this chapter looks forward to the future reign of King Jesus.

The psalmist is declaring through song the mercies of the Lord.
Mercies refers to kindness, piety, favor, good deed.

Six times the writer uses some for of the word mercies:
  1. Mercy shall be built up for ever. (verse 2)
  2. Mercy and truth shall go before Thy face. (verse 14)
  3. But My faithfulness and mercy shall go with him. (verse 24)
  4. My mercy will I keep for Him  for evermore. (verse 28)
  5. Nevertheless My lovingkindness will I not utterly take from Him...(verse 33)
  6. Lord, where are Thy former lovingkindnesses, which Thou swearest unto David in Thy truth?
After many unfaithful kings ruled Israel, and they were taken into captivity, Jerusalem was reestablished. And Israel is still a nation today. God keeps His promises. His grace and mercy is enough for us to continue looking forward to the ultimate King Jesus Christ reigning one day. To be one of His children in His kingdom will be the highest privilege I can think of having. How about you?

Are you in need of some mercy today? Our God has plenty to spare and will pour out lovingkindness freely. His mercies are new every morning. Great is Thy faithfulness Lord unto me!

Is there someone to which we should be showing mercy? I know they don't deserve it, but the love of Jesus in our heart compels us to show it anyway, just as we don't deserve God's mercy, but He shows it to us anyway.


Verse 5 says, And the heavens shall praise thy wonders, O LORD...

Not only are the angels praising God, but the created stars, planets, sun, moons, and other objects give Him honor, too.
Tonight, let's stop amidst our hurried life and look up in amazement at the heavenly creation of our merciful God. God uses them to provide the heat we need on earth for crops and warmth for us, the gravitational pull of the moon upon the oceans, the beauty of the stars in their formations, and the far away planets that we have explored.

Praise the Lord!


Choose to show God's mercy today to others.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

An Inkling of Trust

O. T. #1293  "An Inkling of Trust"
Sept. 26, 2018
Psalm 88


An inkling of trust-you may wonder what it is. It's an expression I have heard used years ago. It is a real word, though I considered it a slang all this time.
Webster Dictionary defines inkling as a slight indication or suggestion; hint; clue; a slight knowledge or vague notion.
I think today's psalmist had an inkling of trust in God, despite his situation.
Where are you today, friend, spiritually speaking? Perhaps you are there yourself, or know someone there-down in the pit, in the dark, hit rock bottom, knocked over by waves of troubles, feel alone and deserted by friends, cried a river of tears, or have hidden your face from the world. Today's psalmist was there.

Mercy, whatever has this psalmist there, whether it be sickness or injury, He assumes God is angry with him, allowing such things to happen to him. Although this one does not understand why he is in the pit, he does turn to God with a slight inkling of trust. (Sounds like Job.)
(Maybe it can help us understand when someone else is there and help them.)

What is going on in the psalmist's life? Lydia Brownback gives us some insight in her book, sing a New Song, a Woman's Guide to the Psalms:
  • The man cries out day and night for relief. (verses 1-2)
  • He likens his suffering to the approach of death. (verses 3-5)
  • Worst of all, he feels deserted by God, and so great is his anguish that his friends can't help him; they can no longer bear even to be around him. (verses 8, 18)
  • The psalmist knows God controls everything that happens, so he recognizes that ultimately God is the source of his suffering. (verses 6-8, 16, 18)
  • He feels abandoned by God because, despite his ceaseless please, he can't "find" God when he calls to Him. (verse 14)
Do we know anyone battling cancer, facing the death of a family member, dealing with children gone astray into a sinful lifestyle, dealing daily with suffering? As I take a look around me, I can find people in those situations, hurting. WE may not be able to fix it for them, but we can walk along side them with support and prayers.


When there is no relief in sight, God understands  even our deepest misery. Praying the psalms teaches us to bring God everything about us and trains us to  experience His presence even when our feelings tell us otherwise. (Life Application Study Bible)

Tell it to Him, dear one. Although this psalm gives no answers or an expression of hope, they are there. God promises to never leave us nor forsake us, in Hebrews 13:6.

We read in Psalm 86:15 that God is full of compassion, gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.
Also, we need to allow time for healing of grief, depression, and suffering. We may not see the complete picture as of yet, but God does. He has a purpose for our good to be worked within us. There is healing for the brokenhearted. We can be a prayer pardoner for someone going through tough times. Will we?


Have an inkling of trust in Jesus.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

A Refreshing Spring

O. T. #1292  "A Refreshing Spring"
Sept. 25, 2018
Psalm 87
And I John saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.  Revelation 21:2


There is a spring along a certain local highway which people have brought their empty water jugs to fill. As far as I know, it is still flowing freely. On a hot summer day, it was so refreshing to stop and drink from that spring. There is another spring that the Bible speaks of, one that never runs dry and fills our dry thirsty soul-Jesus.

It was no ordinary city. Jerusalem was a city founded on Zion or Mt. Moriah. It was a preferred place for the Tabernacle and Sanctuary where God's chosen people, Israel, worshiped Him. God met with them there. Why did God love the gates of this city?
Because it was chosen to be the center of His theocracy, the capital of His theocratic kingdom. (Falwell)

God chose Jerusalem, founded it, loved it, and will forever care for it. Glorious things have been written about it by holy men inspired by God. Jews and Gentiles will be citizens in the new city. They will be believers in Jesus Christ as Savior, born-again Christians. It is by faith in Him, as well as God's mercy, that we will be admitted there.

"This mystery," says the apostle Paul, "is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel." (Eph. 3:6)

The names of the citizens of the New Jerusalem is written in the Lamb's Book of Life, mentioned in Rev. 21.
I am so excited to think that soon I will behold with my own eyes this Beloved Jerusalem in March, as well as living in the New Jerusalem.


The city of Jerusalem has endured sorrows for centuries, which will be excluded from the New Jerusalem.

As well the singers as the players on instruments shall be there: all my springs are in thee.
(verse 7)

Springs refers to fountains; wells.

Every source of joy and happiness in life will be found in God's New Jerusalem.

Springs is a metaphor for the source of joyful blessings, Eternal salvation, including the death and resurrection of Christ, is rooted in Jerusalem. (MacArthur)

For now, Jesus is our Spring of Living Water for our soul. Are we allowing Him to refresh our soul with His loving Spirit daily? When we seem to be dry and thirsty in our soul, He came remedy that.


Spring up O Well, down in my soul;
Spring up O Well, and make me whole;
spring up O Well, and give to me, that life, abundantly.
(A camp song)

Monday, September 24, 2018

Much Needed Showers

O. T. #1291 "Much Needed Showers"
Sept. 21, 2018
Psalm 86-Part 3
But Thou, O LORD, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.  Psalm 86:15


David told us that God is good and does wondrous things; He is God alone. David experienced God in such a variety of ways. In our key verse, he says God is full of:
  • compassion (merciful),
  • gracious,
  • longsuffering (patient, slow to anger), and
  • plenteous in mercy and truth.
Anyone have a need for God's compassion, grace, patience, and mercy in you life? When we fail, stray away, or feel insignificant, God is filled with them, ready to hand them out to us. He delights to answer our prayers when we are in need, insufficient, perplexed, or challenged with life.
He takes our brokenness and makes us whole.

As I write this on Friday, rain is showering down upon our land. such sweet, refreshing, and steady, gentle watering from the sky. We were so dry that leaves were falling from the trees and crunchy beneath our feet. (Too early for fall) I even swept off the back of my car that was covered with dust, after getting groceries out of the trunk. Now I don't have to do it again.
And smelling the fresh air-mmm, nothing like it. You know I had to take my iced tea out on the front porch swing and enjoy the slow shower rain dripping off the roof. I was joined by my old cat, Mr. T.

My soul needs that kind of refreshment. Fill me with Your compassion for others, Lord Jesus; help me show grace to them today when it is not merited; oh, and I definitely need a double dose of patience as I drive; for sure, mercy and truth is needful, all in my heart today. Won't You show my heart today?


Can't we agree that we don't deserve God's mercy and strength (verse 16), but He gives them anyway? David asks God to show a token (sign) of His goodness. Did He not see the evidences of the goodness of God in his situation?
If David was delivered from his enemies, then they would be ashamed of their actions. It would show that God was God alone. It was due to God helping and comforting him. Thus, we know it happened, over and over again.


Thank You, Jesus, for Your endless love, forgiveness, patience, grace and mercy, truth. No one loves me like Sweet Jesus. I stand in awe of You.
Help me shower others with it, too.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Great and Wondrous Things

O. T. #1290  "Great and Wondrous Things"
Sept. 21, 2018
Psalm 86-Part 2
For Thou art great, and doest wondrous things: Thou art God alone.  Psalm 86:10


Has God done great and wondrous things in your life and my life lately? I mean something unusual, something just for us to find reassurance that He is with us; something marvelous for only us.

In the Hebrew language, great refers to exceedingly; high; mighty; noble and wondrous means to separate; distinguish; hidden; things too high; marvelous; miracles.

Here is my recent experience. As I looked out my kitchen window, I longed to see the deer again, grazing together in the field, young ones with their mothers, little white tails wagging, and then watching them gracefully jumping fences using their long legs. It is all so amazing to me to observe this creation of God. I enjoy it so much, as you can tell, I'm sure. Well, we have had  hot and dry summer weeks, with only a few showers here and there. So I concluded that the beautiful creatures moved on to greener grass and cooler waters.
Then the other night I was surprised, big time, with a great and wondrous thing. I hit on this idea of going out in the back yard to get a twig with leaves to play with my kittens, instead of using yarn. I looked under the pecan tree, but none had fallen, so I thought about looking under another tree. I walked around the corner of the house and there they were-six deer grazing in my yard only a few yards away, mind you. All I could do was freeze and marvel at such a sight. Of course, after a few seconds, they saw me and jumped the fence, then ran into the woods. Needless to say, I forgot all about my task and ran into the house sharing my experience with my husband. Then I had to share it with my family on Messenger. I said, "Grandma almost got run over by deer tonight." They picked up on what I was talking about, the song Grandma got run over by a reindeer.

Now, I do not believe in coincidences, so I believe my Heavenly Father did a great and wondrous thing just for this simple-minded child of His. I had to share it with you folks.  How about you? Had any great and wondrous experiences from God lately?

Truly, nothing is impossible with our God. He is all-powerful, we know.
In Ephesians 3:20, Paul says, Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.

Friend, I was only thinking about longing to see the deer. I didn't even ask God to send them my way. He definitely did exceeding abundantly above what I was thinking.
So what is the lesson for us here? Why do we not ask our loving Father to do a special work in our specific need? We know He can. Ask and believe. It's that simple. (I'm talking to myself, too.)


Look at David's request in verse 11, which is my theme verse for this blog, said differently in the NLT:
Teach me Your ways, O Lord, that I may live according to Your truth! Grant me purity of heart; so that I may honor You.

God has taught me so many things, daily actually, as I study His Word and write this blog. I want to live it, too. Not just read and write it. I have found that the opportunity to apply what I learn comes my way, also. Sincerely, I do desire to have that purity of heart and to honor my Savior in all I do. Whenever I fail, His grace picks me up to put me back on this country road of faith. How good my God is!


What if the trials of this life are His mercies in disguise? (Laura Story's song)
Help me find good in what You do in my life.
May I give Jesus glory and honor.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

A Happy Heart

O. T. #1289  "A Happy Heart"
Sept. 20, 2018
Psalm 86
In the day of my trouble I will call upon Thee: for Thou wilt answer me. Psalm 86:7


Woohoo! I have a happy heart today. I think I am on the right road of finding the reason I have been having horrific stomach pains more than 2 months. After going to the doctor three times, and taking medications, eating cottage cheese and yogurt until it almost gags me, to not avail, I may have figured it out. At times the probiotics helped and other times it didn't. Now, several years ago, I concluded that I am lactose intolerant. I would take those little tablets to help because I didn't like those special milks. Well, yesterday, I broke down and bought milk without lactose. Guess what, no pain this morning with my Cheerios.  So I think, the cottage cheese and yogurt was not helping me because I did not take my tablets for lactose intolerance (contained milk). Duh, Linda! A simple solution was right in front of me.
Happy day! I have a happy heart today! Thank You Jesus! Yep, sometimes the answer to our prayer is right in front of us.

Friends, take a look at this interesting background that I found about this particular psalm, which is from Liberty Bible Commentary:
 It is one of 5 psalms entitled Tephillahs or prayers. The others are Psalms 17, 90, 102,  and 142.  Since a prayer is irregular in construction, the psalm does not lend itself easily to strophical arrangements. (stanzas) This psalm is a mosaic pieced together by adopting sections of other psalms. The psalms from which this psalm draws materials are 25-28 and 54-57, all of which are Davidic Psalms. In addition, there are thoughts that parallel those found in Exodus, Deuteronomy, Isaiah, and Jeremiah.
David makes some requests of God because he knows that God is:
  • good,
  • ready to forgive,
  • plenteous in mercy,
  • hears supplications.
 David believes that whenever he is in trouble, God will answer his prayer. David had plenty of troubles during his lifetime. Enemies were trying to bring him down/kill him. Do we believe that, also? When we are trying to follow in God's will and steps, He is going to take care of His children. Sometimes answers to our prayers are immediately or not.

In Psalm 50:14-15 God says, Sacrifice a thank offering to God, and pay your vows to the Most High. Call on Me is a day of trouble; I will rescue you, and you will honor Me.

God has rescued me and He will rescue you, too, dear one. Keep asking and believing.


 We can conclude from David's writings that he had a special closeness with the Lord. David asks for specific blessings because he:
  • is needy, he asks for God to listen (verse 1);
  • walks with God, David prays to be guarded on that path, to preserve him (verse 2);
  • clings to God, he asks God for His favor on his life, mercy (verse 3);
  • relies on God, he asks for a happy heart (verse 4).
So it is okay for us to ask God for mercy and a happy heart, right? After all, David did.
Have there been times in our life that all we can to is cry out to God during our pain or troubled times? Are we willing to wait for better days? Can we have a happy heart, trusting God to sustain us in the meantime?


Admit my neediness to God.
Walk with Him while I wait.
Cling to Him for mercy.
Rely on God and ask for a happy heart.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Prepared Steps

O. T. #1288  "Prepared Steps"
Sept. 19, 2018
Psalm 85


If you are like me, you semi plan out your week. When considering what work needs to be accomplished, I decide which day I will go to work in our shop. I make notes as to when I will be picking up our granddaughter after school to help out her parents. And then, there are church activities, family things, and household duties to fit into my schedule. I try to have my steps prepared, but then, I have learned to be flexible for interruptions, ways to serve the Lord and others, too. How about you?

The psalmist reviews the past mercy of God in verses 1-3; recognizes the present anger of God in verses 4-7; and the revelation of God's future salvation of Israel in verses 8-13.  The Jews have experienced tribulation down through the ages: in Egypt, Babylon, Assyria, Russia, Rome, Germany, and elsewhere. These cannot compare to the Great Tribulation to come in Revelation 12.

His prayer begins with recalling what the Lord had done to Israel:
  • favorable and blessings poured out,
  • brought them back from captivity,
  • forgave and covered their sins,
  • taken away His wrath,
  • turned away from His fierce anger. (verses 1-3)
Lydia Brownback wrote in her book, Sing a New Song, A Woman's Guide to the Psalms, explains:
When we turn from God to sin, He doesn't sit idly by and hope we get our spiritual act together. Instead, He allows us to suffer, sometimes by withholding something we need or by allowing us to fall into inescapably difficult circumstances. His intention is to get us to recognize our sin as sin so that we turn from it and back to Him.  
Are we allowing God to use us in helping others to come to grips with their sin and come back to God?


Next, the psalmist asks God to restore and revive Israel, His children. Verse 7 (NLT) says, Show us your unfailing love, O LORD, and grant us your salvation.

Then he listened carefully to what God is saying: peace to His faithful people and let them not return to their foolish ways. Surely His salvation is near to those who fear Him, so their land would be filled with His glory.

What four spiritual qualities characterize the future king, King Jesus? Verse 10  says it all:
Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.

  1. God's unfailing love (mercy);
  2. truth;
  3. righteousness (obedience to God, being right with Him);
  4. peace.
The Prince of Peace and the King of Righteousness will come as Isaiah 11:12 prophesied. It is during His one thousand year reign of Christ that world peace will exist. The roads will lead to Jerusalem, not anywhere else, as the King rules from there. What will prepare the way for His steps? Righteousness will.

Order my steps in Thy Word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me. (Ps. 119:133)

So let us keep the faith in our Savior Jesus Christ.


I need unfailing favor, peace, truth.
Help me obey Your Word today.
Jesus, You are my Prince of Peace and King of Righteousness.
Prepare my steps with Your righteousness.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Good Gifts

O. T. #1287  "Good Gifts"
Sept. 18, 2018
Psalm 84
For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord will give grace and glory: for no good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly.  Psalm 84:11


Anyone need some good things in your life? I surely do. He has already given me so much. Wait for them to come. God will give it in due time, according to His timing.

Take a deeper look at our key verse. Liberty Bible Commentary says it best:
The sun provides us with warmth and protection. His steady rays direct our paths. Yet, when we encounter trouble, He is our shield, the one who preserves our going out and coming in. In due time the Lord will give grace and glory. When we receive the free gift of God's grace, it secures the promise of heaven's glory.
What is the promise for the one who trusts in the Lord of Hosts, that is found in the last part of verse 11? God will not withhold any good thing from us whenever we are walking uprightly.
The upright people are those who worship God in spirit and in truth. Grace will be experienced and glory, in due time. Continue to trust god to give us what is good for us, in His Infinite Wisdom and Infinite Goodness.


The promise in verse 11 isn't for those who never sin; it's for all who pursue God wholeheartedly. We receive good gifts, not for our good deeds or because we deserve it, but it's His grace and love that gives them.

In Matthew 7:11, Jesus tells us: If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!

I am a sinner, yet I have given good gifts to my children. I recall when our son was around 11 years of age, we gave him a new bike for his birthday. We had it in the back seat of the car and told him to go get something out of the car. He was so excited to find the bike. He rode it for a few years later.
Another time, we let our daughter drive our blue hatchback to college after we bought another car. She was excited to not have to bum a ride back and forth in order to visit us on the weekends.

So, according to what Jesus said in the previous verse, our Heavenly Father gives good things to us when we ask. Hum. Have we been asking for good gifts from God? Do we thank Him whenever we receive them?

God does not promise to give us everything we think is good, but He will not withhold what is permanently good. He will give us the means to walk along His paths, but we must do the walking. when we obey Him, He will not hold anything back that will help us serve Him.  (Life Application Study Bible)


Give good gifts to others, including grace.
Ask God for His good gifts, then thank Him when I receive them.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Are You Happy?

O. T. #1286  "Are You Happy?"
Sept. 17, 2018
Psalm 84-Part 2


Happiness. Are you and I happy today? What makes us happy? It's good to take a minute to think about it. Probably we all would answer with the same things-being with family, friends, church family, having enough to get by. I don't think trials and troubles nor pain would be on the list. But deeper than that, does it make us happy to walk and talk with Jesus throughout the day? Sharing His love with others? Reading His Word for instruction? Today's psalm gives us a different perspective of happiness.

There are three verses with begin with the phrase, "blessed is" or "blessed are."
Blessed means happiness; How happy!

How about taking a closer look at them in hopes it will show us what should be making us happy?

Blessed are they that dwell in Thy house: they will be still praising Thee. (verse 4)
Blessed is the man whose strength is in Thee; in whose heart are the ways of them. (verse 5)
O LORD of Hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in Thee. (verse 12)

Are we happy whenever we are in God's house of worship?
Do we praise Him with a pure heart? Not only during the worship service, but do we sing praises to Jesus everywhere?
Is our strength found in the Lord Almighty? Or does it come from somewhere else?
Do we have God's ways hidden in our heart so we can follow them?
Will we be trusting Him today?

Trusteth refers to hide for refuge; be confident or sure; make to hope.

Jesus is all we will ever need as we journey through this life on our way to heaven. Along the way, let us determine that nothing is going to steal our joy? Is He our hope, confidence, refuge?

In the eye of the storm, Your love surrounds me. What a song. I heard on the radio the 5th and 6th graders at a Christian school in North Carolina sing it before the hurricane hit the coast.
When we are weak, Jesus can make us strong to face those storms and go through them. Is He our anchor?


Look at verse 10, For a day in Thy courts is better than a thousand. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.

What is our ruthers/rathers?

The text literally reads: I had rather be a doorkeeper at the threshold of God's house and never be able to enter therein than to dwell on the inside of the tent of the wicked. (Falwell)

NLT says it this way: A single day in Your courts is better than a thousand anywhere else!

Hasn't someone put that in a song?
Your love never fails, never gives up, never runs out on me. On and on it goes; it satisfies my soul.

You know, nothing can separate us from God's love. No one loves me like Jesus. So let us go out into the world and let them know it by our joy in Jesus.


Praise Jesus today!
Continue to trust Him for and with everything.
Set my mind and heart on Jesus.
Choose joy today.
Am I happy?

Friday, September 14, 2018

Where Are You Dying to Visit?

O. T. #1285  "Where Are You Dying to Visit?"
Sept. 14, 2018
Psalm 84
Blessed are they that dwell in the house: they will still be praising Thee.  Psalm 84:4


Are there some places you are dying to visit, so to speak? This writer had such a place. Where was it? Read on and find out, friend.

But first, some background. This chapter could have been composed by the sons of Korah, who were born to the second wife of Moses. David appointed them as ministers of music. They lead the people in singing as they journeyed  to Jerusalem for worship.

How is God described?
  • LORD of Hosts,
  • the Living God,
  • my King,
  • my God,
  • God of Jacob,
  • our shield.
Shall we stay close to the One who is our Living God and our shield?
Is He your everything?


The writer is speaking of the lovely Tabernacles, which he is dying to visit. (put in modern expression) Although we can meet with God anywhere, we need to come away from a busy and demanding world. Going to the church building, we can step aside the demands put upon us and meditate on God and His Word, and pray. We can find joy and strength, encouragement, and love from other believers in fellowship, grace and mercy.
Are we happily praising our God in His sanctuary?


You are my Living God, my shield.
Help me to praise You happily each day as well as in Your sanctuary.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

A Mighty Hurricane is Coming

O. T. #1284  "A Mighty Hurricane is Coming"
Sept. 13, 2018
Psalm 83
That men may know that Thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the Most High over all the earth.  Psalm 83:18


A national crisis was happening to Israel. Asaph's song is a prayer for their enemies' downfall.
What is the purpose of this prayer? We find it in our key verse-so others will know God is God, Jehovah, the Most High.

In the Hebrew language, Jehovah (Yhovah/Yeh-ho-vaw') means Self-Existent or Eternal; Jewish national name of God; the Lord.

What a powerful name it is, the name of Jesus, as the song goes.
Do you think God does things so people will recognize that He alone is the Most High?  That He is in control over all things? That Jehovah is all powerful? I think of the hurricane that is coming to North Carolina, bringing flood waters. Our nation is watching this powerful storm. Let us intercede for the people for God to show mercy and slow it down. He already has taken it from a category 4 to 2. I have a niece and family close by. Also, the lady's group of Proverbs 31who provide us with books on how to live our spiritual life. So many families will be affected.


Look at the name of all those enemies of Israel down through the years. They were striving to annihilate Israel. Yet they were not alone. God did not allow this. Israel exists today as His Beloved nation. Although they continue to have enemies of those descendants of the mentioned, God protects them. As there are a list of things Asaph asks the Lord to do to their enemies, he asks that God makes them:
  • afraid  of God's storm; (verse 15)
  • have shamed faces; (verse16)
  • be confounded and troubled; (verse 17)
  • put to shame and perish; (verse 17)
  • that they may know that Jehovah is the Most High over all the earth. (verse 18)
May we send prayers, help, and support to those in need this weekend and proclaim Jehovah is the Most High God over all the earth. He loves us so much. Will we acknowledge Him? Is He Most High in our life?


Pray for salvations and repentance and safety of people on the east coast.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Their Day is Coming

O. T. #1283  "Their Day is Coming"
Sept. 12, 2018
Psalm 82
Arise, O God, judge the earth: for Thou shalt inherit all nations.   Psalm 82:8


This little 8 verse psalm gets to the point in the writer's prayer. Asaph describes his world's gloomy situation. The rulers in Israel's history failed to live up to God's standards of righteousness in one way or another.

Lydia Brownback put it this way, "The majority of the world's rulers don't give much thought to God and His ways. Nevertheless, there is hope. God, the ultimate ruler, will not fail, and He works through all injustice to accomplish His good purposes."

Our King Jesus is coming to bring justice for all. His kingdom will be established through faith, not force, unlike some in our world today. There are no surprises to God, nor are there any curve balls in His plans. Christians should be desiring our King of kings to rule, not human rulers. In the meantime, let us pray for our leaders.


We have read about ruthless rulers in history and heard about them in our present world. They afflict or take advantage of or use the poor, orphan, oppressed, destitute, poor and helpless. Those rulers desired personal power at any cost to others to support their agenda. World rulers are accountable to God, though some may not acknowledge Him. Their day is coming. The Judge will judge them.
With the threats of missiles, bombs, invasions, slavery, cling to Jesus. He is in charge.

The psalmist shoots straight with God, accusing Him of favoring the wicked, handing down unjust decisions.  (verse 2) Then he asks God to rise up and judge the earth in verse 8.

Romans 13:1-7 and Acts 5:27-32 remind us to obey God and the laws of the land, as long as they are not contrary to God's laws.


Pray for our leaders.
Obey God.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Needing Strength

O. T. #1282  "Needing Strength"
Sept. 11, 2018
Psalm 81
Sing aloud unto God our strength: make a joyful noise unto the God of Jacob.  Psalm 81:1


Every year on 9/11, I think of the tragic attacks of the enemies' use of our planes to kill so many innocent Americans. Evil is real and around us, striving to bring us to stumble in our walk of faith and obedience with Jesus. But were heroes that day, too. I heard of one man that lead four groups of people down to the ground for safety. He had been in his office on the 104th floor, above the point of impact of the plane in the twin towers. (Before he became an executive, his father gave him a red handkerchief, which he always carried.) Later, when the rubble was searched, that man was identified by it.) We don't know how many people he helped save that day. What a hero! When he got up that morning, he didn't know it was going to be his last day to live here on earth, nor that he would have an opportunity to save the lives of so many people. To our grandchildren, it is but a tragic  story they read about in history books. To us who saw the videos and read the accounts, it was real.

You know, we may never have the answers to our questions as to why God allows certain things to happen, while we are living here on this planet. Those answers may not come until we see Jesus.
In the meantime, God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea. (Ps. 46:1-2)
Not money, not military might, not diplomacy, not human cleverness-but God.(Billy Graham)

Is God our refuge and strength to carry on His work of love? Opening our heart and life to Jesus can make it so.

Now, shall we take a look at our chapter? How does the song begin? The people are called to sing aloud with hearty and joyful praise to the Lord, their strength. (verse 1) Loud singing usually indicates earnestness and sincerity of heart.

Strength, as it is used here, has more than one definition, strength in various applications (force, security, majesty, praise): boldness, loud, might, power.

God had been Israel's strength in yesteryears. Especially during the 400 years of slavery in Egypt, meeting needs in the wilderness,  then during the conquering of the Promised Land.

Is God our strength? His grace is sufficient. Can we sing loudly His praises, making a joyful noise unto Him?


Not using only the voice, but the psalmist tells the Israelites to praise God using what?
  • timbrel-a tambourine, mostly used by women's hands. (It is mentioned 3 times in the book of Psalms, 149:3 and 150:4.);
  • pleasant harp,
  • psaltery-a six-stringed guitar;
  • blow the trumpet.
The harp and trumpet were used in the time of specific feast-Passover, Feast of Tabernacles, Feast of Trumpets. God inhabits our praise. Do we praise Him with a joyful noise? That does not limit the praise to just the good singers. Anyone and everyone can sing His praises. The question is, "Do we do it joyfully?" Now that is a challenge.


Turn to the God of strength to be my strength.
Make a joyful noise unto the Lord.

Monday, September 10, 2018


O. T. #1281  "Rooted"
Sept. 10, 2018
Psalm 80


It has been 12 years now since a super strong straight-line wind blew across our farm. Huge, old trees were uprooted, the ones that were in its path. As the trees lay turned over on the ground, we could see the roots. It is amazing how thick and long the roots were on those trees, which must have been more than 50 years old. As I sit writing this lesson, I wonder how deep my spiritual roots are, the ones that are growing faith in Jesus. I like to think they are strong and deep, but I must confess, there have been some storms lately that almost uprooted me. But they didn't. Jesus picked me back up and planted me strong in Him again. Praise be to my Savior.

It may have been one of Asaph's descendants who wrote this chapter after the northern tribes were deported to Assyria by an Asaphite of the southern kingdom. (Falwell)

Did you notice a word which is used four times in this passage? Recon it is time to take notice? It is the word shine. Being a word-nerd, I looked up the meanings of them, to see if they were different in the Hebrew language. Sho enough folks, they were, but similar, too. Huh? (Sometimes I can't resist talking like a country gal that I am:) I'll explain.

  1. In verse 1, the psalmist is asking the Shepherd of Israel, who dwells between the cherubims on the Mercy Seat of the Ark of the Covenant, to shine Jehovah God is the only one who dwelled there. This shine is the Hebrew word   yapha (yaw-fah'), which means to shine; be light; show self; cause to shine forth.
  2. In verses 3 and 7, shine is the Hebrew word owr (ore), which is to be or make luminous; glorious; kindle; give, show light; set on fire.
  3. Verse 19 is a repeat of verse 3.
The first time shine is used, the psalmist is asking the God of Israel to stretch forth His hand giving assistance. He is light. Jehovah was the God who judged their sins, yet forgave them as He sat upon the Mercy Seat after blood was shed and poured out for the people. Jesus continues to do the same for us sinners, only He is residing in heaven beside the seat of the Almighty One God and Judge, interceding for us.

In the other three verses, shine is directed toward Israel. He is asking God, the Shepherd of Israel and Lord God of Hosts, to turn them, change them, not their circumstances of captivity. It was a heart matter. Israel needed to love their God with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength. In other words, turn them from trusting idols to trusting God. So the prayer is for God to be favorable to Israel, God's chosen nation and children, to smile on them again. (He did, just later, after 70 years of captivity.)

Jesus brings light to the darkness because He is Light of the World. Are you living in dark times of your life? Dear one, let Jesus shine and fill you with Himself. He will shine and show us the way. Let us magnify Him as we trust Him in all things. He can set our souls on fire for Him.
Jesus Messiah, Blessed Redeemer, Emmanuel, Savior, the Rescue form Heaven, all our hope is in You, the Light of the World, Lord of all, as the song goes.


Thou preparedst room before it, and didst cause it to take deep root, and it filled the land.

Did you catch the metaphor in verse 8-a vine standing for Israel? Whatever happens to a vine happened to Israel in her history:
  • God transplanted and planted Israel, a small and frail vine, yet chosen nation of the Lord, after rescuing it from Egypt. (verse 8)
  • He cleared the ground for them, removing the heathen ones and idol worshipers living in their Promised Land. (verse 9)
  • Their branches spread from the Mediterranean Sea to east of the Euphrates River. (verse 10)
  • He caused the vine to take deep roots and fill the land. Although their heathen neighbors tried to pluck them up in war, they failed as long as Israel continued to worship God. (verse 9)
How deep are our roots of faith? Is there any storm that the devil can send into our life that will blow us over? Turn us away from Jesus, away from the church? Or are we so deeply planted in Jesus and His Word that nothing can uproot us?

Paul said to the church at Ephesus in Ephesians 3:17, That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love...

and to the church at Colossae, in Colossians 2:6-7, As ye therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him: rooted and built up in, and established in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.

Jesus is the True Vine, as he said in John 15:1.


Make my faith deeply rooted in You, Jesus, my True Vine.
May Your love flow through me to others.
Let thanksgiving be my fruit.
Shine Jesus shine through me today so others will know You are real and alive.

Friday, September 7, 2018

In Need of What?

O.T. #1280  "In Need of What?"
Sept. 7, 2018
Psalm 79
So we Thy people and sheep of Thy pasture will give Thee thanks for ever: we will show forth Thy praise to all generations.  Psalm 79:13


Sheep. Have you been around them? I have only a few times. My observation is that they need food and water provided them, and protection, also. (I hear they are a dumb animal.) My granddaughter's sheep, Otis, who won second place at the fair, depended upon others for his daily provisions. And he would ba  loudly if he didn't get it at his demand. Yet, he would show his thanks when she would lead him around the pen with only her hands, no halter. He was faithful to her and perhaps giving thanks in ba language, too. She was Otis' provider. Isn't that how we are to be toward Jesus, our Provider and Savior?

The analogy of God's people as His sheep and He is our Shepherd is used quite often in the Bible. Previously, David used it in Psalm 23. Sheep are humble and dependent animals. Are we thankful for what He has done for us in providing salvation and has given to us, daily provisions? Are we teaching the younger generations to be thankful?

Probably this psalm was written after the Temple was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar in 586 B.C.

The MacArthur Study Bible outlines this chapter: The psalm helps the believer express his anguish in a disaster when it seems as though God is aloof. It contains:
  1. prayer for the nation's spiritual needs,
  2. (requesting) curses against the enemies of God's people, and
  3. praises in anticipation of God's actions.  


Did you find the three things that the psalmist pleads for God on behalf of his people in a prayer? They are found in verse 9:
  1. Help us;
  2. deliver us; and
  3. purge us.
Purge is defined as cancel, forgive, atonement, cleanse.

The writer recognizes the sins of Israel and confesses it as such. He is concerned that the name of God would be blasphemed if God did not rescue His children. The rescue came much later than this prayer, but the prayer was answered. It was about 50 years later when the Persian King Cyrus allowed a remnant of Jews to return to the old Jerusalem to rebuild it and the Temple.

Friends, our nation is in desperate need of purging from our sins, for we have killed millions of unborn babies and allowed homosexuality to be displayed in public. We allow our children to be exposed to sinful lifestyles through the media, society, and school. Will we believers in Christ take a stand against our sin and confess it? Ask God to bring changes for our future generations sake. May we become a nation under God again.


Father, please purge our nation of its sins and sinful lifestyles. Help me be a faithful sheep, teaching this generation about Your love and forgiveness and blessings. Use our nations' leaders at this time to turn us around and back to you.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Skillful Hands

O. T. #1279  "Skillful Hands"
Sept. 6, 2018
Psalm 78-Part 3
So he fed them according to the integrity of his heart; and guided them by the skillfulness of his hands.  Psalm 78:72


There is a huge, new house being built down our road at the corner. As I drive by, I see progress they are making. I remember when only the shell stood, just a few weeks ago, it seems. Now the roof is on and the windows are in place. It is obvious that these men have skillful hands, guiding the wood to the right place. Israel had a man who guided them by the skillfulness of his hands. Want to find out who it was? Continue reading, friend.

The psalmist reviewed the marvelous things that God had done for Israel, His chosen people. But included in their history was the worship of idols instead of God. Thus, God allowed the Philistines to capture the Ark of the covenant, where His presence resided.
The first Tabernacle was erected under Joshua in his first chapter. It remained in Israel's possession through the judges. The idolatry angered God.
God foreknew they needed a deliverer, so He took a shepherd from caring for sheep in the countryside to caring for sheep from a palace, as Israel's king, eventually. It was a rags-to-riches story. King David retrieved the Ark and brought it back to Israel. David was faithful to his task of governing Israel and worshiping His God. (Although he fell into sin, God forgave David.)

Well, this we already knew from our previous studies, but look at the key verse. How did David feed his people and God's people while he was king? It was with integrity of heart.

Integrity (tom/tome) refers to completeness; innocence; uprightness.

Matthew Henry said that David ruled, taught, guided, and protected Israel. He did it with the aim to glorify God and for the good of the people. His religious principles became his governing principles. He was sincere and upright in what he did. God's favor was upon Israel because His favor was upon David.


What an encouragement to us. When we fail and falter, straying from God, His compassion and faithfulness never cease. As David fed his people with integrity of heart, so does our Great Shepherd, Jesus Christ. His Word gives us hope to continue on in this sinful world, enduring until we reach our eternal home. Jesus guides us with His skillful hands.

In John 16:13, Jesus told us that the Spirit of Truth will guide us into all truth. If we desire guidance, Jesus is ready to give it through His Spirit. When we are in need of wisdom for the right path to take, He will lead us. We all have decisions to make daily. Is Jesus guiding us with His skillful hands? Or are we going our own way?


Great Shepherd, guide me with Your skillful hands.
Spirit of Truth, guide me into all truth.
May I have integrity of heart evident in my life.

Marvelous Things

O. T. #1278  "Marvelous Things"
Sept. 5, 2018
Psalm 78-Part 2


Had any marvelous things happen in your life recently? I have as my 87 year old father in law was baptized after being saved. My nephew has a new baby boy. Our troubled car stopped before we hit the one in front at a yellow light, as we were on our way to get it repaired. Right now, I am trusting God to keep my sister and her family safe from the hurricane winds over Tampa, one more time. And breath today, may I never forget to be thankful for it.

The psalmists reviews the marvelous things which their God did for their ancestors after He delivered them from slavery in Egypt. We read of them in verses 12-16.

Marvelous refers to a miracle: marvelous thing; wonderful.

The Israelites could not divide the sea so they could be rescued from the trailing Egyptians, nor make a stream of water come out of a rock. It was enough to give water to 2 million people and their livestock. God led them by a cloud and fire toward the Promised Land, through the wilderness. He even brought down manna from heaven and quail from the sea for them to have meat after they complained about the menu. This was called angel food. Can't get any better. Yet it was their ingratitude and unbelief in God that angered God against them, resulting in His slaying  the fattest ones, whose heart was all wrong. (Exodus 32-33)

Good came. Look at verses 34-35: When He slew them, then they sought Him: and they returned and enquired early after God. And they remembered that God was their Rock, and the High God their Redeemer.

In the Hebrew language, Rock means a cliff or sharp rock; a refuge; mighty God; strength; stone.
Redeemer is to be the next of kin; to buy back; purchase; avenger; kinsman.

It was after god disciplined His children that they turned to Him and away from idols.
Is God the One to whom we go for our refuge and strength?
Jesus is the Redeemer, who purchased our salvation with the shedding of His blood as our sacrifice for our sins. Is He your Redeemer?


When alarmed by the judgments of God, what did Israel attempted to do?
  • They tried to flatter Him, thus winning His favor.
  • They lied with their tongues. (verse 36)
  • Their heart was not right with God. (verse 37)
  • Neither were they steadfast in their covenant.
An earthly king might enjoy the flattery, but the King of Kings abhors it. That lip service did not indicate loyal hearts. Their claims were not faithful commitments. However, God was merciful and forgave the sins of Israel. He did not destroy them and their idolatrous children.

Verse 39  NLT says, For He remembered that they were merely mortal, gone like a breath of wind that never returns.

Jesus keeps on forgiving us whenever we sin. Though we are mere mortals, here today and gone tomorrow, isn't our Rock and Redeemer marvelous or what? His mercies are new every morning. Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord unto me and you.


Keep God as my Rock and Redeemer until my breath is no more.
Keep me inquiring after You early.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Needing Two Hours of Patience

O. T. #1277  "Needing Two Hours of Patience"
Sept. 4, 2018
Psalm 78


Talk about a day of trying my patience, trying to provoke me to anger. I had one on Friday. I needed to pick up a few things at the store before the three-day weekend came. So, I decided to go by the shop and have lunch with my husband before getting them. Folks, I waited 2 1/2 hours to eat. People kept coming in, wanted their cars and tires readied for their weekend. Well, I passed that test, busying myself with things while I waited patiently, but not happy. And we had a nice lunch together.

 Then, I gathered up my needed items at the store and waited to check out. Oh, boy, did I pick the wrong checker. She had trouble getting the couple checked out in front of me. (That should have been a clue to me.) Well, in the meantime, the guy shared that he just had hand surgery, the guy behind me shared that he had had foot surgery a while back, and I nodded and listened to them. Guess they needed some sympathy.

Finally, it was my turn to check out. Well, she had trouble getting the price on the bananas and roast, so others came to help her. I just wanted to go home after what had happened to me previously. To top it off, she could not get the machine to accept my check for payment. I wanted to cry. I wanted to get home. So a lady rescued me by taking me to the service desk and checked me out. I ended up paying with a credit card. It exhausted me, holding my tongue. (I did suggest that the gal needed more training and I should get my bananas free, after waiting 20 minutes to check out.) I saw that she was being replaced when I walked out. Poor gal. I tried to be nice in my conversation, but it was hard. Yep, Friday was a day of testing my patience. Two hours of testing was all I could handle.
Israel did that to God, too.

Looking at our chapter, this is the first and  longest of Historical Psalms. It gives history lessons for the Israeli parents to teach their children about their gracious God. Hopefully, they would not be rebellious like the previous parents, but faithful, as well as teach their children of His faithfulness.

So the purpose is shown in verses 4 and 7,
We will not hide them from their children, showing to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and His strength, and His wonderful works that He hath done.

That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments.

This old world will pass away, maybe after we have passed away. Are we preparing others for that time? I am looking forward to a new heaven and new earth. There will be no sin there. What a glorious place it will be.

Are our children and grandchildren hearing us praise the Lord?
Are we telling them of His strength and wonderful works He has done?
Are we setting our hope in God?
Are we keeping His commands?


The Lord was furious and angry at Israel during Moses' time. Verse 22 explains why: Because they believed not in God, and trusted not in His salvation.

Israel tried God's patience over and over again. They complained with the provisions He gave them. The God who parted the Red Sea could give the water in abundance; the One who fed them during their time in Egypt as slaves was prepared to feed them in the wilderness. They walked by sight instead of faith. We read of God giving manna crackers each morning and gushing water form a rock. What was wrong with those people?
They didn't believe and trust in God. At least not to the point of totally depending upon Him for their daily provisions.

In evil unbelief and ingratitude, like lustful animals, the people clamored for more.(Falwell)

God wants our heart to love only Him, to be thankful for what He has provided for us, and believe He can do all things. Those are the things which please God.
What is wrong with us? Unbelief holds us back from doing what He wants us to do. Am I right? Guilty here.


Honor God in all I do.
Be compassionate to others while I wait.
Take advantage of the situation to witness His love.
Set my hope in God.

Monday, September 3, 2018

Questions Answered

O. T. #1276  "Questions Answered"
Sept. 3, 2018
Psalm 78


Questions. We all have them from time to time. When our days are dark and cloudy, we tend to ask them. Doubt tries to creep into our heart. Maybe that is when we learn more and gain a deeper faith. I couldn't skip over what is found in Matthew Henry's Commentary, Volume 3:
We may be tempted to think that God has abandoned us and cast us off, that the covenant of grace fails us, and that the tender mercy of our God shall be for ever withheld from us. But we must not give way to such suggestions as these. If fear and melancholy ask such peevish questions, let faith answer them from the Scripture:
           Will the Lord cast off forever? God forbid, Romans 11:1.
           Will He be favorable no more? Yes He will: For though He caused grief yet will He have
                                                                  compassion, Lamentations 3:32.
            Is His mercy clean gone forever? No, His mercy endures forever; as it is from everlasting, it
                                                                     is to everlasting, Ps. 53:17.
            Doth His promise fail for evermore? No; it is impossible for God to lie, Heb. 6:18.
            Hath God forgotten to be gracious? No; He cannot deny Himself, and His own name which
                                                                          hath proclaimed which He hath proclaimed gracious
                                                                          and merciful, Exodus 34:6.
            Hath He in anger shut up His tender mercies? No; they are new every morning, Lam. 3:23.

We can recall in previous Scriptures that Israel rebelled against God's commands and turned to worshiping idols. However, God always has a remnant who continues to love and serve Him. Although Israel suffered because of their turning away, the faithful ones, like Asaph, had questions. God's faithfulness and miracles were told to future generations. (Although he already knew the answers.)


What was the condition of the psalmist at the beginning of this psalm? He cried out to God; sought the Lord; remembered God; and was overwhelmed. He was so troubled that he couldn't speak, yet he considered the years of old. He searched his own heart.

After he got it off his chest, Asaph asked in verse 13, Who is so great a God as our God? NLT puts it this way, Is there any god as mighty as You?

Of course, the answer he already knew. God is great, God is good; let us thank Him for our food, and everything else. There is none like Him.

What may have been Asaph's conclusion? Perhaps it was the same as in Psalm 69:30, I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify Him with thanksgiving.


When questions and doubt come, seek the Bible for answers.
Father, You show tender mercies to me daily.
Your promises are forever kept.
I will count Your many blessing to me today.