Meditations-Psalm 125- “abiding life”

The earth and the fullness thereof, is of the Lord. In the Parable of the Tares we understand it is his field. The sovereignty of it is vested with the kingdom of heaven. The earth cannot be seen as separate from the kingdom of God. The Word is the constitution of his Kingdom. We shall consider the Parable (Matt.13:24-30;36-41)

“The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: There are three phases, which we may say covers eternity to eternity (meaning the period it takes for the Salvation Plan of God to be completed). First phase speaks of preparing the soil, the second denotes sowing of the gospel and lastly harvest, gathering of wheat into the barn.

There is a subtext, which informs of the enemy unlawfully sowing tares among the wheat. There is also a period it is allowed to grow and we see it even now and it is called ways of the world, and a time when it shall be gathered and burnt.

The good wheat refers to the eternal word. ‘He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man;(v.37)’ Do we not see predestination implied here? The Gospel of God becomes the Gospel of Christ and we are of His kingdom,-‘the good seed are the children of the kingdom;’ There is a day appointed for judgment  “but the tares are the children of the wicked one;/39 The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels./40 As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world./41 The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;/42 And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: 13;38-42).”

In the above parable the Husbandman is ever seized of preserving his field and his crop. His care for the well being of the good seed is such He restrains his angels from uprooting the tares ‘lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them(v.29)’.  This has similar resonance in this psalm where his people are surrounded by mountains alluding to geographical features of Jerusalem. “As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the Lord is round about his people from henceforth even for ever (v.2)”. In v.4 we have the prayer of the Psalmist to bless those who abide under His provident Hand. “Do good, O Lord, unto those that be good, and to them that are upright in their hearts”.

They that trust in the Lord shall be as mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but abideth for ever.

As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the Lord is round about his people from henceforth even for ever.

For the rod of the wicked shall not rest upon the lot of the righteous; lest the righteous put forth their hands unto iniquity.

Do good, O Lord, unto those that be good, and to them that are upright in their hearts.

As for such as turn aside unto their crooked ways, the Lord shall lead them forth with the workers of iniquity: but peace shall be upon Israel.

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Meditations-Psalm 123-124- “Proud waters”

Psalm 123

Kingdoms of old marched under a flag that epitomized their glory. Lions, eagles and such top of the line predators summed them up. What glory these could have from their pillaging reneging on treaties and sending a mass exodus of refugees is anybody’s guess. The nations glossed over their banditry with some appropriate symbol. This is how the ungodly nations have conducted their savagery and the world quite shows the accumulated consequences of their foolishness. Prosperous nations who cannot take care of their children, which are neglected and exploited are sad commentary of their godlessness. God also has a banner that is antithetically opposed to their romanticized visions of glory. “He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love(Song.2:4)”

Children of God seek glory of their God who is the Father of mercies. God showed His love by sending his only begotten Son whose hallmark  was obedience.We see certain characteristics that made the Son a fitting image of the Father of mercies. Humility is a godly aspect.  Jesus came as a nobody. “But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:(Phi 2:7).” This being the case we can well appreciate the prayer of the Psalmist, “Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the Lord our God, until that he have mercy upon us(123:2)”. When the Son experiencing the extreme agony of hanging from the cross cried out the lines from the Psalm 22 was on his tongue. He saw the bulls of Bashan about him, ‘strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round(22:12)’. By law of Gradation the bulls of Bashan of the Psalm 22 connect with Roman soldiers,- the minions of the ruling class mocking him. By the same law do we not see scoffers and arrogance in high places mocking the unfortunate and widows for their color or their penury? Nations of the world are like flash in the pan. Fools as they are they do not see God holding them in derision. They are like proud waters rising and swilling about. Little do they know their end is coming. Whereas God shall deliver us from their calumny and snares. 

 

“Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth(124:8)”..

Unto thee lift I up mine eyes, O thou that dwellest in the heavens.

Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the Lord our God, until that he have mercy upon us.

Have mercy upon us, O Lord, have mercy upon us: for we are exceedingly filled with contempt.

Our soul is exceedingly filled with the scorning of those that are at ease, and with the contempt of the proud.

If it had not been the Lord who was on our side, now may Israel say;

If it had not been the Lord who was on our side, when men rose up against us:

Then they had swallowed us up quick, when their wrath was kindled against us:

Then the waters had overwhelmed us, the stream had gone over our soul:

Then the proud waters had gone over our soul.

Blessed be the Lord, who hath not given us as a prey to their teeth.

Our soul is escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowlers: the snare is broken, and we are escaped.

Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.

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Meditations-Psalm 122-“Thrones of Judgment”

This psalm is the third in the series. It is special because it is ascribed to King David. Special is not it in the sense the quality of the song would be of higher level because of his celebrity status. Every psalm is God breathed so the hand that served as scribe is fully adequate for the purpose of God. What is special but King David writing it in past perfect sense? Names of persons like place names are connected to which only God’s Time applies and it makes them interchangeable. This is the law of Gradation.Thus David calls Jesus his Lord and it in turns connects him Jesus Christ the King of kings and the Lord of lords. Similarly Jerusalem to New Jerusalem and Zion to Sion and so on. By the same token Jerusalem is not in physical but in spiritual sense, an entity.” Jerusalem is builded as a city that is compact together:(v.3) and it also has another significance as the Bride of Christ. “or the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready(Re.19:7)”

Another metaphor we have of Christ and the Body indicating the compact nature of Christ and the Church. Body is itself a symbol for the temple(1 Co.3:16). The Spirit indwelling is the medium of instruction so  it is essential that every child see it God’s purpose that we are rooted and built together with every other in Christ are established in faith.

The Spirit assures us of the House of Prayer for universal worship as foreordained. In consonance with everlasting covenant God appearing to Abraham while he lived in tents one the plains of Mamre we see the patriarch fulfilling the purpose of worship. God refreshes us and His promise is ever renewing and it is communion or Meditation such as we have found in the Book of Psalms. “And the Lord went his way, as soon as he had left communing with Abraham: and Abraham returned unto his place(Ge.18:33)”. is referring to the holy city of God as culmination of the Salvation plan of God The temple was only in the mind of the King but God did not allow him to build but assured his son as the right person to take it up. Zeal of King David was such he amassed materials for the purpose of which we read in the ch.22 of the First Book of Chronicles.

We are called to be kings and priests and thrones of judgments consist of God and of Lamb. We are included as part of Lamb’s entourage.”And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also(John 14:3)”.

I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord.

Our feet shall stand within thy gates, O Jerusalem.

Jerusalem is builded as a city that is compact together:

Whither the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord, unto the testimony of Israel, to give thanks unto the name of the Lord.

For there are set thrones of judgment, the thrones of the house of David.

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee.

Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy palaces.

For my brethren and companions’ sakes, I will now say, Peace be within thee.

Because of the house of the Lord our God I will seek thy good.

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Meditations-Psalm 121- “The Lord, my keeper”

This Psalm is also a song of Ascent as the previous one. Christian Living is not merely living according to the mores and times but being squarely ‘rooted and built in him, and stablished in the faith’, goes far back in time which is what His foreknowledge would mean. His ways towards us are as consistent as was with Enoch in his generation or with Abraham. This consistency draws us to the eternal word which covers us. Thus Alpha Omega of eternity the beginning and the ending are of particular relevance to us. He has beset us  so our lives are guaranteed as life of Job was when Satan challenged God. He would have caused great many losses in worldly goods and to some extent in the physical well-being of Job but of his salvation was never in doubt. It is thus with us. All we require is patience. “Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me(Ps.139:5).”

When Hannah sings, ‘pillars of the earth are the Lord’s, and he hath set the world upon them (1 Sa.2:8).” she is referring to his sovereignty. The moral foundation of a Christian instructs him how to walk with God daily and Enoch’s case is no different from us. Our case as to our future is no different from Abraham. “By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:(He.11:9)”  it is a pilgrim’s progress when he begins and ends with Him. Where is he going? Like the patriarch we look for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God(v.10)”

In this context we shall appreciate v.1,  “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. This city is founded on the Rock of Ages. “His foundation is in the holy mountains./The Lord loveth the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob./Glorious things are spoken of thee, O city of God. Selah(Ps.87:1-3).

This psalm exhorts us to look to him as keeper of our salvation “Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it (1 Thes.5:24).

There are few other areas in which he has assured us. Because He is eternal we can rest in His promises. “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever(He.13:8)”.

The Holy Spirit is the keeper of time. How he dealt with Old Simeon helps us understand his role in setting each one us in the Salvation Plan of God. “….And it was revealed unto him (Simeon) by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ./27 And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law,/28 Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said,/29 Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word:/30 For mine eyes have seen thy salvation(Lk.2:25-30)”,

As keeper of my paths he keeps me from falling. ‘The Lord is my shepherd Ps.23).”

Jesus Christ as the author and finisher of my faith has promised “Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee (De.31:6)”. Jesus as the Rock of salvation gives us an insight into the Power and Wisdom of God. “As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the LORD is round about his people from henceforth even for ever(Ps.125:2)”.

I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.

My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.

He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber.

Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord is thy keeper: the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand.

The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night.

The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul.

The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.

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Meditations-Psalm 120- “Pilgrim’s way”

This psalm carries a superscription: a song of ascents. Pilgrims in Israel traditionally would have sung this psalm as they went to Jerusalem and to the temple. There were three appointed feasts namely Passover, Pentecost and Tabernacles.There are 15 songs in this series and each psalm may correspond to the step leading a pilgrim. The Talmud says that the fifteen songs correspond to the fifteen steps between these courtyards (Middoth ii. 5; Succa 51b). These step songs may be rooted in Talmudic tradition which is not to our present purpose as indicating the parallel between the children of the Levites carrying the Ark and the Christian witnessing the light of the word. We are progressing continually as children of God of the excellence of the knowledge for His glory and it shall not be a smooth ascent.   Distress that the Psalmist speaks here can be understood at two levels. The “For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would(Ga.5:17)”.

Secondly what we experience in our own being sets us against the worldly who view our life of separation as strange. “Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,/And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation(2 Pe.3:3-4)”.  Names like Mesech and Kedar associated with people (see at the end*) refer to the ungodly and like nomads of old they spill over and across the land sowing discord and division among children of promise. Such lost souls are likely to grow more vocal, and what with deep state conspiracies deep fake videos do we not get a feeling such as the Psalmist expressed? We are already sojourning among them. What happened at Charlottesville, Va in 2017 is revealing. The ungodly are same throughout and Prophet Isaiah compares them to restless sea ‘which cannot rest, whose waves cast up mire and mud (Is,57:20)’. Look what is going on about the White House since 2016, not a single day without some controversy being whipped up, and for what purpose? Has it done single worthwhile service towards their nation building? Those who are sane and godly ought to pray for God to deliver them from foolishness of those whom we look up as guiding lights in temporal matters. Under such ungodly men do we see their rank and file conducting themselves like normal people? “And they return at evening, snarling like dogs and prowling around the city(Ps.59:14)”.”Consume them in rage; consume them until they are gone. Then people will know throughout the earth that God rules over Jacob (59:13).”

*Mesech (or Meshech) refers to the sixth son of Japheth(Ge.10:2) and his descendants; Kedar, a son of Ishmael (Ge.25:13).

In my distress I cried unto the Lord, and he heard me.

Deliver my soul, O Lord, from lying lips, and from a deceitful tongue.

What shall be given unto thee? or what shall be done unto thee, thou false tongue?

Sharp arrows of the mighty, with coals of juniper.

Woe is me, that I sojourn in Mesech, that I dwell in the tents of Kedar!

My soul hath long dwelt with him that hateth peace.

I am for peace: but when I speak, they are for war.

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Meditations-Psalm 119:169-176-“Let my soul live”

I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek thy servant; for I do not forget thy commandments(v.176)”.

What it is to be in body? As his death was approaching Jesus left us a clue. God is equated with will since He is the Sovereign Lord in His kingdom. Every thing else under the Absolute Will is subservient to it. It is what Jesus wanted to explain with his body.

Jesus had a body: it was a symbol as well as a template for every believer who would be adopted in him for God.  “Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me:(He.10:5-7)” A body has thou prepared and it was to do the will of God. Before the foundation of the world God the Spirit also had set a memorial that never would change. We shall see it as a symbol, ‘the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world’ and it is also established in eternity and it is what the throne of God and of Lamb in the holy city of God signifies. In between Alpha and Omega aspect of salvation significance of body is consistent as the means to perfect the will of God. For this reason sacrifices and burnt offerings have their relevance which however are pendent of the Son on the cross. “For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified (He.10:14)”. This perfection has consequently brought seismic changes in every believer so the word is no longer commandments like stone tables and kept in the ark of Testimony. Instead the word is writ in the inner man of every believer. “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;(he.10:16)” In this context we shall appreciate what Jesus said, “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you (John 16:7)”. Our soul is revived despite of our body often working contrarily and the Holy Spirit serves as in-house tutor to pull ourselves together and make a go.”O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?/25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin( Ro.7:24-25)”.Similarly while we long for union with God the body often stands in between, “For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit,…(Col.2:5)” As long as we live in flesh we shall live with various temptations and unless our Lord Savior uphold us and his grace preserve us from fall we would be beset with terror of falling away at every turn.  Before we stop here is a passage that requires close attention.”…. God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit./Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:/(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)/We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord./Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him./10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad./11 Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God;( 2 Co.5:5-11)” 

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Let my cry come near before thee, O Lord: give me understanding according to thy word.

170 Let my supplication come before thee: deliver me according to thy word.

171 My lips shall utter praise, when thou hast taught me thy statutes.

172 My tongue shall speak of thy word: for all thy commandments are righteousness.

173 Let thine hand help me; for I have chosen thy precepts.

174 I have longed for thy salvation, O Lord; and thy law is my delight.

175 Let my soul live, and it shall praise thee; and let thy judgments help me.

176 I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek thy servant; for I do not forget thy commandments.

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Meditations-Psalm 119:161-168 ‘All My Ways”

Righteous judgement of God is not something that is beyond the understanding of His children. Mercy and judgement are known and understood by His creation. He opens his hand and they are fed. He has also appointed their term of lives so the fall of a sparrow is not unknown to Him. This is what His Power and Wisdom would mean. His Wisdom was demonstrated when He sent his ‘only begotten Son’ as propitiation for the salvation of mankind. The Word was made flesh so the Love could be shown true universally. Nature of God and man were set on single yardstick. So the wisdom of the Word renders man love God in the manner He made manifest. ‘For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:(2 Co.5:14)’ By the same argument the Power of God that raised up the Son does operate on each of us.

It is thus we hold on to the word so He is not merely an idea but doable in our everyday lives.   His grace is all sufficient and it is based on the eternal word that He has become a living hope while we do what is pleasing to him. It is for this reason the Psalmist says, ‘…For all my ways are before thee(v.168)’.  Jesus Christ is the Captain of our salvation and he as Alpha and Omega of our salvation has gone the full length before us. It is the Power and Wisdom of God. So when he assures us, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.(John 14:27).” In the Book of Daniel the Hebrew children were thrown into the fiery furnace and not a hair of them was singed. Some us are passing through vale of tears and another over stony paths while some are cast in midst of fiery trials. All their ways are before him and he is the fourth presence who shall see us through from coming to harm.  “Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them (v.165).

On the other hand willfully going against God is terrible as the passages here below indicate. “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God(He.10:31)”.

Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward./36 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise./37 For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry./38 Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him./39 But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul (10:35-39)”.

The just shall live by faith.

161 Princes have persecuted me without a cause: but my heart standeth in awe of thy word.

162 I rejoice at thy word, as one that findeth great spoil.

163 I hate and abhor lying: but thy law do I love.

164 Seven times a day do I praise thee because of thy righteous judgments.

165 Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.

166 Lord, I have hoped for thy salvation, and done thy commandments.

167 My soul hath kept thy testimonies; and I love them exceedingly.

168 I have kept thy precepts and thy testimonies: for all my ways are before thee.

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