Meditations-Psalm 63- “Daily Walks with God”

Meditations, which we have till now discussed is specifically carried on between two worlds. Our inner and visible worlds we can never say where one ends or begins. We are conscious of external world as well as conscious of our thoughts and emotions. In order to specify what I have seen is by none other than myself we have a term as distinct from soul.  In this psalm we have David giving soul all the characteristics of the other self. ” My soul thirsteth for thee in verse 1 for example. Upon closer reading it doubles for his body “My flesh longeth for thee.”  Truth in my heart places both as one about me. In short my meditations pick and choose from both worlds so when the king says, ‘but the mouth of them that speak lies shall be stopped’ he is squarely relying on truth as his yardstick. “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:These are the things which defile a man:….(Matt.15:19-20).”

Meditations in short are carried on between God who is Truth and ourselves on the basis of truth. Soul speaks for our inner worlds while self denotes the external world. Abraham was considered a friend of God because of a shared history.  Now let us consider Enoch who also had a similar testimony. “And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him (Ge.5:24)”.  The incipient idea of life continuing life as we know in our physical world is how the Spirit synchronizes our two worlds. Meditations set our daily walks and pattern of our inner worlds under the strict conditions the truth demands. It is rigorous as St Paul speaks, “And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible (1 Co.9:25)”. It is ‘the crown of glory'(1 Pe.5:4). He is blessed as one who has been trained by God, his Word. ‘Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.’ aptly describes the relationship. “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him (Jas.1:12)”. Life and life has glory factor and it pertains to glory that He has shed abroad. “And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us(Ro.5:5).

Christian Living as with mastery of anything must be cultivated so meditation of a child of God cannot be done in a casual manner or remain a distracted believer. His zeal and singleminded pursuit for keeping his ‘friendship’ as Abraham did is beautifully illustrated by King David, which is given here below.

My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips:/When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches./Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice./My soul followeth hard after thee: thy right hand upholdeth me.

 

O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is;

To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary.

Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee.

Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name.

My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips:

When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches.

Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice.

My soul followeth hard after thee: thy right hand upholdeth me.

But those that seek my soul, to destroy it, shall go into the lower parts of the earth.

10 They shall fall by the sword: they shall be a portion for foxes.

11 But the king shall rejoice in God; every one that sweareth by him shall glory: but the mouth of them that speak lies shall be stopped.

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Meditations-Psalms 61-62 / “the rock”

Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer.

Our meditations cannot be that of a distracted party. Consider this verse, “…Seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:/For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened (Matt.7:7-8)”. Seeking is just the beginning. Knocking stage of a Christian’s spiritual life speaks of growth. Each day has its own problems and as the Psalmist says,”O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him (Ps.34:8)”. How we find what we seek, is different from what we have found tasting his goodness.  As a child we ask impossible things from our parents but when experience kicks in we learn to understand what we really need and cut out the non-essentials.  Similarly when basking in His mercy and goodness we learn to rely on communing with Him all our heart than want of material comforts. “For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness(Ps.107:9). 

From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

Rock is a symbol for Jesus Christ as the rock of salvation. It laso serves as a tag, which is what the Spirit has intended here, Moses asked the impossible of God but the cleft rock in which God placed Moses so he may not die can only occur in our close communion with God.. Sometimes we do not fully realize what we ask for. Mercy of God keeps us preserved and we grow thereby spiritually. “And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by:(Ex.33:22)” Also compare this verse, “He shall abide before God for ever: O prepare mercy and truth, which may preserve him(v.7)”.

For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy.

I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever: I will trust in the covert of thy wings. Selah.

For thou, O God, hast heard my vows: thou hast given me the heritage of those that fear thy name.

Thou wilt prolong the king’s life: and his years as many generations.

He shall abide before God for ever: O prepare mercy and truth, which may preserve him.

So will I sing praise unto thy name for ever, that I may daily perform my vows.

Psalm 62

Truly my soul waiteth upon God: from him cometh my salvation.

He only is my rock and my salvation; he is my defence; I shall not be greatly moved.

How long will ye imagine mischief against a man? ye shall be slain all of you: as a bowing wall shall ye be, and as a tottering fence.

They only consult to cast him down from his excellency: they delight in lies: they bless with their mouth, but they curse inwardly. Selah.

My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him.

He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defence; I shall not be moved.

In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God.

Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah.

Surely men of low degree are vanity, and men of high degree are a lie: to be laid in the balance, they are altogether lighter than vanity.

10 Trust not in oppression, and become not vain in robbery: if riches increase, set not your heart upon them.

11 God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this; that power belongeth unto God.

12 Also unto thee, O Lord, belongeth mercy: for thou renderest to every man according to his work.

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Meditations-Psalm 60- “A Banner”

There are two kinds of banners mentioned in the Bible. One is raised by man and it is war-like and the other is in the sense of heraldry.

“And he will lift up an ensign to the nations from far, and will hiss unto them from the end of the earth: and, behold, they shall come with speed swiftly:(Is.5:26-30). The next verse also refers to it and serves as a commentary. “And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it(Is.2:2). This ensign is more a sign which points to something else. It speaks of New Jerusalem, the holy city of God. The New Earth is in conjunction with this sign raised aloft. “My house will be called a house of prayer for all the nations.(Is.56:7).”

“He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love (Song.2:4). The second banner is the very nature of God and every heir of promise redeemed from the earth is entitled to display it. Shall we consider the quote from Isaiah in the light of this? “I will bring them to My holy mountain and make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on My altar. This altar is a stand in for the throne of God and of the Lamb.  Holy Mountain is the same as the kingdom of God which we can understand from the interpretation of Daniel the seer. “And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever….The Spirit at its end adds,”and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.” (Dan.2 :44-45)

‘And the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth (v.34)’ is referred by ‘the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands (v.45).’ The stone cut without hands is similar to the only begotten Son in spiritual parlance. God the Father God the Son and all those adopted in him by God are entitled to use. It is the significance of the heraldry. Not of human will or of blood line but faith.”But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:(John1:12)” A remnant of the Jewish nation also shall be represented so the Throne is of God and of Lamb. The nation has been rejected because of their apostasy but God is Love and He is true to what He announced,””I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion(Ro.9:15).”

The House of Prayer shall have only saints redeemed from the earth. No more burnt sacrifice but hearts broken which are sacrifices of righteousness. “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise(Ps.51:17)”. Kingdom of God has superseded the old except the everlasting covenant. The order of worship consequently is fellowship of God with man in true sense. “Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice(Ps.50:5). Earlier on we came across a statement where the altar was shown as a synonym for the throne. Throne of God and of Lamb refers to the everlasting covenant in which the Lamb is also a symbol for the slain Lamb before the worlds began. 

The crystal pure water of life that proceeds from middle of the throne connects new heaven and new earth while the damned are in a lake of fire which as the Parable of the rich man and Lazarus informs us, is separated by a gulf.

Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee, that it may be displayed because of the truth. Selah(v.4)”. Selah separates this psalm in two: we have two sets of emotions. Wine of astonishment is one. God metes out a nation called out to be the apple of his eye sorrow and dismay because of their perpetual backsliding the other is to the Gentile nations, “triumph thou because of me.”

Benny

O God, thou hast cast us off, thou hast scattered us, thou hast been displeased; O turn thyself to us again.

Thou hast made the earth to tremble; thou hast broken it: heal the breaches thereof; for it shaketh.

Thou hast shewed thy people hard things: thou hast made us to drink the wine of astonishment.

Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee, that it may be displayed because of the truth. Selah.

That thy beloved may be delivered; save with thy right hand, and hear me.

God hath spoken in his holiness; I will rejoice, I will divide Shechem, and mete out the valley of Succoth.

Gilead is mine, and Manasseh is mine; Ephraim also is the strength of mine head; Judah is my lawgiver;

Moab is my washpot; over Edom will I cast out my shoe: Philistia, triumph thou because of me.

Who will bring me into the strong city? who will lead me into Edom?

10 Wilt not thou, O God, which hadst cast us off? and thou, O God, which didst not go out with our armies?

11 Give us help from trouble: for vain is the help of man.

12 Through God we shall do valiantly: for he it is that shall tread down our enemies.

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Meditations-Psalm 59-“Workers of iniquity”

The Parable of the Wedding of the King’s Son in the gospel of St Matthew 22 speaks about the universal call of a certain king. There is an order in the manner invitations were sent out. He ‘sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come.’ Again invitations were sent out, and ‘ servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests.’

Salvation Plan of God is universal in scope.  The servants of the king were to call them saying,” Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage./ But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise:/And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them.” They were indeed workers of iniquity.

“The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies(Ps.58:3).”  Workers of iniquity are corrupt and are foolish. Where there is no vision people perish. They are like Ishmael mocking Isaac the heir of promise. “But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now.(Gal.4:29).” We see the depths of their depravity to thwart the divine Will as in the case of King Saul and his men.  In Ps.53:4 he wonders, “Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge? who eat up my people as they eat bread, and call not upon the LORD(Ps.14:4).”

Deliver me from mine enemies, O my God: defend me from them that rise up against me.

Deliver me from the workers of iniquity, and save me from bloody men.

For, lo, they lie in wait for my soul: the mighty are gathered against me; not for my transgression, nor for my sin, O Lord.

They run and prepare themselves without my fault: awake to help me, and behold.

Thou therefore, O Lord God of hosts, the God of Israel, awake to visit all the heathen: be not merciful to any wicked transgressors. Selah.

They return at evening: they make a noise like a dog, and go round about the city.

Behold, they belch out with their mouth: swords are in their lips: for who, say they, doth hear?

But thou, O Lord, shalt laugh at them; thou shalt have all the heathen in derision.

Because of his strength will I wait upon thee: for God is my defence.

10 The God of my mercy shall prevent me: God shall let me see my desire upon mine enemies.

11 Slay them not, lest my people forget: scatter them by thy power; and bring them down, O Lord our shield.

12 For the sin of their mouth and the words of their lips let them even be taken in their pride: and for cursing and lying which they speak.

13 Consume them in wrath, consume them, that they may not be: and let them know that God ruleth in Jacob unto the ends of the earth. Selah.

14 And at evening let them return; and let them make a noise like a dog, and go round about the city.

15 Let them wander up and down for meat, and grudge if they be not satisfied.

16 But I will sing of thy power; yea, I will sing aloud of thy mercy in the morning: for thou hast been my defence and refuge in the day of my trouble.

17 Unto thee, O my strength, will I sing: for God is my defence, and the God of my mercy.

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Meditations-Psalm 58- “Estranged from womb”

 

“The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies(v.3)”.

We benefit from divine revelation. When we receive the good news we are bringing ourselves in line with ways of God who predestined us to glory. Mercy and truth in our case happily came together ‘Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other(Ps.85:10)’ Here is St Paul’s take on Prophet Malachi (Mal.1:3). “Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated./What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid./ For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion(Ro.9:13-15)”.

Do ye indeed speak righteousness, O congregation? do ye judge uprightly, O ye sons of men?(v.1)

When the Psalmist asks this question he is addressing those who have set themselves to mark his steps and destroy them. If he were indeed under the wings of God they had set themselves as enemies to God. What they did was against the righteous God. In my youth were show trials catching headlines, which were meant to purge the enemies of the state in USSR. Those who were showed as unrighteous,- and state machinery took it us as gospel truth to mete out the most violent punishments to them. Stalin as the dictator went from strength to strength. But of his righteousness, forget it. The congregation of Judges, Interior whose men ferreted out perceived victims were loyal but they weighed violence of their hands to the ‘righteousness’ of the Georgian whose vengeful nature was shaped from womb. It was the spirit of the times and naturally he went astray from his very youth. Poison of a godless ideology had killed whatever was good, Those revolutionaries who picked him out to write a treatise on National Question of Russia because of his ethnic background were like snake charmers who imagined he would be a willing tool in their hands. It explains the truth in these verses,”Their poison is like the poison of a serpent: they are like the deaf adder that stoppeth her ear;/Which will not hearken to the voice of charmers, charming never so wisely.” in the case of Adolf Hitler it was more or less similar. In every age we find the fools being taken in their own cunning. Their short-lived villainy is a warning to us to keep walking by the light of living than follow the echo of the dead who have been estranged from their womb.

The last two verses need careful understanding.” The righteous shall rejoice when he seeth the vengeance: he shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked./11 So that a man shall say, Verily there is a reward for the righteous: verily he is a God that judgeth in the earth.” What do we make of this expression, ‘(righteous) he shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked’? Hitler died before his 1000-year Reich like the cooking pot before it was ready was thrown out as with a whirlwind. His dreams ended in disaster and he died before time. Here is a verse”But thou, O God, shalt bring them down into the pit of destruction: bloody and deceitful men shall not live out half their days; but I will trust in thee(Ps.55:23)”. But we see neo-Nazi cult  being revived and the white supremacists are trying to get a new lease of life on the ideology of hate. The street of Charlottesville, Virginia was bloody. The righteous shall walk past the blood of the wicked. Our reward is that we are preserved in the days of calamities by mercy and truth. Righteousness and peace in our case keep us. 

 

Yea, in heart ye work wickedness; ye weigh the violence of your hands in the earth.

The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies.

Their poison is like the poison of a serpent: they are like the deaf adder that stoppeth her ear;

Which will not hearken to the voice of charmers, charming never so wisely.

Break their teeth, O God, in their mouth: break out the great teeth of the young lions, O Lord.

Let them melt away as waters which run continually: when he bendeth his bow to shoot his arrows, let them be as cut in pieces.

As a snail which melteth, let every one of them pass away: like the untimely birth of a woman, that they may not see the sun.

Before your pots can feel the thorns, he shall take them away as with a whirlwind, both living, and in his wrath.

10 The righteous shall rejoice when he seeth the vengeance: he shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked.

11 So that a man shall say, Verily there is a reward for the righteous: verily he is a God that judgeth in the earth.

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Meditations-Psalm 58-“As with a whirlwind”

In the previous post we considered the vision of the Woman clothed with the Sun. Mercy and truth are like two great wings of an eagle and these are sent to preserve those who would abide under the shadow of His wings. While considering it the left out church is driven into the wilderness because of them, where she is preserved by a time period, signaling grace of God.

The Psalmist foreshadows calamities that a saint on the earth face and says,’in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast (Ps.57:1)” By law of Gradation every one who is godly would require to face tribulation from which it is mercy and truth of God that serve as a refuge. In order to indicate grace and truth which came with Jesus Christ we see the narrative mode of the Spirit using a time scale, a time, and times, and half a time,(Re.12:14). It is similar to the various cities as stand in for Jerusalem. The great city where our Lord was crucified refers to cities as diverse as Sodom and Egypt is spiritually compared with Jerusalem(Re.11:8). 

Before your pots can feel the thorns, he shall take them away as with a whirlwind, both living, and in his wrath(v.8)’

When enemies of God are shown in this psalm like cooking pots from under which fire is snuffed out by a whirlwind what we need understand is divine judgment. We discussed it as a tag for divine judgement while we studied Isaiah. Whatever good was in them before brought to fruition have been cast out to no purpose. There is judgment meted out to the ungodly. They are like snails melting away under the scorching heat. So those who are preserved are indicative divine mercy and truth. Their preservation is by the grace of our Savior whose earthly ministry is spiritually a yardstick. But they shall have to stand before the White Throne Judgment and it shall be according to their works. This is what we read in the following passage from the Book of the Revelation.

And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them./12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works./13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works./14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire (Re.20:11-15)”.

There is a book of life which is qualified as of the Lamb as well as one where God writes down all those whom He had foreknown.”And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life(Re.21:27).  When Jesus Christ speaks of making everything new we are considering the left out church who has been preserved on the earth and mercy and truth were like eagle’s wings. But they shall stand in judgment.

 

Do ye indeed speak righteousness, O congregation? do ye judge uprightly, O ye sons of men?

Yea, in heart ye work wickedness; ye weigh the violence of your hands in the earth.

The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies.

Their poison is like the poison of a serpent: they are like the deaf adder that stoppeth her ear;

Which will not hearken to the voice of charmers, charming never so wisely.

Break their teeth, O God, in their mouth: break out the great teeth of the young lions, O Lord.

Let them melt away as waters which run continually: when he bendeth his bow to shoot his arrows, let them be as cut in pieces.

As a snail which melteth, let every one of them pass away: like the untimely birth of a woman, that they may not see the sun.

Before your pots can feel the thorns, he shall take them away as with a whirlwind, both living, and in his wrath.

10 The righteous shall rejoice when he seeth the vengeance: he shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked.

11 So that a man shall say, Verily there is a reward for the righteous: verily he is a God that judgeth in the earth.

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Meditations-Psalm 57-“mercy and truth”

 God is Love. This quintessential aspect of God is in context of something else. “My beloved is mine, and I am his: he feedeth among the lilies (Song. 2:16). Lilies is a metaphor for earthly existence and it is a fitting example to delineate God as embodiment of Love. God the Father and God the Son are in perfect agreement with regards to love. The famous quote from the gospel of John gives a direction. “For God so loved the world…” In sending his Son to the world love also expresses mercy a quality that makes the giver on a different scale than the given. “He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever(Ps.103:9)”. It is beautifully brought out in a verse further down,”For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust(v.14)”. Love is expression of mercy given the perfection of Power and Wisdom we associate with God. God like a father is long-suffering. So mercy is expression of Love conferred from Greater to the lesser. He sends rain in due season and sets the sun shine on the just and unjust alike. In short He is the Father of mercies. Power to give or deny is what Righteousness would mean. Wisdom on the other hand is conferring men despite of being weaker frame the wherewithal to acquire a correct understanding on the fellowship God requires. Faith which is creative on the part of the lesser holds on to truth in inward parts and it puts out like tendril of a climber onto truth and grows thereby. Mercy shown to us seeks like a plant towards the light; so does truth is made clearer by the light of the living. This is what the Psalmist sings,”I will praise thee, O Lord, among the people: I will sing unto thee among the nations./10 For thy mercy is great unto the heavens, and thy truth unto the clouds(vv.9-10)”. In short Christian Living is growing from glory to glory.  “Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other./11 Truth shall spring out of the earth; and righteousness shall look down from heaven(Ps.85:10-11).

“Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast(v.1)”.

Great wings of God are mercy and truth “And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child./14 And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent(Re.12:13-14)”. The vision of the Woman clothed with the Sun the Church or the overcomers (manchild) have been taken to the throne of the Father direct. She is left out. God as the Father of mercies have given her prayer and praise to tide over her difficulties. ‘In the wilderness’ is period of tribulation and in order to mark her existence on the earth the period is set in context of the period of three and a half years of Jesus’ ministry,  The Spirit in making the Psalmist refer to it gives us the representational nature of lives of the saints whose soul has been delivered from death. They have to keep their feet from falling and walk circumspectly by the light of the living.

I will cry unto God most high; unto God that performeth all things for me.

He shall send from heaven, and save me from the reproach of him that would swallow me up. Selah. God shall send forth his mercy and his truth.

My soul is among lions: and I lie even among them that are set on fire, even the sons of men, whose teeth are spears and arrows, and their tongue a sharp sword.

Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens; let thy glory be above all the earth.

They have prepared a net for my steps; my soul is bowed down: they have digged a pit before me, into the midst whereof they are fallen themselves. Selah.

My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise.

Awake up, my glory; awake, psaltery and harp: I myself will awake early.

I will praise thee, O Lord, among the people: I will sing unto thee among the nations.

10 For thy mercy is great unto the heavens, and thy truth unto the clouds.

11 Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens: let thy glory be above all the earth.

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