Wednesday, November 13, 2019

PRAISE THE LORD!

Today’s Reading: Psalms 148-150

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).

 

Joppa is a major port on the west coast of Israel, as it was during Biblical times. It was here that the Apostle Peter fell into a trance and saw a sheet being lowered down from Heaven. On the sheet were all kinds of creatures (Acts 10:12). According to today’s reading, all creatures great and small are to “Praise the Lord!” We non-Jews got in on the blessings of Abraham and Jesus as a result of what happened to Peter. Jonah departed from this port on a whale of a trip! (Jonah 1:3).

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verses: Psalm 150:6

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord!

 

In Psalm 148, the crown of God’s creation — men and women — are mentioned last for emphasis! Regardless of status, age or sex, everyone is urged to “Praise the Lord!” We, who are believers in Jesus, may want to consider a New Testament reading which expands our reason to “Praise the Lord!” (Philippians 2:8-11).

Psalm 149 moves us into another dimension of praise. We are to praise Him for Who He is! For the ancient Israelite, the celebration of praise was often accompanied by singing, playing musical instruments and dancing!!!

Just in case we failed to get King David’s message, he writes here, in the final hymn in this, the temple hymnbook from which Jesus would have sung, the word “Praise” 13 times in six short verses!

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

I praise You, O God! I lift up Your name to honour and glorify You! You alone are worthy! I magnify You with the words of my mouth and with my body language also! Glory! Glory! Glory! You are great and greatly to be praised! Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

After reading today’s Psalms, I’ve decided to join Norma-Jean, just the two of us for now, in singing the doxology, “Praise God from whom all blessings flow.”

[Note: The following was written November 13, 2015]… I have much to praise God for.  Some readers may be aware that I was given an “expiry date” of March 2014. MDS acute leukaemia was to take my life in 2 years after diagnosis (March 2012). Yesterday I had a check up and the specialist said that I’m doing better than expected. It will be two years ago this January that he said of my health, “Jaw dropping remarkable.” He gave me permission to quote him. I love having more time with my 11 great-grandchildren, Norma-Jean and the entire family, friends and people down here on earth. Thanks for all who remember me in their prayers!!! I must confess, however, that I was disappointed  for a while that I didn’t get to see Jesus when I had expected to. God’s timing will always be just right!

Yours to encourage us all to “PRAISE THE LORD!”

David

P.S. Here is a beautiful rendition of “The Doxology” I found on Youtube, sung during a wedding ceremony (click HERE). Why not take a moment to praise God and sing along with these young men?

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

PRAISE IS BEAUTIFUL!

Today’s Reading: Psalms 147

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).

 

The sun burst over the unique sandstone topography in Timna Park in the Jordan Valley in Isreal. Such a scene should cause us to think of our Mighty Creator! It is most appropriate that the first and last words of today’s reading would be, “PRAISE THE LORD!”

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verses: Psalm 147:3-5

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. He counts the number of the stars; He calls them all by name. Great is our Lord, and mighty in power; His understanding is infinite!

 

Our Creator not only created the stars, but He has a name for each one. Even with all our modern technology, astronomers have never been able to see all the stars and number them. Only our infinite God understands the vastness of the universe. Even though He is great in power, He is even greater in His care for His creation and, in particular, for us! He comes to us and heals the brokenhearted and binds up our wounds! We must remember that this Great Lord made us in His image, and therefore, He will not interfere unless invited to do so by those He put in charge of this world. That’s us! God chose the ancient Israelites to receive His Word for the entire human family, and through them we have been given the Word of God which we read every day. With this privilege comes an awesome responsibility… to do everything in our power to make sure the whole world would hear of the mercies and judgments of our holy and loving God.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

I am reminded, O God, in each Psalm I read that You are great! I marvel that You, the Creator of the universe, are so concerned about me as an individual. I pray for Your Spirit to so fill me that I will be able to effectively communicate Who You are to others. There is one person to whom I should speak today, and when the opportunity presents itself, may I be faithful and effective in sharing Your Word to that one, and others, by my words, my actions, and my giving. In the name of the One who did this 100% of the time, Jesus Christ. Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I have the honour of being called “Founder” by the men and women of God who currently lead Crossroads. Our website 100huntley.com carries the daily 100 Huntley Street television show. I call this a “show” because we want to “show” the great God of the universe, Who “heals the broken-hearted and binds up their wounds.” We, as a human family, must understand that the majority of the inhabitants of earth have made it clear that they don’t want God involved in their lives. God is not a dictator. He is a Lover! His great heart is broken! We’ve rejected His love. We’ve taken prayer and the Bible out of our public schools and much of the public square. Ever since our first human parents, we’ve separated ourselves from God and from His maintenance of creation over which He gave us dominion. Thus nature is left on its own, and the result is disaster after disaster. It’s our fault, not God’s. Yet we can respond with God’s love after such disasters and help to “bind up their wounds.” Crossroads provides ways to help (click here).

Yours for reaching out to others with God’s unending love,

David

Monday, November 11, 2019

REMEMBER

Today’s Reading: Psalms 145-146

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).

 

In the Jordan Valley, King Herod built one of his palaces on the top of a mountain known as Masada, as it was the most defensible location in his domain. Herod was the most insecure of kings. He built several such fortress palaces. The Kingdom of the King of Kings is everlasting and His dominion endures throughout all generations and forever!

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verses: Psalms 145:3,13

Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised!…Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom and Your dominion endures throughout all generations.

 

Psalm 145 is another acrostic poem in the Hebrew language. It serves as an introduction to the final five hymns of praise and worship! The theme is in verse five. David extols, blesses, meditates, declares, speaks, and tells us all that every day he will make known with his mouth the praises of the Lord! Praising God not only involves private and public worship but let us never forget that it means telling others in the world around us, particularly teaching the next generation all about God and His mighty deeds!

In Psalm 146 the great king, David, makes a declaration. We are to praise the greatest King, the One Who is King of kings! David states that as long as he lives he will practice what he preaches to us. He ends the Psalm with another, “PRAISE THE LORD!!!”

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I know that You alone are the One in whom I can put total, ultimate trust. Therefore, I trust the One Who did as Psalm 146 says, “Opens the eyes of the blind,” “Raises those who are bowed down and loves the righteous” (remember He gives us His righteousness by faith), “Watches over the strangers,” “Relieves the fatherless and widow,” and “Turns upside down” (the wicked). In the Name of this One, the One Whose Name is Jesus, I pray. Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

This day here in Canada is called “Remembrance Day.” We remember those who gave their lives to secure our peace and freedoms in this land. I think that I can best honour these who fell in battle by focusing on the death of the Lord Jesus Christ in the greatest war of all…the war against sin, death itself, the devil and his forces of evil. In 2013 I attended a Remembrance function on the eleventh of November. I sat at a table with a mother and father who had lost a son in the Afganistan war. Their son had a premonition of his death and made a videotape for his parents. I’ve just read again Psalm 146:5a, where there’s another use of the word, “Happy.” In yesterday’s reading there were two uses of “Happy.” I am a happy person! Praise the Lord!!!

Yours for remembering to remember, not just once a year but daily!

David

Sunday, November 10, 2019

HAPPY, HAPPY, HAPPY

Today’s Reading: Psalms 143-144

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).

 

Here is the ancient marketplace of Ephesus. These pillars once stood proudly as a testimony to the success of the commercial centre of the city. Man’s accomplishments eventually crumble into ruin, but God’s great building, His living stones, His people, are built to last forever and ever.

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verses: Psalm 144:15

Happy are the people who are in such a state;

Happy are the people whose God is the Lord!

Psalm 143 is the kind of prayer we all need to pray when we are in distress. David prays, “Hear my prayer, O Lord!” “Answer me speedily!” “Do not hide Your face from me!” “Cause me to hear Your loving kindness in the morning!” (could this blog be an answer to that prayer?) “Cause me to know the way in which I should walk!” “Deliver me, O Lord!” “Revive me, O Lord!”

Psalm 144 is delightful! King David asks the question, “What is man?” David’s answer is “a breath,” and “a shadow,” but man also has the potential to be “Happy” during our brief time here on earth. This question, “What is man?” is quoted in Hebrews chapter 2 in the New Testament. We may want to take time to meditate on these words given by the writer to the Hebrew people. We’ll find that Jesus is the greatest joy of all!!! (click here). David prayed, “Bow down Your heavens, O Lord, and come down!” (144:2a). God did come down! We can sing with great happiness, “Joy to the world, the Lord is come!”

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, there is a one-word prayer I pray daily, “HELP!” I am confident You heard my prayer in advance of my time on earth, and You have come down to me in the Person of Jesus Christ, in whose Name I pray. Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

My daughter, Elaine Stacey, gave me a gift of a book called, “Happy, Happy, Happy.” It’s the story of the Robertson family. Perhaps you’ve seen the reality TV series, Duck Dynasty. Phil Robertson at one time was an alcoholic who met Jesus, and Jesus made him a new man. In Phil’s book I read the facts, whereas in the TV show the producers water down the testimony of Jesus that this family want to share with the whole world. The producers even put in “bleeps” to make it appear that they were swearing. The Robertsons were quite upset at this and made it clear that they don’t swear! Phil has lived to see his children blessed as David prayed, “Sons as plants, and daughters as pillars!” (Psalm 144:12).

Yours for being able to say with Phil, “Happy, Happy, Happy!”

David

P.S. Norma-Jean bought me the shirt I’m wearing in the picture below, and my grandson, Nathaniel Shaheen, put on a beard for the photo! My hat is a gift from Chief Sunrise, a great First Nations leader from the Northwest Territories. The Chief, with the name, “Sunrise,” shows the “Reality” of Psalm 143:8, God’s “Loving kindness in the morning.”

Saturday, November 9, 2019

THE SNARE/TRAP

Today’s Reading: Psalms 140-142

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).

 

This is the Parliament House in Athens, Greece. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is located at the bottom of a high wall surrounding the Parliament Building. On this wall is a relief that depicts a fallen soldier which is surrounded by quotations from Pericles’ funeral oration. Two sentry boxes on either side of the tomb have small canopies to protect the guards against the sun. Psalm 141:3 is a prayer for God to “Set a guard over my mouth. Keep watch over the door of my lips.” This prayer should be prayed by all politicians and in our case at Crossroads, all who seek to communicate God’s thoughts expressed in His Word by the use of all forms of media.

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verses: Psalm 141:3, 9

Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth;

Keep watch over the door of my lips.

…Keep me from the snares they have laid for me,

And from the traps of the workers of iniquity.

 

Common to all three Psalms in today’s reading is David’s recognition that snares have been laid to trap him with wickedness, iniquity, and isolation. In each of his compositions we learn that David turned to God for protection and deliverance! When we pray and ask God for His intervention in our lives, God says, “Yes!” A New Testament reading which confirms God’s answer to the prayers of our key verses is 1 Corinthians 10:11-13. God promised us a way of escape from every trap or snare that has the potential to destroy us (and He cannot lie). God, Paul declares, will “MAKE THE WAY OF ESCAPE!” God has shown us the escape plan, but it’s up to us to run for it! Our escape from the snares of the world, the flesh, and the devil is the CROSS OF CHRIST! For believers in Jesus, His Name stands for all He is and does. Proverbs 18:10 says, “The Name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run into it and are safe.” Amen!!

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I pray the words of the key verses: “Set a guard…over my mouth;… over the door of my lips…keep me from the snares…and from the traps.” As Psalm 142:5 says, “I cried out to you, O Lord…” I do that now! I confess, “You are my Refuge!” I pray this in the Name of my Strong Tower, the Lord Jesus Christ! Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

On November 11th in Canada, we’re remembering those who gave their lives for our freedom. Because of this freedom, Brit Hume, a former White House correspondent for ABC News, on live worldwide TV, looked into the camera and spoke directly to golfer Tiger Woods, who had messed up his life badly, and said, approximately, “Tiger, you need Jesus!” God surely caused Brit to speak boldly and wisely. For decades on the 100 Huntley Street daily telecast, I never went on air without praying, “God, please put a watch (or guard) over my mouth!”

Yours to be on guard, protecting each of us from all the snares and traps that sin, self, the devil, and other people may set for us!!!

David

P.S. Here is an interview with Brit Hume from the Christianity Today magazine.

Friday, November 8, 2019

SEARCH ME

Today’s Reading: Psalms 137-139

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).

 

A beautiful view of the Old City of Jerusalem at night. It was here in Jerusalem that David prayed with great fervency the prayer suggested for today!

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verses: Psalm 138:2b, 139:23-24

For Your lovingkindness and Your truth;

For You have magnified Your Word above all Your Name.

…Search me, O God, and know my heart;

Try me, and know my anxieties;

And see if there is any wicked way in me,

And lead me in the way everlasting.

 

Psalm 137 is the lament of some of the Jerusalem Temple musicians who were taken as slaves to Babylon. These words are very sad at the beginning, but suddenly their tone changes to anger and thoughts of future revenge. They did not have God’s love and forgiveness in their hearts.

Psalm 138 is David’s composition. Our first key verse teaches us that God’s Word is of highest value! This should be motivation enough to be consistent in our daily readings!

Psalm 139 is a profound theological statement. God is OMNISCIENT! (all knowing). God gave new and revolutionary understanding to David, his generation, and all future generations! God is OMNIPRESENT! (present everywhere). He is here so that we can, if we are willing, experience His presence 24/7!!!

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, the man after Your own heart, David, wrote a prayer which I intend to pray now and often: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!” I pray this in the Name of the One in Whom there is no wicked way, and Who, through my faith in Him, leads me in the way of everlasting life! That’s Jesus only! Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

While I don’t know the tune to which David’s chief musician sung the words of Psalm 139, I do know by heart a magnificent modern hymn which I’m going to look for on Google right now….I’ve just been worshipping God with “Carmen,” one of my favourite singers. Not only does he sing the prayer from Psalm 139, but his medley includes the hymn “I Surrender All,” and he has led me into a new commitment to God for this new day (click here for Carmen). I encourage taking time now to pray and worship!

Yours for God’s work in our lives and for our worship of God!!!

David

 

Thursday, November 7, 2019

MERCY FOREVER

Today’s Reading: Psalms 135-136

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).

 

The Parthenon is a temple on the Acropolis in Athens, Greece, dedicated to the maiden goddess Athena, whom the people of Athens considered their patron deity. Its construction began in 447 BC when the Athenian Empire was at the height of its power. It is the most important surviving building of Classical Greece. Unique to the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and King David was that, unlike pagan gods. It could not be said of them that their “Mercy endures forever.”

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verses: Psalms 135:13, 136:4

Your name, O Lord, endures forever,

Your fame, O Lord, throughout all generations.

…To Him who alone does great wonders,

For His mercy endures forever!

Both Psalms in today’s reading refer to the final and decisive plague on the Egyptians which resulted in freedom for their slaves, the Israelite people (Exodus 12:29-36). This is a high price to pay for the freedom of the slaves in Egypt, but I’ve just finished reading a book on the American Civil War, fought for the cause of freeing the slaves. The Americans paid a much higher price in the death of their sons for a similar cause.

(1) We learn here that God’s gifts and miracles arise from His love!

(2) God protects and cares for His loved ones!

(3) We eat and drink today because God loves us!

It’s no wonder that the psalmist repeats 26 times, “His mercy endures forever!”

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I’ve just read many reasons as to why I should be thankful! Your Word tells me that Your “Goodness leads …. to repentance!” I pray that this will always be so in my life! Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

Over the years I’ve often said that the most repeated verse in the Bible is, “His mercy endures forever.” Another very important verse from God’s Word is, “Whosoever calls on the Name of the Lord shall be saved!” (Romans 10:13). We should never forget 1 John 1:9 – “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” I have found that many more people struggle with having assurance of salvation than there are those who take God at His Word and rest in the assurance of “His mercy.” This is the result of a lack of emphasis on God’s grace and His unconditional love! I’ve just read Psalm 136 out loud. I dare anyone to join me in this exercise and still doubt God’s mercy and forgiveness!

Yours for the full assurance of the Presence in our lives of our Saviour and Lord!

David

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

JESUS’ PRAYER REQUEST!

Today’s Reading: Psalms 130-134

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).

 

This is a model of the Temple from the time of Jesus. The Temple was destroyed in 70 AD by the Romans. Today, a Muslim mosque, known as the Dome of the Rock (seen in the background), is located on that same Temple Mount. In the time of King David, people from all 12 tribes would sing his songs as they walked from all over Israel up to this mountain top to which David moved the Tabernacle of Moses and then David’s son, Solomon, built the temple here.

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verses: Psalm 133:1

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is

For brethren to dwell together in unity!

 

Psalm 130 provides us a meditation through a prayer of repentance in which the person experiencing the depths of a dark night of the soul rises to the heights of hope.

Psalm 131 takes us to the point where the writer no longer has to depend upon the things of this world, but his hope in God brings calm and quiet in all circumstances!

Psalm 132 may have been sung as the visitors to Jerusalem travelled along the same route taken by King David when he brought the Ark of the Covenant back to its place in Jerusalem (2 Samuel 6:12-15).

Psalm 133 may have been composed as King David watched people from all 12 tribes of Israel streaming into Jerusalem for one of the feasts. Second Samuel 3:1 tells us of the long civil war that had divided the people. Now, under David’s leadership, God brought unity.

Psalm 134 may have been the benediction song as those who had travelled to Jerusalem prepared to leave for their homes. This exhortation comes to us also to make sure that in our generation, we, as servants of the Lord, continue to bless the Lord wherever we are, carrying out our sacred duties to which God has called each of us!

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I pray for a heart of repentance, for a total dependence upon You, and for a song of rejoicing in You! I pray the prayer of Jesus, “That they may be one…” (John 17:20-26). Lord Jesus, I ask You for the grace of consistency in my worship of You and in my service for You. In Your Name I pray, Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

In one of the congregations I served as Pastor, one of our Deacons, who came to Canada from Scotland, complete with his unique accent, would rise during a service every few months and quote Psalm 133! I knew it was coming and I stopped my words and waited for him. What an important message! Unity! In fact, that church had a wonderful unity. I felt it from the very first Sunday I stood in that pulpit. Because of that unity God was able, within His self-imposed restriction of not violating human free will, to do an amazing work of grace in many lives. As Psalm 133:3b says, “There the Lord commanded the blessing!”

Yours for the unity of all believers, “that the world may know…”,

David

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

SOWING AND REAPING

Today’s Reading: Psalms 125-129

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).

 

Mount Tabor is located in Lower Galilee, about 11 miles (18 km) west of the Sea of Galilee. It is believed by many Christians to be the site of the Transfiguration of Jesus. As we look west from Mount Tabor across the farmers’ fields below you can see Nazareth on the right. The beautiful patchwork of the fields tells us that people have sown seed and will reap the harvest.

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verses: Psalm 126:5-6

Those who sow in tears

Shall reap in joy.

He who continually goes forth weeping,

Bearing seed for sowing,

Shall doubtless come again with rejoicing,

Bringing his sheaves with him.

 

Psalm 125 states the fact that “The Lord surrounds His people!” On the basis of that fact the Psalm’s composer can pray, “Do good, O Lord, to those who are good, and to those who are upright in their hearts!”

Psalm 126 gives an answer to the “Do good, O Lord” prayer, which is received with laughter and singing! These songs were sung by the people as they ascended Mount Zion. They may have been the former slaves in Babylon who had wept many tears; now, with Jerusalem in sight, they are rejoicing. Most of us who read our key verses are Christians. Our first tears are shed in repentance for sin. This brings joy! The next wave of tears are shed in our intercessory prayers for others who need to know Jesus. The Scripture teaches us that the seed we sow is the Word of God (Mark 4:1-20).

Psalm 127 confirms to us the futility of human effort apart from God. Those who rely on God can expect to be rewarded with restful sleep which results in peace of mind. Our families are blessed and our families bless us!

Psalm 128 reveals that the basis of a truly happy and successful home is “the fear of the Lord!” This “fear” is that awesome respect we owe God, our Creator, and that “fear” is manifested by the attention we pay to His Holy Word!

Psalm 129 is also a song! We can remember the words to songs well when we remember the tune. The songwriter remembers the history of Israel from the time it was a young nation up to the present. Those memories produce confidence in God’s overall plan!

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I pray for a harvest of joy that will come as a result of my tears of repentance and tears of strong intercessory prayer for the salvation of precious people all over the world. Save my loved ones, Lord, and may I love others with the love of the One who dwells in me. In His Name, the Name of Jesus, I pray! Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

There’s a saying I remember from childhood: “More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of.” There are great poets who wrote in the English language about God and His reality. Those words were written by Lord Tennyson in the 19th century. He imagines the death of King Arthur and writes the above famous line. He goes on to write,

“Wherefore, let thy voice rise like a fountain for me night and day. For what are men better than sheep or goats that nourish a blind life within the brain, if, knowing God, they lift not hands of prayer both for themselves and for those who call them friends? For so the whole round earth is bound by gold chains about the feet of God.”

Over and over again through the years I’ve come to God in prayer, claiming God’s promise found in our key verses. I’ve found joy and rejoicing in God’s blessing. Also I’m old enough to have worked for several summers as a teenager behind a “binder”… a machine that produces sheaves of wheat which must be placed in an upright stack so that the water will run off them when it rains while awaiting the community threshing machine. Then the grain could be put into the barn awaiting hungry cattle and horses, or the flour mill. This was an exciting time as all the farmers in the area would work together for the success of the harvest! It reminds me of the precious souls harvested because many of us have done our part in God’s harvest through our support of “The Crossroads Family of Ministries!” (click here for more on the sowing and harvesting work of Crossroads).

Yours for successful sowing and reaping!

David

Monday, November 4, 2019

GOD WITH US!

Today’s Reading: Psalms 120-124

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).

 

This is the Church of Saint Peter in Gallicantu (Gallicantu = “cock crow”). It’s a Roman Catholic Church located on the eastern slope of Mount Zion commemorating Peter’s triple rejection of Jesus on the night He was arrested. According to Christian tradition, the location of this church is also the original place of the House of High Priest Caiaphas. In the distance you can see the security fence that divides Israel from Palestinian territory. And even further you can see in the haze across the Jordan valley to the mountains of Moab in Jordan. We are reminded in today’s reading to “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.”

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verses: Psalm 121:5-8

The Lord is your keeper;

The Lord is your shade at your right hand.

The sun shall not strike you by day,

Nor the moon by night.

The Lord shall preserve you from all evil;

He shall preserve your soul.

The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in

From this time forth, and even forevermore.

Here are five little Psalms with big content!

Psalm 120 is written by a person of peace who did not take vengeance against those who slandered him. We can learn from these words that we should take false accusations to the Lord in prayer!

Psalm 121 teaches us that God continually watches over us. This is one of several “Songs of Ascent” to be sung as pilgrims are climbing up the mountainside to its highest point on which Jerusalem is located. As they look up they are filled with faith and expectancy as they are facing the City of God!

Psalm 122 was sung after entering the gates of Jerusalem. They realize that worship in Jerusalem would continue to be possible only if the city continued to be secure, prosperous and peaceful!

Psalm 123 was sung as they approached the Temple. Now they are lifting up their eyes to behold the Lord Himself!

Psalm 124 is sung to describe God’s interventions over the years in miraculously protecting the people of God as long as they welcomed His help, knowing that He would not intervene on their behalf if they didn’t want Him to do so. We are created in the image of the One “who made Heaven and earth.” Human free will, given to people who are made in God’s image, means that we must call for His help so that He can respond without violating our free will!

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I lift up my eyes to You. I know that You hear me! Therefore, I pray that You will preserve me from all evil! I “pray for the peace of Jerusalem!” Have “mercy on us!” Thank You that I have escaped like a bird. You have broken the trap (snare), and I am free! I pray in the name of the One who is truly on my side, Jesus Himself! Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I may have shared this before but here goes the story. My father, Roy Mainse, suffered 3 heart attacks after 21 years as a missionary in Egypt. His Doctor told him that he must return to Canada for any chance of recovering. A 300-mile car ride was necessary, from Assiut to Cairo, in the blazing June sun with no air conditioning. Dad was lying across the back seat (his nephew, Lorne Kenny was driving. Lorne for many years was the head of the Middle Eastern Studies Department at the University of Toronto). Dad told me that he felt he would faint in the intense heat. Somewhere on that trip Dad quoted out loud Psalm 121. Lorne confirmed this story to me several times. As Dad said the words of the old King James version (6a), “The sun shall not smite thee by day,” a small cloud came between the sun and the car. That cloud remained between the sun and the car for the remainder of the trip! My Dad and my cousin Lorne both assured me that Egypt, with the desert on both sides of the Nile River, does not have clouds in the sky in June! God was surely on Dad’s side that day! He lived and ministered here in Canada for another 20 years. At 76 years of age, while shovelling snow, he sat down on the steps of his Toronto home and his heart stopped. He was immediately with the One Who was truly on his side!!! Amen

Yours in recognition of the fact that when we decide to side with God, He will side with us!!!

David

P.S. I have an ostrich egg on which I had Psalm 121:5-6 inscribed in gold paint. It sits on the top shelf above me as I type. I love to show the egg to my great-grandchildren while telling them the story of their great-great-Grandfather and the Egyptian sun! Below is a photo of the egg.

I purchased this egg, emptied of its contents, in Jordan. Our guide offered to print the words of Psalm 121:5-6 in gold lettering after I had told him my Dad’s story. I look quite skinny in this picture. I’ve put on 20 pounds since this was taken! Praise the Lord!!! Thanks to all blog readers who pray for me!!!