Category Archives: Psalm

Getting wisdom elsewhere

I’ve been around for a while.  I know quite a bit.

BUT, am I wise?

The Bible is counter-intuitive when it comes to wisdom.

“Your heart was filled with pride because of all your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor.”  Ezekiel 28:17

“How can men be wise?  The only way to begin is by reverence for God.  For growth in wisdom comes from obeying His laws.  Praise His name forever.”  Psalm 111:10

What I consider wise and what the world considers wise, often isn’t.

A commentary on Psalm 111:10 uses the example of a well-known painter to make a point.  The painter attracts the praise of many as he sketches the passing landscape on the way down the Niagara River to, and over, Niagara Falls.  What was important to him and to those who admired him?  Obviously not the MOST important thing.

God gives us every good thing we have, yet too often we are deceived into thinking we deserve it.  We have made it possible.  God gets relegated to Sunday morning.  We know best without His involvement.

We miss who God is!  We lose our respect and admiration.  Our wisdom becomes “corrupted.”

Reverence for God is a full-time activity.  God is special.  He’s the best.  He’s been there, done it.

Shouldn’t I have a passion to want to know Him better?

Photography interests me.  When I find an expert in an area of photography that interests me, I actively chase after him/her.  I read.  I watch.  I chase.  Why?  They are the expert.  I want to get from them what I have a passion for.

If I claim to love God, I will have a passion to know Him.

The second part of verse 10 above gives instruction in this area: I need to obey His laws.  Surely, this requires knowing what His laws are.  What He wants from me.

I pour over articles in camera magazines chasing knowledge of something that interests me.  I must approach the Bible similarly.  Therein are instructions on how to be wise in God’s eyes.

Will I chase wisdom in the Bible as I do in other areas?

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Where are the Godly?

“For the Lord says: ‘I am against you, Israel.  I will unsheathe my sword and destroy your people, good and bad alike – I will not spare even the righteous.”  Ezekiel 21:3-4

“Who but God can give me strength to conquer these fortified cities?  Who else can lead me into Edom?  Lord, have you thrown us away?  Have you deserted our army?  Oh, help us fight against our enemies, for men are useless allies.”  Psalm 108:10-12

“The One Year Bible” have put Ezekiel 21-22 together with Psalm 108.  They are good fit.

If you want to get discouraged, read Ezekiel 21 & 22!  Things are bad and going to get worse.

Take note that even the so-called “righteous” will not be spared.

I wonder if these folks were “righteous” in their own eyes or were they righteous but not doing what God wanted?  I don’t know.  I do know that God is including them in the punishments to come.

Maybe “righteous” refers to the priests because God goes after them in Ezekiel 22:26: “Your priests have violated my laws and defiled my Temple and my holiness.  To them the things of God are no more important than any daily task.”

At the end of Ezekiel 22, God admits that He has looked for someone (anyone) who actually lives righteously and has the Godly sense to ask Him for help.  Sadly, no one is found!

BUT along comes prayerful David in Psalm 108.  He is well aware of the size of the enemy but He is also aware that God is not overwhelmed by any enemy.  Men are overwhelmed but God isn’t.  David sees that relying on men, and not God, is useless.

What a lesson!  Evil is formidable for sure.  God is more formidable.  My trust must be in Him not in other things such as the police, the government, my health insurance etc…

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Eternal life insurance

“Teach us to number our days and recognize how few they are; help us to spend them as we should.” Psalm 90:12

I learned this morning that some grandparents in my church had lost their grandson to a car accident recently.

That’s not the way it’s “supposed” to be!  He was only twenty-three.  All those years we assume will come, sometimes don’t.

When I was in my late twenties, we had someone come to our home to talk about life insurance.  I will admit that it wasn’t my idea.  I dug in as the salesman tried to convince us of the necessity of a life insurance policy. I refused to wrap my brain around the need for life insurance, despite his (accurate) information to the contrary.

Realizing that I have no certainty of tomorrow is a necessity if I am going to approach each today in a Godly way.

How will I navigate today?  I quickly gravitate to the Martha/Mary story.  Will I see the Big Picture, or will I settle my attention on lesser things?

In a way, I am now that young salesman I referred to earlier.  I have a view of the future that some choose not to have. How will I persuade the “uninsured” of their need?

We will have to make a next-life decision before we get to that next life.  We will either have eternal life insurance or we won’t.  There will be no “policies” sold on Judgment Day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The way life should be

“But I have calmed and quieted myself, I am like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child I am content.”  Psalm 131:2.

Is that you?

It’s certainly not me!

But it is the way the Godly life is supposed to be.

If it is, why is it so elusive?

The circumstances of life are unpredictable.  I don’t know what will happen next.  Therefore, apart from God, I reflect my uncertainty.  I get excited.  I get loud.

When I put my ENTIRE trust in God, I can live the Godly life the way I’m supposed to.

God truly is in charge.  There is a happy ending.  Note I am not now living in the “ending” part of life unless He suddenly returns.  I am on life’s journey in a fallen world.

I can be certain that God is with me in all circumstances.  My wife and I are still trying to replace our car that was totaled in January.  There has been nothing quick about the process, but we are trusting God for help.

My behavior should be described as “calm” and “quiet.”  I will betray the reality of my relationship to God if those two don’t describe me.

Conclusion: Am I calm and quiet because of Who God is?

 

 

 

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God in the details of our lives (personal story)

“Praise be to the Lord God, the God of Israel, who alone does marvelous deeds.” Psalm 72:18.

I write about, “God in my midst.”

I write about, “God in the details.”

Let me relate a specific example of how we saw that play out in our lives:

The house my wife and I live in is in our daughter’s name.  We’re here, we pay some of the bills, but the house is in her name.

When the house was bought, and we agreed to live here, our daughter arranged for cable to be installed.  We, however, paid and continue to pay for cable.

The bills are sent to us at our mailbox in the town (in Massachusetts) where we live in our daughter’s house.

When there have been difficulties with cable, I contact Comcast to try and sort things out.  Our daughter lives in another state (Connecticut).

My wife is the actual bill payer.  She has mentioned regularly that “cable is going up.”  “I should call them,” she suggests, “and see if there is something that can be done to lower the rates.”  I have occasionally tried to do that without success.

Very recently the TV was not working properly.  I contacted Comcast and informed them of the problem.  The Comcast online technician went into trouble-shooting mode.  She finally decided that a technician would need to come to our house to fix things.

She asked for the “last four digits of my social” and I told her what they were and that they were the last four digits of my daughter’s social.

The online helper then informed me that in order to get an agent to come to the house, my daughter would have to contact Comcast and give permission.  I tried to explain that my daughter didn’t live in the house and that we were paying the cable bills.  That got me nowhere.

This complication prompted me to visit the area Comcast office and try to transfer the cable account into my name.

“God in the details?”  Keep reading.

I went to the Comcast office and explained our dilemma to their representative. I told him that I wanted to set up a new account in my name.

His response?  “This is an excellent time to do it.”  The details?  He told me that the cable equipment we had in the house was very old, and it would be replaced with new equipment.  They would also transform our slow internet into something much faster.

And the cost would be lower!  I am not the bill payer, but it looks to be $50-$60 less a month.

I did not start the day with any thought that our cable bill could be lowered, but God entered the details of our lives in an unexpected way.

Conclusion: “Thank You, Lord, for such a blatant ‘marvelous deed’ on our behalf.”

 

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Does Satan have my tongue?

“Praise be to his glorious name forever; may the whole earth be filled with his glory.”  Psalm 72:19.

Can I not see what God is doing in my midst?

When I concentrate on noticing, there’s plenty to take note of.  Unfortunately, that’s only part of the problem.

Even if I notice what God has done, and is doing, will I speak up about it?

I want the habit of speaking up to be a habit.  I am unhappy with contriving it.

Why isn’t my mind mindful of Him?  What is it full of?

The natural beauty in my surroundings never quits.  Why do I quit praising the Giver of my surroundings?

Why don’t I notice the Godly Hand within my household?  I sure take notice when my “good” deeds aren’t recognized.  How does God feel when I slurp through His blessings?

I need a mental makeover.  I need to air out my thought life and get it oriented into steady praise of Him.

Conclusion: My silence about His blessings to me speak volumes.

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I call Him King, but it He?

“But God is my king……” Psalm 74:12.

God is in charge, or at least that’s what I say.

Think of how I live, though.  Don’t I behave as if I’m in charge!

Why don’t I defer more to Him?  “If the Lord approves…”  Do I ever say that?

I say, instead, “I will……….”

God is not mocked.  He knows my heart.  He knows my motivation.

Do I really want a king?  Sure, I want to be in His Kingdom, but am I willing to be subjected to Him?

What would subjection look like?  I think it would start with an attitude of wanting to please the King.

If I can’t start there then I am looking to please someone else……..Satan.  That seems harsh because I would not intentionally say that I want to please Satan but how else can deliberately not pleasing God be interpreted?

I must report for “duty” 24/7.  “Here I am, my King,” is the way to start.  No strings attached.  No preconceived notions. Just, “Here I am, my King.”

Conclusion: “Here I am, my King.”

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