Saturday, August 20, 2011

Psalm 34:1&2

"I will
extol the Lord at all times; His praise will always be on my lips."

Lord, I choose to extol You at all times, in each circumstance. I will give You highest praise for You are God, and I am not. In all You have revealed Yourself to be I humble my heart to give You praise, kneeling in the security of Your holy sovereignty. 

"His praise will always be on my lips."

 O Lord, make it so. May the first inclination of my mouth be to speak Your praise. May it spill forth from my heart and mind, my soul. You, O Lord, are worthy of all praise. You give us every breath and sustain all things. I thank You for calling me Your child, for loving me with an everlasting love, and putting eternity in my heart.

"My soul will boast in the Lord;"

Everything alive within me will shine forth Your light, O Lord. I will speak of Your wonders, I will glory in them. May I always bring You laud from a thankful heart, for You have canceled my debts and established me in Your kingdom.

"let the afflicted hear and rejoice."

May the afflicted hear my praise, and turn their hearts to Your joy. May their oppression diminish in the brightness of Your greatness and eternal plans. Even in affliction, may my praise, spur on a deeper adoration for You as I know You more.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Monday, August 8, 2011

always faithful

God never stops being faithful. But how often do my concerns and worries, show I am afraid His faithfulness will soon stop, as though it were a good that the storehouses of heaven could run out of, as though this integral part of God’s character could be no more? I confess that it is too often that my faith falters, my heart grows weary and my eyes lose sight of His eternal purposes. About a month ago while I was reading 1 Samuel 17, I was struck by David's faith. I loved the way that he showed his faith facing Goliath when no one else would! The Lord used this to encourage my heart and I have continued to go back to the passage in the midst of all the changes in life. I have become fonder of the familiar story of David facing Goliath and pray that I will have faith like David.

26b: "Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?"
David was not impressed by the size of his foe, but was disgusted with his defiance toward God.

32: David said to Saul, "Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him."

David was not numbered with the faint of heart. He was confident in the Lord, and allowed that confidence to control his actions.

34-37a: But David said to Saul, "Your servant has been keeping his father's sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine."

David recalled the Lord’s past faithfulness and deliverance. While the situations were different, David moved  to face the giant knowing that the outcome would be the same, the Lord would deliver him.

39b-40: “I can’t go in these,” he said to Saul, “because I am not used to them.” So he took them off. Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and, with his sling in hand, approached the Philistine.

In the two preceding verses, David tries on Saul’s clothing and armor, but David knew they wouldn’t do. They weren’t suited for him. So David went as he was; he stepped out confidently in the Lord and in the skills he had developed as a shepherd. He didn’t approach Goliath in the king’s, warrior armor, but as himself.

45-47: David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defiled. This day the Lord will hand you over to me, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. Today I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the LORD’s, and He will give all of you into our hands.”

David explains the gravity of the offense of Goliath and the Philistine army; it is before God Himself, not just His people. He boldly declares what the outcome of their battle will be. David knows that there is great purpose in what He is doing. It is for God’s glory and that His existence be known through the whole world. David’s bold humility is striking. He moves courageously, knowing that the battle is God’s alone.

48: As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him.

I love the last half of this verse, “David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him.” David does not shy away from the battle or enter it only in reluctance, or by force. Rather, in faith and full confidence of His Defender, he runs quickly toward the battle.           

The story continues: with a stone Goliath falls to the ground, David is triumphant, the Israelites pursue the Philistines and the Lord gives them the victory. This was just the beginning for David and the Lord had awesome and eternal plans for his life!