“I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry. … He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord.” Psalm 40:1, 3 (ESV)
A promise that has eternal truth and never fades is found in our verses for today. About three weeks ago we began with a new page on our calendar. Often by this time the new year has lost its “glow” and we can take some time to think of what we have experienced so far and in our past. Because of that we can look forward to what is ahead of us. Yes, our experience of God’s love and faithfulness in the past is what encourages us so much to trust Him for the days ahead. We know that He is the one that lifts us up and sets our feet on a solid foundation (v.2). God has been and continues to faithfully keep his promises in the past and we can trust Him to continue doing that. It is important however, that we recognize the necessary times of waiting for Him to respond to our cries as the psalmist says. He’ll keep on hearing our prayers and meeting our needs and giving us a new song to sing. This includes his promise that our testimony will draw others to put their trust in God.
“This is the day which the Lord has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it.” – Psalm 118:24 (NASB)
Everyday without fail, this promise is fulfilled. Everyday without fail, we have reason to rejoice in the day the Lord God has given to us. But the day spoken of in this verse was perhaps intended for one specific day. To understand this we need the context and look back to verse 22. “The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief corner stone.” Peter identified the chief cornerstone as Christ* And in the parable Jesus told of the vineyard**, the rejected son of the vineyard owner is likened to the rejected stone which became the chief cornerstone. Christ was that rejected stone. The rejection of Jesus by the Jewish leaders – who were pictured as builders of the nation – led, by God’s plan, to make Christ the capstone of the Kingdom which included the whole world in God’s promise of redemption. At the memorial service for a recently departed friend, today’s verse was shared as his life verse. It is this promise which Van Craddock would quote each time he spoke to a group of people. A promise for us as well each day as we praise God for His gift of salvation.
“The Lord will protect you from all evil; He will keep your soul. The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in From this time forth and forever.” – Psalm 121:7-8 (NASB)
It is good to remember often how much our God is involved in our lives. Our verse today reminds us of this truth. We sometimes are tempted to think that we come and go all on our own. And we may think that we are on the go so much that no one else could really keep track of all our coming and goings. And then for God to keep track of all His children in this world, is this really possible? Yes it is and that is what this verse says. It includes all God’s children all around the world and my friend, it includes each of us. Our God is watching over each of our lives and each of our movements and relationships. Whatever we are involved in and whatever our decisions and direction, God knows just were we are. That’s a promise of God. While this may seem to some to have a temporal role at first glance, there are indications that it looks beyond to eternal life for he protects us from all evil from now even until forever.
“But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who love your salvation say continually, “Great is the Lord!”” Psalm 40:16 (ESV)
“The Greatest of All Time” or “The Great _______,” fill the blank. Being great at anything seems to be a driving passion of many people. Not all who are declared to be Great or the Greatest actually are. But there is one who is truly Great and is worthy of calling him Magnificent. So we are called, if we seek God and love the salvation God has provided for us we should shout, “The LORD be magnified!” God wants all of us who follow Him to find real joy in doing so and real joy in living for Him. He wants the Christian life to be a life full of true joy. He wants us to be satisfied in Him so much that we are also satisfied in our life. Our verse also reminds us when we are happy in living for the Lord, it results in much praise to God. When we enjoy the Christian life we will want to exalt the Lord. We will want that His name receives much glory and praise. Today, let’s seek Him and rejoice and be glad in Him. Let’s also say with the Psalmist, “GREAT IS THE LORD!”
“Blessed is the one you choose and bring near, to dwell in your courts! We shall be satisfied with the goodness of your house, the holiness of your temple!” Psalm 65:4b (ESV)
When David the psalmist wrote these words of praise to God, he was thinking of the blessings which comes to God’s people as they worshiped in the Tabernacle and later the Temple. The psalmist references these places as God’s courts. In the time these places of worship existed, it was the place where God would dwell among His people. It is the Lord God who chose Israel and who choses us and brings us near to him. We can apply these words to our experience of belonging to God’s family today. We are members of God’s household and we experience many good things because of it. As our verse says we are satisfied with the goodness God provides. We need to remember each day and be thankful that we are blessed because we belong to God’s family. He is our heavenly Father and He takes care of us as we live here on earth. If we open our hearts to Him to fill us, he will fill our lives each day with His blessings. Then we can say as the psalmist said, we shall be satisfied and give God the glory for all He has done.
“I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds. – Psalm 9:1 (ESV)
In the crush of our overly-commercialized world, it does not take long for the spirit of Thanksgiving to fade. Our attention turns to other intentions and desires. We’ve mentioned previously, every day is a good day to give our expressions of thanks to God. We can make every day a day of thanksgiving. When we take the time to consider what God has done for us and for all who need salvation, we have much to be thankful for. Today’s verse is from Psalm 9 and reminds us that true thanks that is pleasing to the Lord comes from within ourselves. It comes from our heart and our whole heart should be involved. We can express thanksgiving with our lips. If we are not focused on God, we can really say the words without our hearts being involved. Today the verse reminds us that true thanks to the Lord requires all our heart. Let’s do so today as you gather with family or friends or if you are by yourself, you can still give thanks to the Lord with all your heart. He knows you and He is with you today so be thankful for that blessing and promise.
“Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.” Psalm 25:5 (ESV)
How much do any of us enjoy “the wait?” Who has time to wait in our high-speed world to be put on hold? But waiting is very often a good thing, even the best thing for us to do. Especially in the Psalms of David we find suggestions to “wait” on the Lord. We all have many things to learn from the Lord. And how else will God have an opportunity to teach us what we need to learn if we don’t wait for Him to teach us? We have opportunities to wait for God to act. God’s time is perfect and very different than ours. We don’t care for the army way where it’s common to “hurry up and wait” By waiting we can constantly be ready with hope that God will teach us His ways and His paths. It is through expectation that we wait with hope for God to teach us His perfect way for us. “Lead me in Your truth and teach me” is what David wrote. We too can be at all times looking eagerly to God for Him to show us and teach us and lead us.
“He sent out his word and healed them, and delivered them from their destruction. Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man!” Psalm 107:20-21 (ESV)
Needing to be ‘healed’ or ‘delivered’ from something destructive happens. Some have experienced God’s benevolent grace and love this way. All of us have had serious needs from time to time where we felt the need for deliverance or healing. We have reason therefore to be thankful to God. No one is without something that they have thanksgiving for. This day we celebrated Thanksgiving Day in the USA. Our brothers and sisters north in Canada, celebrated Thanksgiving on the second Monday of October. Whenever we pause for a national day of thanksgiving, it is good to remember and keep in mind the reason we do that. We all have reasons to make every day a day of Thanksgiving. Today’s verses provide examples of reasons for giving thanks to the Lord. He is certainly worthy of our thanks. He has done so much for each of us. He has loved us and because of His great love. He offered His Son and He went to the cross for us. He has brought us into His family. Even if we are not with our physical family let’s be thankful that God has brought us into His family.
“Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations.” Psalm 90:1 (NASB)
The promise from God that we have to consider today is in a very short verse a Psalm written by Moses. He was writing from his own experience and the experience of other people of faith who lived before him. The word “dwelling” is like a “hiding place” or “refuge.” God promised to be their sanctuary for protection, substance, and stability. We believe his words also are for us and can describe our experience today as well. The next verse is also expressive of God’s promises. “Before the mountains were born Or You gave birth to the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.” It’s like saying that the Lord is our home. It’s true that when we trust in Him we do feel at home. Our Lord desires for us to feel at home with Him. It’s so comfortable to be able to trust Him and to sense His fellowship. Let’s always remember to come home to the Lord because we belong there. He is and He always will be throughout all generations for those who believe and accept Jesus. That is something we can be very thankful for today, tomorrow, and forever.
“Many, O Lord my God, are the wonders which You have done, And Your thoughts toward us; There is none to compare with You. If I would declare and speak of them, They would be too numerous to count.” Psalm 40:5 (NASB)
“As the host of heaven cannot be counted and the sand of the sea cannot be measured, so I will multiply the descendants of David My servant…” Jeremiah 33:22 (NASB)
Let’s think about the times we have been outside at night looking up at the stars. Ever tried to count the ones you can see? Most of us have at least once. Men like Brahe, Kepler and Galileo in the seventeenth century gave birth to modern astronomy. Up to that point Hippocrates had said there were 1,022 stars. Ptolemy said, “No, there are 1,056.” Kepler said, “You’re both wrong. There are 1,055.” If they had read Jeremiah 33:22 and Psalm 40:5, our verses today, they would know that the stars and other wonders of God can’t be counted. Those of us who are true followers of God can remember times when God has shown his greatness as He takes care of our needs. We know of His greatness for others who believe His words. As David wrote the words in today’s verse and He was thinking of what God had done⸺already now many centuries ago. God has never ceased to show Himself in the same way and does so all the time throughout the centuries. The promise we carry today is that no other person or entity can compare to Our God, He is the only One.