Today’s Scrip-Bit   2 January 2022 Psalm 34:4.

Psalm 34:4.      I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. 

Here it is friends, the first Sunday of this new year of 2022! And although we still can’t worship with the freedom and gay abandon that we once did, with the Lord’s help, we’ve found technological ways to keep on worshipping individually, while gathering in small Covid regulated groups for corporate worship. But regardless of how we do it, the important thing is that we are still worshipping despite the many constraints and restrictions placed upon us. 

And today, this first Sunday of the new year, we are going to open with a most appropriate song, one of the most remarkable and beautiful songs of this century. We are talking about the reworking by Shane Barnard of the first ten verses of Bruh David’s famous Psalm 34 – The Lord hears the righteous. And that He certainly does my people! Barnard subtitled his song ‘O taste and see that the Lord is good,’ and the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir has done a wonderful version of it. 

Every time I see the live video of it, my spirit gets a miraculous lift. As one comment on the performance says: ‘Every time I listen to this song, I imagine myself along with all the other saints in heaven worshipping. This song carries a strong anointing. You can feel the presence of the heavenly hosts.’ And that’s no lie. So, a la the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir, let’s raise our voices in sacrificial praise, let’s magnify and exalt the Lord’s holy name together, letting Him know that this year we are determined to be more faithful than we were in 2021. 

From the depths of our hearts and souls then: ‘I sought the Lord And He answered me And delivered me From every fear. Those who look on Him Are radiant They’ll never be ashamed They’ll never be ashamed. This poor man cried And the Lord heard me And saved me from My enemies. The Son of God Surrounds His saints He will deliver them He will deliver them. 

Magnify the Lord with me Come exalt His name together Glorify the Lord with me Come exalt His name forever. Oh taste and see That the Lord is good Oh blessed is he Who hides in Him. Oh fear the Lord Oh all you saints He’ll give you everything He’ll give you everything. (Magnify the Lord with me Come exalt His name together Glorify the Lord with me Come exalt His name forever. Repeat) 

(Let us bless the Lord Every day and night Never ending praise May our incense rise. Repeat 4 times) Magnify the Lord with me Come exalt His name together Glorify the Lord with me Come exalt His name forever. {Repeat} Oh taste and see That the Lord is good. He’ll give you everything He’ll give you everything. Oh taste and see That the Lord is good. He’ll give you everything He’ll give you everything. …He’ll give you everything…’ 

Oh my people, that was just wonderful! We were almost as good as the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir! (smile) Wow! Heaven knows now that we are serious about worshipping our great God. And a couple more accolades for the BTC, are in order here. One says: ‘I just imagine being in heaven worshipping with this magnificent choir, just magnifying our great God! Hallelujah!!’ 

And the other declares: ‘The worship that the people utter after the song is like Heaven, every race, every tongue raising up their voices in one accord unto The King of Kings.’ But you know what grabs me most about the whole performance is the way the musicians get into the song. You can see that they are truly feeling it. And that to me is what makes it so lively and enchanting, for when musicians really feel what they play, it just lifts the entire performance. 

And the whole psalm is based on Bruh David’s simple but heart felt words: ‘I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.’ (Ps. 34:4) Yes friends, that’s what sincerely seeking the Lord can do. And we know that’s what Bruh David did for his whole life, despite the many mistakes he made, and the Lord blessed him continually. 

Now the prophet Azariah also made a similar claim to the people of Israel on one of the occasions when they had turned away from the God of their forefathers and found themselves in serious trouble. The Good Book describes it thus: ‘And the Spirit of God came upon Azariah the son of Oded. And he went out to meet Asa, (the pious and faithful king who was sincerely trying to clean up Israel’s idolatrous behaviour) and said unto him, 

Hear ye me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin; The Lord is with you, while ye be with him; and if ye seek him, he will be found of you; but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you. Now for a long season Israel hath been without the true God, and without a teaching priest (prophet), and without law. But when they in their trouble did turn unto the Lord God of Israel, and sought him, he was found of them.’ (2 Chr. 15:1-4) 

Yuh see that mih bredrin? Although Israel had forsaken the Lord, when they turned back to Him in time of trouble, they found Him, and He released their fear. So what does that tell us in this current time of great fear and ungodliness eh? It’s simple and so apparent: we need to turn back to the God of our forefathers and ask for His help. But very few of us, comparatively speaking are even looking to the Lord for help in these turbulent, fearful and very disruptive times. 

And listen to Bruh David’s advice from Psalm 9 nuh. ‘The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.’ (Ps. 9:9-10) Oh my people, it couldn’t be any plainer or more straightforward than that! In times of trouble the Lord God Almighty is our surest refuge, the best place to turn to for help! So why aren’t we turning to Him in greater numbers eh? 

Because we are too hard-headed, proud and stubborn, and like to do our own thing, even though it’s not working. But please remember these wise words of Jesus: ‘And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; 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.’ (Luke 11:9-10) 

And I believe that’s a good place for us to end today. But please my fellow saints, let’s not forget that though this is a new year, nothing has really changed, just some digits on our computers and papers. We still have a host of problems to deal with and changing a date won’t solve them. The only thing that will, is for our society to sincerely turn back to Jesus Christ, and all that He stands for! Much LOVE!

…to Christ be the honour…to Christ be the glory…for all that He’s done for mankind… 

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