Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 April 2021 Psalm 42:5b.

Psalm 42:5b.​       Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance (presence).

Welcome to Easter Tuesday friends! And the in-crowd place to meet today is in the town of Buccoo, in sweet Tobago, where Goat Races are the featured event of the day…and has been for many, many years! It’s become so big, that they even built a stadium just to hold it! Awesome! But who knows if it’s going to be happening in this pandemic time, with the lockdown that’s currently in place? 

However, given the ingenuity of my people, I wouldn’t vote against it happening, though in some reduced form and fashion, especially since I understand that Tobago is now the new playground for Trinidad, as the citizens can’t go further afield. Yes people, when it comes to partying, you can’t beat a Trinbagonian to find unique ways and means to bring it to fruition! 

But what we all need, so much more than partying is to cultivate an intense longing for Almighty God, our Maker, Controller. Deliverer and Provider! That’s because He’s so awesome, so LOVING and compassionate, so protective of His people, hides us from the rain, heals us when we’re broken…! What else do I need to point out for us to understand that our God is great and greatly to be praised eh? And that the number one purpose for which we were created is to praise and worship Him, to have a most excellent communication between the Creator and the created! 

Wow! My God is awesome! He’s the giver of salvation, author and finisher of our faith, high priest of our church…and so many other wonderful things! And instead of partying in the evil sense of the word, we ought to be rejoicing in the righteous way that speaks of Jesus; of His most awesome deliverance of sinful man in this Easter Season! No one else could do the miraculous deeds that He’s done. So we ought to celebrate His mercy, holiness, His forgiveness, grace and wonderful, unconditional LOVE for us, instead of bowing to the evil fool Satan and desiring to enjoy the pleasures of sin, instead of the righteousness of God! 

So what we should be doing, as I said earlier on, is cultivating an intense longing for our awesome God! In these trying and troubled times of worldwide sickness and strife, only a return to God in true and sincere repentance can solve them! Yes my brethren, like the Sons of Korah sing in Psalm 42 – An intense longing for God – let’s do the same nuh, let’s celebrate and worship our graceful, merciful and awe-inspiring God. So let’s lift our hands, as we lift our voices in prayer. 

‘As the hart panteth after (the deer longs for) the water brooks, so panteth (longs) my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God? My tears have been my meat (food) day and night, while they continually say to me, Where is thy God? When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me: for I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday (a pilgrim feast).’ (Ps. 42:1-4) 

Yes friends, in earlier times we would go to the Lord’s sanctuary and praise His holy name in song and prayer. But then, as we became successful and prosperous, we began moving away from the very source of our success and prosperity. We forgot that it is the Lord who allows us to get wealth and prosperity, and instead began trying to turf Him out of our society. And now that immense strife and sickness have befallen us, we’re wondering what happened, how such a plague befell us? And the simple answer is that we turned away from God and began praising the devil instead. So now that we can’t find remedies for our awful predicament, we’re wondering what to do. 

But like the sons of Korah asked so long ago: ‘Why art thou cast (bowed) down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted with me?’ (Ps. 42:5a) Today friends, the correct answer to the problem is still: ‘Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance (presence).’ (Ps. 42:5b) Yes my people, that’s the only sensible answer there is to our current troubles…hope in the God of our forefathers! 

Hear the sons of Korah continue with their praise nuh. ‘O my God, my soul is cast down within me: therefore will I remember thee from the land of Jordan, and of the Hermonites, from the hill (the mount of) Mizar. Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts (waterfalls): all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me. 

Yet the Lord will command his LOVING-kindness in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life. I will say unto God my rock, why hast thou forgotten me? Why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy? As with a sword in my bones (the shattering of my bones), mine enemies reproach (revile) me; while they say daily (all day long) unto me, Where is thy God?’ (Ps. 42:6-10) 

And yes, my fellow believers, the heathen are at our throats every day with that question. And that then leads us to ask ourselves: ‘Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me?’ And what’s our reply? ‘Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance (my giver of salvation) and my God.’ (Ps. 42:11) Oh friends, let’s praise His holy name! Let’s look back over our lives and see where the Lord has brought us from, the mighty and magnificent things He’s done for us, and realize that He can, and will do the same things for us, once we are obedient to His word and will! 

And I like this explanation from the scholars about the overall effects of psalms 42 and 43, which in some Hebrew texts are joined together. ‘Using the refrain Hope thou in God as a marker, the poem yields three stanzas. First, the psalmist expresses his deep longing for God (42:1-5); second, his sad lament and dejection before God (42: 6-11); finally, his sure confidence in God (43:1-5). The three stanzas reveal the changing moods of the psalmist: from longing and regret to perplexity, then to trust and assurance. If only every downcast soul could end up in that third stanza!’ 

And there’s no real reason why all of us can’t find true trust and reassurance in our great and mighty God! We all know His amazing, omnipotent power, and have all experienced some good and awesome benefits while walking in strong tandem with him. So why shouldn’t He do it again, if we sincerely seek Him and His awesome will for our lives? No reason whatsoever! So, for those of us who sincerely believe and diligently try to live for God, let’s go home now declaring (oh yeahhh!) our Tuesday Mantra, proclaiming to the whole world, who and whose we are. 

Altogether now, in strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world. Amen!’ 

And the obvious corollary to that is for us to now go out into the confused and godless world and gladly share Jesus’ awesome LOVE and friendship, so that we can overcome our ever so pressing problems! Much LOVE!

…our problems will diminish…in direct proportion…to our sincere longing for God…  

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 September 2015 Psalm 119:81

Psalm 119:81.My soul fainteth for thy salvation: but I hope in thy word.

Oh Friends, another sun fest is expected in my area this Saturday morning! Glory to God! And on top of that I did not read my name in the obits this morning either. Wow! That means I am still alive on God’s great earth with work to do for Him. What a marvelous privilege to work for Jesus! 

And you know what? When we work for Jesus we enjoy the time, even though some of the tasks might be difficult, painful and inconvenient. Mama Mia! What a great Master He is to work for because His yoke is easy and His burden is light. (Matt.11:30) Yes my people, Jesus is the only employer that calls the toiling and heavy laden unto Him, so that He can teach them and give them rest for their weary souls. (Matt.11:28-29) 

Now why wouldn’t you want to work for such a caring and compassionate employer eh? I really don’t know and can’t find a good explanation for the reticence, especially since the majority of our earthly employers are greedy, selfish, power hungry, slave masters. That puts me in mind of the quote I got today from our friend Anselm, who is always aspiring to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

And the quote says: ‘Some people are just plain old negative so stop trying to convert them. When they are ready to graduate to the next level you’ll see the change in them the way they saw your light shining. Until then, live in your bubble of happiness and stop sharing your dreams with dream killers.’ 

Now there is a lot of truth there, because some of us are so ignorant, stubborn and negative that it doesn’t make sense to try and show them a better way, to tell them about the good news of Jesus, and continuing to spend time with them only frustrates us. Once we have shared the Word with them and see their negative response, it’s truly better to leave them to God and just enjoy our own journey with Christ, let them see from our lifestyle how joyful we are in Jesus; being the salt of the earth and shining like the light of the world.  

As James says, faith without works is useless, is dead. (James 2:17-18)  And unfortunately today our Christian walk truly lacks Christian works. That’s why so many people laugh and jeer at us and don’t have time for Jesus. And why should they if we’re not performing as we should? This world could be such a beautiful place if believers in Jesus behaved just a tad more Christ-like. 

And that doesn’t mean holier than thou, but simply by doing good as Jesus did; sharing and caring for the poor, downtrodden and destitute, of which there are far too many in our world. Enough preaching though, (smile) let’s turn to our Bit from Psalm 119, under the section CAPH – All thy commandments are faithful. 

And they definitely are my brethren, that’s why the psalmist confidently declares: ‘My soul fainteth for thy salvation: but I hope in thy word.’ What trust and confidence the psalmist has in the word of the God of his forefathers! 

Oh Friends, do we possess that high level of trust and confidence to day in Jehovah God? I sincerely doubt it. Otherwise we would not be behaving as wishy-washy, resentful and contentious as we are, while trying to run Him out of our society. 

Listen as the psalmist continues his plea. ‘Mine eyes fail for thy word, saying, When wilt thou comfort me? For I am become like a bottle (wineskin) in the smoke; yet do I not forget thy statutes. How many are the days of thy servant? When wilt thou execute judgement on them that persecute me? The proud have digged pits (dug pits, laid traps) for me, which are not after (according to) thy law. 

All thy commandments are faithful: they persecute me wrongfully; help thou me. They had almost consumed me (made and end of me) upon earth; but I forsook not thy precepts. Quicken me after (revive me according to) thy LOVING-kindness; so shall I keep the testimony of thy mouth.’ (Ps.119:82-88) 

Yes my brethren, though life seemed to be pretty rough with the psalmist, nonetheless throughout all his pleading, he never once doubted or gave up on the Lord and His Word…’yet do not I forget thy statutes…but I forsook not thy precepts…’ 

Oh my people, if only our faith in the Most High God today was so strong and incorruptible! But sadly it isn’t, for our generation doesn’t  seem to have the parts, the belly and backbone to stand up to the enemy the way we ought to. No wonder every day they are taking away more of our godly and Christian rights, rites and ways. Meanwhile we just mutter and complain and do nothing about it. 

I’m sure Jesus must be sorely disappointed to see how we are simply lying down before the pagan onslaught and not putting up a more serious fight. Please remember Friends, the battle has already been won, victory is ours, for Christ has conquered hell, death, Lucifer and the grave! 

We just have to stand strong now and see the war through until Jesus returns in all His glory, power and splendour. But for whatever reason, we seem incapable of doing that. We don’t seem to have the longing for God that the older folks did. 

And we’ll close with some most appropriate words from Psalm 42 – An intense longing for God. ‘As the hart (deer) panteth after (longs for) the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?’ (Ps.42:1-2) 

Oh my people, that’s how we ought to be longing for the Lord our God; so much that we can’t wait to come before Him. Now let’s see if we can’t sit down today and begin that process nuh, that soulful longing for our Creator, by seriously and sincerely inspecting our souls, see where we may be found wanting and ask the Father to help us change our somewhat negative, less than stellar approach. You know He will always help us, so please don’t be afraid to ask for it, since it is the wisdom of the ages. Much LOVE!

…ask, and it shall be given you…seek, and ye shall find…knock, and it shall be opened unto you…  (Matt.7:7)