Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 September 2020 Deuteronomy 33:27

Deuteronomy 33:27.     ​The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms: and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; and shall say, Destroy them.

Welcome to Sunday friends, the day when we take serious time to worship our great God in fellowship with other believers. And yes, our churches are now open for business, though with strict regulations as to the cleaning and social distancing and number of people allowed to attend… and I think they have even reduced the number this weekend because of the rise in Covid-19 cases. But even with all those restrictions, it’s still better than no physical gathering at all. So let’s get to worship, to some singing of God’s praises without further ado nuh. 

And today’s hymn is an old favourite and very appropriate in today’s anxious and distressful circumstances. It’s titled: ‘Leaning On the Everlasting Arms of God.’ And believe me, there’s no better place in this universe to lean than on the arms of the mighty One that created us and despite our less than stellar behaviour, still LOVES us with a LOVE so strong and unconditional that NOTHING can break the special bond between us. Glory be mih people! 

But before we get into the singing, here’s some info on the origin of the song from the website Godtube. ‘Leaning on the Everlasting Arms is a hymn published in 1887 with music by Anthony J. Showalter and lyrics by Showalter and Elisha Hoffman. Showalter had received letters from two of his former pupils informing him their wives had died and were seeking consolation. When writing them back, he was inspired by the phrase in the Book of Deuteronomy 33:27 “The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms: and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; and shall say, Destroy them.” 

But after thinking of the verse furthermore, he decided those words would make a great theme for a hymn. He then wrote the words for the refrain and music for the hymn “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms.” But he needed help with the stanzas, so he went to see Elisha Hoffman author of over 2000 gospel hymns. Hoffman provided the stanzas while Showalter created the refrain and music to this hymn. One of the greatest hymns for times of solace as he encouraged “leaning on the everlasting arms” of God when seeking comfort.’ 

And is that ever the glorious truth! Now let’s sing the hymn and do what the website Hymnary.org tells us to do. ‘As the hymn is sung, contemplate what it means to find refuge in our heavenly Father’s arms in times of fear and trial, and to allow His joy and peace to replace our loneliness and anxiety.’ Mama oh Mama! Let’s get to it nuh friends; in strong, soulful harmony, with sincerity just oozing out of our hearts and souls! 

‘What a fellowship, what a joy divine, leaning on the everlasting arms; what a blessedness, what a peace is mine, leaning on the everlasting arms. (Refrain: Leaning, leaning, safe and secure from all alarms; leaning, leaning, leaning on the everlasting arms.) O how sweet to walk in this pilgrim’s way, leaning on the everlasting arms; O how bright the path grows from day to day, leaning on the everlasting arms. 

[Refrain]What have I to dread, what have I to fear, leaning on the everlasting arms? I have blessed peace with my Lord so near, leaning on the everlasting arms. Leaning, leaning, safe and secure from all alarms; leaning, leaning, leaning on the everlasting arms, Leaning, leaning, safe and secure from all alarms; leaning on the everlasting arms of Jesus…leaning on the everlasting arms of Christ my Saviour…’ 

Yes my fellow saints in Christ, that’s exactly where ALL believers ought to be leaning full on in these perilous times: on the everlasting arms of Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour! If we’re not leaning there, then He’s not truly our Saviour or our Lord, because that’s what Saviours and Lords are for! 

Just check out the lyrics in the hymn nuh; the sweetness and appropriateness. Words like ‘what a fellowship, what a joy divine.’ Remember our joy comes from His strength. (Neh. 8:10) And ‘how bright the path grows from day to day…so what have I to fear, what have I to dread,’ when I’m leaning on Christ’s everlasting arms eh? Absolutely nothing! With Him so near, we ‘have blessed peace, safe and secure from all alarms.’ Wow precious people, what else do we need but Jesus eh? Again, the answer is a loud and proud‘NOTHING!’For He is ourEVERYTHING, wrapped up all in One! 

And if you don’t believe me, then listen to the psalmist spell it out. ‘He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. Surely he shall deliver me from the snare of the fowler (bird trapper), and from the noisome (perilous, deadly) pestilence. He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust (take refuge): his truth shall be thy shield and buckler (small shield).’ (Ps. 91:1-4) And it goes on promising security my people, for the Lord is the greatest power in the universe He created. 

And yes, Satan does get in a few licks in this evil world, but we all know that eventually the Lord’s purpose will prevail, per His promises. Jesus said, that when we stand up for Him, we’ll have problems, even be put to death ‘And ye shall be hated of all men for my sake. But there shall not a hair of your head perish. In your patience possess ye your souls.’ (Luke 21:17-19) 

And that rolls us into these two immortal promises: ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.’ (Rom. 8:28) Then Bruh Paul further elucidates: (smile) ‘Who shall separate us from the LOVE of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? …(NOTHING!) shall be able to separate us from the LOVE of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ (Rom. 8:35)

And it means exactly what it says my fellow believers; if you sincerely stand up for God, through Jesus Christ, then He will eventually make everything right for you. Working for Christ isn’t easy, but the eventual rewards are literally out of this world. (smile) So let’s go out and earn some out of this world rewards nuh. Much LOVE! 

…true wisdom is working for God…depending on Him…and LOVING Him with all you have…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 August 2014 Deuteronomy 33:27

Deuteronomy 33:27.    The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms: and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; and he shall say, Destroy them.

Aye mih people, fellow believers in Jesus Christ, once again the week has come full circle – Sunday to Sunday. Yeh, it’s time to begin another new week on the Lord’s Day.

And I was guided by the person of the Holy Spirit to remind us of two unassailable, irreversible truths. The first is that the Bible is God’s Word to us, and remains fresh through all the ages. And if we read it, we will find God’s wisdom embedded in its pages.

And the second truth is that ONE truth from the Bible is worth more than all the wisdom of man.

Oh Friends, please let’s spend a quiet moment and contemplate on those two statements, while writing them indelibly in our hearts and souls, for they will certainly help to guide us along the straight and narrow path that we need to adhere to, to successfully follow our wonderful Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

And now having reminded us of those two glorious truths, (smile) let’s also remind us that the Lord’s Day is the day we generally get together with other believers in His sanctuary to sing and praise, worship, glorify and magnify our heavenly Father, Jehovah God! So please, let’s get ourselves together and find ourselves in a place of worship sometime today.

And the great thing about getting together to worship, is not only that it magnifies and glorifies God, but it also raises our spirits, puts a positive spin on our doings, brings joy to our souls and readies us for the coming Monday, the first day of the work week!

Yes Friends, having participated in joyful praise and worship on Sunday, undoubtedly enables us to face the daunting Monday without fear. In fact we are enabled to face it with complete assurance, joy and the oodles of positive opportunities that will be available to help us spread the good news of Jesus and His wonderful doings! In other words, to face Monday fearlessly and positively, we have to start getting ready on Sunday by worshipping.

And today we’ll continue with the message of our Bit from yesterday. ‘The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms: and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; and shall say, Destroy them.’

Yes Friends, that’s our great God! We have already seen how He is the safest and most wonderful refuge we can ever have, how He gathers us under His protective and comforting wings like the hens gather their chickens under their wings, and how He provides awesome comfort to all who believe and come to Him for succour.

Now let’s look at the second half of the Bit: ‘…and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; and shall say, Destroy them.’  

And my brethren, that is exactly what the Lord said to the Israelites through Moses, at the beginning of their Exodus from bondage in Egypt. Listen to what Moses told them way back in chapter 9 of Deuteronomy.

‘Hear, O Israel: Thou art to pass over Jordan this day, to go into possess nations greater and mightier than thyself, cities great and fenced (fortified) up to heaven, A people great and tall, the children of the Anakim, whom thou knowest, and of whom thou hast heard say, who can stand before the children of Anak!

Understand therefore this day, that the Lord thy God is he which goeth over before thee; as a consuming fire he shall destroy them, and he shall bring them down before thy face: so shalt thou drive them out, and destroy them quickly, as the Lord hath said unto thee.

Speak not thou in thine heart, after that the Lord thy God hath cast them out from before thee, saying, For (because of) my righteousness the Lord hath brought me to possess this land: but for (because) the wickedness of these nations the Lord doth drive them out from before thee.

Not for thy righteousness, or for the uprightness of thine heart, dost thou go to possess their land: but for the wickedness of these nations the Lord thy God doth drive them out from before thee, and that he may perform (fulfill) the word which the Lord sware unto thy fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.’ (Deut.9:1-5)  

Yes Friends, the Lord made it abundantly clear that they would inherit the Promised Land, not because of their righteousness, since they were already a stubborn, disobedient and stiff-necked people, but because of His will and the wickedness of the people then inhabiting the Land.  Above all, it would fulfill His promise to their fathers to give the land to their descendants.

But even with God’s assurance of victory, the Israelites were afraid, and showed that fear and stubbornness by refusing to cross over the Jordan and take the land. And it’s not like they hadn’t experienced the wonders, goodness and miracles of God during their exodus from Egypt.

That’s why the Lord allowed them to wander in the wilderness for forty more years, until all the people who had come out of Egypt had died. It simply showed a lack of true faith and trust in the God of their fathers, in spite of all He had done for them. That, to the Lord was definitely not acceptable.

Ah mih people, how many of us today behave the same way eh? How many of us have God assuring us of victory in some area(s) of our lives, but because of fear or some other negative emotion, we refuse to take the next step, that leap of faith that will solidify our trust in His LOVE and faithfulness?  How many of us have missed out, or are missing out on God’s blessings like the stubborn and fearful Israelites eh?

Oh Friends, that is not the way Jesus expects His followers to live. We can’t say we trust and believe and surrender, then don’t do what He asks or guides us to do! That just makes our faith a total lie!

So please, for today’s ‘ponderation’ (smile), let’s take serious stock of our actual level of faith nuh, not the one we believe we have, but the real nitty gritty one, and see where we are falling down in the things that Jesus asks and expects of us, and then,  with sincere prayer, ask Him to help us improve.

Now that is what is termed absolute wisdom! For He WILL NEVER refuse our requests in that area. Much LOVE!

…if God has been faithful to us in the past…why would we ever doubt Him in the present and the future…