Today’s Scrip-Bit   15 January 2023 Deuteronomy 33:27a.

Deuteronomy 33:27a.        The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms:

Come Sunday, it will be all right… Yes friends, come Sunday everything will be fine as we gather in the Lord’s sanctuary on His day to give Him thanks and praise for His awesome goodness to His children! Nothing could be better than communing with our heavenly Father all in one place at one time. As the Lord’s word reminds us in Hebrews: ‘And let us consider one another to provoke (stir up) unto LOVE, and unto good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much more as ye see the day approaching.’ (Heb. 10:24-25) 

And the scholars tell us that ‘This admonition involves far more than erratic attendance. It involves the entire worship of Christ and is an outward indication of an inner condition. The assembling of God’s people provides opportunity for reciprocal encouragement, strengthening, and the stirring up that can be gained from one another (cf. Col. 3:12-16). It consists of participation in worship and fellowship. The church is a body interacting (1 Cor. 12:14-27); it is not merely a dispensary of spiritual food and medicine.’ 

And having been told off in no uncertain terms (smile) let us proceed to interact by offering up some sacrificial praise through this marvellous song of encouragement and strengthening, aptly titled, ‘Leaning On the Everlasting Arms.’  And as we raise our voices in sweet harmony, in an up-tempo version of the hymn, let’s do as the website Hymnary.org advises: ‘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.’ 

We definitely can’t go wrong, doing that my fellow believers. So let God’s people sing: ‘‘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…leaning on the everlasting arms of Jesus… oh how good it is to be, leaning on the everlasting arms of Christ my Saviour….’ 

And you’d better believe that there is certainly no better place to lean than on the everlasting arms of Jesus! The story goes that the hymn came about from the letters of two past pupils of Anthony J Showalter, who informed him that their wives had died, and they were seeking consolation. And while answering their letters he was inspired by these marvellous words of comfort found in 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.’ 

Apparently though, Showalter had some problems putting the hymn together, so he approached Elisha Hoffman, a prolific gospel writer for help, and together they wrote the song which was eventually published in 1887. Wow! Another oldie but goldie! And it’s revered as one of the greatest hymns for times of solace, as it encourages us to keep ‘leaning on the everlasting arms’ of God when seeking comfort. 

And why not eh, when Bruh Paul writes it so plainly in his first missive to the church at Corinth. ‘Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort, Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble (tribulation), by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.’ (2 Cor. 1:3-4) 

Mama Mia! What a wonderful God we serve and worship my faithful brethren! He comforts us in our trials, so that we can comfort others in their time of need! What a simple but every effective way to do it. And that’s one of the reasons why consistent church going is important; you can’t be encouraged if you’re not associating with your fellow believers. And the opening lines of the hymn just exude comfort and consolation. ‘What a fellowship, what a joy divine…what a blessedness, what a peace is mine, leaning on the everlasting arms.’ 

Then the chorus declares: ‘leaning safe and secure from all alarms;’ How could we not like this wonderful hymn eh? And for good measure, let’s hear some more of those comforting sentiments. (smile) ‘Oh how sweet to walk in this pilgrim’s way…O how bright the path grows from day to day, leaning on the everlasting arms.’ It certainly does my people. Therefore, ‘What have I to dread, what have I to fear, I have blessed peace with my Lord so near.’ Absolutely! 

That’s why the psalmist could unequivocally state in Psalm 91: ‘I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God, in him will I trust.’ (Ps. 91: 2) Likewise Bruh David in Psalm 27 was not afraid to proclaim: ‘The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?’ (Ps. 27:1)  And we certainly can’t doubt Moses when he sings in his famous song: ‘The Lord is my strength and song (fortress, defense), and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him a habitation (praise him); my father’s God, and I will exalt him.’ (Ex. 15:2) 

Yes friends, that magnificent Library of God’s Word, is filled with such sentiments throughout its pages. And not from hearsay either nuh, but from personal experience, thus it‘s ever so important for us to read, study and sincerely consider the many encouraging and uplifting anecdotes found therein. 

And if you don’t believe me, then listen to the Lord as He speaks to Joshua when He made him the leader of the Israelites on the death of Moses. ‘This book of the law shall not depart out of (shall continually be in) thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.’ (Josh. 1:8) 

Yes my fellow saints, that’s really the only scripture we need to ever learn and follow yes! So please let’s begin doing it seriously and sincerely as of right now nuh. For then we will make our way prosperous and have good success. I‘m sure we all desire that. And it’s right there in the palms of our hands, ready for the taking. So please, let’s be wise and do it. Much LOVE!

…in the storms of life…there is no where else to find true peace and comfort…than leaning on the everlasting arms of Christ our Saviour… 

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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…