Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 February 2021 Deuteronomy 33:27a.

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

Welcome to another Sunday morning friends! Are you ready to gather for another week through technological means to give our great God some much deserved praise and worship? And all God’s children shouted out a loud, proud and grateful ‘Yes!’ Well then, let’s get started by singing this awesome hymn that resonates with courage and solace in those rough times when we are seeking comfort. It’s titled ‘Leaning On the Everlasting Arms.’ And what better place to go for comfort that in the mighty and wide open arms of Christ eh? NONE, my people! 

It’s reputed that the comforting words of Deuteronomy 33:27 engendered the thoughts for the hymn to Anthony J. Showalter in the late 19thcentury as he was replying to letters from two of his former pupils whose wives had died. Later on, with the help of Elisha Hoffman, a noted hymn writer, they penned this wonderful song. And I particularly like this bit of advice from the website Hymnary.org: ‘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.’ 

Wonderful advice friends! So let’s take it as we raise out voices to heaven in sweet sacrificial praise. In a rich, scintillating, easy rocking riddim: (smile) ‘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… oh how good it is to be, leaning on the everlasting arms of Jesus.’ 

And isn’t that last statement one of significant importance and comfort my people? It surely is, because there’s no place of security and comfort like in the arms of Jesus! Mama Yo! Bless His holy name! It is indeed a ‘joy divine’ that brings such wonderful peace of mind. And when we are in such proximity to Him, there’s nothing to dread or be afraid of for He’ll keep us safe and secure from all the alarming things that are currently happening in our world. And when we know that Jesus is looking over us, He has our back, then it’s easy and sweet to walk the pilgrim’s way, for every day becomes brighter and brighter as we get closer to home. 

Now let’s have a look at the scripture that was supposedly the inspiration for this awesome hymn of comfort. Moses wrote to the people of Israel: ‘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.’ (Deut. 32:27) That will certainly make a people stand up and take notice. 

But when you add the rest of that passage, a people will feel themselves invincible. ‘Israel then shall dwell in safety alone: the fountain of Jacob shall be upon a land of corn and wine; also his heavens shall drop down dew. Happy art thou, O Israel: who is like unto thee, O people saved by the Lord, the shield of thy help, and who is the sword of thy excellency (majesty)! And thine enemies shall be found liars unto thee (submit to you); and thou shalt tread upon (tread down) their high places (places of pagan worship).’ (Deut. 33:28-29) 

Oh my brethren, what great words of comfort and promise! And Israel did find succour and promise under the hand of God when they were obedient to Him. But you also know the suffering they endured when they got too big for their britches and turned away from Him. Just like we are suffering right now. But that’s a story for another time. (smile) Right now we’re just looking at a few scriptures that highlight that God is indeed a place of refuge when times are rough. 

Hear Moses again in Psalm 90, the only psalm he ever wrote. ‘Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place (refuge) in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed (gave birth to) the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.’ (Ps. 90:1-2) And as God, He can indeed do wonderful and miraculous things! Now hear how Psalm 91 states it: ‘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.’ (Ps. 91:1-2) What marvelous words of trust and encouragement friends! 

And Bruh David, when he was hiding in a cave, running from his enemies, and he felt all alone, he declares: ‘I looked on my right hand, and beheld (look on the right hand and see), but there was no man that would know (acknowledge) me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul. I cried unto thee, O Lord: I said, thou art my refuge and my portion in the land of the living. Attend (give heed) unto my cry; for I am brought very low: deliver me from my persecutors; for they are stronger than I. Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise thy name: the righteous shall compass me about (surround me); for thou shalt deal bountifully with me.’ (Ps. 142:4-7) 

And we all know the way Saul and others hunted down Bruh David, but his faith was strong in the Lord and the Lord kept him safe and secure from all his enemies. And yuh know what friends? He will do the same for us if we hold Him in the same high esteem and regard that Bruh David and other great men of faith held Him. That’s the word for today! (smile) Please ponder on it. Much LOVE!

…it doesn’t make sense…to go to any other source than our Creator for help…  

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 27 July 2016 Deuteronomy 31:6

Deuteronomy 31:6.    Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee nor forsake thee.

And then it was Wednesday; the middle of the workweek, when we get our second wind and then just hustle to the weekend! 

Yes mih people, the universe is progressing as it should, under the plan and control of our heavenly Father, the Creator of all therein! We therefore need to understand how He works so that we don’t go adrift from His will. 

And that can only be accomplished by reading His word, fellowshipping with other believers and staying in close communication with Him through prayer, meditation and worship. 

Now here is a soulful anthem I heard the Hour of Power choir singing last night. It touched me so much that I had to write it down to share it with you. It’s an amalgamation of different important and interesting scriptures. Please sing it with me. 

‘Be strong and of good courage, fear not, nor be afraid. For the Lord your God will be with you. He will not fail you nor forsake you. The eternal God is our refuge. And underneath are the everlasting arms. (Chorus) Be strong and of good courage, fear not nor be afraid… 

Trust in the Lord with all your might. And lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him. And he will direct your paths. (Chorus) 

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. Be strong and of a good courage…Fear not!’ 

Ah friends, those words of praise and worship just lift the spirit and give us encouragement to carry on!

So we’ve had worship, now let’s have prayer. (smile) And since this is Wednesday, it’s only right that we should declare our Wednesday Wail with much sincerity, enthusiasm and truth. So let’s wail! 

‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. 

My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

Ah mih people, every week we declare that, it just touches something deep in me. I am awed and amazed at the breath of life that courses through my body. Though it sometimes seems frail, it is in fact powerful and very moving. 

And when I stop looking back at the past and instead look to the glorious future that Jesus has promised those who believe in Him, the Holy Spirit just rises up in me and causes me to joyfully declare a loud and sincere ‘Thank You Lord!’ 

But unfortunately, not all of us react that way. Many of us are still locked in the past, in the trials and tribulations that we’ve endured, and it scares us to think about the future, because there may be more of those negative problems involved. 

But friends, once we’ve trusted Jesus as our Lord and Saviour, there’s no need to look back, because all our sins have been forgiven, and the Lord has promised to be with us, even through the trials and tribulations that come our way. That’s why I figured those powerful and encouraging words of Moses to the Israelites should be our Bit today. 

Just listen to these awesome words nuh, my brethren.‘Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee nor forsake thee.’ 

Oh friends, oh friends, what awesome promises! And if you’re a believer, then one thing you’re positive of is that our God is not only great and powerful, but He’s also faithful, faithful to a fault! He NEVER reneges on a promise. So if He promises to go with us and never leave nor forsake us, then that’s exactly what He will do. 

That means we don’t have to worry and fret and be anxious about anything, for even the rough times He will eventually turn to our benefit. Another great promise of His! 

So my people, this Wednesday at the end of July 2016, I’m asking us all to take courage, to be strong in the might and power of our God! Remember it’s He who created the universe and all therein, so He is not exactly a weakling. 

And I know that it’s not always easy to be strong and courageous in this dangerous and disgusting world, but we have to stand up and be counted if we want to survive and succeed. 

Oh my fellow believers, all throughout the Good Book our magnificent God has planted words of strength and encouragement, so that we can take heart and continue undeterred under His banner. And there is none more encouraging than God’s words to Joshua when He appointed him leader of the Israelites after the death of Moses. 

Listen up: ‘There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee nor forsake thee. Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance (you shall give as a possession) the land which I sware unto their fathers to give them. 

Only be thou strong and very courageous… Have I not commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee withersoever thou goest.’ (Josh.1:5-6, 7a, 9) 

Oh friends, in four verses, the Lord commanded Joshua to be strong and courageous three times! In like manner He is commanding us to do the same today, because He knows what tests and trials will beset us in this life, but He also knows that He WILL have our best interests at heart and eventually work it all out for out good! 

So please be strong and very courageous today my people! It will work miracles in our lives! Much LOVE!

…the wonderful promises of God…imbue and inspire His people with strength and courage…