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 3 April 2016 Psalm 89:6

Psalm 89:6.    For who in heaven can be compared unto the Lord? Who among the sons of the mighty can be likened unto the Lord?

Well friends, it’s Sunday, the Lord’s Day, the best day of the week! So let’s therefore begin it with some rather appropriate praise and worship nuh. Please sing with me, these ever-faithful and ever-true words of Charles Jenkins. 

With pomp, and power and glory now: ‘My God is awesome, He can move mountains Keep me in the valley, hide me from the rain.  My God is awesome, heals me when I’m broken  Strength where I’ve been weakened, forever He will reign  (repeat)  My God is awesome, awesome, awesome, awesome  My God is awesome, awesome, awesome, awesome.  

My God is awesome, Savior of the whole world  Giver of salvation, by His stripes I am healed  My God is awesome, today I am forgiven  His grace is why I’m living, praise His holy name  My God is awesome, awesome, awesome, awesome  My God is awesome, awesome, awesome, awesome.  

He’s mighty, He’s mighty, He’s mighty, He’s mighty, Awesome, Awesome,  He’s Holy, He’s Holy, He’s Holy, He’s Holy, Awesome, Awesome,  He’s Great, He’s Great, He’s Great, He’s Great, Awesome, Awesome  He’s mighty, He’s mighty, He’s mighty, He’s mighty, Awesome, Awesome  

Deliverer, Deliverer, Deliverer, Deliverer, Awesome, Awesome  He’s Holy, He’s Holy, He’s Holy, He’s Holy,  Awesome, Awesome  Provider, Provider, Provider, Provider,  Awesome, Awesome  Protector, Protector, Protector, Protector,  Awesome, Awesome  

My God is awesome, He can move mountains  Keep me in the valley, hide me from the rain  My God is awesome, heals me when I’m broken  Strength where I’ve been weakened,  Praise His holy name!’ 

Good going friends! Our voices reached up to high heaven and celebrated the Father this spring time Sunday morning! He was most pleased with that sacrifice of praise! And aren’t those words of praise and might and power the absolute and awesome truth? They certainly are! 

Sorry that the words don’t read as good as they sound when sung. (smile) And I recently heard the choir of the First Baptist Church in Atlanta, Uncle Charles’ (Charles Stanley) church and some gentleman sing it. And was it ever wonderful, marvelous and soul-touching. The sort of call and answer response between the choir and the gentleman was incredible. I guess I never paid much attention to his name because the music was so sweet. (smile)

And the great thing about opening with some praise and worship my people, is that it gets us in the mood, softens us up, so that we will be more receptive to the Word. So since you are softened up and receptive now (smile), let’s get to the Word, beginning with our Bit. ‘For who in heaven can be compared unto the Lord? Who among the sons of the mighty can be likened unto the Lord?’ 

Now that’s a great question my people, the answer to which is obviously a resounding ‘NO ONE!’ 

Ah my fellow believers, how can anyone be greater or more awesome than our God eh? It’s just IMPOSSIBLE! 

Listen to His attributes and then tell me if anyone, or anything, in the whole wide universe can match them. He can move mountains; He is a Healer, a Deliverer, a Protector, and a Provider. He can keep me safe in the valley of the shadow of death, hide me from the rain, and strengthen me when I’m weak. 

He’s mighty, both in strength and war, and on top of all that He is the Saviour of the whole world, the Giver of Salvation by His blood that was shed on the cross of Calvary, by His free gift of grace all my sins are forgiven, by His stripes I am healed. And we haven’t even spoken about His holiness and righteousness, His truth and sense of justice… 

And above all He is our Creator! That’s why we praise His holy name and expect Him to reign for ever! Yes friends, our God is truly AWESOME! No doubt about it! 

Now hear the psalmist as he expatiates (smile) on the Lord’s greatness in Psalm 33 – Praise to the Lord for his creation. ‘Let all the earth fear the Lord: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him. For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast. 

The Lord bringeth the counsel of the heathen (nations, Gentiles) to nought: he maketh the devices (plans) of the people of none effect. The counsel of the Lord standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations. Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.’ (Ps.33:8-12) 

Yes precious people, our God is most excellent! And we are extremely blessed to be numbered amongst His chosen people! Please never forget that, and let’s behave like it, showing LOVE and care and compassion for others. 

Now let’s close with these marvellous, memorable and true words of Bruh David from Psalm 86 – Teach me thy way, O Lord. ‘Be merciful unto me, O Lord: for I cry unto thee daily (all day long). Rejoice (make glad) the soul of thy servant: for unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee… 

Among the gods there is none like unto thee, O Lord; neither are there any works like unto thy works. All nations whom thou hast made shall come and worship before thee, O Lord: and shall glorify thy name. For thou art great, and doest wondrous things: thou art God alone.’ (Ps.86:3-5, 8-10) 

And all of that is indisputable, gospel truth my brethren! So this Sunday morning, as we get ready to go to the sanctuary to praise and worship and give thanks to our Most Awesome God, please let’s remember all the wonderful attributes He possesses, and make our oblations with proper awe and reverence and humility. For that’s wisdom of the highest order. Much LOVE!

…stand in awe…and sin not…commune with your own heart upon your bed…and be still…Selah…  (Ps.4:4)