Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 January 2020 Psalm 71:23.​

Psalm 71:23.    My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing unto thee; and my soul, which thou hast redeemed.
 
And another Sunday has dawned; wet and icy and dark in the Greater Toronto Area! We did get that rain storm that was promised, and sincerely hope that it soon peters out to dry weather, because it has caused some damage in several areas. Unfortunately, I know that the inclement weather is going to be used as a convenient excuse not to attend the Lord’s sanctuary today and fellowship with other believers. 

But friends, we’re only doing ourselves a serious injustice when we stay away from church, unless it’s for a very good reason. That’s because we miss the camaraderie, the encouragement, the praise and thanksgiving, and the hearing of the Lord’s uplifting and guiding Word that such fellowship entails, and which allows us to leave the proceedings filled with trust and confidence in our omnipotent God! But to each his own. And as always, we’ll get the celebrations going with a song of praise. 

And today’s song is a wonderful one, officially titled ‘Hymn of Joy,’ but which most of us know as ‘Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee,’ from its first line. Apparently it was a poem written by minister Henry van Dyke in 1907, inspired by the beauty of the Berkshire Mountains in Massachusetts, with the intention of musically setting it to the famous “Ode to Joy” melody of the final movement of Ludwig van Beethoven’s final symphony, Symphony No. 9. 

Van Dyke explained the hymn thus: ‘These verses are simple expressions of common Christian feelings and desires in this present time—hymns of today that may be sung together by people who know the thought of the age, and are not afraid that any truth of science will destroy religion, or any revolution on earth overthrow the kingdom of heaven. Therefore this is a hymn of trust and joy and hope.’ And therefore rather appropriate for today’s gathering! So let’s raise our voices in sweet harmony to heaven, with joy, hope, trust and overwhelming sacrifices of praise in our mouths and our hearts. 

As one awesome choir now: ‘Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee, God of glory, Lord of love; Hearts unfold like flow’rs before Thee, Op’ning to the sun above. Melt the clouds of sin and sadness; Drive the dark of doubt away; Giver of immortal gladness, Fill us with the light of day! All Thy works with joy surround Thee, Earth and heav’n reflect Thy rays, Stars and angels sing around Thee, Center of unbroken praise. Field and forest, vale and mountain, Flow’ry meadow, flashing sea, Singing bird and flowing fountain Call us to rejoice in Thee. 

Thou art giving and forgiving, Ever blessing, ever blest, Wellspring of the joy of living, Ocean depth of happy rest! Thou our Father, Christ our Brother, All who live in LOVE are Thine; Teach us how to LOVE each other, Lift us to the joy divine. Mortals, join the happy chorus, Which the morning stars began; Father LOVE is reigning o’er us, Brother LOVE binds man to man. Ever singing, march we onward, Victors in the midst of strife, Joyful music leads us Sunward In the triumph song of life. You bring us joy, joy, joy, We adore thee…You bring us joy, joy, joy, We adore Thee, Lord of mercy and of grace…We adore thee…You bring us joy, joy, joy…’ 

And does our great and wonderful God ever bring us joy by the bucketful my faithful brethren! You also see the amazing sentiments we can glean from merely admiring God’s handwork in nature, making the hymn one of the most joyful in our English language hymnal! Oh, friends, our God is indeed exceptional; exuding trust, LOVE, hope and faithfulness in miraculous and enormous quantities! There is none other like Him in this universe precious people! 

That’s why the psalmist who penned Psalm 71 – A prayer for help in old age – could confidently declare: ‘I will praise thee with the psaltery (lute or lyre), even thy truth (faithfulness), O my God: unto thee will I sing with the harp, O thou Holy One of Israel. My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing unto thee; and my soul, which thou hast redeemed. My tongue also shall talk of thy righteousness all the day long: for they (mine enemies) are confounded, for they are brought unto shame, that seek my hurt.’ (Ps. 71: 22-24) 

Yeh friends, the old man had seen enough of God’s goodness and mercy in his younger days that he had ho hesitation in placing his utmost trust in Him during the winter of his days! Can we say the same thing? I certainly hope so! And just to stir us up some more, (smile) listen to Bruh David as he offers thanksgiving for God’s mercy. 

‘Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with LOVING-kindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.’ (Ps.103:1-5) 

Oh friends, it couldn’t be put any simpler and more straightforward than that! God’s goodness to the children of men is so wonderful, and the truth is, we don’t deserve any of it. But that’s the kind of magnanimous God He is! So please, I implore us, today, let’s spend some time pondering on His individual goodness and mercy and grace and forgiveness etc. etc. to us nuh, so that our spirits will be refreshed and our trust renewed, and thus give us the courage and confidence to go out and work diligently and excellently for Christ in this upcoming week. Much LOVE!

…remembering God’s goodness in our lives…raises our trust and faith in Him…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 October 2014 Psalm 71:20

Psalm 71:20.  Thou, which hast showed me great and sore (severe) troubles, shalt quicken (revive) me again, and shalt bring me up again from the depths of the earth.

And then it was Thursday! 

Yes Friends, we’re now rounding the bend that leads into the homestretch of the workweek race! And we’re looking good too…with all the chances in the world of winning the race, so please don’t let up now, but rather let’s bear down to our task, grab the bit in our teeth and charge on down to the finish line, to a successful Friday!
 
Wow! What victory is possible through our great God!
 
Ah Friends, that bit of Horse Racing analogy surely sounds like music to my ears, since I’m no longer involved in that most august pursuit. (smile) Yes, the Lord in His everlasting wisdom saw it fit to take me out, so all I can do is grin and bear it.
 
I wasn’t making any money anyway, just losing more than I could afford. I guess He figured that it would detract me too much from learning and pondering on His Word and His Ways. And since He is the Boss, I had no choice but to follow His leading.
 
And though I miss it some, I must admit that the Lord in His goodness and LOVING-kindness and mercy has since fashioned my life in such a way that I am comfortable with it. All thanks and glory be unto Him!
 
And today we have an interesting Bit… Oh sorry, ALL of them ARE interesting, since they are taken from God’s Word! (smile) Our Bit is taken from Psalm 71 – A prayer for help in old age – the cry of an elderly man, apparently beset and threatened by his enemies.
 
‘Thou, which hast showed me great and sore (severe) troubles, shalt quicken (revive) me again, and shalt bring me up again from the depths of the earth.’
 
And those two statements, which seem like opposite ends of the spectrum, are indeed indisputable truths my people!
 
Our God does allow us to have rough times to stretch and conform us to the likeness of Jesus, but by the same token, He also brings us out of those troubles like a shining star, all cleaned up and ready to proclaim and live His Word with all faithfulness, and will also raise us from the dead when the time is right.
 
As per the first statement: ‘Thou, which hast showed me great and sore (severe) troubles…’ Bruh David addresses it in Psalm 60 – A prayer for help against the foe. He laments thus: ‘O God, thou hast cast us off, thou hast scattered (broken) us, thou hast been displeased; O turn thyself to us again (restore us).
 
Thou hast made the earth to tremble; thou hast broken it: heal the breaches thereof; for it shaketh. Thou hast showed thy people hard things: thou hast made us to drink the wine of astonishment (staggering).
 
Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee (have a reverential awe for thee), that it may be displayed because of the truth.  Selah. That thy BELOVED may be delivered; save with thy right hand, and hear me.’ (Ps.60:1-5)
 
Truly hurting words my brethren! But then, like the elderly gentleman in our Bit, who is sure that the Lord ‘…shalt quicken (revive) me again, and shalt bring me up from the depths of the earth,’ Bruh David declares the certainty of being heard by the Lord and foresees in his petition, certain victory through the powerful machinations of the Lord his God.
 
‘God hath spoken in his holiness; I will rejoice, I will divide Shechem, and mete (measure out) the valley of Succoth. Gilead is mine, and Manasseh is mine; Ephraim also is the strength (helmet) of mine head; Judah is my lawgiver; Moab is my washpot; over Edom will I cast out my shoe: Philistia, triumph thou because of me.
 
Who will bring me into the strong city? Who will lead me into Edom? Wilt not thou, O God, which hadst cast us off? And thou, O God, which didst not go out with our armies? Give us help from trouble: for vain is the help of man. Through God we shall do valiantly: for he it is that shall tread down our enemies.’ (Ps.60:6-12)
 
Yes my fellow believers, though our God puts us through our paces on the potter’s wheel, we end up being beautiful works of art in His powerful craftsman’s hands!
 
As the psalmist continues after our Bit: ‘Thou shalt increase my greatness, and comfort me on every side.’ (Ps.71:21)
 
Oh my brethren, what a great proclamation of faith and trust in Almighty God! I certainly hope we can all declare such a strong and faithful statement too.
 
Therefore, he declares: ‘I will also praise thee with the psaltery (lute or lyre), even thy truth (faithfulness), O my God: unto thee will I sing with the harp, O thou Holy One of Israel.
 
My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing unto thee; and my soul, which thou hast redeemed. My tongue also shall talk of thy righteousness all the day long: for they are confounded, for they are brought unto shame, that seek my hurt.’ (Ps.71:22-24)
 
Ah mih breddren, when we walk consistently with God over a fairly long period of time, we do see His awesome majesty and undying faithfulness! So though troubles may overwhelm us, yet we are sure that in the end He will work it all out for our good, because that’s His avowed intention and faithful promise to us.
 
And we’ll close with these memorable and moving words from Hosea – Israel’s reply to God’s admonition – that so eloquently describe the seeming dichotomy that exists in our God.
 
‘Come and let us return unto the Lord: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten (stricken), and he will bind (bandage) us up. After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight.
 
Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord (let us pursue the knowledge of God): his going forth is prepared (established) as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.’ (Hos.6:1-3)
 
Oh my people, there is no greater wisdom than that in all the earth! Please, let’s embrace it, and thus return to serving and worshipping Jehovah God, for it is Him, and Him alone that has the power to bind and heal us of all our sinful wounds! Much LOVE!
 
…though he slay me…yet will I trust in him… (Job 13:15A)