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 11 January 2017 Psalm 90:12.

Psalm 90:12.   So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom (gain a heart of wisdom).

Well hey, hey, hey, my wonderful Scrip-Bit friends and family! Top o’ the morn to you! 

The ole fella’s up and about, alive, and though only kicking some, nonetheless ready to face a challenging day on God’s great earth! And is that ever a mouthful! (smile) 

Consequently, it causes us to joyfully declare, as the psalmist did so long ago: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it!’ 

And you know what I just realized? If we aren’t glad and rejoicing in this God-given day, we are the ones who will suffer. The Lord will still be on His throne in the high heavens enjoying His life, but we, foolishly, will not reap the myriad blessings and mercies that our ever-LOVING God has prepared for us afresh each new morning. 

And that’s foolishness in the heights! So please let’s get wise and begin enjoying every day that we are privileged to see nuh. That brings us to our Bit, taken from the prayer of Moses, the only Psalm attributed to him in the Psalter, and thus the oldest. 

‘So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom (gain a heart of wisdom).’ 

And we couldn’t ask for a wiser thing my friends, since our lives here on earth are so short, like a breath, a breath of air passing through our lungs. You see how long one breath lasts us? Not very long at all. 

And that’s the way our lives are; here one moment, then gone the next, often without any notice or chance for preparation. Therefore we need wisdom and guidance to live them to their fullest and also be ready for whatever comes, when it comes. 

That brings me to a serious realization and pulls me up short too. A couple weeks ago, unbeknownst to me, my heart was in rough shape, but generally speaking I felt fine, no pain or anything. That is until the shortness of breath became somewhat annoying and uncomfortable. 

All I’m trying to say here is that my life could have been blown out in a split second, and I’d be none the wiser. That’s why we need to get ready NOW for Jesus, living the way He desires of us, for none of us knows when our number will play, and everybody will not be lucky or blessed like me to get a wake-up call. 

And I have a very good example of that recently with a friend in Jamaica; he had no pain or apparent heart problems either, but in the twinkling of an eye he was taken home unexpectedly, from apparent heart-failure. 

Oh friends, you don’t know how much I appreciate that wake-up call nuh, especially when I thought that I was doing okay. Just goes to show that we’re not always right, even when by man’s standards, it seems so. 

Listen to how Moses describes our lives. ‘Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting thou art God. Thou turnest man to destruction; and sayest, Return ye children of men. 

For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night. Thou carriest them away as with a flood; they are as a sleep; in the morning they are like grass which groweth up. In the morning it flourisheth, and groweth up; in the evening it is cut down, and withereth.’ (Ps.90:2-6) 

Yeh friends, that’s just how it is! And the scholars tell us.’Psalm 90:.. It is a prayer for the new generation of Israelites who will enter the Promised Land.There are four parts to its message. First Moses describes the eternality of God (vs.1-2). 

Then, in contrast, he explores the brevity of man before God (vs.3-6). Four key comparisons are used: (1) A thousand years are like one day to God. (2) A thousand years are like a watch in the night (three hours). The implication of these comparisons is simple: if a thousand years to God are like a day or a nightwatch, man’s life is like a vapour. 

(3) Your life is like a particle swept away by a flood. (4) Your life is like a blade of grass that sprouts, fades, withers, and dies in a day. Moses was most qualified to speak of death, since he witnessed an entire generation perish in the wilderness…’ 

Now that should have us all thinking about our mortality and propel us to do the RIGHT THING, RIGHT NOW! But in the meantime, let’s also enjoy the goodies our Lord has so generously provided. 

So let’s go home declaring our Wednesday Wail, in strong voice and everlasting belief. ‘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!’ 

Yes friends, that’s what we are called to do. Much LOVE!

…time to man might seem long…but it’s the Lord’s vision of time…that truly matters…