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 10 August 2014 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 he shall say, Destroy them.

Aye mih people, fellow believers in Jesus Christ, once again the week has come full circle – Sunday to Sunday. Yeh, it’s time to begin another new week on the Lord’s Day.

And I was guided by the person of the Holy Spirit to remind us of two unassailable, irreversible truths. The first is that the Bible is God’s Word to us, and remains fresh through all the ages. And if we read it, we will find God’s wisdom embedded in its pages.

And the second truth is that ONE truth from the Bible is worth more than all the wisdom of man.

Oh Friends, please let’s spend a quiet moment and contemplate on those two statements, while writing them indelibly in our hearts and souls, for they will certainly help to guide us along the straight and narrow path that we need to adhere to, to successfully follow our wonderful Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

And now having reminded us of those two glorious truths, (smile) let’s also remind us that the Lord’s Day is the day we generally get together with other believers in His sanctuary to sing and praise, worship, glorify and magnify our heavenly Father, Jehovah God! So please, let’s get ourselves together and find ourselves in a place of worship sometime today.

And the great thing about getting together to worship, is not only that it magnifies and glorifies God, but it also raises our spirits, puts a positive spin on our doings, brings joy to our souls and readies us for the coming Monday, the first day of the work week!

Yes Friends, having participated in joyful praise and worship on Sunday, undoubtedly enables us to face the daunting Monday without fear. In fact we are enabled to face it with complete assurance, joy and the oodles of positive opportunities that will be available to help us spread the good news of Jesus and His wonderful doings! In other words, to face Monday fearlessly and positively, we have to start getting ready on Sunday by worshipping.

And today we’ll continue with the message of our Bit from yesterday. ‘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.’

Yes Friends, that’s our great God! We have already seen how He is the safest and most wonderful refuge we can ever have, how He gathers us under His protective and comforting wings like the hens gather their chickens under their wings, and how He provides awesome comfort to all who believe and come to Him for succour.

Now let’s look at the second half of the Bit: ‘…and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; and shall say, Destroy them.’  

And my brethren, that is exactly what the Lord said to the Israelites through Moses, at the beginning of their Exodus from bondage in Egypt. Listen to what Moses told them way back in chapter 9 of Deuteronomy.

‘Hear, O Israel: Thou art to pass over Jordan this day, to go into possess nations greater and mightier than thyself, cities great and fenced (fortified) up to heaven, A people great and tall, the children of the Anakim, whom thou knowest, and of whom thou hast heard say, who can stand before the children of Anak!

Understand therefore this day, that the Lord thy God is he which goeth over before thee; as a consuming fire he shall destroy them, and he shall bring them down before thy face: so shalt thou drive them out, and destroy them quickly, as the Lord hath said unto thee.

Speak not thou in thine heart, after that the Lord thy God hath cast them out from before thee, saying, For (because of) my righteousness the Lord hath brought me to possess this land: but for (because) the wickedness of these nations the Lord doth drive them out from before thee.

Not for thy righteousness, or for the uprightness of thine heart, dost thou go to possess their land: but for the wickedness of these nations the Lord thy God doth drive them out from before thee, and that he may perform (fulfill) the word which the Lord sware unto thy fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.’ (Deut.9:1-5)  

Yes Friends, the Lord made it abundantly clear that they would inherit the Promised Land, not because of their righteousness, since they were already a stubborn, disobedient and stiff-necked people, but because of His will and the wickedness of the people then inhabiting the Land.  Above all, it would fulfill His promise to their fathers to give the land to their descendants.

But even with God’s assurance of victory, the Israelites were afraid, and showed that fear and stubbornness by refusing to cross over the Jordan and take the land. And it’s not like they hadn’t experienced the wonders, goodness and miracles of God during their exodus from Egypt.

That’s why the Lord allowed them to wander in the wilderness for forty more years, until all the people who had come out of Egypt had died. It simply showed a lack of true faith and trust in the God of their fathers, in spite of all He had done for them. That, to the Lord was definitely not acceptable.

Ah mih people, how many of us today behave the same way eh? How many of us have God assuring us of victory in some area(s) of our lives, but because of fear or some other negative emotion, we refuse to take the next step, that leap of faith that will solidify our trust in His LOVE and faithfulness?  How many of us have missed out, or are missing out on God’s blessings like the stubborn and fearful Israelites eh?

Oh Friends, that is not the way Jesus expects His followers to live. We can’t say we trust and believe and surrender, then don’t do what He asks or guides us to do! That just makes our faith a total lie!

So please, for today’s ‘ponderation’ (smile), let’s take serious stock of our actual level of faith nuh, not the one we believe we have, but the real nitty gritty one, and see where we are falling down in the things that Jesus asks and expects of us, and then,  with sincere prayer, ask Him to help us improve.

Now that is what is termed absolute wisdom! For He WILL NEVER refuse our requests in that area. Much LOVE!

…if God has been faithful to us in the past…why would we ever doubt Him in the present and the future…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 August 2014 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.

Well a good Saturday morning to you and yours, my Scrip-Bit Friends and family! Hope this message reaches you all in good health, wealth and prosperity. (smile) It’s supposed to be a glorious summer’s day in my neck of the woods, let’s hope it’s the same in yours.

 But yuh know what, even if the weather’s not the greatest, neither is our health or finances, it’s imperative my people that we look on the positive side of the ledger. There are a whole lot of things that we need to be thankful for, especially Jesus, salvation and eternal life. Not to mention the daily blessings and mercies that our magnanimous God showers down on us.

 So although things might appear to be somewhat on the rough side, the reality is that we, in this Western Society are living much better than 80 or 90 percent of the world. Most of us have food, water, clothing and shelter at our beck and call, not so many many of our fellow earthlings. So please let’s learn to count our blessings instead of our problems.

 Our God Jehovah is a great God, and if we obediently and consistently hang out with Him, He will eventually alleviate our problems and bring us out in better shape on the other side, as He has so faithfully promised. (Rom.8:28)

 Now listen to this interesting but supposed anonymous quote on habits,  I heard Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) talk about recently. It says: ‘Watch your thoughts, for they become words. Watch your words, for they become actions. Watch your actions, for they become habits. watch your habits, for they become your character. Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.’

And isn’t that the living truth my people, for everything we do has meaning and importance in our lives, sometimes good, sometimes bad! So if we want to have a good destiny, then we need to follow the path that brings goodness. Likewise, if we desire an evil outcome, then the wide and winding road will do that. All  of that simply means we have to carefully watch what we think, say and do, since they will all eventually forge together and make us who we are.  

Now let’s take a gender at our Bit; some of Moses’ last words, as he blessed the tribes 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.’

And that is exactly what the Lord said to the Israelites when He told them to go in and capture the Promised Land. But they were afraid to cross over the Jordan and take what had been promised to them, thus they wandered for forty years in the desert, till all those who had come out of Egypt had died. That is what happens Friends, when we don’t obey the dictates of our God, especially when we’ve constantly been the recipients of His favour in past times.

Anyway, what I really want to talk about in this message is not Israel’s or our disobedience, but the fact that our God is indeed a refuge, and as His children, we abide under the safety of His outstretched everlasting arms.

Like chickens who flock under their mother’s wings for protection in times of danger, and also simply for LOVE, caring and comfort, so too we are called to flock under the mighty wings of our omnipotent and LOVING God for those same things. Yes my brethren, that’s how wonderful, fatherly and motherly God treats His children… those who wisely come to Him for succour.

Now let’s check out some scripture on the subject. And what better place to begin than with the only Psalm written by Moses and the oldest one in the Psalter. He begins it thus: ‘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. 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.’ (Ps.90:1-4) 

Oh Friends, what a mighty but ever-LOVING, caring, considerate and comforting God we serve!

How did Bruh Paul refer to Him? ‘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)

Oh my fellow believers what an assuring piece of scripture that is! God comforts us, so that we can comfort others. Wow! And people still find it hard to believe in Him. Ah Lord eh! How stubborn and hard-headed can we be to refuse God’s blessings and mercies?

Now listen to the psalmist as he unequivocally declares in Psalm 91: ‘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)

Then later on he continues: ‘Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the Most High, thy habitation (dwelling place); There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. For he  shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear (lift) thee up in their hands, lest thou dash (strike) thy foot against a stone.

Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder (cobra); the young lion and the dragon (serpent) shalt thou trample under feet. Because he hath set his LOVE upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him. With long life (length of days) will I satisfy him, and show him my salvation.’ (Ps. 91:9-16)

Oh Friends, that says it all! How much more do we expect from God eh? This not a mickey-mouse operation He’s running, but something very serious. So for all those who are quick to find fault, whine and complain, I say go ahead and deal with Lucifer and his evil minions, but as for me and mine, we shall follow the Lord! And that’s wisdom for all ages my brethren! Much LOVE!

…to dwell under God’s wings…is to dwell in a place of peace and LOVE…HEAVEN ON EARTH…