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 15 August 2016 Psalm 42:2.

Psalm 42:2.     My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?

And as they swing their feet over the bed unto the floor, in the early morning hours, a majority of believers gladly declare: ‘TGIM! Thank God it’s Monday! I’m alive and kicking; kicking strong too! And I’m going to work! I’m going to work with joy and peace in my heart because Jesus is filling my soul with His LOVE and I just can’t wait to share it with others in this increasingly godless world! Oh thank God it’s Monday and the Holy Spirit is working its magic in me!’ 

Oh friends, as our Saviour expects of us, I’m dreaming large! What’s the point in dreaming if your dreams are small and easily accomplished eh? None at all! Our dreams must be big enough that we need to enlist the help of God to make them come true. And yuh better believe I do need God’s omnipotent help to make that one above there come true! 

Hn! Believers waking up on a Monday Morning excited and enthusiastic to go to work! That will be the day! But I’m not giving up, because the Lord says we must be persistent and not give up. So technically speaking I’m just being obedient to God’s will. (smile) But fear not, we have a backup plan in place until we meet that plateau of Christian maturity; our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. So let’s sing it loud and proud nuh, in rich harmony and vocal excellence, so that our choirmaster Jesus will be proud of us. 

As one earthly choir now, let’s sound heavenly: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. 

Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

Oh that was a beautiful rendition my people! You could see Jesus’ eyes light up, and He couldn’t help looking at the Father dancing in the aisles of the throne room, and proudly mouthing: ‘That’s my people!’ 

Yeh friends, now that we’re up and our motors are running smoothly, let’s go out and keep that joy running in heaven with our earthly actions nuh. It will please our Lord and Saviour no end, and also make others want to come to Him, seeking salvation and eternal life. 

Now here’s our Bit. But let’s begin with the immortal words of the first verse. ‘As the hart (deer) panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?’ 

Ah friends, do we have that intense longing for God? I surely hope so, because if we don’t, life will never go as straight and smoothly as it ought to. We were made to have that intense longing my brethren. The Lord made us for His glorification, not for our own sinful and lustful purposes. However, we’ve allowed the world to take away that longing for our Creator and replace it with not only a longing, but more like an addiction for the worthless things of the world. 

That’s not very wise my people. And the sad part is that many of us, even in the rough times refuse to cry out to Almighty God for help because of our proud and haughty souls. The writer of the psalm though had a very different strategy. Listen to him after our Bit. 

‘My tears have been my meat (food) day and night, while they continually say unto 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). Why art thou cast down (bowed down), O my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance (presence).’ (Ps.42:3-5) 

Ah precious people of God, you’ll notice that though the psalmist was shaking it pretty rough, he never gave up on the God of his fathers. He still encouraged himself to hope in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to yet praise Him for the help of His presence. Oh friends, are we thus inclined in our sorrowful times to keep on praising our Creator? 

It only makes sense my brethren, seeing that in the big picture, He is the provider of all that we have. As we said in in our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, He is the Creator of the universe and all therein, so who else is more qualified for us to turn to in our sorrows and problems eh?  NOBODY! 

And we’ll end with these words of encouragement and trust from Psalm 84. ‘How amiable are thy tabernacles (lovely are thy dwellings), O Lord of hosts! My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the Lord: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God.’ (Ps:84:1-2) 

Yes my fellow believers, let us never be afraid or too proud to cry out to Almighty God in times of need, for it is the only reaction that makes sense. Much LOVE!

…one truth from the Bible…is worth more than all the wisdom of man…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 July 2014 Psalm 42:1

Psalm 42:1.   As the hart panteth after (the deer longs for) the water brooks, so panteth (longs) my soul after thee, O God.

Well a good Wednesday morning to all you wonderful Friends and neighbours in the ever growing Scrip-Bit family! Blessings and mercy, grace, LOVE and forgiveness from our heavenly Father to all those who believe in His Son Jesus Christ and walk obedient to His commands.
 
And all God’s people said: ‘Praise the Lord!’
 
Yes Friends, much praise is due to our most wonderful God, who daily meets all our needs on this troubled earth. We can NEVER thank Him enough for what He’s done, is doing, and has promised to do for us in the future. But that doesn’t mean we can’t shower or heap as much praise and thanks on Him as we can.
 
Unfortunately though, too many of us supposed believers don’t seem to have that serious attitude of offering thanks. Or as Bruh Paul wisely advised the Ephesians: ‘Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ (Eph.5:20)
 
We seem to think that thanks is only due when we receive something, and something good at that. And even then, some of us offer it grudgingly, more as a responsibility to be carried out, than a true feeling of gratitude from the heart. And that is oh so wrong, my brethren. But I figure that that attitude derives, comes from a less than stellar longing for God.
 
How many of us, as we should in these evil and troubled times, truly have an intense longing for God as our Bit so famously states? ‘As the hart panteth after (the deer longs for) the water brooks, so panteth (longs) my soul after thee, O God.’  
 
Now a lot of us will say we do, but it’s definitely not evident in our words or actions. To too many of us my brethren, God is some ephemeral Being somewhere outside of our everyday existence, like far away in heaven. Our lives don’t give the impression of the Holy Spirit living in us, of Jesus being constantly involved in even our simplest decisions.
 
And therefore, as we were recently saying, our souls and our lives lack passion, lack enthusiasm for Jesus and the things of God, while the unimportant things of the world stoke our fires and hold our attention. But how can we be enthusiastic about a Spirit Being that we consider outside of our normal everyday lives eh, while we constantly encounter the physical things of the world that turn us on?
 
However Friends, when we’re really and truly into God, when He’s a real presence in our everyday lives, then we become passionate and enthusiastic about serving Him, and the tenor of our days take on a whole different meaning and feeling. And we can say like the psalmist: ‘My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?’ (Ps.42:2)
 
And when times are tough, and our enemies seem to be gaining the upper hand, then we can continue to pray and reminisce: ‘My tears have been my meat (food) day and night, while they continually say unto 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). Why art thou cast (bowed) down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted in me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance (presence).’ (Ps.42:3-5)
 
Yes Friends, even in our lowest moments, it is essential to still have hope in Almighty God and praise Him for His continual presence with us. Remember He’s promised never to leave nor forsake us. (Heb.13:5) And Psalm 42, a contemplation for the sons of Korah, is not the only psalm that highlights that intense longing, that driving thirst for God.
 
Listen to what Bruh David wrote in Psalm 63, when he was in the wilderness of Judah running from his enemies. ‘O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary (so I have looked for thee).
 
Because thy LOVING-kindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee. Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name. My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow (the best) and fatness (abundance); and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips:’ (Ps.63:1-5)
 
Oh my brethren, our great and faithful God does satisfy the soul that thirsts for Him! And when we feel that satisfaction… oh, it just drives us to praise Him, regardless of the physical circumstances!
 
And our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ said it best in His famous Sermon on the Mount through the Beatitude: ‘Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.’ (Matt.5:6) It couldn’t get any simpler or more straightforward than that my fellow believers.
 
So today I want us to ponder, seriously consider the state of our souls, whether we’re truly longing for Jesus, or simply going through the motions. Sadly, the latter option is being embraced by too many of us. That’s one of the reasons why Jesus’ LOVE Revolution is not much further along; for a revolution, whatever kind it might be, cannot succeed without enthusiastic, energetic, passionate followers intensely longing for change.
 
Please Friends, if we truly believe in Jesus, let’s try and adopt, embrace and live out that revolutionary attitude nuh. It’s the ONLY WAY we’ll ever proselytize the world! Much LOVE!
 
…a life lived without passion…especially if one claims to believe in Jesus…is essentially a wasted life…please, let’s not waste ours…