Beneath Your Wings’ Shadow (Psalm 61)

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8.7.8.7.8.7.

With the last gasp of a crushed heart
Hearken to my cry, my God!
Set the pieces of my crushed soul
On a rock so high above.
You have been for me a fortress:
Strong, secure before the foe;
In your presence I will ever
Dwell beneath your wings’ shadow.

In that shadow, wings o’erspreading,
In your tabernacle dwell:
Where no priest dare come without blood
Where the wrath-fire is kindled.
Mercy there will be my shelter;
I will not there be consumed.
But in perfect peace before you
Watch your endless days ensue.

May your King, whom you appointed,
Reign forever on your throne.
May his days be without number;
May his years be ever long.
Faithful love and truth to stand by,
Guarding, obeying his will.
Then may I in loving gladness
Live obediently still.

4-4-2017

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How Magnificent Is Your Name (Psalm 8)

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How magnificent is Your name,
Yahweh, our Lord and King!
The heav’ns aren’t enough to contain
Your spreading majesty!

From the mouths of babies told
And infants singing, too
You have established Your stronghold
To silence Satan’s hue.

Galaxies are Your fingers’ work
Your delicate crafts made;
What is man, just the dust of earth,
To make You fix Your gaze?

You gave him such a glorious crown
To bear Your image forth;
You gave him lordship, sea to mount,
O’er all the things of earth.

Yet now we do not see it so,
But we see Jesus Christ
Who was for love of us made low
That with Him we should rise!

4-3-2017

True Happiness (Psalm 32)

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In the darkness of my sin
I confessed, came to the light;
My brittle bones bent beneath
Your hand of holy might

Let the sinner pray to You,
And the rising flood escape;
Judgment’s waters cannot reach
The one who lives by faith

My joy is Your forgiveness
My happiness, Your peace
How glad I am that You don’t count
All my sins against me!

Lord, You are my hiding place
The devil’s arm is too short:
The shouts of Your salvation
Drown out the Accuser’s hurts

The wicked are beset by pains
Their end is ruin and shame
But faithful love surrounds the one
Who trusts alone in Jesus’ name

My joy is Your forgiveness
My happiness, Your peace
How glad I am that You don’t count
All my sins against me!

3-12-2017

Mighty

…because mighty over us is His committed love,
and Yahweh’s truth is for ever (Psalm 117:2 Motyer).

[‘mighty’ is] gabhar, of the stronger force in a battle (Exodus 17:11); of flood waters dominating the earth (Genesis 7:18-20); of our transgressions (Psalm 65:3); of God’s love (Psalm 103:11) (Motyer, 327).

A fearsome warrior galloping to war:
His two-edged sword gleams, ready for the fight;
Like wind-blown chaff, all His enemies fall
He leads the vict’ry train, all robed in white

Mighty over us is His love
Mighty over us is His love
He is the truth forever
Mighty over us is His love

Flood waters rising from the falling rain
The fountains of the great deep are broken
Grace lifts the ark above the damning waves
Louder than thunder, Love’s Word is spoken

Mighty over us is His love
Mighty over us is His love
He is the truth forever
Mighty over us is His love

Until the compass point comes back around
We’ll never again run into our sins
We will never hear condemnation’s sound
The greater song of Love welcomes us in

Mighty over us is His love
Mighty over us is His love
He is the truth forever
Mighty over us is His love

9-24-2016

Get Out of Debt (Etheree)

 

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What
can I
offer You
in payment for
the debt I’ve incurred?
You finance my debt by
serving me salvation’s cup,
filling my mouth with the sweet wine
of Your Name; the glory payment plan
never even touches the principal.

9-20-2016

What am I to return to Yahweh
for all His full recompense to me?
The cup of full salvation I will take,
and on Yahweh’s name I will call (Psalm 116:12-13 Motyer).

A striking reply! Asking what am I to give back, he replies ‘I will take.’ Our true response always is first to receive what Yahweh gives. He fills the cup, we take it (Motyer, 325n36).

Troublemaker Blues (Psalm 3)

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Listen to Troublemaker Blues (Psalm 3)

There are so many troublemakers
O Lord, they’re all around
They’re sayin’, they keep on sayin’
His God, his help, can’t be found

Lord, You’re my shield, defendin’ me
You hear my every weepin’ cry
My glory, You lift up my head
You’re the only one on my side

I lay down my weary head and sleep
Come mornin’, get back up again
I ain’t afraid of thousands startin’ trouble
They don’t know the trouble they’re in

Salvation is the Lord’s, He ain’t stingy
He save an ole lowlife like me
His blessings pour down on His people
I’m waitin’ them blessings for to see

8-27-2016

Look Out of Your Window

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Everywhere we look in the world around we should see God. This is very likely contrary to the way we were taught in school. Mechanism reigned supreme! What caused rainfall: why rain bearing clouds were driven higher by mountains—or was it that they dropped lower as the land fell away? I can’t remember, but it was all a matter of cause and effect. River valleys were the result of the movement of glaciers, weren’t they? Or was it water-erosion? Well, Psalm 104 has lovely news for us: whatever ‘tools’ He may or may not have used, God the Creator did it all. Mechanistic explanations of rainfall may well be clever, and speak to us of the wisdom and art of the Creator, but how much more splendidly marvellous it is to say that ‘He waters the hills from His high rooms’! Talk about the food chain? Who set it up but the transcendent God who cares whether lions get their meat? Look at the dark clouds massing and approaching. The Creator is walking towards us. Sentiment tells us we are ‘nearer God’s heart in a garden’—how true, for the garden of Eden shows us He loves horticulture—but His heart is also in sunrise, seed time and harvest, wind, storm, earthquake, thunder. No aspect of ‘nature’ is without the immanent God, just as no part of nature is big enough to contain Him who is exceedingly great, clothed with splendour and majesty, the giver of life and the giver of death, controller of oceans and tides, providing crags for wild goats and foliage for little birds. It is because it is His world that we can live in it with easy minds. We cannot see what may come over the hills tomorrow, but we do know that whatever happens will happen in His world where He rules and reigns (Psalm 121:1-2), and where nothing happens without His say-so. Learn it, my friends, learn it! Learn to look out of your window and see your God.

— Alec Motyer, Psalms by the Day, 293.

Benjamin (Waka)

 

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While Your hand rests on
Your beloved Benjamin,
We live in Your Name,
The pride of Judah’s Lion:
The Light of Your face is ours.

8-15-2016

 

 

 

Let Your hand be on the man of Your right hand,
on the son of man You made strong for Yourself.
And we will not backslide from You.
Give us life and we will call on Your name.
Yahweh,
God who is Hosts,
bring us back;
light up Your face,
and we will be saved (Psalm 80:17-19 Motyer).

Battle Cries: Psalm 2

psalms_battle_cries_logoPsalm 2 continues where Psalm 1 left off. Psalm 1 introduces us to the single Man that blessing comes through; Psalm 2 shows us that He is the Royal Son of God Himself.

The nations rage and scheme and plot, but God does whatever He pleases (Psalm 115:3). The nations will submit to Christ, either willingly (and find blessing in doing so) or forcefully (and find themselves shattered like an iron rod smashing pottery).

Psalm 2 ends where Psalm 1 begins—with blessing or happiness. The blessed Man of Psalm 1 invites anyone and everyone to share in His blessing, if only they would take refuge in Him (2:12).

The only refuge from the crushing wrath of God is God Himself. Jesus takes the crushing on behalf of His people, and they are saved.

Notes from the study are available here.

Battle Cries: Psalm 1

psalms_battle_cries_logoThe Psalms are at the same time deeply personal songs borne out of struggle, and yet they are often given “to the choirmaster” for the congregation of Israel to sing. These songs are the battle cries of those fighting “the good fight of faith” (2 Timothy 4:7); they are weapons in our hands and sparring partners to train us how to pray and fight as we walk with the Lord in this world.

Psalm 1 invites us to see an individual blessed man and to realize that we are not Him. But we are invited to be united to Him, to have His life as our own, to have His delighting as our own, and to have His obedience as our own.

Notes available here.