Unashamed

I’m working my way through memorizing the book of Zechariah (which, regardless of which Scripture you choose, is a highly recommended discipline), and I’m struck by the thread of Yahweh’s relationship to Jerusalem through the early chapters.

Then the Angel of the LORD responded, “How long, LORD of Hosts, will You withhold mercy from Jerusalem and the cities of Judah that You have been angry with these 70 years?” (1:12)

So the angel who was speaking with me said, “Proclaim: The LORD of Hosts says: I am extremely jealous for Jerusalem and Zion” (1:14).

The LORD will once more comfort Zion and again choose Jerusalem (1:17).

He said to him, “Run and tell this young man: Jerusalem will be inhabited without walls because of the number of people and livestock in it.” The declaration of the LORD–“I will be a wall of fire around it, and I will be the glory within it” (2:5).

For the LORD of Hosts says this: “He has sent Me for His glory against the nations who are plundering you, for anyone who touches you touches the pupil of His eye” (2:8).

“The LORD will take possession of Judah as His portion in the Holy Land, and He will once again choose Jerusalem” (2:12).

The LORD said to Satan: “The LORD rebuke you, Satan! May the LORD who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you!” (3:2a).

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Hello, my name is…

The remembrance of the righteous is a blessing,
but the name of the wicked will rot. Proverbs 10:7 HCSB

A good name is to be chosen over great wealth;
favor is better than silver and gold. Proverbs 22:1 HCSB

I remember having a wooden plaque painted like a baseball hanging in my room as a kid. It had my name in big letters and Proverbs 22:1 written out underneath. I think it may have even had “crowned one” underneath my name (stephanos is the Greek name for Stephen/Steven and means “crowned one,” or so it claimed).

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Say What?

Where in the world did the name “Psalm Swords and Gospel Towers” come from?

My plan for 2014 is to read through the entire New Testament once, through the Psalms four times, and through Proverbs once a month. In the middle of January, I noticed Ben Myers (@FaithTheology) started a Twitter project tweeting the Psalms.

I thought this was a spectacular idea, so I started tweeting the psalms as well. The #psalmtweet for Psalm 95 was

Guard your hearts from sin by singing! Stand firm against evil by shouts of joyful praise!

The psalm begins with calls for exuberant praise of Yahweh. Then the psalm pivots sharply to warn against committing the same sins as the wilderness generation, who refused to trust and thank God for the myriad ways He lavished grace on them. It seemed to me that the joyful praise of the first half of the psalm was the intended defense against the apostasy described in the second. Hence the tweet, and hence “Psalm Swords.”

We have more than the Psalms, obviously. Singing and praying the Psalms now is a fuller, richer experience because Jesus fulfills, answers, embodies, and completes the Psalms.

  • When they sing of God being a refuge and fortress, we experience that in the salvation Jesus provides: He is the refuge from the wrath we deserve.
  • When they sing of God’s greatness and long for His presence, we know that our acceptance and access to God is bought by Jesus’ perfect sacrifice.
  • When they sing of God’s judgment on enemies, we know that Jesus is returning to right every wrong and throw every evil–even death itself–into the lake of fire.
  • When they beg for forgiveness and mercy, we know that Jesus guarantees the forgiveness and mercy of God to us.

That’s the rationale behind “Gospel Towers.”

Putting the two together, then, my hope is to record various observations on the Scriptures in hopes of being an encouragement to love and trust Jesus as Savior and King.