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August 2019

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I seem to consistently be a day behind, which is why you haven't heard from me in a while, but I really want to share how Psalm 71 (from yesterday) became a reality for me last year.

I work for Social Services (government) visiting disabled people in the community. As always, when working with people, one encounters wonderful people and not-so-nice people. One service user and her husband and daughter became very angry with me for asking questions relating to her disability (I later concluded she had felt intimidated because of an expressive speech deficit that had not been apparent to me, that had frustrated her in trying to answer the very detailed questions I was asking). To cut a long story short, the visit ended badly with the family shouting at me and me having to leave the house. I felt very attacked and distressed by it all.

Then God gave me Psalm 71. I prayed it as my prayer, asking God to be my safe place, to deliver me "from the grasp of ... cruel men" and to "let me never be put to shame". In all honesty, in my raw emotion, I was quite happy to also pray "may those who want to harm me be covered with scorn and disgrace". And it was quite difficult to praise God in the midst of it all. I wasn't exactly feeling praisey.

Anyway, God heard, and protected me with a manager who was completely supportive of me (a refuge of sorts), and the "enemy" was completely "covered with scorn and disgrace" and thrown into confusion when two separate family members phoned my manager to complain, swore at her, and each had a different story! My reputation was consequently well preserved as well - my report of the incident was given added credibility as a result of their confusion.

God didn't leave it there. The slate was completely cleared (by the family) and I had to learn the difficult lesson of forgiveness, and go back, and carry on where I left off, and continue to help the family.

I really am able to praise God for this experience, and "tell of [His] righteous acts". God is good.

Caryn, what a neat story of how God used Psalm 71 to encourage you. I too prayed through Psalm 71 yesterday, especially focusing on verse 18 "Evne when I am old and gray (I'm 'only' 52) do not forsake, O God, till I declare your power to the NEXT GENERATION, your might to all WHO ARE TO COME." No matter how old we we are God calls us to keep on investing in those younger than us, and that means, for me, being faithful to communicate in practical ways how God has been with me, and how He continues to be with. Isn't it amazing that God allows us to instruments of hope to those who are fearful of the future!!!

Regarding today' readings, I couldn't help but camp out on Deuteronomy 17:18-20 where the king of Israel is given his priority responsibility as he leads the lead and that's to 'write for himself on a scroll a copy of this law....It is to be with him, and he is to READ IT ALL THE DAYS OF HIS LIFE SO THAT HE MAY LEARN TO REVERE THE LORD HIS GOD AND FOLOW CAREFULLY ALL THE WORDS OF THIS LAW...AND not consider himself better than his brothers..." Can you imagine if all governmental leaders and spiritual leaders took this teaching to heart. Wow!! Talk about a sweeping renewal across the nations. But alas, we will see later in Kings how solomon violated all of the laws God laid out, and he fell into sin that divided the kingdom, all because he didn't heed these commandments.

Deuteronomy 16 (NKJV)
5
“You may not sacrifice the Passover within any of your gates which the LORD your God gives you;
6
but at the place where the LORD your God chooses to make His name abide, there you shall sacrifice the Passover at twilight, at the going down of the sun, at the time you came out of Egypt.

~~~

It strikes me, once again, how prophetic about the Perfect Lamb of God the historical account of the Passover is. Thus, also prophetic are the celebrations of the historical Passover.

verse 5
"You may not sacrifice the Passover within any of your gates..."

MAN MAY NOT PICK the place of the passover offering. In like manner, man could not pick the place of the Perfect, Complete Passover.

THE CHOSEN PLACE BY GOD: Outside the city -- rejected, despised, and alone.

Rejected, despised, and alone AS OUR SUBSTITUTE.

Then, in the Lord Jesus we are accepted, rejoiced in, and in fellowship AS HE IS OUR REPRESENTATIVE.

verse 6
"but at the place where the LORD your God chooses to make His name abide, there you shall sacrifice the Passover at twilight..."

GOD HAS CHOSEN TO PLACE HIS NAME IN JESUS - IN THE CROSS AND RESURRECTION.

Jesus said, "When I am lifted up, I will draw all men to myself."

Vance

In Luke 9 verse 7 reading today I realized that, when we are feeling puzzled or worried about a situation or problem we basiclly are saying, "God this problem is too big for you". We seem to have this false belief that we are in control. It is only when we let go and let God, that we see the truth. We have no conrol over anything. What peace I feel when I finally let go and let Him do His job. Have a blessed day. Peggy

Luciano,

You don't have to go back to Solomon to see which kings violated that law, try Saul and even David before him.

I'm going to try to remember to keep in mind these verse from Deut. when we get into 1st and 2nd Samuel, Kings and Chronicles.

Ramona

Hi Gang. Mike's point re: how we view the poor is very powerful. I think too often that politics and the "will to do what is right" gets in the way of the holistic rescue of the disadvantaged these days. I love Mathew 9:36 that records...
“Jesus, at the sight of the crowds, was moved with pity”. He was MOVED with pity. How often to we just toss down buck to a needy person and then move on to the "greater task" in our daily routine, forgetting all about this person one minute later. Can we take a moment to be MOVED just as the Teacher was. Can we look into the eyes of this man and see God's spirit no matter how deep down it may seem. My frustration is walking in a major inter city. Just stepping outside for a coffee can be time consuming if we are to be moved with each person found along the way. This indicates to me that we are helping but not making the issue "go away". Pope Benedict in his Lenten speach points out that it is no longer right to just "Do" for the poor. Be have lost the ability to "believe" in charity and started to "provide" charity (going through the motions) without thought to a divine authority. If I were a person lacking means and someone had a buck in one hand and "hope" in the other...I know wich one I'd choose. Hey...have a great weekend!

Richard, I must say that the points you expressed were very well said. Most of the poor have no hope. Hope, really is the primary issue here. I live in a town with a high employment rate, lots of welfare, homelessness and poverty. I see panhandlers standing outside my place of employment daily. Handing them money doesn't really help the situation. I think a better option would be to give them food or take them to lunch. Often times the money is used for drugs, cigarettes and alcohal. Other times panhandlers really are not lacking anything at all but choose not to work.

We have a man that stands on a street corner with his dog to gain sympathy from passers by. I've been told by someone in town, that followed him home one day, that he is pretty well off. He ownes a vehicle, a home and doesn't appear to live in poverty at all. This gentleman even takes breaks and vacations. I've heard that the dog has more dog food than he can eat in a life time. As far as emloyment is concerned, others have told me that they have offered him a job and he refused. God has a lot of work to do with those who lack hope and Godly values that He has provided us with according to His word.

I have always had the heart to give and help those in need. One solution is to help out at a local rescue mission where spiritual food is provided as well.

Caryn: Great story of the way that you applied Psalms 71 to your life. Thanks for sharing. I work with the public too, in retail. I have to daily suppress my feelings and apply empathy and understanding to those who are rude, selfish and abrasive. And I am not just talking about the customers either. I have to daily remember to meditate on God's word and take up my cross. I have to constantly remember to forgive others as He has forgiven me. I've learned that there are many more good customers and co-workers than there are bad. I always see the works of God and his will accomplished. I have to hold onto the thought that He will have ultimate victory in the end, it is just up to me to trust Him.

Blessings all, have a great day

Psalm 72

At first I thought this was just a grandiose exaggerated psalm to express the great hopes and desires for Solomon's reign. Something that you might expect coming out of other major World powers back in the day (Egypt,Persia,Greece, Rome, etc.)

It is my understanding that out of 260+ citings of Old Testament in the New Testament, around 120 were from the Psalms. Psalm 72 is not cited in the New Testament.

Yet if we look at how John MacArthur (in his Bible Commentary) breaks down the Psalm - you have:

Just Reign (v. 1-4)
Universal Reign (v. 5-11)
Compassionate Reign (v. 12-14)
Prosperous Reign (v. 15-17)
Glorious Reign (v. 18-20)

That would be pretty lofty aspirations for any earthly King. Let alone the flawed characters we see (and will see) in the Bible. Yet, it would be perfectly compatible with Jesus' reign as the fulfillment of the Davidic covenant.

Perhaps, as so often happens in the Messianic Psalms, the writer goes from earthly references to Messianic references. Or at least the two are interchangeable.

V. 20
"This concludes the prayers of David son of Jesse."

Some commentators say this is a closing for the Second book of Psalms. Yet, while the other four closing Psalms to a Book of Psalms all end with a doxology (praise of God), none of the other four have anything like verse 20.
(Closing Psalms of each Book of Psalms: 41,72,89,106,and 150).

One way of looking at verse 20:
If it is visionary -The King's reign described above when fulfilled by Christ would answer the prayers of David. The Reign of Christ would fulfill the Davidic Covenant, and provide reconciliation and restoration to the World. In the sense that David sees this vision of the "King" the prayers are not needed anymore and are concluded.

Deuteronomy 16:1-17:20


I’m trying to make out, if anything, the significance of the three festivals that ALL men in Israel were commanded to celebrate in the place that God designates, Passover (Pesach), Festival of Harvest (Shavu'ot), and the Festival of Shelters (Sukkot). The last two, Shavu'ot and Sukkot, the two Harvest Festivals, were celebrations AFTER the Harvest was taken in. I’ve noticed that there is nothing mentioned to celebrate the seeds being planted, unless it is there and I’ve just overlooked it, but there is celebration when the crops are brought in. Mike made mentioned on the 27th of March regarding Deut. 8:10, “When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the LORD your God for the good land he has given you.” That here, the blessing or grace was given after not before the meal. We by tradition ask God’s blessing and grace on the food we are about to eat; however, both in the tenth verse, in the eighth chapter of Deut and here in the 16th verse, the food, the volume of the harvest is guaranteed if they keep God’s commands. The results, the fruit from the sowing, is where our thanks and celebrations belongs.

In wondering why this is, I’m thinking is there a potential for us to try and manipulate God to do what we want if we hold a prayer meeting when we are putting the seeds in the ground? If out “steps” are ordered by God, then the starting is not as important to us as the completion. When we follow God ordered steps to completion and we celebrate, that is our witness to the Word that there is a God. Are we negating God’s benevolence toward us if we fuss and fret about the “seeds” we sow? I am not putting forth a Doctrine, but I am thinking about what I do as a matter of habit without thinking, “What does God want me to do based on His Word?”

For all Believers, we have become heirs, adopted into the Family of God. As a parent, what I do for my children in raising them up in the way that they should go is not a privilege to them but an obligation. The children didn’t ask to be born, the parents gave birth to them out of the consequence of their actions. It now becomes the role of the parent, once their children our conceived, to provide food, clothing and shelter as well as guidance. The gratitude of the children comes AFTER the meal is provided, while living in the shelter that is over their head, after investing in the children’s future and sending them on their way into the world—etc. God is our Father and thus He is obligated to feed and clothe us, and we are obligated to Thank Him for doing it so well.

Grace and peace,
Ramona

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