Oh Give Thanks!

Psalm 118 (ESV)

1 Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever! 2 Let Israel say, “His steadfast love endures forever.” 3 Let the house of Aaron say, “His steadfast love endures forever.” 4 Let those who fear the LORD say, “His steadfast love endures forever.” 5 Out of my distress I called on the LORD; the LORD answered me and set me free. 6 The LORD is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me? 7 The LORD is on my side as my helper; I shall look in triumph on those who hate me. 8 It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man. 9 It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in princes. 10 All nations surrounded me; in the name of the LORD I cut them off! 11 They surrounded me, surrounded me on every side; in the name of the LORD I cut them off! 12 They surrounded me like bees; they went out like fire among thorns; in the name of the LORD I cut them off! 13 I was pushed hard, so that I was falling, but the LORD helped me. 14 The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. 15 Glad songs of salvation are in the tents of the righteous: “The right hand of the LORD does valiantly, 16 the right hand of the LORD exalts, the right hand of the LORD does valiantly!” 17 I shall not die, but I shall live, and recount the deeds of the LORD. 18 The LORD has disciplined me severely, but he has not given me over to death. 19 Open to me the gates of righteousness, that I may enter through them and give thanks to the LORD. 20 This is the gate of the LORD; the righteous shall enter through it. 21 I thank you that you have answered me and have become my salvation. 22 The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.23 This is the LORD’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. 24 This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.  25 Save us, we pray, O LORD! O LORD, we pray, give us success! 26 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD! We bless you from the house of the LORD. 27 The LORD is God, and he has made his light to shine upon us. Bind the festal sacrifice with cords, up to the horns of the altar! 28 You are my God, and I will give thanks to you; you are my God; I will extol you. 29 Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!

Advertisements

‘Let Them Come Home’

For my regular readers (all two of you), who by now have become quite irregular through no fault of your own, I apologize… I’ve been spending most of my blogging time over on ConnorWatch.org (if you haven’t been there, please visit – and pray for Connor!)

I came across Abraham Piper’s testimony yesterday, and had to put up a pointer to it. Actually, only a small part of it is officially his testimony – the rest of it consists of his suggestions for parents who are struggling with a wayward child (though I suspect that he is also largely telling his own story, from the perspective of his parents, when he outlines his suggestions).  His suggestions are wise and loving counsel to any who might be going through similarly wrenching times with their own children.

Since I’m posting about Piper progeny, I should also point to this powerful poem by another of the Pipers’ sons, Karsten: Sometimes He Kills Us to Save Us.

Groaning over sinfulness

For those of you who don’t already read Danny’s blog, he wrote a great post today about groaning over sinfulness.

Thoughts on Isaiah 44:21-23

To comfort His people during their captivity in Babylon, God says to them in Isaiah 44:

21 “Remember these, O Jacob, and Israel, for you are My servant; I have formed you, you are My servant; O Israel, you will not be forgotten by Me!
22 I have blotted out, like a thick cloud, your transgressions, and like a cloud, your sins. Return to Me, for I have redeemed you.”
23 Sing, O heavens, for the LORD has done it! Shout, you lower parts of the earth; break forth into singing, you mountains, O forest, and every tree in it! For the LORD has redeemed Jacob, and glorified Himself in Israel. (NKJV)

While it may seem that God is absent during the severest trial, He has not forgotten us! Indeed, though our sins are like a thick cloud (!), He has blotted them out! Return to Him, if you are a believer who is in sin – He has redeemed you. And when you have done so… praise Him!

Sarah laughed…

… after Abraham also laughed (Gen. 17:17) when God again told him he would have the son (and eventual innumerable descendants) God promised him. Then Sarah, who was listening from the tent to Abraham talking with his angelic/theophonic guests, and

12 Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, “After I have grown old, shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?”
13 And the LORD said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh, saying, ‘Shall I surely bear a child, since I am old?’ 14 Is anything too hard for the LORD? – Genesis 18:12-14a (NKJV)

Instead of a harsh rebuke for them both, even after Sarah denied laughing (vs. 15), Abraham was reminded of God’s awesome power! Is anything to hard for the LORD? What a wonderful reminder!

[I started a Bible reading program using Pocket e-Sword – 6 days a week, 4 chapters a day. So far (i.e., since Tuesday), I’ve only had to catch up once – not bad, I guess. I’ve wanted to do a “read through the Bible in a year” program for some time, but haven’t ever had the discipline. Using a PDA should help since it’s so convenient; we’ll see how it goes!]

Thanksgiving

If you haven’t ready Lamentations 3 recently, today would be a good day to do so (here).

(ESV) Lamentations 3:1 I am the man who has seen affliction
under the rod of his wrath;
2 he has driven and brought me
into darkness without any light;
3 surely against me he turns his hand
again and again the whole day long.

4 He has made my flesh and my skin waste away;
he has broken my bones;
5 he has besieged and enveloped me
with bitterness and tribulation;
6 he has made me dwell in darkness
like the dead of long ago.

[More of the same… but do read the whole chapter!] Continue reading