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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Psalm 84

For the past several weeks I have been using "Voices From The Past:  Puritan Devotional Readings" edited by Richard Rushing during my quiet times.  God is using His word and these writings to speak to me in profound ways.  As I read the scripture and then the thoughts from men such as John Bunyan, William Cooper, Jonathan Edwards, John Owen, Thomas Watson and Matthew Mead and many more who lived and walked with God hundreds of years ago, it is like they are speaking such timely thoughts that apply so to me in 2010!
"The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever." 
I'm so thankful for that assurance from Isaiah 40:8!  God's Word can be trusted!

I wanted to share with you today the scripture and some points from the reading from October 10.  Psalm 84 has always been one of my favorite Psalms:
  1. How lovely is your dwelling place,  O Lord Almighty!
  2. My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.
  3. Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young - a place near your altar, O Lord Almighty, my King and my God.
  4. Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you.
  5. Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage.
  6. As they pass through the Valley of Baca (weeping - explanation mine) they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools.  (The Hebrew word here is "berakah" and means blessing divinely bestowed, source of blessing a gift, treaty of peace, refreshing rain - God's grace - Psalm 36:5-8)
  7. They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion.
  8. Hear my prayer, O Lord God Almighty; listen to me, O God of Jacob.
  9. Look upon our shield, O God; look with favor on your anointed one.
  10. Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere;  I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked.
  11. For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless. 
  12. O Lord Almighty, blessed is the man who trusts in you.
Here is the commentary from Matthew Mead (taken from "A Name in Heaven", pp. 111-132 as edited by Richard Rushing in "Voices from the Past"):
"A life of faith builds upon lasting principles.  The life of sense lives on fading objects.  What can he lack who lives by faith in him that is all and never changes?  When the mariner puts out to sea, he quickly loses sight of land, but no matter how far he sails, he will never lose sight of heaven.  The soul of faith sees a greater beauty in God, than in all worldly comforts, and tastes a greater sweetness in communion with Christ, than in all earthly friendships.  Grace weans the believer from all worldly things, and discerns between perishing and durable comforts.  How do we know we are weaned from the world?"
Mr. Mead answers like this:
  1. "We are weaned when we have heavenly affections amidst earthly possessions.
  2. When we reckon our happiness by divine fruit instead of worldly accommodations.
  3. When we bear worldly evils, troubles, and losses with a holy quietness and satisfaction of spirit (Heb. 10:34)
  4. We choose holiness, affliction and loss, rather than sin, pleasure and preferment (Heb. 11:24-26)
  5. We are able by faith to overcome both the smiles and frowns of the world.  When the world smiles upon us with its splendours, honours, riches, pleasures, delights and glories, can we look upon all these as small things in comparison with Christ?  Or, when the world frowns upon us with crosses, losses, sufferings, reproaches, can we overcome them by laying aside carnal fears, and by patience, look upon afflictions and sufferings for Christ as our honour and happiness?
Mead finishes by saying:
"To have the world, and yet to be weaned from it; to possess the world, and not to be possessed by it; to live above all, amidst the enjoyment of all - these are mercies.  To see greatness only in God, and beauty only in holiness, O what a mercy is this!  Do not dote on the comforts of the world but wean your soul from them."
 Oh Lord!  I pray you bless me and all who read today with these mercies from your hand!



Mariel said...

what beautiful truth, jennifer. thank you for sharing this!!