Devotional Thought for Today – 11/16/2020

 

God, Our Refuge | Bethel Christian Reformed Church, DunnvillePSALM 46

CONTEXT: Some think this psalm was occasioned by the victories which David obtained over the Ammonites and Moabites, and other neighboring countries; and others are of opinion that it was penned on account of the siege of Jerusalem by Sennacherib being raised, in the times of Hezekiah: but it seems rather to be a prophecy of the church in Gospel times, and is applicable to any time of confusion and distress the nations of the world may be in through any kind of calamity, when those that trust in the Lord have no reason in the least to be afraid. Kimchi says this psalm belongs to future times; either to the gathering of the captives, or to the war of Gog and Magog; to which also R. Obadiah refers it, and Jarchi interprets it of time to come; according to the Targum it was written by the sons of Korah, when their father was hid from them, and they were delivered. John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible

Whatever the actual cause for this psalm to be penned, it has blessed countless saints for centuries. The tone is set forth in verse one:

God is our refuge and strength [mighty and impenetrable], A very present and well-proved help in trouble. – Who is it we (saints) turn to in times of trouble, Christ our Savior. Think on this a moment it only makes sense, if you are acknowledging Christ as savior of your eternal soul, would you not trust Him with lesser issues? 

Verses like Psalm 55:22, Matthew 11:28-30, Philippians 4:6-7, make it clear that God expects us to cast our burdens upon Him through prayer and supplication. He is greater and stronger than any of our problems.  Yet sometimes we get so caught up in our problems we fail to hear the Holy Spirit urging us to just slow down, calm down, and fellowship with God. to seek His peace and understanding. That is why verse 10 was written I believe: 

“Be still and know (recognize, understand) that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations! I will be exalted in the earth –   I do not know if you have ever seen a chicken with its head freshly cut off, it runs around for a minute or two in total panic mode. That is a prime example of a “Christian” who is trying to go it alone, in times of trouble without God.  Folks look at that chicken all kinds of funny without any thought but to consume it. How do you think the world looks at us when we are acting like that chicken?

What ever problem or troubles you are having today, know this God is your Refuge. All you need do is Be still and know that He is there for you. By calmly trusting in God’s providence and sovereignty you will bring Glory to God and find peace.   

Devotional Thought for today – 11/11/2020

A Soldier's Psalm 91 Prayer.

PSALM 91

SOLDIER’S PSALM


Everyone knows someone who is or may be going to battle, whether physical or spiritual. Psalm 91 is a source of inspiration and prayer.

I believe it is important to pray the scriptures. Several years ago I heard stories about soldiers using Psalm 91 to pray for safety and protection in battle. They inspired me to compose this prayer based on the King James Version of Psalm 91. –  Harriet Yoder in Montoursville, Pennsylvania

Full Page PDF Version—A Soldier’s Psalm 91 Prayer
Printer Friendly Versions
  • Wallet Size Soldier’s Psalm 91 Prayer They are a smaller credit card size. Printed on both sides, you can laminate and distribute it to 8 soldiers or prayer warriors. Use whatever paper you like.

Devotional thought for Today – 10/31/2020

God is my Fortress – God Adventures

Psalm 18 

PRAISE AND REST


Most Bibles have a heading for this Psalm with a title something like; To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David, the servant of the Lord, who spoke the words of this song to the Lord on the day when the Lord rescued him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul. And he said:….   This Psalm is in stark contrast to Psalm 11 we posted a few days ago when David was running for his life. Then he was seeking refuge and rest, now that he has it he is praising God for it.

It can be broken down this way:

v.1-3 blessing God for all he has done

v.4-19 declares the mercies God has shown

v.20-24 declares God’s righteousness

v.25-29 declares his joy in knowing the Lord helps the righteous

v.31–36  describes the defeat of his enemies

v. 37–42 describes his rising up over them

v. 43–45 Praises God for rescuing and exalting him

v. 46–50  and ends the psalm by proclaiming God’s faithfulness to the Davidic royal line

When those “difficult times” in life have past what is the first thing you do? I hope we can all be like David and find rest AFTER we Praise the Lord for v.32 equipping me with strength and made my way blameless.

 

 

Devotional Thought for Today – 10/29/2020

Margin notes: Psalm 11 | ResponsiveReiding

PSALM 11

FINDING HOPE IN HOPELESS TIMES


According to Theodoret, and other early church Fathers this Psalm was written when David was being persecuted by Saul, and was was told to get out, escape for his own safety. 

We have all been in situations when things seem desperate maybe even hopeless but how we react is what really matters. Do we go to God with our problems, seek His wise counsel find our refuge and Hope in His promises our drown our sorrows in worldly affairs (alcohol, drugs, etc.) of hopelessness. 

David’s response is worth copying: 

v.1 Face with persecution David responds that The Lord is his refuge, how can you (his counselors) even suggest he run anywhere but to the Lord. 

v.2 To emphasize the gravity of the situation David says, bows are locked and cocked against him and aimed at his heart.

v.3 But if I (David) forget the basic tenets of my faith (foundations) in times of trouble how much of a pretender am I?

v.4 Contrasting the temple and heaven David appears to show strength gained from the knowledge God is watching and testing all men. 

v.5-7  David makes his closing argument for putting his trust in God here. First the righteous will be tested and approved of God so David’s hope is secure. Second the wicked, David’s enemies fate is not so pleasant but just as assured and David can take solace in that. Finally he notes how much God loves those that are upright (do virtue, moral, and just deeds) they are approved workers of God. 

We always have a choice when facing difficult situations. We can trust God and allow our faith in him to quell and comfort our feelings of hopelessness. We can pray and ask Him for guidance and courage. Or we can run and try and do it on our own, hiding panic-stricken that life is over taking us. The choice is ours to make. 

Lord help me to always trust in you when difficulties arise. Let me find shelter and comfort in your promises and strength and wisdom in your Spirit. Amen. 

Devotional Thought for Today – 10/27/2020

Faith is just about trusting God isn't it? | Articles | Bible Reflections

PSALM 7 

CONFIDENCE 


Psalm 7 is all about Confidence or Faith in God. It is not dumb or blind faith (as the picture above depicts) but one based upon a solid relationship with the creator God. 

David is under attack from Cush the Benjamite and sings this song of lament to the Lord praying for justice and refuge all the while having confidence in the Lord’s provision. 

One can break it down this way: 

v.1-2 David’s plea for help  – he goes directly to God for his refuge and justice, knowing man can not solve his problems. 

v.3-5 David’s plea of innocence – before the one judge that really matters David says I am innocent of all Cush is pursuing me for. Note verse 5 where David says if it is not so let my enemies overtake me.  How many of us would pray that?

v.6-7 David’s plea for God’s  intervention  – God help me, please

v.8-10 David’s defends himself – by imploring God’s own justice (righteousness) 

v.11-13 David’s confidence in God’s judgement – David uses the common analogy of weapons of war to describe the judgement of God

v.14-17 David describes man’s wickedness – From the beginning (conceived at birth)  man is evil 

v. 17 David praises God – The outcome is not declared but David’s confidence in God (Yahweh used here meaning the most high, supreme ruler) giving a positive response is based upon  God’s righteousness. 

We all come under attack at different times in our lives. Sometimes it is our own fault due to sin, many times it is just a lack of spiritual activity that opens the door to worldly influences. 

Whenever or whatever the  trouble comes from, the one constant is God. He is immutable a constant source of justice, strength, shelter and confidence for all His people.

If you are experiencing “life’s problems”  and what to know more about how you too can be like David, finding consolation and peace even in these times I encourage you to reach out to a Bible Based Church in your area.  If you need help finding one contact us here we would be glad to help. 

 

Saturday’s Military Devotional – Strongholds

Why Did Castles Have Moats? | Wonderopolis

 

Psalm 9:9

AMP and RVR 1960

 


CONTEXT:

Whenever I think of a stronghold, the image of a medieval castle seems to pop up. These fortresses were designed to withstand long sieges by an enemy while providing protection for King or Nobleman’s and troops, as well as refuge for the neighboring villagers. 

The structures were intentionally built with many features to be as defensible and impenetrable as possible. With thick walls, narrow windows and firing slits, tall towers and even moats they were designed to withstand months (3-6) long sieges. 

Of course as technology evolved the defensibly of these structures became less and less for their original intent. However one can never underestimate, even in the modern battlefield, the need for a good Stronghold that provides Refuge from incoming enemy attack.  


BREAKDOWN:  

The Lord also will be a refuge –  The Hebrew word translated by the KJV and many others as refuge is Misgab, mis-gawb’,  It has the sense of a secure (high) place, retreat, refuge, or Stronghold. 

Note the object of the Stronghold is God Himself. All other strongholds will eventually crumble at the hands of technology or man’s own unregenerate heart. Only God Almighty can provide that impenetrable Stronghold

for the oppressed, – Whom does God provide this Stronghold for? The oppressed, that is the weak, the lowly, those without self and power.  The high and mighty, arrogant and egotistical need not apply. 

a refuge in times of trouble. – When evil surrounds God’s children, He is there to provide that Refuge from incoming enemy fire. Whether is be the fiery darts of Satan or the raging insults, injustices or persecutions from our neighbors; God provides the only true impenetrable Stronghold.


APPLICATION: 

Everyone builds Forts? Since I was a little kid my friends and I were always finding a way to build a “Fort” in the nearby woods, or empty lot. It was our Stronghold and we would defend it against any dragoon or girl that happened upon it. 

In the Army the strongholds were sometimes as simple as a foxhole and many times much more elaborate as FOB’s (Forward Operating Bases). The principle was the same, build something defensible and maintain the defense. 

For Christians the same applies. Sometimes life just plain sucks. Even for true Christians, we will go through periods of turmoil and turbulence that can be very unsettling. That is why God tells us we do not need to build our own StrongholdYou see He already prepared one for us. All we need to do is enter into that covenant that gains us entry into the only true impenetrable Stronghold. 

 


Today’s Questions:

Say What?

Observation: What did I read? What struck you as most meaningful?

So What?

Interpretation: What does it mean? Overall and the most meaningful? Did it change your view on Strongholds

Now What?

Application: How does it apply to me?

Then What?

Implementation: What do I do? How can I start living it out today?

Saturday’s Military Devotional – BEING STILL

10 Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. Psalm 46:10

Psalm 46:10 ( AMP and RVR 1960) 


CONTEXT:

Have you ever heard the expression(s) 

    1. There are no atheists in the trenches.
    2. There are no atheists in foxholes.

A quick search on the internet finds some 38,000 plus results for them. With quoteinvestigator.com giving the best explanation of it’s origins. 

I will not argue today whether the expressions have any validity to them, that is not my point I refer tho them only because even in them we find someone saying, here in the midst of Calamity, the Chaos of Combat man will reflect upon the greater purpose of life. 

Psalm 46 is a Psalm of the sons of Korah, it is a Psalm of refuge, security, and strength. Something we all need from time to time, especially in times of Chaos and Calamity. 


BREAKDOWN:

Be still, –  We do not do a whole lot of fighting in trenches and foxholes any longer but no matter the location, or whether your “fight” is as a combat soldier of Soldier of the Lord, there are times we need to just Be still,. No matter if it because the enemy approaches or you need to listen carefully to something, we are often called to quiet ourselves.

and know that I am God: – In those quiet moments, especially in a combative situation human nature causes us to reflect on many things. Man will often consciously or subconsciously cry out for help. It is here that God is present, always omnipresent in all situations.  

I will be exalted among the heathen, – Oh there are many a naysayer (unbelievers), but as I have often said they are without excuse in the end (Romans 1:20). God will be exalted by everyone Philippians 2:10-11.

I will be exalted in the earth. – God’s omnipotence ( Psalm 46:2-3 ) is constantly on display (the unwise call it mother nature) He alone is sovereign over all creation Psalm 66:4.


APPLICATION: 

Simply put with all the calamity and chaos going on around the world and especially here in America today, when did you last pause to:Be still, and know that I am God:”

Please pray for all our service members and our first responders. 

Today’s Questions:

Say What?

Observation: What did I read? What struck you as most meaningful?

So What?

Interpretation: What does it mean? Overall and the most meaningful? Did it change your view on Being Still? 

Now What?

Application: How does it apply to me?

Then What?

Implementation: What do I do? How can I start living it out today?


Other Resources:

Psalm 46:10 Commentary – The Treasury of David

THE SOLE CONSIDERATION, THAT GOD IS GOD, SUFFICIENT TO STILL ALL OBJECTIONS TO HIS SOVEREIGNTY. by Jonathan Edwards

What does it mean to be still and know that I am God?

 

Overwhelmed by God

The Master's Seminary Blog

Overwhelmed by God

Jeremy Peters | 

Overwhelmed is a strong word that many of us can resonate with. Written into this word is imagery of capture—of being crushed. The word overwhelmed itself paints the picture of a boat being careened by a wave of water: completely submerged, buried, and smothered in drowning and disorientation.

But the sense of this word has expanded beyond waves and boats. Armies are said to have won an overwhelming victory when they overpower a weaker opponent. A man who loses his wife to cancer can rightly be said to be overwhelmed with grief. A small child surrounded by strangers in a crowded terminal can be overwhelmed with fear. Whatever the context, this word creates a sense of going under, of losing control, and of being subdued beneath something or someone stronger and bigger.

But does being overwhelmed have to be negative? Can you be overwhelmed by positive emotions, thoughts, or affections?

Anyone who has been on the water knows that a boat’s stability depends primarily upon where its bow is facing. In the same way, what you are overwhelmed by is primarily determined by what you are focused upon. It’s a matter of perspective. Of course, when you are focused on the troubles in front of and around you, feelings of despair can begin to overwhelm. But if you are able to set your mind on things above, the nature and character of God may begin to overwhelm you.

Set Your Eyes on Him, Not Your Trouble

David was a man of many troubles. As a shepherd, wild animals and the elements pursued him. A Philistine giant laughed in his face, eager to make David into an example. The paranoid and jealous Saul relentlessly sought his life. And his was the daunting task of leading Israel into battle against her restless enemies.

While the exact situation that led David to write Psalm 144 is a mystery, the psalm clearly speaks of trouble. In verses 7 and 11, David pleaded with God to rescue and deliver him. He described his surroundings as great waters and the hands of hostile nations surrounding him. In verse 8, he complained about the lies and deceptions his enemies employed against him. But despite the troubles surrounding David, he resolved not to be overwhelmed. He chose to look elsewhere—to gaze upward. And as a result, he was overwhelmed in a different way.

David begins this psalm amidst his troubles with a declaration of praise and worship to God: “Blessed be Yahweh!” In the midst of his trials, David bowed before God in humble recognition that God is the great I AM. He is the eternal, unchanging, self-sufficient God. He simply IS. He depends on nothing and no one. He has no lack and requires no help. He is the source of all other beings and existence. By Him, through Him, and to Him all things were created. He is Yahweh.

He Is Nearer and Greater

Then, with his eyes turned heavenward, David burst forth in what he knew to be true of God. David fills his praise with “My…my…my” to express the personal nearness in which he knew God. Yahweh was a present help in David’s trouble (Ps. 46:1). While the great waters of danger encompassed him (v. 7), God surrounded him even closer. Though his enemies’ hands swarmed him like the mob, God held him even tighter. God had set upon him a steadfast, uncompromising lovingkindness—His covenantal, unconditional love. This was a love not even David deserved.


In the midst of his turmoil and inadequacy,
David experienced an overwhelming nearness to God 


David also paints an overwhelming picture of God’s greatness. He describes God as an immovable security, a towering shelter. In the midst of trouble, David remembers that God is a place of hiding and safety from all the impending attacks. When David had hidden from Saul in rocky caves (1 Sam. 22:1), he knew his true Rock was Yahweh. God was his secret escape—like a fortress or stronghold nestled in the mountains. He was a harbor of protection amidst the wind and waves. As David’s closest companion in battle, God was his shield. It was God who taught David’s hands and fingers to wage his wars and fight his battles. Though David was king of Israel, Yahweh was his sovereign.

In summary, David saw God as his Deliverer—his Protector and Rescuer. Yahweh is a great God!

Be Surprisingly Overwhelmed

What depth of truth! What wonderful declarations of God! Note how David responds in verse 3–4: “O Yahweh, what is man, that You take knowledge of him? Or the son of man, that You think of him? Man is like a mere breath; His days are like a passing shadow.” David wasn’t overwhelmed by the troubles around him. He wasn’t paralyzed by the great waters nor the mob of enemy hands pressing in around him. He was overwhelmed by the splendor and glory of God.

As David turned his eyes upward in the midst of his troubles, his enemies suddenly seemed less daunting when juxtaposed with the greatness of God. He was brought to a place of focusing on the grace and greatness of the One by whom he was known. David was humbled that he would even be considered by such Majesty.

Instead of the normal paralysis that results from troubles, being overwhelmed by God moved David. It moved him to dependent, confident, even bold prayer. He prayed to God as the only One who could rescue him (vv. 5–8, 11). He prayed with a new song in his soul, believing God would be God in his trouble (vv. 9–10). And he approached the throne of grace with boldness, pleading for blessings on Yahweh’s people (vv. 12–15).


Being overwhelmed by God brought David
to his knees—not in paralysis, but desperate boldness 


He was moved to do the one thing that could acquire all that he needed: he prayed.

It is unlikely that anyone reading this has the task of ruling Israel. Nor is it probable that you are being threatened by a hostile army closing in around you. But the principles David demonstrates in this psalm remain applicable even today. When we face troubles, we can begin by turning our eyes to God. We can choose to praise Him amidst the storms of life. Then, the truth of His character can flood our thoughts and remind us that God is nearer and greater than any trouble we might face.

 

God is Our…

1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1

Whom is it that you turn to in times of trouble? Is it a friend, spouse or maybe a pastor? David understood that none of these were good enough, our only true refuge and strength comes from God. While we can lean on others for support it is God we depend on to get us through those tough times and we must not forget to praise Him in the good times too. – Mike

The Treasury of David

EXPOSITION

Verse 1. God is our refuge and strength. Not our armies, or our fortresses. Israel’s boast is in Jehovah, the only living and true God. Others vaunt their impregnable castles, placed on inaccessible rocks, and secured with gates of iron, but God is a far better refuge from distress than all these: and when the time comes to carry the war into the enemy’s territories, the Lord stands his people in better stead than all the valour of legions or the boasted strength of chariot and horse. Soldiers of the cross, remember this, and count yourselves safe, and make yourselves strong in God. Forget not the personal possessive word our; make sure each one of your portion in God, that you may say, “He is my refuge and strength.” Neither forget the fact that God is our refuge just now, in the immediate present, as truly as when David penned the word. God alone is our all in all. All other refuges are refuges of lies, all other strength is weakness, for power belongeth unto God: but as God is all sufficient, our defence and might are equal to all emergencies. A very present help in trouble, or in distress he has so been found, he has been tried and proved by his people. He never withdraws himself from his afflicted. He is their help, truly, effectually, constantly; he is present or near them, close at their side and ready for their succour, and this is emphasized by the word very in our version, he is more present than friend or relative can be, yea, more nearly present than even the trouble itself. To all this comfortable truth is added the consideration that his assistance comes at the needed time. He is not as the swallows that leave us in the winter; he is a friend in need and a friend indeed. When it is very dark with us, let brave spirits say, “Come, let us sing the forty-sixth Psalm.”

“A fortress firm, and steadfast rock,
Is God in time of danger;
A shield and sword in every shock,
From foe well known or stranger.”

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS

We sing this Psalm to the praise of God, because God is with us, and powerfully and miraculously preserves and defends his church and his word, against all fanatical spirits, against the gates of hell, against the implacable hatred of the devil, and against all the assaults of the world, the flesh and sin. Martin Luther.