Saturday, May 31, 2008

An Understanding Mind

May 31: 1 Kings 3-4, 2 Chronicles 1, & Psalm 72

3 Solomon loved the Lord, walking in the statutes of David his father, only he sacrificed and made offerings at the high places. 4 And the king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there, for that was the great high place. Solomon used to offer a thousand burnt offerings on that altar. 5 At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night, and God said, “Ask what I shall give you.” 6 And Solomon said, “You have shown great and steadfast love to your servant David my father, because he walked before you in faithfulness, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart toward you. And you have kept for him this great and steadfast love and have given him a son to sit on his throne this day. 7 And now, O Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of David my father, although I am but a little child. I do not know how to go out or come in. 8 And your servant is in the midst of your people whom you have chosen, a great people, too many to be numbered or counted for multitude. 9 Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this your great people?”

10 It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this. 11 And God said to him, “Because you have asked this, and have not asked for yourself long life or riches or the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern what is right, 12 behold, I now do according to your word. Behold, I give you a wise and discerning mind, so that none like you has been before you and none like you shall arise after you. 13 I give you also what you have not asked, both riches and honor, so that no other king shall compare with you, all your days. 14 And if you will walk in my ways, keeping my statutes and my commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days.”
1 Kings 1:3-14

1 Give the king your justice, O God,
and your righteousness to the royal son!
2 May he judge your people with righteousness,
and your poor with justice!

18 Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,
who alone does wondrous things.
19 Blessed be his glorious name forever;
may the whole earth be filled with his glory!
Amen and Amen!
Psalm 72:1-2 & 18-19

An Understanding Mind

What an opportunity! God appeared to Solomon in a dream and said, "Ask for whatever you wish and I will give it to you." If you were the newly crowned king, for what would you ask?

Solomon did not ask for riches, fame, or power; he simply asked for wisdom to rule his people righteously. Like David, Solomon displayed a great deal of humility.

7 And now, O Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of David my father, although I am but a little child. I do not know how to go out or come in.

Look around today--what are people seeking? They are seeking riches, honor, fame, and power. If God appeared to most people today offering anything they desired, what do you think they would say? Very few, if any, would ask for wisdom!

We know historically that God did, indeed, bless Solomon with great wisdom; he was also a prolific writer, like his father David. He wrote some of the Psalms and the books of Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Solomon. His wisdom is definitely displayed in the book of Proverbs, what a wonderful application of the law of God, teaching us to live and walk according to the glory of God.

Psalm 72, which is part of today's reading, has been attributed to Solomon; it is obvious from the text that Solomon attributed all of the glory for his wisdom to God. Pray, today, that God will give you an understanding mind to face the duties for which you are responsible today.

18 Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,
who alone does wondrous things.
19 Blessed be his glorious name forever;
may the whole earth be filled with his glory!
Amen and Amen!


God Bless You,
Linda

All Scriptures are from the English Standard Version of the Bible.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Your Word

May 30: Psalm 119:1-88

1 Blessed are those whose way is blameless,
who walk in the law of the Lord!

9 How can a young man keep his way pure?
By guarding it according to your word.

17 Deal bountifully with your servant,
that I may live and keep your word.

25 My soul clings to the dust;
give me life according to your word!

33 Teach me, O Lord, the way of your statutes;
and I will keep it to the end.

41 Let your steadfast love come to me, O Lord,
your salvation according to your promise;

49 Remember your word to your servant,
in which you have made me hope.

57 The Lord is my portion;
I promise to keep your words.

65 You have dealt well with your servant,
O Lord, according to your word.

73 Your hands have made and fashioned me;
give me understanding that I may learn your commandments.

81 My soul longs for your salvation;
I hope in your word.
from Psalm 119

Your Word

On my web site, Devotional Reflections from the Bible, I have an entire section of 22 devotions from Psalm 119. I encourage you to take the time to read these devotions so that you will be able to meditate in greater depth on this wonderful Psalm of David.

The following is a quote from my Psalm 119 entry page.

This Psalm has been called The Christians' golden ABC of the praise, love, power, and use of the Word of God. Spurgeon, in his Treasury of David said, "It deals all along with one subject only, but although it consists of a considerable number of verses, some of which are very similar to others, yet throughout its one hundred and seventy-six stanzas the self-same thought is not repeated."

The verses shown above are the first verses of each of the first 11 octets, which all begin with a letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Take a moment and count the number of times, Your Word, is recorded in the verses shown above. Seven of the eleven octets have Your Word(s), and the other four have variations:

Law of the Lord (verse 1)
Your Statutes (verse 33)
Your Promise (verse 41)
Your Commandments (verse 73)

It is obvious when reading the verses recorded above, that David viewed the Word of God as indispensable. As a matter of fact, the only way to guard one's life from sin was by God's Word.

9 How can a young man keep his way pure?
By guarding it according to your word
.


All of David's faith and understanding came from a knowledge of and trust in God's Word.

81 My soul longs for your salvation;
I hope in your word
.


What does that tell us about the way we should view the Word of God? Is it indispensable in our lives, just as it was in David's? Do we hunger for God's Word and long for our salvation? Or, are we too busy to even take the time to read and meditate on the Bible? Really, what could be more important?

Pray to God that He would help you to establish and keep a daily time of prayer and meditation on God's Word.

33 Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!

34 “For who has known the mind of the Lord,
or who has been his counselor?”
35 “Or who has given a gift to him
that he might be repaid?”

36 For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.
Hebrews 11:33-36

God Bless You,
Linda

All Scriptures are from the English Standard Version of the Bible.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Rescue Me!

May 29: 1 Kings 1-2 & Psalms 37, 71, & 94

1 Now King David was old and advanced in years.

5 Now Adonijah the son of Haggith exalted himself, saying, “I will be king.”
And he prepared for himself chariots and horsemen, and fifty men to run before him.

7 He conferred with Joab the son of Zeruiah and with Abiathar the priest. And they followed Adonijah and helped him.

29 And the king swore, saying, “As the Lord lives, who has redeemed my soul out of every adversity, 30 as I swore to you by the Lord, the God of Israel, saying, ‘Solomon your son shall reign after me, and he shall sit on my throne in my place,’ even so will I do this day.”
1 Kings 1:1, 5, 7 & 29-30

5 “Moreover, you also know what Joab the son of Zeruiah did to me, how he dealt with the two commanders of the armies of Israel, Abner the son of Ner, and Amasa the son of Jether, whom he killed, avenging in time of peace for blood that had been shed in war, and putting the blood of war on the belt around his waist and on the sandals on his feet. 6 Act therefore according to your wisdom, but do not let his gray head go down to Sheol in peace.

8 And there is also with you Shimei the son of Gera, the Benjaminite from Bahurim, who cursed me with a grievous curse on the day when I went to Mahanaim. . . . 9 Now therefore do not hold him guiltless, for you are a wise man. You will know what you ought to do to him, and you shall bring his gray head down with blood to Sheol.”
1 Kings 2:5-6 & 8-9

37 Mark the blameless and behold the upright,
for there is a future for the man of peace.
38 But transgressors shall be altogether destroyed;
the future of the wicked shall be cut off.
Psalm 37:37-38

4 Rescue me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked,
from the grasp of the unjust and cruel man.
5 For you, O Lord, are my hope,
my trust, O Lord, from my youth.
Psalm 71:4-5

22 But the Lord has become my stronghold,
and my God the rock of my refuge.
23 He will bring back on them their iniquity
and wipe them out for their wickedness;
the Lord our God will wipe them out.
Psalm 94:22-23

Rescue Me!

1 Kings 1 & 2 records some very interesting events that occurred at the very end of David's reign. Adonijah, the next eldest son of David after Absalom, raised a following with the intent of proclaiming himself king. Even though it was clear that God had appointed Solomon to be the next king of Israel, several men did follow Adonijah, including Joab, the former commander of David's army.

God will not be thwarted in His plans, however; the rebellion was short-lived and Solomon was anointed as the King of Israel. Solomon's reign was to be a peaceful reign, but first there were a few loose ends from David's reign to tie up. Three men still lived who had shown disloyalty to David during his reign. Joab had killed two righteous men, directly against the king's orders; Shimei had cursed David when he fled from Absalom; and Adonijah tried to seize the kingdom before the anointment of King Solomon.

In the Psalms we often read of the blessing of God upon the righteous, but we also read of God's righteous retribution against the wicked. In Psalm 71, the Psalmist cried,

4 Rescue me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked,
from the grasp of the unjust and cruel man.
5 For you, O Lord, are my hope,
my trust, O Lord, from my youth
.


As God was continually faithful to King David his entire life, God was also faithful in seeing all of David's enemies brought to justice. Two of the three men recorded above were not put to death until after the death of King David, but justice was served by the Lord God of Hosts.

This is a two-sided coin, so to speak, when we consider the implications to us today. For the righteous, though his entire life might be filled with sadness and grief at the hands of the wicked, God will deal righteously, bringing the wicked to justice. For the non-Christian who lives a life of unbelief, not caring or even believing that God will do anything about it, justice will be served and the unbeliever will be brought to justice by the Lord.

As a Christian, do not be swept away by the apathy of this world; God does reign eternally and true justice will come to pass. We are called to live a life faithful to God in obedience to His Word.
Even now, Christ is the true King of Kings and Lord of Lords!

Amen, so shall it be!

God Bless You,
Linda

All Scriptures are from the English Standard Version of the Bible.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Steadfast Love!

May 28: Psalms 111-118

10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
all those who practice it have a good understanding.
His praise endures forever!
Psalm 111:10

4 The Lord is high above all nations,
and his glory above the heavens!
5 Who is like the Lord our God,
who is seated on high,
6 who looks far down
on the heavens and the earth?
Psalm 113:4-6

1 Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory,
for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness!
2 Why should the nations say,“Where is their God?”

3 Our God is in the heavens;
he does all that he pleases.
Psalm 115:1-3

5 Gracious is the Lord, and righteous;
our God is merciful.
6 The Lord preserves the simple;
when I was brought low, he saved me.
7 Return, O my soul, to your rest;
for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.
Psalm 116:5-7

1 Praise the Lord, all nations!
Extol him, all peoples!
2 For great is his steadfast love toward us,
and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever.
Praise the Lord!
Psalm 117

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!
Psalm 118:28-29

Steadfast Love!

Webster's dictionary defines the word "steadfast" in the following way: 1a: firmly fixed in place : immovable b: not subject to change.

How many things in this life are really steadfast? We think of trees as being steadfast, and yet a mere tornado can uproot them. We look at the mountains as being steadfast, and yet the mountains are gradually washing away every day. Our whole world, affected by sin, is in a state of constant deterioration.

But what of God? God is steadfast, He exhibits a steadfast love, and He presents a steadfast eternity prepared in advance for us! No wonder the Psalmist proclaims:

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
all those who practice it have a good understanding.
His praise endures forever!


There is no glory in us; all glory for everything we have attained and achieved rests in God, alone! I am sure the Psalmist must have been pondering this when he proclaimed in Psalm 113:

4 The Lord is high above all nations,
and his glory above the heavens!
5 Who is like the Lord our God,
who is seated on high,
6 who looks far down
on the heavens and the earth?


As we come to the end of our devotions on the life of David, we are reminded that this was his testimony until the very end of his life. Oh, he sinned, and yet he turned from that sin to a merciful God; remember when he was to decide his punishment for his sin in numbering the people, what did he choose? He chose to fall into the hands of God rather than men, for perhaps God would be gracious and relent from His great anger.

Psalm 117, which consists of only two verses, says:

1 Praise the Lord, all nations!
Extol him, all peoples!
2 For great is his steadfast love toward us,
and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever.
Praise the Lord!


O love of God,
How can it be?
That Thou, my Lord,
did die for me!

God Bless You,
Linda

All Scriptures are from the English Standard Version of the Bible.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Unless the Lord

May 27: 1 Chronicles 26-29 & Psalm 127


And David said: “Blessed are you, O Lord, the God of Israel our father, forever and ever. 11 Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all. 12 Both riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all. In your hand are power and might, and in your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all. 13 And now we thank you, our God, and praise your glorious name.

14 “But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able thus to offer willingly? For all things come from you, and of your own have we given you. 15 For we are strangers before you and sojourners, as all our fathers were. Our days on the earth are like a shadow, and there is no abiding. O Lord our God, all this abundance that we have provided for building you a house for your holy name comes from your hand and is all your own. 17 I know, my God, that you test the heart and have pleasure in uprightness. In the uprightness of my heart I have freely offered all these things, and now I have seen your people, who are present here, offering freely and joyously to you. 18 O Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, our fathers, keep forever such purposes and thoughts in the hearts of your people, and direct their hearts toward you.
1 Chronicles 29:10b-18

1 Unless the Lord builds the house,
those who build it labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city,
the watchman stays awake in vain.
2 It is in vain that you rise up early
and go late to rest,
eating the bread of anxious toil;
for he gives to his beloved sleep.
Psalm 127:1-2

Unless the Lord

The reign of King David has come to an end. What are his parting words to His people? What advice does he leave for those who are to follow after him?

In Psalm 127 David says it all with the simple phrase, Unless the Lord. From 1 Chronicles 29:11-12, we read this final prayer of David.

11 Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all. 12 Both riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all. In your hand are power and might, and in your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all.

Who is speaking these words? Is not this David? From 1 Chronicles 29:28a we read: Then he died at a good age, full of days, riches, and honor. He had it all! Yet, his final praise is not to his glory, but to the glory of God. He would not have had any of the days, riches, and honor unless the Lord had granted it to him.

1 Unless the Lord builds the house,
those who build it labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city,
the watchman stays awake in vain.
2 It is in vain that you rise up early
and go late to rest,
eating the bread of anxious toil;
for he gives to his beloved sleep.
Psalm 127:1-2


Where have you put your trust? We waste so much of our lives seeking to acquire wealth and honor; nothing is more important than our advancements in our careers. We would do well to heed the advice from King David; Unless the Lord builds the house, [we] labor in vain.

God Bless You,
Linda

All Scriptures are from the English Standard Version of the Bible.

Monday, May 26, 2008

You Hem Me In

May 26: Psalm 131, 138-139, & 143-145

But I have calmed and quieted my soul.
Psalm 131:2a

The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me;
your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever.
Do not forsake the work of your hands.
Psalm 138:8

4 Even before a word is on my tongue,
behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.
5 You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is high; I cannot attain it.

17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 If I would count them, they are more than the sand.
I awake, and I am still with you.
Psalm 139:4-6 & 17-18

I stretch out my hands to you;
my soul thirsts for you like a parched land.
Psalm 143:6

Blessed are the people to whom such blessings fall!
Blessed are the people whose God is the Lord!
Psalm 144:15

14 The Lord upholds all who are falling
and raises up all who are bowed down.
15 The eyes of all look to you,
and you give them their food in due season.
16 You open your hand;
you satisfy the desire of every living thing.
17 The Lord is righteous in all his ways
and kind in all his works.
18 The Lord is near to all who call on him,
to all who call on him in truth.
Psalm 145:14-18

You Hem Me In

When we think of the phrase, you hem me in, we usually think of it in a negative connotation. But when David used this expression regarding God, what was his reaction?

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is high; I cannot attain it
.


Often we are like a toddler who is ready to run and discover his surroundings; for his safety we put him in a playpen or use a gate at the door. Does he like it? Usually it takes quite a few crying spells before he finally accepts his "hemmed-in" state.

Take the time to read the verses printed above; better yet, get your Bible out and read all of the chapters assigned for today's reading. We just think we control our own lives and our own destinies!

David knew better; rather than complaining, he was filled with praise and thanksgiving. David longed for God.

My soul thirsts for you like a parched land.

Reread the words above from Psalm 145.

14 The Lord upholds all who are falling
and raises up all who are bowed down.
15 The eyes of all look to you,
and you give them their food in due season.
16 You open your hand;
you satisfy the desire of every living thing.
17 The Lord is righteous in all his ways
and kind in all his works.
18 The Lord is near to all who call on him,
to all who call on him in truth
.


Meditate on that today and as you go about your daily activities, and take some time to praise God and say in praise and awe, You hem me in.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

God Bless You,
Linda

All Scriptures are from the English Standard Version of the Bible.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Set Your House in Order

May 25: 1 Chronicles 23-25

1 When David was old and full of days, he made Solomon his son king over Israel.
2 David assembled all the leaders of Israel and the priests and the Levites. 3 The Levites, thirty years old and upward, were numbered, and the total was 38,000 men. 4 “Twenty-four thousand of these,” David said, “shall have charge of the work in the house of the Lord, 6,000 shall be officers and judges, 5 4,000 gatekeepers, and 4,000 shall offer praises to the Lord with the instruments that I have made for praise.” 6 And David organized them in divisions corresponding to the sons of Levi: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari.

1 Chronicles 23:1-6

1 The divisions of the sons of Aaron were these. The sons of Aaron: Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. 2 But Nadab and Abihu died before their father and had no children, so Eleazar and Ithamar became the priests. 3 With the help of Zadok of the sons of Eleazar, and Ahimelech of the sons of Ithamar, David organized them according to the appointed duties in their service. 4 Since more chief men were found among the sons of Eleazar than among the sons of Ithamar, they organized them under sixteen heads of fathers' houses of the sons of Eleazar, and eight of the sons of Ithamar. 5 They divided them by lot, all alike, for there were sacred officers and officers of God among both the sons of Eleazar and the sons of Ithamar. 6 And the scribe Shemaiah, the son of Nethanel, a Levite, recorded them in the presence of the king and the princes and Zadok the priest and Ahimelech the son of Abiathar and the heads of the fathers' houses of the priests and of the Levites, one father's house being chosen for Eleazar and one chosen for Ithamar.
1 Chronicles 24:1-6

1 David and the chiefs of the service also set apart for the service the sons of Asaph, and of Heman, and of Jeduthun, who prophesied with lyres, with harps, and with cymbals. 1Chronicles 25:1

Set Your House in Order

Set your house in order. Those are chilling words when they come from the mouth of your doctor. When my sister had cancer, those were the words the doctor spoke to her. Doctors do not like to give a time when you have a fatal disease, but he told her, "You only have a little time. I am speaking of months, not years, and only a few months."

I knew the doctor was wrong; my sister was a Godly woman--my soul mate. She, however, knew that he was right, and did exactly as he recommended; she set her house in order. As a widow, she had no one to fall back on except her siblings. What an amazing testimony she left with us; she made and paid for all of her funeral arrangements, and even spoke with her pastor about what she wanted him to say at her funeral. She was not afraid of death because she knew she would be with the Lord.

We find David in a similar position; he knew he only had a short time to live, so he set his house in order. First, he made Solomon king in his place, and then he readied everything for the temple Solomon would build. He had already brought in supplies for the building of the temple, and now, in today's reading, we find that he organized the service that the Levites were to perform--down to the very last man.

You can not have read the passages we have read from 2 Samuel, 1 Chronicles, and the Psalms without gaining an amazing appreciation of who David was. Even at the end of his life, he was looking toward the future.

What is the message in this for us? Life does not end when we die! What will you leave behind? Will your testimony be one of faithful service to the Lord, with "children of the faith" left behind to carry on your work after you are gone.

Take some time today to meditate on that thought. There is a bigger scope of reference in this world than just our life; we are just a minute part of God's eternal plan. Pray today that God would give you grace to set your house in order. Think beyond the circumstances of your life and look to the eternal values which, by the grace of God, you will pass on to those who remain on this earth.

God Bless You,
Linda

All Scriptures are from the English Standard Version of the Bible.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

At Your Right Hand

May 24: Psalm 108-110

10 Who will bring me to the fortified city?
Who will lead me to Edom?
11 Have you not rejected us, O God?
You do not go out, O God, with our armies.
12 Oh grant us help against the foe,
for vain is the salvation of man!
13 With God we shall do valiantly;
it is he who will tread down our foes.
Psalm 108:10-13

26 Help me, O Lord my God!
Save me according to your steadfast love!
27 Let them know that this is your hand;
you, O Lord, have done it!

30 With my mouth I will give great thanks to the Lord;
I will praise him in the midst of the throng.
31 For he stands at the right hand of the needy one,
to save him from those who condemn his soul to death.
Psalm 109:26-27 & 30-31

5 The Lord is at your right hand;
he will shatter kings on the day of his wrath.
6 He will execute judgment among the nations,
filling them with corpses;
he will shatter chiefs over the wide earth.
Psalm 110:5-6

At Your Right Hand

These are very interesting Psalms to read after the disastrous account we read yesterday when David called for the numbering of the people. The Psalms shown above demonstrate the trust David had in God to overcome their enemies.

The Psalms of David, such as those shown above, help us to see into the inward, as well as outward, struggles David faced. In Psalm 108, we find David wrestling with the Lord, pleading for help from his enemies. Even though help from God seemed to be far off, David still affirmed his faith in God.

With God we shall do valiantly;
it is he who will tread down our foes
.


It is easy to trust in the Lord when everything is going well, but how is our faith when nothing seems to go right and God seems to be far away? I find it interesting to note that in Psalm 109, David's cry for help is for God's name to be honored.

26 Help me, O Lord my God!
Save me according to your steadfast love!
27 Let them know that this is your hand;
you, O Lord, have done it!


What a statement of faith we see demonstrated by David in Psalm 110.

5 The Lord is at your right hand;
he will shatter kings on the day of his wrath.
6 He will execute judgment among the nations,
filling them with corpses;
he will shatter chiefs over the wide earth
.


For a man of war, it was obvious that he rested his strength in God, and not in the strength of numbers. These Psalms help us to understand yesterday's reading much better. It was truly not typical of David to require that his people be numbered; he, typically, found his only strength and help in the Lord.

I think these Psalms are especially precious to those families who have spouses, sons, daughters, fathers, or mothers fighting battles for their country in another nation -- or perhaps in their own nation. Pray for strength to remember that the battle is the Lord's; pray that God will preserve the life of your loved one.

For he stands at the right hand of the needy one,
to save him from those who condemn his soul to death
.

Psalm 109:31

God Bless You,
Linda

All Scriptures are from the English Standard Version of the Bible.

Friday, May 23, 2008

The Cursed Census

May 23: 2 Samuel 24, 1 Chronicles 21 & 22, & Psalm 30

1 Then Satan stood against Israel and incited David to number Israel. 2 So David said to Joab and the commanders of the army, “Go, number Israel, from Beersheba to Dan, and bring me a report, that I may know their number.” 3 But Joab said, “May the Lord add to his people a hundred times as many as they are! Are they not, my lord the king, all of them my lord's servants? Why then should my lord require this? Why should it be a cause of guilt for Israel?” 4 But the king's word prevailed against Joab. So Joab departed and went throughout all Israel and came back to Jerusalem. 5 And Joab gave the sum of the numbering of the people to David. In all Israel there were 1,100,000 men who drew the sword, and in Judah 470,000 who drew the sword. 6 But he did not include Levi and Benjamin in the numbering, for the king's command was abhorrent to Joab.1 Chronicles 21:1-6

10 But David's heart struck him after he had numbered the people. And David said to the Lord, “I have sinned greatly in what I have done. But now, O Lord, please take away the iniquity of your servant, for I have done very foolishly.” 11 And when David arose in the morning, the word of the Lord came to the prophet Gad, David's seer, saying, 12 “Go and say to David, ‘Thus says the Lord, Three things I offer you. Choose one of them, that I may do it to you.’” 13 So Gad came to David and told him, and said to him, “Shall three years of famine come to you in your land? Or will you flee three months before your foes while they pursue you? Or shall there be three days' pestilence in your land? Now consider, and decide what answer I shall return to him who sent me.” 14 Then David said to Gad, “I am in great distress. Let us fall into the hand of the Lord, for his mercy is great; but let me not fall into the hand of man.”
2 Samuel 24:10-14

11 You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
you have loosed my sackcloth
and clothed me with gladness,
12 that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever!
Psalm 30:11-12

The Cursed Census

When we sin against the Lord, often our first thought is to hide our sin from those around us; the last thing we want is to see our sin splashed before the public eye. Imagine David's circumstance; not only was his sin displayed before the eyes of the people, but the people were the ones who suffered because of David's sin.

This is an interesting account of Scripture; in a weak moment David ordered the numbering of the people. What was so bad about that? This action showed David's lack of trust in God. Notice that in almost every battle against the Israelites, we are told the number of their attackers. The kings trusted in the strength of their forces to win their battles. It did not matter how many men were in the army of Israel; their strength rested in God.

David's answer to Gad, the seer, shows that David's senses [pun intended] returned to him; He knew that the only grace he might receive was by the hand of God.

What a lesson this is to us today? It is so easy to trust in those around us rather than to trust in the Lord. Like David, in our weak moments, it is easy for us to trust in the wrong things. Is this a big deal to God?

Yes! The very heart of our relationship to God rests in our trust in Him; it demonstrates our true faith in the Lord.

As you think of the Cursed Census, pray today that God would graciously give you the strength to put your whole trust in Him, no matter how overwhelmed or outnumbered you feel in your daily battles of life.

O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever!

God Bless You,
Linda

All Scriptures are from the English Standard Version of the Bible.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Earth Trembles

May 22: Psalms 95 & 97-99

3 For the Lord is a great God,
and a great King above all gods.
4 In his hand are the depths of the earth;
the heights of the mountains are his also.
5 The sea is his, for he made it,
and his hands formed the dry land.

6 Oh come, let us worship and bow down;
let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!
7 For he is our God,
and we are the people of his pasture,
and the sheep of his hand.
Psalm 95:3-7

1 The Lord reigns, let the earth rejoice;
let the many coastlands be glad!
2 Clouds and thick darkness are all around him;
righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.
3 Fire goes before him
and burns up his adversaries all around.
4 His lightnings light up the world;
the earth sees and trembles.
5 The mountains melt like wax before the Lord,
before the Lord of all the earth.
Psalm 97:1-5

6 With trumpets and the sound of the horn
make a joyful noise before the King, the Lord!
7 Let the sea roar, and all that fills it;

the world and those who dwell in it!
8 Let the rivers clap their hands;
let the hills sing for joy together
9 before the Lord, for he comes
to judge the earth.
He will judge the world with righteousness,
and the peoples with equity.
Psalm 98:6-9

1 The Lord reigns; let the peoples tremble!
He sits enthroned upon the cherubim; let the earth quake!
2 The Lord is great in Zion;
he is exalted over all the peoples.
3 Let them praise your great and awesome name!
Holy is he!
Psalm 99:1-3

The Earth Trembles!

From the Psalms today comes a side of God we often neglect; instead, we tend to make God "small" in our eyes. But is this appropriate to God? Today, let us take time to remember who this God really is!

Look at some of the verses from today's Psalms.

Psalm 95:

For the Lord is a great God,
and a great King above all gods.
In his hand are the depths of the earth;
the heights of the mountains are his also.
The sea is his, for he made it,
and his hands formed the dry land
.


Psalm 97:

Fire goes before him
and burns up his adversaries all around.
His lightnings light up the world;
the earth sees and trembles.
The mountains melt like wax before the Lord,
before the Lord of all the earth
.


Psalm 98:

Let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
the world and those who dwell in it!
Let the rivers clap their hands;
let the hills sing for joy together
before the Lord, for he comes

to judge the earth.

Psalm 99:

The Lord reigns; let the peoples tremble!
He sits enthroned upon the cherubim; let the earth quake!


Take a moment to pause and think about this--our God is not weak, and He certainly does not bow down to the whims of man! We do not bargain with God; He has laid down His righteous law that must be obeyed. Because He knew we could never obey His law perfectly, He sent His perfect Son, the God Man, to come to this earth and shed His blood to provide a way for man to come to God.

Can we chip away at that and bend it to more suitably suit our desires? Is this a God we can simply believe in, but are not required to obey? Our world has created tons of "religions" based upon half-truths of God's Word.

But, remember, this is the God who makes the earth tremble and quake. Before Him the mountains melt like wax and His lightnings light up the world. And, before Him we must bow in humility and praise, for He alone provides a way to enter His perfect rest forever. Nothing on this earth is more important; nothing on earth will survive God's perfect scrutiny. He is righteous and holy, and the Lord will return in righteousness and justice.

Praise God, He provided us a way to Him; as His children, we do not need to fear. Yes, before Him the earth trembles, but His children do not tremble before Him in fear, but rather tremble before Him in acknowledgement of His perfect holiness and justice.

God Bless You,
Linda

All Scriptures are from the English Standard Version of the Bible.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Be Exalted, O God!

May 21: 2 Samuel 22-23 & Psalm 57

29 For you are my lamp, O Lord,
and my God lightens my darkness.
30 For by you I can run against a troop,
and by my God I can leap over a wall.
31 This God—his way is perfect;
the word of the Lord proves true;
he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.

32 “For who is God, but the Lord?
And who is a rock, except our God?
2 Samuel 22:29-32

3 The God of Israel has spoken;
the Rock of Israel has said to me:
When one rules justly over men,
ruling in the fear of God,
4 he dawns on them like the morning light,
like the sun shining forth on a cloudless morning,
like rain that makes grass to sprout from the earth.
2 Samuel 23:3-4

1 Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me,
for in you my soul takes refuge;
in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge,
till the storms of destruction pass by.

4 My soul is in the midst of lions;
I lie down amid fiery beasts—
the children of man, whose teeth are spears and arrows,
whose tongues are sharp swords.

5 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens!
Let your glory be over all the earth!

9 I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples;
I will sing praises to you among the nations.
10 For your steadfast love is great to the heavens,
your faithfulness to the clouds.

11 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens!
Let your glory be over all the earth!
Psalm 57:1, 4-5, & 9-11

Be Exalted, O God!

As we are nearing the end of David's life, our reading today includes three Psalms, one from the book of Psalms and two from 2 Samuel.

I love the terminology used by David in 2 Samuel 22.

For by you I can run against a troop,
and by my God I can leap over a wall
.


Never, in all of his life, does David forget to praise God and attribute to God the reasons for his successes in battle and for the success of his kingship. Oh that we, too, would proclaim with David,

“For who is God, but the Lord?
And who is a rock, except our God?"


It is from Psalm 57 that I have chosen the theme for this devotion, for it truly epitomizes the words of David. Be Exalted, O God! This is one of the psalms David wrote when he fled from Saul.

Verse 4 shows us the tension that fills his days.

My soul is in the midst of lions;
I lie down amid fiery beasts—
the children of man, whose teeth are spears and arrows,
whose tongues are sharp swords
.


In his very next words David shows his true heart and in whom he trusts.

Be exalted, O God, above the heavens!
Let your glory be over all the earth!


David's goal in all of his life was to bring glory to God. That should be our goal as well. Our first priority, even above our spouses, children, and careers, must be to bring glory to God. When we place our priorities in the right order, God will bless all of the other priorities that are so paramount in our thinking.

Be Exalted, O God!

God Bless You,
Linda

All Scriptures are from the English Standard Version of the Bible.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Thirst for God

May 20: Psalms 5, 38, & 41-42

11 But let all who take refuge in you rejoice;
let them ever sing for joy,
and spread your protection over them,
that those who love your name may exult in you.
12 For you bless the righteous, O Lord;
you cover him with favor as with a shield.
Psalm 5:11-12

15 But for you, O Lord, do I wait;
it is you, O Lord my God, who will answer.
16 For I said, “Only let them not rejoice over me,
who boast against me when my foot slips!”
17 For I am ready to fall,

and my pain is ever before me.
18 I confess my iniquity;
I am sorry for my sin.
Psalm 38:15-17

1 As a deer pants for flowing streams,
so pants my soul for you, O God.
2 My soul thirsts for God,
for the living God.
Psalm 42:1-2

11 By this I know that you delight in me:
my enemy will not shout in triumph over me.
12 But you have upheld me because of my integrity,
and set me in your presence forever.
13 Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,

from everlasting to everlasting!
Amen and Amen.
Psalm 41:11-13

Thirst for God

We have just witnessed, in yesterday's reading, David at perhaps one of the worst times of his life. Again we see his character shine through when we read these Psalms today. Read Psalm 42:1-2 again.

As a deer pants for flowing streams,
so pants my soul for you, O God.
My soul thirsts for God,
for the living God
.


Never, no matter how bad things were for David, did he forget his true source of strength and delight. He witnessed friends and family warring against him, seeking his death; He knew that only God remained faithful to Him.

It is so easy for us to trust in the things around us--the tangible things we can see, feel, and touch. And, what of our friends--sometimes our friends mean more to us than even our family. They would never fail us, would they?

Notice, that when David's life was comfortable, he fell into sin, even to the point of murder. But, what happens when David's life is filled with grief and his life is continually in danger? He turns to God!

God has a specific purpose for our life, and often times that purpose has nothing to do with what we think is our true purpose. God is jealous for His children, and will not let Satan snatch them away. Many times he sends sickness, money problems, and even disloyalty from friends and family to turn us to Him.

Pray today that like David, you, too, will have a thirst for God!

God Bless You,
Linda

All Scriptures are from the English Standard Version of the Bible.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Trouble Times Three

May 19: 2 Samuel 19-21

1 It was told Joab, “Behold, the king is weeping and mourning for Absalom.” 2 So the victory that day was turned into mourning for all the people, for the people heard that day, “The king is grieving for his son.” 3 And the people stole into the city that day as people steal in who are ashamed when they flee in battle. 4 The king covered his face, and the king cried with a loud voice, “O my son Absalom, O Absalom, my son, my son!” 5 Then Joab came into the house to the king and said, “You have today covered with shame the faces of all your servants, who have this day saved your life and the lives of your sons and your daughters and the lives of your wives and your concubines, 6 because you love those who hate you and hate those who love you. For you have made it clear today that commanders and servants are nothing to you, for today I know that if Absalom were alive and all of us were dead today, then you would be pleased. 7 Now therefore arise, go out and speak kindly to your servants, for I swear by the Lord, if you do not go, not a man will stay with you this night, and this will be worse for you than all the evil that has come upon you from your youth until now.” 8 Then the king arose and took his seat in the gate. And the people were all told, “Behold, the king is sitting in the gate.” And all the people came before the king.
2 Samuel 19:1-8


1 Now there happened to be there a worthless man, whose name was Sheba, the son of Bichri, a Benjaminite. And he blew the trumpet and said,

“We have no portion in David,
and we have no inheritance in the son of Jesse;
every man to his tents, O Israel!”

2 So all the men of Israel withdrew from David and followed Sheba the son of Bichri. But the men of Judah followed their king steadfastly from the Jordan to Jerusalem.
2 Samuel 20:1-2


1 Now there was a famine in the days of David for three years, year after year. And David sought the face of the Lord. And the Lord said, “There is bloodguilt on Saul and on his house, because he put the Gibeonites to death.” 2 So the king called the Gibeonites and spoke to them. Now the Gibeonites were not of the people of Israel but of the remnant of the Amorites. Although the people of Israel had sworn to spare them, Saul had sought to strike them down in his zeal for the people of Israel and Judah. 3 And David said to the Gibeonites, “What shall I do for you? And how shall I make atonement, that you may bless the heritage of the Lord?” 4 The Gibeonites said to him, “It is not a matter of silver or gold between us and Saul or his house; neither is it for us to put any man to death in Israel.” And he said, “What do you say that I shall do for you?” 5 They said to the king, “The man who consumed us and planned to destroy us, so that we should have no place in all the territory of Israel, 6 let seven of his sons be given to us, so that we may hang them before the Lord at Gibeah of Saul, the chosen of the Lord.” And the king said, “I will give them.”
2 Samuel 21:1-5

Trouble Times Three

People often say that things come in multiples of three's; that is certainly what happened to David after his victory with Absalom--he had Trouble Times Three!

What a complex situation; David has won victory over Absalom, but Absalom was his son. How do you mourn the death of your son, without insulting the victorious army? It took Joab, the commander of David's army, to remind David that his first priority was to his own people. In his wisdom, David followed the advice of Joab.

Then the king arose and took his seat in the gate. And the people were all told, “Behold, the king is sitting in the gate.” And all the people came before the king.

Before David could barely return to Jerusalem, Sheba, a Benjamanite, gathered Israel to him and rebelled against David. When Sheba fled to the city of Abel, Joab and his army laid seige to the city. A wise woman spoke with Joab, persuading him to save the city if the people of Abel would hand over Sheba. The people of Abel, heeding the advice of this woman, killed Sheba and threw his head over the wall to Joab.

Now David's troubles were over, right? No! This time the land of Israel was brought under the judgment of God when He caused a three year famine to sweep over the land of Israel.

1 Now there was a famine in the days of David for three years, year after year. And David sought the face of the Lord. And the Lord said, “There is bloodguilt on Saul and on his house, because he put the Gibeonites to death.”

The Gibeonites were the tribe of people who fooled Joshua into thinking they had come from a far land, when in reality they lived near the city of Jericho. Joshua made an oath to the people, promising their safety; Saul had violated this oath by killing some of the Gibeonites.

Now, God was holding Israel accountable for the actions of Saul. In retribution for Saul's actions, the Gibeonites asked for the death of seven sons of Saul. When David complied, God healed the land.

Are you facing a time of trouble times three? As David turned to God for help, so should we! Sometimes we get so busy living our lives that we forget that God is the One who is really in control.

What a remarkable blessing that is to us. God, the Creator and ruler of the Universe, is available to help each one of His children in their time of need. How amazing is that?

Go to Christ, the only One who was able to bridge the gap between God and man by His death on the cross.

God Bless You,
Linda

All Scripture is from the English Standard Version of the Bible.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Refuge

May 18: Psalms 26, 40, 58, 61-61, & 64

8 O Lord, I love the habitation of your house
and the place where your glory dwells.
Psalm 26:8

16 But may all who seek you
rejoice and be glad in you;
may those who love your salvation
say continually, “Great is the Lord!”
17 As for me, I am poor and needy,
but the Lord takes thought for me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
do not delay, O my God!
Psalm 40:16-17

11 Mankind will say, “Surely there is a reward for the righteous;
surely there is a God who judges on earth.”
Psalm 58:11

Lead me to the rock
that is higher than I,
3 for you have been my refuge,
a strong tower against the enemy.
Psalm 61:2b-3

7 On God rests my salvation and my glory;
my mighty rock, my refuge is God.
Psalm 62:7

10 Let the righteous one rejoice in the Lord
and take refuge in him!
Let all the upright in heart exult!
Psalm 64:10

What does it mean when we say, God is my refuge. Look at the following three entries from Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary:

1 : shelter or protection from danger or distress
2 : a place that provides shelter or protection
3 : something to which one has recourse in difficulty

All three meanings are true of our God; truly He provides us with protection, He gives us a place of shelter, and, as Christians, we can always turn to Him in times of difficulty.

We look at David's life and we think, "How did he keep his sanity, how could he endure such trials from his youth to the end of his life?"

The Psalms today give us the answer;

Lead me to the rock
that is higher than I,
for you have been my refuge.


On God rests my salvation and my glory;
my mighty rock, my refuge is God.


Let the righteous one rejoice in the Lord
and take refuge in him!


When the circumstances of life seem impossible to bear; when we see nothing but troubles surrounding us, we have a Refuge. We are called to not live as others who have no hope, because we do have hope. Our hope is in the Lord Jesus Christ who saved us by His blood, and gave us access to God.

Amen! So shall it be!

God Bless You,
Linda

All Scriptures are from the English Standard Version of the Bible.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Wise as Serpents

May 17: 2 Samuel 16-18


5 When King David came to Bahurim, there came out a man of the family of the house of Saul, whose name was Shimei, the son of Gera, and as he came he cursed continually. 6 And he threw stones at David and at all the servants of King David, and all the people and all the mighty men were on his right hand and on his left. 7 And Shimei said as he cursed, “Get out, get out, you man of blood, you worthless man! 8 The Lord has avenged on you all the blood of the house of Saul, in whose place you have reigned, and the Lord has given the kingdom into the hand of your son Absalom. See, your evil is on you, for you are a man of blood.”

9 Then Abishai the son of Zeruiah said to the king, “Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Let me go over and take off his head.” 10 But the king said, “What have I to do with you, you sons of Zeruiah? If he is cursing because the Lord has said to him, ‘Curse David,’ who then shall say, ‘Why have you done so?’” 11 And David said to Abishai and to all his servants, “Behold, my own son seeks my life; how much more now may this Benjaminite! Leave him alone, and let him curse, for the Lord has told him to. 12 It may be that the Lord will look on the wrong done to me, and that the Lord will repay me with good for his cursing today.”
2 Samuel 16:5-12

1 Moreover, Ahithophel said to Absalom, “Let me choose twelve thousand men, and I will arise and pursue David tonight. 2 I will come upon him while he is weary and discouraged and throw him into a panic, and all the people who are with him will flee. I will strike down only the king, 3 and I will bring all the people back to you as a bride comes home to her husband. You seek the life of only one man, and all the people will be at peace.” 4 And the advice seemed right in the eyes of Absalom and all the elders of Israel.

5 Then Absalom said, “Call Hushai the Archite also, and let us hear what he has to say.” 6 And when Hushai came to Absalom, Absalom said to him, “Thus has Ahithophel spoken; shall we do as he says? If not, you speak.” 7 Then Hushai said to Absalom, “This time the counsel that Ahithophel has given is not good.” 8 Hushai said, “You know that your father and his men are mighty men, and that they are enraged, like a bear robbed of her cubs in the field. Besides, your father is expert in war; he will not spend the night with the people. 9 Behold, even now he has hidden himself in one of the pits or in some other place. And as soon as some of the people fall at the first attack, whoever hears it will say, ‘There has been a slaughter among the people who follow Absalom.’ 10 Then even the valiant man, whose heart is like the heart of a lion, will utterly melt with fear, for all Israel knows that your father is a mighty man, and that those who are with him are valiant men. 11 But my counsel is that all Israel be gathered to you, from Dan to Beersheba, as the sand by the sea for multitude, and that you go to battle in person. 12 So we shall come upon him in some place where he is to be found, and we shall light upon him as the dew falls on the ground, and of him and all the men with him not one will be left. 13 If he withdraws into a city, then all Israel will bring ropes to that city, and we shall drag it into the valley, until not even a pebble is to be found there.” 14 And Absalom and all the men of Israel said, “The counsel of Hushai the Archite is better than the counsel of Ahithophel.” For the Lord had ordained to defeat the good counsel of Ahithophel, so that the Lord might bring harm upon Absalom.
2 Samuel 17:1-14

Wise as Serpents

Sometimes Christians are thought of as weak and easily fooled. That really was not true of David, and it should not be true of us. I thought of this verse in Matthew when I read our Scripture reading for today.

Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.
Matthew 10:16, King James Version

I chose two sections from our reading today to illustrate this point; the first, involving Shimei. As David and his men were fleeing from Jerusalem, they passed by Shimei, who hurled curses at David. Abishai, the leader of David's army wanted to kill Shimei; David, however, refused.

And David said to Abishai and to all his servants, “Behold, my own son seeks my life; how much more now may this Benjaminite! Leave him alone, and let him curse, for the Lord has told him to."

However, though David refused to have him killed, he never forgot this episode; he spoke of it to Solomon, when he transferred the kingdom to him. Yes, David could be harmless as a dove.

But, David was also wise as a serpent as illustrated in 2 Samuel 17 shown above. David persuaded his dear friend, Hushai to remain in Jerusalem and pretend to offer his service to Absalom. Today, we would call him a mole.

This proved to be a wise choice. Absalom sought the advice of Ahithophel to determine their best strategy to defeat David; then, knowing that Hushai had served David for years, he also sought the advice of Hushai. Hushai knew that the advice given by Ahithophel was good, but would be devastating to David, so he offered an alternate view.

Absalom and him men chose the advice of Hushai, which gave Hushai time to send two men to David telling them to continue to flee, as well as giving David time to muster a larger army. This led to the victory by David over Absalom and his army.

As Christians, we need to think about this; the Bible does tell us to be longsuffering with those who would do us harm, but that does not mean that we should not use wisdom in our dealings with them. The true Christian, like David, should be shrewd (wise as sepents), and yet slow to anger or revenge (harmless as doves).

That can be a tall order, but God is on our side, and will always give grace and help in our time of need.

God Bless You,
Linda

Unless otherwise noted, all Scriptures are from the English Standard Version of the Bible.

Friday, May 16, 2008

He Will Sustain You

May 16: Psalms 3-4, 12-13, 28 & 55

8 Salvation belongs to the Lord;
your blessing be on your people!
Psalm 3:8

7 You have put more joy in my heart
than they have when their grain and wine abound.
8 In peace I will both lie down and sleep;
for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.
Psalm 4:7-8

5 “Because the poor are plundered, because the needy groan,
I will now arise,” says the Lord;
“I will place him in the safety for which he longs.”
6 The words of the Lord are pure words,
like silver refined in a furnace on the ground,
purified seven times.
7 You, O Lord, will keep them;
you will guard us from this generation forever.
Psalm 12:5-7

7 The Lord is my strength and my shield;
in him my heart trusts, and I am helped;
my heart exults,
and with my song I give thanks to him.
8 The Lord is the strength of his people;
he is the saving refuge of his anointed.
Psalm 28:7-8

12 For it is not an enemy who taunts me—
then I could bear it;
it is not an adversary who deals insolently with me—
then I could hide from him.
13 But it is you, a man, my equal,
my companion, my familiar friend.
14 We used to take sweet counsel together;
within God's house we walked in the throng.

22 Cast your burden on the Lord,
and he will sustain you;
he will never permit
he righteous to be moved.
Psalm 55:12-14 & 22


He Will Sustain You

As trouble again creeps into David's life, this time from his own son, we again look to David, the Psalmist, to see how he handles this crisis.

We have all been in circumstances where trouble seems to surround us, and there is no one to comfort us. But then, in comes a friend who has battled the same problem, and suddenly their counsel is more than just mere platitudes.

Many years ago, I had a cousin who lost a child at six months; it was a horrible time for her. Many of us sent cards to express our concern and our prayers for her and her husband. But, when my sister, Patsy, who had lost her only son contacted her, she was touched by my Patsy's concern. My sister had already been through this; she truly understood what it was like.

Maybe that is one reason that the Psalms are so precious to us; even though David was a man after God's own heart, he seemed to be forever getting into serious troubles--this time from his own family.


Yet, though he was grieving the occasion, his faith in the Lord remained stolid. I find myself quoting Psalm 4:8 often.

In peace I will both lie down and sleep;
for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.

David never doubted God; he always understood that God, alone, was the source of his strength.

I close this devotion with the precious words of David from Psalm 55:22.

Cast your burden on the Lord,
and he will sustain you;
he will never permit
the righteous to be moved.

God Bless You,
Linda

All Scriptures are from the English Standard Version of the Bible.