Daniel 7:9-10

Daniel 7:9-10
“As I was looking, thrones were put in their places,
and the Ancient King sat on his throne.
His clothes were as white as snow.
His hair was as white as wool.
His throne was made from fire,
and its wheels were made from flames.

A river of fire flowed out
from in front of the Ancient King.
Millions of people were serving him.
Hundreds of millions of people stood in front of him.
Court was ready to begin,
and the books were opened.

*****
Today in the church we celebrate the Transfiguration of Jesus Christ way up there on that mountain with Peter, James, and John. We remember how Moses and Elijah appeared and how Jesus’ face and clothes shone with brilliantly. I can only imagine what was running through the disciples heads, how they must have been wondering what next? What is to come?

Read this scripture from Daniel again and tell me you don’t feel the expectation? Tell me this passage doesn’t demand that you imagine what can possibly come next. It paints this marvelous picture of God’s court coming to life as He takes His throne and the peoples gather.

Then “the books were opened”.

What do you think when you read it?

Advertisements

Psalm 126

Psalm 126
It will be like a dream
when the Lord comes back with the captives of Zion.
We will laugh and sing happy songs!
Then the other nations will say,
“The Lord did a great thing for Zion!”
Yes, we will be happy
because the Lord did a great thing for us.
So, Lord, bring back the good times,
like a desert stream filled again with flowing water.
Then those who were sad when they planted
will be happy when they gather the harvest!
Those who cried as they carried the seeds
will be happy when they bring in the crops!

*****
The thing that touches me about this psalm is the last two verses. They depict a worker who is sad as they do their necessary work, but who will experience joy when they receive the rewards of their efforts.

We still experience grief when we are in relationship with God because we are a part of this world and this life is hard – there is nothing we can do about that but to push through. Grief however is destroyed when the Lord comes and the distance between us and Him is finally nullified. The harvest of our faith, when the Lord comes, is the joy of the presence of the Creator.

What does it make you think of?

Psalm 123

Psalm 123
I lift up my eyes to you,
to you who sit enthroned in heaven.
As the eyes of slaves look to the hand of their master,
as the eyes of a female slave look to the hand of her mistress,
so our eyes look to the Lord our God,
till he shows us his mercy.
Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy on us,
for we have endured no end of contempt.
We have endured no end
of ridicule from the arrogant,
of contempt from the proud.

*****

This psalm is a declaration of trust in God and God’s nature especially during tough unbearable times and as horrible as it may sound, this declaration is an instruction for us to look to God as though we are His slaves.

From the perspective of the psalmist, a slave counted on their master for everything and so they needed to keep their eyes fixed on the one they served. Well God has everything we need. Everything in heaven and on earth bows to him. If we watch Him for our queues we will make it through. That’s the promise.

What does this psalm make you think about?

Psalm 78:1-7

Psalm 78:1-7
Give ear, O my people, to my teaching;
incline your ears to the words of my mouth.
I will open my mouth in a parable;
I will utter dark sayings from of old,
things that we have heard and known,
that our ancestors have told us.
We will not hide them from their children;
we will tell to the coming generation
the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might, and the wonders that he has done.
He established a decree in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel,
which he commanded our ancestors to teach to their children;
that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn,
and rise up and tell them to their children, so that they should set their hope in God,
and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments;

*****
Like most psalms this part of Psalm 78 instructs us to tell others, especially the coming generation, all about the wonderful deeds of God. What I appreciate is how it talks of telling the “dark sayings from of old.”

Sometimes what we need to know is not light and fluffy and can make the God of grace and love appear harsh and unsavory. But just because the stories are “dark sayings from of old” does not mean they can’t apply to our lives. Sometimes those things that are hard to stomach challenge and change us the most.
What does it make you think of?

Psalm 116:1-8

Psalm 116:1-8
I love the Lord, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy.
Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live.

The cords of death entangled me, the anguish of the grave came over me; I was overcome by distress and sorrow.
Then I called on the name of the Lord: “Lord, save me!”

The Lord is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion.
The Lord protects the unwary; when I was brought low, he saved me.

Return to your rest, my soul, for the Lord has been good to you.

For you, Lord, have delivered me from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling,

*****

I love the intimacy of this scripture.

I love the central message of that we love God because He loves us.

I especially love what is missing; that the author had to earn God’s love.

The psalm does not say that the author was a good little boy/girl and God listened to them. In other psalms the authors are more likely to confess how horrible they’ve been then they are to sing their own praises. Nope, what we hear is that when we call out to God, He answers and for that we can give our hearts to Him.

Wonderful wonderful grace.

What do you think when you read this psalm?

Psalm 99

Psalm 99
The Lord is king; let the peoples tremble!
He sits enthroned upon the cherubim; let the earth quake!
The Lord is great in Zion;
he is exalted over all the peoples.
Let them praise your great and awesome name.
Holy is he!
Mighty King, lover of justice,
you have established equity;
you have executed justice
and righteousness in Jacob.
Extol the Lord our God;
worship at his footstool.
Holy is he!

Moses and Aaron were among his priests,
Samuel also was among those who called on his name.
They cried to the Lord, and he answered them.
He spoke to them in the pillar of cloud;
they kept his decrees,
and the statutes that he gave them.

O Lord our God, you answered them;
you were a forgiving God to them,
but an avenger of their wrongdoings.
Extol the Lord our God,
and worship at his holy mountain;
for the Lord our God is holy.

*****

The part that grabbed me about this psalm today is the first two versus – let the peoples tremble and let the earth shake. If God is all about love, grace, mercy, wonder, and beauty, why should we tremble?

A better question is why shouldn’t we tremble? I think we have inherited an unhealthy idea that God is more like a soft and fluffy bunny then He is the wolf that eats those bunnies. Yet both are His creations. God is not and never will be tame. God does not fit inside our limited expectations. It’s only when we can accept this that we can begin to appreciate all that God truly is.

What does it make you think of?

Psalm 65

Psalm 65
Praise is due to you,
O God, in Zion;
and to you shall vows be performed,
O you who answer prayer!
To you all flesh shall come.
When deeds of iniquity overwhelm us,
you forgive our transgressions.
Happy are those whom you choose and bring near
to live in your courts.
We shall be satisfied with the goodness of your house,
your holy temple.

By awesome deeds you answer us with deliverance,
O God of our salvation;
you are the hope of all the ends of the earth
and of the farthest seas.
By your strength you established the mountains;
you are girded with might.
You silence the roaring of the seas,
the roaring of their waves,
the tumult of the peoples.
Those who live at earth’s farthest bounds are awed by your signs;
you make the gateways of the morning and the evening shout for joy.

You visit the earth and water it,
you greatly enrich it;
the river of God is full of water;
you provide the people with grain,
for so you have prepared it.
You water its furrows abundantly,
settling its ridges,
softening it with showers,
and blessing its growth.
You crown the year with your bounty;
your wagon tracks overflow with richness.
The pastures of the wilderness overflow,
the hills gird themselves with joy,
the meadows clothe themselves with flocks,
the valleys deck themselves with grain,
they shout and sing together for joy.

*****

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about my expectations of life. Then I read verse four (4), “We shall be satisfied with the goodness of your house.” What does that mean; “satisfied?”

To me it means that everything I NEED will be provided and my heart will WANT nothing. There will never be a moment where I wish I had something, not because I have everything, but because my time in His house will fill all the voids in my life that I have been trying to subdue with earthly things.

I cannot wait for that day to come…

What does it make you think of?