Category Archives: Cover to cover

Psalm 83-86

When I start to read the first eight verses of Psalm 83, I am met with a serious issue raised to God regarding the malicious designs against the people of God and His honour. This is the same prayer I hear in my prayer groups – at its core – a frustration that God is not honoured as He ought to be honoured.

Knock the breath right out of them, so they’re gasping
    for breath, gasping, “God.”
Bring them to the end of their rope,
    and leave them there dangling, helpless.
Then they’ll learn your name: “God,”
    the one and only High God on earth. – Psalm 83:16-18 MSG

I am amazed with all this intensity that I find myself, as a follower of Jesus, in a privileged relationship with God – the only High God on earth. There is honour in His name and in His social position and my blessings are designed to honour God and that relationship by placing me with Him.

 “Shame has often weaned men from their idols, and set them upon seeking the Lord.” – Spurgeon

This prayer is simple – God, show such a manifestation of power that it would be so evident that this could be traced to no one else other than You and by this demonstration, people will honour You. In my mind I see Elijah on Mount Carmel moments.

I think some of my friends think that its okay to leave God His name – that is to say, they believe they can give Him His name because they have frittered away His power. So like giving Him an empty title.

This is where the shame and repentance comes in because without turning there is shame and death. It is like trouble will cause them to turn – and the end result is not chaos but peace.

It is really hard for me to say, but the final day, the great day of judgement, will be the proof of this, before all of heaven, when everlasting shame and contempt will fall on those who have not repented and everlasting honour and praise to those who have decided to follow God.

This is why the prayer is so hard.

  • Knock the breath right out of them
  • Bring them to the end of their rope
  • leave them there dangling, helpless

My prayer is no different – I want God to move into the lives of those who have turned their back towards Him and teach them about the fear of the Lord. I pray this way because the kingdom and the glory and the honour belong to God alone and I will not be satisfied until He has it.

Father, thank You for the passion in this prayer and for encouraging me to be just as passionate.

Erwin (evanlaar1922)

1 Comment

Filed under 66 Books, 7-day reading pln, Bible in a year reading plan, Cover to cover, Old Testament, reading plan

Psalms 78:25-72

Psalm 78 opens with these words–

My people, hear my teaching;
    listen to the words of my mouth.
I will open my mouth with a parable;
    I will utter hidden things, things from of old—
things we have heard and known,
    things our ancestors have told us.
We will not hide them from their descendants;
    we will tell the next generation
the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord,
    his power, and the wonders he has done. (Psalm 78:1-4, NIV)

The psalm lists great things the Lord has done. So we will know him and remember who he is. So that we will share it with a next generation.

But what I notice, too, is the psalm lists things man has done.

32 In spite of all this, they kept on sinning;
    in spite of his wonders, they did not believe.

It’s a familiar pattern.

Whenever God slew them, they would seek him;
    they eagerly turned to him again.
35 They remembered that God was their Rock,
    that God Most High was their Redeemer.
36 But then they would flatter him with their mouths,
    lying to him with their tongues;
37 their hearts were not loyal to him,
    they were not faithful to his covenant. (Psalm 78:34-37, NIV)

How often …

How often they rebelled against him in the wilderness
    and grieved him in the wasteland!
41 Again and again they put God to the test;
    they vexed the Holy One of Israel.
42 They did not remember his power— (Psalm 78:40-42a, NIV)

This psalm is just a short glimpse of time, finishing up with David.

In literature, stories sometimes reflect that conditions and state of the world at that time: Take Dickens, Twain, Steinbeck, Angelou, Knowles, and so many others–their stories are a heart’s cry of a generation. And I wonder, if one were to write a psalm today, would it be so very different from this one? There is no doubt to me that God’s goodness and faithfulness will outshine man’s corruption and sin.

39 He remembered that they were but flesh,
    a passing breeze that does not return. (Psalm 78:39, NIV)

Lord, this life is temporary and brief. I read these words in grateful stillness. When a generation screams, Lord, let me remember you. Let me tell someone of your goodness and faithfulness, to pass it down and pass it on. Help me to keep my focus on you and your kingdom.

Courtney (66books365)

Leave a comment

Filed under 66 Books, 7-day reading pln, Bible in a year reading plan, Cover to cover

Psalms 76:8-78:24

In distress. In silence. In waiting. In groaning. In faintness and weariness. Self, remember …

I cried out to God for help;
    I cried out to God to hear me.
When I was in distress, I sought the Lord;
    at night I stretched out untiring hands,
    and I would not be comforted.

I remembered you, God, and I groaned;
    I meditated, and my spirit grew faint.
You kept my eyes from closing;
    I was too troubled to speak.
I thought about the former days,
    the years of long ago;
I remembered my songs in the night.
    My heart meditated and my spirit asked:

“Will the Lord reject forever?
    Will he never show his favor again?
Has his unfailing love vanished forever?
    Has his promise failed for all time?
Has God forgotten to be merciful?
    Has he in anger withheld his compassion?”

10 Then I thought, “To this I will appeal:
    the years when the Most High stretched out his right hand.
11 I will remember the deeds of the Lord;
    yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.
12 I will consider all your works
    and meditate on all your mighty deeds.” (Psalm 77:1-12, NIV)

Remember the former days. Remember your songs in the night. But especially this: Remember the deeds of the Lord. Remember his miracles of long ago. Consider all his mighty works. Meditate on all his mighty deeds.

I can choose to doubt and despair of an unknown future.

… “Then I thought …” (Psalm 77:10a, NIV)

Or I can choose to appeal to the Lord based on his reliable record, his deeds and works and miracles, his word.

Father God, your word is hope and truth. Circumstance and my own thoughts can make it seem like you are far, but when I remember you and think of who you are and all you’ve done, I draw closer to you. I draw closer to you, and you meet me.

Courtney (66books365)

Leave a comment

Filed under 66 Books, 7-day reading pln, Bible in a year reading plan, Cover to cover

Psalms 68:5-69:4

There is much to be said about a person anointed and called to serve God, I am amazed with many of their stories and David is one of those key people. I love how he taught me to bless the Lord, regardless. His humility with Saul continues to teach me that my way is not the best model to follow, but rather God’s way even when it costs me.

All you mountains not chosen,
    sulk now, and feel sorry for yourselves,
For this is the mountain God has chosen to live on;
    he’ll rule from this mountain forever. – Psalm 68:16 MSG

It is so noticeable to see the people whom God has chosen – what an honour to be honoured with His presence.

Blessed be the Lord—
    day after day he carries us along. – Psalm 68:19 MSG

 Honour is more than praise and blessing is more than honour. There is something about a bended knee when I think about honour. Is it not odd that someone like me can take the honour to bless God? It does make sense when I think that since He honoured me first, that gives me the opportunity of honouring Him. I pray that I may take every day to honour Him and show it by blessing Him.

I made a short list, very short, of what I have received from His hand as a blessing:

  • friends
  • material things
  • honour
  • dignity of my work
  • favour
  • success
  • comforts
  • peace – both inward and outward
  • reputation
  • protection
  • being rescued
  • balanced load to carry

It is only here, in the knowing of blessing, that when I am called to give because of a false claim against me, I can.

I’ve got more enemies than hairs on my head;
Liars and cheats are out to knife me in the back.

What I never stole
Must I now give back? – Psalm 69:4 MSG

I can give to restore a false claim because I want to make peace with the one who believes an offence has taken place, even when it has not. If the offended party feels that they have enacted the laws, then I am offered the opportunity or maybe I should say, it has now become my duty to bless. Amazing how the laws of God are opposite to the law of this world. Paul did this, Jesus obviously did this, David did this constantly with Saul. Who can take away my honour, peace and happiness? While it may seem so, God’s glory restores them and for me I might even have to wait for my death and eventual resurrection to see that take place. What a position of strength that is required. I believe it is only attainable if I am fully aware of my blessing and practice of blessing God for all that I have and all who He is and knowing that I have been called to serve God.

Father, thank You for reminding me of these great truths.

Erwin (evanlaar1922)

1 Comment

Filed under 66 Books, 7-day reading pln, Bible in a year reading plan, Cover to cover, Old Testament, Psalms, reading plan, Uncategorized

Psalms 45:13-48:14

It is amazing as to what can catch my eye. I am in wonderment as to this upcoming wedding and have no idea why until I finish the rest of the story.

(Her wedding dress is dazzling,
    lined with gold by the weavers;
All her dresses and robes
    are woven with gold.
She is led to the king,
    followed by her virgin companions.
A procession of joy and laughter!
    a grand entrance to the king’s palace!) – Psalm 45:13-15 MSG

I am sure this has to do something with the Church and all I could find was this quote from Spurgeon that made sense.

“In one sense they are a part of the church, but for the sake of the imagery they are represented as maids of honour; and, though the figure may seem incongruous, they are represented as brought to the King with the same loving familiarity as the bride, because the true servants of the church are of the church, and partake in all her happiness.”

There is so much honour and joy at this wedding – I am not too sure if I can take this all the way back to how God presented Eve to Adam, but it makes for interesting thought. I thought too that it is just not anyone invited to be in the king’s presence or that gets into his palace. The kind of people that get invited are those who honour him.

I’ll make you famous for generations;
    you’ll be the talk of the town
    for a long, long time. – Psalm 45:17 MSG

These kinds of people will be invited – which begs the question for me that Boice asks.

“Are we doing as the psalmist did? Do we praise him who has purchased us to himself to be his bride? Are we working to see that the nations come to honor him as well?”

I think it is fair for me to challenge myself that honouring Jesus here on earth is the same that I will be doing when I am in heaven where I will see His glory, and where I will be praising Him. This is where I come into the wedding story – I can look forward with incredible anticipation to my union with Him and my glorious future with Him. I will be joined with others who will honour His name throughout eternity.

Father, I love these images that You have inserted into the Old Testament that have incredible meaning in the New. Thank you for speaking into my world today and reminding me on what honour looks like in an engagement and at a wedding. I am encouraged to be faithful and am encouraged to persevere. I am blessed to have been called by You and with that I bring You my praise and worship.

Erwin (evanlaar)

1 Comment

Filed under 66 Books, 7-day reading pln, Bible in a year reading plan, Cover to cover, Old Testament, Psalms, reading plan