My take: This passage is so intriguing. When, and if, we delight in God’s mysterious way; when we walk by faith and not by sight alone; when we use the Word as our flashlight in the dark world – then David assures us that God helps us. He sets us up for success His way. Yes, even then, we may stumble and fall, but like a parent guiding a child learning to walk the LORD Himself will care and help.
My prayer: God, it sure is a blessing to know You have my back. Help me maintain a good standing with Thee.
My ponderings: We see here that we must first have revelation of Jesus’s commandments (in next passage also called His word). We dont come up with that on our own. Impossible. Its like milk to a baby or meat for a hungry man. The word or commandments are the thoughts of God inspired unto men, written in the Holy Bible. Just being born and the existence of the word isnt enough to restore our broken relationship with our Maker. Its takes faith to accept His gracious gift of salvation; saving faith. It is an amazing mysteryon one hand and wonderfully simple on the other. Thankfully, Jesus shares a sure secret here: We prove our love by keeping His commands. He loves us first. When we respond and return His love, our Father in turn love us. Its a beautiful, perpetual circle of love all made possible by Christ.
It is crucial. Won’t you read and ponder the passage again?
And Judas (not the devil’s inside spy but another disciple) asks Jesus for clarification and He expounds by saying in John 14:23-27 “If anyone loves Me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. Whoever does not love Me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me.”
Man, let those words sink in.
Christ’s lived a life of perfection and we are imperfect souls yet by the help of the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, we Christians have a path to walk. A hightway to Heaven to survive and thrive. So what are Christ’s commandments? (Its important! Dont you think this should be a chief aim of any person based on these Scripture passages?)
I don’t have a tatoo but if so they would the two commandements Jesus shared in Mathew 22:37
My prayer: LORD of life, thank YOU for you ever green and sweet revelation. Thank you for tapping me on my heart and giving me the power to respond and an ear to hear.
Psalm 27:4 One thing I have asked from the LORD, that I shall seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the LORD And to meditate in His temple.
Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand,…. “One day”; so the Septuagint and Vulgate Latin, and all the Oriental versions; and so the Targum, Jarchi, and Kimchi, interpret it; one day in the house of God, in the world to come, so Arama: though rather reference is had to the seventh day sabbath, then in being; and which with the psalmist was a delight, holy and honourable; and though now abolished, as to the time of it, with the rest of the ceremonial law, there is yet a day of public worship, called the Lord’s day, and the day of the Son of man; and one of these days spent in the courts of the Lord, in an attendance on the word and ordinances, in worshipping in the fear of God, in spirit and in truth; in divine service, assisted by the Spirit of God, doing everything in faith, from love, and with a view to the glory of God; a day thus spent in religious exercises “is better than a thousand”; that is, than a thousand days; not than a thousand days spent in like manner, but than a thousand other days, common day, of the week; or than a thousand in other places, especially in places of sin, and in the company of wicked men; one day in God’s house employed in spiritual exercises, and enjoying communion with him, is better than a thousand days in any of the houses of Satan, of sinful pleasure, or in the houses of sinful men; better as to peace of mind, solid pleasure, real profit, and true honour:
I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God; in the meanest post and place there; alluding to the Levites, who were some of them porters, and kept the doors of the Lord’s house, 1 Chronicles 26:1 or to the beggars that lay at the gates of the temple for alms; see Acts 3:1 or to be fixed to the door post of it, alluding to the servant that was desirous of continuing in his master’s house, and serving him for ever; who was brought to the door post, and had his ears bored through with an awl, Exodus 21:5. Such a willing servant was the psalmist; and this sense the Targum seems to incline to, which renders it,
“I have chose to cleave to the house of the sanctuary of God;”
or to be a waiter there, to watch daily at Wisdom’s gates, and to wait at the posts of her doors; such lie in the way of conversion, and of finding Christ; in the way of spiritual healing, as the man at the pool; and of spiritual instruction, and of spiritual strength, and an increase of it: or to be, or sit, upon the threshold; or to be “thresholding” (i) of it; that is, to frequent the house of God, to be often going over the threshold of it; this the psalmist took delight to do, even to be the threshold (k) itself, for men to tread upon as they go into the house of God:
than to dwell in the tents of wickedness; meaning not houses built by wicked men, or with money ill got; but where wicked men dwelt, and who were so bad as to be called wickedness itself; perhaps the psalmist might have in his mind the tents of Kedar, where he had sometimes been; see Psalm 120:5, now to live in the meanest place in the house of God, to wait at the door as a porter, to lie there as a beggar, to sit upon the threshold, and much more to go often over it, or be that itself, was abundantly preferable than to dwell “an age” (l) in the house of princes and great men, being wicked; than to live in the most pompous manner, at ease and in plenty, enjoying all the good things of life that heart can wish for; one hour’s communion with God in his house is better than all this, and that for the reason following.
David knows full well what it’s like to be with God and against Him. What the huge difference is to have God pulling for rather than pushing against him.
It’s the difference between day and night. Unfortunately some only know night so they are without a frame of reference. And some choose to stay in twilight.
Yes indeed, it’s better to be a lowly servant in the presence of God than hang out with the wrong crowd whose path is doom and gloom.
LORD almighty, Your love reigns. Your ways are warm and comforting in the end. Help me persevere until that great and final homecoming.
My take: There is a time and place for almost everything as David’s son Solomon so eloquently showers us with in Ecclesiastes. A time for war, a time for peace. A time for this, a time for that. David suggests there is time for just being still before God. Sometimes stillness can actually be productive if done intentionaly. All we can, or should, do is enough. Here we see there is a time to be patient and ‘let go, let God’ work it out without worry; without trying to control what is impossible and impractical. Patience is a virtue, right?
What a heritage and legacy we have to live up. If we bowed down a lot more like GW was in the habit of, we would indeed prosper more. (More prospering doesn’t necessarily mean more money nor does it mean less. What think and say you?)
My prayer: God, help me to be still and know You are God. Help me realize and trust you to work things out even while I sleep. When You choose to not, help me exercise patience knowing that in the end, it all works out just fine and dandy.
Have you heard about what happened in Almolonga, Guatemala?
Yesterday we talked about what it means when God brings Heaven to Earth through our businesses. Today we’ll see what it looks like on the ground.
Almolonga, Guatemala was a terrible place. Alcoholism, the occult, and witchcraft were widespread. Abuse, murder, and other crimes was rampant. Their four jails were overflowing, and they routinely bussed prisoners to other cities. They were a farming region, but the land was unproductive.
After almost being murdered, one farmer was at the end of his rope. In desperation, he knelt down and rededicated his farm, his life, and the region’s land to God. Other farmers joined him and they prayed that God would shower down His blessings on a land that seemed cursed. They prayed that their corner of Earth would look like Heaven (Matthew 6:10).
The Lord heard their prayer and answered in a dramatic way (Exodus 2:24-25). The people of Almolonga renounced their idols. They stopped frequenting bars and started attending church. Many who were idle began working hard. Marriages were saved and enemies reconciled.
Over the coming years, Almolonga’s 36 bars and cantinas dwindled to three. Each of the four jails in the city closed, and the last one was remodeled as “The Hall of Honor.” The Christian mayor and church leaders there believe 80% of the residents have become followers in Christ.
One of the most dramatic results has been in the realm of agriculture. For years, crop yields had suffered from arid land and poor work habits. Now the land produces up to three harvests every year. Almolonga’s farmers used to send four truckloads of crops to the markets every month. Now they send 40 truckloads per week. Farmers pay cash for large Mercedes trucks and emblazon them with Bible verses and Christian phrases.
The crops themselves have changed, too. Vegetables grow to double their normal size. Carrots often grow to the size of a man’s forearm. Agricultural researchers have visited Almolonga from the US and elsewhere, trying to understand how they get multiple annual harvests of oversized crops. But they don’t find what they expected.
My take: This is WHAT seperates the God of the Bible from the gods and and everyone else. This WHY He (not…it) is deserving of worship, praise and glory. This passage tells us HOW; He simply spoke existence into being from nothing! If you want to call that the ‘big bang’, fine but it was no accident and didn’t take billions upon billions of randomness to happen. God said, ‘let it be’ and BOOM! Its amazing and thus He is even more so. Its incredible how gravity keep the planets in their places. How atoms don’t randomly split apart for God, the One who loves you and I, commanded it so and to this day, they all hold firm. Because of the gross sin, God was forced to wipe the 1st act of people away save Noah and 7. In the book of Revelation, we read He will need do it again with fire. Maybe atomic, maybe not. Regardless, I sure hope to be out of this place.
My prayer: Creator of all, You are amazing and You created it all, including me. Help me to rise and shine and give You the glory You so richly deserve.
There is nothing wrong with some solitude and quiet time but when we isolate our decision making and interaction as we ‘know it all’, we are setting ourselves up for a great fall.
True is the saying:
and this quote is appropriate:
Here is the poem that quote came from:
No man is an island, Entire of itself, Every man is a piece of the continent, A part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less. As well as if a promontory were. As well as if a manor of thy friend's Or of thine own were: Any man's death diminishes me, Because I am involved in mankind, And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee. John Donne
God created us for fellowship with Him and each other. Thus the two great commandments (Love Him, Love others).
My take: It seems to me they are two primary paths to salvation. One is semi smooth and the other is bumpy and treacherous. If you are blessed to be raised in a home and readily exposed to Jesus while your heart was still pliable, before the mysterious age of accountability, and you embraced Him then, that is of course the ideal and preferred path. The other path is one of affliction. A road of feeling God’s anger and frustration with one’s life. When circumstances prompt one to seek the great One. The latter was the path for me. No doubt, there are others but my experience is the majority are often one of these two. God allows sin to humble, break and cause us to weep humility in order for us to look up. To repent and seek a better way.
I also think this passage can also apply to a believers having to battle and deal with sin, with the repercussions of living in a fallen world where evil is present. It is all too dim and dark in the night, but be patient and persistent my fellow friends of Christ for pure joy is around the corner.
My prayer: Lord, thank you for giving us your Spirit to indwell and assist me during life and for heroes like David. Help me to boldly march on, keeping my eye on the prize.