Applying The Psalms and Proverbs For Daily Living. 

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  • How Does The Blessed Man Or Woman In Trouble Times, Give And Receive Encouragement? Psalm 62, Psalm 73, Psalm 91, and Psalm 121.

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How Does The Blessed Man Or Woman In Trouble Times, Give And Receive Encouragement?

07-25-2018   Part 27        Psalm 121

Our current topic, How Does The Blessed Man Or Woman Give And Receive Encouragement In Troubling Times?

Read Psalms 121:                                                                                                                                                        Vs. 1.  A song of ascents.  I will lift up my eyes to the hills from whence comes my help?                                        Vs. 2.  My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth.                                                                  Vs. 3.  The LORD will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber.                                  Vs. 4.  Behold, He (the LORD) who keeps Israel, shall neither slumber nor sleep.                                                  Vs. 5.  The LORD is your keeper; the LORD is your shade at your right hand.                                                          Vs. 6.  The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.                                                                        Vs. 7.  Because the LORD shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul.                                          Vs. 8.  The LORD shall preserve your going out and your coming in from this time forth, and even forevermore.

Notice again Psalms 121: 1a, says, “song of ascents.“

What are ascension Psalms or songs of ascent?

Well, all ascension Psalms or songs of ascent, were during the kingship of David and Solomon and were authorized for Jewish pilgrims making their way to Jerusalem for an annual celebration, such as, Passover, Pentecost, or the Feast of Tabernacle or Booths, etc.

The Jewish pilgrims traveling to Jerusalem for some of them it took several days, or maybe weeks.  But as they approach Judea, or were close to the city of Jerusalem, the travelers as they walked or rode upon certain animals, would break out in song and praise to God.

And these Psalms became the tradition, the ascension Psalms or songs of ascent going up to Jerusalem for the feast, the festival, in which the city itself is seated upon a geographical plateau, a hilly or mountainous range.

So, what are these ascension Psalms or songs of ascent in the Book of Psalms?

There are 15 ascension Psalms or songs of ascent from Psalms 120 through Psalms 134.

For example, King David composed and wrote four of them.                                                                                Psalms 122;                                                                                                                                                                  Psalms 124;                                                                                                                                                              Psalms 131;                                                                                                                                                                Psalms 133.                                                                                                                           

King Solomon composed and wrote only one, Psalms 127.                                          

But an unknown or unidentified person, composed and wrote 10 of them.                                                        Psalms 120;                                                                                                                                                                   **Psalms 121;                                                                                                                                                              Psalms 123;                                                                                                                                                                  Psalms 125;                                                                                                                                                            Psalms 126;                                                                                                                                                          Psalms 128;                                                                                                                                                          Psalms 129;                                                                                                                                                              Psalms 130;                                                                                                                                                            Psalms 132.                                                                                                                                                              Psalms 134.

So, as we continue with our current topic, we will see once again How The Blessed Man Or Woman, Is able To Give and Receive Encouragement In Troubling Times.

And how Psalms 121 will be a tremendous help and blessing for us in achieving that goal for our lives!

Now, here is an outline for Psalms 121 to Consider.

Note, it takes two versus to make one ‘couplet’, or a complete thought, an idea, or to give divine insight!

And therefore, there are four couplets here in Psalms 121.

Notice, the first couplet, vs. 1&2.                                                                                                                               Vs. 1.  I will lift up my eyes to the hills from whence comes my help?                                                                   Vs. 2.  My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth.

Next, the second couplet, vs. 3&4.                                                                                                                            Vs. 3.  The LORD will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you, will not slumber, or fall asleep on you!                                                                                                                                                                              Vs. 4.  Behold, He (the LORD) who keeps Israel, shall neither slumber, nor sleep.

 

Next, The third couplet, vs. 5&6.                                                                                                                                    Vs. 5.  The LORD is your Keeper; The LORD is your shade at your right hand.                                                      Vs. 6.  The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.

Finally, the fourth couplet, vs. 7&8.                                                                                                                              Vs. 7.  Because the LORD shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul.                                          Vs. 8.  For the LORD shall preserve your going out, and your coming in, from this time forth, and even forevermore.

Now notice again our first couplet, vs. 1&2.                                                                                                                  Vs. 1.  I will lift up my eyes to the Hills from whence comes my help?                                                                        Vs. 2.  My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth.

Now let’s focus on the statement in vs. 1, I will lift up my eyes to the hills from whence comes my help?

Now here are some other English translations of Psalms 121: 1, that we should be aware of.

But also, notice the punctuation mark at the end of verse 1 as well.

For example:

New International Version                                                                                                                                            A song of ascents.  I lift up my eyes to the mountains where does my help come from?

New Living Translation                                                                                                                                                 A song for pilgrims ascending to Jerusalem.  I look up to the mountains does my help come from there?

English Standard Version                                                                                                                                                I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come?

Berean Study Bible                                                                                                                                                       A song of ascents. I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come?

New American Standard Bible                                                                                                                                     A song of ascents. I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; From where shall my help come?

*King James Bible                                                                                                                                                         A song of degrees. I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.

Christian Standard Bible                                                                                                                                                I lift my eyes toward the mountains. Where will my help come from?

Contemporary English Version                                                                                                                                      I look to the hills! Where will I find help?

Good News Translation                                                                                                                                                  I look to the mountains; where will my help come from?

Holman Christian Standard Bible                                                                                                                                  A song of ascents. I lift my eyes toward the mountains. Where will my help come from?

International Standard Version                                                                                                                                      I lift up my eyes toward the mountains from where will my help come?

NET Bible                                                                                                                                                                       A song of ascents. I look up toward the hills. From where does my help come?

New Heart English Bible                                                                                                                                              A song of ascents. I will lift up my eyes to the hills. Where does my help come from?

Aramaic Bible in Plain English                                                                                                                                       I shall lift my eyes to the hills; from where will come my helper?

GOD'S WORD® Translation                                                                                                                                            A song for going up to worship. I look up toward the mountains. Where can I find help?

JPS Tanakh 1917                                                                                                                                                            A song of ascents. I will lift up mine eyes unto the mountains: From whence shall my help come?

New American Standard 1977                                                                                                                                       I Will lift up my eyes to the mountains; From whence shall my help come?

*Jubilee Bible 2000                                                                                                                                                        I will lift up mine eyes unto the mountains, from whence cometh my help.

*King James 2000 Bible                                                                                                                                                I will lift up my eyes unto the hills, from which comes my help.

*American King James Version                                                                                                                                      I will lift up my eyes to the hills, from where comes my help.

American Standard Version                                                                                                                                           I will lift up mine eyes unto the mountains: From whence shall my help come?

*Douay-Rheims Bible                                                                                                                                                       I have lifted up my eyes to the mountains, from whence help shall come to me.

Darby Bible Translation                                                                                                                                                A song of degrees.} I lift up mine eyes unto the mountains: whence shall my help come?                                                                                                                                                                                                                    English Revised Version                                                                                                                                               A song of ascents. I will lift up mine eyes unto the mountains: from whence shall my help come?

*Webster's Bible Translation                                                                                                                                         A song of degrees.  I will lift up my eyes to the hills, from whence cometh my help.

World English Bible                                                                                                                                                         I will lift up my eyes to the hills. Where does my help come from?

Young's Literal Translation                                                                                                                                              A song of the ascents.  I lift up mine eyes unto the hills, whence doth my help come?

Now did you notice the punctuation mark at the end of vs. 1?

How the majority of the English translations of vs. 1, ended with a question mark? And only a few ended with a period!

Question, is Psalms 121: 1, a statement of facts, or a question of concern?

I believe Psalms 121: 1, is a question of concern!

Listen, I will lift up my eyes to the Hills, the mountains, or the plateau area upon which Jerusalem rest, and where comes my help?

Remember the City of Jerusalem in that day for most Jews, Represented something very special to them.        •The headquarters or the seat of government.                                                                                                     •The throne room of the King.                                                                                                                               •The temple of God, their most holy place on earth.

But does that make sense that a child of God both then and now would trust in a earthly location that has buildings, or that has a worship center, or that which represented the seat of government, or the throne room of the king?

Question, who or what are you trusting in today?                                                                                                    •The place of Government.                                                                                                                                      •The people who are in Government.                                                                                                                    •The policies of Government.                                                                                                                                   •The protection of Government.

Again, who or what are you trusting in?    Who, or what are you focus on?

For this unnamed Psalmist of Psalm 121: 1&2, reminds us where our help comes from!                                          Vs. 1.  I will lift up my eyes to the Hills, the mountains, or the plateau area upon which Jerusalem rest, and where comes my help?  No!!! 

And let’s consider why it is important that we would never put our trust in man, nor our hope in man’s ability and help.

See Psalms 20: 7.                                                                                                                                                       Vs. 7.  Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; But we will remember the name of the Lord our God.

See Psalms 118: 8&9.                                                                                                                                                      Vs. 8.  It is better to trust in the Lord, than to put confidence in man.                                                                        Vs. 9.  It is better to trust in the Lord, than to put confidence in princes.

See Jeremiah 17: 5-10.                                                                                                                                               Vs. 5.  Thus, says the Lord: Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart departs from the Lord.                                                                                                                                               Vs. 6.  For he shall be like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see when good comes but, shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land which is not inhabited.                                                                    Vs. 7.  Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is the Lord.                                                        Vs. 8.  For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; But its leaf will be green and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit.                                                                                                                                                            Now, here in vs. 9 - this is the answer, the warning we saw in vs. 5! 

Read Jeremiah 17: 5 again!

Thus, says the Lord: Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart departs from the Lord.  Why?

Now vs. 9.  Because the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; Who can know it?              Vs. 10.  Yet, I the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give every man, according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings.

Now notice Psalms 121: 2.                                                                                                                                          My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth.

See Jeremiah 32: 17&27.                                                                                                                                                Vs. 17.  Ah, Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm.  There is nothing too hard for You.                                                                                                  Vs. 27.  Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh.  Is there anything too hard for Me?

08-01-2018    Part 28    

Our current topic, How Does The Blessed Man Or Woman Give And Receive Encouragement In Troubling Times?

Now here in Psalms 121, there are three predictable and dependable, factual statements about the LORD to encourage us, so we can encourage others.

For example: The first predictable and dependable factual statement about the LORD to encourage us, so we can encourage others is revealed to us in vs. 2, my help comes from the LORD!

The next predictable and dependable factual statement about the LORD to encourage us, so we can encourage others is revealed to us in vs. 5, the LORD is your Keeper!

And lastly, this is another predictable and dependable factual statement about the LORD to encourage us, so we can encourage others, is revealed to us in vs. 7, the LORD shall preserve you from all evil!

Now again, let us come back to our first couplet that reveals to us an important factual statement about the LORD and where our focus, our eyes, our attention, must be at all times.

See Psalms 121:                                                                                                                                                             Vs. 1.  I will lift up my eyes to the hills from whence comes my help?                                                                         Vs. 2.  My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth.

Listen, two things the LORD would want us to know about this first couplet.

First, this factual statement is to remind us where our focus, our eyes, our attention must be at all times.

Secondly, this factual statement reveals some important things about the LORD Himself!

So then, let’s look at this first factual statement, a reminder for us of where our focus, our eyes, our attention must be at all times.

Notice Psalms 121:                                                                                                                                                          Vs. 1.  I will lift up my eyes to the hills from whence comes my help?

Did you notice the punctuation mark at the end of vs. 1?

And a majority of the English translations of vs. 1, ended with a question mark and only a few ended with a period!

Therefore, was Psalms 121: 1, intended to be a statement of fact, or a question of concern?

I believe Psalms 121: 1&2, is a question of concern!

Notice vs. 2.  I will lift up my eyes to the hills, or the mountains, or the plateau area upon which the city of Jerusalem rests, and where comes my help from?

Remember how, for many people in that day, saw the city of Jerusalem, and how it represented to them as something very special.                                                                                                                                                  •The headquarters or the seat of government for most Jews.                                                                            •The throne room of their King.                                                                                                                                •And the only temple for their God, for most Jews, the most holiest place on Earth.

But does that make any sense that a child of God should both, then and now, trust in an earthly location that has importance and meaning?

Does that make any sense that a child of God should both, then and now, elevate their worship center to be equally as important as our God whom we worship there?

And lastly, does that make any sense that a child of God should both, then and now believe in and depend on government and those who govern?

Question, who or what are you trusting in today?                                                                                                •The place of government.                                                                                                                                      •The people who are in government.                                                                                                                        •The policies of government.                                                                                                                                  •The protection of government.                                                                            

Again, who or what are you trusting in?                                                                                                                    Who or what are you focused on?

But for this unnamed Psalmist of Psalm 121: 1&2, reminds us where our help actually comes from!

Notice vs. 1.  I will lift up my eyes to the hills, the mountains, or the plateau area upon which Jerusalem rest, and where comes my help?  No!!!

Notice vs. 2.  My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth.

Now remember, this is our first predictable and dependable factual statement about the LORD to encourage us so we can encourage others, because vs. 2 says, my help comes from the LORD!

So, may I ask you three questions if you agree with the Psalmist. and if this is the way you personally feel, “help comes from the LORD!”

•Question, have you or I come to recognize and fully depend on the LORD to be our help?                                  •Next, and what kind of help does the LORD offer?                                                                                             •And finally, can you or I really say my help comes from the LORD, without sounding like a hypocrite?

Now the first question, have you or I come to recognize and fully depend on the LORD to be our help?

Now notice the Psalmist said with no hesitation.                                                                                                    With no doubt.                                                                                                                                                            With no other options.

The Psalmist said in vs. 2, my help comes from the LORD!

Now along with the Wednesday Bible Study Group members that day, we had a lively discussion, a helpful discussion about the meaning of the word ‘help’!

So, then I was able to give a few examples like, how one must seek or ask for help to get help which requires humility and a lack of pride.

Next, one must always consider that a human helper, a friend or family member, there will always be limitations when they are helping us.  But with God, He is unlimited when He helps us.

Finally, is God’s help conditional or unconditional? 

Notice the Gospels Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, how that the Lord Jesus when He was asked to help someone, or they asked for His help. 

Were there times when Jesus helped, that is help came with conditions or was it unconditional?

And is faith or trust in Jesus, a conditional way to be able to receive His help?

08-22-2018   Part 29  

Our current topic, How Does The Blessed Man Or Woman Give And Receive Encouragement In Troubling Times?

Now here in Psalms 121, there are three predictable and dependable, factual satements about the LORD, to encourage us so we can encourage others.

For example: The first predictable and dependable factual statement about the LORD to encourage so we can encourage others is revealed to us in vs. 2 that says, my help comes from the LORD!

The next, predictable and dependable factual statement about the LORD to encourage us, so we can encourage others is revealed to us in vs. 5 that says, the LORD is your keeper!

And lastly, this is another predictable and dependable factual statement, about the LORD to encourage us so we can encourage others, and it is revealed to us in vs. 7 that says, the LORD shall preserve you from all evil!

This afternoon, let us come back to our first couplet that reveals to us an important factual statement about the LORD.  That reveals to us where our focus, our eyes, our attention, must be at all times, Amen!

See Psalms 121:                                                                                                                                                             1. I will lift up my eyes to the hills from whence comes my help?                                                                            2. My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth.

Now, remember in this first couplet (vs. 1&2), is our first predictable and dependable factual statement about the LORD, because vs. 2 says, my help comes from the LORD!

Now notice vs. 2.  How the Psalmist said with no hesitation.                                                                                    With no doubt.                                                                                                                                                          With no other options.

For the Psalmist said in vs. 2, my help comes from the LORD!

And last time we challenged ourselves with three important questions if this is the way you and I personally feel.   And if you and I would agree with the Psalmist who said in vs. 2, my help comes from the LORD!

And the first question is, have you or I come to recognize and fully depend on the LORD to be our help?        For example: See Psalms 46: 1, God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble!

See Psalms 115: 9-11.                                                                                                                                                        Vs. 9.  O Israel, trust in the LORD; He is their help and their shield.                                                                        Vs. 10.  O house of Aaron, trust in the LORD; He is their help and their shield.                                                    Vs. 11.  You who fear the LORD, trust in the LORD; He is their help and their shield.

Now, remember there are three questions if you and I would agree with the Psalmist.

If this is the way you and I personally feel, “My help comes from the LORD!”                                                  Then the second question is, what kind of help does the LORD offer? 

Notice Isaiah 41: 10.                                                                                                                                                    Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.

Question, what kind of help does the LORD offer? 

See Romans 8: 26-28.                                                                                                                                               Vs. 26.  Likewise, the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit Himself maketh intercession for us, How?  With groanings which cannot be uttered.                      Vs. 27.  And He (God) that searcheth the hearts, knoweth what is the mind of the Holy Spirit, because He the Holy Spirit makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.                                                                Vs. 28.  And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

Question, what kind of help does the LORD offer? 

And see Hebrews 4: 16.                                                                                                                                             Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of Grace, that we may obtain Mercy, and find God’s Grace to help in time of need.

See II Corinthians 12:                                                                                                                                                  Vs. 7.  And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure.                                      Vs. 8.  Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me.                              Vs. 9.   And He said to me, My Grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness. Therefore, most gladly. I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Remember, there are three questions if you and I would agree with the Psalmist.

If this is the way you and I personally feel, “My Help comes from the LORD!”

And the third and final question is, can you or I really say my help comes from the LORD, without sounding like a hypocrite?

See Hebrews 13: 5&6.                                                                                                                                                Vs. 5.  Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have.  For He, Himself has said, I will never leave you, nor forsake you.                                                                                                      Vs. 6.  So, we may boldly say: The LORD is my Helper; I will not fear.  What can man do to me?

Listen, can you or I really say, my help comes from the LORD, without sounding like a hypocrite?

See St. John 14: 16. Jesus is speaking, and I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever.                                                                                                                                      Vs. 17.  And Who is He?  The Spirit of Truth, Whom the World cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in You.                                                           Vs. 26. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.

08-29-2018   Part 30  

Our Current Topic How Does The Blessed Man Or Woman Give And Receive Encouragement In Troubling Times?

Now here in Psalms 121 there are three predictable and dependable, factual statements about the LORD, to encourage us so we can encourage others.

And the next, predictable and dependable factual statement about the LORD to encourage us, so we can encourage others is revealed to us in vs. 5a that says, the LORD is your Keeper!

In fact, to better understand this area let’s start back at vs. 3&4, then let’s include vs. 5&6.                              Vs. 3.  The LORD will not allow your foot to be moved; *He who keeps you, will not slumber, or fall asleep on you!                                                                                                                                                                              Vs. 4.  Behold, He (the LORD) *who keeps Israel, shall neither slumber, nor sleep.                                                Vs. 5.  *The LORD is your Keeper; The LORD is your shade at your right hand.                                                   Vs. 6.  The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.

Question, is this the way you personally feel about the Lord in vs. 3-6?                                                              And would you a Psalmist, that he is right in his evaluation the Lord in vs. 3-6?

So once again, let’s challenge ourselves with three Important questions, *If this is the way you and I personally feel about the Lord in vs. 3-6!   *If you and I would agree with the Psalmist that he is right in his evaluation of the Lord in vs. 3-6.

So then, our first question is, *Have you or I come to recognize and fully depend on the LORD to be our Keeper? 

Now, notice vs. 5. *The LORD is your Keeper!   In fact, notice vs. 3.  The LORD will not allow your foot to be moved; *He who keeps you, will not slumber, or fall asleep on you!

And finally notice vs. 4.   Behold, He (the LORD) *who keeps Israel, shall neither slumber, nor sleep.

So, what does the words keeper or keeps, means?                                                                                              And what do you think about when you hear the words keeper or keeps?                                                          The Hebrew verb is שָׁמַר shâmar, which can mean to hedge about as with thorns.   To guard; to watch over and defend keep us from harm.

Listen to watch or protect as a watchman or a sentinel.                                                                                           A sentinel can be a soldier, or a guard, or a law enforcement person whose job it is to watch over and defend by keeping others from harm.     A sentinel also had a responsibility to guard something that is important or very valuable.

For example, Matthew 28.                                                                                                                                         Vs. 11.  Now, while they were going, behold, some of the guards came into the city and reported to the chief priests all the things that had happened.                                                                                                                 Vs. 12.  When they had assembled with the elders and consulted together, they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers.                                                                                                                                                            Vs.13.  Saying, tell them, His disciples came at night and stole Him away while we slept.

By the way, Psalms 121: 3 says, the LORD will not allow your foot to be moved; *He who keeps you, will not slumber, or fall asleep on you!

And notice vs. 4. Behold, He (the LORD) *who keeps Israel, shall neither slumber, nor sleep.

And Matthew 28: continues.                                                                                                                                      Vs. 14.  And if this comes to the governor's ears, we will appease him and make you secure.                           Vs. 15.  So they took the money and did as they were instructed; and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day.

Yet God is not like mankind with all our weaknesses.  For Our God is a much more superior and stronger than any human Sentinel!

Show you what I mean!                                                                                                                 

See Psalm 12: 7.  You shalt keep them, O LORD, You shalt preserve them from this generation forever.          See Psalm 17: 8.  Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings.                          See Psalm 41: 2.  The LORD will preserve him, and keep him alive; and he shall be blessed upon the earth: and thou wilt not deliver him unto the will of his enemies.                                                                                   See Psalm 91: 11. For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.                         See Psalm 127: 1.  Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.

Back to Psalm 121: 3-6.

So then, Since the Lord is not like mankind with all our weaknesses.  And if God is a much more superior and stronger than any human Sentinel!

Then why do bad or terrible things happen to His people in the Past.  Or, in this present time. Or, even into the future?

Was it because in some cases, God went to sleep or, did He take too long of a nap!                                             So then with Gods help, let’s be prepared next time to deal with this important matter!

Why do bad or terrible things happen to His people in the past.  Or, in this present time.  Or, even into the future, if Our God is a much more superior and stronger sentinel?

  09-15-2018  Part 31 

Our current topic, How Does The Blessed Man Or Woman Give And Receive Encouragement In Troubling Times?

Now here in Psalms 121, this is the second predictable and dependable factual statement about the LORD, to encourage us so we can encourage others that is revealed to us in vs. 5a that says, the LORD is your keeper!

But to better understand this factual statement we need to start back at vs. 3&4, and include vs. 5&6 as well.

So, notice vs. 3.  The LORD will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you, will not slumber, or fall asleep on you!                                                              Vs. 4.  Behold, He, the LORD who keeps Israel, shall neither slumber, nor sleep.                                               Vs. 5.  The LORD is your keeper; The LORD is your shade at your right hand.                                               Vs. 6.  The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.                                                               Now remember, there are three important questions that we are using to help us to better understand vs. 3-6.  Differently and biblically than perhaps we once had.

And our second question is this, what kind of keeper is the LORD?                                                       Notice vs. 3.  The LORD will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you, will not slumber, or fall asleep on you!

By the way, does anybody remember what we said last time that the words keeper or keeps means?

The Hebrew verb is שָׁמַר shâmar, can better help us to understand our English words, keeper or keeps.

So basically, the words, keeper or keeps is one who guards, or watches over and defends and keeps others from harm as a watchman or a Sentinel.  A Sentinel could be a soldier, or a guard, or a law enforcement person whose job it is to watch over and defend by keeping others from harm.  Sentinels also had the responsibility to guard something that is important or very valuable.

So then, there are two things that are revealed to us in vs. 3 about the LORD.   And what kind of keeper or sentinel the LORD really is for us!

First, in vs. 3, the LORD Who is our Sentinel, will not allow or permit or suffer our foot to be moved!  To allow.

Or, to permit.  or, to suffer means, to give permission, or to permit, or to grant or to give over to another.

Now notice again vs. 3.                                                                                          The LORD will not allow your foot to be moved.

Some modern Bible translations use the words slip or stumble instead of moved.

But actually, the meaning of the word moved implies something much different. The word implies to be carried off.

Again, what kind of keeper or sentinel the LORD really is for us?

The LORD will not even allow a foot of yours to be carried off into captivity or enslavement.

See Psalm 16: 8 I have set the LORD always before me: because He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved, or carried off into captivity or enslavement.

See Psalms 66:                                                                                                           Vs. 8.  Oh, bless our God you peoples!  And make the voice of His praise to be heard.  Why?                                                                                                           Vs. 9.  Who keeps our soul among the living, and does not allow our feet to be moved, or carried off into captivity or enslavement.

Now remember, there are two things that are revealed to us in vs. 3 about the LORD.

And what kind of keeper or sentinel the LORD really is for us!                                    

Notice again vs. 3, the LORD will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you, will not slumber, or fall asleep on you!

Now secondly, the LORD Who is our sentinel, the One Who keeps you and me, will not slumber, or will fall asleep on Us!

Listen, Giraffes have the shortest sleep cycle of any mammal. They sleep only between 10 minutes and 2 hours in a 24-hour period and average just 1.9 hours of sleep per day.  Seemingly always awake, the giraffe has nothing much in common with most humans in that regard.  But If we had so little sleep, it would probably mean we had some form of insomnia.  But for giraffes, it’s not a sleep disorder that keeps them awake.  It’s just the way God has made them.  If you think 1. 9 hours a day is not much sleep, consider this fact about the Creator of our tall animal friends: Our heavenly Father never sleeps.

The point is our God does not need or requires any sleep, rest, or recharging so that He may can function or help!  Listen the LORD Who is our sentinel, the one Who keeps you and me, will not slumber, or will fall asleep on us!

Also, one more important thing that is revealed to us about the LORD Who will not slumber, or will fall asleep on us!

Notice vs. 4.  Behold, He the LORD who keeps Israel, shall neither slumber, nor sleep.                                                                                                                        The word ‘keeps’ as a verb here is a present tense verb.  That means the action is right now, and not just in the past, but in the present, right now!

And again, the word keeps in vs. 4, means, one who guards, or watches over and defends and keeps others from harm as a watchman or a Sentinel.  Sentinels also had the responsibility to guard something that is important or very valuable.

Now see the word, Israel.  What is this referring to?                                                Israel the land, Or that country in the Middle East!                                                     Or, Israel the people, the descendants of Jacob or Israel!

Perhaps it’s both!  If you know anything about the history of Israel, the people and the land, how God has kept them for over 4000 years.

Also, there are many prophecies in the Bible about the past, the present, and the future of Israel, the people and the land.  Notice vs. 4.  Behold, He the LORD who keeps Israel, shall neither slumber, nor sleep.

And lastly, there are two things that are revealed to us in vs. 5&6 about the LORD.  And what kind of keeper or sentinel the LORD really is for us!

Notice vs. 5b.  The LORD is your shade at your right hand.                                    And Notice vs. 6.  Therefore, the sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.

First, in vs. 5b, the LORD is your shade at your right hand.                                       The word, shade means A shadow or shade that blocks or protects from harm.

Secondly, in vs. 6. Therefore, the sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.                                                                                                                     The words, strike you, means to make contact or to hit, or to harm!                          Again vs. 6.  Therefore, the sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.

So, what is this all about concerning the sun and the moon affecting us in a negative way?                                                                                                      First, the sun we understand its effects upon the body when expose too long without shade or a covering.                                                                                       But moon by night?

Some Bible teachers believe this is a reference to the primitive belief that the moon was dangerous and could have adverse effects one's mind during biblical times. They believed that the rays of the moon had an abnormal effect on the eyes and could cause brain damage.  We've all heard the familiar English expression “moonstruck” (mentally unbalanced, romantically sentimental, lost in fantasy) which apparently reflects this strange ancient belief.  The etymology (study of the linguistic development of words) of the English word ‘lunatic’ is from the Latin word ‘lunaticus’, which is derived from the Latin word ‘luna’ reflecting the belief that lunacy fluctuated with the phases of the moon.  Whether the psalmist meant to address such pagan beliefs is uncertain.

Perhaps vs. 6b is no more than a poetic device that refers to day and night, the sun by day, nor the moon by night.

But here’s what we know for sure!                                                                        The LORD is our shade or shadow, or covering that blocks or protects from harm. He Is always close by, and never far away!

Regardless of our physical environment and all of its potential problems and harm.  Or, our spiritual environment and all of its potential problems and harm, there is no one, or nothing that the LORD who is our shade or shadow, or covering can blocks or protects from harm.  For He is always close by, and never far away! Amen.

And for the remainder of our time I propose an important question for us to discuss and wrestle with for those who were at Bible study on that day.

And this was the question I proposed, “Since our God Who is Lord of all is everything and more that Psalms 121: 3-6 says about Him.

Then how can bad things, harmful things, evil things, happened to God’s people who lived in the past.  Or, we who living in This present time.  And those will come in a future time of judgment and chaos on this earth?

But, remember Psalm 66:                                                                                       Vs. 9.  Who keeps our soul among the living, and does not allow our feet to be moved.                                                                                                                       Vs. 10.  For You, O God, have tested us; You have refined us as silver is refined.                                      Vs. 11.  You brought us into the net; You laid affliction on our backs.                                                      Vs. 12. You have caused men to ride over our heads; As we went through fire and through water; But You brought us out unto rich fulfillment.

 09-12-2018   Part 32  

Our current topic How Does The Blessed Man Or Woman Give And Receive Encouragement In Troubling Times?

Now here in Psalms 121 this is the second predictable and dependable factual statement about the LORD, to encourage us so we can encourage others that is revealed to us in vs. 5a that says, the LORD is Your Keeper!

But to better understand this factual statement we need to start back at vs. 3&4, and include vs. 5&6 as well.

So, notice vs. 3.  The LORD will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you, will not slumber, or fall asleep on you!                                                           Vs. 4.  Behold, He (the LORD) who keeps Israel, shall neither slumber, nor sleep.    Vs. 5.  The LORD is your Keeper; The LORD is your shade at your right hand.       Vs. 6.  The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.

By the way, does anybody remember what we said Last time, that the words keeper or keeps means in vs. 3,4,&5 ?

The Hebrew verb is שָׁמַר shâmar, can better help us to understand our English words, keeper or keeps.

So basically, the words, keeper or keeps is one who guards, or watches over and defends and keeps others from harm as a watchman or a Sentinel.

A Sentinel could be a soldier, or a guard, or a law enforcement person whose job it is to watch over and defend by keeping others from harm.

Sentinels also had the responsibility to guard something that is important or very valuable.

Now remember, there are three Important questions that we are using to help us to better understand vs. 3-6 differently and Biblically than perhaps we once had.

Now the first question was, “have you or I come to recognize and fully depend on the LORD to be our Keeper?”

And the second question was, “what kind of Keeper is the LORD?”

Now this afternoon, let’s consider this third and final question which is, “can you or I really say the LORD is my Keeper, without sounding like a hypocrite?”

Because at a Sunday Church Service, we can talk one way, and Praise the LORD, and tell you what the Bible says about trusting God!                                             

But when church is over, and for the rest of the week!

Most of the time, will our family and friends when they talk with us, do we sound like someone who lacks peace?

For example: I’m upset or bothered by evil reports!                                                         I am afraid that something bad or negative going to happen!                                   And usually, I don’t have anything good to say, because I’m complaining about something or someone!

Now notice Isaiah 26: 3&4.                                                                                           Vs. 3.  You O God, will keep them in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You: because they trust in You.                                                                                         Vs. 4.  Trust in the LORD forever, for in YAH, the LORD, is everlasting strength.

Now notice again Isaiah 26: 3.                                                                                           You will keep them!                                                                                                             There is our word from Psalms 121: Keep!                  

Now notice the words in vs. 3, perfect peace!

The English word ‘perfect’ in Some English Bible translations comes from the Hebrew word שָׁלוֹם Shâlôm or peace!

And so is the next word ‘peace’ in most English Bible translations, it is also the Hebrew word שָׁלוֹם Shâlôm or peace!

Listen, the Hebrew word Shâlôm or peace can mean, completeness or fulfillment or that which is perfect. Like we would say, “this was a perfect day!”                                                             *Shâlôm or peace can mean, safety or soundness in body.                                      *Shâlôm or peace can mean, health or prosperity.

*But mainly the word Shâlôm or peace means, calmness, quietness, tranquility, anxiety free, an untroubled mind.  Or, a contentment of mind that is not caught up with the things of this world!

*Shâlôm can be a sincere reminder of one who possesses peace or favor within family relationships, friendships, and other human relationships that they may have.

*Shâlôm, can be a sincere reminder of one who possesses peace or favor especially because of their covenant relationship with God, through Jesus Christ only!

Why don’t we take a few minutes with the help of the Bible, and let’s remind ourselves how important God‘s peace really is in our lives, and for our lives!

Because God‘s peace is often devalued and under appreciated by to many of God’s people especially when they are dealing with troubling times!

So, let’s remind ourselves how important and valuable God‘s peace really is in our lives, and for our lives!

Notice St. John 14: 27, and Jesus is speaking, Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you.  Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Notice St. John 16: 33, and Jesus is speaking, these things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace.  In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.

Notice Galatians 5: 23&23.  And the Holy Spirit reveals to us, but the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.  Against such there is no law.

Notice Philippians 4: 6&7, and the Holy Spirit reveals to us, be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard or keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Notice Colossians 3: 15.  And lastly the Holy Spirit reveals to us, and let the Peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.

Now notice again Isaiah 26: 4.                                                                            Trust in the LORD forever. Why? For in YAH or Jehovah the LORD, is everlasting strength.

Notice, the three capital letters, YAH, or JAH, that are in a few English translations, this is the Hebrew abbreviation for the Hebrew name for God, Yahweh or Jehovah.

For example, Isaiah 12:2 in NKJV.                                                                               Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; For Jehovah YAH, the LORD, is my strength and song; He also has become my salvation.

And Psalms 68: 4. In NKJV.                                                                                          Sing to God, sing praises to His name; Extol Him who rides on the clouds by His name JAH; or YAH and rejoice before Him.

Now notice Isaiah 26: 3&4.                                                                                    Vs. 3.  You will keep them in perfect or peace, peace, whose mind is stayed on You: because they trust in You.                                                                                   Vs. 4.  Trust in the LORD forever, for in YAH, or Jehovah the LORD, is everlasting strength.

Listen, God’s peace or Shalom are for those whose minds are stayed on Him, because they have learned to trust Him!                                                                       Do you trust in the LORD?

So then, as a Bible study group that day, we rehearsed with each other,

The three-point divine method in how we are to trust in the LORD no matter what!

Proverbs 3: 5&6.                                                                                                             “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding;  In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.

So how do we trust in the LORD?                                                                                  

First, with all your heart!                                                                                                   Second, and lean not on your own understanding!                                                         And thirdly, in all your ways acknowledge Him!

09-19-2019   Part 33   

Our current topic How Does The Blessed Man Or Woman Give And Receive Encouragement In Troubling Times?

Now here in Psalms 121, there are three predictable and dependable, factual statements about the LORD, to encourage us so we can encourage Others.

The first predictable and dependable factual statement about the LORD to encourage us, so we can encourage others is revealed to us in vs. 2 which said, my help comes from the LORD!

Now the second predictable and dependable factual statement about the LORD to encourage us, so we can encourage others is revealed to us in vs. 5 which said, the LORD is your Keeper!

And the third and Last predictable and dependable factual statement, about the LORD to encourage us, so we can encourage others, is revealed to us here in vs. 7 which says, the LORD shall preserve you from all evil!

Now notice Psalm 121:                                                                                            Vs. 7.  Because the LORD shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul.                                 Vs. 8.  For the LORD shall preserve your going out, and your coming in, from this time forth, and even forevermore.

Wow!  This last factual statement about the LORD here in vs. 7&8 is so special, but it is also greatly unappreciated by us as God’s people!

Question, can you or I remember back in our childhood the many things that our parent or parents did for us that that was known, or maybe unknown by us, yet we were unappreciative of!

Or, we devalued what they were trying to do for us!                                             Or, we took it for granted that this was what they were supposed to do concerning us!

Second question, can you or I remember a time our relationship with God, and the many things that He does for us that are known, or maybe unknown by us.                                                                                                                                 

But we are unappreciative!

Or, we devalue what the LORD is doing for us!                                                           Or, we can take it for granted, the LORD is supposed to do such and such for us!

Now notice Psalm 121:                                                                                                 Vs. 7.  Because the LORD shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul.                                 Vs. 8.  For the LORD shall preserve your going out, and your coming in, from this time forth, and even forevermore.

See the words preserve in vs. 7&8.

Actually, the word preserve, is also the Hebrew verb שָׁמַר shâmar.  The very same Hebrew word that was in vs. 3 ,4, & 5, that is translated in most English translation of the Bible as the word ‘keeps’.

But here in vs. 7&8 there is a slight, but important difference in the meaning of the Hebrew word שָׁמַר shâmar, in the way that it is used in vs. 7&8, as preserve.

Listen, the word preserve or שָׁמַר shâmar that is used here in Psalms 121: 7&8, can also mean, to keep safe and protected from harm, or decay, or loss, or destruction.                                                                               Or, to maintain someone or something in its original or existing state.

Finally, the word reserve for here in Psalms 121: 7&8, can also mean, to conserve or maintain, or to care or to look after!

So again, let’s use these three different questions to challenge ourselves here in Psalms 121: 7&8.

The first question Is, have you or I come to recognize and fully depend on the LORD Who can preserve us?

See Psalm 16:1. Preserve me O God, for in You I put my trust.

See Psalm 32.                                                                                                          Vs. 6.  For this cause everyone who is godly shall pray to You In a time when You may be found; Surely in a flood of great waters they shall not come near him or her.  Why?                                                             Vs. 7.  You are my hiding place; You shall preserve me from trouble; You shall surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah

See Daniel 3:                                                                                                                         Vs. 19.  Then Nebuchadnezzar was full of fury, and the expression on his face changed toward Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego.  He spoke and commanded that they heat the furnace seven times more than it was usually heated.   Vs. 20.  And he commanded certain mighty men of valor who were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, and cast them into the burning fiery furnace.                                                                                                                         Vs. 21.  Then these men were bound in their coats, their trousers, their turbans, and their other garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.                                                                                    Vs. 22.  Therefore, because the king's command was urgent, and the furnace exceedingly hot, the flame of the fire killed those men who took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego.                                                  Vs. 23.  And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.                                                        Vs. 24. Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished; and he rose in haste and spoke, saying to his counselors, did we not cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?  They answered and said to the king, True, O king.                                    Vs. 25.  Look! he answered, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.                    Vs. 26.  Then Nebuchadnezzar went near the mouth of the burning fiery furnace and spoke, saying, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, servants of the Most High God, come out, and come here. Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego came from the midst of the fire.                                                  Vs. 27.  And the satraps, administrators, governors, and the king's counselors gathered together, and they saw these men on whose bodies the fire had no power; the hair of their head was not singed nor were their garments affected, and the smell of fire was not on them.                                                                  Vs. 28.  Nebuchadnezzar spoke, saying, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, who sent His Angel and delivered His servants who trusted in Him, and they have frustrated the king's word, and yielded their bodies, that they should not serve nor worship any god except their own God!