Archive for November, 2015

God’s lovingkindness endures forever

November 29, 2015

Psalms-9  21-and-136 26

Originally posted a year ago, the following entry has been modified and re-posted:

The Psalms overflow with prayers of thanksgiving, as expressed in the Verse of the Day for November 29, 2015 found in Psalm 136:1, 26 (AMP):

[Thanks for the Lord’s Goodness to Israel.] Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; For His lovingkindness (graciousness, mercy, compassion) endures forever. Give thanks to the God of heaven, For His lovingkindness (graciousness, mercy, compassion) endures forever.

Here is the more familiar rendering of this passage in the New King James:

Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever.
Oh, give thanks to the God of heaven!
For His mercy endures forever.

One of the awesome attributes of God is that He is a God of mercy, and His mercy never fails. The Amplified Bible expands the term “mercy” with this expression: “lovingkindness (graciousness, mercy, compassion).” Although our Father is a God of justice, he tempers justice with grace and mercy. The Psalmist declares:

Psalm 33:5 (AMP):

He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the lovingkindness of the Lord.

Justice has been defined as “getting exactly what one deserves.” Whereas grace is said to be unmerited favor or getting something that one does not deserve, mercy is defined as “withholding merited judgment” or “not getting what one deserves. God ever displays His mercy toward His children, as Lamentations 3:22-23 remind us:

It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.

They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

The mercy of God as expressed in Lamentations 3 is the inspiration behind one of my favorite hymns: “Great is Thy Faithfulness.” Listen to this moving rendition of this timeless classic:

Throughout the Psalms, we see that God abounds in mercy:
Psalm 119: 64:

The earth, O Lord, is full of thy mercy: teach me thy statutes.

Psalm 57:10

For thy mercy is great unto the heavens, and thy truth unto the clouds.

Psalm 69:13

But as for me, my prayer is unto thee, O Lord, in an acceptable time: O God, in the multitude of thy mercy hear me, in the truth of thy salvation.

Psalm 103:17

But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children;

Israel Houghton and New Breed conclude this entry with this reminder of the essence of the message: “Lord, You are Good and Your Mercy Endureth Forever.”

Advertisements

Call upon the Lord

November 28, 2015

1 Chronicles-16 8

Verse of the Day for November 28, 2015 is found in 1 Chronicles 16:8 (AMP):

[Psalm of Thanksgiving] O give thanks to the Lord, call on His name; Make His deeds known among the peoples.

Other scriptures also ask us to call upon the Lord:

Psalm 105:1

O give thanks unto the Lord; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people.

Romans 10:13 so clearly makes known the results occurring to those who petition the Lord:

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

In Jeremiah 33:2-3 (NIV) we find this invitation from God:

“This is what the Lord says, he who made the earth, the Lord who formed it and established it—the Lord is his name:

‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’

I recall that this passage was inspiration this short poem:

We arise at dawn to keep watch on our future.

Open our eyes, flood our understanding with light,

As we are watching and waiting, safe and secure,

On the wall morning, noonday, evening and midnight.

That short poem also brought to mind this longer work:

Watchmen, Watchmen on the Wall

Watchmen, watchmen on the wall keep your eyes on the Eastern skies

Until the thickened darkness flees and the Daystar shall arise.

Consecrate yourselves and keep your ears near to the lips of God,

Waiting, anticipating, responding to the voice of God.

 

Our steps are ordered to walk in humility, as the wise,

To covenant with the Lord and serve Him, as we fix our eyes

On the prize and press toward the mark of the high calling of God,

Watchmen, watchmen on the wall.

 

We attend to the Word of the Lord and see how it applies

To our lives. It speaks and becomes the message we recognize.

We position our lives to occupy the atmosphere with God.

Know that we are far more than we are now says the Lord, your God,

Watchmen, watchmen on the wall.

Many believers who tend to worry about the future may often forget another promise given by God to Israel in Jeremiah 29:11-13, a related passage that applies to Christians today as well:

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.

13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

Throughout the Scriptures we see that believers are encouraged to call upon the name of the Lord. As we close this entry, listen to these lively lyrics: “I Will Call upon the Lord.”

Psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs

November 27, 2015

Colossians_3-16

Taken from Colossians 3:16, the Verse of the Day for November 27, the day after Thanksgiving Day, reminds that giving thanks to God should be ongoing:

Let the [spoken] word of Christ have its home within you [dwelling in your heart and mind—permeating every aspect of your being] as you teach [spiritual things] and admonish and train one another with all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

We find a similar exhortation to be “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord’ in Ephesians 5:19. These verses are reminders that expressing our gratitude to God is always in season, not just during the week of Thanksgiving, but our hearts should overflow, as we offer psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs of thankfulness to God for His bountiful blessings.

In thewww.youtube.com/watch?v=0V3BqV_mdnY past, I have posted my list of “Top Ten Thanksgiving Songs”: five were traditional hymns, and five were contemporary songs of praise and worship, all of which focus on being thankful. I recognize now that the list could be viewed as a collection of “psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs.” From the original list is a sampling of songs from those three categories.

Psalms:

Psalms are consider songs of praise directed to God, as illustrated in the Book of Psalms. Today a number of the Psalms of David have been set to music, as illustrated in these three selections:

One of most popular songs of thanks from the Bible is “ I Will Enter His Gates with Thanksgiving /He Has Made Me Glad” offered by Maranatha Music.

Sean Dayton offers a musical version of Psalm 105: “Give Thanks”:

https://

Another psalm of thanksgiving and praise is Psalm 138 in this rendition by Jason Silver:

Hymns:

Hymns are described as formal and traditional songs often sung by a congregation in praise of God in a public worship setting. Here is a medley of three popular hymns of thanksgiving: “Come Ye Thankful People Come,” “We Gather Together,” and “For the Beauty of the Earth.”


Another popular hymn of thanksgiving isNow Thank We All Our God” displayed in this concert arrangement by John Rutter:

Spiritual songs:

This category of songs are said to be inspired by the Holy Spirit, often based on a spiritual theme or teaching spiritual principles. Much of contemporary praise and worship can be placed in this category.

A classic example of this category would be Don Moen’s “Give Thanks”:

Recently I discovered a new song of gratitude “I’m Thankful” by Alexander Delgado:

The final selection has the same title as the previous song “I’m Thankful.” This composition, however, is written and sung by Lisa Tracy.

 

i'm thankful--lisa tracy 1

I’m Thankful

Every day may we encourage ourselves and one another, “singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”

Showing gratitude with our worship

November 26, 2015

Hebrews 12--28The Verse of the Day for November 26, 2015, Thanksgiving Day, makes reference to expressing thanks or showing gratitude:

Hebrews 12:28

Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, and offer to God pleasing service and acceptable worship with reverence and awe;

In reflecting on this verse, I thought of an incident that occurred a week or so ago. Sitting in the waiting room, I observed a young child who was given a coloring book and some crayons. The child smiled and said, “Thank you.” He showed items to his mother, and she asked her son, “Did you say thank you?” The person who gave the gifts responded, “Yes, ma’am. He sure did.”

From the earliest days of childhood we are taught that when someone gives you a gift, our response should be some expression of gratitude, namely to say “Thank you.”

Jesus Christ speaks this comforting reminder to his followers:

Luke 12:32 (AMP)

Do not be afraid and anxious, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

The Verse of the Day tells us how we should respond to having received such a precious, yet powerful gift from God, our Father. We are to show ourselves grateful and “offer to God pleasing service and acceptable worship with reverence and awe.”

Romans 12:1 (AMP) has a similar exhortation:

Therefore I of yourselves, set apart] as a living sacrifice, holy and well-pleasing to God, which is your rational (logical, intelligent) act of worship.urge you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies [dedicating all of yourselves, set apart] as a living sacrifice, holy and well-pleasing to God, which is your rational (logical, intelligent) act of worship.

In response to all that God has given us, as believers we must do more than merely offer “lip service” by only saying “Thank you,” but we must demonstrate our gratitude to God with more than words. We offer our lives as a living sacrifice, which is an expression of our “reasonable service,” our rational (logical, intelligent) act of worship. The closing lines from the poem “Thanksliving” reiterate this truth:

We must do more than mouth a platitude–

To express our soul in words is an art;

Yet words cannot express our gratitude.

Our words seem empty and without merit.

“Thank you” too soon becomes a hollow phrase.

So we must worship God with our spirit

And must give thanks well for all of our days.

To live is give thanks with tongue and limb;

With each breath, each move, let us live thanks to Him.

Alexander Delgado offers a song that relates this desire to express our gratitude to God: “Thankful.”

Always be thankful: Three reminders

November 25, 2015

On November 25, 2015, the day before Thanksgiving Day, the Verse of the Day is found in Colossians 3:17 in the Amplified Bible:

And whatever you do [no matter what it is] in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus and in [dependence upon] His Person, giving praise to God the Father through Him.

When we look at the context of verse 17 and read the two preceding verses as well, we find a magnificent triple-decker sandwich, not made with fresh turkey breast and all the condiments that you love, but a “gratitude sandwich” with three references to being thankful, as noted in the New Living Translation:

Colossians 3:15-17

15 And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.

16 Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts.

17 And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.

The following revised excerpt comes from a previous blog entry posted two years ago:

In light of our being in the “Thanksgiving season,” we find that in its most basic sense, “thanksgiving” is the application of an essential principle of life: giving and receiving. When one gives, one receives, and always in greater proportion than one gives. Although many people think of giving and receiving in terms of tithes and offerings or of giving of material abundance within a church or religious context, the universal principle works in all aspects of life—particularly in “thanksgiving.”

As Christian believers, giving thanks to God for His grace and goodness is a positive expression that reverses negative thinking patterns. A heavy dose of “thanksgiving” will counter the potentially crippling negative effects of fear, anger, disappointment, discouragement, despair and any other toxic emotions of life. We cannot truly be thankful and feel fearful or disappointed at the same time, nor can we be angry or discouraged when we see all that God has done for us and express our gratitude to Him at the same time. Certainly we cannot simultaneously sink to the depths of despair when we recognize how blessed we have been thus far, as we anticipate even greater blessings on the horizon, for the best is always yet to come with God, our beneficent Father.

More than merely saying “thank yo” to God, more than simply tithing or sharing of our abundance or giving of our time or material goods, we express our gratitude to God in everything we say and do. It is always an appropriate time to give thanks to God. One of the songs I recall from years ago declares, “Now is the right time to praise the Lord!” No matter the circumstances, no matter the conditions, weather-wise or otherwise, we are to follow this exhortation:

In happy moments, praise God.

In difficult moments, seek God.

In quiet moments, worship God.

In painful moments, trust God.

In every moment, thank God.

At All Times

I will bless the Lord at all times,           

His praise shall continually be in my mouth.

Psalm 34:1

 

When God’s goodness and mercy follow closely,

And we savor the ecstasy of victory,

When joy overflows and floods our souls, we will praise God.

 

When gripped by the devices of this transient life

And caught in the straits of rising conflict and strife,

During these difficult moments, we will seek God.

 

When we long to abide within a tranquil mood

And linger in moments of sweetest quietude,

From the depths of our souls, we will worship God.

 

Despite raging seas, stormy winds and blinding rain,

When protracted pain strikes like a knife and numbs the brain

So that we can scarcely scream that name, we will trust God.

 

All along life’s journey, no matter the season,

Through every why and wherefore, for every reason

Every moment we draw breath, we will thank God.

 

We seek the Lord and ask ourselves, “What shall we do?”

“Give thanks: it is God’s will in Christ concerning you.”

“Give thanks: it is God’s will in Christ concerning you.”

Don Moen offers this moving expression of gratitude: “Thank you, Lord.”

 

 

Key to the renewed mind

November 24, 2015

Colossians 2--6-7

The Verse of the Day for November 24, 2015 comes from Colossians 2:6-7(NKJV)

As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.

This passage reminds us that as we have received Christ Jesus, the Lord, we are to walk in him, which is an aspect of renewing the mind, the process whereby we “put off the old and put on the new.” These lines reflect our prayer to God:

Open our ears to hear the Word that we might do it,

To put on the mind of Christ and learn to renew it.

In reflecting on this topic of vital importance to every believer, the following poem came to mind:

 

The Key to the Renewed Mind

Do not lie to one another, for you have stripped off the old

(unregenerate) self with its evil practices,

 

 And have clothed yourselves with the new [spiritual self],

which is [ever in the process of being] renewed and remolded into

[fuller and more perfect knowledge upon] knowledge after

the image (the likeness) of Him Who created it.

Colossians 3:9-10 (AMP)

 

It has been said that the key to power is the renewed mind

But what is the key to the renewed mind? God help us to see,

For we seek to walk in power and excel and not be left behind,

As we strive to know new levels of deepest intimacy.

With laser precision we must target the old man nature

And put to death those lusts of the flesh that still afflict us all.

Not conformed but transformed as a new creation, we mature,

As we respond in obedience in answer to God’s call.

We put off the old and put on the new, as we change habits

And reckon the old man dead: vile, corrupt, wrapped in sinfl pride.

We strive to dwell in the secret place where the Lord inhabits

The praises of His people; here we desire to abide.

Above all, we put on compassionate love from the start,

Wrapping ourselves in perfect unity, filled with a grateful heart.

The closing phrase of the poem, not only refers to the ending of the Verse of the Day in its reminder of “abounding in thanksgiving,” but the lyrics of a song appropriate of this season also come to mind: “Give Thanks with a grateful heart.” Don Moen offers this expression of gratitude to God in song:

 

 

 

More than thanksgiving is thanksliving

November 23, 2015

Psalm 100-4As we enter the week of Thanksgiving Day, the Verse of the Day for November 23, 2015 is found in Psalm 100: 4-5 (NKJV)

Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generations.

The passage is rendered this way in the Amplified Bible

Enter into His gates with thanksgiving and a thank offering and into His courts with praise! Be thankful and say so to Him, bless and affectionately praise His name! For the Lord is good; His mercy and loving-kindness are everlasting, His faithfulness and truth endure to all generations.

A similar exhortation is found Psalm 95: 1-2 in the Amplified Bible:

O come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the Rock of our salvation!

Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to Him with songs of praise!

A blog entry from a year ago in Dr. J’s Apothecary Shoppe discussed “Thanksgiving in the Psalms” and examined these two familiar passages and others related to the practice of giving thanks to God. We joyfully enter the presence of the Lord with thanksgiving, not only during the week of Thanksgiving Day, but every hour of every day of every week of every year our hearts overflow with gratitude to God.

In a previous blog post on the topic of “thanksgiving,” I made the following comments which I will use to close our entry today:

Every situation offers an opportunity to be thankful, no matter how bright or bleak life may be. We can always find something to be thankful for, if for nothing more than that we are alive or that our situation could be worse. We can begin with thanking God that we are alive and then adding to the long list of blessings that we are enjoying at that moment. Each time we set our minds to be thankful, we are doing the will of God, which is the innermost desire of every believer. To give thanks is to do the will of God (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

J. Rufus Moseley speaks of “an attitude of gratitude and boundless good will.” For believers thanksgiving is a magnificent and joyful “response-ability”; that is, our ability to respond to God’s love and grace. We endeavor to demonstrate our gratitude to God from the fullness of our hearts, overflowing with thanks. More than merely occasionally expressing how grateful we are, we desire to maintain a continual “attitude of gratitude,” a lifestyle that some have called “thanksliving.” The essence of our attitude of endless gratitude is expressed in this poem:

Thanksliving

In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God

in Christ Jesus for you.

1 Thessalonians 5:18

 

What shall we render to the Lord for all

His grace? What can we say to offer praise

Worthy of His glory? How can we call

With all our being upon His name and raise

A new song from the depths of our heart?

We must do more than mouth a platitude–

To express our soul in words is an art;

Yet words cannot express our gratitude.

Mere words seem empty and without merit.

“Thank you” too soon becomes a hollow phrase,

So we must worship God with our spirit

And must give thanks well for all of our days.

To live is give thanks with tongue and limb;

With each breath, each move, let us live thanks to Him.

The Marantha! Singers offer a rousing rendition of “He Has Made Me Glad,” reminding us to “enter his gates with thanksgiving and into his courts with praise.”

Let the peace of God rule: Hold your peace

November 22, 2015

Colossians-3-Verse-15post

Colossians 3:15 in the King James Version, the Verse of the Day for November 22, 2015, speaks of the peace of God and connects it to being thankful:

And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.

For a more detailed rendering, take a look at the Amplified Bible:

And let the peace (soul harmony which comes) from Christ rule (act as umpire continually) in your hearts [deciding and settling with finality all questions that arise in your minds, in that peaceful state] to which as [members of Christ’s] one body you were also called [to live]. And be thankful (appreciative), [giving praise to God always].

In the midst of our war-torn world, engulfed in confusion and aflame with strife, believers and non-believers alike are seeking to experience some sense of peace–a concept of vital importance today.

Beyond the generally accepted definition of peace as “the normal non-warring condition of a nation, a group of nations or the world. . . a state of harmony among people or groups; cessation or freedom from strife or dissension,” the Bible speaks of peace as a state of untroubled, undisturbed well-being. It is an inner reality . . . the peace of God indicates being free from anxiety and care; it is not dependent upon outside conditions.

The peace of God is only possible through Jehovah Shalom, the God of peace, who sent His son, the Prince of Peace, who offered these comforting words:

John 14:27

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.

In Psalm 34:14 the Psalmist encourages us to

Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.

Once we experience the peace of God and savor the priceless essence of peace of mind, we desire to maintain that inner state of well-being. Particularly in the midst of the tumultuous times in which we live, we must recognize both the figurative and literal definition of the idiomatic expression “Hold your peace.”

Before you can hold something, you must have it. Literally, we are seeking to retain, to keep, and maintain the peace that God gives, despite the circumstances surrounding us. An illustration of this expression is found in Exodus when Moses leads the Children of Israel out of Egypt, and immediately they encounter circumstances that could easily overwhelm them, as the Egyptians are in hot pursuit behind them and the Red Sea confronts them as they move forward. As they begin to murmur and complain and panic, Moses offers these words of encouragement:

Exodus 14:13-14(NKJ)

13 And Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. 14 The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.”

This passage, in part, is the inspiration for the following poem with a similar exhortation:

Hold Your Peace

So shall they fear the name of the LORD

from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun.

When the enemy shall come in like a flood,

the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him.

Isaiah 59:19

 

The LORD will fight for you,                                       

and you shall hold your peace.”

Exodus 14:14

These days when the enemy enters as a flood

With distress and intense pressure on every side,

Despite signs of defeat, the Lord God is still good.

In the thick of battle in peace we will abide.

The Spirit of the Lord raises a bold standard:

Lord of Hosts bears His arm, as Jehovah Nissi

Covers us with His love; though foes may have slandered,

His royal banner is displayed for us to see:

Faithful Adonai has never slept nor slumbered.

He is not slack but hastens to perform His Word.

Despite outward signs, we are never outnumbered,

For we know that the battle belongs to the Lord.

On the battlefield, fierce attacks seem only to increase,

But as God told Moses, “Stand still and hold your peace!”

Katherine Abbot offers a musical rendering of Colossians 3:15 “Let the peace of heart”:

 

 

 

Grace of God

November 21, 2015

1-Corinthians-1-4-8-kjv

The Verse of the Day for November 21, 2015 draws our attention to the priceless gift revealed in I Corinthians 1: 4-5 (KJV):

I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ; That in everything ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge;

Another related verse also comes to mind: Ephesians 2:8-9 (KJV)

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Here is the passage as rendered in the Amplified Bible:

8 For it is by free grace (God’s unmerited favor) that you are saved (delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation) through [your] faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [of your own doing, it came not through your own striving], but it is the gift of God;

9 Not because of works [not the fulfillment of the Law’s demands], lest any man should boast. [It is not the result of what anyone can possibly do, so no one can pride himself in it or take glory to himself.]

The Amplified Bible offers perhaps the most common definition of grace as “unmerited favor.” To receive grace is to receive a gift, something so valuable that it must be given away because no one is wealthy enough to purchase something of inestimable value and worth. A common acronym for grace is “God’s Riches at Christ’s Expense.”

In reflecting upon God’s grace, we note that even though God’s grace is described as “sufficient,” God gives even more grace to those who are humble, according to James 4:6 which serves as an introduction to the following poem:

More Grace           

But He gives more grace. Therefore He says:

“God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”

James 4:6

Shine your light on our path that we may not stumble.

To abide in your presence we must seek your face,

For you declare you give more grace to the humble.

 

Our defenses suddenly weaken and crumble

When we seek to dwell with you in the secret place.

Shine your light on our path that we may not stumble.

 

As vessels now grounded, we no longer tumble

But are strengthened from within to quicken the pace.

For you declare you give more grace to the humble.

 

In the fullness of your presence we still tremble,

As we strive to please you and know your warm embrace.

Shine your light on our path that we may not stumble.

 

May we not be wise in my own eyes but simple

To savor fullness of favor—grace upon grace.

For you declare you give more grace to the humble.

 

We must glorify God in our earthly temple.

Like Paul, we fight the good fight and finish the race.

Shine your light on our path that we may not stumble,

For you declare you give more grace to the humble.

Don Moen offers a moving rendition of the classic hymn “He Giveth More Grace”:

We continue to marvel at God’s amazing grace; I shudder to think where we would be without this precious gift received by faith.

 

Just how God will deliver us

November 20, 2015

Psalm 95 1 2 310904561

The Verse of the Day for November 20, 2015 comes from Psalm 95:1-2 and serves as prelude to Thanksgiving Day, the coming holiday observed on the fourth Thursday in November:

Psalm 95:1-2

O come, let us sing unto the Lord: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms.

For the believer, every day is a celebration whereby we come into God’s presence with hearts overflowing with gratitude.

Psalm 97-10

In examining previous blog entries from the Psalms, I came across this particular post that provides great encouragement at this time. I am re-posting an entry based on another verse from the Book of Psalms:

Psalm 97:10

You who love the Lord, hate evil! He protects the lives of his godly people and rescues them from the power of the wicked.

The Amplified Bible renders the verse this way:

10 O you who love the Lord, hate evil; He preserves the lives of His saints (the children of God), He delivers them out of the hand of the wicked.

The closing phrase brings to mind Isaiah 46:4, rendered in the New King James version:

Even to your old age, I am He,
And even to gray hairs I will carry you!
I have made, and I will bear;
Even I will carry, and will deliver you.

The promise that God will deliver caused me to think of a poem composed a few years ago, but I revised it and now recognize that it has a timeless message that echoes in our lives today:

Just How God Will Deliver Us

But we had the sentence of death in ourselves,

that we should not trust in ourselves,    

but in God which raises the dead:

Who delivered us from so great a death, and does deliver:    

in whom we trust that he will still deliver us;  

1 Corinthians 1:8-9

 

Just how God will deliver us this we do not know,

But of His unfailing love and power we are sure:

He can send ravens or simply command a widow

To sustain Elijah and all those who will endure.

Although He may not be early, our God is never late.

We rest in knowing that God, our Father, is faithful,

As we trust in Him, learning to labor and to wait.

For each promise fulfilled we are ever so grateful,

And we express our gratitude in word and in deed.

Despite the challenge, God has been there time after time.

Each day we will walk by faith wherever Christ may lead,

Knowing grand mountain vistas await all those who climb.

The hand of God has brought us thus far along the way,

And we will finish our course is all we have to say.

In thinking about God as a deliverer, I also recall lyrics to another original song:

I Will Deliver You

I will deliver you from the snare of the fowler.

As a bird escapes from the cage, so I will release you from captivity.

I will lift you up, out of the hand of your fiercest enemy.

I will draw you to myself and hide you under the safety of my wing.

 

I will deliver you from the raging deep waters.

The sea shall not overwhelm you, but I will bring you through the storms in peace.

I will lift you up, and bear you up on the wings of an eagle.

I will provide for you and hide you in my secret dwelling place.

 

These lyrics bring to mind yet another song of great comfort and assurance: “My Deliverer” offered by Chris Tomlin: