Posts Tagged ‘psalm 118’

For the Lord is good, and His mercy endures forever

May 29, 2014

 

Psalm 103--17

Taken from Psalm 103:17-18, the Verse of the Day for May 29, 2014 makes known this truth:

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

To such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them.

This passage also brings to mind a familiar expression found throughout the Old Testament: “For the Lord is good and his mercy endures forever.”

In I Chronicles 16:34 when the ark of the covenant was brought out from the house of Obededom, David and Levites and those associated with worship offered praise and thanksgiving to God saying,

34 O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good; for his mercy endures forever.

When the Temple was dedicated, we find a similar expression of praise in 2 Chronicles 5:13-14 which describe what transpired when the Temple built by Solomon was dedicated:

It came even to pass, as the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the Lord; and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of music, and praised the Lord, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endures for ever: that then the house was filled with a cloud, even the house of the Lord;

14 So that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud: for the glory of the Lord had filled the house of God.

Throughout the Psalms we find this familiar refrain of praise. Psalm 118:1 opens with “O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: because his mercy endures forever, “while verses 2-4 end with the phrase: “that his mercy endures forever.”

Likewise, the phrase “his mercy endures forever” is the ending refrain of every verse of Psalm 136.

Jeremiah 33:10-12 reveal the awesome power of God to transform a place of desolation into a thriving habitation of abundance, as His people bring forth praise and thanksgiving:

10 Thus says the Lord; Again there shall be heard in this place, which ye say shall be desolate without man and without beast, even in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, that are desolate, without man, and without inhabitant, and without beast,

11 The voice of joy, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the voice of them that shall say, Praise the Lord of hosts: for the Lord is good; for his mercy endures for ever: and of them that shall bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the Lord. For I will cause to return the captivity of the land, as at the first, says the Lord.

12 Thus says the Lord of hosts; Again in this place, which is desolate without man and without beast, and in all the cities thereof, shall be an habitation of shepherds causing their flocks to lie down.

“Oh, that men would praise the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men,” says the Psalmist (Psalm 107:1) As I look back over my life, at times I am overwhelmed by the goodness of God. “God is so good”—is all I can say at times. I certainly concur with the Psalmist who declares, “For the Lord is good and his mercy endures forever.”

In reflecting upon that familiar verse, I recognize that the very essence of God is goodness. The word good is derived from “God” who alone is good. Indeed, Jesus Christ said, “There is none good but the Father.” And there is no comparative or superlative with God. There are no “better” days with God. God does not have the “best” day He’s had in a long time in comparison to others. With God everyday is a “Good News Day” because “God is good.” Period! Because God is good, “. . . all things work together for the good, to them that love God, to them that are the called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28—my favorite verse in the whole Bible) So no matter how bad the situation may appear to be, it will work together for the good: “For the Lord is good and his mercy endures forever.”

Israel Houghton and New Breed offer this lively rendition of “Lord, You Are Good”

In Response to “Don’t D.I.E.” “I Shall L.I.V.E.”

March 19, 2013
Psalm 118:17 has meant a great deal to me, especially over the past 13 years.

Psalm 118:17 has meant a great deal to me, especially over the past 13 years.

Recently while reflecting on the first three months of 2013, I recall that I approached the New Year with eager anticipation that it would be a glorious display of God’s favor demonstrated in a special way. Take a look at the first blog entry for Dr. J’s Apothecary Shoppe where I talk about “The Number 13” to see what I mean:

https://drlej.wordpress.com/2013/01/01/2013-taking-a-new-look-at-the-number-13/

During January I also participated in a life-transforming workshop presented by Dr. Tom Edwards who spoke of the place where we find ourselves in this season, and he exhorted participants “Don’t D.I.E. in the Transition.” Using “D.I.E” as an acronym, he specifically addressed some of the factors that would hinder, inhibit or stop us altogether, as we journey to next level of success:

Dr. Edwards spoke of three ways to D.I.E. expressed in this way—we should not become:

DISTRACTED,                IDLED,                            ENTICED

DISCOURAGED,            INTIMIDATED,           ENTANGLED

DEFEATED,                 IMPLODED,                       EXPIRED

As I reviewed the notes from the workshop, I developed a personal response, as I reflected upon a verse that has come to mean a great deal to me over the past 13 years.

Psalm 118:17

 I shall not die, but live,
And declare the works of the Lord.

In addition, I added an acronym of my own: L.I.V.E.

LEARN to INVEST in and VALUE EACH day that you live.

When I first committed Psalm 118:17 to memory, I was also inspired to write a song which I sang for my former brother-in-law, Elliott Thompson, who was dying of cancer at the time.

This verse was the inspiration for a song composed for someone else, but I continue to sing it to myself.

This verse was the inspiration for a song composed for someone else, but I continue to sing it to myself.

I Shall Not Die, but Live!

Chorus:

I shall not die, but live!

And declare the works of the Lord.

I shall confess and claim the promises

According to God’s matchless Word.

Verse 1

I must work while it is day,

For there’s so much I have to do.

As I pass through the storms of life,

I know He’ll always see me through.

Chorus:

Verse 2

He’ll strengthen and encourage me

And uphold me with His right hand.

He works all things together for my good

According to His perfect plan.

Chorus:

Verse 3

He teaches me to wait on Him

And overcome each doubt and fear.

He is my Lord; in Him I put my trust.

Like a shepherd, He’s always near.

Chorus:

Verse 4

To find the answers to Life’s problems

In God’s Word His will is revealed.

Christ conquered poverty and disease:

By His stripes I know I am healed.

Chorus:

Sometime during last year my daughter, Melissa, sent me a YouTube video of a song that she said was a kind of “theme song” for me:  “I Shall Live” by Darlene McCoy

In addition to highlighting verse 17 of Psalm 118, I read over the entire psalm and a number of other verses caught my attention. The Psalm of David opens with an energetic exhortation which is repeated five times, symbolic of God’s grace, in Psalm 118:1, 2, 3, 4, and 29—

Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever.

Psalm 118:8 also caught my attention.

It is better to trust in the Lord
than to put confidence in man.

Some people say that this verse is “smack dab in the center” of the Bible, and others say that it is not the center verse of the Scriptures. In any case, it was the inspiration for a song with these lyrics:

It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.

Cast aside your own selfish schemes and follow His perfect plan.

Focus your eyes on Him and stay centered in His will.

Keep seeking the Lord with all your heart, stay prayerful and be still.

It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.

The power of man is limited, though he may do the best he can.

Put all your trust in the Lord, for righteousness shall prevail.

Keep putting your confidence in God, for He will never fail.

SONY DSC

Psalm 118:24 is one of the most recognized verses from the Book of Psalms:

This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.

This verse is the inspiration for this recording with accompanying magnificent photos recorded by the—Bob Jones Academy Choir

As I continue to reflect upon Dr. Edwards’ workshop and study and apply the Word of God to my life, I will not “D.I.E.”  in the transition, but I will “L.I.V.E.” by “Learning to Invest in and Value Every day.”

I conclude this blog entry with this stirring reminder from Fred Hammond of Psalm 118:24: