Love

Today’s post is part of our Psalm Saturdays series from guest blogger Robert Chamberlain. You can read his archives at www.roberlain.wordpress.com .

Psalm 136:1–26 (ESV)
1 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.
2 Give thanks to the God of gods, for his steadfast love endures forever.
3 Give thanks to the Lord of lords, for his steadfast love endures forever;
4 to him who alone does great wonders, for his steadfast love endures forever;
5 to him who by understanding made the heavens, for his steadfast love endures forever;
6 to him who spread out the earth above the waters, for his steadfast love endures forever;
7 to him who made the great lights, for his steadfast love endures forever;
8 the sun to rule over the day, for his steadfast love endures forever;
9 the moon and stars to rule over the night, for his steadfast love endures forever;
10 to him who struck down the firstborn of Egypt, for his steadfast love endures forever;
11 and brought Israel out from among them, for his steadfast love endures forever;
12 with a strong hand and an outstretched arm, for his steadfast love endures forever;
13 to him who divided the Red Sea in two, for his steadfast love endures forever;
14 and made Israel pass through the midst of it, for his steadfast love endures forever;
15 but overthrew Pharaoh and his host in the Red Sea, for his steadfast love endures forever;
16 to him who led his people through the wilderness, for his steadfast love endures forever;
17 to him who struck down great kings, for his steadfast love endures forever;
18 and killed mighty kings, for his steadfast love endures forever;
19 Sihon, king of the Amorites, for his steadfast love endures forever;
20 and Og, king of Bashan, for his steadfast love endures forever;
21 and gave their land as a heritage, for his steadfast love endures forever;
22 a heritage to Israel his servant, for his steadfast love endures forever.
23 It is he who remembered us in our low estate, for his steadfast love endures forever;
24 and rescued us from our foes, for his steadfast love endures forever;
25 he who gives food to all flesh, for his steadfast love endures forever.
26 Give thanks to the God of heaven, for his steadfast love endures forever.


You can’t miss the main point of this Psalm! God is good all the time, all the time, God is good! And it’s all because of His love that we get to enjoy His goodness.

The preacher Paul Washer said God’s goodness is a scary thing, precisely because we aren’t good, and therefore deserve His condemnation. But thankfully in Christ, God’s goodness and love are reconciled. Through Him, bad people like us can be made good like God.

This Psalm gives us a sweeping view of the love of God for us. He created all things because He didn’t want to miserly keep His love all to Himself. He spoke, and it came into being, and He has made all things well.

Then the Psalm zooms in on Israel’s redemption story. Even in judging Israel’s enemies, God displayed His love. Similarly, in judging His Son in our place, God has supremely showcased His love.

God enabled His people not just to escape Egypt, but also to enter the promised land of Canaan. Similarly, God is delivering His new covenant people from slavery to sin to bring us safely to the new creation. God remembers how lowly and helpless we are without Him.

The Lord provides our every need. He gives us our daily bread. He is worthy of all our thanks and praise.

“King of kings and Lord of lords, You are good and Your love endures forever. Please keep us in Your love now and always, for Jesus’ sake, amen.”


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Praise!

Today’s post is part of our Psalm Saturdays series from guest blogger Robert Chamberlain. You can read his archives at www.roberlain.wordpress.com .

Psalm 135:1–21 (ESV)
1 Praise the LORD! Praise the name of the LORD, give praise, O servants of the LORD,
2 who stand in the house of the LORD, in the courts of the house of our God!
3 Praise the LORD, for the LORD is good; sing to his name, for it is pleasant!
4 For the LORD has chosen Jacob for himself, Israel as his own possession.
5 For I know that the LORD is great, and that our Lord is above all gods.
6 Whatever the LORD pleases, he does, in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deeps.
7 He it is who makes the clouds rise at the end of the earth, who makes lightnings for the rain and brings forth the wind from his storehouses.
8 He it was who struck down the firstborn of Egypt, both of man and of beast;
9 who in your midst, O Egypt, sent signs and wonders against Pharaoh and all his servants;
10 who struck down many nations and killed mighty kings,
11 Sihon, king of the Amorites, and Og, king of Bashan, and all the kingdoms of Canaan,
12 and gave their land as a heritage, a heritage to his people Israel.
13 Your name, O LORD, endures forever, your renown, O LORD, throughout all ages.
14 For the LORD will vindicate his people and have compassion on his servants.
15 The idols of the nations are silver and gold, the work of human hands.
16 They have mouths, but do not speak; they have eyes, but do not see;
17 they have ears, but do not hear, nor is there any breath in their mouths.
18 Those who make them become like them, so do all who trust in them.
19 O house of Israel, bless the LORD! O house of Aaron, bless the LORD!
20 O house of Levi, bless the LORD! You who fear the LORD, bless the LORD!
21 Blessed be the LORD from Zion, he who dwells in Jerusalem! Praise the LORD!


Praise the Lord, for He is worthy. God is good, and deserves all our hallelujahs. Even if we’re tone deaf, it’s good to make a joyful noise to the Lord.

To be chosen as God’s own, to be His precious possession, is a great blessing. He is infinitely greater than anything and everyone else. He does whatever He pleases.

He’s sovereign over the weather, over death, in every war that is waged. He brought His people out of slavery in Egypt into the promised land. He will bring His people out of slavery to sin into the promised land of the new creation.

God’s name and renown are eternal. He will vindicate us His people and have compassion upon us. The idols of the nations are dumb, blind, deaf and lifeless. They may attempt to be immortalised on pedestals as statues, but eventually we all come crashing down.

We become like what we worship. So if we idolise inanimate, dead objects, we become like them. But if we worship the living God, we enjoy the eternal life that He grants.

Let every professing believer in the Lord bless Him! Let those who work “full time” for Him bless Him (although we should all work for Him whatever we do). If we fear the Lord, let’s bless Him, because He graciously allays our fears. Hallelujah!

“Hallelujah, living God, we praise You for Your goodness to undeserving sinners like us. May we bless You always, both now and forever, amen.”


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Blessing

Today’s post is part of our Psalm Saturdays series from guest blogger Robert Chamberlain. You can read his archives at www.roberlain.wordpress.com .

Psalm 134:1–3 (ESV)
1 Come, bless the LORD, all you servants of the LORD, who stand by night in the house of the LORD!
2 Lift up your hands to the holy place and bless the LORD!
3 May the LORD bless you from Zion, he who made heaven and earth!


The Lord is worthy of blessing. He counts us as worthy to serve Him, which is remarkable in itself considering our sinful rebellion against Him. He’s worth working through the night to serve!

The raising of hands in worship isn’t a pentecostal innovation. It is present in this three thousand year old Psalm as well! If our faith doesn’t move our bodies to worship it could be argued that we don’t have very strong faith. Thankfully what matters isn’t so much the strength of our faith but the object of our faith: God.

God isn’t some inanimate object that we bless with no hope of blessing in return. Every good gift is from Him. He’s always blessing us.

Wanting and expecting God to bless us isn’t some vain desire. He’s the one who simply spoke and the universe came into existence. Nothing is too hard for Him.

“We bless You Lord, for You are worthy of our worship. May we worship You all of our days and nights, and may You bless us too in Your great love, in Jesus’ name, amen.”


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Unity

Today’s post is part of our Psalm Saturdays series from guest blogger Robert Chamberlain. You can read his archives at www.roberlain.wordpress.com .

Psalm 133:1–3 (ESV)
1 Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!
2 It is like the precious oil on the head, running down on the beard, on the beard of Aaron, running down on the collar of his robes!
3 It is like the dew of Hermon, which falls on the mountains of Zion! For there the LORD has commanded the blessing, life forevermore.


Unity is great, especially in families, which in an ideal world are united. But it’s not unity at any cost. There was no unity between brothers Aaron and Moses when the former made an idol in rebellion against the one true God.

But when Aaron repented and became the high priest of the old covenant, unity was restored. As fragrant oil ran down his head onto the collar of his robes, so unity infuses a beautiful fragrance upon those it blesses. It’s like when Jesus, the great high priest of the new covenant, was anointed by the woman at Bethany.

Another image of unity is of the dew of Hermon. Just as dew refreshes the ground, so God refreshes us when we dwell together in the unity of the good news of salvation in Christ Jesus. Jesus unites a diverse multitude in worship of Him.

It’s in the heavenly city that the blessing of unity is seen most clearly. There we see people of every tribe, language and nation united in worship of the Lord. When the saints go marching in, I want to be in that number!

“Heavenly Father, we praise You for the unity there is through faith in Christ. May Your Spirit unite us all in His praise, now and forever, amen.”


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Remember

Today’s post is part of our Psalm Saturdays series from guest blogger Robert Chamberlain. You can read his archives at www.roberlain.wordpress.com .

Psalm 132:1–18 (ESV)
1 Remember, O LORD, in David’s favor, all the hardships he endured,
2 how he swore to the LORD and vowed to the Mighty One of Jacob,
3 “I will not enter my house or get into my bed,
4 I will not give sleep to my eyes or slumber to my eyelids,
5 until I find a place for the LORD, a dwelling place for the Mighty One of Jacob.”
6 Behold, we heard of it in Ephrathah; we found it in the fields of Jaar.
7 “Let us go to his dwelling place; let us worship at his footstool!”
8 Arise, O LORD, and go to your resting place, you and the ark of your might.
9 Let your priests be clothed with righteousness, and let your saints shout for joy.
10 For the sake of your servant David, do not turn away the face of your anointed one.
11 The LORD swore to David a sure oath from which he will not turn back: “One of the sons of your body I will set on your throne.
12 If your sons keep my covenant and my testimonies that I shall teach them, their sons also forever shall sit on your throne.”
13 For the LORD has chosen Zion; he has desired it for his dwelling place:
14 “This is my resting place forever; here I will dwell, for I have desired it.
15 I will abundantly bless her provisions; I will satisfy her poor with bread.
16 Her priests I will clothe with salvation, and her saints will shout for joy.
17 There I will make a horn to sprout for David; I have prepared a lamp for my anointed.
18 His enemies I will clothe with shame, but on him his crown will shine.”


David longed to build a temple for the Lord his God. But God told him He’d been living in a tent for so long, and didn’t mind waiting a bit longer for David’s son to build Him a house. David himself was a man of war with blood on his hands, so had disqualified himself.

David’s heart was in the right place. But sometimes, even if we have good ideas, God has a better one. David might not have been able to build the temple, but he did make extensive preparations to make his son’s job much easier.

God had promised David an eternal Kingdom that one of his descendants would reign over. In the new creation, the new Jerusalem will be the capital of the Kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of David. All who belong to Him will be blessed.

If we belong to Jesus we’re a kingdom of priests, clothed in His salvation. We’re made holy and joyful. The enemies of Christ will be clothed with shame, but He Himself is now crowned with glory and honour.

“Father God, we thank You for king David’s greater Son, in whom we have salvation. Thank You for the joy He brings. May we live for Him all our days and for eternity, in His name, amen.”


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Knowledge

Today’s post is part of our Psalm Saturdays series from guest blogger Robert Chamberlain. You can read his archives at www.roberlain.wordpress.com .

Psalm 131:1–3 (ESV)
1 O LORD, my heart is not lifted up; my eyes are not raised too high; I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me.
2 But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me.
3 O Israel, hope in the LORD from this time forth and forevermore.


It’s human nature to want to know all the answers, and to understand everything. But it’s also because we are mortal, finite beings that we don’t know all the answers. We don’t understand everything.

It requires humility to acknowledge that we don’t know everything. It’s good for us to “let go and let God” be God and recognise ourselves for who we are. We might like to think we are omniscient, or at least that Google is, but that quality is reserved for God alone. Even Google isn’t fool proof.

The alternative to seeking to be a “know-it-all” is to calm and quiet our souls. We might not know all the answers, but God does, and He cares for us. We can rest in His love like a small child with their mother.

Who or what is our hope? That we know everything? Or that we know our loving heavenly Father who knows everything? It’s liberating to know God and to know that we don’t need to know all the answers.

“Heavenly Father, thank You for knowing all things, and that we don’t need to. May we hope in You, both now and forevermore, amen.”


Wait

Today’s post is part of our Psalm Saturdays series from guest blogger Robert Chamberlain. You can read his archives at www.roberlain.wordpress.com .

Psalm 130:1–8 (ESV)
1 Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD!
2 O Lord, hear my voice! Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my pleas for mercy!
3 If you, O LORD, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand?
4 But with you there is forgiveness, that you may be feared.
5 I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I hope;
6 my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning.
7 O Israel, hope in the LORD! For with the LORD there is steadfast love, and with him is plentiful redemption.
8 And he will redeem Israel from all his iniquities.


If we ever feel down in the dumps, in the depths of despair, we’re in good company, because the Psalmist felt the same. But instead of wallowing in self pity, he cried out to the Lord, and so should we. We should long for God to hear our voice.

If God kept a record of wrongs, we’d be hopeless. No one would be able to stand before Him in that case. Thankfully, love doesn’t keep a record of wrongs, and God is love.

If there’s forgiveness with God, we might wonder why it follows that we should fear Him. But on a human level, if someone forgives us, if we receive that forgiveness, we don’t abuse it, instead, we feel our indebtedness to the one who has forgiven us. So it should be with us and God.

The life of faith requires patience, because God doesn’t work to our mortal, finite, impatient timescales. So we have to wait for Him, and to be encouraged by the hope that His faithful word provides.

We’re to wait for God more than watchmen wait for the morning. If you’re a security guard on the night shift, you look forward to daylight and another shift free from harm. If we get through this life to meet our Saviour, we’ll be infinitely relieved.

We the people of God ought to hope in Him. He’s unfailingly loving and completely delivers us from slavery to sin. He redeems us from all the filthy stains of our sins.

“Heavenly Father, we wait upon You to bring our salvation to complete fruition. Thank You for the hope Your word supplies that just as You have always kept Your promises, You won’t stop now. In Jesus’ name, amen.”


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Affliction

Today’s post is part of our Psalm Saturdays series from guest blogger Robert Chamberlain. You can read his archives at www.roberlain.wordpress.com .

Psalm 129:1–8 (ESV)
1 “Greatly have they afflicted me from my youth”— let Israel now say—
2 “Greatly have they afflicted me from my youth, yet they have not prevailed against me.
3 The plowers plowed upon my back; they made long their furrows.”
4 The LORD is righteous; he has cut the cords of the wicked.
5 May all who hate Zion be put to shame and turned backward!
6 Let them be like the grass on the housetops, which withers before it grows up,
7 with which the reaper does not fill his hand nor the binder of sheaves his arms,
8 nor do those who pass by say, “The blessing of the LORD be upon you! We bless you in the name of the LORD!”


Israel has been through a lot of suffering throughout history. But without wishing to downplay that fact, I believe this Psalm is ultimately about the Promised Son of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the Lord Jesus Christ. He was a man of sorrows, and familiar with grief.

The talk of ploughers ploughing Israel’s back and making long their furrows immediately reminds me of the fact that Jesus was scourged to set His people free. The Lord is righteous and will cut all cords of wickedness. But Jesus endured that for us.

May unrepentantly guilty sinners of the torture and death of Christ get their comeuppance. May those of us whose sins nailed Him to that tree not be blessed, if we fail to acknowledge Him and be sorrowful for what we have done. May the Lord have mercy upon us for our guilt over the death of Christ!

“Almighty Lord, we acknowledge Your righteousness and confess our wickedness. Please have mercy upon us for our sins that nailed Christ to the cross. In His name, amen.”


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Happiness

Today’s post is part of our Psalm Saturdays series from guest blogger Robert Chamberlain. You can read his archives at www.roberlain.wordpress.com .

Psalm 128:1–6 (ESV)
1 Blessed is everyone who fears the LORD, who walks in his ways!
2 You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be blessed, and it shall be well with you.
3 Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children will be like olive shoots around your table.
4 Behold, thus shall the man be blessed who fears the LORD.
5 The LORD bless you from Zion! May you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life!
6 May you see your children’s children! Peace be upon Israel!


What does it mean to be truly happy, to be blessed of the Lord? We need to fear Him, and to walk in His ways. I picture life as a perilous journey. If we stray from the path, we will come into harm’s way. But as long as we stick to the straight and narrow of God’s directions, we’ll be alright.

But what is God’s way? It’s for us to labour with our hands certainly, and not to laze around. It’s for us to marry, if that’s our calling, and not to mess around sexually. We’ll have a generally happy family life if we fear the Lord.

David’s family life was rather dysfunctional. But that’s what you get when you practice polygamy and don’t discipline your children. Nonetheless, he was blessed to have a large family.

Maybe we take grandparenting for granted nowadays. But in those days, when life expectancy was shorter, it was a special blessing to be able to see your grandchildren. May peace be with God’s people!

“Father in heaven, please bless us as we work and wait upon You. May we fear You as we ought, and walk in Your ways, until You call us home, in Christ’s name, amen.”


Rest

Today’s post is part of our Psalm Saturdays series from guest blogger Robert Chamberlain. You can read more about Robert after the article below.

Psalm 127:1–5 (ESV)
1 Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.
2 It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep.
3 Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward.
4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth.
5 Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.


We sometimes talk about making a house a home. But even if our house looks like a show home, that’s all it is unless the love and hospitality of God permeates it. What good is a house built only to show off? Our homes are to glorify God, the master builder!

Unless the Lord sets us on the rock of Christ, we’re building our lives upon a sandy foundation. It’s all very well to have night watchmen, security guards and policemen to patrol the city. But unless the Lord watches over the city, it’s all in vain.

There’s no point getting up early, going to bed late, slaving away to earn our crust. Ultimately God provides our needs, and He’s the one who grants us sleep. It helps though if we’re not staying awake worrying at night!

Contrary to much of 21st Century Western opinion, children aren’t a disposable accessory. Children are a blessing from the Lord. The more children we have, the more blessed we are.

There is however a deeper and more meaningful spiritual application than simply the “fruit of our loins”! When we pass the gospel on to someone who gladly receives it, they are born again. God might be their Father, but we can be their midwives and nannies, looking out for them spiritually and nurturing them in the faith.

God doesn’t have grandchildren. So if we’re not sharing the gospel, and blessed in such efforts by His Holy Spirit, the church will cease to exist on earth. Yes, it’s the Lord who builds the house and watches over the “city on a hill”, the church, but that doesn’t mean to say we don’t need to build, watch and pass on the gospel ourselves!

Nowadays, if someone doesn’t have children, it isn’t really seen to be shameful. But if the gospel is not seen to be growing, does that not shame us as children of the Most High God? Does it not spur us on to proclaim the good news all the more?

“Most High God, thank You for project managing the Kingdom of heaven. Thank You for overseeing the work that we are engaged in to make You and Your gospel known. Please give us fruit for our labours, for the honour of Your name, amen.”


About the author: Robert is a child of God, the husband of Joy, and the father of Grace. He’s from “God’s own county” of Yorkshire in the United Kingdom. Writing in earnest began for Robert when a friend prophetically told him that he should write. Although he isn’t currently publishing himself on WordPress, you can read the archives at www.roberlain.wordpress.com and a few other blogs linked from there. You can also find his up-to-date notes on the YouVersion Bible App. Also, The Believer’s Post is a WhatsApp platform for Christian bloggers which you can request him to join.

Email Robert at bobjc88 @ gmail.com if you want to get in touch.