AM Sept 1st Gal 3

September 1st Galatians, 3

1: O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? 2: This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? 3: Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? 4: Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if it be yet in vain. 5: He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? 6: Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. 7: Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. 8: And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. 9: So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham. 10: For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. 11: But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. 12: And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them. 13: Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: 14: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. 15: Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man's covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto. 16: Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. 17: And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect. 18: For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise.

In the third chapter Paul expresses sorrow saying, Oh believers of Galatia who has dazzled you and mesmerised you into this foolishness, that you have turned from obedience to the truth? Christ was set forth before your eyes and you saw him crucified among you. Then Paul summarises the main point saying, I want you ask you only one thing. Did you receive the Holy Spirit by obedience to the Mosaic Law, or was it by hearing and believing the Gospel? The answer does not need to be stated. Then Paul says, why are you so utterly foolish as to think that having begun the christian life in the Spirits power, that you now come to maturity as believers by means of human wisdom and strength? Have you suffered as believers for no purpose? (Let’s hope it’s not pointless at the moment!) Then Paul poses another question, He says, he that ministers among you just now in the Spirit – he who does miracles, does he do them by the obedience of the Law or is it by hearing and believing in God? Then Paul goes back to first principles, he says, Abraham believed God and God credited to his account righteousness. And he says that, don’t you know that those who believe like Abraham are his spiritual children. (He is not saying that believers become Jews) The scriptures prophesied that God would declare the heathen righteous through faith in Christ. And so this good news from God was explained to Abraham when God said that, ‘In you, will all nations of the earth be blessed’. (This will have a literal fulfilment in the coming kingdom but it also has a partial fulfilment in the Church of today) So believers today are blessed with Abraham who believed God. All those who live trying to keep the commandments of the Mosaic Law are under the curse of the Law, because they fail to keep it. The Scripture says that cursed is every one that does not continue in every commandment which is written in the book of the law to keep them. And no-one is declared righteous in the sight of God by keeping the Law. This is made clear by the scripture which says, ‘the just shall live by faith’. Trying to keep the Law is not the same as having faith in God but the man who tries to keep the Law is committed to keep it all. Christ has freed us from the slavery of the Law and its curse, by becoming the object of the Laws curse in our place, because it was written in the law that the curse of God remains upon any man who is hung on a tree. And Christ was crucified that the blessing of Abraham might come on all men including gentiles and that we might receive the promise of the Holy Spirit through faith in Christ. Then Paul says, I am speaking like an ordinary man – Even if it were a human agreement, when it were confirmed no-one is later able to break it or add to it. The promise to Abraham was given to him and his seed. The promise was not to ‘seeds’ as in the plural, but to ‘seed’ in the singular and this ‘seed’ is Christ. And so this covenant which was ratified before God in Christ, the Mosaic Law which came 430 years later, cannot render it null and void. The Mosaic Law does not cancel out the Promise to Abraham. If Gods blessing comes to us by trying to keep the Mosaic Law then Gods blessing is not a promise, but God gave blessing to Abraham by promise.


PM Aug 31st Psa 139

August 31st Psalm 139

A Psalm of David

1: O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me. 2: Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. 3: Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. 4: For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether. 5: Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me. 6: Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it. 7: Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? 8: If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. 9: If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; 10: Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. 11: If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. 12: Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee. 13: For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb. 14: I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. 15: My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. 16: Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. 17: How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! 18: If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee. 19: Surely thou wilt slay the wicked, O God: depart from me therefore, ye bloody men. 20: For they speak against thee wickedly, and thine enemies take thy name in vain. 21: Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee? 22: I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies. 23: Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: 24: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

To the chief musician

Psalm 140

A Psalm of David

1: Deliver me, O LORD, from the evil man: preserve me from the violent man; 2: Which imagine mischiefs in their heart; continually are they gathered together for war. 3: They have sharpened their tongues like a serpent; adders' poison is under their lips. Selah. 4: Keep me, O LORD, from the hands of the wicked; preserve me from the violent man; who have purposed to overthrow my goings. 5: The proud have hid a snare for me, and cords; they have spread a net by the wayside; they have set gins for me. Selah. 6: I said unto the LORD, Thou art my God: hear the voice of my supplications, O LORD. 7: O GOD the Lord, the strength of my salvation, thou hast covered my head in the day of battle. 8: Grant not, O LORD, the desires of the wicked: further not his wicked device; lest they exalt themselves. Selah. 9: As for the head of those that compass me about, let the mischief of their own lips cover them. 10: Let burning coals fall upon them: let them be cast into the fire; into deep pits, that they rise not up again. 11: Let not an evil speaker be established in the earth: evil shall hunt the violent man to overthrow him. 12: I know that the LORD will maintain the cause of the afflicted, and the right of the poor. 13: Surely the righteous shall give thanks unto thy name: the upright shall dwell in thy presence.

Today we are reading Psalms 139 & 140. Psalm 139 is a Psalm of David in which he gives an autobiographical account of his deliverance from sin and self. He begins and ends his Psalm telling the Lord that he knows that he knows everything about him. Then he bring three thoughts followed by his personal application of each thought. His thoughts are the Omniscience, Omnipresence and Omnipotence of God.

A. Divine searching
B. Omniscience
C. Admiration
B. Omnipresence
C. Admiration
B. Omnipotence
C. Shame
A. Divine searching

David begins says O LORD you have shone your searchlight into my soul and discovered everything about me.

You know when I stand up to work
You know when I sit down to rest
You know everything I think about
You know everywhere I go when I am awake
You know where I go in my dreams
You know everything about me.
You know every word I utter and the thoughts behind them
You know where I came from and where I am going
You put your hand on my life

All of this is too wonderful to think about. It is the highest thoughts that I can have of you and I cannot fully understand it all. Where could I go to separate myself from your presence? If I went up into heaven you are there. If I make by bed in the grave you are there. If I took a plane and flew to the farthest Island – even there your hand leads me and your right hand supports me. If I tried to hide myself in the darkness of the night, even there the night is bright in your presence. The daylight and the darkness are both the same to you. You can see me in the dark. You control the strings of my mind. You covered me with flesh in my mothers womb. I will praise you because my body is fearfully complicated and wonderfully made. All the things you do are amazing to me and I know this for sure. My body is not hid from your sight when I was conceived in the secret place of the womb. Your eyes saw my yet unformed body and in your book all the parts of my flesh were catalogued even while they were transforming from cells into a foetus. All of these things that I think about are precious to me and there are so many of them to think about. If I tried to count all my thoughts they would be as great in number as the grains of sand in the Sahara Desert. And when I awake from my thoughts you are still with me. There is no doubt that you will destroy the wicked and deliver me from men of murder. They speak against you terrible things. And all they say is pointless. I hate those that hate you, O LORD and those that rise up against you grieve me. My hatred for them is a perfect hatred. They are numbered as my enemies. Search me O God and know my mind, test me and know all my thoughts. And search out any wicked way in me and lead me in the righteous path of law keeping forever.

Psalm 140 is a Hymn of praise to the Lord. A Psalm of David in which he prays for deliverance from wicked men.

A. Prayer – preservation from his enemies v1
B. The evil man – his purposes – Selah v2-3
A. Prayer – preservation from his enemies v4
B. The evil man – his purposes – Selah v4
A. Prayer – preservation from his enemies v6-7
B. The evil man – his desires – Selah v8
A. Prayer – destruction of his enemies v9-11

David begins saying deliver me from the evil man and deliver me from the violent man. David’s mortal life was crucial if he was to reign and have children and provide security and prosperity for Israel. They constantly plan traps to catch me and they are always at war with me. The say sharp words and poisonous words at me. Think about that. David prays that the Lord will keep him from safe from the hands of wicked men and murderous men. They want to destroy all that David does. The secret of David’s kingdom was the spiritual battle that raged And David knew where the victory was to be found. It was found in the deliverance of the Lord. The proud set traps for David. Think about that. David turned to the Lord who was his deliverer. He says O GOD you are the strength of my deliverance. David did not know a salvation as Christians understand salvation. His salvation was the saving of his life from the hand of his enemies in battle. David therefore prays for the destruction of the wicked. David has confidence that the Lord will support his cause and the rights of the poor. David says surely the law abiding Jews will live to give thanks to the Lord and the upright will live in the presence of the Lord in peace.



AM Aug 31st Gal 2

August 31st Galatians, 2

1: Then fourteen years after I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also. 2: And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain. 3: But neither Titus, who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised: 4: And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage: 5: To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you. 6: But of these who seemed to be somewhat, (whatsoever they were, it maketh no matter to me: God accepteth no man's person:) for they who seemed to be somewhat in conference added nothing to me: 7: But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter; 8: (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:) 9: And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision. 10: Only they would that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward to do. 11: But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed. 12: For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision. 13: And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation. 14: But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews? 15: We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, 16: Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. 17: But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid. 18: For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor. 19: For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God. 20: I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. 21: I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

Paul continues his testimony regarding his ministry, showing that it was not based on men or even based on the teaching of those who were apostles before him. He says, fourteen years later I went to Jerusalem with Barnabas and Titus. This visit was because of a revelation that he had received from the Lord. And while he was there he explained to the Apostles the gospel he was preaching among the Gentiles. The Judean Apostles had focused primarily on the Jews with a small work among the Gentiles, but Paul’s ministry was almost completely focused on the Jews living among the Gentiles. When Paul outlined his theology he did it in private to those of high standing in the church. He did this to check his ministry with theirs to be sure that they were in unanimity. Paul brings out the point that Titus who was a Gentile was not forced to be circumcised because he was a Greek. And that this conference was due to Judaisers who came in, without raising any suspicions, among the Churches. Their aim was to try to compel the Gentile Christians to convert to Judaism. They came to spy out the freedom which they enjoyed in Christ Jesus and to try and bring them into the bondage of the Mosaic Law. Paul says, we did not give in to them for a second, so that the truth of the Gospel might continue with you. Paul is saying in effect we dare not concede any of their heresy, because if we did it would destroy the Gospel. Those who seemed to be prominent among them (Whoever they are, means nothing to me – God gives no respect to status men have among themselves) Those who seemed to be important when we talked seemed to be nothing special to me. On the contrary when they saw that the Gospel to the Gentiles was my God given ministry (just as the Gospel to the Jews was committed to Peter. The same God who effectively ministered through Peter to the Jews, ministered powerfully through me among the Gentiles.) And when James, Peter and John, who were rock solid apostles, when they saw that the gracious ministry of God was also given to me. They gave me and Barnabas their right hands in fellowship so that we should go and preach to the Gentiles of the Roman Empire while they continue with the Jews of Judea. They did ask, for a special request says Paul, that we remember to the poor in our ministry which we had already remembered to do. Much latter than this, when Peter came to Antioch I stood up to him, face to face, because he was at fault. There were certain men that came from James and they ate with Gentiles. (which was no problem) However when the Judaisers came Peter withdrew from the Gentiles because he was afraid of the Jews. Other believers were carried away with this hypocrisy, including Barnabas. Paul when he saw what they were doing was not righteous according to the truth of the Gospel he rebuked them sharply. He said to Peter publically, ‘If you who are a Jew, live like a Gentile, then why do you compel the Gentiles to live as Jews?’ Paul continues, we who are Jews in the flesh and not Gentiles know that a man is not declared righteous before God by keeping the Mosaic Law, but by Faith in Jesus Christ. And we have believed in Jesus Christ that we might be declared righteous and not by the keeping of the Law, because by the keeping of the Mosaic Law no human being will be declared righteous. Now if while we say that we are forgiven we are still found to be sinners, Is Christ in the process of making us sinners? God forbid the thought. If I continue to build the things which I destroyed then I have become a sinner. In other words if I teach law keeping to those who are saved then I am a sinner. My law-keeping only separated me – in death from the Lord. So the law killed me that I might live a new life unto God. I am crucified with Christ. (When Christ died I died in him) nevertheless I live. Yet it is not me living my life but Christ who lives in me. And the human life I now live I live by trusting in the Son of God – who loved me and gave himself for me. I will not abuse the grace of God (by going back to Law-keeping) because if a man were able to be made right with God by law-keeping, then Christ what did Christ die for? This passage is the end for all believers who teach law-keeping for the Christian. It is completely out of place in the believers life. The believer is ‘In Christ’. He is dead in Christ – crucified with Christ and now alive in a totally new resurrection life. The Mosaic law could not save him and now that he is saved he should not return to the Mosaic law.


PM Aug 30th Psa 137

August 30th Psalm 137

1: By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion. 2: We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof. 3: For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song; and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion. 4: How shall we sing the LORD's song in a strange land? 5: If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. 6: If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy. 7: Remember, O LORD, the children of Edom in the day of Jerusalem; who said, Rase it, rase it, even to the foundation thereof. 8: O daughter of Babylon, who art to be destroyed; happy shall he be, that rewardeth thee as thou hast served us. 9: Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.

Psalm 138

A Psalm of David

1: I will praise thee with my whole heart: before the gods will I sing praise unto thee. 2: I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name. 3: In the day when I cried thou answeredst me, and strengthenedst me with strength in my soul. 4: All the kings of the earth shall praise thee, O LORD, when they hear the words of thy mouth. 5: Yea, they shall sing in the ways of the LORD: for great is the glory of the LORD. 6: Though the LORD be high, yet hath he respect unto the lowly: but the proud he knoweth afar off. 7: Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me. 8: The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O LORD, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of thine own hands.

Today we are reading Psalms 137 & 138. Psalm 137 is a Psalm which describes the sadness and weeping of being captive in Babylon. There is no name attached to this psalm but is probably was composed by Hezekiah. This psalm probably commemorates the captivity of the people of Judah who were taken away during the siege of Jerusalem but the psalmist is now back in Jerusalem and remembers those sad days. (There is no need to make this Psalm refer to the post-exilic times.) The captives of Judah are those taken away by Shalmaneser and Sargon who took 27,280 from Samaria. 1Chron 5v6. The Psalmist says, we remember when we sat by the river of Babylon and wept our hearts out whenever we remembered Zion. He looks back saying we hanged our harps on the willows in the middle of the river because our captors required us to sing and to be jolly. So we hung our harps high up from the floods, but so that we would not be required to play, when they asked us to entertain then with songs of Zion. We replied, how can we sing the LORD’s song in a strange land? Then the psalmist says, if I forget you Jerusalem then let my right hand forget how to play the harp and if I do not remember Jerusalem then let my tongue refuse to sing. Jerusalem is my greatest joy now. Remember those of Edom who wanted to raise Jerusalem to the ground. Then he speaks to the mothers of Babylon saying you will be destroyed one day and happy will be the man who rewards you for your atrocities. He will happily destroy your little children. This horrendous language was uttered under law and has no relation to Christianity. Psalm 138 is a hymn of David selected by Hezekiah to follow the previous Psalm.

We see the relation of these Psalms in this diagram

A. Psalm 120 – 134 Deliverance from Sennacherib (15 Psalms of the Degrees)
B. Psalm 135 – 136 Praise two Psalms linked by a similar structure
A. Psalm 137 Deliverance of the captives of Sennacherib
B. Psalm 138 Praise
A. Psalm 139 Deliverance from an evil heart
B. Psalm 140 Praise and Prayer

So the Psalmist David has three thoughts addressed to the Lord in praise which are divided by two thoughts regarding the Lord.

A. To Jehovah – Praise v1-4
B. Of Jehovah v5-6
A. To Jehovah v7
B. Of Jehovah v8
A. To Jehovah v8

David says I will bring praise to the LORD with my whole heart. Even in the presence the Lords judges I will sing praise to you, O Lord. I will prostrate myself towards the holy temple and give praise to the name of the Lord because of his loving kindness and faithfulness. Because you have made you promises greater than your name. In the day that I cried to you, you answered me giving me strength in my soul. I will speak to all the kings of the earth making them praise you. They will join me to sing in obedience to the LORD because great is the glory of the LORD. David says, though the LORD is very high, yet he has respect to the very lowly. But the proud he removes far away from his presence. David says that though I walk right through the middle of trouble yet you will revive me and you will stretch out your hand against the anger of my enemies. And by your right hand you will deliver me. The Lord will bring to fruition all his promises to me. And the mercy of the Lord will endure forever toward me. He will not forsake the things that he has done.



AM Aug 30th Gal 1

August 30th

11: But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. 12: For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ. 13: For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews' religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it: 14: And profited in the Jews' religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers. 15: But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace, 16: To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: 17: Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus. 18: Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days. 19: But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord's brother. 20: Now the things which I write unto you, behold, before God, I lie not. 21: Afterwards I came into the regions of Syria and Cilicia; 22: And was unknown by face unto the churches of Judaea which were in Christ: 23: But they had heard only, That he which persecuted us in times past now preacheth the faith which once he destroyed. 24: And they glorified God in me.

Paul testifies that the Gospel he preaches is not from man. In other words it is not a man made theology, nor is it from him – Paul. Some people speak of ‘Pauline theology’, yet Paul says there is no such thing. He continues saying that he neither received it from any man, nor was he taught it. The Gospel he preached was given to him by direct revelation from God. Paul is using the word Gospel to mean not only how a man is saved but the whole theology of the NT. So Paul sets out the whole history of his conversion and revelations to prove his point. First he starts off reminding the believers that he was steeped in Judaism from his childhood and that he persecuted the church far beyond what was reasonable. At this time he says he rose above many of his fellow Jews, in the zealous observance of the Jewish traditions. However, it was Gods pleasure, who brought him to birth, to call him by his Grace and to reveal his Son in him, so that he might preach him among the heathen. When he was saved he did not confer with any man, nor did he go to Jerusalem to those who were apostles already, but he went off into Arabia (possibly to Mt Sinai) and after a long time returned to Damascus. Only after three years did Paul go to Jerusalem to see Peter and he stayed with him for two weeks. Pauls says, he saw none of the other Apostles except James the Lords brother. Then Paul emphasises his point saying, I am telling the truth – I am not lying. This record of Paul confirms the truth, that Paul was not the product of the Jerusalem Church or of the previous Apostles. After this Paul went to the regions of Syria and Cilicia. (In the far north of Israel). Paul says his face was unknown to the churches of Judea, but they had only heard that he that had destroyed the churches now preached the faith and they praised God for his conversion.


PM Aug 29th Psa 135

August 29th Psalm 135

1: Praise ye the LORD. Praise ye the name of the LORD; praise him, O ye servants of the LORD. 2: Ye that 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 praises unto his name; for it is pleasant. 4: For the LORD hath chosen Jacob unto himself, and Israel for his peculiar treasure. 5: For I know that the LORD is great, and that our Lord is above all gods. 6: Whatsoever the LORD pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places. 7: He causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth; he maketh lightnings for the rain; he bringeth the wind out of his treasuries. 8: Who smote the firstborn of Egypt, both of man and beast. 9: Who sent tokens and wonders into the midst of thee, O Egypt, upon Pharaoh, and upon all his servants. 10: Who smote great nations, and slew mighty kings; 11: Sihon king of the Amorites, and Og king of Bashan, and all the kingdoms of Canaan: 12: And gave their land for an heritage, an heritage unto Israel his people. 13: Thy name, O LORD, endureth for ever; and thy memorial, O LORD, throughout all generations. 14: For the LORD will judge his people, and he will repent himself concerning his servants. 15: The idols of the heathen are silver and gold, the work of men's hands. 16: They have mouths, but they speak not; eyes have they, but they see not; 17: They have ears, but they hear not; neither is there any breath in their mouths. 18: They that make them are like unto them: so is every one that trusteth in them. 19: Bless the LORD, O house of Israel: bless the LORD, O house of Aaron: 20: Bless the LORD, O house of Levi: ye that fear the LORD, bless the LORD. 21: Blessed be the LORD out of Zion, which dwelleth at Jerusalem. Praise ye the LORD.

Psalm 136

1: O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. 2: O give thanks unto the God of gods: for his mercy endureth for ever. 3: O give thanks to the Lord of lords: for his mercy endureth for ever. 4: To him who alone doeth great wonders: for his mercy endureth for ever. 5: To him that by wisdom made the heavens: for his mercy endureth for ever. 6: To him that stretched out the earth above the waters: for his mercy endureth for ever. 7: To him that made great lights: for his mercy endureth for ever: 8: The sun to rule by day: for his mercy endureth for ever: 9: The moon and stars to rule by night: for his mercy endureth for ever. 10: To him that smote Egypt in their firstborn: for his mercy endureth for ever: 11: And brought out Israel from among them: for his mercy endureth for ever: 12: With a strong hand, and with a stretched out arm: for his mercy endureth for ever. 13: To him which divided the Red sea into parts: for his mercy endureth for ever: 14: And made Israel to pass through the midst of it: for his mercy endureth for ever: 15: But overthrew Pharaoh and his host in the Red sea: for his mercy endureth for ever. 16: To him which led his people through the wilderness: for his mercy endureth for ever. 17: To him which smote great kings: for his mercy endureth for ever: 18: And slew famous kings: for his mercy endureth for ever: 19: Sihon king of the Amorites: for his mercy endureth for ever: 20: And Og the king of Bashan: for his mercy endureth for ever: 21: And gave their land for an heritage: for his mercy endureth for ever: 22: Even an heritage unto Israel his servant: for his mercy endureth for ever. 23: Who remembered us in our low estate: for his mercy endureth for ever: 24: And hath redeemed us from our enemies: for his mercy endureth for ever. 25: Who giveth food to all flesh: for his mercy endureth for ever. 26: O give thanks unto the God of heaven: for his mercy endureth for ever.

Today we are reading Psalms 135 & 136. Both of these Psalms are hymns of Praise. In fact they can be compared as follows…

Psa 135
A. Praise to the Lord v1-5
B. God created wonders v6-7
C. Deliverance from Egypt v8-9
D. Deliverance on the journey v10-11
E. The gift of the land v12-13
F. Goodness to the people v14
G. False gods v15-18
H. Praise v19-21
Psa 136
A. Praise to the Lord v1-3
B. God created wonders v4-9
C. Deliverance from Egypt v10-15
D. Deliverance on the journey v16-20
E. The gift of the land v21-22
F. Goodness to the people v23-24
G. False gods v25
H. Praise v26

The Psalm begins with Praise the LORD – Jehovah and then calls on all servants to Praise the name of the Lord. The servants are those Levites who attend on the service of the Temple. They are to praise the Lord for his goodness and sing hymns to his name because his name is pleasant. Then the Psalmist speaks of the LORD’s choice of Israel, who are his specific treasure. Then he contrasts the greatness of the LORD with all the false gods. He speaks of his sovereign will. He does whatever he pleases in heaven, earth and in the seas. Then he gives a few examples – He describes the water cycle from evaporation, lightening, precipitation and wind. Then he speaks of Gods intervention in history – He killed the firstborn of Egypt – men and beast. He gave the 10 signs to Egypt. He destroyed the nations and kings of Canaan for the children of Israel, including, Sihon, Og, And He gave all their territory to Israel. The name of the Lord will be remembered for ever. The Lord will judge his people and he will turn again to be their Saviour. Then he mocks the idols who have eyes but are blind etc. he says that those who make them are like them. This gives us a clue to Idolatry. Idolatry is the expression of men’s imagination and if men are bad then the idols are bad too. But the LORD is blessed and the children of Israel are blessed, And the children of Aaron and the house of Levi. The LORD is blessed in Zion. Praise the Lord. Psalm 136 is also a Hallelujah Psalm beginning with the three times repeated phrase ‘Give thanks to the Lord for he is good and his mercy endures forever’. This phrase repeats right through the Psalm ‘his mercy endureth forever’. What the Psalmist is saying is that God will never get to a point in which he will never find mercy in his heart toward Israel. Even if Israel strays from the Lord and he punishes them ever so severely, yet in judgment there will always be mercy. So this Psalm is a history of the Lords dealings with his people under law and in all their struggles and trials they always find the mercy of the Lord.



AM Aug 29th Gal 1

August 29th Galatians, 1

1: Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;) 2: And all the brethren which are with me, unto the churches of Galatia: 3: Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, 4: Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father: 5: To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. 6: I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: 7: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. 8: But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. 9: As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. 10: For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.

Paul begins his letter to the churches of Galatia with an introduction of himself. First of all we notice that in this letter he is keen to establish his apostolic authority. Secondly he points out right at the beginning that he has not been appointed by men or by any man except by Jesus Christ and God the Father who raised him from the dead. Paul is going to address the heresy of the Judaisers and so therefore his emphasis is on the resurrection. He is going to show that Christians are dead, buried and risen in Christ, to live a life in the resurrection power of Christ and therefore they have no relation to the Mosaic law anymore. Then we see that this letter is addressed not to one church but to the Churches of Galatia. This area of Turkey had been populated by people that had come from France. They are described by historians as sensual, legalistic and prone to complete changes of mind. Pauls greeting is extended to say something about Christ’s ministry of deliverance from this present evil world. Then Paul begins straightaway by saying I am amazed that you have moved away from Christ, who called you into the Grace of God, into another ‘gospel’. Which actually is not good news at all, but there are some people who have confused you and who wish to pervert the Gospel of Christ. This letter addresses the question of legalistic obedience to the Mosaic Law. Paul calls this a perversion of the Gospel of the grace of God. Even if we, or even if an angel from heaven came to you and preached a different Gospel from what we preached unto you, We say in the name of the Lord – Let him be accursed. I want to say that again says Paul, to make sure you remember it, If any man preach any other Gospel than we preached to you then let him be accursed. Does it sound like I am trying to please Men or God? Am I seeking to please the brethren? Let me say says Paul if I were trying to please men then I would not be the servant of Christ. He is my master – and I seek to please him.


PM Aug 28th Psa 132

August 28th Psalm 132

A song of degrees

1: LORD, remember David, and all his afflictions: 2: How he sware unto the LORD, and vowed unto the mighty God of Jacob; 3: Surely I will not come into the tabernacle of my house, nor go up into my bed; 4: I will not give sleep to mine eyes, or slumber to mine eyelids, 5: Until I find out a place for the LORD, an habitation for the mighty God of Jacob. 6: Lo, we heard of it at Ephratah: we found it in the fields of the wood. 7: We will go into his tabernacles: we will worship at his footstool. 8: Arise, O LORD, into thy rest; thou, and the ark of thy strength. 9: Let thy priests be clothed with righteousness; and let thy saints shout for joy. 10: For thy servant David's sake turn not away the face of thine anointed. 11: The LORD hath sworn in truth unto David; he will not turn from it; Of the fruit of thy body will I set upon thy throne. 12: If thy children will keep my covenant and my testimony that I shall teach them, their children shall also sit upon thy throne for evermore. 13: For the LORD hath chosen Zion; he hath desired it for his habitation. 14: This is my rest for ever: here will I dwell; for I have desired it. 15: I will abundantly bless her provision: I will satisfy her poor with bread. 16: I will also clothe her priests with salvation: and her saints shall shout aloud for joy. 17: There will I make the horn of David to bud: I have ordained a lamp for mine anointed. 18: His enemies will I clothe with shame: but upon himself shall his crown flourish.

Psalm 133

A song of degrees of David

1: Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! 2: It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments; 3: As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.

Psalm 134

A song of degrees

1: Behold, bless ye the LORD, all ye servants of the LORD, which by night stand in the house of the LORD. 2: Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless the LORD. 3: The LORD that made heaven and earth bless thee out of Zion.
Today we are reading the last three Psalms No 132, 133 & 134. Psalm 132 describes Hezekiah’s zeal for the house of the Jehovah. Hezekiah when he came to his reign was the first to open the doors of the house of the Lord.
2Chron 29v3: He in the first year of his reign, in the first month, opened the doors of the house of the LORD, and repaired them.

Isa 37v14: And Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers, and read it: and Hezekiah went up unto the house of the LORD, and spread it before the LORD.

2Kings 20v8: And Hezekiah said unto Isaiah, What shall be the sign that the LORD will heal me, and that I shall go up into the house of the LORD the third day?

Isa 38v20: The LORD was ready to save me: therefore we will sing my songs to the stringed instruments all the days of our life in the house of the LORD. 21: For Isaiah had said, Let them take a lump of figs, and lay it for a plaister upon the boil, and he shall recover. 22: Hezekiah also had said, What is the sign that I shall go up to the house of the LORD?

In this Psalm Hezekiah says, Oh LORD remember David and all his troubles. David vowed to the Lord that he would not go into the tabernacle or even go to his bed, nor sleep until he found a place for the LORD - a place for the ark. David heard of the ark in Bethlehem when he was in the wood with his men. He said, we will go into the tabernacles and we will worship at his throne. He calls for the Lord to bring the ark into the place where it should rest. Let the priests be ready and may the people sing to the Lord. Hezekiah says, remember David and do not turn away you face from me your anointed king. You promised to David that one of his children would sit on his throne. And if his children were teachable then his royal house would continue forever. You promised that this city would be your place of rest. And that you would abundantly provide - giving bread to the poor and clothes for the priests and joy for the saints. There David’s sons would grow and flourish. The Lord would ordain a means of light for the king. And his enemies would be covered in shame but his crown would blossom. In Psalm 133 we have the childlessness of Hezekiah. Hezekiah was sick and he had no heir. The promise of 2Sam 7v12 seemed to be about to fail. He trusted in God not only to deliver him from his enemies but also to keep his promise that there would always be a man of David’s line to sit on the throne of Israel. The Lord sent Isaiah to Hezekiah with the promise of a son.

2Kings 20v18: And of thy sons that shall issue from thee, which thou shalt beget, shall they take away; and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.

Isa 39v7: And of thy sons that shall issue from thee, which thou shalt beget, shall they take away; and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon. 8: Then said Hezekiah to Isaiah, Good is the word of the LORD which thou hast spoken. He said moreover, For there shall be peace and truth in my days.

After three years Manasseh was born. So this Psalm of David is placed here by Hezekiah and Hezekiah had insisted that the northern kingdom should also come down to celebrate the Passover so he says, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! Hezekiah says it is like the anointing oil of Aaron which came down his beard to the skirts of his garments. Unity is like the dew of Hermon, and like the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion, because there the LORD commanded the blessing, eternal life. Unity of brethren is like the joy of the anointing of the Lord and the blessing of God on the mountains of the Lord. But disunity is like the helplessness of the priesthood and drought in Israel. In Psalm 134 we have the last of the fifteen Psalms of the degrees. The Passover was always the symbol of Israel’s spiritual revival. When Israel was away from the Lord the people did not celebrate the Passover but now they are delivered and they want to celebrate their deliverance from Egypt. The time of Passover had already gone but Hezekiah resolved to celebrate it in the second month instead. See Num 9v1-11 2Chron 30v1-3. Hezekiah insisted that it would be for all Israel so the northern tribes came down to celebrate it. 2Chron 30v5,6,11,18, 25,26. Psalm 133 celebrates this great event in Israel’s history. It was a Psalm of David when he also managed to unite all Israel as one man. How good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together as one. Again this last Psalm is very short. Hezekiah says, bless the LORD all you servants of the LORD. (the priests) who stand all night in the tabernacle. Lift up your hands and bless the Lord. And the LORD who is creator of heaven and earth will bless you from out of Zion.



AM Aug 28th 2Cor 13

August 28th 2 Corinthians, 13

1: This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established. 2: I told you before, and foretell you, as if I were present, the second time; and being absent now I write to them which heretofore have sinned, and to all other, that, if I come again, I will not spare: 3: Since ye seek a proof of Christ speaking in me, which to you-ward is not weak, but is mighty in you. 4: For though he was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but we shall live with him by the power of God toward you. 5: Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? 6: But I trust that ye shall know that we are not reprobates. 7: Now I pray to God that ye do no evil; not that we should appear approved, but that ye should do that which is honest, though we be as reprobates. 8: For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth. 9: For we are glad, when we are weak, and ye are strong: and this also we wish, even your perfection. 10: Therefore I write these things being absent, lest being present I should use sharpness, according to the power which the Lord hath given me to edification, and not to destruction. 11: Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you. 12: Greet one another with an holy kiss. 13: All the saints salute you. 14: The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.

Lastly Paul says, when he comes to Corinth again this will be the third time that he will have come to them. He also says that everything he says, will be confirmed by two or three witnesses. (In the Law every word had to be conformed by two or better three witnesses. This is why Christ sent the Apostles out in pairs and this is why Paul went out with a partner in the gospel.) He says I have mentioned this before and now I tell you this before I arrive, as if I were already with you. He says, I am writing to those who have sinned and to everyone else that if he comes to Corinth in a Spirit of judgment then he will be unsparing in his apostolic authority. He says because you have sought proof of ministry in the name of Christ, which you think is weak in me, yet is it powerful toward you. When Christ died he died in weakness but in resurrection life he demonstrates the almighty power of God. And we are weak in Christ, but we shall demonstrate the power of God toward you. So examine yourselves carefully as to whether you are in the faith. Prove your standing before God to yourselves. Don’t you know yourselves that Jesus Christ is in you, unless you have already turned away from Christ having failed the test of holiness. My prayer to God is that you no nothing that is evil. Not just to be seen by men but seen as honest before God. We do nothing against the truth, but for the truth. We are glad when we are weak and you are strong and we want you to go on to ‘perfection’ i.e. complete salvation in Christ. (This in part is the same message as the Letter to the Hebrews, where the writer addresses those who attend the ministry of the Word but who are not saved yet, which the writer calls ‘perfection’) It is for this reason that I have written this letter to you, because if I were present I might use sharpness in my ministry to you. This would be according to the power of the Lord which he has given me both to strengthen you believers in the faith and the destruction of the ungodly in judgment. (The Apostles especially when dealing with the Jews used apostolic miracles, (which were Messianic signs to Israel,) of power to heal and to make sick or even to die those who reject the Gospel. This was in accord with the Old Covenant which promised life and health to those who feared God but cursed those who rejected God with sickness and death. Paul didn’t want to come to Corinth to decimate the congregation in the power of the Lord)

I bid you to fare well.

Be complete, be cheered in the Lord, be united in heart, live in peace with one another and the God of love and peace will be with you. Greet each other with a kiss of holiness. All the saints here send their respects.

May the Grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all – Amen.


PM Aug 27th Psa 130

August 27th Psalm 130

A song of degrees

1: Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O LORD. 2: Lord, hear my voice: let thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications. 3: If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? 4: But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared. 5: I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope. 6: My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for the morning. 7: Let Israel hope in the LORD: for with the LORD there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption. 8: And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.

Psalm 131

A song of degrees of David

1: LORD, my heart is not haughty, nor mine eyes lofty: neither do I exercise myself in great matters, or in things too high for me. 2: Surely I have behaved and quieted myself, as a child that is weaned of his mother: my soul is even as a weaned child. 3: Let Israel hope in the LORD from henceforth and for ever.

Today we are reading the 11th and 12th Psalm of the Degrees, No 130 & 131. In this Psalm Hezekiah is described as shut in the city like a ‘bird in a cage’.

Sennacherib had surrounded Jerusalem and held the whole city captive. But the Lord had enabled Hezekiah and thousands with him to escape like birds from a cage. This expression is found on the Cylinder of Sennacherib 607-583BC which can be found in the British Museum. This cylinder of clay describes the eight military expeditions of Sennacherib and it contains these words, quote..I fixed upon him And of Hezekiah (the king of) Jews, who has not submitted to my yoke… …(Hezekiah) himself like a caged bird within Jerusalem his royal city, I shut in etc.

See Psa 124v7 ‘Our soul is escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowlers. The snare is broken, and we are delivered’. This Psalm of David is taken by Hezekiah to describe his day but originally it described the time when David was shut up into the high fortresses of the mountains.

Hezekiah begins saying out of the depths of my distress I cried to the LORD. He says Lord hear my voice and let your ears listen carefully to the sound of my prayers. He says if the Lord took specific notice of every sin then were would any man stand? But you forgive men so that they will fear you. He says, I will wait on you and in your promises I have hope of deliverance. I long for you more than those who long for the dawn to break. May all Israel hope in the LORD because in the Lord there is mercy and he has plenty of redemption. And he will redeem Israel from all their iniquities. Apart from the immediate deliverance there is a prophetic hint to the salvation of Israel prior to the kingdom. In Psalm 131 we have the city of Zion held captive by Sennacherib, but some have escaped. 200,150 were taken captive when they made a bid to escape but the rest eventually were delivered. This little Psalm of only three verses is a Psalm expressing Hezekiah’s humility. He says, Lord my heart is not proud nor do I have a superior attitude. Nor do I do ‘great things’. I have been quite, like a child that is now weaned of his mother. No more crying for milk. So let all Israel set their hope in the LORD from this time forward and forever.



AM Aug 27th 2Cor 12

August 27th

11: I am become a fool in glorying; ye have compelled me: for I ought to have been commended of you: for in nothing am I behind the very chiefest apostles, though I be nothing. 12: Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds. 13: For what is it wherein ye were inferior to other churches, except it be that I myself was not burdensome to you? forgive me this wrong. 14: Behold, the third time I am ready to come to you; and I will not be burdensome to you: for I seek not yours, but you: for the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children. 15: And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved. 16: But be it so, I did not burden you: nevertheless, being crafty, I caught you with guile. 17: Did I make a gain of you by any of them whom I sent unto you? 18: I desired Titus, and with him I sent a brother. Did Titus make a gain of you? walked we not in the same spirit? walked we not in the same steps? 19: Again, think ye that we excuse ourselves unto you? we speak before God in Christ: but we do all things, dearly beloved, for your edifying. 20: For I fear, lest, when I come, I shall not find you such as I would, and that I shall be found unto you such as ye would not: lest there be debates, envyings, wraths, strifes, backbitings, whisperings, swellings, tumults: 21: And lest, when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and that I shall bewail many which have sinned already, and have not repented of the uncleanness and fornication and lasciviousness which they have committed.

I have embarrassed myself, says Paul. I have become a fool in glorying in my ministry, but you pushed me into it, because I should have had you to recommend me, instead of having to recommend myself and it should be you that realise that I do not come second place to any of the ‘most important apostles’ – although in myself I am nothing. The signs of my apostolic authority were demonstrated among you in all patience, in apostolic signs, wonders and mighty deeds. In what way were you inferior to the other churches, except in this that I took no wages from you for my ministry. I’m sorry if this was an offence to you. And very soon I will be able to come to see you again, says Paul, and I will still not take any money from you, because I do not want your money, I want you. You are my children in the Lord and you know that parents provide for their children not the other way around. And so I will gladly spend myself and be spent out for you because I love you, and even more when you do not love me. Let this always be so. I have not been a burden to you but being clever, I caught you with my craftiness. (Like a crafty fisherman, I caught you without a bait on the hook) I won you for Christ without it costing you a penny. And did I make money through any of those who I sent to you? I asked Titus and another brother to come to you. Did Titus take any money from you? (No of course not) And we lived in exactly the same way. We walked the same path. Do you think that we are making excuses for ourselves? (No we are not) We speak all this before God in Christ. We do everything, my dear loved ones that you will be built up in the faith. I am afraid that when I come I will not find you as I would like to have you and that you will not receive me in a way that I would like. I don’t want there to be debates, envy, anger, wrath, arguments, talking behind people’s backs, whispering, pride, riots. I don’t want God to use me to bring you to order and to humble you before God. (I will if I need to) And I do not want to find that sin has not been dealt with in the church. I don’t want to have to deal with it when I come.


PM Aug 26th Psa 128

August 26th Psalm 128

A song of degrees

1: Blessed is every one that feareth the LORD; that walketh in his ways. 2: For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee. 3: Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house: thy children like olive plants round about thy table. 4: Behold, that thus shall the man be blessed that feareth the LORD. 5: The LORD shall bless thee out of Zion: and thou shalt see the good of Jerusalem all the days of thy life. 6: Yea, thou shalt see thy children's children, and peace upon Israel.

Psalm 129

A song of degrees

1: Many a time have they afflicted me from my youth, may Israel now say: 2: Many a time 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 hath cut asunder the cords of the wicked. 5: Let them all be confounded and turned back that hate Zion. 6: Let them be as the grass upon the housetops, which withereth afore it groweth up: 7: Wherewith the mower filleth not his hand; nor he that bindeth sheaves his bosom. 8: Neither do they which go by say, The blessing of the LORD be upon you: we bless you in the name of the LORD.

Today we are reading Psalm 128 & 129. Psalm 128 describes the sign that the Lord gave to Hezekiah. We read in 2 Kings 19

29: And this shall be a sign unto thee, Ye shall eat this year such things as grow of themselves, and in the second year that which springeth of the same; and in the third year sow ye, and reap, and plant vineyards, and eat the fruits thereof.

And in Isaiah 37
30: And this shall be a sign unto thee, Ye shall eat this year such as groweth of itself; and the second year that which springeth of the same: and in the third year sow ye, and reap, and plant vineyards, and eat the fruit thereof.

So Hezekiah says that the blessing of God rests on the one who fears the Lord and lives righteously according to law. And the blessing of God is the bringing in of a harvest that a man has sown. In other words there is national economic peace and security for Israel. The righteous man will be well and his wife will have children. The Lord will bless his people from out of the city of Zion and the blessed man will see the good of Jerusalem all of the days of his life. He will see his grandchildren and there will be peace on Israel. This describes Gods blessing on Israel under law. Gods blessing is the continuation of human life, the bearing of children and grandchildren. Peace in the land and fruitfulness in the field. How very different is the blessings of God for the christian. His blessing comes by faith and has no relation to law keeping. And all of Gods provision in peace and fruitfulness and in family are on the basis of Gods unmerited kindness. Psalm 129 is a Psalm declaring Hezekiah’s trust in the Lord. In 2 Kings 18…

5: He trusted in the LORD God of Israel; so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor any that were before him. 6: For he clave to the LORD, and departed not from following him, but kept his commandments, which the LORD commanded Moses. 7: And the LORD was with him; and he prospered whithersoever he went forth: and he rebelled against the king of Assyria, and served him not.

Hezekiah says that many times since he was young has Israel been afflicted, yet the enemy have not triumphed over Israel. It seems that Hezekiah equates his personal experience with the troubles of Israel. He says they beat me on my back but the Lord is a righteous judge and he destroyed these wicked people. May they all be completely overcome that hate Zion. Like grass on the roofs which dies before it has fully grown. They will never hear anyone blessing them in the name of the LORD.



AM Aug 26th 2Cor 12

August 26th 2 Corinthians, 12

1: It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord. 2: I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven. 3: And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) 4: How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter. 5: Of such an one will I glory: yet of myself I will not glory, but in mine infirmities. 6: For though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth: but now I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me. 7: And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. 8: For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. 9: And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10: Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

Paul says in this chapter that it has become necessary to glory in his ministry to make the point that his ministry is far superior than these ‘super apostles’ who trouble the churches. Here he relates his amazing visions. (He speaks in the third person) He says I knew a man in Christ who fourteen years ago had such visions of the heaven, were God dwells, that he did not know whether he was ‘in the body or in the spirit’ - only God knows. Paul says he was caught up into the third heaven. [There are three ‘heavens’ in scripture. There is the heaven were the birds fly which we call the atmosphere. There is the heaven were the sun, moon and stars are, which we call outer pace. Then there is the third heaven where God is. When outer space ends there the third heaven begins.] Paul says he (himself) was caught up into paradise and heard things unable to be described in human words. They were things which are so holy that it is not lawful for man to utter them. Paul says I will glory in him, but not in myself, but I will glory in my infirmities. Then Paul says I have been foolish enough and will stop this tomfoolery. And I will stop so that people will not think of me greater than what I am. To prevent me from getting above myself, because of the many revelations that l received, God gave me a special disability in the body. It was a special thing, from Satan, which prevented me from getting proud of myself. And three times I asked the Lord to take this thing away yet he said to me that his enabling grace would be sufficient for me to bear it. You see my spiritual strength is made strong in the midst of my bodily weakness. And so therefore I will glory in my infirmities so that the power of Christ will rest upon me. In a way I take pleasure in my weakness and in infirmities, in reproaches, in my needs, in persecution and in my total poverty for Christ’s sake, because at this moment of weakness God makes me strong as I trust in him completely.


PM Aug 25th Psa 126

August 25th Psalm 126

A song of degrees

1: When the LORD turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream. 2: Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, The LORD hath done great things for them. 3: The LORD hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad. 4: Turn again our captivity, O LORD, as the streams in the south. 5: They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. 6: He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.

Psalm 127

A song of degrees of Solomon

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. 2: It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep. 3: Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. 4: As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. 5: Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.

Today we are reading Psalms 126 & 127. Both of the Psalms are Psalms of the degrees. Psalm 126 is the seventh Psalm in this series and it describes Jehovah’s promised help. It is the first of the triplet which describes the distress that the people of God faced and the Lords deliverance. We read in 2Kings 19…
32: Therefore thus saith the LORD concerning the king of Assyria, He shall not come into this city, nor shoot an arrow there, nor come before it with shield, nor cast a bank against it. 33: By the way that he came, by the same shall he return, and shall not come into this city, saith the LORD. 34: For I will defend this city, to save it, for mine own sake, and for my servant David's sake.

And in 2Chron 32…10: Thus saith Sennacherib king of Assyria, Whereon do ye trust, that ye abide in the siege in Jerusalem?... 15: Now therefore let not Hezekiah deceive you, nor persuade you on this manner, neither yet believe him: for no god of any nation or kingdom was able to deliver his people out of mine hand, and out of the hand of my fathers: how much less shall your God deliver you out of mine hand?... 17: He wrote also letters to rail on the LORD God of Israel, and to speak against him, saying, As the gods of the nations of other lands have not delivered their people out of mine hand, so shall not the God of Hezekiah deliver his people out of mine hand.

Isa 36…20: Who are they among all the gods of these lands, that have delivered their land out of my hand, that the LORD should deliver Jerusalem out of my hand? 21: But they held their peace, and answered him not a word: for the king's commandment was, saying, Answer him not. 22: Then came Eliakim, the son of Hilkiah, that was over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and Joah, the son of Asaph, the recorder, to Hezekiah with their clothes rent, and told him the words of Rabshakeh.

37v11: Behold, thou hast heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands by destroying them utterly; and shalt thou be delivered?

So in this Psalm the psalmist says, when the Lord delivered us from the siege of Jerusalem it was like a dream come true. Then we burst out into laughter and singing and the nations round about said The LORD has done great things for them. But we said the LORD has done great things for us, of which we are glad. Lord he said may our captivity be turned into a torrent like the rivers of the desert. Lord we have sown in tears, may we reap in joy. The sower goes out in tears carrying precious seed in time of famine but if he sows he will return in joy bringing back a great harvest. Psalm 127 is the eighth Psalm of the songs of degrees. And it is written ‘for David’s sake’. It was selected by Hezekiah to be the central Psalm of the 15.

2Kings 19…34: For I will defend this city, to save it, for mine own sake, and for my servant David's sake.

The city of Jerusalem was saved for David’s sake because the Lord had promised that David’s seed would remain and sit on his throne and David’s successor was Solomon, the subject of this Psalm.

2 Kings 20…5: Turn again, and tell Hezekiah the captain of my people, Thus saith the LORD, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will heal thee: on the third day thou shalt go up unto the house of the LORD. 6: And I will add unto thy days fifteen years; and I will deliver thee and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria; and I will defend this city for mine own sake, and for my servant David's sake.

The Psalmist says that the building of David’s house was something that only the Lord would be able to do. We are not talking about David’s physical house. It’s not a building that we are reading of, but ‘The house of David’ in terms of his children’s children, his descendants. This comes out very clearly, in that Hezekiah had no heir. But the Lord delivered him from this major stumbling block to the fulfilment of the Covenant with David and gave him a son. Then he speaks of the hopelessness of his situation and the trouble of mind it brought him in long hours of waiting on the Lord and in fasting. The Lord gives to those that he loves the rest, of knowing that the Lords concerns are in his hands and that he does not sleep or forget. Then he says, children are my inheritance from the Lord and the Lord has rewarded me with the fruit of the womb. Arrows in the hand of a mighty man are a great resource and in the same way children are a great blessing. Blessed is the man whose has many children, and he will not be ashamed, because they will defend him against his opponents at the gate of the city.



AM Aug 25th 2Cor 11

August 25th 2 Corinthians, 11

1: Would to God ye could bear with me a little in my folly: and indeed bear with me. 2: For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. 3: But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. 4: For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him. 5: For I suppose I was not a whit behind the very chiefest apostles. 6: But though I be rude in speech, yet not in knowledge; but we have been throughly made manifest among you in all things. 7: Have I committed an offence in abasing myself that ye might be exalted, because I have preached to you the gospel of God freely? 8: I robbed other churches, taking wages of them, to do you service. 9: And when I was present with you, and wanted, I was chargeable to no man: for that which was lacking to me the brethren which came from Macedonia supplied: and in all things I have kept myself from being burdensome unto you, and so will I keep myself. 10: As the truth of Christ is in me, no man shall stop me of this boasting in the regions of Achaia. 11: Wherefore? because I love you not? God knoweth. 12: But what I do, that I will do, that I may cut off occasion from them which desire occasion; that wherein they glory, they may be found even as we. 13: For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. 14: And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 15: Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works. 16: I say again, Let no man think me a fool; if otherwise, yet as a fool receive me, that I may boast myself a little. 17: That which I speak, I speak it not after the Lord, but as it were foolishly, in this confidence of boasting. 18: Seeing that many glory after the flesh, I will glory also. 19: For ye suffer fools gladly, seeing ye yourselves are wise. 20: For ye suffer, if a man bring you into bondage, if a man devour you, if a man take of you, if a man exalt himself, if a man smite you on the face. 21: I speak as concerning reproach, as though we had been weak. Howbeit whereinsoever any is bold, (I speak foolishly,) I am bold also. 22: Are they Hebrews? so am I. Are they Israelites? so am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? so am I. 23: Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. 24: Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. 25: Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; 26: In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; 27: In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. 28: Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches. 29: Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is offended, and I burn not? 30: If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things which concern mine infirmities. 31: The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is blessed for evermore, knoweth that I lie not. 32: In Damascus the governor under Aretas the king kept the city of the Damascenes with a garrison, desirous to apprehend me: 33: And through a window in a basket was I let down by the wall, and escaped his hands.

Not only is this letter of Paul difficult to understand but it is an expression of Pauls humour too. Paul takes his arguments into what he calls ‘a little folly’. He says I ask God that you would bear with me while I say things which may seem a little silly. Paul says, I am a little jealous over you (in the sense in which he feels they belong to him) but it’s a godly jealousy, not a sinful jealousy. He says I have betrothed you like a virgin so that I may present you to Christ. But I am afraid that by some dastardly means Satan might have tricked you, like he did Eve, so that your minds might have been corrupted from the simplicity of faith in Christ. Because if a preacher comes who preaches a Jesus, who is quite different from he whom we have preached, or if he preach a different Gospel which is not what you received from us. I am afraid that you might put up with him. I suppose that I am not left behind by these ‘super apostles’. Though I might be course in my speech yet I am not in knowledge. Our message has been throughly made clear to you by our ministry. Have l committed a sin by humbling myself so that you might be exalted, because I preached the Gospel for free to you? I have taken money from other churches so that l might do you Gods service. And when I was with you and I was in need I did not send the bill to any of you. My brethren in Macedonia sent finance to supply my needs. I have tried to keep myself from being a burden to you and I intend to do so in future. In truth no-one can stop me from boasting in the whole area of Greece. No-body in Greece has supported me in the ministry. Did I do this because l didn’t love you? The Lord knows how I feel about you. What I do, I do so that those who might oppose me might find no opportunity to accuse me of any wrong doing. And that those who take no recompense for their ministry and are proud of it will find the same is true for me. These men are not true apostles. They are deceitful in their work. They pretend to turn themselves into apostles of Christ. Do not be surprised about this because even Satan pretends to be an angel of light. And therefore it is not difficult for his ministers to be made up into ministers of righteousness. There end is to be destruction, in direct proportion to their evil work. Paul is careful to point out that what he is saying seems like foolishness but he says receive me like a fool so that I may describe my ministry. What I am saying just now is not from the Lord – I am speaking like a fool would speak. Seeing many glory after their human lives I want to join in and boast with them. You suffer fools gladly - so I will speak as a fool. You allow a man to bring you into bondage, to consume you, to take from you, Even if a man exalts himself or even if he slaps you in the face, you bear with him. Because they speak with confidence about themselves then so will I. They say they are Hebrews? But so am I. They say they are Israelites? Yes, and so am I. They claim to be children of Abraham. But then so am I. They say they are ministers of Christ? (This is embarrassing now!) I am even more so a minister of Christ. I have worked much more exhaustingly they them. I have received a flogging more times than the law allows. I have been in prison frequently. I have been taken to the point of execution, often. From the Jews, says Paul, five times I was flogged according to the Law. Three times I have been beaten with rods. Once I was stoned to death (Yet I lived) Three times I have been shipwrecked. I have had a night and a day floating in the open sea. I have been on journeys almost constantly. I have been at the point of death from the sea, from robbers, and from my own countrymen. I have been in danger of my life from heathens, and in the city, and in the wilderness and in the sea, and from false brethren who would love to have murdered me. In all this I have been often worn out and in much pain, I have been in all night watching’s often, I have often been hungry and thirsty, and often I have fasted. I have been exposed to cold and nearly naked. And all this is apart from all the burden that comes on my shoulders everyday - the care of all the churches. To those that are weak I am weak with them. To those that are offended, I suffer with them. If I have to glory then I will glory in all my sufferings. I call upon God the father of our Lord Jesus Christ who is blessed for evermore to witness that I am telling the truth. In Damascus the governor secured the city to try to arrest me, but through a window – in a basket I escaped out of his murderous hands.


PM Aug 24th Psa 124

August 24th Psalm 124

A song of degrees of David

1: If it had not been the LORD who was on our side, now may Israel say; 2: If it had not been the LORD who was on our side, when men rose up against us: 3: Then they had swallowed us up quick, when their wrath was kindled against us: 4: Then the waters had overwhelmed us, the stream had gone over our soul: 5: Then the proud waters had gone over our soul. 6: Blessed be the LORD, who hath not given us as a prey to their teeth. 7: Our soul is escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowlers: the snare is broken, and we are escaped. 8: Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth.

Psalm 125

A song of degrees

1: They that trust in the LORD shall be as mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but abideth for ever. 2: As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the LORD is round about his people from henceforth even for ever. 3: For the rod of the wicked shall not rest upon the lot of the righteous; lest the righteous put forth their hands unto iniquity. 4: Do good, O LORD, unto those that be good, and to them that are upright in their hearts. 5: As for such as turn aside unto their crooked ways, the LORD shall lead them forth with the workers of iniquity: but peace shall be upon Israel.

Today we are reading Psalm 124 & 125. Psalm 124 is a Psalm of David but it is used by Hezekiah to describe the LORD as the creator of Heaven and earth. This was a reply to Rab-shekeh’s railings.

Let me read the background 2Chron 32…
16: And his servants spake yet more against the LORD God, and against his servant Hezekiah. 17: He wrote also letters to rail on the LORD God of Israel, and to speak against him, saying, As the gods of the nations of other lands have not delivered their people out of mine hand, so shall not the God of Hezekiah deliver his people out of mine hand. 18: Then they cried with a loud voice in the Jews' speech unto the people of Jerusalem that were on the wall, to affright them, and to trouble them; that they might take the city. 19: And they spake against the God of Jerusalem, as against the gods of the people of the earth, which were the work of the hands of man. 20: And for this cause Hezekiah the king, and the prophet Isaiah the son of Amoz, prayed and cried to heaven.

In 2Kings 19 we read…
14: And Hezekiah received the letter of the hand of the messengers, and read it: and Hezekiah went up into the house of the LORD, and spread it before the LORD. 15: And Hezekiah prayed before the LORD, and said, O LORD God of Israel, which dwellest between the cherubims, thou art the God, even thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth: thou hast made heaven and earth. 16: LORD, bow down thine ear, and hear: open, LORD, thine eyes, and see: and hear the words of Sennacherib, which hath sent him to reproach the living God.

In Isa 37 we read…
15: And Hezekiah prayed unto the LORD, saying, 16: O LORD of hosts, God of Israel, that dwellest between the cherubims, thou art the God, even thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth: thou hast made heaven and earth. 17: Incline thine ear, O LORD, and hear; open thine eyes, O LORD, and see: and hear all the words of Sennacherib, which hath sent to reproach the living God.

So David is quoted in these songs of the degrees as being the best answer to the railings of Rad-shakeh. David says, The LORD is on our side. If the Lord had not be on our side when men rose up to oppose us and destroy us we would have been totally destroyed. We were totally over come in many senses. Then David blesses the LORD who did not allow us to be eaten by their enemies. Then we have an interesting concept – our lives were delivered like a bird that escapes out of the net of the bird catcher. The snare was broken and the birds escaped. This concept is quoted by Sennacherib which is written on the clay prism which is now in the British Museum. Then David says, our help is in the name of the LORD who is the creator of Heaven and earth. It’s interesting in scripture that when God is spoken of to Gentiles he is referred to as the God of Heaven. Psalm 125 speaks about Hezekiah’s honest desire for peace.

In Isa 38 we read…
17: Behold, for peace I had great bitterness: but thou hast in love to my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption: for thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back.

In 2 Chron 32 we read…
1: After these things, and the establishment thereof, Sennacherib king of Assyria came, and entered into Judah, and encamped against the fenced cities, and thought to win them for himself. 2: And when Hezekiah saw that Sennacherib was come, and that he was purposed to fight against Jerusalem,

Hezekiah says those who trust in the LORD will be like the mountain of Zion which can never be removed. And just as the mountains surround Jerusalem so the LORD surrounds the people of God, now and forever. And the punishment of the wicked will not rest on the righteous in case the righteous begin to do wickedness. Do good O LORD to those that do good and to those who are upright in heart. This theology could not be father from the Grace of God. Could there be a clearer statement of legalism and law keeping. He says, do go to those who do good. This is not error but it is the truth of God under law. Under law God blessed the good with goodness but under Grace God gives his goodness to those who are not good, on the basis that Christ has done good. Under law Hezekiah pleads that because Israel has been good and upright then God should be good to them. And this was the conditions and provisions of the Mosaic Law. Then Hezekiah gives his reasoning, he says, that those who turn away from following the straight path to their crooked ways, the Lord will lead them out of the land, with all the evil workers of iniquity but the Lord will bring peace on Israel. As Christians we can see that Israel under the law had a real experience of God without the personal salvation that christians know and enjoy.



AM Aug 24th 2Cor 10

August 24th

11: Let such an one think this, that, such as we are in word by letters when we are absent, such will we be also in deed when we are present. 12: For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise. 13: But we will not boast of things without our measure, but according to the measure of the rule which God hath distributed to us, a measure to reach even unto you. 14: For we stretch not ourselves beyond our measure, as though we reached not unto you: for we are come as far as to you also in preaching the gospel of Christ: 15: Not boasting of things without our measure, that is, of other men's labours; but having hope, when your faith is increased, that we shall be enlarged by you according to our rule abundantly, 16: To preach the gospel in the regions beyond you, and not to boast in another man's line of things made ready to our hand. 17: But he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. 18: For not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth.

Paul continues to talk about those who think that his letters are weighty and powerful. He says, the way in which you think of us in our absence by our letters is the way in which you will see us in your presence in our deeds. Paul says, we are not like those who compare themselves with some that put themselves forward because they measure themselves by comparing themselves with each other. This is not wise. But we do not boast of things beyond our true measure but we measure ourselves according to the rule of what God has made us to be. This measure is how you should measure yourselves. We do not think that we have exceeded ourselves in bringing the Gospel to you. We do not boast of things beyond what we have done. We do not boast of what others have done, as if we had done them. But we hope that when your faith in God is extended we will be find that our measure of ministry will be greatly increased. Our aim is to preach the gospel in regions beyond where it has come so far and not to boast in another mans line of ministry - which is close by. If we are to glory at all then let us glory in the Lord. You see it is not he that commends himself that is approved by God, but the one who is approved by God is the one that is commended by God. Self praise is no recommendation. Paul is very careful to point out that the praise of men and the praise that a man has for himself is very much below the true measure of his ministry. The true measure of his ministry is Gods estimation of his ministry.


PM Aug 23rd Psa 122

August 23rd Psalm 122

A song of degrees of David

1: I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD. 2: Our feet shall stand within thy gates, O Jerusalem. 3: Jerusalem is builded as a city that is compact together: 4: Whither the tribes go up, the tribes of the LORD, unto the testimony of Israel, to give thanks unto the name of the LORD. 5: For there are set thrones of judgment, the thrones of the house of David. 6: Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee. 7: Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy palaces. 8: For my brethren and companions' sakes, I will now say, Peace be within thee. 9: Because of the house of the LORD our God I will seek thy good.

Psalm 123

A song of degrees

1: Unto thee lift I up mine eyes, O thou that dwellest in the heavens. 2: Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the LORD our God, until that he have mercy upon us. 3: Have mercy upon us, O LORD, have mercy upon us: for we are exceedingly filled with contempt. 4: Our soul is exceedingly filled with the scorning of those that are at ease, and with the contempt of the proud.
Today we are reading two of the Psalms of The Degrees No 122 & 123. Previously we saw that these Psalms of The Degrees refer to the Life and Service of Hezekiah the king. In Psalm 122 Hezekiah takes a Psalm of David and brings it forward as an excellent psalm to sing in his present circumstances. In 2Chronicles 32v21 we read –
21: And the LORD sent an angel, which cut off all the mighty men of valour, and the leaders and captains in the camp of the king of Assyria. So he returned with shame of face to his own land. And when he was come into the house of his god, they that came forth of his own bowels slew him there with the sword. 22: Thus the LORD saved Hezekiah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem from the hand of Sennacherib the king of Assyria, and from the hand of all other, and guided them on every side. 23: And many brought gifts unto the LORD to Jerusalem, and presents to Hezekiah king of Judah: so that he was magnified in the sight of all nations from thenceforth.

And in Psa 129v4,5 we read –

4: The LORD is righteous: he hath cut asunder the cords of the wicked. 5: Let them all be confounded and turned back that hate Zion.

When Sennacherib came against Jerusalem the Lord sent his angel and killed the mighty men of Sennacherib’s army. So Sennacherib returned to his own land and when he went into his own temple, to his god, his own children in vengeance at the shame brought on Sennacherib they took their father and murdered him. The nations around were astounded and they brought gifts to Hezekiah. And so Hezekiah places this Psalm of David here because it expresses exactly how Hezekiah felt. David said I was glad when they said unto me Let us go into the house of the LORD, because our feet will stand in the gates of Jerusalem. David thanks God for saving his life from his enemies. David was only king while he lived and it was absolutely essential that the Lord kept him safe from death. David says the city of Jerusalem is a crowded city when all the tribes go up to stand before the testimonies (The Law) to give thanks to the name of the LORD. The reason for this is that there thrones of judgment are set and thrones for the house of David. David rejoiced that Justice was found in Jerusalem and that his royal throne was set there. David says Pray for the peace of the city of peace because those that love the LORD will prosper there. David says, may there be peace within the walls of the city and prosperity in the palaces. Then David asks Gods blessing of peace on his brethren and companions and he says because of the house of the LORD our God I will seek your good. There is nothing wrong with a kingship that seeks the prosperity of his brethren and companions. Psalm 123 is the prayer of Hezekiah.

He says in Isa 38 1: In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came unto him, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Set thine house in order: for thou shalt die, and not live. 2: Then Hezekiah turned his face toward the wall, and prayed unto the LORD, 3: And said, Remember now, O LORD, I beseech thee, how I have walked before thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in thy sight. And Hezekiah wept sore… …10: I said in the cutting off of my days, I shall go to the gates of the grave: I am deprived of the residue of my years. 11: I said, I shall not see the LORD, even the LORD, in the land of the living: I shall behold man no more with the inhabitants of the world. 12: Mine age is departed, and is removed from me as a shepherd's tent: I have cut off like a weaver my life: he will cut me off with pining sickness: from day even to night wilt thou make an end of me. 13: I reckoned till morning, that, as a lion, so will he break all my bones: from day even to night wilt thou make an end of me. 14: Like a crane or a swallow, so did I chatter: I did mourn as a dove: mine eyes fail with looking upward: O LORD, I am oppressed; undertake for me. 15: What shall I say? he hath both spoken unto me, and himself hath done it: I shall go softly all my years in the bitterness of my soul. 16: O Lord, by these things men live, and in all these things is the life of my spirit: so wilt thou recover me, and make me to live. 17: Behold, for peace I had great bitterness: but thou hast in love to my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption: for thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back. 18: For the grave cannot praise thee, death can not celebrate thee: they that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth. 19: The living, the living, he shall praise thee, as I do this day: the father to the children shall make known thy truth. 20: The LORD was ready to save me: therefore we will sing my songs to the stringed instruments all the days of our life in the house of the LORD.

All around was dark and hopeless. The enemy was coming to destroy the city and Hezekiah was sick and approaching death and he had no heir. He has been faithful to the LORD all his life and now his life is to be taken away. He turns over on his bed and he weeps and prays saying, LORD I am going to pray to you who dwells in the heavens. Look on me as a servant looks at his master. We are looking to you - look on us and have mercy on us. Have mercy because we are very greatly despised by our enemies. Our enemies are arrogant and powerful and they are not troubled by any cares. This prayer is not a prayer telling God what to do or asking what to do, its simply saying, we are looking to you - please look on us.



AM Aug 23rd 2Cor 10

August 23rd 2 Corinthians, 10

1: Now I Paul myself beseech you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ, who in presence am base among you, but being absent am bold toward you: 2: But I beseech you, that I may not be bold when I am present with that confidence, wherewith I think to be bold against some, which think of us as if we walked according to the flesh. 3: For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: 4: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 5: Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; 6: And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled. 7: Do ye look on things after the outward appearance? If any man trust to himself that he is Christ's, let him of himself think this again, that, as he is Christ's, even so are we Christ's. 8: For though I should boast somewhat more of our authority, which the Lord hath given us for edification, and not for your destruction, I should not be ashamed: 9: That I may not seem as if I would terrify you by letters. 10: For his letters, say they, are weighty and powerful; but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible.

Here Paul makes a personal appeal apart from his fellow workers. He says I plead with you in the enabling power of the meekness and gentleness of Christ. He says in my presence I am little among you but in my absence to you I am bold toward you. Paul says I plead with you that I will not need to be bold to you when I come to see you. I do not want to need to be bold with you when I come even to those who think of me as if I am just another believer in the flesh. Even though we live our daily lives in the flesh we nevertheless do not war in the flesh. Because the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but they are mighty through Gods power to the pulling down of strongholds. Our warfare demolishes vain ideas of men and everything that exalts itself against the knowledge of God and brings everything into the captivity of submission to Christ. And our warfare is always ready to bring the revenge of God on all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled. Paul is saying that when the Corinthians have proved themselves to be obedient to the Lord then he is quite prepared to wage spiritual war against their enemies. Paul asks, do you only see the outward appearance? Then he says, if a man thinks that he is in Christ then let him think again, that just as he is in Christ so we are in Christ. Because though I might boast much in our authority – which the Lord has given us for your building up in the faith and not for your pulling down – I do not want to be ashamed. I do not want to frighten you by my letters. Some say my letters are ‘weighty and powerful but his physical presence is weak and his speech is loathsome’.