Bless the Lord, O my soul

“Bless the Lord, O my soul!”

Bless-the-Lord

As I ponder upon Psalm 103, indeed, this is the response that David wants us to do – “Bless the Lord, O my soul!”

Why?

He can forgive all your sins. He can heal all your disease. He can redeem your life from a bottomless pit. He showers you with love and compassion. He satisfies.

3 who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
5 who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

The Lord is compassionate and gracious. He is slow to anger. If we really understand that we are all sinners, we know the gravity of our situation. But the truth is this; he doesn’t repay us according to our sins. His love is great. It is compared to how far the east is from the west, which means there is no limit in his love for us.

8 The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
9 He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever;
10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

13 As a father has compassion on his children,
so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;

The Lord knows we are nothing. We are but a breath. We are mere mortals. But the Lord looks upon us with love. From everlasting to everlasting the Lord is with those who Fear him, with those who understand that they are but dust.

14 for he knows how we are formed,
he remembers that we are dust.
15 The life of mortals is like grass,
they flourish like a flower of the field;
16 the wind blows over it and it is gone,
and its place remembers it no more.
17 But from everlasting to everlasting
the Lord’s love is with those who fear him,
and his righteousness with their children’s children—
18 with those who keep his covenant
and remember to obey his precepts.

19 The Lord has established his throne in heaven,
and his kingdom rules over all.

Praise the Lord for this goodness! Praise the Lord for his love. Let us respond and bless the Lord!

20 Praise the Lord, you his angels,
you mighty ones who do his bidding,
who obey his word.
21 Praise the Lord, all his heavenly hosts,
you his servants who do his will.
22 Praise the Lord, all his works
everywhere in his dominion.

Praise the Lord, my soul.

Ponder upon this, how much do you know the Lord to be able to respond, “Bless the Lord, O my soul?” Do you have 10,000 reasons or even more to praise His name?

 

Don’t Delay. Turn Away.

There’s one song that comes into my mind when I reflected on Judges 17 to 21. It’s a famous song – part of the top 10 list of videoke songs. Do you know Frank Sinatra? Do you know his legendary song? I did it may way.

Frank-Sinatra-My-Way

When we look at Judges 17 to 21 it takes us into two different conclusions for the book. Two stories that show they just wanted to do it their way. One story talks about idolatry, while the other highlights rape and murder. Here the bible gives us a good picture of the effects of sin and how man will try to do what it thinks is right but in the end it is still far from what the Lord expects of His people.

There is much to learn from these passages. If only we would really take the time to read and be sensitive to what the Lord wants us to learn. This is passage (like any passage in the Bible) is important to read and internalize that we learn not to take sin lightly and know what God said in His word that we may not go our own way. Sin has life threatening effects. Some may feel that they are getting away with their sin, but that’s not really true. There are consequences. There are effects. And if we’re not careful how we live, the consequence might involve another person’s life.

Micahs-IdolsIf you would read Judges 17-18, here you would read Micah and his mother building her own idol and even a shrine. Honestly, I can’t understand why his mother would do this since she mentioned in verse 3 “the Lord.” The Hebrew for the Lord there is not any of those menial gods but it is referring to Yehovah, which is the proper name of the God of Israel.

How could this be though? If she knows who the Lord is, that the Lord commanded in Exodus 20 (the Ten Commandments) not to create any idol, why would she even do this? What I realized is this; man will try to still do what they want to do. Knowing who God is does not guarantee that we will act in accordance with what we know. We will still try to do things our own way. This sin led others to sin as well. Here we would see initial this idols were used in Micah’s household but eventually it resulted in having a whole tribe worship these idols as well. Sin has consequences. The sad part about this is, it also resulted in other committing the same sin. How about you? Is there is a sin in your life that you think you can get away with? Is your sin causing others to sin as well? Ask God for forgiveness now and correct it. Do not delay. God said in his word that if we confess our sin, He is faithful and just to forgive us our trespasses.

Then another story can be seen in Judges 19-21. If you read these chapters, you would immediately we able to recall what happened to Sodom and Gomorrah. It looks exactly the same. Here we would see a traveller who stopped in a city to rest. No one took him in, but one man was kind enough to be hospitable to him. During that night, men from the city came and this man’s house and demanded that he brings them his guest so they can have sex with him. The man did not want to do this so, he offered his virgin daughter instead plus the man’s concubine. Doesn’t this sound like the same story in Sodom and Gomorrah?

So what happened? The men insisted and the guest brought her concubine out to them without any hesitation and they raped her and abused her until dawn. I cannot even imagine what they did to take. It’s just so immoral and so inhumane. What happened to the woman? We would see in verse 26, she came back to the man’s house and fell down at the doorway – dead at arrival. The guest got his concubine, went to his home and cut the dead body into twelve pieces. Then he sent a pieces all throughout the territory of Israel.

You may ask, what was the consequence of this?

sodom-gomorrahThe same as Sodom and Gomorrah, a total wipe out of a city. This caused such a stir in Israel that the whole land roused up to purge wickedness from this city (Gibeah). Leading to the destruction of a whole tribe. Again, sin has its consequence. Sodom and Gomorrah were totally destroyed. And Gibeah and the sons of Benjamin were also totally destroyed. The entire city and all their cattle were killed. All the cities under the Benjamites were set on fire.

Again, how about you? Is there is a sin in your life that you think you can get away with? Are you taking your sin lightly? You should take sin seriously. Sin can have tremendous effects on your life and the life of those around you.

We should learn how to purge the sin in our life immediately. The Lord is gracious. If we will learn how to be humble and daily walk in forgiveness, I know he will restore us. Don’t delay. Ask forgiveness. Turn away from sin.

Do Not be Afraid – Luke 12:32 Reflection

As I ponder and reflect on a devotional from Desiring God and Luke 12:32, I am amazed at how God was compared to in different three ways.

 “Do not be afraid, little flock…”

He is our Shepherd. We are his flock. A shepherd guides his flock where to eat and drink. A shepherd protects his flock. A shepherd gives comfort to his flock because of his presence.

Psalms 23:1 – The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.

 

Reflection – Where is your security anchored? Are you contented? With the Lord, I shall not be in want. He is my Shepherd.

 

…for your Father…”

He is our Father. We are his children. A father provides for his children. A father loves his children. A father listens to the concern of his children no matter how small it may be.

Galatians 4:6 – Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “ Abba! Father!”

 

Reflection – Do you realize that you can have an intimate relationship with God? When was the last time that you spent time with him? He is our Abba Father and he longs to be with us.

 

…has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom.

He is our King. We are his servants. A king is powerful. A king is to be respected. A king is to be honored. A king is wealthy.

Psalm 24:1 – The earth is the Lord’s, and all it contains, the world, and those who dwell in it

Reflection – when you assess your life and actions, do you think it honors the king? He is our shepherd and father but he is also our king.

Luke 12:32 starts with do not be afraid. We shouldn’t be afraid of our enemies because our shepherd protects us. We shouldn’t be afraid about being in need because our Father will provide for us. We shouldn’t be afraid about the capacity of our Father to provide because he is King.

Do not be afraid. What are you still afraid of?

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