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Psalms 81-90

by Chuck Smith

Let’s turn to Psalm 81.

On the first day of the seventh month in the Jewish calendar, which, because their calendar begins, the religious calendar begins the first of April, it usually coincides somewhere around the first of October on our calendar. There is a blowing of the trumpets. It’s called the Feast of the Trumpets to announce the most holy month of the year, the seventh month. And so the first day of the seventh month the Feast of Trumpets, the blowing of the trumpets to inaugurate this holy month followed then by Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, which is then followed by the Feast of Succoth or Tabernacles. And so this Feast of the Trumpets, the holy day, the sounding of the trumpets for the holy month, gathering the people in a holy convocation before God. Psalm 81 is the psalm that was read for the Feast of Trumpets. And so the beginning of the psalm is sort of a proclamation for this day that has arrived.

Sing aloud unto God our strength: make a joyful noise unto the God of Jacob. Take a psalm, and bring hither the timbrel, and the pleasant harp with the psaltery. Blow up the trumpet in the new moon, and in the time appointed, on our solemn feast day. For this was the statute for Israel, and a law of God for Jacob. This he ordained in Joseph for a testimony, when he went out through the land of Egypt: where I heard a language that I understood not. I removed his shoulder from the burden: his hands were delivered from the pots. So thou calledst in trouble, and I delivered thee; I answered thee in the secret place of thunder: I proved thee at the waters of Meribah (81:1-7).

And so the first section of the psalm is concluded with this Selah. They just stop and think about that. So it is a call to the holy convocation, of singing unto the Lord with the psalm, the timbrel, the harp. The blowing of the trumpets, for God has established this as a statute in the law of Moses for the people.

God declares in verse 7, “You called in trouble, and I delivered you. I answered you in the secret place of thunder. I proved thee at the waters of Meribah.” Or, “I was testing thee at the waters of Meribah.” So God recounts for them some of their wilderness experiences. How that there in the wilderness they cried unto the Lord because of their thirst. And how that God answered them and proved them, tested them there at the waters of Meribah, which means “waters of strife,” because the people did strive with God and with Moses.

Now God Himself cries unto the people and He declares,

Hear, O my people, and I will testify unto thee: O Israel, if thou will hearken unto me (81:8);

So God is now calling for His people to listen to what He has to say. First of all,

There shall be no strange god be in thee; neither shalt thou worship any strange God (81:9).

God has declared in the law, the first commandment, that, “Thou shalt have no other gods before Me” (Exodus 20:3). Now we usually think that that sets out a priority; God first, and then all of my little gods afterwards. But, “no other gods before Me,” that is, in My presence, not having any other gods around Me. In other words, our heart is to be totally towards Him and our worship given completely to Him. There shall be no strange god.

It is sad and tragic that the people did not hearken to God, and that their history was one of continual idolatry. From the time that they came into the land, they began to turn and to worship the gods of the Canaanites: Baal, Molech, Mammon, Ashtareth, and all of the gods and goddesses of the land. And they began to follow the practices of the people that dwelt in the land before them that God had driven out. And so the commandment of God, “There shall be no strange god in thee; neither shalt thou worship.” And yet, they would not hearken.

I am Jehovah thy God, which brought thee out of Egypt: open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it (81:10).

God is declaring now the things that He desires to do for His people. And of course, He is addressing Himself to, “O my people.” So He’s declaring those things that He desires to do for His people. I am certain that we limit that which God would do in our lives so many times.

We are told in Jude, “Keep yourselves in the love of God” (Jude 1:21). Now, by that is meant keep yourself in the place where God can demonstrate His love that He has for you. If you say, “Well, I’ve got to keep myself in the love of God,” thinking, “I’ve got to keep myself real sweet and kind and generous and nice so that God can’t help but love me,” you’ve got the wrong concept of God’s love. God loves you good or bad. God’s love for you is uncaused by you. God’s love for you is because of His nature of love. In reality, I cannot do anything to make God love me more. In the same token, I cannot do anything that would make God love me less. God loves me.

But it is possible for me to remove myself outside of that love of God. To put myself in the position where God really can’t demonstrate that love that He has for me. And that’s what Jude is telling us. And God is saying here the things that He desired to do for the people. “Just open your mouth wide; I’ll fill it. I’ll fill your life; just open yourself completely to Me. And I will fill your life.”

But [He said] my people would not hearken to my voice; and Israel would have nothing to do with me (81:11).

Those that God had chosen as His people just had nothing to do with God. They were worshipping these other little gods.

So [He said] I gave them up to their own hearts' lust (81:12):

In Romans, the first chapter, we read also, “Wherefore God also gave them up” (Romans 1:24). And it’s always a tragic thing when God says of a man, “I’ve given up. Wherefore, I gave him up.” God said to Jeremiah, He said, “Look, don’t pray any more for their good, because if you do, I’m not going to listen to you.” God said, “Ephraim is joined to her idols. Let her alone. They joined themselves to idolatry. Just forget it.” For God says, “I’ve given them up. I’m no longer going to deal with them.” And, of course, we are told that God’s Spirit will not always strive with a man. And when God gives a man up, it’s always a very tragic thing. God gave them up to their own hearts’ lust.

You think that you want it so bad. You think that that’s going to be the answer of your life and you do everything you can to achieve or to attain. And sometimes God just gives you up to go ahead and says, “All right, if you want to eat it, eat it, you know. But it’s going to make you sick.” And He gives you up to your own heart’s lust. But that can be one of the most tragic things that ever happened, for you to get your own heart’s desire. Because many times we desire things that aren’t really beneficial for us. God knows that they’re not good for us. And when God gives us up to our own heart’s desires, many times we find that the most bitter experience of our lives.

they walked [He said] in their own counsels (81:12).

They wouldn’t have anything to do Me. They wouldn’t follow Me.

Oh [God said] that my people had hearkened unto me, and Israel had walked in my ways! (81:13)

Now God is lamenting over the people that would not walk in His ways. Oh, if they would only have listened.

I should soon have subdued their enemies, and turned my hand against their adversaries (81:14).

If they’d only have listened to Me.

The haters of the LORD should have submitted themselves unto him: and their time would have endured for ever (81:15).

They would have remained in the land. They wouldn’t have gone into captivity. I would have subdued their enemies.

And I would have fed them with the finest of wheat: with honey out of the rock I would have satisfied them (81:16).

But they would not hearken to God, and that’s the cry of God. Because they would not hearken to Him, instead of knowing God’s best, instead of experiencing the fullness of the demonstration of God’s love, because they would not hearken unto God, they went into captivity. And then they were destroyed by their enemies.

When we get over to Israel this year, for the hearty ones I am planning to take a hike from Gihon Springs on up to the Dung Gate, because a lot of new archaeological excavations have been going on this past year. And some of the most exciting archaeological discoveries around the city of Jerusalem have been made on this hillside, as they have uncovered areas that date back to David’s time. Areas that date back, actually, to the Canaanite period when the Jebusites had the city. But the interesting thing, as they have gone back in the various times of the history of Israel, they have uncovered many houses that were torn down by Nebuchadnezzar’s army when he besieged Israel at the rebellion of Zedekiah. And in the debris of the houses of the people, they have found multitudes of little gods that the people had carved out.

Astarte, the goddess of fertility with her exaggerated breasts, and all of these little idols that they’ve uncovered. In all, it seems, in all of the houses they were just full of these little idols. The very thing that the Scripture cried out against, the very thing that God was crying out against here. “Don’t serve strange gods. Hearken unto Me. Oh, if they would only have hearkened unto Me, then I would have kept them in the land. I would have preserved them. I would have subdued their enemies. But they would not have anything to do with Me.” And so God was weeping because the people were going to go into captivity. God was weeping because of all of the hardship that they were bringing upon themselves because they would not walk in the ways of the Lord.

And I’m certain that as God looks at us and He sees us as we so often follow our own self-willed path. And God can see where that path is leading. That God just weeps as we refuse to listen, as we stubbornly say, “But I want this,” and I’m pursuing the desire of my own heart. The tragic thing when God gives me over to my own lust, my own heart’s lust. And He just has to stand there and weep as I go into captivity, as I am bringing all of the sorrow and hurt upon myself because I won’t hearken to Him, because I won’t listen to Him, because I don’t want anything to do with His law.

And so God’s lament. It’s a very beautiful psalm as we see God really just His heart broken over the failure of the people, over the worshipping of these little gods. And how, actually, even in this last year, God has allowed evidence to be uncovered that just so vitally proves this psalm and makes the whole thing so real, as they have uncovered the houses that were destroyed by the Babylonians and found all of these strange gods. And we understand how the people had turned from Him.

As David said, you know, they’ve taken and they’ve carved gods out of stone. Eyes they have but they cannot see. Ears they have but they cannot hear. And David talked about the things that people were doing even in his time and the folly of them. And so we hope to look at these ruins when we’re over there this time.


Psalm 82

Psalm 82 is a psalm that is directed to judges. And it is a very solemn psalm that God directs to judges, and basically God declares that He is not happy or satisfied with men’s judgment.

God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; and he judges among the gods (82:1).

Now the word gods there is the same word Eloihim translated gods, but it is also translated judges. In Exodus, chapter 22, verses 8 and 9, as God is giving instructions in the law for how the judges are to determine certain cases, and God calls the judges gods because a judge has such authority over a person’s destiny. And because he holds the power of a person’s life and destiny, God called judges gods. So, “God stands in the congregation of the mighty. He judges among the judges.” Or, God will be judging the judges.

I’m glad for that. I’ll be glad to see a few of the judges judged. Not that I have ever gotten a bad deal from a judge. Fortunately, I haven’t had to face them. But I do not believe that justice has prevailed always in our courts. I think that our judicial system is at times a disgrace.

Now God, judging among the judges, said,

How long will you judge unjustly, and you accept the persons of the wicked? (82:2)

In other words, he’s a famous person, he’s a wealthy person, or he’s a powerful person, he’s a Mafioso, so they judge unjustly because they accept the persons of the wicked. To be true in judgment, you’d have to look at every man alike, rich and poor. You couldn’t have any respect to a person’s past or anything else. You’d have to be judging simply on the basis of the charges that are brought against him as he stands there just like he was anybody. But yet, judges were judging unjustly because they were accepting the persons. God said to the judges, 

[Hey,] defend the poor and the fatherless (82:3):

One of the problems with our judicial system today is is the fact that money really is the thing that counts, it seems. If you’re poor, then you can’t afford a good attorney and you can’t afford to put up a good defense. But if you’re rich, then you can afford to put all kinds of delays and appeals and on and on and on, and justice doesn’t prevail on an equal basis throughout our whole society. And that isn’t true justice. And God is saying to the judges, “Now look, don’t accept a person just because he’s wealthy. You take care of the poor; you take care of the fatherless.”

do justice to the afflicted and to the needy. Deliver the poor and the needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked. They know not, neither will they understand; they walk on in darkness: and all of the foundations of the earth are out of course. I have said that, [Ye are judges or] ye are gods; and all of you are the children of the Most High (82:3-6).

So this is, of course, “I have said, ‘Ye are gods.’” This is a direct reference to Exodus, chapter 22, where God does refer to them as Eloihim, which is translated, as I said, judges, but it is the Hebrew Eloihim, gods. Now Jesus quoted this in the gospel of John when the Pharisees were getting ready to stone Him. He said, “I’ve done a lot of good things among you, for which of these things are you going to stone Me?” And they said, “Not for the good things, but we’re stoning You because You being a man are continually making Yourself the Son of God.” And He said, “Well, I said that ye are gods. Why should you stone Me because I say I’m a Son of God?”

Now He said, “Ye are gods,” here in Exodus 22, as He is speaking to the judges. He’s speaking to men that He appoints, or that were to be appointed, who have the power over a person’s life. And that’s what your god is. Whatever it is that’s holding power over your life is your God. So if this man sitting on the bench has your life in his power, the control of your life in his hand, then he is a god; he’s controlling your destiny.

And so the Mormons, of course, have taken this up and they’ve made a whole fanciful doctrine out of it, the idea that ye are gods. And they say, “Well, if you are a good Mormon, and if your marriage is sealed in the temple, and if you’ll wear the proper underwear to ward off the evil and all, and if you are faithful to Mormonism, and if you remain faithful to Mormonism, then you and your wife when you die ascend into the god level. And you and your wife can go off to some planet in the universe and you can bear children there, and you will be god over that planet. And you can watch your children grow and develop. And you can you can have, you’ll be god over the whole scene and watching over them and caring for them.” And people like you and I who haven’t followed the teachings of Joseph Smith or the angel Moroni, we become your angels if we’re good people and all. We don’t get cast out completely, but we’ll become the angels, and we’ll be there to serve the good Mormons and to run the errands for them and all when they are operating their planets.

Now I guess if you are gods you can create whatever kind of people you want to exist in any kind of an environment, and from the recent fly-by of Saturn, that wouldn’t be such a bad planet. It’d be very beautiful sitting there looking at rings. But they base this doctrine of ascending into a god status to this one Scripture where God is referring to judges.

Now Brigham Young carried that idea back one step. The Mormons all carry it forward one step and they look forward to their chance in their celestial kingdoms, take their wives and have their children and spiritual children or whatever on this planet and be their gods. Brigham Young took it back one step, and he said Adam came to the earth with one of his celestial wives, Eve. And they began populating the earth. And therefore, Adam is our god and the only god with whom we have to do, because he was the one that started procreation here on the planet. That makes him a good Mormon in some other planet somewhere back. And so he came with one of his celestial wives, Eve, and it’s all a progression into godhood. Brigham Young carried it back one step and, of course, that upsets the Mormons completely that he would carry it back one step. But it’s only a logical perception that he had. If logically you have the capacity to be god and you’re going to go have your planet, then why do we think that this is the only step? You see, no doubt back on other planets and all, and so Adam was just a good Mormon somewhere and came to the earth with one of his celestial wives, Eve, and they started the whole thing, and they’re overseeing it now and watching it. And he is our god, the only god with whom we have to do, and one day the whole world will realize that your salvation depends upon your believing this fact, according to Brigham Young. Not according to the Word of God.

Except that they are bound to accept the statements of Brigham Young as the Word of God because he was speaking as a prophet of God, and when their prophets speak what they say is on equal par with the written word. So they really dug themselves a hole, and it’s really…they dug a pit and fallen into it.

But anyhow, God is addressing Himself here even in this chapter to judges where He makes reference, “Ye are gods.” You are judges.

But ye shall die like men (82:7),

Now they just didn’t go on far enough in the verse. God said, “I said ye are gods, but you’re going to die like men.”

and you’re going to fall like the princes (82:7).

You may have a lot of authority and power. You may have the control of people’s lives, but you’re going to die just like any man. And so the cry of the psalmist,

Arise, O God, judge the earth (82:8):

The only true justice that shall ever arise is when God judges the earth, for God will judge the earth in righteousness.

for thou shalt inherit all nations (82:8).


Psalm 83

Psalm 83 is a psalm where he is speaking out of the calamities that the enemies have brought upon them and asking for God’s deliverance as He had in their past history. Asking God to work, “O God, help us now, Lord.”

Don’t keep silence, O God: don’t hold your peace, don’t be still, O God (83:1).

God, do something.

For, lo, thine enemies make a tumult: they that hate thee have lifted up the head. They have taken crafty counsel against thy people, and consulted against thy hidden ones (83:2-3).

One of the difficult things today is, more or less, the silence of God. When I see the corruption that is being foistered upon the United States through the Hollywood movie industry, I see how that crafty people are making God seem like, you know, making the worship of God or people believe in God, making them look like fools. Making a person who believes in righteousness or morality to look like an Archie Bunker type, you know, a real nut. And deliberately casting a person who would stand up for good in a bad light, and glorifying the evil kind of person, making heroes out of those that are engaged in evil. Poisoning the mind of the nation.

I sometimes with the psalmist say, “God, don’t keep silence. Do something, Lord. Stop them. Break their teeth in their mouths, Lord. Smash their noses against their face. God, don’t keep…do something, God.” I look at these ads that have been promoted by the National Council of Churches that are against the evangelicals, Norman Lear, and I say, “God, stop these evil men.” The National Council of Churches hires this atheistic, humanist Norman Lear to make these ads that are against the evangelicals. And I think, “God, stop them.” Terrible that they…National Council of Churches.

Now, I know that on Sunday nights we have an extremely large radio audience. In fact, the radio surveys that are made have discovered that the Sunday night broadcast here at Calvary of our service is the most listened to radio program in Orange County. It exceeds all the news programs, rock stations or anything else. And we praise the Lord for the opportunity of being on the radio and to broadcast the Sunday night services so that a lot of the people who have small children can stay home and put the kids to bed and listen to the services.

But yet, you think of all...well, the people that are listening, and you, a lot of you are come from other churches. A lot of you are involved with churches that are related to the National Council of Churches. And I’d like to say personally, I wouldn’t want the slightest relationship or association to the National Council of Churches, and I would not contribute one dime to any church that supports the National Council of Churches or the World Council of Churches. And I’m just laying it out to you straight, and I think that if some of the people will just quit supporting some of these churches that do support them, that they’ll start taking another look at their relationships. But I believe that the National Council of Churches and the World Council of Churches have done more against Christianity than perhaps almost any other groups in the world. They are not representative of the true evangelical church at all. They represent humanistic concepts in religion, and they are promoting evil causes.

Oh, don’t keep silent, God. Don’t hold Your peace. Don’t be still, God. Do something. But, “Lo, your enemies are making a tumult. Those that hate You have lifted up their head. They’ve taken crafty counsel against Your people.” Hired crafty counselors.

They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation (83:4);

And actually they have taken a position against Israel is what he is saying. Do you know that the World Council of Churches supports the PLO to the tune of over $2 million a year? A lot of the terrorist activities of the PLO are sponsored and paid for by the World Council of Churches that receives its monies from the churches that are related to the National Council of Churches, which part of that money goes to the World Council of Churches. And if you belong to a church that is contributing to either the National or World Council of Churches, you are actually contributing to such things as Angelo Davis’ defense fund; you’re contributing to the terrorist groups that are in Africa; you’re contributing to those terrorists that are coming in and killing missionaries and missionary children; you’re contributing to the terrorism of the PLO; you’re contributing to those that are seeking to destroy the nation Israel, and I wouldn’t want to have any part in the contribution to any of those causes myself.

But they’ve confederated against you. Let us cut Israel off.

that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance. They have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against God: The tabernacles (83:4-6)

And he names the nations now that have gone together.

Edom, the Ishmaelites; those of Moab, the Hagarenes; Gebal, and Ammon, and Amalek; the Philistines and Tyre; Assur also is joined with them: and they have the help of the children of Lot (83:6-8).

Now he’s saying, “God, wipe them out.”

Do unto them like you did to the Midianites (83:9);

In the time…in the book of Judges when the Midianites came against the children of Israel and Gideon went out against them.

Do as you did to Sisera, and as to Jabin, there at the brook Kison (83:9):

Or Sisera, and Jabin. God, as You’ve driven a spike through their skull. You know, get them, God.

Make their nobles like Oreb, and Zeeb (83:11):

Who were in the book of Judges also. Oreb and Zeeb are about the eighth chapter, or the seventh chapter of the book of Judges.

and unto the princes of Zebah, and Zalmunna (83:11):

These were all princes that were slain of the Midianites who had come against Israel at the time of Gideon and were destroyed by…some by Gideon and others by the Ephraimites who came to help Gideon.

Who said, Let us take ourselves the houses of God in possession. O my God, make them like a wheel; as the stubble before the wind. As the fire burns wood, and the flame sets the mountains on fire; So persecute them with thy tempest, and make them afraid with thy storm. Fill their faces with shame; that they may seek thy name, O LORD. Let them be confounded and troubled for ever; yea, let them be put to shame, and perish: That men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the Most High over all the earth (83:12-18).

“God, do these things in order that men might know that You are over all things.” And that was the real cry behind, “O God, it seems that these people have gathered against You, against Your purposes. Now God, put them to silence. Stop them, Lord, that people might learn to respect You.”


Psalm 84

Psalm 84 is a beautiful psalm of the tabernacles of God.

How amiable are thy tabernacles, O LORD of hosts! My soul longs, even faints for the courts of the LORD: my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God (84:1-2).

Jesus said, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled” (Matthew 5:6). What a beautiful expression this is of the psalmist. “My heart, my flesh cries out for the living God.” Dr. Henry Drummond in his book, The Natural and the Supernatural, says there is within the very protoplasm of man little tentacles that are reaching out for God. My heart, my flesh crying out for Thee, O Lord. And then he said,

Yea, the sparrow hath found a house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even thine altars, O LORD of hosts, my King, and my God. Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: they will be still praising thee (84:3-4).

So he had noticed that the swallows had returned to Capistrano and made their nest in the house of God and he is excited over this. No, they’re in the tabernacles. They didn’t first come to San Juan, they came to the tabernacle and there in the altars of God they made their little nest to lay their young. We don’t have swallows, thankfully, around here, because they are dirty. But we do have sparrows that make their nest in the eaves over here, and every time I walk past and I hear the little sparrows and I see them going up in the eaves and all, carrying grass up in there, I think of this particular psalm of David, how that the birds, the sparrows have made their nest and all there at Your altar.

Oh, how blessed it is to be there in the place where praises are going up to God continually. How blessed it is to dwell in the tabernacle and the sanctuary of the Lord and just a place where praises are being offered.

Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee (84:5);

Now the word blessed is happy. “Happy is the man whose strength is in the Lord.” The man who has learned to draw his strength from the Lord.

in whose hearts are the ways of them. Who through passing through the valley of Baca make it a well; and the rain also fills the pools (84:5-6).

The valley of Baca is a phrase that we don’t quite understand. It would appear to be sort of a dry place. Who even when he passes through dry places it becomes a well and the rain fills the pools.

They go from strength to strength, every one of them that appeareth before the Lord in Zion. O LORD God of hosts, hear my prayer: give ear, O God of Jacob (84:7-8).

And then the final thought:

Behold, O God our shield, and look upon the face of your anointed. For a day in your courts is better than a thousand anywhere else. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness (84:9-10).

Moses chose rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season. “A day in Thy courts is better than a thousand anyplace else. I’d rather be a doorkeeper, Lord, in Your house, the lowest place in the house of God than the highest place in the house of Baal.”

For the LORD God is a sun and a shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: and no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly (84:11).

Isn’t that a beautiful promise? I love that promise, “No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.”

O LORD of hosts, blessed [or happy] is the man that trusts in thee (84:12).

So happiness to the man whose strength is in the Lord. Happiness to the man whose trust is in the Lord.


Psalm 85

Psalm 85:

LORD, you have been favourable unto the land: you have brought back the captivity of Jacob. You have forgiven the iniquity of your people; you have covered all of their sins (85:1-2).

So the declaration of God. The favor of God to the land and to the people, bringing them back from captivity. And then the goodness of God and the forgiveness of their sins.

Thou hast taken away all thy wrath: you have turned yourself from the fierceness of your anger. Turn us, O God of our salvation, and cause your anger toward us to cease (85:3-4).

And now he’s speaking unto God.

Will you always be angry with us for ever? will you draw out your anger to all generations? Will you not revive us again: that your people may rejoice in thee? Show us thy mercy, O LORD, and grant us thy salvation. I will hear what the LORD will speak: for he will speak peace unto his people, and to his saints: but let them not turn again to folly. Surely his salvation is near them that fear him; that glory may dwell in our land. Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other. Truth shall spring out of the earth; and righteousness shall look down from heaven. Yea, the LORD shall give that which is good; and our land shall yield her increase. Righteousness shall go before him; and shall set us up in the way of his steps (85:5-13).

So the psalm begins with the declaration that God has brought us back. But yet, there hasn’t been a full spiritual restoration. It would seem that God isn’t really moving yet among His people. So the prayer, “Lord, are You going to be angry forever throughout all generations? Won’t You return, you know, revive us again? And that we might have again the rejoicing of the Lord within our hearts. Let us experience, Lord, Your mercies.” And then he makes in the end of the psalm the affirmation of his faith in the faithfulness of God. “Surely God’s salvation is near. And mercy and truth have met. And righteousness and peace have kissed. For God will give that which is good and the land will yield her increase.”


Psalm 86

Psalm 86 we have another psalm of David. David said,

Bow down thine ear, O LORD, hear me: for I am poor and needy. Preserve my soul; for I am holy: O thou my God, save thy servant that is trusting in you. Be merciful unto me, O Lord: for I cry unto you daily. Rejoice the soul of your servant: for unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee (86:1-5).

This particular psalm is an interesting psalm in that practically every every verse is taken from another psalm someplace. So actually the psalmist here, number one, David shows his excellent knowledge of all of the other psalms, because he is just taking verses from so many different psalms. And you can find practically every one of these a quotation from another psalm. So David is taking from all these psalms and just sort of putting together a psalm that he draws from all of the other psalms. “For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; plenteous in mercy unto all those that call upon Thee.”

Give ear, O LORD, unto my prayer; attend to the voice of my supplications. In the day of my trouble I will call upon thee: for thou wilt answer me. Among the gods there is none like unto thee, O Lord, [Adonai, not Jehovah here]; neither are there any works like unto thy works. All nations whom thou hast made shall come and worship before thee, O Adonai; and shall glorify thy name. For thou art great, and you do wondrous things: thou art God alone. Teach me thy way, O Jehovah; I will walk in your truth: unite my heart to fear thy name (86:6-11).

One of the problems I think that we, all of us, experience is the divided heart. Here David is praying, “God, just unite my heart towards Thee.” We have a divided heart. Part of us is towards God, and part of it is towards our flesh. And I’m divided by the desires of my flesh and my desires for God. David is saying, “Lord, I don’t want a divided heart. Unite my heart towards Thee.” I think that’s an excellent prayer.

I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify thy name for ever. For great is thy mercy toward me: and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell. O God, the proud are risen against me, and the assemblies of the violent men have sought after my soul; and have not set thee before them. But thou, O Adonai, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, and longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth. O turn unto me, and have mercy upon me; give thy strength unto thy servant, save the son of your handmaid. Show me a token for good; that they which hate me may see it, and be ashamed: because you, Jehovah, have helped me, and comforted me (86:12-17).

Now in verse 5, “For thou, O Lord, art good, and ready to forgive.” So he’s declaring here the nature of God in the psalm. And he declares that God is good and God is ready to forgive, that He is plenteous in mercy. In verse 10, he declares, “For Thou art great, and You do wondrous things: You are the only God.” So verse 15, “But Thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, gracious, longsuffering, plenteous in mercy and truth.”

So it’s interesting, verses 5, 10 and 15, he declares the character of God, aspects of God’s character. And so to catch…it’s woven through, but then he declares the character of God and then he responds to it with his request. “Lord, You are merciful. O God, have mercy on me, you know. And Lord, You do wonderful things. You only are God. Therefore, teach me Your ways. Lord, You’re a God full of compassion. You’re gracious. You’re longsuffering. You have plenty in mercy and truth. O God, turn to me and have mercy upon me. And and let me experience your grace. A token for good and so forth.” So the character of God and then my response to the character of God.

Now when I come to God, it is important that I understand the character of God. If I do not know that God is merciful, then it’s difficult for me to ask for mercy. If I do not realize that God is gracious, then it’s difficult for me to ask for grace. But knowing the character of God gives me then the confidence in coming to God. It helps me when I come to God to understand the nature of God. Now we so often have misunderstood the nature of God. Thou are the God of wrath and vengeance. Thou are the God of justice. And we look at the one aspect of God’s nature, but that’s to those that hate Him. That’s to those that are opposed to Him. But to those that love Him, to those that call upon Him, He is merciful. He’s longsuffering. He’s gracious. He’s tender. He’s kind. He’s good. And so Lord, I call upon Thee. Show me a token for good and all.


Psalm 87

Psalm 87:

His foundation is in the holy mountains. The LORD loves the gates of Zion more than all of the dwellings of Jacob (87:1-2).

So it’s sort of a psalm which extols the city of Jerusalem which is known as Zion also.

Glorious things are spoken of thee, O city of God. I will make mention of Rahab and Babylon to them that know me: behold Philistia, and Tyre, with Ethiopia; this man was born there (87:3-4).

Now I don’t understand that particular verse, so no comment.

And of Zion it shall be said, This and that man was born in her (87:5):

I guess these people were born in other cities and so forth, but of Zion it will be said, “This man was born in her,”

and the Highest himself shall establish her. The LORD shall count, when he writeth up the people, that this man was born there. As well the singers as the players on instruments shall be there: all my springs are in thee (87:5-7).

Now that last part is the thing that inspires me. “All my springs are in Thee.” God, You are the source of life. All of my springs are in Thee. And I draw my life, Lord, from Thee. The source-giver of life.


Psalm 88

Psalm 88 is just a sad psalm, all the way through. There just seems to be no hope; it’s just miserable. When you really are feeling lower than low, and you think there is absolutely no way out, there’s no answer, this is it, this is the end, then you can read Psalm 88. And you can, you know…it’ll say, well, yes, that’s right. I have, man, that’s…I’m there, you know.

O LORD God of my salvation, I have cried day and night before thee: Let my prayer come before thee: incline thine ear unto my cry; For my soul is full of trouble: and my life draws near to the grave. I am counted with them that go down to the pit: I am as a man that has no strength: Free among the dead, like the slain that lie in the grave, whom you remember no more: and they are cut off from your hand. You have laid me in the lowest pit, in darkness, and in the deeps. Your wrath lies hard upon me, and you’ve afflicted me with all the waves. You have put away my acquaintance far from me; you have made me an abomination unto them: I am shut up, and I cannot come forth. My eye mourns by reason of the affliction: LORD, I have called daily upon thee, I have stretched out my hands unto you. Will you show wonders to the dead? shall the dead arise and praise thee? Shall your lovingkindness be declared in the grave? or your faithfulness in destruction? Shall your wonders be known in the dark? and thy righteousness in the land of forgetfulness? But unto thee have I cried, O LORD; and in the morning shall my prayer prevent thee. LORD, why do you cast off my soul? why do you hide your face from me? I am afflicted, I’m ready to die from my youth up: and while I suffer your terrors I am distracted. Your fierce wrath goes over me; your terrors have cut me off. They came round about me daily like water; they encircled me all about together. Lover and friend have you put far from me, and my acquaintance into darkness (88:1-18).

Not even a glimmer of hope. Most of the psalms that start out like this at the last it says, “But I know, Lord, that You will deliver Your servant, you know. And those that call upon Thee,” and all. And usually the last verse, even in some of these dismal psalms, there’s a little light at the end of the tunnel, but not here. This thing starts in the dark and ends in the dark. It just he’s down and he’s not going to come out of it during this psalm. It’s just one of complete…it’s a total downer. So you might just inscribe that one, “the total downer.”

But you come out into the next psalm and you’re singing.


Psalm 89

I will sing of the mercies of the LORD for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations. For I have said, Mercy shall be built up for ever: thy faithfulness shalt thou establish in the very heavens. I have made a covenant with my chosen, I have sworn unto David my servant, Thy seed will I establish for ever, and build up thy throne to all generations (89:1-4).

Now in verse 3, actually, the psalm begins with the psalmist declaring, “I will sing praises to the Lord; sing of His mercies. My mouth will make known His faithfulness.” Now God responds to that. And verse 3 is God’s response. And God’s response goes actually clear on down to verse 37. So God is speaking now. It’s a prophecy as the psalmist now is speaking forth for God. “I have made a covenant with My chosen, I have sworn to David my servant.” What did He swear to David? “Thy seed will I establish forever, and build up thy throne to all generations.”

And the heavens shall praise thy wonders (89:5),

And now the psalmist comes back. Selah ends God’s voice there. God will begin speaking again down a little ways further. So now the psalmist takes it up again. “And the heavens shall praise Thy wonders,”

O LORD: thy faithfulness also in the congregation of the saints. For who in heaven can be compared unto the LORD? who among the sons of the mighty can be likened unto Jehovah? God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints (89:5-7),

Or reverenced, actually, in the assembly of the saints.

and to be had in reverence of all of them that are about him (89:7).

I think that we can learn quite a bit from the Jewish people concerning the reverence of God. I think that there is a tendency sometimes within the church circles of really not having the proper reverential attitude towards God. Sometimes we begin to get a little flippant about God. And we talk about the man upstairs and we begin to speak of God in irreverent kind of terms even. And I think that we need to be careful about this. We need to become aware and conscious of the greatness of God, the vastness of God. And to be always really just sort of in awe before Him.

There are some people that just by their very position command respect. Because Ronald Reagan has been elected as the next President of the United States, you wouldn’t go up, you know, if you were at the airport and you saw him getting off the plane, you wouldn’t go running up and say, “Well, Ronnie, all right man. Glad to see you made it, you know.” Because of the position as President of the United States you would treat him with respect. You would have respect for the position that the man now has.

We have…living in a society that seems to try to break down this respect for authority. And it is a common thing among our society now of not really showing proper respect for authority. But that is a whole social breakdown. Not showing respect to police officers. Not showing respect to those that are in authority. It just shows a part of the whole social breakdown that is taking place. But it is tragic, because sometimes people also carry that disrespectful attitude over to God. And we should always, actually, hold God in the very highest of respect and reverence.

Now the Jews had such reverence for God that when the scribes would copy the Scriptures, every time they came to the name Eloihim, God, in their text, they would take their pen and they would wash it. And then they would dip it in fresh ink to write the letters for God. If they came to the Adonai, the Lord, then they would take and get a fresh pen to write Adonai in the text. If they came to the consonants that stood for that holy name of God, the Y-H-V-H, they would go in and take a bath, change and put on fresh clothes and get a total fresh pen and dip it in ink and write the consonants. But they wouldn’t put in the vowels because they felt that the name of God was so holy that they shouldn’t even pronounce it in their minds and it should never be uttered from the lips of a person. They wouldn’t dare even utter the name.

Now that I think is carrying it perhaps further than God intended, and yet, it does show a degree of reverence towards God that I think that somewhere in the middle of the pendulum we’ll find the truth. They may be a little extreme on the one end of legalism, but I think that we tend towards an extreme on the other end, and that in the middle here we need ourselves to come more to the middle of a greater reverence and respect for God. That we don’t just speak lightly of God, but we hold Him in highest esteem and respect. God is greatly to be reverenced in the assembly of the saints and to be had in reverence of all of them that are about Him.

O Jehovah God of hosts, who is a strong LORD like unto thee? or to thy faithfulness round about thee? For you rule the raging of the sea: when the waves arise, you still them. You have broken Rahab in pieces, as one that is slain; you have scattered your enemies with your strong arm. The heavens are yours, and the earth also is yours: as for the world and the fulness thereof, you have founded them. The north, the south you’ve created them: Tabor and Hermon shall rejoice in thy name. You have a mighty arm: strong is your hand, and high is your right hand. Justice and judgment are your habitation of thy throne: mercy and truth shall go before thy face. Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O LORD, in the light of thy countenance. And in thy name shall they rejoice all the day: and in thy righteousness shall they be exalted. For you are the glory of their strength: and in thy favor our horn shall be exalted. For the LORD is our defense; and the Holy One of Israel is our King (89:8-18).

Now God responds to this. The psalmist declares of the greatness of God, declaring why He should be reverenced because of the fact that He rules over the earth, over the heavens, created the earth.

Then you spake in vision to the holy one, and said, I have laid up help upon one that is mighty; I have exalted one that is chosen out of the people. I have found David my servant; with my holy oil have I anointed him: With whom my hand shall be established: my arm shall also strengthen him. The enemy shall not exact upon him (89:19-22);

That is, will not collect a tribute. He will not be paying tribute to the enemies. He will not be defeated and have to pay tribute to the enemies.

nor the son of wickedness afflict him. And I will beat down his foes before his face, and plague them that hate him. But my faithfulness and my mercy shall be with him: and in my name shall his horn be exalted (89:22-24).

The horn is a symbol of strength, and so the name of the Lord will be his strength.

I will set his hand also in the sea, and his right hand in the rivers. He shall cry unto me, Thou art my father, my God, and the rock of my salvation. Also I will make him my firstborn, higher than the kings of the earth (89:25-27).

This, no doubt, has a double fulfillment not only in David, but also in that Seed that should come from David that will rule as King of kings and Lord of lords, even a prophecy of Jesus Christ.

My mercy will I keep for him for ever, and my covenant shall stand fast with him. His seed also will I make to endure for ever, and his throne as the days of heaven. If his children forsake my law, and walk not in my judgments; If they break my statutes, and keep not my commandments; Then will I visit their transgression with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes. Nevertheless my lovingkindness will I not utterly take from him, nor allow my faithfulness to fail. My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips. Once I have sworn by my holiness that I will not lie unto David. His seed shall endure for ever, and his throne as the sun before me (89:28-36).

Which, of course, goes on to the prophecy of Christ, “Who will sit upon the throne of David to order it and to establish it in righteousness and in judgment from henceforth, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this” (Isaiah 9:7). So God has sworn that Christ will sit upon the throne of David forever and ever.

It shall be established for ever as the moon, and as the faithful witness in heaven (89:37).

And the Selah brings us to the end of God’s response to the psalmist. Now the psalmist declares:

But you have cast off and abhorred, you have been angry with your anointed. You have made void the covenant of your servant: you have profaned his crown by casting it to the ground. You have broken down all of his hedges; you have brought his strongholds to ruin. All that pass by the way spoil him: he is a reproach to his neighbors. Thou hast set up the right hand of his adversaries; thou hast made all his enemies to rejoice. Thou hast also turned the edge of his sword, and hast not made him to stand in the battle. You have made his glory to cease, and cast his throne down to the ground. The days of his youth have you shortened: and you’ve covered him with shame. How long, LORD? will you hide yourself for ever? shall thy wrath burn like fire? Remember how short my time is: wherefore hast thou made all men in vain? What man is he that lives, and shall not see death? shall he deliver his soul from the hand of the grave? Lord, where are thy former lovingkindnesses, which you swore to David in thy truth? Remember, Lord, the reproach of your servants; how I do bear in my bosom the reproach of all the mighty people; Wherewith your enemies have reproached, O LORD; wherewith they have reproached the footsteps of thine anointed (89:38-51).

And then the close of the third book of the psalms.

Blessed be Jehovah for evermore. Amen, and Amen (89:52).

I have mentioned before that each of the books of the psalms closes with a benediction, with the Amen, and Amen. That brings us to the end of the third book. And Psalm 90 begins the fourth book of the psalms.


Psalm 90

Psalm 90 is a psalm of Moses. Now Moses was also a writer and he wrote psalms and songs, and this is one of the psalms of Moses.

LORD [or Jehovah], thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God (90:1-2).

Declaring the eternal nature of God. Before the world ever existed, from everlasting to everlasting.

The word everlasting is an interesting Hebrew word. It is a word that literally means the vanishing point. To understand it, think back as far as you can think back. Now the sun, they say, is losing about…been a while since I’ve read how much it’s losing…something like 200 million tons per second of mass. At that rate, in ten billion years it will no longer be able to support life upon the earth. So if you want something to worry about, think about that.

So because the sun is losing this much mass, the sun could not have always existed. Because if you added that much mass to the sun back to infinity, it would have meant that the sun at one time filled the entire universe. If you kept adding it would. So the sun is gradually reducing. It’s like Herschel Genes, the scientist said that the earth is like a giant clock that was wound up and is slowly winding down. The first and second laws of thermodynamics, laws of entropy, and the gradual erosion and wearing down of the material world.

So you have to think of a time when the earth didn’t exist if you go back far enough. So in your mind go back just as far as you can possibly think back. Now as you go back in your mind, as far as you can go back, there comes a point, it’s sort of a vanishing point. In other words, you just can’t think of anything before that. It sort of fades out into a vanishing point. That’s this Hebrew word everlasting, from this vanishing point.

Now in your mind think forward as far as you can think on into eternity. Now they say that if a little bird will go down here to Huntington Beach and take a drop of water in its beak out of the surf there, and every morning as the sun would rise, would take one hop towards New York. And when the little bird arrived in New York, it would drop that water in New York harbor. And then start back a hop a day towards Huntington Beach again. By the time that little bird emptied the Pacific Ocean into the Atlantic Ocean, the first day of eternity would just be getting its start. So think of out in the future to the vanishing point, you know. You think out so far and then it just vanishes. So the Hebrew word has that as its meaning. Actually, literally from the vanishing point as far as I can think until my mind just hits the vanishing point, to as far out as I can think this way, till my mind hits the vanishing point, you’re God. You’ve existed. You will exist.

There is even a Hebrew word that is stronger than that. It is beyond the vanishing point. You know, when I get to the vanishing point, and then out beyond that. And that’s the strongest word in Hebrew for the eternity. It’s beyond the vanishing point. But vanishing point is far enough for me. From everlasting to everlasting God has existed.

You turn man to destruction; and you say, Return, ye children of men. For a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night (90:3-4).

So the relativity of time. A thousand years is just like a day as far as the Lord is concerned. Now Peter tells this in talking to us about the coming again of Jesus Christ. He said, “In the last days, there will be scoffers that will come saying, ‘Oh, where is the promise of His coming? Since our fathers have fallen asleep, everything continues as they were from the beginning.’” (II Peter 3:3,4) God’s not going to come. You know, where is it? Where is the promise? He is not here. And Peter said you’ve got to realize that a thousand years is as a day unto the Lord and a day is as a thousand years. So time is only relative to us. We think in the terms of time. We always think in terms of linear time. Here’s the beginning; here’s the end. Here’s my birth; here’s my death. Time in a linear way.

But that’s because we are involved in matter. But if we weren’t matter, then time wouldn’t matter. Time only matters to matter. According to Einstein’s theory of relativity, actually, time doesn’t exist. Only except in matter. And so time can be stretched if you’re going fast enough. So, in according to his theory, that if you can accelerate yourself to the speed of light, time would stand still. So if you could accelerate yourself to the speed of light and head out for the Andromeda galaxy, about…oh, let’s not go to the Adromeda galaxy, that’s too far. Let’s go to Proxima, or Alpha Centauri. They’re our closest solar neighbors. Traveling on this ray of light you could get to Centauri, Alpha Centauri, you could get there in four-and-a-half years. You could make the round-trip in nine years. But when you got back though, you would be the same age. Time would have stood still for you because of the speed at which you were traveling. When you got back, the earth would be nine years older. Your wife would be nine years older than you are at this point. Now, if you went further, if you did go to Andromeda galaxy, one million five hundred thousand light years out there, you’d come back in three million years. Now the whole earth would be different by that time. You’d look around you wouldn’t find any of your friends. But you would only be, you know, a matter of hours older, because time would have stood still because of the speed you were traveling. Because if you travel that fast, you’re going to turn into energy, and because you have no materials, you’re just energy at that point, then time ceases to exist. This is the idea of the relativity, Einstein’s theory of relativity. And so there’s no way that we can really prove it. So you just have to accept it because he was a smart man.

But it is interesting that the Bible does hint to relativity of time as far as God is concerned. “A thousand years in Your sight is like yesterday when it’s past.” And, as Peter said, “A day is as a thousand years to the Lord, a thousand years is as a day.”

Now that is interesting in the light of in the book of Hosea, he speaks of Israel sort of being out of the land, dispersed for two years. And he said, “And in the third year, I will raise her up and she will dwell in the land.” Or, “for two days,” rather, “and in the third day…” “After two days He will revive us, and in the third day He will raise us up, and we shall live in His sight” (Hosea 6:2). And so Israel was destroyed and dispersed from the land for about two thousand years. And now they’ve been raised up again. And so, a thousand years is as a thousand years to the Lord…a day is as a thousand years.

So you say, “Oh, but the Lord’s waiting so long to come back.” Yeah, a couple days. Relativity of time.

You carry them away as with a flood; they are as a sleep: in the morning they are like grass which grows up. In the morning it flourishes, it grows up; in the evening and it cuts down, and withers (90:5-6)

 So life is just so temporal.

We are consumed by your anger, and by your wrath we are troubled. You have set our iniquities before thee, our secret sins are in the light of your countenance. For all of our days are passed away in thy wrath: we spend our years as a tale that is told (90:7-9).

 Now, not only is time relative, and this is where we really come into trouble understanding this, because it really begins to get weird at this point. When you are released from this linear timeframe that we are existing in, and you can enter into the timelessness of eternity, there is then no past and or no future, but everything is present, because now you’re released from time. And in time, we know past, present, future. But released from the linear time zone, then the past or the future do not exist; everything is now in the present. Now the writer of Eccleciastes tried to describe that and he only made it more confusing. But, of course, our minds can’t grasp it anyhow, so it would just boggle our minds to try to conceive it.

But that which is past, he said, is now. And that which shall be has already been. And God requires that which is past. So figure that one out and you’ve got eternity wired. Everything happening now, so that in this relativity of time, in reality, our lives are spent like a story that’s already been told. We’re like a re-run as far as God is concerned, because God living outside of the time dimension can see the whole picture at once.

As James said, “You know the end from the beginning.” Or James said actually, “Known unto Him are all things from the beginning,” because He is outside of the linear timeframe. Thus, as God looks down, He sees the whole picture, where we are looking at it from day to day, and today and yesterday and tomorrow, God sees the whole thing. He sees the end from the beginning. And as far as God is concerned, we’re just in a re-run. It’s just something He can already see, the whole scene, the end results, and the whole thing on out.

He knows the end from the beginning. Now there would be fantastic advantages to be able to be released from our linear timeframe references and to become, to come outside of timeframe and be able to see as God sees, the whole thing. John had that experience, the book of Revelation. He said, “I, John, was in the spirit unto the day of the Lord.” God took him in the time chamber and he took him on out past the day in which we’re even living. And the Lord showed to John the things that are going to be taking place on the earth after the church is taken out and the earth is undergoing the Great Tribulation period. And John saw events that are going to take place on the earth. Described the events as he saw them in this time chamber that God just released him from the timeframe, linear timeframe that we experience and took him outside of it. And John was able to see down the road and he described in the book of Revelation things that yet have not happened, but surely will happen, for God released him outside of the timeframe reference.

So God existing out of the timeframe reference knows. He knows your life. He knows the end of your life. He knows the whole score. You spend your life like a story that’s already been told. It’s just like watching USC play Washington today on television when they replayed the game. It’s already over; it’s already done. The score’s already been established. You’re just watching something that already happened. And that’s the way God looks at your life, is like it’s already happened. He knows already what the score is.

So those whom He foreknew, “those whom He foreknew, He did also predestinate. And those that he predestinated, He also chose” (Romans 8:29-30). So God chose you in Christ when? After you were born and after you came forward? No, God chose you in Christ before the foundations of the world, because He is outside of the timeframe zone and He could look down and He could see the whole end. He could see your life and the whole end of your life and on out, and He sees out because time doesn’t exist with God. He lives outside of time. So on the basis of this ability of being outside of the linear timeframe reference, God then made His choices. All right! He chose me! Isn’t that neat?

Having that kind of wisdom, He’d never choose a loser. So the fact that God has chosen me, that automatically writes me in. I’m a winner. For what God has begun in me, He’s going to finish. Now we have difficulty with the concept of pre-destination and election, chosen in Him and so forth. We have difficulty with that because we only think, and we can only think, we’re limited in our thinking, to this linear timeframe reference. And that’s what makes it hard to understand, “Well, how could God choose me? That isn’t fair God choose me,” and so forth. Oh, if He wants to choose me, that’s all right. I’m not going to argue. I’m only going to rejoice. Chosen in Him.

So I spend my life like a story that’s already been told. God knows the end of it. He knows the final chapter. I don’t know that yet. I’m coming into it, you know, and I’m discovering the things that God has already known. Anything I ever discover is something that God has already known. I’m only discovering things that God has. I’m not discovering new truth. New truth doesn’t exist. God has already known all these things. They are unfolding to me as I go along. But God…and so I love this whole concept that Moses gets into of the nature of God, the eternal nature of God from everlasting to everlasting. Outside, so our lives are as a tale that has been told.

The days of our years (90:10)

Now here I am in this linear timeframe, and I’ll spend seventy years in this linear timeframe, perhaps.

And if I go to eighty, it will be with great labor and sorrow; and I can be sure that I’m soon going to be cut off, and fly away (90:10),

When you get up there.

Who knows the power of your anger? even according to your fear, so is your wrath. So teach us, Lord, to number our days (90:11-12),

Now I’m living in this time zone so, God, teach me to number my days that I might really use the time that I am here to the best advantage. God has given me an allotted span of time. God has given me, in this timeframe, an allotted span of time. In this front timeframe, there’s a line down here that God knows, I don’t know it yet, but there’s a line down here that God says that’s the end of Chuck as far as his existence in the timeframe reference. God knows the day in which my soul and spirit are going to leave this body. God knows the day that I’m going to depart from this body. He already knows the day; He already knows the circumstances by which my soul and spirit will depart from the body. He already knows that. He’s already made the appointment for me. It’s a date down here, there’s a time down here that God knows. I don’t know it. I’m coming into it. I live by progressive revelation, but God already knows. He’s already established. I don’t know when it might be. It might be much sooner than what I’m anticipating. I may not even get to the threescore and ten. I personally don’t think I will have lost anything if I don’t. But God help me to use wisely each day. Lord, teach me to number my days, because I don’t know when the day of opportunity of my serving God is going to come to an end. So Lord, teach me to number my days that I might incline my heart to wisdom, that I might use wisely the time that I’m here. Use it to its best advantage for God.

Oh, we waste so much precious time in front of that stupid television. An evil device that is designed to rob you of precious time, making men very shallow because it’s filling their minds with emptiness. God, teach me to number my days.

that I might apply my heart to wisdom. Return, O LORD, how long? let it repent thee concerning your servants. O satisfy us early with your mercy; that we may rejoice and be glad all of our days (90:12-14)

I don’t know how many days I have but, God, I want to live a happy life, rejoice and be glad.

Make us glad according to the days wherein you’ve afflicted us, and the years wherein we have seen evil. Let thy work appear unto thy servants, and thy glory unto their children (90:15-16).

 And then the prayer of Moses I think is absolutely gorgeous.

Let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us: and establish the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish it (90:17).

The prayer, though, “Let the beauty of the Lord be upon my life.” We used to sing a chorus years ago when I was a little kid, “Let the beauty of Jesus be seen in me. All of His wonderful passion and purity. O Thou Spirit divine. All mine nature refine, till the beauty of Jesus be seen in me.”

Oh, let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us, beauty of God might be seen in our lives and through our lives and through the works of our lives. Let God’s beauty show forth to this needy world.

Shall we stand. May God be with you and watch over you during the week and God help us that we might number our days, incline our hearts to wisdom. Use the time that God has given us this week to serve Him, to lay up for ourselves treasures in heaven. And may the Spirit of God work in your heart and life conforming you into the image of Christ, that the beauty of the Lord our God might be seen by others as you walk with Him this week. God bless you, keep His hand upon you. In Jesus’ name. 

Chuck Smith

Pastor Chuck Smith began his ministry at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, in 1965, with just twenty-five people.