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 Morning Meditation - 9/23/08

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PostSubject: Morning Meditation - 9/23/08   Tue Sep 23, 2008 8:15 pm

THE STRATEGY OF FAITH
Psa. 68:25

Verse 25 says, “The singers went before, the players on instruments followed after; among them were the damsels playing with tumbrels.”
There are also other verses in this Psalm that we will look at.
John Gill says of this verse, “The allusion seems to be to singers going before armies, when marching to battle, or returning with victory.” When Israel was right, they trusted the Lord for victory over their enemies. When they were wrong, they made unholy alliances with the world for help.
When they came to Kadesh-barnea, it was because of their lack of faith that they did not enter the land. It was not because of their lack of strength, though they truly were not strong enough. It was because God withdrew His strength for victory. We must be right with Him by virtue of the cleansing blood, and faith in His presence, for victory to come. Let’s notice first,

THE SINGING OF FAITH

David says in this Psalm, “The singers went before, the players on instruments followed after; among them were the damsels playing with timbrels.” When David said, “The singers went before.” What was he talking about?
The answer is illustrated in 2 Chronicles 20:21-22: “And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the LORD, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the LORD; for his mercy endureth for ever. And when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten.”
This was a celebration of victory by faith. We are told that it is impossible to please God without faith. This is an illustration of celebrating the victory before that victory is accomplished on the stage of human history. Faith always trusts in God’s Word of promise and acts on the truth in confidence that God will be there and fulfill what He has promised.

As God’s children we live off the promises of God. Peter reminds us of this in 2 Peter 1:4: “Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” The only way faith can be exercised is for us to have God speak to us through His Word
(promises). God’s people are a people of the Book. Faith does not come up with what to believe. There is a promise for every need in God’s Word. We must find His promises as the needs arise in our lives. Then we trust Him and select a song of victory to sing as we go into the battle! Next we see,

THE STRENGTH OF FAITH

The strength of faith is stated in verse 28: “Thy God hath commanded thy strength: strengthen, O God, that which thou has wrought for us.” Faith must have assurance in the form of a COMMAND or a PROMISE. Do you remember Israel at Kadesh-barnea? They expressed their unbelief and God pronounced sentence on all the men of Israel from 20 years old and up with two exceptions, Caleb and Joshua. When they heard God’s sentence, they decided to change their mind and go up against the giants of the land. When they did this we have the following sad story:
Numbers 14:41-45 says, “And Moses said, Wherefore now do ye transgress the commandment of the LORD? but it shall not prosper. Go not up, for the LORD is not among you; that ye be not smitten before your enemies. For the Amalekites and the Canaanites are there before you, and ye shall fall by the sword: because ye are turned away from the LORD, therefore the LORD will not be with you. But they presumed to go up unto the hill top: nevertheless the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and Moses, departed not out of the camp. Then the Amalekites came down, and the Canaanites which dwelt in that hill, and smote them, and discomfited them, even unto Hormah.”

You will notice Moses asks them “Wherefore now do ye transgress the commandment of the LORD?” God’s verdict now becomes the commandment. The strength of faith is in the commandment of the Lord. When God turned them back, Moses, Joshua, and Caleb immediately submitted to God’s verdict. This is a lesson to learn. God’s verdict that comes because of others sins does not necessarily need to affect us. The men of Israel died all around these three men but they survived to enter the land. I know, Moses didn’t enter with the rest but he did on the Mount of Transfiguration! Glory to God and the Lamb forever! Next let’s look at,

THE SUPPLICATION OFFERED

David prays in verse 28, “strengthen, O God, that which thou hast wrought for us.”
The word “strengthen” translates “azaz” and means “to make strong, to give strength” and is an imperative verb which indicates an urgent request. The imperative verb is a command. But when man is talking to God, he does not command God. The imperative mood can also express urgency. This is the meaning here. Often we come to God with an urgent request. We are not commanding God. We would not think of it unless we are brain dead theologically! One does not order God around. But urgency is a different matter. Many times our needs are desperate and it may seem that we are too strong in the way we make our requests. Not so. God understands. We go to Him with urgency. He responds in GRACE.
One other thing about this point before we leave it. The singers are singing the song of faith before the victory, but there is still supplication offered in verse 28. Because we have the assurance of victory does not mean that we cease to pray. We pray all the way through. Then next we see,

THE STRETCHED OUT HANDS

We find this in verse 31: “Princes shall come out of Egypt; Ethiopia shall soon stretch out her hands unto God.”
This is a good mission illustration. This constitutes a prophecy. A missionary who receives a call to a country might take the principle taught here to encourage his faith. Many times when the missionary goes out to the country of his calling or the soul winner knocks on the door, he finds
those who are stretching out their hands to God. God got there first! He sends us to give them the message. We are God’s answer to their longing hearts. God does work through us. You can’t improve on God’s strategy. Next we see,

THE SONG OF ACKNOWLEDGED VICTORY

We see this in verse 31: “Sing unto God, ye kingdoms of the earth; O sing praises unto the Lord.” Here Israel invites the Gentiles to enter the choir.
A victory like the one of which this Psalm speaks in found in 2 Chron 25:20-29: “And when Jehoshaphat and his people came to take away the spoil of them, they found among them in abundance both riches with the dead bodies, and precious jewels, which they stripped off for themselves, more than they could carry away: and they were three days in gathering of the spoil, it was so much. And on the fourth day they assembled themselves in the valley of Berachah; for there they blessed the LORD: therefore the name of the same place was called, The valley of Berachah, unto this day. Then they returned, every man of Judah and Jerusalem, and Jehoshaphat in the forefront of them, to go again to Jerusalem with joy; for the LORD had made them to rejoice over their enemies. And they came to Jerusalem with psalteries and harps and trumpets unto the house of the LORD. And the fear of God was on all the kingdoms of those countries, when they had heard that the LORD fought against the enemies of Israel.”

When we gather for worship and sing Amazing Grace and There Is A Fountain Filled With Blood, we are rejoicing after the victory. I praise the Lord continually for the victory already won by Christ at Calvary and the EMPTY TOMB. Because of the EMPTY TOMB we can rejoice over what He is doing today. Hebrews 7:25 says, “Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.” If He were not alive today to continually apply the blood of the cross, there would be no security. But praise, God there in His Great High Priestly office, He is faithful and keeps our account up to date, and because of it we will be “saved to the uttermost.” Amen. Security is not in our faith, it is in His power. Our verse says, “He is able.” Someone hold my mules!!!

May the Lord bless these words to our hearts.
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