Tender Hearted Delight!

December 28, 2013

Tender Hearted Delight!
By Karen Holland … 12-28-2013
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2 Kings 22:18-19 … Tell the king of Judah, who sent you to enquire of the LORD, ‘This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says concerning the words you heard: Because your heart was tender, and you have humbled yourself before the Lord, when you heard what I spoke against this place . . . I also have heard you, says the Lord.

From NetBible 2Ki 22:19

  • Tender[07401] = to be soft, sensitive, responsive, penitent
  • Humbled[03665] = to be brought into subjection, primitive root = to bend the knee
    * two key references Lev 26:41 & 2 Chron 7:14 indicate that so long as a person, or nation, is arrogant or self sufficient, God can do nothing for them

The Lord hears the tender hearted. A tender heart is an important thing to have if you want the Lord to hear your prayers. Just what does it mean to be tender hearted?

From the above to be tender hearted means to be soft, sensitive, humble and responsive to the Lord. Arrogance, pride and self sufficiency or hard heartedness, seems to be the opposite of being tender hearted. The hard hearted do not rely on the Lord, therefore they have blind eyes, dull ears and closed minds (Jn 12:40; Isa 6:10). They are far from righteousness and the Lord’s deliverance (Isa 46:12).

Proverbs 15:29 … The LORD is far from the wicked, But He hears the prayer of the righteous.

From NetBible Prov 15:29

  • To say that the Lord is “far” from the wicked is to say that he has made himself unavailable to their appeal – he does not answer them.
  • The verb “hear” (שָׁמַעshama’)[08085] has more of the sense of “respond to” in this context. If one “listens to the voice of the Lord,” for example, it means that he obeys the Lord. If one wishes God to “hear his prayer,” it means he wishes God to answer it.
  • God’s response to prayer is determined by the righteousness of the one who prays. A prayer of repentance by the wicked is an exception, for by it they would become the righteous

Notice 2 Kings 22:18-19 like the above proverb, has this idea that the Lord responds to the one who listens to and gives heed to His voice. The Lord responds to the obedient, the righteous, the tender hearted; the humble who bow down and are subject to Him.

Psalm 95:6-8  … Come, let us worship and bow down, Let us kneel before the LORD our Maker. For He is our God, And we are the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand. Today, if you would hear His voice, do not harden your hearts, as at Meribah, as in the day of Massah in the wilderness …

From NetBible Ps 95:6-8

  • worship[07812] = bow down before God in worship, reverence
  • kneel[01288] = by implication to bless God (as an act of adoration), praise, salute, thank
  • hear His voice)[08085] = obey His voice
  • harden[07185] your heart = become stubborn, turn a deaf ear, become rebellious – stiff necked

The word kneel[01288] in the above scripture is very interesting. It is associated with both physical bending of knee and blessing. Worshipping the Lord in reverence, bowing and bending the knee and heart in obedience before the Lord actually blesses Him! Psalm 103:20-23 also link this word kneel[01288] with blessing the Lord in obedience and service.

Psalm 103:20-22 NASB … Bless[01288] the LORD, you His angels, Mighty in strength, who perform His word, Obeying the voice of His word! Bless[01288] the LORD, all you His hosts, You who serve Him, doing His will. Bless[01288] the LORD, all you works of His, In all places of His dominion; Bless[01288] the LORD, O my soul!

The Lord not only responds to tender hearted worship; He is blessed and takes pleasure in it. He greatly desires and is delighted by this type of worship.

Psalm 45:11  … So the King will greatly desire your beauty; Because He is your Lord, worship Him{submit to Him}.

From NetBible Ps 45:11

  • greatly desire[0183] = crave, attracted by, enthralled by, delighted by
  • worship[07812] = bow down before God in worship, reverence

*Submit to Him = bring pleasure to Him

Proverbs 11:20 … The LORD detests men of perverse heart but He delights in those whose ways are blameless.

From NetBible Prov 11:20

  • delight[07522] = goodwill, favor, acceptance, pleasure
    *from [07521] = to be pleased with, to accept favorably
  • blameless[08549] = upright, without blemish, sincere

The tender hearted, the obedient, the humble who bow down and are subject to the Lord; they delight in the fear of the Lord. It’s interesting to note that this delight in the fear of the Lord, has a pleasing smell or fragrance to the Lord. It is the same scent from incense burned before the Lord as an offering or sacrifice.

Isaiah 11:3He will delight in the fear of the LORD, And He will not judge by what His eyes see, Nor make a decision by what His ears hear

From NetBible Is 11:3

  • delight in the fear of the Lord = delight in obeying[07306] = make of quick understanding, smell, get pleasure, breathe, accept

*The Hebrew text reads literally, “and his smelling is in the fear of the Lord.” In Amos 5:21 the Hiphil of רוּחַ (ruakh, “smell”) carries the nuance of “smell with delight, get pleasure from.” There the Lord declares that he does not “smell with delight” (i.e., get pleasure from) Israel’s religious assemblies, which probably stand by metonymy for the incense offered during these festivals. In Isa 11:3 there is no sacrificial context to suggest such a use, but it is possible that “the fear of the Lord” is likened to incense. This coming king will get the same kind of delight from obeying (fearing) the Lord, as a deity does in the incense offered by worshipers.

It’s this delight in the fear of the Lord, this sweet incense of fully committed hearts that the Lord takes delight in and searches for throughout the whole earth. (Ps 147:11; Ps 33:18;2Chr 16:9).  The Lord’s heart becomes one with a heart that fears and reverently worships Him.

Psalm 86:11-12 … Teach me Your way, O LORD; I will walk in Your truth; Unite my heart to fear Your name. I will praise You, O Lord my God, with all my heart, and I will glorify Your name forevermore.

From NetBible Ps 86:11

  • unite[03161] = to join, to become one

The following meaning of  “delight yourself in the LORD”  really captures what it means to be tender hearted towards the Lord.

Psalm 37:3-4 … Trust in the LORD, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.

From NetBible Ps 37:3-4

  • Delight[06026] = to be soft{pliable}, be delicate, be dainty
  • Desires[04862] = request, petition, prayers

*Faith and obedience (v. 3) will bring divine blessing (v. 4).

Tender hearts trust in the Lord and do good. They are soft, pliable, sensitive and  responsive to the Lord’s leading. They are like soft clay in the potter’s hand, allowing the potter to form whatever shape He desires. The tender hearted delight in the Lord and His will. The Lord in turn not only responds to but takes delight and pleasure in the tender hearted as a fragrant, living offering!

Ephesians 5:1-2 NASB … Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.

Tender Hearted Delight
by Karen Holland 12-28-2013

A humble heart bows before the Lord
In tender hearted delight -Ps37:4; Is11:3
Before the One and Only
Who is adored. -Ps45:11; 1Co8:6

A sweet incense
A living sacrifice
A fragrant offering
Beautiful, pleasing in His sight. -Eph5:1-2; Ro12:1-2; Ps45:11

Tender hearted delight
Held in His gaze
The apple of His eye  -Ps17:8; Prv7:1-2
Treasured and greatly desired
Lord I am yours and You are mine! -Ps45:11; Is 43:1-4

TenderHeart

Related:
The Lord’s Delight

Harp Songs in the Night

August 24, 2012

Harp Songs in the Night
By Karen Holland … 8-25-2012
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Psalm 42:8 … The LORD will command His lovingkindness in the daytime; and His song will be with me in the night—A prayer to the God of my life.

I’ve always loved the above scripture, especially the idea of the Lord giving songs in the night(Job 35:10). A song sung in the night, against the darkness can only come from a heart that has been touched by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ; a heart where the word of Christ richly dwells.

Colossians 3:16-17Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace{gratitude} in your hearts to the Lord. Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.

Psalm 19:14 … Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer.

There is a strong connection between the words of our mouth and the meditations – what dwells in our heart. For the mouth speaks or sings from what fills or dwells in the heart(Mt 12:34). This made me smile, since a few days before, as I was meditating on the fact that the ‘inhabitants of the Rock’ sing a new song; the Lord gave me a new song! The following are the scriptures and new song the Lord gave.

Isaiah 42:10-12Sing to the LORD a new song and His praise from the ends of the earth … Let the inhabitants of  the rock sing; Let them shout from the top of the mountains. Let them give glory to the LORD and declare His praise in the coastlands.

From NetBible Isaiah 42:10 & 42:12
praise[08416] = song, hymn of adoration, high praise
from [01984] halal to shine.

A Harp in My Heart

Lord there is a harp in my heart
And only You can play it
There is a song in my spirit
And only You can sing it

Awake my heart
Awake my soul
to sing!

Jesus, Jesus, O Jesus
Deep in my soul
Jesus, Jesus, O Jesus
You are beautiful my sweet
Sweet Song.

Psalm 57:7-10 … My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast; I will sing and make melody {in my heart}. Awake, my soul! Awake, harp and lyre! I will awaken the dawn{with my song}. I will praise You, O Lord, among the peoples; I will sing to You among the nations. For great is your love, reaching to the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies. 

From NetBible Psalm 57:7
steadfast[03559] = fixed, established, prepared

Exodus 15:2The LORD is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation{victory}; This is my God, and I will praise Him{prepare Him a habitation}; My father’s God, and I will extol Him. 

From NetBible Exodus 15:2
prepare him a habitation[05115] = to make a home, beautify, adorn with praise

Psalm 104:34 … May my meditation be sweet{pleasing} to Him; I will be glad in the LORD.

From NetBible Psalm 104:34
*the psalmists meditations are expressed as songs of praise

The harp in my heart is a beautiful picture of the word of Christ dwelling there, prepared through meditation ready to be awakened by the Holy Spirit. When awakened a new song springs forth. A song of high praise, a habitation where the Lord lives beautified and adorned by it. This new song shines glorifying the Lord. This idea of the harp symbolizing much more than a musical instrument to praise the Lord also came up in my previous articles.

From Harps of God:

The harp goes with the singing of the song of Moses and the song of the Lamb; it is associated with singing a new song. The new song above(Rev 15:2-4) seems to spring forth as a celebration of victory, a celebration of deliverance by the Lord’s mighty hand. It is also a celebration of the confession of truth, of the goodness and greatness of the Lord. A similar thing is seen in Psalms 33:1-5, 43:3-5, 71:22-24.

Proverbs 22:17-19     Incline your ear and hear the words of the wise, and apply your heart to my knowledge{utterance, words}. For it is pleasing when you keep them in your heart and have all of them ready on your lips. So that your trust may be in the LORD.

Psalm 49:3-4     My mouth will speak wisdom, and the meditation of my heart will be understanding. I will turn my ear to a proverb; with the harp I will expound{open} my riddle. 

The above verses especially, contain an interesting idea. Meditating keeping Christ’s words, His truth in your heart brings forth music from your heart as the strumming of a harp. This music is a celebration of the confession of truth which opens the tabernacle of the testimony. A new song is sung imparting the Lord’s wisdom. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy (Rev 19:10)!

From “Make Music in Your Heart”:

From NetBible: Psalm 19:14 and Psalm 92:3

*mediation – higgayown [01902] means resounding music, musing. In Psalm 92:3 higgayown refers to music made by a harp.

Pleasing meditations of the heart are like making resounding music in the heart to the Lord! A pleasing heart song, like music made by harp to the Lord! Be filled with the Spirit. Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and *make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. –Eph 5:18-20

From NetBible:  Ephesians 5:19

*make music –psallo [5567] also refers to music made by a harp.

As we speak to one another, sing and make music in our hearts to the Lord, we are filled with the Spirit and He dwells in our midst.

This caused me to look back at Psalm 92:3 which links the melody made by a harp to the meditation of the heart in Psalm 19:14.

Psalm 92:1-3It is good to give thanks to the LORD and to sing praises to Your name, O Most High; To declare Your lovingkindness in the morning and Your faithfulness by night, with the music of the ten-stringed lyre and the melody of the harp.

Wow! Did you see that? Declaring His lovingkindness in the morning and His faithfulness by night is linked to the melody of a harp. Is it such a jump then to the idea that these “songs in the night” given by the Lord are “harp songs”  new songs of high praise created by meditations of the heart dwelling on the word of Christ? Look back at Psalm 42:8. This really encouraged me: these “songs in the night” are —A prayer to the God of my life.

From NetBible Psalm 42:8
prayer[08605] =t@phillah. A few hebrew transltions read this as praise. Just look how close these words are.[08416] – t@hillah means a song or hymn of high praise from [01984] halal to shine.

These harp songs, new songs of high praise in the night; they shine bright the glory of God against the darkness of night revealing the face of Christ. They are a beautiful prayer/praise lifted up and sung to the living God, our Lord Jesus Christ.

Psalm 40:3   …  He has put a new song in my mouth — praise to our God; many will see it and fear, and will trust in the Lord.

From NetBible Psalm 40:3
praise[08416] = song, hymn of adoration, high praise
from [01984] halal to shine.

2 Corinthians 4:6 … For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

Harp Songs in My Heart

Lord there is a harp in my heart
And only You can play it
There is a song in my spirit
And only You can sing it

Awake my heart
Awake my soul
to sing!

Harp songs of my soul
Songs in the night
Heart blossoms unfolding with the Son’s light
Melodies bearing the sweet fragrance of life
Joy unspeakable, pure delight
Songs of grace lifted up to God
A prayer/praise to the God of my life
Heart blossoms, flowers of joy
Revealing the face of Christ
Light in the darkness
The Lord my shield
My strength
My song.

Jesus, Jesus, O Jesus
Deep in my soul
Jesus, Jesus, O Jesus
You are beautiful my sweet
Sweet song.

Clothed with Joy

December 31, 2011

Clothed with Joy
By Karen Holland … 12-31-2011
_________________________________________________________________

Nehemiah 8:10 Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.

Psalm 30:11 You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy.

I was on my way to work, a full day ahead of me and I was tired. I was praying and pondering the above scriptures. I desperately wanted to have enough strength to attend a praise dance service at my friend’s church later on in the day. The name of her praise dance team was ‘Clothed with Joy’.

Here in Psalm 30:11 the word joy-simchah[08057] means mirth, gladness, the joy of God. The root of this word denotes being glad or joyful with the whole disposition, the whole heart. Clothed-‘azar [0247] means to be girded, encompassed, equipped.

To be ‘clothed with joy’ is to be ‘equipped’ with the Joy of the LORD!

Looking at Nehemiah 8:10, strength-ma`owz [04581] means a place or means of safety, protection, refuge and comes from a root that means to be strong or prevail-‘azaz[05810]

Equipped with the Joy of the LORD to be strong and prevail!

This is what I was praying, asking the Lord to strengthen me with His joy. I also was praising and singing to the Lord. He did carry me thru work somehow, even though I was still very tired. I was determined to see my friend Marsha dance.  This would be the first time she was dancing for the Lord again after surviving more than one bout with cancer. This would be a very special dance and I was so grateful to be able to share in it. So I continued to ask the Lord to equip me with His joy, thanking Him for this opportunity.

As I entered my friend’s church, there was a flurry of dancers in lovely costumes, warm greetings and a sense of expectant excitement. I searched for my friend but did not see her. Then the service began. The worship was beautiful, it was good to sing to the Lord midst this congregation. Then the praise dancers entered. I finally saw Marsha. When our eyes met we both cried tears of joy. Tears of gratefulness to the Lord that we were both here to share in this moment. All of the songs, costumes and choreography were beautiful, honoring the Lord.

Then Marsha emerged, dancing a solo to a love song to the Lord. She didn’t have to match her steps or motions with anyone else. Her dance was unique, expressing her own style. She danced differently, but it wasn’t just her dance, it was her heart. Her face radiated the love and joy of and for the Lord. Her dance drew me into the presence of the Lord in such as way that it was as if I was dancing along with her before the Lord, with all our hearts and might. It made me think of David dancing before the Lord with all his might. What a beautiful expression of joy in the Lord’s presence! I could feel my tiredness lifting as my heart too was filled with joy.

After this dance finished there was loud applause; other hearts were as deeply touched as mine. Then Marsha gave her testimony. This dance was a testimony of how the Lord helped and sustained her through her bouts with cancer and healed her. More than once Marsha had previously shared with me how she drew strength from her dancing before the Lord. This was her joy drawing her into His presence. Marsha’s dance and words were a beautiful testimony of our living God, Jesus Christ our Lord! Her words touched my heart even more deeply, my heart was completely revived!

It surprised me a little that it was Marsha’s joy in the Lord along with her testimony that revived my heart. When I was praying to be equipped, strengthened with the joy of the Lord, I somehow thought it would be my own joy in the Lord that would revive me. When I got home this made me curious enough to look up the scriptures the Lord had put on my heart.

Psalm 30:9-12 What profit is there in my blood, if I go down to the pit? Will the dust praise You? Will it declare Your faithfulness? Hear, O LORD, and be gracious to me; O LORD, be my helper. You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing, You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy, that my soul may sing praise to You and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks to You forever.

CLothed, equipped with joy not only to be strong and prevail but to give testimony to the Lord’s faithfulness! Looking at Nehemiah 8:10 again, the word joy[02034] from a root [02032] means exceedingly glad, great joy; like that of a king filled with joy dancing before the Lord with all his might/strength.

Psalm 21:1, 6-7 AMP THE KING [David] shall joy[08055] in Your strength[05797], O Lord; and in Your salvation how greatly shall he rejoice[01523]! … For You make him to be blessed and a blessing forever; You make him exceedingly glad[08057] with the joy[02032] of Your presence. For the king trusts, relies on, and is confident in the Lord, and through the mercy and steadfast love of the Most High he will never be moved.

2 Samuel 6:12-14 Now King David was told, “The LORD has blessed the household of Obed-Edom and everything he has, because of the ark of God.” So David went down and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-Edom to the City of David with gladness[08057]. And so it was, that when the bearers of the ark of the LORD had gone six paces, he sacrificed an ox and a fatling. And David was dancing before the LORD with all his might[05797], and David was wearing a linen ephod.

A coincidence? The word for might[05797] is from the same root to be strong, prevail[05810] as strength[04581] in Nehemiah 8:10!

Has the Lord filled you with joy and gladness at His faithfulness? Then let this joy be seen, do not be silent! You were blessed, clothed with joy to share your testimony. It will bring the joy and strength of the Lord to others. You were blessed to be a blessing!

Psalm 68:3 Let the righteous be glad(with the whole disposition[08055]); Let them rejoice(jump for joy before God[05970]); Yes, let them exceedingly rejoice(display joy[07797]) with gladness[08057]!

Word Study

From NetBible Ps 30:11

  • clothed-‘azar[0247] = girded(metaphorical of strength), encompassed, equipped
  • joy-simchah[08057] = joy, mirth, gladness, joy (of God)
    *The root denotes being glad or joyful with the whole disposition, the whole heart [08056] [08055]

From NetBible Neh 8:10

  • joy[02304] = rejoicing, gladness
    *From [02302] = exceedingly glad
  • strength-ma`owz [04581] = place or means of safety, protection, refuge, stronghold
    *From to be strong, prevail[05810]

From NetBible Ps 21:1,6

  • joy[08055] = being glad or joyful with the whole disposition, the whole heart
  • strength[05797] = strength, power
    *From to be strong, prevail[05810]
  • rejoice[01523] = to exult, spin round in joy
  • glad[08057] = joy, mirth, gladness, joy (of God)
    *The root denotes being glad or joyful with the whole disposition, the whole heart [08056] [08055]
  • joy[02032] = exceedingly glad

From NetBible 2 Sam 6:12-14

  • gladness[08057] = joy, mirth, gladness, joy (of God)
    *The root denotes being glad or joyful with the whole disposition, the whole heart [08056] [08055]
  • might[05797] = strength, power
    *From to be strong, prevail[05810]

From NetBible Psalm 68:3

  • glad[08055] = being glad or joyful with the whole disposition, the whole heart
  • rejoice[05970] = jump for joy
  • rejoice[07797]) = display joy
  • gladness[08057] = joy, mirth, gladness, joy (of God)

Watchful Thanksgiving

December 17, 2011

Watchful Thanksgiving
By Karen Holland … 12-17-2011
__________________________________________________________________

Acts 16:23-26 … After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. Upon receiving such orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks. About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everybody’s chains came loose.

Remember Paul and Silas? Ever wonder why they were praying and singing near midnight? After a long day, being beaten and thrown in prison why would they do this?

Looking at what the word for singing hymns means gives us a clue. The Strong’s word humneo[5214] means to sing songs of praise celebrating God. These could have been from the paschal hymns: Psalms 113 – 118 and 136, which the Jews called the “great Hallel”.

The word Hallel means praise, it’s also part of the word hallelujah which means “praise Jah’ or “praise ye the Lord”. The exhortation “Praise ye the Lord:Hallelujah” from the greek root allelouia[239] appears throughout Psalms 113-118. The Strong’s word halal[01984] used in this phrase means to shine, praise, boast, or celebrate in Jah[03050] which is the proper name of the one true God.

Paul and Silas singing at midnight praising God was a way of boasting in the one true God and encouraging each other to “Praise ye the Lord: Hallelujah”!

Consider also Psalm 119 – they knew this psalm.

Psalm 119:60-62  I made haste, and did not delay to keep Your commandments. Though the wicked bind me with ropes, I will not forget your law. At midnight I will rise to give thanks to You, because of Your righteous judgments.

The Strong’s word yadah[03034], to give thanks means to confess/acknowledge the name of God, especially to revere or worship with extended hands. It is a way of giving oneself wholeheartedly in worship or adoration, in complete surrender to the Lord.

Other verses which associate yadah[03034] with this giving thanks wholeheartedly.

  • Psalm 9:1I will give thanks to the LORD with all my heart; I will tell of all Your wonders.
  • Psalm 100:3-4 … Know that the LORD Himself is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name.
  • Psalm 111:1Praise ye the LORD! I will give thanks to the LORD with all my heart, In the company of the upright and in the assembly.
  • Psalm 138:1I will give You thanks with all my heart; I will sing praises to You before the gods.
  • Proverbs 3:5-6Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.

From Psalm 100:3-4 and Proverbs 3:5-6 the word for know/acknowledge is especially interesting. Yada to know/acknowledge[03045] means to have an intimate relationship and understanding of who the person of Jesus Christ is as Savior and Lord. The only way to give wholehearted thanks to the Lord is to know He is God and that you belong to Him; He is your Lord. This means trusting and obeying Him in all circumstances.

Paul and Silas wholeheartedly singing songs of praise and giving thanks at midnight was a way of inviting the Lord into their situation. It was a way to acknowledge the Lord and declare their faith, for  the other prisoners were listening. It helped them rise up despite their difficult circumstances; to expectantly wait and watch for the Lord to act and direct their paths.

Colossians 4:2  … Be devoted to prayer, watch (keeping alert) in it with thanksgiving.

The word for watch is gregoreuo[1127] meaning to keep awake, alert, vigilant, to arouse or cause to rise. Just think how hard it would have been for Paul and Silas to be alert enough at midnight to pray. Thanksgiving here seems to be a key, eucharistia[2169] means to be actively grateful, thankful for God’s grace. This word is from a root eucharistos[2170] which means to give thanks full of grace. This watchful thanksgiving for God’s grace is full of grace! After Paul and Silas prayed and sang at midnight we do see God acting with great grace in their situation: a violent earthquake opened the prison doors.

Like Paul and Silas, the apostles who were also of one accord, had this great grace upon them.

Acts 4:32-33Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common. And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all.

The word for grace, charis[5485] ,  is also the word for thanks. Look at the connection between this word, thankfulness, singing and letting the peace of God rule!!!!!!!!

Colossians 3:15-17 … And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful[2170] . Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace[5485] in your hearts to the Lord. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks[2168] to God the Father through Him.

Being thankful, singing with grace in your heart to the Lord, when done in Christ’s body lets the peace of God rule. Praying with watchful thanksgiving in Christ’s body lets His peace rule. This is also God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 … Rejoice[5463] always; pray without ceasing; In everything give thanks[2168]; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

When we come before God with a grateful heart and offer our thanks in everything the peace of Christ rules no matter what our circumstances!

Philippians 4:6-7 … Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving[2169], let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

We can give thanks through Jesus on our own or together as part of His body. Through Jesus we can be full of gratitude and rejoice exceedingly together for His indescribable gift!

In everything, may we each be devoted to prayer, keeping alert in it with watchful thanksgiving filled with the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ!

Hebrews 13:15 … Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.

2 Corinthians 9:15… Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!

Word Study

From NetBible Acts 16:25

  • singing hymns: humneo[5214] = songs of praise celebrating God
    *Could be from Psalms 113-118, 136 – the “great Hallel”

From NetBible Ps 113:1,3,9; Ps 115:17-18; Ps 116:19; Ps 117:1-2
Praise ye the LORD

  • Praise: halal[01984] = to shine, praise, boast, celebrate
    *greek allelouia[239] = praise ye the Lord, Hallelujah
  • ye the Lord: Jah[03050] = the proper name of the one true God

From NetBible Ps 118:1; Ps 136:1
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good. His love endures for ever.

  • give thanks: yadah[03034] = to confess/acknowledge the name of God, especially to revere or worship with extended hands
    *The giving of oneself in worship and adoration – absolute surrender.

From NetBible Ps 119:62

  • rise: quwm[06965] = to arise, to stand, to be confirmed, to be proven
  • give thanks: yadah[03034] = to confess/acknowledge the name of God, especially to revere or worship with extended hands
    *The giving of oneself in worship and adoration – absolute surrender.
  • From NetBible Psa 9:1
    I will give thanks[03034] to the LORD with all my heart[03820]; I will tell of all Your wonders.
  • From NetBible Psa 100:3-4
    Know[03045]  that the LORD Himself is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Give thanks[03034]  to Him, bless His name.
  • From NetBible Psa 111:1
    Praise ye the LORD! I will give thanks[03034] to the LORD with all my heart[03824], In the company of the upright and in the assembly.
  • From NetBible Psa 138:1
    I will give You thanks[03034] with all my heart[03820]; I will sing praises to You before the gods.
  • From NetBible Prov 3:5-6
    Trust in the LORD with all your heart[03820] and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge[03045] Him, and He shall direct your paths.

    • with all your heart: leb[03820] = inner man, mind, will, heart, understanding 
      *a form of [03824] = the heart; also used (figuratively) verywidely for the feelings, the will and even the intellect;
    • acknowledge: yada’[03045] = to know, be acquainted with
      Heb “know him.” The verb יָדַע (yadah, “to know”) includes mental awareness of who God is and the consequential submission to his lordship. To know him is to obey him. The sage is calling for a life of trust and obedience in which the disciple sees the Lord in every event and relies on him. To acknowledge the Lord in every event means trusting and obeying him for guidance in right conduct.

From NetBible Col 4:2

  • keeping alert: gregoreuo[1127] = vigilant wakeful watching
    *from [1453] = to arouse, cause to rise
  • thanksgiving: eucharistia[2169] = actively grateful to
    *From http://concordances.org/greek/2170.htm
    Be thankful[2170] eucharistos: mindful of favours, grateful – properly, thankful for God’s grace working out what is (eternally) good; grateful, which literally means “grace-ful (thankful) for God’s grace” (what brings His eternal favor)

From NetBible Acts 4:33; 2 Cor 9:15

  • grace: charis[5485] = grace which affords joy, gratitude
    *From chairo[5463] = be glad, rejoice exceedingly

From NetBible Col 3:15-17

  • be thankful: eucharistos[2170]
    *from http://concordances.org/greek/2170.htm –  mindful of favours, grateful – properly, thankful for God’s grace working out what is (eternally) good; grateful, which literally means “grace-ful (thankful) for God’s grace” (what brings His eternal favor)
  • singing with grace: charis[5485] = grace which affords joy, gratitude
    *From chairo[5463] = be glad, rejoice exceedingly
  • giving thanks: eucharisteo[2168] = to be grateful, to express gratitude towards
    *From [2170]

From NetBible 1Thes 5:16-18

  • rejoice: chairo[5463] = be glad, rejoice exceedingly
  • give thanks: eucharisteo[2168] = to be grateful, to express gratitude towards
    *From [2170]

From NetBible Phil 4:6

  • thanksgiving: eucharistia[2169] = actively grateful to
    *From [2170]

From NetBible Heb 13:15

  • sacrifice of praise[133] = a thank offering
    *From [134] = to praise, extol, to sing praises in honour to God
  • fruit of lips[2590] = praises, which are presented to God as a thank offering
    *the soul is compared to a plant that is to bring forth fruit
  • give thanks[3670] = to confess, declare to one another, to praise, celebrate with one another
    *From [3674] = persons assembled together

Lilies Dripping Liquid Myrrh

July 19, 2011

Lilies Dripping Liquid Myrrh
By Karen Holland … 8-1-2011
__________________________________________________________________________

Psalm 2:11-12 Serve the Lord with reverent awe and worshipful fear; rejoice and be in high spirits with trembling [lest you displease Him]. Kiss the Son [pay homage to Him in purity], lest He be angry and you perish in the way, for soon shall His wrath be kindled. O blessed (happy, fortunate, and to be envied) are all those who seek refuge and put their trust in Him.

Recently one morning I was thinking about the phrase ‘Kiss the Son‘ and the ‘Anointed Lips‘ of the bride and Bridegroom. My heart was stirred …

Psalm 45:1  For the director of music. To the tune of ”Lilies”. Of the Sons of Korah. A maskil. A wedding/love song. [KAREN'S version :) ]
My heart is stirred by a beautiful song, it overflows its banks, beauty bubbles up and bursts forth. I sing of the things which I have made touching (kissing?) the king: my tongue is the pen of a ready writer, shaping the river into words!

My Jesus
My beautiful Jesus
O how I long
To bow down in purity before my King
To taste and see -Ps 34:8
Sweetness itself -Song 5:16
His kisses in my mouth -Song 1:2
Sweeter than honey -Ps 119:103
The goodness of the Holy One
Anointed lips, the lips of the Son -Ps 45:2
Lilies dripping liquid myrrh -Song 5:13

My Jesus
My beautiful Jesus
O how I long to sing
At Your right hand eternal pleasures -Ps 16:11
Jesus, my beautiful Jesus
You are my sweet sweet song -Ex 15:2Isa 12:2
My sweet sweet song for evermore.

That’s when it hit me – His lips are lilies, dripping liquid myrrh! Just the day before I felt the Lord’s longing for ‘His lily’.

Song 2:2  The Lover to His Beloved: Like a lily among thorns, so is My love among the daughters.

The image of a white lily surrounded by thorns and the Lord’s longing to hold this lily, to reach through the thorns and draw this lily to Himself. I had previously come across this image in a sermon by Spurgeon ‘The Lily among Thorns’.

Quote: http://www.biblebb.com/files/spurgeon/1525.htm

Dr. Thompson writes of a certain lily, “It grows among thorns, and I have sadly lacerated my hands in extricating it from them. Nothing can be in higher contrast than the luxuriant, velvety softness of this lily, and the withered, tangled hedge of thorns about it.” Ah, beloved, you know who it was that in gathering your soul and mine, lacerated not his hand only, but his feet, and his head, and his side, and his heart, yes, and his inmost soul. He spied us out, and said, “Yonder lily is mine, and I will have it”; but the thorns were a terrible barrier; our sins had gathered round about us, and the wrath of God most sharply stopped the way. Jesus pressed through all, that we might be his; and now when he takes us to himself he does not forget the thorns which girded his brow, and tore his flesh, for our sakes.

To reach through the thorns and draw the white lily, drops of blood from the Lamb would spill: on the thorns, on His hand, on the white lily …

Isaiah 1:18 … Though your sins are as scarlet, they will be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, they will be like wool.

This beautiful contrast: the crimson and the white, the blood of the spotless Lamb and the white lily. Did you see it?!!! His lips are lilies – white lilies! I knew that these white lilies associated with the word shuwshan[07799] were a symbol for the bride. This is the same word for lily found in both Song 5:13 and the title of Psalm 45:1!

Quote Among the Lilies :
Song 7:2 (Lover to Beloved)     Your navel is a rounded goblet; It lacks no liquor(mixd wine). Your belly is a heap of wheat encirlced about with lilies[07799].

‘Your navel’, the center of the body is encircled by these white lilies! From my article ‘Ascending Mount Zion‘, we saw that the center of the throne is where the Lord is enthroned on the praises of His people. God’s throne, His dwelling place, Zion, is encircled by those singing a new song, it’s here in this atmosphere of praise where the Lamb stands high and lifted up(Rev 5:6, 9-13).

His lips are white lilies; the white lilies that encircle the throne where the Lamb stands! His mouth is another  picture of the center of the throne. Looking further at Song 5:13 we see that lips[08193] mean language, speech, shore, bank(of cup, sea, river, etc) and dripping[05197] means prophesy, preach, discourse in drops. The Lord longs to speak through His lips, His mouthpiece, the white lilies. Jesus, the Lamb standing in the center of the throne, speaks as the spirit of prophecy(Rev 19:10) through the white lilies, His lips!

Jesus has the white lilies, the bride, upon His lips and the bride has the scarlet thread upon hers! The beautiful contrast again: crimson and white.

Quote Anointed Lips:

Song 4:3     Your lips are like a scarlet thread, and your mouth is lovely. Your temples are like a slice of a pomegranate behind your veil.

The Bride has the scarlet thread upon her lips. The scarlet thread is Jesus, the blood sacrifice of Christ the Passover Lamb (Josh 2:18;Ex 12:11;1 Co 5:7)! The Bride has the proclamation of Jesus upon her lips, the aroma of Christ (2 Co 2:15).

Notice the colors again. The scarlet/crimson blood of the Lamb upon the brides lips: it’s the color of life! The white upon the lips of Jesus, especially dripping myrrh, is the color of death. Jesus was buried in about 100lbs of myrrh(Jn 19:38-42)! His lips dripping liquid myrrh: a picture of  “DEATH IS SWALLOWED UP in victory”!

1 Corinthians 15:54-56 But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, “DEATH IS SWALLOWED UP in victory. O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR VICTORY? O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR STING?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Jesus, the victorious Lamb standing in the center of the throne longs to speak through His white lilies. The white lilies respond with the scarlet thread, the blood of Jesus upon their lips. A portion of this type of prophecy is done in song through the kiss of the Son.

From my article Voices of the Bridegroom and the Bride:
Look how singing this new song fits with the voices of the Bridegroom and bride singing and being heard in the midst of His people.

The gift in 1 Corinthians 14:3 is key to this process. Prophecy for edification, exhortation and comfort. As seen in (Eph 5:18, Col 3:16) a portion of this type of encouragement is done in song. What a wonderful testimony of Jesus  …

…  Song 1:2     Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth— for your love is more delightful than wine.

Song 5:16     His mouth is sweetness itself; He is altogether lovely. This is my lover, this my friend.

The Song of Solomon creates this beautiful image of the lovers singing love songs to one another, exchanging kisses. Reading the above verses it’s easy to picture the Bridegroom putting the new song in His bride’s mouth with a kiss. When the bride responds and sings what has been placed in her mouth, she is kissing him back. How beautiful! What a beautiful expression of the love between the Bridegroom & bride.

These images of crimson and white, the lips the bride and Bridegroom are quite beautiful, especially in the light of this promise.

The Lover to His Beloved:
Until the day breaks and the shadows flee, I will go to the mountain of myrrh and to the hill of incense. -Song 4:6

Let the longing of Jesus for His white lily stir your heart today, with a beautiful song!

The Lover to His Beloved:
You who dwell in the gardens with friends in attendance, let Me hear your voice! -Song 8:13

O My dove, in the clefts of the rock, in the secret places of the cliff(stairs), let Me see your face, let Me hear your voice; For your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely. -Song 2:14

What will your answer be?

The Beloved to Her Lover:
Make haste, my beloved, and be like a gazelle or a young stag on the mountains of spices. -Song 8:14

Word Study;
From NetBible Song 5:13 … His lips are lilies, dripping liquid myrrh.

  • lips[08193] – language, speech, shore, bank(of cup, sea, river, etc)
  • lilies[07799] – a lily(from its whiteness) –Shoshannim, in title of Ps 45:1
  • dripping[05197] – prophesy, preach, discourse in drops

From NetBible Hos 14:5

  • Israel[03478] = “God prevails”
  • lily[07799] – a lily(from its whiteness) –Shoshannim, in title of Ps 45:1
  • Lebanon[03844] = “whiteness” (the) white mountain (from its snow); from [3825] = heart, mind

Take Off Your Shoes

April 15, 2011

Take Off Your Shoes
By Karen Holland … 5-1-2011
__________________________________________________________________________


“Earth is crammed with heaven,
And every bush is aflame with God
But only those who see, take off their shoes
The rest sit around it and pluck blackberries.” – Elizabeth Browning

Recently the above quote caught my eye.  I knew the flaming bush and taking off of shoes was referring to Moses and the burning bush.

Acts 7:33 … The LORD said to him, “Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground”.

From NetBible Acts 7:33

A quotation from Exod 3:5. The phrase holy ground points to the fact that God is not limited to a particular locale. The place where he is active in revealing himself is a holy place.

The word קֹדֶשׁ (qodesh, “holy”) indicates “set apart, distinct, unique.” What made a mountain or other place holy was the fact that God chose that place to reveal himself or to reside among his people. Because God was in this place, the ground was different – it was holy.

The removal of sandals was, and still is in the East, a sign of humility and reverence in the presence of the Holy One. It was a way of excluding the dust and dirt of the world.

From the above it appears that ‘holy ground’ is the place where God is active revealing Himself. This is not limited to a specific place.

The heavens are telling of the glory of God; And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. -Ps 19:1

The earth is full of the goodness of God. -Ps 33:5

From Barnes notes on the Bible

The Lord’s mercy or goodness is manifest everywhere. Every part of the earth bears witness that He is good.

Holy ground is holy, ‘set apart, unique, distinct’ because this is ground that the Lord chooses to reveal Himself in. ‘But only those who see, take off their shoes’. Who can ‘see’ God? Who can ‘stand’ on holy ground?

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. -Mt 5:8

Who may ascend into the hill of the LORD? Or who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation. This is Jacob, the generation of those who seek Him who seek Your face.  Selah -Ps 24:3-6

I didn’t see before the whole significance of the Lord’s command to take off your shoes. I saw it as obedience and as a sign of reverence, worship and humility. I didn’t see that it was a symbol for removing or excluding the dirt and sin of the world or that it was really a command linked to preparing your heart.

For thus says the high and lofty One–He Who inhabits eternity, Whose name is Holy: I dwell in the high and holy place, but with him also who is of a thoroughly penitent and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble and to revive the heart of the thoroughly penitent [bruised with sorrow for sin] -Isa 57:15 AMP

It appears that taking off your shoes is a symbol for a heart willing to humble itself before the Lord and be cleansed. This is where the Lord dwells and reveals Himself. This is holy ground!

And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be *sincere and blameless until the day of Christ; being filled with the fruits of righteousness which come through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. -Phil 1:9-11

In v10 the strong’s word heilikrines[1506] for sincere is very interesting. It means pure, sincere, unsullied. Looking more closely at this word, we see it is actually a compound word. The first part comes from heile (the sun’s ray), the second from krino (to judge). So the two parts together mean to be found pure when unfolded and examined by the sun’s light!

What a beautiful picture of a sincere heart, a heart willing to ‘take off its shoes’!

The heart of one with a “sincere” devotion to the Lord will be found pure when examined and judged by the Son, the light of the world. It will be a heart that has willingly submitted to Lord’s searching and cleansing.

Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean [ceremonially]; wash me, and I shall [in reality] be whiter than snow. … Hide Your face from my sins and blot out all my guilt and iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right, persevering, and steadfast spirit within me. Cast me not away from Your presence and take not Your Holy Spirit from me.  Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. -Ps 51:7, 9-12

These humble hearts that have willingly unfolded in the Son’s light to be cleansed are the place where the Lord dwells. They are also places of joy. The tabernacle of the righteous is where the voice of rejoicing is heard.

The voice of rejoicing and salvation is in the tent{tabernacles} of the righteous; The right hand of the LORD does valiantly{mighty things, conquers}. The right hand of the LORD is exalted{lifted up}; The right hand of the LORD does valiantly. … Open to me the gates of righteousness; I will go through them, And I will praise the LORD. This is the gate of the LORD, Through which the righteous shall enter. I will praise{give thanks, confess the name of God} You, For You have answered me, And have become my salvation. -Ps 118:15-16, 19-21

‘This is the gate’
:  Jesus is the gate for His sheep. The Lord Jesus Christ is our salvation. He is the main gate through which the righteous enter to find salvation. He is the gate to enter in and out of His pasture. -Jn 10:7-9

There are also gates of thanksgiving and praise that the saved go through to enter His presence. -Ps 100;Isa 60:18

Looking back now at the beginning quote.
“Earth is crammed with heaven, and every bush is aflame with God” 
The evidence of our Lord Jesus Christ is everywhere in His creation.

“But only those who see, take off their shoes”
Only those who choose to look for Him with pure sincere hearts will acknowledge Him, bow down and enter His gates in joyful worship.

“The rest sit around it and pluck blackberries”
The rest are consumed in their daily lives, fail to see Him and take Him for granted.

Where is your heart today? Are you busy with the blackberries or will you choose to take off your shoes, bow down and joyously worship Him?

Lord Jesus help us to set our hearts on You
To humbly seek Your face{take off our shoes}.
Please create in us clean hearts and pure hands -Ps 24:3-6, 51:10
That we may lift them up and bless You Lord. -Lam 3:41;Ps 134:2

BLESS (AFFECTIONATELY, gratefully praise) the Lord, O my soul; and all that is [deepest] within me, bless His holy name! -Ps 103:1

Lift up your heads, O you gates! And be lifted up, you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in. -Ps 24:7

I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope He has given to those He called–His holy people who are His rich and glorious inheritance. -Eph 1:18

Psalm 100

A Psalm of Thanksgiving.

1 Make a joyful shout to the LORD, all you lands!
2 Serve the LORD with gladness;
Come before His presence with singing.
3 Know that the LORD, He is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.

4 Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,
And into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
5 For the LORD is good;
His mercy is everlasting,
And His truth endures to all generations.

The Lord’s Delight

January 3, 2011

The Lord’s Delight
By Karen Holland … 1-1-2011
__________________________________________________________________________

Numbers 14:7-9 They[Joshua&Caleb] spoke to all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying: “The land we passed through to spy out is an exceedingly good land. If the LORD delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us, ‘a land which flows with milk and honey.’ Only do not rebel against the LORD, nor fear the people of the land, for they are our bread; their protection has departed from them, and the LORD is with us. Do not fear them.

If‘ the LORD delights in us, THEN He is with us and will bring us into ‘the land’. Can you think of anything better than being the Lord’s delight? Or anything worse than having His protection depart?

If the LORD delights in us

  • He will go before and never leave, fail or forsake us
    Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the LORD your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. … Then Moses called to Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, “Be strong and courageous, for you shall go with this people into the land which the LORD has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you shall give it to them as an inheritance. The LORD is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed. -Deut 31:6-8
  • He prepares, orders and makes our steps firm; He will not let us fall
    Those blessed by Him will inherit the land, but those cursed by Him will be cut off. The steps of a good{a valiant warrior able to fight} man are ordered{established, made firm, prepared} by the LORD, and He delights in his way. Though he stumbles, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with His hand.-Ps 37:22-24
  • He crowns us with salvation{His deliverance, favor and victory}
    The LORD takes delight in His people; He crowns{beautifies, adorns} the humble with salvation{deliverance, favor, victory}. -Ps 149:4
  • He rejoices over us as the Bridegroom rejoices over the bride
    You shall no longer be termed Forsaken, Nor shall your land any more be termed Desolate; But you shall be called Hephzibah{my delight is in her}, and your land Beulah{married}; For the LORD delights in you, and your land shall be married{to Him enjoying His blessing & protection}. For as a young man marries a virgin, so your sons will marry you; And as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so your God will rejoice over you. -Isa 62:4-5
  • He will quiet{sooth, renew} us with His love; He blesses His people with His strength and peace
    The LORD your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness{joy, pleasure, glee}, He will quiet{sooth, renew} you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing. -Zeph 3:17  

    The LORD gives strength to His people; the LORD blesses His people with peace. -Ps 29:11When a man’s ways are pleasing to the LORD, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him. -Prov 16:7

  • He rescues us from our enemies bringing us to an enlarged pasture
    He also brought me out into a broad place{enlarged, roomy pasture}; He delivered{rescued, equipped, strengthened} me because He delighted in me. -Ps 18:19  

    By this I know that You are pleased with me, because my enemy does not shout in triumph over me. -Ps 41:11

Exactly what makes the Lord delight in us? What is pleasing in His sight?

  • Those who fear Him and hope in His mercy
    The LORD takes pleasure in those who fear Him, in those who hope in His mercy. -Ps 147:11  

    ..Behold, the Lord’s eye is upon those who fear Him [who revere and worship Him with awe], who wait for Him and hope in His mercy and loving-kindness. -Ps 33:18 AMP

  • Those who are upright in heart, whose walk is blameless
    The LORD detests men of perverse heart but He delights in those whose ways are blameless{upright, without blemish, sincere}. -Prov 11:20  

    ..I know also, my God, that You test the heart and have pleasure in uprightness{integrity, purity, sincerity}. As for me, in the uprightness of my heart I have willingly offered all these things; and now with joy I have seen Your people, who are present here to offer willingly to You. -1 Chr 29:17 ..He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. -Mic 6:8

  • Those who have faith and earnestly seek Him
    And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him. -Heb 11:6 ..… the LORD is with you when you are with Him and if you seek Him, He will let you find Him; but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you. -2 Chr 15:2

    ..You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. -Jer 29:13

  • Those with gentle and quiet spirits
    Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewellery and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle{humble, yielding wholly relying on the Lord} and quiet{tranquil, at peace, steadfast} spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. -1 Pe 3:3-4
  • Those who are faithful, obedient and know God
    For I delight in faithfulness, not simply in sacrifice; I delight in the knowledge of God, not simply in burnt offerings. -Hos 6:6 
    ..But Samuel replied: “Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the LORD? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. -1 Sam 15:22

    ..The eyes of the LORD search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him. -2 Chr 16:9

Psalm 112:1 Praise the LORD. Blessed is the man who fears the LORD, who finds great delight in His commands.

Psalm 86:11-12 Teach me Your way, O LORD; I will walk in Your truth; Unite my heart to fear Your name. I will praise You, O Lord my God, with all my heart, and I will glorify Your name forevermore.

From NetBible Ps 112:1; Ps 86:11, a heart that fears[03372] the Lord, stands in reverent awe, honour,  and respect of the Lord. A heart that fears the Lord obeys the Lord with great delight. A heart united[03161] to fear the Lord’s name is a heart fully committed and surrendered to the Lord’s will. The word unite here means to become one with.

Psalm 111:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments; His praise endures forever.

Proverbs 7:1-2 My son{child}, keep my words, and treasure my commands within you. Keep my commandments and live, and my teaching as the apple of your eye{as your most prized possession}.

To be pleasing in the Lord’s sight and ‘kept as the apple of His eye’, we must treasure and keep His words as ‘the apple of our eye’ – our most prized possession. From NetBible Isa 11:3 delight in the fear of the Lord, whole hearted obedience, is as pleasing to the Lord as incense. It is the Lord’s delight to accept a fully committed heart as a ‘fragrant’ offering of worship.

Ephesians 5:1-2 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma{sweet incense}.

It’s this ‘uniting’ of hearts to fear the Lord, this sweet incense, that brings forth His praise. And His praise endures forever!

Revelation 19:5-9   Then a voice came from the throne, saying: “Praise our God, all you His servants, you who fear Him, both small and great!” … Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: “Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.” (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.) … Then the angel said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!’

Beautiful in His sight
Held in His gaze
The apple of His eye
Sheltered -Ps 91:1
Covered beneath His wings -Ps 17:8; Prv 7:1-2

Treasured and greatly desired
His delight -Ps 45:11; Ps 147:11

 

Is the heart which
… Wholeheartedly bows down in delight before the King.

A sweet incense
A living sacrifice -Eph 5:1-2; Rom 12:1-2
Delight in the fear of the LORD
Delight in the Word -Ps 119:16; Mt 4:4
Savor the wonder and awe of the Kings presence
Upheld in His mighty right hand
Fullness of joy
Forevermore. -Isa 41:10; Ps 16:11

Hebrews 13:20-21 (NKJV) May the God of peace … the great Shepherd of the sheep … make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.


An Incense So Sweet

October 27, 2010

An Incense So Sweet
By Karen Holland … 11-1-2010
__________________________________________________________________________

I trust in Him
There’s an incense so sweet.

These two lines are the turning point from my poem ‘I Am Helped’ in the article ‘From the Depths to the Heights’. They really have intrigued my heart this month. Just what is this incense so sweet? Is it trust in the Lord? The Lord Himself? Where does this incense come from? Where does it lead?

From the NetBible Incense is a substance that produces a fragrant odor when burned. It was associated with offering a pleasing sacrifice to the Lord and was to consist of four ingredients finely ground, pure and holy, to be set before the ark of the testimony in the tent of the meeting(Ex 30:34-36). This incense was to be offered daily on the golden altar{the altar of incense} in the holy place, and on the great day of atonement it was burnt by the high priest in the holy of holies(Ex 30:7-8). This immediately made me think of  Jesus Christ, the perfect offering, the spotless Lamb, a living sacrifice pleasing to God; a sweet smelling savour.

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma. -Eph 5:1-2

From the Netbible Eph 5:2 the word for offering[4376], is a sacrifice for sin, and the word for fragrant[2175], means a sweet smell, incense. Incense – the smell of a pleasing sacrifice to God! Jesus was a pleasing sacrifice, a sweet smelling offering – as incense when it is burned before the Lord. Jesus, an incense so sweet, burning before the Lord; a sin offering for each of us given in perfect love!

He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. -2 Cor 5:21

We are only able to become the fragrance of Christ, a sweet incense acceptable and pleasing to God, because Jesus bore our sins for us.

Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the aroma of His knowledge in every place. For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing; To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life. And who is sufficient for these things? -2 Cor 2:14-16

The fragrance of Christ is the fragrance of life among those being saved, but the aroma of death among those who are perishing. I’d never thought of this before: Christ’s sacrifice seems to emit an aroma which is either pleasing and accepted or displeasing and rejected. The Netbible 2 Cor 2:14 confirms this, the word for aroma[3744] has the idea of emitting an odor; a smell that is either good or bad. This idea of an offering emitting a smell that is good or bad, pleasing or displeasing, accepted or rejected led to the following verses.

I hate, I reject your festivals, Nor do I delight in your solemn assemblies. -Amos 5:21 NASB

I hate, I reject your feast days, and I will not smell in your solemn assemblies. -Amos 5:21 KJV

Then the dove came to him in the evening, and behold, a freshly plucked olive leaf was in her mouth; and Noah knew that the waters had receded from the earth. … Then Noah built an altar to the LORD, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. The LORD smelled the soothing aroma{sweet savour}; and the LORD said to Himself, “I will never again curse the ground on account of man, for the intent of man’s heart is evil from his youth; and I will never again destroy every living thing, as I have done. -Gen 8:11, 20-21

From the Netbible Amos 5:21 the word for smell[07306](ruwach) in the KJV is very interesting. It means to smell, accept or delight. The word ‘ruwach’ comes from a primitive root ruah[2131] and means to breathe an odor. It is closely linked to ruah[2131a] the word for wind and Spirit. So here the Lord will not accept, delight in, breathe in or smell the Israelite worship.

On the other hand, Noah’s offering was a sweet, soothing aroma to the Lord. The word for smell[07306] here is the same as in Amos 5:21. Not only did the Lord smell, breathe in, accept and delight in Noah’s offering; the offering was soothing.  From the Netbible Gen 8:21, soothing[05207] means sweet, quieting, tranquillising and comes from the root word nuah[1323] which means rest or resting place. Is it a coincidence that Noah[05146] also means rest and comes from the same root word nuah[1323]? Or that Noah’s altar was the first altar we read of in the Bible?

The smell of Noah’s sacrifice quieted God’s wrath and produced tranquility! God not only ‘inhaled’ the pleasing, soothing scent, He breathed it out. Noah’s offering, the whole burnt offering represented his complete surrender and dedication to the Lord. The offering was thought to be consumed and accepted by God as it ascended with the sweet smelling smoke. Noah’s offering, his complete surrender and dedication produced a sweet fragrance breathed in by God. His altar provided a resting place where God breathed out the fragrance of tranquility and peace. How beautiful that the dove carrying an olive branch is also part of this passage!

The Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus in bodily form like a dove(Mt 3:16; Mk 1:10; Lk 3:22; Jn 1:32) and rested on Him. How beautiful that the dove the symbol for peace and rest seems to be associated with the fragrance of a pleasing sacrifice.

An incense so sweet, Jesus
The fragrance of a pleasing sacrifice, the spotless Lamb
The fragrance of life and love
The fragrance of complete devotion and surrender
The sweet fragrance of the dove.

Both the Bridegroom and the bride are compared to doves(Song 1:15, 5:12). Notice in the following where the bride is called ‘My dove’ by the Bridegroom there is also a fragrance given forth.

“My beloved responded and said to me,
‘Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, and come along.
‘For behold, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone.
‘The flowers have already appeared in the land;
The time has arrived for pruning the vines,
And the voice of the turtledove has been heard in our land.
‘The fig tree has ripened its figs,
and the vines in blossom have given forth their fragrance.
Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, and come along!’”
“O my dove, in the clefts of the rock,
in the secret place of the steep pathway,
Let me see your form, Let me hear your voice;
For your voice is sweet, and your form is lovely.”  -Song 2:10-14

From the Netbible Song 2:13 the word for fragrance[07381] is the odor of soothing(technical term for sacrifice to God) from the root[07306]! The bride of Christ, the dove in this passage is midst the fragrance of soothing. Is it a coincidence that the description of Noah’s sacrifice used similar words? WOW! And look, it is here midst the blossoms giving forth their fragrance that the bride promises to give the Bridegroom, her love.

The Beloved to Her Lover:
Let us rise early and go to the vineyards; Let us see whether the vine has budded{flourished} and its blossoms have opened, and whether the pomegranates have bloomed. There I will give you my love. -Song 7:12

From Netbible Song 7:12 the word for budded[06524] paints a beautiful picture of this place of fragrance where the bride gives the Bridegroom her love! Budded means to break forth, to bloom; we saw from Song 2:13 that a fragrance is released as this happens. This is a beautiful picture of a flower opening, unfolding, releasing a sweet, soothing fragrance pleasing to the Lord. The Bridegroom longs for this unfolding, this release, this opening of the complete surrender of His bride’s heart.

The Beloved about Her Lover:
I was asleep but my heart was awake. A voice! My beloved was knocking:

The Lover to His Beloved:
‘Open to me, my sister, my darling, My dove, my perfect one! For my head is drenched with dew, My locks with the damp of the night.’ -Song 5:2

Looking closer at this word, budded[06524], it not only gives the image of a fragrant flower opening wide, it also means to fly as the extending of wings! The image of the dove, the bride,  extending her wings anticipating flight! Flight to her home, her place of shelter and rest, flight to the place where she gives her Bridegroom her love.

Who are these who fly like a cloud and like the doves to their lattices{roost, home}? -Isa 60:8

The Beloved about Her Lover:
My beloved is like a gazelle or a young stag. Behold, he is standing behind our wall, He is looking through the windows, He is showing Himself through the lattice. -Song 2:9

Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest. -Ps 55:6

This is really beautiful! Can you hear the longing of both the Bridegroom and the bride for each other? So is it any surprise that the word for showing[06692] Himself, means to shine, to blossom, put forth blossoms, or produce blossoms? How strong is your desire to worship Jesus? Are you willing to worship at His feet with your whole heart and being, even when it appears foolish?

____________________________________________________________
John 12:1-7
Six days before the Passover, Jesus arrived at Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. Here a dinner was given in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him. Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.” He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it. “Leave her alone,” Jesus replied. ” It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial. You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.”
____________________________________________________________

Mary was not afraid to express her love for Jesus, even midst the critics who viewd this act as waste. Jesus was her only focus. In Mark’s account, Jesus said … “She has done a beautiful thing to me” (Mk 14:6). Jesus saw her heart, a heart completely devoted to Him. Mary’s worship was intense – the oil was more than a years wages. Jesus saw the desire in Mary’s heart to express her love of her Redeemer. This desire of Mary’s heart, a completely devoted heart, was of more value to Jesus than all the expensive perfume in the world. Her act of worship released a beautiful fragrance which filled the whole house and touched not only Christ’s heart and the hearts of those present but also the hearts of those to come in the future. Truly I say to you, wherever the gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be spoken of  in memory of her(Mk 14:9). This is the kind of heart the Lord is searching and longing for.  A heart full of the fragrance of love and devotion to Jesus; this is the heart Jesus promises to meet upon the ‘mountains of spices’, midst the smell of a pleasing sacrifice, an incense so sweet.

The Lover to His Beloved:
Until the day breaks and the shadows flee, I will go to the mountain of myrrh and to the hill of incense. -Song 4:6

The Maidens to the Beloved:
Where has your beloved gone, O most beautiful among women? Where has your beloved turned{to face, appear}, That we may seek him with you?

The Beloved to the Maidens:
My beloved has gone down to His garden, To the beds of balsam{spice, sweet smell, perfume}, To pasture his flock in the gardens and gather lilies.

The Beloved about Her Lover:
I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine, He who pastures his flock among the lilies. -Song 6:1-3

An incense so sweet, Jesus
The fragrance of a pleasing sacrifice, the spotless Lamb
The fragrance of life and love
The fragrance of complete devotion and surrender

The sweet fragrance of the doves.

Sweet blossoms opening pouring forth complete devotion
Among the lilies
An incense so sweet
Complete surrender
A living breathing sacrifice.

Oh my beloved, upon the mountains of spices,
Make Haste!
-Song 8:14

For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is fully committed to Him … -2 Chr 16:9

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living{breathing} sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. -Rom 12:1


Word Study

Netbible Eph 5:2
an offering[4376] and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant[2175] aroma[3744]

Netbible 2 Cor 2:14
manifests through us the sweet aroma[3744] of the knowledge of Him in every place.

offering[4376]
the act of offering, a bringing to
that which is offered, a gift, a present.
In the NT a sacrifice, whether bloody or not: offering for sin, expiatory offering

fragrant[2175]
sweet smelling thing, incense
an odour of acquiescence, satisfaction
sweet savour, spoken of the smell of sacrifices
metaph. a thing well pleasing to God

aroma[3744]
fragrance, odor, savor
From [3605] to give an odor either good or bad
***

Netbible Amos 5:21
I will not smell[07306] in your solemn assemblies.

Netbible Gen 8:21
The LORD smelled[07306] the soothing[05207] aroma[07381]

Netbible Gen 8:20
Then Noah[05146] built an altar to the LORD … and offered burnt offerings[05930] on the altar

smelled[07306]
to breathe, accept, delight
from a primitive root ruah[2131] which means to breathe an odor
closely linked to ruah[2131a] the word for wind and Spirit

soothing[05207]
sweet, quieting, tranquillising
from the root word nuah[1323] which means rest or resting place

Noah[05146]
rest
from the root word nuah[1323] which means rest or resting place

burnt offerings[05930]
whole burnt offering
ascent, stairway, steps
sacrifice go up in smoke to God

aroma[07381]
scent, fragrance
odour of soothing (technical term for sacrifice to God)
from root smell [07306]
***

Netbible Song 2:13
the vines in blossom have given forth their fragrance[07381]

Netbible Song 7:12
Let us see whether the vine has budded{flourished}[06524] and its blossoms have opened[06605]

fragrance[07381]
scent, fragrance
odour of soothing (technical term for sacrifice to God)
from root smell [07306]

budded[06524]
to break forth as a bud, bloom
to spread; specifically, to fly (as extending the wings)

opened[06605]
to open wide, break forth
appear
to be loosed, freed, released

***

Netbible Isa 60:8
like the doves to their lattices{roost, home}[0699]

lattice[0699]
window, dove-cot, roost, home, shelter
chimney (lattice opening where smoke escapes)

Netbible Song 2:9
He is showing[06692] Himself through the lattice[02762]

showing[06692]
to blossom, shine, sparkle
to put forth blossoms, produce blossoms

lattice[02762]
opening through which one may look

Netbible Psa 55:6
Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest[07931].

rest[07931]
to settle down, abide, dwell, tabernacle, reside
to permanently stay, inhabit

_______________________________________________________________________________
Related:
The Heart of a Dove
The Fragrance of the Dove
Arise Beautiful One{Blossom}
Among The Lilies

From the Depths to the Heights

April 18, 2010

From the Depths to the Heights
By Karen Holland … 5-1-2010
__________________________________________________________________________

Psalm 28:7 AMP   The Lord is my Strength and my [impenetrable] Shield; my heart trusts in, relies on, and confidently leans on Him, and I am helped; therefore my heart greatly rejoices, and with my song will I praise(thank) Him.

I Am Helped
Karen Holland … 2-20-2010

A heart heavy with sorrow
Overwhelmed
Kneels.

Bowed before His throne
At His feet
My heart yields.

I trust in Him
There’s an incense so sweet.

My grateful heart sings
I lift up my eyes and see
My Savior! Lord Jesus!
My strength, my song, my shield!


Have you ever experienced a turning point like this? Where in a moment your heart seems to be strengthened and lifted from the depths of sorrow to the heights of joy? Psalm 28 and the above verse really encouraged me in the midst of my trials when my heart was overwhelmed and fainting. David knew this feeling; a feeling of being overwhelmed to the point of death. Hear his cry and look what he does.

Psalm 28:1-2 To You I will cry, O LORD my Rock: do not be silent to me, lest, if You are silent to me, I become like those who go down to the pit. Hear the voice of my supplications when I cry to You, when I lift up my hands toward Your holy sanctuary.

David cries out to the Lord his Rock. He knows his protection and safety lie in the Lord. He knows that in his own strength his heart will faint. He knows that he needs the Lord’s strength to carry him through this trial. So David cries out to the Lord. He also lifts up his hands towards the Lord’s holy sanctuary. From the Netbible Psalms 28:2 lifting up hands towards the holy sanctuary towards the place where God dwells is a gesture of prayer. Here in this verse it seems to go with David’s cry for help and mercy from the Lord. Hands here seem to express David’s desperate need for the Lord to respond. The following verses are very similar.

Psalm 143:6-8 I spread out my hands to You; My soul longs for You like a thirsty land. Selah. Answer me speedily, O LORD; My spirit fails! Do not hide Your face from me, lest I be like those who go down into the pit. Cause me to hear Your lovingkindness in the morning, for in You do I trust; Cause me to know the way in which I should walk, for I lift up my soul to You.

Hands lifted up, spread out towards the Lord seem to be an outward expression of a soul stretched out to touch the Lord or come into His presence.

Lamentations 3:40-41 AMP   Let us test and examine our ways, and let us return to the Lord! Let us lift up our hearts and our hands [and then with them mount up in prayer] to God in heaven.

We need to lift up clean hands and pure hearts before we can come into the Lord’s presence.

Psalm 24:3-5  Who shall go up into the mountain of the Lord? Or who shall stand in His Holy Place?

He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted himself up to falsehood or to what is false, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive blessing from the Lord and righteousness from the God of his salvation.

Lets look back at Psalm 28. In verse 7 David seems to have been helped. Verses 1-5 seem to be David lifting up his hands, heart and requests imploring the Lord to have mercy and help. Look at verse 6.

Psalm 28:6 Blessed[01288] be the Lord, because He has heard the voice of my supplications.

David praises the Lord because he has faith that the Lord has heard him and will answer. David’s heart trusts in the Lord and he is helped. His heart greatly rejoices and praises the Lord in song. David’s faith seems to be a turning point in this psalm. Blessing the Lord also seems to be a turning point. Here to bless the Lord, is the word barak[01288], which means to kneel, praise, adore. It is the same word used in the following verses.

Psalm 134:2 Lift up your hands to the sanctuary and bless[01288] the LORD.

Psalm 63:4 So I will bless[01288] You as long as I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name.

Hands lifted toward the Lord are not only a gesture of prayer; they are also lifted to bless Him. This really encouraged me!

Look at the turning point in this psalm again. Changing from the lifting of hands in prayer to blessing the Lord in faith seems to have lifted David from the depths(going down to the pit) to the heights(his heart greatly rejoicing). David’s heart greatly rejoicing, this thought caused me to look back at verse 7, at the word for praise. Here is what I found:

From NetBible Psalm 28:7:
*praise: [03034]yadah
To revere or worship with extended hands
The giving of oneself in worship and adoration – absolute surrender.

The word yadah for praise in verse 7 is a picture of absolute surrender – trust and of hands extended in worship to the LORD. It also seems to be linked with confessing, acknowledging and knowing the LORD.

From NetBible Psalm 138:1;Psalm 138:2

Psalm 138:1-2 AMP    I WILL confess and praise[03034] You [O God] with my whole heart; before the gods will I sing praises to You. I will worship toward Your holy temple and praise[03034] Your name for Your loving-kindness and for Your truth and faithfulness; for You have exalted above all else Your name and Your word and You have magnified Your word above all Your name{Your promises are backed by all the honor of Your name.}!

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge[03045] Him, and He shall direct your paths.

From NetBible Proverbs 3:6

*acknowledge: [03045]yada
Heb “know him.” The verb יָדַע (yadah, “to know”) includes mental awareness of who God is and the consequential submission to his lordship. To know him is to obey him. The sage is calling for a life of trust and obedience in which the disciple sees the Lord in every event and relies on him. To acknowledge the Lord in every event means trusting and obeying him for guidance in right conduct.

So today if you find yourself sinking with your strength growing faint, cry out to the Lord, lift up your hands, your heart, and your soul. Bless the LORD, trust Him with your whole heart, acknowledging His name with the sacrifice of praise. You will be helped, and lifted from the depths to the heights.

Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that confess{acknowledge, give thanks to} His name. -Heb 13:15

Come Up into the Mount of the LORD

December 22, 2009

Come Up into the Mount of the LORD
By Karen Holland … 1-1-2010
__________________________________________________________________________

Where do you go when you are in need of strength? What do you do when your heart is broken over what seems to be an impossible promise from the LORD? Or when the LORD appears to ask you to do something which negates this promise? Where would you find the strength to obey? If you’ve ever been in a situation like this you know the pressure that a test like this can exert on your faith.

Abraham found himself in this place of testing when the Lord asked him to sacrifice Isaac in Genesis 22:1-14.

Now it came to pass after these things that God tested Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!”
And he said, “Here I am.”
2 Then He said, “Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” -Gen 22:1-2

Remember the Lord’s promise to Abraham? He was promised descendants as numerous as the stars (Gen 15:3-6). Imagine how Abraham felt, how could he sacrifice his only son? How would God then fulfill His promise? Abraham became a father in his old age and now God wants to take his son. This doesn’t make sense. Yet Abraham was obedient and did what contradicted logic (Gen 21:2; Heb 11:17-19). But where did Abraham find the strength to obey? Put yourself in his shoes, where would you find the strength?

The following really encouraged me! Look what Abraham does before he goes to sacrifice Isaac his only son.

Genesis 22:4-5 On the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes and saw the place{ Mt. Moriah} from a distance. Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey, and I and the lad will go over there; and we will worship and return to you.”

Lifting up your eyes to the Lord is a prerequisite to ‘seeing’.

From: NetBible Gen 22:4
saw — ra’ah [07200]
– the common word for seeing with the eyes- five special metaphorical meanings

  1. ra’a designates the saving, understanding, believing acceptance of the Word of God as delivered by his accredited messengers. In Isaiah 6:10 to see with the eyes is to hear God’s Word, to understand it, and to turn to him. On the other hand, in the same passage to harden the heart against God’s message is to shut the eyes.
  2. ra’a has the sense of the act of acceptance, especially on the part
    of God. God says to Noah, “Thee have I seen righteous” Genesis 7:1. Another example is Numbers 23:21.
  3. ra’a has the sense of “to provide”, usually of God’s provision: 1Samuel 16:1; Genesis 22:8; Genesis 22:14 (as in English to see to something is to provide it).
  4. ra’a has the sense of “To have respect to”, especially of God in acting with mercy Isaiah 38:5; Psalm 138:6. See also Psalm 66:18 for a similar sense.
  5. Of special importance is that ra’a is employed far more than any other word for the act of an authentic prophet in receiving oracles from God. This is suggested first in the basic text, Numbers 12:6. God’s part in revelation is denominated a mar’a (vision), a noun derived from ra’a, as also in ten other texts (Gen 46:2; 1Sa 3:15; Eze 1:1; Eze 8:3; Eze 40:2; Eze 43:3; Dan 10:7-8, Dan 10:16).

Abraham lifted up his eyes and saw Mount Moriah, the place where he was going to sacrifice Isaac, the place where they went to meet with the Lord. After Abraham lifts his eyes and sees, he worships the Lord in this place.

From: NetBible Gen 22:5
worship — shachah [07812]
to do reverence to, to bow down(prostrate oneself) to, to adore, to pay homage to

— proskuneo [4352]
meaning to kiss, like a dog licking his master’s hand

The word for worship here is the same idea expressed in the following phrase ‘Kiss the Son’.

Psalm 2:11-12 Worship the LORD with reverence(fear) and rejoice with trembling. Kiss(do homage to) the Son, that He not become angry, and you perish in the way; For His wrath may soon be kindled. How blessed are all who take refuge in Him!

It’s after Abraham worships the Lord in this way that He finds the strength to obey the Lord and sacrifice Isaac. He knew that the Lord would provide! Abraham had faith and ‘saw’ with his spiritual eyes the Lord’s provision before it actually happened.

Genesis 22:8 Abraham said, “God will provide(see to it[07200]) for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” So the two of them walked on together.

Genesis 22:14 Abraham called the name of that place The LORD Will Provide(Jehovah-jireh = “Jehovah sees”[03070]), as it is said to this day, “In the mount of the LORD it will be provided(it shall be seen[07200]) .”

Jehovah-Jireh, the Lord sees and will provide; –> God will provide for himself a lamb. The idea is that the Lord ‘sees’ the need before it arises and then provides for it. Not only did the Lord foresee Abraham’s need for a lamb but even more significantly He foresaw mankind’s need for the Lamb of God, Jesus(Jn 1:29).

Abraham lifted up his eyes and saw the place – Mount Moriah! A place of sacrifice; a place of obedience and worship; a place of rejoicing; a place of provision; a place of knowing and ‘seeing’ the Lord move.

Psalm 121:1 AMP I WILL lift up my eyes to the hills [around Jerusalem, to sacred Mount Zion and Mount Moriah]–From whence shall my help come?

From my article Lift Up Your Eyes:
The Psalmist by saying I lift up my eyes to the hills{ Mount Zion and Mount Moriah} is actually saying to focus on the Lord’s dwelling place, majesty and presence and to remember Jesus the Lamb of God, His blood sacrifice. It’s only by the blood of the Lamb, Jesus, that we can come into the presence of a Holy God and know where our help comes from – the Maker of heaven and earth, the Sovereign Lord.

We found a similar thing in the ideas of Psalm 121,123 and Psalm 46:10. Lifting up your eyes to the King and knowing where your help/strength comes from is intimately connected to worship – reverent fear, obedience, and rejoicing. From Hebrews 4 and Psalm 95: sing and shout for joy to the LORD our Maker! Come before His presence with thanksgiving. Enter His rest as a sheep of His hand with the people of His pasture. How blessed are all who take refuge in Him!

Psalm 100:2-3 AMP Serve the Lord with gladness! Come before His presence with singing! Know (perceive, recognize, and understand with approval) that the Lord is God!

Abraham’s journey of lifting up his eyes, worshipping and in obedience sacrificing Isaac is a journey that can be seen in those who ‘follow the Lamb wherever he goes’; those with clean hands and a pure heart.

Psalm 24:3-4 AMP Who shall go up into the mountain of the Lord? Or who shall stand in His Holy Place?
He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted himself up to falsehood or to what is false, nor sworn deceitfully.

From my article Ascending Mount Zion:
Zion is the place that the Lamb stands midst ‘the ones who follow wherever He leads’. Zion is the place where the Lord dwells, the city of God, the holy mountain. … When the Lord is enthroned on the praises of His people, He dwells in their midst. God’s throne, His dwelling place, Zion, encircled by those singing a new song, it’s here in this atmosphere of praise that the Lamb stands in the center of the throne high and lifted up. … The Lamb at the center of the throne ties all these things together, worship, salvation, the river of life, Zion, the holy place where the Most High dwells. How appropriate that it would be the Lamb that leads, for Jesus the Lamb of God paid the price for us all. Jesus the Lamb of God is the reason that there is a free gift of the water of life.

It’s the Lamb that holds the key to entering this place of worship encircling the throne.

Revelation 7:17 For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; He will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.

The Lamb leads to the center of the throne, to the city of God where the Most High dwells and to the River of Life.

So today if you need strength, lift up your eyes to the King. Come up into the mount of the Lord thru worship. Come before His throne with singing! Follow the Lamb to springs of living water and drink in His mercy and grace. He will wipe away every tear …

for “In the Mount of The LORD it shall be provided{seen}. -Gen 24:14″

The joy of the LORD is your strength -Neh 8:10!

__________

Lord of the Mountain
By Michael Hart
Copyright © 2000 Soulkeeper Music
All Rights Reserved

LORD OF THE MOUNTAIN
LORD OF THE SEA
LORD OF THE STARRY NIGHT
GLORIOUS MYSTERY

LORD OF THE AGES
SON WHO WAS RAISED
HEAVEN DECLARES YOUR JOY
FOREVER YOU’LL BE PRAISED

I will go up, to the mountain of the Lord
Drink of the spring, from the Saviour of my soul
Come let us bow, to our Maker and our God
Cling to the cleft, of our refuge and our rock

Chorus:

I will go up, to the mountain of the Lord
Find wings again, on the eagle of His word
Come let us fly, to the glory of the Son
Stand on the rock, resting on the work He’s done


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