Sunday, April 29, 2012

April 29, 2012 … Count Your Blessings

Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: Psalm 102-104 … To study these chapters, go to this link -

Highlight Passage of the Day: … From Psalm 102: 1-3 ... Hear my prayer, O LORD, … And let my cry come to You. 2 Do not hide Your face from me in the day of my trouble; … Incline Your ear to me; … In the day that I call, answer me speedily. 3 For my days are consumed like smoke, … And my bones are burned like a hearth. 
Highlight Passage of the Day #2: … From Psalm 103: 1-2 ... Bless the LORD, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name! … 2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, … And forget not all His benefits.

My Journal for Today: Today in day 120 of my chronological Bible read, it’s back to the Old Testament Song book, the Psalms, … more specifically Psalms 102-104, which I’d charge any reader along with me today to take in from the link above. And when you do, I think you’ll be impressed, as I was, with the attitude of the psalmists (anonymous in Psalms 102 & 104 and King David for Psalm 103). And right at the outset of Psalm 102, verse 2b is one of my favorite images in the Psalms. You read it above in the English NIV version; and it pleads to God in a prayer from someone in a bad place, “… incline Your ear [Lord] to me.”

If you do a little Hebrew study on that phrase, the word “incline” in this context is the Hebrew word “natah,” which pleads for someone to “bend down” … so that that person can hear a weakened one with a desperate plea. And that is the context of Psalm 102, … a person who is really down, … maybe physically, … maybe emotionally, … maybe spiritually, … maybe all three; but it is someone who has a weakened voice and needs for God to bend down so that He can hear the desperate plea of His weakened child.

Have you ever been there, my friend, … way down and weakened and you need for God to bend down, i.e., to incline His ear, to hear you? I have; and it’s a tough place to be. But in the next Psalm, number 103, David has a prescription which is a fool proof attitude shifter when one is way down and needs to be lifted up; and you read that very well know lifter-upper in the first few verses of Psalm 103, which are copied above. And if you read that, you may be, as I was this morning, led to translate that Davidic encouragement into the words of a famous old Irving Berlin song, ”Count Your Blessings.”

Maybe you’re not old enough to remember that song; but I am. I remember seeing it in the old movie, White Christmas, in the mid 50s sung by Bing Crosby. If you want to hear it, click on this link . It’s a great old song with a solid prescription for any down place in life. If you’re worried … stressed out … or down-and-out, just “Count Your Blessings,” as the Psalmist David did in Psalm 103 … and another anonymous psalmist did in Psalm 104 as well.

David, in consciously remembering and singing about the greatness of God and all the Lord had down for God’s people, was able to take his focus off any of any worldly stresses and focus on the truth that God is always there for God’s people with the hope of the Messiah on the horizon. And we, here-and-now Christians, have the advantage that we have the reality of the already come Messiah whom we know has come to save us and will come to give us the hope of eternity. How blessed is that to take us out of the doldrums of life’s problems, counting our blessings as the old crooner sings in the movie White Christmas?

I hope you can count your blessings, my friends, just as the psalmists did in Psalms 103 and 104, and just as Bing Crosby sings in the old Irving Berlin song. And when we do, we can be lifted up by the hope of the One Who will always bend down to hear us when we’re down, … lifting us up with the Hope, Who is Christ.

My Prayer Today: … Lord, You do bend down to hear me when I’m down and need to be lifted up; and You are always there, providing me with the hope of eternity. Amen

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