Thanksgiving Series: Wise & Creator God


Psalm 136 can be touted as the “The Psalm of Thanks” or the “Thanksgiving Psalm.” It is a Psalm that is rich in content, apropos the character of God and since each verse in the Psalm is suffixed with “For his mercy endures forever”, it is a Psalm that is easy to read and memorize as well.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, giving thanks for the ultimate reason of sending us his only begotten Son, we will be looking at each verse in Psalm 136 and glean out the character of God from these verses, which would be reason enough to be grateful and give thanks to our LORD God.

Today we look at Verses 5 and 6.
To him that by wisdom made the heavens: for his mercy endureth for ever.
To him that stretched out the earth above the waters: for his mercy endureth for ever.

Not only does this verse establish the fact that, God is wise, but it also asserts that God is a creator God. In fact, only God is wise (Romans 16:27; 1 Timothy 1:17; Jude 1:25), for even our wisdom is foolishness before God (1 Corinthians 3:19). You could take the smartest of the smart in this world, even Solomon the wise, who when pitched against God in wisdom, would turn out to be a fool. Our God is a creator God. Out of nothing, he can create (ex nihilo bara). When the earth was formless and void (nothing), God’s Holy Spirit hovered it and God created everything by his wisdom (Genesis 1) 

Points to ponder:
Out of the barrenness / emptiness / voidness of our life, when the Holy Spirit of God hovers over our dark and tumultuous life, as the waves (circumstances) of life try to engulf us, God can speak fullness of life (abundant life) into us (John 10:10), when we believe and trust in him.  He can stretch forth his hand over those waters and command “Peace” (Mark 4:35-41); a peace that passeth all understanding (Philippians 4:7) given to those whose mind is fixed on Jesus trusting him (Isaiah 26:3; Hebrews 12:2)  and assure us to “Be still and know that he is God” (Psalm 46:10)

Psalm 136:5-6 (KJV)
To him that by wisdom made the heavens: for his mercy endureth for ever.
To him that stretched out the earth above the waters: for his mercy endureth for ever.

 

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God, your Shield


Genesis 15:1 states “After these things the word of the Lord came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.” It is noteworthy to recognize that after the words of assurance to “fear not”, God assures Abram of his protection stating that he is his shield, on one hand, giving the reason for his words of assurance, while on the other, expressing God’s personal protection. God is saying here, that he is ‘the shield’ meaning that he is the defender. In other words, God is saying that if anyone plans to defeat Abram, they would need to go through him first.

A shield is primarily a defensive weapon, absorbing and deflecting the blows of the enemy, while secondarily functioning as a offensive weapon in a limited fashion, pushing the attacker backward. However, a shield that is not lifted up in front of the person who needs protection affords no protection whatsoever.

Points to ponder:
Often times, we seem to find ourselves defending our position and place instead of relying on God and being still, knowing that he is God (Psalm 46:10) – our shield, our defender. We are counseled to take up the shield (of faith) but here we also learn that we need to take up (raise up) Jesus Christ – THE Shield (whose name is Faithful – Revelation 19:11) by whom, we can extinguish the flaming arrows of the evil one. Is God, your shield? Is Jesus raised up to be your defender for when he is, if anyone plans to defeat you (in any sphere of life), they would need to go through him first … and guess what, no one will be able to. Is Jesus, your shield?

Genesis 15:1 (KJV)
After these things the word of the Lord came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.

Labor not in vain – Steadfast, Still and Surmount


According to the United States Department of Labor, Labor Day, which is annually celebrated on the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of the country.

To those who are citizens of God’s kingdom (Philippians 3:20), we ought to be able to celebrate Labor Day as well, which is possible as long as we have made contributions with our life that last the test of fire (1 Corinthians 3:14-15). The labor that stands the test of fire is the labour that in not in vain in the Lord.

In order for our labor to not be in vain in the Lord, the Bible teaches us the principles that are recorded in 1 Corinthians 15:58. 1 Corinthians 15:58 reads “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
First, we need to be steadfast, that is we need to stand firm, which is only possible if the foundation we stand on is firm. There is no other foundation that is firmer than Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 3:11).
Second, we need to be still (Psalm 46:10), that is be unmoveable. We must not waver in our faith but be faithful, keeping the faith (Revelation 14:12; Acts 14:22) till we see Christ face to face.
Third, we need to surmount, that is abound, in the work of the Lord. With God, there is no unfinished business (Philippians 1:6) and God is able to make his grace abound toward us so that we may have sufficiency in all things and that we may abound to every good work (2 Corinthians 9:8).

Points to ponder:
Do you want your labor to not be in vain? In other words, are you steadfast, are you still and is your work surmounting? If Jesus Christ is not your foundation, I beseech you to believe and trust in him for when on Christ the Solid Rock, we Stand, we are steadfast and need not fear the sinking sand.

1 Corinthians 15:58 (KJV)
58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

2 Corinthians 9:8 (KJV)
8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:

Nahum 1:9&10 – When God strikes, it is strikeout


Nahum 1:9 suggests the state of how God’s enemies will be dealt with. The Assyrians were a wicked people who boasted in their military strength and oppressed the people of God (the people of Judah) and it is in this situation that prophet Nahum brings the message of hope, the God will fight for his people. The people who hate God and oppress God’s people may plan and imagine things against the Lord, but this only makes him laugh (Psalms 2:1-4). God will make an utter end of his enemies and when he strikes, it is strikeout, for affliction shall not rise a second time (Nahum 1:9). Nineveh (Assyrian capital) is no where to be found today, making it impossible for it to rise again, which is a testament to God’s faithfulness in the fulfillment of his prophecies. Though the enemies are like a thorny curse (Genesis 3:17-18), their mental state shall be a state of instability like a drunkard (Nahum 1:10) and they shall be devoured by the fire (Nahum 3:15) of God’s wrath as stubble fully dry (Nahum 1:10).

Points to ponder:
When you are persecuted for belonging to God and ridiculed for bearing the Name of Jesus Christ, take solace in the fact, that it is God who will fight your battles. God does not need us to defend him against those who bully us for his name sake. He finds these bullies (just like the Assyrian king and army was) to be jokers who make him laugh. All we ought to be is be still and know that he is God for he will be exalted among the heathen and the whole earth (Psalm 46:10). He can fight for himself and will fight for us, his people, and when God strikes, it is strikeout – affliction shall not rise a second time.

Nahum 1:9-10 (KJV)
What do ye imagine against the Lord? he will make an utter end: affliction shall not rise up the second time.
10 For while they be folden together as thorns, and while they are drunken as drunkards, they shall be devoured as stubble fully dry.

Psalm 2:1-4 (KJV)
1 Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?
2 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his anointed, saying,
3 Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.
He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.

Psalm 46:10 (KJV)
10 Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.

Be Still :: Who are you?


The Bible teaches us to Be still and know that Who God is (Psalm 46:10), but did you know that the Bible also counsels us to Be still and know, who we are. (Psalm 4:4). We are asked to commune with our own heart and be still. In other words, we need to Be still and introspect.

We need to be still and introspect that we are standing (on our knees) in awe of God for his glory outshines all other things that glitter.
We need to be still and introspect to make sure that we have no unconfessed sin in our lives that displeases God.

Points to ponder:
When we are still, we can ponder in our hearts and introspect as to who we are (in Christ Jesus). Those who have believed in him, can be still and recognize that as the:
– Accepted of God, we can be still and know that we don’t need to be captive to any loneliness that binds us.
– Beloved of God, we can be still and know that we are fearfully and wonderfully made and so we don’t need to conform to the ephemeral things of the world that define short-lived beauty.
– Child of God, we can be still and know that as our Father, God is our provider, our protection, our pillar, our preserver,  and all powerful to meet all of our needs according to his riches in glory.

Do you know who you are? Be still and commune with your own heart; Be still and introspect.

Psalm 4:4 (KJV)
Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still.

Be Still :: Who is With You?


When Jesus was being arrested, one of his disciples, attempted to come to his defense and with his sword, cuts off the ear of the high priest’s servant. Jesus at this time questioned, “Do you not think that I can now pray to God the Father, and He would presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?” (Matthew 26:53). The book of Joshua and Revelation affirms that Jesus Christ is the captain of the armies (host) of the Lord (Joshua 5:14; Revelation 19:14).

One of my favorite songs is  Chris Tomlin’s song, “Whom shall I fear? (God of angel armies)” that is based on the above mentioned scripture. God begins to tell us through the Psalmist “Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.”  (Psalm 46:10) but then continues to affirm his constant presence and protection by telling us “The Lord of hosts is with us. The God of Jacob is our refuge” (Psalm 46:11).

Points to ponder:
To be still is to recognize the fact that God is not only a God of control but one who is with us, along with his host of angel armies. Jesus said, “I will never leave you, nor forsake you. I will be with you, even unto the end of the world.” (Hebrews 13:5; Psalm 28:20). The captain of the armies of the Lord is with us and so we have nothing or no one to fear. When Joshua encountered Jesus, the captain of the armies of the Lord, he immediately fell down and worshiped him. What is our response? Are we being still and worshipping the God of angel armies, who is with us, always?

Psalm 46:10-11 (KJV)
10 Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.
11 The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah

Be Still :: Who is in Control?


Jackie Chan in the movie, “The Karate Kid” makes a very interesting statement as he teaches his student, Jaden Smith, who plays the character of Dre Parker, that “To be still does not mean doing nothing. When the water is still, one can see one’s own reflection“, he says.

In the Christian life, one of the hardest things to do is to “Be Still”.  To be still doesn’t mean doing nothing. It is anything but being passive as it takes an active and conscious effort to let go and let God be in control. Often, in our desire to be in control, we want quick fixes and attempt to take matters into our own hands, just as the first man, Adam did and sent the world in error pinning.

God tells us through the Psalmist “Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.”  (Psalm 46:10).

Points to ponder:
To be still is to recognize the fact that God is God and He is in control. Man was not still and came short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). Man has to be still to see God exalted in his glory. Are you still before God, recognizing he alone is God? Am I still before God, recognizing His Godship?

Psalm 46:10 (KJV)
10 Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.