• sonnyholmes

Psalm 34

This Psalm is an acrostic poem, each line beginning with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet.

I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth.

2 My soul makes its boast in the Lord; let the humble hear and be glad.

3 Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together!

4 I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears.

5 Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed.

6 This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him and saved him out of all his troubles.

7 The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them.

8 Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!

9 Oh, fear the Lord, you his saints, for those who fear him have no lack!

10 The young lions suffer want and hunger; but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.

11 Come, O children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord.

12 What man is there who desires life and loves many days, that he may see good? 13 Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit.

14 Turn away from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.

15 The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous and his ears toward their cry.

16 The face of the Lord is against those who do evil, to cut off the memory of them from the earth.

17 When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles.

18 The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.

19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.

20 He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken.

21 Affliction will slay the wicked, and those who hate the righteous will be condemned.

22 The Lord redeems the life of his servants; none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.

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  • sonnyholmes

The Psalms are traditionally attributed to King David. Of course, under the inspiration of our Heavenly Father the songs of praise, adoration, and lament are eternal truth for mankind in every generation. So, here we are at Thanksgiving 2020, certainly a year to remember. What human among us can better articulate the heart of gratitude expressed in King David's Psalms? So, this week I will post a Psalm a day without my usual comment. They are truth for the ages. Please read them with those in your circle of influence and reflect on the elements of gratitude written by the man remembered as a man after God's own heart (see 1 Samuel 13: 14; Acts 13: 22).

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!

2 Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing!

3 Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!

5 For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.

Psalm 100, ESV

A safe and blessed Thanksgiving!

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  • sonnyholmes

Fides has clouded and obscured the religious landscape of America for at least the past forty years. There's little argument that our nation was founded in the smooth seas of Christian belief. With clarity of vision our framers did, however, launch this democratic republic in the calm waters of religious freedom. Our citizens can choose their religious choices by personal preference, including the safe harbors of no religion. At some juncture in the past four generations, however, Fides has lashed our people with a new anti-Christian bias. You see, Fides, the Latin word for "faith", has become a pressurized system of hostile thought. It's torrents and winds today have shifted the course of the nation and our Godly heritage is hidden in its stormy path. Fides, the storm of faith.

The squalls and rough seas of Fides have swept the practices of faith into oceans of doubt and certainty. Prayer has basically been tossed overboard in American public life. Storm surges have engulfed the public reading of Scripture, distribution of Bible related materials, and traditional American thought about marriage, gender identification, and other ideals of Christian leaning. Under the torrents the sanctity of human life has been flooded by the strong currents of secular thought. Fides has also rained on educational systems, accreditation of institutions, the role of educators, and the peace that has characterized our system of government.

Of course, Scripture affirms faith as the enduring strength of nations and citizens. Our learning here is profound---

1. Faith is a stalwart of life.

Th anonymous author of the Epistle to the Hebrews wrote, "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen" (Hebrews 11: 1, ESV). This Christian faith gives us shelter in life's storms, and the perseverance to continue when those other storms are bursting upon us. The Apostle Paul wrote, "We walk by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5: 7, ESV). Fides, the storm of faith, questions the many promises of God that secure people of faith. Spiritual wavering and drift are the result.

2. God blesses nations of faith.

Yes, assuredly, many of the promises God made to nations were intended for the nations of Israel, God's chosen people. But, the truth of God's favor to people united by faith is extended to all people in every generation. The Psalmist wrote, "Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people whom he has chosen as his heritage!" (Psalm 33: 12, ESV). Under divine inspiration the prophet Isaiah wrote, "For the nation and kingdom that will not serve you shall perish; those nations shall be utterly laid waste" (Isaiah 60: 12, ESV). And, of course, there is the essential truth of 2 Chronicles 7: 14,

"If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land". Fides doesn't have to blow us away.

3. Faith is God's work in individuals manifest in culture.

Yes, faith is a personal decision. In the United States, more than 65% of our nation identify as holding Christian belief. These Americans, in individual and in corporate settings, should influence the nation with a Christian perspective. Jesus said, "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age" (Matthew 28: 19-20, ESV). Making disciples is our commission. It is how we calm the storms of Fides.

4. Our influence is how we live and how we witness our faith.

Years ago I heard a Bible teacher say, "Our nation doesn't want the God they see in us". This is a profound indictment about our life witness. Simon Peter wrote, "Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation"

(1 Peter 2: 12, ESV). Later he added, "But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect (1 Peter 3: 15, ESV). Fides can be calmed with the genuine lifestyles and witness of Christian people.

There it is, Fides, the storm of faith.

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