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Lowell Brueckner

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August 24 - 30 Daily Meditations in the Psalms


August 24

Psalms 81:8-16

8.  Hear, O my people, and I will testify unto thee: O Israel, if thou wilt hearken unto me;
9.  There shall no strange god be in thee; neither shalt thou worship any strange god.
10.  I am the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt: open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it.
11.  But my people would not hearken to my voice; and Israel would none of me.
12.  So I gave them up unto their own hearts' lust: and they walked in their own counsels.
13.  Oh that my people had hearkened unto me, and Israel had walked in my ways!
14.  I should soon have subdued their enemies, and turned my hand against their adversaries.
15.  The haters of the LORD should have submitted themselves unto him: but their time should have endured for ever.
16.  He should have fed them also with the finest of the wheat: and with honey out of the rock should I have satisfied thee.

     Similar to the cry of the Lord in the Psalm is that of Jesus to the Laodiceans, “If any man hear my voice” and put away his idols, I will come in and sup with him. “Open thy mouth wide and I will fill it.” The Manna-feeder is still our Source. Unfortunately, there are history worshipers today, who need to become present recipients of nourishment from an unchanging God.
     A curse follows those who will not hear, because they are led by their own wisdom, taken up with fulfilling their own will. It is the curse of continuing an existence with no intrusion from God. May it not be upon us.
     The divine “oh” assures us of God’s intentions towards our revival. Does he still groan today? Why should we walk in temporal wisdom and human power, when we can have His abundant and eternal ways? Enemies could be subdued, souls saved, and God’s best provisions would satisfy our souls. Who will let go and let God have His way? Who will profit from history by letting Israel’s provider fill his mouth to overflowing?

August 25

Psalms 82:1-8

1.  God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods.
2.  How long will ye judge unjustly, and accept the persons of the wicked? Selah.
3.  Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy.
4.  Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked.
5.  They know not, neither will they understand; they walk on in darkness: all the foundations of the earth are out of course.
6.  I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.
7.  But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes.
8.  Arise, O God, judge the earth: for thou shalt inherit all nations.

     God overrules the “gods”, who are playing God with their lives and that of others. They consider themselves superhuman and untouchable. Paul questioned the Corinthians, as to whether they were recipients or creators of the word of God. The Ephesians also seemed to be ignoring the one, who stood in the midst of the seven candlesticks. Romans, chapter two, presents a strange phenomenon about people who judge others for the same sins they commit and somehow think themselves immune. These are the gods, who persecuted Jesus for breaking the Sabbath, while they dishonored God in a thousand ways. Should not He who was God call Himself the Son of God, if the scripture referred to the rebellious Israelite leaders as gods? Though we dare not use the same terminology, the principle of the deification of man carries over to our day. We hold to our traditions, laws and judgments, as though they were untouchable, condemning all who break them. You will notice among us, that the righteous are often condemned and the wicked are justified, especially if they happen to have power or money.
     True followers of Christ have no obligation to conform to these dominating forces. Missionary work is the greatest deterrent to false religion. If we go to the physically and spiritually needy, who cannot return favors, it will be impossible to build an empire for ourselves. Christ will build His church from “nobodies and nothing”. Cry to them, “Save yourselves from this untoward generation.”  The foundations of the earth are sandy soil and, in the midst of them, Christ’s doctrine is revolutionary, running cross-current to everything.
     “All flesh is as grass”…“every mountain shall be brought low”…“the rich He has turned away empty” and it is time to recognize the Most High. The gods who govern the earth, including its religious societies, whether they believe it or not, are mortal men and the bigger they are, the harder they fall. We have seen many examples before our eyes these days. Christ returns soon to judge the earth and deliver it to His Father and that day may be close at hand.

August 26

Psalms 83:1-8

1.  Keep not thou silence, O God: hold not thy peace, and be not still, O God.
2.  For, lo, thine enemies make a tumult: and they that hate thee have lifted up the head.
3.  They have taken crafty counsel against thy people, and consulted against thy hidden ones.
4.  They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance.
5.  For they have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against thee:
6.  The tabernacles of Edom, and the Ishmaelites; of Moab, and the Hagarenes;
7.  Gebal, and Ammon, and Amalek; the Philistines with the inhabitants of Tyre;
8.  Assur also is joined with them: they have holpen the children of Lot. Selah

     Prayer calls for a total reversal of trends and it is the power that can bring it about. God’s enemies make a tumult, while He holds His peace. Prayer petitions God that He should not be still, but that His enemies may be brought to silence. That as it should be and we do right to pray in that manner.
     Two of my modern translations depart from the KJV at the end of verse three. In this case, the KJV, as I see it, is faithful to the literal Hebrew. Readers are cheated, who have only “cherished ones” or “treasured ones” in their translations, rather than “hidden ones”. That is the Hebrew and in its expression, one has more to contemplate than a people, whom God treasures or cherishes. It is a people over which He takes active care to hide away, as a cat would hide her kittens or a bird would hide its nest to protect its young from danger. It is a separated people, about which the Psalmist is writing, a people reserved for God. Only He can get to them to feed the milk of His word. “My sheep hear My voice...a stranger they will not hear.” They are also hidden from the public eye, “until the time of his showing to Israel”.
     Crafty counsel and consultation goes on by men, devils in hell and in the capitals of the world. They may not agree on anything else, but they are united in their quest to eliminate the seed of God from the earth. The “New Age Movement” has been around a long time. In the time of the Psalmist, there was a confederation against the Lord. Included and worthy of some meditation are the Amalekites, whom Saul refused to totally wipe out, and the seed of Esau, Ishmael and Lot.

August 27

Psalms 83:9-18

9.  Do unto them as unto the Midianites; as to Sisera, as to Jabin, at the brook of Kison:
10.  Which perished at Endor: they became as dung for the earth.
11.  Make their nobles like Oreb, and like Zeeb: yea, all their princes as Zebah, and as Zalmunna:
12.  Who said, Let us take to ourselves the houses of God in possession.
13.  O my God, make them like a wheel; as the stubble before the wind.
14.  As the fire burneth a wood, and as the flame setteth the mountains on fire;
15.  So persecute them with thy tempest, and make them afraid with thy storm.
16.  Fill their faces with shame; that they may seek thy name, O LORD.
17.  Let them be confounded and troubled for ever; yea, let them be put to shame, and perish:
18.  That men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most high over all the earth.

     The Psalmist turns to the book of Judges to look at some enemies, with whom God dealt thoroughly. The stories concern the victories of Gideon and Deborah. Revival fires and the wind of the Spirit that heat the stir the church, at the same time, frighten and shame the wicked. That is why there is always opposition to revival, similar to the awful contradiction of the ten spies, who deferred the conquest of Canaan. They not only discourage God’s people from entering their possession, but preserve the wicked and the wickedness of the land. We need the information of the spies to know the tools and strength of the enemy, but then we need the affirmation of Joshua and Caleb, “we are able...the Lord is with us”. Contrast their statement with that of the ten: “We be not able…they are stronger.” How else, but through revival, will the name of the Lord be vindicated so “that men may know that Thou, whose name alone is Jehovah, art the most high over all the earth”?

August 28

Psalms 84:1-4

1.  How amiable are thy tabernacles, O LORD of hosts!
2.  My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the LORD: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God.
3.  Yea, the sparrow hath found an house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even thine altars, O LORD of hosts, my King, and my God.
4. Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: they will be still praising thee. Selah.

     The secret to having a heart cry, concerning the house of God, is to have a revelation of the same. “How amiable!” The Psalmist sees and, consequently, his soul longs for it. Can we help but long for the Lord’s dwelling place, once He has opened the door of heaven to let us gaze upon it? It is lovelier than the loveliest of earth and it is the presence of God that makes it so.
     “Blessed are they that dwell in thy house.” The sparrow finds access and “ye are of more value than many sparrows, oh ye of little faith.” The door is open through the blood of the Lamb. Come in and be satisfied. How we cheat ourselves and dishonor God’s free invitation by our lethargy and worldly-mindedness!  We ought to live there as Elijah, “before Whom I stand”, and only touch earth on God’s order, “Go to Ahab.”

August 29

Psalms 84:5-12

5.  Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee; in whose heart are the ways of them.
6.  Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well; the rain also filleth the pools.
7.  They go from strength to strength, every one of them in Zion appeareth before God.
8.  O LORD God of hosts, hear my prayer: give ear, O God of Jacob. Selah.
9.  Behold, O God our shield, and look upon the face of thine anointed.
10.  For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.
11.  For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.
12.  O LORD of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee.

     These verses are wonderful. Not only is access available to God’s house, but so also is the strength of the Almighty and the ways of the Omniscient.  Baca means weeping and God’s people are weepers, but they turn the valley of tears into a well and their tears make refreshing pools. The lesson of these verses is re-taught in 2 Corinthians. Paul said, “Death worketh in us, but life in you.” He refers to the life-out-of-death and strength-out-of-weakness principle – His life for our death and His strength for our weakness.
     Can we join the Psalmist in His prayer from our hearts? Would we rather be humble servants of God, than have any position in the world? Would we rather spend a day with Him than go any place else? If so, there will be more days of prayer and more dedication to obtain an unnoticed corner in the house of the King. Deliver us, Lord, from mouth service and cause us to fulfill these desires in practical, day-by-day living. Listen to the promise, with which the Holy Spirit woos us: “No good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly.” That is a lot more than the world can offer, for He has made us co-heirs with Christ. Let us go into our inheritance.

August 30

Psalms 85:1-6

1.  LORD, thou hast been favourable unto thy land: thou hast brought back the captivity of Jacob.
2.  Thou hast forgiven the iniquity of thy people, thou hast covered all their sin. Selah.
3.  Thou hast taken away all thy wrath: thou hast turned thyself from the fierceness of thine anger.
4.  Turn us, O God of our salvation, and cause thine anger toward us to cease.
5.  Wilt thou be angry with us for ever? wilt thou draw out thine anger to all generations?
6.  Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee?

     God has been absolutely faithful and His good intentions for His people have come to fulfillment. Babylon may have seemed to be the end of the road for Israel, but in this Psalm, we find them treading over the road towards Canaan again. God’s timetable is right on schedule, heading straight towards the coming of the Messiah. The terrible judgments have been dealt out and the people are forgiven. The Lord’s anger is appeased.
     The Psalmist is calling for a conversion of heart, in order that the malady will not be repeated. There is a need for divine assistance in this act of turning towards God. The answer to his prayer did not fully come, until the beginning of the gospel era. In Luke 1, we hear the angel’s promise and Zachariah’s prophecy concerning these things. Something had to be done to quell the perpetual wrath of God upon generation after generation and His great heart must find rest.
     It comes through the revival of His people. The greatest revival, after 400 years of silence, came with the advent of Christ. It was His Son, in the flesh, whom He could smile upon and with Whom He was well-pleased. The wrath of generations was poured out upon Him and God’s anger was appeased. Days later, the Holy Spirit was outpoured and His people rejoiced in Him.


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