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Lowell Brueckner

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December 11 - 17 Meditations in the Psalms


December 11

Psalms 134

1.  Behold, bless ye the LORD, all ye servants of the LORD, which by night stand in the house of the LORD.
2.  Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless the LORD.
3.  The LORD that made heaven and earth bless thee out of Zion.

    Blessing to the Lord should never cease. Blessed are those who have the night shift. He, who never sleeps, should be blessed at all times. The daytime worshippers come at their convenience; the nighttime worshippers come at His.
    This Psalm ends the songs of ascents that direct the pilgrims into the house of the Lord for holy worship and service. Lead us, Lord, into it. Let all, who need the Lord and His deliverance, approach, viewing at first the surrounding mountains and the city. Let them then climb Mt. Zion, approach the sanctuary and enter in unity with uplifted hands. It is time to experience the full benefit for their efforts and God ultimately reaps the blessing of His people.



December 12

Psalms 135:1-18

1.  Praise ye the LORD. Praise ye the name of the LORD; praise him, O ye servants of the LORD.
2.  Ye that stand in the house of the LORD, in the courts of the house of our God,
3.  Praise the LORD; for the LORD is good: sing praises unto his name; for it is pleasant.
4.  For the LORD hath chosen Jacob unto himself, and Israel for his peculiar treasure.
5.  For I know that the LORD is great, and that our Lord is above all gods.
6.  Whatsoever the LORD pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places.
7.  He causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth; he maketh lightnings for the rain; he bringeth the wind out of his treasuries.
8.  Who smote the firstborn of Egypt, both of man and beast.
9.  Who sent tokens and wonders into the midst of thee, O Egypt, upon Pharaoh, and upon all his servants.
10.  Who smote great nations, and slew mighty kings;
11.  Sihon king of the Amorites, and Og king of Bashan, and all the kingdoms of Canaan:
12.  And gave their land for an heritage, an heritage unto Israel his people.
13.  Thy name, O LORD, endureth for ever; and thy memorial, O LORD, throughout all generations.
14.  For the LORD will judge his people, and he will repent himself concerning his servants.
15.  The idols of the heathen are silver and gold, the work of men's hands.
16.  They have mouths, but they speak not; eyes have they, but they see not;
17.  They have ears, but they hear not; neither is there any breath in their mouths.
18.  They that make them are like unto them: so is every one that trusteth in them.

     Praise is not difficult for the one, who stands in the house of the Lord. The winsome nature of God draws praise from our hearts. He is good and His name is pleasant. He does what He pleases, choosing sovereignly for His own benefit and purposes. He is still calling out a people today and we can come as freely as the prophets and apostles in the past, for He has representatives in all generations.
     The land of Israel still endures as a testimony and memorial to the Lord’s faithfulness to all generations. See what He is doing for Israel today in fulfillment of promises spoken two millenniums ago and more. Are you also His chosen one? Look, then, to the work of redemption and the New Testament in His blood. In it, the Lord did what He pleased. “I call you friends,” Jesus said and revealed the will of the Father to us. He came that we might have life and learn to live it in the power of His Spirit.

December 13

Psalms 135:19-21

18. Bless the LORD, O house of Israel: bless the LORD, O house of Aaron:
19. Bless the LORD, O house of Levi: ye that fear the LORD, bless the LORD.
21.  Blessed be the LORD out of Zion, which dwelleth at Jerusalem. Praise ye the LORD.

     The Lord has redeemed us out of all nations and has made us kings and priests unto God. We are not dumb, stupid puppets, but living, free individuals full of His imparted life. May the Lord raise us to the heights of Zion to exercise the privilege of worthy praise. May we fear Him, as only those who love him can fear. To fear the Lord means to take Him into account in all things. It means to be afraid of the retribution of disobedience. It is the terror of missing out on eternal opportunities. It is to fear hurting Him, grieving Him, or letting anything upset a love relationship with a good and gracious Father.

December 14

Psalms 136:1-10

1.  O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.
2.  O give thanks unto the God of gods: for his mercy endureth for ever.
3.  O give thanks to the Lord of lords: for his mercy endureth for ever.
4.  To him who alone doeth great wonders: for his mercy endureth for ever.
5.  To him that by wisdom made the heavens: for his mercy endureth for ever.
6.  To him that stretched out the earth above the waters: for his mercy endureth for ever.
7.  To him that made great lights: for his mercy endureth for ever:
8.  The sun to rule by day: for his mercy endureth for ever:
9.  The moon and stars to rule by night: for his mercy endureth for ever.
10.  To him that smote Egypt in their firstborn: for his mercy endureth for ever:

     In His awesome lordship and transcendent majesty, God is merciful. He created the universe as an arena to display His mercy. He showed mercy, as the liberator of a nation of slaves in Egypt. God is full of good intentions towards mankind and His nature is to give graciously to undeserving people. May our hearts be filled with thanksgiving for His mercy. Count your blessings. Take time to think upon them until gratitude floods the heart and overflows from the lips.

December 15

Psalms 136:11-26

11.  And brought out Israel from among them: for his mercy endureth for ever:
12.  With a strong hand, and with a stretched out arm: for his mercy endureth for ever.
13.  To him which divided the Red sea into parts: for his mercy endureth for ever:
14.  And made Israel to pass through the midst of it: for his mercy endureth for ever:
15.  But overthrew Pharaoh and his host in the Red sea: for his mercy endureth for ever.
16.  To him which led his people through the wilderness: for his mercy endureth for ever.
17.  To him which smote great kings: for his mercy endureth for ever:
18.  And slew famous kings: for his mercy endureth for ever:
19.  Sihon king of the Amorites: for his mercy endureth for ever:
20.  And Og the king of Bashan: for his mercy endureth for ever:
21.  And gave their land for an heritage: for his mercy endureth for ever:
22.  Even an heritage unto Israel his servant: for his mercy endureth for ever.
23.  Who remembered us in our low estate: for his mercy endureth for ever:
24.  And hath redeemed us from our enemies: for his mercy endureth for ever.
25.  Who giveth food to all flesh: for his mercy endureth for ever.
26.  O give thanks unto the God of heaven: for his mercy endureth for ever.

     This song will help us, if we are looking for reasons to be thankful. It begins with the good nature of God, His wonder-working power, and His all-supremacy as God of Gods and Lord of Lords. It takes us through creation, in which He manifests His infinite wisdom. It speaks of the redemption of Israel from Egypt’s bondage - in type, our salvation from sin. It then shows us our inheritance and entrance into the promised land that He has prepared for us. It ends with a reminder of God’s affection for the poor in spirit and the deliverance provided against their enemies. It tells of His general goodness towards His creation, as the heavenly ruler. This is recorded to plant deep within us the fact that the Lord is merciful and that His mercy is everlasting.

December 16

Psalms 137

1.  By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion.
2.  We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof.
3.  For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song; and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion.
4.  How shall we sing the LORD's song in a strange land?
5.  If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning.
6.  If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy.
7.  Remember, O LORD, the children of Edom in the day of Jerusalem;
who said, Rase it, rase it, even to the foundation thereof.
8.  O daughter of Babylon, who art to be destroyed; happy shall he be, that rewardeth thee as thou hast served us.
9.  Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.

     “Blessed are they that mourn.” God’s people in Babylon are mourning, because of their knowledge of the wonders of Zion. They can never be satisfied by the rivers of Babylon. God has put a mark on their spirits and they have been spoiled for anything that the world has to offer. Babylon may allure the natural mind and Zion may seem shabby in comparison, but the rivers of earth’s capital do not refresh the enlightened children of God. They find no happiness on the banks of a foreign river. They sit down, hang up their harps and weep.
     Atmosphere is important for worship. There must be deliverance out of the ambiance of Babylon, before there can be rejoicing. They can only enjoy the city, where the Lamb is the light. The waters of Babylon cannot eradicate the memories of Jerusalem and they cannot forget the razing of her walls and the murder of the innocent. The day of God’s vengeance will be a glad day for them, when Babylon gets her due.
     How can we, with the book of Acts in our hands and the histories of revivals on our shelves, express mirth, when worldliness has swept into the church, laid low her walls of separation, and dashed her little ones against the stones of modern philosophy and psychology? How can we prostitute the Lord’s songs to the whims of the captors? Bring to mind the past glories. Remember how the hand of God gripped communities in the Hebrides and how Wales rejoiced under the refreshing waves of the Spirit. Remember how towns and cities were permeated with saving power under Finney and how the preaching of Whitefield, Wesley, Burns, McCheyne, and Edwards held crowds on the edge of eternity. Remember how the fear of God gripped Jerusalem under the ministry of Peter and the other apostles. Remember it and weep! If we cannot cry, then let us be dumb (verse 6). Deliver us Lord from Babylon and the mocking influence of our captors.

December 17

Psalms 138

1.  I will praise thee with my whole heart: before the gods will I sing praise unto thee.
2.  I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.
3.  In the day when I cried thou answeredst me, and strengthenedst me with strength in my soul.
4.  All the kings of the earth shall praise thee, O LORD, when they hear the words of thy mouth.
5.  Yea, they shall sing in the ways of the LORD: for great is the glory of the LORD.
6.  Though the LORD be high, yet hath he respect unto the lowly: but the proud he knoweth afar off.
7.  Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me.
8.  The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O LORD, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of thine own hands.

     David was jealously committed to God. He made sure that His Lord would receive due praise in the presence of the heathen. He turned his heart toward the unchanging truth of God’s word. Worship is performed in the framework of truth. We are to accept nothing that is not in accordance with scripture. “His name is called, The Word of God.” His word is glorious and can command the attention of kings. It is our conquering sword and is mighty to accomplish God’s business. We need nothing else.
     God’s word and prayer occupy the lives of the saints. The one, who is free from idolatry, so that his prayer and confidence is in God alone, has His ear at all times. Sometimes the answer is delayed, however. It was revealed to Daniel that from the day he set his heart to seek the Lord, the Lord heard him, but the answer was three weeks in arriving. Delay strengthens faith as we pray. Humility gives us identity with God in prayer. Condescension is a wonderful attribute of a mighty God and He comes to the lowly, but resists a proud nature. Meekness is a fruit of the Spirit and the humble are the work of His hands. He will never forsake them. Only the humble can truly pray.


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