Help from Above 2
Today we do not sing Psalm 121 because we do not know the original tune but simply read the words from the Bible. Originally it was written as a song with a beautiful tune. So through this Psalm the Lord reminds us that the first thing He gives us is a song. Christians are known to be singers in every generation. But it is not necessary that we always have a song on our lips. God has given us a song in our hearts. That song is because of our salvation, and hence it can be called the Song of Salvation. So the first blessing that we receive from God, is the Song of Salvation.
The Book of Psalms speaks to us of different kinds of songs. Firstly, Psalm 40:3 speaks to us of a New Song. "And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD". This New Song comes to us as a result of our salvation. Our family members, relatives and other people begin to see the difference in our lives. God brings such a transformation in our lives when we are saved, that it cannot go unnoticed by others. "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature" (2 Cor. 5:17). Can you truthfully say that you have anew song in your heart? You do not have to be a composer of songs to have this experience but you must have Christ in your heart as your Savior and Lord. Many people in the world sing different kinds of songs. Some singers are very popular and people pay a lot of money to listen to their songs. But do you know what the Bible says about such songs? It calls them the songs of fools. ..It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise, than for a man to hear the song of fools" (Eccl.7:5). Psalm 14:1 says, "The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God". So make sure that you have a new song in your heart, a song which has come as a result of your salvation.
Secondly, Psalm 137:4 speaks to us of the LORD'S Song. "How shall we sing the LORD'S song in a strange land?" People of Israel were taken as captives to Babylon. While they were there, the Babylonians wanted them to sing the songs of Zion for their entertainment. In response the Psalmist asks the question, "How shall we sing the LORD'S song in a strange land?" So they referred to their spiritual songs as the Lord's songs. That means they were the songs given by the Lord. Most of them are written in the book of Psalms. Even today the Lord gives us such songs. There are believers who can write beautiful spiritual songs. When a song is composed by the inspiration of the
Lord, it will bring spiritual blessing to those who sing and listen to it. Today we sing thousands of songs and hymns in the churches, which were thus given by the Lord. Those who are in the ministry of writing songs must learn the secret of receiving the song from the Lord, Then we can truly say that it is the Lord's song.
There was a hymn writer by the name Fanny Crosby who became blind when she was a child, but the Lord gave her wonderful spiritual insight. Throughout her lifetime, she wrote thousands of hymns, which are very popular in the church even today. In the well-loved hymn, "Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine" she speaks of "visions of rapture" bursting on her "sight", It is a strange thing for a blind lady to speak of visions of rapture bursting on her sight. Though she was physically blind, she had good spiritual sight because of her close walk with the Lord. Through her close association with the Lord she learned to receive songs from Him. Such songs can be called the Lord's songs. Zephaniah 3: 17 says that the Lord Himself sings for joy when He sees His children. "The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with SINGING". Let that song which is in the heart of the Lord come down to us so that we can truly sing the Lord's song. Writing of songs and playing of music is a vital ministry in the church.
Thirdly, Psalm 32:7 speaks to us of Songs of Deliverance. "Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance". Songs of deliverance come to us when we overcome temptations. The Devil is always there to tempt us and make us fall but the Psalmist says to God, "Thou art my hiding place". If we remain close to the Lord Jesus, He will deliver us from evil. "...God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it'(1 Cor. 10:13). When we overcome temptation, we have a song in our hearts. We will be singing for joy. You may not have beautiful words, but in your heart, you will be singing a song of deliverance.
Fourthly, Psalm 119:54 says, "Thy statutes have been my songs in the house of my pilgrimage". , The Psalmist had the habit of converting Scriptures directly into songs and singing them. It would be a great blessing if we also could do this. They are called Scripture Songs. Today we sing many such songs, which are directly taken from the Scriptures. When we begin to sing such songs we get to learn the Scripture verses by heart. We must keep on singing such songs.
Finally, Psalm 137:3 speaks to us of Songs of Zion. "...Sing us one of the songs of Zion". Zion was a place in Jerusalem, but it has different meanings in the Scriptures. Zion speaks to us of heaven as well as the Church. Heaven is a place of singing. In Revelation 5:9 we see the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures sing a new song. That new song of heaven speaks of the redemption through the precious blood of the Lord Jesus. We will be eternally singing songs in heaven. So let us get started here and now. Do not be worried about the pitch and tune. Even our flat singing will be heard as beautiful songs in heaven.
During the 19th century, Christians were called the people of two books -the Holy Bible and the hymnal. They always carried these two books with them. On every occasion, they sang hymns. We also should maintain this practice. We express our joy with singing (James 5:13). This also is a mark of a Spirit-filled life. "And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord" (Eph.5:18, 19).
LET THIS MIND BE IN YOU-3
Contention and strife are some of our common problems. As believers we have to avoid quarrels and strife. It is better to lose material things than quarrel with people and lose our peace. See how God wonderfully compensated Isaac for the loss. From Rehoboth he went to Beersheba, which means, "a well of oath". This reminds us that God is a covenant-keeping God. "Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations" (Deut. 7:9). What God has promised and purposed He will fulfill. "God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?" (Num.23: 19). God appeared to Isaac the same night. "And the LORD appeared unto him the same night, and said, I am the God of Abraham thy father: fear not, for I am with thee, and will bless thee, and multiply thy seed for my servant Abraham's sake" (Gen. 26: 24). Believing in God's promise he obeyed God and moved
away from the place of contention and strife. Our hearts must be free from hatred and jealousy. When we leave everything in God's hands He compensates every loss.
Then God put fear in the hearts of Isaac's enemies all around. Even the king came and bowed before him and asked his forgiveness. "Then Abimelech went to him from Gerar, and Ahuzzath one of his friends, and Phicol the chief captain of his army. And they said, We saw certainly that the LORD was with thee..." (Gen.26:26,28a). By his kindness, largehearted- ness, meekness and love, people saw that God was with him. Because Isaac left his enemies and went away from their country and refused to be involved in strife, God brought the three leading men of the country upon their knees. They said, "...thou art now the blessed of the LORD" (v.29Iast part). Thus we find that when we honor God and His Word, and obey Him, He will fully compensate. For a small amount of money people will drag us to the court, which will go on for many years. If we commit every situation into the Lord's hands, we will see how wonderfully we can receive from His hand all that we have lost. Even though Isaac reaped hundredfold in Gerar, it was not from God. What we acquire by our own efforts will end in misery .If we do anything against God's will, we will lose, but when we do His will we will receive much in the end.
"And he made them a feast, and they did eat and drink" (Gen.26:30). Even though the enemies of Isaac robbed him and pushed him out of their country , he received them with love and honored them. As believers we should not do anything to take revenge on our enemies.
Isaac lost two wells, but gained three (Gen. 26:22,25,32). Besides that, he received favor from his neighbors. The king also asked forgiveness from him and honored him, and the people feared him. That is how we should trust the Lord. May the Lord save us from getting involved in situations which will cause strife and hatred. May He help us to love Him, trust Him and obey Him and thus be blessed by Him.