the taunts with which your enemies, LORD, have mocked,
with which they have mocked every step of your anointed one.
Praise be to the LORD forever! Amen and Amen.
It is easy for some of us to be thankful to God when all is going well. Others cannot even raise a thankful glance to heaven or mutter a simple “thanks God.” when everything is going superb. And there are those who, despite adversity, amid the most terrible storms, when everything falls apart and all hope is lost, can say “thank you Lord, for I know that whatever happens to me is for my own good.” The latter are those who have understood perfectly what the apostle Paul wrote in his letter to the Romans, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Not only are they have perfectly understood this principle but they have also taken ownership of this promise of God for His children. Be it storm or peace, they are always trusting that everything is under the absolute control of God.
The author of Psalm 89, Ethan, was one of these people because despite the wealth of aggression and adversity to which he was subjected he was able to send blessings to the Lord, knowing that everything that was happening in his life and also in relation the nation of Israel was part of the good, pleasing and perfect will of God. Do you understand this biblical principle? Can you thank God for all that you have received, whether good or bad, recognition or insults, blows or kindness, curses or blessings, hate or smiles, contempt or acceptance, health or sickness, scarcity or abundance, joy or pain, etc.? When you learn to maintain your spirits high despite the circumstances around you, you will fully understand what Ethan was thinking when he ended his long list of complaints and lamentations with a heartfelt blessing for God. So, the next time you complain, also give praise to God. Only to God be the glory!
Posted in Psalms
Tagged Amen, anointed, Christianity, enemies, forever, God, LORD, mocking, praise, taunts, understanding
Whoever derides their neighbor has no sense,
but the one who has understanding holds their tongue.
How many times does the word of God tell us that we must control our tongue and be discreet and restrained? How many times have we discussed in these pages that words expressed with recklessness and indiscretion bring much grief and pain? Our words and how we express them say a lot about our arrogance and a person who is carried away by haughtiness cannot be labeled but as a fool. How many conflicts have been initiated by a word that is inappropriate and unwelcome? Long wars have been the outcome of misunderstandings or insults and disdains. Still others feel that they must reply to every word addressed to them. that is, they always want to have the final say on the matter. This is nothing but pride and foolishness.
Let us therefore, be very careful in how we express ourselves and also in the way we treat the people around us, whether they are known to us or not. The enemy is always lurking and waiting for the opportunity to make an allegedly innocent word be understood as a great insult that causes wounds that are very difficult to heal. It is preferable to shut up and take all the time necessary to carefully choose the words we are to use to respond to others, especially when we feel that the other person has insulted us. In the book of Proverbs we find: “Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues.” Said the wise King Solomon: “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Today we would say that to give a rough answer is like trying to extinguish a fire with gas (petrol, benzine, etc.) James, the brother of the Lord Jesus Christ said:” We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check.” Let’s rein our tongue, improve our language and use our words to bless always. Only to God be the glory!
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom,
and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
The advantages of possessing wisdom are enormous. Still very few try to find it. Most people waste their time on things that do not produce benefits to them but rather are a source of grief and pain. Their role models are people with large fortunes, who live in mansions and palaces, which have monumental yachts to enjoy their summer vacation anywhere in the Mediterranean or any other place that is fashionable and fanciful, people who fly all over the world in expensive private jet planes. For them to achieve success is to accumulate vast amounts of money that will enable them to maintain the expensive lifestyle they enjoy. Their success is also measured by the coverage dedicated in celebrity magazines to their adventures (and their sorrows) and the number of magazine covers in which their images appear; obviously these are magazines dedicated to constantly monitor the smallest and most trivial details of their lives. Clearly, these people will never know what is the fear of the Lord. Nor those who consider them as heroes and idols.
The fear of the Lord is not fright or terror of a powerful being who can destroy us with his thought. The fear of the Lord is reverence and obedience, that is, the respect we owe to Him who created us and saved us from death. The fear of the Lord is to understand that our lives are totally dependent on him and we are clay in his hands with which he molds the features we have and we can and should use for the aggrandizement of his kingdom. The fear of the Lord is the knowledge of his person, his attributes and expectations in relation to us. The fear of the Lord is to understand the immense love and grace God has shown toward us. The fear of the Lord is living up to the supreme commandments to love God with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our mind and with all our strength and to love our neighbor as ourselves. Concentrate your plans and all your efforts to meet these two commandments and you will possess wisdom and knowledge beyond your wildest imagination. Just follow the Lord Jesus and you will be wise. Only to God be the glory!
When I tried to understand all this,
it troubled me deeply
till I entered the sanctuary of God;
then I understood their final destiny.
If we let ourselves to be guided by the criteria of the world in terms of what counts as success it is very likely that the vast majority of the children of God will end up falling in the category of failures. In the eyes of postmodern society we are perceived as intolerant, inflexible, stubborn and unable to maintain an open dialogue, as though having certainty is something unacceptable. When truth is in our hands, at least in regard to the gospel message of Jesus of Nazareth, it is difficult to maintain an attitude of equanimity and humility and this not because of lack of direction by the Holy Spirit but because of our sinful nature that takes advantage of every opportunity, even the good things, to make us stumble and fall. Instead of feeling compassion, we feel contempt. Instead of love, we feel disdain for those who do not know God and do not want to know him. I remind you and I remind myself that we are in this world not to judge others but to share with them the glorious truth of the gospel. If they accept or not what we offer them, it is their problem and we should not feel bad when we are rejected because, in fact, they are rejecting the Lord Jesus himself.
Do not look, then, with envy the apparent success of those who reject God and have created a god to suit them, in their personal style, in other words, an idol. As the saying goes, comparisons are always odious. Let us not compare ourselves with them because it makes no sense. Our eyes and thoughts should be fixed in the hope of the imminent return of Christ for His bride, the church. Focusing on the views of those who foolishly oppose the message of salvation is to waste time while many souls are being lost forever. Let us stop complaining and let us learn to live with contentment, which is the key to not getting caught up in the subtle snares of the world. In Jesus Christ we have victory and all that we need. Only to God be the glory!
I hold fast to your statutes, LORD;
do not let me be put to shame.
I run in the path of your commands,
for you have broadened my understanding.
The world, in its quest to destroy the one institution holding the moral authority to expose its hoaxes and iniquities, accuses the children of God to be people backward looking and narrow-minded. Especially now that postmodernism has taken hold of the culture in general, Christians are branded as stubborn and obstinate. For the enemies of God sin is to think that there are absolute and eternal truths. What prevails is everything that is accommodating and able to morph with other currents of thought as if synthesis was the ultimate goal. Their intention is to hide their purpose in the forest of ideas to go unnoticed and do as much damage as possible without others being aware of their schemes.
The word of God is very clear about this. The word of God illuminates and clarifies. The word of God expands and gives intelligence. As the wise King Solomon explained: “For this command is a lamp, this teaching is a light, and correction and instruction are the way to life…” So instead of making us backward looking and narrow-minded the word of God gives us broadened minds with the ability to analyze every thought and discern the truth. Let us always allow the word of Christ to dwell in our hearts and let us review everything with the perspective of the instructions and commandments of our Heavenly Father. Any hidden agenda will be unveiled and the truth will shine like the sun. To God alone be the glory!
Then you will understand what is right and just
and fair—every good path.
For wisdom will enter your heart,
and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.
Discretion will protect you,
and understanding will guard you.
If someone were to sell a book entitled “How to be wise in 30 days” it is likely that this person would end up being a millionaire in no time. The world keeps turning at the same speed as it always has done but it seems that lately it rotates faster and therefore we think that everything that we propose to do, if it’s worth at all, must be achieved in a very short time since these agitated times so require. There is no place and time for good habits because they require some time to develop. Now everything is a desperate race to get everything within the minute. No wonder then that those products that promise to make us lose a few pounds in a matter of days without exercises or diets are so popular, despite not being very effective.
Wisdom must be sought for the same way one seeks for as gold or silver. These things take time, commitment, discipline and dedication to be reached but all this is well worth it. We also need to know where to look. Gold and silver are not found everywhere, the same is true of wisdom. The award for having the determination to seek insight where it can really be found is: understanding, wisdom, knowledge and discretion. If you want wisdom, remember that she comes from the Lord and only from him. Let us dispose, therefore, with patience and determination to receive the wisdom that God offers us through the methodical and constant reading of his word. In due time we will surely see the beneficial results. To God alone be the glory!
“There are three things that are too amazing for me,
four that I do not understand:
the way of an eagle in the sky,
the way of a snake on a rock,
the way of a ship on the high seas,
the way of a man with a young woman.
Tracks are important. Oftentimes they are useful to help the hunter find the piece he wants to capture. For the experienced hunter, the ground is a clear map where the traces of the prey indicate in which direction it moves, if it is accompanied and the time elapsed since the target went through that place. These traces can not be detected in rocky terrain, water or air because there is no footprint of any kind to determine the trajectory executed by the animal. The paths in which we travel are no more than the accumulation of traces of all persons and vehicles that have followed that way. That is, the superposition of traces results in the creation and persistence of the road. Perhaps this is what the great Spanish poet Antonio Machado wanted to say with
Wanderer, there is no road,
the road is made by walking.
The child of God who fulfills his purpose always leaves a trace. Even after leaving the world to meet the Lord in the heavenly mansion, the memory and example of his good works and all he did for the service and glory of his Lord remains. Unfortunately, there are a few children of God that pass through this world and do not leave the slightest trace of their stay. They are like dry branches that give volume to the tree but do not produce leaves or flowers or fruit. For the new year that is quickly approaching let us resolve to leave a lasting trace, not so much that people know that so and so happened to pass through here but to reflect the glory of God that, in the end, is the main purpose of our existence. To God alone be the glory!
A person’s steps are directed by the LORD.
How then can anyone understand their own way?
The eternal questions of man remain the great unknowns without apparent response. Who am I? Where did I come? Why am I here? The answers to these and many other questions have been revealed since the creation of the world and despite being available at a glance men have preferred to ignore them. Men chose digressing in their futile arguments over drinking from the fountain of wisdom that has always been there, visible and available, right under their noses. And although some of them who think they are very clever believe they have managed to unravel the mystery by their own reasoning and efforts, the truth is that they still are shrouded in darkness and do not know what course to take to understand the purpose of their lives and achieve happiness. How can they understand the plan of God if they stubbornly refuse to believe that God exists?
The universe is expanding and no one knows how it acquired the momentum or where it came from. Philosophers and scientists have agreed to try to reach the truth by different paths but could not achieve anything because they seek the truth with erroneous assumptions and their reasoning is flawed. The only possible way to find the answer to all the doubts and concerns of human beings is through Jesus Christ the Savior. Only Jesus Christ can say with all property that he is the way and the truth and the life. Only he can say with certainty that no one can come to the Father except through Him. Emanuel, God with us, is the only answer to every man’s existential concern. You can trust him.To God alone be the glory!
My mouth will speak words of wisdom;
the meditation of my heart will give you understanding.
I will turn my ear to a proverb;
with the harp I will expound my riddle:
In times of misfortune and deception it is very easy to be controlled by fear. When the powerful people realize that we are easy prey of trials, they turn against us with much fury to seek our destruction. They feel confident that because of their great wealth and financial resources they will never be involved in a similar situation. Their reward will be to see their wealth disappear overnight and how all that for them represented a source of security and strength fades to make way for pain and insecurity. This is the main danger of riches. When we have much we feel a sense of security and power that makes us forget God and his protection and we seek refuge under the false shield of the abundance of material goods. When the shield is proven false, and its weaknesses are discovered we lose all confidence that we can keep ourselves alive.
Riches are uncertain. They come and go and are not guaranteed. So we must never put our trust in them or live with the hope that one day we will enjoy a really comfortable financial position that will allow us to live without problems or complications. This is just fooling ourselves. God gives us everything we truly need. And rightly so because if he would give us a lot and we do not know how to handle the abundance, we would soon forget about him, which is very serious danger for a child of God. And if God would give us very little we would fall into such despair that we might be inclined to act inappropriately, bringing sin into our lives and therefore we would be moving away from God. Do not trust in riches but in the owner and giver of them. Pray always according to the perfect will of our Father in the name of Jesus. That is the only real treasure. To God alone be the glory!
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom,
and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
For through wisdom your days will be many,
and years will be added to your life.
If you are wise, your wisdom will reward you;
if you are a mocker, you alone will suffer.
Many often wonder why we never run out of wars, economic crises, pain, hunger, pestilence, incurable diseases, violence, insecurity, poverty, injustice, white slavery, drug trafficking, terrorism, repression, tyranny, totalitarianism, anarchy, crimes, kidnapping, fraud, gangs, executions, corruption, and other thorns that are part of the bouquet of brambles with which the world pays us. All the time we become victims of fraud that the world performs with our lives. Is just a simple bait and switch fraud technique. As per the Wicktionary, bait and switch is an unscrupulous and sometimes illegal sales technique, in which an inexpensive product is advertised to attract prospective customers who are then told by sales personnel that the inexpensive product is unavailable or of poor quality and are instead urged to buy a more expensive product. Also, (by extension) any similar deceptive behavior, especially in politics and romantic relationships. All the time the world is using this simple but effective way of defrauding us. On the one hand the world offers three attractive baits: money, power and fame. On the other hand we only receive the long list of thorns mentioned above.
When will we stop being naive and stupid so we can get the most enduring and untouchable treasure that someone may have in this world? When will we be looking for things that do not produce happiness but sadness and pain? When will we stop being puppets of the evil trilogy made by Satan, the world and our own flesh? If we wish to gain wisdom we must begin to live in the fear of God. This does not mean we will live in a state of dread and apprehension. It means that we behave at all times with obedience, reverence and respect for our Creator, that is for our God and heavenly Father. This is the secret of happiness and peace. To God alone be the glory!