E.R.

Psalm 119

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E.R. debuted in 1994.  Each week, episodes were filled with exciting, heart wrenching and dramatic events based in a Chicago hospital emergency room.  The show often portrayed incredible measures taken as residents applied their medical school backgrounds to treat and save patients.   
Well, there are times we all find other things that we might put first in our day to day lives.  We may need some “healing” or “revival” in our own relationship with God.  Eleven times in Psalm 119 it mentions some sort of revival.  Terms like preserve, restore, spare, give, are mentioned throughout this chapter.  In the darkest of hours you may not feel like His Word is enough.  You may not feel like it is relevant to what you are going through or that God is near. You may have filled your time, your actions and your mind with everything but time in His word.  If this feels somewhat familiar to you consider this:  “Feelings follow correct behaviors and not the other way around”.  God’s word is a foundation for us all.  We need to turn to him and be in His word.  Don’t expect a quick fix. Instead, prepare to be transformed by him being more present in our life. So when we stumble, we need to get back up again, be dedicated to reading his word and trust on his strength for a full recovery in our lives.

-Emily Moyer

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Our Provider

Psalms 19-24: God is our provider.

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There are so many nuggets of truth in these Psalms that I couldn’t touch on here. Today, when I sat down to open my Bible and try to sift through it all to find what I wanted to write about, I happened upon a very familiar scripture. Psalms 23 is a Psalm that many people know, even those who aren’t Christians. Even through this Psalm, which contemplates death, shadow, and sorrow, the hope that it communicates draws people to it and to God. As I read through this Psalm in the context of those that surround it I was struck.

In Psalm 21 and 22, we see David crying out in praise and pain to God for his provision. In both emotional states, David knew that God was his provider, his savior. God was the person who could save him from his enemies. In Psalm 22, even when David could not see God acting in that moment, he prayed and praised God from the faith that didn’t come from the physical evidence around him.

What does provision mean? When we talk about provision, a word which literally means ‘something, like food or drink, that is supplied, especially for a journey,’ we think about the material thing that we are eating or drinking. But, David says that the LORD is his provision. I recently got a new puppy (and if you are my friend on Facebook you’ve probably seen plenty of pictures of him). This dog lives inside and does not have access to food or water, unless I provide those things for him. So, even though the food or drink is the literal provision, I am his provider. I am the one that sustains him. God is the same. He does grant us the things that we need, but most importantly, God is the one sustaining us. Without him, we have nothing, just like without me, my puppy would not have what it needed. When we rely on God to be our provider, we can say with assurance, as David does, “The LORD is my shepherd; there is nothing I lack.”

As we think through these psalms, let’s remember to look to the LORD, our shepherd, in both the difficult times and the good, because he is our provision.

– Cayce Ballard

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Meet Finnegan! 

 

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David’s Psalm of Thanksgiving (1 Chronicles 14-16)

Saturday, November 19

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In 1 Chronicles 16:8-36, we see a Psalm that David dedicated before the ark of the covenant after it was brought to Jerusalem.  Having the ark back where it belonged was a huge deal for Israel, and David wanted something to show Israel’s thanks to God for this.  Here is a small section, verses 8-10

Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name;
make known among the nations what he has done.

Sing to him, sing praise to him;
tell of all his wonderful acts.

Glory in his holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice.

Now this is retold after returning from Exile.  Once again there is a great reason to give thanks to God, and to praise his name.

Skipping to the end of this Psalm we see the following in verses 34-36

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;
his love endures forever.

Cry out, “Save us, O God our Savior;
gather us and deliver us from the nations
that we may give thanks to your holy name,
that we may glory in your praise.”

Praise be to the LORD our God of Israel,
from everlasting to everlasting.

Again, this would have been very appropriate after returning from exile.  They were at risk of attacks from enemy nations, and this Psalm includes a request for deliverance from the nations.  They ask for deliverance so that they may praise God even more.

We also have many reasons to give things and praise the name of God.  We need deliverance from our spiritual enemies that attack us, so that we may continue to praise God.  What do you have to be thankful for today?  Let’s remember to praise God for all he has done, and the promises we know he will continue to keep.

-Andrew Hamilton