Standing Upon Godly Shoulders – part 5

Last time, we saw, according to her prayer, how Hannah, the mother of Samuel, (the would-be prophet and final earthly ‘judge’), championed the ongoing promises of God and His salvation. She was granted citizenship in the city of God.

She had weaned Samuel, and then dedicated him to temple service under the tutelage of the priest Eli.

Jehovah God called to Samuel when he was still a boy, and he stepped into his servitude. He told Samuel that He was taking the mantle of priesthood from Eli because of evil-doings of his sons, which Samuel related directly to the priest. God would come many times to Samuel and that relationship would grow and become renown:

Now Samuel grew; and the LORD was with him and He let none of his words fail [to be fulfilled]. And all Israel…knew that Samuel was appointed as prophet of the LORD. 1 Sam. 3:19 – 20. AMP

When Samuel grew older, the people of Israel began to worry that he would die and leave them ruleless; so they petitioned him to appoint an earthly king, (as opposed to the heavenly king Jehovah), so that they could emulate the pagan countries around them.

Samuel was sick over the people’s rejection of God as their king, and he was reluctant to do their bidding. Yet, God instructed the prophet to do so, telling him to let the people know just how badly that was going to go for them. Yet Samuel’s warning fell upon deaf ears, and he did as according to how God instructed him. Thus, Samuel anointed Saul as the first king of Israel. At that time, Samuel spoke for God, re-affirming His covenant with Israel by reminding them that His same rules apply, earthly king or not:

“…here is the king whom you have chosen and whom you have desired. And take note, the LORD has set a king over you. If you fear the LORD and serve Him and obey HIs voice, and do not rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then both you and the king who reigns over you will continue following the LORD your God…For the LORD will not forsake His people, for His great name’s sake, because it has pleased the LORD to make you His people…But if you do wickedly, you shall be swept away, both and your king.” 1 Sam. 12:13, 14, 22 & 25. NKJV

And isn’t this the time immemorial request from God? Every champion of God, every citizen of the city of God, perpetuates this message, i.e. to obey God’s word, because the only way to live the best life is to live one that includes Him.

King Saul had reigned only two years when he had disobeyed God due to a lack of faith in God’s faithfulness. God, always being true to His word, sent Samuel to rebuke Saul and pronounce the consequences afforded to the king’s actions:

“You have been foolish. You have not kept the command the LORD your God gave you. It was at this time that the LORD would have permanently established your reign over Israel, but now your reign will not endure. The LORD has found a man after his own heart, and the LORD has appointed him as ruler over his people, because you have not done what the LORD commanded.” 1 Sam. 13:13, 14. CSB

“…for you have rejected the word of the LORD, and the LORD has rejected you from being king over Israel.” 1 Sam. 15:26 NKJV

Sin always has repercussions…

That man of God’s own heart would be anointed king by Samuel as well; and his name was King David. Yet David would not actually rule until after the death of Samuel, (another addition to the city of God), as well as King Saul – who would remain in the city of the earth.

King David would be a mighty, mighty man of God. He unified all of Israel, and then God spoke to hi through the prophet Nathan:

“I took you from the pasture, from following sheep, to be ruler over My people Israel…When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.” 2 Sam. 7:8, 12 & 13. NKJV

This was a double-promise: both that God would set up David’s son, Solomon, as the next king, who would build the temple, and that his lineage would be ultimately manifested as the Son of God, who sits on the eternal throne.

David was a man who was totally dedicated to God; and through the power of the Holy Spirit, he pinned a plethora of psalms, most of which concentrate on how to maximize our spirit / worship relationship with our Maker. Others reveal the eternal kingdom of God to us all; following are some of those cited by St. Augustine in his book City of God.

King David did not write all of the psalms in the book of Psalms. Similar to the immediate scripture above, Ps. 89, written my a ‘wise man’ [Ethan the Ezrahite, thought also to be a temple musician from King Solomon’s time, (see 1 Kin. 4:31 & 1 Chr. 15:19), verifies the coming of Christ – again in a dual prophecy about King David, but ultimately fulfilled in Jesus:

The LORD said, “I have made a covenant with my chosen one; I have sworn an oath to David my servant: ‘I will establish your offspring forever and build up your throne for all generations.” Ps. 89:3 – 4. CSB

“…I have found David My servant David; with My holy oil I have anointed him, with whom My hand shall be established; and also My arm shall strengthen him. The enemy shall not outwit him, nor the son of wickedness afflict him…My faithfulness and My mercy shall be with him, and in My name his horn shall be exalted. Also, I will set his hand over the sea, and his right hand over the rivers.

He shall cry to Me, ‘You are my Father, My God and the rock of my salvation. Also I will make him My firstborn, the highest of the kings of the earth.” Ps. 89:20-22 & 24 – 27. NKJV

Returning to King David, St. Augustine writes this:

In the progress of the city of God through the ages, therefore, David first reigned in the earthly Jerusalem as a shadow of that which was to come; and …almost all of his prophecy was in psalms.

King David also had leaders in the orchestral and singing divisions in his worship assembly. One group was the sons of Korah, who also contributed to the psalms. Here we find another messianic prophesy:

You are fairer than the sons of men; graciousness is poured upon your lips; Therefore God has blessed you forever. Strap Your sword on Your thigh, O mighty One, in Your Splendor and Your Majesty. And in Your majesty ride on triumphantly for the cause of truth and humility and righteousness; let Your righthand guide you to awesome things…

Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of Your kingdom. You have loved righteousness (virtue, morality, justice) and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has anointed You above Your companions with the oil of jubilation. Ps. 45:2 – 4 & 6, 7. AMP

Finally, we get to a psalm written by David himself, where we are privy to a conversation between God and His Son:

The LORD (Father) says to my Lord (the Messiah, His Son), “Sit at My right hand until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet [subjugating them into complete submission].” The LORD will send the scepter of Your strength from Zion, saying “Rule in the midst of your enemies.”

Your people will offer themselves willingly [to participate in Your battle] in the day of Your power…The LORD has sworn [an oath\ and will not change His mind: “You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.”  Ps. 110:1 – 4. AMP

Jesus, this King and High Priest, Is definitely on the side we want to be on – Jehovah’s!

Another psalm of David is an eerily accurate prophecy of Christ’s future time on the cross – from His perspective:

For dogs encompass me; a company of evildoers encircles me; they have pierced my hands and feet – I can count all my bones. They stare and gloat over me; they divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots. Ps. 22:16 – 18. ESV

In yet another, David writes of both his faith in God’s salvation, and renders a prophecy about Jesus being resurrected without physical corruption:

For You will not abandon me to Sheol (the nether world, the place of the dead), nor will you allow Your Holy One to undergo decay. Ps. 16:10 AMP

King David was a great man of God; yet, even the great can fall. His adultery with Bathsheba and his hand in the murder of her husband was the beginning of his downfall. God forgave him because of his sincere repentance, yet, God must mete out the consequences of sin. David was troubled within his family life almost until his death.

Yet we can be ever thankful that God empowered David to show us how to both get closer to God, and to begin to be aware of our blessed Son of God as well.

David therefore reigned in the earthly Jerusalem, much praised by the divine testimony; for even his faults are overcome by great piety, through the most salutary humility of his repentance…  St. Augustine

Praise Jehovah for His citizens of the city of God and their steadfast perseverance in bringing us the guaranteed hope of our Father, in His Son…

Goodnight and God bless.

How Do You Worship God?

A psalm is a sacred song used for worshiping God – a love song designed to help us connect with Him so that we may share our innermost thoughts and concerns.

King David was God’s master psalm writer. In fact, he wrote most of the psalms in the Bible. Here’s a part of one that he wrote for the daily services in the sanctuary of the Temple:

Oh, give thanks to the LORD! Call upon His name; make known His deeds among the peoples! Sing to Him, sing psalms to Him; talk of all His wondrous works! Glory in His holy name; let the hearts of those rejoice who seek the LORD! Ps. 105:1 – 3. NKJV

We see then that worship both glorifies God and shows our gratitude to Him for His providence.

God so loves it when you sing to Him:

Oh, come let us sing to the LORD; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise with songs of praise!…Oh come let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before our Maker! For He is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. Ps. 95:1, 2, 6, 7. ESV

How you worship is your own personal affair. Some worship in private, some in church. Some sing, others may play music or dance. If you’re not trying to appear pious, God loves to see you express your worship in the presence of others as well. It’s yet another way that you can help Him connect His love to more people for the sake of their salvation, when they see the love pouring out of you. It advances the kingdom of God:

Sing to the LORD, all the earth Sing to the LORD, bless His name, proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day. Declare His glory among the nations, His wonders among all the peoples. For the LORD is great and greatly to be praised. Ps. 96:1 – 4. NKJV

Even our (godly) behavior can be a form of worship. After all, Christ told us that the way we love God is by living by His word:

…present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Rm. 12:1 ESV

So, how often are we to worship?

I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall be continually in my mouth. Ps. 34:1

As we are doing that, we are continually loving God and being bathed in His love simultaneously. Because God’s love is boundless, we can afford to let His love flow out of us to the people around us so that they might get a taste of Him as well.

When we bless God with our love and obedience, He blesses us back:

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the paths of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the LORD and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither, and whatever he does shall prosper. Ps. 1:1 – 3. NKJV

In fact, God will surround us with Himself…

…let all rejoice who put their trust in You; let them ever shout for joy, because you defend them; let those also who love Your name be joyful in You. For You, O LORD, will bless the righteous; with favor you will surround him as with a shield. Ps. 5;11, 12. NKJV

Goodnight and God bless.