Psalms 34:2 – My soul shall boast in Yahweh. The humble shall hear of it, and be glad.
David writes in this Psalm that ‘he will exalt the Lord at all times’, and that God’s praise will always be on his lips.
In this verse, he goes on to say that his ‘soul shall boast in Yahweh’. He will tell with great gusto all that God has done for him, and how he has been blessed by Him.
The effect of this, is that the humble shall hear of it, and be glad. Being continually thankful and praising God has an effect – not just on yourself, but on those who hear it. If they have a humble heart, then it will build up their spirit as well!!
Praise the Lord at all times – no matter what happens from day to day – keep continually thanking Him and praising Him!
2 Peter 3:3-4 – ‘in the last days mockers will come, walking after their own lusts, and saying "Where is the promise of his coming?" For, from the day that the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.’
The early church were in the grip of the realization that the Lord could return at any moment. It fueled their evangelism, hunger and prayer.
Yet in our day many prefer to take a ‘managed approach’ and not put all their eggs in one basket. The argument written above is the same argument that many Christians use in our own day – it’s been thousands of years, nothing has happened – what’s the chances that He will return soon?
But when we start saying ‘Jesus will be a long time coming’ the church starts to fall asleep. We lapse back into complacency and comfort, and begin to let our lamps go out. It happens time and time again.
In our day, the church needs to be stirred awake. Jesus is closer than ever and He will come at a time ‘when we don’t expect Him’. The signs of Israel in the land and the Holy Spirit poured out on the church are strong indicators that His return is close. We live in days where Matthew 24 gets played out on television sets nearly every night.
So don’t fall asleep! Watch and pray! Jesus is coming soon!
Deuteronomy 16:21 – You shall not plant you an Asherah of any kind of tree beside the altar of Yahweh your God, which you shall make you
Here the Lord commands that no Asherah of trees be planted beside the altar of the Lord.
The Asherah was not just a pole, it was often a grove of trees. The word means to be straight, and came from the word Ashtoreth – a Phonecian goddess of love and increase. It was thought superstitious and beneficial to have trees in a grove around an idol, probably as a symbol of life, growth, pleasantness etc.
However the Lord’s altar was not to resemble the altars of the nations around in any form. It was to be separate and distinct. Perhaps the reason for not planting Asherah’s beside the altar was to ensure that the physical beauty of the place did not distract from the purpose of the altar – which was to put animals to death as a blood substitute for the sin of man.
Romans 1:25 talks of people ‘worshipping the creature rather than the Creator who is forever praised’. We must not allow created thing, no matter how beautiful, to distract us from the purpose of loving and worshipping God alone.