God's Word · Pondering

Listen to Me

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Psalm 81

Oh, That My People Would Listen to Me

To the choirmaster: according to The Gittith. Of Asaph.

Sing aloud to God our strength;
shout for joy to the God of Jacob!
Raise a song; sound the tambourine,
the sweet lyre with the harp.
Blow the trumpet at the new moon,
at the full moon, on our feast day.

 For it is a statute for Israel,

a rule of the God of Jacob.
He made it a decree in Joseph
when he went out over the land of Egypt.
I hear a language I had not known:
 “I relieved your shoulder of the burden;
your hands were freed from the basket.
In distress you called, and I delivered you;
I answered you in the secret place of thunder;
I tested you at the waters of Meribah.   Selah
Hear, O my people, while I admonish you!
O Israel, if you would but listen to me!
There shall be no strange god among you;
you shall not bow down to a foreign god.
I am the Lord your God,
who brought you up out of the land of Egypt.

Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it.

“But my people did not listen to my voice;
Israel would not submit to me.
So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts,
to follow their own counsels.
Oh, that my people would listen to me,
that Israel would walk in my ways!
I would soon subdue their enemies
and turn my hand against their foes.
Those who hate the Lord would cringe toward him,
and their fate would last forever.
But he would feed you with the finest of the wheat,

and with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.”

In His mighty strength, He relieves, He frees, He delivers, He answers.  In His powerful justice, He tests, admonishes, and He gives over to their (our) own ways.  He will fill and feed, He will protect, He will satisfy.  He is their (our) God.  He loves us and will do anything for us that is in our best interest, even admonishing.  We must learn.  We must seek Him.  We must listen.  We must follow His ways and not ours.  

This Psalm brings to mind all that is going on in the world today in the Middle East and in Israel.  A world turning upside down.  A time of change.  Things are happening so quickly and for so many reasons.  Many questions without answers.

For Israel, God is still calling them to listen, just as God calls me to listen. 

“Listen”.      shama`      shä·mah’         שָׁמַע
  to hear, listen to, obey
Yisra’el        יִשְׂרָאֵל   
God Prevails

Israel is made up of two roots:
1.   sarah    sä·rä’      שָׂרָה
     contend, have power, contend with, persist, exert oneself, persevere
2.  ‘el          āl             אֵל  
1) god, god-like one, mighty one
a) mighty men, men of rank, mighty heroes
b) angels
c) god, false god, (demons, imaginations)
d) God, the one true God, Jehovah
2) mighty things in nature
3) strength, power

On that day I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples; all who lift it shall grievously hurt themselves.  And all the nations of the earth will come together against it.  Zechariah 12:3
In the end, God prevails.

 

Thus says the Lord of hosts: behold, I will save my people from the east country and from the west country, and I will bring them to dwell in the midst of Jerusalem.  And they shall be my people, and I will be their God, in faithfulness and in righteousness.”  Zechariah 8:7-8

“Thus says the Lord of hosts: In those days ten men from the nations of every tongue shall take hold of the robe of a Jew, saying, ‘Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.’”  Zechariah 8:23

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Oh Heavenly Father, may our hearts stay focused upon You.  May we love, pray, help in ways we can the children of Israel.  Please don’t allow us to be afraid and not stand up for them.  May Israel listen and may their ears be ready to hear that the Messiah is here.  Oh, what a glorious day when we are all with You, with Jesus.  To shout for joy and sing a song aloud … All In His Wonderful Name, Amen.


** In the lines with the Hebrew, the first word is the “transliteration”, second is the pronunciation, and, of course, the final is the Hebrew.  
God's Word · Pondering

Quietly, I Pray

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With a quiet mind, heart and soul, I pray for the peace of Jerusalem.  God, I have no words but to lift up Your city, Your people, to You and only You.  My heart longs for peace in this world.  There is so much turmoil everywhere I turn.  Yet, it is with the deepest prayer that I call out and pray for Your Israel, Your Jerusalem, Your precious people.  Hear me, O God.  Hear me.  Amen.

Psalm 122

A Song of Ascents. Of David.

I was glad when they said to me,

“Let us go to the house of the Lord!”

Our feet have been standing

within your gates, O Jerusalem!

Jerusalem—built as a city

that is bound firmly together,

to which the tribes go up,

the tribes of the Lord,

as was decreed for Israel,

to give thanks to the name of the Lord.

There thrones for judgment were set,

the thrones of the house of David.

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem!

“May they be secure who love you!

Peace be within your walls

and security within your towers!”

For my brothers and companions’ sake

I will say, “Peace be within you!”

For the sake of the house of the Lord our God,

I will seek your good.

Verse 6 of Psalm 122:

 שָׁאַל

sha’al

pray

to ask, to inquire

שָׁלוֹם

shalowm

completeness, soundness, welfare, peace

peace, quiet, tranquility, contentment, peace (from war)

יְרוּשָׁלַם

Yĕruwshalaim

Jerusalem = “teaching of peace”

שָׁלָה

shalah

to be at rest, to be or have quiet, to be at ease, to prosper

אָהַב

‘ahab

to love

…human love for another, includes family

…human love for or to God

…act of being a friend

…God’s love toward man…

     …to individual men

     …to the people of Israel

    …to righteousness


From Matthew Henry’s Commentary on Psalm 122:

“This psalm seems to have been penned by David for the use of the people of Israel, when they came up to Jerusalem to worship at the three solemn feasts. It was in David’s time that Jerusalem was first chosen to be the city where God would record his name. It being a new thing, this, among other means, was used to bring the people to be in love with Jerusalem, as the holy city, though it was but the other day in the hands of the Jebusites. Observe, I. The joy with which they were to go up to Jerusalem (v. 1, 2). II. The great esteem they were to have of Jerusalem (v. 3-5). III. The great concern they were to have for Jerusalem, and the prayers they were to put up for its welfare (v. 6-9).

….

“Here, I. David calls upon others to which well to Jerusalem, v. 6, 7. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem, for the welfare of it, for all good to it, particularly for the uniting of the inhabitants among themselves and their preservation from the incursions of enemies. This we may truly desire, that in the peace thereof we may have peace; and this we must earnestly pray for, for it is the gift of God, and for it he will be enquired of. Those that can do nothing else for the peace of Jerusalem can pray for it, which is something more than showing their good-will; it is the appointed way of fetching in mercy. The peace and welfare of the gospel church, particularly in our land, is to be earnestly desired and prayed for by every one of us. Now, 1. We are here encouraged in our prayers for Jerusalem’s peace: Those shall prosper that love thee. We must pray for Jerusalem, not out of custom, nor for fashion’s sake, but out of a principle of love to God’s government of man and man’s worship of God; and, in seeking the public welfare, we seek our own, for so well does God love the gates of Zion that he will love all those that do love them, and therefore they cannot but prosper; at least their souls shall prosper by the ordinances they so dearly love. 2. We are here directed in our prayers for it and words are put into our mouths (v. 7): Peace be within thy walls. He teaches us to pray, (1.) For all the inhabitants in general, all within the walls, from the least to the greatest. Peace be in thy fortifications; let them never be attacked, or, if they be, let them never be taken, but be an effectual security to the city. (2.) For the princes and rulers especially: Let prosperity be in the palaces of the great men that sit at the helm and have the direction of public affairs; for, if they prosper, it will be well for the public. The poorer sort are apt to envy the prosperity of the palaces, but they are here taught to pray for it.”

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Henry Commentaries on the Whole Bible by Matthew Henry

graphic:  http://gatewaychristiancenter.org/pray-for-the-peace-of-israel/

photo/graphic: http://whowillyouserve.blogspot.com/2012/09/psalm-122.html

God's Word · Pondering

Praying for Israel

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Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: “May those who love you be secure.   Psalm 122:6

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Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you,

and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you.

For the Lord is a God of justice;

blessed are all those who wait for him.

For a people shall dwell in Zion, in Jerusalem; you shall weep no more. He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry. As soon as he hears it, he answers you.  And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide himself anymore, but your eyes shall see your Teacher. And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.  Isaiah 30:18-21

I pray for the peace of Jerusalem, LORD.  All of this fighting and killing is just so hard.  The children who are caught in this war and all of the others around the world break my heart.  Their innocence draws my heart towards them.  I know You know and know the ways of men, the ways of this world.  I pray for justice, for Your sovereignty, for Your righteousness, LORD, and for Your mercy.  May Your will be done and may Your Truth and Light shine in this vast darkness. May Your love prevail over the hatred and Your peace prevail above war.  May Your salvation rain upon Israel, O Heavenly Father, as well as this whole world.  And may I stand tall in Jesus Christ, my LORD, and show the world that He is Savior and LORD over all.  One day, Father.  One day.  I pray in the Powerful Name of Your Son.  Amen.

 

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Photos from:  iBibleVerses @ http://ibibleverses.christianpost.com/