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Thursday, August 18, 2016

PSALM 111



"The Lord is gracious and compassionate.
He has given food to those who fear Him;
He will remember His covenant forever.
He has made known to His people the power of His works.
In giving them the heritage of the nations."
(verses 4-5)





Full of grace and mercy.  That's our God.

"He has given meat..."



In some ways this food, this meat spoken of could refer to exhibit A, the quail given in the desert to those wandering Hebrew children, like a father has compassion on his children to feed them. (note: they weren't vegans.)  It also is a flicker of reminder that even in the worst of times as in the despair of the fleeing prophet Elijah, God set him down by a brook and sent ravens to bring him bread and meat in the morning and in the evening, like clockwork.  Well, it may have been roadkill, but hey, it sustained him.  As I have said before, once in a starving moment in the midst of my pregnancy with a voracious appetite, I couldn't wait to eat the steak stir-fry.  It was feed or faint time.  So as I was slicing it, I snuck a little sushi-like bite.  I know, it was a terrible thing to do, so unhealthy, but that's as close to starving as I have ever been, okay?  Anyway, I ate me some raw meat.  When you are hungry, it happens.  The meat in this passage, however, has more of a connotation of being the prey and the result of a hunt as in wild beasts, venison, or fowls. 



This Psalm is actually a poem sung in church which we cannot appreciate in its alphabetical acrostic rendering since most of us can't read Hebrew poetry in the original language.  But just maybe, sitting in church, the hunger pains were beginning and the stomach was growling enough to remind people that God would sustain them.  He'd give them meat.  Sunday dinner was coming!  Maybe we need a reminder that there will be that daily bread sustenance until that huge wedding supper of the Lamb that's a-coming.  It's our little New Beginnings Church's turn to provide dinner at the local mission and they've decided to do abundantly more: we will be serving tri-tip steak to seventy or so of the homeless.  Yup.  Meat.  Yum.  Just 'cause.  Just a reminder that God is faithful.



"He will ever be mindful of His covenant."

God is not forgetful.  He made a covenant with His people and will keep it.  If nothing else sticks, remember, God said it.  He will do it.  This covenant was more than we as children did with a best friend to be a blood brother, that little ceremony of squishing scratched wrists together.  God was the One who promised to keep this covenant by the shedding of blood.  To Christ, once a blood brother, always a blood brother.  He will not be the one to fail to keep His promises.



"He hath shewed His people the power of His works,
that He may give them the heritage of the heathen."
(verse 6 KJV)




"'He hath shewed His people,' as in the turning of Jordan backwards, overthrowing Jericho, staying the sun and moon, etc.  'That He may give them,' By the expulsion of the Canaanites...They have seen that these things did not arrive in the common course of nature; it was not by might, nor by power, but by the Spirit of the Lord of hosts they were done.  And it required a display of the power of God to give them the heritage of the heathen."

"You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies."
(Psalm 23:5)




"The prophet now speaks of a mercy far exceeding all the rest, the work of human redemption by Christ.  This may be...in reference to the redemption of Israel out of Egypt ('He nourished His people for forty years in the wilderness, giving them meat from heaven.')...  (But!) He sent redemption, A Redeemer, so long promised." (Adam Clarke) 





"Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful."
(Hebrews 10:23)


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