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Tuesday, December 27, 2016

PSALM 144:12-15




"Let our sons in their youth be as grown-up plants,
And our daughters as corner pillars fashioned as for a palace;
Let our garners be full, furnishing every kind of produce,
And our flocks bring forth thousands and ten thousands in our fields;
Let our cattle bear without mishap and without loss,
Let there be no outcry in our streets!
How blessed are the people who are so situated;
How blessed are the people whose God is the Lord!"



  


This is like a morning after,  Christmas, satiated with all God's blessings.  This Psalm celebrates blessings as Adam Clarke describes...
1. fruit of the body, sons and daughters,
2. fruit of the ground, grass and corn,
3. fruit of the cattle,--'the increase of kine, and flocks of sheep...'


"Let our sons..."

It is a recognition of God's blessings when we come together at Christmas with our sons and daughters.  However, we grieve with those who grieve over the loss of their children.  It never seems right when a parent outlives their child.  Yet, sons and daughters are reminders that life will go on without us when our time comes.  It is a heritage passed down, a torch handed off. 



Usually it is sons who go to war, though nations such as Israel requires all their youth--male and female-- to enlist so as to be ready to defend their nation.  So, at Christmas we recognize those who serve in the military, some who have to be away from home over the holidays. 




Being with our oldest son, is a joy realizing all the years of blessing he has given us with his humor and intellect, and the enjoyment he gave us as he excelled in sports.  Not only that, but as with all our children, the grandchildren are a blessing.  It may add up when we have nineteen of them so far, but Christmas presents are a way to celebrate each of their live. 


Grandaughters



Daughters


Laura and her beauties

Robin and Ezra, her nephew


Tifani and Zane

Matthew Henry says, "It is desirable to see our daughters as cornerstones, or corner pillars, polished after the similitude of a palace, or temple.  By daughters families are united and connected, to their mutual strength, as the parts of a building are by the cornerstones; and when they are graceful and beautiful both in body and mind they are then polished after the similitude of a nice structure.  When we see our daughters well-established and stayed with wisdom and discretion--when we see them by faith united to Christ--when we see them purified and consecrated to God as living temples, we think ourselves happy in them.  He prays for a growing estate with a growing family." 
Avery and Ella, twins

It makes me think of Mary, who was chosen to be a pillar of faith when the angel told her to fear not...Some say that as an orphan, she grew up serving in the temple, which was a common practice, until she came of age.  Then she was engaged to Joseph, and so goes the Christmas story.
cousins

It is a beautiful description of daughters.  But if they are the pillars and cornerstones, it is also a warning that if one pillar is weak, the structure is in danger.  So our prayers can be for our daughters to all stand tall in the beauty of holiness that it may be passed on to our daughters' daughters.
Grandparents Day

This year I chose to give as gifts to my daughters and older granddaughters, a version of the Psalms which has added places to make notes and even designs to doodle and color.  Since I have been in the Psalms in my blog since Jan. 6 of this past year, it seemed a fitting way to pass it on. 


"That there be no breaking in, nor going out; that there be no complaining in or streets."
(verse 14 KJV)

All these blessings were actually in possession.  All these expressions should be understood in the present tense...'without mishap and without loss.'  'So well ordered is the police of the kingdom that there at not depredations, no robbers, house-breakers, or marauding parties in the land; no sudden incursions of neighbouring tribes or banditti breaking into fields or houses, carrying away property, and taking the people to sell them under captivity: there is no such breaking in, and no such going out, in the nation.  My enemies are either become friends, and are united with me in political interest; or are, through fear, obliged to stand aloof." (Adam Clarke)

Sadly I woke this morning to the news that a second cousin, 46 years old had been murdered, her car stolen on Christmas Day in Washington D.C., tragic news.  Her grandmother would have been my grandmother's sister. 


If you've ever been robbed, you know that it is a feeling of violation.  Someone has trespassed and grabbed things away.  When we lived in the country, we were robbed seven times in eight years there.  Thieves knew that the response time of the sheriff was enough delayed for them to get away.  It was funny though that years later we found the exact marked Barbie case full of Barbie clothes that had been stolen from our young daughter, in a thrift shop.  I also found an unmistakable piece of broken jewelry, a piece of jade from my grandmother, of no great worth, but definitely mine.  However, most of what was stolen was never recovered.  Even in the nice neighborhood where we live now, so many bikes have been stolen that we've lost count.  I know, you'd think our boys would learn that they needed to lock them up, but tell that to an ADD child. Now that I've learned to shop for Christmas online, the FedEx man jumps off his truck with our packages, does the ding-dong ditch kind of thing, and we know a package is hidden somewhere on the porch so as not to attract a thief.


But these last verses mean more, it means there is a yearning in our hearts for the Prince of Peace.  The earth has known little peace.  Sadly slavery still is occurring, people stealing people, whether it is sex trafficking that even occurs in our country, in our town and neighborhood, or it is the Muslims who still traffic in Africa for slavery in our present time, or the radical Islamists who steal women and children for their own perverted use condoning it by verses in their sacred writings by the sayings and practice of Mohammed himself. 


We little realize and appreciate the safety we dwell in here in our own country taking it for granted.  But police, sheriffs, homeland security, and the military intelligence and force all protect our peace within our borders.


Matthew Henry says, "It is desirable thus to dwell in quiet habitations.  His reflection upon this description of the prosperity of the nation, which he so much desired:  'Happy are the people that are in such a case (but it is seldom so, and never long so), yea, happy are the people whose God is the Lord.'"



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