September 15 2023
Today, Friday September 15
“Your Testimonies Are Very Sure”
“The LORD reigns, He is clothed with majesty; The LORD is clothed, He has girded Himself with strength. Surely the world is established, so that it cannot be moved. Your throne is established from of old; You are from everlasting.
The floods have lifted up, O LORD, The floods have lifted up their voice; The floods lift up their waves. The LORD on high is mightier Than the noise of many waters, Than the mighty waves of the sea.
Your testimonies are very sure; Holiness adorns Your house, O LORD, forever.”
Today in our video chat we gave a brief update on my opportunity and privilege to serve as interim pastor at Friendly Community Baptist Church in Burgaw, NC. Edith and I have been serving in this wonderful fellowship since June of last year. It is located about 50 miles from where we live in Sneads Ferry, NC. We very much enjoy our time together in the car going to church together on Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights for the first time in my 50 years of pastoring.
The Lord is doing wonderful things as the church is growing and experiencing His presence in so many ways. Just a few weeks ago, on a Saturday morning, I had the privilege of leading a couple to Christ who followed the Lord in baptism the very next morning in our Sunday service. They love Sunday school, Wednesday night prayer meeting and Bible Study, and have asked if we can have church every day! How exciting!!!! They have also joined the church and are already volunteering to serve wherever they are needed.
We believe that the Lord has given us a candidate that will become the new Senior Pastor as we all pray for the Lord’s will to be done. If he is the one the Lord is calling to be our pastor, he will not be available to begin until June of 2024. I’ve made a commitment to stay as interim pastor until we have a new pastor installed. Please continue to pray for us in this very special ministry to these precious people.
Psalms 93 emphasizes the sovereign rule of Jehovah, the King of Israel, in the affairs of the nations. It was perhaps written by one of the Levites who returned to Judah with the Jewish remnant after the Babylonian captivity. The Jews, led by Zerubbabel the governor, Joshua the high priest, and the prophets Haggai and Zechariah were given permission to return to their own land, rebuild their temple, and restore their nation. It was an especially difficult time for the Jewish remnant and their work was interrupted, attacked, and neglected. The leaders and the people needed encouragement to continue the work, and this encouragement could come only from the Lord. This brief hymn magnifies the Lord by presenting three divine assurances.
In verse 1-2, the remnant was given the assurance that God reigns supremely. In verses 3-4, the people were reminded and assured that God is greater than our circumstances. The raging seas and the pounding waves are often used as symbols of the rise and fall of the nations and the great noise that rulers make as they try to impress people. No matter how stormy the nations on earth may become, God is still on His throne and is not frustrated by the foolish words and deeds of "great leaders" who are only made of clay. Do not focus on the threats around you; focus on the throne above you. Psalm 2:1-4: “Why do the nations rage, And the people plot a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, And the rulers take counsel together, Against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying, "Let us break Their bonds in pieces And cast away Their cords from us." He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; The LORD shall hold them in derision.”
In verse 5, we also can be encouraged that God always keeps his Word! "Your testimonies are very sure". When the tempest is around us, we look by faith to the throne of grace above us and the Word of God before us. The truth about what is going on in this world is not in the cable news, but in the Scriptures. False prophets, false teachers, and scoffers abound (2 Peter 2-3), but God's promises will all be fulfilled in their time, and God's children live by promises, not explanations. Satan has attacked God's Word since he lied to Eve in Genesis 3, but the Word still stands. "The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of His heart to all generations" (Psalm 33:11).
The Jewish remnant trusted God, labored, sacrificed, and completed the temple. We don't read that the glory of the Lord moved into the second temple, as it did the tabernacle (Ex. 40) and the first temple (1 Kings 8:10-11), but the Lord was with His people just the same and accomplishing His purposes. It is a holy people that makes the temple holy, and "the beauty of holiness" (29:2) is the greatest adornment for any structure dedicated to the Lord.
May the LORD help us today to wear His robe of “holiness” and walk in His “righteousness” so that His glory would be manifest to the scoffing world around us!