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Summiting In The Psalms

An adventure of a lifetime!

From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

Psalm 61:2

Daily Schedule

SUMMITING IN THE PSALMS 

INTRODUCTION

You are going on the adventure of a lifetime. You are going to summit sixty-four mountain passages in the Psalms.  

The pace is rugged.  You will be reading five psalms a day from June 1st to June 30th.   This devotional is just one section of the PEEK-TO-PEAK curriculum.  The Bible reading goal for the mountaineer is to read through the entire Bible over a one year time period.  To accomplish this goal requires reading an average of 3.2 chapters a day.  The PEEK-TO-PEAK reading schedule for the year is found in Appendix C.  

For each verse referencing a mountain/hill and/or named mount, there will be a devotional section to read.  

To summit with God each day, you will spend time reading the psalms and the accompanying devotionals on the mountain theme and then you will spend time praying to the Lord with the focus presented in the requests that have imperatival force.  

The goal of this book is to encourage the believer to summit with God daily. This involves time in His Word and prayer. The result will be that the believer will grow in grace and knowledge of God. The ultimate goal is to reach the apex or the summit of Christian living, which is to love God with all your being. This is indeed rare air and very few climb to such heights. 

Here is how this book is to be used to summit with God. 

STEP #1 – To read the assigned Psalms for the day (i.e. – June 1 – Psalms 1-5).  There is a reading schedule in the back of the book that presents a unique reading schedule for reading through the entire Bible in a year.  The reading goal for this book is to read through the book of Psalms in one month.  That translates into reading five chapters a day for thirty days.  This study is one of twelve monthly studies.  This devotional on the mountain themes of Psalms is synchronized  with the reading schedule for June.  However, this study can be used at any time of the year.    Check the box on the reading schedule in back of book – APPENDIX C.

STEP #2 – While reading the assigned psalms for the day note the references to the English words mountain(s), hill(s) or mount.  Draw in the margin next to the mountain reference a mountain symbol, which is a picture of a mountain with a snow cap.  You will discover that there are sixty-four such references.  These references combined create a unique spiritual mountain range.    You will also see that one mountain stands above all the others when it comes to repeated references and the use of different names to describe the same location (i.e. Zion, Jerusalem Salem, etc.).

STEP #3 – Read the daily devotion on the mountain passage which highlights that day’s reading.   There are eight days (i.e. Psalms 6-10; Psalms 31-35; Psalms 51-55; Psalms 56-60;  Psalms 106-110; Psalms 116-120: Psalms 126-130; Psalms 136-140) that you will read your five psalms where there is no usage of the word mountain(s), hill(s) or mount.  On those days, there is a devotional (on an elevated theme) imported from another grouping of five psalms where there were more than one reference to mountains.  You will find on twelve (???) days through the month that you will have (multiple peaks and multiple devotions to read) two mountain devotions to read.  Enjoy the saddle between these peaks, but do climb these twin peaks.  

STEP #4 – There is a ‘Summiting with God’ prayer journal (after each day’s devotion) at the back of the book (APPENDIX D).  This section lists every verse in the psalms that uses the imperatival mode when praying to God.  This does not mean that  the believer is to command God to obey us or to dictate to God to do something.  The use of the cohortative (is a first person imperfect form) the imperative (2nd person form) and the jussive (3rd person form) is to illustrate intensity, sincerity, a wish, or a passionate desire for God to hear one’s request.  These prayer imperatives are categorized.  You may want to take each verse found in the five psalms you read for that day and convert to your own prayer request.  It is very powerful to pray back to God the Scripture He has inspired especially in the area of prayer.  Personalize these passages and pray them back to the Lord for your particular needs.

STEP #5 – There is a section (APPENDIX E) in the back of the book that is called ‘Search and Rescue’ (SAR).  This section is designed for you to list those who are spiritually lost and need to be rescued by our loving Savior.   List the lost you are praying for and note the details when they are found!!! 

STEP #6 – At the beginning of each devotional entry, there is a line that says, “TODAY’S CLIMB.” This is a line for you to record how many steps/distance that you walked that day or to describe your exercise efforts for that day, or to note the summit you bagged.  There is a list of the 54 fourteeners in Colorado in the appendices.  You may want to create your own list of exercise or climbing goals.

DEDICATION TO MARVIN AND SUE THOMPSON 

In 2013, Allissa’s mother would die.  Her dad died in 2011.  We were anticipating a small inheritance from her parents from the sale of their Columbia Cross Roads house in Pennsylvania.  Allissa and I had been thinking of purchasing with our inheritance some land in the Rocky Mountains.  One Sunday night at Wendy’s with our seniors, I asked Bill Honaker, who had owned property near Steamboat for his advice in purchasing mountain property.  He immediately said that Bob Dillon at the end of the table was selling his mountain home on Indian Mountain and to talk with him. 

Immediately, we talked with Bob and set up a time to drive up to 541 Houma Way to see his mountain chalet, an A-Frame, that he had built himself with his wife Joyce.  Once we arrived, we realized the house needed some tender loving care and some upgrading and that the property was needing some clearing.  There were a lot of trees down on the property.   We loved the privacy of the home and the view of the continental divide and the grandeur of Mount Silver heels (13,829’).  

Behind the house was our closest neighbor, Marv and Sue.  Bob said they were incredible people who loved the Lord and had on many occasions helped him and Joyce.  The most recent labor of love he described was when the A-frame’s roof was blown off and Marvin oversaw its repair during a difficult time when Bob had just lost his wife. 

After purchasing the home, we met Marvin and Sue and instantly hit it off with them.  For ten and a half years they were our mountain neighbors.  Any time I needed a tool or help Marv was there to assist.  Sue would drop by with cookies, watermelon and panoplied kindness.   Marvin would plow our driveway when the snow became a formidable challenge to navigate the incline.  

We enjoyed our time with them having coffee, attending their mountain church at the recreation center and hollering at each other when a bear would stroll between our two properties.  

When we went to sell our mountain home, my brother Bruce, a real estate salesman, said to write up a list of things that you liked about the home to give to Dee, our saleswoman here to give her some ideas on how to advertise.  My first point on the list was our incredible neighbors, Marv and Sue.  They were more than neighbors.  They became dear friends!  We will miss our home at 10,000’ in Park County, but we will miss even more Marv and Sue.   We love you both so much!!!

Heartily in Christ,

William and Allissa J. Senn, III 

SUMMITING IN THE PSALMS 

By William J. Senn, III 

From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

Psalm 61:2

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DATE:  June 1

BIBLE READING:  Psalms 1-5

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord ; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.
Psalm 1:1-6 (KJV)

Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine 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 bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure. Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel. Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.
Psalm 2:1-12 (KJV)

Lord, how are they increased that trouble me! many are they that rise up against me. Many there be which say of my soul, There is no help for him in God. Selah. But thou, O Lord , art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head. I cried unto the Lord with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah. I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the Lord sustained me. I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, that have set themselves against me round about. Arise, O Lord ; save me, O my God: for thou hast smitten all mine enemies upon the cheek bone; thou hast broken the teeth of the ungodly. Salvation belongeth unto the Lord : thy blessing is upon thy people. Selah.
Psalm 3:1-8 (KJV)

Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer. O ye sons of men, how long will ye turn my glory into shame? how long will ye love vanity, and seek after leasing? Selah. But know that the Lord hath set apart him that is godly for himself: the Lord will hear when I call unto him. Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah. Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the Lord . There be many that say, Who will shew us any good? Lord , lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us. Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn and their wine increased. I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, Lord , only makest me dwell in safety.
Psalm 4:1-8 (KJV)

Give ear to my words, O Lord , consider my meditation. Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King, and my God: for unto thee will I pray. My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O Lord ; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up. For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee. The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity. Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing: the Lord will abhor the bloody and deceitful man. But as for me, I will come into thy house in the multitude of thy mercy: and in thy fear will I worship toward thy holy temple. Lead me, O Lord , in thy righteousness because of mine enemies; make thy way straight before my face. For there is no faithfulness in their mouth; their inward part is very wickedness; their throat is an open sepulchre; they flatter with their tongue. Destroy thou them, O God; let them fall by their own counsels; cast them out in the multitude of their transgressions; for they have rebelled against thee. But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee. For thou, Lord , wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield.
Psalm 5:1-12 (KJV)

TITLE:  MY HOLY HILL OF ZION 

DATE:  June 1

BIBLE READING:  Psalms 1-5

MOUNTAIN PASSAGE:  Psalm 2:6 – #1 of 64

TODAY’S CLIMB: ________________________

(2:6) Yet I have set My King on MY HOLY HILL OF ZION.  

It is very fitting that the first reference to a mountain in the Psalms, is a reference to Mount Zion, where God the Father states that He is going to set His Son, the King.  The Psalm is a Messianic psalm with four natural divisions highlighting four voices.  In 2:1-3, there is the voice of a rebellious coalition. They believe they can unite and overthrow God and His sovereign plan.  In 2:4-6, God the Father is seen laughing at man’s foolishness to think that He can be dethroned.  He states matter-of-factly, as though already accomplished, that He has “set” or “offered” His Son on “His holy hill.”  It was there that Jesus Christ poured out His life and shed His blood to atone for man’s sin and rebellion.  It will be from that same “holy hill” that Christ will reign over the earth during the millennium, as King of kings.  In 2:7-9, the focus is on the eternal Son and His incarnation culminating in His death and resurrection.  As a result of His obedience He will be the “heir of all things”(Hebrews 1:20) including the nations.  In view of the Anointed One, the glorious King, the unique Son of God, the Lord being highlighted on God’s “holy hill,” the Holy Spirit speaks in 2:10-12, for sinners to “kiss the son.”  Those who give homage to the King and “put their trust in him” will be pardoned and reconciled.  “Be wise now” and “serve the Lord with fear” today! 

TITLE:  HIS HOLY HILL 

MOUNTAIN PASSAGE:  Psalm 3:4 – #2 of 64

(3:4) I cried to the Lord with my voice, and He heard me from HIS HOLY HILL.  

In the Morning Psalm, the psalmist is facing enormous opposition.  There were many who were against him and caused him great “trouble.”  Their attacks were insidious as they declared that there was “no help for him in God.”  What a brutal, frontal attack on his faith in the Lord! These mud slingers were serving their father, the father of doubts.  The psalmist weakened by their attacks wisely sought the Lord and pleaded with Him  to be His “shield” from such unbelief and treachery.   As the psalmist “cried unto the Lord” He had the confidence that “He heard” him “out of his holy hill.”  From His heavenly perch God sees all.  He hears our cries and answers them.  As a result, He is “the lifter up” of our heads.  He encourages us as we seek Him.  His sustaining help comes cascading down from such high ground.  As a result we can sleep in peace.  We can arise and live without fear.  We can watch and see the victories of the Lord and His “blessing” upon His people.  Let us cry unto the Lord with our pleas and wait to hear from “His holy hill.” 

SUMMITING PRAYER IMPERATIVES (PSALMS 1-5)

PRAYER FOR GOD TO ARISE

PRAYER FOR GOD TO SAVE

(3:7) Arise (imperative), O Lord; save (imperative) me, O my God:

PRAYER FOR GOD TO HEAR MY PRAYER

PRAYER FOR GOD TO HAVE MERCY 

PRAYER FOR GOD TO HEAR MY PRAYER 

(4:1) Hear (imperative) me when I call, O God of my righteousness: 

Thou hast enlarged (relieved) me when I was in distress; 

Have mercy (imperative) upon me,  and hear (imperative) my prayer.

PRAYER FOR GOD TO SHINE HIS LIGHT ON US

(4:6) There be many that say, Who will shew us any good? 

Lord, Lift thou up (imperative) the light of thy countenance upon us.

PRAYER FOR GOD TO HEAR MY PRAYER

PRAYER FOR GOD TO CONSIDER MY MEDITATION 

(5:1) Give (imperative) ear to my words, O Lord, 

consider (imperative) my meditation.

PRAYER FOR GOD TO HEAR MY PRAYER 

(5:2) Hearken (imperative) unto the voice of my cry, my King, and my God: 

For unto Thee will I pray.

PRAYER FOR GOD TO LEAD ME

PRAYER FOR GOD TO MAKE HIS WAY VISIBLE 

(5:8) Lead (imperative) me, O Lord, in thy righteousness because of mine enemies;  Make (imperative) thy way straight before my face.

PRAYER FOR GOD TO DESTROY THE ENEMY

PRAYER FOR GOD TO TRAP THEM IN THEIR OWN COUNSELS

PRAYER FOR GOD TO CAST OUT THE TRANSGRESSORS 

(5:10) Destroy (imperative) thou them, O God; 

Let them fall (jussive) by their own counsels;  

Cast them out (imperative) in the multitude of their transgressions; 

For they have rebelled against Thee.

DATE:  June 2

BIBLE READING:  Psalms 6-10

O Lord , rebuke me not in thine anger, neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure. Have mercy upon me, O Lord ; for I am weak: O Lord , heal me; for my bones are vexed. My soul is also sore vexed: but thou, O Lord , how long? Return, O Lord , deliver my soul: oh save me for thy mercies’ sake. For in death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who shall give thee thanks? I am weary with my groaning; all the night make I my bed to swim; I water my couch with my tears. Mine eye is consumed because of grief; it waxeth old because of all mine enemies. Depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity; for the Lord hath heard the voice of my weeping. The Lord hath heard my supplication; the Lord will receive my prayer. Let all mine enemies be ashamed and sore vexed: let them return and be ashamed suddenly.
Psalm 6:1-10 (KJV)

O Lord my God, in thee do I put my trust: save me from all them that persecute me, and deliver me: Lest he tear my soul like a lion, rending it in pieces, while there is none to deliver. O Lord my God, If I have done this; if there be iniquity in my hands; If I have rewarded evil unto him that was at peace with me; (yea, I have delivered him that without cause is mine enemy:) Let the enemy persecute my soul, and take it; yea, let him tread down my life upon the earth, and lay mine honour in the dust. Selah. Arise, O Lord , in thine anger, lift up thyself because of the rage of mine enemies: and awake for me to the judgment that thou hast commanded. So shall the congregation of the people compass thee about: for their sakes therefore return thou on high. The Lord shall judge the people: judge me, O Lord , according to my righteousness, and according to mine integrity that is in me. Oh let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end; but establish the just: for the righteous God trieth the hearts and reins. My defence is of God, which saveth the upright in heart. God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day. If he turn not, he will whet his sword; he hath bent his bow, and made it ready. He hath also prepared for him the instruments of death; he ordaineth his arrows against the persecutors. Behold, he travaileth with iniquity, and hath conceived mischief, and brought forth falsehood. He made a pit, and digged it, and is fallen into the ditch which he made. His mischief shall return upon his own head, and his violent dealing shall come down upon his own pate. I will praise the Lord according to his righteousness: and will sing praise to the name of the Lord most high.
Psalm 7:1-17 (KJV)

O Lord , our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens. Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger. When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet: All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field; The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas. O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!
Psalm 8:1-9 (KJV)

I will praise thee, O Lord , with my whole heart; I will shew forth all thy marvellous works. I will be glad and rejoice in thee: I will sing praise to thy name, O thou most High. When mine enemies are turned back, they shall fall and perish at thy presence. For thou hast maintained my right and my cause; thou satest in the throne judging right. Thou hast rebuked the heathen, thou hast destroyed the wicked, thou hast put out their name for ever and ever. O thou enemy, destructions are come to a perpetual end: and thou hast destroyed cities; their memorial is perished with them. But the Lord shall endure for ever: he hath prepared his throne for judgment. And he shall judge the world in righteousness, he shall minister judgment to the people in uprightness. The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, Lord , hast not forsaken them that seek thee. Sing praises to the Lord , which dwelleth in Zion: declare among the people his doings. When he maketh inquisition for blood, he remembereth them: he forgetteth not the cry of the humble. Have mercy upon me, O Lord ; consider my trouble which I suffer of them that hate me, thou that liftest me up from the gates of death: That I may shew forth all thy praise in the gates of the daughter of Zion: I will rejoice in thy salvation. The heathen are sunk down in the pit that they made: in the net which they hid is their own foot taken. The Lord is known by the judgment which he executeth: the wicked is snared in the work of his own hands. Higgaion. Selah. The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God. For the needy shall not always be forgotten: the expectation of the poor shall not perish for ever. Arise, O Lord ; let not man prevail: let the heathen be judged in thy sight. Put them in fear, O Lord : that the nations may know themselves to be but men. Selah.
Psalm 9:1-20 (KJV)

Why standest thou afar off, O Lord ? why hidest thou thyself in times of trouble? The wicked in his pride doth persecute the poor: let them be taken in the devices that they have imagined. For the wicked boasteth of his heart’s desire, and blesseth the covetous, whom the Lord abhorreth. The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts. His ways are always grievous; thy judgments are far above out of his sight: as for all his enemies, he puffeth at them. He hath said in his heart, I shall not be moved: for I shall never be in adversity. His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and fraud: under his tongue is mischief and vanity. He sitteth in the lurking places of the villages: in the secret places doth he murder the innocent: his eyes are privily set against the poor. He lieth in wait secretly as a lion in his den: he lieth in wait to catch the poor: he doth catch the poor, when he draweth him into his net. He croucheth, and humbleth himself, that the poor may fall by his strong ones. He hath said in his heart, God hath forgotten: he hideth his face; he will never see it. Arise, O Lord ; O God, lift up thine hand: forget not the humble. Wherefore doth the wicked contemn God? he hath said in his heart, Thou wilt not require it. Thou hast seen it; for thou beholdest mischief and spite, to requite it with thy hand: the poor committeth himself unto thee; thou art the helper of the fatherless. Break thou the arm of the wicked and the evil man: seek out his wickedness till thou find none. The Lord is King for ever and ever: the heathen are perished out of his land. Lord , thou hast heard the desire of the humble: thou wilt prepare their heart, thou wilt cause thine ear to hear: To judge the fatherless and the oppressed, that the man of the earth may no more oppress.
Psalm 10:1-18 (KJV)

TITLE:  WE’RE MARCHING TO ZION!

PSALM 9:11 – ZION

Sing praises to the Lord, which dwelleth in ZION: Declare among the people his doings.

PSALM 9:14 – ZION

That I may shew forth all thy praise In the gates of the daughter of ZION: I will rejoice in thy salvation.

Although there are no direct references in these five psalms to mountain(s), hill(s) or mount(s), it has been already established in 2:6 and 3:4 in the previous section that Zion, is a reference to God’s holy hill.  The context will determine if the word is describing earthy Jerusalem or the heavenly Jerusalem, that “yields a thousand sacred sweets.”  The word “Zion” occurs alone thirty-one times in the Psalms and an additional seven times it is called “hill Zion.”  This name of a hill/mountain is the most repeated one in the Psalms, even exceeding the use of Jerusalem/Salem which occurs seventeen times.  Consequently,  “Zion” is the Mount Everest in the psalmist’s mountain glossary of words. 

In Psalm 9:11, it speaks of the Lord, “which dwelleth in Zion.”  The Lord uniquely dwelled in Zion from the dedication of Solomon’s temple (959 BC) to the destruction of the temple (586 BC) 373 years later, when the glory of God is described departing from the temple and disappearing from the Mount of Olives.  At the first coming of Jesus Christ, he visited Zion/Jerusalem and the temple, and although the temple was His Father’s house He was not seen dwelling there.  We know scripturally at the second coming of Jesus, that He will establish His kingdom on the earth for a thousand years, and will be seen as the One who “dwelleth in Zion.”  Our options for when the Lord is seen dwelling in Zion are (1) 959 to 586 BC, (2) the future millennium, or (3) a reference to heaven, where God uniquely dwells and reigns.

Whatever the right view is, today, Jesus is not seen dwelling in earthly Zion, despite all the efforts of Zionism (i.e. political organization established in 1897 under Theodor Herzi, and was later led by Chaim Weizmann) to create and maintain a Jewish state.  The central issue in the Mid-east as I write is all about Zionism.  Does Israel have the right to exist as a nation?  Hamas, who openly seeks the obliteration of Israel, on October 7, 2023,  killed more than 1,300 Israelis.  Israel is surrounded by other nations that have the same intentions.  

Back to Him, “which dwelleth in Zion.”   The psalm is screaming of Jesus Christ’s second coming to judge the nations prior to establishing His millennial throne in Zion.   Look at these phrases:

“When mine enemies are turned back, and they shall fall and perish at thy presence” (9:3).   “Thou sanest in the throne judging right” (9:4). “Thou hast rebuked the heathen, thou hast destroyed the wicked, thou hast put out their name for ever and ever” (9:5). “He hath prepared his throne for judgment” (9:7). “And he shall judge the world in righteousness” (9:8). “The heathen are sunk down in the pit that they made” (9:15).  “The Lord is known by the judgment” (9:10).  “The wicked shall be turned to hell, and all the nations that forget God” (9:17). “The heathen be judged in thy sight” (9:19).

What a message to those oppose the thought of God in human flesh dwelling “in Zion.”  The psalmist wants to “put them in fear” “that the nations may know themselves to be but men.” 

WE’RE MARCHING TO ZION 

Isaac Watts (published 1707)

Come, we that love the Lord,
And let our joys be known;
Join in a song with sweet accord,
And thus surround the throne.

Refrain:
We’re marching to Zion,
Beautiful, beautiful Zion;
We’re marching upward to Zion,
The beautiful city of God.

The sorrows of the mind
Be banished from the place;
Religion never was designed
To make our pleasures less.

Let those refuse to sing,
Who never knew our God;
But children of the heav’nly King
May speak their joys abroad.

The men of grace have found
Glory begun below;
Celestial fruits on earthly ground
From faith and hope may grow.

The hill of Zion yields
A thousand sacred sweets
Before we reach the heav’nly fields,
Or walk the golden streets.

Then let our songs abound,
And every tear be dry;
We’re marching through Immanuel’s ground
To fairer worlds on high.

DATE:  June 3

BIBLE READING:  Psalms 11-15

In the Lord put I my trust: how say ye to my soul, Flee as a bird to your mountain? For, lo, the wicked bend their bow, they make ready their arrow upon the string, that they may privily shoot at the upright in heart. If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do? The Lord is in his holy temple, the Lord ‘s throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men. The Lord trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth. Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup. For the righteous Lord loveth righteousness; his countenance doth behold the upright.
Psalm 11:1-7 (KJV)

Help, Lord ; for the godly man ceaseth; for the faithful fail from among the children of men. They speak vanity every one with his neighbour: with flattering lips and with a double heart do they speak. The Lord shall cut off all flattering lips, and the tongue that speaketh proud things: Who have said, With our tongue will we prevail; our lips are our own: who is lord over us? For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, now will I arise, saith the Lord ; I will set him in safety from him that puffeth at him. The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O Lord , thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever. The wicked walk on every side, when the vilest men are exalted.
Psalm 12:1-8 (KJV)

How long wilt thou forget me, O Lord ? for ever? how long wilt thou hide thy face from me? How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily? how long shall mine enemy be exalted over me? Consider and hear me, O Lord my God: lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death; Lest mine enemy say, I have prevailed against him; and those that trouble me rejoice when I am moved. But I have trusted in thy mercy; my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation. I will sing unto the Lord , because he hath dealt bountifully with me.
Psalm 13:1-6 (KJV)

The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good. The Lord looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge? who eat up my people as they eat bread, and call not upon the Lord . There were they in great fear: for God is in the generation of the righteous. Ye have shamed the counsel of the poor, because the Lord is his refuge. Oh that the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion! when the Lord bringeth back the captivity of his people, Jacob shall rejoice, and Israel shall be glad.
Psalm 14:1-7 (KJV)

Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill? He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart. He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour. In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the Lord . He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not. He that putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent. He that doeth these things shall never be moved.
Psalm 15:1-5 (KJV)

TITLE:  FLEE TO YOUR MOUNTAIN? 

DATE:  June 3

BIBLE READING:  Psalms 11-15

MOUNTAIN PASSAGE:  Psalm 11:1 – #3 of 64

TODAY’S CLIMB: _________________________

(11:1) In the Lord I put my trust;  How can you say to my soul,  “Flee as a bird to YOUR MOUNTAIN”? 

David had been hunted down by Saul, “as one hunts a partridge in the mountains” (1 Samuel 26:20).  There were times that it was prudent for David to flee or be pinned to the wall.  Does not even Jesus say to the Jews in the Tribulation to “flee to the mountains” when they see “the abomination of desolation.”  In this case, the psalmist is convinced that he was not to escape to his mountain, even though he knew that mountain well and humanly speaking could evade his enemies.  Instead he was to run to God.  He would be his refuge, his mountain.  The temptation here was for David not to trust the Lord, but to lean upon his own understanding and the forceful advice of multiple friends.  He was no doubt being hunted by his enemies.  They had their bow bent with the arrow fixed on the string.  Their target was David’s heart! The enemy does not want us to put our trust in God, but to run to some other source for our solution.  Such a trek is a dangerous and deadly journey.    We need to echo the words of Nehemiah in these situations, “Shall such a man as I flee?” If Nehemiah had listened to his so-called friends he would have walked right into a trap.  Apparently, David would have also!  David knew that the “righteous Lord” was testing “the righteous.” He was confident that the Lord’s eyes were upon him and that “His countenance doth behold the upright.” When we are faced with the temptation to take flight to the mountain “as a bird,” to run from our problems, to quit the fight, let us hold our ground and put our trust solely in the Lord to protect and to provide for us! 

TITLE:  DO YOU HAVE THE EPIC PASS? 

MOUNTAIN PASSAGE:  Psalm 15:1 – #4 of 60

(15:1) Lord, Who shall abide in thy tabernacle? Who shall dwell in THY HOLY HILL? 

What an incredibly important question is being asked the Lord.  Who better to answer than  the Lord Himself!  The two lines in 15:1, are parallel but not completely synonymous.  The first question is who can be a guest, a visitor to His tabernacle, the place of His unique presence and glory.  The second question advances the thought by asking who can be a permanent resident, a lawful citizen in His holy mountain Jerusalem? The repeated question deals with what type of character is required to be a guest and then for one to feel more and more at home with God!  The answer is that his character must match the character of the “holy hill” and the Holy One.  The sampling of the character required to dwell in the “holy hill” is given in this psalm in the form of a unique decalogue of applications, a reminder of an even greater decalogue, the Ten Commandments.  Both decalogues, here and in Exodus 20, can be summarized by the need to love God with all your heart and to love your neighbor as yourself.  Here, the character needed to dwell in the “holy hill” requires one (1) to walk with integrity, (2) to live righteously and (3) to be one who speaks the truth from the heart.  In addition, a resident of this “holy hill” is (4) not to be a slanderer, (5) nor one who does evil or (6) acts in a disloyal fashion towards a friend or a neighbor. (7) This person discerns those who have hardened their heart and disdains their rejection of the Lord. On the other hand, he honors and places great value on those who “fear the Lord.”  The person “who” enjoys God’s “holy hill” is (8) one who keeps his promises when even to do so becomes quite costly.  (9) If he loans money out will not charge interest.  (10) He is one who will not take a bribe.  This person’s integrity is more important than his bottom line in his checkbook.  The person who does these ten things will not simply be a guest, but a permanent resident who “shall never be moved” from God’s “tabernacle” on “holy hill.”  He will never have a U-Haul pull up into his drive and the need to give someone a forwarding address will never be required again, for his forever home is on “holy hill.”   What is your home address? Do you need to make any moves in view of this psalm?  

SUMMITING PRAYER IMPERATIVES (PSALMS 11-15)

PRAYER FOR HELP

(12:1) Help (imperative), Lord, for the godly man ceaseth;

for the faithful fail from among the children of men.

PRAYER FOR CONSIDERATION

PRAYER FOR GOD TO HEAR MY PRAYER

PRAYER FOR GOD TO LIGHTEN MINE EYES

(13:3) Consider (imperative) and hear (imperative) me, O Lord my God:  

lighten (imperative) mine eyes;  lest I sleep the sleep of death: 

DATE:  June 4

BIBLE READING:  Psalms 16-20

Preserve me, O God: for in thee do I put my trust. O my soul, thou hast said unto the Lord , Thou art my Lord: my goodness extendeth not to thee; But to the saints that are in the earth, and to the excellent, in whom is all my delight. Their sorrows shall be multiplied that hasten after another god: their drink offerings of blood will I not offer, nor take up their names into my lips. The Lord is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: thou maintainest my lot. The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage. I will bless the Lord , who hath given me counsel: my reins also instruct me in the night seasons. I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope. For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
Psalm 16:1-11 (KJV)

Hear the right, O Lord , attend unto my cry, give ear unto my prayer, that goeth not out of feigned lips. Let my sentence come forth from thy presence; let thine eyes behold the things that are equal. Thou hast proved mine heart; thou hast visited me in the night; thou hast tried me, and shalt find nothing; I am purposed that my mouth shall not transgress. Concerning the works of men, by the word of thy lips I have kept me from the paths of the destroyer. Hold up my goings in thy paths, that my footsteps slip not. I have called upon thee, for thou wilt hear me, O God: incline thine ear unto me, and hear my speech. Shew thy marvellous lovingkindness, O thou that savest by thy right hand them which put their trust in thee from those that rise up against them. Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings, From the wicked that oppress me, from my deadly enemies, who compass me about. They are inclosed in their own fat: with their mouth they speak proudly. They have now compassed us in our steps: they have set their eyes bowing down to the earth; Like as a lion that is greedy of his prey, and as it were a young lion lurking in secret places. Arise, O Lord , disappoint him, cast him down: deliver my soul from the wicked, which is thy sword: From men which are thy hand, O Lord , from men of the world, which have their portion in this life, and whose belly thou fillest with thy hid treasure: they are full of children, and leave the rest of their substance to their babes. As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.
Psalm 17:1-15 (KJV)

I will love thee, O Lord , my strength. The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. I will call upon the Lord , who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies. The sorrows of death compassed me, and the floods of ungodly men made me afraid. The sorrows of hell compassed me about: the snares of death prevented me. In my distress I called upon the Lord , and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears. Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations also of the hills moved and were shaken, because he was wroth. There went up a smoke out of his nostrils, and fire out of his mouth devoured: coals were kindled by it. He bowed the heavens also, and came down: and darkness was under his feet. And he rode upon a cherub, and did fly: yea, he did fly upon the wings of the wind. He made darkness his secret place; his pavilion round about him were dark waters and thick clouds of the skies. At the brightness that was before him his thick clouds passed, hail stones and coals of fire. The Lord also thundered in the heavens, and the Highest gave his voice; hail stones and coals of fire. Yea, he sent out his arrows, and scattered them; and he shot out lightnings, and discomfited them. Then the channels of waters were seen, and the foundations of the world were discovered at thy rebuke, O Lord , at the blast of the breath of thy nostrils. He sent from above, he took me, he drew me out of many waters. He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them which hated me: for they were too strong for me. They prevented me in the day of my calamity: but the Lord was my stay. He brought me forth also into a large place; he delivered me, because he delighted in me. The Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed me. For I have kept the ways of the Lord , and have not wickedly departed from my God. For all his judgments were before me, and I did not put away his statutes from me. I was also upright before him, and I kept myself from mine iniquity. Therefore hath the Lord recompensed me according to my righteousness, according to the cleanness of my hands in his eyesight. With the merciful thou wilt shew thyself merciful; with an upright man thou wilt shew thyself upright; With the pure thou wilt shew thyself pure; and with the froward thou wilt shew thyself froward. For thou wilt save the afflicted people; but wilt bring down high looks. For thou wilt light my candle: the Lord my God will enlighten my darkness. For by thee I have run through a troop; and by my God have I leaped over a wall. As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the Lord is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him. For who is God save the Lord ? or who is a rock save our God? It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect. He maketh my feet like hinds’ feet, and setteth me upon my high places. He teacheth my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms. Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great. Thou hast enlarged my steps under me, that my feet did not slip. I have pursued mine enemies, and overtaken them: neither did I turn again till they were consumed. I have wounded them that they were not able to rise: they are fallen under my feet. For thou hast girded me with strength unto the battle: thou hast subdued under me those that rose up against me. Thou hast also given me the necks of mine enemies; that I might destroy them that hate me. They cried, but there was none to save them: even unto the Lord , but he answered them not. Then did I beat them small as the dust before the wind: I did cast them out as the dirt in the streets. Thou hast delivered me from the strivings of the people; and thou hast made me the head of the heathen: a people whom I have not known shall serve me. As soon as they hear of me, they shall obey me: the strangers shall submit themselves unto me. The strangers shall fade away, and be afraid out of their close places. The Lord liveth; and blessed be my rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted. It is God that avengeth me, and subdueth the people under me. He delivereth me from mine enemies: yea, thou liftest me up above those that rise up against me: thou hast delivered me from the violent man. Therefore will I give thanks unto thee, O Lord , among the heathen, and sing praises unto thy name. Great deliverance giveth he to his king; and sheweth mercy to his anointed, to David, and to his seed for evermore.
Psalm 18:1-50 (KJV)

The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun, Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race. His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof. The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward. Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults. Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression. Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord , my strength, and my redeemer.
Psalm 19:1-14 (KJV)

The Lord hear thee in the day of trouble; the name of the God of Jacob defend thee; Send thee help from the sanctuary, and strengthen thee out of Zion; Remember all thy offerings, and accept thy burnt sacrifice; Selah. Grant thee according to thine own heart, and fulfil all thy counsel. We will rejoice in thy salvation, and in the name of our God we will set up our banners: the Lord fulfil all thy petitions. Now know I that the Lord saveth his anointed; he will hear him from his holy heaven with the saving strength of his right hand. Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the Lord our God. They are brought down and fallen: but we are risen, and stand upright. Save, Lord : let the king hear us when we call.
Psalm 20:1-9 (KJV)

TITLE:  SHAKY HILLS

DATE:  June 4

BIBLE READING:  Psalms 16-20

MOUNTAIN PASSAGE:  Psalm 18:7 – #5 of 64

TODAY’S CLIMB: _________________________

(18:7) Then the earth shook and trembled; The foundations also of THE HILLS moved and were shaken, Because He was wroth.

The Lord in His righteous anger responded to the drowning believer’s cry causing “the foundations” of “the hills” to be “moved.” Wow, that is power.  There is no doubt that the psalmist loved the Lord, he declares that in verse one, “I will love thee, O Lord.” As a result of his love for God David was severely attacked by those who hated God.  In this psalm, David is seen bound and trapped by his enemies. He was surrounded by sorrows. Every indicator was pointing to his imminent death. He was sinking under the “floods of ungodly men.”  “In his distress,” gasping for life and breath, he “called unto the Lord.”  The Lord heard his “voice out of His temple.” He would provide high ground for David to escape to.  In verse two, David’s defense is seen in eight terms. Four of those terms describe an escape with altitude: (1) “my rock,” (2) “my fortress, (3) “my strength” and (4) “my high tower.  Any one of these locations would bring safety to David above the encompassing floods, but how does he get there? For he is in the grips of evil men.  This brings us to our text in 18:7.  It is said that a “good defense is a good offense.”  Here we see God go on the offense for David in an amazing theophanic display of power and strength!   He is seen causing the earth to shake and to tremble like a staggering drunk.  His power is seen impacting the “foundations also of the hills.” These visible and perceived immutable objects of strength and awe are now seen quaking.  God is on the move to deliver His child.  Nothing and no-one will get in HIs way.  There are times that we too need God to “come down” (18:9) and to lift us up “out of many waters” (18:16) to place us safely on higher ground.  What “distress” are you in? Are you sinking, going under? If so, you who love the Lord, “call upon the Lord” and He will deliver you! 

SUMMITING PRAYER IMPERATIVES (PSALMS 16-20)

(16:1) Preserve (imperative) me, O God: 

for in thee do I put my trust.

(17:1) Hear (imperative) the right, O Lord, 

attend (imperative) unto my cry, 

give (imperative) ear unto my prayer, 

that goeth not out of feigned lips.

(17:6) I have called upon thee, for thou wilt hear me, O God: 

incline (imperative) thine ear unto me, and hear my speech. 

(17:7) Shew (imperative) thy marvelous lovingkindness, 

O thou that savest by thy right hand them which put their trust in thee from those that rise up against them. 

(17:8) Keep (imperative) me as the apple of the eye, 

Hide me under the shadow of thy wings, 

(17:9) From the wicked that oppress me, from the deadly enemies, 

who compass me about. 

(17:13) Arise (imperative), O Lord, 

disappoint (imperative) him, 

cast (imperative) him down:  

Deliver (imperative) my soul from the wicked, 

which is thy sword:

(19:12) Who can understand his errors? 

Cleanse (imperative) thou me from secret faults. 

(19:13) Keep back (imperative) thy servant also from presumptuous sins: 

Let them not have dominion (jussive) over me: 

Then shall I be upright, 

and I shall be innocent from the great transgression. 

(20:9) Save (imperative) Lord: 

Let the king hear (jussive) us when we call. 

DATE:  June 5 

BIBLE READING:  Psalms 21-25

The king shall joy in thy strength, O Lord ; and in thy salvation how greatly shall he rejoice! Thou hast given him his heart’s desire, and hast not withholden the request of his lips. Selah. For thou preventest him with the blessings of goodness: thou settest a crown of pure gold on his head. He asked life of thee, and thou gavest it him, even length of days for ever and ever. His glory is great in thy salvation: honour and majesty hast thou laid upon him. For thou hast made him most blessed for ever: thou hast made him exceeding glad with thy countenance. For the king trusteth in the Lord , and through the mercy of the most High he shall not be moved. Thine hand shall find out all thine enemies: thy right hand shall find out those that hate thee. Thou shalt make them as a fiery oven in the time of thine anger: the Lord shall swallow them up in his wrath, and the fire shall devour them. Their fruit shalt thou destroy from the earth, and their seed from among the children of men. For they intended evil against thee: they imagined a mischievous device, which they are not able to perform. Therefore shalt thou make them turn their back, when thou shalt make ready thine arrows upon thy strings against the face of them. Be thou exalted, Lord , in thine own strength: so will we sing and praise thy power.
Psalm 21:1-13 (KJV)

My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring? O my God, I cry in the day time, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent. But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel. Our fathers trusted in thee: they trusted, and thou didst deliver them. They cried unto thee, and were delivered: they trusted in thee, and were not confounded. But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people. All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, He trusted on the Lord that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him. But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me hope when I was upon my mother’s breasts. I was cast upon thee from the womb: thou art my God from my mother’s belly. Be not far from me; for trouble is near; for there is none to help. Many bulls have compassed me: strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round. They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion. I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels. My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death. For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet. I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me. They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture. But be not thou far from me, O Lord : O my strength, haste thee to help me. Deliver my soul from the sword; my darling from the power of the dog. Save me from the lion’s mouth: for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns. I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee. Ye that fear the Lord , praise him; all ye the seed of Jacob, glorify him; and fear him, all ye the seed of Israel. For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, he heard. My praise shall be of thee in the great congregation: I will pay my vows before them that fear him. The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the Lord that seek him: your heart shall live for ever. All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the Lord : and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee. For the kingdom is the Lord ‘s: and he is the governor among the nations. All they that be fat upon earth shall eat and worship: all they that go down to the dust shall bow before him: and none can keep alive his own soul. A seed shall serve him; it shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation. They shall come, and shall declare his righteousness unto a people that shall be born, that he hath done this.
Psalm 22:1-31 (KJV)

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
Psalm 23:1-6 (KJV)

The earth is the Lord ‘s, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods. Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord ? or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive the blessing from the Lord , and righteousness from the God of his salvation. This is the generation of them that seek him, that seek thy face, O Jacob. Selah. Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah.
Psalm 24:1-10 (KJV)

Unto thee, O Lord , do I lift up my soul. O my God, I trust in thee: let me not be ashamed, let not mine enemies triumph over me. Yea, let none that wait on thee be ashamed: let them be ashamed which transgress without cause. Shew me thy ways, O Lord ; teach me thy paths. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day. Remember, O Lord , thy tender mercies and thy lovingkindnesses; for they have been ever of old. Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions: according to thy mercy remember thou me for thy goodness’ sake, O Lord . Good and upright is the Lord : therefore will he teach sinners in the way. The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way. All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies. For thy name’s sake, O Lord , pardon mine iniquity; for it is great. What man is he that feareth the Lord ? him shall he teach in the way that he shall choose. His soul shall dwell at ease; and his seed shall inherit the earth. The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him; and he will shew them his covenant. Mine eyes are ever toward the Lord ; for he shall pluck my feet out of the net. Turn thee unto me, and have mercy upon me; for I am desolate and afflicted. The troubles of my heart are enlarged: O bring thou me out of my distresses. Look upon mine affliction and my pain; and forgive all my sins. Consider mine enemies; for they are many; and they hate me with cruel hatred. O keep my soul, and deliver me: let me not be ashamed; for I put my trust in thee. Let integrity and uprightness preserve me; for I wait on thee. Redeem Israel, O God, out of all his troubles.
Psalm 25:1-22 (KJV)

A TITLE: WHOSE GOING UP?  

DATE:  June 5 

BIBLE READING:  Psalms 21-25

MOUNTAIN PASSAGES:   24:3 – #6 of 64

TODAY’S CLIMB: _________________________

(24:3)  Who may ascend into THE HILL OF THE LORD? 

Or who may stand in His holy place?

In this passage, once again it is asked, “Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord?”  This question was asked previously in Psalm 15:1.  The only difference being the inverted order of “holy place” and “the hill” as well as the answer.  In 15:1, the answer was seen in a decalogue of responses played in the minor key.  Here four additional qualifications  are given as to the type of person who ascends into “the hill of the Lord.”  It is the person who has “clean hands” and a “pure heart.”  Which is to say it is the person whose outward actions match their inward condition.  Their godly actions proceed from a heart that has been purified by the blood of Christ.  It is the person who worships the Lord “in spirit and in truth” whose soul is not “lifted up” to worship an idol, or to chase that which has no eternal value, nor one who speaks “deceitfully.”   To best summarize, the person “who may ascend into the hill of the Lord” is the person who has received “the blessing  from the Lord,” which is His imputed “righteousness.”  Only the person who has sought the Lord and has been justified by faith can “ascend into the hill of the Lord” to worship the King of kings.   This person acknowledges that Jesus Christ is the creator of the “world” and all “that dwell therein.” They confess that He is their Savior as well as their triumphant King.  The Psalm ends with these worshipers watching the “King of glory” enter “His holy place.” He is seen as the conquering King, “strong and mighty.” Prophetically, at His Revelation He has put down every foe, He was “mighty in battle” as seen in the Battle of Armageddon and has judged the nations. The “everlasting gates” of the “holy place” suggest that the millennial kingdom is in view preparing us for the eternal kingdom to follow.  The focus of those who ascended “into the holy hill” is the “King of Glory.”  This inspired audience are those “who” have met the criteria prescribed in this Psalm to “ascend.”  Can you “ascend?”  Have you ever repented of your sins and acknowledged Jesus Christ as Savior (Psalm 22), Shepherd (Psalm 23) and Sovereign King (Psalm 24)? If not, “seek Him” today and ask Him to give you a “pure heart” so you can stand with Him in “His holy place.” 

SUMMITING PRAYER IMPERATIVES (PSALMS 21-25)

(21:13) Be thou exalted (imperative), Lord, in thine own strength: 

So will we sing and praise thy power.

(22:19) But be not thou far (jussive) from me, O Lord: 

O my strength, haste (imperative) thee to help me.

(22:20) Deliver (imperative) my soul from the sword; 

My darling from the power of the dog.

(22:21) Save (imperative) me from the lion’s mouth: 

for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns.

(25:4) Shew (imperative) me thy ways, O Lord, 

teach (imperative) me thy paths.

(25:5) Lead (imperative) me in thy truth, 

and teach (imperative) me: 

for thou art the God of my salvation; 

on thee do I wait all the day.

(25:6) Remember (imperative), O Lord, 

thy tender mercies and thy loving kindnesses; 

for they have been ever of old.

(25:7) Remember (jussive) not the sins of my youth, 

nor my transgressions: 

according to thy mercy remember (imperative) thou me for thy goodness’ sake,

O Lord.

(25:11) For thy name’s sake, O Lord, 

Pardon (???) mine iniquity, 

for it is great.

(25:16) Turn (imperative) thee unto me, 

and have mercy (imperative) upon me; 

for I am desolate and afflicted. 

(25:17) The troubles of my heart are enlarged: 

O bring thou me out (imperative) of my distresses.

(25:18) Look (imperative) upon mine affliction and my pain; 

and forgive (imperative) all my sins.

(25:19) Consider (imperative) mine enemies; 

for they are many; 

and they hate me with cruel hatred.

(25:20) O keep (Imperative) my soul, 

and deliver (Imperative) me: 

Let me not be ashamed, 

for I put my trust in thee.

(25:22) Redeem (imperative) Israel, O God, 

out of all his troubles.

DATE:  June 6

BIBLE READING:  Psalms 26-30

Judge me, O Lord ; for I have walked in mine integrity: I have trusted also in the Lord ; therefore I shall not slide. Examine me, O Lord , and prove me; try my reins and my heart. For thy lovingkindness is before mine eyes: and I have walked in thy truth. I have not sat with vain persons, neither will I go in with dissemblers. I have hated the congregation of evil doers; and will not sit with the wicked. I will wash mine hands in innocency: so will I compass thine altar, O Lord : That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all thy wondrous works. Lord , I have loved the habitation of thy house, and the place where thine honour dwelleth. Gather not my soul with sinners, nor my life with bloody men: In whose hands is mischief, and their right hand is full of bribes. But as for me, I will walk in mine integrity: redeem me, and be merciful unto me. My foot standeth in an even place: in the congregations will I bless the Lord .
Psalm 26:1-12 (KJV)

The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell. Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident. One thing have I desired of the Lord , that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord , and to enquire in his temple. For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock. And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the Lord . Hear, O Lord , when I cry with my voice: have mercy also upon me, and answer me. When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord , will I seek. Hide not thy face far from me; put not thy servant away in anger: thou hast been my help; leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation. When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up. Teach me thy way, O Lord , and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies. Deliver me not over unto the will of mine enemies: for false witnesses are risen up against me, and such as breathe out cruelty. I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord : be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord .
Psalm 27:1-14 (KJV)

Unto thee will I cry, O Lord my rock; be not silent to me: lest, if thou be silent to me, I become like them that go down into the pit. Hear the voice of my supplications, when I cry unto thee, when I lift up my hands toward thy holy oracle. Draw me not away with the wicked, and with the workers of iniquity, which speak peace to their neighbours, but mischief is in their hearts. Give them according to their deeds, and according to the wickedness of their endeavours: give them after the work of their hands; render to them their desert. Because they regard not the works of the Lord , nor the operation of his hands, he shall destroy them, and not build them up. Blessed be the Lord , because he hath heard the voice of my supplications. The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him. The Lord is their strength, and he is the saving strength of his anointed. Save thy people, and bless thine inheritance: feed them also, and lift them up for ever.
Psalm 28:1-9 (KJV)

Give unto the Lord , O ye mighty, give unto the Lord glory and strength. Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness. The voice of the Lord is upon the waters: the God of glory thundereth: the Lord is upon many waters. The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is full of majesty. The voice of the Lord breaketh the cedars; yea, the Lord breaketh the cedars of Lebanon. He maketh them also to skip like a calf; Lebanon and Sirion like a young unicorn. The voice of the Lord divideth the flames of fire. The voice of the Lord shaketh the wilderness; the Lord shaketh the wilderness of Kadesh. The voice of the Lord maketh the hinds to calve, and discovereth the forests: and in his temple doth every one speak of his glory. The Lord sitteth upon the flood; yea, the Lord sitteth King for ever. The Lord will give strength unto his people; the Lord will bless his people with peace.
Psalm 29:1-11 (KJV)

I will extol thee, O Lord ; for thou hast lifted me up, and hast not made my foes to rejoice over me. O Lord my God, I cried unto thee, and thou hast healed me. O Lord , thou hast brought up my soul from the grave: thou hast kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit. Sing unto the Lord , O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness. For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. And in my prosperity I said, I shall never be moved. Lord , by thy favour thou hast made my mountain to stand strong: thou didst hide thy face, and I was troubled. I cried to thee, O Lord ; and unto the Lord I made supplication. What profit is there in my blood, when I go down to the pit? Shall the dust praise thee? shall it declare thy truth? Hear, O Lord , and have mercy upon me: Lord , be thou my helper. Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness; To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever.
Psalm 30:1-12 (KJV)

TITLE:  PITFALLS ON BOTH SIDE OF THE MOUNTAIN 

DATE:  June 6

BIBLE READING:  Psalms 26-30

MOUNTAIN PASSAGES:  30:7 – #7 of 64

TODAY’S CLIMB: _________________________

(30:7)  Lord, by thy favour thou hast made MY MOUNTAIN to stand strong:  

Thou didst hide thy face, and I was troubled.   

The psalmist recognizes that his privileged position on the mountain was because of God’s good pleasure.  David claims this mountain as his own, calling it “my mountain.”   The mountain stands “strong,” but he too feels strong and secure on its summit.   This is where his house will be built by his son Solomon and in many ways the place where God’s personal covenant to him will be fulfilled.  However, on each side of this blessed mountain there are pitfalls that lead to death.  In verse three, he has declared, “Thou hast kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit” and on the other side of the mountain in verse nine he raised the question, “What profit is there in my blood, when I go down to the pit?” Just as there are pits on each side of this mountain text, there is praise that serves as bookends to the psalm, “I will extol thee, O Lord” (30:1) and “O Lord my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever”  (30:12).  David is horrified to note how easy it is to go from the top of the world where he stands and declares, “I shall never be moved,” to the sinking feeling that God has hid His face from him. It appears the most vulnerable place on the tittermatorter for David was when he was enjoying “prosperity.” On each side of the “mountain” text, the psalm seesaws between weeping and joy and mourning and dancing. The psalm magnifies these poetic polarities.  No wonder the psalmist cries out, “Hear, O Lord, and have mercy upon me: Lord, be thou my helper.”  This is the spirit of dependence needed to avoid the pit on each side of the text and to enjoy the view from the summit.  If you are on the downgrade and are closer to the pit than the “mountain” top, remember “His holiness” and call on the Lord to lift you up (30:1).  Be encouraged that “his anger endureth but a moment” and that His “favor is life.”  Join the saints on Zion and “sing unto the Lord!” May the mountain of the Lord be alive with the sound of praises! 

SUMMITING PRAYER IMPERATIVES (PSALMS 26-30)

(26:1) Judge (imperative) me, O Lord;

for I have walked in mine integrity: 

I have trusted also in the Lord; 

therefore I shall not slide.

(26:2) Examine (imperative) me, O Lord, 

and prove (imperative) me; 

try (imperative) my reins and my heart.

(26:11) But as for me, I will walk in mine integrity: 

Redeem (imperative) me, 

and be merciful (imperative) unto me.

(27:7) Hear (imperative), O Lord, 

when I cry with my voice: 

Have mercy (imperative) also upon me, 

and answer (imperative) me.

(27:8) When thou saidst, Seek (imperative) ye my face;

my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek.

(27:11) Teach (imperative) me thy way, O Lord, 

and lead (imperative) me in a plain path, 

because of mine enemies.

(27:14) Wait (imperative) on the Lord: 

Be of good courage (imperative), 

and he shall strengthen thine heart: 

Wait (imperative), I say, on the Lord.

(28:2) Hear (imperative) the voice of my supplications, 

when I cry unto thee, 

when I lift up my hands toward thy holy oracle.

(28:4) Give (imperative) them according to their deeds, 

and according to the wickedness of their endeavors: 

Give (imperative) them after the work of their hands; 

Render (imperative) to them their desert.

(28:9) Save (imperative) thy people, 

and bless (imperative) thine inheritance: 

feed (imperative) them also, 

and lift them up (imperative) for ever. 

(30:10) Hear (imperative), O Lord, 

and have mercy (imperative) upon me: 

Lord, be (imperative) thou by helper. 

DATE:  June 7 

BIBLE READING:  Psalms 31-35

In thee, O Lord , do I put my trust; let me never be ashamed: deliver me in thy righteousness. Bow down thine ear to me; deliver me speedily: be thou my strong rock, for an house of defence to save me. For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name’s sake lead me, and guide me. Pull me out of the net that they have laid privily for me: for thou art my strength. Into thine hand I commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O Lord God of truth. I have hated them that regard lying vanities: but I trust in the Lord . I will be glad and rejoice in thy mercy: for thou hast considered my trouble; thou hast known my soul in adversities; And hast not shut me up into the hand of the enemy: thou hast set my feet in a large room. Have mercy upon me, O Lord , for I am in trouble: mine eye is consumed with grief, yea, my soul and my belly. For my life is spent with grief, and my years with sighing: my strength faileth because of mine iniquity, and my bones are consumed. I was a reproach among all mine enemies, but especially among my neighbours, and a fear to mine acquaintance: they that did see me without fled from me. I am forgotten as a dead man out of mind: I am like a broken vessel. For I have heard the slander of many: fear was on every side: while they took counsel together against me, they devised to take away my life. But I trusted in thee, O Lord : I said, Thou art my God. My times are in thy hand: deliver me from the hand of mine enemies, and from them that persecute me. Make thy face to shine upon thy servant: save me for thy mercies’ sake. Let me not be ashamed, O Lord ; for I have called upon thee: let the wicked be ashamed, and let them be silent in the grave. Let the lying lips be put to silence; which speak grievous things proudly and contemptuously against the righteous. Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men! Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence from the pride of man: thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues. Blessed be the Lord : for he hath shewed me his marvellous kindness in a strong city. For I said in my haste, I am cut off from before thine eyes: nevertheless thou heardest the voice of my supplications when I cried unto thee. O love the Lord , all ye his saints: for the Lord preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer. Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord .
Psalm 31:1-24 (KJV)

Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile. When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long. For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah. I acknowledge my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord ; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah. For this shall every one that is godly pray unto thee in a time when thou mayest be found: surely in the floods of great waters they shall not come nigh unto him. Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Selah. I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye. Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee. Many sorrows shall be to the wicked: but he that trusteth in the Lord , mercy shall compass him about. Be glad in the Lord , and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart.
Psalm 32:1-11 (KJV)

Rejoice in the Lord , O ye righteous: for praise is comely for the upright. Praise the Lord with harp: sing unto him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings. Sing unto him a new song; play skilfully with a loud noise. For the word of the Lord is right; and all his works are done in truth. He loveth righteousness and judgment: the earth is full of the goodness of the Lord . By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. He gathereth the waters of the sea together as an heap: he layeth up the depth in storehouses. Let all the earth fear the Lord : let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him. For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast. The Lord bringeth the counsel of the heathen to nought: he maketh the devices of the people of none effect. The counsel of the Lord standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations. Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord ; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance. The Lord looketh from heaven; he beholdeth all the sons of men. From the place of his habitation he looketh upon all the inhabitants of the earth. He fashioneth their hearts alike; he considereth all their works. There is no king saved by the multitude of an host: a mighty man is not delivered by much strength. An horse is a vain thing for safety: neither shall he deliver any by his great strength. Behold, the eye of the Lord is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy; To deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine. Our soul waiteth for the Lord : he is our help and our shield. For our heart shall rejoice in him, because we have trusted in his holy name. Let thy mercy, O Lord , be upon us, according as we hope in thee.
Psalm 33:1-22 (KJV)

I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make her boast in the Lord : the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad. O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together. I sought the Lord , and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. They looked unto him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed. This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them. O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. O fear the Lord , ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him. The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing. Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the Lord . What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see good? Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile. Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it. The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry. The face of the Lord is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth. The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles. The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all. He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken. Evil shall slay the wicked: and they that hate the righteous shall be desolate. The Lord redeemeth the soul of his servants: and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate.
Psalm 34:1-22 (KJV)

Plead my cause, O Lord , with them that strive with me: fight against them that fight against me. Take hold of shield and buckler, and stand up for mine help. Draw out also the spear, and stop the way against them that persecute me: say unto my soul, I am thy salvation. Let them be confounded and put to shame that seek after my soul: let them be turned back and brought to confusion that devise my hurt. Let them be as chaff before the wind: and let the angel of the Lord chase them. Let their way be dark and slippery: and let the angel of the Lord persecute them. For without cause have they hid for me their net in a pit, which without cause they have digged for my soul. Let destruction come upon him at unawares; and let his net that he hath hid catch himself: into that very destruction let him fall. And my soul shall be joyful in the Lord : it shall rejoice in his salvation. All my bones shall say, Lord , who is like unto thee, which deliverest the poor from him that is too strong for him, yea, the poor and the needy from him that spoileth him? False witnesses did rise up; they laid to my charge things that I knew not. They rewarded me evil for good to the spoiling of my soul. But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth: I humbled my soul with fasting; and my prayer returned into mine own bosom. I behaved myself as though he had been my friend or brother: I bowed down heavily, as one that mourneth for his mother. But in mine adversity they rejoiced, and gathered themselves together: yea, the abjects gathered themselves together against me, and I knew it not; they did tear me, and ceased not: With hypocritical mockers in feasts, they gnashed upon me with their teeth. Lord, how long wilt thou look on? rescue my soul from their destructions, my darling from the lions. I will give thee thanks in the great congregation: I will praise thee among much people. Let not them that are mine enemies wrongfully rejoice over me: neither let them wink with the eye that hate me without a cause. For they speak not peace: but they devise deceitful matters against them that are quiet in the land. Yea, they opened their mouth wide against me, and said, Aha, aha, our eye hath seen it. This thou hast seen, O Lord : keep not silence: O Lord, be not far from me. Stir up thyself, and awake to my judgment, even unto my cause, my God and my Lord. Judge me, O Lord my God, according to thy righteousness; and let them not rejoice over me. Let them not say in their hearts, Ah, so would we have it: let them not say, We have swallowed him up. Let them be ashamed and brought to confusion together that rejoice at mine hurt: let them be clothed with shame and dishonour that magnify themselves against me. Let them shout for joy, and be glad, that favour my righteous cause: yea, let them say continually, Let the Lord be magnified, which hath pleasure in the prosperity of his servant. And my tongue shall speak of thy righteousness and of thy praise all the day long.
Psalm 35:1-28 (KJV)

TITLE: NO DEVOTIONAL FOR 31-35

DATE:  June 7 

BIBLE READING:  Psalms 31-35

MOUNTAIN PASSAGES:  THERE ARE NO MOUNTAIN REFERENCES (2)

TODAY’S CLIMB: _________________________

31:3. You are my ROCK and my FORTRESS

31:8. You have set my feet IN A WIDE PLACE

33:13 The Lord looks from Heaven – the Three heavens 

34:3 and let us exalt His name together 

SUMMITING PRAYER IMPERATIVES (PSALMS 31-35)

(31:1) In thee, O Lord, do I put my trust;  let me never be ashamed: 

Deliver (imperative) me in thy righteousness.

(31:2) Bow down (imperative) thine ear to me; 

deliver (imperative) me speedily: 

Be (imperative) thou my strong rock, for an house of defense to save me. 

(31:9) Have mercy (imperative) upon me, O Lord, 

for I am in trouble: 

Mine eye is consumed with grief, yea, my soul and my belly.

(31:15) My times are in thy hand: 

deliver (imperative) me from the hand of mine enemies, 

and from them that persecute me.

(31:16) Make thy face to shine (imperative) upon thy servant: 

Save (imperative) me for thy mercies’ sake. 

(35:1) Plead (imperative) my cause, O Lord, with them that strive with me:

Fight (imperative) against them that fight against me.

(35:2) Take hold (imperative) of shield and buckler, 

and stand up (imperative) for mine help. 

(35:3) Draw out (imperative) also the spear, 

and stop the way against them that persecute me: 

Say (imperative) unto my soul, I am thy salvation. 

(35:17) Lord, how long wilt thou look on? 

Rescue (imperative) my soul from their destructions, my darling from the lions.

(35:23) Stir up (imperative) thyself, 

and awake (imperative) to my judgment, 

even unto my cause, my God and my Lord.

(35:24) Judge (imperative) me, O Lord my God, 

according to thy righteousness; 

and let them not rejoice (jussive) over me.

DATE:  June 8

BIBLE READING:  Psalms 36-40

The transgression of the wicked saith within my heart, that there is no fear of God before his eyes. For he flattereth himself in his own eyes, until his iniquity be found to be hateful. The words of his mouth are iniquity and deceit: he hath left off to be wise, and to do good. He deviseth mischief upon his bed; he setteth himself in a way that is not good; he abhorreth not evil. Thy mercy, O Lord , is in the heavens; and thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds. Thy righteousness is like the great mountains; thy judgments are a great deep: O Lord , thou preservest man and beast. How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings. They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures. For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light. O continue thy lovingkindness unto them that know thee; and thy righteousness to the upright in heart. Let not the foot of pride come against me, and let not the hand of the wicked remove me. There are the workers of iniquity fallen: they are cast down, and shall not be able to rise.
Psalm 36:1-12 (KJV)

Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. Trust in the Lord , and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the Lord : and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord ; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday. Rest in the Lord , and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil. For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the Lord , they shall inherit the earth. For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be. But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace. The wicked plotteth against the just, and gnasheth upon him with his teeth. The Lord shall laugh at him: for he seeth that his day is coming. The wicked have drawn out the sword, and have bent their bow, to cast down the poor and needy, and to slay such as be of upright conversation. Their sword shall enter into their own heart, and their bows shall be broken. A little that a righteous man hath is better than the riches of many wicked. For the arms of the wicked shall be broken: but the Lord upholdeth the righteous. The Lord knoweth the days of the upright: and their inheritance shall be for ever. They shall not be ashamed in the evil time: and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied. But the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of the Lord shall be as the fat of lambs: they shall consume; into smoke shall they consume away. The wicked borroweth, and payeth not again: but the righteous sheweth mercy, and giveth. For such as be blessed of him shall inherit the earth; and they that be cursed of him shall be cut off. The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord : and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand. I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread. He is ever merciful, and lendeth; and his seed is blessed. Depart from evil, and do good; and dwell for evermore. For the Lord loveth judgment, and forsaketh not his saints; they are preserved for ever: but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off. The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein for ever. The mouth of the righteous speaketh wisdom, and his tongue talketh of judgment. The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide. The wicked watcheth the righteous, and seeketh to slay him. The Lord will not leave him in his hand, nor condemn him when he is judged. Wait on the Lord , and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it. I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like a green bay tree. Yet he passed away, and, lo, he was not: yea, I sought him, but he could not be found. Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace. But the transgressors shall be destroyed together: the end of the wicked shall be cut off. But the salvation of the righteous is of the Lord : he is their strength in the time of trouble. And the Lord shall help them, and deliver them: he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him.
Psalm 37:1-40 (KJV)

O Lord, rebuke me not in thy wrath: neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure. For thine arrows stick fast in me, and thy hand presseth me sore. There is no soundness in my flesh because of thine anger; neither is there any rest in my bones because of my sin. For mine iniquities are gone over mine head: as an heavy burden they are too heavy for me. My wounds stink and are corrupt because of my foolishness. I am troubled; I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long. For my loins are filled with a loathsome disease: and there is no soundness in my flesh. I am feeble and sore broken: I have roared by reason of the disquietness of my heart. Lord, all my desire is before thee; and my groaning is not hid from thee. My heart panteth, my strength faileth me: as for the light of mine eyes, it also is gone from me. My lovers and my friends stand aloof from my sore; and my kinsmen stand afar off. They also that seek after my life lay snares for me: and they that seek my hurt speak mischievous things, and imagine deceits all the day long. But I, as a deaf man, heard not; and I was as a dumb man that openeth not his mouth. Thus I was as a man that heareth not, and in whose mouth are no reproofs. For in thee, O Lord , do I hope: thou wilt hear, O Lord my God. For I said, Hear me, lest otherwise they should rejoice over me: when my foot slippeth, they magnify themselves against me. For I am ready to halt, and my sorrow is continually before me. For I will declare mine iniquity; I will be sorry for my sin. But mine enemies are lively, and they are strong: and they that hate me wrongfully are multiplied. They also that render evil for good are mine adversaries; because I follow the thing that good is. Forsake me not, O Lord : O my God, be not far from me. Make haste to help me, O Lord my salvation.
Psalm 38:1-22 (KJV)

I said, I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue: I will keep my mouth with a bridle, while the wicked is before me. I was dumb with silence, I held my peace, even from good; and my sorrow was stirred. My heart was hot within me, while I was musing the fire burned: then spake I with my tongue, Lord , make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is: that I may know how frail I am. Behold, thou hast made my days as an handbreadth; and mine age is as nothing before thee: verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity. Selah. Surely every man walketh in a vain shew: surely they are disquieted in vain: he heapeth up riches, and knoweth not who shall gather them. And now, Lord, what wait I for? my hope is in thee. Deliver me from all my transgressions: make me not the reproach of the foolish. I was dumb, I opened not my mouth; because thou didst it. Remove thy stroke away from me: I am consumed by the blow of thine hand. When thou with rebukes dost correct man for iniquity, thou makest his beauty to consume away like a moth: surely every man is vanity. Selah. Hear my prayer, O Lord , and give ear unto my cry; hold not thy peace at my tears: for I am a stranger with thee, and a sojourner, as all my fathers were. O spare me, that I may recover strength, before I go hence, and be no more.
Psalm 39:1-13 (KJV)

I waited patiently for the Lord ; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord . Blessed is that man that maketh the Lord his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies. Many, O Lord my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered. Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required. Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me, I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart. I have preached righteousness in the great congregation: lo, I have not refrained my lips, O Lord , thou knowest. I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation: I have not concealed thy lovingkindness and thy truth from the great congregation. Withhold not thou thy tender mercies from me, O Lord : let thy lovingkindness and thy truth continually preserve me. For innumerable evils have compassed me about: mine iniquities have taken hold upon me, so that I am not able to look up; they are more than the hairs of mine head: therefore my heart faileth me. Be pleased, O Lord , to deliver me: O Lord , make haste to help me. Let them be ashamed and confounded together that seek after my soul to destroy it; let them be driven backward and put to shame that wish me evil. Let them be desolate for a reward of their shame that say unto me, Aha, aha. Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee: let such as love thy salvation say continually, The Lord be magnified. But I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinketh upon me: thou art my help and my deliverer; make no tarrying, O my God.
Psalm 40:1-17 (KJV)

TITLE:  THE GREAT MOUNTAINS 

DATE:  June 8

BIBLE READING:  Psalms 36-40

MOUNTAIN PASSAGES:  36:6 – #8 of 64

TODAY’S CLIMB: _________________________

(36:6) Your righteousness is like THE GREAT MOUNTAINS;  Your judgments are a great deep;  O Lord, You preserve man and beast.

In which ways is God’s righteousness like “the great mountains?” As I am writing I am staring at the Continental Divide in Colorado.  In particular, I am admiring the majesty of Mount Silverheels, all 13,829’ of her!  Her summit is covered in snow, but nature’s best effort to hide her is quite futile.  She is plain for all to see!  God’s righteousness is likewise quite visible and unavoidable.  God’s righteousness like “the great mountains” is exalted and is above our reach to embrace.  We cannot grasp, but only gasp in awe at the greatness of God’s righteousness.  Like the “great mountains,” God’s righteousness is standing firm and is going nowhere.  God’s righteousness is immutable, unchangeable and eternal.  It is clear in this psalm (36:1-4) that man falls very short and lives below the summit and standard  of God’s righteousness.   Man is seen not fearing God, but flattering himself by the depths of his own iniquity and guilt. He is seen scheming wickedness “on his bed” as well as in his public pursuits on the “way/road.” He is seen going around “the great mountains” of God’s righteousness.  Rather than loving such mountains, he hates everything they stand for.  “He abhorreth not evil.”  What is amazing is that the heights of God’s righteousness can be experienced when “the children of men put their trust under the shadow” of God’s wings.  We can be declared righteous when we put our faith in Christ and His death and resurrection. We can eternally enjoy the “the fountain of life” and drink of the river of God’s “pleasures” which originates in heaven from the exalted throne of Jesus Christ who is perfectly righteous.  This river of life flows down from His holy mount and appears to be the water source for the New Jerusalem and beyond to the new earth in the eternal age.  Truly, “the mountains of God” in heaven or “the great mountains” of the Rockies remind us of the loftiness of God’s righteousness and “how excellent” is God’s “lovingkindness” to us!  Have you ever come to the base of God’s mountain of righteousness and confessed how short you come of His exalted standards?  Have you bowed in the shadow of such a mountain and put your trust in the righteous One?  Will you in faith receive the “righteousness of God” and stand “complete” in Him upon the summit of God’s grace?

SUMMITING PRAYER IMPERATIVES (PSALMS 36-40)

(36:10) O continue (imperative) thy lovingkindness unto them that know thee; and thy righteousness to the upright in heart.

(39:4) Lord, make (imperative) me to know mine end, 

and the measure of my days, what it is; that I may know how frail I am,

(39:8) Deliver (imperative) me from all my transgressions: 

Make (jussive) me not the reproach of the foolish.

(39:10) Remove (imperative) thy stroke away from me: 

I am consumed by the blow of thine hand. 

(39:12) Hear (imperative) my prayer, O Lord, 

and give (imperative) ear unto my cry; 

(39:13) O spare (imperative) me, 

that I may recover strength, before I go hence, and be no more.

(40:13) Be pleased (imperative), O Lord, to deliver me: 

O Lord, make haste (imperative) to help me.  

DATE:  June 9 

BIBLE READING:  Psalms 41-45

Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the Lord will deliver him in time of trouble. The Lord will preserve him, and keep him alive; and he shall be blessed upon the earth: and thou wilt not deliver him unto the will of his enemies. The Lord will strengthen him upon the bed of languishing: thou wilt make all his bed in his sickness. I said, Lord , be merciful unto me: heal my soul; for I have sinned against thee. Mine enemies speak evil of me, When shall he die, and his name perish? And if he come to see me, he speaketh vanity: his heart gathereth iniquity to itself; when he goeth abroad, he telleth it. All that hate me whisper together against me: against me do they devise my hurt. An evil disease, say they, cleaveth fast unto him: and now that he lieth he shall rise up no more. Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me. But thou, O Lord , be merciful unto me, and raise me up, that I may requite them. By this I know that thou favourest me, because mine enemy doth not triumph over me. And as for me, thou upholdest me in mine integrity, and settest me before thy face for ever. Blessed be the Lord God of Israel from everlasting, and to everlasting. Amen, and Amen.
Psalm 41:1-13 (KJV)

As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God? My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God? When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me: for I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday. Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance. O my God, my soul is cast down within me: therefore will I remember thee from the land of Jordan, and of the Hermonites, from the hill Mizar. Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me. Yet the Lord will command his lovingkindness in the day time, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life. I will say unto God my rock, Why hast thou forgotten me? why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy? As with a sword in my bones, mine enemies reproach me; while they say daily unto me, Where is thy God? Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.
Psalm 42:1-11 (KJV)

Judge me, O God, and plead my cause against an ungodly nation: O deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man. For thou art the God of my strength: why dost thou cast me off? why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy? O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles. Then will I go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy: yea, upon the harp will I praise thee, O God my God. Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.
Psalm 43:1-5 (KJV)

We have heard with our ears, O God, our fathers have told us, what work thou didst in their days, in the times of old. How thou didst drive out the heathen with thy hand, and plantedst them; how thou didst afflict the people, and cast them out. For they got not the land in possession by their own sword, neither did their own arm save them: but thy right hand, and thine arm, and the light of thy countenance, because thou hadst a favour unto them. Thou art my King, O God: command deliverances for Jacob. Through thee will we push down our enemies: through thy name will we tread them under that rise up against us. For I will not trust in my bow, neither shall my sword save me. But thou hast saved us from our enemies, and hast put them to shame that hated us. In God we boast all the day long, and praise thy name for ever. Selah. But thou hast cast off, and put us to shame; and goest not forth with our armies. Thou makest us to turn back from the enemy: and they which hate us spoil for themselves. Thou hast given us like sheep appointed for meat; and hast scattered us among the heathen. Thou sellest thy people for nought, and dost not increase thy wealth by their price. Thou makest us a reproach to our neighbours, a scorn and a derision to them that are round about us. Thou makest us a byword among the heathen, a shaking of the head among the people. My confusion is continually before me, and the shame of my face hath covered me, For the voice of him that reproacheth and blasphemeth; by reason of the enemy and avenger. All this is come upon us; yet have we not forgotten thee, neither have we dealt falsely in thy covenant. Our heart is not turned back, neither have our steps declined from thy way; Though thou hast sore broken us in the place of dragons, and covered us with the shadow of death. If we have forgotten the name of our God, or stretched out our hands to a strange god; Shall not God search this out? for he knoweth the secrets of the heart. Yea, for thy sake are we killed all the day long; we are counted as sheep for the slaughter. Awake, why sleepest thou, O Lord? arise, cast us not off for ever. Wherefore hidest thou thy face, and forgettest our affliction and our oppression? For our soul is bowed down to the dust: our belly cleaveth unto the earth. Arise for our help, and redeem us for thy mercies’ sake.
Psalm 44:1-26 (KJV)

My heart is inditing a good matter: I speak of the things which I have made touching the king: my tongue is the pen of a ready writer. Thou art fairer than the children of men: grace is poured into thy lips: therefore God hath blessed thee for ever. Gird thy sword upon thy thigh, O most mighty, with thy glory and thy majesty. And in thy majesty ride prosperously because of truth and meekness and righteousness; and thy right hand shall teach thee terrible things. Thine arrows are sharp in the heart of the king’s enemies; whereby the people fall under thee. Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre. Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. All thy garments smell of myrrh, and aloes, and cassia, out of the ivory palaces, whereby they have made thee glad. Kings’ daughters were among thy honourable women: upon thy right hand did stand the queen in gold of Ophir. Hearken, O daughter, and consider, and incline thine ear; forget also thine own people, and thy father’s house; So shall the king greatly desire thy beauty: for he is thy Lord; and worship thou him. And the daughter of Tyre shall be there with a gift; even the rich among the people shall intreat thy favour. The king’s daughter is all glorious within: her clothing is of wrought gold. She shall be brought unto the king in raiment of needlework: the virgins her companions that follow her shall be brought unto thee. With gladness and rejoicing shall they be brought: they shall enter into the king’s palace. Instead of thy fathers shall be thy children, whom thou mayest make princes in all the earth. I will make thy name to be remembered in all generations: therefore shall the people praise thee for ever and ever.
Psalm 45:1-17 (KJV)

TITLE:  REMEMBERING GOD FROM THE SUMMIT OF MIZAR

DATE:  June 9 

BIBLE READING:  Psalms 41-45

MOUNTAIN PASSAGES:  42:6 – #9 of 64; 42:6 – #10 of 64

TODAY’S CLIMB: ___________________________________

(42:6 – NKJV) O my God, my soul is cast down within me; therefore I will remember You from the land of the Jordan, and from THE HEIGHTS OF HERMON,  from THE HILL MIZAR. 

(42:6 – KJV) O my God, my soul is cast down within me; therefore I will remember You from the land of Jordan, and of the HERMONITES, from THE HILL MIZAR. 

Entering Book II of the five divisions of the Psalms (Psalms 42-72),  there is a significant shift in what name is used for God.  In Book I (Psalms 1-41), the focus was on the name “Yahweh” (272 times this name is used) and highlights His sovereign beginnings reinforcing themes from the Book of Genesis.  In Book II,  the emphasis is now placed on the name “Elohim” (164 times this name is used), the God of the Exodus and His ability to deliver His people.  The inspired writer in 42:6, begins by addressing “Elohim” and describing his own spiritual depression. He is “cast down” and needing consolation. He feels far from from his home in Jerusalem, and the familiar corporate worship with his people.  He is on the northeast fringe of the Promised Land in the upper region of the Jordan.  Mount Hermon looms above him.  He stands in its shadows on the little knob called “Hill Mizar.”  Mizar means “small or little” and is a petite version of its neighboring counterpart, Mount Hermon.  Hermon is the nation’s behemoth, standing 9,232’ above the Mediterranean Sea’s surf. This mountain frames the border between Syria, Lebanon and Israel.  The psalmist needed to climb this mount to escape the depths of despair, no easy task!  “This hill though high I covent ascend; the difficulty will not me offend; for I perceive the way of life lies here. Come, pluck up, heart; let’s neither faint nor fear” (John Bunyan, The Pilgrim’s Progress).  

The reality is that the author is “cast down.”  His world had been turned upside down and he was completely overwhelmed.  Discouragement was working its downward pathway to depression; and depression was carving a gorge to bondage; and bondage was caving into to the abyss of hopelessness and possibly even death.   He too, needed to say, “Come, pluck up, heart; let’s neither faint nor fear.”

The psalmist is joined by others on the road that passes over the “little hill” Mizar, who are likely being exiled east in the direction of Babylon.  This trade route was the road that an Israelite did not want to be on, especially wearing chains and being guided by the GPS of a Babylonian spear.   The composer could not afford to go any further down this road.  He had to stop and climb to higher ground.   He is in desperate need of revival.  If the nation continued down this road with him they would need a second Exodus, another demonstration of God’s omnipotence to deliver.

The Hill Mizar would be his last, elevated vantage point to look back over the Promised Land before exiting his country. To get an even greater view of the situation he could climb to the heights of Mount Hermon.    It is here on these mounts, Hill Mizar, the low beam and Mount Hermon, the high beam; where he could see near and far the blessings of the Lord.   Thankfully, it is on these mounts that he “will remember” the faithfulness of Elohim and the footholds of Scripture.  These exalted thoughts were critical to escape the death zone of depression.  

For one of the “sons of Korah” or the “chief musician” to be found nearing the Hill Mizer, meant that they were temporarily out of the ministry that they had in Jerusalem.  For them, this is the day that the music stopped. This would be devastating and would help explain part of the extreme discouragement of the psalmist.  He feels cut off from God and sidelined from service.  So wonder the author in Psalm 42, repeats the phrase “my soul is cast down” three times.  He is pouring his soul out to the Triune God for help.  His enemies escalate his fears by their taunting, probing, and repeated question, “Where is your God?”  The hymn writer was already asking that question himself when he records, ‘Why hast Thou forgotten me?”   Doubts had fueled discouragement. 

It is now “from the heights of Hermon, from the Hill MIzar” that the psalmist gets perspective and seeks revival.  It is there where the meadows are green and he sees the deer which “pants after the water brooks.”  It is here where he thirsts for God. He is reminded on the Hill MIzar what life used to be, but also what life could be again through the “lovingkindness” of the Lord.   It is here where he prays to the God of his “life.” It is here where he praises the one who is “the health” of his “countenance.” It is here where his “hope in God” is renewed! It is here that “his song” shall be heard again!

Are you discouraged?  Are you “cast down?”  Do you need revival, then summit the little hill Mizar and “remember” the Lord.  Cry out, “Come, pluck up Heart,” – “Hope thou in God!”   

The chief musician’s heart needed to sing out.  Will you join his antiphonal choir and sing “I’m pressing on the upward way, new heights I’m gaining every day; still praying as I onward bound, Lord, plant my feet on higher ground” (Johnson Oatman, Jr.). 

TITLE: LEAD ME TO YOUR HOLY HILL 

DATE:  June 9 

BIBLE READING:  Psalms 41-45

MOUNTAIN PASSAGES:  43:3 – #11 of 64

TODAY’S CLIMB: _________________________

(43:3) Oh, send out Your light and Your truth! Let them lead me;Let them bring me to YOUR HOLY HILL and to Your tabernacle.

The exiled psalmist is cast down and has lost his way.  He is so discouraged!  Life is heavy and dark.  There is one who is seeking to deceive him to think that God has not only forgotten him (42:9), but now has rejected him (43:2). Things are getting worse! He is defeated and mourning the loss of God’s presence and joy.  He feels oppressed and is not sure if life will ever return to “normal.”  In this low and dark time the psalmist implores the Lord to “send” His “light” and His “truth” to lead Him home to His “holy hill.”  Thankfully, God is light (John 8:12) and the “truth” (John 14:6).  These two truths act as a pillar of fire by night and a pillar cloud in the day that cannot be missed. The one who is cast down needs to look up and see the beacon of light from the top of God’s “holy hill.”  The flesh makes the trek uphill to the summit difficult, but truth comes alongside the weary traveler to encourage him not to quit or to turn around, but to continue to walk in the light to the tabernacle, where the believer finds the unique presence of the Lord.  Once at the summit and in view of the outer courtyard, the returning worshiper is to go “unto the altar of God.”  There he confesses his sin and accepts by faith the transfer of his sin and guilt to the Lamb of God, the ultimate sin and peace offering.  As a result, he finds forgiveness and peace with God.   Now in view of his communion with God, he experiences the joy that had been so evasive in the valley below of unbelief and disobedience.  Now on God’s “holy hill,” at the tabernacle and at the alter He has come unto “God my exceeding joy.”  With love in his heart and deep gratitude for God’s grace, he picks up his harp and joins Asaph and  his family, the sons of Korah, and the “multitude that kept holiday” (42:4) to praise the Lord.  Hope found in God, along with “light” and “truth” had led him all the way to the “holy hill.  Are you depressed, cast down?  Do you need these divine guides to lead you back to the  “joy of your salvation?” Then seek the Lord now in prayer and ask Him to “send” the “light” and the “truth” to lead you to higher ground! 

SUMMITING PRAYER IMPERATIVES (PSALMS 41-45)

(41:4) I said, Lord, be merciful (imperative) unto me: 

Heal (imperative) my soul; for I have sinned against thee.

(41:10) But thou, O Lord, be merciful (imperative) unto me, 

and raise (imperative) me up, 

(43:1) Judge (imperative) me, O God, 

and plead (imperative) my cause against an ungodly nation:  

O deliver (jussive) me from the deceitful and unjust man.

(43:3) O send out (imperative) thy light and thy truth: 

let them lead (jussive) me; let them bring (jussive) me unto the holy hill, 

and to thy tabernacles.

(44:4) Thou art my King, O God: command (imperative) deliverances for Jacob.

(44:23) Awake (imperative), why sleepest thou, O Lord? 

Arise (imperative), cast us not off (jussive) for ever.

(44:26) Arise (imperative) for our help, 

and redeem (imperative) us for thy mercies’ sake.

(45:3) Gird (imperative) thy sword upon thy thigh, 

O most mighty, with thy glory and thy majesty.

(45:4) And in thy majesty ride (imperative) prosperously because of truth and meekness and righteousness; and thy right hand shall teach thee terrible things.

PEACE AND CONTENTMENT   

ALL SCENES ALIKE ENGAGING PROVE  

By Madame Guyon

“All scenes alike engaging prove
To souls impressed with sacred love!
Wherever they dwell, they dwell in Thee;
In heaven, in earth, or on the sea.

“To me remains no place nor time;
My country is in every clime;
I can be calm and free from care
On any shore, since God is there.

“While place we seek, or place we shun,
The soul finds happiness in none;
But, with a God to guide our way,
‘Tis equal joy to go or stay.

“Could I be cast where You are not,
That were indeed a dreadful lot;
But regions none remote I call,
Secure of finding God in all.”

DATE:  June 10

BIBLE READING:  Psalms 46-50

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah. There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High. God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early. The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved: he uttered his voice, the earth melted. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah. Come, behold the works of the Lord , what desolations he hath made in the earth. He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire. Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.
Psalm 46:1-11 (KJV)

O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph. For the Lord most high is terrible; he is a great King over all the earth. He shall subdue the people under us, and the nations under our feet. He shall choose our inheritance for us, the excellency of Jacob whom he loved. Selah. God is gone up with a shout, the Lord with the sound of a trumpet. Sing praises to God, sing praises: sing praises unto our King, sing praises. For God is the King of all the earth: sing ye praises with understanding. God reigneth over the heathen: God sitteth upon the throne of his holiness. The princes of the people are gathered together, even the people of the God of Abraham: for the shields of the earth belong unto God: he is greatly exalted.
Psalm 47:1-9 (KJV)

Great is the Lord , and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of his holiness. Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King. God is known in her palaces for a refuge. For, lo, the kings were assembled, they passed by together. They saw it, and so they marvelled; they were troubled, and hasted away. Fear took hold upon them there, and pain, as of a woman in travail. Thou breakest the ships of Tarshish with an east wind. As we have heard, so have we seen in the city of the Lord of hosts, in the city of our God: God will establish it for ever. Selah. We have thought of thy lovingkindness, O God, in the midst of thy temple. According to thy name, O God, so is thy praise unto the ends of the earth: thy right hand is full of righteousness. Let mount Zion rejoice, let the daughters of Judah be glad, because of thy judgments. Walk about Zion, and go round about her: tell the towers thereof. Mark ye well her bulwarks, consider her palaces; that ye may tell it to the generation following. For this God is our God for ever and ever: he will be our guide even unto death.
Psalm 48:1-14 (KJV)

Hear this, all ye people; give ear, all ye inhabitants of the world: Both low and high, rich and poor, together. My mouth shall speak of wisdom; and the meditation of my heart shall be of understanding. I will incline mine ear to a parable: I will open my dark saying upon the harp. Wherefore should I fear in the days of evil, when the iniquity of my heels shall compass me about? They that trust in their wealth, and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches; None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him: (For the redemption of their soul is precious, and it ceaseth for ever:) That he should still live for ever, and not see corruption. For he seeth that wise men die, likewise the fool and the brutish person perish, and leave their wealth to others. Their inward thought is, that their houses shall continue for ever, and their dwelling places to all generations; they call their lands after their own names. Nevertheless man being in honour abideth not: he is like the beasts that perish. This their way is their folly: yet their posterity approve their sayings. Selah. Like sheep they are laid in the grave; death shall feed on them; and the upright shall have dominion over them in the morning; and their beauty shall consume in the grave from their dwelling. But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave: for he shall receive me. Selah. Be not thou afraid when one is made rich, when the glory of his house is increased; For when he dieth he shall carry nothing away: his glory shall not descend after him. Though while he lived he blessed his soul: and men will praise thee, when thou doest well to thyself. He shall go to the generation of his fathers; they shall never see light. Man that is in honour, and understandeth not, is like the beasts that perish.
Psalm 49:1-20 (KJV)

The mighty God, even the Lord , hath spoken, and called the earth from the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof. Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined. Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him. He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that he may judge his people. Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice. And the heavens shall declare his righteousness: for God is judge himself. Selah. Hear, O my people, and I will speak; O Israel, and I will testify against thee: I am God, even thy God. I will not reprove thee for thy sacrifices or thy burnt offerings, to have been continually before me. I will take no bullock out of thy house, nor he goats out of thy folds. For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills. I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are mine. If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world is mine, and the fulness thereof. Will I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats? Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High: And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me. But unto the wicked God saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth? Seeing thou hatest instruction, and casteth my words behind thee. When thou sawest a thief, then thou consentedst with him, and hast been partaker with adulterers. Thou givest thy mouth to evil, and thy tongue frameth deceit. Thou sittest and speakest against thy brother; thou slanderest thine own mother’s son. These things hast thou done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself: but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes. Now consider this, ye that forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver. Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God.
Psalm 50:1-23 (KJV)

TITLE:  MOUNTAINS THAT SINK AND SHAKE

MOUNTAIN PASSAGES:  46:2 – #12 of 64; 46:3 – #13 of 64

TODAY’S CLIMB: ____________________________________

(46:2) Therefore we will not fear, though the earth be removed, and though THE MOUNTAINS be carried into the midst of the sea; 

(46:3) Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though THE MOUNTAINS shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.

Four terrifying scenes are described in 46:2-3.  Two of them have to do with catastrophic mountain stories.  Can you imagine watching a mountain standing tall on dry ground, firmly rooted to the earth below carried away to the middle of the sea like an iceberg and then for it to disappear under water?  We are mortified watching the modeling for the sinking of the Titanic.  Can you imagine watching in real time a mountain like Petit Piton or Serra de Tramontana or Mount Biokovo or Mount Kinabalu (Malaysia’s highest peak – 13,435’) breaking off from the main land and being swallowed up by the ocean?  The other picture of devastating power is to see an earthquake visibly shake a mountain to its core where it literally blows its top.  To watch in awe the collapse of a stratovolcano and to observe the formation of a caldera after the magna is expelled.  To watch the ocean waters flow into the caldera and to see the inner walls disintegrate by the swelling waters.  Preceding these devastating descriptions the psalmist has described God as our “refuge and strength.” He is “a very present help in trouble.”  When the believer knows this about his Lord, he has nothing to fear!  He can “be still, and know that I am God” even “though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea” and “though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof.”   There is nothing this world can throw at us to cause us to fear when we realize God is “with us” and “is our refuge.”  What are you fearful of? Are you experiencing some trouble that is causing you a lot of anxiety? If so, turn to the Lord and take shelter in Him.  “Be still” and watch the Lord help you in your time of need.

TITLE:  THE MOUNTAIN OF HIS HOLINESS

DATE:  June 10

BIBLE READING:  Psalms 46-50

MOUNTAIN PASSAGES:  48:1 – #14 of 64, 48:11 – #15 of 64

TODAY’S CLIMB: _________________________________

(48:1)  Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised. In the city of our God, in THE MOUNTAIN OF HIS HOLINESS.   

(48:11) Let MOUNT ZION rejoice, let the daughters of Judah be glad, because of Your judgments.  

This psalm explains WHO we should praise, our “great” Lord and HOW He should “be “greatly” praised! This psalm identifies WHERE we should praise Him, “in the city of our God, in the mountain of His holiness.”  This praise should overflow “unto the ends of the earth” (48:10). The phrase “the mountain of His holiness” suggests WHY we should praise Him, because He is completely holy!   Mount Zion, being personified, is to rejoice, and her representatives, “the daughters of Judah,” are to “be glad, because of Thy judgments” a practical extension of His holiness.  Because His “right hand is full of righteousness” the whole world is to praise His name!  The only approach to this Holy God in “the mountain of His holiness” is captured in the meditation of the worshipper “in the midst of the temple.”  His thoughts were on God’s “lovingkindness,” HIs loyal love that is committed to forgiving and justifying the repentant believer.  It is here on this Mount Zion where His “lovingkindness/mercy met together;” where “righteousness and peace have kissed each other.”  It was here on this “mountain of His holiness” where God’s Son, Jesus Christ, satisfied God’s demands of justice and righteousness by offering Himself to be the perfect sacrifice and substitute for all of man’s violations.  It is here that He paid for all of our sins and propitiated God’s holy wrath.  He did this because of His “lovingkindness.”  He demonstrated His great love by dying for us, even while we were yet sinners!   For the “daughters of Judah” to “be glad” they must first be sad.  As Jesus was being led to His crucifixion he stumbled under the weight of the cross after being severely scourged. At this point, it is said that the  “daughters of Jerusalem” (Luke 23:27-31) who were following Him,  “bewailed and lamented him.” As they were beating their chests and weeping uncontrollably for Him and His immanent death, Jesus turned to them and commanded them not to weep for Him, “but weep for yourselves.”  In “lovingkindness,” He was saying to them to repent, to mourn over their sins, to be saved from the judgment to come.  He was pointing them to the ultimate purpose of His death – their salvation!  For these believing “daughters of Judah” they could then “be glad!” O indeed, “let Mount Zion rejoice!” As you “have thought” upon God’s “lovingkindness” will you join “the sons of Korah” and “daughters of Judah” and cry out, “Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised?”

TITLE:  BEAUTIFUL IN ELEVATION 

DATE:  June 10 

BIBLE READING:  Psalms 46-50

MOUNTAIN PASSAGES:  48:2 – #16 of 64

TODAY’S CLIMB: ____________________________________

(48:2) Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is MOUNT ZION,  on the sides of the north, the city of the great King.  

There are 1,187,049 mountains in the world and 77,706 named peaks in the United States, but none compare to the greatest of all mountains – Mount Zion in Israel.  “Beautiful in elevation.”  Currently, Jerusalem (i.e. 2,575’) is not the highest mountain on the earth (i.e. Mount Everest – 29,029’), nor is it the highest mountain in Israel (i.e. Mount Hermon – 9,232’), but its exalted history towers over all other cities. This is the city where the incarnate Son of God, Jesus Christ, died for all the sins that have and will be committed by Adam’s fallen race.  This is where Christ arose from the grave the third day in a glorified body, the first fruits from the dead!  As a result of Jerusalem’s association with the “great King” and His work of redemption, it is and will be known as “the joy of the whole earth.”  This will especially be seen when the King returns, judges the nations and sets up His kingdom on earth with Jerusalem becoming the capital of not only Israel, but the world.  Isaiah 2:2, describes this city’s role “in the last days.” He declares, “That the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.”  During the millennium, Jerusalem will be exalted and will become the Everest of the reign of Christ, “beautiful in elevation.”  Mount Zion is described as being located on “the sides of the north.”  This is geographically true now and will remain true in the coming kingdom.  The north face of a mountain is the most unforgiving side.  It is the coldest side, and the side where more physical weathering takes place creating steeper slopes and more difficult climbing.  It is the north side of Mount Zion where the temple was built.  Its setting, facing east was both beautiful and practical: accessible but  defendable. In many ways earthly Jerusalem, especially in the millennium, prepares the believer for Heavenly Zion.  Heaven highlights the “mount of the congregation” which is on the summit of the holy mount. The tabernacle of God and His throne is on the north side of this summit.  This is the location where Lucifer once said, “I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north” (Isaiah 14:13). What foolishness for Satan to think he could reach such heights.  His pride will ultimately bring him “down to hell, to sides of the pit.”  Heavenly Zion, New Jerusalem is the ultimate “city of the great King” which will peacefully rest on the “new earth” for all of eternity.  Truly, “beautiful in elevation!”

TITLE:  THE CATTLE ON A THOUSAND HILLS 

DATE:  June 10

BIBLE READING:  Psalms 46-50

MOUNTAIN PASSAGES:  50:10 – #17 of 64

TODAY’S CLIMB: ____________________________________

(50:10) For every beast of the forest is Mine, and the cattle on a THOUSAND HILLS. 

This is the first of the twelve Asaph psalms (Psalm 50, 73-83), and the only ELOHISTIC psalm in Book 2 that has a reference to the sacred Tetragrammaton, YHWH (50:1).  It is clear in this psalm, that as the Creator, He can say, “the world is mine, and the fulness thereof.”  As a result, He can hold His creatures accountable to His covenant Word.  In this psalm the Lord declares that it is patently ridiculous to think that He needs for man to sacrifice bulls and goats unto Him or that He is thirsty or hungry.  He reminds the reader that “every beast of the forest” is His.  Not only are the wild beasts His, but so are the domestic animals, such as cattle.  He declares that “the cattle on a thousand hills” are His as well!  If the whole “world” is His and all the creatures therein.  What then can we give Him that He does not already have?  The answer to that question is our heart.  He wants us to have a trusting, thankful and obedient heart.  These actions of our will bring glory to His name.  He desires us to “offer unto God thanksgiving.” We glorify God when in faith we “call upon” Him “in the day of trouble.” He receives honor when we love his “instruction” and keep His “words” before us.  Truly the person “whoso offereth praise” and “ordereth his conversation (i.e. conduct) aright” glorifies God. These are HIs ideas as to what we can give to the One who owns “the cattle on a thousand hills.”  By the way that is a lot of hills and by extension a lot of cows! The next time you see a herd of cattle grazing on a hill side remember that they belong to the Lord and ask yourself, “Do I belong to the Lord? Have I given my heart and life to Jesus Christ? Am I trusting and obeying Him today?”  Speaking of trusting the Lord, in the early years of Dallas Theological Seminary they were in critical need of $10,000 to keep the doors of the school open.  In their “day of trouble,” the administration prayed for God to “deliver” them.  One of the Bible teachers at that time was Harry Ironside.  During the prayer meeting, he prayed, “Lord, you own the cattle on a thousand hills. Please sell some of those cattle to help us meet this need.” Shortly after the prayer meeting, the school received a check for $10,000, from a friend who had no idea of the urgent need or of Ironside’s prayer. The rancher simply said the money came from the sale of some of his cattle.  Wow, what an amazing answer to prayer! Do you need to trust the Lord? Do you need to ask the Lord to sell some of His cattle?

HE OWNS THE CATTLE ON A THOUSAND HILLS

By John W. Peterson 

He owns the cattle on a thousand hills,

The wealth is every mine; 

He owns the rivers and the rocks and rills,

The sun and stars that shine

Wonderful riches, more than tongue can tell – 

He is my Father so they’re mine as well; 

He owns the cattle on a thousand hills – 

I know that He will care for me.

TITLE:  THE DIVINE BIRDWATCHER – THE ULTIMATE ORNITHOLOGIST

DATE:  June 10

BIBLE READING:  Psalms 46-50

MOUNTAIN PASSAGES:  50:11 – #18 of 64

TODAY’S CLIMB: ____________________________________

(50:11) I know all the fowls of THE MOUNTAINS, and the wild beasts of the field are Mine.  

One of my special memories of walking around our Indian Mountain property near Breckinridge, Colorado was when a little chickadee landed on my shoulder.  He then dropped down to my open hand and allowed me to hold him.  It did not hurt that I was eating peanuts and was in a giving mood.  After he enjoyed his goober pea, he flew into the air, but rather than flying away he followed me as I walked around Bennett’s Loop.  It was so neat to have for a few minutes a new friend to experience life with.  I felt like an avian Dr. Doolittle.   Psalm 50:11, came to my mind that our Lord knows “all the fowls of the mountains.”  He knows all the different types of birds and He knows each bird individually.  As the Creator and Preserver of His creation, what does He not experientially know and what is not His? He declares that the “wild beasts of the field are” His and that “the world is” His, “and the fulness thereof.”  As I watch the birds on our mountain, I do not try to be a proto-birder, but I am amazed to see the incredible variety just on our mountain.  There are some 260 avian species in our area.  I would not do this, but the serious twitcher would create an extensive list of “the fowls of the mountains” and then seek to check off from the list each bird type when personally viewed.  In fact, a journal would be created with the details of when and where the bird was seen.  This journal would be then shared with other dedicated listers who wear the same uniform:  a birding vest, a brimmed hat, binoculars with 10x magnifying lenses, a field guide and a phone with a bird song app to help identify the different chickadees, nuthatches, creepers, loons, grebes, pelicans, St. Louis Cardinals, herons, allies, swans, geese, ducks, vultures, hawks, eagles, grouse, ptarmigan, pheasant, rails, New York Yankees, coots, cranes, shorebirds, doves, pigeons, cuckoos, owls, nighthawks, swifts, hummingbirds, kingfisher, woodpeckers, flycatchers, larks, jays, crows, magpies, wrens, dipper, kinglets, gnatcatchers, bluebirds, Toronto Bluejays, thrushes, thrashers, pipits, waxwings, shrikes, starlings, vireos, wood warblers, tanagers, grosbeaks, buntings, sparrows, blackbirds, meadowlarks, Baltimore Orioles,  finches, etc.  What a blessing it is to know the Lord, who knows “all the fowls of the mountains.”  Today, the “whole creation groaneth” ( Romans 8:22) which includes the avian world.  Their  groans may be shrieks, and screeches, and hoots and caws.  The day is coming when they too will “be delivered from the bondage” and the limitations of a fallen world.   What will it be like in the Paradise restored?  Will it be the norm to have “the fowls of the mountain” eat out of our hand and follow us on our walks? Will we enjoy flight with our winged friends?  Will we understand their chirps and trills and respond by saying in a heavenly language, “let everything that hath breath praise the Lord” (Psalm 150:6)?  I don’t have all the answers to those questions, but we can know the One who does! The day will soon come when our life is “cut off, and we fly away.” Be sure you know the One who “knows all the fowls of the mountain” and that you have a flight scheduled for heaven! 

SUMMITING PRAYER IMPERATIVES

NO direct prayer requests by the psalmist in this section 

(47:1) O clap (imperative) your hands, all ye people; shout (imperative) unto God with the voice of triumph.

(47:6) Sing (imperative) praises to God, sing (imperative) praises: sing (imperative) praises unto our King, sing (imperative) praises.

(47:7) For God is the King of all the earth: sing (imperative) ye praises with understanding.

(50:15) And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.

DATE:  June 11

BIBLE READING:  Psalms 51-55

Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest. Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee. Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness. O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise. For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion: build thou the walls of Jerusalem. Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering: then shall they offer bullocks upon thine altar.
Psalm 51:1-19 (KJV)

Why boastest thou thyself in mischief, O mighty man? the goodness of God endureth continually. The tongue deviseth mischiefs; like a sharp razor, working deceitfully. Thou lovest evil more than good; and lying rather than to speak righteousness. Selah. Thou lovest all devouring words, O thou deceitful tongue. God shall likewise destroy thee for ever, he shall take thee away, and pluck thee out of thy dwelling place, and root thee out of the land of the living. Selah. The righteous also shall see, and fear, and shall laugh at him: Lo, this is the man that made not God his strength; but trusted in the abundance of his riches, and strengthened himself in his wickedness. But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God: I trust in the mercy of God for ever and ever. I will praise thee for ever, because thou hast done it: and I will wait on thy name; for it is good before thy saints.
Psalm 52:1-9 (KJV)

The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity: there is none that doeth good. God looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, that did seek God. Every one of them is gone back: they are altogether become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Have the workers of iniquity no knowledge? who eat up my people as they eat bread: they have not called upon God. There were they in great fear, where no fear was: for God hath scattered the bones of him that encampeth against thee: thou hast put them to shame, because God hath despised them. Oh that the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion! When God bringeth back the captivity of his people, Jacob shall rejoice, and Israel shall be glad.
Psalm 53:1-6 (KJV)

Save me, O God, by thy name, and judge me by thy strength. Hear my prayer, O God; give ear to the words of my mouth. For strangers are risen up against me, and oppressors seek after my soul: they have not set God before them. Selah. Behold, God is mine helper: the Lord is with them that uphold my soul. He shall reward evil unto mine enemies: cut them off in thy truth. I will freely sacrifice unto thee: I will praise thy name, O Lord ; for it is good. For he hath delivered me out of all trouble: and mine eye hath seen his desire upon mine enemies.
Psalm 54:1-7 (KJV)

Give ear to my prayer, O God; and hide not thyself from my supplication. Attend unto me, and hear me: I mourn in my complaint, and make a noise; Because of the voice of the enemy, because of the oppression of the wicked: for they cast iniquity upon me, and in wrath they hate me. My heart is sore pained within me: and the terrors of death are fallen upon me. Fearfulness and trembling are come upon me, and horror hath overwhelmed me. And I said, Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest. Lo, then would I wander far off, and remain in the wilderness. Selah. I would hasten my escape from the windy storm and tempest. Destroy, O Lord, and divide their tongues: for I have seen violence and strife in the city. Day and night they go about it upon the walls thereof: mischief also and sorrow are in the midst of it. Wickedness is in the midst thereof: deceit and guile depart not from her streets. For it was not an enemy that reproached me; then I could have borne it: neither was it he that hated me that did magnify himself against me; then I would have hid myself from him: But it was thou, a man mine equal, my guide, and mine acquaintance. We took sweet counsel together, and walked unto the house of God in company. Let death seize upon them, and let them go down quick into hell: for wickedness is in their dwellings, and among them. As for me, I will call upon God; and the Lord shall save me. Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice. He hath delivered my soul in peace from the battle that was against me: for there were many with me. God shall hear, and afflict them, even he that abideth of old. Selah. Because they have no changes, therefore they fear not God. He hath put forth his hands against such as be at peace with him: he hath broken his covenant. The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart: his words were softer than oil, yet were they drawn swords. Cast thy burden upon the Lord , and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved. But thou, O God, shalt bring them down into the pit of destruction: bloody and deceitful men shall not live out half their days; but I will trust in thee.
Psalm 55:1-23 (KJV)

TITLE:  NA

DATE:  June 11

BIBLE READING:  Psalms 51-55

MOUNTAIN PASSAGES:  NO MOUNTAIN REFERENCES (3)

TODAY’S CLIMB: ____________________________________

PSALM 51:18 – ZION AND JERUSALEM

Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion: Build thou the walls of JERUSALEM.

PSALM 52:8 – HOUSE OF GOD

But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God: I trust in the mercy of God for ever and ever.

PSALM 53:6 – ZION

Oh that the salvation of Israel were come out of ZION! When God bringeth back the captivity of his people, Jacob shall rejoice, and Israel shall be glad.

SUMMITING PRAYER IMPERATIVES (PSALMS 51-55)

(51:1)  Have mercy (imperative) upon me, O God, 

according to thy lovingkindness:

According unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out (imperative) my transgressions.

(51: 2) Wash (imperative) me throughly from mine iniquity, 

And cleanse (imperative) me from my sin.

(51:9) Hide (imperative) thy face from my sins, 

And blot out (imperative) all mine iniquities.

(51:10)  Create (imperative) in me a clean heart, O God; 

And renew (imperative) a right spirit within me.

(51:12)  Restore (imperative) unto me the joy of thy salvation;  

And uphold (jussive) me with thy free spirit.

(51:14)  Deliver (imperative) me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation:

And my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness.

(54:1) Save (imperative) me, O God, by thy name,  

And judge (jussive) me by thy strength.

(54:2) Hear (imperative) my prayer, O God; 

Give (imperative) ear to the words of my mouth.

(54:5) He shall reward evil unto mine enemies: 

Cut them off (imperative) in thy truth.

DATE:  June 12

BIBLE READING:  Psalms 56-60

Be merciful unto me, O God: for man would swallow me up; he fighting daily oppresseth me. Mine enemies would daily swallow me up: for they be many that fight against me, O thou most High. What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me. Every day they wrest my words: all their thoughts are against me for evil. They gather themselves together, they hide themselves, they mark my steps, when they wait for my soul. Shall they escape by iniquity? in thine anger cast down the people, O God. Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book? When I cry unto thee, then shall mine enemies turn back: this I know; for God is for me. In God will I praise his word: in the Lord will I praise his word. In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do unto me. Thy vows are upon me, O God: I will render praises unto thee. For thou hast delivered my soul from death: wilt not thou deliver my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of the living?
Psalm 56:1-13 (KJV)

Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast. I will cry unto God most high; unto God that performeth all things for me. He shall send from heaven, and save me from the reproach of him that would swallow me up. Selah. God shall send forth his mercy and his truth. My soul is among lions: and I lie even among them that are set on fire, even the sons of men, whose teeth are spears and arrows, and their tongue a sharp sword. Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens; let thy glory be above all the earth. They have prepared a net for my steps; my soul is bowed down: they have digged a pit before me, into the midst whereof they are fallen themselves. Selah. My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise. Awake up, my glory; awake, psaltery and harp: I myself will awake early. I will praise thee, O Lord, among the people: I will sing unto thee among the nations. For thy mercy is great unto the heavens, and thy truth unto the clouds. Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens: let thy glory be above all the earth.
Psalm 57:1-11 (KJV)

Do ye indeed speak righteousness, O congregation? do ye judge uprightly, O ye sons of men? Yea, in heart ye work wickedness; ye weigh the violence of your hands in the earth. The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies. Their poison is like the poison of a serpent: they are like the deaf adder that stoppeth her ear; Which will not hearken to the voice of charmers, charming never so wisely. Break their teeth, O God, in their mouth: break out the great teeth of the young lions, O Lord . Let them melt away as waters which run continually: when he bendeth his bow to shoot his arrows, let them be as cut in pieces. As a snail which melteth, let every one of them pass away: like the untimely birth of a woman, that they may not see the sun. Before your pots can feel the thorns, he shall take them away as with a whirlwind, both living, and in his wrath. The righteous shall rejoice when he seeth the vengeance: he shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked. So that a man shall say, Verily there is a reward for the righteous: verily he is a God that judgeth in the earth.
Psalm 58:1-11 (KJV)

Deliver me from mine enemies, O my God: defend me from them that rise up against me. Deliver me from the workers of iniquity, and save me from bloody men. For, lo, they lie in wait for my soul: the mighty are gathered against me; not for my transgression, nor for my sin, O Lord . They run and prepare themselves without my fault: awake to help me, and behold. Thou therefore, O Lord God of hosts, the God of Israel, awake to visit all the heathen: be not merciful to any wicked transgressors. Selah. They return at evening: they make a noise like a dog, and go round about the city. Behold, they belch out with their mouth: swords are in their lips: for who, say they, doth hear? But thou, O Lord , shalt laugh at them; thou shalt have all the heathen in derision. Because of his strength will I wait upon thee: for God is my defence. The God of my mercy shall prevent me: God shall let me see my desire upon mine enemies. Slay them not, lest my people forget: scatter them by thy power; and bring them down, O Lord our shield. For the sin of their mouth and the words of their lips let them even be taken in their pride: and for cursing and lying which they speak. Consume them in wrath, consume them, that they may not be: and let them know that God ruleth in Jacob unto the ends of the earth. Selah. And at evening let them return; and let them make a noise like a dog, and go round about the city. Let them wander up and down for meat, and grudge if they be not satisfied. But I will sing of thy power; yea, I will sing aloud of thy mercy in the morning: for thou hast been my defence and refuge in the day of my trouble. Unto thee, O my strength, will I sing: for God is my defence, and the God of my mercy.
Psalm 59:1-17 (KJV)

O God, thou hast cast us off, thou hast scattered us, thou hast been displeased; O turn thyself to us again. Thou hast made the earth to tremble; thou hast broken it: heal the breaches thereof; for it shaketh. Thou hast shewed thy people hard things: thou hast made us to drink the wine of astonishment. Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee, that it may be displayed because of the truth. Selah. That thy beloved may be delivered; save with thy right hand, and hear me. God hath spoken in his holiness; I will rejoice, I will divide Shechem, and mete out the valley of Succoth. Gilead is mine, and Manasseh is mine; Ephraim also is the strength of mine head; Judah is my lawgiver; Moab is my washpot; over Edom will I cast out my shoe: Philistia, triumph thou because of me. Who will bring me into the strong city? who will lead me into Edom? Wilt not thou, O God, which hadst cast us off? and thou, O God, which didst not go out with our armies? Give us help from trouble: for vain is the help of man. Through God we shall do valiantly: for he it is that shall tread down our enemies.
Psalm 60:1-12 (KJV)

TITLE:   NA

DATE:  June 12

BIBLE READING:  Psalms 56-60

MOUNTAIN PASSAGES:  NO MOUNTAIN REFERENCES (4) 

TODAY’S CLIMB: ____________________________________

PSALM 56:2 – MOST HIGH

Mine enemies would daily swallow me up: For they be many that fight against me, O thou most High.

PSALM 57:2 – MOST HIGH

I will cry unto God most high; Unto God that performeth all things for me.

PSALM 60:6 – THE VALLEY OF SUCCOTH – VALLEYS IMPLY MOUNTAINS

SUMMITING PRAYER IMPERATIVES (PSALMS 56-60)

(56:1) Be merciful (imperative) unto me, O God: 

for man would swallow me up; 

he fighting daily oppresseth me.

(56:7) Shall they escape by iniquity? 

In thine anger cast down (imperative) the people, O God. 

(56:8) Thou tellest my wanderings: 

Put (imperative) my tears into thy bottle: 

are they not in thy book? 

(57:1) Be merciful (imperative) unto me, O God, 

be merciful (imperative) unto me: 

for my soul trusteth in thee: Yea, 

in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, 

until these calamities be overpast. 

(57:5) Be thou exalted (imperative), 

O God, above the heavens; 

Let thy glory be above all the earth. 

(57:8) Awake up (imperative), my glory; 

awake (imperative), psaltery and harp: 

I myself will awake early.

(57:11) Be thou exalted (imperative), O God, above the heavens: 

let thy glory be above all the earth. 

(58:6) Break (imperative) their teeth, O God, in their mouth: 

break out (imperative) the great teeth of the young lions, O Lord.

(59:1) Deliver (imperative) me from enemies, O my God: 

defend me from them that rise up against me.

(59:2) Deliver (imperative) me from the workers of iniquity, 

and save (imperative) me from bloody men. 

(59:4) They run and prepare themselves without my fault: 

Awake (imperative) to help me, and behold (imperative).

(59:5) Thou therefore, O Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, 

Awake (imperative) to visit all the heathen: 

be not merciful (jussive) to any wicked transgressors. Selah. 

(59:11) Slay (jussive) them not, lest my people forget: 

scatter (imperative) them by thy power; 

and bring them down (imperative), 

O Lord our shield. 

(59:13) Consume (imperative) them in wrath, 

consume (imperative) them, 

that they may not be: 

and let them know (jussive) that God rulers in Jacob unto the ends of the earth. Selah. 

(60:2) Thou hast made the earth to tremble, 

thou hast broken it: 

heal (imperative) the breaches thereof; 

for it shaketh. 

(60:5) That thy beloved may be delivered; 

save (imperative) with thy right hand, 

and hear (imperative) me.

(60:11) Give (imperative) us help from trouble: 

for vain is the help of man.

DATE:  June 13

BIBLE READING:  Psalms 61-65

Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer. From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy. I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever: I will trust in the covert of thy wings. Selah. For thou, O God, hast heard my vows: thou hast given me the heritage of those that fear thy name. Thou wilt prolong the king’s life: and his years as many generations. He shall abide before God for ever: O prepare mercy and truth, which may preserve him. So will I sing praise unto thy name for ever, that I may daily perform my vows.
Psalm 61:1-8 (KJV)

Truly my soul waiteth upon God: from him cometh my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation; he is my defence; I shall not be greatly moved. How long will ye imagine mischief against a man? ye shall be slain all of you: as a bowing wall shall ye be, and as a tottering fence. They only consult to cast him down from his excellency: they delight in lies: they bless with their mouth, but they curse inwardly. Selah. My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defence; I shall not be moved. In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God. Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah. Surely men of low degree are vanity, and men of high degree are a lie: to be laid in the balance, they are altogether lighter than vanity. Trust not in oppression, and become not vain in robbery: if riches increase, set not your heart upon them. God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this; that power belongeth unto God. Also unto thee, O Lord, belongeth mercy: for thou renderest to every man according to his work.
Psalm 62:1-12 (KJV)

O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary. Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee. Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name. My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips: When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches. Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice. My soul followeth hard after thee: thy right hand upholdeth me. But those that seek my soul, to destroy it, shall go into the lower parts of the earth. They shall fall by the sword: they shall be a portion for foxes. But the king shall rejoice in God; every one that sweareth by him shall glory: but the mouth of them that speak lies shall be stopped.
Psalm 63:1-11 (KJV)

Hear my voice, O God, in my prayer: preserve my life from fear of the enemy. Hide me from the secret counsel of the wicked; from the insurrection of the workers of iniquity: Who whet their tongue like a sword, and bend their bows to shoot their arrows, even bitter words: That they may shoot in secret at the perfect: suddenly do they shoot at him, and fear not. They encourage themselves in an evil matter: they commune of laying snares privily; they say, Who shall see them? They search out iniquities; they accomplish a diligent search: both the inward thought of every one of them, and the heart, is deep. But God shall shoot at them with an arrow; suddenly shall they be wounded. So they shall make their own tongue to fall upon themselves: all that see them shall flee away. And all men shall fear, and shall declare the work of God; for they shall wisely consider of his doing. The righteous shall be glad in the Lord , and shall trust in him; and all the upright in heart shall glory.
Psalm 64:1-10 (KJV)

Praise waiteth for thee, O God, in Sion: and unto thee shall the vow be performed. O thou that hearest prayer, unto thee shall all flesh come. Iniquities prevail against me: as for our transgressions, thou shalt purge them away. Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and causest to approach unto thee, that he may dwell in thy courts: we shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, even of thy holy temple. By terrible things in righteousness wilt thou answer us, O God of our salvation; who art the confidence of all the ends of the earth, and of them that are afar off upon the sea: Which by his strength setteth fast the mountains; being girded with power: Which stilleth the noise of the seas, the noise of their waves, and the tumult of the people. They also that dwell in the uttermost parts are afraid at thy tokens: thou makest the outgoings of the morning and evening to rejoice. Thou visitest the earth, and waterest it: thou greatly enrichest it with the river of God, which is full of water: thou preparest them corn, when thou hast so provided for it. Thou waterest the ridges thereof abundantly: thou settlest the furrows thereof: thou makest it soft with showers: thou blessest the springing thereof. Thou crownest the year with thy goodness; and thy paths drop fatness. They drop upon the pastures of the wilderness: and the little hills rejoice on every side. The pastures are clothed with flocks; the valleys also are covered over with corn; they shout for joy, they also sing.
Psalm 65:1-13 (KJV)

TITLE:  GOD’S POWER IS SEEN IN HIS MOUNTAINS

DATE:  June 13

BIBLE READING:  Psalms 61-65

MOUNTAIN PASSAGES:   65:6 – #19 of 64

TODAY’S CLIMB: ____________________________________

(65:6) Who established THE MOUNTAINS by His strength, being clothed with power; 

In the midst of this crazy world we live in and the “tumult” (i.e. turmoil) we often experience, what truth(s) or what object(s) come to our mind that have a stabilizing effect on our spiritual arrhythmia?  One object that seems fairly immutable is a mountain.  I can look from our front patio at Long’s Peak.  It is “girded with power.”  It is intimidating, all 14,255’,  to look at each day as it cries out, “I double-dog dare you to summit me!”  This mountain is not only clothed “with power” but is wearing a magnificent diamond on its East Face.  This 900’ granite, alpine wall makes it clear that this mountain is betrothed to One who has great “strength.”  This mountain and all her large sisters, including Twin Sisters across the valley were established by Omnipotence and at least for the current time are going nowhere!  To know the Creator personally, who is the Immutable One that “setteth fast the mountains” has a bedrock, stabilizing effect on our lives.  What is amazing to meditate on and places rebar in our footer is that we were chosen for salvation by God in Jesus Christ, “before the foundation of the world” (Ephesians 1:4).  In verse 65:4, the psalmist declares, “blessed is the man whom thou choosest.”  His sovereignty seen in our salvation is a stabilizing truth.  “Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.  What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:29-30).  I read these words and I just want to praise “God our salvation, who art the confidence, of all the ends of the earth.”  The One “by His strength setteth fast the mountains” is also the One  “as for our transgressions” shall “purge them away.”  It is when our “iniquities prevail” that we are seen the most unstable, but when we repent and believe the gospel, we can claim the promise that our sins have been covered.  We can enjoy at-one-ment with God because of His atoning blood.  The One who “setteth fast the mountains” and clothed them “with power” also gives us “power” “to approach unto” Him and to “dwell in” His “courts” in close communion with Him where we are “satisfied with the goodness” of our Redeemer and His “house.”  The more we keep our mind stayed on Him, the more  “stedfast, and unmoveable” we become in serving our Lord and doing life.   If you have been going through too many ups and downs, and largely more downs, ascend the summit of God’s grace and draw near to God, “who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3).  Draw from the God who has established the mountains “the exceeding greatness of His power to usward who believe!” 

TITLE:  THE “LITTLE HILLS” ARE ALIVE WITH THE SOUND OF REJOICING 

DATE: June 13

BIBLE READING: Psalms 61-65

MOUNTAIN PASSAGES: 65:12 – #20 of 64

TODAY’S CLIMB: ____________________________________

(65:12) They drop on the pastures of the wilderness, and the LITTLE HILLS  rejoice on every side.  

What beautiful personification is seen in the phrase, “and the little hills rejoice on every side.”  It brings visions of Julie Andrews singing in the opening and closing scenes with the Untersberg Mountain (6,473’) in the background:

My day in the hills has come to an end, I know.

The stars have come out to me it’s time to go.

But deep in their dark green shadows are voices that urge me to stay.

So I pause, and I wait, and I listen.

For one more sound, for one more lovely thing, that the hills might say.

The hills are alive with the sound of music.

With songs they have sung for a thousand years.

The hills fill my heart with the sound of music.

My heart wants to sing every song it hears!

In this psalm “the little hills” are “alive with the sound of” praise.  All of the Promised Land is seen rejoicing.  The “little hills” seat the sopranos and the mezzo-sopranos and an occasional tenor who can reach a C3.  They are all rejoicing on every peak, “on every side” of the verdant knoll.  Joining them on the “steppes – wilderness” are the altos.  As a result of God’s gracious abundance bestowed upon them, they too are hitting happy notes.  Not to be outdone, but in harmony, the deep base voices in “the valleys” are shouting out “for joy, they also sing.”  

If your “heart is lonely” go to “the little hills,” sit down and listen to them “rejoice on every side.”  Your heart “will be blessed with the sound of music!”  Join creation’s choir and “sing once more.”   Sing every gospel song that comes to your heart!  Praise God from the overflow of a grateful heart because He has abundantly blessed you with His “goodness.”  May the refrain of your life and the echo from “the little hill” be “my cup runneth over!”

SUMMITING PRAYER IMPERATIVES (PSALMS 61-65)

(61:1) Hear (imperative) my cry, O God; 

Attend (imperative) unto my prayer. 

(64:1) Hear (imperative) my voice, O God, 

in my prayer: preserve (jussive) my life from fear of the enemy.

DATE:  June 14

BIBLE READING:  Psalms 66-70

Make a joyful noise unto God, all ye lands: Sing forth the honour of his name: make his praise glorious. Say unto God, How terrible art thou in thy works! through the greatness of thy power shall thine enemies submit themselves unto thee. All the earth shall worship thee, and shall sing unto thee; they shall sing to thy name. Selah. Come and see the works of God: he is terrible in his doing toward the children of men. He turned the sea into dry land: they went through the flood on foot: there did we rejoice in him. He ruleth by his power for ever; his eyes behold the nations: let not the rebellious exalt themselves. Selah. O bless our God, ye people, and make the voice of his praise to be heard: Which holdeth our soul in life, and suffereth not our feet to be moved. For thou, O God, hast proved us: thou hast tried us, as silver is tried. Thou broughtest us into the net; thou laidst affliction upon our loins. Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water: but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place. I will go into thy house with burnt offerings: I will pay thee my vows, Which my lips have uttered, and my mouth hath spoken, when I was in trouble. I will offer unto thee burnt sacrifices of fatlings, with the incense of rams; I will offer bullocks with goats. Selah. Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what he hath done for my soul. I cried unto him with my mouth, and he was extolled with my tongue. If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me: But verily God hath heard me; he hath attended to the voice of my prayer. Blessed be God, which hath not turned away my prayer, nor his mercy from me.
Psalm 66:1-20 (KJV)

God be merciful unto us, and bless us; and cause his face to shine upon us; Selah. That thy way may be known upon earth, thy saving health among all nations. Let the people praise thee, O God; let all the people praise thee. O let the nations be glad and sing for joy: for thou shalt judge the people righteously, and govern the nations upon earth. Selah. Let the people praise thee, O God; let all the people praise thee. Then shall the earth yield her increase; and God, even our own God, shall bless us. God shall bless us; and all the ends of the earth shall fear him.
Psalm 67:1-7 (KJV)

Let God arise, let his enemies be scattered: let them also that hate him flee before him. As smoke is driven away, so drive them away: as wax melteth before the fire, so let the wicked perish at the presence of God. But let the righteous be glad; let them rejoice before God: yea, let them exceedingly rejoice. Sing unto God, sing praises to his name: extol him that rideth upon the heavens by his name Jah , and rejoice before him. A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, is God in his holy habitation. God setteth the solitary in families: he bringeth out those which are bound with chains: but the rebellious dwell in a dry land. O God, when thou wentest forth before thy people, when thou didst march through the wilderness; Selah: The earth shook, the heavens also dropped at the presence of God: even Sinai itself was moved at the presence of God, the God of Israel. Thou, O God, didst send a plentiful rain, whereby thou didst confirm thine inheritance, when it was weary. Thy congregation hath dwelt therein: thou, O God, hast prepared of thy goodness for the poor. The Lord gave the word: great was the company of those that published it. Kings of armies did flee apace: and she that tarried at home divided the spoil. Though ye have lien among the pots, yet shall ye be as the wings of a dove covered with silver, and her feathers with yellow gold. When the Almighty scattered kings in it, it was white as snow in Salmon. The hill of God is as the hill of Bashan; an high hill as the hill of Bashan. Why leap ye, ye high hills? this is the hill which God desireth to dwell in; yea, the Lord will dwell in it for ever. The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels: the Lord is among them, as in Sinai, in the holy place. Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive: thou hast received gifts for men; yea, for the rebellious also, that the Lord God might dwell among them. Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah. He that is our God is the God of salvation; and unto God the Lord belong the issues from death. But God shall wound the head of his enemies, and the hairy scalp of such an one as goeth on still in his trespasses. The Lord said, I will bring again from Bashan, I will bring my people again from the depths of the sea: That thy foot may be dipped in the blood of thine enemies, and the tongue of thy dogs in the same. They have seen thy goings, O God; even the goings of my God, my King, in the sanctuary. The singers went before, the players on instruments followed after; among them were the damsels playing with timbrels. Bless ye God in the congregations, even the Lord, from the fountain of Israel. There is little Benjamin with their ruler, the princes of Judah and their council, the princes of Zebulun, and the princes of Naphtali. Thy God hath commanded thy strength: strengthen, O God, that which thou hast wrought for us. Because of thy temple at Jerusalem shall kings bring presents unto thee. Rebuke the company of spearmen, the multitude of the bulls, with the calves of the people, till every one submit himself with pieces of silver: scatter thou the people that delight in war. Princes shall come out of Egypt; Ethiopia shall soon stretch out her hands unto God. Sing unto God, ye kingdoms of the earth; O sing praises unto the Lord; Selah: To him that rideth upon the heavens of heavens, which were of old; lo, he doth send out his voice, and that a mighty voice. Ascribe ye strength unto God: his excellency is over Israel, and his strength is in the clouds. O God, thou art terrible out of thy holy places: the God of Israel is he that giveth strength and power unto his people. Blessed be God.
Psalm 68:1-35 (KJV)

Save me, O God; for the waters are come in unto my soul. I sink in deep mire, where there is no standing: I am come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me. I am weary of my crying: my throat is dried: mine eyes fail while I wait for my God. They that hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of mine head: they that would destroy me, being mine enemies wrongfully, are mighty: then I restored that which I took not away. O God, thou knowest my foolishness; and my sins are not hid from thee. Let not them that wait on thee, O Lord God of hosts, be ashamed for my sake: let not those that seek thee be confounded for my sake, O God of Israel. Because for thy sake I have borne reproach; shame hath covered my face. I am become a stranger unto my brethren, and an alien unto my mother’s children. For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me. When I wept, and chastened my soul with fasting, that was to my reproach. I made sackcloth also my garment; and I became a proverb to them. They that sit in the gate speak against me; and I was the song of the drunkards. But as for me, my prayer is unto thee, O Lord , in an acceptable time: O God, in the multitude of thy mercy hear me, in the truth of thy salvation. Deliver me out of the mire, and let me not sink: let me be delivered from them that hate me, and out of the deep waters. Let not the waterflood overflow me, neither let the deep swallow me up, and let not the pit shut her mouth upon me. Hear me, O Lord ; for thy lovingkindness is good: turn unto me according to the multitude of thy tender mercies. And hide not thy face from thy servant; for I am in trouble: hear me speedily. Draw nigh unto my soul, and redeem it: deliver me because of mine enemies. Thou hast known my reproach, and my shame, and my dishonour: mine adversaries are all before thee. Reproach hath broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness: and I looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none. They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink. Let their table become a snare before them: and that which should have been for their welfare, let it become a trap. Let their eyes be darkened, that they see not; and make their loins continually to shake. Pour out thine indignation upon them, and let thy wrathful anger take hold of them. Let their habitation be desolate; and let none dwell in their tents. For they persecute him whom thou hast smitten; and they talk to the grief of those whom thou hast wounded. Add iniquity unto their iniquity: and let them not come into thy righteousness. Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous. But I am poor and sorrowful: let thy salvation, O God, set me up on high. I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving. This also shall please the Lord better than an ox or bullock that hath horns and hoofs. The humble shall see this, and be glad: and your heart shall live that seek God. For the Lord heareth the poor, and despiseth not his prisoners. Let the heaven and earth praise him, the seas, and every thing that moveth therein. For God will save Zion, and will build the cities of Judah: that they may dwell there, and have it in possession. The seed also of his servants shall inherit it: and they that love his name shall dwell therein.
Psalm 69:1-36 (KJV)

Make haste, o God, to deliver me; make haste to help me, O Lord . Let them be ashamed and confounded that seek after my soul: let them be turned backward, and put to confusion, that desire my hurt. Let them be turned back for a reward of their shame that say, Aha, aha. Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee: and let such as love thy salvation say continually, Let God be magnified. But I am poor and needy: make haste unto me, O God: thou art my help and my deliverer; O Lord , make no tarrying.
Psalm 70:1-5 (KJV)

TITLE: MOUNTAIN OF BASHAN 

DATE:  June 14

BIBLE READING:  Psalms 66-70

MOUNTAIN PASSAGES: 68:14 – #21 of 64;  68:15 – #22-#25 of 64; #26-27 of 64; 68:17 – #28 of 64

TODAY’S CLIMB: ____________________________________

(68:14) When the Almighty scattered kings in it, It was white as snow in SALMON. NEED TO WRITE A DEVOTIONAL ON “SALMON”

(68:15) The HILL OF GOD is as the HILL OF BASHAN;  An HIGH HILL as the HILL OF BASHAN. 

(68:16) Why leap ye, ye HIGH HILLS? This is the HILL which God desireth to dwell 

in;  Yea, the Lord will dwell in it for ever.

(68:17) The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels: The 

Lord is among them, as in SINAI, in the holy place.

NEED TO WRITE A DEVOTIONAL ON “SINAI”

Psalm 68:18 is quoted by the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 4:8 – identifying this psalm as a Messianic Psalm and is often called the ‘Psalm of the Ascension.’  This psalm was read at the feast of Pentecost, as a reminder of Sinai where “the Lord gave the word” (68:11) and as a thank you to God who “daily loadeth us with benefits” as seen in a bountiful harvest at that time of the year.  This psalm from beginning to end oozes of God’s victories –  past, present and future!  The chiastic center prophetically describes Christ’s victory.  He is seen as the one who “hast ascended on high.”  This takes place after His death and resurrection, where He is seen conquering death, hell and Satan and his minions. He is seen “having spoiled principalities and powers” in an open display on the cross, “triumphing over them in it,” (i.e. “his cross” – Colossians 2:14-15).  In addition, after His death and before His resurrection, Jesus is seen traveling to hell to proclaim His victory over the “spirits in prison.”  These fallen creatures were grossly disobedient in the days of Noah and before the flood (Genesis 6, I Peter 3:20) and hence imprisoned.  At the cross and in this declaration complete victory is seen in all realms.  Consequently,  it could be said that he “hast led captivity captive.”  This phrase describes a dominant victory over the enemy.  It pictured the conquered enemy being led through the victor’s city in chains with the point of a spear inches from their defiant backs.  It was a march for all the citizens to see and to rejoice in!   Those who “tarried at home divided the spoil” (68:11) with the soldiers who “scattered kings” by the help of the “Almighty (68:14).”  This was a time for celebration.   Christ coming home to glory in His ascension with the earthly mission accomplished brought heaven to its feet in joy!  As a result of  Christ’s victory over evil, He sent gifts to His children.  These gifts were associated with the coming of the indwelling Spirit at Pentecost at the birth of the Church.   

This prophetic picture of Christ’s ascension and giving of gifts to men is based on the historic context of victory in this psalm which brings us to David describing four hundred years of victories from Mount Sinai to the establishment of his throne in Mount Zion.   David enjoyed many victories over his enemies.  He had “ascended on high” and had led “captivity captive.”  He had “received gifts” from conquered foes and subjugated kings who brought “presents unto” him.  He saw the triumphant work of the “Almighty” when he observed the aftermath of war on the battlefield.  He saw the vultures feasting upon fallen flesh as well as observing the hill top covered with sun-bleached bones.  David describes this view with this comparison, “it was white as snow in Salmon.” How fitting,  Mount Salmon (3,077’), or Mount Ebal, is the mountain where God’s curses are declared and in this case literally fulfilled where God’s opponents were cursed.   God’s enemies were seen defeated in the Promised Land and in any neighboring country when they opposed an obedient Israel.  Such enviable victories are seen in 68:15-16.   David writes that “the hill of God is as the hill of Bashan.”  The Hill of Bashan is the Golan Heights neighboring Israel in the north under the shadows of Mount Hermon.  It is a beautiful mountain range with many peaks.  It was a place where the Syrian gods were worshipped.  It was a range where the best milk and the best steaks were produced in the region. Most notably, these mountains were higher than any of the hills in Jerusalem.  So wonder the Hill of Bashan looked down its peaks at Jerusalem.  However, the psalmist describes Jerusalem as dwarfing the Hill of Bashan in importance.  The difference was the unique presence of God. This always makes the difference.  Jerusalem is where God desired to dwell and “yea, the Lord will dwell in it forever.”  This truth makes the “high hills,” of Bashan fume with envy!  The Hill of Bashan wanted such preeminence but had been defeated by the sovereign choice and presence of the Almighty.   The Hill of God reigns supreme! 

Finally, this psalm speaks of the victories related to the second coming of Christ. We have seen this psalm’s fulfillment at Christ’s first coming when He “ascended on high” to Heavenly Zion, as the Victor.  However, this psalm has a double fulfillment, seen when Christ comes again.  He will conquer and judge the nations at His revelation and “will bring again from Bashan” (68:22) His people to Jerusalem to enjoy the spoils of war.   Christ will “ascend on high” and will “lead captivity captive.”  He will set up His earthly kingdom in Jerusalem where He will build the millennial temple.  There at his temple “shall kings bring presents” to Him.  There we will “ascribe strength unto God.” There we will cry out, “blessed be God.” 

SUMMITING PRAYER IMPERATIVES (PSALMS 66-70)

(68:28) Thy God hath commanded thy strength: 

Strengthen (imperative), O God, that which thou hast wrought for us. 

(68:30) Rebuke (imperative) the company of spearman, 

the multitude of the bulls, 

with the calves of the people, 

till every one submit himself with pieces of silver: 

 scatter thou the people that delight in war.

(69:1) Save (imperative) me, O God; 

for the waters are come in unto my soul.  

(69:13) But as for me, my prayer is unto thee, O Lord, in an acceptable time: 

O God, in the multitude of they mercy hear (imperative) me, 

in the truth of thy salvation.

(69:14) Deliver (imperative) me out of the mire, 

and let me not sink:  

let me be delivered from them that hate me, 

and out of the deep waters.

(69:16) Hear (imperative) me, O Lord, for thy lovingkindness is good: 

turn (imperative) unto me according to the multitude of thy tender mercies.

(69:17) And hide (jussive) not thy face from thy servant; 

for I am in trouble: hear (imperative) me speedily.

(69:18) Draw nigh (imperative) unto my soul, and redeem (imperative) it: 

deliver (imperative) me because of mine enemies. 

(69:23) Let their eyes be darkened (jussive), that they see not; 

and make their loins continually to shake (imperative).

(69:24) Pour out (imperative) thine indignation upon them, 

and let thy wrathful anger take hold (jussive) of them. 

(69:27) Add (imperative) iniquity unto their iniquity: 

and let them not come (jussive) into thy righteousness.

(70:1) Make haste, O God, to deliver me; 

make haste (imperative) to help me, O Lord.

DATE:  June 15

BIBLE READING:  Psalms 71-75

In thee, O Lord , do I put my trust: let me never be put to confusion. Deliver me in thy righteousness, and cause me to escape: incline thine ear unto me, and save me. Be thou my strong habitation, whereunto I may continually resort: thou hast given commandment to save me; for thou art my rock and my fortress. Deliver me, O my God, out of the hand of the wicked, out of the hand of the unrighteous and cruel man. For thou art my hope, O Lord God : thou art my trust from my youth. By thee have I been holden up from the womb: thou art he that took me out of my mother’s bowels: my praise shall be continually of thee. I am as a wonder unto many; but thou art my strong refuge. Let my mouth be filled with thy praise and with thy honour all the day. Cast me not off in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength faileth. For mine enemies speak against me; and they that lay wait for my soul take counsel together, Saying, God hath forsaken him: persecute and take him; for there is none to deliver him. O God, be not far from me: O my God, make haste for my help. Let them be confounded and consumed that are adversaries to my soul; let them be covered with reproach and dishonour that seek my hurt. But I will hope continually, and will yet praise thee more and more. My mouth shall shew forth thy righteousness and thy salvation all the day; for I know not the numbers thereof. I will go in the strength of the Lord God : I will make mention of thy righteousness, even of thine only. O God, thou hast taught me from my youth: and hitherto have I declared thy wondrous works. Now also when I am old and greyheaded, O God, forsake me not; until I have shewed thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to every one that is to come. Thy righteousness also, O God, is very high, who hast done great things: O God, who is like unto thee! Thou, which hast shewed me great and sore troubles, shalt quicken me again, and shalt bring me up again from the depths of the earth. Thou shalt increase my greatness, and comfort me on every side. I will also praise thee with the psaltery, even thy truth, O my God: unto thee will I sing with the harp, O thou Holy One of Israel. My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing unto thee; and my soul, which thou hast redeemed. My tongue also shall talk of thy righteousness all the day long: for they are confounded, for they are brought unto shame, that seek my hurt.
Psalm 71:1-24 (KJV)

Give the king thy judgments, O God, and thy righteousness unto the king’s son. He shall judge thy people with righteousness, and thy poor with judgment. The mountains shall bring peace to the people, and the little hills, by righteousness. He shall judge the poor of the people, he shall save the children of the needy, and shall break in pieces the oppressor. They shall fear thee as long as the sun and moon endure, throughout all generations. He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass: as showers that water the earth. In his days shall the righteous flourish; and abundance of peace so long as the moon endureth. He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth. They that dwell in the wilderness shall bow before him; and his enemies shall lick the dust. The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall bring presents: the kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts. Yea, all kings shall fall down before him: all nations shall serve him. For he shall deliver the needy when he crieth; the poor also, and him that hath no helper. He shall spare the poor and needy, and shall save the souls of the needy. He shall redeem their soul from deceit and violence: and precious shall their blood be in his sight. And he shall live, and to him shall be given of the gold of Sheba: prayer also shall be made for him continually; and daily shall he be praised. There shall be an handful of corn in the earth upon the top of the mountains; the fruit thereof shall shake like Lebanon: and they of the city shall flourish like grass of the earth. His name shall endure for ever: his name shall be continued as long as the sun: and men shall be blessed in him: all nations shall call him blessed. Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel, who only doeth wondrous things. And blessed be his glorious name for ever: and let the whole earth be filled with his glory; Amen, and Amen. The prayers of David the son of Jesse are ended.
Psalm 72:1-20 (KJV)

Truly God is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean heart. But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well nigh slipped. For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. For there are no bands in their death: but their strength is firm. They are not in trouble as other men; neither are they plagued like other men. Therefore pride compasseth them about as a chain; violence covereth them as a garment. Their eyes stand out with fatness: they have more than heart could wish. They are corrupt, and speak wickedly concerning oppression: they speak loftily. They set their mouth against the heavens, and their tongue walketh through the earth. Therefore his people return hither: and waters of a full cup are wrung out to them. And they say, How doth God know? and is there knowledge in the most High? Behold, these are the ungodly, who prosper in the world; they increase in riches. Verily I have cleansed my heart in vain, and washed my hands in innocency. For all the day long have I been plagued, and chastened every morning. If I say, I will speak thus; behold, I should offend against the generation of thy children. When I thought to know this, it was too painful for me; Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end. Surely thou didst set them in slippery places: thou castedst them down into destruction. How are they brought into desolation, as in a moment! they are utterly consumed with terrors. As a dream when one awaketh; so, O Lord, when thou awakest, thou shalt despise their image. Thus my heart was grieved, and I was pricked in my reins. So foolish was I, and ignorant: I was as a beast before thee. Nevertheless I am continually with thee: thou hast holden me by my right hand. Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee. My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever. For, lo, they that are far from thee shall perish: thou hast destroyed all them that go a whoring from thee. But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord God , that I may declare all thy works.
Psalm 73:1-28 (KJV)

O God, why hast thou cast us off for ever? why doth thine anger smoke against the sheep of thy pasture? Remember thy congregation, which thou hast purchased of old; the rod of thine inheritance, which thou hast redeemed; this mount Zion, wherein thou hast dwelt. Lift up thy feet unto the perpetual desolations; even all that the enemy hath done wickedly in the sanctuary. Thine enemies roar in the midst of thy congregations; they set up their ensigns for signs. A man was famous according as he had lifted up axes upon the thick trees. But now they break down the carved work thereof at once with axes and hammers. They have cast fire into thy sanctuary, they have defiled by casting down the dwelling place of thy name to the ground. They said in their hearts, Let us destroy them together: they have burned up all the synagogues of God in the land. We see not our signs: there is no more any prophet: neither is there among us any that knoweth how long. O God, how long shall the adversary reproach? shall the enemy blaspheme thy name for ever? Why withdrawest thou thy hand, even thy right hand? pluck it out of thy bosom. For God is my King of old, working salvation in the midst of the earth. Thou didst divide the sea by thy strength: thou brakest the heads of the dragons in the waters. Thou brakest the heads of leviathan in pieces, and gavest him to be meat to the people inhabiting the wilderness. Thou didst cleave the fountain and the flood: thou driedst up mighty rivers. The day is thine, the night also is thine: thou hast prepared the light and the sun. Thou hast set all the borders of the earth: thou hast made summer and winter. Remember this, that the enemy hath reproached, O Lord , and that the foolish people have blasphemed thy name. O deliver not the soul of thy turtledove unto the multitude of the wicked: forget not the congregation of thy poor for ever. Have respect unto the covenant: for the dark places of the earth are full of the habitations of cruelty. O let not the oppressed return ashamed: let the poor and needy praise thy name. Arise, O God, plead thine own cause: remember how the foolish man reproacheth thee daily. Forget not the voice of thine enemies: the tumult of those that rise up against thee increaseth continually.
Psalm 74:1-23 (KJV)

Unto thee, O God, do we give thanks, unto thee do we give thanks: for that thy name is near thy wondrous works declare. When I shall receive the congregation I will judge uprightly. The earth and all the inhabitants thereof are dissolved: I bear up the pillars of it. Selah. I said unto the fools, Deal not foolishly: and to the wicked, Lift not up the horn: Lift not up your horn on high: speak not with a stiff neck. For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another. For in the hand of the Lord there is a cup, and the wine is red; it is full of mixture; and he poureth out of the same: but the dregs thereof, all the wicked of the earth shall wring them out, and drink them. But I will declare for ever; I will sing praises to the God of Jacob. All the horns of the wicked also will I cut off; but the horns of the righteous shall be exalted.
Psalm 75:1-10 (KJV)

TITLE:  PEACEFUL MOUNTAINS – AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL – FRUITFUL MOUNTAINS 

DATE:  June 15

BIBLE READING:  Psalms 71-75

MOUNTAIN PASSAGES:  72:3 – #29-#30 of 64;  72:16 – #31 of 64

TODAY’S CLIMB: ____________________________________

(72:3) THE MOUNTAINS will bring peace to the people, and the LITTLE HILLS, by righteousness.  

(72:16) There will be an abundance of grain in the earth, on THE TOP OF THE MOUNTAINS;  Its fruit shall wave like Lebanon; and those of the city shall flourish like grass of the earth.

As I write this devotional, I am sitting on our front deck looking west to the Continental Divide and Boreas Pass, named after Boreas, the ancient Greek god of the North Wind.  This morning we have no wind.  It is quite peaceful on the mountain.  However, we know how powerful those winds can be.  All I have to do is look up at the roof on our A-Frame.  In 2012, Boreas literally raised the roof and set it angrily aside on our Rocky Nook!  Today, I have not seen one car on our dirt road, nor have I heard one human voice, other than my wife’s peaceful voice.  We are enjoying peace and quiet on the mountain, but how quickly that can evaporate. While I am enjoying peace on the mountain, only a few feet away from me is a totally agitated, frustrated and anxious creature who is lacking peace.  Underneath our deck on one of the beams is a robin’s nest.  She built this home when there was peace.  Now directly above her, being separated by a couple of Douglas Fir planks is an 80-pound, Golden Pyredoodle who is also lacking peace, frantically scratching above her trying to pry into her nest.  She is safe, but does not know it.  She could be enjoying peace right now, but will have none of it.  She is like so many of us.  We could be enjoying the peace of God right now, despite our circumstances, but we do not “abide under the shadow of the Almighty.”  Are you enjoying the peace of God today? 

Psalm 72, describes the peace that God wants us to have ruling our hearts.  It was written for Solomon by his father likely on his death bed.  It is possible the inspired words were shared with Solomon and then written down by Solomon.  Either way, the message was for an incoming king.  Israel was going through a transition from their second king to their third.  Leadership transitions are often times of great vulnerability and a lack of peace.  This was certainly true when Adonijah, Solomon’s brother sought to hijack Solomon’s intended regency.  God’s sovereign choice for the fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant was through the line of Solomon (Matthew 1:6-16).  David acted quickly to have Solomon installed as king to cut off Adonijah’s threat and to bring peace to Israel.  This psalm not only ends Book II of the Psalms, but also states that “the prayers of David the son of Jesse are ended.” This last recorded prayer of David has him praying to Elohim to “give the king thy judgments.”  He wanted Solomon to rule righteously with understanding and good judgment.  The general result of this would be nearly millennial conditions in Solomon’s kingdom.  One specific condition is seen in the highly personified verse (72:3), “the mountains shall bring peace to the people, and the little hills, by righteousness.” It is obvious that mountains do not give anyone anything except the occasional altitude sickness.  The message is clear, that the “God of peace” was with them (Romans 15:33; Philippians 4:9).  God was answering David’s prayer.  Solomon was ruling from “the mountains” in the city of peace, on His Father’s throne.  In many ways, Solomon foreshadowed the future, earthly reign of “the prince of peace” and the ultimate fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant in the Person of Jesus Christ.  Solomon would build the temple and do many “wondrous things” on “the mountains.”  The longest reign of peace in Israel’s history is attributed to the one “beloved of the Lord.”   Yet, Jedidiah’s reign fades in glory when we realize Christ “only doth wondrous things” and that  the “whole earth (will) be filled with his glory” during the millennial reign. This psalm emphasizes the scope of Christ’s dominion “from sea to sea” and “unto the ends of the earth;” the length of His peaceful reign, “as long as the sun and moon endure” (72:5, 7); and the prosperity of His reign, “there shall be an handful of corn in the earth upon the top of the mountains.”  As to this last point the “handful of corn/grain” on the mountain tops is compared to “the fruit” that is found in abundance In the mountains of Lebanon.  Christ’s reign is a time where the earth flourishes even “upon the top of the mountains” and the “righteous” “flourish like grass of the earth.”  In view of Christ’s coming to establish this kingdom on earth, we can say with David, “blessed be the Lord God!”

TITLE:  THE REDEEMED MOUNTAIN 

DATE:  June 15

BIBLE READING:  Psalms 71-75

MOUNTAIN PASSAGES:  74:2 – #32 of 64

TODAY’S CLIMB: ____________________________________

(74:2)  Remember Your congregation, which You have purchased of old, 

the tribe of Your inheritance, which You have redeemed— This MOUNT ZION where You have dwelt. 

This is the third of the twelve Asaph Psalms (Psalms 50, 73-83).  There is one reference to a mountain in the Psalm (74:2) – “Mount Zion,” but the view point of the people is from the Valley of Despair, the Valley that borders the “valley of the shadow of death.”  The nation is struggling to figure life out.  The “Absentee God” appears to be quite distant and does not look like He will return anytime soon. The sheep feel rejected by their Shepherd and quite vulnerable to the wolves who have “burned up all the synagogues of God in their land” (74:8). Their enemies roar with toxic insults while fixing their triumphant banners in their midst.  These Nabals gloat and blaspheme God’s name (75:18) while Asaph desires for the “oppressed” to once again “praise thy name” (75:21).   The “soul of” God’s “turtledove” (75:19) coos for His help.   There biggest fear is that God would forget “the congregation of thy poor for ever”(75:19).  

With this context in view, we come to the “prayer imperative” in verse two, “remember thy congregation.”  There are five sepals and petals on this “Forget-Me-Not” flower. 

  1. Forget not the congregation of thy poor (74:19)
  2. Forget not the voice of thine enemies (74:23)
  3. Remember thy congregation (74:2)
  4. Remember this, that the enemy hath reproached (74:18)
  5. Remember how the foolish man reproacheth thee daily (74:22)

The Forget-Me-Not flower was given its name at Creation.  This little “mouse-eared” flower looked around in the Garden of Eden and was very intimidated by the larger, prettier perennials.  Fearing it was too insignificant to be noticed the little myosotis cried out to God, “forget me not.”  The only fate worse than being forgotten for a perennial is to become an annual.  Israel feels like an uprooted annual – totally forgotten,  “cast off” and worthless with no hope to blossom in the future.  

The Psalmist appeals to God’s memory, how He had “purchased of old” this nation.  They belonged to God through creation but also through an amazing acquisition.  However, they were more than just property to God, they were His children, and “the rod of thine inheritance.”  He was their Father by His choice.  The next appeal to God’s memory and heart was the fact, “Thou hast redeemed.”  The Lord had gone to great efforts to save this nation in the past.  It did not make any sense for Him not to come to their rescue and to reach out to them again.  “Why withdrawest thou thy hand, even thy right hand? Pluck it out of thy bosom.”  Asaph then makes His final appeal in the text –  “This mount Zion.”  God had redeemed the nation and had led them into the Promised Land. He had established His name and His people in the holy mount, Mount Zion.  His name was associated with Israel and this mountain.   God’s unique presence had been manifested on this Mount at the temple.  It was accurately stated that this was His unique home, “wherein thou hast dwelt.”   This was a plea for God not to move, but to manifest His unique presence once again on Mount Zion for the good of His people and for the glory of His Name. What a persuasive prayer – Forget-Me-Not! 

Do you feel distant from God and forgotten? Are you living in defeat? Is your heart cold? Pray that God would melt the snow in your spiritual alpine ecosystem so the Forget-Me-Not flower would bloom.  Pray that the warmth from the heart of the Son of God would give you perennial joy and peace! 

SUMMITING PRAYER IMPERATIVES (PSALMS 71-75)

(71:2) Deliver me in thy righteousness, 

and cause me to escape: 

Incline (imperative) thine ear unto me, 

and save (imperative) me.

(71:3) Be (imperative) thou my strong habitation, 

whereunto I may continually resort: 

Thou hast given commandment to save me; 

for Thou art my rock and my fortress.

(71:4) Deliver (imperative) me, O my God, 

out of the hand of the wicked, 

out of the hand of the unrighteous and cruel man.

(71:9) Cast me not off (jussive) in the time of old age; 

forsake (jussive) me not when my strength faileth.    

READ TO LES ISBELL IN MY LAST CONVERSATION WITH HIM – APRIL 14, 2023

(71:12) O God, be not far (jussive) from me: 

O my God, make haste (imperative) for my help.

A PSALM FOR SOLOMON

(72:1) Give (imperative) the king thy judgments, O God, 

and thy righteousness unto the king’s son.

(74:2) Remember (imperative) thy congregation, 

which thou hast purchased of old: 

the rod of thine inheritance, which thou hast redeemed; 

this mount Zion, wherein thou hast dwelt.

(74:3) Lift up (imperative) thy feet unto the perpetual desolations;

 even all that the enemy hath done wickedly in the sanctuary.

(74:11) Why withdrawest thou thy hand, even thy right hand?

 Pluck (imperative) it out of thy bosom.

(74:18) Remember (imperative) this, 

that the enemy hath reproached, 

O Lord, and that the foolish people have blasphemed thy name.

(74:20) Have respect (imperative) unto the covenant: 

for the dark places of the earth are full of the habitations of cruelty.

(74:22) Arise (imperative), O God, plead (imperative) thine own cause: 

Remember (imperative) how the foolish man reproacheth thee daily. 

DATE:  June 16

BIBLE READING:  Psalms 76-80

In Judah is God known: his name is great in Israel. In Salem also is his tabernacle, and his dwelling place in Zion. There brake he the arrows of the bow, the shield, and the sword, and the battle. Selah. Thou art more glorious and excellent than the mountains of prey. The stouthearted are spoiled, they have slept their sleep: and none of the men of might have found their hands. At thy rebuke, O God of Jacob, both the chariot and horse are cast into a dead sleep. Thou, even thou, art to be feared: and who may stand in thy sight when once thou art angry? Thou didst cause judgment to be heard from heaven; the earth feared, and was still, When God arose to judgment, to save all the meek of the earth. Selah. Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee: the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain. Vow, and pay unto the Lord your God: let all that be round about him bring presents unto him that ought to be feared. He shall cut off the spirit of princes: he is terrible to the kings of the earth.
Psalm 76:1-12 (KJV)

I cried unto God with my voice, even unto God with my voice; and he gave ear unto me. In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord: my sore ran in the night, and ceased not: my soul refused to be comforted. I remembered God, and was troubled: I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed. Selah. Thou holdest mine eyes waking: I am so troubled that I cannot speak. I have considered the days of old, the years of ancient times. I call to remembrance my song in the night: I commune with mine own heart: and my spirit made diligent search. Will the Lord cast off for ever? and will he be favourable no more? Is his mercy clean gone for ever? doth his promise fail for evermore? Hath God forgotten to be gracious? hath he in anger shut up his tender mercies? Selah. And I said, This is my infirmity: but I will remember the years of the right hand of the most High. I will remember the works of the Lord : surely I will remember thy wonders of old. I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings. Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary: who is so great a God as our God? Thou art the God that doest wonders: thou hast declared thy strength among the people. Thou hast with thine arm redeemed thy people, the sons of Jacob and Joseph. Selah. The waters saw thee, O God, the waters saw thee; they were afraid: the depths also were troubled. The clouds poured out water: the skies sent out a sound: thine arrows also went abroad. The voice of thy thunder was in the heaven: the lightnings lightened the world: the earth trembled and shook. Thy way is in the sea, and thy path in the great waters, and thy footsteps are not known. Thou leddest thy people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron.
Psalm 77:1-20 (KJV)

Give ear, O my people, to my law: incline your ears to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old: Which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the Lord , and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done. For he established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children: That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children: That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments: And might not be as their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation; a generation that set not their heart aright, and whose spirit was not stedfast with God. The children of Ephraim, being armed, and carrying bows, turned back in the day of battle. They kept not the covenant of God, and refused to walk in his law; And forgat his works, and his wonders that he had shewed them. Marvellous things did he in the sight of their fathers, in the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan. He divided the sea, and caused them to pass through; and he made the waters to stand as an heap. In the daytime also he led them with a cloud, and all the night with a light of fire. He clave the rocks in the wilderness, and gave them drink as out of the great depths. He brought streams also out of the rock, and caused waters to run down like rivers. And they sinned yet more against him by provoking the most High in the wilderness. And they tempted God in their heart by asking meat for their lust. Yea, they spake against God; they said, Can God furnish a table in the wilderness? Behold, he smote the rock, that the waters gushed out, and the streams overflowed; can he give bread also? can he provide flesh for his people? Therefore the Lord heard this, and was wroth: so a fire was kindled against Jacob, and anger also came up against Israel; Because they believed not in God, and trusted not in his salvation: Though he had commanded the clouds from above, and opened the doors of heaven, And had rained down manna upon them to eat, and had given them of the corn of heaven. Man did eat angels’ food: he sent them meat to the full. He caused an east wind to blow in the heaven: and by his power he brought in the south wind. He rained flesh also upon them as dust, and feathered fowls like as the sand of the sea: And he let it fall in the midst of their camp, round about their habitations. So they did eat, and were well filled: for he gave them their own desire; They were not estranged from their lust. But while their meat was yet in their mouths, The wrath of God came upon them, and slew the fattest of them, and smote down the chosen men of Israel. For all this they sinned still, and believed not for his wondrous works. Therefore their days did he consume in vanity, and their years in trouble. When he slew them, then they sought him: and they returned and enquired early after God. And they remembered that God was their rock, and the high God their redeemer. Nevertheless they did flatter him with their mouth, and they lied unto him with their tongues. For their heart was not right with him, neither were they stedfast in his covenant. But he, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity, and destroyed them not: yea, many a time turned he his anger away, and did not stir up all his wrath. For he remembered that they were but flesh; a wind that passeth away, and cometh not again. How oft did they provoke him in the wilderness, and grieve him in the desert! Yea, they turned back and tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel. They remembered not his hand, nor the day when he delivered them from the enemy. How he had wrought his signs in Egypt, and his wonders in the field of Zoan. And had turned their rivers into blood; and their floods, that they could not drink. He sent divers sorts of flies among them, which devoured them; and frogs, which destroyed them. He gave also their increase unto the caterpiller, and their labour unto the locust. He destroyed their vines with hail, and their sycomore trees with frost. He gave up their cattle also to the hail, and their flocks to hot thunderbolts. He cast upon them the fierceness of his anger, wrath, and indignation, and trouble, by sending evil angels among them. He made a way to his anger; he spared not their soul from death, but gave their life over to the pestilence; And smote all the firstborn in Egypt; the chief of their strength in the tabernacles of Ham: But made his own people to go forth like sheep, and guided them in the wilderness like a flock. And he led them on safely, so that they feared not: but the sea overwhelmed their enemies. And he brought them to the border of his sanctuary, even to this mountain, which his right hand had purchased. He cast out the heathen also before them, and divided them an inheritance by line, and made the tribes of Israel to dwell in their tents. Yet they tempted and provoked the most high God, and kept not his testimonies: But turned back, and dealt unfaithfully like their fathers: they were turned aside like a deceitful bow. For they provoked him to anger with their high places, and moved him to jealousy with their graven images. When God heard this, he was wroth, and greatly abhorred Israel: So that he forsook the tabernacle of Shiloh, the tent which he placed among men; And delivered his strength into captivity, and his glory into the enemy’s hand. He gave his people over also unto the sword; and was wroth with his inheritance. The fire consumed their young men; and their maidens were not given to marriage. Their priests fell by the sword; and their widows made no lamentation. Then the Lord awaked as one out of sleep, and like a mighty man that shouteth by reason of wine. And he smote his enemies in the hinder parts: he put them to a perpetual reproach. Moreover he refused the tabernacle of Joseph, and chose not the tribe of Ephraim: But chose the tribe of Judah, the mount Zion which he loved. And he built his sanctuary like high palaces, like the earth which he hath established for ever. He chose David also his servant, and took him from the sheepfolds: From following the ewes great with young he brought him to feed Jacob his people, and Israel his inheritance. So he fed them according to the integrity of his heart; and guided them by the skilfulness of his hands.
Psalm 78:1-72 (KJV)

O god, the heathen are come into thine inheritance; thy holy temple have they defiled; they have laid Jerusalem on heaps. The dead bodies of thy servants have they given to be meat unto the fowls of the heaven, the flesh of thy saints unto the beasts of the earth. Their blood have they shed like water round about Jerusalem; and there was none to bury them. We are become a reproach to our neighbours, a scorn and derision to them that are round about us. How long, Lord ? wilt thou be angry for ever? shall thy jealousy burn like fire? Pour out thy wrath upon the heathen that have not known thee, and upon the kingdoms that have not called upon thy name. For they have devoured Jacob, and laid waste his dwelling place. O remember not against us former iniquities: let thy tender mercies speedily prevent us: for we are brought very low. Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of thy name: and deliver us, and purge away our sins, for thy name’s sake. Wherefore should the heathen say, Where is their God? let him be known among the heathen in our sight by the revenging of the blood of thy servants which is shed. Let the sighing of the prisoner come before thee; according to the greatness of thy power preserve thou those that are appointed to die; And render unto our neighbours sevenfold into their bosom their reproach, wherewith they have reproached thee, O Lord. So we thy people and sheep of thy pasture will give thee thanks for ever: we will shew forth thy praise to all generations.
Psalm 79:1-13 (KJV)

Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, thou that leadest Joseph like a flock; thou that dwellest between the cherubims, shine forth. Before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh stir up thy strength, and come and save us. Turn us again, O God, and cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved. O Lord God of hosts, how long wilt thou be angry against the prayer of thy people? Thou feedest them with the bread of tears; and givest them tears to drink in great measure. Thou makest us a strife unto our neighbours: and our enemies laugh among themselves. Turn us again, O God of hosts, and cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved. Thou hast brought a vine out of Egypt: thou hast cast out the heathen, and planted it. Thou preparedst room before it, and didst cause it to take deep root, and it filled the land. The hills were covered with the shadow of it, and the boughs thereof were like the goodly cedars. She sent out her boughs unto the sea, and her branches unto the river. Why hast thou then broken down her hedges, so that all they which pass by the way do pluck her? The boar out of the wood doth waste it, and the wild beast of the field doth devour it. Return, we beseech thee, O God of hosts: look down from heaven, and behold, and visit this vine; And the vineyard which thy right hand hath planted, and the branch that thou madest strong for thyself. It is burned with fire, it is cut down: they perish at the rebuke of thy countenance. Let thy hand be upon the man of thy right hand, upon the son of man whom thou madest strong for thyself. So will not we go back from thee: quicken us, and we will call upon thy name. Turn us again, O Lord God of hosts, cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved.
Psalm 80:1-19 (KJV)

TITLE:  LIONS, AND MOOSE AND BEARS OH MY! 

DATE:  June 16

BIBLE READING:  Psalms 76-80

MOUNTAIN PASSAGES:  76:4 – #33 of 64

TODAY’S CLIMB: ____________________________________

(76:4) You are more glorious and excellent than THE MOUNTAINS OF PREY. 

As my son John and I were hiking up the trail to Boulder Lake to hunt elk in the Gore Mountain Range we heard what sounded like a bulldozer coming down the thickly wooded slope.  Trees were moving, logs were snapping, and the ground was reverberating.  John quietly, but intensely said, “Dad, quickly get behind that tree over there.”  I did wonder why he was so concerned, but quickly followed his instruction.  In seconds, the answer was in front of us, a bull moose with impressive paddles out on a morning cruise.  Nothing was slowing him down.  He did not need to find a trail to traverse, but was creating its own path.  It stopped right on the path to nibble on branches that were at his shoulder height. He was enormous, larger than a Pertron, or a Clydesdale or a Belgium.  We waited and waited.  John finally said, “Dad, follow me.”  We walked up hill through the woods and did a 100 yard arc returning to the Boulder Creek trail up trail.  John was clear stating that was the most dangerous prey we would see all day.  After another hour we came to Boulder Lake and sat under a tree to enjoy our lunch.  As we sat, we were interrupted by an uninvited guest, another bull moose.  We sat still in the shade of the tree, with really no other options.  The moose walked right by us to the icy surface of the lake and then with one powerful movement of its front hoof created a hole in the six inches of ice so it could bend down and get a refreshing drink of mountain water.  We watched this king of the mountains of prey in the Rockies drink and then walk around the lake slowly grazing.  We kept our distance, but followed him around the lake, with one finger on our safety and one eye to the closest tree to hide behind.  

On another occasion, my wife and I were pioneering in the Pikes Peak National Forest and came upon a new trail near the Puma Mountains.  We are still not sure how those mountains of prey got their name.  As we traveled we came by an amazing rock formation that screamed signs for gold, we stopped to look at the aqua blue color in the rock.  I then took a picture  of Allissa with our four wheelers and the rock formation behind. We then continued on our adventure.  The next week, our son Jim was visiting us at the cabin and was excited to show us where he had recently found a mountain lion den with a number of carcasses of deer buried in it.  We followed him to this “new” find and was somewhat mortified that he took us to the exact rock formation we found the previous week.  I was not as excited to climb up the rocks to enter into the den to see the aftermath of these mountains of prey. Thankfully, there was no one home. However, there were bones scattered in the den from a recent meal.  Apparently they were not expecting company.  These mountain lions are powerful creatures and are amazing hunters.  People who survive mountain lion attacks usually say they never heard or saw the beast of prey until they felt the blow from behind, usually at the point of the neck.  

Each year, we host a Labor Day party at our cabin in Park County on Indian Mountain.  This is a great time and it is not uncommon for us to have 50+ people.  Certainly enough people to keep the mountains of prey away.  After everyone left one year, Allissa and I sat down by the fire pit to breathe a sigh of satisfied relief and to debrief from all the conversations we shared with our friends.  As we were finally relaxing we heard a noise from the porch behind our house.  It sounded like someone was trying to get in the back screen door.  We got up and by stealth snuck up the side of the house to see what was going on.  As we got near, all we could see were the huge paws standing alongside the deck, the upper body screened by the angle we had.  Immediately, we turned and ran to our parking lot and hid behind our truck.  We were trapped outside our home by a huge mama bear and her two cubs.  She had opened up the cooler on the back porch and helped herself to the uncut watermelon inside.  We watched to see if she followed us in our flight.  Thankfully, she was slowed down by trying to pull the watermelon between the rungs on the deck.  This gave us the window to enter the house through the basement door and to shut the back door and lock it. We then ran upstairs to the loft and to the window.  We were able to watch our mountain of prey from that vantage point.   She held us captive for nearly three hours and would not leave the deck or stir from a nap she took in the back yard.  The little cubs played around the house and enjoyed going up and down the steps to our front deck and to look through our sliding doors.  They were adorable and screaming huggable.  I thought of going out and playing with them, but Allissa had other recommendations that were quite persuasive regarding these mountains of prey. 

In Psalm 76:4, the comparison is made between God and the mountains of prey.  As glorious is the moose, and how excellent is the mountain lion and how powerful is the bear, there is no comparison to the Creator’s glory, majesty and might!  This fifth of the Asaph psalms is a jubilant war song to be played on a stringed instrument and sung triumphantly to the glory of God.  “His name is great in Israel” because of the victories he Has granted.  He has broken with ease “the arrows of the bow” and the enemies’ “shield, and the sword.”  Those seeking to plunder the people of God were “spoiled” themselves and as a result entered into their last “sleep” – the sleep of death.  All the Lord needs to do is speak and “at thy rebuke” the enemy is destroyed.  Truly, the Lord is “more glorious and excellent than the mountains of prey” and is “to be feared” more than anything the mountains can produce.  We are told not to fear them, man or prey,  “which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul, but rather” we are to “fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28).  Do you fear and respect God, more than fallen man and the mountains of prey?   

TITLE:  ASAPH AND PAUL ARE SEEN SUMMITING THE SAME MOUNTAIN 

DATE:  June 16

BIBLE READING:  Psalms 76-80

MOUNTAIN PASSAGES: 78:54 – #34 of 64, 78:68 – #35 of 64

TODAY’S CLIMB: ____________________________________

(78:54) And He brought them to the border of His sanctuary, even to THIS MOUNTAIN which His right hand had purchased. 

(78:68) But chose the tribe of Judah, the MOUNT ZION which he loved.  

Psalm 78:3-6, sounds a little like the multi-generational teaching of the Apostle Paul in 2 Timothy 2:2, “And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.” Paul’s scope spans four generations of disciple-making. Here, Asaph likewise challenges four generations not to hide “the praises of the Lord, and His strength, and His wonderful works that He hath done” from their children.   It is imperative that the next generation are taught these truths and do not forget the wonderful “works of God” from the past or what they have personally experienced. We have heard these things from “our fathers.” These things we are to “commit” – or to “make known” to our children.  Those things are then to be “told” to their children, our grandchildren.  The main purpose of this multi-generational transmission is that each generation would “set their hope in God.”    

In view of this Psalm and the need to transmit truth to the next generation it is obvious that this was one of Israel’s greatest failures throughout their history of rebellion.  Generation after generation was seen where they did not set “their heart aright.”  Asaph reviews this history of Israel’s failure in contrast with God’s faithfulness.  It is amazing what we learn about God.  He is “full of compassion.” He “forgave their iniquity” and remarkably “destroyed them not.”  “He remembered that they were but flesh.”  After delivering Israel miraculously from Egypt and guiding “them in the wilderness like a flock,” “He brought them to the border of His sanctuary, even to THIS MOUNTAIN.”   As Israel entered the Promised Land and this mountainous country, the Lord “cast out the heathen also before them.”  Certainly, finally safe at home, Israel would worship the Lord and follow Him with full devotion, but no, once again we see the nation provoking “the Most High God” by adopting the Canaanite gods.  Instead of worshipping the Lord in the “MOUNTAIN, WHICH HIS RIGHT HAND HAD PURCHASED,” (78:54) they worshipped “graven images” in “their high places.” 

As a result of their idolatry the Lord “forsook the tabernacle of Shiloh” in the mountains of Ephraim and dealt with the northern tribes who especially led the way into idolatry.  At this point (Psalm 78:67-70), Asaph records three major shifts in Israel’s history.  The first major change will be that Israel would not worship God at the tabernacle any more, but they would build a permanent “sanctuary like high palaces” where they would worship.  The second shift is that the worship site would not be at Shiloh, but would be on MOUNT ZION in Jerusalem.  The third shift is that the leadership role of “the tribe of Ephraim” would be replaced by God’s choice of Judah holding the scepter.  The key representative of this tribe would be a man who was a shepherd.  God would choose this eighth son of Jesse, a Bethlehemite, and would take “him from the sheepfolds” to shepherd the nation from “MOUNT ZION, WHICH HE LOVED.”

The Psalm then ends (78:72) with a “SO.”  So what? “He fed them according to the integrity of his heart, and guided them by the skillfulness of his hands.”  Finally, a man after God’s own heart! “SO” we have an example of one to follow as he followed God.  “SO” we have a promise that the Messiah will be from the tribe of Judah and from the lineage of David who will come to redeem us and to save us from our sins.  “SO,” this good news  that we heard from our fathers needs to be proclaimed to our children born to us and then our children need to share this good news with their children.  “SO,” the gospel needs to be echoed down the future corridors of time to every generation and to every person.  

TITLE:  DARK SHADOWS

DATE:  June 16

BIBLE READING:  Psalms 76-80

MOUNTAIN PASSAGES: 80:10 – #36 of 64

TODAY’S CLIMB: ____________________________________

(80:10) THE HILLS were covered with its shadow, and the mighty cedars with its boughs.

Clouds can create great penumbra shadows on our mountains, but mountains create umbra shadows on all the surrounding landscape.  Shadows always form on the opposite side of the light source. God is the ultimate light source “with whom is no variableness.!”  Irrespective of the color of the object, the shadow is always black. We need to absorb His light.  Shadows can be smaller, equal or bigger than the object creating the shadow. We live in the shadow of His omnipresence. 

In this psalm the HILLS were covered  by a massive shadow.  To interpret properly this TEXT  we need to know what HILLS are in view and what the relative pronoun “its” refers back to.  With the answers to these two questions we can cast light on the theological, Poisson-Aragon dot of this passage. 

The Psalm is addressed to the “Shepherd of Israel,” that historically has led His people like a flock of sheep on the mountain sides.  Shepherds are very familiar with the morning and evening shadows created by projecting objects that stand out on the hill side.  A good shepherd knows when it is noon when no shadows are being cast and the sun stands directly overhead.  He also knows when the day is calling it quits and the time he has to find shelter for his flock FOR THE NIGHT.  The Psalmist is asking the Heavenly Shepherd to “turn” His sheep back to Him “again” and to cause His face “to shine” upon His people.  This is of the utmost importance for this request is repeated four times in this psalm (80:3, 7, 14, 19) and marks the natural divisions of this song.  One of the arguments that the Psalmist uses to have God revive His people and to have His smile restored to His sheep is a recollection of God’s generous dealings with Israel.  He compares Israel to a vine.  This vine was uprooted from Egypt and was planted in the Promised Land on the “holy hill,” once the heathen were “cast out.”  God prepared the soil for this Vine “to take deep root” and to grow in a preponderance manner reaching to Dan and Beersheba and to the Med and the Dead where “the river” deposits her treasures.  

This brings us to our text.  The Hills would include the “holy hill” of Zion where the roots were planted but would not exclude the entire land and its abundant “hills” where the branches were extended. The “it,” the object causing the shadow to cover the entire Promised land, is the healthy “Vine” with its “boughs like the goodly cedars.”  The vine is the people Israel.  In view of God’s gracious care of the Vine, Asaph is asking God why He has “broken down her hedges” permitting those that “pass by”  to “pluck” away at her fruit and why He has allowed the “boar” to have access through those breaches to wreak havoc with the Vine.  Asaph sees the Vine going up in smoke and “cut down.”  He pleads for the Most High to engage “the son of man” to “visit this vine,” to save them and for the nation to rest  subsequently “in the shadow of the Almighty!”  We too see our country going up in smoke and being destroyed. We need to ask God to “look down from heaven” and to “visit” us.  Will you pray today, “Turn us again, O Lord God of hosts, cause thy face to shine, and we shall be saved?”

Research:

  1. The Poisson-Arago dot is a bright point of light hypothesized to appear at the center of the shadow of a very round object that is illuminated with coherent light.  The brightest part of the shadow
  2. Living in the shadow of someone.
  3. Our shadows are longer in the winder because of the angle of the sun.  Your shadow is longest in the early morning or late afternoon. 
  4. A sun dial uses the position of the sun to reflect the time.  An upright stick called a gnomon is positioned to cast a shadow onto a pre-marked sundial face.  As the sun moves across the sky, the shadow also moves.

SUMMITING PRAYER IMPERATIVES (PSALMS 76-80)

(77:1) I cried unto God with my voice, even unto God with my voice; and he gave ear unto me.

(77:2) In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord: my sore ran in the night, and ceased not: my soul refused to be comforted.

(77:3) I remembered God, and was troubled: I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed. Selah. 

(78:18) And they tempted God in their heart by asking meat for their lust. 

(78:19) Yea, they spake against God; they said, Can God furnish a table in the wilderness?

(78:20) Behold, he smote the rock, that the waters gushed out, And the streams overflowed; Can he give bread also? Can he provide flesh for his people?

(78:21) Therefore the Lord heard this, and was wroth: so a fire was kindled against Jacob, and anger also came up against Israel;

(78:29) So they did eat, and were well filled; for he gave them their own desire; 

(78:30) They were not estranged from their lust. But while their meat was yet in their mouths,

(78:31) The wrath of God came upon them, and slew the fattest of them, and smote down the chosen men of Israel.

(78:34) When he slew them, then they sought him; and they returned and inquired early after God.

DATE:  June 17

BIBLE READING:  Psalms 81-85

Sing aloud unto God our strength: make a joyful noise unto the God of Jacob. Take a psalm, and bring hither the timbrel, the pleasant harp with the psaltery. Blow up the trumpet in the new moon, in the time appointed, on our solemn feast day. For this was a statute for Israel, and a law of the God of Jacob. This he ordained in Joseph for a testimony, when he went out through the land of Egypt: where I heard a language that I understood not. I removed his shoulder from the burden: his hands were delivered from the pots. Thou calledst in trouble, and I delivered thee; I answered thee in the secret place of thunder: I proved thee at the waters of Meribah. Selah. Hear, O my people, and I will testify unto thee: O Israel, if thou wilt hearken unto me; There shall no strange god be in thee; neither shalt thou worship any strange god. I am the Lord thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt: open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it. But my people would not hearken to my voice; and Israel would none of me. So I gave them up unto their own hearts’ lust: and they walked in their own counsels. Oh that my people had hearkened unto me, and Israel had walked in my ways! I should soon have subdued their enemies, and turned my hand against their adversaries. The haters of the Lord should have submitted themselves unto him: but their time should have endured for ever. He should have fed them also with the finest of the wheat: and with honey out of the rock should I have satisfied thee.
Psalm 81:1-16 (KJV)

God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods. How long will ye judge unjustly, and accept the persons of the wicked? Selah. Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy. Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked. They know not, neither will they understand; they walk on in darkness: all the foundations of the earth are out of course. I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High. But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes. Arise, O God, judge the earth: for thou shalt inherit all nations.
Psalm 82:1-8 (KJV)

Keep not thou silence, O God: hold not thy peace, and be not still, O God. For, lo, thine enemies make a tumult: and they that hate thee have lifted up the head. They have taken crafty counsel against thy people, and consulted against thy hidden ones. They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance. For they have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against thee: The tabernacles of Edom, and the Ishmaelites; of Moab, and the Hagarenes; Gebal, and Ammon, and Amalek; the Philistines with the inhabitants of Tyre; Assur also is joined with them: they have holpen the children of Lot. Selah. Do unto them as unto the Midianites; as to Sisera, as to Jabin, at the brook of Kison: Which perished at Endor: they became as dung for the earth. Make their nobles like Oreb, and like Zeeb: yea, all their princes as Zebah, and as Zalmunna: Who said, Let us take to ourselves the houses of God in possession. O my God, make them like a wheel; as the stubble before the wind. As the fire burneth a wood, and as the flame setteth the mountains on fire; So persecute them with thy tempest, and make them afraid with thy storm. Fill their faces with shame; that they may seek thy name, O Lord . Let them be confounded and troubled for ever; yea, let them be put to shame, and perish: That men may know that thou, whose name alone is Jehovah , art the most high over all the earth.
Psalm 83:1-18 (KJV)

How amiable are thy tabernacles, O Lord of hosts! My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the Lord : my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God. Yea, the sparrow hath found an house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even thine altars, O Lord of hosts, my King, and my God. Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: they will be still praising thee. Selah. Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee; in whose heart are the ways of them. Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well; the rain also filleth the pools. They go from strength to strength, every one of them in Zion appeareth before God. O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer: give ear, O God of Jacob. Selah. Behold, O God our shield, and look upon the face of thine anointed. For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness. For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly. O Lord of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee.
Psalm 84:1-12 (KJV)

Lord, thou hast been favourable unto thy land: thou hast brought back the captivity of Jacob. Thou hast forgiven the iniquity of thy people, thou hast covered all their sin. Selah. Thou hast taken away all thy wrath: thou hast turned thyself from the fierceness of thine anger. Turn us, O God of our salvation, and cause thine anger toward us to cease. Wilt thou be angry with us for ever? wilt thou draw out thine anger to all generations? Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee? Shew us thy mercy, O Lord , and grant us thy salvation. I will hear what God the Lord will speak: for he will speak peace unto his people, and to his saints: but let them not turn again to folly. Surely his salvation is nigh them that fear him; that glory may dwell in our land. Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other. Truth shall spring out of the earth; and righteousness shall look down from heaven. Yea, the Lord shall give that which is good; and our land shall yield her increase. Righteousness shall go before him; and shall set us in the way of his steps.
Psalm 85:1-13 (KJV)

TITLE:  FIRE ON THE MOUNTAIN 

DATE:  June 17

BIBLE READING:  Psalms 81-85

MOUNTAIN PASSAGES:  83:14 – #37 of 64

TODAY’S CLIMB: ____________________________________

(83:14) As the fire burns the woods, and as the flame sets THE MOUNTAINS ON FIRE,  

This verse gives new meaning to the Smoky Mountains!  The Smoky Mountains often look like they are going up in smoke.  These mountains are the tallest in the Appalachian chain and have sixteen peaks rising more than 5,000 feet.   These heights are laughable if one lives in or near the Rockies.  The cities in the plains are 5000’ above sea level.  

We have a have 640-acre camp in Wyoming in the Laramie Mountains, in which I am on the board.  The camp sits at about 7,000’ higher than any peak in the Appalachian Mountains.  Nearby Laramie Peak (10,274’) looks down on the camp.

On June 8, 2012, I received a call from our camp’s director, Marlin Driskell.  He said, “Please pray, the mountains are on fire!”  The fire apparently had been caused by lightning.  The fire was heading right to Camp Grace, and was only one and a half miles away.  “The flame sets the mountains on fire.”  There were 333 firefighters, 20 engines, one type 1 helicopter, two type III helicopters and four single-engine tankers fighting the flames, but they were losing the battle.  We got on our knees and prayed for the Lord to preserve our camp.  Shortly after we prayed, we got another call from Marlin.  He said, “You are not going to believe it, but a strange weather front moved in and dumped hail the size of golf balls on the fire nearest to the camp putting it out on our front.”   The camp was miraculously preserved and we rejoiced in the Lord for preserving our camp.  Others were not so fortunate.  The Cow Camp fire would ultimately destroy 8,500 acres including the destruction of True’s Double Four Ranch.  

Nineteen days later after this incredible story of God’s deliverance, we received another call from Marlin.  The message was very clear, “The flame sets the mountains on fire.”  This time lightning had hit Laramie Peak and again the fire was heading straight for the camp.  We knew God preserved the camp the last time the mountains were on fire and that He could do it again!  We all began to pray!  The phone rang again, this time the message was, “We are being asked to evacuate immediately.”  Seventy plus workers came off the mountain that night.  Eighteen workers would land at our house that day.  We anxiously waited for an update.  When the news came we were devastated, the camp was gone, “as the flame sets the mountain on fire” it also set our camp “on fire.”  

The Arapaho Fire between June 27-30 would leave 98,115 acres burned, 153 square miles changed for a century, and nearly all the buildings in its path were destroyed despite the efforts of 747 firefighters, including three hotshot crews, five hand crews, two helicopters, eighty-three engines, seven dozers and nineteen water tenders.   

Nearly as painful as the damage caused by the fire were the rumors that began to fly amongst some of the Wyoming people that God had judged the camp because we had partnered with a camp from the state of California.  If it wasn’t so sad, it would have been laughable.  I hope all the people who lost their houses in the Arapaho Fire did not blame the camp for the fire.   God in time would bring beauty out of the ashes on those mountains.  The camp from California and others would help us build back a camp that was better than anything we could have imagined. 

In this Psalm, the psalmist is asking God to judge the nations that hated Him and His people.  Psalm 83 is a classic imprecatory psalm.  An imprecatory prayer or psalm was when a believer simply asked God to act on what He already had said about Israel.  God had said that He would bless those that blessed Israel and that He would curse those that cursed Israel.  The imprecatory prayer is when God is asked to do what he said He would do when a person or nation cursed Israel.  It is the prayer asking God to curse those who are cursing Israel and her God.

Here, Asaph is asking God not to hold His peace, but to judge His enemies who had hated God (83:2) and had “taken crafty counsel against” (83:3) His people with the intent to cut Israel “off from being a nation” (83:4).   The Psalmist describes the confederation of nations longing for Israel’s extermination.  It is this group that Asaph has in mind when he cries out to God and says, “O my God, make them like a wheel; as the stubble before the wind.  As the fire burneth a wood, and as the flame setteth the mountains on fire.”  He uses this severe language to describe the request for God to judge these people.  He wants them to be filled with shame, to be confounded and troubled for ever and to perish! This is the context for the mountain phrase, “as the flame sets the mountains on fire!”  He is wanting God to judge the enemies of God with fire!   Ultimately, he implores God for them to “seek thy name, O Lord” (83:16).  As we near the coming of the Lord in the rapture and the subsequent time of Jacob’s trouble during the second half of the Tribulation that such prayers will be offered once again to the Lord.   How are you praying for your enemies today?  Would you take time today to pray “that they may seek” the Lord and “that men may know” the Lord, “whose name alone is JEHOVAH,” Who is “the most high over all the earth?”

SUMMITING PRAYER IMPERATIVES (PSALMS 81-85)

(82:3) Defend (imperative) the poor and fatherless: 

do justice (imperative) to the afflicted and needy.  

(82:4) Deliver (imperative) the poor and needy; 

rid (imperative) them out of the hand of the wicked.

(82:8) Arise (imperative), O God, judge (imperative) the earth: 

for thou shalt inherit all nations.  

(83:9) Do (imperative) unto them as unto the Midianites;

 as to Sisera, as to Jabin, at the brook of Kison:  

(83:10) Which perished at En-dor: 

they became as dung for the earth.

(83:11) Make (imperative) their nobles like Oren, and like Zeeb: 

Yea, all their princes as Zebah, and as Zalmunna: 

(83:13) O my God, make (imperative) them like a wheel; 

as the stubble before the wind.

(83:16) Fill (imperative) their faces with shame; 

that they may seek thy name, O Lord.

(84:8) O Lord God of hosts, hear (imperative) my prayer: 

give (imperative) ear, O God of Jacob. Selah.  

(84:9) Behold (imperative), O God our shield, 

and look (imperative) upon the face of thine anointed.

(85:4) Turn (imperative) us, O God of our salvation, 

and cause thine anger toward us to cease (imperative).

(85:7) Shew (imperative) us thy mercy, O Lord, 

and grant (jussive) us thy salvation.

DATE:  June 18

BIBLE READING:  Psalms 86-90

Bow down thine ear, O Lord , hear me: for I am poor and needy. Preserve my soul; for I am holy: O thou my God, save thy servant that trusteth in thee. Be merciful unto me, O Lord: for I cry unto thee daily. Rejoice the soul of thy servant: for unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee. Give ear, O Lord , unto my prayer; and attend to the voice of my supplications. In the day of my trouble I will call upon thee: for thou wilt answer me. Among the gods there is none like unto thee, O Lord; neither are there any works like unto thy works. All nations whom thou hast made shall come and worship before thee, O Lord; and shall glorify thy name. For thou art great, and doest wondrous things: thou art God alone. Teach me thy way, O Lord ; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name. I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify thy name for evermore. For great is thy mercy toward me: and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell. O God, the proud are risen against me, and the assemblies of violent men have sought after my soul; and have not set thee before them. But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, long suffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth. O turn unto me, and have mercy upon me; give thy strength unto thy servant, and save the son of thine handmaid. Shew me a token for good; that they which hate me may see it, and be ashamed: because thou, Lord , hast holpen me, and comforted me.
Psalm 86:1-17 (KJV)

His foundation is in the holy mountains. The Lord loveth the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob. Glorious things are spoken of thee, O city of God. Selah. I will make mention of Rahab and Babylon to them that know me: behold Philistia, and Tyre, with Ethiopia; this man was born there. And of Zion it shall be said, This and that man was born in her: and the highest himself shall establish her. The Lord shall count, when he writeth up the people, that this man was born there. Selah. As well the singers as the players on instruments shall be there: all my springs are in thee.
Psalm 87:1-7 (KJV)

O lord God of my salvation, I have cried day and night before thee: Let my prayer come before thee: incline thine ear unto my cry; For my soul is full of troubles: and my life draweth nigh unto the grave. I am counted with them that go down into the pit: I am as a man that hath no strength: Free among the dead, like the slain that lie in the grave, whom thou rememberest no more: and they are cut off from thy hand. Thou hast laid me in the lowest pit, in darkness, in the deeps. Thy wrath lieth hard upon me, and thou hast afflicted me with all thy waves. Selah. Thou hast put away mine acquaintance far from me; thou hast made me an abomination unto them: I am shut up, and I cannot come forth. Mine eye mourneth by reason of affliction: Lord , I have called daily upon thee, I have stretched out my hands unto thee. Wilt thou shew wonders to the dead? shall the dead arise and praise thee? Selah. Shall thy lovingkindness be declared in the grave? or thy faithfulness in destruction? Shall thy wonders be known in the dark? and thy righteousness in the land of forgetfulness? But unto thee have I cried, O Lord ; and in the morning shall my prayer prevent thee. Lord , why castest thou off my soul? why hidest thou thy face from me? I am afflicted and ready to die from my youth up: while I suffer thy terrors I am distracted. Thy fierce wrath goeth over me; thy terrors have cut me off. They came round about me daily like water; they compassed me about together. Lover and friend hast thou put far from me, and mine acquaintance into darkness.
Psalm 88:1-18 (KJV)

I will sing of the mercies of the Lord for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations. For I have said, Mercy shall be built up for ever: thy faithfulness shalt thou establish in the very heavens. I have made a covenant with my chosen, I have sworn unto David my servant, Thy seed will I establish for ever, and build up thy throne to all generations. Selah. And the heavens shall praise thy wonders, O Lord : thy faithfulness also in the congregation of the saints. For who in the heaven can be compared unto the Lord ? who among the sons of the mighty can be likened unto the Lord ? God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had in reverence of all them that are about him. O Lord God of hosts, who is a strong Lord like unto thee? or to thy faithfulness round about thee? Thou rulest the raging of the sea: when the waves thereof arise, thou stillest them. Thou hast broken Rahab in pieces, as one that is slain; thou hast scattered thine enemies with thy strong arm. The heavens are thine, the earth also is thine: as for the world and the fulness thereof, thou hast founded them. The north and the south thou hast created them: Tabor and Hermon shall rejoice in thy name. Thou hast a mighty arm: strong is thy hand, and high is thy right hand. Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne: mercy and truth shall go before thy face. Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O Lord , in the light of thy countenance. In thy name shall they rejoice all the day: and in thy righteousness shall they be exalted. For thou art the glory of their strength: and in thy favour our horn shall be exalted. For the Lord is our defence; and the Holy One of Israel is our king. Then thou spakest in vision to thy holy one, and saidst, I have laid help upon one that is mighty; I have exalted one chosen out of the people. I have found David my servant; with my holy oil have I anointed him: With whom my hand shall be established: mine arm also shall strengthen him. The enemy shall not exact upon him; nor the son of wickedness afflict him. And I will beat down his foes before his face, and plague them that hate him. But my faithfulness and my mercy shall be with him: and in my name shall his horn be exalted. I will set his hand also in the sea, and his right hand in the rivers. He shall cry unto me, Thou art my father, my God, and the rock of my salvation. Also I will make him my firstborn, higher than the kings of the earth. My mercy will I keep for him for evermore, and my covenant shall stand fast with him. His seed also will I make to endure for ever, and his throne as the days of heaven. If his children forsake my law, and walk not in my judgments; If they break my statutes, and keep not my commandments; Then will I visit their transgression with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes. Nevertheless my lovingkindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer my faithfulness to fail. My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips. Once have I sworn by my holiness that I will not lie unto David. His seed shall endure for ever, and his throne as the sun before me. It shall be established for ever as the moon, and as a faithful witness in heaven. Selah. But thou hast cast off and abhorred, thou hast been wroth with thine anointed. Thou hast made void the covenant of thy servant: thou hast profaned his crown by casting it to the ground. Thou hast broken down all his hedges; thou hast brought his strong holds to ruin. All that pass by the way spoil him: he is a reproach to his neighbours. Thou hast set up the right hand of his adversaries; thou hast made all his enemies to rejoice. Thou hast also turned the edge of his sword, and hast not made him to stand in the battle. Thou hast made his glory to cease, and cast his throne down to the ground. The days of his youth hast thou shortened: thou hast covered him with shame. Selah. How long, Lord ? wilt thou hide thyself for ever? shall thy wrath burn like fire? Remember how short my time is: wherefore hast thou made all men in vain? What man is he that liveth, and shall not see death? shall he deliver his soul from the hand of the grave? Selah. Lord, where are thy former lovingkindnesses, which thou swarest unto David in thy truth? Remember, Lord, the reproach of thy servants; how I do bear in my bosom the reproach of all the mighty people; Wherewith thine enemies have reproached, O Lord ; wherewith they have reproached the footsteps of thine anointed. Blessed be the Lord for evermore. Amen, and Amen.
Psalm 89:1-52 (KJV)

Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God. Thou turnest man to destruction; and sayest, Return, ye children of men. For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night. Thou carriest them away as with a flood; they are as a sleep: in the morning they are like grass which groweth up. In the morning it flourisheth, and groweth up; in the evening it is cut down, and withereth. For we are consumed by thine anger, and by thy wrath are we troubled. Thou hast set our iniquities before thee, our secret sins in the light of thy countenance. For all our days are passed away in thy wrath: we spend our years as a tale that is told. The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away. Who knoweth the power of thine anger? even according to thy fear, so is thy wrath. So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. Return, O Lord , how long? and let it repent thee concerning thy servants. O satisfy us early with thy mercy; that we may rejoice and be glad all our days. Make us glad according to the days wherein thou hast afflicted us, and the years wherein we have seen evil. Let thy work appear unto thy servants, and thy glory unto their children. And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.
Psalm 90:1-17 (KJV)

TITLE:  ‘FOUNDATIONS FOR HIS HEAVENLY PRAISE’ 

DATE:  June 18

BIBLE READING:  Psalms 86-90

MOUNTAIN PASSAGES:  87:1 – #38 of 64; 89:12 – #39-40 of 64 

TODAY’S CLIMB: ____________________________________

(87:1) His foundation is in THE HOLY MOUNTAINS

(89:12) The north and the south thou hast created them: TABOR and HERMON shall rejoice in thy name.

NEED TO WRITE A DEVOTIONAL ON “TABOR” AND “HERMON”

In England there is the final resting place for some 123,000+ Non-conformists dating from the 1660’s.   In the Bunhill Fields lies Isaac Watts (July 17, 1674 to November 25, 1748), the father of English hymnody.  Isaac Watts would write out his poetical interpretation of nearly all the psalms to be read and to be sung. For Psalm 87, the first stanza reads:

God in His earthly temple lays

Foundations for His heavenly praise;

He knows the tents of Jacob’s well,

But still in Zion loves to dwell.

His fifth and final stanza reads:

When God makes up His last account

Of natives in His holy mount

Twill be an honor to appear

As one newborn or nourished there!

His interpretation begins with the temple and the foundations for heavenly praise and 

ends with those registered in the Book of Life worshipping in God’s holy mount.  What 

a sweeping overview and application of this psalm!

This psalm is known as one of the Zion Psalms (Psalms 48; 76; 84; 122 and 137). The 

Psalm focuses on the favored city of Zion above “all the dwellings of Jacob” and for 

that matter all the cities of the world.    This city has a firm foundation, seen in “the holy

mountains” of Judea.  The stone quarried out of this mountain that will be used to build 

the temple is known collectively as Jerusalem stone.  Specifically, these mountains 

would produce the MELEKE or the “royal” stone that was used in the Western Wall.  

The “sweet stone” or the MIZZI HILU stone is a very hard limestone and usually covers 

the beds of MELEKE.  It is a quality building stone.  These “holy mountains” also 

produced the “red stone” or the MIZZI AHMAR stone, and the “Jewish stone” or MIZZI 

YAHUDI stone.  All of these stones and others naturally formed the foundations in the 

holy mountain for this city, but when quarried were literally used to build the 

foundation for the temple, its walls and much of its structure.  “How firm a foundation, 

O saints of the Lord!”

John Rippon would build on this theme of a firm foundation by writing a hymn.  How 

Firm a Foundation was intended to be an appendix to Isaac Watt’s Psalms and Hymns.  

However, its popularity made it more than an “appendix” hymn.  This hymn, like Psalm 

87, was built on the bedrock of God’s “sovereign, eternal, unchangeable love.”  

The Psalmist builds his hymn upon the foundation of God’s holy mountains.  He 

transitions from the foundation, to “the gates of Zion” resting upon this foundation. The 

gates are serving as a synecdoche for the city.  God loves this city.    “Glorious things 

are spoken of thee, O city of God!”  Another hymn writer, John Newton, builds on that 

foundational text and writes, “He, whose word cannot be  broken, formed thee for His 

own abode, on the Rock of Ages founded, what can shake thy sure  repose? With 

salvation’s walls surrounded, Thou mayst smile at all thy foes.” 

Newton lifts the theme of “His foundation in the holy mountain” to declare that our 

foundation, is the Rock of Ages, “the church’s one foundation,” “Jesus Christ her 

Lord.”  

It is amazing that this “beloved city” that God “hath chosen” and “hath desired it for his 

habitation” (Psalm 132:13) would later be spiritually compared to “Sodom and Egypt” 

(Revelation 11:8).  This would be the city “where also our Lord was crucified.”  This city 

would become spiritually  the “mother of us all” (Galatians 4:26) who “know” the Lord 

and who “was born there” (Psalm 87:4).  This city, after the return of Christ, will be 

established by Elyon as the millennial capital where the foundation of the holy 

mountain will once again be the rebar holding up a temple.  In this case the massive  

millennial temple where God states “all my springs are in thee” (Psalm 87:7). It will be 

there that all “the singers as the players on instruments” will be and where all those 

that “the Lord shall count” (Psalm 87:6) will worship!

“With joy shall sing the choral train,

The minstrels breathe the answering strain:

O Zion, Zion, fair, I see,

The fountains of my bliss in Thee.” 

TITLE:  AS OLD AS THE HILLS – ACTUALLY OLDER

DATE:  June 18

BIBLE READING:  Psalms 86-90

MOUNTAIN PASSAGES:  90:2 – #41 of 64

TODAY’S CLIMB: ____________________________________

(90:2) Before THE MOUNTAINS were brought forth,  or ever You had formed the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.

Psalm 90 is a prayer that the “man of God,” Moses, offered to the Lord.  Moses was keenly aware of man’s fallen humanity and transitory nature.  He had watched for forty years an entire generation die under his leadership in the wilderness.  This would have been quite painful to observe.  During this time Moses would have been living in a tent as well as nearly every descendant of Abraham.  Even God appeared to live in a tent, the tabernacle.  Life was fragile.  Life was short.  In contrast with the brevity of life for man was Moses’ declaration of the eternality of God.  He was “from everlasting to everlasting.”  Where as man had a starting point and an ending point usually seen in a seventy year span or in unique situations eighty years, God had no beginning and no end.  He was not only oder than the mountains, He was older than the entire creation.  

Moses describes the mountains that were brought into existence as a result of God’s original creation.  The sequence is that the eternal God gave birth to the universe by speaking everything into existence.  From there the mountains rose out of the newly formed earth and out of the materials God created.  Mountains were given birth when two parts of the earth’s crust collided.  When these plates buckle it is like the hood of a car in a head-on collision being pushed up.  We see the evidence of these tectonic collisions throughout the earth.  Man is so clever to give each of these accidents and ridges created a date as if they were standing at that intersection at the time of the collision. The traffic reports shaped by evolutionary thought state that the Barberton Greenstone Belt originating in South Africa and Swaziland is the oldest and the first major collision on record (3.6 billion years ago).   The second born range, the Hamersley is said to be 3.4 billion years old and was born in Western Australia.  The third child, the Waterberg Mountains are only 2.7 billion years old.  Still a lot of candles to celebrate this rounded off birthday! These mountains are only ninety-three miles in length and enjoy cave graffiti from the Stone Age.   The fourth oldest range, a younger brother by a precise .4 billion years to the Waterberg and born just down the road is the Magaliesberg.   The fifth oldest range, a distant cousin to the other four ranges, is found in Northeastern South America, known as the Guiana Highlands and is a youthful 2 billion years old. Evolutionists place most subsequent mountain ranges being formed between two and five million years ago.  Which is a drop in the bucket compared to several billion years.  For instance, evolutionists state that our Rocky Mountains enjoyed their main uplift four million years ago; the Sierra Nevada Mountains two million years ago, the Alps two million years ago, etc. 

From a creationist’s view the answer to when did these mountains rise would be less than six thousand years ago!  The birth of most mountain ranges were a result of intense geologic processes operating at rates, scales and intensities caused by a universal flood that far exceed today’s “uniform” norms.  One thing each of these geological behemoth’s has in common is that they are very old and certainly older than you and I!   What or Who could be as old as these hills or even older.  Moses answers that question.  Regardless of your dating for each of these collisions of tectonic plates, God is older!!! In fact, he is eternal, “from everlasting to everlasting.” This is the bedrock and foundational point of this psalm.

In contrast, man’s earthly existence is incredibly brief! To complicate our brevity is our depravity.  This psalm underscores that God is holy and that we are not.  God’s righteous nature is seen by His hatred for that which is contrary to His holiness.  His attitude is seen in these statements “Thou turnest man to destruction (90:3),” “we are consumed by thine anger, and by thy wrath we are troubled (90:&7),” “Who knoweth the power of thine anger? Even according to thy fear, so is thy wrath (90:11),”  Somehow this wrath needs to be appeased or all of us will be destroyed! The answer to the need of appeasement is the vicarious Christ who when He died on the cross was the propitiation for our sins (I John 2:2).  His death pleased His Father and satisfied His wrath and fulfilled His demands of justice.  We now can find peace with God through faith in Christ’s death, burial and resurrection. 

In view of our brevity and depravity we need to pray, “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.”  Somewhere between our birth and when we are “soon cut off, and we fly away” into eternity we need to “return/repent” and trust Christ as our personal Savior.  As we apply the truths of this psalm – it would be wise to trust Christ today and serve Him forever.

SUMMITING PRAYER IMPERATIVES (PSALMS 86-90)

(86:1) Bow down (imperative) thine ear, O Lord,

hear (imperative) me: for I am poor and needy.

(86:2) Preserve (imperative) my soul; for I am holy: 

O thou my God, save (imperative) thy servant that trusteth in thee.

(86:3) Be merciful (imperative) unto me, 

O Lord: for I cry unto thee daily.

(86:6) Give (imperative) ear, O Lord, unto my prayer; 

and attend (imperative) to the voice of my supplications.

(86:11) Teach (imperative) me thy way, O Lord;

I will walk in thy truth: 

unite (imperative) my heart to fear thy name.

(86:16) O turn (imperative) unto me, 

and have mercy (imperative) upon me; 

give (imperative) thy strength unto thy servant, 

and save (imperative) the son of thine handmaid.

(86:17) Shew (imperative) me a token for good; 

that they which hate me may see it, 

and be ashamed (jussive): 

because thou, Lord, hast holpen me, and comforted me.  

(88:2) Let my prayer come (jussive) before thee: 

incline (imperative) thine ear unto my cry;

(89:47) Remember (imperative) how short my time is: 

wherefore hast thou made all men in vain.

(89:50) Remember (imperative), Lord, the reproach of thy servants; 

How I do bear in my bosom the reproach of all the mighty people;

(90:13) Return (imperative) O Lord, how long? 

And let it repent (imperative) thee concerning thy servants.

(90:14) O satisfy (imperative) us early with thy mercy; 

that we may rejoice (cohortative) and be glad (cohortative) all our days.

(90:15) Make us glad (imperative) according to the days wherein thou hast afflicted us, and the years wherein we have seen evil.

(90:17) And let the beauty of the Lord our God be (jussive) upon us; 

and establish (imperative)  thou the work of our hands upon us; 

yea, the work of our hands establish (imperative) it.

DATE:  June 19

BIBLE READING:  Psalms 91-95

He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord , He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked. Because thou hast made the Lord , which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone. Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet. Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him. With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.
Psalm 91:1-16 (KJV)

It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord , and to sing praises unto thy name, O Most High: To shew forth thy lovingkindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night, Upon an instrument of ten strings, and upon the psaltery; upon the harp with a solemn sound. For thou, Lord , hast made me glad through thy work: I will triumph in the works of thy hands. O Lord , how great are thy works! and thy thoughts are very deep. A brutish man knoweth not; neither doth a fool understand this. When the wicked spring as the grass, and when all the workers of iniquity do flourish; it is that they shall be destroyed for ever: But thou, Lord , art most high for evermore. For, lo, thine enemies, O Lord , for, lo, thine enemies shall perish; all the workers of iniquity shall be scattered. But my horn shalt thou exalt like the horn of an unicorn: I shall be anointed with fresh oil. Mine eye also shall see my desire on mine enemies, and mine ears shall hear my desire of the wicked that rise up against me. The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Those that be planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing; To shew that the Lord is upright: he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.
Psalm 92:1-15 (KJV)

The Lord reigneth, he is clothed with majesty; the Lord is clothed with strength, wherewith he hath girded himself: the world also is stablished, that it cannot be moved. Thy throne is established of old: thou art 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, yea, than the mighty waves of the sea. Thy testimonies are very sure: holiness becometh thine house, O Lord , for ever.
Psalm 93:1-5 (KJV)

O Lord God, to whom vengeance belongeth; O God, to whom vengeance belongeth, shew thyself. Lift up thyself, thou judge of the earth: render a reward to the proud. Lord , how long shall the wicked, how long shall the wicked triumph? How long shall they utter and speak hard things? and all the workers of iniquity boast themselves? They break in pieces thy people, O Lord , and afflict thine heritage. They slay the widow and the stranger, and murder the fatherless. Yet they say, The Lord shall not see, neither shall the God of Jacob regard it. Understand, ye brutish among the people: and ye fools, when will ye be wise? He that planted the ear, shall he not hear? he that formed the eye, shall he not see? He that chastiseth the heathen, shall not he correct? he that teacheth man knowledge, shall not he know? The Lord knoweth the thoughts of man, that they are vanity. Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, O Lord , and teachest him out of thy law; That thou mayest give him rest from the days of adversity, until the pit be digged for the wicked. For the Lord will not cast off his people, neither will he forsake his inheritance. But judgment shall return unto righteousness: and all the upright in heart shall follow it. Who will rise up for me against the evildoers? or who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity? Unless the Lord had been my help, my soul had almost dwelt in silence. When I said, My foot slippeth; thy mercy, O Lord , held me up. In the multitude of my thoughts within me thy comforts delight my soul. Shall the throne of iniquity have fellowship with thee, which frameth mischief by a law? They gather themselves together against the soul of the righteous, and condemn the innocent blood. But the Lord is my defence; and my God is the rock of my refuge. And he shall bring upon them their own iniquity, and shall cut them off in their own wickedness; yea, the Lord our God shall cut them off.
Psalm 94:1-23 (KJV)

O come, let us sing unto the Lord : let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms. For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods. In his hand are the deep places of the earth: the strength of the hills is his also. The sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land. O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our maker. For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. To day if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness: When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my work. Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said, It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known my ways: Unto whom I sware in my wrath that they should not enter into my rest.
Psalm 95:1-11 (KJV)

TITLE:  “HE’S GOT THE WHOLE WORLD IN HIS HANDS”  

DATE:  June 19

BIBLE READING:  Psalms 91-95

MOUNTAIN PASSAGES:  95:4 – #42 of 64

TODAY’S CLIMB: ____________________________________

(95:4) In His hand are the deep places of the earth; THE STRENGTH OF THE HILLS are His also. 

If there was a Stanza 2.1 to the song He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands it would read:  He’s got the “deep places of the earth” in His hands; then three times, He’s got the whole world in His hands.

If there was a Stanza 2.2 to this spiritual it would read:  He’s got the “strength (I.e. “peaks”) of the hills” in His hands; then three times, He’s got the whole world in His hands (3x.)

The “deep places” would describe your lowest parts on the earth and would include the deepest trenches in our oceans blue.   The Hebrew word “strength” can be translated “heights,” “towering peak,” or “eminence.”  The word is linked to “horns,” and thus what is in view are the towering horns or peaks of the highest mountains. The contrast between the “deep places” and the “peaks of the mountains” is a deliberate technique called merismus.  This combination of polar terms is to express the two extremes of a topic to also capture and include everything in between.  It is a way to express totality.  In this text, the psalmist is saying that the Lord’s “got the whole world in His hands.”  He is in control of all things and has a firm grip upon His creation.  

Man is overwhelmed with the “deep places” and exploring them.  It was not until 1960, in the history of humanity, that a man first touched the bottom of the deepest trench on the earth, the Marianna Trench some 36,702’ below the sea.  To do so required a diving vessel called the Trieste and took four hours and forty-seven minutes to reach the bottom of Challenger Deep.  The water pressure there is 1,071 times the normal pressure at sea level.  We obviously could not naturally survive there! This “deep place,” in a trench 1,580 miles long and some forty-three miles wide is described in Psalm 95:4 as resting “in His hand” like a drop in a bucket.  

The “strength of the hills” is seen in the highest summits on our seven continents.  The highest being Mount Everest in Asia (29,035) in the Himalayas.  Between 2006 and 2019, the success rate  to summit was about two thirds of all climbers. The percentage is increasing each year but so is the cost to climb – upwards to $200,000.  It looks like the more you pay for this sixty day climb, that your chances improve to touch the summit.  In this text “the strength of the hills are his also.”  These summits are also seen held being held in His omnipotent hand.   

The view of God being presented in this verse is the greatness, the power and the might of our Creator King.   Truly, nothing is too hard for the one who holds the “deep places” or the “peaks of the hills” in His hands, or the “whole world in His hands,” and in reality the entire universe “in His hands.”  When we have this proper view of God, truly we should ask ourselves “Is anything too hard for the Lord (Genesis 18:14; Jeremiah 32:17, 27)?”

What is amazing is that this incredible Creator, also became “the rock of our salvation” (95:1).   This psalm correlates creation and redemption and as a result of these works of God invites us in this psalm three times (95:1, 2, 6) to “come” and to worship.  We are to come into the court yard to worship and then into the holy place and finally we are to enter into the holy of holies “before His presence” to worship and adore Him. The psalmist describes our worship in terms of singing unto the Lord, making a joyful noise, giving thanks, reverently bowing down before Him and hearing His Word with the intention to obey it today! 

If you have by faith entered into His finished work of redemption and have found rest.  You too are in “His hands” and are eternally safe.  No man can pluck you of God’s hands.  You are kept by the power of God.  Truly, “He’s got you and me, brother, in His hands!” 

SUMMITING PRAYER IMPERATIVES (PSALMS 91-95)

(94:2) Lift up (imperative) thyself, thou judge of the earth: 

Render (imperative) a reward to the proud.

DATE:  June 20

BIBLE READING:  Psalms 96-100

O sing unto the Lord a new song: sing unto the Lord , all the earth. Sing unto the Lord , bless his name; shew forth his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the heathen, his wonders among all people. For the Lord is great, and greatly to be praised: he is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the Lord made the heavens. Honour and majesty are before him: strength and beauty are in his sanctuary. Give unto the Lord , O ye kindreds of the people, give unto the Lord glory and strength. Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come into his courts. O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness: fear before him, all the earth. Say among the heathen that the Lord reigneth: the world also shall be established that it shall not be moved: he shall judge the people righteously. Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof. Let the field be joyful, and all that is therein: then shall all the trees of the wood rejoice Before the Lord : for he cometh, for he cometh to judge the earth: he shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth.
Psalm 96:1-13 (KJV)

The Lord reigneth; let the earth rejoice; let the multitude of isles be glad thereof. Clouds and darkness are round about him: righteousness and judgment are the habitation of his throne. A fire goeth before him, and burneth up his enemies round about. His lightnings enlightened the world: the earth saw, and trembled. The hills melted like wax at the presence of the Lord , at the presence of the Lord of the whole earth. The heavens declare his righteousness, and all the people see his glory. Confounded be all they that serve graven images, that boast themselves of idols: worship him, all ye gods. Zion heard, and was glad; and the daughters of Judah rejoiced because of thy judgments, O Lord . For thou, Lord , art high above all the earth: thou art exalted far above all gods. Ye that love the Lord , hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked. Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart. Rejoice in the Lord , ye righteous; and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.
Psalm 97:1-12 (KJV)

O sing unto the Lord a new song; for he hath done marvellous things: his right hand, and his holy arm, hath gotten him the victory. The Lord hath made known his salvation: his righteousness hath he openly shewed in the sight of the heathen. He hath remembered his mercy and his truth toward the house of Israel: all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God. Make a joyful noise unto the Lord , all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise. Sing unto the Lord with the harp; with the harp, and the voice of a psalm. With trumpets and sound of cornet make a joyful noise before the Lord , the King. Let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. Let the floods clap their hands: let the hills be joyful together Before the Lord ; for he cometh to judge the earth: with righteousness shall he judge the world, and the people with equity.
Psalm 98:1-9 (KJV)

The Lord reigneth; let the people tremble: he sitteth between the cherubims; let the earth be moved. The Lord is great in Zion; and he is high above all the people. Let them praise thy great and terrible name; for it is holy. The king’s strength also loveth judgment; thou dost establish equity, thou executest judgment and righteousness in Jacob. Exalt ye the Lord our God, and worship at his footstool; for he is holy. Moses and Aaron among his priests, and Samuel among them that call upon his name; they called upon the Lord , and he answered them. He spake unto them in the cloudy pillar: they kept his testimonies, and the ordinance that he gave them. Thou answeredst them, O Lord our God: thou wast a God that forgavest them, though thou tookest vengeance of their inventions. Exalt the Lord our God, and worship at his holy hill; for the Lord our God is holy.
Psalm 99:1-9 (KJV)

Make a joyful noise unto the Lord , all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.
Psalm 100:1-5 (KJV)

TITLE:  MOUNTAIN MELT DOWNS  

DATE:  June 20

BIBLE READING:  Psalms 96-100

MOUNTAIN PASSAGES:  97:5 – #43 of 64

TODAY’S CLIMB: ____________________________________

(97:5) THE MOUNTAINS MELT like wax at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the Lord of the whole earth.

It does not take too much heat to melt beeswax.  The melting point for wax is between 144 and 147 degrees Fahrenheit.  At this temperature all the work of the honey bees of the genus Apis is destroyed.   The flashpoint for wax is 400 degrees.  That is when things get really interesting! 

For a mountain to melt requires significantly more heat.  It takes between 1,100 and 2,400 degrees Fahrenheit to melt most rocks, turning them into molten rock or magma.  

To have a meltdown of a mountain and in this text mountains is no small operation.  Nature’s best aid to melting mountains is when magma rises from the earth’s mantle and collects in magma chambers and then as a result of pressure and heat pushes through vents and fissures to the earth’s surface.  

Volcanic eruptions can blow the top off of mountains and create at least a partial melt down.  When Mount St. Helens blew her top on May 18, 1980, she shot up ash 80,000 feet into the air, destroyed 200 homes, 47 bridges, 15 miles of railway, 185 miles of highway and tragically killed 57 people.  Prior to the explosion, Mount St. Helens stood proudly at 9,677’, but after the partial meltdown she was reduced to 8,300’, a total elevation loss of 1,377’.  

In Psalm 97:5, it states that the “mountains melt like wax at the presence of the Lord.”  This “enthronement psalm” declares the sovereignty of God, that “the Lord reigneth” and that “righteousness and judgment are the habitation of His throne.”  The Most High God is seen coming to earth to set up His kingdom.  “A fire goeth before Him, and burnt up His enemies round about.”   “For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be” (Matthew 24:27) at His unveiling.  Jesus Christ “shall go forth, and fight those nations.”  “His feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south” (Zechariah 14:3-4).  Wow, that is a serious meltdown and not just a poetic interpretation of a theophany!  Truly, the mountains will melt like wax “at the presence of the Lord.”  Now that is power!  Our “God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God” (Deuteronomy 4:24; Hebrews 12:29).

At the end of the seven year Tribulation, when Christ returns the earth’s landscape is going to be radically altered.  In connection with the singular meltdown of the Mount of Olives, John writes that the result of the final bowl judgment is that “every island fled away, and the mountains were not found” (Revelation 16:20).   The earth’s mountains were deeply impacted by “a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.”  This explanation mark of God’s judgment is associated with the coming of the Lord.  It is clear that “at the presence of the Lord” all nature must bow to His supremacy.  When Christ comes He will rescue “Zion” and “the daughters of Judah.” They will be “glad!”  He will then judge the nations from the Valley of Jehoshaphat and then begin rebuilding the earth’s mountains for millennial delights.  His signature work will be in Israel where “the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow into it” (Isaiah 2:2-3). 

The right response to the mountains seen melting like wax at the presence of the Lord is to “worship Him” (97:7), “to hate evil” (97:10),  to “rejoice in the Lord” and to “give thanks at the remembrance of His holiness” (97:12)!

TITLE:  HAPPY MOUNTAINS 

DATE:  June 20

BIBLE READING:  Psalms 96-100

MOUNTAIN PASSAGES:  98:8 – #44 of 64

TODAY’S CLIMB: ____________________________________

(98:8)  Let the floods (i.e. rivers) clap their hands;  Let THE HILLS be joyful together.  

Wow, what’s the celebration?  Who is clapping?  Can “rivers” really clap? Do they have “hands?” Why would they be clapping?  Why are “the hills” rejoicing?  Can mountains rejoice?  What is all the fuss about? 

Isaac Watts found much to rejoice in regarding this psalm!  He was so moved by the text that he wrote Joy to the World.   Who in the western hemisphere has not sung or heard the words:

Joy to the world; the Lord is come;

Let earth receive her King;

Let every heart prepare Him room,

And heaven and nature sing

These words summarize the message of this psalm.  The psalm is easily divided into three stanzas each with three verses.  In the first stanza the reader is instructed to “sing unto the Lord a new song.”  The reason for this is immediately stated, “for He hath done marvelous things.”  The greatest thing the Lord has accomplished by “His holy arm” is to rescue us from the penalty and power of sin!  We rejoice in this and are commanded to “sing a new song.” 

John Wesley wrote, “Sing passionately and with a good courage.  Beware of singing as if you were half dead or half asleep; but lift up your voice with strength.  Be no more afraid of your voice now, nor more ashamed of its being heard, than when you sung the songs of Satan.” 

In addition to us rejoicing, we see “heaven and nature sing.”  In verse four, the earth is to “rejoice, and sing praise.”  It is then instructed to pull out all the stops and add a symphony orchestra to “make a joyful noise before the Lord, the King.” 

This brings us to the last stanza where the sea, and the rivers, and the fields and the hills “repeat the sounding joy.”  The streams applaud the Creator, the Savior, the King, but then there is the standing ovation – “the hills.”   “The hills” are seen standing tall above all of God’s Creation.  From their majestic vantage point they can see as “far as the curse is found” but then they see a fellow Mount, where they  rejoice in “the glories of His righteousness, and wonders of His love.” These timeless Behemoths see the valley between the two peaks (the two advents of Christ) and in unison declare that “He cometh to judge the earth.”  All of mankind and all of God’s creation will proclaim that “the Savior reigns.”  Truly, “He rules the world with truth and grace.” 

TITLE:  WORSHIP AT THE HILL

DATE:  June 20

BIBLE READING:  Psalms 96-100

MOUNTAIN PASSAGES:  99:9 – #45 of 64

TODAY’S CLIMB: ____________________________________

(99:9) Exalt the Lord our God, and worship at HIS HOLY HILL;  for the Lord our God is holy.

Isaac Watts poetic interpretation of this psalm – Stanza 1 of 4

Exalt the Lord our God,

And worship at His feet;

His nature is all holiness,

And mercy is His seat.

Twice in this psalm it is commanded that God’s people are to “exalt the Lord our God.”   To “exalt” means “to be high above, exalted, reach high, or to elevate.”  Clearly the direction of this text is upward!   We are to elevate the Lord in our life and worship!  

How high is high enough?  The Burj Khalifa has 163 stories and is some 2,716.5’ tall.  What story should we stop on when it comes to our praise?  To view properly the Empire State Building one can take the elevator to the top of the 102-story building or one could walk up the 1,860 steps. The best view is at the top.  The best view of Christ is to climb up the 31,102 verses of Scripture to see Him in all His glory sitting on His throne in Heavenly Zion.  The believer, over and over again, will scale that mountain in heaven to worship at His holy hill for all of eternity.

In China there is the Bailong Elevator.  It is the world’s tallest outdoor lift.  It stretches 326 meters up the side of a cliff in Zhangjiajie National Forest Park in Hunan, China.  There are three cars made of glass, each car carries forty-six people at a time and can take you to the top in just under two minutes.  The elevated view is spectacular.   One does not need to go to China for an amazing ride and view. The inclines in Pittsburgh, also  known as the Funiculars Railways, give the traveler on the red car or the yellow car an exalted view of the city’s skyline!  However, one does not need to go Pittsburgh to enjoy an amazing view.  You can behold the beauty of Christ in Scripture right now where you are seated!

We must personally exalt Christ in our own worship but we also are to give to everyone an elevated perspective of the Person and Work of Jesus Christ.  The best view of Christ is seen at “His holy hill.” The inclines that lead to this hill is not the Monongahela or the Duquesne Incline, but the incline of humility and obedience.  It is on this hill that we behold the beauty of His holiness.  God is holy!  At this holy location, “mercy and truth” met together.  We blush to watch “righteousness and peace” kiss each other knowing that we are so unworthy.  We can only “tremble” on this sacred hill when we see the One who “is high above all the people” lifted up on a cross dying for us.  We exalt the Holy One on bended knee “at His footstool.” 

 It is on this “holy hill” that He cried, “forgive them.”  It is the result of Christ’s work on this hill that it could be said “Thou wast a God that forgavest.” Praise God if He has forgiven you!

Isaac Watts poetic interpretation of this psalm – Stanza 4 of 4

Exalt the Lord our God,

Whose grace is still the same; 

Still He’s a God of holiness,

And jealous for His Name. 

NO SUMMITING PRAYER IMPERATIVES (PSALMS 96-100)

DATE:  June 21

BIBLE READING:  Psalms 101-105

I will sing of mercy and judgment: unto thee, O Lord , will I sing. I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. O when wilt thou come unto me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart. I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me. A froward heart shall depart from me: I will not know a wicked person. Whoso privily slandereth his neighbour, him will I cut off: him that hath an high look and a proud heart will not I suffer. Mine eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me: he that walketh in a perfect way, he shall serve me. He that worketh deceit shall not dwell within my house: he that telleth lies shall not tarry in my sight. I will early destroy all the wicked of the land; that I may cut off all wicked doers from the city of the Lord .
Psalm 101:1-8 (KJV)

Hear my prayer, O Lord , and let my cry come unto thee. Hide not thy face from me in the day when I am in trouble; incline thine ear unto me: in the day when I call answer me speedily. For my days are consumed like smoke, and my bones are burned as an hearth. My heart is smitten, and withered like grass; so that I forget to eat my bread. By reason of the voice of my groaning my bones cleave to my skin. I am like a pelican of the wilderness: I am like an owl of the desert. I watch, and am as a sparrow alone upon the house top. Mine enemies reproach me all the day; and they that are mad against me are sworn against me. For I have eaten ashes like bread, and mingled my drink with weeping. Because of thine indignation and thy wrath: for thou hast lifted me up, and cast me down. My days are like a shadow that declineth; and I am withered like grass. But thou, O Lord , shall endure for ever; and thy remembrance unto all generations. Thou shalt arise, and have mercy upon Zion: for the time to favour her, yea, the set time, is come. For thy servants take pleasure in her stones, and favour the dust thereof. So the heathen shall fear the name of the Lord , and all the kings of the earth thy glory. When the Lord shall build up Zion, he shall appear in his glory. He will regard the prayer of the destitute, and not despise their prayer. This shall be written for the generation to come: and the people which shall be created shall praise the Lord . For he hath looked down from the height of his sanctuary; from heaven did the Lord behold the earth; To hear the groaning of the prisoner; to loose those that are appointed to death; To declare the name of the Lord in Zion, and his praise in Jerusalem; When the people are gathered together, and the kingdoms, to serve the Lord . He weakened my strength in the way; he shortened my days. I said, O my God, take me not away in the midst of my days: thy years are throughout all generations. Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands. They shall perish, but thou shalt endure: yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed: But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end. The children of thy servants shall continue, and their seed shall be established before thee.
Psalm 102:1-28 (KJV)

Bless the Lord , O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord , O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s. The Lord executeth righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed. He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel. The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever. He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him. For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust. As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth. For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more. But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children; To such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them. The Lord hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all. Bless the Lord , ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word. Bless ye the Lord , all ye his hosts; ye ministers of his, that do his pleasure. Bless the Lord , all his works in all places of his dominion: bless the Lord , O my soul.
Psalm 103:1-22 (KJV)

Bless the Lord , O my soul. O Lord my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty. Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment: who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain: Who layeth the beams of his chambers in the waters: who maketh the clouds his chariot: who walketh upon the wings of the wind: Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire: Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed for ever. Thou coveredst it with the deep as with a garment: the waters stood above the mountains. At thy rebuke they fled; at the voice of thy thunder they hasted away. They go up by the mountains; they go down by the valleys unto the place which thou hast founded for them. Thou hast set a bound that they may not pass over; that they turn not again to cover the earth. He sendeth the springs into the valleys, which run among the hills. They give drink to every beast of the field: the wild asses quench their thirst. By them shall the fowls of the heaven have their habitation, which sing among the branches. He watereth the hills from his chambers: the earth is satisfied with the fruit of thy works. He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth; And wine that maketh glad the heart of man, and oil to make his face to shine, and bread which strengtheneth man’s heart. The trees of the Lord are full of sap; the cedars of Lebanon, which he hath planted; Where the birds make their nests: as for the stork, the fir trees are her house. The high hills are a refuge for the wild goats; and the rocks for the conies. He appointed the moon for seasons: the sun knoweth his going down. Thou makest darkness, and it is night: wherein all the beasts of the forest do creep forth. The young lions roar after their prey, and seek their meat from God. The sun ariseth, they gather themselves together, and lay them down in their dens. Man goeth forth unto his work and to his labour until the evening. O Lord , how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches. So is this great and wide sea, wherein are things creeping innumerable, both small and great beasts. There go the ships: there is that leviathan, whom thou hast made to play therein. These wait all upon thee; that thou mayest give them their meat in due season. That thou givest them they gather: thou openest thine hand, they are filled with good. Thou hidest thy face, they are troubled: thou takest away their breath, they die, and return to their dust. Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth. The glory of the Lord shall endure for ever: the Lord shall rejoice in his works. He looketh on the earth, and it trembleth: he toucheth the hills, and they smoke. I will sing unto the Lord as long as I live: I will sing praise to my God while I have my being. My meditation of him shall be sweet: I will be glad in the Lord . Let the sinners be consumed out of the earth, and let the wicked be no more. Bless thou the Lord , O my soul. Praise ye the Lord .
Psalm 104:1-35 (KJV)

O give thanks unto the Lord ; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people. Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him: talk ye of all his wondrous works. Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the Lord . Seek the Lord , and his strength: seek his face evermore. Remember his marvellous works that he hath done; his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth; O ye seed of Abraham his servant, ye children of Jacob his chosen. He is the Lord our God: his judgments are in all the earth. He hath remembered his covenant for ever, the word which he commanded to a thousand generations. Which covenant he made with Abraham, and his oath unto Isaac; And confirmed the same unto Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant: Saying, Unto thee will I give the land of Canaan, the lot of your inheritance: When they were but a few men in number; yea, very few, and strangers in it. When they went from one nation to another, from one kingdom to another people; He suffered no man to do them wrong: yea, he reproved kings for their sakes; Saying, Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm. Moreover he called for a famine upon the land: he brake the whole staff of bread. He sent a man before them, even Joseph, who was sold for a servant: Whose feet they hurt with fetters: he was laid in iron: Until the time that his word came: the word of the Lord tried him. The king sent and loosed him; even the ruler of the people, and let him go free. He made him lord of his house, and ruler of all his substance: To bind his princes at his pleasure; and teach his senators wisdom. Israel also came into Egypt; and Jacob sojourned in the land of Ham. And he increased his people greatly; and made them stronger than their enemies. He turned their heart to hate his people, to deal subtilly with his servants. He sent Moses his servant; and Aaron whom he had chosen. They shewed his signs among them, and wonders in the land of Ham. He sent darkness, and made it dark; and they rebelled not against his word. He turned their waters into blood, and slew their fish. Their land brought forth frogs in abundance, in the chambers of their kings. He spake, and there came divers sorts of flies, and lice in all their coasts. He gave them hail for rain, and flaming fire in their land. He smote their vines also and their fig trees; and brake the trees of their coasts. He spake, and the locusts came, and caterpillers, and that without number, And did eat up all the herbs in their land, and devoured the fruit of their ground. He smote also all the firstborn in their land, the chief of all their strength. He brought them forth also with silver and gold: and there was not one feeble person among their tribes. Egypt was glad when they departed: for the fear of them fell upon them. He spread a cloud for a covering; and fire to give light in the night. The people asked, and he brought quails, and satisfied them with the bread of heaven. He opened the rock, and the waters gushed out; they ran in the dry places like a river. For he remembered his holy promise, and Abraham his servant. And he brought forth his people with joy, and his chosen with gladness: And gave them the lands of the heathen: and they inherited the labour of the people; That they might observe his statutes, and keep his laws. Praise ye the Lord .
Psalm 105:1-45 (KJV)

TITLE:   UNDERWATER MOUNTAINS 

TITLE: OVER THE HILL – MOUNTAINS – ALL DOWN HILL FROM HERE 

DATE:  June 21

BIBLE READING:  Psalms 101-105

MOUNTAIN PASSAGES:  104:6 – #46 of 64, 104:8 – #47 of 64

TODAY’S CLIMB: ____________________________________

(104:6) Thou coveredst it with the deep as with a garment: The waters stood above the MOUNTAINS.  

(104:8) They go up by THE MOUNTAINS; they go down by the valleys unto the place which thou hast founded for them. 

I am writing this devotional way above the highest mountains on earth at 38,000’.  It is Christmas morning and we are flying east to see our family. As I have been writing these devotionals on mountains, I have saved this one for last. It is the ultimate psalm on mountains with six references to God’s elevated handiwork.  The Greek LXX and the Latin Vulgate note in the superscription that it was “A Psalm of David.” Who better to write  about Creation and mountains than David.  There are more verses on creation found in the psalms than in Genesis 1-3.   Over fifty of the 150 psalms have creation themes.  Psalm 8, 29 and 104, plus Job 38 are recognized as creation psalms or poems.    Psalm 104 is the masterpiece.  It has seven distinct sections or units that correspond with the Creation week. The major difference is that the daily description of God’s created work is now viewed from a fallen perspective: rainfall is seen descending from God’s upper chambers, the animals are described in a predatory context, and man is defined in the last verse as “wicked.”  Truly God’s creation has been impacted by the fall, by man’s sin.  Despite man’s efforts to destroy all that God has made and done, he still is not able to strip all the glory from God’s creation.  Man still can recognized the intelligent design and the magnificence of a universe that points to the Lord.  Hence, the psalm begins and ends with the words, “Bless the Lord, O My Soul.”  The fact that the psalm has noted bookends suggest that we look further to see if we are staring at another chiastic psalm that magnifies the same intelligent design, but in this case, in literature.  This common quality should not surprise us as we look at Creation that is inspiring and the Word of God which is inspired!

The Psalm is organized around themes from the first week in time. 

A INTRODUCTION: “Bless the Lord, O my soul” (104:1a)

BDAY #1 – Praise and Theophany, “YHWH, my God” (104:b-2a)

CDAY #2 – Wind, spirit or breath (“RUAH” – 2x) (104:2b-4)

DDAY #3 – The deep, sea waters and springs (104:5-18)

XDAY #4 – Moon, sun and climactic exultation (104:19-24)

 

D1DAY #5 – The sea and its moving things (104:25-26)

C1DAY #6 – Spirit or breath (“RUAH” – 2x) (104:27-30)

B1DAY #7 – Theophany and Praise, “YHWH, my God” (104:31-35a)

A1 CONCLUSION: “Bless the Lord, O my soul” (104:35b)

Although the Psalm’s central axis is Day #4 and the creation of the sun and the moon and all their stellar friends, the psalm is not heliocentric.  The psalm is certainly not man-centered, but is rightfully Theocentric. The psalm is glorifying God and the God-centered nature of the universe.  It is amazing that is unique abode is in the third heaven, but His romans 1 is clearly seen in the realms of the first and second heavens and on the earth itself, where is crowning act of creation is seen by the work of creating image-bearers.  As fallen as we are we still are walking testimonies that there is a God!  

This story of origins and the care of God’s creation was carefully observed by the angels.  These ministers of light were likely created on Day #1.  It appears that “the morning stars sang together” and “shouted for joy” (Job 38:7) as God “stretchesT out the heavens like a curtain” and “laid the foundations of the earth.” Initially, the earth was without form and void and “darkness was over the surface of the deep.”  David writes here that “the waters stood above the mountains” (Psalm 104:6).  From the very beginning the earth enjoyed such topographical distinctions, but hidden from view as the water planet would be seen from space.  The earth would be covered completely by water “as with a garment,” on two occasions (i.e. on days 1 and 2 of creation? And when God judged the earth by water in Noah’s day).  In Genesis 1:9-10, the Lord said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered  together into one place, and let the dry land appear. And it was so.  And God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering together of the waters He called seas. And God saw that it was good. Initially all the land was in one place as well as the seas located in one place.

 It would be the Word of God that would literally change the landscape once again at the Flood.  The earth would be covered again with water and then at His “rebuke” or at His “voice” the waters “hasted away.”  There would have been enormous run off as the continents emerged like a jigsaw puzzle in contrast to the original unified land mass. emerged and made their way to the surface.  Such run off would have created tidal waves. Truly the waters “hasted away” from the protrusion of the land masses.   Computer modeling explains that the continents could have separated in a matter of weeks as a result of the runaway (“hasted away”) catastrophic rate of sinking of the pre-Flood ocean floor crust after it broke up.  The catastrophic plate tectonics model illustrates a mechanism for the rainfall during the Flood and the presence of fossilized marine creatures atop current day mountains and rock layers spread across the continents.

“They go up by the mountains; they go down by the valleys unto the place which thou hast founded for them” (104:8).  There also would be the evidence of enormous erosion from such transitions and as the earths surface was being formed by the carving effects of the power of water.  The mountains would rise and the valleys would sink.  The water would ultimately find their proper beds and resting places, where God had “set a bound that they may not pass over; that they turn not again to cover the earth.” 

It is amazing that the oceans have boundaries.  It is more amazing that the water bodies stay within those boundaries.  If man could only learn from creation! For you to be blessed by God you too must remain within the boundaries of God’s Word!

TITLE: MOUNTAIN SPRINGS  

TITLE:  RAINING ON THE HILLS – GORTEX 

DATE:  June 21

BIBLE READING:  Psalms 101-105

MOUNTAIN PASSAGES:  104:10 – #48 of 64; 104:13 – #49 of 64

TODAY’S CLIMB: ____________________________________

(104:10) He sendeth the springs into the valleys;  Which run among THE HILLS.  

(104:13) He watereth THE HILLS from his chambers: The earth is satisfied with the fruit of thy works. 

One of the challenges of climbing 14ers in Colorado in the spring or early summer is that there is usually snow on the mountain.  This means as one is ascending to the summit one might have to walk through a snow field.  This can be a painful trek especially if you begin to posthole.  This means as you take your next step your foot goes through the snow and your leg follows down through the snow and ice.  If wearing shorts one’s legs are then potentially scraped or cut by the snow that is daily caught between melting and freezing.  Postholing can be a quite painful for the hiker, especially If the snow is deep.  On the other hand, one of the more pleasant parts of hiking above the tree line in the snow is to hear the gurgling of water underneath the surface.  Psalm 104:10, states “He sendeTH the springs into the valleys, which run among the hills.”  The Lord “sendeTH” water down the hills “into the valleys” by snowmelt and by “the springs” that can find their origin in “the hills.”  

Colorado is known as THE “Headwaters State.”  Of the 158 named rivers that flow through the State of Colorado, all but the Green River and Cimarron Rivers have their headwaters in the state.  The Centennial State has eight major river basins that originate in Colorado, marking the beginnings of the Platte, Arkansas, Rio Grand and Colorado Rivers.  The amount of water that flows ‘into the valleys, which run among the hills” is voluminous.  The Rio Grande river starts in the San Juan Mountain Range and flows to the Gulf of Mexico at Brownsville, Texas some 1,900 wandering miles away.  The Arkansas River begins near Leadville, Colorado in the Swatch Range and drops 4,600 feet in 120 miles as it flows 1,470 miles to eastern Arkansas.   The Colorado River which begins near Estes Park winds 1,450 miles and terminates at the Glen Canyon Dam in California falling just short of the ocean.  That is a lot of water flowing down each direction of the Continental Divide.  The amount of life these mountain rivers sustain is nearly immeasurable,   We know “the earth is satisfied with the fruit of thy works.”

The Lord “sendeTH” water from “the springs into the valleys” down from “the hills.” He also  “watereth the hills” by moisture/rain/snow “from his chambers” above.   These two sources of water for the earth alone provides much of the needed water to satisfy the earth’s needs to produce “the fruit” that we need.  These water “works” are a demonstration of God’s love for His creation and especially for us.  God is so merciful to all.   “For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God:” (Hebrews 6:7).  “The earth is satisfied” and so are we when He “watereth the hills.” 

What is the lesson for us from the rain that comes from “his chambers” and from His mountain “springs?”  Matthew 5:45 states, “That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.”

Just as the water flowing down the mountains blesses all.  The Lord wants us to love likewise “the just” and “the unjust” and to be a blessing to both.  By doing this we are like our “Father which is in heaven.”  Who will you be a blessing to today?

There shall be showers of blessing – 

Precious reviving again;

Over THE HILLs and the valleys,

Sound of abundance of rain.

(Daniel Whittle 1840-1901)

TITLE:  MOUNTAIN GOATS 

DATE:  June 21

BIBLE READING:  Psalms 101-105

MOUNTAIN PASSAGES:  104:18 – #50 of 64

TODAY’S CLIMB: ____________________________________

(104:18) The HIGH HILLS are a refuge for the wild goats;  and the rocks for the conies.

Day #6 creatures “in the high hills” are featured in this text: the wild goat and the coney.  Wild goats or mountain goats live in alpine and subalpine environments. In Colorado these creatures can live sometimes above 13,000 feet.    They are the largest mammal at this altitude.  In the summer they will stay above the tree line.  Each summer I lead a group of college students up one of our 14ers.  On this occasion we had gotten off at the Bakerville exit on I-70.  I drove the church van up the three miles of dirt road and protruding rocks.  En route I punctured one of the tires.  Fortunately, it was a slow leak and held up until later night when we got back to the church parking lot.  

Once we arrived at the trailhead, our vehicles emptied the anxious climbers.  We prayed and went over several safety guidelines for the hike.  We then began up the class one trail to Gray’s Peak which is at 14,275’.  It is an 8.25 mile round trip.  I had climbed this mountain years before as well as the mountain adjoining it Torrey’s Peak at  14,272’.  On this hike the initial group broke up into two groups with the younger group saying good bye to the slower hikers.  I remained with the slower hikers.  As we went climbed up the valley I noticed on my right some “wild goats.”  There was four of them about three hundred yards off the trail on a ridge that went up to Torrey’s.  This was an opportunity of a lifetime to hang out with some goats.  I said to our sheep to stay on the well-marked trail and to keep climbing to the summit of Gray’s while I parted ways to film “Dancing with Goats.”   Everyone agreed with the plan.  It was somewhat strange theologically, goats on my right and sheep on my left.  Then it made sense if I reversed the route with a descending picture, then the sheep were on the right and the goat on my left in my newly configured Valley of Jehoshaphat.  

I then quietly and slowly hiked through the meadow over to the ridge in “the high hills” to see the “wild goats.”  They noticed me, but were not too alarmed as I climbed up the steep ridge they slowly climbed in parallel with me to a higher ridge.  Ultimately, they let me get about twenty feet away from them while they munched on some green grass on one of the larger ledges.  I laid down on the grass next to them and took pictures and quietly talked with them.  What impressed me the most was several things. First, their leg muscles were incredibly thick.  They were in incredible mountain shape.  All they did was work out in those mountains in those fields, on those ledges and up those steep inclines.  Those high mountains were there “refuge.”  What predator has an advantage over these sure-footed creatures.  The bear, the wolf, the coyote cannot compete on these “high mountains.” Once the “wild goat” has grown to maturity there is no threat from the eagle.  They know as long as they stay high above all four-legged prey that they are safe, the mountains are truly “a refuge for the wild goats.” This is why even after a day or so the newborn “kid” is forced to scramble up the rocks of the mountain by its “nanny.”

Another characteristic of the “wild goat” in July in Colorado is its ugly coat!  The nanny or the billy sheds its winter coat in strips.  It is an ugly, slow process.  A goat may have multiple feet of dangling strips that in due time will be pulled or chewed off.  During this stage they are really quite unsightly.  

The other feature that is neat to look at are the two horns on a goat’s head.  They tell the story of his age. After a goat is two years old there are noticeable rings around each horn.  Each ring, like rings on a tree, represent one year of life. For example, If a goat has four rings around its horn it is four years old.  

On this special day with the goats I did not summit, but I sat with the goats for about an hour.  They would never let me get closer than twenty feet and anytime I moved they moved.  Each movement was upward – clearly they knew the “high hills are a refuge.”  

While the “wild goats” slowly went up the cliff, my friends at lower elevations peeking out of the rocks were entertained.  They knew I could not go where the “wild goats” so effortlessly climbed.  I tried to follow them but I got terribly spooked climbing up the cliff and looking at the valley straight below.  I turned around and smiled.  On my descent, the curious marmots hid in the rocks likewise to evade my overly friendly and curious nature.   Marmots superficially look like conies, the rock hyrax. Both marmots and conies have the uncanny ability to scamper into the rocks where they are nearly impossible to be seen or caught.  

The common point in both phrases in this verse is the way God designed two different animals to be able to protect themselves from predators.  (104:18) The high hills are a refuge for the wild goats; And the rocks for the conies.   If gives these creatures instinctive defenses (the high hills and the rocks)  how much more does God give to His image-bearers spiritual instincts to protect him or her from harm’s way.  Our safety mechanism is not to flee to the “high mountains” or to the “rocks,” but to flee to God Himself.  The omnipotent One is the ultimate Refuge.  If you have any fears at all flee to God and he will protect you!.

TITLE:  THE SMOKEY MOUNTAINS 

DATE:  June 21

BIBLE READING:  Psalms 101-105

MOUNTAIN PASSAGES:  104:32 – #51 of 64

TODAY’S CLIMB: ____________________________________

(104:32) He looketh on the earth, and it trembleth;  He TOUCHETH THE HILLS, and they smoke.  

The sixth and last mountain reference in this psalm is found in 104:32, He looketh on the earth, and it trembleth: He toucheth the hills, and they smoke.  This verse is found in the context of 104:31-35, which is Day Seven in the outline of the psalm.  

This day of rest, reflection and worship 

  1. Focuses on the glory of the Lord seen in His creation. 
  2. Focuses on the Lord  rejoicing in His six days of “works.”    All that He did was good, very good! “And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made” (Genesis 2:2).
  3. Focuses on God looking on “the earth,” and the earth’s response to it’s Creator, “and it trembleth.”   Creation fears God and so should man!
  4. Focuses on God coming in contact with “the hills, and they smoke.” This is especially seen at Mount Sinai when God came down and touched “the hills” when He gave Moses the Ten Commandments.  There are scientific laws that relate to creation and their are moral laws that are to be followed by man.
  5. Focuses on a worshipful response by God’s people.  We are to “sing unto the Lord as long as I live. I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.”
  6. Focuses on meditating on the Lord’ Person and Work, which results in being “glad in the Lord.”
  7. Focuses on God judging the wicked and removing them ultimately from the earth, so that all that remains on the earth are the redeemed of all the ages who will “bless” and “praise” the Lord.

The central point in this list is the Lord touching “the hills, and they smoke.”   Just this 

week our family drove on the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina in the direction of 

the Smokey Mountains National Park that straddles the border of the states of 

Tennessee and North Carolina.   There are three entrances to the park, one in 

Gatlinburg, Tennessee, another in Townsend, Tennessee and one in Cherokee, North 

Carolina.  These mountains are a subrange of the Appalachian Mountains.  They are 

called the Smokies due to the ever-present morning fog!   It does not seem to matter 

where you drive in the Park; to Clingman’s Dome (6,643’), to the Roaring Fork Motor 

Nature Trail to Cades Cove that one will experience the beauty of the “Smokies” 

caused  by the vegetation emitting volatile organic compounds, chemicals that have a 

high vapor pressure easily form vapors at normal temperature and pressure. These 

mountains have the most dense bear population in the Eastern United States and the 

most  diverse salamander population outside of the tropics.  

Whether we are driving through the Smokies or reading in Exodus about Mount Sinai 

we should never lose the wonder of God’s Creation and the respect for His holiness. 

We should stand in awe before both. We should be heavy with the dew of thanksgiving 

and happiness as we worship our great God with holy wonder and fear.   We too 

should tremble!  Indeed, He toucheth  the hills, and they smoke.”

SUMMITING PRAYER IMPERATIVES (PSALMS 101-105)

(102:1) Hear (imperative) my prayer, O Lord, 

and let my cry come (jussive) unto thee.

(102:2) Hide (jussive) not thy face from me in the day when I am in trouble; 

incline (imperative) thine ear unto me: 

in the day when I call answer (imperative) me speedily.

DATE:  June 22

BIBLE READING:  Psalms 106-110

Praise ye the Lord . O give thanks unto the Lord ; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. Who can utter the mighty acts of the Lord ? who can shew forth all his praise? Blessed are they that keep judgment, and he that doeth righteousness at all times. Remember me, O Lord , with the favour that thou bearest unto thy people: O visit me with thy salvation; That I may see the good of thy chosen, that I may rejoice in the gladness of thy nation, that I may glory with thine inheritance. We have sinned with our fathers, we have committed iniquity, we have done wickedly. Our fathers understood not thy wonders in Egypt; they remembered not the multitude of thy mercies; but provoked him at the sea, even at the Red sea. Nevertheless he saved them for his name’s sake, that he might make his mighty power to be known. He rebuked the Red sea also, and it was dried up: so he led them through the depths, as through the wilderness. And he saved them from the hand of him that hated them, and redeemed them from the hand of the enemy. And the waters covered their enemies: there was not one of them left. Then believed they his words; they sang his praise. They soon forgat his works; they waited not for his counsel: But lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, and tempted God in the desert. And he gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul. They envied Moses also in the camp, and Aaron the saint of the Lord . The earth opened and swallowed up Dathan and covered the company of Abiram. And a fire was kindled in their company; the flame burned up the wicked. They made a calf in Horeb, and worshipped the molten image. Thus they changed their glory into the similitude of an ox that eateth grass. They forgat God their saviour, which had done great things in Egypt; Wondrous works in the land of Ham, and terrible things by the Red sea. Therefore he said that he would destroy them, had not Moses his chosen stood before him in the breach, to turn away his wrath, lest he should destroy them. Yea, they despised the pleasant land, they believed not his word: But murmured in their tents, and hearkened not unto the voice of the Lord . Therefore he lifted up his hand against them, to overthrow them in the wilderness: To overthrow their seed also among the nations, and to scatter them in the lands. They joined themselves also unto Baalpeor, and ate the sacrifices of the dead. Thus they provoked him to anger with their inventions: and the plague brake in upon them. Then stood up Phinehas, and executed judgment: and so the plague was stayed. And that was counted unto him for righteousness unto all generations for evermore. They angered him also at the waters of strife, so that it went ill with Moses for their sakes: Because they provoked his spirit, so that he spake unadvisedly with his lips. They did not destroy the nations, concerning whom the Lord commanded them: But were mingled among the heathen, and learned their works. And they served their idols: which were a snare unto them. Yea, they sacrificed their sons and their daughters unto devils, And shed innocent blood, even the blood of their sons and of their daughters, whom they sacrificed unto the idols of Canaan: and the land was polluted with blood. Thus were they defiled with their own works, and went a whoring with their own inventions. Therefore was the wrath of the Lord kindled against his people, insomuch that he abhorred his own inheritance. And he gave them into the hand of the heathen; and they that hated them ruled over them. Their enemies also oppressed them, and they were brought into subjection under their hand. Many times did he deliver them; but they provoked him with their counsel, and were brought low for their iniquity. Nevertheless he regarded their affliction, when he heard their cry: And he remembered for them his covenant, and repented according to the multitude of his mercies. He made them also to be pitied of all those that carried them captives. Save us, O Lord our God, and gather us from among the heathen, to give thanks unto thy holy name, and to triumph in thy praise. Blessed be the Lord God of Israel from everlasting to everlasting: and let all the people say, Amen. Praise ye the Lord .
Psalm 106:1-48 (KJV)

O give thanks unto the Lord , for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy; And gathered them out of the lands, from the east, and from the west, from the north, and from the south. They wandered in the wilderness in a solitary way; they found no city to dwell in. Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them. Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their distresses. And he led them forth by the right way, that they might go to a city of habitation. Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness. Such as sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and iron; Because they rebelled against the words of God, and contemned the counsel of the most High: Therefore he brought down their heart with labour; they fell down, and there was none to help. Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them out of their distresses. He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and brake their bands in sunder. Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! For he hath broken the gates of brass, and cut the bars of iron in sunder. Fools because of their transgression, and because of their iniquities, are afflicted. Their soul abhorreth all manner of meat; and they draw near unto the gates of death. Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he saveth them out of their distresses. He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions. Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing. They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; These see the works of the Lord , and his wonders in the deep. For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof. They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble. They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wit’s end. Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses. He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven. Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! Let them exalt him also in the congregation of the people, and praise him in the assembly of the elders. He turneth rivers into a wilderness, and the watersprings into dry ground; A fruitful land into barrenness, for the wickedness of them that dwell therein. He turneth the wilderness into a standing water, and dry ground into watersprings. And there he maketh the hungry to dwell, that they may prepare a city for habitation; And sow the fields, and plant vineyards, which may yield fruits of increase. He blesseth them also, so that they are multiplied greatly; and suffereth not their cattle to decrease. Again, they are minished and brought low through oppression, affliction, and sorrow. He poureth contempt upon princes, and causeth them to wander in the wilderness, where there is no way. Yet setteth he the poor on high from affliction, and maketh him families like a flock. The righteous shall see it, and rejoice: and all iniquity shall stop her mouth. Whoso is wise, and will observe these things, even they shall understand the lovingkindness of the Lord .
Psalm 107:1-43 (KJV)

O God, my heart is fixed; I will sing and give praise, even with my glory. Awake, psaltery and harp: I myself will awake early. I will praise thee, O Lord , among the people: and I will sing praises unto thee among the nations. For thy mercy is great above the heavens: and thy truth reacheth unto the clouds. Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens: and thy glory above all the earth; That thy beloved may be delivered: save with thy right hand, and answer me. God hath spoken in his holiness; I will rejoice, I will divide Shechem, and mete out the valley of Succoth. Gilead is mine; Manasseh is mine; Ephraim also is the strength of mine head; Judah is my lawgiver; Moab is my washpot; over Edom will I cast out my shoe; over Philistia will I triumph. Who will bring me into the strong city? who will lead me into Edom? Wilt not thou, O God, who hast cast us off? and wilt not thou, O God, go forth with our hosts? Give us help from trouble: for vain is the help of man. Through God we shall do valiantly: for he it is that shall tread down our enemies.
Psalm 108:1-13 (KJV)

Hold not thy peace, O God of my praise; For the mouth of the wicked and the mouth of the deceitful are opened against me: they have spoken against me with a lying tongue. They compassed me about also with words of hatred; and fought against me without a cause. For my love they are my adversaries: but I give myself unto prayer. And they have rewarded me evil for good, and hatred for my love. Set thou a wicked man over him: and let Satan stand at his right hand. When he shall be judged, let him be condemned: and let his prayer become sin. Let his days be few; and let another take his office. Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow. Let his children be continually vagabonds, and beg: let them seek their bread also out of their desolate places. Let the extortioner catch all that he hath; and let the strangers spoil his labour. Let there be none to extend mercy unto him: neither let there be any to favour his fatherless children. Let his posterity be cut off; and in the generation following let their name be blotted out. Let the iniquity of his fathers be remembered with the Lord ; and let not the sin of his mother be blotted out. Let them be before the Lord continually, that he may cut off the memory of them from the earth. Because that he remembered not to shew mercy, but persecuted the poor and needy man, that he might even slay the broken in heart. As he loved cursing, so let it come unto him: as he delighted not in blessing, so let it be far from him. As he clothed himself with cursing like as with his garment, so let it come into his bowels like water, and like oil into his bones. Let it be unto him as the garment which covereth him, and for a girdle wherewith he is girded continually. Let this be the reward of mine adversaries from the Lord , and of them that speak evil against my soul. But do thou for me, O God the Lord, for thy name’s sake: because thy mercy is good, deliver thou me. For I am poor and needy, and my heart is wounded within me. I am gone like the shadow when it declineth: I am tossed up and down as the locust. My knees are weak through fasting; and my flesh faileth of fatness. I became also a reproach unto them: when they looked upon me they shaked their heads. Help me, O Lord my God: O save me according to thy mercy: That they may know that this is thy hand; that thou, Lord , hast done it. Let them curse, but bless thou: when they arise, let them be ashamed; but let thy servant rejoice. Let mine adversaries be clothed with shame, and let them cover themselves with their own confusion, as with a mantle. I will greatly praise the Lord with my mouth; yea, I will praise him among the multitude. For he shall stand at the right hand of the poor, to save him from those that condemn his soul.
Psalm 109:1-31 (KJV)

The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool. The Lord shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies. Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth. The Lord hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek. The Lord at thy right hand shall strike through kings in the day of his wrath. He shall judge among the heathen, he shall fill the places with the dead bodies; he shall wound the heads over many countries. He shall drink of the brook in the way: therefore shall he lift up the head.
Psalm 110:1-7 (KJV)

TITLE: 

DATE:  June 22

BIBLE READING:  Psalms 106-110

MOUNTAIN PASSAGES:  NO MOUNTAIN REFERENCES (5)

TODAY’S CLIMB: ____________________________________

PSALM 106:28 – THEY JOINED THEMSELVES ALSO TO BAAL OF PEOR

PSALM 107:11 – MOST HIGH

Because they rebelled against the words of God, And contemned the counsel of the most High:

PSALM 110:2 – ZION

The Lord shall send the rod of thy strength out of ZION: Rule thou in the midst of thine enemies.

SUMMITING PRAYER IMPERATIVES (PSALMS 106-110)

(106:4) Remember (imperative) me, O Lord, 

with the favor that thou bearest unto thy people: 

O visit (imperative) me with thy salvation;

(106:15) And he gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul.

(106:47) Save (imperative) us, O Lord our God, 

and gather (imperative) us from among the heathen, 

to give thanks unto thy holy name, and to triumph in thy praise.

(108:5) Be thou exalted (imperative), O God, above the heavens: 

and thy glory above all the earth; 

(108:6) That thy beloved may be delivered: 

save (imperative) with thy right hand, 

and answer (imperative) me.

(108:12) Give (imperative) us help from trouble: 

for vain is the help of man.

(109:6) Set (imperative) thou a wicked man over him: 

and let Satan stand (jussive) at his right hand.

(109:21) But do (imperative) thou for me, O God the Lord, 

for thy name’s sake, 

because thy mercy is good, 

deliver (imperative) thou me.

(109:26) Help (imperative) me, O Lord my God: 

O save (imperative) me according to thy mercy.

DATE:  June 23

BIBLE READING:  Psalms 111-115

Praise ye the Lord . I will praise the Lord with my whole heart, in the assembly of the upright, and in the congregation. The works of the Lord are great, sought out of all them that have pleasure therein. His work is honourable and glorious: and his righteousness endureth for ever. He hath made his wonderful works to be remembered: the Lord is gracious and full of compassion. He hath given meat unto them that fear him: he will ever be mindful of his covenant. He hath shewed his people the power of his works, that he may give them the heritage of the heathen. The works of his hands are verity and judgment; all his commandments are sure. They stand fast for ever and ever, and are done in truth and uprightness. He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.
Psalm 111:1-10 (KJV)

Praise ye the Lord . Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord , that delighteth greatly in his commandments. His seed shall be mighty upon earth: the generation of the upright shall be blessed. Wealth and riches shall be in his house: and his righteousness endureth for ever. Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness: he is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous. A good man sheweth favour, and lendeth: he will guide his affairs with discretion. Surely he shall not be moved for ever: the righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance. He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord . His heart is established, he shall not be afraid, until he see his desire upon his enemies. He hath dispersed, he hath given to the poor; his righteousness endureth for ever; his horn shall be exalted with honour. The wicked shall see it, and be grieved; he shall gnash with his teeth, and melt away: the desire of the wicked shall perish.
Psalm 112:1-10 (KJV)

Praise ye the Lord . Praise, O ye servants of the Lord , praise the name of the Lord . Blessed be the name of the Lord from this time forth and for evermore. From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the Lord ‘s name is to be praised. The Lord is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens. Who is like unto the Lord our God, who dwelleth on high, Who humbleth himself to behold the things that are in heaven, and in the earth! He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth the needy out of the dunghill; That he may set him with princes, even with the princes of his people. He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the Lord .
Psalm 113:1-9 (KJV)

When Israel went out of Egypt, the house of Jacob from a people of strange language; Judah was his sanctuary, and Israel his dominion. The sea saw it, and fled: Jordan was driven back. The mountains skipped like rams, and the little hills like lambs. What ailed thee, O thou sea, that thou fleddest? thou Jordan, that thou wast driven back? Ye mountains, that ye skipped like rams; and ye little hills, like lambs? Tremble, thou earth, at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob; Which turned the rock into a standing water, the flint into a fountain of waters.
Psalm 114:1-8 (KJV)

Not unto us, O Lord , not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth’s sake. Wherefore should the heathen say, Where is now their God? But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased. Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands. They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not: They have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not: They have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat. They that make them are like unto them; so is every one that trusteth in them. O Israel, trust thou in the Lord : he is their help and their shield. O house of Aaron, trust in the Lord : he is their help and their shield. Ye that fear the Lord , trust in the Lord : he is their help and their shield. The Lord hath been mindful of us: he will bless us; he will bless the house of Israel; he will bless the house of Aaron. He will bless them that fear the Lord , both small and great. The Lord shall increase you more and more, you and your children. Ye are blessed of the Lord which made heaven and earth. The heaven, even the heavens, are the Lord ‘s: but the earth hath he given to the children of men. The dead praise not the Lord , neither any that go down into silence. But we will bless the Lord from this time forth and for evermore. Praise the Lord .
Psalm 115:1-18 (KJV)

TITLE:  THE MOUNTAINS SKIPPED – LITTLE HILLS LIKE LAMBS

DATE:  June 23

BIBLE READING:  Psalms 111-115

MOUNTAIN PASSAGES: 114:4 – #52-53 of 64, 114:6 – #54-55 of 64

TODAY’S CLIMB: ____________________________________

(114:4) THE MOUNTAINS skipped like rams, the LITTLE HILLS like lambs. 

(114:6) O MOUNTAINS, that you skipped like rams? O LITTLE HILLS, like lambs?

Psalm 114 is one of the Hallel Psalms (Psalms 114-118).  It was recited and/or sung before the Passover meal which celebrated Israel’s Exodus from Egypt.   This theme has given this psalm the nickname, “the Egyptian Hallel.”  In verse one Israel’s exodus is described leaving “a people of strange language.”  That illustrates that the Hebrews were never fully assimilated into the Egyptian culture.  If they had we would have an Egyptian Septuagint.   Just as the Egyptians talked different so do “mountain people.”    

The selection criteria for this devotional book has been psalms with references to either a mountain(s), a hill(s) or a named mount.  We will have covered sixty such references.  So we have been talking a lot of mountain talk.

Let me give you a glossary of such Appalachian mountain talk:

“Britches” – pants/trousers

“Sallet” – salad

“Afeared” – afraid

“Fixin” – getting ready (hillbilly English tends to drop the “g” from words ending in “ing.”

“Holler” – hollow – a small sheltered valley that usually had a watercourse – home of nearly 2 million people – about the number of Hebrews that left Egypt in the Exodus

“Winder’ – window

“Sody-pop’ – soda-pop

“Jasper” – refers to an outsider, someone who is not from the mountains 

“Cut a shine” – to dance

“Ain’t never could do nothin” – don’t give up before you started 

“Born on the wrong side of the blanket” – out of wedlock, unknown father 

Cattywompas – a real mean critter, a crook

“Churched” – thrown out of the church, removed from the membership role

“Every tub has to sit on it’s own bottom” – you have to live with your mistakes and choices you make in life

“Fair to midlin’” – I’m OK 

“Good book” – the Bible

“God willin’ and the creeks don’t rise” – you can count on it unless

“Kit and Kaboodle” – bundle or package

“Three dog night” – so cold you need three dogs to keep you warm

Some think the unique Appalachian dialect is the preserved language of Elizabethan England.  Others think it is the left over dialect from Scots-Irish immigrants.  Most conclude it is so archaic that it has been hundreds of years out of step with the rest of the English-speaking world.  

Israel was out of step with the Egyptian-speaking world for approximately 400 years.  Finally, in 1446 BC, the Jews were on the move again towards the Promised Land.  To get there, God had to part miraculously the Red Sea and to temporarily stop and drive back the Jordan River.  In between those two amazing water works was forty years.  

In Psalm 114:4, strange language is used called personification.  Who has seen “mountains” skip “like rams” or “like lambs.”   “Rams” and “lambs” can make some unique moves when they are happy and when they are frightened,  These animals are full of life and are fun to watch.  Here, mountains are being compared to these mobile creatures who have great responses to their surroundings.   What mountains does the psalmist have in mine that fits the narrative between the Red Sea and the Jordan River experiences?  The answer can only be Mount Sinai.  After the Exodus, Israel was brought to Mount Sinai where God came down from heaven and met Moses at the summit.  It was here on this mountain that God met with man and gave to mankind what was already written in each man’s heart – the moral law of God – the Ten Commandments.   It was at the base of this mount that Israel entered into a covenant relationship with God.  This sequence of events was highlighted by God’s power and presence being made manifest in the “mountains” and “hills” of Sinai by lightning and thunder.  

In verse six, the personification of the mountains and hills are seen again, but in this case the phrases were framed by two more question marks.  These questions were designed to ask “what ailed” these mountains to behave so exuberantly.  These questions and the former two were not explicitly answered, but the answer is obvious – God’s presence with His people made them move like this.   All of the earth should respond by trembling and fearing God.

SUMMITING PRAYER IMPERATIVES (PSALMS 111-115)

(115:1) Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, 

but unto thy name give (imperative) glory, 

for thy mercy, and for thy truth’s sake.

DATE:  June 24

BIBLE READING:  Psalms 116-120

I love the Lord , because he hath heard my voice and my supplications. Because he hath inclined his ear unto me, therefore will I call upon him as long as I live. The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow. Then called I upon the name of the Lord ; O Lord , I beseech thee, deliver my soul. Gracious is the Lord , and righteous; yea, our God is merciful. The Lord preserveth the simple: I was brought low, and he helped me. Return unto thy rest, O my soul; for the Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee. For thou hast delivered my soul from death, mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling. I will walk before the Lord in the land of the living. I believed, therefore have I spoken: I was greatly afflicted: I said in my haste, All men are liars. What shall I render unto the Lord for all his benefits toward me? I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord . I will pay my vows unto the Lord now in the presence of all his people. Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints. O Lord , truly I am thy servant; I am thy servant, and the son of thine handmaid: thou hast loosed my bonds. I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the Lord . I will pay my vows unto the Lord now in the presence of all his people. In the courts of the Lord ‘s house, in the midst of thee, O Jerusalem. Praise ye the Lord .
Psalm 116:1-19 (KJV)

O praise the Lord , all ye nations: praise him, all ye people. For his merciful kindness is great toward us: and the truth of the Lord endureth for ever. Praise ye the Lord .
Psalm 117:1-2 (KJV)

O give thanks unto the Lord ; for he is good: because his mercy endureth for ever. Let Israel now say, that his mercy endureth for ever. Let the house of Aaron now say, that his mercy endureth for ever. Let them now that fear the Lord say, that his mercy endureth for ever. I called upon the Lord in distress: the Lord answered me, and set me in a large place. The Lord is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me? The Lord taketh my part with them that help me: therefore shall I see my desire upon them that hate me. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes. All nations compassed me about: but in the name of the Lord will I destroy them. They compassed me about; yea, they compassed me about: but in the name of the Lord I will destroy them. They compassed me about like bees: they are quenched as the fire of thorns: for in the name of the Lord I will destroy them. Thou hast thrust sore at me that I might fall: but the Lord helped me. The Lord is my strength and song, and is become my salvation. The voice of rejoicing and salvation is in the tabernacles of the righteous: the right hand of the Lord doeth valiantly. The right hand of the Lord is exalted: the right hand of the Lord doeth valiantly. I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord . The Lord hath chastened me sore: but he hath not given me over unto death. Open to me the gates of righteousness: I will go into them, and I will praise the Lord : This gate of the Lord , into which the righteous shall enter. I will praise thee: for thou hast heard me, and art become my salvation. The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner. This is the Lord ‘s doing; it is marvellous in our eyes. This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. Save now, I beseech thee, O Lord : O Lord , I beseech thee, send now prosperity. Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the Lord : we have blessed you out of the house of the Lord . God is the Lord , which hath shewed us light: bind the sacrifice with cords, even unto the horns of the altar. Thou art my God, and I will praise thee: thou art my God, I will exalt thee. O give thanks unto the Lord ; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.
Psalm 118:1-29 (KJV)

Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord . Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart. They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways. Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently. O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes! Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments. I will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments. I will keep thy statutes: O forsake me not utterly. Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word. With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments. Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. Blessed art thou, O Lord : teach me thy statutes. With my lips have I declared all the judgments of thy mouth. I have rejoiced in the way of thy testimonies, as much as in all riches. I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways. I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word. Deal bountifully with thy servant, that I may live, and keep thy word. Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law. I am a stranger in the earth: hide not thy commandments from me. My soul breaketh for the longing that it hath unto thy judgments at all times. Thou hast rebuked the proud that are cursed, which do err from thy commandments. Remove from me reproach and contempt; for I have kept thy testimonies. Princes also did sit and speak against me: but thy servant did meditate in thy statutes. Thy testimonies also are my delight and my counselors. My soul cleaveth unto the dust: quicken thou me according to thy word. I have declared my ways, and thou heardest me: teach me thy statutes. Make me to understand the way of thy precepts: so shall I talk of thy wondrous works. My soul melteth for heaviness: strengthen thou me according unto thy word. Remove from me the way of lying: and grant me thy law graciously. I have chosen the way of truth: thy judgments have I laid before me. I have stuck unto thy testimonies: O Lord , put me not to shame. I will run the way of thy commandments, when thou shalt enlarge my heart. Teach me, O Lord , the way of thy statutes; and I shall keep it unto the end. Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart. Make me to go in the path of thy commandments; for therein do I delight. Incline my heart unto thy testimonies, and not to covetousness. Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity; and quicken thou me in thy way. Stablish thy word unto thy servant, who is devoted to thy fear. Turn away my reproach which I fear: for thy judgments are good. Behold, I have longed after thy precepts: quicken me in thy righteousness. Let thy mercies come also unto me, O Lord , even thy salvation, according to thy word. So shall I have wherewith to answer him that reproacheth me: for I trust in thy word. And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth; for I have hoped in thy judgments. So shall I keep thy law continually for ever and ever. And I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts. I will speak of thy testimonies also before kings, and will not be ashamed. And I will delight myself in thy commandments, which I have loved. My hands also will I lift up unto thy commandments, which I have loved; and I will meditate in thy statutes. Remember the word unto thy servant, upon which thou hast caused me to hope. This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me. The proud have had me greatly in derision: yet have I not declined from thy law. I remembered thy judgments of old, O Lord ; and have comforted myself. Horror hath taken hold upon me because of the wicked that forsake thy law. Thy statutes have been my songs in the house of my pilgrimage. I have remembered thy name, O Lord , in the night, and have kept thy law. This I had, because I kept thy precepts. Thou art my portion, O Lord : I have said that I would keep thy words. I intreated thy favour with my whole heart: be merciful unto me according to thy word. I thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto thy testimonies. I made haste, and delayed not to keep thy commandments. The bands of the wicked have robbed me: but I have not forgotten thy law. At midnight I will rise to give thanks unto thee because of thy righteous judgments. I am a companion of all them that fear thee, and of them that keep thy precepts. The earth, O Lord , is full of thy mercy: teach me thy statutes. Thou hast dealt well with thy servant, O Lord , according unto thy word. Teach me good judgment and knowledge: for I have believed thy commandments. Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word. Thou art good, and doest good; teach me thy statutes. The proud have forged a lie against me: but I will keep thy precepts with my whole heart. Their heart is as fat as grease; but I delight in thy law. It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes. The law of thy mouth is better unto me than thousands of gold and silver. Thy hands have made me and fashioned me: give me understanding, that I may learn thy commandments. They that fear thee will be glad when they see me; because I have hoped in thy word. I know, O Lord , that thy judgments are right, and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me. Let, I pray thee, thy merciful kindness be for my comfort, according to thy word unto thy servant. Let thy tender mercies come unto me, that I may live: for thy law is my delight. Let the proud be ashamed; for they dealt perversely with me without a cause: but I will meditate in thy precepts. Let those that fear thee turn unto me, and those that have known thy testimonies. Let my heart be sound in thy statutes; that I be not ashamed. My soul fainteth for thy salvation: but I hope in thy word. Mine eyes fail for thy word, saying, When wilt thou comfort me? For I am become like a bottle in the smoke; yet do I not forget thy statutes. How many are the days of thy servant? when wilt thou execute judgment on them that persecute me? The proud have digged pits for me, which are not after thy law. All thy commandments are faithful: they persecute me wrongfully; help thou me. They had almost consumed me upon earth; but I forsook not thy precepts. Quicken me after thy lovingkindness; so shall I keep the testimony of thy mouth. For ever, O Lord , thy word is settled in heaven. Thy faithfulness is unto all generations: thou hast established the earth, and it abideth. They continue this day according to thine ordinances: for all are thy servants. Unless thy law had been my delights, I should then have perished in mine affliction. I will never forget thy precepts: for with them thou hast quickened me. I am thine, save me: for I have sought thy precepts. The wicked have waited for me to destroy me: but I will consider thy testimonies. I have seen an end of all perfection: but thy commandment is exceeding broad. O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day. Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts. I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep thy word. I have not departed from thy judgments: for thou hast taught me. How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. I have sworn, and I will perform it, that I will keep thy righteous judgments. I am afflicted very much: quicken me, O Lord , according unto thy word. Accept, I beseech thee, the freewill offerings of my mouth, O Lord , and teach me thy judgments. My soul is continually in my hand: yet do I not forget thy law. The wicked have laid a snare for me: yet I erred not from thy precepts. Thy testimonies have I taken as an heritage for ever: for they are the rejoicing of my heart. I have inclined mine heart to perform thy statutes alway, even unto the end. I hate vain thoughts: but thy law do I love. Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word. Depart from me, ye evildoers: for I will keep the commandments of my God. Uphold me according unto thy word, that I may live: and let me not be ashamed of my hope. Hold thou me up, and I shall be safe: and I will have respect unto thy statutes continually. Thou hast trodden down all them that err from thy statutes: for their deceit is falsehood. Thou puttest away all the wicked of the earth like dross: therefore I love thy testimonies. My flesh trembleth for fear of thee; and I am afraid of thy judgments. I have done judgment and justice: leave me not to mine oppressors. Be surety for thy servant for good: let not the proud oppress me. Mine eyes fail for thy salvation, and for the word of thy righteousness. Deal with thy servant according unto thy mercy, and teach me thy statutes. I am thy servant; give me understanding, that I may know thy testimonies. It is time for thee, Lord , to work: for they have made void thy law. Therefore I love thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold. Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way. Thy testimonies are wonderful: therefore doth my soul keep them. The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple. I opened my mouth, and panted: for I longed for thy commandments. Look thou upon me, and be merciful unto me, as thou usest to do unto those that love thy name. Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me. Deliver me from the oppression of man: so will I keep thy precepts. Make thy face to shine upon thy servant; and teach me thy statutes. Rivers of waters run down mine eyes, because they keep not thy law. Righteous art thou, O Lord , and upright are thy judgments. Thy testimonies that thou hast commanded are righteous and very faithful. My zeal hath consumed me, because mine enemies have forgotten thy words. Thy word is very pure: therefore thy servant loveth it. I am small and despised: yet do not I forget thy precepts. Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and thy law is the truth. Trouble and anguish have taken hold on me: yet thy commandments are my delights. The righteousness of thy testimonies is everlasting: give me understanding, and I shall live. I cried with my whole heart; hear me, O Lord : I will keep thy statutes. I cried unto thee; save me, and I shall keep thy testimonies. I prevented the dawning of the morning, and cried: I hoped in thy word. Mine eyes prevent the night watches, that I might meditate in thy word. Hear my voice according unto thy lovingkindness: O Lord , quicken me according to thy judgment. They draw nigh that follow after mischief: they are far from thy law. Thou art near, O Lord ; and all thy commandments are truth. Concerning thy testimonies, I have known of old that thou hast founded them for ever. Consider mine affliction, and deliver me: for I do not forget thy law. Plead my cause, and deliver me: quicken me according to thy word. Salvation is far from the wicked: for they seek not thy statutes. Great are thy tender mercies, O Lord : quicken me according to thy judgments. Many are my persecutors and mine enemies; yet do I not decline from thy testimonies. I beheld the transgressors, and was grieved; because they kept not thy word. Consider how I love thy precepts: quicken me, O Lord , according to thy lovingkindness. Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever. Princes have persecuted me without a cause: but my heart standeth in awe of thy word. I rejoice at thy word, as one that findeth great spoil. I hate and abhor lying: but thy law do I love. Seven times a day do I praise thee because of thy righteous judgments. Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them. Lord , I have hoped for thy salvation, and done thy commandments. My soul hath kept thy testimonies; and I love them exceedingly. I have kept thy precepts and thy testimonies: for all my ways are before thee. Let my cry come near before thee, O Lord : give me understanding according to thy word. Let my supplication come before thee: deliver me according to thy word. My lips shall utter praise, when thou hast taught me thy statutes. My tongue shall speak of thy word: for all thy commandments are righteousness. Let thine hand help me; for I have chosen thy precepts. I have longed for thy salvation, O Lord ; and thy law is my delight. Let my soul live, and it shall praise thee; and let thy judgments help me. I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek thy servant; for I do not forget thy commandments.
Psalm 119:1-176 (KJV)

In my distress I cried unto the Lord , and he heard me. Deliver my soul, O Lord , from lying lips, and from a deceitful tongue. What shall be given unto thee? or what shall be done unto thee, thou false tongue? Sharp arrows of the mighty, with coals of juniper. Woe is me, that I sojourn in Mesech, that I dwell in the tents of Kedar! My soul hath long dwelt with him that hateth peace. I am for peace: but when I speak, they are for war.
Psalm 120:1-7 (KJV)

TITLE: 

DATE:  June 24

BIBLE READING:  Psalms 116-120

MOUNTAIN PASSAGES: NO MOUNTAIN REFERENCES (6)

TODAY’S CLIMB: ____________________________________

PSALM 116:19 – JERUSALEM – LORD’S HOUSE

In the courts of the Lord’s house, In the midst of thee, O Jerusalem. Praise ye the Lord.

PSALM 118:5 – SET ME IN A BROAD PLACE 

PSALM 118:22 – HAS BECOME THE CHIEF CORNERSTONE

PSALM 120:3 – Woe is me, that I dwell in MESHECH, that I dwell among the tents of KEDAR

SUMMITING PRAYER IMPERATIVES (PSALMS 116-120)

(116:4) Then called I upon the name of the Lord; O Lord, 

I beseech (imperative) thee, 

deliver (imperative) my soul.

(118:25) Save (imperative) now, 

I beseech thee, O Lord: O Lord, 

I beseech thee, send now prosperity (imperative).

(119:12) Blessed art thou, O Lord: 

teach (imperative) me thy statutes.

(119:17) Deal bountifully (imperative) with thy servant, 

that I may live, and keep (cohortative) thy word.

(119:18) Open (imperative) thou mine eyes, 

that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.

(119:22) Remove (imperative) from me reproach and contempt; 

for I have kept thy testimonies.

(119:25) My soul cleaveth unto the dust: quicken (imperative) thou me according to thy word.

(119:27) Make me to understand (imperative) the way of thy precepts: 

so shall I talk of thy wondrous works.

(119:28) My soul melteth for heaviness: 

strengthen (imperative)  thou me according unto thy word.

(119:29) Remove (imperative) from me the way of lying: 

and grant me thy law graciously (imperative). 

(119:31) I have stuck unto thy testimonies: O Lord, 

put me not to shame (imperative).

(119:33) Teach (imperative) me, O Lord; the way of thy statutes; 

and I shall keep it unto the end.

(119:34) Give (imperative) me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; 

Yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart.

(119:35) Make (imperative) me to go in the path of thy commandments; 

for therein do I delight.

(119:36) Incline (imperative) my heart unto thy testimonies, 

and not to covetousness.

(119:37) Turn away (imperative) mine eyes from beholding vanity; 

and quicken (imperative) thou me in thy way.

(119:38) Establish (imperative) thy word unto thy servant, 

who is devoted to thy fear.

(119:39) Turn away (imperative) my reproach which I fear: 

for thy judgments are good.

(119:40) Behold, I have longed after thy precepts: 

quicken (imperative) me in thy righteousness. 

(119:49) Remember (imperative) the word unto thy servant, 

upon which thou hast caused me to hope.

(119:58) I intreated thy favor with my whole heart: 

be merciful (imperative) unto me according to thy word.

(119:64) The earth, O Lord, is full of thy mercy: 

teach (imperative) me thy statutes.

(119:66) Teach (imperative) me good judgment and knowledge: 

for I have believed thy commandments.

(119:68) Thou art good, and doest good; 

teach (imperative) mw why statutes.  

(119:73) Thy hands have made me and fashioned me: 

give (imperative) me understanding, that I may learn thy commandments.

(119:86) All thy commandments are faithful: they persecute me wrongfully; 

help (imperative) thou me.

(119:88) Quicken (imperative) me after thy lovingkindness; 

so shall I keep the testimony of thy mouth.  

(119:94) I am thine, save (imperative) me; 

for I have sought thy percepts.

(119:107) I am afflicted very much: 

quicken (imperative) me, O Lord, according unto thy word.  

(119:108) Accept (imperative) I beseech thee, the freewill offerings of my mouth, O Lord, and teach (imperative) me thy judgments. 

(119:116) Uphold (imperative) me according unto thy word, that I may live: 

and let me not be ashamed (jussive) of my hope.

(119:117) Hold thou me up (imperative), and I shall be safe: 

and I will have respect unto thy statutes continually.

(119:122) Be surety (imperative) for thy servant for good:  

Let not the proud oppress (jussive) me.

(119:124) Deal (imperative) with thy servant according unto thy mercy, 

and teach (imperative) me thy statutes.

(119:125) I am thy servant, 

give (imperative) me understanding, that I may know thy testimonies.

(119:132) Look (imperative) thou upon me, 

and be merciful (imperative) unto me, 

as thou usest to do unto those that love thy name.

(119:133) Order (imperative) my steps in thy word:  

and let not any iniquity have dominion (jussive) over me.

(119:134) Deliver (imperative) me from the oppression of man: 

so will I keep thy precepts.

(119:135) Make thy face to shine (imperative) upon thy servant; 

and teach (imperative) me thy statutes.  

(119:144) The righteousness of thy testimonies is everlasting: 

give (imperative) me understanding, and I shall live.

(119:145) I cried with my whole heart: 

hear (imperative) me, O Lord, 

I will keep thy statutes. 

(119:146) I cried unto thee, save (imperative) me, 

and I shall keep thy testimonies.

(119:149) Hear (imperative) my voice according unto thy lovingkindness: 

O Lord, quicken (imperative) me according to thy judgment.

(119:153) Consider (imperative) mine affliction, 

and deliver (imperative) me: 

for I do not forget thy law.

(119:154) Plead (imperative) my cause, and deliver (imperative) me: 

Quicken (imperative) me according to thy judgments. 

(119:159) Consider (imperative) how I love thy precepts: 

quicken (imperative) me, O Lord, according to thy lovingkindness.

(119:169) Let my cry come near (jussive) before thee, O Lord:  

give me understanding (imperative) according to thy word.

(119:170) Let my supplication come (jussive) before thee: 

deliver (imperative) me according to thy word.

(119:176) I have gone astray like a lost sheep; 

seek (imperative) thy servant; 

For I do not forget thy commandments.  

(120:2) Deliver (imperative) my soul, O Lord, from lying lips, 

and from a deceitful tongue.

DATE:  June 25

BIBLE READING:  Psalms 121-125

I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord , which made heaven and earth. He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber. Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is thy keeper: the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand. The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul. The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.
Psalm 121:1-8 (KJV)

I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord . Our feet shall stand within thy gates, O Jerusalem. Jerusalem is builded as a city that is compact together: Whither the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord , unto the testimony of Israel, to give thanks unto the name of the Lord . For there are set thrones of judgment, the thrones of the house of David. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee. Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy palaces. For my brethren and companions’ sakes, I will now say, Peace be within thee. Because of the house of the Lord our God I will seek thy good.
Psalm 122:1-9 (KJV)

Unto thee lift I up mine eyes, O thou that dwellest in the heavens. Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the Lord our God, until that he have mercy upon us. Have mercy upon us, O Lord , have mercy upon us: for we are exceedingly filled with contempt. Our soul is exceedingly filled with the scorning of those that are at ease, and with the contempt of the proud.
Psalm 123:1-4 (KJV)

If it had not been the Lord who was on our side, now may Israel say; If it had not been the Lord who was on our side, when men rose up against us: Then they had swallowed us up quick, when their wrath was kindled against us: Then the waters had overwhelmed us, the stream had gone over our soul: Then the proud waters had gone over our soul. Blessed be the Lord , who hath not given us as a prey to their teeth. Our soul is escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowlers: the snare is broken, and we are escaped. Our help is in the name of the Lord , who made heaven and earth.
Psalm 124:1-8 (KJV)

They that trust in the Lord shall be as mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but abideth for ever. As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the Lord is round about his people from henceforth even for ever. For the rod of the wicked shall not rest upon the lot of the righteous; lest the righteous put forth their hands unto iniquity. Do good, O Lord , unto those that be good, and to them that are upright in their hearts. As for such as turn aside unto their crooked ways, the Lord shall lead them forth with the workers of iniquity: but peace shall be upon Israel.
Psalm 125:1-5 (KJV)

 

TITLE:  LOOK TO THE HILLS:  THE COLORADO PSALM

DATE:  June 25

BIBLE READING:  Psalms 121-125

MOUNTAIN PASSAGES:  121:1 – #56 of 64

TODAY’S CLIMB: ____________________________________

(121:1) I will lift up mine eyes to THE HILLS—From whence comes my help?  

It did not take me long once moving to Colorado in July of 2002 to start preaching on “Mountains in the Bible.”  This text served as the passage for my second sermon on July 11.  In the past twenty-one years I have preached more from this text than any other verse in the Bible.  I have coined this psalm, “The Colorado Psalm,” and I have used this text in nearly every funeral or committal service that I have preached.  It is a great passage to share with hurting family members as we stand by an open grave, with a casket that holds the remains of their loved one.  Nearly every cemetery in Colorado has a view to our spectacular Rocky Mountains.  It is easy to motion toward those hills and say, “I will lift up my eyes to the hills, from whence cometh my help.” This is especially comforting to those who know personally the Creator of these hills. 

This past week we were at the Fort Logan National Cemetery for the committal service for Betty Kutsuma. She would be laid to rest next to Air Force veteran TAKAZUMI KUTSUMA, her husband.  There was snow on the ground, a chill in the ear and a tear in the eye of her three adopted children.  I would read the same passage I read at TAKAZUMI’S committal service several years earlier, “I will lift up my eyes to the hills, from whence cometh my help.” 

Around the corner in the southeastern corner of Fort Logan rests Mary Vose.  Mary did over 16,000 pages of editing for me.  She died on January 2, 2020.  At her committal on these sacred grounds, I read, “I will lift up my eyes to the hills, from whence cometh my help.”  Near her grave is Dan Becker and a stone’s throw away from his grave is Russell Siefkes.  For these noble men I read within our twenty minute window which included taps and the presentation of our flag to a family member I have read the words, “I will lift up my eyes!” 

The cemetery where I have done the most funerals over the years is Crown Hill. Nearly every lot has a view of Long’s Peak or one of the ranges meeker peaks.   It is easy to sing a “Mansion over the Hilltop” as we all gaze at the formidable backdrop.  For Canadian Judy Patricia Richards, I had preached a sermon “Don’t Cry for Me, I’m Up Here.” At the graveside I was reading Psalm 121, when a gaggle of Canadian Geese walked by our small gathering to pay their last respects to a fellow Maple Leaf.   It was there at her grave the family released balloons, nine miles away, a granddaughter who had to leave earlier for work watched a few minutes later one of those balloons fly right over Judy’s earthly home.   Inexplainable, but certainly encourages us to realize “whence cometh our help.”   Several months ago we buried Duane Richards next to Judy.  Once again I read the Colorado Psalm.

It was at Crown Hill that a family member would sing Go Rest High on That Mountain.  Easy to follow this message with Psalm 121.   Around the corner from Jonathan Oliver’s grave, the courageous young man who died on December 3, 2011 is the grave of a young teenage girl who committed suicide.  Her father is a rock star.  I will leave off his name out of respect.  When his daughter had died he “heard the voice of his deceased mother” saying find a Baptist preacher to do her funeral.  He randomly googled Baptist churches and found ours.  He called and asked if I would do his daughter’s funeral.  I readily agreed.   At the funeral, he had a 90-minute video of his daughter.  The chapel was packed with his band, bodyguards, girlfriend and ex girl friends – maybe ex-wife, friends and fans.  I would have the privilege of presenting the gospel to every one of them.  Between the sobbing you could hear a pin drop when the Scriptures were opened.  At the grave side I tried to encourage the father to look to the mountains and to the Maker of those mountains to find his help “in time of need.” 

The view from the Broomfield County Common’s Cemetery has an unimpaired view of the mountains.  There is buried some of the sweetest people I have ever met:  Dr. Charles B. Homsher (founder of Neighborhood Bible Time) and his wife.  Dr. James Steel (theologian, writer, Bible college president and friend),  Missionary Loether Doerstling and his dear wife,  Cinthi Midkiff and a handful of others. At Cinthi’s funeral I would have my worst funeral blooper ever.  I had read Psalm 121 and then asked everyone to bow their heads as I prayed a very extemporaneous, committal prayer.  I was thinking on 1 Corinthians 15:54, “and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.”  Unfortunately, I left off one letter in the word “immortality” when I was praising God for Cinthi and the prospects of her  “immorality.”  Uggh, at least I read Psalm 121 accurately.  

One of my favorite cemeteries is Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Erie.  There I buried Pastor Bill Green and his wife.  Bill was born in 1924 in Florence, Alabama.  He fought at the Battle of the Bulge and attended the Nuremberg International War Trials.  He was an avid Crimson Tide fan and had played football.  One of his fellow football players had led him to Christ in his teens.  His friend’s last name was Yost.  He was the football coach that was not accurately represented in a film called Remember the Titans. Coach Yost was a godly man and a very effective soul winner.  What a view at the Green’s graves.  For each of their funerals I read on that ridge, “I will lift up mine eyes, from whence cometh my help.”  

I get the most emotional when I do a funeral service at Olinger’s Highland Cemetery.  Buried there are several little babies, Zoe Goforth and Indian family’s Gaikwad.  There you can find the grave of Debbie Robbins.  She was the wife of Larry Robbin who has been an associate pastor now at TCBC for forty plus years. My wife and I were very close to Debbie.  When visiting her grave I am the one that has to look “unto the hills.”  I can still remember at her service reading Psalm 121 and giving a gospel invitation to find salvation and help from God. Larry and Debbie’s neighbor bowed her head and heart before her grave and accepted Christ as her Savior.

Just a few feet a way from her grave is Amy Bixby who died of cancer.  She and her husband, Pastor Jon Bixby, had an incredible testimony!  Near to her grave is Debbie West’s resting spot.  Throughout the Highland Cemetery are friends we have buried and at each funeral as we looked beyond I-25 to the mountains I would often read Psalm 23, but always Psalm 121. 

It does not matter if the graveside service is held at Golden Hill Cemetery, Mount Nebo Cemetery, Rose Hill Cemetery, Mount Lindo Cemetery, Cedar Hill Cemetery, I will read from these hills the Colorado Psalm while gesturing to the mountains always to the west, and will say “Lift up” your eyes – there is help and hope from God.

TITLE:  BEING COMPARED TO MOUNT ZION 

DATE:  June 25

BIBLE READING:  Psalms 121-125

MOUNTAIN PASSAGES:  125:1 – #57 of 64, 125:2 – #58 of 64

TODAY’S CLIMB: ____________________________________

(125:1)  Those who trust in the Lord are like MOUNT ZION,  Which cannot be moved, but abides forever.

(125:2) As THE MOUNTAINS surround Jerusalem, So the Lord surrounds His people from this time forth and forever.  

In Psalm 125, “Those who trust in the Lord” are blessed in five ways.  The first blessing is described in the comparison that such a person should be like “Mount Zion.”  In which way is the believer like “Mount Zion?”  Are we as big as a mountain? Are we gray headed, like the snowcaps on “Mount Zion” on a cold winter day. Such comparisons may not be flattering.  The psalmist answers our question, by saying that the one trusting God “cannot be moved,” just as you could not move Mount Zion unless you had a Caterpillar D11T Dozer, but even then it would take forever to move it.  The point, is under natural conditions, that mountain is going nowhere.  It is rock solid.  The one trusting Christ is likewise made immoveable, stable, and rock solid by God’s power.   

We are often told to surround ourselves with good people.  Oprah Winfrey says to “surround yourself with those who only lift you higher.”  John Wooden, arguably the greatest NCAA basketball coach with 885 wins, said, “whatever you do in life, surround yourself with smart people who’ll argue with you.” We are told by Jim Rohn that we “are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”  No question, it is important that we surround ourselves with good people, but what about being surrounded by God!  Wouldn’t that be the best situation! 

The person who’s is trusting in the Lord is surrounded by God’s presence.  Just “as the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds His people.”   Perhaps, you have had the joy of visiting a town nestled in the mountains where in every direction you are looking up at mountains that are holding you in its palm.  There is Lake Placid, where my wife and I went on our honeymoon, in the midst of the Adirondack Mountains of New York.  What a snug place to go to! There is Jackson Hole, Wyoming that is surrounded by the Grand Teton and Gros Ventre Wilderness.  This is an awe-inspiring place.  There is Ouray, Colorado, the “Switzerland of America” tucked within the San Juan Mountains.  There is Stowe, Vermont surrounded by Mount Mansfield, the Green Mountains and the Dorchester Range. Asheville, is home to the Biltmore Estate that enjoys being surrounded with views of the Appalachian Mountains.  There is Park City, Utah hugged by the peaks of the Wasatch Range.  On a larger scale there is “the city of Seven Hills” and then there is ultimately, Mount Zion – Jerusalem surrounded by the Judaean Mountains.  This was the location of the temple and the unique presence of God.  What a comforting place for the worshiper.  When you visited, it felt like you were surrounded by God.  There was the assurance that He would deliver you from any temptation or trial by God’s providential protection (125:3).  There was the comfort that one trusting in the Lord would be blessed with goodness  by God’s provision and plans (125:4). There was the consolation that the Lord would judge the crooked but would grant peace to His people by God’s Person (125:5). These amazing benefits for trusting God felt as if God was putting His arms around you and surrounding you with His love.   Amazingly, this experience was not to last simply during two weeks of vacation, but was to be permanent, “for ever.”  Do you need a hug today? Do you sense God’s presence and that He is surrounding you “as the mountains that surround Jerusalem?”  Do you sense His warm embrace and His protective arms around you? Do you need some stability in your life?  By faith, seek the Lord and implore Him to “do good” unto those who are “upright in their hearts.” 

SUMMITING PRAYER IMPERATIVES (PSALMS 121-125)

(122:6) Pray (imperative) for the peace of Jerusalem: 

they shall prosper that love thee.

(123:3) Have mercy (imperative) upon us, O Lord, 

have mercy (imperative) upon us; 

for we are exceedingly filled with contempt. 

(125:4) Do good (imperative), O Lord, unto those that be good, 

and to them that are upright in their hearts.

DATE:  June 26

BIBLE READING:  Psalms 126-130

When the Lord turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream. Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, The Lord hath done great things for them. The Lord hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad. Turn again our captivity, O Lord , as the streams in the south. They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.
Psalm 126:1-6 (KJV)

Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain. It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep. Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord : and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.
Psalm 127:1-5 (KJV)

Blessed is every one that feareth the Lord ; that walketh in his ways. For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee. Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house: thy children like olive plants round about thy table. Behold, that thus shall the man be blessed that feareth the Lord . The Lord shall bless thee out of Zion: and thou shalt see the good of Jerusalem all the days of thy life. Yea, thou shalt see thy children’s children, and peace upon Israel.
Psalm 128:1-6 (KJV)

Many a time have they afflicted me from my youth, may Israel now say: Many a time have they afflicted me from my youth: yet they have not prevailed against me. The plowers plowed upon my back: they made long their furrows. The Lord is righteous: he hath cut asunder the cords of the wicked. Let them all be confounded and turned back that hate Zion. Let them be as the grass upon the housetops, which withereth afore it groweth up: Wherewith the mower filleth not his hand; nor he that bindeth sheaves his bosom. Neither do they which go by say, The blessing of the Lord be upon you: we bless you in the name of the Lord .
Psalm 129:1-8 (KJV)

Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O Lord . Lord, hear my voice: let thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications. If thou, Lord , shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared. I wait for the Lord , my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope. My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for the morning. Let Israel hope in the Lord : for with the Lord there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption. And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.
Psalm 130:1-8 (KJV)

TITLE: 

DATE:  June 26

BIBLE READING:  Psalms 126-130

MOUNTAIN PASSAGES: NO MOUNTAIN REFERENCES (7)

TODAY’S CLIMB: ____________________________________

PSALM 126:1

When the Lord turned again the captivity of Zion, We were like them that dream.

PSALM 128:5

The Lord shall bless thee out of Zion: And thou shalt see the good of Jerusalem All the days of thy life.

PSALM 129:5

Let them all be confounded and turned back That hate Zion.

PSALM 129:6

Let them be as the grass on the HOUSETOPS,

SUMMITING PRAYER IMPERATIVES (PSALMS 126-130)

(126:4) Turn (imperative) again our captivity, 

O Lord, as the streams in the south.

(130:2) Lord, hear (imperative) my voice.  

Let thine ears be (jussive) attentive to the voice of my supplications. 

DATE:  June 27

BIBLE READING:  Psalms 131-135

Lord, my heart is not haughty, nor mine eyes lofty: neither do I exercise myself in great matters, or in things too high for me. Surely I have behaved and quieted myself, as a child that is weaned of his mother: my soul is even as a weaned child. Let Israel hope in the Lord from henceforth and for ever.
Psalm 131:1-3 (KJV)

Lord, remember David, and all his afflictions: How he sware unto the Lord , and vowed unto the mighty God of Jacob; Surely I will not come into the tabernacle of my house, nor go up into my bed; I will not give sleep to mine eyes, or slumber to mine eyelids, Until I find out a place for the Lord , an habitation for the mighty God of Jacob. Lo, we heard of it at Ephratah: we found it in the fields of the wood. We will go into his tabernacles: we will worship at his footstool. Arise, O Lord , into thy rest; thou, and the ark of thy strength. Let thy priests be clothed with righteousness; and let thy saints shout for joy. For thy servant David’s sake turn not away the face of thine anointed. The Lord hath sworn in truth unto David; he will not turn from it; Of the fruit of thy body will I set upon thy throne. If thy children will keep my covenant and my testimony that I shall teach them, their children shall also sit upon thy throne for evermore. For the Lord hath chosen Zion; he hath desired it for his habitation. This is my rest for ever: here will I dwell; for I have desired it. I will abundantly bless her provision: I will satisfy her poor with bread. I will also clothe her priests with salvation: and her saints shall shout aloud for joy. There will I make the horn of David to bud: I have ordained a lamp for mine anointed. His enemies will I clothe with shame: but upon himself shall his crown flourish.
Psalm 132:1-18 (KJV)

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments; As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the Lord commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.
Psalm 133:1-3 (KJV)

Behold, bless ye the Lord , all ye servants of the Lord , which by night stand in the house of the Lord . Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless the Lord . The Lord that made heaven and earth bless thee out of Zion.
Psalm 134:1-3 (KJV)

Praise ye the Lord . Praise ye the name of the Lord ; praise him, O ye servants of the Lord . Ye that stand in the house of the Lord , in the courts of the house of our God. Praise the Lord ; for the Lord is good: sing praises unto his name; for it is pleasant. For the Lord hath chosen Jacob unto himself, and Israel for his peculiar treasure. For I know that the Lord is great, and that our Lord is above all gods. Whatsoever the Lord pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places. He causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth; he maketh lightnings for the rain; he bringeth the wind out of his treasuries. Who smote the firstborn of Egypt, both of man and beast. Who sent tokens and wonders into the midst of thee, O Egypt, upon Pharaoh, and upon all his servants. Who smote great nations, and slew mighty kings; Sihon king of the Amorites, and Og king of Bashan, and all the kingdoms of Canaan: And gave their land for an heritage, an heritage unto Israel his people. Thy name, O Lord , endureth for ever; and thy memorial, O Lord , throughout all generations. For the Lord will judge his people, and he will repent himself concerning his servants. The idols of the heathen are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands. They have mouths, but they speak not; eyes have they, but they see not; They have ears, but they hear not; neither is there any breath in their mouths. They that make them are like unto them: so is every one that trusteth in them. Bless the Lord , O house of Israel: bless the Lord , O house of Aaron: Bless the Lord , O house of Levi: ye that fear the Lord , bless the Lord . Blessed be the Lord out of Zion, which dwelleth at Jerusalem. Praise ye the Lord .
Psalm 135:1-21 (KJV)

TITLE:  ENJOYING MOUNTAIN DEW 

DATE:  June 27

BIBLE READING:  Psalms 131-135

MOUNTAIN PASSAGES:  133:3 – #59-60 of 64

TODAY’S CLIMB: ____________________________________

(133:3)  It is like the dew of HERMON,  descending upon THE MOUNTAINS OF ZION;  for there the Lord commanded the blessing—Life forevermore.

I am personally not a big fan of Mountain Dew and its 55 mg of caffeine and 46 grams of sugar per twelve ounces.  However, I am a big fan of the unity of the saints and its comparison to Mountain Dew in this Psalm.

THE UNITY OF SAINTS by Isaac Watts 

Blest are the sons of peace, Whose hearts and hopes are one,

Whose kind designs to serve and please, Through all their actions run.

Blest is the godly house, Where zeal and friendship meet,

Their songs of praise, their mingled vows, Make their communion sweet.

Thus when on Aaron’s head, They poured the rich perfume

The oil through all his raiment spread, And pleasure filled the room.

Thus on the heavenly hills, The saints are blest above,

Where joy like morning-dew distills, And all the air is love. 

King David knew the hardships of disunity in his administration as well as the divisions in his very own family.   These factors contributed greatly to his death at the lower range of life expectancy – seventy.   Nothing weighs more on the heart of a righteous man than strained relationships.   

The ascent psalms were to help build the unity between the people of God and the tribes of Israel.  They would sing the same words and share the same tune.  Their hymns were selected for them as they journeyed to Israel for the three annual feasts.  They would include Psalms 120-134.  To unify the nation they would come to the same location – Jerusalem, at the same time, for the same purposes.  The Lord went to extra measures to give His people tools to build unity.   This psalm would pronounce a blessing on the people when they dwelled “together in unity.”  This unity was compared to the blessings of oil on the head and dew on the mountain.

This short psalm begins by challenging the reader to “behold,” to admire, appreciate how “good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.”    This exceptional, valuable and rare condition is not to be taken for granted.  When you see it and experience it, do all you can to keep it!  Paul says it this way in Ephesians 4:3, “Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” 

David compares biblical unity to “precious ointment.”  This ointment smells good and when applied to one’s head is quite soothing.  Such ointment was used at the anointing of the high priest at his ordination.  It was actually called the oil of consecration or dedication.  This ointment then had significant spiritual usages and pictured God setting aside His servant for sacred service.  The unity then has a spiritual and worshipful context.  The oil in view was uniquely compounded and was seen in superabundance, almost in extravagance in its application.  It is seen flowing from the priest’s hair to his beard and down to the hem of his robe. One easily sees Mary anointing Jesus, the high priest after the order of Melchizedek, with her precious ointment.  She had understood His message and His sacred service.  He was going to die for sins and be buried.  She anointed Him with that understanding.  Sadly, the disciples reaction illustrated that they were not in unity regarding her actions or in their understanding of Christ’s mission.  The understanding of the gospel is central to the believer’s unity. 

The unity that God desires for His people is also compared to “the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion.”   David described this dew originating from the highest mountain in the land – Mount Hermon.  Hermon is a beautiful mountain with its snow-capped peaks.  The summer sun melts the snow and run-off heads south in a variety of ways.  One refreshing avenue for this heavy mountain dew is south 125 miles to Jerusalem where it delivers its life-giving moisture in multiple packages.  The dew has a cleansing and refreshing effect on Zion. William Seymour writes, “So the dews on Hermon’s Hill which the summer clouds distill, floating southward in the night, pearly gems on Zion light.”  It is amazing that a mountain so far away can have such a positive impact on a city.   The ripple effects of unity likewise can have a global impact as believers can give their energy and time to fulfilling the Great Commission.  Disunity, steals evangelistic energy and time!

The Christian life is most enjoyed when believers “dwell together in unity!”  Such a life is a blessed life and gives a glimpse of heaven and the perfect unity we will enjoy at all times “for evermore.”  

SUMMITING PRAYER IMPERATIVES (PSALMS 131-135)

(131:1) Lord, Remember (imperative) David, 

and all his afflictions: 

(132:8) Arise (imperative), O Lord, into thy rest: 

Thou, and the ark of thy strength.

DATE:  June 28

BIBLE READING:  Psalms 136–140

O give thanks unto the Lord ; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. O give thanks unto the God of gods: for his mercy endureth for ever. O give thanks to the Lord of lords: for his mercy endureth for ever. To him who alone doeth great wonders: for his mercy endureth for ever. To him that by wisdom made the heavens: for his mercy endureth for ever. To him that stretched out the earth above the waters: for his mercy endureth for ever. To him that made great lights: for his mercy endureth for ever: The sun to rule by day: for his mercy endureth for ever: The moon and stars to rule by night: for his mercy endureth for ever. To him that smote Egypt in their firstborn: for his mercy endureth for ever: And brought out Israel from among them: for his mercy endureth for ever: With a strong hand, and with a stretched out arm: for his mercy endureth for ever. To him which divided the Red sea into parts: for his mercy endureth for ever: And made Israel to pass through the midst of it: for his mercy endureth for ever: But overthrew Pharaoh and his host in the Red sea: for his mercy endureth for ever. To him which led his people through the wilderness: for his mercy endureth for ever. To him which smote great kings: for his mercy endureth for ever: And slew famous kings: for his mercy endureth for ever: Sihon king of the Amorites: for his mercy endureth for ever: And Og the king of Bashan: for his mercy endureth for ever: And gave their land for an heritage: for his mercy endureth for ever: Even an heritage unto Israel his servant: for his mercy endureth for ever. Who remembered us in our low estate: for his mercy endureth for ever: And hath redeemed us from our enemies: for his mercy endureth for ever. Who giveth food to all flesh: for his mercy endureth for ever. O give thanks unto the God of heaven: for his mercy endureth for ever.
Psalm 136:1-26 (KJV)

By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion. We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof. For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song; and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion. How shall we sing the Lord ‘s song in a strange land? If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy. Remember, O Lord , the children of Edom in the day of Jerusalem; who said, Rase it, rase it, even to the foundation thereof. O daughter of Babylon, who art to be destroyed; happy shall he be, that rewardeth thee as thou hast served us. Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.
Psalm 137:1-9 (KJV)

I will praise thee with my whole heart: before the gods will I sing praise unto thee. I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name. In the day when I cried thou answeredst me, and strengthenedst me with strength in my soul. All the kings of the earth shall praise thee, O Lord , when they hear the words of thy mouth. Yea, they shall sing in the ways of the Lord : for great is the glory of the Lord . Though the Lord be high, yet hath he respect unto the lowly: but the proud he knoweth afar off. Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me. The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O Lord , endureth for ever: forsake not the works of thine own hands.
Psalm 138:1-8 (KJV)

O lord, thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord , thou knowest it altogether. Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it. Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee. For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee. Surely thou wilt slay the wicked, O God: depart from me therefore, ye bloody men. For they speak against thee wickedly, and thine enemies take thy name in vain. Do not I hate them, O Lord , that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee? I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies. Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
Psalm 139:1-24 (KJV)

Deliver me, O Lord , from the evil man: preserve me from the violent man; Which imagine mischiefs in their heart; continually are they gathered together for war. They have sharpened their tongues like a serpent; adders’ poison is under their lips. Selah. Keep me, O Lord , from the hands of the wicked; preserve me from the violent man; who have purposed to overthrow my goings. The proud have hid a snare for me, and cords; they have spread a net by the wayside; they have set gins for me. Selah. I said unto the Lord , Thou art my God: hear the voice of my supplications, O Lord . O God the Lord, the strength of my salvation, thou hast covered my head in the day of battle. Grant not, O Lord , the desires of the wicked: further not his wicked device; lest they exalt themselves. Selah. As for the head of those that compass me about, let the mischief of their own lips cover them. Let burning coals fall upon them: let them be cast into the fire; into deep pits, that they rise not up again. Let not an evil speaker be established in the earth: evil shall hunt the violent man to overthrow him. I know that the Lord will maintain the cause of the afflicted, and the right of the poor. Surely the righteous shall give thanks unto thy name: the upright shall dwell in thy presence.
Psalm 140:1-13 (KJV)

TITLE: 

DATE:  June 28

BIBLE READING:  Psalms 136–140

MOUNTAIN PASSAGES:   NO MOUNTAIN REFERENCES (8)

TODAY’S CLIMB: ____________________________________

PSALM 137:1 – ZION

PSALM 137:3 – ZION

PSALM 137:5 – ZION

PSALM 137:6 – ZION

PSALM 137:7 – ZION

PSALM 138:2 – TEMPLE

SUMMITING PRAYER IMPERATIVES (PSALMS 136-140)

(137:7) Remember (imperative), O Lord, the children of Edom in the day of Jerusalem; 

(139:23) Search (imperative) me, O God, 

and know (imperative) my heart; 

try (imperative) me, 

and know (imperative) my thoughts.

(139:24) And see if there be any wicked way in me, 

and lead (imperative) me in the way everlasting.  

(140:1) Deliver (imperative) me, O Lord, from the evil man: 

preserve (jussive) me from the violent man; 

(140:4) Keep (imperative) me, O Lord, from the hands of the wicked; 

preserve (jussive) me from violent man; 

who have purposed to overthrow my goings.

(140:6) I said unto the Lord, Thou art my God: 

hear (imperative) the voice of my supplications, O Lord.

DATE:  June 29

BIBLE READING:  Psalms 141-145

Lord, I cry unto thee: make haste unto me; give ear unto my voice, when I cry unto thee. Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice. Set a watch, O Lord , before my mouth; keep the door of my lips. Incline not my heart to any evil thing, to practise wicked works with men that work iniquity: and let me not eat of their dainties. Let the righteous smite me; it shall be a kindness: and let him reprove me; it shall be an excellent oil, which shall not break my head: for yet my prayer also shall be in their calamities. When their judges are overthrown in stony places, they shall hear my words; for they are sweet. Our bones are scattered at the grave’s mouth, as when one cutteth and cleaveth wood upon the earth. But mine eyes are unto thee, O God the Lord: in thee is my trust; leave not my soul destitute. Keep me from the snares which they have laid for me, and the gins of the workers of iniquity. Let the wicked fall into their own nets, whilst that I withal escape.
Psalm 141:1-10 (KJV)

I cried unto the Lord with my voice; with my voice unto the Lord did I make my supplication. I poured out my complaint before him; I shewed before him my trouble. When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then thou knewest my path. In the way wherein I walked have they privily laid a snare for me. I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul. I cried unto thee, O Lord : I said, Thou art my refuge and my portion in the land of the living. Attend unto my cry; for I am brought very low: deliver me from my persecutors; for they are stronger than I. Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise thy name: the righteous shall compass me about; for thou shalt deal bountifully with me.
Psalm 142:1-7 (KJV)

Hear my prayer, O Lord , give ear to my supplications: in thy faithfulness answer me, and in thy righteousness. And enter not into judgment with thy servant: for in thy sight shall no man living be justified. For the enemy hath persecuted my soul; he hath smitten my life down to the ground; he hath made me to dwell in darkness, as those that have been long dead. Therefore is my spirit overwhelmed within me; my heart within me is desolate. I remember the days of old; I meditate on all thy works; I muse on the work of thy hands. I stretch forth my hands unto thee: my soul thirsteth after thee, as a thirsty land. Selah. Hear me speedily, O Lord : my spirit faileth: hide not thy face from me, lest I be like unto them that go down into the pit. Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee. Deliver me, O Lord , from mine enemies: I flee unto thee to hide me. Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness. Quicken me, O Lord , for thy name’s sake: for thy righteousness’ sake bring my soul out of trouble. And of thy mercy cut off mine enemies, and destroy all them that afflict my soul: for I am thy servant.
Psalm 143:1-12 (KJV)

Blessed be the Lord my strength which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight: My goodness, and my fortress; my high tower, and my deliverer; my shield, and he in whom I trust; who subdueth my people under me. Lord , what is man, that thou takest knowledge of him! or the son of man, that thou makest account of him! Man is like to vanity: his days are as a shadow that passeth away. Bow thy heavens, O Lord , and come down: touch the mountains, and they shall smoke. Cast forth lightning, and scatter them: shoot out thine arrows, and destroy them. Send thine hand from above; rid me, and deliver me out of great waters, from the hand of strange children; Whose mouth speaketh vanity, and their right hand is a right hand of falsehood. I will sing a new song unto thee, O God: upon a psaltery and an instrument of ten strings will I sing praises unto thee. It is he that giveth salvation unto kings: who delivereth David his servant from the hurtful sword. Rid me, and deliver me from the hand of strange children, whose mouth speaketh vanity, and their right hand is a right hand of falsehood: That our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth; that our daughters may be as corner stones, polished after the similitude of a palace: That our garners may be full, affording all manner of store: that our sheep may bring forth thousands and ten thousands in our streets: That our oxen may be strong to labour; that there be no breaking in, nor going out; that there be no complaining in our streets. Happy is that people, that is in such a case: yea, happy is that people, whose God is the Lord .
Psalm 144:1-15 (KJV)

I will extol thee, my God, O king; and I will bless thy name for ever and ever. Every day will I bless thee; and I will praise thy name for ever and ever. Great is the Lord , and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable. One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts. I will speak of the glorious honour of thy majesty, and of thy wondrous works. And men shall speak of the might of thy terrible acts: and I will declare thy greatness. They shall abundantly utter the memory of thy great goodness, and shall sing of thy righteousness. The Lord is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy. The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works. All thy works shall praise thee, O Lord ; and thy saints shall bless thee. They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom, and talk of thy power; To make known to the sons of men his mighty acts, and the glorious majesty of his kingdom. Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and thy dominion endureth throughout all generations. The Lord upholdeth all that fall, and raiseth up all those that be bowed down. The eyes of all wait upon thee; and thou givest them their meat in due season. Thou openest thine hand, and satisfiest the desire of every living thing. The Lord is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works. The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth. He will fulfil the desire of them that fear him: he also will hear their cry, and will save them. The Lord preserveth all them that love him: but all the wicked will he destroy. My mouth shall speak the praise of the Lord : and let all flesh bless his holy name for ever and ever.
Psalm 145:1-21 (KJV)

TITLE:  O LORD, COME DOWN AND TOUCH THE MOUNTAINS

DATE:  June 29

BIBLE READING:  Psalms 141-145

MOUNTAIN PASSAGES: 144:5 – #61 of 64

TODAY’S CLIMB: ____________________________________

(144:5)  Bow down Your heavens, O Lord, and come down;  TOUCH THE MOUNTAINS, and they shall smoke. 

In this Royal Psalm (i.e. Psalm 2, 18, 20, 21, 45, 72, 101, 110, 132), King David is overwhelmed by “great waters” (i.e. evil people).  He is drowning in their lies, their deceitfulness, their insincerity, their broken promises, their betrayals  – in essence, their hatred!  Their aim is to destroy him by “the hurtful sword” and subsequent generations of those who would love the Lord.  

The stakes were high if David loses.  The greatest loss would be the next generation.  The men would not grow up to be strong in faith and in character.  The daughters would not be upright and morally attractive, as richly adorned pillars of a palace.  The nation’s wealth and prosperity would be stripped.  Ultimately, the people would not be “happy,” because they would be devoid of a relationship with God who is the Lord.  It was a life and death situation for the nation of Israel. 

The stress in the psalm is seen in the repeated phrases found in 144:7 and in 144:11.  Two imperatives are repeated, “rid me, and deliver me from the hand of strange children.”  The enemies human “hand” is described.  David asks for the Divine “hand from above” to deal with these treacherous people.

In Psalm 144:5-6, David’s passionate plea for help is seen.  He asks the Lord for the heavens to “bow” and “to come down.”  He is asking the Ruler of the universe to come down in His sovereign and heavenly power.   He is seeking God “to touch the mountains” with His omnipotent hand.  He desires God to connect, to have a connection with the trials he is facing.  He is asking God to get involved, to come to his rescue and to make His presence known as He did previously on Mount Sinai with Moses.  David knows that his God was a covenant-keeping God that He had a loyal love for His people.  He is now asking God “to touch the mountains.”  As a result, he is asking for those mountains to “smoke.”  David wants all those below such peaks to know God, the Divine Warrior, has shown up! 

David asks God to “cast forth lightning,”  The targets for such “arrows” are those who do not want to bless David and Abraham’s seed. For those continually cursing God’s people, David now asks God to “destroy.” 

David believes God will respond to his intercession.  He is convinced that the Lord is  his “strength/rock,” his “goodness,” his “fortress,” his “high tower,”  his “deliverer,” and his “shield.”  It is such a God that he says, “in whom I trust.” As a result of the confidence that He has in the Lord to come to his aid he writes, “I will sing a new song unto thee, O God: upon a psaltery and instrument of ten strings will I sing praises unto Thee.” 

David is so confident that the Lord will “come down” and “touch the mountains,” that he concludes his psalm by saying, “Happy is that people, whose God is the Lord.”

SUMMITING PRAYER IMPERATIVES (PSALMS 141-145)

(141:1) Lord, I cry unto thee: Make haste (imperative) unto me;  

give ear (imperative) unto my voice, when I cry unto thee.

(141:3) Set (imperative) a watch, O Lord, before my mouth; 

keep (imperative) the door of my lips. 

(141:9) Keep (imperative) me from the snares which they have laid for me, and the gins of the workers of iniquity. 

(142:6) Attend (imperative) unto my cry; for I am brought very low: 

deliver (imperative) me from my persecutors; 

for they are stronger than I.

(142:7) Bring (imperative) my soul out of prison, 

that I may praise thy name: 

the righteous shall compass me about; 

for thou shalt deal bountifully with me. 

(143:1) Hear (imperative) my prayer, O Lord, 

give ear (imperative) to my supplications: 

in thy faithfulness answer me, 

and in thy righteousness.

(143:7) Hear (imperative) me speedily, O Lord: my spirit faith: 

hide (jussive) not thy face from me, 

lest I be like unto them that go down into the pit.

(143:8) Cause me to hear (imperative) thy lovingkindness in the morning; 

for in thee do I trust: 

cause me to know (imperative) the way wherein I should walk; 

for I lift up my soul unto thee.

(143:9) Deliver (imperative) me, O Lord, from mine enemies: 

I flee unto thee to hide thee.

(143:10) Teach (imperative) me to do thy will; 

for thou art my God: 

Thy spirit is good; 

lead (jussive) me into the land of uprightness.

(144:5) Bow (imperative) thy heavens, O Lord, 

and come down (jussive): 

touch (imperative) the mountains, 

and they shall smoke (jussive).

(144:6) Cast forth (imperative) lightning, and scatter (jussive) them: 

shoot out (imperative) thine arrows, 

and destroy (jussive) them.

(144:7) Send (imperative) thine hand from above; 

rid (imperative) me, 

and deliver (imperative) me out of great waters, 

from the hand of strange children; 

(144:11) Rid (imperative) me, 

and deliver (imperative) me from the hand of strange children, 

whose mouth speaketh vanity, 

and their right hand is a right hand of falsehood: 

DATE:  June 30

BIBLE READING:  Psalms 146-150

Praise ye the Lord . Praise the Lord , O my soul. While I live will I praise the Lord : I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being. Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish. Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God: Which made heaven, and earth, the sea, and all that therein is: which keepeth truth for ever: Which executeth judgment for the oppressed: which giveth food to the hungry. The Lord looseth the prisoners: The Lord openeth the eyes of the blind: the Lord raiseth them that are bowed down: the Lord loveth the righteous: The Lord preserveth the strangers; he relieveth the fatherless and widow: but the way of the wicked he turneth upside down. The Lord shall reign for ever, even thy God, O Zion, unto all generations. Praise ye the Lord .
Psalm 146:1-10 (KJV)

Praise ye the Lord : for it is good to sing praises unto our God; for it is pleasant; and praise is comely. The Lord doth build up Jerusalem: he gathereth together the outcasts of Israel. He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds. He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names. Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite. The Lord lifteth up the meek: he casteth the wicked down to the ground. Sing unto the Lord with thanksgiving; sing praise upon the harp unto our God: Who covereth the heaven with clouds, who prepareth rain for the earth, who maketh grass to grow upon the mountains. He giveth to the beast his food, and to the young ravens which cry. He delighteth not in the strength of the horse: he taketh not pleasure in the legs of a man. The Lord taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy. Praise the Lord , O Jerusalem; praise thy God, O Zion. For he hath strengthened the bars of thy gates; he hath blessed thy children within thee. He maketh peace in thy borders, and filleth thee with the finest of the wheat. He sendeth forth his commandment upon earth: his word runneth very swiftly. He giveth snow like wool: he scattereth the hoarfrost like ashes. He casteth forth his ice like morsels: who can stand before his cold? He sendeth out his word, and melteth them: he causeth his wind to blow, and the waters flow. He sheweth his word unto Jacob, his statutes and his judgments unto Israel. He hath not dealt so with any nation: and as for his judgments, they have not known them. Praise ye the Lord .
Psalm 147:1-20 (KJV)

Praise ye the Lord . Praise ye the Lord from the heavens: praise him in the heights. Praise ye him, all his angels: praise ye him, all his hosts. Praise ye him, sun and moon: praise him, all ye stars of light. Praise him, ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that be above the heavens. Let them praise the name of the Lord : for he commanded, and they were created. He hath also stablished them for ever and ever: he hath made a decree which shall not pass. Praise the Lord from the earth, ye dragons, and all deeps: Fire, and hail; snow, and vapours; stormy wind fulfilling his word: Mountains, and all hills; fruitful trees, and all cedars: Beasts, and all cattle; creeping things, and flying fowl: Kings of the earth, and all people; princes, and all judges of the earth: Both young men, and maidens; old men, and children: Let them praise the name of the Lord : for his name alone is excellent; his glory is above the earth and heaven. He also exalteth the horn of his people, the praise of all his saints; even of the children of Israel, a people near unto him. Praise ye the Lord .
Psalm 148:1-14 (KJV)

Praise ye the Lord . Sing unto the Lord a new song, and his praise in the congregation of saints. Let Israel rejoice in him that made him: let the children of Zion be joyful in their King. Let them praise his name in the dance: let them sing praises unto him with the timbrel and harp. For the Lord taketh pleasure in his people: he will beautify the meek with salvation. Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud upon their beds. Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand; To execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people; To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; To execute upon them the judgment written: this honour have all his saints. Praise ye the Lord .
Psalm 149:1-9 (KJV)

Praise ye the Lord . Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power. Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness. Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp. Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs. Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals. Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord . Praise ye the Lord .
Psalm 150:1-6 (KJV)

TITLE:  GRASSY MOUNTAINS

DATE:  June 30

BIBLE READING:  Psalms 146-150

MOUNTAIN PASSAGES:  147:8 – #62 of 64

TODAY’S CLIMB: ____________________________________

(147:8) Who covers the heavens with clouds, Who prepares rain for the earth, 

Who makes grass to grow on THE MOUNTAINS.  

This text states that it is God “who maketh grass to grow upon the mountains.”  When I think of grass “upon the mountains” I think of my parents horse farm that sits on the hill west of  Keuka Lake and before the town below of Prattsburgh.  Their immediate view is of 200+ acres of Alfalfa and Timothy.  Around their house is several acres of well-manicured fescues and Kentucky bluegrass.   Between their yard that is maintained by a John Deere riding mower and the hay fields that are mowed by the Minnesota Moline, the Case and the John Deere tractors is a fenced in field which is kept mowed by two old horses, David and Moon.  Across the street is a hill with a cemetery surrounded by fields that support the Drumm’s Holstein herd.  In reality, everywhere one looks on their mountain is God’s gift to the farmers and their animals – green, green grass!  It is the Lord who “maketh the grass to grow.”  

My parents livelihood comes from God making the “grass to grow” upon that hill.  In the spring, the Lord “prepareth rain for the earth.”  The farmer thanks the Lord for those early rains and watches the grass grow to the ideal maturity.  He then hopes that the fields are dry enough to operate his equipment  and then he hopes that the Heavenly Husbandman, “who covereth the heaven with clouds,” will let the sun pop through long enough so he can cut the grass with the needed sun to “make hay.”  Without the hay curing or being baked, there will not be the quality hay for the fussy equestrian and their hobby horses.  Good horse hay has a high leaf to stem ratio with small diameter stems, it has few seed heads,  it smells fresh and has a bright or dark green hue to it.   Once the hay is properly “cooked” the farmer rakes the hay into rows and then gathers it either into square or rectangular bails or into the hefty round bales.  The rectangular or square bales are then launched into wagons either manually or with a shooter.  The bales are shuffled around to get as many in the wagon as possible.  Then they are transported to the barn and are stacked in the maw cut-side up with the bailing twine facing out the sides of the bales.  By stacking the bales in this fashion it increases airflow and allows the proper moisture to permeate the bails without creating deadly mildew.   Depending where one lives a good bale of horse hay can sell for a pretty penny.  Here in Colorado a bale of hay ranges from $8 to $15.   Indeed, the farmer can and should praise God for making “the grass to grow on the mountains.”  This act of God’s grace is a demonstration of His love and provision for His creation.  Where there is green grass, wildlife thrives.  Watch who shows up where the green grass grows!  There is life everywhere with grass.  There is life under the grass, in the grass, on the grass, above the grass.    “Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which is today is, and tomorrow is cat into the oven, shall He not much more cloth you, O ye of little faith?” (Matthew 6:30).  Indeed, if God “maketh the grass grow,” how “much more” will He take care of you?  Will He not meet all of your needs?  Will He not make you to grow in grace and knowledge of Him? When we see the grass growing “upon the mountains” let us pause for a moment and thank Him for the grass and for sustaining our lives by His panoplied provisions.  Better yet, sit down in the grass and be still for a few minutes and praise the One who fed the 5000 who were made to sit on a mountain where “there was much grass in the place!” (John 6:10).

 

TITLE:  EVERY PEAK IS TO PRAISE THE LORD 

DATE:  June 30

BIBLE READING:  Psalms 146-150

MOUNTAIN PASSAGES:  148:9 – #63-64 of 64

TODAY’S CLIMB: ____________________________________

(148:9) MOUNTAINS and all HILLS; fruitful trees and all cedars. 

“Praise” is coming from every angle, realm and height of creation and nearly every from verse.  Thirteen times in these fourteen verses is the verb found and the phrase “praise ye the Lord” bookends the psalm giving hints that the psalm has a pronounced structure.  In verse one, the praise is seen “from the heavens” and in verse seven it is seen “from the earth.” These two complementary verses are declaring that all of God’s creation is to praise the Lord including the “mountains, and all hills.”  Right from verse one and the three repeat imperatives  there is a hint that our praise should be given to the triune God.  The heavenly angelic choir is then exhorted to praise the Lord.  Then the great luminaries of the “sun and moon” and “the stars of night” shed their light on the topic of praise!   Completing the praise from all three heavens, the atmospheric heavens flood the Lord with their praise (148:5).  

The praise is then seen coming from the earth.  What else is left?  In a contrast with the “heights” of heaven entering into praise (148:1).  Now the great “deeps” of the earth antiphonally join in the praise of their Architect.  This includes all the tannim from the oceans to the light show above the waters and the winds that stir both.   All of Creation, from one extreme to the other (i.e. “fire” and “snow”) is seen “fulfilling His word” and the doxological purpose for which each item was created. 

This brings us to the “mountains, and all hills.”  Not one peak is exempt from praising God.  Just as all these summits give room for God to praise God, so should every human praise the Lord. All of creation is personified and does what all persons  should be doing – praising God.   If not one person praises God, personification would be a poor literary tool!  However, the expectation is for all persons to praise the Lord, giving great value to then personifying the inanimate objects of God’s creation.  Life is then infused to the “mountains, and all hills.”  The fruit bearing trees and all their delicious, deciduous friends will join their evergreen coniferous cousins from the Cedrus family to praise God.   The behemoth, both domesticated and wild will join the smallest forms of insects with their exalted friends with wingspans up to 11.5 feet (i.e. wandering albatross) in singing hallelujah to their Composer.   

The psalm then ends with praise coming from higher elevations than the “mountains, all the hills.”  The psalmist leaves behind the personification and now describes the people who are to praise the Lord.  It includes the “kings of the earth, and all people.”  The highest in rank to the lowest are to praise the Lord.  Old men and young men should praise the Lord together with no generational gaps in their focus.   Women and children are to praise the Lord.   The reason that all mankind is to praise the Lord is given, “for his name alone is excellent.”  Higher than any mountain is “his glory!” 

An interesting application of this psalm is seen in the Song of the Three Servants or the Prayer of Azariah.  This song/prayer of human origin, borrowed greatly from this inspired psalm.   When the three Hebrews youths did not bow to worship Nebuchadnezzar’s image they were thrown into a fiery furnace.  There they were miraculously preserved and “with one mouth, praised and glorified God in the furnace.”  This apocryphal addition then goes on to describe the particulars of their alleged praise – they quoted from Psalm 148 and personalized the praise.   Although an apocryphal addition to the Book of Daniel, it is insightful that the Jews saw the wisdom and the need of praising God in the midst of heated persecution.   We too can learn to praise God in any circumstance, from the mountain tops of human experience to the valley lows! 

If you can praise God in the furnace you can praise God anywhere.

SUMMITING PRAYER IMPERATIVES (PSALMS 146-150)

CLIMBING REPORT OF THE COLORADO 14ERS

NAME OF 14ERELEVATION
IN FEET
DISTANCETIME TO CLIMBDATE CLIMBED
Mount Elbert14,440
Mount Massive14,421
Mount Harvard14,421
Blanca Peak14,345
La Plata Peak14,336
Uncompahgre Peak14,321
Crestone Peak14,294
Mount Lincoln14,293
Castle Peak14,279
Grays Peak14,278
Mount Antero14,276
Torreys Peak14,275
Quandary Peak14,271
Mount Evans14,265
Longs Peak14,259
Mount Wilson14,246
Mount Cameron14,238
Mount Shavano14,231
Mount Princeton14,204
Mount Belford14,203
Mount Yale14,200
Crestone Needle14,197
Mount Bross14,172
Kit Carson Peak14,165
Maroon Peak14,163
Tabeguache Peak14,162
Mount Oxford14,160
El Diente Peak14,159
Mount Democrat14,155
Mount Sneffels14,150
Capitol Peak14,130
Pikes Peak14,115
Snowmass Mountain14,099
Mount Eolus14,083
Windom Peak14,082
Challenger Point14,081
Mount Columbia14,077
Missouri Mountain14,074
Humboldt Peak14,064
Mount Bierstadt14,060
Conundrum Peak14,060
Sunlight Peak14,059
Handies Peak14,058
Culebra Peak14,047
Ellingwood Point14,042
Mount Lindsey14,042
North Eolus14,039
Little Bear Peak14,037
Mount Sherman14,036
Redcloud Peak14,034
Pyramid Peak14,025
North Maroon Peak14,019
Wilson Peak14,017
Wetterhorn Peak14,015
San Luis Peak14,014
Huron Peak14,010
Mount of the Holy Cross14,009
Sunshine Peak14,001

ROCKY MOUNTAINS BIRD WATCHING JOURNAL

SPECIESWHENWHERE
CHICKADEES, NUTHATCHES, CREEPER
___ Black-capped Chickadee
___ Mountain Chickadee
___ Red-breasted Nuthatch
___ White-breasted Nuthatch
___ Pygmy Nuthatch
___ Brown Creeper
LOONS, GREBES
___ Arctic Loon
___ Common Loon
___ Pied-billed Grebe
___ Horned Grebe
___ Red-necked Grebe
___ Eared Grebe
___ Western Grebe
PELICANS, HERONS, ALLIES
___ American White Pelican
___ American Bittern
___ Least Bittern
___ Great Blue Heron
___ Snowy Egret
___ Green-backed Heron (Green Heron)
___ Black-crowned Night-Heron
___ White-faced Ibis
SWANS, GEESE, DUCKS
___ Tundra Swan (Whistling Swan)
___ Greater White-fronted Goose
___ Snow Goose
___ Canada Goose
___ Wood Duck
___ Green-winged Teal
___ Mallard
___ Northern Pintail
___ Blue-winged Teal
___ Cinnamon Teal
___ Northern Shoveler
___ Gadwall
___ American Wigeon
___ Canvasback
___ Redhead
___ Ring-necked Duck
___ Lesser Scaup
___ Oldsquaw
___ White-winged Scoter
___ Common Goldeneye
___ Barrow's Goldeneye
___ Bufflehead
___ Hooded Merganser
___ Common Merganser
___ Red-breasted Merganser
___ Ruddy Duck
VULTURES, HAWKS, EAGLES
___ Turkey Vulture
___ Osprey
___ Bald Eagle
___ Northern Harrier (Marsh Hawk)
___ Sharp-shinned Hawk
___ Cooper's Hawk
___ Northern Goshawk
___ Swainson's Hawk
___ Red-tailed Hawk
___ Ferruginous Hawk
___ Rough-legged Hawk
___ Golden Eagle
___ American Kestrel (Sparrow Hawk)
___ Merlin (Pigeon Hawk)
___ Peregrine Falcon (Duck Hawk)
___ Prairie Falcon
GROUSE, PTARMIGAN
___ Chukar
___ Ring-necked Pheasant
___ Blue Grouse
___ White-tailed Ptarmigan
___ Sage Grouse
___ Wild Turkey
___ Northern Bobwhite
RAILS, COOTS, CRANES
___ Virginia Rail
___ Sora
___ Common Moorhen (Common Gallinule)
___ American Coot
___ Sandhill Crane
SHOREBIRDS
___ Semipalmated Plover
___ Killdeer
___ American Avocet
___ Greater Yellowlegs
___ Lesser Yellowlegs
___ Solitary Sandpiper
___ Willet
___ Spotted Sandpiper
___ Long-billed Curlew
___ Marbled Godwit
___ Western Sandpiper
___ Least Sandpiper
___ Baird's Sandpiper
___ Common Snipe
___ Wilson's Phalarope
___ Red-necked Phalarope (Northern)
___ Pomarine Jaeger
___ Franklin's Gull
___ Bonaparte's Gull
___ Ring-billed Gull
___ California Gull
___ Herring Gull
___ Forster's Tern
___ Black Tern
DOVES, PIGEONS, CUCKOOS
___ Rock Dove (Common Pigeon)
___ Band-tailed Pigeon
___ Mourning Dove
___ Yellow-billed Cuckoo
OWLS
___ Flammulated Owl
___ Eastern Screech-Owl
___ Great Horned Owl
___ Northern Pygmy
___ Long-eared Owl
___ Boreal Owl
___ Northern Saw-whet Owl
NIGHTHAWKS, SWIFTS
___ Common Nighthawk
___ Common Poorwill
___ Black Swift
___ Chimney Swift
___ White-throated Swift
HUMMINGBIRDS, KINGFISHER
___ Magnificent Hummingbird (Rivoli's)
___ Calliope Hummingbird
___ Broad-tailed Hummingbird
___ Rufous Hummingbird
___ Belted Kingfisher
WOODPECKERS
___ Lewis' Woodpecker
___ Red-headed Woodpecker
___ Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
___ Williamson's Sapsucker
___ Downy Woodpecker
___ Hairy Woodpecker
___ Three-toed Woodpecker
___ Northern Flicker
FLYCATCHERS
___ Olive-sided Flycatcher
___ Western Wood-Pewee
___ Willow Flycatcher (Traill's Flycatcher)
___ Least Flycatcher
___ Hammond's Flycatcher
___ Dusky Flycatcher
___ Western Flycatcher
___ Say's Phoebe
___ Ash-throated Flycatcher
___ Cassin's Kingbird
___ Western Kingbird
___ Eastern Kingbird
LARKS
___ Horned Lark
___ Purple Martin
___ Tree Swallow
___ Violet-green Swallow
___ Northern Rough-winged Swallow
___ Cliff Swallow
___ Barn Swallow
JAYS, CROWS, MAGPIES
___ Gray Jay
___ Steller's Jay
___ Blue Jay
___ Scrub Jay
___ Pinyon Jay
___ Clark's Nutcracker
___ Black-billed Magpie
___ American Crow
___ Common Raven
WRENS, DIPPER
___ Rock Wren
___ Canyon Wren
___ Bewick's Wren
___ House Wren
___ Winter Wren
___ Dipper
KINGLETS, GNATCATCHERS
___ Golden-crowned Kinglet
___ Ruby-crowned Kinglet
___ Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
BLUEBIRDS, THRUSHES, THRASHERS
___ Eastern Bluebird
___ Western Bluebird
___ Mountain Bluebird
___ Townsend's Solitaire
___ Veery (Willow Thrush)
___ Swainson's Thrush (Olive-backed Thrush)
___ Hermit Thrush
___ American Robin
___ Varied Thrush
___ Gray Catbird
___ Northern Mockingbird
___ Sage Thrasher
___ Brown Thrasher
PIPITS, WAXWINGS, SHRIKES
___ Water Pipit
___ Sprague's Pipit
___ Bohemian Waxwing
___ Cedar Waxwing
___ Northern Shrike
___ Loggerhead Shrike
STARLINGS, VIREOS
___ European Starling
___ Solitary Vireo
___ Warbling Vireo
___ Red-eyed Vireo
WOOD WARBLERS
___ Tennessee Warbler
___ Orange-crowned Warbler
___ Nashville Warbler
___ Virginia's Warbler
___ Northern Parula
___ Yellow Warbler
___ Chestnut-sided Warbler
___ Magnolia Warbler
___ Black-throated Blue Warbler
___ Black-throated Gray Warbler
___ Townsend's Warbler
___ Black-throated Green Warbler
___ Grace's Warbler
___ Palm Warbler
___ Bay-breasted Warbler
___ Black-and-White Warbler
___ American Redstart
___ Worm-eating Warbler
___ Ovenbird
___ Northern Waterthrush
___ Connecticut Warbler
___ MacGillivray's Warbler
___ Common Yellowthroat
___ Hooded Warbler
___ Wilson's Warbler (Pileolated)
___ Yellow-breasted Chat
___ Yellow-rumped Warbler
(Audubon's Warbler)
(Myrtle Warbler 4)
TANAGERS
___ Hepatic Tanager
___ Scarlet Tanager
___ Western Tanager
GROSBEAKS, BUNTINGS, SPARROWS
___ Rose-breasted Grosbeak
___ Black-headed Grosbeak
___ Lazuli Bunting
___ Green-tailed Towhee
___ Rufous-sided Towhee
___ American Tree Sparrow
___ Chipping Sparrow
___ Clay-colored Sparrow
___ Brewer's Sparrow
___ Vesper Sparrow
___ Lark Sparrow
___ Sage Sparrow
___ Lark Bunting
___ Savannah Sparrow
___ Fox Sparrow
___ Song Sparrow
___ Lincoln's Sparrow
___ White-throated Sparrow
___ Harris' Sparrow
___ White-crowned Sparrow
(Gambel's subspecies)
___ Dark-eyed Junco
(Gray-headed Junco)
(Subspecies: Oregon)
Slatecolored
Whitewinged
BLACKBIRDS, MEADOWLARKS, ORIOLES (WHEN)
___ Bobolink
___ Red-winged Blackbird
___ Western Meadowlark
___ Yellow-headed Blackbird
___ Rusty Blackbird
___ Brewer's Blackbird
___ Common Grackle
___ Brown-headed Cowbird
___ Northern Oriole (Bullock's Oriole)
FRINGILLID FINCHES
___ Rosy Finch
(Brown-capped Rosy Finch)
(Subspecies Hepburn's Gray-crowned and Black)
___ Pine Grosbeak
___ Cassin's Finch
___ House Finch
___ Red Crossbill
___ White-winged Crossbill
___ Common Redpoll
___ Pine Siskin
___ Lesser Goldfinch
___ American Goldfinch
___ Evening Grosbeak
OLD WORLD SPARROWS
___ House Sparrow (English Sparrow)
This list includes 260 species which have been reported for this region, including Rocky Mountain National Park, Arapahoe National Recreation Area, Estes Park, and Granby.

TCBC ONE YEAR BIBLE READING SCHEDULE

DATEBIBLE READINGXXDATEBIBLE READINGXXDATEBIBLE READINGXX
January 1Genesis 1-4February 1Numbers 1-4March 1Judges 1-3
January 2Genesis 5-8February 2Numbers 5-8March 2Judges 4-6
January 3Genesis 9-12February 3Numbers 9-12March 3Judges 7-9
January 4Genesis 13-16February 4Numbers 13-16March 4Judges 10-12
January 5Genesis 17-20February 5Numbers 17-20March 5Judges 13-15
January 6Genesis 21-24February 6Numbers 21-24March 6Judges 16-18
January 7Genesis 25-28February 7Numbers 25-28March 7Judges 19-21
January 8Genesis 29-32February 8Numbers 29-32March 8Ruth 1-4
January 9Genesis 33-36February 9Numbers 33-36March 91 Samuel 1-3
January 10Genesis 37-40February 10Deuteronomy 1-3March 101 Samuel 4-6
January 11Genesis 41-44February 11Deuteronomy 4-6March 111 Samuel 7-9
January 12Genesis 45-47February 12Deuteronomy 7-9March 121 Samuel 10-12
January 13Genesis 48-50February 13Deuteronomy 10-12March 131 Samuel 13-15
January 14Exodus 1-4February 14Deuteronomy 13-15March 141 Samuel 16-18
January 15Exodus 5-8February 15Deuteronomy 16-18March 151 Samuel 19-21
January 16Exodus 9-12February 16Deuteronomy 19-21March 161 Samuel 22-24
January 17Exodus 13-16February 17Deuteronomy 22-24March 171 Samuel 25-27
January 18Exodus 17-20February 18Deuteronomy 25-27March 181 Samuel 28-31
January 19Exodus 21-24February 19Deuteronomy 28-30March 192 Samuel 1-3
January 20Exodus 25-28February 20Deuteronomy 31-34March 202 Samuel 4-6
January 21Exodus 29-32February 21Joshua 1-3March 212 Samuel 7-9
January 22Exodus 33-36February 22Joshua 4-6March 222 Samuel 10-12
January 23Exodus 37-40February 23Joshua 7-9March 232 Samuel 13-16
January 24Leviticus 1-3February 24Joshua 10-12March 242 Samuel 17-20
January 25Leviticus 4-6February 25Joshua 13-15March 252 Samuel 21-24
January 26Leviticus 7-9February 26Joshua 16-18March 261 Kings 1-4
January 27Leviticus 10-12February 27Joshua 19-21March 271 Kings 5-8
January 28Leviticus 13-15February 28Joshua 22-24March 281 Kings 9-12
January 29Leviticus 16-19February 29No ReadingMarch 291 Kings 13-16
January 30Leviticus 20-23March 301 Kings 17-19
January 31Leviticus 24-27March 311 Kings 20-22
DATEBIBLE READINGXXDATEBIBLE READINGXXDATEBIBLE READINGXX
April 12 Kings 1-3May 1Ezra 1-3June 1Psalms 1-5
April 22 Kings 4-6May 2Ezra 4-6June 2Psalms 6-10
April 32 Kings 7-9May 3Ezra 7-8June 3Psalms 11-15
April 42 Kings 10-12May 4Ezra 9-10June 4Psalms 16-20
April 52 Kings 13-15May 5Nehemiah 1-3June 5Psalms 21-25
April 62 Kings 16-18May 6Nehemiah 4-6June 6Psalms 26-30
April 72 Kings 19-21May 7Nehemiah 7-9June 7Psalms 31-35
April 82 Kings 22-25May 8Nehemiah 10-11June 8Psalms 36-40
April 91 Chronicles 1-3May 9Nehemiah 12-13June 9Psalms 41-45
April 101 Chronicles 4-6May 10Esther 1-3June 10Psalms 46-50
April 111 Chronicles 7-9May 11Esther 4-6June 11Psalms 51-55
April 121 Chronicles 10-12May 12Esther 7-8June 12Psalms 56-60
April 131 Chronicles 13-15May 13Esther 9-10June 13Psalms 61-65
April 141 Chronicles 16-18May 14Job 1-3June 14Psalms 66-70
April 151 Chronicles 19-21May 15Job 4-6June 15Psalms 71-75
April 161 Chronicles 22-24May 16Job 7-9June 16Psalms 76-80
April 171 Chronicles 25-27May 17Job 10-12June 17Psalms 81-85
April 181 Chronicles 28-29May 18Job 13-15June 18Psalms 86-90
April 192 Chronicles 1-3May 19Job 16-18June 19Psalms 91-95
April 202 Chronicles 4-6May 20Job 19-20June 20Psalms 96-100
April 212 Chronicles 7-9May 21Job 21-22June 21Psalms 101-105
April 222 Chronicles 10-12May 22Job 23-24June 22Psalms 106-110
April 232 Chronicles 13-15May 23Job 25-26June 23Psalms 111-115
April 242 Chronicles 16-18May 24Job 27-28June 24Psalms 116-120
April 252 Chronicles 19-21May 25Job 29-30June 25Psalms 121-125
April 262 Chronicles 22-24May 26Job 31-32June 26Psalms 126-130
April 272 Chronicles 25-27May 27Job 33-34June 27Psalms 131-135
April 282 Chronicles 28-30May 28Job 35-36June 28Psalms 136-140
April 292 Chronicles 31-33May 29Job 37-38June 29Psalms 141-145
April 302 Chronicles 34-36May 30Job 39-40June 30Psalms 146-150
May 31Job 41-42
DATEBIBLE READINGXXDATEBIBLE READINGXXDATEBIBLE READINGXX
July 1Proverbs 1-4August 1Jeremiah 1-3September 1Daniel 1-3
July 2Proverbs 5-8August 2Jeremiah 4-6September 2Daniel 4-6
July 3Proverbs 9-12August 3Jeremiah 7-9September 3Daniel 7-8
July 4Proverbs 13-16August 4Jeremiah 10-12September 4Daniel 9-10
July 5Proverbs 17-20August 5Jeremiah 13-15September 5Daniel 11-12
July 6Proverbs 21-24August 6Jeremiah 16-18September 6Hosea 1-3
July 7Proverbs 25-28August 7Jeremiah 19-21September 7Hosea 4-6
July 8Proverbs 29-31August 8Jeremiah 22-24September 8Hosea 7-9
July 9Ecclesiastes 1-4August 9Jeremiah 25-27September 9Hosea 10-12
July 10Ecclesiastes 5-8August 10Jeremiah 28-30September 10Hosea 13-14
July 11Ecclesiastes 9-12August 11Jeremiah 31-33September 11Joel 1-3
July 12SOS 1-4August 12Jeremiah 34-36September 12Amos 1-3
July 13SOS 5-8August 13Jeremiah 37-39September 13Amos 4-6
July 14Isaiah 1-4August 14Jeremiah 40-42September 14Amos 7-9
July 15Isaiah 5-8August 15Jeremiah 43-45September 15Obadiah 1
July 16Isaiah 9-12August 16Jeremiah 46-48September 16Jonah 1-4
July 17Isaiah 13-16August 17Jeremiah 49-52September 17Micah 1-3
July 18Isaiah 17-20August 18Lamentations 1-3September 18Micah 4-5
July 19Isaiah 21-24August 19Lamentations 4-5September 19Micah 6-7
July 20Isaiah 25-28August 20Ezekiel 1-4September 20Nahum 1-3
July 21Isaiah 29-32August 21Ezekiel 5-8September 21Habakkuk 1-3
July 22Isaiah 33-36August 22Ezekiel 9-12September 22Zephaniah 1-3
July 23Isaiah 37-40August 23Ezekiel 13-16September 23Haggai 1-2
July 24Isaiah 41-44August 24Ezekiel 17-20September 24Zechariah 1-3
July 25Isaiah 45-48August 25Ezekiel 21-24September 25Zechariah 4-6
July 26Isaiah 49-51August 26Ezekiel 25-28September 26Zechariah 7-9
July 27Isaiah 52-54August 27Ezekiel 29-32September 27Zechariah 10-12
July 28Isaiah 55-57August 28Ezekiel 33-36September 28Zechariah 13-14
July 29Isaiah 58-60August 29Ezekiel 37-40September 29Malachi 1-2
July 30Isaiah 61-63August 30Ezekiel 41-44September 30Malachi 3-4
July 31Isaiah 64-66August 31Ezekiel 45-48
DATEBIBLE READINGXXDATEBIBLE READINGXXDATEBIBLE READINGXX
October 1Matthew 1-3November 1Acts 1-3December 1Ephesians 1-3
October 2Matthew 4-6November 2Acts 4-6December 2Ephesians 4-6
October 3Matthew 7-9November 3Acts 7-9December 3Philippians 1-4
October 4Matthew 10-12November 4Acts 10-12December 4Colossians 1-4
October 5Matthew 13-15November 5Acts 13-15December 51 Thess. 1-3
October 6Matthew 16-18November 6Acts 16-18December 61 Thess. 4-5
October 7Matthew 19-21November 7Acts 19-21December 72 Thess. 1-3
October 8Matthew 22-24November 8Acts 22-24December 81 Timothy 1-3
October 9Matthew 25-26November 9Acts 25-26December 91 Timothy 4-6
October 10Matthew 27-28November 10Acts 27-28December 102 Timothy 1-4
October 11Mark 1-3November 11Romans 1-3December 11Titus, Philemon
October 12Mark 4-6November 12Romans 4-6December 12Hebrews 1-3
October 13Mark 7-9November 13Romans 7-9December 13Hebrews 4-6
October 14Mark 10-12November 14Romans 10-12December 14Hebrews 7-9
October 15Mark 13-14November 15Romans 13-14December 15Hebrews 10-11
October 16Mark 15-16November 16Romans 15-16December 16Hebrews 12-13
October 17Luke 1-3November 171 Corinth. 1-3December 17James 1-3
October 18Luke 4-6November 181 Corinth. 4-6December 18James 4-5
October 19Luke 7-9November 191 Corinth. 7-8December 191 Peter 1-3
October 20Luke 10-12November 201 Corinth. 9-10December 201 Peter 4-5
October 21Luke 13-15November 211 Corinth. 11-12December 212 Peter 1-3
October 22Luke 16-18November 221 Corinth. 13-14December 221 John 1-3
October 23Luke 19-21November 231 Corinth. 15-16December 231 John 4-5
October 24Luke 22-24November 242 Corinth. 1-3December 242, 3 John, Jude
October 25John 1-3November 252 Corinth. 4-6December 25Revelation 1-3
October 26John 4-6November 262 Corinth. 7-9December 26Revelation 4-6
October 27John 7-9November 272 Corinth. 10-11December 27Revelation 7-9
October 28John 10-12November 282 Corinth. 12-13December 28Revelation 10-12
October 29John 13-15November 29Galatians 1-3December 29Revelation 13-15
October 30John 16-18November 30Galatians 4-6December 30Revelation 16-18
October 31John 19-21December 31Revelation 19-22

SUMMITING WITH GOD - PRAYER LOG

CLIMBING LOG - PRAYER REQUESTDATE OF THE ASCENTDATE SUMMITED
ANSWER TO PRAYER AND REPORT

SEARCH AND RESCUE (SAR)

LOST PERSONDATE FOUNDRESCUE REPORT

BASE CAMP TALKS - ACCLIMATING AND EQUIPPING

DATE:  ______________________________

SPEAKER: __________________________

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PASSAGE: ___________________________

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SPEAKER: __________________________

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PASSAGE: ___________________________

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SPEAKER: __________________________

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PASSAGE: ___________________________

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SPEAKER: __________________________

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PASSAGE: ___________________________

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SPEAKER: __________________________

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PASSAGE: ___________________________

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SPEAKER: __________________________

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PASSAGE: ___________________________

Location

Sunday

9:00 AM – Sunday School (Children)
9:00 AM – Adult Bible Fellowship (ABF)
10:30 AM – Morning Worship
6:00 PM – Evening Service

Wednesday

6:30 PM – ROOTED Teens
6:30 PM – AWANA
6:30 PM – Adult Bible Studies
7:00 PM – Hispanic Bible Study

Office Hours

12:30–4:30 | Monday
9:00–4:30 | Tuesday–Thursday
9:00–1:00 | Friday

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