Judah is my Lawgiver

Psalm 60:6-8.

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.

In these three verses, we see David proclaiming the victory because God had spoken in His holiness, assuring David that the battles were not lost forever. There would be victory. David was speaking here as an inspired prophet, describing the eventual triumph of God.

God is clearly defining the lines of His possession of Israel. He mentions Shechem, Succoth, Gilead, and Manasseh as belonging to Him. He calls Ephraim a helmet (the strength of My head) that a soldier would wear into battle.

Special notice goes to Judah, as the place of judgment. The Lion of Judah, the lawgiver, holds the scepter of His power.

Moab and Edom were especially singled out for their pride. God said that the Moabites would come carrying the basin for which He would was His feet, a task reserved for the lowliest household slave. Edom would receive contempt, like a slave whose master throws his shoe at someone over whom he holds complete authority.

This business with the shoe has become somewhat familiar to the Western world. Nikita Khrushchev infamously took off his shoe and pounded the table with it, saying “We will bury you!” We paid little attention, not understanding the depth of the insult. We should have paid more attention. Many years later, someone threw a shoe at President Bush, another public display of contempt for America and her leaders. In the East, the removing and throwing of a shoe is a strong mark not only of contempt, but of power. We were foolish to ignore it, or laugh at it.

God will always prevail. He has claimed Israel as His own, and He will not rescind that promise.

Wine of Astonishment

Psalm 60:2-5.

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.

So great was their defeat in battle that it felt, to David, as if the earth shook under their feet. Perhaps it really did. We think of the earth as a solid foundation, upon which we can build and prosper. In this case, it was not so.

We are not told of the specific sin that Israel had committed, resulting in terrible losses in battle. This was not just one lost battle, but a series of conflicts that left David and his people reeling as if they were drunk–the win of astonishment. They were not accustomed to losing in battle. Perhaps a part of their sin was too much self-confidence, and not enough reliance on God!

We don’t know exactly what kind of banner God had designated for Israel’s army. We do know that it was customary, in battle, to have an ensign, or banner–sometimes referred to as an Ebenezer–to identify the battling warriors. As long as the banner was visible, the battle was not lost.

It is interesting to me that David used a term of strong, affectionate, eve passionate endearment in v. 5 to describe Israel, God’s Beloved. David understood how much God loved His people, and called upon that love to save them by the power of His right hand.

God was Displeased

Psalm 60:1. O God, Thou hast cast us off, Thou hast scattered us, Thou hast been displeased; O turn Thyself to us again.

This psalm is a Michtam, or a “golden” psalm written to teach about relying upon God and nothing else in a time of battle. Other psalms labeled as michtams include Psalm 16 and 56-60. The specific meaning of the word michtam is debatable. What we can gather is that they were considered important enough to be inscribed, perhaps in stone, as permanent reminders of the importance of keeping God always at the forefront of one’s thinking.

The story behind this psalm is a severe loss in battle:

The historical markers against Mesopotamia and Syria of Zobah, and Joab returned and killed twelve thousand Edomites in the Valley of Salt place it sometime in the earlier part of King David’s reign, when he subjected neighboring nations. 2 Samuel 8:1-8 records David’s victories over Philistia, Moab, and Syria. 2 Samuel 10:1-19 tells of David’s victories over Ammon and Syria. 1 Chronicles 18:11-13 gives us David’s victories over Edom (and specifically in the Valley of Salt), Moab, Ammon, Philistia, and Amalek.

BlueLetterBible: Guzik

Tomorrow, we’ll take a closer look at David’s state of mind when he penned this psalm, and how he conquered his sorrow over his losses.

Power, Mercy, Defence, Refuge

Psalm 59: 16-17.

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.

David was hiding from Saul when he penned this psalm. He seeks God’s protection and power.

You know, sometimes it is not a human enemy that seeks our lives. Sometimes it is tornadoes, hurricanes, tsunamis, floods–physical circumstances over which we have no power. Sometimes, our own bodies fall prey to illness and/or permanent physical conditions for which there is very little help.

It does seem worse, though, when it is one’s own family that is seeking one’s downfall. Our sinful nature wreaks havoc, at times, and we feel there is just nowhere to turn.

The last two verses of this psalm, however, tells us that in spite of whatever the trouble may be, God is:

Our power;


Our defence;

Our refuge.

During difficult times, we can lean on Him and find peace.

(Late) Sunday Morning Coffee: Stream of Consciousness

Last nigh was rough. Just when I think I’m making progress, I have a relapse into the terrible, gut-wrenching cough that brings up the gunkies. It lasted from around midnight until nearly 2 a.m. The good news is that I slept soundly until 11:15. I haven’t coughed, then, since 2 a.m. Which is a very good thing.

I’m sorry to bore you with all the gory details, but it’s my life right now. And I’ll be very honest with you. Terry and I have prayed. Others are praying for me. Because I haven’t seen lasting improvement, I find my faith faltering. This is most unusual for me. I’m not doubting God. Not doubting my salvation. So what am I doubting? I don’t know for sure. Maybe His care for me? Maybe His concern for my life? Hmmm. Now that I’ve ventured onto this twisted path of thinking, I already know how silly it is.

This is not a crisis of faith. So what is it? Well, how about a huge, giant-sized POOR ME pity party? After all, I’ve been through mono and now bronchitis this year, and the year is young. What next? Isn’t this ENOUGH?

Maybe, maybe not. There are so many others who are entirely at the mercy of those who are persecuting them for their faith. People are dying simply because they claim faith in Jesus. And that is not just elsewhere in the world. It’s coming to America, where Christians are under the gun of a government that is calling us terrorists–while the REAL terrorists are gearing up for another summer of “mostly peaceful” rioting and burning.

Well. Writing, obviously, can be cathartic. It certainly has cleared the cobwebs off my brain. Getting my mind off my poor, pitiful self? I feel better already 🙂

Saturday Soliloquy: Miscellany

I’ve been sick for at least two full months, starting in January. Finally have some hope that my present slough of despond is starting to dry up. In retrospect, it’s hard for me to understand where the time has gone. One day just kind of melts into another. I’ve been getting a glimpse of what it means to be a shut-in, and I’ve decided I don’t like it.

At least the people who make paper hankies are happy with me right now 🙂


Only 6 1/2 days left in March. April always seems to bring a feeling of hope. I love it that it’s not completely dark until close to 7:30. Just a little extra daylight has lifted my spirits.


Terry’s been battling a cough, too. He doesn’t seem to feel as miserable as I’ve been, but I know he’s sick when he’s still in bed this late in the day. It’s 11 a.m., and I haven’t seen him yet. He’s always been a morning Tigger to my morning Eeyore, so I know he’s not feeling terrific.

What’s that? You don’t know who Tigger and Eeyore are? Oh, dear–you’ve missed a valuable part of your childhood!

They are from the classic Winnie the Pooh stories, with Christopher Robin, Owl, Rabbit, and other well-loved characters. I highly recommend the books, but you can also find them online.


Terry the Tigger. Years ago, before he grew older and wiser, he thought it would be fun to wake me up at 5 a.m. He bounced the mattress, sending me several inches into outer space, saying, “Wake up! Wake up! It’s a beautiful day!”

I’m afraid I rained on his parade. disabusing him of the idea that I should be awake just because he was. Of course, he was running out of energy by 7 p.m., at which point I was ready for something to do. And it’s been this way for 53 years


You know, February is a short month–which makes March seem inordinately long. That’s just a random observation. You can ignore it if you like:)


I have returned to my blogging, after a six-week absence. I think that’s a record for me. WordPress tells me I’ve been doing this for over 11 years now, and I’m just barely scratching the surface of the Bible even though I post nearly every day, My other blog, http://www.lindaswritingblog.wordpress.com, gets less attention from me but has still been at least a weekly exercise. I enjoy writing, and I especially enjoy studying God’s Word. It never gets old.


And that’s about all for today, folks. I feel a nap coming on.

Curses on the Wicked

Psalm 58: 3-8.

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.

In this unusual psalm, we hear and feel David’s weariness, discouragement, and anger over the constant pursuit of his enemies. They never let him rest. Even when his worst enemy, King Saul, is dead and gone, his own son rises up against him and tries to overthrow him. Absalom’s great vanity had been his long hair. One could say that his vanity killed him, I suppose. In any event, as he hung there by his head, his donkey ran away and left him. And David’s men used him for archery and spear practice. Not a pleasant way to die.

In v. 3, David says that the wicked are what they are “from the womb.” It is born in them to be wicked, and they speak lies right from the beginning. This statement would seem to contradict the “nature vs. nurture” theory, in which someone or something else is blamed when a child’s wicked temperament begins to manifest. It is true that the sinful nature may be exacerbated by circumstances, but then how do we explain the child who has been abused from birth, but who overcomes his circumstances and goes on to live a productive life?

David’s weariness and frustration are clear in these verses. He is begging God to relieve him of the pursuit and power of his enemies. Was it sinful of him to want them gone, powerless to continue to harm him? No, I don’t think so. By this time, he had lived long enough to understand the power of evil in this world. He did not underestimate it, nor did he excuse it. He simply wanted to be able to rest.

Be Thou Exalted!

Psalm 57:1, 5,and 11.

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.

Be Thou exalted, O God, above the heavens; let Thy glory be above all the earth.

Be Thou exalted, O God, above the heavens: let Thy glory be above all the earth.

I love this picture. The mother swan bends her neck to keep a close eye on her chicks, while opening her wings of shelter for them. So many songs come to mind, but I’m going to use a different one today than the songs this picture brings to mind.

Twice in this psalm, David repeats words of exaltation to God. He was living under the danger of death at the hands of King Saul. He hid in caves, asking the protection of God’s wings to cover and shelter him. King Saul was searching desperately for him, consumed with fear and jealousy that the people would choose David instead of himself. David was aware, every moment of every day, that his life hung in the balance.

So he turned to God. He sang, “Be Thou exalted!” instead of “Lord, please exalt ME over Saul!” David understood that his life was in God’s hands, and that Saul could be defeated and his own life preserved only if God so ordained.

We are living in troubled times. When I see the inexorable movement toward a one-world government, losing our hard-won and beloved Constitutional freedoms, I wonder how much longer God is going to allow it to go on before He intervenes. And then I remember David’s words, and this song: words by Fanny J. Crosby; music by Alfred Smith.

Look and Live!

Psalm 56:13. “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?”

What an appropriate verse for this first Bible study post since March 4! Not that I was anywhere near death, but I really was quite ill. Still not 100%, but I can feel the bronchitis releasing its grip a little bit each day.

David may have been referring to physical death in this verse, but I believe the application can also be made to spiritual death. He could have been speaking prophetically. This is only supposition on my part–please understand, I am not reinterpreting scripture. We do know, however, that Jesus did indeed deliver the souls of mankind from eternal death when He gave up His life at Calvary. Those who look on His sacrifice and believe in Him are delivered from eternity in Hell.

I’m thinking of the story of the Israelites during their wandering through the desert. They had sinned yet again, complaining and griping against God and His servant Moses. God sent “fiery serpents” among them. So venomous was their bite that death was certain. God instructed Moses to erect a pole, and to make an image of the serpent to be lifted up on the pole. If someone was bitten, he had only to look at the pole, and he would survive. You can read about it in Numbers 19, and especially verse 21.

Catching Up

I haven’t posted here since March 4. That’s a new record of absence for me. I’ve been very sick with bronchitis. Terrible coughing, not much sleep. I think I’ve turned a corner over the last couple of days, so thought I’d stop in here just to let you all know that I haven’t gone to heaven just yet.

I have been watching my stats during my absence, and am quite surprised to see that they’ve been fairly consistent in spite of my long absence. So thankful for that. I’m also thankful for those of you who have contacted me to see if I’ve quit blogging. No. Just taking a little break.

I’m hoping to pick up on my journey through the Psalms tomorrow, and to get back into a normal routine. My house is in a mess, desperately needing a pick-up, dusting, floor-cleaning and bathroom scouring. If it hadn’t been for Terry, there wouldn’t be any clean laundry! And now, he’s coughing and has gone back to bed for today.

Someone recently said that old age is the gift that keeps on giving.

On a much brighter note, it’s the first day of spring. The sky is a lovely blue, with a mild temp of 47 degrees. The down side of that is that we have a wildfire warning until 8 p.m. tonight. Low humidity, lots of dry ground debris from winter winds. I hope no one decides to be stupid with a fire today. Not a good idea to burn debris.

All right. I need to rest. So wearying to write just a little bit 🙂