spiritualsnippets.com

Seeing life's events in the light of God's Word.

No Worries, No Fears

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Psalm 23:4- “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”

 

In last week’s sermon, my pastor showed the congregation a picture of The Valley of Jehoshaphat, otherwise known as The Valley of the Shadow of Death.

If you’ve ever lost a loved-one, experienced extreme sadness, or found yourself in a fearful situation, you can relate to what David was saying in this psalm. But, I never knew the “Valley of the Shadow of Death” was an actual place. I thought it was simply figurative language.

The Valley of Jehoshaphat (which means “God has judged.”) is a narrow furrow of land in the Kidron Valley between the Temple Mount and The Mount of Olives where it is said that one day the events of Judgement Day will take place. (Joel 3:12) and all nations will be judged. At its southern end is a series of tombs.

Although valleys, historically, have been fertile places for farming, they are also susceptible to attacks by invading armies. So, David’s use of this reference helps us visualize a place where ambushes might take place.

However, King David goes on to tell us that he isn’t afraid because he is comforted by God’s rod and staff. 

A royal scepter is called a rod. A staff is a ruler’s symbol of authority standing between his feet. What could be more fitting than this description of our Lord as both The Good Shepherd and The King of Kings?

Keep that in mind as you walk through your own Valley of the Shadow of Death.  Our Good Shepherd, Jesus, protects us against our enemies, guides, and rescues us just as a shepherd protects his flocks.

 

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Unmeasurable

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Psalm 145: 3- “Great is the Lord! He is most worthy of praise! No one can measure His greatness.”

 

My husband, a jack-of-all-trades, loves tools. He says it is important to have the right tool for the right job. He has lots of them—even duplicates of most.

He has several tape measures, varying in overall lengths, colors, and materials. Some have belt clips. Others even have a laser. He should be able to measure just about anything.

King David had experience in building, too. No wonder, then, that some of the songs he wrote referenced measurement.

In the Bible, he paints a picture in song of the vastness of God’s greatness. He says it cannot be measured.

He refers to the magnitude of God’s love, in Psalm 103:11. “For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him.”

I like this verse in 2 Chronicles 2:6a- “But who is able to build a temple for him, since the heavens, even the highest heavens, cannot contain him?”

What a picture we are painted of His immensity!

All of our collective praise falls short, in comparison.

In times when we fail to believe in His ability to heal, provide, or answer our prayers, we need only to meditate on verses such as these.

Oh, God, how great thou art!!  Great beyond all measure.

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In the Splendor of His Holiness

Psalm 29:2- “Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; worship the Lord in the splendor  of his holiness.”

28957802972_097e78a424I watched the Olympics in Rio with awe as talented athletes from around the world came center stage to compete for Gold, Silver, and Bronze Medals in 300 events held in the space of 16 days.

I was astounded by their dedication, determination, and perseverance.

I was uplifted as many of the athletes turned their eyes upward and pointed toward heaven, giving God the glory for their superior, medal-winning performances, including Usain Bolt, the world’s fastest man.

Terrell Diagneu, Maya Moore, Reid Priddy, Paige McPherson, Ryan Hall, Lolo Jones, Hunter Kemper, Wayde Von Niekerk, Missy Franklin also expressed their thanks to God.

Gabby Douglas, 16, the first African American woman in Olympic history to win the all-around gymnastics competition said, “…I give all the glory to God. It’s kind of a win-win situation. The glory goes up to Him and the blessings fall down on me.”

Olympic gold medalist Christian Taylor, 26, made giving glory to God the reason for what he does and said that’s what keeps him grounded and motivated. He is now the world’s first triple jumper in 40 years to repeat his win as well as the first American athlete to win back-to-back golds for the event since 1904.

David Boudia and Steele Johnson won silver medals in synchronized diving. They give every ounce of glory to God, saying their true identity lies in Him.

These young men and women athletes acknowledge that it is God who gives them the skills and talents necessary to accomplish their Olympic dreams.

King David–wealthy, powerful, handsome–yet he knew who was responsible for his blessings and he gave praise and glory to God. He reminds us that whoever we are, it is to God’s glory that we are able to do what we do in life.

Singers, actors, athletes, writers, parents, teachers, lawyers, store clerks, cab drivers—whoever you are, wherever you live—it is by the grace of God that we all do what we do.

 

We may never break a world record or be openly-admired for our skills or talent, but as we finish each daily “event” may we also remember to

give God the glory and

worship Him in the splendor of His holiness.

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