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Trip 412:  Psalm of Ethan

THE TIME SEQUENCE BIBLE

1095 Devotional “Trips”!

Rix W. Tillman, D. Min

Reading assignment:   __Psalm 89:1-37

Focal verse(s):  Psalm 89:1:  “I will sing of the Lord’s great love forever; with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known through all generations.”

The composer of Psalm 89 was Ethan the Ezrahite, probably a singer from the tribe of Levi.  This Psalm is concerned with the covenant God made with David, known simply as the Davidic Covenant.  The first verse of this Psalm forms a well-known praise chorus: “I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever; with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations.” (Psalm 89:1, KJV).  This verse sums up the entire Psalm:  because God loves us so much we should sing of His mercies forever and make His faithfulness known to every living creature!  The Psalmist reminded God that He had promised not to break His covenant with David even if the people failed to obey.  That did not mean God would withhold punishment but simply that He would not desert His people.  God’s grace is one of the exciting aspects of being a Christian because God promises us in John 10:28, “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.”  He will never leave us once we are His!  Spend some time thanking God for this marvelous promise

 
 

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Trip 411:  Psalms of Asaph—Part 6

THE TIME SEQUENCE BIBLE

1095 Devotional “Trips”!

Rix W. Tillman, D. Min

Reading assignment:   __Psalm 81 through Psalm 83

Focal verse(s):  Psalm 81:1:  “Sing for joy to God our strength; Shout joyfully to the God of Jacob.”

Psalms 81 through 83 are the final Psalms written by Asaph.  In Psalm 81 the Psalmist called the people to sing and praise Him with musical instruments as they celebrated the Feasts of the Passover and the other feasts.  The Christian “feasts” on the Lord’s word each week when he comes together for Bible study, worship and praise!  The 82nd Psalm is a Psalm of warning to God’s people to not be harsh judges of others lest they be themselves severely judged by God. Jesus taught us this same principle in the Sermon on the Mount when he said in Matthew 7:1, “Do not judge or you too will be judged.”  The last Psalm of Asaph is a lament about all of the enemies of Israel who threatened from every side.  Throughout history God’s chosen people have been surrounded by enemies, just as is Israel today.  This Psalm is a prayer for God to deliver Israel again as He had done so many times in the past.   God is in the “deliverance business” and He delights when we cry out to Him for help so He can deliver us and be glorified through us! The problem usually is that we try to rely on our own powers rather than on Christ’s strength in our daily lives.  We therefore “fall on our face” spiritually, finally turning to God in our desperation for deliverance.  If we will empty ourselves and be permeated with the Holy Spirit, we can be joyful throughout any circumstance, knowing that Christ is in control!

 
 

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Trip 410:  Psalms of Asaph—Part 5

Book CoverTHE TIME SEQUENCE BIBLE

1095 Devotional “Trips”!

Rix W. Tillman, D. Min

Reading assignment:   __Psalm 78:56-72     __Psalm 80

Focal verse(s):  Psalm 80:3, 7, and 19 (All identical):  “O God, restore us and cause your face to shine upon us, and we will be saved.

Psalm 78 concludes with the sad statement of God’s people turning away from Him and trusting in false gods, thereby arousing His fierce anger towards them.  Because of this, scores of people died as part of God’s punishment for their disobedience, including two priests at the battle of Shiloh.  The Psalm ends with a new hope for the people through their new godly leader King David.  In the 80th Psalm Asaph rendered a prayer for the restoration and deliverance of the nation of Israel from the disasters brought on from her enemies.  We know those enemies would have never had the power to defeat Israel in the first place had it not been for the nation’s disobedience to God.  Because the nation turned to false gods and rebelled against the Lord, He allowed heathen enemies to defeat and humiliate Israel.  God will likewise allow you to be humiliated and defeated by ungodly enemies in order to humble you and turn your face back towards Him if you rebel against your Heavenly Father!  Save yourself the pain, torture, and humiliation by simply not turning away from God!

 
 

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Trip 409:  Psalms of Asaph—Part 4

Book CoverTHE TIME SEQUENCE BIBLE

1095 Devotional “Trips”!

Rix W. Tillman, D. Min

Reading assignment:   __Psalm 78:12-55

Focal verse(s):  Psalm 78:12, 17:  “He did miracles in the sight of their fathers….But they continued to sin against Him, rebelling in the desert against the Most High”

In the 78th Psalm, Asaph traced Israel’s history from the time the Israelites spent in Egypt to the time of David.  Through all of those years one theme was constant: the steadfastness and faithfulness of the Lord amid the constant failure of His people.  This Psalm not only tells the sad story of how people continued to turn away from God, but of how the Lord continued to deliver them in spite of it all!  Remember, dear Christian, when you fail God today (and you will!) that He is in the business of picking us up, dusting us off and setting us back on the course!  None of us can live a perfect life, but as we yield more and more of ourselves to Christ, more of Christ will come out of us in our daily living!  Hudson Taylor said: “If your father and mother, your sister and brother, if the very cat and dog in the house are not happier for your being Christian, it is a question whether you really are.”  Bishop Evin Berggray, primate of the Norwegian Lutheran Church, who was under Nazi guard, is reported to have gotten peculiar treatment from his captors.  It is said that his eleven man guard was changed constantly to prevent coming under his strong spiritual influence. *   Live for Christ today so Christ can change lives!

* Paul Lee Tan, “Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations: Signs of the Times” (Rockville, Maryland: Assurance Publishers, 1984), page 735, #3091-3092.

 
 

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Trip 408:  Psalms of Asaph—Part 3

Book CoverTHE TIME SEQUENCE BIBLE

1095 Devotional “Trips”!

Rix W. Tillman, D. Min

Reading assignment:   __Psalm 77:1 through Psalm 78:11

Focal verse(s):  Psalm 77:11-12:  “I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.  I will meditate on all your works and consider all your mighty deeds.

Asaph continued to search for an answer to his troubles, reflecting back on the way God did such a miracle of delivering Israel from Egypt.  After thinking about God’s mighty deeds, Asaph’s confidence and spirit were lifted and he petitioned God to again show His awesome power.  In the 78th Psalm, Asaph looked back to God’s previous works in delivering His people.  The Psalmist exhorted the people of Israel to obey the Law and not turn their backs on God because their history had proven it was fatal for the people to do so.  It is so easy for believers to get off the spiritual course because Satan is always looking for ways to “shoot us down”.  There is no way we can live the righteous life in our own strength because we do not have the power to overcome Satan on our own.  Only through continually reflecting on what God has done in our lives, studying the failings of those saints who have gone before us, daily confession of sin, and obedience to the Lord can we stay on track!  The formula of daily prayer, confession, Bible study, and meditation is the key to victory in the Christian life!  In the British navy, whenever any sudden disaster such as an explosion occurs, it is the bugler’s duty to play what is called ”The Still”, and when the men hear it, each person is to stop and be perfectly still for a moment and recollect his senses and thus be better prepared for intelligent action in the emergency.*   The daily quiet time is to Christianity what ”The Still” is to the British navy!

* Paul Lee Tan, “Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations: Signs of the Times” (Rockville, Maryland: Assurance Publishers, 1984), page 1059, #4623.

 
 

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Trip 407:  Psalms of Asaph—Part 2

Book CoverTHE TIME SEQUENCE BIBLE

1095 Devotional “Trips”!

Rix W. Tillman, D. Min

Reading assignment:    __Psalm 73:15-28     __Psalm 75 through Psalm 76:11

Focal verse(s):  Psalm 73:16-17:  “When I tried to understand all this, it was oppressive to me till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny.”

Asaph had spent a lot of sleepless nights worrying why the wicked seemed to prosper.  For a Christian there are only two things about which you need never worry: (1) The things you can do something about; and (2) The things you can’t do anything about.  That takes care of everything! Asaph found the answer to his problem in Psalm 73:17:  “…I went to the sanctuary of God; then I understood…”   Isn’t it amazing that going to God is usually our last resort instead of our first?! Psalm 75 is a song of deliverance, looking forward to the coming victory in the Lord when God will destroy the wicked and restore the righteous people.  The 76th Psalm is a prophetic Psalm picturing Jesus on the throne in His kingdom.  When the Lord returns to earth, all things will be subject to Him.  Asaph exhorted the leaders of the nation to pledge their loyalty to the Lord. Christians can look forward to Christ’s return with great joy, knowing they will not be judged for their sins, yet we must take spreading the Gospel to a lost world very seriously, for the time of His return seems to be very near!

 
 

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Trip 406:  Psalms of Asaph

Book CoverTHE TIME SEQUENCE BIBLE

1095 Devotional “Trips”!

Rix W. Tillman, D. Min

Reading assignment:   __Psalm 50    __Psalm 73:1-14

Focal verse(s):  Psalm 50:23:  ”He who sacrifices thank offerings honors me, and he prepares the way so that I may show him the salvation of God.”

Asaph was a musician and one of the top three musical composers in the kingdom.  In his first Psalm, Asaph wrote of the coming judgment of God upon wicked people and His deliverance to the righteous.  The great modem day song “The King Is Coming” is an appropriate theme for the 50th Psalm!  This Psalm also has the theme of a person’s duty to their neighbor as well as their worship of God.  When God judged His people He would find that the two leading sins would be their hypocrisy of life-style and their formalism in worship.  Instead of worshipping in spirit and in truth out of an obedient heart of thanksgiving to God, the people were simply “going through the motions”!  This Psalm ends with a verse that has become a popular praise chorus for modem day Christians: “Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God.” (Psalm 50:23 KJV). In the 73rd Psalm, Asaph acknowledged that the Lord was good to those Israelites who were pure in heart and trusted the Lord, confessing that he himself had times when he almost lost confidence in God.  The reason: The wicked seemed to prosper and not have the suffering of many of God’s people, which greatly confused him.  Christian, God never promised that our life would be a “rose garden”, but told us to “count it all joy when we fall into various trials”. (1 Peter 1:2-NKJV)  We should count it a privilege to suffer even a fraction as much as our Lord Jesus!  Remember, those trials in your life come to help strengthen you and prepare you for a higher level of service to God!  The mother of a brain-injured child wrote these words: “We would have called our daughter’s handicap the greatest tragedy of our lives if it were not for the fact that through it we came to know the Lord much better.  Words cannot fully express our keen disappointment when our little girl failed to experience normal mental development.  Yet her condition made us understand just a bit how our dear Savior must feel when His children do not mature spiritually.  The Lord knows that heartaches, if properly accepted will enrich our lives in a way that could not happen otherwise.  Strengthened in the inner man, we come through our trials bigger and better Christians and with a new and brighter testimony“. *

* Paul Lee Tan, “Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations: Signs of the Times” (Rockville, Maryland: Assurance Publishers, 1984), page 1509, #6844.

 
 

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