September 21, 2016

Psalms 94-97 - 
How blessed the man you train, God, the woman you instruct in your Word.  Providing a circle of quiet within the clamor of evil...

If God hadn’t been there for me, I never would have made it.  The minute I said, “I slipping, I’m falling,” your love, God, took hold and held me fast.  When I was upset and beside myself, you calmed me down and cheered me up...  

Come, let’s shout praises to God, raise the roof for the Rock who saved us!  Let’s march into his presence singing     
praises, lifting the rafters with our hymns!... 

Drop everything and listen, listen as he speaks: “Don’t turn a deaf ear as in the Bitter Uprising, as on the day of the Wilderness Test, when your ancestors turned and put me to the test.  For 40 years they watched me at work among them, as over and over they tried my patience.  And I was provoked--oh was I provoked!  “Can’t they keep their minds on God for 5 minutes?  Do they simply refuse to walk down the road? Exasperated, I exploded, “They’ll never get where they’re headed, never be able to sit down and rest.”  

Sing God a brand-new song!  Earth and everyone in it, sing!  Sing to God--worship God!!  

Light-seeds are planted in the souls of God’s people, joy-seeds are planted in good heart-soil.  So, God’s people, shout praise to God, give thanks to our Holy God!                    

Matthew - 
“Fulfilled” is one of Matthew’s characteristic verbs.  Better yet, Matthew tells the story in such a way that not only is everything previous to us completed in Jesus; we are completed in Jesus...We are neither accidental nor incidental to the story.  We get orientation, briefing, background, reassurance.

Matthew 1- 
There were 14 generations from Abraham to David, another 14 from David to the Babylonian exile, and yet another 14 from the Babylonian exile to Christ..  The birth of Jesus took place like this...

Joseph discovered Mary was pregnant. (It was by the Holy Spirit, but he didn’t know that.)  

Joseph, chagrined, but noble, determined to take care of things quietly so Mary would not be disgraced.  While he was trying to figure out a way, he had a dream.  God’s angel spoke in the dream: “Joseph, son of David, don’t hesitate to get married.  Mary’s pregnancy is Spirit- conceived, God’s holy Spirit has made her pregnant... 

This would bring the prophet’s embryonic sermon to full term:  “Watch for this-- a virgin will get pregnant and bear a son:  They will name him Immanuel (Hebrew for ‘God is with us’).”  

Then Joseph woke up.  He did exactly what God’s angel commanded in the dream.  He married Mary.  But he did not consummate the marriage until she had the baby.  He named the baby Jesus (God saves).