Monthly Archives: January 2013

Be Exalted, O God, Above the Heavens!

Psalm 57

Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy!
I look to you for protection.
I will hide beneath the shadow of your wings
until the danger passes by.
I cry out to God Most High,
to God who will fulfill his purpose for me.
He will send help from heaven to rescue me,
disgracing those who hound me.  Selah/Interlude
My God will send forth his unfailing love and faithfulness.

I am surrounded by fierce lions
who greedily devour human prey—
whose teeth pierce like spears and arrows,
and whose tongues cut like swords.

Be exalted, O God, above the highest heavens!
May your glory shine over all the earth.

My enemies have set a trap for me.
I am weary from distress.
They have dug a deep pit in my path,
but they themselves have fallen into it. Selah/Interlude

My heart is confident in you, O God;
my heart is confident.
No wonder I can sing your praises!
Wake up, my heart!
Wake up, O lyre and harp!
I will wake the dawn with my song.
I will thank you, Lord, among all the people.
I will sing your praises among the nations.
10 For your unfailing love is as high as the heavens.
Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.

11 Be exalted, O God, above the highest heavens.
May your glory shine over all the earth.

Funny – I read this first in the NIV version and it has the familiar word Selah in it twice, I didn’t realize it until I reread it in the NLT version where they had the word Interlude that it was there.  But I don’t like Interlude.  I like Selah. From research, it’s unclear what the Hebrew word really means, but from sermons and Christian education classes, I remember hearing Peace, Rest, Pause, or Reflect. It’s a break in a song – such as Interlude, so the NLT has the right meaning, but S-e-l-a-h just sounds like p-e-a-c-e stretched out forever; a long breath. I find these days that I have to really work to take Selah in my life.

Be exalted - webAs I was reading this Psalm I was thinking of the times I stand enthralled at the eagles. The eagles return November through March by the river about 1/2 a mile from my home. They soar majestically, often without effort high in the heavens.  Verse 1 says, “I will hide beneath the shadow of your wings until the danger passes by.”

Eagle in tree - webRecently, I was blessed to see an eagle high in a Cottonwood Tree and get quite close to it.  As I slowly walked closer, I enjoyed its ever watchful gaze. I took 10-15 minutes to gradually approach the eagle. I felt like I was enjoying Selah with God and His creation. I was grateful to have my camera and was able to capture several great shots, including the eagle taking off from the tree and soaring away. As he took off, the shadow cast by his wings was huge.  To be able to hide in the shadow of God’s wings is beyond comprehension.

To hear the Psalmist say, “Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let Your glory be over all the earth,” fills my heart with similar feelings that I get when I watch the eagles.  The magnificence of the incredible eagle is inspiring. How much more should my God be to me?  Like the Psalmist continues, “I will praise You, O Lord, among the nations; I will sing of You among the peoples. For great is Your love, reaching to the heavens; Your faithfulness reaches to the skies.”, so too, my heart soars with quiet praise to my God and Creator.

I think the next time I enjoy an eagle soaring, I hope I will remember to take time and exalt God’s holy name above all things.

eagle in flight - webMay you find time to exalt Your God and praise Him above the heavens for all He has done for you ~ Faye

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God’s breath sends the ice

     I love the beauty God provides in winter. Don’t get me wrong, I used to tolerate winter at best. I don’t like to be cold. Matter of fact, I can pick out a draft in the room before anyone else – just ask my family. My fear of slipping, falling and hurting myself is all too real. I don’t like dreary weather. So why do I love the beauty of winter? The gloomy, cloudy days growing up in Michigan made moving to Iowa winter sunshine a real blessing. The blanket of snow provides an excellent means of “sneaking” up on animals to get a closer view. The intricacies that are created by God in winter are truly amazing.
God's breath sends the ice - Job 37:10a
     I just finished my 3 mile hike in the woods and down to the river. I heard woodpeckers, saw an owl, peregrine falcon, eagle and evidence of deer, rabbit, raccoons and otters. Then there was the wonder as the ice has begun to melt and hangs up about 2 inches above the river, making incredible patterns and shapes. There are bubbles in the ice. The birds are gathering around birdfeeders. Cats are sunning themselves in the sunny windows.
     The Book of Job has provided me with a wealth of insight and reminders of God’s abundant blessings in my life. I know I am too much like Job when it comes to questioning God’s wisdom as recorded in Job 31. Then Elihu reminds Job and his friends of God’s amazing love and incredible power (Job 32-37). It is in these verses from Job 37 I see God’s hand in the beauty of winter:
God’s voice thunders in marvelous ways;
    He does great things beyond our understanding.
He says to the snow, ‘Fall on the earth,’
    and to the rain shower, ‘Be a mighty downpour.’ [vs 5-6 NIV]
Then everyone stops working
    so they can watch His power.
        (I love this image of pausing to look at God’s majesty.)
The stormy wind comes from its chamber,
    and the driving winds bring the cold.
God’s breath sends the ice,
    freezing wide expanses of water.
He loads the clouds with moisture,
    and they flash with His lightning.
The clouds churn about at His direction.
    They do whatever He commands throughout the earth. [ vs 7-12 NLT]
Psalm 147:16     Just take a moment to picture what it must be like for God’s breath to create the ice. Living near the river we often enjoy hoar frost during January. It truly looks as if someone has breathed on everything and given it a frosty coating of ice crystals. Or as Psalm 147:16 describes it as scattering frost upon the ground like ashes. You know what it is like to take ash and let it blow in the wind – it goes everywhere. Look at these descriptions of God’s creativity portrayed in Psalm 147:16-18 from the New Living Translation:
He sends the snow like white wool;
    He scatters frost upon the ground like ashes.
He hurls the hail like stones.
    Who can stand against His freezing cold?
Then, at His command, it all melts.
    He sends His winds, and the ice thaws.
     I am awed by the incredible delicacy of creation and the majestic power of weather – all created by God. I’ve learned the past 3 winters to bundle up tight, wear several layers, get out the Thinsulate gloves and face mask to keep me warm. I have even been known to take handwarmers with me just so I can head outside, camera in hand, and thoroughly bask in God’s gift of artistic love shown to us. I hope you take time to enjoy His abundant blessings in His indescribable creation as well ~ FayeJob 37:7
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