35. BEAUTY, THE OIL OF JOY & THE GARMENT OF PRAISE

(The Called To Be A Wife Series – Batch 2)

In Isaiah 61:1-4, the Prophet Isaiah prophesied of the Lord Jesus Christ before he (Jesus) came down to earth and what he (Jesus) would do for mankind, by stating of Him:

  • “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me TO PREACH GOOD TIDINGS unto the meek; he hath sent me
  • TO BIND UP the brokenhearted,
  • TO PROCLAIM LIBERTY to the captives, and THE OPENING OF THE PRISON to them that are bound;
  • TO PROCLAIM THE ACCEPTABLE YEAR OF THE LORD, and THE DAY OF VENGEANCE OF OUR GOD;
  • TO COMFORT all that mourn; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them BEAUTY FOR ASHES, the OIL OF JOY FOR MOURNING, the GARMENT OF PRAISE FOR THE SPIRIT OF HEAVINESS; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that HE might be glorified.
  • And they shall BUILD the old wastes, they shall RAISE UP the former desolations, and they shall REPAIR the waste cities, the desolations of many generations.”

This is beautifully significant and is exactly what Jesus did when he came to earth, what he is doing and will continue to do until he returns to this earth to judge the world of sin.

Keeping this in mind, on another note, have you ever read a portion of the Bible and felt like the writer of the particular scripture you were reading was telling your story?

I have felt this way on many occasions. In fact, some of the experiences read of God’s people when described in the Word, so closely resemble some of my own experiences, that it always leaves me flabbergasted. Like, how did he or she know? How could his or her experience so mirror mine? How is it that he or she could so accurately reflect exactly what I have been through and am going through and how I have felt or am feeling at the moment?

Recently, I came upon some verses again where I had that exact feeling and I decided to compile some of them together. These are but a brief summation of some of what I’ve been through in life, how I’ve felt, the verses I felt that God used to minister to my heart and impress upon my spirit. They perfectly describe my valley season of DESOLATION, how God INTERVENED, reached down in his mercy to help me when others didn’t care to understand what I was going through and turned their backs coldly on me with ridicule, criticism or indifference and finally, my PROCLAMATION, through celebration of God’s goodness, from a heart overflowing with the deepest of gratitude and praise.

I truly know what it is to have no one. I know what it is to hurt greatly in isolation and for prolonged periods of time, even years. I know what it is to be poor and to be deprived of life’s comforts. I even know what it is like to go hungry because you have no money, your cupboards and the refrigerator are completely bare and you don’t want to be regarded as a continued burden to your family, so you tell them nothing. In those seasons, God showed up supernaturally and provided for me, right on time and in those seasons I learned dependence, complete, utter dependence on Him and nobody else and I was grateful.

I know what it is to walk around with a smile on your face but with a deeply broken heart, to lament in exactly the manner stated in the book of Lamentations because you have been chastened sorely of God. I know what it is to be relentlessly oppressed by the wicked and to even be in situations that are dangerous to your welfare. I know what it is to be punished in God’s love, for my wrongdoing and to also suffer, within his perfect will, for my doing right. I know what it is to have the enemy pursue and aggressively, to get you to believe that you have no significance, no value, no worth and to get you to abort your God-given purpose and for him to sometimes use the very people that are supposed to give you love, encouragement and support, to attack and berate you. Yet I KNOW what it is to have almighty God raise up a standard against the host of darkness like in Isaiah 59:19, cover you in his arms protectively and uphold you with the right hand of HIS righteousness.

Praise God! No matter what I was going through or how dark the season, in the moments where no man stood with me, God was there and I don’t ever intend to forget it.

Why am I putting this type of Article on this Page, you may ask? I do so because this Page is about CELEBRATION and I anticipate one coming! In advance I state, that from the depths of my soul, I will praise him! Nobody could even begin to understand the extent of all that I’ve been through and the extent of the attacks I have faced, from childhood to date, even if I try to explain it. If I were to tell you some of what I’ve been through and the kind of places I’ve been and the dangers I’ve faced, you may not even believe. You may think that it is something from out of the movies but my perils and the things I have been through, have been real.

Sometimes I weep when I think of some of the things that I’ve been through. How could I ever forget? My journey thus far has been that incredulous. BUT GOD!

One day, you may get to read all about it, as I started writing a book in 2009 but took a break from it in 2015 or thereabout. It chronicles many (although not all, as some things are of a sensitive nature and I need to be mindful of others) of my experiences in life and you should brace yourself. The content is jaw-droppingly shocking but true. The places God took me, the lessons he taught me, the way he showed up and powerfully fought for me and the things he delivered me from, you would find hard to believe. Yet I can attest that He is that awesome.

Having said all that, I categorize my life journey (including what I anticipate in the future) and examples from the scriptures of the kind of prayers I have prayed to God over the years or the sentiments I have expressed, when under severe attack seemingly from every quarter and how I believe he has answered and will answer, among three (3) main themes, as follows: –

DESTITUTION & DESOLATION (Part 1 of 3)

“I LOOKED ON MY RIGHT HAND, AND BEHELD, BUT THERE WAS NO MAN THAT WOULD KNOW ME: REFUGE FAILED ME; NO MAN CARED FOR MY SOUL. I cried unto thee, O Lord: I said, Thou art my refuge and my portion in the land of the living. Attend unto my cry; for I am brought very low: deliver me from my persecutors; for they are stronger than I. Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise thy name: the righteous shall compass me about; for thou shalt deal bountifully with me.” (Psalm 142:4-7)

“OUR BONES ARE SCATTERED AT THE GRAVE’S MOUTH, AS WHEN ONE CUTTETH AND CLEAVETH WOOD UPON THE EARTH. But mine eyes are unto thee, O God the Lord: in thee is my trust; leave not my soul destitute.” (Psalm 141:7-8)

“My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring? O my God, I cry in the day time, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent. But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel. Our fathers trusted in thee: they trusted, and thou didst deliver them. They cried unto thee, and were delivered: they trusted in thee, and were not confounded.

BUT I AM A WORM, AND NO MAN; A REPROACH OF MEN, AND DESPISED OF THE PEOPLE. All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, He trusted on the Lord that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him. But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me hope when I was upon my mother’s breasts. I was cast upon thee from the womb: thou art my God from my mother’s belly. Be not far from me; for trouble is near; FOR THERE IS NONE TO HELP.

MANY BULLS HAVE COMPASSED ME: STRONG BULLS OF BASHAN HAVE BESET ME ROUND. THEY GAPED UPON ME WITH THEIR MOUTHS, AS A RAVENING AND A ROARING LION. I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels. MY STRENGTH IS DRIED UP LIKE A POTSHERD; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death.” (Psalm 22:1-15)

“The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him; and he will show them his covenant. Mine eyes are ever toward the Lord; for he shall pluck my feet out of the net. Turn thee unto me, and have mercy upon me; FOR I AM DESOLATE AND AFFLICTED. THE TROUBLES OF MY HEART ARE ENLARGED: O bring thou me out of my distresses. Look upon mine affliction and pain; and forgive all my sins. Consider mine enemies; for they are many; and they hate me with cruel hatred. O keep my soul, and deliver me: let me not be ashamed; for I put my trust in thee. Let integrity and uprightness preserve me; for I wait on thee.” (Psalm 25:14-21)

“In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord: my sore ran in the night, and ceased not: MY SOUL REFUSED TO BE COMFORTED. I remembered God, and was troubled: I complained, and MY SPIRIT WAS OVERWHELMED. Selah.

Thou holdest mine eyes waking: I AM SO TROUBLED THAT I CANNOT SPEAK. I have considered the days of old, the years of ancient times. I call to remembrance my song in the night: I commune with mine own heart: and my spirit made diligent search. Will the Lord cast off for ever? and will he be favourable no more? Is his mercy clean gone for ever? doth his promise fail for evermore? Hath God forgotten to be gracious? hath he in anger shut up his tender mercies?…

And I said, This is my infirmity: but I will remember the years of the right hand of the most High. I will remember the works of the Lord: surely I will remember thy wonders of old. I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings.

Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary: who is so great a God as our God? Thou art the God that doest wonders: thou hast declared thy strength among the people. Thou hast with thine arm redeemed thy people, the sons of Jacob and Joseph…” (Psalm 77:2-15)

 “I am the man that hath seen affliction by the rod of his wrath. He hath led me, and brought me into darkness, but not into light. Surely against me is he turned; he turneth his hand against me all the day. MY FLESH AND MY SKIN HATH HE MADE OLD; HE HATH BROKEN MY BONES. He hath builded against me, and compassed me with gall and travail. He hath set me in dark places, as they that be dead of old. HE HATH HEDGED ME ABOUT, THAT I CANNOT GET OUT: he hath made my chain heavy. Also when I cry and shout, he shutteth out my prayer. He hath inclosed my ways with hewn stone, he hath made my paths crooked. He was unto me as a bear lying in wait, and as a lion in secret places. He hath turned aside my ways, and PULLED ME IN PIECES: HE HATH MADE ME DESOLATE.

He hath bent his bow, and set me as a mark for the arrow. He hath caused the arrows of his quiver to enter into my reins.  I WAS A DERISION TO ALL MY PEOPLE; AND THEIR SONG ALL THE DAY. He hath filled me with bitterness, he hath made me drunken with wormwood. He hath also broken my teeth with gravel stones, he hath covered me with ashes. And thou hast removed my soul far off from peace: I forgat prosperity. And I said, My strength and my hope is perished from the Lord:

Remembering mine affliction and my misery, the wormwood and the gall. My soul hath them still in remembrance, and is humbled in me.

This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.

The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord. It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth. He sitteth alone and keepeth silence, because he hath borne it upon him. He putteth his mouth in the dust; if so be there may be hope. He giveth his cheek to him that smiteth him: he is filled full with reproach.

For the Lord will not cast off for ever: But though he cause grief, yet will he have compassion according to the multitude of his mercies. For he doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men. To crush under his feet all the prisoners of the earth. To turn aside the right of a man before the face of the most High, To subvert a man in his cause, the Lord approveth not.

…Wherefore doth a living man complain, a man for the punishment of his sins? Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the Lord. Let us lift up our heart with our hands unto God in the heavens. We have transgressed and have rebelled: thou hast not pardoned. Thou hast covered with anger, and persecuted us: thou hast slain, thou hast not pitied. Thou hast covered thyself with a cloud, that our prayer should not pass through. Thou hast made us as the offscouring and refuse in the midst of the people.  All our enemies have opened their mouths against us. Fear and a snare is come upon us, DESOLATION and DESTRUCTION.

Mine eye runneth down with rivers of water for the destruction of the daughter of my people. Mine eye trickleth down, and ceaseth not, without any intermission. Till the Lord look down, and behold from heaven. (Lamentations 3)

“O Lord, rebuke me not in thy wrath: neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure. For thine arrows stick fast in me, and thy hand presseth me sore. There is no soundness in my flesh because of thine anger; neither is there any rest in my bones because of my sin. For mine iniquities are gone over mine head: as an heavy burden they are too heavy for me. My wounds stink and are corrupt because of my foolishness. I am troubled; I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long. For my loins are filled with a loathsome disease: and there is no soundness in my flesh. I am feeble and sore broken: I have roared by reason of the disquietness of my heart.

Lord, all my desire is before thee; and my groaning is not hid from thee. My heart panteth, my strength faileth me: as for the light of mine eyes, it also is gone from me. My lovers and my friends stand aloof from my sore; and my kinsmen stand afar off. They also that seek after my life lay snares for me: and they that seek my hurt speak mischievous things, and imagine deceits all the day long.

But I, as a deaf man, heard not; and I was as a dumb man that openeth not his mouth. Thus I was as a man that heareth not, and in whose mouth are no reproofs. For in thee, O Lord, do I hope: thou wilt hear, O Lord my God. For I said, Hear me, lest otherwise they should rejoice over me: when my foot slippeth, they magnify themselves against me. For I am ready to halt, and my sorrow is continually before me. For I will declare mine iniquity; I will be sorry for my sin. But mine enemies are lively, and they are strong: and they that hate me wrongfully are multiplied. They also that render evil for good are mine adversaries; because I follow the thing that good is.

Forsake me not, O Lord: O my God, be not far from me. Make haste to help me, O Lord my salvation.” (Psalm 38)

“Be merciful unto me, O God: for man would swallow me up; he fighting daily oppresseth me. Mine enemies would daily swallow me up: for they be many that fight against me, O thou most High. What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me. Every day they wrest my words: all their thoughts are against me for evil. They gather themselves together, they hide themselves, they mark my steps, when they wait for my soul.

Shall they escape by iniquity? in thine anger cast down the people, O God. Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book?

When I cry unto thee, then shall mine enemies turn back: this I KNOW; for God is for me. In God will I praise his word: in the Lord will I praise his word. In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do unto me. Thy vows are upon me, O God: I will render praises unto thee. 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?” (Psalm 56)

“WOE IS ME FOR I AM AS WHEN THEY HAVE GATHERED THE SUMMER FRUITS, AS THE GRAPEGLEANINGS OF THE VINTAGE: THERE IS NO CLUSTER TO EAT: MY SOUL DESIRED THE FIRSTRIPE FRUIT.

The good man is perished out of the earth: and there is none upright among men: they all lie in wait for blood; they hunt every man his brother with a net…The best of them is as a brier: the most upright is sharper than a thorn edge…Trust ye not in a friend, put ye not confidence in a guide…a man’s enemies are the men of his own household.

Therefore will I look unto the Lord; I will WAIT for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me.

Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I SHALL arise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord SHALL be a light unto me. I will bear the indignation of the Lord, because I have sinned against him, UNTIL he plead my cause, and execute judgment for me. He will bring me forth to the light, and I SHALL behold his righteousness. Then she that is mine enemy shall see it, and shame shall cover he which said unto me, Where is the Lord thy God? Mine eyes shall behold her: now shall she be trodden down as the mire of the streets…

Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? He retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy. He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us he will subdue our iniquities and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.” (Micah 7:1-2;4-5;7-10;18-19)

“Thy mercy, O Lord, is in the heavens; and thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds. Thy righteousness is like the great mountains; thy judgments are a great deep: O Lord, thou preservest man and beast. How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings. They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures. For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light. O continue thy lovingkindness unto them that know thee; and thy righteousness to the upright in heart.

Let not the foot of pride come against me, and let not the hand of the wicked remove me. There are the workers of iniquity fallen: they are cast down, and shall not be able to rise.”  (Psalm 36:5-12)

Lord, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is: that I may know how frail I am.  Behold, thou hast made my days as an handbreadth; and mine age is as nothing before thee: verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity. Selah. Surely every man walketh in a vain shew: surely they are disquieted in vain: he heapeth up riches, and knoweth not who shall gather them.

And now, Lord, what wait I for? my hope is in thee. Deliver me from all my transgressions: make me not the reproach of the foolish. I was dumb, I opened not my mouth; because thou didst it. Remove thy stroke away from me: I AM CONSUMED BY THE BLOW OF THINE HAND. When thou with rebukes dost correct man for iniquity, thou makest his beauty to consume away like a moth: surely every man is vanity. Selah.

“O Israel, RETURN unto the Lord thy God; for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity. Take with you words, and TURN to the Lord: say unto him, Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously…Asshur shall not save us, we will not ride upon horses: neither will we say any more to the work of our hands, Ye are our gods: for IN THEE the fatherless findeth mercy.” (Hosea 14:1-3)

Hear my prayer, O Lord, and give ear unto my cry; hold not thy peace at my tears: for I am a stranger with thee, and a sojourner, as all my fathers were. O spare me, that I may recover strength, before I go hence, and be no more.” (Psalm 39:4-13)

I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart. I have preached righteousness in the great congregation: lo, I have not refrained my lips, O Lord, thou knowest. I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation: I have not concealed thy lovingkindness and thy truth from the great congregation.

Withhold not thou thy tender mercies from me, O Lord: let thy lovingkindness and thy truth continually preserve me. For innumerable evils have compassed me about: mine iniquities have taken hold upon me, so that I am not able to look up; they are more than the hairs of mine head: therefore my heart faileth me.

Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver me: O Lord, make haste to help me. Let them be ashamed and confounded together that seek after my soul to destroy it; let them be driven backward and put to shame that wish me evil. Let them be desolate for a reward of their shame that say unto me, Aha, aha. Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee: let such as love thy salvation say continually, The Lord be magnified.

But I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinketh upon me: thou art my help and my deliverer; make no tarrying, O my God.” (Psalm 40:8-17)

As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God? MY TEARS HAVE BEEN MY MEAT DAY AND NIGHT, WHILE THEY CONTINUALLY SAY UNTO ME, WHERE IS THY GOD?

When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me…Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall YET praise him for the help of his countenance.

O my God, my soul is cast down within me…Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me. YET the Lord will command his lovingkindness in the day time, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life. I will say unto God my rock, Why hast thou forgotten me? why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy? As with a sword in my bones, mine enemies reproach me; while they say daily unto me, Where is thy God?

Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.” (Psalm 42)

“…thou hast cast off, and put us to shame; and goest not forth with our armies. Thou makest us to turn back from the enemy: and they which hate us spoil for themselves. Thou hast given us like sheep appointed for meat; and hast scattered us among the heathen. Thou sellest thy people for nought, and dost not increase thy wealth by their price. THOU MAKEST US A REPROACH TO OUR NEIGHBOURS, A SCORN AND A DERISION TO THEM THAT ARE ROUND ABOUT US. THOU MAKEST US A BYWORD AMONG THE HEATHEN, A SHAKING OF THE HEAD AMONG THE PEOPLE.

My confusion is continually before me, and the shame of my face hath covered me, For the voice of him that reproacheth and blasphemeth; by reason of the enemy and avenger.

All this is come upon us; YET have we not forgotten thee, neither have we dealt falsely in thy covenant. Our heart is not turned back, neither have our steps declined from thy way; Though thou hast sore broken us in the place of dragons, and covered us with the shadow of death. If we have forgotten the name of our God, or stretched out our hands to a strange god; Shall not God search this out? for he knoweth the secrets of the heart. Yea, for thy sake are we killed all the day long; we are counted as sheep for the slaughter.

Awake, why sleepest thou, O Lord? arise, cast us not off for ever. Wherefore hidest thou thy face, and forgettest our affliction and our oppression? For OUR SOUL IS BOWED DOWN TO THE DUST: OUR BELLY CLEAVETH UNTO THE EARTH. Arise for our help, and redeem us for thy mercies’ sake.” (Psalm 44:9-26)

“Lord, thou hast been favourable unto thy land: thou hast brought back the captivity of Jacob. Thou hast forgiven the iniquity of thy people, thou hast covered all their sin. Selah. Thou hast taken away all thy wrath: thou hast turned thyself from the fierceness of thine anger. Turn us, O God of our salvation, and cause thine anger toward us to cease. Wilt thou be angry with us for ever? wilt thou draw out thine anger to all generations? WILT THOU NOT REVIVE US AGAIN: THAT THY PEOPLE MAY REJOICE IN THEE? Shew us thy mercy, O Lord, and grant us thy salvation. I will hear what God the Lord will speak: for he will speak peace unto his people, and to his saints: but let them not turn again to folly. Surely his salvation is nigh them that fear him; that glory may dwell in our land. MERCY AND TRUTH ARE MET TOGETHER; RIGHTEOUSNESS AND PEACE HAVE KISSED EACH OTHER.” (Psalm 85:1-10)

“Bow down thine ear, O Lord, hear me: for I am poor and needy.Preserve my soul; for I am holy: O thou my God, save thy servant that trusteth in thee. Be merciful unto me, O Lord: for I cry unto thee daily. Rejoice the soul of thy servant: for unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul.For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee. Give ear, O Lord, unto my prayer; and attend to the voice of my supplications. In the day of my trouble I will call upon thee: for thou wilt answer me.

Among the gods there is none like unto thee, O Lord; neither are there any works like unto thy works. All nations whom thou hast made shall come and worship before thee, O Lord; and shall glorify thy name. For thou art great, and doest wondrous things: thou art God alone. Teach me thy way, O Lord; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name. I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify thy name for evermore.

For great is thy mercy toward me: and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell. O God, the proud are risen against me, and the assemblies of violent men have sought after my soul; and have not set thee before them. But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, long suffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth. O turn unto me, and have mercy upon me; give thy strength unto thy servant, and save… SHEW ME A TOKEN FOR GOOD; THAT THEY WHICH HATE ME MAY SEE IT, AND BE ASHAMED: BECAUSE THOU, LORD, HAST HOLPEN ME, AND COMFORTED ME.” (Psalm 86:1-17)

“Thou art my portion O Lord: I have said that I would keep thy words. I entreated thy favour with my whole heart: BE MERCIFUL UNTO ME according to thy word. I thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto thy testimonies. I made haste, and delayed not to keep thy commandments. The bands of the wicked have robbed me: but I have not forgotten thy law…Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now I have kept thy word…It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes. The law of thy mouth is better than thousands of gold and silver. Thy hands have made and fashioned me: give me understanding, that I may learn thy commandments. They that fear thee will be glad when they see me; because I have hoped in thy word. I know, O Lord, that thy judgments are right, and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me. LET I PRAY THEE, THY MERCIFUL KINDNESS BE FOR MY COMFORT, according to thy word unto thy servant. LET THY TENDER MERCIES COME UNTO ME, that I may live: for thy law is my delight. Let the proud be ashamed; for they dealt perversely with me without a cause: but I will meditate in thy precepts…

My soul fainteth for thy salvation: but I hope in thy word. Mine eyes fail for thy word, saying, WHEN wilt thou COMFORT me? FOR I AM BECOME LIKE A BOTTLE IN THE SMOKE; yet do I not forget thy statutes…The proud have digged pits for me, which are not after thy law. All thy commandments are faithful: they persecute me wrongfully; HELP thou me. They had almost consumed me upon earth; but I forsook not thy precepts. Quicken me after thy lovingkindness; so shall I keep the testimony of thy mouth. (Psalm 119:57-61; 67, 71-78;81-83; 85-88)

“Hear my prayer, O Lord, and let my cry come unto thee. Hide not thy face from me in the day when I am in trouble; incline thine ear unto me: in the day when I call answer me speedily. FOR MY DAYS ARE CONSUMED LIKE SMOKE, AND MY BONES ARE BURNED AS AN HEARTH. MY HEART IS SMITTEN, AND WITHERED LIKE GRASS; so that I forget to eat my bread. By reason of the voice of my groaning my bones cleave to my skin. I AM LIKE A PELICAN OF THE WILDERNESS: I AM LIKE AN OWL OF THE DESERT. I WATCH, AND AM AS A SPARROW ALONE UPON THE HOUSE TOP. Mine enemies reproach me all the day; and they that are mad against me are sworn against me. For I have eaten ashes like bread, and mingled my drink with weeping Because of thine indignation and thy wrath: for thou hast lifted me up, and cast me down. MY DAYS ARE LIKE A SHADOW THAT DECLINETH; AND I AM WITHERED LIKE GRASS.

But thou, O Lord, shall endure for ever; and thy remembrance unto all generations. THOU SHALT ARISE, AND HAVE MERCY UPON ZION: FOR THE TIME TO FAVOUR HER, YEA, THE SET TIME, IS COME. For thy servants take pleasure in her stones, and favour the dust thereof, So the heathen shall fear the name of the Lord, and all the kings of the earth thy glory.

 WHEN THE LORD SHALL BUILD UP ZION, HE SHALL APPEAR IN HIS GLORY. HE WILL REGARD THE PRAYER OF THE DESTITUTE, AND NOT DESPISE THEIR PRAYER. This shall be written for the generation to come: and the people which shall be created shall praise the Lord. FOR HE HATH LOOKED DOWN FROM THE HEIGHT OF HIS SANCTUARY; FROM HEAVEN DID THE LORD BEHOLD THE EARTH; TO HEAR THE GROANING OF THE PRISONER, TO LOOSE THOSE THAT ARE APPOINTED TO DEATH; TO DECLARE THE NAME OF THE LORD IN ZION, and HIS PRAISE IN JERUSALEM.” (Psalm 102:1-21)

INTERVENTION & RESTORATION (Part 2 of 3)

“Therefore also now, saith the Lord, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil. Who knoweth if he will return and repent, and leave a blessing behind him; even a meat offering and a drink offering unto the Lord your God? Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly: Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children, and those that suck the breasts: let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of her closet. Let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, Spare thy people, O Lord, and give not thine heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them: wherefore should they say among the people, Where is their God?

THEN WILL THE LORD BE JEALOUS FOR HIS LAND, AND PITY HIS PEOPLE. Yea, the Lord will answer and say unto his people, Behold, I will send you corn, and wine, and oil, and ye shall be satisfied therewith: and I will no more make you a reproach among the heathen: But I will remove far off from you the northern army, and will drive him into a land barren and desolate, with his face toward the east sea, and his hinder part toward the utmost sea, and his stink shall come up, and his ill savour shall come up, because he hath done great things.

Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice: for the Lord will do great things. Be not afraid, ye beasts of the field: for the pastures of the wilderness do spring, for the tree beareth her fruit, the fig tree and the vine do yield their strength. Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the Lord your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month. And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the vats shall overflow with wine and oil.

AND I WILL RESTORE TO YOU THE YEARS THAT THE LOCUST HATH EATEN, THE CANKERWORM, AND THE CATERPILLER, AND THE PALMERWORM, my great army which I sent among you. And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: and my people shall never be ashamed (Joel 2:12-26)

“FOR I AM WITH THEE, SAITH THE LORD, TO SAVE THEE: though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet I will not make a full end of thee: BUT I WILL CORRECT THEE IN MEASURE, AND WILL NOT LEAVE THEE ALTOGETHER UNPUNISHED. For thus saith the Lord, Thy bruise is incurable, and thy wound is grievous. There is none to plead thy cause, that thou mayest be bound up: thou hast no healing medicines. All thy lovers have forgotten thee; they seek thee not; for I have wounded thee with the wound of an enemy, with the chastisement of a cruel one, for the multitude of thine iniquity; because thy sins were increased. Why criest thou for thine affliction? thy sorrow is incurable for the multitude of thine iniquity: because thy sins were increased, I have done these things unto thee.

Therefore all they that devour thee shall be devoured; and all thine adversaries, every one of them, shall go into captivity; and they that spoil thee shall be a spoil, and all that prey upon thee will I give for a prey. FOR I WILL RESTORE HEALTH UNTO THEE, AND I WILL HEAL THEE OF THY WOUNDS, SAITH THE LORD; BECAUSE THEY CALLED THEE AN OUTCAST, SAYING, THIS IS ZION, WHOM NO MAN SEEKETH AFTER.

Thus saith the Lord; Behold, I will bring again the captivity of Jacob’s tents, and have mercy on his dwellingplaces; and the city shall be builded upon her own heap, and the palace shall remain after the manner thereof. And out of them shall proceed thanksgiving and the voice of them that make merry: and I will multiply them, and they shall not be few; I will also glorify them, and they shall not be small.” (Jeremiah 30:8-16)

“FOR THE LORD SHALL COMFORT ZION: HE WILL COMFORT ALL HER WASTE PLACES; AND HE WILL MAKE HER WILDERNESS LIKE EDEN, AND HER DESERT LIKE THE GARDEN OF THE LORD; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody.

Therefore the redeemed of the Lord shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head: they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away.

I, even I, am he that comforteth you: who art thou, that thou shouldest be afraid of a man that shall die, and of the son of man which shall be made as grass; And forgettest the Lord thy maker, that hath stretched forth the heavens, and laid the foundations of the earth; and hast feared continually every day because of the fury of the oppressor, as if he were ready to destroy? and where is the fury of the oppressor?

The captive exile hasteneth that he may be loosed, and that he should not die in the pit, nor that his bread should fail. But I am the Lord thy God, that divided the sea, whose waves roared: The Lord of hosts is his name. And I have put my words in thy mouth, and I have covered thee in the shadow of mine hand, that I may plant the heavens, and lay the foundations of the earth, and say unto Zion, Thou art my people.

Awake, awake, stand up, O Jerusalem, which hast drunk at the hand of the Lord the cup of his fury; thou hast drunken the dregs of the cup of trembling, and wrung them out. There is none to guide her among all the sons whom she hath brought forth; neither is there any that taketh her by the hand of all the sons that she hath brought up. These two things are come unto thee; who shall be sorry for thee? desolation, and destruction, and the famine, and the sword: by whom shall I comfort thee?

…THEREFORE, HEAR NOW THIS, THOU AFFLICTED, AND DRUNKEN, BUT NOT WITH WINE:THUS SAITH THY LORD, AND THY GOD THAT PLEADETH THE CAUSE OF HIS PEOPLE, BEHOLD, I HAVE TAKEN OUT OF THINE HAND THE CUP OF TREMBLING, EVEN THE DREGS OF THE CUP OF MY FURY; THOU SHALT NO MORE DRINK IT AGAIN: But I will put it into the hand of them that afflict thee; which have said to thy soul, Bow down, that we may go over: and thou hast laid thy body as the ground, and as the street, to them that went over.” (Isaiah 51:11-13)

“I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for mine anger is turned away from him. I will be as the dew unto Israel: he shall grow as the lily, and cast forth his roots as Lebanon. His branches shall spread and his beauty shall be as the olive tree, and his smell as Lebanon. They that dwell under his shadow shall return; they shall revive as the corn, and grow as the vine: the scent therefore shall be as the wine of Lebanon.

Ephraim shall say, WHAT HAVE I TO DO ANYMORE WITH IDOLS? I have heard him, and observed him:

I AM LIKE A GREEN FIR TREE. FROM ME IS THY FRUIT FOUND. Who is wise, and he shall understand these things? prudent, and he shall know them? For the ways” (Hosea 14:4-9)

“A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side. BUT A CERTAIN SAMARITAN, AS HE JOURNEYED, CAME WHERE HE WAS: AND WHEN HE SAW HIM, HE HAD COMPASSION ON HIM, AND WENT TO HIM, AND BOUND UP HIS WOUNDS, POURING IN OIL AND WINE, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.” (Luke 10:30-34)

PROCLAMATION & CELEBRATION (Part 3 of 3)

“Praise ye the Lord, for it is good to sing praises unto our God; for it is pleasant; and praise is comely. The Lord doth build up Jerusalem: HE GATHERETH TOGETHER THE OUTCASTS OF ISRAEL. HE HEALETH THE BROKEN IN HEART, AND BINDETH UP THEIR WOUNDS.” (Psalm 147:1-3)

For they got not the land in possession by their own sword, neither did their own arm save them: but thy right hand, and thine arm, and the light of thy countenance, because thou hadst a favour unto them…Through thee will we push down our enemies: through thy name will we tread them under that rise up against us. For I will not trust in my bow, neither shall my sword save me. But thou hast saved us from our enemies, and hast put them to shame that hated us. IN GOD WE BOAST ALL THE DAY LONG, AND PRAISE THY NAME FOR EVER. Selah.” (Psalm 44:3,5-8)

I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make her boast in the Lord: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad. O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together. I sought the Lord, and HE HEARD ME, AND DELIVERED ME FROM ALL MY FEARS. They looked unto HIM, and were lightened: and their faces were NOT ashamed. This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of ALL his troubles.

The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them. O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. O fear the Lord, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him… Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the Lord. What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see good? Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile. Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it. The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry. The face of the Lord is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.

The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of ALL their troubles. The Lord IS NIGH UNTO THEM THAT ARE OF A BROKEN HEART; AND SAVETH SUCH AS BE OF A CONTRITE SPIRIT. Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all. He keepeth all his bones: not ONE of them is broken.  Evil shall slay the wicked: and they that hate the righteous shall be desolate. The Lord redeemeth the soul of his servants: and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate.” (Psalm 34:1-9;11-22)

“I waited patiently for the Lord; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. HE BROUGHT ME UP ALSO OUT OF AN HORRIBLE PIT, OUT OF THE MIRY CLAY, AND SET MY FOOT UPON A ROCK, AND ESTABLISHED MY GOINGS.AND HE HATH PUT A NEW SONG in my mouth, even praise unto our God: MANY shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord.” (Psalm 40:1-3)

“Sing unto God, sing praises to his name: extol him that rideth upon the heavens by his name Jah, and rejoice before him. A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, is God in his holy habitation. GOD SETTETH THE SOLITARY IN FAMILIES: HE BRINGETH OUT THOSE WHICH ARE BOUND WITH CHAINS: but the rebellious dwell in a dry land. O God, when thou wentest forth before thy people, when thou didst march through the wilderness; Selah: The earth shook, the heavens also dropped at the presence of God: even Sinai itself was moved at the presence of God, the God of Israel. THOU, O GOD, DIDST SEND A PLENTIFUL RAIN, WHEREBY THOU DIDST CONFIRM THINE INHERITANCE, WHEN IT WAS WEARY. Thy congregation hath dwelt therein: thou, O God, hast prepared of thy goodness for the poor…THOUGH YE HAVE LIEN AMONG THE POTS, YET SHALL YE BE AS THE WINGS OF A DOVE COVERED WITH SILVER, AND HER FEATHERS WITH YELLOW GOLD.” (Psalm 68:4-10)

“Praise ye the Lord. Praise the Lord, O my soul. While I live will I praise the Lord: I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being. PUT NOT YOUR TRUST IN PRINCES, NOR IN THE SON OF MAN, IN WHOM THERE IS NO HELP…Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God: Which made heaven, and earth, the sea, and all that therein is: which keepeth truth for ever: Which executeth judgment for the oppressed: which giveth food to the hungry. THE LORD LOOSETH THE PRISONERS: THE LORD OPENETH THE EYES OF THE BLIND: THE LORD RAISETH THEM THAT ARE BOWED DOWN: the Lord loveth the righteous.” (Psalm 146:1-3; 5-8)

“Praise ye the Lord. Praise, O ye servants of the Lord, praise the name of the Lord. Blessed be the name of the Lord from this time forth and for evermore. From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the Lord’s name is to be praised. The Lord is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens. Who is like unto the Lord our God, who dwelleth on high, Who humbleth himself to behold the things that are in heaven, and in the earth! 

HE RAISETH UP THE POOR OUT OF THE DUST, AND LIFTETH THE NEEDY OUT OF THE DUNGHILL; That he may set him with princes, even with the princes of his people. HE MAKETH THE BARREN WOMAN TO KEEP HOUSE, AND TO BE A JOYFUL MOTHER OF CHILDREN. Praise ye the Lord”. (Psalm 113:1-9)

“I will extol thee, my God, O king; and I will bless thy name for ever and ever. Every day will I bless thee; and I will praise thy name for ever and ever. Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable. One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts.  I WILL SPEAK OF THE GLORIOUS HONOUR OF THY MAJESTY, AND OF THY WONDROUS WORKS. And men shall speak of the might of thy terrible acts: AND I WILL DECLARE THY GREATNESS. They shall abundantly utter the memory of thy great goodness, and shall sing of thy righteousness.

The Lord is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy. The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works. All thy works shall praise thee, O Lord; and thy saints shall bless thee. They shall speak of the GLORY of thy kingdom, and talk of thy POWER; To make known to the sons of men his MIGHTY ACTS, and the GLORIOUS MAJESTY of his kingdom. Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and thy dominion endureth throughout all generations.

THE LORD UPHOLDETH ALL THAT FALL, AND RAISETH UP ALL THOSE THAT BE BOWED DOWN. The eyes of all wait upon thee; and thou givest them their meat in due season. Thou openest thine hand, and satisfiest the desire of every living thing. The Lord is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works. The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth.

HE WILL FULFIL THE DESIRE OF THEM THAT FEAR HIM: HE ALSO WILL HEAR THEIR CRY, AND WILL SAVE THEM. The Lord preserveth all them that love him: but all the wicked will he destroy. My mouth shall speak the praise of the Lord: and let all flesh bless his holy name for ever and ever.” (Psalm 145:1-17)

“The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with HIS hand… The wicked watcheth the righteous, and seeketh to slay him. The Lord will not leave him in his hand, nor condemn him when he is judged.” (Psalm 37:23-24;32-33)

“I will praise thee with my whole heart: before the gods will I sing praise unto thee. I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.IN THE DAY WHEN I CRIED THOU ANSWEREDST ME, AND STRENGTHENEDST ME WITH STRENGTH IN MY SOULAll the kings of the earth shall praise thee, O Lord, when they hear the words of thy mouth.YEA, THEY SHALL SING IN THE WAYS OF THE LORD: FOR GREAT IS THE GLORY OF THE LORD

Though the Lord be high, yet hath he respect unto the lowly: but the proud he knoweth afar off. Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me. The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O Lord, endureth for ever…” (Psalm 138:1-8)

IN CLOSING

Sometimes you can only fully understand how deep a person’s praise is coming from, when you understand the extent of that person’s pain. From childhood, the devil has been after me, tried to mess up my life in different ways and had people even come and tell me (as a young child and also as an adult on three (3) occasions), that I would NEVER get married.

It is only befitting therefore, to end this Article with two songs that I have long planned, by the grace of God, to have played in succession at my one-day Wedding. I’ve stored those songs in my heart for years and only now realized that the last scripture above (Psalm 138), a Psalm I felt that God led me to and wanted for some reason, to be included in this Article, actually contains words in verses three to five, which echo the very theme of these two (2) songs.

Of course, I had not a clue but God knew. For a sneak peek to my one-day Wedding by the grace of almighty God alone and how I have purposed in my heart (which is overflowing in humility with gratitude), to praise Him, these songs which can be found on YouTube are as follows: –

  • GREAT GOD – By Jennifer Mekel ft The Boys & Girls Choir of Harlem Alumni
  • MY SOUL WILL SING – By Louann Nealy

(Written on 15th June, 2020 while still single; added to thereafter (while still single)

ADDITIONAL NOTE

Today, 30th June, 2020, (fifteen days after I had written the above Note), I read an excerpt from Charles Spurgeon that I had read some time before and saved as one of my favorite sayings of his. I only just realized though, that there is a portion of what he said that expresses the theme of all that I have written above and how I feel and what I have planned to do in my heart for years, by the grace of God, once he provides me with the opportunity. I therefore returned to this Note, as I felt that I simply must add it here.

He said, in relation to Isaiah 12:1:

  • “This prophesy is said by some to relate to the invasion by Sennacherib. That calamity threatened to be a very terrible display of divine anger. It seemed inevitable that the Assyrian power would make an utter desolation of all Judea; but God promised that he would interpose for the deliverance of his people, and punish the stout heart of the king of Assyria, and in that day his people should say, “We will praise thee: though thou wast angry with us…” and therefore sent the Assyrian monarch to chastise us, “…thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortedst us.”
  • If this be the meaning of it, it is an instance of SANCTIFIED AFFLICTION, and it is a lesson to us that whenever we smart under the rod, we may look forward to the time when the rod shall be withdrawn; and it is also an admonition to us that when we escape from trial, we should take care to CELEBRATE THE EVENT WITH GRATEFUL PRAISE. Let us SET UP THE PILLAR OF MEMORIAL, let us POUR THE OIL OF GRATITUDE UPON IT, and GARLAND IT WITH SONG, blessing the Lord whose anger endureth but for a moment, but whose mercy is from everlasting to everlasting…”

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