Tag: Psalm 141:1-2

Prayer as incense!

Scripture reading for July 1: Psalms 140-145

Have you ever experienced a prolonged time of sickness or trouble that seemed would not end?  Have you felt like God didn’t hear your prayer or wasn’t answering your call?  David’s life was one of deep trouble and prolonged times of pursuit by his enemies.  Often these enemies were his own friends or family!  His brothers were jealous of him and spoke in a derogatory manner about him.  His boss, King Saul, tried to kill him and hunted him mercilessly for a number of years.  His own wife, Michal, despised him for dancing before the Ark!  His son Absalom tried to take his throne by force and hunted him!  But David had a habit of prayer that helped him to keep his soul steady and in tune with the Lord. 

In Psalm 140, David was crying out to the Lord for rescue from evil men.  These men had sharp tongues and plotted violence and war against him.  They wanted to trap him and trip him up.  David realized that he needed God’s mercy to make it through the battles.  He prayed that those who surrounded him would be covered with the trouble that their own lips had caused!  (Psalm 140:9)  In other words, he wanted them to reap what they sowed!  He prayed that they would have burning coals fall upon them and that they would be thrown into the fire and miry pits.  He assured himself that the righteous would praise God’s name because God secures justice for the poor and needy!

In Psalm 141 David asked the Lord to come quickly and help him!  He asked that his prayer would come before God like incense. (Psalm 141:1-2)  The priests would add incense to the burnt offerings to make the smell of the burning meat more fragrant.  As they offered the prayers before the  golden Altar of Incense in the Holy Place, the incense on the coals would rise in sweet fragrance to the Lord before the veil.  In Revelation 8:3-5, John the Apostle sees an angel offering incense with the prayers of the saints on the golden altar before God’s throne.  As the prayers and incense ascended, the Angel took the censer and filled it with fire from the altar and hurled it toward the earth producing thunder, lightning, rumblings and an earthquake!  David knew the power of prayer and expected God to help him!

As we read this series of psalms, we realize that we are totally dependent on God, the Faithful One.   Take time to pray one of David’s prayers: “Rescue me from my enemies, O Lord, for I hide myself in you.  Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.  For Your Name’s sake, O Lord, preserve my life; in Your righteousness, bring me out of trouble.” Psalm 143:9-11

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Invited to the great banquet!

Scripture reading for July17th: Luke 14, Psalm 141, Proverbs 17

Luke 14:12-15 “He said also to the man who had invited Him, “When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.” When one of those who reclined at table with Him heard these things, he said to Him, “Blessed is everyone who will eat bread in the kingdom of God.””

Jesus was invited to dinner on the Sabbath by a ruler of the Pharisees. The Pharisees were in attendance because they were watching Jesus for evil purposes. Jesus mildly rebuked the man with a word of instruction about giving banquets. He told the man not to invite to his dinner those who could or would invite him back and repay him. That system of favors was the way the world worked, but God’s kingdom was different. He was instructed to invite the poor, the crippled and the lame and blind. Honoring those who could not repay him would bring eternal commendation and reward at the resurrection of the just. God’s kingdom comes easy to those humble enough to receive grace. Those Pharisees there with evil motives were invited to the Great banquet in heaven, but they would never taste of the Bread of heaven!

Psalm 141:1-2 “O Lord, I call upon You; hasten to me! Give ear to my voice when I call to You! Let my prayer be counted as incense before You, and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice!”

Prayer: Father God, thank You for caring for the poor, the blind, the lame, and the hurting. Thank You for the gift of salvation for all those who humbly repent and call on You. Forgive me when I have mocked the poor and hurting rather than helping them. Fill me with compassion and love for those You invite to the Great Banquet honoring Your Son at the resurrection of the just!

Proverbs 17:5 “Whoever mocks the poor insults his Maker; he who is glad at calamity will not go unpunished.”

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Seven golden bowls of wrath!

Scripture reading for December 21st: Job 18-20, Psalm 141, Revelation 15

Revelation 15:3-8 “After this I looked, and the sanctuary of the tent of witness in heaven was opened, and out of the sanctuary came the seven angels with the seven plagues, clothed in pure, bright linen, with golden sashes around their chests. And one of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls full of the wrath of God Who lives forever and ever, and the sanctuary was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from His power, and no one could enter the sanctuary until the seven plagues of the seven angels were finished.”

As John beheld the unfolding the events of the final judgments of the earth, he saw the tent of witness, the tabernacle, of heaven opened. From God’s presence came seven angels clothed in purity and nobility. One of the four living creatures around God’s throne gave them each a bowl filled with the wrath of God. From the sanctuary, smoke and the glory of God filled the atmosphere such that no one could enter the sanctuary until the bowls of wrath were emptied and finished. These judgments were part of heaven’s response to the prayers of God’s people ascending to God’s throne room in Revelation 8:2-5. God’s people praying and standing in faith in the blood of the Lamb and their testimony brings victory!

Psalm 141:1-2 “O Lord, I call upon You; hasten to me! Give ear to my voice when I call to You! Let my prayer be counted as incense before You, and the lifting of my hands as the evening sacrifice.”

Prayer: Father God, Thank You that my Redeemer lives and is even now interceding for me and all God’s people on the earth. Thank You for Your righteous judgments and the promise of cleansing the earth of all evil and injustice. How I long to see You with my own eyes and worship You forever and ever! Have mercy on all mankind and use me in whatever way will further Your kingdom and rule on earth!

Job 19:25-27 “For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last He will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has bee thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God, Whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another. My heart faints within me!”

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Persevere in prayer!

Scripture reading for March 28th:  Luke 18

Key scriptures for over-comers:  Luke 18:1, 6-7  “Then Jesus told His disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.  .  .  .   And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says.  And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to Him day and night?   Will He keep putting them off?  I tell you, He will see that they get justice, and quickly.  However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?””

Jesus wanted to encourage His disciples to persevere in prayer so He told them a story about an unjust judge who neither feared God nor cared about men.  A widow came to him seeking justice and would not give up until finally the judge gave in because she was wearing him out.  The point of the story was that God’s people should more persistently pray and seek out the Judge of all the Earth who always does right!  Would Jesus find that kind of faith on earth when He comes again?  Disciples know that their highest privilege is to seek help from a God who is just and answers prayer and they apply themselves by faith!

Observations for over-comers:  Over-comers will always pray and never give up, knowing that Jesus will hear and answer!   “O Lord, I call to You; come quickly to me.  Hear my voice when I call to You.  May my prayer be set before you like incense; may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice.”  (Psalm 141:1-2)

 

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