Tag Archives: Prophecy

Israel, Behold Your King Cometh!

September 22, 2017

Scripture Reading – Amos 5-9

Remembering the distinction between Israel, the northern kingdom made up of ten tribes, and Judah, the southern kingdom consisting of two tribes, Judah and Benjamin, Amos takes up the prophecy of the LORD against Israel in Amos 5.

God’s condemnation and exposure of Israel’s hypocrisy gives way to His lamentation over the judgment and sorrows that will soon come upon the people (5:1-3).   Though the heart of the nation was to do evil, nevertheless the LORD appealed to Israel to hear, heed and repent (5:4, 6, 8, 14-15)!

Amos names the sins of the nation…unjust and rejecting righteousness (5:7), hating bearers of truth (5:10), abusing the poor (5:11), afflicting the righteous and taking bribes (5:12).   Pronouncements of “Woe!” bring the chapter to a close (5:18-27).  The people had continued to make a pretense of outward conformity (5:21-22), but God knew their hearts and the prophet condemns their hypocrisy [note verse 23 – Even their songs had the character of noise].

Amos 6 continues the prophet’s declarations of “woes”, against Israel, identified as Samaria, and Judah, identified as Zion (6:1).  Identifying Philistine and Syrian cities that had fallen to the Assyrian army, Amos questioned if Israel and Judah were foolish enough to believe the same would not soon befall them? (5:2)

In spite of the clouds of doom on the horizon, the people continued to indulge themselves, resting on “beds of ivory”, eating “the lambs out of the flock”; entertaining themselves with music, drunkenness and reveling in pleasures till they were carried into captivity bearing the chains of slavery (6:4-7).

In Amos 7-8, the prophet states six prophetic visions; five of judgment and the 6th of the day God will establish His heavenly kingdom. 

The first judgment is of grasshoppers (Amos 7:1-3) – God planned to bring locusts to devour the people’s second harvest; however, God heard Amos’ plea for the people and the “LORD repented” [that does not mean God planned to do evil or changed His attitude toward the evil of His people; it means He is longsuffering and changed His mind after hearing the plea of His servant].

The second judgment is one of fire (Amos 7:4-6) – Fire drying up water is a picture of the drought God planned to bring against His people.  Once again, God heard the intercession of His prophet and “repented” (7:6).

The third judgment is the plumb line (Amos 7:7-9) – The plumb line is a tool used by a builder to make sure a wall is straight.  God’s plumb line of judgment is His Law.  Seeing the plumb line of God’s Law and Commandments and the failure of the people measured by the Law of God, Amos did not intercede for the nation.

Amos 7 reminds us faithful preachers who declare the Word of God often find themselves in conflict with government and religious authorities.

Jeroboam, the wicked king of Israel (the northern 10 tribes), appointed Amaziah to serve as “the priest of Bethel” and to offer sacrifices.  Hearing the words of Amos and his bold declaration of the prophecies of the LORD against Israel and the king, Amaziah counseled there was no place for Amos in Israel (7:10-11).   Rather than hearing and heeding the message God had given His prophet, both Amaziah and the king wanted the prophet silenced (7:12-13).   Rehearsing God’s call upon his life, Amos set his heart he would not be silent and boldly declared God’s judgment (7:14-17).

The fourth judgment is a picture of fruit harvested at the end of summer, expressing the imminent judgment of God (8:1-14).

The fifth and final judgment prophesied by Amos is a vision of a temple destroyed (most likely not the one in Jerusalem, but the idolatrous one established in Samaria) and worshippers slain in the destruction (Amos 9:1-10).

The words of Amos would come to pass.  Israel, the northern kingdom consisting of ten tribes, was the first taken captive, scattered “among all nations” and never to return to Canaan (9:9).   Judah, the southern kingdom consisting of Judah and Benjamin, is promised, “I will not utterly destroy the house of Jacob” (9:8).  Seventy years after Judah was taken captive, the people were allowed to return to their land, rebuild the temple and Jerusalem (9:11-15).

Amos 9 concludes with God’s promise to one day restore God’s people to their land and place upon the throne of David a legitimate heir. 

An observation as I close: A legitimate heir of David has not sat upon the throne of Israel since the time of the captivity to our day.  The Jews have returned to their homeland, but no king reigns in Israel.  When a legitimate heir of Israel sits on the throne of David He will be none other than Jesus Christ, Son of David, the Only begotten Son of God, the King of kings and Lord of lords.

Copyright 2017 – Travis D. Smith

Please Pray: God sometimes calls a nation to repent through natural cataclysmic events.

September 8, 2017

Scripture Reading – Joel 1-3

I found today’s scripture reading especially graphic in light of the devastating blow suffered by Houston from Hurricane Harvey and the path of destruction Hurricane Irma is leaving as she makes her way across the Caribbean and towards South Florida today.  Adding to the calamity in our region of the world is the news of a major earthquake in southern Mexico this morning.

A novice reader of the Bible recognizes the prophet Joel is writing about a national disaster in terms that are symbolic, nevertheless powerful.  Joel is describing the “Day of the LORD” (Joel 1:15; 2:1, 11, 31; 3:14) and the impending judgment of God against Judah.

The Book of Joel describes three catastrophic invasions.  The enemy in Joel 1 is a natural enemy…a plague of locusts that destroys the crops leaving both men and beasts starving (1:7, 10-12, 16-20).

The enemy in Joel 2 is the impending invasion by the armies of Assyria (2:1-27) described in verse 20 as “the northern army” (or the army to the north).   Joel was to sound the alarm, “Blow ye the trumpet in Zion” (2:1)… warn Judah an enemy was coming.  Describing the swath of destruction, Joel warns, “the day of the LORD cometh…A day of darkness and of gloominess…a fire devoureth before them…before their face the people shall be much pained” (2:1-6).

Why? Why was the LORD bringing this upon Judah?  That the people might turn…to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: 13  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” (2:12-13).  Reminding the nation the LORD is “gracious and merciful” (2:13), Joel called upon Judah to repent of her sins and turn to the LORD.

Joel prayed for a national revival:  “Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children…17  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?” (2:16-17).

Knowing the LORD is gracious and merciful, Joel promised if the people repented, God would restore the nation, bless the land and “restore to you the years that the locust have eaten…26 And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied” (2:18-26).

Joel 3 is a future event…the regathering of the Jews to Judah and Jerusalem (3:1) and the Gentile nations gathering against Israel (3:2) in what I believe is the final battle…Armageddon (Revelation 16:16).   Remembering the ill-treatment suffered by the Jews down through the centuries (3:3-8),  the LORD promises to make war against the Gentiles (3:9-17).   Two Gentile nations are specifically named for destruction… “Egypt shall be a desolation, and Edom shall be a desolate wilderness, for the violence against the children of Judah” (3:19).   Egypt representing that great nation south of Israel and Edom the Arab nations to the north and east of Israel.

I close today’s devotional commentary with a personal observation as one who lives in the path of a hurricane the mayor of Miami describes as “epic”.   In a few days, after the storms have passed and the toll on life and property is assessed, there will be a national debate bordering on hysteria about the cause of these massive storms.   Some of the discussion will be sensible and scientific; however, media bias and liberal politicians will beat their drums and bewail “Climate Change” and reproach humanity as the cause.

A mere handful might dare broach the Biblical and historical reality God often calls a people to repent of their sin through natural cataclysmic events.

I am not suggesting the devastation suffered by Houston, the Caribbean and the potential of suffering in Florida from Hurricane Irma is the judgment of God.   However, I will confess the United States has turned from God, His Laws and precepts.

America is guilty of gross sins…the negligence of justice; the celebration of gross immorality; and the deaths of 60 million infants.  Of such a people we read, “for blood it defileth [corrupts; pollutes] the land [earth; country]: and the land cannot be cleansed [purged; atoned; forgiven] of the blood that is shed therein” (Numbers 35:33).

Pray for Texas, Florida and our nation to turn back to the LORD.

Copyright 2017 – Travis D. Smith

“Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord”

September 4, 2017

Scripture Reading – Numbers 13-16

Continuing in our study of the Book of Numbers, we find Israel encamped at the threshold of the land God had promised Abraham, Isaac and Jacob would be the inheritance of their seed.  The events in today’s scripture reading, Numbers 13-16, are among the most dynamic in Israel’s 40 years of wanderings in the wilderness; unfortunately, this devotional commentary must be brief and highlight only a few observations of the many that could be made.

The LORD directed Moses to send men, one from each tribe, to “see the land…the people…what the land is…what the cities they be” (13:1-19).   Moses challenged the men, “be ye of good courage, and bring of the fruit of the land” (13:20).  The spies were gone for 40 days and returned with “a branch with one cluster of grapes” that was so full of fruit the men “bare it between two upon a staff” (13:23-25).

The spies confirmed the land was all the LORD had promised saying, “surely it floweth with milk and honey” (13:27); however, they also reported the people of the land were strong, lived in walled cities and “the children of Anak”, along with the Amalekites, Hittites, Jebusites, Amorites and Canaanites dwelled there (13:29).

Hearing the challenges the nation must face to claim the land God had promised, unsettled the people and Caleb, one of the spies spoke up and said, “Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it” (13:30).   However, ten of the spies sowed doubt among the people saying, “We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we…we saw giants…and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight” (13:31-33).

Caleb urged the people “go up…we are well able” (13:30); however, ten of the spies urged, “we be not able to go up” (13:31).

What made the difference in those observations?   What set Joshua and Caleb apart from the other spies?   After all, the twelve spies had seen the same things, but came to conclusions that were vastly opposite.  The report Caleb and Joshua gave was different from the others in two ways: Focus and Faith.

  • Focus: Caleb and Joshua focused, not on the size of the obstacles, but on the size of their God.
  • Faith: Caleb and Joshua’s faith was not in their abilities, but in the person and promises of God.

Are you facing giants?  Has fear, faithlessness and complacency crept into your heart and thoughts?

You see, Israel’s enemy was not giants or the nations living in the land.   Israel’s enemy was her lack of faith in God.  The LORD admonished the prophet Jeremiah, “Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord” (Jeremiah 17:5).

The man God blesses places his faith in the LORD Who has the solution to every problem and the resources to achieve every goal in His will!

Jeremiah 17:7-8 – “Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. [8] For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.”

Copyright 2017 – Travis D. Smith

The Third World War

Friday, August 18, 2017

Daily reading assignment – Daniel 7-12

Reading through the Bible in one year is a wonderful challenge; however, I find myself doing little more than a “fly-over” when it comes to writing a devotional commentary on passages of scripture that captivate my heart and move my spirit. Having read the Book of Daniel scores of times over the years and preached a verse-by-verse study as recently as 2014, the prophetic scenes found herein continue to astound me as I reflect upon those things that have come to past and those which are yet before the world.  What a stunning testimony for the doctrine of the inspiration of scripture!

In our scripture reading today, Daniel 7-12, we are given a panorama of prophetic history beginning with the rule of “Belshazzar king of Babylon” (7:1) and continuing with the reign of “Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes” (9:1).   The longevity of Daniel’s service to the kings, from being taken captive as a teenager and continuing through the latter days of his life, is a testimony of Daniel‘s character, talents and integrity. While other rulers of the Chaldean kingdom were purged from office during transitions of kings and kingdoms, Daniel’s character earned him trust of numerous kings, both Chaldean and Persian.

Daniel 7-12 records a series of prophetic visions and reveals that Daniel had knowledge of the prophecies of Jeremiah.  Daniel writes, “I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet, that He would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem” (Daniel 9:2).

Bearing sorrow for the sufferings of Israel, Daniel identified himself with the sins of the nation and confessed, “We have sinned…we have done wickedly” (Daniel 9:5-15).  With a penitent heart, Daniel prayed, “O Lord…let Thine anger and Thy fury be turned away from Thy city Jerusalem…O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive” (9:16-19).  The LORD then sent His angel Gabriel to comfort and give the interpretation of Daniel’s vision, including the seventy weeks of desolation (9:20-27).

Daniel 10 marks another transition of leadership in Babylon with the rise of “Cyrus king of Persia” (10:1) under whom Daniel would serve.  Daniel’s prophetic visions continue as God sends “Michael, one of the chief princes” (10:13) to interpret the things God revealed to him in visions, including the fall of Persia to the “prince of Grecia” (10:20-21).

Darius the Mede was reigning over Babylon and the Persian Empire in Daniel 11 when the LORD revealed to Daniel the fall of Persia and the rise of a great king we recognize as Alexander the Great, king of Greece (11:2-3).   God revealed to Daniel the fourfold division of Greece following the reign of Alexander (11:3-4) and the international conflicts that would follow between nations with the collapse of Greece (11:5-20).

The balance of Daniel 11 is a panorama of prophetic scenes too numerous to study in this devotional commentary (Daniel 11:21-45) and take us from the offenses and desecrations committed by one we know historically to be Antiochus Epiphanes (11:25-35) to the rise of the Antichrist in the time of the Tribulation (Daniel 11:36-12:13) described as “a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time” (12:1), “even to the time of the end” (12:4).

Permit me an opportunity to close this reading of Daniel’s prophecies with some personal observations.

The news of “wars and rumours of wars” (Matthew 24:6) is an inescapable, undeniable reality of our times.  Headline stories of newspapers, radio broadcasts and cable news scream WAR and I believe the stage is set for the rise of the Antichrist (Daniel 11:36-45; 12:1-4).

Impassioned by a religious fervor that identifies itself as ISLAM, the ancient enemies of Israel are threatening to spark the Third World War.  The volatile rise of Islam in the Middle East, the military aggression of North Korea, China and Russia coupled with the anemic response of politicians to anarchist activities within the United States is setting the stage for the 70th week of Daniel and the Tribulation Period.

Friend, we live in volatile times, but God is no less sovereign today than He was in Daniel’s tumultuous times.  Let us join Daniel and rest in God’s assurance in the closing verses of Daniel 12: “Blessed is he that waiteth,…” (Daniel 12:12a).

Copyright 2017 – Travis D. Smith

A personal testimony: God’s “grace is sufficient” and “His ways past finding out!”

Monday, August 14, 2017

Daily reading assignment – Numbers 1-4

Our “Read-Thru the Bible” plan brings us to the Book of Numbers this Monday, August 14, 2017.   Its author is Moses and the timeline for the book is the “first day of the second month, in the second year” following Israel’s exodus out of Egypt (Numbers 1:1).

I will take a few moments to review for those who are novices to a study of the Old Testament scriptures.  The twelve tribes of Israel are descendants of the twelve sons of the Old Testament patriarch Jacob, whose name God changed to Israel.   Jacob (Israel) was the son of Isaac, the grandson of Abraham of whom two races originate; the Israelites descended from Jacob and the Arabic people, descendants of Ishmael.   The Abrahamic covenant (Genesis 12:1-3) was given to Abraham when God called him to depart from ancient Ur (modern-day Iraq), leaving his country and kindred, and journeying to a land he was promised as an inheritance for his lineage.  God not only promised Abraham would be a father to a great people, but also “all families of the earth be blessed” through him (Genesis 12:3b).   It is the latter promise Jesus Christ fulfilled as our Savior.

Numbers traces the journey of the twelve tribes of Israel from Egypt, through the wilderness, to the threshold of Canaan, the land God promised Abraham and his heirs.  The Book of Numbers derives its name from the fact it is the record of three separate census counts of Israel during her sojourn in the wilderness.

The first census (Numbers 1:2-54) was of males, 20 years and older, who were able to go to war (Numbers 1:2-3).  Moses and Aaron were responsible for numbering the men identified by their tribe, father’s name and their own name.   Altogether there were thirteen tribes (Numbers 1:5-15) descended from the sons of Jacob (Israel), of which two tribes descended from Joseph (Ephraim and Manasseh – Numbers 1:10); excluding the priestly tribe of Levi from the census count because of their dedication and service to the LORD (1:47-54).

The Levites were not numbered among the men of war because God had set them apart for Himself in lieu of the first-born from every tribe and family being set apart for the priesthood (Numbers 3:12-13).  Because worshipping and serving the LORD was central to Israel as a nation, the Levites were responsible for setting up the tabernacle and the vessels used for worship and offering sacrifices (Numbers 1:50; 3:8).  When the nation was on the move, the Levites were responsible for taking down the tabernacle (Numbers 1:51, 53).

The tabernacle, in the center of the encampment with the tribe of Levi encamped around it, represented God’s presence among His people,  (1:53).

Numbers 2 gives the organization of the encampment by tribe: Simeon (2:12-13), Gad (2:14-15), Ephraim (2:18-19), Manasseh (2:20-21), Judah (2:3-4), Issachar (2:5-6), Zebulun (2:7-8), Reuben (2:10-11) Benjamin (2:22-23), Dan (2:25-26), Asher (2:27-28), Naphtali (2:29-30), and Levi in the midst around the tabernacle (2:17, 33).

Numbers 3 gives the generations of Moses and Aaron who were of the priestly tribe Levi. The census of the Levites is recorded as well as their duties regarding the tabernacle and service to the LORD (3:1-51). Numbers 4 continues with a description of the ministry of the Levites, their age of service (“thirty years old and upward even until fifty years old” – 4:3) and responsibilities when breaking down the tabernacle for moving (4:4-15).

On a personal note, in the winter months of 2004, I had the privilege of preaching a series in the Book of Numbers on Wednesday nights while Hillsdale Baptist Church was in the midst of her own wilderness journey.  Having sold our church properties in early February 2003, Hillsdale relocated her worship services to a public high school auditorium while our new facility was under construction.  A building project scheduled for no more than nine months became a 2.5-year journey of trials with a dishonest contractor who hired sub-contractors like him.  I easily identify with Moses shepherding Israel through the wilderness.  In hindsight I understand our wilderness journey was not only God’s way of proving and purging, it was also His method of humbling and preparing our hearts to minister in our new community that would give us an outreach far greater than we had envisioned.

As a personal testimony, God’s “grace is sufficient” (2 Corinthians 12:9) and “His ways past finding out!” (Romans 11:33)

Copyright 2017 – Travis D. Smith

“Daniel: A Model of Godly Character, Integrity and Courage”

Friday, August 11, 2017

Daily reading assignment – Daniel 1-6

Today’s scripture reading challenges me to an impossible task—to write a brief devotional commentary for one of the great prophetic books in the Bible and cover in one reading a passage of scripture (Daniel 1-6) that consumed me for 14 weeks when I preached through the Book of Daniel in 2014.

The Book of Daniel is a prophetic panorama of human history, beginning with the days of Nebuchadnezzar and ancient Babylon and encompassing a prophetic vision of world empires that would follow…Medo-Persians, Greece and Rome.  Daniel’s writing include prophecies that are for the 21st century reader a footnote in history past and a foretelling of future events that conclude with the Second Coming of Christ.

Daniel 1 opens with a straightforward, historical fact…the children of Judah are in bondage in Babylon and the beloved city of Jerusalem and the temple will soon be laid waste.  The prophet Jeremiah warned Judah’s kings if the people did not repent of their sin and turn to the LORD, His wrath would rise “against His people, till there was no remedy” (2 Chronicles 36:16).  Jeremiah prophesied the captivity in Babylon would last for 70 years (Jeremiah 25:12) and when those years were “accomplished at Babylon [God] will visit you… causing you to return to this place [the promise land] (Jeremiah 29:10).

The prophet Daniel has been a favorite of children for millenniums.  Only a youth, perhaps no more than 13-14 years old when chosen, taken from his home and family and transported to Babylon with its strange language and idolatrous culture, Daniel proved he was a child of faith from the beginning of his training in Babylon.   Numbered with three other Jewish youth who proved they were children of conviction, we read of Daniel:

Daniel 1:8 – “But Daniel purposed [pledged; determined; made a decree] in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.”

“Daniel purposed”, he pledged his heart and resolved in his character, “he would not defile himself” (Daniel 1:8).   What courage!   What conviction!   What passion!  God blessed Daniel and providentially gave him “favour and tender love with the prince [chief] of the eunuchs [the servants of the king]” (Daniel 1:9).   As you will see in your reading of Daniel 1-6, the testing of Daniel’s faith in his youth prepared his heart for the opportunities, challenges and trials he would face in his service to the kings of Babylon and Persia.

Daniel 5 gives us a historical record of Babylon’s fall in 536 B.C. to Darius, king of the Medo-Persian Empire (5:30-31).   Daniel 6 gives us insight into the civil government of ancient Persia (6:1-3).   Once again God honored Daniel and, though in his 80’s, king Darius made him second only to himself in power and position (6:2-3).

I close with an observation of three qualities found in Daniel’s life that every Christian should emulate.   The first, Daniel had “an excellent spirit” (Daniel 6:3). Rather than a grumpy old man, his spirit and character was exemplary.

The second, Daniel was a “faithful”, trustworthy servant (6:4).  When his enemies plotted to destroy him, the only accusation they could bring against him was his devotion to God (6:5-9).    Finally, Daniel’s love and devotion for God was so great he was willing to die rather than sacrifice his times of prayer with the LORD (6:10).

Dare To Be A Daniel (by Philip P. Bliss)

Standing by a purpose true,
Heeding God’s command,
Honor them, the faithful few!
All hail to Daniel’s band!

Dare to be a Daniel,
Dare to stand alone!
Dare to have a purpose firm!
Dare to make it known.

Copyright 2017 – Travis D. Smith

Don’t Worry; God is in Control!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Daily reading assignment – Psalms 93-95

Our scripture reading today is three psalms, Psalm 93, Psalm 94 and Psalm 95.  For the sake of brevity, my devotional commentary will focus on Psalm 93.

Scholars believe Psalm 93 was written after the Babylonian captivity when the Jews returned from exile during the reign of Cyrus of Persia.  In a matter of 70 years, Israel had witnessed the implosion of Babylon, arguably the first great world empire.  Nebuchadnezzar had conquered the known world in his day and among the many nations led away to serve him was Israel.  Unlike other ancient nations that resettled and assimilated by the Chaldeans, the Jewish people maintained their identity as a chosen people, distinguished by God’s Law.

Israel’s return to their land and the rebuilding of the Temple and city of Jerusalem gave cause for the author of Psalm 93 to state three truths regarding God and His immutable character.  For the sake of this study, I will post my amplification of the text in a cursive font.

The first principle is, God is Sovereign and His Rule is Forever (93:1-2).

Psalm 93:1-2 – The LORD [Jehovah; the Eternal, Self-Existent God] reigneth [He reigns as King], he is clothed [wrapped in a robe] with majesty [lofty; exalted]; the LORD is clothed [wrapped in a robe] with strength [power; might], wherewith he hath girded [compass or encircled; clothed] himself: the world also is stablished [anchored; immovable; firm], that it cannot be moved [slip; waver; fall; brought down]. 2  Thy throne [place of authority] is established [anchored; immovable; firm] of old [from the beginning; since time began]: thou art from everlasting [eternal; forever; perpetual; always].

A study of world history yields the reality even the greatest nations rise and fall.  With the passing of time, every nation that has ever taken its place on the world stage inevitably evidences corruption and the decay of character and morality.  Such is not the case with the LORD whose sovereignty over His creation is majestic, unwavering and everlasting.  Nations rise and nations fall. Kings rule and presidents preside, but the reign of the LORD is everlasting.

The second principle is, God is Greater than My Circumstances (93:3-4).

Psalm 93:3-4 – The floods [rivers; streams] have lifted up [taken away; carried away], O LORD, the floods have lifted up their voice [noise; sound; thunder]; the floods lift up their waves [i.e. pounding, crashing waves].
4  The LORD on high [above; i.e. sits in the highest place] is mightier [glorious; majestic] than the noise [sound; thunder] of many [great; much] waters, yea, than the mighty [glorious; majestic] waves [breaking, pounding waves] of the sea.

As I write this devotional some very dear friends and members of Hillsdale come to mind who are facing trials and troubles that might easily overwhelm them if it were not for the promise we find in verses 4: “The LORD on high is mightier” (93:4).

Mighty, destructive floodwaters are the picture the psalmist draws upon to describe circumstances that are powerful, sweeping and devastating (93:3).  Whether in person or on news broadcasts, we have witnessed the devastating power of floodwaters sweeping away everything in their path…homes, possessions, even lives are lost to the power of surging waters.

With that picture in mind, the psalmist writes, “The LORD on high is mightier” (93:4).   He is mightier than the thundering waters of a waterfall or the pounding waves of the sea.  He is mightier than the circumstances that seem ready to overwhelm you.  He is mightier than the sorrows and disappointments that have brought you low.

We have seen the LORD is Sovereign (93:1-2) and mightier than our circumstances (93:3-4), bringing us to our third principle found in Psalm 93: God is Faithful – His Word, Testimonies and Promises are Sure (93:5).

Psalm 93:5 – Thy testimonies [witness] are very sure [established; firm; faithful; enduring]: holiness [sacredness; hallownes] becometh [pleasant; befits] thine house [temple; household; residence], O LORD, for ever [continually].

God’s Word and promises never fail.  Israel’s return to their land as a nation fulfilled God’s promise He would not forget or forsake His people.  Surely there were times in Babylon when all seemed lost; the temple destroyed, the walls and city of Jerusalem had become nothing more than a pile of debris and the people removed from their land.  However, not a promise of the LORD had failed and the Jews were restored to their land.

Friend, take heart, God is Sovereign, greater and mightier than your circumstances, faithful to His promises, and His residence is holy forever!

Copyright 2017 – Travis D. Smith