Can we even count the number of times the Lord rescued David? And he never lost a war. The first five chapters in today's reading are full of trust and love for the Lord as David recalls the blessings. He then contrasts the One True God with worthless idols. Do we qualify as the Lord's peculiar (very special) treasure (Ps. 135:4; Ex. 19:5; Titus 2:14; I Pet. 2:9)? Psalm 136 is called The Great Hallel and was sung during Passover.
The psalmist reminds us of how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments (Ps. 133:1-2; Ex. 30:25,30; Lev. 8:12). The oil that was poured upon the head of Aaron, the first high priest, was a foreshadowing of the anointing, indwelling, and outflowing of the Holy Spirit upon believers today. It symbolized the Holy Spirit who, in love, covers as well as permeates the lives of those who have submitted themselves to Him. The same indwelling Holy Spirit lives within all true Christians (I John 2:27). Therefore, in a spirit of love, we should express our oneness without partiality, regardless of race, nationality, education, or wealth, for we are the Body of Christ (I Cor. 12:27).
The key to true unity is to let nothing be done through strife or vainglory (empty conceit, self-seeking or petty ambition); but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves (Phil. 2:3). Our fallen nature is ever prone to distort unwelcome encounters with others and our emotions can create a crisis out of unimportant incidents. Added to this, we all too often selfishly demand our own rights and blame our frustrations on others. Pride, self-will, and an independent spirit are all enemies of the Spirit-filled life. It is Christlike to accept personal offense with patience rather than to react to someone's rudeness. We need to recognize that people's bad attitudes are often momentary frustrations caused by conflicts, sorrows, sufferings, or bad news. God permits difficult people to come into our lives to give us an opportunity to express His love and patience toward them — just as our Lord has made known His love and mercy toward us.
The unity of believers can be compared to a great orchestra with many instruments creating beautiful harmony. To maintain that harmony, we each must stay in tune by following the Master Conductor. With all lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring (making every effort) to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Eph. 4:2-3).
Thought for Today:
I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting (I Tim. 2:8).
As the descendant of David, who would sit upon David's throne (Ps. 132:11). He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David (Luke 1:32; Acts 2:29-30).
132:6 Ephratah =he district in which Bethlehem was located; 132:11 fruit =b> offspring; 132:17 horn =b> authority, power . . . bud =b> flourish; 135:4 Jacob . . . His peculiar treasure =b> the people of God are God's own possession; 135:14 repent Himself concerning His servants =b> God will have compassion upon His people; 136:12 a stretched out arm =b> mighty power; 137:3 wasted =b> plundered; 137:4 strange =b> foreign; 137:7 Rase =b> Overthrow, Destroy, Demolish.
Pray for Country: Singapore (4 million) in Southeast Asia • Major languages: Chinese and Malay • Religious freedom • 53% Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Chinese Traditional Religion; 15% Muslim; 9% Protestant; 4% Catholic; 3% Hindu; .5% Sikh; .2% Baha'i; 14.3% None/Other • Prayer Suggestion: Humbly kneel before the Lord in prayer and worship the Lord (II Chron. 6:13).
Optional Reading: 2 Timothy 2
Memory Verse for the Week: 2 Corinthians 4:8