for He is awesome, powerful and merciful, swift to forgive and slow to anger. In Psalm 147 v 3 we read that 'He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.'
The Story of Psalm 147
This psalm tells us something about God’s love and his power. Here, power does not only mean that he rules everything. It also means that he is very, very strong. It is the second of the 5 *Hallelujah Psalms, 146-150. "*Hallelujah" means "*praise the *LORD". This means "tell the *LORD that he is very great". In verse 1, "*praises" are words that say how great somebody is. "*LORD" is the *covenant name for God. A *covenant is when two people (or groups of people) agree. Here, God agrees to love and give help to his people. His people agree to love and obey God. In verse 5 is another word, "*Lord". This is not the same Hebrew word as "*LORD". Hebrew is the language that the *Jews spoke. They wrote the psalms in Hebrew. "*Lord" translates a Hebrew word that means "master" or "someone with authority".
There are three parts in this psalm:
· verses 1 - 6: God’s power in Israel and Babylon and in the skies above;
· verses 7 - 11: God’s power on the earth with plants and animals;
· verses 12 - 20: God’s power in giving his people what they need.
In the Greek Bible, (verses 1-11) make Psalm 146 and verses 12-20 Psalm 147. This Greek Bible makes Psalms 9 and 10 into one psalm. All the numbers from 10 to 146 are one less than in our Bibles. The *Jews translated their Hebrew Bible into Greek about 200 years before Jesus came to the earth.
We do not know who wrote Psalm 147. But many Bible students think that it was after the *exile. The note on verses 2 and 3 explains the *exile. The *Jews used Psalm 147 in the new *temple (house of God) in Jerusalem. Maybe Nehemiah or one of his friends wrote Psalm 147.
What Psalm 147 means
Verses 2 and 3 tell us that God is powerful among the countries of the world. God let the Babylonians beat his people that lived near Jerusalem. This happened about 600 years before Jesus came to the earth. The Babylonians destroyed the city and took the people away to Babylon. Babylon was a country east of Jerusalem. They made them live there for 70 years. They were exiles, (they lived away from their own country). This happened because God’s people did not love him nor obey him. But after 70 years, God destroyed Babylon and brought his people home. He built Jerusalem again and made his people feel happy again. Some of them had broken hearts. This is a way to say that they felt very, very sad (or depressed). Other people had injuries.
Verse 6 tells us about poor people and *wicked people. "*Wicked" means "very, very bad". Perhaps the *psalmist meant the people of Babylon. God threw them to the ground. This means that he destroyed them. He did this when he sent the Persian army to fight the Babylonian army. But God lifted up the poor people. Perhaps they were the *Jewish people. He gave them help to go home from Babylon.
Verse 7 starts the next part of the psalm. The harp usually makes quiet music, but it can be loud.
Verse 8: In the Greek Bible, there is a bit more in this verse. At the end, it says ‘He gives plants for men to use’. Many English translations put this extra bit in.
Verse 9: A raven is a big, black bird. In this verse, God makes sure that other people, animals or birds feed themselves or their young. God does not do it himself. The *psalmist says that God really did it! This is because it is part of God’s great plan. The *psalmist is the person that wrote the psalm.
Verse 11: "In awe" means that you love somebody that you are a bit afraid of! People that are "in awe" of God obey him. Also, they *trust him, (or believe that he will do what he has promised to do).
Verses 12 - 14 start the last part of the psalm. God gives his people a city to live in, Jerusalem. Jerusalem is also called Zion. He gives them a safe country to live in. That is what safe *borders means. He gives his people good food. All this happened after the *exile. Psalm 149 in this set of psalms explains what the *exile was. Bible students think that the *psalmist wrote Psalm 147 after the *exile. It was a psalm for the new *temple. The *temple in Jerusalem was the house of God.
Verses 15 - 18 tell us that God rules the earth as well as the people in it. "Frost" is very little bits of ice. It falls on plants and buildings in very cold weather. Hail is larger bits of ice. It falls like rain or snow. "Icy" means "very, very cold". In verse 18, the weather becomes warm again. Ice becomes water, and the water runs away. Again, God made the rules that the weather must obey. When it is cold, water changes to ice. When it gets warm, ice changes to water.
Verses 19 - 20 end the psalm. They tell us that only the *Jewish people knew his rules and *laws. "*Laws" is another word for "rules". This is not true now, because everybody with a Bible knows God’s rules and *laws. These rules and *laws are not only about what is right and wrong. They are also about what happens in the world.
bandage ~ a piece of cloth that you put on a *wound.
border ~ edge of a country.
broken hearts ~ a way to say that someone is very, very sad.
covenant ~ two people have agreed what each should do (here, God and his people). Look in Psalm 120 about the covenant.
exile ~ away from your own country.
frost ~ cold white powder like snow.
hail ~ ice in rain.
hallelujah ~ say that the *LORD is great. (Jah is *Hebrew for *LORD.)
harp ~ a *musical instrument.
heart ~ part of the body. *Jews believed that you thought in your heart.
Hebrew ~ the language that the Jews spoke; they wrote the Psalms in Hebrew.
icy ~ very, very cold.
in awe ~ a bit afraid of someone that you love.
injury ~ a place on your body. Someone has hit you, or cut you with a knife.
Jew ~ a person who is born from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and their children.
Jewish ~ a word that describes a *Jew or anything to do with a *Jew.
laws ~ the rules in a country. In Psalm 147, God’s rules.
LORD ~ the *covenant name for God (in a *covenant you agree with someone).
musical instrument ~ something that makes music when you hit it (cymbals, drum), blow in it (flute, trumpet, horn, shofar) or touch it in a quiet way (harp, lyre). Many of these are in Psalm 150 in Book 5 of The Psalms of David.
pleasant ~ nice; what we like to do.
power ~ See The Story of Psalm 147.
praise ~ to say how great someone is; or, words that say how great someone is.
psalmist ~ the person that wrote a psalm (or psalms).
punish ~ hurt someone because they have not obeyed the rules.
raven ~ a big, black bird.
temple ~ a place where people meet to worship God.
trust ~ believe that someone (usually God in the psalms) will be kind to you.
wicked ~ very, very bad.
wound ~ mark on the body. Someone hit it or cut it.
Have a blessed evening. N.
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John 8:12 (NLT) Jesus, the Light of the World Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.”
Because sin is a deceiver, many have been misled into thinking that they can save themselves by their own good works.
In a recent survey in three cities of America, the question was raised: Who goes to heaven and who goes to hell?
The typical answer in every city was:
those who are good go to heaven and those who are bad go to hell.
But the Bible clearly teaches that “by observing the law [trying to be good], no one will be justified [declared righteous]” (Galatians 2:16). Paul repeats the same statement in Romans 3:20, and then adds, “Through the law we become conscious of sin.”
The Jews of Christ’s day made the tragic mistake of believing that they could be saved by keeping the law alone. For this reason, in the beginning of his ministry, Jesus invited these sincere Jews who desperately tried to work their way to heaven, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened [very discouraged], and I will give you rest” [Matthew 11:28].
Let us depend on Jesus's shared blood, the word of God and the Full help of the Holy Spirit, these are what the grace of God is all about.
The GRACE teaches us to CHOSE AND DO WHAT IS RIGHT AND ACCEPTABLE TO GOD Titus 2:11-15
1. God’s grace brings salvation to all people (2:11).
When Paul writes, “For the grace of God has appeared,” he is referring to the embodiment of grace in the person of Jesus Christ, who was “full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). It is not that God’s grace is missing from the Old Testament. No one was saved in the Old Testament apart from God’s grace. But as John 1:17 states the contrast, “For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.” God rightly could have sent His Son to condemn us and judge us. But instead (John 3:17), “For God did not send His Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.”
2. God’s grace trains us who are saved in godliness (2:12-14a).
The word “instructing” means, “child-training.” It includes teaching, but also, correcting and disciplining. It is a process that begins at salvation and continues until we stand before the Lord.
But, note that grace does not mean, “hang loose and live as sloppily as you please.” Rather, grace trains, disciplines, and instructs us in godly living.
Paul mentions three ways that grace trains us:
A. GRACE TRAINS US TO DENY UNGODLINESS AND WORLDLY DESIRES (2:12A). means, living in a self-controlled manner, not yielding to various passions and impulses.
B. GRACE TRAINS US TO LIVE SENSIBLY, RIGHTEOUSLY, AND GODLY IN THIS PRESENT AGE (2:12B). This refers to a life of integrity and uprightness in your dealings with others. It means conforming to God’s standards of conduct, as revealed in the commandments of His Word.
(3). GRACE TRAINS US TO LIVE GODLY.This refers to holiness and devotion to God, beginning on the heart level. It means to live a God-ward life, knowing that He examines your heart. You confess sinful thoughts to Him and live in the love and fear of God. As Paul expressed his concern (2 Cor. 11:3), “But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.”
C. GRACE TRAINS US TO LIVE IN GODLINESS BY LOOKING AHEAD AND BEHIND (Titus 2:13-14)
The forward look is toward the second coming of Jesus Christ. The backward look is toward the cross and its implications on our lives.
(1). LOOK AHEAD TO THE BLESSED HOPE OF CHRIST’S SECOND COMING (2:13).
God’s grace instructs us to look “for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus.”
If your focus is set on the hope of Christ’s return, you will purify your life from every known sin (1 John 3:2-3).
(2). LOOK BACK TO THE SUPREME DEMONSTRATION OF HIS LOVE, WHICH REDEEMED US FROM SIN AND MADE US HIS OWN POSSESSION (2:14A).
“Who” refers back to “our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus.” None other than He “gave Himself for us”! If that thought doesn’t grip your heart, you’re in deep spiritual trouble. Paul shows that this past grace that was shown to us produces godliness in us.
The Employment minister Priti Patel told the House of Commons that she did not accept claims that the increase in sanctions had anything to do with the rise in foodbanks.
The opposition MPs suggest that the Government has cracked down too hard on the welfare system and pushed people into hunger.
The Trussell Trust says that more than 1 million food parcels were handed out in 2014, an increase of 19% on to the previous year.
The Bishop of Truro and the Rt Revd Tim Thornton found that about of 1/3 of the referrals to foodbanks were prompted by delays and errors in benefits (News, 12/12/14). Their report recommends allowing Jobcentre Plus staff to use their discretion over whether to impose a sanction or not.
The latest wave of cuts will slash £12 billion a year from social-security spending with tax credits for working families to be cut significantly. The Gvt is considering altering the criteria by which child poverty is judged.
The Archbishop of York is in favour of the Living Wage, currently set at £2.35 more per hour than the minimum wage noting that many firms that use it notice improved productivity and staff loyalty.