Sing Praise, God is My King, Psalm 9

Psalm 9

For the director of music. To the tune of “The Death of the Son.” A psalm of David.

I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart;
    I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.
I will be glad and rejoice in you;
    I will sing the praises of your name, O Most High.

My enemies turn back;
    they stumble and perish before you.
For you have upheld my right and my cause,
    sitting enthroned as the righteous judge.
You have rebuked the nations and destroyed the wicked;
    you have blotted out their name for ever and ever.
Endless ruin has overtaken my enemies,
    you have uprooted their cities;
    even the memory of them has perished.

The Lord reigns forever;
    he has established his throne for judgment.
He rules the world in righteousness
    and judges the peoples with equity.
The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed,
    a stronghold in times of trouble.
10 Those who know your name trust in you,
    for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.

11 Sing the praises of the Lord, enthroned in Zion;
    proclaim among the nations what he has done.
12 For he who avenges blood remembers;
    he does not ignore the cries of the afflicted.

13 Lord, see how my enemies persecute me!
    Have mercy and lift me up from the gates of death,
14 that I may declare your praises
    in the gates of Daughter Zion,
    and there rejoice in your salvation.

15 The nations have fallen into the pit they have dug;
    their feet are caught in the net they have hidden.
16 The Lord is known by his acts of justice;
    the wicked are ensnared by the work of their hands.
17 The wicked go down to the realm of the dead,
    all the nations that forget God.
18 But God will never forget the needy;
    the hope of the afflicted will never perish.

19 Arise, Lord, do not let mortals triumph;
    let the nations be judged in your presence.
20 Strike them with terror, Lord;
    let the nations know they are only mortal. (Psalm 9:1-20, New International Version).

Today, for the first time since we began our study of Psalms, I felt a bit of writer’s block. There were a few verses in Psalm 9 that I kept feeling drawn to. Specifically those verses are 1-2, and 7-11. I started taking what I was hearing in those words and wrote a poem/song lyrics. I have titled this, “Sing Praise, God is My King.” I will work on a musical setting in the days ahead.

Sing Praise, God is My King

Why do we wait for thanks, you bless us each day Lord?
Yet we think we must wait for the one special day!
I cannot count my gifts, the gifts that come from you,
Stubborn am I, even when you touch this broken clay.

I will sing praise to the Lord, for God is my King.
Rejoice the Lord of Zion is here, with you and me.

Open my heart to You, that I might see your love.
I say I will thank you with all my heart, but fall short.
Open my eyes and touch my heart, all of my heart.
Have my heart before I enter your divine port.

I will sing praise to the Lord, for God is my King.
Rejoice the Lord of Zion is here, with you and me.

When I should tell the world of your love for each child,
Your deeds for your children are many and are great,
Open my mouth to speak of your love for the world.
Help me tell your people now Lord, this should not wait.

I will sing praise to the Lord, for God is my King.
Rejoice the Lord of Zion is here, with you and me.

Lord your love makes me glad, you live each day in me.
I sing a song of praise, I do rejoice in you.
You fill my heart with love, you bless my soul with grace.
You are the great I AM, your love I have known grew.

I will sing praise to the Lord, for God is my King.
Rejoice the Lord of Zion is here, with you and me.

I sing to you this day, I pray to you Most High.
Guide me in your ways so I will follow forever.
Establish your throne down in the depths of my heart.
Your bonds are tied to my soul, they can’t be severed.

I will sing praise to the Lord, for God is my King.
Rejoice the Lord of Zion is here, with you and me.

Your oppressed children, seek refuge this day in you.
In these days of trouble, be for us a stronghold.
Lead us to trust you and not forsake your children.
May all the world seek your face and live in your fold.

I will sing praise to the Lord, for God is my King.
Rejoice the Lord of Zion is here, with you and me.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Seeking the Genuine,
Keith

Copyright 2020, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved
Permission is given for the non-commercial use of this poem.

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So From the Showers We Flee

And we have reached Saturday once again. I am sending you another of my song lyrics or poems. I hope you enjoy it.

Several years ago, early in my ministry I was in a used book store and bought a book I have long sense forgotten. When I got home with the book I did what I usually do with books I buy, at least for a while, it went on the shelf. When my next trip came along, I pulled the book out to take with me. Sometime between the shelf and my briefcase a piece of paper fell out. I picked it up and it was a newspaper clipping. It had about 10 hymn quotes, but they weren’t too much about the lyrics. I have no idea where the book went. I probably gave it away to another new preacher starting out. I have even less of an idea what happened to the newspaper clipping. I guess it got lost in one of my moves in the past.

Anyway, not wanting to forget any more than I already have, I decided to write some song lyrics for the hymn lines I can remember. These are intended to be funny but also get a little more serious at the end. I hope you enjoy.

In honor of all the rain we have had in East Texas in the recent past (when I walk the dog I sink in the mud), “We sing, ‘There Shall be Showers of Blessing’ and then won’t go to church in the rain.” Obviously, the tune for this song is, “There Shall Be Showers of Blessing.”

[Verse 1]
There shall be showers of blessing
From God a promise we gain,
We hear the blessings on roof-tops
It sounds a whole lot like rain;

[Chorus 1]
Showers of blessing,
Blessings God knows that we need
We think we’ll melt just like sugar,.
So, from the showers we flee.

[Verse 2]
There shall be showers of blessing,
Today rain will keep me in bed.
More sleep I’ll find it relaxing,
Skip church, read a novel instead…

[Chorus 1]

[Verse 3]
There shall be showers of blessing,
Raincoats may keep our clothes dry.
Wet is my head as the rain falls,
Lost that umbrella of mine…

[Chorus 1]

[Verse 4]
There shall be showers of blessing,
I pray the waters soon peak.
Blessings on blessings around me,
Rain hasn’t stopped here all week…

[Chorus 1]

[Verse 5]
There shall be showers of blessing,
The dog tries to shake his fur dry.
He raised his head to the heavens,
Barks at the rain in the sky…

[Chorus 1]

[Verse 6]
There shall be showers of blessing,
Today I stayed home on a lark.
Blessings are gone its just water,
I think I will build me an ark…

[Chorus 1]

[Verse 7]
There shall be showers of blessing,
Thunder won’t run me away.
We need some rain for a harvest.
Thank God I’m in Church today…

[Chorus 2]
Showers of blessing,
Rain will not keep us away.
We will not melt we’re not sugar.
Through showers we’ll worship today.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

In Search of the genuine,
Keith

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Your Hand to Us Display (Psalm 7)

I take refuge in you, Lord, my God.
    Save me from all who chase me!
    Rescue me!
Otherwise, they will rip me apart,
    dragging me off with no chance of rescue.
Lord, my God, if I have done this—
        if my hands have done anything wrong,
        if I have repaid a friend with evil
        or oppressed a foe for no reason—
    then let my enemy
        not only chase but catch me,
        trampling my life into the ground,
        laying my reputation in the dirt. Selah
Get up, Lord; get angry!
    Stand up against the fury of my foes!
Wake up, my God;[b]
    you command that justice be done!
Let the assembled peoples surround you.
    Rule them from on high![c]
The Lord will judge the peoples.
    Establish justice for me, Lord,
    according to my righteousness
    and according to my integrity.
Please let the evil of the wicked be over,
    but set the righteous firmly in place
    because you, the righteous God,
    are the one who examines hearts and minds.

10 God is my shield;
    he saves those whose heart is right.
11 God is a righteous judge,
    a God who is angry at evil[d] every single day.
12 If someone doesn’t change their ways,
    God will sharpen his sword,
    will bend his bow,
    will string an arrow.
13 God has deadly weapons in store
    for those who won’t change;
    he gets his flaming arrows ready!

14 But look how the wicked hatch evil,
    conceive trouble, give birth to lies!
15 They make a pit, dig it all out,
    and then fall right into the hole that they’ve made!
16 The trouble they cause
        will come back on their own heads;
    the violence they commit
        will come down on their own skulls.
17 But I will thank the Lord
        for his righteousness;
    I will sing praises
        to the name of the Lord Most High. (Psalm 7, Common English Bible)

Your Hand to Us Display

A poem based on Psalm 7 by Keith Broyles

Lord, what did I do wrong?
Those who accuse me lie.
They believe they stand strong.
You and truth, they defy.

Scream and shout, blame, blame, blame,
Their fingers point to me.
Lord you know me, my name.
You are truth, help me see.

O God, you know my heart.
You know me, your servant.
You have blessed from my start.
Blameless, I am fervent.

Show my accusers their err.
Teach them truth, show them love.
I am wronged, I shall be fair.
I will show and rise above.

May they see their error.
Let the ground not collapse.
Allow not hands of terror.
Bring no pit in earth’s gaps.

May we show love to you.
From faithful hearts today.
Joy, grace, and praise be true.
Your hand, to us, display.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Seeking the Genuine,
Keith

Copyright 2020, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

Permission is given to use this material for non-commercial purposes.

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On Falling Into a Pit (Psalm 7)

Psalm 7

A shiggayon of David, which he sang to the Lord about Cush, a Benjaminite.

7 I take refuge in you, Lord, my God. Save me from all who chase me!
    Rescue me!
Otherwise, they will rip me apart, dragging me off with no chance of rescue.
Lord, my God, if I have done this—if my hands have done anything wrong,
4 if I have repaid a friend with evil or oppressed a foe for no reason—
5 then let my enemy not only chase but catch me, trampling my life into the ground, laying my reputation in the dirt. Selah
Get up, Lord; get angry! Stand up against the fury of my foes!
Wake up, my God; you command that justice be done!
Let the assembled peoples surround you. Rule them from on high!
The Lord will judge the peoples. Establish justice for me, Lord according to my righteousness and according to my integrity.
Please let the evil of the wicked be over, but set the righteous firmly in place because you, the righteous God, are the one who examines hearts and minds.

10 God is my shield; he saves those whose heart is right.
11 God is a righteous judge, a God who is angry at evil every single day.
12 If someone doesn’t change their ways, God will sharpen his sword,
    will bend his bow, will string an arrow.
13 God has deadly weapons in store for those who won’t change; he gets his flaming arrows ready!

14 But look how the wicked hatch evil, conceive trouble, give birth to lies!
15 They make a pit, dig it all out, and then fall right into the hole that they’ve made!
16 The trouble they cause will come back on their own heads; the violence they commit will come down on their own skulls.
17 But I will thank the Lord for his righteousness; I will sing praises to the name of the Lord Most High (Psalm 7:1-17, Common English Bible).

A few days ago, I was wandering the internet. Because most days I read a sermon someone else wrote, I am always scrounging around on sermon/preacher websites in an effort to find someone’s work I had not read before. The particular day in question I did not find a new sermon source to read. What I did find was a story, a parable, if you will. I had seen it before but I needed to see it again to refresh my memory. I present it below. I hope it speaks to you as it has many times to me.

A man fell into a pit and couldn’t get himself out.
A SUBJECTIVE person came along and said: “I FEEL for you, down there.”
An OBJECTIVE person came along and said:” It’s logical that someone would fall, down there.”
A CHRISTIAN SCIENTIST came along: “You only THINK that you are in a pit.”
A PHARISEE said: “Only BAD people fall into a pit.”
A MATHEMATICIAN calculated HOW he fell into the pit.
A NEWS REPORTER wanted the exclusive story on his pit.
A FUNDAMENTALIST said: “You DESERVE your pit.”
CONFUCIUS said; “If you would have listened to me, you would not be in that pit.”
BUDDHA
said: “Your pit is only a state of mind.”
A REALIST said: “That’s a PIT.”
A SCIENTIST calculated the pressure necessary (lbs./sq.in.) to get him out of the pit.
A GEOLOGIST told him to appreciate the rock strata in the pit.
The COUNTY INSPECTOR asked if he had a permit to dig a pit.
The COUNTY TAX ASSESSOR came along and figured the taxes he owed on the pit.
A PROFESSOR gave him a lecture on: “The Elementary Principles of the Pit.”
 A HEALTH AND WEALTH PREACHER said: “Just CONFESS that you’re not in a pit.”
An OPTIMIST said: “Things COULD be worse.”
A PESSIMIST said: “Things WILL get worse!!”


JESUS, seeing the man, took him by the hand and LIFTED HIM OUT of the pit.

Falling and unable to get up is a scary thing to deal with, whoever you are. Several years back, Cindy and I were going to get more exercise so we bought a couple of bicycles. The next day we rode our new bikes. The ride wasn’t long, less than a mile. When we got back home, I rode my bike into the grass. My thighs were killing me. When I go off the bike, my legs collapsed in the front yard and I went down.

I wasn’t hurt. OK, I guess my pride was hurt a bit. But it got worse. I couldn’t get up. It took about 30 minutes for me to be rested enough to actually get back to my feet. I went from angry with myself for not maintaining my footing and staying up. Then I was even more upset with myself for allowing myself o get so out of shape to begin with. Truth to tell, I was probably more upset because of my lack of self-discipline and the poor physical condition I was in that day. By the time I was able to get back on my feet I laughing at myself.

For many people, me included, falling is a very real concern. When you have a chronic ear issue, your balance and staying on your feet become real issues for you. I have always managed to get back up but there are those, who when they fall, have really difficult time.

David would have known about falling into the pit pretty well. He would have known the story of Joseph’s (Joseph in Genesis 37, not Joseph, Jesus’ earthly father from Matthew’s gospel) brothers capturing him, then taking him and throwing him in a pit from which he couldn’t escape, followed up closely by being sold into slavery. All of which, as told by Joseph himself, God intended for good.

Still, who really wants to go through something like that. I think if we could interview Joseph about what happened, and he is honest about it, laying in the bottom of the pit, he was probably frightened. He probably did some praying while he was down there too. The one thing he knew was, he wasn’t getting out of that pit without some help of some kind.

For his part, David doesn’t see himself falling into a pit dug by his own hand. He doesn’t see himself as the one who falls into the pit at all. He knows the ones in the bottom of the pit will be his enemies.

David had a clear but unique understanding that, if you make trouble for long enough, that trouble is going to come back to haunt you. If you continue reading from Genesis 37 and following, we can quickly see that is what happened to Joseph’s brothers. Famine struck and Joseph’s brothers and their families were in real danger of losing everything. Coming to see David, they didn’t know who he was.

Joseph did recognize them. After he put them through some trouble along the way, Joseph saves his family, including the brothers that treated him badly. God saw Joseph out of the pit. His brothers didn’t suffer at this hand though they had to wonder at times. Real vengeance was not something Joseph intended to do.

There is a word for that. That word is grace. God poured grace out on Joseph, even when he had fallen into a pit (don’t forget, he isn’t exactly innocent in all this) God rescued him. Even when he was in the service of Potifer, God saved him. From prison, God saved him.

It was grace, upon grace, upon grace. We will all find ourselves in the pit at times. Praise be to God that there is grace.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Seeking the Genuine,
Keith

Copyright 2020, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

Permission is granted to use this material for non-commercial purposes with proper citation.

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The Girl with Pretty Red Hair

Cindy with Jenna on the day I baptized Jenna

To the extent I have them, I thought I would use Saturdays to post the song lyrics I write. I actually started last week with “Hello Little Girl” that I wrote for that sweet new granddaughter Cindy and I have. By the way, since I have added music to it, there have been some changes in those lyrics since I finished them a week ago.

I have worked on songs for Jenna and Natalie this past week. I will post them at some point in the future as they are not yet finished.

Today’s song is one I wrote almost three years ago for the anniversary of Cindy putting up with me for 40 years. I don’t think I posted it back then but even if I did, when I pulled out out in the last couple of weeks to submit to a site where I can have it dated and a bit better protected, I had forgotten a good bit of it. Plus, with Valentine’s Day coming, I thought I should blow the dust off it. This is one of the few songs I have that both the lyrics and the music (not shown here) are both original.

The picture is of Cindy with our oldest granddaughter Jenna, when Jenna was the only granddaughter. The title of the song is, “The Girl with Pretty Red Hair,” and I guess the title at least fits Jenna too. Morgan’s latest post about Sydney indicates that Sydney just may be a girl with pretty red hair too. Natalie doesn’t have red hair but it is still pretty and so is she. Hey, I am Gramps, what do you expect me to say? Besides that, I’m right!!!

The Girl with Pretty Red Hair

I first saw you, we never spoke.
The girl had class, I was a joke.
I didn’t see, I didn’t care,
About the girl, with pretty red hair.

Opened my eyes, took a fresh look,
I saw you there, with opened book,
Saw what I’d missed, I Saw your flair,
Flair from the girl, with pretty red hair.

Back then most folks, gave us no chance,
But with each year, our love enhanced,
We’ve had great fun, and love we share,
Me and the girl, with pretty red hair.

I look at you, Lord I can see,
Each day you give, your love to me,
Today with me, we’re quite the pair,
Me and the girl, with pretty red hair,

I do look back, I look ahead,
Approaching days, I have no dread,
You touched my heart, blessings we share,
Me and the girl, with pretty red hair.

Me and the girl, with pretty red hair.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Seeking the Genuine,
Keith

Copyright 2020, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights, Reserved

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Accepted Prayer (Psalm 6)

Psalm 6

For the music leader. On stringed instruments. According to the eighth. A psalm of David.

6 Please, Lord,
    don’t punish me when you are angry;
    don’t discipline me when you are furious.
Have mercy on me, Lord,
    because I’m frail.
Heal me, Lord,
    because my bones are shaking in terror!
My whole body is completely terrified!
        But you, Lord! How long will this last?
Come back to me, Lord! Deliver me!
    Save me for the sake of your faithful love!
No one is going to praise you
    when they are dead.
Who gives you thanks
    from the grave?

I’m worn out from groaning.
    Every night, I drench my bed with tears;
    I soak my couch all the way through.
My vision fails because of my grief;
    it’s weak because of all my distress.
Get away from me, all you evildoers,
    because the Lord has heard me crying!
The Lord has listened to my request.
    The Lord accepts my prayer.
10 All my enemies will be ashamed
    and completely terrified;
    they will be defeated
    and ashamed instantly (Psalm 6:1-10, Common English Bible)

Though it isn’t possible for them to know, I always find it interesting to see a a story or in this case a psalm that reminds us something in the New Testament, even when there is on obvious connection. When I read Psalm 6, I am reminded of the story of the Pharisee and the Tax collector.

Perhaps you remember the story. If not, let me share it with you direct from Luke’s Gospel.

Jesus told this parable to certain people who had convinced themselves that they were righteous and who looked on everyone else with disgust: 10 “Two people went up to the temple to pray. One was a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood and prayed about himself with these words, ‘God, I thank you that I’m not like everyone else—crooks, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week. I give a tenth of everything I receive.’ 13 But the tax collector stood at a distance. He wouldn’t even lift his eyes to look toward heaven. Rather, he struck his chest and said, ‘God, show mercy to me, a sinner.’ 14 I tell you, this person went down to his home justified rather than the Pharisee. All who lift themselves up will be brought low, and those who make themselves low will be lifted up” (Luke 18:9-14, Common English Bible).

In the beginning Psalm 6, the psalmist says, in essence, I am a sinful man and I seek forgiveness from God though I know I deserve God’s wrath. In the second half of the psalm he gives a vivid description of his repentance. He sounds much like the repentant tax collector Luke talks about. He could easily be the tax collector to whom the Pharisee points.

I can’t say that I have known anyone who thinks they are better in God’s eyes than anyone else, as Luke describes the Pharisee in that story. As I imagine the psalmist praying, those chasing him, persecuting him, to use today’s vernacular, bullying him, stop. He seems to want it stopped even at the use of Divine intervention.

Have I known people who think they are better than the rest of us? Absolutely. Here is the difference I see between them and the Pharisee. Those I know either think they are better than God, they think there is no God, or they just don’t pray. Such was not the case with the Pharisee.

I have known people like the psalmist and the tax collector. I have known people who cry out to God for forgiveness and yet also believe in their heart of hearts that the are useless and there is no way God would possibly forgive them. That heartfelt belief is completely wrong. Just look at all those Jesus forgave. It seems clear to me that if Jesus was to forgive the various people in the Bible the Pharisees called, “Sinners,” Jesus will forgive us.

What is required in the days of the psalmist, the days of the Pharisee and the tax collector is faith. When I see the psalmist, pursued and tired of the pursuit prays to God. Both the Pharisee and the tax collector are praying but the Pharisee’s prayer is about his greatness. The tax collector’s prayer is seeking God to do something that humbles him, repenting and asking forgiveness.

We have the same choice. We can pray and sing our own praises or we can humble ourselves before God, admit that we aren’t quite as great as we want to think and seek forgiveness. Acceptable prayer begins with a heart that is contrite and humble. The psalmist and the tax collector show us how it’s done.

Have a great day in the Lord.

In search of the genuine,
Keith

Copyright 2020, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved.

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