A Message from the Lord

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John 1

How often do we complicate the simple message of the gospel? We add rules and regulations to it, and sometimes even require a person to shape up before God will call them His children. What is true?

We used to sing a simple gospel hymn:

I’ve a message from the Lord, Hallelujah!
The message unto you I’ll give.
’Tis recorded in His Word, Hallelujah!
It is only that you “look and live.”

“Look and live,” my brother, live.
Look to Jesus now and live.
’Tis recorded in His Word, Hallelujah!
It is only that you “look and live.”

Perhaps some of the problem stems from a misunderstanding of scripture. We think we can bring souls to Jesus. He clearly told the Jews “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws them” (John 6:44). God the Holy Spirit offers us salvation. If we reject His offer we cannot have eternal life, that for which Jesus paid with His blood. “Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from Him, comes to Me” (6:45). If we do not listen to the Spirit of God who speaks to us “heart to heart” we are guilty of unforgivable sin (Mark 12:29). “Blasphemy against the Spirit—the unforgivable sin—is ongoing hardening of your heart against the Holy Spirit who is trying to lead you to repent of sin and believe in Christ.” Kenneth Berding, Biola University

John introduces us to Jesus as the source of both light and life; the Holy Spirit enlightens us as to the Deity of Messiah/Christ so that we can receive and believe our sins have been dealt with by One who died and rose again! What a miraculous gospel! What glory! Such joy!

In a nutshell “grace and truth came through Jesus Christ” (1:17). John records the message of John the Baptist because he too had “seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only who came from the Father” (1:14). Children of God will be identified by the way they live, as Jesus lived, abundant in mercy and love.

So this message from the Lord impacts not only what I say I believe but how I live it out in my day-to-day life. “Look and live!” In the One we follow there is light which will shine God’s message into hearts that are darkened by sin, folks who need relief because they know they’ve been forgiven. This might mean we have to sit on the curbside on a rainy day, holding the hand of a person who feels hopeless. What we do there means more than cleaning them up to go to church. In the silence of acceptance, as we hold someone’s hand on the rough road of life, there may be light if our love is genuine.


Look and live! Remember we may be the only Jesus someone sees. How do we represent the One who said “I am the Good Shepherd. The good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep” (John 10:11). The message from the Lord may be spoken by the gift of our presence, the gift of true love.

by Marilyn Daniels (


God’s Dwelling Place

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Ephesians 2:19-22

The Apostle Paul writes:

“And in Him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by His Spirit”

(Ephesians 2:22)

His theme is the unity of the Body of Christ. Everyone in that Body has been saved by grace. We are equal, one in Christ.

Because of His great love for us, God who is rich in mercy made us alive in Christ, even when we

were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved” (:4-5)!

His mercy has raised us from the dead! We are now spiritually alive! Life is full of meaning and purpose! From my earliest memory I have gone to church. But I was in impish child and remember being taught to ask Jesus for forgiveness many times…..subliminally I got the message that I was accountable to God for the way I lived. My conversion experience was not a great moment of revelation but rather a drawing closer to Him because He loved me. I know I am His child because He forgives me every time I ask, purifying the place where He dwells (1 Corinthians 3:16).

I heard someone say that going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than going into a garage makes you a car. But we have been blessed to hold the sacred Word of God in our hands and as we read it – like Ephesians chapter 2, we gain clarity of understanding. God intends us to know Him personally. One of the helps on that journey comes as we learn from one another. Therefore Paul says – do not neglect the assembling of ourselves together (Hebrews 10:25 KJV). Why?

Believers form the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:12). There should be no division in that body. Therefore coming together unifies us in our praise and purpose; our united vision precludes division! Paul links that body to the church in his letter to the Corinthian church (12:27, 28). God is enthroned in the praises of His people (Psalm 22:3). The Church’s one foundation is Jesus Christ our Lord…the universal church. It is not a building but it is the spirit dwelling within hearts of believers around the world who are unified by the love of Christ, and by the mandate to make disciples.

Speaking to the Gentiles who comprised much of the Ephesian Church, Paul reminds them that once they were very far away from God, but through the blood of Christ were brought near to Him again (Ephesians 2:13), because He is our peace. His ministry of peace unites – what a message for a divided world! Consequently, Paul says, we are joined together, rising to become a holy temple, built together to be God’s dwelling place! (2:21-22).

Based on Psalm 84 – Dr. David Preston wrote a lovely hymn of praise.

O LORD of hosts, how lovely is your dwelling place!
I cry aloud, I long for your abode;
The joys of earth have left my soul unsatisfied:
My heart and flesh desire the living God.


What has always been your understanding of where God dwells? In heaven? This amazing omnipresent God is not only in heaven but is present in the hearts of people around this globe. Yet for all that, contemplate that He also lives within your heart. Everyone knows that when His exquisite love for others overflows through you!!

by Marilyn Daniels (


Jesus Loves Me

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John 3:16

An email went around some time ago that bears repeating.

“A church in Atlanta was honoring one of its senior pastors who had been retired many years. I wondered why the Church even bothered to ask the old gentleman to preach at the age of 92. After a warm welcome, as the applause quieted down, he rose from his high back chair and walked slowly, with great effort and a sliding gate to the podium. Without a note or written paper of any kind he placed both hands on the pulpit to steady himself. Quietly and slowly he began to speak. “When I was asked to come here today and talk to you, your pastor asked me to tell you what was the greatest lesson ever learned in my 50 odd years of preaching. I thought about it for a few days and boiled it down to just one thing that made the most difference in my life and sustained me through all my trials.

The one thing that I could always rely on when tears and heart break, and pain and fear and sorrow paralyzed me… the only thing that would comfort was this verse…

Jesus loves me this I know.

For the Bible tells me so.

Little ones to Him belong,

We are weak but He is strong.

Yes, Jesus loves me…

The Bible tells me so’.”

When he finished, the church was quiet. You actually could hear his footsteps as he shuffled back to his chair. Here is a new version just for us who have white hair or no hair at all.  

JESUS LOVES ME (for Seniors)

Jesus loves me, this I know,

Though my hair is white as snow

Though my sight is growing dim,

Still He bids me trust in Him.

Chorus: Though my steps are oh, so slow,

With my hand in His I’ll go

On through life, let come what may,

He’ll be there to lead the way.

When the nights are dark and long,

In my heart He puts a song.

Telling me in words so clear,

“Have no fear, for I am near.”

When my work on earth is done,

And life’s victories have been won.

He will take me to my home above,

Then I’ll understand His love.

I love Jesus, does He know?

Have I ever told Him so?

Jesus loves to hear me say,

That I love Him every day.


As the days and years go by can you say your relationship with Jesus is sweeter than the day before? Focusing on Jesus removes feelings of desperation as we face bumps in the path. Telling Him every day how much He means to us reverses those negative thoughts which spoil our joy. Wherever you are on your journey through life will you let the love of God sustain you? The exquisite peace of being led by the One who loves us sooo much cannot be matched by anything on earth. Thank you Jesus!

by Marilyn Daniels (



Psalm 103:2

Is everyone talking about forgetfulness, or is it just people of my era? One of the greatest fears in the western world today seems to be that of falling prey to Alzheimer’s. It can hit people in their forties, but most commonly is a disease of the elderly. What is it that we most fear? Is it a loss of identity or the loss of reasoning ability?

Memory is what makes one rich….remembering friends, special occasions, significant accomplishments, the fulfillment of hopes and dreams. Memories are triggered by any or all of the 5 senses. We do not want to lose this precious dimension that actually defines the meaning and purpose of our lives.

However, there is a memory that often haunts us, of things deliberately forgotten. Every human being has a God-consciousness. Some work very hard to deny it, and the harder they fight the more pitiable it is to see the reality against which they engage. God exists! The Holy Spirit will not let us forget God. Scripture tells us He is evident everywhere, even in nature (Romans 1:20).

We read in the Bible of life experiences that coloured many lives by making people conscious of God. These were often repeated so that generations would not forget that God cared about His people. This same God cares about you and me today. Yet, unfortunately there are those who suffer the folly of intentional forgetfulness. They have access to the promises of God. “Forgetting” God is tantamount to rejecting God. There are many references to this topic in both Testaments. Isaiah describes the energy required to “forget” God who is the rock, the fortress of His people. The nations rage and roar before they flee away (Isaiah 17).

On the positive side the Psalmist reflects on all of God’s benefits. “Praise the Lord O my soul and forget not all His benefits!” (Psalm 103:2). He lists some of them. God forgives, heals, redeems, crowns, and satisfies our mouths with good things! He made known His ways. God is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in love. He does not treat us the way our sins deserve. Would we really want to forget any of these?

My aunt suffered from Alzheimer’s, yet in the midst of her confusion and paranoia the mention of God relaxed her and brought her peace. Whether she had “forgotten” Him due to changes in her brain, the wonder of God is that He had not forgotten her.

Jesus reminded us that His Father is a God of detail – that He remembers the flowers of the field and the sparrows He created. How wonderful it is to read Jesus’ own words, reminding us of our value in the eyes of One who never forgets:

“Are you not worth more than many sparrows?” (Luke 12:7).


Have you deliberately forgotten God or even wished He would forget you, in moments of temptation? Playing with our memories is not an option when we consider living lives that are pleasing to our heavenly Father. Remember, God’s love is eternal! But because He is just, God will punish our unconfessed sins, since they display an attitude of unrepentance. Let’s remember the Divine promise: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

by Marilyn Daniels (


Rich and Pure

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1 John 4:1-10

1 The love of God is greater far
than tongue or pen can ever tell;
it goes beyond the highest star,
and reaches to the lowest hell.
The wand’ring child is reconciled
by God’s beloved Son.
The aching soul again made whole,
and priceless pardon won.

O love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure—
the saints’ and angels’ song.

The lyricist grasped the intention of all-knowing God in the words of this beautiful hymn. Motivated by His love, God sent His Son – His only begotten Son to earth. What does begotten mean? It means of the same substance; in will and character, wisdom, power, and love Jesus is His Father in human form. His knowledge is perfect and all-encompassing – He is omniscient. Therefore it fascinates me that Jesus, knowing His end from His beginning as a human baby in the manger, knew He would face pain and suffering as well as rejection and ridicule. Yet He came!

So many people are seeking for meaning and purpose in their lives today. Jesus didn’t have that struggle. His earthly journey was set on course before the foundation of the earth. Born out of pure love, He faced His destiny for your sake and mine – as the lyricist said…He came to reconcile each wandering child to God.

Do you realize your destiny and mine have been shaped by Almighty God? We have been made in His image, given the capability to be as effective as He is, if and when we make Godly choices. Through Jesus Christ as our Lord we may be filled with the love of God which has been captured by the lyricist in our song. Rich and pure, God’s love flowing through us to others forms the basis of reconciliation. Those who truly love can be trusted, just as God is trustworthy! Gone are the problems of hatred, anger and revenge! Jesus, by coming to earth, has shown us the better way.

Our scripture cautions us to test every spirit (1 John 4:1) – the question is “Does love prevail?” If so, we know it is pure because “Everyone who loves has been born of God!” (1 John 4:7). There is security in love that is trustworthy! This is the promise of God, heart to heart: “This is love – not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins!” (:10). Sometimes we put the onus on the seeking person but that reverses the Divine order. “While we were still sinners” (Romans 5:8) God worked a miracle, drawing us to Himself through Jesus Christ our Lord! We cannot be bearers of Divine love without God at work in our lives.


Is there anything better to equip us for relationships with others, than the pure love of our heavenly Father? His love not only enriches our experience with others, but glorifies our perception of holy God!

Everyone who truly loves others “has been born of God and knows God” (1 John 4:7). The truth continues to reassure us: “Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world” (1 John 4:4).

by Marilyn Daniels (


Contrasts in Faith

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Mark 5:21-42

Why some people are named in the Bible, when others are not, remains a mystery. However, both Mark and Luke record a situation in which there are 2 players. “One of the synagogue rulers, named Jairus” has gone down in history as a person who “Seeing Jesus, he fell at His feet and pleaded earnestly with Him” asking Jesus to heal his young daughter, who seemed to be on her death bed (Mark 5:22-23). This was not the usual posture of a Pharisee or a Sadducee.

We read that Jesus went with him. How kind Jesus was! Able to overlook the usual mocking of the religious establishment, He saw beyond all that to the genuine desires of this man’s heart. The crowd of people made his progress slow. As well he was delayed by the sensation of power leaving His body. More about that later.

Friends of Jairus met them on the road to say his little daughter had died (Mark 5:35). Jesus was very reassuring, encouraging Jairus’ faith with the words “Don’t be afraid, just believe”. How discouraging it must have been then to find, upon arriving at the house, that already professional mourners had been hired to join friends and family “crying and wailing loudly (5:38). They laughed at Jesus when He told them the child was not dead (5:39).

Quietly Jesus put the mourners out while He went to the bedside. Calling “Talitha koum” [Little girl I say to you get up]. The end of the story finds the family completely astonished at her healing! (5:42). The question remains – Did they believe after the miracle took place?

In the midst of this story we find another example of faith. A woman who is unnamed had been suffering for 12 years. Why did God let her struggle for such a long time? Her condition classified her as “unclean”. This would have isolated her socially, and removed all hope of her growing spiritually, since she was not allowed to go into the temple or the synagogue, while she remained “unclean”. Yet in the end the power of God was seen in a significant miracle of healing!

We find this woman in a “crush” of people (Luke 8:42). Unfortunately, in the crowds surrounding our Lord she was lost – her identity hidden. In faith she touched Jesus’ cloak, believing He had the power to heal her. Jesus felt it! “I know that power has gone out from Me” He said (Luke 8:46). Just imagine if we could only touch the hem of His garment, would He feel power going out of Him? How do we accomplish that today?

Note that the message of hope and help in Jesus had been given to the community of folks who surrounded him. How many others in that crowd had the courage to act in faith, to be healed? What was it that actually healed this woman? It wasn’t the touch – it was her faith. Down through history she has been known by Jesus’ commendation. “Daughter your faith has healed you”. Then the Prince of Peace encouraged her to “Go in peace” (Mark 5:34, Luke 8:48).

Faith comes in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes it is very visible, but at other times it might be quietly hidden from the masses. “Faith comes by hearing” Paul wrote to the Roman church (1:17). Faith is a theme throughout all of the Apostle’s writings. It is of eternal significance. “Without Faith it is impossible to please God” (Hebrews 11:6). Jairus and the nameless woman were rewarded because they put their trust in the living God. Where is your faith taking you today?

by Marilyn Daniels (


Only One

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1 Samuel 17

Today it is common to look for strength in numbers. Whether it is a wild crowd protesting, or the number of children at a Sunday School picnic, we often place a value on numbers. Actually this is anti-Biblical. Over and over again God points out, in His Word, that one person is important to Him. After all, hosts of angels celebrate the conversion of just one soul (Luke 15:10)….and most of us are familiar with the account Jesus gave of the shepherd leaving 99 safe sheep to search for one that was lost (Luke 15:4).

Our scripture today tells a story we often use in Sunday School to impress children with the amazing courage of David when he faced the giant Goliath. Certainly David becomes a Biblical hero on more than one occasion, but we must never forget he also had a weak side. The Psalms show us how he frequently had to seek the Lord’s forgiveness. Why then is the story of David and Goliath included in the cannon of scripture?

There are many lessons we can learn. What governed David’s heart and mind? His God is the God of the impossible. Mankind often is governed by fear. Power is thought to belong to armies with the greatest number, or the biggest men…and so forth. David did not rely on his own ingenuity when facing Goliath. He trusted his God.

Re-reading this old familiar story I realized that God chose to use one man with one sling and one stone…only one!

This challenged my heart. If I turn my life over to God’s control He will use one elderly lady to accomplish His purposes. Since He is the God of all power He could have used anyone, but God chose a young man, inexperienced in warfare, or so it would seem. What does God see that He can use, when He looks at you and me?

Quietly behind the scenes God had been preparing David for this moment in time. As he strummed his harp on the hillsides of Judea, singing praises to Almighty God, he had no idea that his poetry would live down through generations of time, reaching you and me today with truths about God and the comfort His presence gives to the lonely or forsaken. You see – David’s family didn’t think much of this young lad. He was given the job of looking after their sheep while his older brothers went off to war. The family didn’t know that meeting the terrors of wild animals, lions and bears who were after his sheep, would give David opportunity to study God’s strategies for overcoming.

Established in his worship, David’s total confidence was in the God of Israel. This is the secret of his strength and courage. We get a glimpse of his heart as he proclaimed the name of “the living God” (1 Samuel 17:26, 36). The God of Israel was not an idol made by human hands out of stone, but He is the God of miracles, alive to any dangers His people may face! David’s brothers mocked him (17:28) but David went on to encourage King Saul to believe in the power of God (17:32, 36). Furthermore David announced to Goliath himself “I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel” (17:45). He warned his enemy that “the whole world will know there is a God in Israel” (17:46)

The armies of both Israel and the Philistines stood mesmerized by the audacity of this young man! They learned that he spoke truth, as he faced Goliath. Warning him that he would cut off his head almost seemed like a joke, yet his threat was not against Goliath alone; he also cried out ”Today I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth” (17:46). After 40 days of taunting the Israelite army, did one young man really think he could route the armies of the Philistines?

Yet – it came to pass. God used one young man who threw off the heavy protective gear loaned to him by King Saul (17:38-39). He used the tools he was familiar with, facing the hatred and ridicule of the giant before him (17:40, 42-44). Can’t you imagine how we might tremble in such a situation? But David triumphed (17:50)!


Reading David’s story just thrilled my heart as I was reminded of the greatness of our glorious God! It challenged me to search my heart, to see if my view of God was as pure and true, as David’s. I am only one person, but according to the history of God’s purpose and power, I know He can still use me. He is not relying on numbers, but rather God is looking for a committed heart. As I enter into a new year am I willing to give Him my all?

by Marilyn Daniels (


Near the Cross

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Matthew 10:38

Sometimes our hearts can be challenged by the stories of others who have overcome great obstacles in life. Today, more than one hundred years after she was born, the life of Fanny Crosby continues to challenge us to hope that through God’s mercy and grace our lives might speak to others, in spite of the trials God allows. The secret to her success might lie in one of her more famous hymns:

Jesus, keep me near the cross, there a precious fountain;
Free to all, a healing stream, flows from Calv’ry’s mountain.

In the cross, in the cross be my glory ever,
Till my ransomed soul shall find rest beyond the river.

2 Near the cross, a trembling soul, love and mercy found me;
There the Bright and Morning Star shed His beams around me. [Refrain]

3 Near the cross! O lamb of God, bring its scenes before me;
Help me walk from day to day with its shadow o’er me. [Refrain]

 Fanny Crosby, who was blind from infancy said: “If perfect earthly sight were offered me tomorrow I would not accept it. I might not have sung hymns to the praise of God if I had been distracted by the beautiful and interesting things about me.” She also once said, “When I get to heaven, the first face that shall ever gladden my sight will be that of my Savior”.

From the age of 10 Fanny memorized five chapters of the Bible each week, with the encouragement of her grandmother; by age 15, she had memorized the four gospels, the Pentateuch, the Book of Proverbs, the Song of Solomon, and many of the Psalms.

Arguing for support of education for the blind, she was the first woman to speak in the United States Senate when she read a poem there. She appeared before the joint houses of Congress; what a testimony! 

Sometimes we refuse to try new things, using our limitations as the reason. She learned to play the piano, organ, harp, and guitar, and became a good soprano singer. She wrote thousands of hymns, remarking: “I never undertake a hymn without first asking the good Lord to be my inspiration”. Her capacity for work was incredible and she could often compose six or seven hymns a day, dictating them to an amanuensis. However, Fanny said that her chief occupation was working in missions.

“Rescue the Perishing” (1869), which became the “theme song of the home missions movement” shows us where her heart was. She was active in speaking engagements and missionary work among America’s urban poor almost until she died at the age of 94.

In her nineties in 1911, Crosby spoke to 5,000 people at the opening meeting of the Evangelistic Committee’s seventh annual campaign held in Carnegie Hall, after the crowd sang her songs for thirty minutes.

What lessons might we learn from this remarkable servant of God? Why did God allow her to struggle with blindness? Why does God allow our particular struggles? What is it that gives you and me the strength to overcome?

“Near the cross! I’ll watch and wait,
Hoping, trusting ever;
Till I reach the golden strand,
Just beyond the river”. [Refrain]

Let us begin a New Year at the foot of Jesus’ cross, watching and waiting for His return!

by Marilyn Daniels (



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Psalm 19:11, Colossians 3:23-24

Recently a friend caused me to think about new doctrinal teaching on rewards. It would take a lot of digging to check out all the Bible verses that speak to the topic, but speak they do. From both Old and New Testaments God’s people are assured of rewards. It is interesting to note that God Himself is spoken of as Abraham’s “very great reward” (Genesis 15:1). What might that mean?

Abraham had just declined taking anything that would obligate him to the King of Sodom, asserting his complete allegiance to “the Lord, God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth” (Genesis 14:22), with whom he already had a covenant. Therefore God honoured him with His protection and presence.

The Psalmist reminds his readers that in keeping the ordinances [laws] of the Lord, there would be great reward (Psalm 19:7, 11). Old Testament theology demonstrates a conviction that people will be rewarded for their works, a point that Jesus clarifies in His teaching about the sheep and the goats in Matthew 25:34 – “Come you [sheep] who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance – the kingdom prepared for you.” Not all rewards will be received on earth. Jesus warns that many will be persecuted for righteousness sake; these will receive their rewards in heaven (Matthew 5: 10-12). Paul speaks about rewards in heaven as a certainty. However, he mentions motivation. “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart as working for the Lord, not for man!” Why? “….since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving!” (Colossians 3:23-24).

In our world today a prevailing attitude seems to be to put our best foot forward when we know we will get something out of it. However, out of a sense of commitment and loyalty the best work is done, done for the sake of the work itself. This is what Jesus was talking about when He spoke about rewards in Matthew 25. Those who were blessed by His Father were totally unaware – “Lord when did we see You hungry….thirsty….a stranger…..sick……in prison?” What a thrilling surprise when they were rewarded by the commendation of their precious Saviour! What a horrible shock that those who, labouring to keep up appearances were told to “Depart from Me you who are cursed” (Matthew 25:41), because they had not seen Jesus in the opportunity.

Let us not forget that prophecy anticipates Jesus’ return -“The Sovereign Lord comes with power ….see His reward is with Him” (Isaiah 40:10).


Can you imagine serving Jesus out of a competitive spirit?

Why do we want rewards?

Would we serve Him if there were no rewards promised?

What will these “rewards” look like?

by Marilyn Daniels (


Vanquished or Victorious?

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Psalm 44

In an era where spelling is almost irrelevant as words are reduced to fit into a texting format, the existence of the English language may be threatened. However, there are those who still enjoy the richness of words as they contribute to our understanding of ideas, of history, as they paint word pictures and describe feelings.

‘Vanquished’ is an old-fashioned word describing those subdued completely in battle, overcome in conflict or contest, or overwhelmed by emotion. There are times in the lives of most of us when we feel vanquished by circumstance – perhaps external, or even internal conflict.

We live in a world of unprecedented choices. One can actually now chose their gender. A growing trend is to examine preferences in early childhood, upon which one’s sexuality is based. Despite physical appearances hormonal growth can be stunted to achieve the look of the gender preferred. Imagine the confusion if in later years these people who are neither man nor woman might long for a child. When we cannot accept and celebrate what God has given to us we find ourselves in serious conflict, vulnerable to feeling continually overwhelmed/ vanquished.

On the battlefield of life Satan has the advantage when we feel conquered. Once we are down we are vulnerable to every fiery dart he can throw at us. But God! In Psalm 44 there is a theme running through this lament, a theme of victory. Israelite history proved God-given victories. He brought them into the Promised Land and settled them there, removing completely those who might have been their enemies. “…not by sword that they won the land nor did their arm [of strength] bring them victory, but it was Your right hand, Your arm and the light of Your face – because You loved them!” (:3).

Looking at the present, the Psalmist recognized the hand of God once again had given him victory: “I do not trust in my bow, my sword does not bring me victory; but You give us victory over our enemies [Satan, self, others]….in God we make our boast all the day long! (:6-8).

However, momentarily there is a pause. “Selah” – pause and listen. The Director of Music who wrote this Psalm for the sons of Korah, worries about the possibility of God’s rejection. Israel has known the judgment of God. It was not a pretty sight when God removed His blessings because His people broke faith with His everlasting covenant. Their armies failed to gain the victory (:8-9). There had been a diaspora – scattering among pagan nations (:11). In fact, they became a laughing stock among the nations; vanquished in shame and disgrace (:15).

This Psalm is written in denial of ever having displeased God (:17-19). Trusting God who knows the secrets of the heart, he pleads with God to redeem Israel on the basis of his unfailing love! (:21, 26) Jewish history had taught him that God is faithful. This gives him confidence to cry out for redemption from the present overwhelming circumstances (:26).

In the midst of Israel’s rejection of God, He renewed His covenant promises through the prophet Hosea. Down through the ages God has proven Himself to be true to His word: “I will betroth you to Me forever; I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion. I will betroth you in faithfulness and you will acknowledge the Lord!” (Hosea 2:19-20).


Meditate on these verses.

Note their petition is based on the certain knowledge of God’s unfailing love (:26).

Can you identify with this lament?

How do you approach God when you feel vanquished?

Where will your certain victory originate?

Note that God’s promise is forever…and so we look to the end times when it will be fulfilled in all its glory!

by Marilyn Daniels (