Thursday, April 22, 2010

From my reading this morning......

"Do not fear;
Zion, let not your hands be weak.
The LORD your God in your midst,
The Mighty One, will save;
He will rejoice over you with gladness,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.”
I will gather those who sorrow over the appointed assembly,
Who are among you,
To whom its reproach is a burden.
Behold, at that time
I will deal with all who afflict you;
I will save the lame,
And gather those who were driven out;
I will appoint them for praise and fame
In every land where they were put to shame.
At that time I will bring you back,
Even at the time I gather you;
For I will give you fame and praise
Among all the peoples of the earth,
When I return your captives before your eyes,”
Says the LORD."
~ Zephaniah 3:16-20

I love these verses and thought I would share a few thoughts from Matthew Henry on them from my reading.......

"Fear thou not, be not disposed to fear, do not easily admit the impressions of it; when things are bad, fear not their being worse, but hope they will mend; frighten not thyself upon every occasion. Let not thy hands be slack or faint; wring not thy hands in despair; drop not thy hands in despondence; disfit not thyself for thy work and warfare by giving way to doubts and fears. Pluck up thy spirits, and, in token of that, lift up thy hands, the hands that hung down, Heb. 12: 12; Isa. 35:3. Lift up thy hands in prayer to God; lift up thy hands to help thyself." Fear makes the hands slack, but faith and hope make them vigorous, and the joy of the Lord will be our strength both for doing and suffering."

"Let us now see what these precious promises are which are here made to the people of God, for the banishing of their griefs and fears and the encouraging of their hopes and joys; and to us are these promises made as well as to them ~

"He is the Lord thy God, thine in covenant, and he is in the midst of thee as thy God, whom thou hast an interest in and whose own thou art. He has put himself into dear relations to thee, laid himself by promise under obligations to thee, and, that thou may have abundant comfort in both, he is in the midst of thee, nigh at hand to answer both." "He that is in the midst of thee as thy God and King is mighty, is almighty, is able to do all that for thee that thou need and can desire.
God will take delight in them, and in doing them good.He will rejoice over thee with joy, will not only be well pleased with thee, upon thy repentance and reformation, and take thee into favour, but will take a complacency in thee, as the bridegroom does in his bride. I know not where there is the like expression of Christ's love to his church, unless in that Song of Songs 4:9, Thou hast ravished my heart, my sister, my spouse, with one of thy eyes. O the condescensions of divine grace! The great God not only loves his saints, but he loves to love them, is pleased that he has pitched upon these objects of his love. He will joy over them with singing. He that is grieved for the sin of sinners rejoices in the graces and services of the saints, and is ready to express that joy by singing over them. The Lord takes pleasure in those that fear him, and in them Jesus Christ will shortly be glorified and admired."

"God will comfort Zion's mourners, who sympathize with her in her griefs, and will wipe away their tears (v. 18): I will gather those who are sorrowful for the solemn assemblies, to whom the reproach of it was a burden. See who those are whom God will rejoice in and make to rejoice. They are such as are sorrowful. Those only must expect to reap in joy that sow in tears. The sorrowful now shall be for ever joyful."
~ Matthew Henry


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"Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it."
Isaiah 55:6,8-1