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Ambassador Baptist Church
1926 Babcock Blvd
Pittsburgh, PA 15209
(412)822-7255
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Pastor's Pen - June 29, 2007
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June 29, 2007

Psalms 80-85
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Following Scripture Verses
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Psalms
Chapter 80
  1. (To the chief Musician upon Shoshannim-eduth, A Psalm of Asaph.) Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, thou that leadest Joseph like a flock; thou that dwellest between the cherubims, shine forth.
  2. Before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh stir up thy strength, and come and save us.
  3. Turn us again, O God, and cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved.
  4. O LORD God of hosts, how long wilt thou be angry against the prayer of thy people?
  5. Thou feedest them with the bread of tears; and givest them tears to drink in great measure.
  6. Thou makest us a strife unto our neighbours: and our enemies laugh among themselves.
  7. Turn us again, O God of hosts, and cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved.
  8. Thou hast brought a vine out of Egypt: thou hast cast out the heathen, and planted it.
  9. Thou preparedst room before it, and didst cause it to take deep root, and it filled the land.
  10. The hills were covered with the shadow of it, and the boughs thereof were like the goodly cedars.
  11. She sent out her boughs unto the sea, and her branches unto the river.
  12. Why hast thou then broken down her hedges, so that all they which pass by the way do pluck her?
  13. The boar out of the wood doth waste it, and the wild beast of the field doth devour it.
  14. Return, we beseech thee, O God of hosts: look down from heaven, and behold, and visit this vine;
  15. And the vineyard which thy right hand hath planted, and the branch that thou madest strong for thyself.
  16. It is burned with fire, it is cut down: they perish at the rebuke of thy countenance.
  17. Let thy hand be upon the man of thy right hand, upon the son of man whom thou madest strong for thyself.
  18. So will not we go back from thee: quicken us, and we will call upon thy name.
  19. Turn us again, O LORD God of hosts, cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved.


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Psalms
Chapter 81
  1. (To the chief Musician upon Gittith, A Psalm of Asaph.) Sing aloud unto God our strength: make a joyful noise unto the God of Jacob.
  2. Take a psalm, and bring hither the timbrel, the pleasant harp with the psaltery.
  3. Blow up the trumpet in the new moon, in the time appointed, on our solemn feast day.
  4. For this was a statute for Israel, and a law of the God of Jacob.
  5. This he ordained in Joseph for a testimony, when he went out through the land of Egypt: where I heard a language that I understood not.
  6. I removed his shoulder from the burden: his hands were delivered from the pots.
  7. Thou calledst in trouble, and I delivered thee; I answered thee in the secret place of thunder: I proved thee at the waters of Meribah. Selah.
  8. Hear, O my people, and I will testify unto thee: O Israel, if thou wilt hearken unto me;
  9. There shall no strange god be in thee; neither shalt thou worship any strange god.
  10. I am the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt: open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it.
  11. But my people would not hearken to my voice; and Israel would none of me.
  12. So I gave them up unto their own hearts' lust: and they walked in their own counsels.
  13. Oh that my people had hearkened unto me, and Israel had walked in my ways!
  14. I should soon have subdued their enemies, and turned my hand against their adversaries.
  15. The haters of the LORD should have submitted themselves unto him: but their time should have endured for ever.
  16. He should have fed them also with the finest of the wheat: and with honey out of the rock should I have satisfied thee.


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Psalms
Chapter 82
  1. (A Psalm of Asaph.) God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods.
  2. How long will ye judge unjustly, and accept the persons of the wicked? Selah.
  3. Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy.
  4. Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked.
  5. They know not, neither will they understand; they walk on in darkness: all the foundations of the earth are out of course.
  6. I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.
  7. But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes.
  8. Arise, O God, judge the earth: for thou shalt inherit all nations.


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Psalms
Chapter 83
  1. (A Song or Psalm of Asaph.) Keep not thou silence, O God: hold not thy peace, and be not still, O God.
  2. For, lo, thine enemies make a tumult: and they that hate thee have lifted up the head.
  3. They have taken crafty counsel against thy people, and consulted against thy hidden ones.
  4. They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance.
  5. For they have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against thee:
  6. The tabernacles of Edom, and the Ishmaelites; of Moab, and the Hagarenes;
  7. Gebal, and Ammon, and Amalek; the Philistines with the inhabitants of Tyre;
  8. Assur also is joined with them: they have holpen the children of Lot. Selah.
  9. Do unto them as unto the Midianites; as to Sisera, as to Jabin, at the brook of Kison:
  10. Which perished at Endor: they became as dung for the earth.
  11. Make their nobles like Oreb, and like Zeeb: yea, all their princes as Zebah, and as Zalmunna:
  12. Who said, Let us take to ourselves the houses of God in possession.
  13. O my God, make them like a wheel; as the stubble before the wind.
  14. As the fire burneth a wood, and as the flame setteth the mountains on fire;
  15. So persecute them with thy tempest, and make them afraid with thy storm.
  16. Fill their faces with shame; that they may seek thy name, O LORD.
  17. Let them be confounded and troubled for ever; yea, let them be put to shame, and perish:
  18. That men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most high over all the earth.


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Psalms
Chapter 84
  1. (To the chief Musician upon Gittith, A Psalm for the sons of Korah.) How amiable are thy tabernacles, O LORD of hosts!
  2. My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the LORD: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God.
  3. Yea, the sparrow hath found an house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even thine altars, O LORD of hosts, my King, and my God.
  4. Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: they will be still praising thee. Selah.
  5. Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee; in whose heart are the ways of them.
  6. Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well; the rain also filleth the pools.
  7. They go from strength to strength, every one of them in Zion appeareth before God.
  8. O LORD God of hosts, hear my prayer: give ear, O God of Jacob. Selah.
  9. Behold, O God our shield, and look upon the face of thine anointed.
  10. For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.
  11. For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.
  12. O LORD of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee.


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Psalms
Chapter 85
  1. (To the chief Musician, A Psalm for the sons of Korah.) LORD, thou hast been favourable unto thy land: thou hast brought back the captivity of Jacob.
  2. Thou hast forgiven the iniquity of thy people, thou hast covered all their sin. Selah.
  3. Thou hast taken away all thy wrath: thou hast turned thyself from the fierceness of thine anger.
  4. Turn us, O God of our salvation, and cause thine anger toward us to cease.
  5. Wilt thou be angry with us for ever? wilt thou draw out thine anger to all generations?
  6. Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee?
  7. Shew us thy mercy, O LORD, and grant us thy salvation.
  8. I will hear what God the LORD will speak: for he will speak peace unto his people, and to his saints: but let them not turn again to folly.
  9. Surely his salvation is nigh them that fear him; that glory may dwell in our land.
  10. Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.
  11. Truth shall spring out of the earth; and righteousness shall look down from heaven.
  12. Yea, the LORD shall give that which is good; and our land shall yield her increase.
  13. Righteousness shall go before him; and shall set us in the way of his steps.


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Thought for the day:
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 Psalm 82 speaks to the Israelite judicial system. I understand that there are several key differences between their system and ours, the chief one being that Israel was a Theocracy that operated directly under the rule of Jehovah, and our country is not. I also understand that most of us are not in the position to make some of the types of decisions that are being referenced in this chapter. However, I do think that there are some things in here that we should think about.

 I find it interesting to observe the importance that the Lord places upon earthly judges. In verses 1 and 6 He refers to them as "gods". This is not inappropriate wording, because Jesus Christ Himself referenced this expression in John 10:34. It should be obvious that Asaph in not ascribing deity to these men. However, because they hold men's futures in their hands, and because they may in fact have the power of life and death, they possess a certain "godlike" quality. This fact should impact us in two ways. First of all, it should give those of us who do have responsibilities to make judgements in the lives of people realize just how important it is that we make these decisions correctly. The verdicts that we pronounce could have a crucial impact on someone else's destiny, and we had better be sure that we have all the facts, as well as the wisdom of God, before we render a decision. Second, these facts should remind those of us who live in a Republic that we have an important responsibility to elect moral, if not Godly, men to office. In many local and state-wide elections almost no thought is given at all as to who should be elected to serve as a Supreme Court Justice or a District Magistrate. In national elections it must be remembered that these representatives will be choosing or ratifying the judges who serve at the highest levels in our country. These men are, according to the Scriptures, "gods", and their character must be impeccable.

 The teaching of this passage also ought to make us consider our relationship to the needy. Verses 3-4 state,

"Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy. Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked."
Throughout the Scriptures we are reminded that we have a responsibility to help out the less fortunate. Before we go any farther, please understand that I am not advocating that we trade the Gospel of Grace for the Social Gospel. People need Jesus Christ far more than they need an education or a job. However, we still need to remember that one of the reasons that God has blessed us financially is so that we can assist others. I Timothy 5:10 commends the widow who has " lodged strangers,... washed the saints' feet, ...relieved the afflicted." I Timothy 6:18 tells the wealthy to be "ready to distribute". In Galatians 2:10 Paul writes that when he was sent out with the Gospel he was encouraged to "remember the poor". James tells us that
"pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction," (James 1:27).
While much of a Christian's generosity may be directed at fellow believers, the Bible certainly indicates that the unsaved can be recipients of our benevolence as well. Galatians 6:10 reads,
"As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith."
Clearly the unbelieving are included here. Since we are to have compassion on the lost so that we might see them come to the Lord (Jude 1:22), it follows that people might be more open to the Gospel if we have shown interest in their physical needs. The spiritual must always be the priority, but there is a place for the economic as well.

 Is there someone that might come to Christ today if we would simply show some concern for their well-being? Is there someone who might listen to our message if we really listened to their plight, and took an interest in it? Are we making correct decisions in our dealings with others? As we endeavor to improve in these areas, we may discover that our outreach improves as well.

Pastor Mark J Montgomery

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