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Ambassador Baptist Church
1926 Babcock Blvd
Pittsburgh, PA 15209
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Pastor's Pen - July 4, 2007
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July 4, 2007

Psalms 106 - 107
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Chapter 106
  1. Praise ye the LORD. O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.
  2. Who can utter the mighty acts of the LORD? who can shew forth all his praise?
  3. Blessed are they that keep judgment, and he that doeth righteousness at all times.
  4. Remember me, O LORD, with the favour that thou bearest unto thy people: O visit me with thy salvation;
  5. That I may see the good of thy chosen, that I may rejoice in the gladness of thy nation, that I may glory with thine inheritance.
  6. We have sinned with our fathers, we have committed iniquity, we have done wickedly.
  7. Our fathers understood not thy wonders in Egypt; they remembered not the multitude of thy mercies; but provoked him at the sea, even at the Red sea.
  8. Nevertheless he saved them for his name's sake, that he might make his mighty power to be known.
  9. He rebuked the Red sea also, and it was dried up: so he led them through the depths, as through the wilderness.
  10. And he saved them from the hand of him that hated them, and redeemed them from the hand of the enemy.
  11. And the waters covered their enemies: there was not one of them left.
  12. Then believed they his words; they sang his praise.
  13. They soon forgat his works; they waited not for his counsel:
  14. But lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, and tempted God in the desert.
  15. And he gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul.
  16. They envied Moses also in the camp, and Aaron the saint of the LORD.
  17. The earth opened and swallowed up Dathan, and covered the company of Abiram.
  18. And a fire was kindled in their company; the flame burned up the wicked.
  19. They made a calf in Horeb, and worshipped the molten image.
  20. Thus they changed their glory into the similitude of an ox that eateth grass.
  21. They forgat God their saviour, which had done great things in Egypt;
  22. Wondrous works in the land of Ham, and terrible things by the Red sea.
  23. Therefore he said that he would destroy them, had not Moses his chosen stood before him in the breach, to turn away his wrath, lest he should destroy them.
  24. Yea, they despised the pleasant land, they believed not his word:
  25. But murmured in their tents, and hearkened not unto the voice of the LORD.
  26. Therefore he lifted up his hand against them, to overthrow them in the wilderness:
  27. To overthrow their seed also among the nations, and to scatter them in the lands.
  28. They joined themselves also unto Baal-peor, and ate the sacrifices of the dead.
  29. Thus they provoked him to anger with their inventions: and the plague brake in upon them.
  30. Then stood up Phinehas, and executed judgment: and so the plague was stayed.
  31. And that was counted unto him for righteousness unto all generations for evermore.
  32. They angered him also at the waters of strife, so that it went ill with Moses for their sakes:
  33. Because they provoked his spirit, so that he spake unadvisedly with his lips.
  34. They did not destroy the nations, concerning whom the LORD commanded them:
  35. But were mingled among the heathen, and learned their works.
  36. And they served their idols: which were a snare unto them.
  37. Yea, they sacrificed their sons and their daughters unto devils,
  38. And shed innocent blood, even the blood of their sons and of their daughters, whom they sacrificed unto the idols of Canaan: and the land was polluted with blood.
  39. Thus were they defiled with their own works, and went a whoring with their own inventions.
  40. Therefore was the wrath of the LORD kindled against his people, insomuch that he abhorred his own inheritance.
  41. And he gave them into the hand of the heathen; and they that hated them ruled over them.
  42. Their enemies also oppressed them, and they were brought into subjection under their hand.
  43. Many times did he deliver them; but they provoked him with their counsel, and were brought low for their iniquity.
  44. Nevertheless he regarded their affliction, when he heard their cry:
  45. And he remembered for them his covenant, and repented according to the multitude of his mercies.
  46. He made them also to be pitied of all those that carried them captives.
  47. Save us, O LORD our God, and gather us from among the heathen, to give thanks unto thy holy name, and to triumph in thy praise.
  48. Blessed be the LORD God of Israel from everlasting to everlasting: and let all the people say, Amen. Praise ye the LORD.

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Chapter 107
  1. O give thanks unto the LORD, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.
  2. Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy;
  3. And gathered them out of the lands, from the east, and from the west, from the north, and from the south.
  4. They wandered in the wilderness in a solitary way; they found no city to dwell in.
  5. Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them.
  6. Then they cried unto the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their distresses.
  7. And he led them forth by the right way, that they might go to a city of habitation.
  8. Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
  9. For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.
  10. Such as sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and iron;
  11. Because they rebelled against the words of God, and contemned the counsel of the most High:
  12. Therefore he brought down their heart with labour; they fell down, and there was none to help.
  13. Then they cried unto the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them out of their distresses.
  14. He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and brake their bands in sunder.
  15. Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
  16. For he hath broken the gates of brass, and cut the bars of iron in sunder.
  17. Fools because of their transgression, and because of their iniquities, are afflicted.
  18. Their soul abhorreth all manner of meat; and they draw near unto the gates of death.
  19. Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he saveth them out of their distresses.
  20. He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.
  21. Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
  22. And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing.
  23. They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters;
  24. These see the works of the LORD, and his wonders in the deep.
  25. For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof.
  26. They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble.
  27. They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wits' end.
  28. Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses.
  29. He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.
  30. Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven.
  31. Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
  32. Let them exalt him also in the congregation of the people, and praise him in the assembly of the elders.
  33. He turneth rivers into a wilderness, and the watersprings into dry ground;
  34. A fruitful land into barrenness, for the wickedness of them that dwell therein.
  35. He turneth the wilderness into a standing water, and dry ground into watersprings.
  36. And there he maketh the hungry to dwell, that they may prepare a city for habitation;
  37. And sow the fields, and plant vineyards, which may yield fruits of increase.
  38. He blesseth them also, so that they are multiplied greatly; and suffereth not their cattle to decrease.
  39. Again, they are minished and brought low through oppression, affliction, and sorrow.
  40. He poureth contempt upon princes, and causeth them to wander in the wilderness, where there is no way.
  41. Yet setteth he the poor on high from affliction, and maketh him families like a flock.
  42. The righteous shall see it, and rejoice: and all iniquity shall stop her mouth.
  43. Whoso is wise, and will observe these things, even they shall understand the lovingkindness of the LORD.

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Thought for the day:
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 There is one particular verse that stands out to me in today's reading. It is found in Psalm106:24 , which reads,

"Yea, they despised the pleasant land, they believed not his word."
Here are two expressions that the psalmist uses to explain the sinful and rebellious behavior of the nation of Israel while they were in the wilderness following their release from Egypt. Perhaps they accurately explain our refusal to obey as well.

 First of all it is written that they "despised the pleasant land." This must refer to the Promised Land that they were heading for. Look at the foolishness of this attitude. The goal of the Jews for hundreds of years had been to get into the Promised Land. Abraham had left Ur and traveled a great distance to come to a special area that the Lord said would belong to his offspring. Isaac and Jacob were sojourners there, but they anxiously awaited the fulfillment of the promise that someday it would belong to their family. Once the children of Israel went into Egypt their ultimate goal was to be returned to Canaan. As their persecution increased, their desire increased. Finally the Lord stepped in and brought them out of Egypt and set the on the road to their promised territory. And what did the Israelites do? They murmured, complained, and rebelled. Why? Because after all this time the Promised Land really wasn't all that important to them. If you had asked them, I'm sure that they would have said that it was important, but clearly it wasn't important enough to them to cause them to obey the Lord. The Jews knew that obedience was the requirement for entrance into the land. Yet when confronted with choosing to obey God and enter the land or to disobey God and stay out of the land, they chose the latter. Apparently the truth of the matter was that they were more interested in their temporal lusts than they were God's land of promise.

 How much I see myself in this passage. I want the promises of God to be fulfilled in my life. I want God to bless me and my family. I want my church to grow spiritually and numerically. Yet the sad truth is that there are often situations where obedience to God would produce these results, but I choose not to follow Him. At those points in time I am despising the pleasant land. God has offered me something wonderful, and I have sacrificed it on the altar of self-indulgence. I can tell others that I long for the pleasant land of the power and blessings of God, but my decisions reveal whether or not I truly desire it or despise it.

 The second phrase that is used in our text is that Israel "believed not His word". This expression goes hand-in-hand with the previous one. The Jews claimed to believe God, yet they rejected the principles that He taught them. They knew that he had said that His blessings and cursings would be contingent upon their actions, yet they chose to take their chances with rebellious decisions. Do we not as believers do the same thing? The Bible says,

"Except the Lord build the house they labor in vain that build it," (Psalm 127:1).
Yet vast numbers of Christians do not follow Biblical principles in raising their children. The Bible tells us that the assembly belongs to Jesus Christ (Matt 16:18), yet many churches do not function in a Christ-honoring manner. Do we really believe the Word of God? Can we back that agreement up with our lifestyle?

 What we find in this verse is that talk is cheap, but actions reveal the heart. Do the decisions you make indicate a desire for the pleasant land and a belief in the Bible, or do they reveal a despising of the land, and disbelief?

Pastor Mark J Montgomery

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