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A “Modern” Psalm

Written by Edward Jahn

For the 30th Anniversary of the All Ontario Sing September 18, 2011

Psalm 1/10: A Psalm of Praise to God O how great Thou art Oh God! All praise and honour and glory be unto Thee and only Thee. We are unworthy even to call upon Thy Name. Thy children of old have stood in the courts of Thy temple and have lifted up Thy name with psalm and praise, and have made sacrifices, acknowledging their sin before Thee, an offering that Thou has found pleasing. We look back and see how Thy servant David longed to build Thy temple, and how Thou has given this privilege to his son Solomon. We read in the ancient book how Solomon dedicated the temple sacrificing 22,000 oxen and 120,000 sheep, and how Thou sent fire from heaven to consume these burnt offerings and sacrifices. We read how Thy glory filled the temple so no one could enter, all bowing their face to the ground, worshipping and praising You saying: “For He is good; for His mercy endureth for ever.” We now, Thy children, find ourselves thousands of years later, in this Thy holy place, joining the ancients of old, in worshipping and praising Thee, proclaiming that truly Thou art good, and Thy mercy endureth forever, even unto this present day. Dear God in heaven, we acknowledge one great difference between the worship service of the children of Israel and what we experience today. As pleased as Thou was with Solomon’s sacrifice, how much more art Thou pleased with the ultimate sacrifice of Thy only Son, Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God. As impressive as it was to see the slaughter and shedding of blood of thousands of oxen and sheep, none of this could wash away the sin of man, until the shedding of blood of Thy Son. We cannot thank Thee enough that the blood of Thy Son was shed to cover our sin, once and for all. Is there any greater love than this, that our Creator would be willing to suffer and die in order to save His creation? This is a love that is far beyond our understanding. And now we thank Thee our dear Lord and Saviour, for also being at the right hand of the Father, interceding for us even now. And we thank thee Oh mighty God, for giving us the gift of the Holy Spirit that resides within us. We agree with the psalmist’s of old that Great is Thy Name, and greatly to be praised.

Psalm 2/10: A Psalm Acknowledging the Greatness of God Thy servant David, along with many others, have declared Thy glory and majesty in psalms from the book of prayer. We read in the Psalms where the heavens declare the glory of the Lord. These men of ages past only saw a small glimpse of how great Thou art, Oh Jehovah. These men of ages past have only been able to look up, yet we in this modern age are able to fly high above the land, and travel to the far reaches of this earth. There is hardly a place that we have not been to or seen. It all declares Thy glory. We have even pushed past the bonds of gravity, and left this earth, and the images we see of Thy beautiful globe are breath-taking, amazing and beautiful to behold. Oh how much we have learned! With our modern day intelligence we are now able to see into the far reaches of this universe: stars, galaxies, and black holes. With our modern day intelligence we are able to magnify and identify molecules, protons and neutrons, all declaring Thy glory. Thousands of universities have been raised up, meticulously investigating our history, biology, physics, and psychology; truly we are learning great and wondrous things. In this computer age, the vastness of our learning is increasing exponentially every day. Dear God, the more we learn, and the more we see Thy handiwork, the more we realize how truly little we know. For many this ever-learning is an attempt to discover who we are, to conjecture and theorize about where we came from, and why we exist. But dear God in heaven, we do not fear what men discover and learn. We Thy children are not intimidated by this vast new knowledge. Man wrestles to try and understand what is discovered, inevitably arriving at misunderstandings and wrong conclusions - since they have left you out. Can they not see that all that is discovered declares Thy glory? The psalmist of old saw how some trusted in chariots and horses; may we, in this modern age, not put our trust in our finite wisdom and false strength. Truly, we still need Thee, and we need to rely upon Thee, our Lord and Saviour.

Psalm 3/10: A Prayer of the Bride to the Bridegroom We see how Thou has offered our first parents so much, yet they rejected Thee through disobedience. Dear God, we do not blame them for our current condition. We admit we would have done the same. We acknowledge that the gift of free will that Thou has given them and us, has not been used to serve Thee, our Creator. And if it was not for Thy mercy, we would deserve destruction and separation from Thy holiness. In Thy great wisdom Oh God, Thou knew we would fail, and had formulated a plan through which we, Thy unworthy creation, can yet again be in Thy holy presence. We cannot thank Thee enough for Thy Son Jesus Christ, and His willingness to clothe Himself in flesh and blood, and to see, and feel, and experience all that we experience. Dear God, we have no excuse, we can never say that Thou art so great that You do not understand what we go through. Thy willingness to visit us on this earth shows Thy greatness, and gives us the courage to not despair when the burdens of our flesh weigh us down. But Oh God, as You know what we go through, we ask that you hear our pleading, that You would not grow weary with us, that you would constantly remind us from where all our help cometh. We pray for wisdom to rely on You, that we not be found sleeping, but humble and submissive to the leading of the Holy Spirit. We are often quick to complain to You, to confess our weakness and to ask You to help us overcome. Yet so often we treat You like a charm, asking for help when we are unwilling to help ourselves. O Lord we pray for us, Thy church, we, Thy bride. We pray for the elderly that they stay strong and faithful; for parents that they rely upon You in raising their children; we pray for single brothers and single sisters, who have no greater friend and companion than the loving Saviour; we pray for the youth, that they remain strong and wise and over comers with Thy help; and we pray for the courage to reach out to the lost. You came to this earth to show us what You expect from us, and to die for us, that perfect sacrifice, shedding Your blood for the remission of our sins. You have arrayed us in fine linen, clean and white, providing for us our righteousness. You have returned to Thy heavenly realm, promising to return one day to claim us, Thy bride. Our hearts desire is that you would find us worthy, that you would be pleased with us, Thy bride, that you would with joy bring us back to Thy heavenly kingdom and with eagerness show us unto the Heavenly Father, and that the Holy Trinity would be overjoyed with Thy creation and in the works of Thy hand. So while we wait for Thee, our bridegroom, we ask for wisdom and humility, that we seek Thy face at all times so that our robes will remain white, ready for that wedding feast, when we will be with Thee in heaven above.

Psalm 4/10: What is Modern Man Oh Lord? How Thy children were impressed by their knowledge and ability in times past, Oh Lord. Yet if they could only see us now, thousands of years later. With our vast cities and highway systems, with our nuclear power and nuclear medicine. With sky scrapers reaching far into the sky, our hydro dams, bridges and tunnels and vehicles of every size and shape. Electricity, computers, the internet and wireless devices; the ability to view and communicate anywhere around the globe at a moment’s notice. Oh how the men of old would be impressed with this modern age. If they were to take a glimpse of our world, they would wonder if they were in heaven. But Lord, a closer looks shows otherwise. This earth is far from heaven. Man has not changed from the beginning of time. As Thy wise Book has said, vanity of vanities, all is vanity. Even with our modern day intelligence and our many inventions, we have not learned how to get along. We have not learned the true meaning of love, yea, we are even still trying to kill one another. We have advanced from a spear and a bow and arrow, launched by the strength of an arm, to missiles and bombs, launched by the push of a button. And even with our great advances in medicine, the grave yards are still being filled on a regular basis. Tyranny and evil is rampant around the world, inequity and disarray is everywhere we look. We are unable to save ourselves from ourselves and from each other. It all shows that nothing has changed, that the heart of man is still desperately wicked, even in these modern times. Truly Lord, as great as we think we are, we still need thee as our Saviour.

Psalm 5/10: A Psalm Addressed to those Living in Bondage to Sin Have you been washed in the blood of the lamb, have you been freed from your burden of sin? Dear friend, you cannot remain as you are, you must change. Do you not have a full understanding of who you are, that you are more than flesh and blood, but a spirit, created in the image of God? What is your worldview, how do you look at this world around you? Do you think you know truth? Do you think truth is relative? Are you willing to honestly follow through with that thought? Are you willing to admit that you prefer truth to match what you feel comfortable with? Or, are you willing to acknowledge a worldview that is based on the Holy Bible, that there is absolute truth, that there is a creator and we are His creation? You have been given a free will. Are you truly exercising it? How often do you follow the passions of your heart and flesh, how often does the media and marketing, who have studied you thoroughly, fool you, and yet you say “I am fee, I make my own decisions.” Are you truly free? Are you truly making all the decisions in how you spend your time, what you do, where you go, and what and who you listen to? Are you truly exercising your free will, or as the Bible says, you are in bondage to your sin nature, and the imaginations and impulses of a corrupt heart and mind? There is good news. Freedom can be found, but you must seek it. Yes, you can be free from the burden of sin. Freedom is found and only found by simple faith, accepting and believing the Truth. Freedom and a new life can be found through Jesus Christ, the Holy One of God.

Psalm 6/10: A Psalm Addressed to the Unconverted Who Know Better Dear friend, how long will you resist the urging of the Holy Spirit? How long will you continue living separate from Thy Heavenly Father who created you? When will you come home? Like the father of the prodigal son, God is patiently waiting for you. How long will you continue to live for yourself? Do you not see what is your end? Are you running from God? Are you hiding in the pleasures the world has to offer? Yes, sin is pleasurable. What is your poison? Thrill-seeking, lust, friends, relationships, food, shopping, sports? The list is endless; Satan does not care how he traps you, only that he does. We cannot compete against your desire for instant gratification, for pleasure found in the lust and stimulation of your mind and body. Are you willing to listen to the Lord speaking through your conscience; are you willing to face the guilt and shame that you feel? Are you willing to repent, to acknowledge your sin, to admit that you are a sinner? So many of you know better, that you are a sinner, but yet you still hold back. Are you willing to ask yourself: “What am I waiting for?” In the quietness and stillness of silence and solitude, are you willing to drop to your knees and pray to your Heavenly Father who loves you so much, patiently waiting for you to come home? Do you honestly think that you will find true peace and happiness in this life without Christ? Are you willing to face your inevitable death in an unconverted state? Are you willing to take that chance? I hope it will not be too late for you. Why not come today? Why not commit to God right now? Ask yourself, is there anything more important than living for God? Oh God, we pray for the lost, that they find the courage to turn fully unto thee.

Psalm 7/10: A Psalm of Prayer and of Praise and Thanksgiving We have so much to be thankful for! Thy blessings O God, are more than we deserve. Big or small, we thank you for them all! We are thankful for family, for our spouses, our children, our friends, and even our siblings. We thank Thee for sunshine, seasons, flowers, smiles, laughter, emotions, and health. For comfort, hope, music, shelter, food, and even sleep. We are thankful for the many scriptural promises that we take comfort in, knowing You watch over us. We are so thankful for Thy church, and our brothers and sisters in Thee. We take great pleasure in seeing how you have transformed broken lives and the joy you bring to those that reach out to you. We love Thy truth, Thy doctrine, we love how you work in Your children! There is immense satisfaction in seeing Thy children being used in service to Thee, reflecting Thy love in their life, addicted to the service of the saints. We are thankful for the joy that we experience when we are used in Thy service by helping others. And we are filled with gratitude when we with Thy help overcome temptation, thankful for the covenant with Thee the Living God, freeing us from the bondage of sin.

Psalm 8/10: A Psalm of Remembrance and Thanksgiving Dear brethren, are we ever in remembrance of the loving kindness of our Heavenly Father? We have so much to be thankful for. O how great has His mercy been shown unto us, giving us a peace that this world does not understand, an assurance of safety and protection, and the hope of eternity. Although we are often burdened by our flesh, we thank Him for never forsaking us, and reminding us that this life is but a vapour, a small speck in the realms of time. May we be thankful for His patience and tenderness towards us. May we thank Him for trials that teach us and make us strong. We see little value in our suffering but as we follow in the footsteps of our wonderful Lord and Saviour, we gain new wisdom, understanding and strength, and even compassion for those around us. Oh how great is His name, our Messiah, the Prince of Peace, our Creator. We truly have a dear loving Father to whom we can run with abandon into the safety of His arms, as He comforts us with His peace and love. May we never grow weary of His attention and the expectations He has for us; for His rebuke and correction. May we never forget that we have a Father who wants nothing more than to please His children.

Psalm 9/10: A Psalm to the Troubled and Suffering Art though, O soul, cast down by the burdens of your flesh and mind? Has life become difficult, painful? Is your life filled with worry, concern, and fear? Are you often sad, feeling hopeless, suffering in anguish? Are you unsure why? Do you think you are the only one having these experiences? Has not the scripture told us that there is nothing new under the sun? Are your thoughts and behaviour self destructive? Have you experienced the euphoria of things this world has to offer: drugs, alcohol, gambling? Have you grown tired and weary, longing to find peace, yet finding yourself unable or unwilling to change – you are not sure which? Have you even fallen on your knees and asked God to free you from what you are going through? Have you found temporary relief, but before long have fallen back into your current pattern of thought and behaviour? Dear friend, dear brother and sister, do not despair. We all suffer, but let us also remember the promises of God, that He will never leave us or forsake us, and that we will never be tempted or tried more than we can bear. Have you reached out to God for help? Have you also reached out for help from those around you? Do you realize that God works through His creation? Are you willing to share your burdens with others? Are you willing to surrender, to humble yourself, to confess, to be accountable? From the beginning God never designed us to exist in solitude, but to live and learn and love and comfort one another. Dear brother and sister, if you see someone hurting and suffering, instead of avoiding or maybe judging, reach out. God is not asking that you have a solution, but that you show His love and comfort to those in need. Dear Heavenly Father, we do not always understand why we go through undesirable experiences. But we know that as long as we are terrestrial beings, we must learn to rely upon thee. Until we are given that celestial body at the end of our time on this earth, we ask that Thou will give us courage and strength to reach out for help regardless of our weaknesses, and the willingness to serve You. We are ever thankful for the promise that You will never leave us or forsake us.

Psalm 10/10 A Final Psalm of Request and Praise to God Abba, dear Heavenly Father, we ask that You hear our prayer as we wait for Thy return. We see the great power of Satan. We see how he has deceived so many in this world. And we ask that Thou will be with us, that we be vigilant, and not fall prey to Satan’s cunning devices. We especially pray for Thy protection upon the youth, that they see the dangers around them, that they have the wisdom and courage to turn away from evil and run to Thee. May you bless us all so that we may be found worthy in Thy sight, that the youth, the future church, will be the fruit of increase from this current generation, that they would increase in spiritual growth. That You would raise up young men and women who out of a pure devotion to Thee, will become strong pillars in this Thy church, to be used to Thy honour and glory. As we end this psalm, we again express our gratitude and thanksgiving for Thy everlasting kindness. Any words that we could assemble in the most articulate manner would never be able to adequately express Thy wonder, Oh Thou great Jehovah. As the choir is assembled to sing praises unto Thee, we ask that Thou accept them as a token of our love for Thee. We are ever thankful for opportunities such as this, to set aside the cares of this world, and to spend time immersed in Thy Word, edifying one another and praising Thy most Magnificent Name. Oh Lord, we can hardly imagine what heaven will be like, but we thank Thee for these small tastes of being in Thy presence. So as we leave this place, we ask that Thou would also go with us. That we be found worthy by daily acknowledgment, submission and service unto You. May glory and honour and praise be unto Thee Oh God, for Thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.