More than a Song: Week 2

Last week, our small group took on reading of Psalm 144 verses 9-10 to begin the More than a Song study series.

A brief look at the main points I shared:

v. 9 – “new song”: Our love for God must be in a level that we ought to offer “new things” for Him in our worship.
v. 9 – “on the ten-stringed lyre” or best melody: Our love for God must be in a level that we ought to offer “our best” for Him in our worship.
v. 10 – “the One … who delivers”: Our love for God must be in the level that we ought to “worship” Him amidst trials.

I encourage you to read the post here: More than a Song (Week 1)
or listen to the pastors preach in their podcast archive: Podcast Archived

This week, the church continued with Psalm 63 verse 1 to 8 – and that is what we’ll be covering this Thursday meeting:

Psalm 63

A psalm of David. When he was in the Desert of Judah.

You, God, are my God,     earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you,     my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land     where there is no water.

I have seen you in the sanctuary     and beheld your power and your glory. Because your love is better than life,     my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live,     and in your name I will lift up my hands. I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods;     with singing lips my mouth will praise you.

On my bed I remember you;     I think of you through the watches of the night. Because you are my help,     I sing in the shadow of your wings. I cling to you;     your right hand upholds me.

As I read through this week’s passage, what hit me is that while last week’s emphasis was David’s “love” for God, which is how we should… is that this week’s reading compliments it in the sense that this talks about “intimacy”.

In my personal experience between love and intimacy, intimacy does not start until I had a relationship. By intimacy – I am not just talking about Sex, sadly, society today managed to intertwine those two words as synonymous. What I am referring to was probably express in a portion of this song:

“Di makatulog sa gabi sa kaiisip
Sa diwa ko’y ikaw ang aking panaginip.
O bakit ba ikaw ang siyang laging laman ng isip ko
Sa bawat sandali ay nais kang makita
Kapag tumitig na sa akin ay ligaya
Anong hiwaga ang nadarama…”

Going back, look at what David say’s in verse 1, “earnestly, I seek you” – often times, there is a tendency that we just wait on God to reveal Himself to us, unaware that He is always there, we fail to see Him because we are more caught up with things we see in the surface.

That if I am to continue with the pattern I started last week, I would go with: Our love for God must be intimate that we ought to seek Him in every circumstance of our life.

You see one group of bible scholars viewed that David wrote this when He was running from Saul, yet another group thinks that since he referred to himself as “the king” in verse 11, this was when he was running away from his son Absalom. But the point is, with depth and sincerity (that is what earnest means) he is seeking God.

Then he added “I thirst for you“, and I thought about what Jesus said to the Samaritan woman from the well, “but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst” (John 4:14). David was talking in the spiritual sense; He has intimate relationship with God that He knows better than that woman. “My whole being longs for you” he says, when we talk about ones whole being, it speaks about ones existence – mind, body and spirit. Now, look at the irony, “in a dry and parched land where there is no water“. I believe what he’s saying is this, “I am in a place of defeat, in a place where no hope can be felt, in a place where there is no way to live, a place of emptiness” yet David longs for God, as his only fulfillment.

Look at verse 2, “I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory.” David’s intimacy enabled him to ‘see’ the One who is unseen. Going back with my example, God has always been there, and we’ll see He is working in our life: for work, in school, at home, in the streets – and that once we earnestly seek Him and understand His nature, we will see promises after promises has already been fulfilled, and will continue to be fulfilled in our life.

With that, “Our love for God must be intimate that we see grace and goodness showers us, not by our own“.

What happens after? See verse 3-4: “Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands.” that is why we need to change the lyrics of this song:

“All you people can’t you see, can’t you see
How your love’s affecting our reality
Every time we’re down
You can make it right
And that makes you larger than life”

Into this

“All you God’s people can’t you see, can’t you see
How your Gods’ love’s affecting our reality
Every time we’re down You God can make it right
And that makes you God larger than life”

And know that, listen to this, and know, that anything in life – power, fame, and fortune, all that you thought was valuable, once you experience the extent of knowing the Lord, amounts to nothing. And you would not have anything left in you but to praise God.

Therefore, our love for God must be intimate that we see it take precedence than everything else.

You will be fulfilled, and satisfied… verse 5-6: “I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you. On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night.” Let me ask you, what do you say after eating the food that you exactly wanted “SOLVED!” right? What do you say when the lady you are pursuing give you the “matamis na OO“, you shout “YES!” right? But did anyone tell you that it’s what you’re supposed to feel? None.The feeling will come to you, and that is what David had having the intimate relationship with God.

Like I said, our love for God must be in intimate that it will be our source of satisfaction and fulfillment.

To close,

I want us to remember what Jesus did for us in the Calvary…

v.7 “Because you are my help” – He is our savior.
v.7 “I sing in the shadow of your wings.” – We put ourselves under His authority.
v.8 “I cling to you” – That we cannot do it on our own, that we are dependent on Him.
v.8 “your right hand upholds me.“– That we should trust Him, He will never let us down.

as a result, our love for God must be intimate that we honor Him with our trust and complete dependence.

Question is how? I mentioned earlier how my relationship with my wife grew to intimacy, and it’s by this:

  1. Time Spent Together – I go on a date with my wife when I was courting her, and I still do so today. Make sure to set up time with yourself and God, and by that, I mean, setup a quite time with His word.
  2. Two-Way Communication – Intimacy does not grow if you don’t listen to your partner as much as you share your thoughts. Likewise, as much as you do not pray, offer all your requests, and witness it happen to your life not understanding how God operates. Your quiet time must include a time to be still and listen to his voice. And by that, I mean, what does he say about it in His written word.
  3. Vulnerability – if there is a person who knows me inside and out, it would be my wife. Although we already know that God already know us from within, our confession motivates us more to expose our life to Him.
  4. Shared Interest – …

to be continued…

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More than a Song: Week 1

Over the next 4 weeks, the Church (VCF) is covering a series called More than a Song, you can listen to the archives here as soon as it’s been delivered: Resources.

To our Victory Group, I share my personal reflection and may not be completely identical to how it was delivered. This weeks verses are extracted from Psalm 144,

Psalm 144:9-10

 

I will sing a new song to you, my God;     on the ten-stringed lyre I will make music to you, 10 to the One who gives victory to kings,     who delivers his servant David.

From the deadly sword

Prayer: Lord, thank you. Thank you for the opportunity that we can reach other people with your word through technology. I pray for open minds and receptive heart. In Jesus name, Amen.

While it has been a challenge for me to wrapped my head around those two verses, I praised God that when I prayed for revelation, the idea popped in my head and was amazed of how much it has offered me personally. I hope it can minister to you as much as it did to me.

 

Before I go deeply into the two verses, allow me to put a summary of the entire Psalm 144 just so it will not get too much out of context:

 

Psalm 144(NIV)

Of David.

 

Praise be to the Lord my Rock,     who trains my hands for war,     my fingers for battle. He is my loving God and my fortress,     my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield, in whom I take refuge,     who subdues peoples under me.

 

Lord, what are human beings that you care for them,     mere mortals that you think of them? They are like a breath;     their days are like a fleeting shadow.

 

Part your heavens, Lord, and come down;     touch the mountains, so that they smoke. Send forth lightning and scatter the enemy;     shoot your arrows and rout them. Reach down your hand from on high;     deliver me and rescue me from the mighty waters,     from the hands of foreigners whose mouths are full of lies,     whose right hands are deceitful.

 

I will sing a new song to you, my God;     on the ten-stringed lyre I will make music to you, 10 to the One who gives victory to kings,     who delivers his servant David.

From the deadly sword11 deliver me;     rescue me from the hands of foreigners whose mouths are full of lies,     whose right hands are deceitful.

 

12 Then our sons in their youth     will be like well-nurtured plants, and our daughters will be like pillars     carved to adorn a palace. 13 Our barns will be filled     with every kind of provision. Our sheep will increase by thousands,     by tens of thousands in our fields; 14     our oxen will draw heavy loads. There will be no breaching of walls,     no going into captivity,     no cry of distress in our streets. 15 Blessed is the people of whom this is true;     blessed is the people whose God is the Lord.

Verse 1-2: David praises God for giving him ability, protection, and for the Love, and delivering him from enemies.

Verse 3-4: David humbles humans as lowly beings but has been cared for even with its limited life.

Verse 5-8: David prays for deliverance from the enemy with God’s overwhelming power.

Verse 9-11: David offered worship to God who grants victory, and because of that, He pleaded for his payer in Verse 8 to come to past.

Verse 12-15: and finally, to God’s people, will be a blessing of protection and multitudes of provision.

Now, to open the discussion on the featured verse, I’d open with a question — At any point in your life, have you sang a song to someone? (well, you might have if you are a singer by profession, and I was not referring to the Praise and Worship Services we have here on Thursdays too, or the one in the Sunday services for that regard). Or how about this, let’s jump to some hardcore traditional Filipino culture, do you remember ‘Harana’?
As I was going through this, I remember I was not a great singer then, well, still not am today. But I’ve competed in some on-the-spot poem making contest during my school days. And about 10 years ago, I wrote again, and it was because I met a beautiful, kind, gentle lady. I offered her the poem, I was not a musician; so even if I wanted it to be a song, I couldn’t… good for David, he’s probably one, being a king, probably had the best music teachers in the kingdom.
But going back, have you offered a song to someone? If I am to describe ‘Harana’, it’s going to be like this: “a public expression of love to a lady you adore so dearly, so much that you’ve enough confidence to express it with a love song and the sweet melody of a guitar”.

 

David, so loved God… It says here – beginning of verse 9 – “I will sing a new song to you, my God;”. Not only that he loves Him, he is deeply into his worship with Him. Why did I say so? Not only that he’ll sing for Him, says here “a new song”.  David was probably saying, God you are so special, I want to be original for you. Or, God, I greatly adore you, and I am not going to worship same as before. Or, Lord, I will honor you with new things, “a new song” if you may.
Now, what does that mean for you and me? Listen, our Love for God, must be in a level that we ought to offer new things for Him every time we worship. What do I mean by that? Take this for instance: Lord, I will not only attend the Thursday Praise and Worship, but I’d bring an acquaintance with me. Or how about this: Lord, I will not only attend the Sunday Service, but I’ll bring a new friend who doesn’t already know you. Or: Lord, I will not only give to Church today, I will also set out and volunteer my time to help in building homes for the homeless. “a new song” he said.

10 String, Lyre Harp

10 String, Lyre Harp

And then, David continued on – later part of verse 9 – “on the ten-stringed lyre I will make music to you,” and here, I couldn’t even play a six-stringed guitar… what do I mean by that, not only that David offers a new song to God, he probably meant, Lord, this new song, I want it to have the ‘best melody’, I want it to be ‘pleasing’. AND I remember writing that poem that ‘it took several revisions so it would rhyme’, ‘good amount of effort to make it lovely’, ‘handful of erasures to make syllables match’. I’d do all sorts of things because it was a chance to please her.

Often times, we are so caught up at work, or school, or just by all kinds of things in our life that we’ve become stagnant in our worship with God. We become a routine, just getting by to go to church every Sunday, just getting by meeting new friends and not sharing the gospel, and I am not only talking about the things you do inside the church, remember, worship is everything we do for God, so it maybe ‘just getting by your daily work’, or ‘just getting by school with a passing grade’, I’m talking about ‘being excellent at work by which it will honor God, or ‘striving for best in school so it will bring glory to God’. Not only that we’ll worship God differently, but we’ll honor Him with our best.

 

Listen, you are not going to a ‘Harana’ without practice, not without the guitar tuned properly, not without your singing synchronize with the melody, and certainly not without giving your heart into it. Not only that, as I have mentioned earlier, ‘Harana’ is public declaration of love. Are you declaring your love for God in public? Are you not ashamed to face the crowd and show them your adoration for God?
Verse 10 – David says there to the One who gives victory to kings, who delivers his servant David. From the deadly sword,, he didn’t say “one of“, he said “the one“, he was certain that the Lord, our God, is in control, and the only one who will make things happen. Let me ask you, in times of trials, do you stand firm in God? Do you put your rest to Him? Are you in Faith that God is in control of what is happening in your life?
To close, David faced Goliath who was the champion of the Philistines. He faced him not on his own, but in believing that it is the Lord our God who grants victory and will deliver His people. And in spite of the trial He was going through, listen, if we read this through until some parts of verse 11, here’s what he says who delivers his servant David. From the deadly sword, deliver me, he was praying for deliverance, but look, in spite of that, as much as prayer, David was worshipping God. So here is my question: Are you, in times of trials, worship God as much as you pray for deliverance? and that is my prayer for us.
read it, love it, live it! God bless…
(and yes, for over 7 years now, I am married to the wonderful woman I referred to ;))