JOEL

chapter 1:1–2:27
In times of such great distress
what will you think,
how will you pray,
will you examine your hearts,
and sins confess?

Extensive destruction
(no human power ,
or scheme could thwart).

Will you return with your heart truly broken?
Return to the LORD as he’s taught?
Return to the LORD with all of your heart.

The nations will see
his blessings so full
on his people with showers and grain:
surpassing the years of chastisement and pain, –
raising praise to their God,
now their lives will no longer bring shame.

ch.2:28–32
Then comes a time when the Spirit will be
poured out upon many, and all
who call on the LORD to be saved.
Redemption accomplished, the Lord God will call
to momentous deliverance free.
The great day of the LORD will come awesomely.

chapter 3
Every nation then will meet
the Judge, accused of what they’ve done
against his people – he’ll defeat
and punish – all provision gone.
Proud strength will crumble, desolate
their place, a lost eternal state.
The earth and sky will change and tremble;
the voice of God roars from his temple.

God’s kingdom will be safe, secure:
– his people pardoned, holy, blest,
and happy in their active rest,
the LORD dwells there for evermore.

Listening to preaching

It is not easy to retain
the knowledge, guidance that you gain
whenever preachers truth explain,
with unction Words of God proclaim.
So make a note and meditate,
make efforts firm to concentrate,
ignore the things that irritate,
and memorize, and meditate.

Be thankful for the teaching heard,
the truths exposed from God’s own Word;
don’t be distracted in your thought
to all that is not as it ought.

Be positive, and seek to gain
much profit, and all this retain
to help you persevere and walk
more sanctified in deeds and talk.
Tune: LMD eg Guidance by William B Bradbury

The Lord’s Supper

1 Cor.11:23-26; Matt.26:26-28 & John 20:19-34
His nail-pierced hands, his spear-slashed side,
revealing this is he who’d died,
but living now, his work complete,
– remembered as we drink and eat:

the wine we share, the broken bread –
his body damaged, torn, blood shed,
to bring the covenant full remission
of sins.

His powerful resurrection
means ’til he comes, his symbols show
we’re his, his fellowship to know.

Love and justice meet

The ark to hold the words of law
was covered by the mercy seat.
Jehovah must all sin abhor,
– can love and justice ever meet?
Our God triune a plan agreed,
the covenant to meet man’s need.

Each year the blood was sprinkled there,
shed life of sacrifice was shown,
and pointed forward to prepare
for One whose life-blood could atone.
Exquisite grace: our Saviour came,
with righteousness to cover shame.

The veil was torn when Jesus died;
he entered heaven, most holy place;
now sinners can be justified,
and reconciled to God by grace:
propitiating blood supplied, –
the law’s demands all satisfied.

Receive this mercy, come to pray,
drink of such grace, rejoice, adore,
delight in freedom to obey,
enjoy his presence evermore.
The Lord whose mercies can be known,
invites us to approach his throne.

Tune: 88 88 88 ‘Solid Rock’ by W B Bradbury

on Psalms 101-150

on Psalm 101
Come to me, LORD of justice,
whose love and praise I sing,
– I need your aid to serve you,
and be a righteous king.

I will not think on evil,
nor to the faithless stray.
I’ll seek to silence slander,
proud liars keep away.

My eyes are on the faithful,
the godly serve me well.
The wicked are excluded:
God’s judgements I will tell.

on Psalm 102
LORD, hear my cry,
I’m in distress,
don’t hide, be quick,
to come to bless!
Chastisement and trouble,
such suffering and grief;
I’m taunted, despondent,
and groan for relief.

Enthroned, and enduring,
with glory you’re crowned,
through all generations,
for ever renowned.
You will have compassion,
your church you’ll rebuild,
revealing your glory,
your plans are fulfilled.

Our longings he’s knowing,
responds to  our prayers,
for we love his church, – it’s
a love which he shares!

The Saviour Creator,
for ever the same, –
this universe passes,
but you will remain.
In each generation
and place he will hear,
save from condemnation,
his heaven to share.

on Psalm 103
Wholeheartedly praise God, my soul,
forget not all he’s given and done,
– and will do soon, completing all
his work of love in me begun.
Tender compassion, love so immense,
sins far removed, guilt banished hence

He knows our frame, our weaknesses,
and that we fear him, though we’re frail.
Our sins forgiven, – our children learn
his covenant of love won’t fail.

The  LORD is righteous, gracious, just, –
to Israel he revealed his ways.
Established King in heaven, he rules,
and all who serve will ever praise.

on Psalm 104
My God, Creator LORD, so great:
arrayed in majesty and light;
the heavens above he formed and spread,
and keeps a thorough oversight.

He formed the earth, and then again
after the flood the waters drained,
and he supplies food, water, homes,
and hearts with happiness sustained.

See daily, yearly cycles given;
and creatures of the sea and land,
all birds and people, need your care,
daily provisions from your hand.

Our glorious God, be ever praised,
rejoice in all that you have done.
My mighty God, may my thoughts please;
and wickedness from earth be gone.

on Psalm 105
The wonderful acts of the LORD
remember, with praises outpoured.
Seek him, and rejoice, with your eye
upon him, on his strength rely.

With Abraham his covenant God made;
his people, wherever they stayed
he guarded, and sent Joseph on
to prepare for the famine to come.

God’s powerful signs were to show
that Egypt must let Israel go.
His people he fed in their way,
to live in his land and obey.

on Psalm 106
Give thanks to the LORD, he is good,
his love is eternal, – who could
proclaim all his works, sovereign care?  –
his praise none can fully declare.

God blesses the upright and just.
May I be included, and blest
with your joyful people, reflect
on history given to instruct.

In Egypt, there was not due thought
to kindness, and miracles wrought;
they soon his salvation forgot,
not listening, complained at their lot.

They later rebelled, were oppressed,
and punished, and sorely distressed:
their cries, in his mercy, God heard,
remembering his covenant Word.

Restraining their captors’ intent –
the Lord made them pity, relent.
Now save, Lord, so that our refrain
will ever be praise to your  name.

on Psalm 107
What a theme for contemplation!
Tell the LORD’s love, power, and care.
Sing of rescue and redemption,
joy, from answered urgent prayer!

To him they cried when starving, lost,
imprisoned or depressed,
when foolishness brought bitter cost, –
he freed, led into rest.

Rebelliousness and misery,
to death so close, healed by his Word.
Some staggered in tempestous sea:
he stilled the storm, their cry he heard.

He makes the fruitful land a waste,
because of wickedness, but then
renews the springs: the humbled taste
such good, – he lifts them up again.
Wisest theme for contemplation!
Wonderful his works for men,
powerful rescue and redemption,
thank and praise him once again!

on Psalm 108
My heart is steadfast, O my God,
in you my constant trust.
I’ll tell the nations that my God
is faithful, loving, just.

My heart is steadfast, O my God,
and fixed to praise your name.
I must stir up my soul, my God,
to sing of all your fame.

Awake, my soul, and sing his love, (on Psalm 57)
make music, sing his praise.
O God, exalted high above, –
on earth your glory raise.

You build your kingdom, all the earth,           (on Psalm 60)
your ownership’s displaying,
and those you love are praying.

Our victory must come from God,
man’s help is truly worthless.
(If you no longer went with us,
our efforts would be fruitless.)

on Psalm 109
O God, the truth you know,
their lies you hear.
I friendship show,
(a man of prayer):
my love they spurn,
with hatred burn:
no will to turn.

But such will fall.
Their wage they earn,
the Judge sees all;
and those who learn
from them, the same
judgement will claim:
fools won’t flee shame.

No kindly deed,
they gladly cursed,
hurt those in need:
they’ll find their worst
desires rebound,
and wrap them round:
repentance shunned.

Deliver me,
I faint and fade;
– and may they see
you give me aid:
(stronger to bless,
than they to curse)
delight in grace.

on Psalm 110
As King at God’s right hand he sits,
and rules and saves with power,
redeems, regenerates his troop, –
they’re willing in his hour.

Eternal and new covenant Priest,
not from the Aaronic line;
and in the Conqueror’s Day, he will
complete the work divine.

on Psalm 111
Great works we ponder,
great works of wonder:
majestic, glorious;
God’s perfect righteousnsess,
and laws eternal
are just and faithful.
True wisdom proceeds
from awe of the LORD,
in reverence heeds
his trustworthy Word.

So kind and gracious,
providing for us
needed redemption,
prayed-for nuitrition:
always abounding
praise should surround him.

All this remember
with praise and pleasure,
he rules with power,
our holy Saviour
will never ever
his covenant sever.

on Psalm 112
How blessed the man who fears the LORD,
he’s satisfied with righteousness,
and has delight in all God’s Word:
he will be blessed with fruitfulness.

Even in darkness light will dawn,
he has no fear of sudden news,
God stengthens, honours – lifts his “horn”:
not so for those who grace refuse.

He’s generous, and compassionate,
and gracious, just, avoiding wrong,
steadfast his heart, on God he’ll wait,
by God and men remembered long.

on Psalm 113
Praise abundant, praise for ever,
everywhere his name be praised!
He stoops down, supreme and glorious, –
many needy rescued, raised.
Incomparable and gracious:
look to him for richest gifts –
fruitfulness, fulfilment, honour;
out of suffering gladly lifts.

on Psalm 114
Rescued from Egypt:
a nation to know
their LORD who dwelt with them,
his holiness show.
His power delivered,
provided, – displays
his holiness awesome:
who tremblingly prays?

on Psalm 115
Not unto us, O Lord, to you
be glory: faithful, loving; – hear
the strangers taunt, – they do not know
your power that should rouse reverent fear.

They trust in that which cannot aid,
or counsel, comfort, hear or move.
So they themselves have all displayed
ignorance – foolish things approve.

Our God is real, and does his will.
(Their idols cannot see or pray.)
We will extol him while we still
have life, – we’ll praise to endless day.

Our Help and Shield, with godly fear,
we trust, and he will blessing give.
The highest heavens are his, and here,
we are his stewards where we live.

on Psalm 116
‘Mercy, rescue – cords of death
tangle, terrify’: God heard
simple trust and call of faith,
saved and helped: I love the LORD.
He’d let it come,
but he’s the one
to seek for aid,
when I’m dismayed,
and must exclaim,
‘Men’s help is vain!’.

O rest of soul,
I am delivered:
committment full, –
for undeserved
this grace that brought
me peace to live,
to serve as taught,
thank-offerings give.

Protected, precious, gathered church,
in death they’re in his special care:
I’m freed to be your servant willing,
while publicly my vows fulfilling.

on Psalm 117 (cf Romans 15:11)
All of humanity, made in God’s likeness,
– come, lift his praises, extolling the LORD:
how faithful he is, with such great loving kindness
– come, taste his mercy, the LORD be adored.
Worthy of honour –
praise with delight,
everyone, everywhere,
worship aright!

Psalm 118
Give thanks for constant love –
God’s goodness lasts for ever.
Give praise to him above,
and tell of Christ, the Saviour:
with holy fear and faith,
and joy, his church is sure
his love, in life and death,
remains and will endure.

I will not be afraid:
the LORD himself is with me.
When in distress I prayed,
he set me free and helped me.
Take refuge in the LORD,
– don’t rather trust in man
who may not keep his word,
and helps you if he can.

What can men do to scare?
– like bees they buzz around me!
like thorns aflame they flare –
the LORD’s fierce foes surround me:
the name of Christ I take,
go on at his command,
opposing might to break,
disperse the angry band.

An unexpected thrust –
I nearly fell right over.
The LORD, my strength, I trust,
my song and constant Saviour –
his right hand victory brings,
all-powerful is our LORD
accomplishing great things:
let joy resound abroad!

Delivered to proclaim
(though chastened most severely),
I will exalt his name,
and thank him most sincerely;
for Christ, my sacrifice,
has opened up the way
of righteousness, – rejoice, –
approach the LORD today!

This stone they cast away –
the capstone is the Saviour, –
rejected in that day, –
Head of the church for ever!
Hosanna! grant us, LORD,
salvation and success.
The saving Son of God
we magnify and bless!

on Psalm 119 (a)
Words of God, his revelation,
for life’s every situation:
precept, and decree, command,
laws and promises, extend
right through life, our pilgrim journey –
feeding, growing, made more holy:
influencing every aspect,
A to Z of every context.

Meditation in God’s Word,
learning trust, and prayer is stirred,
longings with your LORD you share,
when afflictions hard you bear,
or when troubled by the sin
and the spite that’s pressing in:
still delighting in God’s Word,
knowing all your prayers are heard.

Honestly confessing deep
ingrained faults: you’ve failed to keep
all the laws so good and true,
though God’s will you want to do.
Many a struggle, stumble, slip –
daily comfort, fellowship;
promises amazing, great:
faith believes to trust and wait.

on Psalm 119 (b)

It was so good for me, O LORD,
to be afflicted sore.
I did not like it, but, O LORD,
it helped me learn your law.

Your laws, decrees are righteous, LORD.
You’re faithful, always just.
I would have perished, but your Word
was my delight and trust.

And those who keep God’s statutes, law,
are blessed – they seek him too,
with all their heart, and pray him for
his help his will to do.

And in my heart I hide your Word
to help me not to sin.
Please give me understanding, LORD
of all I read therein.

Psalm 120
Weary, for slandering lips surround,
but help comes from the LORD:
deceitful tongues will meet their end,
appropriate reward.

Such unkind tongues cause great distress,
and stir up quarrels, war.
I’ll call my LORD to rescue, bless,
and righteousness restore.

on Psalm 121
Look onward, up – the city goal:
for them, Jerusalem;
for me, the glory where my LORD
dwells, and has bid me come.

For he is there who is my help
forevermore, and now.
The Maker of the heaven and earth
keeps watch where’er I go.

Protection, care, he leads and guides;
my Father never sleeps;
his people he preserves and guards, –
each one in safety keeps.

on Psalm 122
All God’s people love to gather,
jointly worship:  precious place –
city, church built by the Saviour, –
where he rules, dispenses grace.

For its peace be always praying,
seeking its prosperity:
so God’s praise and love displaying,
blessed in true security.

on Psalm 123
We look to you, your slaves dependant,
and mercy ask, we are repentant:
the God of heaven we will serve,
receiving grace we don’t deserve.

We have been ridiculed, contempt,
from unbelievers arrogant.
Our Master, LORD, we wait your aid,
relief you’ll bring as we have prayed.

on Psalm 124
Our help is in his name,
who made the heaven and earth:
our strength was not enough
but he who gave us breath,
himself was on our side –
with him we will abide:

we weren’t prepared
for rage that flared
with teeth to tear,
and cruel snare;

but praise the LORD,
for we have soared
up, like a bird –
their plans were thwarted.

Now all have heard
his grace reported.

on Psalm 125
The ones whose trust in God is found,
eternally endure;
the LORD will shade, protect, surround,
– unshakeable, secure.

The wicked will not long oppress,
or lead your land astray.
The upright you delight to bless,
the crooked send away.

on Psalm 126
Suddenly restored, what joy,
suprised, unreal, yet true!
The nations see the glorious things
that you have done and do.

Complete this work in us, O LORD,
the dried-up streams restore,
then harvest-joy replaces tears
of labour gone before.

on Psalm 127
Stand guard, and build, and labour well,
but ask the LORD that such be blest,
for he makes prosperous, and he will
establish, and give peace and rest.

The children given, and work’s reward
are blessings, but bring more work too,
– work which repays, and good is stored
to be a comfort soon to you.

on Psalm 128
Fear the LORD God, and walk in his ways,
fruitful fulfilment, success will be yours,
flourishing home, and productive your days,
happy in watching through many long years
prospering kingdom of God to his praise.
Blessed be his church with peace.

on Psalm 129
God’s church attacked, oppressed always,
but never overcome;
its back hard-ploughed through troubled days,
but then the bonds undone:

The LORD protects, and sets us free,
won’t let them flourish long,
for he is righteous, – all will see
their shame from stubborn wrong.

Psalm 129
Oppressed, but not defeated,
the righteous suffer still,
but God dissolves the cords
the wicked tie, – they will
not flourish on, contented,
though long it seemed they pressed
and dug into the righteous,
who are preserved and blest.

on Psalm 130
Waiting, watching,
through the dark of night,
scanning, searching,
’til the morning light:

I, even more, look to my LORD,
awaiting my redemption.
Out of the depths I cried, he heard –
though sinful my condition:

Our LORD is to be feared, his love
is willing to forgive;
he will redeem, in grace, and save:
hope in his word, believe.

on Psalm 131
Content and not demanding,
though for his help I call;
no pride, or arrogance
(not restless to know all).
God’s mysteries are far too great,
for me to fully see.
I trust and wait now like a child
who trusts his needs will be
provided by his mother’s care –
walks with her trustingly.
Hope in the LORD, O church of God
both now and evermore.

on Psalm 132
David loved the LORD,
his honour he desired,
his ark should be restored,
and near the king reside:
reminding of their LORD,
reminding of his Word,
to pray, and worship render,
obey, and so remember

God’s covenant to David:
his kingly line for ever,
fulfilled in the Messiah.

His dwelling place where he’s enthroned,
where flows his grace, full joy is found,
and his salvation planned, matures,
his Christ victorious, soon appears.

on Psalm 133
Unity, co-operation,
blessing, progress, satisfaction:
like the anointing on God’s priest –
his presence, joy, sanctification,
provision – daily dew, and doing
good to one another, knowing
eternal life, God’s kingdom growing.

on Psalm 134
Support God’s servants as they keep,
his appointments as we sleep,
as they pray, and read his Word,  –
day and night his praise be heard.
He, the Maker of the sky,
bless you, bless us from on high.
Thus we will be all blest truly,
honour God at all times fully.

on Psalm 135
Praise the LORD!
It’s pleasant singing praise,
and serving all our days:
Your name and honour will endure
sure care, compassion evermore.

Our God is real,
and has great might.
Our LORD eternal
took great delight
to choose and gather
his church, his treasure,
completes his pleasure,
though right his anger.
His works of wonder,
warnings, consider.

To trust a life-less thing,
like-lifelessness will bring.

But praise be to the King,
from all his church for ever!
Praise the LORD!

on Psalm 136
Give thanks to the LORD!
His goodness, his love endures for ever:

Supreme LORD of power,
the only Creator,
Redeemer and Rescuer,
Judge, and Dispenser
of punishment, Trainer,
and Covenant-Keeper,
Instructor,  Provider,
merciful Saviour,
great God of pity,
LORD of eternity:
Give thanks to the LORD!
His goodness, his love endures for ever.

on Psalm 137
Times of distress,
times of affliction,
time for reflection,
for mourning and praying:
with longing, remembering
the sense of God’s presence,
the singing, and worship;
now weeping and silence:
no apostasy, no pretence.

The LORD has in mind
those neighbours unkind,
who aided the conquerors,
and showed no compassion,
but helped the destruction.

The church’s bitter enemies
are doomed, and sadly their demise
will be by those who happily
assault them just as cruelly
as they’d inflicted cruelty.

on Psalm 138
I will praise you before all the famous of earth,
I will praise in my heart for your love;
for your name and your Word are of infinite worth,
– over all they’re exalted above!

When I called, LORD, you heard, and you answered in grace,
and you made me be bold, unafraid;
may the kings of the earth whom you’ve set in their place
praise your name when they hear what you’ve said.

May they sing of the ways of the LORD God on high,
for his glory is surely so great;
but he looks on the lowly, their needs will supply,
well aware who’s in proud, stubborn state.

Though I walk in the midst of great trouble and toil,
you’re preserving my life for your plan, –
many schemes and designs of my foes you will spoil, –
kept so safe both from Satan and man.

For the Lord will fulfil all his purpose for me,
as his love will for ever endure.
Don’t abandon the works which your hands caused to be;
God is faithful: his covenant sure.
Tune: 12 9 12 9

on Psalm 139
It is too wonderful to plumb
how wide and full your scanning sight,
your knowledge of my inmost thought,
in caverns deep, or mountain height.

I cannot go where you are not,
I cannot hide – you need no light
to see, assess, – amazingly
you formed my body ‘out of sight’.

You have a chosen plan, and guide;
your thoughts and words are precious, vast.
I hate rebellious blasphemy,
– God will remove it all at last!

Search me, my God, and know my heart,
from all that’s wrong help me to part;
and lead me in your righteous way,
to all eternity, I pray.

on Psalm 140
See those devising evil plans,
who stir up war, and trip
my feet, their tongues can pierce like barbs,
with poison on their lip. –

O LORD, be merciful, I cry,
protect, and rescue, keep,
and shield my head, they would be proud
if victory they reap.

May evil plans recoil, and lies
be driven out, secure
fair justice; in your righteousness,
we’ll praise for evermore.

on Psalm 141
Prayer like incense, sacrificial praise:
come quickly, hands and heart I raise.

Help me guard my mouth, and keep from slipping
– sly enticements draw, temptations gripping.
Make me willing to accept, and gain
from rebukes of love, I’ll not complain
– they’ll do me good, not heard in vain.

I long that vile humanity be gone:
conspiracies against the innocent
will fail, and then will trap each guilty one
determinedly on evil purpose bent.

My eyes are fixed upon you, Sovereign LORD,
and may I, by your grace, walk safely on,
to praise and serve you well in days to come.

on Psalm 142
Young David was hunted, and hid in a cave.
He prayed to the LORD to be merciful, save
from traps set ahead and from desperate need:
from trials so pressing he longed to be freed.

No person could help and no shelter was real.
So David must trust, make believing appeal
that God be his refuge, his portion, –  prevent
the schemes of the men of malicious intent.

God’s name he would praise when his trials were past,
– with time to relax, and consider at last
God’s goodness and mercy, and joyfully share
with others who’d tasted redemption and prayer.

on Psalm 143
I call for mercy, hear my prayer,
from judgement just your servant spare,
Satan would push me to despair –
O answer quickly, LORD.

In you I trust; please bring me word
of Your unfailing love, O LORD;
when morning comes may it be heard
that help has come from God.

I meditate on all you’ve done,
teach me to do your will, lead on,
your Spirit has this work begun –
my soul thirsts, and I pray.

For Your name’s sake, preserve me, LORD;
my enemies, by sovereign word,
silence, their pursuit no more heard:
unfailing, faithful love.

on Psalm 144
Anointed king takes shelter, he
whom God had raised their king to be,
and trained; but needing intervention
– God come to save him, save the nation
from lurking liars dangerous
who would attack, hurt them, hurt us.

All those belonging to the LORD
will always know his grace outpoured:
establishing, he’ll richly bless,
protect and save from much distress:
with fresh, new song his Rock he praised,
we taste such grace, and sing, amazed.

on Psalm 145
Exalting and extolling,
for ever, always, all our days,
most worthy of our constant praise,
unfathomably great and wise:
the LORD abundantly supplies
in faithfulness and preservation,
with pity, power, and provision,
his love and goodness overflow;
– his saints such grace have come to know.

Tell of his splendour, and compassion,
to each succeeding generation,
tell of his kingdom, – on his acts
of righteousness, all should reflect.

The holy LORD true prayer will hear,
of those who ask with reverence, fear:
to them he always will be near.
You will have safety in his care.

The wicked who enjoy
evil, he will destroy.

on Psalm 146
As long as I live my praises I’ll bring,
to the Maker of everything, praises I’ll sing.
Men’s help is so fragile, his days have an end:
you’re blessed if for help on the Lord you depend.

He upholds the oppressed,
and he lifts the depressed,
he feeds and he frees,
enlightens with sight,
the vulnerable sustaining,
the righteous accepting,
the wicked frustrating,

for ever he’s reigning,
his people protecting:

my God I am praising.
Praise the LORD!

on Psalm 147
How good to sing and praise our God,
how fitting, and how pleasant.
He builds his church, and gathers in,
and may her praise be fervant.
He heals the broken hearts, and lifts
the humble, granting peace,
and binding wounds, he feeds; but for
the wicked grace will cease.
He names and numbers every star,
his wisdom greater far
than ours, but he is tender, just,
delights in reverent trust,
more than the skills men boast.
He sends the hail, and freezes,
commands to melt, sends breezes,
and he provides the earth with rain,
so that the food can grow again.
His greatest blessing is his Word, –
sing praises all of you who’ve heard.

Amazing grace! our mighty Lord, –
we sing with thanks and praise outpoured.

on Psalm 148
The angels and sky all created to praise;
and all on the earth, and the wind that obeys,
praise him who’s exalted above everything:
he’s splendid, his people he saves, strengthening,
and gives them a leader, a Saviour provides:
more praise this ignites, and our praises incites; –
their close to his heart where his comfort abides.

on Psalm 149
Sing to the LORD a new song, sing and praise him, –
redemption accomplished, unchangeably true!
Sing to the saints of his faithful providing,
rejoice in your King, who has made you anew.

He who sent Christ to redeem us, and crowns us
with his salvation, his mercy displays;
gives grace to the humble, delights in us, owns us:
rejoice as you meditate, full of his praise.

Enemies tried to destroy Israel’s nation,
Satan attempts to prevent plan of God.
God’s Word can fell all satanic deception,
darkness dispelled by the light of that sword.

This is our glory, our right occupation,
praise in our mouths and applying his Word.
Judgement approaches, but grace works submission,
– rebels won over to truth, serve the  LORD.

Psalm 150
Hallelujah! Praise our LORD.
Praise
him in his holy place,
and throughout his universe:
his power and acts confessing,
his greatness all-surpassing,
supreme in wonder, wisdom, grace.

– The purpose of created breath,
the theme for which he made each voice,
extoll, explain, rejoice,
exclaim, proclaim with singing,
harmoniously, melodiously,
rich music, hymns of praise
bells and cymbals ringing, –
and dedicated dancing,
rouse, resound, and raise
to the Source of all, the LORD
revered, and feared, adored!

Jesus’ touch

Mark 1:40–45
The leper came on bended knee,
with great desire, humility,
believing Christ’s ability:
Christ touched him, cleansed.

Men’s sin is not a surface-sore, –
it spreads and poisons more and more:
so come to Christ, and grace implore,
– know Jesu’s touch.

For Jesus will not turn away
whoever comes to him to pray;
transforming sinners foul each day,
by touch divine.

The man with leprosy could now
feel useful once again, and how
they joy in Life and service new
who’ve known his touch.

Christ asked him not to tell it out:
he failed: he spread the news about.
Now we’ve been urged to share or shout
what Christ has done.
Tune: 888 4 eg Almsgiving by John B Dykes

Women and Men

Helpful women … (The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down. Prov.14:1)
Some are single, some have wed,
some look wearily ahead,
tired of babies, toddlers wild,
some have longings for one child;
some find ’teenagers a strain,
feel their efforts are in vain,
some have interests far afield,
some have loneliness concealed,
some have husbands they neglect,
some have husbands who reject
Words of truth: We tear or build
– duties skimped, or life fulfilled.

Needed men
Like a bird that strays from its nest is a man who strays from his home. Proverbs 27:8
Where have all the fathers gone?
– lonely and frustrated.
Where have all the fathers gone?
– living alone.
Where have all the fathers gone?
– families impoverished.
What loss and bitterness,
distress and emptiness!

Ezekiel Part 5 on chs. 40-48


[Parts 4 (chs.25-39), 3 (chs. 14-24), 2 (7-13), 1 (1-6) are below]


And now Ezekiel has a vision
of God’s temple, and his nation
– vivid, detailed, not as had been,
nor as would be, could be(?) –
description intricate, complexity –
hard to follow, read – perplexity.
Sacrifices’ days were numbered,
pointing forward to fulfilment;
but in spirit exiles needed
willingness for this obedience
which before had failed; acknowledge
they had been rebellious,
careless,
so polluting where his presence
should have known true honour, reverence,
and a zeal for careful holiness.
God-given visions:
his people portrayed.
His grace has not finished,
so don’t be dismayed,
prepare for his presence,
great things he will do,
and he will be magnified,
and worshipped anew.

chapters 40 – 42
God’s temple beautiful, and functional,
harmonious, symmetrical;
his presence is protected, holy,
quiet, where he is worshipped fully (wholly).
Approached with sacrifice removing
guilt, and sin’s contamination.
All has been paid, but once, no further invoice, –
so hearts prepared to praise, rejoice,
perfectly, as in this picture.

We must be fit for worship,
our hearts prepared and built
according to his pattern,
for praise and fellowship,
a church of beauty, functional,
harmonious, symmetrical,
each one a fitted temple too,
and fit together tight and true.

43:1 – 12
Overwhelming sight of glory,
awesome, draining, enervating,
Spirit lifting up, enabling;

radiance, and his voice like rushing
waters – word his will accomplishing;
returning to his people, holy,
new beginning, never ending,
ever after with, among them.

The people see that their behaviour
had been awful, total failure
to appreciate the detail
of God’s holiness and worship:
fullest faithfulness required.

chapter 43:13 – 27
From Adam’s fall ’til Jesus came
‘the altar’ spoke as prophecy
of One to come to take the blame
– a sacrifice sufficient he.

From Christ’s atonement ’til he come
again,
his work is history,
remembering the Saving Son
in bread and wine consistently.

chapter 44
God glorious has gone in, the gate is shut;
and no-one else can use it now, to come, go out;
and he himself will not depart.

None may approach him while uncircumcised in flesh and heart:
for to his ways they must conform, – complete attention
to his will and words, devotion
within, and actions that display
desire to please him and obey,

And those who serve, in any way,
must holiness in all pursue,
and faithfulness, commitment true.

chapter 45
The Prince is allocated land,
sufficient, – he need not demand
oppressive taxes, (heavy hand);
his leading must be fair, true justice heeding,
and organising worship well,
supported by his people, all
co-operate harmoniously,
and happily.

chapter 46
Many, regular sacrifices,
reminders of atonement needed,
God’s wrath propitiated
(– Christ’s sacrifice, complete, now seen
before God’s throne in perpetuity,
the Holy God can justly, gladly welcome from captivity);

fellowship offerings, reminders of God’s peace
for those to fellowship restored.
Vast the crowds approach to worship,
vast the swell of joy, and honour to the Sovereign LORD.

Separating worship service tasks,
from work which though important,
not part of priestly role :
each has its proper space, well-ordered place.

chapter 47:1 – 12
Out of this administration’s
symbol-temple, river flows,
and grows
stronger, wider,
water fresh and healing,
bringing health and strength, life giving
to increasing numbers.

Grace divine proceeding,
from the LORD, and through his temple,
through the church, and every saint,
temples of the living God.

Spirit indwells, living water flows
– hungry people feeding,
thirst slaked, sins cleansed, gospel wealth,

our spirits’ health,
touching and healing the parched and the lifeless,
channels for Christ in a needy world:

redemption prophesied,
Christ Jesus accomplished.

chapter 47:13 – end of ch.48
All of the tribes, and Israel completed;
plenty of room, and no further strife;
together enjoying their city, all enter –
each have a gate and share in its life.

Welcome to all who’ve come from the nations,
accepting the ways of the God of the place,
counted as Israelites, fullest relations,
welcomed by God in his infinite grace.

Room enough for all to settle,
all who wish to settle there
with God’s people, where he’s dwelling
in their midst for evermore.

‘The LORD is there’ from that time on for ever.
The exiles shown a glorious future, never
can that be destroyed, or spoilt, forsaken,
his Word is sure, he cannot be mistaken:
a picture, yes, but they took heart and courage,
and we look forward from a place of increased knowledge.

the book of Ezekiel portrays
The sovereign holy LORD:
displayed in vision,
in judgments and destruction,
and mercy’s restoration,
redemption, transformation,
eternal honour, glorious Word.


Satan’s schemes

We’ll encounter opposition,
– in Christ prepare;
persecution and oppression,
upheld by prayer!
Satan schemes to cause division,
disappointment and confusion.
We have plentiful provision –
armour to wear.

For his hateful, evil purpose
(watch! be aware!)
is to spoil your joy and witness, –
learn, and prepare!
To your eyes he brings distraction –
hindering your contribution:
recognise his sly deception:
Christians take care!

Enemy to be avoided:
schemeing – beware!
Use the shield and sword provided:
Christians, prepare!
When you’re weary, feel defeated,
from God’s path you’ve deviated,
with God’s Word you aren’t excited:
spend time in prayer.

Satan sowing pride and smugness,
(saints should beware!)
doubt and envy nurture sadness:
bow down in prayer.
Needing mercy, – where is boasting?
Word of God believe, obeying;
power of Christ in never-failing:
Satan beware!!
Tune: Ar hyd y nos