You are the most excellent of men and your lips have been anointed with grace, since God has blessed you for ever. (Psalm 45:2)
These two lines are the turning point from my poem I Am Helped in the article From the Depths to the Heights. They really have intrigued my heart this month. Just what is this incense so sweet? Is it trust in the Lord? Is it the Lord Himself? Where does this incense come from? Where does it lead?
These different translations of the following verse caught my attention. The phrase ‘Lift up a standard or banner’ really stands out, especially in the Amplified Version. It seems that lifting a standard against the enemy puts the enemy to flight.
(A Psalm of David when he was in the wilderness of Judah)
O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary 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. My soul will be 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. My soul follows hard after You; Your right hand upholds me. (Psalm 63:1-8)
After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. Upon receiving such orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks. About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everybody’s chains came loose. (Acts 16:23-26)
As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God? My tears have been my food day and night, while men say to me all day long, Where is your God? These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go with the multitude, leading the procession to the house of God, with shouts of joy and thanksgiving among the festive throng. (Psalm 42:1-4)
In September 2006, after writing the article Lift Up A Standard, A Standard of Praise! the Lord gave me an image that went with the phrase the Song of the Lamb. It was an image of a shepherd with outstretched arms, praying for the people of his congregation; a shepherd sheltering and caring for his flock. As the shepherd prayed, the rest of the body joined in support of his prayers (holding up his arms). These prayers took place during worship. The Lord impressed on my heart that if the Song of the Lamb was sung during this time, healing would occur.
They spoke to all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying: The land we passed through to spy out is an exceedingly good land. If the LORD delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us, a land which flows with milk and honey. Only do not rebel against the LORD, nor fear the people of the land, for they are our bread; their protection has departed from them, and the LORD is with us. Do not fear them. (Numbers 14:7-9)
I heard and my heart pounded, my lips quivered at the sound; decay crept into my bones, and my legs trembled. Yet I will wait patiently for the day of calamity to come on the nation invading us. Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign LORD is my strength; He makes my feet like the feet of a deer, He enables me to go on the heights. (Habakkuk 3:16-19)
Serve the Lord with reverent awe and worshipful fear; rejoice and be in high spirits with trembling [lest you displease Him]. Kiss the Son [pay homage to Him in purity]; lest He be angry and you perish in the way, for soon shall His wrath be kindled. O blessed (happy, fortunate, and to be envied) are all those who seek refuge and put their trust in Him. (Psalm 2:11-12 AMP)