Monday, December 17, 2018

The Death of the Liberator

Simón Bolívar died on this day in 1830. He was 47.
La Muerte del Libertador, by Antonio Herrera Toro

To Tame My Will

All nations surrounded me; in the Name of the Lord I cut them off!
They surrounded me, surrounded me on every side; in the Name of the Lord I cut them off!
They surrounded me like bees; they blazed like a fire of thorns; in the Name of the Lord I cut them off!
I was pushed hard, so that I was falling, but the Lord helped me.
The Lord is my strength and my might; he has become my salvation.
There are glad songs of victory in the tents of the righteous: “The right hand of the Lord does valiantly;
the right hand of the Lord is exalted; the right hand of the Lord does valiantly.”
I shall not die, but I shall live, and recount the deeds of the Lord.
The Lord has punished me severely, but he did not give me over to death.
Ps. 118:10-18 

The contrast in this section of Psalm 118 is remarkable. It moves from being threatened from every quarter to shouts of victory, from certain death to the assurance of life. Since it takes me but a few moments to read these verses, I quickly become convinced that the conflict is brief in duration. But when I think about the course of a lifetime, I realize that struggles are played out over a period of years, and that the life I once dreamed of and the life with

Sunday, December 16, 2018

The Third Sunday of Advent


This musical setting of Isaiah 12 by Jack Noble White employs the translation found in the Book of Common Prayer.

The Immensity of God's Nature

It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to put confidence in mortals.
It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to put confidence in princes.
Ps. 118:8-9 

John Owen said that it's "the most foolish thing in the world to put our trust and confidence in anything that does not have the nature of God. Nothing but the immense nature of God can offer refuge to a poor soul in all the distresses into which it may fall." Therefore, to make God our refuge can be described as wisdom. He goes on to point out that nobody "takes their immediate refreshment out of the ocean," but that the ocean is the source of

Saturday, December 15, 2018

A Joy Unspeakable

O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his steadfast love endures forever!
Let Israel say, “His steadfast love endures forever.”
Let the house of Aaron say, “His steadfast love endures forever.”
Let those who fear the Lord say, “His steadfast love endures forever.”
Ps. 118:1-4 

It is sometimes said that the Old Testament presents us with a somewhat limited view of God's love. Certainly it is in the New Testament that we see it placed in the brightest of all lights—the Cross—and that we find the argument in its most irresistible formHe that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not, with him also, freely give us all things? But one must have read the Old Testament in a very careless spirit if one has not been struck with its frequent and most impressive revelations of God's goodness. What scenes of gracious intercourse with his servants does it not present from first to last, what outpourings of affection, what yearnings of a