The Psalmists address God with the vocative form “O” in at least 100 of the Psalms (>66%):

Ps. 3:3, 7; 4:1; 5:1, 3, 8, 10; 6:1ff; 7:1, 3, 6, 8; 8:1, 9; 9:1f, 13, 19f; [7]

10:1, 12; 12:7; 13:1, 3; 16:1; 17:1, 6f, 13f; 18:1, 15, 49; 19:14; [7]

21:1; 22:3, 19; 25:1, 4, 6f, 11, 22; 26:1f, 6; 27:7, 9, 11; 28:1; [6]

30:1ff, 8, 10, 12; 31:1, 5, 9, 14, 17; 33:22; 35:1, 22, 24; 36:5ff; 38:1, 15, 21f; 39:12; [7]

40:5, 9, 11, 13; 41:10; 42:1; 43:1, 4; 44:1, 4, 23; 45:6; 48:9f; [7]

51:1, 10, 14f, 17; 54:1f, 6; 55:1, 9, 23; 56:1f, 7, 12; 57:1, 5, 7, 9, 11; 58:6; 59:3, 5, 8, 11; [7]

60:1, 10; 61:1, 5; 62:12; 63:1; 64:1; 65:1f, 5; 66:10; 67:3, 5; 68:7, 9f, 24, 28, 35; 69:1, 5f, 13, 16, 29; [10]

70:1, 5; 71:1, 5, 12, 17ff, 22; 72:1; 73:20; 74:1, 10, 18, 22; 75:1; 76:6; 77:13, 16; 79:1, 9, 12; [9]

80:3f, 7, 14, 19; 82:8; 83:1, 16; 84:1, 3, 8f, 12; 85:4, 7; 86:1ff, 6, 8f, 11f, 14f; 88:1, 13; 89:5, 8, 15, 51; [8]

90:13; 92:5, 9; 93:3, 5; 94:1, 5, 12, 18; 97:8; 99:8; [6]

101:1; 102:1, 12; 104:1, 24; 106:4, 47; 108:1, 3, 5, 11; 109:1, 21, 26; [6]

115:1; 116:4, 16; 118:25; 119:12, 31, 33, 41, 52, 55, 57, 64f, 75, 89, 107f, 137, 145, 149, 151, 156, 159, 169, 174; [4]

120:2; 123:1, 3; 125:4; 126:4; [4]

130:1, 3; 132:8; 135:13; 137:7; 138:4, 8; 139:1, 4, 17, 19, 21, 23; [6]

140:1, 4, 6ff; 141:3, 8; 142:5; 143:1, 7, 9, 11; 144:5, 9; 145:10 [6]

These Psalms have 277 verses in which the Psalmist addresses God by saying, “O . . .” These vocatives for deity occur at least 295 times in the Psalms.

This data instructs us that Christian music used to worship God should regularly use the vocative form “O” to address God.

References to the house of God, both on the earth and in heaven, abound in the Psalms. Meditating on these statements highlights the importance of worship in the life a saint of God.

Psa 5:7 But as for me, I will come into thy house in the multitude of thy mercy: and in thy fear will I worship toward thy holy temple.

Psa 11:4 The LORD is in his holy temple, the LORD’S throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men.

Psa 18:6 In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears.

Psa 20:2 Send thee help from the sanctuary, and strengthen thee out of Zion;

Psa 23:6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

Psa 26:8 LORD, I have loved the habitation of thy house, and the place where thine honour dwelleth.

Psa 27:4 One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple.

Psa 29:9 The voice of the LORD maketh the hinds to calve, and discovereth the forests: and in his temple doth every one speak of his glory.

Psa 36:8 They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures.

Psa 42:4 When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me: for I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday.

Psa 52:8 But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God: I trust in the mercy of God for ever and ever.

Psa 55:14 We took sweet counsel together, and walked unto the house of God in company.

Psa 63:2 To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary.

Psa 65:4 Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and causest to approach unto thee, that he may dwell in thy courts: we shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, even of thy holy temple.

Psa 66:13 I will go into thy house with burnt offerings: I will pay thee my vows,

Psa 68:24 They have seen thy goings, O God; even the goings of my God, my King, in the sanctuary.

Psa 73:17 Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end.

Psa 74:3 Lift up thy feet unto the perpetual desolations; even all that the enemy hath done wickedly in the sanctuary.

7 They have cast fire into thy sanctuary, they have defiled by casting down the dwelling place of thy name to the ground.

Psa 77:13 Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary: who is so great a God as our God?

Psa 78:54 And he brought them to the border of his sanctuary, even to this mountain, which his right hand had purchased.

69 And he built his sanctuary like high palaces, like the earth which he hath established for ever.

Psa 79:1 <A Psalm of Asaph.> O God, the heathen are come into thine inheritance; thy holy temple have they defiled; they have laid Jerusalem on heaps.

Psa 84:4 Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: they will be still praising thee. Selah.

Psa 92:13 Those that be planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God.

Psa 96:6 Honour and majesty are before him: strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.

Psa 102:19 For he hath looked down from the height of his sanctuary; from heaven did the LORD behold the earth;

Psa 118:26 Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the LORD: we have blessed you out of the house of the LORD.

Psa 122:1 <A Song of degrees of David.> I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD.

9 Because of the house of the LORD our God I will seek thy good.

Psa 134:1 <A Song of degrees.> Behold, bless ye the LORD, all ye servants of the LORD, which by night stand in the house of the LORD.

2 Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless the LORD.

Psa 135:2 Ye that stand in the house of the LORD, in the courts of the house of our God,

Psa 138:2 I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.

Psa 150:1 Praise ye the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power.

 

 

 

 

Psalms 148-150 profoundly emphasize the importance of praising God by commanding us to praise Him numerous times. Examining these statements reveals that six prepositions (color coded below) help us understand various aspects of these commands:

Psa 148:1 Praise ye the LORD. Praise ye the LORD from the heavens: praise him in the heights.

Psa 148:7 Praise the LORD from the earth, ye dragons, and all deeps:

Psa 149:1 Praise ye the LORD. Sing unto the LORD a new song, and his praise in the congregation of saints.

Psa 149:3 Let them praise his name in the dance: let them sing praises unto him with the timbrel and harp.

Psa 150:1 Praise ye the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power.

 2 Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness.

 3 Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp.

 4 Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs.

 5 Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals.

 6 Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD.

Among other things, these six prepositions teach us the following truths about our giving praise to God:

(1) the commanded places/locations/settings (“from the heavens”; “from the earth”; “in the heights”; “in the congregation of the saints”; “in the dance”; “in his sanctuary”; “in the firmament of his power”);

(2) the reason (“for his mighty acts”);

(3) the standard (“according to his excellent greatness”); and

(4) the means (“with the timbrel and harp”; “with the sound of the trumpet”; “with the psaltery and harp”; with the timbrel and dance”; with stringed instruments and organs”; “upon the loud cymbals”; “upon the high sounding cymbals”)!

 

 

 

Lord willing, I will begin teaching a 15-week Bible college class Acceptable Music for Corporate Worship this Thursday! Through this class, I hope to disciple several Spanish students to know, understand, and do what the Bible teaches about this vital subject.

The students in this class will read the book of Psalms and La Batalla por La Música Cristiana, the Spanish translation of The Battle for Christian Music by Tim Fisher. They will memorize select passages about music, They will also write a paper on what the book of Psalms teaches about acceptable instrumental music for corporate worship.

I praise God for the opportunity to teach a college-level class on this subject!

Whether Solomon perished eternally is a question that has spurred more interest in my blog than any other subject that I have written about, which is something that I would never have expected. Until recently, an aspect of that question that I had not previously considered is the relevance of Hebrews 11 to one’s view about his eternal destiny.

Solomon is Not Mentioned in Hebrews 11

Hebrews 11 mentions many great saints of God and sets them forth as believers whose faith was exemplary. Although Hebrews 11 mentions David, who was a man of superlative faith and character (aside from his great sinful failures with Uriah and Bathsheba), it only does so in a brief listing of names that the author says that he did not enough time to talk about:

Heb 11:32 And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets:

Solomon, however, is not mentioned at all in this verse or elsewhere in the chapter. To assess properly whether this omission is relevant to our understanding of his eternal destiny, we need to consider other people that Hebrews 11 also does not mention.

Job, Hezekiah, and Josiah Are Not Mentioned in Hebrews 11

Job was the godliest man alive in his day (Job 1:8; 2:3), yet he is not mentioned in Hebrews 11. When we also take into account both his godliness and the genuineness of his faith that were displayed in the midst of horrific sufferings that he endured, it is even more striking and perplexing that Hebrews 11 does not speak of Job.

Like Job, Hezekiah and Josiah are extolled in Scripture for their stellar character and walk with God:

2Ki 18:5 He [Hezekiah] trusted in the LORD God of Israel; so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor any that were before him.

2Ki 23:25 And like unto him [Josiah] was there no king before him, that turned to the LORD with all his heart, and with all his soul, and with all his might, according to all the law of Moses; neither after him arose there any like him.

Despite the unparalleled excellence of these two kings, however, neither one is mentioned in Hebrews 11! Hebrews 11 thus does not speak of Job, Hezekiah, and Josiah—three of the premier men of God spoken of in Scripture.

Discussion

Given the greatness of Solomon, one might argue that the lack of his being mentioned in Hebrews 11 implies that he perished eternally because he never repented of his great sinfulness late in his life. This reasoning, however, is faulty because Hebrews 11 also does not mention Job, Hezekiah, and Josiah, who were all exceedingly godly men about whom we can be certain that they did not perish eternally.

Conclusion

The lack of mention of Solomon in Hebrews 11 does not prove that he perished eternally. In fact, many other considerations show that Solomon did not perish eternally and that we will see him in heaven one day.

Suppose that all the major news networks were to carry a bombshell report that the Pentagon has had extended contact with aliens and will soon provide lengthy videotaped conversations between high-level government officials and the aliens. Over a period of many days, the videotapes reveal striking information provided by the aliens.

The aliens say that they have been around for 6 billion years and have traveled throughout our galaxy and have found no proof of the existence of God. They say that they first came to earth almost 5 billion years ago from a planet 10 light years away.

They emphatically deny that there were any people named Adam and Eve who were the first humans created by God. Instead, the aliens insist that when they came to the earth, they seeded it with its first life forms.

The aliens say that they have been observing what has happened on earth ever since. They say that there was a man named Jesus who lived many years ago, but they say that he was just a man who was made into a god by his devotees.

They deny that this Jesus rose from the dead and insist there is no heaven to which he ascended. The aliens proclaim that the real good news for the world is that they have come to save mankind by revealing the truth about the history of the earth and about how life began on the earth.

The videotapes are followed by stunning live footage showing the aliens appearing and disappearing at will, zooming through the sky in spacecraft powered by technology unlike anything man has ever known, and dematerializing and rematerializing select people from one place on the earth instantaneously to other places on the earth.

The aliens insist that their phenomenal superpowers prove their authenticity and the authenticity of their message. If such contact with aliens would take place, would that disprove the Bible?

For those who believe that the Bible is the perfect Word of God, the answer is an emphatic, “No!” Aliens who would come proclaiming another gospel would be under the divine condemnation revealed long ago by God:

Galatians 1:8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. 9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.

Notice that God specifies that if an angel from heaven were to come preaching another gospel, that angel must be accursed. What applies to any angel proclaiming such a message certainly applies to any other purported celestial being that would bring a message contrary to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

In reality, if any so-called aliens were ever to come to earth heralding another gospel, believers would know that such beings are not aliens at all but rather fallen angels masquerading as aliens. Contact with aliens would not disprove the Bible because human beings would not have any ability to authenticate the message of these beings other than to take their word for it.

Scripture unequivocally reveals to us that contact with aliens would not disprove the Bible. Believers must heed this instruction that God has provided them so that they will not be led astray by deceiving spirits claiming to be aliens from other planets, galaxies, dimensions, etc.

After I was saved in 1990, I had an intense desire to read the Bible. Praise God, He has sustained that desire in me to this day in spite of my many struggles over the years.

So far, I have completed reading the Bible twice in three languages, English, biblical Greek, and Spanish. This post relates some highlights of my Bible reading in these languages.

Bible Reading in English

In my first year as a believer, I read the Bible through three times in English. Since then, I have read (or read and listened) to the entire Bible in English every year except for one year when I read the Bible through in Spanish.

In 2016, God led me to read the Bible through in 59 days, which was both very challenging and extremely profitable! This year, He directed me to do the same thing in 87 days. I am grateful to have been able to read the Bible twice each of these past two years.

Bible Reading in Biblical Greek

Over a period of a number of years, I read the entire Septaugint (canonical books only) and the Greek New Testament. After having done that, I was greatly blessed to read the entire Septuagint (canonical books only) and the Greek New Testament in 2011.

Reading the Bible in biblical Greek in one year was an immense privilege that I hope to have again in the future. The insights that God gave me into His Word through reading the Septuagint through in one year have proven to be extremely beneficial for my understanding of a number of key passages in the New Testament.

Bible Reading in Spanish

In 2014, God directed me to read the entire Reina Valera 1960 version of the Bible in Spanish. What began as incredibly hard task became much more manageable as the year progressed, praise God!

From 2014 to 2017, I have been reading the Bible in Spanish in both the Reina Valera and the La Biblia De Las Américas versions. I recently finished reading the whole Bible in the LBLA version so God has now enabled me to read the entire Bible at least twice in three different languages!

How I praise God for the glory of His Word and the matchless privilege of knowing Him through His inspired, inerrant, and infallible perfect revelation of Himself in His Word!

When 2017 began, I had no intention of trying to read through the Bible more than once in English. After finishing the Bible in English for the first time this year on July 10, my plan was to try to finish reading through the Bible in Spanish, which I had begun in 2016.

In September, however, it was arranged that I would teach (through an interpreter) a 15-week Bible class in a Spanish Bible college in Spring 2018. To prepare for that class on what the Bible teaches about acceptable music for corporate worship, I decided that I needed to read through the Bible again in the last three months of this year.

I began that second reading on October 1. I praise God that He empowered me to finish that second reading today—87 days after I had started!

Praise Glorious is a new hymnal supplement that my church Mount Calvary Baptist produced this year! I am very grateful that it includes my first published hymn O Sinner, Hear!, a song that I wrote more than 10 years ago.

This hymn has been sung in several churches, including as a special at my church. The hymn highlights how God wants all mankind to hear His urgent message to repent and turn to Him because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through the Man whom He raised from the dead and has appointed to be the Judge of the living and the dead (Acts 10:42; 17:30-31).

Adult Beginning Guitar Class!

December 16, 2017

Lord willing, I will be teaching an adult beginning guitar class for Majesty Music Academy in Spring 2018. If you know of anyone in the Greenville, SC area who might be interested in learning guitar by enrolling in a guitar class, please let them know about this opportunity.