The Song of a Weary Warrior—Meditations on Psalm 88

Psalm 88:1–18. This psalm is a heart cry of a righteous person who is weary of the struggles that life in this mortal existence throws him. 

Assuredly, the author of this psalm is a righteous person. This is evident because he knows that Elohim is his salvation (v. 1), and attests to the fact that he is in a faithful, prayerful and faith-driven spiritual relationship with his Creator, even as he cries out to heaven night and day (vv. 1–2, 9, 13), and even while complaining about his plight as a human who is struggle with his faith. To the super-spiritual saint, the writer of this psalm may seem like a spiritual wimp—a melting snowflake or a pansy wilting under the noonday sun. Yet the transparent and honest saint will humbly admit that from time to time they find themselves in a similar place of weariness, or even in a waste-howling wilderness of doubts and despair, in a miry pit of self-pity. David records being in this psycho-emotional state himself several times in various psalms. Even Elijah, the mighty prophet of Elohim, depressed and somewhat despondent, found himself fleeing for his life from the murderous claws of the demonic Jezebel. He finally escaped to the mountain of Elohim weary, discouraged and alone complaining to his Maker about his seemingly hapless plight. 

As weary warriors traversing this life, passing our time as a pilgrim en route to the spiritual Promised Land of the eternal kingdom of Elohim, often we feel adrift in our flimsy dinghies on the seas of humanity struggling to row against the countervailing tides and currents of the surrounding hordes of heathen, who are, in reality, in their unsaved state as good as physically dead (v. 5). This earth is a dark and lonely place for the saint. How can he relate to the walking damned around him, who are like zombies in a catatonic stupor refusing to wake up to reality, and to see, hear or consider the deeper issues of life and to acknowledge the Creator and his Messiah Savior (v. 1)? To them, the saints are a mere fools (1 Cor 4:10), and the Bible is a collection of pointless and foolish fairy tales and legends (1 Cor 1:18, 27).

Yes, the saint sometime feels as if he has been condemned to spend his or her life in the foreign land of this world as a sojourner or pilgrim merely passing through en route to something better out there somewhere that never seems to arrive at their doorstep. Although we’re en route to a better place, nonetheless, along the way we find ourselves passing much time in the Valley of Baca or weeping (Ps 84:6), which is a place that is rife with trouble and discouragement, for many times we feel as if the resting place of the grave would be an improvement to our present lot (vv. 3–4). However, consider this: What would our life be like without Elohim who is our salvation (v. 1) and who, along with his Word and Spirit, guides and walks besides us en route to the better place that is beyond this present life? His help and guidance and what lies beyond is our light and hope in the present darkness of this world. This is the substance of the saint’s faith (see Heb 11:1) is it not?

Continue reading

Are you looking upward or downward?

Psalm 61:2, Rock that is higher. When our heart affections and spiritual focus is on something that is higher, loftier  and more solid and substantial than ourselves, then our focus will naturally be higher than ourselves and we will be elevated in all areas of our lives as a result. 

Conversely, when our focus is on something that is at the same level or lower than ourselves, then we will sink to that level. 

This is a fundamental difference between following or worshipping Baal (the world, flesh and the devil) versus following or worshipping Elohim: the former is the downward path that leads to spiritual death and separation from Elohim, while the latter is the upward path that leads to Elohim and eternal life in his presence The choice is ours as to which path we will take. Every day we are faced with many small and sometimes large decisions as to which direction we will go. Choose wisely and do the right thing by choosing the path that will bring blessing and life!

Psalm 61:4, Tabernacle…shelter of your wings. Over the mercy seat on the ark of the covenant were the over-shadowing wings of the two cherubim, which is representative of Elohim’s throne and glorious Presence on earth (see Isa 37:16; Ezek 10:1–22; 11:22–23). It was in this place of intimate worship before the “Rock that his higher than me” (verse 2) that David sought shelter or refuge and deliverance from his enemies (verse 3). 

Biblical phrases such as, “under the shadow of your wings” is a Hebraism meaning “before YHVH in the place and state of worship” (see also Pss 17:8; 36:7; 57:1; 63:7; 91:1, 4). 

It was also in this place—between the cherubim—that Moses heard the voice of Elohim (Num 7:89), and that David would see the power or might strength and glory or manifest Presence of Elohim in a prophetic, ecstatic or spiritual vision (Ps 63:2).

As saints of YHV Elohim, we can come into his presence, into this actual throne room (as represented by the holy of holies in the Tabernacle of Moses through our spiritual relationship with Yeshua our Messiah, Master and Savior.

Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Yeshua, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, and having a High Priest over the house of Elohim, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. (Heb 10:29–22)

Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Heb 4:16)


Uncovered: More Rabbinic, Anti-Yeshua Jewish Fables

Psalm 45:6–11, A messianic prophecy. This passage (verse 7) is difficult for non-Messianic rabbinical scholars to deal with since it seems to indicate so clearly the deity of the Messiah. For example, the Orthodox Jewish The ArtScroll Stone Edition Tanach renders this passage as follows: …therefore has Elohim, your Elohim, anointed you …(emphasis added)—a translationwhich, in effect, changes the whole meaning of the passage to deflect off of the Messiah any connotations of deity. Yet the word has does not appear in the original Hebrew.

In fact, in The ArtScroll Schottenstein Edition Tehilim (The Book of Psalms With an Interlinear Translation) under the Hebrew word Elohim (Strong’s H430), which in English is translated simply as God, and means nothing more nor nothing less, appears the word has alongside of God. Quite clearly, as noted above, the word has was added, though it does not appear in the original language. 

What is the upshot of this discussion? Very simply stated, Elohim is addressing Elohim-Messiah as Elohim. This passage witnesses to the fact that Elohim in Heaven is addressing Messiah-Elohim as deserving of the worshipful title of Elohim all of which speaks of the deity, incarnation and virgin birth of the Messiah.

Furthermore, in verse 11 we see the imperative command to worship the Messiah as Lord (Adon), again showing the incarnation and deity, and by implication the virgin birth, of the Messiah.

Psalm 45:14, The virgins and her companions. This may be a prophetic picture of the bride of Yeshua (the wise virgins in Yeshua’s Matt 25 parable) accompanied by her non-bride companions (the foolish virgins in the same parable).


Nuggets from the Psalms

Psalm 34:18, Broken heart. This could be understood to be a circumcised heart rather than a heart broken by grief.

Psalm 35:13, Humbled…fasting. The Hebrew word for humbled means “to afflict the soul.” This verse connects the concept of afflicting the soul with fasting.

Psalm 36:1, An oracle within my heart. The Spirit of YHVH will speak to a person from within their personal spirit and give them divine revelation. (See also Ps 13:2–3.)

Psalm 36:8–8, River…fountain of life…in Your light. When we are in Elohim’s river of life, it is a fountain of life to us and we are bathed in YHHV’s light and we will see light (cp. Pss. 18:28; 44:3).


Don’t cause YHVH to treat you like a stubborn mule!

Psalm 32:8–9, Do not be like. When YHVH disciplines us, he would prefer that we respond to his gentle voice of correction such as mere look of his eye whether it be that he is showing his approbation or disapproval for what we are doing.

If we fail to respond to his slightest glance of correction, he may have no alternative but “to turn up the heat, so that we’ll see the light” by treating us like a stubborn mule, who needs the bridle and bit (and maybe even the quirt) to bring it back into line.


Do you fully discern the Lord’s body?


Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made/cut a covenant with me by sacrifice. (Psalm 50:5

Psalms 50:5, Made/cut a covenant…by sacrifice. This refers to the method by which covenants were made in ancient times between two parties. This same ritual occurred when YHVH made (or cut) a covenant with Abraham in Genesis chapter 15 except that YHVH took all the responsibilities for fulfilling the covenant upon himself, for Abraham was asleep when this covenant was cut (Gen 15:9–10, 12). All Abraham had to do was to have faith in YHVH and all the blessings of the Abrahamic Covenant would fall upon him (Gen 15:6). We know from Paul’s discussion in Romans chapter four that the Abrahamic Covenant is the original biblical model for how an individual can receive salvation from Elohim. We also know that when YHVH made his covenant with Abraham, the vision Abraham had while he was asleep prophetically pointed to Yeshua’s death on the cross and his initiating the new/renewed covenant as prophesied in the Tanakh (e.g. Jer 31:31–33; also see my discussion of Gen 15:12–21 at Abraham’s vision). Yeshua at his last supper and subsequent crucifixion fulfilled this ancient prophecy as well as the spiritual types and shadows discussed in Psalm 50:7 and Genesis 15:9–21. At his last supper, Yeshua made a new covenant with his disciples through his body (the bread) and blood (the wine), which redeemed believers now commemorate when they take communion. 

And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; for this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. (Matt 26:26–28)

And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. (1 Cor 11:24)

Prior to his death on the cross, Yeshua’s predictively explained the significance of his broken body and spilled blood as it relates to covenantal agreement between him and those who would place their faith in him (as Abraham did in Gen 15).

35And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.…47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.…50 This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die.53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.…58This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever. (John 6:35, 47, 50, 53, 58)

In the context of the Passover service when the saints through the ritual of communion annually commemorate Yeshua’s “cutting” the new covenant with his saints and then ratifying that covenant through his death, Paul has the following to say about the significance of Yeshua’s body:

For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. (1 Cor 11:26–29)

Those who carelessly take communion are literally disrespecting not only the high value of the covenant that was made (or cut), but the tremendous price of making a covenant with Elohim (i.e. it cost Yeshua his life, and the believer must also die to himself as he accepts, unconditionally, Yeshua as his Lord and Master). Moreover, careless partakers of communion are not only underestimating the cost of their salvation, but the value and the benefits of that salvation, which is spiritual rewards including eternal life. Elohim is not only not duty bound to give immortality to such people, but would be foolish to immortalize people who don’t sufficiently recognize and appreciate the cost and value of covenantal agreement. In doing so, he would risk having another rebellion on his hand at some point in the future.

An ancient relic of crucifixion.

So when Yeshua died on the cross, he become the sacrifice that was cut (i.e. his body was brutally mutilated prior to and during his crucifixion) to which this verse in this Psalm 50 makes allusion. 

Moreover, Abraham not only had faith in YHVH, but he had to walk out that faith the rest of his life, for faith without works is dead (Jas 2:14–26). Similarly, those who place their faith in Yeshua must also back up that faith by doing his words (John 5:24), doing good (John 5:29; 3:21), loving him and keeping his commandments (John 14:15), coming to the light of Elohim’s truth (John 3:20–21), and showing that they are overcoming the word, the flesh and the devil resulting in eternal life and great spiritual rewards in the world to come (Rev 2:7, 11, 17, 26; 3:5, 12, 21). 

At the same time, those who don’t place their trust in Yeshua by accepting the covenant he “cut” through his death on the cross and then by backing that faith up with good deeds, or those who have “accepted” Yeshua, but lightly esteem him, will have a terrible price to pay.

For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. (1 Cor 11:29–30)

Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. (John 5:28–29)

He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. (John 3:18)


Thankfully, YHVH will have the last word!

Think of all the evil schemes that wicked men and women from their high and powerful positions in politics, the military, finance, education, religion, the media and entertainment are perpetrating upon the human race.

Now consider the daily sewage and filth that calls itself the news headlines, but is usually not much more than mean-spirited and destructive gossip, libel, salaciousness, innuendo, hearsay, false accusations, invasion of privacy, perversion of morals, attacks on biblical values, the promotion and elevation of all that the Bible denounces as evil and corrupt, and the attack on and persecution of Bible believers and Elohim himself. Are you sickened and disgusted already? So am! I!

Now encourage yourself and wash your brain out with these words from Psalm chapter three.

A Psalm of David, when he fled from Absalom his son. LORD, how are they increased that trouble me! many are they that rise up against me.

Many there be which say of my soul, There is no help [Hebrew: Yeshua]  for him in God. Selah.

But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.

I cried unto the LORD with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah.

I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the LORD sustained me.

I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, that have set themselves against me round about.

Arise, O LORD; save me, O my God: for thou hast smitten all mine enemies upon the cheek bone; thou hast broken the teeth of the ungodly.

Salvation[Hebrew: Yeshua] belongeth unto the LORD: thy blessing is upon thy people. Selah.

Folks, our day is not only here, but it’s also coming! Don’t forget that one person standing with Elohim MAKE A MAJORITY. So stay strong in Him, and keep looking upward. As I like to say, the outlook is bleak, but the uplook is glorious.

Thankfully, when all is said and done, YHYVH Elohim will have the last word, not men!

A new day is coming. Get ready…