Psalm 34 (part one)

I will bless the LORD at all times;

his praise shall continually be in my mouth.

Psalm 34:1

“Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.” (Matt. 12:34)  If the heart and mouth were so full of the praise to God and the mind so occupied with His goodness, what contentment and blessing that person must feel.  What joy must be felt within.  Bitterness, complaining, self-pity, and self-seeking cannot live long in the presence of contentment focused on God’s grace.  It is not that this person had less grief than others — King David certainly knew his share of heartache from enemies, family strife, betrayal, and his own sin — and it is not as if he never faltered.  It is, however, that he fixed his gaze on the One who bore all our griefs and carried our sorrow.  Self-sufficiency will disappoint at every turn, but not the One from whom true, lasting life and all other gifts come.

Saturday Song: Immortal, Invisible

Immortal, invisible,
God only wise,
In light inaccessible
hid from our eyes,
Most blessèd, most glorious,
the Ancient of Days,
Almighty, victorious,
Thy great Name we praise.

Unresting, unhasting,
and silent as light,
Nor wanting, nor wasting,
Thou rulest in might;
Thy justice, like mountains,
high soaring above
Thy clouds, which are fountains
of goodness and love.

To all, life Thou givest,
to both great and small;
In all life Thou livest*,
the true life of all;
We blossom and flourish
as leaves on the tree,
And wither and perish–
but naught changeth Thee.

Great Father of glory,
pure Father of light,
Thine angels adore Thee,
all veiling their sight;
All praise we would render;
O help us to see
‘Tis only the splendor
of light hideth Thee.

*This part of the hymn makes me nervous, as it sounds somewhat pantheistic.  The hymnist could mean the phrase in the sense of Ephesians 4:6 “one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” Or, that God, the Giver of all life, is in all life sustaining it.

Saturday Song: Come Thou Fount

Come, thou Fount of every blessing, 
tune my heart to sing thy grace; 
streams of mercy, never ceasing, 
call for songs of loudest praise. 
Teach me some melodious sonnet, 
sung by flaming tongues above. 
Praise the mount! I'm fixed upon it, 
mount of thy redeeming love. 

Here I raise mine Ebenezer; 
hither by thy help I'm come; 
and I hope, by thy good pleasure, 
safely to arrive at home. 
Jesus sought me when a stranger, 
wandering from the fold of God; 
he, to rescue me from danger, 
interposed his precious blood. 

O to grace how great a debtor 
daily I'm constrained to be! 
Let thy goodness, like a fetter, 
bind my wandering heart to thee. 
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, 
prone to leave the God I love; 
here's my heart, O take and seal it, 
seal it for thy courts above.