From: Rich Carlson
Date: March 4, 2021
Subject: It's March 4; Good Morning Union



“Taste and see that the Lord is good.”           Psalm 34:8

 

Psalm 4- called an evening psalm, it reminded me again this morning of the value quiet time as I go to bed. In the dark of the night, when all masks can be removed and I am only in the presence of God, is the moment when I can be honest with God because I know, “I can lie down and sleep in peace, for You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.” It a great “sleep aid” for me!

 

Psalm 34- was written by David at that point when he was running for his life from Saul and even had to feign insanity before Abimelech who even drove him from the house of God. See the story in 1 Samuel 21, then read David’s response from all this trauma in his life. This is where I found by greatest ah-ha this morning. David, in his troubles, still knew that “The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, and He delivers them.” And then he describes 4 things that define “fearing the Lord:”

  1. “Taste and see that the Lord is good.” I have to “taste “ this for myself, both the challenges in life AND the solution in “fearing the Lord.”
  2. I will be blessed if I take refuge in Him
  3. “Fearing the Lord” is equated with “seeking the Lord,” and the result will be that I will lack “no good thing.” David’s expression of “fearing the Lord,” as I see here and elsewhere in the psalms, has little to do with being afraid, and much to do with acknowledging the power of the One who is there to protect and guide me.
  4. “Now I will teach you to fear the Lord:”
    1. “Keep your tongue from evil”
    2. “Keep your lips from speaking lies”
    3. “Turn from evil”
    4. “Do good”
    5. “Seek peace and pursue it”
    6. “trust His attentiveness to your cries”
      1. He hears and delivers as He knows is best
      2. He is close to the brokenhearted
      3. He protects
      4. He redeems all who take refuge in Him.

 

Psalm 64- this is a pretty forceful psalm about David’s enemies and how they are plotting to take his life. I’ve NEVER faced this level of trauma in my life; I’ve never feared for my life (except maybe when I was little and that bully said he was going to beat me up!) David did! And my blessing this morning came that even after he recounted the details of his threatened life, he STILL comes back to, “Let the righteous rejoice in the Lord and take refuge in Him; let the upright in heart praise Him.” His righteousness and my decision to focus on having and upright heart allow me to still praise and trust Him no matter the situation.
 

Psalm 94- this is why I like the “every 30th psalm” approach—as surely as psalm 64 expressed David’s faithfulness in the light of trouble, this psalm shows him STILL struggling with the challenges he was facing. It’s an honest God moment where he may be saying, “I trust you,” but he’s also struggling with, “Why all these problems?” Real life is not “everything is going good,” but more like, “NOT everything goes good, but I still know YOU are good.”

 

Psalm 124- The fifth step on the ascent to the temple is a hymn of thanksgiving to God because He DOES deliver from all those challenges in life! “Our help is in the name of the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth!”

 

Have a great day discovering His trustworthiness even in, or maybe especially in the challenges of life,

Pastor Rich

 

Quote for the day:      “The ultimate test of faith is not how loudly you praise God in happy times but how deeply you trust Him in dark times.” Rick Warren

 

PS        uGather- 10:30am in the church. Join us each week as we come together as a Union College family to build community and fellowship with God and His word. This week Ron Carlson, Union College Board member and President of our Kansas-Nebraska Conference will be sharing Jesus with us.

PPS      Today is Tuition Freedom Day. It's the day that marks when donor gifts begin to fund the students' academic experience for the remainder of the school year! The ENTIRE CAMPUS is invited to celebrate this great day and enjoy a complimentary Mexican-style buffet Today, following uGather in Union Market from 11:30- 1:30! Limited seating will be available in the café and it’s going to be a beautiful day so maybe grab your grub and enjoy some warm rays! We can feast as a family without forgetting our faithfulness to fighting the fugitive viral fiend with face masks and “fisical” distancing!!