Elohim - Mighty

 

 

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Elohim: My Creator   
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Our Stronghold: sermon by C H Spurgeon on Pr 18:10

Our Stronghold - Mp3 [with British accent] of sermon by Spurgeon on Pr 18:10

     

RUN INTO THE STRONG TOWER OF
ELOHIM
YOUR CREATOR
ELOHIM
THE CREATOR
MAN
HIS CREATION

Why study
the Names of God?

 

Spurgeon writes...

 

What pleasure he finds in the very name of his Benefactor and Master. All through Scripture we ought to notice the titles by which God is called in each distinct place. We are so poverty-stricken in thought that we generally use but one name for God; not so the rich soul of David: throughout the Psalms you will find him appropriately ringing the changes upon Adonai, El, Elohim, Jehovah, and all the varied combinations of names which loving hearts were wont to give to the glorious LORD of hosts

 

The names of God employed in prayer in holy Scripture are always significant. Holy men of old were not so poverty-stricken in language as always to address God under one name, nor were they so careless as to speak with him under such a title as might first come to hand; but in their approaches to the Most High they carefully regarded that attribute of the divine nature from which they expected the blessing which they desired. If they needed that their enemies should be overthrown they pleaded with the arm of his strength; if they were wrongfully entreated, they prayed to the God of righteousness; if they needed pardon for their sins, they pleaded with the God of mercy; and such names as Jehovah, Elohim, Shaddai, are not used indiscriminately in the prayers of the saints of old, but always with selection and judgment.

 

In another place Spurgeon writes...

 

God, the living God, the Creator of the heavens and the earth, sets forth his own name and title, that there may be no mistake as to who he is. “I am the LORD (Jehovah),” saith he, “and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.” (Isa 42:8) He also sets forth his name at large, for the comfort of his people. Is it not written, “They that know Thy name well put their trust in Thee” (Ps 9:10)? There is something in every name of God which may breed faith in our souls. Whether we know him as Jehovah, Elohim, Shaddai, or Lord, or by whatsoever other name he has been pleased to manifest Himself, that title becomes the ground of our confidence, and is the means of fostering faith in his people’s minds, when they come to understand its meaning.

 

To a trembling people the Lord enlarges on His wonderful Names. I think He also does it to excite our wonder and our gratitude. He that loves us so much is Jehovah: He that can create and destroy; He that is the self-existent God; He, even He, has set His heart upon His people, and loves them and counts them precious in His sight. It is a marvellous thing. The more one thinks of it, the more shall he be overwhelmed with astonishment, that He Who is everything should love us who are less than nothing. It is the Holy One Who has deigned to choose, and to love unholy men, and to look upon them in grace, and save them from their sins.

 

That you may bow low in loving gratitude, God lets you see Who He is. That you may see how great a stoop of condescension He has made, when He loves His unworthy people, and takes them into union with Himself, you are made to see how great and glorious is the divine Name.
 

Where is the
first mention of Elohim?

 

Ge 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth

 

Most authorities agree that "Elohim" is derived from "El" meaning "mighty (one), strong (strength)." The Hebrew ending "-im"  added to "El" indicates plurality.  Although one cannot be dogmatic, the use of the plural "Elohim" with the 3rd person singular masculine form of the verb created suggests plurality in the Godhead. In Ge 1:1-2:4, Elohim is described as Creator 35x in 35 verses.

 

O blest Creator of the light,
Who mak’st the day with radiance bright,
And o’er the forming world didst call
The light from chaos first of all.

 

How does Jn 1:1 parallel Ge 1:1?


Jn 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word
was God.


Who is
"the Word"?

 

John 1:14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt (tabernacled) among us and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. (Spurgeon) (cf Rev 19:14)

 

So here we see that "the Word" Who was with God at creation (in the context of the incarnation John 1) is Jesus Christ. (cf Col 1:16-note, He 1:1-note; He 1:3-note)

 

Behold the great Creator makes
Himself a house of clay,
A robe of virgin flesh He takes
Which He will wear for ay.

Hark, hark, the wise eternal Word,
Like a weak infant cries!
In form of servant is the Lord,
And God in cradles lies.

 

How does Genesis substantiate the idea of plurality of God?

 

Genesis 1:2 The earth was formless and void and darkness was over the surface of the deep and the Spirit of Elohim was moving over the surface of the waters. 3 Then Elohim said, "Let there be light there was light"

 

Although the term Trinity is not in the Bible, the creation by Elohim supports the involvement of the the "tri-unity" of God - Father, Son and Holy Spirit. (Clearly this verse does not "prove" the Trinity but only supports this doctrine. The Trinity of God is a vast, often controversial subject - the interested student is referred to the excellent articles -- Trinity [Article 1] or  Trinity [Article 2])


In addition to the heavens and the earth, what else do we learn about Elohim as Creator?

 

Psalms 139:14-16 I will give thanks to Thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Thy works and my soul knows it very well. 15 My frame was not hidden from Thee when I was made in secret and skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;16 Thine eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in Thy book were all written the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them. (Spurgeon's notes)

 

"Fearfully and wonderfully made" might be rephrased as “I am an awesome wonder”. Note also that the psalmist describes Elohim's creation of men and women as "wonderful" (marvelous, amazing) without qualification. So this description includes YOU, His creation! "Written the days that were ordained for me" suggests the idea that the life of a person, and the structure and meaning of that person’s life, are all established from the beginning by God, with the implicit idea that every life has purpose. Spurgeon writes "An architect draws his plans, and makes out his specifications; just so did the great Maker of our frame write down all our members in the book of his purposes." In summary, your life in Elohim's "book" has purpose whether you believe it or whether you feel like it is of any value. You can be content with how you look, how big or small He made you or even whether you have a deformity - the question is are you content and will you rest in this "wonderful" truth?

 

Spurgeon writes...

 

Cannot He who made us thus wondrously when we were not, still carry on His work of power till He has perfected us, though we feel unable to aid in the process, and are lying in great sorrow and self loathing, as though cast into the lowest parts of the earth?...

 

That we have eyes, and ears, and hands, and feet, is all due to the wise and gracious purpose of heaven: it was so ordered in the secret decree by which all things are as they are. God's purposes concern our limbs and faculties. Their form, and shape, and everything about them were appointed of God long before they had any existence.

 

Wiersbe comments...

 

"After all He made you, planned your potential and ordered your days. This is not some kind of blind fatalism that paralyzes you. It is the wise plan of a loving Father Who knows what is best for you. Accept what you are as His gift to you, and then use it wisely as your gift to Him. You are unique. God made you that way." (Wiersbe, W: With the Word: Chapter-by-Chapter Bible Handbook. Nelson or Logos)

 

How did the LORD respond to Moses when he "complained" about his "speech impediment" and that he was not eloquent?

 

Exodus 4:10 Then Moses said to the LORD, "Please, Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither recently nor in time past, nor since Thou hast spoken to Thy servant; for I am slow of speech and slow of tongue." 11 The LORD said to him, "Who has made man's mouth? Or who makes him mute or deaf, or seeing or blind? Is it not I, the LORD ?

 

Moses was politely saying to God - "But you overlooked the fact that I've got this speech impediment. With this impediment I surely can't fulfill your assignment and purpose for me".

 

An excuse is the skin of a reason stuffed with a lie (Billy Sunday)

 

But God gave Moses everything he needed for success. All he had to do was trust the great I AM. And so God said

 

Now then go and I even I will be with your mouth... (Ex 4:12)

 

We are all like Moses with a tendency to look at ourselves and our physical or mental shortcomings instead of looking at Elohim Who spoke the world into existence and for Whom our impediment is no obstacle. Where is your focus? Your impediment or Elohim's incomprehensible omnipotence?

 

If we give our Elohim what we have, even if it's deformed, He can use it for His glory. Elohim Who created us can overcome every human weakness. Anyone who thinks he cannot follow the call of God because of personal problems or deficits needs to meditate on this passage (Exodus 4).

 

But you still may be questioning - What about deformities and infirmities? Surely these cannot have a "high" purpose? (Read John 9 for context)

 

John 9:3 Jesus answered, "It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him. (cf Jn 11:3, 4, 21:18,19)

 

This man was blind to fulfill the purposes of God. Jesus' point is that even in situations such as deformities, afflictions, death, etc, God can be glorified. (See Torrey's excellent topic on Afflictions Made Beneficial)

 

Some of our sufferings, like the trials of Job, are for God’s glory, either through our resulting refinement or through a spectacular healing as in Jn 9. God’s purpose is not always presently known to us, but we have God’s assurance that His purpose is good (Ro 8:28-note; Ge 50:20) Click for challenging and encouraging story of Fanny Crosby who was blind from childhood.

 

Look

 

• Look around and be distressed.

• Look inside and be depressed.

• Look at God's Name and be at rest

                                Corrie Ten Boom

 

So as the psalmist encourages let us with our lips and our lives to...

 

Psalm 66:1 Shout joyfully to ELOHIM, all the earth; 2 Sing the GLORY of His NAME. Make His praise GLORIOUS. 3 Say to ELOHIM, "How awesome are Thy works! Because of the greatness of Thy power Thine enemies will give feigned obedience to Thee. 4 "All the earth will worship Thee, and will sing praises to Thee. They will sing praises to Thy NAME." Selah. 5 Come and see the works of ELOHIM, Who is awesome in His deeds toward the sons of men.

 

See Spurgeon's note on Psalm 61: v1, v2, v3, v4, v5

 

Note how David "runs" into the strong tower of the great name of our omnipotent Creator God, ELOHIM...

 

Psalm 61:1 Hear my cry, O ELOHIM; Give heed to my prayer. 2 From the end of the earth I call to Thee when my heart is faint; Lead me to the Rock that is higher than I. 3 For Thou have been a refuge for me, a tower of strength against the enemy. 4 Let me dwell in Thy tent forever. Let me take refuge in the shelter of Thy wings. Selah. 5 For Thou hast heard my vows, O ELOHIM; Thou hast given me the inheritance of those who fear Thy NAME. 6 You will prolong the king's life. His years will be as many generations. 7 He will abide before ELOHIM forever. Appoint lovingkindness and truth that they may preserve him. 8 So I will sing praise to thy NAME forever, that I may pay my vows day by day

 

The Creator
(click full poem)
by Annie Johnson Flint

God takes the years - the old, the new,
With their changing scenes and brief
The close-shut bud and the fruiting bough,
Flower and fading leaf,

Grace and glory and lack and loss,
The song, the sigh, the strife
The joy of hope and the hope fulfilled,
And makes of the years a life

><> ><> ><>

 

ELOHIM
OUR SHEPHERD
OUR REDEEMER

 

Jacob as he prepares to depart this life for the next, gives us precious insight into a lifetime of experiencing Elohim. And as someone has well said it is always wise to listen carefully to the words of a man who is at the end of his life, especially if he is a man of Elohim...

 

Genesis 48:15 And he (Jacob) blessed Joseph, and said, "Elohim before Whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked, Elohim Who has been my Shepherd all my life to this day, 16 The Angel Who has redeemed me from all evil

 

There are several significant observations in these passages: Notice how Jacob seamlessly and synonymously associates Elohim with the Angel of the LORD. We also observe the first uses in Scripture of shepherd and redeemed (see word study on goel/ga'al) both of these wonderful words associated with our Elohim. Meditate on this picture of Elohim as your Creator Who is also your Shepherd, the One Who has "re-created" (redeemed) you. Surely, such glorious and profound truths cannot but evoke loudest praises from your innermost being to your incomparable Elohim!

 

Praise Him, Praise Him

Praise Him! Praise Him! Jesus, our blessed Redeemer!
Sing, O Earth, His wonderful love proclaim!
Hail Him! hail Him! highest archangels in glory;
Strength and honor give to His holy Name!
Like a Shepherd, Jesus will guard His children,
In His arms He carries them all day long:

 

Refrain
Praise Him! Praise Him!
Tell of His excellent greatness.
Praise Him! Praise Him!
Ever in joyful song!

 

Praise Him! Praise Him! Jesus, our blessed Redeemer!
For our sins He suffered, and bled, and died.
He our Rock, our hope of eternal salvation,
Hail Him! hail Him! Jesus the Crucified.
Sound His praises! Jesus who bore our sorrows,
Love unbounded, wonderful, deep and strong.

Refrain

Praise Him! Praise Him! Jesus, our blessed Redeemer!
Heav’nly portals loud with hosannas ring!
Jesus, Savior, reigneth forever and ever.
Crown Him! Crown Him! Prophet, and Priest, and King!
Christ is coming! over the world victorious,
Pow’r and glory unto the Lord belong.

Refrain

How does knowing Elohim as Creator answer the very basic questions of life -- Who am I? Why was I born? Why am I living?

 

From this study you have seen that your life has design and purpose. Teen suicide appears to be on the increase as of 2002 and is the second leading killer of teenagers in America. According to notes that teens leave, many have come to the tragic conclusion that life has no purpose. This is a lie of the deceiver, for from our study of Elohim, we see that nothing could be further from the truth. Mark it down -- whether you are a teenager, senior citizen or anywhere in between, YOUR LIFE HAS PURPOSE. Every person is created by Elohim by design and with distinct purpose.

 

YOUR LIFE
HAS PURPOSE


What does Genesis 1:26 teach us about these questions?

 

Ge 1:26 Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."

 

All men and women are created in the image of a personal God, which means that we have the capability to be relational, rational and responsible. We have been created to enjoy a personal relationship with our Creator, made possible because the Creator became the Redeemer (Titus 2:14-note)

 

What do we  need to remember about our existence?


We are not a freak accident of chance but are "fearfully and wonderfully made" by God's design and His providential outworking. We must understand that every human being was created specifically by God and that we are the way we are because He created us that way – we need to accept who we are not by looking at ourselves but by gazing at the matchless wisdom and character of our Creator, Elohim.

 

Why were you born (created)?

 

Is 43:7 Everyone who is called by My name and whom I have created for My glory, whom I have formed even whom I have made."

 

Note the repetition - "created", "formed", "made" leaving little doubt that man is not some chance occurrence evolved from a primordial soup, but is created by a personal God with a clearly defined purpose -- God's glory.

 

Glory can be a difficult concept to understand but Kay Arthur's definition is the most practical I've ever heard. She says that "glory" or "glorify" means to give a correct estimate or a proper opinion of. So we as Elohim's creatures are to live in such a way that we give a correct opinion to all the world of the character and excellency of Elohim.

John Piper rightly says that the believer's call to glorify God (Mt 5:16-note)...

is not an admonition to do God a favor. It is a command to align our lives with His eternal goal. He created us for His glory. God’s great aim in creating and governing the world is that He be glorified. “I created you for My glory. I formed you, I made you.” (Read his full message God Created Us For His Glory on Isaiah 43:1-7)

How does Paul amplify the truth that we are "created for God's glory" in Ephesians 2:10? How does Paul describe believers? Why does Paul say we were created?

 

Ep 2:10 (note) For we are His workmanship (poiema - word study), created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
 

First Paul says those who have been saved by grace through faith (For "how can I be be saved" click part 1 and then part 2 - see Ep 2:8, 9-note) are created in Christ Jesus and are God's WORKMANSHIP.

 

"Workmanship" is the Greek word poiema, which is the root word from which is derived our English word "poem", which the Collins English Dictionary defines as "anything resembling a poem in beauty, effect, etc". Believers who have been "re-created in Christ" (2Co 5:17-note, cf Gal 6:15; Ep 4:24-note, Col 3:10-note) are on display so to speak as "God's poetic masterpieces". As those who have been "re-created" (regenerated, born again) as new creatures in Christ we have a new purpose (and a new power or enablement - Col 1:29-note; Php2:13-note) - to carry out good works which God is working in us and through us. Also note the clear order of events in these verses (Ep 2:10-note) - Good works are not the root but the fruit of our "re-creation" or salvation.

 

As John Calvin explained...

 

It is faith alone that justifies (results in unrighteous sinners being declared righteous before a perfectly holy and righteous God) , but faith that justifies can never be alone.

 

We are not saved by faith plus good works, but by a faith that works. We do not work in order to be saved, but because we are saved. The basic Scripture on this theme is Jas 2:14-26 (see notes beginning at Jas 2:14), where the apostle points out that saving faith always results in a changed life. It is not enough to say that we have faith but we must demonstrate this faith by our works. For more discussion of works - see notes here or here (Good Deeds).

 

William MacDonald writes

 

God has a blueprint for every life. Before our conversion He mapped out a spiritual career for us. Our responsibility is to find His will for us and then obey it. We do not have to work out a plan for our lives, but only accept the plan which He has drawn up for us. This delivers us from fret and frenzy, and insures that our lives will be of maximum glory to Him, of most blessing to others, and of greatest reward to ourselves. (MacDonald, W and Farstad, A. Believer's Bible Commentary: Thomas Nelson or Logos)

 

What does Matthew 5:16 add to our understanding of our "purpose" for living?

 

Matthew 5:16 (notes) Let your light shine (aorist imp - Not a suggestion but a command) before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

 

Letting our light shine is not something we create or make up, but something we allow the Lord to do through us. It is God’s light and our choice is whether to hide it or let it shine.  A godly life gives convincing testimony of the saving power of God and brings Him glory. (For more discussion of letting our light shine click here) (Click pithy devotional by Octavius Winslow of glorifying God)

 

Peter exhorts believers to...

 

Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation (1Pe 2:12-note).

 

John MacArthur writes that...

 

It is said of Robert Murray McCheyne, a godly Scottish minister of the last century, that his face carried such a hallowed expression that people were known to fall on their knees and accept Jesus Christ as Savior when they looked at him. Others were so attracted by the self-giving beauty and holiness of his life that they found his Master irresistible. It was also said of the French pietist Francois Fenelon that his communion with God was such that his face shined with divine radiance. A religious skeptic who was compelled to spend the night in an inn with Fenelon, hurried away the next morning, saying, “If I spend another night with that man I’ll be a Christian in spite of myself."

 

How humbling it should be to us that Elohim has so ordained our existence that men and women, His fearful and wonderful creations, should be given the high and holy privilege of proclaiming His glory, for this too is the purpose of all creation as David tells us in Psalm 19...

 

Psalm 19:1 The heavens are telling of the glory of ELOHIM and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.

 

As Spurgeon comments

 

"It is not merely glory that the heavens declare, but the glory of God, for they deliver to us such unanswerable arguments for a conscious, planning, controlling, and presiding Creator, that no unprejudiced person can remain unconvinced by them. The testimony given by the heavens is no mere hint, but a plain, unmistakable declaration; and it is a declaration of the most constant and abiding kind." May our lives be lived in such a way that we too present to all mankind "unanswerable arguments for a conscious, planning, controlling and presiding Creator (Elohim) that no unprejudiced person can remain unconvinced".

 

The truth that God is Elohim, the Creator and Sustainer of all that exists also gives us confidence to face life's difficulties. When fully comprehended the truth about Elohim helps us overcome fear and anxiety that are daily intruders in our lives.

 

Fanny Crosby the prolific hymn writer who was blinded as a child by a quack "medicine man" had this to say about Elohim, her Creator and Sustainer...

 

I have not for a moment in more than eighty-five years felt a spark of resentment against Him, because I have always believed...that the good Lord...by this means consecrated me to the work that I am still permitted to do. (More on her biography)

 

The question one must contemplate after studying Elohim our Creator is

 

"Am I fulfilling the purpose for which Elohim created me? Does the way I live give a proper opinion of the majesty and power of my Elohim?"

 

Have I accepted the fact that Elohim is my Creator and that He did not make a mistake in the way He created me? 

 

If we miss the truth that He is the Creator, that we are the way we are because He designed us that way is to miss the fulfillment that is ours in life. To understand this truth is to know who we are (Created by God), why we were born (To bring glory to Him) and that we are live in such a way that we in Christ accomplish His good works prepared beforehand.

 

ELOHIM
THE POTTER
OUR MAKER

 

Isaiah asks...

 

Shall the Potter be considered as equal with the clay, that what is made should say to its Maker (yatsar - literally the One Who forms and fashions us), "He did not make me". Or what is formed say to Him Who formed (KJV - "framed", yatsar) it, "He has no understanding"? (Isaiah 29:16)

 

Woe to the one who quarrels with his Maker (yatsar - literally the One Who forms and fashions us)-- An earthenware vessel among the vessels of earth! Will the clay say to the Potter (yatsar), 'What are you doing?' Or the thing you are making say, 'He has no hands'? (Isaiah 45:9)

 

We are the clay, and Thou our Potter (yatsar) and all of us are the work of Thy hand. (Isaiah 64:8)

 

Note: In each of these verses from Isaiah, the words Maker, Potter and formed are the same Hebrew verb yatsar which means literally to form, to fashion, to shape, to devise. Yatsar speaks of Jehovah Elohim’s fashioning man from the dust of the ground in Ge 2:7, of God’s creative works in nature (Ps 95:5 [Spurgeon's note]; Amos 4:13) and of His forming us in the womb (Ps 139:16; Jer 1:5)


Do you accept that Elohim your Potter has a purpose for your life?

Do you understand that the way to bring glory to let your light so shine before men that they see your good works and give Him glory?

 

Think about it – every word that proceeds out of our mouth this week will be an opportunity to give a correct estimate of our great God Elohim. Meditate on His name Elohim this week and think then about what you are getting ready to say and how you will act or react to the "tests" that He allows into your life.

 

Will your thoughts, your words, and your deeds give a correct estimate to others of your Elohim?

 

Whatever we say or whatever we do is an opportunity to bring glory to Him and give a correct estimate of Who He really is. Remember that to glorify Elohim is surely one of the most foundational reasons for which we have been formed and fashioned in the Potter's hand. May, God's Spirit strengthen each of us in our inner man to radically redeem the time we have been allotted by our Creator, for the days are evil (Ep 5:16-note).

 

Ray Stedman makes an interesting observation that...

 

it has been pointed out often that here (Ge 2:4,5, 7, 8, 9) the name of God appears in a different form than in Genesis 1. We have for the first time the great name of God that appears in so much of the rest of the Bible, Jehovah (or in the Hebrew, Yahweh) Elohim, translated in our version, LORD God. There is a special reason for this change. In Chapter 1 we are dealing with the making of things, and God is presented to us under the name of Elohim, i.e., the Creator. But when man appears on the scene God appears also in a different character. He now appears under the title of Jehovah, which means essentially the covenant-making God, the God Who keeps a promise. It is particularly significant that when God first reveals Himself to this race of ours, it is as a God who intends to keep His promises. (The Making of Man - Genesis 2:4-17)

 

 
John 1:14 Devotional by C H Spurgeon from Morning and Evening...

Believer, you can bear your testimony that Christ is the only begotten of the Father, as well as the first begotten from the dead. You can say,

"He is divine to me, if he be human to all the world beside. He has done that for me which none but a God could do. He has subdued my stubborn will, melted a heart of adamant, opened gates of brass, and snapped bars of iron. He hath turned for me my mourning into laughter, and my desolation into joy; He hath led my captivity captive, and made my heart rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory. Let others think as they will of him, to me He must be the only begotten of the Father: blessed be His name. And He is full of grace. Ah! had He not been I should never have been saved. He drew me when I struggled to escape from His grace; and when at last I came all trembling like a condemned culprit to his mercy-seat He said, 'Thy sins which are many are all forgiven thee: be of good cheer.' And He is full of truth. True have His promises been, not one has failed. I bear witness that never servant had such a Master as I have; never brother such a Kinsman as he has been to me; never spouse such a Husband as Christ has been to my soul; never sinner a better Saviour; never mourner a better Comforter than Christ hath been to my spirit. I want none beside Him.

In life He is my life, and in death he shall be the death of death; in poverty Christ is my riches; in sickness He makes my bed; in darkness He is my star, and in brightness He is my sun; He is the manna of the camp in the wilderness, and He shall be the new corn of the host when they come to Canaan. Jesus is to me all grace and no wrath, all truth and no falsehood: and of truth and grace He is full, infinitely full. My soul, this night, bless with all thy might 'the only Begotten. '"

Psalm 139:14-16 Comments by C H Spurgeon...

Psalm 139:14 I will praise thee: a good resolve, and one which he was even now carrying out. Those who are praising God are the very men who will praise him. Those who wish to praise have subjects for adoration ready to hand. We too seldom remember our creation, and all the skill and kindness bestowed upon our frame: but the sweet singer of Israel was better instructed, and therefore he prepares for the chief musician a song concerning our nativity and all the fashioning which precedes it. We cannot begin too soon to bless our Maker, who began so soon to bless us: even in the act of creation he created reasons for our praising his name,

We praise Thee, O God, our Redeemer, Creator,
In grateful devotion our tribute we bring;
We lay it before Thee, we kneel and adore Thee,
We bless Thy holy Name, glad praises we sing.
(
Play Hymn)

For I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Who can gaze even upon a model of our anatomy without wonder and awe? Who could dissect a portion of the human frame without marvelling at its delicacy, and trembling at its frailty? The Psalmist had scarcely peered within the veil which hides the nerves, sinews, and blood vessels from common inspection; the science of anatomy was quite unknown to him; and yet he had seen enough to arouse his admiration of the work and his reverence for the Worker.

Marvellous are thy works. These parts of my frame are all thy works; and though they be home works, close under my own eye, yet are they wonderful to the last degree. They are works within my own self, yet are they beyond my understanding, and appear to me as so many miracles of skill and power. We need not go to the ends of the earth for marvels, nor even across our own threshold; they abound in our own bodies.

And that my soul knoweth right well. He was no agnostic -- he knew; he was no doubter -- his soul knew; he was no dupe -- his soul knew right well. Those know indeed and of a truth who first know the Lord, and then know all things in him. He was made to know the marvellous nature of God's work with assurance and accuracy, for he had found by experience that the Lord is a master worker, performing inimitable wonders when accomplishing his kind designs. If we are marvellously wrought upon even before we are born, what shall we say of the Lord's dealings with us after we quit his secret workshop, and he directs our pathway through the pilgrimage of life? What shall we not say of that new birth which is even more mysterious than the first, and exhibits even more the love and wisdom of the Lord.

Thomas Adams adds...

The human frame is so admirably constructed, so delicately combined, and so much in danger of being dissolved by innumerable causes, that the more we think of it the more we tremble, and wonder at our own continued existence.

The Puritan writer Thomas Manton commenting on "I am wonderfully made" encourages us to...

Take notice of the curious frame of the body. David saith, "I am wonderfully made"; acu pictus sum, so the Vulgate rendereth it, "painted as with a needle", like a garment of needlework, of divers colours, richly embroidered with nerves and veins. What shall I speak of the eye, wherein there is such curious workmanship, that many upon the first sight of it have been driven to acknowledge God? Of the hand, made to open and shut, and to serve the labours and ministries of nature without wasting and decay for many years? If they should be of marble or iron, with such constant use they would soon wear out; and yet now they are of flesh they last so long as life lasts. Of the head? fitly placed to be the seat of the senses, to command and direct the rest of the members. Of the lungs? a frail piece of flesh, yet, though in continual action, of a long use. It were easy to enlarge upon this occasion; but I am to preach a sermon, not to read an anatomy lecture. In short, therefore, every part is so placed and framed, as if God had employed his whole wisdom about it.

But as yet we have spoken but of the casket wherein the jewel lieth. The soul, that divine spark and blast, how quick, nimble, various, and indefatigable in its motions! how comprehensive in its capacities! how it animates the body, and is like God himself, all in every part! Who can trace the flights of reason? What a value hath God set upon the soul! He made it after his image, he redeemed it with Christ's blood.

Spurgeon on Psalm 139:15

My substance was not hid from thee. The substantial part of my being was before thine all seeing eye; the bones which make my frame were put together by thine hand. The essential materials of my being before they were arranged were all within the range of thine eye. I was hidden from all human knowledge, but not from thee: thou hast ever been intimately acquainted with me.

When I was made in secret. Most chastely and beautifully is here described the formation of our being before the time of our birth. A great artist will often labour alone in his studio, and not suffer his work to be seen until it is finished; even so did the Lord fashion us where no eye beheld as, and the veil was not lifted till every member was complete. Much of the formation of our inner man still proceeds in secret: hence the more of solitude the better for us. The true church also is being fashioned in secret, so that none may cry, "Lo, here!" or "Lo, there!" as if that which is visible could ever be identical with the invisibly growing body of Christ.

And curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. "Embroidered with great skill", is an accurate poetical description of the creation of veins, sinews, muscles, nerves, etc. What tapestry can equal the human fabric? This work is wrought as much in private as if it had been accomplished in the grave, or in the darkness of the abyss. The expressions are poetical, beautifully veiling, though not absolutely concealing, the real meaning. God's intimate knowledge of us from our beginning, and even before it, is here most charmingly set forth. Cannot he who made us thus wondrously when we were not, still carry on his work of power till he has perfected us, though we feel unable to aid in the process, and are lying in great sorrow and self loathing, as though cast into the lowest parts of the earth?

John Calvin wrote...

My substance was not hid from thee. Should an artisan intend commencing a work in some dark cave where there was no light to assist him, how would he set his hand to it? in what way would he proceed? and what kind of workmanship would it prove? But God makes the most perfect work of all in the dark, for he fashions man in the mother's womb. --John Calvin.

Spurgeon on Psalm 139:16

Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect. While as yet the vessel was upon the wheel the Potter saw it all. The Lord knows not only our shape, but our substance: this is substantial knowledge indeed. The Lord's observation of us is intent and intentional, -- "Thine eyes did see." Moreover, the divine mind discerns all things as clearly and certainly as men perceive by actual eye sight. His is not hearsay acquaintance, but the knowledge which comes of sight.

And in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. An architect draws his plans, and makes out his specifications; even so did the great Maker of our frame write down all our members in the book of his purposes.

That we have eyes, and ears, and hands, and feet, is all due to the wise and gracious purpose of heaven: it was so ordered in the secret decree by which all things are as they are. God's purposes concern our limbs and faculties. Their form, and shape, and everything about them were appointed of God long before they had any existence.

God saw us when we could not be seen, and he wrote about us when there was nothing of us to write about. When as yet there were none of our members in existence, all those members were before the eye of God in the sketch book of his foreknowledge and predestination...

 

FANNY CROSBY
(1820-1915)

Be encouraged by Fanny Crosby's example of what Elohim our Creator can do with our deformities and disabilities if we yield them to the Master's touch:  

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Throughout her long career, Fanny Crosby wrote more than 8,500 gospel songs and hymns, many of which are still popular today. "To God Be The Glory," "Praise Him, Praise Him," "Tell Me The Story Of Jesus," "I Am Thine O Lord"—every song is a testimony of her love for Jesus Christ. However, this gifted poet, who described her salvation experience as a "floodtide of celestial light," could not actually see light.

In May of 1820, when she was six weeks old, she caught a cold, and her eyes became slightly inflamed. The regular physician in Putnam County, New York, was out of town, and a man posing as a doctor gave her the wrong treatment. Within days, her eyesight was destroyed, and the man fled town in a panic. Fanny was never bitter about the stranger's intervention. She has been blind since she was six months old, but she is of a happy, contented disposition, and refuses to be pitied because of her great affliction. Indeed, when only eight years old she wrote:

O what a happy soul am I!
Although I cannot see,
I am resolved that in this world
Contented I will be;

How many blessings I enjoy
That other people don't!
To weep and sigh because I'm blind,
I cannot, and I won't

Later in life she wrote...

"I have not for a moment in more than eighty-five years felt a spark of resentment against Him, because I have always believed...that the good Lord...by this means consecrated me to the work that I am still permitted to do."

Early in life, she began memorizing the Bible and eventually could repeat, by rote, the entire Pentateuch, all four Gospels, many of the Psalms, all of Proverbs, as well as the entire books of Ruth and Song of Solomon. She stated at the close of her life,

“The Holy Book has nurtured my entire life.”

Fanny wrote...

Blessed Bible, sacred treasure,
Precious book, of all the best,
There is comfo
rt never failing,
And a calm abiding rest.
 

Read with reverence, and commit it,
Verse by verse, and day by day;
'Tis the word that G
od has spoken,
And it cannot pass away.

As a young girl Fanny learned five chapters a week!!! (Let this stimulate you to look at the related topics - Memorizing His Word)

One time a preacher sympathetically remarked,

"I think it is a great pity that the Master did not give you sight when He showered so many other gifts upon you."

She replied quickly,

"Do you know that if at birth I had been able to make one petition, it would have been that I should be born blind?"

"Why?" asked the surprised clergyman.

"Because when I get to heaven, the first face that shall ever gladden my sight will be that of my Savior!"

Fanny truly lived out that which she wrote about as seen so poignantly in this old favorite (note especially the underlined words of this blind poet of God)

Blessed Assurance


Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
O what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.

Perfect submission, perfect delight,
Visions of rapture now burst on my sight;
Angels descending bring from above
Echoes of mercy, whispers of love.

 

Refrain
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior, all the day long;
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior, all the day long.


Perfect submission, all is at rest;

I in my Savior am happy and blest,

Watching and waiting, looking above,

Filled with His goodness, lost in His love.
 (Play hymn)

Lord God please open the eyes of our heart to see Thee with eyes of faith as our Elohim, our Creator, just as Fanny Crosby was enabled to see Thee so clearly. Amen.

Fanny died peacefully in her home in Bridgeport, Connecticut, on February 12, 1915. The crowds at her funeral were a testimony to the wide-spread influence she had for the Lord. The refrain from one of her final hymns beautifully expresses the foremost hope of her life and in so doing greatly glorifies Fanny's Elohim ...

Saved by Grace
(Play hymn)

Some day the silver cord will break,
And I no more as now shall sing,
But, O, the joy when I awake
Within the palace of the King.

Refrain
And I shall see Him face to face,
And tell the story saved by grace.

Some day my earthly house will fall,
I cannot tell how soon 'twill be,
But this I know, my All in All
Has now a place in heaven for me.
Refrain

Some day, when fades the golden sun
Beneath the rosy-tinted West,
My blessed Lord will say, "Well done!"
And I shall enter into rest.
Refrain

Some day— till then I'll watch and wait,
My lamp all trimmed and burning bright,
That when my Saviour opens the gate,
My soul to Him may take its flight.
Refrain

(Click for more on her God glorifying life)

ANNIE JOHNSON FLINT

The life of Annie Johnson Flint, well known Christian poet, is similar to Fanny Crosby in so beautifully illustrating the truths of Elohim as our Creator especially the truths expressed in Isaiah 43:7 and Ephesians 2:10 Annie's sweet songs prove that God's purpose in allowing pain is not to destroy us but to mold us and make us into the image of His Son, for as the apostle Paul testifies...

we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the surpassing greatness of the power may be of God and not from ourselves. (2 Cor 4:7)

Excerpt from a brief biography of her life...

Picture if you can the hopelessness of Annie's position when she finally received the verdict of the doctors of the Clifton Springs Sanitarium, that henceforth she would be a helpless invalid. Her own parents had been taken from her in childhood, and her foster parents both passed away. Her one sister was very frail and struggling to meet her own situation bravely. Annie was in a condition where she was compelled to be dependent upon the care of others who could not afford to minister to her except as compensated by her. In after years she always stated that her poems were born of the need of others and not from her own need; but one knows full well that she never could have written as she did for the comfort and help of thousands of others if she had not had the background of facing those very crises in her own life.

With a pen pushed through bent fingers and held by swollen joints she wrote first without any thought that it might be an avenue of ministry, or that it would bring her returns that might help in her support. Her verses provided a solace for her in the long hours of suffering. Then she began making hand-lettered cards and gift books, and decorated some of her own verses. (Note)

Annie might have taken the approach of being bitter toward God because of the lot He had allowed her in life, but read her poem about her Elohim, a poem which gives glory to her Creator...

The Creator

God takes the scent of the softening ground
Where the first green blade pricks through,
He takes the reddening maple bough
A slant against the blue,

He takes the cheer of the robin's song
And the flash of the blue-bird's wing
The joy of prisoners set free,
And of these He makes the Spring.

God takes the sheen of the waving wheat
Where the slow cloud-shadows pass,
He takes the brook's soft rippling tune
And the daisied meadow's grass,

He takes the swish of the mower's scythe
In the noontide's hot, white glare,
The joy of labor and growing things,
And makes the Summer fair.

God takes the sound of the dropping nuts,
And the scent of the wine-sweet air
In the twilight time of the year's long day,
When the spent Earth kneels in prayer

He takes a thousand varied hues
Aglow in an opal haze,
The joy of the harvest gathered in,
And makes the Autumn days.

God takes the peace of the snowy fields,
Asleep 'neath the clear, cold moon,
He takes the grace of the leafless trees

That sway to the wind's wild tune,

The frost-made lace on the window pane,
The whirl of the starry flakes,
The joy of rest when the toil is done,
And the quiet Winter makes.

God takes the years - the old, the new,
With their changing scenes and brief
The close-shut bud and the fruiting bough,
Flower and fading leaf,

Grace and glory and lack and loss,
The song, the sigh, the strife
The joy of hope and the hope fulfilled,
And makes of the years a life

God takes our lives and the sum of them,
His will and the will of man
Evil and good and dream and deed,
His purpose and our plan

The thwarted lives and the crippled lives
And the things that give them worth
The joy of life and the pain of life,
And He makes the Heavens and Earth.

(Click for more of Ms. Johnson's poems)


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