He Is Ransom

From the writing of Psalm 55

He ransoms me and keeps me safe

    from the battle waged against me,

    though many still oppose me.


God, who has ruled forever,

    will hear me and humble them. Interlude

For my enemies refuse to change their ways;

    they do not fear God.

He which is enemies who dwell over me from the battle which is waged against the inner and outer being of who I am in spirit and in physical bodies through men and God still have oppositions against the Father and the good of men which includes in me

God, who has ruled authorities over nations and worldwide forever,

    will hear me in his works he has shown many and performed though his servants and humble them. Interlude

For my enemies refuse to change their ways;

    they do not fear God. The draw pleasure in the wrongs they do in being servants of the world and unruly sin not in a faith walk with God living a godly rule

What Does Psalm 55:6 Mean? ►

I said, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest.

Psalm 55:6(NASB)

Verse Thoughts

David is the author of Psalm 55, and he bemoans the shocking fact that his own familiar friend, whom he loved and trusted, betrayed him. A trusted companion, with whom David had enjoyed hours of sweet fellowship turned on him and was unimaginably disloyal. David and his bosom companion had spent much time together, in one another’s company. They had communed together, fellowshiped together, and walked together in the house of God. No wonder David’s heart was in such anguish.

It was not simply a difference of opinion that cause these two friends to go their separate ways. It was not life’s circumstances that had caused them to be detached from the close bond that had anchored them together in spirit. This was not a parting of the ways, due to the ebb and flow of life, that so often happens when circumstances dictate that two kindred spirits are separated from one another. 

This was a deliberate, premeditated betrayal of a trusted friend, that caused David to cry out, “My heart is in anguish within me. The terrors of death have fallen upon me. Fear and trembling has come upon me. Horror has overwhelmed me.” It is no surprise that David cried out in great dismay and deep distress, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest.”

This man of God longed that he could escape the terrible situation and distressing betrayal of his beloved friend. So shocking was this soul-mate’s disloyalty that David would have fled to the desert to find solace. I wonder if David’s thoughts travelled back to the wilderness wanderings of the children of Israel, when God provided the comfort and strength his forefathers needed, as they trudged around the desert for 40 years.

I wonder if his thoughts travelled back to the ark of Noah, after the grueling experience of the flood, when a little dove was released through the window of the ark and was the only bird that brought comfort and hope back to Noah and his family, as they waited for the waters of judgement to subside. Perhaps David’s mind retreated to the sacrificial offering of two turtledoves that Israel was commanded to perform, on certain high days and holy days. 

I wonder if David considered the dove as a symbol of peace, as he reflected on the Spirit of God, Who brooded over the dark waters, in the beginning, and brought order out of chaos… as God spoke the world into being and sustained His creation by the might of His power. I wonder if David had an understanding that the dove would become the most familiar symbol of God’s sustaining power, grace, and comfort in the body of Christ.. or if at that moment he simply saw a little dove, fluttering into his courtyard.

I wonder if David knew that the Psalm that he was writing was Messianic. I wonder if he knew it was a signpost that points us to Jesus, and His familiar friend and beloved disciple – Judas Iscariot, who would betray the Lord of Glory for thirty pieces of silver. I wonder if David knew that the Psalm he was writing in his deep distress would be a peculiar pointer to great David’s greater Son – God’s Anointed Saviour, Who would be despised and rejected of men – a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief – so that the fallen race of man could be redeemed by faith.

David wanted to run away from the dire circumstances that caused such deep despair. He wanted to flee far from the person who had caused him such anguish of heart. He wanted the horrors of life that surrounded him, at that time, to be removed far away… but David had to learn that you can’t run away from the circumstances of life, you can’t escape from those that would do you harm, you can’t live in this world and be free from trials and tribulations, you can’t fly away to a deserted place and be at rest, for we live in a fallen world, we inhabit a fallen body and we live among a fallen race of fallen creatures.

No! The only place to run is into the arms of Jesus. The only escape is to be positioned in Christ, by faith, and empowered by His Holy Spirit. The only way to be at rest is to abide in Christ and to have Him abiding in us, every moment of the day – as we walk in spirit and truth, as we trust in the Lord with all our heart, as we keep self nailed to the cross, and as we die to self and live for Him.

Source: https://dailyverse.knowing-jesus.com/psalm-55-6

For turning to the deform world to the vision of God is like turning to a pastor and saying do you know God? Knowing that a Pastor needs a specific calling and guide and guidance. To be trained with the knowledge to speak brave in the word of God you can not just claim to be a pastor or healer it needs proof of the assessment and assignment that was given

Then once you have provided your case and showed your proof against you to state your case your claim and your theory without any of that you have no validation of theory, and case or even your own story you’re trying to share with other in point run to the father and claim his gift of love In who he is in all he does and in his walk in faith beside God in honor of God and respect of love he showed by sending us his son to that of the cross



John 16:33 (New International Version)

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“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

“I’ve told you all this so that trusting me, you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace. In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I’ve conquered the world.” (John 16:33, MSG).

I have made known to you these things so that in me you will have peace and happiness. For I bring serenity and security. For in the world of the world there will always be troubles and trials. But May you take heart and make known that I have overcome the world of trouble and obstacles

[Jesus said,] “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.

John 16:33

Related Topics: Jesus, Peace, Heart, Triumph, Victory, Adversity, Assurance, Troubles, All Topics…

Thoughts on Today’s Verse…

This world is a place of struggle. Yes, we can live above the struggle for awhile. We can find a way to simply ignore or re-label the struggle for a time. But in the end, the struggle will find us. But in the midst of struggle, we can remind ourselves that our victory is secure. Jesus has won! We will share in his great triumph. In case you didn’t know, the final outcome is already determined and Christians “win big” through Jesus. And this victory is a forever win!

My Prayer…

Thank you, God, for giving me the victory through Jesus Christ my Lord. I greet the future with anticipation because I know each day brings me closer to you and the glorious future you have planned for all of your children. Until then, I pray that I may never lose sight of that victory and yearn for the day of its arrival! In the name of Jesus, the triumphant Rider on the white horse, I pray. Amen.

The Thoughts and Prayer on Today’s Verse are written by Phil Ware. You can email questions or comments to phil@verseoftheday.com.


What did Jesus mean when He said, “I have overcome the world,” in John 16:33?


As Jesus prepared to depart this world, He knew that difficult days lay ahead for His disciples. He wanted them to be ready for the most challenging times they would ever face. Jesus explained how they could endure through the troubles of this life: “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world” (John 16:33, NLT).

Amid the storms of life in a dark and fallen world, inner peace is only possible through a relationship with Jesus Christ. The disciples could not depend on themselves to survive the trials and persecution they would soon endure. Instead, they would have to rely entirely on Jesus and everything He had taught them while living and ministering with them.

Fearing for their lives, the disciples would abandon Jesus at the cross (Matthew 26:56). They would be scattered (Mark 14:50; Acts 8:1), arrested (Acts 5:17–21), thrown out of synagogues (John 16:2; Acts 13:14–52), and martyred for their faith in Jesus (Acts 7:54–8:3), but they would not go astray because they would remember the Lord’s words: “Take courage! I have overcome the world” (NASB).

The Greek word translated “overcome” means “to defeat, to win a victory over, as in a contest or military conflict.” The “world” is the created physical realm, the domain of existence here on earth, which is considered distinct from the heavenly or spiritual realm. Jesus knows that here on earth we encounter trouble and sorrow. But He has overcome the world and every earthly obstacle for us.

What has Jesus overcome for us in the world?

Anxieties and cares: Christ’s victory over the world is multifaceted. First, He gives His followers peace to overcome their troubled hearts: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27). Those who believe in Jesus Christ don’t have to live with anxious hearts but can experience the gift of His otherworldly peace (John 14:1). We do this by bringing every situation to Him in prayer, depending wholly on Him to meet our needs (Philippians 4:6). The Lord’s peace transcends all the confusion, fear, and anxiety of this world like a shield set over our minds and hearts as we live secure in Jesus Christ (Philippians 4:7).

Hatred and persecution: It’s important to remember that Christ’s victory over the world does not physically remove us from the battle. We will face the same hatred Jesus did: “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also” (John 15:18–20). We overcome the world because we belong to God. His Spirit lives in us and “is greater than the one who is in the world” (1 John 4:4).

Paul asked the Romans, “Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death?” (Romans 8:35, NLT). He answers his own question with a resounding, “No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us” (Romans 8:37, NLT).

Sin and temptation: Temptation to sin will always be a part of our lives in this world, but Christ gives us victory over sin. Before salvation, the Bible says we lived like we were dead in disobedience and sin “just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil—the commander of the powers in the unseen world. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God” (Ephesians 2:1–2, NLT). We used to follow only the passions and inclinations of our sinful nature (Ephesians 2:3). “But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. . . . For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:4–6, NLT).

Spiritual forces: Jesus not only paid the penalty for our sin, but He also won a pivotal victory over Satan and all the supernatural powers of evil who are aligned with him (Colossians 2:15; Hebrews 2:14). The devil has been defeated through Jesus Christ. As believers, we appropriate Christ’s victory when we put on the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6:10–18).

Sorrow and death: Death is an inevitable reality for all people, but for believers in Jesus Christ, death means victory over our last enemy (1 Corinthians 15:26–27). Through His atoning sacrifice on the cross and subsequent resurrection, Jesus overcame the world by conquering death. He shares that victory with all who repent and believe in Him as Lord and Savior: “For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith. And who can win this battle against the world? Only those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God” (1 John 5:4–5, NLT). Christ’s death grants salvation and eternal life to all who believe in Him.

Jesus told Martha after the death of her brother Lazarus, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me, even if he dies, will live. Everyone who lives and believes in me will never die” (John 11:25–26, CSB).

Christ grants that we overcome the world in Him, and He gives us the right to sit with Him on His heavenly throne at the right hand of God the Father (Revelation 3:21; Hebrews 10:12; Romans 8:34). There, in our eternal home in God’s kingdom, we will live forever in the Lord’s presence: “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever” (Revelation 21:3–4, NLT).


John: Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament by Edward W. Klink III

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On what basis can believers be of good cheer (John 16:33)?

What does it mean to let not your heart be troubled in John 14:1?

Is it really possible for Christians to do greater works than Jesus?

If Jesus was God, how could He pray to God? Was Jesus praying to Himself?

If Jesus was God, why did He not know when He would return?

What does John 16:33 mean?

Christ’s words, recorded here, are among the most cherished in the gospel of John. This statement combines teaching, remembrance, warning, and encouragement. Becoming a Christian does not guarantee an easy life. In fact, Jesus has made it clear that following Him can lead to persecution (John 16:1–4). The joy held by born-again believers comes from knowing that Christ has already obtained ultimate victory, and nothing in this world can undo that (Romans 8:38–39). That Christ made it clear, in advance, that hard times will come (John 15:20–21) should reassure believers: these situations do not take God by surprise.

Several times during the Last Supper, Jesus has pointed out that He is deliberately giving advance warning (John 13:19; 14:25; 16:4). His explicit purpose for this is encouragement; rather than reacting in fear or confusion, Christians should be aware that those experiences are part of God’s greater plan. The book of Hebrews, especially chapter 11, celebrates heroes of the faith who chose to “hold fast” and trust in God. That trust, Scripture shows, was well-placed, even if fulfillment of God’s promises didn’t come until after those believers had passed into eternity.

The “peace” Jesus speaks of is not worldly comfort, or even happiness. This is the confident “rest” (Matthew 11:28–30) believers experience when they set aside anxiety (Matthew 6:25–34), and trust God to work out His will.

As is common in both ancient literature and biblical prophecy, Jesus speaks of something guaranteed by God as if it has already happened. Prior to this Last Supper (John 13:1–5), Christ overcame the temptations of a human life (Hebrews 4:15) and the direct lures of Satan (Matthew 4:1–11). The greater victory, however, will come after His arrest (John 18:1–3) and crucifixion (John 19:18), when He is raised from the dead (John 20:19).

This final statement of confidence leads into one of the holiest portions of the Bible: Christ’s High Priestly Prayer in chapter 17.

Context Summary

John 16:25–33 completes Christ’s combination of encouragement and warning as He prepares the disciples for His impending arrest (John 18:1–3). This passage summarizes the general message of that discourse: that hardship and persecution will come, but believers should remain faithful, knowing this is all part of God’s knowledge and His will. Rather than reacting in panic or doubt, followers of Christ should feel a sense of peace. This confidence is inspired by knowledge that nothing they experience catches God by surprise. The expression “take heart” implies courage: knowing Christ’s victory overshadows all those troubles.

Chapter Summary

Throughout His teaching in the Last Supper (John 13:1–5), Jesus has often brought up the fact that He’s giving His followers advance warnings (John 13:19; 14:25). His intent is to provide encouragement—persecution as a result of their faith is inevitable. In keeping with that reassurance, Jesus again promises the coming of the Holy Spirit. He explains that after a time of deep sorrow, His followers will experience great joy and clarity. This concludes with a beloved promise that Christ has “overcome the world.”

Why Does Jesus Promise ‘In This World You Will Have Trouble’ in John 16:33?

Aaron Berry

Crosswalk.com Contributing Writer

• 2019
10 Dec

There isn’t a human being alive on this planet who isn’t acquainted with troubles. Times of difficulty arrive unexpectedly, often remain indefinitely, and the sorrowful memories they produce take deep root in the mind. It is no wonder, then, why Jesus’s promise in John 16:33 also takes deep root in the minds and hearts of so many Christians: “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” 

This comforting verse is found within a larger section in the Gospel of John. Chapters 13-17 make up what theologians refer to as the Farewell Discourse. These are Jesus’s final words of reassurance, comfort, and encouragement to his disciples in the upper room before his betrayal, arrest, and crucifixion. 

In chapter 16, he speaks to them of his impending death and departure, as well as their desertion. In John 16:32, Jesus tells them, “A time is coming and in fact has come when you will be scattered, each to your own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me.” 

Certainly, this must have been disconcerting for the disciples to hear, which is why Jesus immediately followed up with his comforting words in John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble, but take heart! I have overcome the world.” 

In this verse, we see two certain realities: 1) the followers of Jesus will suffer great distress, and 2) Jesus has already won the victory. He didn’t want his disciples to be under the delusion that their future ministry would be full of ease and comfort, and he doesn’t want us to think that either. 

Following Christ is difficult and there will be opposition. Yet, the reality of Christ’s victory over sin and death via his own death and resurrection provides peace and courage in the midst of that opposition. 

In Which Bible Version Does Jesus Say ‘Take Heart, I Have Overcome the World?’

The specific phrase, “Take Heart, I Have Overcome the World,” is found in both the New International Version and the English Standard Version. Other English versions render it slightly differently. “Take Heart” (Greek: tharseite) can also be rendered as “take courage” (NASB) or “be courageous” (CSB). The classic rendering of the KJV is “be of good cheer.” The word “overcome” (Greek: nenikeika) could also be translated “conquered” (CSB, NRSV). 

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Jesus’s claim of victory over the world is in reference to his death, burial, and resurrection. Earlier, in John 12:31, Jesus stated that his crucifixion would conquer and cast out the “ruler of this world.” Elsewhere, Hebrews 2:14-15 says that Jesus came to earth “so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil—and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.” 

The finished work of Christ removes the teeth from suffering. By entering into our world and suffering alongside of us, Jesus offers certain hope that transcends the temporal sorrow and suffering this world throws at his followers. 

Therefore, we are not called to overcome the world ourselves because Jesus already did. He provides his children with a certain future — a “living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” and “an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade” (2 Peter 1:3-4). It is because of this reality that we can “take heart” and “be of good courage.”  

Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/BartekSzewczyk

How Are Christians Invited to Live in Light of John 16:33?

The certainty of trouble applies, not only to Jesus’s disciples, but to all who follow him. The Apostle Paul stated bluntly in 2 Timothy 3:12, “Everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” Anyone who claims that believing in Jesus brings financial prosperity, physical health, and perfect relationships hasn’t read his Bible. Life is tough and the Christian life is often tougher. The Bible, far from dodging this fact, acknowledges it and embraces it. Jesus himself guaranteed it. And instead of promising to eliminate trouble from our lives, Jesus instead promises to give peace and comfort in the midst of trouble. 

An appropriate way to respond to Jesus’s words in John 16:33 is to ask, “What do I hope in?” 

Proverbs 13:12 says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.” Could it be that troubles and trials make our heart sick because we are placing our hope in that which does not satisfy—a job, a relationship, a position? Christ calls us, not to place our hope in temporal, uncertain things, but in his eternal victory over sin and death on the cross of Calvary. As one commentator states, “It is the victory of God that the Christian celebrates, knowing that all enemies (past, present, and future) have already been defeated, even death itself” [1]

This is why Jesus exhorts us to “store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (Matt. 6:20-21)

If your treasure and your hope is not in Christ, than his encouragement to “take heart” in John 16:33 will mean little to you. But if your hope is in Christ, then rest assured that no trouble or trial in this life will take that hope away from you. 

What Are the Two Principle Lessons of John 16:33?

As we have seen, the two lessons from John 16:33 are: 1) Count on trouble and, 2) take courage in Christ’s victory. In many ways, this is the essence of the Christian life. We should never be shocked or surprised when trials come our way. As the Apostle Peter says, “Don’t be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.” (1 Peter 4:12

It’s also important to know that true and lasting courage must be based in an assurance, not in ourselves, but in Christ. Whenever Jesus uttered the phrase, “Take heart” or “be of good courage,” he always backed it up with an assurance regarding his own work. [2] 

Therefore, we are called to take heart, not in our own abilities or will power, but in the finished work of Jesus. 

Are There More Bible Verses about Overcoming Trouble?

Scripture is filled with assurances of peace amidst trials and the courage to persist through them. Consider these other passages: 

James 1:2-12

1 Corinthians 10:13

Romans 5:1-5

Romans 8:31-39

Hebrews 12:3-13

A Prayer to ‘Take Heart’ in the Midst of Your Troubles

Dear Father, 

Thank you for offering peace and courage in the midst of trials. The troubles I’m facing did not catch you by surprise, neither are they outside of your control. Help me to take heart in the midst of my trouble by remembering your finished work. You have defeated the ultimate enemy, and even though this trial is painful, I know that it will not separate me from your love. In fact, you promise to strengthen me through it. 

 Thank you for loving me so much that you sent your Son to enter into human suffering and conquer death forever. You are a good and faithful God, and I praise you for giving me incorruptible, unfading inheritance. 

 Help me to place my hope, not in the things of this world, but in you and you alone. 

 In Jesus’s name, Amen. 

Take Heart, Christian—Jesus Has Already Won the Ultimate Victory

If you’re facing trials right now, you can have joy while your tears flow. You can rejoice in the midst of pain. You can be courageous even when your strength fails. Because your Savior, Jesus Christ, took on your sorrow, pain, and weakness. Most importantly, he took your sin and nailed it to his cross. Now, even your darkest struggle is part of his good plan to draw you closer to him. This trial can’t remove you from his love. 

[1] Klink, Edward, John in Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. Edited by Clinton Arnold. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2016. 704. 
[2] Grundmann, “tharasso,” in TDNT, Vol. III. Edited by Gerhard Kittel. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans. 26. 

Aaron Berry is a co-author for the Pursuing the Pursuer Blog. You can read more articles from Aaron and his colleagues by subscribing to their blog or following them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Aaron currently resides in Allen Park, MI with his wife and daughter, where he serves in his local church and recently completed an MDiv degree at Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary.

Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/Digitalskillet

Do Not Let Your Hearts Be Troubled Be Steadfast


John 14:1-3 (New Living Translation)

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“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am

Don’t fear or let your moods be unsettled do not bring troubles upon yourselves. Put trust and faith in God and believe what I say for so you also trust me. My father knew before anyone and accepts everyone there is plenty of room in my father’s home that he may accept you shall you not be overwhelmed by the world but to be accepted in no difference of color, religion, ethnicity for he accepts all accepting everyone as you are. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am for eternity.

I Go to Prepare a Place for You – John 14:1-3

JOHN 14:1-3

Jesus’ Parting Words to His Disciples

“Do not let your hearts be distressed. You believe in God; believe also in me. There are many dwelling places in my Father’s house. Otherwise, I would have told you. I am going away to make ready a place for you. And if I go and make ready a place for you, I will come again and take you to be with me, so that where I am you may be too.

The three verses we have now read are rich in precious truth. For eighteen centuries they have been peculiarly dear to Christ’s believing servants in every part of the world. Many are the sick rooms which they have lightened! Many are the dying hearts which they have cheered! Let us see what they contain.

We have, first, in this passage a precious remedy against an old disease. That disease is trouble of heart. That remedy is faith.

Heart-trouble is the commonest thing in the world. No rank, or class, or condition is exempt from it. No bars, or bolts, or locks can keep it out. Partly from inward causes and partly from outward causes–partly from the body and partly from the mind–partly from what we love and partly from what we fear, the journey of life is full of trouble. Even the best of Christians have many bitter cups to drink between grace and glory. Even the holiest saints find the world a valley of tears.

Faith in the Lord Jesus is the only sure medicine for troubled hearts. To believe more thoroughly, trust more entirely, rest more unreservedly, lay hold more firmly, lean back more completely–this is the prescription which our Master urges on the attention of all His disciples. No doubt the members of that little band which sat round the table at the last supper, had believed already. They had proved the reality of their faith by giving up everything for Christ’s sake. Yet what does their Lord say to them here? Once more He presses on them the old lesson, the lesson with which they first began–“Believe! Believe more! Believe on Me!” (Isaiah. 26:3.)

Never let us forget that there are degrees in faith, and that there is a wide difference between weak and strong believers. The weakest faith is enough to give a man a saving interest in Christ, and ought not to be despised, but it will not give a man such inward comfort as a strong faith. Vagueness and dimness of perception are the defect of weak believers. They do not see clearly what they believe and why they believe. In such cases more faith is the one thing needed. Like Peter on the water, they need to look more steadily at Jesus, and less at the waves and wind. Is it not written, “You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You”? (Isaiah. 26:3.)

We have, secondly, in this passage a very comfortable account of heaven, or the future abode of saints. It is but little that we understand about heaven while we are here in the body, and that little is generally taught us in the Bible by negatives much more than positives. But here, at any rate, there are some plain things.

Heaven is “a Father’s house,”–the house of that God of whom Jesus says, “I go to my Father, and your Father.” It is, in a word, HOME–the home of Christ and Christians. This is a sweet and touching expression. Home, as we all know, is the place where we are generally loved for our own sakes, and not for our gifts or possessions; the place where we are loved to the end, never forgotten, and always welcome. This is one idea of heaven. Believers are in a strange land, and at school, in this life. In the life to come they will be at home.

Heaven is a place of “MANSIONS”–of lasting, permanent, and eternal dwellings. Here in the body we are in temporary lodgings, tents, and tabernacles, and must submit to many changes. In heaven we shall be settled at last, and go out no more. “Here we have no continuing city.” (Heb. 13:14.) Our house not made with hands shall never be taken down.

Heaven is a place of “MANY mansions.” There will be room for all believers and room for all sorts, for little saints as well as great ones, for the weakest believer as well as for the strongest. The feeblest child of God need not fear there will be no place for him. None will be shut out but impenitent sinners and obstinate unbelievers.

Heaven is a place where CHRIST HIMSELF SHALL BE PRESENT. He will not be content to dwell without His people–“Where I am, there you shall be also.” We need not think that we shall be alone and neglected. Our Savior–our elder Brother–our Redeemer, who loved us and gave Himself for us, shall be in the midst of us forever. What we shall see, and whom we shall see in heaven, we cannot fully conceive yet, while we are in the body. But one thing is certain–we shall see Christ.

Let these things sink down into our minds. To the worldly and careless they may seem nothing at all. To all who feel in themselves the working of the Spirit of God they are full of unspeakable comfort. If we hope to be in heaven it is pleasant to know what heaven is like.

We have, lastly, in this passage a solid ground for expecting good things to come.The evil heart of unbelief within us is apt to rob us of our comfort about heaven. “We wish we could think it was all true.” “We fear we shall never be admitted into heaven.” Let us hear what Jesus says to encourage us.

One cheering word is this–“I go to PREPARE a place for you.” Heaven is a prepared place for a prepared people–a place which we shall find Christ Himself has made ready for true Christians. He has prepared it by procuring a right for every sinner who believes to enter in. None can stop us, and say we have no business there. He has prepared it by going before us as our Head and Representative, and taking possession of it for all the members of His mystical body. As our Forerunner He has marched in, leading captivity captive, and has planted His banner in the land of glory. He has prepared it by carrying our names with Him as our High Priest into the holy of holies, and making angels ready to receive us. Those who enter heaven will find they are neither unknown nor unexpected.

Another cheering word is this–“I will come again and receive you unto myself.” Christ will not wait for believers to come up to Him, but will come down to them, to raise them from their graves and escort them to their heavenly home. As Joseph came to meet Jacob, so will Jesus come to call His people together and guide them to their inheritance. The second advent ought never to be forgotten. Great is the blessedness of looking back to Christ coming the first time to suffer for us, but no less great is the comfort of looking forward to Christ coming the second time, to raise and reward His saints.

Let us leave the whole passage with solemnized feelings and serious self-examination. How much they miss who live in a dying world and yet know nothing of God as their Father and Christ as their Savior! How much they possess who live the life of faith in the Son of God, and believe in Jesus! With all their weaknesses and crosses they have that which the world can neither give nor take away. They have a true Friend while they live, and a true home when they die.

Technical Notes:

1.   Let not your heart be troubled; ye believe in God, believe also in me. 2. In my father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

1.–[Let not…troubled.] We must carefully remember that there is no break between the end of the 13th and beginning of the 14th chapters. Our Lord is continuing the discourse He began after the Lord’s Supper and the departure of Judas, in the presence of the eleven faithful disciples. A slight pause there certainly seems to be, since He turns from Peter (to whom He had been speaking individually) to the whole body of the Apostles and addresses them collectively. But the place, the time, and the audience are all one.

Our Lord’s great object throughout this and the two following chapters seems clear and plain. He desired to comfort, establish, and build up His downcast disciples. He saw their “hearts were troubled” from a variety of causes—partly by seeing their Master “troubled in Spirit” (13:21), partly by hearing that one of them should betray Him, partly by the mysterious departure of Judas, partly by their Master’s announcement that He should only be a little time longer with them and that at last they could not come with Him, and partly by the warning addressed to Peter that he would deny His Master three times. For all these reasons this little company of weak believers was disquieted and cast down and anxious. Their gracious Master saw it and proceeded to give them encouragement: “Let not your heart be troubled.” It will be noted that He uses the singular number “your heart,” not “your hearts.” He means “the heart of any one of you.” Hengstenberg gives the following list of the grounds of comfort which the chapter contains, in systematic order, which well deserves attention.

(a) The first encouragement is: to the disciples of Christ heaven is sure (v.2,3).

(b) The second encouragement is: disciples in Christ have a certain way to heaven (v.4-11).

(c) The third encouragement is: disciples need not fear that with the departure of Christ His work will cease (v.12-14).

(d) The fourth encouragement is: in the absence of Christ disciples will have the help of the Spirit (v.15-17).

(e) The fifth encouragement is: Christ will not leave His people forever, but will come back again (v.18-24).

(f) The sixth encouragement is: the Spirit will teach the disciples and supply their lack of understanding when left alone (v.25,26). 

(g) Finally, the seventh encouragement is: the legacy of peace will be left to cheer them in their Master’s absence (v.27). These seven points are well worthy the attention of all believers in every age and are as useful now as when first pressed on the eleven.

Lightfoot thinks one principal cause of the disciples’ trouble was their disappointment at seeing their Jewish expectations of a temporal kingdom under a temporal Messiah failing and coming to an end. 

[Ye believe in God, believe also in me.] The Gospel words rendered “Ye believe” and “believe” in this place admit of being differently translated, and it is impossible to say certainly whether our English version is right.  Some, as Luther, think both words should be indicative: “ye believe and ye believe.” Some think both should be imperative: “believe and believe.” My own opinion is decided that the English version is right. It seems to me to express exactly the state of mind in which the disciples were. They did, as pious Jews, believe in God already. They needed, as young Christians, to be taught to believe more thoroughly in Christ.  Among those who think that both verbs are imperative are Cyril, Augustine, Lampe, Stier, Hengstenberg, and Alford. Among those who adhere to our English version and make the first “believe” indicative and the second imperative, are Erasmus, Beza, Grotius, and Olshausen.  Let us note that faith, and specially more strong and distinct faith in Christ, is the truest remedy for trouble of heart. But we must never forget that true faith admits of growth and degrees. There is a wide gulf between little and great faith.

Ferus remarks that our Lord does not say “Believe my divinity,” but “Believe personally in Me.” Toletus observes that our Lord here teaches that Jewish faith was somewhat distinct from Christian faith. The Jew, not seeing clearly the Trinity, dwelt chiefly on the unity of God. The Christian was intended to see three Persons in the Godhead.

Wordsworth remarks that the verb “to believe” followed by a preposition and an accusative, is never applied to any but God in the New Testament. 

2.–[In my Father’s house.] This phrase can bear only one meaning. It is my Father’s house in Heaven—an expression accomodated to our weakness.  God needs no literal house with walls and roof, as we do. But where He dwells is called His house. (See Deut. 26:15, Ps. 33:14, 2 Chr. 38:27, 2 Cor. 5:1.) There is something very touching and comforting in the thought that the heaven we go to is “our Father’s house.” It is home. 

[Are many mansions.] The word rendered “mansions” means literally “abiding-places.” It is only used here, and in the 23rd verse of this chapter, “abode.” We need not doubt that there is an intentional contrast between the unchanging, unvarying house in heaven and the changing, uncertain dwellings of this world. Here we are ever moving; there we shall no more go out. (See also Heb. 13:14.)

Our Lord’s intention seems to be to comfort His disciples by the thought that nothing could cast them out of the heavenly house. They might be left alone by Him on earth; they might be even cast out of the Jewish Church and find no resting place or refuge on earth. But there would be always room enough for them in heaven and a house from which they would never be expelled. “Fear not. There is room enough in heaven.” Chrysostom, Augustine, and several other ancient writers think the “many mansions” mean the degrees of glory. But the argument in favor of the idea does not appear to me satisfactory. Bishop Bull, Wordsworth, and some few modern writers take the same view. That there are degrees of glory in heaven is undoubtedly true, but I do not think it is the truth of this text.

The modern idea that our Lord meant that heaven was a place for all sorts of creeds and religions seems utterly unwarranted by the text. From the whole context He is evidently speaking for the special comfort of Christians.

Lightfoot’s idea, that our Lord meant to teach the passing away of the Jewish economy and the admission of all nations into heaven by faith in Christ, seems fanciful.

[If it were not so…you.] This is a gracious way of assuring the disciples that they might have confidence that what their Lord said was true. It is the tender manner of a parent speaking to a child. “Do not be afraid because I am leaving you. There is plenty of room for you in heaven. You will get there safe at last. If there was the least uncertainty about it, I would tell you.” We may remember that our Lord called the Apostles “little children” only a few minutes before (John 13:33).

[I go to prepare a place for you.] This sentence is meant to be another ground of comfort. One of the reasons why our Lord went away, He says, was to get ready a dwelling place for His disciples. It is like the expression in Hebrews, “the forerunner.” (Heb. 6:20; see also Num. 10:33.) The manner in which Christ prepares a place for His people is mysterious and yet not inexplicable. He enters heaven as their High Priest, presenting the merit of his sacrifice for their sins. He removes all barriers that sin made between them and God. He appears as their proxy and representative and claims a right of entry for all His believing members.  He intercedes continually for them at God’s right hand and makes them always acceptable in Himself, though unworthy in themselves. He bears their names mystically, as the High Priest, on His breast and introduces them to the court of heaven before they get there.  That heaven is a prepared place for a prepared people is a very cheering and animating thought. When we arrive there we shall not be in a strange land. We shall find we have been known and thought of before we got there.

3.–[And if I go…receive you to myself.] These words contain another strong consolation. Our Lord tells the disciples that if He does go away, they must not think it is forever. He means to come again and take them all home and gather them round Him in one united family, to part no more.  Poole remarks: “The particle ‘if’ in this place denotes no uncertainty of the thing but has the force of ‘although’ or ‘after that.’” (See also Col.  3:1.)

Many think, as Stier, that the “coming again” here spoken of means Christ’s coming to His disciples after His resurrection, or Christ’s coming spiritually to His people in comfort and help even now, or Christ’s coming to remove them at last by death. I cannot think so. I believe that, as a rule, when Christ speaks of coming again both here and elsewhere, He means His own personal second advent at the end of the dispensation. The Greek word rendered “I will come” is in the present tense and the same that is used in Rev. 22:20: “I come quickly.” The first and second advents are the two great events to which the minds of all Christians should be directed.  This is Cyril’s view of the passage and Bishop Hall’s.  [That where I am, there ye may be also.] Here is one more comfort. The final end of Christ’s going away and coming again is that at last His disciples may be once more with Him and enjoy His company forever. “We part; but we shall meet again and part no more.” Let us note that one of the simplest, plainest ideas of heaven is here. It is being “ever with the Lord.” Whatever else we see or do not see in heaven, we shall see Christ. Whatever kind of a place, it is a place where Christ is. (Phil. 1:23, 1 Thess. 4:17.)

From Expository Thoughts on the Gospels (eBook) by J. C. Ryle


Videos for John 14:

John 14:1-14 – Prepared for Departure

John 14:15-31 – Prepared for the Spirit

A. Calming troubled hearts with trust and hope in Jesus.

1. (1) A command to calm the troubled heart.

“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.”

a. Let not your heart be troubled: The disciples had reason to be troubled. Jesus had just told them that one of them was a traitor, that all of them would deny Him, and that He would leave them that night. All of this would legitimately trouble the disciples, yet Jesus told them, let not your heart be troubled.

i. Jesus never wanted us to have life without trouble, but He promised that we could have an untroubled heart even in a troubled life.

ii. This was in some sense a command. “The form of the imperative me tarassestho implies that they should ‘stop being troubled.’ ‘Set your heart at ease’ would be a good translation.” (Tenney)

iii. Jesus didn’t say, “I’m happy you men are troubled and filled with doubts. You’re doubts are wonderful.” “He takes no delight in the doubt and disquietude of his people. When he saw that because of what he had said to them sorrow had filled the hearts of his apostles, he pleaded with them in great love, and besought them to be comforted.” (Spurgeon)

iv. “His disciples felt His departure like a torture. And it was then that He consoled them with such simple and glorious speech that all Christendom is the debtor to their agony.” (Morrison)

b. You believe in God, believe also in Me: Instead of giving in to a troubled heart, Jesus told them to firmly put their trust in God and in Jesus Himself. This was a radical call to trust in Jesus just as one would trust in God the Father, and a radical promise that doing so would bring comfort and peace to a troubled heart.

i. “What signalizes Him, and separates Him from all other religious teachers, is not the clearness or the tenderness with which He reiterated the truths about the Father’s love, or about morality, and justice, and truth, and goodness; but the peculiarity of His call to the world is, ‘Believe in Me.’” (Maclaren)

ii. “One who seems a man asks all men to give Him precisely the same faith and confidence that they give to God.” (Meyer)

iii. There is some debate as how the verb tenses of this verse should be regarded. It is possible that Jesus meant, You must believe in God, you must also believe in Me (imperative) or it is possible that He meant, You do believe in God, you also do believe in Me (indicative). On balance, the best evidence seems to be that Jesus meant this as a command or an instruction to the disciples.

· “The verb believe both times is imperative.” (Alford)

· “In view of the preceding imperative it is in my judgment best to take both forms as imperative. Jesus is urging His followers to continue to believe in the Father and to continue to believe also in Him.” (Morris)

iv. “Jesus’ solution to perplexity is not a recipe; it is a relationship with him.” (Tenney)

2. (2-4) Reasons for calming the troubled heart: a future reunion in the Father’s house.

“In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.”

a. In My Father’s house are many mansions: Jesus spoke with complete confidence about heaven, here spoken of as His Father’s house. Jesus didn’t wonder about the life beyond this earth; He knew it and told His disciples that there was room for all in heaven (many mansions).

i. “Plato tells of the last hours of Socrates in prison before he drank the poison….Like Christ, Socrates is going to die. Like Christ, his thoughts run on immortality. He discusses it with his friends, who come to visit him; he speculates, he argues, and he wonders. What a perfect and stupendous contrast between that and the attitude of Christ.” (Morrison)

b. Many mansions: In light of the ancient Greek, mansions is better translated “dwelling places.” The noun mone (connected to the verb meno, “stay” or “remain”) means “a place to stay.” In light of God’s nature, it is better to translate it mansions. Whatever dwelling place God has for us in heaven, it will be as glorious as a mansion.

i. There will be many such dwelling places. Jesus could see what the disciples never could – millions upon millions, even billions from every tribe, language, nation in His Father’s house. He may have even smiled when He said, many mansions – many indeed!

ii. “Mansions, monai, came into the AV and RV through the influence of the Vulgate mansions, which can mean ‘stations’ or ‘temporary lodgings’ where travellers may rest at different stages in their journey. In the light of this, many scholars, especially Westcott and Temple, following Origen, assume that the conception of heaven in this passage is that of a state of progress from one stage to another till the final goal is reached. This was not however the interpretation generally given to the word by the ancient Fathers, and by derivation it would seem to denote much more the idea of permanence. It is found once more in the New Testament, in John 14:23, where the permanent dwelling of the Father and the Son in the hearts of loving disciples is stressed.” (Tasker)

c. I go to prepare a place for you: Love prepares a welcome. With love, expectant parents prepare a room for the baby. With love, the hostess prepares for her guests. Jesus prepares a place for His people because He loves them and is confident of their arrival.

i. James Barrie was the man who wrote Peter Pan, among other works. One of his books was about his mother, Margaret Ogilvy, and his growing up in Scotland. His mother endured a lot of misery in life, including the tragic death of one of her sons. According to Morrison, Barrie wrote that his mother’s favorite Bible chapter was John 14. She read it so much that when her Bible was opened and set down, the pages naturally fell open to this place. Barrie said that when she was old and could no longer read these words, she would stoop down to her Bible and kiss the page where the words were printed.

ii. I go speaks of Jesus’ own planning and initiative. He wasn’t taken to the cross; He went there. “They thought that His death was an unforeseen calamity. Christ taught them that it was the path of His own planning.” (Morrison)

d. I will come again to receive you to Myself: Jesus promised to come again for the disciples. This was not only in the sense of His soon resurrection or in the coming of the Holy Spirit. Jesus also had in mind the great gathering together of His people at the end of the age.

i. “They were not to think of Him as having ceased to be when they could not see Him. He had only gone to another abiding-place to prepare for their coming; and moreover, He would come back to receive them.” (Morgan)

ii. “The reference to the second advent should not be missed. It is true that John does not refer to this as often as do most other New Testament writers, but it is not true that it is missing from his pages.” (Morris)

iii. “This was a very precious promise to the early Church, and Paul may well be echoing it when he informs the Thessalonians ‘by the word of the Lord’ that Jesus will descend from heaven and gather believers unto Himself to be with Him for ever (see 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17).” (Tasker)

e. That where I am, there you may be also: The entire focus of heaven is being united with Jesus. Heaven is heaven not because of streets of gold, or pearly gates, or even the presence of angels. Heaven is heaven because Jesus is there.

i. We take comfort in knowing that even as He prepares a place for us, Jesus also prepares us for that place.

3. (5-6) Jesus is the exclusive way to the Father.

Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

a. Lord, we do not know where You are going: Thomas should be praised for honestly and clearly explaining his confusion. He thought Jesus was simply going to another place, as if it were another city.

i. “Though a necessity of human language compels Jesus to speak of ‘going away’ and of ‘a way to the Father’, these terms have no spatial or material significance.” (Tasker)

ii. “Thus we notice how they speak to him with a natural, easy familiarity; and he talks to them in full sympathy with their weakness, teaching them little by little as they are able to learn. They ask just such questions as a boy might ask of his father. Often they show their ignorance, but never do they seem timid in his presence, or ashamed to let him see how shallow and hard of understanding they are.” (Spurgeon)

b. I am the way, the truth, and the life: Jesus didn’t say that He would show us a way; He said that He is the way. He didn’t promise to teach us a truth; He said that He is the truth. Jesus didn’t offer us the secrets to life; He said that He is the life.

· I’m wandering about; I don’t know where I’m going. Jesus is the way.

· I’m confused; I don’t know what to think. Jesus is the truth.

· I’m dead inside and don’t know if I can go on. Jesus is the life.

i. In light of soon events, this declaration was a paradox. Jesus’ way would be the cross; He would be convicted by blatant liars; His body would soon lie lifeless in a tomb. Because He took that way, He is the way to God; because He did not contest the lies we can believe He is the truth; because He was willing to die He becomes the channel of resurrection – the life to us.

ii. “Without the way there is no going; without the truth there is no knowing; without the life there is no living. I am the way which thou must follow; the truth in which thou must believe; the life for which thou must hope.” (a’ Kempis, cited by Bruce)

c. No one comes to the Father except through Me: Jesus made this remarkable statement, claiming that He was the only way to God. In this He set aside the temple and its rituals, as well as other religions. It was a claim to have an exclusive way, truth, and life – the only pathway to God the Father, the true God in heaven.

i. Understood plainly, this was one of the more controversial things Jesus said and the Gospel writers recorded. Many people don’t mind saying that Jesus is one legitimate way to God, but other religions and even individuals have their own legitimate ways to God. Many think it isn’t fair for God to make only one way.

ii. Nevertheless, this is a consistent theme in the Bible. The Ten Commandments begin, I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me (Exodus 20:2-3). Throughout the Old Testament God denounced and mocked the supposed gods others worshipped (Isaiah 41:21-29; 1 Kings 18:19-40). The Bible consistently presents One True God, and Jesus is consistently presented as the only true way to the One True God.

d. No one comes to the Father except through Me: Simply put, if Jesus is not the only way to God, then He is not any way to God. If there are many roads to God, then Jesus is not one of them, because He absolutely claimed there was only one road to God, and He Himself was that road. If Jesus is not the only way to God, then He was not a honest man; He was most certainly not a true prophet. He then would either be a madman or a lying devil. There is no middle ground available.

i. Sometimes people object and say, “I believe Jesus was an honest man, and I believe He was a true prophet. But I don’t actually believe He said those things about Himself in the Gospels. I believe Christians added those things in later on all by themselves.” But there is no objective reason for a person to make a distinction between “Jesus really said this” or “Jesus really didn’t say that.” We have no ancient texts showing us just the supposedly true sayings of Jesus. Any such distinction is based purely on subjective reasons – “I personally don’t think Jesus would have said that, therefore He did not say that – later Christians only put those words in His mouth.”

ii. If it is all up to personal opinion – if we can determine what Jesus said or didn’t say on our own whims – then we should reject the Gospels completely. It really is an all-or-nothing deal. Either we take the words of Jesus as recorded by these historically reliable and accurate documents, or we reject them completely.

iii. But is Christianity bigoted? Certainly, there are some who claim to be Christians who are in fact bigots. But Biblical Christianity is the most pluralistic, tolerant, embracing of other cultures religion on earth. Christianity is the one religion to embrace other cultures, and has the most urgency to translate the Scriptures into other languages. A Christian can keep their native language and culture, and follow Jesus in the midst of it. An early criticism of Christianity was the observation that they would take anybody! Slave or free; rich or poor; man or woman; Greek or Barbarian. All were accepted, but on the common ground of the truth as revealed in Jesus Christ. To leave this common ground in Jesus is spiritual suicide, for both now and eternity.

iv. “If this seems offensively exclusive, let it be borne in mind that the one who makes this claim is the incarnate Word, the revealer of the Father.” (Bruce)

v. The Christian faith will receive anyone who comes through Jesus. Jesus said, through Me: “It is not ‘through believing certain propositions regarding me’ nor ‘through some special kind of faith,’ but ‘through me’.” (Dods)

4. (7-8) Knowing the Father and knowing the Son.

“If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.” Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.”

a. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also: Jesus explained why He was the only way to God; because He was and is the perfect representation of God. To know Jesus is to know God.

b. And from now on you know Him and have seen Him: The disciples certainly had learned and known much about God in their three years of apprenticeship under Jesus. Yet Jesus understood that since they had not yet seen the full revelation of God’s love at the cross and His power at the resurrection, there was a sense in which they would only now know and see God.

c. Lord, show us the Father and it is sufficient: Philip had seen and experienced much in following Jesus, but had not yet seen God the Father with his physical eyes. Perhaps he thought that such an experience would bring life-changing assurance and courage.

5. (9-11) Jesus again explains His unity with and dependence on the Father.

Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves.”

a. Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me: This means that Philip had been close to Jesus yet still did not understand Him. The same is possible and true for many today.

b. He who has seen Me has seen the Father: This gentle rebuke reminded Philip of what Jesus often said; that to know Him was to know God the Father. To see the love of Jesus was to see the love of God the Father; seeing Jesus in action was seeing the Father in action.

i. “It is difficult to interpret it without seeing the Father and the Son as in some sense one. These are words which no mere man has a right to use.” (Morris)

ii. He who has seen Me has seen the Father: “No material image or likeness can adequately depict God. Only a person can give knowledge of him since personality cannot be represented by an impersonal object.” (Tenney) This forever finishes the idea that the Hebrew Scriptures present a cruel God and Jesus showed us a nicer God. Rather, Jesus shows us the same love, compassion, mercy, and goodness that was and is in God the Father. Exodus 34:5-9, among other passages, shows this nature of God the Father in the Old Testament.

iii. He who has seen Me has seen the Father: “Could any creature say these words? Do they not evidently imply that Christ declared himself to his disciples to be the everlasting God?” (Clarke)

c. The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority: Jesus repeated something emphasized in the Gospel of John; that Jesus lived and spoke in constant dependence upon God the Father and did nothing outside His authority and guidance (John 5:19, 8:28).

d. Believe Me… or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves: Jesus presented two solid foundations for our trust in Him. We can believe Jesus simply because of His person and words, or we can also believe Him for the sake of the works that He miraculously did.

i. The Father who dwells in Me does the works: “We are not only one in nature, but one also in operation. The works which I have done bear witness of the infinite perfection of my nature. Such miracles as I have wrought could only be performed by unlimited power.” (Clarke)

ii. Believe Me: “Here Jesus calls on Philip and the others (note the change to the plural) to believe Him, not only to believe in Him. Faith includes a recognition that what Jesus says is true.” (Morris)

iii. “Our Saviour allegeth for himself the Divinity both of his word and works. He was mighty, saith Peter, both in word and deed. Ministers also must, in their measure, be able to argue and approve themselves to be men of God, by sound doctrine and good life.” (Trapp)

B. Three assurances for troubled disciples.

1. (12-14) When Jesus departs to the Father, His work will continue on earth.

“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.”

a. Most assuredly: Jesus began the first of three assurances given to His disciples on the night of His departure. The first assurance answered their fear, “This is the end. The work is over and we all got fired.” They didn’t get fired; they got promoted, and promoted to greater things.

b. He who believes in Me: Jesus just encouraged the disciples to trust in, rely on, and cling to Him in faith, because of who He is, the words He spoke, and the miracles He has done. Now Jesus described the benefit or blessing that comes to this one who believes.

c. The works I do he will do: Jesus expected those who believe in Him to carry on His work in the world. He did not expect the disciples to disband after His departure, but to carry on His work in even greater magnitude (greater works than these he will do).

i. “The ‘greater works’ of which he now spoke to them would still be his own works; accomplished no longer by his visible presence among them but by his Spirit within them.” (Bruce)

d. Greater works than these he will do: Jesus did not mean greater in the sense of more sensational, but greater in magnitude. Jesus would leave behind a victorious, working family of followers who would spread His kingdom to more people and places than Jesus ever did in His life and ministry.

i. This promise seems impossible; yet after Peter’s first sermon there were more converted than are recorded during Jesus’ entire ministry.

ii. “The literal rendering of the word translated by av greater works is ‘greater things’; and probably this should be retained. The works of the apostles after the resurrection were not greater in kind than those of Jesus, but greater in the sphere of their influence.” (Tasker)

iii. “The word ‘works’ does not actually occur. There is no word at that point, so our best translation would be ‘and greater things.’ The point is that Christians will do something greater even than the works of Jesus.” (Boice)

iv. “What Jesus means we may see in the narratives of the Acts. There are a few miracles of healing, but the emphasis is on the mighty works of conversion. On the day of Pentecost alone more believers were added to the little band of believers than throughout Christ’s entire earthly life. There we see a literal fulfillment of ‘greater works than these shall he do.’” (Morris)

v. William Barclay considered the difficulty of taking this to mean that Jesus intended His followers to do more miracles and more impressive miracles than He Himself did: “Though it could be said that the early Church did the things which Jesus did, it certainly could not be said that it did greater things than he did.” (Barclay)

vi. There are some who believe that Jesus meant that individual believers can and should do more spectacular works than Jesus did in the years of His earthly ministry. We earnestly await proof of those who have repeatedly done greater works than walking on water, calming storms with a word, multiplying food for thousands, raising people from the dead (more than the three recorded in Jesus’ work). Even if it were proved that one person after Jesus had done such things, it still does not explain why there are not now or have been thousands of people who have fulfilled this wrong and sometimes dangerous understanding of what Jesus meant when He said, greater works than these he will do.

e. Because I go to My Father: Jesus would soon explain that when He ascended to heaven, He would send the Holy Spirit (John 14:16, 14:26, 15:26, 15:7-9, 15:13). It was because Jesus went to the Father that the Holy Spirit came upon His people, enabling them to do these greater works.

i. “The reason why you shall do these greater works is, on account of the all-powerful Spirit of grace and supplication which My going to the Father shall bring down upon the Church.” (Alford)

f. Whatever you ask in My name, that I will do: Jesus further explained how greater works would be possible for His followers. It would be possible because Jesus would do His work through His prayerful people, who asked and acted in His name. He promised to do anything that His trusting followers asked for in His name; that is, according to His character and authority.

i. In My name is not a magic incantation of prayer; it speaks of both an endorsement (like a bank check) and a limitation (requests must be in accordance with the character of the name). We come to God in Jesus’ name, not in our own.

ii. “The test of any prayer is: Can I make it in the name of Jesus? No man, for instance, could pray for personal revenge, for personal ambition, for some unworthy and unchristian object in the name of Jesus.” (Barclay)

iii. “To ask ‘in His name’ or do anything ‘in His name’ argues a unity of mind with His, a unity of aim and of motive.” (Trench)

g. That the Father may be glorified in the Son: These greater works Jesus promised would bring glory to both the Father and the Son. Prayers prayed with a passion for the glory of Jesus and God the Father will truly be in the name of Jesus and be the kind of prayer God will answer.

2. (15-17) When Jesus departs, He will send the Holy Spirit.

“If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.”

a. If you love Me, keep My commandments: Jesus had just demonstrated His remarkable love to the disciples by washing their feet (John 13:1-5). He told them what their loving response should be; to keep His commandments.

· He commanded them to wash one another’s feet, after the example He just displayed (John 13:14-15).

· He commanded them to love one another after the pattern of His love to them (John 13:34).

· He commanded them to put their faith in God the Father and in Jesus Himself (John 14:1).

i. Keeping the commandments of Jesus does speak to our personal morality, yet His emphasis was on love for others and faith in Him as demonstrations of obedience to His commandments.

ii. This is a fair measure of our love for Jesus. It is easy to think of loving Jesus in merely sentimental or emotional terms. It is wonderful when our love for Jesus has sentiment and passion, but it must always be connected to keeping His commandments, or it isn’t love at all.

iii. For the believer, disobedience is not only a failure of performance or a failure of strength. In some sense, it is also a failure of love. Those who love God most obey Him most joyfully and naturally. To say, “I really love Jesus. I just don’t want Him to tell me how to live my life” is a terrible misunderstanding of both Jesus and love to Him.

iv. Jesus also spoke to the proper source of our obedience. It isn’t fear, pride, or desire to earn blessing. The proper source of obedience is love. “Obedience must have love for its mother, nurse, and food. The essence of obedience lies in the hearty love which prompts the deed rather than in the deed itself.” (Spurgeon)

v. “Some persons think that if they love Jesus, they must enter a convent, retire to a cell, dress themselves queerly, or shave their heads. It has been the thought of some men, ‘If we love Christ we must strip ourselves of everything we possess, put on sackcloth, tie ropes round our waists, and pine in the desert.’ Others have thought it wise to make light of themselves by oddity of dress and behavior. The Savior does not say anything of the kind; but, ‘If ye love me, keep my commandments.’” (Spurgeon)

b. I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper: This was the second in this series of three assurances. The disciples feared, “Jesus is abandoning us. When He leaves we won’t know what to do.” They wouldn’t have less help; they would have more help because the Father would send another Helper.

i. Jesus understood that His disciples (both those with Him on that evening and those across the centuries) would need God’s presence and power to keep His commandments. God the Son promised to pray to God the Father and ask for the giving of God the Holy Spirit to the believer to accomplish this.

ii. This statement is one wonderful example of the Trinitarian idea of God woven into the fabric of the New Testament. Jesus didn’t intend to give a complicated lecture on the Trinity; He simply spoke of how the Persons of the Trinity interact and work for the good of God’s people and the furtherance of His plan.

iii. The sense is that this prayer would be made when Jesus ascended to heaven. “I will pray betokens, probably, a manner of asking implying actual presence and nearness, — and is here used of the mediatorial office in Christ’s ascended state.” (Alford)

c. He will give you another Helper: The word Helper translates the ancient Greek word parakletos. This word has the idea of someone called to help someone else, and it could refer to an advisor, a legal defender, a mediator, or to an intercessor.

i. The King James Version translates parakletos with the word Comforter. That translation made more sense understanding the meaning of the word in older English. “Wicliff, from whom we have our word Comforter, often used ‘comfort’ for the Latin confortari, which means to strengthen… Thus the idea of help and strength is conveyed by it, as well as of consolation.” (Alford)

ii. One way to understand the work of the Helper is to understand the opposite of that work. “The devil is called the accuser, κατηγορος, in full opposition to this name and title given here to the Holy Spirit.” (Trapp)

iii. Another Helper: The word another is the ancient Greek word allen, meaning “another of the same kind” (Tenney) in contrast to another of a different kind. Just as Jesus shows the nature of God the Father, so the Holy Spirit – being another of the same kind – would show the nature of Jesus.

iv. “That our Lord here calls the Holy Spirit ‘another Comforter (allon paraklhtoV)’ implies that He Himself claimed to be also a paraklhtoV, as John in his first epistle (1 John 2:1) calls Him.” (Trench)

v. It would be wonderful to live the Christian life with Jesus beside us each step of the way. Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would fulfill just that role for us, being sent to empower and help the believer. The greater work described in John 14:12-14 is impossible without the empowering described in John 14:15-18.

d. That He may abide with you forever: Jesus would give the Holy Spirit so that He (indicating a person, not a thing) may abide in us permanently and not temporarily, as in giving of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament.

i. “The Advocate will be with the disciples ‘for ever’. The new state of affairs will be permanent. The Spirit once given will not be withdrawn.” (Morris)

e. Whom the world cannot receive: The world cannot understand or receive the Spirit, because He is Holy and true. The Spirit of truth is not popular in an age of lies, and the world cannot perceive the Spirit and does not know Him.

i. “If the world cannot receive the Holy Spirit, shall we wonder that we in our collective worldliness see and show collectively so little of His power?” (Trench)

f. But you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you: Jesus spoke of three aspects of a disciple’s relationship to the Holy Spirit.

· In contrast to the world, the disciple of Jesus should know the Holy Spirit.

· In contrast to the world, the disciple of Jesus should have the Holy Spirit with them.

· In contrast to the world, the disciple of Jesus should have the Holy Spirit in them.

i. For those 11 disciples, the Holy Spirit was already with them, and would later be in them. This was fulfilled when Jesus breathed on them and they received the Holy Spirit, when they were regenerated and born again (John 20:22).

ii. In addition to with and in, Jesus used a third preposition to describe the relationship of the disciple to the Holy Spirit: you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you (Acts 1:8). This upon experience is the baptism of the Holy Spirit, the outpouring of the Spirit.

iii. “Between Christ on earth and his disciples what a distance there was! In his condescension he came very near to them; but yet you always perceive a gulf between the wise Master and the foolish disciples. Now the Holy Ghost annihilates that distance by dwelling in us.” (Spurgeon)

3. (18-21) When Jesus departs, He will make Himself known to His disciples.

“I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also. At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”

a. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you: Jesus began His third assurance. The disciples feared, “When Jesus leaves, then our discipleship program is over and it has barely started.” Their discipleship program wasn’t finished; it was only just beginning.

i. “The disciples of a particular teacher among the Hebrews called him father; his scholars were called his children, and, on his death, were considered as orphans.” (Clarke)

ii. Spurgeon considered several ways that the followers of Jesus are not like orphans.

· An orphan has parents who are dead; the Spirit shows us Jesus is alive.

· An orphan is left alone; the Spirit draws us close to God’s presence.

· An orphan has lost their provider; the Spirit provides all things.

· An orphan is left without instruction; the Spirit teaches us all things.

· An orphan has no defender; the Spirit is protector.

b. I will come to you: Jesus again promised to come to the disciples (previously in John 14: 3). This was a broad promise fulfilled by His resurrection, by the sending of the Spirit, and by the promise of His bodily return to this earth.

i. “Every phase of his promised coming is embraced in this assurance: ‘I am coming to you.’” (Bruce)

c. The world will see Me no more, but you will see Me: This was true in one sense when Jesus rose from the dead. Yet it is true even when He ascended to heaven. Jesus would reveal Himself to the disciples in a real and powerful way after His departure. They would see Him in an even greater way than seeing Him with physical sight.

i. The Apostle Paul later wrote, Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer (2 Corinthians 5:16). There was something more compelling about knowing Jesus by the Spirit than even knowing Him in the flesh.

d. Because I live, you will live also: The disciples would not only see Jesus by the Spirit, they would also continue to live in Jesus through the work of the Holy Spirit. Their dependence on the life of Jesus would not end when He departed; it would continue in greater measure through the Holy Spirit.

i. “A man is saved because Christ died for him, he continues saved because Christ lives for him. The sole reason why the spiritual life abides is because Jesus lives.” (Spurgeon)

e. You will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you: Through the Holy Spirit they would know a life of relationship, shared life, and union with God the Father, God the Son, and in the disciple.

· This union is marked by knowledge of God’s will (has My commandments).

· This union is marked by obedience to God’s will (and keeps them).

· This union is marked by love (is he who loves me).

· This union is marked by relationship and reception of love with God the Father (will be loved by My Father).

· This union is marked by a revelation of Jesus Himself (and manifest Myself to him).

· All this flows from the union with God in the disciple through the Holy Spirit.

i. This relationship is for the disciple’s experience now, not only in the age to come. “For he reserves not all for the life to come, but gives a grape of Canaan in this wilderness, such as the world never tasted of.” (Trapp)

ii. He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me: “The love to which Christ promises a manifestation of Himself is not an idle sentiment or shallow fancy, but a principle prompting obedience.” (Dods)

iii. He who has My commandments: “The man who loves Christ is the one who ‘has’ His commandments and keeps them. To ‘have’ commandments is an unusual expression and does not seem to be exactly paralleled (though cf. 1 John 4:21). The meaning appears to be to make the commandments one’s own, to take them into one’s inner being.” (Morris)

4. (22-24) Answering the question of Judas (not Iscariot).

Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, “Lord, how is it that You will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?” Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me.”

a. How is it that You will manifest Yourself to us: Judas asked an excellent question. The idea of manifest is to reveal, to make plain. It wasn’t immediately apparent how in His departure Jesus could reveal Himself to His disciples and not to the world at large.

i. Judas had heard Jesus teach that all the earth would see the Messiah in His glory (Matthew 24:30). It was hard for him to understand Jesus when He now spoke of a revealing of Himself that the world would not see.

ii. “Judas is called ‘Judas of James’ in Luke 6:16 and Acts 1:13; and on each occasion AV translates ‘the brother of James’, and RV and RSV, more naturally, ‘the son of James’. He seems to be identical with the Thaddaeus of Matthew 10:3 and Mark 3:18. Some of the apostles clearly had more than one name.” (Tasker)

iii. “The words not Iscariot are in reality superfluous, after John 13:30, but are added by St. John from his deep horror of the Traitor who bore the same name.” (Alford)

b. If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word: In answering Judas, Jesus repeated the themes from the previous verses. Jesus would be revealed to and among the disciples through love, obedience, and union with the Father and the Son. These were not and are not primarily mystical or ecstatic experiences, but real life lived out in the presence and work of the Holy Spirit.

· The love is personal; Jesus said, if anyone loves Me.

· The love has a reverent regard for the teaching of Jesus; Jesus said, he will keep My word.

i. He will keep My word: “That is more than a ‘commandment,’ is it not? Christ’s ‘word’ is more than precept. It includes all His sayings, and it includes them all as in one vital unity and organic whole. We are not to go picking and choosing among them; they are one.” (Maclaren)

ii. We will come to him and make Our home with him: “Where love and obedience are shown, the presence of God and of Christ is realized; the Father and the Son together make their home with each of the children.” (Bruce)

c. The word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me: Jesus again emphasized His total reliance upon and submission to God the Father. Jesus openly stated both His equality with the Father (John 14:1, 14:3, 14:7, 14:9).

C. As Jesus departs, He gives the gift of the Holy Spirit and His peace.

1. (25-27) The departing Jesus leaves the gifts of the Holy Spirit and His peace.

“These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

a. The Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name: Jesus first mentioned the Helper in John 14:16. He returned to the wonderful promise that as He left them with His physical presence, Jesus would ask the Father to send the Holy Spirit to help His disciples.

i. Will send in My name: The Holy Spirit is sent to the disciples on the merits of Jesus and in the nature, the character of Jesus. “The Spirit would be Jesus’ officially designated representative to act in his behalf.” (Tenney)

· The disciple does not have to ask for the Spirit on his or her own merit; they can receive Him in the merit of Jesus.

· The disciple should expect that the work of the Spirit would look like the nature and character of Jesus as revealed in God’s Word.

ii. This is another wonderful example of the truth of the Trinity woven into the fabric of the New Testament. God the Father sends God the Holy Spirit at the request of God the Son.

iii. The Holy Spirit: “This characteristic designation, found throughout the New Testament, does not draw attention to the power of the Spirit, His greatness, or the like. For the first Christians the important thing was that He is holy.” (Morris)

b. He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you: In His departure, Jesus finished His direct work of teaching the disciples as a rabbi taught disciples. Their training was not finished, but would be continued by the Helper, the Holy Spirit.

i. The Holy Spirit would teach the disciples what more they needed to know and would also supernaturally bring to remembrance the words of Jesus, both for their own benefit and for the writing of the Gospels.

ii. This means that the work of the Spirit would be a work of continuation. His teaching would continue what Jesus already taught. The Spirit does not wipe clear the previous teaching of Jesus and begin again. “The Spirit will not dispense with the teachings of Jesus. The teaching to be recalled is His.” (Morris)

iii. There is something general in this promise for every believer. The Holy Spirit teaches us and brings God’s word to our remembrance (if we are careful to receive it). Yet the fullness of this promise was reserved for those first-generation disciples and apostles, upon whom Jesus established the church (Ephesians 2:20).

iv. “It is on the fulfillment of this promise to the Apostles, that their sufficiency as Witnesses of all that the Lord did and taught, and consequently THE AUTHENTICITY OF THE GOSPEL NARRATIVE, is grounded.” (Alford)

c. Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you: In one sense this was a common thing to say at a departure in that culture, to wish peace (shalom) to others as you left them. Jesus took this normal good-bye and filled it with deep strength and meaning.

i. “It was customary to take leave with wishes of peace: — so 1 Samuel 1:17; Luke 7:50; Acts 16:36; 1 Peter 5:14; 3 John 15.” (Alford) “‘Peace (shalom) be with you’ was (and is) the usual Jewish greeting when friends met and parted.” (Bruce)

ii. Not as the world gives do I give to you: When someone in that ancient culture said peace as they departed, they said it without any special meaning. It was like when we say goodbye. Literally that means, God be with you – but we don’t really mean it that way. Jesus wanted them to know that when He said peace I leave with you, it wasn’t in the casual, empty way that most people said it.

iii. The peace of this world is often based on distraction or deliberate blindness and lies. Jesus offers a better peace, a real peace.

iv. Jesus had no inheritance or fortune to leave to His followers in a last will and testament. Yet Jesus gave them two things greater than any fortune: the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, and the peace of Jesus Himself. This is the peace of God the Son, with His complete trusting love in God the Father.

v. “He carefully described the peace as ‘My peace.’ His peace was a heart untroubled and unfearful in spite of all the suffering and conflict ahead of Him.” (Morgan)

vi. “In the Bible the word for peace, shalom, never means simply the absence of trouble. It means everything which makes for our highest good. The peace which the world offers us is the peace of escape, the peace which comes from the avoidance of trouble and from refusing to face things.” (Barclay)

d. Let not your heart be troubled: Jesus returned to the theme recorded in the first verse of John 14. With faith in God and His Son, with the receiving of His Spirit and His peace, we can have an untroubled heart in a quite troubled life.

2. (28-29) The goodness of Jesus’ departure to the FatheNot

“You have heard Me say to you, ‘I am going away and coming back to you.’ If you loved Me, you would rejoice because I said, ‘I am going to the Father,’ for My Father is greater than I. And now I have told you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you may believe.”

a. If you loved Me, you would rejoice: The disciples were troubled at the news of Jesus’ departure. In faith, they should instead rejoice, for the sake of Jesus, for their own sake, and for the sake of the world. The work of Jesus through the sent Holy Spirit would be greater than His work during the years of His earthly ministry.

· Jesus, when I think of all You gave up, all You took upon Yourself when You came from heaven to earth – it makes me happy that You are going to the Father to have it all restored to You.

· Jesus, when I think of all You will give to me and all Your people when You ascend to glory and from there send forth the Holy Spirit, pray for Your church, and prepare a place for us – it makes me happy that You are going to the Father, also for my sake.

b. Because I said, “I am going to the Father”: We sense a joyful anticipation in Jesus, happy in His soon return to heaven’s fellowship between Father and Son.

c. My Father is greater than I: The Father is greater than the Son in position, especially in regard to the incarnation. Yet the Father is not greater than the Sonin essence or being; They are both equally God.

i. It is remarkable that Jesus should even say this. “That it should require to be explicitly affirmed, as here, is strongest evidence that He was Divine.” (Dods)

3. (30-31) Jesus goes forth willingly, not as one who is being overwhelmed by Satan.

“I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me. But that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father gave Me commandment, so I do. Arise, let us go from here.”

a. The ruler of this world is coming: Jesus knew that Satan was coming for Him. At that moment Judas Iscariot was arranging the arrest of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. The loving, others-centered calm of Jesus in such circumstances is remarkable.

b. He has nothing in Me: Jesus could confidently and truthfully say that Satan had absolutely no hook, no foothold, no toehold of deception in Him. Satan could not push Jesus to the cross; Jesus went in loving obedience to God the Father and out of love for the world (that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father gave Me commandment, so do I).

i. “Has nothing in Me — no point of appliance whereon to fasten his attack.” (Alford)

ii. “Jesus goes to death not crushed by the machinations of Satan, ‘but that the world may know that I love the Father and as the Father has commanded me.’” (Dods)

c. Arise, let us go from here: At this point, Jesus and His disciples left the table and slowly made their way toward the Garden of Gethsemane. It is clear they did not immediately leave (John 18:1), but here began to.

i. “Anyone who has tried to get a group of a dozen or so to leave a particular place at a particular time will appreciate that it usually takes more than one brief exhortation to accomplish this.” (Morris)

ii. “Probably the rest of the discourse, and the prayer, chapter 17, were delivered when now all were standing ready to depart.” (Alford)

iii. “Whether chapters 15-17 were spoken en route to Gethsemane or whether he and the disciples lingered while he finished the discussion is not plain.” (Tenney)

iv. Notably, they got ready to go together. “One would have thought that on such a night as that, the deepest craving of Jesus would have been to be alone… He could not leave them to go out alone. He loved them far to deeply for that. They might forsake Him, as they were soon to do. It was impossible for Him to forsake them.” (Morrison)

©2018 David Guzik – No distribution beyond personal use without permission

Jesus said,] “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”

John 14:1-3



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Related Topics: Jesus, God, Trust, Heaven, Second Coming, All Topics…

Thoughts on Today’s Verse…

He’s coming back! As much as the world likes to remember Jesus’ first coming during the Christmas season, we need to remind them that his Second Coming will be even greater. We want to be prepared — lives dedicated to his glory and hearts full of expectation at his coming.

My Prayer…

Loving God, I know Jesus will come again. May I be found faithful and expectant when he returns. Thank you for sending him the first time to live in my world and take away my sin. Thank you even more for his next coming to take me to live in your world and share in your victory over sin. In the name of Jesus my Lord, I pray. Amen.

The Thoughts and Prayer on Today’s Verse are written by Phil Ware. You can email questions or comments to phil@verseoftheday.com.

“Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me.“In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. “If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.” (John 14:1 -3)

Our faith in God gives us ultimate security. We may experience all kinds of difficulties and heartaches, we can count on God’s love and our place with him in eternity. With that assurance, our hearts aren’t nearly as troubled.

Having faith is having trust. We have to trust with our entire being that God has our back that he will help us and take care of us. He knows what is best, but to truly embrace what he has planned for us, we have to fully trust. Our trust is not foolish, for our God is both faithful and good. When we put our relationship with God first, setting aside our own desires to serve Him, we “live by faith” and learn what it means to be faithful, self-disciplined, compassionate, forgiving, humble, and loving.

Jesus Christ promised the ultimate security of a home in heaven and the ultimate thrill of being with Him forever.

Categories: Daily Verse


*In this passage, Jesus has finished what is commonly called the Last Supper with His disciples. 

Supper’s now over and He has predicted that one of the disciples is going to betray Him.  And then He identifies that disciple as Judas Iscariot and He sends him on his wicked task. 

Now Jesus begins to talk to His disciples and (John 13:33) he says “Little children, I am with you a little while longer.  You will seek Me; and as I said to the Jews, now I also say to you, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come ” (John 13:33)

Jesus went on to say “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.  “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (Jn13:34-35)


However, Peter is stuck on the previous statement “I am with you a little while longer.  You will seek Me; and as I said to the Jews, now I also say to you, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come” (John 13:33)

·         Peter’s heart is very troubled: Example-my kids if they cant come with me, they get bummed out.

·         And so Peter asked a question and this is the beginning of a question/answer session with the disciples.

·         It actually begins here in chapter thirteen, it’s after the dinner, and Jesus is sharing things with them.

Having said that He’s going to go away, in a little while they can’t come where He is going, then Peter said to Him, Lord, where are You going? 

First question.  Where are you going, Lord?  And Jesus answered Him, Where I am going you cannot follow Me now, but you shall follow me afterward.  Peter questioned again, “Why can’t I follow You now?  I will lay down my life for You.”  And then Jesus predicted Peter’s denial before the rooster would crow in the morning.

So Jesus went on to say…  “Let not your heart be troubled” (John 14:1)

!! A.                 Troubled hearts are delivered through belief (v.1).

1.                  “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me…”  (v.1a).

a)                  Deliverance from troubled hearts comes through belief in Jesus.

(1)                 Believing in Jesus Christ will deliver you from trouble (John 14:6) – He is the only way

(2)                 Continuing to believe in Jesus Christ while you are in the midst of trouble will carry you thru.

(a)                 When a sinner believes in Jesus Christ he has peace with God

Paul put it this way “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1, NASB95)

(b)                When we continue to believe in Jesus Christ and pray when we are anxious, we have the peace of God

When bad times or situations come we are to “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  (Philippians 4:6-7, NASB95)

(3)                 | We all have a tendency to borrow trouble & to imagine things worse than they really are |

The Lord does not want us to have troubled hearts but hearts of peace…

(a)                 What is it today that your heart is troubled about?  Child, work, finances, marriage…

(b)                In the world, peace is something you hope for or work for; but to the Christian, peace is God’s wonderful gift, received by faith.

(c)                 Unsaved people enjoy peace when there is an absence of trouble; Christians enjoy peace in spite of trials because of the presence and power of the Holy Spirit.

That is why Jesus said ““Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you.  Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”  (John 14:27)

In Chapter 16 of Johns Gospel He said “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace.  In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”  (John 16:33, NASB95)

Loving God’s Word brings peace, in Psalm 119 we read “Those who love Your law have great peace, And nothing causes them to stumble.”  (Psalm 119:165, NASB95)

Having our thoughts fixed upon God brings peace “You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You” (Isaiah 26:3, NKJV)

(4)                 “Troubled” means to to stir up, to trouble, agitate and is figuratively used of the mind, to disturb with various emotions such as fear.

(5)                 Jesus knew their hearts, seeing right into them knowing they were troubled.

(6)                 Illustration: A raging storm on the sea is intense, but go down under the water 200 ft, its calm!

b)                  Deliverance from troubled hearts comes through the example of Jesus (Heb.12:1-4).

(1)                 Think about this: John 13 is a really intense chapter…

(a)                 now Jesus says that His time has come to depart from this world to the Father…

(b)                the devil puts into the heart of Judas to betray Jesus…

(c)                 the disciples argued over who was the greatest, no one took the initiative to wash feet, therefore, Jesus gives them an example of serving one another…

(d)                the disciples were constantly asking Him questions…

(e)                 Jesus tells them that one of them is going to betray Him…and after that John tells us that Jesus’ spirit was troubled… remember Jn.14:1-let not your heart be troubled”?

(f)                  then Satan literally enters into Judas!

(2)                 Think about this: Jesus is the one going to the cross and the disciples should be supporting Jesus but Jesus is supporting them spiritually as well as emotionally. 

(a)                 Even when we are going thru tough times, the Lord wants us to minister to others!

(b)                In another passage Jesus was sorrowful and deeply distressed (Matt.26:36-46).

(c)                 Many times we want people to leave us alone but God wants us to minister to them.

!!!!! (3)                 Jesus even ministered while on the cross.

(a)                 He prays for forgiveness to those who “no not what they do”

(b)                He granted eternal life to a dying sinner who believed in Him (Luke 23:26-43)

(c)                 He didn’t overlook the responsibility to make provision for His mother (John 19:25, 26)

(d)                He take’s upon Himself the sins of the world (Matt.27:45)

B.                Troubled hearts are delivered through hope for God’s house (v.2a).

1.                  “In My Fathers house are many mansions… a permanent dwelling place” (v.2a).

a)                  The Preparation of Heaven.

(1)                 Imagine how thrilled the disciples were to hear that Christ was going to the Father to prepare a place for them.

(2)                 That promise gave them a whole new perspective.  Christ wasn’t going away to leave them; He was going away to get heaven ready for them, and this promise is for us as well.

(3)                 Think about this: Christ went to prepare a place for us, not willing that any should perish, wanting all to spend eternity with Him, plenty of room in heaven…

But when he was born, Luke says that Mary “brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.”  (Luke 2:7)

(4)                 I love the way He addressed God as Father.  Jesus, who had dwelt eternally in the bosom of the Father, came forth to reveal the Father; He was busy about His Fathers business.  Now that His work would soon be done, He was planning to return to full glory with the Father.

b)                  The location of our future home.

(1)                 What was Christ talking about when He referred to His Father’s house?  He was speaking about heaven.

(a)                 In the New Testament, heaven is called a country (Heb. 11:16)…  It’s called a city (Heb. 11:10)…  It’s called a kingdom (Matt. 4:17)… and it is called paradise (Luke 23:43) because of its beauty.

(b)                But what I like best is when Christ calls heaven “My Father’s house.”  As a child, whenever I traveled away from home for football games in Arizona, I always thought the best thing I could possibly do was go back to my father’s house.

(c)                 Going to heaven won’t be like going into a giant palace where we have to be formal.  When we go there, it’ll be like going home:

(2)                 In John 2:16, Jesus called the Temple in Jerusalem His Father’s house.

(a)                 When He cleansed the Temple of merchants and moneychangers in (Matt.21:12-13), He said, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves’” (v.13).

(b)                The Temple was the Father’s house until (Matt.23:38), where Jesus wept over Jerusalem and said, “Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.”  From then on, heaven became the Father’s house

!!!! c)                  The layout of our future home.

(1)                 Jesus said that in His Father’s house “are many dwelling places” (John 14:2; NASB).  Some Bible translations use the phrase “many mansions” as the NKJV, however, that gives the incorrect idea:

(a)                 We tend to visualize a new real estate development with an agent who shows us a map and says, “Your mansion is two blocks down and four blocks to the left” but heaven won’t be like that.

(b)                The phrase “dwelling places” refers to how the Israelites lived:

(i)                   When a son became married, the father would add a wing to his house.  When another son married, another wing was added onto the house.

(ii)                 Eventually the original dwelling would become a set of dwellings that enclosed a patio in the middle.  All the relatives lived around that patio.

(iii)                So Jesus wasn’t talking about a apartment building, but a complete dwelling place surrounding a central patio.  We will be in dwellings attached to the Father’s house–right in the same house with the Father!

(2)                 Revelation 21:16 tells us how large the city in heaven will be:

John says that “The city is laid out as a square; its length is as great as its breadth.  And he measured the city with the reed: twelve thousand furlongs.  Its length, breadth, and height are equal…  “Then he measured its wall: one hundred and forty-four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of an angel” (Rev.21:16-17).

(a)                 The length is as long as its breadth and heights, 1500 miles on each side, this means that each foundation stone is 1500 miles long on each side.

(b)                The thickness of the wall and gates is 144 cubits or 266 feet thick (Rev. 21:17).

(c)                 The walls are made of jasper: a crystal-like rock that is green in color.  The crystal green walls sparkle with the most beautiful color as the reflection of God’s glory strikes them.

(d)                Can you imagine the light (the glory of God), penetrating through a wall which is made of jasper (21:18) and is clear as crystal (21:11), and which goes through a wall (1500 miles long and cubed) with a wall 216 feet thick!!!

(3)                 The Heavenly City Is Worth Any Price To Enter.  No matter what a person has to sacrifice, he is a fool if he does not give up everything he has to enter the heavenly city of God.

The Parable of the hidden treasure, & the pear of great price.  “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field” (Matthew 13:44)…  “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.”  (Matthew 13:45-46, NKJV)

Are you laying up treasure in heaven, our Lord said “but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.”  (Matthew 6:20, NKJV)

Jesus said to the rich young ruler, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”” (Matthew 19:21, NKJV)

Paul himself said “What things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ.  Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death,” (Philippians 3:7-10, NKJV)

!!!! d)                  The life-style in our future home (Revelation 21:1-4).

(1)                 The greatest thing about heaven is that God will dwell with us and us with Him (v.3):

Christ’s words to His disciples will be answered “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”  (John 14:1-3, NKJV)

Christ’s prayer to the Father will be answered “Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.”  (John 17:24, NKJV)

(2)                 God will wipe away every tear from our eyes: the absence of anything to be sorry about.

(3)                 No more electric bills (Rev.21:22-23).

(4)                 When we are in the Father’s house, the Lord will take care of all the hurts and needs of His children.  He will drive away all pain. 

(5)                 We should already feel bound to heaven.  Our Father is there, as well as our Savior, our home, our names, our future lives, our affections, our hearts, our inheritances, and our citizenship.  And the great promise of John 14:3 is that Christ is in heaven now preparing it for us!

2.                  “If it were not so, I would have told you…”  (v.2b).

a)                  Nothing but the Truth.

(1)                 Jesus was saying, “Trust Me!  I’ve always told you the truth.  I’m not saying this just to try to make you feel good.”

In John 18:37, we read Jesus saying to Pilate, “To this end was I born, and for this cause came I unto the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth.”  Christ always speaks the truth. 

C.                Troubled hearts are delivered through Jesus’ work (v.2b).

1.                  “I go to prepare a place for you…”  (v.2c).

a)                  This is the key element to our comfort.

(1)                 Ladies, when you have guests over your homes, don’t you lovingly prepare it for them?  You may set our flowers and books, maybee light candles… you make it ready for them, right!

(2)                 Jesus is preparing a special place for us. 

(a)                 I suppose my room will have a 48 channel mixing board (with the latest technology of course) all digital… a wall full of Marshall Stacks, guitars gallor… maybee not.

(b)                The point: Jesus is preparing a place for us & that brings comfort in our troubles world

(3)                 When we plan for a family vacation or trip of some sort, do we just drive off with no prior preparation?  We obtain brochures, talk to our friends, pack our bags, and examine maps. 

(4)                 How much more should we prepare for eternity in our heavenly home

b)                  Where is He to go?

(1)                 Jesus went to the cross to prepare redemption for us.

Speaking of Himself, Jesus said that “the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28, NKJV)

Think about what Jesus did for us, Paul said “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.”  (2 Corinthians 8:9, NKJV)

(2)                 Jesus went to be raised from the dead to prepare a new life for us.

We have the power to live a life of victory, “that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.”  (Romans 6:4, NKJV)

(3)                 Jesus ascends into heaven to prepare access into the presence of God for us.

Because Jesus prepared access for us into the presence of God we can “come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace in time of need” (Heb.4:16)

!! D.                Troubled hearts are delivered through Jesus’ return (v.3a).

1.                  “I will come again and receive you to myself…”  (v.3a).

a)                  The Lord’s promise of coming again.

(1)                 Not only is Christ preparing heaven for us, but He will also come back and take us there.

(2)                 The Lord is not going to send someone else to get us.  He will take us home personally AND that tells us how precious we are to Him.

(3)                 Illustration:      I heard of a story about a father who dropped off his little boy at a street corner, and told him he would be back in twenty minutes after taking care of some business.  The father’s car broke down, and he wasn’t able to get back to his son for four or five hours.  The son waited on the corner by a store that whole time, and the panicky father had no way of phoning him.  He didn’t get back until eleven o’clock at night, and the boy was rocking back and forth on the sidewalk whistling a tune.  The father pulled up to the curb, hugged his son, and said he was very sorry.  The boy replied, “What are you sorry about?  You said you were coming.”

(4)                 That’s the kind of trust we can put in the Lord.  He said He was coming back.  It may look like its becoming dark around us but we can still trust His promise to return. 

Paul said that “the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,” (Titus 2:11-13, NKJV)

(5)                 Important application (John 21:19-22): many time we take our eyes off of the Lord and His promises and put them on others… very dangerous.  The Lord told Peter to “follow Me” and immediately, Peter began to follow Jesus.  However, for a moment Peter took his eyes off the Lord Jesus, a mistake he had made at least two other times.

(a)                 Rememeber that first great catch of fish, Peter took his eyes off his Lord and looked at himself.  “Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord!”  (Luke 5:8).

(b)                When he was walking on the stormy sea with Jesus, Peter looked away from the Lord and began to look at the waves; and immediately he began to sink (Matt. 14:30).

(c)                 Here, Peter takes his eyes off the Lord and looks back at John following them.  Beware when you get your eyes off the Lord and start to look at other Christians! (Hebrew 12:1-2) looking unto Jesus

!!! 2.                  “I will come again and receive you to myself…”  (v.3b)

a)                  The Lord’s promise of receiving us to Himself.

(1)                 The Lord promises to receive us to Himself, however, there is a difference between the believer meeting Jesus in death and meeting Jesus in the air at His return.

(2)                 The believer does meet Jesus at death: One moment he is in this world; the next moment he is in the presence of the Lord.

Stephen, while being stoned to death, “saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God” (Acts 7:59, 55).

Paul said: “to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord” (2Cor.5:8).

Paul, “he had a desire” to depart, and to be with Christ, which is far better” (Phil. 1:23).

Jesus had even promised the thief: “today you shall be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43).

(3)                 The believers who are alive and remain at His coming, meet Him in the air: Jesus will come one day to gather His own who are alive and raise the bodies of those who have died to take them all to heaven – the Rapture.

(a)                 1 Corinthians 15:51-58 esp. (v.58) 

(b)                1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

I LOVE WHAT PAULS SAYS TO TIMOTHY…  “But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that the message might be preached fully through me, and that all the Gentiles might hear.  Also I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.  And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom.  To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen!”  (2 Timothy 4:17-18, NKJV)

Because we will meet the Lord one day & not knowing the day or hour, we ought to be “those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching.”  (Luke 12:37)

E.                 Troubled hearts are delivered through an eternal habitation with Jesus (v.3b).

1.                  “That where I am, there you may be also…”  (v.3b).

a)                  The very reason, according to John, Jesus is returning.

(1)                 We shall be with our Lord forever who has, saved us, forgiven us, delievered us from the bondage of sin, death and hell… with the one who has cared for us day by day.

(2)                 This should be the very thing that our heart longs for, because this is the very longing of His heart, ther very thing which He prayed so intensely for to the Father:

In John 17, Jesus prayed “Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me.”  (John 17:24)

(3)                 How do we know that Christians go to heaven? 

Because of the price that Jesus paid, Paul said For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.”  (1 Thessalonians 5:9-10, NKJV)

Because of the promise that Jesus made (John 14:1–6):

And because of the prayer that Jesus prayed (John 17:24).

(4)                 The Father always answers His Son’s prayers, so we know that believers who die do go to heaven to behold the glory of God.

I.  Jesus’ Death Delivers Troubled Hearts, 14:1-3

A. Troubled hearts are delivered through belief (v.1).

B. Troubled hearts are delivered through hope for God’s house (v.2a).

C. Troubled hearts are delivered through Jesus’ work (v.2b).

D. Troubled hearts are delivered through Jesus’ return (v.3a).

E. Troubled hearts are delivered through an eternal habitation with Jesus (v.3b).

What does John 14:1 mean?

In the last few moments, Jesus has indicated one of the disciples is a deceiver (John 13:21) and predicted Peter will deny knowing Him at all (John 13:38; Luke 22:34). This comes in the context of frequent references to His impending death (John 12:7, 23–24).

This is why Jesus takes the time to reassure the disciples directly, telling them not to be “troubled.” This comes from the same Greek root word describing Jesus’ spirit in verses like John 11:33 and John 12:27. Some scholars suggest a difference between being troubled in one’s spirit, as opposed to being troubled in the heart. That would suggest Jesus is not commanding anyone to “be happy,” but to “be brave.” Whether John intended that nuance or not, much of what Jesus is about to say involves enduring hardship without losing trust. In practice, at least, this is a call for courage more than an upbeat mood.

There is also debate over the exact meaning of Jesus’ statement about belief in God and belief in Himself. This might be two individual commands: “trust God and trust Me.” Or, it might be an expression of logic: “you trust God, therefore you also trust Me.” Or, even as “if you trust God, you will trust Me.” Given what Jesus is about to say, a double command seems to make the most sense. Regardless, it’s clear that Christ is encouraging faith in God, and in Himself, in the face of what’s about to come.

Context Summary

John 14:1–14 continues Jesus’ discourse with the disciples at the last supper. He has recently mentioned a traitor in their midst and predicted Peter’s denials. That leads Jesus to reassure these men—reminding them that He has told them the truth and has all things in hand. In this passage, Christ famously refers to Himself as ”the way, and the truth, and the life.” That is the sixth of seven such ”I Am” statements included in John’s gospel. This section includes Jesus’ words, personal experience, and evidence of His miracles as reasons to maintain trust.

Chapter Summary

Christ reassures His followers that faith in Him is faith in God. To know Christ is to know ”the way, and the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). The words, actions, and miracles of Jesus should give Christians confidence to trust that He will make good on His promises. Among those are His guarantee that He is preparing to come for us, so we can be where He is. Jesus also predicts the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. This is only available to believers, and this Helper acts to guide, teach, and remind us. Both for the disciples, and for future Christians, these words are meant to be comforting during hard times. Since Christ knew, in advance, what would happen, we can be even more confident to trust Him

What does John 14:2 mean?

This verse uses the term monai, which most literally means “dwelling places.” Translations such as the KJV have rendered this as “mansions.” Many have latched onto this in a very literal way, imagining that Jesus is promising physical palaces for all Christians in heaven. While that’s not entirely impossible, there’s a more important meaning here. Jesus says these monai are in His “Father’s House,” using the expression tē oikia, which can mean a physical house or a family. In this context, it seems to mean something more family-related. Christ’s meaning here is more likely a reassurance that in the family of God is room for all of them, more so than a promise for a fancy house. That’s more in keeping with Jesus’ later comment in this verse that He’s preparing “a place” using a very generic Greek term, topon.

Jesus’ remark here is meant to continue the reassurance He began in the prior verse. Like that verse, this one contains an expression which can be translated in more than one way. Translators have rendered this phrase as a rhetorical question, a direct statement, and either included or separated the comment about a “place” into the sentence. Which of those was John’s original intent is an answer deeply buried in ancient Greek grammar and vocabulary. No matter which is ultimately the case, the practical meaning is the same: Christ has not been deceptive, there is restoration at the end of a believer’s life journey, and this destiny is the result of Christ’s efforts.

Jesus will use the same word for “dwelling places” in John 14:23 when He speaks about coming to make His home in those who believe.

Context Summary

John 14:1–14 continues Jesus’ discourse with the disciples at the last supper. He has recently mentioned a traitor in their midst and predicted Peter’s denials. That leads Jesus to reassure these men—reminding them that He has told them the truth and has all things in hand. In this passage, Christ famously refers to Himself as ”the way, and the truth, and the life.” That is the sixth of seven such ”I Am” statements included in John’s gospel. This section includes Jesus’ words, personal experience, and evidence of His miracles as reasons to maintain trust.

Chapter Summary

Christ reassures His followers that faith in Him is faith in God. To know Christ is to know ”the way, and the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). The words, actions, and miracles of Jesus should give Christians confidence to trust that He will make good on His promises. Among those are His guarantee that He is preparing to come for us, so we can be where He is. Jesus also predicts the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. This is only available to believers, and this Helper acts to guide, teach, and remind us. Both for the disciples, and for future Christians, these words are meant to be comforting during hard times. Since Christ knew, in advance, what would happen, we can be even more confident to trust Him

What does John 14:3 mean?

In prior comments, Jesus pointed out that He was about to go somewhere others could not follow (John 7:32–34). The short-term implication was that only Jesus could walk the path of sacrifice, death, resurrection, and ascension. In making those remarks, Jesus also indicated that His critics would not “find” Him (John 8:21); this is not a restriction He mentioned to His disciples (John 13:36).

In a broader sense, Jesus continues to provide reassurance to His disciples (John 14:1). In literal terms, this verse contains a vague promise to return and bring these men to be where He is. He does not indicate that anyone will travel or arrive, but that He will be the One bringing them to the destination. This is especially interesting in that Jesus will also indicate that these men know “the way to” this place. Put together, most interpreters view this as a reference to the rapture, when Christ will take believers from earth in advance of the end times. During His later prayer, Jesus will repeat this idea of believers being in the places where He is (John 17:24).

The combined effect of this encouragement is preparation to endure hardship. The disciples are about to experience several days of fear and loss (John 20:19; Mark 14:27), followed by the chaotic joy of Christ’s resurrection (Mark 16:6–8). Afterwards, and continuing to today, those who follow Christ will be subject to persecution (John 15:20). Because of what Christ has done, and the fact that those trials are expected (John 13:19; 16:4), believers can hold to a firm trust in the promises of God.

Context Summary

John 14:1–14 continues Jesus’ discourse with the disciples at the last supper. He has recently mentioned a traitor in their midst and predicted Peter’s denials. That leads Jesus to reassure these men—reminding them that He has told them the truth and has all things in hand. In this passage, Christ famously refers to Himself as ”the way, and the truth, and the life.” That is the sixth of seven such ”I Am” statements included in John’s gospel. This section includes Jesus’ words, personal experience, and evidence of His miracles as reasons to maintain trust.

Chapter Summary

Christ reassures His followers that faith in Him is faith in God. To know Christ is to know ”the way, and the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). The words, actions, and miracles of Jesus should give Christians confidence to trust that He will make good on His promises. Among those are His guarantee that He is preparing to come for us, so we can be where He is. Jesus also predicts the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. This is only available to believers, and this Helper acts to guide, teach, and remind us. Both for the disciples, and for future Christians, these words are meant to be comforting during hard times. Since Christ knew, in advance, what would happen, we can be even more confident to trust Him.

What does John 14:1-3 mean?


Rabbi Meir Baal Haness

Prayer For Lost objects

After Saying The Prayer of

Reb Meir Say Three Times

G‑d of Meir answer me!


1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. (John 14:1-3 KJV)

Matthew Henry’s Commentary


This chapter is a continuation of Christ’s discourse with his disciples after supper. When he had convicted and discarded Judas, he set himself to comfort the rest, who were full of sorrow upon what he had said of leaving them, and a great many good words and comfortable words he here speaks to them. The discourse in interlocutory; as Peter in the foregoing chapter, so Thomas, and Philip, and Jude, in this interposed their thoughts upon what he said, according to the liberty he was pleased to allow them. Free conferences are as instructive as solemn speeches, and more so. The general scope of this chapter is in the first verse; it is designed to keep trouble from their hearts; now in order to this they must believe: and let them consider,  

I. Heaven as their everlasting rest, Joh 14:2-3.  

II. Christ himself as their way, Joh 14:4-11.  

III. The great power they shall be clothed with by the prevalence of their prayers, Joh 14:12-14.  

IV. The coming of another comforter, Joh 14:15-17.  

V. The fellowship and communion that should be between him and them after his departure, Joh 14:18-24.  

VI. The instructions which the Holy Ghost should give them, Joh 14:25-26.  

VII. The peace Christ bequeathed to them, Joh 14:27.  

VII. Christ’s own cheerfulness in his departure, Joh 14:28-31. And this which he said to them is designed for the comfort of all his faithful followers.  

Ver. 1. thru Ver. 3.  

In these verses we have,  

I. A general caution which Christ gives to his disciples against trouble of heart (Joh 14:1): Let not your heart be troubled. They now began to be troubled, were entering into this temptation. Now here see,  

1. How Christ took notice of it. Perhaps it was apparent in their looks; it was said (Joh 13:22), They looked one upon another with anxiety and concern, and Christ looked upon them all, and observed it; at least, it was intelligible to the Lord Jesus, who is acquainted with all our secret undiscovered sorrows, with the wound that bleeds inwardly; he knows not only how we are afflicted, but how we stand affected under our afflictions, and how near they lie to our hearts; he takes cognizance of all the trouble which his people are at any time in danger of being overwhelmed with; he knows our souls in adversity. Many things concurred to trouble the disciples now.  

(1.) Christ had just told them of the unkindness he should receive from some of them, and this troubled them all. Peter, no doubt, looked very sorrowful upon what Christ said to him, and all the rest were sorry for him and for themselves too, not knowing whose turn it should be to be told next of some ill thing or other they should do. As to this, Christ comforts them; though a godly jealousy over ourselves is of great use to keep us humble and watchful, yet it must not prevail to the disquieting of our spirits and the damping of our holy joy.  

(2.) He had just told them of his own departure from them, that he should not only go away, but go away in a cloud of sufferings. They must shortly hear him loaded with reproaches, and these will be as a sword in their bones; they must see him barbarously abused and put to death, and this also will be a sword piercing through their own souls, for they had loved him, and chosen him, and left all to follow him. When we now look upon Christ pierced, we cannot but mourn and be in bitterness, though we see the glorious issue and fruit of it; much more grievous must the sight be to them, who could then look no further. If Christ depart from them  

[1.] They will think themselves shamefully disappointed; for they looked that this had been he that should have delivered Israel, and should have set upon his kingdom in secular power and glory, and, in expectation of this, had lost all to follow him. Now, if he leave the world in the same circumstances of meanness and poverty in which he had lived, and worse, they are quite defeated.  

[2.] They will think themselves sadly deserted and exposed. They knew by experience what little presence of mind they had in difficult emergencies, that they could count upon nothing but being ruined and run down if they part with their Master. Now, in reference to all these, Let not your heart be troubled. Here are three words, upon any of which the emphasis may significantly be laid. First, Upon the word troubled, mh tarassesyw. Be not so troubled as to be put into a hurry and confusion, like the troubled sea when it cannot rest. He does not say,  

“Let not your hearts be sensible of the griefs, or sad because of them” but, “Be not ruffled and discomposed, be not cast down and disquieted,”  

 Ps 42:5. Secondly, Upon the word heart:  

“Though the nation and city be troubled, though your little family and flock be troubled, yet let not your heart be troubled. Keep possession of your own souls when you can keep possession of nothing else.”  

The heart is the main fort; whatever you do, keep trouble from this, keep this with all diligence. The spirit must sustain the infirmity, therefore, see that this be not wounded. Thirdly, Upon the word your:  

“You that are my disciples and followers, my redeemed, chosen, sanctified ones, however others are overwhelmed with the sorrows of this present time, be not you so, for you know better; let the sinners in Zion tremble, but let the sons of Zion be joyful in their king.”  

Herein Christ’s disciples should do more than others, should keep their minds quiet, when every thing else is unquiet.  

2. The remedy he prescribes against this trouble of mind, which he saw ready to prevail over them; in general, believe–pisteuete.  

(1.) Some read it in both parts imperatively,  

“Believe in God, and his perfections and providence, believe also in me, and my mediation. Build with confidence upon the great acknowledged principles of natural religion: that there is a God, that he is most holy, wise, powerful, and good; that he is the governor of the world, and has the sovereign disposal of all events; and comfort yourselves likewise with the peculiar doctrines of that holy religion which I have taught you.”  


(2.) We read the former as an acknowledgment that they did believe in God, for which he commends them:  

“But, if you would effectually provide against a stormy day, believe also in me.”  

Through Christ we are brought into covenant with God, and become interested in his favour and promise, which otherwise as sinners we must despair of, and the remembrance of God would have been our trouble; but, by believing in Christ as the Mediator between God and man, our belief in God becomes comfortable; and this is the will of God, that all men should honour the Son as they honour the Father, by believing in the Son as they believe in the Father. Those that rightly believe in God will believe in Jesus Christ, whom he has made known to them; and believing in God through Jesus Christ is an excellent means of keeping trouble from the heart. The joy of faith is the best remedy against the griefs of sense; it is a remedy with a promise annexed to it; the just shall live by faith; a remedy with a probatum est annexed to it. I had fainted unless I had believed.  

II. Here is a particular direction to act faith upon the promise of eternal life, Joh 14:2-3. He had directed them to trust to God, and to trust in him; but what must they trust God and Christ for? Trust them for a happiness to come when this body and this world shall be no more, and for a happiness to last as long as the immortal soul and the eternal world shall last. Now this is proposed as a sovereign cordial under all the troubles of this present time, to which there is that in the happiness of heaven which is admirably adapted and accommodated. The saints have encouraged themselves with this in their greatest extremities, That heaven would make amends for all. Let us see how this is suggested here.  

1. Believe and consider that really there is such a happiness: In my Father’s house there are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you, Joh 14:2.  

(1.) See under what notion the happiness of heaven is here represented: as mansions, many mansions in Christ’s Father’s house.  

[1.] Heaven is a house, not a tent or tabernacle; it is a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.  

[2.] It is a Father’s house: my Father’s house; and his Father is our Father, to whom he was now ascending; so that in right of their elder brother all true believers shall be welcome to that happiness as to their home. It is his house who is King of kings and Lord of lords, dwells in light, and inhabits eternity.  

[3.] There are mansions there; that is, First, Distinct dwellings, an apartment for each. Perhaps there is an allusion to the priests’ chambers that were about the temple. In heaven there are accommodations for particular saints; though all shall be swallowed up in God, yet our individuality shall not be lost there; every Israelite had his lot in Canaan, and every elder a seat, Re 4:4. Secondly, Durable dwellings. monai,from mneiw, maneo, abiding places. The house itself is lasting; our estate in it is not for a term of years, but a perpetuity. Here we are as in an inn; in heaven we shall gain a settlement. The disciples had quitted their houses to attend Christ, who had not where to lay his head, but the mansions in heaven will make them amends.  

[4.] There are many mansions, for there are many sons to be brought to glory, and Christ exactly knows their number, nor will be straitened for room by the coming of more company than he expects. He had told Peter that he should follow him (Joh 13:36), but let not the rest be discouraged, in heaven there are mansions for them all. Rehoboth, Ge 26:22.  

(2.) See what assurance we have of the reality of the happiness itself, and the sincerity of the proposal of it to us:  

“If it were not so, I would have told you. If you had deceived yourselves, when you quitted your livelihoods, and ventured your lives for me, in prospect of a happiness future and unseen, I would soon have undeceived you.”  

The assurance is built,  

[1.] Upon the veracity of his word. It is implied,  

“If there were not such a happiness, valuable and attainable, I would not have told you that there was.”  

[2.] Upon the sincerity of his affection to them. As he is true, and would not impose upon them himself, so he is kind, and would not suffer them to be imposed upon. If either there were no such mansions, or none designed for them, who had left all to follow him, he would have given them timely notice of the mistake, that they might have made an honourable retreat to the world again, and have made the best they could of it. Note, Christ’s good-will to us is a great encouragement to our hope in him. He loves us too well, and means us too well, to disappoint the expectations of his own raising, or to leave those to be of all men most miserable who have been of him most observant.  

2. Believe and consider that the design of Christ’s going away was to prepare a place in heaven for his disciples.  

“You are grieved to think of my going away, whereas I go on your errand, as the forerunner; I am to enter for you.”  

He went to prepare a place for us; that is,  

(1.) To take possession for us, as our advocate or attorney, and so to secure our title as indefeasible. Livery of seisin was given to Christ, for the use and behoof of all that should believe on him.  

(2.) To make provision for us as our friend and father. The happiness of heaven, though prepared before the foundation of the world, yet must be further fitted up for man in his fallen state. It consisting much in the presence of Christ there, it was therefore necessary that he should go before, to enter into that glory which his disciples were to share in. Heaven would be an unready place for a Christian if Christ were not there. He went to prepare a table for them, to prepare thrones for them, Lu 22:30. Thus Christ declares the fitness of heaven’s happiness for the saints, for whom it is prepared.  

3. Believe and consider that therefore he would certainly come again in due time, to fetch them to that blessed place which he was now going to possess for himself and prepare for them (Joh 14:3):  

“If I go and prepare a place for you, if this be the errand of my journey, you may be sure, when every thing is ready, I will come again, and receive you to myself, so that you shall follow me hereafter, that where I am there you may be also.”  

Now these are comfortable words indeed.  

(1.) That Jesus Christ will come again; ercomai–I do come, intimating the certainty of it, that he will come and that he is daily coming. We say, We are coming, when we are busy in preparing for our coming, and so he is; all he does has a reference and tendency to his second coming. Note, The belief of Christ’s second coming, of which he has given us the assurance, is an excellent preservative against trouble of heart, Php 4:5; Jas 5:8.  

(2.) That he will come again to receive all his faithful followers to himself. He sends for them privately at death, and gathers them one by one; but they are to make their public entry in solemn state all together at the last day, and then Christ himself will come to receive them, to conduct them in the abundance of his grace, and to welcome them in the abundance of his love. He will hereby testify the utmost respect and endearment imaginable. The coming of Christ is in order to our gathering together unto him, 2Th 2:1.  

(3.) That where he is there they shall be also. This intimates, what many other scriptures declare, that the quintessence of heaven’s happiness is being with Christ there, Joh 17:24; Php 1:23; 1Th 4:17. Christ speaks of his being there as now present, that where I am; where I am to be shortly, where I am to be eternally; there you shall be shortly, there you shall be eternally: not only there, in the same place; but there, in the same state: not only spectators of his glory, as the three disciples on the mount, but sharers in it.  

(4.) That this may be inferred from his going to prepare a place for us, for his preparations shall not be in vain. He will not build and furnish lodgings, and let them stand empty. He will be the finisher of that of which he is the author. If he has prepared the place for us, he will prepare us for it, and in due time put us in possession of it. As the resurrection of Christ is the assurance of our resurrection, so his ascension, victory, and glory, are an assurance of ours.


NOV 15


Sermon: John 14:1-3: I Go To Prepare A Place For You

Old Testament Reading: Ezekiel 37:15–28

“The word of the Lord came to me: ‘Son of man, take a stick and write on it, ‘For Judah, and the people of Israel associated with him’; then take another stick and write on it, ‘For Joseph (the stick of Ephraim) and all the house of Israel associated with him.’ And join them one to another into one stick, that they may become one in your hand. And when your people say to you, ‘Will you not tell us what you mean by these?’ say to them, Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I am about to take the stick of Joseph (that is in the hand of Ephraim) and the tribes of Israel associated with him. And I will join with it the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, that they may be one in my hand. When the sticks on which you write are in your hand before their eyes, then say to them, Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I will take the people of Israel from the nations among which they have gone, and will gather them from all around, and bring them to their own land. And I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel. And one king shall be king over them all, and they shall be no longer two nations, and no longer divided into two kingdoms. They shall not defile themselves anymore with their idols and their detestable things, or with any of their transgressions. But I will save them from all the backslidings in which they have sinned, and will cleanse them; and they shall be my people, and I will be their God. My servant David shall be king over them, and they shall all have one shepherd. They shall walk in my rules and be careful to obey my statutes. They shall dwell in the land that I gave to my servant Jacob, where your fathers lived. They and their children and their children’s children shall dwell there forever, and David my servant shall be their prince forever. I will make a covenant of peace with them. It shall be an everlasting covenant with them. And I will set them in their land and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in their midst forevermore. My dwelling place shall be with them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Then the nations will know that I am the Lord who sanctifies Israel, when my sanctuary is in their midst forevermore.’”(Ezekiel 37:15–28, ESV)

New Testament Reading: John 14:1-3

“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.” (John 14:1–3, ESV)


Brothers and sisters, I want to begin to our consideration of the text before us by remembering things that happened long ago. It will eventually become clear why it is that I am introducing this sermon in this way. We should begin our consideration of John 14 by first of all remembering that “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth”, that is, all things visible and invisible. The scriptures tell us that “the earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.” (Genesis 1:1–2, ESV) I think you would agree with me, this was no place for man to dwell. This empty and chaotic darkness was by no means suitable for man. There was no place for him in this dark and chaotic abyss.

And so God began to bring the earth into shape. He began, by the power of his word, to form and fashion the earth into a realm suitable for his creatures.  “God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness.” (Genesis 1:3–4, ESV) He then divided the waters below from the waters above – the sky and the sea were created. And then he separated the seas from the dry land, and the dry land produced vegetation. These realms God created so that they might be filled with their proper rulers.

And that is in fact what God proceeded to do. Now that the earth was brought into shape – now that suitable realms had been created – he proceeded to fill those realms with things that would govern them. The scriptures tell us that on day four of creation God created the sun, moon, and stars. These were placed within their proper realm in order to rule the day and the night. In like manner God, on day five, created the flying creatures and the sea creatures, and they were placed within the realms created for them on day two. They were to multiply and fill the sky and the sea. And on day six we are told that God filled the land, which was created on day three,  with “the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.” (Genesis 1:25, ESV)

The creation account of Genesis 1 follows this pattern: realms were created, and then those realms were filled with creature kings. A place was made – light; the sky and the sea; dry land – and then those places were filled with God’s creatures who were given the task of governing in one way or another.

But you say, there is more to the creation story! And you are right! In Genesis 1:26 we hear of the pinnacle of God’s creation:

“Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’ So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.’ And God said, ‘Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.’ And it was so. And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.” (Genesis 1:26–31, ESV)

Much can be said about the creation account of Genesis 1, but what I want you to see is that at the heart of it is this idea: God made a place for man. He created all things visible and invisible by the power of his Word. He then, by the power of his Word, brought the earth out of its formless, empty, and dark state. And he did so until there was a place where man could dwell.

Genesis 2 tells us the same story but from a different vantage point. It zooms in upon man. Man, we are told was created directly by God. He was created from the dust of the ground. God breathed into him the breath of life. And the woman was taken out of man. After man was created by God he “put the man whom he had formed” into the garden paradise that he had created (Genesis 2:8, ESV).

Church, there is a question that we must answer before we move on. And the question is this: what made that garden paradise, paradise? Have you ever considered that? We might be tempted to think that it was the climate, or the lushness of the place? Perhaps it was the abundance of food? Or maybe it was the absence of sickness and death. These things certainly contributed to man’s enjoyment of paradise, but may I suggest to you the thing that made paradise, paradise, had nothing to do with the physical creation, but rather had everything to do with the fact that it was there that man walked with God. Eden – the original creation – was like a temple where man enjoyed unbroken, unhindered, unmediated, fellowship with the God who made him. Adam and Eve walked with God. He was their God, and they his people. God tabernacled with man there in that place. God is what made paradise, paradise.

Those of you familiar with the Bible are aware of the fact that Genesis 1and 2 are followed quickly by Genesis 3 which tells us of man’s original sin, the fall. The consequence of the sin of our first parents was that paradise was lost. The wages of sin is death. Sickness and suffering became the norm. Man was put out of the garden paradise, the way to the tree of life being blocked. But more than all of this we should notice that man lost his place before God. No longer would he walk with God in an unbroken, unhindered, unmediated way. No, he was now a sinner. He was a child of wrath. He stood guiltily before God – condemned.

But as you know, God showed mercy to fallen man. In an act of sheer grace he promised to redeem. He promised to defeat the evil one. He promised to send a Savior. God promised to make a way for fallen man to dwell with him. The Bible, as complicated as it may seem, is really quite simple – it is the story of God making and keeping his promise to save a people unto himself through Jesus who is the Christ.

With that in mind let us now move from our consideration of the creation and fall forward through the history of redemption. Let us pass by Able and Seth, Enoch and Noah. Let us move past Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. And passing by Moses and David let us now fix our attention upon Jesus, who is the Christ, the Promised one from long ago.

Picture him there in the upper room with his disciples. He had walked with them for over three years. He taught them many things. He preformed miracles before their eyes, and in the sight of others. They believed that he was the Christ, the Savior of the world, and they expected him to remain forever. But now he is talking about going away. In John 13:33 we hear Jesus say, “Little children, yet a little while I am with you. You will seek me, and just as I said to the Jews, so now I also say to you, ‘Where I am going you cannot come.’” (John 13:33, ESV)

The disciples were troubled at this word. They were greatly distressed. They were bothered at the thought of their Master going away. After all, they expected him to remain forever! They thought to themselves, why does he need to leave? Where does he plan to go? Will will see him again? And how will we possibly get along in this world without him? These were the thoughts that were troubling the disciples of Jesus.

Notice that Jesus brings comfort to his disciples. That is what John 14 is all about. Jesus is comforting his disciples concerning his departure. And not only did he comfort the 11 who remained with him in the upper room on the night of of his betrayal and arrest, but he, by way of extension, also comforts you and I who live in this age between Christ first and second coming.

And how does Christ comfort those who are his who will live in the time between his first and second comings?

Christ commands us, saying, “let not your hearts be troubled.”

Look at verse 1. Jesus says, “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.” (John 14:1, ESV) Isn’t this like our Lord! We know that he himself was “troubled in spirit”, and yet, even with with the weight of the world upon his shoulders, his gives himself to the task of comforting his disciples with the words, “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.”

These words were originally for the 11 disciples who remained, it is true. But they are also for you and me. Jesus says to all who are his who live in this world between his first and second coming, “Let not your hearts be troubled”.

Christian, do you see that this is a command? “Let not your hearts be troubled”, Jesus says. It is an imperative in the Greek.  And as a command it is something that we are to obey. When our hearts are anxious – when our hearts are troubled with the cares that come with living in this world – we are to hear the command of our Savior saying, “let not your hearts be troubled.” And upon hearing his words, we are to obey them.

Christ urges us, saying, “believe in God, believe also in me.”

Thankfully there is substance to the command. There is weight behind it! You and I might say to one another, “don’t worry”, or “be happy”, but there is little substance to that. We might respond to encouragement like that saying, but why should I not worry? Or, why should I be happy? Jesus gives us a reason. He says,  “let not your hearts be troubled”, but he does not leave us with and empty command. He directs our attention to God and urges us to take comfort in him! “Believe in God; believe also in me”, he says. I can think of no greater reason to refrain from fretting than to remember the God who made us and love that he has for us in Christ Jesus. And that is where Jesus directs our attention. “Believe in God”, he says. And “believe also in me”

And so what are we to do when our hearts are filled with angst? We are to heed the command of Christ! We are to run to God and place all of our trust in him. We are to follow the advice of Peter who urges us to, “[cast] all [our] anxieties on [God], because he cares for [us].” (1 Peter 5:7, ESV)

Christ encourages us, saying, “I go and prepare a place for you.”

But Jesus goes further than this as he comforts his disciples assuring them that he his departure is for good a reason. It was not a purposeless departure, but a purposeful one. His departure was for their benefit as he would go away in order to prepare a place for those who belong to him.

Verse 2: “In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?” (John 14:2, ESV)

When I hear these words the image that comes to mind is that of a husband going away to prepare a place for his bride. Now there is a vast difference between a husband leaving his bride for no good reason, and a husband going away in order to prepare a place for her. In both instances the bride will undoubtably experience a measure of trepidation concerning the departure of her husband, but the two things are entirely different. In the one the departure is for no good reason and to no good end; in the other the departure is for a good purpose – a purpose that will eventually benefit the bride. When a husband separates from his wife for a time in order to prepare a place for her, the wife ultimately rejoices, for she knows that his leaving is essentially good, though it may be difficult for a time. His leaving will bring about something better than what currently is.

So it was with Christ’s death, burial, resurrection, and assertion to the Father. He would leave his disciples on earth for a time, but for good reason. He departed in order to prepare a place for those who belong to him – he has gone to prepare a place for us.

Clearly, Jesus was talking about heaven. He refers to heaven as “my Fathers house”. Heaven is the place where God dwells. It is true, there is a sense in which God is everywhere – he is omnipresent. But heaven is that place where his glory dwells. In the scriptures we are, from time to time, given a glimpse into heaven – that is,  of the third heaven – where God is worshipped day and night by the heavenly hosts and the saints who have passed from this world into glory. Jesus here refers to this place as “my Fathers house”.

I suppose it can also be said that Jesus ultimately has in mind the new heavens and the new earth that those who are in Christ will enjoy for all eternity at the consummation. This is ultimately what we should have in mind when we hear Jesus say, “I go to prepare a place for you.” Ultimately, the place that Christ will prepare for us is the new heavens and the new earth.

John describes this place for us at the end of the book of Revelation, saying,

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away… And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.’ And he who was seated on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.’ Also he said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.’” (Revelation 21:1–5, ESV)

This is the ultimate and final place that Christ is preparing for those who are his – that is, for his bride, the church.

Jesus tells us that “in his Fathers house their are many rooms.” Are we to think of heaven (as it is now), or the new heavens and new earth (as they will be at the consummation) as giant apartment complex, then? A mansion with many individual rooms in which the people of God will dwell? No. It seems to me that Christ is using figurative language here. The point is that Christ is going away to prepare a place for those who belong to him, and that in that place there is ample room for his people.

There is a reason why I began this sermon by rehearsing the creation account. When thinking of the new heavens and the new earth we ought to have in mind the original creation. In the end, the original creation will be restored. In the end, the people of God will possess that which the first Adam forfeited. We will possess what the first Adam forfeited by trusting in the second Adam, who is the Christ, who accomplished salvation for us. Just as God created the heavens and earth in the beginning (making a place suitable for the first Adam to dwell), so too Christ will usher in the new creation at the end of time (having prepared a place suitable for those united to him to dwell).

The difference between the first creation and the new creation is that in the new creation there will be no possibility for rebellion. We will enter into consummate rest – secure rest – everlasting rest. The first paradise could be lost. The second paradise cannot be lost, because it has been earned (paid in full!) by Jesus, who is the Christ, the second Adam. This is difference between Eden and the eternal state.

The similarity is this: in both the original creation and the new creation, the central and significant feature that God dwells in the midst of his people. The people of God will enjoy unbroken, unhindered, unmediated, fellowship with the God who made them. This is what makes paradise, paradise. 

When talking about heaven people are accustom to speaking of pearly gates, streets of gold, and mansions on hills. We speak often of no more sin, sickness, or death. And it is true that we long for these things. But we are amiss – terribly amiss – if, when thinking of the new heavens and the new earth, we fail to see “God with us” as the most treasured feature of all. He is what makes heaven, heaven. He is what makes paradise, paradise. He indeed is our life.

It was true of the first creation, and will be true of the last. We will walk with God in the cool of the evening.

When the prophet spoke of the glories to come this is very thing that they emphasized – God with us! Remember Ezekiel 37? The promise was this, “But I will save them from all the backslidings in which they have sinned, and will cleanse them; and they shall be my people, and I will be their God.” (Ezekiel 37:23, ESV)

Again in verse 26,

“I will make a covenant of peace with them. It shall be an everlasting covenant with them. And I will set them in their land and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in their midst forevermore. My dwelling place shall be with them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Then the nations will know that I am the Lord who sanctifies Israel, when my sanctuary is in their midst forevermore.” (Ezekiel 37:26–28, ESV)

These things have already been fulfilled in part at Christ’s first coming, but they will be fulfilled fully at his second coming.

And the book of Revelation paints the same picture for us, doesn’t it? The voice that John heard, said, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.” (Revelation 21:3, ESV)

This is what makes paradise, paradise – God with us. We will indeed enjoy unbroken, unhindered, unmediated, fellowship with the God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

Do you see that this is precisely what Jesus emphasizes in John 14? He says, “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.” (John 14:3, ESV)

Oh church, are you not comforted by these things? Are you not comforted by the fact that, though we may struggle here on earth in the time between Christ’s first and second coming, he has prepared a place for you?

What you and I deserve is to be cast from the presence of God into utter darkness – into the void if you will. But just as God made a place suitable for Adam, so too Christ as had made a place suitable for you and me through his obedient life, his sacrificial death, and his resurrection.

And he has promised to return for us! He would depart for a time. But this separation will not be final. He will return for his bride at the end of time so that where he is we may also be.

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warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom,
that we may present everyone mature in Christ.”
(Colossians 1:28, ESV)

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What does it mean to let not your heart be troubled in John 14:1?


In John 14:1, Jesus tells His disciples, “Let not your hearts be troubled” (ESV). As always, the meaning of any particular passage of Scripture can only be ascertained by understanding the context. So we will back up and take a look at what leads up to Jesus’ command to “let not your heart be troubled.”

In John 12, Jesus tells the crowds (including the disciples) that He would be crucified. In John 13, in the intimate setting of a Passover meal, the meal that later became known as “the Last Supper,” Jesus tells His disciples that one of them would betray Him. He then goes on to tell Peter that he will deny and disown the Lord. Obviously, all of this was upsetting news to the disciples.

After the Last Supper, before He is arrested, Jesus assures His disciples, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me” (John 14:1). The information that He goes on to communicate, about heaven and about the Holy Spirit, is the antidote to the disturbing information that they have taken in.

When Jesus said, “Let not your hearts be troubled,” He was comforting His disciples, who definitely had troubled hearts. Jesus promises them that His death will not be the end, and Peter’s denial will not be the end for Peter, either. He explains that His death and subsequent ascension into heaven, rather than leaving them destitute, will bring about two specific blessings: it will enable Him to prepare a place for them, and it will allow Him to send the Holy Spirit to comfort them.

When Jesus said He was going to “prepare a place” for the disciples, He was speaking of His death (John 14:3). We should not imagine that Jesus has been “building heaven” for the last 2,000 years and that it is still “under construction.” Rather, His words mean that His death was the preparation for us to receive a place in the Father’s house. It is ready now.

As part of allaying the disciples’ fears, Jesus also promised that, when He did leave the earth, He would send the Holy Spirit to the disciples and to all believers. Throughout John chapters 15 and 16, Jesus speaks of the disciples’ victory over the world by the power of the Spirit. The book of Acts gives the historical fulfillment of these promises as believers, in the power of the Spirit, took the gospel to the world. The Spirit is still at work in all believers today.

The admonition “do not let your hearts be troubled” was spoken specifically to the disciples in the face of Jesus’ impending death. Believers today are not in the same specific situation, but the admonition still applies. We should not let our hearts be troubled by anxiety or worry about Jesus’ care and plan for us.

When we face trouble, we may think that, if only Jesus were here with us, in person, standing beside us so that we could talk face to face, we could get through the trial. We are tempted to think that we could trust Him better if He were visible and in the flesh. When we begin to have these thoughts, we need to let our hearts be comforted by two key facts: Jesus has done everything that needs to be done for us to be welcomed into the Father’s house, so we are children of the King; and the Holy Spirit lives in us to help us, if we will yield ourselves to His leading. When we rest in the salvation that Jesus provided and rely on the Holy Spirit to help us navigate the dangerous world around us, we can keep from being troubled in our hearts.


John: Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament by Edward W. Klink III

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What did Jesus mean when He said, “I go to prepare a place for you” (John 14:2)?

What does it mean that Jesus loved His own to the end (John 13:1)?

What did Jesus mean when He said “I am the good Shepherd?”

How should Jesus’ saying, “I will not leave you as orphans,” give us hope (John 14:18)?

What did Jesus mean when He said “I am the Light of the World” (John 8:12)?

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Questions about John

What does it mean to let not your heart be troubled in John 14:1?

God’s Love Endures With Thanksgiving And Praises Of Honor


Psalm 136:1,26 (New Living Translation)

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Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.

All Praise and Thanksgiving are good to the lord for he is to be honored. His good honors, grace, faithfulness and love endure forever


Video for Psalm 136:

Psalm 136 – God’s Never-Ending Mercy

Psalm 136 is a special psalm, with each one of its 26 verses repeating the sentence, His mercy endures forever. Psalm 118 repeated that affirmation five times. Throughout the Hebrew Scriptures, the phrase has somewhat of a liturgical sense to it, as if the assembled people of Israel said or sung this in response to the direction of the Levites leading singing and worship. Ezra 3:11 indicates that this encouragement was part of a responsive singing among God’s people: And they sang responsively, praising and giving thanks to the LORD: “For He is good, For His mercy endures forever toward Israel.”

The sentence is used several other times in the Old Testament, each time in the context of some kind of public praise or declaration. His mercy endures forever is found:

• In David’s psalm of praise recorded in 1 Chronicles 16:7-36.

• In the assignments of the priests in David’s day (1 Chronicles 16:41).

• In Israel’s praise at the dedication of Solomon’s temple (2 Chronicles 5:13, 7:3, 7:6).

• In the record of the LORD’s victory over the Ammonites as they praised (2 Chronicles 20:21).

• In the future praise by Israel after the destruction suffered in the Babylonian conquest (Jeremiah 33:10-11).

• In the dedication of Ezra’s temple (Ezra 3:11).

We picture a great multitude of the people of God gathered in the temple courts. A priest or Levite would call out a reason to give God thanks, and His people would respond with, “For His mercy endures forever.”

“In Jewish tradition Psalm 136 has been called the Great Hallel (or Great Psalm of Praise). It does not use the words hallelu jah, but it is called the Great Hallel for the way it rehearses God’s goodness in regard to his people and encourages them to praise him for his merciful and steadfast love.” (James Montgomery Boice)

A. The enduring mercy of God from the beginning of time.

1. (1-4) The enduring mercy of God in His essential nature, who He is.

Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever.
Oh, give thanks to the God of gods!
For His mercy endures forever.
Oh, give thanks to the Lord of lords!
For His mercy endures forever:
To Him who alone does great wonders,
For His mercy endures forever;

a. Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good: As in the previous psalm, Psalm 136 gives thanks and praise to God for His goodness. The fact that God is good is fundamental to all that He is and does. We know that God is love (1 John 4:8 and 4:16), and that love is an expression of His goodness. This is a wonderful reason to give Yahweh thanks.

i. “Give thanks is not the whole meaning of this word…and therefore calls us to thoughtful, grateful worship, spelling out what we know or have found of God’s glory and his deeds.” (Kidner)

ii. “He is good beyond all others; indeed, he alone is good in the highest sense; he is the source of good, the good of all good, the sustainer of good, the perfecter of good, and the rewarder of good. For this he deserves the constant gratitude of his people.” (Spurgeon)

iii. Because we are made in God’s image (Genesis 1:26-27), we know something of what is good. However, we are fallen (Romans 5:19), and our knowledge of good is corrupted. Yet our entire concept of good is rooted in God and His goodness.

iv. Those who question God’s goodness do so according to some standard of what is good and what is evil. The very existence of that standard connects them to something beyond themselves – back to the Creator who made them in His image.

b. For His mercy endures forever: This is the first of 26 times this phrase is repeated in this psalm. It was probably the answer of the congregation of Israel to each first line spoken by the priests or Levites.

i. 1 Chronicles 16:37-41 suggests that His mercy endures forever was sung daily as part of the morning and evening sacrifices.

ii. “Most hymns with a solid, simple chorus become favourites with congregations, and this is sure to have been one of the best beloved.” (Spurgeon)

iii. The greatest demonstration of the always-enduring mercy of God was seen in the person and work of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world.

c. His mercy endures forever: The declaration proclaims that God’s hesed (mercy) never ends and will always be given to His people.

i. Mercy is the translation of the great Hebrew word hesed, which may be understood as Yahweh’s grace, His loyal love, His covenant love unto His people. Some scholars have overemphasized its covenant aspect, taking too much feeling from the word. Hesed combines loyalty to a covenant with true love and mercy.

ii. For centuries it was translated with words like mercy, kindness, and love. In 1927, a scholar named Nelson Glueck (among others) argued that the real idea behind hesed was “covenant loyalty” and not so much love or mercy. However, many disagreed and there is no good reason for changing the long-held understanding of hesed and taking it as a word that mainly emphasizes covenant loyalty (see R. Laird Harris on hesed in the Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament).

d. Give thanks to the God of gods…to the Lord of lords: Reasons are repeatedly found to thank and praise God. Here each reason is connected to who God is. He is greater than any of the supposed gods or lords of the nations. This idea may be drawn from Deuteronomy 10:17.

i. LORD…. God…. Lord: “The opening stanzas refer to the One to Whom reference is made throughout, by the three great names by which He as known: Jehovah, the title of grace (Psalm 136:1); Elohim, the name of might (Psalm 136:2); and Adonai, the title of sovereignty (Psalm 136:3).” (Morgan)

ii. The Lord of lords: “All lords in the plural are summed up in this Lord in the singular: he is more lordly than all emperors and kings condensed into one.” (Spurgeon)

e. To Him who alone does great wonders: God’s people were invited to praise Him as the God of true power and miraculous wonders. Most of the rest of this psalm describes many of these great wonders, that were and are an expression of His great mercy, His hesed to His people.

i. “The attributes here mentioned are those of ‘goodness’ and ‘power;’ the one renders him willing, the other able to save; and what can we desire more, but that he should continue to be so?” (Horne)

ii. “His works are all great in wonder even when they are not great in size; in fact, in the minute objects of the microscope we behold as great wonders as even the telescope can reveal.” (Spurgeon)

iii. It is true that God alone does great wonders, and the following lines tell us that creation is the beginning (not the end) of those wonders.

2. (5-9) The enduring mercy of God in His work as Creator.

To Him who by wisdom made the heavens,
For His mercy endures forever;
To Him who laid out the earth above the waters,
For His mercy endures forever;
To Him who made great lights,
For His mercy endures forever—
The sun to rule by day,
For His mercy endures forever;
The moon and stars to rule by night,
For His mercy endures forever.

a. To Him who by wisdom made the heavens: Here the singer refers back to Genesis 1 and points to God’s creative work as a demonstration of His never-ending mercy to His people.

i. “The psalm looks at the story of Creation from an original point of view, when it rolls out in chorus, after each stage of that work, that its motive lay in the eternal lovingkindness of Jehovah. Creation is an act of Divine love.” (Maclaren)

ii. “As far back as the creation his eye had travelled, and all through the stormy, troubled days he could detect the silver thread of mercy. Oh that we had his eyes to see always the love of God!” (Meyer)

iii. “There are no iron tracks, with bars and bolts, to hold the planets in their orbits. Freely in space they move, ever changing, but never changed; poised and balancing; swaying and swayed; disturbing and disturbed, onward they fly, fulfilling with unerring certainty their mighty cycles. The entire system forms one grand complicated piece of celestial machinery; circle within circle, wheel within wheel, cycle within cycle.” (The Orbs of Heaven, cited by Spurgeon)

b. Laid out the earth above the waters: In this section, the work of God as Creator is described with elements from the first four days of creation (Genesis 1:1-19). Because each of these is an expression of His never-ending mercy toward His people, we can say that God created the heavens and the earth with His people in mind.

i. “The heavens above and the earth beneath declare the wisdom of their great Maker, and proclaim aloud, to an intelligent ear, the divinity of the hand that formed them. The heavens display the love of God to man; the earth teaches the duty of man to God.” (Horne)

ii. “Paul echoed the same truths in Lystra when he taught the Gentiles there that God ‘has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy’ (Acts 14:17).” (Boice)

iii. The theme of creation in this psalm “…invites the Christian not to wrangle over cosmological theories but to delight in his environment, known to him as no mere mechanism but a work of ‘steadfast love’. No unbeliever has grounds for any such quality of joy.” (Kidner)

B. The enduring mercy of God to His people.

1. (10-15) The enduring mercy of God in the deliverance from Egypt.

To Him who struck Egypt in their firstborn,
For His mercy endures forever;
And brought out Israel from among them,
For His mercy endures forever;
With a strong hand, and with an outstretched arm,
For His mercy endures forever;
To Him who divided the Red Sea in two,
For His mercy endures forever;
And made Israel pass through the midst of it,
For His mercy endures forever;
But overthrew Pharaoh and his army in the Red Sea,
For His mercy endures forever;

a. To Him who struck Egypt in their firstborn: The previous psalm mentioned the deliverance from Egypt and the striking of the firstborn (Psalm 135:8-9). Here again God is praised as the One who rescued Israel from their slavery and degradation in Egypt – another expression of His never-ending mercy.

i. The singer recounted God’s great wonders flowing seamlessly from the work of creation described in Genesis 1 to the work of deliverance described in Exodus. We rightly regard (or should regard) the Exodus account as historical, describing what really happened. Therefore, the context and flow of this psalm demonstrates that what God described in Genesis 1 really happened. The psalmist does not treat them differently, as if one were a legend and the other actual history.

b. To Him who divided the Red Sea in two: God did not only bring the Israelites out of Egypt, but He also delivered them from Pharaoh’s attempt to re-capture them. In mercy to Israel, God overthrew Pharaoh and his army in the Red Sea.

i. God’s use of history in this psalm is important. As in countless other places in the Scriptures, God used His work in the past to give hope, faith, and confidence to His people both for the moment and for the future.

ii. “The word for dividing the Red Sea is peculiar. It means to hew in pieces or in two, and is used for cutting in halves the child in Solomon’s judgment [1 Kings 3:25]; while the word ‘parts’ [two] is a noun from the same root, and is found in Genesis 15:17, to describe the two portions into which Abraham clave the carcasses. Thus, as with a sword, Jehovah hewed the sea in two, and His people passed between the parts, as between the halves of the covenant sacrifice.” (Maclaren)

iii. Overthrew Pharaoh and his army: “…as in Hebrew, shaked off. The word is applicable to a tree shaking off its foliage, Isaiah. 33:9. The same word is used in Exodus 14:27: ‘And the Lord overthrew (shook off) the Egyptians in the midst of the sea.’” (Barnes, cited in Spurgeon)

2. (16-22) The enduring mercy of God from the wilderness to the Promised Land.

To Him who led His people through the wilderness,
For His mercy endures forever;
To Him who struck down great kings,
For His mercy endures forever;
And slew famous kings,
For His mercy endures forever—
Sihon king of the Amorites,
For His mercy endures forever;
And Og king of Bashan,
For His mercy endures forever—
And gave their land as a heritage,
For His mercy endures forever;
A heritage to Israel His servant,
For His mercy endures forever.

a. To Him who led His people through the wilderness: This short statement is a reminder of many mighty and loving acts of God. Yahweh provided guidance, food, water, structure, leadership, healing, victory, and many other things to Israel through the wilderness.

i. “It was an astonishing miracle of God to support so many hundreds of thousands of people in a wilderness totally deprived of all necessities for the life of man, and that for the space of forty years.” (Clarke)

ii. “…through that vast howling wilderness, where there was neither way nor provision; through which none but the Almighty God could have safely conducted them.” (Poole)

iii. This was a great demonstration of God’s never-failing mercy. “Their conduct in the wilderness tested his mercy most severely, but it bore the strain; many a time he forgave them; and though he smote them for their transgressions, yet he waited to be gracious and speedily turned to them in compassion.” (Spurgeon)

b. To Him who struck down great kings: The previous psalm described the defeat of Sihon king of the Amorites and Og king of Bashan, as well as the giving of Canaan to Israel as a heritage (Psalm 135:10-12). These were all demonstrations of the never-ending mercy of God.

i. Great kings: “Great, as those times accounted them, when almost every small city had their king; Canaan had thirty and more of them. Great also in regard of their stature and strength; for they were of the giant’s race, Deuteronomy 3:11-13, Amos 2:9.” (Trapp)

ii. “The Lord who smote Pharaoh at the beginning of the wilderness march, smote Sihon and Og at the close of it.” (Spurgeon)

iii. And slew famous kings: “What good was their fame to them? As they opposed God they became infamous rather than famous. Their deaths made the Lord’s fame to increase among the nations while their fame ended in disgraceful defeat.” (Spurgeon)

3. (23-25) The enduring mercy of God in ongoing deliverance and help.

Who remembered us in our lowly state,
For His mercy endures forever;
And rescued us from our enemies,
For His mercy endures forever;
Who gives food to all flesh,
For His mercy endures forever.

a. Who remembered us in our lowly state: The song makes a sharp yet skillful transition from God’s great wonders of the past to His faithful help in the present. It is good for us to look to the past for evidence that His mercy endures forever, but even better for us to see the evidence in our own day.

i. “After all, ‘his steadfast love endures for ever’, and the refrain is designed to show the relevance of every act of God to every singer of the psalm.” (Kidner)

ii. Rescued us from our enemies: “Sin is our enemy, and we are redeemed from it by the atoning blood; Satan is our enemy and we are redeemed from him by the Redeemer’s power; the world is our enemy, and we are redeemed from it by the Holy Spirit.” (Spurgeon)

b. Who gives food to all flesh: The psalmist asked God’s people to praise and thank Him not only for His work as deliverer, but also as provider. This is more evidence of God’s never-ending mercy, which is extended to all flesh, not only to Israel.

i. Food to all flesh: “…by whose universal providence every intellectual and animal being is supported and preserved. The appointing every living thing food, and that sort of food which is suited to its nature, (and the nature and habits of animals are endlessly diversified,) is an overwhelming proof of the wondrous providence, wisdom, and goodness of God.” (Clarke)

ii. “He promised to Noah and to all ‘flesh’ to sustain it with his grace (cf. Genesis 9:8-17). Here the psalmist makes use of the word ‘flesh’…and thus makes an allusion to God’s promise (cf. Genesis 9:11, 15-17).” (VanGemeren)

4. (26) Gratitude to the God of enduring mercy.

Oh, give thanks to the God of heaven!
For His mercy endures forever.

a. Oh, give thanks to the God of heaven: In directing us to do this, the psalmist not only had in mind our appropriate gratitude, but also reminds us that the God of Israel, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, is the God of heaven. He is the God who really exists and really reigns.

i. God of heaven: “Therefore the final call to praise, which rounds off the psalm by echoing its beginning, does not name Him by the Name which implied Israel’s special relation, but by that by which other peoples could and did address Him, “the God of heaven,” from whom all good comes down on all the earth.” (Maclaren)

ii. “His mercy in providing heaven for his people is more than all the rest.” (Trapp)

b. For His mercy endures forever: The singer has given us many reasons to respond to God with this statement, and we are persuaded. The never-ending mercy of God – His lovingkindness, His grace, His loyal love – will never stop finding a way to bless and help His people.

i. “And do you suppose that such mercy is going to fail you? It endureth forever! You fret and chafe like a restless little child; but you cannot fall out of the arms of God’s mercy.” (Meyer)

ii. Spurgeon suggested many things that Psalm 136 as a whole teaches:

· The past, present, or future will not end His mercy.

· The storms of life will not end His mercy.

· Distance from loved ones will not end His mercy.

· Death itself will not end His mercy.

· God’s never-ending mercy should make us merciful to others.

· God’s never-ending mercy should make us hopeful for others.

· God’s never-ending mercy should make us hopeful for ourselves.

iii. “One night in February 358 A.D. the church father Athanasius held an all-night service at his church in Alexandria, Egypt. He had been leading the fight for the eternal sonship and deity of Jesus Christ, knowing that the survival of Christianity depended on it. He had many enemies – for political even more than theological reasons – and they moved the power of the Roman government against him. That night the church was surrounded by soldiers with drawn swords. People were frightened. With calm presence of mind Athanasius announced the singing of Psalm 136. The vast congregation responded, thundering forth twenty-six times, ‘His love endures forever.’ When the soldiers burst through the doors they were staggered by the singing. Athanasius kept his place until the congregation was dispersed. Then he too disappeared in the darkness and found refuge with his friends.” (Boice)

iv. “Many citizens of Alexandria were killed that night, but the people of Athanasius’s congregation never forgot that although man is evil, God is good. He is superlatively good, and ‘his love endures forever.’” (Boice)

(c) 2020 The Enduring Word Bible Commentary by David Guzik – ewm@enduringword.com

Verse of the Day

for Thursday, November 29, 2018

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever. Give thanks to the God of heaven. His love endures forever.

Psalm 136:1 and 26

Related Topics: God, Heaven, Lord, Love, Praise, Worship, Thanksgiving, All Topics…

Thoughts on Today’s Verse…

Our thankgiving arises from the nature of God and his glory and goodness. The steadfast reason we give thanks is because God is good and his love is inexhaustible, beyond decay, and never ending.

My Prayer…

O great Lover of my soul, thank you for sending Jesus as the demonstration of your love. I love you Father. I love you for who you are and what you have done. I love you for what you have promised. I love you for the blessings you shower upon me. I love you for giving me hope. I love you because you first loved me. I love you because you are worthy of all love. But I confess that my love is not as strong as yours, so please, fill me with your love by the power of the Holy Spirit. In the name of Jesus, your Son and my Savior, I lift my heart to you. Amen.

The Thoughts and Prayer on Today’s Verse are written by Phil Ware. You can email questions or comments to phil@verseoftheday.com.

What Does Psalm 136:1 Mean? ►

Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good, For His lovingkindness is everlasting.

Psalm 136:1(NASB)

Verse Thoughts

Gratefulness of heart to the Lord God almighty is like a golden stream that threads its way through this wonderful song of praise. We have a repetitive chorus that rehearses the truth of God’s goodness. It is the recurring reminder, that God’s love and grace touches every facet of our lives, “O give thanks to the LORD; for He is good: for His mercy endures forever.”

The repeating, melodious heartbeat, that caresses every part of the created universe, rejoices that His loving-kindness is everlasting, His steadfast mercies endure forever, His faithful love is never-ending, and His unwavering goodness, stretches into the furthest extremities of eternity.

“O give thanks to the LORD; for He is good: for His mercy endures forever,” is the insistent drumbeat that is designed to grab our attention in every verse of this glorious song of praise, which proclaims the never-ending truth that God is good, and the mercies of the Lord are everlasting, forever and ever, Amen.

As all the deeds and misdeeds of Israel are pronounced and publicised throughout this hymn of praise, the tender loving-kindness and great compassion of the Lord continues to be shed abroad. Mercy and grace, along with goodness and faithfulness, are some of the eternal attributes of our heavenly Father – and the regular rhythm and insistent beat of this joyful chorus, echoes the joyful refrain, “O give thanks to the LORD; for He is good: for His mercy endures forever. O give thanks to the LORD; for He is good: for His mercy endures forever.”

The wonderful certainty that the loving-kindness of our heavenly Lord is everlasting, and that His truth endures from one generation to another, should permeate every fibre of our being and thrill the heart of every believer with the fullness of His joy and a heart of gratitude.

The Lord rescues the perishing, pardons the guilty, protects the weak, and fills the hungry with good things. He comforts the sorrowing, heals the broken-hearted, gives His all-sufficient grace to help the needy, and fulfils all His precious promises. He is worthy of all praise and deserving of our grateful thanks. He alone is the God of all gods for His love is eternal, His mercy and loving-kindness endure forever, and He is faithful to fulfil all that He has said.

Should not we, who are His blood-bought children, rejoice to hear such worthy instructions on praise and thanksgiving? Indeed, worship and reverent homage is often the central ingredient adopted by God’s people in honouring the LORD – as directed by David, Solomon, and other great kings of Israel. Should we not take up the Palmists refrain and give our most grateful thanks to the LORD, for He is good, and His lovingkindness is everlasting.

The wisdom of Paul, the great apostle to the Gentiles, similarly reminds us that rejoicing in the Lord is our worthy calling, for His steadfast mercy truly does endure from generation to generation. His faithful love is never-ending, and His unwavering goodness stretches into the outer limits of the universe and the furthest extremities of eternity.

Let us endeavour to give thanks to the Lord and be glad in Him! Let all who are saved by grace and morally upright, shout for joy to the God of our salvation! Let us glory in the name of the LORD, for “praise is pleasant and lovely” and praise is “comely for the upright.” May we rejoice in the Lord and delight, day by day, in His gracious deliverance.

Let us give thanks to the LORD, in remembrance of his holiness. Let us give thanks for the LORD as we commemorate the glory in the Holy One of Israel. Let us give praise to His name together, for sending Jesus to be our kinsman-Redeemer and to die on the Cross for our sake, and may we never cease to give thanks to the LORD, for He is good, for His lovingkindness is everlasting.

Source: https://dailyverse.knowing-jesus.com/psalm-136-1

Be Thankful In Christ Jesus


1 Chronicles 16:8 (New Living Translation)

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Give thanks to the Lord and proclaim his greatness. Let the whole world know what he has done.


1 Chronicles 16:8 (New International Version)

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Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done.

Praise and give thanks to the Lord prioritizing his name and Greatness proclaiming him and what he has done make his name worthy and world wide let the whole world shine his name sharing his grace and glory


A. The ark is brought into the prepared tent.

1. (1-3) David gives the assembly a feast.

So they brought the ark of God, and set it in the midst of the tabernacle that David had erected for it. Then they offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before God. And when David had finished offering the burnt offerings and the peace offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the LORD. Then he distributed to everyone of Israel, both man and woman, to everyone a loaf of bread, a piece of meat, and a cake of raisins.

a. They brought the ark of God, and set it in the midst of the tabernacle: After many years – since the ark was lost in battle – the ark is returned to the center of Israel’s national consciousness. The emblem of God’s presence and glory was set in its proper place in Israel.

b. When David had finished offering the burnt offerings and peace offerings: The burnt offerings spoke of consecration. The peace offerings spoke of fellowship. This was a day of great consecration and fellowship with God. It was also a great barbeque and meal for all the people.

i. These sacrifices were an important part of the ceremony, neglected in the first attempt to bring the ark of the covenant to Jerusalem. “These pointed them to Christ, freeing them from their sins, both from the crime and from the curse; these taught them thankfulness for Christ, and all benefits in and by him.” (Trapp)

ii. “The second item of food (known only here and in 2 Samuel 6:19) was either a cake of dates or a ‘portion of meat’ (REB, NEB, NRSV; cf. GNB, AV) – if the latter is correct, it was an especially generous act since meat rarely appeared on domestic menus in ancient Israel.” (Selman)

iii. “Most flesh from the peace offerings was eaten by the people themselves, sitting down, as it were, as guests of God’s table, in a meal celebrating the restoration of their peace with him.” (Payne)

2. (4-6) Worship leaders are appointed to lead the congregation.

And he appointed some of the Levites to minister before the ark of the LORD, to commemorate, to thank, and to praise the LORD God of Israel: Asaph the chief, and next to him Zechariah, then Jeiel, Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Mattithiah, Eliab, Benaiah, and Obed-Edom: Jeiel with stringed instruments and harps, but Asaph made music with cymbals; Benaiah and Jahaziel the priests regularly blew the trumpets before the ark of the covenant of God.

a. And he appointed some of the Levites to minister before the ark: At the end of this spectacular day of celebration, David established an enduring institution of worship and commemoration at the ark of the covenant. It wasn’t to be a one-day high, but an ongoing ministry to God.

i. “David’s appointment then of Levites to minister in music and praise to God marks a significant advance in the history of Israel’s worship. His previous arrangements for music had been devised for just one occasion; but now a continuing service is envisioned.” (Payne)

b. He appointed some of the Levites…to commemorate: In the Levitical appointments for that day and beyond, David selected some Levites to focus on commemorating what great things God had done. Simply remembering God’s great works is an important and often neglected part of the Christian life. Spurgeon (in his sermon The Recorders) noted several ways that we can help ourselves remember the great things of God:

· Make an actual record of what God has done, keeping a written journal.

· Be sure to praise God thoroughly at the time you receive His goodness.

· Set apart time for meditation on the good things God has done.

· Talk about His mercy often to other people.

· Use everything around you as reminders of the goodness of God.

c. Asaph the chief: Previously, the Levites had appointed Heman as the leader of worship (1 Chronicles 15:17). At this time David elevated Asaph to this position.

i. “No reason is given, though Asaph did represent the senior Levitical clan of Gershon (1 Chronicles 6:39-43). Personal ability may also have been a contributing factor, for Asaph and his descendants are listed as composers for twelve of the inspired Old Testament psalms.” (Payne)

B. David’s song of thanksgiving.

1. (7) The psalm written for the special occasion.

On that day David first delivered this psalm into the hand of Asaph and his brethren, to thank the LORD:

a. David first delivered this psalm: David was known as thesweet psalmist of Israel (2 Samuel 23:1), and he especially wrote the following psalm to thank the LORD on the day the ark of the covenant was brought to Jerusalem.

i. “The Psalm is found in the Book of Psalms; its first movement (8-22) in Psalm 105:1-15; its second movement (23-33) in Psalm 96:1b-13a; its third movement (34-36) consisting of a quotation of the opening and closing sentences of Psalm 106:1-47 and 48.” (Morgan)

ii. “All three of the canonical psalms that he quoted are anonymous, ‘orphan psalms’ (without title) in the Old Testament Psalter; but on the basis of the king’s use of them here, they should indeed be classed as his.” (Payne)

2. (8-13) The call to praise.

Oh, give thanks to the LORD!
Call upon His name;
Make known His deeds among the peoples!
Sing to Him, sing psalms to Him;
Talk of all His wondrous works!
Glory in His holy name;
Let the hearts of those rejoice who seek the LORD!
Seek the LORD and His strength;
Seek His face evermore!
Remember His marvelous works which He has done,
His wonders, and the judgments of His mouth,
O seed of Israel His servant,
You children of Jacob, His chosen ones!

a. Oh, give thanks to the LORD! Like many psalms, this one begins with a call to praise, virtually in the form of a commandment. Yet the psalm breathes with too much excitement for this to be a true command; it is an exhortation to the community of God’s people to join in praise to their God.

i. “All the good that we enjoy comes from God. Recollect that! Alas, most men forget it. Rowland Hill used to say that worldlings were like the hogs under the oak, which eat the acorns, but never think of the oak from which they fell, nor lift up their heads to grunt out a thanksgiving. Yes, so it is. They munch the gift and murmur at the giver.” (Spurgeon)

b. Give thanks.… Call upon…Make known…. Sing…Talk…. Glory…. Seek…. Remember: In a few verses, David lists a remarkable number of ways (at least eight) one can praise and glorify God. Some of them speak directly to God (such as sing psalms to Him), some speak to others about God’s greatness (make known His deeds among the peoples), and some are a conversation with one’s self (remember His marvelous works).

i. Meyer on talk of all His wondrous works: “We do not talk sufficiently about God. Why it is so may not be easy to explain; but there seems to be too great reticence among Christian people about the best things…. We talk about sermons, details of worship and church organization, or the latest phase of Scripture criticism; we discuss men, methods, and churches; but our talk in the home, and in the gatherings of Christians for social purposes, is too seldom about the wonderful works of God. Better to speak less, and to talk more of Him.”

ii. “If we talked more of God’s wondrous works, we should be free from talking of other people’s works. It is easy to criticise those we could not rival, and carp at those we could not emulate. He who could not carve a statue, or make a single stroke of the chisel correctly, affects to point out where the handicraft of the greatest sculptor might have been improved. It is a poor, pitiful occupation, that of picking holes in other people’s coats, and yet some people seem so pleased when they can perceive a fault, that they roll it under their tongue as a sweet morsel.” (Spurgeon)

iii. “There is no gifted tongue requisite, there are no powers of eloquence invoked; neither laws of rhetoric nor rules of grammar are pronounced indispensable in the simple talk that my text inculcates, ‘Talk ye of all his wondrous works.’ I beg your pardon when you say you cannot do this. You cannot because you will not.” (Spurgeon)

c. O seed of Israel…His chosen ones: This call to praise is directed to the people of God. As will be noted later in the psalm, all creation has a responsibility to praise its Creator; but this is the special responsibility of God’s people.

3. (14-19) Remembering God’s covenant with His people.

He is the LORD our God;
His judgments are in all the earth.
Remember His covenant forever,
The word which He commanded, for a thousand generations,
The covenant which He made with Abraham,
And His oath to Isaac,
And confirmed it to Jacob for a statute,
To Israel for an everlasting covenant,
Saying, “To you I will give the land of Canaan
As the allotment of your inheritance,”
When you were few in number,
Indeed very few, and strangers in it.

a. His judgments are in all the earth: David will soon begin to sing about the special relationship between the LORD and His covenant people. Yet he prefaced those ideas with the thought that God is the Lord of all the earth. His authority is not limited to His covenant people.

b. Remember His covenant forever: God wanted His people to never forget the covenant He made with them. God’s dealing with man through history has been based on the idea of covenant.

· God made a covenant with Abraham regarding a land, a nation, and a particular messianic blessing (Genesis 12:1-3).

· God made a covenant with Israel as a nation, regarding a law, sacrifice, and choice of blessing or cursing (Exodus 19:5-8).

· God made a covenant with David regarding the specific lineage of the Messiah (2 Samuel 7).

· God made a covenant with all who would believe on His Son, the New Covenant through Jesus Christ (Luke 22:20).

i. It was entirely appropriate that this psalm focuses on the idea of His covenant because it was written for the arrival of the ark of the covenant into the place David prepared for it in Jerusalem.

ii. “In the restoration of the Ark after a period of neglect, the people found a sure token of that mercy.” (Morgan)

c. To you I will give the land of Canaan: David here highlighted the promise of land that God made to Abraham as part of His covenant with the patriarch (Genesis 12:1 and 13:14-17). The land belonged to the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob through this covenant.

i. In this, we see that this portion of the psalm is largely meant for teaching. This stanza was not primarily intended as a declaration of praise to God, but as informing the worship of God’s people.

4. (20-22) God’s protection upon His people.

When they went from one nation to another,
And from one kingdom to another people,
He permitted no man to do them wrong;
Yes, He rebuked kings for their sakes,
Saying, “Do not touch My anointed ones,
And do My prophets no harm.”

a. When they went from one nation to another: In the story of the arrival of the ark of the covenant recorded in 2 Samuel, this psalm of David is not included. Here we see why the Chronicler – writing shortly after the Babylonian exile – was anxious to include it. This line of David’s psalm praises God for His providential protection of His people when they were out of the Promised Land.

b. He permitted no man to do them wrong: One might say that this was inaccurate – after all, the oppressive Pharaohs seemed to do much wrong to Israel. Yet, in the longer view of seeing God’s good work even through such painful times, David can truthfully say “He permitted no man to do them wrong.”

c. Do not touch My anointed ones, and do My prophets no harm: This seems to refer to God’s people as a whole instead of particular anointed individuals or individual prophets.

5. (23-30) The command to praise the LORD.

Sing to the LORD, all the earth;
Proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day.
Declare His glory among the nations,
His wonders among all peoples.
For the LORD is great and greatly to be praised;
He is also to be feared above all gods.
For all the gods of the peoples are idols,
But the LORD made the heavens.
Honor and majesty are before Him;
Strength and gladness are in His place.
Give to the LORD, O families of the peoples,
Give to the LORD glory and strength.
Give to the LORD the glory due His name;
Bring an offering, and come before Him.
Oh, worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness!
Tremble before Him, all the earth.
The world also is firmly established,
It shall not be moved.

a. Sing to the LORD, all the earth: God’s covenant people have a special responsibility to praise Him, but all the earth should also proclaim the good news of His salvation day to day.

i. It is only good news when it is His salvation. My salvation isn’t enough to save me. I need His salvation to save me. This is something worth proclaiming.

ii. “There is not one of us but has cause for song, and certainly not one saint but ought specially to praise the name of the Lord.” (Spurgeon)

b. Declare His glory among the nations: David is back to a particular address to the people of God, imploring them to tell everyone of the greatness of God, and His superiority above all gods.

i. The reason for His superiority is simple: all the gods of the peoples are idols, but the LORD made the heavens. The covenant God of Israel is real and is the Creator of all things, in contrast to the mere statues of the nations.

c. Give to the LORD glory and strength: This is not in the sense of giving something to God that He does not already have. It is in the sense of crediting to God what He actually does possess, but what man is often blind to.

d. Worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness! God’s holiness – His “set-apart-ness” – has a wonderful and distinct beauty about it. It is beautiful that God is God and not man; that He is more than the greatest man or a super-man. His holy love, grace, justice, and majesty are beautiful.

6. (31-33) Creation praises God.

Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad;
And let them say among the nations, “The LORD reigns.”
Let the sea roar, and all its fullness;
Let the field rejoice, and all that is in it.
Then the trees of the woods shall rejoice before the LORD,
For He is coming to judge the earth.

a. Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad: David knew that creation itself praised God. He knew that the beauty and power and skill and majesty of creation was itself a testimony of praise to its Creator.

b. Let them say among the nations: Israel had the word of God to tell them of God’s reign and His coming judgment. The nations have the testimony of creation to tell them what they should know about God (Romans 1:19-23).

c. The LORD reigns: The creation itself tells us of a God of infinite wisdom, power, and order; it logically deduces that this God reigns and will judge the earth, understanding that His order and power and wisdom are expressed morally as well as materially.

i. Payne on for He is coming to judge the earth: “While earlier messianic prophecies had foretold our Lord’s universal, millennial reign (Genesis 49:10; Numbers 24:17; 1 Samuel 2:10), these words – ‘he comes’ – may be the first in all of written Scripture (Job 19:25 may well have been spoken earlier) to set forth the doctrine of the glorious second coming of Jesus Christ.”

7. (34-36) Conclusion: Celebrating God’s faithfulness to His people.

Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever.
And say, “Save us, O God of our salvation;
Gather us together, and deliver us from the Gentiles,
To give thanks to Your holy name,
To triumph in Your praise.”
Blessed be the LORD God of Israel
From everlasting to everlasting!

And all the people said, “Amen!” and praised the LORD.

a. Gather us together, and deliver us from the Gentiles: This is yet another demonstration of why the Chronicler chose to include this psalm of David in the account of the ark’s coming into Jerusalem. These ancient words of David would have special relevance to the returned exiles. They would not only have confidence in God’s ability to gather and deliver, but they would also be motivated to give thanks and to triumph in Your praise.

i. “The words…do not presuppose that the people had been previously led away into the Chaldean exile, but only the dispersion of prisoners of war, led away captive into an enemy’s land after a defeat…. It was just such cases Solomon had in view in his prayer, 1 Kings 8:46-50.” (Payne citing Keil)

b. And all the people said, “Amen!” and praised the LORD: This reminds us that David’s psalm was not sung as a solo. The hearts – and perhaps the voices – of the people were in complete agreement with him through the psalm.

8. (37-43) Postscript: Maintaining the worship of God.

So he left Asaph and his brothers there before the ark of the covenant of the LORD to minister before the ark regularly, as every day’s work required; and Obed-Edom with his sixty-eight brethren, including Obed-Edom the son of Jeduthun, and Hosah, to be gatekeepers; and Zadok the priest and his brethren the priests, before the tabernacle of the LORD at the high place that was at Gibeon, to offer burnt offerings to the LORD on the altar of burnt offering regularly morning and evening, and to do according to all that is written in the Law of the LORD which He commanded Israel; and with them Heman and Jeduthun and the rest who were chosen, who were designated by name, to give thanks to the LORD, because His mercy endures forever; and with them Heman and Jeduthun, to sound aloud with trumpets and cymbals and the musical instruments of God. Now the sons of Jeduthun were gatekeepers. Then all the people departed, every man to his house; and David returned to bless his house.

a. So he left Asaph and his brothers there before the ark of the covenant: This emphasizes the point made previously in 1 Chronicles 16:4-6, that David deliberately planned for this to be more than a one day spectacular. He instituted ongoing service and worship before the ark of the covenant at its new resting place in Jerusalem.

b. Before the tabernacle of the LORD at the high place that was at Gibeon, to offer burnt offerings to the LORD: This reminds us that the center of sacrifice was still at the tabernacle’s altar at Gibeon.

i. “For the time being, Israel’s worship activities and personnel were to be divided between the ark at Jerusalem and the tended altar at Gibeon.” (Selman)

ii. “How long the service at Gibeon was continued we cannot tell; the principal functions were no doubt performed at Jerusalem.” (Clarke)

(c) 2021 The Enduring Word Bible Commentary by David Guzik – ewm@enduringword.com

Verse of the Day

for Friday, November 28, 2014

Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done.

1 Chronicles 16:8

Related Topics: Name, Lord, People, Thankful, Thanksgiving, All Topics…

Thoughts on Today’s Verse…

Giving thanks is more than being thankful to God, it is letting others know of his gracious works so they too can come to know him as Father, Redeemer, and Victorious Lord. Then others can join their voices with our own in a chorus of thanksgiving from the hearts those God’s love has redeemed.

My Prayer…

Holy God, Almighty King, bless all those who serve you in difficult places today. I especially am thankful for all the missionaries in other cultures sharing the grace of Jesus with people who need to know you as Abba Father. Empower their words, protect their lives and families, and bless their efforts with fruit. Please help me to understand that true thankfulness involves sharing your grace with others. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

The Thoughts and Prayer on Today’s Verse are written by Phil Ware. You can email questions or comments to phil@verseoftheday.com.

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.

Colossians 3:16

Open Mine Eyes To See


Psalm 119:18 (New Living Translation)

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Open my eyes to see the wonderful truths in your instructions.

Widen my perspective to see the truth in your laws that you may teach me instructions of your law

Psalm 119:18 Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law. The scriptures in the bible, contain, wonderful, truths, about life. But by far, the most wonderful thing, contained in the bible, is God’s love for us.

What Does Psalm 119:18 Mean? ►

Open my eyes, that I may behold Wonderful things from Your law.

Psalm 119:18(NASB)

Verse Thoughts

This lengthy but beautifully written Psalm has its entire focus on the Word of God, which contains the instructions of our Heavenly Father. How we need the Word of God, for it is our daily food, and it is refreshment for our souls. How we should treasure the Word of God, for it is our guide and teacher, our strength, and our defence. How we should read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest the Word of God, for it is life and health, it is peace and light, it is joy and hope.

And as the Psalmist trawls the depth of its treasures, his whispered prayer is: “Open my eyes, that I may behold Wonderful things from Your Law.”

We are not only servants and students of the Word, but we are sons and daughters of its Author, and so that should stir our hearts to search the Scriptures daily to discover the truths in which the Lord desires to teach and train us, as well as the areas in which He seeks to guard and correct us. As His children, we should treasure His Word in our heart that we might not sin against Him, and as we reach for our Bible, our prayer should mirror that of the Psalmist: “Open my eyes, that I may behold Wonderful things from Your Law.”


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We need to ensure that our eyes are wide open to all that is in the Word as we saturate ourselves in His wonderful ways and reflect on the beauty of His person. We should crave for the milk of the Word so that we may grow in grace and in a knowledge of the Lord Jesus, and we should meditate upon the meat of the Word so that we may walk in spirit and truth and live in submission to the guiding of the Spirit.

Day by day, our prayer should be: “Open my eyes, that I may behold Wonderful things from Your Law.”

When our eyes are open and earnestly looking to Jesus, they are not searching out the things of this world. When our heart is gasping for the Lord, it is not lusting after the things of the flesh. But when our eyes are closed in disinterest or discouragement, our own imagination can be funnelled in to a wrong direction.

Let us look to the Lord in excitement and open our eyes in prayerful expectation that we will see the wonderful things that are written in Scripture and contemplate on the glories that are contained in the Word of God.

Source: https://dailyverse.knowing-jesus.com/psalm-119-18

Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.

Psalm 119:18

Thoughts on Today’s Verse…

From our perspective of grace and having been liberated from law-keeping as a means of justification and righteousness, this is a very fitting prayer. We can look around our world and see the anarchy and brutality when there is no principle of law undergirding the soul of a society. God’s law provided so many wonderful blessings, and can still bless us today if we will let it. But the greatest blessing of the O.T. Law is Jesus, in whom all of God’s promises find their fulfillment.

My Prayer…

Holy Father, thank you for your righteousness. I know that you will dispense justice and settle all injustice when you judge the earth. This gives me comfort because I know that through Jesus, you see me as your righteous child. My prayer today is that I can live in a way that brings honor to you and reflects the character of your Son when he walked this earth. In his name, Jesus my Lord and Messiah, I pray. Amen.

The Thoughts and Prayer on Today’s Verse are written by Phil Ware. You can email questions or comments to phil@verseoftheday.com.

What Makes the Difference? | Psalm 119:18

What Makes the Difference? | Psalm 119:18

Be generous with me and I’ll live a full life; not for a minute will I take my eyes off your road.

Open my eyes so I can see what you show me of your miracle-wonders.  Psalms 119:18 (The Message)

The new year faces each of us. I ask myself, “how will this year be different? How am I going to bear the cross? Will it be the same old stuff, or will I experience a spiritual breakthrough?” Instead of telling myself, “Lord, I don’t know how I am going to do this year,” I need to say “Lord, I can‘t wait to see how YOU do this!”

Let’s look back over our year together. In 2018 we’ve reflected upon the seven churches in Revelation, the four days that changed the world, our ethos: living in the way of Jesus with the heart of Jesus, the sermon on the mount, being a good neighbor, the life of the prophet Elijah, and filling up Christmas. It’s not about what we do, but who we are. It’s being God’s people, in whatever he asks us to do and wherever he asks us to go. When we walk with the Holy Spirit, in the way of Jesus with the heart of Jesus, we do what God wants us to do. It’s he himself who fills our life with goodness.

Let’s imagine a miracle in your life, something that credit can only be given to God. What needs to happen to make your relationship with God deeper and stronger? Take a moment to be quiet and listen for the still small voice of the Holy Spirit. God will make a way where there seems to be no way. Pray for it. “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you” (John 15:7). “If we ask anything according to his will he hears us” (1 John 5:14).

Stay Alert We’re In This Together


1 Peter 5:8-9 (New Living Translation)

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Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your family of believers all over the world is going through the same kind of suffering you are.

Stay aware and alert watch. Out for you predator and great enemy the devil. He prowls like a cannibal on the rounds like a ready lion looking for meat to devour.Stand firm and tall against him strong in your faith. Remember that you are not alone that your family of believers all over the world suffer like you also.

1 Peter Chapter 5

1 Peter 5 – For Shepherds and Sheep

Video for 1 Peter 5:

1 Peter 5 – For Shepherds and Sheep

A. Elders should be faithful shepherds.

1. (1) A call to elders.

The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed:

a. The elders who are among you I exhort: Peter will give a word of exhortation to the elders who are among the Christians reading this letter. These elders had special responsibilities that Peter addressed.

i. The idea of the elder came into church life from Jewish culture (Exodus 3:16, 12:21, and 19:7). The word “elder” simply speaks of the maturity and wisdom that an older person should have, making them qualified for leadership. In its application, it is more about wisdom and maturity than a specific age.

ii. It was the practice of Paul and Barnabas to appoint elders in the churches they had founded (Acts 14:23). There was also the development of the office of pastor, who was essentially a teaching elder (1 Timothy 5:17) who appointed and guided elders and other leaders (1 Timothy 3:1-13, 2 Timothy 2:2, Titus 1:5-9).

b. I who am a fellow elder: Peter was qualified to speak because he is a fellow elder. Though Peter was clearly the prominent disciple among the twelve, he claimed no special privilege or position, such as being the pope of the early church. Instead, Peter saw himself only as one fellow elder among all the elders in the church.

i. “It will always be our wisdom, dear friends, to put ourselves as much as we can into the position of those whom we address. It is a pity for anyone ever to seem to preach down to people; it is always better to be as nearly as possible on the same level as they are.” (Spurgeon)

c. A witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed: Peter was qualified to speak because he was a witness of Jesus’ sufferings when he saw Jesus’ torture and perhaps the crucifixion. He was also a partaker of Jesus’ glory, probably referring to when he saw the transfiguration of Jesus.

i. “He was with Christ in the garden, he was with him when he was apprehended, and he was with him in the high priest’s hall. Whether he followed him to the cross we know not.” (Clarke)

ii. “The gospels do not state that Peter was personally present at the crucifixion; only John is specifically said to have been there. Peter (and other apostles) may well have been among ‘all his acquaintances’ who observed the event from afar (Luke 23:49).” (Hiebert)

iii. Considering that Peter may have – or likely did – witness the sufferings of Jesus on the cross, the remembrance of that would make his exhortation to fellow elders all the more powerful. It would be as if he said, “You are leaders of the people for whom Jesus Christ suffered and died, and I saw Him suffer.”

iv. Yet we also consider that many saw Jesus suffer, and it did not affect them the way it affected Peter and others who saw with faith. “There were thousands who were eyewitnesses of our Lord’s sufferings who, nevertheless, saw not the true meaning of them. They saw the Great Sufferer besmeared with his own blood; but into his wounds they never looked by faith. Thousands saw the Savior die, but they simply went their way back to Jerusalem, some of them beating on their breasts, but none of them believing in him, or really knowing the secret of that wondrous death.” (Spurgeon)

2. (2-3) What leaders in the church must do.

Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock;

a. Shepherd the flock of God: This was the first aspect of leadership. Peter seemed to remember Jesus’ three-part commission to him in John 21:15-17. In that passage Jesus told Peter to show his love for Jesus by feeding and tending Jesus’ sheep.

i. A spiritual shepherd does his job in two main ways. The first job is to feed the sheep. Jesus emphasized this to Peter in John 21:15-17. Another aspect of the job is to tend the sheep, which means protecting, guiding, nurturing, and caring for the sheep.

ii. The most important “tool” to shepherd the flock of God is a heart like the heart of Jesus, one that is willing to give one’s life for the sheep, and who genuinely cares about and is interested in them (John 10:11-14).

b. Serving as overseers: For Peter the job of being a shepherd could also be understood as being an overseer. This word for leadership comes to the church from Greek culture, and it meant someone who watches over, a manager, or a supervisor (Acts 20:28, 1 Timothy 3:1-2, Titus 1:7).

c. Not by compulsion but willingly: Shepherds should not do their job by compulsion, as if they were being forced into a task that they really hated. Instead they should serve God and His people willingly, from a heart that loves God’s people as a shepherd loves sheep and wants to serve them.

i. “None of God’s soldiers are mercenaries or pressed men: they are all volunteers. We must have a shepherd’s heart if we would do a shepherd’s work.” (Meyer)

d. Not for dishonest gain but eagerly: Spiritual shepherds should not do their job for dishonest gain. The gain is dishonest because it was their motive for serving as shepherds. Instead, they should serve eagerly, willing to serve apart from financial compensation.

i. “Could the office of a bishop, in those early days, and in the time of persecution, be a lucrative office? Does not the Spirit of God lead the apostle to speak these things rather for posterity than for that time?” (Clarke)

e. Nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock: Shepherds should not do their job as lords, because the sheep do not belong to them. The sheep are entrusted to them. Therefore shepherds are to serve by being examples, not dictators.

i. Nor as being lords shows that in the mind of Peter, shepherds had significant authority in the early church. If the office of shepherd was so powerless that a shepherd didn’t rule and lead, then there was little potential for being lords. Yet because Peter gives this warning, it shows there was the potential for lording over.

ii. The sobering fact is that pastors are examples to the flock, whether they intend to be or not. It is interesting to see how a congregation takes on the personality of its pastor in both good ways and bad ways.

iii. Those entrusted to you: “That noun means ‘a lot,’ and then ‘that which is assigned by lot,’ a portion or a share of something… God has assigned the various portions of His precious possession to their personal care.” (Hiebert) The idea is that God has entrusted the responsibility of the spiritual care of certain individuals to particular shepherds.

3. (4) The reward for leaders in the church.

And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.

a. When the Chief Shepherd appears: Peter reminded shepherds in the church that they would answer one day to their Chief Shepherd, who will want to know what they did with His flock.

i. It is important for shepherds – pastors – to realize that they lead Jesus’ sheep. He is the Shepherd, He is the Overseer (1 Peter 2:25). In this sense, the Christian shepherd doesn’t work for the sheep, he works for the Chief Shepherd.

b. You will receive a crown of glory: Faithful shepherds are promised a crown of glory, but not like the crown of leaves given to ancient Olympic champions. This crown will not fade away.

i. Crowns are not only for shepherds, but also for everyone who was faithful to Jesus and who did what He called them to do (1 Corinthians 9:25, 2 Timothy 4:8, James 1:12).

B. Everyone should be humble and watchful.

1. (5-7) A promise for the humble.

Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for

“God resists the proud,
But gives grace to the humble.”

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.

a. Likewise you younger people: Peter began this word of humility to you younger people, in contrast to the elders he had just addressed. But he soon realized that it is of application to all of you. This word to be submissive to one another and be clothed with humility applies to everyone, but perhaps especially to the young.

b. Clothed with humility: Humility is demonstrated by submission. It is the ability to cheerfully put away our own agenda for God’s, even if God’s agenda is expressed through another person.

i. Yes, all of you means that this is for all, both elders and “youngers.” “Strive all to serve each other; let the pastors strive to serve the people, and the people the pastors; and let there be no contention, but who shall do most to oblige and profit all the rest.” (Clarke)

c. Be clothed with humility: The phrase “be clothed” translates a rare word that referred to a slave putting on an apron before serving, even as Jesus did before washing the disciple’s feet (John 13:4).

i. Some marks of humility:

· The willingness to perform the lowest and littlest services for Jesus’ sake.

· Consciousness of our own inability to do anything apart from God.

· The willingness to be ignored of men.

· Not so much self-hating or depreciation as self-forgetfulness, and being truly others-centered instead of self-centered.

d. For “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble”: Peter quoted Proverbs 3:34 to show that humility is essential to our relationship with God. If we want to live in God’s grace (His unmerited favor) then we must lay aside our pride and be humble – not only to Him but also to one another.

i. Resists: “The verb vividly pictures God as one who places Himself in battle array against such individuals.” (Hiebert)

ii. Grace and pride are eternal enemies. Pride demands that God bless me in light of what I think I deserve. Grace deals with me on the basis what is in God, not on the basis of anything in me.

iii. “Pride is one of the most detestable of sins; yet does it find lodgment in earnest souls, though we often speak of it by some lighter name. We call it – independence, self-reliance. We do not always discern it in the hurt feeling, which retires into itself, and nurses its sorrows in a sulk… We are proud of our humility, vain of our meekness; and, putting on the saintliest look, we wonder whether all around are not admiring us for our lowliness.” (Meyer)

iv. “If you are willing to be nothing God will make something of you. The way to the top of the ladder is to begin at the lowest round. In fact in the church of God, the way up is to go down; but he that is ambitious to be at the top will find himself before long at the bottom.” (Spurgeon)

e. That He may exalt you in due time: If God has us in a humble place at the present time, we must submit to God’s plan. He knows the due time to exalt us, though we often think we know that time better than God does.

f. Casting all your care upon Him: True humility is shown by our ability to cast our care upon God. It is proud presumption to take things into our own worry and care about things that God has promised to take care of (Matthew 6:31-34).

i. If we would heed the command of 1 Peter 5:6 and truly humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God, we would have far fewer cares to cast upon Him as invited in 1 Peter 5:7. Worries about covetousness, ambition, popularity, all evaporate under the command to humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God.

ii. Spurgeon used the illustration of a man who came to move your furniture, but he carried a huge and heavy backpack of his own. He complains that he finds it difficult to do the job of moving your furniture; would you not suggest that he would find it easier if he laid his own burden aside so that he could carry yours? In the same way, we cannot do God’s work when we are weighed down by our own burdens and worries. Cast them upon Him, and then take up the Lord’s burden – which is light burden, and a yoke that fits us perfectly.

iii. There are many anxieties that we cannot cast upon God, and Peter’s word here purifies us of these ungodly anxieties.

· “I am worried that I will never be rich.”

· “I am burdened that others enjoy sinful pleasures and I do not.”

· “I am worried that I am not famous or even popular.”

· “I am burdened that I cannot get revenge on those who wronged me.”

iv. “All cares of covetousness, anger, pride, ambition, and wilfulness must be cast to the winds; it would be criminal to dream of casting them upon God. Do not pray about them, except that God will redeem you from them. Let your desires be kept within a narrow circle, and your anxieties will be lessened at a stroke.” (Spurgeon)

v. Casting is a rather energetic word. He didn’t say, “Lay all your care upon Him,” because we have to do it more energetically than that. The idea is, “throw it away from you.” The pressures and the burdens of your life are so heavy and difficult that it takes great concentration of effort to put them on Jesus.

vi. This work of casting can be so difficult that we need to use two hands to do it: the hand of prayer and the hand of faith. “Prayer tells God what the care is, and asks God to help, while faith believes that God can and will do it. Prayer spreads the letter of trouble and grief before the Lord, and opens all its budget, and then faith cries, ‘I believe that God cares, and cares for me; I believe that he will bring me out of my distress, and make it promote his own glory.’” (Spurgeon)

g. For He cares for you: At their best moments the religions of ancient Greek culture could imagine a God who was good. Yet they never came to the place where they believed in a God who cared. The God of the Bible – the God who is really there – is a God who cares for you.

i. “It is the belief that God cares that marks off Christianity from all other religions, which under all varieties of form are occupied with the task of making God care, of awakening by sacrifice or prayer or act the slumbering interest of the Deity.” (Masterman, cited in Hiebert)

ii. We often judge the parents by the children. When a child of God is full of worry and fear, doesn’t the world have reason to believe that their Father in heaven doesn’t care for them? Our worry and fear reflects poorly – and unfairly – upon God.

2. (8-9) Be watchful for the devil.

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.

a. Your adversary the devil walks about: Peter exhorts us to remain clear-headed (sober) and watchful (vigilant), because Satan has not yet been bound and restrained for 1,000 years as Revelation 20:1-2 says he will be. At the present time, the devil walks about.

i. “He walketh about-he has access to you everywhere; he knows your feelings and your propensities, and informs himself of all your circumstances; only God can know more and do more than he, therefore your care must be cast upon God.” (Clarke)

ii. The devil certainly walks about; he is a finite being and can only be in one place at one time, yet his effort, energy, and associates enable him to extend his influence all over the world and in every arena of life.

b. Like a roaring lion: For Christians, Satan is a lion who may roar but who has been de-fanged at the cross (Colossians 2:15). Yet the sound of his roar – his deceptive lies – are still potent and he has the power to devour souls and rob Christians of effectiveness.

i. Psalm 91:3 suggests that Satan may come against us like a fowler, one who captures birds. The fowler is always quiet and secretive, never wanting to reveal his presence. 2 Corinthians 11:14 tells us that Satan can come as an angel of light, appearing glorious, good, and attractive. Yet other times, Peter tells us, Satan comes against us like a roaring lion, loud and full of intimidation.

· He roars through persecution.

· He roars through strong temptation.

· He roars through blasphemies and accusations against God.

ii. We note Satan’s goal: seeking whom he may devour. He isn’t just looking to lick or nibble on his prey; he wants to devour. “He can never be content till he sees the believer utterly devoured. He would rend him in pieces, and break his bones and utterly destroy him if he could. Do not, therefore, indulge the thought, that the main purpose of Satan is to make you miserable. He is pleased with that, but that is not his ultimate end. Sometimes he may even make you happy, for he hath dainty poisons sweet to the taste which he administers to God’s people. If he feels that our destruction can be more readily achieved by sweets than by bitters, he certainly would prefer that which would best effect his end.” (Spurgeon)

c. Resist him, steadfast in the faith: The secret of spiritual warfare is simple, steadfast resistance. As we are steadfast in the faith, we resist the devil lies and threats and intimidation.

i. “Scripture urges believers to flee from various evils (1 Corinthians 6:18; 10:14; 1 Timothy 6:11; 2 Timothy 2:22), but nowhere are they advised to flee from the devil. That would be a futile effort.” (Hiebert)

ii. Resist comes from two ancient Greek words: stand and against. Peter tells us to stand against the devil. Satan can be set running by the resistance of the lowliest believer who comes in the authority of what Jesus did on the cross.

iii. “Resist. Be more prayerful every time he is more active. He will soon give it up, if he finds that his attacks drive you to Christ. Often has Satan been nothing but a big black dog to drive Christ’s sheep nearer to the Master.” (Spurgeon)

d. Knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world: We also take comfort in knowing that we are never alone in our spiritual warfare. Our brothers and sisters in Jesus have fought, and are fighting, the same battles.

i. “The outlook is on the whole conflict of the saints. It is seen as one. No soul is fighting alone. Each one is at once supporting, and supported by, all the rest.” (Morgan)

3. (10-11) A prayer for their spiritual strengthening.

But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

a. May the God of all grace… perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you: Knowing the suffering and danger Christians face, Peter can only conclude with prayer. He asks God to do His work of perfecting, establishing, strengthening, and settling.

i. These things are God’s work in us and through us. Peter personally knew the futility of trying to face suffering and danger in one’s own strength. His own failure taught him the need for constant reliance on God’s work in our lives, so he prays for his dear Christian friends.

ii. After you have suffered a while: We almost want to ask Peter, “Why did you say that?” But the truth remains. We are only called… to His eternal glory… after you have suffered a while. We wish we were called to His eternal glory on the “no suffering” plan. But God uses suffering to perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle us.

iii. We are called us to His eternal glory; but what does this glory entail?

· It is the glory of purified character.

· It is the glory of perfected humanity.

· It is the glory of complete victory.

· It is the glory of being honored by a King.

· It is the glory of reflecting the glory of God.

· It is the glory of the immediate, constant presence of God.

· It is the glory of the enjoyment of God Himself.

b. To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever: The God who can do this great work in our lives is certainly worthy of our praise.

4. (12-14) Conclusion to the letter.

By Silvanus, our faithful brother as I consider him, I have written to you briefly, exhorting and testifying that this is the true grace of God in which you stand. She who is in Babylon, elect together with you, greets you; and so does Mark my son. Greet one another with a kiss of love. Peace to you all who are in Christ Jesus. Amen.

a. By Silvanus… I have written to you: This portion was probably written by Peter’s own hand, after he (according to the custom of the day) had dictated the bulk of the letter to Silvanus. This man Silvanus was probably the same one known as Silas in many of Paul’s letters.

b. This is the true grace of God in which you stand: Peter summed up his message as an exhortation to understand and recognize the true grace of God in which you stand. We must understand not only what God’s grace is, but that grace is our place of present standing before Him.

c. She who is in Babylon… greets you: She probably refers to the church, which in the ancient Greek is in the feminine. Peter apparently wrote from Babylon. This may be the literal city of Babylon (which still existed in Peter’s day), or it may be a symbolic way of referring to either Rome or Jerusalem. These were two cities that in Peter’s day were famous for their wickedness and spiritual rebellion, just like ancient Babylon was. In any regard, this was one church greeting another.

i. There was of course the literal city of Babylon on the Euphrates. There was also a place known as Babylon in Egypt, and it was a Roman military fortress near the present city of Cairo. Yet many think that Peter meant “Babylon” in a symbolic sense to represent the city of Rome. As a Biblical concept, “Babylon” as the city of this world stands in contrast to “Jerusalem” as the city of God. He may have meant Rome as Babylon as “the center of worldliness.”

d. So does Mark my son: This verse connects Mark with Peter, apparently the same Mark of Acts 12:12, 12:25, and 15:37-39. When the style and perspective of the Gospel of Mark are taken into account, many believe that Peter was Mark’s primary source of information for his gospel.

e. Greet one another with a kiss of love: Peter concludes with a command to greet and display God’s love to one another, and by pronouncing a blessing of peace. These two things – love for each other and peace – are especially necessary for those who suffer and live in dangerous times.

i. “It should be noted that the apostles did not originate that form of greeting; the custom already prevailed. They sanctioned its use as a sincere expression of Christian love.” (Hiebert)

©2018 David Guzik – No distribution beyond personal use without permission

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What Does 1 Peter 5:8 Mean? ►

Be of sober spirit, be on the alert Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

1 Peter 5:8(NASB)

Verse Thoughts

We journey through our Christian life from grace to glory.. from justification to glorification – from the cross to the crown and as we travel through life there are many lessons that we all must learn and the Holy Spirit is our teacher. The Word of God provides all the instructions that we need for life and godliness for our faith rests on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus Himself being the chief Cornerstone.

On our journey through life we are called to be humble and hopeful and to show a loving concern for all of our brothers and sisters in Christ – but we are also called to be on our guard.. and to be watchful in this increasingly godless society. We are called to be sober, serious-minded and to remain spiritually alert to the wiles of the evil one.. because our adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

Satan can dress himself up in many guises and disguises. He slithers into the lives of believers as the evil serpent, seducing those that are unprepared for his malicious advances.. and causing many to follow after worldly pursuits or fall into moral corruption. He sometimes disguises himself as an angel of light.. using doctrines of demons and a multiplicity of false gospel messages to cause many to fall into spiritual adultery.

He comes as the accuser of the saints and as the destroyer of nations – for he is the father of lies and a murderer from the beginning – and he comes as a roaring lion seeking to ship-wreck the faith of many Christians through fear, anxiety, worry and depression – weakening our witness; rendering us useless as ambassadors for Christ and stunting our Christian growth.

No surprise that we receive such a stern and vital warning against worry and anxiety and such a strong admonition to be spiritually alert, sober-minded.. vigilant and watchful – knowing that the devil is an evil adversary, who prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking an opportunity to devour us.

My Prayer

Heavenly Father, keep me humble in spirit and help me to cast all my cares and worries upon You.. knowing that Satan is prowling around seeking to destroy my witness and cause me to stumble. I pray that I may take this warning seriously and rely on You in all things, so that I may not stumble and fall but stand fast in this evil day. AMEN.

Source: https://dailyverse.knowing-jesus.com/1-peter-5-8


Why are we supposed to be sober and vigilant (1 Peter 5:8)?


First Peter 5:8 reminds us to “be sober, be vigilant” (NKJV). The verse explains why Christians must live this way: “Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” Although the devil cannot take away our salvation, he attempts to damage our faith and ministry. His schemes seek to shake our trust in God, affect our submission to Him, and destroy our testimony. It is important to remain sober and focus on the truth as God makes us “strong, firm and steadfast” (1 Peter 5:10).

Our salvation is secure. John 6:39 tells us that Jesus will not lose a single person whom God has entrusted to Him. Although Satan cannot separate us from God’s love (Romans 8:38–39), he actively attempts to affect the rest of our lives. The Greek word for “devour” means to “destroy” or to “swallow.” The devil wants to shake our faith and make us ineffective followers of Christ, which is why it is important to be sober and vigilant.

Peter’s command for us to be sober and vigilant echoes Jesus’ command to him in the Garden of Gethsemane: “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak,” Jesus told the sleeping disciples just before His arrest (Mark 14:38). Satan desired to “sift” the disciples like wheat (Luke 22:31), prompting Jesus’ prayers on their behalf (verse 32) and the exhortation to watch and pray. Be sober. Be vigilant.

Being sober and being vigilant are closely connected. The call to be sober is found in multiple places (1 Corinthians 15:34; 2 Timothy 4:5; Titus 2:2, 6; 1 Peter 4:7) as is the call to be vigilant or alert (Mark 13:33; Ephesians 6:18; 1 Peter 1:13). The term sober literally means “free from intoxicating influences.” To be sober means to not allow ourselves to be influenced by anything that leads us away from God’s truth and sound judgment. Sobriety is a state of being. To be vigilant means “to keep careful watch for possible danger or difficulties.” Vigilance requires action. A vigilant person actively pays attention to what is vying for his attention and what affects his heart and mind. We must keep a clear mind as we vigilantly keep watch over our lives and the world around us.

Ephesians 6 also reminds us to be sober and to be vigilant, “for our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:10–18). We must live aware that we have an enemy—yet we do not need to live in fear of him. Rather, the armor of God helps us stay alert and stand firm against the devil’s schemes. Our faith in the truth of the gospel protects us, and knowing and applying God’s Word give us what we need to combat our enemy.

God’s truth makes us stand firm in our faith and helps us carry on with a clear mind. Instead of allowing our thinking to be clouded with lies, foolishness, feelings, and empty pleasures, we should be sober and vigilant, keeping our mind on what is true and eternal. We can choose to abstain from practices that would lead into sin. Philippians 4:8 tells us to focus on “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable . . . excellent or praiseworthy.” These things edify and strengthen us.

We have a spiritual enemy, likened to a rampaging lion, who continually seeks our destruction, but we do not have to live in fear. Instead, we can be sober and vigilant. We can live godly lives and experience the joy and peace of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22; Romans 14:17). We do not need to be tossed to and fro by deceit (Ephesians 4:14) but can remain firm in the promise that He who is in us is greater than the one who seeks our demise (1 John 4:4).


1 Peter: Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament by Karen Jobes

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What does it mean to humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God (1 Peter 5:6)?

What does it mean to cast all your cares on Him (1 Peter 5:7)?

What does it mean that women are the “weaker vessel” (1 Peter 3:7)?

What does it mean to always be ready to give an answer (1 Peter 3:15)?

What does it mean that “you are a chosen generation” (1 Peter 2:9)?

What does 1 Peter 5:8 mean?

Peter continues a list of instructions to Christians as he prepares to end his letter.

How should believers live, believing in a real devil: a spiritual enemy with an agenda to bring harm to Christians? Peter’s answer to that question begins this verse: Be sober-minded. Be alert. It’s the third time in this letter Peter has urged his readers to be clear minded (1 Peter 1:13; 1 Peter 4:7). It matters that we are paying attention, with serious minds, to what’s going on in our lives and in the world around us.

Peter writes that there is danger beyond the physical persecution some of his readers were facing. There is a deep agenda, far beyond that of the powerful men who might inflict that persecution. The devil, not the men or women who might harm us, is the real enemy of a Christian believer.

Our enemy the devil desires to devour us, to cause real and lasting harm. The Greek word here is katapiein, literally meaning to “swallow,” or to “drown.” Peter has made it clear that our place in eternity with our Father is secure. The devil cannot take that from us, but he does seek to damage our faith. He wants fear to shake our submission to the Father, and lies to distort our understanding of God’s goodness. Since he cannot touch the believer’s soul, Satan seeks to leave us as weak and ineffective servants of our King.

In the next verse, Peter will describe how to fight that enemy. Notice, also, what he doesn’t tell Christians to do. He doesn’t say to live in fear. Nor does he say to live as if the reality of the devil is unimportant. We are not instructed to ignore the devil, nor to cower in the shadows.

Context Summary

1 Peter 5:1–11 gives specific instructions to elders about how to lead the flock of God willingly, eagerly, and by their own example. All of us must live in humility toward each other and toward God, who opposes the proud. In humility, we cast our anxieties on the Father who cares for us. In alertness, we are to remain clear-minded, looking out for our enemy the devil who seeks to destroy us. We resist him by focusing on staying firm in our faith and trusting God to keep His promises.

Chapter Context

Peter concludes his letter to the scattered Christians in Asia Minor with specific instructions. Primarily, these are targeted at those in the role of elder, about how to lead. He also provides counsel for all believers on living in humility toward each other and toward God. In humility, we wait and trust God to exalt us in His time. In humility, we cast our cares on Him. But we’re also called to remain alert, watching out for the devil and resisting him by focusing on staying firm in our faith. After this brief life of suffering, our God will bring our suffering to an end and make us strong forever.

Delight Yourself In God


Psalm 37:4 (New Living Translation)

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Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires.

Take pride in knowing God and will treat and honor you like a queen giving you your hearts desires giving honor in you


Videos for Psalm 37:

Psalm 37 – Wisdom Over Worry

Psalm 37 – Planning Your Future

This psalm is simply titled A Psalm of David. Psalm 37:25 tells us that it is David in his older years, giving wisdom in the pattern of a song. This psalm is roughly acrostic in arrangement, with the lines arranged with Hebrew sentences that begin with the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet. In style this is a wisdom psalm, directed not to God but to man, teaching after the manner of the Book of Proverbs.

A. Counsel for the afflicted people of God.

1. (1-2) Don’t worry about the ungodly.

Do not fret because of evildoers,
Nor be envious of the workers of iniquity.
For they shall soon be cut down like the grass,
And wither as the green herb.

a. Do not fret because of evildoers: It is a common thing for the righteous to fret or be envious of the wicked. Asaph was bothered by this problem in Psalm 73, wondering why the wicked often experienced so much prosperity.

i. “The words ‘do not fret’ literally mean ‘do not get heated,’ which is also how we might express it. Or we might say, ‘Don’t get all worked up.’ Or even, ‘Be cool.’” (Boice)

ii. “To fret is to worry, to have the heart-burn, to fume, to become vexed. Nature is very apt to kindle a fire of jealousy when it sees law-breakers riding on horses, and obedient subjects walking in the mire.” (Spurgeon)

iii. Morgan wrote of this worry, this fret: “It is wrong; it is harmful; it is needless. Let the trusting wait. Events will justify the action.”

iv. “It is as foolish as it is wicked to repine or be envious at the prosperity of others. Whether they are godly or ungodly, it is God who is the dispenser of the bounty they enjoy; and, most assuredly, he has a right to do what he will with his own. To be envious in such a case, is to arraign the providence of God.” (Clarke)

b. They shall soon be cut down like the grass: David gives the same answer Asaph came to in Psalm 73, understanding that any prosperity experienced by the workers of iniquity was only temporary. Grass is green for a season, and so is the herb – but they both wither quickly.

i. “In the Middle East the lush spring vegetation may lose its beauty in a few days after a hot, dry desert wind (hamsin) has parched the land.” (VanGemeren)

ii. We think of a wicked man eating a magnificent dinner while a godly man goes hungry. The wicked man eats anything and everything he wants, and his table is loaded as he enjoys his meal. Then we see the bigger picture: he eats his last meal on death row and in a moment will face terrible judgment. Now, with larger perspective, the godly man doesn’t envy or worry about the wicked man. “Evil men instead of being envied, are to be viewed with horror and aversion; yet their loaded tables, and gilded trappings, are too apt to fascinate our poor half-opened eyes.” (Spurgeon)

iii. “The test is found in Time. All the apparent prosperity of the wicked is transient; it passes and perishes, as do the wicked themselves.” (Morgan)

2. (3-4) Put your trust and delight in the LORD.

Trust in the LORD, and do good;
Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.
Delight yourself also in the LORD,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.

a. Trust in the LORD, and do good: Instead of worrying and envying, David counseled the man or woman of God to simply trust God and do good for His glory. It is remarkable how quickly we can get distracted from the simple work of trusting God and doing good. Looking at the seeming prosperity of the wicked is one way we are often distracted.

i. “Faith cures fretting. Sight is cross-eyed, and views things only as they seem, hence her envy; faith has clearer optics to behold things as they really are, hence her peace.” (Spurgeon)

b. Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness: David also counseled the man or woman of God to leave aside worry and envy by simply enjoying the blessings God gives. He provided Israel a land to enjoy, and His faithfulness was like food for them every day.

c. Delight yourself also in the LORD: David advised the man or woman of God to replace worry and envy with a conscious delight in the LORD. This means to cheer one’s heart and mind by considering and by faith receiving the multiple blessings of God.

i. Delight yourself: Several writers explain and apply this idea.

· “Expect all thy happiness from him, and seek it in him.” (Clarke)

· “It includes a deliberate redirection of one’s emotions…[such as] Paul and Silas in prison, singing as well as praying.” (Kidner)

· “We cannot delight thus without effort. We must withdraw our eager desires from the things of earth, fastening and fixing them on Him.” (Meyer)

· “In a certain sense imitate the wicked; they delight in their portion – take care to delight in yours, and so far from envying you will pity them.” (Spurgeon)

· “The reason many apparent Christians do not delight in God is that they do not know him very well, and the reason they do not know him very well is that they do not spend time with him.” (Boice)

ii. “Do not think first of the desires of thy heart, but think first of delighting thyself in thy God. If thou hast accepted him as thy Lord, he is thine; so delight in him, and then he will give thee the desires of thy heart.” (Spurgeon)

iii. We notice that David wrote delight yourself also in the LORD. The word also is important, reminding us that there are legitimate joys and pleasures in life outside the life of the spirit. The believer who truly trusts God has the capability to also find true delight in the LORD.

iv. “Again, he delights in you; I speak to such of whom this may be supposed. And it is indefinitely said, ‘His delights were with the sons of men,’ Proverbs 8:31. Think what he is, and what you are; and at once, both wonder and yield.” (Howe, cited in Spurgeon)

d. And He shall give you the desires of your heart: This is a wonderful and even safe promise. The one who truly delights in the LORD will find his heart and desires changed, steadily aligning with God’s own good desires for his life. Thus we see that finding delight in God is a key to a happy, satisfied life.

i. This shows that God intends to fulfill the heart desires of the redeemed man or woman of God. To be sure, it is possible for such desires to be clouded by sin or selfishness; yet even when so clouded there is almost always a godly root to the desire that is entirely in the will of God. The man or woman of God should find his or her rest in this, and leave aside worry and envy.

ii. “They said of Martin Luther as he walked the streets, ‘There comes a man that can have anything of God he likes.’ You ask the reason of it. Because Luther delighted himself in his God.” (Spurgeon)

iii. The principle of Psalm 37:4 is the foundation for a principle sometimes called Christian Hedonism. Normally, we think of hedonism as the idolatry of pleasure. The term Christian Hedonism has been used to describe a righteous pursuit of satisfaction and pleasure, one that is rooted in a delighted focus upon God.

iv. Most of all, it shows that when we delight ourselves in the LORD, He gives us our delight. If He is our delight, He gives us more of Himself. “Longings fixed on Him fulfill themselves.” (Maclaren)

3. (5-6) Trust God to protect and promote you.

Commit your way to the LORD,
Trust also in Him,
And He shall bring it to pass.
He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light,
And your justice as the noonday.

a. Commit your way to the LORD, trust also in Him: Here David explained what it means to delight one’s self in the LORD, as described in the previous verse. It means to commit one’s way to Him and to truly trust in the LORD. It means to find peace, protection, and satisfaction in a surrendered focus upon God.

i. Commit your way: “The Hebrew for commit is literally ‘roll’, as though getting rid of a burden (cf. Joshua 5:9). But it comes to be used simply as a synonym for ‘entrust’ (Proverbs 16:3) or ‘trust’; cf. Psalm 22:8.” (Kidner)

b. And He shall bring it to pass: The one who has this delighted focus upon God will see Him bring these promises to pass. Fame and fortune are not promised, but the true and deep desires of the heart find their fulfillment.

i. “The more we fret in this case, the worse for us. Our strength is to sit still. The Lord will clear the slandered. If we look to his honour, he will see to ours.” (Spurgeon)

c. He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light: As God fulfills these desires of heart, the righteousness of the man or woman of God is revealed, shining forth in light like the noonday sun.

i. He shall bring forth your righteousness: “To the view of the world; from which it hath hitherto seemed to be hid or eclipsed by reproaches, and by grievous calamities.” (Poole)

ii. As the light: “It shall be as visible to men as the light of the sun, and that at noon-day.” (Poole)

iii. “As God said in the beginning, ‘Let there be light, and there was light;’ so he shall say, Let thy innocence appear, and it will appear as suddenly and as evident as the light was at the beginning.” (Clarke)

4. (7-8) Find rest in the God who deals with the wicked.

Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him;
Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way,
Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass.
Cease from anger, and forsake wrath;
Do not fret—it only causes harm.

a. Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him: Because God has promised to faithfully take care of those who put their trust in Him, we can rest in the LORD. We can wait patiently for Him instead of fretting and fearing that God has forgotten us or intends evil for us.

i. Rest in the LORD speaks of a particular kind of rest – the rest of silence, ceasing from words of self-defense. The idea is that we will not speak to vindicate ourselves; we will trust in God to protect us.

ii. “Do not murmur or repine at his dealings, but silently and quietly submit to his will, and adore his judgments, and, as follows, wait for his help.” (Poole)

iii. “If the spotless Lamb of God was silent, before those who were divesting him of his honours, and robbing him of his life, ‘silent’ resignation cannot but become one who suffers for his sins.” (Horne)

b. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; do not fret – it only causes harm: David wisely advised the man or woman of God to give up anger, wrath, and worry (fret). They accomplish nothing except harm. They are the opposite of delighting oneself in the LORD and patiently waiting upon Him.

i. Cease from anger: “Especially anger against the arrangements of Providence, and jealousies of the temporary pleasures of those who are so soon to be banished from all comfort. Anger anywhere is madness, here it is aggravated insanity.” (Spurgeon)

5. (9-11) Trust that God will punish evildoers and reward the meek.

For evildoers shall be cut off;
But those who wait on the LORD,
They shall inherit the earth.
For yet a little while and the wicked shall be no more;
Indeed, you will look carefully for his place,
But it shall be no more.
But the meek shall inherit the earth,
And shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.

a. Those who wait on the LORD, they shall inherit the earth: This is another reason for our delight in and rest upon the LORD. We can trust His promise that He will take care of His own not only in this world, but in the world to come. In contrast, evildoers shall be cut off.

i. “I have frequently remarked to you that, although the wolf is very strong and fierce, and the sheep is very weak and timid, yet there are more sheep in the world than there are wolves; and the day will come when the last wolf will be dead, and then the sheep shall cover the plains and feed upon the hills. Weak as the righteous often are, they ‘shall inherit the land’ when the wicked shall have been cut off from the earth.” (Spurgeon)

b. For yet a little while and the wicked shall be no more: The evildoers have their day of prosperity, but it is short-lived. Soon the wicked who are the famous and praised in this world will be of no notice or standing at all (you will look carefully for his place, but it shall be no more).

i. “The shortness of life makes us see that the glitter of the wicked great [ones] is not true gold.” (Spurgeon)

ii. “The whole duration of the world itself is but ‘a little while’ in the sight of him whose hope is full of immortality.” (Horne)

c. But the meek shall inherit the earth: For emphasis, David repeated the idea of God’s care for and reward to the meek. They, not the evildoers of this world, shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.

i. “The ‘meek’ are they who bear their own adversities, and the prosperity of their enemies, without envy, anger, or complaint.” (Horne)

ii. “The context gives the best possible definition of the meek: they are those who choose the way of patient faith instead of self-assertion.” (Kidner)

iii. The meek shall inherit the earth: Jesus quoted this line in the Sermon on the Mount, in the third beatitude (Matthew 5:5). “It is right to say that Psalm 37 is an exposition of the third beatitude, even though it was written a thousand years before Jesus began his public ministry. It unfolds the character of the meek or trusting person in the face of the apparent prosperity of the wicked.” (Boice)

B. The triumph of the godly and the passing of the wicked.

1. (12-15) With a laugh, God defeats the wicked.

The wicked plots against the just,
And gnashes at him with his teeth.
The Lord laughs at him,
For He sees that his day is coming.
The wicked have drawn the sword
And have bent their bow,
To cast down the poor and needy,
To slay those who are of upright conduct.
Their sword shall enter their own heart,
And their bows shall be broken.

a. The wicked plots against the just, and gnashes at him with his teeth: Earlier in this psalm, David contrasted the fate of the righteous with the fate of the wicked. Now he considered the inevitable conflict between the righteous and the wicked – how, without reason, the wicked plots against the just. Their gnashing of teeth shows the depth of their anger and hatred.

i. “The wicked show by their gestures what they would do if they could; if they cannot gnaw they will gnash: if they may not bite they will at least bark.” (Spurgeon)

b. The Lord laughs at him, for He sees that his day is coming: For all the plotting and gnashing of teeth of the wicked, they accomplish nothing against the Lord and His people. God simply laughs at them, knowing their end.

i. “If God can laugh at the wicked, shouldn’t we be able at least to refrain from being agitated by them?” (Boice)

ii. For He sees that his day is coming: “The evil man does not see how close his destruction is upon his heels; he boasts of crushing others when the foot of justice is already uplifted to trample him as the mire of the streets.” (Spurgeon)

c. The wicked have drawn the sword and have bent their bow: The wicked plot and gnash their teeth, but they do not stop there. They work to carry out their plots and their fierce anger against God’s people. Even so, God shall protect His own and their sword shall enter their own heart, and their bows shall be broken.

i. “Like Haman they shall be hanged upon the gallows built by themselves for Mordecai. Hundreds of times has this been the case. Saul, who sought to slay David, fell on his own sword.” (Spurgeon)

2. (16-17) God’s blessing upon the humble righteous.

A little that a righteous man has
Is better than the riches of many wicked.
For the arms of the wicked shall be broken,
But the LORD upholds the righteous.

a. A little that a righteous man has is better than the riches of many wicked: Since whatever the wicked has cannot last, the little that the righteous man has is better than all that the wicked possess. A God-trusting, righteous life is the best long-term investment strategy.

i. “His blessing can multiply a mite into a talent, but his curse will shrink a talent to a mite.” (Horne)

ii. “A little blest is better than a great deal curst; a little blest is better than a world enjoyed; a pound blest is better than a thousand curst; a black crust blest is better than a feast curst; the gleanings blest are better than the whole harvest curst; a drop of mercy blest is better than a sea of mercy curst.” (Brooks, cited in Spurgeon)

b. For the arms of the wicked shall be broken, but the LORD upholds the righteous: The reward of the wicked is to have their own arms broken. The reward of the righteous is to be upheld by God’s own arms.

3. (18-20) The lasting good of the upright.

The LORD knows the days of the upright,
And their inheritance shall be forever.
They shall not be ashamed in the evil time,
And in the days of famine they shall be satisfied.
But the wicked shall perish;
And the enemies of the LORD,
Like the splendor of the meadows, shall vanish.
Into smoke they shall vanish away.

a. The LORD knows the days of the upright, and their inheritance shall be forever: The apparent reward of the wicked is temporary and fleeting. The inheritance of the upright is eternal. All this is more reason to avoid worry or envy of the wicked in their seeming (yet temporary) prosperity.

i. For the LORD knows the days of the upright: “He is acquainted with all his circumstances, severings, and ability to bear them; and he will either shorten his trials or increase his power.” (Clarke)

b. In the days of famine they shall be satisfied: God can even find a way to provide for His own when others have nothing.

c. Into smoke they shall vanish away: The success, fame, and prosperity of the wicked is as temporary as smoke. It never has any real substance and soon vanishes completely.

i. Into smoke they shall vanish away: Adam Clarke noted that some ancient manuscripts render this line differently. “If we follow the Hebrew, it intimates that they shall consume as the fat of lambs. That is, as the fat is wholly consumed in sacrifices by the fire on the altar, so shall they consume away in the fire of God’s wrath.”

4. (21-22) Blessing and cursing.

The wicked borrows and does not repay,
But the righteous shows mercy and gives.
For those blessed by Him shall inherit the earth,
But those cursed by Him shall be cut off.

a. The wicked borrows and does not repay, but the righteous shows mercy and gives: David knew that the difference between the wicked and the righteous was not only found in what they believed and in whom they trusted. The difference was also often seen in their conduct. The wicked are takers, borrowing and not repaying. The righteous are givers, full of mercy.

i. Does not repay: “May refuse to do it, because he is a wicked man; or be unable to do it, because he is reduced to beggary.” (Clarke)

b. Those blessed by Him shall inherit the earth: The promise of earth-inheritance is repeated a third time. This is a blessing for the righteous, while the wicked find themselves cursed by the LORD and cut off.

5. (23-24) God’s guidance and support for the good man.

The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD,
And He delights in his way.
Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down;
For the LORD upholds him with His hand.

a. The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: The reward for the righteous is not only in the age to come. In the present day, God guides the steps of a good man. As he seeks the LORD and delights in Him, he finds his life proves the good and acceptable and perfect will of God (Romans 12:1-2).

i. The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: “There is nothing for good in the text. Geber is the original word, and it properly signifies a strong man, a conqueror or hero; and it appears to be used here to show, that even the most powerful must be supported by the Lord, otherwise their strength and courage will be of little avail.” (Clarke)

ii. “This was emphatically true of the man Christ, whose steps Jehovah established, and in whose way he delighted.” (Horne)

b. And He delights in his way: Another great and present benefit for the righteous man or woman is the knowledge that God delights in him. This is especially clear for the believer under the New Covenant who knows and experiences a standing in grace, having been justified by faith (Romans 5:1-2).

c. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the LORD upholds him with His hand: David described a third great benefit for the righteous man or woman who trusts in the LORD. Though he may at times fall (in the sense of stumbling), he will not fall away – that is, shall not be utterly cast down. This is not because of his own internal strength or goodness, but because the LORD upholds him.

C. Wisdom from a man after God’s heart.

1. (25-26) A testimony of God’s blessing and care for the righteous.

I have been young, and now am old;
Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken,
Nor his descendants begging bread.
He is ever merciful, and lends;
And his descendants are blessed.

a. I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his descendants begging bread: David gave a testimony from his own experience. He noted that God cared for those who trusted in Him and walked in His righteousness. They were not forsaken and their descendants were also blessed.

i. This was David’s testimony after many years (I have been young, and now am old). Seeing God’s faithfulness to His people, David wanted a younger generation to also trust in Him, learning from his wisdom.

ii. David knew that among his ancestors were some who left Israel, fearful in a time of famine (Ruth 1). When they returned after several disastrous years in Moab, they found the people of Bethlehem had been provided for. God knew how to take care of those who trusted in Him in times of famine, and has done so since then.

iii. One way that God provides for the righteous and their descendants is through the ethic of hard work that belongs to the redeemed, who know that all things should be done heartily, as unto the LORD – including working for a living.

b. I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his descendants begging bread: This statement is troublesome to some, because they have seen or experienced instances where godly men or women – or their offspring – have been in famine, extreme poverty, or reduced to begging.

i. We first note that this psalm is a wisdom psalm, very much like Proverbs. In the Bible’s wisdom literature, general principles are often presented in the absolute when they are intended to be understood as general or even overwhelming principles – understanding that there can be exceptions.

ii. We also note that David simply wrote of his experience. He did not write that this was an absolute principle, but his own observation.

iii. Some, like Adam Clarke, had the same experience and observation: “I believe this to be literally true in all cases. I am now grey-headed myself; I have travelled in different countries, and have had many opportunities of seeing and conversing with religious people in all situations in life; and I have not, to my knowledge, seen one instance to the contrary. I have seen no righteous man forsaken, nor any children of the righteous begging their bread. God puts this honour upon all that fear him; and thus careful is he of them, and of their posterity.”

iv. Others, like Charles Spurgeon, did not have the same experience and observation: “It is not my observation just as it stands, for I have relieved the children of undoubtedly good men, who have appealed to me as common [beggars]. But this does not cast a doubt upon the observation of David.”

v. “And it has been my unhappy lot, within these very walls, to have to minister relief to the unworthy and reprobate sons of Christian ministers, about whose piety I could entertain no doubt, and some of whom, are now in heaven. These good men’s children have walked contrary to God, so God has walked contrary to them. I have often hoped that the poverty I saw might be the means of bringing them to seek the God of their fathers!” (Spurgeon)

vi. “With the more complex civilization in the midst of which we live, perhaps sometimes the righteous have been driven to beg, but even now such cases are surely rare, and after some varied experience I would want to subject him who begs to somewhat severe cross-examination before accepting his testimony against the psalmist.” (Morgan)

c. He is ever merciful, and lends: In times of scarcity, the righteous one not only receives God’s provision, but with a generous and merciful heart he lends to others in need.

i. “How stingy, covetous professors can hope for salvation is a marvel to those who read such verses as this in the Bible.” (Spurgeon)

2. (27-29) The promised reward for obedience.

Depart from evil, and do good;
And dwell forevermore.
For the LORD loves justice,
And does not forsake His saints;
They are preserved forever,
But the descendants of the wicked shall be cut off.
The righteous shall inherit the land,
And dwell in it forever.

a. Depart from evil, and do good: The righteous man or woman trusts in God, but also receives and values moral instruction. God’s care for him does not make him careless, but careful in pleasing Him.

i. This line also speaks to the righteous man or woman in the heat of difficulty. “A conflict with evil too often tempts one to fight the enemy with his own weapons.” (Kidner)

ii. “Having therefore these glorious promises and privileges, let no man do any evil or unjust thing to enrich or secure himself, nor abstain from pious and charitable actions for fear of undoing himself by them.” (Poole)

b. For the LORD loves justice, and does not forsake His saints: Since God loves justice, so should His people. He is faithful to them and does not forsake them, but the descendants of the wicked shall be cut off.

i. The descendants of the wicked shall be cut off: “The children who follow the wicked steps of wicked parents shall, like their parents, be cut off. God’s judgments descend to posterity, as well as his mercies.” (Clarke)

c. The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell in it forever: Once again in this psalm, David described the blessing appointed to the righteous in the coming age. They would find a secure place and inheritance in the world to come.

i. The saints shall one day have power over all things; and meanwhile they are sure of a sufficiency, if not a superfluity.” (Trapp)

3. (30-31) The character of God’s righteous one.

The mouth of the righteous speaks wisdom,
And his tongue talks of justice.
The law of his God is in his heart;
None of his steps shall slide.

a. The mouth of the righteous speaks wisdom: David again turns to the conduct of God’s righteous man or woman, noted for their wise and just words.

b. The law of his God is in his heart: The righteous man (or woman) is also noted by his possession of and love for the word of God. In a way that would be truly fulfilled by the New Covenant, he has the word of God in his heart (Jeremiah 31:33). Because of this knowledge of and reliance upon God’s word, none of his steps shall slide.

i. “He hath a Bible in his head and another in his heart.” (Trapp)

4. (32-33) The character and the response of the wicked.

The wicked watches the righteous,
And seeks to slay him.
The LORD will not leave him in his hand,
Nor condemn him when he is judged.

a. The wicked watches the righteous, and seeks to slay him: In considering the remarkable blessings God has appointed to the righteous, David did not think it meant life would be easy. One danger continually faced was from the wicked who hated the righteous without cause.

i. “There want not those still that carry about Cain’s bloody club, hating to the death that goodness in another that they neglect in themselves.” (Trapp)

b. The LORD will not leave him in his hand: Thankfully, the righteous man or woman is not at the mercy of the wicked. God will protect him, particularly in the ultimate judgment (nor condemn him when he is judged).

i. “And the day is coming, when he who hath stood tamely at the bar of men, and hath suffered for truth and righteousness, shall be advanced to a throne among the saints and martyrs, to assist at the trial of his once-insulting judges.” (Horne)

5. (34-36) An exhortation to trust, based on testimony.

Wait on the LORD,
And keep His way,
And He shall exalt you to inherit the land;
When the wicked are cut off, you shall see it.
I have seen the wicked in great power,
And spreading himself like a native green tree.
Yet he passed away, and behold, he was no more;
Indeed I sought him, but he could not be found.

a. Wait on the LORD, and keep His way, and He shall exalt you to inherit the land: For the fifth time in this psalm, David promised the people of God that they would inherit the land. As king of Israel, David had a concern for their territory, but he could also extend that thought to the age to come. God’s people have their place, even a land of some sort in the coming age.

I, Wait on the LORD: “Wait in obedience as a servant, in hope as an heir, in expectation as a believer.” (Spurgeon)

ii. Wait on the LORD, and keep His way: “While we are waiting let us take heed of wavering.” (Watson, cited in Spurgeon)

b. When the wicked are cut off, you shall see it: For the fifth time in this psalm, David promised that the wicked would be cut off or cut down in some sense. Their coming doom was just as certain as the coming blessing and security of the righteous.

i. David used a green tree as a picture of the wicked in their prosperity. Psalm 1 uses a flourishing tree as a picture of the righteous. “Here it is used in reverse, the wicked being compared to a green tree which flourishes for a time but soon passes away and is seen no more.” (Boice)

c. I have seen the wicked in great power: David once again relied on his personal experience and testimony. He had seen wicked people rise to great security and success, only to have passed away and to have become no more.

i. Behold, he was no more: “What clean sweeps death makes! To the surprise of all men the great man was gone, his estates sold, his business bankrupt, his house alienated, his name forgotten, and all in a few months!” (Spurgeon)

6. (37-38) An invitation to gain the same testimony.

Mark the blameless man, and observe the upright;
For the future of that man is peace.
But the transgressors shall be destroyed together;
The future of the wicked shall be cut off.

a. Mark the blameless man, and observe the upright: The righteous men and women of this world get little attention. The culture is more interested in the godless and the wicked. Yet David counseled us to notice the blameless and the upright of this world, because the future of that man is peace.

b. The future of the wicked shall be cut off: For the sixth and final time in this psalm, David reminds us that the future of the wicked is no future to be desired.

i. “There is nothing unworthy in solemn thankfulness when God’s judgments break the teeth of some devouring lion.” (Maclaren)

7. (39-40) The reliable help and deliverance of the LORD.

But the salvation of the righteous is from the LORD;
He is their strength in the time of trouble.
And the LORD shall help them and deliver them;
He shall deliver them from the wicked,
And save them,
Because they trust in Him.

a. The salvation of the righteous is from the LORD: This is a helpful thought at the end of this psalm. In David’s praise and encouragement of righteous men or women, it is possible that one might think those ones are saved by their own righteousness. David reminds us that their salvation is from the LORD, and that He is their strength in the time of trouble.

i. He is their strength in the time of trouble: “While trouble overthrows the wicked, it only drives the righteous to their strong Helper, who rejoices to uphold them.” (Spurgeon)

b. He shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in Him: David brings the thought back to the fundamental trust that the righteous have in God. Their place in Him is secured in their trusting love of the LORD.

(c) 2020 The Enduring Word Bible Commentary by David Guzik – ewm@enduringword.com

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What Does Psalm 37:4 Mean? ►

Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart.

Psalm 37:4(NASB)

Verse Thoughts

Earlier in this Psalm, we are told not to fret about evil-doers nor to be envious of those that work iniquity, for when our mind is correctly focused on the Lord, then our hearts are not weighed down with the troublesome behaviour of the wicked, nor overwhelmed with the continuous influx of evil in the world.

Rather, we are instructed to keep the eyes of our heart upon Jesus Who has promised to carry all our burdens and to comfort us in all our affliction so that we may offer solace to others who are also weighed down by the cares of this world and oppressed by evil-doers.

As we change our focus onto the Lord, so our faith in Him is excited within our heart and we are encouraged, by David, to trust in the Lord and do good – to feed on His faithfulness so that we may become strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. We are to believe His promises and hold fast to the Word of truth.

Just as fretting should be overtaken by trust when God is the focus of our attention, so faith expands into joy when we delight ourselves in the Lord and make Him the singular joy and rejoicing of our heart. Delight yourself in the Lord, we are told. Be captivated by His beauty and wonder. Make Him the cornerstone of your hope and linchpin of your life, and He will give you the desires of your heart.

The Lord Jesus is the perfect example of a Man Who delighted Himself in the Lord. His was not an easy path. Indeed, He learnt obedience by the things that He suffered. Nevertheless, the Lord Jesus delighted Himself in His God and Father throughout His life, and even endured the Cross and despised its shame for the JOY that was set before Him. I seek not My will but the will of Him that sent Me, was His daily desire.

When the will of man is aligned with the will of God, as was intended in the beginning, then the things that delight our Heavenly Father will naturally become the joy of our own heart. When we delight ourselves in the Lord and take pleasure in the things that are uppermost on God’s own heart, we will discover that they become the joy of our heart – and we will be able to spiritually appraise all things and to say with Paul that we are one with Him and have the mind of Christ.

Source: https://dailyverse.knowing-jesus.com/psalm-37-4


What does it mean to delight yourself in the Lord (Psalm 37:4)?


Psalm 37:4 says, “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Taking delight in the Lord means that our hearts truly find peace and fulfillment in Him. If we truly find satisfaction and worth in Christ, Scripture says He will give us the longings of our hearts. Does that mean, if we go to church every Sunday, God will give us a new Rolls Royce? No. The idea behind this verse and others like it is that, when we truly rejoice or “delight” in the eternal things of God, our desires will begin to parallel His and we will never go unfulfilled. Matthew 6:33 says, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things [the necessities of life] will be given to you as well.”

Many delight in wealth, status, material possessions, and other temporary things of this world, but they are never satisfied. They never truly get what they want, hence the reason they are always wanting more. This is the lesson King Solomon learned in his pursuit of earthly treasure: “Everything is meaningless!” (Ecclesiastes 1:2). On the other hand, delighting in the Lord is true treasure indeed: “Godliness with contentment is great gain” (1 Timothy 6:6).

First John 2:15–17 says, “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.” We will never be deeply fulfilled or “happy” with the things this world has to offer. If we place our joy and hope in God first, He will meet all of our needs. He will even grant our wants, as our hearts’ desires begin to match up with His will. If we truly place priority on the Lord, chances are our heart’s greatest desire will not be a brand-new Rolls Royce, but eternal treasures in Christ.

This world can never satisfy our deepest longings, but if we choose to delight in God’s way, He will always provide above and beyond our expectations. Jesus said, “Whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:14).

What Does it Mean for Christians to “Delight Yourself in the Lord” and How Do We Do It?

Work, phone, binge-watching, ministry—any of these should do. But they don’t. Why does the call to ‘delight yourself in the Lord’ seem so distant in times of trouble?

Annette Griffin


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When you’ve been a Christian for a long time, certain words and phrases have a tendency to settle into your vernacular, become commonplace, and lose their potency. Any well-versed believer is familiar with and has probably memorized, David’s beautiful invitation in Psalm 37:4, “Delight yourself in the Lord; And He will give you the desires of your heart.” But what does it mean to delight yourself in someone—especially ‘the Lord’?

We’ve all had those days. Circumstances go from bad to worse, creating an undercurrent of fear so strong that it tugs at your hope and threatens to pull you under. While you’re trying to stay afloat on God’s promises, guilt sets in. “Joy in the midst of trials is the mark of a true Christian,” you tell yourself. In enters doubt with all the what-ifs that make your burden heavier. You pray and put your trust in God. Now what? You need a distraction to ward off anxiety. Work, phone, binge-watching, ministry—any of these should do. But they don’t. Why does the call to ‘delight yourself in the Lord’ seem so distant in times of trouble?

What Does It Mean to ‘Delight Yourself in the Lord’?

Think back to a specific moment in time when you freely enjoyed the company of a loved one. What made that moment special and memorable? Did you laugh or cry together—like good friends often do. Did you bond through the thrill of a shared experience? Did you boisterously celebrate a long-awaited victory together? Or perhaps you sat with each other in loving silence, grateful to know you didn’t have to carry a burden alone.

To experience deep, satisfying fellowship is a gift like no other. But that kind of connection doesn’t happen overnight. It’s silly to think you could find heartfelt delight with a stranger. The same is true when it comes to delighting ourselves in the Lord.

To delight ourselves in the Lord, we must first know Him. “but let the one who boasts boast about this: that they have the understanding to know me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,” declares the LORD” (Jeremiah 9:24).

God calls us to know Him for several reasons. First, He wants us to discover His many attributes that are so worthy of delight. He also desires a relationship with us. “He made us relational beings and we are made in His image. He too desires the time, discussion, and journey as our Father and Friend,” says Emma Danzey in How Can Christians ‘Delight’ Themselves in the Lord?The third reason God calls us to press on to know Him (Hosea 6:3) is because the exercise of seeking Him is profoundly important to the nurture of our souls.

Our invitation to seek Him—to know Him—is one of a Christian’s most valuable privileges. And it’s also the secret to our delight in the Lord, especially during times of distress.

In another Psalm David declares, “One thing I ask from the LORD, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple” (Psalm 27:4).

What state of mind do you think David is in when he declares his one desire? Does this verse seem like it’s portraying a moment of praise for a victory won? It’s not. The prior verse gives us a glimpse at the setting: “Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident” (Psalm 27:3).

David cries out to God for “one thing” while in the middle of a literal battle for life. He knows that this one thing, above all else, will help him overcome the agony of desperation. Why? What does David hope to gain from his request? The verses that follow reveal where David’s hope lies. “For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock. Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me; at his sacred tent I will sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the LORD” (Psalm 27:5-6).

David knows that if He can be where God is, see Him in all His glory, and seek Him while He may be found that it will lead to safety, shelter, and the power to rise above the enemy’s schemes. In the refuge of God’s presence, David is given the ultimate weapon against hopelessness—the ability to delight himself in the Lord.

Christians have direct access into God’s presence, through the blood of Christ Jesus (John 14:6, John 19:9, Hebrews 10:19). But the cares of this world and complacency can blind us to that truth. That’s why it’s so important to seek Him. “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth” (Colossians 3:1-2).

When we turn our eyes away from this world and fix them on Jesus, our delight in the Lord is assured. God promises that when we seek Him with our whole heart, we will find Him. And when we find Him, His divine qualities, especially those that are manifest through Christ, will sweep us off our feet.

No amount of self-determination can ever produce a sincere delight in the Lord; it’s a byproduct of knowing Him. Isaiah 58 is a prime example of a time when God’s people tried to operate out of a man-made delight in the Lord. They failed—hard. Not because they didn’t check off all the right boxes, but because those boxes weren’t God’s priority at the time. They had lost touch with the source of their true delight.

What Is the Context of Psalm 37:4 and Delight Yourself in the Lord?

When David wrote Psalm 37:4 “Delight yourself in the Lord; And He will give you the desires of your heart,” he didn’t just invite us to “delight” ourselves in the Lord; he also revealed the benefit that occurs when we do.

“Since it is human nature to battle against self-worship, we are tempted to focus on the latter half of this verse which seems to promise that God will give us whatever our little heart’s desire,” says Rhonda Stoppe in What Does it Mean to Delight Yourself in the Lord?

To unlock the mystery behind this powerful yet often misinterpreted promise, we must set aside every preconceived, humanistic notion—and with fresh eyes, let the Bible say exactly what it says.

This verse, in context and according to the original language means: When we delight ourselves in the Lord, He will give us the desires of our heart.

In other words, when we delight ourselves in the Lord, His desires become ours.

How amazing is that! The misinterpreted promise doesn’t hold a candle to the real one. What Christian in their right minds, knowing the inherent evil and deceptive nature of our own hearts, would ever want to gain the object of their own natural desires (Jeremiah 17:9, Mark 7:21-22), especially when we’re granted the opportunity to trade our worldly desires for His.

3 Practical Ways to Delight in the Lord on Bad Days

First, Seek Him—When believers face fiery trials, one silver lining usually appears right away. As the flames get hotter, the first objects to disintegrate are the everyday obstacles that undermine our time with God. In the thick of trouble, we tend to lose our appetite for trivial activities. And for good reason. On bad days God wants to connect with us just as much as we need to connect with Him. Our burdens and cares matter to God. That’s why Jesus prescribes the remedy for worry. “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:33).

In What Does It Mean to “Seek the Lord”? John Piper offers this insight: “Seeking involves calling and pleading. O Lord, open my eyes. O Lord, pull back the curtain of my own blindness. Lord, have mercy and reveal yourself. I long to see your face.” When you cry out to God it’s important to listen and have faith that He hears and will answer. What good does it do to seek if you don’t believe that He can be found? “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him” Hebrews 11:6.

Rest assured, as you seek God the Holy Spirit will nourish and refresh your soul by revealing the truth of God’s word in fresh, poignant ways. As you draw nearer to Him, He’ll refine you, comfort you, instruct you and guide you. Fear will fade, and His perfect peace will prevail. (John 14:27, Philippians 4:6-7) Our delight in the Lord is perfected in His presence. 

Delight in past victories—In the Old Testament, the Israelites built altars and used stones of remembrance to commemorate significant God moments. These markers were used as a visible reminder of God’s goodness, deliverance, provision, and sovereignty—for the Israelites, their future generations, and their enemies. God has done great things in our lives too. Personal things. Miraculous things that could not have been accomplished by anyone else but Him.

One way we can express our delight in the Lord is by continually celebrating His past works. When we rehearse our God-given victories during trying times, it reminds our heart of God’s faithfulness, which ignites our delight in Him.

Delight through verbal thanksgiving—Thankfulness is a powerful tool to help combat sadness, anxiety, and depression. This fact is not only proven repeatedly in Scripture, but science has also finally caught up with God’s truth. Research shows that verbal expressions of gratitude produce a surge of feel-good hormones like dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin. The hormones help connect the giver of thanks to the recipient, much like those same hormones create a bond between mother and child.

Thanksgiving is a form of worship that redirects our attention away from the temporal and bonds us to the eternal. Our delight in the Lord becomes inevitable when we “enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise.” Chara Donahue puts it this way in 7 Powerful Spiritual Benefits of Thankfulness, “Thankfulness leads us to a dependency that draws us into the heart of God while at the same time turning our hearts towards Him. It is so easy for us to be led astray by the lusts of our flesh, but when we look with eyes of thankfulness, we see that our deepest desires are already being met.”

True delight in the Lord is a celebration of all His excellent qualities. When we’re in God’s presence, through Jesus, we can view those qualities in a person—not as a curious onlooker, but as a child enraptured by our Father’s glory. And as we celebrate Him, we can trust that “The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand” (Psalm 37:23-24).

Further Reading

How Can Christians ‘Delight’ Themselves in the Lord?

What Does it Mean to Delight Yourself in the Lord? (Psalm 37:4)

Photo credit: ©Pexels/Andrea Piacquadio

Annette Marie Griffin is an award-winning author and speaker who has managed and directed children’s and youth programs for more than 20 years. Her debut children’s book, What Is A Family? released through Familius Publishing in 2020. Annette has also written curriculum for character growth and development of elementary-age children and has developed parent training seminars to benefit the community. Her passion is to help wanderers find home. She and her husband have five children—three who have already flown the coop and two adopted teens still roosting at home—plus two adorable grands who add immeasurable joy and laughter to the whole flock.

This article is part of our larger resource library of popular Bible verse phrases and quotes. We want to provide easy to read articles that answer your questions about the meaning, origin, and history of specific verses within Scripture’s context. It is our hope that these will help you better understand the meaning and purpose of God’s Word in relation to your life today.

What does Psalm 37:4 mean? [ See verse text ]

This verse is easily misapplied, as are many such references to the promises of God. To “delight in the Lord” is to enjoy all the blessings found in Him, because they are from Him, not merely because they are to our benefit. It’s often said that the person who delights in the Lord values the Giver more highly than His gifts. The Hebrew word translated as “delight” here is from a root word that implies pleasure and enjoyment.

In context with the surrounding verses (Psalm 37:3, 5), this clearly refers to those whose desires are in harmony with those of God. A person who “delights in the Lord” has righteous desires. He will not desire anything that springs from selfish desires. No one can expect God to give something contrary to God’s will, or the Lord’s glory. So far as our wills are attuned to the will of God (John 14:15), our requests will be granted (John 14:14; Matthew 6:33). This idea is expressed often in the Psalms (Psalm 21:2; 145:19).

Some commentators suggest this statement could be interpreted to mean the Lord will place into our hearts those desires which are godly. In other words, when we delight in God, He makes us want what He wants (Romans 12:2; Galatians 5:16–24).

Psalm 16:11 assures us that in God’s presence there is fullness of joy, and pleasures that last forever are at His right hand. A truly joyful life, one which extends through eternity, is based on our delighting ourselves in the Lord. The book of Ecclesiastes traces Solomon’s search for happiness and meaning in a variety of things, but his search led only to emptiness until he found happiness and meaning in a personal relationship with God. At the end of the book he counsels his readers: “Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come and the years draw near of which you will say, ‘I have no pleasure in them'” (Ecclesiastes 12:1).

Context Summary

Psalm 37:1–11 encourages David’s audience to maintain a proper relationship with God by refusing to wallow in anxiety over their circumstances. Instead, they ought to trust in the Lord, find their joy in the Lord, and commit their future to the Lord. The tone of this passage resembles Proverbs chapter two, which explains the benefits of following godly wisdom. Matthew 5:5 holds a promise that parallels verses 9 and 11 of this psalm.

Chapter Summary

In this psalm, David contrasts the way God protects and saves His people, contrasted with the ruin which awaits the wicked. Much of this seems to be based on David’s own experiences (Psalm 37:25, 35). As with many other passages in Psalms and Proverbs, this passage encourages godly wisdom. Those who reject God and His ways can expect uncertainty on earth and disaster in eternity

May The Words I Speak Honor You and The Meditation Of My Silent Heart be Pleasing To You


Psalm 19:14 (New Living Translation)

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May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

May that what I speak of my mouth and the silent meditation of my heart be honored by you O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.


Video for Psalm 19:

Psalm 19 – The Heavens, the Word, and the Glory of God

The title tells us both the author and the audience of the psalm: To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David. Some believe that the Chief Musician is the Lord GOD Himself, and others suppose him to be a leader of choirs or musicians in David’s time, such as Heman the singer or Asaph (1 Chronicles 6:33, 16:5-7, and 25:6).

“This Psalm reflects, more than any other, the beauty and splendor of the Hebrew poetry found in the Psalter. C.S. Lewis wrote, ‘I take this to be the greatest poem in the Psalter and one of the greatest lyrics in the world.’” (Willem VanGemeren)

A. The message from the heavens.

1. (1-4a) The message from the heavens is broad.

The heavens declare the glory of God;
And the firmament shows His handiwork.
Day unto day utters speech,
And night unto night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech nor language
Where their voice is not heard.
Their line has gone out through all the earth,
And their words to the end of the world.

a. The heavens declare the glory of God: David looked to the heavens – not the spiritual heaven where God is enthroned, but the heavens of the blue sky and the night sky – and he clearly saw the glory of God declared.

i. He could see it in the blue sky, with the glory of the sun and clouds and the beauty of sunrises and sunsets.

ii. He could see it in the night sky, with the brightness of the moon, the awe of the starry sky and the cloudy spread of the distant galaxies.

iii. These together – with their size, their awe, their grandeur – shouted to David and all who would see, “The God who created all this is glorious, and this is evidence of His glory.”

· He is glorious in His size, having created something so big.

· He is glorious in His engineering, having created something that works together so well.

· He is glorious in His artistry, having created something so beautiful.

· He is glorious in His goodness and kindness, having created something for all humanity to see.

b. And the firmament shows His handiwork: David repeated the idea in the previous line. “Firmament” is a poetic way of referring to the heavens or the sky, and they show the handiwork of God.

c. Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night reveals knowledge: The day sky and the night sky speak to us, and reveal knowledge about the glory, wisdom, and creative greatness of God.

i. Utters speech: “This is stronger in the Hebrew text than it appears to be in English, for the image is literally of a gushing spring that copiously pours forth sweet, refreshing waters of revelation.” (Boice)

ii. Reveals knowledge: “Knowledge is well matched with night, since without the night skies man would have known, until recently, nothing but an empty universe.” (Kidner) If God had not placed the stars in the night sky, the blackness of night would have communicated powerfully to all humanity, ancient and modern, “There is nothing and no one out there.”

iii. “Though all preachers on earth should grow silent, and every human mouth cease from publishing the glory of God, the heavens above will never cease to declare and proclaim his majesty and glory. They are for ever preaching; for, like an unbroken chain, their message is delivered from day to day and from night to night.” (Tholuck, cited in Spurgeon)

iv. “Day bids us labour, night reminds us to prepare for our last home; day bids us work for God, and night invites us to rest in him; day bids us look for endless day, and night warns us to escape from everlasting night.” (Spurgeon)

d. There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard: The glory of God in the visible heavens is for all to see; it is communicated to all mankind, no matter what their language. It is a message that has gone out through all the earth.

i. The Apostle Paul expanded this idea in Romans 1. He explained that God’s invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse (Romans 1:20). Paul told us that because this testimony had gone out through all creation, all men are without excuse for rejecting the God who gave us such clear (and beautiful) evidence of His power and wisdom.

ii. “Should a man live underground, and there converse with the works of art and mechanism, and should afterwards be brought up into the open day, and see the several glories of the heaven and earth, he would immediately pronounce them the works of such a Being as we define God to be.” (Aristotle, cited in Spurgeon)

iii. “For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.” (Astronomer and physicist Robert Jastrow, cited in Boice)

2. (4b-6) The message from the heavens is strong and glorious.

In them He has set a tabernacle for the sun,
Which is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,
And rejoices like a strong man to run its race.
Its rising is from one end of heaven,
And its circuit to the other end;
And there is nothing hidden from its heat.

a. In them He has set a tabernacle for the sun: David poetically described the nighttime sky as a dwelling place – a tent, a tabernacle – for the sun. The sun comes out of its “tent” every day to cross the heavens, and returns to its tabernacle at night.

i. “God has assigned it its place to occupy and its course to run; the whole sky its mere tent and track.” (Kidner)

b. Like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoices like a strong man to run its race: The sun makes its course through the sky with strength and joy, like a man in his prime or an athlete running a race.

i. “All would agree that the psalm, if it glances at mythology, repudiates it. The sun may be ‘like’ a bridegroom or a runner; it is in fact no more than a glorious part of God’s ‘handiwork.’” (Kidner)

c. Its rising is from one end of heaven…there is nothing hidden from its heat: The sun covers the whole sky, and its strength extends everywhere. It is a wonderful example of the glory of God declared in the heavens.

B. The message from the word of God.

1. (7-9) The glorious character of God’s word, described seven ways.

The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul;
The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple;
The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart;
The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes;
The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever;
The judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.

a. The law of the LORD: Here David abruptly shifted from praising the God who reveals Himself in creation to praising the same God for revealing Himself in His word. It is as if David said, “Creation tells us much about God, but His word tells us much more.”

i. “‘Two things’, according to Kant, ‘fill the mind with ever new and increasing admiration and awe…the starry heavens above and the moral law within.’ The psalm transcends the second of these themes by looking to the divine law revealed.” (Kidner)

ii. One reason the word is a greater revelation than creation is that it tells us much more about God. It reveals Him as the covenant God of love, as reflected in the structure of this psalm. In Psalm 19:1-6, God is referred to as El – the most generic word for God in the Hebrew language (even more generic than the commonly used Elohim). Yet here at Psalm 19:7-9, God is referred to as Yahweh (the LORD), the God of covenant love and faithfulness to His people.

iii. “He is wisest who reads both the world-book and the Word-book as two volumes of the same work, and feels concerning them, ‘My Father wrote them both.’” (Spurgeon)

iv. David then explains seven glorious statements about the word of God: how wonderful and effective it is. As is common in other places – especially the great Psalm 119 – David used a variety of expressions to refer to the word of God (law, testimony, statutes, commandment, fear, judgments). It is best to see these as poetic terms describing God’s written revelation in general, rather than one specific type of revelation (such as only the laws given in the Mosaic law).

b. The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: The word of God is perfect. It gives us all things that pertain to life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). While it does not give us all knowledge, all the knowledge it gives is true and perfect. Understood in its literary context, God’s word is never wrong in science or history or the understanding of either divine or human nature.

i. Part of the perfection of God’s word is that it is effective; it does the work of converting the soul. There is power in the reading and hearing and studying of the word of God that goes beyond intellectual benefit; it actually changes for the better – converts – the soul.

ii. The Hebrew word translated here as converting is perhaps better understood as reviving – that is, bringing new life to the soul. “First, God’s word ‘revives.’ Its restorative quality gives healing to the whole person by assuring forgiveness and cleansing and by giving life to the godly.” (VanGemeren)

c. The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple: The word of God is sure, being reliable and certain. As the psalmist would write in Psalm 119:89, Forever, O LORD, Your word is settled in heaven.

i. “Sure, by its passive form, can mean not only what is firm but what is confirmed: cf. ‘verified’ in Genesis 42:20.” (Kidner)

ii. Because it is so sure and certain, it does the work of making wise the simple. Many people of simple education or upbringing have tremendous wisdom unto life and godliness because they study and trust the sure word of the LORD.

d. The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: God’s word and the commands contained within are right. They are morally right, they are practically right, and they are universally right. They are right because it is the revelation of a God who is holy, true, and always right.

i. Are right: “To make straight, smooth, right, upright, opposed to crookedness in mind or conduct; showing what the man should be, both within and without.” (Clarke)

ii. The one who knows the word of God and the God of the word rejoices in this. He finds joy, actual pleasure in the truth of God and relationship with God revealed in His word.

e. The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes: Because God’s word comes from a God who is Himself pure and holy, the word itself is pure. A pure God can communicate no other way. We never have to worry about the word of God leading people into sin or impurity; if it seems to have happened, it is evidence that the Scriptures have been twisted (2 Peter 3:16).

i. This pure word will enlighten the eyes. It will bring the cheer and comfort and knowledge and confidence that a light in the midst of darkness brings.

f. The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever: The word of God is clean, and therefore is enduring forever. It will never fade or corrode, diminishing because of impurity. It is clean and it makes clean.

i. Here David called the word of God the “fear of the LORD.” It is deeply connected to the awe and majesty of God Himself. One who reads and hears and studies the word of God, meeting Him in His word, will have an appropriate appreciation of God’s awe and majesty – the fear of the LORD.

g. The judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether: David summarized this beautiful chain of seven pearls, each describing some aspect of the word of God. Here he declared that the words of God are true and righteous altogether; there is nothing false or unrighteous in His word.

i. There is no applied aspect to this statement as in the previous five. For David, it was enough to simply say it: “true and righteous altogether.” Perhaps David assumed we would be wise and logical enough to apply it ourselves: “Therefore read it, study it, meditate on it, love it, live it.”

ii. Remember that King David wrote this with only a fraction of what we have today as the word of God; his portion was not as glorious as the complete revelation of God. David would have had the first five books of Moses (Genesis through Deuteronomy); Joshua, Judges, a few psalms; and perhaps Job and Ruth. We can only imagine what King David would have written about Isaiah or Hosea or the entire Psalter, much less any of the books of the New Testament. We can say with confidence that God’s word is far more glorious than King David knew!

2. (10-11) The great value of God’s word.

More to be desired are they than gold,
Yea, than much fine gold;
Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
Moreover by them Your servant is warned,
And in keeping them there is great reward.

a. More to be desired are they than gold: King David insisted that the value of God’s word – His written revelation to man – was more valuable and desirable than gold itself. David wanted no amount of money or wealth to command his attention and affection more than the word of God.

i. King David was a massively wealthy man, yet he is rarely known for his riches. He is much more known for his great heart toward God. His son Solomon was even more wealthy than David, and was known for his riches – yet not nearly as much for his heart toward God and his love of God’s word.

ii. If it weren’t enough to say that God’s word should be more desirable than gold, King David amplified the point by saying, “Yea, than much fine gold.”

iii. “This is strictly true; but who believes it? By most men gold is preferred both to God and his judgments; and they will barter every heavenly portion for gold and silver!” (Clarke)

b. Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb: For King David, God’s word was not only to be held in greater esteem than material wealth, but also greater than experiences of the senses. Honey is sweet and pleasant to eat, but God’s word is sweeter still.

c. Moreover by them Your servant is warned, and in keeping them there is great reward: David here gave two reasons why the word of God was greater than material wealth or sensual pleasures.

i. God’s word gives instruction – warning – that wealth or pleasures do not give (is warned).

· Warning is needed for sins we are susceptible to.

· Warning is needed for dangers we cannot see.

· Warning is needed for dangers we cannot appreciate.

· Warning is needed for dangers far off in the future.

· Warnings are often rejected.

ii. God’s word gives benefit – reward – greater than wealth or pleasures (great reward).

d. In keeping them there is great reward: It is also true that there is great reward for keeping the word of God; but that is not what the psalmist said here. Here David noted the reward in keeping them. There is a sense in which obedience becomes its own reward, because we live the way God wants us and designed us to live.

i. One of the great rewards of keeping the word of God is peace of mind. “A quiet conscience is a little heaven. A martyr was fastened to the stake, and the sheriff who was to execute him expressed his sorrow that he should persevere in his opinions, and compel him to set fire to the pile. The martyr answered, ‘Do not trouble yourself, for I am not troubling myself. Come and lay your hand upon my heart, and see if it does not beat quietly.’ His request was complied with, and he was found to be quite calm. ‘Now,’ said he, ‘lay your hand on your own heart, and see if you are not more troubled than I am; and then go your way, and, instead of pitying me, pity yourself.’” (Spurgeon)

3. (12-13) The desire for inward cleansing.

Who can understand his errors?
Cleanse me from secret faults.
Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins;
Let them not have dominion over me.
Then I shall be blameless,
And I shall be innocent of great transgression.

a. Who can understand his errors? In the previous verse David reflected on the warnings found in the word of God, and in the great reward found in obeying God’s word. This made him reflect on the times and ways he had ignored the warnings and not kept the word.

i. In asking “Who can understand his errors?” David understood that he had ignored and disobeyed God’s word even more than he was aware of. What he knew was enough to make him concerned; his actual errors before God were still worse.

ii. Notably, the fact that we cannot understand our errors does not excuse us from them. We are still accountable for such errors and faults before God and must trust in His atonement to cleanse us from these errors and secret faults.

b. Cleanse me from secret faults: David wisely prayed this prayer, knowing that he could not know just how many his errors were before God. He needed cleansing even from the sins and faults that were secret to him.

i. “We desire the inner purity of heart. But this is peculiarly God’s prerogative. It is his work to cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of his Holy Spirit. ‘Cleanse THOU me.’” (Meyer)

ii. Secret faults: “From those which I have committed, and have forgotten; from those for which I have not repented; from those which have been committed in my heart, but have not been brought to act in my life; from those which I have committed without knowing that they were sins, sins of ignorance; and from those which I have committed in private, for which I should blush and be confounded were they to be made public.” (Clarke)

c. Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins: David added this because he knew that his problem was greater than secret faults and unknown errors. Without God’s help (which he here prayed for), he was also perfectly capable of committing presumptuous sins, sins done in a proud and knowing way.

i. Things that make sin presumptuous:

· When we know better.

· When friends have warned us.

· When God Himself has warned us.

· When we have warned others against the same sins.

· When we plan and relish our sin.

ii. The description of errors and secret faults and presumptuous sins reminds us that sin has a progression.

· It goes from passing temptation to chosen thought (errors).

· It goes from chosen thought to object of meditation.

· It goes from object of meditation to wished-for fulfillment.

· It goes from wished-for fulfillment to planned action (secret faults).

· It goes from planned action to opportunity sought.

· It goes from opportunity sought to performed act.

· It goes from performed act to repeated action.

· It goes from repeated action to delight (presumptuous sins).

· It goes from delight to new and various ways.

· It goes from new and various ways to habit.

· It goes from habit to idolatry, demanding to be served.

· It goes from idolatry to sacrifice.

· It goes from sacrifice to slavery.

iii. All along this continuum the Holy Spirit – and hopefully our conscience – say, “No – stop!” All along this continuum, we are given the way of escape by God (1 Corinthians 10:13), if we will only take it. Yet if we do not, and we end up in slavery to sin, it legitimately questions the state of our soul (1 John 3:6-9).

iv. Because of this great danger, David prayed keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins. “Will you just note, that this prayer was the prayer of a saint, the prayer of a holy man of God? Did David need to pray thus? Did the ‘man after God’s own heart’ need to cry, ‘Keep back thy servant?’ Yes, he did.” (Spurgeon)

d. Let them not have dominion over me: Indeed, King David not only knew that he was capable of such sins, but that they could potentially have dominion over him. His prayer was rightly placed; his love of God’s word and his dependence upon God in prayer would help him stay free from the dominion of enslaving sin.

i. This prayer is even more fitting for one who relates to God on the basis of the New Covenant. As Paul wrote, For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law, but under grace (Romans 6:14).

e. Then I shall be blameless: David knew that when sin was addressed in his life – dealing both with inward, secret sin and outward, presumptuous, enslaving sin – then he could be blameless and innocent of great transgression.

i. This was not a claim of sinless perfection, either achieved or to attain to before resurrection. David knew well that he needed to be cleansed, and trusted in God’s perfect sacrifice – prefigured by the animal sacrifices he practiced in the Mosaic system. David understood blamelessness and innocence on a human, relative level and not in an absolute sense according to the Divine measure.

4. (14) A prayer of surrender and purity.

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
Be acceptable in Your sight,
O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer.

a. Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight: David closed this glorious psalm with a humble surrender of his mouth and heart to God. He knew that real godliness was not only a matter of what a man did, but also of what he said and thought in his heart.

i. This was not a proud proclamation that David knew he was innocent and blameless; it was a plea to be made so by the transforming power of God.

ii. Acceptable in Your sight: “The psalm ends, not on the note of avoiding sin, but on that of offering back to God the mind’s fitting response to His own words, as a pure sacrifice (cf. Hosea 14:2). This is the probable implication of acceptable, a term often found in sacrificial contexts.” (Kidner)

b. O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer: King David looked to the Lord GOD to be his strength and redemption. He knew that he needed a Redeemer, and that the faithful God would rescue him.

i. Strength can also be translated as Rock. God’s strength is like a mighty rock that rescues us and gives us a firm standing place.

ii. Redeemer is that great Hebrew word goel, the kinsman-redeemer. It was the goel who bought his relative out of slavery, who rescued him in bankruptcy and total loss. King David looked to God Himself as his kinsman-redeemer.

iii. “If our Rock were not our Redeemer, we should be without hope. If our Redeemer were not our Rock, still might we be afraid. It is good that we never forget the mutual interpretation of these two revelations of God.” (Morgan)

iv. This psalm has run a glorious course. It begins with recognizing the glory of God in creation, and then the glory of His written revelation. Next to this great God and His great works, David knew himself to be small and sinful. Yet this great God would also be David’s strength and Redeemer as David put his trust in Him.

v. The glorious God of creation and revelation was also the glorious God of personal relationship and redemption for His people. King David knew this; so should we.

(c) 2020 The Enduring Word Bible Commentary by David Guzik – ewm@enduringword.com

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God Honoring Words and Thoughts – Psalms 19:14

October 5, 2021

January 4, 2019

by Ed Jarrett

David offered up a psalm of praise to God and then concluded with these words about his words and thoughts. And they are my prayer as well.

May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart
be pleasing in your sight,
Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.

Psalm 19:14 NIV

My prayer is that the words that come out of my mouth would be pleasing to God. Not just the words I speak when I am gathered with the church. But also when I am socializing with friends. When I am talking about politics or other social issues. And when I am in debate, or dispute, with another person. May my words be filled with grace and honoring to God.

And may my thoughts also be pleasing to God. Not just when I am meditating on the words of the Bible. But also when I am fighting traffic. When I am stewing over some wrong done to me, or someone close to me. Or when the attractive and scantily clad young woman wanders by and catches my eye. May my thoughts always be God honoring and pure.

The earlier part of the Psalm gives us instruction in how to accomplish this. Immerse yourself in God’s word. Let it fill you and root out the sin and error in your life. The Bible has great value for those who will dwell in it. Allow it to fill you. And then you will find that your words and thoughts will more and more be pleasing to the Lord.


The views expressed here are solely mine and do not necessarily reflect those of any other person, group, or organization. While I believe they reflect the teachings of the Bible, I am a fallible human and subject to misunderstanding. Please feel free to leave any comments or questions about this post in the comments section below. I am always interested in your feedback.

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What Does Psalm 19:14 Mean? ►

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my rock and my Redeemer.

Psalm 19:14(NASB)

Verse Thoughts

So many of the psalms of David rejoice our hearts, as he pours forth a harmony of poetic praise to God for His merciful forgiveness and extraordinary favour. Perhaps more than any other worship song from Israel’s great psalmist, Psalm 19 reminds us of the never-ending wonders of God’s mighty works and ways, the glories of His creative wisdom, and His gracious acts towards the rebellious children of Israel.

The heavens above do indeed declare the beauty and splendour of our Heavenly Lord, and His magnificent handiwork is most certainly reflected in the glorious works that He has performed by the might of His power. The language of nature and the poetry of the heavens above and the earth beneath, pour forth a never-ending message of worship and praise, as it proclaims the wonderful works of God.

So many of the sacred words that have been penned by Israel’s shepherd-king are prayers that have been rehearsed on the lips of many saints over centuries of time, who have found comfort and grace in his pleadings to the Lord. For the law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; the statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; and the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.

David was a man after God’s own heart, for he realised that it is not only the outside of a cup that needs to be clean and unsullied, but God desires an inner purity, which stems from a heart that is humble before the Lord and from whom will stream rivers of living water.

Words of worship that flow from a proud, rebellious, or unrepentant heart, are like an open sewer to the Lord, but worshipful words that flow from a life that is pure in thought and motive, word and deed, ascend to the Father as a sweet perfume.

And so, as David’s exuberant praise for the Lord climbs into an ever-increasing crescendo of worship and exaltation, his heart is suddenly moved into a hushed prayer of submissive surrender and deep devotion, as he recognises his own human limitations in contrast to the magnificent glory of God and cries out to the Lord, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be always acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my Rock, and my Redeemer.”

A heart that meditates on the glory of the Lord and lifts up the person of the Lord Jesus, is the one that exhibits an inner grace and beauty, for such a one is willingly being transformed into the likeness of the Christ, for out of the mouth come thoughts that are conceived in the heart.

David not only understood the need for an inner cleansing and purity on a day by day basis, where God Himself governs and sanctifies the thoughts of the heart and the words of the mouth, but he had come to an understanding that the Lord Jesus – the coming Messiah – the divine days-man of Job – and the coming Seed of the woman, was the strength of his life and the only Kinsman-Redeemer for his soul. 

May we, like David, in humility of heart, sanctify the words of our mouth, the meditation of our heart, the thoughts of our minds, and the motives of our inner being so that all we say and all we do, will be pleasing and acceptable in the sight of our precious Lord and Saviour.

Source: https://dailyverse.knowing-jesus.com/psalm-19-14

Source: https://dailyverse.knowing-jesus.com/psalm-19-14

Thoughts on Today’s Verse…

God does so much for us. He is the Strength and Promise that undergirds our lives. He is the One who has saved us from sin and death. Our worship comes from our gratitude for what he has done, recognition of who he is, and anticipation of what he is going to do. But worship can never be compartmentalized to just fit into church places or quiet times. Worship involves every aspect of life. That is why it is so important for us to tune the words of our mouths and the motives of our hearts to God’s will and work. Then private worship, whether alone in quiet or in a group with Christians, becomes the tuning time for our hearts and lives so that our public worship, our lives lived out in the world, will play the song of God to a world who has not yet heard his tune.

My Prayer…

O Holy and Almighty God, I want this day to be a day of worship and honor to you. May my life praise you: not just in thought, not just in words, but also in action. In the name Jesus I pray. Amen.

What does Psalm 19:14 mean? [ See verse text ]

David wanted his words and the thoughts of his heart to be acceptable to the Lord. When a worshiper brought an animal to the sanctuary to be sacrificed to the Lord, a priest would examine it to see if it was free of blemishes. If a blemish was found, neither the animal nor the worshiper was accepted by the Lord (see Leviticus 1:3–10; 22:17–25).

Taking that concept of being “blemish-free” to heart, our words should comfort or edify those who hear them. Colossians 4:6 exhorts us to use speech that is “gracious, seasoned with salt, so that [we] may know how [we] ought to answer each person.” Hebrews 10:25 summons us to encourage one another. Ephesians 4:15 directs us to speak the truth in love, and Ephesians 5:19 tells us to “[address] one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs.”

Jesus taught that the heart is the source of our words. He declared, “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (Matthew 12:34). It is important, therefore, to fill the heart with Scripture (Psalm 119:11).

In this Psalm, David addresses the Lord as his rock and his redeemer. He recognized that the Lord was the provider of his security and his salvation. By shedding His blood on the cross, Jesus is our Redeemer (1 Peter 1:18–19), and as our living Lord He keeps us safe (1 Peter 1:3–5).

Context Summary

Psalm 19:7–14 introduces the law of the Lord—meaning Scripture—as God’s perfect revelation of Himself and His will. The prior passage identified nature as a revelation of God. Psalm 119, as well, extols God’s Word as His perfect revelation and cites the blessings which come to those who love and obey it.

Chapter Summary

David refers to the details of creation as evidence for God’s power and design. The appearance and function of nature are evidence of God’s majesty. The second half of this psalm also celebrates God’s revelation, but in the form of His Word. The law, precepts, and commandments of God are hailed for their perfection and benefit.

Seek The Lord Now While He Is Near


Isaiah 55:6 (New Living Translation)

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Seek the Lord while you can find him. Call on him now while he is near.

So you should look for the Lord before it is too late. You should call to him now, while he is near. Lord comes at his time and gives no second chances

Isaiah Chapter 55

Isaiah 55 – An Invitation to Receive the Glory of the LORD’s Restoration

A. An invitation to receive blessing.

1. (1-2) An invitation to be richly fed.

“Ho! Everyone who thirsts,
Come to the waters;
And you who have no money,
Come, buy and eat.
Yes, come, buy wine and milk
Without money and without price.
Why do you spend money for what is not bread,
And your wages for what does not satisfy?
Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good,
And let your soul delight itself in abundance.

a. Ho: The prophet calls out, loud and clear, to all that can hear. This is an important announcement and is therefore prefaced with this unique call.

i. “Ho! – this is the gospel note; a short, significant appeal, urging you to be wise enough to attend to your own interests. Oh, the condescension of God! That he should, as it were, become a beggar to his own creature, and stoop from the magnificence of his glory to cry, ‘Ho!’ to foolish and ungrateful men!” (Spurgeon)

b. Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters: It is an invitation to everyone – specifically, to everyone who thirsts. Only those who thirst will come to the waters. If we aren’t thirsty for what the LORD can give us, then we will never come to His waters.

i. Jesus may have had this passage from Isaiah in mind when He cried out, If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. (John 7:37)

c. You who have no money, come, buy, and eat: Those who do thirst, and answer the LORD’s invitation, don’t need to bring money. Their money won’t really do them any good. They can simply bring their trust and faith and receive what God has to give them.

d. Waters…. wine…milk: It’s all free. It isn’t that the entrance into the Christian life is free, and then we must be charged to advance in the Christian life. It’s all free; our growth is just as much a gift of grace as our salvation.

i. “You are not permitted to drink freely of water, and then to purchase wine. You are not invited to come and eat freely that which is good, and then to spend your labour for that which is fat. No, the richest dainties of God’s house are as free as the bread he gives to hungry souls.” (Spurgeon)

e. Why do you spend money for what is not bread, and your wages for what does not satisfy? In His invitation, God asked His people to ask themselves – “Why do I spend money for what can’t satisfy?” This is a remarkably relevant question, in light of all the things we can pour our time and money and effort into – things which will never satisfy the way the LORD can satisfy.

f. Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, and let your soul delight itself in abundance: The invitation is clear. The offer is made, the provision is made, and everything is available – but we must still do some things.

i. First, we must listen carefully. The satisfaction God promises eludes those who will not both listen and listen carefully. It takes time, attention, and effort to listen carefully, and some aren’t willing to do this.

ii. Second, we must eat what is good. This requires some discernment. We must choose what is good, and then eat that. Many just simply eat whatever spiritual meal is set before them, without taking care to see that it is good.

iii. Third, we must let your soul delight itself in abundance. Even when we listen, even when we eat what is good, we still must let our soul delight itself in abundance. You can sit down at a great spiritual meal, but by your stubborn or bad attitude, simply not let your soul delight itself in abundance.

2. (3-5) An invitation to be wonderfully led.

Incline your ear, and come to Me.
Hear, and your soul shall live;
And I will make an everlasting covenant with you—
The sure mercies of David.
Indeed I have given him as a witness to the people,
A leader and commander for the people.
Surely you shall call a nation you do not know,
And nations who do not know you shall run to you,
Because of the LORD your God,
And the Holy One of Israel;
For He has glorified you.”

a. Incline your ear: The thought carries over from the idea of let your soul delight itself in abundance. Whoever will genuinely “feast” upon the word must consciously incline their ear towards what God will say. This explains why two people can listen to the same message, and one benefit and the other not. Often, the one who did not benefit simply did not incline their ear to the LORD.

b. Hear, and your soul shall live: The benefit from inclining your ear to God is impressive. When we do it, we have life for our soul.

c. And I will make an everlasting covenant with you – the sure mercies of David: For the one who will listen to the LORD, God promises a covenant. From Isaiah’s perspective, this covenant is still in the future (I will make). The covenant is also characterized by the sure mercies of David.

i. God showed His great mercy to David; not only by sparing David’s life when he was guilty of murder and adultery, but also in blessings and preserving and guiding David every day of his life. If God promises us the same mercy He showed to David, we are blessed indeed.

ii. As well, the mercies of David are sure. They are certain. God never gave up on David, never stopped showing him mercy. We can count on God when He promises to us the sure mercies of David.

d. I have given him as a witness to the people, a leader and a commander for the people: God promised the blessing of good and wise leadership as a part of His sure mercies. God gave David and his remarkable leadership as a gift to Israel; here God promised that He would keep giving this gift according to the pattern shown in David.

i. David was a witness in the sense that he had a real relationship, a real experience with God, and could speak to Israel as a witness of what he had seen and heard in that relationship with God. Notice that David was a witness to the people. A witness to, not of the people. David did not lead through popularity polls or just giving the people what they wanted. He witnessed something from God, and he gave testimony of it to the people.

ii. David was a leader for Israel, leading them spiritually, politically, and militarily. He led both by his godly example and his shepherd’s heart. Notice that David was a leader and a commander for the people. Not a leader and a commander of the people, but for the people. He led with a shepherd’s heart that genuinely desired God’s best for the people.

iii. It’s curious that David is used here as God’s prototype for a leader. Curious in many ways, because David’s reign can be seen as quite troubled. He came to the throne of Israel through much struggle and difficulty. He slipped into terrible scandal, marked by murder and adultery. There was incest, rape, and murder among his own children. His reign was marred by an ugly civil war, in which his own son almost deposed him. Yet David is here lifted up as a wonderful leader of God’s people! This shows that David’s heart after God meant more than outward success, comfort, and ease. It also shows that God’s best and most effective leaders don’t necessarily have it easy.

iv. David was a commander for Israel. Even with his tender shepherd’s heart, his leadership was bold and out-front. Because he had a sense of the heart of God, being a man after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14), he could boldly lead God’s people.

v. These prophecies are fulfilled spiritually when God gives wonderful, David-like leadership to His people. They will be fulfilled ultimately when David – literal King David in his resurrection body – reigns over Israel in the millennium, the 1,000-year reign of Jesus Christ over this earth.

·Of that time, Jeremiah 30:9 says, But they shall serve the LORD their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up for them.

·In Ezekiel 34:23-24 the LORD promises, I will establish one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them; My servant David. He shall feed them and be their shepherd. And I, the LORD, will be their God, and My servant David a prince among them; I, the LORD, have spoken.

·Ezekiel 37:25 continues, Then they shall dwell in the land that I have given to Jacob My servant, where your fathers dwelt; and they shall dwell there, they, their children, and their children’s children, forever; and My servant David shall be their prince forever.

vi. We have indications that as God’s people rule with Jesus over the millennial earth, people will be entrusted with geographical regions according to their faithfulness (Luke 19:12-19). It seems that David’s glorious portion will be to rule over Israel.

e. Surely you shall call a nation you do not know, and nations who do not know you shall run to you: Was this addressed to Israel, or to David as the leader and commander of God’s people? Possibly both. Certainly, its ultimate fulfillment is in the millennium, when the nations will flock to Israel (Isaiah 60:5, 60:9).

f. Because of the LORD your God, and the Holy One of Israel; for He has glorified you: Why do the nations flock to David and/or Israel? Because the LORD has lifted them up, in accordance with His blessings of restoration.

3. (6-7) An invitation to be forgiven.

Seek the LORD while He may be found,
Call upon Him while He is near.
Let the wicked forsake his way,
And the unrighteous man his thoughts;
Let him return to the LORD,
And He will have mercy on him;
And to our God,
For He will abundantly pardon.

a. Seek the LORD while He may be found: The prophet impresses a sense of urgency on God’s people. “This is the time. God can be found now. Seek Him now.” It isn’t that God is hidden and can only be found now. It is that He can only be found when our hearts are inclined to look for Him, and that inclination itself is a gift from God! We must receive the gift and make the most of it while we have it. Not seeking and failing to call upon Him while He is near, means we will not receive the blessings He promises.

b. Let the wicked forsake his way: The prophet impresses the need for repentance among God’s people. Repentance is simply turning around our way – turning from our own way, turning to God’s way. Simply, this is what it means to return to the LORD, and we can never walk on God’s way until we forsake our own way. The LORD’s glorious restoration works in and through our repentance.

i. Isaiah made an important point when he wrote, and the unrighteous man his thoughts. Wickedness may be demonstrated by our actions (our way), but unrighteousness can be found in our very thoughts. The battleground for a righteous walk with the LORD is often found in our minds, in our thoughts.

ii. The Apostle Paul knew this also when he wrote of bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5), and how we must not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind (Romans 12:2).

c. And He will have mercy on him: What a glorious promise! When we turn to the LORD, He will have mercy on us! In fact, He will abundantly pardon! The problem is never that we turn to the LORD and find that He rejects us. The problem is that we fail to return to the LORD.

B. The glorious ways of the LORD.

1. (8-9) A reminder of the difference and distance between God and man.

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts.

a. For My thoughts are not your thoughts: God doesn’t think the way we do. We get into a lot of trouble when we expect that He should think as we do. Because we are made in the image of God, we can relate to God’s thoughts, but we cannot master them.

b. Nor are your ways My ways: God doesn’t act the way we do. He does things His way, and His ways are often not our ways. We get into a lot of trouble when we expect that God should act the way we do.

c. For as the heavens are higher than the earth: How far is the distance between God’s thoughts and ours? How far is the distance between His ways and ours? The distance is as great as the heavens are higher than the earth.

i. Gloriously, in Jesus Christ, heaven has come down to earth, and we can have our thoughts and ways transformed to be more like God’s thoughts and ways. This is what it means to be conformed to the image of His Son (Romans 8:29). The distance will never be closed; God will always be God, and we will always be human. But when our salvation is complete, and we are united with the LORD in glory, the distance will be as close as is possible.

ii. The difference and distance between God and man is revealed, not to discourage us from seeking Him, but to keep us humble as we seek. “You may conclude that it is not intended that you should understand the infinite, for you are told that his thoughts and ways are far above you; but you are required to seek him while he may be found, and call upon him while he is near.” (Spurgeon)

2. (10-11) The glorious operation of the word of God.

“For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven,
And do not return there,
But water the earth,
And make it bring forth and bud,
That it may give seed to the sower
And bread to the eater,
So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth;
It shall not return to Me void,
But it shall accomplish what I please,
And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.

a. For as the rain comes down: Using the figure of the water cycle, the LORD illustrates the essential principle that His word shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please. Rain and snow come down from heaven, and do not return before serving their purpose on earth (they water the earth, and make it bring forth and bud). The rain and snow eventually do return to heaven, but not before accomplishing their purpose on earth. Even so, God’s word, when He sends it down from heaven, does not return to Him void. Instead, it always fulfills His purpose on earth.

i. This means that God is not just “talk.” When He talks, His words accomplish His intended purpose. The word of the LORD has power, and it never fails in His intended purpose.

ii. “It is an irrevocable word. Man has to eat his words, sometimes, and unsay his say. He would perform his engagement, but he cannot. It is not that he is unfaithful, but that he is unable. Now this is never so with God. His word never returns to him void. Go, find ye the snowflakes winging their way like white doves back to heaven! Go, find the drops of rain rising upward like diamonds flung up from the hand of a mighty man to find a lodging-place in the cloud from which they fell! Until the snow and the rain return to heaven, and mock the ground which they promised to bless, the word of God shall never return to him void.” (Spurgeon)

b. Make it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater: The use of these pictures to illustrate the operation of God’s word shows that God’s word brings forth fruit. It also shows that the fruit has many different applications. The same grain that gives seed to the sower also gives bread to the eater.

c. It shall accomplish what I please: God’s word has something to accomplish. God doesn’t just speak to hear Himself talk. His word is not empty or lacking in power. This also means that God’s word has a purpose. He didn’t speak in unfathomable mysteries just to blow our minds, or confuse us, or leave things up to any possible interpretation. When God speaks, He speaks to accomplish a purpose.

d. It shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it: God’s word doesn’t barely get the job done. It shall prosper in the purpose God has for it. It is rich and full of life. God’s word always succeeds, and always fulfills God’s purpose.

i. This doesn’t mean that it doesn’t matter how God’s word is presented. Sometimes a terrible sermon has been excused by saying, “God’s word doesn’t return void.” The principle is clear and true from this passage of Isaiah, but because of the preacher’s poor preparation or preaching, there has been little of God’s word set before the people. The preacher can ignore, dilute, or obscure God’s word so that little goes forth. When little goes forth, that little will succeed – but how much better if more of the whole counsel of God went forth to succeed.

3. (12-13) The joy and blessing of restoration.

“For you shall go out with joy,
And be led out with peace;
The mountains and the hills
Shall break forth into singing before you,
And all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress tree,
And instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree;
And it shall be to the LORD for a name,
For an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.”

a. For you shall go out with joy, and be led out with peace: When God’s people turn to Him, listen to Him, and His Word does His work in them, joy and peace are always the result. The joy is so great, that even the mountains and the hills, and the trees of the field join in.

b. Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress tree: Where before there was barrenness and reminders of the curse (the thorn), now there will be beautiful and useful trees. The picture is clear; in His glorious work of restoration, God takes away the barren and the cursed, and brings forth beauty and fruit.

c. It shall be to the LORD for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off: When the LORD restores, all the work is done for His name, and for His glory. When the LORD restores, the work is secure; it is an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.

(c) 2021 The Enduring Word Bible Commentary by David Guzik – ewm@enduringword.com

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What Does it Mean to ‘Seek the Lord While He May Be Found’?

“Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near.” Isaiah 55:6 (NIV)

Seeking the LORD while he may be found means coming to Him fully through the way Jesus made on the cross, and being filled by the Holy Spirit, which allows us the capability to experience and understand God on a supernatural level. A more recognizable verse in this chapter of Isaiah lies just a few verses past the one above. It proclaims, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD” (Is. 55:8 NIV). Isaiah prophesied of the coming Messiah, the rescue of God’s people from an exile that hadn’t happened yet, and the eventual restoration of God’s Kingdom on earth.

What Does the Bible Mean by ‘Seek the Lord While He May Be Found’?

“Seek the LORD while you can find him. Call on him now while he is near.” Isaiah 55:6 (NLT)

The New International Version of Isaiah chapter 55 is titled, “Invitation to the Thirsty.” The New Living Translation titles it “Invitation to the LORD’s Salvation.” The English Standard Version, “The Compassion of the LORD.”  The Passion Translation, “Invitation to an Abundant Life.” The Message Paraphrase, “But Without Money.” And the Amplified Bible, “The Free Offer of Mercy.” These chapter headings aid us in understanding the meaning of verse 6. Found, in this context, has 26 different definitions according to Strongs, some meaning to find or attain, to encounter, learn, meet, to be found. We are no longer separated from God as His people were at the time Isaiah was writing. He is accessible to us through Christ Jesus and wants us to turn to Him through His Son so He can fill us with His Holy Spirit! 

Isaiah’s name means “The Lord Saves.” (NIV) The great prophet spent most of his life in Jerusalem and was married with children. In his divinely inspired message, he was projected into the future, much like the apostle John was in writing the book of Revelation. He warned Judah of their exile and spoke of their restoration by God, the Messiah to come, and God’s Kingdom on earth. “Through the work of God’s Messiah, people who do not know the Lord will come to know him,” the NIV Study Bible explains. “We need forgiveness, and we cannot pay for it. The good news of the suffering servant, however, is that God has paid the price for it. Justice has been satisfied through a sufficient substitute.” 

The Book of Isaiah highlights God’s sovereignty, judgement, compassion, and salvation. His heart for His people (and us) not to perish without hope is evident in His promise to restore them continually, though they are constantly falling by the wayside. We pick up with Isaiah in chapter 55, when he is speaking of the predicted restoration from exile. Spiritual thirst describes a deep need for God. Isaiah 41:17 says, “The poor and needy search for water, but there is none; their tongues are parched with thirst. But I the LORD will answer them; I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them.” (NIV)

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Isaiah begins chapter 55 by stating: “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no many, come, buy, and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.” Is. 55:1 (NIV)

Jesus proclaims He is the Living Water in the New Testament, but at the time Isaiah is writing, He has yet to come. Through Jesus, we experience a quenching of thirst in our souls, which was impossible to achieve before He defeated death on the cross.

Why Would Isaiah Say ‘Seek the Lord’ to the Israelites?

“Seek the LORD while he may be found; call upon him while he is near.” Isaiah 55:6 ESV)

Isaiah had connected with God and been given a peek into what is to come. The closeness he has experienced with God undoubtably caused him to want others to experience Him intimately, too! Through Isaiah, the Lord told His people- and encourages us today- to seek Him with our whole hearts so He can unlock what we don’t even know we don’t know! To seek the Lord in the context of Isaiah 55:6 is to seek Him wholeheartedly, not hypocritically. 

Seeking the Lord benefits our souls. It leads us to a rich and satisfying life by God’s terms, not the shallow and fleeting ways of the world. Though the temple curtain was torn at Jesus’ crucifixion, many still live their lives behind a curtain that no longer separates them from God. It’s a guard we put up and a barricade we can break through, but don’t always choose to. We have to come to Him freely, seeking Him wholeheartedly. Christ made a way, but we must walk through it.

Jeremiah 29:13-14 reads: “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,’ declares the LORD, ‘and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,’ declares the LORD, ‘and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.’” (NIV)

Amos 5:4 pleads, “Seek me and live!” Again in verse 6 the prophet wrote, “Seek the LORD and live…” And once again in verse 14, “Seek good, not evil, that you may live. Then the LORD God Almighty will be with you, just as you say he is.” (NIV)

Jesus came so we would live our lives to the full (John 10:10)! God has a purpose for everyone on this earth, and He desires each of us to travel the path of His will for our lives in a fulfilling, joy-filled journey of faithfulness. 

Why Should You Seek the Lord Today?

“Seek the Lord Yahweh when he makes himself approachable; call upon him when you sense he is near.” Isaiah 55:6 (TPT)

In order to live life to the fullest, we must seek the Lord with our whole hearts. Who wants to live half a life?! No one wants to be left in the dark as their friends laugh joyfully over a joke they share or an experience which brought them joy. Nor does God want us to miss out on experiencing Him, to the full, through Christ. 

Jesus spoke of the same thirst for water Isaiah prophesied about. John recorded Jesus’ words about living water on two occasions. The first was in conversation with the Samaritan woman at the well: “Jesus answered, ‘Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.’” John 4:13-14 (NIV)

He spoke again of living water at the Festival of Tabernacles: “On the last and greater day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, ‘Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink.’” John 7:37 (NIV)

Instead of drinking from the well of the world, which will never satisfy our spiritual thirst, Jesus provides a way for us to connect completely to the Father in Heaven by the Holy Spirit living in us. The Passion Translation of John 4:14 says, “For when you drink the water I give you, it becomes a gushing fountain of the Holy Spirit, flooding you with endless life!” 

The gift of the Holy Spirit is available to all of us, yet so often we choose to pass. There are many in this world who do not know of the quenching available through Christ. They are wandering in thirst. We are part of God’s plan to make Him known throughout the earth! But some of us, though we drink from the well of Living Water, sit idle in our calling to “Go”. James wrote: “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.” James 1:19-21 (NIV)

 The Passion Translation reads: “My dearest brothers and sisters, take this to heart: Be quick to listen, but slow to become angry, for human anger is never a legitimate tool to promote God’s righteous purpose. So this is why we abandon everything morally impure and all forms of wicked conduct. Instead, with a sensitive spirit we absorb God’s Word, which has been implanted within our nature, for the Word of Life has power to continually deliver us.”

We are set in our generations, purposefully, to listen to the LORD. As we seek Him wholeheartedly, the light of the Lord in us shines onto everyone around us. 

Prayer to Seek the Lord 

“So turn your attention and seek the Eternal One while it is still possible; call on Him while he is nearby.” Isaiah 55:6 (VOICE)


Just a few verses past the one we have studied today, You spoke through Isaiah, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8 NIV) 

We come close to You, God, because we need You to show us, guide us, and fill us with the wisdom we need to walk inYour ways, which we are not fully capable of understanding as human beings on this earth. As we learn to yield to the Spirit of God in us, which connects us to You intimately, let us grow in discernment, able to hear, listen, obey, and learn from our close connectedness to You. In Christ, we are able to draw near to You, Father. You take up residence in us, and we are amazed. It’s too much for us to comprehend, let alone know what to do with on a daily basis! Help us to humbly submit to and seek You with all of our hearts, fully and genuinely, all the days of our lives.

In Jesus’ Name, 


“Seek the LORD while he may be found; Call on Him [for salvation] while He is near.” Isaiah 55:6 (AMP)

The Lord is near to us, every day and all of the time. We only need to turn to Him in order to experience life to the full, as we look forward to eternity with Him. No matter how many times we mess up the same things, He opens His arms and welcomes us home. God will always forgive us and never love us less. When we truly understand how long, wide, and deep His love is for us, we come to Him with repentant hearts, listening… allowing Him to change us and become more like Christ each day through the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit living in us. Seek the Lord while He may be found.

Additional Resources:

The NIV Grace and Truth Study Bible. Copyright © 2021 by Zondervan. All rights reserved.

NIV Study Bible Notes, Fully Revised Edition. NIV Study Bible, Copyright © 1985, 1995, 2002, 2008, 2011 by Zondervan.

Today’s Verse: Isaiah 55:6

Friday, October 5, 2018

Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near.

Isaiah 55:6

Thoughts on Today’s Verse…

In truth, God is always close to those who genuinely seek after him. The real problem is that we drift away from him, lose interest, and leave his presence. So let’s seek him and receive his grace and his help while we recognize that he alone is the one who truly saves.

My Prayer…

Father, I seek you with all my heart. While I seek to know about you through your Word, I long to know you and be known by you as a tender father knows his child and as a child feels complete trust toward his tender father. Father, not only be my God, but also be real to me in ways that transcend explanation. Help me to sense your nearness and to know your presence. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

Food For Thought Serve The Lord Your God And Obey Him Only


Deuteronomy 13:4 (New Living Translation)

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Serve only the Lord your God and fear him alone. Obey his commands, listen to his voice, and cling to him.

You must follow the Lord your God. Respect him. Obey his commands and do what he tells you. Serve the Lord your God, and never leave him. By following the laws of the lord you always have a stronghold by your side for he won’t leave you.

It is the Lord your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him.

Deuteronomy 13:4

David Guzik

On December 18, 2015, 12:30 am

Deuteronomy Chapter 13

Deuteronomy 13 – Keeping the Worship of God Pure

A. Protecting against those who would entice Israel to serve other gods.

1. (1-3) Protecting against the deceiver who comes with miraculous signs.

If there arises among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams, and he gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder comes to pass, of which he spoke to you, saying, “Let us go after other gods”; which you have not known; “and let us serve them,” you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams, for the LORD your God is testing you to know whether you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.

a. A dreamer of dreams: Dreams can be from God (as in Numbers 12:6, or in Genesis 37:5-11), or they can be false prophesies (as in Jeremiah 23:25-26). We must be careful to not put too much stock in dreams, and instead allow God to bring confirmation to any dream we believe brings a message from Him. It would be very unusual for God to speak alone through a dream, without other confirmation.

b. And the sign or the wonder comes to pass: Moses warned the people that there may arise from among them prophets or workers of signs who could also produce a sign or a wonder.

i. Deuteronomy 18:22 tells what to do with a prophet who speaks a word and it does not come to pass. But this passage tells what to do with a prophet who speaks a word and it comes to pass, but they then speak against what God has already revealed in His word.

c. And the sign or the wonder comes to pass: This sobering fact is ignored by many Christians in our age which neglects discernment. The fact is that signs and wonders can never be the evidence of truth or God’s hand.

i. Those who are immediately convinced at the sight of supernatural power or reality are in danger of great deception. 2 Thessalonians 2:9 reminds us that the coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders.

ii. This is why Jesus said and these signs will follow those who believe (Mark 16:17). Signs are to follow believers, instead of believers following signs.

d. You shall not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer of dreams: Godly discernment will always carefully examine the message of a spiritual leader, instead of the spiritual experiences which may surround him or her.

e. The LORD your God is testing you to know whether you love the LORD your God with all your heart: This explains one of God’s reasons in allowing such deceivers to exist among His people – to allow the hearts of His people to be tested and proven, to see if they really love the God of truth or are merely seeking a spiritual sign or experience.

i. “And particularly there are many signs, yea, such as men may think to be wonders, which may be wrought by evil spirits, God so permitting it for divers wise and just reasons, not only for the trial of the good, as it here follows, but also for the punishment of ungodly men, who would not receive Divine truths, though attested by many evident and unquestionable miracles, and therefore are most justly exposed to these temptations to believe lies.” (Poole)

2. (4-5) The penalty for the deceiver who comes with miraculous signs.

You shall walk after the LORD your God and fear Him, and keep His commandments and obey His voice, and you shall serve Him and hold fast to Him. But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has spoken in order to turn you away from the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the house of bondage, to entice you from the way in which the LORD your God commanded you to walk. So you shall put away the evil from your midst.

a. You shall walk after the LORD: Israel was first instructed to not let a deceiver succeed in leading them astray. No matter how attractive the deception, they were to keep focused on a faithful walk with God according to His truth.

b. But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death: Ancient Israel was a unique situation, where the civil government was also directly appointed by God and charged with maintaining spiritual order as well as civil order. Therefore, such heresy and deception were capital crimes – punishable by execution.

i. For many centuries, when the church held political power, it often exercised this penalty also. Heretics were often given over to the civil government for execution. Trapp writes in the mid seventeenth century, “This power is still in the Christian magistrate, to inflict capital punishment on gross heretics.”

ii. While we admire their priorities (they judged it much more serious for a heretic to kill men’s eternal souls than to kill their temporal bodies), they were ignorant of an important principle of Jesus’ kingdom in contrast to the ancient kingdom of Israel: Jesus declared that His kingdom was not of this world (John 18:36), while the kingdom of Israel was very much of this world. Never before or since has God appointed such a kingdom as Israel to be His nation in this world as He appointed ancient Israel, so it would be wrong for us to execute heretics today.

iii. Still, the church as a community and Christians as individuals should reject and refuse to support such heretics among them. They should use discernment to set aside those who promote themselves as miracle working men and women of anointing and faith, yet who teach heresy in essential doctrines.

3. (6-11) The penalty for a relative who would lead an Israelite to worship other gods.

If your brother, the son of your mother, your son or your daughter, the wife of your bosom, or your friend who is as your own soul, secretly entices you, saying, “Let us go and serve other gods,” which you have not known, neither you nor your fathers, of the gods of the people which are all around you, near to you or far off from you, from one end of the earth to the other end of the earth, you shall not consent to him or listen to him, nor shall your eye pity him, nor shall you spare him or conceal him; but you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death, and afterward the hand of all the people. And you shall stone him with stones until he dies, because he sought to entice you away from the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. So all Israel shall hear and fear, and not again do such wickedness as this among you.

a. Brother… your son or daughter… the wife… your friend: If any of these close human relationships would lead one to the worship of other gods, they were not only to be rejected (you shall not consent to him or listen to him), they were to be executed (you shall surely kill him).

i. In fact, the relative should be one of the main witnesses against the guilty party: your hand shall be first against him to put him to death. This was the “casting of the first stone,” the initiation of execution by one of the witnesses to the capital crime.

ii. This also demonstrates that God never puts highest priority on family relationships; if a family member forsakes the LORD, we are never to follow them away from the LORD. Jesus always comes first, as He said in Matthew 10:37: He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.

b. Secretly entices you: This demonstrates how seriously God regards leading someone else into idolatry. Even if a sympathetic person entices you, and even if they do it in private, enticement to idolatry is not to be tolerated.

i. This brings to mind the words of Jesus in Matthew 18:6: But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Anyone who leads one of God’s people astray is greatly offending the heart of God.

c. So all Israel shall hear and fear: Many modern researchers and pundits say that capital punishment is no deterrent to crime. God says it is a deterrent (properly practiced, of course).

B. Protecting the nation as a whole against those who would lead them into idolatry.

1. (12-14a) How to deal with reports of a city given over to idolatry.

If you hear someone in one of your cities, which the LORD your God gives you to dwell in, saying, “Corrupt men have gone out from among you and enticed the inhabitants of their city, saying, ‘Let us go and serve other gods’” which you have not known; then you shall inquire, search out, and ask diligently.

a. Then you shall inquire: If reports arose regarding an Israelite city given over to idolatry, there was first to be a careful investigation.

b. Search out, and ask diligently: This guarded against a harsh judgment; perhaps there were a few idolaters in the city who needed to be punished, but perhaps the city was not given over to idolatry. God commanded a careful investigation.

2. (14b-18) The penalty for a city given over to idolatry.

And if it is indeed true and certain that such an abomination was committed among you, you shall surely strike the inhabitants of that city with the edge of the sword; utterly destroying it, all that is in it and its livestock, with the edge of the sword. And you shall gather all its plunder into the middle of the street, and completely burn with fire the city and all its plunder, for the LORD your God. It shall be a heap forever; it shall not be built again. So none of the accursed things shall remain in your hand, that the LORD may turn from the fierceness of His anger and show you mercy, have compassion on you and multiply you, just as He swore to your fathers, because you have listened to the voice of the LORD your God, to keep all His commandments which I command you today, to do what is right in the eyes of the LORD your God.

a. Such an abomination: The word abomination here refers to a gross, offensive idolatry. Later in Daniel and in the New Testament, the word is used in the phrase abomination of desolation, which refers to the ultimate idolatry of the Antichrist – the establishing of an idolatrous image of himself in the most holy place (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4).

i. “The term abominable thing is used in the Old Testament for something that is totally displeasing to God and denotes something impure, unclean, and totally devoid of holiness.” (Thompson)

b. You shall surely strike the inhabitants of that city with the edge of the sword; utterly destroying it: If the investigation finds that the city is indeed given over to idolatry, it is then to be treated as a Canaanite city. They were to utterly destroy the city, including its property. The property was to be given to the LORD by destroying it, a form of “sacred destruction.”

i. This made certain that no one could profit materially by declaring a city given over to idolatry. If this provision were not in the Law of Moses one could imagine a city being plundered under this pretense.

ii. “The very same punishment which was inflicted upon the cities of the cursed Canaanites, to whom having made themselves equal in sin, it is but fit and just that God should equal them in punishment.” (Poole)

c. It shall be a heap forever; it shall not be built again: The destroyed town was to be left as a heap forever. The word heap is literally tel, and the word tel is used in Arabic for any ruined sight. Throughout Israel today, one will see curious mounds rising from a plain. These tels are the heaped up remains of ancient destroyed cities, covered over with centuries of dust and accumulated dirt.

d. To do what is right in the eyes of the LORD your God: This demonstrates that Israelites were never to regard ethnic or national bonds greater than the bonds that tied them to the LORD God; if their fellow countrymen were given over to idolatry, they were not to be spared.

i. This chapter asks an important question: What would it take to lead you away from God? Would signs and wonders do it? What if your mate forsook God, or all of your friends? What if culture, or nationalism, or ethnic ties called you away from Jesus? We must never allow such ties to come before our bond to Jesus. We must decide, as the song says, “Though none go with me, still I will follow.”

©2018 David Guzik – No distribution beyond personal use without permission

Categories: Deuteronomy Old Testament

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Deuteronomy 13:4 Serving God
Food for Thought
An all-creatures.org Guide to Kingdom Living

By Marni Montenez

Deuteronomy 13:4 New Living Translation

Serve only the Lord your God and fear him alone. Obey his commands, listen to his voice, and cling to him.

There is wisdom in living as the Lord requires.  So much harm can be avoided by taking heed to this counsel.  

Serving God is our privilege as Christians.  There is no greater honor than to serve a mighty and powerful God who loves and adores us.

1 Samuel 12:24 (ESV)

Only fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart. For consider what great things he has done for you.

In serving Him well, we are being intentional about our love for Him.

We must have a reverence for God and address Him with honesty and respect.  He is God above all other gods and deserves our excellence.  

God’s commands are not a demanding force to make us obey.    He wants willing hearts who listen for His voice and are delighted to live obedient to Him.  As we are quick to do His will we see that in obeying Him we are put in a place for us to be blessed beyond measure.   He delights in us as His children and anything He commands will eventually lead us into the abundant life.   

Most of us go to God and tell Him what we want, what we think and what we feel, but since He already knows these things,  We will benefit so much when we spend time in His presence  listening well and soaking in His wisdom.   In His holy light we are able to feel the soothing warmth of His healing power.

God wishes to speak things to us that will keep us in the moment.  It is when we are present in the moment that we can walk in the fullness of His peace and grace.

God will get us to the point that we are hanging onto Him for dear life. Clinging to God is a necessity.  It is what we were created to do.  We must understand that we can do nothing on our own.  

John 15:5 New King James Version

“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.

When we learn how to cling to God as our life support, we recognize that we cannot breath without Him.  The fears we face daily will transform into the fear of not being near Him.  We must keep our eyes steadily gazing upon His Majesty;  ready to follow Him at a moment’s notice and living our life that manifests complete surrender to Him.   

Challenge:  Meditate on this verse and let it become part of you so that you live it day by day and moment by moment.  Let it take hold of your heart and move you through life.  Allow God to teach you what it means to cling to Him.

God bless


Go on to: Deuteronomy 28:2 Blessings
Return to: Food for Thought
Return to: Christian Living Articles

The purpose of this series is to encourage people to live as loving, compassionate, and peacemaking children of God: Jesus tells us to pray, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10) God tells us through Micah (6:8), “He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.” And we know from Revelation 21:4 that there will be no more mourning, or crying, or pain, or death. Thus, Christian living requires us to set the standards of these conditions here on earth for our fellow human beings, and for the other animals, as a witness to the rest of the world. To do otherwise is not Christian.

Related Topics: God, Lord, Reverence, All Topics…

Thoughts on Today’s Verse…

So many people want us to follow their lead and obey their voice. Only God alone has proved himself faithful and loving through the ages. In his might he is to be revered. But rather than seeing reverence as a “church thing,” we are reminded by Moses it is a “life thing.” We are to obey and keep his commandments, we are to serve him and depend upon him in our daily lives. Rather than silence in the assembly, reverence is action to his glory!

My Prayer…

Holy and Righteous Father, help me take my worship outside the church building into my day to day life as I try to live what I sing, practice what I say, and pursue what I pray. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

The Thoughts and Prayer on Today’s Verse are written by Phil Ware. You can email questions or comments to phil@verseoftheday.com.

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