God’s Majesty

“The Lord is king! He is robed in majesty. 
Indeed, the Lord is robed in majesty and armed with strength. 
The world stands firm 
and cannot be shaken. 
Your throne, O Lord, has stood from time immemorial. 
You yourself are from the everlasting past. 
Your royal laws cannot be changed. 
Your reign, O Lord, is holy forever and ever.
Psalms‬ ‭93:1-2, 5‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Here’s another short Psalm. Only five verses. But it says so much about God and His majesty, His royalty, His strength, His longevity,  His laws, and His holiness. And verse 1 also makes the point that His world, the world He created, cannot be shaken. I would take from that the thought that this world, Planet Earth, cannot be destroyed. In Genesis 1:31, we read, “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.” I don’t know about you, but the God I know wouldn’t have called His creation “very good” if man could come along and destroy it. What God created, He built to last. At least, until He decrees it is time for the new Heaven and Earth to be rolled out. 

But back to this word-picture from the Psalmist. You can just imagine our amazing God sitting on His throne, robed, not just in any old cloth, but in Majesty, a fabric too holy and precious to pass through even the best tailors in London’s Savile Row. A fabric infinitely beyond the capability of even the best weavers to make. A fabric made of special threads, with strands of holiness, strands of God-strength, strands of grace, strands of love, and strands of eternity. It is no wonder that from that throne God can issue laws so profound and true, so righteous and gracious, that they have the tag, “God-royal”. Mankind tampers with and amends His laws at their peril. 

I wonder, if the One who sits on the throne is so majestic and holy, what sort of throne it must be to support such a Worthy. And it is even a greater wonder to think if we, mere mortals, will ever get the chance to find out what it is like. But I’m now going to amaze you all. That throne can be approached by each one of us right now. Yes, right now. We read in Hebrews 4:16, “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence…“. Through Jesus’ sacrifice at Calvary we can enter into the Most Holy Place where God lives. Confidently expecting the grace and mercy we need.

So today, from this short Psalm we can have the wonderful experience of getting a glimpse of God in all His finery sitting on a throne so vast and extensive that we can only marvel in awe. If the boss shouts at us today, just imagine God and His throne. The local problems will disappear before His majesty. 

The Real Greens

“But the godly will flourish like palm trees 
and grow strong like the cedars of Lebanon. 
For they are transplanted to the Lord’s own house. 
They flourish in the courts of our God. 
Even in old age they will still produce fruit; 
they will remain vital and green. 
They will declare, “The Lord is just! 
He is my rock! 
There is no evil in him!””
‭Psalms‬ ‭92:12-15‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Are there any palm trees and cedars amongst my readers today? Godly people, flourishing and strong? The Psalmist is comparing the life of a Godly person to the growth and stature of Middle Eastern trees that exemplify life as it should be – fully functioning as designed. And he goes on to say that the godly person flourishes, living a life as designed, in God’s presence. Because it is from Him that their life comes from. There are no spiritual deserts in God’s presence, stunting and even eliminating growth. In God’s presence there is an unlimited supply of all the nutrients needed to maintain life, as He designed it. 

But the Psalmist goes on to say that the flourishing taking place is not just for the early part of life – the vitality of the person continues until they take their last breath. Producing the fruit of a Godly life. Across the road from me there is a Rowan Tree. It has faithfully produced berries and green leaves for nearly fifty years from when it was first planted. But sadly, it’s days are numbered because a split has emerged in its trunk and the wood inside has started to rot. It is grimly hanging on but it is no longer as vital and green as it once was. Is that how we will end our days? Rotten and bitter inside, no more fruit, grimly hanging onto life? The Psalmist’s view of senior citizens in God’s presence is one of a different person. There may be a few wrinkles. They may be a bit stiffer and less able. But still living a fruitful life, doing God’s work in these godless days. Still with a twinkled eye. Still allowing God’s spiritual nutrients to flow through verdant and vital veins. 

And the oldies finish these verses with a timeless statement about God‘s justice, righteousness and dependability. Such sentiments are the fruit of a life that doesn’t end but transitions into God’s presence, continuing to produce fruit. Continuing in a green vitality. Continuing with God forever. The real Greens. God’s Greens.


“You thrill me, Lord, with all you have done for me! 
I sing for joy because of what you have done. 
O Lord, what great works you do! 
And how deep are your thoughts. 
Only a simpleton would not know, 
and only a fool would not understand this: 
Though the wicked sprout like weeds 
and evildoers flourish, 
they will be destroyed forever.”
Psalms‬ ‭92:4-7‬ ‭NLT‬‬

That’s a great word describing the impact God has on us – “thrill”. So I start by asking two questions this morning – what has God done for us, and has the impact thrilled us? Personally, I can remember life events that I refer back to time and time again, with a thankful heart. With a deep gratitude to God for His provision in a dire time of need. And I can remember, particularly after one event, an emotional surge of thankfulness that fell into the “thrill” category. But we can’t go through life looking for the thrills, sudden bursts of fairground-like emotions – day by day He constantly watches over us and the Holy Spirit nudges us when we need to change direction or change a decision. We cannot fail to be thrilled by a God, the Creator of everything, who so intimately cares for each one of us, even to the extent of counting and numbering all the hairs on our heads! And the Psalmist continues with a song of joy, spontaneously bursting out from a thrilling experience. It is a good exercise to sit down with a paper and pencil and list all the “great works” God has done, not just for us, but for our families and friends as well. And we can rejoice and be thrilled by them too. The Psalmist also refers to God’s thoughts – now there’s a whole new dimension. How can we know God’s thoughts? The Apostle Paul, in his first letter to the Corinthians, finished the second chapter with this verse, “For, “Who can know the Lord’s thoughts? Who knows enough to teach him?” But we understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ.” So through our relationship with Jesus we can know His thoughts – not completely of course, but we can gain a glimpse  of what God is thinking, in the knowledge too that all His thoughts will line up with what He has said in His Word.

The Psalmist ends these verses today with a reference to a “simpleton” and a “fool”. Strong words describing someone who rejects God by behaving in an unacceptable way, not realising that one day, in spite of their apparent earthly successes, they will be destroyed. Sometimes that will happen in this life, but it will surely happen in the life to come. One day the “wicked” will stand before His throne of judgement.

So where do these verses leave us. I would say in the knowledge of the stark and even extreme dichotomy between God’s way and a godless way. There is no middle ground.


“For he will command his angels concerning you 
to guard you in all your ways; 
they will lift you up in their hands, 
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.”
Psalms‬ ‭91:11-12‬ ‭NIVUK‬‬

These were the verses used by the devil during the second temptation of Jesus in the wilderness, soon after He was baptised. Isn’t it strange that so many people shrug off the Bible as irrelevant, but, of the forces behind our universe, One was the author of the Book and the other used it as a reference. But the question remains – were these verses part of a prophetic glimpse of the coming Messiah, or can they apply to us today?

What do you think about angels? They figure frequently in the Bible passages, even being named, liked Michael and Gabriel. And we read in Revelation 12 and other passages about a rebellion in Heaven and as a consequence satan and his angels were evicted. But are angels with us today? Do we have, as many claim, guardian angels? I personally believe that angels exist – the Biblical and other evidence is too strong and clear, in my opinion, for there not to be angels. From verse 9 in this Psalm, we could draw the conclusion that part of the benefit of being a God-dweller is that God will appoint angels to look after us, but when our lives fall apart, as they sometimes do, does that mean we haven’t been living in God’s refuge, under His protection? And if we read verse 16 as part of a Messianic prophecy, does the long life bit apply to Jesus, because He was savagely killed at the age of 33, or thereabouts. So this Psalm perhaps raises more questions than answers. 

However, this Psalm gives me an overwhelming sense of God’s provision. His love and grace, His protection and concern for us, His people, bursts out of the page into my spirit. Yes, we will experience much pain and grief in this life, even when we are close to God, even when we spend much time in His presence. It’s a sinful world and the enemy will do his utmost to cause us hassles. And we can compound our difficulties through making wrong choices at times. But through it all shines this wonderful truth that God is there for us, with His army of angels, waiting to help us in our times of need. Perhaps we won’t really know the full extent of how he has helped us in this life until we reach the life to come. And it is there that we might perhaps meet our “guardian angels”. Any thoughts?

Terrors of the Night

You will not fear the terror of night, 
nor the arrow that flies by day, 
nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, 
nor the plague that destroys at midday. 
A thousand may fall at your side, 
ten thousand at your right hand, 
but it will not come near you. 
You will only observe with your eyes 
and see the punishment of the wicked.
‭Psalms‬ ‭91:5-8‬ ‭NIVUK‬‬

These words from Psalm 91 have sustained me on several occasions. There was one occasion when the redundancy sword was hanging heavily over the organisation where I worked. The usual double whammy of too many employees and insufficient work to sustain their employment. And my own department and position was particularly vulnerable. But God in His mercy popped verse 7 into my mind, “A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.” Thankfully, I survived the redundancy exercise, but several colleagues didn’t. God in His mercy reassured me, and His Word sustained me in the run up to the announcement. 

But there are other nuggets in these few verses. Night terrors, for one. Isn’t it strange that when we lie in bed the problems of the previous day, or the day to come, assume proportions far in excess of reality? And instead of praying and touching base with our loving Heavenly Father, we lie in a terror-sweat, building imaginary scenarios in our minds. Or am I the only one who has experienced those sorts of “terrors in the night”?

The verses go on to explore the life experiences that can be so debilitating. Physical violence from weaponry. Illnesses and plagues. Infestations from other forms of life, microscopic or otherwise. These things can induce fears in each one of us. The Covid “plague” is particularly relevant today and I have dear friends who live in fear, adopting a hermit-like existence, just in case they become afflicted by the virus. “What-if” fears can be a blight on our lives in themselves.

Verse 4 of this Psalm is where we need to camp. Under the wings of our loving Heavenly Father. Because it is there that we will find the protection we all need. There are no terrors in His presence, just love and reassurance, kindness and grace.

A Thousand Years

“For you, a thousand years are as a passing day, 
     as brief as a few night hours.”
Psalms‬ ‭90:4‬ ‭NLT‬‬

The human race is time bound. We have a body clock that is perfectly in sync with a 24 hour day. We get agitated if a meal is late. We get up at the same time each day. Leave the house to travel to work at the same time each weekday morning. Catch the same bus at the same time. We reverse the journey after work, following the same pattern. We watch our favourite tv programme at the same time each day or week. And we finally fall into bed at the same time each evening, probably exhausted. A mad whirlwind of time-bound activities, crowding out our days. Woe betide anyone who disturbs our routines, changing our schedules. 

But God is not bounded by time, because He is eternal. In His domain, time doesn’t exist. So He’s not in any rush. He isn’t bounded by a schedule. But what relevance does an eternal God have in our pilgrimage through life? Is He so far away in an alien environment that His involvement in our lives is minimal, if at all? We read that He neither “slumbers or sleeps” (Psalm 121:4). That He always acts “at just the right time” (e.g. Romans 5:6). He is always ready to help “in a time of trouble” (Psalm 46:1). God is intimately involved in our lives. Never pushy. Always respecting our life-choices. And because He is eternal He sees “the end from the beginning” (Isaiah 46:10), acting always in accordance with His love and righteousness.

But back to our eternal, timeless God. One day we believers too will become eternal enjoying God’s presence for ever. 


“Those who live in the shelter of the Most High
will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. 
This I declare about the Lord: 
He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; 
He is my God, and I trust Him.”
Psalms‬ ‭91:1-2‬ ‭NLT‬‬

What a tremendous Psalm this is. Tradition has it that it was written by Moses, but whoever the writer was, he managed to capture wonderful and encouraging truths, just as relevant for life today as they were all those years ago. The psalm starts off with the idea that God provides shelter for those who want it, for those who live a life in relationship with Him. And in that shelter God’s people will find rest. The Psalmist continues by boldly stating that he will find rest because God will keep him safe from whatever life-issues he is encountering in his journey. And at the end of verse 2, the Psalmist simply states that he trusts God.

We think about these words, “rest”, “refuge”, and “safety”. Somehow our spirits are drawn to the idea of such places because our daily lives can be so frantic that we become frazzled to the point of exhaustion, to a point where we need to get off the merry-go-round of life and take time out. “Stop the world – I want to get off” was a phrase popular a few years ago. Most people plan to take a holiday, the thought of which sustains them in the weeks and months before they go, providing some sort of temporary relief from the stresses and strains of their situation. But when they return, the merry-go-round is still there, as frantic as ever. But God through the Psalmist points out a better way, available in the now, available when needed, available when our spirits crave rest. And after a spell in His shelter, where we enjoy the God-rest we need, we can emerge back into the world refreshed, and able to once again face into our busy lives.

Are we rest-needy people today? Look at the two words describing the place where we can find the rest we need – “shelter” and “shadow”. One tangible, one intangible. In the first case, we can physically take time out, sitting at God’s feet, praying and reading His Word. During a lunch break. First thing in the morning. Whenever we can. Thus recharging our spiritual and emotional batteries. In the second case, we can, in times of stress, look up, and “see” God’s shadow over us, through our memories, through the Words we have read, through our prayers. God has thought of all situations we are likely to meet in our lives. His loving provision is absolute. So join me today, spending time with our Heavenly Father. As the old song says, “And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, In the light of His glory and grace.


“Seventy years are given to us! 
     Some even live to eighty. 
But even the best years are filled with pain and trouble; 
     soon they disappear, and we fly away.”
Psalms‬ ‭90:10‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Psalm 90 is the first Psalm of Book Four within the Book of Psalms, and this time it is Moses’s pen that records another lyrical expression of God. At apparent odds with today’s verse, Moses didn’t start God’s work until he was 80 years old. But what a life of service! Moses lived until he was 120, but how long will we live? “Three score years and ten” is often quoted in relation to our expectation of lifespan, but we don’t really know. None of us know the day when we will leave life on this earth and cross the Great Divide. The young seem to believe that they will live forever. Certainly many seem to act like it. But those who are older become more measured in their approach to life, particularly when they reach the “twilight zone”. Some terminally ill people want to legislate control over when they leave this life, but the sanctity of life prevails, at least for now. But whatever we feel about those last moments of our lives, worrying won’t be helpful. Jesus said, as recorded in Matthew 6:27,  “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” I have read somewhere that over 90% of deaths occur when the person is asleep, which many will find reassuring. Certainly that was the case for both my parents.

So what is the impact on our daily lives of our lack of knowledge of when we will die? How should we respond? Most people don’t want to talk about it. They become fearful and depressed. Others park the question, preferring to live each day as it comes. Still others become frustrated because they know they have to age and leave this life one day and they regret that death is one aspect of their life that they have no control over. Some get paranoid when they observe the signs of ageing staring back at them from the mirror, reaching for magic potions to delay the inevitable. Cosmetic companies advertise the extraordinary powers of their products in halting the ageing process. And one topic of scientific research is sure to get the attention of many readers – how our natural lives can be extended. There are even a few wealthy people who go to extraordinary lengths to preserve themselves after death in the hope that one day in the future there will be technology that can resurrect them from a deeply frozen state.

But there is one sure-fire way of ensuring we can live forever. For eternity. Most people, particularly those who have rejected God, think that life ends when they die. But those who believe in, and follow, God, are convinced that there is a life beyond the grave of far more importance than the life we experience now. In faith, such people, Christians, believe that Jesus is preparing a place for them, so that they can live with Him forever. We can read what He said in John 14. 

I have heard the often-quoted verse, John 3:16, used at funerals to assure the relatives and the friends of their departed loved one that he or she is now in Heaven, along with their mum and dad, and Auntie Mary thrown in for good measure. That may or not be true, but such soliloquies often ignore the following verse, verse 17, where Jesus said, “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.” There is only one way to join God in Heaven, and that is through Jesus. In John 11, Jesus said to Martha, the sister of Lazarus,  ”… I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die ….” It’s all about the word “Believe”. It implies not just an acknowledgement that Jesus is real. That God exists. Even the devil believes that! It implies aligning our lives during the time we have in this life to how it will be in the next. Dealing with our sins. Following God’s teachings. Building up a relationship with Him. Otherwise we will be unable to enter into God’s presence – how could we if we don’t know Him?

So today, let us stop worrying about how much time we have left for us in this life. Instead, let us ensure our future in the life to come.


“I will sing of the Lord’s great love for ever; 
    with my mouth I will make Your faithfulness 
     known through all generations. 
I will declare that Your love stands firm for ever, 
     that You have established Your faithfulness in heaven itself.”
“Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; 
     love and faithfulness go before You.”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭89:1-2,14‬ ‭NIVUK‬‬

Psalm 89 is another Psalm written by an Ezrahite, this time a man called Ethan. He appeared in another place in the Bible, and is thought to be one of five brothers, a wise man, though not as wise as Solomon. He was a Levite, and apparently a cymbal player in a priestly worship band. From the text in the Psalm, it was written in the period of the kings, David and Solomon.

There is one word in this Psalm that appears seven times – “faithfulness”. This is a word of tremendous depth and meaning, and not one as popular today, in human terms, as it should be. Faithfulness is a word often associated with marriage but the high number of divorces betrays it’s lack of being taken seriously in society today. 

But God is faithful. One hundred per cent. He will never, ever, not be faithful. So if He says something, or promises something, we can be assured that He will faithfully bring it to pass. God will never wriggle out of His commitments and promises. On His part there is no backing out of an agreement or a covenant. In fact, in verses 7 and 8 of this Psalm we read that in the Heavenly realms God is greatly feared. Why? Because of His faithfulness. And verse 3 tells us that faithfulness is so important to God that He has established it in Heaven.

So when God makes, ”righteousness and justice … the foundation of [His] throne”, we know that through His faithfulness this will be the case. One day. All nations will stand before Him, facing into judgement because of His righteousness. There will be no sin and wickedness in Heaven.

Jesus Himself taught about the importance of being faithful on several occasions. Perhaps the most remembered is the story about the Talents. In Matthew 25:21 He said, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!”. In Luke 16:10, Jesus said, “If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities.” There is Kingdom importance in being faithful. So today, as we go about our business, whatever that might be, let’s align ourselves to God’s quality of “faithfulness”.


“Lord, You are the God who saves me; 
   day and night I cry out to You.
May my prayer come before You; 
     turn Your ear to my cry. 
I am overwhelmed with troubles 
     and my life draws near to death.”
‭Psalms‬ ‭88:1-3‬ ‭NIVUK‬‬

Oh dear! This is not a cheery Psalm. This is not the sort of psalm that would be chosen for reading on a dark, cold and wet morning in Scotland, as today. The heading in the NIV version attributes it to the Sons of Korah, and in particular to Heman, the Ezrahite. There’s quite a bit known in the Bible about this man and his family, and he had a reputation for being a Godly and wise songwriter in the time of the kings David and Solomon. But he was human like everyone else and was suffering. From what, we don’t get much of a clue from his writings, but suffering he was. The heading to this Psalm says it is for the “Director of Music”, with a tune, “The Suffering of Affliction”. Why would anyone want to sing this Psalm? But sing it they did, and here it is located in the Book of Psalms, a collection of 150 individual writings, forming the prayer and songbook of the Jews. But enough waffling! What relevance has this Psalm in our pilgrimage through life?

The first thing that strikes me is that Heman isn’t afraid of laying out before God his predicament and feelings. No suppressing of emotions here. We so often feel guilty if we spend time thinking about negatives. And it is true that by doing so we can enter a downward spiral, increasing our depression. Laying out our negative emotions and feelings before God, however, is different. It brings a sense of relief because in faith we know that God can change things. God will encourage us, put His loving arms around us, ending up carrying our load for us.

The second thing is that the issues Heman seemed to be facing into are no different to what we experience today. Those people who maintain that the Bible is a historical book with no relevance to today are mistaken. In his Psalm, Heman talks about his friends and neighbours, his lifetime of troubles, of his fears about death – all issues that are familiar to us.

Thirdly, Heman knows that God is there for him. Three times in the Psalm he calls and cries out to God, touching base with His loving Heavenly Father, in the midst of his distress.

We don’t know the outcome was after his emotional and desperate cries, but I have the feeling that, having laid out all his problems, Heman found the relief he needed. A difficult Psalm to read, but one in which it is comforting to know that others struggle with life’s issues just as we all do. And we all have a remedy in the presence of our loving Creator God.