Monthly Archives: July 2017

Blessed are you, O Lord, who is my exceeding joy.

Send out your light and your truth;
let them lead me;
let them bring me to your holy hill
and to your dwelling!
Then I will go to the altar of God,
to God my exceeding joy,
and I will praise you with the lyre,
O God, my God.
~Psalm 43:3-4

In the middle of Psalm 43 are these verses that form a prayer.  They are a plea for light and truth as well as for return to God from a place of exile. The Psalmist may be speaking of having been carried miles away by Israel’s enemies, but I find myself tempted to be carried away by my emotions.  There is an enemy of our soul seeking to separate us from experiencing the joy of God’s salvation.  When there is any kind of distance from God, there is a urgency to return to worship the Lord, who is our exceeding joy.

In the person of Jesus, light and truth come to us and lead us toward lives of holiness and wholeness. Notice what happens in this exchange between Jesus and one of the ten lepers.

On the way to Jerusalem he was passing along between Samaria and Galilee. And as he entered a village, he was met by ten lepers, who stood at a distance and lifted up their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.” When he saw them he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went they were cleansed. Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; and he fell on his face at Jesus’ feet, giving him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus answered, “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” ~Luke 17:11-18

The light of God’s favor and the truth of promised healing led the Samaritan leper to return to Jesus, saved and strengthened. The words that the prophet Isaiah spoke on behalf of the Lord God, the holy One of Israel echo through the leper’s story. “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.” (Isaiah 30:15).

Like the Psalmist, and the leper, may we find ourselves returning to God’s holy hill and resting at the altar of God.  And may we encounter great and exceeding joy.

Blessed are you, O Lord, who is my exceeding joy.

Blessed are You, O Lord, who is the King of Glory



Lift up your heads, O gates!
And be lifted up, O ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in.
Who is this King of glory?
The Lord, strong and mighty,
the Lord, mighty in battle!
Lift up your heads, O gates!
And lift them up, O ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in.
Who is this King of glory?
The Lord of hosts,
he is the King of glory!
~Psalm 24:7-10

Sunrises like the one above remind me of that glorious occasion when the Lord makes a grand entrance into our lives. On this particular day as I watched the morning sun rise, I felt as though I was attending a coronation. The rays of sunshine bursting powerfully from behind the clouds resemble a king’s crown.  Perhaps that is why I am so drawn to the question the Psalmist asks.

Who is this King of glory? He is our strong and mighty Defense in battle. But he is so much more on any given day as the first six verses reveal.

The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof,
the world and those who dwell therein,
for he has founded it upon the seas
and established it upon the rivers.
Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord?
And who shall stand in his holy place?
He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
who does not lift up his soul to what is false
and does not swear deceitfully.
He will receive blessing from the Lord
and righteousness from the God of his salvation.
Such is the generation of those who seek him,
who seek the face of the God of Jacob.
~Psalm 24:1-6

The King of glory is the Creator of all that fills the earth.
The King of glory is our Lord of hosts, inviting those who dwell on the earth to worship him with clean hands, a pure heart and a true self.
The King of glory is our Sustainer, bestowing blessings and righteousness from generation to generation.
The King of glory is our King Jesus, who ascended into the clouds of heaven after becoming flesh, dwelling among us and finishing his work on behalf of those who seek God’s face.

Who is this King of glory?  May we answer the Psalmist’s question each new day as we worship, as we ascend the hill of the Lord and find ourselves standing in his holy place.

Blessed are You, O Lord, who is the King of Glory.