Hodu L’Adonia Ki Tov

November 30, 2007

Last Thursday was Thanksgiving. Last Sunday, I heard a great sermon on contentment from Pastor Mike Fabarez at Compass Bible Church. Tonight, Peter Barber delivered a message on giving thanks to Generations from Psalm 136. So because of all of this encouragement towards contentment and thankfulness, I’ve decided to turn my blog into a big list of things I’m thankful for over the next few weeks.

The title of this post is a Hebrew phrase which says, “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.” This is how Psalm 136 starts. This is a song we sang every Shabbat in Israel. And this is the start of my Thanksgiving spree at Step Onto Liquid.

What is the first thing I’m thankful for? I’m thankful that God is good. Psalm 136 illustrates his goodness wonderfully by showing how his goodness shows itself in creation, through his deliverance of Israel, and through personal salvation. And throughout the whole Psalm runs the theme that his love endures forever.

God is good. He is always good. He will always be good.

So give thanks.


From the Belly of Hotchkiss

November 6, 2007

For the past several Sundays I have had the privilege of attending and serving at Compass Bible Church. My brother Bobby is the high school pastor there, and I have been helping in the high school group by leading singing. Compass is a dynamic church. Their vision for ministry is aggressive. The teaching is scriptural, encouraging, and challenging.

This past weekend my brother finished a series on bibliology by talking about how the Bible should give us hope. He ended the message by taking us to Jonah 2. This chapter starts off with these words: “From inside the fish…” When you read this chapter, you are reading words that were spoken inside a fish! That’s pretty incredible.

This prayer of Jonah is full of hope, and my brother pointed out that it is full of direct references to the Psalms. This is just an example of Scripture giving hope in a dire circumstance.

Based on this chapter, Bobby challenged his high school group to write a prayer like this. So here is the Psalm-filled prayer that I put together not from the belly of a fish, but from my room in the belly of Hotchkiss:

I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart.
Awake, O harp and lyre!
I will awake the dawn!
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
He drew me up from the pit of destruction,
and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure.

My soul clings to the dust
and from the end of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint.
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I
Trust in him at all times, O people;
pour out your heart before him;
God is a refuge for us.
Be still, and know that he is God.
He will be exalted in the earth!
Return, O my soul to your rest;
for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.

My heart is steadfast, O God,
My heart is steadfast!
I will sing and make melody!

The Bible is awesome, and it should give hope to believers as it takes their focus off of temporal circumstances and on the everlasting God and all that he has done for us. The Psalms give countless examples of this hopeful process, and I was amazed at how writing this prayer helped me battle doubt and worry by focusing on the hope that I have in the Lord.

Remember, the Bible is supposed to give us hope.