From the Editor Sep/Oct 2015

Dear Friends,

A few months ago, the husband of one of my dearest friends died of a heart attack while eating lunch. One minute he was alive; the next, he wasn’t. My friend told me the ambulance arrived in only five minutes. While she waited, she administered CPR, but to no avail. He was gone.

He died two days before his 66th birthday. He had rarely been sick. He had no history of heart problems. He took no medicine. He was healthy. But when God decides your life on Earth is over, it’s over.

Perhaps that’s why the psalmist wrote, “What profit is there in my blood, when I go down to the pit? Will the dust praise You? Will it declare Your truth?” (Ps. 30:9). We must worship and praise God in the land of the living, while we still have breath.

Of the 277 uses of the word praise in the New King James Bible, more than half (164) are in the book of Psalms, the song-book of Israel.

At the funeral, the officiating pastor turned to the psalms for comfort. Praising God, in fact, provides deep comfort because it acknowledges God’s existence and His unparalleled power, mercy, and love. Praising God concedes that He is in control, regardless of world conditions or our sometimes depressing circumstances.

The ancient Israelites turned to the psalms when they made their pilgrimage to the Temple three times a year. They sang Psalms 120 through 134, known as the Songs of Ascents.

So we thought that it might be good to reflect on these Scriptures and the fact that Jehovah, the God we serve, is almighty; all knowing; and always worthy of our devotion, worship, and praise.

I asked Elwood McQuaid to write on Psalm 126 because I know it has a special significance for him that I believe you will appreciate. So look for his article on page 10, rather than in the lineup we’ve titled “Pilgrim Songs.”

We hope this issue will lift your spirits and help you focus on the One who loves you and “shall preserve your going out and your coming in from this time forth, and even forevermore” (Ps.121:8).

Waiting for His Appearing,
Lorna Simcox
Editor-in-Chief

Features

From the Editor Sep/Oct 2015

A few months ago, the husband of one of my dearest friends died of a heart attack while eating lunch. One minute he was alive; the next, he wasn’t. My friend told me the ambulance arrived...

Pilgrim Songs

Psalms 120 through 134 are referred to as the Songs of Ascents due to the superscription at the beginning of each psalm. The term ascent carries the notion of step or degree. The interpretation of...

Psalm 120: Our Deliverer

Sung by ancient pilgrims making their way up to Jerusalem to observe the primary feasts of Israel, Psalm 120 is the first in a series known as the Psalms of Ascents. It begins with a...

Psalm 121: Our Security

Imagine a Jewish father singing to his children, “My help comes from the Lᴏʀᴅ, who made heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber...

Psalm 122: Our Joy And Peace

Psalm 122 is the third of the 15 pilgrim songs known in Hebrew as Psalms of Aliyah, meaning “going up.” Traveling to Jerusalem, especially for the three annual Jewish festivals...

Psalm 123: Our Focus

According to an old saying, “You can please some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.” When it comes to Israel...

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