A sign of the times: How do you read it?

From a certain perspective this is true.  Things were better ten years ago.  Imagine actually looking for work today?  I wouldn't want to be in the job market right now.  However, I take issue with the second conclusion.  We do have hope; as long as we are faithful to the God of Heaven, we DO HAVE HOPE.  Just because things look bad does not mean that God does not see our problems and care.  Here is one example from the old testament...

WEB: I Kings Chapter 17

[10] So he arose and went to Zarephath; and when he came to the gate of the city, behold, a widow was there gathering sticks: and he called to her, and said, “Please get me a little water in a vessel, that I may drink.”

[11] As she was going to get it, he called to her, and said, “Please bring me a morsel of bread in your hand.”

[12] She said, “As Yahweh your God lives, I don’t have a cake, but a handful of meal in the jar, and a little oil in the jar. Behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and bake it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die.”

[13] Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid. Go and do as you have said; but make me of it a little cake first, and bring it out to me, and afterward make some for you and for your son. [14] For thus says Yahweh, the God of Israel, ‘The jar of meal shall not empty, neither shall the jar of oil fail, until the day that Yahweh sends rain on the earth.’”

[15] She went and did according to the saying of Elijah: and she, and he, and her house, ate many days. [16] The jar of meal didn’t empty, neither did the jar of oil fail, according to the word of Yahweh, which he spoke by Elijah.

The widow was giving up; she was preparing to die.  How low do you have to be before you reach this state?  Very low indeed!!!!  But God worked through Elijah to provide for her (verse 15).  Things may be bad today, but they are not that bad.  The sign focuses on the negative, but what about the positive.  What do we have today?  For one thing we have our minds, we have a certain measure of health and the possibility for a better future.  And one more thing, we have the memory of ten years of life and that is no small thing indeed.  Besides, how do we know if God isn't preparing someone to help us get through whatever tough days lie ahead.  I wonder, is that person a Republican or a Libertarian?  We will know in November!!!!

Mar. 10 Exodus 20

Mar. 10
Exodus 20

Exo 20:1 God spoke all these words, saying,
Exo 20:2 "I am Yahweh your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
Exo 20:3 You shall have no other gods before me.
Exo 20:4 "You shall not make for yourselves an idol, nor any image of anything that is in the heavens above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:
Exo 20:5 you shall not bow yourself down to them, nor serve them, for I, Yahweh your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and on the fourth generation of those who hate me,
Exo 20:6 and showing loving kindness to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.
Exo 20:7 "You shall not take the name of Yahweh your God in vain, for Yahweh will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.
Exo 20:8 "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
Exo 20:9 You shall labor six days, and do all your work,
Exo 20:10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to Yahweh your God. You shall not do any work in it, you, nor your son, nor your daughter, your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your livestock, nor your stranger who is within your gates;
Exo 20:11 for in six days Yahweh made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day; therefore Yahweh blessed the Sabbath day, and made it holy.
Exo 20:12 "Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land which Yahweh your God gives you.
Exo 20:13 "You shall not murder.
Exo 20:14 "You shall not commit adultery.
Exo 20:15 "You shall not steal.
Exo 20:16 "You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
Exo 20:17 "You shall not covet your neighbor's house. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor's."
Exo 20:18 All the people perceived the thunderings, the lightnings, the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking. When the people saw it, they trembled, and stayed at a distance.
Exo 20:19 They said to Moses, "Speak with us yourself, and we will listen; but don't let God speak with us, lest we die."
Exo 20:20 Moses said to the people, "Don't be afraid, for God has come to test you, and that his fear may be before you, that you won't sin."
Exo 20:21 The people stayed at a distance, and Moses drew near to the thick darkness where God was.
Exo 20:22 Yahweh said to Moses, "This is what you shall tell the children of Israel: 'You yourselves have seen that I have talked with you from heaven.
Exo 20:23 You shall most certainly not make alongside of me gods of silver, or gods of gold for yourselves.
Exo 20:24 You shall make an altar of earth for me, and shall sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and your peace offerings, your sheep and your cattle. In every place where I record my name I will come to you and I will bless you.
Exo 20:25 If you make me an altar of stone, you shall not build it of cut stones; for if you lift up your tool on it, you have polluted it.
Exo 20:26 Neither shall you go up by steps to my altar, that your nakedness may not be exposed to it.'

"THE BOOK OF PSALMS" Psalms For Living And Worship by Mark Copeland


                     Psalms For Living And Worship


1) To illustrate the value of Psalms in our lives in different ways and
   at different times

2) To provide a quick reference guide for using the Psalms


Like the skilled fingers on the strings of a harp, the Psalms touch and
move the hearts of those individuals who will read and meditate upon
them.  Every emotion known to man is expressed in the Psalms, including
fear and faith, hope and doubt, trust and anxiety, as inspired men of
God shared their personal spiritual journeys in the service of God.  The
Psalms should be a constant resource to help the Christian learn how to
praise and pray, to meditate and contemplate, to face life and death.

In an attempt to illustrate the value of the Psalms and encourage their
frequent reading, I offer the following sampling of what Psalms might be
read at different times in your life.

Are you remorseful and penitent for your sins?  Read Psalms 51, 32

Are you experiencing affliction, and remain comfortless?  Read Psalm 22

Are you steadfast in times of distress, and want encouragement?  Read
Psalms 27, 31

Are you under various mental strains?  Read Psalms 41, 70

Are you falsely accused?  Read Psalm 7

Are you in trouble?  Read Psalms 54, 63

Are you tempted?  Read Psalm 130

Are you wanting in confidence?  Read Psalms 61, 91

Are you envious of the wicked?  Read Psalm 73

Are you in a position of authority and need to be reminded of your
responsibilities?  Read Psalms 82, 101

Do you need to be reminded of the importance of humility?  Read Psalm

Do you need to be reminded of the futility of this life?  Read Psalms
39, 49, 90

Do you desire to pray for others?  Read Psalm 20

Do you wish to praise God for His mercies in helping people through
adverse circumstances?  Read Psalms 34, 40

Do you wish to praise God for common blessings He has bestowed upon
people?  Read Psalm 46, 48, 66, 67

Do you desire to meditate upon the characteristics of God and praise Him
especially for His grace and mercy?  Read Psalms 23, 103, 121, 145, 146

Do you desire to meditate upon the attributes of God, such as His power?
Read Psalms 8, 19, 65, 66, 97, 99, 104, 111, 139

Do you desire to mediate upon the magnificence of the Scriptures?  Read
Psalms 19, 119

Do you wish to gain instruction regarding the contrast between the
righteous and the wicked?  Read Psalms 1, 15, 25, 32, 34, 36, 37,
52, 127, 128

Do you wish to reflect upon the Messiah and His kingdom?  Read Psalms 2,
16, 22, 40, 45, 72, 110

Do you desire to review the history of Israel?  Read Psalms 78, 105, 106

To Accompany Morning Prayer - Read Psalms 5, 94, 95

To Accompany Evening Prayer - Read Psalms 4, 90, 139, 141

To Prepare For Private Devotion - Read Psalms 23, 27, 91, 103, 104, 138,

To Prepare For Public Worship - Read Psalms 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 100,
122, 133, 134, 145, 147, 148

To Enhance The Observance Of The Lord's Supper - Read Psalm 22

To Enhance The Collection For The Saints - Read Psalms 41, 112