Praying Psalms

“… basically what you are doing [in praying Psalms] is taking words that originated in the heart and mind of God and circulating them through your heart and mind back to God.”

Source: Don Whitney, Praying the Bible

This dominating principle of Calvinism is “the Sovereignty of the Triune God over the whole Cosmos, in all its spheres and kingdoms, visible and invisible.”

Our sins (Isaiah)

(Isa 1:18)               Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.

(Isa 38:17)            Behold, it was for my welfare that I had great bitterness; but in love you have delivered my life from the pit of destruction, for you have cast all my sins behind your back.

(Isa 40:2)               Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned, that she has received from the LORD’s hand double for all her sins.

(Isa 43:25)            I, I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins.

(Isa 44:22)            I have blotted out your transgressions like a cloud and your sins like mist; return to me, for I have redeemed you.

(Mic 7:19)             He will again have compassion on us; he will tread our iniquities underfoot. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.

Batter my heart, three-person’d God, for you

As yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend;

That I may rise and stand, o’erthrow me, and bend

Your force to break, blow, burn, and make me new.

I, like an usurp’d town to another due,

Labor to admit you, but oh, to no end;

Reason, your viceroy in me, me should defend,

But is captiv’d, and proves weak or untrue.

Yet dearly I love you, and would be lov’d fain,

But am betroth’d unto your enemy;

Divorce me, untie or break that knot again,

Take me to you, imprison me, for I,

Except you enthrall me, never shall be free,

Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.

Source: John Donne (1620s)

Scripture begins with a marriage (Adam and Eve), and it ends with a marriage (Christ and his church)—and the former is the trailer for the latter. The joining together of the man and woman is a picture of how heaven and earth will one day be joined together through the union of Jesus and his people.

Source: Sam Allberry, How Celibacy Can Fulfill Your Sexuality August 26, 2016


McCheyne was away from his congregation in 1839. He wrote back to a congregant who was not doing well. In this letter, he lays out how a pastor should rightly understand himself.

EDINBURGH, March 14, 1839.


But if the trial was needed by my people, it was still more needed by me. None but God knows what an abyss of corruption is in my heart. He knows and covers all in the blood of the Lamb. In faithfulness Thou hast afflicted me.


It is perfectly wonderful that ever God could bless such a ministry. And now, when I go over all the faults of it, it appears almost impossible that I can ever preach again. But then I think again, who can preach so well as a sinner—who is forgiven so much, and daily upheld by the Spirit with such a heart within!


I can truly say that the fruit of my long exile has been, that I am come nearer to God, and long more for perfect holiness, and for the world where the people shall be all righteous. I do long to be free from self, from pride, and ungodliness; and I know where to go, “for all the promises of God are yea and amen in Christ Jesus.”

The Law in Numbers 5concerning a woman falsely accuse of immorality.

Unlike other truth-by-water-ordeal rituals in the Ancient Near East there is nothing intrinsically harmful to the adultery-accused woman in drinking the dust water from the tabernacle floor into which the words of the scroll have been washed.

While condemning the adulteress, the law also protects the righteous vulnerable woman by vindicating her.

An innocent woman falsely accused might endure shame, terror and grueling emotional disturbance.

God’s vindication of the innocent is no marginal matter – and for Israel to ignore her acquittal would be to defy the judge of Israel. The woman’s community would have to acknowledge her innocence. In this ritual God serves as the advocate and arbitrator for a falsely accused woman.

In an honor-shame culture this woman’s exoneration implicit rebuke for the man.

There is a promised blessing of God’s favour that the vindicated woman will bear a child – which will also serve as a sign of her vindication.

The above was informed by Mary Wilson ‘Does the God of the Bible hate women?’ Gospel Coalition Podcast June 17, 2016.

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