If He Has to Reach Way Down

Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the LORD holds them by the hand. – Psalms 37:24

Psalms 37:1-38

 1 A psalm of David. Don’t worry about the wicked or envy those who do wrong.

 2 For like grass, they soon fade away. Like spring flowers, they soon wither.

 3 Trust in the LORD and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper.

 4 Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you your heart’s desires.

 5 Commit everything you do to the LORD. Trust him, and he will help you.

 7 Be still in the presence of the LORD, and wait patiently for him to act. Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes.

 8 Stop being angry! Turn from your rage! Do not lose your temper – it only leads to harm.

 12 The wicked plot against the godly; they snarl at them in defiance.

 13 But the Lord just laughs, for he sees their day of judgment coming.

 16 It is better to be godly and have little than to be evil and rich.

 23 The LORD directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives.

 24 Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the LORD holds them by the hand.

 25 Once I was young, and now I am old. Yet I have never seen the godly abandoned or their children begging for bread.

 27 Turn from evil and do good . . ..

 28 For the LORD loves justice, and he will never abandon the godly. . ..

 35 I have seen wicked and ruthless people flourishing like a tree in its native soil.

 36 But when I looked again, they were gone! Though I searched for them, I could not find them!

 37 Look at those who are honest and good, for a wonderful future awaits those who love peace.

 38 But the rebellious will be destroyed; they have no future.

The worship music of the nation of Israel is found in the Old Testament book of Psalms. It reveals the suffering, joy, expectations, hope, faith, and triumph of the heartfelt songs of the Nation of Israel.

Through the centuries, Christian people have developed their own hymnologies. Typically they reflect the local language, cadence, musical rhythm, and sounds found within their culture, folklore, and ethnic memory.

The gospel music of the African American experience and culture has captured and retained the spirit, soul, and worship of the Old Testament Psalms. Much of the most beautiful, heartfelt music was born from severe grief and suffering. 

African-American Gospel Music is harmonious and deliberately stimulating. The call-and-response idioms evoke participation. It makes one want to sing along. It ushers people into the presence of God in worship. It is a living experience, constantly changing, always giving, and always becoming the foundation that provides moral, physical, and spiritual support. It is a shining beacon of hope, a fantastic journey of joy divine, and a triumphal victory in God that comes from the depths of the human soul.

Down through the centuries, African-American Gospel Music has remained enthralling and captivating. It proclaims and reminds us that the Father God is on our side. Thomas A. Dorsey is considered the “Father of Gospel Music.” He combined Christian praise with the rhythms of jazz and blues. Among Dorsey’s best and most memorable songs are “Precious Lord” and “Peace in The Valley.” Both of these songs were written after the tragic death of his wife and newborn son. Their message provides assurance and consolation to which listeners and singers can relate across cultural, ethnic, and racial borders (gospelmusicheritage.org).

Jesus Will Pick You Up

If he has to reach (way down) Jesus (Jesus will pick you up)

If he has to reach (way down) Jesus (Jesus will pick you up)

If he has to reach (way down) Jesus (Jesus will pick you up)

Jesus (Jesus will pick you up if he has to reach way down)

If you go out and party all night long

Singing in the choir on Sunday morning

Like you done nothing wrong

If you can’t sing the way you used to

It’s because you’re doing the same thing that sinners do.

If you’re in the pulpit preaching so bold

Preaching for the money and not caring for the soul

If you cn’t preach my brother the way you use to

It’s ‘cause you’re doing the same thing that sinners do.

This earthly and poignant song exposes our sinful attitudes and tendencies yet provides confident expectation of the grace and mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ.

REFLECT & PRAY

The Father provides a steady hand to each child of the King.

Father thank You that when I fail, You never let me go. No matter how low I go, You reach down and pick me up!

INSIGHT

Life is full of difficulty in our fallen world. What matters is how we respond. Although disappointment is inevitable, being discouraged is always a choice (Harvard Business Review). David explains that the Father often prevents things from going from bad to worse. We can have hope and courage that the Father has our back, and we can depend on Him and trust Him. No matter how far we fall, the Lord Jesus Christ will reach way down and pick you up. We are secure.

Psalms 37:24 Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the LORD holds them by the hand.

The Hebrew word translated as falls or stumbles is napal which means be cast down, fall away, prostrate, or fail. Curiously, the term nephilim, meaning giants, is derived from this term.

The Hebrew word translated as cast or hurled headlong, or stumble is tul which means to be thrown forcefully, hurl, overcome or cast. This word is used in the book of Jonah, translated as throw, hurl, or prepared.

What does this Psalm actually say about the Father?

Psalms 37:23 The LORD directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives.

The Lord leads a person in the right way, in the way they should. “The psalmist is not saying that, in fact, God guides all people in the way they should go, since it is quite evident that many do not accept God’s guidance. To avoid this possible misunderstanding, FRCL translates ‘When a man’s conduct pleases him, the Lord enables him to go through life with confidence,’ and NIV has ‘If the Lord delights in a man’s way, he makes his steps firm’” (UBS).

Great comfort and safety are available to each child of the King, knowing that our heavenly Father holds her hands firmly and securely. Take a moment and visualize a small child walking with his father holding hands. The little child is holding on with all of its strength, but it is still weak and limited. The Father, on the other hand, is powerful and has a firm grip on his child. If the child slips and begins to fall, he may let go. But the Father will not.

It is as though the Father is saying, “I’ve got this, don’t worry. I am here for you.” But there’s more. He’s not only present but also there to direct and guide us. He is laser-focused on each of us and takes great joy and delight in all the details of our lives.

Psalms 37:23-24 is prescient of our 21st-century American culture. In many ways, the world in which we live is terrifying. Through it all, the Lord sustains us. Even though we may fall, the Father has a firm grip on us. God is our helper.

2 Timothy 2:13 If we are unfaithful, he remains faithful, for he cannot deny who he is.

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© Dr. H 2023

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