88:1) A Song. A Psalm by the sons of Korach. For the Chief Musician.
To the tune “The Suffering of Affliction.” A maskil by Heman, the Ezrachite.
88:2) Yahuah, the `Elohiym of my salvation,
I have cried day and night before you.
88:3) Let my prayer enter into your presence.
Turn your ear to my cry.
88:4) For my soul is full of troubles.
My life draws near to She’ol.
88:5) I am counted among those who go down into the pit.
I am like a man who has no help,
88:6) Set apart among the dead,
Like the slain who lie in the grave,
Whom you remember no more.
They are cut off from your hand.
88:7) You have laid me in the lowest pit,
In the darkest depths.
88:8) Your wrath lies heavily on me.
You have afflicted me with all your waves. Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai?? Selah
88:9) You have taken my friends from me.
You have made me an abomination to them.
I am confined, and I cannot escape.
88:10) My eyes are dim from grief.
I have called on you daily, Yahuah.
I have spread out my hands to you.
88:11) Do you show wonders to the dead?
Do the dead rise up and praise you? Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai?? Selah
88:12) Is your lovingkindness declared in the grave?
Or your faithfulness in Destruction?
88:13) Are your wonders made known in the dark?
Or your righteousness in the land of forgetfulness?
88:14) But to you, Yahuah, I have cried.
In the morning, my prayer comes before you.
88:15) Yahuah, why do you reject my soul?
Why do you hide your face from me?
88:16) I am afflicted and ready to die from my youth up.
While I suffer your terrors, I am distracted.
88:17) Your fierce wrath has gone over me.
Your terrors have cut me off.
88:18) They came around me like water all day long.
They completely engulfed me.
88:19) You have put lover and friend far from me,
And my friends into darkness.
Sink or Swin
I was nineteen when I experienced my first hurricane at sea. I was an Engineer Cadet on the M.V. Orbita out of Liverpool, UK, bound for Bermuda. Since that storm, I have been in many a ai???blowai??i?? around the world. Yet, one of the worse storms was when I was at anchor in Naples Bay in the Mediterranean Sea. The weather forecast predicted strong winds, so the Captain had put out two anchors instead of the usual one anchor. However, we were not expecting such extreme weather. The wind and seas got up rapidly and we started to drag our anchors towards the shore. It took all the skill of the Captain and Navigation Officers to raise the anchors and head us back out to sea. However, it was not before the anchor capstan was all but destroyed. Looking back at the episode, it was a series of events that conspired to cause us harm; the wind from a particular angle, force and the shape of the bay. It made us appreciate the ai???Old Timersai??i?? who relied upon weather ai???eyesai??i??.
Read: Acts 27:1-44
In this accout, Rav Sha`ul (Paul) was on a grain ship on his way to Rome when he predicted that a storm was due. The shipai??i??s crew thought that they knew better and sailed on rather than seek a safe haven. They tried everything that their combined experience had taught them. Shaai??i??ul told all the passengers and crew that no one would be lost. Eventually, the ship was driven upon shoals and the ship started to break up.
ai???But the centurion, desiring to save Sha`ul, stopped them from their purpose, and commanded that those who could swim should throw themselves overboard first to go toward the land; and the rest should follow, some on planks, and some on other things from the ship. So it happened that they all escaped safely to the land.ai??? (Acts 27:43, 44). These two verses tell of two types of people; those who could swim and those who could not. In v34, Sha`ul told all on board that no one was to be lost, but to those who could not swim, that seemed highly unlikely. This can be likened to how Believers (those who have accepted and acknowledged Messiah Yahshua as their personal Saviour) handle times of trouble.
Those who could swim, jumped in and headed for the shore, confident in their ability to make the beach. This confidence was a result in all the hard work they had put into learning how to swim. They had probably never experienced such violent surf, but all those hours swimming in lakes and rivers meant that they were prepared.
Those who could not swim had to rely on any piece of flotsam or jetsam. It seems that the ship had been run aground well and stuck before it broke its back. It is not unusual for a ship to be pulled off the shoal by the back surge of the surf. If that had have happened in another case, the non-swimmers may well have been lost.
Life is not all plain sailing. In fact we have been warned through the Master (Matt. 13:21) and Shaai??i??ul (2 Tim. 3:12) that persecution will certainly be a part of our lives. It is not so much as if the storm breaks, but when. The storm may be family, friends, finances or health this time but next time it may be due to something else.
Are you prepared to be shipwrecked?
If someone warned you that sometime in the future you would end up in deep water, would you not try to learn how to swim? At the very least, it would give you a chance of survival.
In the account above, with Shaai??i??ul saying that none would be lost and all get to shore can be likened to all on board being Believers and the shore being the Kingdom of Father.
Those who could swim can be likened to those Believers who have spent time studying Scripture, praying, listening to preachers and serving and spending time in Fatherai??i??s presence. When trouble strikes they are confident to dive straight in and head for safety. There is no short-cut to learning how to swim. It takes a good Teacher (Fatherai??i??s Spirit) and many hours of practice. In this case, practice does make perfect in the Biblical sense of becoming complete.
Those who could not swim can be likened to those Believers who are satisfied only to go to ai???churchai??i?? and rely on others in times of trouble. They have to latch on to any scrap of wood that happens to float by. They cannot lose their Salvation but when trouble strikes they are tossed to and fro and barely make it to safety.
However, unlike the above account when all are saved, when a ship crashes ashore there are usually three types of people on board; those who can swim, those who cling on to debris, and those who cannot swim nor catch hold of anything that floats. This third type of people drown; they are lost.
If you are not a Believer that has studied Scripture etc. (swimmers) nor a nominal Believer (floater), then you must be one destined to be lost for all eternity. The Bible clear warns that a storm is about to strike. This may even be the loosing of your physical life, but your soul lives on in punishment if you have not acknowledged that everyone is a sinner and this leads to eternal punishment. However, this punishment has been taken upon Himself by Messiah Yahshua, if only a person repents of their sins and seeks the forgiveness offered by Father through His Son, Yahshua, acknowledging that He and He alone can take away our sins. This is called ai???being born againai??i?? or ai???being savedai??i??.
ai???For the Son of Man came to save that which was lost.ai??? (Matt. 18:11).Ai??
The next time you see a storm or people swimming, take heed of this warning and please learn how to ai???swimai??i??.
Father, we thank you for the power of your Word and that Word was made flesh in Messiah Yahshua so that in believing in His Life, Death and Resurrection we may have eternal life with you.
If you want to accept Fatherai??i??s offer of salvation through Messiah Yahshua, you need to ask Him in prayer along these lines. Use your own words but they must be genuine as Father knows our very hearts and nothing is hidden from Him.
ai???Father, I am a sinner who needs forgiveness through your Son, Messiah Yahshua. Please forgive me of all my past sins as I accept that, Messiah Yahshua my Saviour, has taken upon Himself my punishment. By your Spirit, help me to live a life worthy of His sacrifice. Thank you, Father, for making this way back to you.ai???Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??
Ai??ai???When calamity overtakes you like a storm,
When your disaster comes on like a whirlwind;
When distress and anguish come on you.ai??? (Prov. 1:27).
Our Saviour welcomes all His Family to join in this memorial. If you have accepted Messiah Yahshua as your Master and Saviour please take the next few moments to seek Father and to ensure that all is right between Him and you and between you and your Brothers and Sisters. If not, please put this right before continuing.
If you have not yet accepted Him into your life, then we encourage you to seek Him while it is still possible, as time is running out. When He returns or if you pass away then it will be too late. Please do not partake of the bread and wine as in doing so, it gives thanks for the broken body (bread) and shed blood (wine) for and a witness of salvation.
On the night of the Masterai??i??s betrayal, He took the bread, blessed it and broke it saying ai???This is my Body broken for you; take and eat it as a memorial to Me.ai??i??
Bless the bread saying: Blessed are you, O Yahuah our `Elohiym, King of the universe, who brings forth bread from the earth.
Break and eat the bread (sharing it if within a group setting):
After the meal He took the Cup of Blessing, blessed it saying ai???This is my Blood poured out for you for the remission of sins; take and drink it as a memorial to me.ai??i??
Bless the wine saying: Blessed are you, O Yahuah our `Elohiym, King of the universe, who creates the fruit of the vine.
Drink the wine (sharing it if within a group setting):
Thanksgiving prayer: Blessed are you, O Yahuah our `Elohiym, King of the universe, who gives us, in Yahshua, all that we will ever need. In your lovingkindness and mercy, you rebuild broken lives. You bless us, in Yahshua, with a perfect blessing.
Rosh Chodesh 12th. moon 16/02/2018
Father willing, we will meet again next Shabbat.