HARMONY Psalm 15

Will this week’s election bring harmony to our country?  Have I gone whacko, loco with a screw loose?  No comment from Howdy Doody’s Peanut Gallery, please!  Getting together and cooperating, a thing of the past.  Or was it a phantom which never really existed?  One political comment–the Lord will still be Lord after the election.  God Almighty!  Worry not…as best you can.

Years ago I sang lead in a Gospel quartet called ‘Livin’ Harmony’.  We had four parts all trying to produce one sound.  Practice every week, having a vocal coach pointing out where we need help and improvement.  A full-time job!

Singing in sync not easy.  Our individual volumes have to mesh.  None overpowering.  Phrasing must connect.  Memorization required.  Humor not too corny.  This is heavy sledding.

Psalm 15 begins with a question and ends with a promise.  The question?  Who is welcome to dwell with the Lord? Who are those harmonizing with the King of Kings?

The answer?  Three positives and three negatives.  The positives, found in Psalm 15:2, are Hebrew participles; which, in English, end in ‘ing’.  Those closest to God are walking blamelessly, doing what’s right, and speaking truthfully.  Walking…doing…speaking.  Harmony.

The negatives are found in verse 3.  Not mouthing off as a backbiting mudslinger.  Not plotting something rotten against your neighbor.  Not being green-eyed jealous of friends.  I’ve done some of these.  And you know what?  None did me one bit of good.  Not one.  All groaned and moaned in total disharmony.  Notes way off key.

So, exit the negative.  Cut it out.  Harmony travels Jesus’ way.  Tipping my behavior toward what He wants.  More positive.  Less, well, you know.  Jesus helps us get up when flattened and floored.  Back on track after going around in circles.  Head held high when thrown for a loop.

And that promise at the end of Psalm 15?  ‘He who does these things shall never be moved’ (v.5).  When we’re in tune with the Master, we’ll be singing His praises right on key, tunefully with perfect pitch, and sweet-sounding!  Ah, now that’s harmony!


Lord Jesus, what a privilege to be with you.  Amen.


DON’T VEER OFF COURSE… Luke 9: 57-62

I’ve veered off course too many times in my life.  I have a very poor sense of direction.  Ask my wife… or better yet, don’t!   I worked for a florist delivering in the Princeton area while studying for my masters at seminary.  Good thing I was paid by the hour, for half the time I was trying to figure out how to get to an address and the rest how to get back to my employer!  One time I delivered some flowers to a home and backing out of the driveway I had no idea if I can come from the right or the left.  No idea at all!   Still, way too many times, I have veered off course not following the Lord as carefully and wholeheartedly as I would now have wanted.

Jesus says that ‘no one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God’ (Luke 9:62).  Don’t look back.  Keep your eyes focused forward… not backward.  Poor Lot’s wife paid a terrible price for veering off course.  She became the salt of the earth!

My brother, who is 9 years older, and quite the opposite in personality and interests, built me a number of gas-engine  ‘go-carts’. Wow, they were neat!   One time he built an adult-sized one for himself.  How rude and selfish!   It was powerful… and so tempting to drive.  This one was his.  So, I bugged him to let me drive his.  One day, it was a Sunday when the stores was closed, we were driving our carts in the parking lot of the Lord & Taylor Department Store.   Had the whole lot to ourselves.  It was fun.  Got my way, persistent one that I am.    Yes, he caved… but it came with a warning.  ‘When you get near the big tree in the middle of the parking lot, don’t turn right.  Go around it or you’ll lose control and crash.’  No problem.  I’m a pro, bro!

Well, you guessed it.  Smash-a-roony… right in the middle of that immovable tree. The brakes didn’t work.  My sneakers,  dragging the pavement,  didn’t slow the rig down one bit. His cart was a sorry mess.   We had to carry it home… and, as you could imagine,  I was in big trouble!  I had taken my eyes off where I was to go.  Veered off course.

The lesson?  Listen to directions.  Hear what’s being said for our own good.  Follow whatever the Lord tells us to do and wherever He leads us in life.  Stay near Him,  so you can hear Him.  Stay in the Bible,  and let it be your guiding light.  Good advice?  Oh, yes.  Only wish I had taken it more often…

Prayer: Lord, thank You that we can follow You.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.