A Shelter, Lord To Every Generation

refugeserif-1-1“Lord, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations. Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.”  Psalm 90:1-2 (NIV)

Songwriter: Bill Batstone & Andy Crouch

You have been a Shelter, Lord
To every generation
To every generation
A sanctuary from the storm
To every generation
To every generation, Lord

Though the mountains fall, though the earth should shake
Though the sea should roar with all the heartache
Though our hearts should pound, though our throats be dry
We will lift Your Name on high

This song from the Psalms Alive project, by Bill Batstone, is based on Psalm 90. As I was growing up in my University days, this was a song that graced my days. All along I did not realise who wrote it and the circumstances surrounding the song. I recently realised that Bill Batstone worked with Andrea Crouch to produce the song. It is more attributed to Bill Batstone as all the words came as a result of his family experience.

Bill Batstone is a songwriter, musician, singer, worship leader and music producer. He was involved in the early years of “Jesus Music” at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa with such groups as: Country Faith, Erick Nelson and Good News, Maranatha Praise Albums. Bill was a staff songwriter for Maranatha Music for 13 years; helping to create such projects as the Psalms Alive series, the Words of Worship and Promise Keepers. Currently Bill is an associate worship leader at harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, one of the largest churches in America, pastored by Greg Laurie. Bill performs for millions of people each year with the Franklin and Billy Graham Festivals as a member of the Tommy Coomes Band. His new CD, To Every Generation, is composed of the many notable worship songs he’s written, including ” I waited” and “Your Throne O God”.

Batstone first wrote the song for an album that Maranatha! Music was making called Psalms Alive. While writing songs for that release he had a great uncle that passed away. “My father spoke at his memorial service, and he spoke from Psalm 90; ” shares Batstone. “The first verse of Psalm 90 is ‘You have been a shelter from generation to generation.’ It was very emotional coming from a family of faith like I do. Generation after generation of people. And the reason they originally came here from various countries was to start churches. Basically the theme of Psalm 90 is that God is eternal and man is not. There’s even a verse that says, if you’re lucky maybe you’ll make it to 70 years old.”

Some thoughts from Psalm 90

Days really go very fast. I can not  believe it that  I am already raising some teenagers and I find it amusing to see the trends that their generation seems to love: iPods, Facebook, messed up hair, jeans that come new with holes pre-torn into them. Nice. Yes, very nice. Why can’t they come up with really great behavior like I had in my day? You know—like the mullet! Well, maybe those behavior weren’t much to be proud of after all!  Each generation has its behaviors, it seems. And with each generation seems to come a renewed call to be relevant. You are nothing if you are not relevant!

One of the fantastic claims of the Word of God is that it “stands forever.” God’s Word does not come and go like other books, movies, dramas, and fads of each generation. The Bible is a compilation of God-breathed writings that are relevant to every generation, every culture, and every class of people in history. Wow! Take a moment to stop and think about that! Who could ever compose such a document? Only God could.

As you study God’s Word, take time to see what He has to say about your work, your marriage, your parenting, and your journey with Him. Seek Him on a personal level and not just on an academic level. Seek the answers He has given to help you to live for His glory—today!

God has a purpose for every generation. For Martin Luther, God’s purpose for him was to turn the church from the false teachings generated by the corrupted Roman Catholic Church back to the true teachings of the bible. He started the reformation and fulfilled God’s purpose for His generation. When England was going spiritual decay, John Wesley rose to the occasion and brought spiritual renewal through the Methodist movement. John Wesley fulfilled God’s purpose in his generation.

God has a purpose for our generation, and it is our duty to discover what God has called us to fulfil, and to serve God’s purpose for our generation.

Our Heavenly Father: Let us see Thy glory, if it must be from the shelter of the cleft rock and from beneath the protection of Thy covering hand. Whatever the cost to us in loss of friends or goods or length of days let us know Thee as Thou art, that we may adore Thee as we should. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The world is evil, the times are waxing late, and the glory of God has departed from the church as the fiery cloud once lifted from the door of the Temple in the sight of Ezekiel the prophet.

The God of Abraham has withdrawn His conscious Presence from us, and another God whom our fathers knew not is making himself at home among us. This God we have made and because we have made him we can understand him; because we have created him, he can never surprise us, never overwhelm us, nor astonish us, nor transcend us.

The God of glory sometimes revealed Himself like a sun to warm and bless, indeed, but often to astonish, overwhelm, and blind before He healed and bestowed permanent sight. This God of our fathers wills to be the God of their succeeding race. We have only to prepare Him a habitation in love and faith and humility. We have but to want Him badly enough, and He will come and manifest Himself to us.

Shall we allow a saintly and thoughtful man to exhort us? Hear Anselm; or better still, heed his words:

Up now, slight man! Flee for a little while thy occupations; hide thyself for a time from thy disturbing thoughts. Cast aside now thy burdensome cares, and put away thy toilsome business. Yield room for some little time to God, and rest for a little time in Him. Enter the inner chamber of thy mind; shut out all thoughts save that of God and such as can aid thee in seeking Him. Speak now, my whole heart! Speak now to God, saying, I seek Thy face; Thy face, Lord, will I seek.

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