Dale Shultz - Tuned Harp (heart) Strings - Post Falls, Idaho - 2017

Psalms 92 speaks of giving God thanks, praises, our loving kindness and faithfulness "upon an instrument often strings, and upon the psaltery; upon the harp with a solemn sound."

Their harps then were little - not a concert harp like today, very portable. But a harp must be tuned. It is played not to be noticed, but to be lost in the orchestra.

I have a clarinet that I sometimes played while in Saskatchewan, Canada, kept in the trunk of the car we used. But especially in the cold winters, it would get out of tune. We have to use it, blow into it - reminding us of the beautiful hymn, "Holy Spirit, breathe upon us ... "

A harp has 10 strings, and I've often enjoyed comparing those 10 strings to what we read in Hebrews 13 showing 10 attitudes.

1) Verse 1 - "Let brotherly love continue." Our attitude toward the brethren. This string is tuned to the key of love. Jesus played this string with such skill because He loved each disciple with unconditional love. The central theme of this book is Jesus and when His life is our song, that love will reverberate throughout the church.

2) Verse 2 - "Be not forgetful to entertain strangers." Our attitude toward the stranger. This string is tuned to the key of hospitality and hope. Each of our lives can be an instrument in the hands of God to bring a stranger closer to Christ. The stranger finds hope in following Jesus outside the camp and embracing the new arid living way.

3) Verse 3 - "Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body." Our attitude toward distressed, lonely people. This string is tuned to the key of understanding and it harmonizes with the key of kindness. 11:33-40 - records what the faithful endured that they might obtain a better resurrection. When we endure hard times, it makes the music that much richer.

4) Verse 4 - "Marriage is honourable." Our attitude toward marriage. This string is tuned to the key of commitment. When Paul wrote about marriage in Ephesians 5, he encouraged couples to "Submit to one another in the fear of God." Submitting to one another provides a good foundation for a family and it makes melody in heaven.

5) Verse 5 - "And be content with such things as ye have." Our attitude toward material things. This string is tuned to the key of contentment. The quickest way to lose our song is to compete with the world. Moses esteemed the reproach of Christ greater riches than all the treasures of Egypt. Psalm 90 and 91 reflects his contentment.

6) Verse 7 - "Remember them that have the rule over you." And, verse 17 - "Obey them that have the rule over you." Our attitude toward the ministry. This string is tuned to the key of respect. We respect the sacrifice of each one who has left all for the gospel sake. They help us to be more accountable to God so that we finish life with more profit.

7) Verse 8 - "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today and forever." Our attitude toward Christ. This string is tuned to the key of trust and it harmonizes with the key of submission. He is the great shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the everlasting covenant implying he was the unchanging Son of God, Shepherd and Saviour. This fellowship is always up to date. He doesn't change the Way to suit the times
we are living in. We have every reason to trust Him

8) Verse 9 - "Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines." Our attitude toward false doctrine. This string is tuned to the key of rejection. Reject it!

9) Verse 13 - "Let us go forth therefore unto Him without the camp." Our attitude toward separation. This string is tuned to the key of definiteness. These Hebrew Christians were willing to follow Jesus "outside the camp" and leave behind the old traditions of their forefathers. They made a definite break with the past.

10) Verse 15 - "Let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually." Our attitude toward God. This string is tuned to the key of thankfulness and glad willingness. Two harmonizing keys are submission and love. How much we love God is reflected in how much we love righteousness and hate iniquity.

One shepherd was guiding his sheep, and a little lamb fell into a filthy, murky sewage. The shepherd would have had to get himself completely covered with it, so just walked on and left the lamb there. A little boy was watching and saw it happen, with the shepherd walking away, so he ran and got down into it and rescued the lamb. He got out and found some clean water and tried to clean himself and the lamb, and then went running and returned it to its shepherd. The shepherd was amazed and said, "How could you do that?"
and the little boy said with a big smile
, "Easy, because I just love sheep." Which one was the real shepherd?

Our attitude toward sacrifice and separation - if we are willing, they bring tremendous benefits to us. We show we are being separated to the One who has gone outside the camp.

I don't feel qualified to speak about sacrifice. There have been times when I felt the Lord was asking me to sacrifice, but when I became willing for it, He has given me so much blessing - and so it is no sacrifice. Everything the Lord asks us to do, well, He just makes it better. If I had planned my own life, it would have turned out so different - but since God planned it, it is far better and richer.

Verse 18 is asking them to "pray for us" - how we need to pray for the Lord of the harvest that He might be able to send more workers into the work. We need them very much.

I'd like to talk a little bit about marriage. It is not an experiment, but it is a commitment. It is one man and one woman! - Not two men or two women - that is very defiling. Mark 10:11 puts divorce/remarriage so plainly and is also defiled - "Whosoever shall put away his wife and marry another, committeth adultery against her. And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery."

The bed is defiled where marriage has not taken place. It is sin! For I Corinthians 6:11, Galatians 5:19, Ephesians 5:3 and Colossians 3:5, it is at the top of each list. We need to keep our relationships pure.

Our Mom and Dad were very stable and loved each other very much. Our father wasn't easy on us kids, but we know he did it out of love. One day Mom was sick and Dad took her to the doctor, and she was holding his arm. They loved each other even more than the day they married each other. Then, years later our father was dying, and we all went home to be with him. We all stood around his bed, and as we saw them look at each other, we knew they loved each other even more - a love that had a very harmonizing spirit.