Wednesday, January 27, 2016

PSALM 18 continued...

Them thar are fightn' words.  I will leave many of them for a later time when under attack, you know, like in one of those glass cases, "In case of emergency, break glass."  Instead  I will take to heart the beautiful words, David's thoughts toward God and God's thoughts toward us...

"He brought me forth also into a broad place;
He rescued me, because He delighted in me."
(verse 19)
Once again we see God delighting in us.  What a thought! (Prov. 8:31)  A broad place is a place of rest.  You can't safely go out into a broad field if you are under a threat of attack.  Can't you almost see David laying down his weapons momentarily, stretching out upon the ground and looking up into an azure sky sighing with total gratitude? 
The next few verses are about how we can come before God, not of our own effort, but because He has given us the victory...

"The Lord has rewarded me according to my righteousness;
According to the cleanness of my hands He has recompensed me.
For I have kept the ways of the Lord,
And have not wickedly departed from my God.
For all His ordinances were before me,
And I did not put away His statutes from me.
I was also blameless with Him,
And I kept myself from my iniquity.
Therefore the Lord has recompensed me according to my righteousness,
According to the cleanness of my hands in His eyes."
(verses 20-24) 

Later David writes in Psalm 24:3-4
"Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord?
And who may stand in His holy place?
He who has clean hands and a pure heart..."
Once again in Psalm 51:5-7
"Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
And in sin my mother conceived me.
Behold, Thou dost desire truth in the innermost being,
And in the hidden part Thou wilt make me know wisdom.
Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow....
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from Thy presence,
And do not take Thy Holy Spirit from me."

What makes our theology, our ideas about God, is that He can truly bring about this clean heart, and not just put on dark glasses to avoid seeing out sin.  The difference Christ came to make was that He broke the power of sin, as well as death, that He can truly give us a clean heart and purify us, make us pure.  Since the Garden, we were all born with the sin nature, but God in His infinite goodness gave us a second Adam whose death on the cross broke that power.  Yes, all are born with the sin nature, but are not condemned to a life lived under it.  We can have victory, not just against the giants, the real enemies David faced in battle, but against the forces of evil, the enemy of our soul who wants to deny that we are washed clean.  He wants us to remain tainted, to remain impure, dirty, full of shame, wounded.  But God delights in us, enough to have sent His Son to make clean hands and a clean heart possible.
"With the kind Thou dost show Thyself kind;
With the blameless Thou dost show Thyself blameless;
With the pure thou dost show Thyself pure;
And with the crooked Thou dost show Thyself astute...
For Thou dost light my lamp;
(KJV, Thou dost light my candle)
The Lord my God illumines my darkness."

This is David's testimony about his relationship with God.  I love the part about God lighting his candle to illuminate the darkness.  He says, "The Lord MY God."  The greatest darkness is what is in the heart, but God can bring light even there.  This light brings kindness, blamelessness, and purity.  Then, as in the next verses, we can run, we can leap, and...

"As for God, His way is blameless;
The word of the Lord is tried (by fire);
He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him,


For who is God, but the Lord?
And who is a rock, except our God,
The God who girds me with strength,
And makes my way blameless?
He makes my feet like hinds' feet,
And sets me upon my high places...
Thou hast also given me the shield of Thy salvation,
And Thy right hand upholds me;
And Thy gentleness makes me great.
Thou dost enlarge my steps under me,
And my feet have not slipped."
(verses 33-36)

I love the part that says, "Thy gentleness makes me great."  This means meekness, humility.  What kind of a great God is this, so great that He can be humble?  Be meek?  Oh my!  Pick that cherry to relish today.  Or do you need to reach up and pick the fruit of strength for yourself today, or blamelessness, or His hand to uphold you, or His rock, or the swiftness of hinds feet to climb to high places with God, or enlarged places to keep you from slipping, from falling?  What is your need today?

Finally, David closes his Psalm with what is prophetic words about the strangers falling away like leaves from the trees before winter for a kingdom at rest (verse 45), but as quoted in the New Testament (Romans 15:9), he proclaims about the Gentiles, the heathen...
 "Therefore I will give thanks to Thee among the nations, O Lord,
And I will sing praises (this Psalm) to Thy name.
He gives great deliverance (victories, salvations) to His king,
And shows lovingkindness
(hesed, all the inward churnings of love)
to His anointed,
To David and his descendants (seed) forever."
(verses 49-50)

This is a Messianic prophecy "for from the family of David came the man Christ Jesus; His posterity are genuine Christians; His kingdom, in which they are subjects, is spiritual.  This government will last through all time."  "For evermore, through all duration of created worlds.
And more--the eternity that is beyond time.  This shows that another David is meant, with another posterity, another sort of kingdom." (Adam Clarke)

As my friend said about her daughter who slipped away to heaven, she said, "You were never really meant for this were otherworldly...I saw your guardian angel when you were born...he was huge and had wings that reached from one edge of the atmosphere to the other...he stood by your incubator as you struggled to were never meant for this world...but I am so glad I had you for the time I did."  We are meant for the "evermore."



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