Wednesday, June 15, 2016

**By the By, we all have a theology. Whether we are an academic theologian or not, theology is basically our idea of God.  This informs our decisions and molds us into who we are.  That is why I love to write this blog, and even in my Just for Fun Fiction, it is a more subtle message by way of fictional characters to illustrate how we are led to do what we do because of how we view God.  Since His thoughts are higher than our thoughts, it is always an invitation to grow in our concept of who God truly is.  We do this by studying His Word.  This is the creative process that did not end in the Beginning, but is carried out in God's creative, redemptive work in making us new every morning as we open our eyes and breathe Him in with the breath of God, His Spirit.  Now back to the Psalms...


This is the main course of what I have previously served as an appetizer and dessert...
"He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the Lord,
'My refuge and my fortress,
My God, in whom I trust!'"
(verses 1-2)

Herein is the main sustenance of our life.  Where we dwell and with whom and how.  I love, love, love the words 'dwell' and 'abide.'  There is a place of rest for the soul.  Don't you long for that?  It is offered in this life while our Lord and Savior is busy building our dwelling place in heaven.  Our dwelling place in the here and now is where our heart lies.  We rest in the shade and protection under His wings where He shelters us.  This shelter could also mean the Holy of Holies which through Christ we now have access.  He is our refuge and fortress.  But it all comes down to trust.
There are those naughty little chicks who dart in and out from under His wings, who think they can defy the danger that is out there.  That is not abiding.  That is not living in the rest that trust provides.  We are promised soul rest.

"Since therefore it remains for some to enter it,
and those who formerly had good news preached to them
failed to enter because of disobedience (those naughty chicks),
He again fixes a certain day, 'Today,' saying through David
after so long a time just as has been said before,
'Today if you hear His voice,
Do not harden your hearts.'
For if Joshua had given them rest,
He would not have spoken of another day after that.
There remains therefore a Sabbath rest for the people of God.
For the one who has entered His rest
has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His.
Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest,
lest anyone fall through following the same example of disobedience."
(Hebrews 4:6-11)

"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem,
who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her!
How often I wanted to gather your children together,
the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings,
and you were unwilling."
(Matthew 23:37) 

Since the day He died and the veil was torn in two that allowed us access to the Holy of Holies,
that  made a way for the believer to go deeper with God, first because of the resurrection power (this same power that raised Jesus from the dead) and secondly because of the coming of the Holy Spirit to indwell us and empower us to live the holy life He desires.  We can rest because the battle has been won, and we are offered the victory over sin.  We no longer have to live in the tension of Romans 7:7-24 that ends with "wretched man that I am!  Who shall set me free from the body of this death?"  What is our answer?  Are we willing to once and for all settle the conflict of two natures?  The answer is in Romans 7:25, "Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord" and Romans 8:2 "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death."  So, after the battle, we are set free and can rest in Him. 
As much of the rest of Psalms 91 promises outward victory, in the New Testament, our victory is inward.  The hedge around Job and his faithful walk with God had him protected and blessed.  Then came the strange way in which Satan came before God and God allowed Job to be sifted and tested: yet, he still came out victoriously in the end.  So whether we are hedged in as the following verses describe, or our victory comes from trusting completely in the protective shelter, refuge, and fortress of our God while under attack, we are still assured ultimate victory.
"For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper,
And from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with His pinions,
And under His wings you may seek refuge;
His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark.
You will not be afraid of the terror by night,
Or of the arrow that flies by day;
Of the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
Or of the destruction that lays waste at noon...
For you have made the Lord, my refuge,
Even the Most High, your dwelling place.
No evil will befall you,
Nor will any plague come near your tent."
(verses 3-10)

"His truth shall be thy shield and buckler"
*"His Revelation;--His Bible.  That truth contains promises for all times and circumstances;
and these will be invariably fulfilled to him that trusts in the Lord.  The fulfilment of a promise relative to deference and support, is to the soul what the best shield is to the body."

"The terror by night."
*"The godly man lies down in peace, and sleeps quietly, for he trusts his body, soul, and substance in the hand of God; and he knows that He who keepeth Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps.  It may mean all the spiritual foes, --the rulers of the darkness of this world."
"Because thou hast made the Lord..."
*"Seeing thou hast taken Jehovah, the Most High, for thy Portion and thy Refuge, no evil shall come nigh thy dwelling; thou shalt be safe in thy soul..."

"Because he has loved Me,
therefore I will deliver him;
I will set him securely on high,
because he has known My name.
He will call upon Me,
and I will answer him;
I will be with him in (trouble;
I will rescue him, and honor him,
With a long life I will satisfy him,
And let him behold My salvation."
(verses 14-16)

"I will be with him"
*"Literally, I am with him. 
as soon as the trouble comes,
I am there."

"I will deliver him"
*"For his good I may permit him to be exercised for a time;
but delivered he shall be."

"And honour him."
*"I will glorify him.
I will load him with honour."

"With long life"
"*Literally, with length of days I will fill him up.
He shall neither live a useless life, nor die before his time.
He shall live happy, and die happy." 

"And shew him my salvation"
*"I will make him see...He shall discover infinite lengths, breadths, depths, and heights in my salvation. He shall feel boundless desires; and shall discover that I have provided boundless gratification for them.  He shall dwell in My glory, and throughout eternity increase in his resemblance to, and enjoyment of me.  Thus shall it be done to the man whom the Lord delighteth to honour; and He delights to honour that man who places his love on Him.  In a word, he shall have a long life, in this world, and an eternity of blessedness in the world to come."

Oo, oo, oo!  I want to rest in His shelter, to know His name, to see His salvation--to have boundless desires and gratification in knowing the length and breadths and depths and heights of it,--and to be that person who places my love on Him!
How about you?
All the *quotes are from Adam Clarke because he's my fav. 

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