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Monday, June 6, 2016

PSALM 89


 
Have you ever felt sorry for God?  Lately, I have.  He has a front row seat to see all the sin here below.  Even Jesus ever liveth to make intercession for us, so He knows too.  The Holy Spirit, the Helper, the Comforter is on call for us and also sees and knows what we are up against in this ol'sinful world.  I know Jesus took upon Himself all the sin of the world on the cross, but they are not up in heaven with their hands over their eyes, not even wearing sun glasses to protect them from the glaring sins.  Rather it is a little like Genesis 1:2-4, "And the earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.  Then God said, 'Let there be light;; and there was light.  And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness."  God sees both the light and the darkness. 

 
Just imagine being in the beauty and perfect joy of heaven, then looking over the edge to the darkness of sin below.  What a contrast!  Just think of the sinful world in Abraham's day when God had to get out his binoculars to find a righteous man, instead seeing the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah.  Think of  the world in Noah's day when God had to use a magnifying glass and could only find Noah, and "Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord."  Think of the proud and sinful hearts of the peoples who thought they could built a tower to heaven but instead found confusion of languages which God used to spread them out all over the land.  Where's that tower now? Is it still standing?  Nope.  Did it make the one in Dubai look like Jenga?  Instead of needing to see from man's loftiest prideful perspective, rather God looks down and even sees the intimate sin like David and Bathsheba and the path of pain from broken relationships left in its wake; now multiply that by the billions. 

 
Yep, I feel a little sorry for God.  Just listening to the news is a little like getting a glimpse of what God sees in real time.  Then there's just the nitty-gritty of everyday life, even in the church.  After a lifetime of serving, thirty-eight years of full-time ministry, I think we've just about seen it all.  It has left my heart just a little bruised, disappointed that so many of the people of God don't live better lives, missing the fullness of God's promises. 


 
So what about God's heart?  His tender mercies?  His pure heart of love hurts for the faithlessness of His people, not to mention the full-fledged sinners that outnumber us by far out there bringing this darkness over the earth.  That's why repentance has the element of true sorrow for sin that has broken the heart of God.  It is not just being sorry that one gets caught in sin, not just a bandaid when one falls down and gets scraped from sin, but real sorrow for sin.  That's a rare bird. 

 
Lest we forget the price tag of sin...

 
So as I go to bed thinking abut this and  wake pondering this, I read just a little selection from Psalm 89.  I'll get back to the full happy praises in this Psalm after this, but for now...
 
"Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Thy throne;
Lovingkindness and truth go before Thee.
How blessed are the people who know the joyful sound!
O Lord, they walk in the light of Thy countenance.

 
Then verses 30-45 go on to describe what happens when God has to use this justice...
 
"If his sons forsake My law,
and do not walk in My judgments,
If they violate My statutes,
and do not keep My commandments..."


 
"Thou hast profaned his crown by casting it to the ground, to be trampled upon."
Thou hast broken down all his hedges (all those things that were a defence to them, and particularly that hedge of protection which they thought God's covenant
and promise had made about them."
(Matthew Henry)
"Thou hast made even his strongholds a ruin.
 
Finally the Psalmist cries out in verses 46-51, in the words of Adam Clarke
"He considers the nature of God as kind, loving, merciful, slow to anger; and asks..."
 
How long, O Lord?
Wilt Thou hide Thyself forever?
Will Thy wrath burn like fire?
Remember what my span of life is;
For what vanity Thou hast
created all the sons of men!
What man can live and not see death?
Can he deliver his soul from
the power of Sheol?
 
Yet in the words of Matthew Henry...
"That which grieved them most was that God Himself had kept them long in the dark. 
It seemed an eternal night, when God had withdrawn..."


 
However in verses 36-37 is the hope...
 
"His descendants shall endure forever,
And his throne as the sun before Me.
It shall be established forever like the moon,
and the witness in the sky is faithful."

 
The rainbow is the witness in the sky

 
"That which is said and sworn is that God will have a church in the world as long as sun and moon endure (verses 36-37).  The seed of Christ shall be established for ever, as lights of the world while the world stands, to shine in it." (Matthew Henry)

 
In verses 49-51...
 
"Where are Thy former
lovingkindnesses, O Lord,
Which Thou didst swear to
David in Thy faithfulness?
Remember, O Lord,
the reproach of Thy servants;
How I do bear in my bosom
the reproach of all the many peoples,
With which Thine enemies
have reproached, O Lord,
With which they have reproached
the footsteps of Thine anointed."
(the footsteps of waiting for the coming Messiah)


 
Thou we may bear in our bosom the reproach of all the many peoples,
God will never forget His lovingkindness, indeed the Messiah has come,  and we can say as in the last verse of this Psalm,
 
"Blessed be the Lord forever!
Amen and Amen."
 
 
 
 
 
 


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