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Saturday, July 2, 2016

PSALM 97

 

 
"Let all those be ashamed who serve graven images,
Who boast themselves of idols;
Worship Him, all you gods.
Zion heard this and was glad,
And the daughters of Judah have rejoiced
Because of Thy judgments, O Lord."


 
As a parent, what is the goal of discipline?  If it is just punishment, we have missed the point.  If it is for training, then we are on the right course.  My five year old grandson does not understand discipline, however.  He is not particularly ashamed of wrong behavior nor does he quite get the purpose of discipline: "But I don't like spankings."  However, since he lives in the here and now, deferment of privileges does not compute either.   As good parents, we must impress upon our children that they are not despots, not little gods in spite of their attempts to rule not just their own little world, but ours as well.  It is practice for learning who is in charge, God.


 
God's judgments are not to heap guilt upon the guilty for the sake of God's gleeful enjoyment of our guiltiness.  He does not have an AhHa! in His heart.  His sorrow over sin should lead to our sorrow over sin.  It is not enough to be sorry for being caught.  His purpose is always to bring us to repentance, restoration of relationship and fellowship with Him.  So let us be ashamed enough to be sorrowful over anything that keeps us from right relationship with Him.



 
One of the biggest hindrances are idols.  Idols in our society for the most part are not of the wooden kind, but are our own blockheads.  We tend to worship ourselves, our own intelligent
design, our own creation of how things should be, at least in our own minds.  We want to be in the big chair, on the big throne, to have others bow down to us. 


 
How we got to where we are as a nation is the idolatry of the intelligentsia of higher education with reverence for PHfft.  In other words, we've out-smarted ourselves.  We think we are smarter than God.  If that's not idolatry, I don't know what is.  We should be ashamed of ourselves.  As soon as we begin to doubt God's Word -- as Adam and Eve did in the Garden -- we're in big trouble.  It means we are trusting in ourselves, our own understanding, instead of total faith in Him and His Word.  And yes, I believe "Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of Thy righteous judgments endueth for ever." (Psalm 119:160)

 
Others may not hear the heavenly music we dance to.

 
Instead we should worship Him, be glad and should rejoice.  However, don't you feel the distain of those who sneer at us simpletons.  We are called names such as hateful, judgmental, and are believed to be less intelligent because of our stands for righteousness. They are embracing the wind.  The gavel that declared that we should all believe in evolution was nothing compared to the sudden "evolution" of standards of right and wrong.  To not evolve along with the rest of them is to be judgmental and hateful.  This sudden evolution as a society  declares we must embrace as a civil right those who defy God's unchanging law.  Rather I believe His Word, "For I, the Lord, do not change." (Malachi 3:6)


 
"For Thou art the Lord Most High over all the earth;
Thou art exalted far above all gods."
(do you hear that chorus in your head?)
Hate evil, you who love the Lord,
Who preserves the souls of His godly ones..."
(verses 9-10)
 
To hate evil is not to hate the evil doer.  We may call sin, sin.  However, our attitude is to be God's attitude.  He hated sin so much that He gave His only Son to redeem sinners, all sinners, no matter what the sin, from murder to hidden sins of the heart.   Our attitude should be redemption.  Our attitude is to be one beggar telling another beggar where the bread line is.  "Abhor (hate) what is evil; cling to what is good." (Romans 12:9)  What is good is grace.


 
In a way, it is what someone recently told me how their husband greets the homeless, because "except by the grace of God, there go I" attitude.  He walks up, shakes the person's hand and introduces himself, then asks what their name is.  Their significance is not the situation they find themselves in whether earned or not.   Their significance is their name, the who, not the what.  It is as the verse says, "...that you may know that it is I, the Lord, the God of Israel, who calls you by your name." (Isaiah 48:3) Earlier in that verse so much is promised, "And I will give you the treasures of darkness (hoarded treasures), And hidden wealth of secret places, in order that you may know it is I."  God calls each one of us by name.


 
"He preserves the souls of His godly ones."
 
Due to hardships, troubles, and circumstances and the woe of this world, this is not a promise to preserve our bodies.  Have you noticed that the death rate is approaching 100%?  It is about preserving our soul.  This is our eternal self.  We will be given a new body, one without aches and pains, one without handicaps, one without blemishes, and perhaps a brain transplant.  Our soul is even beyond what we can think or imagine, but it is what we place in God's hands, our trust.  In the meanwhile, we are to love the Lord with all our strength, with all of our heart, with all our soul and with all our mind.

 
I love this next part!
 
"Light is sown like seed for the righteous,
and gladness for the upright in heart.
Be glad in the Lord, you righteous ones;
And give thanks to His holy name."
(verses11-12)

 
 
Can you get the picture of God as the sower throwing out the seed of light for a harvest we may enjoy.  It is glistening straight out of His hand.  Light  grows in fertile soil, (Think of the parable of Jesus taught).  Gladness has taken seed in our hearts.  Oh, how thankful I am.  His light is in abundance.  It springs up from His Word.  We need never be without.  To think of Truth as light is beyond lovely.  It is as a beautiful field of wildflowers.  God has handed us a fresh, fragrant bouquet straight from His heart.  Have you said "Thank you" today?



 
  
 
 
 

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