Thursday, October 6, 2016


verse 73

"Your hands made me and fashioned me;
Give me understanding that I may learn Your commandments."

If you've ever taken a ceramics class or even made mud pies, can you feel that ball in your hands just waiting to be formed?  Can you imagine God patting that ball of clay and saying, "What shall I make this time?"  Adam Clarke says, "Thou hast formed the mass out of which I was made, and fashioned me; Thou hast given me that particular form that distinguishes me from all Thy other creatures.  'Give me understanding.' As Thou hast raised me above the beasts that perish, in my form and mode of life, teach me, that I may live for a higher and nobler end, in loving, serving, and enjoying Thee for ever!  Shew me that I was made for heaven--not for earth."

"Give me understanding..."
"Prying inquisitiveness."

"Medieval theologians thought that the prayer of man is to be restored to his state of original innocence and wisdom by being conformed to the image of Christ."  I'll admit that God's greatest creativity is in the remaking of us after we've sinned. He has slammed us down, wedged us and kneaded us like dough then thrown us back on the wheel to start over.  Unfortunately, we can't 
be restored to innocence in the sense that there are often inescapable consequences to our sin that we usually have to suffer, and we have a long memory, longer than God's once He's thrown our sin into the sea of His forgetfulness.  But we can be a new babe in Christ standing buck naked before God without trying to hide in the bushes after we've been washed clean and set up on our two wobbly feet to stand before Him as His child.  Just don't take any more bad apples.

"Forsake not the work of Thine own hands."

"Thy hands, Oh look upon the wounds of Thy hands, and forget not the work of Thy hands."
(The prayer given by Queen Elizabeth)

"God's greatness is to be able to condescend to the littleness of created beings...inasmuch as...the ocean must be the ocean, the drop must be the drop."

"Such is His nearness to, such is His intimacy with, the works of His hands; It is nearness, not distance, that the Creator implies."

Then I would like to tie these thoughts up together with verses 76-77...

"O may Your lovingkindness comfort me,
According to Your word (Your promise) to Your servant."

"May Your compassion come to me that I may live,
For Your law is my delight."

"'Thy merciful kindness' Let me derive my comfort and happiness from a diffusion of Thy love and mercy, thy exuberant goodness through my soul.

"Let Your tender mercies, Thy fatherly and affectionate feelings...He desires to be treated as a child in the heavenly family; and prays for God's fatherly mercies--His bowels of compassion."
Adam Clarke

"Let Thy tender mercies come unto me that I may live:
for Thy Law is my delight."

"The mercies of God are 'tender mercies,' they are the mercies of a father to his children, nay tender as the compassion of a mother to over the son of her womb."
(G. Horne)

Do you get the picture?  God has formed us with His hands, those hands that would be wounded for our transgressions.  He fashioned us, created us uniquely as His creatures.  Now we can be treated as a child in the heavenly family, with a Father full of tender mercies and compassion.

As I've said before, when our daughter was three she came running in to say,
"I know how God made people!  First he drew a circle..."
and she showed us her stick figure drawing.
Just as her father and mother smiled,
I'm sure God smiled.

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