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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

PSALM 138

Advent Day Four




"All the kings of the earth will give thanks to You, O Lord,
When they have heard the words of Your mouth.
And they will sing of the ways of the Lord,
For though the Lord is exalted,
Yet He regards the lowly,
But the haughty He knows from afar.
Though I walk in the midst of trouble,
You will revive me;
You will stretch forth Your hand
against the wrath of my enemies,
The Lord will accomplish what concerns me;
Your lovingkindness, O Lord, is everlasting;
Do not forsake the works of Your hands."
(verses 4-8)




"All the kings..."  This may refer to when after all the wars and battles from within and without, peace settled over Jerusalem at the end of David's reign as he handed over the reigns to his son Solomon.  Under his reign,  thriving with riches and peace, even the Queen of Sheba came to find out the keys to his success.  II Chronicles 9:22-23 describes this time...

"So King Solomon became greater than all the kings of the earth in riches and wisdom.
And all the kings of the earth were seeking the presence of Solomon,
to hear his wisdom which God had put in his heart."


Yet, I also have that "laugh in my heart," as I said before, that the celebration of His birth has so saturated the earth that no matter how hard  are the attempts to squelch it,  the music of the spheres ring praising our Lord.  I doubt that there is hardly a monarch on the planet whose ears have not heard the singing and perhaps have had at least one song lodged in their heart.  Why even the despot of North Korea's favorite idol is Elvis; so, he has heard, "A Blue, Blue Christmas," and perhaps a few of the other carols the "King" sang.  If that doesn't cause a snort of pleasure savoring the irony, I don't know what will!



"And they will sing of the ways of the Lord,
For great is the glory of the Lord."
(verse 5)

"This is spoken of kings,
but it is true of the humblest pilgrim.
The Lord hath respect unto the lowly,
and will make them sing."
("The Treasury of David," Spurgeon)

"Yet He regards the lowly..."




One of the kids' favorite books growing up was by Richard Scary with the character "Lowly Worm," who managed to worm his way into everything, even into their hearts.  Yet, when we are a lowly worm, we feel lower than a snake's belly.  But there is an upside when you are so low that you can only look up, because "He gives grace to the humble.

"And great need have we of tenderness in our low estate;
a little thing would crush us:
we have such bruised and feeble souls,
that unless we had One who would deal tenderly
with us, we must soon be destroyed."
(Philip Bennett Power, 1861)




"Christ was 'meek and lowly'...
though He was the brightness of His father's glory;
yet He was content to appear in the form of a servant;
though He was rich, yet He was content to become poor
that through His poverty we might be rich.
Now the humble soul, being the image of Christ,
who is the express image of His Father,
God cannot but have regard unto him.''
Ebenezer Erskine

"'I will praise Thee..'
Up, dear soul!"
(Christoph Starke)

The haughty-taughty forfeit the privilege of walking close to the Lord.
Jesus told the parable of the Pharisee and the Publican, that God heard the Publican
who cried, "God be merciful to me as a sinner."



Is it any coincidence that this Christ who was meek and lowly, came--though a king--to be born in a stable and laid in a manger?  It was no accident that the little virgin had enough of riding on a donkey by the time they arrived in Bethlehem which offered them no room, and they were driven to find shelter with the animals.  How low must Joseph have felt?  Surely, he would have thought, that God would have more in His providence to offer them at least a bed for His Son's birthing.  Oh, taxes demanded by a ruling government never seemed so vile as that which had brought them to this point!  Yet, if they had remained at home, his beloved might have been stoned for pregnancy out of wedlock as the law declared.  He was literally caught between a rock and a hard place as the protector of little Mary and her babe, the Son of God.  Did the little couple cry out as they walked in the midst of trouble, "God...save us!"


Yet, this Psalm declares,
"The Lord will accomplish what concerns me;
Your lovingkindness, O Lord, is everlasting;
Do not forsake the works of Your hands."

Mary would have groaned this promise,
The Lord will accomplish what concerns me...
He would not forsake what God had wrought within her,
the immaculate conception about to be birthed on the straw.
"Forsake not, do not let go, the work of Thy hand."




As for us, Philippians 1:6 promises...

"For I am confident of this very thing,
that He who began a good work in you
will perfect it until the day of Chris Jesus."

God absolutely will not forsake the works of His hands!

"His Sabbath is the Sabbath of an achieved purpose,
of a fulfilled council,
when He rests, it is because He sees it all,
'very good."



"The work which His goodness began,
The arm of His strength will complete;
His promise is yeah and Amen,
And never was forfeited yet."

"If there be anything good in us,
it is the work of God's own hands:
will He leave it?
Why has He wrought so much in us
if He means to give us up?"

Queen Elizabeth quoted upon her coronation,
"Look upon the wounds of Thy hands,
and forsake not the work of Thine hands."

"Thine own hands.  His creating hands formed our souls at the beginning;
His nail pierced hands redeemed them on Calvary;
His glorified hands will hold our souls fast and not let them go for ever;
Unto His hands let us commend our spirit."
J.W. Burgon


I would insert into this quote
those tiny hands reaching up from a manger
between His creating hands and His nail pierced hands.


Advent means to wait.
God's is so patient in His purposes,
that at the right time He sent His Son.
From Creation to Calvary to Heaven,
God has the long view of accomplishing
His redeeming love towards us.




The King James Version says,
"The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me."

So, dear pilgrim, be patient.
God is not done with thee yet.
Everything will turn out just perfect!






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