Plea for Grace

Archive for the ‘Meditations’ Category

[Psa 19:12-14 CSB] 12 Who perceives his unintentional sins? Cleanse me from my hidden faults. 13 Moreover, keep your servant from willful sins; do not let them rule me. Then I will be blameless and cleansed from blatant rebellion. 14 May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, LORD, my rock and my Redeemer. 

God is ever-present, never-changing, all-powerful, all-knowing, sovereign. He has revealed himself and his ways, not only in the magnificence of creation, but also in his Word, which is sufficient and true.

How does the psalmist apply these truths? He looks at his actions, and at his motives. First, the unintentional sins (ESV who can discern his errors) —  these “hidden faults” can be sins that we cover up so well that no one knows about them; they can also be blind spots that we are so good at justifying or excusing that we don’t even consider them sin anymore.

But the psalmist goes even deeper in this “soul cleaning.” Keep me back from willful (ESV presumptuous) sins; don’t let them rule (or have dominion over) me. Willful and presumptuous are polite words for deadly attitudes. It can be the “I am going to do what I want to do, and I don’t care if you think it’s wrong because it makes me feel good.” Presumption can also be “hey, I’ve got this temptation under control; I don’t need to ‘flee’ this time; I got this thing beat!” Pride and self-righteousness are tyrants. They come in with soft, smooth words, but end up as deadly and despicable rulers. They lead to all kinds of blame and blatant rebellion . . .

And then the psalmist’s cry out to God — and mine, too — take my heart attitudes, the places no one sees, as well as the words I say ([Luk 6:45 CSB] 45 “A good person produces good out of the good stored up in his heart. An evil person produces evil out of the evil stored up in his heart, for his mouth speaks from the overflow of the heart.) and bring them under your sovereign rule. Show me my blind spots. Expose my justifications and excuses. Cleanse from my rebellion against your law.  God, you are my Redeemer. You are my unchanging Rock. You are God.

Psalm 19:7-11 CSB – 7 The instruction of the LORD is perfect, renewing one’s life; the testimony of the LORD is trustworthy, making the inexperienced wise. 8 The precepts of the LORD are right, making the heart glad; the command of the LORD is radiant, making the eyes light up. 9 The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever; the ordinances of the LORD are reliable and altogether righteous. 10  They are more desirable than gold– than an abundance of pure gold; and sweeter than honey dripping from a honeycomb. 11 In addition, your servant is warned by them, and in keeping them there is an abundant reward. (emphasis mine)

Renewal. Gaining experience and wisdom. Gladness. Cheerfulness and hope. Warning to avoid disaster. Abundant reward . . .all these (and so much more) are aspects of the sufficiency of God’s Word.

God never changes. He is perfect and righteous. However, because of my redemption in Christ, and because I have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, I can change. I can be renewed. I am not condemned to make the same mistakes and be the same person I was before. In Christ, I can obey God!

“I just wish I had known; I wish someone would have told me. . .” In Christ, and through God’s Word, I don’t have to learn everything by experience. I truly can believe that the stove is hot and I should not touch it without having to burn my fingers first. Because God’s Word is true; because God does not change; because God is sovereign — I can trust what He says.

Oftentimes, life is hard. Sometimes the hard part lasts a short time; sometimes it can be very long-term. God’s revealing of Himself and His ways through His Word, and especially His explaining that my life has purpose and He will accomplish His purpose for me (Psalm 57) gives me such hope and puts a light in my eye. This life is such a temporary blip of eternity.

So, do I approach God’s Word with an excitement to mine the treasures contained therein? Do I consider that God’s precepts and laws and statutes are intended to be sweet like honey, for my good, or do I treat God’s Word and God’s law as more of a horse pill that must be swallowed because it’s good for me but it tastes terrible? Do I accepts God’s warnings in His Word, or do I stubbornly insist on learning everything by experience?

Psalm 119:65-72 CSB – 65 LORD, you have treated your servant well, just as you promised. 66 Teach me good judgment and discernment, for I rely on your commands. 67 Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep your word. 68 You are good, and you do what is good; teach me your statutes. 69 The arrogant have smeared me with lies, but I obey your precepts with all my heart. 70 Their hearts are hard and insensitive, but I delight in your instruction. 71 It was good for me to be afflicted so that I could learn your statutes. 72 Instruction from your lips is better for me than thousands of gold and silver pieces. 

 

 

 

 


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