Plea for Grace

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)

God’s Word is sufficient. Just as constant and dependable as the sun rising and setting each day, just as sure as the location of the stars in the night sky, God’s Word is true, and His Word is sufficient (enough to meet the needs of a situation or a proposed end, according to Webster’s dictionary). Sufficient is not just barely squeaking by, or stretching to make it be enough. Sufficient is enough to meet the need.

towrah — law, instruction, the overall comprehensive law of the Lord is tamiym — perfect, complete, whole, entire;

`eduwth — testimony (example, when a prophet said ‘thus says the Lord’) is ‘aman — sure, faithful, established, verified, true;

piqquwd —precepts, often the mandates of what to do are yashar –right, correct, straightforward;

mitsvah — commandment, the nuance of what not to do is bar –pure, clean, sincere;

mishpat —judgments, ordinances, the verdicts of God’s judgment are ’emeth — true, reliable, faithful.

Like an overlay, for want of a better description, is the fear of the Lord — that reverential awe and submission to His sovereignty; the commitment to obey God because He is God — that endures forever. I can trust God’s Word to be sufficient today because God does not change.

When I studied the myths and legends of different societies, it struck me how much “guessing” people had to do. The ancient Greeks never knew for sure if one of the gods of the weather or elements would be fighting with another god, or jealous of a human, or just in a bad mood, and that would affect how that god would react in that situation. There was no assurance; life was a series of trying hard and scheming and wishing one was in the right place at the right time. In many societies, guesses of how to “please the gods or spirits” would be based on weather patterns or food supplies or health conditions. There was not a concrete body of law or a revealed description of the gods. What the spirits wanted yesterday may not be sufficient for tomorrow . . .

Not our God. Not Jehovah. He is I AM. He has given us His Word, not simply to tell us how to live, but to reveal His character and His ways to us. He has laid out His plan of redemption, and even told us how the story ends!!!

In the next post I will focus on the results and effect of God’s Word, but for now, spend some time in gratitude for a God who would show us His ways and teach us His paths, who would guide us in His truth and teach us . . .for He is God our Savior; we do hope in him all the day long. (from Psalm 25)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Psalm 19:1-6 CSB – 1 The heavens declare the glory of God, and the expanse proclaims the work of his hands. 2 Day after day they pour out speech; night after night they communicate knowledge. 3 There is no speech; there are no words; their voice is not heard. 4 Their message has gone out to the whole earth, and their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun. 5 It is like a bridegroom coming from his home; it rejoices like an athlete running a course. 6 It rises from one end of the heavens and circles to their other end; nothing is hidden from its heat.

August, 2017. This passage was everywhere. There is no doubt that a solar eclipse is a dramatic, impressive event, and we are right to praise God for his majesty over creation. But the psalmist is not referring to a dramatic event; he is referencing something as “day to day” as the rising and the setting of the sun, and as constant as seeing the stars in the sky every evening.

When was the last time you “wondered” at the fact that you don’t have to wake up each morning and wonder whether or not the sun rose? Or if you would look up in the sky on a clear night and see the big dipper, but it had moved to another place in the sky?

The heavens do shout out without words that God is glorious. He is constant. He is consistent. He is faithful. His sovereignty extends to all creation. There are not pockets of the planet where He cannot reach.

Thinking about the “day to day-ness” of creation brought me to this inspired truth from the pen of James, the half-brother of Jesus:

James 1:16-18 CSB – 16 Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. 17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. 18 By his own choice, he gave us birth by the word of truth so that we would be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures. (emphasis mine)

Don’t be deceived into believing that you are beyond God’s care and beyond his reach. Don’t be deceived into thinking that anything you have is because of your own effort or merit in your own strength. Don’t be deceived into believing that God’s Word is true sometimes, but not always; that God’s truth changes with culture; that the truth of God’s Word does not apply to “my” life.

The heavens declare God’s glory — his majesty, his all-encompassing right to be worshiped. Let the rising and setting of the sun and the constancy of the stars in the sky prompt you to trust in a God who never changes. Wonder and be awed that Jesus Christ’s payment for your salvation will never be “not quite enough”

1 Peter 2:24 CSB – 24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree; so that, having died to sins, we might live for righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.

God’s Word is true. Just as surely as the sun rises and sets. Just as constantly as the stars are in the sky. Trying to make God different from who He is results in deception.

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