Psalm 19:1-6 ESV
The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
Day to day pours out speech,
and night to night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words,
whose voice is not heard.
Their voice goes out through all the earth,
and their words to the end of the world.
In them he has set a tent for the sun,
which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber,
and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy.
Its rising is from the end of the heavens,
and its circuit to the end of them,
and there is nothing hidden from its heat.
I enjoy the vastness of God’s created works. I love to view a blue sky with white clouds hovering over top the trees of the land, which are rooted in the ground, which is often covered with green grass and splattered with an array of various plants and flowers. I delight in watching the birds, the squirrels and the bunnies at play. I am fascinated by all the various types of bugs, too, but I don’t enjoy them all. And, I delight in a sunrise or a sunset and even in a dark night with a vast array of stars in the sky, and the moon, too.
And, I enjoy taking pictures of God’s creation, as well. And, I like sharing the pictures, too, because I am sharing the beauty that God created, and by him it was beautifully and wonderfully made. And, that brings joy to others, too.
I was privileged to be asked to be with my daughter and daughters-in-law at the births of their babies. Although it hurt to watch my daughters in pain, it was a beautiful sight watching some of those babies come into this world. There is just nothing like that. And, then to watch those babies grow and develop to become toddlers, and eventually teenagers, and then to become adults, and to see all those stages in between is just amazing!
But, God didn’t create all that he created just for our enjoyment, though that is one of the reasons. He created all things for his glory and pleasure, too. Yet, there is another reason, and that is to reveal his glory and his divine character to us, the people of this world. For, we read in Romans 1:19-20:
“For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.”
In fact, nature talks to us, not with words (unless we are speaking of humans), but with its beauty, colors and sounds, and even with the wind, the rain and the waves of the ocean. And, they declare God’s glory to us, and his eternal power and divine nature. And, this is why humankind is without excuse. We are not excused if we do not believe in God, for God has revealed himself to all of us, all throughout the world, through what he has made.
Psalm 19:7-11 ESV
The law of the Lord is perfect,
reviving the soul;
the testimony of the Lord is sure,
making wise the simple;
the precepts of the Lord are right,
rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the Lord is pure,
enlightening the eyes;
the fear of the Lord is clean,
the rules of the Lord are true,
and righteous altogether.
More to be desired are they than gold,
even much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey
and drippings of the honeycomb.
Moreover, by them is your servant warned;
in keeping them there is great reward.
So, God reveals himself to us through his created works, but then he speaks to us through his written word, too, which is where he reveals even more of himself to us, and he teaches us all that he had designed for us even before he created the world.
For, in his written word we learn that our God, who created the world, is holy, righteous, pure, trustworthy, just and merciful. And, we learn that his design for us is that we also be holy, righteous, and pure, etc., all in his power and in his strength through faith in Jesus Christ, God the Son.
In God’s written word (the Bible – Genesis to Revelation) we learn that our God is triune, three distinct personalities in one God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Even in Genesis we read how God said that he made us in their image. So, Jesus Christ always existed with God, and he is God, and he is our creator, too (See John 1). And, so his divine nature and eternal power are revealed in God’s created works, too, for he is God our creator.
So, as we read God’s Word, especially the New Testament, we learn about Jesus Christ, God the Son, and how he came to earth to be born as a baby from the womb of a woman who was a virgin, for her baby was conceived of the Holy Spirit.
And, Jesus grew to become a man, and then he ministered to the people on the earth, primarily to the Jews, his own people, by healing the sick and afflicted, raising the dead back to life, delivering people from demons, comforting the sorrowful, helping the weak, and feeding the hungry.
And, he also preached about the need for everyone to turn away from their sinful lifestyles to follow him in obedience, and to make him Lord of their lives. And, this was to become our new lifestyle, walking in fellowship with our Lord daily, listening to him speak to us through his word, and then doing what his word teaches us we must do. And, this was not optional, either. For, he said that if we did not do this, we would not inherit eternal life.
By his words we are warned, and in keeping them there is great reward. Amen! And, many of these warnings are to the church, too, to those who profess faith in Jesus Christ. We are cautioned against getting this idea that we can be assured eternal life with God based on lip service and superficial faith in him which does not result in changed lives. And, we are told that if we live to sin, we will die in our sins, not matter what we profess.
So, the reward of keeping the Word of the Lord, is not only that we will be delivered out of our bondage (slavery, addiction) to sinful behaviors, and that we will be at peace with God and within ourselves, and we will have the joy of the Lord, purpose and meaning to our lives, and his direction, too, but that we will be guaranteed eternal life with God if we walk in those truths (See: Lu. 9:23-25; Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17; 1 Jn. 1:5-9; Gal. 6:7-8).
Psalm 19:12-14 ESV
Who can discern his errors?
Declare me innocent from hidden faults.
Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins;
let them not have dominion over me!
Then I shall be blameless,
and innocent of great transgression.
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be acceptable in your sight,
O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.
This should be the prayer of our hearts, too, that we would be kept back from presumptuous sins which, out of pride and disrespect for God, overstep God’s boundary lines for us. This is about taking God’s grace for granted and thus taking liberties with his laws he has set down for us to follow. And yes, the New Testament is loaded with instructions to Christians on what we are to do and to not do, too. And, there are consequences for disobedience, too.
And, these “hidden” faults are not sins which we do in secret, either, hiding them so that no one will know what we are doing when no one else is looking. These would fall under the category of presumptuous sins, too.
Hidden faults are things we didn’t know we did that was wrong, in truth, not as an excuse for continuing in willful sinful practices against God, either. For, I know one of the excuses of the addict is to continually say, “I didn’t know,” when he did know full well, but he chose to ignore what he knew so that he could do what he wanted to do instead (See Romans 1).
The prayer of the psalmist was that these presumptuous sins would not have dominion over him, and then he would be blameless. And, that is what the New Testament teaches, too. It does not say we have to be sinless as part of believing faith in Jesus Christ, which saves us from our sins, but that we must walk (in practice) according to the Spirit and no longer according to the flesh if we want to have eternal life with God (Rom. 8:1-17; Lu. 9:23-25).
This is not us working to earn our salvation, but obedience to Christ and to his word is part of the faith that it takes to have eternal life with God. For, the faith to believe in Jesus is God-given, and if given by God, it submits to the Lordship of Christ and it follows (obeys) Jesus wherever he leads us.
So, if we truly believe in Jesus Christ, our desire will be to please him, and we will want to do what is acceptable to him, in his sight, because we delight in him, and we love him, and so we want to honor him with our lives.
God is With Us
An Original Work / June 11, 2019
Based off Psalm 46
God’s our refuge. He is our strength,
A present help to us when in pain.
Therefore, we will not be afraid,
Although the earth beneath us gives way.
Though the mountains be moved to the sea,
Roaring waters abound so free,
And the mountains now tremble so,
We will not fear, God is near, we know.
God is with us and He makes glad
The hearts of all who to Christ have fled.
Christ is in us, so we’ll not fall
When on our Savior our hearts do call.
God will help us, as mornings arise,
To be faithful to His design.
Nations raging, and tempers flare.
Our God is with us. We know He cares.
Come and see the works of the Lord.
He’s armed for battle with His great sword.
He’s the Word, and He is the Life.
He gives us strength in all of our strife.
Be still and know that He is our God.
He’s exalted where’er He trods.
The Lord Almighty, with us still;
The God of Jacob, our citadel.
Wednesday, June 12, 2019