Psalm 97:6-7 ESV
“The heavens proclaim his righteousness,
and all the peoples see his glory.
All worshipers of images are put to shame,
who make their boast in worthless idols;
worship him, all you gods!”
This reminds me of what it says in Romans 1:18-20 ESV:
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 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.”
Do we understand what this is saying? All people of all nations have been shown who God is, because the heavens proclaim his righteousness, and ALL the peoples see his glory. So, ALL people are without excuse if they choose to reject God and to follow their man-made idols and their flesh, instead.
So, it isn’t that anyone doesn’t know the truth concerning God’s righteousness, but that many choose their idols and their flesh over God (over Jesus Christ). They choose to follow the wickedness of their own hearts rather than to submit to God who made them. So, by their wickedness, they suppress the truth that was made known to them by God.
But it gets much worse than this. The truth of the matter is that many who call themselves followers of Jesus are suppressing the truth they know by their immorality and their wicked deeds. And, many of them have known the Scriptures for a long time, and some of them are teachers and preachers of the Word of God, or they were teachers and preachers of the Scriptures.
So many Christians these days make their boast in worthless idols. They take pride in politicians and political parties, or in political movements, or in the intelligence of man, or in their “churches” (buildings, businesses, church denominations, preachers, and human and worldly structures).
They take pride in their houses, their vehicles, their bank accounts, their social status, their race, their sports heroes, and their freedoms, etc. But all of these are destined to perish, and none of these will save their souls.
Psalm 97:8-9 ESV
“Zion hears and is glad,
and the daughters of Judah rejoice,
because of your judgments, O Lord.
For you, O Lord, are most high over all the earth;
you are exalted far above all gods.”
The faithful saints of God, who are walking according to the Spirit, and no longer according to the flesh, rejoice in God’s judgments on the people of the earth. Why? Because they understand that divine discipline and correction is necessary to prune and to purify our hearts. They understand that, because of people’s wicked hearts and their rebellion against God, that judgment is the only way they will even pay attention to God.
Hardship, persecution, troubles, trials and difficulties are necessary in order to move people to God when so many have gone the way of the world, and when so many are following after the idols (the gods) of this world and are ignoring God and his many calls for repentance and obedience to his commands. And, the judgment may involve God turning them over to their own devices, which I see happening now, or it may come in other forms.
The other aspect of God’s judgments on humankind is that God shows himself to be God over all, and he is exalted. And, some will look to him, and will now honor him as Lord, instead of treating him with disdain. But, according to Scripture, the vast majority will still follow the deceitful desires of their flesh, and they will not submit to Jesus Christ and to his Lordship. But we can rejoice over those whose hearts are turned to God. Amen!
Psalm 97:10-12 ESV
“O you who love the Lord, hate evil!
He preserves the lives of his saints;
he delivers them from the hand of the wicked.
Light is sown for the righteous,
and joy for the upright in heart.
Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous,
and give thanks to his holy name!”
Yes, this is the cry of God’s heart, and it should be the cry of our hearts, too, if we are his by faith in him. We should hate evil. And, what is evil? It is rebellion against God and his commandments. It is lying, stealing, cheating, hatred, murder, gossip, slander, gluttony, idolatry, lust, greed, envy, immorality, impurity, and adultery. And, it is treating God with contempt and willfully choosing to do what we know is going to bring harm to others.
Is racism evil? Yes! Because it chooses to hate people based on the color of their skin. It chooses to show partiality to others based upon whatever criteria humans determine, such as skin color. But is resentment, bitterness, hatred, violence, and anarchy evil? Yes! So, it is not God’s answer to racism!
So, what is God’s remedy for evil? Jesus Christ and his death on a cross for our sins.
Jesus was crucified on a cross although he had done no wrong. So, in his death he became sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God. He died on that cross that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. He died that we might no longer live for ourselves, but for Jesus Christ who gave his life up for us (2 Co. 5:15, 21; 1 Pet. 2:24).
Jesus died on that cross, not just to forgive us our sins so that we could be in communion with Almighty God and have the hope of heaven when we die. He died to eradicate sin from our lives. He died that we would no longer walk in sin, but that we would now be free to walk in his holiness and righteousness (Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17; Eph. 4:17-24; 1 Jn. 1:5-9).
God’s remedy for evil is never to take matters into our own hands. We are not going to be able to purge this world from evil. Only God can do that. Only he has the power to save lives and to change human hearts, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they can receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those sanctified by faith in Jesus Christ.
We can preach it and teach it, but only the power of God can move people’s hearts away from evil to God and to his righteousness. And, that is why the Scriptures are clear that we are saved by God’s grace, through faith, and not of ourselves, but this is God’s gift to us. But salvation is not just a free ride to heaven. Salvation is deliverance out of our bondage to sin so that we now become bond-slaves of his righteousness (Rom. 6:1-23; Eph. 4:17-24).
If we don’t love God and hate evil, but we think that we can love God and continue living wicked and evil lives, then we have got God’s plan of salvation for our lives all wrong! And, we totally misunderstand the word “love,” which is “agape,” which prefers what God prefers, which is what is holy and righteous. So, we give God all the praise and glory for the fact that, by faith in him, we have been delivered from our slavery to sin. Amen!
Enough for My God
By G. M. Eldridge
In God is the light, the brightest day.
He taught me to walk the narrow way,
Yet still I chose the path that was broad:
O, how could I be enough for my God?
With mercy so sweet, He led me along.
He held my hand, and gave me a song,
Yet still I sinned, a shameful fraud:
O, how could I be enough for my God?
I never had dreamed the day I’d see
the Son of God, who died for me,
Yet here by His side, I stand in awe:
Washed by His blood, enough for my God.
And who could forgive all the sins and the flaws?
O, how could I be enough for my God?
But gently He’ll lead by staff and by rod,
And help me to be enough for my God.
I just want to be Enough for You, God!
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