I Keep Your Word
“You have dealt well with your servant,
O Lord, according to your word.
Teach me good judgment and knowledge,
for I believe in your commandments.
Before I was afflicted I went astray,
but now I keep your word.
You are good and do good;
teach me your statutes.”
In your striving against sin, don’t regard lightly the discipline of the Lord. For, God disciplines those of us who are his in order that we might share in his holiness. For those whom the Lord loves he disciplines, and he scourges every son whom he receives. For those who have been trained by the Lord’s discipline, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness (Heb 12).
We learn good judgment sometimes through the things which we suffer. We may learn to walk in holiness and in righteousness through the Lord’s divine discipline in our lives when we have gone astray. Sometimes it takes his divine correction in our lives to get us back on track.
But if we keep repeating the same sins over again, then we aren’t learning. It could be we are illegitimate children and therefore we are not being disciplined by the Lord. Or, if he did discipline us, it could be that we ignored his discipline and we went our own way, and thus he has handed us over to the lusts of our flesh to do what ought not to be done (Rom 1).
For, the purpose of his divine discipline and correction is that we might learn, and that we would change, and that we wouldn’t keep repeating the same sins over again, but that now we would be walking according to the Spirit and no longer according to the flesh, and that now we would be keeping his word, not ignoring it (Rom 8:1-17; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6).
Unfeeling like Fat
“The insolent smear me with lies,
but with my whole heart I keep your precepts;
their heart is unfeeling like fat,
but I delight in your law.”
There are people in this world, even within the gatherings of the church, and even among church leadership, who are full of pride, unwise, senseless, foolish, heartless, cruel, and who are inconsiderate and disrespectful of others. So, they treat others with disdain.
Therefore, they sin against others without conscience and without regard for how their actions might injure the other person. They think only of themselves. And, so they have no qualms about telling lies. Lying is what they do as a matter of course.
Sometimes the reason they lie about others is to try to make themselves look good by comparison to someone else, usually because they are jealous of that other person or because they have hatred and unforgiveness and bitterness in their hearts toward that person.
But we aren’t talking here only about those who make no profession of faith in Jesus Christ. We are talking also about those who claim Jesus as their Lord and Savior and who profess to be in fellowship with him and following him in his ways.
But their participation in the body of Christ does not arise from honesty or sincerity of heart and mind. Their profession of faith in Jesus Christ is thus false, for they are void of the Holy Spirit and they are fruitless for God’s eternal kingdom, for they are still living for the flesh, and not for God.
They are supposed to judge themselves to see whether they are truly in the faith, but they would not. They are supposed to examine their own hearts and lives before taking part in the blood of Christ and of his body, but they did not. But if they judged themselves, they would not be judged of God. But since they refused, he will judge them.
That I Might Learn
“It is good for me that I was afflicted,
that I might learn your statutes.
The law of your mouth is better to me
than thousands of gold and silver pieces.”
All throughout the Old Testament God warned his wayward people against going astray and of the consequences of disobedience. He confronted them with their sins of idolatry, immorality, of lying, and of unfaithfulness. He warned of divine judgment, and he called them to repentance.
But that didn’t happen just in the Old Testament. He gave the same warnings and the same instructions in the New Testament, as well.
Sometimes those judgments are fatal, such as what happened to many of the Israelites in the wilderness when they kept ignoring the Lord’s commandments, and when they kept on in their sins. They did not get to enter God’s eternal rest because of their unbelief resulting from their disobedience. And, we are warned not to repeat their error (Heb 3-4).
But sometimes those judgments are not fatal, but their intended purpose is that we might learn the commandments of the Lord by applying the truths of God’s Word to our hearts, to our minds, and to our actions. The Lord disciplines us so that we might return to him so that he might heal us.
But we are not to play with fire, or we might get burned. The New Testament gives us plenty of warnings against not taking God seriously, and against continuing a sinful course, for we will be judged by our works. We will be judged by what we do, not by what we profess (Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; 2 Co 5:10).
But for those who have turned away from their sinful practices, and who are walking in obedience to their Lord, because they learned from the things they suffered and did not scorn the warnings of God, they will have their eternal rewards. They will be with their Lord forever.
On Zion’s Glorious Summit
By John Kent
On Zion’s glorious summit stood
A numerous host redeemed by blood!
They hymned their king in strains divine;
I heard the song and strove to join,
I heard the song and strove to join.
Here all who suffered sword or flame
For truth, or Jesus’ lovely name,
Shout victory now and hail the Lamb,
And bow before the great I AM,
And bow before the great I AM.
While everlasting ages roll,
Eternal love shall feast their soul,
And scenes of bliss, forever new,
Rise in succession to their view,
Rise in succession to their view.
Holy, holy, holy Lord,
God of hosts, on high adored!
Who like me Thy praise should sing,
O Almighty King!
Holy, holy, holy Lord,
God of hosts, on high adored!
Holy, holy, holy.
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