He Preserves the Lives of His Saints

Psalms 97:1-5 ESV

“The Lord reigns, let the earth rejoice;
let the many coastlands be glad!
Clouds and thick darkness are all around him;
righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.
Fire goes before him
and burns up his adversaries all around.
His lightnings light up the world;
the earth sees and trembles.
The mountains melt like wax before the Lord,
before the Lord of all the earth.”

God is God. He is the ONLY true God – Father, Son (Jesus Christ), and Holy Spirit. God always was and he always will be. He is eternal. He is the beginning and the end, but he had no beginning, and he will have no end. He is all knowing, all powerful, and he is omnipresent, for he exists and he is present everywhere. There is none other like him, nor will there ever be. And he is the one who made us and who laid the foundations of the earth.

God is fully sovereign and he is Lord (master) over all things. Everything is subject to him. Nothing exists without him and nothing that takes place can happen unless he allows it to happen. He did not create evil but he allows evil to exist for his purposes. And he allowed Satan (the devil, the snake) to tempt Eve in the garden, resulting in Adam and Eve disobeying God, and thus all of humanity is now born in sin in the image of Adam.

[Rom 3:23; Rom 5:12-19; 1 Co 15:21-22,42-49]

Righteousness and justice are the foundation of God’s throne, of his power, and of his rule over all creation. And righteous means what is right in the eyes of God, which is all that is honest, decent, morally pure, holy, upright, faithful and obedient to God. And justice is what is fair, impartial, honest, and reasonable, and it is God’s righteous judgment, which is sometimes shown in physical displays of his power and authority over all.

Psalms 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!”

The heavens proclaim his righteousness how? Through his physical displays of his power via thunder, lightning, fire, storms, and natural disasters. And the purpose? Well, for one it is so that the people will see his glory and so that worshipers of idols and false gods might be put to shame for trusting in their worthless idols, and for the purpose to strongly encourage the people to worship the one and only true God of this world, instead.

So, what is an idol? It is not just something carved out of wood or stone made to look like a god. It can be anything to which we give our undivided loyalties, worship, adoration, time, money, affections, attention, and dedication. So, it can be other people, such as preachers and politicians, or it can be our possessions, careers, entertainment, smart phones, TVs, the news media, social media, theologians, pride and/or intellect, etc.

So, the Lord allows these displays of his righteousness so that we will see his glory and so that, if we are worshiping (pledging allegiance to) anyone or anything in place of or over and above God, we might be ashamed of our idolatry, and so that we might turn from that idolatry and thus worship God as our only Lord. For even many people professing faith in Jesus Christ are making other humans and other things their idols.

Psalms 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.”

Zion is another name for God, and another name for Jesus Christ, who is God the Son. And thus it would also be another name for true worshipers of God, of Christ. And they comprise the body of Christ, his true church – all those who have been crucified with him in death to sin and who are living to him and to his righteousness. They will not be put to shame but they will rejoice at God’s righteous judgments and for their deliverance.

Psalms 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!”

If we love the Lord we will obey him. If we do not obey him, we do not love him. If we love the Lord we should not only love what God loves but we should hate what he hates, and he hates evil. So, we are to hate evil, not embrace it, and not be engaged in it. And we should not be entertained by it, either. We should have no part in anything that is evil. Evil should have no sway over our lives, but we should be walking in righteousness.

In Jesus’ death and resurrection he delivered us from sin (evil), but not just from the punishment of sin, but from our slavery (bondage, addiction) to sin. By faith in Jesus Christ we thus die with him to sin and we are raised with him to newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Now we are to no longer be enslaved to sin but we should be becoming slaves of God and of his righteousness.

So, now we are to walk (in conduct, in practice) in the light of God’s truth and righteousness, living holy lives pleasing to God, for his praise and for his glory. And we should take joy in righteousness and holiness and not in the things of our sinful flesh nor of the pleasures of this sinful world. And we should be thankful for God’s grace in delivering us from our slavery to sin so that we can now live holy and godly lives pleasing to our Lord.

And if we follow in the ways of righteousness, and we do not depart from them and return to living in sin, and if we walk in obedience to our Lord, and if we continue in him until the very end, we have the hope of spending eternity with our Lord. We will inherit God’s eternal kingdom. But if we choose, instead, to continue living in deliberate and habitual sin, denying our Lord, living in disobedience, then heaven is not our eternal destiny.

[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10, 19-20; 2 Co 5:10, 15; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:22-25; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Matt 7:21-23; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10]

I’ll Meet You In The Morning

By Albert E Brumley

I will meet you in the morning by the bright riverside
When all sorrows has drifted away
I’ll be standin’ at the portals when the gates open wide
At the close of life’s long weary day

I’ll meet you in the morning with a ‘How do you do?’
And we’ll sit down by the river and when rapture of the plane is renewed
You’ll know me in the morning by the smile that I wear
When I meet you in the morning, in the city that is built four square

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