Lord, You Bless the Righteous

Psalms 5:3-6 ESV

“O Lord, in the morning you hear my voice;
in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you and watch.
For you are not a God who delights in wickedness;
evil may not dwell with you.
The boastful shall not stand before your eyes;
you hate all evildoers.
You destroy those who speak lies;
the Lord abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man.”

In many cases, what is taught in the Old Testament is repeated for us in the New Testament, not necessarily word for word, but in principle. And such is the case with this psalm, although I don’t know that in the New Testament that it teaches us that God hates all evildoers, but he definitely hates evil. And in the judgment he will cast out all evildoers, and they will not be accepted into his heavenly kingdom, even if they do profess faith in Jesus.

Definitely our God does not delight in wickedness and neither should we. Evil does not dwell with him, so we cannot dwell with him if we are those who make a practice of evil, who deliberately and habitually sin against the Lord. And I am speaking here of what the New Testament teaches us. We cannot walk in sin and be “in Christ.” We cannot just give lip service to our Lord while we continue to walk in wickedness, while ignoring God’s commands.

Psalms 5:7-8 ESV

“But I, through the abundance of your steadfast love,
will enter your house.
I will bow down toward your holy temple
in the fear of you.
Lead me, O Lord, in your righteousness
because of my enemies;
make your way straight before me.”

I like how the psalmist begins this section, for he gives all the credit and all the glory to God for anything that the psalmist, himself, is able to accomplish. For it is only through the abundance of God’s steadfast love than any of us are able to enter into his holy presence, and that any of us are able to bow before him in humility and in true worship of him. For we can’t even believe in Jesus Christ unless God the Father first persuades us of his holiness and righteousness, and of our sinfulness, and of our need to repent of our sins and to walk in faithful obedience to our Lord.

In fact, the faith that is required for salvation is authored and perfected by Jesus Christ, and it is gifted to us by God, and it is NOT of our own doing. So, we cannot make up our own version of what that faith should look like, either. But we must let God and his word define what that faith looks like. And they tell us that it means we will die with Christ to sin, not just once, but daily (in practice), and that we will walk in obedience to his commands, in practice. And so we need the Lord to lead us in his righteousness and to make straight (upright, godly) his way before us.

Psalms 5:9-10 ESV

“For there is no truth in their mouth;
their inmost self is destruction;
their throat is an open grave;
they flatter with their tongue.
Make them bear their guilt, O God;
let them fall by their own counsels;
because of the abundance of their transgressions cast them out,
for they have rebelled against you.”

Our God hates lies. I do, too. He abhors deception. Me, too. And right now, in our present age, lies and deception abound! They are everywhere, including within the gatherings of what is called “church,” and including in many pastor’s sermons, which are supposed to be from God, but so many of which are of the flesh of man and founded in humanistic philosophy and marketing schemes. So many people are lying to others in practice today, thus it is a wonder if anyone tells the truth anymore. I am sure some do, and I know I do, as far as I know, but it appears not many do anymore.

Oh, yes, so many flattering tongues. So many preachers who flatter others for their advantage and who smooth-talk in order to appease human flesh and the sin nature, and in order to manipulate and scheme and trick people into accepting their lies as truth. So many of them teaching lies and leading people astray to follow after a false gospel of men which leaves its adherents still dead in their sins without hope, while falsely promising them eternal life with God. But God will judge them for their lies. God will judge them according to their wicked deeds and for leading so many people astray.

Psalms 5:11-12 ESV

“But let all who take refuge in you rejoice;
let them ever sing for joy,
and spread your protection over them,
that those who love your name may exult in you.
For you bless the righteous, O Lord;
you cover him with favor as with a shield.”

Now, I am glad this one ends on a good note. They can’t always. Sometimes that appeal to not follow after the flesh, and the warnings of the consequences of living in sin need to be at the end. But I am glad this one ends on an upbeat note. But still, it is not a diluted truth, which is a lie among lies which are often told to make us feel better. This still tells us the truth. For it is all who take refuge in the Lord who have cause for rejoicing.

And to take refuge in the Lord is to surrender to him as Lord of our lives, and it is to forsake our lives of living in sin, and it is to walk in daily fellowship with the Lord in obedience to his commands (New Covenant) in walks of holiness and righteousness. And there is no greater joy and no greater peace than that! For our lives are now in the hands of God, and our Lord is leading us in his path of righteousness, and so we are blessed!

[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

My Jesus, I Love Thee

Hymn lyrics by William R. Featherstone, 1864
Music by Adoniram J. Gordon, 1876

My Jesus, I love thee, I know thou art mine;
For thee all the follies of sin I resign.
My gracious Redeemer, my Savior art thou;
If ever I loved thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

I love thee because thou hast first loved me,
And purchased my pardon on Calvary’s tree;
I love thee for wearing the thorns on thy brow;
If ever I loved thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

I’ll love Thee in life, I will love Thee in death,
And praise Thee as long as Thou lendest me breath;
And say, when the death-dew lies cold on my brow,
If ever I loved thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

In mansions of glory and endless delight;
I’ll ever adore thee in heaven so bright;
I’ll sing with the glittering crown on my brow;
If ever I loved thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

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