Thursday, August 21, 2014

Thursday, August 21 ~ Miriam

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Galatians 5; Psalm 146; Job 23-24
Today's scripture focus is Psalm 7

7 O Lord my God, in You I have taken refuge;
Save me from all those who pursue me, and deliver me,
2 Or he will tear my soul like a lion,
Dragging me away, while there is none to deliver.
3 O Lord my God, if I have done this,
If there is injustice in my hands,
4 If I have rewarded evil to my friend,
Or have plundered him who without cause was my adversary,
5 Let the enemy pursue my soul and overtake it;
And let him trample my life down to the ground
And lay my glory in the dust. Selah.
6 Arise, O Lord, in Your anger;
Lift up Yourself against the rage of my adversaries,
And arouse Yourself for me; You have appointed judgment.
7 Let the assembly of the peoples encompass You,
And over them return on high.
8 The Lord judges the peoples;
Vindicate me, O Lord, according to my righteousness and my integrity that is in me.
9 O let the evil of the wicked come to an end, but establish the righteous;
For the righteous God tries the hearts and minds.
10 My shield is with God,
Who saves the upright in heart.
11 God is a righteous judge,
And a God who has indignation every day.
12 If a man does not repent, He will sharpen His sword;
He has bent His bow and made it ready.
13 He has also prepared for Himself deadly weapons;
He makes His arrows fiery shafts.
14 Behold, he travails with wickedness,
And he conceives mischief and brings forth falsehood.
15 He has dug a pit and hollowed it out,
And has fallen into the hole which he made.
16 His mischief will return upon his own head,
And his violence will descend upon his own pate.
17 I will give thanks to the Lord according to His righteousness
And will sing praise to the name of the Lord Most High.

I think we get a glimpse here of why David is called a man after God's own heart.  His enemy pursues him, and instead of trying to get the other guy first, David professes his innocence and asks that if he is, in fact, guilty of offence that he be caught and killed, but ultimately puts all his faith in God's justice and righteousness.

I found a commentary here that had something interesting to say about God's character, mercy and justice:

David’s prior appeal to God’s testing of man (Psalm 7:9) made him think of the justice of God. He declared this fundamental principle: God is a just judge.

This is a commonly and dangerously rejected truth about God. Many anticipate that they will one day stand before a God of great love, great mercy, great warmth, and great generosity. The never imagine they will stand before a God who is perfectly just and who cannot ignore the crime of sin.

The justice of God is easy to understand if we simply compare to what we expect from an earthly judge. We don’t think it is right or good if a human judge excuses crime in the name of compassion; we expect judges to be just. Yet many are absolutely confident that God will be an unjust judge on the Day of Judgment. They are so confident of it that they mistakenly rely on this idea for their salvation. David knew the truth: God is a just judge.

He will sharpen His sword; He bends His bow and makes it ready: David here considered the readiness of God to judge the sinner. David saw the sword sharpened and the bow bent. With God so ready to judge, the sinner should never presume that God will delay His judgment.

This is another fatal error made by many who see God delaying deserved judgment out of mercy and mistake it for the idea that God is not concerned with justice.

Instead, one should ask: Why does God hold back the immediate application of justice? Is it because:

·       The sinner is not really guilty?
·       The Law is not really clear?
·       Mankind in fact deserves such mercy?
·       God is not really powerful enough to bring justice?
·       God is not really just?

None of these are true. Instead, the sword is sharpened and the bow is bent. The only thing that holds back the immediate judgment of God against the sinner is the undeserved mercy of God, giving the sinner an unknown period of time to repent. Such mercy should never be presumed upon. “Did I say, he will do it? Nay, he hath already done it; his sword is drawn, his bow is bent, and the arrows are prepared and ready to be shot.” (Poole)

Tomorrow's scripture focus:  Psalm 8
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage passage:  Galatians 6; Psalm 147; Job 25-26

1 comment:

Tammy said...

Love that comparison to an earthly judge!