Archive for October, 2012

31
Oct
12

God’s Wisdom vs. Man’s

“Take heed, you senseless ones among the people; you fools, when will you become wise? Does he who implanted the ear not hear? Does he who formed the eye not see? Does he who disciplines nations not punish? Does he who teaches man lack knowledge? The Lord knows the thoughts of man; he knows that they are futile.”Psalm 94:8-11

Here is a not-so-subtle reminder – though we are surrounded by those who claim to have the key to happiness and success, we are told that our thoughts are futile. I am reminded of the scientific community, who thought they had found the smallest particle of matter when the atom was discovered. But then smaller parts – proton, neutron, electron – were discovered. And then quarks, anti-quarks, bosons, etc. This very year, the discovery of the Higg's boson was billed as the ultimate answer to the “God particle” – as if we have finally arrived at the last bit of knowledge to be learned on this subject. But I'm willing to bet that a hundred years from now, the scientific community will look back on us as somewhat primitive in our discoveries. The complexity of nature is surely as endless as the God who created it.

As these verses indicate, God's universe and His character cannot be fully fathomed by mortal man. With this knowledge, we should be on our knees in awe of His greatness – always. We cannot approach His wisdom, nor can we begin to touch the full understanding of His abilities. I'm okay with that – in fact it gives me some comfort to know this. He is in control, not me.

30
Oct
12

Before Time Began

“The Lord reigns, he is robed in majesty; the Lord is robed in majesty and is armed with strength. The world is firmly established; it cannot be moved. Your throne was established long ago; you are from all eternity.”Psalm 93:1-2

As I turn the pages of the Bible, I try to better understand the nature of God and His might. The Bible reveals a wealth of insight into God's character and nature.

But the fact is, we cannot begin to comprehend all the facets of God's wisdom and His nature. One example is present in today's passage – “you are from all eternity”. This tells us that God had no beginning – He has always existed. There is no “from the beginning of time” with Him. How can we wrap our minds around such a concept? Can we grasp the idea that the Lord goes back in time, forever and ever? I know I cannot fully understand such a concept – it puts my mind in a recursive loop that I cannot comprehend. This is just one more example of the greatness and depth of our God.

29
Oct
12

Our Very Best

“All our days pass away under your wrath; we finish our years with a moan. The length of our days is seventy years—or eighty, if we have the strength; yet their span is but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away. Who knows the power of your anger? For your wrath is as great as the fear that is due you. Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”Psalm 90:9-12

Here are some oft-read verses, and so powerful to put our lives in perspective. For what are seventy or eighty years in comparison with an eternity? Must we succeed in business, become rich, or find fame while we are here on earth? No, for these few years we have to spend on this planet are not the ultimate goal that the Lord intended – not even close.

The passage ends with a plea to God that we learn, grow and mature in wisdom, doing what is right in His eyes. Once again, this is not a time to simply take advantage of God's grace and “coast” through life, though His grace may be that great. Rather, I believe we should strive to live righteously once we know the truth, because God deserves our very best.

28
Oct
12

God’s Everlasting Devotion

“I have found David my servant; with my sacred oil I have anointed him. My hand will sustain him; surely my arm will strengthen him. No enemy will subject him to tribute; no wicked man will oppress him. I will crush his foes before him and strike down his adversaries. My faithful love will be with him, and through my name his horn will be exalted. I will set his hand over the sea, his right hand over the rivers. He will call out to me, ‘You are my Father, my God, the Rock my Savior.’ I will also appoint him my firstborn, the most exalted of the kings of the earth. I will maintain my love to him forever, and my covenant with him will never fail. I will establish his line forever, his throne as long as the heavens endure. If his sons forsake my law and do not follow my statutes, if they violate my decrees and fail to keep my commands, I will punish their sin with the rod, their iniquity with flogging; but I will not take my love from him, nor will I ever betray my faithfulness. I will not violate my covenant or alter what my lips have uttered.”Psalm 89:20-34

See how God's devotion to King David runs deep. This is a long list of items which God says He will uphold because of His love for David. Would that words such as these could be written for all time about me or my family! What an honor and joy that would be. Perhaps it is time to consult some of those similar promises He makes to His newly chosen people that can be found in the New Testament. Are there any parallels for us?

Notice how even the state of his own sons will not affect the outcome that God has reserved for David. Which is a good thing, as David had some problems with his own offspring. Yet God's promise to him goes beyond the actions of others – even his own flesh and blood.

 

27
Oct
12

Our Complex World

“The heavens are yours, and yours also the earth; you founded the world and all that is in it. You created the north and the south; Tabor and Hermon sing for joy at your name. Your arm is endued with power; your hand is strong, your right hand exalted.”Psalm 89:11-13

Intuitively, I know that God made everything around us. He made the sun and the planets, and an atmosphere on earth that supports life. He placed that life here, along with the wonders of an intricate human body system which scientists still do not fully understand. He created the seasons, and the complex ecosystem of life.

But as the verse above says, He even created “concepts” which we take for granted every day – like the concept of “north” and “south”. Think about it for a moment – is that an obvious physical principle to uncover? People might have come up with a different system, of their own accord, to describe to others how they can get from one place to another. But the idea of compass directions is taken for granted – though we live with it every day. The Lord even placed a magnetic field on the earth to help us discern north and south when we have no other reference points. To me, this just reveals one more layer of the complexity and awesomeness that God bestows.

26
Oct
12

A Longing for Him

“How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord Almighty! My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.”Psalm 84:1-2

How often can we say that our body cries out for God? Do we feel an emptiness or a yearning when we go even one day without prayer or study of God's word? Is the Lord such an intimate part of our lives that we can feel His absence as a physical longing?

These are hard questions. But I can honestly say that I have felt such feelings before. There have been times where I cannot wait to get into the study of God's word each and every day, and where I feel His presence during times of prayer. But I have to admit – it is not always this way. What makes the difference?

25
Oct
12

Special Treatment for Israel?

O God, do not keep silent; be not quiet, O God, be not still. See how your enemies are astir, how your foes rear their heads. With cunning they conspire against your people; they plot against those you cherish. “Come,” they say, “let us destroy them as a nation, that the name of Israel be remembered no more.”Psalm 83:1-4

When I read the line about those who wanted to destroy the nation of Israel, and about how they want to wipe Israel's name from existence, I was reminded of the Middle East today. We see similar wishes from leaders in Iran and others. Just recently, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said of the Israeli nation that they “have no roots there in history”. He went on to say, “We don't even count them as part of any equation for Iran. During a historical phase, they represent minimal disturbances that come into the picture and are then eliminated.” To me, this sounds eerily similar to the verse above.

Israel has a long history of being hated by neighboring countries. But this raises a question for me – does Israel still exist under some sort of special protection from God, over and above even God's newly chosen people throughout the world? Does Israel enjoy “special” treatment still, or are they treated the same as all of the New Testament saved? Is there scripture to back up any claims? Do any of the prophecies of the end times guarantee some sort of extra shield for them?




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