Bread – Distress

May 2, 2018


Psalm 102

“Hear my prayer, O Lord; let my cry come to You!  Do not hide Your face from me in the day of my distress!…For my days pass away like smoke..”  Ps. 102:1-3a

When one reads this entire Psalm, you are struck with the litany of physical ills which are described.  And for sure, bad health causes us great distress, whether caused by abuse of our body, family history, circumstances, mosquitoes, the weather, allergens, or just advancing age and infirmity.  During this time, we call upon the Lord for healing, for comfort, and for perseverance through it all.

But there is a greater distress than bodily illness.  That distress is also caused by abuse of our relationships, our family history from Adam, the attacks of the enemy (mosquitoes), changes of mood caused by the absence of light, or just advancing cynicism and selfishness.  That greater distress is separation from love, from relationships with one’s friends and family, from people at large, and, either initially or ultimately, separation from God.

So, in a very real sense our prayer to God “in the day of my distress” is not a prayer so much of fixing what is broke for today, but fixing what is broke for eternity.

Do you feel that distress today?  Do you sense that things are not “quite right,” that maybe you are not “quite right?”  Do you feel like you need to make amends to a friend or a family member but do not have the strength or courage to do so, and are distressed by your lack of will, power, or desire?  Do you feel like there is a gap between where you are and where you need to be?

Distress is not a bad thing, because it is a warning sign of something deeper, something longer lasting, something which is broken.  Ignore the warning sign at your peril.

What is the key thing being said here in this Psalm?  Is it the commentary on the physical illnesses resulting in distress?  Is it teaching us how to “yell” at God when He appears to be absent, when He appears not to care?  Is it a demand for action?

I think the key thing which is being said here is that the Psalmist is saying it at all.  While we might, in the day of our distress, reach for the bottle or the pill or demonstrate self-pity, whine, or retreat into victimhood, the Psalmist does not retreat into himself but goes to the throne room of God, where he knows his prayer will be and is being heard by the only One with power to do something about it.

The key thing being said in this Psalm is “Hear…O Lord.”

In the day of our distress, we run first to our self-help books, our Internet, our physicians and friends, and our pharmacists.  Maybe, instead, we should run first to God.

It is amazing how resting in the arms of the Almighty is a major distress reliever.

__________________________

© 2018 GBF   All quotations are from the English Standard Version of the Bible  (Crossway Bibles, 2008), unless otherwise noted.

 

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Bread – Politics

April 11, 2018


Psalm 101

I will walk with integrity of heart within my house; I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless.”  Ps. 101:2b-3a

When I began to write this, my eyes turned to the word “integrity” and I thought I would write about that, but instead I was drawn more to the words “my house.”

What is “my house?”  Is it merely the building I sleep in?  Is it the workplace where I make a living?  Is it my city, my county, my state, my nation?  What exactly is “my house?”

I guess the answer to that question depends upon how much I take personal responsibility for my actions.  If I am but a temporary boarder or renter, perhaps I feel like a victim and have “no house of mine.”  If I feel estranged from social and political life, perhaps I may feel that my living space is “my house” but nothing else is.

If you refuse to take personal responsibility for your life, then there is nothing in this Psalm which will appeal to you.  If every bad thing which happens to you is someone else’s fault – my landlord, my boss, my next door neighbor, my enemy, the corrupt politicians in Washington, my parents, my children, my co-workers, my priest, my spouse, or, ultimately, my … God – then holding yourself to a standard where you will not set before your eyes anything that is worthless is probably impossible (for you, not for God when you ask).

So this commentary today is written to those who take personal responsibility at some level and recognize that there is in fact a “my house.”

There is certainly a problem with integrity throughout each of our lives, where we live inconsistently minute by minute.  An example is in order.  If we say we honor God and live in integrity, can we seriously say that everything we do is intended to honor God?  If you answered “yes” to that question, then my next question is “Really?”

So integrity is a problem for us, but we know that.  What we are not so much aware of is that “my house” is a much bigger concept than we often think.

The reason I named this Bread “Politics” is to point out that, as Christians, the concept of “my house” includes our country and every subdivision where we live and work.  Once we swallow that concept, we may even then grow to recognize that the entire world is “my house.”  So the question of whether we walk in integrity in “my house” is really a question of whether, in the tumble and turmoil of everyday life, in the boardroom and the workroom and the legislature and the club and the association and the schools, and everywhere else we touch, do we walk with “integrity of heart?”

So, as we finish this week, month, and year, I think we each need to ask ourselves the following questions:  (1) Do I take personal responsibility for “my house?”; (2) Do I have a view of “my house” which includes my neighborhood, my workplace, my government (city, county, state, nation)?; and (3) Do I walk with “integrity of heart” in “my house?”

The truth is that all of us will answer one or all of the questions in the negative, at least sometimes.  So what do we do?  — We pray:  “Come Holy Spirit and (a) teach me that, under God, I am the steward, the caretaker, of what God has given me, which makes me in charge, subject to Him, (b) expand my horizons to see that I am Your representatives at home, at work, and at places near and far, and (c) empower me to walk in integrity of heart, helping to avoid anything that is worthless according to Your Word.”

And when we do, be prepared for the storm because Satan does not like us to be light in darkness.  But that’s OK, because we have won.

_______

© 2018 GBF   All Scripture quotations are from the English Standard Version (2001), unless otherwise indicated.

Bread – Gospel

March 28, 2018


Psalm 100

Today is Wednesday in Holy Week, the day fixed between our secular joy in welcoming our King Jesus into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, singing “Hosanna in the Highest,” and our Christian joy in His resurrection on Easter day.  Between the secular joy of recognizing our need for a good earthly king and the religious joy arising from our recognizing our need for an eternal King, a Savior, are betrayal and death.  What is so amazing about this is that it is we who participated in the betrayal and it is we who killed Him.  It is our sins which required a sacrifice of blood.  And it is God Himself who offered Himself as that sacrifice on the cross, dying once for all who are called to Him and believe in Him, restoring us into relationship with God and unto eternal life.

Since it is a day in the middle, it seems appropriate that we are met with Psalm 100, labeled as “His Steadfast Love Endures Forever,” and “A Psalm for Giving Thanks,” in its entirety as follows:

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!  Serve the Lord with gladness!  Come into His presence with singing!

 Know that the Lord, He is God!  It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people, and the sheep of His pasture.

 Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise!  Give thanks to Him; bless His name!

 For the Lord is good; His steadfast love endures forever; and His faithfulness to all generations.”  Ps. 100:1-5

My prayer for myself and all who read these words in this season of our lives is that we know that the Lord is God, that we are His creation, that we are His people, that He is good, that His steadfast love toward us has endured from creation through His death on the cross through the resurrection and ascension, for all eternity, forever, and that His faithfulness and mercy toward us, His people and the sheep of His pasture, endures through thick and thin, in and out of our seasons, in and beyond time … and that for this, all of this, we are grateful.

_______

© 2018 GBF    All Scripture quotations are from the English Standard Version (2001), unless otherwise indicated.

 

 

Bread – Tremble

March 7, 2018


Psalm 99

The Lord reigns; let the people tremble!  He sits enthroned upon the cherubim; let the earth quake!” Ps. 99:1

Yesterday I heard on the radio a song “Can You Only Imagine.”  The singer talks about being in the presence of God, meeting Him face to face, and the singer wonders whether or not he (the singer) would dance for joy or be dumb-struck, unable to move or open his mouth.

We imagine that heaven is a place where singing is non-stop, but what if it is a place where trembling is non-stop?  What if meeting the Lord in the fullness of His holiness causes us to stand in abject fear, in penetrating awe, in uncontrollable trembling and quaking?

In our dealings with our religion and our Christ, we often think of warm and fuzzy things which bring us joy and rest, but we rarely contemplate the true nature of God’s holiness, of His anger toward our sin, of His true power, of His absolute authority, and of His absolute forgiveness of those who believe in Jesus Christ.  If we really understood the nature of God as holy, would we be as cavalier in our faith, as ready in our judgment, as shallow in our relationship, as quick to chase after other gods, or as thoughtless in our selfishness?

I don’t know the answer to these questions, because it is hard for me to contemplate something so holy as to cause me to tremble.

But it is possible for me to think about a love so complete that it causes me to tremble.

This love that causes trembling I saw yesterday in my dog.  I came home, let my dog out of her crate, and she was so glad to see me that she literally fell on the floor shaking.  I picked her up and her trembling continued as she scrambled all over me to try to lick my face, my hand, or just find a place to stick her nose.  That is love and that is trembling.

When we wake up in the morning, are we as happy to see God as my dog was to see me?  Do we tremble with excitement about the opportunity to be re-connected in prayer, in conversation, in love?  Do we tremble with holy hands lifted up in worship as we thank God for the new day He has given us, the new opportunities He has opened up, the new relationships He has established, and the new life He has provided?

Maybe, just maybe we should tremble more and think less.  Maybe we should stand in the presence of God, trembling with anticipation about what will happen next, trembling with awe, trembling with hope, trembling with peace, trembling with joy, trembling knowing that, but for God’s mercy, His wrath would consume us, trembling in gratitude.

The Lord reigns – let me tremble before Him, in Him, and because of Him.  Amen.

_______

© 2018 GBF  All Scripture quotations are from the English Standard Version (2001), unless otherwise indicated.

 

 

 

 

Bread – Old

February 28, 2018


Psalm 98

Oh sing to the Lord a new song, for He has done marvelous things!”  Ps. 98:1

So begins one of my favorite Psalms because I like to sing and the Psalm is incredibly full of descriptive language, demonstrating how the entirety of life joins in making a “joyful noise.”  Somehow the phrase “Let the rivers clap their hands” strikes me as amazingly rich in the image it raises up, both to the eye and the ear.

So why call this Bread “Old?”

Because I wanted to ask the question, why does the Psalmist ask us to sing a “new” song?  Surely the old hymns (psalms) are good enough, rich enough, full enough of theology and truth, stating the great themes of the faith?

Apparently the old is not good enough – the song we sing to the Lord must be “new.”

And indeed it must.  What we face today is different than what we faced yesterday and what we will face tomorrow.  Yes, the old teaches us and those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it, but each day should be a new, renewed celebration of our relationship with our Savior, a joyous union of confession, prayer, forgiveness, love, and action expressed in obedience and good works.  Each day is new and saying that I went to church yesterday, I prayed yesterday, I cared yesterday, I did a good work yesterday, does not work for today – the day the Lord has given us as a gift.

Not only that, but we have a “New” Testament for a reason.  God did something new for us when He built the bridge back to Himself on the striped back and the pierced hands of Himself, Jesus Christ.   In the power of the Holy Spirit, we take on the newness of life and that life, eternal, when we accept Jesus as our Savior.  We are born “anew.”  This new miracle deserves a new song.

Even more than the Psalmist, who had only a vision of something to come in the future, we know that “All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.”  Ps. 98:3b  We have seen it because it happened on a cross a long time ago, and it happened in our lives when the reality of Jesus Christ came crashing into us, when we were enveloped in His love and forgiveness, when we were made strong in the Holy Spirit to live in the world as ambassadors of His kingdom, but avoid being poisoned by the world.

So, what new song am I singing today?  Is the song of old or is the song of today?

There may be some of you who are asking themselves the question, what is wrong with that question?  What is wrong with it is the failure to recognize the third choice, that the old song is the new song.

Because just as the Psalmist many many years before the birth and death of Christ saw the salvation which comes from the Lord and wrote his Psalm and sang his song, we get to experience that joy every day.  His song of salvation is our song of salvation.  His God is our God.

See, it is not the song which is sung but the heart which sings it.

One of our prayers said in church contains the phrase “Lord, renew a right spirit within me.”  Yes, “Lord, renew a right spirit within me so that I may sing a new song … every day, for the rest of my life on earth, and in heaven.”

_______

© 2018 GBF   All Scripture quotations are from the English Standard Version (2001), unless otherwise indicated.

 

 

Bread – Sown

February 22, 2018


Psalm 97

The Lord reigns, let the earth rejoice; let the many coastlands be glad!…Light is sown for the righteous, and joy for the upright in heart.”  Ps. 97:1,11

I was originally going to write about the visual image of coastlands being glad and the earth rejoicing.  Then I read this – “Light is sown for the righteous…”

We normally think of something that is sown as buried (like seed), to then come into visual display some time later after the passage of certain events, like time, warm weather, and rain.  In other words, when we sow something we plant it inside of something else.  Seed is hidden until it springs forth as a flower or other plant.  Wisdom is hidden until revealed.

We normally also think of God and light in terms of His creating it and casting it into darkness, lighting up the world.

But what if God actually “sows” light?

If God sows light, where is it planted and when and under what conditions is it revealed to the world?

Some of this answer is obvious.  Light is sown into the greater and lesser lights, the sun and the other stars, and returned to us on a daily basis as it is radiated by these celestial objects.  In this sense, God has sown into the material world the chemical composition capable of producing light once pressure or temperature is applied.  Old wood, for example, has been sown with light, revealed when set on fire by a match.

Some of this answer is not obvious.

I am fond of pointing out that God does not light our path far enough ahead to see where the end is, but only enough to see where the next step is.  But what if that is not exactly true?  What if it is necessary for us to take the first step into darkness in faith, believing in God’s truth and promises, and by doing so the light which has been sown by God into the path lights the next step?

Perhaps this is where so many Christians are weak.  We sit around waiting for God to light the path we are to take, when He has already sown the light in the path, revealed once we step out into the darkness in faith?  In this way of thinking, we are obedient to the command to act without really seeing if the path is correct, only believing it is because God has told us it is.  But when we believe and take that step, something happens to confirm our way.  Something lights up; something “dawns” on us.

But perhaps even more profoundly, we understand that the light has been sown in us when we were fashioned at the beginning of the world for relationship with God and God’s glory.  Perhaps that “God hole” in our heart, mind, and soul referred to by Pascal is the place where the light is sown, and our wanderings into various forms of spirituality are merely attempts to figure out how to cause it to reveal itself.

This would help explain our striving, but it also reveals the flaw in our reasoning.  When we chase after the world’s forms of spirituality to activate the “sown light” in us, we chase after phantoms.  After all, doesn’t it make the most sense to chase after the One who created the light, who planted the light, and who has come to earth and died for our sins that we might have the Light of the World and that in abundance?

Much like wood has light sown into it, which cannot be revealed until the match is struck (thereby generating its own light), our sown light is itself not ignited until touched by the flame of the Holy Spirit, which occurs only when and if God does it.

There is an old Christian, sort of charismatic, ditty which goes “This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine…”  Like so many things, this is true and not true at the same time.  It is true that I have a light sown into me by God, and it is true that my light is “little” compared with God’s own great light.  However, the light that shines forth is not truly mine, it is God’s.  It is God’s created light, it is God’s sown light, and it is God’s revealed light, if it does indeed shine forth.  And in one sense, I am the one who decides whether to let it shine.  But in another sense, since it is God who planted it, God who created it, God who activated it by enabling my belief in Jesus, and God who uses it in the power of the Holy Spirit for His glory, it is really God who decides.

Just like the seed may be strong but the plant produced by it may be weak when it is not cared for, our light sown into us by God may be strong but its actual projection into the world may be dim if we are not feeding it with the Word and energizing it with maintaining our relationship to God.

Light is sown in us to be used in darkness.  How bright a beam proceeds from us?

_______

© 2018 GBF   All Scripture quotations are from the English Standard Version (2001), unless otherwise indicated.

 

Bread – Glory

February 16, 2018


Psalm 96

Oh sing to the Lord a new song … Declare His glory among the nations, His marvelous works among all the peoples!”  Ps. 96:1,3

There are some words we use all the time and yet I wonder if we have a clue about what they really mean.  One of these words is “glory.”

Do we really known what “glory” means in its fullest sense?

We may have glimpse from time to time of glory.  For example, the sun coming up in the morning, spraying its rays of golden shafts of light throughout the morning, may strike us as glorious.  In the fields of wildflowers there may be great beauty and variety such that we have an idea of what glory is.  The majestic tall mountains and the pounding of the surf of the sea may bring us into a place of wonder.  The birth of a new baby may bring us to a similar place.

My personal best “experience” of a glimpse of glory was actually in a Mexican church, when a beam of noonday light through a tall window hit a statue of Jesus dressed in gold leaf and the entire cathedral was instantly bathed in the brightest natural light imaginable.  Breath-taking.  Glorious.  An instant in time but forever seared into my brain.

But, other than somehow intellectually, does Western man even have a glimmer of God’s glory?

Glory cannot be easily defined and I am not sure the brain can absorb it – glory is something which is experienced.  It is demonstrated.  It is felt.  It may be seen by the eyes but it affects the heart.  The brain may be enlightened by glory, but it is the soul which is made enlivened by glory.

As I described the mountains, the sea, the new birth, the sun, the fields, and the golden statue, maybe you could identify with those moments and come up with your own.

But would I, or you, describe God the same way?

He is brighter than the sun, more majestic than the mountains, more eternal than the sea, more light-generating than a golden statue, more life-enabling than a live birth.  Of all of our experiences that we might say are “glorious,” He is more.

It is said that our purpose as Christians is to, through our good works, bring Him glory.

How do we do that when we don’t even begin to think of Him in this way? – “Spendor and majesty are before Him; strength and beauty are His sanctuary.”  Ps. 96:6

How do we bring Him glory when we have the merest glimmer of what glory is and who He is?

I think the answer to that may lay in that Mexican church, with the golden statue and the shaft of light.  If we understand that the Word (written and incarnate in Jesus Christ) is fine gold and we wrap ourselves in it, then when God’s light shines on us, the light reflected brings glory to all the dark places.  And the people’s attention will turn not to the statue but to the Light, to the Light of the World.

And they too will be amazed, and God, the Light of the World, will be glorified.

_______

© 2018 GBF   All Scripture quotations are from the English Standard Version (2001), unless otherwise indicated.

Bread – Sing

February 7, 2018


Psalm 95

Oh come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!  Let us come into His presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to Him with songs of praise! “ Ps. 95:1-2

So begins one of my favorite Psalms and the basis for the Venite, which is said in many liturgical churches on a regular basis.

As I write this, I am reminded that it has been three weeks since I last wrote a Bread.  How can I have so delayed writing about one of my favorite Psalms?  Either it is not one of my favorite Psalms or something else is going on.

What is going on?  I know and you know.  It is Satan’s work, through diversion and busyness, through the cares and objectives of the world, through the importance of others and ourselves over God, through misdirection and outright deception – that, since he (Satan) cannot steal our salvation, he will do his best to steal our joy.

I sing in the shower and in the car, particularly when there is a good song playing in the background.  That is a form of joy and worship, when it is a song of praise to the Lord, so isn’t that enough?

No, it is not.  The Psalmist says “let us.”  “Let us” sing.  “Let us” make a joyful noise.  “Let us” come into His presence.  “Let us” make a joyful noise.

Our singing to the Lord can occur in the privacy of our home, but it is fully revealed in the singing of the entire body of Christ gathered to worship.

You want to know how effectively Satan has been keeping you from Psalm 95, from worshiping in truth and in spirit, from “singing” and making a “joyful noise?”  Ask yourself when was the last time you (a) attended a body of believers gathered together in worship and (b) sang joyfully at that event.  Even if you showed up, if you did not participate, it was not “us” singing to the Lord, it was “them.”  Listening to a beautiful choir and a majestic organ may put us in a good mood, but this Psalm invites us to active participation, not passive observation.

Satan has many tricks.  One of them is to keep us from church services at all.  The other is to let us go to church services but then talk us out of participating by whispering such things as “You sing terrible,” “if everyone sings, then it will just sound like a lot of noise,” “you don’t like the music,” and “that person next to me is singing so loudly and raising his hands, I’m embarrassed.”

So, Satan kept me from writing Bread for three weeks – so it is his fault, right?  No, sadly it is my fault.  And who do we defeat by letting the world dictate the level of our devotion to our King?  We.

Every minute of every day, we have a choice of which Kingdom rules to obey, since we are citizens of the kingdom of heaven but reside in the world.  And how we make that choice dictates the degree to which our Lord is reflected through and in us.  Whether to worship in the congregation by attendance and participation are two choices (attendance is a choice as well as participation).

“Let us sing to the Lord … For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods…”

Let us do so, beginning with me.

_______

© 2018 GBF   All Scripture quotations are from the English Standard Version (2001), unless otherwise indicated.

 

 

 

 

Bread – Vengeance

January 17, 2018


Psalm 94

O Lord, God of vengeance, O God of vengeance, shine forth!…the Lord our God will wipe them out.”  Ps. 94:1,23

When I went to label this Bread, I almost called it “revenge” because we tend to think of “revenge” and “vengeance” together.  However, they are two separate things.  Revenge is an act of passion, committed in anger.  Vengeance is an act of justice, committed with thoughtful action focused on redress of wrong.  “Injuries are revenged, crimes are avenged.” [Spurgeon, The Treasury of David, Zondervan 1966; citing Dr. Samuel Johnson].

Here the Psalmist is asking God to deliberately redress the wrong of those people, fools in the Biblical sense, who deny God and oppress His people.

Of course, we wish God to exercise vengeance in our time, according to our schedule and for our purpose.  He will do so, but in His time and according to His purpose.

And, indeed, the wicked will be wiped out, as we know from having read the biblical prophets, including John, the author of Revelation.

But, seeing where God sometimes appears to not care, we are inclined to exercise God’s vengeance ourselves.  Instead of asking God for it and being content to let God do what He will do when He does it, we like to accelerate the process and “help” God along.  But we are told not to.  “As far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.  Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath [vengeance], for it is written ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay.’”  Rom. 12:18-19 (NIV).

We will be wronged today.  The method and degree may be uncertain, but the fact is not.  The wrong may be to our ego or it may be to our person, including assault, or property, including theft.

Like so many things, the only question will be our response.  Will we react in revenge, making sure that we get even.  Or will we respond with mercy, praying to God to avenge or seeking God’s agent on earth, the magistrate, to deliver vengeance.

We are inclined to say “vengeance is mine.”  But the Lord says that vengeance is His.

When we are ready to deliver the blow, fight for our rights, or deliver the cruel verbal punchline which our tormentor deserves, what will we do?  Will we ignore God once again and turn to our own devices to secure our own revenge?  Or will we rely on Him who is faithful, and wait for His action on our behalf?

The truth is we don’t wait well.  But maybe the process of waiting for justice is its own schoolhouse of faith, driving us even further toward the true King, Jesus, and denying ourselves?

Tough call.  Even tougher obedience.  But necessary if we do in fact believe God is King and we are not.

_______

© 2018 GBF   All Scripture quotations are from the English Standard Version (2001), unless otherwise indicated.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bread – Moving

January 5, 2018


Psalm 93

Yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved.”  Ps. 93:1b

As I read this, I also read in the newspaper and hear on radio and television about the major fires occurring in California, the major cold spell which has dropped across the United States, and the major “bomb cyclone” (whatever that is) which is terrorizing the East Coast.  And I here that Mount St. Helens is rumbling again, threatening major volcanic explosion.

Surely from our perspective the world is not established in any kind of recognizable pattern and it is moving all over the place.  Even the magnetic North Pole moves on a regular basis.

So what on earth (literally) is the Psalmist saying?  Is it nonsense?

Just like the first sentence of this Psalm sets a pivot point for understanding God and ourselves (who reigns, God or man?), this second sentence confronts us with choosing who we believe.  The choice is this – Do we believe with our senses (and, by extension, our “science”) or do we believe in God?

This is a tough question, because all I can sense is what I can see, read, touch, hear, smell, and taste.  Everything else is, literally, an explanation or a theory I have to take on faith.  For example, the “law” of gravity is really no more than a theory which has been demonstrated to be accurate in a broad variety of circumstances over a long period of time.  Because we can verify the outcome of the “law” of gravity with our senses (we see the apple fall from the tree; we feel the attraction of a mass bigger than we are; we are “stuck” on the earth), we might harden the theory of gravity into the “fact” of gravity, but at its heart it is still a theory – an explanation if you will which makes sense to our senses.

So, when we use our senses to probe the world, we would logically conclude that the world is not established and that can and is being moved.  As a result, if we are the standard, the plumb line of truth, then we must conclude that the Psalmist speaks nonsense.  Or, if we want to be more charitable, “his” science was not as good when he lived as “our” science is today.  That is really no more than saying that he, the Psalmist, is excused for being stupid because we are smarter.

So, we are left with only two conclusions – he (the Psalmist) is the fool for believing that, because God reigns, the world is established, or we are the fool for believing our own senses over God’s revelation, concluding that the world is not established.

The Psalmist believes that God reigns and, as a result, the world must be established because it is God’s world, created by Him, reigned over by Him.  To the extent the Psalmist’s senses tell him otherwise, he would conclude that his senses are wrong or, if not wrong, limited (God’s ways are higher than his).

And indeed the Psalmist later in the Psalm realizes that the seas are a tempest, saying in conclusion “Mightier than the thunders of many waters … the Lord on high is mighty!”

Are you moving in your thoughts, in your ideas, in your perceptions of the world?  Are you tossed about on the angry seas of apparent inconsistencies, observable disasters, images of rack and ruin?

Maybe it is because you are not anchored to the God who reigns.  Maybe it is because you do not conclude, therefore, that the world as created by God, as reigned over by God, is in fact established by God for all time.  Because once you realize that the world is indeed anchored by God and you stand with Him, then though the tempest blows and magnetic poles shift, then though the volcanoes erupt and the ice falls from the sky, then though the deluge swamps our homes and the fire rages, we will not move because we stand on solid rock.

Chicken Little says the sky is falling because, indeed, by his senses it is.  Those who stand on the rock say “Yes, but the world is established, the Lord reigns.”

Where do you stand?

_______

© 2018 GBF    All Scripture quotations are from the English Standard Version (2001), unless otherwise indicated.

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