Bread – Vain

April 14, 2017


Psalm 60

O, [God] grant us help against the foe, for vain is the salvation of man!”  Ps. 60:11

As we finish this week of Easter, ending today on Good Friday, we stop for a second (maybe more, if we realize the significance of the event) to realize that this event is more than just a holiday for some people.  It is the marking of the destruction of the separation between man and God arising from man’s disobedience of God and the restoration of the hope of victory over death by our reconciliation to God through His perfect sacrifice for our sin, God Himself, Jesus Christ.  Today we are reminded that salvation is only accomplished by the sovereign act of God and not by any art or work of man.  It is “good” because it God’s work.  On Friday, it is the hope of victory over death because the resurrection has not yet occurred.  But we know it has occurred, and therefore our hope of victory which became evident when the curtain between us and God was destroyed on the cross will become certain three days later, on the day we now celebrate as Easter.

But this Psalm was written well before these events and David, the author, asks God for help against his enemies, because he knew that to depend on man for salvation was “vain.”

The Hebrew word translated as “vain” means nothingness, emptiness, anything which disappoints the hope which rests upon it, anything which is not substantial, is not real, or is materially or morally worthless.

The world tells us to put our hope of help against our foes of fear, worry, death, disease, and ignorance into the things which man provides – science, technology, education, economy.  And yet everyone one of us knows that there are instances where science, technology, education, economy and all of the other worldly solutions or philosophies or “isms” have failed us.  They fail us in the present, they do not give life, they do not give us true rest, they do not give us hope, and they do not give us victory over death.  Reliance upon the solutions of the world is vain.  The forms of salvation, the methods of salvation, the process of salvation offered by man (“of man”, of man’s invention or design) will always disappoint any hope which rests upon them.

David asked for God’s help against the foe.  God has delivered that help in Jesus Christ.

Every day we have a choice to make, to follow the hope which does not disappoint, Jesus Christ, or to place our trust in vain things, the things of the world.

Today, are we going to be vain and choose ourselves and the world we have made, or are we going to be obedient and choose Christ and His kingdom?

What say you?

________

© 2017 GBF   All Scripture quotations are from the English Standard Version (2001), unless otherwise indicated.

 

 

Advertisements

Bread – Resolved

December 30, 2016


Psalm 45

Hear, O daughter, and consider … Since He is your Lord, bow to Him.”   Ps. 45:10-11

This is the third step in the process of our glorification as Christ’s bride.  The pre-step is God’s choice of His bride.  The first step was for us to hear and incline ourselves toward God.  The second step is then for us to forget our past, pick up our cross, and follow Him.

This third step is encapsulated in the Psalmist’s simple statement that we, as Christ’s bride, should “bow to Him,” since He is our Lord.

 

This simple command sounds strange to Western ears, and particularly to Americans, where we say proudly that “we bow down to no man.”  But, of course, Jesus is God, so he is not mere man.  But, still, we like to think of ourselves as equal to God and, therefore, it is easier in our mindset to call Him “friend” then it is to call Him “Lord.”

But for the wedding feast to be truly glorious, for the bride to enjoy all of the benefits of hope, peace, love, and charity which God brings into the relationship, the bride must bow, the bride must be obedient to the Lord’s commands.

As we reach the end of the year and look forward to the new year, it is time for reflection and resolution, reflection on the past and resolution for the future.

As we look over the past year in our walk with God, have we really, really been obedient to His call on our lives, to His commands for life, or to His personal request that we become holy like He is?  We may have heard the good news of Christ and inclined our ear, and we may have gathered around us our church friends, leaving our past behind, but have we really “bowed to Him?”  Have we given up our selfish ways?  Have we subordinated self to His glory, His ways, His truth, and His life?  Instead of just asking ourselves “What would Jesus do,” have we actually done what Jesus has told us to do?

Many of us, myself included, are weak Christians.  We talk a game, but we do not walk it.  We have heard the good news and proclaim trust in Christ, but we trust ourselves and our friends and our wealth and the world more.  We do not walk in holiness; in fact, if we are honest, we barely make acquaintance with the concept.

But that is the past, and it need not be the future.  The work of God is to transform us, first by giving us a new life in Him and then training us, bringing us up from infants into maturity as His disciples.

Let’s all take on a New Year’s resolution that very well may be the hardest thing we have ever done.  Let us resolve to begin each day by “bowing to Him.”  Let’s be obedient to our Lord.

What does this look like?  I think it is simpler than we think.  If He says love, we love.  If He says rest, we rest.  If He says talk to Me, we talk to Him.  If He says “walk through that door,” we take the step of faith into the unknown (to us).

Resolved, that I put Him first and me second.  And for that, we need help.  Come Holy Spirit!

_________

© 2016 GBF   All Scripture quotations are from the English Standard Version (2001), unless otherwise indicated.

 

 

 

Bread – Testing

June 27, 2016


Psalm 26

“Prove me, O Lord, and try me; test my heart and my mind.”  Ps. 26:2

This is a Monday and to begin the week is almost test enough without asking the Lord to step in and put me through my paces so that He can prove me to be His.

But are our weekly travails test enough?

Probably not, because these are the tests we live with on a daily basis, whereas perhaps the test of the Lord is one which we need to prepare for.

The test we know is coming is one which we prepare for.  If there is a final exam coming in a class, we will study for it (maybe waiting to the last minute, but we still will make a stab at advanced preparation).  Some people will begin preparing for the test at the very beginning of the course.  We know these people are wise, but we rarely do likewise.

Similarly, if we know that we have to pass a test of endurance, like climbing a mountain, we will begin to prepare for the test well in advance by doing long walks, using a treadmill which can create an incline to run up, wear heavy shoes and knapsack while we prepare so that we will be used to lifting heavy things and walking with them, and perhaps even taking some short trips to mountain-like areas to practice our ability to walk uphill.

But as Christians, do we really ever take the time or the effort to prepare for the test to come?  David the Psalmist invites the Lord to prove him, to test both his heart (his love) and his mind (his truth).   Are we ready to invite the Lord to do the same to us?

There will be a time of testing of our heart and mind by the Lord; we just don’t know when it will be.  Then, why aren’t we preparing?

Maybe we don’t prepare because we don’t care what kind of grade we get.  If we feel this way because we know we are saved by God’s grace, then do we not care because Jesus’ death on the cross for us was cheap?  Do we not care because we do not value the gift?  If so, then maybe we don’t understand the value of the gift or the price which was paid by the Giver.

Maybe we don’t care about the time of testing because, since we don’t know when it will be, there is no target.  If that is the case, we do not understand the immediacy of death; it may happen tomorrow but it can happen today.

Maybe we don’t care about our performance in the day of testing because we don’t care to impress God with how much we love Him, or maybe we don’t love Him at all – because don’t we go out of way to work hard to please those we love.   Do we really believe God honors sloth?

What am I going to do to get ready for the test?  The Psalmist suggests two things in the first verse, “…for I have walked in my integrity, and I have trusted in the Lord without wavering.”  Ps. 26:1  And he suggests two things in the third verse, “For Your steadfast love is before my eyes, and I walk in Your faithfulness.”  Ps. 26:3

If you think about it, whether we can walk in integrity, whether we can trust in the Lord without reservation or wavering, whether we are always cognizant of the Lord’s steadfast love, and whether we can walk in God’s faithfulness … that is both the preparation for the test and the test itself.

Out challenge for the rest of the day, the rest of this week, the rest of this year, and the rest of our lives is to take the test every day – act like Christians, believe like Christians, love like Christians, and hold onto God like Christians.

So that when we have run the race, the Teacher gives us our grade, saying “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

_________

© 2016 GBF   All Scripture quotations are from the English Standard Version (2001), unless otherwise indicated.

 

 

 

Bread – Blameless

May 6, 2016


Psalm 18

“For who is God, but the Lord?  And who is a rock, except our God? – the God who equipped me with strength and made my way blameless.”  Ps. 18:31-32

When I began preparing this Bread, I thought that there may be some merit in looking at the words translated “God” and “Lord” in these verses, but in the process of doing that I noticed a notation in front of the word “blameless” and the notation was that the word “blameless” has multiple meanings, including the words “complete” and “having integrity.”

And, like most aspects of Scripture, when you dig deeper into God’s Word, the Holy Spirit operates to expand self-understanding, self-analysis, and self-application.

Now think about this:  “the God who … made my way blameless;” “the God who … made my way complete;” and “the God who … made my way so that I have integrity.”

We normally think of the word “blameless” as being “without sin,” and we then proceed to the immediate conclusion that, yes, God does make our way blameless but only because He sees us through His Son, Jesus Christ, who stands between us and God the Father so that all the Father sees is the blamelessness of Christ.  To use more “theological” words, God sees me as blameless because Jesus’ blamelessness is “imputed” to me.  Wonderful, but I am still sinning (less, maybe, but sinning nonetheless), even though I have been saved by grace (mercy).

But what if I substitute the words “complete” and “with integrity” for “blameless.”  Now what?

Well, it is not so easy now to shove off responsibility for my behavior upon Christ, saying that I am a sinner no matter what.  The reason is that I can, when I have the strength and the perseverance, complete a task.  And I can, with strength of character and resolve, operate “with integrity.”  So I have no excuses.  I cannot lay this off on Jesus Christ as my stand-in because I have experiences in my own life where I completed the task or I acted with integrity.

So, if I am not complete, if I have not completed the task, perhaps it is because I do not have a radical reliance upon God to “make my way complete.”  So, if I do not walk with integrity, perhaps it is because I do not have a radical reliance upon God to “make my way with integrity.”

See, there are really only two choices.  I can walk the walk or I can lean on God and let Him make my way straight, make my way complete.  I can strive to live a life of integrity or I can lean on God to make my way one of integrity.

And how can I do either?  How can I both do it and rely radically upon God to do it for me?  The answer is in the first part of the verse: “the God who equipped me with strength…”

Do I walk with integrity, complete the tasks laid before me, and am blameless?  There is a way I can, but it is not the way of man or the world; it is the way of Jesus Christ.

Do I wake up in the morning saying “My will, my way, in my strength” or do I wake up in the morning saying “Your will, Your way, in Your strength.”

The first is weak and will soon result in loss of integrity, incomplete results, and many reasons to blame ourselves and others.  The second is strong and will result in a blameless way, complete and full of integrity.

How do you wake up in the morning?  Whose will do you follow?  Whose way do you use?  In whose strength do you act?

_________

© 2016 GBF   All Scripture quotations are from the English Standard Version (2001), unless otherwise indicated.

 

Bread – Prayer

April 25, 2016


Psalm 17

“Hear a just cause, O Lord; attend to my cry!  Give ear to my prayer from lips free of deceit!…You have tried my heart, You have visited me by night, You have tested me, and You will find nothing; I have purposed that my mouth will not transgress.  With regard to the works of man, by the word of Your lips I have avoided the ways of the violent.  My steps have held fast to Your paths; my feet have not slipped.”  Ps. 17:1-5

This Bread is called “Prayer” because that is what this Psalm is called, “A Prayer of David.”

And look how it begins!  “Hey, God, here I am.  Listen to me because I am perfect?  You know I am because You know everything.  Hey, look at me; listen to me!”

Obviously this is both a paraphrase and something of an exaggeration, but not by much.  When we approach God, can we say that we are perfect, that we are sinless, that we can be examined by a holy God and found to be wanting in nothing?

The Christian might answer this question by saying that, “yes, because we are covered in the blood of the Lamb, we are deemed pure before God and able to stand before Him.”  That is true but it leads to a certain sloppiness in prayer because it means that we approach prayer as our three year old grandson might, stomping into the throne room of God and laying down our demand for candy without so much as a “Hi, grandpa!”

David is claiming the right to be in front of God because he claims obedience to the Father’s Law.

Can he rightly claim that, claim perfect obedience?  The answer is probably not, but he does anyway.  How?

How can we make a claim to perfect obedience, when it is impossible?

Might I suggest that it is not so much obedience in fact which matters to ordering our prayer life, but obedience in intent, obedience in desire and attitude.

We may be able to walk into the throne room of God with our prayers because of what Jesus did for us on the cross, but beyond that, doesn’t the power of our prayer depend in substantial part upon how much we want God, how much we want to obey Him and listen to Him and walk with Him.  The danger of casual prayer before an Almighty God made by a believer is not that we will be struck down, but that the results will be weak.  The strength of prayer made by a believer who tries his or her best to walk in obedience, who tries to speak with lips free of deceit, and who applies God’s Word to daily living lies not in the believer’s own righteousness, but it is certainly greatly increased in power by the believer’s own commitment to God and His ways.

So, if we are not to stomp into God’s throne room full of our own righteousness or maybe even a casual reliance upon our Savior, Jesus Christ, how are we to enter it?

What is not in this Psalm is what David did just prior to saying “Hear a just cause…”  What did David do to prepare for that opening volley of self-promotion?

I suspect that he examined his actions and his heart to see whether what he was going to say was true.  And, finding, like all men, that it was not completely true, he probably confessed it to God and asked God to forgive him his trespasses.  Preceded by confession, at the moment David said “Hear…,” it may very well be that his lips were “free of deceit.”

How do we walk into the throne room?  Do we just stomp in and say “Hey, God, listen to me, the great one!”  Or do we walk in with confidence, knowing that we bear the right attitude and the right gratitude, born of a desire for God, a desire for His truth, a desire for obedience, a desire to walk with Him, cloaked in the righteousness of Christ?

_________

© 2016 GBF   All Scripture quotations are from the English Standard Version (2001), unless otherwise indicated.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bread – Kiss

January 15, 2016


Psalm 2

“Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and you perish in the way, for His wrath is quickly kindled.  Blessed are all who take refuge in Him.”  Ps. 2:12

I have been thinking about this all week, and as I write this I am no closer to deep insight about what this means.

In today’s modern Western culture, the word “kiss” is basically known as the intimate actions before sexual intercourse.  So there is that blockage to understanding.  On top of that, how do you kiss God?  Have a hard time figuring this one out too.  Then there is the connection between kissing and avoiding wrath.  Why should God be mad with me when I don’t do what I can’t do anyway?

Yet, there it is.  “Kiss the Son, lest He be angry.”  So, we have to deal with it.

And how we can deal with it is to realize that there is an older, deeper meaning to the action of kissing.  Kissing is also the act of showing homage or obedience.  We still do that today.  In some cultures, kissing shows respect and friendship.  In some churches today, we may kiss the ring of a church official or may kiss an icon to show deference to the church or its officials or to Christ, the son.  In Romans, Paul says to the Christians to greet each other with a holy kiss.  Rom. 16:16.

And, indeed, there are Scripture translations which substitute “homage” for “kiss.”  For example, the NASB says “Do homage to the Son, lest He become angry…” Ps. 2:12.

But somehow, I still find this unhelpful, so I asked myself what goes into kissing.  First of all, it is personal.  To do it, we have to engage the other thing or person we are kissing, look at it or the person, and contemplate it.   We have to make a decision about what is the best way to do it in the circumstances.  We have to be deliberate.  We have to be accurate (it does no good to miss the thing we are aiming at to kiss).

Yes, kissing the Son shows respect, caring, and obedience in the old sense of the word.  But it also demonstrates something more.  To kiss the Son, we have to recognize that He is there, we have to be deliberate in our intent to honor Him, we have to put ourselves out of our position and exercise initiative, we have to set aside perhaps our pride, and we have to use our mouths.

I said earlier that, how is it possible to kiss God?  Well, God never gives us a command that we have no means of fulfilling, because He provides the power and the means.  So by what power and by what means does Christ give us the ability to kiss Him?

And then I started to chuckle, because the answer is before us every Sunday.  He said it Himself – “Take, eat; this is My body.”  Matt. 26:26

We call it communion.  How do we kiss Jesus.  We follow His command to participate in the Lord’s supper.

We do not have to just kiss Jesus mentally or emotionally, He has given us the means to kiss Him physically.

Holy communion.  Holy kissing.  The command of the Psalm made possible by the command of Christ instituting the Lord’s Supper (Holy Communion) and made complete by our obedience.

Our homage to Christ is our obedience to His commands.  Our obedience to His commands includes participation in His meal.  Our participation in His meal is kissing the Son.

Come, let us adore Him and pay homage to Him and kiss Him and eat of the bread and wine, His body and blood.  And be grateful.

__________

© 2016 GBF

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

 

Bread – Keeping

August 25, 2015


Readings for Tuesday, August 25, 2015, designated by the 1979 Book of Common Prayer: 1 Kings 1:38-2:4; Acts 26:24-27:8; Mark 13:28-37; Psalms 5,6,10,11

—————————————-

In David’s instructions to Solomon from our reading today in 1 Kings, David says “Be strong, therefore, and show yourself a man. And keep the charge of the Lord your God, to walk in His ways, to keep His statutes, His commandments, His ordinances, and His testimonies…that you may succeed in all that you do and wherever you turn.” 1 Kings 2:2-3

In and of itself, this is a great instruction to all of us – we should stand strong in the Lord and we should always walk in God’s ways according to His principles.

In fact, today the readings were so “surface” that I turned to my Hebrew-Greek Study Bible to see if any of these words were highlighted for definition. And, sure enough, something did arise. My ESV Bible says simply “and keep the charge of the Lord your God….to keep His … ordinances.”

The word “charge” here does not mean instructions as we would normally consider it, but instead means to keep watch, a watch-post, a sentry with two main parts, the first being the obligation or service to be performed and the second being something which must be preserved. The sentry is required to stand watch (the service) in order to preserve the peace and repel enemies (the something which must be preserved). Thus, the word “charge in this reading has more of the sense of the word “keeping” (which is also used in the same passage), with the service being performed the active preservation and protection of something valuable, and the something valuable which requires preserving is God’s principles, His laws, and His Word. The place God has put us in this world is to protect His truth and to proclaim it. For that we must be strong, and diligent, and consistent, and loving, and obedient. Without those who are charged doing their job with excellence, the world would decay and collapse beyond moral recognition. In a sense, God has charged us who would share the throne as adopted children with the protection of His presence on earth and, thereby, with the protection of the world.

But there is a second part to this, and in my quote that is the word “ordinance.” We think of ordinances as laws passed by cities, and so of “lesser” standing than commandments and statutes, and sure enough the quotation beginning this Bread goes from statutes to commandments to ordinances to testimonies, from strongest (perhaps) to weakest. But, as is so common with Scripture, what we think of when we say the word “ordinance” is not necessarily what God has in mind. The Hebrew word translated into “ordinance” is properly a verdict or a judgment, referring to all functions of government (legislative, judicial, and executive). You may summarize this concept by the word “justice,” an attribute of God. Thus, the word “ordinance” is not just a simple law, it is “the” law which transcends all others because it brings with itself justice.

So we are instructed to keep God’s justice, we are “charged” as sentries with the protection of justice.

How as a Christian have I protected justice today? How have I kept it? Have I treated others like I have treated myself? Have I made sure that the worker has received his or her fair pay? Have I honored truth in my speech and my behavior? Have I pointed out lying language for what it is? Have I lived today in integrity? How many lies have I told, how many minutes have I stolen from God, how many times have I closed the door on other people who need entry?

We must keep, protect, treasure, understand, and promote justice, God’s love and His law, in everything we do. And when we do this, we will get the government we do not deserve but the government which God has decreed, and that will be very good indeed.

__________

© 2015 GBF

Bread – Restrained

July 31, 2015


Readings for Thursday, July 30, 2015, designated by the 1979 Book of Common Prayer: 2 Sam. 4:1-12; Acts 16:25-40; Mark 7:1-23; Psalms 70,71,74

—————————————-

In today’s reading from Acts, we are treated to the conversion of the jailer following Paul’s and Silas’ imprisonment and God breaking their chains through an earthquake. Every lesson I have ever heard taught on this passage emphasizes the miracle of the breaking of the chains, the jailer’s conversion, the conversion of the jailer’s household, and Paul’s insistence to the magistrates that he be treated properly, as a Roman citizen, with an apology.

Escaping my attention entirely was a minor miracle, which in today’s world would be a major miracle. Read along with me – “About midnight Paul and Silas were praying … and the prisoners were listening to them, and suddenly there was a great earthquake … and everyone’s bonds were unfastened. When the jailer … was about to kill himself, supposing tht the prisoners had escaped. But Paul cried out with a loud voice, ‘Do no harm yourself, for we are all here.” Acts 16:25-28

“We are all here.” Who is we? It is just not Paul and Silas, but all of the prisoners who “were listening to them.” When the prisoners were set free by the earthquake, they all stayed behind!

It is understandable that Paul and Silas stayed behind because they had a point to make. But everyone else?

Now it could be that a very little amount of time passed so that the prisoners had no time to escape, but the implication of the factual recitation is that some time passed (It does not say that the jailer woke immediately; instead, the word “immediately” is reserved to the opening of the doors and the releasing of the shackles [bonds]).

So I think that some time passed between the release and the jailer’s discovery.

Why did the prisoners not leave immediately? In the normal course of human behavior, would not at least some of the prisoners have run out the door as soon as they got a chance? Yet not one left. Why?

Maybe there was a miracle. Maybe God supernaturally restrained them. Or, better yet, maybe they heard the prayers and hymns of Paul and Silas and were converted, waiting therefore in obedience to be told what to do. In any event, their human, automatic dash for freedom was restrained. And that strikes me as a miracle.

How often are we in position where God has created a situation where we are allowed, if we take it, to beat a hasty exit? Perhaps it is a difficult conversation and the telephone rings. Perhaps it is at an event and we need (want) to leave. Circumstances come into play where we can breach a contract and get away with it?

Do we ever ask God, “should we?” Should we take the opportunity to exit stage left, or are we obeying our instincts for survival as opposed to leaning into God’s command of love?

Perhaps today, perhaps some time in the future, we will have the opportunity to act in our self-interest. Perhaps at that time, if prompted by the Holy Spirit, we should just restrain ourselves and remain in the difficult situation where we are. For us to disobey our natural instincts and to obey a higher calling is itself a miracle and a major one at that. But also, perhaps, God wants to do a little miracle in our lives so that we will be in position to participate in the even greater miracle He has planned.

Restraint is a hard thing for us with so many opinions and options.

But think about it … if the other prisoners had not restrained themselves and abandoned self-preservation for Godly obedience, where would the jailer and his family be today?

Were the prisoners the minor players in today’s drama … or were they the main players? What happened to them afterwards? We don’t know because history and Scripture do not tell us.

But what we do know is this. God worked a miracle in their lives that day and He works the same miracle in ours. And sometimes that miracle is to help us restrain ourselves. Sometimes that miracle is to help us deal with where we are rather than run out the exit door.

Sometimes that miracle is to help us wait for Him.

One more observation. Assuming that the prisoners stayed in jail and their physical imprisonment remained, who was their jailer? Do you think their life was better or worse after?

God may tell us to wait, to restrain ourselves, to let go the perceived opportunity because what He has in mind is a greater blessing than we can imagine. The problem is, from inside the jail cell, we can’t see it. That is why they call it faith. Faith to wait, faith to act, faith to say “no” and faith to say “yes.” All when called upon by God.

And the fact that we can do that and, through the Holy Spirit, discern when we should restrain and when we should act … is a miracle.

__________

© 2015 GBF

Bread – Lament

July 7, 2015


Readings for Tuesday, July 7, 2015, designated by the 1979 Book of Common Prayer: 1 Sam. 15:24-35; Acts 9:32-43; Luke 23:56b-24:11; Psalms 5,6,10,11

—————————————-

While there is celebration in the streets rejoicing over the triumph of man’s law over God’s, there is lament by many, including me, about how we as a society have come to reject God’s law as triumphant and substituted instead the sand of man’s whims and desires.

Our readings today speak powerfully to this.

From Psalm 11, “Why does the wicked renounce God and say in his heart, ‘You will not call me to account?’” Ps. 11:13

When man rejects God and His Word, His standards for life, isn’t he like the wicked, believing that there will be no accounting for his sin?

Well, there is an accounting. In our reading today from 1 Samuel, Saul admits to Samuel that “I have sinned, for I have transgressed the commandment of the Lord and your words, because I feared the people and obeyed their voice.” 1 Sam. 15:24. In refusing to following thousands of years of history and the dictates of the Old and New Testaments, our United States Supreme Court feared the people more than God and obeyed the voice of the mob rather than the voice of God. So, Saul did what we have done, and this is what follows – Saul then says to Samuel, “’Now therefore, please pardon my sin and return with me…’ And Samuel said to Saul, ‘I will not return with you. For you have rejected the word of the Lord, and the Lord has rejected you from being king over Israel.” 1 Sam. 15:25-26. Is this what will now happen to us in this country? There is a day of being called to account. Whether that day is today, as it was for Saul, is up to God and we certainly pray that He defers His judgment, but He knows what He will do.

So, returning to the Psalm, we read this lament – “if the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do? The Lord is in His holy temple…” Ps. 11:3-4

When the foundations are destroyed, what can we do indeed? The Psalmist answers this question by skipping the answer and going straight to the solution – God. Our answer to the question of what do we do when the foundations are destroyed is to remind ourselves that God reigns, not us.

And so what are the righteous to do in the evil day, in the day of destruction of foundation?

Our answer is found in our reading today from Luke – Jesus has been crucified. “The women who had come with Him from Galilee followed and saw the tomb and how His body was laid….On the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment.” Lk. 23:55-56 Jesus has been murdered and put in a borrowed tomb. His body has not been properly prepared with funeral spices, so there is action to be taken by the righteous. But wait! No action is taken because it is now the Sabbath and God has commanded His people to rest. Even though there is something to do, God’s people wait because it is God’s command to wait.

And while they wait in obedience to God’s Word and His commandments, God works. When the women returned, the stone had been rolled away because Jesus had been resurrected.

We can and should lament the situation in which we as people of faith find ourselves. But before we take matters into our own hands, we would do well to reflect on the Psalms, on Saul, and on the righteous women. God is in His Holy temple; God is in control. Yielding to passion rather than God’s law and His love results in bad things. Obedience to God’s will in our lives matters, because while we obey, God works His miracles.

The foundations crumble; what are we to do? God. Christ is crucified; what are we to do? God. We are appointed to a position of influence; what are we to do? God.

There is an eternal pattern here. So let’s follow it.

__________

© 2015 GBF

%d bloggers like this: