Saturday, October 21, 2017
Psalm 128 spoke to my soul today…it came back to my mind throughout the day. In fact it nourished my soul today. The Psalmist was speaking to others who believe in, worship and “fear” the one Holy God. But as I read the passages I came to grasp a bit clearer the meaning of “fearing” God and of being obedient child.
“Blessed are those who fear God and walk in obedience”, is something akin to saying, “Congratulations to people that use seatbelt and don’t drive intoxicated”. It’s not a matter of being afraid of God—-though we have reason to if we are outside the body of Christ! But think about it: we make the congratulatory remarks about wearing seatbelts and not driving drunk to be self-evident and proven truths—-people that obey these two laws are the kind that live longer lives and don’t ruin the lives of others—-it’s a statistical fact—they are “blessed”. Why, then, do we often question the wisdom of respecting God’s commands and laws and wonder if they will really make us happier, more content, more fulfilled?
Funny that we trust the education, training and instincts of those that run statistics on seatbelt use and drunk driving but not the cumulative wisdom of the entire universe (i.e. God) when He promises blessings and prosperity if we obey Him. The Psalmist goes on to explain specifically how God does bless those who chose to obey Him.
I am not advocating a Pharisaical observation of every letter of the law. But something is wrong when we assume that we can live anyway we want and yet still expect God’’s peace and blessing. I have been born again and redeemed, but I had better be paying attention to what He prescribes for me to live and focus on what pleases Him if I expect His blessing! And arguing that I have a different opinion of God’s law really does not matter—-His opinion is the only one that matters.
The Ten Commandments are the foundation, of course, of God’s commands, but I am also required as a citizen of the Kingdom of God, to learn to love what God loves and hate what He hates! I know that He HATES a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, not keeping my word, and above all, all displays of pride and arrogance. Do I have the same hatred for these traits in myself? And do I tolerate those behaviors in my family, my church or with those that I elect to represent me?
If I would enjoy all the abundance in this life that He wants to offer me, why would I not read and study His Word, Hide His words in my heart, meditate upon them and embrace them as a way to live my life? He knows more about me, my nature, the dangers that await me tomorrow, what lies around the corner, etc. than I could ever imagine. Why would I assume to make up my own rules or assume I know how to operate in this world?—this is my first time to pass through life. There are no second chances. But if I humbly admit my shortcomings…. if continually attempt to determine His will for my life…….if I read His word and determine to follow His commands I will be blessed—-nothing under heaven can stop it.
1 Blessed are all who fear the Lord, who walk in obedience to him.
2 You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours.
3 Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children will be like olive shoots around your table.
4 Yes, this will be the blessing for the man who fears the Lord.
5 May the Lord bless you from Zion; may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life.
6 May you live to see your children’s children—peace be on Israel.