I have considered my ways
and have turned my steps to your statutes.
I will hasten and not delay
to obey your commands.
Everyone thinks they are always doing what is right. This is so because many people do not have a good framework to determine what things are right or wrong. Not having something to compare with the behavior of the individual will always lead him to deceit because what he thinks is correct will only depend on what his being prompts. God gave man two great points of reference for all men to know where they stand. One is his conscience and the other is the word of God. In the absence of the word of God, conscience acts as a mechanism of checks and balances and can be very useful. Unfortunately, conscience can be silenced by the will and in fact, this is the situation of the vast majority of people who live next to a muted conscience. On the other hand, they have no way to shut the word of God up because it carries the glorious message of truth and salvation. Where there is light darkness disappears, where there is truth deceit has no place.
This is the main reason why people do not like reading the word of God. Because of satanic pride nobody likes to be told that they have been acting improperly. Hence, as mentioned earlier, everyone thinks that what they are doing is right and that their behavior needs no correction or adjustment. The word of God is inflexible and stands as an absolute standard to separate right from wrong. We may interpret it as we like but we can never change it. We can think whatever we want of it but we will never be able to lessen its authority and its absolute position and ability to discern right from wrong. The word of God is the food that we eat every day so we are not guided by our own opinion, which is very accommodating and will always yields to our passions. Only when we compare our actions with God expectations of us is that we can correct the course to return to the paths of God’s presence. Only to God be the glory!
Posted in Psalms
Tagged Christianity, commands, consider, delay, God, haste, obey, righteousness, statutes, steps, turn, ways
the taunts with which your enemies, LORD, have mocked,
with which they have mocked every step of your anointed one.
Praise be to the LORD forever! Amen and Amen.
It is easy for some of us to be thankful to God when all is going well. Others cannot even raise a thankful glance to heaven or mutter a simple “thanks God.” when everything is going superb. And there are those who, despite adversity, amid the most terrible storms, when everything falls apart and all hope is lost, can say “thank you Lord, for I know that whatever happens to me is for my own good.” The latter are those who have understood perfectly what the apostle Paul wrote in his letter to the Romans, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Not only are they have perfectly understood this principle but they have also taken ownership of this promise of God for His children. Be it storm or peace, they are always trusting that everything is under the absolute control of God.
The author of Psalm 89, Ethan, was one of these people because despite the wealth of aggression and adversity to which he was subjected he was able to send blessings to the Lord, knowing that everything that was happening in his life and also in relation the nation of Israel was part of the good, pleasing and perfect will of God. Do you understand this biblical principle? Can you thank God for all that you have received, whether good or bad, recognition or insults, blows or kindness, curses or blessings, hate or smiles, contempt or acceptance, health or sickness, scarcity or abundance, joy or pain, etc.? When you learn to maintain your spirits high despite the circumstances around you, you will fully understand what Ethan was thinking when he ended his long list of complaints and lamentations with a heartfelt blessing for God. So, the next time you complain, also give praise to God. Only to God be the glory!
Posted in Psalms
Tagged Amen, anointed, Christianity, enemies, forever, God, LORD, mocking, praise, taunts, understanding
But as for me, it is good to be near God.
I have made the Sovereign LORD my refuge;
I will tell of all your deeds.
In these postmodern times no one knows and few care about what is right and what is wrong. The characteristic ambiguity of postmodernism makes no distinction between black and white, all boundaries disappear and everything becomes a range of gray tones without limits. Gradually we can see how practices and customs that until now have always been considered sin, are now being accepted as normal for the sake of a misunderstood tolerance. The world, which has plunged into total confusion, would rather accept whatever comes its way so it does not have to bother to separate what should be from what should not be. Everything is accepted and taken for legitimate and nobody cares what is going on as long as all thoughts are focused on putting man at the center of the universe. No one seems concerned that values have become obsolete, but as soon as someone is affected by the vices of another, that someone becomes outraged and calls for justice.
Existentialism placed emotions above reason, the world accepted these ideas without objections and now we all suffer the consequences of living in a world of confusion and violence where tolerance becomes the cardinal virtue and the traditional scheme of values has lost relevance. The psalmist Asaph ends the psalm with a clear and firm statement: “But as for me, it is good to be near God.” Who can refute this truth? What about you? How close are you to God? What gives meaning to your life? Do you just go along with your emotions and your sensual pleasures or rely upon the word of God to make your decisions? Your actions are controlled by your scheme of values. And for you, Who is above all things, you or God? Calibrate your values against the word of God and you will know how close or far you are from Him. Only to God be the glory!
Charge them with crime upon crime;
do not let them share in your salvation.
Although at first glance the request of King David looks cruel and short of compassion, what he is asking God is not far removed from what their enemies aspire. They have chosen to live a life of sin. They rejoice in their lusts and their bad behavior. They boast of being more intelligent than their opponents because they have stripped the poor of what little remained. They do not want to walk along the paths of God. They prefer to travel on their own paths full of blood and destruction. Their weapons are insult and betrayal. Their proud hearts are full of deceit. In a nutshell, they do not want to side with God. In other words, King David is saying, “Grant them their wishes to live apart from you. Make sure they accumulate enough sins and that they do not repent to grant them their wish to live away from you and the light so they may live forever in darkness. “
We have the biblical and moral obligation to warn these wicked people of the consequences of their misbehavior. That the truth of the gospel shine or not upon their lives and that God’s Holy Spirit removes the veil that covers their hearts today depend only on the grace of God. So, while we are in this world, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” Let us ask the Lord for compassion and the urge to deal with souls who are about to be lost. It’s time to start harvesting. Only to God be the glory!
Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.
There are things that are easily and quickly attained and there are other things that take a much longer time to accomplish. Usually the best things are those that take longer to be achieved. Hence, God has given us hope. Hope is to put our eyes on reaching that one day, which is not necessarily just around the corner, when all will be completed. All this looks all right until we put our hope in things that do not suit us. That’s where the problems begin because as our heavenly Father does not allow things to happen to us that do not work out for our good, that which does not suit us we will never achieve and it will be a cause for frustration. Since most do not understand God’s plan for our lives we put our hope in many things that are not aligned with the strategy and the perfect will of God, hence our problems and tribulations.
The word of God is full of fine promises the Lord Almighty has prepared with great love for all of us His children for us to enjoy them in due course. To know those promises we must read the word of God regularly and with an attitude of obedience and respect. For now, we rejoice in knowing that some day, which is not to far, all that causes pain and concern will disappear to give way to joy and happiness. However, we must not forget that these promises belong to those who have accepted Christ as Savior and Lord and those who honor Him by being obedient and showing good behavior.Only to God be the glory!
Posted in Proverbs
Tagged Christianity, fulfillment, God, heart, hope, Jesus, life, longing, love, sickness, tree
Be sure of this: The wicked will not go unpunished,
but those who are righteous will go free.
Everyone would like to live in a world controlled by justice but only to the extent that justice is not applied to them. All of us demand that the law is applied to its full extent but do not like it when the law is enforced upon us. Today’s world is but a reflection of these ideas that are present in every culture and nation because they are part of the sinful nature of man. That is why in the world can never find justice that prevails and happiness for everyone. However, although global justice is violated in many ways, on the spiritual realm there is a justice that cannot be violated or avoided. We are talking about divine justice. This is a justice which are not used to and when we have seen it applied it amazes some people and many even deny it because they can not understand it. In the narratives of the Bible that show this justice in action, some see a vengeful and cruel God and it is very difficult for them to accept that God is the same God who speaks of love. Because of their inability to understand that God is both love and justice numerous heresies have come about, including that of the Gnostics and also ideas such as the widely known but false Eastern dualism and its balance of yin and yang.
As children of God we must see justice as a hope because God’s time not our time. His “Kairos” is not our “kronos” and his thoughts are far above ours. We long for justice, we want to see it in action, but God will not apply it until he sees fit. Conventional wisdom puts it this way: “God delays but does not forget.” Meanwhile, we live with the conviction that his justice will soon come and it cannot be avoided. The wicked will receive their just retribution and the just will receive recognition from God. Love and Justice will converge in one point, the person of Jesus Christ, King of kings and Lord of lords. Only to God be the glory!
For through wisdom your days will be many,
and years will be added to your life.
If you are wise, your wisdom will reward you;
if you are a mocker, you alone will suffer.
What good is it for someone to gain all the fame, all the money and all the power in the world if he cannot extend its life even for a second? God is the giver of life and only He can decide how long each person can live. To he who is wise and prudent God grants long life, provided that wisdom and prudence are used with obedience. Obedience without wisdom is plain arrogance but a wise man can discern what comes from God and therefore avoids deviating from the straight path of justice, which would bring him many problems. A rash person does not even know which way to follow. All roads look good to him because he has never bothered to know what God expects of him. When something goes right or wrong he says it was due to good or bad luck and he does not have the slightest idea of God’s plan for his life. If he gets to hear the message of salvation he ignores it because he thinks it has nothing to do with his life.
Wise King Salomó also put it this way: “The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.” Hence the inexperienced is much more exposed to danger that the wise man, which reduces considerably the life expectancy of the inexperienced. Enough of stumbling through life without a fixed destination and no target! God is calling everyone, wise and inexperienced to be reconciled to him. Enough of living a life full of mistakes and sins which only separate us more from God. He can forgive you but are you looking for His forgiveness? He can save you but do you crave His salvation? Seek God with all your heart, for once you find Him, you will know the true meaning of love. Only to God be the glory!
“But now, Lord, what do I look for?
My hope is in you.
If anyone needs an example of how to put his hope in God, just remember the last words of our Lord Jesus Christ as He hung on the tree seconds before submitting His spirit, “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit!” We know that Jesus’ hope was honored by God because on the third day, God raised Him from the grave, freeing Him from the chains of death and giving Him absolute victory over the great enemy of mankind and antithesis of all that Jesus Christ means to all creation. The Lord said, “I am the way and the truth and the life.” The Lord, who is life Himself, could not be bound by death because God is above all things for He is the Creator of all that is, seen and unseen.
When you think that everything has failed and you have no more hope, approach the only one who truly you can go to and who will never disappoint you. He is our hope. We long for His return to get rid of this physical body full of sin and destined to fall into the clutches of death. Let us say together with the Psalmist King David: “I put my hope in you!” And let us rejoice like David also saying: “I put on the Lord all my hope, he leaned toward me and heard my cry. He took me from the pit of death, the mud and mire, and set my feet upon a rock, and planted me on solid ground. He put in my mouth a new song, a hymn of praise to our God.” Only to God be the glory!
We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to our own way;
and the LORD has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
I can imagine how the Jewish religious leaders who were responsible for convincing the crowd that demanded Pilate the indignant crucifixion of the righteous, once having witnessed the bloody execution and confirmed that the humble carpenter would not be any longer a nuisance to them, returned to their homes to begin the Sabbath that Moses had instructed them to follow by orders of God himself. They should have arrived home minutes before sundown to start the day of rest. They must have felt very pleased to have achieved the goal that they had long had committed themselves to take the life of the humble but popular and dangerous (for them) Galilean leader. They should have eaten that night with great pleasure and joy because they believed that their problems had been solved once and for all. Little could they imagine that him who had died on the cross a few hours before was whom they had been waiting for so long and who was the fulfillment of the promise of freedom given to the people by God.
Just the night before they had held the annual ritual of the Passover, that is the commemoration of the protection with which God covered the people of Israel when the Angel of the Lord fulfilled the ultimate measure of pressure on Pharaoh to let free the people chosen by God. Little could they imagine that lamb that they were chewing on the night before was the sign of the true Lamb of God that few hours before had been sacrificed for all, Jews and non Jews. Like Satan, their guide, they were glad to see how things were going. By no means they came to suspect that the next day, the death that they had used to get rid of the teacher from Nazareth would be defeated forever. May the glory of the resurrection of the Lord always prevails over the sadness of the painful and bloody sacrifice which the Lord had to go through to rescue us from sin and death. Only to God be the glory!
Dogs surround me,
a pack of villains encircles me;
they pierce my hands and my feet.
All my bones are on display;
people stare and gloat over me.
They divide my clothes among them
and cast lots for my garment.
This is one of the many prophecies that found their fulfillment in the person of Jesus, the Messiah, he who had to come to restore all things. The people of Israel motivated by the hate and envy of their religious leaders towards the Rabbi who brought teaching with authority, not knowing what they were doing, demanded that the teacher be crucified as a vile murderer or thief. He who came to give life was led to death. He who came to give us dignity received scorn and derision from his own people. He who came to show compassion for lost souls, in exchange, received injuries and violence. He who came to show us the way of love was hated to the point of wishing his death as the most despicable of criminals.
However, this was all part of the glorious master plan of God. In spite of all the painful and terrible suffering of our Lord on the cross of Calvary or Golgotha, it was necessary for us that he would take the place that in justice was for all of us despicable sinners without any possibility of redemption. It was you and me who had to be on that shameful cross and not the Creator of the universe. But it was necessary for him to occupy our place to achieve victory over sin and then also conquer death, which now has no power or authority over the lives of those who believe in him and who have accepted His sacrifice for all of us . On this Good Friday, let us pause to reflect on the work that Jesus Christ accomplished for the sake of all mankind. Upon reflection there cannot be but a spirit of gratitude and surrender at his feet. Thank him for everything he has done for you and correct your course to follow the path that he has set for all who are called children of God. For the wonderful work accomplished by our Lord Jesus Christ on the cross, only to God be the glory!
Posted in Psalms
Tagged bones, cast lots, clothes, dog, feet, garment, gloat, hands, pierce, surround, villains