Tuesday, July 19, 2011

His lovingkindness and light...

It's...interesting...how many times lately I've started to write a post, only to end up tongue-tied (or maybe finger-tied) part way through. I've been reading a lot of Psalms, though...and I keep finding such precious little nuggets of wisdom and blessing and soul-food in them. I think I'm going to just share some of them.


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Psalm 147

7 Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving;
Sing praises to our God on the lyre,
8 Who covers the heavens with clouds,
Who provides rain for the earth,
Who makes grass to grow on the mountains.
9 He gives to the beast its food,
And to the young ravens which cry.
10 He does not delight in the strength of the horse;
He does not take pleasure in the legs of a man.
11 The LORD favors those who fear Him,
Those who wait for His lovingkindness.
Verse 7 is the start of this stanza or paragraph, and it's basically saying, "Let's praise Him and thank Him and sing to Him with music, because..."

Verses 8 and 9 sum up how the entire length of the food chain--from grass, to herbivorous, to scavengers--get what they need for life from Him. According to these verses, even the water cycle--one of the most basic and necessary things upon with all life relies--doesn't function without Him.

Furthermore, it doesn't say, "He set all these things in motion and then stepped back to let the universe exist without His interference." No, it's all in present tense, because this is something He is doing and will always be doing until writes "The End." Colossians 1 confirms this, when it not only says that all things were created by Him and for Him, but then it goes on to make sure we know that "in Him all things hold together."

So without God being who He is and doing what He does, life would completely fall apart.

Then verses 10 and 11 move on to you and I. I think that both "the strength of the horse" and "the legs of man" refer to us working and doing things in our own power. And what does God say about it? He does not delight in it! Instead, "He favors those who fear Him and wait on His lovingkindness." This reminds me of all the lessons learned in that little book, Waiting on God, that I told you about. I am coming to see more and more how much God really does want to supply all our needs...how He wants us to spend our energy and time in seeking Him and in obeying what He's asking us to do, then He supplies perfect balance of supernatural provision and supernatural grace and strength to do the work that He lays in front of us. It's all Him! (At least, He wants it to be.)

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Psalm 36
7 How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God!
And the children of men take refuge in the shadow of Your wings.
8 They drink their fill of the abundance of Your house;
And You give them to drink of the river of Your delights.
9 For with You is the fountain of life;
In Your light we see light.
This is this morning's find. It kind of talks about the same thing, doesn't it? We "drink our fill of abundance" and "of the river of His delights."

Lest we get an unbalanced idea of how God wants to bless us, though... This drinking of abundance and delights takes place when we take refuge in Him. All too often, our pride gets in the way, and for some strange reason, it is sometimes hard to take refuge in Him. We want to dwell in the misery and rage and re-hash over and over again what others have done to us. I don't think there's any way to drink of His abundance if our mouths are busy complaining about life's trials!

It also promises the river of God's delights, not the river of fleshly delights, or the river of what we think God's delights will look like. We've got to trust Him in what's really a delight and a blessing.

Finally, that last line is just full of meaning and possibility, isn't it? In Your light we see light. Where is His light? How do we get in His light?

Psalm 104:2 says He is clothed in light. Psalm 119:130 says that "the unfolding of Your words brings light." Isaiah 2:5 talks about the light of the LORD, and Isaiah 60:20 says we will have the LORD for an everlasting light. James 1:17 says He is the Father of Lights. I don't see any other way to get "in His light" than to enter His presence.

So this verse is saying the same thing I found in Psalm 73, the other day. That it is only in His presence that things will make sense...that we can see the truth...that the darkness disappears from our eyes. We need His light to see clearly.

And that means that any time I don't understand...any time I don't know what to do, or where to go...instead of spending time and energy trying to figure things out, it would be far better to spend that  energy and time waiting on Him in His presence, where His light will cast all shadows away.

He is so good!

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