Bible In One Year-Day 274 (Wednesday, October 01, 2014)
Commentary: Psalms81-85. To be a Christian does not translate to exemption from troubles and battles of life. It is not to be exempted from going through fearful and lonely moments of life. As a matter of fact being a Christian will subject you to more horrifying trials of life. Christianity is not a religion as we secularly proclaim, but a name given to the type of relationship between man and God at the expense of the splendors of this world; i.e. a relationship that is strengthened by tribulations. Hear what the scripture says;
Acts 14:22 “Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.”
Here we see that tribulation is a pathway to entering the kingdom of God. May I clearly state that the type of tribulation is not that suffered as a result of personally tempting the devil. It is, rather, that as a result of remaining faithful to God in your walk with Him in the face of oppositions and persecuting powers.
The psalmist, in chapter 83, mentioned such fearful moment for the nation of Israel. The enemy increased in size and strength. They plotted to eradicate, totally, the nation of Israel. Israel looked at himself and considers himself too small for the enemy.
Psalms 83:3-4 “They have taken crafty counsel against thy people, and consulted against thy hidden ones. They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance.”
It is through this difficult time that they discovered the awesomeness of God. They got to know Him as their Sun that gives light in the darkness and shield that protects them from fiery arrows of the wicked. They discovered GRACE and GLORY.
Psalms 84:11 “For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.”
God did not promise that we shall not be troubled in this world, but promised to be with and keep us. He did not promise that we shall not come across the evil ones, but He promised that we shall overcome them. He did not promise that we shall not see danger, but He promised that only with our eyes shall we behold it.
Isaiah 43:2 “When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.”
Apostle Paul narrated his ordeal in this wise in 2Cor11. An excerpt says this;
2 Corinthians 11:26-27 “In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.”
In these sufferings, he still cared for the churches and remained faithful to God who called him; his relationship with God became stronger and therefore received strength in his spirit (grace) to press on.
2 Corinthians 12:9 “And he said to me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
In this view, what God promised for the Christians in this world is GRACE and GLORY. Grace is the strengthening of the spirit of man by the Holy Spirit in the face of everything that is not agreeing with God. Grace is less of flesh and more of the Holy Spirit. Glory is the protection given to shield us from the weapon of the enemy. Glory is the reflection or expression of God through us, i.e. His brightness. This shield, i.e. glory, can be removed, though, if iniquity is allowed.
Psalms 125:3 “For the rod of the wicked shall not rest upon the lot of the righteous; lest the righteous put forth their hands unto iniquity.”
In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve enjoyed this glory; no grace was necessary then. All the animals respected man because of the glory around him; being protected by the glory. Unfortunately, when sin was allowed, the hedge of glory was broken, and mosquitoes and other biting animals began to attack man. This was because the hedge was destroyed. Adam lost the glory through despising the word, but man must get it back by regarding and obeying the word. the more you allow His word to have a place in you, the more of the glory in the word that reflects through you; it is not memorizing the word, but observing and doing it.
God honors His word more than His name. But Christ came with GRACE and TRUTH to restore man. Grace to see him through the pains, perils and tribulations of sin, and truth to set him free from the bondage of sin. Therefore, as Christians, we need to pray for more of His grace on daily basis and more of His truth to break the power of sin. In every aspect of life, we need grace; the grace to be a good, caring and responsible spouse, the grace to be an outstanding worker, grace to be a good parent (not basically in terms of money but to provide moral advice and inculcate enduring discipline with good examples), grace to be a mentor and a good leader. Grace in all life endeavors. Without grace, all our efforts in life will round up to zero and it might be too late when eventually realized. To draw grace and glory, the psalmist advice that we walk uprightly and trust in God’s strength;
MLB Psalms 84:12 “O Lord of hosts, blessed is the man who trusts in Thee.”
The world is a battle field and Satan is the prince of this world; we need grace to be overcomers. In summary, grace is the knitting of the Holy Spirit with man’s spirit to become one. This is the goal of God.
Tribulation is the process by which God allows trials and temptations (by the devil) to nail (or crucify) the flesh to the cross. It is the process by which the cross kills the flesh.. God uses it to break the power of sin and for the glory to come out brighter.
2 Corinthians 4:17 “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;”
In most cases where tribulation is mentioned in the Bible, glory is mentioned along with it. Christians don’t pray to receive power, but for more of His grace and revelation of His glory.
Ephesians 3:16 “That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;”
Let us seek for the old path where we could find rest. Let us listen to the trumpet’s sound, wherewith we could escape the calamity to come. Our reading for today is Psalms86-90. Keep the fire of burning and alive.