Sunday, February 3, 2019
Scratching the Surface of the Psalms - 39
Scratching the Surface of the Psalms
“Make America Godly Again!”
Psalm 39 is personal to the perils and predicaments of living amid the meanness, madness, misery, and miscreance of life in the world.
It’s also prophetic to the responsibilities of the Godly while living amid the meanness, madness, misery, and miscreance of life in the world.
Speaking for everyone conscious of the perils and predicaments of living in time still tainted by original sin or the instinct to insult God’s holiness and injure God’s people that proves humanity still bears more resemblance to the rebelling DNA of the Adamsons than Christians born anothen by grace through faith in Jesus, Psalm 39 acknowledges the existential suffering even of the Godly who trust God in the certainty of enduring and overcoming as preface to heavenly graces.
Primarily, David is speaking for all of us in confessing our assurance of eternal life in paradise does not diminish our disappointments, frustrations, challenges, and other pejoratives that are undeniably a part of life on earth.
Certainly, we know from the overwhelming witness of his psalms that David shares Paul’s strong calm sanity that “the sufferings of this age are not worth comparing to the glory to come” in heaven by grace through faith in Jesus.
Pero it can be so trying and painful and even discouraging on more than a few occasions in the meantime.
I like how William MacDonald, the late President of Emmaus Bible College, paraphrased Psalm 39: “I was fiercely determined to keep myself from rebelling or complaining against the Lord in spite of the extremity of my plight. I vowed to muzzle my mouth as long as I was in earshot of unbelievers. I didn’t want to give them any excuse for questioning the providence of God. So there I was, dumb and silent, with no outlet for my suppressed emotions. But it was no use. My heart was red hot with indignation and perplexity. I couldn’t understand why the Lord was allowing me to endure such overwhelming grief.”
“Finally,” the paraphrase continues, “all my pent up feelings burst forth in questioning prayer. Lord, how long is this nightmare going to last?…My only hope is in You. Apart from You, I have nothing. Deliver me!”
Admittedly, even those most intimate with God and trusting the eternity that lasts infinitely longer than our sojourn in time have moments when even the lack of doubt about the heavenly that happens in the end by grace through faith in Jesus does not totally pacify existential pain and suffering.
Truth is these are tribulating times.
The end is coming.
That’s what those red letters of Jesus make so clear in Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21 as graphically and often unintelligibly illustrated in the Revelation to John.
Prophetic voices around the world are witnessing to the increasing intensity of these eschatological times; and many of those voices are close to home.
Bob Hecox, who went home to Jesus back on January 3, 2012, often said in our chapel during Bible studies, “Do you know what time it is?”
He was being rhetorical.
We are somewhere/sometime in the end times.
John Haselton, Coach and June Haselton’s nephew, just wrote a devotional with this warning: “There is a full litany of slow-motion disasters that are wreaking havoc on America and indeed the world…All of these are symptoms of a spiritual deadness that threatens to devour the nations of the world; leaving in its wake people who can no longer tell right from wrong and indeed no longer desire to do so…leaving lonely, depressed, and broken humanity in their wake.”
God knows the catalogue of these tribulating times; and there isn’t enough space in this edition to list ‘em all.
However, the latest worst insult to God’s holiness that will be followed by another and another and another as the days grow closer to the end of time before the commencement of His eternal Kingdom when “every knee will bow and confess Jesus is Lord to the glory of the Father” is what just happened in New York on January 22, 2019 when Governor Andrew Cuomo signed state legislation that allows the murder of unborn babies at any time before birth including seconds from delivery.
Anyone who cannot see the barbarity and savagery and hideously grotesque insult to Creator God’s holiness by this latest assault on life’s sanctity is so blinded by satanos that exorcism not reason is the only remedy.
Again, that’s just the latest before the next illustration of a nation and world dying in darkness.
That’s why we cry out, “Make America Godly Again!”
Getting back to Coach and June’s nephew, John concluded, “What to do at such a time as this? At the risk of sounding old fashioned, I prescribe repentance…I cry out to this nation to repent of our evil ways.”
I hear Obadiah screaming to America to repent or else: “Your presumptuous heart has deceived you…who say to yourself, ‘Who can bring me down to the ground?’ Though you seem to soar like an eagle and make your nest among the stars, even from there I will bring you down…For the Day of the Lord is near against all nations!”
Yes, we must repent before it’s too late for America.
That means turning away from darkness and the satanosly oppressed and possessed and turning to God’s will in the Bible as best exemplified in Jesus, shattering the silence about America’s infidelities mirrored around the world, and modeling Someone better for Christ’s sake that will bless people because people are always blessed when the Godly follow His lead punctuated by grace, mercy, and a thirst and hunger for righteousness as modeled by Jesus in the manual called Holy Scripture that’s all wrapped up in His agape.
It means waking up, looking up, standing up, speaking up, and acting up for Jesus!
It means being the salt that stings to alert to the sin that’s killing America and the world and inhibiting existential and eternal salvation.
It means being the light that shines so brightly that darkness cannot overcome us as we point to the only way, truth, and life named Jesus.
It means being the good leaven of Godliness that mixes in for the better in all things at all times in all places with all people.
Back on January 20, 2019, elder Ev Worrell’s Sunday School class on the corner of Lincoln and Main spelled out that repentance by pointing to Exodus 20, Matthew 22, Matthew 28, and Acts 1 as the plan.
Exodus 20 has ten rules for Godly behavior to honor God; and when God is honored, everyone is blessed.
Look Him up!
Matthew 22 includes our incarnate Lord Jesus’ summary of Exodus 20. In short, love God and be kind to one another or love God by being kind to one another.
Look Him up!
Matthew 28 and Acts 1 are the charge to the Godly to serve Him by sharing Him because everyone and everything get better when people relate to each other through Him.
Look Him up!
So let me repeat the plan as simply as possible.
Wake up! Look up! Stand up! Speak up! Act up for Jesus!
Shatter the sound of silence!
Salt! Shine! Leavenate!
You will be glad you did!
America and the world will be better!
In short, make America Godly again!
Take a deep breath.
If we don’t do that, it’ll all keep going to everywhere but heaven.
Blessings and Love!