The Psalm writer wrote: Open my eyes, that I may behold Wonderful things from Your law. As we come before a Holy God and hear his word, may we have eyes open to the wonderful and fearful things from his law. May it move us to repent and seek forgiveness, fear disobedience, and live in light of the grace we have received. This is the word of God. It is eternally true and applicable for all of life.
Proverbs 19:21-29. Listen to counsel and accept discipline, That you may be wise the rest of your days. Many plans are in a man’s heart, But the counsel of the Lord will stand. What is desirable in a man is his kindness, And it is better to be a poor man than a liar. The fear of the Lord leads to life, So that one may sleep satisfied, untouched by evil. The sluggard buries his hand in the dish, But will not even bring it back to his mouth. Strike a scoffer and the naive may become shrewd, But reprove one who has understanding and he will gain knowledge. He who assaults his father and drives his mother away Is a shameful and disgraceful son. Cease listening, my son, to discipline, And you will stray from the words of knowledge. A rascally witness makes a mockery of justice, And the mouth of the wicked spreads iniquity. Judgments are prepared for scoffers, And blows for the back of fools.
Never is a person more vulnerable to the evils of the world than when they are asleep. Unaware of your surroundings, senses cut off from your environment, unable to move, and incapable of discerning threats to your well being mark the state of one who is asleep. While asleep, whether physically or spiritually, one is essentially blind, deaf, and paralyzed, at the mercy of those who wish to do harm.
Consider a child who suffers from nightmares, seeing ghostly spectors in their darkened closets, awakened by sounds of goblins under their beds. This same child rests easy when in the presence of their father. When things go bump in the night, only a loving father by their side permits a frightened child to find peace as they sleep. When asleep, one can find peace and rest knowing there is someone watching over them, protecting them, and acting always for their good.
The fear of the Lord leads to life, So that one may sleep satisfied, untouched by evil.
General Stonewall Jackson understood this principle well, famously stating "Captain, my religious belief teaches me to feel as safe in battle as in bed. God has fixed the time for my death. I do not concern myself about that, but to be always ready, no matter when it may overtake me. Captain, that is the way all men should live, and then all would be equally brave."
In this life with its pitfalls of world, flesh, and devil, one may rest easy knowing who it is that governs all things. In a world replete with uncertainty, we as Christians can rest assured upon an unshakable, unshifting, unchanging foundation. As the god hating masses devour one another, demanding the wearing of masks and subservience to Marxist movements, shackling people with the bonds of fear, Jesus says "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28).
The fear of the LORD leads to life, as those who have it are driven to the cross of Christ, having their sin soiled consciences sprinkled clean, being declared innocent before a Holy God, having their guilt pardoned, with God's wrath satisfied by the substitutionary atonement of our Lord Jesus Christ.
It is only at the foot of Calvary's cross where one can find rest.
Does this mean a life of no trial?
A life of no pain?
A life free of calamity, and heartache?
No. No. And, no.
It does mean however that we can rest assured knowing that whatever may come, whatever may befall us, what the world may mean for evil, God will work it together for our good.
Do we live as if we believe that? When a light momentary affliction strikes, do you rest easy knowing that the ordainer of all things means this for your good, or do you fret, tossing and turning as sleep eludes you? When the fiery trial comes, is your sleep riddled with anxiety, or do you rest easy, knowing that nothing can separate you from His love? When calamity falls upon your head, do you say with Job's wife "Curse God and die!", or do you respond in faith like Job "Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?" ( Job 2:10).
Brothers and sisters, where we are anxious, doubting, and lack faith, let us repent. Where we find ourselves without peace and rest, let us repent and flee to the refuge found in Christ.
If you are able, please kneel as we seek forgiveness from our Heavenly Father, pleading the blood of Christ Who saves to the uttermost.
Merciful Heavenly Father,
We thank You that You remember our frames, that we are merely men, women, boys, and girls of dust. We thank You for our advocate, the Lord Jesus, Who understands our weaknesses and infirmities, and gave Himself as a sweet smelling aroma that we may have abundant life.
We thank You Father for the Holy Spirit, Who intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. Please be merciful towards us sinners, as we look at the world which is passing away, quivering in fear at calamity and mayhem rather than trembling in fear over a Holy, Just God.
Father please forgive us our trespasses against You alone, and restore to us the joy of Your salvation.
In Jesus' name we pray, Amen
Please join me in standing and listen to the comforting assurance of the grace of God, promised in the gospel to all that believe:
If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. -1 John 1:8-9
To all those who thus repent and seek Jesus Christ for their salvation, your sins are forgiven in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Lift up your hearts!
(From the 07/20/2020 liturgy of Sovereign King Church written by Aaron Sabie.)