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 11:12-22 He who despises his neighbor lacks sense, But a man of understanding keeps silent. He who goes about as a talebearer reveals secrets, But he who is trustworthy conceals a matter. Where there is no guidance the people fall, But in abundance of counselors there is victory. He who is guarantor for a stranger will surely suffer for it, But he who hates being a guarantor is secure. A gracious woman attains honor, And ruthless men attain riches. The merciful man does himself good, But the cruel man does himself harm. The wicked earns deceptive wages, But he who sows righteousness gets a true reward. He who is steadfast in righteousness will attain to life, And he who pursues evil will bring about his own death. The perverse in heart are an abomination to the Lord, But the blameless in their walk are His delight. Assuredly, the evil man will not go unpunished, But the descendants of the righteous will be delivered. As a ring of gold in a swine’s snout So is a beautiful woman who lacks discretion.
If you follow the narrative promoted by the major news outlets, listen to the drone of subjectivism from your increasingly androgynous co-workers, or get ambushed by the intersectionality mafia on social media, you may be tempted to walk away believing that the wicked are winning. Abortion mills continue hacking away at the fabric of civilization. People who speak for the unborn are demonized as bullies and terrorists, while the real terrorists, people like Tanya Franklin and Jeffery Glazer, are considered upstanding citizens, pillars of the community who are providing a valuable service to women in need. The rule of Law has completely derailed in America, with folks who burn LGBT flags being sentenced to15 years in prison, for “hate crimes” (see footnote for background), while the LGBT community, despite all the evidence to the contrary, is heralded as a safe, legitimate lifestyle choice while leaving a mountain of destroyed bodies and souls in its wake. George Orwell could not write a better script than the one which happens to be reality as 2019 comes to a close. Sometimes I feel like Charleton Heston in Planet of the Apes, who declared “It’s a madhouse!”, while being hosed down by an ape wearing men’s clothing.
Do you ever feel this way? As your day comes to a close, and it’s just you and the Almighty, are you sometimes tempted to believe this nutty narrative? As you are increasingly bombarded by a never ending string of gender pronouns, subjective truths, and calls to self loathing because of your whiteness, is it tempting for you to question your eschatology? Is your post-millenialism, or optimistic amillenialism taking a hit, leading you to long for that helicopter ride out of here at the rapture? Do the worries of this world seem to choke out the fruitfulness in your walk with Christ?
Sure they do. Thankfully there is good news for us, and it’s twofold: “Assuredly, the evil man will not go unpunished, But the descendants of the righteous will be delivered.”
Our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, is a Man of War, with eyes like a flame of fire, and He must reign until ALL His enemies are made a footstool.
Brothers and sisters, the world and its lusts are passing away. The reprobate is being given over to their degrading passions and depraved minds. They are condemned already, without help in the world because of their unbelief. Jesus encouraged us to remember that we are to fear not the one who can destroy the body, but to fear the One who can destroy both soul and body in Hell.
Abraham faced a precarious future: old, with an old barren wife. Time, that ever present enemy. Barrenness and age were no match for God, because nothing is impossible for Him, and all the nations on earth have been blessed.
Saul and his armies trembled before Goliath in the face of what they believed was certain defeat. David shows up and slays Goliath like a dog and goes on to have his ten thousands, and the promise of One who would sit on His throne and reign forever.
The Centurion, a man of authority, was not deterred by the severity of his servants illness, nor Jesus’ distance from him, imploring Christ to “Just give the word”. Jesus gave it and the servant was healed that very hour.
The common thread among all these stories, was faith. It is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. We have the promise of Christ to never leave us nor forsake us. To defeat our enemies. That nothing can separate us from His love. We hope for these things, yet frequently what we see in real time looks like the opposite. We see death. We see suffering. We experience heartache and setbacks. We are abandoned by friends and family. Our own bodies fail us. We do not FEEL victorious. And everybody knows that our feelings determine truth, right? Wrong. Jesus promised these things, did He not? He said that in this world we will have tribulations but fear not I have overcome the world.
Paul told us that it has not only been granted to us that we would believe, but also to suffer for His namesake. These enemies that trouble you, who seem to be gaining victory after victory, leaving you feeling cast down, are working together for your good. They are light, momentary afflictions which God grants you to walk through, having faith in the finished work of Christ, being conformed to His image.
Psalm 73:1-28 NASB
Surely God is good to Israel, To those who are pure in heart! But as for me, my feet came close to stumbling, My steps had almost slipped. For I was envious of the arrogant As I saw the prosperity of the wicked. For there are no pains in their death, And their body is fat. They are not in trouble as other men, Nor are they plagued like mankind. Therefore pride is their necklace; The garment of violence covers them. Their eye bulges from fatness; The imaginations of their heart run riot. They mock and wickedly speak of oppression; They speak from on high. They have set their mouth against the heavens, And their tongue parades through the earth. Therefore his people return to this place, And waters of abundance are drunk by them. They say, "How does God know? And is there knowledge with the Most High?" Behold, these are the wicked; And always at ease, they have increased in wealth. Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure And washed my hands in innocence; For I have been stricken all day long And chastened every morning. If I had said, "I will speak thus," Behold, I would have betrayed the generation of Your children. When I pondered to understand this, It was troublesome in my sight Until I came into the sanctuary of God; Then I perceived their end. Surely You set them in slippery places; You cast them down to destruction. How they are destroyed in a moment! They are utterly swept away by sudden terrors! Like a dream when one awakes, O Lord, when aroused, You will despise their form. When my heart was embittered And I was pierced within, Then I was senseless and ignorant; I was like a beast before You. Nevertheless I am continually with You; You have taken hold of my right hand. With Your counsel You will guide me, And afterward receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but You? And besides You, I desire nothing on earth. My flesh and my heart may fail, But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. For, behold, those who are far from You will perish; You have destroyed all those who are unfaithful to You. But as for me, the nearness of God is my good; I have made the Lord GOD my refuge, That I may tell of all Your works.
If you are able, please kneel as we confess to our Heavenly Father how we have sinned and fallen short of His glory.
We are frequently embroiled in the everyday struggles of life, and in our striving, we take our eyes off Jesus. We focus all our attention on the enemy, while Your Word tells us to look unto Jesus. We wrongfully believe that we can do all things in our own strength, utilizing our own finite wisdom, and in the end will rightfully receive the praise and honor for it, and we forget that it is You Who supplies all our strength, grants us wisdom, and is the only One worthy of praise. Though we know You have saved us, that Your promises of refuge, deliverance, and sustainment are sure and true, we so quickly forget when the day of trial comes. When the cares of this life pile on, we quickly revert back to our default position, which is to hunker down and try to make the best of it. Father, this response is not the abundant life You promised. It is not the victory that Your Son purchased for us on Calvary. It is a defeatist attitude rooted in a lack of faith and unbelief. Father, please forgive us for our sins. Please grant us repentant hearts which will seek Your face in both times of famine and times of plenty. In the Name of Jesus we pray, Amen.
Please stand with me, and listen to the comforting assurance of the grace of God, promised in the gospel to all that believe:
Titus 2:11-14 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.
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!
Footnote: A man stole a flag from a "church" and burned it outside of a bar while making threats against the bar. He was a known felon. He deserved to pay restitution for stealing and any punishment for threats. However the majority of his prison sentence was based upon hate crime legislation which is unjust and being used to protect sexual perversions.
(From the 12/29/19 liturgy of Sovereign King Church written by Aaron Sabie.)