Monday, September 12, 2011

Psalm 85

1 Lord, thou hast been favourable unto thy land: thou hast brought back the captivity of Jacob.
2 Thou hast forgiven the iniquity of thy people, thou hast covered all their sin. Selah.
3 Thou hast taken away all thy wrath: thou hast turned thyself from the fierceness of thine anger.
4 Turn us, O God of our salvation, and cause thine anger toward us to cease.
5 Wilt thou be angry with us for ever? wilt thou draw out thine anger to all generations?
6 Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee?
7 Shew us thy mercy, O LORD, and grant us thy salvation.
8 I will hear what God the LORD will speak: for he will speak peace unto his people, and to his saints: but let them not turn again to folly.
9 Surely his salvation is nigh them that fear him; that glory may dwell in our land.
10 Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.
11 Truth shall spring out of the earth; and righteousness shall look down from heaven.
12 Yea, the LORD shall give that which is good; and our land shall yield her increase.
13 Righteousness shall go before him; and shall set us in the way of his steps.

Key Verse:
10 Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.

Key Observation:
A prophetic psalm of the millennium.

Memory Verse:
7 Shew us thy mercy, O LORD, and grant us thy salvation.

Devotion:

I believe this psalm to be strongly prophetic, looking forward to the time when Israel is at last reconciled to her God. Righteousness and peace kiss each other; but that cannot happen until the Lord Himself is reigning upon the earth. Israel will be a nation in mourning over its sin. Deep repentance will be felt throughout all the Jews. Israel shall also rejoice strongly over the presence of her Shepherd. It will only come when Christ brings both righteousness and peace.

By application, I think of repentance, or better put, of confession to be a paramount necessity for Christians today. Do you not realize that we will stand before Christ, where He will reward us for what we have done? He will not reward us with salvation; that was the gift given to us who BELIEVE, with all the payment made at the cross by our Savior. But He does expect us to walk in the Spirit, to be filled with the Spirit, and to produce the fruits of the Spirit. Many of us Christians today do not walk as we ought; we meander all over the place, without due regard to the One who would direct our steps. The Bible calls those type of Christians to be carnal Christians.

A. W. Tozer says: “A carnal Christian always blames secondary causes. You never knew a baby that took the blame for anything; it is always somebody else that is at fault.” I know a man, a Christian, who at every turn, is ready with an excuse as to why something is undone in his life. I have confronted him with his need to change; instead he clings to the vapor of his sin instead of changing. He misses the good things of God, in his case lifelong missing, because he simply will not judge himself. We are to judge ourselves, lest we be found wanting on that day.

How then shall we walk in the Spirit? The command of the Scripture is to “be filled” with the Spirit. The idea is to continuously “be being filled” with the Spirit. In the times when God is filling us, our focus is not on us, but on God. Most of us know remarkable men of God who seem to be all the time filled with the very presence of God; the one thing common to such men is that the last thing on their mind is themselves. They are too busy looking at God. A. W. Tozer: “A good man does not know he is good, and a holy man is not aware that he is holy, and the righteous man thinks he is miserable.”

So how are we filled? How do we walk daily with God? Chafer says: “To be filled is not the problem of getting more of the Spirit: it is rather the problem of the Spirit getting more of us. . . . True Christian character is produced in the believer, but not by the believer.” I have found it to be a very easy formula—the difficult part is focusing on God rather than myself. Continuously I find myself looking at me and what I want—just as continuously I need to recognize those wants as part of my sin nature. God wants me to confess those sins (Christ has already forgiven them). Confession is agreeing with God that the sin is a sin. That is the first step to be filled with the Spirit. Look at the people whose Christianity you admire. Are they busy with themselves or doing the things of God. I have learned that if I want to walk with God, I had better start by agreeing with God. Surrender myself, just as He surrendered Himself for me.

I Surrender All

All to Jesus, I surrender;
All to Him I freely give;
I will ever love and trust Him,
In His presence daily live.

Refrain

I surrender all, I surrender all,
All to Thee, my bless├Ęd Savior,
I surrender all.

All to Jesus I surrender;
Humbly at His feet I bow,
Worldly pleasures all forsaken;
Take me, Jesus, take me now.

Refrain

All to Jesus, I surrender;
Make me, Savior, wholly Thine;
Let me feel the Holy Spirit,
Truly know that Thou art mine.

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