August 17th, 2016
How long, O Lord? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me? How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily? How long will my enemy be exalted over me? Psalm 13:1, 2.
Our gracious God and Father, we love You and bless Your holy name because Your love toward us is better than life! Please grant that no situation will make us lose sight of that truth. This we ask in the blessed name of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Amen.
We have just concluded a five day study on the protection that God provides for His own; for those who have set their love on Him. We ended on the note that those who do this can claim these promises. I hope you are aware that the only reason that God requires for doing His will, is LOVE. “If you love Me keep my commandments” (John 14:15). Not if you want to be saved. Not if you want others to consider you a good person. ONLY IF YOU LOVE ME!
” ‘ “And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments of the Lord and His statutes which I command you today for your good (Deuteronomy 10: 12, 13. Emphasis provided.)?
Having said what I said, and read this verse, let us continue with our study for today. There were two promises which were not mentioned in our past study: long life and salvation. The latter, of greatest importance! Therefore, as an introduction to our new study, we will take a look at these last two promises which, I believe, serve as a very relevant background to the study we are about to begin.
Satisfy him with long life. In the Ancient Hebrew Scriptures the theme of longevity is everywhere. The truth be told, God created us to live forever! It is sin that interrupted the perfect plan of God. But thanks be to God, it was not a permanent interruption. Those who live and believe in God, “will never die.” For the Christian death becomes a sleep! May this reality bring us comfort in midst of the pain of separation!
God deals with His children in mercy. Oftentimes, when a child is acting up and the parent fears that the child could hurt himself or herself, the mother will usually take the child in her arms and rock the child to sleep in order to protect him or her from harm.
God, as the All-wise, All-merciful, All-loving Parent, sees not only the child who is acting up now, but also the child, who, in the not too distant future, will begin to act up, to his or her perdition; and in mercy, He takes that child in His loving arms, and rocks him or her to sleep; to keep him or her from “the evil to come” (Isaiah 57:1, 2). He and she will receive this promise of long life, when they are awakened by the voice of their Heavenly Parent, to live forevermore!
Then we will see God’s salvation in a completely new light! In God’s tomorrow there will be “no more sorrow; for I know that God’s tomorrow will be better than today!” A. H. Ackley. Then many unanswered questions will be answered in such a satisfactory way, that all tears can then be wiped away forever (Revelation 21:4)!
Today we begin another study in which we will see the reaction to suffering in the great controversy from quite a different perspective than that expressed in Psalm 91. In Psalm 13, a very short psalm, the psalmist David is asking God, How long, O Lord, will my enemy be exalted over me?
We will continue this conversation tomorrow!