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"...if anyone makes the assistance of grace depend on the humility or obedience of man and does not agree that it is a gift of grace itself that we are obedient and humble, he contradicts the Apostle who says, "What have you that you did not receive?" (1 Cor. 4:7), and, "But by the grace of God I am what I am" (1 Cor. 15:10). (Council of Orange: Canon 6)

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  • « God does not believe in atheists | Main | Consider your calling, brothers »

    Psalm Five: In the Morning You Will Hear My Voice

    Images of the Savior from the Psalms
    Psalm Five: In the Morning You Will Hear My Voice

    In peace had David lain down and slept the night before (Psalm 4:8); but when the morning came, his problems were not gone, and so with great and sorrowful groanings he poured out his soul to the Lord in supplications, and watched for his coming salvation.

    But as he wrestled with his thoughts, that morning on his bed, he could not make sense of all his woes: he knew that God did not delight in wickedness, that the boastful would not stand before him, that he would certainly destroy all who speak lies, and that he abhors in righteous contempt those bloodthirsty and deceitful men who surrounded him. How grim a picture does he paint of fallen, rebellious man, whose inmost being is destruction and who will let no truth touch even once upon his lying lips! So why, then, will God not judge them at once?

    And yet, his soul is not so downcast that he forgets this truth, that God's mercy and unfailing love will bring him without fail to God's holy Temple, and that, because of his righteousness, he will prepare a straight way for him in spite of all his enemies.

    After all, does the gospel not promise this much, that all who take refuge in the Lord will rejoice and sing for joy? And he has taken refuge in the Lord alone. But no, the foundation of hope is even surer yet, for God will most certainly bless the one supreme righteous One, and cover him with favor, and be for him as a shield against all his enemies (v. 12). Because this righteous One is blessed and has been given victory over all his enemies, David therefore finds sure hope as well for himself and all who take refuge in the Christ. The Messiah has won eternal blessing and victory over all his enemies; and how then shall we ever perish? May we not assure ourselves that he who raised up Jesus will also raise us up with him (2 Cor. 4:14). If God preserves the righteous One, Jesus Christ, will he not also preserve all of us who are in him?

    Thus did David reason in his heart, and his reasoning was sure and firm, and so his faith prevailed, and he lived to experience God's favor again, for he fully expected to see his salvation and vindication when the wicked men of this earth are judged. And now I must ask you, dear Christian, has your faith been made to triumph again this morning? Maybe last night you lay down in peace, for the Lord sustained you; but when you woke up in the morning, the problems were still real and your enemies – whoever or whatever they may be – seemed just as strong as ever. Do not lose heart, but pour out your groaning to the Lord, and reason with your fainting spirit, sustaining your weeping soul with the never-failing supports of the gospel! Look to David, who had almost fainted in the morning, but remembering the coming doom of the wicked, the favor that the righteous One, the Messiah, had won from God, and the blessedness of all who seek refuge in him, he was strengthened, and rejoiced again in the Lord.

    But look especially to the Son of David; for he was surrounded by wicked men too, whose lying lips and open throats sought to destroy him. But when their victory seemed utterly sure, and when even death and hell they had wrested to their evil purposes against him, then the Lord heard his cry, and for his righteousness' sake delivered him! Those who are evil will not dwell before our God: but the righteous One, our Lord Jesus Christ, has won his eternal favor, not just for himself, but for all who seek refuge in him.

    Why then will you still groan, you who seek refuge in Christ, the Son of David? God has heard the pleas of your Savior, and will he not hear your own? He will certainly hear your voice, and that right early in the morning, and turn all your tears to rejoicing, and your sighing to songs of joy. May the Lord spread his protection over you, oppressed Christian! Happy are all who rest in him. -- from Images of the Savior from the Psalms

    Posted by Nathan on May 24, 2010 12:07 PM

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