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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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  • « Psalm and Antipsalm by David Powlison | Main | A word of caution »

    Psalm Twelve: Save, O Yahweh, Because the Godly One Has Come to an End!

    Images of the Savior from the Psalms
    Psalm Twelve: Save, O Yahweh, Because the Godly One Has Come to an End!

    There have been times in Church history, and also, no doubt, times in the personal history of many of the saints, when it seems as if all the righteous have vanished away. So Elijah cried out in an agony of despair, “I, only I am left, and they seek my life!” (1 Kings 19:10); and the echoes of that sharp complaint have since reverberated in many souls populating the Kingdom after him. In those times, the only bedrock of hope is the unshakeable truth that “the words of Yahweh are pure words, silver refined in a furnace in the earth, purified seven times” (vs. 6); and those words include many strong promises of deliverance from every enemy, which the righteous always seize upon and plead back to the Father (vss. 7-8).

    But only at one time in history could it ever be said that the very last Godly One, the Chasid whom we have met before in our walk through the psalms, had actually, as it were, come to an end of his very life, and disappeared into the grave; and then, as sheep which are scattered when the Shepherd is smitten (Zech. 13:7; Mat. 26:31), all the faithful likewise vanished from among the children of men.

    Think of how the wicked boasted at that time, how they thought to prevail with their lips, how they said, “We have triumphed, we have overcome this great menace, this troubler of Israel!”. They flattered him with their lips of deception while he was here, and then boasted great things against him, and rejoiced for a time when he was gone (vss. 2-4; John 16:20-22); and they thought they had despoiled the poor disciples of their heavenly Treasure forever (vs. 5).

    But when those poor, troubled disciples groaned and sorrowed for a time (John 16:20-22), then Yahweh spoke, and his words were true and sure: “I will now arise, I will put him in the safety for which he longs!” (vs. 5). And so he did: for he raised up his Christ, and put him on the Throne of David, at his own right hand; and wonder of wonders, he raised us up together with him! When God's Chasid went into the grave, then all the faithful vanished; but when he rose again, then all the faithful were raised up again with him (Eph. 2:5-6; Col. 3:1), and gathered together again – and who now shall ever put them to shame?

    Remember this, Christian, whenever you feel alone, and think you will be overcome. The words of the Lord are pure, his promises are as silver refined seven times, and all those promises are “Yes” for you in Christ (2 Cor. 1:20). He has once gone down to the grave, never again to vanish from his eternal throne on high.

    Posted by Nathan on July 12, 2010 10:32 PM

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