Thursday, May 19, 2016

"O worship the King!"

Day #141

Scripture Reading:  Psalms 45 - 47 …

In reading through the Bible, those who are given ears to hear ... and eyes to see ... and minds to understand ... and hearts to accept ... readily see the truth that this is God's testimony concerning Himself and His purpose and plan for the earth and for all those who have lived, are living and ever will live upon it.  The words of these psalms were written and sung by God's people some 3,000 years ago, yet they speak clearly of Jesus and of God's purpose to reign over all the earth.  The past and the future come together and merge into one arrow pointing to the majesty, power and wisdom of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

It is virtually impossible as a Christian to read Psalm 45 and not think immediately of the descendant of David who will reign over the nations.  The writer mentions "the king" (vs. 2) and speaks of his splendor and majesty. "In your majesty ride forth victoriously in behalf of truth, humility and righteousness …" (vs. 4).  At one time he speaks of God:  "Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever …" (vs. 6), and of one whom God has set "above your companions" (vs. 7).  This "one" will be "married" to his bride and "the nations will praise you for ever and ever" (vs. 17).

The entire Psalm speaks of the coming King, descended from David, before whom the nations will bow.  He will be united with His Bride, the Church, and we will be "led in with joy and gladness" as we "enter the palace of the king" (45:15).  This picture of the wedding of the King and His Bride is repeated in Revelation 19:6-9:  " … the wedding of the Lamb has come, and His bride has made herself ready" … "Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!"  Only those who are united to Christ by faith through the work of His Holy Spirit will share eternity with Him in the new heavens and the new earth.  For these there is good news even as we live in this world.

Psalm 46 transports believers into the presence of the God who is with us.  When God SEEMS far away, the truth is that He is "our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. THEREFORE, we will not fear!" (46:1-2).  Fear is not of the Lord, our God.  God dwells in His holy place, and He has determined that through the cleansing blood of Jesus, WE are the place where He will dwell!  Thus the refrain, "The LORD Almighty IS with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress" (46:7,11).  Notice the specific nature of this declaration.  It is not just any "god" that is with us, but the Almighty God, Yahweh, the great "I AM," the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob!

There is so much "noise" in our world today that tries to drown out God's voice; thus, the call to "be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth" (46:10).  Where do you find strength?  Where do you find a refuge, a fortress, where there is peace and rest?  God rules over the nations.  He holds you in His hands.  He is with you and will never leave you.  His purpose will be accomplished and all the earth will praise Him.  You and I who believe have the privilege of doing that TODAY and every day!  But that will happen only if you know Him and know that HE alone is God AND that through faith in His Son Jesus Christ He IS with you - NOW and forever!

The result is expressed so beautifully in Psalm 47:  "Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy.  How awesome is the LORD Most High, the great King over all the earth!" (vss. 1-2).  See again the relationship of God to the nations.  He subdues them, while choosing His inheritance. How do you know if you are part of His inheritance?  You will praise Him!!  God is and will be exalted over all things.  He IS the King of all the earth and is worthy of praise, so why don't all people praise Him?  Because they don't know Him, they don't confess His Name and they do not come to Him in the only way that God has provided:  through faith in Jesus Christ.

Most people refuse to acknowledge any king; they refuse to believe that anyone rules over them.  The sinful nature wants to rule itself - thus the conflicts, wars and turmoil all over the earth.  It will be so until He comes before whom every knee will bow and whose name every tongue will confess.  The Psalmist wrote of Him more than 3,000 years ago.  We know who He is!  When Jesus asked His disciples, "Who do you say I am?” He was calling them to acknowledge that He is the One the Law, the Psalms and the Prophets spoke about.

After His resurrection, Jesus appeared to His disciples and said, "This is what I told you while I was still with you:  Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms" (Luke 24:44).  It was Psalms like these that Jesus was referring to, for they speak of His majesty, truth, humility and righteousness.  Even now Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father, reigning over all things until He comes to reign as King upon the earth over all the nations.  And He will come again to defeat His enemies and ours and we will reign with Him!

Since these things are true, what difference does it make in your daily life?  When you are tempted to be discouraged, to give in to temptation, to live for the things of the world, do you see how believing in Jesus and knowing that He IS King gives you direction, focus, purpose and meaning for everything you do?  In your family, in the Church, at work and in your leisure, Jesus calls you to serve Him and to remember who HE is, so you will know who YOU are:  a child of THE KING!

Worship the King with joy today and find in Him all you need, remembering always that, God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear … The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress!"

"Almighty God, through Your anointed King I find strength, rest, hope, joy and peace.  Help me daily to set my heart and my mind on worshiping You, giving my life to serve You in the name of Your Son Jesus and by the power of Your Spirit who lives within me.  Remind me often that not only will You give me all I need, but that You ARE all I need!  May I live every day to give You praise, in Jesus' name, Amen"

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