“Fill their faces with shame that they may seek your name, O Lord. Let them be put to shame and dismayed forever; let them perish in disgrace that they may know that you alone, whose name is the Lord, are the Most High over all the earth.” Ps 83:16-18
“How lovely is your dwelling place O Lord of Hosts! My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the Lord; my heart and flesh sing for joy to the Living God.” Ps 84:1-2
A study in contrasts: How can the Scriptures like these be reconciled in the light of Redemption?
The Psalmist in 83 is full of, you know, and vinegar. What he writes, sings, and prays is pretty nasty I think. It is hard to read love and mercy in it.
The Psalmist in 84 is more like it. He is writing things that I can get behind and stuff that I hear just about every day.
Both are the Word of the Lord; Holy Scripture.
So what do I do? What is “redeeming” about 83 AND 84?
Here’s the key: Both represent facets of the Jewel that is the Gospel.
The Gospel is “Good News.” It is indeed (Praise His Name forever for this unilateral Gift of Grace!!). But the Good News has a significant component of bad news as well. Actually for there to be “Good News” it must start from the Actual news: Everyone from Adam is unavoidably on track to suffer God’s just Condemnation and His subsequent Holy Wrath against sin. No way around it. It is that “no way around it” that defines “We need an Intercessor, an Advocate, a substitutionary Sacrifice.”
Ok…and the point is?
I have swings of emotion. Yep, anyone who knows me for any length of time can attest to that. Some of it is biological, chemical stuff that I have but I have to face it: It all springs from Sin warring in my body and mind.
Channeling the basis of Psalms 84 is a matter of work; of intentional training my members for righteousness—including my mind. I can have that so-called “godly righteousness”—but I have to realize that is oh so tainted with Sin through and through.
The Believers call is to testify of Him who has saved; that my heart and flesh sing for joy to the Living God! We are His people, the sheep of His hand. We are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation—a people for his own possession that we may proclaim the Excellencies of Him who called you… (1 Peter 2:9)
Pressing in, I yearn for Him. At least that is my objective.
Lord Jesus, help me to write better. I want the words to be what is springing out of my heart and the words hammering in my heart. Last thing I want to be is superficial. All my hope is in You, all of my hope. AMEN.