Archive for August 2014

The Indescribable God [Part 1]   Leave a comment

Psalm 139

Psalm 139

It’s quite difficult to describe what David felt in his heart when writing Psalm 139. It’s a psalm of praise and worship all through.

  • The God who knows

O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me.You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord. You hem me in behind and before,and you lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. ” Ps. 139:1-4

God not only knows our struggles, strengths and feelings but He also knows these things no one else on this earth know except us. This God knows things about us that we ourselves do not know. He knows the tears we secretly shed. It might go unnoticed to me that I mechanically do things like sitting, walking and eating but God is very attentive and nothing goes unnoticed to Him. Before we utter what is conceived in our minds, God heard it. This is what David means “You know, you see and you hear like no one else does and can.” God will not be surprised by anything we do. God is  acquainted with all our ways, our inclinations and our reactions are wholly predictable to Him. There’s no secret to Him. A husband who has been married for years will still misjudge/misinterpret the reactions of his wife but not this God. God’s perception of us is the very essence of our true nature.  David was overwhelmed and humbled by God’s omniscience/foreknowledge. I admire the writings of many intellectuals, their knowledge and discoveries but I am left benumb at the One who created what they discovered.

  • The God who is present

Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.

As the air fills the earth and surrounds us, so God’s Spirit surrounds us by His presence. We cannot escape God’s presence since He is omnipresent. In the presence of my parents or a law representative, I’ll fear to commit an offense. Should not we be more alert that there is not such a thing as “sins done in secret” since there’re permanent spotlights fixed in heaven on us?  Is there such a sinful gloomy place we can go that God will fear to tread? We find it easy to imagine that God is present in churches but can hardly conceive that He can be present in such places as brothels. God’s presence is everywhere, it us who make sinful things in His presence. Heaven is His throne and the earth His footstool (Is. 66).

What an horrible and obnoxious thing it is to sin in His presence!  God does not tolerate sin in His presence. Paul explained that God’s holy wrath rests on those who refuse to repent and persist sinning.

Romans 1:18 says : “God’s [holy] wrath and indignation are revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who in their wickedness repress and hinder the truth and make it inoperative.” AMP

Hell is the removal from God’s presence. It is a prison God created (in His presence) to deprive His enemies from His glorious presence.

They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might” 2 Thes. 1:9

And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us” Luke 16:26

But there is still hope for the greatest sinner who repents. In Luke 7:36-50, we have a scene where a prostitute came in the presence of our Lord with  a repentant heart. Our Lord did not cast her away even though He knew the Jews despised Him for allowing her touching Him. If Jesus saved His reputation before the religious Pharisees by refusing to admit in His presence a category of sinners, many of us would not be saved today. Jesus was present for those who needed Him. It was those who were sick who needed a doctor He said.

But when the teachers of religious law who were Pharisees saw him eating with tax collectors and other sinners, they asked his disciples, “Why does he eat with such scum?” When Jesus heard this, he told them, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.” Mark 2:16

Jesus even told the religious Jews that these people we often tag as great sinners will be in His holy presence.

I tell you the truth, corrupt tax collectors and prostitutes will get into the Kingdom of God before you do.” Mat. 21:31

In the parable of the Great feast (Luke 14:15), it was those who did not deserve to be in the holy presence of God who were called.

God’s presence is still among sinners even though He abhors their sins.

David reckoned that heaven was God’s throne and that the intensity of His presence would be as fiery as a burning furnace. So he thought that God will retreat His presence in such a desolated place as hell. It was after all the terrible place of torment God created to outpour His anger on His enemies. The rich man of Luke 16:19 pledged for Lazarus to warn his brothers to escape this horrible place of torment. God’s glorious presence and divine justice burst through the existence of hell. Hell is a powerful testimony that God is in control and supreme. Hell is like a vacuum God created in His presence to exclude His enemies from His holy presence.It is like the filament found in the vacuum of a bulb. We can see it burning but it has no contact with the outside world. Hell testifies that God rightly judges those who refuse to submit and adore Him. Paul said that:

At the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Phil. 2:10

Even those under the earth, Satan and all his demons, will bow down before Jesus and confess He is Lord.If the earth had an edge and I managed to go far thereof whether it be eastwards or westwards and crashed somewhere on its edge, still there God’s presence will reach me with the same intensity.

Thou art in heaven, in thy glory; in hell, in thy vindictive justice; and in all parts or earth, water, space, place, or vacuity, by thy omnipresence. Wherever I am, there art thou; and where I cannot be, thou art there. Thou fillest the heavens and the earth.” Adam Clarke

Posted August 31, 2014 by Cedric in My writings (English)

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He is not anxious and fears not   Leave a comment

He is not anxious when there's drought

He is not anxious when there’s drought

This is what the Lord says: “Cursed are those who put their trust in mere humans, who rely on human strength and turn their hearts away from the Lord. They are like stunted shrubs in the desert, with no hope for the future. They will live in the barren wilderness, in an uninhabited salty land.” Jeremiah 17:5-6

Though I read this verse of Jeremiah several times, I did not really grasp what the author meant when he contrasted those who trusted and did trust not in God. When I saw God intervene in multiple decisions of my life, I started to see this truth plainly. There’s an indisputable difference between those who trust in God and those who don’t.

It was not Jeremiah who said “cursed are those who don’t trust God”, but it was God Himself who engaged Himself to make this statement. This reminds me Jesus’ words in John 15 when He said “apart from me you can do nothing” or “you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me”. I observed that many who do not trust in the Jesus prosper financially and can be very successful. Why are they cursed then? Our Lord says because they have no hope for the future.

This is how I illustrate it:  Fruits that have been removed from the tree will change from its unripened state to its ripen state quickly. The taste of a fruit which naturally ripped on the tree and one which was cut prematurely is not the same even though on the outside both are of the same color. The fruit which ripped naturally was due to the life brought by the tree’s sap but the one which was cut off changed its color to the ripen state due to death. One fruit was living and the other rotting. This is the difference between those who trust in the Lord and those who don’t.

Many well-known figures ascended quickly to elevated positions but their fall was quicker than their ascension.

We read in the book of proverbs : “Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall.” Prov. 16:18

My relatives often make the remark that vegetables produced with chemical fertilizers rot faster than those which grew naturally. Even in years of drought the vegetables which grow naturally are fresher than those doped by fertilizers. The world offers many ‘fertilizers’ like lottery or ungodly paths to make us blossom faster. Shall we be radical enough to draw our strength, hope and life only in Jesus?

Those who turn away from God have no hope for the future. They cheat and take shortcuts like fraud to ascend quickly and they are still insatiable. They think they are happy but they are still anxious. They are anxious because they have no hope. They have no hope because they are unable to control future events. The scripture teaches us to commit our plans to God and not to rely on our strength or uncertainties.

Still in the book of proverbs, we read : “Commit your actions to the Lord, and your plans will succeed.”  Prov. 16:3

Blessed is the man who keep faith in the Lord but cursed is he who rejects Jesus. The man who trusts in God does not lose hope and confidence even during times of tragedy. Let there be heat and drought, this man’s hope is in Christ and fears not. He is firmly rooted in Christ and does not cease to produce fruits.

But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit.” Jer. 17:7-8

 

 

Posted August 13, 2014 by Cedric in My writings (English)

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