The LORD is a stronghold for the oppressed,
a stronghold in times of trouble.
And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek you.
**So I’m going through this while in line to vote.**
We understand that we can run to God when we are oppressed, and when we are in trouble. He is our stronghold when we merely feel oppressed, or when we feel troubled. But keep thinking about it, and you may realize that because you know that God is your stronghold, you wouldn’t feel oppressed or troubled as easily. Furthermore, if true oppression or trouble is present, you wouldn’t be shaken so easily. Do you see the difference?
I suppose it’s one way to seek the Lord – to ‘seek’ His word by way of meditating on it, by way of allowing just a bit more of our minds and involving just a bit more of our beings to take in each word. In my case this includes considerations such as why this word was used in this translation, why another word was used in another translation, what verses the ESV would connect a phrase to, the other side of the coin, or the opposite implications. It’s really just reading and re-reading, but spending just a little more time would point us to deep but ultimately timely revelations and reminders.
In this point we see how the Lord is true to His word, proving He does not forsake us by way of guiding us in the small things, such as reading the Bible… and, I dare say, anything else, for that matter. After all, we believe in Christ, the Living Word that reveals words in our life, and the Word of Life that adds life in our words.
With my mouth I will give great thanks to the LORD;
I will praise him in the midst of the throng.
For he stands at the right hand of the needy one,
to save him from those who condemn his soul to death.
**Done voting. Alea Iacta Est.**
Reading through how God stands at the right hand of the ‘needy one’ means so much more to me, because being needy means a whole lot more these days. If you know, you know.
Nevertheless I shall definitely give thanks to the Lord, and I shall overflow with praises to him even in the midst of the crowds… Because He intentionally sees each and every one in the Body of Christ, which means He sees the full, healthy and wealthy aspects of our being. This also means that He sees what perspectives are in lack, what parts of us are needy.
I really should dwell more on that Truth, that our all-present, all-powerful, all-knowing God knows what we have, and what we need, more than anyone else could say, and more than we could say for ourselves. There’s peace to be had in letting go of the obligation of addressing or even thinking about where we lack – well, not giving it more thought than it deserves, anyway. We can respect where are needy by way of acknowledging them, admitting we’re essentially flawed in addressing our own needs, and allowing the Creator of the Universe to move and respond in perfect love, power, and wisdom.
Truly, He stands at our right hand. And as we are assured He ministers to us, so we are confident that He defends us from the condemnations of the enemy. I have to add that’s it’s inevitable for us to be condemned in this fallen reality; after all, before we met Christ ourselves, our default mode was to be condemned, and even to seek condemnation – to us, and through us.
With that said we could say that God provides passive and active defense. By His Spirit we are convicted of righteousness especially when people imply sin upon us. Furthermore, we have a passive defense by way of our status, or our actually being literal righteousness in Jesus Christ. By this we are saved, well-fortified, well-equipped.
Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser;
teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning.
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom,
and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.
Let me clarify once again – I believe that the fear of the Lord, whenever it is mentioned, is believing that God says who He says He is. The fear of the Lord, therefore, is acknowledging His infinite superiority as Creator over creation. It’s also acknowledging, and inevitably appreciating that, in His infinite superiority, He loves us with an everlasting love. That, there is the answer behind the question in Psalm 8: “What is man, that you are so mindful of him?”
Our response, and in awe and reverence: “Who is God, that He is so mindful of us?”
To know Him? Well, I seem to have been directed to have a different take on that in these recent years. It’s one thing to know ABOUT God, and it’s another thing entirely to KNOW Him – that is, to enjoy who He is, taking Him in as we celebrate our relationship with Him. Does that make sense? Knowing ABOUT God, to me, is like researching facts about Him, while my take on knowing Him is enjoying His Truth.
And, see, to acknowledge these simple Truths seemingly immediately opens our minds to beholding the sheer greatness of God celebrated by His goodness, and vice versa. It is, indeed, the beginning of wisdom.
In the wisdom established in us, and in the faith authored in us by no less than Jesus Christ, it would be inevitable for us to see the glory of our God through instructions and teachings to us. We would not spurn them, but we would take them in, appreciating anything and everything that comes our way, by way of the finished work of Jesus Christ in effect in our lives. We see the finite through the lens of the infinite, and because of all the glory revealed, again, there would be nothing else to do more than to overflow – in all aspects of our being, we have been saturated with grace and truth, and therefore it is what is produced in and through us.
Friends, let us have a great week ahead. Let us enjoy our unbreakable union with God, and let us take in His glory seen in all of creation, in our own lives.
God bless us all.