There is none like you among the gods, O Lord, nor are there any works like yours.
All the nations you have made shall come and worship before you, O Lord, and shall glorify your name.
For you are great and do wondrous things; you alone are God.
In Matthew 10:28, we are given some clarification by no less than Jesus Christ – “…do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” Surely, there are ‘gods’ out there that can certainly do much to our physical bodies – and they could do so much worse, more or less meeting the capabilities of what the enemy or the thief can do, as mentioned in John 10:10; they can certainly steal from us, they can kill our physical bodies, and they can destroy anything we have built (physical structures, relationships, and/or reputations). But if you notice that’s about as far as they can go – their works couldn’t go anywhere near our souls. They couldn’t save them, nor could they destroy them. These entities are just as finite as the world they may have some sort of authority, power, or influence in.
Here we have yet more cause to give God the glory – because as you can see, just as He is infinite and eternal, so His works also have infinite and eternal impact. We need not look too far to see what sort of works can serve as an example – why, all we need to do is to look at His only begotten Son, and all He has done during His time here with us, bound within time. Christ would have easily called legions of the infinite heavens to cross over through the boundaries of time and space to protect Him in the Garden of Gethsemane (and leave at least the Apostle Peter flabbergasted at the least), but I’m thinking that even then His wisdom was already in line with all that is everlasting – Not even this opportunity to showcase His superiority was going to hinder Him from His ultimate mission, or, His ultimate work.
I’m talking about His laying down His life, God made man, the heavens reaching down to the earth; Christ serving as the Lamb of God who would NOT destroy both soul and body, but fully SAVE all who would believe from being destroyed in hell. Indeed, there are lots of words and deeds of the Messiah that we could revere and celebrate, but the main reason why we even have cause to worship comes from the work of works of He who would eventually be called King of Kings and Lord of Lords – Jesus Christ, His death, and His resurrection.
Let me say that again – Christ was made worthy of the title of King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Name above every other Name – because of what He did, taking the death of deaths that we would have Life upon life – the Work of Works.
Indeed, it is as the Psalmist has mentioned – not only do we exhort our praise and thanks to Christ for all He has done, but we would encourage communities, and yes, entire nations, to come and worship before Him, and to glorify His name. If this same Christ has done so much for us while we were yet sinners, how much more can we trust and rely on Him to do even more great and wondrous things for us and for our nations?
Teach me your way, O LORD, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name.
I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever.
For great is your steadfast love toward me; you have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.
Let me go in reverse for this set of verses.
As I mentioned, we have cause to celebrate and to cheer, because we know of what Christ has done for us, as seen in the cross, and then the empty tomb. Through what Christ has done we have been proclaimed free from sin, and forever bound to His uncompromising righteousness which leads to eternal and everlasting life. By this exchange we understand how we have now been made new creations existing now in an infinite and eternal reality; consequently, it is as it was mentioned in verse 13: Our souls have been delivered from the depths of Sheol, or the gates of hell.
It’s for this reason that we can truly, boldly proclaim, that God’s love for us is both great and steadfast. We can truly KNOW the matchless grace of Jesus, and the everlasting love of God towards us, because we have understood it through Christ’s birth, death, resurrection and ascension. It all starts from His love! There’s no way we would arrive to the full-hearted conclusion of giving thanks to our God, and giving glory to His name forever, unless we take in the Truth of His love, as demonstrated and fully proven through the reconciliation we received in Christ!
And if we keep going down the line of starting from verse 13 and going back to verse 11, it’s in the Spirit-instilled attitude of awe and gratitude that we may be so bold to run to God’s throne of grace, asking the Creator of all things seen and unseen to tutor and teach us. In fact, it’s here that we realize that through Christ’s inseparable union with us, and as we bask in the Truth that we are never separated from the love of God, we have more than just our finite beings would imagine.
What I mean is that though it is very possible that the Lord does teach us the way we expect Him to teach us (in a still small voice as mentioned by some, or in the stringing of circumstances and unforeseen blessings as pointed out by others), the Truth is, whether we are actively aware of it or not, He teaches us. It’s the same thing with walking in truth – while these same folks who still have some sort of stigma from religion would imply, ever so slightly, that this probably means being holy or blameless or truthful out of our own efforts (and there’s nothing wrong with that, I suppose), it’s really just being aware that whether we stand or walk, or wherever we may be, we are ‘in His Truth’, because Christ is the Truth who is always with us.
As always I am just hoping I’m making some sort of sense here. Please, friend, if you find any of this confounding, I beg you to let me know… I’m learning just as much as you are.
O God, insolent men have risen up against me; a band of ruthless men seeks my life, and they do not set you before them.
But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.
I end today’s meditation by acknowledging that I may not necessarily feel it, but I know that there are enemies of man, and therefore enemies of mine, who would care less if their actions would affect the very lives of other people, and other communities, and even entire nations and continents – if only for more power and/or pleasure. I am not fully aware of people within my area of influence, who may actually be scheming against me personally, but I could agree that they are as insolent as they are sneaky and crafty. Just because I don’t notice that I have any enemies doesn’t mean that I don’t have them, and they truly show themselves as my enemies – how? They do not set Christ before them.
I mean, sure, this could give me cause to be concerned – cause to be paranoid, cause to be anxious and to crawl back to fear. But I am thankful. I say that my enemies are present even if I don’t feel them, but that’s the thing – this is just a real possibility, but is NOTHING compared to the absolute certainty beyond possibility – that is, the Truth of my God, who is my merciful and gracious Father. Christ’s finished work has guaranteed that I could count and trust and depend on God, whose steadfast love and faithfulness is far superior – INFINITELY superior to anything and anyone within this finite reality.
While I can find some comfort in actively seeking this reality of Christ’s finished work… Apparently, I could call on the Lord for strength. And not only can I ask for strength, but I could, if I could be so bold, ask for a sign of His favor. I wouldn’t need an indication of who my enemies may be, more than I choose to ask for God to show me a sign – Yes, a sign not only to confirm your help and comfort towards me, but also for those who come against me to see and be put to shame… oh, that they may see and be brought to repentance.
Turn to me and be gracious to me; give your strength to your servant, and save the son of your maidservant.
Show me a sign of your favor, that those who hate me may see and be put to shame because you, LORD, have helped me and comforted me.
I guess that leads to my question – or maybe more an assumption, really; I believe in Christ, who crossed from the infinite heavens into the confines of finite time and space. I believe His finished work broke our own shackles to this reality. Not only have we been brought from the realm of darkness into His kingdom of everlasting light, so I believe our concept of what is real has been turned upside down – Through Christ and all He has done, we now count the infinite and the eternal as our reality, more than what the finite aspects of our beings perceive.
But the more I write about this, the more I question what I think. That’s probably why I came up with the assumption – that is (through all that, and I apologize), that Christ’s finished work has also set us free to believe that God is willing and able to help us in this finite world, considering that the infinite reality isn’t necessarily separate, but engulfing all that our physical senses would perceive. In other words, God can give us a sign. God can do something for us while we are still here within time and space, and I suppose we’d call them miracles.
While I go through all that I am reminded – it doesn’t change the bottom line; That is, we’ve already been helped, because what Christ did for us was the Help of Helps. I’m probably just saying that surely, we can trust in our God for the possibility of salvation from lesser things in this world, because we know that what Christ did for us was the Salvation of all Salvations.
God CAN help… because we know Christ HAS helped. I guess that’s what I’m trying to say through all of this. I suppose it’s a realization that comes hard for me, especially considering how I’ve been surrounded through the majority of the past decade, with people who I probably assumed prematurely (God, forgive me) were placing the miracles of God in a pedestal greater than Christ and His finished work.
I suppose this is me trying to reconcile all of it – not for the satisfaction of these said people I’ve interacted with (and still do, actually), no, it’s more because I’ve realized just how much we do need Christ in this messed up world. Or, maybe it’s just me showing some cracks in my own way of thinking, that says that I don’t need to be as affected by the good and the bad that happens in this world. Maybe it’s me trying, as much as I could, to just keep going back to appreciating Christ and finding true peace in all He has done, before anything else.
Friend, I don’t know where I’m going with this, but I just want to say that if there’s anything I would have any of you realize after this tirade, it’s just that Christ is our true Help in time of need – and by all that He has done, He has already helped us. This is what we ought to have in our minds before anything else would try to have us stumble.
O LORD of hosts, blessed is the one who trusts in you!
Let’s have a great weekend ahead.