Tag Archives: Trust

That’s †rust!

Ps 139:17 How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them! 18 Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand—when I awake, I am still with you. 19 If only you, God, would slay the wicked!  Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty!  20 They speak of you with evil intent; your adversaries misuse your name.  21 Do I not hate those who hate you, Lord, and abhor those who are in rebellion against you?  22 I have nothing but hatred for them; I count them my enemies.  23 Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.  24 See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

“Imprecatory Psalms, contained within the Book of Psalms of the Hebrew Bible (תנ”ך), are *those that invoke judgment, calamity, or curses, upon one’s enemies or those perceived as the enemies of God.” [Wikipedia] 

I had never heard the word imprecatory let alone of Imprecatory Psalms until this week. Here’s one of the lists I found: Psalms: 7, 35, 55, 58, 59, 69, 109, and 139.  I began at the end of the list because I was more familiar with this Psalm. It had been meaningful enough to me that I’d written a song about it years ago.  When I reviewed the Psalm and my song I discovered I’d skipped right over verses *19 to 22* to the  last two verses pleading for God to search my heart and know me.  Now I’m surprised to discover he’s doing just that with those four verses I’d skipped back then.  

Skipping over those harsh “imprecatory” verses seems typical of the “if you can’t say anything nice don’t say anything at all” mentality to me.  That mindset is more an indicator of not being willing to admit what God already knows I’m afraid to speak rather than of my own generous nature.  That’s the problem.

That’s what makes me think my reluctance to admit to, let alone speak, such harsh words to God may be his enemy using fake guilt to influence my heart with divided loyalties.  Is it  better to speak words and thoughts that sound so harsh and vindictive to God, than to not speak to him at all about them?  The reality is the only person I’ve been fooling is myself. 

I want my prayers to be like David’s.  I want my heart to be so certain of God’s Sovereign reliability that I am not afraid of the effect my hostile and harsh thoughts and words against his enemies and injustice will have on God’s opinion of me. “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.  24 See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”  That’s †rust!

Either/Or

Colossians 2:16 Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. 17 These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ…22 These rules, which have to do with things that are all destined to perish with use, are based on merely human commands and teachings. 23 Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.

17 reality, however, is found in Christ
* 22 things that are all destined to perish with use
23 self-imposed worship…[ 3 versions]
– lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence NIV
– no value against fleshly indulgence NASB
– no effect when it comes to conquering a person’s evil thoughts and desires TLB 

Sometimes I begin by reading a passage of Scripture and jotting phrases that catch my attention [see above].  My go-to version is usually the NIV.  I frequently re-read the same passage in a few other versions hoping slightly different words will gel into a focus.  Then the hard part begins: to trust God really has something in that Word that will nourish faith in my daily life.  I try to write a sentence or two based on those phrases.  Today that focus seems to be either/or.  

Either you learn how to live every day as if “reality, however, is found in Christ” OR all you’re investing yourself in is “self-imposed worship.”  Is it possible, even likely, the very best spiritual nourishment we choose, reading the Bible, praying, service, church attendance and even writing a blog about faith, can become self-imposed worship of rules and regulations, not Christ?

We all know the answer to that question is yes.  The Scripture is very discreet about how it words *verse 22 so I will be too.  “Reality, however, [that’s] found in Christ” requires the same diligence of daily nourishment for our hearts that food does for our bodies.  Both kinds of nourishment are subject to the same natural processes.  Unless our investment is able to renew the reality of Christ in us and become our true worship that has real “effect when it comes to conquering a person’s evil thoughts and desires” it’s just the waste of “self-imposed worship.”

The Red Thread – Impact on the Heart

Mark 10
Jesus is questioned by the Pharisees about divorce. It’s a law but even then it’s controversial. Jesus responds with v5 “It was because your hearts were hard that Moses wrote you this law,” and then lays out God’s original plan for marriage from Genesis. Then the scene changes drastically to talk of the hearts of children and the kingdom of God.

Once again this book of Mark seems to follow a unique diary-like style of writing. The first entry is the very adult issue of divorce…and it’s relationship to hearts. This was not one of the “Big 10” laws the Pharisees were asking about. It sure doesn’t fit with the words Jesus quotes from Genesis about the condition God set for the marriage relationship in v7…be united and the promise in v8…’the two will become one flesh.’ That’s the point, it wasn’t about legality of divorce at all it was about the impact on the heart.

It was the flawed reality of those hearts Jesus was addressing that makes the next entry such a dramatic contrast to the impact on the heart of a child.
• Some hearts have had years to develop their own sense of importance in the world around them. A child’s heart has not yet learned the importance of himself in the world.
• Some hearts have learned to value independence from others. A child’s heart still knows he’s dependent on others.
• Some hearts only respond to what they trust of authority. A child’s heart can more readily know the authority of those he trusts.
• Some hearts look for convenient loopholes in kingdom requirements. A child’s heart accepts God’s requirements to enter the kingdom.

Complete Trust or Confidence

NIV Romans 4 18-22…a homemade amplified study using the dictionary.  It’s just another way to establish our confidence in Scripture and enhance our own [1] complete trust or confidence in it.
Definitions
[1] Hope: a feeling of expectation and desire
[2] Faith: complete trust or confidence
[3] Unbelief: lack of religious belief; an absence of faith.
[4] Righteousness: being morally right or justifiable.

18 Against all [1] expectation and desire, Abraham in [1] expectation and desire believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”

19 Without weakening in his [2] complete trust or confidence, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead.

20 Yet he did not waver through [3] lack of religious belief; an absence of [2] complete trust or confidence regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his [2] complete trust or confidence and gave glory to God, 21 being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.

22 This is why “it was credited to him as [4] being morally right or justifiable.

Psalm 119:65-72 ט Teth – Serpent, Snake

Psalm 119:65-72 ט Teth – Serpent, Snake
65 Do good to your servant
according to your word, Lord.
66 Teach me knowledge and good judgment,
for I trust your commands.
67 Before I was afflicted I went astray,
but now I obey your word.
68 You are good, and what you do is good;
teach me your decrees.
69 Though the arrogant have smeared me with lies,
I keep your precepts with all my heart.
70 Their hearts are callous and unfeeling,
but I delight in your law.
71 It was good for me to be afflicted
so that I might learn your decrees.
72 The law from your mouth is more precious to me
than thousands of pieces of silver and gold.

Let’s assume the Psalmists’ intention with these mysterious titles is to add another layer of meaning to the words he writes. That layering idea has kept me interested, even looking forward to the next eight verses.

His words are obviously written to let God know what he has learned. “Before I was afflicted I went astray…It was good for me to be afflicted…so that I might learn your decrees…but now I obey your word.”

There had been a “before” in the Psalmists’ life but it’s the “after” he writes about. That’s what brought him to this place of longing to trust, obey and value what God had in mind. Teth could be his subtle reminder that in between that before and after there may “still” be the danger of a serpent hiding in the garden.

Psalm 119:41-48 ו Waw – Hook, Nail, Peg

Psalm 119:41-48
41 May your unfailing love come to me, Lord,
your salvation, according to your promise;
42 then I can answer anyone who taunts me,
for I trust in your word.
43 Never take your word of truth from my mouth,
for I have put my hope in your laws.
44 I will always obey your law,
for ever and ever.
45 I will walk about in freedom,
for I have sought out your precepts.
46 I will speak of your statutes before kings
and will not be put to shame,
47 for I delight in your commands
because I love them.
48 I reach out for your commands, which I love,
that I may meditate on your decrees.

So far much of Psalm 119 has been like reading from an architect’s plan about a structure being built; doors, windows and now nails. What if “Waw” is part of the architect’s plan for the structure of salvation?

Maybe these are the “nails” necessary to build the promised structure into the reality of a personal shelter; trust [42], hope [43], obeying [44], seeking [45], speaking [46], love [47] and thinking deeply[48].

[41] May your unfailing love come to me, Lord, your salvation, according to your promise;…

God’s Own Faith

Hebrews 11
1 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. 2 This is what the ancients were commended for…
39 These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, 40 since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.

On Faith:
Verses 2 & 39 • Com·mended – entrusted someone [with] or something to.

It’s obvious to us that faith is an indication of our trust in God. That’s our confidence and assurance but these verses tell us that long ago “God had planned something better” that includes us today. These “by faith” verses are the record of those ancients’ faith that God had entrusted/commended them with. Our faith today’s is the same: God’s Own Faith entrusted to us so we can understand:
V3 the mystery of creation
V4 the choice of our offerings to him
V7 how to build our obedience
V8 he is there in unfamiliar circumstances
V17 testing is sometimes the sacrifice
V20 that he can redeem deceit
V22 the need to remember his history
V24 we have our identity in him
V31 we can live beyond the past

That’s “perfect.”