Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Riches in Christ

Ps.27:1-14 - 1The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
2When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell.
3Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.
4One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple.
5For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.
6And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the LORD.
7Hear, O LORD, when I cry with my voice: have mercy also upon me, and answer me.
8When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek.
9Hide not thy face far from me; put not thy servant away in anger: thou hast been my help; leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation.
10When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up.
11Teach me thy way, O LORD, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies.
12Deliver me not over unto the will of mine enemies: for false witnesses are risen up against me, and such as breathe out cruelty.
13I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.
14Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.

he psalmist, possibly King David, recites such a testimony and prayer before God. But in the midst of praise, he utters these words:

“One thing have I desired of the LORD, that I will seek after;”

nd what is this one desire? Is it wealth or success or even good health? Let’s be honest, even though God does provide for us, the heathen seek these things. It rains on the just and the unjust as well. Jesus Himself exhorted us to “take no thought” about these things, and yet how often are we consumed by them? On one side of our mouths we claim to have all the riches of God’s glory awaiting us in heaven, and on the other side we consistently worry about and strive for all things temporal. And even entire movements are created that deceive people into believing God desires to pour material blessings upon us.
We seek the pottage and sacrifice the Person. But not this psalmist. He has a central desire, one which he is willing to “seek after”. It is Scriptures like these, along with thousands like them, that undermine those who teach that God hasn’t gifted man with a free will. This psalmist does not say that God has made him, he clearly states his own will is to seek Jehovah, and in the now revealed context of the New Covenant, to seek the Risen Christ.
And what exactly is it he seeks?

“that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple.”

Since David did not live in the physical temple in Jerusalem, he must be speaking of the glory of God’s presence in the spirit. He says “to behold the beauty of the Lord”. Now when we meditate upon that thought, does it not occur to us how much is available to us and how little we settle for in Christ? I mean here is a man, not inhabited by God’s Spirit, and yet he has, through God’s grace, been given a portal into the presence of God. He is not yet aware of the coming Jesus, and yet he sees the beauty of God. This psalm is a mighty departure from the violent and fearful God so often outlined in the Old Testament.
What does he mean to “inquire in His temple”? Here he refers to a glorious communication that includes praise, prayer, and worship. “What is man that you are mindful of Him?”, says another Psalm. That the Creator of all that is or ever will be would invite us into His presence and communicate with us is mind boggling. Something else that is mind boggling is the way we so often ignore Him and are consumed by the things of this fallen world.
In the movie “Star Trek - Generations” the plot centers around a place called the “nexus”. This place is describe as “being inside joy”. One of the main characters who has been inside this nexus is obsessed with returning to it since his experience was so overwhelming. This character could have been told by someone else about the glory of the nexus, but I doubt he would demonstrate such passion purely based on second hand testimony. But he has been there, and that memory, along with the unfulfilling state of the present world, drives him to enter into it again.
Do you see the parallel? Perhaps the reason that we do not diligently seek the presence of Christ and His glory is because we have never been there. And like the children of Israel, soon after seeing the power of God at the Red Sea, our desires once again turn to temporal things. Brothers and sisters in Christ, the world continues to turn and the things of this world continue to reach out and capture us. And weighted down by all these things we find comfort in the fact that everyone else is bound as well. Eventually we redefine Christianity to incorporate the very thoughts and practices that imprison us and keep us from Christ. And finally we become content with practicing our ecclesiastical construct while ignoring the One whose being should be our very lives.

But the unfathomable riches found only in Him are still available today
to all whose thirst requires them to seek after Him.

1 comment:

Josef Sefton said...

Behold the goodness and unfathomable riches of the gracious LORD Jesus, OUr Immanuel.

Precious readers of this blog, wait on the LORD Jesus: be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart.

Thy holy living presence, LORD Jesus, will we daily seek.

O God of our salvation, teach us Thy pure way, O LORD, and lead us into a selfless lifestyle.

Thy holy living presence, LORD Jesus, will we continuously seek and sacrifices of joy will we sing, yea, we will sing praises unto Our loving, good and
faithul LORD Jesus now and forevermore.