Saturday, February 2, 2013

Psalm 17

As for me, I shall behold Your face in righteousness; I will be satisfied with Your likeness when I awake, 17:15.

In this psalm, as in many of his psalms, David surveys the juxtaposition between the righteous and the unrighteous, between those who seek God and those who don’t. In verse 14 he writes of those who have their portion in this life; there are those who find their portion in God and then there are those who find their portion in this life; harkening back to Psalm 1 there are two kinds of people.

Jesus teaches us to build up treasure in heaven and warns us that our hearts can only be in one of two places and that we cannot serve two masters. Jesus says, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” The promises to the Seven Churches in Revelation center around the Presence of God and intimacy with Him, the consummation of the ages focuses on God’s people being in God’s presence; on God’s presence being with God’s people.

We read in Psalm 16:5, “Yahweh is the portion of my inheritance and my cup…” Is Jesus Christ enough for us? Is union with and in the Trinity enough for us? Are we fully satisfied with Jesus Christ or must we look elsewhere for fulfillment and satisfaction?

Is a bride enough for a bridegroom? Is a bridegroom enough for a bride? There are marriages in which the answer is “no”. There are proposed marriages that are canceled because issues arise that demonstrate that the marriage relationship is not enough in and of itself to fully satisfy the bride or the groom. There are marriages that break up because the groom or the bride is no longer enough for the other spouse.

Is Jesus Christ enough for us? Is knowing Jesus and being with Jesus for eternity enough for us? Is beholding the face of Jesus in daily life enough? Are we…will we…be satisfied simply with Jesus Christ?

Paul’s desire after many years of following Jesus continued to be: That I may know Him. The constant throughout Paul’s writings is Jesus Christ. Paul and the other Apostles can write letters addressing local circumstances and never lose their focus because their focus is always Jesus – this is one reason why their letters, inspired by the Holy Spirit, transcend time and place – the eternal Jesus captures their thoughts and holds all things together.

Give me a writer of any time and any place whose focus is Jesus Christ and that writer will benefit me today. On the other hand, give me a person whose message is driven by the daily news and I will give you a writer or teacher or preacher whose work will be of little or no benefit to future generations – let alone our own. The daily news is parochial and self-centered; Jesus Christ is transcendent and centered in God our Father; the former orientation is a tar pit, the latter is our destiny.

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