God is Setting All Things Right. So I am Blogging Through the Bible in a Year.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

May 8 - Psalms 25, 29, 33, 36, and 39: Faith in God's Refining Fire

Today’s Reading: Psalms 25, 29, 33, 36, and 39

The Message

English Standard Version

Thought to Guide Your Reading

David knows God will punish those who do not set things right—even if it is him.

Psalm (P)Synopsis

Psalm 25

David cries out to God not to leave him because he has bet everything on God. He worries his enemies will get to him because of his sins but knows God will save in the end, even if they have troubles in the near term.

Psalm 29

David writes of how angels and people shout praises to God because He created all things. He has unlimited power. God gives His People strength and peace.

Psalm 33

People who set things right ought to praise God and accentuate their praises with instruments! God has created all things, defeated His enemies and blessed those who do His Will. We depend on God because He loves us.

Psalm 36

The ones who do evil think they will get away with it. However, David reminds us that nothing slips God's attention. How wonderful is God's love! He keeps His Friends safe.

Psalm 39

David wants to prevent wickedness from seeping through his tongue but it is coming out anyway. He knows he will be punished by God and he wonders how long he has to live. He wants God to forgive him and save him before it's too late.

How Today’s Reading Contributes to the Gospel: God is Setting All Things Right

David is not completely sold on God being his protector; but he will have faith anyway.

David is not sure God will always be there. His cry is not for more "faith" but for more sight—visual proof of God's ways. However, these are not doubts. He never tells God he doubts God's ability. David only wishes he had more proof. Although God's Chosen People may not be 100% certain of God's ultimate victory, they have faith that God will win in the end.

What are God-worshipers like?

"Arrows aimed at God's bull's eye" (25:12, The Message). They become God's confidants. They know God's plan because they are able to understand and follow through with setting things right. God worshipers are God's friends who know Him intimately because the world would not accept His ways.

Praise in song and music should come from a outburst of joy because God sets all things right!

We can sometimes get caught up in the minutiae of how to worship God and how not to worship God that we miss the impetus of worship—God is setting all things right! This is why David wants guitars and pianos to help. They help the one praising God to praise God with more of their being! Lesslie Newbigin considered Christianity the "fall-out from an original explosion of joy." Worship can be the outward expression of that joy. Christians should have outburst of praise to God for setting all things right!

Nothing gets by God.

David's warning to the God-rebel is troubling. The rebel thinks God cannot see and therefore he will not be punished. However, nothing slips through God's cracks. This shouldn't conjure the thought of hidden cameras, microphones, or the 4th Amendment. God knows our deeds because God can interpret our true motives, not because he can "see" us at all times. If our heart is not for God eventually it will show. That is what David means when he writes "Not a man, not a mouse, / slips through the cracks" (36:6, The Message).

God's fire is terrifying because it will burn all things we hold dear that do not set things right on the earth.

Psalm 39 conveys how many of us feel when God is helping us rid ourselves of all things unholy—meaning not-wholly-for-God. We are afraid that God will purge us!
    But I can’t take it much longer.
When you put us through the fire
    to purge us from our sin,
    our dearest idols go up in smoke.
Are we also nothing but smoke? (39:9-11, The Message)
Our only reply in the end is, "Give me a break, cut me some slack / before it’s too late and I’m out of here" (39:13). Going through God's refining fire may feel terrifying but in the end God will leave only what is wholly for Him. Have faith in the process.

What personal idols have you seen go up in smoke in God's refining fire?

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