Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Meditations on Psalm 62

1My soul waits in silence for God only;
From Him is my salvation.
2He only is my rock and my salvation,
My stronghold; I shall not be greatly shaken.
3How long will you assail a man,
That you may murder him, all of you,
Like a leaning wall, like a tottering fence?
4They have counseled only to thrust him down from his high position;
They delight in falsehood;
They bless with their mouth,
But inwardly they curse. Selah.
5My soul, wait in silence for God only,
For my hope is from Him.
6He only is my rock and my salvation,
My stronghold; I shall not be shaken.
7On God my salvation and my glory rest;
The rock of my strength, my refuge is in God.
8Trust in Him at all times, O people;
Pour out your heart before Him;
God is a refuge for us. Selah.
9Men of low degree are only vanity and men of rank are a lie;
In the balances they go up;
They are together lighter than breath.
10Do not trust in oppression
And do not vainly hope in robbery;
If riches increase, do not set your heart upon them.
11Once God has spoken;
Twice I have heard this:
That power belongs to God;
12And lovingkindness is Yours, O Lord,
For You recompense a man according to his work.

Our church just finished a conference on Christ Alone (Solus Christus). Before the conference, I was asked to take photos, which I obliged, but it was kind of difficult to pay attention. I learned during the last two chase trips that when one is behind the camera for someone else, it no longer becomes a hobby, and one is bound by good faith to shoot not for one's own self, but for others, which demands a certain level of excellence that may not necessarily be all that important when shooting for fun. So there was a lot of concentration... inhale, hold core muscles, wait for it, wait for it, press shutter, wait for it, press shutter, exhale. It's physically taxing, taking pictures. To be honest, there wasn't much concentration when I sat back down.

But I caught some interesting points that were brought back in my reading of this Psalm. Mostly, the supremacy and pre-eminence of Christ.

Look at how the Psalmist is emphatic with his use of the word "only", and on his insistence that God alone is his source of strength, his salvation. When reading this Psalm, I couldn't help but reflexively ask myself if this was true in my own life.

The answer was, sadly, no.

Going back to my previous post on the books on the shelf, I considered last night that unless the center of my life was Christ, those books WOULD be meaningless. Every
word in those books is meaningless without the framework of Christ upon which they rest. Those books cannot be read as an equation in which Christ is a variable. One of many. An accessory to the fact. No, those books must be read with a deep love for Christ on the part of the reader. They sort of "adorn" an already staunch and irrevocable Truth. I cannot hold anything up to what Calvin says or what Luther says and see if it is true. I must START with Christ, and everything I do must be an outgrowth from that center. Everything I read, any observation I make about the state of the world and (more importantly) the church MUST be made with Christ as the foundation, and with an undying devotion to Him. He must be the Rock, with men great and small as but a breath's weight in the balance of things. Unequivocally, all mercy and justice belong to Him, after all.

But I confess, that has simply not been the case of late. I have made my OWN observations the center of my world, and tried to fit Christ around them, but God will not be mocked. Praise Him for His discipline, though. And that as a loving Father, He disciplines those He loves. He gently corrects us with just enough pain to get our attention. He who holds all pain within His grasp metes out enough for our good, and no more than that. What love.


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