Sunday, May 2, 2010

Fashioned By a Righteous & Faithfully Afflicting God (Ps 119 part 9)

"Thy hands made me and fashioned me;
give me understanding,
that I may learn Thy commandments.
May those who fear Thee see me and be glad,
because I wait for Thy word.
I know, O Lord, that Thy judgments are righteous,
and that in faithfulness Thou hast afflicted me,
according to Thy word to Thy servant.
May Thy compassion come to me that I may live,
for Thy law is my delight."
(Ps 119:73-78)

I must admit that I found some providential humor in verse 73 popping up immediately after the post entitled "I Am No Accident." Here David simply girds that truth up a bit more when he states "Thy hands made me an fashioned me." Friends, whoever you are and whatever you've faced you truly are a creation of the great Creator - the one who knit you together in your mother's womb and declares that you are fearfully and wonderfully made. Hear the truth of your Father - the One who cannot lie!

This section of Psalm 119 begins with the acknowlegment that we are fashioned by God. Recognizing that God is the creator of his life, David cries out asking that God also be the enlightener of his mind. The One who formed the brain is the One who can formulate the brain's understanding. Here is a good and well framed prayer. "Lord, you've made me, make me to understand Your word that I might understan You more!"

In praying for a greater understanding of God's Word we will most assuredly find ourselves growing in our understanding of the Author of the word. In these five verses David speaks of God not only as the fashioning Creator but also as the righteous Judge, the faithful Afflictor, the comforting God of lovingkindness, and the compassionate life Sustainer. I think His prayer was being answered. David is becoming well-acquainted with the One whom all of the commandments point to.

Verses 75-77 particularly drew me in this moring. David declares that he knows that all of God's judgments are righteous. As Catherine Winkworth transcribed, "Whate'er my God ordains is right!" God will ALWAYS do the right thing. He will always orchestrate the proper path. "Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?" Yes, He will. May we continually be enabled, by grace, to take our eyes off of our circumstances and place them upon the righteous Designer of our circumstances.

That is exactly what David does here. "I know, O LORD, that Thy judgments are righteous, and that in faithfulness Thou hast afflicted me." Pause, my beloved friends. Pause and meditate on that truth. Christian, whatever you are facing - WHATEVER it is - has come to you in the faithfulness of the righteous God of the universe. In the economy of the covenant it is meant not for your harm but for your good.

"And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to his purpose." - Romans 8:28
"And as for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive." - Genesis 50:20
Fix your eyes not upon the "thing" but upon the God behind, before, beside, and slap dab in the midle of the "thing." As you do that you will find that His lovingkindness will comfort you and His compassion will sustain you. "O may lovingkindness comfort me, according to Thy word to Thy servant. May Thy compassion come to me that I may live, for Thy law is my delight."
Matthew Henry, commenting on this particular prayer of David writes:
"Those that own the justice of God in their afflictions may, in faith, and with humble boldness, be earnest for the mercy of God, and the tokens and fruit of that mercy in their afflictions. David prays for God's merciful kindness and tender mercies. 'Let them come to me,' that is the evidence and effects of them, 'let them work my relief and my deliverance. That will comfort me when nothing else will; that will comfort me whatever else grieves me."
Friends, are we comforted in our afflictions by the knowledge of the justice and mercy of our God to His servants. If not perhaps we all need to fall upon our knees, with David, and beg the God who formed our being to formulate our understanding.

"Whate'er my God ordains is right; His holy will abideth; I will be still whate'er He doth and follow where He guideth. He is my God; though dark my road, He holds me that I shall not fall; wherefore to Him I leave it all.

Whate'er my God ordains is right; He never will deceive me; He leads me by the proper path; I know He will not leave me. I take content what He has sent; His hand can turn my griefs away, and patiently I wait His day.

Whate'er my God ordains is right; though now this cup in drinking, may bitter seem to my faint heart, I take it all unshrinking. My God is true, each morn anew sweet comfort yet shall fill my heart, and pain and sorrow shall depart.

Whate'er my God ordains is right: here shall my stand be taken; though sorrow, need, or death be mine, yet I am not forsaken. My Father's care is round me there; He holds me that I shall not fall; and so to Him I leave it all."

Samuel Rodigast, 1675 / transcribed by Catherine Winkworth, 1863

Gazing upon the Author,

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