Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Regarded Near or Known Afar? - Psalm 138 (part 2)

"I will give Thee thanks with all my heart;
I will sing praises to Thee before the gods.
I will bow down toward Thy holy temple,
and give thanks to Thy name
for Thy lovingkindness and Thy truth;
for Thou hast magnified Thy word according to all Thy name.
On the day I called Thou didst answer me;
Thou didst make me bold with strength in my soul.

All the kings of the earth will give thanks to Thee, O LORD,
when they have heard the words of Thy mouth.
And they will sing of the ways of the LORD.
For great is the glory of the LORD.
For though the LORD is exalted, yet He regards the lowly;
but the haughty He knows from afar.
(Psalm 138:1-6)

Looking yesterday at the first 3 verses of Psalm 138 I was reminded of my privileged duty to be wholly thankful to my God, to praise Him before a watching world, and to worship Him aright - through the person of Jesus Christ.

This morning I am reminded of my need for humility in all of those actions and in all other affairs of this life. God is opposed to the proud, but He gives grace to the humble.

By nature I am not humble. By nature I am selfish and arrogant and seek my own way and my own good. How thankful I am that my God is one who changes natures!!

It is interesting to me that verses 4 and 5 deal with the kings of the earth and the fact that they will give thanks to our Lord.

Kings are powerful people. Kings are often prideful people. They have no need to bow down to anyone and rarely do. All the bowing is done to them, not by them.

But here we are told the kings of the earth will give thanks to the King of the universe. The King of kings will be exalted and all of the kings who rule under the sun will honor Him in song. Why? Because He alone is the GREAT potentate. His glory is great and He will be exalted.

Thinking on this picture two different passages came to mind. The first is from Psalm 2. It is a psalm that speaks of the ragings of wicked kings. It speaks of those arrogant rulers who seek to dethrone the High King. These kings and their lands are "in an uproar" and are "devising a vain thing." These kings have taken "their stand and counsel against the LORD and against His Anointed."

God's reaction is that "He laughs." He knows the folly of their insurrection.
Who can dethrone omnipotence?
Who can kill eternity?
Who can ambush omniscience?
No one!!

God's admonition to these kings is as follows:

"Now therefore, O kings, show discernment; take warning, O judges of the earth. Worship the LORD with reverence, and rejoice with trembling. Do homage to the Son, lest He become angry, and you perish in the way for His wrath may soon be kindled. How blessed are all who take refuge in Him!"

In Psalm 2 I am reminded that the kings NEED to do what Psalm 138 says they WILL do. They need to "kiss the Son."

The holy and inerrant word of this King of kings proclaims that a day is coming when "every knee shall bow, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, and that every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father" (Ph 2:10-11) at that time God will "make His enemies a footstool for His feet" (He 1:13).

The kings will sing - either as humble bondservants or as conquered warlords. And that leads to verse 6...

"For though the LORD is exalted, yet He regards the lowly;
but the haughty He knows from afar."

Which kind of person am I?
Am I lowly?
Do I recognize He who rightly rules over me or am I arrogantly seeking His overthrow?

God knows the lowly! He gives grace to the humble. He does not despise the weak. BUT He opposes the proud and knows the haughty only from afar. In other words, our God is intimately acquainted with those who, by grace, know their place but is not familialy connected to those who seek to make their own way. To the one He is a loving Father. To the other He is a righteous Judge.

This morning I must ask are we kissing the Son or are we kissing ourselves?
Are we KNOWN by Him or just known of Him?
Are we in His family and therefore heirs of all that goes along with His majestic thrown or are we usurping peasants seeking His downfall and thus awaiting the wages of His just judgment?

These are important questions. Are we 'regarded' close or 'known afar.'

Praying for humility,


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