By Chris Briscoe.
Posted Monday, 19th March, 2018.
I had something of a revelation yesterday, on my Sunday at Church, when I read these words from Psalm 25:10 given by my Pastor.
King David says, “All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful toward those who keep the demands of his covenant.”
What struck me was those two words, “loving and faithful.” I realized that God has two motives which compel him forward: LOVE AND FAITHFUL, directed certainly for “those who keep the demands of his covenant.” – There are only two ways he walks on, or we could say, as we walk this road which is dripping with God’s richest blessings, that road is a double laned road with the words,
LOVING PATH along one side, and
FAITHFUL PATH along the other.
According to this Psalm of David, there is only two paths which God uses:
Let’s read again:
“All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful toward those who keep the demands of his covenant.”
David wrote in this Psalm that all of God’s dealings with us are loving and faithful – it means everything God does for us is an expression of his love and faithfulness to us; it is useful to remember this, that God only moves along two paths in all his dealings with us, called:
And because God never does anything outside his motive of love, those paths are never separate from each other. This is comforting and we should remember these truths when we go through the painful storms of life, and we find ourselves wondering, “Is God on the path of Punishment Way?”
David continues in his Psalm:
“For the sake of your name, Lord,
forgive my iniquity, though it is great.
Who, then, is the man who fears the Lord?
He will instruct him in the way chosen for him.
He will spend his days in prosperity,
and his descendants will inherit the land.
The Lord confides in those who fear him;
he makes his covenant known to him.” (Psalm 25:11-14)
This is also extremely comforting that God has promised to instruct us in the way chosen for us and to confide with us his secrets and mysteries, as long as we are keeping the demands of his covenant. We can so easily forget that a covenant contains stipulations on both sides which both sides need to keep. God is bound by his covenant written in his blood, and we are also bound by his covenant written on our hearts by the Spirit of God. Even though we are living under the law of the Spirit of Life, we need to remember what Jesus said about the old law of Sin and Death:
” I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.” (Matthew 5:17-18) The only way we can keep the law of Sin and Death is by obeying and surrendering to law of the Spirit of life.
As Paul writes in Romans 8:1-4: “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do in that was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.” (Roman 8:1-4)
David continues in Psalm 25:
“He will instruct him in the way chosen for him.” (Psalm 25:12)
When I read this verse yesterday, during my Sunday Church Bible reading, it also came as a revelation because it told me two important revelations:
- 1) that God does have a special plan for my life and your life in Christ Jesus.
In spite of what the Armenians tell us who say that whatever happens to us is a consequence of what we plan, it is so comforting to know that God does indeed have a special plan for us; and for those who struggle to know what is God’s plan for them, it is so wonderful to know that God has promised that he will reveal that plan to those who fear him:
“He will instruct him in the way chosen for him.”
- 2. The next part is also equally comforting and as eye-opening:
“He will spend his days in prosperity and his descendants will inherit the land.” (Psalm 25:13)
WOW! This is a promise and actually the greatest insurance for our future stability, (and that of our seedlings) including financial stability – that if we fear the Lord, it will pay rich dividends.
I am sure we all want to spend our days in prosperity. Even if we have spent many a bitter day in poverty, we all want to live out the rest of our days at least comfortably.
BUT HOW TO WE KEEP THE DEMANDS OF HIS COVENANT?
We have looked at what are the dividends of God’s covenant, but just like all covenants, what are the conditions for meeting God’s demands?
Of course, King David knew every one of God’s demands, or the way he described them throughout his psalms as “law,” “laws”, “statutes,” “commands,” “decrees,” “precepts,” “word.” God’s commands were the central theme of his longest psalm, Psalm 119. In fact, if you read Psalm 119 almost every sentence’s subject is about God’s law.
David wrote, “Because I love your commands more than gold, more than pure gold, and because I consider all your precepts right, I hate every wrong path. Your statutes are wonderful; therefore, I obey them. The unfolding of your words gives light, it gives understanding to the simple. I open my mouth and pant, longing for your commands. Turn to me and have mercy on me, as you always do to those who love you name. Direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me.” (Psalm 119:127-133)
As we can know from reading David’s longest psalm, he constantly meditated on all of God’s commands, he described them as sweeter than “honey” to the taste. David wrote, “How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth.” (119:103)
And Psalm 1 tells us that one of the demands or rather conditions to receiving God’s blessings is to meditate on God’s word day and night.(Psalm 1:1-3)
“Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners nor sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.” (Psalm 1:1-3)
Therefore, the question to ask ourselves is, Do we meditate on God’s words day and night? , meditating on God’s words are a prelude to God’s blessings; Are God’s words to us sweeter than honey from the comb?
Another pre-lude to receiving God’s blessings is-
THE FEAR OF THE LORD
David wrote in another Psalm that God blesses the man who fears the Lord. Psalm 115:13- reads, “You who fear him, trust in the Lord – he is their help and shield. Oh, house of Israel, trust in the Lord – He is their help and shield. Oh, house of Aaron, trust in the Lord – He is their help and shield. You who fear him, trust in the Lord – He is their help and shield.The Lord will remember us and will bless us. He will bless the house of Israel, he will bless the house of Aaron. He will bless those who fear the Lord, both small and great alike. Blessed is the man who fears the Lord.”
We can read in Proverbs 1:7:
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.”
Another condition for receiving God’s blessing is, of course, faith.
– an acronym of faith which I learned at Bible College is:
Do you want to know how you can be blessed beyond your wildest dreams – how your relationship with God can be so good, he blesses you with numerous blessings?
The Bible says that without faith it’s impossible to please God:
“For without faith it is impossible to please God…(Hebrews 11:6)
And the first faith we need to hold onto to keep the demands of his covenant is “saving faith.” I am sure you are aware there are different kinds of faith in the Christian life. First of all, saving faith, the Bible tells us is not something which we can work up to receive but rather it is one of his gifts of grace.(Grace= receiving what we don’t deserve/while mercy = not receiving the punishment that we deserve). In Ephesians 2:4-10:
“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in our transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves – it is the gift of God – not by works, so that can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
So we need to reach out to Jesus to give us more faith gifts in order to please him because Jesus is described as the Author of our faith. As the Author of the book of Hebrews writes in the next chapter, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2)
I hope we have been reminded of the numerous blessings which are in Christ Jesus, and the conditions which prepare us to receive such riches.
Actually, the Bible tells us how we can be blessed with numerous benefits:
Psalm 103:2-5, “Praise the Lord, oh my soul, and forget not all his benefits – who forgives all your sins, and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”
WOW, there are so many blessings promised to you if you fear the Lord, just tied up with that verse, including renewing your youth and vitality – WOW – who wouldn’t want that one?; It us true that when God blesses us with good things – especially when he grants us the desires of our hearts – our health is renewed, and we feel like a new man or woman! Like the eagle’s feathers are renewed; and also, there are multiple other blessings for the man or women, boy or girl, who fears the Lord, in God’s many promises from what I call, God’s book of promises for you – it usually begins with the word, “blessed”; for example, blessed is the man who seeks the Lord, blessed are those who fear the Lord. “The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.”
WOW, what a promise – whatever you are wanting deeply in Christ, God promises to give you, If you seek him.
And remember, God’s word says in Proverbs 16:1,”To man belongs the plans of the heart, but from the Lord comes the reply of the tongue.”
WOW, did you notice that? According to Proverbs 16:1 what we plan is what will happen, but as the next sentence says, God still has a say in it! And so if we really want his blessing we should be continually sseeking him until we hear his word of direction. therefore we should always be seeking his wisdom. Just as the last verse of Proverbs 15 tells us:
“The fear of the Lord teaches a man wisdom, and humility comes before honour.” (Proverbs 15:33)
This reminds us that before we are lifted up, God humbles us first. We can say, pride goes before a fall, also, humility comes before honour.
Wisdom reposes in the heart of man who fears the Lord.
So, as we can see, having this virtue, “the fear of the Lord” in our heart does in fact pay rich dividends for us -which includes both riches in your pocket, as well as all the other blessings, both spiritually, physically, and materially, emotionally, etc.
In fact, throughout the books of Proverbs, Psalms and the other wisdom books there are numerous promises of blessings to those who “fear the Lord.”
My prayer is that as you meet these conditions of God’s covenant, surely God’s amazing love and mercy will follow you and eventually overtake you all the days of your life and the lives of your children. Amen.
By Chris Briscoe,