Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Job 36-37: He Comes With Golden Splendor

The greatness of God is laid before us in this passage! God is mighty in strength and understanding (36:5): “Behold, God is exalted in his power; who is a teacher like him? Who has prescribed for him his way, or who can say, ‘You have done wrong’? (36:22-23)” Further, the author writes, “Behold, God is great, and we know him not; the number of his years is unsearchable (36:26).” God is infinite, and yet He works in time as we understand it. One of the strongest images that the Lord shows Himself through in time is outlined in the author’s illustration of God’s power over lightening. It is unfathomable that God scatters lightening around Himself (36:30), and he covers his hands with the lightening and commands it to strike the mark. Its crashing declares his presence (36:32-33). Elihu meditates further on this in chapter thirty-seven. After this Elihu then stops and poses the question, “Can you, like him, spread out the skies, hard as a cast metal mirror? Teach us what we shall say to him; we cannot draw up our case because of darkness (37:18-19).” We are too often blinded by our sin; we are drawn to lesser pleasures than the Lord. Our sight is in darkness and we need the Lord to draw up our eyes to Him. So that we might perceive that the Lord comes in golden splendor: “Out of the north comes golden splendor; God is clothed with awesome majesty. The Almighty—we cannot find him; he is great in power; justice and abundant righteousness he will not violate. Therefore men fear him; he does not regard any who are wise in their own conceit (37:22-24).” This is a majestic God!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Psalm 45: A Fitting Song for a Glorious Love Story

Psalm 45 is humbling knowing that the church is not worthy of the love of Christ. It is astounding that this handsome King with grace on His lips rides in victory for the cause of truth, meekness, and righteousness. Further, that His arrows are sharp in the hearts of His enemies. We deserve to be the recipients of the King’s wrath against falsehood, pride, and wickedness. His sharp arrows are designed for hearts like ours. This psalm also describes the King’s throne as eternal; that He has loved what is right and hated what is wicked. This again marks our hearts as the target of His eternal righteous wrathful vengeance. We comprehend a sense of what we lack in the description of His abundance as He is anointed with the oil of gladness, and that His robes are fragrant with the scent of myrrh, aloe, and cassia. We are given a vision of the true and lasting enjoyment we lack in the image depicted of His ivory palaces with stringed instruments. Despite the wickedness of our hearts Jesus Christ has chosen to save His church.

He bore the wrath of God in the place of His church. In this way He has made the church, His bride, beautiful. Christ has made the bride glorious in her chamber, desires her beauty, has clothed her with robes interwoven with gold, and has established that she be led in robes of many colors to Himself, the King. When the bride is led to the King she has joy and gladness as she enters His palace. The church can rejoice in the manner of Isaiah, “I will greatly rejoice in the Lord; my soul shall exult in my God, for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation; he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels (Isa 61:10).”

If we are found in God’s church we may walk with joy and gladness as we are led to enter the palace of the King, even if it entails sleepless nights, toil, and hardship. We as the church must bow to Him because He is Lord, and He alone has completely and perfectly accomplished the salvation of His bride. If we repent of our sins and believe in the gospel we are found in the church, and we look forward to participating in the marriage supper of our King, Jesus Christ (Rev 19:6-10). Oh, how we should love the King! Oh, how we should love Christ’s church! Let us extend the invitation of the King to those who will repent and believe. Let the Spirit and the Bride say, “‘Come.’ And let the one who hears say, ‘Come.’ And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price (Rev 22:17).” This is truly a glorious salvation for the church accomplished through Christ’s substitution.