8 Oh Lord our God, Thou didn’t answer them
Thou wast a forgiving God to them,
And yet an avenger of their evil deeds.
9 Exalt the Lord our God,
And worship at His holy hill;
For holy is the Lord our God.
Psalms 99 (in part)
At first glance, you might mistakenly see a contradiction . So I ask that you to take the time to read the whole psalm and then come back and see the complete message of David’s song.
This psalm first brings the raw truth of who God is….HE IS HOLY! That’s it! Case closed! He is completely separate from everything we know, but yet, He is everything we need. He is set apart from what our minds consider to be the norm. He is the Creator of the universes….all of them; what the Hubble telescope can see, and then beyond that!
Many a night I’ve sat under clear starry sky, gazing at the majesty of His creation. I lay back in my gravity chair mesmerized, almost dizzy, caught up in the vastness and depth of this explosive celebration of His imagination! Have you ever had the chance to swim in the deep part of the ocean and couldn’t see the bottom? The thought of free floating a thousand feet above the ocean floor is beyond description. It causes your mind to lose balance! That’s what I experence when I look straight up into the immeasurable space above me.
The psalmist tells us that our Mighty God, Who is the creator of all things past, present, and future, is not only mighty and holy, He’s concerned about you and I. It says in verse 6, “they called to the Lord and He answered”. He answered! He didn’t turn away, or look aside…. He answered because He loves and cares about us, concerned for us to become all we’ve been predestined to be.
I believe this psalm is a short summary of the true nature of God. He is Holy, He is mighty, He loves justice and hates sin. He is also a forgiving disciplinarian. Yup, this loving and forgiving God, whom I believe we’ve stuffed in a shoe box of our very limited imagination and understanding, longs for His creation to live in His expectations and standards. Nature itself tells us there is an order in development and existence. We as a created human race, have taken this God of ours and minimized the reality of His being. God is the avenger of His order, His statutes and commandments. His holiness can not allow His creation to rebel against His order without consequences. He created us, we didn’t create Him, and this psalm is a reminder of that truth!
We were created in His likeness. The heart, mind, soul, and spirit. I call it our “knower” and our sleeping “knower” came to life when our hearts accepted and gave way to Jesus as our Lord and Savior. Before the fall of man, they knew Who God was and lived by His expectations perfectly until that moment when man thought and reasoned on his own and gave birth to sin in the garden. But God, our Creator, our true Father, at the perfect time, sent a fix for our defective “knower”. Jesus, is the fix that saved us from our wretched life, separated from Him.
David is declaring and reminds us today that our God is a mighty God Who avenges His law and ordinances, BUT, He is also a God who loves. 1 John 4:19 reminds us that, “we love BECAUSE, He first loved us”, so much so that He gave His Son as a ransom for our sins so that we could be in Paradise with Him. I don’t know about you, but when I wrap my inept, feeble mind around that truth, it brings me to tears.
So my suggestion today is we take time to bow to His Majesty, our Lord, God and King, to give honor, praise and reverence for who He is….our God who first loved us.
Father we bow before you, in gratitude, that You first loved us and have given example how we should love one another. Instill in our hearts the faith, the power, and majesty of who You are; that we may come to know the revelation of Your heart. Give us your desires and change our hearts so that Your Spirit and our souls are one. Lead us, direct us, and guide us down the path that You’ve honed out of the rock of our lives so we might display the greatness of Who You are. In the name of our King and Savior, Jesus our Lord, Amen