The proud… afar off.

pridePsalm 138:6 Though the LORD be high, yet hath he respect unto the lowly: but the proud he knoweth afar off.

I like hard preaching. I like people who know what they believe, and what they stand for. I like to preach hard, and be one who knows what I stand for. But I must be careful in my quest to stand for right and preach it hard. For if I’m not careful, I may allow pride to creep in and show itself forth in my life.

In the verse above, the Lord reminds us of his disdain for pride. God hates pride. He lists it with abominations that he can’t stand. Yet pride is probably the sin we most easily allow inside. And when we do, He stays at a distance from us. Oh we might “learn” from the Word of God – but we’re far off. We might preach, but we’re afar off. We might stand for right, but we’re afar off. We might go soul winning, but we’re afar off. We might stand for right, but be afar off.

Humility is a big deal to the Lord. I want God to have respect unto me, and be close to me. But we see in Psalm 138:6, this comes with lowliness (a mark of humility). Might we seek to humble ourselves today so that the Lord doesn’t have to. Might we shun pride so we can have that close relationship that He desires to have with us. When we do, then we can preach with His power, stand for right with His favor, and preach His truth in His likeness, pleasing Him.

His mercy endureth forever

mercyPsalm 136:1 O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.

Praise the Lord for His mercy! One definition of mercy is, “compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm.” Twenty-six times in this chapter, the Psalmist says that “his mercy endureth forever”.

I’m reminded that it’s because of God’s mercies, and not my goodness, that I’m not consumed. His mercies are new every morning. Great is His faithfulness. Praise the Lord for His mercy, faithfulness, and goodness this morning!

Forgiveness with Thee

Psalm 130:3-5 If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared. I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope.

As self-righteous as any of us can convince ourselves that we are, the truth is that if the Lord “marked” iniquities, none of us could stand.  I thank the Lord for His forgiveness. I thank Him for his Word. I thank Him for His mercy and redemption (vs 7). And thus when we do, it causes us to fear Him more.

Except the Lord build the house.

aljavaPsalm 127:1-5 Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain. It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep. Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.

I love this chapter. One reason I do is because I like big families. I enjoyed growing up with 4 brothers and 3 sisters. I look forward to, Lord willing, having a big family. It occurred to me two days ago that my next child will be number four. To me, that puts a modern day family in the “big family” category.

Nonetheless, we see that children are to be viewed as the blessing they are. The fruit of the womb is His reward. We see that they are an heritage from the Lord. We see that they are like arrows in the hand of a mighty man. We see that a man with a quiver full is a happy man.

We must remember, though, that the Lord gives us a preface to all of this. It is this: our house (family, home) will be successful as the Lord is the One Who builds it. Might we allow the Lord to build our house. Might He be preeminent in all we do. Might we rear our families for the Lord, and by the Lord. For then, comes happiness, and no shame against the enemies, and the blessings, and the godly heritage. Praise the Lord for the first institution he ordained – the family!