April 25, 2018: Shine Forth
April 24, 2018
TODAY'S BIBLE READING:
I remember a song that was often sung when I was growing up called “Shine Jesus Shine.” It’s a good song in many ways, but I suspect this psalm is not usually what we have in mind when we think of God “shining.” When we think of God “shining,” we think of evangelism or social justice or blessing of some kind or another. But here in this psalm, for God to “shine forth” (94:1) means for him to enact “vengeance.” What sort of God is this?
The answer to that, of course, is that he is a God who has his ears open and also his eyes (94:9-10). The world in which we live is filled with pain and anguish; it is also filled with people acting in sometimes diabolical ways. “They kill the widow and the sojourner, and murder the fatherless” (94:6). They do this because they think they can get away with it. If they can fool human justice, then God certainly will never notice.
But how foolish they are! “Understand, O dullest of the people! Fools when will you be wise?” (94:8). Of course God sees! He made the eye and the ear! Rooted in the very nature of even the concept of God is that of God’s omniscience. To act as if God does not notice what we are doing is the highest of idiocy.
Instead, “Blessed is the man you discipline, O Lord” (94:12). Here is another strange thought. It is actually a sign of God’s blessing when we are disciplined. What it means is that God is treating us as a father treats his child. He has not abandoned us to our sins. He is correcting us. Pity the man who in sin seems to flourish; great vengeance is awaiting him unless he repents.
No, “The Lord will not forsake his people” (94:14). He will protect them against these evils. The psalmist knows this by personal experience. “When I thought, ‘My foot slips,’ your steadfast love, O Lord, held me up” (94:18). Perhaps that is where you are this morning. You feel as if you foot is slipping (or “the cares of your heart are many,” 94:19); take comfort. God’s “steadfast love will hold you up.” He will not abandon you, O child of the King. He will protect and redeem you. Take comfort from the testimony of this psalmist.
Whereas for those who reject God, “He will bring back on them their iniquity” (94:23). And therefore, take comfort, Christian. And for those who do not yet know Christ, repent and put your trust in him!]]>
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Josh Moody (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is the senior pastor of College Church in Wheaton, IL., president and founder of God Centered Life Ministries, and author of several books including How the Bible Can Change Your Life and John 1-12 For You.
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