Skip to main content

Gaze on!


  54 Your decrees have been the theme of my songs wherever I have lived.

 55 I reflect at night on who you are, O Lord; therefore, I obey your instructions.  56 This is how I spend my life: obeying your commandments.

(Psalm 119:54-56 The New Living Bible)

54 Your laws are the songs I sing wherever I am living. 55 LORD, in the night I remembered your name, and I obeyed your teachings. 56 This happened because I carefully obey your instructions.
(Psalm 119:54-56 Easy-to-Read Version)

I gave us a couple of versions of this passage to read this morning so that we can put together some thoughts.  In examining this passage, several "themes" became apparent:

- David has made following God's decrees (his Word) his way of "doing business".  He has a lot of choices (as do we) in dealing with the stress of life. His choice was to turn to God.  Wherever he was "living" - there God was in his midst - right down to the songs he sang.  Have you ever noticed how easy it is to remember a passage of scripture when it is set to song?  Think about some of the praise and worship songs you sing in your church.  Many come from the psalms and are rally portions of scripture.  We are moved by those songs - because the Word was meant to be rehearsed until it had impact.  Songs will do that - they get into the core of our being.  That is why we find ourselves hearing a little bit of a song and then we "can't get it out of our head".  

- David reflects often and frequently on God's Word.  It is in this reflection that most of the impact is made in his life.  This is the idea of "pondering".  It is in the "pondering" that the reflection of Christ is evident in our lives.  To reflect is to allow the reproduction of what is beheld.  As David takes time to behold his Lord, he begins to notice that there is evidence of that reflection apparent in his life - it is evident in the actions that reflection produces.

- Reflection helps to get us to the point of obedience.  The product, or result, of reflecting upon Jesus is a change in our activity.  We move from a place of self-direction into a place of reliance upon God.  We gravitate toward choices that will build up our spirit rather than tear or weigh it down.  We tend to display love and mercy, as it has been displayed to us in the reflection we see of Christ.  David makes no excuses - obedience was not his first choice in life. Neither is it ours!  It was in the continual reflection upon God's Word that his choices were changed.

- Life doesn't just happen; it is orchestrated and planned out in the moments we take in reflection upon God's Word.  Look again at what David says - your laws are the songs I sing where I am living.  We need an "orchestra" leader to pull together all the parts of our lives into some ordered symphony of praise!  Without some "leadership", the "parts" are just that - parts.  When God leads our lives, the "parts" become a "symphony" of praise and adoration - they bring honor to the one who orchestrates the parts!

Look at what David reflects upon - who God is.  Not just on what God does, but on who he is.  When we come to understand the character of God, we often see the flaws of those we have been influenced by in our past living.  Those influences may not have produced good things within our lives, but God always does!  It is one thing to think highly and praise someone for doing good stuff.  It is quite another to appreciate, honor, and reverence someone because of the good that makes up their character.  

David got to know the character of God in the wee hours of the night - in the times of quiet reflection upon what he experienced that day.  In the failures of our day, God's reflection back to us is mercy.  In the moments of anger or frustration, God's reflection back to us is peace and love.  In the times of wrong choices, God's reflection back to us is a new start.  No wonder David finds reflection such a rewarding and uplifting pursuit!

If we struggle with "getting to" a place of obedience in our lives, perhaps we could begin where David did - in times of reflecting upon God.  He clearly says that obedience was an outcome of seeing things through God's eyes - that is what reflection really is.  When you look into a mirror, you are seeing what others see!  When we look into Jesus, we are seeing what he sees!  So, gaze on!  Reflect until the reflection you see is that of Jesus in you - the hope of GLORY!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The bobby pin in the electrical socket does what???

Avoidance is the act of staying away from something - usually because it brings some kind of negative effect into your life.  For example, if you are a diabetic, you avoid the intake of high quantities of simple sugars because they bring the negative effect of elevating your blood glucose to unhealthy levels.  If you were like me as a kid, listening to mom and dad tell you the electrical outlets were actually dangerous didn't matter all that much until you put the bobby pin into the tiny slots and felt that jolt of electric current course through your body! At that point, you recognized electricity as having a "dangerous" side to it - it produces negative effects when embraced in a wrong manner.  Both of these are good things, when used correctly.  Sugar has a benefit of producing energy within our cells, but an over-abundance of it will have a bad effect.  Electricity lights our path and keeps us warm on cold nights, but not contained as it should be and it can produce …

Period!

When someone tells you that you need to wrap your mind around some concept, they are telling you that the subject at hand will take some effort on our part to actually get enough of a hint of it in order to even remotely understand it. The subject is complex, even a little overwhelming, and we will have to apply ourselves to really grasp it very well. We cannot wrap our minds around God's wisdom and knowledge - because it is infinite and our brains are sadly finite. We can only 'think' so far and then we have to 'trust'. Some of us think there is nothing we can trust if we cannot 'think' it through, but this will never work when it comes to our faith. Faith requires trust in what is unseen and not fully comprehended. The truth we believe is really building our trust, but until we approach God with more trust than 'thought', we will never fully grasp some of the things he has prepared for us.

We cannot wrap our minds around God’s wisdom and knowledge…

My weapon? A donkey's jawbone!

14-16 As he approached Lehi, the Philistines came to meet him, shouting in triumph. And then the Spirit of God came on him with great power. The ropes on his arms fell apart like flax on fire; the thongs slipped off his hands. He spotted a fresh donkey jawbone, reached down and grabbed it, and with it killed the whole company. And Samson said, "With a donkey's jawbone I made heaps of donkeys of them. With a donkey's jawbone I killed an entire company." (Judges 15:14-16)
Israel is in a time of punishment - being attacked by the Philistines.  They have wandered into compromising sin and God is allowing the Philistines to be used as his means of judgment on their sin.  Samson was born of a woman unable to bear children - a miracle in those days that neither involved artificial means, nor test tubes!  As an angel of the Lord reveals that she will have a son, he also instructs her to set him aside (dedicate him) to the Lord's work of delivering the Israelites from the h…