Thursday, December 20, 2007

Daily Bread: Comfort or Fear

Today’s Reading:

  • Haggai 1:1-2:23
  • Revelation 11:1-19
  • Psalms 139:1-24
  • Proverbs 30:15-16
Today's Thoughts
1 O LORD, You have searched me and known {me.} 2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up; You understand my thought from afar. 3 You scrutinize my path and my lying down, And are intimately acquainted with all my ways. 4 Even before there is a word on my tongue, Behold, O LORD, You know it all. 5 You have enclosed me behind and before, And laid Your hand upon me. 6 {Such} knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is {too} high, I cannot attain to it. 7 Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? 8 If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there. 9 If I take the wings of the dawn, If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, 10 Even there Your hand will lead me, And Your right hand will lay hold of me. 11 If I say, "Surely the darkness will overwhelm me, And the light around me will be night," 12 Even the darkness is not dark to You, And the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are alike {to You.}” (Psalms 139:1-12)
I know that the writer is a friend of God because he hates “those who hate You,” (v.21). And in that light, it is so wonderfully comforting to know that God knows me completely and is never far from me. It helps to give some depth to Paul’s rhetorical question about “Who will separate us from the love of God in Christ?” (Romans 8:35) It is so wonderfully assuring to know that there is no place that I can go or no place that someone evil can take me that God is not in control of or near.

Conversely, if someone is an enemy of God and has not received His mercy based upon Christ’s work on the cross…wow, how scary is this picture of God. You can’t go anywhere to hide from God. The piercing vision of God and the ability to stretch out His hand to anyone at any place would be a source of great dread and horror. To have the infinitely powerful God angry with you and to not be able to hide in the least from His wrath should fear in the heart of the unbeliever.

John Piper once described God as an immeasurable rock. The unbeliever stands under this rock which is only suspended by a single thread. The believer stands on top of this same rock. God’s power, when expressed in His love, is the single source for all of the stability, comfort, and security for the believer. But it is the power of the same Almighty God that will utterly crush and destroy the unbeliever in the most complete fashion when it is expressed in wrath.

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