Before Christ, there was only a path to God through Israel. But God’s plan is perfect and He made a way for all people through Christ. In Ephesians 3:6 Paul says, This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus. The plan has always been for all to be able to receive salvation. What is new is that we are now co-heirs; both Jews and Gentiles. God created all of humanity and His perfect plan and desire is to have a relationship with everyone.
We were all created by God to do great things. God’s intention was to use us greatly and impact those around us in a meaningful way in the light of eternity. In Ephesians 2:10 Paul tells the church in Ephesus, For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. We were created with a purpose. Let us remember that in all we do.
God’s plan is perfect. When we trust in Him to walk us through life and we follow His will, we accomplish a fulfilled life through God’s perfect will. Ephesians 1:11 says, In Him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of Him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will. When the chaos around us feels overwhelming, we can rest assured in the truth that God is in control.
To “fear” God is to have reverence for Him. When we revere God, we put our trust and hope in Him. In Psalm 147:11 it says, The Lord delights in those who fear Him, Who put their hope in His unfailing love. Once we put our trust in God and know His power over all we do, then God can use our abilities most effectively.
A prayer for guidance is self-centered if it is not accompanied by a recognition that God has the power to redirect our path. Wanting guidance to fit out wants and ignoring God’s will is not obedience. Psalm 143:10 says, Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground. David asked God to teach him to do God’s will and not his own. We should be asking God to open our eyes to His will so that we may know the right direction for our lives and align our wills with God’s.
We all get overwhelmed by our circumstances and stress. And while we don’t always turn to God as our first response, He is the best solution to all our problems in ever situation. In Psalm 142:1 David begins the Psalm with a plea for help, I cry aloud to the Lord; I lift up my voice to the Lord for mercy. There is no question God is the only guaranteed solution to all our problems. We may not always like the answers, and our requests may not be answered exactly as we had envisioned in our minds, but when God answers our prayers, it is the best answer in the light of eternity.
Sometime, in our sorrow, we forget what it’s like to be joyful. When the Israelites were exiled or in captivity, they would work hard to maintain their culture and their identity as God’s chosen people. Often that identity was tied to their life back in Jerusalem. In Psalm 137:5 the author wants to desperately remember his identity as God’s chosen and what it meant to live as a free and sovereign nation under God: If I forget you, O Jerusalem, may my right hand forget its skill. For us, when we are far from God or when we have lost our joy because of the sorrow in our lives, we should cling closely to our identity in Christ and the freedom we have from salvation, regardless of our present circumstances. While this is easier said than done, there will be times when this is all we have.
In today’s reading we see two things. First, in Psalm 132:2 where it talks about David and says, He swore and oath to the Lord and made a vow to the Mighty One of Jacob. Second, in Psalm 132:11 it says about God, The Lord swore an oath to David, a sure oath that he will not revoke. The Psalm was written when the Ark of the Covenant was returned to Jerusalem and David danced and sang praises. It was returned in keeping to a promise God made to David for his faithful service. The message of this Psalm is simple; Honor God and He will honor you.
Pride creates a sense of self-importance that takes away God’s glory. It also removes our ability to see the simple things in our lives as what has true value. In Psalm 131:1 David says, My heart is not proud, O Lord, my eyes are not haughty; I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me. If we are able to look to God for the simple things and trust in Him for what’s important, then we are able to relax and know He is ultimately in control and all glory goes to Him.
It’s hard to imagine how a burned down forest is restored in just a few short years. God’s ability to restore is beyond our ability to comprehend. In Psalm 126:5-6 the Psalmist paints a picture of a farmer sowing seeds with faith they will turn into a harvest, 5 Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy. 6 He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him. If we have faith, we know God can turn even the greatest sorrows in our lives back into joy if we allow Him to restore us. Remember: God’s harvest of joy will come because He has the ability to fully restore us if we let Him.