October 10

Psalms 45:6-8 (NIV) 6Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever; a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom. 7You love righteousness and hate wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy. 8All your robes are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia; from palaces adorned with ivory the music of the strings makes you glad.

This psalm is by the sons of Korah. Korah had challenged the decision to have Aaron and sons be the priests. The earth opened up and swallowed him. His descendants, however, were still given the privilege to be musicians for the house of God. Many of the psalms were written by them. What an expression of the mercy of God! This psalm was a wedding song, possibly for Solomon. Just as in the Song of Songs, the theme moves from Solomon and his wife to Jesus and the church. Since Jesus is of the lineage of David, He is often referred to as The Son of David, and Solomon is in some respect a shadow of The Son of David who was to come.

We especially see the overlap in verse 6. It is God that is being addressed. His Kingdom is the one just Kingdom. He is the One who truly loves righteousness and hates wickedness. God anointed Christ Jesus with the oil of joy (Hebrews 1:8-9). The Biblical picture of Jesus is of One who is more joyful than all His disciples. Joy is a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22). As you grow in Christ's likeness, you will find an increasing measure of joy.

His robes are fragrant. As we carry His life into the world, people get a whiff of the fragrance of the Lord (2 Corinthians 2:14). The music of strings makes Him glad. The abundance of worship music today is bringing gladness to the heart of Jesus. Don't you love that thought? I hope this prophetic picture of Christ has changed your impression of the One we serve. He does weep for the lost. He does grieve with you in your trials and feels your pain. Yet, He knows the future, and He is the most joyful One you will ever meet.

Consider: The psalm goes on to speak of the bride. That is you and me! This is our wedding song! Savor it!

October 10

Philippians 2:12-13 (NIV) 12Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed–not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence–continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.

When you came to Christ and repented of your sins and asked for forgiveness, you were saved. In God's eyes, you have His very own righteousness. That is a done deal. It is so because of the finished work of Jesus. You are a new creation. Knowing that is all true, why do we not walk through this life in the same manner as Jesus did? He was a man with the righteousness of God.

The difference is that we have a sinful past and an old nature. We have ruts in our thinking, in our ideas, and in our patterns of behavior that are being transformed. The salvation that is in us must be worked out in experiences. Though my old nature has been given a deathblow, at any time I can take my spiritual foot off its throat and yield to its twisted interpretation of the world around me.

We must work out our salvation with fear and trembling, because we know the destructive seduction of the old nature. We know how subtle and cunning it can be. It is even capable of perverting good things, like worship, into depravity. No wonder we should work out our salvation with fear and trembling. We can so easily be utterly deceived.

We do have help though. God is working in us to will and act in ways that please Him. The old nature is always at war with our spirit, but our spirit has a powerful Helper. He helps us will what is good. That is half the battle. Just having correct desires is halfway to expressing the new life. But He helps with the second part too, the actions.

Remember: As you mature in the Lord, never let your guard down. Anyone, at any stage, can stumble with horrendous consequences. Let your mind be continually renewed, and cooperate with the work of God in you to will and act according to His good purposes.