26 September 2018

Hebrews 13
Psalm 108

Psalm 108 starts with David praising God for His unfailing love and His faithfulness, before he turns to Him in prayer. How often when we pray, our thoughts go directly to petitioning God for His help before we have stopped to praise and adore the God of all glory. However high the heavens, says David, His love is higher still, and just as the sky and the clouds are the fullness of all we can see, so it is with God’s all-encompassing faithfulness. As we come to our Heavenly Father in prayer this morning, let’s first praise him for His infinite glory and majestic holiness, for His love to us, His mercy and His faithfulness to do all that He has promised. 

As he turns to God in prayer, David remembers this. God has spoken in His holiness (in His holy word, or from His holy sanctuary, as different translations have it), and David is sure that what He has promised, He will do. Faith rejoices in what God has said, even though not yet done. With us, saying and doing are two different things, but with God they are one. So David takes comfort in what God has secured to him and settled upon him, even though not yet in the full possession of it. True, David had gained many victories, but he does not take as much satisfaction in these as he does in the word of God, which promises him not only the committed hearts of his own people, but in addition all that his enemies now possess, for his inheritance. In due time, David will be the exalted king, although now he still faces a divided nation and powerful enemies. 

This reminds us of what we read earlier in Hebrews, where the writer spoke of Christ’s exaltation, God putting everything in subjection under His feet, leaving nothing outside His control, even though the people to whom he was writing at the time did not yet see everything in subjection to Him. David comes to God’s promises in just the same way, in full assurance that in due time, his enemies shall be made his footstool. There can be no doubt that David and the leaders of his armies would have been discussing and strategising how to defeat Israel’s enemies, but he knows that ‘vain is the help of man’ (verse 12), so he brings these things before God, leaving them in His hands, and trusting in His promises. And he is not expressing doubt in God when he recognises that he may suffer setbacks: ‘Have you not rejected us, O God? You do not go out, O God, with our armies’ (verse 11). These adversities along the way will test the constancy of his faith and prayer. They will show him that he cannot rely on his chariots and horses and will affirm that he is truly undone without God’s help. When things don’t work out as he expects, this gives him all the more reason not to trust in his own wavering strength and fallible plans, but to depend entirely on the favour and grace of God, as He has revealed in His word, so that when the promise is fulfilled, God will have all the glory, not man.

Does our comfort come from our circumstances, when like David we have enjoyed a measure of success? Or does it come from the promise of God, received by faith? We remember that whatever good we have obtained is by God’s grace, and we thank Him for it, but greater still is the peace and contentment that come from trusting God, no matter how our circumstances may change, for the better or for the worse.

Heavenly Father, we worship you as our glorious and infinitely holy God. We praise You for unfailing love and Your faithfulness, and we pray O Lord that You will help us to trust in Your promises when as yet we don’t see them fulfilled. Whatever we are facing, and whatever the day may bring, let us remember above all that You have blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus.