This group of psalms starts with David in the wilderness of Judah, thirsting for God in a dry and weary land. He feels dry spiritually as well as naturally.
Have you ever been there? I’m sure that you have, just as I have. Maybe some jolting things have happened in your life and you feel that God is far away from you. But He isn’t.
David knows the secret. Just as we have said before, he begins to praise his God. “Because your lovingkindness is better than life, my lips will praise You. Thus I will bless You while I live; and I will lift up my hands in Your Name.”(63:3-4)
This moves into the next psalm, which once again speaks of God’s goodness in the midst of oppression. He is the Tower of strength for all who call upon Him.
Finally we see nothing but praise coming from David. He calls upon people to shout and praise exuberantly the One who is the answer for all things. He is the “confidence of the ends of the earth and of the far-off seas.”(65:5).
“Let the peoples praise You, O God; let all the peoples praise You. Then the earth shall yield her increase; God, our own God, shall bless us. God shall bless us and all the ends of the earth shall fear Him.” (67:5-7)
Exuberant praise to Almighty God will change your focus and your attitude. As you praise Him, as David does, your heart will begin to swell with confidence and strength. You will know that your God is for you also.
Now we see the answer to “sloppy grace.” Paul continues in his discussion of the law versus grace. Just as Christ died and was resurrected to a new life, so are we when we give our lives to Him. In fact, water baptism, in which we are submerged under water and then lifted up to new life is symbolic of our own death to sin and rebirth to righteousness.
“The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”(6:23)
In chapter 7, Paul talks about our transfer from the law to righteous living by this new birth. Now we are married to Jesus and not the law. The law died, and righteousness was born into the earth by the sacrifice of Jesus.
The law makes us want to do the evil that is forbidden. Our flesh wants to do the very thing which we shouldn’t. (I remember as a child attending a puppet show when the puppet master would say, “Don’t say the word ‘snow.'” Of course, every child present would shout, “snow!!!” That’s the idea here).
So as we are presented with the law, it is impossible to keep it. The new birth, however, causes us to walk with Jesus, empowered by His grace to live free from that sin.
Without that grace, we are wretched people, as Paul says. Our flesh does what our mind doesn’t want to do. But we do have that grace. We have the ability to do what He wants us to do.
If these things seem hard for you to understand, you are in good company. Peter himself said that Paul’s writings are “hard to understand.”(II Peter 3:16).
Read these chapters over again and meditate on these verses. They will bring great freedom and joy when understood properly. Our gift of righteousness is indeed the most tremendous gift imaginable. Free from the law and free from sin. That’s the idea!
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