Today’s Devotional –
January 9, 2016
“God will Judge His Enemies” – Psalm 68:1-7
Today in History
1349 – 700 Jews of Basel, Switzerland, were burned alive in their houses.
1777 – Pioneer American Methodist bishop Francis Asbury wrote in his journal: ‘My soul lives constantly as in the presence of God, and enjoys much of His divine favor. His love is better than life!’
1861 –The first hostile act of the Civil War took place when the Star of the West fired on, Fort Sumter SC.
1861 – Mississippi became the 2nd state to secede from the Union.
1936 – Semi-automatic rifles were adopted by the US army.
1941 – 6,000 Jews were exterminated in Bucharest, Romania.
1945 – US soldiers led by General Douglas MacArthur invaded the Philippines to drive out the Japanese.
1980 – 63 invaders were beheaded in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. America was blamed for the massacre.
God shall rise up, his enemies will be destroyed; and those who hate him will
vanish before him!
As a vapor is driven away, so you shall drive them away; as wax melts before fire, so the wicked are destroyed before God!
But the just shall be glad; they shall exult before God; they shall be jubilant with joy!
Sing to God, sing praises to his name; lift up a song to him who rides through the heavens; his name is the Lord; jump for joy before him!
Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation.
God seats the solitary in a home; he brings out those that are bound in chains, but the rebellious dwell forever in the desert.
O God, you brought out your people, when you marched through the wilderness,
Most folks don’t like to think of God as a judge. In fact today, the easy gospel speaks mostly of God’s love and seldom of the awful judgment which is promised as surely as any other aspect of the loving God who sent His Son to die for those that will believe and trust Him.
Our psalm today starts with the destruction of God’s enemies. But who are they? Many have a philosophy about their relationship with God that goes something like this:
“I don’t believe in God therefore I don’t have to worry about God’s judgment.”
Or, “I am a very religious person. I may not attend church, read the Bible or repent of my sins and confess them to God, but I am as good as most people and better than many “church” people.”
Another group of people say, “My god is good and loving and he would never judge me or others.”
But God often speaks of judgment in His personal instructions to all men, called the Bible.
The Psalmist said in our psalm for today that those that are enemies of God will be destroyed and vanish as a morning fog before the sun rise or melt away like wax that comes too close to the flame. Who are these enemies of God and what is His intention toward them?
“No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and riches.” (Matthew 6:24)
“Little children, it is the last time: and as you have heard that those that oppose Christ will come, even now are there many who oppose Christ; therefore we know that it is the last time. They went out from our company, but they were not with us; for if they had been with us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be clearly understood that they were not all of us.” (1 John 2:18-19)
“I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot: I would thou were either cold or hot. So then because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of my mouth.”
“Because you are saying, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and don’t know that you are wretched, and miserable, and destitute, and spiritually blind, and naked: I counsel you to get from me gold tried in the fire, that you may be spiritually rich; and white raiment, that you may be clothed, and that the shame of your nakedness will not be seen; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see spiritually. As many as I love, I admonish and train: be zealous therefore, and repent.”
“Look, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man will hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will dine with him, and he with me.” (Revelation 3:15-20)
Jesus defined those that are His enemies very clearly when He said, “He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathers not with me scatters abroad.” (Matthew 12:29)
I am however happy that the Psalmist didn’t stop there. He went on to say that the just or righteous man shall rejoice before God and sing praises to Him. How can any man call themselves righteous before a Holy God? We are made righteous or just by God’s remarkable grace alone. Every man is born a sinner because we are son’s of Adam. Paul explains it this way: “For if by one man’s offence (Adam) death reined by one; much more they which receive the abundant grace and the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men to justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience all were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.” (Romans 5:17-19)
Fifty-five years ago God in His grace open my spiritual eyes and allowed me to see that religion was not enough. I thought I was good enough. I knew I was better than some. But God, who knows my heart, showed me that I was not “with God” and was not “gathering with Him” but rather driving others away from Him. That day He saved me, took my sin away and graciously forgave me. He has since that day never left me for one moment in time. He then and now upheld me and led me through life with the assurance of eternal life to come. He changed my life in an instant and continues to change me each day.
My friend if you trust your best efforts let me assure you that you are on the road to hell and judgment.
But if by grace God has changed your life, you with me, the Psalmist, and saints throughout the ages, can sing the psalms of praise to the God of grace, mercy and judgment, who will one day welcome each of us into His presence forever.