A journal entry from July 31, 2019…
It’s been just over a week now. My head (or is it my heart) is still numb. So hard to believe that this is not a bad dream. Reality hits, but I still don’t want to believe it.
Lord, give me eyes to see you at work!
Today I spent time in Psalm 148 and Jude (as I continue with my reading plan).
Some thoughts on Psalm 148, to strengthen this weary pilgrim.
This Psalm is a cosmic psalm about cosmic praise of cosmic size for a God who is beyond all things! Yahweh brought order to everything that is in existence. Yahweh has power over every part of that existence (all things)…unlike the gods of the Ancient Near East (and even today)…
Over the heavens,
Over the skies,
Over the created angels,
Over the sun and moon,
Over the stars, and
Over the clouds.
Why should this amaze me? Because he created them with one word, he established them forever with power that is beyond the grasp or even thought of that which he created (v5-6). The very existence of all things came from him, the creator of all seen and unseen.
Yahweh brings order from chaos in and through his creation.
This cosmic psalm of praise, for Israel, would have stirred up thoughts on creation itself and Yahweh’s work in creation (Gen 1:2 and Jeremiah 4:23 without form and void).
Yahweh then demands and deserves praise from all creation. From me.
On to Jude 1:17-24. Words that speak directly to our current rocky pilgrim path. Rocky doesn’t even come close to explaining this path!
Jude’s call to remain faithful is as if God is speaking directly to me. Oh right, you are Lord, you are speaking directly to me through your word!
Verse 17, there will be scoffers in these last days. These are the last days! There are scoffers that are more real to me now than ever.
Verse 18, their purpose in life is to enjoy themselves in every evil way imaginable. They want power. They want riches. They want control. It sure seems like they are getting it, but it is fleeting for sure!
Verse 19, They are here now, creating division among us (context of course for Jude is false teachers in the church, apostates). They live by the flesh because they do not have the Spirit of the living God in them. I should not expect anything different from them then should I?
Verse 20, “but you…”
Continue to build your lives on the foundation of your faith,
Continue in prayer,
Live in such a way that you are blessed by God’s love,
Wait for his mercy that will be revealed in eternal life,
Have mercy on others,
Save others from the fire,
Show mercy to others with fear (of God),
Hate the sin that stains their garments.
Lord, work verse 20 deep into my heart right now! This is how I want to stand in the fire that is burning before us.
Then verse 24, God will keep us…
He is able to keep us from stumbling,
He keeps us blameless before him/in his presence,
He does this with great joy!
Savior, thank you that you were determined to die for me, go to the cross in my place, and that you did that with joy (Hebrews 12:2). And now, you uphold me with joy. I stand undeserved, yet amazed!
Jude shows me that here is the greatest theme of victory to be sounded, the highest note of praise and adoration possible, and the greatest assurance for the redeemed.
”Jude attributes to God — to the only God our Savior — glory, majesty, power, and authority, which are all available to believers through the Victor, Jesus Christ our Lord. This exalted position is true of God in eternity past, in the present, and for all eternity in the future.” (The Bible Knowledge Commentary, Jude).
Ps 148 and Jude….Through creation and redemption/salvation, we can attribute to God being Lord over (present tense) chaos and the destruction of sin. God is not just our helper, he is Lord over everything and brings restoration to the most unimaginable chaos and destruction in creation and our personal lives.
Repeat that three times!!!
God, strengthen my resolve with truth of who you are!!!!
Settle this in my heart: replacing the cliché of “God is in control” with “God is Lord over chaos.” The tense here is important. God isn’t trying to be Lord—He is Lord. When God spoke (in creation), the chaos was subdued. Likewise, when God speaks truth into our lives, the chaos in our lives is subdued. Through Christ’s work, we have the opportunity for this intimate relationship with God (without which, my life would remain void and without form).
God, will you, by mercy, subdue the chaos that is swirling right now? Will you unravel my heart of worry, stress, my emotions of pain and sorrow? Will you bring order in this chaos?