Wednesday, April 12, 2006

The glory of the saints

I’ve just come to the end of my latest read through the book of Psalms. One Bible reading plan that I’ve devised splits into 5 sections. One of these sections is Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Song of Songs. My Bible reading habits vary quite a lot, but I usually read through these 4 books continually, taking at most a chapter or two a day. (The other sections are the OT history books, the OT prophets, the Gospels and Acts, and the rest of the NT. I try to read the whole of the NT at least once every year. I have to confess I am not so familiar with the OT.)

Psalm 149 struck me this morning. It contains a peculiar combination of praise and cursing. The Lord takes pleasure in his people, and they have the joy and glory of praising him in song all day long, in ‘the assembly of the faithful’ and in the seclusion of their homes. A happy thought.

Still, as these saints praise God with their mouths they are to hold swords in their hands. Because the glory of the saints includes the task of judging the ungodly. Suddenly the Bible forces its reader to stop and think. Do I have the stomach to be a saint of the living God? Am I really prepared to execute the judgement of God upon the godlessness of the nations? That is my calling if I’m a child of God. No doubt this calling is mostly through the sword of the Spirit (Eph6:17, Heb4:12). But is the sword of the Spirit any less dreadful than a sword of iron? Praise God that Jesus is our advocate and protector. In him there is no condemnation (Roms8:1).

1 comment:

Dorothy said...

Some of my favourite verses in the Bible are in Ecclesiastes - underrated book I think - would have loved to have met the writer! 3:11 (NIV translation)"He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end" - chapter 3 generally just wonderful and poetic. Also if I ever get my studies out of perspective there is always 12: 12 "Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body" - not very comforting as exams approach however...