Tuesday, July 17, 2012
A promise is a promise...
"Sacrafice thank offerings to God, fulfill your vows to the Most High and call on me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you and you will honor me." -- Psalm 50:14-15
There is a lot of meaning packed in those few words. God is telling us what he wants us to do, what he will do for us and what will result from it all.
All God wants from us is for us to keep our promises to him and to thank him for what we have. I say all he wants from us, like that is all easy to do, but we all know it is not easy.
No, it's not easy, but going back to good old wise Solomon...in the end, that's all there is.
"Now all has been heard here is the conclusion of the matter. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind." -- Ecclesiastes 12:13
Solomon wanted to understand what the meaning of this life was and experimented with everything, and I do mean everything. He used all his wealth and endless resources to put before himself everything that is supposed to make a person happy...food, clothing, things, pleasure, people around him enjoying these things with him...but in the end, he found they all left him empty and wanting more. That's when he said that THIS life is utterly meaningless.
The only meaning he found was that we are to fear God and keep his commands. I said yesterday that we are not to be afraid of God, but respect his power and authority. I go further and say we are to be afraid of the consequences of our actions and respect that God knows what he is talking about. Those consequences may not be be what God will do to us, but what our actions to do us, and God, being all knowing, knows this and tries to warn us.
When you look at Gods commandments, they are warnings...a wise, all-knowing father giving us guidance on how to live THIS life.
* No other Gods and no idols - God is telling us to pay attention to HIM because HE has the answers. If we go looking somewhere else, we will be lost.
* When you use the name of the Lord in vain, you begin losing respect for the Lord and you will go out on your own, again, you will be lost.
* Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy. God rested and knows you need rest too. If you don't, you will get tired and won't be able to keep up the pace, and you'll go looking for ways to keep up, and you will get lost.
*Honor your father and mother. God gave you parents on this earth to care for us and teach us. If we disrespect them, we disrespect God, which will lead to us going out on our own...we will get lost.
* If you murder, steal, commit adultery, lie, or become jealous of what your neighbor has, you will suffer...maybe not right now, but all of those actions come with their own consequences, whether you get caught or not. If you have to deal with the consequences on your own...you will be lost.
So you see, God's commands are given to us so we stick close to him so we DON'T GET LOST!
The even better thing is...God promises to deliver us when we are struggling...even if we are on the verge of getting lost because of our own actions. When we call out, cry out, yell out or scream for help, God will deliver us. Why? Why should he when most likely we have gotten ourselves into the mess in the first place??? The answer lies in the last 5 words of Psalm 50:15..."and you will honor me."
It all goes back to God wanting us back beside him. He will save us so we will respect and honor and follow him again! WHY??? So he can keep us safe! Don't you see it's a big cycle! God claims to be a jealous God who wants our praise and our honor and wants to be glorified. But it's not because he NEEDS our praise...it's because WE need to praise him! When we stick close to him, honor and praise him, we are following his commands that he gave us to protect us from ourselves. God made us...he knows us and knows what we need.
When we keep our promises to him, he keeps his promises to us. A promise is a promise. When you look at it that way, his commands aren't so demanding, but comforting. I thank God for his promises and promise to stick by his side!