“30 The godly speak wise words and promote justice. 31 The law of their God controls their thinking; their feet do not slip. 32 Evil men set an ambush for the godly and try to kill them. 33 But the Lord does not surrender the godly, or allow them to be condemned in a court of law. 34 Rely on the Lord! Obey his commands! Then he will permit you to possess the land; you will see the demise of evil men. 35 I have seen ruthless evil men growing in influence, like a green tree grows in its native soil. 36 But then one passes by, and suddenly they have disappeared! I looked for them, but they could not be found. 37 Take note of the one who has integrity! Observe the godly! For the one who promotes peace has a future. 38 Sinful rebels are totally destroyed; evil men have no future. 39 But the Lord delivers the godly; he protects them in times of trouble. 40 The Lord helps them and rescues them; he rescues them from evil men and delivers them, for they seek his protection.”
We cannot fully appreciate the grace of God until we understand salvation and what we were saved from. Nor can we really apprehend God’s promises until they are all we are holding onto. Until we have walked in the steps of suffering, we do not need to hang onto the precious promises contained in this chapter of Psalms and they will be a concept we learn and trust in by faith.
When we consider this reality of suffering, gratitude for the challenges of this life consumes us. We recognize that we would not have the relationship with God if it were not for struggles that cause us to turn our face upward. Sure, it would be great if we did not have to walk through dark valleys to appreciate God, but our nature is to crave comfort, not trials. Our relationship with God would be shallow and we would not know the joy of intimacy with God.
These promises are completely free – for those who qualify. I know, there is always a kicker to gaining promises. But the thrill of this Good God is that living in the manner prescribed by God is the most blessed life, anyway. When we are immersed in His word, His Spirit quickens our hearts to do what is right. What kind of God would save us, provide promises to encourage us to keep pressing on, then remind us through His Holy Spirit and then enable us? God Almighty.
Those who study His Word are apt to want to keep it. Some think of it as brainwashing, but meditating on God’s word is life to our soul, not mere religion nor an attempt to just reform our external behavior. The Word of God has power to change us from the inside out. What an awesome God who set a standard, instructs us how to walk in that standard, gives us an incentive to follow His precepts, then grants us grace and forgiveness when we fall short.
Especially precious to me is when I read specific examples of God’s action in the lives of His children, like in this scripture passage above, and see times when God honored those very same promises in my life. I praise God today for the fact that He makes promises to us at all. We certainly do not deserve it, but He is the Covenant Maker and Keeper who faithfully continues to show us signs of His never-ending kindness and mercy.
Lord, thank You for providing for the righteous demands of Your law and graciously giving us promises to hold onto when life sends us on different roads we never thought we would travel.