Tag Archive: righteous

one of my best friends, Rob Lloyd, wrote today’s guest psalm for us – he is going for another round of cancer treatment today as he heads towards his 30th birthday celebrations so take a minute to say a prayer for him, for healing and protection from the nausea that has accompanied that, and then read his musings on psalm 33 and be challenged and encouraged:

One of the most incredible things about God is how He interacts with His creation. It’s not a popular word to use today, but God condescends to us – He leans down to speak to us in ways we can understand when in reality His ways are so much higher than our ways. We can get so used to His interacting at our level that we forget that He exists at another level entirely.

And then we look around at the world and it is so easy to see a world out of God’s control. (It’s definitely out of ours!) If God is God how can He let things be as they are? Surely the bible must be wrong for we do not see the wicked failing while the righteous prosper?

Is God really God?

And then we get Psalms like this one, declarations of God’s Godness. BOOM! God is God and there is no place to hide. His reality shatters our complacent existence bringing His sovereignty to challenge our pride and His hope to restore our faltering faith. Our sight is restored so see Him as He is and not as He appears to be.

So what should be our response? In John 6.28, Jesus is asked a similar question. Here’s my personalised paraphrase:
“Jesus, what does God want from me?”
“Just this: trust in Me.”
Of course our lives end up consisting of far more than this, but this is where we start. And if we don’t start here we are lost straight away. This is what defines the rest.

This Psalm has one more challenge for us and it’s a big one for how do we know when we are really trusting God?
“In Him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name.”
How do we know we are trusting? Our hearts are rejoicing.

psalm 15 is a short and schweet psalm and the message i got from it is to live well.

the psalmist gives some examples of what living well looks like – ‘speaks the truth from their heart’, ‘utters no slander’, ‘does no wrong to a neighbor’, ‘casts no slur on others’, ‘keeps an oath even when it hurts’, ‘lends money to the poor without interest’, and ‘does not accept a bribe against the innocent’ with the promise that ‘Whoever does these things will never be shaken.’

so that sounds really good, although right at the beginning he has thrown in these two: ‘The one whose walk is blameless, who does what is righteous’ which makes it seem unattainable.

i think it is a reminder to us, that in one sense it is. even when we look at the opening phrase – ‘LORD, who may dwell in your sacred tent? Who may live on your holy mountain?’ – the answer appears to be no-one. None of us are worthy of that honour in and of ourselves.

yet God has extended that invitation to us. it is by what He has done – and specifically by sending Jesus to die on the cross as a representative of both mankind and heaven – that we have been made worthy, and children of God [1 john 3.1]. and so this psalm to me really gives a glimpse of the idea of the kingdom of God being both now [the first list] and not yet [blameless, righteous which will be achieved in fullness later when Jesus returns]

the second point i get from this psalm is the bit about ‘lends money to the poor without interest’ which, along with jubilee [cancelling all debt every seven years] seems to be such a creative economic blueprint from God for creating and sustaining good community among people and i get excited when i see people living that out in real life. lending money without charging interest is the lowest the bar should ever be set, but it is a good place to begin.