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Studied By All Who Delight And Are Selfish 020212
Psalm 111 is mainly a praise Psalm, and I can almost hear choirs in the temple of Solomon, singing these choruses, but in Verse 2, Psalm 11 says : 2Great are the works of the Lord, studied by all who delight in them.
This is a curious idea for the Psalmist to write because it suddenly talks about you and me in the midst of a praise song.
But it is true for me I confess, and maybe for many of you. It is true that one reason I pray, study the Bible, try to live as a Christian disciple, contemplate, fast, meditate, etc is that I am absolutely pleasurably thrilled by all of it. My ‘study’ is really fun, and it feels very, very good.
In fact, I’ve heard from an ex-junkie, an alcoholic and a scholar that the study of God, and of Jesus is the most fun they’ve had in their lives, and that they walk through life on a cloud of serenity and joy.
But this is the amazing part: they all say that their prior lives and choices resulted from the very same thing that causes them to be a Christian pleasure junky—they like to get high, on heroin, alcohol, or Jesus, but now prefer Jesus.
Is our faith selfish? Are we concerned about getting our own personhood to heaven, and mainly concerned about our self?
Pray for peace, although we hope we disturbed it this morning.
1Praise the Lord! I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart, in the company of the upright, in the congregation.
2Great are the works of the Lord, studied by all who delight in them.
3Full of honor and majesty is his work, and his righteousness endures forever.
4He has gained renown by his wonderful deeds; the Lord is gracious and merciful.
5He provides food for those who fear him; he is ever mindful of his covenant.
6He has shown his people the power of his works, in giving them the heritage of the nations.
7The works of his hands are faithful and just; all his precepts are trustworthy.
8They are established forever and ever, to be performed with faithfulness and uprightness.
9He sent redemption to his people; he has commanded his covenant forever. Holy and awesome is his name.
10The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever.
23At that time, too, I entreated the Lord, saying: 24“O Lord God, you have only begun to show your servant your greatness and your might; what god in heaven or on earth can perform deeds and mighty acts like yours! 25Let me cross over to see the good land beyond the Jordan, that good hill country and the Lebanon.” 26But the Lord was angry with me on your account and would not heed me. The Lord said to me, “Enough from you! Never speak to me of this matter again! 27Go up to the top of Pisgah and look around you to the west, to the north, to the south, and to the east. Look well, for you shall not cross over this Jordan. 28But charge Joshua, and encourage and strengthen him, because it is he who shall cross over at the head of this people and who shall secure their possession of the land that you will see.” 29So we remained in the valley opposite Beth-peor.
6It is not as though the word of God had failed. For not all Israelites truly belong to Israel, 7and not all of Abraham’s children are his true descendants; but “It is through Isaac that descendants shall be named for you.” 8This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as descendants. 9For this is what the promise said, “About this time I will return and Sarah shall have a son.” 10Nor is that all; something similar happened to Rebecca when she had conceived children by one husband, our ancestor Isaac. 11Even before they had been born or had done anything good or bad (so that God’s purpose of election might continue, 12not by works but by his call) she was told, “The elder shall serve the younger.” 13As it is written, “I have loved Jacob, but I have hated Esau.”
14What then are we to say? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means! 15For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” 16So it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God who shows mercy. 17For the scripture says to Pharaoh, “I have raised you up for the very purpose of showing my power in you, so that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth.” 18So then he has mercy on whomever he chooses, and he hardens the heart of whomever he chooses.
The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
- Presentation of Christ: Feb. 2 (lifeinliturgy.wordpress.com)
- Old Prayers That Penetrate Deep (brokenbelievers.com)
- Sunday January 29th Reflection (friarbobjohn.wordpress.com)
- Benefits of Fearing the Lord (pastorbob.org)
- February 2 (bibleday2day.wordpress.com)
- Against You and You Alone Have I Sinned (myheartmission.wordpress.com)
- Anabaptists and Mennonites (beautifulunion.wordpress.com)
- That We May Know That You Are gods (123hallelujah.wordpress.com)