Sunday, February 11, 2018

PSALM 103: VERSES 9 AND 10: "THE GOD OF PEACE"

He will not always strive with us, nor will He keep His anger forever. He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. (Psalm 103:9-10)
Striving has the connotation of contention. Contention is almost like an agitated action – mostly verbal – which brings unpleasantness and lack of positive results to a situation.  So many people try to beat themselves up when the slightest thing goes wrong and then end up blaming God. If things are not immediately self-corrected. This is The opposite of how God operates.

It is actually not surprising that the natural human reaction is antithetical to the magnificent attribute of God, Who is already bent towards love and forgiveness.  We kick and fuss and cuss and even worse -blame God, when God is saying “chill out! I am here, what are you going on about?”.  Psalm 46:10 says “Cease striving and know that I am God”.

The striving God is talking about here is the same as “come on, man, relax. I am God and there is no other”.  There is no better example than the Book of Job chapter 38 through chapter 41. For most of the Book of Job, Job rambled and rambled and said all sorts of incorrect things about God. If there is one big mistake any believer can make is to either appropriate God unto your own natural self-created paradigm and say: “God told me to do this” or to start putting your own words in God’s Mouth. God responded with rapid-fire, almost machine-gun like questioning of Job about his knowledge of the ways of God.

God did not contend with Job. He let Job and his friends go on and on and on for what had to be almost two years, in error, before finally put a stop to it. God did not strive or contend with all this foolishness. If you read the Book of Job from chapters 2 through 37, it would amaze you that God did not put a stop to it. But He did not strive with Job and his friends. The Lord does not strive or contend with us either.

For this we need to be absolutely grateful.  We live in the continuing Age of Grace. This is a preset period of time, maybe 2100 years or so where God has appointed His Son’s sacrifice on the Cross of Himself, as the ONLY way to reconciliation with Him.  We know, from reading all through the bible that He desires none to perish and go to hell. However, most do not take Him up on His free offer of salvation through grace and faith in Christ. This does not deter The Trinity of Heaven. There will not be a Return of Christ until the Gospel is preached to every corner of the earth.

He will not keep His Anger forever and it will be forever gone in the Eternal Kingdom. This is after the 1000 year reign of Christ in Jerusalem and after the final Judgment at the Great White Throne of God. In the meantime, let us keep pointing many to Christ, while there is still time….while we are still in the Age of Grace.  This Age of Grace literally means what we see in Psalm 103:10 - God has not dealt with us according to our sins!

We would not be able to stand ANYWHERE, far less stand before God, if we were judged daily for not just our sins but some really bad stuff Christians do!  We violate God’s law almost all the time. We do not do so daily, but far too regularly and if God were to give us what we deserved for the lust of the eyes, ears, flesh or for disobedience. We would be done for on this earth. But He loves us so much and knows our weaknesses, yet all He requires is we study His Word, become cleansed by it and therefore, become more like His Son, Jesus. These sins we commit, whether it is momentary lust of the senses to full-blown sin before God like extra-marital affairs or cheating on taxes (iniquities – the worse kinds of sins); are forgiven and wiped away if there is true genuine Repentance and an end to the flouting of God’s laws and precepts.

The key is staying and walking close to the Lord; living a repentant lifestyle and not allowing ourselves to be drawn away from Him by the tempting shiny objects and people of this world. He is the God of Peace - Shalom. This Peace is more than an assurance of our Salvation. It is the absence of conflict with our Creator as He makes us more Christ-like, if we are willing.


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