Resplendent With Light (Lent 10, 2017)

Psalm 76:1 In Judah God is known; his name is great in Israel. 2 His tent is in Salem, his dwelling place in Zion. 3 There he broke the flashing arrows, the shields and the swords, the weapons of war. Selah 4 You are resplendent with light, more majestic than mountains rich with game. 5 Valiant men lie plundered, they sleep their last sleep; not one of the warriors can lift his hands. 6 At your rebuke, O God of Jacob, both horse and chariot lie still. 7 You alone are to be feared. Who can stand before you when you are angry? 8 From heaven you pronounced judgment, and the land feared and was quiet– 9 when you, O God, rose up to judge, to save all the afflicted of the land. Selah 10 Surely your wrath against men brings you praise, and the survivors of your wrath are restrained. 11 Make vows to the LORD your God and fulfill them; let all the neighboring lands bring gifts to the One to be feared. 12 He breaks the spirit of rulers; he is feared by the kings of the earth.

Perhaps there’s no better time than Lent to remind ourselves that God is no one for us to mess with.  It is arrogance alone to think we’re a match for Him. It’s an assault upon Him and His holiness for us to think we can just go ahead and go our own way with no consequences.

This psalm states something genuinely foreign to many of us—or at least something that we really don’t like.  God’s wrath against man brings Him praise.  He is resplendent with light!  And it’s the fear of His wrath and His power that ought to cultivate a healthy regard for His divinity.

Sometimes people will think there’s some Old Testament God who was kind of petulant and would throw fits and kill people.  Like in the flood.  And then there’s some New Testament God like Jesus who hugs lambs and children.  Sorry.  They’re one and the same and He is both a holy God and a just God.  He is a God of love and a God of wrath.  And God displayed both perfectly in His Son Jesus crucified. 

1 Corinthians 1:18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

Fun fact of light:  Light is nothing to mess with.  Responding to the question “Is there a way to harness electricity from lightning?”, MIT professor of electrical engineering James Kirtley says, “Sure, it’s possible. But it might not be worth it…Benjamin Franklin was really lucky his kite wasn’t struck by lightning” … The average lightning strike contains about 1 million joules, enough energy to fry the founding father in his boots.” 

Light seems harmless enough, but when it displays its raw power as it does in lightning, it can kill you.

NOAA says the odds of your being struck by lightning in your lifetime are 1/13,000 and the odds in any given year are 1/1,042,000.  Only 1 in 10 people struck by lightning is killed and the rest suffer various injuries, yet we all accept the deadly power of lightning though its beauty is resplendent.

For further thought:

  • The likelihood of God displaying His wrath is 100% not just 1/13,000.  That’s because He’s holy and that means perfect.  God will never fail to display His wrath against sin.  Chances of sin’s punishment?  100%
  • If this is the case, why do so many people minimize sin?
  • Read Romans 1:16-21 The wrath of God is being revealed and no one is immune from it no matter what your culture or even your pastor might tell you.  What matters is what God thinks about whether your lifestyle is sinful or not.  What matters is what God thinks about other world religions and your blended acceptance of them into your faith life.
  • Is Jesus everyone’s Get Out of Consequences Free card? Why or why not?
  • How did God satisfy His wrath yet preserve believers from eternal damnation? 

Lord Jesus, thank You for taking my sin upon Yourself and dying to satisfy the wrath of God against my sin.  Please LORD, keep me from sinning against You.  Thank You for the Gospel.  Thank You for Your mercy.  Lead me by the light of Your Word to remind me of Your resplendent light, Your immeasurable power, Your perfect holiness, and Your incomparable might.  Humble me under Your merciful hand and preserve my life.  Amen.

Categories Articles and Devotionals, Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on March 10, 2017

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