Friday, June 24, 2016
Clinging to Our God and Father........
"In the world, dependence is seen as immaturity. But in My kingdom, dependence on Me is a prime measure of maturity." --- or so Sarah Young attributes these thoughts to God's precious heart in her devotional Jesus Calling, in her entry for today, June 24.
......and methinks, she is right.
Or course, Sarah Young also included encouraging and insightful scriptures for the day..... one being found in Psalm 62..... Now, I love it when I can take the time to read through the whole chapter or so in which these scriptural references are found, particularly when a psalm is involved. Today, I was blessed to be able to do so...... asking questions along the way.
Today, I happened to scan my way through the psalm first, and found the whole thing to be so peace-giving and restful in regards to us, God's people - in spite of the trials of this life. And against this peaceful foreground of "life at rest in spite of trouble," is the main setting: the grand, and amazing, and powerful love of God for all of His people.
That alone is rich...... But then my curiosity was piqued when I noticed out of the corner of my eye that the author was Jeduthun. Hmmm.... 'think, think, think....." Who is Jeduthun? As it, of course, turns out, Jeduthun was a major figure in David's day, in spite of the fact that he did not play a big part in any stories told to me as a child. Furthermore, in these more recent years, his name had not made an impression on my heart when I have been reading through scriptures. So I did not place his name quickly, yet here he was, so honored as to have written this amazing psalm captured in holy writ. Driven by a growing sense of curiosity, I searched in Biblegateway for his name in scripture.
It was so exciting to see that this Levite, who had been raised up by King David to lead in thanksgiving, praise, and worship in the temple, wrote such a beautiful psalm...., one which captures so much of the heart of Sarah Young's message for today: relying utterly on God in order to reach the fullness of maturity into which He has called us.
It was also exciting to notice how it is that his sons served with him in the temple worship. Some of them kept the gates..... Yes, they kept the gates while he led the people in worship.
Hmmmm, the sons keeping the gates while the father leads in worship.
How beautiful is that!
How often does that happen today? How often does it not? How often do we fail our heavenly Father by failing to properly raise up our sons as He fathered and raised up Jeduthun, and as Jeduthun did as he fathered and raised up his own sons?
What is it that 'went right' for this to have happened in Jeduthun's life?
Of course, being a huge fan of the messages in scripture that can be found by knowing the meanings of names in the Bible....... and in seeking to meditate on these particular scriptures, and especially in seeking leading from the Holy Spirit, I sought to know more of this man, Jeduthun, by learning about his name!
There are two main roots to the name Jeduthun. As it turns out, like the name Judas/Judah, at the heart of the name Jeduthun is the holy name of God: confess....God!
The HAW Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament provides a slightly more expanded version of 'Confess - - God!' by rendering the meaning of Judah as:
"to acknowledge or confess sin, God's character and works, or man's character."
Consider then how appropriate it is that this man who was raised up to lead God's people in praise had a name which gave Jeduthun an opportunity to remember our need to do this each time he heard his own name!
Consider then also, how Jeduthun's sons knew that they ought to grow up worthy of their father's good name..... not to the perfection of their father! Oh, no! For their father, they knew, had to confess his own nature, which was not sufficient for life, to God in worship. But the good name of their father came from the fact that he humbly did just that. Jeduthun did 'acknowledge and confess sin, God's character and works, and man's character.'
Jeduthun's sons must have had at least some very real understanding of our need to 'Confess... God!'. They also seem to have been very faithful in the task set to them. They understood that they needed to be keepers at the gate, protecting those who were attending to this vital need in our lives!
Were Jeduthun's sons 'tending to their father's business?'
It does indeed seem that they were.
What an honor for them all.
Now, may we be about the Heavenly Father's business........
Leading out before the people, 'Confessing....God!', and loving them, helping them to understand the love, peace, and honor that comes from their choosing to do the same.......
As Jeduthun said so poignantly in his psalm:
'Yes, my soul, find rest in God;
my hope comes from him
Truly he is my rock and my salvation;
he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
My salvation and my honor depend on God;
he is my mighty rock, my refuge.
Trust in him at all times, you people;
pour out your hearts to him,
for God is our refuge.' Psalm 62:5-8
What else can we do than to repeat this sentiment down through the ages? Even to those who have failed with their own children in days past.... What else can we do for those around us today? What else can those around us do?
Each one of us will either cling to the good name of Our Heavenly Father, and stand and watch the gates as needed, and thereby cling to the gift of His Son..... the gift of life......
Or we have nothing with which to cling onto anything at all.........
Which truth is said so well at the end of Psalm 62:
"One thing God has spoken,
two things I have heard:
'Power belongs to you, God,
and with you, Lord, is unfailing love';
and, 'You reward everyone
according to what they have done.'"
What an amazing thing.... that when God has spoken one thing..... we indeed must hear two!
Confess...... God! In.....deed.........