“Consider the work of God: for who can make that straight, which He hath made crooked?” (Ecclesiastes 7:13).
In heaven we will look back and recount all His ways with us, and praise Him forever, as we realize the perfection of them. When the wilderness journey of Israel is summed up in the Psalms, it says, “He led them forth by the right way” (Psalm 107:7). No doubt, we will echo similar language as we fully understand that “He ledUS forth by the right way.”
Things we thought would never be straightened out, and things we didn’t understand in this life will all be made straight and plain then. “The crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain” (Isaiah 40:4).
In heaven we will have plenty of time to consider and praise Him for all His ways with us. However, stop and consider His ways today, and even though you may not fully understand everything, you will go forth with a thankful heart and a renewed appreciation of Himself.
As the months slip by and life goes quickly on it is good to stop and consider every once in a while and just look back on the goodness of God our Father up until this point. The children of Israel were instructed, “And thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep His commandments, or no” (Deuteronomy 8:2).
When we look at things in retrospect we not only learn the faithfulness of God with us, but we are also reminded of His love, grace and mercy, in spite of our failure, forgetfulness and sin. We don’t always appreciate our circumstances and experiences as we go through them, nor are we always thankful at the time. But looking back and seeing things from a different perspective helps us to realize that there is one who know best. It also helps us to carry out the instructions of David when he said, “Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass” (Psalm 37:5).
Yesterday we mentioned the figure of the Lord Jesus going down into the pit and bearing the waters of God’s judgment against sin.
Today I was also thinking of the results of that aspect of the work of Calvary in connection with the verse, “He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings” (Psalm 40:2). Because the Lord Jesus went under the waters of judgment for us, we have been delivered from the pit of sin, and placed on solid ground. “He keepeth back his soul from the pit, and his life from perishing by the sword…Then He is gracious unto him, and saith, Deliver him from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom” (Job 33:18,23).
We will never have to go under the waters of judgment, and this should make us the most thankful people on the face of planet Earth.
“I am come into deep waters, where the floods overflow Me” (Psalm 69:2).
Joseph is a very beautiful picture of the Lord Jesus in the Old Testament. We read that when his brothers desired to show their hatred of him “they took him, and cast him into a pit: and the pit was empty, there was no water in it” (Genesis 37:24). Eventfully he was brought up out of that pit and sold to the Ishmeelites for twenty pieces of silver.
However, we see that the type falls short when we read of the Lord prophetically, “Thou hast laid Me in the lowest pit, in darkness, in the deeps. Thy wrath lieth hard upon Me, and Thou hast afflicted Me with all Thy waves. Selah” (Psalm 88:6-7).
For Joseph the pit was empty, there was no water in it. For the Lord Jesus, figuratively speaking, the pit was full…full of the judgement of a holy God against sin…my sins…the waves of which we read, “All Thy waves and Thy billows are gone over Me” (Psalm 42:7). He has exhausted those waters of judgment. Hallelujah!
Alexander the Great directed that when he died his hands should be placed across his chest with his palms facing outward. When asked why, he replied, “To let all who look at me in death see that the man who conquered the world went out empty handed.”
Before his death the conqueror was found weeping in his tent. When asked what was wrong, he replied, “There are no more worlds to conquer.” What a sad, hollow end to a man who had reached the apex of human glory.
This reminds us of the words of the Lord, “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:26).
King Solomon wrote across his earthly accomplishments, “All is vanity and vexation of spirit” (Ecclesiastes 2:17).
The only thing we can take with us when we leave this world, is what we have in and through Christ! “For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out” (1 Timothy 6:7).
Q. What does the expression “fearful in praises” mean in Exodus 15:11? I thought we were to come with confidence and bring our praises and prayers?
A. The word, “fearful” is sometimes translated reverenced. So we might read it, “reverenced in praises.” This was drawn out from Moses’ and the children of Israel’s hearts as they witnessed the mighty power of the Lord in their deliverance from the slavery of Egypt and Pharaoh, and in the swallowing up of the Egyptians in the Red Sea.
Psalm 89:7 uses the same word. “God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had in reverence of all them that are about Him.” In all our prayers and praises the words we use should express reverence. “Holy and reverend is His name” (Psalm 111:9).
On the other hand we read, “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace” (Hebrews 4:16). And also, “Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith” (Hebrews 10:22).
“This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith” (1 John 5:4).
Faith is more than what is needed to believe the gospel. It’s needed in our daily battles against the world. Are the attractions of the world, the glamour and the fame in the world pulling you away from the Lord? Let your faith take hold. It has a magnetic attraction to Christ. Let it pull you towards Him and so overcome the world.
We have the Lord as the perfect example. At the end of His life, just before He returned to heaven, He said to His disciples, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in Me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). He wasn’t promising them that life would be easy after He was gone, but He was promising that there would be an inner peace, and an outward overcoming as a result of trusting Him in every circumstance, and following Him through every circumstance. It takes real faith to live for the Lord in a world like this.
6 And we sailed away from Philippi after the days of unleavened bread, and came unto them to Troas in five days; where we abode seven days.
7 And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.
8 And there were many lights in the upper chamber, where they were gathered together.
9 And there sat in a window a certain young man named Eutychus, being fallen into a deep sleep: and as Paul was long preaching, he sunk down with sleep, and fell down from the third loft, and was taken up dead.
10 And Paul went down, and fell on him, and embracing him said, Trouble not yourselves; for his life is in him.
11 When he therefore was come up again, and had broken bread, and eaten, and talked a long while, even till break of day, so he departed.
12 And they brought the young man alive, and were not a little comforted.