Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the three-year lectionary.
Our Psalm for this week focuses on God’s works, “studied by all who delight in them” (v. 2, CSB). In our highly polarized Western culture, there’s lots of criticism coming from progressive voices claiming that Christians are intent on ruining the lives of other people. These voices normally make two errors which betray a complete lack of understanding.
First, they assume government to be the source of all good. Thus, whenever someone does not act with that assumption, the individual is demonized. Second, they assume that anyone who claims to be a Christian should agree with their claim both of government as the source of all good and with their particular progressivist view of what constitutes good. Therefore, any deviation will be condemned.
This Psalm could shed some light on the issue. Here it is not the works of a government or of an individual which are great. God’s works are those which are great. At our best, we imitate some of those works. We admit that we imitate them imperfectly. But the Christian allows God’s works to be definitive of what is good.
What are God’s works? What do we look at as good? Provision of food for those who recognize and respect God (v. 5). Caring for the resources of our nations (v. 6). Recognizing God’s instruction, not our own instruction, as being truthful, just, and worthy of trust (v. 7). Embracing the way God has rescued his people from their sin and bondage through God’s covenant (v. 9). This is the rescue that Christians confess will last forever. It is the number one priority of God. After all, without an eye to eternity, our temporal good will pass away remarkably quickly.
At the root, it is God’s word (v. 10) which has ultimate meaning and purpose. This is where true good is found.
On this second day of Christmas, I pray that God’s people will hold to God’s Word and avoid the distraction of other voices which would call them to lesser forms of good, truth, and justice.
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