“Bless the Lord, you His angels, Who excel in strength, who do His word, Heeding the voice of His word.
Bless the Lord, all you His hosts, You ministers of His, who do His pleasure” (Psalm 103:20-21).
With praise of God utmost in his mind in this Psalm, David includes a mention of God’s relationship with heavenly beings here. Even the mighty angels, like archangels—those who “excel in strength”—not only praise the Lord but also listen to Him and obey His word.
Looking into the New Testament, we see a parallel between requirements given to heavenly beings in this passage and those given to us in the Christian Age. Honor and praise of God are key elements in our relationship with Him, and so is obedience to His word.
To overlook either of these components is to fall short of God’s expectations of us as His people, thus, arousing His displeasure. So, with all of our might, we honor and praise Him as we heed “the voice of His word.”
Thought for the Week.06-19.16. Helping Others
“And on some have compassion, making a distinction; but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh” (Jude 22-23).
Coming off some strong teaching against false teachers—calling them ungodly men whose behavior is immoral and just generally terrible even to the point of denying the Lord Jesus—Jude has then given his readers a formula for remaining faithful: remember the words of Jesus, strengthen yourselves, pray, and keep yourselves in the love of God.
In the two verses under consideration, he takes his teaching a step further: he addresses those who try to help sinners correct their errors.
He appears to address the treatment those in the different categories of sin should receive. All who have sinned should receive compassion, but the helper should “make a distinction” as he deals with different sinners; that is, he should use caution in his approach to them, depending on whether the person sinned out of ignorance or out of rebellion.
When attempting to help other sinners, the helper should have a degree of “fear” and also exercise caution, lest he be tempted and corrupt himself. His task is to “pull them out of the fire” without being “defiled.” So one of our serious tasks is to assist others in overcoming sin and to remain faithful in the process.
Thought for the Week.06-12-16. Spiritual Integrity
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven” (Matthew 7:21).
Beyond doubt, Jesus teaches a truth here that is emphasized as much as any other in scripture: He wants us to be sincere. He does not accept those who say one thing and do another as far as their relationship with Him is concerned. In other words, God does not accept hypocrites.
We must practice what we preach on a personal level as well as on a religious level. We can’t profess to be religious and think we are religious when we are not adhering to God’s word in all of our practices.
Keeping this principle foremost in our minds will go a long way in keeping us on track spiritually while we are alive. And it will have everything to do with our being able to go into eternity with an assurance of the reward that Jesus promised the faithful.
“I will bring the blind by a way they did not know;
I will lead them in paths they have not known.
I will make darkness light before them,
And crooked places straight.
These things I will do for them,
And not forsake them” (Isaiah 42:16).
God has been silent for a time from speaking to the Jews, but here He has the prophet convey His promise to take care of them as they make their journey out of captivity and into their own land. But the Jews’ actual journey cannot be the final and overriding meaning of this prophecy.
Isaiah is, after all, the primary Messianic prophet. The context of this section of Isaiah’s writings assures us God has in mind His ultimate promise to provide salvation for all mankind, not only for the Jews but also for the Gentiles.
It is the spiritually blind of all races who will go down a path they have not known before, see light they have never seen, and understand spiritual truths that were not clear before—that is, the “crooked” will indeed be made “straight.” This passage contains the ultimate of God’s promise to mankind.
Every generation since the Cross has reaped the benefits of this wonderful expression of God’s care for the spiritual needs of mankind. When Jesus came, He made possible all of the promises God makes in this passage.