Wednesday, March 16, 2016

A Lesson about Self-Reliance

Encouragement for your daily walk with God 

How do you accurately measure someone? Some have said that you can measure a person by how they treat someone who is inferior to them in position or status. Others postulate you measure a person by how they respond to adversity. Both of these are good, as far as they go, but they, and others like them, are incomplete. That’s because they fail to measure a man to the LORD, the ultimate measure of a person’s character.

There is a common lesson we learn from the Psalms. It has to do with statements about God’s greatness, and how man pales in comparison. Psalm 144 is an example. It begins with a statement about God's steadfast love; that He is a fortress, stronghold, and shield: His readiness to deliver His people; a secure Rock to stand on [1-2]. After reading that, you are led to cry out, “How great is our God!” But we can’t merely say that and move on. When pondering the greatness of God, we must see who we are in comparison. That is what follows. He is great, we are an exhaled breath, here and gone in a moment [3-4]. Now we have a better picture; He is great, we are not, so let go of all arrogance and pride. 

From that we learn what David had already learned: the hope of our salvation does not lie within us, but in God. That’s why he continued by calling on God to be his deliverer, to come in His glory like He did at Sinai [5-8].

Concerning these verses, John Calvin wrote, “We cannot properly estimate the divine goodness, unless we take into consideration what we are as to our condition, as we can only ascribe to God what is due unto him, by acknowledging that his goodness is bestowed upon undeserving creatures.” 

When we remember how great God is and how small we are, self-reliance will be put to death.

LORD, what is man, that You care for him, the son of man, that You think of him? Man is like a breath; his days are like a passing shadow. Psalm 144:3-4

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