333 – Psalm 21 – The Most High
I am a black-and-white thinker most of the time. There is little gray in my world. Let’s put it this way, it always surprises me when someone says they don’t have an opinion on a topic. I wonder, how can anyone “not have an opinion, they’re breathing aren’t they?” Even if my opinion isn’t a conclusion reached after considering the facts carefully, I still almost always have one. If I’ve had time to ponder the topic a passion for my opinion grows. The only problem with that is I’ll sometimes state my opinion as a hard fact with little consideration for how anyone else feels. I was reminded of that this morning in Sunday school.
I said that I hate little pithy sayings that wrongly become foundations for theological conclusions. If it’s catchy and you repeat it enough times pretty soon we think it’s conclusive truth. One such statement I am not fond of is, “God is a gentleman”. I blasted, “God is not a gentleman, He’s the Sovereign of the universe! My Pastor disagreed with me stating that God is a gentleman. Paraphrasing (and I hope not misrepresenting what he said) he pointed out that God the Holy Spirit does not force Himself upon an unwilling soul. I absolutely agree! But something still bugged me about referring to God as a gentleman. I’ve had a chance to think about it since Sunday school and I think I know what bothers me.
I think the problem I have with “God is a gentleman” comes from the crowd that likes to chant that mantra to the exclusion of what the Scriptures actually say about Him. They tend to ignore things like, “Our God is a consuming fire” and that He should be feared. The initial reaction is always to soften the word “fear” by saying, “Oh that means reverence”. Try telling the Israelites at the bottom of a flaming, thundering mountain, or the apostle John in the Book of Revelation that their fear is just reverence for God! People with a weakened concept of who God is will say stuff like, “God is a god of love”, which I believe is ever so slightly off-kilter and it dilutes what the Scripture actually means to say which is “God is love”. If you think of God mostly in terms of Him being a “gentleman” and a “god of love” your perception of Him is drastically incomplete. He may be those two things, but He is so much more.
We must hold to a complete perspective of YHWH which we can only glean from the pages of His Holy Word. We should remember things like, He is the Creator of the Universe; He is the only one who has life within Himself and is the Life Giver. Only YHWH can pardon and only YHWH can condemn. He is Righteous, He is Just, and executes His Justice against His enemies. YHWH is a jealous God demanding that no other god be worshipped. He and he alone is our redeemer buying us from the slave market so that we belong to Him. His atonement for our sins is complete. YHWH is anything but soft, passive, and disengaged from our lives.
After all of that is God a gentleman? Sure. But He is so much more than a gentleman and if that is how you primarily see Him your perception of Him is grossly out of focus. This is why we must be constantly in the Word of God allowing it to mold our thinking. I do believe Psalm 21 helps to do just that. Let’s pick up where we left off.
5 His glory is great in Your salvation;
Honor and majesty You have placed upon him.
6 For You have made him most blessed forever;
You have made him exceedingly glad with Your presence.
7 For the king trusts in [YHWH],
And through the mercy of the Most High he shall not be moved.
The pronoun “His” is David referring to himself as King in the third person. I am intrigued by David’s apparent humility. He doesn’t take credit for the blessings in his life as though he won wealth and fame through his own abilities. Even though he was a warrior king he didn’t brag that he was responsible for his own salvation (rescue). David didn’t trust in his own strength to stand against his enemies but instead proclaimed, “…through the mercy of the Most High I shall not be moved.”
I would encourage you to take a self-assessment. How do you perceive YHWH God? Is it scripturally based? I would further encourage you to look inward and determine from where your strength comes. Are you self-reliant and self-sufficient, or do you recognize your need for YHWH’s intervention in your life? One more question I think you should ask yourself. Who gets the glory for your successes?
YHWH is Worthy of Praise, Worship, Adoration, Obedience, and Service! It is a joy to walk with the Savior!