Intro: During this Lenten season, every devotional will begin with a quote from C.S. Lewis (author and theologian), followed by two readings: 1) A passage from the Psalter and 2) a writing from one of the Old Testament prophets or New Testament authors. We will look at both passages as a whole through the fulfilling work and wisdom of Christ—Truth.
No matter how much knowledge the human race gains or progress we boast about making through our human endeavors, let us remember our ability to bring change has been granted by God and what we accomplish will not even scratch the surface of the perfect knowledge, wisdom, power, and love of God—the Source.
“For change is not progress unless the core remains unchanged.”
(C.S. Lewis; God in the Dock)
In our passage today, the psalmist reminds us we cannot find God unless we allow our hearts to desire and know him. At the very core of our being, all of humanity should truly stand in fear or yirah [Heb. yir-ah meaning awe/trembling] before the unchanging love of the Maker of heaven and earth. Therefore, our greatest yirah and worship must be reserved for God who has promised to sustain those who call upon his name.
Psalm 97:1-7 NLT
The Lord is king! Let the earth rejoice! Let the farthest coastlands be glad.
Dark clouds surround him. Righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.
Fire spreads ahead of him and burns up all his foes.
His lightning flashes out across the world. The earth sees and trembles.
The mountains melt like wax before the Lord, before the Lord of all the earth.
The heavens proclaim his righteousness; every nation sees his glory.
Those who worship idols are disgraced— all who brag about their worthless gods— for every god must bow to him.
In his first letter to the church in Corinth, the Apostle Paul reminds the early Christians no measure of human knowledge can explain God’s plan for a fallen human creation that is found in the work of Christ on the Cross for salvation and judgement. The revelation for salvation must come through Christ to the humble ones and upon his wisdom the Spirit builds new lives for God’s glory. We cannot enjoy the presence of God through a practice of dogma [established human opinion] that we hold higher than the instruction, revelation, and redemption of God found in a relationship with Christ. Life is a lesson for the heart; we learn to acknowledge and trust God above all things. Judgment will one day come to the proud who choose to honor and fear the created above the Creator. Do you yirah the Lord above all things?
1 Corinthians 1:26-31 NLV
26 Christian brothers, think who you were when the Lord called you. Not many of you were wise or powerful or born into the family of leaders of a country. 27 But God has chosen what the world calls foolish to shame the wise. He has chosen what the world calls weak to shame what is strong. 28 God has chosen what is weak and foolish of the world, what is hated and not known, to destroy the things the world trusts in. 29 In that way, no man can be proud as he stands before God. 30 God Himself made the way so you can have new life through Christ Jesus. God gave us Christ to be our wisdom. Christ made us right with God and set us apart for God and made us holy. Christ bought us with His blood and made us free from our sins. 31 It is as the Holy Writings say, “If anyone is going to be proud of anything, he should be proud of the Lord.”
Prayer: Father God, as we look at creation, we see and experience glimpses of your glory. Jesus, as we look at the cross, we gain more glimpses of the glorious love you have for the Father, human creation, and the world. Holy Spirit, re-create believers anew in the image of the Son so we may become glimpses of your glory to a fallen world that is facing judgment because it refuses to fear you above all things. May the salvation of your love come to proud and empty hearts, today. In Jesus’ name. Amen.