The Christian Hedonist’s Playbook (Part 5)

“Whoever would be wise should read the Proverbs; whoever would be holy should read the Psalms.” (Richard Steele)

Psalm 86:8-13 (which I am currently trying to memorize) basks in how the glory of God trumps the superficial glory of all lesser things. Verses 8-10 explain it like this:

Among the gods there is none like You, O Lord;
Nor are there any works like Your works.
All nations whom You have made
Shall come and worship before You, O Lord,
And shall glorify Your name.
For You are great, and do wondrous things;
You alone are God.

Imagine a soldier who treats his enemies better than his allies. He continually seeks to build relationships with those who are out to destroy the army to which he belongs. You would think the enemy would appreciate his traitorous acts and treat him like a prince as further incentive for his allegiance. You would also think this traitor’s commanding officer would have him executed the moment he finds out what is going on. That’s not how it works in the spiritual realm, though.

You see, I am that traitor. Too often I discard the magnificent promises of God for the cheap promises of sin. I will often treat an idol as a priceless treasure to be sought at the expense of the glory of God. And yet, sin’s promises never deliver as advertised. No mater how much I attempt to ally myself with idols, they will never reciprocate my affections. Sin is out to destroy me, regardless of whether I snuggle up next to it or seek its death.

And through it all, God’s faithfulness remains constant. If I was God and I saw the idolatrous pursuits of Cap Stewart I would have forsaken him a long time ago. And yet God is the only one wholly dedicated to my good. Even His chastisement has redemptive purposes. The Lord stands alone as the only source of all human need, including the greatest need of all: salvation. If God has appeased His wrath toward me by punishing His Son in my place (thus reconciling me to Himself for eternity), how will He not lavish on me every good thing that I need for life and godliness (Romans 8:32; 2 Peter 1:3)? What amazing grace!

May my prayer be like that of Isaac Watts:

Lord, I would walk with holy feet
Teach me Thine heav’nly ways
And my poor scattered thoughts unite
In God my Father’s praise