Friday, February 01, 2008

strong horses and men's legs

His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse
nor his delight in the legs of man;
the LORD delights in those who fear him,
who put their trust in his unfailing love."

-Psalm 147: 10-11

One can fritter away a whole lifetime in the quest to please God.

We work hard at it, evidenced by the stuff we do. There is a lot of good to do in this world, and humans have been going at it like gangbusters since Eve sampled the apple and Adam lost his job. Even the soul bent on his own pleasures harbors a hope that, after everything is said and done, his good deeds outweigh the bad.
We used to have a booth at the local street fair that advertised: Are You Going To Heaven? Take The Three Question Test! I don't remember all three questions, but the clincher was this: Why do you think God would let you into heaven when you die?
Invariably, the answer was: "because I think I've been a good (enough) person."

This is not the way God measures our goodness, nor his pleasure in us.

Rather, He delights in those who fear him; who value his Word enough to stand on it and to stake their lives upon it.
He delights in those happy souls who put their trust in His unfailing love; who make His love their banner, garment, foundational rock, and song.

I can think of no finer demonstration of His unfailing love than the Cross and the empty grave. To join in His plan is simple --and God won't brook any complications. (As a matter of fact, unless we enter like a child, the door is barred.) Begin by applying His magnificent work to yourself and then trusting.
The good deeds which inevitably follow are only a response to His amazing goodness.

This boomerang effect (unfailing love from God--trust from us--then right back to the throne room!) magnifies God while keeping us in the loop. Surely He is omnipotent without our participation, but this way is better. Flashback to the pig-tailed eight-year old girl in the 1970's Shake-'n-Bake Chicken commercial:
"And I helped!"
God likes his kids to help in the kitchen.

And while the strength of the horse and the legs of man will no doubt continue to astonish us with Olympian feats, I think that God will be looking elsewhere for His contentment.

I hope He finds me there.


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