In Psalm 103:2, we are reminded that we should “Bless the Lord, Oh my soul….and forget not His benefits”. The actual word for Benefits is the Hebrew word “gemul” which literally means….in context…”forget not all that He (the Lord) has given unto us”! We Christians have a tendency to not just forget what He has done for us, but the actual “benefit” of resting in the Victory of sin and death which He provides at the positional point of Salvation.
One of the primary “benefits” of true conversion, from the dominion of darkness to the Kingdom of God’s marvelous light, is the ability to REST in the Lord! Jesus said it well (no surprise here). He said “you have not, because you ask not”. To paraphrase the King, we stress much, because we rest not. The Bible talks about rest for the people of God all the time. Hebrews 4:9 tell us “there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God”. While we have to work at staying close to the Lord, through right living, prayer and Bible study as well as good deeds, the most important part of our position in Christ is already done. We are forgiven if we repent. We are heaven-bound because Jesus the Son of God died for our sins on the Cross, and He is our Lord and Master. The important work is done.
King David, the prophet, warrior poet and king of Israel knew this, without knowing the fullness of Christ during his time on earth. He did not know the Name of Yeshua, but David was one of the few in the Old Testament who had the Holy Spirit of Christ! Here is the King of Israel, who had conquered all enemies, after spending over a decade on the run from King Saul and his assassins just resting and basking in the Glory of God.
17 How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand.
When I awake, I am still with You.
19 O that You would slay the wicked, O God;
Depart from me, therefore, men of bloodshed.
20 For they speak against You wickedly,
And Your enemies take Your name in vain.
21 Do I not hate those who hate You, O Lord?
And do I not loathe those who rise up against You?
22 I hate them with the utmost hatred;
They have become my enemies.
Verse 17-18 are perfect examples for us today, on how a man or woman or child of God should function daily, in a dying, stress-filled and dangerous world, even when things personally go against us. Therein lies the Power of God in two distinctive ways. These ways are both the All-Powerful or Omnipotent God Himself and the Power of God imputed, embedded and existent in us in the Person of the Holy Spirit!
These are things which these two verses teaches us so we can have that same confidence, power and then rest in this Omnipotent God:
- The Thoughts of the Lord are not only precious, they take precedence over every other thought. His thoughts are NOT our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8). His Thoughts are right in our hands. His thoughts are known as The Bible. His Thoughts show us the pathway to peace, purpose and emotional prosperity.
- King David and most believers in God from Adam to only 400 years ago, never had a copy of the Bible EVER! It did not exist in the form, in which we are so fortunate to have nowadays. They did have the scrolls of the Law – the first five books of the Old Testament and the two historical books of Samuel; the Kings and the Chronicles (1st and 2nd of each, respectively). They knew the works of the Lord from Abraham, Moses, the Crossing of the Red Sea and all His marvelous works. There were so many, concerning the Kindness, mercy and love of God that they could only come from His Unfathomable Mind and Heart. We have all of those Words and Thoughts and could never fully grasp the Totality of both words and thoughts in this lifetime. We could live to be 176 years like Abraham and still not understand 30% of them. This alone should inspire awe and reverence in Christians today.
Because the man of God knows what he doesn’t know (David that is,) and fully comprehends the absolute Power of God in His incredible Mind and Heart, the king is using wisdom, fortified by knowledge to discern the extent of this Power. God tells us that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. You and I would be VERY wise if we recognize this huge TRUTH and live by it daily. Jesus Himself tells us, in Matthew 10:28 the following "Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell".
Verses 19-22 is a perfect example of the scary, yet awesome, Power of God to destroy evil. He – the Lord – HAS dismantled so many evil empires over history, we lose count. The very first one was the entire world during the Flood of Noah’s time. Later on, the Israelites were told to take the land belonging to the evil Canaanites and on and on. God even sacks the cities of His own people in order to uphold His Holiness as well as teach a lesson. The brutal Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar was saved by God towards the end of his life. However. before that, the Lord sent Nebuchadnezzar to sack, burn down now pagan Jerusalem and take the majority of people into exile, hundreds of miles away.
God will always be holy, holy, holy. All humankind, in our natural states, are wicked, wicked, wicked. From here on out, after all we have seen and read of the Power of God to destroy evil in all of human history, anything we see taking place should be viewed with biblical lens. These lens shine the light on the sins of all people. When we see entire nations where witchcraft and voodoo are the major religions as in several third world countries suffer natural disasters and constant poverty, we see the power of God to punish (verse 19)
When we see nation against nation, tribe against tribe followed by pestilence and disease, we see verse 20. Those who worship other gods in the demonic realm are not only taking the Name of the one True God in vain, they have violated the very first commandment and the law which has been written on hearts of ALL humans, since the time of Creation. While all final accounts will be settled for good on Judgment Day and eternal punishment awaits the wicked of the world – both nations and individuals, some judgment has already begun in this life. This is what the plaques of the Dark Ages was all about or the ruins we see in Central and South America now of ancient peoples who shook their fists at Holy God....among many others.
The people of God are supposed to hate, despise and turn away from all this wickedness of not just other nations, witchcraft and worse. But we are also commanded to not participate in the corruption of the modern culture and its obvious excesses (Verse 21). The Word of God in this verse says “hate with a perfect hatred”. However, there is an addendum.
While we despise and stay away from everything evil, nonetheless, we pray for and about the entire scenario. We pray for protection from ALL evil (Psalm 91 and others). However, we also pray for the salvation of those involved in evil. Even if the evil is perpetrated against us, we pray for them. We have personal evidence this kind of prayer works. The Power of God is such that sure He punishes evil, but He is also so powerful in love and goodness that He pardons those who have hated Him their entire lives, if they turn from their sins, repent and accept Him as Lord of their lives. In this, we see the Omnipotent demonstrate the amazing Power of Forgiveness. Glory to His Name.