Here and Now

Here and Now

Monday, June 01, 2015

Psalm 27:13-14  I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living!  Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!

As I drove into the church parking lot this morning after being gone for two weeks, I took notice of some changes that I hadn’t seen yesterday when I arrived for church. I guess I was too focused on the upcoming worship service to look around and enjoy the sights.

The hostas that line the sidewalk on the north side of the building are thriving. The new lilac bushes on the east side are blooming, along with the other two flowering bushes that were planted this spring. I think one is a rhododendron.

Around the main entrance there are two very healthy clematis plants vining out and in full bloom. The flowering crab apple trees are done blooming but thriving. The lawn is mowed nicely. Everything is very beautiful and well-cared for. My commendations to the people who have put in so many hours nurturing the living landscape.

When I sat down at my desk and opened God’s Word to the Psalm for today, it was already heavily highlighted in my Bible. One verse jumped out at me because I had written a note beside it. The note said Here and Now! The verse is the thirteenth, and reads,

I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living!

In an instant I knew why the Holy Spirit had drawn my attention to the beauty of the living landscape around the church. I saw the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.

The context of the 27th Psalm is the contrast between the goodness of God and the evil nature of people. Please take a moment to read the whole Psalm.

I want to point out one principle that has impacted my life. It was the reason I wrote the note I did next to verse 13 in my Bible.

I had the tendency to view verse 13 as a promise to be fulfilled when I reach heaven. I built that premise on a misunderstanding of verse 4, where David says, One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in his temple. Can you understand how we might see that as a promise of being in His presence in heaven?

As a result of my error, I applied all of the other promises in this Psalm about deliverance from evil as being fulfilled when this life is over. I saw this Psalm as one that offered hope to those who would be strong and courageous and persevere through all of the hardships of life while they wait for heaven. (verse 14)

But that all changed when I truly understood the context of the whole Psalm. David is not looking into eternity, but bringing the eternal goodness of God to bear on the present reality. What a glorious comprehension of God’s truth.

This is the land of the living.

Here and now is the time we will see the goodness of the Lord.

The Lord is my light and my salvation and my stronghold…TODAY, so I have nothing or no one to fear.

I may dwell in the house of the LORD and gaze upon His beauty and inquire of Him…TODAY!

He hides me in His shelter, and conceals me in His tent…TODAY!

He lifts my head above the evil around me so I can sing and shout to Him with joy…TODAY!

And when the circumstances of life hide the signs of life like the cold and snow of winter, I will wait for the Lord, for I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.

Here and Now.

TODAY!

 

Habakkuk 3:17-19  Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls,   yet I will rejoice in the LORD; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.  GOD, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer’s; he makes me tread on my high places.

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