Wednesday, May 10, 2023
A young boy was having great difficulty with math. He avoided it as much as he could. His dislike for it was a result of his initial inability to understand it, and as a result he chose to not even try any more.
After several meetings with school teachers and officials, the parents decided to enroll him in a private school where he could get more specialized attention. After only one day of attendance his parents noticed him doing math homework. Every day the first subject he talked about was math. They called the teacher to see what had happened, and she had no explanation other than the fact that he was determined to do well.
When asked by the parents why the sudden and drastic change in attitude and performance, he responded, “They take math really seriously at this new school. Right on the wall in the front of the class is a plus sign with a man nailed to it.”
Trouble has a tendency to change our perspective on truth. The Psalmist was in that predicament as he wrote today’s verse, Psalm 119:151, “But you are near, O LORD, and all your commandments are true.”
In the preceding verse, Psalm 119:150, he had written, “They draw near who persecute me with evil purpose; they are far from your law.” His perspective was that the trouble was near. Then, in a moment of truth, he recognized that no matter how near the trouble, his Lord was nearer.
The Hebrew word translated near brings depth to our understanding of the nearness of our Lord. There are three contexts in which the word near appears:
- Near in location
- Near in relationship
- Near in time
What marvelous truths these are. Our Lord is ever-present with us. He will never leave us. His location to us is nearer than anyone or anything else, for He is in us. By the regenerating and indwelling power of the Holy Spirit the Lord Jesus Christ lives in those who by faith in His sacrifice for sins are saved eternally. This is what the Apostle Paul refers to as our hope of glory – Christ in us! The Lord is near.
He is near in relationship, for by abiding in us we are in constant fellowship with Him. He cannot and will not forsake us, for we are His children by rebirth. We are heirs of all things in eternity with Jesus Christ himself, with all the rights of a family’s first-born son. Our heavenly Father honors for all eternity the birthright that was granted to us through Jesus Christ our Lord and Brother.
The Lord is also near in time. There is never a need to make a future appointment to deal with present trouble. Never do we have to stand in line to see Him, talk to Him, or hear from Him. And after hearing from Him, while we may wait for Him to do His work in His time, we do not wait for His presence to keep us constantly at peace. He is instantly available, immediately accessible, and intimately approachable.
The enemy may be drawing near. Trouble may be approaching. BUT YOU ARE NEAR, O LORD!
May this promise be our constant perspective, for it is truth!