“I hate double-minded men, but I love Your law. You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in Your Word. Away from me, you evildoers, that I may keep the commands of my God! Sustain me according to Your promise, and I will live; do not let my hopes be dashed. Uphold me, and I will be delivered; I will always have regard for Your decrees. You reject all who stray from Your decrees, for their deceitfulness is in vain. All the wicked of the earth You discard like dross; therefore I love Your statutes. My flesh trembles in fear of You; I stand in awe of Your laws.”
Psalm 119:113-120 Samekh
Who is God in this passage? What does this reveal about His nature? One of the most merciful things the Lord does for His children is refine them. The tension is clear for the psalmist as it is for every Christian pilgrim. We are constantly being pulled toward our flesh and enemies, the lovers of this world, or running toward our Refuge, who is God Himself. There is no such thing as a stagnant believer. Complacency or perseverance actively sweeps the soul into the ocean tide. God must allow our spiritual muscles to be tried if we are to ever grow in His grace. God is the Refiner of souls. He sees to it that all impurities in the Christian are burned away like dross, leaving only a pure crown of His glory. God loves His children deeply. It would be unloving if we didn’t go through flames of refinement. As our Shield and Protector, God is faithful to sustain us so we are not consumed by the heat of trials, our enemies, or the weariness of life. It may be painful and require discipline, but the school of sanctification will produce in us a holy quality. His saints will one day be given a crown of gold. This honor I will in turn lay before my King’s Throne. I am unworthy yet He has been so good and faithful to me. This is the God I know.
Grace upon grace,
Growing deeper: Isaiah 43:1-7; Hebrews 12:3-13; Revelation 4:9-11