Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Psalm 11, God's rule, and heaven and hell

I had memorized Psalm 11, and lo and behold, I found a video from Tim Keller on it on his daily devos during the coronavirus crisis.

Psalm 11 is a good Psalm to consider during this time.  It talks about how the wicked people will discourage God's people and try to shoot from the shadows at them.  If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?  The answer: God is in his temple and on his throne.  He sees everyone on earth.  He examines the righteous and will call the wicked to justice.

I find it both chilling and encouraging.  Keller had three points.

1) Stop trying to rule the world.  We must not be passive, but we have to trust that God knows what he's doing and will either save the wicked, like he did for me, or judge them while saving the righteous, who were all wicked at one time.  I know as a codependent, I want to fix everything.  I want to find something social to do six feet apart and find babysitters for people and suddenly have a job as a music minister, but I have to let God write my story and stop trying to steal the pen.

2) Examine yourself.  Is there something about me that needs to change?  I know I've had more time to pray, fast, write songs, write my Bible studies, and I've had more time with my husband while otherwise, I gad about.  I've had more time to appreciate what I have and what God has given me.

3) Rejoice that the righteous will see his face.  I was once wicked.  I still have vestiges of wicked in me that pop up and I have to beat them down like Whack-a-Mole.  The best way is to meditate on Scripture.

All in all I realize, that if I died and went to heaven and saw all my loved ones that have passed and see the streets of gold, get to go to Disney World every day and have every luxury, but Jesus was not there, then it wouldn't be heaven.  Heaven is not a place or a situation, but a man, Jesus.  Where he is, that is heaven.

Meanwhile, I could be poor, lonely, and homeless and even more unsuccessful than I already am, but I have Jesus, so I already have heaven.

Psalm 139:7-8 says that there is no place I can flee from his Spirit.  Even in the depths of hell, he is there.  What does that tell me?  That contrary to popular belief, hell is not the absence of God, but only the presence of his anger and wrath.  Even if I was there, I would be in heaven because God is there.

And I think that is what will make hell so painful to those God doesn't save.  They will be in the presence of the Ruler that they despised and wanted to escape their whole lives.  Nobody wants to suffer for eternity.  They all want heaven, but not all people want Jesus as their Lord.  And it can't be both ways because Jesus is heaven.  And in God's angry presence, they will suffer but never be truly sorry that they never gave their lives to Jesus because they never received hearts that could see how much better he is than anything.

Which is chilling.  I sit and consider people who have died who I loved but I was not sure if they were saved.  Where are they?  It's not my job to wonder about that because I know that God is in heaven, and where he is, I will no longer cry in ways I can't understand now.

And you know what else, I do believe people can be saved because God placed people in their lives who prayed for their salvation.  He saves people because of the love of other people.

But ultimately, what am I doing to prevent them from being so hard that they never come to know the Lord?  I pray that they will be melted by God's love.

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