13 When they went from one nation to another, from one kingdom to another people, 14 He permitted no one to do them wrong; yes, He rebuked kings for their sakes, 15 saying, “Do not touch My anointed ones, and do My prophets no harm. —Psalm 105:13-15
In these verses, the writer continues to march through time. He mentions these people who had been few in number but had grown into a great multitude during their time in Egypt. He traces their move to the Promised Land, where God protected them as they took possession of their inheritance one city at a time. Even though we can see some lapses in the covenant due to periods of persecution and captivity, God remained faithful to His judgments and promises in all the earth, and Israel is still a nation to this day because of His faithfulness to His covenant! It’s a mistake to say that it was the resilience of the Jews that allowed them to remain a people today. They exist only because God is faithful to His promises, and He can never lie. He is faithful to bless and He is faithful to discipline, all according to His covenant.
What does this mean for us today? If we allow God to go before us, then our lives will be directed by covenant promises! This doesn’t mean that we don’t have free will, or that every step we take or don’t take is being directed by Him, or that we won’t sometimes need to be redirected. But God is faithful to His covenant and to His promises. When He brought Israel back to the land that He had given them after they were scattered among the nations, they returned under the same name and covenant that He had made with Abram.
What’s the takeaway here? “Thus says the Lord: ‘Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; then you will find rest for your souls.’ But they said, ‘We will not walk in it’” (Jer 6:16). Here we see illustrated that it’s impossible for someone to stand in the ways of God and ask for the old paths and walk in them, and not be able to find rest for their souls. It’s equally impossible for someone to find true rest for their souls by not standing in the way and asking for the old paths. When we live a life of asking God to always go before us, then His Word will be our guide, and His covenant promises will direct and lead us into the blessings associated with obedience to Him!
Many in this entitled era expect the blessings without the obedience. What does the New Testament say? “All the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us. Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee” (2 Cor 1:20-22).
Back the 1950s, A. W. Tozer said, “A whole new generation of Christians has come up believing that it is possible to accept Christ without forsaking the world.” How accurate! The term “postmodern” has become a description of the age of history in which we live. The meaning of it is that we have moved past the thinking of the so-called modern era, which was “industrial age thinking.” This notion has also taken hold in the church itself, and many have moved on to a different way of thinking, saying, “Different doesn’t necessarily mean wrong. It’s just different!” But when it comes to the Word of God “different” can be very wrong and often is. Sadly, the postmodern church in many ways is actually “post mortem.”
We can’t look at the Scriptures as if the interpretations are unlimited. We don’t have “my” interpretation vs. “your” interpretation. The Word of God is not subjective! It is absolute and unchanging. So is God, and we would do well, as did the writer of this psalm, to revisit the past and ask for the “old paths” because that is the only good way, and to walk in that way means your life will be directed by the promises of God going before you.
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