Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Psalm 33:12-22 Only God Can Give Life

KEY TEXT: Psalms 33:16-19 The king is not saved by his great army; a warrior is not delivered by his great strength. The war horse is a false hope for salvation, and by its great might it cannot rescue. Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love, that he may deliver their soul from death and keep them alive in famine. ESV

KEY THOT: As God’s people, our faith and hope must be in the Lord who is our God, not on human strength (“size of his army”), nor on human technology (“war horse”). All human-originated “power” cannot deliver us from death. Only the Lord can deliver our soul from death and keep us alive in famine. So, it’s foolish to become too enamored by our human ingenuity and invention. No human technological power can deliver even a single individual from death. It may prolong life but cannot deliver from death. Everything that originates in human wisdom is what Jesus called “flesh” and they cannot generate life: “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63, NKJV). Even medical technology of cloning does not create life for it must begin with something that already has life.

Ministry is not about imparting knowledge but imparting life. The words are means not end: the end of the word ministry is life, not knowledge. But the words can only impart life when the Holy Spirit anoints the words spoken or read. Just having bible knowledge is not the same as having life—if we ignore the ministry of the Spirit we end up with dead letters, not living words. While human resources and technology can enhance the delivery of the knowledge of God's words, they cannot impart life because they are products of the human flesh. Only when the Spirit of life breathes on the written letters that they become the living Word of God, the Sword of the Spirit.

Even in our internet age, where electronic Bibles are being downloaded by the hundreds of millions with zero cost, the world has yet to be converted. Knowledge alone cannot bring life—only the Spirit gives life. So, our eyes must be on the Lord, not only our human strength and resources. The psalmist David reminds us to shift our reliance on human technology towards God's divine power: “Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name. Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in you” (vv. 20-22).

Lord God and Father of our Lord Jesus, thank You that life comes from You, not from human strength and technology. May Your Spirit impart life to all who read Your word daily so that they may be delivered from death and spiritual famine. Amen.

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