Vol. X — No. 24 June 15, 1969
But I trusted In thee, O Lord: I said. Thou art my God. My times are in thy hand: deliver me from the hand of mine enemies, and from them that persecute me.
There are times in our lives when both the present and future seem to be favorable for us. Our country may have external and internal peace. The economic conditions may be in a flourishing state. Optimism prevails among the business leaders. The citizens may be receiving higher income than ever before, and everyone seems to be busy in the pursuit of his own goals for happiness. It is in just such ‘good times’ that we ought to humble ourselves before the almighty God. Why? Because we are in great danger of becoming so busy with the affairs of this world, that we may forget to sing and declare before men the praises of our almighty Savior-God.
Do you sing daily as the Psalmist sings: “The heavens declare the glory of God? and the firmament sheweth his handywork”? And again, “The law (doctrine) making wise the simple. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much find gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.”? Ps. 19:7-10.
Let us remember our life’s goal! We, who trust in the only Savior-God have the hope of eternal life in heaven. Our citizenship is in heaven. We are merely travelers through this world. This is not our permanent home. Because our God loves us He permits trials and tribulations to come into our lives. For example, Job in the Old Testament had also enjoyed some very great prosperity. God permitted trials and afflictions to come into his life. Why? So that after Job learned once more to concentrate upon the love of His Savior-God, he could say: “When He hath tried me (like gold in the refiner’s fire), I shall come forth as (pure) gold.” Job. 23:10.
King David had also experienced prosperous days. Yet much grief, some of his own making and some at the direction of God, entered his life. In the verses preceding our text, he writes: “For my life is spent with grief, and my years with sighing: my strength faileth because of mine iniquity, and my bones are consumed. I was a reproach among all mine enemies, but especially among my neighbors, and a fear to mine acquaintance: they that did see me without fled from me. I am for gotten as a dead man out of mind: I am like a broken vessel. For I have heard the slander of many: fear was on every side: while they took counsel together against me, they devised to take away my life.” Ps.31:10-13.
Let us therefore treasure the lesson for faith that King David learned. In days of prosperity, in days of adversity let us learn to trust and love our Savior-God. Let us always sing triumphantly:
God Grants to Each a Time of Grace. “I trusted in Thee, O Lord: I said. Thou art my God.” When the Lord created the world. He also created time. Time is not an accidental arrangement in this world; it is the creation of God. He created the world in an orderly manner in six days. He created the sun, moon and stars to rule day and night. He divided time into seasons. God gave us seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years. He gave us time and He, the timeless, eternal God, will also bring ‘time’ to an end.
The Lord God has also allotted a fixed ‘time’ to every human being. He is the author of birth and death. The Lord God placed you in this world at this ‘time’—for a shorter or longer period of time, God has placed you here in this world in this century. For what purpose? For one ultimate purpose: That your life time should glorify His great and glorious Name, And His Name is Savior. God called you out of sin and unbelief, ‘brought you to faith in His Gospel, covered all your sin with the perfect blood of Christ, enriched you with all spiritual knowledge in Christ, and planted in your heart the hope of everlasting life in the ‘timeless’ heaven with the Triune God, And God intends that you not only have this knowledge for yourself, but that you “should show forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light,” I Peter 2:9.
Such knowledge is basic to the right attitude toward time, and all times and seasons—be they prosperous or adverse. The Christian, begins and ends his day saying thus: “But I trusted in Thee, O Lord: I said. Thou art my God.”
“My Times Are in Thy Hand” Oh what great comfort the person has who can speak as King David spoke! The hands of God are very good hands for keeping our ‘time.’ They are powerful hands which formed this marvellous and awe-inspiring universe. Men may travel to the moon; and if they do, it will be possible only because God’s hands created an orderly universe, “Thou hast a mighty arm: strong is thy hand, and high is thy right hand,” Ps. 89:13. He shaped man from the dust of the ground. The hand of the Lord has formed all human beings individually. “Behold, he hath done all things well,” Would you wish to have entrusted your creation into the hands of some fallible human being? Or would you now like to entrust your present and your eternal future into the hands of another human being? Do you know of anyone wise or loving enough who would do only good and no evil towards you? “Thou openest thine hand, and satisfiest the desire of every living thing.” Ps. 145:16.
Our God is the Preserver of both our body and soul. He watches over you, defends you from all danger, guards and protects you against every evil (including the devil and his evil spirits). “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him. The Lord is their strength, and he is the saving strength of his anointed. Save thy people, and bless thine inheritance: feed them also, and lift them up for ever.” Ps. 28:7-9.
When our ‘time’ is ended according to His eternal plan, when our last hour shall come, we will say with David: “Into thy hand I commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O Lord God of truth.” Ps. 31:5. With joy we look forward to joining our Savior-God in the eternal heavens. For with His loving hands He has “prepared a place for you.” (cf. John 14:1-3.) He beckons you to come unto Him for eternal salvation and, through you, all others who see and hear you. He assures those who trust in His Name: “And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.”
And what of the ‘time’ that is left unto us while we await the fulfilment of our eternal hope? Consider the following words of your God: “Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” James 4:14. “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.” Ps. 90:12. “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise. Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” Eph. 5:15-16.
May God give each of you grace so to live that ye may be prepared to die at any time, and so to die that ye may live eternally—in and through Christ Jesus, your Savior-God. Amen.
Ministry by Mail is a weekly publication of the Church of the Lutheran Confession. Subscription and staff information may be found online at www.clclutheran.org/ministrybymail.
All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the King James Version.