WHERE DO YOU STAND WITH GOD –
Asaph, a descendant of Levi, was the music minister in the tabernacle. David often gave him psalms to be set to music. But it was more than just creating rhythm, although Asaph was good on the cymbals. He wanted people to better understand the God they served, and how they should appreciate His love and forgiveness. He also wanted them to know that worshiping God was not sufficient, if we did not combine it with following His word and His will. After all God had given His people, He deserved all they had in return.
“Come to Me from wherever you are, said the KING of kings, the LORD Eternal. Then He appeared in all His splendor and glory! That’s how our One True God will appear with the fire of Shekinah glory swirling around Him like a whirlwind, and not hesitate to speak His mind. All heaven and earth will be invited to witness the judgment of His people. So He spoke and said, ‘Bring everyone who made a covenant with Me by way of the sacrifice that was given!’ We know that all heaven has seen how He deals so fairly with people, because the judge is the One True God Himself. ‘Listen to what I’m about to reveal,’ He will say, ‘As I, the One True God, your One True God, read any charges made against you believers. I won’t fault you based on your giving and offerings made daily; I won’t confiscate your assets or possessions, your property or valuables; I already own everything. If I were hungry, I don’t need a hand-out from you because everything is already Mine. So continue with your offerings and pay your tithes to your One True God, your God Most High. And call on Me when troubles come your way and I will stand by your side so you can honor Me with praise’.” Psalm 50:1-15
Reflection: Back in the days when the American west was being populated by pioneers, they traveled in covered wagons drawn by oxen to settle on unclaimed lands. One such group in a wagon train noticed a huge cloud of smoke stretching for miles across the horizon. It didn’t take them long to realize that a prairie fire was being blown directly at them by fierce winds. It was too late to retreat to the river they crossed just the day before, because their wagons moved very slowly. Suddenly the leader got an idea. He placed everyone in a long line parallel to the wall of fire coming straight toward them, and then told everyone to set the grass behind them on fire. As the fire burned away in back of them, they moved with it so they soon stood on ground already burned. As the huge prairie fire approached them, one little girl panicked and cried out in terror, “We’ll all burn to death!” Calmly the leader responded, “No, my child, the flames cannot reach us here for we are standing where the fire has already been.” What a somber but clear picture this gives those who now stand on holy ground already burned by God’s judgment on sin. As pilgrims we do not attend worship, join in ministry, read our Bibles, participate in prayer, or say grace at meals just because we believe we “owe” it to God. No, we’re not trying to pay Him back for all the good things He’s done for us, that’s impossible and a waste of time. We do all these things as our way of saying, “Thank You LORD for Your love, kindness, forgiveness, grace, and mercy; thank You for making it possible for us to survive a fiery ending, and one day stand before You forgiven and redeemed!”