>Dwelling in the Land

>How beautifully this morning’s sun shone into our home, glowing in amber patches on the refrigerator, a living-room chair, and even the front door!

Perhaps it struck me so much because I had just read Psalm 37, whose beginning includes these encouraging verses:

Trust in the LORD and do good;
dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.
Delight yourself in the LORD,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the LORD;
trust in him, and he will act.
He will bring forth your righteousness as the light,
and your justice as the noonday (ESV, 3-6).

The amber glow of the early sun, peeking above a coral cloud bank, brought new meaning to the image of righteousness as light.

Psalm 37 is a study in contrasts between believers and unbelievers. Over and over it contrasts the worldly success of the ungodly with the eternal blessing of the godly; the transitory character of the unrighteous with the eternal security of the righteous. It’s a great Psalm to read when you feel the forces of evil are tap dancing on your head.

God continually assures us in this Psalm that we will inherit the land. Our hope is not only for a magnificent mansion with glimmering windows and shimmering towers in heaven, but it is also for deer leaping on hills and trees spreading in forests of a new earth.

Reading Psalm 37 this morning, I was also struck by its three injunctions to “wait on the Lord.” Waiting is one of the hardest life lessons to learn, but God expects us to learn patience and contentment while waiting for him to act or for his will to be revealed.

Waiting on the Lord doesn’t mean we should sit back and be lazy. We need to press on in working toward the coming of his kingdom, but we don’t work as if our efforts can earn even a tiny element of our salvation. Our work never gains salvation or improves our status; it wells from our hearts as an offering of gratitude for his free gift of eternal security.

The salvation of the righteous is from the LORD;
he is their stronghold in the time of trouble.
The LORD helps them and delivers them;
he delivers them from the wicked and saves them,
because they take refuge in him (39-40).

May each of you trust in the Lord and do good; may you dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness; may you delight yourself in the Lord, and may God grant you the desires of your heart.

Just as the morning light glows in our home this morning, I pray that you are committing your ways to the Lord and he is acting to shine forth your righteousness and justice. May each of you come to a new awareness that salvation is from the Lord alone; he is our stronghold, our helper, and our deliverer.

Take refuge in him!

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