This morning I was reading from the Psalms and I read one of those things that just stopped me in my tracks. It was in Psalm 84, which my Bible titles, "My Soul Longs for the Courts of the Lord." In it the psalmist talks about the blessings that come to God's children and the great joy of being in the house of the Lord as compared to being anywhere else.
It was in last part of verse 11, just before the psalm's end, where I saw something other than a simple longing for the place where God dwells, where the psalmist writes,
"No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly."
Those are just eleven words, and I believe the words are true, that the Lord will not keep back His good gifts from those that walk uprightly. But that is where things are both much more complicated, and ultimately much more beautiful, than they seem at first glance.
On my own I cannot "walk uprightly" in the eyes of God, nor can anyone else, save for one person, Christ Jesus. He alone walked uprightly, from His first day to His last. God the Son in complete obedience to God the Father, through the power of the Holy Spirit.
That was a pretty easy sentence for me to type, but the cost to Christ Jesus as He acted in complete obedience was very great. For Him, walking uprightly meant to ultimately lay down His life to pay the debt of my sin. And so the promise of the psalm is true for all believers, only because Jesus has traveled the path they could not. I "walk uprightly" not on my own efforts but only by faith in Him.
I read a sermon last week by Charles Spurgeon called "The Death of Christ for His People." In it Spurgeon says,
"Our sins were numbered on the Scapegoat's head, and there is not one sin that ever a believer did commit that has any power to damn him, for Christ has taken the damning power out of sin, by allowing it, to speak by a bold metaphor, to damn Himself, for sin did condemn Him. Inasmuch as sin condemned Him, sin cannot condemn us. O believer, this is your security, that all your sin and guilt, all your transgressions and your iniquities, have been atoned for."
So I can go back and re-read the Psalm 84, and, like the psalmist, look forward to seeing the promises of God fulfilled, the joy of one day living in the courts of the Lord, because my place has been secured there by the upright walk of Christ Jesus, my Savior and Lord.
May the joy of this promise also belong to you. Amen.
Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.