Get Out of Debt (Etheree)

 

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What
can I
offer You
in payment for
the debt I’ve incurred?
You finance my debt by
serving me salvation’s cup,
filling my mouth with the sweet wine
of Your Name; the glory payment plan
never even touches the principal.

9-20-2016

What am I to return to Yahweh
for all His full recompense to me?
The cup of full salvation I will take,
and on Yahweh’s name I will call (Psalm 116:12-13 Motyer).

A striking reply! Asking what am I to give back, he replies ‘I will take.’ Our true response always is first to receive what Yahweh gives. He fills the cup, we take it (Motyer, 325n36).

Look Out of Your Window

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Everywhere we look in the world around we should see God. This is very likely contrary to the way we were taught in school. Mechanism reigned supreme! What caused rainfall: why rain bearing clouds were driven higher by mountains—or was it that they dropped lower as the land fell away? I can’t remember, but it was all a matter of cause and effect. River valleys were the result of the movement of glaciers, weren’t they? Or was it water-erosion? Well, Psalm 104 has lovely news for us: whatever ‘tools’ He may or may not have used, God the Creator did it all. Mechanistic explanations of rainfall may well be clever, and speak to us of the wisdom and art of the Creator, but how much more splendidly marvellous it is to say that ‘He waters the hills from His high rooms’! Talk about the food chain? Who set it up but the transcendent God who cares whether lions get their meat? Look at the dark clouds massing and approaching. The Creator is walking towards us. Sentiment tells us we are ‘nearer God’s heart in a garden’—how true, for the garden of Eden shows us He loves horticulture—but His heart is also in sunrise, seed time and harvest, wind, storm, earthquake, thunder. No aspect of ‘nature’ is without the immanent God, just as no part of nature is big enough to contain Him who is exceedingly great, clothed with splendour and majesty, the giver of life and the giver of death, controller of oceans and tides, providing crags for wild goats and foliage for little birds. It is because it is His world that we can live in it with easy minds. We cannot see what may come over the hills tomorrow, but we do know that whatever happens will happen in His world where He rules and reigns (Psalm 121:1-2), and where nothing happens without His say-so. Learn it, my friends, learn it! Learn to look out of your window and see your God.

— Alec Motyer, Psalms by the Day, 293.

At the Center of Our Trouble

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…at the center of our trouble, danger, loss, sorrow—when hostile forces are on top, rampant, triumphalist—our course is to remind ourselves what we believe about our God. We are to tell ourselves not how horrible life is, how unfairly I have been treated, how insupportable my sorrow is, but how kingly, saving, powerful (74:12-14); how provident (74:15); how totally in charge (74:16-17) God is; how fully in command of history (75:2); how secure is His world (75:3); how subservient to Him are earth’s arrogant powers (75:4-5).

— Alec Motyer, Psalms by the Day, 210.

A Store of Pure Gold

51gvpg5zstlTo us who cannot foresee what the end of the morning will bring, there is the comfort that everything that happens does so in conformity to and by direction of His ‘counsel’ ([Psalm 73:]24a). What is impenetrable to us (the future) is an already drawn map lying before Him (Ephesians 1:3-4; 2:10; Philippians 1:29-30). We can never over-exalt the sovereignty of God: He is truly God—the God in charge. And we need to remind ourselves that this is even especially so when things turn out either other than we expect or would wish. He is always on our side; always implementing His ‘counsel.’ All this is a store of pure gold entered in our account; yet the finest gold is yet to come. There is that which the life-assurance man dare not mention by name when he delicately suggests ‘if anything should happen.’ But the Bible has no such hesitations. It knows all about ‘afterwards,’ the future; it calls it the ‘glory’ ([Psalm 73:]24b). Our gracious God is not only for earth; He is our guarantee of heaven ([Psalm 73:]25-26).

— Alec Motyer, Psalms by the Day, 204.

Coincidence?

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Consciously or unconsciously to us, Yahweh has been our support since birth (Psalm 71:6); it was He who caused us to be born at the time and place of His choice. Not accident but design, not coincidence but plan, not chance but divine direction—that is the story of every believer, the secret history of every conversion. It is the direct implication of the wondrous title of ‘Sovereign One’ (verses 5, 16), a God who truly is God, who holds in His hand not only the broad sweep of world history, but the tiniest details of personal stories; a God whom no circumstance or adversary—or collection of adversaries—can defeat; present in every place, master of every situation, deciding and controlling at every time. And so it will continue to be as long as earthly life shall last.

— Alec Motyer, Psalms by the Day, 194.

Glory and Identity

51gvpg5zstl‘Glory’ shines in the created order: the glory of beauty; the glory of beneficence; yes, and the glory of awe-inspiring, terrifying forces! But the Word of God tells us His name, who He is. The One who is God, in all the multiplicity of ways His creation reveals, is, at heart, in His central, personal essence, Yahweh, the God of grace, the God who hears and acts, the God of our salvation. He is the God of the Word of God, and, like the Word He speaks, a God reviving the soul, making wise, bringing joy, illuminating; indeed, all righteous, but golden in grace, and honey to those who taste and see that Yahweh is gracious (Psalm 34:8).

— Alec Motyer, Psalms by the Day, 56.

Inside vs. Outside

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To the contrary,
in Yahweh’s teaching is his pleasure,
and in His teaching he meditates by day and night (Psalm 1:2, Motyer translation).

[Note on “pleasure” from verse 2]: Note the emphasis—not on outward obedience (as in v.1)—but on inward realities: ‘pleasure,’ the delight of the will; ‘meditates,’ directing and feeding the mind. Compare Joshua 1:8.

Godliness starts on the inside.

— Alec Motyer, Psalms by the Day, 11 (emphasis added).

First-Name Basis

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The divine Name ‘Yahweh’ will at first sound strange in your ears, being used to the established (but mistaken) English convention of representing the name as ‘the LORD.’ We who are of an older generation will remember the days when calling someone by their Christian name was a privilege granted, not to be presumed upon. It meant something to us when a senior friend said, ‘Please call me by my Christian name’; the relationship had ripened into a new intimacy and privilege. So it was in Genesis 4:26 when people began to call upon their God by His personal name; so it was, even more, when the significance of that Name was revealed to Moses (Exod. 3:15). A totally false sense of reverence later said ‘The Name is too holy for us to use,’ and the custom was introduced of representing it as ‘the LORD.’ No, no. He has granted us the privilege, and we should learn (belatedly) to live in the benefit of it. Hebrew has two main nouns for ‘God.’ There is the plural elohim, God in the fullness of the divine attributes—for simplicity I translate this as ‘God’—and the singular el, which I translate as ‘transcendent God.’ But there is only one ‘Name.’ ‘God’ is what He is; Yahweh is who He is.

— Alec Motyer, Psalms by the Day, 10.