What a great list of words and each of them comes out of my next verse in Psalm 84. I am almost at the end now of this magnificent psalm. I have preached on it to the church and am now half way through teaching through it to my family. In verse 11 the psalmist says:
For the LORD God is a sun and shield;
the LORD bestows favor and honor.
No good thing does he withhold
from those who walk uprightly.
He has discovered that God is, to him, a sun and a shield. In God’s presence there is warmth and light and everything that he needs for life. Setting aside some extreme life forms living around deep sea hydro-thermal vents all life on earth gets it’s energy directly or indirectly from the sun. I don’t want to be an extremophile living in the dark at the bottom of the sea clinging to the edge of a hole in the earths crust. I want to bask in the sun on the surface. Basically, if I can climb back out of the metaphor for a moment, if I want to live life to the full I need God.
Everything we need is found in God, especially the two things mentioned in this verse. Please pay close attention here because we are getting to the heart of it (that sounds a bit like something Ravi Zacharias would say!). Favour and honour. That’s grace and glory. Love and value.
Just as plants need warmth and light we need these things. Do you know the unconditional overwhelming heart melting soul strengthening love of God. The father’s love for you in Christ Jesus shed abroad in your heart by the holy spirit. Do you enjoy the Father’s love for you that is based not on anything you have done but on the finished work of Jesus Christ on your behalf. Do you know what it is to have messed up big time and disqualified yourself, yet to have received more honour and glory than you ever had in the first place. That’s favour.
I read recently the story of Abraham he goes on to Egypt. He basically deceives the King, yet walks out of Egypt loaded down with riches. That’s favour. He didn’t get what he deserved. And not only favour but we are given honour as well. Even as Jesus laid his life down only to be raised up and given the highest place of honour so we too, as we die to ourselves, our raised to new life in Christ and are seated in heavenly places with him. We don’t need to grasp at privilege and status because God takes hold of us in our humble state and calls us forward to sit with him right at the front of his banquet. As we lay our lives down we find them and God bestows on us such great value and honour.
The truth is that you and I are worth the life of God’s dearly loved, perfect, son. It wasn’t money that bought us but his blood. If he did that for us, what then would he withhold from us? Nothing.
Romans 8:32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? (ESV)
As we walk in his ways, as we live in a wonderful acknowledgement and experience and delight of his presence we given everything we need and more.