Saturday, November 29, 2014

The LORD hears his Christ

In Ps 20 we find the following wonderful verses:

Now I know that the LORD will help his anointed;
he will answer him from his holy heaven
with mighty victories by his right hand (Ps 20.6).

Here the message is one of God's faithfulness: if God has chosen a person for service (thus, that person is the LORD's anointed), then God is faithful to that person and will be there for him or her in times of trouble. God does not leave his chosen one hanging, but is there ready to answer his or her prayers, and to deliver from any evil.

This was good news for the ancient Israelites, of course, because it meant that their king could appeal to God and could expect God to hear him. If God had chosen a man to lead over the country -- for instance, David -- then he would not forget about him halfway through his reign, or even after the king had sinned (of course, if the king repents thereafter). More generally, it is good news for the people of Israel as God's chosen nation, since they are the anointed means by which the LORD would save the world. Thus the LORD tells the Judeans who had been taken into Babylon in exile:

Can a woman forget her nursing child,
or show no compassion for the child of her womb?
Even these may forget,
yet I will not forget you (Isa 49.15).

The people of Judah were convinced that God had abandoned them: But Zion said, "The LORD has forsaken me, my Lord has forgotten me" (Isa 49.14). But God's response to their desperation and hopelessness was to affirm that he would remember them forever, that a woman would sooner forget her nursing child than the LORD would forget Israel, his own son.

This was all good news for them, but it is especially good news for us! If the LORD will help his anointed and answer him, as the Psalmist writes, then can there be any room for despair or doubt when we know that the Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, prays for us and intercedes for us? This anointed man of the LORD who gave himself for all so that they might live (cf. 1 Cor 15.22; 2 Cor 5.14-5) -- could God fail to answer the prayers of his only-begotten Son? or to ignore his intercession? This Jesus Christ says to us: See, I have inscribed you on the palms of my hands (Isa 49.16). As the song says,

My name is graven in his hands,
My name is written on his heart.
I know that while in heav'n he stands,
No tongue can bid me thence depart.

The LORD hears his Christ; therefore you ought not despair! I need to hear this as often as possible, so I thought to share the message with the rest of you as well. If God has chosen you for some service or ministry, then trust in him and pray to him, and he will hear you; only do not defile yourself with worthless things that cannot save or help any.