Tuesday, June 21, 2011

PSALM 140:13

"Surely the righteous will give thanks to Your name; the upright will dwell in Your presence."

As I read this passage this morning, I wondered what could be meant by the second half of the verse where it states that the upright will dwell in God's presence.  Knowing that God has an all-watching eye, how can anyone escape his presence anyways?  Recall the following passages:

         Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? (Psalm 139:70)
The spirit of man is the lamp of the LORD, searching all his innermost parts (Proverbs 20:27).
And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account (Hebrews 4:13).
If thought of this way, the words in verse 13 become meaningless because everyone is dwelling in his presence already whether or not one is aware of it.  And so I threw away this idea because I was certain that David did not write these words only to realize that the wicked will equally be dwelling in God's presence.  He must have meant something more.

I shortly realized that the passages quoted above were speaking of God's abilities and did not rely on man's actions to be realized.  Whether or not man does or fails to do anything, those truths are real.  They are simple facts that are true, always.  But not so in Psalm 140:13.  It appears that in order for man to dwell in God's presence in the way David is speaking, the man is required to do something here in order to attain this status or, at least, it is clear that not all will attain to this status and so what is it that makes all of the difference?  This, I do not know for sure yet.  I know that Psalm 140 is a psalm of David, where he is asking God to deliver him from evil men throughout most of it.  Verses 12 and 13 are the only verses where David speaks of what he knows God will do, namely, maintaining the causes of the afflicted or in general that God would do justly and that the righteous would be thankful for it.  I guess it would appear that being righteous in your actions and attitudes is what forms this special bond between the upright and God.

To dwell, means to sit quietly and I suppose this definition would fit.  A righteous man is righteous because he does just that.  He quietly waits for the Lord to move on his behalf and is this not what David is doing in this entire psalm?  Surely it is.  He is asking God to stop the evil men encroaching upon him and in doing so, David is waiting for God to move.  He does not take actions into his own hands, but waits for God to work, knowing that God is far wiser and more able than he.  And this, is indeed dwelling in his presence, especially upon the victories that God wins for you, which you waited for so long for.

There may be more to it than this and I will be thinking more on it.  If you have time, give some thought to it.  What can be more profitable than digging around truths that deal directly with living in God's presence?  Let me know what you find.

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