Deuteronomy 3, Psalm 85, Isaiah 31, Revelation 1

DateVersionReading Plan
@May 30, 2024ESV (2016)M’Cheyne Plan 2024

Deuteronomy 3

Deuteronomy 3:25–26 (ESV) 25 Please let me go over and see the good land beyond the Jordan, that good hill country and Lebanon.’ 26 But the LORD was angry with me because of you and would not listen to me. And the LORD said to me, ‘Enough from you; do not speak to me of this matter again.

Moses recounted how he pleaded with the LORD to go over and see the good land beyond the Jordan and that he would not be allowed. Moses blamed the Israelites for God’s decision to punish him but God would have none of it, allowing no excuse for Moses’ disobedience. This type of blame-shifting is characteristic of sinful humanity. Rather than accepting responsibility for our own actions, we try to place it on others or even God Himself. It is a work of the Spirit to see our accountability, to convict our hearts of our sin, to realize our inability to be freed from it on our own and of our desperate need for a Savior.

Psalm 85

Psalm 85:10 (ESV) 10 Steadfast love and faithfulness meet; righteousness and peace kiss each other.

The psalmist speaks of how intimately tied are these attributes. The Believer’s Bible Commentary provides some valuable insights on this verse in terms of the gospel:

In human affairs strict adherence to the claims of truth usually prevent the display of love and mercy. But God can shower His steadfast love on His people because all the claims of truth were fully met by the Lord Jesus on the cross. In the same sense, righteousness and peace have kissed. Believers enjoy peace with God because all the claims of divine justice were met by the substitutionary work of the Savior.

Isaiah 31

Isaiah 31:1 (ESV) 31 Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help and rely on horses, who trust in chariots because they are many and in horsemen because they are very strong, but do not look to the Holy One of Israel or consult the LORD!

In this context, the people of Judah sought help from Egypt in the face of the Assyrian threat rather than the LORD, wrongly ascribing safety to the chariots and horsemen because they were many. I find myself expressing this attitude much lately, having anxiety out of an improper placement of trust rather than looking to God and resting in His goodness. Lord, help me to see that you are good and that you are faithful to be with me through both calm and stormy seasons.

Revelation 1

Revelation 1:12–17 (ESV) 12 Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands, 13 and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest. 14 The hairs of his head were white, like white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire, 15 his feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar of many waters. 16 In his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength. 17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last

John turned to see who was speaking behind him with a loud voice. The description he gives is some of the most vibrant and alarming imagery in all of Scripture, drawing from the vision in Dan. 7 of the Ancient of Days and of the angelic figure in Dan. 10. The depiction should stir within us the greatest heights of awe, wonder and puzzlement as John puts to words what overwhelmed his field of view. In the face of the Lord’s sheer power and majesty, John fell at His feet as though dead but the Lord calmed him told him not to fear. How amazing is our God whose might is immeasurable and yet is compassionate as to allow us into His glorious presence.

Carson on Psalm 85

However we align these pairings [of love ↔ faithfulness, righteousness ↔ peace], it is vital to remember that love and faithfulness both belong to God, that righteousness and peace meet and kiss in him. Because of this, God can be both just and the One who justifies the ungodly by graciously giving his Son (Rom. 3:25-26). Should it be surprising to discover that among his image-bearers, love and faithfulness and righteousness and peace go hand in hand, standing together or falling together?

Carson rightfully points to Christ as to the One in whom all of these attributes meet and are sourced. By extension, the synergistic efficacy of these pairings is seen among His image-bearers where there is failure or shortcoming if one quality is expressed without the other. Let us then move forward through to the guidance of the Spirit to love with faithfulness and to seek righteous with peace.