The Eternal Rub

Psalm 106:4-5 “Remember me, O Lord, when you show favor to your people, come to my aid when you save them, that I may enjoy the prosperity of your chosen ones, that I may share in the joy of your nation and join your inheritance in giving praise” (NIV).

Observation: Through Psalm 106 the psalmist recounts Israel’s rebellious history and petitions God to save His people. Sin was confessed in admirable detail, along with remembrance of the pain and disciplines Israel experienced as a result. The psalmist in verses 4 and 5 asked the same favor of God for which each of us longs, that when (not if) God shows favor to His loved ones, it might spill over onto him.

Application: Notice the three evidences of favor the psalmist anticipated, the three effects of being favored by God: prosperity (“that I may enjoy the prosperity of your chosen ones”); joy (“that I may share in the joy of your nation”); and praise (“that I may join your inheritance in giving praise”).

A proper question then arises: Am I experiencing these evidences of God’s favor:  prosperity, joy, and praise? And, if I am not, is the fault to be laid at God’s doorstep, or ought I search more deeply within for the culprit?

See, too, the three ways the psalmist referred to God’s people: as a chosen one, as His nation, and as His inheritance. Surely we would lay claim to fitting within the second three categories, but if that be so, why then might there be a disconnect with the first three? If I am His chosen yet not prosperous, if I am part of His nation yet lack joy, if I am His inheritance but not overflowing with praise, has God failed me?

Herein is the eternal rub.

As long as my focus, my identity, my satisfaction are centered upon me, then my experience of prosperity, joy, and praise must always be conditional, my contentment relative to those around me. If my gaze remains fixed on what God has done for me in terms of the things of this world, He could never possibly give me enough. Why, He could even sacrifice His Son on a cross for me, yet I would remain discontent.

Once my gaze moves from myself and fixes instead on a Bridegroom who has moved heaven and earth to win me to Himself, then I can join fellowship with those in earth’s poorest hovels in a shared experience of prosperity, joy, and praise. Then I will understand that He has indeed shown me great favor.

Prayer: O Lord, forgive me for conditional praise, for comparative prosperity, and circumstantial joy. I am filled with awe and gratitude for Your unmatched accomplishment in my behalf. How I love You!

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