July 14, 2015

Psalm 52:9 I will praise you for ever for what you have done;
in your name I will hope, for your name is good.
I will praise you in the presence of your saints.

Once again I am struck by the richness of reading Scripture in multiple languages, because each will bring out facets that aren’t so obvious in another. Here, the Japanese specifies that the “waiting in hope” is done in the presence of God’s saints. People can see when we’re trusting God consistently, and it’s often easiest for those who have the same hope to recognize it. This is actually a vital way that believers encourage one another, because we all have dips in our “faith level,” and seeing a brother or sister who is standing strong is a very real encouragement. Then on another occasion, we might be the one who is strong, encouraging them. (Hebrews 10:25) Also, where the NIV just says God’s name is “good,” the Japanese uses a phrase that is defined as “affectionate; loving; tender; merciful.” (This is the same term that came up on the 6th.) We really miss out when we fail to grasp that for the Biblical writers, “name” was an expression and extension of character and personality. The name of Jesus is “above every name” (Philippians 2:9) because He is above everyone and everything else, by every measure. As it says in Proverbs 18:10, the name of the Lord is a strong tower, not as some magical incantation but because He is strong, in fact omnipotent. The better we remember that, the easier it is to wait in hope for Him.

Any time I read a passage like this I have to examine myself as to how well I am following it. I talk to people all the time about how they need to trust God all the time in every way, but then I am all too prone to come up a little short in the faith department myself. It isn’t easy when attendance isn’t what it has been and people I thought were strong either waver or stumble. I’ve got to remember that it isn’t people who are strong and reliable, much less myself, it is the Lord, the Creator of the heavens and the earth. I am to walk in trust and obedience, abiding in His love through obeying His Word. (John 14:15, 23-24) I am to be active in that obedience, but not running off on my own trying to make things happen if He has not directed it. I am to wait in hope for Him, in all peace and joy.

Father, once again I’m back to what You told me years ago now, to rest, relax, and rejoice. Help me never use that as an excuse for laziness, but help me likewise never think I can do anything without You. May I fulfill my place in Your plan fully and perfectly, for Your pleasure and glory. Thank You. Praise God!


About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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