Look Up, Not Down

Sometimes even Christians feel and look defeated. If so, read Psalm 37. The first two verses said, “Fret not yourself because of evildoers; be not envious of wrongdoers. For they will soon fade like the grass and wither like the green herb.” Then in verses 7-9, the Psalmist continued, “Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for Him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices! Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil. For the evildoers shall be cut off, but those who wait for the LORD shall inherit the land.”

Thereby, the Psalmist encourages its reader, telling them not to be bothered by unrighteous gains or success, which in reality are temporal. Though it is true that with money, a lot of things and circumstances can easily be remedied. Yet, the Psalmist in verses 16-20 said:

Better is the little that the righteous has than the abundance of many wicked. For the arms of the wicked shall be broken, but the LORD upholds the righteous. The LORD knows the days of the blameless, and their heritage will remain forever; they are not put to shame in evil times; in the days of famine they have abundance. But the wicked will perish; the enemies of the LORD are like the glory of the pastures; they vanish—like smoke they vanish away.

God is just. He will never allow injustice to go unpunished, while the blameless will never fall short of God’s faithfulness, and He justly rewards them eternally.

True blessedness is not in the abundance of temporal things, but with the assurance of God’s favor and grace – at all times and circumstances. See Luke 12:13-21.

Someone in the crowd said to Him (Jesus Christ), “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” But He said to him, “Man, who made Me a judge or arbitrator over you?” And He said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” And He told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man produced plentifully, and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.”’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”

On the other hand, the Psalmist in verses 23-29 said:

The steps of a man are established by the LORD, when He delights in his way; though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the LORD upholds his hand. I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his children begging for bread. He is ever lending generously, and his children become a blessing. Turn away from evil and do good; so shall you dwell forever. For the LORD loves justice; He will not forsake His saints. They are preserved forever, but the children of the wicked shall be cut off. The righteous shall inherit the land and dwell upon it forever.

It is sad that many times, even Christians, fall into the temptation of covetousness. The apostle Paul wrote, “But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.” (1Timothy 6:9-10)

It is true that Jesus Christ is victorious and reigning over all creation since His ascension, and from that time onward has been seated at the right hand throne of God. True also that His rule and dominion were fully completed by His return, thereby giving His people the full blessings of His kingdom.

All matters on Earth would appear trivial to His reign and kingdom. For His blessings, though many times unseen, are eternal, whereas those of the world will always be temporal. So Jesus Christ said:

“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.” (Matthew 13:44-46)

Christians should recognize the true value of God’s kingdom. Hence, finding it should at all cost keep it even at the price of losing earthly wealth which are temporal. But sadly, a lot of people, even Christians spiritually blind, have chosen to seek and keep temporal things even at cost of forsaking eternal blessedness. Click on the links and read Matthew 19:16-24; Mark 10:17-25; Luke 18:18-25 for Jesus’ teaching on this subject.

Bear in mind that Scripture said, “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. (Matthew 6:24)

Jesus Christ, this time in Matthew 6:19-21, emphasized the same point and said: “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

So, the apostle Paul, in Colossians 3:1-2 said:

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.”

Once we have learned the Lord’s teachings, as well as those of Paul’s, then no earthly circumstances could make us believe we are defeated or losers in this world. Neither could our circumstances deter us from thanking God for His bountiful blessings and grace. It is significant to note, the Psalmist in verses 10-11 promised:

In just a little while, the wicked will be no more; though you look carefully at his place, he will not be there. But the meek shall inherit the land and delight themselves in abundant peace.

The eschatological expression “a little while” appeared in a number of Scriptural prophecy speaking about God’s coming judgment. To name a few, Jeremiah 51:33; Hosea 1:4 and Haggai 2:6-9.

Psalm 37:10-11 clearly was a prophecy on the Coming of Jesus Christ. So we see Jesus Christ verbalized Psalm 37:11, thereby announcing the fulfillment of His Coming. See Matthew 5:5-6.

“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

Interestingly, see below, in Hebrews 10:35-38, Scripture once more used the same expression “a little while”, but added “the coming one will come and will not delay”. Without a doubt, the Bible this time was speaking about the Return of Jesus Christ.

Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised. For, “Yet a little while, and the coming one will come and will not delay; but My righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back, My soul has no pleasure in him.”

Take note, the Psalmist clearly spoke of the promised happening in “a little while”, from the completion of Psalms to Christ, which was about 600 years. Whereas, Hebrews also used “a little while” but added “and the coming one will come and will not delay”. Therefore, we know that Scripture is infalliable and always true. How then can the traditional belief of Jesus’ Return, now two thousand years and ongoing, not be a delay?

Truth of the matter is, Jesus Christ spoke of His Return within the generation of His immediate apostles. See Matthew 16:27-28.

For the Son of Man is going to come with His angels in the glory of His Father, and then He will repay each person according to what he has done. Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.

I don’t think there are still living apostles of Jesus Christ somewhere today, hiding from people’s sight, do you?

Mind you, Matthew 16:27-28 is not an isolated declaration. In numerous occasions, Jesus Christ and His apostles spoke of the nearness of His coming. To read more about this topic, click on the links and see my blogs entitled “The Unending Last Days” and “Dating the Book of Revelation”. Once more, Jesus Christ fulfilled Scripture just as the Word of God had declared. The Return of Christ was fulfilled within the generation of John and company, the immediate apostles of Jesus. To read more on this topic, click on the link and read “Confused Christianity”.

So always look up, not down. For the essence and true reality of God’s kingdom and our blessedness – it is present already, in its fullness, now not later.

Moreover, the whole of Psalm 37 was right, encouraging its reader to trust God at all times and circumstances, for eternal deliverance and salvation is indeed with Him – the Lord of lords, the King of kings, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Blessings!

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Published by Eric

I am a pastor. In the course of leading Bible studies, I have noticed inconsistencies in the traditional Christian beliefs and teachings. So now I am on a journey of in-depth study of the Scripture. By the grace of God, having been liberated by the truths of the Word of God, now I am doing the ministry independently, teaching the Word of God.

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