October 12, 2020 – A Loving Command

The LORD is my strength and my shield; My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart exults, And with my song I shall thank Him.

Psalm 28:7

Recently, my father-in-law was able to visit with us. My three children absolutely adore their Pop. While he was here, our family went on a walk at a local park. During the walk, Pop pointed to some trees that were off the path a few feet. He said, “Quick! Go hide behind those trees so people can’t see you!” Instantly our children followed his suggestion. They did not give a single thought to whether or not there might be any poison ivy. They did not give a single thought to what creeping things might be in their hiding place. They gave no thought to things that might, in any other situation, have given them pause and concern. They laughed and followed Pop’s counsel.

They eagerly and joyfully followed Pop, because they were having fun. It’s exciting to go off the path (about 20 feet) and hide. I am grateful that God has given my children good and increasingly better thinking skills. They get those from their mother. They usually will not do something mindlessly. I say ‘usually’ because they are children. You understand, right? In this particular instance, however, there was no question. Pop said, “Go hide behind those trees.” He was smiling. He pointed out the specific trees. He gave a specific “command.” They happily followed. Why? It is because they love and trust their Pop. He has demonstrated his love and care for them. They know he loves them. He has invested time in them. They are confident that he will not tell them to do something that will hurt them. Besides, Pop is fun.

Let me repeat why my children did what Pop told them to do. It is because they trust him. They trust him because he has shown them his love for them. In the Transfiguration, God bears witness that Jesus is His Son. Jesus is the Messiah. Jesus is Divine. Just prior to this, Jesus had taught clearly that he must be rejected, must suffer, must die, and (praise God!) must rise again from the dead. The Transfiguration is God testifying to how much he loves his elect. God himself has taken up our cause. God himself carried our griefs and our sorrows. God took on himself the iniquity of us all. (Isaiah 53:4-6)

May I encourage you to ask the Lord every day to remind you of how great his love is for you? Of all the things we need and can ask of the Lord (we are a needy people), a reminder of the greatness of his grace and love may be the one thing we need most. I am confident that if we verbally – out loud – ask God in prayer to remind us of how he loves us, not only will he do it, but he will, along with that answer, give you the confidence to follow his commands. (1 Cor. 10:13; Psalm 17:6) Not only will you find that God is faithful to answer (Psalm 116:1-2), but he is gracious to uphold us in our weaknesses. Not only will you find God’s strength when you have none, but all the hordes of hell will hear a helpless sinner cry out to the Infinite, Eternal, and Unchangeable God. They will tremble. God will hear. You will find help in time of need.

Soli Deo Gloria.