Thursday, February 11, 2016

Thoughts on Psalm 119:25

25 My soul clings to the dust;
Revive me according to Your word.

The Bible presents the realities of life. God doesn’t try and sell us on a fantasy that we won’t ever have any problems. “My soul clings to the dust.” Clearly the psalmist was having a difficult time - perhaps he was even near death.

But one of the marvelous features of the Bible that makes it unique is that it always presents the answer. And again in such simple words.

Revive me

To revive is “to bring back to life.” To resurrect. To rise from the dead. And it doesn’t just give us the answer - but also the means:

according to Your word.

In simple words: “Bring me back to life, like You said You would in the Bible.”

Have you ever wondered how Jesus knew that the Father would raise Him from the dead? Did He just have some mysterious supernatural knowledge this would happen? Maybe. But it is far more probable that He read it in the Scripture:

My flesh also will rest in hope. For You will not leave my soul in Sheol [Hell], Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption. Ps 16:9-10

And once again, the Holy Spirit illuminated those words and said, “This is You. I won’t leave Your soul in Hell; You won’t be separated from Your body long enough for it to decay.”

This point of resurrection is unique to the Bible and to Jesus. Many people will accept Jesus as a good teacher, or even a prophet. But the decisive factor on whether or not we can enter into a relationship with Him is this: is He alive? If He is still dead, how can we have a relationship with Him? But if He is alive, then He is who He said He was: God in the flesh.

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Rom 10:9 NIV

The word of God specifically addresses the weight of this truth:

For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! 1 Cor 15:16-17

Anyone could claim to be God and get himself crucified. In fact, many have claimed as much and have died. And in death, they simply paid for their own sins. But there was only One who was sinless and therefore able to pay for the sins of others. As a reward, and as evidence that Jesus’ blood was sufficient to pay for the sins of mankind, the Father raised Him from the dead:

the God of peace… brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead...through the blood of the everlasting covenant... Heb 13:20

[Jesus] was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification. Rom 4:25

This is not a trivial issue - this is one of the foundational truths of the Good News, on which we can build our entire lives. Believing it, we too can have this same hope of resurrection that the word of God promises:

For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection Rom 6:5

Once again we look to the word of God to provide us comfort that this life is not all there is to our existence. We can have hope for eternity, not just because Jesus died on the Cross as payment for our sin, but because He rose again - and therefore we, too, will rise again!

This can, and should, have a significant impact on how we live our lives. No matter how grim or difficult a situation may be - even death - we can look at it for what it is: temporary. And we can always pray, as the psalmist did:

Revive me, according to Your word.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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