I realize that I have been off on a “bunny trail” of sorts, straying from the 2nd Psalm a bit, but there is a very good reason for this. I hope to lay the foundation for what is coming next in Psalm 2. That reason is found in Romans 8: 17-18:
And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
I realize that the message of suffering is about as popular as elective root canals, but, God has called His followers to it AND it has an eternal reward. Let’s not pass this by lightly. Once we have found that foundation in Him we can receive the peace that a relationship with Him brings:
A Psalm of David. The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies*: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.
(Psa 23:1-6) (* there “they” are again)
If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.
And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it. For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
So once we resign ourselves that our lives are not our own what is death? Where is the fear in it? Instead of trying to hold onto what we should have already given up we can truly understand the liberty that Jesus Christ has called us to. Like Paul we can understand:
Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
And like Jesus we can understand we have nothing to fear from “them”.
And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
With this revelation we can move out into a new dimension of faith, in every aspect of our lives we can start submitting in obedience to God, knowing that He will be our shepherd. In a spiritual sense we can experience the freedom from the fear, the terror of loss and of suffering, something like this young man:
In case you were wondering about the safety of that activity I’ll refer you to this page full of thrill seekers: BASE Fatality List. To date that is 182.
A referral to Fox’s Book of Christian Martyrs will quickly lead to the conclusion that base jumping isn’t the only risky behavior that people can participate in. A thorough understanding of martyrdom in the world today will also bring a believer to the conclusion that His people are still suffering with Him, and the satisfaction that they will be glorified with Him.
The question I ask is this are WE willing to suffer with Him? Are WE willing to partake of that tree that Jesus partook of? Or are we going to get a pass? For myself, I hope I don’t.
Jesus seems to be telling me: