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“NO GOOD THING DOES HE WITHHOLD FROM …” Thoughts from today’s Bible readings – Feb. 17th

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D.Caudery Once again we have a thought provoking selection of readings.  In Exodus ch. 28 there is a detailed description of the garments the Priests are to wear in the newly constructed Tabernacle.  Aaron, as High Priest, is to “bear the names of the sons of Israel in the breastpiece of judgement on his heart, when he goes into the Holy Place to bring them to regular remembrance before the LORD”.   [v 29]  This is not that the LORD forgets, but to emphasise that he represents them in serving the LORD.

Worship is the most solemn action  we engage in and, and, while creating our own rituals would be counter-productive for us, but to do the opposite – and be casual in our approach in remembering our Lord – could be just as bad.

Our chapter 13 in Mark contains that dramatic prophecy by Jesus of the coming collapse of the ”wonderful buildings” of the Temple.  The 3 disciples closest to Jesus anxiously questioned him on this as they “sat on the Mount of Olives opposite the Temple” [v 3].   He responds to their questions,  but then moved forward to speak of his return, saying “Aftertribulation…then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory.    And then he  will send out the angels and gather his elect…” [v.24,26, 27].   How great the need to  “stay awake…lest he come suddenly and find (us) asleep.”   [v. 37,36]

We can relate the exhortation here to what we read in Psalm 84.  “My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the LORD” [v.2].  As we “stay awake“ today isn‘t this what we ultimately long for!   In the Kingdom we will surely say, “Blessed are those that dwell in your house, ever singing your praise!”   [v 4]   The next verse applies to us today!  “Blessed are those whose strength is in you, in whose heart are the highways to Zion”.

May we have a clear vision of our journey along “the highways” every day.   If we do, we will “go from strength to strength” and so “each one (of us will) appear before God in Zion” [v 7].  Like the Psalmist we “would rather (like to) be a doorkeeper in the house of my God” (v 10).   Imagine the experiences!  Imagine who we would meet!  Truly “no good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly…blessed is the one who trusts in you” (v 11,12).   What “good things” are in store!  Let us trust in  our Saviour and the LORD with all our heart.

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