The Depths of Triumph

When Moses ascended Mount Sinai and originally received the Law from the LORD, he heard, for the first time, the Decalogue, the Ten Commandments, which God established as the foundation for Israelite society. Among the precepts instituted in the wilderness that day, the requirement to “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy” (Ex. 20:8) would later generate great controversy throughout the life of Jesus as the first century Pharisees’ interpretation of the requirement (long ignored throughout Jewish history) took on an extensively regulated meaning. However, while we ourselves recognize the reality of rest that the LORD instituted as part of that law (Ex. 20:9-11), as did the Pharisees, we often fail to appreciate its essential character of holiness, which the Pharisees also missed. The title applied to the ninety-second psalm, “A Song for the Sabbath day,” deserves consideration. The LORD did not give the Sabbath merely for physical rest but also for spiritual renewal, as this psalm also implies. More than that, its thematic emphasis on the character of God Himself illustrates well the actual purpose underlying the original command to keep the Sabbath holy. It should have been a day distinctly spent in dedication to the LORD, thinking about Him and all that He had done. Therefore, while Christians follow the gospel rather than the Law, and therefore have no responsibility to keep the Sabbath (Col. 2:14-15), the holy aspect of its purpose should endure as God’s people today reflect regularly on the glory of their God and why He is worthy of their worship.

Remembering God and all that He has done is not just commanded; it is good. It is good morally, certainly, but it is good for us. Giving thanks to God helps us remember how blessed we are, and praising Him in song thrills the soul and unites our hearts (Psa. 92:1). Indeed, we ought to fill our days with declarations of His care and attention (Psa. 92:2-3). It may seem silly to some, overly demonstrative to others, but stopping the hustle and bustle of daily life to consider what God has done—instead of always concentrating on what we must do—is one of the healthiest activities you will ever undertake. God has done far more for us than we could ever do for ourselves—and not just in providing salvation (Psa. 92:4). Reflecting on the thoughts He provides through His Word provokes us to grow and deepen our understanding of ourselves, of others, of our purpose, and of Him (Psa. 92:5-6). By meditating on His Word, we gain perspective amidst tribulation, knowing that the wickedness of the moment will one day pass and be destroyed but that the LORD reigns eternally (Psa. 92:7-9). Seeing life in terms of God’s blessings keeps us humble, knowing that whatever we achieve, we did so because of what God made possible (Psa. 92:10-11). In this there is no false humility but only confidence rooted in faith, that following God and doing His will leads to blessings and success because we understand success in terms of blessings and our achievements as a testimony to the glory of our God (Psa. 92:12-13). This will sustain us in life and bring comfort without end (Psa. 92:14), because no matter what else happens, we have the LORD as our standard, as our defense, and as our King, and He will never lead us astray (Psa. 92:15).

To some, these thoughts seem as mere platitudes for the weak, but in a faithless age, they increasingly require great courage to maintain. Many wish to eliminate God from public conversation because these thoughts make them uncomfortable. And they are uncomfortable because they themselves stopped thinking about God. Sadly, many Christians’ faith is failing them, and it could so easily be prevented if they would take the time to stop, reflect on God, and meditate on His Word. The godless negativity of the world may seem like the dominant voice in society today, but you do not have to listen to it. So just stop and, instead, take the time to spend with God and His Word.

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