God-Given Authority

King Nebuchadnezzar enjoyed the kind of power and privilege no single human had ever experienced. He built an empire that eventually swallowed two other great civilizations, Assyria and Egypt. At the time, no one man controlled more of the world than he. According to the man’s written testimony, Nebuchadnezzar became intoxicated by his own wealth and power.

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Some Thoughts on Sovereignty

Some people find the concept of God’s ultimate and complete sovereignty a little unsettling. Let’s face it, we like our autonomy; we find comfort in calling our own shots. Even so, the wise men of Israel, writing under the direction of the Holy Spirit, affirmed God’s ultimate authority to administer the world as He sees fit and regardless of human will:

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Divine Perspective

Since our generation so admires human ingenuity and worldly wisdom, we tend to give people praise that only God deserves. A battle is won—and we hang medals on veterans. A degree is earned—and we applaud the graduates. A sum of money is donated—and we engrave contributors’ names on a plaque. An organization stays in the black through hard times—and we grant the CEO a bonus.

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The Deepest Need

David’s song of the thirsty soul, preserved for us as Psalm 63, may resonate deeply with you. Perhaps you have finally come to the end of rat-race religion. Hopefully, you have decided to leave the hurry-worry sindrome and find complete satisfaction in the Savior, in the worship of Him alone. If so, you are rare.

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Divine Right

At first glance this list of Old Testament proverbs may appear like a hodgepodge of random thoughts. A closer look, however, reveals a common theme we tend to overlook or ignore, and that is the theme of God’s absolute sovereignty over His creation. By sovereignty, I mean God’s right as the King of the universe to rule as He sees fit—without question, limitation, accountability, or resistance.

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Comfort in God’s Strength

If Martin Luther’s great hymn, “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God,” is any indication, he often turned to Psalm 46 for comfort. When you read his story, you can appreciate why. In 1520, after more than three years of conflict with the Church in Rome, the Pope warned Luther in a public letter that he would be excommunicated if he did not recant his teaching that salvation is by grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone.

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Human Failure

We deny it. We fake it. We mask it. We try to ignore it. But the truth stubbornly persists: we are weak and inadequate creatures! Being sinful, we fail. Being prone to illness, we get sick. Being feeble, we get hurt. Being mortal, we ultimately die. Pressure grinds the churning place. Anxiety gives us ulcers. People intimidate us. Criticism undermines us.

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Find Solace in Nature

David’s songs of inner turmoil don’t offer easy answers; he’s too realistic for that. David had seen the lowest of lows several times in his life, so he knew that counting your blessings won’t work every time. Sometimes, we get so low that no memory will jar us loose from our turmoil. In Psalm 42:6–8, David offers another technique.

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Facing Fear with Praise

As David faced his fears and expressed them to God in Psalm 27, he began with worship, celebrating the power and faithfulness of his God. Declaration of Praise: The key to the entire song is verse 1. It consists of two similar sentences, each ending with a rhetorical question. “The Lord is my light . . . my salvation . . . the defense of my life.” Interestingly, David says God is all of this.

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The Shepherd Secures the Future

As David brings his song of the sheep to a close, having reflected on the Lord’s faithful care throughout his life, he then considers his future. Verse 6 – In his book The Shepherd Psalm, F. B. Meyer refers to “goodness and lovingkindness” as our “celestial escort.”1 Another commentator suggests that these are “God’s sheepdogs,” ever near His flock, ever nipping at our heels, always available.

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