Thursday: Through the Eye of Faith
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Psalm 8 is one of the best-loved of the psalms. To David, as a believer in God,

Image © Janet Hyun from GoodSalt.com

Image © Janet Hyun from GoodSalt.com

the Creation spoke of the Lord’s majesty and love. What specific lessons did David see in the Creation, as recorded in Psalm 8? Also, considering what we know about the creation today-the moon and the stars and so forth-in contrast to what was known back then, why should David’s words seem even all the more remarkable?

Only in the last hundred years have we really come to begin to grasp the vastness of the cosmos and, hence, our physical smallness in comparison. One can’t even imagine someone like David, apart from divine revelation, having any idea of just how big the “heavens” were. If he was in awe back then, how much more so should we be, knowing that despite the size of the universe, God loves us with a love that we can’t even begin to fathom?

Read Psalm 19:1-4. What did David see in the heavens?

Many have looked up at the stars at night and recognized the greatness of God and the smallness of humanity and have praised God for His care. Others have focused on the problem of evil in nature and blamed God for the problems that are, in fact, the result of their own choices or of the devil’s activities.

To the believer, the creation truly speaks of God’s care, even amidst the evil introduced by Satan. Yet, even as powerful of a testimony and witness that the created world is, the revelation is incomplete, especially due to the results of the Fall and the curses it has brought.

Read John 14:9 and then think about Jesus on the cross. Why must the Cross always be the main revelation to us of the nature and character of God?

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Thursday: Through the Eye of Faith — 10 Comments

  1. David saw God's glory, His wisdom. His greatness, His handiwork, His voice when he looked at the heavens. When we look at nature, though marred by sin, we can still see the love of God. Sin has altered our understanding of God therefore Christ came to reveal to us the Father. "He that hath seen me hath seen the Father." he says. His very life was an expression of God's love and His will for us. A God whose love is so great that He is willing to make the greatest sacrifice to redeem a world that was severed from His love.

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  2. How often do we allow the devil to put a veil over our eyes ,so we become blinded to the great God that we serve. When I look on the things that our great God has created, the stars, the moon, the sun, the trees, the sea I wonder why do we always try to even do things for our selves without approaching such great wisdom. To know Him is to love Him, to
    love Him is to obey Him, to obey Him is to trust Him.

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  3. We doubt the greatness of God but when bad things happen was asked how can he let such a thing happen. People say things like, oh if God is just a loving God why are there so many people in the streets, homeless, on drugs. Most of these things to a certain extent had to do with the choices that we've made. A lot of times it's just bad the situations we found ourselves in but I don't think it's fair to blame God but we do because that's the easiest thing to do.

    Great lesson

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    • we forget when we sees people suffering God is suffering with us. It is satan that wants to hurt God so he causes us to hurt knowing it will hurt God more, and yes a lot of time it is due to our own choices we mad, God said He will not keep us from the concequences of our sins, but He will walk with us through them He will never just leave us alone to face any of them alone. for He loves us today and always.

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  4. Why must the Cross always be the main revelation to us of the nature and character of God?
    The cross is not the main revelation! Christ is.The cross points to Him. The Bible points to Him and Nature with all its limitation points to Him.
    And still when all eyes are focus on Him, he points to the Father.
    It is the kindness of this beloved God that leads men to repentance.

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    • Dear Garfield,

      When Christian writers say that "the cross" reveals the character of God, they are using "the cross" as a symbol for the self-sacrificing character of Christ. They are not referring to a mere wooden instrument of death.

      I see Christ's suffering and death in our stead as the clearest revelation of the self-renouncing character of God.

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      • Inge, I understand what you are saying and I agree with you. I only wish that there was a better term to use than "self-renouncing" which carries with it the idea of a self put-down.

        When I look at statements by Jesus such as "you shall love your neighbor as yourself" (Matt. 19:19 NKJV) to me He is not saying to love our neighbor and trash ourselves but rather to hold our neighbor up on the same level we do for ourselves. We do that because we are made in His image and He died for us, "therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows" (Matt. 10:31 NKJV).

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        • Thanks for your thoughts, Tyler.

          I agree that Christ didn't mean for us to trash ourselves. At the same time, it seems to me that Christ's statement of the second great Law assumes self-love. It doesn't command it. Christ recognizes that we have self-love by nature, and we protect self very fiercely. (While society often describes criminals as having "low self-worth," an actual study of incarcerated persons found that they had a very high view of themselves. Sorry I don't have the reference handy. I remember it from a book by Jay Adams on Christians and self-esteem.)

          I don't believe there is a better phrase than "self-renouncing" to describe the death to self, to which Jesus called us when He said, "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me." (Luke 9:23)

          When we are dead to self, we no longer think of self. It may seem paradoxical, but self-put-downs are actually an evidence of a focus on self, as are feelings of being "not good enough." They go along with being "sensitive," and being easily offended.

          Years ago I recognized from my own experience that feelings of "low self-worth" were a result of self-focus and that focusing on others and especially focusing on Christ and His work on this planet displaces such feelings. Satan wants us to focus on how bad we are and how hopeless we are, hoping to lead us to suicide. And if we could enter the minds of those who commit suicide, I believe we would usually find a strong, almost exclusive self-focus. (But there are exceptions to every rule.)

          It is one of the paradoxes of the gospel that genuine happiness and what the world might call "self-fulfillment" is found only in a life of service. And genuine service focuses on the service to be done, not on self.

          If we are "dead to self," will not think of self at all. We will not say how bad we are or how good we are. We will not feel self-exaltation, nor will we feel discouragement. Nor will we be easily offended. Come to think of it, when Paul writes of genuine love or "charity" in 1 Cor. 13:4-8, he is describing a condition of being dead to self and alive to God.

          And Paul also describes this condition when he writes, "I am crucified with Christ. Nevertheless I live. Yet not I, but Christ lives in me." (Gal. 2:20)

          The fact that we all experience times of self-exaltation, times of discouragement and times of being offended just goes to show that we are not "dead to self," and we need to go back to the cross to have Christ crucify the self in us, so that He may give us transformed hearts.

          The very foundation of the government of God rests on the foundation of self-renouncing love, as Ellen White so beautifully puts it:

          "It will be seen that the glory shining in the face of Jesus is the glory of self-sacrificing love. In the light from Calvary it will be seen that the law of self-renouncing love is the law of life for earth and heaven; that the love which “seeketh not her own” has its source in the heart of God; and that in the meek and lowly One is manifested the character of Him who dwelleth in the light which no man can approach unto." Desire of Ages, p. 19

          A wonderful expansion of this "law of life for earth and heaven" is found in the Sermon on the Mount. (Matthew 6:1-7:27) And I highly recommend the practical application of this in the book, Thoughts from the Mount of Blessings.

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  5. Inge,

    Thank you for all those ideas. My brother was in prison and jail. He wouldn't work and didn't take part in getting better. When he was out, he wouldn't go to meetings or a home to recover from his alcoholism, because he was not like the other guys, he was better than them. He had been beaten up several times, one time almost to death. Nothing could affect his thinking. I began to see the arrogance in him and other "poor" people.

    I agree with you about this, "If we are “dead to self,” will not think of self at all. We will not say how bad we are or how good we are. We will not feel self-exaltation, nor will we feel discouragement. Nor will we be easily offended." And that is something I needed to hear!

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