Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | March 21, 2016

Observations of the Elect: “You have put gladness in my heart, More than when their grain and new wine abound.”

Today’s devotion comes from Psalm chapter 4.

“Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness!
You have relieved me in my distress;
Be gracious to me and hear my prayer.

2 O sons of men, how long will my honor become a reproach?
How long will you love what is worthless and aim at deception?  Selah.
But know that the Lord has set apart the godly man for Himself;
The Lord hears when I call to Him.

4 Tremble, and do not sin;
Meditate in your heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah.
5 Offer the sacrifices of righteousness,
And trust in the Lord.

Many are saying, “Who will show us any good?”
Lift up the light of Your countenance upon us, O Lord!
You have put gladness in my heart,
More than when their grain and new wine abound.
In peace I will both lie down and sleep,
For You alone, O Lord, make me to dwell in safety.”  Psalm chapter 4.

—————————–

Reformed Doctrine teaches “Unconditional Election”, the “U” of “TULIP”, the Five Points of Calvinism, the Reformed Doctrine of Salvation.

Today’s Scripture reminds us of “Unconditional Election” by using the words “set apart” which have similar meaning as “elected”:  “But know that the Lord has set apart the godly man for Himself;  …”  Verse 3.

It may take us awhile to believe that we are elect, because obviously our 21st century names are not listed in Scripture.  Canons of Dordt recognize it by stating:

Article 12.  The elect in due time, though in various degrees and in different measures, attain the assurance of this their eternal and unchangeable election, not by inquisitively prying into the secret and deep things of God, but by observing in themselves with a spiritual joy and holy pleasure, the infallible fruits of election pointed out in the Word of God – such as a true faith in Christ, filial fear, a godly sorrow for sin, a hungering and thirsting after righteousness, etc.  FIRST HEAD OF DOCTRINE Of Divine Predestination.

From time to time, we may wonder along with the “many”:  “Who will show us any good?”  Verse 6.  But, then we realize more and more over time, that God is good to us and that God is our faithful Father and thus that we are part of His elect.

In today’s Scripture, David, the Psalmist, observed:

“7 You have put gladness in my heart,
More than when their grain and new wine abound.
8 In peace I will both lie down and sleep,
For You alone, O Lord, make me to dwell in safety.”  Verses 7 and 8.

These observations helped David realize that God indeed was good to him and that he was set apart by God.

Over time, to use the language of the Canons of Dordt, God causes us to more and more observe within ourselves “spiritual joy and holy pleasure, the infallible fruits of election pointed out in the Word of God – such as a true faith in Christ, filial fear, a godly sorrow for sin, a hungering and thirsting after righteousness, etc.”.

When we confess the Apostle’s Creed, we confess that God is good to us and that God is our faithful Father and thus that we are part of His elect.

Q. 26.  What believest thou when thou sayest, “I believe in God the Father, Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth”?
 
A.  That the eternal Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (who of nothing made heaven and earth, with all that is in them;  who likewise upholds and governs the same by His eternal counsel and providence) is, for the sake of Christ His Son, my God and my Father;  on whom I rely so entirely, that I have no doubt but He will provide me with all things necessary for soul and body;  and further, that He will make whatever evils He sends upon me, in this valley of tears, turn out to my advantage;  for He is able to do it, being Almighty God, and willing, being a faithful Father.”  Heidelberg Catechism.

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