Salvation’s Kiss

Scripture

Surely his salvation is near those who fear him, that his glory may dwell in our land.   Love and faithfulness meet together; righteousness and peace kiss each other.  (Psalm 85:9-10)

Observation

Psalm 85 recalls how in the past the Lord has restored the fortunes of his people (vss. 1-3).  He forgave their sins and set aside his anger.  The psalmist is now asking the Lord to do so again (vss. 4-8).  He pleads for the Lord to revive them one more time and with his unfailing love to grant them salvation.  In verses 9-13 he states his confidence that salvation is near for those who fear the Lord.  Salvation brings four attributes of God together: love, faithfulness, righteousness and peace. The psalmist describes them as embracing and kissing.  This is a poetic word picture of salvation.  It affirms to us that no matter how separated we are from God, all who fear him and call on him will feel the warmth of this embrace.  Where there is salvation, God’s glory dwells.

Application

Sin separates me from God.  He is righteous and faithful.  He will do what he has to do to cause me to turn from my sin.  He may even display his anger toward me as a way of getting my attention.  When I acknowledge him and turn from my sin, his righteousness and faithfulness wrap around me from one side and his loving-mercy and peace wrap around me from the other to give me the warm embrace of salvation.  That is when I experience the fullness of the Lord’s glorious presence and pleasure.

Prayer

Lord God, you are holy, just and right.  I do not deserve to even be in your presence.  Yet, you have loved me and have brought me into your presence.  You are loving and merciful.  Thank you for moving toward me.  Thank you for embracing me with the embrace of salvation.  I love you.

Ascribe to the Lord

Scripture

Ascribe to the Lord, O mighty ones, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength. Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness. (Psalm 29:1-2)

Observation

The psalmist wants everyone to acknowledge the One who truly is strong. To the strong and mighty, he says to recognize that God is stronger.  He is the One who is in glory.  God is the One who is worthy of worship.  We should worship him alone.  His holiness is splendid.

Application

There is no one or no organization that can compare to the greatness and power of Almighty God.  There is simply no way to even compare.  Only God is worthy of my worship. I will worship him in the splendor of his holiness.

Prayer

Lord, you alone are worthy of my praise.  You are all powerful. Glory and strength belong exclusively to you.  No other being in heaven or earth can compare.  I worship you. I submit to you.  You are the all powerful God and you are loving, compassionate, forgiving and merciful.  You are the God everyone wants and needs.  I love you.

Confessions of a Sinner

Here is another example of one of my SOAP journal entries.  This one is on Psalm 32.  Several famous verses can be found in this psalm: verses 1-2, 7 & 10 are all ones I have memorized.  However, these take on fuller meanings when read in context of the whole psalm.

Scripture

Therefore let everyone who is godly pray to you while you may be found; surely when the mighty waters rise, they will not be reach him. You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. (Psalm 32:6-7)

Observation

The psalmist recounts how as long as he refuses to confess and acknowledge his sin before God, he was wasting away.  The hand of the Lord was heavy on him.  But when he confessed and repented of his sin, he was forgiven.  Therefore, everyone needs to know that they should come quickly to God to repent and acknowledge their sin.  He will forgive.  He is their hiding place.  He protects them when trouble comes, when they are humble before him.

Application

I need to keep my life an open book before the Lord.  I can have several men in my life who act as accountability partners, to whom I can safely confess my faults.  And I do.  However, God must always be among them – he is my most important accountability partner.  I cannot hide sin form him.  Before him, there is nowhere to hide.  If I confess my sin, he will protect me from trouble.  There is no better place, no safer place, to be but on my knees before God, admitting my sin and asking for his forgiveness.

Prayer

Lord, I want to be a holy man before you – a man set apart and a conduit for your blessing to others.  Yet, I am a sinner. Reveal my dark areas, forgive me and make me pure.

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