“Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!”
Psalm 46:10 NKJV
This is the third time in about 12 hours this Scripture has popped up online before me. This time, it popped up when I opened BibleGateway.com while I was looking for a verse to use in this "Just a thought" section. It wasn't the verse I was looking for. It was their verse of the day. And not for the first time did it have me thinking... and this is my thought:
This verse speaks to my soul when I have ached to prove God. When I have longed to have the words needed to prove Him to someone questioning His existence. What comes to me through this verse is what God once impressed upon my heart: He does not need anyone to prove He exists. He can do that all by Himself when and if He chooses to. So, relax, know that He is God, and He will be exalted in a time He chooses.
God can take a hit. He has suffered much abuse. He has broad shoulders, He will take it, and at the right time, He'll make Himself known and hearts and eyes and ears and arms will be open. After all, He was there for us when we cried out to Him, wasn't He.
And that reminds me of something else that hits me through this verse. The first two times it popped up before me, "the nations" read as "heathens." And that reminded me of one of the worse things I am convinced we believers can do: Forget we were once "heathens".
Jesus said the world will know His followers by their love. It is written that we love because God first loved us. It is also written that we are to pay forward what God gives us: Forgive, as we've been forgiven; love your enemy... as He loved us while we were still sinners; etc and so on. However, unfortunately, it's not uncommon to see a 'believer' point the finger at a 'sinner', forgetting where they've come from and what God rescued them from.
God loved us while we were still sinners. God loved us while we hated Him. God loved us while we turned our backs on Him. While we were enjoying our sinful nature and flaunting it before His face, breaking His heart with it - because He knew we'd suffer for it in the long run - He still loved us. Hence, Jesus on the cross... Yet, we 'sinners' who have opened our hearts and lives to Him, can run the risk of forgetting all that, and we place ourselves in opposition to the 'sinners' we left behind, even going on to condemn them for where they're at. And I don't think we should, do you? Surely that is not love.
Imagine this: You're drowning. Your ship has gone down in the middle of the ocean after a mighty big storm that came your way, and now you're just about to give up and die. With one last breath, you let go of pride and gasp, "God, help me..." In an instant He comes. He sends forth His Son in a rescue boat and He saves you. Jesus lifts you up into the boat, breathes new life into you, removes your cold, wet rags, and wraps you up warmly in a new robe. He feeds you, gives you a drink, and new hope floods your soul. He then gives you His boat and, as He has been known to do, ;) He gets out of the boat and walks off to help someone else. In the meantime, you, who are oh so grateful for what Jesus has done for you, look over and see others near-drowning. You have a choice. You either pay forward what God did for you, or you condemn the drowning... (Too many of us have chosen to the latter. When He returns, I reckon He'll be asking us why...) What would God have us do? What would love do? What did Jesus do...?
What gets me most about pointing fingers and condemning and placing ourselves above others, rather than at their feet as Jesus did for us, we deny God before others. Just as love reflects God, the lack of it denies Him. And we believers will be held accountable for that, I'm sure.
So I turn back to this verse, humbling myself before God, asking that He deal with the self-righteous parts of my heart, asking that He would refresh my heart and memory of and with His love, reminding me what HE saved me from, reminding me of where I came from and the love He traded for my shame, so I do not strike the walking wounded.
We've all heard the noble statement, "No one gets left behind..." yet, at times, we Christians, we who claim that our God is a loving and forgiving God, who are called to love as He loves us, not only leave them behind, but condemn them to eternal death as well, all the while denying God before others... and denying others the right to see, hear and meet God, by our actions.
So I look to this verse to remind me that no matter how much we get it wrong, in due time, God will be exalted. The world will know Him... and hopefully they'll know Him for His love.