The end of October seems to be the season of the year when the underlying foundations of our world are exposed. Tree trunks are visible again as the leaves begin to fall. Road construction and pipe repair ramp up to beat the frost and remind everyone that our roads are made with hidden re-bar while pipes actually do exist beneath the ground. Meanwhile, harvest has ended and the black soil of the Midwest lies in wait for another season of planting. The earth is neither covered by blossom nor snow. All is exposed...for now.
Our daily reading from Psalm 89 this week brings us to an interesting picture which describes the underlying foundations of God’s character. “Righteousness and justice are the foundations of your throne; steadfast love and faithfulness go before you” (Ps 89:14). I would assume that if you asked the regular Christian what are the core foundations of God’s character, love and faithfulness would be at the top of the list. Yet, Scripture begins with something higher in mind: righteousness and justice. The exposed foundations of God’s Kingly character are ‘right-ness’ and ‘one who decides right-ness’. In other words, God is first of all completely good in character and action. Then, because God is fully good, love and faithfulness flow out of Him and lie before Him.
Now this is more theological than I typically write, but I think this distinction is important for our daily walk with God. These phrases are familiar to us: God is love and God is faithful. We sing, pray, and talk about them with our disciple-making friends. But how often do we sing, pray or declare that God is ‘just’ and ‘always in the right?’ I don’t know about you, but that strikes my heart completely differently. If God is always in the right, then I’d better pay more careful attention to Him! I’d better pay more careful attention to His character, as revealed in Scripture, and His mission, as revealed in Jesus. Perhaps, try this… The next time you begin to pray or read His Word, offer Him this simple phrase, “God you are always right and completely good.” Those words spiritually expose the self-centered tendencies that I too often bring to my Lord. If my attitude was humble and submissive more of the time, I might be more inclined to listen than speak or receive than beg. I encourage you to take some time this week to consider the 'righteous' and 'just' foundations of our God. Perhaps then we will be better prepared to see and express His love and faithfulness when they begin to blossom in and around His people.