Today in God’s Word
1 Kings 8; Ephesians 5; Ezekiel 38; Psalm 89
Today in Psalm 89 we find that God rules from a foundation of righteousness and justice and, paradoxically, from this strong foundation comes forth steadfast love and faithfulness. Our great God has a costly love that first upholds righteousness and justice and therefore we have a loving Father who does not simply wipe away our record but who places the full weight of our guilt upon the willing shoulders of his Son. We have a suffering Savior who pays dearly in order to place his steadfast love and faithfulness upon us.
So our God starts from a position of being righteous and expecting righteousness from all (justice). But because of the richness of his mercy (Eph 2:4-5) he meets the requirements of this justice himself by self-sacrifice (Rom 8:3-4, ). Our great God seeks to make us holy but not by simply demanding it from us. Instead he performs it and nurtures it in us by his Spirit. We are not called to perform perfectly but we are called to acknowledge him and thank him for his sacrificial and undying love (Rom 1:21). Our place is to submit ourselves to this great deliverer who has loved us even when we were set against him (Rom 5:8, 10).
Enter Ephesians 5
A parallel that Paul calls a mystery is presented in Ephesians 5. Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself or her, that he might sanctify her…no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church.
Wives, submit to your husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church…
“33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.” (Ephesians 5:33, ESV)
It is about love and respect. We should indeed give both of these to God and to each other in marriage but there is a special place for men to be loving when they are tempted otherwise and for wives to be respectful when they are tempted otherwise. May the Lord teach us to find our strength in him that we can love as we should and respect as we should even when it is against the desires of our old nature.
Soli Deo Gloria!