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  • Psalm One Hundred Eleven

    Praise God, all His children.
    I will praise Him with my whole heart.
    I will praise Him with the assembly of saints.
    I will praise Him before the people.

    The works of the Lord are great.
    They are sought out by those who love Him.
    They bring pleasure and comfort to His children.
    His works are righteous and glorious, and they will last forever.

    The Lord has made these works as a memorial to his love.
    His children will pass them on to their children.
    Our God is gracious and full of compassion.
    Our Lord has given us salvation and mercy.

    He provides the food for our bodies,
    and the promise of salvation for our souls.
    He has shown us His power in His mighty works.
    He has given us the lands of the heathen for our inheritance.


    The works of God's hands are His judgment and veracity,
    for His commandments are true and everlasting.
    They do not falter, they do not waver,
    they are the sign of the righteous and the faithful.

    God has sent His salvation to the people,
    He has set His covenant with the chosen,
    His word will last forever and for all time.
    Blessed be the name of the Lord our God.

    Respect for the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.
    Understanding of the commandments is the clothing of the wise.
    Keep to His commandments, and you will live a good life,
    remain faithful, and praise God for His love and mercy.


    Works made without hands

    We keep hearing about the works of the Lord, yet where are these great works? And how could they last forever?

    Solomon's temple didn't last. The Pyramids, the Sphinx, the Gardens of Babylon, the Colossus of Rhodes, all either faded into history or a mere remnant of their former glory. I understand even the Great Wall of China is showing signs of wear. Mt. Rushmore will eventually be worn down by the elements. Even the massive Crazy Horse memorial, when completed, will last only a thousand years or so. Everything we build on this earth is temporary.

    But God didn't make things that would wear out. God gave us commandments and a covenant, like an unbreakable contract, that never expires. In fact, He even updated it twice.

    Yep, twice. The original contract was made with Adam and Eve in the garden. It was simple.

    ”And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” - Genesis 2: 15-17 [KJV]

    (Side note for the ladies: This happened before Eve was made so if she had knowledge of the contract, it was second hand. If so, this business about the fall being her fault is a bum deal, don't you think?)

    Now when the serpent got Eve to eat of the tree, thus breaking the contract with God, He could have just torn it up and started over again. But God decided He would give them a loophole and promised to send a Messiah to deliver Adam and Eve and their descendants from sin.

    Many generations later, He got together with Moses after freeing the Israelites from Egypt and gave them another contract with more specific instructions. This time, it was Ten Commandments instead of just the one. Unfortunately, the Israelites couldn't keep that contract either. By then they had been infected by greed, lust, and a whole slew of bad habits either learned from the Egyptians or other heathen tribes. So God created an earthly copy of his throne, called the Ark of the Covenant, and told them if they would sacrifice on that altar once a year, He would continue to bless them.

    Finally, He came to earth in human form to establish a third contract. And this one is the easiest and hardest to follow. Easy because it involves no more than accepting the contract of Jesus' sacrifice for your sins. Hard because it is really difficult to live a purely Christian life when you are surrounded by the temptations of the world. But He has remained true.

    These are the works of the Lord. You can't take photos and mail them back to the family. They're personal, private, something to be kept in your heart and shared with others through your actions.

    Pretty cool works, I think.

    Fred
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