21 “The Lord dealt with me according to my righteousness;
according to the cleanness of my hands he rewarded me.”
25 “And the Lord has rewarded me according to my righteousness,
according to my cleanness in his sight.” – 2 Samuel 22:21 & 25 (ESV)
Context is important. Referencing God’s strength and might by saying He is our rock and fortress appears frequently in the Psalms of David and others. But this song was written to remember the deliverance God gave him from all his enemies. It could be that David finished this song near the end of his reign. Once they were at war with the Philistines and not ordinary Philistines in this case. David’s army was up against the giants of Gath – the same tribe which Goliath came from. This occasion there were four giants and one in particular is identified in this way; “And there was again war at Gath, where there was a man of great stature, who had six fingers on each hand, and six toes on each foot, twenty-four in number, and he also was descended from the giants.” (2 Samuel 21:20) With God’s might and provision, David’s nephew, Johnathan defeated this monster. David’s army prevailed. David was not claiming to be righteous or sinless in any absolute sense. Rather, David believed God, and was considered righteous by faith. He desired to please the Lord and obey His commands. Thus he was blameless when compared with his enemies.
“And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ; having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.” – Philippians 1:9-11(NASB)
Paul wrote letters to the churches he helped start and in them he scribed some awesome promised packed prayers. This verse today is one and it is so full we can’t cover it all. But we focus in on the first requests in Paul’s prayer; ‘love may abound,’ ‘in real knowledge,’ and ‘all discernment. The word for ‘knowledge’ describes genuine, full or advanced knowledge. Our practical application of knowledge out of moral and spiritual perceptive is the exercise of discernment. This is our ability in love to distinguish between right and wrong. Paul prayed the Philippians’ love for other believers would abound still more and more and, run over as a cup or a river overflows. The Philippians were already known as a loving assembly of believers and the apostle prays that it would increase. The result would be advanced knowledge and spiritual sensitivity and discernment in their lives. Why does he pray this for the Philippians? So that they would be filled with the fruit of righteousness through Jesus Christ, to His glory and praise of God. Lest we forget, also that we would be able to stand blameless until the Day of Christ.
“To grant us that we, being rescued from the hand of our enemies, Might serve Him without fear, In holiness and righteousness before Him all our days.” Luke 1:74-75 (NASB)
The singing at Christmas time reminds us of the great things God has given us through His Son Jesus. This is in line with the songs recorded in our Bible before Jesus was born as well as when He was born. We look today at a song which Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist sang when his son John was born. A few days ago we looked at a portion of Mary’s song, The Magnificat. Today we select a passage from the prophecy by sung by, Zechariah. This, of course was just six months before Jesus was born. Our verses for today remind us about what God was doing in sending His Son to earth. Jesus came to earth to serve God in holiness and righteousness. He came to help us live pleasing to God through all our days. Jesus came to be our Savior to make our lives different so that we will bring glory and honor to God the Father and Jesus our Savior, God the Son. If He is your Savior, my Friend, He will help you live today in a way that pleases God. That is a promise.
“Only in the LORD, it shall be said of me, are righteousness and strength; to him shall come and be ashamed all who were incensed against him.” Isaiah 45:24 (ESV)
Today’s verse is an example of God giving to His prophet the very words that He wanted written down and delivered to His people. This is why it is correct to call the Bible the Word of God. We know that its teachings come from our creator. Sometimes God gave his prophets the words to say in various methods. One of those methods was to instruct the prophet to copy verbatim His words and deliver them as a message in God’s words. In this instance Isaiah received the Word of God directly from God. God predicted here what people would say about Him. If we are walking close to the Lord in our Christian life we can say what God predicted we would say. Yes, as we walk with the Lord we find that He is the source of our ability to live right. We find His righteousness keeps us in the straight way. It is how we find strengths that we need to do what we’ve been given to do. Walking close to the source of the promised strength, let’s commit to doing that today.