“Many plans are in a man’s heart, But the counsel of the Lord will stand. What is desirable in a man is his kindness, And it is better to be a poor man than a liar. The fear of the Lord leads to life, So that one may sleep satisfied, untouched by evil.” – Proverbs 19:21-23 (NASB)
In the beginning God and man were as one. But ever since the fall, man’s devices and God’s counsel are at opposition. There is no doubt which will triumps. “There is no wisdom, nor understanding, nor counsel against the Lord. My counsel shall stand, and so I will do all my will.” (Proverbs 21:30) The privilege of doing good is within the reach of all. For when the poor fails, the desire of a man is his kindness, as acceptable as the most expensive proof of love. Such a desire is far better in the sight of God, in the heart of one of his poor people, than a man with large opportunities and hollow professions, who proves himself to be a liar. The poor gives readily. The rich cannot afford for he denies that he has the ability though he promises, he does nothing. With the grace of the gospel, we cultivate awesome respect. Threefold fruit is the promise set before us—life, satisfaction, security. It leads to life—not the mere natural life, common to the unbeliever—but a heavenly—an eternal life, in the favor and enjoyment of God.
“Blessed is the one you choose and bring near, to dwell in your courts! We shall be satisfied with the goodness of your house, the holiness of your temple!” Psalm 65:4b (ESV)
When David the psalmist wrote these words of praise to God, he was thinking of the blessings which comes to God’s people as they worshiped in the Tabernacle and later the Temple. The psalmist references these places as God’s courts. In the time these places of worship existed, it was the place where God would dwell among His people. It is the Lord God who chose Israel and who choses us and brings us near to him. We can apply these words to our experience of belonging to God’s family today. We are members of God’s household and we experience many good things because of it. As our verse says we are satisfied with the goodness God provides. We need to remember each day and be thankful that we are blessed because we belong to God’s family. He is our heavenly Father and He takes care of us as we live here on earth. If we open our hearts to Him to fill us, he will fill our lives each day with His blessings. Then we can say as the psalmist said, we shall be satisfied and give God the glory for all He has done.
“My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 2 He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. ” – 1 John 2:1-2 (ESV)
In today’s verses we have a couple of high dollar words. Most of us know the word “advocate” and likely use it from time to time. But few of us have cause to use the word “propitiation.” Both words are packed with significant promises for us. Advocate: likely brings to mind the idea of an attorney, especially as counsel for the defense. An accused person needs good counsel and for that they hire an attorney. This word is also used and translated as “helper” because its literal meaning is “one called alongside.” Jesus is our advocate when Satan accuses us of our sins. Propitiation: He paid the price for us and His sacrifice on the cross is the propitiation for our sins. Our Advocate declares his word was “satisfactory” to answer the demands of our sins. What Jesus did for us, when he died in our place was an “appeasement” that promised to satisfy the demands of our holy God for the necessary punishment of sin. This propitiation is available for all those in the whole world who believe, repents and confesses their sins. Jesus took the punishment and makes the appeasement available as a promise.