November 03, 2014
From the desk of Dr. A.J. Higgins
The Psalm of the Contented Man
“Preserve Me O God, for in Thee do I put my trust.”
This prayer is often on our lips as we commit our day to the Lord. We are deeply conscious that we face temptations from without and, possessing a sinful nature within, need divine help to overcome all that we will face.
But there was no such need for the perfect Son of God. He was tempted with sin; but He was never tempted to sin. There was nothing within that ever responded to all that was presented to Him. There was never a struggle to overcome temptation. His replies to the suggestions of Satan were free of any internal anguish or struggle. He was pure within and without.
Yet, these words could be ascribed to the Lord Jesus in this Messianic Psalm. As a dependent man, He chose to move in this scene totally dependent on His God to preserve Him physically from all the dangers of life. As a babe, coming into the world, His life was sought by the jealous and cruel King Herod. As a babe, He displayed the dependence of a babe. Everything was “fruit in season” in His life. He did not rise up and intervene for Himself. His trust was in His God. While it is true that Joseph and Mary saw to His welfare, it was all at the direction of God (Matt 2). Self-preservation, the most basic of human instincts we are told, was not something He displayed. He was fully dependent as a man upon His God.
How beautiful must that dependence have been to the eye of God. Man’s first step away from God was an assertion of his independence. Adam chose to live apart from God. Since that moment in time, every person born into this world has begun life totally independent of God. As well, each chooses to live in that same manner, unless brought to God through the work of the Holy Spirit of God The last Adam came into this world to show the beauty of a man Who would live fully dependent on His God for everything.
Could any imagery characterize dependency more than that of which we read concerning Him: a babe wrapped in swaddling bands and lying in a manger? The great wonder of majesty and meekness combined in a dependent baby staggers our minds and drops us to our knees to worship. Here was One in Whom God found all His delight. Every virtue and moral feature was displayed in that small form, resting in the arms of an earthly teenage mother; yet, beyond that, resting in the care of His God. The wonder is that heaven was not rent at that moment in time to own, “This is My Son, in Whom is all My delight!”
- Did the Lord Jesus “passing through the midst” (Luke 4:30), deny His dependency upon God for physical well-being?
- In light of His dependency, what do His final words in Luke suggest (Luke 23:46)?