“‘Good morning!’ said Bilbo, and he meant it. The sun was shining, and the grass was very green. But Gandalf looked at him from under long bushy eyebrows that stuck out further than the brim of his shady hat.
“‘What do you mean?’ he said. ‘Do you wish me a good morning, or mean that it is a good morning whether I want it or not; or that you feel good this morning, or that it is a morning to be good on?'”
– The Hobbit (New York: Ballantine Books, 1985), 17-18.
God, who has “established his throne in the heavens,” also crowns individuals with steadfast love (Psalm 103:19 and 5).
The One whose “kingdom rules over all” is the same One whose steadfast love is “from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him” (Psalm 103:19 and 17).
God’s sovereign rule over everything is not exercised independent from his steadfast love. In fact, God is continually demonstrating his steadfast love in his sovereign rule.
“You read your Bible regularly, of course; but do try and understand it, and still more, to feel it. Read more parts than one at a time. For example, if you are reading Genesis, read a psalm also; or, if you are reading Matthew, read a small bit of an epistle also. Turn the Bible into prayer. Thus, if you were reading the 1st Psalm, spread the Bible on the chair before you, and kneel, and pray, ‘O Lord, give me the blessedness of the man,’ etc. ‘Let me not stand in the counsel of the ungodly,’ etc. This is the best way of knowing the meaning of the Bible, and of learning to pray.”
– Robert Murray M’Cheyne, The Biography of Robert Murray M’Cheyne, Kindle edition, location 792.
photo: Flabber DeGasky
“A godly man loves the menaces of the Word. He knows there is love in every threat. God would not have us perish; he therefore mercifully threatens us, so that he may scare us from sin. God’s threats are like the buoy, which shows the rocks in the sea and threatens death to such as come near. The threat is a curbing bit to check us, so that we may not run in full career to hell. There is mercy in every threat.”
– Thomas Watson, The Godly Man’s Picture (East Peoria: Banner, 2009), 61.
The way Francis Chan talks about approaching the Bible in this video is incredibly helpful. I think this video could rightly be titled “The Attitude With Which You Are To Read Your Bible.”
I think this quote from the video (starting at 3:30) is absolutely fantastic:
“When we begin an argument with, ‘Well I wouldn’t believe in a God who would…’ Who would what, do something that you wouldn’t do, or think in a way that’s different from the way you think. Do you ever even consider the possibility that maybe the Creator’s sense of justice is actually more developed than yours? And that maybe His love and his mercy are perfect, and that you could be the one that is flawed? When we make statements like, ‘Well God wouldn’t do this, would He?’ do your understand that at that moment you’re actually putting God’s actions in submission to your reasoning. You’re in essence saying, ‘Well God wouldn’t think that way or act that way ’cause I wouldn’t act that way or think that way.'”