Regarding the Imprecatory Psalms

It is not open to us to renounce or ignore the psalmists, part of whose function in God’s economy was to make articulate the cry of “all the righteous blood shed on earth” (to borrow our Lord’s phrase).  But, equally, it is not open to us simply to occupy the ground on which they stood.  Between our day and theirs, our calling and theirs, stands the cross.  We are ministers of reconciliation, and this is a day of good tidings.

From: Psalms 1-72: An Introduction and Commentary on Books I and II of the Psalms by Derek Kidner; The Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries series (Downers Grove: Inter-Varsity Press, 1973), pp. 31-32.

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On Obedience to God

If we obey God, we must disobey ourselves, and it is in this disobeying ourselves wherein the hardness of obeying God consists. – Herman Melville (1819-1891), Moby Dick (1851)

100% God and 100% Man – Jesus Christ

The glory of the incarnation is that it presents, to our adoring gaze, not a humanized God or a deified man, but a true God-man – one who is all that God is and, at the same time, all that man is: one on whose almighty arm we can rest, and to whose human sympathy we can appeal. – Benjamin B. Warfield (1851-1921)

The Only Savior of Sinners

It was to save sinners that Christ Jesus came into the world.  He did not come to help them save themselves nor to induce them to save themselves nor even to enable them to save themselves.  He came to save them. – William Hendricksen (1900-1982) (italics mine)

On the Nature of the Book of Psalms

The Psalter, taken on its own terms, is not so much a liturgical library, storing up standard literature for cultic requirements, as a hospitable house, well lived in, where most things can be found and borrowed after some searching, and whose first occupants have left on it everywhere the imprint of their experiences and the stamp of their characters. – Derek Kidner (1913-2008), British Old Testament scholar

From: Psalms 1-72: An Introduction and Commentary on Books I and II of the Psalms by Derek Kidner; Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries series (Downers Grove: Inter-Varsity Press, 1973), p. 18.

Mirrors

[The] Word [of God] and [the] sacrament[s] are the mirrors in which God presents Himself for contemplation and the means by which He draws near to us. – Francis Turretin (1623-1687)

The Father Reveals the Son Through Scripture

Considering God as the Father, revealed and understood as the Father, He implants the knowledge of His own Son in those who hear Him.  Considering the One who comes from the Father as having the name of Son, and who is truly Son by nature, He declares the Father.  As the Son says to the Father, “I have manifested Your name to these men” (John 17.6).  Believers had come to know the Son, so He says that the Father’s name had been manifested.  We can also understand the Father as implanting within us the knowledge of His own Son, not through a voice roaring forth from above, echoing around the world like thunder (John 12.28-29), but with a divine act of enlightenment, shining within us and enabling us to understand the Scriptures, which have been breathed out by God.  As Scripture itself tells us with regard to the holy disciples, “He opened their minds so that they might understand the Scriptures” (Luke 24.45). – Cyril of Alexander (ca. 378-444)

From: Daily Readings from the Early Church Fathers, translated and edited by Nick Needham (Fearn: Christian Heritage, 2017).  Meditation for November 3 on Luke 24.44-45.

On Music

It won’t be just any song sung before the throne of God, as the words themselves make plain.  The song is so special that John calls it a “new song” which, in the Greek, means not merely a new song chronologically, but a new song qualitatively.  Every time this Greek term for new is used in the New Testament, it is in connection with salvation.  So, it is logical that those who are saved and filled with the Holy Spirit will sing a new song, one that is radically different from the world’s songs.  If there is anything tangibly new in the Christian life, it ought to be the songs that rise from our hearts as a result of the joy we have in submitting to Him. – John MacArthur (born in 1939)

From: What Does It Mean to be Filled with the Spirit? by John MacArthur (Panorama City: Grace to You, 2003), p. 6.

Yes, God Can Put You Back Together Again After Your Death

To the objections drawn from the scattering of the corporeal dust, the devouring of human flesh by brutes and cannibals, the words of our Savior furnish an abundantly satisfactory reply: “Ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God.”  For these human reasonings arise from an ignorance of the Scriptures and of the absolute and infinite power of God.  For whoever is firmly persuaded of both can easily beat back such cavils.

Truly, if the thing was to be measured by human strength, this would end the matter.  But, since it is a work of God, whose knowledge nothing can escape, whose power nothing can hinder, who can suppose this to be impossible?  It is as easy for God to restore to the dead their own bodies and to separate them from all other bodies (even of cannibals themselves, who may have devoured others) as it was easy to form the body of the first Adam out of the dust or to bring all things out of nothing.  If a careful and attentive head of a family knows well where each thing is to be found in his house, however large, why should God, whose wisdom and power are infinite, not know where the matter of our bodies lies concealed, since the whole world is far smaller to Him than the most contracted chest or case to any man?

Therefore, He can, by His almighty nod alone, recall these who, at any time, may have either been devoured by beasts or turned into ashes and dissolved in moisture or sunk in the waters or exhaled into air – nor is there any hiding place or cave or recess which is either concealed from the knowledge of the Creator or can escape His power.  For, as nothing vanishes into nothing and always, at least, a minute particle containing the seed of a new body remains, and which, wherever scattered and thrown, nature holds at least in her bosom and care – so she restores it to God asking it back.  Here belongs the passage of Tertullian [ca. 155-after 220]: “Not the soul alone is separated; the flesh also has its place of concealment: in the waters, in fires, in birds, in beasts, since it seems to be dissolved into these as if poured into vessels, if also the vessels themselves have ceased since it has flowed out of them also, it will be absorbed as if in a roundabout way into its mother earth, that it may again be recovered from her” (from On the Resurrection of the Flesh).  Besides, neither is it necessary for the essence of the same body that all its particles of dust be reckoned up and be united together in its new formation.  It is sufficient that the principal and more solid parts remain.  For every day, some particles perish from the body, some are added to it, and still we see that the same man remains. – Francis Turretin (1623-1687)

From: Institutes of Elenctic Theology by Francis Turretin; 3 volumes; translated from the Latin by George Musgrave Giger; edited by James T. Dennison, Jr. (Phillipsburg: P&R Publishing, 1992-1997), 3:569-570 (20.1.24)