Saturday, July 11, 2015


Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help,
Whose hope is in the LORD his God….  (Psalm 146:5)

There is pleasure in sin—that makes it tempting!  Scripture acknowledges this.  It is just that the short-lived pleasures are not worth the long-term price.  The Devil tries to convince us that living for Jesus is the most boring life imaginable.  We are told that God is a Cosmic Killjoy and Jesus came to make our life miserable.  Heaven is one monotonous church service going on forever.  The truth is Jesus said, “I have come that [you] may have life, and that…more abundantly.” (John 10:10)  Admittedly, there is a cost to following Christ, but it is an investment with dividends that are out of this world!  Eternal life starts at salvation and is experienced here as well as hereafter!  It is quality of life, not just quantity of time.  The Psalmist shows the three essentials for enjoying life.

The first essential is HAPPINESS, “Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help….  The source of true happiness is “the God of Jacob….”  Do you remember the story of the Prodigal Son?  That young man had a party for a while—squandering his inheritance in debauchery—but when the money ran out, so did his friends and lovers—and he found himself in a pigpen.  It was when he came back to his father that he found forgiveness, love, and a party to surpass all parties!  Thus, when the sinner comes to God, surrendering his or her will to His will that true happiness is found.  This is true, not only for those who have yet to come to Christ in salvation, but for God’s children who stray from His path.  They are the most miserable sinners—for they know there is a better life, and a loving Father chastens them, while the Holy Spirit convicts them. 

The second essential is HELP, “Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help….  These words suggest human inadequacy.  The Holy Spirit has chosen to mention Jacob here.  Jacob is the poster child of human inadequacy striving for sufficiency.  He continually tried taking matters into his own hands.  The result was a big mess leading to bigger messes!  Jacob always had a scheme up his sleeve.  His motto was, “God helps those who help themselves.”  That is unbiblical—and a recipe for disaster!  Instead, what we need is to acknowledge our human inadequacy and cry out for heavenly intervention.  In the words of the Beatles, “Help!  I need somebody.  Help!  Not just anybody. … Won’t you please, please help me?”  That Somebody is God!  There came the darkest night of Jacob’s life, where he experienced the final defeat as he wrestled with God.  In desperation, clinging to the Lord, his life was transformed.  God helps the helpless.

The third essential is HOPE, “Whose hope is in the LORD his God….”  We can live without many things, but we cannot live without hope.  Apart from God, we are hopeless (Eph.2:12), but in Christ we can be born again “to a living hope” (1 Pet.1:3).  In the new birth, all things become new—our perspective on this life and the prospects of the life to come are glorious and increasingly so!  Paul wrote in Col.1:27 that it is, “Christ in you, the hope of glory.”  Even in the storms of life we do not sink for, “This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast…” (Heb.6:19).  Enjoy!

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