New Years Resolution

Psm 40:6    Phil 1:20-21;   3:7ff

 

New Year’s Resolution:

 

 

We have once again entered into a new year.   The vapor, of which our lives consist, grows thinner, and dissipates.    Yet we always, by faith, look onward and upward with great expectation.   We do not know what this coming year will hold. But as we so often say, and believe, “we know who holds the future.”    We look at a troubled world, and know that the Lord is bringing about the culmination of the ages.   And that one day promised joys will be restored, and “…in my flesh I shall see God”.

  But, what joys, celebrations, hardships and heartaches, will we face this coming year?   In what ways, this year, will the Lord challenge us to “count it all joy when we fall into various trials…knowing that trial of your faith produce endurance”   An endurance that will be needed.  

  All of these things accompany us each year on this trek.   But unlike those who do not know the savior, our movements are bringing us somewhere…they are not dead ends…lost dreams…but earnest expectations and hope.

  As I studied through Psalm 40 over the last couple of weeks in preparation for a message on the “Song of Christ” out of Hebrews 10….I could not help but be drawn over and over to the phrase “my ears you have dug”.    Now I know that some see this as a reference to the law of the bondservant, some translations actually translate this as “my ear you have pierced”.   But I think that translation actually interprets that word, rather than translating it.   For the words do mean….”to dig” and it is never used, at least to my knowledge, in the scriptures as “to bore, or to pierce”.   In fact most times it is used in regards to digging a pit, or well.   It has the idea of tunneling into the earth.

 

There are other times in the book of Isaiah where the same phrase appears to be used, and the meaning appears to be the same.   Isaiah 50:5 where it says “The Lord GOD has opened mine ear and I was not rebellious neither turned away back.”   Yet the word again is different, but carries the same idea.

  Why so much wrangling over a phrase?   In the final analysis, whether we see it as the piercing of the ear, or the digging of the canal of the ear, the application remains the same.   It is the opening up of oneself to the will of another.   The clearing out of anything that obstructs your ability to hear and obey….or the placing of the ear to the doorpost, demonstrate to us the willingness of the individual to be open to His will.   And notice, it is the Lord who does it!!    “My ear YOU have dug”   Only by the work of the Holy Spirit, and hearts open to His work, can one begin to hear and understand the will of God for the life.   It is the presenting of ourselves to God that He might clear out anything that obstructs “…that you might know, what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.   And to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge.”  

  Then, of course, the Holy Spirit takes that phrase, and by inspiration brings it over into the new testament in its interpretative form.   With the perfect example of this openness to doing the will of the Lord, our Lord Jesus Christ.   And the Phrase turns from, “My ear you have opened” to “A body you have prepared for me”    The body of the great son of David, prepared for the incarnate son of God, and “unto us a child is born, unto us a SON is given”

  This is a challenging portion of the word all by itself.   A challenge to the believer in the Lord.   For Psalm 40 speaks of the man David….and the Lord opening his ear, that he might do the will of God.

  This is where the relationship was drawn in our texts to Philippians 1.   For the same idea stated in a different form is presented to us here.   

  Philippians 1 verse 20.   “…according to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed but that now also Christ would be magnified in my body, whether by life of by death.   For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain.”

  The Apostle Paul as a prisoner, facing possible death….had as his earnest expectation and hope that Christ would be magnified in his body….(it appears to me to echo, in principle, the words of Heb 10:5,   “A body you have prepared…”)  

  As Paul faces life, where the Lord had seen fit to place him, he did not loose sight of who he served.   His earnest ambition.   The thing for which he stretched out his neck to see. (the word earnest expectation comes from a compound word, made up of three words meaning, “away, the head, to watch”. )  It speaks of a head outstretched watching or waiting in great suspense.   It is like one in the midst of a crowd, standing on tip toes seeking to see something or someone elsewhere in the crowd.   Stretching themselves and their neck, extending it…so to see as well as possible.  

  The one thing that Paul stretched his neck to see, what he desired above all else, in his situation, was that Christ be magnified.   Oh that that would be our earnest expectation and hope….that the deep desire of our hearts, expressed in our actions, would be that Christ be magnified.    The word magnified here comes from a root meaning literally “to loosen” , or “to set free”.    It is the root of one of the words translated, redemption, or to redeem.   To loosen, or set free, by paying a price.   He desired that Christ be loosened in Him.   That in no way would He find an obstruction, anything blocking, His desire in the life of Paul…an ear “dug” as it were.   Open to Him, open to His instruction and will.   A “body prepared” for the masters use.    If my life will procure that, or my death, it does not matter to me…as long as your will is fulfilled in me.  

 

 

 

 

Do you want to talk about so called, “new year’s resolutions”?   Well here is one for you!! I resolve to open my life up to the master’s use.   To allow Him to dig my ear that I might hear, and obey.    That I might allow the Lord to have free course in my body, for whatever my bring Him glory.    That Christ be magnified, set free in me.   Be perfectly at home in me, for His good pleasure.    This resolution carried out in the life will bring to you, regardless of your circumstances, a Happy New Year.

 

KHH