severe righteousness

Psalm 65:5-8a
By awesome deeds in righteousness
   You will answer us,
O God of our salvation,
You who are the confidence of all the
   ends of the earth,
And of the far-off seas;
Who established the mountains
   by His strength,
Being clothed with power;
You who still the noise of the seas,
The noise of their waves
And the tumult of the peoples.
They also who dwell in the farthest parts
   are afraid of Your signs…

Charles Spurgeon comments on the text of the preceeding verses regarding the awesome (in the sense of terrible and awe-inspiring) deeds of the God of our salvation: His judgments, in their severe righteousness, are calculated to excite fear in friends and foes. Who would not fear a God whose blows are so crushing? We do not always know what we are asking for when we pray. When the answer comes…it is possible that we may be terrified by it. Yes, we may tremble at the answer, but it is His answer. Knowing that He is our Abba, Father, and Friend…good and perfect beyond our understanding…we can extend our trembling hands to receive the answer He imparts in His Wisdom.

Spurgeon then provides us some sobering examples of God’s severe righteousness in His answers to our petitions:

We seek SANCTIFICATION,
and TRIAL is the reply.
We ask for MORE FAITH,
and MORE AFFLICTION is the result.
We pray for the SPREAD OF THE GOSPEL,
and PERSECUTION scatters us.
Nevertheless, it is good to keep asking,

for nothing the Lord grants in His love
can do us any harm.
TERRIBLE things
will turn to
BLESSED THINGS
when they come in answer to prayer.

Prayer
O Father, You are my Protector and my Afflictor, my Friend and never my enemy. May it please You to bestow upon me the grace needed to sustain me through my trials. When You bring affliction grant that it would increase my faith and dependence on You. I ask these things through my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

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