Scripture Nugget 6.30.2016

“In you, O LORD, I seek refuge; do not let me ever be put to shame; in your righteousness deliver me. Incline your ear to me; rescue me speedily. Be a rock of refuge for me, a strong fortress to save me. You are indeed my rock and fortress; for your name’s sake lead me and guide me, take me out of the net that is hidden for me, for you are my refuge. Into your hand I commit my spirit; you have redeemed me, O LORD, Faithful God. You hate those who pay regard to worthless idols, but I trust in the LORD. I will exult and rejoice in your steadfast love, because you have seen my affliction; you have taken heed of my adversities, and have not delivered me into the hand of the enemy; you have set my feet in a broad place.” Psalm 31:1-9

“A ‘broad place’ is one far from the enemies who would be otherwise pressing in.” (Wesley Study Bible notes, pg 662) A “broad place” or broad path makes for easy footing, one may move quickly, run actually since one isn’t worried about falling off a cliff or into a river. Being in a broad place brings safety and security as visibility is good, one can see far off, one’s enemies are kept at a distance, regardless of what those enemies are. Being in the presence of God, indeed is being in a broad place, a place of refuge, a place of safety, a place of redemption. Doctor Luke tells us that on the cross of crucifixion, “Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said, “Father into your hands I commend my spirit.” (Luke 23:46) From the cross! Stop, think through what Jesus has endured physically (not to mention emotionally, relationally, psychologically) during the past few hours. In faith, he proclaims what the Psalmist wrote years before, “Into your hand, I commit my spirit; you have redeemed me, O LORD, faithful God.” (Psalm 31:5) The cross is a “broad place”; Jesus found redemption on the cross, because he did, I/you/we find redemption at the cross. But let’s not kid ourselves that this “broad place” welcomes us to enter continuing to sin. No, it is by God’s righteousness we are delivered, redeemed, welcomed into the refuge, the strong fortress of God’s steadfast love. Yes, sinners are welcome, yes, sinners find redemption and salvation but only when they trust God to forgive their sins. A few psalms back, Psalm 23 we read about a “broad place”; green pastures, by still waters, where souls are restored, where God leads on right paths (broad places), where a table is prepared in the presence of enemies, anointing occurs and grace overflows. The last verse says, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD my whole life long.” (Psalm 23:6) The house of God – is a broad place! O God that I trust enough to enter into your presence (broad place) forsaking the sin in my life, accepting the forgiveness you offer, knowing you have redeemed me. “Happy are those whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. (Psalm 32:1)