詩篇 147:10-11 神は馬の力を喜ばず、歩兵を好まない。主を恐れる者と御恵みを待ち望む者とを主は好まれる。

Reading the Japanese for verse 10, for the first time the verse makes sense! The English says, “nor His delight in the legs of a man.” The Japanese says, “nor does He delight in foot soldiers.” Horses were used mainly in battle, so everything clicks if the companion phrase is foot soldiers. Previously, I had the image of a runner on a racetrack! The point, of course, is that God isn't interested in human measures of strength or power. Why should He be, when He is omnipotent? Rather, He delights in those who recognize Him for who He is, and thus are ready to enter into relationship with Him. This is another passage where I wish the Japanese translators had used the character that means “deep respect” (for the word “fear”), rather than the one that means “terror.” God doesn't want us quaking in fear before Him, but we must not take Him lightly, either. We cannot have a right relationship with Him if we think He is going to pat us on the head and give us candy regardless of what we do. Likewise, we will not relate rightly to Him if we think He is going to be stingy, arbitrarily withholding what we need. We need to remember that He is both holy and loving.


I have the enormous advantage of having been raised by parents who modeled this kind of relationship with their children. I think that all 4 of us children knew that our parents delighted to give us good things and be nice to us, but we also knew that there were rules, and we had better obey them! Either side of that would have been insufficient without the other. That prepared us to understand that God is love, but that love isn't weak: it always goes for the greatest good, rather than the easiest path. My challenge as a pastor is that the majority of people I work with haven't had the same sort of advantage in this area that I have: their parents were either arbitrary, distant, indulgent, or some combination of those. That creates a major handicap when it comes to their relating to God, because of how strongly our physical fathers color our image of our heavenly Father. I need the wisdom of God and the anointing of the Holy Spirit to express the nature and character of God to them in ways they can understand, so that the truth will set them free from the lies they have believed. With that, I need to model Godly fatherhood. My physical children left the nest years ago, but I am a father figure to a lot of people right now. I need to be so in tune with my heavenly Father that others may know and understand Him through me.


Father, this is another challenge that is totally beyond me, so I turn to You. I ask You to destroy the lying works of the enemy in the hearts and minds of those I deal with, so that they may be set free to know You as You are, receiving Your full salvation and delighting in You, for Your pleasure and glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!


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