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Psalm 17:15; 18:29; and 26:11 Perspective

Author: Dr. George M. Flattery

Perspective

man holding eyeglasses

Thoughts about Perspective. 

Occasionally, it is wise for each of us to step away from our normal activities and meditate on our perspective.  Perspective is “the capacity to view things in their true relationships or relative importance.”  It means ”to see clearly.”  Sometimes we can see more clearly away from our work than right in it.

On one occasion Esther and I took some time away from work to gain perspective.  We stayed in an apartment overlooking Lake Geneva in Switzerland.  During my devotional time, I concentrated on reading the Psalms.  Several verses, in connection with perspective, struck my attention.

Three of these verses were Psalm 17:15; 18:29; and 26:11.  As I read these verses, I respectively thought of righteousness, achievement, and integrity.  There are, of course, many other passages in the Psalms that deal with these subjects, but these stood out to me.

We will discuss these verses over the next few days.  For your convenience, here are the verses: Concerning righteousness Psalm 17:15 says:  “As for me, I shall behold Thy face in righteousness; I will be satisfied with Thy likeness when I awake.”  Next, concerning achievement Psalm 18:29 declares:For by Thee I can run upon a troop; And by my God I can leap over a wall.”  Then, Psalm 26:11 says this about integrity:  “But as for me, I shall walk in my integrity; Redeem me, and be gracious to me.”

Our times of meditation often take us to points that need an emphasis on what we do and who we are.  Sometimes our meditation deals with our points of strength; at other times, the Lord calls our attention to points that need strengthening.  We can be grateful that the Spirit deals with us according to His will and purpose for us.  It may be that the Spirit will speak to you today about your perspective on important matters.

More Thoughts about Perspective. 

During times of meditation, we often think of serious issues of life such as who we are, what we are doing, our values, our motives,  trends in life and the church, and the fundamental issues of the gospel.  We think seriously about “being” as well as “doing.”

Many think that David wrote Psalm 17:15 and that he wrote this about the time that Saul had intensely persecuted him.  David’s perspective is based on righteous principles. He views all aspects of life through this prism.  Even when he had the opportunity to kill Saul, he did not.  In his perspective, it was not the righteous thing to do.

David states:  “As for me, I shall behold Thy face in righteousness; I will be satisfied with Thy likeness when I awake.”  David will behold God’s face in righteousness.  When he awakes, he will be forged into God’s likeness.  “When I awake” could refer to when David awakes out of the sleep and death of sin.  Or perhaps David is alluding to the life to come.  Whatever the precise timing, David’s perspective is based on righteousness.

The message of Psalm 51:11-12 is that the Holy Spirit sustained and guided the life of David.  Now, we have an even greater work of the Spirit in our lives.  It is greater because of the redemptive work of Christ in His death, burial, resurrection, and ascension.  The Spirit can now apply that redemptive work to our lives.  With this as a spiritual framework, our perspective can truly be molded by righteousness.

More Thoughts about Perspective. 

In my previous “thoughts” we talked about our perspective is based on righteousness.  Today, we will discuss our perspective in connection with achievement.  Every ministry deals with achievement issues.  Very often these issues are connected with whether or not adequate funding is available.  Even at a very personal and individual level, such issues arise.

Psalm 18 alerts us to our perspective and achievement.  Concerning this Psalm, the NAS calls it “A Psalm of David the servant of the Lord, who spoke to the Lord the words of this song in the day that the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul.”

Psalm 18:29 in the NAS version, says:  “For by Thee I can run upon a troop; And by my God I can leap over a wall.”  The NET translation says: “Indeed, with your help I can charge against an army; by my God’s power I can jump over a wall.”  David felt that with God’s empowerment, he could lead his forces to victory over all opposition.  He could successfully charge the opposing armies.  Even a wall could not deter him and his troops.

As we plan for the future of our ministries, this is an encouraging verse.  When we have determined the will of God, we can move ahead with faith and confidence that God will be with us.  Our perspective will be that God will be with us and that we will conquer any difficulties.  Amazingly, we can be junior partners with almighty God!

More Thoughts about Perspective. 

In my previous “thoughts” we discussed several of the connection of perspective with righteousness and achievement.  Today, our thoughts turn to perspective and integrity.  David said, But as for me, I shall walk in my integrity; Redeem me and be gracious to me” (Psalm 26:11).  When you walk in integrity, your perspective will be in harmony with integrity.  Your perspective will guide you in doing what is right.

We can use the term “integrity” in two ways.  One use of the term has to do with honesty and uprightness.  For a person in the office, this means, for example, that one does not take bribes.  Going further, everything shall be done truthfully, justly, and mercifully.  Justice is not perverted.  This is the way that David used the term integrity.  He pledged that as king he would walk in integrity.  Although he was not without flaws, he was a righteous king.

Another use of the term “integrity” has to do with wholeness.  An organization has integrity when what it does fits with its purposes and goals.  Every aspect of what it does fits with the entire picture of its reason-for-being. This does not mean that we never do something new or something unexpected.  However, in our minds, what we do should fit with the larger picture. Our perspective will be guided by integrity in the sense of wholeness.

More Thoughts about Perspective. 

When I started my discussions of perspective I mentioned that Esther and I took some time to gain perspective and to study French. We lived for a few weeks in Lutry, Switzerland in an apartment overlooking Lake Leman (Lake Geneva).

Across this lake was the city of Evian, France, and other small villages along the coastline.  At night when the sky was clear, we could see the lights of the villages and particularly of Evian.  It was always a beautiful sight.  Often in the stillness of the night, I would look across the lake, observe the lights, and pray that the Lord would help us reach Evian and the other cities of France and the world.  The lights of Evian became for me a symbol of the unreached people of Europe and indeed the world.

Sometimes the fog would roll in. I noticed then that only a thin line of lights along the shore was visible.  I thought of the song, “Let the lower lights be burning.”  Typically, a lighthouse has upper and lower lights.  In addition, there are lower lights along the shore.  The lower lights are needed to guide the ships through proper channels.  They are especially needed when fog and storms come in. Usually, despite fog and storm, the lower lights can guide the ships.

Christ is the upper light.  We are the lower lights through whom the gospel shines to a world in need.  The songwriter exhorts us to trim our feeble wicks so that the light might shine more brightly from us. Today, let us trim our feeble wicks and let the light shine across the waves to the lost, the suffering, and the shipwrecked.

It gives me great joy to know that our two sons and their wives are brightly burning lower lights to reach France and beyond.  George and his wife, Debbie, are planting churches in France.  Mark is preaching and proclaiming the gospel via the Internet.  The outreach includes France.  Mark’s wife, Amy, is leading many teaching tours of Israel.  Through them, as well as many others, the lower lights are burning . . .  As they burn brightly, Esther and I rejoice!

George M. Flattery, Ph.D., is the founder of Global University and Network211.

Excerpts transferred from a series originally posted on Dr. George's Facebook.

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