This chapter is about companionship and marriage. The author describes a trip to Europe where he saw spectacular scenery in Switzerland but had no-one to share it with. “God did not design us to experience life alone” (Gen.2:18).
We crave companionship but we were created originally for fellowship with God, the fellowship that is enjoyed in the Trinity, and the fall destroyed that and our relationships with each other. Selfishness creates conflict in marriage. He quotes the example of a mega-rich businessman whose job priority was at the expense of family. “It is family and friends that make this life so special. We must invest our time in the things that matter most–God, family, and friends.”
God’s law commands us to love him and our neighbour. Counterfeit love is lust. “Love seeks the betterment of others while lust is for the satisfaction of self.” “Lust has more in common with hate than love, it uses people for personal pleasure then throws them in the wastebasket after their resources are used up”–witness Amnon and Tamar (II Samuel 13). Real love is from God and is supernatural (I Cor.13)-love will sacrifice without seeking to receive. “A loving mother understands it is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35). Love delights in bringing joy and blessings to others. To love someone and to be loved by someone is the most treasured of all blessings.”
But even the best earthly relationship falls short. We need the love of God because his love is perfect, unconditional and unchangeing. Out of sheer love Christ gave everything for his people (Rom.5:5,8, 2:4, 8:31-39). We were saved to enter covenant love with God and his people–the fellowship of the saints. Heaven needs no marriage because the earthly type is swallowed up in the reality it typified, namely the marriage of Christ and his church.
Further reading: Keeping God’s covenant (Engelsma/Hanko), Communion with God (John Owen), Handle with Care (Dr Julian Kennedy), Walking in the Way of Love (Nathan Langerak)
We are often told about sportspeople or teams or managers that they are confident of winning. Where is their confidence? Usually it is in themselves and their own ability!
Confidence means to have faith in and rely on yourself or someone else with the assured certainty of your own ability or their help. The middle three letters of the word point to faith (fidei) and because for the Christian our Lord maintains this bond of faith with us, we actively respond trusting him to lead us into victory over the world, flesh and devil. We should be confident people! We boast in the Lord (Jeremiah 9:23,24). Our faith overcomes the world! Let us always be confident in him-he is our omnipotent, loving Father and we are united to his omnipotent, loving Son. We are united to both and indwelt by his loving omnipotent Spirit. We must never underestimate the power at work in us!
In II Kings 18:19 the blaspheming Rabshekeh of the King of Assyria poured scorn on King Hezekiah for having confidence in his God. But his confidence in God was not misplaced as his angel smote 180,000 of the enemy in one night!
The writer of proverbs encourages his son with these words, “ For the Lord shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken.” Proverbs 3:26
“For thus saith the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength” Isaiah 30:15.
Our confidence must be in God alone, not ultimately anything we have or own, or any other people.
Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church, Singapore
Professor. Russell Dykstra 19th August 2018
Prayer is a privilege and a lifelong blessing!
Luke 11:1-13 Heidelberg Cat. L.D.45
A vital and precious NEED, INDISPENSIBLE
Covenant fellowship (communion), worship and expression of thankfulness.
- We must know him, ask according to the model prayer and for what is needed.
- We are dependent creatures with material and spiritual needs (grace/Spirit/our calling/life’s hardships).
- We are sinners needing forgiveness and cleansing.
- It is hard because it is SPIRITUAL and we are EARTHLY!
- We shall be heard.
Contrary to what RD says it may contain apparent trivia (God is interested in the minutiae of life) and be spontaneous, informal and just by “shooting” a thought to heaven (Nehemiah 2:4).
Message by Rev. Martyn McGeown at CPRC on Ephesians 3:17b-19. How true knowledge of the immensity of Christ’s love has a transforming effect on Christians.
“…yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth.” Luke 11:8
Importunity means a persistent plea.
Good Web Article