Gospel Gazette Online

Vol. 12 No. 6 June 2010

Page 11

Does the Lord Laugh at You?

My daughter and her family have a little bitty dog named Bogey. Every once in a while, he will act “tough” with a bark full of bravado, attempting to sound menacing. When he does that, whoever is around usually cannot help but laugh at him. Sometimes, he thinks he is so much bigger than he really is. He is a gentle dog, so he does not attack anyone, but if he did, he would not be able to reach anything much higher than a person’s ankle. Though now and then he may think he is strong and powerful, he is actually small and vulnerable. Actually, unlike many dogs, I think that Bogie seems to realize that other dogs are a danger to him if they are a great deal larger than he is. Many of the little dogs that I have seen seem to have no idea that they are not big and powerful, like other dogs that may be around them.

Thinking about these things concerning Bogey turned my attention to the 37th Psalm where David pens these words, “The wicked plots against the righteous and gnashes his teeth at him, but the Lord laughs at the wicked, for he sees that his day is coming” (Psalms 37:12-13 ESV). It is an interesting picture to me to see God laughing at the feebleness of those who oppose Him and His ways. It has to be absolutely hilarious for Him to hear men who have so much confidence in their own finite intelligence (intelligence that God created, by the way) attack or deny Him, and try to find their own ways. It has to be something like watching little Bogey make an attempt at being “tough.” We laugh because we recognize Bogey’s limitations, and the ineffectiveness of his threats. God looks down and laughs when men rail against him, totally oblivious to the fact that they are nothing without God. The greatest strength of man comes nowhere near even the weakest portion of God. God’s “foolishness” is far greater than the greatest wisdom of man (1 Corinthians 1:25).

Sometimes, we who are attempting to live righteous lives can become discouraged when it seems the wicked are prospering. We forget that God is laughing at them, but caring for us. The Psalmist deals directly with this in Psalms 37: “1 Fret not yourself because of evildoers; be not envious of wrongdoers!” “7 Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices!” The wicked are the little “Bogeys” who think that they have strength that they do not, and believe that they have a victory that they have actually failed to gain. They measure success by things, and fail to realize that they are truthfully failures, even if they are rich (in this world’s goods) failures. “Better is the little that the righteous has than the abundance of many wicked” (Psalms 37:16). God knows what really matters, and God will give the ultimate victory.

In contrast to the evil man, the righteous man “utters wisdom, and his tongue speaks justice.

The law of his God is in his heart; his steps do not slip” (Psalms 37:30-31). When the law of God is in our hearts, we do not have to worry about the path that we are taking. The righteous utter wisdom, because they understand that it is not their own wisdom, but the wisdom of God that matters. The righteous truly are cognizant of the fact that they are dependent upon God, that they are not capable of directing their own footsteps (Jeremiah 10:23). They understand the words of the inspired poet, “The salvation of the righteous is from the Lord; he is their stronghold in the time of trouble. The Lord helps them and delivers them; he delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they take refuge in him” (Psalms 37:39-40).

Bogey, the dog, is a cute little dog. He is a good pet for our grandson, because he is small and gentle. It is alright for Bogey to think that he is bigger than he is. It is fine for us to laugh at his misconception of who he is, and of his own strength and “might.” However, it is not fine for us to think more highly of ourselves than we ought. It is not alright for us to believe that we are stronger, mightier and wiser than we truly are. Further, it is certainly a very serious matter if our God is laughing at us, because at the Judgment Day, He will not be laughing. Is the Lord laughing at you?

Godly Fathers

Raymond Elliott

Raymond ElliottOne of life’s greatest blessings and challenges for a man is fatherhood. This relationship involves the greatest joys and demands the best one has to give and often will include many sorrows. A godly father loves his wife and is loyal to his marital vows (Ephesians 5:25). He desires the best for his children. A father is industrious. He labors to provide for his family and the needs of others who lack the material things of life (1 Timothy 5:8; Ephesians 4:28).

The greatest contribution a father can make to his family is leadership in spiritual matters. In every age, the head of the family has been required of God to provide the proper direction regarding religious training. Modern fathers are most likely to leave this responsibility to the wife and mother. However, Paul exhorted, “And you fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but nurture them in the chastening and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4). It is a tremendous requirement to make sure one’s children are taught of God, but the rewards are everlasting. A Christian father may not be able to give very much materially to his children, but the legacy of having a father who loved his family and the Lord surpasses everything else. The greatest inheritance a Christian father can leave is one that is rich in faith in God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

We should never underestimate the love that a father possesses in his heart for his children. His emotions may not be as noticeable as the mother’s emotions; yet, the feelings are just as deep. Most fathers would give their lives on behalf of their families. Their hearts are filled with deep gratitude when they witness their children succeeding in life. The Christian father rejoices greatly when his children obey the Gospel of Jesus Christ. My father will be remembered for being a fine Christian gentleman. In addition, the legacy of having a good name has meant more to me than all the riches of this world. It was the wise man of old who wrote, “A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, Loving favor rather than silver and gold” (Proverbs 22:1) and “A good name is better than precious ointment…” (Ecclesiastes 7:1).

Godly fathers are rare in this modern society. However, we should always be thankful for the ones who are. Truly, you are blessed indeed if you have or had a Christian father who placed Christ first in his life. His influence in your life and even in the lives of his grandchildren will be felt for many years to come. Say, have you hugged your father recently?

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