Shut Mouths; Believing Hearts
Today’s reading: Psalm 68-69; Romans 3
4 More in number than the hairs of my head are those who hate me without cause; mighty are those who would destroy me, those who attack me with lies. What I did not steal must I now restore? 5 O God, you know my folly; the wrongs I have done are not hidden from you. Psalm 69:4-5
21 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. Romans 3:21-22a
The fear of God and the awareness of guilt revealed through His law shut self-righteous mouths and leave all mankind with no alternative than to flee to Jesus Christ for righteousness.
The Psalmist cries out in anguish for the injustice heaped on him, but, at the same time, he recognizes his own folly and wrongs. He knows that God knows them. He may have tried to hide them, but they are not hidden from the Lord. No one is completely righteous before God. True, some suffer great injustice, but such suffering does not blot out the record of sin committed and establish the sufferer as righteous before God. We are all both victims and perpetrators.
Paul tells the Romans that the law is given to shut our mouths and to hold the whole world accountable to God. Where can we turn? We can only turn to Jesus Christ through Whom the righteousness of God apart from the law is manifested. Salvation from the condemnation of the law is through Him for all who believe. In Christ, there is justification (the declaration that all debts are paid in full), redemption (the price paid to purchase freedom from slavery to sin and guilt), and propitiation (the offering made to satisfy the just wrath of God). It is a gift. It cannot be earned. It can only be received by faith.
Beware of trusting in your own works for acceptance before God. A careful look at God’s law and our own works will show that we cannot satisfy its demands. We can only shut our mouths and flee to Christ. In Him alone we find the gift of salvation which encompasses everything we need to restore us as God’s beloved children. Be sure you trust Him, not your works or a relatively better life than someone else, as the basis for your justification. We should have shut mouths and believing hearts.