Bible Ballistics: Vol4 #9 Deep or Wide-vs-Deep and Wide?
I was thinking this week about our ‘stature’ before God. In Daniel chapter 3, we see Nebuchadnezzar building a golden statue (or idol) that all were called to worship. This was sometime after the dream that Daniel interpreted for him about the ‘statue’ in chapter 2.
If you remember Daniel told Nebuchadnezzar:
Daniel 2:38, “And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all. Thou art this head of gold.”
Nebuchadnezzar seems to have obsessed on this ‘head of gold’, and some time after the interpretation was given, Nebuchadnezzar built a statue (presumably in his own image), and called all people to worship it. That would have been interesting enough, but something else amazes me. He was apparently so focused on himself, that he built it approximately 90 feet tall and only 9 feet wide!! That amazes me, and I couldn’t help but make a comparison to the way we often order our own lives. I would like to contrast two extremes and see if we can use this them to examine our walk with the Lord.
The first question. Am I building a balanced life with and before God? Or am I out of proportion in some way. Am I 6 inches wide and 60 feet tall? Or am I 60 feet wide and only 6 inches tall? Absurdity? Yes, but let’s take a closer look at our lives.
Am I a slab Christian, or maybe a pinnacle Christian? Balance before the world or extremes?
Let’s look at the word.
Psalm 1:1-6, “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. 2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. 3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. 4 The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. 5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. 6 For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.”
Here we see God, through the Psalmist, make a contrast for us between the righteous and the ungodly. How does this passage describe the ‘righteous’?
He (or she):
Walks not in the counsel of the ungodly (world)–
Doesn’t stand around with sinners (opposed to God)—
Doesn’t sit with the scornful (contempt for God).
delights in the law of God–
meditates on God’s law day and night.
The results are, he:
Shall be like a tree planted by the river–
Shall bring forth fruit in the proper season—
His leaf shall not wither—
His righteousness will prosper (not a reference to $$$).
In contrast, the ungodly are:
LIKE CHAFF (not genuine seed/fruit) which the wind drives away.
The result of these two life-choices is clear—
Who WILL STAND and who will NOT!!
“Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
6 For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous:
but the way of the ungodly shall perish.”
So in conclusion, let’s ask some questions.
Are you a growing, flourishing Christian—(like the tree)
Growing by the rivers of water
In God’s Word,
yieldedness to the Holy Spirit?
Growing tall and wide,
planted deep in God,
exercising your personal dependence on Him?
What’s the difference?
Will you topple over from being exalted in your own eyes, and becoming taller than the foundation upon which you are built?
Are you full of ‘knowledge’ and spreading out everywhere but with no depth of soil or soul, whereby you can grow and expand in usefulness to God and others?
Or are you balanced in all you ways?
Are you walking with God,
avoiding the evil,
growing like a tree—
planted by God,
grown by God and
rooted deeply IN God—
Proverbs 3:5-8, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. 7 Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil. 8 It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.”
Like chaff—look good but not genuine (Psalm 1)
Like those saying ‘lord, lord….didn’t we’…(Matt 7)
Like Neb’s statue—full of self and out of proportion (Daniel 2)
Or like Psalm 23? (Portions of the chapter)
is my shepherd;
I shall not want. …
lie down in green pastures: …
leadeth me beside the still waters. …
restoreth my soul: …
leadeth me in .. righteousness …
I will fear no evil: …
they comfort me. …
anointest my head…
my cup runneth over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.”