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May 23 Daily Devotional

Strength in Weakness

the Rev. David Freeman

Strength in Weakness: A Meditation on the Eighth Psalm

Psalm 8

1 O LORD, our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.
2 Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.
3 When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;
4 What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?
5 For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.
6 Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet:
7 All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field;
8 The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.
9 O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!

Devotional

Man is a weak creature. What more is he than a worm? But a man only knows this when he places himself before God. In himself he thinks he is much. Every feeling of haughtiness, self-sufficiency, and pride comes only when a man forgets God. Those who have entered into God's presence are the truly meek and humble.

How majestic and great is God! His excellency cannot be comprehended in words. There fore it is befitting that a mere particle of dust such as man should stand in awe before Him. That heart is impoverished indeed that never exults in the greatness of God. When men grow so familiar with God as never to admire His character and feel abashed before Him, then their familiarity is not familiarity with God. Rather they are friendly with their own notions. The essence of true religion consists in a constant awareness of the nature and character of God. The God with whom we have to do is high, and mighty, and terrible in His doings.

Man Exists for God

God does not exist for the creature. Men may not address Him as they will nor bring Him down to the level of their tastes. But man exists for God. It is for him to please and obey his Maker. A religion that is not God-centered is no religion at all.

Without reverence and admiration for God, all prayer is hollow and empty, and all sacrifice an abomination.

God is the highest object in the universe. He is above all that is, above all time, space, and every category of being. Within Himself He is complete and perfect in grandeur and glory. There is no excuse for the modern lack of admiration of God. His glory and excellency are seen by the things which He has made. They plainly declare His exaltation and perfection.

God Is to Be Admired

There is so much in God to be admired. David's soul is overwhelmed, and he can only gaze heavenward in awe. Of all things in God which a sinful creature cannot fully comprehend in words is His marvelous grace. In nothing is God to be admired so much as in His condescension toward man.

Why should God notice man at all? Why should he have been created? God was perfectly complete and blessed without him. And when man fell, why should God still show to man a fatherly compassion and care? No wonder David was overwhelmed. His enraptured soul had not words to express fully such favor and mercy. It is in the mirror of God's special grace to sinners that man comes to see the exceeding greatness of His glory. For this, man's highest praise falls short. Whoever is not amazed at the miracle of God bestowing honor upon as vile and miserable a sinner as man is more than unthankful and stubborn,

(to be continued)


"Lift Up Your Heart" is a series of devotionals by the late Rev. David Freeman, an ordained minister in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church for most of his life. These devotionals, in fact, are part of the early history of our denomination. The first of them was published in The Presbyterian Guardian in 1935; the denomination now known as the Orthodox Presbyterian Church was officially formed in 1936. We believe that "the Word of our God stands forever" (Isaiah 40:8; see 1 Peter 1:25). Thus it is no surprise that meditations based on that Word have continued relevance today. Dr. Freeman's devotionals are proof of that fact.

David Freeman was a graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary (Th.B., 1928; Th.M. , 1930) and of Dropsie Univiersity (Ph.D., 1951). He served as pastor at Grace (later New Covenant) Presbyterian Church (OPC), Philadelphia, PA (1936-1946), Knox Presbyterian Church (OPC), Philadelphia, PA (1949-1962), and Grace Presbyterian Church (OPC), Fall River, MA (1962-1967). He authored many articles and (along with his son, David H. Freeman) is the author of the book A Philosophical Study of Religion, which appeared in 1964. He went to be with the Lord in 1984.

There is one change from the way the daily devotional was handled in the past with John Skilton's Think On These Things: New devotionals for the new series appear on weekdays only (Monday through Saturday. It is suggested that you use your pastor's sermon text(s) as the basis for your mediations on the Lord's Day.

We trust that you will find these devotionals, once again made available seventy years after they first appeared, to be a personal help in your own Christian walk today!

 

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