Torchbearers for Christ
Monday, December 10, 2018
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Psalm 68:3: “But let the righteous be glad, let them rejoice before God, let them rejoice exceedingly”.

In this verse, God calls upon all those who are in a right relationship with Him to be glad and rejoice. This is a thought that is constantly brought before us in Scripture; righteousness and rejoicing. For example in Psalm 32, which deals with the blessedness of the man whose sins are forgiven, David ends the psalm with a burst of praise saying, “Be glad in the Lord and rejoice ye righteous, and shout for joy all you who are upright in heart (vs. 11). By way of contrast, the previous verse has a solemn warning, “Many sorrows shall be to the wicked”.

A wealth of good things is promised to those who are living in harmony with their creator. For example we read in Isaiah 32:17, “The work of righteousness will be peace, and the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever”. Again, in Ecclesiastes 2:26 we read, “God gives to the man who pleases Him wisdom, knowledge and joy”. These treasures are lavished on those whose first priority is to have a loving, intimate relationship with the Lord.

This is not to suggest that the Christian will not experience times of testing and trial. We are told that these will happen, but in every adverse circumstance of life God has assured us of His unfailing sympathy and support. Psalm 46:1 says, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble”.

To return to our theme of the blessings associated with righteousness, we might well ask just how a sinful person may become righteous in the sight of a holy God. To begin with, we learn from Romans 3:10 that, apart from those who have had a born again experience, “there is none righteous, no not one” and that all the world stands “guilty before God” (Romans 3:7). But the good news is that God has provided the means whereby guilty men and women may be accounted righteous in God’s sight on the grounds of faith in the Lord Jesus and quite apart from any effort of their own. The book of Romans abounds with this truth. For example, we read in chapter four of Abraham who “believed God and it was counted unto him for righteousness” (vs. 3) and also of David who describes “the blessedness of the man unto whom God imputes righteousness without works, saying ‘Blessed are they whose sins are forgiven and whose sins are covered; blessed is the man to whom God will not impute sin’” (verses 6-8). Receiving such a priceless gift on the grounds of simply believing God’s Word may seem difficult for many, because in the normal course of events we receive a reward as a result of our earning it (vs. 4), but God’s way of  blessing us is quite different. In Romans 4:5 we read “But to him that does not work, but believes on Him that justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness”.  This gift of righteousness is beautifully described in Isaiah 61:10, where we read, “I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness”. God, by His grace, assures us of His acceptance of us and then calls us, out of our love for Him, to live a righteous life and to serve Him with our whole heart. 

So, we conclude where we began in Psalm 68:3, “But let the righteous be glad, let them rejoice before God, let them rejoice exceedingly”.

This article was written by Pastor Geoffrey Davies. He is a frequent contributor to this column. He lives in Melbourne, Australia, where he pastored a church for over twenty-five years.  Since 1983 he has travelled widely, continuing his ministry of encouragement and Bible teaching.  

 Click here for Previous Messages from Pastor Geoffrey Davies.