"They are not all Israel that are of Israel'' is what Paul wrote in Romans 9:6. And it is likewise true that all who call themselves Christians are not Christians. Therefore, in Psalm 125:5 we read "As for such as turn aside unto their crooked ways, the Lord shall lead them forth with the workers of iniquity: but peace shall be upon Israel." They who "turn aside" are the wicked of verse 3. This will never happen to the true Christian. But there are in the church here below those who will leave when the world to which they belong tempts them, or comes with violent persecution.
The psalmist expresses a truth that we must not overlook. God will lead them aside into their crooked way. Notice that it is in their crooked way. God does not drive them into sin, but He drives them out of His church and into the sinful world of their liking. They had been hiding this love from the true Christians. And God does this to preserve His church. For He is around her like the mountains around Jerusalem, protecting her and keeping her safe. But He also does this so the church may have peace.
No, that does not mean that she will not be assaulted by the world. Were that the case the psalmist would not reassure the church that God keeps her unmoved like mount Zion. The closer we get to the end of time, the more enemies we will have, and the harder our life will be. But we will have peace in a twofold sense. As we sing so is it (PRC Psalter):
The men who falsehood cherish.
Forsaking truth and right,
With wicked men shall perish,
God will their sin requite.
From sin Thy saints defending,
Their joy, O Lord, increase
With mercy never ending
And everlasting peace.
The point is that we will have peace with God. His love, mercy, and grace will surround us. His thoughts of peace we shall enjoy. And that, come what may, will give us peace of mind. We will be sure His church shall not be moved but stand and soon inherit the new earth, and live with God in peace that passeth understanding.
Scripture reading: John 14
Psalter versification: #356:3
Song for Meditation: Psalter #171
Why not sing along??
Herman Witsius: "... it is necessary for every one who acknowledges Christ as his Lord, to renounce Satan, the world, sin, and even himself, that he may belong to none but Christ. It is absolutely impossible to serve at the same time two masters that are so contrary to one another, and the one of whom, at least, justly demands the submission of the whole man. Whoever belongs to Christ, doth not belong to Satan; he is rescued from his tyranny. ‘In time past,’ but only in time past, he ‘walked according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience.’ He doth not belong to the world; he is ‘delivered from this present evil world,’ and he has learned that ‘the friendship of the world is enmity with God’ (The Apostles’ Creed, vol. 1, pp. 359-360).
- Date: 7-July
Rev. John A. Heys was born on March 16, 1910 in Grand Rapids, MI. He was ordained and installed into the ministry at Hope, Walker, MI in 1941. He later served at Hull, Iowa beginning in 1955. In 1959 he accepted the call to serve the South Holland, IL Protestant Reformed Church. He received and accepted the call to Holland, Michigan Protestant Reformed Church in 1967. He retired from the active ministry in 1980. He entered into glory on February 16, 1998.