- The Heart Revealed
- The Foundation Revealed
- More Blocks of The Foundation
- The Rest of the Foundation
- What Does It Mean to Call Upon God?
- The Surety that God Hears our Prayers
- The Answer of Our Prayers by God
- My Practice Before God – Part One
- My Practice Before God – Part Two
- Who is it That God Reveals Himself To?
- What God Does for His People
- Who is God?
- The Actions of God and the Results to Me – Part One
- The Actions of God and the Results to Me – Part Two
- The Actions of God and the Results to Me – Part Three
- The Actions of God and the Results to Me – Part Four
- The Actions of God and the Results to Me – Part Five
- The Actions of God and the Results to Me – Part Six
- The Actions of God and the Results to Me – Part Seven
- The Actions of God and the Results to Me – Part Eight
- The Actions of God and the Results to Me – Part Nine
- Praises to God – Part One
- Praises to God – Part Two
(Psalms 18:25-26) “With the merciful thou wilt shew thyself merciful; with an upright man thou wilt shew thyself upright; (26) With the pure thou wilt shew thyself pure; and with the froward thou wilt shew thyself forward.”
The key word in our text verses is the word “shew.” This word is used four times in these two verses. The Hebrew word translated “shew” is “a primitive root; to know (properly to ascertain by seeing); used in a great variety of senses, figuratively and literally, (including observation, care, recognition; and causatively instruction, designation, punishment, etc.).” This “shewing” (or knowledge of) is the direct revelation of God to the believer. There is no revelation of God to man unless this revelation come from above (Jn 3:27; Mt. 16:16-17). David said “…thou wilt shew thyself…” That is, it is God that is the Action of revelation.
But the beauty of what David wrote in these two verses is that David listed four characteristics which a man possesses, in which God reveals Himself in the believer. Three of the inward characteristics are inwardly present in the obedient believer. The last characteristic is inwardly present in the rebellious believer; the one who follows his flesh instead of the Spirit. This is revealed by the Apostle Paul in (Rom. 7:14-24); that even men of faith, as he was, battle the “old man,” or the “flesh,” after the flesh has been crucified in regeneration by the Spirit of God in the sinner.
However, these four characteristics are in no way the reason that God responds to the believer before regeneration and conversion. Man cannot make himself merciful, upright, and pure; for these three characteristics flow only from the Seed, Christ Jesus. Mercy, uprightness, and purity, or holiness, come only from God and not from man. When a man possesses these three characteristics; it is from the indwelling Christ; from Whom they have their Origin. Christ is the Mercy of God (Eph. 2:4; Titus 3:5). Christ is the Righteousness of God (1 Cor. 1:30). And Christ is the Purity (Perfection, Holiness) of God (1 Peter 1:16). It is to those who possess these characteristics, that God reveals Himself Mercifully, Upright, and Pure. All believers rejoice when they experience God’s mercy, uprightness, and purity.
The word “froward” has caused much misunderstanding in verse 26 because the translators translated two different Hebrew words to the same English word, “froward.” But, David used two different words. The first Hebrew word translated “froward” means, “crooked, or perverse”; this is used of men; but, never of God. David said “and with the forward”; that is the believer who is following his flesh in this context (where sin dwells; Rom. 7:14-24). Even when a man is given faith to believe in Christ as his Sacrifice, Substitute, and Savior; the “old man,” or the “flesh,” even though he is crucified; the flesh remains in the believer. The believer will be tempted all the days of his life by the flesh. The victory, or good news, is the old man (or the flesh) is not in control of the “new man” in Christ. However, there are times in the believer’s life that he listens to the flesh, and he sins in the flesh. To restore his fellowship with Christ, the believer must confess the sins of his flesh (1 Jn. 1:7-10).
The second word translated as “froward,” used in the last phrase of verse 26, refers to God. It is a Hebrew word which signifies “wrestling,” and designs God’s contending with His people. This “wrestling” of God is revealed in the word “chastisement.”
Thank God, when the believer gets off track from listening to his flesh, God reveals Himself in mercy to the back-slider. God uses chastisement with His Rod of Correction on the believer to correct him and to restore him (Heb. 12:5-11). His Rod is always grievous to the flesh. In fact, the flesh hates the Rod of God; for God’s Rod reveals to the believer that his flesh is a deceiver and his goal is to defeat and destroy the child of God. However, to the believer that is “exercised thereby, (that is by the process of chastisement) yieldeth the peaceable fruit of Righteousness (Heb. 12:11).
The wonder of it all is not that God honors His mercy, uprightness, and purity which He has implanted in the believer. But, the wonder of it all is that God comes to His wayward children with His Rod of Correction to show them that He “loves” them and they are not illegitimate; even though the rebellious child of God is following his flesh instead of walking in the Spirit. When God applies His Rod of Chastisement, it first appears to the child of God that God is mad and rebellious to him, and is acting like the rebellious believer is acting.
But, oh no, God is acting in Love and Mercy to the believer as God begins His changing and conforming grace in the believer’s life, to bring him to confess the frailty of his flesh, and the weakness of the flesh, and his sins of his flesh. Believer, it is under the correction of the Rod of God that you confess not only the weakness of the flesh; and the lack of growth in Christ; and the lack of rest in the Promises of God – but, those that are exercised by His chastisement, will yield the peaceable fruit of Righteousness. That is, that the chastened child of God will now yield the fruit of Holiness and uprightness, and will be led, and walk, and live in the Power of the Holy Spirit.
When the chastisement of God is worked on the believer – then the fruit of the Spirit is borne on the branches; and the chastised believer is assured that he is a child of God, and that he is in constant need of the power of God in his daily walk, and that he is to take heed wherein he stands, lest he fall.
This process is all important in personal sanctification of the believer; for therein is the growth in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ the Savior. Therein is the rest and peace of the believer when in the valley of the Shadow of Death, when all seems to be over – that God’s Rod is not to destroy him; but, to conform him to Christ. Thank God That He Comes To The Froward And Shews Himself Froward. Thank God that He watches over and superintends all of His Sheep; that He is the Good Shepherd; the Great Shepherd; and the Chief Shepherd of the Sheep. Christ has purposed, and will carry out His purpose, to conform His Sheep to the image of Christ. Hallelujah! Christ is the Security of the Believer; and the believer is not the security of his own position in Righteousness or of his hope of Glory. For this Hope is “Christ in you the Hope of Glory” (Col. 1:27)