Posted by: dhkrause | July 8, 2018

Love that is Better than Life

Psalm 63_3-4 (2)

What kind of love would cause a person to declare like David, “Your love is better than life”?  He wrote, “Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you.   I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands.”  Psalm 63:3-4 (NIV) 

David wrote this Psalm when he was in the wilderness of Judah, possibly while fleeing from his son Absalom and others who sought his life.  Certainly David had a deep revelation of the love of God, and he looked forward to meeting his Redeemer who would one day stand upon the earth, to whom he refers in Psalm 16 as “Your Holy One” who would not see corruption.

Psalm 16 (NKJV)
I will bless the Lord who has given me counsel;
My heart also instructs me in the night seasons.
I have set the Lord always before me;
Because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved.
Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices;
My flesh also will rest in hope.
10 For You will not leave my soul in Sheol,
Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.
11 You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Psalm 16_11 (2)

Job also expressed his hope in the coming Redeemer when he declared, “For I know that my Redeemer lives, and He shall stand at last on the earth.” (Job 19:25 NKJV) He did not understand why God was allowing him to experience so many tragedies and illnesses, but he told his critical friends, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.  Even so, I will defend my own ways before Him.” (Job 13:15)  Job would argue his case before God but no matter what, he would continue to hope and trust in Him.

The trust and love shown by Job and by David in these statements is a testimony to their faith in the coming Redeemer and the promise of eternal life.  These expectations were fulfilled in the coming of Jesus Christ, who declared: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

The revelation of God’s love that comes with the entrance of Jesus into your life enables you to declare like David, “Your love is better than life!”  His abiding love becomes more precious to you than life itself.  “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.” (John 1:4 NKJV)

 The four Gospels reveal complementary aspects of our Redeemer who was anticipated by Job and by David, and even by the Old Testament as a whole.  Norman L. Geisler writes in his book, “Christ: the Theme of the Bible”, Moody Press, 1968, p. 101-102:

The Gospels: The Manifestation of Christ

“The anticipation of the Old Testament is the realization of the New Testament.  The Old Testament deals with the national preparation and expectation of Christ; the Gospels provided the personal manifestation of the Saviour.  His manifestation as recorded in the Gospels is fourfold.

Zech. 9_9

Matthew: Christ is Manifest as Royalty

 “His lineage is traced to a sovereign (He is the Son of David) and to a sacrifice (the Son of Abraham) (Matt. 1:1).  Christ is represented by the symbol of the lion (Ezek. 1:10), the king of beasts.  In the words of Zechariah, the Jews are told, “Lo, your king comes to you” (Zech. 9:9).

Mark: Christ is Manifest in His Ministry

“He is the Servant of Jehovah (Isa. 53:11), symbolized by the ox, and presented to the Romans.  His ancestry is not traced (a servant needs none), but His activity is predominant.  Matthew stressed what Jesus taught, but Mark emphasized what Jesus wrought (Mark 10:45), as Isaiah said, “Behold, my servant” (Isa. 52:13).

Luke: Christ is Manifest in His Perfect Humanity

 “Christ’s ancestry is here traced to the first man, Adam.  Luke stressed not what Jesus taught (As Matthew did) or wrought (as Mark did), but what He sought.  Luke writes, “For the Son of man came to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10).  Zechariah stated the theme in advance when he wrote, “Behold, the man” (Zech. 6:12).

John 1_1-2,14

John: Christ is Manifest in His Deity

“John wrote: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” And “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:1, 14).  He does not trace Christ’s ancestry to human royalty (as Matthew did), or leave it in anonymity (as Mark did), nor trace it to the origin of humanity (as Luke did), but he traces it to deity and to eternity.  In John, Christ is seen as the eagle soaring into the heavens and, as in no other gospel, it is manifest what Jesus thought (cf. John 13-17).  In Matthew, Jesus fulfills man’s needs for righteousness (cf. Matt. 3:15); in Mark, man’s need for service (Mark 10:45); in Luke, man’s need of redemption (Luke 19:10); and in John, man’s need for life, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10 NIV).”

At the Last Supper, after washing the disciples’ feet, Jesus raised the standard of love higher than just loving others as yourself.  He said, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34-35)  In John 17:26, He prayed that His followers would enjoy the same love relationship that He has with His Father: “And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.” 

Now this is love that is better than life!

David Krause, dhkrause@neteze.com,7/7/2018, https://compellinglove.net/

Photo credits:
(1)  http://flowerbless.blogspot.com/2016/06/
(2)  http://flowerbless.blogspot.com/2013/02/you-will-show-me-path-of-life-in-your.html
(3)  https://biblia.com/bible/kjv1900/Zech%209.9
(4)  https://www.heartlight.org/cgi-shl/todaysverse.cgi?day=20181201&ver=niv


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