Monday, January 17, 2011

Daily Devotions from the Heidelberg Catechism: Tuesday

Tuesday

Imaging God: Rule, Relationship, and Dependence

Reading:

1) Heidelberg Catechism:

6 Q. Did God create people so wicked and perverse?

A. No. God created them good and in his own image, that is, in true righteousness and holiness, so that they might truly know God their creator, love him with all their heart, and live with him in eternal happiness for his praise and glory.

2) Scripture:

Psalm 8

8:1 O Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory above the heavens.
2 Out of the mouth of babies and infants,
you have established strength because of your foes,
to still the enemy and the avenger.

3 When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
4 what is man that you are mindful of him,
and the son of man that you care for him?
5 Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings
and crowned him with glory and honor.

6 You have given him dominion over the works of your hands;
you have put all things under his feet,
7 all sheep and oxen,
and also the beasts of the field,
8 the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea,
whatever passes along the paths of the seas.

9 O Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!

Comment

Q&A 6 of the catechism teaches us that:

• Human beings are made by God.
• Human beings are made like God.
• Human beings are made for God.

Some people in our world deny that human beings are made by God. Some also deny that humans are made like God. Some people see human beings as no more valuable than a snail darter or a groundhog. In their view, we are just another animal which has evolved, and is part of the food chain.

God’s Word teaches us that human beings are creatures unique among all of God’s creation, because we are made in his triune image. We were created to reflect God’s character in the world. The Lord, who is the Great King, created Adam and Eve as his king and queen, but subject to his will. Together, Adam and Eve, were to rule and care for the world, while displaying the Great King’s glory in the world.

The Lord gave us a privilege even angels don’t share. We alone were created in the triune God’s image. As the Father, Son, and Spirit exist in a relationship of love from all eternity, so human beings were created to reflect this love in our relationships, first toward God, and then toward others.

Relationship and rule—this is what defines us as human beings. We were created to be in relationship with the Lord first of all, and then with our fellow creatures who bear his image. We were also created to rule on our God’s behalf, under his good and gracious rule.

Psalm 8 begins and ends with the same words: "O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!" When a psalm or other section of literature is framed like this with the same words, it is called an inclusio. The inclusio emphasizes something important through repetition as well as the theme of the section it frames. However, "O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth," comes as a bit of a surprise in a psalm that is about man! How do we explain this?

What the psalm teaches us is that we cannot define man apart from God, and we cannot bring God glory without a child-like dependence on him. The psalm is teaching us that man rules and brings God glory by his child-like dependence on, and his filial fellowship with, the heavenly Father!

Discussion: How are humans supposed to be like God in terms of rule? How are humans supposed to be like God in terms of relationship? The idea of being made in God’s image brings to mind a mirror. How are we to be like mirrors of God?

Prayer : In your prayer thank the Lord creating you in his image. Ask for his help for yourself and others on your prayer list in reflecting his image.


Hymn for Lord’s Day 3


O, To Know God I Was Created




To the tune EL NATHAN (I Know Not Why God’s Wondrous Grace http://www.hymnary.org/hymn/PsH/495 or http://www.hymnary.org/hymn/UMH/714). Based on Lord’s Day 3 of the Heidelberg Catechism, Q & A 6 (related Westminster Shorter Catechism Q & A 10). Words: Bill Weber, 2010.



v. 1

O Lord, our Lord, how lovely is

Your name in all the earth.

Creating us in holiness,

the image of your worth.



refrain

O to know God I was created,

to love Him wholly,

live in his presence,

that I might enjoy life with Him,

for his praise forevermore.



v. 2

O Lord, our Lord, how wonderful

Your name of highest worth.

O help us spread Your holy name,

Your fame to all the earth.



refrain

O to know God I was created,

to love Him wholly,

live in his presence,

that I might enjoy life with Him,

for his praise forevermore.



v. 3

Our Lord, we praise your triune name,

the name above all names,

forever you exist in love,

three persons yet but one.



refrain

O to know God I was created,

to love Him wholly,

live in his presence,

that I might enjoy life with Him,

for his praise forevermore.



v. 4

Into your wondrous triune name

I was baptized to bear

Your name to carry through this world,

to praise it ev’rywhere.



refrain

O to know God I was created,

to love Him wholly,

live in his presence,

that I might enjoy life with Him,

for his praise forevermore.



v. 5

Dear Lord, I know my debt is great,

it reaches to the sky.

But trusting in my Jesus Christ,

You pardon, justify.



refrain

O to know God I was created,

to love Him wholly,

live in his presence,

that I might enjoy life with Him,

for his praise forevermore.



v. 6

On Jesus Christ, God’s only Son,

the Father set his seal.

And those who come to Christ in faith,

please God and do his will.



refrain

O to know God I was created,

to love Him wholly,

live in his presence,

that I might enjoy life with Him,

for his praise forevermore.


Here is the beginning of my post. And here is the rest of it.

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