What can you expect from dirt? ∙

What can you expect from dirt?

For you are dust, and to dust you shall return. – Genesis 3:19

All flesh would perish together, and man would return to dust. – Job 34:15

Psalms 103:13-22

 13 The LORD is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him.

 14 For he knows how weak we are; he remembers we are only dust.

 15 Our days on earth are like grass; like wildflowers, we bloom and die.

 16 The wind blows, and we are gone – as though we had never been here.

 17 But the love of the LORD remains forever with those who fear him. His salvation extends to the children’s children.

 19 The LORD has made the heavens his throne; from there he rules over everything.

 20 Praise the LORD, you angels, you mighty ones who carry out his plans, listening for each of his commands.

 21 Yes, praise the LORD, you armies of angels who serve him and do his will!

 22 Praise the LORD, everything he has created, everything in all his kingdom. Let all that I am praise the LORD.

Rep. Pat Schroeder, a Democrat from Colorado, coined the term the “Teflon” president to describe Ronald Reagan in 1983. Schroeder later said that the expression came to her while she was frying eggs in a Teflon non-stick pan. No matter what scandal hit his administration, nothing stuck to him personally. Reagan had a seemingly magical ability to avoid blame. It seemed almost as though he had a Teflon coat like a frying pan. As president, Reagan was genial, ever-smiling, and projected a “grandpa” image.

No matter what controversies arose, up to and including the Iran-Contra political scandal, the public continued to forgive and love him.

That is exactly what our relationship with our Father God is like. No matter what, the Father continues to forgive and love the children of the King. It is as though we are coated with Teflon. Our sins, transgressions, and iniquities can’t stick to us. They simply slide off and are gone. We are washed clean, whiter than snow.

Psalm 103 is a hymn of praise and thanksgiving. It celebrates the Father’s overflowing goodness and love for the children of the King. It beckons us to praise the Father for who He is and what He has done. David reminds us not to forget “all His benefits” (Psalms 103:1-2).

REFLECT & PRAY

How does a father “pity” his children? he considers their weakness, immaturity, and ignorance, and so does not require of them more than they can handle. Our Father does the same with us (1 Corinthians 10:13) (Stanley).

Dear Father, thank you that you have adopted me into Your forever family just as I am. You are great and magnificent, while I am nothing more than living dirt. I stand awed and truly amazed.

INSIGHT

Before you get down on yourself, what can you possibly expect from dirt? Dust is simply fine particles of other things that have broken down, disintegrated, and become worthless. We are made out of the dust, the dirt of the ground.

Genesis 2:7 Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

The Hebrew word translated as dust or dirt isaphar. Aphar is dirt, plain old dirt, that is, dry, loose earth. The Scriptures are clear, we are simply repurposed dirt.

The only thing that separates us from all the other plain ordinary dirt on planet Earth is that we are alive. Dirt minus God is inert, inanimate. As living dirt, we tend to get rather dirty. That is exactly what the Father expects. He is not disappointed when we act like dirt, because He knows we are dirt. The most important difference is we are His dirt. And He loves us just the way we are.

Psalms 103:14 For he knows how weak we are; he remembers we are only dust.

A father knows how vulnerable and dependent his children are and thus takes pity on them, especially when it is needed. Just so God knows how mankind is formed – we are only dust (Psalms 78:39). How trivial mankind must seem to God, and yet he crowns us with love and compassion (Psalms 103:4b)! (Tesh and Zorn).

Psalms 103:15

 15 Our days on earth are like grass; like wildflowers, we bloom and die.

 16 The wind blows, and we are gone – as though we had never been here.

 17 But the love of the LORD remains forever with those who fear him. His salvation extends to the children’s children

Not only are people seemingly as trivial as dirt, but our time on earth is short and transitory. There is no permanence to our existence here. We are as grass or the flower that dries up in the heat of the sun and vanishes before nightfall.

In contrast, the Father is eternal and remains forever. His love envelops the children of the King forever.

David focuses on four great characteristics of the Father. He is compassionate. He does not constantly accuse, berate, or antagonize us even though we sin repeatedly. He is slow to anger, and His anger soon dissipates. He is merciful and gracious. He does not punish us for our sins immediately. He does not chastise as we deserve. He does not seek revenge and get even. His loyal love, lovingkindness, hesed, is limitless. The guilt of our sins is separated from us completely and permanently (Constable).

When we think of our paltry existence and our sinful behavior, rather than dwell on it and sink into self-pity, we should focus on the excellence and magnificence of the Father who loves and forgives us. David exhorts every child of the King to do just that. Our awesome heavenly Father is to be praised and served with honor.

How can we do less?

¯\_()_/¯ 3-20-2

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