Proverbs 1 1-1-23

Resolutions…who needs them? We do!

24 However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace. Acts 20:24

Paul had a resolution; it was to complete the task the Lord Jesus had given him. From the time that Paul made this statement, he testified in courts, in Jerusalem, on a ship, on an island, in Rome, and finally before Nero Caesar, who, according to tradition, had him beheaded.

Jesus had a resolution, too. The writer of Hebrews tells us about it,

Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said:
“Sacrifice and offering you did not desire,
    but a body you prepared for me;
with burnt offerings and sin offerings
    you were not pleased.
Then I said, ‘Here I am—it is written about me in the scroll—
    I have come to do your will, my God.’”

Interesting note: The writer attributes these verses to Jesus, but they were originally penned by David in Psalm 40:6-8–from the Septuagint (LXX). The resolution is in verse 7, “I have come to do your will, my God.” The LXX has this as the next line in that verse, “And Your law in the midst of my heart.” Jesus kept His resolution all the way to the cross. The LXX has a footnote concerning this psalm (which is Psalm 39 according to its count),

Psalm 39 is a prophecy of the Incarnation (vv. 7-9 [6-8 in MAS*]; see also Hebrews 10:5-7). In His Incarnation, the Lord assumed a mortal body (v.7 [6]) and a rational soul. But here the body is emphasized, because man’s body is mortal and subject to death and decay in the grave (a miserable pit, v.3 [2]). So by His death in the body, Christ destroyed death, and by His Resurrection (brought me up and a rock, v.3 [2]), He overcame the decay that held man’s body in the grave. He was able to do all this because of the two wills in His one Person. For He willed (v.9 [8]) by His human will and energy. And the phrase Your will (v.9 [8]) shows that He possessed within Himself the same will and energy as God the Father, because He is “one in essence” with Him (Creed). Therefore, by means of His two wills and energies, He destroyed death and decay, and put a new song in the mouth of the Church (v.4 [3]).

What is our resolution? Ted Shimer, in his book, “The Freedom Fight,” page 277, says,

“According to the Bible, the follower of Christ is to have a threefold vision:

  1. to know Christ (Matthew 22:37-38),
  2. to be like Christ (Romans 8:29),
  3. and to make Christ known (Matthew 28:19-20).”

May we all take this vision and make it our resolution for the new year.

Abba, I hereby officially make this vision my resolution for this year. I want to know You closer and better, I want to be like You in thought as well as deed, and I want to make You known to anyone and everyone in my sphere of influence. May it be so, O Lord. Amen.

*MAS-Masoretic Text; it’s what most of our Bibles have. For more information on the LXX and the MAS, go to Proverbs 4 12-4-22 and Proverbs 18 12-18-22.

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