Our Reward Is Jesus

January 13, 2009 at 4:52 pm | Posted in Devotional thoughts, Eschatology, It's All About God | Leave a comment

Psalm 17:14-15.  Those who claim the OT doesn’t teach an afterlife simply don’t read it close enough.  This passage seems pretty clear to me.  (Though admittedly, I don’t know how much my translation is affected by NT thought.  It would be interesting to see a Jewish translation of this and other such Psalms.)  David prays against his enemies, and one of the lines is “By your hand save me from such people, LORD, from those of this world whose reward is this life.”  The clear implication is that there is a reward beyond this life.  Now with just that said, some Jews might claim that reward is a legacy, but the next verse overrules that interpretation: “As for me, I will be vindicated and will see your face; when I awake, I will be satisfied with seeing your likeness.”  The only possible understanding of that is an afterlife in God’s presence.  Those who love God can look forward to all eternity with him.  Even the OT saints recognized that to be their reward.

            P.S.  Another thought on this passage is that we should have the same perspective about the afterlife as David.  So often, in our Christian circles anyway, heaven is expressed in terms of what we get, what we want, etc., but heaven should be expressed in terms of seeing Jesus.  Our attitude should be “when I awake, I will be satisfied with seeing your likeness.”  Heaven is not about us; heaven is about Jesus.  When I teach the book of Revelation, I show how Jesus is the focus of the book.  Since much of John’s vision is what takes place in heaven, this truth can be seen in that book also.  Never are the resurrected saints the focus/purpose in heaven.  Jesus is always the focus, and he deserves all the praise that can be given.  Our reward is not gold crowns and not jewels in those crowns; our reward is not mansions aligning gold streets; our reward is not even seeing the saints that have gone before us, though that may happen.  Our reward is Jesus!

            P.P.S.  Twice now I thought I was done writing only to have a further thought on this matter.  If we will be satisfied in the afterlife with Jesus alone, if he alone is our reward there, then we should be satisfied with Jesus alone here.  I always look to many other things for satisfaction, but only he should be our joy, our fullness, our satisfaction, our life.  “Whom have I in heaven but you?  And earth has nothing I desire besides you.  My strength and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” (Psalm 72:23)  “I said to the LORD, ‘You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.’” (Psalm 16:3)

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