A New Year’s Meditation

Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O Lord. Lord, hear my voice: let thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications.

If thou, Lord, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared.

I wait for the Lord, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope. My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for the morning.

Let Israel hope in the Lord: for with the Lord there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption. And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.

—Ps. 130, KJV

It seems the world has gone mad; nothing seems to make sense! Why is this so? Sin is rampant. It seems that Satan and his evil agenda will win. Where is God? Why does He not put a stop to all the wickedness? “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity: there is none that doeth good. God looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, that did seek God. Every one of them is gone back: they are altogether become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one” (Ps. 53:1–3). The thought of this sends chills up our spines. None. None that understand? How can that be?

But did not Jesus say that the gates of hell will not prevail against His church? Where are they? Many call themselves Christians, but their actions are at odds with God’s Word. Despite fear of the seeming approaching doom, they say nothing or at best little. The parable of the ten virgins says five were foolish and five wise and yet all slept. The church as a whole has forgotten that they do not belong to themselves but to their faithful Savior, Jesus Christ. It is His blood which binds His people to Him. This brings out the hatred of men and devils. In man’s eyes there is no hope and never will be, but God looks, God calls, God brings;, yes, it is God in and through Jesus Christ that will win the day. “Oh that the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion! When God bringeth back the captivity of his people, Jacob shall rejoice, and Israel shall be glad” (Ps. 53:6). It is a one-sided work of grace.

Without the cross of Calvary there would be no hope, but there is, all glory be to the triune God. The old year has come and gone, and we are still alive. In spite of all the evil around and our own sinfulness God has not dealt with us as we deserve. The disciples were in the ship in the storm, yet Jesus sees them, He goes to them, He delivers them. It is all God and God alone. That is why as we go into the new year there is hope in our end. The world is not our home if Jesus is our guide. As the psalmist in Psalm 130 says, “Let Israel hope in the Lord: for with the Lord there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption. And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.”

Lord, though I walk ’mid troubles sore, Thou wilt restore my faltering spirit;

Though angry foes my soul alarm, Thy mighty arm will save and cheer it.

Yea, Thou wilt finish perfectly what Thou for me hast undertaken;

May not Thy works, in mercy wrought, e’er come to naught, or be forsaken.

Psalter 429:4 (Ps. 138)

Mr. Cornelius Van Kempen known as Case, has been married to Susan for fifty-eight blessed years. They attend and are members of Heritage Reformed Congregation in Grand Rapids, MI.