Psalm 65:1 For the choir director. A Davidic psalm. A song. Praise is rightfully Yours, God, in Zion; vows to You will be fulfilled. 2 All humanity will come to You, the One who hears prayer. 3 Iniquities overwhelm me; only You can atone for our rebellions. 4 How happy is the one You choose and bring near to live in Your courts! We will be satisfied with the goodness of Your house, the holiness of Your temple. 5 You answer us in righteousness, with awe-inspiring works, God of our salvation, the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the distant seas. (HCSB)
The psalmist acknowledges that all will answer to our Creator (verse 2) as the New Testament also teaches that we will answer to Him in judgment. This does not teach that all will be saved. Those who know the Lord will enter into eternal life with Him, while those who don’t will go into eternal torments as taught by Jesus. Even so, the New Testament shows that even those who know Him will be judged according to their works, and the bad works will be burned away (and I do not believe this will be a pleasant experience), but the good works will be refined and will be a reward to those who do good works. The psalmist acknowledges (verse 3) that he is overwhelmed by iniquities. Isaiah taught that the most righteousness of man’s righteousness is as a filthy rag in comparison with the Lord’s righteousness. Yet the psalmist also acknowledges that only the Lord can atone for our iniquities as was fully revealed in the crucifixion of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Jeremiah 9:22 Speak as follows: This is what the LORD says: Human corpses will fall like manure on the surface of the field, like newly cut grain after the reaper with no one to gather it.
23 This is what the LORD says: The wise man must not boast in his wisdom; the strong man must not boast in his strength; the wealthy man must not boast in his wealth. 24 But the one who boasts should boast in this, that he understands and knows Me-- that I am Yahweh, showing faithful love, justice, and righteousness on the earth, for I delight in these things. This is the LORD's declaration.
25 "The days are coming"--the LORD's declaration--"when I will punish all the circumcised yet uncircumcised: 26 Egypt, Judah, Edom, the Ammonites, Moab, and all the inhabitants of the desert who clip the hair on their temples. All these nations are uncircumcised, and the whole house of Israel is uncircumcised in heart." (HCSB)
Make no mistake- the Lord will bring about His righteous judgment on all the nations at His appointed time. The wise should not boast in their wisdom, because as the New Testament spells out, ‘man’s wisdom is foolishness to God’, and Old and New affirm that ‘God’s ways are so far above man’s that they are beyond man’s comprehension’. Verses 25- 26 indicate that all nations, including Israel, His chosen people, are not righteous in their own rights. Only those of any nation who are ‘circumcised’ in their hearts can approach the Lord. This circumcision of the heart means that ‘cutting off’ of one’s selfish desires that are in his heart, and allowing our Lord to give him a new heart.
Jeremiah 10:19 Woe to me because of my brokenness-- I am severely wounded! I exclaimed, "This is my intense suffering, but I must bear it." 20 My tent is destroyed; all my tent cords are snapped. My sons have departed from me and are no more. I have no one to pitch my tent again or to hang up my curtains. 21 For the shepherds are stupid: they don't seek the LORD. Therefore they have not prospered, and their whole flock is scattered. 22 Listen! A noise--it is coming-- a great commotion from the land to the north. The cities of Judah will be made desolate, a jackals' den.
23 I know, LORD, that a man's way of life is not his own; no one who walks determines his own steps. 24 Discipline me, LORD, but with justice-- not in Your anger, or You will reduce me to nothing. 25 Pour out Your wrath on the nations that don't recognize You and on the families that don't call on Your name, for they have consumed Jacob; they have consumed him and finished him off and made his homeland desolate. (HCSB)
Jeremiah recognizes his ‘brokenness’ before the Lord. Therefore, he knows that he can only depend on the Lord to ‘fix his brokenness’. Much of that brokenness is because of the lack of knowledge and understanding of the ‘shepherds’. The ‘shepherds’ are those who are supposed to be the teachers of the peoples. To say that the shepherds have not prospered (verse 21) is not referring to this earthly, material prospering. Many may prosper in this earthly, material world and may accumulate many followers and people who praise them, but that does not mean they are leading people into truth, because their ‘truth’ is often distorted by their own selfish gain, and this encourages their followers to also seek that selfish, earthly, material gain.
To say that a person’s way of life is not his own teaches that people learn their way of life from birth, and are brought up to live as they have been taught. These ways are often modified as they learn and grow, but it is still dependant on what they have been taught and how they understand. It is only when we recognize that we ultimately belong to out Creator, and seek to follow His ways intended for us (that life of good works that He has before ordained- Ephesians 2: 10), that we can come to learn the true way of life intended for us.
2nd Corinthians 5:14 For Christ's love compels us, since we have reached this conclusion: If One died for all, then all died. 15 And He died for all so that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but for the One who died for them and was raised. 16 From now on, then, we do not know anyone in a purely human way. Even if we have known Christ in a purely human way, yet now we no longer know Him in this way. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come.
18 Everything is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 That is, in Christ, God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed the message of reconciliation to us. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, certain that God is appealing through us. We plead on Christ's behalf, "Be reconciled to God."
21 He made the One who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (HCSB)
Those who come to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior should no longer live for their own selfish desires (their human ideas, human understanding, and human standards) or for their own selfish earthly, material gain. Those who come to Jesus become new people learning to live by God’s law of love in serving one another, rather than serving only their own selves.
(Though much more could be said on this passage, this post is becoming too long, and I will leave the rest for anyone kind enough to read to meditate on for himself.)