Grace and glory not earned

Psalm 84:11-12 seems to give assurances of divine generosity but the precise pervasiveness of God’s giving needs to be held up to the light.

For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.

The components of this verse are very different. On first glance we see:
A. What is. God is…
B. What happens or will happen
C. What will/might happen

For clarity we recognize that there is no path to worshipping the sun (the star at the centre of our galaxy or any other star) or a shield or any other defensive military equipment.

  • God is not a star or a piece of armour.
  • He does what the sun does.
  • He provides what a shield does.

We can misplace the generosity of the Lord by treating the gift as (1) merely likely, or as (2) if it never happened. What are the chances of the grace and glory gift being all future? Neither Jew nor Christian can say that favour and significance, grace and glory have been withheld. Both grace and glory have been given repeatedly, which is precisely the point of YITTEN, יתן, translated as “He will give”. Natan נתן would have meant the gift giving is over. He gives so much of this that there was no doubt of the activity. The straight line to the 3rd part is justified.

Life without grace or glory

We know most certainly that if God withheld grace and glory no one would survive. Of the good things we have two samples right here in the sentence: grace and glory.

The person who walks in integrity is a graced person. He or she can be in no other category. Someone who walks perfectly is a familiar image: Abraham, Noah, and David (Gen. 15:2, 6:1, 1 Kings 9:4). Each of these stands in company with sacrificial animals: blemish free. But we must notice that animals chosen as offerings need no work-up to their condition. Humans become flawless only when God accepts the sacrifice of His Son.

Those lovely apartments

“Will give grace and glory” is not the best translation. How else could any one claim to recognize God’s lovable residences?

Sparrows in the sacred tent, where only the priests could go?
Birds nesting in the holy places and in places where even the priests dared not?

Grace and glory he keeps giving
חן וכבוד יתן