10 Minute Read

TODAY’S BIBLE READING:

Exodus 39:1–40:38
Mark 1:1-28
Psalm 35:1-16
Proverbs 9:11-12

TODAY’S BIBLE VERSE(S):

Psalm 35:7-9 (CSB): “They hid their net for me without cause; they dug a pit for me without cause. Let ruin come on him unexpectedly, and let the net that he hid ensnare him; let him fall into it—to his ruin. Then I will rejoice in the LORD; I will delight in his deliverance.”

REFLECTIONS ON TODAY’S BIBLE VERSE(S):

Some Christians may think that the Psalms are simply a compilation of beautiful poetry – until they actually read it.

The Psalms are 150 chapters of real-life. They are not written to the mind so much as they are written from the heart to the heart.

There will certainly be times when we read through a Psalm and think: “My goodness! That’s harsh! The New Testament doesn’t allow for that sort of emotion.”

While it may be true that grace would forbid us from carrying out some of the things that are talked about in the book of Psalms, we need to realize at least two things:

  • The Psalmists never intended to act on much (most?) of what they wrote about.
  • The Psalms are simply the rugged language of writers who put their honest thoughts and emotions on the page. And, if we are honest, there are plenty of times when we feel exactly the same way.

For instance, look back at our Verses for Today…

Psalm 35:7-9 (CSB): “They hid their net for me without cause; they dug a pit for me without cause. Let ruin come on him unexpectedly, and let the net that he hid ensnare him; let him fall into it—to his ruin. Then I will rejoice in the LORD; I will delight in his deliverance.”

When we read those words, we see that the Psalmist was acknowledging that others had mistreated him. Their actions constituted a horrible injustice. So, the Psalmist desired for the ones who had mistreated him to experience calamity. He wished that poetic justice would take place and they would experience the harm that they had tried to inflict upon him.

We might read that and say: “Well, as a New Testament Christian, I am to desire no such thing! I am told to love my enemies and pray (prayers of blessing) for those who persecute me (Matthew 5:44).

That is true. Jesus has called us to act that way.

But, if we are ruggedly honest with ourselves, we would have to admit that we find it much more easy to relate to the Psalmist’s words and desires than with Jesus’ command.

What can we learn from this?

First, realize that Jesus has called us to holiness. He has set a clear standard to which we are to strive in the power of the Holy Spirit. Any failure to comply with Jesus’ commands is sin and should be confessed as such.

Second, recognize that you and I, if we are honest, can relate much more to the Psalmist’s sentiments than with Jesus’ commands. So, be honest about it. Don’t deny your struggle. Acknowledge it. There are far too many Christians who are not honest with themselves and their struggles and they end up coming across as fake and phony. Don’t do it. Be honest with what is truly going on in your heart.

Finally, realize that holiness is a journey and we will not completely attain it until we reach Heaven. Until then, our Christian journey will be a serious of successes and failures. But, that is what grace is for. Just commit to chasing Jesus and confess any shortcomings and He is ready to forgive and cleanse you (1 John 1:9).