Monday, August 3, 2009

Trusting Truth-40 Days of Psalm 37 (Day 13)

"...but the Lord laughs at the wicked, for he knows their day is coming."-Psalm 37:13

Doing this day by day can be difficult at times because like this verse, much of the Scripture we go over needs the verse right before or right after in order to gain total context. Briefly, yesterdays verse basically said that the evil plot against the righteous and gnash their teeth at them. We discussed who the evil are, how they conspire to bring down or mock the righteous, and why we need to be careful to not fall into the trap of joining the "teeth gnashers" in order to gain acceptance.

Today is another reminder of God's goodness as well as His patience and justice. As I study this verse, over and over I unfortunately can't help but think and imagine about how God laughs. In my own humanity I almost visualize Him like Count "Chocula" from the cereal boxes and hear Him give his best Vampire impersonation of "ooohh hoo hoo ahh ahh". But the more I meditate on these words and recount God's character, I can't help but hear the mockery and even sadness in this laugh towards those who think they know better than Him. It's not a laugh of evil, but more like the laugh of a grown up who has heard a 3 year old try to teach a dog math. The grown up laughs not only because teaching a dog math doesn't make sense since we can't do it, but it's also a waste of time. Though it's easy to see how those who both follow Christ and hate Him can envision God as a "know it all, power hungry, angry jerk"; in this passage, I can't help but see how much more He knows than us, and that all of our actions have consequences.

Because "picking" on people is not (I should say no longer) my thing, I really want to touch on the idea that even those who follow Christ, in our own conceitedness have become evil in our thoughts and actions and will absolutely have consequences to pay, even if it is only while on Earth. One passage of Scripture that God keeps placing in my head is Jeremiah 2. It is a piece of God's word that discusses how His chosen people (Israel) have gone astray to pursue a new path, create new gods for themselves, treated God as though He would never give them consequences for their evil actions, and treat Him like He HAS to "take care" of them even if they stop worshiping Him just because they've been called "His" at one point in time.

I suggest you read all of Jeremiah 2 today, but in order to keep this short enough that you won't become preoccupied as you read this, there is one part that really stands out for today's devotional blog. It is in Jeremiah 2:19 and it states "Your wickedness will punish you; your backsliding will rebuke you. Consider then and realize how evil and bitter it is for you when you forsake the LORD your God and have no awe of me," declares the Lord, the LORD Almighty.

The question for today is whether or not you are one of the evil or wicked (though claiming to be a follower of Christ) that God is laughing at. If you are then you're day of destruction is coming. God is speaking directly to His chosen people in this passage and He clearly states that their wickedness will punish them, their moving away will rebuke them and then expresses how they need to RECOGNIZE how he considers them evil when they forsake Him and lose their awe of Him!

How in the world do we get so caught up with this life that we actually develop a heart so hard in specific areas towards God that we don't even recognize our own wickedness? How do we forsake Him in our backsliding ways and expect Him to bail us out as if Jesus is strictly an insurance policy from Geico. Do we really believe that purchasing the "Christ" insurance policy from God is "So easy, even a Caveman can do it!"? How have we lost our awe of a Being that created the entire universe out of nothing? God is so amazing that He literally created Everything out of NO THING.

Today, focus on God. Sit down with Him and listen to His small still (or loud in some cases) voice. Be quiet and be patient with Him and let Him show you the hidden areas of sin, darkness and evil in your life. If you want Him to forgive you through Christ He will, but let Him scrub you clean as you repent of a lifestyle that continually takes your relationship with your creator for granted. Ask God to put Himself back on the throne of your life even if it means taking you off of it by force (which may be the consequence for your evil). As that His Spirit flows through you so that people may experience His love, grace and mercy. Let His peace rule over you today as you come back to Him and the truth that is life in Christ. Let God's laugh for you be one of love and excitement as you CHOOSE to stand in awe of Him and a life lived with an eternal "Kingdom" perspective.

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