Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Trusting Truth- 40 Days of Psalm 37 (Day 28)

"For the LORD loves the just and will not forsake his faithful ones. They will be protected forever, but the offspring of the wicked will be cut off;"- Psalm 37:28

Many days I read scripture and have a hard time believing that it is completely inspired (God breathed). Something inside of me wants to call it a fairy tale and more or less enjoy the stories, take what I like and disregard what seems awful by the world's standards. Today is one of those days I struggle to understand why God can cut off anybody eternally. Does He understand political correctness? Hasn't He taken a marketing class about how to appeal to the masses? I have no problem understanding His love for the just, and His love for His faithful ones but how can He cut off not only the wicked, but also their children? Isaiah 55:9 is one of the best responses God gives when you or I have thoughts questioning His best intentions, "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts".

To make something clear, I don't know why God allows anybody to not be with Him eternally after we die. The best definition I've heard about those who are "cut off" was by J.P Moreland when he described Hell as a "cosmic quarantine" in which those who didn't want to know the true God while they're here are actually given a place to dwell for eternity because God can not just abolish something made in His image. He also stated "tongue in cheek" that, "God is just giving them what they wanted". In other words, Hell is still an act of love, though we find it difficult to see it that way. We have read over and over throughout this Psalm the eternal promise and protection of God for the righteous ones who have accepted Him. But today's passage, fast forwarded to the present culture has really got my mind going.

As a new father I have a strong passion to love my daughter like God loves us. That love involves comforting, being reliable, sacrificing without conditions and caring just as much as it involves discipline and chastening so that she may learn more about life than getting what we want when we want it. When reading today's verse I really want to focus on the importance of not leading our children astray and recognizing the importance of being a great influence on our children as followers of Christ. Also, context of today's scripture is very important and we need to understand that not all of the Psalms are to be taken as literal, word for word foundational truths which is similar to the way Proverbs should be read. I'll have to explain this in greater detail at a later date, but you need to take my word for it today. Instead, what we read today is a promise that in most cases, evil breeds evil and good breeds good. If you don't live a life with God, not only will you be cut off from Him eternally, but you will also miss out on the blessings He has for you now.

Instead of reading me any further today I have found an article that is very interesting that speaks out to the parents, especially younger parents who need to recognize a need to "not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind." (Romans 12:2) We need to recognize the importance of today's scripture as a call to remain submitted to the will of God as it not only benefits us, but also benefits our offspring. In the spirit of being "cool" or "with it" we followers of Christ have tried to walk in an that we consider to be gray, while God sees it as black and white. Aim today to live a life submitted to the will of God, a life filled with the Spirit that we may not fall into a fear that we are not "hip" or "normal". What's important is that we remain "in the vine" (John 15) and abide in Christ both for the sake of ourselves and for our families.

Below is a link to the article I'm suggesting regarding fascinating numbers based on polling done by The Barna Group. After reading all of the numbers George Barna concluded, "Millions of Christian parents want to appear to be relevant in their children’s eyes, and to provide gifts that fit within the mainstream of postmodern society...The problem is that many of the entertainment products that meet those criteria conflict with the moral precepts of the Christian faith. Parents have to make a choice as to what is more important: pleasing their kids’ taste and sensibilities, or satisfying God’s standards as defined in the Bible. When the decision made is to keep their children happy, the Christian parent is often left with a pit in their stomach."

Don't be left with a pit in your stomach. As we see in Psalm 37:28, when we act out in evil ways, there are possible eternal (and temporal) consequences for not only ourselves, but also our families. In the spirit of being selfless parents trying to please our children, we actually become selfish and fail to recognize that we are fearing man more than we are fearing God and in turn may be causing our children to miss out on both current and eternal blessings.


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