Tuesday, July 14, 2015
Tuesday, July 14th: Psalm 10-12, Acts 10: 24-48 ~ Nathan
In Psalm 10 the Psalmist asks why God let's the evil thrive and prosper. This is a question that Christians have been asking ever since. It annoys us when we are trying to do what's right and don't feel like we're gaining anything, and the dishonest person beside us seems to have everything going for themselves. This carries over into our spiritual lives when we see someone else ignore God and only live for themselves and they are prospering, and we are trying our best for God and feeling like nothing is working out for us.
The Psalmist answers this in 10: 17 and 18: "You, Lord, hear the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry,  defending the fatherless and the oppressed, so that mere earthly mortals will never again strike terror."
Maybe God is testing us during those times we feel frustrated and when it seems like the evil around us is winning,
Chapter 11:5 "The Lord examines the righteous, but the wicked, those who love violence, he hates with a passion"
Again, this chapter ends with encouraging words for those who do right,
Chapter 11:7 "For the Lord is righteous, he loves justice; the upright will see his face"
Chapter 12 also begins with the Psalmist asking for help from those who boast and are dishonest.
This chapter also ends with words of encouragement, that remind us that God will protect us,
10: 7 and 8 "You, Lord, will keep the needy safe and will protect us forever from the wicked,  who freely strut about when what is vile is honored by the human race."
This theme in these three chapters reminds me of some of the talks we've had with our daughter who is starting high school this fall in a new school, which can be intimidating. We've talked about how it's better to stand alone and do what's right then join in with kids making bad choices. This is tough to do when it feels, at that age in life, that having friends and being accepted is one of the most important things. Just like the Psalmist noted about how it looks like the evil side is winning, in the end those who make choices that please the Lord will ultimately gain victory.
In our New Testament reading in Acts 10, I like how Peter makes it clear in verse 47 and 48a that salvation is available for everyone,
"Surely no one can stand in the way of their being baptized with water. They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have .” 48 So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ... "