Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Wednesday, September 2nd: Psalms 137-139, 2 Corinthians 11:16-33 ~ Nathan

The verse that really jumped out to me was found in the first chapter we read today in Psalm 137. Earlier in this chapter the Psalmist talks about remembering old times that were better times,  before the Israelites were taken captive. Now the Psalmist talks about how the Israelites are being made fun of and mocked. They are even asked to sing old praise songs, then mocked.

The verse that jumps out to me is verse 9,
"Blessed shall he be who takes your little ones and dashes them against the rock"
The horrible violence that the Psalmist wants to avenge on the Edomites really jumps out when reading this. In this case it was a cry for judgment.

Do we ever get caught up in a moment and say things we really don't mean? I have. The Psalmist was presently in a captive state and had everything taken away. I haven't had that happen to me,  and yet I still get caught in the moment and say things I shouldn't. This can easily happen during a confrontation or any stressful time. I pray for strength and wisdom to avoid saying something I shouldn't.

In our reading from 2 Corinthians we read how Paul "boasts" about his weaknesses, and how he felt he was a complete failure, but God showed him how he was to think and live. 
Ray Stedman puts it this way,
We are being bombarded with the philosophy that natural abilities are what make a person usable as a Christian—a strong personality; an outgoing, optimistic outlook; gifts of leadership; handsome frame and body; musical ability; speaking ability—all these are the things that God will use.
Paul says, This is a ridiculous way of thinking. I had to learn that these ideas did not help, that Christ working in me is the only thing that God approves of. Anybody who is a Christian has Christ working in him or her, and if you learn to depend on Jesus' work within, ready to work through you as you choose to do things, He will work alongside you and make your efforts meaningful and valuable both in God's sight and ultimately people's. That is the great secret that Paul learned.


Conrad said...

The verse that stood out for me was Psalm 138:6a

"For though the LORD is high, he regards the lowly,"

What king, or ruler, politician, movie star, professional athlete, or successful business owner does that? Despite the fact that no one is worthy to be in the same place as God, He invites us and wants us to be with Him!

TammyIsBlessed said...

I appreciated that Stedman quote. Truly it is not us, it is God in us.

Psalm 139 is one of my favourites and one of the Psalms that I've memorized. It is amazing that the God of the universe cares so deeply about each and every one of us.

Pamela said...

Psalm 139 stood out for me particularly

13 For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother's womb.

because it reminds me of all the perfectly knitted babies being disposed of through abortion. Each one of those babies who are never born are known by God.


17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 If I would count them, they are more than the sand.

I was a counsellor in a day camp many years ago and this was an activity we did there with the kids....we had them physically count a small teaspoon of sand. What a comfort to know it was nearly impossible to count each grain and yet the God of the universe thinks of us more than all the grains of sand on the earth.