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.