Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Mid-Day Devotion 9/16/09
1 Give ear to my words, O LORD,
consider my sighing.
2 Listen to my cry for help,
my King and my God,
for to you I pray.
3 In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice;
in the morning I lay my requests before you
and wait in expectation.
4 You are not a God who takes pleasure in evil;
with you the wicked cannot dwell.
5 The arrogant cannot stand in your presence;
you hate all who do wrong.
6 You destroy those who tell lies;
bloodthirsty and deceitful men
the LORD abhors.
7 But I, by your great mercy,
will come into your house;
in reverence will I bow down
toward your holy temple.
8 Lead me, O LORD, in your righteousness
because of my enemies—
make straight your way before me.
9 Not a word from their mouth can be trusted;
their heart is filled with destruction.
Their throat is an open grave;
with their tongue they speak deceit.
10 Declare them guilty, O God!
Let their intrigues be their downfall.
Banish them for their many sins,
for they have rebelled against you.
11 But let all who take refuge in you be glad;
let them ever sing for joy.
Spread your protection over them,
that those who love your name may rejoice in you.
12 For surely, O LORD, you bless the righteous;
you surround them with your favor as with a shield.
Because of the life, the death and the sacrifice of Christ Jesus, because of that encompassing love that He has shown for His children, we have come in grace to the blessing and the miracle of the Holy Spirit, to know of a God, our Heavenly Father, the God of love. The God who draws us close in His compassion and His mercy, in His righteousness and in His great and encompassing love for us. He brings us in, He showers us with His blessings, He shines His grace upon us, that infinite mercy that transcends all of our human understanding, all of our human wisdom. And there, there though we have sinned, though we have transgressed, we know that we find forgiveness through a sincere faith, through that rebirth, that rejuvenation that we have as His disciples, called to do better, called to be better, called to live better lives through the transformative power of the Holy Spirit in our life.
But there is a side of God that we don't always talk about, because we have come to know that great love, and that is the side of God that abhors evil, the side of God that cannot stand unrighteousness, that looks upon the wicked and evil transgressions that men can commit against their fellow man, and finds His heart sinking deep within Him. A God who cannot contend with the unrighteousness, we find there a God of justice, a God who still has that love and mercy within His heart, a God who still has that compassion in His heart, but a God who because of that love, mercy and compassion must work through this world with a hand of judgment, with a hand of wrath against all of those who would seek to subjugate, all those who seek to take slaves, all those who would seek to bind up their fellow man, holding their lives to be cheap and without value, without purpose, in order that they can fulfill their own ambitions of greed, of power and ambition. Ambition becomes nothing more than their guiding star, as they turn from the righteousness of God, as they turn from the good that God can do, as they let wickedness and iniquity encompass them.
And here we know that because of that justice and because of that love, that God does not let His children stay in their company forever. He does not let them be ruled over by such wickedness forever. And there He comes in His judgment, to work His will in this world in order to assure the blessings of His peace and His comfort come upon His children. And there we know that the wicked men of brutal iniquity, the wicked men's trangressions shall not stand upon this Earth forever but that God's judgment, God's justice and God's will, it will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.
In the words of the Psalmist today we hear that he kneels, that he kneels down in humble submission to the Lord and to His word. He cries out, he prays out to the Lord, for His eyes not to be far from him, not to be distant from him, that His ears will hear and that His heart will reach out, and that the enemies, not of that man, not of that Psalmist, but of God, they will shown that their ways are not His ways, and their unrighteousness cannot be joined in unity with God's righteousness. And here we know that the Lord listens, that the Lord hears those calls, and that by His holy hand, His works which are good and righteous, which are good and merciful, will come to bear upon this world.
In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.