October 31, Thursday

Today’s devotional is a reprint of Kate Moon’s blog originally posted on December 23, 2013.  Kate continues to serve the Lord in E. Asia. 

 

Devotional Thought for Today

“Turing to God When Facing Injustice”

Psalm 140:1-3, 11-13

Rescue me, Lord, from evildoers; protect me from the violent, 2 who devise evil plans in their hearts and stir up war every day. 3 They make their tongues as sharp as a serpent’s; the poison of vipers is on their lips.  Selah . . . 11 May slanderers not be established in the land; may disaster hunt down the violent. 12 I know that the Lord secures justice for the poor and upholds the cause of the needy. 13 Surely the righteous will praise your name, and the upright will live in your presence.

Someone once said, “When you feel upset that people are saying bad things about you that aren’t true, just be thankful that they aren’t telling the real truth.”  The speaker’s point was that if people, seeing what was really in our hearts, exposed that, it would probably be much worse than the “bad” things they are saying now.  While the thought is sobering, even helping us put things in perspective, there is still, however, this lingering sense of injustice of having been wronged.  What can we do when we feel this way?

The psalmist turns to the Lord (“Rescue me, Lord …” v. 1).  When there are people talking and spreading rumors, we can feel helpless.  How can we control what other people say when we are not around?  How can we go out and try to correct every misunderstanding in order to clear our names?  When we are thinking along these lines, we look at what can humanly be done, and there seems to be no answer.  But when we turn our eyes to the Lord and say, “Rescue me,” there is hope.  For where we are unable, he is able. Are we willing to turn our eyes away from ourselves and our situations and to the LORD?  Are we willing to simply lay it all down and say, “Rescue me”?  

As the psalmist looks to God, he is reminded of who God is, His nature, His character.  In verse 12 he says, “I know that the Lord secures justice for the poor and upholds the cause of the needy.”  God is just, and when an innocent party is slandered, He will not ignore it; especially with respect to those who cannot help themselves.  As the psalmist is reminded of these things, he is able to place his trust in God.  And he finds peace.

Prayer: O Lord, rescue me!  And help me place my full trust in you today.  Though there may be people in this world who say and believe false things about me, you know the truth, and you will take care of it.  I also thank you that even though you know the full truth about me, you accept me because of the price Jesus paid.  Thank you for Jesus.  I have hope because of you.

 Bible Reading for Today: Isaiah 12


Lunch Break Study

Read Matthew 15:11, 18-19: What goes into a man’s mouth does not make him ‘unclean,’ but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him ‘unclean’; 18 But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man ‘unclean.’  19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.”

Questions to Consider

As we take a second look at Psalm 140, let’s consider the passage from a different perspective: that of us, who may be tempted to slander others.

  1. Have I ever found myself planning to make life difficult for a certain person?  (v. 2) 
  2. How have my words been lately when I speak of others? (v. 3) 
  3. If I slander another person, whose side is the Lord on? (vv. 11-12) 
  4. Instead of poisonous words against others, what fills the mouths of the righteous? (v. 13) 

Notes

  1. Sometimes when we are hurt by someone, that person becomes our enemy, and our heart can be filled with ill wishes for that person; maybe wanting to see them fail.  We may become passive aggressive, not offering help when they need it.  Or we may start doing things to provoke them, pushing their buttons, picking a fight because we want to see them lose their tempers or otherwise react poorly (“stir up war every day” v. 2).
  2. Often when people speak ill of others, the poison that comes out of their mouths comes from the poison of some unhealed wound in their heart (Matthew 15:19).  
  3. When we are plotting and planning and in general, expressing our unforgiveness of past hurts through slander or other means, God is not on our side.  
  4. And so, the better choice is to let our mouths be filled with praise as we turn, once again, our eyes to God rather than seeking to avenge ourselves on people around us.  Let’s be careful with our words today.

Evening Reflection

How did I spend my day today?  Was I careful with my words?  How did I treat my enemies today?  Was there peace in my heart even as I faced any difficulties because of the things people may have said?

Christmas is a time for family gatherings – generally festive and happy occasions, but often those we love most and have most history with are also those who can or have hurt us most in the past.  In anticipation of these holiday family gatherings, am I ready?  Committed to be careful with my words?  Having forgiven those I need to forgive?  How is my heart?  Is it free from the poison of unforgiveness?  Filled instead with praises of God?

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