Today’s post will draw heavily from the Psalms. First we have Psalm 141:
I call upon thee, O Lord; make haste to me!
Give ear to my voice, when I call to thee!
2 Let my prayer be counted as incense before thee,
and the lifting up of my hands as an evening sacrifice!
3 Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord,
keep watch over the door of my lips!
4 Incline not my heart to any evil,
to busy myself with wicked deeds
in company with men who work iniquity;
and let me not eat of their dainties!
5 Let a good man strike or rebuke me in kindness,
but let the oil of the wicked never anoint my head;
for my prayer is continually against their wicked deeds.
6 When they are given over to those who shall condemn them,
then they shall learn that the word of the Lord is true.
7 As a rock which one cleaves and shatters on the land,
so shall their bones be strewn at the mouth of Sheol.
8 But my eyes are toward thee, O Lord God;
in thee I seek refuge; leave me not defenseless!
9 Keep me from the trap which they have laid for me,
and from the snares of evildoers!
10 Let the wicked together fall into their own nets,
while I escape.
I love this Psalm, as it teaches a great deal about humility. It reminds us that we must rely on God, and have no power to compel Him. We are entirely reliant on His love for us, with no means of enforcement. It cautions us about the dangers of the tongue, and how our words lead to sin. It reminds us to watch our company, and choose well. And of course, perhaps most importantly, it tells us that it can be a good thing to be rebuked, even violently. For such chastisement can also be love as well.
Then we have Psalm 146″
Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord, O my soul!
2 I will praise the Lord as long as I live;
I will sing praises to my God while I have being.
3 Put not your trust in princes,
in a son of man, in whom there is no help.
4 When his breath departs he returns to his earth;
on that very day his plans perish.
5 Happy is he whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the Lord his God,
6 who made heaven and earth,
the sea, and all that is in them;
who keeps faith for ever;
7 who executes justice for the oppressed;
who gives food to the hungry.
The Lord sets the prisoners free;
8 the Lord opens the eyes of the blind.
The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down;
the Lord loves the righteous.
9 The Lord watches over the sojourners,
he upholds the widow and the fatherless;
but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.
10 The Lord will reign for ever,
thy God, O Zion, to all generations.
Praise the Lord!
This Psalm is hopeful, but also contains some important warnings. It reminds us not to trust too much in human beings, who are weak and prone to error. After all, we are all doomed to die, and with that death our plans come to nothing. At the same time, if we trust in God, we will not be disappointed. For the Lord saves us, and protects those who are vulnerable.
Finally, a snippet from the Gospel of Matthew:
13 Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked the people; 14 but Jesus said, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” 15 And he laid his hands on them and went away.
I find it funny, in a dark way, how many human beings act like children. But not in the way that Jesus meant. Rather than be trusting and innocent, like these children, instead people are immature and rebellious. It is a reminder that maturity is about more than just age- but how we act.