Saturday, June 3rd, 2017
Self-Examination (Part 74)
Truly God is good to Israel,
To those whose hearts are pure.
But as for me, I almost lost my footing.
My feet were slipping, and I was almost gone.
For I envied the proud,
When I saw them prosper despite their wickedness.
They seem to live such painless lives;
Their bodies are so healthy and strong.
They don't have troubles like other people;
They're not plagued with problems like everyone else.
They wear pride like a jeweled necklace,
And clothe themselves with cruelty.
Psalm 73:1-6 (NLT)*
Let not mercy and truth forsake you;
Bind them around your neck,
Write them on the tablet of your heart,
And so find favor and high esteem
In the sight of God and man...
The Lord by wisdom founded the earth;
By understanding He established the heavens;
By His knowledge the depths were broken up,
And clouds drop down the dew.
My son, let them not depart from your eyes--
Keep sound wisdom and discretion;
So they will be life to your soul
And grace to your neck.
Proverbs 3:3-4, 19-22 (NKJV)**
Necklaces are obvious adornments. Like gold chains, they may advertise your wealth. Like a locket, they may hold someone dear. Like a cross, they may symbolize your faith. Or you may think they're just fashion statements.
Spiritually, necklaces are signs: revealing your heart to unseen powers, by your visible acts and behaviors. They are non-verbal communicators.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: Do you wear pride, seen by struts and smirks, by me-first lifestyles and decisions, by flashing smiles of supremacy?
Or do you wear Christ's mercy and truth, seen by genuine humility? By God-first lifestyles and decisions, by kind smiles to the poorest of the poor?
So who are these poorest of the poor? Are they refugees and prisoners? Are they hungry, naked and ailing? Are they the least of your Lord's brethren?*** Yes, they are found in these miseries and they are found in lowly places.
Spiritually, they're also found here. They're watching screens and holding iPhones. They're going to enormous concerts. They're following the paths lit by stars. They're worshipping manmade images. They're entertainment's devoted fans...
And you're destined to be found by them. Therefore, make sure you're dressed for success,**** topped off by the loveliest necklace.
To Be Continued...
* Entirety of Psalm 73: a godly man's struggle in understanding with evil men prosper and good men suffer: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm+73&version=NLT
* Exposition on Psalm 73: http://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/treasury-of-david/psalms-73-1.html
** Entirety of Proverbs 3: Guidance for the Young: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Proverbs+3&version=NKJV
*** These sobering Verses hit me hard every time I read Them: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=mat+25%3A31-44&version=NKJV
**** Godly apparel will be covered later in this series.
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Self-Examination series.