Wednesday, May 25, 2016

There Is No Reason To Succumb To Temptation

Psalm 41:1-13

 To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.

“Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the LORD will deliver him in time of trouble.  The LORD will preserve him, and keep him alive; and he shall be blessed upon the earth: and thou wilt not deliver him unto the will of his enemies.   The LORD will strengthen him upon the bed of languishing: thou wilt make all his bed in his sickness.” (Psalm 41:1-3)

God created mankind in his own image, and our treatment of other people is a reflection of our attitude toward him.  In Matthew 22:37-40, one of the Pharisees asked Jesus which was the most important of God’s commandments.  “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.   This is the first and great commandment.    And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.  On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”  All God’s law revolves around loving God and our fellow man. 

The person who cares enough to find out what those less fortunate than himself actually needed instead of just doing something demonstrates his love for both God and other people.   God will respond by protecting him in his times of trouble, enabling him to survive and prosper.   He will encourage him in times of depression and heal his diseases. 

“I said, LORD, be merciful unto me: heal my soul; for I have sinned against thee.  Mine enemies speak evil of me, When shall he die, and his name perish?  And if he come to see me, he speaketh vanity: his heart gathereth iniquity to itself; when he goeth abroad, he telleth it.  All that hate me whisper together against me: against me do they devise my hurt.  An evil disease, say they, cleaveth fast unto him: and now that he lieth he shall rise up no more.  Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me. “ (Psalm 41:4-9)

David was aware of his sinful nature and knew he often sinned.  He asked God to forgive and heal his emotional and psychological needs his sin produced.  His enemies slandered him and made false accusations and David asked how long they would be allowed to continue.  When they came to see him, it was not to show real concern, but to gloat and gain ammunition against him, so they can spread the slander.   They plotted to destroy his reputation, and his destruction, excusing themselves by claiming his problems were God’s judgment and that he would be destroyed.  They had even managed to influence his closest friends. 

“But thou, O LORD, be merciful unto me, and raise me up, that I may requite them.  By this I know that thou favourest me, because mine enemy doth not triumph over me.” (Psalm 41:10-11)

David asks that God would raise him up so he could repay their slanders and accusations by showing they were false.  The proof of God’s love is that despite all their efforts, enemies of god’s people are unable to get rid of them completely.   They always recover. 

“And as for me, thou upholdest me in mine integrity, and settest me before thy face for ever.  Blessed be the LORD God of Israel from everlasting, and to everlasting. Amen, and Amen.” (Psalm 41:12-13)

Even in the worst times, God enables his people to live with integrity.  I Corinthians 10:13-14 tells us, “ There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.  Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.”  There is no reason for us to give in to temptation or look elsewhere for help.  What a wonderful God we have, for all of eternity. 

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