Friday, June 24, 2016

Sinners By Nature

Psalm 58:1-11

To the chief Musician, Altaschith, Michtam of David.

“Do ye indeed speak righteousness, O congregation? do ye judge uprightly, O ye sons of men?  Yea, in heart ye work wickedness; ye weigh the violence of your hands in the earth.” (Psalm 58:1-2)

Reading through the Psalms, on begins to understand the frustration David must have felt during the years he was fleeing from Saul.  Though he had committed no crime and had not tried to usurp authority, Saul had ordered him killed.  As a result, many people concluded he was a criminal and betrayed him to Saul in an effort to curry favor, while ignoring the fact that he had often protected them. 

In Leviticus 19:15 God commanded, “Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honour the person of the mighty: but in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbor.”  By simply accepting the government’s (Saul’s) accusations without checking out the facts, the people of Israel were violating God’s commands and judging unfairly.   By helping Saul, they became accessories in attempted murder, yet they would have insisted that they were doing what was right by obeying the King. 

While we have a responsibility to obey those who are in authority, they do not have the authority to override God’s commands, and when they try, as the Apostles said in Acts 5:29, “…We ought to obey God rather than men.”    When we accept men’s orders over God’s we have placed that person ahead of God, and he knows our heart.  While we may justify it to ourselves, As Proverbs 21:2 says, “Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth the hearts.”  To blindly follow our leaders is a form of idolatry.

“The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies.  Their poison is like the poison of a serpent: they are like the deaf adder that stoppeth her ear; Which will not hearken to the voice of charmers, charming never so wisely.” (Psalm 58:3-5)

Psychology tells us people are born good and are taught to do evil.  The scriptures tell us people are born with a natural instinct to do wrong, as a result of Adam’s sin, and must learn to do what is right.  Unfortunately some have erroneously taught that we inherit Adam’s sin, no just the instinct to sin, (the sin nature) and judge that baby as guilty.   When he is born, the baby is innocent, unable to choose between right and wrong.   To be innocent only means he has not done wrong, not that he will not.

Soon after birth, the baby learns that crying gets his mother’s attention, and depending on how the mother works with him either learns to manipulate her by crying and essentially lying to her, or learns that he is loved and doesn’t need to manipulate her.  He is already learning to choose whether to do right or take advantage.    If their fake crying is rewarded they continue to practice them, becoming  more demanding and selfish.    Unfortunately, the psychological model tends to reward and thus encourage the sinful attitude.    The results of the belief that children are inherently good and do not need to learn what is right are obvious in modern society.

If allowed or encouraged to continue, that sinful, selfish attitude consumes the person’s life poisoning everything, and they become as dangerous as a poisonous snake.  Eventually they reach a point where they will not listen to anyone and attack those who try to soothe and appease them.   At this point, attempts to change their attitude are rarely successful because the wicked attitude is so deeply ingrained.        

“Break their teeth, O God, in their mouth: break out the great teeth of the young lions, O LORD.  Let them melt away as waters which run continually: when he bendeth his bow to shoot his arrows, let them be as cut in pieces.  As a snail which melteth, let every one of them pass away: like the untimely birth of a woman, that they may not see the sun.  Before your pots can feel the thorns, he shall take them away as with a whirlwind, both living, and in his wrath. ” (Psalm 58:6-9)

David prays that God intervenes on his behalf, breaking  their teeth out so it hurts when they bite down or that they melt away like the snowdrifts which supply a river.   When they take aim to attack him may god make it like somebody cut their bow in pieces so they can’t attack.  May they be like a snail (slug) when a bit of salt is sprinkled on him destroying the cell membranes and causing them to melt away, or like a baby that is born before it can survive.   He expects God to destroy them even before their attacks do any harm.    

“The righteous shall rejoice when he seeth the vengeance: he shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked.  So that a man shall say, Verily there is a reward for the righteous: verily he is a God that judgeth in the earth.” (Psalm 58:10-11)

Those who do right will be encouraged when they see the wicked destroyed by God..  People will realize God rewards those who serve him and that he punishes those who do wickedly.  Unfortunately, when we avenge ourselves, people learn to respect and fear us instead of God.  

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