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In which I reflect on judgment and vindication…

Psalm 82

New International Version (NIV)

A psalm of Asaph.

God presides in the great assembly;
he renders judgment among the “gods”:

“How long will you defend the unjust
and show partiality to the wicked?
Defend the weak and the fatherless;
uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed.
Rescue the weak and the needy;
deliver them from the hand of the wicked.

“The ‘gods’ know nothing, they understand nothing.
They walk about in darkness;
all the foundations of the earth are shaken.

“I said, ‘You are “gods”;
you are all sons of the Most High.’
But you will die like mere mortals;
you will fall like every other ruler.”

Rise up, O God, judge the earth,
for all the nations are your inheritance.

I went to the scriptures for comfort tonight after a disturbing talk with someone I love. The pain radiating from her voice at the situation she was thrust into breaks my heart and I don’t know what words to say to comfort or encourage her. I’m having a difficult enough time not shouting to the heavens for fire and brimstone on the ones who hurt her in the first place. Then I remember that I shouldn’t take up an offense for another. God alone is responsible for judging others.

What I can do is pray and cry and forgive.

Oh how easy that might be if I were not so very human.

I’ve learned through some VERY difficult lessons in life, that the human race cannot be trusted–myself included in this judgment. We are vindictive, sinful, base creatures with selfish motives and not a kind bone in our body. But for the Grace of God, we are all condemned to death because of the choices we willingly and willfully make day in and day out. I am again stating that I count myself among the worst of the human race. Deceit, pride, unforgiveness, slander, (did I mention pride) flows in our blood as swiftly as the disease and devastation that has destroyed God’s world–all because we “knew better” than God. What a joke. We just condemned ourselves to eternal separation from the one being who loved us enough to bridge that gap with His own pure blood.

So when I reflect on my human tendency to want to rip another human being to shreds for the pain they’ve caused, I might as well finish the job with my own hardened flesh.

Besides, God doesn’t need me to defend Him or His all-seeing, sovereign plan. He works EVERYTHING out for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. We just like to attempt to screw it up with our own pigheadedness and selfish ambition. Whatever gets us our own way, right?

I shudder for those who walk so far from God’s will. Nothing I ever did on this earth could come close to standing before an All Mighty God someday and having to give an account for our choices here on earth. I’m not a huge fan of fire and brimstone preachers, but I can honestly appreciate their fears that we as a human race have lost our fear of the All Mighty God.

We treat Him as a salve or a quick fix. We act like He’s this miracle worker or someone who answers to our whims just because we asked. We pretend that He’s our best bud and that we DESERVE the time of day He’s giving us.

I shudder at the thought of standing before God someday and having to explain to Him exactly why I treated Him more like a bobble-head on my dashboard than the All Mighty Creator of the universe. Somehow I don’t think He’s going to accept that I just didn’t know any better.

Deep in my gut, I KNOW and I shudder.

I also rejoice, because I know that He is ever merciful and forgives so much–His Grace is sufficient in our weaknesses and His strength and love covers a multitude of wrongs.

Praise be to God because this wretched sinner has a whole lot of wrongs to be covered. (No, not hidden–covered by His sacrificial blood)

As angry and pained as I am tonight, I know that God is asking me to forgive and show grace as He has so often shown me. Tonight, I have to ask Him to forgive them for me.

Tomorrow, I might have to ask the same thing…

Someday, I pray that His forgiveness would be mine as well.

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