Friday, March 29, 2013

The Psalms of Asaph; Godly Advice

Today's Reading:
  • Psalm 79:1 - 79:13
  • Proverbs 12:25 - 12:26
Read Bible Passages Online

Psalm 79:1 - 79:13
Psalm 79 is a Psalm of Asaph.  The people are in the midst of great destruction brought upon them from the Lord.  The people are begging the Lord not to punish them, but to instead punish the godless who caused their demise.

I have a few problems with the cries from these people.  First of all, they do not account of any sins.  They claim they are being punished for their ancestors.  I have not yet read about these people anywhere else but these Psalms -- since my readings are broken up, I am reading Psalms along with my regular readings.  That being said, my study bible quotes two verses that state people will no longer be judged by the sins of their parents -- Ezekiel 18:20 and Jeremiah 31:30.  I assume, based on those two verses being quoted here, that the timing of this destruction took place after people were eradicated of the sins of their parents. So in other words, these people are not yet even realizing what sins they have committed (or they are ignoring them and passing blame elsewhere).  If they don't realize the sins they have committed, how can they ask for forgiveness from them?

The other thing that bothers me about this psalm is that the people don't praise the Lord at all.  All they do is ask the Lord to save them, and only then will they praise and thank him forever (79:13).  All the great psalms of David made sure to praise the Lord, even during the midst of the storms he faced.  Our Lord is worthy of praise, always.

The writer of the psalm begged the Lord to punish the offenders, not His own people.  I could certainly see why the Lord would be more harsh with his own people.  I think of my own children -- when one of them knows that they are disobeying, they are always punished far greater than the one that does wrong yet does not realize it.  As the Lord's people, we are expected to love him, and show that we love him, we obey him.  That is how we choose life instead of death. 

Proverbs 12:25 - 12:26
25  Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers them up
26  The godly give good advice to their friends; the wicked lead them astray
These are two very good verses to consider.  I would like to focus on the second one (verse 12:26).  I can say I do my part by giving my friends good advice and not trying to lead them astray.  So when I read that verse, I thought about the reverse of it -- about receiving advise.

According to this verse, I should be wary of the advice of those who are not godly and give much more esteem to the advice of those who are.  I will certainly keep this in mind for anytime that I am faced with a dilemma! 

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