Sunday, April 2, 2017

A Mere Breath

Psalm 39:1-5

I said,

                              "I will Guard my ways, that I may not sin with my tongue;"

                "I will guard my mouth as with a muzzle, while the wicked are in my presence."

                                 I was dumb and silent, I refrained even from good;

                                                   And my sorrow grew worse.

                        My heart was hot within me;  While I was musing the fire burned;

                                                  Then I spoke with my tongue:

                                              "Lord, Make me to know my end"
                                             "And what is the extent of my days."
                                              "Let me know how transient I am."
                               "Behold, Thou hast made my days as handbreadths"
                                         "And my lifetime as nothing in thy sight"
                                      "Surely every man at his best is a mere breath"

Sometimes it seems like you're damned if you do and damned if you don't.  You just can't win with some people.  And by win I do not mean "best".  A win for me is to succeed in carrying out Romans 12:18;  "If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.".  I have become convinced that sometimes it is just not possible.  Herein lies the catalyst for me being forced to grow up and face the facts.  Some people are hell bent on being wicked and evil.  Even some people in the church and I'd even go so far as to say that it is their delight to be so.

At one time I was so filled with ideal thoughts and beliefs it seemed the Christian life could be exactly like a dramatic movie complete with a perfect happy ending.  I still wish it could be, but those days are long gone.  Now, like the psalmist above, I have come face to face with the knowledge that should give hope to every Christian.  I am but a breath, even at my best.  And wicked men, at their greatest wickedness...are a mere breath.  Rather than causing consternation this knowledge should bring great comfort.

What could have been disillusioning for me ends up being liberating for me.  I know that every single wicked person who fabricates evil is nothing but a breath.  And I know that if I speak, having knowledge of what will save others, I will incur their scorn, wrath and attacks.  But it does not help to keep silent.  I've tried.  The truth in me burns to get out.  And even if I keep silent the wicked rage.  They fabricate all kinds of evil against God's elect without provocation.  Such is the way of life.  But I am not bound to the futility of this life.  I am bound to the eternal God who is my hope.  As the psalmist continues in verse 7 and 8,

                                               "And now, Lord, for what do I wait?"
                                                        "My hope is in Thee."
                                             "Deliver me from all my transgressions;"
                                            "Make me not the reproach of the foolish."  

The foolish and wicked who seek to make miserable the saints of God will be reduced to nothing.  They are but a breath.  And so are we.  Our only hope is in Christ, who redeems and sets us free from the lying tongues of those who know nothing of forgiveness.

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