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Reflections – November 18, 2009

In our first reading, David describes the situation of his attack by his accusers (vv. 1-5), then prays extensively that his accusers would receive what they deserve (vv. 6-21), and follows this with a prayer that expresses faith in God’s steadfast love (vv. 21-31).

Phillip Yancey observes that most of us are reluctant to pray that our accusers’ “children be fatherless” and that “the creditor seize all that he has,” as David does here. We are told by Jesus to pray for our enemies (Matthew 5:44), but does David’s prayer meet the intent of that command. Yancey says,

“If a person wrongs me. I have several options. I can seek personal revenge, a response condemned by the Bible. I can deny or suppress my felling of hurt and anger. Or, I can take those feelings to God, entrusting God with the task of retributive justice. The cursing psalms are vivid examples of that last option. The authors are expressing their outrage to God, not to the enemy.” (Prayer – Does It Make Any Difference, p. 173).

It may be that I suffer at the hands of my accusers today. If so, may I look to God as David did and pray, “But You, O God my Lord, deal on my behalf for Your name’s sake; because your steadfast love is good, deliver me!” Praise the Lord!

The second reading describes the process of the Assyrians populating Samaria after the people of Israel are taken away captive to Assyria. There existed in the land a strange mixture of paganism with the commandments, statutes, and rules of the one true God. As I reflect on my service to God, I realize that, if I am not careful, I can allow place in my heart to other priorities. I can allow Satan to put other things into my heart that become more important to me than serving God. Lord, may it never be!

Today’s Readings: Psalm 109; 2 Kings 17:24-41; Isaiah 6; John 11:1-54

Our reading from prophecy today is of Isaiah’s vision of the Lord sitting upon a throne, of his confession, “Woe is me! For I am lost; I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips…” and of the seraphim flying to him with the message that his guilt has been taken away and his sin atoned for.

Isaiah’s humility, and readiness to serve (“Here am I! Send me.”) is a great role model for me as I work to build on my strengths to become a better servant-leader! I have the same goal that he did, to help people see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed! May I engage myself in that mission as long a the Lord gives me breath!

The final reading today is the touching story of the death of Lazarus and the tender compassion with which Jesus counseled and consoled the departed one’s sisters. Jesus is deeply moved and weeps over the death of his dear friend. It is significant that, even though Jesus knew full well that he was “the resurrection and the life,” that he was touched with the grief of the moment. I learn many important principles from this scripture. Jesus is my perfect role model for consoling people in their grief. His example also shows me the appropriateness of the grieving process, even when we know death will be followed by resurrection and joy (1 Thessalonians 4:13).

Make time in your busy life for the daily reading of His Word and have a blessed day, dear friend!

–Randy Sexton

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