Blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the Lord! Today’s first reading celebrates the gift of God’s covenant. Throughout the psalm various terms are used to describe the instruction that God provides us through His Word. He demands my whole-hearted obedience! He demands that I have an upright heart! I am reminded that storing His Word in my heart is the secret to keeping my way pure. I can remember my father, in the early days of his Christian walk, determining that his influence would not be what it should be if he continued the habit of smoking cigarettes which he had picked up in his younger days. He carried a small new testament in his pocket and when he felt the urge to smoke, he would pull the new testament out and read. Over a period of time, he was able to overcome this harmful habit.
The second reading introduces us to the man Job and Satan’s questioning of the genuineness of his integrity. The conversation recorded here, between God and Satan, has always intrigued me. Some may mistakenly begin their lives as Christian’s thinking that God has put a “hedge” around them. But this certainly is not the case. Although God has promised, that things will eventually work together for good for His children (Romans 8:28), he has not promised us a life free of sorrow, pain and temptation. That life is reserved for heaven (Revelation 21:4; Galatians 5:19-21).
Today’s Readings: Psalm 119:1-88; Job 1; Isaiah 22; John 18:28-19:16
Isaiah’s fourth oracle against Jerusalem is presented. He identifies again the failure of its leaders. The ESV Study Bible says of this oracle, “The people of Jerusalem are marked by mindless escapism and frantic self-salvation… These verses reveal the irony of attentive energies given to military readiness with thoughtless inattention to the sovereign God who controls the situation.”
The final reading from John’s gospel reminds me of the cruel punishment that Jesus endured for me! He was flogged by Pilate. The crown of thorns and the purple robe of mockery ridiculed Jesus’ claims. The cruel words of those to whom he had preached, cried over and over, “Crucify Him, crucify him!” I am mindful of the fact that I crucify Him afresh when I fail to honor Him with my obedience (Hebrews 6:4-6).
Have a blessed day, dear reader!