Monday, February 27, 2012

Psalms 26...26 Days Left

Psalms 26 is a prayer all Christian's should be able to pray. 

"Vindicate me, O Lord,for I have walked in my integrity,and I have trusted in the Lord without wavering.Prove me, O Lord, and try me;test my heart and my mind.For your steadfast love is before my eyes,and I walk in your faithfulness." -- Ps 26:1-3

This is something I truly hope to do. I pray my motives are true. That if the Lord did test my heart & mind, they would stand solid. 

You hear stories of missionaries out in the field who are told to renounce God or they or their children or both will be killed and they stand firm as their entire family is tortured & murdered. You hear of young people like Cassie Bernall who was shot & killed in Columbine by her classmate because when asked about whether she believed in God, she said "Yes." You hear of all these things & then wonder, "What would I do in that situation?" You like to think you would hold strong & take the bullet or knife or torture. But, in the dark, all alone, when you think of such it just me, or does everyone really wonder if they would hold tight & not deny Christ like Peter did (Luke 22)?

"I do not sit with men of falsehood,nor do I consort with hypocrites.I hate the assembly of evildoers,and will not sit with the wicked." -- Ps. 26:4-5

I recently shared an article on Facebook about Rick Warren teaming up with Muslims & claiming that we worship the same god. I do not intend on going on now about how this is not true but Warren teaming up with Muslims is not an example of the verses above. 

The verse says, "I do not sit..." "To sit with" someone was not the same thing as them sitting together at dinner. The Hebrew word for "sit" in this instance is "yashab." It means more than just hanging out & chatting. It means to dwell, remain, live with, marry. So in this verse, the psalmist is saying he does not form deep relationships with people who live & preach a false gospel or follow the ways of the world. 

Paul warned against this in 2 Corinthians 6:14-16a:

"Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God;" -- 2 Cor. 6:14-16a

"I wash my hands of innocenceand go around your alter, O Lord,proclaiming thanksgiving aloud,and telling all your wondrous deeds." -- Ps. 26:6-7

When you have truly been forgiven, it is difficult not to praise the Savior. However, we can start to feel self-conscious after a little while & then almost feel ashamed. But Christ has blessed us so much, why wouldn't we want to share that with others in hopes that they will accept Christ & partake in the blessings of God as well. Do we hate our friends so much that we don't share the most amazing gift every freely given with them? 

God has blessed me so much that I have nothing worth half of what He has given me. All I can do is praise Him...there is nothing I have of worth. He is God. What could I possibly give Him. Everything I have is from Him...even my life. I am completely & utterly poor & wretched...I have nothing. The only thing thing I can offer Him is my praise.

"O Lord, I love the habitation of your houseand the place where your glory dwells.Do not sweep my soul away with sinners,nor my life with bloodthirsty men,in whose hands are evil devices,and whose right hands are full of bribes." -- Ps. 26:8-10

David is the writer of this psalm & since the temple has not been constructed yet, God's "house" & place His "glory dwells" is the tabernacle. 

David loved the Lord with all his heart (Acts 13:22). Once things had finally settled down on the war-front for David, he looked around & noticed what a lovely & ornate palace he was living in & then realized God's Glory only had a tent to reside in. David decided he should build a great temple for God to "rest" in. But, that was not what God willed. God had set aside that task for David's son, Solomon. All-in-all, David still loved the tabernacle. Not because it was some fancy place but because that is where God was. 

After Christ's sacrifice, those of us who have had our sins cleansed, are now the dwelling of the Spirit. We no longer have to go to a building to find God, He is living in us. 

"Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body." -- 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

"But as for me, I shall walk in my integrity;redeem me, and be gracious to me.My foot stands on level ground;in the great assembly I will bless the Lord." -- Ps. 26:11-12

These last two verses sum up the whole passage. 

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