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Bible Order: Jeremiah 39–42
Chronological Order: Jeremiah 49-50
New Testament Only: Romans 12:9–13:7

Let Your Light Shine Before Men

Psalms 68–69

Light - Par can beamThe mini-series “The Stand” by Stephen King has been on the SciFi channel lately.  I enjoyed reading the book on which that mini-series is based shortly after college many years ago, and read it once again just a year or two ago.  I have always found the story fascinating because it is an imagining of the end of the age; something with which I have always been fascinated.  It is a story about the end of civilization, with the few remaining humans dividing up between the good and the bad.  A confrontation is inevitable and the title, “The Stand”, refers to the need of the good people to take their stand against the bad.

As always, we can’t get solid theology from pop culture, but in some ways Stephen King got it right.  There is an end coming, and good will defeat evil, and of course, you and I must take our stand against evil.  Stephen got another aspect of this right as well.  The “good” people did not take up arms against the bad.  They depended on God and stood against evil with nothing more than righteousness and obedience.  In the end it was the hand of God that destroyed the evil.

Reading the 69th Psalm I was reminded of all that.  Verse 6 prayerfully asks that those that hope in God not be put to shame through the Psalmist.  He asks that those that seek God not be brought to dishonor through him.

Psalm 69:6 ESV

“Let not those who hope in you be put to shame through me,
O Lord God of hosts;
let not those who seek you be brought to dishonor through me,
O God of Israel.”

Surrounding that verse are other verses that cry for salvation from those that would do the Psalmist harm.  The Psalm goes on to say “and the reproaches of those who reproach you have fallen on me.”  Jesus told us the world would hate us because it hated Him.  We will face trouble from the lost.  They will accuse us of all kinds of outrageous acts.  We cannot overcome all the falsehoods that will be cast our way.  Still, our prayer, like David’s should be that our acts will not bring shame and dishonor on our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.

I hope I’m making the distinction clear.  It is one thing for us to be accused of, and condemned for, things we have not done, or are not wrong.  It is another thing for us to be rightly accused.  We must do what is right.  We cannot, and should not, fight God’s battles with Satan’s weapons.  We must govern our words and our deeds so as to reflect rightly the light of Christ.  God will win the battle.  Let us do our part.

I want to close with some comments by J. Vernon McGee about the 69th Psalm as I found them interesting.

“This is a great messianic psalm. It is another psalm of David, and it is unique because it deals with the silent years in the life of the Lord Jesus. It is also called a shoshannim, or lily, psalm because He is the Lily of the Valley as well as the Rose of Sharon, and He is altogether lovely. Next to Psalm 22 it is the most quoted psalm in the New Testament. Psalm 22 deals with the death of Christ; Psalm 69 deals with the life of Christ. I was drawn to this psalm when I was a student in college, and from that day to this it has been a favorite of mine. Psalm 22 is number one on the Hit Parade of the New Testament as far as quotes go, and Psalm 69 is second on the Hit Parade. It is quoted in the Gospel of John, in Romans, in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and Acts. Very candidly, I think there are many references to it which are not actual quotations. It is classified as an imprecatory psalm because verses 22–28 are what is known as an imprecatory prayer. Yet from that section the New Testament writers often quoted.

This psalm tells us about the silent years of Christ’s childhood and young manhood, of which the Gospels tell us practically nothing. Dr. Luke tells us about an incident in the life of our Lord when He was twelve years old, and then we learn nothing else about Him until He is about thirty years old. What about that period of time? This psalm fills in some of the details. We see some of Christ’s dark days in Nazareth and His dark hours on the cross. His imprecatory prayer is actually a cry for justice. This is the psalm of His humiliation and rejection.”

McGee, J. V. (1997). Thru the Bible commentary (electronic ed.). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

That’s it guys.  Let your life reflect the light of Christ that you will not bring shame or dishonor upon your brothers and sisters in Christ.  Let your light shine before men!

Have a brilliant day brothers!

Your brother and servant in Christ,

Bill

Dying to self, living to serve!

(Originally posted 6/26/10)

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