A person is praised according to their prudence,
and one with a warped mind is despised.
Here is an immediate return to the kind of life we are leading. Those who make their life a career to hurt others receive general contempt and when they try to fall in favor with others they never get a drop of sympathy. By contrast, to those who behave wisely there is an immediate reward of praise from the people. We are talking about genuine praise, popular gratitude for living an irreproachable life and for showing love and justice in all things that are undertaken. Many wicked men think they are doing very well because they confuse flattery with praise. They are the subject of deception on the part of those who stick to them in the interests of making a profit and at the same time they deceive themselves because they are quite desperate to receive an affection they never won and never will earn for they do everything wrong. Flattery is nothing but a lie dressed to pose as a compliment.
Seek, then, to live a life based on the heavenly wisdom that comes from God the Father, wisdom that grant us long life, which is more profitable than gold and silver, which is more valuable than rubies, which gives us honor, peace and joy. Want to enjoy this wisdom? She is at your fingertips. Just ask God and he will give it to you, for God gives generously to all without finding fault. In front of you there is a bifurcation: one road leads you down a path of justice that will bring you praise, the other road will take you down the path of evil which can only bring you pain and contempt. Which of the two roads will you choose? Look up to Jesus Christ, stick with him and he will help you stay faithful and on the right track. Only to God be the glory!
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
The kings of old used to make a banquet after having achieved victory in battle. At the banquet the enemy king who had been defeated was placed at the foot of the table where the winner ate as an act of humiliation to the loser and hence as a gesture of exaltation of the victor. Anointing the guest of honor with perfumed oil was another way of exalting him, and the availability of wine to gladden the guests to the celebration speaks of joy and satisfaction for being able to carry out the task successfully. In this portion of the famous Psalm 23 King David tells us that the foundation of his success is the power of God and that only to him he owes the privilege of celebrating victory over his enemies.
Have you recently achieved success in the tasks you have undertaken? If so, have you recognized that everything you achieved was because you had God’s help? and if you did not have any success, was it because you did not depend on God, but of your own strengths and abilities? The word of God tells us to commit to the LORD whatever we do, and he will establish our plans, that is, he will ensure that everything is brought to fruition. If we depend on our own strength, two things will happen. First, we will utterly fail and second, we will feel faint because our forces are limited, especially when compared to those of our formidable enemies. Conversely, if we depend on God two things will happen, one is that we will win by decisively defeating our adversaries and the other is that we did not have to use our own energy because God took care of everything and in the best way possible. Which of these two options do you prefer? Only to God be the glory!
Posted in Psalms
Tagged anointed, cup, enemies, God, head, Jesus, life, oil, overflow, prepare, presence, table
How useless to spread a net
where every bird can see it!
These men lie in wait for their own blood;
they ambush only themselves!
The fate of those who have decided to pursue a life of crime and perversion is announced and will come in due course. It is quite possible that those who do wrong are aware of what awaits them for their wrongdoing and yet little they care about their eternal future. They continue to act maliciously causing all the damage they can do to achieve their personal goals in this world. Not only they will do all the evil they may cause bu they will also invite those who do not act like them to accompany them in their outrages. They believe that if all do wrong their responsibility will be diluted in the collective responsibility. They do not understand that the judgment that will come is a personal one and saying that the wrong they did is no different from the bad that others will not work as an excuse or mitigating factor to reduce their sentence.
Let us not be convinced by these people to pursue evil purposes. Our destination is the heavenly country where the throne of God and the Lamb is. Our heritage is love, joy and peace in God’s presence for eternity. Our future is assured by Him who gave His life for us on a Roman cross. We have nothing to do with darkness or with the people who hide in them to satisfy their appetites and passions. Eternal life awaits for us and weeping and gnashing of teeth in eternal punishment awaits for them. Let’s look at the future with confidence and act with gratitude and loyalty to Him who rescued us from darkness to bring us into His marvelous light, our beloved Lord Jesus Christ. Only to God be the glory!
Posted in Proverbs
Tagged ambush, birds, blood, Christianity, God, Jesus, joy, love, net, peace, wisdom
But as for me, it is good to be near God.
I have made the Sovereign LORD my refuge;
I will tell of all your deeds.
In these postmodern times no one knows and few care about what is right and what is wrong. The characteristic ambiguity of postmodernism makes no distinction between black and white, all boundaries disappear and everything becomes a range of gray tones without limits. Gradually we can see how practices and customs that until now have always been considered sin, are now being accepted as normal for the sake of a misunderstood tolerance. The world, which has plunged into total confusion, would rather accept whatever comes its way so it does not have to bother to separate what should be from what should not be. Everything is accepted and taken for legitimate and nobody cares what is going on as long as all thoughts are focused on putting man at the center of the universe. No one seems concerned that values have become obsolete, but as soon as someone is affected by the vices of another, that someone becomes outraged and calls for justice.
Existentialism placed emotions above reason, the world accepted these ideas without objections and now we all suffer the consequences of living in a world of confusion and violence where tolerance becomes the cardinal virtue and the traditional scheme of values has lost relevance. The psalmist Asaph ends the psalm with a clear and firm statement: “But as for me, it is good to be near God.” Who can refute this truth? What about you? How close are you to God? What gives meaning to your life? Do you just go along with your emotions and your sensual pleasures or rely upon the word of God to make your decisions? Your actions are controlled by your scheme of values. And for you, Who is above all things, you or God? Calibrate your values against the word of God and you will know how close or far you are from Him. Only to God be the glory!
Charge them with crime upon crime;
do not let them share in your salvation.
Although at first glance the request of King David looks cruel and short of compassion, what he is asking God is not far removed from what their enemies aspire. They have chosen to live a life of sin. They rejoice in their lusts and their bad behavior. They boast of being more intelligent than their opponents because they have stripped the poor of what little remained. They do not want to walk along the paths of God. They prefer to travel on their own paths full of blood and destruction. Their weapons are insult and betrayal. Their proud hearts are full of deceit. In a nutshell, they do not want to side with God. In other words, King David is saying, “Grant them their wishes to live apart from you. Make sure they accumulate enough sins and that they do not repent to grant them their wish to live away from you and the light so they may live forever in darkness. “
We have the biblical and moral obligation to warn these wicked people of the consequences of their misbehavior. That the truth of the gospel shine or not upon their lives and that God’s Holy Spirit removes the veil that covers their hearts today depend only on the grace of God. So, while we are in this world, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” Let us ask the Lord for compassion and the urge to deal with souls who are about to be lost. It’s time to start harvesting. Only to God be the glory!
Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.
There are things that are easily and quickly attained and there are other things that take a much longer time to accomplish. Usually the best things are those that take longer to be achieved. Hence, God has given us hope. Hope is to put our eyes on reaching that one day, which is not necessarily just around the corner, when all will be completed. All this looks all right until we put our hope in things that do not suit us. That’s where the problems begin because as our heavenly Father does not allow things to happen to us that do not work out for our good, that which does not suit us we will never achieve and it will be a cause for frustration. Since most do not understand God’s plan for our lives we put our hope in many things that are not aligned with the strategy and the perfect will of God, hence our problems and tribulations.
The word of God is full of fine promises the Lord Almighty has prepared with great love for all of us His children for us to enjoy them in due course. To know those promises we must read the word of God regularly and with an attitude of obedience and respect. For now, we rejoice in knowing that some day, which is not to far, all that causes pain and concern will disappear to give way to joy and happiness. However, we must not forget that these promises belong to those who have accepted Christ as Savior and Lord and those who honor Him by being obedient and showing good behavior.Only to God be the glory!
Posted in Proverbs
Tagged Christianity, fulfillment, God, heart, hope, Jesus, life, longing, love, sickness, tree
“But now, Lord, what do I look for?
My hope is in you.
If anyone needs an example of how to put his hope in God, just remember the last words of our Lord Jesus Christ as He hung on the tree seconds before submitting His spirit, “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit!” We know that Jesus’ hope was honored by God because on the third day, God raised Him from the grave, freeing Him from the chains of death and giving Him absolute victory over the great enemy of mankind and antithesis of all that Jesus Christ means to all creation. The Lord said, “I am the way and the truth and the life.” The Lord, who is life Himself, could not be bound by death because God is above all things for He is the Creator of all that is, seen and unseen.
When you think that everything has failed and you have no more hope, approach the only one who truly you can go to and who will never disappoint you. He is our hope. We long for His return to get rid of this physical body full of sin and destined to fall into the clutches of death. Let us say together with the Psalmist King David: “I put my hope in you!” And let us rejoice like David also saying: “I put on the Lord all my hope, he leaned toward me and heard my cry. He took me from the pit of death, the mud and mire, and set my feet upon a rock, and planted me on solid ground. He put in my mouth a new song, a hymn of praise to our God.” Only to God be the glory!
We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to our own way;
and the LORD has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
I can imagine how the Jewish religious leaders who were responsible for convincing the crowd that demanded Pilate the indignant crucifixion of the righteous, once having witnessed the bloody execution and confirmed that the humble carpenter would not be any longer a nuisance to them, returned to their homes to begin the Sabbath that Moses had instructed them to follow by orders of God himself. They should have arrived home minutes before sundown to start the day of rest. They must have felt very pleased to have achieved the goal that they had long had committed themselves to take the life of the humble but popular and dangerous (for them) Galilean leader. They should have eaten that night with great pleasure and joy because they believed that their problems had been solved once and for all. Little could they imagine that him who had died on the cross a few hours before was whom they had been waiting for so long and who was the fulfillment of the promise of freedom given to the people by God.
Just the night before they had held the annual ritual of the Passover, that is the commemoration of the protection with which God covered the people of Israel when the Angel of the Lord fulfilled the ultimate measure of pressure on Pharaoh to let free the people chosen by God. Little could they imagine that lamb that they were chewing on the night before was the sign of the true Lamb of God that few hours before had been sacrificed for all, Jews and non Jews. Like Satan, their guide, they were glad to see how things were going. By no means they came to suspect that the next day, the death that they had used to get rid of the teacher from Nazareth would be defeated forever. May the glory of the resurrection of the Lord always prevails over the sadness of the painful and bloody sacrifice which the Lord had to go through to rescue us from sin and death. Only to God be the glory!
You save the humble
but bring low those whose eyes are haughty
It seems incredible that at this point in world history man has not realized the truth of the statement of today’s portion. God hates arrogance, period. How is it that so few people can understand this? In my opinion, the fact that most of humanity still thinks it’s better to be haughty than humble is a clear demonstration of the power of the flesh or sinful nature of man over man. Regardless of socio-economic status, education level, age, gender, nationality or skin color, all human beings are victims of their pride. We can trace the source of pride to no other than the enemy of our souls, Satan, who despite the privileged position that he had within creation he thought everything was a result of his own efforts, wisdom and his perfect beauty. It was because of his beauty that he was filled with pride and because of his splendor that his wisdom was corrupted .
Our sinful nature is a very powerful force which can easily lead us into the sin of pride. Our own strength is not sufficient to overcome this powerful force that threatens the stability of our relationship with God. Only the power of God, which is superior to anything visible or invisible in the universe can overcome and control this dreadful enemy of our holiness. That is why we must rely on God’s power to resist the attacks of our own flesh and of the enemy and come out on top of the test. If we put our trust in anything other than the power of God we will be doomed to failure and pain. Let us entrust, then, every day our life and our relationship with God to him and only to him. Let us recognize his authority and dominion over our lives and let us go forward trusting in his power to protect us from evil. Only to God be the glory!
As a dog returns to its vomit,
so fools repeat their folly.
One thing is characteristic of fools. At all times they persist in their folly. In other words, they are very consistent. They turn neither to the right nor to the left. For them this is a bad condition because it does not allow them to amend their attitude but to the wise this serves as notice and warning so they can avoid becoming involved in the entanglements that result from the crazy and absurd ideas of fools. Because of our sinful nature, the whole human race behaves like a fool from time to time for which we have to repent. Occasional foolishness is no different from any other kind of mistake or sin. Correcting the situation requires repentance and requesting forgiveness from God and from our neighbor.
What was the most recent stupid thing you did? Consider this carefully. Chances are it was something you said without much thought. Your tongue was faster than your brain and you said something that caused pain to your neighbor even if it was not intended. Or maybe you thought you’d say something funny and ended up saying something that really annoyed your friend. Thank God he always gives us a second chance to rectify our foolish acts. Perhaps we will not be able to make the consequences of our error go away. They will always be there to remind us that we need to be very careful with our behavior and our words. Let us ask God for wisdom to get rid of the nonsense that accompanies us even from the day we were born. By his grace and love God will give us the wisdom not to act like those fools who convincingly insist to show the world how stupid they are. Only to God be the glory!