The LORD does not let the righteous go hungry,
but he thwarts the craving of the wicked.
Many evil people, not necessarily atheists or agnostics, justify their evil deeds because they supposedly have been done to ensure the welfare of their loved ones. Of course, this is just a demonstration of the pride that reigns in their hearts that makes them think that their loved ones should have more privileges than the rest of humanity. Protected by this false justification they oppress their neighbors and they find ways to place their relatives in strategic positions that guarantee them a high standard of living even if they do not have the skills necessary to fulfill the assigned duties, thus leading them to live in corruption . In order not to feel alone in their spiritual mediocrity they advise others to think the same way they do and say things like, “If it is to feed your children, stealing is not bad.” These people say these things because their crass ignorance keeps them from realizing that all we are, or have received comes from the generous hand of God. Those who justify a bad action will stop at nothing to justify any other wrongdoing. If stealing is not wrong then lying, greed, hate, getting carried away by low passions and killing is not bad.
Let us be clear, nothing, absolutely nothing can justify a sin. The Lord does not need to use lies to carry out his plans and he will not either because this would go against his holiness, honor, glory and existence. As children of God we are constantly going through certain situations whose purpose is largely to learn to trust fully in God. Trying to get out of those situations by means of sin is like copying or cheating on an exam. Can anyone be proud to have gotten high marks in an academic test as a result of a dishonest action? Only evil heart may think so. Let us learn how to depend on God in every situation. If we do we will be serving and pleasing God and he will honor us. Otherwise we will only be giving a bad example and many will take advantage of our failures to discredit God, as if this were possible. God is not too far to save. Only to God be the glory!
For through wisdom your days will be many,
and years will be added to your life.
The abundant stupidity that is present in the great majority of people has always been an inexhaustible mine of inspiration for comedians. It is enough to mention the vast amount of jokes whose characters are Polish, Irish, Newfies, etc., with our apologies to the people with these demonyms. Although from a humorous point of view it is quite funny, from the spiritual point of view it is very sad and unfortunate. At every turn there are people who are killed or seriously injured by acting in a stupid or foolish way. Foolishness and poor judgment are the reasons why these people now suffer or lie to rest somewhere in a cemetery. However, the responsibility for acting foolish lies solely with each individual who has voluntarily decided to act that way by paying attention to what his nature tells him. His nature, being corrupt and sinful, can only recommend this person to behave silly and insolently.
Wisdom has been calling all these people in various ways and by different means and all who heeded her call were able to benefit with many blessings. Those who have ignored her call have fallen into severe suffering or are about to do. The word of God has always been available for continuous reading and a systematic study of it will increase our wisdom. However, mankind has chosen to live by the foolish ideas of modern and postmodern philosophers that only bring anguish and despair upon themselves. If you love life you should act with wisdom. James, the brother of the Lord Jesus, wrote: “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” What are you waiting to ask for what is within your reach? Remember that the beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord. 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
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!
Some wandered in desert wastelands,
finding no way to a city where they could settle.
They were hungry and thirsty,
and their lives ebbed away.
For any thing that causes anguish God has an answer and a solution. It is very common at certain times in our lives to find ourselves going through desert wastelands having lost our orientation. The time it will take us to get out of that desert will depend on the stubbornness with which we cling to old ways of doing things, which we know do not work but continue to carry out by not daring to do something different and more aligned with what God commands in His word. The enemy is in charge of bombarding our minds with thoughts of low self-esteem to make us believe, by the endless repetition of his lies, that we can not change or learn to behave in a way that pleases God. Several times I have found in the leadership literature that a definition of insanity is to continue doing the things that end up in failure, expecting to obtain a different result. I think that this definition also applies to folly and it is not surprising since both words, madness and folly, are often used interchangeably.
Are you moving in circles without achieving any progress? Have you ever wondered if the reason for this lies in the manner or direction you’re moving? Are you planning to do things or trying to resolve issues as they come? Have you consulted with God why you are stuck in the road? Are you doing things properly? Often the causes of our slow progress toward spiritual maturity are inappropriate behaviors that we refuse to give up either because we like doing things that way or because we have not bothered to find out what God wants us to do. In a situation like the one shown in the verse of today’s reflection, the Holy Spirit of God inspired the psalmist to let us know the solution to such a serious matter: “Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He led them by a straight way to a city where they could settle.” What is taking you so long to bring your case before the loving presence of your heavenly Father? That is the only place where you will find both guidance and solution to get you out of stagnation. Only to God be the glory!
Posted in Psalms
Tagged Christianity, city, desert, ebb away, God, hungry, life, settle, spirituality, thirsty, wander, wasteland
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom,
and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
For through wisdom your days will be many,
and years will be added to your life.
If you are wise, your wisdom will reward you;
if you are a mocker, you alone will suffer.
Many often wonder why we never run out of wars, economic crises, pain, hunger, pestilence, incurable diseases, violence, insecurity, poverty, injustice, white slavery, drug trafficking, terrorism, repression, tyranny, totalitarianism, anarchy, crimes, kidnapping, fraud, gangs, executions, corruption, and other thorns that are part of the bouquet of brambles with which the world pays us. All the time we become victims of fraud that the world performs with our lives. Is just a simple bait and switch fraud technique. As per the Wicktionary, bait and switch is an unscrupulous and sometimes illegal sales technique, in which an inexpensive product is advertised to attract prospective customers who are then told by sales personnel that the inexpensive product is unavailable or of poor quality and are instead urged to buy a more expensive product. Also, (by extension) any similar deceptive behavior, especially in politics and romantic relationships. All the time the world is using this simple but effective way of defrauding us. On the one hand the world offers three attractive baits: money, power and fame. On the other hand we only receive the long list of thorns mentioned above.
When will we stop being naive and stupid so we can get the most enduring and untouchable treasure that someone may have in this world? When will we be looking for things that do not produce happiness but sadness and pain? When will we stop being puppets of the evil trilogy made by Satan, the world and our own flesh? If we wish to gain wisdom we must begin to live in the fear of God. This does not mean we will live in a state of dread and apprehension. It means that we behave at all times with obedience, reverence and respect for our Creator, that is for our God and heavenly Father. This is the secret of happiness and peace. To God alone be the glory!
The LORD’s curse is on the house of the wicked,
but he blesses the home of the righteous.
There are certain things that are difficult to understand for those who have been raised under the philosophy of postmodernism and unfortunately much of humanity belongs to this category. For example, for them it is tremendously difficult to understand that with God there is no middle ground. For them, the clear division between good and evil ─ without falling into the erroneous dualism ─ presented throughout the stories and teachings of the Word of God is simply incomprehensible. The prevailing relativity of our times considers that the biblical view is an outdated way of understanding life and therefore, they are constantly seeking ways to dilute the impact that these teachings have on the conscience of those who listen, either by directly attacking them or by simply ignoring them like the proverbial ostrich. Before God we have only two options. Either will we follow him or not. Either we obey him or not. Either we pay attention to him or ignore him. Either we repent or remain the beasts that we have been all of our lives. Either we surrender at his feet or reject his offer of reconciliation. Either we accept his incomparable love or refuse the greatest opportunity we will ever have.
The consequences of our actions are clearly defined before us so no excuse will be acceptable to elude the responsibility for our decisions. Faced with two possible outcomes one can only assume either one of two positions: to obey or disobey. Unfortunately, the human race has lost touch with reality and has submerged itself in an accommodating world in which all try to be as light as possible to make room for the uneven amalgam of worldviews that are needed to replace and satisfy the need of having personal contact with our creator. Instead of listening and following God, man has been driven by his carnal impulses and this decision can only bring catastrophic consequences upon him. Let us act, then, with wisdom at the fork in the road of our destiny. Let us follow the loving voice of the Good Shepherd, our Lord Jesus Christ and choose the right path, the path of life and salvation. To God alone be the glory!
I know, LORD, that your laws are righteous,
and that in faithfulness you have afflicted me.
May your unfailing love be my comfort,
according to your promise to your servant.
Let your compassion come to me that I may live,
for your law is my delight.
Justice, discipline, mercy, faithfulness, compassion and joy. All these things mentioned in just three sentences showing the interrelationships that these concepts have among them and their link with the life of the son of God and the importance of adhering to the divine precepts. Many believe that the believer’s life is a life of boredom and difficulties, that there is nothing interesting to do but tedious and monotonous spiritual exercises. Of course, those who think this way are people who have a worldview based on prescriptive elements, ie, people who put the emphasis on “what to do” rather than “what to be.” Until we understand that is more important “to be” than “to do” and that life does not consist only of those things that we accumulate, be it titles, honors or possessions, we will not understand the meaning of the great victory that our Lord Jesus Christ accomplished on the cross of Calvary and the importance this has for each one of us.
Many want to hear the voice of God but are reluctant to seek what he says by his word. Others simply want to hear something “new” from God as if God is someone who changes his mind or lifestyle at every turn. What man needs to know God has already have revealed through His Word and through His creation. Seeking God for fun and entertainment will never achieve its goal for it is necessary that one seeks God with a sincere heart that he may be found. The answer to all concerns and enigmas of humanity can be found in the word of God. Let’s dive, then, in it so we can find the treasures all seek but few find. To God alone be the glory!
Come, my children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the LORD.
Whoever of you loves life
and desires to see many good days,
keep your tongue from evil
and your lips from telling lies.
Turn from evil and do good;
seek peace and pursue it.
Here is a recipe for those who want to know what it is and live in the fear of the Lord. Although the recipe looks simple at first glance it is not so when we look at it in some detail. At first sight, the prescription consists of four ingredients: restrain the tongue from evil, refrain from deceitful lips, stay away from evil and do good and seek peace and pursue it. The first ingredient, restrain the tongue from evil is almost impossible to achieve in this world where people talk and talk without end. Many think that if they talk pretty using convoluted and fanciful words they will be counted for wise when in fact the opposite is true for the more you talk, the more mistakes you’ll make. Additionally we have that people love to grumble and complain about everything and just for nothing and finally, people delight in criticizing others, ignoring the plank that they have in their own eye. Also, we have the issue of lies. Of all the seeds that Satan has planted in the heart of man the one that has put more roots is the seed of deceit. Everybody makes use of lies thinking they will resolve their issues and all they achieve is to dig themselves deeper into the hole.
Departing from evil by itself would allow us to go a long way in our path toward spiritual maturity but we know it is not easy to depart from evil when we are surrounded by it on all sides and our flesh is weak. How much more difficult to do good! Departing from evil is hard work, doing good requires a titanic effort from us. Finally the search for peace is not an activity encoded in the human genome, by contrast, we argue and fight for even the smallest things. We are never satisfied until we impose our ideas and our views on the ideas and the criteria of others. If we coming up with any of the four ingredients is difficult, imagine how much more arduous and tenacious it will be to put all four ingredients together. Through our own efforts we will never achieve anything. Only the transforming power of the Holy Spirit working in our lives without restrictions will allow us to enjoy the advantages and benefits of living in the fear of the Lord. To God alone be the glory!
Posted in Psalms
Tagged Christianity, evil, fear of the Lord, God, good, good times, Holy Spirit, Jesus, lies, life, peace, Psalms