Through the blessing of the upright a city is exalted,
but by the mouth of the wicked it is destroyed.
We often wonder why God allows the existence of towns and cities where his name is despised. These towns and cities are populated by wicked people who have misbehaved for years and years, despite the many warnings against it. Towns and cities are known worldwide for using the questionable lifestyle of those who inhabit them as a trademark. Thus we have, for example, San Francisco, California where there is a large community of people who live according to the gay lifestyle. Las Vegas, Nevada, is known for gambling and prostitution. They even call it “Sin City”! Both the principality of Monaco and Macau, one of the Special Administrative Regions of China have been important centers for gambling for a long time. The mountain fortress of Alamut in Iran, now in ruins, used to represent the ultimate place where you could find a murderer for hire. Indeed, the English word assassin comes from the word hashashin, which means smoker of hashish in the Arabic language. But that’s another story.
Many times we complain about violence, poverty and other ills that prevail in the places where we live. We say that the fault lies with the civil authorities who have, by their gross inability, allowed crime to advance freely and without reins. But when was the last time you prayed for your city? Abraham interceded beyond reason with God to save Sodom and Gomorrah. After intense negotiations God accepted that if ten righteous people were found in Sodom he would cancel the sentence of destruction he had imposed on the two cities because of their collective sin of homosexuality. Unfortunately for the sodomites, only four people were found, so the punishment was carried out as it had been decreed. By contrast, the city of Nineveh was spared by the prompt intervention of the repentant king and the obedience of its people to his call for collective fasting. Intercede for your city, chances are that’s all that remains for God to begin to pour out his blessings on it. Only to God be the glory!
The righteous detest the dishonest;
the wicked detest the upright.
Many people think that the children of God must stand silent and not express their opinion about the evil deeds with which the wicked have filled the world. However, there are many things that are non-negotiable for the son God because God does not accept compromises. One of these things that God does not tolerate is injustice. The wicked, on the other hand, rejoice in injustice and make it their favorite tool when it comes to exercise and abuse the power with which the world has rewarded them for their wrongdoings. For the Son of God all evidence of injustice and evil must be rejected and condemned and the perpetrators must be rebuked publicly. Many become discouraged because most of the time their complaints do not produce the expected results. We must understand that the world is under the control of evil and evil will always take precedence and it will remain so until the Lord Jesus Christ returns and puts an end to all evil.
The child of God should feel angry when faced with injustice. His response to evil cannot be cold indifference or cowardly flight. Popular wisdom tell us that “Silence speaks volumes”, so if we remain silent to injustice we are in fact accepting and approving it and that is not pleasing to our heavenly Father. If the presence of evil does not cause repulsion to you, your life is not being controlled by the Holy Spirit of God and you run the risk of eventually committing the same injustices to which you remain silent today. May the reason for our daily prayer be to be guided by the voice of the Holy Spirit speaking to our spirit and the word of God, engraved in our hearts pointing the right way. Remaining silent is not an option. As children of God must proclaim and defend justice and truth. To God alone be the glory!
Whoever leads the upright along an evil path
will fall into their own trap,
but the blameless will receive a good inheritance.
One of the most common entertainments of the wicked is to mislead the unwary and foolish from the straight path and have them imitate their wrongdoing. They use all kinds of tricks and traps to induce the naive to do the bad things they’ve been doing and for which they feel proud. Of course they use all kinds of lies and when they succeed in their mission to divert the unwary from the right path, instead of celebrating they make fun of him and make a mockery by accusing him of stupid. The only way they can achieve their purpose is through trickery and that is why we must never go distracted.
In any case, these wicked fellows shall fall into the traps that they have tended at the foot of the inexperienced to take them down. Their lies and tricks will be turned against them in the same way that a boomerang returns to the hands of the one who threw it. From this retribution they will not be able to escape because it is a principle established by God to punish the wicked who manage to confound the unwary. Let us always be alert to the wiles of the enemy. He will always be looking for our downfall and will take advantage of any unguarded moment to attack us with his arsenal of tricks and pranks. I we are aware of his traps we will not be snared by them. Our heavenly Father will give us the discernment and wisdom needed to stay in the center of the right track. To God alone be the glory!
For the LORD gives wisdom;
from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
He holds success in store for the upright,
he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless,
for he guards the course of the just
and protects the way of his faithful ones.
Oftentimes our heavenly Father protects us by blocking physical and personal attacks that the enemy of our souls constantly hurls at us. Other times, he grants us wisdom, knowledge and understanding so we can realize the dangers that beset us in our journey through this world. That wisdom, that knowledge and understanding are not things that can be achieved through academic studies. Rather, they are gifts that are received as part of the training that God provides to those who are sincerely committed to carrying out the plans God has for them. This requires walking in constant communication with God and we can only do this by approaching him through the daily and constant reading of his Word and through the conversation we establish with him every time we pray. To say we love God and not to be attentive to and willing to obey his instructions is deceiving ourselves and there is no better definition of a fool than he who is self-deceived.
Let us maintain ourselves forever in the path of justice, integrity, good conduct and faithfulness to God. When our Father sees that we are sincerely committed to the coming and the establishment of his kingdom, he will enable us so we can become useful tools in their hands. Remember at all times that the focus should be on him and not on us. So let us not put so much emphasis on the problems we face and let’s turn our eyes to the One who has the solution in his hands. Let us direct, therefore, the batteries toward the fulfillment of God’s perfect will in our lives. With the help of our Lord Jesus Christ and his Spirit success will come easily. To God alone be the glory!
Posted in Proverbs
Tagged blameless, faithful, guard, justice, knowledge, protection, shield, success, understanding, upright, wisdom
Do not envy the violent
or choose any of their ways.
For the LORD detests the perverse
but takes the upright into his confidence.
One of the things that the world has been very successful at is the glorification of the anti-values. It is not surprising to see how humanity in general is rampant in a suicidal career to accumulate goods and money as if it were the demonstration of having achieved success in their lives. Slowly but surely, the world moves from an ambiguous postmodernism to a rather clear inversionism where everything good is replaced by what until now had been considered unworthy. Where postmodernism tried to expand the possibilities to reach God in various ways (something impossible to do by any way by the way) inversionism intends to establish atheism as the truth. The arts, especially music, have taken paths of chaos and bad taste that our young people absorb as the most sublime. Peace is replaced with violence manifested in the rise of drug trafficking, wars and killings. I often wonder if the increase in drug trafficking that is observed in some Latin American countries is not a component of the vaunted asymmetric warfare whose aim would be to saturate the market with abundant supply of drugs to destroy the society of the United States from the inside.
Look around you. The current culture is materialistic, selfish, epicurean, focused on the immediate, always in search for the grotesque and confrontational. Those who think that in this manner they are going to achieve peace, security and progress are totally wrong. Let us not be drawn into the world and its empty promises. There is no greater treasure than to count on the good will of God. The trials and persecutions will allow us to refine our character so all we need is to have an ever stronger relationship with the Lord Jesus. With our spirit transformed and aligned with the Spirit of God we can advance through any trial or difficulty. To God alone be the glory!
The righteousness of the upright delivers them,
but the unfaithful are trapped by evil desires.
Greed is the result of man yielding to the temptations that the world offers. It is a deep sense of dissatisfaction with what God has given us. Because of our pride we feel we deserve more than we have received. In fact, we think we deserve to have everything our hearts desire without obstacles or limit. We complaint and murmur because we think God has let us down and we’re getting less than we deserve. Of course, this position put us face to face with God, which is something impossible to achieve as well as being a highly disrespectful attitude because it ignores the obedience and respect that we must show him because of his majesty and authority. Greed can never be satisfied. When we achieve something, that something we have achieved immediately becomes unattractive and it makes us desire even more. Wise King Solomon put it this way: “Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income.This too is meaningless.” God’s law is also very clear: “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”
The apostle Paul said that he had learned to be content whatever the circumstances were: “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” By the way, this last verse is taken out of context by many but that’s a topic for another day. The important thing here is that the control and dominion over greed is something that is learned. It is God’s job, through his Holy Spirit to transform our lives and one aspect that he changes is precisely that of our natural greed. So, let us not act stubbornly, but let us learn the lesson God teaches us to live happy with whatever we have. Let us learn to rely on him and only him. To God alone be the glory!
Sing joyfully to the LORD, you righteous;
it is fitting for the upright to praise him.
Since childhood we have been taught to be so individualistic that it is very difficult for us to publicly recognize the achievements and talents of others. Of course, we like it a lot when we are the recognized and in fact, recognition is something we expect to receive when we accomplish something important. The problem is that all our thoughts are focused on our self or ego, as it is also known. Worst of all, we do the same with God. We hope that God rewards us and praises us when we “do” something good but we forget to thank him for all he has given us and all he has done for us. We enjoy what we “have” and forget that everything we, God gave to us. We tell God at all times that we want to “be” wiser and more knowledgeable and we forget that we are here for His grace and mercy. Unfortunately, many times we confirm the maxim that says: “There are no atheists in fox holes.” This unacceptable behavior is very characteristic of our sinful nature. The gene of pride is part of our genetic code since the world exists, we are interested only in what a profit or a pleasure we can get out of it. Everything else is incidental and of no consequence.
When we act like this, we are breaking the commands, decrees and laws the LORD our God commanded us to observe so that we, our children and our grandchildren would honor him as long as we live. We must always keep in mind that whatever “we are”, “we do” and “we have” we owe it to God and to no one else and that to him alone we must express our gratitude because this way we will be honoring him. When we focus on ourselves we are denying the glory to God and this, clearly and definitely does not honor him. Let us take away our eyes from our ego and let us turn to our God. Let us consider all the blessings he has bestowed upon us and let us joyfully give thanks always for all he has done for us. To God alone be the glory!
Posted in Psalms
Tagged blessings, Christianity, God, gratefulness, Jesus, joy, life, praise, Psalms, righteousness, sing, upright, wisdom
The integrity of the upright guides them,
but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity.
When making decisions, we should have a clear conscience, a pure heart and a sound mind. The reality is that quite often we pay too much attention to what the world has to say, forgetting that the world is our enemy and that its essence and its destiny is plain corruption. I’m not talking about the Gnostic dualism that equates the physical realm with evil and the spiritual world with good. When we have to make a decision, often we take shelter in excuses based on cultural elements or social practices that are generally approved. There is no problem doing this as long as our decisions do not clash with the principles and commandments of our Heavenly Father. To think otherwise is just that, an excuse.
Let us be alert and let us not be fooled by mainstream trends. We run the risk of being considered politically correct by society but having to be disciplined by God. Remember that the only true and unchanging justice is that which was fulfilled on the cross at Calvary through the immeasurable sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ for all of us. The righteousness that God gives us, not our own, is what will keep us focused in the way of life and away from the paths of evil. Therefore, let us very careful when making decisions! Only if we build our house upon the rock can we be sure that whatever we decide will have the approval of God and will be a blessing to many. To God alone be the glory!
Consider the blameless, observe the upright;
a future awaits those who seek peace.
But all sinners will be destroyed;
there will be no future for the wicked.
The only way to understand why there is so much evil in the world is looking at things from far above. Usually, we only consider what happens in this temporary life, but we forget the most extensive and important time that awaits for us when we will be brought to live in God’s presence. It is like when we need to have a vaccine. At the time the syringe needle penetrates the muscle where the solution of attenuated or inactivated microorganisms needs to be placed; we experience pain and sometimes burning. We may also have to endure some side effects such as allergic reactions. After the vaccine has interacted with our immune system we can enjoy the benefits of the vaccination for a very long time. Someone who only considers the time of the puncture without taking into account the subsequent benefits would say that vaccination is a very unpleasant thing. But if we consider the entire process, we can clearly appreciate the convenience and utility of it.
Let us not limit ourselves to analyzing things only from an earthly perspective, since the benefits we will enjoy when we stand in God’s presence will exceed by far any discomfort or pain that we have had to endure in this life. As the apostle John said, speaking of the loud voice that came from the throne, “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” Let us look at the difficulties within the larger context of the God’s plan and eternity and nothing will ever be a cause for concern any longer. To God alone be the glory!