June 2, 2016

Psalm 7:9 O righteous God,
who searches minds and hearts,
bring to an end the violence of the wicked
and make the righteous secure.

For once I prefer the turn of phrase in the NIV to that in the Japanese. The Japanese puts the statement that God searches minds and hearts after the request, but I personally think it’s much more appropriate to make requests on the basis of what we know to be God’s character. This particular request is one that has been made from the earliest days, obviously enough. The thing is, until the Judgment, we are in the period of the free exercise of human will, and that means evil people work evil. There are obviously limits, but they are mostly in the natural consequences of evil itself. As long as evil people don’t fear those consequences, they will keep doing evil. It doesn’t take too much depth of perception to see that everywhere in the world today. The thing is, even with that going on, God enables people whose hearts are right before Him to stand firm. It’s all a matter of what we’re standing on, as Jesus pointed out so memorably in His parable of the people who built houses on rock and on sand. (Matthew 7:24-27) We aren’t going to get away from the presence of evil in this life, but if we are standing on Christ and His Word, in full submission and obedience, then evil has no control over us. (James 4:7) However, we must do so in full sincerity, because God indeed searches minds and hearts, and He knows our motives better than we do. It is certainly not wrong to take action against evil, as Jesus showed when He cleansed the temple, but trying to do so in our own strength simply sets us up for total failure. When we are submitted and available to God, then He will use us to destroy the works of the devil. (1 John 3:8)

I have never been more aware of the evil in the world than I am right now, and sometimes I get pretty stirred up about it. I need to remember that my anger will not bring about God’s righteousness. (James 1:20) I am to speak the truth in love and walk in it myself, never fearing what could be done to me (Luke 12:4) but allowing God to work His will through me, for the blessing of others and for His glory.

Father, it gets to the point that I don’t want to know the news sometimes. Help me always focus more on You than on whatever the devil is doing at the moment. It is sad indeed to see how many people are so severely deceived, but I can’t grab them and shake them to their senses, however much I might want to do so. Help me be faithful in prayer, remembering Your grace toward me and allowing that grace to flow through me to them, so that they may perhaps turn and repent, for their salvation and Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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