I’m a little behind here. Barely cracked my Bible open this week and to be honest. I don’t have a good reason. It’s just plain sheer laziness on my part. I had an amazing experience Sunday night after I spoke at Revolution (the youth group I’ve been helping with). I was on Facebook and one of the kids messaged me about a Bible question. He wanted to know if suicide was a sin, but he was asking for a friend. That question led to him making the statement that he’d never said a “prayer” before and didn’t know what he had to do. Well, never one to miss a gift wrapped opportunity like that, I gave him an abbreviated “Romans Road”. Took him directly (over FB messaging) to Romans 10:9-10 “9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” and told him that all he had to do was talk to God and confess his sins and Christ to come into his heart. He was like, “that’s easy, I’ll do it now” Needless to say I was doing backflips (figuratively at least) and told him to let me know when he was done. A couple of minutes later he messaged back he was done and asked “now what”, and just as I was about to explain by taking him to Galatians 5, my computer froze up for 5 minutes. I wanted to throw it across the room. I texted the youth pastor and a couple other leaders to let them know and then told the rest of the team at Leadership meeting, so hopefully they’ll follow-up with him on Sunday. Me, I’m taking a thirty-day ministry break. I need to step back and re-evaluate some things and figure out where I go from this point. I know my church and youth group love me and want me, but to be honest, am I settling for the “ok” by staying. They’ve chosen someone else to lead, so that’s saying I’m second best, and if I’m their second best, then does that mean they’re my second best? I don’t want to do ministry if it’s comfortable and expected. I want ministry to take me out of my comfort zone, otherwise, it’s just a hobby. Well, there it is, if you’re reading this, keep me in prayer over the next month that God shows me a direction.
Now, on with the Bible study.
113 I hate double-minded people, but I love your law. David just puts it right out there. Two face people make him sick. If you say you love the Lord, live it, don’t just act it out in front of the “right” people and then revert back to your default around others. Let your default be a life lived for the Lord. He ends this verse like every other in this chapter, he loves God’s word. It’s a great contrasting statement. He hates two-faced people, but, he LOVES THE WORD OF GOD!! I think that’s something that can be said for all serious Christians, those that desire to walk a Biblical lifestyle. Those that are half stepping the Christian life make them sick….gets on their nerves…..there are a million things we can say, but I think God says it best in Revelation 3:16: “So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” Lukewarm people make GOD vomit.
114 You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in your word. What is a refuge? It is a fortress, where he goes when he’s overwhelmed by those who are oppressing him. God is his shield, a warriors defensive weapon. It’s interesting, the use of the term shield. A shield protects from arrows and sword strikes, but it can also be used as an offensive weapon. It will absorb the attack, but when used correctly, it can then counterstrike with a push-off from the warrior, throwing the aggressor off-balance. The same can be said of a refuge. You can use it to hide, but the warrior uses it not to hide, but to regroup, rearm, take a breath, and then return to the fight and hopefully take the offensive, or wait for relief. That’s the second half of this verse. His relief, his hope is in God’s word. The Christian application to this verse is simple, we find our refuge, or shield in God. When trouble comes, we go to the source, but we don’t sit on our butt and cover up or crawl into the fetal position. We take a breath, step back, regroup, get back to the fight, absorb the blow, push-off and move forward into the attack. Our hope and relief are in God’s word.
115 Away from me, you evildoers, that I may keep the commands of my God! David realizes that those around him that aren’t following God, are pulling him down, so he makes a stand; says “GET AWAY!! Those that don’t follow God’s commands will draw you away from God, it’s inevitable. Those we spend the most time with reflect us. His desire is to Keep God’s Commands. That has to be my desire and I have to be able to make that same stand.
116 Sustain me, my God, according to your promise, and I will live; do not let my hopes be dashed. As a warrior, David understands the importance of logistics. Sustenance is more than food. It’s the supplies that keep a warrior prepared: Food, clothing, weapons, fuel, etc. So when David is saying sustain me, he’s not just saying feed me, but he’s saying be my logistical supply center. You’ve made the promise God, not deliver my needs. We can always request what we want, but HE will always supply what we NEED. Along with supplying his needs, his biggest request though, is that his hopes will not be destroyed. That’s an interesting phrase. I know that’s been my prayer. “God, don’t let my hopes be destroyed”. I think that’s quite a few people’s inner prayer to God.
117 Uphold me, and I will be delivered; I will always have regard for your decrees. God is his deliverer. When he says “Uphold me”, he’s saying: “back me up, God”, “stand with me when I’m weak”. David will do his best to always follow God’s word.
118 You reject all who stray from your decrees, for their delusions come to nothing. I love this statement. It seems harsh to say that God rejects anyone, but let’s be honest, if someone rejects God, He’s going to let them go their way and let them follow their delusional path. David even says that, “Their delusions come to nothing.” If someone walks away from God, then what are they following and are they truly happy. They end up following nothing, and it’s pretty empty following nothing.
119 All the wicked of the earth you discard like dross; therefore I love your statutes. I had to go to dictionary.com because I wanted to be sure of the definition of dross. It is:1. Waste matter; refuse. 2. Metallurgy . a waste product taken off molten metal during smelting, essentially metallic in character. 3.British . coal of little value. So, essentially, it’s garbage, the useless material that rises to the top when melting gold. David is saying that is what will happen to the wicked, they will be discarded. Harsh? I don’t think so. There are consequences to denying God. Fair? Probably not, but is God Fair or is He Just? Being that HE is GOD, HE could be both, but to my limited mind, I don’t see that as possible. David ends this verse with stating again, the he loves GOD’s word.
120 My flesh trembles in fear of you; I stand in awe of your laws. David is honest. He may love God, but the thought of HIM brings fear to his body. We may use the terms “Father”, “Savior”, “Lover”, “Bridegroom”, “Friend”, etc, but lets keep in mind that HE’S GOD, that should bring a certain amount of fear to us as well. GOD can do what GOD wants. Stand in awe of not only HIM, but HIS word. Let’s not get so comfortable with God, that we take HIM for granted.