This morning during Daily Prayer, I was left contemplating, with awe Psalm 36:
Sin whispers to the wicked, in the depths of their heart; •
there is no fear of God before their eyes.
2 They flatter themselves in their own eyes •
that their abominable sin will not be found out.
3 The words of their mouth are unrighteous and full of deceit; •
they have ceased to act wisely and to do good.
4 They think out mischief upon their beds
and have set themselves in no good way; •
nor do they abhor that which is evil. R
5 Your love, O Lord, reaches to the heavens •
and your faithfulness to the clouds.
6 Your righteousness stands like the strong mountains,
your justice like the great deep; •
you, Lord, shall save both man and beast.
7 How precious is your loving mercy, O God! •
All mortal flesh shall take refuge
under the shadow of your wings.
8 They shall be satisfied with the abundance of your house; •
they shall drink from the river of your delights.
9 For with you is the well of life •
and in your light shall we see light. R
10 O continue your loving-kindness to those who know you •
and your righteousness to those who are true of heart.
11 Let not the foot of pride come against me, •
nor the hand of the ungodly thrust me away.
12 There are they fallen, all who work wickedness. •
They are cast down and shall not be able to stand.
I was struck by the visual scene that so easily gets painted in my mind as I read about the faithfulness of our Lord. I would encourage you to stop this morning and re-read those words several time. Allowing the truth and beauty to wash over you and paint a picture of God's majesty in your mind.
Why? Because we need it. Even as Psalm 36 denotes, sin exists and is a reality in our lives. As Daily Prayer went on today, it recounted Joseph being thrown into the pit by his brothers (Genesis 37) and Paul talking to the church about his ministry to Gentiles (Galatians 2). Even while Paul spoke, there were those who tried to get him in trouble for the freedom he found in Christ. But even as we read these stories, we, as readers, know the ends of the stories:
Jacob staring at the bloody clothes, refusing to be comforted and declaring that he will go to the grave still mourning. This is juxtaposed to him standing face-to-face with his son, on Egyptian soil, and having the years of pain, heaviness and sorrow stripped away in just a moment.
Or we, who are Gentiles: living, breathing, and operating daily in the grace of God. Why? "We did not submit to them even for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel may remain with you (Galatians 2)."
Sin is a reality, but do not allow its reality to cloud your vision. Look again upon the faithfulness, the justice, the strength, the mercy of our living God. And know, know that even in the midst of sin, He is orchestrating redemption and beauty for not only you, but generations to come.