Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Psalm 109

Ah, these imprecatory Psalms! What can one really say about them? As Christians we're supposed to be forgiving and to cleanse our heart of hatred but we're also supposed to be honest with God. Why come to God all pretense-pious if we're in the mood to choke someone? Might as well let God hear your heart and talk it out with him.

Verses 11-13 impressed me a lot today. He calls down debt, usurious fees, and childlessness upon the man and his posterity. I wonder if so many folks are in credit card debt or childless because of cruel things done by their ancestors. Who knows? Scary, the sins of the fathers coming down to the third or fourth generation. I know Jesus took our sins upon him, but we often have to suffer the consequences of those sins. A drunk might be forgiven his sin, but the consequences -- such as a ruined family-- is still there. God can mend it. But so often sins are like seeds. They don't just happen and disappear. They plant roots in the lives of our children. That's when we really have to be strong. We know God has forgiven us but day by day we have to continue forgiving ourselves for the effects of those sins in the lives of other people. We shouldn't burden ourselves with guilt and yet we should burden ourselves with penance, I think. (This might be just me) I suspect many Christians get saved then say "well, that sin was in my past. So I'm not going to care about the continuing effect."

If someone breaks up a marriage and is not married to her former cheating partner, should she feel totally guilt-free when she sees how screwed up his children are because of the divorce? True, she got rid of her guilt by using God's instrument of marriage to make everything all presentable and hunky-dory but is she totally scot-free? Uhm, gotta write a story about that, I think.

I think we Christians have a too easy idea of self-forgiveness. When we manage to forgive ourselves, we really still should do something to rectify the situation. Return what we stole, for instance -- whether money, a spouse, etc. Yeah, some folks have given up marriages to their adulterous partners. Some folks have returned money. But sometimes we can't fix stuff. Lives were destroyed, people killed, children turned to drugs because of our sins. Heck, some folks probably ended up in hell because of our sins. What can we do then? God has forgiven us, but how then should we live, knowing the high cost to God -- and to others-- for our sin?

Psalm 109

1Hold not thy peace, O God of my praise;

2For the mouth of the wicked and the mouth of the deceitful are opened against me: they have spoken against me with a lying tongue.

3They compassed me about also with words of hatred; and fought against me without a cause.

4For my love they are my adversaries: but I give myself unto prayer.

5And they have rewarded me evil for good, and hatred for my love.

6Set thou a wicked man over him: and let Satan stand at his right hand.

7When he shall be judged, let him be condemned: and let his prayer become sin.

8Let his days be few; and let another take his office.

9Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow.

10Let his children be continually vagabonds, and beg: let them seek their bread also out of their desolate places.

11Let the extortioner catch all that he hath; and let the strangers spoil his labour.

12Let there be none to extend mercy unto him: neither let there be any to favour his fatherless children.

13Let his posterity be cut off; and in the generation following let their name be blotted out.

14Let the iniquity of his fathers be remembered with the LORD; and let not the sin of his mother be blotted out.

15Let them be before the LORD continually, that he may cut off the memory of them from the earth.

16Because that he remembered not to shew mercy, but persecuted the poor and needy man, that he might even slay the broken in heart.

17As he loved cursing, so let it come unto him: as he delighted not in blessing, so let it be far from him.

18As he clothed himself with cursing like as with his garment, so let it come into his bowels like water, and like oil into his bones.

19Let it be unto him as the garment which covereth him, and for a girdle wherewith he is girded continually.

20Let this be the reward of mine adversaries from the LORD, and of them that speak evil against my soul.

21But do thou for me, O GOD the Lord, for thy name's sake: because thy mercy is good, deliver thou me.

22For I am poor and needy, and my heart is wounded within me.

23I am gone like the shadow when it declineth: I am tossed up and down as the locust.

24My knees are weak through fasting; and my flesh faileth of fatness.

25I became also a reproach unto them: when they looked upon me they shaked their heads.

26Help me, O LORD my God: O save me according to thy mercy:

27That they may know that this is thy hand; that thou, LORD, hast done it.

28Let them curse, but bless thou: when they arise, let them be ashamed; but let thy servant rejoice.

29Let mine adversaries be clothed with shame, and let them cover themselves with their own confusion, as with a mantle.

30I will greatly praise the LORD with my mouth; yea, I will praise him among the multitude.

31For he shall stand at the right hand of the poor, to save him from those that condemn his soul.
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