08/21/19 What Can Man Do to Me?

READING: Psalms 56-60, Romans 11:1-32

Today, I’m thinking of the persecuted church around the world. I admit that I’ve never even come close to walking in their shoes, and I’m almost embarrassed to speak of them as if I have some understanding of their battles. Nevertheless, I especially think of them as I read the words of the psalmist in Psalm 56.

The writer of the psalm apparently faced threats and attacks from his opponents. It was as if they were lurking everywhere, pursuing him and seeking to catch him in their snares. The psalmist’s refrains in this song, however, remind us of his hope:

  • “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise—in God I trust and am not afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” (Psa 56:3-4)
  • “In God, whose word I praise, in the Lord, whose word I praise—in God I trust and am not afraid. What can man do to me?” (Psa 56:10-11).

It’s the question, “what can man do to me” that captures my attention. The answer to that question might seem frightening, in the sense that other men could, in fact, kill us for our faith; on the other hand, we also know that no enemy can take our life apart from God’s allowing that to happen in accordance with His divine plan. The worst man can do to us is kill us – in which case, God receives us into eternal life. Faithfulness to death leads to eternal reward.

Thus, we no longer need to fear what “mere mortals” can do to us when we learn to live with eternity in mind

PRAYER: “Lord, help me and my brothers and sisters around the world to live without fear today.”   

TOMORROW’S READING:  Psalms 61-66, Romans 11:33-12:21


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