Thursday, January 28, 2016

Thoughts on Psalm 119:21

21 You rebuke the proud—the cursed,
Who stray from Your commandments.

There is something in this verse that is very subtle, and just glancing it over it is easy to miss the connection. When reading Psalm 119 we do well to look at it a few times, and not just fly through it like it’s a facebook post of what someone had for breakfast.

It says here that “God rebukes the proud.”

God hates pride.

It’s true - God hates certain things. Hate wasn’t invented by the devil. I have not found any indication in Scripture that the devil has ever created anything. He only twists and perverts what God has created. For example, overwhelming desires. Consider music and sex as other examples. Created by God for something holy, something beautiful - perverted by Satan.

I would suggest that the same idea applies to hate and anger. The distinguishing factor, though, is the object that hate is directed to. If it is sin we hate - that is fueled by God. But if it’s another person - that is fueled by the devil and his lies.

So what is pride? And why does God hate it?

The answer is found here in Psalm 119:21, hidden just below the surface of those simple words. And I will leave it at that - for you to meditate on. Though I will suggest it might help to compare and contrast verse 21 with verse 10:

With my whole heart I have sought You;
Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments! Ps 119:10

One final comment about God “rebuking the proud.” The Father never corrects us in anger, never for punishment. Jesus took the punishment that we deserved. But He corrects us for our own benefit.

God is love… There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. 1 John 4:16, 18 NIV

If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons… Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Heb 12:7, 11

I encourage you to take the verses and turn them over and over in your mind. Draw out the nourishment that lives within them.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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