Concerning the Transgression

Today's devotion from Psalms 36 and 37.

Psalm 37 is one of my favorites and has played a key role in my decision making process for years. It first had an impact on my life while I struggled with God's direction concerning my call to ministry.

Staring the life-altering decisions of college majors, seminary, and ministry in the face, I froze. I was unable to make any decision at all. Finally, a pastor who mentored me brought me to Psalm 37:4, "Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you your heart's desires." (Psalm 37:4, CSB)

That verse ministered to me in profound ways. It freed me from walking the tightrope of God's will, and allowed me to see that God truly is for me. If I will delight in Him and make Him the goal of my life's aim, then He will stir my desires toward His will. In short, if I will seek Him, then my heart will be aligned with Him. Then, I am free to do what is in my heart to do.

However, now that I look back on these two psalms I see that there is so much more to them. The context of both is the temptation to look at others instead of Him. We might be tempted to consider life as unfair when we see unbelievers prospering. (Ps. 37) However, Psalm 36 provides the proper perspective toward those outside a restored relationship with God.

As David contemplated the wicked, his heart cried out. He saw the truth that the wicked person was trapped and ensnared by his own twisted designs. In contrast, he noted the beauty of God's faithful love. As you read these words, you get a sense of pity. David is not jealous of the wicked, but feels true sorrow for them.

This brings me to a heart-checking moment in my life. How do I view those outside the church? Am I moved with concern for them? Am I repulsed with scorn? Am I indifferent? When was the last time your heart produced an oracle concerning anyone else, much less someone with whom you disagreed?

Maybe what we need more of today is a little less over-analysis regarding me, and a little more concern for those in need of God?