jump to navigation

Psalm 64 August 25, 2019

Posted by flashbuzzer in Books, Christianity.
Tags: , , , ,
add a comment

Here are my thoughts on Psalm 64.

Summary: In this passage, David prays that God would protect him from those who plot his demise. Indeed, they assault him with their words and revel in the brilliance of their morbid schemes.

Yet he is confident that God will assault them with their words and effect their (shameful) demise. All will ruminate on His actions in his defense; moreover, His people will praise Him and renew their trust in Him.

Thoughts: Here, David notes the verbal assaults of his opponents. Spurgeon offers some thoughts on this point in his commentary on verse 3:

Slander has ever been the master weapon of the good man’s enemies, and great is the care of the malicious to use it effectively. As warriors grind their swords, to give them an edge which will cut deep and wound desperately, so do the unscrupulous invent falsehoods calculated to inflict pain, to stab the reputation, to kill the honor of the righteous.

One of the themes of the Davidic psalms is that his enemies assault him with their words. Note that the NIV section heading of 2 Samuel 15:1-12 is “Absalom’s Conspiracy,” referencing Absalom’s (ultimately futile) revolt against David. This spurred me to ponder questions such as: when David references verbal assaults in his psalms, was he only reflecting on that particular incident? Did he thwart other coup attempts that were not mentioned in 2 Samuel? If so, who hatched those plots? Who were the other aspirants to the throne? Did they believe that they were honoring God with their schemes? Did any of them repent of their wickedness?

An Eye for an Eye December 2, 2017

Posted by flashbuzzer in Books, Christianity.
Tags: , , , ,
1 comment so far

Here are my thoughts on Matthew 5:38-42.

Summary: In this passage, Jesus begins by presenting the principle of exact retribution – as stated in Exodus 21:22-25 and Deuteronomy 19:15-21. He then interprets that principle, asserting that believers should not retaliate against those who wrong them. He provides four practical applications of this principle; these examples illustrate the importance of forbearance, even to the point of allowing the offender to double the injustice that they have committed.

Thoughts: This passage spurred me to ponder why we naturally resist those who attempt to wrong us. One thought is that evolution favored this response, in that:

  • early humans who failed to defend themselves against aggressive neighbors effectively surrendered territory – and food – to them
  • early humans who did defend themselves against aggressive neighbors were able to protect their territory – and food – from them.

If this (admittedly speculative) theory has a kernel of truth, then it would help explain the difficulties that we experience in attempting to obey Jesus’ command in this passage. Rejecting a response that could be hardwired into our DNA would be difficult – if not impossible. Thus, we need assistance from the Holy Spirit when we sense that God has called us to display forbearance in a particular situation.