Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the three-year lectionary.
Psalm 34:15 tells us something valuable about the way God watches his people. He watches the righteous. He wants to be sure he hears when they call out for help. There’s something very important to be learned from this simple verse. It flies in the face of some of the terrible and destructive misuse of God’s Law that we can find in popular culture.
A number of years ago, I forget where, I saw a series of billboards put up, allegedly to help tell people about God. Maybe they were intended to call people to repentance? It really wasn’t clear. One of them featured white letters on a stark black background. “Don’t make me come down there.” - God -
The fact is, I really don’t know which god would have said that, but it certainly wasn’t the God of the Bible. His attitude, rather, is this. “I have been watching you and listening to you. You are in trouble. Some of you realize it and some don’t. Some of you are calling out for help. Some are cursing me. Here’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to come down there. I’m going to live a righteous life and then die an unjust death which will have the effect of working forgiveness for you who have been crying out for help. Your role in this is to believe that I am able to take your sin and evil upon myself and give you my righteouness instead. You’ll see.”
That’s exactly what the Lord did in Christ.
What’s going on in verse 16 then? The Lord works to remove even the memory of evil from the earth. There’s just one problem. We are awfully good at making new memories of evil. We are awfully good at reminding people of evil by re-enacting it ourselves. We are good at dwelling on what is bad rather than on what is good. We don’t want to be instruments of evil. We don’t want to bring up the memory of the wicked. In verse 21 we see that it is just this evil that brings death and punishment.
On the contrary, we call out to God, we trust that He is the one who has come down here to rescue us, and we tell others they can be rescued as well. After all, the Lord has already done everything that is necessary. Let’s dwell on his good.
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