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(Part 11)


Today's psalm reading again speaks about the importance of two attributes -- justice and righteousness. We are the children of God. We are to imitate our Lord Jesus Christ and walk in his ways. God is just and righteous. So too must we be. "Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you just; exult, all you upright of heart." (Ps 32:11).

How do we become just and righteous? We must strive to be people "to whom the Lord imputes no guilt, in whose spirit is no deceit." (Ps 32:2). But we do sin. So what we need to do is to repent and confess our sin. "Then I declared my sin to you; my guilt I did not hide." (Ps 32:5a). When we do so, God forgives and restores. "I said, 'I confess my faults to the Lord,' and you took away the guilt of my sin." (Ps 32:5b).

There are those Christians who, just like the Pharisees, look good on the outside but are rotten on the inside. They might be serving in the Church or the poor, but they harbor unrighteousness deep within. They do not confess their sin, they persist in their wrongdoing, and so they remain in their sin. And since their sin usually would be not just against God but also against a person, then they persist in injustice. Then the burden of sin weighs down on them. "As long as I kept silent, my bones wasted away; I groaned all the day." (Ps 32:3). This is as God intends, so that they might find their way to repentance. "For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength withered as in dry summer heat." (Ps 32:4). God who is just and righteous wants to bring His people to repentance so that they too may become just and righteous.

Having gone back to God, we then live our lives by trusting in Him. God is committed to show us the way. "I will instruct you and show you the way you should walk, give you counsel and watch over you." (Ps 32:8). If we place our lives in His hands, God will protect us, instruct us, guide us, pour out His grace upon us, and preserve us from the enemy. "You are my shelter; from distress you keep me; with safety you ring me round." (Ps 32:7). What a wonderful situation that is! In the midst of the troubles in the world and storms in life that we inevitably face, God is there for us! Job was severely afflicted, but God was always there for him. As long as we remain in Christ, then we need never fear. Whatever happens, even as we are afflicted, as long as we are in a personal relationship with God, then we know that He is there to help and preserve us. "Thus should all your faithful pray in time of distress. Though flood waters threaten, they will never reach them." (Ps 32:6).

The choice has always been clear: life or death, joy or sorrow, trust or fear. People continue to make wrong choices. But only in God can we be secure and safe. Only as we live lives of righteousness and justice will we experience the full extent of God's love for us. "Many are the sorrows of the wicked, but love surrounds those who trust in the Lord." (Ps 32:10).

In the midst of a world of pain and suffering, how can you be happy? God has already shown us the way: repentance, forgiveness, restoration, justice, righteousness, trust in Jesus. "Happy the sinner whose fault is removed, whose sin is forgiven." (Ps 32:1). "Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you just; exult, all you upright of heart." (Ps 32:11).

God bless you all.


(October 16, 2009)

"For to me life is Christ, and death is gain." (Phil 1:21)

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