Word of the Day
“Judge me, O LORD; for I have walked in mine integrity: I have trusted also in the LORD; therefore I shall not slide. Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; try my reins and my heart. For Thy lovingkindness is before mine eyes: and I have walked in Thy truth. I have not sat with vain persons, neither will I go in with dissemblers. I have hated the congregation of evil doers; and will not sit with the wicked. I will wash mine hands in innocency: so will I compass Thine altar, O LORD: That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all Thy wondrous works. LORD, I have loved the habitation of Thy house, and the place where Thine honour dwelleth. Gather not my soul with sinners, nor my life with bloody men: In whose hands is mischief, and their right hand is full of bribes. But as for me, I will walk in mine integrity: redeem me, and be merciful unto me. My foot standeth in an even place: in the congregations will I bless the LORD.”(Psalm 26).
So many times in our walk with our God, we find ourselves at forks in the road, in blind alleys, coming into curves that are so steep and dangerous, at detours in the road, and so many other obstacles. When we encounter these, and it seems that these obstacles, as they say, “Come in bunches, like bananas!”, we find ourselves at a loss of what to do or which way to go.
Prayer is such a wonderful gift that our God gives to us, but there are times when it seems so useless. It seems so many times that our praying is in vain, that our prayers don’t get any higher than the ceiling and, no matter how fervently we pray, there is no answer, no response from God at all.
We know that He is real and that He really is there, but it can be so cold sometimes, and like the Psalmist we cry out, “Judge me, O LORD; for I have walked in mine integrity…”! We know in our heart of hearts that we have been as faithful and true as we know how, that we have been diligent to obey His Word and our heart and hands are as clean as we know how to keep them.
What do we do then? Quit? Give up! Thrown in the towel and say, along with the worst of infidels, that God just doesn’t care? NEVER!! While darkness does so often prevail, it does seem at times that our walk with Him is so lonely and we have no new direction, NEVER would we even consider giving up on Him!! We know that He never gives up on us, so how could any sane person ever dream of giving up on Him??
So, what do we do?? WE KEEP ON WALKING!!! Like the Psalmist, we can plead our integrity, our uprightness before Him, knowing that we have been as faithful as we know to be, and that our lives have been based on His Word.
Let’s face it, we live in a world that is not conducive to being a believer. Everywhere we turn we encounter sheer paganism, even though our culture does claim to be “civilized”. Paganism is as prevalent in our “civilized” world as it ever dared to be among the most uncivilized cultures the world has ever known! And we live among pagans, many of whom our in our own families, our circle of friends, on our jobs, in our gyms, our civic clubs, even in our political world! And because these pagans hate God, they hate us as we try to honor Him in our lives.
We do the best we can to avoid the influence of these pagan friends and neighbors, but they seem to encircle us even when we least expect it. They really do think we should see life from their perspective and to at least “cut them some slack” about their unsavory lifestyles. We do the best we know how to “…come out from among them, and be ye separate…”(II Cor. 6:14-18), but how do you avoid that boss who is such a wicked and ungodly person? How do you avoid that ungodly and drunken neighbor who invites you and the family over for that BBQ? How do you avoid that doctor who uses such ungodly words to describe your diagnosis? How does your child avoid that teacher who tries to dissuade him in his faith in God? I mean, these people surround us, and at times, it seems that there is just no relief!
The Psalmist shares our frustration. He, too, is frustrated by having to live among such ungodly persons, and he tries to avoid them. He calls on God to examine him and prove him; he knows that he has been faithful even though he has to live with the influence that these people urge over him. He declares his allegiance to his God, he states with strong certainty and boldness that he has kept himself free from their overwhelming influence; he boldly declared that he has not sat in their midst.
As he calls on his God to examine him and find his integrity and uprightness, he is confident that, even though this current blind alley seems so dark, his God will find him innocent. So, he boldly states that he will stay true to his calling, that we will cling to the precious Word of God, that he will honor his God in everything that he finds himself almost blockaded with in life.
We do live in a world that hates our God, and therefore, they hate us for daring to follow Him. O, it’s OK for us to “go to church”, it’s OK to have that Bible lying on the seat of our car, it’s even OK to “turn thanks” when we eat in public–just don’t mention the Name “Jesus” before them! That is the last straw! It is then that their hatred comes out with a vengeance, and that hatred is always directed our way!
So, what do we do then? We join the Psalmist in declaring, “But as for me, I will walk in mine integrity: redeem me, and be merciful to me. My foot standeth in an even place: in the congregations will I bless the LORD.”!