Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Big Encouragement

Psalm 73:21-26 (English Standard Version)

21When my soul was embittered,
when I was pricked in heart,
22I was brutish and ignorant;
I was like a beast toward you.

23Nevertheless, I am continually with you;
you hold my right hand.
24You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will receive me to glory.
25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.
26 My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.


I've been convicted of some sin lately in my life. When that happened, I did what I usually do, which is to make excuses, equivocate, minimize, and deflect. As this Psalm says, ". . when I was pricked in heart, I was brutish and ignorant, I was like a beast toward you". That pretty much describes me.

But, the great encouragement in this passage is what comes next. "Nevertheless. . . . " might I submit this is the greatest use of "nevertheless" in the history of prose (thank you Asaph). Don't neglect your conjunctions. . . .

"Nevertheless, I am continually with You, You hold my right hand". God is faithful, even when we act like animals, and in verse 24, he will continue to "guide us". He will also continue to convict us of sin and give us the gift of repentance. It really is a gift that God doesn't let us get too far without calling a timeout for us. :)


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