20 He sent out his word and healed them, and delivered them from their destruction.
21 Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man! - Psalm 107:20-21
The third group of people referred to in Psalm 107 are different than the first two groups because they are intentionally rebelling against God. The first group finds themselves in the desert because they’re lost and wandering, the second group is sitting in darkness, so they don’t realize they’re chained in prison, but this group is suffering the consequences of their intentional rebellion. Some were fools through their sinful ways, and because of their iniquities suffered affliction; - Psalm 107:17. They’re referred to as fools - they’re not idiots, mind you, they’re foolish. They’re often quite intelligent people who can rationalize their sin with a well-constructed argument. They’re foolish because they’re living in rebellion to God’s direct instruction. They are masters at denying any responsibility due to their “special” circumstances - God wouldn’t expect me to, not given what I’ve been through, God put me in this situation, He understands, He knows - or they rationalize away what Scripture truly calls us to do. Our foolish minds are experts at changing the meaning of words, or dismissing entire passages of His Word because we don’t like what it says.
The group in this passage think they can rebel against God’s Word without any consequences, but eventually sin takes a toll. Eventually, we come face to face with the choices of our sin. Choose to sin, choose to suffer. Sometimes, as an outsider witnessing someone one else’s blatant sin, or as a victim to the consequences of someone else’s sin, it can be hard to wonder why or when another person will fall under the consequences, but we all know it will eventually come to pass. We serve a God of Justice. It is impossible for Him not to act in a way that is fair and just.
If you’re thinking the people in this passage aren't you, you’ve already been deceived by the enemy. If you’re reading this passage, considering these people to be a sad group of others that struggle, you’re the fool. If you immediately start thinking about someone else in your life when reading this passage - your child, your husband, your sister, your boss, over yourself - then the enemy has a foothold. We all live in rebellion in some aspect of our lives - be intentional this week about finding it and owning it. Do you live in judgment of others? Do you have a superiority complex? Or this opposite - do you struggle with depression and feelings of self-worth? Do you dwell on anxious thoughts? Do you find excuses for not getting into the Word daily, or getting yourself to church or small group weekly? Do you lie to protect yourself or boost yourself up? Do you lose your temper when things don’t go your way? Are you argumentative, do you have a critical spirit, are you impatient or unloving? Are you envious or materialistic, do you struggle with gluttony or laziness? The list is endless. We need to get to the place where we own our sin, otherwise the enemy has lured us into his web of lies with an apple plucked from the tree of life.
Not only does the enemy want to lure us into temptation, he wants to keep us there by justifying the sin in our lives. Once he’s talked you into sinning through fallen logic, he wants to keep you there, far away from repentance by masking your sin as something else. Guard your heart. The enemy wants you to believe that you don’t need to take responsibility for what you’ve done, or that it’s uncalled for or unnecessary.
I would be lying if I didn’t own the fact that I have used cancer as an excuse for some of my sinful behavior over the past 2 months. I shouldn’t have to deal with that, I have cancer. I’m going through a lot right now, I don’t care how it impacts her. They’re all just going to have to understand my mood, I have cancer. The enemy is a master of deception, and is brilliant at helping us to justify our actions. The problem is the world is full of people who will help create your web of deception, helping you to justify your response, if you let them. Having cancer has provided a whole host of people who will allow me to sit in my little old self-pity party if I want to, telling me I have every right to feel or respond the way I want to because I have cancer. Ugh. We have to own our ugly stuff, and we can’t hide it behind our rationalizations or justifications, or we’re going to suffer the consequences of our choices. So thankful today for the Spirit today, who continually prompts me to be honest with myself and my struggle, and who wants for me the true kind of freedom that comes with owning and repenting of my sin.
Press on ~ you are loved 💗
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