Covid-19 Devotionals

Faithfulness vs. Faithlessness

In Psalm 101, the Psalmist, David is very clear about the two different types of people we find on earth. The first is the faithful (v6) and the second is the faithless (v3b). When you think of the Psalms been written a little over three hundred years ago, you realize that there is nothing new under the sun (Ecc 1:9). When we consider how David describes the “faithless”, we are reminded that those who have no urge to follow Jesus are capable of the most horrendous behaviour. Look at their description … at the end of verse 2 ‘vile’, verse 3 ‘faithless’, verse 4 ‘perverse’, verse 4 end “evil’, verse 5 ‘slanders’, verse 5b ‘haughty eyes’ and ‘proud heart’, verse 7 ‘deceit’, verse 7b ‘speaks falsely’, verse 8 ‘wicked’ and verse 8b ‘evildoer’. The way he describes himself and those who are like him … ‘Faithful’ … he uses just one word … ‘blameless’ (v2 and v6).

Look at the flow of the Psalm. In verse 1 he sings the praises of God with the focus on God’s love and God’s justice. Many people cannot reconcile these two attributes. So often we hear people say: “How can a God who loves, punish people by sending them to hell?” The problem is that they do not understand that without God’s love and God’s justice there could never ever have been Salvation for those who desire to be reconciled to God.

You see, the Works of the Old Covenant (the Levitical sacrificial system) could not bring about eternal pardon and salvation. Yes, it did demonstrate Love and Justice in that the animal was punished substitutionally for the sin of the believer … but every time the believer sinned there needed to be a new sacrifice. What it did do, however, was point to a better substitute and a better sacrifice. In other words, it pointed to Jesus and His blood sacrifice at Calvary. There the Father punished the Son, not for His sin–for He was sinless–but for our sin because He was our substitute. Because of Love, Justice is required. There needed to be a proper payment for sin and the life of God the Son was the perfect payment. Through this God’s Justice was satisfied … and the way He did it was in Love. That great verse in John’s Gospel speaks directly into this matter:

Jn 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

Here you have Love and Justice (‘gave’). You also have benefits to those who believe and implied you have devastation to those who do not. Having established the Love and Justice of God in praise, in verse 2 he commits himself to lead a “blameless life”. This very concept reminds us of the reason God chose (elected) some for salvation.

Eph 1:4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.

Now look how he describes “blameless” … his focus is on and against the “faithless”. In verse 2 he will not look with approval on anything that is vile. He knows that we sin with the eyes, so he commits to avoid gazing upon anything that is wicked in case it influences him to sin. This ought to be our approach too. In different ways the eyes could be the downfall of men and women. Then in verse 3b he commits to hating the deeds that the faithless engage in. In other words, irrespective of whatever joy or happiness the wicked find in their doings, he will not be attracted to it … rather, a commitment to hate their deeds will assist in being blameless. One of the best ways for you and me to hate the deeds of the wicked is to remind ourselves where these deeds lead to (1 Cor 6:9-11). Now he escalates his commitment to blamelessness by committing to distancing himself from the wicked … “the perverse in heart … shall be far from me” … adding … “have nothing to do with that is evil”. In a practical way this is like Social Distancing … staying away from contracting the Covid virus. “Spiritual Distancing” yourself from anyone who could corrupt or contaminate you by or through sin.

In verse 5 he commits to being intolerant towards “slanderers” and those with “haughty eyes” and “proud hearts”. As the King of Israel he would be intolerant towards such sleazy people … how much more you and me? Remember “spiritual distancing”! In verse 7 he commits to not having anyone in his house or in his presence who speaks falsely or practices deceit. This reminds one of Psalm 1:1. “Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.” See what happens when you allow the wicked to get too close to you … you become part of them. The Psalmist is adamant! Not in my presence and not in my house. Today I was chatting with a brother and because the conversation went in that direction I said: “I don’t tolerate swearing. Either I walk away or I give one warning after which, if the swearing continues, I walk away.”

We do not watch anything on TV that is not “Family or 13 rated”. Where it is difficult for you and me to practice verse 8 practically, we can switch off the radio, the TV, the internet and stop fellowship with the wicked daily. Because of his commitment (verse 2) to lead a blameless life and run his house and household with a blameless heart, he explains that those who minister to his soul (and we could add, his family) will be those who are pursuing a life of blamelessness. It is difficult to see how those following the self-proclaimed prophet who is making news headlines, can follow him so blindly, unless they have been conditioned into mindless and thoughtless indoctrination. Here is a warning that those who lead us spiritually need to be like the leader discussed in 1 Timothy:

1 Tim 3:2 Now the overseer must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money.

Dear God, please help me and my family to lead a blameless life with a blameless heart, for Jesus sake. Amen.

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