Dangers of Walking the Line
Verses 21-22 You rebuke the arrogant, who are accursed, those who stray from Your commands. Remove from me their scorn and contempt, for I keep Your statutes.
We discussed yesterday how important it is to remember we are strangers to this world. One of the ways we prove this is by how we live.
The psalmist shows he understood this by telling God that he knows that He rebukes those who live contrary to God and His laws. Notice that the psalmist doesn't say God rebukes the evil - who are obviously not on God's favorable list – but rather those who stray from God's commands. These are people who know truth but are not walking in it. The psalmist knew how dangerously thin that line is.
If we are honest with ourselves we will admit we walk closer to that line than we should. We don't want to be thought of as odd by those were associate with. We look at being different as a negative when God called His people to stand out, to positively represent Him in all things.
While it is the arrogant that get rebuked, the humble receive God's loving smile. This prayer is a cry to be seen as one who is covered from obedience to the law. But not just for the sake of obedience. This obedience is from our love of the Giver of the law. The psalmist is pleading for God to notice his efforts of obedience.
The psalmist understood that obeying the laws wasn't just keeping laws in a way that they were barely being kept. He wasn't trying to squeak by using obedience, no, he asked for the scorn and contempt be removed because he did obey. He knew almost obeying or barely obeying wasn't what was going to please God. It wasn't what would bring God glory and set him apart as God's obedient child.
As we mentioned earlier, we need to be honest with ourselves about how close to the line of mediocre we are walking. Jesus told the Church of Laodicea that they were like lukewarm water and He was going to spit them out (Revelation 3:16). We can't be content with just passing. We need to strive to walk as His set apart people. Because we love Him. Because we love His law.
Making It Personal
How close to the line of sinfulness do you walk? What about the line draws you? What about God should draw you away from the line?
Making It Personal Kids
Does Jesus care if we walk close to sin? Why does He want you to leave sin behind? What would it mean to you to walk as Jesus wants you to walk?
Father, please give us a desire to keep away the line of mediocrity. Give us a heart to follow You closely. In Jesus' name, amen.