Psalm 37: Day 11

Depart from evil and do good, So you will abide forever. For the LORD loves justice And does not forsake His godly ones; They are preserved forever, But the descendants of the wicked will be cut off. (Psalms 37:27-28)
Part 1

As I look at the passage this morning I am struggling with where I want to put our focus. Within these few words there is a wealth of wisdom to be mined. So, maybe the best thing to do is just dig in.

Two commands, four promises. Today we will consider the commands.

Depart from evil. That sounds simple enough. After all, evil is the murderer, the drug dealer, the thief; we have nothing to do with evil. Or do we? Paul gives us a checklist in Romans 1:28 and forward. “being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice, they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful”. If we were to check off those things in Paul’s list of which we are not guilty, could we check them all?

Do good. If there is one area in which I can associate with the Apostle Paul it is in his battle between spirit and flesh that he describes in Romans 7. Paul confesses: For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin. (Romans 7:14) For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. (Romans 7:19)

Thank you Paul for being so honest and open concerning your struggles; it is comforting to know I am not alone.

Clearly we see that we have a problem. Whether we want to admit it or not, scripture teaches us that we are, by our nature, evil. We are told that our hearts are evil, deceitful above all things. Even at our best, our righteousness is like filthy rags. Because of these truths, we need help. What are we to do? Paul didn’t leave us feeling defeated. Mercifully, he gave us the solution to our problem.

Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! (Romans 7:24-25a)

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