I have not sat with worthless folks, I won’t consort with hypocrites. Ps 26:4
In my last blog entry I came to the conclusion that I can without shame say that I lived a blameless life. And I hope you can too. I talked about Adam and Eve that hid from God. Hiding from God out of shame and fear brought separation, the one separation we still experience today.
Man has not changed. Oh, we live our lives faster. Most probably to not allow ourselves the time to think, to search for meaning. And we live our lives more comfortable on the outside. We have put the creativity God gave us to use, inventing stuff like washing machines, airplanes, computers the size of the palm of our hands to make our lives easier. A picture that God does not regret giving us gifts. Even if we abuse them he does not take them back. Creativity is part of our being, us being created in the image of God.
But in our inner most being we have not changed since the fall. When we goof up, we run. We run from the people we love. We flee into activities. And we find ourselves arguments that it does not matter. God does not exist, we say. And then he shows up. He shows up for a walk in the cool of the night. And we hide.
Good for the ones that come out of their hiding places to be restored. God has a plan, a wonderful plan for restoration. And it’s right there for the taking. Confess that Jesus Christ is God’s son, that he died for and as you so you can be set free from sin and more over live a life in relationship with God and Jesus. Yes, he is alive again. No more shame, no more fear when he comes for a visit in the cool of the evening. As a matter of fact, no more ever.
We have a choice – maybe not fight or flight, but more like to hide or accept grace.
What I had not seen was how much the Hebrew of the psalm points to exactly that. Let me give you a translation of verse four that is closer to the original:
I do not sit with empty, vain, ruined people, gather with those who hide. Ps 26:4
The next verse repeats the thought, as is custom in Hebrew literature, to underline the point. David then talks about the spoiled and morally wrong.
I would like to give a paraphrased version:
There are those that are empty and vain, living a meaningless life, as they hide from God because they ruined their lives doing morally wrong. I will not mingle with them in any stage of this process.
David shows us what he is doing instead. He continues:
I know I am blameless. I stay at your altar, the place of your redemptive work, and examine it, even experience it from all sides. I call you Lord, to express your lordship in my life. I talk with you – that way I get to know you more. I give thanks and remember, but also proclaim to others all the good things you have done. Lord, I love the house you dwell in, the church, my brothers, the carriers of your glory. And not only your glory, but you yourself live in them.
Read verses 6-8. Isn’t that what David says?
He then asks the Lord not to destroy him with the group he does not associate with, the ones that hide. Remember, David lived in the old covenant. He knew he too had broken the rules and did not measure up to the standards of the covenant. But he continues, after this short moment of doubt:
But I live a blameless live!
He reminded himself, he spoke this truth to himself again. First, doubt seems to echo as he says: redeem me, be gracious to me. But then he changes his mind: I am on level ground, I am standing on the rock. Nothing to fear. So let’s praise!
This is what we can do to change our mind:
- Do not hide with the ones running from God.
- Keep in mind the finished work of Jesus at the cross, the altar of the new covenant.
- Commune, talk, have fellowship with God, get to know him intimately.
- Do his will.
- Give thanks and remind yourself of his goodness.
- Talk about it with others. That will also strengthen your faith.
- Go to church and love it. Love the brothers. See Jesus in them.
And when you doubt, recall this wonderful truth: I am blameless through Jesus Christ.