Monthly Archives: December 2016

the real issue of every temptation

Meditation Journey Day 52        

Hi Friend,

We have been “chewing on” verses 19-22 of Psalm 139 to learn how to walk in spiritual victory and understand the process of repentance.

Oh that you would slay the wicked, O God! Men of blood, depart from me! They speak against you with malicious intent; your enemies take your name in vain! Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD? And do I not loathe those who rise up against you? I hate them with complete hatred; I count them, my enemies! Psalm 139:19-22

The questions in this verse probe our hearts with the real issue of every temptation we face.

In these verses, David asks himself two important questions that actually begin to lead to true repentance. Do I not hate those (secret sins and evil thoughts) who hate you, O LORD? And do I not loathe those (secret sins and evil thoughts) who rise up against you? The questions in this verse probe our hearts with the real issue of every temptation we face. LORD, do I hate what you hate? Do I have total contempt for Satan, the world’s evil and my own selfishness? Or do I secretly love my sin? LORD, I know you know me and you love me, but do I really love you?

These questions remind me of the three times Jesus asked Peter if Peter loves Him. Jesus was restoring Peter to a right relationship after Peter denied Him three times before the crucifixion. Jesus asked him, “Do you truly love me more than these?” He asks us similar questions. Do we love Him more than our sin? Do we love our lusts and bitterness more than His purity and forgiveness? Does our hearts long for the temporal comfort more than the eternal communion? These questions expose the root of our sin. Our hatred of sin and evil is a genuine indicator of our true love of God and His holiness. We are commanded to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” (Matthew 22). When we do not love God completely we are vulnerable to Satan’s schemes and the world’s way of temptation.

The two questions David asked, force us to examine our hearts and minds. We may say, LORD, I love when you tell me I am of great worth to you, and I feel safe knowing you are always with me. Father God, I swell with joy knowing you have given me a divine purpose, but do I love you? Really love you? The questions confront us with a probing light, “Do I not hate those (secret sins and evil thoughts) who hate you, O LORD? And do I not loathe those (secret sins and evil thoughts) who rise up against you?” My choice to sin and disobey God’s word and His precious thoughts tell me I am presuming on His goodness and grace. It reveals I am not walking in repentance. I am walking in pride.

temptation-1The King James Version of verse 21 adds a powerful inference to this probing truth. It uses the word “grieve” instead of “loathe”. “Do not I hate them, O LORD that hate thee? And am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee?” The idea of our sin grieving us takes our dislike of evil to a deeper emotional level. When we begin to understand the sinful choices we make from believing Satan’s lies, it angers us. Then it causes us to grieve for the way we have treated our loving Savior. When God opens our eyes to our rebellion, we will weep over the relationships we have destroyed and people we have wounded. Actually, the more we surrender to the Holy Spirit and engraft the word of God into our hearts the more we will understand how unloving we have been! God’s grace does this to help us to have genuine repentance and transformation.

Friend, we will begin to win spiritual battles when we personalize David’s two questions. If we allow the Holy Spirit to use them to probe our hearts we will begin to see the roots of our rebellion. When we see ourselves as God does our only hope is to focus on Jesus Christ sacrifice for us and run to the cross to receive His forgiveness.  

 

Observation: David is now asking the right questions. Do I not hate those (secret sins and evil thoughts) who hate you, O LORD? And do I not loathe those (secret sins and evil thoughts) who rise up against you? Until these questions are faced we will never get to the roots of the wickedness in our hearts.

Interpretation: The strongholds of evil in our hearts are defeated at the cross, yet until we take the responsibility to end their control in our lives we will never experience the freedom Jesus has given us.

These questions reveal our lack of love for God. This lack of love gives place and power to sin. We cannot defeat sin in our own power, but as we trust God’s precious thoughts and yield to the Holy Spirit, God will deliver us.

Application Prayer: Father God, thank you for asking me if I really hate my sin. I am humbled by my rebellion and brokenness for I know I do not love you as I should. I am grieved over the hurt I have caused you and the people I love. Please forgive me and help me to engraft your word into my soul daily. … in Jesus Name, Amen.

What is your take away?