Today: Psalms 60:1-4; John 7:45-53; John 8:1-11; Judges 16 & 17

Psalms 60

Today many of us feel like David did in Psalms 60 — “God, You have rejected us. You have broken us; You have been angry… You have made the land quake, You have split it open… You have made Your people experience hardship; You have given us wine to drink that makes us stagger…” (v.1-3)

It’s been a rough year for a lot of us. And it doesn’t look like things are going to get any better anytime soon.

But we can KNOW that God does see our pain. God HEARS us when we cry out to Him as David did, “restore us! Heal [our land’s] cracks, for it sways…” (v.1-2)

We cannot know God’s timing or His reasoning (unless HE reveals it to us). But He DOES hear and see us. And some day, in His perfect timing, according to His perfect plan, He WILL give “a banner to those who fear [Him], that it may be displayed because of the truth.” (v.4)

John 7

Those chief priests and Pharisees remind me so much of our mocking media and “woke” elites of today. The religious leaders viciously ridiculed and bullied the officers when they failed to arrest Jesus because “never has a man spoken in this way!” (The officers obviously had been shaken by Jesus’ authority.)

The Pharisees responded, “You have not been led astray too, have you? Not one of the rulers or Pharisees has believed in Him, has he? But this crowd that does not know the Law is accursed!” (v.47-49)

Can you hear their arrogance and condescension? They were saying that people who follow Jesus are stupid and uneducated. (Sound familiar?) They were saying, ‘Look at US! WE are the intellectuals, the superior ones, and WE don’t believe in Him. How can you be so stupid?!’ (Sound familiar??)

When Nicodemus tried to defend Jesus, they bullied him too… “You are not from Galilee as well, are you?” (v.52) (Remind you of cancel culture???)

Christian, do NOT be intimidated or shamed by the “woke” crowd that ridicules your beliefs. They did the same to Jesus. They are still playing the same bullying games. But THEY are the fools.

"Jesus forgives the woman caught in adultery" painting by Elizabeth Wang

John 8

“He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” John 8:7

The story of the prostitute who was brought to Jesus is the most beautiful story of forgiveness in the gospels. It shows us how Jesus responded to the harsh Jewish law of the Old Testament.

Notice that Jesus did not excuse or downplay her sin. He told her, “Go. From now on do not sin any longer.” (v.11)

BUT He enveloped that admonishment within compassion and forgiveness. Instead of pointing at HER sin with condemnation, He pointed at the sin of all the others who were condemning her. He reminded us that we are ALL sinners worthy of death. But that death sentence has been wrapped up within His forgiveness. The penalty for our sins has been fulfilled by His sacrifice.

This is the gift of forgiveness and compassion that He offers to all of us. May we also offer forgiveness and compassion to others.

Norman Rockwell's Samson

Judges 16

Samson certainly loved the ladies. Samson was not the first man to have been ensnared by a pretty woman! But we wonder how even he could have been so stupid as to fall for Delilah’s obvious lies. She basically nagged the truth out of him until his “soul was annoyed to death. So he told her all that was in his heart.” (v.16-17)

Samson paid a tragic price for his stupidity. His eyes were gouged out and he was forced into hard labor in prison. Israel’s superman had fallen.

But God granted Samson a final revenge. Finally the great, cocky Samson had been brought low. Finally he cried out to God in humility and God heard him. Samson brought the house down upon the Philistines and himself “and the dead whom he killed at his death were more than those whom he killed during his lifetime.” (v.30)