Opportunities

Psalm 125

Now that I’m a parent, I realize why my own parents were so crazy when I was little.  We drove them crazy.  Unlike many in Christendom, I don’t buy into the concept of original sin… but my kids sometimes make me second-guess myself.  Kids seem to look for opportunities to make you crazy–messing up a room you just cleaned up, drawing on freshly painted walls, spilling drinks on new carpet (which you expressly warned them not to walk on when they had drinks), and an assortment of other things.

Sometimes, grown-ups are nothing more than big kids.  We look for opportunities to do things that drive our Heavenly Father crazy.

We look for opportunities to sin.

The impulse buy that will drive up our debt and discourage generosity.  The time alone in front of the computer when no one is around.  The person who cuts you off in traffic.  All of these are opportunities to sin.  Sometimes, they pop up without warning.  Sometimes, we go looking for them.

The author of Psalm 125 gives us a reason for why followers of God sometimes sin:  oppression.  Look what he writes in Psalm 125:3,

For the scepter of wickedness shall not rest upon the land of the righteous; that the righteous may not put for their hands to do wrong.

The thought of the psalm is that aggressive foreign nations won’t brutalize Israel forever.  God would deliver them.  Here’s the thing:  God’s timing isn’t always our timing.  What we think of as forever is simply a blink of an eye to God.  In the Old Testament, God allowed foreign nations to oppress Israel for years, sometimes decades.  The reason He allowed this top happen was to get the attention of those who weren’t following Him.  But God also knows that oppression can lead righteous people to react sinfully.  He alone is good; He alone knows what righteous people can endure.

Recently, I’ve been going through a tough spiritual time.  I’ve realized that while my leadership for our church network has been good, it hasn’t been what it should be for my own microchurch.  God has convicted me of things that I need to change and repent of.  Is it the same as a foreign power oppressing a country?  No.  But I also know how the devil pushes my buttons–when I get stressed, I tend to lapse into sin.  Struggle is good.  Wrestling with sin is necessary.  God knows what I can handle.  He’s allowing me to undergo some discipline so that I can repent.

But what about when times are tough for no apparent reason?  We live in a messed up, dark, and sinful world.  People suffer, even the faithful.  God knows this.  His heart breaks for the oppressed.  He knows their breaking point.  He knows the perfect time to rescue them.

No matter what situation we are in–oppression due to our own sin, or just getting smacked around by life in a sinful world–God knows our stress, our sin, and our limits.  May we trust in Him for deliverance, even if it doesn’t come when our how we think it should.  After all, He is God and we are not. 

Thank God for that.

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About Aaron

Aaron is a follower of Jesus. He's married to his smokin' hot wife Laura and is the father of three adorable girls. He enjoys a robust cigar, a complex root beer, a good movie, writing, football, thought-provoking books, and rousing discussions about subjects you're not supposed to talk about (like theology and politics). Religious people irritate him (because he once was one). He's on a quest to find the perfect dry rub and sauce for ribs.
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2 Responses to Opportunities

  1. Larry says:

    Ha ha ha, I love it. EXACTLY like Dave “Im all about the truth” Willis. When the going gets tough, you run away from the debate like a scared turtle. If you were SO sure about the “facts” you present, why would it even matter if Im civil?? The TRUTH is, you just DONT LIKE the things I mention. The whole “youre not being civil” thing is just a big deflect and dodge tactic that is usually used by people when they dont want to confront facts, so their only option is to deflect away from the facts presented by saying the other person is “being mean, or rude” and “not being civil” (as if that mattered anyway—-the TRUTH is the only thing that should matter) so it can deflect the attention away from confronting facts. Dave did that a LOT. When I posted fact after fact about 9-11, and the employees of Popular Mechanics and the sources he posted—-since he didnt have the intellect to confront and discuss the facts I posted, he had to resort to the old, tiresome “you’re not being nice Larry” tactic—all in an attempt to ignore my facts and to brainwash the other zombies on his blog to agree with him that I dont deserve attention because I was being “rude”. Isnt it funny how you’ve quickly abandoned the debate that you are so 100% sure of? Gee Aaron, I thought followers of Jesus were supposed to overcome “rudeness” with kindness and not just abandon people…hmmm, guess I was wrong.

    The amazing thing about your last post is——where am I ranting? Where am I being “rude”??? Me saying “…and you know it” is being rude??? You accomplished what you set out to do, deny, deny, deny my sources and then when I responded to them, you simply deflected away from the facts by saying I was rude (with no evidence of it, of course). Oh and by the way, I DID look at the links I sent you. All I saw was explanations of why the ancient god stories were false by just SAYING they were false—no links, no sources, no nothing to back it up. And by the way, how can writings 600–1300 years BEFORE Christ copy from Christ??? If that’s possible, THATS a true miracle!

    You said, “I read articles on each of the gods you mentioned. I looked up articles on the parallels. I posted them for you. You didn’t like my response.”—–it’s not that I didnt LIKE the response, it’s that your response was a LIE. Saying there’s NO parallels between ALL the ancient gods born on Dec 25 of a virgin, doing miracles, walking on water, rising from the dead to rise again in 3 days, etc….is NOT parallels??? That’s simply a LIE. The TRUTH is, that you dont like what I say—you have it the other way around. Your dodge and deflect tactics dont work on me Aaron. I get them all the time by people who disagree with me on 9-11, including your buddy “all about the truth” Willis who I completely destroyed in our debates about it. You read my article about his Fraud of the Year victory, but yet didnt say one thing about it, hmm, I wonder why. Isnt he your FRIEND? Why didnt you defend him? Is it because you saw proof of how big of a fraud he is? You didnt address ONE thing I said in my last post—not ONE, and this isnt even my specialty of topics, it’s YOURS—and I can STILL make others run away from the debate. I wonder why???

    • Aaron says:

      No, Larry, I’m just shaking the dust from my feet. You said you met Dave at college, right? I went to the same college. Chances are good that, at one time, you were a Christian. If that’s so, you’ve now chosen apostacy. I’m not abandoning you… you’ve already done the abandoning of the faith yourself. I’m doing exactly what Jesus said to do–not casting my pearls before swine and shaking the dust from my feet. Your “facts”, in my opinion, are not facts. They’re the result of very suspect and sloppy scholarship that have been refuted time and again (as the articles I presented to you showed, with documentation). I did what you asked. You didn’t like it. There’s no reason for me to keep this going. I’ve got a feeling that it doesn’t matter what evidence I presented, you’d try your best to shout them down.

      So pat yourself on the back all you want. Let yourself believe that you chased me and others away from a debate. You’re only deluding yourself. Now, please take your hype somewhere else–go preach to your own choir.

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