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Unkind and Untrue

Have you ever found yourself in this position - a boss at work, people in authority, gossip behind your back, and someone out to ruin your reputation? And it’s even worse when you know that people are ‘sitting together’ behind closed doors and doing it. It’s upsetting and can leave you feeling pretty helpless. Especially when it’s people who could be described as ‘rulers’. In such circumstances, there’s a bit of me (and I guess I’m not the only person to feel like this) that wants to answer back, to justify myself and, maybe, even retaliate and give as good as I get. Very understandable!

But the psalmist had a different way of dealing with the problem: meditating on God’s ‘decrees’. The Hebrew word for ‘decrees’ means ‘what is prescribed’ or ’boundaries’. It’s as if the psalmist goes to God’s word and fixes his mind on godly boundaries for his reactions to what other people are saying about him.

When someone says something unkind about you, there are boundaries set by God about how to react. But, when you turn to His word, you don’t just hear His voice – it brings you to Him. He won’t just say, “This is how you should react”. He’ll touch your heart with His word to bring comfort, encouragement and hope in difficult circumstances. More than that, He may well bring revelation of His way to confront the specific problem and overcome it.

The psalmist says that he’ll ‘meditate’ on God’s decrees. For the Jews, meditating, to this day, means, not quietly thinking about something, but actually speaking it out. There’s something really powerful about declaring God’s truth over challenging situations. It brings our perception of the situation, and our reactions to it, into line with the heart and will of God.

A bible-teacher I used to know once said, “We need to read the Bible until our blood becomes ‘bibline’”. That’s so right. When the Scriptures flow through our blood, the Holy Spirit will always bring the relevant ‘decrees’ to mind so that we can respond to every situation in a godly way. What a fantastic resource!

Prayer: Father, thank You so much for the Scriptures. Thank You that they’re Your revelation of Your will and purpose for Your children. Lord, as I face all the challenges that today will bring, please remind me of Your decrees, so I’ll respond in godly ways. As I meditate on Your word, would You bring me all the comfort and encouragement that I need. Amen.
 

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Scripture

"Even though rulers sit together and slander me, your servant will meditate on your decrees."
Psalm 119:23, NIV

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Today's Writer

Richard Griffiths When Richard retired from full-time Anglican ministry in Chichester in 2009, he and his wife, Sue, moved to Northumberland. He joined the ministry team at Ellel Grange in 2011, where he and Sue regularly ministered at healing retreats. They are now helping on the "Explore" team. They greatly enjoy walking their Golden Retriever dog in the beautiful Northumberland countryside and along the coast. Richard loves seeing God bringing people into a strong personal relationship with Him as their Father and the healing that comes with it.

Richard Griffiths


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