11 August 2021

Proverbs 21:16

Whoever strays from the path of prudence
    comes to rest in the company of the dead.

Do you want rest? Do you want to escape the hassles of life? Then wander away from good sense. Throw off your responsibilities and act according to instinct, and you can live a contented life. It is fairly easy to be contented when you have no responsibility for anyone and do only what you feel like doing at the moment. You will find rest.

Your contented rest, however, comes at the cost of a living death. You are dead spiritually; dead to what is of eternal value and joy. And it is likely you will find an early rest in death literally. Living for the moment usually leads to a shortened life. The catch there is that death does not provide rest. However peaceful a cemetery may seem, the souls of the dead find anything but rest.

The way of sense requires taking on responsibility for how you live and for loving your neighbor. We will practice good sense in some parts of our lives, but it is difficult to exercise good sense in every area. This is not because it is difficult to know what to do, but that we have limits to how much thinking we want to do all the time. Thus, we may practice good sense at our job and wander from good sense at home, or vice versa.

Will you practice good sense today in the home and work or school and everywhere else you may be? Or will you take a stroll away from good sense when it seems inconvenient or too tiring?


Psalm 38

Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger
    or discipline me in your wrath.
Your arrows have pierced me,
    and your hand has come down on me.
Because of your wrath there is no health in my body;
    there is no soundness in my bones because of my sin.
My guilt has overwhelmed me
    like a burden too heavy to bear.

My wounds fester and are loathsome
    because of my sinful folly.
I am bowed down and brought very low;
    all day long I go about mourning.
My back is filled with searing pain;
    there is no health in my body.
I am feeble and utterly crushed;
    I groan in anguish of heart.

All my longings lie open before you, Lord;
    my sighing is not hidden from you.
10 My heart pounds, my strength fails me;
    even the light has gone from my eyes.
11 My friends and companions avoid me because of my wounds;
    my neighbors stay far away.
12 Those who want to kill me set their traps,
    those who would harm me talk of my ruin;
    all day long they scheme and lie.

13 I am like the deaf, who cannot hear,
    like the mute, who cannot speak;
14 I have become like one who does not hear,
    whose mouth can offer no reply.
15 Lord, I wait for you;
    you will answer, Lord my God.
16 For I said, “Do not let them gloat
    or exalt themselves over me when my feet slip.”

17 For I am about to fall,
    and my pain is ever with me.
18 I confess my iniquity;
    I am troubled by my sin.
19 Many have become my enemies without cause[b];
    those who hate me without reason are numerous.
20 Those who repay my good with evil
    lodge accusations against me,
    though I seek only to do what is good.

21 Lord, do not forsake me;
    do not be far from me, my God.
22 Come quickly to help me,
    my Lord and my Savior.