Chapter eighteen contains the fourth of five teaching sections in Matthew, and it is specifically focused on how we treat one another.
It opens with Jesus calling a child to him and telling his...
Friday, April 20. Psalms 27 - 29
That God will punish the wicked is a foregone conclusion in Psalm 28, and the writer is counting on it. It gives a new meaning to praying for your enemies. David prayed for them alright:
“Repay them for their deeds and for their evil work; repay them for what their hands have done and bring back upon them what they deserve” (vs. 4).
It is not the first time we have seen this – nor will it be the last.
It is, however interesting how he describes these wicked people. Gerald Wilson, professor of Old Testament at Azusa University has written: “It is not that these are murderers or thieves – there is no indication of physical assault or robbery. Instead, they are described as “two faced” or deceptive in their relations with others. They “speak peace” (NIV “speak cordially”) to their neighbors – expressing concern for others’ well-being – while actually harboring resentments and “malice” toward those they address.”
A healthy community cannot exist without honesty and candor. When we are unwilling to reveal what is really in our hearts, repentance cannot be accomplished, correction cannot be made, and trust can never be secured.