In Psalm 73, the psalmist tell us that he had been behaving like a "brute beast" before the Lord. What does this mean exactly? To be savage, uncontrollable, lacking intelligence, sensitivity, and compassion, this is a brute beast and describes the unrepentant sinner perfectly. Not to say that the unbeliever is unintelligent, but rather ignorant of that which would benefit them the most. They are not completely without sensitivity or compassion, but their sensitivity is limited to that which they deem worthy of their compassion. They are not out of control, but refuse to yield control of their lives to a cause greater than themselves and their own desires. Psalm 73 looks at the relationship that an unbeliever might have with the Lord, and juxtaposes it against that of the believer.
Hell has been imagined in various forms over the years. These descriptions almost always involve the eternal fiery torment of those lost souls who have been judged and found deserving of such punishment. There are some descriptions, however, that reject the physical agony of Hell and instead presume that those souls that have been found undeserving of heaven will find themselves eternally separated from God. So what is hell? How can we have so many variations describing the ultimate punishment for the rejection of the one true God? How can we separate fact from fiction on this subject?
I think we have all seen how exorcisms are portrayed on television and in other media. Typically, there are two priests, and lots of holy water, screaming, and projectile vomiting. Have you ever wondered how these situations compare to the exorcisms that Jesus performed in the New Testament? Was Christ splashing holy water onto people in order to cast out demons? Reading from scripture? I don't think so. Perhaps we should take some time and examine why there is such a radical difference between how we perceive exorcism, and how it was actually performed by Christ.
What do you do after you have had a stressful day? Relax on the couch, watch tv, cuddle? Perhaps you go to the gym and exercise, or take a hike through the woods. Whatever it is, it must help you to calm your mind and relax or else it would not be your preferred activity right? I must ask though, is there any thing that can calm your mind, body, and soul more that God? If God is your rock, why lean on anything else?
Since the beginning of our existence, mankind has fought continuously over natural resources. Water, fertile soil, forests, oil, gold, and a great deal of other items have been the centerpiece of death and destruction as greed has driven various cultures at different time periods to attempt to control access to these things. With all of that violence we may have forgotten an important fact, we don’t actually own anything. We can’t own anything. All the world belongs to God, including humanity. If we belong to God, and the world belongs to God, then how can we own anything?
What can mankind do that will be eternal? Will our monuments last through the ages? Will our great deeds be remembered in perpetuity? Is there anything in this life which we can accumulate as a payment to God for the redemption of our souls? If there is nothing we can do, nothing that we can accumulate, that will last through the ages, what then is the purpose of our insignificant lives?
On my journey with Christ, there have been quite a few things I have given up, and frankly, there have been times when I miss those things. While we should not be envious of one another, sometimes it is difficult to see a world that can be so unrepentantly carefree. The temptations of the flesh do effect us all equally, after all. However, Psalm 37 addresses these feelings, and in the process it challenges what is considered to be the traditional Christian view of Hell. Is there any reason that we should envy those who will be rewarded with destruction?
What is our conscience? We all understand how to express what a conscience is; it is a sort of inner voice that we use to determine what is good or bad, but what is it really? While that is a question science struggles to answer, one theory is that it is the emotional response created when we think about our future/past actions. This allows us to reflect on the consequences of our previous actions in order to determine whether our future actions are good or bad. But there is another inner voice, one which contests the verdict of our conscience. A voice with only our self interests at heart.
Evil will slay the wicked. This is such an interesting thought from Psalm 34, it honestly sounds like an oxymoron. Why would evil slay itself? Shouldn't it be focused on stopping the good in the world? Ultimately, this psalm is about God's good and loving nature, but a true definition of evil is required in order to fully praise Him. How can we understand evil? Only by truly understanding what is good. Let’s read through the psalm and explore this concept some more.
Have you ever found yourself staring at an orange sunset, or looking up at the starry night sky and thinking that God simply had to have made this? I know I certainly have. Psalm 19 captures this moment, and transitions to a train of thought that sometimes follows it.