May 29, 2015
In yesterday's story, David showed that he was more concerned with God's reputation than for his own safety. May we all face our imposing enemies with more belief in the unseen God than in the very present enemies!
Psalm 102 starts out like the prayer of anyone in distress and trouble calling out to God. As we read further, many see parallels with what our Savior would have prayed in his darkest days on earth.
15Then the nations will tremble before [You,//the] LORD.
The kings of the earth will tremble before [your/his] glory.
16For [You//the] LORD will rebuild Jerusalem.
[You/He] will appear in his glory.
17[You/He] will listen to the prayers of the destitute.
[You/He] will not reject their pleas.
The last verse of yesterday’s reading shows why it is better to take what we are given, rather than what we have earned! This is a big problem for some. My Dad's “having lived a good life” was one of the biggest blocks to him humbly coming to God and receiving the gift of eternal life. I don't think he ever understood how God would not be so impressed by his supposed integrity. The spiritual reality expressed starting at the beginning of the 6th chapter is a key to place along with a second key that we will hear about in today’s chapter.
10and [might as well as killed me. I died— spiritually speaking.//I died]. So I discovered that the law’s commands, which were supposed to bring life, brought spiritual death instead.
11Sin took advantage of those commands and deceived me; it used the commands to kill me [— (because I couldn’t keep them)].
15I don’t really understand [my own self//myself], for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate.
20But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing [the] wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.
[PET 24-25] [So you see how it [was//is]: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.///[NLT] 24Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? 25Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord[./!] //So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.]
It seems to me (and I am not alone in this) that reordering Paul’s words here helps to remove the impression that Paul is contradicting everything he has said so far about the believer’s victory over the power of sin. From verse 7 on, Paul is expounding on verse 5: “When we were controlled by our old nature,b sinful desires were at work within us, and the law aroused these evil desires that produced a harvest of sinful deeds, resulting in death.” If I am right, then, NLT is wrong to use the present tense in “you see how it is”. I don’t have a problem with this connecting phrase showing the logical connection. I just want to change the verb tense. The Greek only says, “So then,” which is really enough.
This is a very unfortunate chapter break (not made by Paul but by Robert Estienne around 1552). This chapter division has contributed to the wrong understanding of the end of this chapter. I recommend that everyone always keep reading past it!