Living with fellow sinners is never easy.
And sometimes it goes way beyond “not easy.” Sometimes it goes to the point of enduring attacks that surprise us by coming completely without reason or cause.
That’s when it becomes super-tough. In the end, though, one can only put such attacks in the hands of God. That’s the only sane, spiritual move, because such hatred is often far beyond our control or influence.
David faced such opposition many times during his life. And quite possibly that’s why he wrote so many Psalms. Like this one, Psalm 35:
But when I stumbled, they gathered in glee; assailants gathered against me without my knowledge. They slandered me without ceasing. Like the ungodly they maliciously mocked; they gnashed their teeth at me. How long, Lord, will you look on? Rescue me from their ravages, my precious life from these lions. I will give you thanks in the great assembly; among the throngs I will praise you. (Psalm 35:15-18, NIV).
It’s interesting to compare these words from the Psalms with what we read about Jesus in Mark 15:
The soldiers led Jesus away into the palace (that is, the Praetorium) and called together the whole company of soldiers. They put a purple robe on him, then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on him. And they began to call out to him, “Hail, king of the Jews!” Again and again they struck him on the head with a staff and spit on him. Falling on their knees, they paid homage to him. And when they had mocked him, they took off the purple robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him out to crucify him. (Mark 15:16-20, NIV).
Jesus, like David, was assailed on every side. He faced the same attacks and challenges as David, but ratcheted up by the fact that Jesus’ purpose was infinitesimally more critical than David’s. As the Son of God and the Savior of the world, all the forces of evil arrayed against him.
Unwittingly, their attacks fell right into the plan. That’s why Jesus could put these attacks in the hands of God. Because he knew this was all part of him being the Lamb of God led to the slaughter as the perfect sacrifice for our sins.
David, or Jesus, the pain of the attacks was great. The purpose was greater still.
Our Bible reading for Thursday, March 19, is Numbers 7:66 – 9:14, Luke 2:41-52 and Psalm 35:11-18.
Lord, protect me from the attacks of others. Thank you for willingly taking on the attacks of sinful men so that you could win forgiveness and salvation for me. May I always trust that your purpose will prevail, no matter how harsh the attacks of others hurt me.
Header image based on "Crown of Thorns" by Waiting for the Word, CC By 2.0