When I read these words the first time, I wasn’t sure where to start. I definitely prefer a more positive message. After rereading again (and again), I found hope and bit of a happier note in the Psalm.
As we start into the readings today by Simon Peter, he writes about false teachers and their destruction. False teachers started to spread rumors and teachings that were against God’s word. From what I am envisioning, these “teachers” were standing on street corners, preaching their views. They were trying to capture the hearts and minds of “depraved” people.
Bold and arrogant, they are not afraid to heap abuse on celestial beings;
If the people were weak or wanted to hear a different view or wanted to have someone support their wrongdoings such as greed, they listened to these false teachers. However Peter points out that they will be fall into harm’s way.
13 They will be paid back with harm for the harm they have done. Their idea of pleasure is to carouse in broad daylight. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their pleasures while they feast with you.
Peter then goes on to tell of the many times God overruled these types of people and lead good or evil. As I was reading the examples of Lot, Noah, Sodom and Gomorrah, I also thought about Moses. As he was leading the people out of Egypt, God demonstrated his power by parting the Red Sea and then collapsing it back in on the “evil” people. We read these examples of how God does have a plan to take care of those who follow his word.
17 These people are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them.
Kind of harsh, but in a way comforting. It also reminds us that he is the judge. He will handle it. We don’t need to try to take over his “job” and condemn the evil. He’s got it.
As we read Psalm 23, the message is consistent. For those who don’t follow God or who don’t “fear” him, God will handle it. We hear his word:
Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens,
your faithfulness to the skies.
6 Your righteousness is like the highest mountains,
your justice like the great deep.
Again, I find comfort in this message. It’s all in God’s hands. Let us take rest in knowing God has it under control even if we don’t see it right away. We need to be patient. Good can triumph over evil.
10 Continue your love to those who know you,
your righteousness to the upright in heart.
11 May the foot of the proud not come against me,
nor the hand of the wicked drive me away.
12 See how the evildoers lie fallen—
thrown down, not able to rise!