Today’s reading is on Psalm 141.
Our church has recently been discussing Titus, and the role & necessity of leaders in the church to teach sound doctrine, and reproach and correct those in the church not displaying godly behavior. The importance of such is described in Titus 2:11-14: “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.” We seek to renounce & repent from sin, that we may be ready for Christ to come again and claim us as his own, and to do good works in His name whole heartedly.
This need for rebuking and correcting in order to walk just and upright in the grace of God comes to mind when I hear David’s prayer in Psalm 141: specifically, the order in which he prays these things. In times of duress and persecution, David set the great example of turning to the Lord to pray for His will to be done. In what sounds like one of those times, he prays for his enemies’ defeat, yes; but first, he prays for the correction of his own sin. He asks hopefully for the chance to be corrected in his sin. As verse 5 puts it, “let a righteous man strike me; it is a kindness.”
I think David, in his wisdom and piety, saw the true value in the words of others about his sin. Proverbs 6:23 says “For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching a light, and the reproofs of discipline are the way of life.” And in Proverbs 9:8: “Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you; reprove a wise man, and he will love you.” We can not appropriately display the thankfulness we have for Christ pouring out Himself for our justification when we live in sin; and it is in the strength of faith of the believers around us, comfortable and trusting in their faith enough to speak up when they see us sin & lead us in the right direction out of love, that God blesses us with opportunity to correct our paths. David sees this, enough to joyfully celebrate the chance to be rebuked before even mentioning his enemies. He sees his own sin, and knows he must deal with that first; taking the plank out of his own eye first, as Jesus’d put it in Matthew 7.
Let this be a morning of reflection, repentance, and renewal in our promise to Christ. What sins are you struggling with that need to be surrendered to God & turned away from? Do you have others in which you can trust to be honest & forward to you about your sin & help you get on the right path? Or do you need to pray for God to help open the path to help from your brothers in sisters & Christ in recognizing and squashing your sin? Or maybe you sense an opportunity in your life to loving rebuke others of their sin, be it family, friends, acquaintances, church members, coworkers. How can your words of encouragement & truth help direct others struggling with sin back to upright and godly lives, so that the glory of God may be displayed through all our good works done in His name?