Resh (Psalm 119:153-160)
Look upon my suffering and deliver me,
for I have not forgotten your law.
Defend my cause and redeem me;
preserve my life according to your promise.
Salvation is far from the wicked,
for they do not seek out your decrees.
Your compassion is great, O Lord;
preserve my life according to your laws.
Many are the foes who persecute me,
but I have not turned from your statutes.
I look on the faithless with loathing,
for they do not obey your word.
See how I love your precepts;
preserve my life, O Lord, according to your love.
All your words are true;
all your righteous laws are eternal.
Tough to read verses, where the writer is confessing things such as “I look on the faithless with loathing”. I’m supposed to LOVE the lost, not loathe them!
But what does love look like? When you love someone, and they are destroying themselves – do you just say “that’s ok, I love ya!”? Is that unconditional love? Is that love at all?
No – you would loathe the action, because you love them. Ever have a loved one addicted to drugs or alcohol? Caught up in an abusive relationship? In prison due to some horrible crime? Then you know what I’m talking about.
Still – I’m not sure the writer was talking about that. The over-used line, “Love the sinner, hate the sin”. I’m not sure he was confessing the hatred towards the sin – instead confessing his hatred towards the SINNER.
And I must confess that as well. I may not be outwardly hating sinners – but inwardly, my heart can lead me towards judgment. I have felt contempt for those who are lost. I’m not proud of it, and I don’t often entertain it – but it comes up. It’s a form of prejudice, when you see someone who doesn’t know the Lord, and think, “God, I’m glad I am not him”.
And God opposes me, when I think that way.
Lord, I confess often I look to the sin in someone, instead of looking at the sinner, through your eyes. But YOU love all of us – every one of us sinners. Help me to love the lost, Lord, as you do. Help me to see THEM first, not their sin – that I might truly love the sinner FIRST, intead of hating the sin….
Forgive me, Lord, for my hard heart – and replace it with a heart of flesh. Give me a heart for the lost, for those who refuse to know you – that I might show them you, that they might eventually see…..
For your eternal glory….