Today’s whack to the head is sponsored by Matthew Henry.
I’m plowing through Psalm 94 this morning, recognizing that my own personal Jesus picture is closer to Mr Rogers than the unmasked avenger described in scripture. If you’re itchin’ for a fight (I’m not….I’m just sayin…), Psalm 94 is your buddy. It clearly outlines a series of offenses to God with everything except footnotes to today’s news articles.
“How long will the wicked be jubilant….they oppress your inheritance, they slay the widow and the alien, they murder the fatherless…”.
Of course, I’m running through examples in my mind. Wondering what God thinks of our immigration policy (not the closed borders so much as the deportation of people who may have been here for 20 years, separating them from family in the process). Wondering if there’s a person more fatherless than the baby in the womb of a woman as she walks into an abortion clinic.
It’s too easy, though, to look at the offenses and differentiate between the doers and the non-doers. Them v. us, evil v. good. God is just as concerned with our emotions and thoughts towards these things as He is who’s handling the shackles or wielding the scalpel. Psalm 94 goes on to say that the Lord knows the thoughts of a man….the inference is clear. Thoughts matter, even if actions don’t necessarily follow through.
It’s not enough that you’re not actively turning away aliens from your front door.
What are you thinking about them when you see them on the street selling flowers to send a few dollars back home?
It’s not enough that you drop a buck in the offering on Right to Life Sunday.
What are you thinking about that pregnant teenager you saw in Target, buying all the wrong groceries.
Matthew Henry, in his commentary on Psalm 94, wrote “Thoughts are words to God.” What a terrifying truth. I can often get a rein on my tongue, but my thoughts? To change what I think means to change my own heart toward people.
God, bring our thoughts into alignment with yours, lest the words of our mind offend you or bring dispair to those you would call your inheritance.
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