Psalms 37:1-18 * 37:19-42; Exodus 20:1-21; Colossians 1:14-27; Matthew 4:1-11
We are given the passage today in Exodus where the 10 Commandments are passed down from Mt. Sinai in a rumble of thunder and lightning. And we have this great Psalm where in the first half we are given encouragement to not worry about what others do, but to do good instead. In Matthew today, Jesus is tormented and tested in the desert and then chases the tormentor away, being a living example of what the psalmist instructs us to do.
Do not be jealous of those who do wrong the psalmist says and then Do not fret yourself over the one who prospers, the one who succeeds in evil schemes. We are also told Put your trust in the Lord and do good and take delight in the Lord and you shall be given your heart's desire. We are asked today to put aside jealousy at those who "get ahead" in this material world by dishonest means. We are surrounded by this: the mortgage crisis and the corporations walking away with millions "earned", their executives untouched, while hundreds of thousands of individuals are losing their homes...losing their homes. Imagine how hard that is. Look around your home right now and then think, Wow, this is all gone. Imagine the absolute loss and devastation. It happens everyday and it is so unfair and so very hard not to get angry about it.
We are asked to put aside those feelings and be confident in our God, in our work doing what we know is the right thing to do. Taking whatever small steps we need to take to effectuate the coming of the kingdom. That confidence is a very difficult thing to hang on to some days. But hang on we must.
Copyright 2008, John F. Dwyer