“But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord God my refuge, that I may tell of all your works” (Psalm 73:28).
The final point to consider this week is how will we respond to the evil and injustices we see around us. We can do as the world does and fight evil with evil, but then we just destroy ourselves. The verse above opens with, “but for me.” The world fights and carries on, but “as for me” I will refrain. Why? Because I must commit my case to God and grow close to Him.
At the close of his ministry, Paul described to Timothy all the evil he might expect in the present age. But then he said, “You, however, have followed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness. . .” (2 Timothy 3:10). The world, says Paul, will commit increasing acts of evil. But then he turns to Timothy with a command to do differently. We cannot take up the weapons of this world, though we do arm ourselves with weapons of a different sort. But we cannot respond sinfully to evil situations, or we soon get swept up in it ourselves.
Notice the words of our opening verse: “But for me it is good to be near.
God …” With these profound words, the Psalmist directs our eyes and hearts to God. When assaulted by evil, we go to God. When sin increases around us, we betake to God. When forces of unbelief encircle us, we run to our rock and tower of strength. Where else can we go? Evil and evildoers will continue to increase (2 Timothy 3:13). We refuse to partake of their evil, nor will we fight them using their weapons. We will go to God, and take our case to Him.
Next the writer “made the Lord God my refuge.” When the tides of corruption rise, we need to swim to the safe shores of God’s abundant care. We worship God, we confess our sins to Him, we pray to Him, but we also make Him our only refuge. He will provide safety from the storms and protection from the tempest.
We tend to hurt ourselves with our reactions more than anything else. But God wants us to take these matters to Him. To Him we pour out our fears, indignation and helplessness. Then He grants us wise strategies to respond with. He gives us words of truth and sometimes leads us to say nothing at all. Let us meditate on this encouraging verse, written by Paul just prior to his own death at the hands of his persecutors:
“The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen” (2 Timothy 4:18).
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Posted on Fri, June 30, 2017
by Diane Hultgren