Murder and Malice

The Lord’s list of abominations—behaviors He intensely detests—continues with the hands and the heart. 3. Hands that shed innocent blood: The shedding of blood refers to killing someone, not merely drawing blood in a nonfatal injury, and the qualification “innocent” is important. First, Solomon had murder specifically in mind, an act that the Lord considers an abomination.

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Composed and Quiet

Having chosen to enter a season of quietness, stepping back from public view, David examines the effect of humility on his soul. Psalm 131 contains several curious word pictures. Verse 2: Was that capable and passionate man of war irritated and out of sorts because he had been reduced from captain of the team to spectator? Not in the least.

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The War with Evil

Enemy attack? There was a time in my life when I had no enemies. Once I began ministry, however, that changed. It should come as no surprise that many who serve God in full-time ministry become targets of demonic assaults, especially those who serve in regions where the powers of darkness are commonplace. But enemy attacks are by no means limited to those dark corners of the world.

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Rest in God’s Faithfulness

As David’s lament (Psalm 54) over the grind of difficult people draws to a close, he turns from bitter resentment to find rest in God’s faithfulness. David has named his enemies and acknowledged their sins, and he has surrendered his right to justice, placing them in God’s hands. As a result, David finds peace.

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A “Churning Place”

I have a “churning place.” It’s in my stomach. On the upper, left side, just below the rib cage. When disturbing things happen, when troubling words are said, when certain letters that contain ugly words are written or extremely critical comments are read, my inner churning starts. Do you have something similar? One friend of mine says his spot is in his head, specifically his forehead.

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Poisonous Words

[Sunday] we examined two kinds of destructive speech that attempt to achieve ulterior motives. When we flatter someone, we deceive that person in order to gain an advantage for ourselves. When we gossip, we lower people in the eyes of others. Both involve deception. Today we will consider destructive confrontation. While it is direct and open, unlike the cowardly ways of flattery and gossip, the effect is nonetheless harmful.

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Playing Second Fiddle

I REMEMBER READING OF Leonard Bernstein, the late, legendary conductor of the New York Philharmonic, giving an insightful answer in an informal interview. Following a televised performance, one admirer asked: “Mr. Bernstein, what is the most difficult instrument to play?” With quick wit and without even a thought he replied:

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Nothing New

Remember that suffering is not new. In what is probably the oldest book in the Bible, the book of Job, we read, “For man is born for trouble, as sparks fly upward” (Job 5:7). Now there’s a statement we need to teach our children.

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Anger against God’s Enemies

As David thought about God’s intricate design of humanity in Psalm 139, and he pondered the Lord’s loyal love for each individual He took such care to fashion and endow with purpose, the king grew angry at the enemies of God. How ungrateful. How disloyal! How outrageous that they should rebel!

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Wisdom and the Unsent Letter

Rash reactions are never best. In the moment, when we’re swimming in emotions and anger threatens to pull us under, a sudden outburst feels best. But if we give in, we say and do things we wish we’d never said or done. I remember, years ago, a certain man would write railing letters to me. […]

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