It makes no difference in what form sin comes, it is always an act of pride. It is pride because sin always is rebellion against God. Every time we sin, we say by our deed that we do not need to obey God and please the Almighty Creator of heaven and earth. In effect we tell God to keep still and to mind His own business. That surely is an act of stinking pride.
No wonder then that God moved the psalmist to Write in Psalm 119:21-22. "Thou hast rebuked the proud that are cursed, which do err from Thy commandments.'' And these proud sinners are so ready to reproach and speak contemptuously of those who do keep God's law. For that reason the psalmist adds the prayer, "Remove from me reproach and contempt; for I have kept Thy testimonies."
It is interesting to note that God's commandments are here called His testimonies. For each one of the ten commandments testifies that He is God and must be obeyed. It is also interesting that our versification rightly calls sin an act of hatred against God in these words:
Thou dost rebuke the proud, O Lord,
Who hate Thy holy name:
But since I keep Thy righteous law,
Deliver me from shame.
Now removing reproach and contempt means making it known that we are those who keep God's law, and are children whom He loves. And the idea then is not that he prays that God will make these sinners change their minds and speak favorably of him. Conversion and repentance in them he surely desires; but what he prays for here is that he may be assured of God's love, and have removed from his mind the idea that he is proud and foolish, when he walks in a way which he considers keeping God's law.
We need that badly today. We who hold on to the truth of God's word, condemn evil practices, keep the Sabbath holy, and worship the God of the Scriptures are painted black, ridiculed, called narrow-minded old-fashioned, conceited, and silly. And we, like the psalmist, need the assurance from God that we are redeemed by the blood of Christ and are walking in His footsteps and teaching.
Read: Psalm 39
Psalter versification: 323:3
(Words and Music of the Psalter)
Meditations on the Heidelberg Catechism
Through the Bible in One Year
Judges 11; Judges 12:1-15
Quote for Reflection:
The law may break the heart with fear; it is only grace that works that sweet humility that becomes joy to the soul as its second nature. It was the revelation of God in His holiness, drawing nigh to make Himself known in His grace that made Abraham, Jacob, Job and Isaiah bow so low.... It is the sinner basking in the full light of God’s holy, redeeming love, in the experience of that indwelling divine compassion of Christ, who cannot but be humble. Not to be occupied with your sin but to be fully occupied with God brings deliverance from self. — Andrew Murray
- Date: 30-April