When the unbelievers heap ridicule and scorn upon us, it is so easy to respond with sarcasm and with other sinful deeds. For that reason the psalmist asks God in Psalm 119:43, 44 , "And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth; for I have hoped in Thy judgments. So shall I keep Thy law continually for ever and ever." This is in harmony with what we read in James 3:2 , ''If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body." If there is one member of our bodies wherewith we sin, it is our tongue. And it is not only what we say, but often also what we fail to say that is sin.
With our tongues we are ready to defend our own honor, rather than the honor of God. We come with our own words instead of coming, as Jesus did to the devil, with the written word of God. Or we remain silent instead of instructing the mocker in the truth of God's word. We all, therefore, do wisely when we pray these words of our versification:
My hope is in Thy judgment, Lord;
Take not Thy truth from me,
And in Thy law for evermore
My daily walk shall be.
God must hold in our mouths His truth. Even as He must keep our hearts beating after they began months before we were born, so He must keep spiritual life in us by keeping the truth in our hearts and mouths.
If God does this, we will walk in His commandments when we are ridiculed — and presently are persecuted by the world — no matter how severe that mockery may be. We will continue to hope, that is, wait in silence for Him to come in judgment on the evil doers that deride us.
If, then, you are ridiculed, bring God's law to those who break that law. But be silent as far as trying to get even with them is concerned. Such trying to get even is not waiting for His judgment. And it is ceasing to walk in His law.
Instead of doing that, pray God that He keep His truth in your mouth as well as in your heart.
Read: James 3
Psalter versification: #326:2
Meditations on the Heidelberg Catechism
Song for Meditation: Psalter #376
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Through the Bible in One Year
1 Kings 18:1-46
Quote for Reflection:
"This work of conversion is most beautifully and accurately described in the Canons of Dordrecht, III, IV, 10-12, part of which we already quoted before. In Article 10 we read: "But that others who are called by the gospel, obey the call, and are converted, is not to be ascribed to the proper exercise of free will, whereby one distinguishes himself above others, equally furnished with grace sufficient for faith and conversations, as the proud heresy of Pelagius maintains; but it must be wholly ascribed to God, who as he has chosen his own from eternity in Christ, so he confers upon them faith and repentance, rescues them from the power of darkness, and translates them in to the kingdom of his own Son, that they may show forth the praises of him, who hath called them out of darkness into his marvelous light; and may glory not in themselves, but in the Lord, according to the testimony of the apostles in various places." We may note here that the article ascribes the whole of conversation to God. There is nothing of man in it. To say that conversion is the work of man, or partly the work of man, is Pelagianism. We may note that while the article emphatically speaks of conversion as the work of God, nevertheless also speaks of the fruit of that work in us, the fruit being the same as the purpose for which God works conversion in His people, namely, that they may show forth the praises of Him who hath called them out of darkness into His marvelous light, and may glory not in themselves, but in the Lord. Further, it is also evident from this article that this work of conversion by God is rooted in, or based upon, eternal election. God chose them whom He converts. And none but the elect are ever converted. It is a work of God's sovereign grace, bestowed only upon those whom He has chosen in Christ. It consists in this, that God bestows upon His elect both faith and repentance, and that He translates them from the power of darkness into the kingdom of His dear Son. An Excerpt from "The Triple Knowledge" in Lord's Day 33 by Rev. Herman Hoeksema
- Date: 17-June