Drive-by Scripture: Psalm 11:5

The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth. (Psalm 11, verse 5, King James Version)

It’s nice to think that God would give an easy life to all the innocent and good people, and give a nasty life to those who are evil and selfish.

glowhandsThat would be fine, if of course God’s priorities were with this Earth we live on. They aren’t. His priorities involve the souls of the people who live here, who are going to spend a hell of a lot more time in the next life than they could possibly spend here.

Sometimes, those who don’t “deserve” bad things will get tested and tried. Mostly, just by the randomness of life or the machinations of nasty people around them. Sometimes, God will put us through some paces when we need to be guided or tempered.

But you know, I don’t think that’s what this passage I’m highlighting today is really talking about.

Life is the trial. This Earth is where we have our time to shine or fail; to choose the right path or the wrong one. The righteous—those people who will be brought into God’s embrace—should expect that temporal life will not necessarily (nor probably) be a feather bed. In fact, at times it might be a bed of nails.

Those who are determined to do wrong and go against God’s will and purpose, who will hurt and use others and not show love to God and their neighbors—those people may prosper in this world and they’d better enjoy it while they have it.

Because the end awaiting them ain’t nothing pretty.

4 Responses to “Drive-by Scripture: Psalm 11:5”

  1. March 5, 2009 at 8:30 am

    hmmm. I know Paul says we are called to suffer… does Jesus say that anywhere? (I’ll have to look)

    I like the idea that Jesus was trying to paint a picture of God’s nature, as he walked around waiting to go to the cross, but the whole “this life is short, eternity is what matters” view of suffering comforts me not at all.

    For one thing, we have gotten to the point where we view eternity as one thing, and our life as something completely different, forgetting that one is a subset of another. Eternity is not something different- it includes now. Right now. The Abundant Life Jesus came to give evidently includes suffering ( and some of the things that happen in this world are mind-boggling), since he said “it is finished”. When we try to separate it into the whole “this life vs. that life” we can kinda beat our perception into a somewhat comfortable mold, but perhaps the truth is that are simply trying to reconcile one of the deeper mysteries, much to the amusement of those who watch from above….

  2. 2 Deacon Blue
    March 5, 2009 at 10:20 am

    Well, I think that to some degree, separating the two (“temporal” life and “spiritual” life) is an artificial separation. You’re right about that. But at the same time, there is clearly a reason to be HERE first, and clearly, being here is sometimes an unpleasant thing, because the world is driven mostly by the carnal things and not spiritual things. As such, I think it pays to look at the long view (eternity) and not get bogged down in how bad life can be here. I look at it not so much that this life doesn’t matter (because it DOES) but more about taking into account the long-term view. We must remember, thinking short term instead of long term is largely what derailed our economy (both on the individual family level and overall in the U.S.). So my thought is more that if you simply focus on this life, you’ll be too distracted to appreciate the bigger picture.

    Jesus didn’t talk much about daily suffering as I recall. He did point out that those who follow him and believe on him will suffer at times for doing so, though. He also made the point about God providing for us and the fact that we shouldn’t worry so much about our daily needs that we obsess about them. I think that suggests the fact we will at times lack or undergo suffering, but that we should trust that what we need is available.

  3. 3 societyvs
    March 9, 2009 at 4:41 pm

    The idea of hating violence is quite a normal thing…and it seems like a good stance to take concerning such an issue.

    For those who make war and not community – it’s sad to say – but God hates them (if God hates at all)…this could as easily be David’s projections onto God concerning his views on violence (and I might have to agree with him).

  4. 4 Deacon Blue
    March 10, 2009 at 10:32 am

    “Make community”…I like that, SocietyVs. I wish a lot more people WERE making community and rebuilding the broken ones. Would make for a far better (and more productive) world methinks.

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Deacon Blue is the blogging persona of editor and writer Jeffrey Bouley. The opinions of Jeff himself on this blog, and those expressed as Deacon Blue, in NO WAY should be construed as the opinions of anyone with whom he has worked, currently works, or will work with in the future. They are personal opinions and views, and are sometimes, frankly, expressed in more outrageous terms than I truly feel most days.

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