I love it when the readings in my Daily Bible seem to coincide. Or is it providence? (As I’ve said before, I don’t give the editors much credit…).
Juxtapose these two sections of Scripture:
…when I stumbled, they gathered in glee;
assailants gathered against me without my knowledge.
They slandered me without ceasing.
Like the ungodly they maliciously mocked;
they gnashed their teeth at me. Psalm 35: 15-16 (NIV)
The soldiers led Jesus away …. They put a purple robe on him, then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on him. And they began to call out to him, “Hail, king of the Jews!” Again and again they struck him on the head with a staff and spit on him. Falling on their knees, they paid homage to him. And when they had mocked him, they took off the purple robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him out to crucify him. Mark 15: 16a, 17-20 (NIV)
David composed this Psalm. As is often the case, his Psalms have both a current and a prophetic application. I’m not sure that Psalm 18 is considered prophetic (not according to one study Bible), but there sure seem to be similarities.
Here’s what really struck me: David was being kind to his enemies before they attacked:
They repay me evil for good …
Yet when they were ill, I put on sackcloth
and humbled myself with fasting.
When my prayers returned to me unanswered,
I went about mourning
as though for my friend or brother.
I bowed my head in grief
as though weeping for my mother. Psalm 35: 12-14
Sounds a lot like Jesus’ story.
Jesus wept over Jerusalem (Luke 19:41).
The people He loved, the people He prayed for, the people He mourned over – turned on Him and sent Him to the cross.
We are those people, too. He gives Himself freely to us, yet we demand more. We repay evil for His good, asking Him to jump through the hoops of our demanding prayers, raging when He fails to comply. We tacitly mock Him by looking for love in all the wrong places, setting our hearts on idols when the living God died to have a relationship with us. And yet…
… God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5: 8
Oh, Lord, help me to really, really grasp that I am more evil than I ever dared imagine, yet more loved than I ever dared hope*. Amen
* No, I didn’t make up that cool phrase. Jack Miller did and passed it onto Tim Keller who uses it alot.
Today’s Readings: Numbers 33:1-34:29, Psalm 35:11-16, Proverbs 12:2, Mark 15:1-20. See About for what I’m up to with these daily posts.