Tag Archives: temptation

Why We are Lonely

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“I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul.” (Psalm 142:4)

This is one of the saddest verses in the Bible. To be all alone, not knowing where to find refuge from problems that bear heavily at times—this is the lot of many lonely people.

Sometimes, of course, one’s feelings of loneliness may be because of unconfessed sin, as when David lamented after his crime of adultery and murder:

“When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long. For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me”.

Psalm 32:3-4

Outwardly silent, but inwardly roaring—that’s the way it is when a believer tries to rationalize and hide his sin from God and man. The remedy in such a case is obvious:

“I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah”.

Psalm 32:5

When the problem is not one of unconfessed sin, the Lord is always there to comfort and guide, if we ask Him. Following the sad complaint of our text, David made a statement of hope and faith. “The righteous shall compass me about; for thou shalt deal bountifully with me” (Psalm 142:7).

There was a time, in fact, when the Lord Himself was all alone. When He was arrested, “then all the disciples forsook him, and fled” (Matthew 26:56). But that was not the worst of it. “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46).

Jesus died all alone on the cross—the loneliest and most forsaken person in all human history—as even His heavenly Father had to abandon Him when He took our sins and died for us. Thus, He understands our own need and is always there. “For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted [or ‘tested’], he is able to succor them that are tempted” (Hebrews 2:18). HMM

Destroy Them, O Lord

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“Destroy thou them, O God; let them fall by their own counsels; cast them out in the multitude of their transgressions; for they have rebelled against thee.” (Psalm 5:10)

No less than 20 of the psalms contain what are known as “imprecations” — that is, prayers to God to judge and destroy the wicked — and this verse is the first of them. As such, it sets the pattern, helping us to understand why the Lord would include such vindictive prayers in His inspired Word. At first, they seem incongruous with a God of love and mercy who has told us to love our enemies, but they help us to understand that God also must judge sin — especially the sin of rebellion. In them, we are taught to see the sin of rebellion in its true light — through the eyes of a loving Creator who has been rejected to the point of no return.

It is one thing to commit an act of wickedness when overcome by temptation; it is quite another thing for men to deliberately rebel against God Himself, seeking by their “counsels” to turn others against Him, and even, if it were possible, to destroy Him and His Word altogether.

This is the age-long sin of Satan, as well as that of the leaders of both ancient paganism and modern evolutionary humanism.

Like the psalmist David, we must pray for God to defeat them and their counsels, for otherwise they will continue to lead multitudes of others into their own transgression.

There is still room for forgiveness of individual sinners, of course — even among such as these — if they come in true repentance, but most such rebels are already irrevocably hardened against God and His Word. The appropriate prayer in such a case is (as David prayed in another of the imprecatory psalms):

“Scatter them by thy power; and bring them down, O Lord our shield. . . . let them even be taken in their pride” (Psalm 59:11-12). HMM

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