“Happy are those who don’t listen to the wicked,
who don’t go where sinners go,
who don’t do what evil people do.
Lord God! To the degree that we are happy in the righteousness You have brought into our lives … the righteousness that You are to us! … to that degree we rejoice and we pray for those we love who haven’t found it yet!
2 They love the Lord’s teachings,
and they think about those teachings day and night.”
We know that we do not pay heed to Your Word or meditate on it as we ought, never as fully as we could wish, but what we know and what we believe has changed us and guides us. We live by Your Word, and we want that for those we love.
3 “They are strong, like a tree planted by a river.
The tree produces fruit in season,
and its leaves don’t die.
Everything they do will succeed.
You have become our strength, and too often have we kept all that security for ourselves … we want strength and blessing and truth for those we love, nobody lacking! None lacking, Lord, the way Jesus cared for those entrusted to Him. (John 17:12). We are praying for those outside, alienated, hardened, even as some of us once were.
4 But wicked people are not like that.
They are like chaff that the wind blows away.
Too long have we pigeon-holed the weak, the deficient, the tormented, and too long have we filed them away with their wicked deeds and unbelief, those who are wounded, confused, frightened, lost … but not lost from our compassion and certainly not from Yours. Too long have we held ourselves aloof because they were bad, as sometimes they were, nursing our own wounds, sometimes praying but not quite believing. Forgive us, Father.
5 So the wicked will not escape God’s punishment.
Sinners will not worship with God’s people.
6 This is because the Lord takes care of his people,
but the wicked will be destroyed.
There are wicked ones in the world, spiritually wicked entities and those sold out to them, but if we can find a chink of empathy in our hearts for those taken captive, we know it comes from You, and so we pray. We hold on! Come and make them, with us, to know You, love Your Word, and walk in Your ways. Make them? You are the Gentleman we say You are, but we wouldn’t be here today if You hadn’t MADE a change on our behalf. You make us Your own … do that for our Desperate Little Friends, Lord, the way that only You can do!