February 8, 2014
For You are not a God who delights in wickedness; evil may not dwell with You. The boastful shall not stand before Your eyes; You hate all evildoers. You destroy those who speak lies; the Lord abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man. Psalms 5:4-6
Have you ever been wrong? I mean really wrong?
I'm talking about the embarrassing kind of wrong which happened in 1870 to a bishop from the church of the United Brethren in Christ. As part of his duties, he made a visit to a small college where he stayed at the home of the school's president.
Not surprisingly, the bishop and the educator got involved in all manner of pleasant conversations, which covered matters ethical, educational and theological. During the course of one of those cordial exchanges, the bishop voiced his firm conviction that the Bible promised nothing new could be invented.
The educator, almost instantaneously, disagreed.
In his dissent he made the bold statement: "Why, in 50 years I believe it may be possible for men to soar through the air like birds!"
The bishop was visibly shocked. No longer was the conversation amiable and affable. With a stern tone, the bishop said, "Flight is strictly reserved for the angels." Then he added, "And I beg you not to repeat your suggestion, lest you be guilty of blasphemy!"
I wonder if that bishop, Bishop Milton Wright, ever confessed he had been embarrassingly wrong. He should have. You see, less than 35 years later, his sons, Orville and Wilbur made the first heavier-than-air flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Of course, Bishop Wright is not alone in being wrong.
All of us have said, done, thought things which were wrong, and right now I'm speaking about things which are sinfully wrong. To think back upon those moments is to bring a sad sigh to our lips and a blush to our cheeks. Now if we sinners feel that way about the things we have done wrong, then how must the perfect Lord in heaven feel when He sees our sinful shortcomings?
We don't have to guess. The verses above tell us God hates evil done by evildoers. Thankfully, the Psalm does not end with the Lord abhorring those who are bloodthirsty and deceitful.
It continues, "But I, through the abundance of Your steadfast love, will enter Your house. I will bow down toward Your holy temple in the fear of You. Lead me, O Lord, in Your righteousness" (Psalm 5:7-8a). In spite of our wrong, the Lord still shows His steadfast love for us. In the Person of His Son, our Savior, there is forgiveness, peace and hope. In Jesus we have the promise that God will lead us in His righteousness.
Through His Son's sacrifice and resurrection, God will lead us on a path away from hell and into heaven.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I am not a nice person. Even though I may try to do good, I am still guilty of much wrong. Without Your steadfast love I would have no hope. This is why, this day, and every day I ask You to move me to praise You and thank Your Son for His sacrifice. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries