Thursday, February 14, 2019

Scratching the Surface of the Psalms #41

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)


Scratching the Surface of the Psalms


“True and False Expectations”

Psalm 41 is about David’s expectations.

David expects people to betray him: “My enemies speak maliciously about me…They store up evil in their hearts against me…They plan to harm me...They wish the worst for me…They form committees to plan misery for me…Even my friend in whom I trusted has betrayed me.”

David expects he will betray God: “Lord, I know I’m a sinner.  Please be kind and generous to me because I have sinned against You…Please put me back together again because my bad behaviors are tearing me apart.”

David expects God to save him from himself: “But You, God, be gracious and lift me up…Yes, I know You do…You always come through for those who trust You…You save me from them and myself…You keep me…You preserve me…You don’t give me over to my enemies and You sustain me in time and forever.”

Summarily, David expects a lot from God and next to nothing from everyone else including himself.

True expectations count on God in time and forever.

False expectations count on people for anything.

While I may be wrong, I think too many people have missed the course on original sin.

The original or first sin was Adam and Eve’s rebellion against God in the garden that went something like this.

God: “Don’t do that!”

Adam and Eve: “But we wanna do that no matter what You say.”

Et that instinct, that bent on sinning or rejecting and going against God’s will for our lives, is why we need Savior Jesus to save us from ourselves.

It’s in our genes to sin.
We have an instinct or inherited inclination to insult God’s holiness and injure God’s people.

While becoming born anothen (again and from above) by grace through faith in Jesus as part of the Christian family, the apple never falls too far from the tree as we’ll always also be the Adamsons or daughters and sons of Adam and Eve with that undeniable and awfully repeated and irresistible desire to paddle our own canoes against the flow of His living waters.

That’s why there’s nothing original about sin.

It’s one of the things that we’re sooooooo repetitively bad at…like sentences ending in prepositions.

Too many people ignore that reality about others and themselves and spend so much time feeling miserable about it/them and the mirror’s reflection.

I’m reminded of an opening scene in The Wizard of Oz.

Parenthetically, I just saw the re-mastered 80th anniversary big screen edition of it with my mom, sister, and nephew on January 27, 2019 at a movie theater along Route 81 between Wilkes-Barre and Scranton, Pennsylvania.

Anyway, here’s the scene.

Scarecrow: “I haven’t got a brain…only straw.”

Dorothy: “How can you talk if you haven’t got a brain?”

Scarecrow: “I don’t know…but some people without brains do an awful lot of talking…don’t they?”

Dorothy: “Yes, I guess you’re right.”

Yeah, they’re right.

It brings to mind…

Sooooooo  many choices.

You pick.

Moretheless, it doesn’t take much brains to look at the world, America, churches, them, and the mirror’s reflection to admit, again, there’s nothing original about sin.

Psalm 41 reminds us to be honest in our expectations.

Honestly, we can expect to be betrayed.

Especially, if we love Jesus, we will be betrayed by people; even friends and family.  Jesus said that will happen and we pray for the persecuted in worship every Sunday on the corner of Lincoln and Main.

Honestly, we can expect to betray.

Everyone, honestly, can relate to the apostle: “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…I want to do the right thing but I too often do the wrong thing…I really need a Savior!…Thank You, God, for giving me a Savior in Jesus by grace through faith!”

Honestly, we can count on God to save us.

Now go read John 3:16-17 again!

Pero though no one is pure and perfect in every way and we can’t get that DNA from the garden out of our or anyone else’s systems completely, maybe it’s not thaaaaaat unreasonable to have higher expectations for those who say they love Jesus.

Calvin said Christians show signs of being saved.

Luther said, “Good works don’t make a person good; but a good person does good works.”

What we say and do is an expression of what we believe.

Deeds confirm creeds.

The apostle wrote about fruit/proof/evidence of being a Christian like love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, humility, and self-control.

A Scout aka Christian is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.

A mentor put it this way: “My biggest struggle is not with people who don’t believe in Jesus.  I don’t expect anything from them.  My biggest struggle is with people who say they believe in Jesus but don’t act like they believe in Jesus.”


I wonder how Jesus feels about that?

I wonder if Jesus ever feels like saying, “Don’t tell anybody that I’m your Lord and Savior because I don’t want them to think you got what you got from Me.”

Just a thought.

Here’s a better one.

We can expect Him to be our Father even if He doesn’t expect us to act like it.

How do we know that?


Knowing we’d never be able to save ourselves, which means He doesn’t expect us to do it, He did it.

That’s why He’s called the Gospel.


Blessings and Love!


Wake up! Look up! Stand up! Speak up! Act up for Jesus!

Shatter the sound of silence!

Salt! Shine! Leavenate!





1 comment:

Laura said...

So many of us try to conform Jesus to our image instead of striving to conform ourselves to His image. We treat Jesus like a slightly better Christian. We think if we show up in church on Sundays and say we believe, then we have met the minimum entrance requirements to Heaven. Are we running from hell or running toward Jesus?