Monday, January 19, 2009

But as for me… (Psalm 52) 190109

At the end of 2008, I organized a party to gather a group of old friends, whom some I have not met for the past 10 years or more. It was a wonderful time of catching up and rekindling of friendship. We were once idealistic youngsters, dreaming to make a name in the entertainment industry; but now, none of us are still in such pursue; rather we pursue the fulfillment of the reality of life.

There are some top financial planners in the midst, a couple of educators sitting in the Head of Department office, a couple of them in the ever growing and prospering Info Technology industry, another couple of engineers and a preacher (that is me). They are all very successful in their area of profession, earning high income, driving new cars every few years. Deep within me there is this sense of envy.

There are times, I will ask God, what if I continue teaching, I will be at least a Vice Principal by now. Most of my friends have chosen a life which they think it is fulfilling to them; but as for me, I have chosen a life which what God has intended for me. There is nothing wrong to pursue ones dream and life; but as for me, I pursue to be contented with God. It is practical for people to think for themselves and their families; but as for me, I want to trust that God is constantly thinking of me and my love ones and He will take care of them better than I can.
This psalm relates to an episode in David's life, when Doeg had betrayed and executed the priests of Nob who had helped David (1 Sam 22:17-23). Doeg serves as a symbol of all evildoers, who will meet their just deserts; whereas David represents the righteous, who will be exalted (taken from Expositor’s Bible Commentary).

As David was facing an overwhelmingly stronger enemy, he trusted God. David seems to be oblivious to the might (v1) and wealth (v7) of his enemy. He focused on and trusted in God’s unfailing love (v8). I particularly like the way NASB translates verse 8: But as for me, I am like a green olive tree in the house of God; rather than other versions with only: But I am like…
The difference is that in NASB, it highlights the response of David to be very different from the evildoer, Doeg. “But as for me…” brings out the emphasis of a deliberate intention and desire to be different from the world on the part of David. And his desire was to be flourishing in the house of God, because of his trust in His unfailing love.
We are living in a world full of contradicting values with what God has for us as Christian. We are constantly in a battle of doing what is right before God against the easy way out of going with the flow of the world. You might have friends who go to the pub every weekends and get drunk in the name of de-stressing; but as for you, can you trust God will help you to deal with your stress? I am not suggesting that it is a sin to go to the pub, neither am I evading the reality of stress that we are experiencing in school and workplace; but where do you put your trust when dealing with stress?
You might have colleagues who suggest to you of one night stand affair while on an oversea assignment to eliminate your loneliness; but as for you, can you trust God to be your companion and your accountability partner? You might also have supervisors, who demand you to tell a white lie for the sake of convenience; but as for you, can you trust that God will honor the truth you stand up for? You might be in many other situations which will strongly direct you to submit to the standard of the world; but as for you, choose God and His values.
I have done a quick check, and found that the Hebrew word for “But as for me…” is similar to the word of Joshua, “…but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord (Jos 24:15).” And this is in the context of Joshua making a challenge to the people of God to choose intentionally to serve God just before he was about to finish he died. He pronounced a deliberate choice of his. I am also going to make this deliberate declaration.
Though the world around me is changing and drawing me away, but as for me, I will continue to trust in God and serve Him, because of His unfailing love.
How about you?


No comments: