Chapter 15: Samekh
“I hate double-minded men, but I love your law. You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in your word. Away from me, you evil doers, that I may keep the commands of my God! Sustain me according to your promise, and I will live; do not let my hopes be dashed. Uphold me, and I will be delivered; I will always have regard for your decrees. You reject all who stray from your decrees, for their deceitfulness is in vain. All the wicked of the earth you discard like dross; therefore I love your statutes. My flesh trembles in fear of you; I stand in awe of your laws” (Psalm 119:113–120).F
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I will admit, I am sometimes a sucker for infomercials promising the world “for the low, low price of only 19.99!” They’re everywhere—products and programs backed by “experts” and “clinical research”—from weight-loss to get-rich-quick schemes.
Scams have been around since Genesis chapter 3, when Satan, using his slickest sales pitch convinced Eve that the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil wasn’t really soooo bad. Eve was deceived. She ate and handed the fruit to her husband, convinced him, and he sinned, knowing God had forbidden them to eat of that tree. Satan is called the prince of lies for a purpose—it’s his favorite tool.
In our humanness, it is also one of the most difficult quagmires to escape. Everyone struggles with truth.
“But I’m not a liar!” you declare.
Sadly, we are all liars, one way or another. Maybe you aren’t prone to outright lying, but when it comes to living the Christian life it is so easy to fall into the trap of “going along to get along,” or “faking it till you make it.” We sing hallelujahs on Sunday morning, but our hearts are full of bitterness, judgement, fear, and pride. This is what Scripture calls a “double-minded” person. The world calls this person a hypocrite, and we are all guilty at one point or another.
“You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in your word.” The Psalmist declares that God is his security. He places his hope in God alone. Not in the promises or praises of people, not in the schemes of humankind, not even in his own understanding or abilities. He stands before God and declares his allegiance—not to country, not to human invention, but to the Word of God. And in Him he places his trust. He sets his heart and mind to following God–even when it’s hard and unpopular. And he does so, not out of a sense of personal pride, but in awe of His Creator.
This is the kind of devotion to God I long for—not so that I look good, not even for heavenly pats on the back, but because, truly, God is my refuge and strength and in deepest love, awe, and gratitude I desire to know more of Him. I won’t get it perfect. None of us does. Our spirits are housed in jars of weak and crumbling clay that are prone to sin. But as the Spirit of God cultivates growth and maturity in the hearts of believers, we can honestly say, “More of Him, less of me.”
The devil dearly loves to whisper lies in our ears. Lies about who we are in Christ, about our worth and our purpose, lies about who God is and how much He loves us. In Genesis he hissed his lies to Eve, that God didn’t really care about her, that he was just selfish and unloving: “You will not surely die…For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (Gen. 3:4–5). These are the same lies he whispers to you and me today.
Read Ephesians 2:1–10.
This passage is written expressly to believers—to those who have placed their trust in Christ and have been adopted into the family of God. If you have not yet placed your trust in Christ, this passage is not about you. But it can be!**
What do the first three verses say about you before you became a believer? (NOTE: This is true of every person who has ever lived, with the only exception being Jesus. See Romans 3:23—all means all!)
What happened after you became a believer? (vv. 4–6)
Why did God do this for us? What reasons are given in verses 4–10?
This is only one passage of Scripture that explicitly shows the deep love of God for His people. First John 3:1 says, “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” Children! We are His children, adopted as His sons and daughters!
Zephaniah 3:17 says, “The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.”
Are these the actions and attitudes of a distant God who doesn’t care about you and is selfish and unloving?
What truths do you see in reading just these few passages of Scripture? How do they counteract the lies Satan has whispered in your ear?
We have been fed so many lies and in our own human-ness it is hard to distinguish between truth and lie. The Holy Spirit will give you discernment and wisdom if you ask. Knowing the Word of God will shine a light on the truth. The psalmist knew this truth when he wrote, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:100). Search Scripture, pray and ask the Lord for wisdom to dig out the lies and replace them with His truth.
**Scripture is a love story of Almighty God for people. He longs for you and me to the extent of sacrificing His own Son (John 3:16–21), a part of Himself, in order to fulfill the law of sin and to tear down the wall between us. If you haven’t fully trusted and believed that He, the Creator of the Universe made you and loves you deeply, take a moment now to talk to him in your heart—we call it prayer. Send me a message—I would love to talk to you about this decision!