This month, I am trying some changes to my blog. Cross Training will post on Mondays. The format will be a devotional or short Bible study with an eye towards adults. I’m including a series of questions you may use for introspection or to spur discussion with your children over the coming week. I plan to drop the book reviews to focus on Cross Training. I will post an occasional Gayle’s Gable and Zuno’s Pick to let you know what Zuno and I are reading and to let you share your favorites. Any feedback regarding the new format would be appreciated.
A single bubble rose from the bottom of the beaker. The frog sat undisturbed. Pop! Pop! Lone bubbles became pairs and trios as they multiplied. Eyes blinking, the frog shifted and watched the bubbles ascend. The flame flickered beneath the beaker. Pops grew to a rumble as the water began to churn. The sound was lost on the frog. He ceased to hear. He ceased in general, boiled alive as he watched the bubbles go by.
Psalm 36 echoes the warning:
“An oracle is within my heart concerning the sinfulness of the wicked: There is no fear of God before his eyes. For in his own eyes he flatters himself too much to detect or hate his sin. The words of his mouth are wicked and deceitful; he has ceased to be wise and to do good. Even on his bed he plots evil; he commits himself to a sinful course and does not reject what is wrong.” (Psalm 36: 1-4 NIV [italics mine])
On first reading, I almost dismissed the passage as one of those “wicked’ versus “righteousness” passages.
Then, I noticed verse 3:
“. . . he has ceased to be wise and to do good.”
Why had he stopped? Verses 1 and 2 tell us:
“There is no fear of God before his eyes. For in his own eyes he flatters himself too much to detect or hate his sin.”
Not only that, but he has moved from wise and good past a state of neutrality and into wickedness. He no longer rejects what is wrong and actively plans and commits himself to sin.
Though written by David, this psalm could have been written of Solomon. Solomon remains the greatest king in history. His early reign is marked by God-given wisdom and great deeds. In the end, he’s remembered as an idolater, a kingly frog whose passion for women led him away from the one true God and boiled him alive.
So, how do we escape the boiling beaker?
- Cultivate a fear of God. Meditate on who He is. Get a picture in your mind. Remember His deeds and His power. He is holy. He is Abba Daddy, but He is also the Almighty.
- Cultivate a spirit of humility. He is the Creator. We are the creatures. He is the Father. We are the children.
- Be quick to confess and repent. Give thanks for His mercy and grace.
Stay out of the beaker.
Discussion Questions for the Week:
Day 1: We easily identify the faults of others. Why do we tend to be blind to things in our own lives?
Day 2: What does it mean to have a holy fear of God? Does our culture’s lack of respect for those in authority affect your attitude towards God?
Day 3: Search for Scripture that reinforces a healthy awe and respect for God. (Revelation 4)
Day 4: Ask the Holy Spirit as well as your family to lovingly uncover your blind spots. Pray for each other and encourage one another as you address them with the help of the Holy Spirit.
Day 5: What wrong have you tolerated? How can you actively reject it? Continue to pray and seek the Holy Spirit’s guidance and revelation.