December 6
'Some of the wise will stumble, so that they may be refined, purified and made spotless.’ Daniel 11:35a
Bible reading: Psalm 38:12-22 (Go to the Bible passage)
David wrote this psalm ‘to cause to remember’, in other words: to sing as a petition to bring one’s plight to God’s attention. Likewise Daniel prayed, ‘Lord, listen! Lord, forgive! Lord, hear and act!’ (Daniel 9:19).
When we read this psalm, does it not remind us of Jesus? Yet, it is a psalm David wrote in a time of illness. David does not complain in his struggle with death, for he puts his hope in God. In this struggle it will become clear who really are his friends. When David looks around, it seems his enemies are prosperous: they are strong and numerous.
Likewise it has been throughout the whole of human history. Those who put their trust in God, are refined and purified, and that comes about through tears. People who think that those who trust in God are always prosperous, do not know the Bible. They lack the close communion with God in their daily life.
The New Testament too tells us about people who through testing were molded to be reliable servants of God. Peter says, ‘Therefore, since Christ suffered in His body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because whoever suffers in the body, is done with sin’ (1 Peter 4:1).
But then in this psalm we nonetheless recognize a foreshadowing of the suffering of Jesus in the suffering of David. When the love of Christ imbues our heart, then we know we are citizens of a heavenly kingdom and we no longer seek material gain, but we long for spiritual perfection, to the glory of God.
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