APRIL 23, 2024

Psalm 37:23-24

The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the Lord upholds him with His hand.

It is interesting that so many English translations refer to the steps of a “good man.” I make this point because, in reality, the Hebrew word gever should be translated as “strong man.” So why was the decision made to translate this as good? There are many men who wish to do good but when pressed and tempted are too quick to give into the evil inclinations of the flesh. It takes a strong man (or woman) to overcome that inclination and do what the Lord has commanded. But we must also acknowledge that the strength to overcome does not come from ourselves but from above. As it is written, “Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord of hosts” (Zechariah 4:6).

It takes a strong person to resist all the seductions the world entices us with and, if we are  willing to be completely honest, none of us have the strength to resist every single one of them. We may not be tempted with one thing but there is another that has our name on it. Were it not for the Word of God and the empowerment of His Spirit, no one would be able to walk the path that God has ordained for us. And so in reality, the strong man or woman is the one who realizes that in our weakness, He is proven strong. As it was said to Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” And so as Paul said, so let us all say, “Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me” (2 Corinthians 12:9).

When we are led by the Spirit, it is inevitable that we will be led into difficult situations and circumstances that are calibrated to our spiritual maturity; but also intended to cause us to grow in spiritual strength. Should we falter, and that is likely to happen with many of us, we have the promise that He will not cast us away. To the contrary, even as we stumble, He has us by the hand so as to soften the fall. Just as an earthly father would grasp the hand of a stumbling child lest they hurt themselves, our Father has us by the hand even as He leads us into troubling circumstances. He is for us and not against us; though He sometimes allows the situations that causes us to fall it is always with the intention of building us back up. So may it be that today and everyday, as we strive to do good, let us endeavor to “be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might” (Ephesians 6:10).

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