Wednesday, July 30, 2003
Continuing our SHREWD thread:
When we think of someone being "crooked" in the context of Psalm 18, we think of an evil person, a cheat, a criminal, a liar. All these things fit the context, and they have at least this one thing in common: A crooked person's mind is wrong. There is deception there; it's "crooked" because it thinks one way when truth is going the other way. And the problem with being deceived in your thinking is that you can't figure out that you're deceived, because you're deceived. You think you're right, right?
How do you tell someone they're wrong, in a way that show's their wrong-ness and points them to right-ness? You have to be sneaky, a little at least. Jesus did this well with parables - using stories filled with truth on one subject that shined a spotlight of truth on another subject. By removing your eyes from yourself, you can see truth for what it is, and then you're forced to apply that truth to your own condition. Nathan's story of the rich man and the servant's sheep did this very well (2 Samuel 12), taking the king's eyes away from his own deception, and then smacking him in the mouth with the force of real truth.
Where else did God wrestle in the Bible? An angel wrestled Jacob, the ultimate conniver, and won by breaking his hip (Genesis 32:22-32). This blessing and breaking go well together, and that's where my mind settles on the thoughts of God's shrewdness. He wants to break us and to bless us; in His ways, the two go together. Broken of our own self-sustaining ways, blessed in holding onto Him with all we've got.
Next time, I'll try to look at NT examples, places where God wrestles with you and me today.