You are My Hiding Place

I Hate Double-Mindedness
Psalms 119:113-115 ESV

“I hate the double-minded,
but I love your law.
You are my hiding place and my shield;
I hope in your word.
Depart from me, you evildoers,
that I may keep the commandments of my God.”

We should not hate people, but we should hate sin. So, we should hate double-mindedness. And the double-minded are those who are trying to go two opposite directions at the same time and who vacillate back and forth between one opinion and the next and can never make up their minds what they truly believe. For their beliefs sway back and forth depending upon their circumstances and/or whom they are with at the time.

They are like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde but you never know which one is going to come out, Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde. This is one person with two different personalities or make-up, with two different minds about things. The double-minded claim to be Christians but one moment they are defying the true gospel while embracing cheap grace, and the next they are supposedly embracing the truth. And some of that revolves around their sin cycle.

The double-minded are hypocrites, professing one thing while living another, who also fake righteousness and holiness so as to appear righteous as a cover-up for their secret sins, as it suits their purposes. But they can’t usually sustain the character, and that is why there is a switch that goes on between the Dr. Jekyll and the Mr. Hyde inside of them. They can only pretend so long and then what is stored up in their hearts spews forth.

We are not to be like them, but we are to be those who love the commandments of God taught under the New Covenant. We are to love God’s word and not just the parts which make us feel good, but the parts which convict us of wrongdoing and which rebuke us when we are going astray and which call us to repentance and to walks of obedience to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

But we are also to love the parts which encourage and comfort our hearts, and which give us peace and which let us know that God is with us, and that he has all things under his control, and that he will not leave or forsake those who are truly his, who have died with him to sin, and who are living to him and to his righteousness. These words give us hope in troubled times.

Hold Me Up, Lord
Psalms 119:116-117 ESV

“Uphold me according to your promise, that I may live,
and let me not be put to shame in my hope!
Hold me up, that I may be safe
and have regard for your statutes continually!”

If we are exposed regularly to those who are double-minded, we may be experiencing some persecution from them from time to time as they go through their sin cycles, if we are walking closely with the Lord in obedience to him. But it isn’t just the double-minded who persecute the righteous. Those who make no profession of faith in Jesus Christ may also persecute us for righteousness’ sake.

So, when we face persecution from the ungodly, including from those professing faith in Jesus Christ but who are not walking in righteousness, we will need encouragement from our Lord, and we will need to be strengthened and encouraged by his word. Depending on how severe the persecution might be will depend on how much we need to be comforted and healed, too, for persecution hurts the heart.

Sometimes persecution will come in the form of false accusations and slander and gossip being spread that leads others to think ill of us. And so we may pray to God that we would not be put to shame in our hope in him. And we may find ourselves concerned that the enemy might destroy our reputations to the point to where our ministry is destroyed, too.

But there we have to keep reminding ourselves that God is fully sovereign over all that he has made, he is still on his throne, he is still in control, and nothing can thwart his purposes. He has us in the palm of his hands and nothing can touch us but what He allows it, and he allows it for a purpose, that we may share in his holiness becoming like him in his death.

And then we must continue to move forward in the strength of the Lord and in his power and wisdom and keep doing whatever he has called us to do despite the enemy’s regular attacks against us. And we need to trust our lives in the hands of God and give our ministries over to him, and let him lead, and we must then follow and not give way to fear.

Their Cunning is in Vain
Psalms 119:118-120 ESV

“You spurn all who go astray from your statutes,
for their cunning is in vain.
All the wicked of the earth you discard like dross,
therefore I love your testimonies.
My flesh trembles for fear of you,
and I am afraid of your judgments.”

The Lord despises and rejects all those who trample on his word, who persecute his followers, and who despise his word and think that they can live however they want and abuse whoever they want, too, as a matter of lifestyle, as a matter of practice, in direct defiance to Almighty God, in his face, telling God “No.” They will not listen to the Lord, and they are cunning and crafty in their deceitful ways.

God makes his will quite clear in his word regarding what he requires and what constitutes true salvation from sin with the hope of eternal life with God. And it isn’t that someone can just acknowledge who Jesus is and what he did for us on that cross. And they can’t just cherry pick the Scriptures that make them feel good while they ignore the ones which offend them.

They just can’t ignore the commandments of the Lord, snub God, insult the spirit of grace, and refuse to fear (honor, obey) the Lord, to surrender their lives to God, to leave their lives of sin behind them, and to walk in obedience to his commands. And they can’t make up their own gospel according to their own flesh and grant themselves the gift of salvation while they continue in deliberate and habitual sin against God.

But this is exactly what many people are doing today who profess faith in Jesus Christ, and the Lord does not receive them as his own, and he does not promise them eternal life with God but the fearful expectation of fiery judgment for eternity. What he says is if they make sin their practice that they will die in their sins, but if righteousness is what they practice, then they have eternal life with God.

And so the sad reality is that many people who are now saying “Lord, Lord,” are going to stand before God one day, fully expecting to be let into his heaven, only to hear him say, “Depart from me you workers of iniquity. I never knew you!” For, if we sow to please the flesh, from the flesh we will reap corruption, but if we sow to please the Spirit, from the Spirit we will reap eternal life, and that will be glorious.

Paradise Valley

Lyrics by Noah White, Music by Virgil Stamps (1935).

As I travel thru life, with its trouble and strife,
I’ve a glorious hope to give cheer on the way;
Soon my toils will be o’er and I’ll rest on that shore,
Where the night has been turned into day.

Up in paradise valley By the side of the river of life,
Up in paradise valley, We’ll be free from all pain and all strife;
There we’ll live in the garden, ‘Neath the shade of the evergreen tree,
How I long for the paradise valley, Where the beauty of heaven I’ll see.

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