7 You, LORD, will keep the needy safe
and will protect us forever from the wicked,
8 who freely strut about
when what is vile is honored by the human race.
Just a quick thought. In Philippians 4:8, Paul tells us to think and dwell on anything that is “noble…right…pure…lovely…admirable…excellent…or praiseworthy.” Seems straightforward enough. Obviously, we want to spend time thinking about good things and interacting with situations and people that are going to build ourselves and other up. That’s a good goal. But what about the other side of the coin? What if the verse said, “Whatever is NOT noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, or praiseworthy, do NOT think about these things.” What kind of implications would that have for your life? I’m sure it would cut out a LOT of the “gray” areas of our lives as Christians, seeing as we wouldn’t even be called to THINK about these less-than-excellent things.
You might say though that this verse doesn’t say that – it’s not that exclusive, it’s just prescriptive, directing our attention to several areas in which we might want especially to focus on. However, refer to Psalm 12:7-8, referenced above. David calls “wicked,” and his enemies, those who “freely strut about” and “honor what is vile.” Do we not often do that as a culture, as individuals?
With an honest and objective heart, look at those you esteem, those you wish your life could be like. Why do we hold others in high regard? Because they have things we don’t have, because they have things we place a high value on (the very definition of “honor”). Do we value sex, alcohol, greed, pride, or the “confident” attitude that comes with a disrespect for authority? We consider others lucky, and are often jealous of those, who live a certain way – we often resent the restrictions of holiness. But we have to ask ourselves…
If we give honor to that which God says is “vile,” have we not become “wicked” towards Him?
(Contributed by Chris Coultas)