- Psalm 4:4, 5 (NKJV)
As long we reside on this side of eternity, we must deal with sin. We must deal with sinful people around us. We must deal with a fallen world which reflects the damage caused by sin. My biggest battle is dealing with the sin that still clings to me.
The verses above from the fourth Psalm give great counsel on how to successfully handle living in a fallen world. It all begins with anger.
The psalmist says to be angry but to be angry without sinning. How does one go about such an emotion? In order to answer this question, we must look at the object of our anger. Righteous anger is directed toward sin rather than toward the sinner. Anger which is directed toward a person easily becomes hatred, something which God tells us to avoid.
At what sin should we be angry? The answer is all sin. But before we look too hard at the sin of others, I suggest that we take a good look at our own sin. I suggest that we must be angry with the sin we personally commit before we get too angry at the sin of others. Perhaps this is why the psalmist tells us to meditate within our heart (v4). It is good to examine ourselves to see where we have sinned against God. Take courage, no matter how bad your sin, God desires to forgive.
To be angry at sin means that we agree with God that things do not measure up to His standard. As creatures created in the image of God, we can identify acts that go against His will. Anything against God’s will is sin.
Notice the word “Selah” at the end of verse four. This word means to pause and reflect upon what is previously said. Allow me to ask, when you get still while lying on your bed, do you think about all the wrong you do? Does it bother you? Does it make you angry? Stay with me, there is hope.
For those who agree with God that there are things done on this earth (especially those things we do ourselves) that go against the will of God, there is appropriate action to be taken. What should we do? The psalmist tells us to offer sacrifices and trust in God (v5).
What we who are angry at sin must sacrifice is the ourselves. What I mean is to give our whole being (especially the sinful part) over to Jesus Christ. How is this done? We offer the sacrifice of righteousness when we submit our whole self over to the righteousness of Jesus Christ. For when we do this, we begin the process by which God can slay the evil within us.
This self-sacrifice is not easy. We dare not do it alone. When we submit ourselves, Jesus waits to forgive and cleanse us from the sin we have done. Our part is to trust Christ. The Lord does the rest.
Directing our anger toward sin and relying upon the Lord to end our sin is the proper response to a sinful world. It is proper because it deals with the greatest problem within a sinful world – personal sin. Once we receive forgiveness from our sin, we can then encourage others to hate their own sin and to turn to the Savior for cleansing.
- Pastor Randy