Together, we serve
to know Christ
and to make Christ known
for the glory of God

1 July 2021

Proverbs 20:17

Food gained by fraud tastes sweet,
    but one ends up with a mouth full of gravel.

Consider the gravel. There is the gravel of a painful conscience. What at the moment seemed to be exciting comes back to haunt the heart that is not given fully to wickedness. The transgressor worries about breaking God’s law and its consequences. If he is not too far gone, he is troubled by the wrong has done against his neighbor.

There is the gravel of consequences. Even if his conscience does not bother him, he now must deal with the trouble of keeping up his deception. If he is found out, he must take the trouble of avoiding capture or avoiding conviction. He must take caution to protect himself from retribution. He may avoid legal prosecution, but then must suffer the loss of his reputation. His neighbors do not trust him nor respect him. He himself is now avoided.

And then he may well find that the bread he stole is not what he thought it would be. It actually is not satisfying; it does not accomplish for him what he thought it would. He finds that his eyes and reasoning had deceived him.

What is the bread you desire? A good career? Wealth? Good looks? Break the law of God in obtaining them and you will find their sweet taste turn to gravel in your mouth.

 

Psalm 9

I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart;
    I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.
I will be glad and rejoice in you;
    I will sing the praises of your name, O Most High.

My enemies turn back;
    they stumble and perish before you.
For you have upheld my right and my cause,
    sitting enthroned as the righteous judge.
You have rebuked the nations and destroyed the wicked;
    you have blotted out their name for ever and ever.
Endless ruin has overtaken my enemies,
    you have uprooted their cities;
    even the memory of them has perished.

The Lord reigns forever;
    he has established his throne for judgment.
He rules the world in righteousness
    and judges the peoples with equity.
The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed,
    a stronghold in times of trouble.
10 Those who know your name trust in you,
    for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.

11 Sing the praises of the Lord, enthroned in Zion;
    proclaim among the nations what he has done.
12 For he who avenges blood remembers;
    he does not ignore the cries of the afflicted.

13 Lord, see how my enemies persecute me!
    Have mercy and lift me up from the gates of death,
14 that I may declare your praises
    in the gates of Daughter Zion,
    and there rejoice in your salvation.

15 The nations have fallen into the pit they have dug;
    their feet are caught in the net they have hidden.
16 The Lord is known by his acts of justice;
    the wicked are ensnared by the work of their hands.[c]
17 The wicked go down to the realm of the dead,
    all the nations that forget God.
18 But God will never forget the needy;
    the hope of the afflicted will never perish.

19 Arise, Lord, do not let mortals triumph;
    let the nations be judged in your presence.
20 Strike them with terror, Lord;
    let the nations know they are only mortal.