If you falter in a time of trouble,
how small is your strength!
11 Rescue those being led away to death;
hold back those staggering toward slaughter.
12 If you say, “But we knew nothing about this,”
does not he who weighs the heart perceive it?
Does not he who guards your life know it?
Will he not repay everyone according to what they have done?
What a sobering text! We are to be judged not only by the bad we do, but by the good we fail to do. Even more sobering, we will be judged by the One who knows fully our hearts which we daily hide from ourselves. “I didn’t know,” we may say. But God sees that we did not want to know.
This teaching is invasive. It searches out every place of our hearts. What would happen if we honestly looked about us and saw those “who are being taken away to death”? Who would we see? What would we do about it? How would we “hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter”? Who are stumbling to physical slaughter? Who are stumbling to spiritual slaughter? Who are physically beaten? Who are emotionally being broken? What would we see if we saw “slaughter” through the eyes of God? What would we see if we saw our own hearts as he does?
He saw sheep stumbling to slaughter and gave up his Son to hold them back. What do we give up?
The Lord reigns, he is robed in majesty;
the Lord is robed in majesty and armed with strength;
indeed, the world is established, firm and secure.
2 Your throne was established long ago;
you are from all eternity.
3 The seas have lifted up, Lord,
the seas have lifted up their voice;
the seas have lifted up their pounding waves.
4 Mightier than the thunder of the great waters,
mightier than the breakers of the sea—
the Lord on high is mighty.
5 Your statutes, Lord, stand firm;
holiness adorns your house
for endless days.