Farm Faithfulness

Today’s Journey Through Scripture Readings: Psalm 37-39; Acts 26

37 Don’t get upset over evildoers;
    don’t be jealous of those who do wrong,
    because they will fade fast, like grass;
    they will wither like green vegetables.
Trust the Lord and do good;
    live in the land, and farm faithfulness.
Enjoy the Lord,
    and he will give what your heart asks.
Commit your way to the Lord!
    Trust him! He will act
    and will make your righteousness shine like the dawn,
    your justice like high noon.
Be still before the Lord,
    and wait for him.
Don’t get upset when someone gets ahead—
    someone who invents evil schemes.

Let go of anger and leave rage behind!
    Don’t get upset—it will only lead to evil.
Because evildoers will be eliminated,
    but those who hope in the Lord
    they will possess the land.
10 In just a little while the wicked won’t exist!
    If you go looking around their place,
    they won’t be there.
11 But the weak will inherit the land;
    they will enjoy a surplus of peace.
12 The wicked plot against the righteous,
    grinding their teeth at them.
13 But my Lord just laughs at them
    because he knows that their day is coming.
14 The wicked draw their swords and bend their bows
    to bring down the weak and the needy,
    to slaughter those whose way is right.
15 But the sword of the wicked will enter their own hearts!
    Their bows will be broken! (Psalm 37:1-15, Common English Bible)

Thus far in this year’s study, I don’t believe I have combined Scripture from the day’s Old Testament readings with the day’s New Testament readings. Today I will do just that.

In today’s reading from Acts (please read it if you have not) we find Paul still defending himself to King Agrippa as he was yesterday. In yesterday’s post, I talked about Paul being held on a technicality. He still is as, at the end of the chapter, King Agrippa and Festus both agree that had Paul not appealed to the Emperor, he could be released. So, he is still held in chains on that technicality.

As I was preparing for today’s post, the thought occurred to me, perhaps that is what Paul actually wanted. As Paul stood before first Felix (Acts 24), then Festus (Acts 25), and today Agrippa. Paul might have been a Roman citizen but he was also still a Jew. It seems to me that there is a good possibility that without being under arrest, he does not get to speak with these three powerful men. When he speaks to them, he tells his story.

In Psalm 37 David tells us to not get upset with evildoers and to farm faithfulness. Whenever a farmer plants a crop that farmer exhibits faith that the crop will make. In the days before crop insurance, such was, even more, the case. At times, a farmer might risk everything to make a crop.

Still, I don’t think that is what David means here. I think what David means is more like what Paul was doing. As Paul shared his story with the likes of Felix, Festus, and Agrippa, he was taking the faith that was in him, and he was sharing that faith not only with the three men of power but with anyone else who might be listening.

Over the last year or so, there have been a couple of memes on Facebook and other places that have said things like, “If you can be nothing else, be kind,” and “In a world where you can be anything, be kind.” I believe David would say, “When we are kind, we are farming faithfulness.

While faithfulness and kindness are not the same things, they are from the same family. They are also part of our calling. So go out there and farm faithfulness. I think you will find that at the same time, kindness is always at work.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

With Joy and Thankfulness,
Keith

Copyright 2018, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

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