Several years ago it was my privilege to travel to the land of Israel. And while I was there, one of my favorite things to do is to go out to the desert and watch the Bedouin shepherds work. You’ll see them leading the sheep through those crevices in the desert.
Our bus stopped at one large camp and our guide introduced our group to the shepherd in charge and we were invited in his tent. When you step into one of those tents, it’s like getting in a time machine and going back 3,000 years because those shepherds live exactly the same as they lived so long ago.
So when we walked in, the shepherd sat down cross-legged and talked with us. It truly was a thrilling experience!
That is the picture here in Psalm 23. Our heavenly Shepherd has prepared a table before us and has invited us to share in all its abundance. So when it seems like things aren’t going your way and that no one is there for you, remember that you are so precious to God that he has prepared a table for you to have fellowship with him!
God invites you to enjoy His peace and comfort. So sit down and have fellowship with Him at the table He’s prepared for you today!
For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. Romans 7:18-20
Every person has experienced a decision or a time in their lives when they’ve just been torn. Both choices have their benefits and their drawbacks, but deep down you always feel there is one that is better than the other.
It has been debated whether in today’s passage the apostle Paul is describing believers or unbelievers torn between obedience and sin. But the most popular, and I think correct, view is that Paul is, in fact, talking about believers who are struggling with disobedience.
Now, I’m going to be completely honest with you. Sin has its benefits. If you’re in a position where you can lie to get rich, then the sin of lying will reap the benefit of financial gain. Because of that, even believers fall into sin, just as Paul is describing here, when they make decisions in their flesh.
But don’t ever be under the impression that sin is still your master. The same person who wrote this also wrote, “Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?” (Romans 6:1-2).
Though you will surely struggle with sin, understand that your sin has been nailed to the cross and you can have victory over it by the Spirit of God inside of you!