Daily D – Psalm 78:40-43
How often they rebelled against him in the wilderness
and grieved him in the wasteland!
Again and again they put God to the test;
they vexed the Holy One of Israel.
They did not remember his power—
the day he redeemed them from the oppressor,
the day he displayed his signs in Egypt,
his wonders in the region of Zoan.
The Sunday School teacher was lecturing on Genesis 1 about God creating the heavens and the earth. This was our first, and only, day to attend this class. The teacher declared the six days of creation were each twenty-four hours long. He said the word Day always means a twenty-four-hour period of time in the pages of the Bible.
Summoning up a humorous reply to stretch his thinking a bit, it was my tongue that got bit as he pointedly and powerfully declared this was the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. There was no room for other opinions.
It does not take much research to determine the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth of the teacher’s mistaken understanding. For example, these verses in this psalm use the word Day to refer to a period of time greater than the limits of a particular day like the ones we give the names Saturday, Sunday, and so on.
Asaph uses the word Day in verses 42 and 43 to refer to the period of time when God took on the gods of Egypt with the plagues which ultimately led to Israel’s release from slavery. Those ten plagues took much more than a twenty-four-hour period of time.
The truth is, you and I have probably held an opinion equally as strong as this teacher. We likewise have been as wrong as was he. There is a chance we hold a wrong opinion even today. Facebook is an opportunity to learn all matter of untrue facts. Twitter is very nearly its equal.
Some pontifications are too powerful for their own good.
Whether we teach Sunday School, public school, or ourselves, let us do so with humility of heart and mind acknowledging we do not know it all and never will. Let us likewise study well enough that we do not end every lesson with, “Yeah, but what do I know?”
There is a wide space between these extremes we should inhabit with openness of mind combined with charitable conviction. Some people will refuse correction. Some will not consider alternatives leading to growth, development, and transformation. Some will challenge you just because you are you.
Sometimes the best thing we can do in the face of ignorance is gently correct. Sometimes the best thing we can do is shut up. Or we can be like those penguins in the movie Madagascar and say, “Smile and wave, boys. Smile and wave.”
Sometimes we should smile and wave on the way out the door. We did. We did so in anticipation of a better day.
I will open my mind enough to learn new truth and close it enough to prevent new misunderstandings.
Our Father, teach us day by day as we lean toward that day when we will see all things clearly. Deliver us from the desire to be right about everything and to set everyone right in all of their mistaken thinking and behavior. Bless us with friends and family members who seek to know the truth. Show us how to adjust our lives well to your truth. Give us an increasing capacity for receiving and living your truth. May we know you, ourselves, and our world ever more truly as we learn to see all things from your perspective. Amen.
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Daily D – 1 Samuel 9:21
1 Samuel 9:21 Saul replied, “But I’m only from the tribe of Benjamin, the smallest tribe in Israel, and my family is the least important of all the families of that tribe! Why are you talking like this to me?”
Daily D – 1 Samuel 7:12
1 Samuel 7:12 Samuel then took a large stone and placed it between the towns of Mizpah and Jeshanah. He named it Ebenezer (which means “the stone of help”), for he said, “Up to this point the Lord has helped us!”
Daily D – 1 Samuel 3:19
1 Samuel 3:19 As Samuel grew up, the Lord was with him, and everything Samuel said proved to be reliable.
Daily D – Ruth 2:12-13
Ruth 2:12, 13 “May the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge, reward you fully for what you have done.” “I hope I continue to please you, sir,” she replied. “You have comforted me by speaking so kindly to me, even though I am not one of your workers.”
Daily D – Judges 19:1
Judges 19:1 Now in those days Israel had no king. There was a man from the tribe of Levi living in a remote area of the hill country of Ephraim. One day he brought home a woman from Bethlehem in Judah to be his concubine.