A Good Man
Monday, November 13, 2017
A good man obtains favor from the LORD,
but a man of evil devices he condemns.
At the end of Steven Spielberg’s classic film, “Saving Private Ryan,” a now-elderly James Ryan stands before the grave of Captain John Miller at Normandy. Captain Miller had led a platoon to find and return Private Ryan to his family after all three of his brothers had been killed in action. Captain Miller himself died on the mission, and gave a dying charge to young Private Ryan . . . “Earn this.” Now Ryan speaks as if his old captain could hear, then turns to his wife: “Tell me I have led a good life.” “What?” she asks. “Tell me I’m a good man.” And his wife says, “You are.”
And by most measures, he was. Even at the end of his life, the one person who knew him best said so. But would he be a good man in God’s sight?
Or could he be a man of evil devices? That phrase—evil devices—is scattered all over the Old Testament, applied to a whole catalogue of attitudes and practices that hurt people. The man of evil devices may not intend to harm a specific person—“It’s just business,” we might say, even if people get hurt. He may even cloak his evil devices in sanctity. Job accused his three “friends” of evil devices when they lectured him about God (Job 21:27)!
A good man obtains favor from the Lord. Are you good? Whatever others might say, even those who know you best . . . what does God say.
Welcome to Christ church this Lord’s Day. Listen to the Psalmist: O Lord, who shall sojourn in your tent? Who shall dwell on your holy hill? He who walks blamelessly and does what is right and speaks truth in his heart. Psalm 15:1-2
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