August 10: Love, Praise, Forgiveness
Isaiah 20:1–22:25; Luke 7:36–8:15; Job 5:8–16
Our praise for God is often directly connected to accepting and confessing our brokenness. Our capacity to love Him is tied to the realization of how much He has forgiven us.
The woman in Luke 7 who anointed Jesus’ feet is described with one phrase: She was a sinner. We’re not given clarifying detail, but we do know her sin was notorious and, as a result, she was marginalized by society. She was not only weighed down by her sin; her public identity was grounded in it, and she could not hide it. She knew that she needed to receive forgiveness from the only one who could provide it. Her necessity made her bold: She came to Simon the Pharisee’s house to wash and anoint Jesus’ feet.
Her behavior created quite a spectacle. Simon the Pharisee was quick to condemn her actions and question Jesus’ decision to show her compassion. But Jesus turned the tables on him. While the woman was aware of her brokenness—and was all the more grateful for forgiveness—Simon ran with those who had built up a charade of holiness.
Jesus told Simon, “For this reason I tell you, her sins—which were many—have been forgiven, for she loved much. But the one to whom little is forgiven loves little” (Luke 7:47).
Our praise for Jesus—the way we speak of Him and the way we speak of our sin and forgiveness—is a reflection of the state of our hearts. Because our hearts are inclined to be prideful, it’s often easier for us to defend our sin than to confess it. It’s easier to go about our religious activities while rationalizing our sin. But unless we drop the charade and confess the true state of our hearts, we’ll never honor Him as we should.
Do you “love little”? What holds you back from expressing praise?
REBECCA VAN NOORD
- In the year that Tartan came to Ashdod, (when Sargon king of Assyria sent him) and had fought against Ashdod, and taken it, At the same time spake the Lord by the hand of Isaiah the son of Amoz, saying, Go, and loose the sackcloth from thy loins, and put off thy shoe from thy foot. And he did so, walking naked and barefoot. And the Lord said, Like as my servant Isaiah hath walked naked and barefoot three years as a sign and wonder upon Egypt, and Ethiopia, So shall the king of Assyria take away the captivity of Egypt, and the captivity of Ethiopia, both young men and old men, naked and barefoot, with their buttocks uncovered, to the shame of Egypt. And they shall fear, and be ashamed of Ethiopia their expectation, and of Egypt their glory. Then shall the inhabitants of this isle say in that day, Behold, such is our expectation, whither we fled for help to be delivered from the king of Assyria, and how shall we be delivered? The burden of the desert sea. As the whirlwinds in the South used to pass from the wilderness, so shall it come from the horrible land. A grievous vision was showed unto me, The Transgressor against a transgressor, and the destroyer against a destroyer. Go up Elam, besiege Media: I have caused all the mourning thereof to cease. Therefore are my loins filled with sorrow: sorrows have taken me as the sorrows of a woman that travaileth: I was bowed down when I heard it, and I was amazed when I saw it. Mine heart failed: fearfulness troubled me: the night of my pleasures hath he turned into fear unto me. Prepare thou the table: watch in the watch tower: eat, drink: arise, ye princes, anoint the shield: For thus hath the Lord said unto me, Go, set a watchman, to tell what he seeth. And he saw a chariot with two horsemen: a chariot of an ass, anda chariot of a camel: and I am set in my watch every night: And behold, this man’s chariot cometh with two horsemen. And he answered and said, Babel is fallen: it is fallen, and all the images of her gods hath he broken unto the ground. O my threshing, and the corn of my floor. That which I have heard of the Lord of hosts the God of Israel, have I showed unto you. The burden of Dumah, he calleth unto me out of Seir, Watchman, what was in the night? Watchman, what was in the night? The watchman said, The morning cometh, and also the night. If ye will as he, inquire: return and come. The burden against Arabia. In the forest of Arabia shall ye tarry all night, even in the ways of Dedanites. O inhabitants of the land of Tema, bring forth water to meet the thirsty, and prevent him that fleeth with his bread. For they flee from the drawn swords, even from the drawn sword, and from the bent bow, and from the grievousness of war. For thus hath the Lord said unto me, Yet a year according to the years of an hireling, and all the glory of Kedar shall fail. And the residue of the number of the strong archers of the sons of Kedar shall be few: for the Lord God of Israel hath spoken it. The burden of the valley of vision. What aileth thee now that thou art wholly gone up unto the house tops? Thou that art full of noise, a city full of brute, a joyous city, thy slain men shall not be slain with sword, nor die in battle. All thy princes shall flee together from the bow: they shall be bound: all that shall be found in thee, shall be bound together, which have fled from far. THerefore said I, Turn away from me, I will weep bitterly: labor not to comfort me for the destruction of the daughter of my people. For it is a day of trouble, and of ruin, and of perplexity by the Lord God of hosts in the valley of vision, breaking down the city: and a crying unto the mountains. And Elam bare the quiver in a man’s chariot with horsemen, and Kir uncovered the shield. And thy chief valleys were full of chariots, and the horsemen set themselves in array against the gate. And he discovered the covering of Judah: and thou didst look in that day to the armor of the house of the forest. And ye have seen the breaches of the city of David: for they were many, and ye gathered the waters of the lower pool. And ye numbered the houses of Jerusalem, and the houses have ye broken down to fortify the wall, And have also made a ditch between the two walls, for the waters of the old pool, and have not looked under the maker thereof, neither had respect unto him that formed it of old. And in that day did the Lord God of hosts call unto weeping and mourning, and to baldness and girding with sackcloth. And behold, joy and gladness, slaying oxen and killing sheep, eating flesh, and drinking wine, eating and drinking, for tomorrow we shall die. And it was declared in the ears of the Lord of hosts. Surely this iniquity shall not be purged from you, till ye die, saith the Lord God of hosts. Thus saith the Lord God of hosts, Go, get thee to that treasurer, to Shebna, the steward of the house, and say, What hast thou to do here? and whom hast thou here? that thou shouldest here hew thee out a sepulcher, as he that heweth out his sepulcher in a high place, or that graveth an habitation for himself in a rock? Behold, the Lord will carry thee away with a great captivity, and will surely cover thee. He will surely roll and turn thee like a ball in a large country: there shalt thou die, and there the chariots of thy glory shall be the shame of thy lord’s house. And I will drive thee from thy station, and out of thy dwelling will he destroy thee. And in that day will I call my servant Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, And with thy garments will I clothe him , and with thy girdle will I strengthen him: thy power also will I commit into his hand, and he shall be a father of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and of the house of Judah. And I will fasten him as a nail in a sure place, and he shall be for the throne of glory to his father’s house. And they shall hang upon him all the glory of his father’s house, even of the nephews and posterity all small vessels, from the vessels of the cups, even to all the instruments of music. In that day saith the Lord of hosts, shall the nail that is fastened in the sure place, depart and shall be broken and fall, and the burden that was upon it, shall be cut off: for the Lord hath spoken it . Isaiah 20:1–22:25
- And one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him: and he went into the Pharisee’s house, and sat down at table. And behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at table in the Pharisee’s house, she brought a box of ointment. And she stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears,a nd did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment. Now when the Pharisee which bade him, saw it, he spake within himself, saying, If this man were a Prophet, he would surely have known who, and what manner of woman this is which toucheth him: for she is a sinner. And Jesus answered, and said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he said, Master, say on. There was a certain lender which had two debtors: the one ought five hundred pence, and the other fifty: When they had nothing to pay, he forgave them both: Which of them therefore, tell me, will love him most? Simon answered, and said, I suppose that he to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast truly judged. Then he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, and thou gavest me no water to my feet: bt she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. Thou gavest me no kiss: but she, since the time I came in, hath not ceased to kiss my feet. Mine head with oil thou didst not anoint: but she hath anointed my feet with ointment. Wherefore I say unto thee, many sins are forgiven her: for she loved much. To whom a little is forgiven, doth he love a little. And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven thee. And they that sat at table with him, began to say within themselves, Who is this that even forgiveth sins? And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee: go in peace. And it came to pass afterward, that he himself went through every city and town, preaching and publishing the kingdom of God, and the twelve were with him, And certain women, which were healed of evil spirits, and infirmities, as Mary which was called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils. And Joanna the wife of Chuza Herod’s steward, and Susanna, any many others which ministered unto him of their substance. Now when much people were gathered together, and were come unto him out of all cities, he spake by a parable. A sower went out to sow his seed, and as he sowed, some fell by the wayside, and it was trodden under feet, and the fowls of heaven devoured it up. And some fell on the stones, and when it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moistness. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it. And some fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit, an hundredfold. And as he said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. Then his disciples asked him, demanding what parable that was. And he said, Unto you it is given to know the secrets of the kingdom of God, but to others in parables, that when they see, they should not see, and when they hear, they should not understand. The parable is this, The seed is the word of God. And they that are beside the way, and they that hear: afterward cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe, and be saved. But they that are on the stones, are they which when they have heard, receive the word with joy: but they have no roots: which for a while believe, but in the time of temptation go away. And that which fell among thorns, are they which have heard, and after their departure are choked with cares and with riches, and voluptuous living, and bring forth no fruit. But that which fell in good ground, are they which with an honest and good heart hear the word, and keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience. Luke 7:36–8:15
- But I would inquire at God, and turn my talk unto God: Which doeth great things, and unsearchable, and marvelous things without number. He giveth rain upon the earth, and poureth water upon the streets, And setteth up on high them that be low, that the sorrowful may be exalted to salvation. He scattereth the devices of the crafty: so that their hands cannot accomplish that which they do enterprise. He taketh the wise in their craftiness, and the counsel of the wicked is made foolish. They meet with darkness in the daytime, and grope at noonday, as in the night. But he saveth the poor from the sword, from their mouth, and from the hand of the violent man, Job 5:8–16