Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Reflection for the Week of Ash Wednesday, Part 2

Thursday – A Choice

Moses sets a choice before the Israelites: “Today I have set before you life and prosperity, death and doom.”

Life and prosperity will follow from obedience to God and His commandments. If the Israelites walk in God's ways, if they love Him, if they turn their lives over to Him and to His plans, then they will receive His blessings.

If, however, they disobey, if they worship other gods, if they reject God and refuse to listen and harden their hearts, then they will be courting death and doom.

The same choice lies before each and every one of us. Which will we choose? Life or death? The blessing or the curse?

Friday – A Heart Contrite and Humbled

In today's psalm we learn that if we offer God “a heart contrite and humbled,” He will not spurn it. What does this mean? What does this kind of heart look like?

The original Hebrew helps us understand. The Hebrew word translated here as “contrite” is dakah. It literally means “crushed” or “collapsed” or even “crouched.” A contrite heart is crushed under the weight of sin, collapsed with weakness, and crouched down in shame. This heart knows its true state. It recognizes that it needs the healing and wholeness that only God can provide, and it drags itself before Him to plead for mercy.

The Hebrew word for “humbled,” shabar, has similar overtones. It literally means “broken to pieces,” “shattered,” “smashed,” or “demolished.” A humbled heart is shattered by sorrow for sin. It realizes that sin has broken it into little pieces, destroyed it, torn it apart. It knows that it needs to be put back together again and that only God can do it.

Lord, give us a heart contrite and humbled to offer to You, and help us to trust that You will not spurn that heart but heal it, make it whole, and draw it close to You. Amen.

(Information about Hebrew vocabulary comes from

Saturday – The Physician

“Those who are healthy do not need a physician, but the sick do.” Jesus came to be that Physician and to heal those plagued and weakened by the disease of sin. Our job is to recognize that we are sick, that we are sinful, that we need the Divine Physician to heal us. Our job is to turn to that Physician, to present ourselves to Him with open, repentant, humble hearts, and to accept His remedies. Our job is to submit to His treatment, to embrace any pain it may involve, and to firmly resolve never again to fall into the sickness of sin.

Divine Physician, by Your grace may we who are sick humbly receive Your healing touch that we may become and remain spiritually healthy. Amen.

No comments:

Post a Comment