The Lord has given me
a disciple’s tongue.
So that I may know how to reply to the wearied
he provides me with speech.
Each morning he wakes me to hear,
to listen like a disciple.
The Lord has opened my ear.
For my part, I made no resistance,
neither did I turn away.
I offered my back to those who struck me,
my cheeks to those who tore at my beard;
I did not cover my face
against insult and spittle.
The Lord comes to my help,
so that I am untouched by the insults.
So, too, I set my face like flint;
I know I shall not be shamed.
My vindicator is here at hand. Does anyone start proceedings against me?
Then let us go to court together.
Who thinks he has a case against me?
Let him approach me.
The Lord is coming to my help,
who will dare to condemn me?
One of the Twelve, the man called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, ‘What are you prepared to give me if I hand him over to you?’ They paid him thirty silver pieces, and from that moment he looked for an opportunity to betray him.
Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus to say, ‘Where do you want us to make the preparations for you to eat the passover?’ ‘Go to so-and-so in the city’ he replied ‘and say to him, “The Master says: My time is near. It is at your house that I am keeping Passover with my disciples.”’ The disciples did what Jesus told them and prepared the Passover.
When evening came he was at table with the twelve disciples. And while they were eating he said ‘I tell you solemnly, one of you is about to betray me’ They were greatly distressed and started asking him in turn, ‘Not I, Lord, surely?’ He answered, ‘Someone who has dipped his hand into the dish with me, will betray me. The Son of Man is going to his fate, as the scriptures say he will, but alas for that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! Better for that man if he had never been born!’ Judas, who was to betray him; asked in his turn, ‘Not I, Rabbi, surely?’ ‘They are your own words’ answered Jesus.
The Lord is coming to my help, who will dare to condemn me?
I have a confession to make. I got really upset earlier last week with someone I work with. I had spent the better part of the past year working on something, and after presenting several re-workings at his request, I was reprimanded for not presenting a scenario that turned out to be a version that I had already prepared and presented several months ago. When I tried to explain, this person refused to listen, insisting that he was right and that I was mistaken. To add insult to the injury, he questioned the validity of my thought process and presence of mind. Not wanting to risk losing my “cool”, I refrained from arguing any further (since he is in a more senior position than I am). But I left the room feeling that I had been wronged in a very unjust manner.
I was seething inside, and brought my troubles to my husband at which point I was like a volcano eruption, pouring forth my frustration and wrath. My concerned husband tried to calm me down, saying, “Stop. This is not you”. And I realized then and there that in my anger, I had allowed myself to become beastly. I had allowed anger to “destroy” me in that single moment, and that all that bottled-up frustration was eating me inside out, changing me as a person in the process. This really was not me, and I was ashamed that I had allowed my anger to overwhelm me.
I do sometimes wonder what would have happened if Jesus had fought back the allegations meted out by his accusers. What would have happened if Jesus, knowing that he was sorely wronged, indignantly responded to these personal attacks by say, commanding a hail storm of fire or engaging in a verbal spat, knowing full well that because he is right and possessed the wisdom to argue his side of the story, he would win in the end? I imagine then that that would mean that God’s will would have gone unfulfilled, and all that Jesus had done – performing miracles, preaching, healing the sick – would have been for naught. That is a terrible prospect.
Likewise, if I had gone on to argue I know that I would end up overstepping my own boundaries. I would not be any better than the person who was accusing me; in fact I would have ended up being worse. I would have given that person more fodder for the canon, the trump card that he would use to justify his argument and weaken my character. My actions would have put to question my integrity and faith, and people would be less likely to believe that God is with me.
God knows when we have been unjustly treated. If we have not done anything wrong, then what are we to be ashamed of? We may be offended or humiliated before others, but before God we would never be disgraced. God is beside us and will uphold us in the end. If we have been wronged, let us ask God to fight our battles for us and set us right, so that we may never have to stoop down to the level where we turn to anger and sin to redeem ourselves.
God will strengthen us and help us. If God is for us, who can be against us?
(Today’s Oxygen by Annette Soo)
Prayer: Lord, I ask for Your forgiveness for that time when I allowed my anger and frustration to boil over. Instead of trying to fight my own battles in my own way, I pray Lord that You will redeem me and uphold me.
Thanksgiving: Thank you God for allowing me to see in time how my anger was turning me into a person that I would not have been proud of. Thank you for watching over me. I pray that You will continue to guide my paths always.