Princes Will Plot (Meditation on Psalm 119:23-24)
Even though princes sit plotting against me, your servant will meditate on your statutes. Your testimonies are my delight; they are my counselors. Psalm 119:23-24
How often do you sit and think about your persecuted brethren, living under harsh regimes, who are openly hostile to the faith? For some of you, it may be daily, weekly, or perhaps you simply haven’t given much thought to it. If you are familiar with scripture and church history, you know that it was commonplace for Christians to be ostracized, heavily taxed, jailed, and even killed for confessing Christ as Lord. As I read this text, I thought of Pastor Wang Yi, who was arrested along with 100 of his congregants the day after Wang published a manifesto accusing the Communist Party of instituting “Caesar Worship” of Jinping (China’s President), as well as calling Chinese Christians to resist government regulations that contradicted with the Christian faith. As I read the letter he wrote, I was amazed and encouraged at the faith and confidence he had in God and his faithfulness. He displayed great trust and belief in the Bible, and that God would ultimately judge the wicked and oppressive regime that is in China.
I mention Pastor Yi because I wonder what our response would be here in America to being detained for our faith. Would it be that of confidence in the righteous judgment of God, resting in the promise of Romans 8:28; or would it be despair, anger, and fear? Could we say, like the psalmist, “your testimonies are my delight; they are my counselors”? Friends, this attitude is only possible by meditating on the word of God and believing the promise that our best life comes later. We are very blessed here in the United States with our 1st amendment right, but as the wicked continue to rise and rights are taken away, you can expect our Christian values to be targeted and princes to sit and plot against us. It may be sooner or later, but let these verses and the countless others, remind us that we are enemies of the world and its fallen rulers as long as we confess Christ as King of kings and Lord of lords. With his help, through the scriptures, we can have confidence and boldness.
Romans 8:35-39 says: “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”