But as for me, I shall walk in my integrity; redeem me, and be gracious to me. My foot stands on level ground; in the great assembly I will bless the LORD.
At the time of this writing, churches are beginning to open after being closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Assemblies, great and small, are permitted once again to gather as brothers and sisters in Christ to bless the Lord who redeemed them. Still, in worship or apart from it, many people may feel that they are not really standing on level ground. Everything seems to be shifting underfoot, from society-wide issues of global pandemic fears and political conflicts to trouble that strikes closer to home—loss of home and employment, family strife, or the illness of loved ones. We may make every personal effort to walk in integrity, as the Lord wants us to do, but we cannot find that level ground. With the psalmist, we plead, "Redeem me, and be gracious to me!"
Only one man has truly walked with integrity, the God-Man Jesus Christ. "He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in His mouth. When He was reviled, He did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but continued entrusting Himself to Him who judges justly" (1 Peter 2:22-23). The ground was not always level beneath our Lord's feet as He faced hatred, rejection, and unbelief. On the night He was betrayed, Jesus pleaded with His Father for redemption and grace, asking that the terrible of cup of suffering and death, the cup of God's wrath against sin, might be removed from Him.
Yet Jesus also asked that His Father's will would be done, and so it was. The ground shifted beneath the Savior's feet as He was betrayed and arrested, tried, and unjustly condemned to death. There was likely very little level ground at Golgotha where Jesus was nailed to the cross. Although He had walked through His entire life in innocence and integrity, Jesus bore our sins in His body on the cross. He was punished for our lack of integrity, our hatred and selfishness, pride, and jealousy—every sin of thought, word, and action. In our place, He drained the cup of God's wrath against sin.
Taken down from the cross, Jesus' body was laid in the tomb. On the third day, the first Easter morning, the ground shifted as never before. Jesus was raised bodily from death and His victory over death is our victory. The redemption for which we pray was accomplished. By God's grace, through faith in Jesus Christ, our sins are forgiven, the burden of guilt lifted. Because Jesus lives, we too have new life in His Name. United with Him in Baptism, we have been buried with Him and raised to walk—with integrity!—in newness of life.
At the foot of the cross, we find the level ground we seek, level ground that can be found nowhere else. We may not always be able to assemble with our fellow believers to worship, but one day we will stand before God's throne in the great assembly of all the redeemed to bless the Lord who saved us!
Lord Jesus, when the ground seems to shift beneath our feet, turn our hearts and minds to the promises of Your Word, and hold us securely in Your hand. Amen.
Dr. Carol Geisler.
1. How do you normally manage difficult situations in your life?Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin! Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM).
2. How does God keep our feet on level ground?
3. Do you feel like your faith-walk lately has been one of integrity? Is it tougher now to be centered on God and His Word? Are you making any adjustments to keep your focus on Jesus?
How do you normally manage difficult situations in your life?