I hope that over the past five weeks you have enjoyed learning and singing Do You Decree, O Earthly Gods (Psalm 58). This is certainly one of the more unusual texts in the psalter, in which David details the corruption of earthly rulers who “go astray from birth, speaking lies” (vs. 3), have venom like serpents (vs. 4), and “deal out violence on the earth” (vs. 2). He then pleads with the Lord to defend him from these wicked foes in explicit terms: “break their teeth,” “tear out the fangs” (vs. 6), “dissolve into slime” (vs. 8), “sweep them away” (vs. 9). Perhaps the most disturbing image is
found in verse 10, where he looks forward to the righteous bathing in the blood of the wicked. Clearly, this is a bit different from a typical hymn text. But our standard for worship is not the sensibilities of our age, but the inspired Word of God. All Scripture is profitable for training in righteousness and is needed to equip the saints for every good work. Passages like this allow us to grapple with the darker human emotions. Sometimes, we need to be reminded that wickedness awaits a terrible end, and that even the powerful must one day stand before a God who judges.
—Henry C. Haffner
Key Words: Body, Gift, Wife, Husband, Married, Unmarried, Unbelieving, Believing, Authority
Keystone Verse: I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has his own gift from God, one of one kind and one
of another. (1 Corinthians 7:7)
1 Corinthians 7:1-16
Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” 2 But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. 3 The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4 For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. 5 Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. 6 Now as a concession, not a command, I say this. 7 I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has his own gift from God, one of one kind and one of another. 8 To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single, as I
am. 9 But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion. 10 To the married I give this charge (not I, but the Lord): the wife should not separate from her husband 11 (but if she does, she should remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband), and the husband should not divorce his wife. 12 To the rest I say (I, not the Lord) that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he should not divorce her. 13 If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him. 14 For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. 15 But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so. In such cases the brother or sister is not enslaved. God has called you to peace. 16 For how do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?