Praying through the Psalms

Praying through the Psalms

Friday, March 30, 2012

30 Pieces of Silver

Psalm 41
1 Blessed is those who have regard for the weak;
The LORD delivers them in times of trouble.
2 The LORD protects and preserves them—
They are counted among the blessed in the land—
He does not give them over to the desire of their foes.
3 The LORD sustains them on their sickbed
And restores them from their bed of illness.
4 I said, “Have mercy on me, LORD;
Heal me, for I have sinned against you.”
5 My enemies say of me in malice,
“When will he die and his name perish?”
6 When one of them comes to see me,
He speaks falsely, while his heart gathers slander;
Then he goes out and spreads it around.
7 All my enemies whisper together against me;
they imagine the worst for me, saying,
8 “A vile disease has afflicted him;
he will never get up from the place where he lies.”
9 Even my close friend,
someone I trusted,
one who shared my bread,
has turned against me.
10 But may you have mercy on me, LORD;
raise me up, that I may repay them.
11 I know that you are pleased with me,
for my enemy does not triumph over me.
12 Because of my integrity you uphold me
and set me in your presence forever.
13 Praise be to the LORD, the God of Israel,
from everlasting to everlasting.
Amen and Amen.

Exodus 35
20 Then the whole Israelite community withdrew from Moses’ presence, 21 and everyone who was willing and whose heart moved them came and brought an offering to the LORD for the work on the tent of meeting, for all its service, and for the sacred garments. 22 All who were willing, men and women alike, came and brought gold jewelry of all kinds: brooches, earrings, rings and ornaments. They all presented their gold as a wave offering to the LORD. 23 Everyone who had blue, purple or scarlet yarn or fine linen, or goat hair, ram skins dyed red or the other durable leather brought them. 24 Those presenting an offering of silver or bronze brought it as an offering to the LORD, and everyone who had acacia wood for any part of the work brought it. 25 Every skilled woman spun with her hands and brought what she had spun—blue, purple or scarlet yarn or fine linen. 26 And all the women who were willing and had the skill spun the goat hair. 27 The leaders brought onyx stones and other gems to be mounted on the ephod and breastpiece. 28 They also brought spices and olive oil for the light and for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense. 29 All the Israelite men and women who were willing brought to the LORD freewill offerings for all the work the LORD through Moses had commanded them to do.
Bezalel and Oholiab
30 Then Moses said to the Israelites, “See, the LORD has chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, 31 and he has filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills— 32 to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, 33 to cut and set stones, to work in wood and to engage in all kinds of artistic crafts. 34 And he has given both him and Oholiab son of Ahisamak, of the tribe of Dan, the ability to teach others. 35 He has filled them with skill to do all kinds of work as engravers, designers, embroiderers in blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen, and weavers—all of them skilled workers and designers.

Matthew 27:1-10
Judas Hangs Himself

1 Early in the morning, all the chief priests and the elders of the people made their plans how to have Jesus executed. 2 So they bound him, led him away and handed him over to Pilate the governor. 3 When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders. 4 “I have sinned,” he said, “for I have betrayed innocent blood.” “What is that to us?” they replied. “That’s your responsibility.” 5 So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself. 6 The chief priests picked up the coins and said, “It is against the law to put this into the treasury, since it is blood money.” 7 So they decided to use the money to buy the potter’s field as a burial place for foreigners. 8 That is why it has been called the Field of Blood to this day. 9 Then what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled: “They took the thirty pieces of silver, the price set on him by the people of Israel, 10 and they used them to buy the potter’s field, as the Lord commanded me.”

Reflections:

As David reflects on his enemies and how they have turned against him, he trust in Lord for his deliverance. Even his close friend someone who he had shared bread with him, had turned on him. But David knows that God will uphold his cause. His strength comes from the fact that God will right the wrongs people have done to him in due time.

Jesus also had a friend turn on him in a time of need. Judas one of his friends betrayed him for the mere price of thirty pieces of silver. Though it is debated we know 30 pieces of silver is not a large amount of money, roughly equal to 4 months of wages. Though the offer looked good to him, after he had done the deed the guilt set in. We Judas’ remorse and as an act of repentance he gives the money back to the priests. They don’t seem that interested in the man’s plight (after all some pretty strong pastoral care was needed here) and take the money to buy a potter’s field to bury foreigners.

If we wonder what Judas’ final destination was, one thing in his favor is he seems to have repented of what he did and though suicide is a sin, we can only hope that his repentance left him in the arms of God’s mercy.

The question for us today is for what price would we betray Jesus? And are their little ways that we betray Jesus when we fail to listen to him, or fail to acknowledge him as our Lord and Savior. Are we ashamed of him, or willing to stand up for him publicly?

That which had not been told them they shall see. Isaiah 52:15
And the disciples went out and proclaimed the good news everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by the signs that accompanied it. Mark 16:20

Like those early disciples, may we be so committed to serving you that the world will surely see you in the deeds we perform. Empower us to be your agents of justice in an unjust world, agents of unity in a divided world, agents of healing in a sin-sick world, agents of welcome in a bigoted world and agents of peace in a war-torn world. Amen.

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