Last week's scriptures were difficult for me. I struggled with the story in Mark 1:21-28; it touches a nerve in me, and makes me uncomfortable.
This week, I am still wrestling with the scriptures from last week. Hoping that I could just ignore them and avoid my discomfort, I have decided to plow into this week's scriptures. Trouble is, I find that the scriptures for this week do nothing to assuage my angst, but only add to it. So be it -- I will continue to wrestle with them all.
One of my biggest struggles is the way Jesus dealt with the demons, and the way they pay homage to Him. The Psalm from last week (Psalm 111) is such a wonderful praise, and so very uplifting. Verse 10 encourages us to get close to God, and to fear and respect Him for everything stated in verses 1-9. "Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true wisdom. All who obey his commandments will grow in wisdom." I love that statement -- I lean on that when I wrestle with God and His sovereignty.
And then I read in Mark, "Suddenly, a man in the synagogue who was possessed by an evil spirit began shouting, “Why are you interfering with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One sent from God!”
This demon is afraid of Jesus, because of who He is. What does this mean, in light of Psalm 111? "Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true wisdom. All who obey his commandments will grow in wisdom."
Clearly, the demons know more about Jesus than most of us, since they recognized Him on the spot. They fear and respect Him for His power and position, which frankly I often do not do (much as I think I do). Does this make the demons wise? What does that make me?
This week's scriptures continue with this point, particularly in Mark 1:34: "So Jesus healed many people who were sick with various diseases, and he cast out many demons. But because the demons knew who he was, he did not allow them to speak."
The demons know and recognize Him; I struggle with this, since I do not always recognize Him.