TODAY’S READING: PSALMS 38-42
I read something in every psalm that reminds me of Jesus. In today’s reading, it was Psalm 38:20, which says, “Those who render me evil for good accuse me because I follow after good.”
The Hebrew word for follow in this verse also means pursue or chase. It is often used in the context of hostile intent. While Jesus’ intent was never hostility, I think the use of this word shows how doggedly Jesus pursued that which is good.
When I read this verse I think of Jesus healing people on the Sabbath only to have the scribes, Pharisees, and elders try to trick him or trap him in breaking the law. They were constantly accusing him for pursuing good. In the end, they rendered Jesus the ultimate evil for his pursing good by having him crucified.
Another translation says, “though I seek only to do what is good.” Jesus only did what the Father did and only said what the Father said. And, when someone called Jesus “Good Teacher,” Jesus asked why the man called him good when there is only one who is good, the Father. Jesus only ever sought to do what was good. Yet he was rendered evil for it.
Another translation says, “They repay me evil for the good I have done; though I have tried to do good to them, they hurl accusations at me.” Jesus always tried to do good to others. Yet, people would drive him out of their town.
Despite all the accusations and the evil repaid to him, Jesus always pursued good, which is another way of saying he pursued God. For only God is good.