To the faithful you show yourself faithful,
to the blameless you show yourself blameless,
to the pure you show yourself pure,
but to the crooked you show yourself shrewd.
David here unfolds a deep and abiding principle of God’s dealings with us: The way we relate to God determines the way God in turn relates to us. David pictures four attributes of character: faithful, blameless, pure and crooked. Whichever of these attributes we manifest in our dealings with God calls forth a corresponding aspect of God’s nature toward us. Do we desire to prove God’s faithfulness? The way to do this is to cultivate faithfulness toward God. If we are faithful to Him, He will be more than faithful to us. Scripture and experience alike afﬁrm: God is faithful. He rewards every act of sincere faith, no matter how small or humble.
On this basis of faith—or faithfulness‚ we need to develop two further attributes of character that David mentions: blamelessness and purity. Alternative translations for blameless are “perfect” or “complete” or“ wholehearted.” To be wholehearted and pure in our relationship with God means that we conceal nothing from Him, withhold nothing from Him, and renounce all that displeases or offends Him.
The measure in which we open ourselves to God determines the measure of God’s fullness that He, in turn, makes available to us. If there are no reservations on our side, there will be none on God’s side either. But then there is that ﬁnal word of warning: “To the crooked you show yourself shrewd.” I have met people who have convinced themselves that they can somehow make God a partner to their own crooked schemes. It never works that way! God proves Himself much shrewder than they.
“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows” (Galatians 6:7).
I will open my heart and life to God in the same measure that I desire to receive from Him.
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