Guilty of Brutishness
I was brutish and ignorant;
I was like a beast toward you.
Remember, this is the confession of the man of God; and in telling us his inner life, he writes, “I was brutish and ignorant.” The word “brutish” conveys the extent of his wayward folly. In an earlier verse of the Psalm, the psalmist writes, “I was envious of the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked,” which shows that his ignorant reaction was sinful. He puts himself down as being “brutish,” and in doing so conveys the intensity of his feelings. His attitude and reaction was sinful. He could not excuse it but deserved to be condemned because of its perverseness and willful ignorance. He had been envious of the immediate prosperity of the ungodly, forgetting the ultimate, dreadful end that they faced.
Are we any better than him that we should call ourselves wise? Do we profess that we have attained perfection or have been so disciplined that our stubbornness has been removed? This would be pride indeed! If the psalmist was foolish, how foolish are we when we fail to see ourselves!
Look back, believer: Think of when you doubted God when He was so faithful to you; think of your foolish outcry of “Not so, my Father” when He crossed His hands in affliction to give you the greater blessing; think of the many times when you have read His providences in the dark, misinterpreted His dealings, and groaned, “All these things are against me” when they are in fact working together for your good! Think how often you have chosen sin because of its pleasure, when indeed that pleasure was a root of bitterness to you!
Surely if we know our own heart we must plead guilty to the indictment of a sinful folly; and conscious of this “brutishness,” we must learn to say with the psalmist, “You guide me with Your counsel.”
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