the lord reigns
By Michelle Darbonne
October 27, 2020
Passages of the day: Click HERE to read today’s passages.
Last summer my husband and I got a dog, which was something I had been wanting for many many (many!) years. Raising our now 1.5 year old golden retriever has definitely given us a run for our money, but she’s becoming a really sweet and wonderful dog, and we’ve grown to trust her. Because I’ve been with her for most of her life, there are many things I know about her -- I can stick my face in her face and she won’t bite me; I can pull her tail and she won’t retaliate. I can take away her bone or her food, and she’ll just give me a very pitiful look. I know that she won’t ever hurt me on purpose. But if you were to tell me to do any of those same things to a dog that wasn’t mine, I would tell you, absolutely not.
Proverbs 26:17 says, “Like one who grabs a stray dog by the ears is someone who rushes into a quarrel not their own.” The first half of this verse is simply common sense -- of course I would never grab a stray dog by the ears. To do so would be asking for certain pain and injury. But the other half of that verse isn’t always so easy to follow.
The other day I came across a social media post written by an acquaintance from college -- someone who has very different stances than I do. As I read this post and comments, I felt my emotions rising. I started thinking of all the ways I could respond and help them see why they were wrong. Thankfully, I never did follow through on making my opinions public, but in this instance I see how easy it is to “rush into a quarrel not [my] own.”
Psalm 99 is a great pair to this Proverb because it puts my focus back on God. The Psalm reminds me that it’s actually not my job to win quarrels -- whether they’re mine or someone else’s. It’s simply not my responsibility to get involved in insignificant or petty fights. Instead I should focus on the Lord, who sits enthroned in heaven. He loves justice and establishes equity. His will prevails, because the Lord reigns.
Exalt the Lord our God and worship at his holy mountain, for the Lord our God is holy.
— Psalm 99:9
Prayer to start with: God we pray that you would help us to not rush into quarrels. We pray for wisdom in how we choose to interact with others. Help us to use our words and actions to bring others peace instead of more division, and help us to trust You for the outcome, because You reign. Amen.