Give them a break.
“Moab is my washpot; over Edom will I cast out my shoe: Philistia, triumph thou because of me.” (Ps 60:8.)
Somehow this verse in Psalms disturbed me. So I dug deeper. But the more I read, the worse it felt.
Moab was a region of the Holy Land east of Israel. The words used here seem to be an expression of contempt. At that time the washpot was used to cleanse dirty feet. The passage implies that Moab was already subdued, and that the author of the psalm could make any use of it he pleased – that Moab did little to add to his strength – Moab had little value.
And “casting out a shoe” refers to the custom, when transferring a possession, of throwing down a shoe on the ground as a symbol of occupancy, meaning servitude for the loser. It just sounds mean.
Throwing a shoe at someone is still a very offensive act in the Middle East. Remember the shoe thrown at President Bush at a press conference at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad in 2008?
I kept trying to think of something good about the passage.
I tried to see good by looking in my washpot to see how dirty I was before being made righteous at my salvation and thanked God for His cleansing Grace.
Carey and I are reading the prophets now in our Bible reading and, frankly, they were bringing me down – all the prediction of death and destruction.
I know that is all Old Testament and many of the prophets foretell of Jesus as our Savior, but it is tiresome reading of how many times we turned from God and the consequences of that. (God said, “If you could only imagine how I feel!”)
So to encourage myself, during my non-Bible reading hours, I read the new book “Translating God,” from New Testament prophet Shawn Bolz. And Carey and I watched and listened to some Bethel Redding and Joseph Prince podcasts.
Spending time in the New Testament times helped me better see believers as God sees them, helped see into the prophetic, see people as they will be in heaven. If I’m going to live with them forever in eternity, I might as well learn better how to love them now.
I saw again how speaking life and speaking good over people edifies and builds. I remembered how we are all broken vessels and my brother’s break is no better or worse than mine.
Then He showed me that the washpot – the vessel of old – was broken at Jesus’ last supper. Jesus washed the disciples’ feet to break the meanness, to remove servitude. And The Son of God – the Creator of the universe called us His friend.
“No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.” (John 15:15)
You can’t remove all the need in the world today but there are lots of ways you can help. Ask God if you have a washpot and, if so, ask Him to break it for you today.