Tag Archives: crying

Praise, Prayer and Perseverance

Psalms 31-35; there seems to be an underlining theme for many of the Psalms that  David writes. They are interlaced with times of crying out to God for vindication from his enemies and praise to the Father for His deliverance from his enemies. Often it appears that David pleads his case to God based on an innocence” in his actions and thoughts. So, we are to think that David is innocent of any wrong doing. Now I have read enough about David and know that there are two sides to him. There is the side that praises and worships God from a pure heart. He is after all call “a man after God’s own heart.” Yet there are other stories besides Bathsheba and his adultery that reflect that David was anything but perfect.  I am not trying to say that David is without just cause for asking the LORD to take care of his enemies, but why does David want his enemies destroyed; because they are against him and don’t like him, is his life in danger? How does all of this vindictiveness bode with what we read in Mathew 5:1-12? It that there is a conflict. Are we as believers to pray against on enemies, those that would mean us harm? Where is the compassion and love that exudes from what Jesus says in “loving our enemies, pray for those who disrespectfully misuse you?” In Psalm 35, there is a definite tone of “God get’em” for me from David. It seems that maybe David is really telling God exactly what is on his heart – transparency? How many of us are willing to really let God hear what we are truly feeling about people, events and adversaries?

Earlier in Psalm 34 we have David crying out to the LORD, he is over come by those that would do him harm. “Fear” is often used in this Psalm. There is crying, fear and praising all in the same Psalm. In the beginning of the Psalm David is rejoicing and praising God. He then quickly pens about how there are those that seek his life. Then we find a semi-confort in the words of refuge, and how the angels come to defend him. There is the praise of God for those blessings given to people who find their “salvation n God.  How are we to understand this roller coaster of emotions and thoughts? Simply, isn’t David just reflecting in words those thought s of everyday living? Do we not all have the ups and downs of life?

We praise the LORD in the good times and we lament in the sad/bad times – how many of our inner thoughts stay right there? Do we not have a compassionate “listener” in Jesus? Oh what joy we often forfeit, because we do not take it to the Lord in Prayer. Please I am not advocating that we pray down the wrath of God on everyone who does wrong to us. But rather than whine about the discomfort and injustice; let’s take it to the Lord. I did notice that within the same Psalm , there is crying before the LORD, there is Praising God for His strength, justice and deliverance, as well as the righteous living of David before the Lord.

On a side note – there is a lot of language in Psalm 35 that reflects the way Jesus was treated before his enemies and the mockery they made of Him as He went to the cross. “Like a sheep before his shearers, He said not a word.” – Just saying

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Filed under 2018 Poetry

Crying Out Loud

Book of Lamentations – the five funeral dirges.  The year is close to 587 BC, the first round of captives have been taken to Babylon from Judah. All that God had said in Jeremiah, was come true in Lamentations. The book is authored by Jeremiah – the Weeping Prophet. No matter how much Jeremiah warned the Southern kingdom of Judah, the would not listen to the pending judgment of Yahweh. While there is admitted guilt about the rebellion and immorality entrenched within Judah; there is still the request for mercy or as is sometimes translated lovingkindness. Chapter 3:21-25 is a clear example of HOPE for the mercy of God. I found it interesting that while punishment was being implemented, Judah was not crying out in repentance, but in anguish for being punished. I can remember as a child that I could start crying and wiggling around even before the spanking started – crying out I wouldn’t do it again, but never admitting that I deserved what punishment I was getting. In Crisis of our lives, we too often focus on the repercussions more that the offense. In Lamentations, Jeremiah is weeping or crying out loud about the truth of God’s judgment upon the “daughter of Zion.” I had to look up “daughter of Zion” to have a more full understanding of the phrase. It has to do with the relationship of Judah [IE. Israel] to the Father. SO a relationship is being expressed in “daughter of Zion.” Since we know that God “birthed” Israel from an old and man and woman beyond child-bearing years, the Heavenly Father can call Israel not only His people, but treat her as His child.

The very language of the book is descriptive of the prophetic message given Jeremiah before the captivity and exile. I do not know why we wait so long before we pay attention to the trouble that will be ours when we sin. Of course Israel, Samaria were deserving of the m=punishment they received, but Judah, it seems to appear was appalled that they were being punished.

Clearly represented in the “anger and wrath” of the LORD on Judah. Jerusalem and the Temple are destroyed and ransacked by the enemies. Things were so bad inside the walls of the city, women boiled their children and ate them to stay alive. Famine, sword and pestilence just as they had been warned would occur, did – yet they still are complaining about their situation rather than acknowledge there is justification for their plight.

In each of the funeral messages, we find the depth of the punishment and wrath of God. The people of Judah were compared to the sins of Sodom, but considered worse, this being because they knew better.  While reading of the lament and sorrow of Jeremiah, I couldn’t help but think of 2 Chronicles 6 & 7, where Solomon prays to the LORD about the sin of rebellion Israel would potentially get entrenched in. Solomon asks the LORD to remember and forgive the people. The LORD answers Solomon’s prayer with an emphatic YES in 2 Chronicles 7:14. The exile and destruction of Judah is only comparable to the destruction of Jerusalem again in  70 AD. The land had become so polluted with the excesses of sin and immorality, God was compelled to “cleanse the land.” the Message to us [Americans] we cannot think we are above Israel and exempt from punishment. Arrogance and pride caused the fall of Judah and Israel; it will be the downfall of America as well. In our day we are hearing warning after warning to repent and return to the LORD. Will we heed the warnings or will we relive Lamentations “Crying out Loud” in sorrow for our unrepentant hearts over the judgment of God upon us?

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Filed under 16 Prophets in 2016