Reading many of the Psalms one cannot but recognize that there are two worlds for the writers; the world of hurt and the world of the holy. What I mean by this is that the Psalms writers seem to “cry out” to the Lord routinely; but then resort back to praise for the Almighty. This isn’t strange, for we all find ourselves in an up and down type of living. One day we are lifted above all the circumstances and evils of the day, the next we are overwhelmed by it all. The crying out stems from the abuse or ill-treatment by the world against the writers. David wrote many of his Psalms based upon the attacks of King Saul and his armies that tried to destroy the “already anointed” next king of Israel. Familiar phrases like “incline your ear to my cry” or “I cry all day long” are repeated in these five Psalms 86-91. This has to be frustrating to seemingly live above the “junk” only to find that you get sucked back into it.
Ethos the heart ache or spirit of our humanity is very fragile. I guess I could also include the “Ego” or countenance of a person in this blog. Humanity is a very fragile spirit. It doesn’t take much for believers or unredeemed people to become “exhausted” with the constant barrage of the “ills of life.” The Psalms writers consistently ask the LORD to hear them, to answer them in their prayers and agonizing. This would seem to give the impression that the Lord God is far removed from His people – there are many who think that is what God did in creation; leaving us to our own devices and tactics to live out life without his interference or help. Nothing could be further from the truth!
I know that when my “spirit” is troubled it is hard to focus and function. The continuous grind of daily living does take it toll on us. I believe that is part of the reason the LORD God commanded that the Sabbath to be observed. The rest was of all creation, animal and man. In a “dog-eat dog world” where it seems that everyone is out for number one; so many are consumed by the evils nd the emotions of daily living. Our present culture proves this in that so many vices have been tried to ease the pain of life. The vices range from porn, drugs, illicit sex, euphoric experiences, multiple jobs, partners and the list goes on. All with out easing the frustration and pain of daily life.. Now, granted the Psalmist were being attacked, ridiculed and bad-mouthed. But if the evils of this life are found only in words against us; should we not rise above all of it? It is good that the writers to turn to the LORD for help. The LORD is our strength and ever-present help in time of need. He is our Rock, our fortress, deliverer and lover of our soul. We are the sheep of His pasture – our God empathizes with our hurts and pains. HE tells us “come to me all who are weak and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Rest – not a good nights sleep, but restored strength in the midst of harsh days. [Isaiah 40:31]
Trust the Lord with all your heart; lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths. [Proverbs 3:5-6]
Do not be overcome with evil; but overcome evil with good – and none are good except God!
Looking at our readings for the week Psalm 54-60 there seems to be a common theme: David praying to our Father in heaven to hear his prayers and how his [David’s] enemies are seeking to destroy him. My focus this week is in Psalm 55:12-14; here we find that David’s enemy is really a once friend and ally. Some quick research and I find that these Psalms are during the time of King Saul’s relentless searching for David to Kill him – 1 Samuel 19. As we read these Psalms one cannot but help gain insight into the struggle David is experiencing. In the above verses, it says that David and his enemy once use to be friends, use to go to the Sanctuary together and worship the LORD. David could understand if it was someone who is truly an enemy or one that hates him – but this person David doesn’t identify is none other than King Saul. Now we must remember at this time, Saul has an evil spirit about him – King Saul has disobeyed God by saving King Agag and by taking Samuel’s place during sacrificing – we also know that King Saul will seek out a witch for intervention. What use to be a grand and wonderful reign, quickly disintegrates in 18 months. David has been already anointed by Samuel as the next King of Israel, has killed Goliath and killed his 10,000’s while King Saul has killed his 1000’s. Obvious jealousy and rage has over taken King Saul – he is bound and determined to kill David – even after he has vowed to his son Jonathan that he wouldn’t. What are we to do; in David’s place? Saul is King – he has been anointed to be king, yet King Saul has lost his reign and respect from the people. The people of the land praise David. Saul has pursued David three times, sending out messengers to find David and kill him. King Saul’s daughter Michal [now David’s wife] comes to David’s defense. We need to remember that David had opportunity to kill King Saul, yet would not lay a hand on God’s anointed.
In these Psalms we read various messages come out. David will not fear what man can do to him; he will trust in the LORD to deliver him; yet David prays against those who seek after him; and the last message – David will sing and praise the LORD. In our own time we have all experienced great difficulty; have had relationships at home and in our families were great affliction and anger have destroyed what use to be a unity and harmony. We must take into account, if we live for Jesus and our faith is evident, then all who desire to live godly will be persecuted – without cause. As those messengers of King Saul sought David to destroy him; even so we have our own adversary ] 1 Peter 5:8] who lurks around trying to destroy us. I don’t know what it is like to be hunted down – but I am familiar with those who speak vile lies and plot to discredit and eliminate me from the work of God. How David can sing perplexes me; yet I think of Paul and Silas in prison [Acts 16:22 -30] at the midnight hour sing to the Lord. As believers we must find hope and strength in our faith and God as our stronghold. There will be [should be] times when we are attacked and pursued without cause – except our faith – in those times we must say as the Apostles and Fathers of our faith have said – “whom shall I fear!” Paul gives us great encouragement in Romans 8:31-39; nothing will separate us from the love of God. Paul goes to great lengths identifying many things that COULD separate, but will not because our God is our stronghold. In times like these we need a Savior, in times like these we need an anchor – be very sure, be very sure your anchor holds, this solid Rock. This Rock is Jesus! Amidst the treachery, affliction, anguish, evil, violence, oppression, deceit, strife, terrors and destruction that is ongoing in our times – we will overcome; have overcome by the Blood of the Lamb! Be strong and courageous!