Psalms – Prayers of Honesty
As teachers, we give assignments to practice what we have just taught students to do. Some students expect it and are ready to comply. There are always a few who linger, loiter and work hard to find ways not to do the work it takes to learn well.
As employers, the boss gives assignments upon instruction. Great employees expect it and are ready to put in a full day’s work. Those who want a paycheck but are “allergic” to work will find many ways to avoid the “heavy lifting” it takes to accomplish the work. Others have to take up the slack of those who do not work.
As parents, we give chores to our kids. Our kids expect it but do quite a bit of whining until they figure out that isn’t going to work or get the job done. Sometimes they will jump in, knowing there is the reward of relaxing and playing later. When taught how to do the work, they will more readily attempt to do what is required.
David is lamenting to God’s people about those who are not doing what God has asked. They are not expectant and ready. Some are even turning their eyes from God. He tells them what God is looking for and how only God can turn our lives around.
Psalm 14, The Message
A David Psalm
Bilious and bloated, they gas,
“God is gone.”
Their words are poison gas,
fouling the air; they poison
Rivers and skies;
thistles are their cash crop.
2 God sticks his head out of heaven.
He looks around.
He’s looking for someone not stupid—
one man, even, God-expectant,
just one God-ready woman.
3 He comes up empty. A string
of zeros. Useless, unshepherded
Sheep, taking turns pretending
to be Shepherd.
The ninety and nine
follow their fellow.
4 Don’t they know anything,
all these impostors?
Don’t they know
they can’t get away with this—
Treating people like a fast-food meal
over which they’re too busy to pray?
5-6 Night is coming for them, and nightmares,
for God takes the side of victims.
Do you think you can mess
with the dreams of the poor?
You can’t, for God
makes their dreams come true.
7 Is there anyone around to save Israel?
Yes. God is around; God turns life around.
Turned-around Jacob skips rope,
turned-around Israel sings laughter.
SOMETHING TO CHEW…
“God is looking for someone not stupid–one man, even, God-expectant, just one God-ready woman.” I am a little amused by Peterson’s paraphrased words of truth. We get discouraged, like David, when others do not help us in God’s work to help others find and follow Jesus. We are saddened by the laziness and/or self focused people who are only involved in making more, doing more and buying more to satisfy only themselves while others wander around without Christ. And sometimes we are them. Yikes.
“God comes up empty.” Is God still coming up empty?
Where are we on God’s expectant and ready scale from 0-10?
Do we treat others like “fast food meals” over which we are too busy to pray?
Is our busyness driving our focus away from God, realizing our need for him and in our work to help others find and follow Him?
WHO are we following? Let’s take a look at our planning calendars and see where most of our time is allotted. Take a look at our bank statement and see where our money is going. This is a good place to begin to see if we are what God is looking for…expectant and ready.
“Is there anyone to save us?”, David asks God. He responds to his own question with a resounding, YES! “God is around; Yahweh turns life around.”
When we turn our focus back on God, expectant and ready for His next assignment, He sees us. We are the ones He has been looking for, those who seek Him. He turns our lives around and upside down with joy unspeakable, full of His glory which results in worship of HIM over everything else. We dance, sing and laugh because of what He does in us.
Isn’t this where we want to be?
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for turning my life around and upside down! Thank you for saving me. Thank you for being with me through good times and hard times. Thank you for all the assignments you have given me that caused me to learn more about You, mature in your love and grow in your grace. Continue your work in me. I know you aren’t finished with me yet. I’m expectant and ready!
In Jesus Name, Amen