Psalms – Prayers of Honesty
Psalm 31 run for dear lifeAs a teacher, on a playground full of equipment paid for by the citizens of the community, I would watch my first graders run for dear life playing their most favored game….TAG! Tag is a playground game that involves two or more players chasing other players in an attempt to “tag” or touch them, usually with their hands. There are many variations; most forms have no teams, scores, or equipment. Usually when a person is tagged, the tagger says, “Tag, you’re it”. TAG is just an acronym for “touch and go”. (How many of you knew that?)
TAG get’s a bit dangerous for the teacher, however, when students call out, “Teacher’s base!”. That’s when they all run to you, as the teacher and get close enough to touch your coat or person so they can be considered “safe” from the person trying to catch them. Imagine about thirty or so kids running for you after that call out!
David is playing TAG with harassers, tormentors and other enemies who are trying to drag down his reputations with gossip and other forms bullying. We get it, David. David is very honest in his prayer to God for help. “I run to you, God, I run for dear life.” God is David’s “base”, his hiding place, the place he runs to for help and justice.
Psalm 31, The Message
A David Psalm
1-2 I run to you, God; I run for dear life.
Don’t let me down!
Take me seriously this time!
Get down on my level and listen,
and please—no procrastination!
Your granite cave a hiding place,
your high cliff aerie a place of safety.
Psalm 31 hiding place3-5 You’re my cave to hide in,
my cliff to climb.
Be my safe leader,
be my true mountain guide.
Free me from hidden traps;
I want to hide in you.
I’ve put my life in your hands.
You won’t drop me,
you’ll never let me down.
6-13 I hate all this silly religion,
but you, God, I trust.
I’m leaping and singing in the circle of your love;
you saw my pain,
you disarmed my tormentors,
You didn’t leave me in their clutches
but gave me room to breathe.
Be kind to me, God—
I’m in deep, deep trouble again.
I’ve cried my eyes out;
I feel hollow inside.
My life leaks away, groan by groan;
my years fade out in sighs.
My troubles have worn me out,
turned my bones to powder.
To my enemies I’m a monster;
I’m ridiculed by the neighbors.
My friends are horrified;
they cross the street to avoid me.
They want to blot me from memory,
forget me like a corpse in a grave,
discard me like a broken dish in the trash.
The street-talk gossip has me
“criminally insane”!
Behind locked doors they plot
how to ruin me for good.
Psalm 31 save me14-18 Desperate, I throw myself on you:
you are my God!
Hour by hour I place my days in your hand,
safe from the hands out to get me.
Warm me, your servant, with a smile;
save me because you love me.
Don’t embarrass me by not showing up;
I’ve given you plenty of notice.
Embarrass the wicked, stand them up,
leave them stupidly shaking their heads
as they drift down to hell.
Gag those loudmouthed liars
who heckle me, your follower,
with jeers and catcalls.
19-22 What a stack of blessing you have piled up
for those who worship you,
Ready and waiting for all who run to you
to escape an unkind world.
You hide them safely away
from the opposition.
As you slam the door on those oily, mocking faces,
you silence the poisonous gossip.
Blessed God!
His love is the wonder of the world.
Trapped by a siege, I panicked.
“Out of sight, out of mind,” I said.
But you heard me say it,
you heard and listened.
23 Love God, all you saints;
God takes care of all who stay close to him,
But he pays back in full
those arrogant enough to go it alone.
24 Be brave. Be strong. Don’t give up.
Expect God to get here soon.
psalm-31-you-are-god.jpgSOMETHING TO CHEW…
After the honest crying out, begging and shouting to God, David humbles himself before God. Just as the shouting children on the playground, “Save me, Mrs. Callaway! You are the base”, God becomes David’s safe place, his hiding place and his place of humility. Notice, he stops asking God to come down to his level as earlier in this passage but desperately bows down to God. “Desperate, I throw myself on you: you are my God!”
“What a stack of blessing you have piled up
for those who worship you,
Ready and waiting for all who run to you
to escape an unkind world.”
What has David learned? What do we learn?
Who is our “base”? Is it church, family, close friends? Who do you run to for dear life first? Why?
David trusts God with his life…all of it. We say we trust God with all that is in us. Do we live like we trust God with all of life?
Psalm 31 GodDear Heavenly Father,
I don’t want to play “touch and go” with you, I want to be be near you always. Wherever you go, I want you leading me to go with you. I only want to be where you are. I, too hate silly religions, but I trust in You. I also leap and sing with joy because of your love. I leave troubles to you. You know what is best. Continue to transform through good times and bad. The unkind world will give me it’s best shot but your my base and I’m not leaving You.
In Jesus Name, Amen

About randscallawayffm

Randy and Susan co founded Finding Focus Ministries in 2006. Their goal as former full time pastors, is to serve and provide spiritual encouragement and focus to those on the "front lines" of ministry. Extensive experience being on both sides of ministry, paid and volunteer, on the mission fields of other countries as well as the United States, helps them bring a different perspective to those who need it most. Need a lift? Call us 260 229 2276.
This entry was posted in Blessings, Christian Living, Christian Perspective, Embrace, Encouragement, Faith, Forgiveness, Grace, harvest, heaven, Holy Spirit, Hope, hospitality, Jesus, joy, Leadership, Listen, lost but found, Love, marriage, Mercy, ministry, Praise, Prayer, Psalms, Salvation, Searching, Teaching, Thanksgiving, Training, Transformation, trust in God, Truth, Uncategorized, Unconditional love, waiting on God, wisdom and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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