Psalms of Honesty
How many times have we come to a place in our lives that sent us tumbling to our knees, head bowed in exasperation? With no other thoughtful words coming to mind, we simply and desperate cry out, “God, save me!” I’ve been there. Weirdly, I have never felt closer to God than in those times of disillusion and despair.
As God-Followers we come to these places on our journey here on earth that overwhelm us and bring us to a point of giving up. Giving up isn’t always a bad thing. In fact, it is a good thing when we are finally giving up self to know God and what HE wants…after we have exhausted all efforts on our own! And no, I do not know why we wait so long!
We don’t always understand why we are in a particular situation or trying circumstance, but we know God is there. He knows the why, the beginning and the end of the trial. We have to also give up wanting to know the why. It gets in the way of forthcoming solutions and the outcomes that God will provide. Wondering why blinds us to God’s work in us and in the situation.
It may have nothing to do with us or what we have done. But it will have everything to do with how we respond, yield, and be flexible as we experience yet another growth spurt on our journey in Christ! It might have something to do with who we will blame. or not, instead of looking from the inside out of our own hearts and minds. It will be a test, for sure, to see how we will respond when others, who have looked at us as God-Followers, will make fun of our imperfections, setbacks and failures. “Look at you, now! We thought you knew God, but now…” Jesus knows. He was jeered as He hung on the cross for OUR sin! It may have everything to do with how we will view the imperfection in ourselves and know that we need God every hour of every day.
A David Psalm
God, God, save me!
I’m in over my head,
2 Quicksand under me, swamp water over me;
I’m going down for the third time.
3 I’m hoarse from calling for help,
Bleary-eyed from searching the sky for God.
4 I’ve got more enemies than hairs on my head;
Sneaks and liars are out to knife me in the back.
What I never stole
Must I now give back?
5 God, you know every sin I’ve committed;
My life’s a wide-open book before you.
6 Don’t let those who look to you in hope
Be discouraged by what happens to me,
Dear Lord! God of the armies!
Don’t let those out looking for you
Come to a dead end by following me—
Please, dear God of Israel!
7 Because of you I look like an idiot,
I walk around ashamed to show my face.
8 My brothers shun me like a bum off the street;
My family treats me like an unwanted guest.
9 I love you more than I can say.
Because I’m madly in love with you,
They blame me for everything they dislike about you.
10 When I poured myself out in prayer and fasting,
All it got me was more contempt.
11 When I put on a sad face,
They treated me like a clown.
12 Now drunks and gluttons
Make up drinking songs about me.
13 And me? I pray.
God, it’s time for a break!
God, answer in love!
Answer with your sure salvation!
14 Rescue me from the swamp,
Don’t let me go under for good,
Pull me out of the clutch of the enemy;
This whirlpool is sucking me down.
15 Don’t let the swamp be my grave, the Black Hole
Swallow me, its jaws clenched around me.
16 Now answer me, God, because you love me;
Let me see your great mercy full-face.
17 Don’t look the other way; your servant can’t take it.
I’m in trouble. Answer right now!
18 Come close, God; get me out of here.
Rescue me from this deathtrap.
19 You know how they kick me around—
Pin on me the donkey’s ears, the dunce’s cap.
20 I’m broken by their taunts,
Flat on my face, reduced to a nothing.
I looked in vain for one friendly face. Not one.
I couldn’t find one shoulder to cry on.
21 They put poison in my soup,
Vinegar in my drink.
22 Let their supper be bait in a trap that snaps shut;
May their best friends be trappers who’ll skin them alive.
23 Make them become blind as bats,
Give them the shakes from morning to night.
24 Let them know what you think of them,
Blast them with your red-hot anger.
25 Burn down their houses,
Leave them desolate with nobody at home.
26 They gossiped about the one you disciplined,
Made up stories about anyone wounded by God.
27 Pile on the guilt,
Don’t let them off the hook.
28 Strike their names from the list of the living;
No rock-carved honor for them among the righteous.
29 I’m hurt and in pain;
Give me space for healing, and mountain air.
30 Let me shout God’s name with a praising song,
Let me tell his greatness in a prayer of thanks.
31 For God, this is better than oxen on the altar,
Far better than blue-ribbon bulls.
32 The poor in spirit see and are glad—
Oh, you God-seekers, take heart!
33 For God listens to the poor,
He doesn’t walk out on the wretched.
34 You heavens, praise him; praise him, earth;
Also ocean and all things that swim in it.
35 For God is out to help Zion,
Rebuilding the wrecked towns of Judah.
Guess who will live there—
The proud owners of the land?
36 No, the children of his servants will get it,
The lovers of his name will live in it.
SOMETHING TO CHEW ON…
David was innocent this time of the accusations of his enemies who hated God and therefore hated him. When we read the psalm, we find David confronting the Lord with three important concerns.
“God, Save Me”: When his enemies blasphemed God, they blasphemed David, and their attacks against David were attacks against God, and David felt them. David had a great zeal for God’s house and had received the plans for the temple from the Lord. He had gathered the materials for its construction. It takes no special gift to discover Jesus in this psalm and to see the way people treated Him when He was ministering on earth.
Is loving God and following Him just to good to be true for humans to wrap their heads around, accept and live?
“Judge My Enemies!”: Judgement is in God’s hands, not ours. Only our Perfect, Sinless God can be the final judge of what is not pleasing to Him. In contrast to what David prayed; Jesus prayed, “Forgive them for they know not what they do.”
Where is our heart when others accuse us, gossip about us and malign our character? How quickly do we forgive…even when there is no apology and never will be?
“Be Glorified, O Lord!”: He wanted the Lord to be glorified in his worship, his witness to the needy, in all of creation, and in all of Israel. He asked the Lord to protect and provide for the poor whom the sinners were abusing and exploiting. He saw a day coming when the land would be united and healed and the cities populated again. “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem” (Ps 122:6). “Even so, come, Lord Jesus!” (Rev. 22:20).
And finally, we will continue to praise God or hold back until we are safely on the other side of our problem? Mm. We must evaluate our hearts before, during and after a trial.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Save us. Restore the joy of YOUR salvation in us. Hold our enemy, the evil one, at bay. Capture our thoughts from the evil one. Lift our thinking to Your higher, more positive, faith-filled thinking of what is pure, praiseworthy, true, noble, the best, not the worst, the beautiful, not the ugly, things to praise not curse. Help us to think of Your grace so that we will behave more graciously.
In Jesus Name, Amen