Psalms – Prayers of Honesty
New Year’s resolutions by well meaning people in all shapes and sizes are the plague of our Y where we have been walking our mile each day. It is almost amusing to see them work so hard knowing that by the end of January they will forget their resolutions and we won’t see them again until next January with a few more pounds added and more determination to make it to February…maybe.
How quickly we forget our pledge to be better, eat better and behave better physically. How quickly we forget our spiritual pledges to God and others, too! We want to be better people so we make promises to God about our behavior, thinking we will have the will power to make it happen. Then one slip causes us to forget the whole thing and go deeper than we were before.
It seems we humans need help. We have short attention spans and even shorter memories of all that God has done, is doing and will do in our lives. Yes, we need help. This help can only come from the One who has the power to transform us. We cannot do it ourselves. Accept that. Say yes to God and ASK for help. Yes, I know it’s hard to ask as independent people, but ask anyway and see what happens. I think you will be surprised. We pray, God works. Herein lies the powerful help to change that we have been seeking.
IT’S LIKE THIS…
I created a beautiful meal one day for the crock pot. Eight hours later I came home from work to an unchanged pot of cold food. It didn’t transform into the wonderful meal I had imagined in my mind, a meal that was going to dazzle my hungry family. Why? I DIDN’T PLUG IT INTO THE POWER SOURCE! Get it, now?
We are not alone in this…it’s been going on for centuries. When we turn our backs on the Power Source, on God, He is not happy. He gets angry because of His love for us! Fortunately for us, His anger doesn’t last a lifetime. His everlasting, relentless, reckless, unconditional love for us trumps his own anger for us when our stupid, sinful behavior is opposite of His best. Get it, “for us”. He is FOR US! Plug into the Power Source and see what God does as He transforms us in the stew pot of life here while we get ready to go there with Him.
Key Verse for Psalm 106:
“You’re one happy man when you do what’s right,
one happy woman when you form the habit of justice.”
Psalm 106, The Message
Thank God! And why?
Because he’s good, because his love lasts.
But who on earth can do it—
declaim God’s mighty acts, broadcast all his praises?
You’re one happy man when you do what’s right,
one happy woman when you form the habit of justice.
4-5 Remember me, God, when you enjoy your people;
include me when you save them;
I want to see your chosen succeed,
celebrate with your celebrating nation,
join the Hallelujahs of your pride and joy!
6-12 We’ve sinned a lot, both we and our parents;
We’ve fallen short, hurt a lot of people.
After our parents left Egypt,
they took your wonders for granted,
forgot your great and wonderful love.
They were barely beyond the Red Sea
when they defied the High God
—the very place he saved them!
—the place he revealed his amazing power!
He rebuked the Red Sea so that it dried up on the spot
—he paraded them right through!
—no one so much as got wet feet!
He saved them from a life of oppression,
pried them loose from the grip of the enemy.
Then the waters flowed back on their oppressors;
there wasn’t a single survivor.
Then they believed his words were true
and broke out in songs of praise.
13-18 But it wasn’t long before they forgot the whole thing,
wouldn’t wait to be told what to do.
They only cared about pleasing themselves in that desert,
provoked God with their insistent demands.
He gave them exactly what they asked for—
but along with it they got an empty heart.
One day in camp some grew jealous of Moses,
also of Aaron, holy priest of God.
The ground opened and swallowed Dathan,
then buried Abiram’s gang.
Fire flared against that rebel crew
and torched them to a cinder.
19-22 They cast in metal a bull calf at Horeb
and worshiped the statue they’d made.
They traded the Glory
for a cheap piece of sculpture—a grass-chewing bull!
They forgot God, their very own Savior,
who turned things around in Egypt,
Who created a world of wonders in the Land of Ham,
who gave that stunning performance at the Red Sea.
23-27 Fed up, God decided to get rid of them—
and except for Moses, his chosen, he would have.
But Moses stood in the gap and deflected God’s anger,
prevented it from destroying them utterly.
They went on to reject the Blessed Land,
didn’t believe a word of what God promised.
They found fault with the life they had
and turned a deaf ear to God’s voice.
Exasperated, God swore
that he’d lay them low in the desert,
Scattering their children hither and yon,
strewing them all over the earth.
28-31 Then they linked up with Baal Peor,
attending funeral banquets and eating idol food.
That made God so angry
that a plague spread through their ranks;
Phinehas stood up and pled their case
and the plague was stopped.
This was counted to his credit;
his descendants will never forget it.
32-33 They angered God again at Meribah Springs;
this time Moses got mixed up in their evil;
Because they defied God yet again,
Moses exploded and lost his temper.
34-39 They didn’t wipe out those godless cultures
as ordered by God;
Instead they intermarried with the heathen,
and in time became just like them.
They worshiped their idols,
were caught in the trap of idols.
They sacrificed their sons and daughters
at the altars of demon gods.
They slit the throats of their babies,
murdered their infant girls and boys.
They offered their babies to Canaan’s gods;
the blood of their babies stained the land.
Their way of life stank to high heaven;
they lived like whores.
40-43 And God was furious—a wildfire anger;
he couldn’t stand even to look at his people.
He turned them over to the heathen
so that the people who hated them ruled them.
Their enemies made life hard for them;
they were tyrannized under that rule.
Over and over God rescued them, but they never learned—
until finally their sins destroyed them.
44-46 Still, when God saw the trouble they were in
and heard their cries for help,
He remembered his Covenant with them,
and, immense with love, took them by the hand.
He poured out his mercy on them
while their captors looked on, amazed.
47 Save us, God, our God!
Gather us back out of exile
So we can give thanks to your holy name
and join in the glory when you are praised!
48 Blessed be God, Israel’s God!
Bless now, bless always!
Oh! Let everyone say Amen!
Resolutions? Day by day, resolve to follow the Savior as Lord of your life. Lean into HIS promises and watch God work as you pray for His best for you. You in?
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for bringing us out of the slavery of going our own way. Your ways are always right and good. You are always right and good. We repent of the sins of self and thinking we can do life on our own. We cannot. We ask for your help to be transformed into all you intended for us to be and then do.
In Jesus Name, Amen