Wednesday, March 21, 2012

My boy, David.

A couple of days ago I tore into a little bit of Psalm 40.
Today I want to back-track to Psalm 39 and see what kinds of things David was saying prior to being "pulled out of the mud and mire".
David was rather expressive and he seemed to have a wide range of emotions, which I readily relate to. Where Paul, in the Bible, seemed to run the race hard and fast and be as consistent as they come, David paints a picture of someone with HIGH HIGHS, low lows, and everything in between and God still manages to use him like crazy for His purposes, which gives people like me hope. Through the Psalms, we "hear" David pour his heart out to God on multiple occasions, and there doesn't seem to be much of an emotional filter. He's up, he's down, and he's all around. "Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks." (and speaks, and speaks, and speaks...) :o) We find him in Psalm 39 yapping away about how he is NOT going to talk. He's talking about putting a muzzle on his mouth to keep from sinning, and he admits that this challenge was less than pleasant. Keeping quiet makes his "fire burn". Don't take my word for it. Go ahead and check out the 39th Psalm. . .

Psalm 39
For the director of music. For Jeduthun. A psalm of David.
I said, “I will watch my ways and keep my tongue from sin; I will put a muzzle on my mouth while in the presence of the wicked.”
So I remained utterly silent,
not even saying anything good.
But my anguish increased; my heart grew hot within me. While I meditated, the fire burned; then I spoke with my tongue:
“Show me, LORD, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is.
You have made my days a mere handbreadth;
the span of my years is as nothing before you.
Everyone is but a breath,
even those who seem secure.
“Surely everyone goes around like a mere phantom;
in vain they rush about, heaping up wealth
without knowing whose it will finally be.
“But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you.
Save me from all my transgressions;
do not make me the scorn of fools.
I was silent; I would not open my mouth,
for you are the one who has done this.
Remove your scourge from me;
I am overcome by the blow of your hand.
When you rebuke and discipline anyone for their sin,
you consume their wealth like a moth—
surely everyone is but a breath.
“Hear my prayer, LORD, listen to my cry for help; do not be deaf to my weeping.
I dwell with you as a foreigner,
a stranger, as all my ancestors were.
Look away from me, that I may enjoy life again
before I depart and am no more.”
David's intense at times, isn't he? Passionate. Discouraged at times. Weeping when he needed to. Angry. Firey hot Angry. The things that hurt God's heart also hurt David's heart. He was a "man after God's own heart" (Acts 13:22) and he cried out to God when the things he saw and heard stirred up his heart.
David is an example to us of someone who casted "his cares upon the Lord" because the Lord cared for him. Feeling what he was feeling with such intensity was just part of who David was. He was a man of passion. God placed that passion in him. It was not a mistake. He was passionate in everything he did. He learned at a very young age that he could cry out to God in his times of distress and praise God in his time of rejoicing. Notice, though, that in his times of distress David would bring back his Psalms to a place of hope. He would flush out the "stuff" that was weighing him down, and then come back to what he knew to be true about God. "MY HOPE IS IN YOU."
David was a warrior too. He was not weak. He may have wept, and he may have been discouraged at times, but he was NOT weak. He fought battles and won.

When he was not fighting battles, he was preparing for those battles. In his waiting on the Lord, he was not idle, pulling up daisies. In his hoping in the Lord he was not twiddling his thumbs figuring things would fall in his lap. He knew better than to stay in his depths of despair. He allowed himself to cry when he needed to, but he did not stay there. He got back up and got back to work. Check out this verse in Psalm 144, that shows us this other side of David:
"Praise be the Lord my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle." -Psalm 144:1
You and I may not fight the same kind of battles David had to fight, but we have some "battles" to fight. There is a spiritual warfare going on over your life, and you do have work to do while you are here on earth. The harder you run after the Lord, the harder you are going to be attacked. Let's be prepared. If we stay focused, then when the time comes, we'll have confidence (like David did when he took down Goliath) as we put our hope in the Lord, Our Rock, knowing that we have "trained hands and fingers (and hearts and minds too) ready for battle" . We know from later Psalms that David's confidence also came from an assurance that God loved him with an unfailing love and because he continued to go back to God, looking to Him to find which way to go next. Check out Psalm 143:8:
"Let the morning bring me word of Your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in You. Show me the way I should go, for to You I lift up my soul." Psalm 143: 8
Lets be people who continue to go back to God's word, and stay in a mode of prayer, seeking our direction from the Lord, so we can have a confidence that we are following His leading in the same way David did, being mindful to take hold of the eternal life to which we are called for.
"Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses." 1 Timothy 6:12
Psalm 39 leads us into Psalm 40 which is where we see God bless David for putting his hope in Him, and giving him a "firm place to stand". If you are interested in reading the post on Psalm 40 you can do that here.

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