Psalm 38

She Reads Truth is doing something new for Lent – every Friday the reader’s share their own thoughts on a certain passage of scripture. This is my response for the week. 

This week we read a Psalm of David, titled “Do Not Forsake Me, O Lord.” We read Psalm 38.

The message speaks so boldly to my heart, it pierces it, and kind of sets me back and question how bold David is speaking to God. Look at the list of things David is going through (from the Message version of Psalm 38):

  1. He’s lost 20 lbs in 2 months (because of God’s accusation)
  2. His bones are brittle as dry sticks (because of his sin)
  3. He is swamped by his bad behavior
  4. He has collapsed under guilt
  5. Cuts in his flesh stink and grow maggots (because of how badly he has lived)
  6. He is flat on his face, feeling sorry for himself all day long
  7. His insides are on fire
  8. His body is a wreck
  9. He has had enough, his life is “a vomit of groans.”
  10. His heart is about to break
  11. He is burned-out
  12. Cataracts blind him to God and good
  13. Friends are avoiding him like the plague
  14. Family never visits
  15. Neighbors stab him in the back
  16. Competitors defile his name, praying for his ruin

Aye, aye, aye! And we thought we had it bad! Part of me wants to think David is being a bit dramatic, but then I realize who David was and what he had done. See 2 Samuel 11 to read about David and Bathsheba.

But this is not where it ends! David closes out his list of troubles with a plea. He says:

But I’m deaf and mute to it all, ears shut, mouth shut. I don’t hear a word they say, don’t speak a word in response. What I do, God is wait for you, wait for my Lord, my God – you will answer! I wait and pray so they won’t laugh me off, won’t smugly strut off when I stumble (he lists a few more problems)… Don’t dumb me, God; my God, don’t stand me up. Hurry and Help me; I want some wide-open space in my life! (Psalm 38:15-22, MSG).

David chooses to let it go, to stop believing those around him and the lies of the enemy, and to remember that his God is the God who saves, who forgives, and who redeems. This Psalm reminds us that through our sorrow for our sin we can find HOPE in God – the source of healing, redemption, grace and mercy.

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We can dismiss the mocking of other sinners, and we can turn a deaf ear and keep our mouths shut as we wait upon the Lord.

See last week’s #shesharestruth post – Psalm 130

photo credit to my brother, Daniel. Follow him on instagram @ an_idiot_abroad

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Let it Go [again].

In a previous post I asked you – what are you holding on to that is holding you back?

Lately, I have been overwhelmed thinking about the way sin can hold us back even after we have been forgiven. We live in dark, ugly, dingy shame and guilt and regret when if we have asked, Jesus has made us white as snow and set us free!

“Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the LORD, “Though your sins are as scarlet, They will be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They will be like wool. (Isaiah 1:18)

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 2 (Corinthians 5:17)

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

There are two types of confession beneficial for being forgiven and freed from sin, one necessary:

  1. Confession and asking of forgiveness from Jesus.
  2. Confession to a friend.

Look at Psalm 38:

Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven,
whose sin is covered.
Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity,
and in whose spirit there is no deceit.

For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away
through my groaning all day long.
For day and night your hand was heavy upon me;
my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Selah

I acknowledged my sin to you,
and I did not cover my iniquity;
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,”
and you forgave the iniquity of my sin.

Therefore let everyone who is godly
offer prayer to you at a time when you may be found;
surely in the rush of great waters,
they shall not reach him.
You are a hiding place for me;
you preserve me from trouble;
you surround me with shouts of deliverance

To be honest, I don’t know if this just means that David confessed his sins to God or if he confessed to a trusted brother, as well. But I think confession to someone in confidence can be freeing – it can provide accountability. Warning: you have to choose wisely. Only you know who you can truly trust – who will not walk away, who will not use your confessed sin against you, who will not tell others about your confession. There are only a couple people I will confess my sins to after I have confessed to Christ, and sometimes I choose not to confess at all. At this time, for now. What sin are you letting keep you dirty and guilty? What sin have you refused the grace and forgiveness of Jesus Christ our Lord?

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What sin are you letting keep you dirty and guilty? What sin have you refused the grace and forgiveness of Jesus Christ our Lord?

Let it go.

So, dear one, Christ has already broken the bond between sin and your heart. He has declared you free and clear, pardoned by the Highest King. Do not let you shame chain you again to your past sins. Be intimately bonded to Christ instead, the Hope of Glory. – She Reads Truth

Psalm 130

She Reads Truth is doing something new for Lent – every Friday the reader’s share their own thoughts on a certain passage of scripture. This is my response for the week. 

Psalm 130 is titled “My Soul Waits for the Lord” and is subtitled to be “a Song of Ascents.”

Let me start out by saying, I looked up what “a Song of Ascents” meant and I essentially got nowhere and decided not to get stuck on that.

So then I read the beautiful words:

Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord!
     O Lord, hear my voice!
Let your ears be attentive
    to the voice of my pleas for mercy!

 If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities,
    O Lord, who could stand?
 But with you there is forgiveness,
    that you may be feared.

 I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
    and in his word I hope;
 my soul waits for the Lord
    more than watchmen for the morning,
    more than watchmen for the morning.

 O Israel, hope in the Lord!
    For with the Lord there is steadfast love,
    and with him is plentiful redemption.
 And he will redeem Israel
    from all his iniquities.

Amen and amen! How true, that no one could stand, no one would last, no one would be anyone without the forgiveness of the Lord.

How many times have I cried out from the d e p t h s for God to give me mercy, to pull me out – or to at least hold me in the cold, dark, dreary parts of the depth I do not understand. Is this not the time I cry out to Him most often?

The writer notes that because of God’s forgiveness He should be feared. We just discussed this topic Tuesday night in my young adult group – what does it actually mean to fear the Lord? I personally came to the conclusion that we have to realize what salvation is saving us from – a Hell that we truly cannot comprehend – which speaks not only to the power of God and what He is capable of, but what He sent His son to rescue us from. That fear of His capabilities should lead to a reverence and awe of Him that drives us towards Him.

That’s a whole other topic that I can’t comprehend or care to explore much at this point, but a whole other topic indeed.

So the writer is in a season of winter, from what it sounds like – one where he is crying out from the depths, begging for mercy. I’m coming out of that season, and I too am waiting on the Lord. And he, like I, remembers that the Lord is faithful to forgive, and keeps no records of wrongs. For me coming out of this winter season, I am reminded that God remembers not the times I ignored his prompting, the times I turned from Him, the times I praised Him while the next minute continuing to do my own thing rather than what He had asked me to. No, God continued to pursue me and kept no record of my iniquities. He forgave me and He’s slowly guiding from the depths.

Spring is coming.

photo taken by my brother - find him on instagram @an_idiot_abroad

photo taken by my brother – find him on instagram @an_idiot_abroad