Sunday, July 13, 2014

Prayer in Time of Chastening ... A Psalm of David. To bring to remembrance.

This time, the notation on the Psalm makes me pause, first. Times of chastening are inevitable for a believer, the very proof that we belong to God. “...if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers [it happens to everyone!], then you are illegitimate and not sons.” (Hebrews 12:7, NKJV)

Did David intend the tag, “to bring to remembrance,” to be a reminder of that, or something else? Maybe of how painful the consequences of our sin, are?

O Lord, do not rebuke me in Your wrath,
Nor chasten me in Your hot displeasure!
For Your arrows pierce me deeply,
And Your hand presses me down.

There is no misery like being under the heavy hand of God when we’ve done something we shouldn’t have. If the Holy Spirit is, as the old poem says, the Hound of Heaven, not only does He guide and guard us on our journey, as a faithful hound would, but He relentlessly hunts us down when we stray from the path.

There is no soundness in my flesh
Because of Your anger,
Nor any health in my bones
Because of my sin.
For my iniquities have gone over my head;
Like a heavy burden they are too heavy for me.
My wounds are foul and festering
Because of my foolishness.

I am troubled, I am bowed down greatly;
I go mourning all the day long.
For my loins are full of inflammation,
And there is no soundness in my flesh.
I am feeble and severely broken;
I groan because of the turmoil of my heart.

Some in our modern culture try to say there’s no such thing as sin, that we create needless guilt for ourselves in believing there is, but the fact remains ... our own wrongdoing is the poison that will kill us if not taken to the Lord and drawn out.

Lord, all my desire is before You;
And my sighing is not hidden from You.
10 My heart pants, my strength fails me;
As for the light of my eyes, it also has gone from me.
11 My loved ones and my friends stand aloof from my plague,
And my relatives stand afar off.
12 Those also who seek my life lay snares for me;
Those who seek my hurt speak of destruction,
And plan deception all the day long.

As if it weren’t enough that we’re struggling with sin, it can seem like the whole world just stands back and watches us suffer. It’s true—it can be hard to be involved from the periphery. Either we feel inadequate to help someone else go through an issue, if we’ve never had to deal with it ourselves, or maybe we’re just so weary of the drama.

And then there are those who actively add to the suffering. As if it weren’t enough that we’re under conviction by the Holy Spirit, the enemy adds his voice to the mix ... you’re worthless, you’ll never pull out of this, this wrong can never be healed or even forgiven.

Regardless of the reason, this kind of isolation just underscores the fact that really, each of us is alone before God. Alone with our sin. Alone with our heartache.

13 But I, like a deaf man, do not hear;
And I am like a mute who does not open his mouth.
14 Thus I am like a man who does not hear,
And in whose mouth is no response.

15 For in You, O Lord, I hope;
You will hear, O Lord my God.
16 For I said, “Hear me, lest they rejoice over me,
Lest, when my foot slips, they exalt themselves against me.”

17 For I am ready to fall,
And my sorrow is continually before me.
18 For I will declare my iniquity;
I will be in anguish over my sin.
19 But my enemies are vigorous, and they are strong;
And those who hate me wrongfully have multiplied.
20 Those also who render evil for good,
They are my adversaries, because I follow what is good.
21 Do not forsake me, O Lord;
O my God, be not far from me!
22 Make haste to help me,
O Lord, my salvation! (Psalm 38)

And so, once again we’re left with the only thing that can possibly help:  throwing ourselves on the Lord’s mercy. Without that—without Him—our own sin will defeat us. Our enemies are too strong for us.

It’s a huge paradox that only by submitting ourselves to the Lord’s discipline can we walk in freedom—because we are His.


Post a Comment

Newsletter Subscribe



Blog Archive

Powered by Blogger.

Historical Romantic Suspense

Historical Romance



Popular Posts

Guest Registry