16 Answer me, Lord, out of the goodness of your love; in your great mercy turn to me.
17 Do not hide your face from your servant; answer me quickly, for I am in trouble.
18 Come near and rescue me; deliver me because of my foes. Psalm 69:16-18

As I write this there are 7 billion people, millions of galaxies, innumerable grains of sand in only one square yard of sand, and one God to rule them all. But sometimes we feel that God is distant, aloof, doesn’t care, or is too busy worrying about the other 7 billion people.

Perhaps, though, our perspective is skewed. Perhaps, just perhaps, the God who is distant is a lot closer than we suspect.

Twenty years ago my wife and I babysat a little girl of two or so. She was still young enough that we could play “peekaboo” and still have fun doing it. As we sat there, she covered her eyes, and said, “peekaboo, I love you!”

What a fitting illustration of God’s attitude towards us. Through what we see and experience in the physical realm combined with the innumerable blessings of God, it’s like He’s telling us, “Peekaboo. You can’t see me right now but I am watching over you. I am there with you every step of the way. I will provide people in your path to help you get through what’s going on. You have to know that I love you, and always will. Don’t try to understand everything. Just trust Me. Can you do that? Can you trust me? Keep walking by faith.”

Rescuing Me

14 Rescue me from the mire, do not let me sink;
deliver me from those who hate me, from the deep waters.
15 Do not let the floodwaters engulf me or the depths swallow me up or the pit close its mouth over me. Psalm 69:14-15

All the imagery of this passage is that he is very overwhelmed and inundated with the problems in his life. He can’t breathe because of them.

I have found when I’m in situations like this that I can’t think straight or clearly. I am focused on me, and not anyone else. Sometimes, though, it’s good to have another person or two to help you work through the problems, someone who’s not so close to the situation.

Regardless of whether you’re in these kinds of suffocating situations or not, pick up the phone and call a friend or relative you haven’t spoken to in over a year. It’s a great way to get the focus off of you and on to someone else. And it’s always good to catch up.

Enjoying Favor with God

But I pray to you, Lord, in the time of your favor;
in your great love, O God, answer me with your sure salvation. Psalm 69:13

The favor of God is often elusive to some people. The very fact that you are saved by God means you have favor with Him.

In the New Testament in Ephesians 5:10 it say to “find out what pleases the Lord.” How is this different than favor? In the Psalms passage, it’s clear that His favor is His salvation. Pleasing God is another matter altogether. It may seem like I’m “splitting hairs” but I’m not. In this context favor is eternal; whereas pleasing God is a daily pursuit.

Think of it in a parent-child relationship. Parents love their children. No matter what the child does, the parent will love the child. Now, does the child always please the parent? Absolutely not. But loving the child despite the child’s behavior is the only option for the parent. Sometimes he’s good and the parent smiles. Sometimes he’s bad, and the parent frowns.

Rejoice today that despite our sin and lawlessness, God had favor with us and saw fit to save us from ourselves!

The Basics

7 For I endure scorn for your sake, and shame covers my face.
8 I am a foreigner to my own family, a stranger to my own mother’s children;
9 for zeal for your house consumes me, and the insults of those who insult you fall on me.
10 When I weep and fast, I must endure scorn;
11 when I put on sackcloth, people make sport of me.
12 Those who sit at the gate mock me, and I am the song of the drunkards. Psalm 69:7-12

Tucked inside these verses is a prophecy that Jesus fulfilled (verse 9) when he overturned the moneychangers’ tables in John 2:17. The rest of the passage details the humiliation he endured at the hands of his former subjects. It’s difficult for non-royalty to imagine what it was like to go from having everything to having nothing, from ruling over hundreds of thousands to being the scorn of the lowliest. It’s pretty bad that even the drunks were singing songs about him.

At some point in his life, David had to think that there was no stopping him as king. He probably thought his reign would never end.

Even though we are from being kings and queens, we think our nation as well as the comforts and freedoms we enjoy will never end. Well, unless we are completely different from hundreds of civilizations before us, we too will fall. It’s not a warning or threat or prophetic utterance, just an informed guess based on my view of history.

Having said that, what do we take for granted in this life? As I stated, we often feel that nothing’s going to stop us now! But as people’s hearts grow cold and as new generations of Believers are rising up in South America, Africa, and Asia; the world could see a dramatic cultural, monetary, and religious shift away from the West. Are you ready for it? What would it take to get ready for it? It’s hard to know, isn’t it?

If you “keep short accounts” of your sin, continue to read the Bible and pray faithfully, you should be fine. That’s a few of the basic tenets of the Christian faith that has been practiced for the last 2000 years. Pray for the church that is rising to the occasion in those three continents. We see massive persecution in Africa and Asia, but I believe a great and mighty harvest will come as a direct result to the persecution. Instead of getting upset over the changes, we really should be doing what we can to support the Church outside our borders.

May the Church of Jesus Christ grow and be strong throughout the world!

Lord, Let Me Not Blow It

Lord, the Lord Almighty, may those who hope in you not be disgraced because of me;
God of Israel, may those who seek you not be put to shame because of me. Psalm 69:6

David’s words can be summed up by the title of this devotional, “Lord, let me not blow it.” As a leader David knew what it would be like for his followers when he fell out of favor with new leadership: scorn and derision. It’s like that anywhere. If you are following a political leader and that leader lies, since you associate yourself with that person, you are immediately painted with similar accusations and worse for following that person. David understood true loyalty – Jonathan (son of the leader who was chasing David) being a perfect example of loyalty.

Most people reading this have been loyal to people who have “fallen” so to speak. You’ve endured scorn and derision. As followers of Christ, we understand scorn. And yet we still follow.

It’s becoming increasingly unpopular to be a Christian in American society. Christianity is fair game for derision in Hollywood, on TV shows, and in politics. Currently there is very little “push back” from the Christian community but that’s starting to change.

As loyal subjects of the King of Kings, pray for wisdom when and where Christ is openly mocked and scorned. As Jesus Himself said in Luke 12:12

“When they bring you before the synagogues and the rulers and the authorities, do not worry about how or what you are to speak in your defense, or what you are to say; for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.”

We’ll be given wisdom and the exact words to say.