Life’s Quicksand

Hasten, O God, to save me; come quickly, Lord, to help me. Psalm 70:1

When was the last time you saw a movie that had quicksand in it? You see the person slowly sink in and there’s virtually nothing he can do about it except to call for help. Panicking will only hurt his cause, but doing nothing certainly isn’t a great option either. That help had better come within the next two minutes or the person will be buried alive.

I sense David’s beginning to this petition/prayer is much like that. He has no time to waste on “fluff” or platitudes. It’s ‘help me now, Lord, or I’m a gonner!”

We’ve all been there. We’ve all tied that proverbial knot on the end of the rope and hung on for dear life. Desperation is not a pretty place to be.

But I’ve been saying for a long time that an time we get desperate for God is a good thing. Perhaps it says more about our spiritual life that we are NOT desperate for God. Granted, being placed in a desperate situation and being desperate for God are two different things, but the concept is the same.

What would it take for us to become desperate for God if we’re not already there?

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Why Israel?

for God will save Zion and rebuild the cities of Judah. Then people will settle there and possess it; the children of his servants will inherit it, and those who love his name will dwell there. Psalm 69:35-36

Why Israel? I ask that because there is so much anti-Semetism in the world. There’s even a name for the hatred.

The nation of Israel throughout the years was to be God’s glory on earth. He was going to shine through them, and all the world would see the glory of God.

But why?

Perhaps it can be found in Deuteronomy 7:7-9

“The LORD did not set His affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. But it was because the LORD loved you and kept the oath He swore to your forefathers that He brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; He is the faithful God, keeping His covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love Him and keep His commands.

As Israel continues to be the object of hatred and bigotry around the world, would you pray for her?

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Of Rocks and Nature

34 Let heaven and earth praise him, the seas and all that move in them, Psalm 69:34

When the trees sway in the breeze, when the waves wash across the finest of sandy beaches, when the stars shine at night, when the wind howls on the coldest of nights, it’s a kind of praise that we’re not accustomed to seeing in our culture. In some cultures they believe we should worship the stars or the waters, or even the wind. The Christian faith is unique in that regard.

Praise cam come from earthly or human sources. The forces of nature and the earth itself obey His commands.

He gives us a free choice in the matter.

I’ve said it before but it’s worth repeating, “if we don’t praise HIm, He can easily grab a few rocks that will.”

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Noticing

32 The poor will see and be glad — you who seek God, may your hearts live!
33 The Lord hears the needy and does not despise his captive people. Psalm 69:32-33

This is certainly a different emotion for the poor than we’ve seen before. They are glad because of what we do in reverence to God. As we reach out to the poor, God smiles. Of course I can’t back that up from any verse, but the entire Bible echoes the sentiment. A lot can be determined about our character by how we treat the poor.

I don’t know everything there is to know about the Bible, not in the least. But if there is one thing that is apparent to me it’s this: God speaks about the poor quite often. He doesn’t address the political or social leanings of the poor, but instead talks about our response (or lack thereof) to the poor.

Often, though, we need to make an effort to minister to the poor. That ministry can be as simple as giving someone money for food or as complex as feeding an entire family in need. I don’t believe God is asking us to solve poverty, since Jesus Himself said we’d always have the poor among us.

Perhaps He’s just asking us to notice.

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Always On His Mind

I will praise God’s name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving.
This will please the Lord more than an ox, more than a bull with its horns and hooves. Psalm 69:30-31

It’s an interesting phenomenon that a few days after I hear a song, something triggers it inside me and I begin singing the song again (or usually just a small section of it). I can do that with songs I learned while I was growing up or songs I heard in church the previous Sunday. One of my late night hobbies is to find youtube videos of bands I grew up with to see where they’re at or even to hear an old song. Sure enough, three days later I’m humming the chorus to that song, seemingly unprovoked or unaware that I’m doing it.

I can’t prove this but perhaps God replays those songs we sing to Him throughout the day. He enjoys our praise and thanksgiving. It’s hard for us to comprehend why except that it’s in God’s character.

What songs have you been singing to Him lately?

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