A Tuneup

2 I cry out to God Most High,
    to God, who vindicates me. Psalm 57:2

In the context of David writing this, he was, as they say, “as guilty as sin” in a number of areas. But yet, he felt vindicated from God. Was he blameless for all the devastation he caused others? Of course not. Throughout his life, David and his family paid dearly for his sins.

However, when the eternal books are opened, David’s name will be there because he called on God to save him. Somewhere in his journey, David realized that apart from God his life was in shambles. He also knew that he needed to be cleansed.

Psalm 51:10-12 summarizes his journey.

Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

Crying out to God should become a regular part of our Christian life, if it already isn’t. Why? Think of it this way. When your vehicle is not running well, what do you do? Take it into a mechanic (if you don’t diagnose and fix it yourself). Often the mechanic will know one or two major problems your vehicle is experiencing just by the sounds you tell him it makes. Same way with a doctor.

We need tuneups. As we cry out to God, we can allow all the junk and craziness of our lives to melt away. What we have to say is between us and God.

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Just a Thought

1 Have mercy on me, my God, have mercy on me,
    for in you I take refuge.
I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings
    until the disaster has passed. Psalm 57:1

When David wrote this he was in a cave. Four hundred of his men were with him, so it would have been well-guarded and fortified. Lookouts would have been strategically located. Still, King David knew he was a wanted man. It was only a matter of time before his enemies caught up with him.

We know that David wrote these words to the tune of “Do Not Destroy.” Presumably David would have sung the words while in the cave. Can you just imagine how his men were encouraged that David, their king, was taking the Lord seriously? He could have spent the majority of his time fretting and strategizing over what he should do next. Instead, he wrote songs to the Lord, songs that we now enjoy in these psalms. While we don’t sing these psalms for the most part, we can certainly appreciate their beauty and substance.

So, is there something you should be doing but you’re not? Maybe it’s writing songs, playing more with your kids or grandkids, learning a new skill, learning a new language, writing a story or novel, or calling a few friends.

I think the bottom line question is ‘are you doing things that are totally unproductive and complete time-wasters?’

I am reminded of Admiral Rickover’s two questions to his new officers as they came aboard his subs: “Do you put 100% effort into everything you do?” The second question was always, “why not?”

Just a thought.

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The Light of Life

13 For you have delivered me from death
    and my feet from stumbling,
that I may walk before God
    in the light of life. Psalm 56:13

If you are a Believer you have a new lease on life every day. When the Bible talks about walking in the “light of life,” we can make the decision to walk in that light. We can also make the choice to ignore the light. Same thing with tomorrow, and the next day.

In fact, in Deuteronomy 1:30 we read: “The LORD your God, who is going before you, will fight for you, as he did for you in Egypt, before your very eyes.”

It’s one step at a time, one breath at a time.

Sure, there are decisions that need to be made that are more complicated than putting one foot in front of the other in this walk, but we certainly have the “template” to get us to those bigger decisions.

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Thanked and Praised

12 I am under vows to you, my God;
    I will present my thank offerings to you. Psalm 56:12

As we enter the Christmas and New Year season it’s a time to reflect on the recent past. How has God blessed? How has God brought you through this year? What do you anticipate God doing in your life this next year.

We do have a lot to be thankful for.

  • We still enjoy a lot of freedoms.
  • We still have a godly “remnant”, those who will not bend the knee to false gods.
  • We still have family and friends to lean on in times of trouble.
  • We still have breath to do what God wants us to do.

I don’t know your situation or what you’re going through. I don’t know the nature of your troubles and pains, and in this global audience, those pains could be life-changing.

I do know this: God is worthy to be thanked and praised.

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Early and Often

10 In God, whose word I praise,
    in the Lord, whose word I praise—
11 in God I trust and am not afraid.
    What can man do to me? Psalm 56:10-11

In the Old Testament (and in life in general), when an author wanted to emphasize something, he would repeat it. You see that throughout the entire Bible really.

David is using the same language tactic. In verse four he said, “In God, whose word I praise — in God I trust and am not afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” Psalm 56:4

David was in hiding when he wrote many of these psalms. Real enemies with real weaponry were trying to hunt him down and kill him. So why then did David say “what can man do to me?” On the face of it, it seems like a paradox. Some might even say if he really trusted in God, he would have come out in the open and confronted his enemies. Wouldn’t the Lord protect him?

Perhaps. But perhaps not.

Just because you’re not afraid doesn’t mean you have to do stupid things to “put the Lord to the test” as Jesus told Satan while standing on the point of the temple in Matthew 4:5-7:

5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 6 “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written:

‘”He will command his angels concerning you,
and they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.'”

7 Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'”

David realized that he was ultimately in God’s hands. He knew that the worst thing man could do to him was to take his life. He didn’t fear death or his enemies. Instead, his mouth was filled with praise.

It’s a simple act of worship really, to be practiced early and often.

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