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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The Forgotten

8 Record my misery;
    list my tears on your scroll—
    are they not in your record?
9 Then my enemies will turn back
    when I call for help.
    By this I will know that God is for me. Psalm 56:8-9

Down through the ages, the Faithful have gone through periods where they thought they were the only people left in the world who believed. The prophet Elijah comes to mine (1 Kings 19). The Lord showed him quite clearly that there were 7000 who had not bowed the knee to Baal.

I write that because we also go through these periods, though probably not as dramatic. Our doubt and fears may sound a little different:

  • Why doesn’t anyone side with me on this issue?
  • Why did this person leave me hanging in the wind?
  • Why do bad things always happen to the good people?

Our Brothers and Sisters abroad, however, probably face Elijah-like fears at times. When you are being deprived of food, water, sleep, and basic health care, it’s easy to forget that outside the walls there are millions of people who believe like you do.

Would you pray for that pastor who is in prison for his faith? Pray that the Lord will in fact comfort him in his distress and will overwhelm him with His love and care.

Above all, as the pastor is being lied to about who “on the outside” cares about them, pray that the Lord will reveal to him the vast armies of people praying for him at the moment.

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