Israel

1 Vindicate me, my God,
    and plead my cause
    against an unfaithful nation.
Rescue me from those who are
    deceitful and wicked. Psalm 43:1

Now David begins to plead for the nation of Israel. Throughout its history, Israel has had very high highs and very low lows. The Lord chastises them more often than not.

In modern day Israel, it is struggling for its very survival. As the only free nation in the region, her enemies have surrounded her and are moving in quickly. Israel has very few allies in the world and none in the region.

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem. May those who love you be secure. Psalm 122:6

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Down in the Dumps?

11 Why, my soul, are you downcast?
    Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
    for I will yet praise him,
    my Savior and my God. Psalm 42:11

These verses are a repetition of verse 5. So, let me ask you this, is your soul downcast? Have you been “down in the dumps” over things you can and can’t control in your life? Do you cry out to God, “Why, O Lord, why is this happening to me?”

Of course you’re not alone though it often appears that way.

The Spirit of God wants to refresh your soul. He wants to restore and renew the spirit within you. Take a few moments now o just bow your head and call out to Him.

Whether you’re reading this at 5am or at 11pm, He wants you to cry out to Him. He wants that communication. He wants your thoughts and your gripes and your woes to go along with your praises and stories of victory. Make it a habit; do it often. The renewal you’ll experience will wash over you like a flood.

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In Control?

9 I say to God my Rock,
    “Why have you forgotten me?
Why must I go about mourning,
    oppressed by the enemy?”
10 My bones suffer mortal agony
    as my foes taunt me,
saying to me all day long,
    “Where is your God?” Psalm 42:9-10

The first line of this passage seems like it’s out of place with the rest. He is addressing God as something stable, unmovable, solid. And yet, if God is so unchanging, David is saying, why doesn’t he care about me? Why does He put up with all the nonsense?

At some point we cheer on David because we know, to some extent, how he felt. Why do we have to suffer? Why do the guilty seem to get away with their crimes? Where’s the justice? Where’s God when all this is going on?

Fortunately for us and the world, we do not get to dictate to God how He should run this world. Yes, God is in control despite what we may see and hear. There’s coming a time when He will make it right. That time is not now.

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Daily Smiles

8 By day the Lord directs his love,
    at night his song is with me—
    a prayer to the God of my life. Psalm 42:8

How is your memorization of this Psalm going? Just checking.

Have you ever noticed the last thing that goes into your head at night is usually what stays with you throughout the night? Sometimes it’s a song, a funny video, or just plain news. We can certainly positively (and negatively) impact our dream patterns just by what we listen and see right before we hit the sack.

David seemed to have a song on his heart before he went to sleep. Did David think of the Lord all his waking hours? Probably not, but he was able to recognize His huge influence in his life. Just being able to acknowledge (even to yourself) throughout the day that we are not alone and loved makes a big difference in how we filter what life throws at us.

Take time every day – and often – to smile at what He’s doing in your life.

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Heights and Depths

6 My soul is downcast within me;
    therefore I will remember you
from the land of the Jordan,
    the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar.
7 Deep calls to deep
    in the roar of your waterfalls;
all your waves and breakers
    have swept over me. Psalm 42:6-7

David seems to be alternating between a “woe is me” and an “I stand amazed” viewpoint. He’s experienced the worst of the worst, and of course the best of the best. He’s had it all, seen it all, and done it all. He shot up from obscurity to be the highest leader in the land. His fall from favor must have been brutal.

While it’s obvious we have never experienced what David did, we all know the heights and depths of our own lives. We know the pitfalls and the joys. You probably even know people who brag about going from joy to joy and never having any valleys. Well, don’t believe a word of it. David knew the depths, and so do we.

It’s great to know that even when we’re in those valleys, we have a Savior who can lift us out, and a Holy Spirit who can wash over us to restore us.

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