Friday, October 26, 2012
Today’s Topic: Clinging to Dust
Today’s Text: Psalm 119:25-26 (ESV) My soul clings to the dust; give me life according to your word! When I told of my ways, you answered me; teach me your statutes!
When God created man He did it from the dust of the earth. We must not think of dust the way our mothers did. Dust in God’s creation refers to the basic chemical elements from which all things are made. According to Isaiah 40:12, God calculated the dust of the earth and measured it precisely. In that verse, God is declared to be the Designer of everything that exists, and has carefully and with perfect precision measured the exact amounts of water necessary for the sustaining of life on the earth, and has put in place the natural laws of the universe that control every detail of His geophysical creation, right down to the specific weight of mountains and hills so the world is perfectly balanced.
It is from this dust – the chemical elements of this world – that God creates man in His own image. After the exact composition of the chemical elements is formed, God breathes into Him the breath of life, and he became a living being. Eventually he would sin and rebel against His Creator, causing all of human life to be plunged into the darkness of separation for God, with only the dust – the basic chemical composition of life – to cling to. What a hopeless state.
That is the place the Psalmist has referred to today. He recognizes the times in his own life when it seems like all he has to cling to is what little wisdom and strength that the physical life provides. So many of us have glorified man’s wisdom, abilities, strength, thinking that they are all we need to flourish. What a rude awakening it is when life crashes down so hard that we realize that all we cling to is dust.
But it is in those times of brokenness that the Lord brings His life to us. It is when we are clinging to nothing but the little strength our physical bodies have left that we can confess our ways that have failed to the Lord and He will teach us His ways that bring life.
Notice that the recognition of weakness is not sufficient for solution to the problem. It was not enough that the Psalmist reached the end of his own strength and resources, but he went on to the point of confession to the Lord of all the ways he had gotten there. We see in this the activity of repentance. He was taking responsibility for his ways that got him into this condition. It is then and only then that the Lord meets us with forgiveness, life, teaching, and renewed purpose.
Believe me, I know what it is to reach the point of clinging only to dust. The past two months of my life have been the constant reality of this truth. But in it all, I have discovered the splendor of God’s grace and the life that comes from the Word of the Lord. You can too. If you are at the point of clinging to dust and wonder where you will ever get the strength to move ahead, then fall on your knees before God and confess to him all of the ways of dust you chose that got you to this place. Repent of them, and inhale again the breath of life from God Himself. He will teach you, and you will live.
Now, read the rest of the verses in this section, and see the hope God brings. 27 Make me understand the way of your precepts, and I will meditate on your wondrous works. 28 My soul melts away for sorrow; strengthen me according to your word! 29 Put false ways far from me and graciously teach me your law! 30 I have chosen the way of faithfulness; I set your rules before me. 31 I cling to your testimonies, O LORD; let me not be put to shame! 32 I will run in the way of your commandments when you enlarge my heart!
Cling to His testimonies, and run in the way of His commandments (notice, you are running again), for the Lord will enlarge your heart.