The Whole Trip was Meaningful
Wednesday, March 18, 2015
Psalm 5:11 (ESV) But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them ever sing for joy, and spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may exult in you.
In case you’ve missed the pattern of the last week, we are taking little day trips through the Psalms, stopping at spiritual scenic overlooks along the way.
Today, the whole trip was a scenic overlook. The fifth Psalm is a panorama of the current circumstances of my life. I’m not going to share the details with you, but I am going to let you in on what God said to me.
First, when life makes us groan, it is to the Lord alone that we turn and to Him alone do we pray. (verse 2)
But prayer is so much more than just speaking words into the air. Prayer is motivated by the confidence we have that there is a God and that He cares to hear what we have to say. (“you hear my voice” – verse 3a)
And prayer is more than simply what we have to say; it is the relinquishing of our rights to control the outcome as we present the circumstances to God as a sacrifice, and then wait for Him to reveal His purpose. (“I prepare a sacrifice for you and watch” – verse 3b)
When I pray, I am put in touch with the character of God. I am made keenly aware of the purity and holiness of His nature, and the contrast between those who know Him and those who don’t. Those who don’t know Him will not dwell in His presence.
- For you are not a God who delights in wickedness; evil may not dwell with you. (vs. 4)
- The boastful shall not stand before your eyes; you hate all evildoers. (vs. 5)
- You destroy those who speak lies; the LORD abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man. (vs. 6)
But those who know Him and have been transformed by His marvelous grace will enter His presence with joy.
- But I, through the abundance of your steadfast love, will enter your house. I will bow down toward your holy temple in the fear of you. (vs. 7)
Those who know Christ will be led according to the righteousness of God when we are willing to walk in His ways even when we are opposed for doing it.
- Lead me, O LORD, in your righteousness because of my enemies; make your way straight before me. (vs. 8)
I can trust God with the justice that is coming because of the sinful behavior of others.
- For there is no truth in their mouth; their inmost self is destruction; their throat is an open grave; they flatter with their tongue. Make them bear their guilt, O God; let them fall by their own counsels; because of the abundance of their transgressions cast them out, for they have rebelled against you. (vs. 9-10)
Right now, in the middle of it all, because I take refuge in my God and not in the strength of my own life, I can rejoice and sing for joy, because God has me covered and He also has the outcomes covered. Not just covered – but covered with His favor!
- But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them ever sing for joy, and spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may exult in you. For you bless the righteous, O LORD; you cover him with favor as with a shield. (vs. 11-12)
I lift up my head to the Lord so the light of His face will shine on me.