David was not only a man after God’s own heart but God also gave him incredible artistic ability. Aside from his phenomenal harp playing, David was also brilliant with words. God gave him the unique ability of expressing himself in a way that transcends both culture as well as the generations. The depth of David’s feelings expressed in the Psalms, as God used His servant to convey His Truths in the Holy Spirit breathed Word of God, is all too often missed. This is partially because in our fast paced world where so many people try to simply fit a quick little Bible reading in without taking time to deeply absorb the depth and power of the text.
I of course have fallen into this too, but the past few months I have been going through some changes that are pushing me into a new season of life. In my personal life, as well as in my ministry, there are many new things in the works and it is safe to say that it is definitely a season of transition. I am usually going one hundred and seventy seven miles an hour but lately because the need of reflecting on where I have been and what our ministry has done to gain a clear perspective on where the Lord wants to both take me personally as well as the ministry. In the midst of that it has also affected the speed of which I do things and put me in an even greater contemplative state than normal. (For those of you who really know me I know that is probably hard to believe) Today in my Bible reading I was even more contemplative than normal. And it just so happen that I found myself reading some of David’s most eloquently penned and reflective words found in the first sixteen verses of Psalm 31 and they moved me deeply; speaking right into the depth of my own reflection.
In that Psalm David begins with a plea to find refuge in God. Not just refuge from his literal enemies but from the disgrace of his own sin and lack of holiness. David declares in a state of desperation that it is only by the Lord’s Righteousness alone that he might be rescued and saved. David also recognized his own unworthiness in his plea and cries out to God to do it for His own name sake. In the same strokes of the pen He expresses God’s faithful Love, Grace and Mercy saying that the Lord seen his affliction, knew the troubles of his life, knew him inside and out, yet still did not hand him over to the plot of destruction against him. David out of gratitude and desperation cries out to God saying that he was consumed with grief, having had years with groaning…That because of his own wretched sinfulness that his own strength had failed and his bones were literally wasting away from the affects of sin on his earthly body. Then in a beautiful poetic expression he exclaims “I am forgotten: gone from memory like a dead person—like broken pottery.” Feeling like he had been forgotten like a person who had already passed away…like a piece of broken pottery thrown unto the ground, swept up and thrown out with the trash…And even in that revelation David still boldly exclaims that in spite of all of that, that he will still trust in the Lord and that He is his God! David then asks the Lord to save him through the only love that is perfect, the only love that is one hundred percent graceful, and the only love that is faithful even when we’re not… The love of Jesus.
So with my future still uncertain, with spiritual attacks seeming like they sometimes come from all sides, in the midst of often feeling disgraced by my own sinfulness… sinfulness that seems to suck the very life right out of me as my bones waste away, and at times feeling like a piece of broken pottery that has been forgotten just like a person dead and gone, David’s words are permeating through my being today. And with David, I too can come to the Lord humbly but boldly because of Christ’s finished and completed work on the Cross and declare that it is only by God’s Righteousness not my own that I am saved. And because of that atoning work I can come to Him and say: Lord be my refuge and strength. Lord guide me and show me what and where you want me because of Your name sake. And Lord, when everything seems like it is closing in on me I can and will still say that I trust in You and that You are my God…that the course of my life is Your hand…and ask You to show Your favor to Your servant and that I am saved only by and because of Your faithful love…
If you are in Christ you can also make such declarations and prayers so don’t miss the beauty and more importantly the truths in David’s words because of the pace of your life…where everything just seems to be on fast forward… Slow down and let them sink in so even when the pottery breaks you too can say: I trust in You, Lord; You are my God.
Psalm 31:1-16 (HCSB)
Lord, I seek refuge in You;
let me never be disgraced.
Save me by Your righteousness.
2 Listen closely to me; rescue me quickly.
Be a rock of refuge for me,
a mountain fortress to save me.
3 For You are my rock and my fortress;
You lead and guide me
because of Your name.
4 You will free me from the net
that is secretly set for me,
for You are my refuge.
5 Into Your hand I entrust my spirit;
You redeem me, Lord, God of truth.
6 I hate those who are devoted to worthless idols,
but I trust in the Lord.
7 I will rejoice and be glad in Your faithful love
because You have seen my affliction.
You have known the troubles of my life
8 and have not handed me over to the enemy.
You have set my feet in a spacious place.
9 Be gracious to me, Lord,
because I am in distress;
my eyes are worn out from angry sorrow—
my whole being as well.
10 Indeed, my life is consumed with grief
and my years with groaning;
my strength has failed
because of my sinfulness,
and my bones waste away.
11 I am ridiculed by all my adversaries
and even by my neighbors.
I am dreaded by my acquaintances;
those who see me in the street run from me.
12 I am forgotten: gone from memory
like a dead person—like broken pottery.
13 I have heard the gossip of many;
terror is on every side.
When they conspired against me,
they plotted to take my life.
14 But I trust in You, Lord;
I say, “You are my God.”
15 The course of my life is in Your power;
deliver me from the power of my enemies
and from my persecutors.
16 Show Your favor to Your servant;
save me by Your faithful love.